MyHosting (www.myhosting.com) have been in the business since the late 90’s, offering a wide array of services including web hosting, VPS hosting, domain and e-mail hosting. They have a simplistic yet very informative site design showcasing their cheapest plans per service, their support channels and about just everything else you can think of. I could call the design structure unique, but why? What’s so different about it? It’s specifically because of the amount of information they have on just one page. Everything you would need to know about their company is stretched across their homepage in a layout that is not only pleasing to the eye, however structurally accurate as well.
Features and Pricing
MyHosting give you the choice of three different hosting plans, however the structure of the plans themselves are considerably odd. I find this to be the case as their cheapest plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth, so what could the other plans possibly offer?
There are three plans in total, they are as follows:
The personal plan, as mentioned earlier, offers you unlimited disk space and bandwidth, unlimited hosting of domains and a free domain packed with it. What I find odd about this plan in particular is that even though they offer unlimited space and bandwidth, they do not offer unlimited features, much like other webhosts such as Web Hosting Hub. Instead they offer:
- 3 MySQL and PostgreSQL databases
- 1 FTP account
- 10 e-mail mailboxes
It also garners the ability to install certain blog platforms and content management systems. In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to offer all that space if you’re not getting all of the essential features to back it up. I guess we’ll find more about their pricing strategy as we move on to their other plans.
The business plan costs five dollars more than the personal plan. It essentially mirrors the personal plan but with a few extra features. You get access to the Microsoft Windows 2008 platform, and the Linux CentOS platform and a free dedicated IP address. That’s pretty much it, however instead of three databases, you get five, and you get double the amount of e-mail mailboxes you get in the Personal plan. You are still limited to one FTP user account. I am unable to understand why they offer such a small amount of additional resources. If they have the ability to offer such a large amount of disk space and bandwidth, surely they can offer you a few more databases and more than at least one FTP user account. I am unaware if they thought this pricing strategy would gain them many potential customers, but it can certainly deter several due to the excessively small amount of features.
Now we’ll take a look at the final and most expensive plan: The E-Commerce plan. The use is in the title; it’s designed specifically for shopping cart websites. The price of this plan is $18.95 per month. It states you are given everything in the Business plan as well as a free SSL certificate, e-commerce add-ons, SMTP services and 6 website builder tools. Instead of the aforementioned 10 SQL databases, you are given 20 and an additional 2 MS SQL databases. You are also given 50 mailboxes and surprisingly 5 FTP user accounts.
If you’re thinking you need more additional features than they offer, then you’re in luck. They give you the ability to add additional resources. For example, if you’d like an additional FTP user account, it would cost you an extra 5 dollars per month. Need a few extra mailboxes? That would cost you an additional $3.55 per month. You’ll start to understand the pattern they have adopted here. If you need additional resources, it will cost you. I personally consider this to be a cheap tactic produced by companies and it really impacts my opinion on their services.
It seems as though these plans don’t stray too far from each other as they all offer similar features, with the exception that each plan contains a few additional resources such as a dedicated IP, or a SSL certificate.
Typically from most webhosts, the majority of the features they offer are unlimited to an extent, and the amount is far larger than the offerings from MyHosting. If you find the amount of features sufficient for you or your company, then by all means purchase an account.
Terms of Service
I found it a little bothersome that they didn’t have a direct link to their terms of service agreement on their homepage. They instead had it buried in their about section as an Acceptable Use Policy.
The policy itself is in 23 sections. I found it to be quite a tedious read as they made no effort to re-define their terms in a manner that was understandable by the public. I found myself reading through paragraphs and paragraphs of legal jargon which was clear, yet poorly constructed. I found myself finding information about refunds and cancellation policies below the ‘Billing’ section, and while both subjects are relatable to each other, I find it common to see such information under its own heading.
Those of you who have a good grasp on English vocabulary and grammar will have no problem reading this, however if you’ve never read an Acceptable Use Policy before, you may find yourself struggling every now and again trying to understand exactly what you are agreeing too.
They also sport a 100% up-time guarantee.
MyHosting have decided to create a custom control panel for their customers. This could be construed as an attempt to stray away from the industry’s standard control panel cPanel. The main page of the control panel is littered with help pages and documents for beginners to help them get started with their new website. Underneath, there is a list of resources that lets you control every aspect of your website.
