Fast forward towards today and WPWebHost is one of the largest WordPress only hosting companies outside of the walls of Automattic (who owns WordPress.com), hosting hundreds (if not thousands) of WP blogs of every shape and size.
The managers at WPWebHost were kind enough to give me a few weeks to test out their service (under their Freedom Plan), and here are my thoughts after giving their servers for a spin.
It Just Makes Cents
One complaint I hear about WP only hosting companies is that they are usually much more expensive than your average hosting company (despite the fact that the former’s customer service is 100 times better).
Believe it or not, WPWebHost plans start at $30/year (via their Rookie plan), which means WordPress bloggers can be blogging upon their own custom domain without having to break the bank.
While their lowest tier plan is only recommended for tiny blogs (i.e. personal sites), $30 down should give you a taste of their service before you decide to upgrade to a higher plan.
For larger blogs I would recommend their Buddy plan (which starts at $20/month) which gives you 100 GB of space and a 1,000 GB of transfer per month.
Would You Like cPanel With That?
Just like a traditional host, WPWebHost provides cPanel for their users which means that you have the ability to edit files via FTP, create email accounts (note: the UI is horrible so I’d recommend Google Apps), or even add extra domains.
For the super geeks out there, you can also create extra MySQL databases as well as run a CRON job (note: if you don’t know what that is, consider yourself normal).
Migration And CDN For The Win?!
However unlike their rivals WPWebHost will only migrate your content (as in images, videos, text, etc.) and not themes or any plugins, which means that you will need to spend some extra time reinstalling and configuring your blog after you make the big switch.
Although WPWebHost does offer CDN services (aka Content Delivery Networks) which can use to help speed up delivery of your site, it appears to be through a reseller instead of home grown.
I can not vouch for the CDN offered (as I have not tested their services out), although you can add it to the cost of your plan for an extra monthly fee.
Go Social With BuddyPress And PHP Forums
From my various conversations with the company they did inform me that WP fans do have the ability to install BuddyPress as well as non-WordPress software like (think php forums).
This means that if your blog already has an established forum (powered by bbPress or another alternative), you can migrate and setup your blog without fear of it being axed.
However WPWebHost did indicate that their servers are setup specifically for WordPress blogs, and they will only provide support for WordPress related issues (which means you are officially on your own as far as forum support goes).
While this option will not appeal to everyone, it does give those of you who are building your own “mini-Facebook’s” another reason to leave your standard host for a WP centric one.
Where WPWebHost Fails
While I did enjoy WPWebHost’s features and did not encounter many technical problems (I did have a hiccup setting up), my biggest complaint is with their sales team (via chat) who for the most part did not seem very knowledgeable about WordPress or WPWebHost (plans, features, etc.).
I was extremely underwhelmed by this discovery, although their technical team was the complete opposite (very knowledgeable and passionate about WordPress).
Another feature about WPWebHost is that unlike many of their rivals they do not provide automatic upgrades for your blog, themes or plugins.
Although this will probably be seen as a plus for those of you with highly customized themes, it can create a potential security issue (especially if a critical security patch is sent out.
One more thing: While this little fact is immaterial in my honest opinion, lest I receive complaints in my inbox for “not telling” you should know that WPWebHost is located in Malaysia, NOT America.
So unless you plan on running an anti-Malaysian blog or plan on burning any religious book, you should find another host (note: as far as the later point goes, many US hosts will shut you down for the latter point).
Should I Host With WPWebHost?
Aside from the sales chat team, I found WPWebHost to be a reasonable host whose customer service was unparalleled as far as hosting goes.
Whenever I had a question the company was usually able to respond with 24 minuets, let alone 24 hours.
WPWebHost is also a good option for those of you with multiple blogs, as you can place several blogs under one plan (although its advisable that you choose a higher plan if your site becomes too popular).
However if you do choose on hosting with them I would highly recommend probloggers avoid the Rookie and Freedom plans, and instead look at their Buddy and VPS plans instead (as the specs are not that impressive for the former two).
(Image Credits: WPWebHost)