Powweb Shared Hosting Review (2019) – Worth The Money?
Welcome to my review of Powweb’s shared website hosting service.
- Affordable first term
- Good average website load speeds
- Responsive live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Generous email sending limits
- Free domain credit
- No monthly terms available to new users
- Relatively expensive renewals
- Dated user interface
- Occasional website load speed spikes
- Expensive website backup restoration
1.1 Powweb shared hosting plans & pricing
Powweb offers just one shared hosting plan, which you can get for one, two, or three years at the following prices:
|1-year plan||2-year plan||3-year plan|
|Initial term||$4.18 / mo.||$3.88 / mo.||$3.88 / mo.|
|Renewals||$14.95 / mo.||$13.95 / mo.||$12.95 / mo.|
If you decide to renew your plan, you can also purchase a monthly plan at $14.95 / mo. I found this odd – I expected the monthly plan to be available on initial purchases instead of renewals.
Additionally, renewals cost around 3.5 times more than initial plans, which is among the most significant price hikes I’ve seen from a hosting company.
Overall, the initial term is competitively priced, but subsequent terms are a little expensive – keep reading to find out if this is justifiable.
1.2 Does Powweb offer public discount promo codes for their shared hosting?
Some reputable hosting providers offer additional promo codes that allow you to claim discounts when making a purchase.
A customer support representative told me that Powweb customers can indeed receive a discount promo code, however, these are only available when renewing a hosting plan. Discounts depend on the value of your renewal and are usually between 25% and 35%.
So if you decide to stick with Powweb after the initial term, make sure to contact their support team and request a discount code before paying for your next term.
1.3 Does Powweb offer a student discount on this type of hosting?
Unfortunately, students do not receive any special treatment at Powweb.
For student discounts, try SiteGround.
1.4 What payment methods does Powweb accept?
They currently accept:
- credit cards
While paying for my hosting, my payment was rejected – twice. For some reason, my transactions were marked as high-risk, so I had to send a photocopy of my government-issued ID to Powweb’s compliance team to complete my purchase.
2. Powweb hosting resources and restrictions
2.1 What bandwidth is available on Powweb’s shared hosting?
Just like many other shared hosting providers, Powweb doesn’t limit bandwidth usage. The technical term for this is “unmetered bandwidth.”
As always, this doesn’t mean that your website can receive unlimited traffic – the term “unmetered” is usually just a marketing ploy.
Make sure to read The Hidden Pitfalls of "Unlimited" Bandwidth and Storage for more.
If you’re planning to host smaller websites that are unlikely to serve more than a few hundred to a few thousand users per day, you should be safe.
However, if you’re planning to run a high-traffic website, or if you depend on your traffic to make a living from ads or sales, you should choose a hosting company that offers a more transparent plan – SiteGround is a great alternative.
You may also benefit from reading my article: how much bandwidth will your website use?
2.2 What are Powweb monthly visitor limits?
Officially, Powweb does not limit the number of visitors your websites can receive.
However, after inquiring about this with live chat support, I learned that there’s a limit of 75,000 MySQL queries (not connections) per hour.
Is this a lot? It depends highly on the type of website you plan to host and how many pages your average visitor loads on your website.
For example, on a typical WordPress blog, a typical user could use up anywhere from 50 to 200 MySQL queries during their visit. In this case, a 75,000 MySQL connection limit translates to a cap of between 375 and 1,500 visitors per hour.
2.3 How much storage space does Powweb offer?
Powweb doesn’t officially limit the storage capacity of a hosting account. However, their Terms of Service make it clear that you should only store files that are necessary to run your website.
So as long as you do not use your server to host backups of your personal files, you’ll be good to go.
Please see my article on how much server storage does a WordPress website need for more.
2.4 What is Powweb’s Inode limit on their shared hosting plans?
Powweb does not currently limit the number of inodes you can use.
2.5 Is there a limit on the number or size of MySQL databases?
While there is no official limit on the size of a single MySQL database, you are limited to 75 total databases.
