Typically when you go to a web host’s website for the first time, their homepage attempts to quickly boast about impressive speed, amazing customer support, or rock-solid uptime.
These value propositions can help nontechnical customers immediately grasp the primary benefit they stand to gain when signing up.
But not HostRocket. Instead, they lead with:
SSD Shared Hosting.
Huh? Interesting approach…
To find out what they’re good at, we purchased and set up a WordPress website on the HostRocket ‘Shared’ plan and been reviewing their performance stats including uptime and speed to put together an unbiased review.
Read on to find out if HostRocket is any good.
General Info & Hosting Overview
Our Verdict: 3.0
|SPEED:||522 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)|
|UPTIME:||99.86% (February 2020 to January 2021)|
|SUPPORT||Ticketing, Knowledge Base|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, Weebly, Drupal, phpBB, OpenCart, etc.|
|FEATURES:||Unlimited Bandwidth, Storage, Websites, and 10GB Email Storage, DirectAdmin Control Panel|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, Reseller VPS, Dedicated, Windows VPS, Linux VPS, Reseller Cloud Hosting|
|SITE TRANSFER||Not Free|
|PRICING:||Starting at $5.99/month|
Pros of Using HostRocket Hosting
HostRocket starts strong, delivering decent customer support and many apps to choose from.
Here’s a quick overview:
1. Decent Loading Time – 522 ms
HostRocket’s speed hasn’t been exactly fast during our last testing periods. For example, their average speed last year was 863 ms and if you dig into the 2018 year data, they took an average of over one second to load. So we weren’t exactly overly optimistic about what to expect.
However, we were positively surprised when HostRocket delivered an average page load time of 522 ms during the last 12 months, finally earning a place in our pros section.
2. Good Support (Yet Limited)
HostRocket only provides customer support through a ticketing system and telephone (no live chat or email).
Initially, we weren’t very happy, as tickets typically take years (in internet speed anyway) to resolve.
But we were pleasantly proved wrong when only 11 minutes later we received an answer. Beyond the swiftness of their reply, it was also a helpful and informed response.
3. You Can Choose Between Two Server Locations
If we had a category for “things that are kind of good, but… meh”, this would win it.
They allow you to choose which data center you’d like to use. In theory, that could be a perk if you’re in one country trying to cater to customers in another country.
The only catch?
They have two data centers in the U.S.; Chicago and New York. Which, if you’re unfamiliar with U.S. geography, aren’t that far apart. Like, less than a two-hour plane ride, close.
In theory, this is a good perk.
In reality, it’s merely OK.
4. Over 250 App Integrations
HostRocket has integrations with over 250 popular applications (like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Zen Cart, Open Cart, and more), which should help you get started a little quicker. This is another small benefit worth mentioning before we move on.
Cons of Using HostRocket Hosting
Despite HostRocket’s good initial start, they faded fast down the stretch. Unfortunately, they hit a few stumbling blocks along the way.
1. Uptime of 99.86% Over Last 12-Months
Industry-standard uptime is 99.93%.
That means you can expect very little downtime (~26 minutes) in one month, which shouldn’t affect your sales or customer support terribly.
HostRocket, however, was able to hit an average of 99.86% of uptime with more than 12 hours of downtime.
Overall, HostRocket’s performance in this category is rather a mix of good and bad – in some months they were able to perform 99.99% and in other months the results were not satisfying at all.
Their Terms of Service page says the following:
“If you feel that your site was not up the guaranteed 99.5% during a given month, please submit a trouble ticket stating your situation and we will review this with you, and credit your account accordingly.”
So at least we got this going for us which is nice.
Last 12-month average uptime:
- January 2021: 99.90%
- December 2020: 99.98%
- November 2020: 99.99%
- October 2020: 99.99%
- September 2020: 99.99%
- August 2020: 99.68%
- July 2020: 99.11%
- June 2020: 99.99%
- May 2020: 99.77%
- April 2020: 99.99%
- March 2020: 99.96%
- February 2020: 99.97%
2. Relatively Expensive Hosting
HostRocket’s cheapest plan starts at a stiff $5.99 per month.
That’s already on the expensive end (especially considering their performance so far).
It gets even worse because you have to sign up for two years and pay upfront to enjoy that (already) inflated rate.
They say you get what you pay for. That holds true for some hosts we’ve reviewed, like A2 Hosting.
But so far, not HostRocket.
3. Still Charge a ‘Setup Fee’ ($29.99!)
Most web hosting companies will happily get your site up and running for free. They’ll help migrate an existing site over or even throw in a free domain name for a year.
HostRocket, unfortunately, is one of the rare few to still charge a ‘setup fee’ of $29.99 if you decide to pay monthly or semi-annually.
4. Expensive Domain Name Registration ($20!)
HostRocket provides one free domain name at signup.
Additional domain names cost around $20 a year, even though the going rate is typically less than HALF of that on other sites.
Nickle and diming at its finest.
HostRocket Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Shared Hosting: Here’s a quick overview of their shared hosting plans:
|Shared Web Hosting Plan|
Please note that this pricing is for their two-year plans.
- Free domain? Yes.
- Ease of Signup: Lengthy checkout process. This can be improved.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Shared hosting accounts cannot use more than 15 percent total bandwidth, 10 percent RAM, 10 percent of a total number of active connections, and 15 percent total disk space of a server.
- Upsells: A few upsells.
- Account Activation: Instant Activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): They offer “Easy Installs” to help you install your favorite apps and CMSs in a few clicks.
Do We Recommend HostRocket?
Yes and no.
They are somewhat average.
When you compare their performance with their hard costs, here’s what you get:
Their support is good, but not that good. Their uptime is simply not good enough.
Their speed has become better, though.
Overall, HostRocket’s “value” is too average compared with the high cost and additional setup fee. You’d be better off using some other host instead.
Very Good Uptime | Easy to Use for Beginners | 24/7 Customer Support
Read Bluehost review
Extremely Affordable | Top 3 Load Time | Multilingual Support
Read Hostinger review
Best Month-to-Month Plan | 97-Day Refund Period | Unlimited Bandwidth
Read DreamHost review
Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)
Have you used HostRocket? Let us know about your experience (good or bad), we’d love to share honest and transparent reviews with our visitors.