AN Hosting Review

AN Hosting

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Pros: nice SiteBuilder, generous space/bandwidth allocations, Ruby on Rails support, unlimited MySQL databases

Cons: AWstats not included, no advanced features, forced to pay yearly, unresponsive customer service

Bottomline: If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper, no frills and webmaster-focused version of midPhase, AN Hosting is a sound choice.

AN Hosting is a company that is owned by the much larger midPhase Services, Inc. (our review). AN Hosting, which has been around since 2001, seems to be more “webmaster focused” than midPhase. AN Hosting offers similar guarantees (30 day money back and 99.9% uptime) and promotions (advertising credit, etc.).

The plans are essentially the same in terms of price and features. For $6.95 a month (paid annually), you get 250,000 MB of space and 2,500,000 MB of bandwidth. Their larger plan ($9.95 a month when paid annually) offers 300,000 MB of space and 3,000,000 MB bandwidth. This should be more than enough for any normal web site.

AN Hosting’s plan pages are more descriptive than midPhase’s, though. Accounts are on high quality servers in a top-notch datacenter and include the expected programming options (PHP, MySQL, Python, etc.). AN Hosting also offers unlimited MySQL databases (unlike midPhase) and Ruby on Rails.

AN Hosting offers a very simple cPanel installation. My test account was using the very popular cPanel X theme and with the exception of RVSiteBuilder and Fantastico, seemed quite standard.

The SiteBuilder was quite nice. It made creating a simple web site fairly easy. The end result looked very “template-like”, but was functional. It wasn’t too hard to design the pages to look professional and add content. There was a learning curve associated with the SiteBuilder, but it was no more complicated than using Microsoft Frontpage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. Webmasters may appreciate the fact that it’s rather easy to update pages, move them around, and add additional ones.

Fantastico, which is included with all AN Hosting accounts, is a great program that makes it easy to install a variety of scripts and web applications. It took me about 15 seconds to get a fully functional version of WordPress working. Another 10 seconds and I had a basic OS Commerce install setup and running. Fantastico, though, is not unique to AN Hosting. More web hosts than not offer it standard with their accounts.

Like midPhase, AN Hosting charges more for AWstats ($1.95 a month when you sign up), which I’ve come to expect standard. They don’t seem to charge setup fees, but do require you to pay a year in advance for all of their plans.

The support you get from AN Hosting is the same as you would get from midPhase. As with midPhase, you get a personal welcome call from the company’s technical support manager. That’s a unique and interesting experience.

To test out their email support, I sent an email asking why AWstats didn’t work (because I didn’t pay extra for it) to AN Hosting’s support department at 1:32 AM. I got a reply about a half hour later saying I had cancelled my account. I got a reply about 45 minutes later that had answered my question and pointed me in the right direction.

A call to AN Hosting’s technical support (the same number as midPhase’s) was not answered. I waited on hold for 10 minutes (they had the same hold music problem) and there was no answer. Apparently, outside of normal business hours, it is very difficult to get them on the phone.

Like with midPhase, AN Hosting’s technical features and offerings are okay. However, their service is far from remarkable and they offer nothing to make up for it.

Visit: AnHosting

Price: $6.95

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Douglas Hanna is a former writer for Clickfire and other publications who went on to become CEO of a major web hosting company.

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