Arvixe is a web hosting brand owned by Endurance International. They offer a full spectrum of hosting services from shared hosting to dedicated servers (even Windows hosting).
They have been around since 2003, and made their name in the mid-2000s with the ability to choose between US and European data centers. They were purchased by Endurance in 2014.
Their datacenter is located in Austin, TX. Like most shared hosting companies, Arvixe also provides email, a website builder, and various complementary services to web hosting with 24 hour support and a 60 day money back guarantee.
You can check out Arvixe’s plans and current pricing here.
I’ve had several readers email to ask my opinion about Arvixe, so I decided to give them a shot in my recent shopping tour of entry-level web hosts.
Here’s my Arvixe 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 Arvixe Hosting
There are a lot of Arvixe 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 Arvixe.
Pricing & Plan Structure
Arvixe’s primary advantage is their pricing. No matter how you look at it – short-term, long-term, total value or simplicity – Arvixe has an affordable pricing and plan structure. In fact, they are almost of the “too cheap to be true” variety as we’ll see in the disadvantages section.
Either way – Arvixe is cheap. But before looking at their plans, here’s a bit of background on hosting industry pricing structure.
Looking at pricing plans across different hosting providers can be confusing to say the least.
They are all selling the same thing – a home for your website – but they all have different plans with different caps, different bonuses and different renewal prices. Figuring out their true value requires a breakdown into different parts.
To compare “apples to apples”, I break things down into Core hosting features and Bonus hosting features so that 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.
Other features could be anything from built-in website builder software to advertising credits to backend software, etc.
When you break it down, you can at least compare apples to apples and get a sense of value based on what you need.
Arvixe makes things simple because they have 2 plans. The only difference is how many domains you can connect to your account.
*Aside – Arvixe offers both Windows and Linux hosting. They refer to the operating system on the server. Unless you have a specific reason to use Windows hosting, you need Linux hosting. It’s the most common and most versatile hosting operating system. It’s the the kind that most every common website software runs on including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. For this (and really all) reviews, I’m looking at Linux hosting.
With Arvixe’s two plans – they are cheap both short and long term. It’s $4/mo for a plan that allows 6 domains, and $7/mo for unlimited domains – both of which are a bit more expensive if you sign up for a shorter period like a month.
Arvixe does not appear to do any short term discounts (other than a few 10% coupons – look for “coupons” in the bottom menu), which is understandable since their normal pricing is competitive with most entry level host’s introductory pricing.
For comparison, HostGator’s cheapest (1 domain) plan’s long-term price is $6.95/mo. Web Hosting Hub’s cheapest long-term price is $8.99/mo and even GoDaddy is $6.99/mo after their introductory pricing period.
If you have a very tight budget and want long-term hosting for less than $50/year – Arvixe has that advantage.
Clean Backend & Installations
When you sign up for hosting, you usually get access to an account dashboard to manage your plans, products and any add-ons. You’ll also get access to your actual server’s backend where you can install software and get server information for whatever you need it for.
And usually your server’s backend will offer a range of auto-installers that will install common software like WordPress for you.
Every hosting company approaches each of these three areas differently. And the backends of hosting companies can vary widely.
Most have a custom account area – and is usually straightforward. For the server backend, most companies use cPanel – the industry standard server backend. Some, like 1&1 or Dreamhost offer a customized server backend (for better or worse).
For software installers, some offer straightforward ones; some pack it full of upsells and ads. Some are better or worse than others.
Compared to other shared hosting providers, all three backend / account areas are refreshingly clean and uncluttered. They don’t do a lot for “onboarding” or new user help. But they also keep things clean and simple.
Here’s their account backend –
Here’s their cPanel backend –
Here’s their WordPress installer –
Here’s the WordPress install (note that it’s default with no addons) –
In every case, things are clean and simple – even in areas where the industry and their sister companies are moving to ads & upsells like the WordPress installer. It’s a solid advantage for Arvixe.
Miscellaneous Good Stuff
Other than the big advantages of clean backends and cheap pricing, Arvixe doesn’t have any other big pros. But they do have a couple smaller pros that aren’t big deals by themselves, but are worth pointing out.
60-day money back guarantee.
Most hosts are (justifiably) wary of running scripts and automated software. They don’t want a single customer using as many resources as several other combined. While Arvixe does have an abuse policy, they do seem to be fairly liberal about what you can run off your shared server. This point can be a be disadvantage as we’ll see in a moment. But, if that’s what you’re looking for, Arvixe seems to be one to look at.
Choose server location
This point is how Arvixe made their name in the mid-2000s. Between much advanced technology, other more important speed factors, CDNs, and competitors, it’s not as big of a deal now. However, it is useful if you are serving visitors primarily in Europe or America and want a data center so your website files are closer to your main website visitors.
Cons of Arvixe Hosting
Like any web host, Arvixe has disadvantages. Here are the cons that I found while using Arvixe for hosting.
Like I mentioned before, the core job of a web host is to serve website files when someone types in your domain name – but most agree that there’s a missing adverb. It should be “to serve website files quickly.”
To say website speed is important is cliche, especially in the age of mobile. While server speed is not the only factor in overall website speed, it is an important factor.
And critically, it’s also a “bottleneck” factor. In other words, no matter how fast you compress or speed up your website, you can only go as fast as your server can respond.
Measuring server speed and response time is a complicated issue. Only the network engineers at Arvixe can definitively say what’s going on with server speed. However, anyone can measure a ballpark metric of server performance.
