Hostwinds review | TechRadar

Founded in 2010, Hostwinds is a Seattle-based web hosting provider with feature-packed products for slightly more experienced users.

Hostwinds offers cheap and easy-to-use shared hosting plans, with plenty of features . A huge range of VPS (Virtual Private Server) plans give your site well balanced resources making them a cost-effective choice for demanding small to medium business sites.

Developers and other experts can build a custom setup with multiple cloud servers, load balancers, block and object storage for whatever suits their precise needs.

(Image credit: Hostwinds)

Hostwinds shared hosting

Hostwinds’ shared hosting starts at an affordable $5.24 a month for three years, $6.99 afterwards.  All Hostwinds shared hosting plans come with solid-state drives (SSDs), free SSL certificates, and access to the latest cPanel for easy site management. They also include unlimited FTP accounts, databases, and email accounts to help you manage your website effectively. You also get Softaculous Auto Install for easy application installation, Weebly Site Builder for drag-and-drop website building, and 24/7 customer support to assist you.

Upgrading to the next shared hosting plan gets you support for hosting more websites, or you can opt for Hostwinds’ Business Web Hosting range for extra performance. This has less accounts on a server, and uses LiteSpeed’s fast web server, but with prices starting at $8.24 a month over three years ($10.99 afterwards), it’s still relatively cheap.

You don’t get a free domain, but the nightly backups are worth more, and overall, these are quality shared plans for a bargain price.

Hostwinds WordPress hosting

Hostwinds has a managed WordPress hosting range, but it’s essentially the regular shared hosting products, with the same prices, and just more website focus on any WordPress-specific features.

Softaculous is on hand to automatically install WordPress in seconds, for instance, and help you manage it afterwards.

The company offer WordPress support including helping you customize your WordPress installation using themes and plugins, create and restore backups, automate updates for WordPress, add security to WordPress, and troubleshoot issues.

That’s good news, and with prices starting at $5.24 a month, the plans are certainly cheaper than the specialist Managed WordPress competition. If you’re not committed to Hostwinds, though, or looking for more features, Bluehost, IONOS and A2 Hosting add extras such as free themes, easier WordPress website testing, automatic WordPress updating, extra security, performance optimizations and more.


Hostwinds offers loads of plans and options (Image credit: Hostwinds)

Hostwinds VPS hosting

A step up from shared hosting, VPS hosting ramps up your website speed by giving it more server resources. A capable VPS can host sites with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month, making the technology a good choice for business-critical sites, busy web stores, or any heavy-duty projects where performance is top priority.

Hostwinds has a lengthy list of ten VPS plans, ranging from a basic but pocket-friendly 1 CPU core, 1GB RAM setup for $4.99, to a giant 16 CPU core, 96GB RAM, $328.88 a month server with the power to handle almost anything.

The plans are hugely configurable, too. Need a cheap unmanaged plan where you run the server? No problem. Or do you want Hostwinds to handle all that? There are managed plans, too. You can opt for Windows and Linux hosting, add cPanel licenses, buy more IP addresses, choose a US or Amsterdam data center, and more. We love the control you get over the finished package, and if other providers aren’t quite giving you the VPS plans you need, it’s always worth checking out what Hostwinds has to offer.

Hostwinds' dedicated server hosting homepage screenshot

(Image credit: Hostwinds)

Hostwinds dedicated hosting

Opting for a dedicated hosting plan gets you an entire server, just for your website. No more sharing of resources, no more slowdowns because some other site is busy. Dedicated servers offer the best and most consistent performance, ideal for the most serious heavyweight sites.

You can choose from different processors, the amount of RAM, number and type of storage disks, and even Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) configurations.

The entry-level dedicated server option, the E3-1270 v3, comes with a 3.5 GHz quad-core processor that can turbo up to 4 GHz, 8 GB of RAM (expandable), and options for configuring hard drive storage, starting with a 1TB Enterprise HDD. This server setup starts at $122/mo and includes 10 TB of outbound bandwidth along with 8 IP addresses. You can additionally customize your plan based on various specs like adjusting the RAM storage, adding RAID configurations, and selecting from various operating systems like CentOS.

Importantly, all dedicated servers from Hostwinds are fully managed and come with 24/7 technical support, server monitoring, nightly backups, and high-quality networking for steady performance and uptime. These dedicated resources mean that each server provides 100% of its capabilities to a single user and avoids the drawbacks of shared environments. This setup is great for applications requiring high computational power and storage, such as web and application hosting, game hosting, data analysis, and more. You can also choose from multiple data center locations globally to improve the latency and user experience of your site.