I was up and online within five minutes with MyHosting.com. I received an order confirmation e-mail which contained a receipt and a few hyperlinks to the control panel and their phone support service. The e-mail was extremely lacking in information and did not contain any of the vital information required for beginners to get started on their website. Five minutes later, I received virtually the exact same e-mail, yet acting as an invoice, which was essentially unnecessary.
I proceeded to look on their website for their nameservers, however could not find them. I eventually found them buried in the webhosts main wiki. One day later, I checked the status of my new website to find it was not online. It seemed as though the nameservers had not propagated. I decided to wait a few extra days to see if it was mainly a time issue, but that was not the case. The website was not online, so after some researching, I found some alternative nameservers and a few hours later my website was online. This was an unbelievable nuisance, as webhosts should include their nameservers in welcome e-mails or direct help files situated on their website.
I navigated through the custom control panel for a little while attempting to find the one-click script installer mentioned on their features page. I eventually found it under the heading ‘Application Vault’. It was split in to 5 different sections. The scripts themselves were situated in these 5 sections dependant on what the script was used for. The sections were as follows: Blogging, CMS, Community, E-Commerce, Photos. I proceeded to click on the Blogging section and there was only one blogging platform in there, which of course was WordPress.
I clicked on to the WordPress icon and was displayed a summary and description of the platform and the option to install it. I proceeded to click install and a dialog box popped up that stated it was loading a page. The page produced was a list of websites and I was prompted to choose which one I wanted to install WordPress on. I chose my website and followed the ‘next’ buttons accordingly. I was then prompted to enter some basic information such as login details. Finally, I was displayed a green dialog box telling me WordPress was ready to be installed. After clicking the ‘finish’ button, I was told that WordPress had officially been scheduled for installation.
This was irritating, as after completing several unnecessary steps, I wasn’t told that WordPress had been installed, I was told it had been scheduled for installation. I couldn’t understand why I was unable to instantly install a blogging platform. It made me wonder if MyHosting has technical support staff manually install applications for their customers which is not needed at all. I also wasn’t told when it would be installed either which was the not-so-sweet cherry on top of this mediocre cake.
I tested the uptime of the website for one week with a service called Pingdom. It shows a fair amount of downtime, most likely due to the nameserver fiasco I had experienced upon sign-up. Despite the issue, I would have assumed the amount of downtime shown would have been considerably lower.
MyHosting carry a wide range of support services. They offer 24/7 live-chat, e-mail and phone support service. I find it excellent for a company to offer 24/7 support for all three of the above mentioned support channels. Phone support is also available in 8 different countries around the world which is also extremely helpful in some cases.
As MyHosting provide technical phone support services in the UK, I decided to give a try. I called their toll-free support number and I instantly received an automated message informing me I would be connected to a representative shortly. Within 10 seconds, I was connected to a technical support staff member. She stated her name, and what she could assist with. I responded by asking how I would go about creating a sub-domain, and how I could point this sub-domain to the domain itself.
At first, I was told to attempt to create the sub domain. However, I was not given any instructions on how to do this. Luckily, it was easy enough to find. I attempted to create the sub-domain; however it was not shown on the list. She then told me to re-login to my control panel as she would create the sub-domain for me. Once logged back in, the sub-domain was listed. She then asked what else it was that I needed help with, and I responded by asking her how to redirect the sub-domain to the domain itself. Around 30 seconds later, she responded by saying she had completed this for me. She asked me if there was anything else I needed help with and hung up the phone in a friendly manner.
I found the quality of the support line to be fairly bad as I could barely hear the representative. I found myself asking her to repeat herself often as I couldn’t hear her properly. Generally, the staff member was helpful and wasn’t rude in any manner.
I was eager to try their live chat service also, to see if it would match up with the quality of the phone support I was engaged in earlier. However, when clicking onto their live chat service, a dialog box appeared, when clicking to select a department, only the Sales department was online. This struck me as odd as the MyHosting website states live chat support is 24/7.
MyHosting provide somewhat mediocre plans and features at an unsatisfactory price. They have a custom control panel created just for users, yet it seems somewhat limited in features and resources. The reliability of the service itself is fair, despite having initial issues with nameservers, however, they make up for what they lack with their fantastic support services. For experienced customers, this service is not for you, but beginners may be happy with what they have to offer. Their cheapest plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth without a fair amount of features, but if all you need is space and not databases, then MyHosting is for you.