Skip to main content

Tsohost review

A value-for-money UK host with some unusual advanced extras

(Image: © Tsohost)

Our Verdict

A likeable UK-based host with some versatile and low-cost plans shared hosting plans.

For

  • Faster than most
  • Shared hosting plans support at least 3 domains
  • Windows, Linux and hybrid hosting
  • UK freephone telephone support

Against

  • Chat and phone support aren’t 24/7
  • Storage limits on most plans
  • Above-average prices on server plans
  • WordPress plans cover the basics only

Tsohost is an interesting UK-based provider with more than 15 years’ experience in the web hosting business.

Its products range from affordable shared and cloud hosting, to VPS solutions and high-end dedicated servers, reseller accounts and more.

Shared cPanel hosting begins with the Starter plan, a well-designed product which could deliver everything you need.

15GB of storage will handle most websites, for instance, and unlimited bandwidth ensures you can't have 'too many' visitors.

The plan can host up to three websites, unusually (most starter plans limit you one.)  There's one-click install of WordPress, PrestaShop and more (25 apps in total), and Let's Encrypt SSL certificates come for free.

Email could be an issue for some. The Starter account gets you 25 mailboxes, but they're limited to 200MB each. (HostGator's only limit is the overall storage space allocated to your account.)

There are plenty of bonuses, though, including free site migrations, daily backups and a domain name.

Tsohost provides 24/7 support via ticket, and live chat and UK freephone support is available 07:00 - 24:00 GMT.

The Startup plan is priced at £2.92 ($3.65) a month over two years, £3.16 ($3.95) a month on the annual plan, or £3.82 ($4.78) billed monthly.

That's good value, especially as this isn't some special deal where costs double or more on renewal. No marketing trickery with Tsohost, these are just the regular prices.

Tsohost's Business plan gets you 50GB storage, 100 x 1GB mailboxes, three website migrations and support for hosting up to eight domains. It's priced from £6.59 ($8.24) a month over two years, £7.33 ($9.16) over a year, or £8.78 ($10.98) billed monthly.

The eCommerce plan lifts storage to 100GB, supports unlimited 10GB mailboxes, includes two ecommerce migrations (moving a transactional site with complex setups) and can host up to 20 domains. All this can be yours from £18.02 ($22.53) a month over two years, £19.99 ($23.74) over 12 or £23.98 ($29.98) billed monthly.

If you can live with the 200MB inboxes, Tsohost's Starter plan is the clear highlight of the range, offering an exceptional level of features for a surprisingly low price.

The higher end plans aren't quite as competitive, as many hosts have similar products, and their introductory deals begin to have real value. For example, HostGator's Business Plan improves on Tsohost with unmetered storage, unlimited domains, a free Positive SSL upgrade and dedicated IP, and it's priced at only $5.95 a month for the first three years, $14.95 on renewal.

Extras like Tsohost's ecommerce migrations are worth having and it's still worth checking the company out, but compare features carefully at the higher end of its shared hosting range.

(Image credit: Tsohost)

WordPress

Tsohost has a 'WordPress Hosting' section on its website, but, disappointingly, this has no separate specialist WordPress products. It's just offering the regular shared hosting plans.

If your needs are simple, this may not be a problem. All plans more than cover the basics with a free domain, free SSL, easy WordPress installation and daily backups. The free migrations could save you time and money, too, and the low starter price is a plus.

Other managed WordPress plans typically give you more, though: WordPress-specific speed optimizations, staging (edit your blog without affecting the production site), smart updates of WordPress and sometimes plugins, perhaps bundled WordPress themes or other extras.

These plans are typically much more expensive. Bluehost's WordPress Pro plan is stuffed with features, but starts at $19.95 a month over three years, and renews at $29.95.

IONOS low-end WordPress Pro plan isn't as capable, but still gets you performance optimizations, staging and automated updates. It's relatively cheap at $18 billing monthly, or $15 over a year, making it a reasonable choice for anyone looking to dip their toe in the managed WordPress waters.

Servers

Signing up for a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Dedicated Server plan gets you dedicated server resources on (usually) more powerful hardware, and could make a huge difference to the performance and reliability of some sites.

Tsohost's VPS plans look relatively expensive, with its starter Regular VPS product offering 1 Xeon Core, 768MB RAM, 20GB storage, just 400GB bandwidth, three basic and one eCommerce migration for £36.66 ($45.83) a month billed annually.

It's much the same story if you upgrade. Tsohost's Super Size VPS offers 4x Xeon Cores, 3GB RAM, 80GB storage and 1.6TB bandwidth, but is priced at £91.66 ($114.58) on the annual plan.

There are plenty of pluses here. You're getting guaranteed Xeon cores, Windows hosting is available, there's a monthly billing option, and these are all fully managed plans, not the leave-you-on-your-own starter products which you'll find elsewhere.

But the problem is that other hosts have better-looking plans at both the low and high-end of the market.

IONOS VPS M plan, for instance, is very basic, but still gets you two vCore, 2GB RAM, 80GB storage and unmetered bandwidth for $10 a month billed monthly. 

Hostwinds has far more powerful managed and unmanaged Linux and Windows VPS products, but managed plans start at only $5.17 a month (renewing at $10.99) for a 1 core, 1 GB RAM, 30GB storage and 1TB bandwidth setup. Or power users might opt for something like the 4 core, 8GB RAM, 150GB storage and 3TB bandwidth plan for $33.84 a month initially over a year, $71.99 a month on renewal, notably more for your money than Tsohost.