Hostwinds could be a reasonable choice for experienced users who need a mid-range dedicated server and know exactly which options and extras work for them. But if you need something on the budget side, IONOS has unmanaged servers from under $50 a month, while A2 Hosting starts at a similar price to Hostwinds, but has more high-powered servers and is even more configurable.

Hostwinds cPanel

Create and manage your site with cPanel. cPanel is included with shared and other hosting plans.  (Image credit: Hostwinds)

 Cloud Hosting 

The most basic cloud plan starts at just $0.006931 per hour, which costs approximately $4.99/mo. This entry-level option comes with 1GB RAM, a single CPU core, and 1TB monthly data transfers. On the higher end, the most advanced plan costs $0.456931 per hour or about $328.99/mo. This plan offers a substantial 96GB of RAM, 16 CPU cores, 750GB of storage, and 9TB of monthly data transfers.

With all plans, you get 1 Gbps ports coupled with solid-state drives, a 99.9999% uptime guarantee, enterprise-level firewalls, and nightly backups. Additionally, Hostwinds supports custom ISO uploads, giving you the flexibility to deploy customized configurations.

Does Hostwinds offer a website builder? 

Hostwinds’ shared hosting packages include the Weebly website builder, It’s a simple tool which allows you to create a small website by choosing a pre built site design, customizing colors and styles, then using the drag and drop editor to add blocks of text, pictures, videos, maps or whatever else your site needs.

This may work for you if you only need a very simple family or personal site, just a few pages, but it doesn’t have the power for anything serious. Take a look at Wix if you need a website builder that can take on the most serious projects, including quality web stores and business-critical sites, or read our best website builder guide for more advice.

Launching cPanel gives you access to Softaculous, a popular platform which makes it easy to install WordPress and 400+ other big-name web applications.

Hostwinds’ shared hosting plans include the Weebly website builder, an excellent template-based web designer with a stack of drag-and-drop widgets and UI elements.

There’s a problem, though. What you’re getting here is Weebly’s very limited free plan, which includes Weebly branding on the footer and restricts your website to just 500MB.

You can upgrade to more capable plans from within Hostwinds, but from what we can see, you’ll pay much the same price as if you went to Weebly direct. (And remember, this is an extra cost – you’ll still be paying your regular Hostwinds fees.)

The service could still be useful in a few situations. If your plan supports multiple domains, for instance, the Site Builder might help less technical family members create their own small personal sites. But there’s not a lot of value here for most users, and typically you’ll get better results by installing WordPress.

If WordPress and Weebly don’t interest you, there are all the usual tools to build and manage a website from scratch: FTP, SSH, a file manager, MySQL, phpMyAdmin and more.

Can I build a web store with Hostwinds? 

Hostwinds doesn’t have specialist ecommerce hosting or online store builder plans. 

You could sign up for one of Hostwinds’ shared, VPS or dedicated plans, then use Softaculous to install an ecommerce platform that can help you (WooCommerce, Magento or PrestaShop are popular choices). But as Hostwinds doesn’t have specific support for any of these, it’s not going to give you much help.

If you’d like a simpler way to get started, HostGator’s Gator website builder supports a tiny web store with even its cheapest plans, and Bluehost’s WooCommerce plans include tools to help build and market your site from only $12.95 a month.

Hostwinds' uptime performance result

Hostwinds did fairly well in our uptime and performance tests (Image credit:

How fast is Hostwinds? 

We measured Hostwinds’ performance by signing up for a shared hosting account, setting up a simple WordPress site using a standard template, then running various tests. checked the availability of our site every five minutes for 14 days. Hostwinds managed 99.95% uptime, a little disappointing, but within the range we expect for a shared hosting plan (most providers offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee).

Hostwinds' page load time speed results

(Image credit: GTMetrix)

GTmetrix loaded a page on our site and calculated its LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), a measure of how long it takes to load the most important content. Hostwinds had an LCP of 0.774 seconds, a little below average (it ranked 10th in our last 15 tests), but acceptable for all but the most speed-sensitive sites. 

Hostwinds' speed test results

(Image credit: K61)

We set up k6 to unleash 20 users on our test site simultaneously, and monitor what happened. It managed a peak 17.67 requests per second, with an average of 13. That’s a little below par (most providers peak at 20 requests per second and average 14-16), but that’s not a difference you’re likely to notice with most sites.

Hostwinds' account control panel

(Image credit: Hostwinds)

How easy is Hostwinds to use? 

