Certified Hosting Acquired and Closed Down: What Other Options Do I Have?
As of October 4th, 2018, Certified Hosting was acquired by Total Server Solutions (TSS). TSS provides managed services for small-to-medium-sized businesses, as well as enterprises.
When a hosting company offers both shared hosting and dedicated servers, but not much in-between, it’s an interesting option to explore. After all, most of the time you see shared hosting, then maybe a semi-dedicated hosting solution, or more commonly, a VPS.
That’s not the case with Certified Hosting.
It’s not exactly the most inspiring company name, but it’s been around for quite a while, and the pricing and packages look about as good as any of the other competitors on the market. They do promote unlimited disk space and bandwidth for all shared hosting plans, which is a plus.
Certified Hosting also has robust customer service options including live chat, forums, and phone support.
Upon first glance, Certified Hosting does a wonderful job of keeping things simple. Their website is straightforward, telling you about the pricing, features, and nothing more. You get a sense of honesty from Certified Hosting, making the visitor feel confident in what they have to offer.
The most important parts of the hosting game include pricing, features, uptime, and support. So, keep reading to learn more about Certified Hosting, and to decide whether or not it’s the right hosting company for you.
Find What You’re Looking For
Certified Hosting History
Certified Hosting began in 1999. The company is located in California, with three datacenters around the world (Amsterdam, Atlanta, and Phoenix).
Over the years, Certified Hosting has been honored with industry awards several times, and it’s clear that the support team has improved because of this.
The amount of corporate information on Certified Hosting’s website is limited, so we can’t exactly tell how many sites are running on their servers. Staff and leadership are not listed.
What Does Certified Hosting Provide?
Certified Hosting offers shared website hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers.
Let’s start with the shared hosting since this most likely applies to the majority of users.
Shared hosting offers you a portion of a server currently being shared by a bunch of other websites. You pay “rent,” or a monthly fee. In exchange, your website is shown on the internet and delivered to end users.
The primary upside of shared hosting is that you get online and the pricing is often the lowest it can possibly go. However, it’s possible to encounter slow speeds or uptime problems if your site ends up seeing very high traffic.
Rest easy though, because the majority of small and mid-sized businesses will be just fine on shared hosting. Sure, you don’t get as much control over the server, but those smaller business sites and blogs don’t have the high traffic to justify anything stronger than shared hosting.
We like the fact that all of the shared hosting plans have:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited disk space
- Unlimited email accounts.
In addition, Certified Hosting offers competitive rates.
Other Types of Hosting
However, anything more advanced than a simple business website or blog will probably require something like WordPress and a professional theme.
We’ll discuss support more in the following sections, but you should know that the Certified Hosting phone lines are open every single day of the year. This is a 24-hour support team, and you can connect with them through a surprising number of ways. This is a sign of dedication and experience, since they have obviously pieced together a strong set of reps, and they have learned that support is one of the most important parts of hosting.
Furthermore, Certified Hosting has a free site builder and templates to go with that builder. Generally, you would build your site in a content management system like WordPress (using WordPress themes,) but it’s at least nice to have an option like this. Some novices will find the Certified Hosting site builder to be basic enough for their needs.
Website transfers are offered for new customers, so if you’d like to move from a different host to this company, you won’t have to mess with any of the files yourself.
A Closer Look at Features
Here are some of the other cool things you get with Certified Hosting:
- User-friendly control panel called cPanel
- No contract that locks you into multiple years
- Site stats and error logs
- Support for unlimited MySQL databases and a wide variety of programming languages
- Access to your business email accounts wherever you are
- Hosting for all types of applications
- 24-7 Support
- Competitive Prices
- Expert support for FFmpeg and video.
The primary shared hosting plans are competitive and affordable. Some of the plan features include:
- Free dedicated IP (for higher plans)
- Free private SSL (higher plans)
- Multiple domain hosting
- Unlimited disk space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited email accounts
- An easy-to-use and free cPanel
- A free site builder and one-click script installer
- Good support
- A free website migration
- A 99.999% uptime guarantee
- Instant account activation.
For shared hosting, these are attractive features. As with most hosting providers, you can buy a domain along the way. Certified Hosting also has an option to transfer over a previous domain if you already have one in your possession.
Upsells and Add-Ons
After selecting your shared hosting plan, you’re going to see a few upsells from Certified Hosting. You may want to consider some of them if you feel like you need to protect your identity or boost your spam fighting abilities:
- Advanced stats: this delivers a wide range of stats such as where your visitors are coming from, which browsers they are using, and how much time they’re spending on your website. If you don’t want to mess with the free Google Analytics, this might be a good option for you.
- Spam Assassin: chances are you’re going to start getting all sorts of spam from your website. It’s part of the reality of owning a site, but you can pay an extra fee to start combating that.
- Certified Protection Plan: you can protect your site from being suspended or taken offline if you happen to use too many resources.
- DNS Management: this can help out with your site speed and reduce redundancy.
- ID Protection: protect your personal information from spammers who look up your domain registration info and send you useless emails.
Dedicated Servers and Reseller Hosting
If you’re not familiar with a dedicated server, it provides a way for high-traffic websites and large companies to obtain the performance they need and have complete control over the server. It’s one of the most expensive types of hosting since only one organization is on each server.
It’s not that common for a smaller or midsize company to opt for a dedicated server because of the high pricing. Right below the power of a dedicated server is VPS and semi-dedicated servers. Neither are offered through Certified Hosting, however.
With the Certified Hosting dedicated servers you gain access to a complete customization environment. The enterprise hardware is hand-picked just for your company, and your account is assigned engineers to ensure that your software, apps, and sites are under control. The state-of-the-art networks support all common programming languages, and you get a cPanel and the typical email account features you would expect from all hosting accounts.
