Awardspace Hosting Reviews
Offering a range of solutions, from completely free hosting to affordable VPS options, Awardspace.com makes it easy to create and grow your website. Overall, they’re a solid option for those just getting started, but advanced hosting users might feel slightly underwhelmed with the included resources and features.
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
Awardspace.com offers lower than average hosting prices that also deliver slightly fewer features than other, more expensive hosting options. Basic shared hosting gives you two domains and two databases, while the max pack plus will give you unlimited domains, databases, and storage. The customer service and security features are fairly limited on all plans. It’s a good hosting service to get things running for low cost, but you’ll find some limitations throughout.
The basic shared hosting plan comes with two domains, which can be nice if you need to build two different websites on a single plan. Keep in mind that you’ll only be getting 50MB over two databases, though, so storage is extremely limited. If you’re going to build anything with more complex graphics packages or bigger files, that’s not going to be enough storage. However, it’s more than enough for basic sites, such as a business homepage, small blog, or portfolio with minimal images/video.
The plan also comes with up to 20 FTP accounts, which is plenty of access for a small team. Other developer tools are also limited to this plan, such as SSH access or Crontab support.
In addition, email features on this plan are fairly standard, providing more than enough accounts (up to 1,000) and SPAM protection via SpamAssassin to keep your mail secure. Just don’t expect to create any mailing lists with the basic plan. In short, mailing lists are useful ways to send an email in bulk to multiple addresses and are useful for business or eCommerce sites.
All plans also come with access to Awardspace’s Zacky site builder tool, which functions as a drag & drop site builder. Overall, the Awardspaces’ site builder fulfills its goal of offering customers a free, easy to use website builder, requiring no dev support. However, those who have used site builders like WordPress, Wix, or SquareSpace will find Zacky to feel outdated in both its user interface and site templates.
Ultimately, you’ll have limited data and functionality from the basic plan. However, the plan is a good entry point for those simply looking to host a personal blog or a basic small business website.
Web Pro Plus
With Web pro plus, your database size is doubled, increasing to 100MB of data across ten databases. Disk Space and bandwidth are now “unlimited” but (like most hosting providers) the terms of service lays out some limitations for functionality you’ll want to be aware of. To start, using more than 250K inodes (data structures) could result in a warning or suspension.
Moreover, if your site uses more than 20% of the shared CPU or RAM capacity, then you could have your site suspended without warning. You’re limited to 4999MB of usage, 3000MB of email hosting, and 1000MB of databases. Ultimately, this is a non-issue for most site owners and is mostly put in place to stop those from hosting downloading or streaming sites. More developer tools are also made available from this tier, such as SSH Access and Crontab support.
You’ll also get up to 10 domains and 20 subdomains on the Web Pro Plus plan. Overall, it’s a great plan for setting up small blogs and business sites that need more than 50MB storage, or even a small eCommerce operation. The ten domains are helpful if you’re trying to run a few different sites at once. However, most users will hardly make use of this.
Max Pack Plus
The highest-tier plan, max pack plus users will get unlimited domains, unlimited databases, and unlimited storage. It’s a great option for starting multiple smaller sites or even a medium functionality, early-stage eCommerce site. The max pack plus carries the same disk space and bandwidth restrictions as above, so reference the web pro plus plan for that information.
You’ll also have access to the full suite of ASP.Net development tools on this plan, which is a great developer feature that allows you to create a more secure, faster, and scalable website.
The discounted, promotional prices for all three plans are some of the cheapest on the market, with respect to their included resources. If you’re willing to pay for a whole year at once, you’ll be getting a great deal. However, after you’ve paid for the first year, the renewal prices are only a little bit cheaper than most other comparable plans. The basic plan will cost only a couple of dollars for a full year of service–but it jumps up to almost $5 a month after that initial year. Web pro plus is only about $4 a month on promotion but is almost $6 a month afterward. Compared to most of the hosts we review, those after-promotion prices are about average, sometimes a bit higher.
