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Glowhost Review

Glowhost Scorecard
Category Score
Core Features 7/10
Email Features 10/10
Support & Security Features 7/10
Website Statistics 10/10
Administration & Software 10/10
Multimedia Support 10/10
Included Scripts 10/10
E-Commerce 7/10
Overall Score 71/80
Rank #9
Rating 3.5 Star
Visit: Glowhost Web Hosting

Pros: Unlimited domains, subdomains, parked domains, databases, email accounts, forwards and autoresponders; Free lifetime domain; 60 day money back guarantee; good free script library and software support; Dedicated IP address and private SSL certificate included.

Cons: 100GB monthly transfer limit; 10GB storage limit; No PostgreSQL, anonymous FTP or international domain support; No advertising credits or web marketing extras; phone support from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM PST (they discourage phone contact and prefer an appointment); No website templates included.

Overview: Glowhost is a cPanel host that gives you the basics for getting your site on the web. As with most other cPanel hosts, you get a wide array of free scripts and their software support is up to date. A big plus is the inclusion of a dedicated IP address and private SSL certificate. While traffic and storage have limits, they are generous enough to for most websites. Their multimedia support is the best we have seen. GlowHost usually responds to support tickets the same day.

GlowHost offers a whole suite of hosting plans. The more notable plans include their streaming media plans (ffmpeg, ShoutCast and Podcasting) and their dedicated server plans. They are the only host on our list to offer unmanaged dedicated servers in addition to the managed variety. Their Intel Level II dedicated server plan is the most powerful dedicated server hosting we reviewed. Glowhost also has an unlimited shared hosting plan, reseller plans that come with a merchant account so you can accept credit card payments, and VPS hosting plans. All have excellent reliability.

Glowhost Review – Core Features: 8/10

GlowHost’s set of core features are great in some areas and fair in others. Storage space is set at a maximum of 10 GB and monthly bandwidth is capped at 100 GB. While there are limits in place, this is very good for a shared host. Most shared hosts say unlimited storage and bandwidth but don’t really expect you to max out the system because most users don’t. They are set up to handle increased traffic in bursts. If your traffic increases beyond a certain point (most hosts will not reveal what that limit is – often times it’s arbitrary) they will either shut down your site or strongly recommend you upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server.

For our GlowHost review, it’s nice to see a hosting company being straight with customers about their plan limits. Besides, if you get to the point where you have over 10GB of information on your websites and get 100 GB per month of traffic, you are doing very well and upgrading to a VPS or dedicated server may be a good idea. With GlowHost, you can seamlessly upgrade from their shared hosting to their VPS hosting plan and up to their dedicated server hosting plan. They offer managed and unmanaged versions of the VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting plans, so even if you’re not a trained server admin, they will take good care of you.

You are allowed unlimited domains, sub-domains, parked domains, and MySQL databases. There is no size limit to the MySQL databases, so as your sites grow, your databases will grow with them. Multiple FTP accounts are allowed. The number of concurrent connections to the FTP server from your FTP program is limited to 4. They do not support international domain names, anonymous FTP or PostgreSQL databases. SSH shell access is supported, along with .htaccess editing (to manage access to your pages and folders) and custom error pages (so you can keep visitors on your site even when a page doesn’t load).

GlowHost also provides a free dedicated IP address, which is essential if you plan to have your own payment processor and shopping cart. These require a private SSL certificate, which ensures your customers' personal data is secure. Many hosts offer free shared certificates, but at checkout, their name will show in the address bar. That can be off-putting for customers. With a private SSL certificate, your domain is what appears to customers in the address bar, which shows them you are a real professional business and not some shady here-today-gone-tomorrow operation. Luckily, GlowHost provides you with a free private SSL certificate. You also get 1 free lifetime domain name. This means you can register a domain name with them for free and keep it, without having to pay for annual renewal, for as long as you use GlowHost as your web host.

If you are interested in hosting websites for clients or starting your own hosting service, GlowHost also offers Reseller Hosting plans. These plans include Free ClientExec Customer Billing Software, Free Wild West Domains Domain Reseller Account, Free Merchant account, Free, Free Web Hosting Site Templates, Free branded Private Name Servers, $200 Free Google Adwords Credit and 2 dedicated IP addresses.

