Review SummaryUpdated: July 11, 2020
- Relatively low and transparent prices, especially for shared hosting
- A great range of data center locations to choose from
- All-inclusive shared hosting pricing with an unlimited option
- Flexible storage solution with add-ons amounts available
- A great knowledge base and active user forum for DIY problem solving
- Reliable security in the form of SpamExperts and Imunify360
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 99.9% SLA-backed uptime guarantee
- No phone or premium support services
- No Windows hosting options
- Storage limits can be low for entry-level packages.
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
When it comes to HawkHost’s shared hosting, what you see is what you get. HawkHost offers some of the lowest shared hosting prices on the market that won’t dramatically increase after your first term. Furthermore, their plans are highly inclusive with unlimited resources (except for storage on the Primary plan), databases, domains, backups, and all the basics you would expect.
For example, you get the all-powerful cPanel hosting control panel to manage your website and hosting account. With Softaculous, you can install hundreds of web applications with a single click. Both you and your visitors can also expect a secure browsing experience with free SSL encryption via Let’s Encrypt.
While most of HawkHost’s features are relatively standard, they are all accounted for at an attractive price. Shared hosting doesn’t get much easier than this.
HawkHost provides a choice of 7 global data center locations, which is a rarity among affordable shared hosting providers. It’s a great bonus as it will allow you to provide faster and more reliable browsing to visitors around the globe. Options cover most of North America with Dallas, NYC, and Los Angeles. With three data centers to choose from, those with a target market in the U.S.A. will find HawkHost to be extremely flexible. Europe and Asia are also covered with locations in Amsterdam, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
With HawkHost, you get a fairly straightforward choice between two plans. The only difference is that the cheaper option comes with a limit of 10 GB of storage while the other is unlimited. Although most other hosts offer more than this, it’s still more than enough for most personal or small-to-medium business websites as well as smaller online stores. Considering the price, it’s an amount that’s good value for money.
All of HawkHost’s shared hosting also comes with SSD storage, which is faster than standard hard drives offered by most hosts. However, keep in mind that email storage will count towards this 10 GB. So, if you’re planning a lot of email activities, you’ll need to manage your mailbox actively. You can purchase extra disc space at $5/month for 5 GB or $10/month at 10 GB. It’s great whenever a provider offers the flexibility of customizing your plan. However, considering the pricing, it’s probably best to just upgrade your plan to Professional.
Like all other hosts, HawkHost’s unlimited storage is restricted by a fair usage policy. To avoid excessive and unwarranted usage, customers aren’t allowed to use their storage for anything not directly related to their website. Backups of your website or databases are allowed.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can create an unlimited number of databases. Combined with unlimited domains, this means you can host an unlimited number of websites. Many other hosts limit the number of databases to 20 – 25.
HawkHost is one of the lowest-priced shared hosting providers on the market. Not only that, but their pricing is also what-you-see-is-what-you-get. Many other hosts offer too-good-to-be-true discounts on your first term, only to hike up the price by 2x or 3x afterward. With HawkHost, the price you see is what you’ll be paying as long as you’re a customer. Also, you still get discounted rates for longer hosting terms, which is a typical offer from most hosting providers.
For the Primary plan, prices range from $2.99 for 24 months to $4.99 for month-to-month. Similarly, the Professional plan ranges from $7.99 to $9.99. Not all hosts offer the flexibility of month-to-month hosting and most that do charge you extra setup fees or much higher rates – not HawkHost.
HawkHost also stands out among its competitors for its highly inclusive pricing. Except for a few optional extras, you get everything you need for one single price. This includes a free SSL certificate, free website migration support, and free automated daily backups—all of which some hosts make you pay for.
The only thing that isn’t included is a free domain for the first year. This is something that most other hosts offer but will cost you between $10 to $15 extra per year via HawkHost. However, domain ID protection is much cheaper than usual at only $3 a year, which provides a bit of added peace of mind and security, hiding your personal details on domain lookups.
If you’re still not 100% convinced about HawkHost, they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. The best part is, you can take advantage of the guarantee and cancel your account without even having to contact support, all from within your dashboard.
Security & Performance
HawkHost also uses CageFS to enforce a level of separation between user accounts. This will prevent unsafe activities or security breaches on some customers’ accounts to spill over and affect other customers. Again, this is pretty standard, but not a given with just any other host.
What is exceptional about HawkHost on the security front is the Imunify360 security solution running on all their Linux-based servers. This provides further “herd immunity” through an advanced firewall capable of preventing brute force attacks, DoS attacks, or port scans by hackers. It also continuously scans for any malware on the server and quarantines and removes any if found.
To ensure that only you ever have access to your cPanel account, you can also activate 2-factor authentication. You can use Google or a range of mobile authenticators that will prompt you to provide a 6-digit code on the authenticated device whenever trying to log in.
