HawkHost Hosting Review 2017
Is HawkHost The Right Host For You?
HawkHost is a superb hosting service. I'm not one to give out praise easily but in nearly all aspects, HawkHost is a 5 star host. But just to be transparent, I wanted to make it very clear that the only reason HawkHost (with the cool logo) hasn't been given a 5 star rating is due to a lack of speed when it comes to support issues.
That being said, you're paying an extremely low amount of money for what you get - Which is an SSD host with over 6 data center options in 3 continents and the ability to host an unlimited amount of domains for under $5/month - A 10gb maximum disk space for that price, but for a few extra bucks a month you can have unlimited disk space. That's a lot of bang for your buck and very impressive when directly compared to other providers on the market.
Detailed review of InMotion Hosting
Before I get into this, if you're looking for larger site support (such as the type of support you need for an E-Commerce site, forum or site with large amounts of traffic) then I'd suggest choosing either SiteGround or WPEngine - WPEngine is the best alternative if your site is built in WordPress.
That being said, if you have a blog or a smaller site (or sites) that you're looking to get a fast and secure host for that won't break the bank.. Then I am very proud to introduce to you: HawkHost - In my opinion, the most affordable host on the planet when it comes to value. You might find cheaper but nothing that can match their quality and performance.
Whether you're an agency looking to resell hosting to local business clients, looking to get an SSD powered VPS at a decent price or just looking to host your growing blog then HawkHost is likely your best option. Highly recommend using the VPS hosting for super fast results.
We think that HostHawk is the best solution for those who have 1 eye firmly fixed on price, but don't want second rate performance. For the price conscious we have worked out an additional bonus for our readers, click the button below for a 25% off BitPak discount deal for hosting with HawkHost.
Exception speed, almost just 1 second page load speed
Industry beating reliability
Really good pricing
No Direct contact via phone
Average client support
No dedicated server package available
HawkHost is exceptionally quick and offers industry leading reliability. They are a great option for smaller websites who demand excellent load speed and want superb reliability. Enjoy the rest of the review and please feel free to share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.
I've already mentioned that this hosting provider offers great performance at a great price. So lets explore how they deliver their higher levels of performance. Due to all of the server's in HawkHost's network being SSD based you'll enjoy super fast load times and better read/write times - For when it comes to building/managing your site and improved load times for dynamic sites such as forums.
Our tests (on a default WordPress installation, from a different country to the data center) show load times to be around 1s. This means this host is punching way above weight. You have no right to be getting that speed at that price.
Editor's Note: Testing on larger sites (with speed optimization on them) showed load times of anywhere between 2s and 3s from a US datacenter to the Amsterdam based server we chose to host with. This is before we looked at optimizing site speed by compressing images and the like. It's not unrealistic to expect site speed of 2 seconds when well optimized.
Reasonably fast and for the price of the primary plan that is a decent ROI for your website host
HawkHost enables use with 4 popular content management systems with very popular installs for WordPress and Magneto. We don't recommend larger Ecommerce stores use HawkHost and instead turn to WPEngine or SiteGround. Using HawkHost as your hosting provider you will have access to multiple domains, sub domains and email accounts.
Access to these popular content management systems is provided through a 1 click install, as advertised on the main page. The perfect accomplice for the non technical minded, everyone starts somewhere. You can be online and building your website in minutes.
Our tests show that HawkHost is running some very fast servers, and offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Standard across most hosts out there, but the load speed is the kicker. The tests we conducted were with average sized websites like blogs and from the Netherlands.
99.9% UpTime Guarantee
HawkHost is a very affordable hosting option for your websites that can be used for a variety of reasons, resell or host your own public blog they can cover your requirements. The only downside to HawkHost is that it doesn't handle larger websites to well, the load times clog up and you can feel the drain. Using HawkHost I felt like I had finally found a reliable provider that could provide the best uptime at a great price with all the features. And that's the point. You should be choosing your hosting provider and service that meets your specific needs. HawkHost doesn't do everything well, but it does do hosting for small businesses exceptional well and if that's your need then you should consider my recommendation.
