2021 January 8
InterServer has changed their pricing strategy but kept all the features intact. It’s still a fast and reliable company offering a ton of great deals.
good, the provider offers high-value features.
good, the provider offers high-value features.
SPEED — 611ms
Average, the provider is fast but not exceptional
UPTIME — 99.94%
Reliable, provider exceeds its uptime guarantee.
PRICING — 8.9/10
Great, the provider offers one of the best prices available.
You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain.
This couldn’t be more true with InterServer that has fallen into the hands of marketing.
Let me remind you. In 2019, InterServer was one of the greatest web hosting providers. It offered 100% transparent pricing, plenty of features, and was overall a customer-focused company.
But 2020 was a year of change.
You see, InterServer used to have one shared hosting plan. You pay $5 a month and get everything you need for the website. The price does not increase over time, there are no sneaky pricing schemes with a billion different options.
And that’s what users used to love about InterServer. But oh well, that’s not how InterServer looks now.
“Yadayadayada, things changed. We get that,” you say. But the real question is, are they still a good company?
In this InterServer review, that’s what I’m going to find out.
InterSerer has its classic Standard plan for $5 a month but it also added 2 other plans – Boost 2 and Boost 4 featuring different price points.
Each of the plans will get you unlimited sites, storage, bandwidth, emails, and all that stuff. So where the freakin' difference is? Let’s see.
Each plan is “stronger” than the previous one. This means, that you can have more stuff running on the Boost 2 and Boost 4 plans, more visitors coming in, and more dynamic elements.
That’s techy stuff, but to put it simply, the Standard plan will handle all simple websites like blogs, small business websites, and so on.
Meanwhile, Boost 2 and 4 are the upgrades in case you get surges of traffic or need to implement advanced features on your site.
But that’s not the only difference.
The simple pricing structure changed into a more standard model you see with the majority of other companies.
The “no price increase” feature is now gone… kinda. The cheapest plan which is $5 will renew at $7 a month if you choose monthly billing.
The discounts on longer billing terms still apply.
However, even these are not immune to higher renewal rates. No matter which billing period you choose, it will renew at $7/mo. Which is not that expensive, honestly.
Meanwhile, Boost 2 and Boost 4 do not increase in price after renewal. You’ll always pay the same exact amount which is $10 or $20 a month based on which plan you choose.
Fortunately, “Price Lock Guarantee” is still a thing. This basically means that if the prices of these plans go up, your account will not be charged the new price. You’ll be billed the amount you bought InterServer for, for as long as you need it.
So let’s say you bought InterServer before all these changes for $5 a month – it has to charge you $5 a month and not the new $7 renewal price.
Why is this important? Well, some providers like SiteGround just felt like doubling their prices recently. But this affected not only new users but the existing customers as well. Imagine that your hosting company just double their prices overnight and you MUST pay that?
So even though InterServer pricing has changed a bit, they are still offering quire cheap plans compared to other companies. For example, if we’d compare the prices for 1 year of unlimited web hosting.
With an initial $54 yearly price and $84 yearly renewal price, InterServer is still the cheapest option.
To summarize the pricing model, InterServer, even after the changes, is still offering low prices. You can get monthly or yearly plans for a fraction of what you would pay with other providers. And you’re immune to future price increases.
Instead of working on pricing changes, plans, and business structure, I wish InterServer was working on their interface. As it stands now, it is the biggest downside I found when doing this InterServer review – clunky to navigate and very outdated.
For example, this is the main user account screen you’ll see when logged in. Not helpful at all.
Basically, just click on “Web Hosting.” This way, you’ll reach your “Hosting management” area where you’ll be able to find a shortcut to cPanel.
Thankfully, cPanel is where you’ll spend most of your time managing your website together with the WordPress admin interface.
So cPanel is a completely standard interface and you’ll be able to use it with no problems.
So is the design a big deal? Not necessarily as you won’t spend much time in there. What’s important is the features included. And InterServer has plenty of them.
There are 3 core extra features – InterInsurance, Inter Proxy Caching, and InterShield, that make InterServer stand out from the rest of shared hosting providers. The best part is that all these come with every plan for free.
