In the hosting industry, most companies have a strong niche that they adhere to. Whether it be small businesses, bloggers, or artists, it just makes marketing easier, and you can get the right plugins and add-ons for the target demographic.
Which is why it’s surprising to see BigRock, a web hosting and domain registry company, manage to pull off their well-rounded approach quite spectacularly. It provides plans and add-ons that suit all sorts of people, from individuals to businesses, and it doesn’t skimp on the plugins or advertising.
This may come from the experience and skill offered by being a member of Endurance International Group, an organization dedicated to providing hosting, e-commerce, and more web tools to customers across the globe.
BigRock seems to be overall a flexible host, one that can accommodate almost anyone, but let’s take a closer look at what that versatility offers you.
Tons of Plans
As far as hosting goes, BigRock certainly isn’t lacking. The only thing it’s missing is dedicated servers. Shared hosting is the main attraction, and it comes in Linux and Windows. There isn’t much difference between the plan tiers: usually, it comes down to tacking on another unlimited feature you might need. The extra add-ons are available for all customers.
There aren’t a ton of plugins, but all the essentials are in every plan. There’s Softaculous, so all the basic apps can be installed in one click, and other necessities such as SSH access and phpMyAdmin are included. You might not get a ton of free stuff, but you won’t be missing out on anything you need.
There’s also a wide variety of specialized hosting, including WordPress, reseller, and e-commerce hosting. However, these plans appear to be identical to the Linux hosting plans (it’s not like you can host a website on Zencart!). It’s not very clear if these pages are just for padding, or if you’ll get a specialized experience based on the specialization you choose. The exception is reseller hosting, which of course is pricier, has resource caps, and usually comes with WHMCS.
Then there’s virtual private server (VPS) hosting. The servers don’t have the best specs in the world for their price, but they get the job done. You’ll have your pick of CentOS or Ubuntu, and Plesk, or cPanel. The only thing you don’t have a choice of is unmanaged and managed; you’re stuck with the latter. But cPanel with WHM will give you full root access if necessary.
All in all, the company is living up to its promises so far. Each plan has plenty of customization options and you have a lot of free will concerning how you wish to set up and run your website.
Simple Domain Registration
Web hosting isn’t going to do much for you if you don’t have a domain to host. If you own one already, you can easily transfer it to BigRock. Otherwise, their helpful search engine and domain registry are here to help you pick out the perfect domain.
The prices range from affordable to quite expensive. If you’ve never tried to register a domain before, you may find some names costing several grand, but you won’t see much different elsewhere. In fact, the prices on BigRock seem to be fairly reasonable overall.
If you’re after a premium domain, it’s worth it to examine all your options and see if you can get a better deal, but this company is one of the main registries you should be checking for steals.
Drag-and-Drop Site Builder
While you’re at it, if you’re buying a domain, that means you may not have even designed the site yet. In that case, BigRock offers a DIY Site Builder. This actually functions as its own shared hosting service with plans, but no worries — all the features are the same.
There are free templates and images to use, drag-and-drop functionality for simplicity, and email and web hosting are thrown into the package. You won’t be missing out on anything you’d get if you bought the normal plan instead. So if you’re in need of a way to easily design your website without any coding knowledge, this is the best way to go about it.
Lots of Features
There’s a lot of goodies to be found, all sorts of utilities that will help get you on your feet. From something as simple as an SSL certificate to a major installer like Softaculous, there’s no need to worry about running out of options.
- “Unlimited Everything”: depending on what shared hosting plan you get, there are no limits on space, email, bandwidth, or how many websites you can have.
- Web Acceleration: shared plans contain Varnish, an accelerator that helps speed up load times tenfold.
- Email Hosting: you can buy it separately or get it with any other transaction. It’s important to have an official domain-based email address, and this is the place to get it.
- Softaculous: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more, all available in one click.
- SSL Certification: if your site processes transactions or contains sensitive user information, such as credit card info and addresses, SSL encryption is beyond necessary. Even if all it stores are passwords, unless you want a big gray “Not Secure” warning in the corner whenever people visit your site, you’ll still want to pick up a certificate.
- SiteLock: it doesn’t come cheap, but if you want to protect your site from malware and hacking attacks, this firewall will do some serious work.
- Root Access: VPS or shared, you don’t have to sit back and wait for someone else to do something you could easily do yourself.
- RAID 10 Protection: when hard drives fail, they’ll be protected by RAID, ensuring that those critical backups aren’t lost forever.
- Coding Language Support: Perl, Ruby, Python; whatever your specialty, you’re not left out.
- Free VPS Backups: this speaks for itself, really. Who doesn’t like free backups? Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for CodeGuard, but it’s not too expensive.
- 24/7 Support: over the phone, live chat, or email, BigRock’s support is always around to help.
