Browsing Archive March, 2019

SiteGround Review

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SiteGround Deals

SiteGround has provided our readers with a 65% discount on their shared hosting plans!

$3.95/mo $11.95/mo

No Coupon Needed

SiteGround is one of the biggest hosting companies hosting over 2 million websites.  They are actually celebrating their 15th anniversary in 2019.

Although SiteGround bills in USD, their hosting plans are some of the best around.  SiteGround is specifically known for their amazing and friendly support team.

Plans and Pricing

SiteGround offers 3 shared web hosting plans:

Their first plan is the Startup plan which allows you to host 1 domain or website.  You get access to their free site builder, Lets Encrypt SSL certificates and free daily backups.  Most hosting companies charge an extra fee for backups so this is definitely an added bonus.

Their second plan is called GrowBig and this lets you host unlimited websites with 20GB of disk space.  They claim you can get about 25,000 visitors per month on the plan.  On the GrowBig plan you get On-Demand backups so you can create a backup just before you do a website update for example.

Their third plan is called GoGeek which is targeted towards small businesses ans busy websites.  It comes with everything above plus you get priority support.  It also includes SuperCacher which is their own website caching technology and improves performance by caching images and css.  If you use WordPress then you’ll benefit from the caching system.

Our test account at SiteGround was on the GrowBig plan.  Let me tell you, their hosting servers are FAST.  They use SSD drives in their servers which makes a massive difference when it comes to database performance.

The price depends on the billing cycle you choose.  Like most hosting companies, the price is cheaper when you choose their longest billing cycle which is 36 months.  They also offer a few addons such as domain privacy which I absolutely recommend if you want to avoid spam and robo-calls.  Domain privacy hides all of your personal information from anyone who does a WHOIS search on your domain name.  Domain privacy is billed annually at $12.

Unfortunately SiteGround doesn’t include a free domain name which is a downside as almost every other host offers a free domain when you buy a web hosting plan.  Domain registration is $15.95/yr.

Website Speed and Overall Performance

SiteGround servers are fast.  In fact, they were the fastest hosting platform we tested.  They use SSD drives with PHP 7 and OpCache.  They also include a free CDN which means your website will load from the closest server to the end user.  It’s pretty remarkable how they have designed such an amazing platform for shared web hosting.  We literally had no speed issues and our test site loaded instantly.

SiteGround Customer Support

Customer service is where SiteGround really shines.  With 2 million websites hosted and over 400 employees available 24/7 they are one of the best hosts when it comes to customer service.  When we called their toll-free number we had a rep within seconds, literally.

Answering the phone quickly is one thing but the support reps are helpful and will guide you when you need.  They really are some of the best tech support agents we’ve come across.

Their average ticket response is under 10 minutes.  Phone and Live Chats are answered in seconds.  They also have in-depth tutorials and support documentation from getting started to advanced technical questions.  They even host webinars if you’re interested in learning about their web hosting features.

SiteGround Control Panel

SiteGround use cPanel as their hosting control panel interface.  We’ve said it before, if a hosting company uses cPanel it’s a good sign.  cPanel is your control panel to manage  your account from uploading your website to creating email accounts and even checking your visitor stats and traffic analytics.

 

If you’re not familiar with cPanel they have tons of documentation on how to use cPanel and get the most out of your SiteGround hosting plan.  If you’re looking for fast and secure web hosting with some of the best support around then SiteGround is the way to go!

 


PROS:
  • Insanely Fast Servers
  • Friendly and Helpful Support
  • cPanel Control Panel
  • Highly Recommended for WordPress websites

CONS:
  • No Free domain name
  • Do not have servers in Canada


Visit SiteGround

 

$3.95/mo $11.95/mo

JustHost Review

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JustHost Coupons & Offers

JustHost has provided our readers with a Free Domain coupon which applies to all of their hosting plans!

$3.95/mo $9.49/mo

freedomain

Since inception in 2008, JustHost has been creating the ideal hosting experience and platform with one common goal: to maintain a reliable service. Based on the infrastructure, customer satisfaction, and support, JustHost is proud to guarantee a quality experience, or your money back!  If you’re looking for Cheap Hosting in Canada then JustHost is the best option based on their current prices and discounts.

JustHost Review – Plans and Pricing

JustHost offers 3 hosting plans, starting at a promotional price of just $3.95. Their Unlimited plan is $4.50/month and includes Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, databases, and more.

