While it’s not as well-known as other hosting companies, PureHost has been around for quite some time. This hosting provider was one of the first to offer simple hosting options for small business owners. Launched back in 1997, the company has managed to stay somewhat relevant despite the many changes this industry has gone through. Currently, PureHost operates out of Burlington, Massachusetts.
PureHost is part of Endurance International Group, which is a large hosting corporation that owns some of the biggest names in the game. These include heavy-hitters like BlueHost, HostGator, and more.
Despite sharing a parent company, PureHost’s service is vastly different than some of the bigger hosting providers you might be familiar with. How exactly does PureHost compare? In this web hosting review, we’re going to examine the positive and negative aspects of the company’s service so that you can decide for yourself whether or not it’s the solution you’re after.
Pros Of Purehost
With over two decades in the business, PureHost has had plenty of time to get things right. Here are some of the best parts of the company’s hosting service.
1. One Simple Plan Option
One of PureHost’s biggest draws is its simplicity. Unlike other providers that have a wide range of plans to choose from, PureHost only has one. There’s no need to worry about weighing your options between different tiers or figuring out what features you get for each price point. PureHost has eliminated a lot of the confusion that often comes with web hosting, making the service a suitable option for those who don’t have a ton of experience.
The only package that this provider offers is the PureBusiness hosting plan. It’s available with monthly pricing or annual pricing.
More on Purehost pricing below.
2. Free SSL Certificate
Modern Internet users are more aware of their security risks than ever. Thus, having some kind of security feature in place is essential. PureHost includes a free open-sourced SSL certificate with the single hosting solution that’s available. This certificate encrypts the connection between the server and your visitor’s device. It’s not as robust as some of the premium certificates that other companies provide, but it’s better than not having any kind of security in place at all.
Read more on Free SSL certs.
3. Free Domain Name For 1 Year
If you’re looking to save some money as you launch your website, you can take advantage of the free domain name that PureHost throws in. The domain is free for hosting accounts during the first year of service. The provider will cover registration costs so that you don’t have to pay a dime.
This is a pretty common perk that hosting companies offer to get new members to sign up. So, it’s to be expected from a provider that’s been around for more than 20 years. Like other hosting solutions, you will need to pay for renewal fees after your first year of service is over.
4. Complementary E-Mail Services
Email is included with the PureBusiness hosting plan. You get 200 mailboxes and access to a webmail feature for convenience. The email services you get with the plan aren’t the best in the business. But, it’s nice that PureHost offers it. Not all providers include email for free, so it’s a noteworthy perk. With those email accounts, you’re also getting a newsletter manager to help you blast messages to your audience in only a few minutes.
5. Site Building Tools
You can get up and running with PureHost relatively quickly thanks to the included SiteDelux website builder. Access to the builder is free with the hosting package. This is a nice touch, but there are some caveats. We’ll get into some issues we have with the site builder a bit later.
PureHost is also compatible with WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. The service makes it easy to install and manage WordPress from the simple control panel. There’s also an online file manager feature. It acts as an FTP tool and site editor to help you make changes as your site grows.
If you plan on building an e-commerce site, PureHost has a simple online store builder, too. Called ShopSite Starter, this feature allows you to create a very basic e-commerce store that’s ready to accept payments. Credit card payments are processed in real-time, which can make managing your store a bit easier. The ShopSite Starter feature is included with the plan free of charge. Though, it’s quite limited in terms of functionality. To fully manage your shop, you’ll need to pay an additional monthly fee.
6. Window and Unix
PureHost offers both Windows and Unix platforms. For most people, Unix-like platforms like Linux are the way to go. However, those who want to use Microsoft frameworks, such as Asp.net, can do so with PureHost. The service plan is compatible with most scripts and database systems as well. These include PHP, Perl, .net, CGI, SSI, and MySQL. Thus, you shouldn’t have any issues getting your site up and running.
