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Must-read in-depth reviews of some of the most popular webhosting companies, based on everything from first impressions to reliability, to cost-effectiveness.
* Reviews are from TheHostingChart.
General Impression - Category Rating 94%
IX Web Hosting has been in business since 1999 and has recently made a remarkable appearance with the opening of their new data center in Hopkinsville, KY. With a highly professional website and very attractive hosting plans, they have managed to be added to the list of companies that TheHostingChart is reviewing.
As the months passed by, IX WebHosting continuously improved its performance in both reliability and customer service, resulting in extremely quick loading websites and high customer satisfaction and consequently mastered to be rated #1 by our review team.
Price & Cost Effectiveness - Category Rating 98%
IX Web Hosting's plans give you an excellent value. Regardless of your needs, their plans allow you to save money right away - but the savings are even greater if you need to host mutiple domain names. Their billing cycles run from quarterly, semi-annual to annual and 2-year billing cycles, the choice is yours on most plans. The longer the billing cycle, the higher the discount that is provided.
When hosting more than one domain name (multiple domain names or sub domains), you can host them all on a single plan (Value Plan and higher). You will save a great deal of money since there are no fees at all for adding, removing, or changing hosted domains and subdomains. You can manage it in real-time via the control panel.
There was not a single billing issue with any of our anonymous test accounts, we have always been treated with great respect and fairness. There were no over- or unexpected extra on any of our hosting accounts. What is more important - when we requested a refund for 2 accounts, we were granted a full refund without questions asked. 100% money-back - including setup fees. An impressive approach towards customer satisfaction.
They will help you with CGI scripts, upload problems, even if you don't know how to use FrontPage - we were assisted kindly via telephone and their Live Chat service. This is an important aspect for a web master maintaining multiple websites, as for a busy website, there is a constant need to change your site's content and scripts used.
Where else can you get 500mb web space for $4.95 / mo, or unlimited multi-domain hosting for $29.99/mo, paired with a zero-risk 100% money back guarantee.
Reliability - Category Rating 95%
During our extensive hosting experience with IX Web Hosting, we have had hardly any server outages. It would be a lie to say none of our 23 anonymous test accounts have never been down - however, the uptime track record for our test accounts is impressive.
The question is not IF downtime happens, the question is when it happens and how quickly your hosting company can resolve the problem. Quick problem resolution is a must, so your site will be back online in no time.
Our overall reliability experience with IX Web Hosting is positive. They claim to provide 99.9% uptime for all hosted accounts and they have a guarantee on their website proving their track record. We had 100% uptime for the majority of hosted accounts, however - 2 out of 23 accounts only had an uptime of 99.2% due to a server glitch. The glitch was resolved quickly (within 90 minutes), however the uptime amount of these two accounts did not reach 99.9% this month. After inquiring with their billing department, we have been reimbursed for the downtime that occurred with two free months of hosting service. We found this to be an adequate compensation for 60 minutes of downtime.
Data Center (toured) - Category Rating 94%
As the title indicates, we have personally visited and "examined" IX Web Hosting's data center. The importance of doing that is obvious. You might have heard of the "story" that 80% or more of the web hosts are just resellers, and another 10% are just co-locating in some other data center, without direct physical access to the machines. Unfortunately, that story is plain reality.
We have personally verified that IX Web Hosting's data center facility actually exists by paying them a visit in Hopkinsville, KY. As the 16th data center we visited, it was a rather pleasant surprise that they actually HAVE the equipment they list on their website, as well as the security mechanisms, firewalls and CISCO state of the art routers.
IX Web Hosting currently employs two redundant fibre-optic loops to connect their data center. The fibre-optic connectivity is provided by Bell South and their bandwidth is redundantly served by Qwest Communications. They are currently busy upgrading their connectivity for future expansion.
Customer Service - Category Rating 99%
In my entire career as professional web master, I have never seen more responsive and technically sound support staff. I am thoroughly impressed by the technical skills of the IX Web Hosting customer care team.
Regardless of which artificially created problem I have prompted them with, everything was resolved within 24 hours: PASV FTP issues, CGI scripts with programming errors, PHP coding issues, ASP ODBC database connectivity, MSSQL Enterprise Manager troubles, domain-lock and expiration tricks - we were not able to fool them.
The support provided can be rated as above excellent, especially the 24 / 7 LIVE CHAT feature. We have submitted a total of 450 support requests so far in the past several months, and on 400 requests the response has immediately solved our problem. The other tickets had to be reworked to send more details to the technician. We called in via Live Chat at 3am and 5am EST several times and our requests were answered promptly and courteously. Unlike other hosts, IX Web Hosting is providing It is a true 24 / 7 chat service.
Control Panel - Category Rating 100%
The basis of their control panel is H-Sphere, however IX Web Hosting's programmer staff have modified it heavily. Both LINUX and WINDOWS hosting based accounts are provided and the control panel functions flawlessly with accounts on both platforms.
The control panel they provide allows you to add, remove and manage your domain names, subdomains, FTP accounts, email accounts, mailing lists, auto responders, email aliases, MIME Types, Apache Indexes, PHP / ASP configuration, mySQL, PostgreSQL and MSSQL databases, SQL database users, cancelling and resuming your subscription and reporting trouble tickets from one interface.
In addition to the comprehensive functionality listed above, they also offer an online file manager, an web design program called Site Studio as well as Web Mail. All these features along with the senseful customizations IX Web Hosting's programming department has applied to the control panel software have made us rate this category with an astounding 100%.
The usage of the control panel itsself is very fast and reliable. The administration of your whole account is very user-friendly and IX Web Hosting provides an extensive customer guide with detailed explanations on how to use your hosting account.
Conclusion: One of the best hosting companies we have ever reviewed. If IX Web Hosting keeps up the good work, we will consider moving our website to their servers.
Review Duration: 4 months
Rich Hummington for TheHostingChart.Com, 10/2/2004
Overall Rating: 97%

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