There is an assortment of functions and features available for customers of HawkHost. Unlimited bandwidths and disk space, is as expected to be used in moderation. The one click installs make hosting an easy to manage service. HawkHost give you a free domain when you sign up, you can use this domain any way that you want to. The small things like the free domain and the free Adwords voucher are what adds the icing on the cake for me. For people on tight budgets, just starting out, coupled with one click installs, this makes it an affordable and attractive option.
I find it difficult to write positive reviews, because by nature I am demanding. HawkHost, is excellent at what it sets out to do, and that's offer great performance for a really affordable price. But, like I said at the beginning of the review, the only thing letting HawkHost down is the lack of a completely dedicated support team that have both phone availability and a live chat system, or one or the other.
Unfortunately, HawkHost has neither which results in painful waits for support tickets to come back. Usually they'll be replied to within 30 minutes, but for more complicated tickets or on peak hours it can take up to 2 hours - Which is exactly why I don't recommend using their service for a larger site when you generally have more need to be in contact with customer support. I also don't like that sometimes, the tickets have templated answers, because it has left me feeling like my question or issue hasn't been fully answered.
When it came to the support tickets that I did submit however, they were quick, efficient and showed a high level of expertise across several different CMSs and platforms that I threw at them. This is one factor I like, being across the business and not having to refer me to another more technical operator.
When I was recommend HawkHost, and these days I am often first introduced to new products and services by recommendation, my first reaction was fantastic branding. Love the logo. The company website sold me well before I even clicked on the hosting pricing plans. The Canadians can market very well, the actual sign up process was easy to do and was completed quite fast. You can tell they've taken the time to ensure you have a great user experience.
First you should probably know what hosting package you want
Before you choose a host, it's good to know what the different packages they offer are. In this case we've picked out the 3 best packages that InMotion offer.
For small websites
- 1 GB RAM
- SSD Powered
- 30 GB Storage
- 1.5 TB Bandwidth
The Starter 'basic' package is perfect for starter websites or websites that has less than 25,000 visitors a month. HawkHost's offering is quite possibly one of the best performing hosting services with incredible page load speeds.
For eCommerce stores
- 2 GB RAM
- SSD Powered
- 40 GB Storage
- 2 TB Bandwidth
HawkHost's Advanced package has a little more power than the standard hosting which makes it a great fit for clients with eCommerce stores or those with sites that's starting to attract more than 25,000 visitors a month.
For larger websites
- 4GB RAM
- SSD Powered
- 50 GB Storage
- 3 TB Bandwidth
The Super package is the biggest hosting solution from HawkHost and thei r shared hosting packages, and it's perfect for those clients who have a larger eCommerce store or a website that has over 50,000 monthly visitors.
What other hosts provide similar services?
Another Hosting service worthy of your consideration is WP Engine. When it comes to specifically hosting WordPress websites they have no equal and also score a full 5 stars. Expect amazing site loading speeds and all the support you need to never have to worry about your WordPress website. Check out our WP Engine review right here.
HawkHost is really good but if you're looking for something different we'd suggest you take a good look at SiteGround. Superb performance, probably the best client service in the industry and they are ultra reliable. We use them ourselves, that is how highly we favour them. In fact this site is currently hosted by SiteGround! Check out our full review and decided for yourself.
HawkHost Hosting: Other things to know
Outrageous page load speed and reliabiltiy, pretty average customer support...
We've done a cross-comparison analysis of HawkHost'sperformance benchmarks vs the benchmarks of several other hosts in their bracket.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you pick the right hosting for you?
There are a lot of hosting providers shouting to be heard. The biggest problem is, they can claim to offer the same service yet change 10x as much as another service provider. You've come to the right site, because we only recommend the best hosting service providers, based on our own experiences. But even then you'll see a variation in price because different providers offer different types of services that benefit different customers.
