PROS / This service provides an intuitive site builder.
CONS / There are caps on the amount of disk space and bandwidth you’re allotted under most hosting packages.
VERDICT / WestHost is a competent web hosting provider with plenty to offer new and experienced users.
Like most of its competitors, WestHost offers three different domain hosting packages, each with varied hosting features. Its Personal plan is sparse on features, but it could be the perfect fit for personal users and perhaps some very small businesses.
The Personal plan comes with 50GB of disk space and up to 1000GB of monthly bandwidth. The Preferred plan comes with 200GB of disk space and 2500GB of bandwidth, while the Business plan provides both unlimited. The Preferred and Business plans also include unlimited domains, plus unlimited MySQL databases and one free domain name.
For the most part, WestHost delivers simple setup and a polished and user-friendly control panel that’s a breeze to navigate. The control panel offers easy access to billing, support options and domain management.
Additionally, there’s an easy-to-use site builder. This is also where you access cPanel, the third-party hosting platform that allows you to make changes on your site directly through its point-and-click interface. A few other website hosting providers we reviewed also used cPanel, and though the integrated program is versatile and rich in features, it can be a bit cumbersome and overwhelming. The interface encompasses a seemingly endless collection of feature icons, something new users may find a bit inaccessible and difficult to navigate.
That being said, the cPanel interface in each section (e.g., preferences, domains, etc.) is collapsible. This allows you to simply hide the sections you don’t need, creating a clean and easy-to-navigate interface showing only the features you currently require.
WestHost offers decent server access, providing 100 FTP accounts under its Personal plan and unlimited accounts with its Preferred and Business plans. Additionally, the service supports .htaccess and cron jobs. The latter is a feature that allows you to schedule automated tasks or jobs at a specific time, like downloading email into your inbox.
While the service isn’t the easiest to use, its help and support options help bridge the gap. When you select the support option in the WestHost control panel, a support ticket window opens; here you can create new support tickets or view pending ones. The service also offers more direct methods of contact, including a toll-free telephone number and live chat on its website. The quality of support is inconsistent. Once, we waited 25 minutes to reach a disgruntled support rep. Yet, in another instance we were immediately connected with a helpful tech support representative.
The site also has an impressive FAQs section, with questions organized by popular topics like eCommerce, general hosting and merchant accounts. In fact, this is one of the best and most comprehensive FAQs sections we came across during our research.
There’s no doubt WestHost is a decent web hosting service. It provides affordable web hosting that’s supplemented with comprehensive customer support options. Though some of its features cost extra, the website creator helps you build a polished, professional website in as little as one day. That being said, it is disappointing that its hosting plans aren’t more inclusive and that the Business plan is the only package that offers truly unlimited hosting.