Review SummaryUpdated: July 10, 2020
- Good server uptime.
- Scalable plans.
- Free hosting plan.
- Free shared SSL and HTTPS.
- New customer discounts.
- 30-day Money-Back guarantee.
- Cheaper than most plans on the market.
- Poor Customer support.
- Ambiguous resource thresholds.
- No Dedicated server options.
- No site migration support.
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
AtSpace’s shared hosting plans offer low cost and scalable solutions. Customers are offered three distinct hosting plans, each offering an extremely low promotional price and seamless upgrading. Hosting performance and security are also competitive, relative to industry-standard packages; boasting a 99.9% uptime and an impressive security bundle. AtSpace’s shared hosting services are ideal for small businesses just starting out; however, they also do a good job at providing competitive, higher-level solutions for users that require more resources.
Base level specifications shared across plans include HDD disk space, shared RAM and CPU usage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. Users should be aware that, like most hosting services, unlimited doesn’t really mean unlimited. As per Atspace’s terms of service, there is an established monthly traffic allowance, and the ‘unlimited data transfer’ does not apply to media transfer. As per the terms of services documentation:
“Atspace.com provides a monthly traffic allowance. The allocated traffic allowance depends on the package. In case you pass the allocated monthly traffic, we reserve the right to suspend your account until the next month cycle starts, or until additional traffic, allowance is ordered.”
Conditions like the excerpt above are very common among hosting companies that offer ‘unlimited’ resources on shared plans. You can expect these types of limitations on things such as media storage, email storage, and bandwidth. Most small businesses should not be concerned with reaching these thresholds with day to day operations; moreover, AtSpace will notify you if you are nearing the limit on a server resource.
Also included on all hosting plans are a variety of useful tools, resources, and add-ons, a lot of which are the industry standard. For example, all plans feature unlimited email accounts, standard spam protection, and email security. One-click app installs are also available using the Zacky App Installer, which automatically installs popular apps such as WordPress and
Joomla onto your site without any developer input.
With ‘unlimited’ disc space, two hosted sites, and up to 50mb of MySQL Database Storage, you truly get what you pay for. Especially taking into consideration that 50MB of storage is feasible only for simple static and low traffic sites.
Instead, users who are looking for a balance between flexibility, resources, and price should consider AtSpace’s ‘Professional’ plan. With this plan, database storage space is doubled to 100MB, and up to five domains can be hosted. Utilizing 100 MB storage and an upgrade to 5 MySQL databases, with ‘Professional’, you will be able to add more apps and services to your site, as well as benefit from faster page load times and overall reliability. However, if your priority is data persistence and security, keep in mind that a failsafe, like full data backups, could push you over the 100mb limit, especially if combined with multiple apps, such as WordPress or Joomla.
Overall, the ‘Professional’ plan provides a great balance for users seeking space to upload media while not needing a lot of infrastructure, apps, and dynamic content; this plan could be best utilized by small businesses or a budding start-up.
The final shared hosting plan is the enterprise plan, the step below semi-dedicated server packages. Aside from the features expected at all levels of shared hosting, this plan offers ‘unlimited’ MySQL database storage, as well as a free domain name. For administrators and developers, be aware that this is the only shared hosting plan that offers SSH.
This is the ideal solution for an established business seeing regular volumes of traffic or large data transfer of media. To sum it up, clients that require the ability to host multiple sites, the flexibility of resources, or a solution that scales with an emphasis on security should consider this plan.
One of AtSpace’s truly defining factors is their exceptionally low prices on all shared hosting plans. Currently, AtSpace is offering attractive promotions for a yearly subscription with plans starting at $0.08 a month. With this, AtSpace definitely lives up to its motto of catering for new businesses. Though, you should be aware though that these discounted prices don’t extend on renewal and the regular pricing is significantly higher. At these rates, AtSpaces Shared hosting packages are some of the cheapest offerings on the market, even at renewal.
As for customer service, AtSpace offers 24/7/365 ticket-based customer support, although a significant amount of customers have reported that the system isn’t always reliable. If you’re migrating an existing site to AtSpace, this is a manual process, with the ticketing system being the only method of support, as the live chat is primarily a sales support channel. For those new to hosting, you’ll want to consider hosts that provide a higher level of customer support, with 24/7 live chat and phone support being highly useful.
