Review and Test Results



spacer. Ranking: 3 stars.
spacer. Cheapest Hosting Plan: (renewal)* $14.95 per month
spacer. Current Coupon Code (25% discount): WOW25off
spacer. Company Founded: 1994
spacer. Domains Hosted: Unpublished
spacer. 24×7 Phone Support: Yes
spacer. Money-Back Guarantee: None
spacer. BBB Rating: A+

*Price above based on monthly term before application of coupon code/introductory discount. While you may pay less for the first month of hosting, the price displayed on this page is the renewal rate. Star ratings based on a 0.5 minimum to 5 star maximum scale.
**Technical support issues are resolved via e-mail as phone support representatives have limited technical knowledge of hosting. Why you can trust our web hosting reviews. >

The Bottom Line


A Company, we found’s shared hosting services to be similar to those offered by their parent company. That is not a good thing.

Plan highlights include generous disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and 24×7 phone/e-mail support. Further, testing produced a 100% uptime rating.

However, the cheapest shared hosting plan is not cheap, and it is not easy to use. There is no money-back guarantee, and our testing showed only average page load speeds. Further, we found their renewal pricing disclosure to be less than transparent.

On balance earned only 3 stars and is NOT RECOMMENDED.

Visit Site >>


Price: 1 star.
Ease-of-Use: .5 stars.
Disk Space: 5 stars.
Bandwidth: 5 stars.
Speed: 3 stars.
Uptime: 5 stars.
Support: 5 stars.
BBB Rating: 5 stars.
Guarantee: .5 stars.
Satisfaction: .5 stars.
TOTAL: 3 stars.

Review is best known as a domain name registrar and alternative to GoDaddy. Acquired by the Group in July of 2010, the firm shares an A+ BBB rating with their parent company.

Screenshot of homepage. Click image to visit site.
HOSTING PLANS offers three shared web hosting plans — Essential, Professional, and Premium. Monthly billing cycle renewal prices range from $14.95 per month to $36.95 per month.

Offered at an introductory rate of $5.95 per month, Essential Hosting is the cheapest plan. Features include a free domain name, 300GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, the ability to host up to 3 websites, 10 e-mail accounts, 20GB of e-mail storage, a single auto-responder, 25 FTP accounts, 25 300MB MySQL databases, AWStats, a proprietary control panel, and a proprietary, 5-step applications installer.

The Essential plan also includes 28 open source applications (WordPress, B2evolution, LifeType, Concrete5, Drupal, Geeklog, Joomla, Mambo, Owl, Typo3, Xoops, Crafty Syntax Live Help (CSLH), Help Center Live, Mantis Bug Tracker, OSTicket, PHProjekt, SugarCRM, XRMS, Magento, phpBB, SMF Forum, Coppermine, Gallery, Advanced Guestbook, BBClone, WebCalendar, PHPWiki, and Tikiwiki).

Screenshot of Account Dashboard. Click to enlarge.

Screenshot of the Account Dashboard. Click to enlarge.

Offered at the introductory rate of $7.95 per month, the next cheapest plan is Professional Hosting. It includes all of the Essential plan features while substituting 500GB of disk space, the ability to host up to 5 websites, 25 e-mail accounts, 50GB of e-mail storage, 50 FTP accounts, and 50 300MB MySQL databases.

Offered at the introductory rate of $9.95 per month, the most advanced (and expensive) shared plan is Premium Hosting. It includes all of the Professional plan features while substituting unlimited disk space, the ability to host up to 10 websites, unlimited FTP accounts, unlimited MySQL databases, and the ability to host JSP pages.

All shared plans are backed by 24×7 phone and e-mail support, and include a choice of Unix or Windows® operating systems. Note that the plan features referred to above are for Unix plans. For complete Windows and Unix plan features, click the ‘Pricing and Features’ tab above.