7. Free Credits
As an added perk, the hosting plan comes with some ad credits to start gaining traffic on your site. New account holders are given $75 to be used towards Google Adwords. Bing credits are offered as well. Though the Bing perk is a bit outdated and doesn’t apply to current Bing marketing systems.
PureHost does have a simple analytic tool as well. It’s nowhere near as detailed as some of the tools you can get from Google. However, it can provide you with some important data that you can use to produce growth. It’s great for improving your SEO and coming up with content ideas that your audience will enjoy.
8. Money Back Guarantee
Like most web hosting providers, PureHost has a 30-day money-back guarantee with its plan. If, for whatever reason, you decide that the company is not right for you, PureHost will refund the subscription fee and cancel your account. There are some exceptions to be wary of. For example, the cost of your domain name will be subtracted from your refund amount. Domains are not attached to the hosting provider. Thus, you’re free to take it with you to another company. That is, however, if you reimburse the costs from the free perk.
9. 24 Hour Customer Support
Web hosting can get complicated fairly quickly. This is especially true if you’re unfamiliar with the technical side of things. These days, webmasters expect to have reliable support to get assistance with any issues that come up. PureHost’s support staff is available around the clock. You can ask questions about your account, get help with technical issues, and more.
The support team can be reached 24 hours a day through live chat or email. One great thing that we appreciate is the technology powering the live chat function. Not only can you connect with an agent instantly, but there’s also a screen sharing function for hands-on help. If you prefer a more personal approach, there’s also a dedicated telephone line. The company has a large knowledge base filled with guides and troubleshooting tips as well if you’re interested in finding solutions on your own.
Cons Of Purehost
Now that we’ve touched upon some of the good things that PureHost has to offer, it’s time to go over the negatives. There’s a reason why this company hasn’t risen to the same heights as competitors like BlueHost, FatCow, or GoDaddy. Here are some of the most glaring negatives.
1. Outdated Equipment
The most disappointing thing about PureHost is that the hosting services run on old equipment that is virtually obsolete. On PureHost.com, the company says that they’re capable of providing fast and reliable service. They even list some of the equipment they use. You’ll see the company proudly mentioned “enterprise-class” Cisco switches and firewalls. However, the equipment hasn’t been sold for over 10 years! By today’s standards, the technology that’s being used to host your site is weak and out of fashion.
Most web hosting companies continually upgrade their gear to keep up with new innovations. Things like SSD storage and multi-core processors are the norm. The technology that PureHost uses might have been revolutionary back in the day, but it’s not up to snuff these days.
2. Dated Software
As if the old equipment wasn’t enough, a lot of the software that PureHost uses looks like it belongs in a virtual time capsule. Even the front page of the company’s website looks like it came straight out of the early 2000s. This is pretty surprising considering that most providers on the cutting edge of technology.
When it comes to the sites you can build with PureHost’s complementary systems, things aren’t any better. We mentioned earlier that the hosting plan comes with a simple site builder and e-commerce store builder. While it’s great that those features are offered at no additional cost, you might be better off not using them at all.
The ShopSite Starter feature uses archaic designs by today’s standards. Even the SiteDelux tool wouldn’t pass the design-driven needs of modern Internet users. The sites are reminiscent of something that you would find browsing the web two decades ago. Today’s Internet users expect high-quality designs that are beautiful and easy to navigate. Presenting something that looks like it came from the early days of the Internet could harm your technical SEO and turn off new readers.
3. Confusing Pricing Structure
With just one plan available, you would think that pricing would be straightforward. Well, guess again. Like many hosting providers, the low price that’s advertised is for new members. It’s an introductory price that’s meant to entice webmasters into giving the service a try.
PureHost web hosting does have some basic information about renewal prices. This is where things get a bit strange. Instead of offering higher prices after the first term, PureHost lowers them. Yes, you read that right. According to PureHost.com, the renewal rates are lower than the introductory price. Depending on the length of your renewal term, you could be paying almost half of what you did for your first year. Not only is this confusing, but it just doesn’t make much sense from a business standpoint.
