BlueHost is a powerful hosting platform that mainly dedicates their hosting to WordPress based websites.…
Web Hosting Companies Reviews: FASTDOMAIN
GETTING STARTED WITH FASTDOMAIN
When you first navigate to FastDomain‘s homepage, you’ll see that the company offers a live demo of their product. This means that you can get a feel for what it’s like to host your website using their services.
You get access to a full test environment, so you’ll be able to see how they’ve configured their branded cPanel (the user interface by which you would make changes to your site), how easy (or difficult) it is to upload files, manage your Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN), and so on.
Few providers offer you the opportunity to try out their product even before they’ve gathered any information from you.
FAST DOMAIN HOSTING BENEFITS
There are a number of benefits to using FastDomain hosting as opposed to other providers. These include:
- 24/7 Toll-Free Phone Support
- Average Hold Time <2 minutes
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Instant Setup – Use Your Site Now!
- Free 1 Click Installer for Over 50 Scripts
- Free Blogs,
- Free Shopping Cart
- Free CMS (Content Management System)
- Free Domain Name or Domain Transfer
SIMPLICITY . . .
FastDomain only offers two packages. This is ideal for those who don’t want the information overload of too many choices.
. . . BUT A CONFUSING WEBSITE
However, we found that some of the plan information on the FastDomain website was a bit confusing and somewhat hard to find.
This may prove frustrating, particularly for the methodical buyer type.
For example: on the FastDomain homepage, near the bottom, you see “Web hosting plans include” followed by a short list of features and a “Tell me more” button. When you click on the button you’re taken to a page that lists, not the plans (as you would expect) but all of FastDomain’s available features. The marketing tagline on this page is “The Complete Solution,” which could be mistaken for a plan name.
To find FastDomain’s two plans with their attendant features listed and compared one must:
- Go to the “Help Center” navigation link at the top of the site
- Then scroll down to a document called “Shared hosting packages,” click
- And then scroll down some more.
This is not intuitive for the user and doesn’t meet the demands of today’s consumers who abandon sites within seconds if they can’t find what they’re looking for immediately.
Also: the packages are named differently in different areas of the site. The low-level package is called “Basic” on one page, but when you click the “Sign up today!” button on the FastDomain homepage, the package is referred to only by the length of agreement: e.g. “12-month package,” “24-month package,” and so on. For this review, we are calling the low-level package “Basic.”
Likewise, the top-tier package is called “Pro” and “Pro Package” on one page. But if you check out via that “Sign up today!” button, it will be labeled “Business Pro.” We’re calling it “Business Pro” for this review.
Shared hosting means that your site’s files are located on a server that also has files from other sites. All of the server’s resources, both physical and software-related are shared between the sites. There aren’t really set boundaries around how much of a server’s resources a given site may consume. In some cases, this might mean your site performs less well (such as when one or more of your server neighbors see a sudden spike in traffic).
This means that FastDomain’s options are geared toward smaller or medium-sized businesses who get a normal traffic load to their sites and don’t host resource-intensive files like a product catalog filled with an abundance of high-resolution images or large video files.
If you do show high-resolution pictures or embed videos onto your pages, this doesn’t necessarily mean that FastDomain isn’t the right fit for you — it just means that these items should not be the primary content on your site.
CHOOSE BETWEEN BASIC AND BUSINESS PRO
When you sign up, you can choose between the two types of shared plans: Basic and Business Pro.
The Business Pro plan includes everything included in the Basic plan, plus more speed, more power, and fewer users.
The Basic Plan
The Basic plan includes everything you need to get your site online. If you’re just looking to try things out, or plan to see light traffic, for the time being, this might be a good option for you. It might also be the option for you if you’re migrating to FastDomain from another shared hosting plan.
What Do I Get with the Basic Plan?
The Basic plan comes with the following features:
- Hosting for one website
- Unlimited email accounts (POP3)
- 50 GB of hard disk storage (with a maximum of 50,000 files total)
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 50 subdomains
- 20 MySQL databases with a maximum of 1000 database tables
- Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- SSH Access
- SSL, FTP
You also get access to a free, easy-to-use site builder so that you can design your own website without needing to hire a web designer and developer.
The Business Pro Plan
For an additional fee, you can opt for the Business Pro plan instead of the Basic plan. This is a good option for those who want to stay with a shared hosting plan, yet need more resources and better performance.
Business Pro servers have 80% fewer accounts than the servers hosting Basic plan sites. As stated above, shared hosting means that multiple sites utilize a single server’s physical and software-related resources without strict delineation as to who gets to use what. By hosting your site on a server that has fewer websites, you get access to more resources, leading to better site performance.
Additionally, Pro plans do not have as many restrictions as the Basic plan. Essentially, every limitation FastDomain imposes on sites using the Basic plan (such as the amount of disk space, the number of POP3 email accounts, the number of subdomains, among others) is removed. The exceptions to this policy of unlimited resources are file count (where you’re limited to storing 300,000 files on their servers) and database tables (where you’re limited to a maximum of 3,000 tables).
Users have reported that exceeding any imposed limitations results in FastDomain taking down your site temporarily, so if you have a larger site and you want to improve the likelihood that your site stays online in the event of an unforeseen circumstance (such as a traffic spike), you might want to spring for the Business Pro plan from the beginning.
Business Pro Plan Features
The Business Pro plan comes with the following useful features for your site (though subscribers of the regular plan can opt to add these services for an additional fee). These are especially useful for sites who engage in transactions involving users’ sensitive information, such as order processing.