The Business Pro plan is fully-featured, including everything from the previous plans, plus an SSL Certificate, Dedicated IP, SiteBackup Pro, and more. This plans starts at $9.95/month (Normal price: $19.99).

All plans include “marketing offers”. This includes coupons and account credits to some of the internet’s largest advertising platform, such as Bing, Google, and Facebook Ads.  This a nice added bonus as most hosting companies don’t provide free marketing credits.  It’s a great way to get your business marketing off the ground.

For Canadian and Americans alike they give you the option to choose your currency.  This is a big savings as Canadians can pay using CAD currency and not worry about currency exchange rates.

Performance and Reliability

Just Host is committed to providing a secure and reliable hosting environment. For this reason, customer websites are hosted on high performance quad processor servers, and the data center is equipped with a UPS power back-up generator.

JustHost claims to perform 24/7 network monitoring, so if an issue does arise, they can address it immediately.

There is no mention about exact software they use on their hosting servers, whether it is CloudLinux, or not. The servers are running on the Linux platform though. “Guaranteed Server Resources” with “Enhanced cPanel Features” are included only in their VPS plans.

We have not had any issues with the performance, so far.  Their hosting works as advertised, simple and full of features.  The JustHost SiteBuilder is very easy to use and is basically a drag and drop builder.  They also offer free script for e-commerce websites so you can create a store-front with ease.

Customer Support

JustHost claims to offer “customer tailored support”. This means they specialize in customer satisfaction. They are dedicated to ensuring that customers can contact the support team in the best way for them. Three different support methods are provided: phone (888-755-7585), chat and email.

They guarantee that you will be able to reach and speak with a real human being, someone who speaks English and can answer your questions, fix your problems and help you resolve your issues.

There is no mention where the support team is, and if the support is outsourced to a different company.  JustHost is not known for their support but from our tests they were fairly quick to reply to our support tickets and answer our questions.  We had no real complaints with their support as everyone we interacted with was helpful.

JustHost Control Panel and Features Review

Each Just Host account utilizes the award winning cPanel control panel interface. It is extremely user friendly control panel which makes it simple to manage all aspects of your hosting account. cPanel is the industry-standard for this type of hosting. Functions include the ability to configure e-mail accounts, domain management, website statistics and database administration.

Another common feature included with every Just Host account is an entire script library totally free. “SimpleScripts” can automatically install any of the long list of leading scripts for you, which include WordPress, osCommerce, Joomla, and more. This is similar to Softaculous.

SpamExperts is a service offered for free on the Plus and Business Pro plans. This is a service offered to web hosts that provides incoming and outgoing spam protection for all of your email accounts. They also provide email archiving tools, which may be very useful to some businesses.

JustHost claims to support Video and Audio streaming, but we didn’t get a chance to test this.

 


PROS:
  • Cheap prices
  • 24/7 Support
  • Charge in Canadian dollars!

CONS:
  • Normal monthly cost (without promotion)
  • Starter Plan is not Unlimited
  • Require an upgrade to $10 Business Pro plan to get certain features.
  • Not using CloudLinux


Visit JustHost

 

$3.95/mo $9.49/mo

iPage Review

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iPage Coupons & Offers

As of today iPage has a sale for the next 24 hours where you'll save 77% off their Essential Hosting Plan

$2.50/mo $10.95/mo

iPage has been around for a very long time and in 2008 they really started to scale their hosting business.  They are now one of the biggest hosting companies for personal websites.  Their target audience is novice users with small websites and if you fit in this category then iPage is perfect.

Ipages motto is “It’s Quick & Easy. No Experience Necessary.” and I’d have to say it’s quite accurate.  You’re not getting bells and whistles with iPage but a simple and easy to use hosting plan with everything you need to get your website online.  iPage is also a Green Hosting company for those looking for eco-friendly web hosting.


Ipage has one signature hosting plan.  It comes with unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email accounts.  You’ll also get one free domain name with the Essential Hosting Plan.  A few added bonuses include a Security Suite and their Site Builder which is very easy to use.  It’s not as nice as the BlueHost Weebly Site Builder but it does the job and comes with hundreds of templates.

One benefit of iPages hosting plan is that it comes with free search engine submissions and advertising credits.  Advertising credits are a great bonus because you can literally start advertising on Google Adwords and Facebook with no upfront costs.  The plan includes $100 advertising credit with Google, $50 with Yahoo/Bing and $50 for Facebook advertising.

