Dotster is one of the largest domain registrars on the web, serving for a large number of customers all over the world along with millions of domains under management. Besides, they also offer some useful services and tools for both individuals and business owners to enhance their online platforms and brands.
Now, this company also integrates their services with the web hosting solution. So, the question is whether the hosting service offered by Dotster is worth trying or not. In the following, we have made a comprehensive Dotster review that demonstrates their pros and cons, helping you make a wise decision of whether choose it or not for website running.
The following star rating chart is an editorial one, showcasing how we view their web hosting. Obviously, they give us a good impression about the budget-friendliness of hosting packages and feature offerings. As for the uptime, page loading speed and technical support, we are not satisfied.
The Pros Aspects of Dotster Web Hosting Service
After reviewing their hosting service, we have found that their hosting packages are really budget-friendly, which are much more affordable than the plans offered by many web hosts we have reviewed so far. Besides, this web host is generous to offer you rich features, so that you can start and manage your site without any hassle.
However, based on our in-depth review, even these two positive aspects have some minor drawbacks.
Affordable Hosting Plans
This web host offers three plans in total that are named as Basic Hosting, Deluxe Hosting and Ultra Hosting. To get them, you are charged at the prices of $3.75/mo, $6.75/mo and $13.75/mo effectively. To be frank, this kind of hosting rates can be afforded easily by the majority of common webmasters.
However, unlike many other web hosts that allow a cheaper hosting price if you purchase with a longer billing circle, Dotster charges you at the same rate no matter you sign up with the 1-year billing, 2-year billing or 3-year billing.
If you only want to set up a personal blog or a small-scale website, the features offered by this web host are surely sufficient for you.
- Server Resources – There is no limitation on the usage of disk storage and monthly bandwidth.
- Beneficial Extras – You can enjoy additional 1 GB of free Cloud storage for your images, videos and music. Besides, for better website promotion, you can get $100 free advertising credits for Google AdWords and another $100 for Yahoo and Bing. Even, the free YellowPage listing is available.
- Applications and Scripts – Almost all the widely-used applications are supported by this web host, along with the 1-click script installer for easy installation.
- Advanced Tools – The drag and drop site builder, Web Analytics tool and anti-spam filter are also available.
As for the drawbacks, Dotster does not offer the user-friendly cPanel, but provides the custom one that may result in some learning curves for new customers.
Besides, their Basic Hosting plan can only support a small blog site, for this package only allows one domain on a single account, 100 email addresses, 5 FTP login and 10 MySQL databases.
Even, the Ruby on Rails programming is not supported by this web host.
The Cons Aspects of Dotster Web Hosting Service
As for their downsides, we conclude four aspects, which include the money back policy, page loading speed, hosting reliability and technical support. The result comes from our true hosting experiences and real-world monitoring with our sample website.
Unfair Money Back Guarantee
This hosting provider offers the 30 days money back guarantee, meaning that you can ask for a full refund if you cancel your hosting account before the initial 30 days of registration. However, your refund will be reduced a minimum of $35 charge as the early cancellation fee.
Besides, they do not offer the pro-rated money back guarantee, so you cannot ask for the refund after the 30 days. Even, this guarantee is only available for the credit card payment.
Slow Hosting Speed
We have collected hundreds of online feedbacks from their real customers, and have found that many of these webmasters complain about their page loading speed. To figure out whether their hosting speed is not that satisfactory, we have started an online testing using Uptime Robot. Based on the result, their server response speed is far slower than many quality web hosts, requiring an average of 700 ms with a large fluctuation.
In addition, this web host does not adopt any special technologies to speed up their hosting performance, such as the CDN service, solid state drives, caching plugins and many more.
Unsatisfactory Hosting Reliability
When checking their hosting speed, we also have monitored their uptime track record. According to the statistics, they only achieve a 97.22% uptime for our sample site, failing to meet their commitment of at least 99.9% uptime.
As the quality of servers and the facility of data centers have a direct impact on the uptime guaranteed by a web host, we have checked their Hosting Infrastructure page to figure out why their uptime is not good.
- Instead of using the industry-standard DELL branded web servers, this web host utilizes their self-developed ones. Therefore, we cannot ensure that all of their server machines are consisted of the robust components.
- As for their data center infrastructure, the power redundancy, security, monitoring, climate control are surely guaranteed for the proper running of located machines. However, this web host only has one data center, limiting their capabilities of creating a stable and secure environment for your site.
Poor Technical Support
This hosting provider claims to offer the all-time-rounded technical support via multiple methods including email, phone, live chat and ticket submission system. However, after trying their support service personally, we are not satisfied.
- Email – A long waiting time is required to get the response. And the first response email is a useless one coming with rigid email template.
- Live Chat – We cannot enter the live chat room at all. After entering my name and pressing the Start Chat button, the system holds me for the available operator for a long time, putting me out of the chat session.
- Phone – When dialing the support hotline, we can only get a response that the number is busy now.
In fact, this web host also offers a Premium Support, with which you can get the unique hotline number and the expedited tickets with the shortest response time. However, this service costs you extra $24 for each month, unless you purchase the most expensive Ultra Hosting plan that offers this service for free.
Summary – Is Dotster Worth Choosing or Not
Referring to the above-mentioned aspects, it is true that this web host is an affordable and rich-featured option. However, as they fail to achieve a great uptime track record, the peak hosting performance and the truly helpful technical support, we do not think this is a good option to choose.
Instead, we highly recommend you to have a try on the service offered by BlueHost, InMotion Hosting, and Arvixe. All of them are leading web hosts on the web that have been awarded by a lot of reliable review sites.