When it comes to hardware, servers run on fast SSD storage devices. If customers struggle with stability or performance, they can also upgrade their RAM, which is very rare for shared hosting.
On a software-level, both Memcache and Redis are utilized. The former is a memory caching tool used to speed up data retrieval from memory. Redis is a robust optimization framework for many types of data and storage, but especially for databases.
LiteSpeed is another feature that will boost your website’s performance and security. It’s a popular web server software for Linux systems that’s up to 900% faster than typical Apache server software. It also comes with a built-in firewall, HTTP request vetting, and even automatically throttles external IPs to not drain a website’s bandwidth. However, because it’s open-source and so powerful, most other hosts also use Litespeed web server software.
With all of these security and performance features, HawkHost is pretty confident about their service. They provide an SLA-backed 99.9% uptime guarantee. For each 0.1% of downtime you experience below 99.9%, you get 10% off of your next billing cycle. That means that if you only experience 1% of downtime (or less than 99% uptime), you won’t pay anything for your next billing cycle. That’s one of the best uptime guarantees you’ll find anywhere.
From the get-go, HawkHost offers free full site migrations, which includes your website, databases, emails, and anything else related to your website. Most, but not all, top hosting companies provide free migrations but few a full-stack service like this.
HawkHost mostly provides customer support via a 24/7/365 ticketing service. While it’s great to have round-the-clock support, we can’t help but wish they offered more channels like most other hosts. Still, their support staff is highly responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable. There also aren’t any premium support services, so although HawkHost provides a good baseline of support, they don’t cater to different customers’ needs.
The upside of this is that HawkHost doesn’t have to outsource their support. This means you can always expect a high level of service from trained, in-house technicians with top communication skills.
There is also an active user forum with thousands of threads where you’ll get advice from both other customers and technicians. The knowledge base also has over 200 topics, which isn’t exhaustive but covers all of the most critical issues. Most articles are broken down into sections and step-by-step instructions, so they are easy to follow.
Interestingly (or, confusingly), HawkHost also offers Cloud hosting with the same pricing, features, and plans as their shared hosting. For those who don’t know, the advantage of hosting on a cloud-based environment is that these are usually more redundant and fault-tolerant than other types of hosting. If one server goes down, your site will still stay up. This is because your site is hosted across any number of physical servers, with resources being distributed as necessary.
For this reason, Cloud hosting is also more scalable and secure than shared hosting environments. Overall, you’ll experience improved stability and uptime in a cloud-based environment. As the price and resources being equal, we’d have to recommend cloud plans over shared.
However, the caveat is that, for now, cloud hosting is only available from New York, Singapore, Dallas, or Los Angeles data centers. So, if your priority is to serve customers in one of the other locations, you might want to stick to shared hosting.
Overall, HawkHost offers a straightforward, robust hosting service at comparatively low prices. They’re an excellent solution for basic static sites or even small eCommerce sites.
What we like the most is that, for a mere $7.99 a month, you can get hosting without any limits on the storage, bandwidth, or number of websites you can host. That said, even the Primary plan with it’s 10 GB limit should be sufficient for the vast majority of shared hosting customers.
What’s more, if you are happy with sticking to the appropriate data centers, your server will be running a highly-available, fault-tolerant cloud environment resulting in higher uptimes and more peace of mind.
Reseller Hosting Review
Best for hosting multiple client sites
Much like their shared hosting products, HawkHost delivers a dependable reselling service that doesn’t fall short in any aspect. All plans come with cPanel and WHM to manage your clients and WHMCS from the mid-tier plan and up to manage billing as well. You’ll be able to resell between 50 and 200 cPanel accounts, more than enough for a small to mid-sized agency.
HawkHost provides a completely white-labeled service, which includes your own custom private name servers so that you won’t appear dependent on HawkHost at all. You’ll also be able to quickly and easily shift your clients over to HawkHost, with free full website migration.
Hawkhost offers the option of Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, and Singapore data centers on their reseller plans. Overall, this is better than most hosts and gives you great coverage, particularly in the U.S. Of course, Cloudflare CDN is also available via cPanel to provide an even broader degree of global coverage if required.
Hardware-wise, you can expect the same quality as their shared hosting, plus some extras. All servers run on fast SSD storage devices with Dual Intel Xeon Processors and a minimum of 32 GB of memory.
Each account is allowed 100 processes at a time, using up to 5MB/sec of I/O processes. Furthermore, Cron jobs are permitted but may not have intervals lower than 1 minute. These types of limitations are relatively standard and help to ensure consistent server uptime.
Both MariaDB and MySQL databases are supported so that you can cater to different customers’ needs. Not just one, but most Ruby, Python, and PHP versions are also supported.