2.6 How many websites can you host with Powweb?
An advantage of Powweb is that they do not limit the number of websites you can host with them.
2.7 Does Powweb limit your email sending?
Although Powweb allows you to create an unlimited number of email accounts, there are two important limits to keep in mind:
- Each email account is limited to 500 MB of storage
- You can send up to 500 emails per hour and 5,000 emails per day from a single email address
Very generous conditions overall.
3. Powweb user interface and usability
3.1 Does Powweb shared hosting come with cPanel?
CPanel is unfortunately not included. However, the control panel available at Powweb is similar in functionality to Cpanel and allows you to, among other things:
- Use a WebsiteBuilder and a WordPress one-click installer
- Create and manage databases and DB users
- Back up your website files
- Create FTP users and email addresses
- View website statistics
- Manage and add domains
- Monitor disk usage and view server information
- Schedule cron jobs
- Edit your server’s .htaccess file
See the screenshots below for all available menu options:
Overall a functional control panel that offers everything a webmaster will need. I definitely wouldn’t mind a visual makeover, though.
3.2 How easy is it to install WordPress?
Like all hosting companies nowadays, Powweb offers a one-click WordPress installer. You just have to enter a name for your blog, along with an admin username and password, and the system takes care of the rest.
Installation took around one minute in my case and my WP site came with the following plugins pre-installed:
- MOJO Marketplace
- Optimonster API
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Forms Lite
3.3 How can you manage your website files at Powweb?
You can do so either by creating an FTP account from the admin panel and then connecting to your server using Filezilla, or you can use the File Manager built into Powweb’s admin panel:
4. How quickly do websites hosted with Powweb load?
I set up a test website on my Powweb server following my standard procedure.
Next, I measured the website’s loading time ones per hour for an entire day, using GTMetrix:
As you can see, the average load time was decent – around 1.3 seconds. However, there were two load speed spikes throughout the day:
- One around 10 AM: 2-second load time
- Another around 2 PM: 3.8-second load time
Such shared spikes are unfortunately unavoidable on shared servers with “unmetered” bandwidth. If you need your website to have stable load times throughout the day, SiteGround is a great alternative at a similar price point.
5. Powweb safety and security
5.1 Does Powweb offer free website backups?
Powweb takes free daily backups of all websites on their servers, which they archive for 14 days.
Unfortunately, restoring your website from these backups costs $100, which is much more than most shared hosting providers charge.
If you decide to run your website using WordPress, I strongly recommend installing an auto backup plugin so you can create and manage your own backups. This will allow you to avoid the hefty restoration fee.
5.2 Does Powweb offer automatic malware detection and removal?
Powweb uses the award-winning ClamAV antivirus software to scan their servers every day.
If they detect an infection on your website, they will send you an email with a list of the malicious files. From there, you will need to clean up the malware yourself, either manually or by hiring an expert. Powweb will not remove malware for free.
If you want Powweb to clean up detected infections, you’ll need to purchase their Sitelock security package at $19.95 / year (you can do so at check-out).
Most budget website hosting providers do not offer free malware removal, so this is all expected.
5.3 Is 2-Factor login authentication (2FA) available?
Some hosts, such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, and SiteGround, allow you to enable 2-factor authentication for your hosting admin panel. When activated, you’ll need to enter both your password and a one-time security code generated by a third-party smartphone application to access your account.
As of 2019, Powweb does not support 2FA. Considering their dated website, which appears at least 15 years old, this wasn’t a surprise to me.
6. Additional services and freebies
6.1 Does PowWeb offer free SSL certificates?
The majority of hosting companies offer free Let’s Encrypt SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates.
Powweb is not an exception – you’ll get a free certificate for each website you host with them.
6.2 Do you get a free domain with Powweb?
Considering many cheap hosts do not offer free domains, I was happy to learn that Powweb is an exception. You’ll get a single free domain for one year with your purchase of their shared hosting plan.
