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Thinkhost Review

Looking For Shared Green Web Hosting? Beware of Thinkhost

As much as I try to avoid negative reviews, I couldn’t get away from this one. I stumbled on this host when reviewing for the main website. On the surface, they looked decent. However, as I dug deeper, a number of red flags jumped out at me.

The first was the fact that no contact telephone number is listed anywhere on the site. A little more digging and it turns out they don’t offer phone support at all. They only have an online ticket system with a 24-48 hour response time. Compared to other webhosts, this is appalling. The “standard” today is 24/7 live phone and chat support as well as a ticket system with <24 hour response/resolution time.

The second red flag is their list of servers. There are only 4 of them! Two of them are Pentium 4’s, which were current just over 3 years ago, and have 1-2 GB of RAM. The other 2 are 3 GHz Xeon Dual Cores with 4 GB of RAM. This is better, but not enough. With this setup, they have to be oversold.

Overselling on a shared server basically means they sell more accounts than they have the hardware to support. Webhosts that do this bet that most website owners will not come close to their allocated bandwidth/storage/server resource limits and sell to what they believe will be used. This means if some of the websites have a high traffic day, the total bandwidth or server resource limits are exceeded. This translates to every website on that server slowing down. In the worst case, some sites become so slow they are unusable or go down altogether. Situations like this are simply unacceptable to web businesses.

To see if my suspicions were true, I looked up some reviews. With no surprise, I discovered exactly what I expected – countless customers complaining about website instability, downtime and poor customer service. This was almost across the board for all the reviews. I was only able to find a handful of reviews that were positive.

I am typically cautious about negative reviews for a few reasons. First, the reviewer may have had a bad experience because of their inexperience. Second, some folks try to do things on their hosting accounts that the service is not set up for (always read the terms of service and plan details!). Third, they may start off their support contact with an attitude, which doesn’t exactly make anyone want to help them.

However, with Thinkhost, what struck me was the consistency of the complaints. With any webhost, you will typically see a smattering of bad reviews relating to various areas like billing, refunds, problems getting started and difficulties getting a site to work. In this case, almost every reviewer across 4 years (2006 through 2010) talked about their sites loading slowly, not working reliably and customer service being poor and unresponsive.

Based on the information on their website, the lack of a contact phone number, their server hardware quantity and age, and the consistently bad reviews, we can’t recommend Thinkhost. If you are looking for high-quality, environmentally responsible “green” hosting, try GreenGeeks or Hostgator instead.

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