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Glowhost Review – Email Features: 10/10

The email features included in all of the hosts we reviewed are essentially the same. GlowHost provides unlimited POP3/IMAP email accounts, unlimited autoresponders and unlimited mail forwarding/aliases. One very important feature to note is that each separate domain in your account can have its own email addresses. You also have control over catch-all emails. GlowHost includes SPAM Assassin SPAM filtering, giving you custom filtering and black/white lists. Webmail is included and is compatible with personal email programs (Outlook, etc.).

GlowHost allows mailing lists. GlowHost’s email policy for Budget shared hosting plans states that customers can send a maximum of 100 emails per hour. The mailing list script provided with the plan (PHPlist) allows email “throttling” so you don’t exceed 100/hr. Be aware that emails/hour limits also include normal emailing. It’s best not to max out your emails/hour for just your list or you may not be able to send regular emails.

If you have more than 1000 list members on a shared hosting package, you must schedule your mailings during off-peak hours. GlowHost considers off-peak to be from 10:00 PM PST (1:00 AM EST) to 5:00 AM PST (8:00 AM EST). If you use their VPS hosting or dedicated server hosting plans, there are no scheduling restrictions. GlowHost requires dedicated server hosting for lists above 5000 members. But don’t be alarmed – a list that large is a sign of success. A smart move at that point is to transition to a dedicated mailing list provider like AWeber. This is an especially good idea if you don’t yet have the traffic or profit margin to accommodate the higher cost of a dedicated server.

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Glowhost Review – Support & Security Features: 9/10

GlowHost gets good feedback in the Internet community for its 99.9% uptime guarantee, free account setup and 60-day, no questions asked, money-back guarantee. In addition to server backups, you also have the option to back up your account from the cPanel administration panel. You can also enable hotlink/leeching protection (to prevent others from displaying your content on their sites using your bandwidth to do it), and password protect directories.

Their technical team answers inquiries via the support ticket system, which is staffed 24/7 and is GlowHost’s preferred method of contact. Support ticket response time averages at a lightning fast 10 minutes. While support staff are knowledgeable and courteous, GlowHost’s chat and telephone support options, however, could be better. At the time of our GlowHost review, the following policies are listed on their support page.

Users may request technical support via AIM, MSN Messenger or Skype by appointment. A GlowHost agent may already be online for live help, however we do not guarantee live help without first scheduling an appointment. There is no charge for live help via instant messenger.

Our phone lines are often busy with long wait times due to lengthy sales questions and other delays associated with phone conversations like manually retrieving customer records. If this is the case, or you have called outside of phone support hours, you may be routed to our voicemail deposit box. If you are prompted to leave a message, we suggest you do so. This will enter your request into the support queue. Someone will return your call or assist you per the instructions in your message as soon as possible. Telephone support is also available by appointment or by dialing our toll-free number directly during normal business hours. Phones are answered from 8:00 a.m. PST to 8:00 p.m. PST however phone support is not recommended without an appointment and should not be considered as a recommended or official support channel unless there is a problem with the helpdesk, our forums, or all other communication attempts by you to GlowHost have failed.

We would like to have seen 24/7 phone and chat based technical assistance at GlowHost because most hosts in this class provide it. They do have an extensive knowledgebase, great video tutorials and an active support forum that is moderated by GlowHost administrators. This is also a good place to get your questions answered.

GlowHost’s data center has uninterruptible power supplies and generator backup, consistent temperature and humidity range, state of the art ID system and security including video surveillance and recording, redundant Cisco BGP routing and switching infrastructure with cold spares (allows for datacenter equipment failure with no interruption of service and timely replacement of the failed item), complete spares of all server parts onsite, state of the art monitoring system for all servers and network devices with instant failure notification. Currently 5 or more Tier 1 backbone providers service the datacenter at any given time. They are publicly peered with 12 providers and have access all the major fiber and IP backbones.

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Glowhost Review – Website Statistics: 10/10

GlowHost provides all of the standard website statistics for tracking and monitoring your sites. These include raw access logs, error logs, referrer logs, bandwidth usage monitoring and sub-domain statistics. They also include Webalizer and AWStats programs within cPanel to see a detailed graphical representation of all your traffic data.

