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InterServer review

Host your website with an industry veteran

InterServer Review
(Image: © InterServer)

Our Verdict

With InterServer you'll find a wide array of hosting options to choose from, including shared, VPS, reseller and dedicated plans, as well as fully managed colocation packages. The feature list is comprehensive, performance is an image of power, customer support is decent enough and all of this comes at a very competitive price, making InterServer quite a compelling choice.

For

  • Budget-friendly shared hosting packages
  • InterShield Security included for free
  • Free website migrations and weekly backups
  • Unlimited SSD storage, bandwidth and email accounts

Against

  • No free domain for new users
  • Live chat doesn’t seem to be available 24/7
  • Knowledgebase could use a bit of work

InterServer started as a dream of two enthusiastic tech-savvy high school students by the names of Mike Lavrik and John Quaglieri. They wished to create a company that offered data services at affordable prices without compromising the level of overall service and support. This dream came to reality in 1999 when they co-founded InterServer. The company was established in the USA, with its HQ in Secaucus (the US), and it operates two onshore data centers: one in Secaucus and another in Los Angeles. As a result, users from the USA should expect nothing less than lightning fast speed.

InterServer’s facilities guarantee 100% power uptime and network uptime of 99.9%, while sharing data about their data centers on the “About” section of their website and all in great detail. The “About” section itself is one of the more comprehensive ones we have seen so far, which is nothing but commendable. We can even see all members of InterServer’s staff, including their short biographies. Regretfully, the minister of defense, morale and mental health (yes, we are referring to the resident dog) hasn’t been granted its own section, which we would read with the utmost pleasure.

InterServer’s main website is simple in style, easy-to-navigate and filled with all the information you’re going to need before deciding whether you want to begin your hosting journey with them or not. The same goes for their blog, which is chock-full of articles, although fewer and fewer have been coming out lately. Their social media accounts are a bit neglected as well, but they seem to come alive every once in a while.

Pricing

InterServer's shared hosting plans start at just $2.50 per month (Image credit: InterServer)

Plans and pricing

For those who find it essential to try and save as much money as possible, the best option is InterServer's Linux-based shared hosting plans that start at mere $2.50 per month and yet include an impressive list of features. Some of these are unlimited cloud storage space, unmetered bandwidth, an infinite number of FTP accounts, weekly backups, a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, one-click installs and user-friendly cPanel as your control panel.

However, if you want shared hosting with Windows as an operating system, it will cost considerably more at $8.00 per month and it will come with Plesk for your control panel. If you are looking for something more ambitious than shared hosting packages, you can choose between cloud VPS ones (optimized for Linux, Windows, WordPress, Webuzo or storage) and several dedicated server packages.

InterServer provides a 30-day money-back guarantee with its shared hosting packages only.

Their services can be paid for via all major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover) and PayPal.

Ease of use

If you are not sure what you want, choosing a web hosting plan with InterServer might be a bit overwhelming because of the sheer amount of types, options and available features. However, if you are here for a well-structured yet pocket-friendly hosting solution, you may be relieved to learn that there is one, and a good one too. Besides everything we’ve mentioned before, this plan includes free website migration services “no matter the control panel or account access you have on your old host”, which is a nifty bonus.

To create an account with InterServer you’ll pass through pretty straightforward process where you’ll be asked to decide what to do with a domain name (register a new or use an existing one), provide your email address, create a password and confirm that you’ve read “Terms of Service'' agreement (even if you didn’t). To finish this, you’ll be required to continue providing your personal information (name, street address, name of the company, phone number and so on).

cPanel

You can manage your InterServer site using the industry standard cPanel (Image credit: cPanel)

Since InterServer usually restricts the number of daily subscriptions to 100, their technical team has more time to spend on every single client. Thus, your newly created account and website should be available without much delay. From their (somewhat clunky) interface you’ll easily enter a control panel you previously picked out (cPanel in our case and to our absolute delight).

One-Click Installs

InterServer also offers one-click installs for hundreds of common apps (Image credit: InterServer)

Installing WordPress (or any of the numerous available apps) is made easy with Softaculous and it should be finished in less than a minute.

However, if you prefer designing your site with a proper website builder, SitePad’s drag-and-drop builder is available and it will come with more than 200 professional and nice-looking themes and over 100 amazing widgets (Image/Video Slider, Image Galleries, Rich Text and so on).