- Domain Privacy
- Dedicated IP Address
- SSL Certificates.
The Pro plan gives you “Site Backup Pro” at no added cost, as well as a SpamExperts subscription for up to two of your domains, which will monitor your accounts and prevent unwanted emails from reaching your users’ inboxes. This filter is much more powerful than the version that comes with the regular plan.
WHAT ABOUT WORDPRESS?
In keeping with their focus on simplicity, FastDomain does not offer any WordPress-specific hosting plans. However, using their cPanel, you can install WordPress with just one click. You also have access to free some themes for your site.
For those of you interested in selling products online, FastDomain offers the following e-commerce add-ons:
- SSL Secure Server and Encryption
- osCommerce or Agora Shopping Cart
- Password-protected directories
THE MOJO MARKETPLACE
If you need more features for your site and you want to add them without involving a software engineer, you can do so easily with the provided one-click installer, which FastDomain calls the MOJO Marketplace.
Owned by Endurance International Group (EIG), of which FastDomain is a member, the Marketplace is used by FastDomain’s sister companies, such as iPage, HostMonster, and FatCow.
The MOJO Marketplace consists of all sorts of nifty plugins and applications. Here’s an idea of what you can get from the Marketplace:
- Content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal, or Magento
- Community forums
- E-commerce tools like PayPal integration
- Graphics, themes, and templates for your site.
In some cases, the installation process takes as little as a single click.
- Many web hosts offer free add-ons, scripts, and applications.
- FastDomain does not claim that everything that you can integrate with your site will be free of charge.
The Marketplace does have a feature where you can bill your purchases to your hosting plan, so all costs relating to your website show up on a single bill.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) AND ADVERTISING
To get you started with search engine optimization (SEO) and advertising your site, your plan includes:
- A discounted subscription to SoloSEO, which helps you with things like getting your new domain indexed by search engines and provides you with resources like getting-started guides
- A discounted subscription to Constant Contact for email marketing
- $100 credit for advertising with Bing/Yahoo!
- $100 credit for advertising with Google.
When you sign up for a new FastDomain plan, your package comes with a free domain name, and FastDomain will cover your registration fees for the first year.
If you already have your own domain, FastDomain can help you transfer it free of charge. Registration fees for subsequent years are your responsibility.
Infrastructure and Performance
FastDomain’s network is built with quad processor servers exclusively running the Linux operating system.
So if you’re set on a Windows server, you’ll need to keep shopping, because FastDomain won’t be able to help. But if Linux is acceptable, you’ll also benefit from redundancy in power systems, including both uninterruptible power supplies and a backup generator for stable performance.
The company also provides around-the-clock monitoring for the servers, so if a problem does arise that could potentially compromise the performance or stability of your site, it should be noted fairly promptly to minimize downtime and damage.
Additional Features & Services
That’s why it makes the most sense for ethical bloggers to serve as affiliates only for brands from which they themselves have made past purchases. It’s also a good idea to review the FTC guidelines applicable to affiliate marketing if you’re not already familiar with them.
Additionally, FastDomain includes some basic e-commerce tools in its plan features. You’ll get a choice of at least two shopping cart applications. You’ll also get access to an SSL security certificate, PGP/GPG encryption and password protection for server directories to ensure site and data security.
As most hosting providers do, FastDomain offers customers a number of ways to secure support. The help center is the first stop for self-directed assistance, and it contains a number of resources that bear mentioning.
The knowledgebase has several hundred articles, but there doesn’t seem to be any categorical or topical organization. Instead, you have to rely on search results to find the right answer for whatever problem you’re facing.
The help center also offers a handful of video tutorials as well as a selection of “getting started” guides for new customers that cover most of the basics.
If the self-directed options aren’t sufficient to resolve your issues,FastDomain provides individualized assistance through three methods: a toll-free telephone number, a ticket-based system, and a live chat tool.
However, it doesn’t appear to be a social-media-savvy brand: there’s a single, blank Facebook page and a Twitter feed that’s only slightly less sporadically used. So if that kind of access is important to you, you’ll want to consider other options.
Billing and Guarantees
Hosting can be a significant investment for any small business, include bloggers. That’s why it’s a good idea to investigate the terms of any company’s guarantee or refund policy.
FastDomain offers a generous thirty-day money-back guarantee period, which should be sufficient to evaluate your domain management tools and server performance. At any point within that period, if you’re not satisfied withFastDomain’s services, you can get a full refund for whatever term you paid for initially.
The refund will only apply to the fees you paid that are applicable to your hosting service. It won’t include the costs of most of FastDomain’s add-on services and products.
If your plan included a free domain, the company will deduct a flat fee equal to the approximate cost of one domain registration to cover its own costs. Thereafter, you’ll still have the right to use the domain and transfer it to a new host provider, should you wish.
It’s also a good idea to review the FastDomain terms and conditions of servicebefore you complete the checkout process to make sure they won’t interfere with your plans.
Is FastDomain the Right Host for Bloggers?
FastDomain may not be the most technologically advanced hosting company around, and it certainly won’t win any prizes for the variety of products offered or for clarity on its website.
FastDomain’s affiliation with EIG suggests it’s no fly-by-night provider that’ll disappear; it has been in business for 10 years.
But if you’re a blogger who needs to spend time and energy focused on writing and promotion, not on selecting from an endless menu of hosting choices, the Basic plan might work for you. Still, there are other hosts offering basic plans at lower cost and with far greater clarity about their product(s).
Originally posted 2018-10-22 11:53:09.