As far as security goes, AtSpace offers industry-standard features such as virus protection, firewall, and shared SSL. For all shared hosting plans, AtSpace also features data persistence through RAID backups. Essentially this means that your data is doubly protected by being backed up on two HDD drives, so this is great for people planning to run e-commerce businesses or data-sensitive projects. Plus, every plan comes with free HTTPS. Given the first year promotion, this is an attractive bundle of security features that offer an effective level of security at an affordable price.
Overall, AtSpace does well in offering low start-up costs, effectively crafting plans to help new businesses get started with web hosting. Additionally, you are not required to commit to a yearly plan; there are three month, six month, and multiple yearly options as well. That being said, the promotional prices don’t apply to the monthly plans as well the second year onwards.
If the bottom line for your business is cost, then AtSpace’s promotional offers are hard to beat across the market. However, the support system doesn’t offer 24/7 live support chat, a feature that a lot of people new to hosting would find useful.
Given that shared hosting is primarily targeted at people new to hosting, you should take into consideration that you may find yourself waiting for your ticket to be appropriately addressed by the support team. However, If there are problems with your hosting, remember that AtSpace does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Semi-Dedicated Hosting Review
Best for: High traffic sites, more resources & security
Semi-Dedicated hosting is the next step up following the ‘Enterprise’ shared hosting plan offered by AtSpace, but what’s the difference? Semi-Dedicated can mean a few different things in the hosting world. Generally, the term is used when only a few clients are hosted on a server, as opposed to hundreds or thousands hosted on a ‘shared’ server. On the other end of the spectrum is a fully dedicated server where the entirety of the server’s resources is utilized by a single client or business.
Benefits of Semi-Dedicated Plans
Semi-dedicated plans are ideal for websites with medium traffic requirements, so businesses such as small e-commerce stores with less than 10,000 daily visitors; static sites such as blogs with less than 50,000 daily visitors could also use semi-dedicated servers. This is by no means a strict threshold, as your business traffic needs may vary, or your application may be more resource-intensive than others even with less traffic. If your business falls below these thresholds, AtSpace’s three semi-dedicated plans offer competitive and versatile packages that should meet your business needs.
The baseline benefits of the shared hosting solutions carry over to the semi-dedicated plans, such as the 30-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9% uptime. The main difference between the shared hosting plans and the semi-dedicated ones, as mentioned above, is the number of server resources you are purchasing. With the shared hosting plans, the amount of MySQL databases and storage space increases sequentially; the semi-dedicated plans, on the other hand, offer unlimited MySQL databases and connections. This means that the semi-dedicated plans have different metrics to measure resource allocation between the few clients using the server, namely server CPU/RAM usage, and hourly MySQL queries.
With the ‘Starter’ semi-dedicated hosting plan, AtSpace offers a maximum of 20% CPU/RAM usage and 500,000 MySQL queries per hour. In other words, this means that with the starter plan, you are allocated 20% of the server resources; the amount of users that can connect to your sites and query the MySQL databases is ‘unlimited’. The ‘Starter’ plan costs 11.99€ per month, which is in the middle of the line for a starter package industry-wide.
What varies with each semi-dedicated plan is the amount of information transfer that can happen per hour on the server, at 8,000 queries per minute, as well as the CPU/RAM usage allocation and price. The next step up is the ‘Pro’ semi-dedicated hosting plan, offering 35% of the server CPU/RAM resources and up to 700,000 MySQL queries per hour. This plan costs 19.19€ a month, or 230.26€, and is ideal for businesses receiving more than several thousand daily visitors.
The final solution is the ‘Advanced’ plan, boasting 50% of the server resources and a maximum of 1,000,000 MySQL queries per hour. Here, you’re purchasing half a server for a price of 29.99€ monthly or 359.86€ per annum. This solution is the last realistic option before you should consider purchasing a dedicated server. If your business experiences anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 visitors per day, this plan will likely satisfy your resource requirements. Users experiencing traffic above that threshold should consider AtSpace’s VPS dedicated hosting plans.
Since you are purchasing at least 20% of the server resources with these plans, as opposed to 1% or less with shared hosting, there is a significant price increase between the shared and semi-dedicated plans. There is also no promotional offer for these plans as of January 2020, but you do have the option of purchasing the server on a monthly basis instead of the three-month minimum contract for shared plans; this is perfect for businesses that don’t want to be locked in for an extended period of time.
The semi-dedicated plans offered by AtSpace offer an attractive amount of server resources and loads at the given price points, along with an industry-standard level of security and bonus features offered across all of their plans. If you find that your app or business is reaching the limits of what a shared hosting solution can do, AtSpace offers three flexible, incremental resource solutions that can grow with your business.