One of the main reasons people choose iPage is their anytime money back guarantee.  You can literally cancel at any time unlike other hosts who only offer a 30 or 45 day refund policy.  iPage will provide you with a prorated credit so it’s risk free and definitely worth a shot if you need cheap hosting with advertising credits.

iPage Review – Hosting Performance

We had the opportunity to test the iPage Essential Hosting plan for 2 weeks.  We did not experience any outages however when we did do our stress test the server did struggle and slow down significantly.  This was expected as iPages Hosting plan is not for heavy sites with lots of traffic.

You can host WordPress with iPage without any problems but if you have over 10 plugins or a heavy theme you may want to consider a different host.  iPages hosting is not optimized for large databases but that’s not their target audience.  So who is iPage perfect for? I’d say for a small to medium sized website or for someone just launching their first website.  You’ll notice their performance is perfectly fine if you just need an online presence and aren’t expecting tons and tons of traffic.  iPage is in the lower range of pricing so if budget is important to you then iPage can’t be beat.

iPage Review – Customer Support

We have nothing bad to say about iPages support.  They offer phone, live chat and ticket support just like most hosting companies.  Their staff was friendly and helpful in answering our basic questions and explained how to use their free site builder which was really nice!  iPage also received the Consumer Ranking award 2 years in a row which is a user feedback system that evaluates hosts purely on their customer service and support.

iPage claims they answer phone support calls in under 2minutes directly on their homepage and we confirmed it, impressive.  One thing we liked most about iPage is that their sales and support teams are North American based.  No outsourcing means better support from people who work at iPage and not a random call center.  Lastly, iPage has a huge knowledge base with articles about their control panel and website builder.  With 1 million customers their obviously doing something right and for the price of their hosting plans they really can’t be beat.

iPage Control Panel and Features Review

iPage boasts a ton of features, more than most hosts we’ve reviewed.  With iPages Essential Hosting Plan you’ll get their security suite which includes daily malware scans and spam email scans.  You’ll also get free search engine services, website authentication seal and website analytics software which allows you to see your traffic statistics.

iPage Features

From within iPages control panel you can either use their website builder or install one of their free open source scripts to setup a blog, photo gallery or online store.  Everything is point-and-click so there is no technical skillset required.  One feature that iPage includes is SiteLock.  SiteLock is a 3rd party service that provides an in-depth security scan of your website with detailed reports.  They also give you the SiteLock Security Seal that you can put anywhere on your website to give your visitors added confidence to shop with you.

Unlike most hosts iPage uses Vdeck as their control panel not cPanel.  Personally I much prefer cPanel as I just find it’s a more fluid and easy to use control panel.  With 1 million customers though Vdeck is obviously quite popular and works for them.  in Vdeck everything is categorized so finding what you need is simple.  Vdeck is designed for beginners and it won’t take you more than a few minutes to get familiar with it.  You can create email addresses, upload your website, create databases and tons more.

Overall iPage is the perfect choice for beginners looking for cheap hosting.  It’s reliable and affordable and we’d say they are one of the top 10 hosting companies when it comes to budget hosting.

 


PROS:
  • Cheapest Hosting Plan
  • Really easy to use
  • Free Google and Facebook Ad credits

CONS:
  • Not easily scalable to a bigger plan
  • Prices go up after introductory offer


Visit iPage

 

$2.50/mo $10.95/mo

BlueHost Review

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BlueHost Discounts

BlueHost currently has a sale on all of their web hosting plans including their WordPress optimized hosting plans.

$5.20/mo $10.52/mo

Hosting over 2 million websites BlueHost is one of the biggest web hosting companies in North America.  BlueHost was founded in 2003 and continue to grow as they provide affordable hosting with great support.  Though their head office is in the United States, BlueHost does have thousands of customers in Canada.  If you’re looking for a simple and easy to use hosting plan then BlueHost is your best choice simply because they are experienced and provide 24/7 support.

BlueHost now offers Canadians the ability to pay in Canadian dollars!

The one thing that separate BlueHost from other hosts is that they are the official partner of WordPress the popular blogging software.

BlueHost Review – Plans and Pricing

BlueHost WordPress Hosting Review:

WordPress is the backend for close to 20% of the websites you see on the Internet and BlueHost has partnered with the WordPress team to design WordPress Hosting plans.

BlueHost is actually listed on the WordPress website as a recommended hosting company which is important to mention as WordPress only lists two other recommended hosts on their website.

