IX Web Hosting Review
Note: This IXWebHosting review was first written by our web host reviewer Candace Morehouse in 2013. In July 2014, I have added more details (updated pros & cons, uptime review, etc) to it based on my usage experience on a free trial account.
Need a dedicated IP address – but only have a small budget to host your website? Then IXWebHosting just might be the best choice, with sale prices starting at $3.95 per month for a shared hosting account. Take a look at what they offer and what you can expect if you select IX to host your site.
IXWebHosting – Who?
It’s always good to start with an overview of the business itself. Often this can tell you whether or not the hosting company has the necessary experience, knowledge and stability to provide the best service for your needs.
IXWebHosting has been around since 1999, when they started hosting sites on a server located in someone’s living room. That’s a long time to be in business, and the company has since grown to serve 110,000 customers and hosts more than 470,000 websites. Their headquarters building and datacenter are combined in one location, in Columbus, Ohio, USA.
IXWebHosting Plans & Features
IXWebHosting offers three different types of packages: shared hosting, cloud hosting and VPS hosting. Sharing hosting is available in three tiers of service (Expert Hosting plan price based on special promo coupon).
|Shared Hosting||Expert||Business Plus||Unlimited Pro|
Public cloud server hosting is also provided in three levels.
|Guaranteed RAM||1 GB||4 GB||4 GB|
|Data Transfer||300 GB||900 GB||1,500 GB|
|SAN Storage||20 GB||60 GB||150 GB|
With a cloud hosting package, you have a choice of Windows or Linux based operating systems and (thankfully!) a cPanel or Plesk control panel.
And finally, IX offers VPS hosting. With this option, you get to choose a dual core server with your choice of disk space, RAM and bandwidth. These packages start at $54.95 per month with full root access.
All IX’s hosting plans come with unlimited space, bandwidth, domains, subdomains, data transfer and email accounts. All the popular blog platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) are included as a one-click installation and there is also a website creator to help those without a lot of experience or knowledge.
For those who are looking for a control panel they are used to, such as cPanel, Plesk or vDeck, you will be disappointed. IX provides a proprietary control panel with their shared hosting plans and it is somewhat clumsy.
Having had personal experience with the control panel, I can say that it is not at all user-friendly and if you are a beginner with websites, IX makes it difficult to get your blog up and running. CMS must be installed manually in order for your blog to URL to be on the home page level. Yes, it’s a one-click install – if you don’t mind an address of www.example.com/blog. If you prefer your blog to be something more like www.example.com, you have to manually install it (or tweak it from the .htaccess or hard code the WP config file). For newbies, this could be a bit confusing.
Like many other website hosting companies, IX provides support to their customers via a variety of options: phone, online support ticket, email and 24/7 online chat.
The company is proud to say that their reps are trained to provide a “unique and personalized customer support experience.” To that end, each customer is assigned a personal rep when they sign up for IXWebHosting services. That’s a very nice touch.
A lot of companies advertise that they offer American-based support and a native English speaking team so it’s not unusual that IX does the same. Their reps work right alongside other company employees, which has to be more effective than outsourcing customer service.
My Personal Opinion and Usage Experience
Why IXWebHosting is special?
IXWebHosting has been around for more than 15 years. During this one-and-half decades, the company has survived two major economy crashes (dot-com and subprime mortgage crisis) and one big change in hosting business landscape (EIG acquired some of the biggest brands and became a monopoly in hosting industry). As 63% of U.S. IT businesses failed their first five years (and 71% of all businesses failed during their first 10 years), IXWebHosting must be doing something right.
Generous dedicated IP address offer = Good for SEO Hosting
If you dig a little deeper, you’ll see that IXWebHosting comes with several unique features that other web hosts do not offer:
One, the web host provides a dedicated IP address* – at least one – for each hosting account.
Two, they give you a seven-day period during which your account is free. Of course, you do have to provide a credit card number to get your account started, but it won’t be charged until the eighth day and you can cancel any time before then. Outside of this first seven-day period, you can cancel your account anytime within 30 days to receive a full refund of hosting fees.
