“To host and to serve” – that’s what Host Department’s tagline is. They aim to provide their customers with excellent web hosting services by being trouble-free, customer-focused, reliable and affordable. A little weird though, the section on their company background doesn’t say much about how the company started and it is not known how long they’ve been in the business. But going by the first post in their chairman’s blog, it should be around early 2007, which makes them a relatively new player in the market.
Web Hosting Plan Features
Just one fantastic No Limit website hosting plan
Host Department makes web hosting much easier and simpler. This is my favorite! It’s not because they have only one plan and saves me the headache of choosing and making decisions but this one plan, as its name says, really gives unlimited features! Let’s see what you’d get unlimited:
- Main features
Storage space, Bandwidth, Dedicated IP address, Custom DNS records
- Domain resources
Hosted domains, Sub-domains, Parked domains, Mail domain alias
- Web services and tools
FTP sub-account, Anonymous FTP server
- Mail services and tools
Mailbox, Default mailbox quota, Email auto responder, Mailbox alias, Mail forwarders, Mailing list, Own SMTP server, IMAP support
Why we LIKE Host Department?
Value for money
It only costs you $6.45 monthly for all the unlimited hosting features that you get. But if you opt for a contractual plan, the deal gets even better. A 6-month plan would save you $3, a 12-month plan saves you $24.95 and a 24-month plan saves you a whopping $79.60.
How are these savings possible? It’s because Host Department throws in free domains for life if you take either the 12-month or the 24-month plan. What’s even greater is that if you sign up for 24 months, you get another 6 months hosting for free! I’d say that the free domains and an additional 6 months of hosting is truly a steal. Setup is also free, so you don’t have to pay additional fees compared to other web hosting providers.
Coupon codes translate into more savings. The codes can be found around the website and offer up to 20% off for a lifetime!
Site Studio software
Ready-to-use web applications and scripts
Host Department has a long list of PHP/MySQL applications that are ready and compatible for your website. These applications types range from blogs, CMS and portals, forums, e-commerce, support systems, galleries and several others.
Ones that you will find most useful are:
- WordPress and b2evolution which are the most comprehensive blog engines
- Mambo CMS which is touted to be the finest open source Web Content Management System
- CubeCart that allows you to setup a powerful online store
- CS Live Helper which is a multi-user, multi-operator, multi-department live Help support chat system
Basically, those would be everything you need for your website and they can be easily installed through your web hosting control panel.
Storage Area Network (SAN)
Host Department is able to offer unlimited storage space because they use a Storage Area Network (SAN) instead of a traditional server. With a SAN, data is not stored in internal hard drives but instead the hard drives are stackable and upgradeable to an unlimited amount. Host Department will just stack extra hard drives into the SAN whenever they see an increase in demand, so that’s how you get limitless everything!
Award-winning web hosting service provider
Host Department has won a number of awards despite being relatively new in the business. They are Web Host magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award for Excellent Enterprise Hosting Solutions, and Web Hosting Herald’s #1 web host.
Safe and secure business transactions
Host Department is a verified member with several merchants such as PayPal and Safe Shopping Network (SSN), so you’d know that your business transactions are safe and secure. SSN has tested and verified their ordering system and had rated the safety 100/100. So you can certainly have a peace of mind if you have a business site with customers making payments online.
99.99% uptime guarantee
Host Department has a bandwidth saturation average of less than 30%, which means that their systems are far from being crowded. They also have BGP Peering which automatically re-route traffic away from “Internet Traffic Jams“. This ensures that should one part of the Internet get busy, your website will not be caught in the “jam”.
Great customer support
From the “support” menu, you can open a ticket, search for documentation, access tutorials and get information on the servers and network status. When it comes to getting assistance, you can opt for either toll-free calls, the live chat online support or even better, click and they will call you back.
You’ll be doing charity!
How is it that you’d be doing charity by hosting your website? On a daily basis, Host Department donates the first month’s fees of new customer to the American Red Cross. It’s really a nice effort from them and it’s the only web hosting company with Corporate Social Responsibility that I’ve seen so far!
Why we DISLIKE Host Department?
Cluttered website design
The only reason is its website. I find the home page too cluttered. The features of the plans are all listed out with some words highlighted in orange and blue. Quite a task for the eyes. Besides, on the menu bar, each menu drops down to so many items. I think they could have just merged some of the items under the same headings; that would make it easier for site visitors to find what they want too.
H-Sphere Control Panel
H-Sphere is a great web hosting control panel which provides a lot of flexibility in hosting your website. You can easily manage all aspects of your account from creating new email accounts and accessing the webmails to checking the site statistics and installing new applications (through EasyApps Collection application installer).
Although H-Sphere is great, but we are more used to cPanel. We personally think cPanel is the best web hosting control panel. Of course, this is just our personal preference.
Overall, Host Department is a great web hosting company. I’d recommend Host Department for your web hosting needs as their plan is value for money and it seems that their customers are satisfied, judging from the long list of positive testimonials. If you are looking to host your website or blog, head to their official website to find out more.