As is our practice, we purchased the lowest-cost shared plan — Essential Hosting — for purposes of testing and review. We began on the homepage and selected ‘Compare Web Hosting Packages’ from the ‘Hosting & SSL’ dropdown menu. We then clicked the green ‘Add to Cart’ button beneath Essential Hosting.

The first step of the checkout process is to choose a new domain name for your hosting plan, or login to use a domain name from your account. As we would be using a domain name registered with another domain registrar, neither of those options applied to us. Most web hosting companies provide the option to enter a domain name registered with another company. does not. Our only choice was to click the blue ‘Choose my domain later’ text.

Screenshot of Web Hosting Dashboard. Click to enlarge.

Screenshot of the Web Hosting Dashboard. Click to enlarge.

The second step provides a login form for existing customers. As we were new to, we clicked the green ‘Continue’ button beneath ‘New Customers.’

The third step of the checkout process requires the entry of account information, as well as the selection of a username, password, and a ‘secret question.’ We completed the form and clicked the green ‘Continue’ button.

The fourth step greeted us with the following message in red text: ‘You must choose a Domain to proceed.’ We clicked, ‘Choose a Domain,’ and entered our domain. The shopping cart then informed us that it was taken.’

At that point, we had no choice but to call support for assistance. Support informed us that we could not check out on our own if we wished to use a domain name registered with another registrar. We were then able to complete the checkout process with the assistance of a technical support representative.

Note that accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards only. There is no PayPal payment option.


We found’s pricing and disclosure policies to be amongst the least consumer friendly in the web hosting industry. To begin with, and unlike the vast majority of shared web hosting services, does not provide a money-back guarantee. And, while shared hosting promotional prices are marked with an asterisk, the fine print referred to at the bottom of the page reads:

*Customers on a monthly billing cycle are billed every four weeks. The above pricing is promotional pricing which only applies to the first billing cycle. After the promotional period, standard billing rates will apply. See Services Agreement and applicable promotional terms for additional details.”

In other words, if you want to know what the renewal pricing is, you’ll need to hunt through the 27,302-word Services Agreement only to find that the document does not provide renewal pricing. Renewal pricing is available only through the “applicable promotion terms” link within the fine print (text provided below). It informs us that our $5.95 per month Essential Hosting plan renews at $14.95 per month.

This promotion provides the Customer with a discounted rate of $5.95 for the first month of the Essential Web Hosting product, $7.95 for the first month of the Professional Web Hosting product, and $9.95 for the first month of the Premium Web Hosting product. After the first month, Customer’s recurring fee billed to Customer’s credit card will automatically change to then-current rate. The current rate is $14.95 per month for Essential Web Hosting, $18.95 per month for Professional Web Hosting, and $36.95 per month for Premium Web Hosting and is subject to change at the sole discretion of Customer may cancel prior to the end of the promotional period or at anytime thereafter by contacting Customer Service at (877) 454-5213. Customers on a monthly billing cycle are billed every 4 weeks. Additionally, the free domain offer is valid for a single one (1) year domain name registration and is only valid for registrations of domain names with the “.com”, “.net”, “.org”, “.info”, and “.biz” domain name extensions and is not valid for any other extension. Additionally, this offer is also not valid on domain renewals or transfers, and cannot assure domain name availability. The foregoing promotions are only available for monthly packages and may not be combined with any other promotional offers. Additional terms and conditions apply.”

Additionally, monthly plans are billed every 4 weeks — not monthly. That means if you opt for a “monthly” plan you will be paying 13 times per year — not 12.

Screenshot of Control Panel. Click to enlarge.

Screenshot of Hosting Control Panel. While it may appear somewhat similar to cPanel, it is not quite as easy to use. Click to enlarge.

Further, charges $38.00(!) per year for .com domain name renewals. That is more than twice what you would pay at GoDaddy or any number of reputable domain registrars.

