Knownhost Hosting Review 2017
Is Knownhost The Right Host For You?
Knownhost is not for everyone. If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful shared hosting package that has a bit of a kick, Knownhost is not the best fit. But if you need a little more power and scope in your host, a VPS (Virtual Private Server) perhaps, then Knownhost are well worthy of your attention. Especially since they’ve embraced SSD technology and made their VPS offering even better when it comes to performance. They back up that performance with decent reliability and customer support to offer the complete package.
Detailed review of Knownhost Hosting
With Knownhost, you’re getting a solid and respectable host that has been offering hosting solutions on a larger scale since 2005. That’s 12 years of providing businesses and individuals with great hosting. They’ve developed into one of the most well respected VPS hosting providers on the market today.
They boast 4 datacenters that provide hosting solutions to clients around the world. They have data centers on both the east and west coast, as well as Texas. Europe is also covered with their datacenter based in Holland. Not only are the datacenters well located, they’re also stocked with some of the best hardware and software available including SSD technology.
Like the best hosts on the market, Knownhost put their money where their mouth is by offering a 30 day money back guarantee. Pricing wise, they are really impressive. Starting at $25 a month, you can get a SSD VPS hosting service that’s managed. With the technology and support they are offering, that represents great value for money.
If you need a host that offers a lot of performance for a very reasonable price, from a hosting provider with a great track record, then you can do a lot worse than Knownhost, they tick all the boxes.
Up time of a minimum of 99.9% guaranteed
Customer Service is Exceptional
Easy Signup, especially for novices
Easy to Install CMS and Third Party Integrations
Relatively expensive for Entry Level
Access After Payment is Not Instant
These days speed plays an important role in picking a hosting provider. Web browsers have very limited attention spans and they really don’t like to wait around. Anything slower than a page load time of 3 seconds is going to mean you start losing visitors who get bored of waiting and click to another site. Some research suggests up to 40% drop off rate. Most sites can’t afford such losses in traffic.
With a VPS, you should expect a server that has a page load speed that’s quicker than 2 seconds. From our testing Knownhost delivers a page load speed of 1.72 seconds. For most websites that’s pretty good. It’s not the best you can expect but it’s certainly meets our minimum requirements. That’s testing done outside the US, I would expect even quicker server speeds inside the US thanks to the location of their data centers.
The upshot is, it’s good but not the best. But then, when you take into account the pricing of the host, it offers great value of money. One of the best available today in the VPS category of hosting.
Having a website go down and stay down for an extended period of time is a huge problem. It can cost the website owner money. Fortunately, with the level of technology and the systems in place, most hosting providers have their act together when it comes to uptime. Knownhost are one of the best.
They currently have 99.9996% uptime and offer a 99.9% SLA gaurantee. This means they know that they have everything in place to deliver the best reliability levels in the industry and it also means you get peace of mind because they are able to guarantee it.
The upshot, you don’t need to worry about uptime, it’s as good as you’re going to find anywhere. They want to say 100% because in reality, that’s what it is. But, they’re being honest and saying it never goes down but I suppose it might at some point. A full 5 stars.
When it comes to support, you should not undervalue how important it is. The longer you have an issue with your website, the more money you’re losing, the more time you end up spending dealing with the issue the higher the cost of the hosting. Your time is money.
Knownhost would most likely admit, their support is probably the weakest area of their hosting service. They make themselves accessible via chat, phone and ticketing so they get a thumbs up from me regarding that. The issues comes with their consistency. To date, I’ve never had an issue, I’ve found the support effective and speedy. But reviews online have shown me that other customers have been frustrated with the speed and expertise of the support.
It really depends on how technical your website is. If you foresee you’ll need ongoing support then you might want to try SiteGround, their expertise and support is second to none. However, if you have a simple site then you might well be happy with the performance, reliability and price and willing to accept some inconsistent support on the rare occasion you are likely to need it.
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. We think their VPS service is top notch, our favourite 3 options are the following.
Key features of the Starter VPS Hosting Package
- 1GB Ram
- 30 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Bandwidth
If you're looking for a hosting service that combines great quality with a really strong price point then you're i the right place. Especially if you want to work with an award winning hosting provider with an outstanding reputation online.
