IdeaHost can be summarized as one of the easiest to use web hosting providers on the market. With its drag-and-drop website builder and thousands of templates ready for use, you will have a new website in no time.
Even though it is one of the “younger” members of the hosting community (founded in 2015.), it has gained some fame in the past two years of its existence. Even so, they have a lot of features some of the more experienced web host providers offer. It must be noted that IdeaHost is primarily oriented towards individuals and is not yet ready to deal with the bigger businesses and companies.
This web host provider is, like many others in this business, a part of the Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG is a well-known company that owns some of the most popular web hosting services like BlueHost, iPage and HostGator.
Plans & pricing
IdeaHost offers only one package for €2.90 a month for your initial term. After that, you will be charged at the regular rates of €5.98/mo for 3-year terms, €7.98/mo for 2-year terms, €9.98/mo for 1-year terms, and €13.98/mo for monthly terms. Also, worth noting is that the VAT (Value Added Tax) is not included in this price and will be charged separately based on the country you live in. If you made a domain with them and wish to keep it after you’ve canceled your account, there will be a €15 fee.
Payment is standard and includes major credit cards, but also other methods like bank wire transfers, Western Union, checks and even money orders. Accounts can be canceled at any time, and if done within 30 days of your order, you will receive a full refund.
Core features offered by IdeaHost are: easy to use web builder, unlimited Storage Space, Bandwidth, Domains Allowed and MySQL Databases. As some of you may know, in this case, unlimited actually means enough space for normal usage of a website. If you go over the limit, you will receive an e-mail to manage your consumption or risk them taking the account offline. However, if the websites are properly managed, you will never see this message because it would take a lot of system resources to go over the designated limit.
Even though you are getting a free domain and can make as much of them as you wish, it is free only for the first year. After that period, you will be charged accordingly for the usage of the domain names.
This provider is meant mostly for the individuals, like bloggers and small businesses, since it offers a shared hosting plan only. There is an easy to use Blog Setup Wizard that will make your first web page building a breeze. That combined with their easy to use Photo Gallery Setup Wizard allow you to have your own blog in around 15 minutes or so. You are restricted to 6 pages, but for a regular site that is more than enough (if needed, extra pages can be bought as an add-on).
Free website builder is simple and easy to use, but lacks in versatility that cPanel provides. Before you start making web pages, you will be asked to pick between these two options. One thing to be noted: if Website builder is picked, you will not be able to switch back to cPanel, so choose carefully.
For people who don’t want to use their website builder, IdeaHost’s got you covered. They also support installing of another CMS, like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. Those CMS are a bit complex, but offer thousands of free and paid templates to customize the site to your liking.
If you are planning on opening a small online shop, IdeaHost offers a free online store (with cPanel) and PayPal integration. For the Shopping cart software you will have to pay a bit extra. Also, in order to start an online business, you will need to purchase an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate from their website.
Means of marketing your website are possible with Online Marketing Guides, €100 worth Yahoo or Bing credits and €100 Google Adwords. You get these option with the basic package. Great boost if you want your business to be on the first page of Google/Yahoo/Bing search engines.
Like many other providers, IdeaHost also uses cPanel to help you navigate and edit preferences for your pages. This hosting platform is user friendly for novices and has a lot of customization options for advanced users. That is probably the main reason why it’s so popular and well known in the world of web hosting.
E-mail feature is a good plus since with it you get personal addresses and access to WebMail. Some additional features included are Email Forwarding, Autoresponders (very useful if you have a login system and need to send automatic replies when someone signs up), Spam Filters and Virus Checking. There is also an option for POP3 (Post Office Protocol) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) emails, which will retrieve your messages from a remote server. Even though it says that they offer unlimited email capacity, it is actually 500 MB or 10,000 email messages until you hit the max.
Uptime for IdeaHost is 99.99% and they guarantee it. If you find this to be false, and they fail to meet this claim, you are eligible for a one-month account credit. After you send the request for this, they will review that month’s server performance and add the credits if needed.
As measured, the performance of their servers is great, considering that it is a low price, shared hosting provider. With its average of 507 ms response time, it shows a lot of potential for that amount of money. Maybe in the near future we can expect some bigger packages and even a possibility of much needed private servers.
IdeaHost has a backup system but it is not supported in their guaranteed service, so any loss of data is not their responsibility. Also, if any of your sites exceeds 20 GB, only the databases for those sites will be saved. The best thing to do here is to regularly create your own backups to a different location.
The biggest downside to this web host is lack of Virtual Private Server (VPS). Only one plan means that there is only shared hosting, which is a deal breaker for those that wish to expand their business and need a server just for themselves. If this is the case with you, better start looking for another host.
One of the annoying flaws we found was the lack of information they put up-front. There is little general info about the company beside them being a US based hosting provider from Houston, Texas. If you are interested in some advanced information before you give them your money, you will have a hard time finding the desired info.
IdeaHost provides basic web security in the form of a custom Firewall, and protection from DDoS attacks. They have a support page with tutorials on how you can make your account more protected. Additionally, you can order SiteLock for €24.95 (only for the first year, after that it is €49.90), as an extra form of security. It helps by scanning your website for any vulnerable points, finding malware and securing your precious data. A very useful tool for online stores.
On their website, you can find a lot of Step-by-Step video tutorials for the most common tasks. They offer “how-to” videos that will help you build and improve your website. They are easy to access and even easier to follow.
Beside the video tutorials, they offer Chat, Email and 24/7 Phone (toll-free in the US) support. Average ticket time for email is around 10 hours, while live chat can get you connected to someone within 5 minutes. They proudly state that the answer time for the phone support is 2 minutes, so you don’t have to lose time with the annoying sound of the on-hold music.
People working there are generally pleasant and will offer the solution to your problem as fast as they can.
- Low price;
- Easy to set up and use;
- Unlimited Storage and Bandwidth;
- Good Marketing tools;
- Great Uptime;
- Fast and reliable Customer Support;
- Only one available package;
- Oriented towards individuals;
- Limited information about the company and some features;
- Domain names free for 1 year only;
- No VPS;
- No file backup support;
IdeaHost is ideal if you are looking to create a small website for yourself. All the problems it might have now can be solved with the help of their excellent customer support. For the low cost and 30-day refund, it offers little risks in giving them a chance. If you are planning on opening a store or creating a blog, this web host provider will serve you just fine. It is new to the industry and has a lot of space to grow, but only time will tell if that will happen.