PROS / The basic plan comes with unlimited disk space.
CONS / Account signup is incredibly difficult.
VERDICT / Dotster provides decent web hosting but the service’s drawbacks outnumber its benefits.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Web Hosting services.
While it gets the job done, Dotster fails to distinguish itself from other web hosting companies. The small business web hosting provider offers zero unique features, and while it claims to be both easy and affordable, there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of usability. That said Dotster does provide all of the standard functions needed for basic web hosting of small and simple websites.
Like many of the web hosts we tested, this service offers three different hosting packages. Disappointingly, the plans have several email and domain limits; however, disk space allotments are unlimited. The entry-level plan serves as a good option for small websites in the beginner stages, but if you anticipate site growth, you should opt for one of the bigger plans. The service provides both Linux and Windows hosting.
We used Dotster’s live chat service frequently. After nearly 10 minutes of waiting on two occasions, the chat reset and started the time over. The third attempt was successful. There are strengths to Dotster's support page: They provide 24/7 phone support, email ticketing, video tutorials and a solid knowledgebase.
Dotster's feature set is scanty, with little more than a control panel and basic builder to get your site up and running. It does provide autoresponders and spam filters for email and customizable error pages.
We had several issues starting an account. It was almost as if Dotster couldn't accept our money. At the end of account creation, you are left with a hold warning, instructing you to send in a credit card statement and a picture of an identification card. Also, when we finally got the host to work, the domain we paid for was not immediately approved. The usability for a web host is greatly affected if there are immediate obstacles in registration.
We consider Dotster a viable domain hosting service, but it would improve considerably if it added more features to its plans and enhanced its customer service. The company has what you need if you want a simplified and stripped-down web hosting option. Most of Dotster's competitors have larger feature sets, better technical support and far more to offer if you are looking for a more comprehensive web hosting solution.