NCM Online has and will continue to point out any less-than-transparent business practices employed by the web hosting companies we review — wherever and whenever we encounter them. Further we have and will continue to deduct from the ease-of-use and satisfaction ratings of any host that utilizes such practices. As one of the worst offenders reviewed to date,’s ratings have been adjusted downward accordingly.


Moments after placing our order, we received the e-mail informing us that our account was now active. The e-mail did include a link to the Account Dashboard. It did not include a link to the Web Hosting Dashboard or the Hosting Control Panel. It did not include FTP access details, e-mail settings, nameservers, or any login information.

We logged into the Account Dashboard (screenshot above right), but could not locate nameserver information. From there we accessed the Web Hosting Dashboard (screenshot above right), but it did not include nameserver information. We then used the ‘Manage Your Account’ link to access the Hosting Control Panel (screenshot above right), but it did not include nameserver information.

We contacted Support for assistance. They informed us that does not provide nameserver information for domain names registered with other domain name registrars. We would need to login to our domain registrar and create an A record that pointed to the IP address provided by the Technical Support Representative. We did.

Screenshot of Uptime Test Results Chart 11/27/14–12/06/14. Click to enlarge. Uptime Test Results Chart. Click to enlarge.

Once the domain name had propagated, we used the Hosting Control Panel to create an FTP account and then uploaded our 1-page NCM test site (click for sample test site). We then set up Dotcom Monitor page-load speed and uptime testing, and waited for the test results to accumulate.


All web hosting services reviewed by NCM Online are purchased and subjected to our 10-day test for speed and reliability. testing began on 11/27/14 and concluded on 12/06/14. Our test site was checked for page load speed and uptime every 15 minutes from 13 worldwide locations. In all, testing consisted of nearly 2000 individual server checks. We are pleased to report that Dotcom Monitor testing resulted in a perfect 100% reliability score. See uptime test results chart above right.

Screenshot of Uptime Speed Results Chart 11/27/14–12/06/14. Click to enlarge. Speed Test Results Chart. Click to enlarge.

Although reliable, our Essential Hosting shared web hosting plan did not rank amongst the fastest services reviewed to date. scored a mediocre, 10-day average speed of 1.6176 seconds to load our simple, one-page test site from 13 locations worldwide, and 1.1804 seconds from 7 U.S. locations. See screenshot right for test locations and results chart.


  • Generous disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free domain name (first year only)
  • 100% uptime test result
  • A+ BBB rating


  • Expensive when compared to other shared hosting providers
  • Shopping cart does not permit use of a domain registered with another registrar
  • No PayPal payment option
  • Hosting account e-mail does not include the information required to set up a website quickly
  • No nameserver settings for domains registered with another registrar
  • Does not provide industry best-practices standards like cPanel or Softaculous
  • Limited access to open source applications
  • At least somewhat deceptive renewal pricing disclosure policies
  • Only average server speeds
  • No money-back guarantee

Conclusion provided one of our worst hosting experiences to date. Unfortunately, the constraints of our host ranking methodology prevent us from ranking them even lower. has earned only 3 stars and is not recommended by NCM Online.

Pricing and Features

Cheap website hosting company price comparisons based on 1-year term list price before coupon/promo codes or limited time/introductory offer discounts. These are the renewal rates for the second year of hosting. To ensure that you receive the most affordable pricing possible, please see Summary above for coupon code and/or current discounts before making any purchases.

