eHost is a web hosting brand owned by Endurance International. They offer shared Linux hosting (what nearly all starter website owners need) in the form of single unlimited plan. They have been around for a while, but were only recently relaunched by their parent company.
Their datacenter is located in Houston, TX within (what appears to be) the same facilities as their sister brand HostGator. Like most shared hosting companies, eHost also provides email, a website builder, and various complementary services to web hosting.
I’ve had several readers email to ask my opinion about eHost, so I decided to give them a shot in my recent shopping tour of entry-level web hosts.
Here’s my eHost Hosting review – structured with pros & cons based on my experience as a customer.
Disclosure – I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All opinion and data is based on my experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.
Pros of eHost Hosting
There are a lot of eHost reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach. As I’ve said in other hosting reviews, there is no such thing as a “best” web host. The “best” is the right fit for your project based on your goals, budget, experience & expertise. Here are the pros (advantages) for considering eHost.
Pricing & Plan Structure
eHost’s primary advantage is their pricing. No matter how you look at it – short-term, long-term, total value or simplicity – eHost has solid pricing and plan structure. Here’s their homepage with a special they ran.
Comparing pricing among various hosting companies is notoriously daunting. They all have different plans with different caps, different bonuses and different renewal prices. Figuring out your true “walking out the door” price that will stay the same as long as your website is around can be difficult – even more so if you are comparing multiple providers.
So that I’m not comparing apples to oranges, I break things down into Core hosting features and Bonus hosting features that way you can see exactly what you are paying for and how it compares to other providers.
Core hosting features are the “3 D’s” – domains, databases and disk space. The core purpose of a hosting server is to serve website files when someone types in your domain name.
- Domains are how many domain names you can point to your hosting account. If you want multiple websites, you’ll want to have multiple domains allowed. You’ll also need to look at email addresses per domain – sometimes those are capped as well.
- Databases are how many pieces of website software you can run on your hosting server. A WordPress install requires one database. If you have any apps, Listservs, etc – you’ll need more.
- Disk space is how many files you can put on your server – images, text, PDFs, etc.
- Bonus features are things like website builder software, advertising credits, backend software, etc.
When you break it down – that’s when you can at least compare apples to apples and get a sense of value based on what you need.
eHost makes things simple because they have a single plan with unlimited* everything plus bonuses. This means that they not only compete with other companies’ middle tiers, but also they have an instant advantage against the cheaper tier plans of other companies.
*Aside – “unlimited” in eHost’s case means “unmetered” – ie, they don’t actively track your website’s activity, except in relation to your server’s total resources. Every hosting company has limited resources (even Amazon has crashed before), so it’s all about managing server resources. Either way, eHost does not pre-emptively cap your usage. Instead, they reserve the right to throttle your site if you start to do too much with your server.
With eHost’s single plan – they are cheap both short and long term. For long-term pricing, they renew at $5.98/month for 3-year terms, $7.98/mo for 2-year terms, $9.98/mo for 1-year terms, and $13.98/mo for monthly terms. All of these prices are very competitive against direct competitors like HostGator, Bluehost (both sister brands), GoDaddy and Web Hosting Hub.
For short-term pricing, eHost has a very aggressive discounting program. They not only run frequent specials (see current one here), they allow you to lock-in the pricing for up to 3 years.
If you have a total budget of $100, you could technically lock-in up to 3 years of hosting with eHost instead of the typical 1 to 2 years with other starter hosting companies.
Related to pricing value is eHost’s actual feature set. They offer Linux servers with industry-standard cPanel as their backend. cPanel is important because it’s extremely common in the web hosting industry with common setups and technical operations. Any problem that you might have with eHost’s backend is a problem that you can easily solve by Googling and/or turning to eHost’s support team.
eHost has one-click installs of common open-source software like WordPress, Drupal, etc. They have unlimited access to email tools, FTP and MySQL in addition to more geeky functions like Cron jobs, etc.
eHost’s feature set is everything you’d need for a starter website on a shared server. They also allocate good memory to applications (ie, WordPress). It’s a solid pro for them.