The best place to start is with your needs. Before you do anything, stop and think what are you looking for? What kind of site are you looking to build and transfer and so what level of service do you need? For example, if you are looking to build an e-commerce then you are going to need much more scope and performance than if you're running a smaller site. And if you're a novice you're going to need a hosting provider that offers 1 click installs and really intuitive dashboards.
Be clear in your mind, what your goal is and what is important to you. That's my first piece of advice. If you are a novice, that's perfectly fine, we all were at some point. Go out and research some of the features that are on offer so you can determine what's important to you. Does it matter that it doesn't have SDD or that it offers 2GB RAM? If you're not technically inclined, it's fine but understand how they might effect the hosting service so you know it they matter to you or not.
The customer support is nothing special, we have not had the best experience with the support ticket submission system, but one of the best things HawkHost did was create a very in-depth knowledge base for answering problems customers may have. You can see they've tried to keep costs lower, so they can pass on the saving to you, and they've done that by focusing on the knowledge base rather than the support. You have to decide if you want to pay extra for the additional customer support, because no other hosting service delivers this level of performance at this price, or if you're willing to search for your own answers and wait a while for your ticket to be answered.
The knowledge base provided by HawkHost, covers the sections that you could experience problems with setting up. All in all they have around 10 folders touching on installations, billing questions to some technical aspects. I found the search bar quite helpful allowing me to find the resource I needed to very fast. Anyone not technically minded sorry to say there are no videos or walkthroughs in the knowledge base section. They are well written and well explained, but videos would help.
HawkHost does have an active forum available from the customer support and help section. Join the forum if you cant find what you need in the knowledge base, and ask your problem in there you are more than likely going to get some help. They say the support desk is on 24/7/365 around the clock, for all plans and the staff are fully trained and there to help.
The team on customer support are very helpful, when you can get a hold of them. To have our simple problem answered we asked how we can point name server,s and we had an answer in two messages with support. The getting hold of them and getting a reply are what have let this otherwise decent provider of hosting down terribly.
How secure is HawkHost?
HawkHost runs a segmentation system that runs different kernel instances for each user on the shared platform, meaning no other user could get access to any other users data - Stopping hackers who have compromised one account from compromising several others. In many cases, when looking at hosting providers, this is not the case. It means even though your security might not be comprised, if another site sharing the server is, you could still be in danger. HawkHost make this a none issue with their segmentation setup.
They also have a built-in DDoS protection system, a grid system to help lower downtime and their servers run on LightSpeed which comes with built-in protection such as IP Throttling, Hotlink protection, access control and a ton of other features.
Overall, it's extremely unlikely it'd ever be HawkHost's fault if your site was compromised - It'd more than likely be down to you or a dodgy plugin/theme that has caused the vulnerability.
Where are HawkHost's data centers?
One of the things I was very impressed with was the range of locations you can choose from, which include:
- Amsterdam (Europe)
- Dallas, TX (North America)
- Washington, DC (North America)
- Los Angeles, CA (North America)
- Singapore (Asia)
- Hong Kong, China (Asia)
- Toronto (Canada)
Being able to cover 3 continents is impressive even for a larger host. Not all data centres are created equally, HawkHost provides a very efficient hosting service. Reliable performance for entry to business level website hosting, without loss of quality performance being provided.
The servers are very reliable. Their datacentres use redundancy strategies, so should some or all of the system was to fail, they have a back=up server to take the strain and not affect downtime. Similar to those hosting providers that offer services for larger websites where downtime has a large impact on money. They also provide above average speeds. The locations cover most of the globe.
Own a larger website that is a little resource heavy? we make some suggestions at the bottom of this review for hosting providers that can handle a much larger website. HawkHost is a very robust solution but for some of the larger websites we suggest alternatives to HawkHost. But if you have one or more smaller websites this is probably the better option. Especially when pricing is a motivator.
What kind of security features are there?