The dedicated server range follows a similar pattern, with Linux and Windows options and decent service, but a relatively high starter price of £228.24 ($285.30) a month paid annually for a 4x core, 16GB RAM, 600GB storage and 2TB bandwidth setup. Tsohost offers quality support, a capable infrastructure and a 99.9% SLA, but you can get similar specs for much less elsewhere.

(Image credit: Tsohost)

Signing up

Buying hosting from Tsohost works more or less as you'd expect. Choose a plan, a payment term, provide your personal details to create an account, and hand over your cash in the usual way (card, PayPal and BACS - UK bank transfer - are supported.)

Tsohost's web dashboard and account dashboard are powered by the industry standard WHMCS, and if you've used a few other web hosts, you'll probably recognize it right away. The account control panel, the menu headings (Services, Domains, Billing, Support), all the key features are where you'd expect them to be, and you'll be ready to go immediately.

Well, that's the theory, but we ran into one potential problem when our hosting showed as 'Pending' in the control panel, meaning it hadn't yet been activated. That's not unusual, some hosts can take a few hours to approve your account, but Tsohost left us waiting overnight and into the next day.

After contacting support, they explained that Tsohost wouldn’t activate the account until we attached it to a domain. That's easy enough, but we were left wondering why the company hadn’t highlighted on the website, or in an email. 

For example, Tsohost's control panel warned us that 'you cannot begin using this hosting account until it is activated', but didn't explain that the non-activation could be our fault.

Still, this problem won’t affect most users, and even if you're unlucky, contact support and it's easily fixed. 

Overall, Tsohost's setup process is easy, and its standard control panel makes it easy to manage your account and web hosting plan.

(Image credit: cPanel)

Creating a site

Tsohost's web management panel provides a simple front end to shared hosting plans. A single panel provides status information on the site, stats on disk and bandwidth use, billing information and more, and there are quick shortcuts to create email accounts or access common website functions (run and restore backups, manage databases, add subdomains and so on.)

A full cPanel installation is just a click away, and gives you all the key tools you need to manage your site: a file manager, FTP support, phpMyAdmin, domain options, a stack of email features (forwarders, autoresponders, webmail, SpamAssassin-based spam filtering, more) and detailed reports on your website visitors.

The website-building highlight is Softaculous, a powerful auto-installer which makes it easy to equip your site with WordPress, PrestaShop, Joomla, MediaWiki and hundreds of other popular apps.

There are no surprises here, no drag-and-drop site builder or any of the other extras you'll sometimes see elsewhere.

A standard cPanel setup with Softaculous should give most users all they need to create and manage a quality site, though, and overall Tsohost's simplicity works well for us.

(Image credit: Tsohost)

Support

Launching Tsohost's web knowledgebase opens a new website page with the promising title 'First Steps', but, unfortunately, is otherwise blank. Not a great start.

A left-hand sidebar organizes knowledgebase articles into categories including Getting Started, Domain Names, cPanel Hosting, Troubleshooting, and more. Sounds reasonable, but most categories have relatively few articles, and even these don't always address the most likely issues.

Clicking 'Get Started', for instance, reveals only four articles: two on setting up domains, one on creating a password and another on 'General PHP information.'

Heading off to the 'cPanel Hosting' section listed eleven articles, but most of these also wouldn't be high on our priority list, either: Xbackup issues, custom php.ini, 'what free domain can I choose?', 'phpMyAdmin keeps logging me out.' 

There is useful content in the knowledgebase, and entering keywords in the search box can help to track it down. The search engine doesn't do a good job of sorting any matches, though, so it might take a while to find the good stuff.

Tsohost scored more of a plus point with its Status Center, a regularly updated page with useful information on any current incidents (technical issues, blacklisted mail servers, scheduled down time and more.) If the service is misbehaving, checking out the Status Center could tell you everything you need to know.

(Image credit: Tsohost)

If your problems get more serious, live chat support is available 17 hours a day (7am to midnight, GMT). We tried it, but found the chat window spent a couple of minutes with a status of 'Connecting', before warning us that 'all agents are currently assisting others' and predicting a wait time of more than ten minutes.

The chat window kept us up to date with the likely wait time, though, and that a ten minute delay, we spoke to a friendly agent who quickly provided us with all the details we needed to know.

Tsohost clearly doesn't have the best of support infrastructure, and we'd like to see more and better organized knowledgebase articles, and maybe more live chat support personnel.

The company does have plenty of support options, though, including a UK freephone telephone number. That's unusual, especially for budget shared hosting, and when you do get to talk to a support agent, we've always found they offer accurate and reliable advice.

(Image credit: Uptime.com)

Performance

Website speed is important, even for the simplest of personal sites, and we use some intensive tests to get a feel for how a server performs.

This process began by publishing a small static website on our web space.

We then set Uptime.com to check our site's availability and server response time at five-minute intervals for 7 days (that's more than 2,000 checks in total.)

Our site achieved a 100% uptime over the week. (That's what we'd expect for a short-term test, but it doesn't always happen, so Tsohost deserves a little credit.)

Tsohost's server managed an excellent average response time of 167ms. This isn't vastly different to most of the competition - other hosts typically average 150-250ms - but it does deliver a small speed boost, and you could do much worse (the slowest hosts average 600ms or more.)

Bitcatcha's Server Speed Test is an on-demand benchmark which checks server response times from ten locations around the globe, including North America, Europe, Singapore, Sydney, Japan and more.

This type of one-off test can't match Uptime.com's 2,000+ checks, but it's interesting as a second opinion. And it turned out to be a very positive second opinion, with Bitcatcha reporting that our hosting was exceptionally quick, and awarding our site its highest A+ speed rating.

Final verdict

This is a capable web host with some feature-packed, versatile and honestly priced plans, and helpful support (though it might take a while to access it.) Well worth a look, especially if you need a UK provider.