As you may have assumed, the dedicated hosting pricing is much higher than that of shared hosting. However, it seems like Certified Hosting does a pretty good job of keeping costs manageable for those companies just moving into the dedicated server space.
Dedicated Hosting Features
Some of the things included with most dedicated hosting plans are as follows:
- Multiple Cores and Multiple Threads (Up to around 6 a piece)
- Tons of RAM
- 5 dedicated IPs
- Multiple TB of bandwidth for all plans
- A free cPanel
- Free WHM
- Script installer for things like WordPress
- Site builder (just like the one you get with shared hosting)
- Solid support
- A wonderful script library
- Rebootless upgrades
- Access to Linux experts
- Access to a Tier 1 network.
As for the reseller hosting, this enables you to white label Certified Hosting products.
Reseller Hosting Features
Some of the features you get with reseller plans include:
- Lots of storage and bandwidth
- Unlimited accounts.
- Unlimited domains
- Email accounts
- Client management and billing tools
- Web templates and video tutorials
- cPanel for all clients
- Private name servers based on your domain
- The option to have Certified Hosting transfer over new customers to the servers.
Domains generally cost around $10 per month. However, they can get pretty expensive if you insist on buying one that’s already owned or popular.
After getting the domain, you next select your hosting plan.
cPanel Control Panel
We’ve talked about the cPanel a bit, but it’s one of the more versions you can find. They don’t even offer an advanced cPanel if you opt for the dedicated hosting. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for some companies. In fact, some less technical organizations might find this rather refreshing.
The signup and setup processes are fairly straightforward. They don’t try to loop you into too many upsells, and the Certified Hosting company has some awesome tools for installing CMSs and other apps with one click. So, if you’d like to get started with WordPress, you don’t have to be all that technically inclined.
They even have an integration with Magento if you’d like to open your own e-commerce store. Keep in mind this is a more advanced open-source e-commerce solution: novices are most likely going to find WordPress paired with WooCommerce an easier route.
There are options for unlimited MySQL databases. In addition, Certified Hosting supports CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, and SSL.
Along with password protected directories, custom error pages, a web-based file manager, and instant shopping carts, you have plenty of options organized in the simple cPanel.
What Makes Certified Hosting Different?
The customer support is the best part of Certified Hosting. They have many different ways for you to contact them and the team is available 24/7.
Certified Hosting also has reasonable pricing, but we can’t argue that it’s much better than the competition. However, Certified Hosting only has shared and dedicated hosting. Most of the time you see a VPS in the mix as well.
So, that’s another reason to go with Certified Hosting: if you’re interested in cheaper dedicated hosting.
Customer Service and Support
They do seem to treat their customers right by providing a full account for each user, while clearly showing where to contact them in terms of phone support and the live chat button.
A ticket system is available, and you can always log in to check out your billing situation. We enjoy that they have a complete knowledgebase for those who would like to complete their own research. Also, Certified Hosting offers a nice selection of video tutorials for the visual learners out there.
Along with a blog, forums, and incentives, you can’t go wrong with the Certified Hosting support.
Finally, this company has a certified protection guarantee with secure hosting and impressive anti-attack software. They offer weekly backups, but they clearly state that you shouldn’t always rely on them. This might be cause for concern, but you can generally set up a nice backup system for yourself this way.
How to Get the Lowest Price
The cheapest pricing you can find through Certified Hosting is available when you opt for a multiple year prepaid plans. This is unfortunate for those companies that want to test the waters with hosting, but at least you get that anytime money-back guarantee.
You basically receive the cheapest price when you prepay for up to three years. So you might spend around $3.95 per month if you pay for the three years in advance. This monthly price goes up if you consider anything less (like a one or two year prepays).
There’s a Monthly Payment Option
The good news is that Certified Hosting is a host that offers a one month price. So you don’t have to commit yourself for years if you don’t want to. It seems as if Certified Hosting charges a setup fee for a one month plan, but that’s not a huge issue if you really need the month-to-month pricing option.
Is There a Money-Back Guarantee?
Certified Hosting has been in business a while and with their longevity have been able to structure their hosting around lower prices while still offering excellent features.
There’s an anytime money-back guarantee. You read that right.
Is Certified Hosting Right for You?
Here’s how we’re breaking down this question:
Consider Certified Hosting If:
- You’d like a simple cPanel, regardless of the hosting plan you go with.
- You’d like reasonably priced dedicated hosting.
- You like the idea of incredible support through multiple mediums.
- You need multiple options in terms of prepayment.
- You like the idea of an anytime money back guarantee.
Don’t Consider Certified Hosting If:
- You’re looking for VPS hosting.
- You need semi-dedicated hosting.
The individual needs of your site or business may differ, of course. But hopefully, this review gives you a solid understanding of what Certified Hosting offers and what sets them apart from the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Here are some of the most common Q&As regarding Certified Hosting.
Which types of hosting are available through Certified Hosting?
Certified Hosting offers a wide variety of hosting options to suit almost all tastes. Smaller firms may prefer the shared hosting packages. Meanwhile, growing businesses may find greater value in the VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated server packages. The company also offers reseller hosting packages to end users.
Does Certified Hosting offer customer support options?
Yes, thankfully Certified Hostings has customer support staff available around the clock in case something goes wrong with your website. They can be reached through the online live chat function or alternatively through the traditional telephone service. In addition to this, the hosting provider also includes a knowledge base of technical information to help solve any queries you may have.
Does Certified Hosting support WordPress hosting?
If you opt to use the WordPress CMS (content management system) for your website then look no further than Certified Hosting. While the hosting company doesn’t offer specific WordPress hosting packages, you can install the WordPress script using a one-click install function.