Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hostmonster Reviewed

Host monster, started all the way back in 1996, currently supports over 175,000 domains with their high quality hosting. That's why they're the next on our list in the top ten webhosting providers.

Another master of the single deal, Host monster offers a high class shared hosting deal for just $5.95 a month. They offer a generous 300GB of storage space and 3 Terrabytes of bandwidth per month, backed up with an unlimited number of POP3 and webmail email accounts. In addition to this they offer 100 MySQL and postgre SQL databases for every customer, with additional support for PHP, Perl, Python and Ruby on Rails. In terms of free software they offer the normal range of forum, chat and blog software, but also a lot of open source software that doesn't come as default with many other packages. Coppermine, Moodle and Joomla are very popular applications, and it's reassuring to see them being promoted to customers.

Two unusual features of the Host monster package are unlimited domain hosting and SSH access. With unlimited domain hosting, any number of domains can be set to point to the single hosting account, meaning that you can host as many sites as you want on a single $5.95 package. SSH, or secure shell, access means that you can remotely access the server from anywhere in the world using a telenet client like PuTTY. This gives you precise control over your account in the exact same manner of an account on a local Linux machine. It might not be useful for everyone, but for expert users it'll almost certainly come in quite handy.

Host monster are currently using cPanel 11 software for their website backend, a popular choice for most webhosts. It gives quick and easy access to most of the utilities you could want for your site, including backups, email and database administration. They offer a demonstration of the cPanel software directly from their site, so you can easily check it over before you have to give them any money.

When it comes to handling customer enquiries, Host monster uses a three-pronged strategy of live telephone support, online chat and an e-mail based ticket system. This should give any potential customers reassurance that any queries are going to be answered quickly and efficiently. This is backed up by the several awards that they've won over the years, including one for the best customer service in 2006.

Essentially, Host monster are offering a good support system and some very interesting technical specs, combining a large offering of webspace and bandwidth with some unusual technical features that are not often seen for a hosting package of this price. Worth consideration when you're looking for a new host.