Clean Backend & Onboarding
Solid features do not do any good if you can’t find them. Some hosting companies clutter up their backend with ads and bad design.
eHost is not immune to the ads – the top section of their cPanel is “upgrades” – but for the most part, eHost has clean, efficient backend design. Even their checkout process is clearer and more transparent than most hosting companies.
eHost has a few quirks in their backend, but they take care of them with welcome emails and “sorting screens.” For example, when you are signing up, you are presented with a giant screen asking if you are using the Website Builder product or want cPanel hosting (for WordPress, etc). The button you click determines the next screen you see.
eHost does not put their server DNS information* on the backend. You have to find out based on your server name.
*Aside – if your domain is registered elsewhere like NameCheap or GoDaddy, you’ll need DNS information to “point” your domain to your new hosting account.
They also sent a helpful welcome email with a link to the DNS server tool so that I could enter them over at my domain name registrar.
Here’s a screenshot of eHost’s cPanel backend.
Like their features, it’s less about what they do and more about what they do not do. It’s clean, simple and not too daunting.
Cons of eHost Hosting
Like any web host, eHost has disadvantages. There are plenty of eHost complaints online – some are valid, and some aren’t. Either way, here are the cons that I found while using eHost for hosting.
Speed & Performance
The job of a hosting server is to serve up your website whenever someone types in your domain name.
But that definition is missing a key adverb – “quickly.” You want your hosting company to serve your website quickly.
Like customer support, judging speed on a shared hosting server is tricky. There are a lot of tradeoffs network engineers have to make (ie, how many websites to place on a server). There are dozens to thousands of optimizations they can make to speed up hosted websites. And that’s even before all the things a website owner can do to speed up a website.
But to get a ballpark metric, you can look at Time To First Byte (TTFB). It’s a measurement of how quickly a server responds after getting a request. TTFB is also important because it’s a bottleneck. You can’t do anything to speed up your site unless the server is responding quickly.
So how does eHost’s TTFB look? Alright.
If you are running a small site, their TTFB won’t be enough to notice. If you are running a site with a mostly mobile audience and lots of imagery, it’ll be a problem.
I’ll put speed and performance in the disadvantage column.
Upsells & Messaging
Upsells can be a good thing. If you have the budget, they provide options to improve your purchase. They also keep the base product price down for everyone else.
eHost does pretty good avoiding interrupting upsells. They aren’t annoying and are mostly limited to the top section of your account and confirmation screens.
What I really don’t like are the upsells themselves and eHost’s messaging.
It’s one thing to offer products that actually help people. It’s another to offer products that may actually hurt them. And when you are literally selling Twitter followers and links in spammy directories…that is really not cool.
If you want to take advantage of eHost’s pricing and ignore the upsells – you can do that. But I put this fact in the cons because I worry that it says something about eHost’s underlying corporate culture – “let’s sell anything to our clients to increase lifetime customer value.”
You can take this disadvantage however you want – but it’s something that eHost does.
No Upgrade Path
eHost’s focus on small and starter websites is great on one hand, but on the other hand, it can also be limiting.
Other hosts like HostGator, Bluehost and InMotion are all full-service hosting companies. They have a solution no matter how much traffic your site needs to handle. When I started a project on HostGator’s shared hosting, I was able to move it up to a VPS pretty easily when it took off. Same with my websites on InMotion.
If you have a site that you want to grow rapidly, eHost’s sole focus on shared hosting can be a disadvantage. If you have a small site with consistent traffic, maybe not. Either way, it’s something to consider.
Like I’ve said in other hosting reviews, judging customer service on an individual level is impossible. You simply can’t get away from anecdotes. You never know if your awful phone call was a one-off or an everyday occurrence.
You also never know if your wonderful chat session was with the company’s only rockstar employee – or if the whole team is really that good.
This is especially true with eHost. They are a newly relaunched brand. You don’t really know if their “2 minute wait time” is because they are still growing customers or if that’s really their culture.
So here’s how I look at customer support –
- How many support channels do they have (accessibility)?
- How much do they invest in DIY support?
I’m basically trying to figure out if the company views support as a cost, an upsell opportunity or an investment.
Despite being a new company, eHost seems to be pretty good with customer support. They have support across email (24/7), chat (24/7), support tickets, phone and a knowledgebase. They assign an account rep to every account.