It’s called Time To First Byte (TTFB) – and shows how quickly a server delivers the first byte of information after it receives a request.
Here’s how Arvixe performed the day I measured it with my website –
Here’s the test a few hours later with a different tool –
Here’s how Web Hosting Hub (a direct entry-level competitor performed that same hour) –
As you can see – Arvixe is a bit weak in performance time.
Now, TTFB is best measured as a trend. But, simply looking at Arvixe’s server information makes it look like they don’t invest in resources as much as competitors.
Overall, I would not buy Arvixe hosting for their performance. And given their “too cheap to be true” pricing, this situation is a probably a situation where you get what you pay for.
Like server performance, customer support is notoriously hard to judge. Usually customer support “ratings” are a collection of anecdotes that are rarely useful or fair.
Instead, I argue that you should look for indicators of whether a company treats customer service as a cost or an investment, in other words, are they trying to keep costs down and maximize profit for the short term or are they trying to develop happy, long-term customers?
The two best indicators I’ve found are availability across a range of support channels and investment in DIY customer support.
Arvixe does poorly on both.
For availability, they have no phone support and a consistently long chat wait time. Again – the problem isn’t necessarily the chat wait time but the long wait combined with the lack of other channels.
They used to have a discussion board, but it no longer functions when I checked it.
As far as DIY customer support resources, they have a very small knowledgebase.
And the help articles that they do have are littered with typos and broken links.
Overall, it seems like Arvixe views support as a cost to be absorbed, which is not ideal for customers.
Brand, Design & Investment
Related to customer support & investment is brand and design investment.
A web host’s web design does not have a direct impact on their products, but when they have problems with underinvestment in other areas – web design can be a confirming indicator.
It’s like a dirty exterior on an apartment. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But – if you start to notice roof leaks and bugs, the dirty exterior can help confirm what you already think.
Arvixe was acquired by a Endurance International (a giant holding corporation) in late 2014. Giant holding corporations can help small companies reinvest in their services, update their web design and services. Endurance has done this with eHost and somewhat with HostGator and Bluehost.
But with Arvixe…not so much. They seem to be in the bucket of forgotten Endurance brands like JustHost and iPage. Arvixe’s design looks like it’s from circa 2006 and with the exception of their simple backend, they seem to be on a route to profit maximization not reinvestment.
If their parent company isn’t investing in them, I wouldn’t invest in them as a long-term customer.
You can tell a lot about a company by their landing pages – web pages dedicated to very specific audiences that they think are a perfect fit for their products.
You can usually find them by clicking through their HTML sitemap in the footer. Either way – who does Arvixe think it’s target customers are?
Outside of the normal, “everyone markets” like ecommerce, WordPress, etc. Script websites aren’t bad at all. Usually they are the handy little utilities you find around the Internet – calculators and such.
But Arvixe seems to target a lot of gray-ish, spammy and very old school type web applications.
Remember when I said in the pros section that Arvixe seems to have a liberal abuse policy? This is where it can come back to being a bad thing.
Running your website on a shared server with a bunch of gray area websites is not a bad thing, but it’s not a good thing either. At best, it can put a strain on your server resources. At worst, it can unnecessarily expose you to an attack or a “bad neighborhood” for IP addresses.
Either way, this disadvantage is only a relative disadvantage to direct competitors. It’s not inherently bad. It’s like deciding which store to buy a Coca-Cola at – the one with lottery ads, cigarette ads and steel bars in the window or the bright, clean branded store with lots of traffic and offers for Coca-Cola products.
Compared to competitors that market directly to businesses and small startup websites, Arvixe feels a bit off.
So how does Arvixe compare directly to their competitors? Here’s how I’d concisely say –
Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how Arvixe compares directly to each. Or skip to the conclusion.
Arvixe vs. GoDaddy
Between their TV ads, other offline ads, and long history GoDaddy is the most recognized brand in the industry. GoDaddy also has a reputation for upsells and poor performance. However, unlike Arvixe, they seem to be improving rather than declining. I’d go with GoDaddy – see their promo here.
Arvixe vs. Bluehost
Arvixe 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 and is Endurance’s marquee brand. I think they are expensive, but I’d definitely go with Bluehost.
Arvixe 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 Arvixe. Like Arvixe, HostGator has very affordable plans for starter websites. Unlike Arvixe, they have pretty good performance and customer support options. I’d go with HostGator.
Arvixe vs. Dreamhost
Dreamhost is one of the oldest and most respected independent brands in the hosting industry. I reviewed them here. They’re a bit expensive, but have solid performance and support. I’d go with Dreamhost over Arvixe any day despite the price consideration.
Arvixe 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 Arvixe. However, they have much better customer support and better performance. InMotion’s cheapest plan is not that much more expensive than Arvixe – and it’d be well worth it. Check out InMotion here…
Side note about InMotion – they also own a starter hosting brand called Web Hosting Hub (review) that offers even better unlimited pricing than InMotion with great performance. They compete head to head with Arvixe. 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 Arvixe hosting to be one of those hosts where you get what you pay for. They are cheap, but their heyday seems to be behind them. They don’t seem to be actively investing in their services. I’d look for alternatives.
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 InMotion Hosting here or (for unlimited plans) Web Hosting Hub here…
If you are looking for a very affordable option with the option to pay monthly, then I’d check out HostGator w/ 45% off discount here…
Arvixe is a hosting provider in Austin, TX started in 2003 providing budget hosting services. Arvixe is a classic you-get-what-you-pay-for provider - they are cheap, but that's really their only selling point.