PROS / The smallest hosting package allows you to manage unlimited domains.
CONS / The proprietary site builder costs extra.
VERDICT / It's comparatively more difficult to create a hosting account, but IX Web Hosting provides the right tools needed to run a domain.
IX Web Hosting is a service that offers a full range of hosting products, such as shared server plans, VPS and cloud hosting services. The flexibility among the shared hosting plans provides enough breathing room that if you do need to upgrade at any point, you can and will receive a few extra perks. We tested the Expert Plan, which is essentially the introductory package.
This plan boasts some incredible numbers that make it a major contender among the other web hosts. While it provides a free domain for a year, it allows you to host unlimited domains under one account. We were also impressed to find room for unlimited subdomains, parked domains and disk space. Being a shared server, the terms unlimited comes with a caveat, but we haven't yet had any downtime.
Upon ordering a site, you'll find yourself swarmed with additional features at extra cost. This aspect hurt the process for us as we found that upselling was a big part of the setup experience. Not only that, but standard features, such as a site builder, are a few extra dollars per month. These pop-ups continue to guilt trip consumers, after getting the credit card information, into adding a mobile site builder, backup services and anti-hacking tools.
We received sales pressure when reaching out for support by live chat and phone as well. However, it wasn't reflected over the course of multiple attempts, but there were a few attempts to add features, such as in a call to verify payment, for example.
The feature list is far better than average once you're on your own. The control panel isn't quite the standard cPanel provided with most other web hosting services, but it provides tools like eCommerce solutions, custom error pages and WordPress compatibility. In addition, the support options provide a prompt email ticketing system, a knowledgebase, video tutorials and 24/7 live chat.
IX Web Hosting has the potential to rank as one of the best web hosting companies. However, the process to get an account created and verified feels like more of an obstacle. Once you get past the sales approach, you can run a decent WordPress site smoothly with enough bandwidth and disk space, allowing you to reach a large online audience.