Also, keep in mind that the basic plan doesn’t come with a free domain name, meaning you’ll spend about $15 to $20 extra for your hosting. All of the plans advertise a $0 activation fee. However, most companies don’t charge activation or setup fees as standard.
The refund policy has a bit of fine print around domain names and the Zacky website builder, but is generally inclusive and should allow you to freely test services without committing financially.
Customer support is helpful for new users who are navigating the world of website building and hosting but is also essential for pros who experience technical issues. While customer support for many hosting companies includes live support specialists and community forms, awardspace.com is limited to trouble tickets and phone support.
If you need help with something, you’ll have to log in to your control panel and submit a ticket, which may take a few days to solve. They do, however, advertise that they will contact you within the hour. While it doesn’t mean that your issue will be resolved in an hour, opening the ticket is at least a start.
There’s also no mention of website migration support across plans. Only providing a blog post on how to migrate a WP site. If you’ve been tinkering with WordPress for a while now and have built some stuff you like, make sure that migration won’t be a headache for you.
Additional Features & Benefits
Application-Specific Hosting (WP/Joomla/Opencart)
Awardspace.com also features application-specific hosting packages for applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Opencart. WordPress hosting is fairly standard, and their shared plans that we discussed above are all available with WordPress. But they also house their WordPress sites on specific, WordPress-optimized servers, promising a better performing WP hosting solution.
Awardspace.com has modified and created their own cPanel configuration, which is cleaner and more simple than many other control panels. It’s also customizable. For many website users, there will be some builder features that are useful, and others that you won’t touch. You can make it easy for you and your team to get work done by customizing the cPanel.
The custom control panel also features website statistics, which can give you valuable data about what is connecting with your fans and customers, and what is not. Stats include a graph of traffic over time, error logs, and Webalizer stats. Webalizer stats let you see usage on individual pages and the times, regions, and reports for traffic.
“Free Domain Name for Life”
While awardspace.com proudly tells you that you can have a free domain name for life, it’s important to read the finer print here. Only some of their hosting registration plans, the higher cost ones, come with a free domain name. Additionally, your domain name will only technically remain “free” if you keep it with a hosting company that is paying for registration. So as soon as you want to transfer it, you’ll be paying a different registration service.
Awardspace.com is an economical, effective platform to grow a website from startup to semi-dedicated hosting. Their shared hosting plans have excellent price points for the first year, and average price points after that. The basic plan limits some of your data and speeds, but otherwise offers fairly good end to end service. Ultimately, you’ll get a cheaper site, but plans do lack some essential features such as site migration support, security add-ons, or free CDN access. Customers may also find the overall customer support to be quite limited. If you think that you’re going to need a lot of help to get up and running, you might want to look for a hosting provider with offering support channels.
VPS Cloud Hosting Review
Best for: High Traffic and Fast Growing sites
If you have the resources and know-how to manage your own VPS server, then awardspace.com is worth looking at as a low-cost provider. Customers can choose from several Linux-operating systems to create their fully managed sandbox environment.
Without individually configurable resources and limited plans, it’s not the most scalable or versatile solution. However, it does come with affordability, transparent pricing, and 24/7 customer support. With up to 100 Mbit/s connections, SSD storage, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee – you can feel reassured of a stable and fast server.
Awardspace.com provides three pre-configured packages as part of their VPS service. These go all the way from 2 TB of bandwidth, 1 GB of RAM, and 25 GB of storage to 8 TB of bandwidth, 4 GB of RAM, and 100 GB of storage. Servers run on the industry-standard CPUs with Xen Hypervisor virtualization, and you get from 1 to 4 vCPUs, depending on your plan.
Unfortunately, this is slightly limiting as you can’t scale resources individually, the RAM and storage limits are relatively low, and there are no unlimited options like some other affordable hosts. That being said, awardspace.com is cheaper than most other hosting providers, and their bandwidth cap is extremely high – which might just make up for this.
