Hawk Host

If you have a new business or blog and don’t mind paying a few bucks extra to lock in a month-to-month web hosting plan, Hawk Host might be worth checking out.

Not having to prepay for two or three years to get the best deal is a relief to many small business owners who want to mitigate risk. Beyond that, Hawk Host has a nice system ready for its users. The shared hosting interface is simple enough to understand, it offers an integrated website builder, there’s ample customer support, and VPS and semi-dedicated plans are also available. Keep reading to learn more about whether or not Hawk Host is the right choice for you.

What Can You Expect From Hawk Host?

Hawk Host primarily sells shared hosting, meaning you pay a monthly or yearly fee to share a portion of a server. This often causes slower speeds and less power compared to that of a VPS or dedicated server, but the majority of websites using shared hosting are small enough that they don’t experience ill effects.

Every hosting plan from Hawk Host has free migration support. So if you have a website on another host switching shouldn’t be an issue.

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Each plan is optimized and ready to work on the CloudFlarecontent delivery network. This integration ensures that you don’t have any problems with the configuration and that you can simply activate the CDN from the convenience of the Hawk Host control panel. After that, you should start seeing better performance on all of your sites.

Hawk Host also offers support for multiple content management systems including WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Joomla. You receive a wide variety of system-specific tools, along with the convenience of one-click installation.

As for support, you get a solid deal with technical support. Plus, there’s a 99.99% uptime guarantee.

Some of the other cool features packed in with all shared hosting plans include the following:

  • At least 10,000 MB of space (goes up to unlimited)
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited domains
  • Unlimited databases
  • A free Memcached server
  • A free SSL certificate.

What’s also interesting is that Hawk Host lets you choose the location of the server that your website is hosted on. So if you’re located in the Los Angeles area, selecting a local server means end users in that area can access your site a little quicker.

Control Panels

Hawk Host includes the popular cPanel Control Panel with all its shared hosting packages, but where the company shines is its inclusion of a control panel with the VPS hosting packages (many vendors expect VPS users to manage their servers from the command line and charge for a GUI control panel).

This means that you can easily do things like managing your account, view your resource usage, upload files, service your databases, and so on using a GUI interface, even as you move up into more premium-level hosting. As a small business owner, this is the time that you can save and use for other things.

Good Pricing

To start, it’s worth pointing out that Hawk Host has a 30-day money back guarantee. This is particularly useful for those who signed up for a multi-year account since you can still get all of that money returned.

As for the shared hosting plans, you can choose from the following feature sets:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Databases and domains
  • 10,000 MB of space
  • Free migrations
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Memcached servers

Hawk Host’s entry-level plan offers 10,000 MB of storage space, while its premium offering gets you unlimited disk storage.

If you are interested in displaying a lot of high-resolution product images or video clips that demonstrate key features of your products, you can relax, knowing that you will have the space you need for your files.

As you can see, the only reason you would go for the higher tier is if you’re in need of unlimited space. This can come in handy for sites with higher amounts of traffic or with lots of media involved.

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Keep in mind, however, that Hawk Host often offers a promotional price for yearly plans. Hawk Host also has a monthly option.

Email

Purchases of Hawk Host hosting plans come with email functionality at no additional charge. You can create an unlimited number of email accounts, set up an unlimited number of forwarding rules, and receive an unlimited number of emails.

You can also access your email anywhere using the web-based interface, and Hawk Host helps keep your inbox clean with its spam protection services.

Other Expenses to Think About

Although the majority of additional expenses are completely optional, we want to explore what you have to choose from.

Starting out, Hawk Host provides a domain name research and buying tool, meaning you can either transfer over a previously-owned domain name or find a brand new one.

New domain names generally cost about $10 per year, but you could end up spending thousands of dollars if the domain name is already owned. In this case, it’s generally recommended to keep searching for suitable domains until you find one that’s reasonably priced.

The free SSL is a huge benefit since many other hosting companies charge for that.

When signing up for your account, you’ll be presented with a few upsells. It all depends on what you’d like for your website.

These upselling products include the following:

  • An AlphaSSL certificate: this allows you to completely secure an e-commerce website, making customer payments secure and providing you with a badge to show that your website is safe.
  • An additional 5 GB of space: you’ll have to pay a little extra for this.
  • An additional 10 GB of space: same as the additional space plan above, but you’ll pay even more money per month. There’s no reason not to simply opt for a better plan.
  • ID Protection: you can hide your personal information from people online. It’s not a huge deal to have your personal information attached to your website, but paying this extra fee will prevent spammers from locating your email address and sending you messages.

Equally Affordable VPS Pricing With Extra Power

A virtual private server (VPS) gives you more hosting power and control over the server you’re running the site on. It’s still a shared server, but you gain access to various features that you would only be able to get with a dedicated server without the hefty cost.

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For example, the VPS plans all have strong control panels along with support for operating systems like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and CentOS.

