IX Web Hosting is a medium sized web host that was founded in 1999. They currently host over 150, 000 domains from their base in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. IX Web offer budget shared hosting solutions for the mass market. They tend to aim their products at the sought of customers who believe more is ….. well….. more! If this sounds like you then read on. If however, you are type of person who feels that quality is the top priority; and vast amounts of bandwidth and features are less important, then you should read our reviews of Hostgator, Lunarpages, and Bluehost instead.
IX offer 5 different hosting packages, the “Expert Plan” (EP), “Business Plus” (BP), “Unlimited Pro” (UP), and two Windows plans. They all come with a vast array of features, you can find a full feature list and product comparison on the IX website here. Below is rundown of the main components of the Linux plans.
Disk Space -100GB with the EP, 300GB from the BP, and unlimited if you sign up to the UP plan. These are all completely crazy numbers for a budget shared hosting plan!
Bandwidth – 1000GB, 1500GB, and 2000GB respectively. Again ludicrously excessive numbers. Just imagine what would happen if all IX’s customers actually tried use all that bandwidth! Luckily 99.999% of people never will. Just to put it in to context, those are sought of bandwidth allocations you get when using your own dedicated server (which usually costs at least $200/month), so when the price for the EP starts at just $3.95/month we know that something doesn’t add up!
Number of domains – 2, 8 and 16. So even the cheapest plan allows us to host two websites, where as the BP and UP plans give us the best chance to try and use all those bandwidth and storage resources; allowing us to host up to 8, and 16 websites on the one account.
Site Studio – This website building software comes with all hosting plans, its basic and easy to use, and will be very useful to those who are new to web design.
Free domain name registration – This means that IX will register your domain name for you, free, for as long as you host with them. EP comes with 1 free domain name, BP with 3, and UP with 5. This is probably our favorite feature of IX’s hosting plans, especially on the BP and UP packages. If you plan to host multiple domains then this offer could save you a significant amount on domain registrations.
Search engine submission service – Free with all plans.
99.9% Uptime guarantee – Server uptime is guaranteed to be above 99.9% n any 12 month period.
30 Day money back guarantee.
Customer service and technical support
IX give us phone support (toll free if you live in the U.S), live chat, and e-mail ticket services, all are available 24/7, 365 days/year. These services tick all the right boxes, but in terms of the quality they are way behind the likes of Lunarpages, Bluehost, and Hostgator. We advise that you test them out yourself first, to see if their service level is acceptable to you.
This area is always likely to be where IX is going to have problems; when you oversell resources like IX do with their disk space and bandwidth allowances, server performance inevitably suffers. This means that you are going to get a more sluggish and probably less reliable service when compared to other web hosting providers. These other providers tend to charge more money, offer less features, but crucially, they often deliver more quality when it comes to server performance.
With regards to the control panel supplied with IX’s plans we were very disappointed. Unfortunately they use the dreaded H-Sphere control panel, its performance is swift, but its layout and design are poor and make it look cheap. It’s no match for the likes of cPanel or Vdeck. There is a full working demo on the IX website; we strongly advise you try it out first before signing up with IX. If you think that you can live with it then fair enough, IX might still be for you. We should probably mention that some people are fans of H-Sphere, and still swear it’s the best control panel out there, though they are definitely in the minority!
Well, if price is your first consideration you definitely should look to IX, there “Expert Plan” is pretty much the cheapest “proper” web hosting package currently available. However, if you can stretch to an extra dollar/month we believe that a better choice would be the “ProLogic” plan from StartLogic, review here. The other IX plans offer even more, but their price tags bring them into competition with the real heavy hitters of the shared hosting industry. In our opinion it’s difficult to see why you would choose the IX “Business Plus” plan over Bluehost. Or the “Unlimited Pro” over Hostgator or midPhase. The only reason you may want to choose the “Business Plus” or “Unlimited Pro” packages, ahead of the aforementioned alternatives, is due to the multiple free domain registration features of both, which would certainly make them more appealing from a value for money standpoint.