Key features of the most popular VPS Package
- 2GB RAM
- 60 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Bandwidth
If you are expecting more traffic or your audience is already building then you're going to need a little my might and power from your host without costing the earth. This is what they package offers and why it's the most popular.
Key features of the largest VPS Hosting Package
- 8GB RAM
- 120 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Bandwidth
If your website is eCommerce or has a well established audience then this is the perfect place to start looking. You get the extra performance which you need, but with a company you can trust and all at a reasonable price that offers value.
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.
Knownhost Hosting: Other things to know
Average speed, amazing uptime, but noncompetitive pricing...
We've done a cross-comparison analysis of Knownhost Hostings performance benchmarks vs the benchmarks of several other hosts in their bracket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is page load speed very important?
You'll here us bang on a lot about page load speed, because it's vital to the success of a website. If it's slower than 3 seconds you lose almost half your traffic waiting for the page to load.
You can't sell them anything if they are not seeing your content, you can't increase branding or generate a following. But it's more than that. Google determines search result positioning by how long they stay on your site, they consider it a good sign that your traffic likes your content if they stick around longer. Having them leave before they arrive sends completely the wrong signal.
What are Solid State Drives
Every couple of years, there comes a long a technology that revolutionizes an industry. For many that's SDD for the hosting industry because it changes the way data is received from hard drives.
Rather than having to wait for the hard drive to retrieve the data of the website it's retrieving, a SSD hard drive means it can be accessed instantly. That delay in retrieval is one of the main reason a website takes time to load. The more data their is on the page, the heavier the content, for example images, the slower it is. SSD goes a long way is making that redundant because their is no lag whilst waiting for retrieval.
How do I choose the right host for me?
You really need to have a plan or process in place when looking a picking the right hosting provider for you. There are so many out there, you need to be able to pick out those that directly meet your needs in performance, service, and price.
We’re happy to share with you what it is we look for in a hosting provider. We build our reviews around the same system because we’re big believers in sharing our expertise so you can avoid the traps and pitfalls we have fallen in, over the years of choosing hosting packages for our many websites and businesses.
We’ve blazed a path, a little bit through trial and error so that you can reap the rewards.
Before we look at what you should look when selecting a hosting provider, I want to warn you about a common mistake. Don’t start by considering the price. Clearly, you need to have a hosting provider that meets your budget, but so many hosting providers try to wow you with pricing, you should just ignore it until you’ve found a few hosting providers that really meet your needs, then you can use pricing as a factor.
The most important factors you should focus on when choosing your hosting provider are performance, reliability and customer service. Each component is as important as the other two and I’ll explain why.
Performance. You must have a hosting provider that delivers fast page loading speeds. It’s not for show, it plays a major part in conversions and customer satisfaction.
When it comes to sales and conversions, every aspect is tested for optimization. Page load speed has also been tested and the results are staggering. Web pages that load slower than 3 seconds can expect to see over 40% of their web visitors click away and go over to your competitor's website.
This is the world we’ve made for ourselves. Everything is available at the touch of a button and people just don’t like to wait. The upshot is, if they click away from your site and go to your competitor's website, you’re losing out on sales. Either directly or indirectly.
Your expectations should be dependent on the type of hosting you are looking at. Shared hosting is a slower solution, faster should be VPS (virtual private solution) with the fastest solution being a well optimized dedicated server.
For smaller websites, both personal blogs or business websites, you’re likely to be looking at a shared host solution. For you, your benchmark should be 3 seconds. As we see it, there is absolutely no reason we can think of that your page load speed should be slower than 3 seconds. If it is, you either have the wrong solution or the wrong provider. Most shared hosting providers will have a page load speed of 2-3 seconds. You can find quicker, with no real increase in price.
If you are looking for a VPS solution, perhaps you have a larger site, an ecommerce site or membership site. A VPS solution offers a little more performance and that’s seen with a page load speed that should be 2 seconds and quicker. You should expect 1-2 seconds and some are even quicker.
