HostColor Review, Rating & Secret Unveiled 2016

HostColor
our editors
7 votes 3.00 of 5
HostColor was founded as a website service provider in 2000 in Europe, and it was later moved to the US and established as a web hosting provider in 2002. The company is now privately owned, operating from the main data center and infrastructure in South Bend, IN.

The primary and only service offered by HostColor is "Hosting". No matter you want to host a small personal blog, a discussion board, an online store, a photography site or an active social networking website, this web host claims to meet all your needs with various shared hosting packages, VPS, SSD cloud, and dedicated servers. Collocation solutions are also available.

The customer base of HostColor mainly consists of the users in the North America, but the company has also gained a number of fans in Australia and Europe.

As HostColor offers so many hosting solutions, this review is not going to analyze each of them. Instead, only the widely used shared hosting is detailed. The performance, support quality and price value of this service are all made clear.
Editorial Review

HostColor Speed Review 1.00 of 5

On the official site cluttered with numerous information and badly-designed fonts, you can easily learn about the company's confidence in the performance of its servers and networks. As is claimed, it uses enterprise-class servers that are better than 95% of the competitors, and has built up its own network that guarantees low latency to any location in North America. Besides, the data center in South Bend is connected to multiple major CDNs and features multiple peers. For users in Europe, the company offers them European data centers to minimize latency.

With these facilities and infrastructures, users should experience fast page loads especially when they are located in the US. However, the records of the server response time generated by our monitoring system have surprised us because HostColor servers take over 1200ms to make responses to requests. Sometimes the response time increases to more than 1500ms.

As a good shared web host usually keeps the server response time under 500ms, the speed of HostColor servers is much too slow. You can read the recent response times in our monitoring system in below.

HostColor Server Response Speed

HostColor Reliability Review 4.00 of 5

Although the performance in speed is unsatisfying, HostColor has done an excellent job in the reliability. The company offers an SLA of 100% network uptime. Covered by this guarantee, you can gain a refund of 5% of the monthly hosting fee for each 30-minute downtime caused by network failure.

To maximize the network and service uptime, HostColor has made the following efforts so far.
  • Utilizing a Juniper-managed network which is load-balanced and powered by the quality routers and switches from Juniper.
  • Providing redundant Internet connectivity to Cogent, Level3 and more to cover single points of network failure.
  • Equipping all shared server systems with fully redundant power supply and RAID 10 or RAID 5 protected storage.
  • Partnering with CloudFlare, Verizon, CDNetworks and more CDN providers.
Both the user reviews and our monitoring have proved that HostColor is able to deliver very good uptime even for shared hosting. Here is the recent 30 days' uptime.

HostColor Uptime

HostColor Technical Support Review 3.00 of 5

HostColor provides multiple ways for users to request technical support, but it suggests the ticketing system most. As a HostColor customer, you can log into your account and create support tickets easily when there is any question or hosting issue. The ticketing system is available 24x7, and user reviews indicate that the support team usually responds to tickets quickly.

In addition, the company offers a phone number which enables you to speak with a support agent for hosting solutions or suggestions. This support method is accessible around-the-clock, too, while it is only recommended when you are in an emergent situation or having simple issues that don't need time to investigate.

Besides the two methods mentioned above, you can also contact the support team through Skype and have a chat online with an experienced support agent. However, chat is not a 24x7 service, so you may not be able to start a chat at any time you want. If you are in Europe or Asia, the time difference is a big obstacle for taking advantage of Skype chat.

HostColor Shared Web Hosting Pricing 2.50 of 5

For shared hosting, HostColor offers two different types of services: fully managed shared hosting, and unmanaged shared hosting. For the former type, the company manages your account, and you pay an expensive management fee. While with the latter, you get a standard shared hosting account which you have to manage by yourself just like you should do with most other hosting providers.

HostColor is offering 5 shared hosting plans, and you can choose to make them managed or not during checkout. Below are the differences between the plans.
  • Multi Website Hosting: $9.99/mo for unmanaged version and $78.99/mo for managed version, including 75 GB disk storage, 999 GB bandwidth, 256 MB PHP memory limit and 500 email accounts.
  • E-Commerce Hosting: $7.99/mo for unmanaged version and $67.99/mo for managed version, including 51.2 GB disk storage, 999 GB bandwidth, 100 email accounts, and up to 7 websites.
  • Social Web Hosting: $5.99/mo for unmanaged version and $59.99/mo for managed version, including 30.7 GB disk storage, 153.6 GB bandwidth, 50 email accounts, and up to 5 websites.
  • CMS Hosting: $4.99/mo for unmanaged version and $42.99/mo for managed version, including 20.5 GB disk storage, 201.4 GB bandwidth, 30 email accounts, and up to 3 websites.
  • Blog Hosting: $3.99/mo for unmanaged version and $22.99/mo for managed version, including 10.2 GB disk storage, 51.2 GB bandwidth, 10 email accounts, and up to 2 websites.
All these plans come with a 30-day refund guarantee. The setup fees and any other one-time fee are non-refundable. Besides, this guarantee only applies to annual subscriptions, so those choosing monthly billing cycle are not eligible for any refund.

In addition to the hosting plans, HostColor also offers some add-ons for businesses. According to your needs, you can purchase the following services which are all non-refundable.
  • Premium setup of an eCommerce website or CRM system: $1600 setup fee.
  • Website promotion and SEO: $1000/mo.
  • Website migration: $5 - $35 setup fee.

HostColor Shared Web Hosting Features 3.00 of 5

Currently, all of HostColor shared hosting plans include the following features regardless of the management level you choose.
  • PHP 5.6, Perl 5.10, Python 2.6, Apache 2.2, MySQL 5.5 with phpMyAdmin, SSI, and CGI-BIN.
  • cPanel control panel & Softaculous installer.
  • Shared SSL certificate and SpamAssassin anti-spam protection.
  • 128 MB RAM.
Note that SSH and Ruby on Rails are absent from the feature list, so you may not be able to use them with HostColor. Besides, as the use of Cron Jobs is strictly limited, you have to learn about the restrictions carefully if you rely much on scheduled tasks.

In addition to the features listed above, managed shared hosting users also get free access to the following things which are fully managed by the provider's technical team.
  • A dedicated IP and a private SSL certificate.
  • Initial account setup, review and optimization.
  • Uptime monitoring and website traffic analyses.
  • Up to 2 hours' code or debugging of the open source applications in Softaculous app library.
  • Initial setup of email, file or database.
  • Web hosting resource usage management and optimization.
  • eCommerce consulting.
The available features tell that HostColor managed shared hosting plans are only suitable for those businesses desiring premium online presence with the minimal efforts and time.

The unmanaged plans, however, are good for normal users with some knowledge about FTP, HTML and cPanel. If you can complete basic website management tasks by yourself, you are suggested to purchase an unmanaged plan instead of a managed one because the latter costs too much.

Shared Hosting Alternatives 5.00 of 5

HostColor shared hosting services are stable, and the unmanaged plans are affordable. However, considering the much-too-slow speed, the premium prices of the managed plans, and the ordinary features in the unmanaged plans, we don't think HostColor is a top choice for shared hosting.

Unless you really want the high level of account management and can afford the managed shared hosting plans, we'd suggest you check the reliable and affordable shared hosting services offered by the following web hosts before making the decision.

These web hosts have been among the few that have been recognized as the best Linux web hosting providers due to first-rate reliability, fast hosting speed and quality support service.