In terms of the amount of storage you get, the limits are somewhat lower than most other reseller products. That being said, you have the flexibility to buy extra storage 5GB for $5, 10GB for $10, or 20GB for $20 (Platinum only).
Considering that an extra $10 investment in storage won’t make you surpass the next tier of pricing, it’s worthwhile if you think you will run short. To make the best decision, you should consider whether you’re more likely to host more sites using less storage or fewer sites using more storage each.
In most cases, the number of cPanel accounts will determine how many customers you can accommodate. With 50, 100, and 200 cPanel accounts, respectively, HawkHost offers more than most other hosts. Even if you resell the maximum number of cPanel accounts, each customer will still have 3GB of storage. That’s still enough for most smaller businesses or online stores, depending on their content.
Of course, with added storage, that picture changes drastically. Just also keep in mind that each cPanel account will be limited to 500,000 inodes. Although this won’t affect you directly, you should put this in your T&Cs to your customers. This limit is also higher than that of most other hosts, which limit inodes to 200,000-250,000 per account.
HawkHost’s limitations regarding bandwidth usage are slightly vague. Your account’s overall usage will be monitored, and “corrective action” will be taken if it’s found to violate HawkHost’s fair use policy, which typically means the removal of services or forced server upgrade. For most customers, though, this shouldn’t be an issue – so long as you’re hosting the type of sites the platform is built for.
HawkHost also allows overselling on their reseller accounts. Let’s say you have a Bronze reseller account with a storage limit of 15GB. With overselling enabled, you can resell ten accounts with 2 GB storage each (20 GB total) or even accounts with unlimited storage to your customers.
This is a good thing for resellers so that they can market their products more attractively and be more flexible in meeting customers’ needs. However, if you are near your reseller account limits, you will need to upgrade your storage/plan or possibly move to a VPS or dedicated server.
As with most other resellers providers, you don’t get a free domain with HawkHost. The pricing is also quite high compared with other providers, especially if you consider the relatively low storage allocations. It’s possible to get cheaper reseller hosting with as much as 50 to 100 GB of storage. However, HawkHost is one of the very few options that offer unlimited bandwidth, which is essential when hosting multiple customers under one account.
In most cases, you would also want WHMCS so that you can easily handle all your billing needs. However, this isn’t provided for free with the Bronze plan, which would cost an extra $18.95. For this reason, we’d recommend the Silver plan as better value-for-money.
Overall, HawkHost’s pricing is slightly above average. However, for some customers, the flexibility of unlimited bandwidth and add-on storage may make it worth it. To top it off, you can still try out the service risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Security & Performance
Resellers will enjoy the same level of security as shared hosting customers. These same benefits will also extend to their customers. First of all, you will get that all-important free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.
It also means that means you get both SpamAssassin and SpamExperts to filter unwanted or potentially malicious emails, CageFS to ensure any breaches or threats remain isolated, and Imunify360. This advanced security suite protects against all kinds of malicious attacks, including bot, DoS, or even port scans. Not to mention Memcache to take care of content caching.
Silver and Platinum members also get a free dedicated IP address. An IP address has a whole range of benefits and is recommended for anyone serious about growing their online business. It allows you to have a dedicated SSL certificate, improve website loading times, and ensures you won’t get blacklisted or flagged because of unscrupulous activities by other hosting customers.
As mentioned, HawkHost doesn’t offer any premium customer support, so resellers will receive the same level of support as shared hosting customers with 24/7/365 availability. However, the fact that you also have Helpdesk and live chat is a massive improvement.
While phone support would’ve been great to deal with any urgent issues, especially from your clients, live chat and Helpdesk does provide a sense of immediacy. As you’ll primarily use live chat or ticket support, it’s comforting to know that response times are usually only a few minutes.
HawkHost’s reseller hosting packages may have its flaws, but it still has many benefits that may make it worth your while. First of all, low storage aside, the actual pricing is still quite affordable.
You also don’t have to worry about bandwidth limits, and you have the option of expanding your storage if necessary. Combined with overselling, resellers will have all the flexibility they need to get the most economic advantage out of their hosting.
Looking at what you get with each package, the Silver plan seems to be the best value-for-money. It’s still pretty cheap but comes with free WHMCS, which is a big bonus.
Cloud VPS Hosting Review
Best for: High Traffic and Fast Growing sites
HawkHost’s Cloud VPS is for customers who need even more resource availability and stability than basic Cloud Web Hosting can provide. Here, you will get your Virtual Private Server with dedicated resources based on your plan.
Starting at 20 GB of storage, 1 GB RAM, 1 CPU core, and 1 TB bandwidth, plans are highly scalable and nearly double with resources with every tier. That’s a good level of scalability you won’t find everywhere.