Performance

We used GTmetrix to measure the uptime and response time of our InterServer site (Image credit: GTmetrix)

Speed and experience

As a result of utilizing the latest server optimization and security technology, InterServer states that they can offer an “ultra-fast” speed for their users' websites. Having read this, as per usual, we needed to check with GTmetrix (our speed testing tool) if they are keeping their word in practice. 

After performing multiple speed checks on InterServer’s main website, we came to the conclusion that they are as far from being a promise breaker as one could get. The page loaded in 4.9 which is about twice less than the average result. In addition to this, all of the vital web metrics (total blocking time, largest content element, cumulative layout shift and so forth) were above the average, resulting in a highly encouraging grade of an A (99%).

Since InterServer has partnered with Cloudflare (which should imply the reliability of services) they provide an industry-standard uptime guarantee of three nines (that is 99.9%). After monitoring the uptime performance of their main website for two weeks, we were not given a single reason to doubt their promises. The report indicated an uptime of 100% without any instances of downtime at all, which is always a welcome sight.

Support

InterServer describes its support as “epic”, raising our expectations regarding the support options they provide as well as their level of service as a whole. There are a few ways one can contact this “embodiment of epicness” and these include telephone number, ticket, e-mail and live chat. The team should be available 24/7 (we used the term “should” because they weren’t available when we tried to get in touch with them), but you’ll probably have to wait a while if you try reaching them via anything but a telephone. Besides English, telephone support is provided in a few other languages, since InterServer has opened native-speaking call centers in Mexico, Brazil and Israel.

Tutorials

InterServer offers loads of step-by-step tutorials on its site (Image credit: InterServer)

As for self-help support choices, there are several of them, although they feel a bit all over the place. Their knowledgebase (titled as “InterServer step-by-step tutorials”) is composed of more than 400 articles divided into six main categories. Even though it offers some pretty detailed and easy-to-follow guides (pictures included), getting the one you need could take a while since it isn’t the best organized one.

In addition to this, there is a FAQ section (with about ten briefly answered questions) and a YouTube channel (containing about thirty quite minimalistic how-to video guides).

The competition

Both Bluehost and InterServer are US-based hosts that offer a full range of hosting services at competitive pricing, and both aim to provide thorough customer support (although they could use some improvement in that department). The entry-level plans are similarly priced (it is $2.50 with InterServer, while it’s $2.95 with Bluehost), but there are some differences in terms of the features on offer.  Bluehost offers free domain registration (for the first year), while InterServer doesn’t. However, InterServer puts less restrictions on its features (including its storage, bandwidth and e-mail accounts), while you’ll have to purchase Bluehost’s top-tier shared hosting plan to get the same.

HostGator is another popular choice for people looking for a web hosting provider, particularly in the USA. Much like InterServer, it provides a wide range of options and features for a budget-friendly price. However, HostGator throws in free domain name registration to encourage the newcomers, while there is no free domain with InterServer.

When it comes to pricing, Namecheap seems like a more affordable choice than InterServer since its most economic shared hosting plans starts at mere $1.58 (and it is $2.88 after the renewal), and includes a free domain with all of its yearly contracts. However, both hosts include some nice unlimited features, free backups, free SSL certificate, free website builder and 30-day money-back guarantee, and since both are US-based, customers from the US can’t go wrong with either of them.

InMotion Hosting is yet another host from the USA with a wide range of hosting options, unlimited features and round-the-clock customer support. However, since InMotion Hosting offers plans for Linux servers only, if you want to use Windows you’ll have to go with InterServer.

Final verdict

Besides offering a wide variety of hosting types, a handful of fine features, more than enough available apps and unlimited resources for your website, InterServer delivers terrific performance while maintaining a sufficiently high level of security. Naturally, there is still some room for improvement, primarily when it comes to customer support, but given the budget-friendly prices, InterServer is a great pick.

However, if the lack of strong support is an issue for you, check out HostGator, Bluehost and Hostinger before making any life-changing decisions. 

Mirza Bahic is a freelance tech journalist and blogger from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the past four years, Mirza has been ghostwriting for a number of tech start-ups from various industries, including cloud, retail and B2B technology.