With a dedicated server, you should expect near perfect page load speeds. They are the most complex server solution but they deliver in performance. If it’s more than 1 second to load a page, you have the wrong dedicated server. I’d put the benchmark at 1 second but many are less than half a second.
When testing a page load speed, there are many factors that make up the page load speed, things like hardware and software, data center infrastructure that is important, but one factor that is a variable is the location of the data center itself. It can make a major difference.
As a rule of thumb, the further the data center is from the website visitor the slower it will be to load the page. This is only a real issue if your target audience is outside the US because most hosting providers are based in the US and have at least 1 data center there. However, if you’re targeting audiences in Asia or Europe try to ensure your hosting provider has a data center there too because it’s going to make a difference.
A quick summary. You need your page load speed to be as fast as possible. That’s a given. The faster it is, the fewer visitors you’ll lose to impatience. 3 seconds is the biggest drop off point, therefore all types of hosting should be faster than 3 seconds. However, with a VPS, which should offer more performance, your benchmark should be 2 seconds. Taking the next step up, with a dedicated server, the increased capacity means you should expect a page load speed of 1 second or faster.
Our next major consideration when choosing a hosting provider is reliability.
To be completely truthful, if you’re hosting a small business website or personal blog, it’s probably not going to make much of a difference. Today, the standards for reliability are so high, you can expect an uptime of over 95%, in fact probably more like 98%. Most legitimate hosting providers reach that level as a minimum.
However, if you are running an ecommerce website or a website that has a lot of traffic, then every minute it’s down is potentially going to make a difference. Either to sales and conversions or to trust and added costs.
The best and most reliable hosting providers have near perfect uptime. They have redundancy solutions which mean any component of their system can fail and they have a backup component ready to take over. They also have their own power supplies so they are not affected by local power issues or natural disasters.
If you have a small website, it’s not an issue. If you have a lot of traffic to your website or you make money directly from it, via an ecommerce store for example, then you should expect guaranteed uptime that’s near perfect. Don’t take the word of the hosting provider, half of them inflate their own figure, check to see the experience is of existing or ex-customers, they hate downtime.
The third and final component that you need to look at when picking out a hosting provider is their customer support. Often, it’s not given the consideration it deserves and I’ll explain why it’s important.
There is an exception to the rule. Very similar to reliability, if you have a small business website or a personal website it matters less. Not because it is less important.
Generally speaking, smaller websites are less complicated. They are often WordPress sites, for example. This means you’ll need less support with the technicalities of your website and therefore you won’t have to rely on the customer support team. It’s less of an issue.
This is not the case if you have a more complicated website such as an ecommerce store, a payment gateway, membership site, training course. Then you might need to be in contact with support more regularly and here’s why that becomes important financially. Let me give you an example using 2 different hosting providers.
The first hosting provider in the example doesn’t really put a lot of emphasis of customer support. They outsource support to Asia to lower costs so they can offer the hosting for cheaper. (this happens regularly with many hosting providers).
Don’t expect any direct contact, in many cases their support relies upon a ticketing system and knowledge base. Likewise, expect a little back and forth before you get the problem solved. Because you are not talking to support staff located near the technical team working in the data center support slows down significantly.
This is why this is important. Let’s say, you value your time at $30 per hour. From our experience expect to spend 4 hours of your time sorting out an issue with your hosting. That’s from trying to fix it yourself, then contact the customer support team and then getting the support you need to resolve the problem.
Over the year, that’s 16 hours of your time, at $30 per hour, that’s a cost of $480. Never forget, time is money. So, in reality, a hosting provider that is selling their hosting for $5 per month, $60 per year, actually has a cost of $540. Massive difference. Especially, when you get managed hosting for a lot less.
Whereas, a hosting provider that delivers on customer support will have their support in house, normally at one of their datacenters. They offer instant chat, a phone line to contact them on, plus the ticketing and knowledge base. They offer guarantees such as replying to your ticket in less than 30 minutes or picking up your request for chat or call in less than a minute. The biggest difference is that having support at the datacenter itself, and having it inhouse, means you can expect a much quicker resolution. At least twice as quick, if not faster.