Note that if you claim your free domain but then request a refund for your hosting under Powweb’s money-back guarantee, they will subtract $15 from the refund amount to cover domain costs. You’ll get to keep the domain name in that case.
If you decide to renew the domain after the first year or if you’d like more than one domain, you’ll have to pay. Here’s how much Powweb charges for the most popular domain extensions:
Compared to what other website hosts charge, the pricing on .com and .net extensions is very attractive.
6.3 Does Powweb offer free website migrations?
They don’t, which isn’t unusual among budget hosts like Powweb.
If you want to move an existing website to your new server, you’ll either need to use cPanel to export your files and databases or, if your site uses WordPress, install a website migration plugin.
7. How safe is it to buy from Powweb?
7.1 Does Powweb offer a money-back trial period?
As of mid-2019, Powweb offers a 30-day full money-back guarantee on all new hosting purchases.
The admin control panel does not allow you to manually cancel your plan and request a refund; you’ll need to contact customer support with a request. I was somewhat disappointed by this, but it’s a minor inconvenience.
Remember that if you take advantage of your free domain credit, a $15 fee will be deducted from the refund amount.
7.2 My own money-back request – step by step
After finishing this review, I canceled my hosting account to put Powweb’s money-back guarantee to a test.
Step #1: I reached out via live chat to their billing department and asked for a refund.
Step #2: the support operator asked me to answer my security question (which I set up during registration):
Step #3: I was asked to hold for 3-4 minutes. Before the operator even had the time to get back to me, I checked my PayPal account and saw that a full refund had been issued a few seconds ago:
So in total, five minutes from the moment I connected to live chat to the moment I had all of my money back. Awesome.
7.3 Does Powweb offer refunds on unused subscription months?
Some hosting providers offer pro-rated (pro-rata) refunds. In such cases, if you buy a one-year plan and cancel after, say, eight months, you’ll receive a refund for the four unused months remaining on your plan.
A support agent told me that Powweb does not offer refunds on unused months – the only way to receive your money back is to cancel during the money-back guarantee time window.
8. Does Powweb offer website Staging?
A Staging allows you to create a private clone of your website and use it to experiment with design changes before pushing these changes to the live (public) site.
Most cheap shared hosting companies do not offer Staging, and Powweb is not an exception.
9. Live chat customer support quality
I used Powweb’s live chat customer support four times and asked over 40 questions in the course of creating this review. FYI, they are available 24 hours a day, all week.
In each case, there were no queue times to speak of – I was connected to an operator in less than 20 seconds.
Most live chat representatives were not native English speakers but were fluent enough that I had no trouble understanding their responses.
They were knowledgeable enough to answer most of my questions accurately, though not without some issues. For example, when I asked an agent about Powweb’s inode limits, she wasn’t exactly sure what an inode was.
Overall, you can expect adequate support, but you may need to try your luck with more than one support operator if your question is technical.
10. Powweb shared hosting – who is it for? Verdict
The initial term is fairly priced, but renewals are expensive compared to the likes of SiteGround and HostWinds. I was very disappointed by the lack of a monthly term for new users as it’s the best way to test out a host’s service when you’re on a tight budget.
My WordPress test site loaded very quickly, which is an indicator of good server resource management on Powweb’s part.
The free domain credit is welcome, and Powweb’s domain renewal prices are refreshingly reasonable, matching those of Namecheap.com.
Their $100 backup-restoration fee makes it all but mandatory to manage your own backups, preferably using a WordPress plugin.
Overall, if you’re planning to launch your first website or want to host dozens of simple low-traffic blogs and don’t mind the occasional downtime that can result from hosting on a shared server with unmetered resources, Powweb is a decent choice.
However, if you plan to host a site that will generate significant income, or if your website is resource-heavy and stability is a top priority, you’ll want a more transparent resource usage policy. In that case, try SiteGround, or WPX Hosting if you’re planning to use WordPress.