Starthost web hosting review
We all like cheap and reliable hosting. You can sometimes find discounted long-term web-hosting on Black Friday or during promotional periods. An excellent source of deals is also Stacksocial where I found this 3 year up to lifetime deal for Starthost web hosting. It's also available on dealmirror at an excellent price for the moment.
With prices ranging from $14,99 (1 site, 3 years) up to $199( unlimited websites, lifetime deal), offers like this might look to good to be true. You should realise there is always a risk in long-term plans like this. If this business goes out of business tomorrow, you will lose forever your sites (except your backup if you're smart). So I think it's always necessary to research the deal and the company behind it before deciding if it's worth the risk.
Starthost.co hosting specifications
When we look at the features of Starthost.co, things look good. A modern and professional infrastructure.
- SSD hosting w/ unlimited storage & bandwidth for your website
- Content Delivery Network makes your website faster & load quickly
- Free SSL certificates make your website safe & secure
- Supports IPv6, which is the new standard for IP addresses
This is cloud hosting, where the host uses multiple servers to balance storage and bandwidth. Instead of using a single server, your website can tap into a larger centralised pool of SSD resources. The primary advantage is that you can quickly scale up resources if there is a spike in traffic, and your host is not paying for unnecessary resources. Even though you get unlimited storage and bandwidth, there is a 'fair usage' clause in the terms of service. Meaning they can end your contract if you're eating up too much resources.
These are the specifications of their unlimited sites, lifetime subscription plan. The other plans (3 years and either 1, 10 or 25 websites) offer the same value, respectively.
- Unlimited Domain Names
- Unlimited Sub-Domains
- Unlimited Email Addresses
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
The Starthost specifications immediately reminded me of a large hosting reseller called 20i. This UK company offers white label solutions for reseller hosting. Their reseller packages start at £34.99 and you can totally rebrand the product to your liking as a reseller. For this price, you can resell unlimited websites, so this explains how it is possible for Starthost.co to offer deals like this.
As part of a hosting company strategy, I see nothing wrong with this practice. 20i offers solid infrastructure, and it's unlikely that a new player in this market would start with building their own server park. I would think this would be a stupid idea. Other players in the market liker Hyper.host do this too.
The only disadvantage for clients is that if Starthost.co stops paying their 20i subscription, your website hosting will immediately stop too. Besides this danger, Stacksocial is also notorious for a no refund police and a terrible reputation in checking the validity of the deal they sell.
No problem, I'll look into that for you.
Who is behind Starthost.co
A simple ICANN lookup reveals that starthost.co was created on January 19th of this year at namecheap. It's registered for a year (let's hope with automatic renewal) and the site is hosted with Digitalocean. There is no info available on who the registrar is. On their website, there is however some company information:
27 Old Gloucester Street
London, WC1N 3AX
Internnic is a UK registered company that offers a range of hosting and internet related products since 2017. The provided address is just a mailbox company service in London. Funily enough, it's been mentioned in the Panama papers, a leaked file with dubious and scetchy corporations used for tax evasion. There are however plenty of well-respected companies that have their address in the same location too. Companies use it in order not to have their personal address linked to their business. Which is common practice and definitely not illegal.
So, my guess here would be that starthost.co is an individual or a group of entrepreneurs that wanted to branch out into this area of hosting. I also contacted their support and talked to Silviu who told me they intend to sell this deal for quite some time on Stacksocial and intend to branch out into some cPanel hosted deals for 1, 3 or 5 years on the same platform. They will host these on DigitalOcean. I was wondering why the Starhost was hosted there and not on 20i, so now I know.
Silviu responded quickly and said I can always ask for support inside my hosting dashboard. Great to know that at least some measure of support is included.
Wordpress installs on Starthost
After redeeming my Stacksocial code, my purchase was marked as 'pending' for a few hours. Probably Starthost manually checks these purchases to make sure they get what is owed to them for Stacksocial. The Cpanel interface is located elsewhere at https://cp.clientpanel.us/. I see there are over 6000 hosted there, so it's probably an aggregate for other hosting businesses they are running, or business is going well since they started selling in July. Anyway, they do seem to know what they are doing.
Once you have your account setup, they generate a dummy website for you as a primary account. You can then point your domain name to their DNS and start installing your Wordpress and start migrating. As I mentioned, support is available, but it might take a bit longer than other more expensive hosting solutions.
If you're in the market for a cheap long-term web hosting deal, Starthost on Stacksocial could be a good option for you. With either 3 year or lifetime plans for 1, 10, 25 or unlimited sites, you get a lot of value here. It's also worth adding a free extension to your browser called Honey which will always give you the best current discount code.
- 3 years, 1 website $14.99
- 3 years, 10 websites $29.99
- 3 years, 1 websites $49.99
- 3 years, unlimited websites $69.99
- Lifetime, 1 website $29.99
- Lifetime, 10 websites $69.99
- Lifetime, 25 website $119.99
- Lifetime, 1 website $199.99
Starthost use a reliable reseller hosting company called 20i that has excellent infrastructure. As long as they keep up with their yearly payments, your sites will remain up and running. This is the Achilles heel of any lifetime deal. It's their lifetime and not yours. So it's always a good idea to look into the background of said enterprise. It this case, London based parent company 'Internnic' looks like a well-established tech company that is branching out into other areas like affordable web hosting.
You can however never be sure, and as always I would suggest only buying what you need right now to limit your exposure if disaster strikes. In that regard, it's always a good bet to have a backup solution like WPVivid in place with regular offsite backup (like dropbox) in place.