Awardspace.com’s servers are located in Eastern Europe. This location is pretty central on a global scale and close to many internet backbones. However, it can potentially be far from your target market, especially if you mostly operate in the U.S., for example. This makes it more appropriate for internal operations like test or sandbox environments or even a backup server, but not so much for customer-facing services.
As they provide their own custom control panel, this may restrict compatibility with other third-party hosting applications. They do offer Webmin for free, but this is an open-source product with few features and almost zero support. This is on top of a self-managed sandbox environment, which means you’ll need some know-how on the technical aspects of hosting to set up and use your VPS to its fullest potential.
Awardspace might not provide Windows environments, but you can request one of thirteen other (mostly Linux-based) OSs for your VPS. Another restriction is that you can only have one IP address with no option to add on more. Usually, VPS customers get at least three dedicated IPs: one for the website and two for DNS.
With prices starting at only $10 a month, awardspace.com definitely sits among some of the most affordable VPS hosting out there, especially for cloud VPS hosting. The price doubles with each subsequent tier; however, even the Advanced plan is relatively affordable compared to the competition.
Unlike many other hosts, this amount is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can try it out risk-free. Unfortunately, though, there are no unlimited options, and you have to stick to the predefined packages. Although customizations cost extra anyway, it would still be a nice option to have for many customers.
There are also no discounts for your first term or for longer prepaid contracts. However, awardspace.com is relatively cheap even without any discounts, and it means you’ll know exactly what you will end up paying.
Semi-Dedicated Hosting Review
Best for: High traffic sites, maximum resources & security
- CPU (Cores)
- Disk Storage
- View Product
If you want the stability and performance of a dedicated server without the high price tag, then a semi-dedicated solution might be the answer. Although you are still on a shared server, you’ll be sharing the resources with fewer other subscribers and will have guaranteed access to your portion of them.
This makes it ideal for small-to-medium e-commerce or business websites that need to potentially weather higher traffic spikes and reduce downtime compared to shared hosting customers.
Awardspace.com’s semi-dedicated packages are ideal for running small script-based software solutions like directories, forums, or e-commerce platforms. However, the service isn’t the most scalable or configurable, meaning there will eventually be a limit to how much you can grow.
Still, it’s a straightforward, affordable, and transparent hosting option that provides a good balance between the best of both worlds.
Most importantly, all Awardspace.com’s semi-dedicated servers come with unlimited bandwidth and storage, as well as the ability to host an unlimited number of domains. This is great for growing businesses that want to keep expanding their online presence and visitor numbers. As larger businesses often have multiple domains, you also won’t have any trouble accommodating all of them.
Unlimited traffic is subject to a fair use policy:
awardspace.com reserves the right to suspend and/or terminate any account that due to traffic over-utilization endangers the normal function of the Semi-Dedicated hosting platform.
However, this is the norm for all hosting providers. The good news is that there is no hidden inode limit, so, unlike other hosts, you can have as many individual files as you want. Still, if you want to support many users doing database-heavy operations, you might run into trouble with the hourly MySQL query limits (between 500,000 and 1,000,000), especially during traffic spikes.
What should really attract you as a semi-dedicated customer is the higher resource availability, particularly to CPU and RAM. Depending on your plan, you can use up to 20%, 35%, or 50% of the 2.4 GHz CPU. You can also use 20% of 4 GB, 35% of 8 GB, or 50% of 16 GB of RAM.
That means you’ll max out at around 8 GB of RAM. While that’s nowhere near the power of a VPS or dedicated server, it should improve on the stability and performance of a shared server.
Unfortunately, you can’t scale your resources beyond this, and awardspace.com doesn’t allow you to configure resources individually. However, this isn’t too common for semi-dedicated hosting. By supporting both MySQL and PostgreSQL, awardspace.com is more versatile than most hosts that only offer the former.