VPS Hosting Review
Best for: High Traffic and Fast Growing sites
For businesses that require server customization, have a web admin that knows what they are doing, or have evolved past the configuration of the semi-dedicated plans, VPS hosting solutions by AtSpace are for you. In a nutshell, Virtual Private Server hosting is a hybrid between shared hosting and fully dedicated hosting. The technology behind VPS essentially allows you to run multiple operating system environments virtually on one machine, thus making it a ‘dedicated’ hosting solution in a ‘shared’ environment.
Switching To VPS
The simple answer is that you should switch whenever your business resource demands exceed the capacity of the ‘Enterprise’ shared hosting plan; however, the general consensus is that the threshold is 10,000 daily visitors for dynamic sites and 50,000 daily visitors for static sites. Any business over these thresholds should consider upgrading to a VPS server for site stability and customizability.
These packages are all about customizability, the freedom to pick and choose your ideal server. With these plans, you have the option of not sharing resources with anyone, akin to a fully dedicated server; you have more control than the semi-dedicated plans, more security options, and all of the server resources you will need.
Note that the prices of the VPS plans are very similar to the semi-dedicated plans, with the main difference being that the semi-dedicated hosting plans are a completely managed solution with little customizability, so if you don’t know much about servers we recommend to stick with AtSpace’s semi-dedicated hosting.
All VPS plans come with a pre-assigned private IPv4 address, as well as a pre-installed Debian 10.0 Buster 64 bit operating system. Note that these servers also support 13 different operating systems, so you are free to pick the one you are most comfortable with. Clients also have full access to the server root. Furthermore, AtSpace is hands-off with the VPS servers, leaving all server administration, configuration, software installs, and updates up to the user, which is great for folks that know the exact set up they require.
All plans also come with a control panel chalked full of useful information such as server diagnostics, management, and easy reboot. Clients also have access to a Webmin control panel, bundled with Debian. You also have the option of using CentOS, however, note that there is no Webmin control panel available with CentOS. For those of you who may not know Linux all that well, AtSpace also offers an in-house ‘Hosting Control Panel’ solution.
As far as where these plans differ, AtSpace’s basic VPS plan is called the ‘Starter’ plan, offered at an annual price of $120.00, which is an attractive price given the server resources offered. This plan is the most akin to a shared hosting or semi-dedicated plans, as you are only allotted a maximum of 50% of the physical server’s CPU output. This plan also comes with 2 TB of traffic allotment and a bandwidth of 50 Megabits per second. Additionally, you have 1 GB of RAM available and 25 GB of disk space.
Moving up to the next level, AtSpace offers the ‘Pro’ VPS solution coming in at $240 a year, which offers a sizable increase in most of the server resources; most noticeably, the ‘Pro’ plan gives you 100% access to the physical server’s CPU usage. Other upgrades include an increase in bandwidth from 50 Mbit/s to 100 Mbits/s, an increase in RAM from 1GB to 2GB, 50GB of disk space as opposed to 25GB with the starter plan and finally 4 TB of traffic allotment.
For those of you looking for the most resource-intensive solution, AtSpace has one final plan available called the ‘Advanced’ VPS plan, at a price tag of $480 per year. With the ‘Advanced’ plan, you would be purchasing two more GB of RAM, 100GB of disk space as opposed to 50GB with the ‘Pro’ plan, and 8 TB of traffic allotment.
All in all, AtSpace’s VPS hosting solutions scale flexibly to your server requirements, starting with a plan that is relatively cheap for apps and business that don’t require a full server CPU capacity; culminating with a plan that offers a high spec’d, customizable server at a competitive market price for VPS and dedicated solutions.
Free Hosting Review
Best for single page, minimal websites
At its core, AtSpace is dedicated to offering high-quality solutions at an affordable price. They take it one step further with their Free Hosting plan, with the goal of providing the access and exposure that comes with being online to as many small businesses as possible. With AtSpace, your success is also their success, you’ll be able to upgrade at any time, and the free package covers everything you’ll need to get started.
As you might expect, this plan is best suited for sites requiring very few resources and daily visitors. If your main goal is to just get online, definitely consider AtSpace’s free plan.
In terms of resources and technical features, the free plan is understandably modest. AtSpace offers 1 GB of disk space, which is just enough for a basic website that includes minimal email storage, pages, and media. You also get one MySQL database with up to 30MB storage capacity.
