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Excellent 9.2
$5.95 $1.95/monthmonth

A Florida-based public web hosting company founded in 1997, is one of the more veteran providers in the game. They’re one of the companies that invests most in advertising, which has led to its wide name recognition and over 3 million clients. Plus, they own both Network Solutions and But does their service stack up to the competition? It seems they haven’t managed to keep up.

Thumbs Up

  • Great uptime

  • Comes with a free website builder

  • Free domain name for a year

Thumbs Down

  • They only offer shared hosting - no VPS or dedicated plans

  • So much upselling

  • Just too expensive

User experience is not known for being particularly user-friendly. They have their own backend control panel, which looks simple, but is terribly outdated and actually quite confusing. In order to perform what should be simple tasks, you might need to call customer service to get information that other hosting services have on hand.  

Customer service is only available by phone and email, though their hours are limited to more or less USA business hours and representatives spend much of the time trying to upsell rather than help solve your problem. There’s no live chat and neither is there an online help center, forum or tutorials for users to explore prior to calling support.

On the positive side, it’s quite easy to transfer your site to, but after all we’ve told you, maybe you should think twice about doing that…

Pricing has 3 shared hosting plans, with nice some perks like a free  domain name for a year. But beware - if you don’t read the fine print about pricing, you may end up paying far more than you bargained for. The domain name may be free for the first year, but after that you’re paying $38/year, way more than other domain registrars! And their promotional price for hosting, which is the price shown on their page, is only good for the first payment period - that is, the first month. After that prices rise significantly. This is not only misleading but also easily beaten by competitors like Hostinger or A2 who typically offer promotional prices for at least a year, and in some cases even longer.

Essential Plan - The promotional price is $5.95/month, but by the second month they’ll up it to $12.95/month. For a supposedly low-cost, basic plan, intended for hosting blogs and small websites, it’s pretty pricey. It is quite roomy, with 300GB of disk space, 100 multi-user email accounts, 25 FTP accounts, 25 MySQL databases and unlimited data transfer.

Professional Plan - Starts at $7.95/month for the first month, then increases to $18.95/month. Supposedly for small- to medium-sized businesses, it offers everything included in the Essential Plan plus 500GB disk space, 500 multi-user email accounts and 50 FTP accounts.

Premium Plan - For the first month you pay $9.95, then $36.95/month going forward. You’ll get unlimited disk space, FTP accounts and 1000 multi-user email accounts.

Characteristics & Tools offers exclusively shared hosting plans - no VPS or dedicated hosting. This is a sign that the service is geared towards beginners in the world of hosting rather than savvy users who plan to scale up and are interested in more advanced features.

The 3 plans (detailed in the following section) all include’s website builder, a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, unlimited data transfers, website backup, 25 open-source applications and 1-click installations.

But none of these plans include SSL (it’s an add-on that starts at $27.99/year), security or malware protection. It really can’t compare to other offering from competitors like A2 or Hostinger.


There really aren’t a lot of good reasons to use to host your website. It’s a mediocre-at-best product, with no cloud, dedicated, VPS or optimized WordPress hosting, too much upselling… and it’s not even user-friendly. Aside from the name recognition, thanks to their history and advertising presence, most competitors offer a significantly better service for a significantly better price.