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Glowhost Review – Administration & Software Support: 10/10

GlowHost uses the industry-standard cPanel hosting administration and control panel for your hosting account. cPanel is user-friendly and powerful, providing control of everything from script installation and domain modifications to email and FTP. GlowHost supports the latest versions of all the current web application software, including PHP, Perl, CGI/SSI, Python, Ruby on Rails and JavaScript/DHTML. Each domain gets its own CGI-BIN. GlowHost allows custom PHP.ini files and has phpMyAdmin for MySQL database management. They have Microsoft FrontPage extensions available and allow uploading sites from Dreamweaver. GlowHost is WordPress ready.

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Glowhost Review – Multimedia Support: 10/10

GlowHost supports streaming audio and video along with Real Audio, Real Video, MIDI, Flash (user must have the free Flash plug-in installed in their browser), Shockwave (user must have the free Shockwave plug-in installed in their browser) and custom MIME types. They also support PHPmotion, FFmpeg, FFmpeg-PHP, Mplayer, Mencoder, FLVTool2, Libogg, Libvorbis, vShare, VidiScript, ClipShare, Rayzz, You Tube Clone and LAME MP3 Encoder. To round out the outstanding multimedia capabilities at GlowHost, they support podcasts and offer a special SHOUTcast hosting plan for Internet radio broadcasting. The is THE host to have for multimedia and streaming content websites.

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Glowhost Review – Included Scripts: 10/10

GlowHost includes an outstanding array of 1-click install scripts in cPanel via Fantastico De Luxe Script Installer. These include forums & message boards, form-mail scripts, image galleries, blogs, site builders, content management systems & portals, project management, polls & surveys, FAQs, customer support & ticket generation, shopping cart & e-commerse scripts, chat, a mailing list script, search and a CGI script library. Popular applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, PHPbb, osCommerce, Coppermine Photo Gallery, Moodle, PHP-Nuke, Xoops, Geeklog, PHPlist, dotProject, PHPauction, Open-Realty, PHPSurveyor and many more come free with your GlowHost account.

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Glowhost Review – E-Commerce Features: 8/10

When it comes to E-Commerce, our GlowHost review revealed some very positive points and a few missing features. On the positive side, you get a free private SSL certificate. This is essential if you have your own web store and your own merchant account (as opposed to accepting payments through a third party processor like PayPal or Clickbank where they process the transaction and therefore handle the security). GlowHost offers access to the highest quality Credit Card Processing and Payment solutions through e-onlinedata and, featuring instant establishment of your Merchant ID Number. As soon as you submit the Online Application for your merchant account, your live Visa/MasterCard Merchant ID is issued to you.

GlowHost also offers Lite Commerce support on all hosting packages. With your annual or biannual hosting payment, you will will receive a $60.00 credit to your hosting account, or, they will install Lite Commerce for you, free of charge. Zen-Cart, CubeCart and osCommerse shopping carts are included in your hosting account as well. On top of that, you get a 60-day free trial with Constant Contact, an email marketing company.

There are, however, some rather large omissions from the GlowHost e-commerce package. First, there are no templates included with your account. Second, there are no advertising credits; no Google AdWords, no Yahoo! Advertising, no MIVA. These two features are provided by all of the other hosts we reviewed. Frankly, with all of the other bonuses, we are surprised GlowHost doesn’t offer these basic extras.

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3.5 StarGlowhost Review – Overall Score: 71/80

GlowHost, though 9th out of 9 on our web hosting reviews list, still offers a strong hosting solution. Due to the lack of templates and advertising credits, we would not recommend GlowHost for Internet marketing, affiliate marketing, or selling digital products (such as eBooks and software). For personal websites, there are less expensive hosts on our list that provide all you need for less than half the cost. Unlimited domains and unlimited MySQL databases make this a decent host to use for multiple blogs, though there are also lower cost providers on our list that would fulfill those needs.

Based on the features and services offered, GlowHost is the best web host on our list for hosting multimedia and streaming audio and video. With support for FFmpeg, Real Player, Flash, and many many more, you won’t find online audio and video coverage that’s better than this. GlowHost’s e-commerce features seem to be geared toward online merchants who sell or intend to sell physical products with their own merchant account. If you are one of those merchants, or plan to be, GlowHost is a good choice for you.

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