Furthermore, ‘Unlimited’ Bandwidth is also offered with the free plan, meaning that theoretically, any amount of visitors could access your site, and you will never be pressured to upgrade. However, users should be aware that many of the other limitations, such as disk space, will essentially nullify this.
AtSpace also offers traffic statistics for your site, which can help you understand what business decisions are having an impact on your web traffic. Users also get access to a dedicated control panel to access and upgrade site features.
Security features for the free plan are basic, offering virus, spam, and firewall protection. However, there are no data backups, so if your business or project requires data reliability and persistence, consider upgrading to the shared hosting plan. There’s also no encrypted data transfer with SSL, meaning that apps with sensitive data are not suited for this plan.
All in all, AtSpace does incredibly well at providing a solution that allows for newcomers to get their feet wet with web hosting, offering a comprehensive, ad-free, and transparent service aimed at helping people get their names and projects on the web. Moreover, AtSpace does make upgrading a straightforward process as your business grows, with flexible and incremental price increases to suit your needs.
Free Top Level Domain
Customers who signup to Enterprise level accounts receive a free .com domain on signup
AtSpace Server Performance
To test AtSpace’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on AtSpace’s shared server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Atspace website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
AtSpace provides a number of security features standard for all of their plans; at a minimum, they offer firewall and virus protection for their free plan, protecting you from common cyber-security attacks. However, the free plan does lack some essential security features standard industry-wide. Users should note that there is no SSL security, meaning that any data transfer your business does will not be encrypted. Also important is that with this plan, your data is not backed up, so businesses with sensitive and mission-critical data are not recommended to use the free plan.
Backups and SSL Certificates as Standard
Moving on from the free plan is AtSpace’s standard security offering, which has a lot of the features you expect and some that are not included in the free plan. For example, your data is backed up via RAID backups, storing your data simultaneously in two HDD drives. This gives you multiple points of failure, increasing data reliability. Starting with the ‘Basic’ shared hosting plan, you also get free shared SSL and HTTPS, encrypting your data and thus increasing the level of security of data transfer between your server and clients. Note that shell access is only available for the ‘Enterprise’ shared hosting plan and upwards (semi-dedicated and VPS hosting), which is understandable as most users looking to go with the basic shared hosting plans do not need highly technical features such as shell access.
Power deliverability is also a plus with AtSpace’s connectivity and security features, with two separate power sources: Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) complimented by Diesel Generators. Having multiple points of failure in terms of power supply means that you can expect very little downtime; AtSpace has taken steps to ensure that your site is up as much as possible, boasting a 99.9% uptime due to this set up with multiple fail-safes.
Lack of Premium Security Add-ons
It should be noted that AtSpace doesn’t provide an upgraded security service option, as many other hosting services do as its own package. If you want more security features, the only option is to upgrade your entire plan; moreover, the basic security package is reactive rather than preventive, meaning that AtSpace doesn’t offer things like plugin upgrades or notifications when a piece of software is vulnerable or in need of an update, instead opting to take measures after daily scans have detected problems.
That being said, AtSpace’s security offerings shine in terms of their focus on data reliability and security across the wire, offering a thought out solution that you can be sure will have your data protected. Unfortunately, you can’t pick and choose your security features, or even upgrade to a higher level of security in a stand-alone package. However, clients are given a great level of control over their server security and configuration with the semi-dedicated and VPS hosting offerings, and the shared hosting and free plans offer an effective level of security included in the standard security package.
Customer Support Review
With regards to customer support, AtSpace offers a standard suite of services across the board with all of their plans; this is great for the free and shared hosting plans, as the value-added with 24/7 support is great. Also, It is a very simple process to get started with AtSpace hosting if you aren’t technically inclined, as they do provide a good base level of coverage, thorough documentation, and a custom control panel with everything you need out of the box.
However, it should be noted that 24/7 support is a sales channel and not dedicated. At the higher levels, you might want the option of upgrading to dedicated support as the stakes are raised, and any downtime could result in serious monetary losses. Ideally, what we would like to see is the option to upgrade to a dedicated support system, a growing standard in the hosting space, and something that AtSpace currently doesn’t offer.
Technical Support Ticket System
Atspace’s technical customer support itself is based on a ticketing system, so expect some lag when dealing with a highly technical issue, especially with the free service and in peak hours. Besides the ticketing system, AtSpace offers a 24/7/365 sales channel and live chat; the chat is a basic Whitelabel software solution that gets the job done. Customers do report that the sales channel also doubles as general support on occasion; however, potential users seeking a dedicated support channel should be aware that live support is primarily a sales channel.
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