Hostwinds uses industry-standard hosting tools and platforms across its service. 

Its web account dashboard, where you’ll manage, add and cancel products, is powered by WHMCS. It’s a very popular system, and if you’ve signed up with hosting providers in the past, there’s a good chance you’ll immediately know your way around.

Softaculous is available to automatically install WordPress and hundreds of other apps. It’s one of the best auto-installers around, and will set up whatever service you need with the minimum of hassle.

Hostwinds’ shared accounts include cPanel, an excellent control panel with all the tools you need to manage your domains, email accounts, files, databases, and every other aspect of your web space.

These can get complicated, particularly if you’ve complex hosting needs. But we’d much rather see quality and standard hosting tools than the basic home-made control panels offered by some providers. And overall, Hostwinds has more than enough power for most people to get their sites online at speed (and keep them there).

How good is Hostwinds’ support? 

Hostwinds has three different ways to support its users– product documentation, in-depth tutorials, blogs, and a support team. We find their product documentation quite insightful for understanding their services in-depth and utilizing them efficiently. You can find the description and the use case of all their products under this segment. There are also many tutorials that can guide you in troubleshooting some common and complex issues that may arise during daily activity.

These tutorials span from their hosting plans descriptions to tons of how-to guides on how you can make the most of hostwinds offerings. You get detailed step-by-step guide along with multiple snapshots that helps you understand it better.

But, if you don’t want any of this hassle, Hostwinds’ offers customer support via email, call, and a live chat. To test it, we asked a couple of queries and their support agent answered back within minutes and that too with some helpful suggestions. Overall, Hostwinds support is pretty impressive and you even get sufficient information on their blog to get comfortable with the platform.

Is Hostwinds right for you?

Hostwinds offers a variety of hosting options, from shared hosting to dedicated servers, with both managed and unmanaged VPS hosting available. This diversity is indeed a plus point for targeting a wide audience, but its worth mentioning that many hosting providers deliver this many plans these days. 

Price-wise, Hostwinds is competitive, especially considering features like unlimited bandwidth and disk space in their shared hosting plans. However, there are areas where Hostwinds could improve. First, many users have pointed out that while Hostwinds markets itself on performance and reliability, there are occasional reports of downtime and slow server responses. Additionally, the cost of add-ons can accumulate, as essential services like automatic backups and advanced security features come with extra charges. These additional costs may not be clear upfront and could be a point of contention for users who are budget-conscious or require a more comprehensive out-of-the-box solution.

Hostwinds FAQs

What payment types does Hostwinds accept?

Hostwinds accepts payment via card, PayPal and Bitcoin. 

Does Hostwinds offer refunds?

Hostwinds has a less-than-generous three day money-back period covering its hosting products. Software licenses, domains and SSL certificates are not included.

Other providers offer much more protection. The industry standard refund period is 30 days; HostGator offers 45 days; InMotion Hosting gives you 90 days on many products.

Hostwinds’ policy does have one small advantage. It doesn’t just cover the initial purchase: you can ask for a refund of renewal fees, too, often excluded by other companies.

Does Hostwinds have an uptime guarantee?

Hostwinds Service Level Agreement promises a 99.9999% uptime guarantee. If its network loses power or goes down for more than 31.6 seconds a year, you can raise a support query to ask for a refund, and the company will credit your account with the cost of the whole day (or days) affected by that downtime. 

Where are Hostwinds’ data centers?

Hostwinds has data centers in Dallas, Seattle and Amsterdam.

The Hostwinds’ Data Centers page displays latency figures for each data center, identifying the closest. You can also download 100MB, 1GB and 10GB test files from each data center, allowing you to measure any performance advantage between data centers.

What is my Hostwinds IP address?

Log in to the Hostwinds client area.

Find your hosting product and click Manage.

Click Log to cPanel, and your Hostwinds web server’s IP address is displayed as ‘Shared IP Address’ or ‘Dedicated IP Address’ in the left-hand General Information box.

What are Hostwinds’ nameservers?


Hostwinds uses different nameservers depending on your hosting plan and how it’s been set up.

To find out which nameservers are relevant to your product, first log into the Hostwinds account portal ( Click the Manage button for your service, and the nameservers are displayed in the Package/ Domain panel.

Hostwinds cancelation process

(Image credit: Hostwinds)

How do I cancel a Hostwinds product?

Log into the Hostwinds client portal, find the plan you’d like to cancel and click Manage.

Click Request Cancellation in the left-hand sidebar and follow the instructions.

Beware: the request option cancels your account and deletes your website files and email inbox immediately.

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