In terms of the setup, you get the same custom control panel as the shared hosting with the Zacky app installer. All of this is underlined by 24/7 customer support, which is an exceptional addition to such affordable hosting. Technical support is mainly offered via their ticketing system while phone and live chat are available for other queries.
Starting at $14.99 per month, awardspace.com is one of the more affordable semi-dedicated hosting providers. Even the top-level plan will only set you back around $35.99 per month. Unfortunately, there aren’t any first-time or long-term discounts, but at least the pricing is transparent and what-you-see-is-what-you-get.
Awardspace.com’s semi-dedicated hosting still comes with all the freebies you could ask for from a hosting provider. Most hosts only offer a free domain for the first year but awardspace.com gives you one for life. That’s a savings of around $10 to $15 each year. You also get free backups on a weekly basis, although this is fairly standard.
Customers can also try out the semi-dedicated service risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Free Web and Reseller hosting
Newcomers who are hesitant about the hosting process will get a chance to host a basic website for completely free – no ads and with many of the best Awardspace.com features.
Premium SSL Certificates
On top of free shared certificates, Awardspace.com sells premium RapidSSL and GeoTrust certificates for e-commerce and other high-security customers.
30 Day money-back guarantee
You can get try out Awardspace.com’s hosting service worry-free with a month-long no-risk money-back guarantee.
AwardSpace Server Performance
To test AwardSpace’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 AwardSpace’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 Godaady 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.
Although Awardspace.com offers a fairly limited range of security measures, they do a decent job of covering the essentials. Most importantly, their servers are hosted on top-of-the-line infrastructure, meeting the highest industry standards.
Also, shared and semi-dedicated hosting packages come with a free shared SSL certificate, SPAM and virus protection, a firewall, and SpamAssassin. Awardspace.com doesn’t specifically mention the proprietary software they use, and although this isn’t too concerning, it’s always reassuring to know exactly what is protecting your data.
No security measures are mentioned at all when it comes to VPS hosting. This is because these are sandbox environments meant for self-sufficient and capable users who will likely prefer setting up their own security ecosystem.
Premium SSL Certificates
On top of the shared SSL certificates made available to shared and semi-dedicated customers, Awardspace.com also offers a range of premium 256-bit encrypted SSL certificates for particular high-security cases. This more affordable RapidSSL and more expensive GeoTrust Premium, Business ID, EV, and Wildcard certificates.
Premium, dedicated SSL certificates are highly recommended for online stores or important business portals. And, it’s more convenient to get your hosting and SSL certificate via the same provider.
24/7/365 Server Monitoring
Awardspace.com claims to have trained technicians on the job 24/7 monitoring their servers and ready to respond to any sign of trouble. Fast response times are critical to prevent downtime for customers and reduce the impact of any failure or intrusion. Combined with their guaranteed low response times for certain customers, this should offer some peace of mind.
Awardspace.com operates a high-quality infrastructure that adheres to the highest industry standards. For example, they are both ISO:9001 Quality Management System ISO:27001 Information Security System certified. VPS hosting is inherently more secure because of it’s separated nature, so this is a great option for customers who require isolation from possible points of attack.
Customer Support Review
Existing customers will mostly have to make use of Awardspace.com’s ticketing system to get help. While they do guarantee response times of under 1 hour for all but their entry-level customers, most prefer live chat support for the immediacy. Even if a rep replies within the hour, that may only be the start of a long back and forth. That being said, both live chat and phone support are available for sales information.
Luckily, Awardspace.com’s self-help resources aren’t nearly as limited. Throughout their website, they provide numerous handy FAQ’s to help new and existing customers get quick answers to burning questions. In their extensive knowledgebase, you can also find great WordPress and even video tutorials – something not made available by many other hosts.
In a move that’s also pretty unique, Awardspace.com also provides a free ebook to their free hosting customers. This lays out how to get started with hosting and how to make the most of your free hosting account – an awesome resource for first-timers.
AwardSpace does not have a dedicated community forum for customer support and troubleshooting.