HawkHost is relatively simple to use, connecting your hosting account after payment is painless, even for complete novices. When the time comes to begin creating your website you have it as simple as point and click with a couple of keystrokes and you will have a domain ready for CMS install. To make the initial installation of the CMS you can simply select the CMS you want to use, and its quite similar to 99.9% of other CPanel dashboards.
Just to give you a quick peek, the image below shows what the client area looks like for HawkHost, Easy to action functions on the left hand side. To the right you can see your billing information. I like to set calendar reminders for my expiry dates, start buying a few domains and hosting accounts and you will need some expiry tracking system. The header sections are standard and self explanatory, Notice the Green "Active" bar and the two coloured options below it? Yes I did as well. This is a very simple way to upgrade or cancel requests, You can not make it any easier.
Configuring your domains is also a very easy process. They've kept very simple. It's a matter of pointing your mouse and clicking a couple of buttons. WARNING! a small degree of typing will be required, you can not fully automate this part of the process just yet. Type in your domain names and details and push some buttons and the connection is made. All very straight forward and a really simple process designed for people having to do it for the first time. As I said, for people looking for more complex solutions you might want to look at our other recommendations, especially SiteGround (For larger sites like e-Commerce ) and WP Engine, the best host for WordPress sites.
If in the future HawkHost enables a push button one mouse click system, you readers will be the first to know. I think prices might skyrocket if they create a process that easy. In all fairness the signup and setup process with HawkHost is quite simple and should you have problems they offer a very detailed support page.
What about pricing and subscriptions?
How reasonable is HawkHost's pricing?
On the left we have the home screen landing page deal, on the right we have the main hosting plans offered by HawkHost. The plans are split into 3 types of hosting, Reseller, Semi Dedicated and VPS. We used the shared hosting account (on the left at the top) for a very affordable $2.24 monthly subscription price. The special price may change depending on what deals that HawkHost has running and at what time you visit their page. Again, there is competition at this price point, but not in terms of price AND performance.
The Primary hosting plan on first glance is very affordable at $2.99 monthly, and offering a tonne of extras it looks like the steal of the day. The plans are CloudFlare optimized as part of an ongoing partnership between the two companies.
Free SSL Certificate
Free Memcached Server
10,000 MB Space
The Professional Plan offers an upgrade to the primary plan, the most notable upgrades are unlimited space where the primary plan was capped at 10,000 MB. The professional plan is $7.99 monthly no dent in the wallet for the features provided with this plan. If you're planning on expanding then it's good to know you have a really good upgrade option, that doesn't require changing host, and is still very reasonably priced.
HawkHost also offers plans for hosting reselling, VPS and semi dedicated hosting plans. Money back guarantees are offered for 30 days, if you have a ecommerce website but didn't think it would be a problem you have 30 days to end the service.
The answer is Yes! HawkHost is very well priced for the service provided. Running a busy forum or heavy Ecommerce store then steer clear. look at WPEngine or SiteGround for the more premium hosting plans but if you're starting out, or your site (s) are smaller than it good be a good marriage.
"Exceptionally good service in many ways, just needs to up their client support game"
Overall I'm giving HawkHost a 4/5 rating - With their only downfall being the customer support aspect which I've mentioned several times in this post. I pay to use their service, they can at least answer a support ticket. waiting days for a support query is not nearly good enough.
But, If you're looking for an affordable host with good specs in multiple locations and don't mind a lack of instantaneous support - Then HawkHost is probably your best option on the market right now. You will struggle to find their performance with smaller sites, anywhere else online. At a price point that fits even the smallest of budgets. If you don't mind using a knowledge base, or customer support is not as important to you, then this could be the best all round hosting provider that's going to fit your needs perfectly.
HawkHost have been offering hosting since 2004. In the 12-13 years, they've learnt to listen to their customers. They wanted great performance at a great price. They focused on that and if that's what you want, and you need the hosting to be easy to navigate and use, then they deliver, which is why we recommend them.
If you have any questions about this review let us know in the comments!