HostForWeb Review, Rating & Secret Unveiled 2016

our editors
4 votes 2.50 of 5
Not Recommended
HostForWeb is a Chicago-based web hosting provider that claims themselves to have been in the industry for more than 10 years. Currently, the company offers a variety of hosting services targeting all sizes of websites and businesses, including shared hosting, VPS, reseller hosting, cloud, and dedicated servers. Domain registration is also available.

HostForWeb is not among the most well-known web hosts although they promise customers that they are in a premier position. Since we have kept an eye on the performance and support of the company's hosting solutions for a couple of months, the collected information shows that HostForWeb is on an average level.

Personally, we do not recommend this web host for webmasters because there are too many better options. The detailed reasons along with the assistive statistics are all offered in this HostForWeb review. But note that we will only go through the shared hosting and VPS plans. Other services are not considered and reviewed.
Editorial Review

HostForWeb Speed Review 3.00 of 5

Instead of building and running their own data center and network infrastructure, HostForWeb mainly relies on Equinix for these facilities. As is known, Equinix is trusted by thousands of businesses and enterprises due to the great reliability and network connectivity.

However, among the 100+ facilities of Equinix, HostForWeb uses only one which is located in Chicago. This data center, along with the Juniper routers and Cisco switches, is able to guarantee good speed for users on the east coast and middle-east area of the US, but it is not enough for the west coast and the rest locations in the world.

In fact, HostForWeb also offers a secondary data center location – Netherlands – to meet the demands of European users, but this data center is said to be a little bit slow.

Generally speaking, the speed HostForWeb delivers is good with server responses taking approximately 430ms and page loads consuming 2.5 seconds. These figures come from our monitoring, and you can see the recent records of the server response time in below.

HostForWeb Server Response Speed

Among the web hosts we have reviewed, those fast ones, such as InMotion Hosting, consume half the time for server response. So we cannot say the results of HostForWeb are exciting.

HostForWeb Reliability Review 3.00 of 5

HostForWeb has an SLA of 99.9% server and network uptime. If the uptime percentage in a given month does not reach this figure, users are able to ask for a credit which equals to the hosting service of a full month. Note that the uptime is solely calculated by the company's monitoring system instead of any user-side monitoring software.

In most times, HostForWeb is able to deliver good uptime, which attributes a lot to the Equinix data center which features full UPS power, N+1 power redundancy and industry-leading physical security. The hints can be found in our monitoring statistics.

HostForWeb Uptime

However, you should also pay attention that there are increasing complaints about the company's uptime in recent two years. We have seen in forums that many people reported bad downtimes lasting for several days. The main causes of the downtimes were endless server errors.

HostForWeb Technical Support Review 2.00 of 5

HostForWeb support team is based in Chicago. When there is a question or issue, users can get in touch with a support representative via live chat, a local toll-free phone number, an international phone number, email, and the ticket system. All support channels are available 24x7, which is good because some web hosts have "business hours".

From our experiences with the live chat and email, we do find the support team makes quick responses to most simple issues. However, according to many webmasters, when the question comes to the usage limitation of disk space, downtime and some more complicated issues, the support representatives do not help much. In this case, they usually distract the user with other questions, blame him/her for incorrect settings, or simply do not reply the ticket.

Another fact is that although HostForWeb offers a wide range of hosting services, they provide a relatively small knowledgebase which includes no more than 120 articles in total. The learning and self-help materials are quite limited.

HostForWeb Shared Hosting Plans 3.00 of 5

HostForWeb offers 2 shared hosting plans which are called Smart Plan and Business Pro. The plans are priced from $3.95/mo and $12.95/mo respectively, and the costs rise as the billing cycle shortens.

Take the Smart Plan as an example. It comes with flexible billing cycles including 1/6/12/24/36 month(s), and for these terms, the prices are $7.95/mo, $6.95/mo, $5.95/mo, $3.95/mo and $3.95/mo. If you are ready to purchase the plan for 2 or 3 years at once, the prices are quite appealing considering the unlimited disk storage and hosted websites.

The 2 plans include almost the same features except that Business Pro also comes with a free IP, free Tomcat support, a private SSL certificate and site scanning. Here, we would like to make clear of the pros and cons of the common features between the plans.


  • Unlimited bandwidth, clustered storage, hosted domains, email accounts and FTP accounts.
  • PHP 5, Perl 5.8, Python 3.2, Ruby on Rails, MySQL 4/5, and PostgreSQL 9.1.
  • Daily site backup, shared SSL server, SSH, suPHP and IP Deny Manager.
  • A number of analytics tools.
  • cPanel control panel with Softaculous installer integrated.


  • The company provides a 30-day money back guarantee but they do not offer any detail in the TOS. The non-refundable services are not specified, either.
  • The company does not have clear usage policies for the disk space and bandwidth, but they will move your site to a different server if you do not upgrade to a VPS after reaching their limits.

HostForWeb VPS Hosting Plans 2.00 of 5

HostForWeb offers 4 SSD-based VPS hosting plans. After reading the resource and feature information, we find the VPS plans are not as affordable as the company's shared hosting. You can see the brief information about the plans in below.

HostForWeb VPS Plans

As HostForWeb virtual servers are fully managed, all the plans include cPanel and Softaculous. Considering the features, these prices, which start at $39.95/mo, are not really expensive, but they are not attractive enough, either, because you can easily buy a rich-featured VPS at a much lower price. For example, InMotion Hosting VPS-1000S plan is priced from $14.99/mo while it comes with 4 GB RAM, 60 GB storage, 2 TB bandwidth and 2 IPs.

Severe Complaints about HostForWeb 1.00 of 5

In this part, we will mention the commonly seen complaints about HostForWeb which you should pay extra attention.
  • Frequent email issues. Many users have reported email issues, such as lost emails, delayed emails, and email server going down. The solution the company offers is always a suggestion to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server.
  • Frequent transfer of sites. HostForWeb claims that they have the right to move users' sites to a different server at any time without notice. The problem is that some users find their sites are frequently transferred to another server, which is annoying.
  • Lots of errors after the site transfer. In the unlucky cases, users may encounter severe downtime and numerous server errors after the company transfers their sites to another server. What's worse, the support team does not always offer an effective solution for this.

Better Hosting Options than HostForWeb 5.00 of 5

Currently, we do not recommend HostForWeb for either shared or VPS users since the company offers the average value but receives a large number of bad reviews.
Considering this result, we have some recommendations if you are still looking for a reliable and affordable web host.
  • For VPS hosting, BlueHost and InMotion Hosting are the good options.
  • For shared hosting, the web hosts in below are the top choices as they have a high customer satisfaction rate and a long refund period.