New to the world of online business and looking for a host? There are many important factors in choosing a first time web host, but most customers are after these key things: shared hosting, lots of freebies, and simplicity.
There are many hosts that provide these things, and Dot5Hosting is one of them. Dot5Hosting is inexpensive, has a lot of helpful features to suit most websites, and everything is very easy to use. There’s even a Quickstart Wizard to get new users on their feet.
But in an admittedly crowded market of hosting providers, what makes this one stand out? The features it provides, the support it offers, or the helpful addons (like a web builder)? Is Dot5Hosting worth your time, and what makes it unique? Let’s see what makes this host stand out from the crowd.
What Stands Out?
Though there are plenty of shared hosts designed for newer users, Dot5Hosting has quite a few features to help out. Almost everything is tailored to help people who might be a bit clueless about how this whole hosting thing works. It seems especially made for startups beginning their very first projects.
While this means more tech-savvy customers might be better off on a more customizable, self-reliant host, all those folks who have an idea for a website but struggle to get it published have a place to turn to here.
Some of the exceptions to this are using vDeck instead of cPanel for the customer control panel. Most people are familiar with cPanel, so using vDeck instead could result in confusion. It also forces a yearly subscription rather than a month-to-month plan, the latter of which may be better for new companies.
Though those are issues, the bundle of helpful features and a single plan is great for inexperienced users. The CM4all site builder looks easy to use, and the Quickstart Wizard gives clearly outlined steps to get started. It’s cheap, has a helpful user guide and knowledgebase, and the support is designed to help customers new to hosting. And, most importantly, the service comes with a lot of freebies.
Single Plan Hosting
Dot5Hosting runs on a single plan system. You have a choice between a one-year purchase or a discounted two-year one. The lack of on-demand pricing is a downside, and the promotional price will expire by the next year. But even so, it’s still fairly cheap.
Along with the initial purchase, you also have your choice of add-ons ranging from WordPress optimization to backups to G Suite for businesses. All of these are fairly cheap, most priced at under $20 a year.
While charging for backups and security features is still a source of contention, it’s at least extremely affordable. The yearly cost of it looks more like the monthly cost other hosts charge for similar services.
VDeck is used pretty extensively as well, and learning to use it is a fairly useful skill to have. It’s missing features compared to cPanel, but if you’ve never used either, the lack of features shouldn’t be a problem.
But what does it offer? Like many hosts of this caliber, it provides “unlimited everything”. Email accounts, bandwidth, space, and domains (within reasonable limits, of course). It comes with a free domain (it’s not clear if it’s free forever or renews), and a website builder to get you started, along with blogging and forum tools for interactivity. It’s a great package to open up your first website with little to no prior experience.
Helping Build Your Website
Dot5Hosting does a lot to help get your company started. You get hosting, a domain, and a site builder all in one bundle. Along with that comes ad credits to publicize your brand, and secure email servers with a browser-based manager. But the main focus is the site builder, as a great design is just as important as the underlying hosting supporting it.
CM4all’s sites are responsive — extremely important for most websites, especially ecommerce stores — and there are hundreds of widgets to add on from a continually growing network. The sites built are simple yet professional.
With a lot of other hosts, you’ll often have to go through other avenues to get a domain, SEO tools, and a site builder. Luckily, they’re all in one place here, so there’s no need to jump through hoops or pay for services with different companies. Just get everything set up in one place, and you’re good to go.
Dot5Hosting comes e-commerce ready, but not in a comprehensive way. It comes with a few nice ad credits and a free YellowPages listing, but beyond that, things get messy.
It’s integrated with ShopSite, which seems like a decent enough platform. But the free plan has a fifteen product limit, which is pretty limiting even for a basic plan. And unlike the other add-ons, this one doesn’t come cheap. If you’re running an e-commerce store that sells any sizable number of products, you’ll be on the line for quite a bit of money.
There’s also SubmitNet, the company’s SEO tools. This tool is expensive as well, and though it’s advertised as free, the plan page doesn’t include a basic plan for non-paying users.
But it does give you access to osCommerce and Agora shopping carts, a lot of self-help articles to get you started, and support for most popular scripting and coding languages.
But some users may be better off going for a host that gives away more e-commerce-related features for free, or has stronger integration with multiple shopping platforms. Dot5Hosting is a more generalized platform intended for a wider range of sites.
A Small Complaint
Not to turn this review negative — Dot5Hosting is a decent choice — but there is one feature that deserves to be pointed out: the pricing model. Promotional prices are one thing, but as long as the customer understands what they’re getting into, there’s little issue with it. And this mid-range shared hosting is priced fairly, even at its renewal rate.
That’s not the issue. While many hosts provide discounts for purchasing long-term plans, it’s another problem entirely when you force customers to buy in bulk. Your only choice is a one- or two-year plan. No month-to-month and only a 30-day guarantee to insure you.
Besides the fact that this could drive away some potential customers, it’s also not viable for many startups. Some companies are experimenting with a new product/site, and if it doesn’t take off, they may move on to something else. Or perhaps the owner may underestimate the costs of running an online business and decide to shut down. There are many reasons a startup company could end sooner than expected. Month-to-month payments encourage people to test the waters for a few months and see if a business will take off.
But with only yearly plans, this overly restrictive setup can end up being a pretty big downside, and a plan unsuitable for many. The company is upfront about this you’ll realize pretty quickly that there are only these two options. But it’s just something to keep in mind before you go to checkout.
Great for Newer Users
While there are some issues here, many are forgivable. This host isn’t going to impress you by offering hundreds of features, but its helpfulness to inexperienced customers stands out. The perks it provides are quite nice, too. This is a serviceable host that will do fine for many people.
If you’re a startup, a small business, or are new to the online realm and need a helping hand, Dot5Hosting is a great one to look at. There are plenty of hosts meant to help newer users, so examine all your options, but certainly, put this one on the list of potential candidates.
Whether you have no clue what you’re doing or you’ve been through the hosting song and dance before, this service provides plenty of helpful articles, decent e-commerce features, and a lot of great free stuff to take worrying about bandwidth or domain limits off your mind. There are some downsides, of course, but for a first-time host, Dot5 is a quality option.
Is your head spinning with all the talk of server processors and bandwidth limits? Check out our sister site, WhoIsHostingThis.com. There you’ll find both answers to frequently asked questions and reviews of actual Dot5Hosting customers, who can give you insight into what it’s actually like to host with them.