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Westhost Inc.

5
Average: 5 (5 votes)

Company Information

Westhost Inc.
WestHost 164 N Spring Creek Parkway Providence, UT 84332 Toll Free Phone: (800) 222-2165 International Phone: (435) 755-3433 FAX: 435-755-3449
(800) 222-2165

Cost

$10

The Details

Westhost provides budget web hosting (based on their Sphera VPS technology) and dedicated server plans. Their standard VPS hosting accounts range in price from around $4 to $25 for high spec business accounts, however they usually offer a 'special' medium cost plan (around $10) that gives the best price / feature combination.

Support is 24/7 via Live Chat (IM) and toll free calls within the US. They were recently acquired by a larger UK based hosting group UK2.net (November 2008) and have announced that this will not adversely impact their current plans, support or staff count but will eventually allow them to begin offering plans in other locations other than their Utah home base.

--- Technology ---
West host is unusual in that their client/reseller hosting control panel is developed in-house and the Sphera VPS system they use has been heavily customised by them over the years, with an all-client upgrade to a new Apache 2 based VPS system in late 2007 / early 2008. Their VPS accounts are very cheap compared to 'standard' Xen or Virtuozzo VPS systems at other companies, but unlike those systems Westhost's VPS does not offer full root access. This means that advanced installations (virus scanners, linux core updates etc.) are not possible without paying Westhost support to perform the installation for you. However, applications such as the PostgreSQL database, CVS, SVN, virtually all Perl/PHP/Python libraries, frameworks etc. can be installed on a WH VPS without any problems. Queries about what can be installed can be put to Westhost directly (http://www.westhost.com/contactus.html) or addressed to the active and open client forums (http://forums.westhost.com).
However, in every case all the Apache, MySQL and PHP / Perl / Python / Ruby-On-Rails configuration files can be easily modified even on the low end hosting accounts - a big advantage over shared hosting.

User Reviews

3 year WH review

5

I've been with WestHost around 3 years now, and (for the price) their hosting is excellent. It allows you to run multiple small sites on a single account, with PHP, MySQL and Apache all fully configurable to your needs. One of our Joomla sites gets quite a lot of traffic (Flash media - up to 1000 unique visitors a day), and this can really slow Apache down on the VPS, suggesting that it is not suitable for very popular sites. However, as an alternative to cheap shared hosting for 'geeks' who like having full ssh and the ability to install most linux tools, it's great (and really good for linux newbies, since their support is good and knowledgeable).

I always use their 'Live Chat' support, where I can get hold of a Techie within a few minutes at almost any time who gives me the info I need, or in the worst case I get help the following morning. The few support incidents I've had have been dealt with satisfactorily. The servers do seem to go down occasionally (there were some unexpected multi-hour outages at the beginning of 2008 that were not good), but my impression is that WestHost's staff are trying their best to please their customers, and for the price I think they're a great deal for advanced hosting constrained by tight budgets. However, if you can afford $30+/month for a 'real' VPS account elsewhere, or more for a dedicated server, a WestHost VPS can't compete in power and performance.

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