The BlueHost WordPress Hosting plan starts at $12.49/month however you can also install WordPress on their cheapest shared hosting plan which comes to $3.95/month.  On this cheap hosting plan you can host 1 website with 100GB of space.  You also get a free domain name on this plan.

Their WordPress plan is what we tested and it has a few advantages over your standard host.  Their database servers are specifically optimized for WordPress websites.  You get access to their content delivery network which means that your website will load from the closest server to the end users location.  As an example if you have a visitor who lives in Dallas, Texas then your website will load for them from the servers BlueHost has in Dallas.

BlueHost like many other hosts also offers a free one click installer for WordPress.  Their security for WordPress is what separate them from other hosts, they have tons of security measures including firewalls and login brute force detection to help protect your WordPress website.

Performance and Reliability

BlueHost has lots of positive reviews and generally with a company with so many customers operating for so many years you’d expect to see a lot more negative reviews.  They do offer unlimited hosting just like most hosting companies but we know their is always a limit.  That’s why we believe BlueHost offers multiple shared hosting plans with the key difference being performance.

Based on our BlueHost review we think their shared hosting plans can handle a website with 10,000 visitors without a slowdown.  Anything above this and you may notice things start to lag and you’ll need to look at other options.

BlueHost offers a separate WordPress Hosting plan as mentioned above and this is where their performance grade goes up.  It seems that BlueHost has invested in their hardware for WordPress websites as we noticed a significant difference on their ‘WordPress Optimized’ hosting plans.

If you are looking for WordPress hosting then for the price BlueHost is your best option.  The fact that they offer a free CDN with their WordPress hosting is reason alone to give it a try.  You’ll notice a speed upgrade and so will your visitors.

BlueHost Customer Support

BlueHost offer phone support, ticket support and Live Chat 24/7 so you can reach someone at any time.  Their phone support was top notch, we got a support rep on the phone in under 2 minutes.  He answered all of our questions and even provided links to some useful documentation and video tutorials.  BlueHost does encourage users to submit support tickets as it allows them to document issues so you can always go back and look at your conversation.  Most people are not a fan of submitting support tickets as they think their issue won’t be looked at right away but we found this method to be just fine.  We had a response from a BlueHost tech within 15 minutes.

We also tried BlueHost live chat and it was useful for basic sales and support questions but for anything technical a phone call or ticket is required.  After reading our visitors feedback on BlueHost we found that overall your experiences were positive and nothing negative really stood out.

One thing we liked with BlueHost was their knowledge of WordPress and their ability to troubleshoot issues with WordPress.  Since they are a recommended WordPress provider their staff seems to be well educated with WordPress and this is a big advantage over other hosts.  If you use WordPress then you’ll find the BlueHost team knows the ins and outs of the open-source software and can help you with issues that other providers may not be able to.

BlueHost Control Panel and WordPress Features

BlueHost uses cPanel and WHM as their user-end control panels.  If you’re familiar with cPanel then you’ll feel right at home at BlueHost.  Their cPanel is slightly customized but in a positive way as they have icons and options laid out in a clean and easy to use fashion.  You can create email addresses, check your website stats, upload and manage your website and also create FTP account using cPanel.

BlueHost offers a simple WordPress installer so you don’t need any technical knowledge to install WordPress.

BlueHost offer a single login page whereas with other providers you need a separate login for their client area and cPanel.  One login page allows you to manage your services with them as well as access the cPanel so you don’t need to remember multiple passwords.  This is a great idea we wish more hosting companies followed.  As soon as you login to the BlueHost control panel you are asked if you need help and for newbies this is a great way to get familiar with their control panel.

Lastly, BlueHost offers an upgrade option directly in the control panel.  If you want to change to a bigger plan you can do so directly from within the control panel with a few clicks.  This just makes life easier when you need to upgrade.  Overall the BlueHost cPanel is really nicely laid out and provides a ton of options and features to manage your hosting plan.  One of the best control panels we’ve come across.

 


PROS:
  • Official WordPress Partner
  • Fast support via phone, tickets and chat
  • Best control panel we’ve seen
  • Bill in Canadian dollars

CONS:
  • Fee to have them move your website to them
  • Introductory price is not locked in


Visit BlueHost

 

$5.20/mo $10.52/mo

HostUpon Review

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HostUpon Coupons & Offers

HostUpon has provided our readers with a 25% coupon which applies to all of their web hosting plans!