And three, the web host supports both Windows and Linux hosting- hence your database can be either MySQL or MsSQL.
IXWebHosting Pros vs Cons
I have signed up and used IXWebHosting services twice in the past. In 2012, I bought an IXWebHosting Unlimited Pro account and hosted with them for about 20 days (the account was then cancelled before the 30-day trial period ended). In April 2014, I was invited to try out IX’s hosting service for free and I have been tracking IXWebHosting since then. There are both good and bad experience during my stay at IXWebHosting.
For your easy references, here’s a quick list of the pros and cons.
- Generous dedicated IP offers – Dedicated IP is a big advantage for many!
- Affordable – Great price in relation to features.
- English-speaking customer service reps located onsite – Great feature especially for US customers.
- Reliable server – 99.9% uptime guarantee (see IXWebHosting uptime review below).
- Honest business practice – As mentioned, I bought an account in 2012 and cancelled within the free trial period. IXWebHosting refunded my money the next day with no question asked.
- Control panel – not easy to use.
*Note: Why do you need a dedicated IP address?
When your IP address is shared, it is used for multiple websites. The problem with this configuration is that if one of those website owners does something to get banned from a search engine, your site could be blacklisted, as well. This could really be detrimental to SEO. Another reason you need a dedicated IP address? It’s necessary to set up an ecommerce site, so if you wish to sell products or services online, IX might be a good choice.
IXWebHosting Uptime Review
There are few things more important to a website owner than how often the site is up and available to visitors (as well as being available for you to make updates/changes). The question to ask: how reliable is the website hosting company you are considering? With IX, you are guaranteed that your pages will be available 99.9% of the time over a 12-month period. If the percentage during a single month falls below that, you are eligible for a refund of a full month’s worth of your hosting fees. Apparently all you have to do to request a refund is contact a customer service rep via the online Help Desk.
I took a look online and found that three sites hosted by IX, which had been monitored for the past seven years, didn’t quite enjoy that 99.9 percent uptime. In fact, the overall percentage of uptime was 99.839% (but 100 percent for the past seven days when I checked). Not a huge difference, but enough to perhaps cause problems.
OK, so you may be wondering what IX does to ensure maximum uptime. The good news is that IX owners their own datacenter, which uses Tier 3 providers and n+1 redundancy. This provides an extra data backup source. Being housed in their own datacenter, IX is able to control the environment, the network and the hardware (all of which are located in the same building as the company’s administration, sales and marketing departments). Two heavy duty generators are available to keep servers up and running in the case of a power outage.
As far as security goes, IXWebHosting uses network software that performs constant monitoring, malware discovery and recovery services. A nice feature of the malware service is that if infected files are found in your account, the malicious code is automatically filtered out and the files are corrected.
The dynamic image on your right indicates the uptime record for IXWebHosting for the past 7 days.
IXWebHosting uptime score (based on my test site result)
And the image below is a screen captured from the test site I was tracking during April – July 2014.
Conclusion: Should You Host at IXWebHosting?
The answer is, as always, both yes and no.
In short, IXWebHosting is a very reasonable priced hosting service that comes with exceptional customer service, solid hosting servers, and comprehensive hosting features – not to mention that the number of free dedicated IP in Unlimited Pro (which is a huge bargain).
However, as with any other web hosts, IXWebHosting is not perfect. The biggest issue with IXWebHosting is its control panel – The user interface design is outdated and un-user-friendly; plus, there are so many odd limitations (for example, you can’t auto-install a CMS into your root).
So here’s my verdict – If a dedicated IP address is important to you, you have a limited budget, and you are comfortable with website design/development, then IXWebHosting would be a fine choice. On the other hand, if you are a newbie who just got started then no, I don’t think IXWebHosting is a good choice.
For more details or to order IXWebHosting, visit (link opens in new window): http://www.ixwebhosting.com