HawkHost’s original brand name, Devoted Host, began operating in 2004. It had already been rebranded following the departure of one of the company founders; it then picked up the HawkHost name in 2008. This means that HawkHost have amassed nearly a decade’s worth of experience in the business of web hosting, although you’d be forgiven for thinking it was far younger.
Six months after the company’s most recent rebranding, it became a Canadian corporation with the remaining founding member in place as its CEO.
Despite its complex history, HawkHost is a fairly standard provider. The primary focus of its service catalogue appears to be shared web hosting. It also offers reseller, semi-dedicated and VPS hosting on the side.
HawkHost Hosting Plans
HawkHost has four shared hosting plans for customers to choose from. Each plan is priced on a sliding scale, with monthly, three-monthly, six-monthly or yearly payment options.
● Shared hosting plans work their way up from 3,000 MB disk space and 45 GB monthly bandwidth (Basic plan) up to 24,000 MB disk space and 360 GB monthly bandwidth (Super). All shared hosting plans allow for unlimited email accounts, domains and MySQL databases, and all can be ordered with CloudLinux or LiteSpeed (an alternative to Apache).
● HawkHost’s Reseller plans are structured in a similar way to the shared hosting plans. There are four options, starting with 15 GB disk space, 300 GB monthly bandwidth and a maximum of 50 control panel accounts, scaling up to 60 GB disk space, 1,200 GB monthly bandwidth and a maximum of 200 control panel accounts.
● Again, there are four semi-dedicated hosting plans for customers who want more power without the expense of dedicated servers. Plans start with 20,000 MB disk space and 350 GB monthly bandwidth and scale up to 50,000 MB disk space and 1,200 GB monthly bandwidth.
● There are four VPS hosting plans at HawkHost. The Basic plan provides 10 GB disk space and 250 GB monthly bandwidth. Customers are guaranteed 384 MB RAM, burstable up to 768 MB. CPU power is shared equally amongst all VPS accounts on the host server. The plans scale up to the Super plan which provides 40 GB disk space, 550 GB bandwidth and 2048 MB RAM, burstable up to 3048 MB.
There is also an affiliate program that HawkHost’s customers can use to generate referral payments.
HawkHost publishes a 99.9% uptime guarantee to back up its shared and reseller hosting plans. The uptime guarantee is outlined in the SLA provided to HawkHost customers. It compensates customers if server uptime drops below 99.9% in any given billing month. The amount paid out starts at 10% of the monthly charge and increases to 100% if uptime falls below 99%. Customers can claim at any time by opening an SLA ticket.
HawkHost uses 6 data centers around the world. Four data centres are strategically spread across the USA, one data centre is located in Singapore and the final one is located in Amsterdam. Each data centres utilise tier 1 and 2 transit providers and feature Cisco and Juniper network hardware. UPS systems and diesel backup generators are in place to ensure that power to the data centre is maintained.
Although uptime statistics are not published, users can view maintenance data on each data centre along with its technical specifications. Customers can also perform a speedtest on each data centre to see which is quickest for them, and they can also test the download speed with different sized test files.
HawkHost states that its servers automatically repair themselves should any problems arise. However, despite this level of automation, support is provided in the form of a ticketing system which is available at all times. There is also a phone line.
HawkHost has a blog, knowledgebase and status page for news, articles and alerts. Customers can also interact and seek guidance through a forum.
There are active Google+ and Facebook pages for HawkHost, but any support requests are steered back to the ticketing system. There are two Twitter accounts, one where customers can interact with HawkHost and one which tweets out live server updates.
HawkHost in the News
HawkHost has not made any appearances in technical news sites, either good or bad.
HawkHost Control Panel
The well known cPanel control panel is offered for most site management needs. Customers can also select a multilingual cPanel skin if they prefer. Experienced hosting customers will be familiar with cPanel, and resellers will feel comfortable with its companion tool, WHM.
VPS customers are provisioned with a customised control panel, although they can pay extra for cPanel, which is a nice touch. The custom panel looks to be relatively well designed anyway and will satisfy most VPS customers’ needs on a basic level.
HawkHost offers both Fantastico and Softaculous one-click installers and includes 7 day backups in the price. Its hosting supports PHP, Pear, Zend, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python and more.
There are no obvious freebies and extras included with the HawkHost plans, but there is a page for any available special offers. Zen Cart, Cube Cart and OS Commerce are all offered toclients looking to sell through their website.
HawkHost Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
Shared hosting, semi-dedicated hosting and reseller accounts all come with a 30-day money back guarantee (unless the customer breaches the terms and conditions). Full details are available in the Terms of Service document.
HawkHost compares relatively well against other web hosting companies within this price band. The options and packages offer a clear progression, from customers getting started and growing their business to a step up to VPS, and then through to semi-dedicated hosting. It may lack a killer selling point, but it still seems to be a solid choice.