$2.95/mo $6.95/mo

SUPERSALE

Website Hosting in Canada

HostUpon offers two of the most affordable and fully featured web hosting plans on the market. The company launched in 2007 and has been an industry leader, with no outsourcing, and an in-house team based in Toronto, Canada. With 5 eco-friendly data centers across the world and proactive server monitoring, HostUpon guarantees 99.9% uptime and reliability.  They offer 3 shared hosting plans that are perfect for startups, e-commerce sites and small businesses.

We’ve heard so many good things about HostUpon and they are actually rated the Best Canadian Web Hosting company around.

Plans and Pricing

We had the opportunity to test the HostUpon Start Unlimited plan which includes Unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases and more for $2.95/month prepaid for 3 years. The Business Unlimited plan starts at $5.95/month and includes  free search engine submission.  Free domain registration or transfer, one-click script installer, and an easy site builder are all included for free with both plans.

Our test account at HostUpon was in their Canadian data center in Toronto.

The order process is quite straightforward: you can choose your free domain name, or have one transferred from an existing registrar, and optionally apply Whois privacy for $9.95.  SEO addon is available for $29.95, a spam filter for $19.95, Dedicated IP address for $30 and website backup for $49/yr. All of these addons are completely optional and we only opted for the SSL certificate, which was $79.95/yr.

HostUpon offers a Free Domain registration and you can choose either a .com or .ca domain name.

A 30-day money back guarantee is offered on all web hosting plans, which gives the user the ability to test out the hosting services without agreeing to any long-term contract.  Their prices are definitely competitive and the best part is your price is ‘locked’ meaning your price never goes up unlike other providers who inflate renewal prices, no hidden fees or tricks here.  Simply great customer service and retention.  HostUpon have grown their business organically through word-of-mouth.

Performance and Reliability

HostUpon uses some of the best server technology available, such as Dell and IBM storage servers, Cisco networking and virtualization software. Having these direct service level agreements ensures the backbone network is fully redundant and optimal.

The company utilizes CloudLinux which provides a stable environment for each shared hosting client by allowing limits to be set for each account individually. This means that no one user can monopolize resources such as CPU and memory. At HostUpon, the default each client can burst up to is 10% of the CPU on the server. This however can be changed and configured to work, so it is never a limitation. HostUpon will ensure everything is updated and configured correctly, so you never run into an issue with resource limits. Our tests confirmed, with multiple scripts properly configured, we never ran into a resource limit, even after sending thousands of visitors to the test site, concurrently.

HostUpon is also a green hosting company which is rare in Canada, which means much more than simply buying carbon credits: they think outside the box and take every initiative to reduce emissions. The entire infrastructure was built with eco-friendly technology too!

HostUpon Customer Support

With any hosting company, support is key! HostUpon support separates them from the pack because they understand how important it is. They are available 24/7 and once you’re connected to an agent, you’ll be talking to a real industry expert. They do not outsource any support, which we found quite impressive, considering the size of their company!

A free migration/transfer service is included in all hosting plans, which is very useful if you’re moving your website from a different hosting provider.  HostUpon will transfer your website, database and emails from your current provider free of charge and without any downtime.

The average support ticket response time was under 15 minutes, and customers also have the option of calling their toll-free phone number. Live Chat support is available at most times for sales and general support.  We tested their ticket system on various occasions and had our tickets replied to within minutes.  The best part was that the replies were helpful and not predefined canned responses.

cPanel Control Panel and Features Review

When it comes to managing your hosting account, it’s important to find out what control panel your web host uses.  HostUpon includes the industry-leading cPanel control panel. From adding domains, to accessing the site builder and uploading files, cPanel makes it easy.

cPanel is one of the main reasons we like HostUpon.  The control panel has tons of features and is very user-friendly.  Everything is point and click and if need help they even have video tutorials for cPanel and FTP.

Softaculous is a one-click installer included within cPanel in all hosting plans. This gives you the ability to easily install scripts such as WordPress.  No technical skills are required, you just choose the software you want to install, enter the form details, and it’s done!  We asked HostUpon to install WordPress for us and in less than 10min they installed it on our test domain name, fast and easy.

 


PROS:
  • Free Domain Name
  • Features and Script Installation
  • Support team in Canada
  • Servers located in Toronto, Canada
  • 1-click WordPress install and auto updates
  • Easy Website Builder with templates

CONS:
  • Monthly cost (without prepayment)
  • Do not use a CDN (they do offer CloudFlare for free though)


Visit HostUpon

 

$2.95/mo $6.95/mo