- Money Back Guarantee: except for VPS hosting, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee, so feel free to test the waters.
Some Small Issues
This host seems to be a pretty reliable, well-rounded one. There aren’t a lot of bad things to say about it, but there still are some issues that need to be addressed. Take a look and make sure none of these is a deal-breaker.
Windows vs. Linux Plans
Linux hosting costs less than Windows hosting. That’s just a fact of the internet, and no one can complain. Linux is a completely free, open-source operating system, while Windows is a pricey one with fewer features for web hosts.
So when web hosts don’t offer Windows plans, or said plans are much more expensive, nobody really bats an eye. However, what will raise a few eyebrows is when the two services aren’t presented in a way that’s easy to compare.
BigRock’s best Linux plan boasts unlimited domains, disk space, and bandwidth, and this is proudly proclaimed at the top of the page. But at the top of the Windows page, the banner (which was obviously copied and pasted) says simply, “Disk Space, Bandwidth, and Email Addresses.”
The Windows servers have half the RAM, no option for unlimited domains, no Varnish, no Softaculous (and therefore no easy WordPress installation), and no SSH access. And all this at nearly twice the cost. Definitely, quite a few drawbacks to consider here.
A Confusing Website
This can be perceived as nitpicking. Even so, a well-laid-out website, with proper grammar and designers who care, reflects well on the quality of the host. However, this website was rushed, that much is clear.
The issues range from grammar errors abound to images containing prices in inconsistent currencies. It detracts from the professionalism of the website.
Of course, you shouldn’t choose to not use BigRock because the company failed to use a period a few times. However, there are some issues that are a cause for concern. For instance, a money back guarantee is not available for the VPS plans — but scroll down and you’ll find that the company does, in fact, claim “a complete 30 money back guarantee [sic]”. This small error could cause a massive problem for a customer who thought he or she was covered.
I’m also not sure how the company managed to get cPanel on Windows, but I’m inclined to believe that someone copied from the Linux page and forgot to change the wording.
Small List of Features?
Everything you need is available, but what about everything you want? Many hosting companies rely on the sheer number of free add-ons alone, but BigRock boasts only Softaculous. You have the power to install whatever you want with cPanel and shell access, but it won’t come cheap.
The plans are also rather bare bones, the entry ones especially. You’ll have to pay two dollars more just for the same feature list and two extra websites. Yeah, shared hosting is dirt cheap, but still. There are often minimal differences between plans, but it comes at a notable price.
It is nice and user-friendly of the company to separate the plans into those for advanced users, businesses, and more. But it sometimes feels as if it’s stretched to meet this goal for no reason.
The Big Pros
BigRock Hosting has a few flaws, some mundane, some a bit more of a problem. But even so, the quality of their service shines through, as does their dedication to providing a simple and versatile platform for all users.
Everything You Need
There might not be a lot of plugins, but you’re not missing anything important. Security, high-speed apps, one-click installers of important programs, a site builder — it’s all there if you need it. Your website will never lack for anything that’s truly necessary, and some hosts can’t even promise that much.
Sure, it could have more. But it’s rare enough to see a host that even gives you a choice between Windows and Linux, unequal as that choice may be, much less cPanel and Plesk. Softaculous should tide over most users, and anything else, if truly necessary, can be bought and installed manually.
BigRock has some of the lowest prices on the market, at least for shared hosting. This makes it suitable for individuals and small businesses who can’t be spending all their monthly profits on hosting costs. Even the highest level Linux plan could be paid for a year with less than a week’s check.
The VPS hosting isn’t the best-priced product ever, but there’s much worse out there. And for the quality of the server computers, it’s hard to complain. In general, the prices on this site are decent at worst.
The customer support of this company is one of the things almost every review seems to applaud. There’s a help center, and while it’s not the biggest knowledgebase out there, it gets the job done. An interactive guide is available for members only as well. This should solve a majority of issues.
But if your question isn’t answered, you can connect to support via email, phone, or live chat. It’s standard for hosts, but the service is lauded as friendly and helpful, so don’t be afraid to give the company a call.
A Host For Everyone
BigRock offers a wide variety of services, from those that are extremely specialized to those that are more general. Whether you’re a big business in need of a VPS that supports e-commerce plugins, or an individual in search of a host for your WordPress blog, there’s a plan for you here.
Most of the host’s issues are minor, though if you need Windows hosting, you may wish to search for one with more features. Otherwise, BigRock is a good fit for just about anybody, and a safe bet in general. The reviews are favorable and the quality of their hardware and services backs up their claims.
Beginner or expert, if you need a versatile and reliable Linux host, with a domain and a site builder to boot, this is a great place to look.
If you aren’t certain that BigRock is right for your hosting needs, click over to our sister site WhoIsHostingThis.com. There you’ll find dozens of reviews from actual BigRock customers.