eHost Review (August 2016)

eHost_logoEhost is a popular web-hosting platform. While the company was founded in 1998, they did not achieve big growth until mid-2015, when they were acquired by Endurance International Group and enjoyed a major renovation and refresh, with many upgrades to their datacenters and hosting features.

Like other platforms, eHost promises its users a reliable and easy way to build and maintain their website.

They offer two different methods of website building:

  • cPanel
  • Website Builder

These two options give users of any skill level to build a website to their satisfaction. But, how does eHost actually stack up against its competition? You can never tell until you actually sign up for the service, which is one of the frustrating parts of website creation. We signed up to see if eHost does what it promises, so you don’t have to.

The Cost

eHost is currently offering a 50 percent discount if you sign up for 36 months (three years) upfront. If you do the math, that comes down to 2.75 a month. While this is the best deal it is only one of the payment options eHost has available for its users.

Figure 1

Their premium rates are broken down into 36, 24, and 12-month contracts. For each contract, you will have to pay the full amount upon signing up for the service. They do have a month-to-month payment option with the first month starting at 6.99. Every month after that will cost 13.98.

The big advantage to eHost, compared to its competitors, is that it offers a free web domain–for life. Most hosts will only give you the first year free and charge you 15 to 20 dollars a year to renew. But, with eHost your domain is yours for life. So, 99 dollars for three years and a free domain seems like a pretty great deal, but does the service reflect the inexpensive cost?

You have the option to pay for your website through Paypal or the credit card of your choice

Creating Your eHost Website

Once you’ve chosen your domain name. You will also have the option of choosing different upgrades for your account. You may have more or less, but I chose the 6.99 option so they offered me quite a few upgrade options. These are optional so if you have the money to purchase them they are right there.

Figure 2

Both have their advantages pending on your web building skills. Once you’ve decided on upgrades, it’s time to actually build your website. eHost offers two options for creating your dream website.

Figure 3

cPanel

cPanel is the control panel you should expect a great web host to offer. If you’re making your very first website, it can appear overwhelming at first. However, that is no worry, as you would not be using it to actually make your website. For that, I recommend WordPress.

cPanel offers a quick and easy to upload your CMS site to eHost. When you’ve selected cPanel as your website creation method, you will have a one-click option to upload any software you want to use to the site. They will also ensure you have the most up-to-date version of said software. Through cPanel, you can integrate WordPress, Drupal, phpBB, and much more into your website.

Website Builder

eHost’s Website builder is the easiest way to make a website, if you have never done it before.

Their Website Builder gives you the ability to drag and drop different objects onto your web page. They offer thousands of templates to choose from. The best part about the templates is that they’re actually contemporary layouts. They are not the outdated templates offered by many of eHost’s competitors. So, your website will look chic and modern no matter what your web building skill level is.

One thing to note: I personally recommend that you stick with a cPanel Hosting account and use WordPress to make your website. I made this comparison table to show you why:

cPanel Hosting Website Builder
Pros
cPanel setup Easy drag and drop website editor
Lots of great features, like FTP Access Build from scratch
User friendly and feature filled control panel No coding skills required
1-click upload to any up to date software you want to use 1000s of free templates
MySQL options Templates are fresh and current
Works well with WordPress and allows you to build complex sites Popular for beginners
Cons
Frustrating for new users Limited compared to WordPress

Even if you choose one, you do have to option to switch to the other. All you need to do is call customer service and tell them you would like to switch to Website Builder or cPanel and they will handle everything for you.

Customer Service

Most hosting companies offer 24/hr customer service. But many of these support calls leave much to be desired.

One of the worst aspects of customer service is that so much of it is outsourced. There’s nothing wrong with this method but it is a little frustrating when you can’t understand the person on the other end of the line and they can’t hear the problem you’re trying to explain.

eHost also offers 24/hr, helpful customer service and actually delivers.

eHost_Support

Their support centers are based in the US and Canada, which means you won’t have to deal with outsourced customer service representatives. They can solve any problem you’re having with your site in a matter of minutes. In fact, I received three emails from their service reps as I was making an account for this review. Granted, these emails are about finishing my order but it’s nice to know they care about you signing up and if you’re having trouble with the process.

However, when I called their support line earlier in the day to ask a few general questions (as one would before signing up for a service) I’m not sure if my phone call was actually transferred. I selected the option to talk to a service representative and then…nothing. I could hear people talking in the background, sort of like if someone called you by accident, but no one actually spoke to me even though I tried to get their attention. I’m not sure if it was just a fluke in their calling system, but it’s something that happened so it should be mentioned.