Some packages you might encounter from the Hawk Host VPS include:

  • Equal share CPU, 1024 MB of memory, an SSD powered environment, 30 GB of space, and 1500 GB of bandwidth
  • Equal share CPU, 2048 MB of memory, an SSD powered environment, 40 GB of space, and 2000 GB of bandwidth
  • Equal share CPU, 4096 MB of memory, an SSD powered environment, 50 GB of space, and 3000 GB of bandwidth.

VPS plans have full root access for ultimate customization, and you do have the option to pay extra per month if you want a more powerful control panel for managing your server.

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Semi-dedicated Server Pricing

Although it’s not advertised that well on the Hawk Host website, the company does have a couple of plans for semi-dedicated hosting. This type of plan is in-between that of a VPS and a dedicated server. Essentially, it provides a server with fewer websites sharing it. It’s more expensive, but your performance levels improve.

You’ll encounter some cool features from semi-dedicated server packages:

  • 20 GB of space, 2 CPUs, and 2 GB of RAM
  • Unlimited space, 2 CPUs, and 2 GB of RAM.

Reseller Accounts

Hawk Host offers three tiers of reseller accounts for those who want to manage multiple websites. In addition to the storage space and bandwidth you need, you can opt for support for varying numbers of websites (currently, you can purchase plans supporting 50, 100, and 200 websites).

You will also get the necessary management tools to handle such a large number of websites and accounts.

What’s the Hawk Host Interface Like?

As we discussed a bit above, the Hawk Host control panel is rather simple to manage for beginners. With it, you can create unlimited MySQL databases, and Hawk Host offers support for Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, and PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1.

Some of the other ways to customize and empower your website include SSH access, memcached, and the LiteSpeed Web Server.

After buying an initial domain, you can set up an unlimited number of add-on domains, parked domains, and subdomains. Domain redirects are also supported, making it easier to send people to the right place.

The Weebly Professional Site Builder is included with every plan from Hawk Host. Although many users might not go with Weebly to build their sites, it’s at least nice to know that Hawk Host has partnered with a reputable, and easy-to-use, site builder. Weebly has some decent e-commerce support as well, so you can pair this with the free SSL to run a complete, secure e-commerce store.

Hawk Host also provides unlimited email accounts and email forwarders, making it easy to configure your company’s emails. This is pretty standard with most hosting companies, but some of them limit the number of email accounts depending on your pricing plan.

The History of Hawk Host

Hawk Host started in 2004 and was originally called Devoted Host. The company has always focused on reasonably priced shared hosting plans, along with additional services such as VPS, semi-dedicated, and reseller hosting.

As a relatively young company, Hawk Host supports a little over 80,000 websites. About 15 people work for Hawk Host, most remotely. With hosting data centers in places like Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, Toronto, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Hong Kong, this is a young company with lots of potential due to its pricing and simplicity.

Datacenters

Hawk Host operates data centers in seven different places. The location of a company’s data server is important since you want your site hosted on a server that is located as close to your primary user base as possible. The closer the two, the faster your files transfer to your visitor. Speed is of the essence when it comes to inpatient consumers.

Is There Anything Particularly Special About Hawk Host?

Hawk Host emphasizes transparency and communication: information on critical issues is shared via its Twitter account and other customer service channels. They also boast of automation technology which automatically fixes common errors that occur in hosting. At the same time, they underscore an emphasis on 24/7 human monitoring of all of their systems.

Simple and straightforward shared hosting plans set Hawk Host apart. Pricing is rather inexpensive, even if you opt for a VPS or semi-dedicated server. Plus, with the option to go month-to-month, Hawk Host gives smaller businesses the flexibility they crave by removing the need to commit to years-long plans from the outset.

Hawk Host Support

Hawk Host customer support is available 24/7, 365 days a year. You can contact support through email or browse the discussion forums to troubleshoot on your own. Active social media accounts, a knowledge base, forums, a help desk, and a server status page more than make up for the lack of a direct phone number to call.

Unfortunately, Hawk Host does not offer live chat support for things like quick questions.

Security

Security is also a part of support. That’s why Hawk Host has everything from DDoS protection to file system protection to an external application firewall. It even has Daily R1Soft backups, keeping you at peace just in case your site goes down or loses any of its data. In short, you get an automated, seven-day rolling snapshot of your site.

You will also get SpamExperts, which prevents spam from ever reaching the email inboxes you create with Hawk Host.

Is Hawk Host the Right Choice for Your Small Business?

This decision will ultimately come down to your business, your needs, and your budget. But generally, it’ll be a suitable choice if you have a small to medium-sized business, require low hosting costs, or need an affordable VPS.

However, companies that require dedicated servers, phone support, or who expect high traffic volume should look elsewhere.

While your situation may differ, the above guidelines should help steer you toward the right decision. And as always, good luck with your next web development project!

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Is Hawk Host right for you? Check out our sister site WhoIsHostingThis.com. In addition to expert reviews, it includes reviews from actual Hawk Host users who can provide information about what it’s really like to host with them.