If your site gets messed up, hacked, or in any way ruined, InterServer promises to investigate, restore, and even prevent similar future harm to your compromised website.
This applies even if you have a broken website with another web hosting company. They will migrate your site to their servers and investigate the issue for free. Bear in mind that it’s only applicable to WordPress websites.
It's one of the most complicated features from the technical aspect that helps with your website speed. To put it in simple words, every time a user wants to visit your site, the server will have a copy of your website ready. It prevents it from going through the files and database, making your website load much faster.
It’s a package of security features that works to stop any attack on your website learning from previously infected websites on the same network. That includes malware, virus, and DDoS protection.
Altogether, these features alone would cost more than $5 a month making the value of InterServer plans increase significantly.
To test InterServer speed, I’ve set up a couple of real-world scenarios. I’ll do a simple speed test, stress test, and will show you how InterServer performs in the long term. For all of this, I’m using the cheapest Standard plan.
First of all, I’ve set up a WordPress website. The one that I always use – pretty heavy stuff with lots of images and design elements.
Once online and ready, I tested it with GTMetrix to see how fast it loads.
The website loaded in 1.3 seconds. With absolutely 0 optimizations.
The time to first byte was just 0.4 seconds.
So is this fast?
Yeah, that’s pretty much faster than most of $15 or $20 web hosting plans that I’ve tested. Less than half a second for a website to react? That’s very fast.
But not surprising at all.
InterServer operates 2 data centers themselves instead of renting out servers that they resel. So even though you are not paying a lot, you get the best shared hosting performance possible.
Owning data centers allows the provider to utilize only 50% of each server instead of stuffing each one of them with users to “cut costs.” So you get a faster and more stable service.
Talking of which, I wanted to see how many users InterServer could handle on my website.
Using K6 Cloud software, I sent 50 users to log in to my site at the same time.
And 50 users were a little too much for my cheap plan. The green line represents users while the blue one shows how fast the server is responding. Ideally, the blue line should be as flat as possible. In this case, it’s jumping all over the place.
This shows that the server is having some issues at responding but on a positive note, it keeps my website online even under pressure.
And talking about your website being online, I also monitored InterServer for 6 months.
During this time, the website was online 99.98% of the time with only 1 hour of downtime.
Downtime is unavoidable as there are maintenance and unexpected errors that require to reload the servers. However, InterServer seems to handle it all exceptionally well.
So what does this all mean for you as a user?
Well, InterServer will load your site very fast. You won’t have to worry about downtime at all. Also, the cheapest plan is suited to around 15k monthly visitors as it tends to slow down when too many users are on the website at the same time. So performance-wise, InterServer gets an A+.
InterServer has 24/7 live chat and email support. It’s also possible to contact them via phone. The agents are all about solving your problem and moving on as fast as possible.
As far as my experience goes, InterServer support is always straight-to-the-point. Don’t expect automated messages with lots of pleasantries. They will come in, answer your question or solve the issue, and move on.
Just like in this example. I asked about backups, I got straightforward instructions, and we parted our ways.
Even though the estimated wait time was 24 minutes, the agent joined in a second once I wrote my question. They also responded really quickly – talking from experience and not looking for answers in the knowledge base.
On the other hand, I get those aboslutely terrible InterServer reviews. If you're used to chit-chat and aplogies in every other message – you're not getting that here.
So when it comes to customer support, I personally like how straightforward and efficient it is. Nevermind the small talk.
Even after the changes, I can’t fault InterServer too much. I always felt that the pricing was a little too good for what they are offering. And the $2 increase? I can deal with that considering all that they offer.
So again, in this InterServer review, I found that it is an honest company that’s trying to get a little bit more profit but still focusing on their customers.
And there’s no one particular user I can recommend it to.
It’s a company offering an amazing deal whether you are just getting started or need to host your clients’ websites. With the addition of the Boost plans, everyone will find something for their website.
So go ahead and pick InterServer if you want to support an honest and customer-focused company. I’ll also be waiting for your questions in the comment section down below. As always – happy hosting!