They have an well-designed (if not very extensive) knowledgebase for DIY support. The only potential weak spot would be support expertise & wait times. Even though my interactions have been fine, I’m not completely sold on how much expertise their reps have compared to independent companies like InMotion, Web Hosting Hub, SiteGround or WP Engine – or even their Endurance sister companies like Bluehost or HostGator.
eHost’s customer support originally landed in the advantage column for me, but after getting reader feedback working with them for a bit longer – I’m not convinced they have a lot of substance behind their customer support design. If you are a super-independent DIY type – then their support is fine, given their pricing. But if you value good support, then I’d said that eHost does not hit that mark compared to their competitors.
New Brand from Large Corporation
eHost is a brand run by a giant holding company called Endurance International. That is not inherently a bad thing. Large corporations have the resources, capital and wherewithal to make stuff happen (see Google, Apple, etc).
They can also be cost-cutting, impersonal capital maximizing machines. I am personally fine with Endurance International. I have projects with HostGator – and I think they do well with that brand (given its focus on starter sites).
However, I’ve also written about how they dramatically restructured Bluehost’s pricing for the worse. They’ve also pretty much abandoned their Justhost and iPage brands. They are giving eHost plenty of attention now. But I also have no idea when or if eHost’s product will get re-structured.
Like the previous section, this disadvantage can also be seen as an advantage depending on your view. For a long-term project though, I consider it a disadvantage. If you are into independent companies, I use InMotion Hosting for this website and their starter website brand, Web Hosting Hub, for other sites. I’ve also reviewed SiteGround before here.
But – this starts to move into comparisons, so let’s look at eHost compared directly to the most well-known providers (or skip to the conclusion here).
Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how eHost compares directly to each.
eHost vs. GoDaddy
GoDaddy is the brand name in the hosting industry. Between their TV ads, other offline ads, and long history they’re the most recognized brand in the industry. Despite much improvement since 2013, GoDaddy still shares many of the same pros & cons of eHost. However, eHost does have better overall value with their pricing. They also have better performance. I’d go with eHost over GoDaddy.
eHost vs. Bluehost
eHost and Bluehost are sister brands owned by Endurance International, though they have very different plans and market focus. Bluehost is a more full-service hosting provider. eHost is completely focused on small, beginner sites. And for those sites, eHost offers a better deal than Bluehost. You can read more about Bluehost’s changes here. Or sign up for eHost here…
eHost vs. HostGator
Like Bluehost, HostGator is a very well-known brand in the hosting industry. They are also owned by Endurance International, which makes them another sister brand to eHost. HostGator and eHost appear to even share the same datacenter. Both brands are great for starter websites. HostGator offers an upgrade path if you end up growing. I’d just pick whichever one has a better pricing special at the time of your purchase. See eHost’s current deal here. See HostGator’s current deal here.
eHost vs. iPage
eHost’s last sister brand that I’ll mention is iPage. I reviewed them here – and they didn’t turn out too well. iPage is fine and is very similar to eHost in some ways, but unlike eHost, they appear to be a brand that Endurance forgot about instead of receiving active investment. I’d choose eHost over iPage.
eHost vs. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is one of the largest and fastest growing independent (ie, owned by employees not a large corporate holding company) hosting companies. This site uses a VPS server with InMotion. They are going to be a bit more expensive than eHost. However, they have better customer support and better performance. If you are going for the cheapest good option possible, go with eHost. Otherwise, look at InMotion here.
Side note about InMotion – they also own a starter hosting brand called Web Hosting Hub that offers better pricing than InMotion with great performance. They compete head to head with eHost. They’re a bit more expensive, but also make an excellent starter hosting company if you want an independent hosting company. You can check out Web Hosting Hub here…
Conclusion & Next Steps
Overall, I found eHost hosting to be a solid option for what they are selling. If you have a small website, they’ll do just fine. Their deep discounts for the first term are interesting and competitive. If you are fine ignoring the upsells and only need something affordable for a small site or two, go check out eHost’s current deal here…
If you are looking for an independent shared hosting company with almost as good pricing, better performance, and customer support, and don’t mind paying annually then I’d recommend checking out Web Hosting Hub here.