If you ask the support team about potential renewal prices, you’re bound to get even more confused. Despite having renewal prices listed on the website, PureHost reportedly sets the rate based on usage. So, if you’re using more resources than other website owners, the company could theoretically charge you more.
Overall, the pricing structure just seems confusing and unclear. Unfortunately, asking for clarity only leads to more issues. Which leads us to our next point…
4. Substandard Customer Support
The quality of the customer support system is lacking. It’s great that the support team is available around the clock. However, the agents don’t seem to be too knowledgeable about the products or services. Response times to live chat questions take longer than other companies. Plus, the information that’s provided is inconsistent and unsure. The poor customer support is a common occurrence on many PureHost reviews, which doesn’t bode well for the company.
5. Tricky Upsells
When you’re signing up for a PureHost web hosting plan, you’re met with some hard upsells. The company tries to get you to sign up for additional services that drive up the subscription cost significantly. This is nothing new in the web hosting industry. However, many of those extras are already preselected when you check out. So, if you’re not careful, you could end up spending much more than you intend to.
6. Missing Some Important Features
PureHost’s service is on the higher side of the pricing spectrum when compared to some other competitors. Yet, the service is lacking some important features that you need to keep your site running smoothly. For example, you will have to pay a sizable add-on fee just to perform regular backups of your data. Also, SiteLock, which protects your site from malware and other attacks, is nowhere to be found. Many of these features are included for free with other companies with lower monthly fees.
7. Small Data Allotment
With a hosting account, all you’re getting is 2 GB of disk space to store your site. Modern sites are filled with high-resolution graphics and complex digital media. 2 GB is just not enough to create a high-quality site that matches the expectations of modern web users. Many providers offer unlimited SSD disk space, so the measly 2 GB is a bit of a letdown.
8. Low Bandwidth
Along with that small data limit, you’re only getting 50 GB of bandwidth. Bandwidth refers to the data that’s transferred each time someone visits your site. With only 50 GB, you can only have 10,000 to 15,000 visitors a month. If your traffic exceeds that, you may experience throttling or performance issues.
9. No Upgrade Options
Having a simple, no-frills hosting package is great for simplicity. Unfortunately, it’s also PureHost’s biggest hindrance. The features that you get with the only hosting plan available are quite limited. They can serve you well in the early stages of your site. But what happens when your site experiences significant growth? Well, you’re out of luck.
The lack of high-tier hosting plans makes the service very limited. Not only that, but PureHost doesn’t even have VPS or Dedicated hosting options. Once your site starts getting a good amount of regular traffic, you’ll have no choice but to switch providers.
Purehost Hosting Package Pricing
PureHost only has one hosting plan available. The prices below are all advertised on PureHost.com. Though, these prices are subject to change. As we mentioned earlier, the company has a somewhat confusing pricing structure. So, the prices could differ based on your usage.
$19.99 per month
$199.50 for 12-month term
$14.95 per month for a 12-month term, billed as $179.40 every year
$13.95 per month for a 24-month term, billed as $334.80 every two years
$12.95 per month for a 36-month term, billed as $466.20 every three years
Do We Recommend Purehost?
In short… NO.
The company’s strongest suits are its simplicity and a good place to learn the ropes without having to worry about the technical side of things upfront, but again there are many better web hosts out there that do this and are cheaper.
If you’re serious about creating a successful website that you can build from the ground up, you might be better off going with another web hosting provider. Many of the service’s features are just outdated. Everything from the website builder to the hosting equipment themselves is old. While you can certainly create a modern-looking site to host with PureHost through WordPress, there’s still the issue of pricing and inferior customer support. Truth is, you can get much better features at a significantly lower cost with other providers.
Even with its faults, PureHost is an important part of web hosting history and continues to have many loyal customers. Check out the company’s website for yourself and think about your own hosting needs to decide if its service is right for you.