Plan Essential Professional Premium
Disk Space 300 GB 500 GB Unlimited
Data Transfer Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Domain Features
Free Domain 1 1 1
Domain Pointers 100 100 100
Directory Pointers 3 5 10
Email Features
Spam and Virus Protection Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
POP3 & SMTP Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Webmail Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Email Forwarding Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Personal Address Book Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
External Mail Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Calendars Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Task Manager Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Auto Responder Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Number of Emailboxes 10 25 25
Email Storage 50 GB 125 GB 125 GB
Email Alias (per emailbox) 3 3 3
Auto Responders 1 1 1
IMAP X Checkmark. Checkmark.
Website Management Tools
EZPolls Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Guestbook Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Message Boards Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Logfile Access Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
FileManager Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Backup & Restore Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
FTP Accounts 25 50 Unlimited
Website Statistics AWStats AWStats AWStats
Website Development Features
CGI-Bin Directory Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Server Side Includes (SSI) Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Perl Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Ruby on Rails Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
PHP 5 Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Zend Libraries Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Python Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
JSP X X Checkmark.
ASP (Windows Only) Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
ASP.NET 2.0 & 4.0 (Windows Only) Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Application & Database Features
Real Audio/Video Stream Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Windows Media Streaming Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Automatic Database Backup Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Cold Fusion 10.0 (Windows Only) X X Checkmark.
MySQL Database 25 (300MB) 50 (300MB) Unlimited
MS Access 7 DSN 10 DSN 15 DSN
MS SQL Database 25 (300MB) 50 (300MB) Unlimited
phpMyAdmin Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Cron Jobs Checkmark. Checkmark. Checkmark.
Price per Month* $14.95 $18.95 $36.95

*Prices based on monthly term before the application of coupon/promo codes and introductory/limited-time offer discounts. While you may pay less for the first month of hosting, the prices displayed on this page are the renewal rates.

Company Information

Originally founded in 1994 by brothers Peter and Richard Forman and Dan Levine as Forman Interactive, the company now known as is one of the original five testbed registrars to go online. In 1999, the company changed its name from Forman Interactive to and on April 21, 1999 it was announced by ICANN that the company would be included as one of the first five testbed registrars for the Shared Registry System. On June 7 of the same year, the company began operating as a paid registrar in .com, .net and .org domain names. was the first of the original five testbed registrars of the Shared Registry System to go online.

In 2000, offered an IPO and began publicly trading on the NASDAQ. In 2004, was named by VeriSign as one of the world’s top domain name registrars with over three million domain names being managed by at the time. In December of 2004, revenue for the company topped $100 million.

In 2005, restructured the business to focus on offering online services to small businesses. This shift in focus lead to being the first Online Services Industry organization to receive Call Center Certification by J.D. Power and Associates. In November of 2005, was bought by Vector Capital and stopped publicly trading on the NASDAQ. With the Vector Capital acquisition, the focus of once again shifted and focused on implementing better business practices to achieve cost reduction and improved profits.

In June of 2010, began negotiations to be bought by for a price of $135 million. remains one of the biggest domain registration companies in the world and continually receives high marks from the Better Business Bureau and from its customers.

Headquartered in New York City, employs approximately 400 people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Reaching beyond domain hosting, the company now offers design services and employs a specialized custom web design team in the Nova Scotia branch known as RCOMCANADA. With satellite offices in London, England and Baltimore, Maryland, a sales and service center in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and an office in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the company now offers domain registration and much more.

In addition to the company’s original focus of domain naming and hosting services, the company now offers online marketing services such as reputation alert, search engine optimization, email marketing, pay per click advertising and Facebook Boost, a program designed to build business through the power of social media.

From its beginnings as a testbed pioneer in 1994 to its global presence today, the company continues to offer domain registration and hosting and continues to develop new internet services to help entrepreneurs and small business owners around the world build, manage and maintain their internet presence. Today, the company manages more than 2 million domain names and remains a leader in domain registration and hosting.

An accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, has an A+ rating. Group Inc. 12808 Gran Bay Parkway Jacksonville, Florida 32258 866-455-1655 902-749-2762 Fax 904-880-0350

How to Install WordPress

This video tutorial demonstrates the installation of WordPress on a shared hosting account using the proprietary Account Manager and WordPress installer.

Bullet green large.Click to visit the Official Website

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PLEASE NOTE: While we attempt to provide timely and accurate information, any and all pricing, features, discounts, coupon codes, promo codes, etc. included on this page are beyond the control of and are subject to change without prior notice.

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