However, as HawkHost doesn’t offer any premium or managed support services, this is an option for more advanced users. You will need to know the basics of managing your server and have the resources to do so. If that doesn’t sound like you, you should consider having a site manager or developer to take care of it for you.
Just like their Cloud Web Hosting, Cloud VPS customers can choose between HawkHost’s Dallas, New York City, Los Angeles, and Singapore-based data centers. That covers nearly every part of the U.S. but also gives you some global reach in Asia. Even for cloud VPS hosting, it’s more options than you get with most other hosts.
As Cloud VPS customers may have very different server requirements, HawkHost provides a good amount of configuration options. You can opt to have several different Linux-based operating systems installed for you, including CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, or Fedora. With CentOS 7, you can also choose to have cPanel or DirectAdmin installed. However, you will still need to add on the license at extra cost ($12.50 – $32.00 p/month, depending on which cPanel license you go with). Instead of cPanel, you can also go with DirectAdmin, which isn’t as popular but only costs an extra $6 a month.
You can also purchase a LiteSpeed Web Server Web Host Lite license for your environment. This is the de facto web server platform to increase server speeds and even to add a layer of security. If you go through LiteSpeed itself, you will need to pay a once-off fee of $464 with updates costing $79 every subsequent year. However, through HawkHost, this only costs $26 per/month. It may end up costing you more via HawkHost over a two or three-year period, but it will still result in a massive upfront saving.
Like most of their products, HawkHost’s Cloud VPS pricing starts pretty low compared to the market average, with the bottom-tier plan only costing $5 per month. With all plans, you can also choose between a monthly or yearly term with savings of around 17%. As you can see, monthly costs aren’t hiked up, and HawkHost doesn’t charge any setup fees, which is pretty common with other hosts.
However, what you end up paying may look entirely different, depending on your configuration. For example, with cPanel and LiteSpeed, you could spend upward of $43.50 per month. Many other hosts charge more for their Cloud VPS hosting but include one, or both, of these in the price. So, it works out reasonably even in the end.
HawkHost Server Performance
To test HawkHost’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on HawkHost’s shared server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Hawk Host website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
When it comes to security, HawkHost provides everything needed for a solid foundation. They use proprietary software such as Imunify360 and SpamExperts on most of their products to help customers secure their websites and email accounts. As a rule, customers on shared servers are also logically separated using CageFS, making sure that successful malware attacks, hacks, or other issues don’t spread from customer to customer.
Imunify360 is a security tool developed by CloudLinux and deployed on all shared, reseller, and semi-dedicated servers. It consists of an advanced firewall that utilizes herd immunity protocols and artificial intelligence to detect and respond to threats across HawkHost’s servers. It can provide a level of protection against DDoS attacks, bot attacks, malware infections, and port scans by automatically detecting and blocking potential attacks.
While pretty standard for most hosting providers, SmapExperts is one of the top spam prevention tools. It can filter up to 99% of spam from entering your inbox, preventing both unwanted and potentially malicious emails from reaching you. It even provides tools to whitelist or blacklist specific domains, track your email statistics, and ensure that your emails are delivered. Like Imunify, it’s available on all shared, reseller, or semi-dedicated hosting products.
HawkHost also allows customers to secure their accounts with two-factor authentication. When activated, you will receive a 6-digit verification code to your chosen authentication device whenever you sign in. This will ensure that no one else can access your account, even if they somehow get your login details.
Customer Support Review
Unfortunately, HawkHost doesn’t provide the broadest range of support channels. All customers have access to 24/7/365 ticket support, but phone support is lacking across all products. This is something most other hosts offer, even if it is during limited hours. Resellers with their customers to worry about can at least rely on the immediacy of live chat support.
HawkHost provides Helpdesk ticket support for all their customers, regardless of hosting type or package. For shared hosting customers, it’s the only option. However, it’s quite fast for ticket support with replies usually coming in a few minutes. Like all their support channels, the representatives are generally polite, knowledgeable, and thorough in giving answers.
Live Chat Support
Reseller customers also get access to live chat support. This is the preferred method of support for most people. Of course, it’s usually quicker and more responsive than ticket support, but you can expect the same level of care from the support reps. Often, you will get the first reply in under 5 minutes, although it can be immediate if you’re lucky.
Knowledgebase and Forum
Luckily, live support isn’t the only place you can go to solve issues with your hosting. HawkHost runs an active user forum with thousands of threads. Here, you can get help from both other customers as well as HawkHost support staff. It’s also a great place to find problems related to yours that others have already managed to solve. The knowledgebase is also an excellent place to learn about hosting, especially if you’re not so experienced. It’s relatively thorough and includes a ton of step-by-step guides to help you get through everyday tasks.
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