PROS / Both phone and live chat reps make the support experience a good one.
CONS / The one shared hosting plan has plenty of limitations.
VERDICT / Hostway is a decent web host but still cannot compete with the top-tier hosting services.
Compared with other web hosts, Hostway is an average web hosting service. It is prone to advertise standard, run-of-the-mill features as premium, so you might end up paying more for less if you don't know what you want. Basic web hosting is more of an afterthought with Hostway. Instead, the company focuses more on cloud and corporate hosting.
The hosting package is extremely basic in comparison to other services on our lineup, and there is no flexibility. You only have one shared hosting plan option, which offers 50GB of disk space, one domain to manage, 10 subdomains and no MySQL databases.
Hostway has a professional, well-designed interface. Yet, usability is hurt because of what the control panel is missing. Initially, there is not a tutorial or getting-started wizard to ease you into hosting control. This dashboard does not use an industry-standard Softaculous app manager but you can still add apps with one click. The shared plan also does not allow you to choose from a number of website builders.
Fortunately, the help and support system is pretty good. Through Hostway’s phone support, we were able to get advice and counsel from real people who helped us get through account verification and control panel walkthrough. We talked with the customer service representatives via live chat and found them to be reasonably knowledgeable and willing to help us with our specific needs. On average, the wait time for live chat was at two minutes, with a two-minute wait time between responses. Overall, we were very pleased with its support team.
For new account holders, the setup is likely to be more of a headache than anything. Before you ever finish purchasing the small business web hosting plan, there are plenty of user agreements they want you to read. Being upfront is great, but all the red tape made us doubt if this would be the service we'd look to first.
Hostway's web hosting options are limited in almost every way, and the Website Starter Plan only provides the most basic tools. The interface is visually appealing and would be perfect if necessary features came standard. However, the support quality is impressive; the reps were very knowledgeable and helped us with site and control panel issues.