Taking that you value your time at $30 per hour, that’s a saving of $240 a year or more. For many budgets, that a significant difference.
It’s important not to get hung up on price, not to start with. Think about performance, reliability and customer support first, make your shortlist, then take into account price.
Page load speed is really important, get it wrong and you’re throwing away traffic and handing it to your competitors. 3 seconds is your minimum criteria for shared hosting, 2 seconds for a cloud based or VPS solution, and finally, under 1 second for a dedicated server.
These are the 3 factors I think you should consider. They are what we check when we are selecting a hosting provider for our own websites and how we structure our reviews.
Performance. You want 3 seconds or quicker for shared hosting, 2 seconds and quicker for VPS hosting, and under 1 second for dedicated server hosting.
Reliability It doesn’t matter as much if you don’t earn money from your website, but otherwise, you should expect perfect uptime.
Customer support. Less important for smaller websites such as personal blogs and small business sites, but for other sites, it can more than double the price of hosting, if you have poor customer support so really take the time to find a hosting provider that takes customer support seriously.
Last piece of advice. Create a checklist before you get started, it helps you stay focused, it’s easy to end up taking a hosting package that doesn’t suit your needs.
What is their Unlimited Policy?
Hosting providers love to throw around the word "unlimited" because it sounds so good, especially when they are describing their shared hosting solutions. It's a loop hole they've found. They can write this great copy without actually lying to you.
The truth is, they have limited availability of hardrive and bandwidth, but it doesn't mean your package allows you unlimited access to it. Your package level will have limitations, but if you were to exceed them, which would probably be a good sign for your website, then you don't need to change server and you won't have downtime, you'll just start to be charged more and more and you use more.
For many, it's a bit of a con. I think there is no need to dirty the waters, they could be more transparent. But, now you know you are able to make your buying decisions with the right information
What are people saying?
One of the most important stages of any research into hosting providers, is to check what real customer are saying about their experiences with a hosting provider, in this case Knownhost. We have done it for you, but feel through to check out some reviews from yourself. We've found that most reviews are positive, the only complaints were those about slow customer support. That wasn't our experience but there were enough to suggest that it's something that's inconsistent.
A little piece of advice. People are more likely to say something bad than positive, that is just the human nature. At the same time, a company that has hundreds of thousands of customers are unlikely to be perfect all the time. It's ok to find the odd negative review, what you're looking for is a reoccurring theme, for example, in this case, the customer support.
How could Knownhost improve?
I don't want to keep on banging the same drum. Yeah they have an issue with customer support consistency, it's their only real area of improvement but if you are the owner of a small website like a personal blog or small business website, it's unlikely that you'll need support regularly so it really won't be an issue.
Other than that, they do well. There are some hosting packages in this range that are quicker, so they could improve there, although they are under the benchmark we set for VPS hosting solutions. Other than that, we're starting to pick faults.
" if you want to know why Knownhost are award winning then try them, you won't be disappointed"
I’d never really used Knownhost before. They have a solid reputation but I’ve been using another host that I’ve been happy with. As with all our reviews, we do take into account the opinions of customers but we like to run our own tests too. At the end of the day, we have a good idea what you should expect from a host that offers a VPS and dedicated server solution so we feel strongly placed to offer advice where Knownhost fits on the market.
The short answer is, they are excellent. Really solid performance, using the latest technologies including SDD technology. They offer industry leading reliability and it’s an extremely rare occurrence for any of the clients to suffer from server problems that cause downtime.Additionally pricing is also industry leading. Starting at $25 a month for a SSD VPS is excellent. So that’s performance, reliability and price all with rave reviews. The only partial negative is that their support is a little inconsistent. It’s not bad it’s just a little hit and miss.
Overall, I’d give it a big thumbs up. If you have some technical knowledge or you have a pretty simple website, such as a business website or blog, then you’re not going to notice the inconsistent support because you’re unlikely to need it very often. If you have a more complex set up and you’re after more support for your managed server then I’d recommend a host like SiteGround.
Great price, great performance, and near perfect reliability. There’s a lot to like with knownhost.