HostDime was incorporated in 2003 and is a privately owned web hosting company with worldwide presence. Their first data center was opened in the same year in Orlando, Florida. Since then they’ve increased the number of their servers from one to more than two hundred, spread across locations throughout Europe, North and South America and Asia. In addition, with a goal to make things easier for all types of geographically diverse customers, they’ve provided different websites for different counties. They claim to have more than 2 million registered domains which are hosted on their globally deployed servers. HostDime at present offers a wide spectrum of plans, including cloud hosting, managed VPS hosting, managed dedicated servers and colocation services.
Describing their customer support as unmatched by any other, they’ve created a mascot going under the name of Alex HostDime, also called HD Alex, which is to represent their passionate commitment to customer service, as well as support provided around the globe. Suitably, HD Alex takes the shape of a cartoonish nerdy-looking young man with glasses and a silhouette of his own face printed on his T-shirt, giving off an image of confidence (and a bit of narcissism).
To support their development and accomplish their mission to provide innovative, cost-efficient and powerful infrastructure of services, they’ve formed a partnership with organizations such as Microsoft, InterWorx, cPanel, CenturyLink, Cisco, Supermicro and many others.
The HostDime’s blog appears simple yet visually pleasant, with articles arranged by the date of publication and the search box in the top right corner, which will help you find everything you need. Apparently, the blog is updated a couple of times a month.
Upon reaching HostDime’s landing page, the first thing you’ll be offered is to choose a type of server you would like to use: cloud, colocation or bare metal server. After that, you’ll be provided with several plans, the number of which depends on the selected server. If you have chosen cloud or colocation, you’ll be welcomed by a step-by-step how-to video on creating your account.
Directly below the recommended plan options, the text in small letters will inform you that the suggested prices are valid only for self-managed CentOS set-up, lacking cPanel. Therefore, all add-ons will be charged extra. The least expensive self-managed cloud hosting plan begins at 51.28 $ per month, and will provide you with 2 vCPU. 8 GB RAM, 75 GB SSD and 10 GB bandwidth. If you go for an annual plan, the price will drop significantly.
In addition to expected paying options such as debit/credit card and PayPal, HostDime accepts payments via Bitpay, therefore, accepts payments in bitcoins, which is something we don’t see often enough.
Although HostDime doesn’t offer a free trial, there is a 45-day money-back guarantee, which will give you enough time to find out if the services they provide can meet your needs.
Ease of use
The first thing you'll notice about HostDime’s plans is that they don’t offer a basic shared hosting option. This isn’t a surprise, since they have been focusing their resources on providing powerful, high-quality business-oriented plans to users around the globe from the outset.
After choosing a type of server you want, you’ll be provided with several recommended hosting plans, with a minimum of four per server type. If none of these fit your needs, you are invited to create a customized one. You will be able to select a number of vCPUs, from a minimum of 2 to maximum of 16. After that, you can choose how many GBs of RAM you want, GBs of SSD primary storage, TBs of bandwidth and GBs of image /backup storage. Right below every single selection you will be able to see how much money that option will cost.
Next thing you’ll be able to choose is a type of management you want: self-managed, managed, fully managed or fully managed enterprise. Then you’ll decide if you want to use a control panel and if yes, which one among cPanel, Plesk and InterWorx. After this you can select an operating system and, finally, a domain name. The entire cost of the selected plan for a month will be displayed, as well as a cost per one hour.
Creating your account with HostDime is quite simple. After providing them with standard information and a password, you can check the plan you’ve selected by looking at the order summary, displayed in the top right corner together with its cost. After that, you’ll have to choose a paying method and if it is a debit/credit card, you can choose if you want to save the card information or not, which is an option that is always nice to have.
HostDime provides several ways of managing your website. Therefore, you can decide on the level of ease with which you’ll navigate through multiple options for your web space depending on the level of management you’ve selected and your experience as a use. Furthermore, you’ll be given all the tools you need to manage multiple websites (although some features will cost you extra cash), monitor their performance, check bandwidth usage and manage backups among other things.
All hosting services HostDime provides are first-class, but if the needs of your business are more humble, this might be too much of a good thing.
Speed and experience
After putting HostDime’s main website through a speed test provided by GTmetrix, we got the proof of a decent performance, which is always to our satisfaction. It took 4.1 seconds to fully load the site, which is excellent compared to the average of 8.1. However, 93 requests were required in comparison to the average of 89, which isn’t an ideal result, but certainly not a bad one either.
At the same time, a month-long test of their main website showed no downtime at all and just a few response time oscillations near the end of testing. This was fortunate, since HostDime promises “a near perfect uptime” and states that providing world class facilities with the highest level of uptime is a substantial part of their global mission.
HostDime takes the issue of customer support very seriously and offers a number of ways for customers to get in touch with them: email, ticket, telephone and live chat. When technical support is concerned, the assistance is available 24/7. For sale and accounting inquiries they are available from Monday to Friday from 8AM to 6PM, but are unavailable on weekends.
For an unknown reason, the types of self-service they provide are not listed at the bottom of the landing page together with the assisted options. However, they will appear if you select the Company section and then go to Extras, which is not a major problem but feels counter-intuitive.
HostDime’s knowledgebase is visually pretty original and offers sixteen different inter-related categories such as Dedicated Servers, Domain, Security, WordPress and others. Choosing one of the categories will lead you to the list of mostly brief but straight-to-the-point articles that seem helpful enough. Searching for information while using a search box has proved successful, as we got a number of results sorted by relevance.
At present, HostDime doesn’t have an official support forum.
Both HostDime and DigitalOcean offer first-rate all-inclusive hosting-related services that can meet everyone’s needs, no matter what size your business is. However, DigitalOcean provides more affordable solutions for individuals or smaller businesses, while HostDime’s customer support is superior without question. In addition, DigitalOcean doesn’t offer a refund while with HostDime you’ll get a 45-day money-back guarantee, which may be a deciding factor for some users.
While HostDime is able to meet most of the needs, its plans are more geared towards somewhat larger businesses. Hostgator’s plans, on the other hand, are also perfectly suitable (and budget-friendly) for a personal blog or hosting of a single website.
Compared to HostDime, Bluehost offers shared hosting as an option and more affordable plans suitable for smaller businesses. In addition to that, they provide a free SSL certificate with every plan, even with the least costly ones.
HostDime and Linode are US-based web hosting providers offering top-notch hosting plans. However, while Linode is more oriented toward developers familiar with Linux, HostDime offers multiple operating system options. Additionally, Linode doesn’t offer any kind of refund while HostDime does.
As we have stated before, HostDime is by all means a perfectly capable enterprise-level web hosting provider specialized in dedicated servers and VPS hosting. With the international market in mind, they operate a global network of servers and data centers. Understandably, HostDime isn’t a budget-friendly option, but it will provide perfect solutions for demanding business users. If you are just at the beginning of your web hosting adventure and desire a simpler and less expensive hosting plan to start a blog, personal website or a small business, Bluehost and Hostgator are both great alternatives.
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