Benefits of Using eHost

ehost_free_domainThe biggest benefit to signing up for eHost has already been mentioned. eHost offers you a free domain for life. This is its biggest advantage over competitors like HostGator and iPage. These hosts only offer a free domain for the first year. Once the year is over, you will have to pay a fee of 15 to 20 dollars a year to keep your domain. Add that cost to any other renewal costs included in their service.

eHost also offers its users unlimited bandwidth and email addresses. You will also receive 100 dollars in free adword credit as well as Bing and Yahoo credits. This is important to start advertising your web presence and getting traffic heading toward your domain.

eHost makes it easy for you to build your first website with their Website Builder. They offer a thousand different templates for you to choose from. The best part is all of the templates look like they were designed this year, so your website won’t look like it was created in 2005. They also offer the unique ability to search keywords matching what you think will 45-day_money_back_guaranteebest fit your website.

If you end up not liking their service, eHost has a 45-day money back guarantee. This gives you a chance to really play around with what they have to offer and really know if it’s the right choice for you. Other services only offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Disadvantages of eHost

The biggest disadvantage to using eHost is that it works on shared servers only. A shared server means that your website is going to have to share its server with a dozen other sites also hosted by eHost. This isn’t ideal if you’re expecting your site to receive a lot of traffic. However, if you just want to build a website for your small business, this should be a huge issue.

Personal Experience

Since I don’t have a website premade and have no coding experience I chose the Website Builder option. I decided to build an author website for the hypothetical novel I’m writing. Typing “publishing” into the template search engine brought up pages of beautifully designed templates.

Figure 4

Once I selected my template I was taken to the Website Builder, which looks very similar to Microsoft Publisher or another publishing software.

Here is what the default template looked like before I started my creation. As you can see, it comes with the pages premade along with whatever welcome page you want. Over to the left, you will see the options for what you can start adding to your website.

Figure 5

And here is what I managed to do in about two hours–I designed the “book” cover using Canva and Magdeleine (two other great web services if you want to create cool graphics for your website). My design was nothing spectacular. I just wanted to give an example of what you can do in just a couple of hours, even if you have no prior web building experience. It’s a pretty great tool if you want a web page that represents who you are and what you do, whatever your web content may be. The building process was a lot of fun and it really allowed me to create the vision in my head.

Figure 6

My one complaint about the drag-and-drop process was that it has two different “style boxes” for editing objects. There is one that appears right next to the object and another that appears to the side. Personally, I’m not a fan of minor inconveniences and feel as though these two boxes could be mashed together and moved farther out of the way. It just felt like the larger of the boxes took up too much of the screen. But, I can give them the benefit of the doubt because I was working on a 13 inch Macbook Pro screen. It may function better if you are using a large monitor.

ehost-side style boxes

How eHost Stacks Up Against the Competition

eHost is just one hosting service online, so how does it compare against iPage and HostGator–two of the more popular hosting services. Based on the information the websites provide, there are pretty evenly matched. Even so, the biggest advantage eHost has is that your domain is free for life.

eHost iPage HostGator
Cost (Promo) $2.75 - Three years paid upfront $1.99 - Two Years paid upfront $5.95 - Three years paid upfront
Free Domain? Yes - For life Yes - First Year No - 12.98/yr
WordPress Support?
One-click Install
Customer Support Chat, phone, ticket Chat, phone, ticket Chat, phone, ticket
Money Back Guarantee 45 days 30 days 45 days
Learn More eHost iPage HostGator

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization are the three most important words if you have a website. SEO is how you get your page on the front page of Google so more people find your website organically. eHost does offer an assortment of SEO tools, but for the service I signed up for, I couldn’t access them without paying extra. So, if you want to get fully optimized you should get a two or three-year plan or be willing to pay extra.

Final Thoughts

eHost offers a great service for website builders of any skill level. They make it incredibly easy to make a good-looking website in just a few short hours. It really feels like eHost put a lot of thought into making their system as user-friendly as possible. I think the drag-and-drop web building tool is great because there are a lot of people out there who want to build their own websites but don’t think they can because the aren’t “good with technology.”

It’s also a great web hosting option if you’re a writer on a budget and don’t have a lot to spend on a website. Your domain is free for life and you can pay three years up front for the lowest price. But, three years does give you enough time to build an online presence and start making ad revenue.

However, eHost is probably better if you’re building a smaller website that won’t see a lot of traffic in its life. Because it’s on a shared server, heavy traffic would slow down and even crash your web page. If your website begins generating enough traffic, you may want to consider switching to another hosting service. But, doing this would mean your domain is no longer “free for life” and you will have to start paying a renewal fee.

Overall, if you’re looking for a good, easy, and reliable hosting website, eHost is a great choice. They’ve made their interface easy enough for a beginner but with the cPanel experts can build complex websites to meet their needs. eHost is a great starting point for anyone who wants to make a website to promote their online services.

eHost

Free Domain Name for Life, Unlimited Domains, Drag & Drop Site Builder, 45-Day Money Back Guarantee

2.75 5.50

eHost Review (August 2016)
4.7 Total Score

User Rating: 4.65 (1 votes)
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