Homestead is a California-based web hosting service provider that offers a wide range of services to their customers. They offer design services to clients and customizable templates for different niches so customers have a great choice. Their website design tools are easy to use so anyone can create and publish a website or use their professional website templates which are in hundreds. They have ongoing design advisory which gives instructions on "how to" guidelines on how to plan and create a website.
• One-time only Set-up fee is waived for now
• Online Website Builder tools
• Website Design/ 250,000 free images
• Professional Website Templates (hundreds)
• Customizable Templates
• Ongoing Design Consultation
• Web Statistics
• Free 30-Day Trial
• Toll-free-phone Support and Email Support
• 30-day Money Back Guarantee
• Starter Plan at $4.99 with 25 MB Disk Storage, 5 GB Bandwidth, 1 site, 5 web pages and add-ons.
• Business Plan at $19.99 with 5 GB Disk Storage, 50 GB Bandwidth, 1 personalized domain name, 3 sites, 100 web pages and Blog capability.
• Business Plus at $59.99 with 10 GB Disk Storage, 100 GB Bandwidth, Unlimited sites, Unlimited web pages, 3 personalized domain names, Unlimited web pages, Blog Capability, ongoing Website Design Consultation, Logo Design, Web and local listings, accepting credit card payments and PayPal capability.
Homestead allows you to cancel the service anytime since they do not have long-term contracts or penalties. You can also downgrade or upgrade the plan you have as need arises. Although they give 30 day free service we have found customers who complain that they were billed immediately after sign-up without the free service.
The site builder software, customizable templates (hundreds), 250,000 free images and website statistics are available on all plans which are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. Both the Business plan and the Business Plus plan come with Blogging capability, ongoing design advisory service and logo design.
What we found out to be of concern is the phone support which is unreachable. Homestead also offers 30-day toll-free phone support for the Starter plan which may not be enough for a beginner who is just starting out. If you need unlimited toll-free phone support you will need to pay for the most expensive plan.
Their website builder is different from the ones we have encountered but once you master it, it becomes easy to manage the website and even edit it. From our research we found out that it lacks some of the features offered elsewhere. The bandwidth, disk storage, number of websites and web pages are limited for both Starter and Business Plans for the price you pay. Some of the features are hard to add or use especially their e-Commerce features.
cPanel Control Panel
The cPanel control panel provided by Homestead.com has many functions which include-:
• Uploading web pages and managing them
• Creating and managing email accounts
• Backing-up data
• Installing applications
• Traffic statistics
• Error logs etc.
We found that creating a website with their online tools is easy once you get used to it. Homestead.com provides you with an easy to use site builder and design tools that help you create your website within a short time. It is possible to create, customize and update your site as you find fit. You can pick the design you want from the many designs created which are hundreds in number. The ready-to-use Homestead.com templates have images for specific niches so you have a wide variety to choose from.
You can add your own graphics, themes, logo, domain names and text or customize the ready to use templates from the 250,000 images provided. You can also edit photos, text, colors, links etc. to make your website appealing. Changes can be made anytime. Homestead.com provides ongoing design consultation with their online professional designers. They host the site for you and you can publish it and start selling your products or services online right away with just one click.
You can sell online by adding a shopping cart on your website to create a simple store which can sell up to 100 products or you can adopt advanced e-Commerce features to create a Storefront. You can sell unlimited products on this Storefront which comes with marketing tools and inventory control. You can open a merchant account to process credit card payments.
Homestead.com add-ons include personalized domain names, email addresses which contain your domain name, simple e-Commerce stores and storefronts among others. We found out that what is offered as add-ons at high prices is offered free elsewhere.
The support is based in US so when you need them you use a lot of money to call and you have to call within Californian time. The phone numbers are always busy it takes a lot of effort to get someone to talk to you on the other side of the phone. Worse still, the technical support may respond but still be unhelpful.
This web host is not for someone who needs phone support unless you pay for the expensive plan. Homestead is more focused on planning and creating websites so if that is what you need then that is okay. But for people who need to get their websites online to strengthen their web presence and attract traffic at affordable prices this may not be the best choice. Their prices are high and it is not clear how much you will pay for the services because they provide little information which is completely different from other web hosts. It is not easy to know how much they will charge your credit card so users become disappointed when they find that they have charged extra amounts without notifying them. They even ask for your credit card details to be able to use the 30-day trial while others don’t.
No Customer Support. Number Always Busy
I have been a customer of Homestead but I have cancelled their service.
They are slow at responding to problems and this can take several hours and even days. I would not recommend Homestead for those who handle critical data and those who require fast responses. I phoned them when my site was down for 48 hours but they did not solve the problem so I filled several tickets which were not acted upon for hours.
To get access to unlimited toll-free phone support one has to buy their expensive packages while many web hosts provide this with all their plans. This would be different f they promptly respond to emails or support tickets but they don’t.
They may offer all the features but they are meaningless if they don’t generate sales and support is unreachable when you need them most. The support is based in US so when you need them you use a lot of money to call and you have to call within Californian time. Worse still, the technical support may respond but still be unhelpful.
I would not recommend them to anyone.posted by Brayden Monday, 11 March 2013 06:47 Comment Link
Homestead designs are so simple and limited in their scope. I bought their packages but I find their site builder software not convenient. Most of the functions that other control panels perform are done by HR staff manually. You need to call them every time you need to update email accounts, FTP accounts or add domains and sub-domains so they can do it manually.
Other web hosting providers offer a cPanel that you can use to manage your web pages, create, update and edit email accounts, install applications and back up data from that single point. It also lacks some of the features that you need to manage a business or you have to pay expensively.
When Homestead expects us to contact their staff members to do this manually, it becomes very inconvenient because their customer support is unreachable on phone and they take too long to respond to emails. This is what makes the whole thing tedious. It is expensive to cal their US-based support who are not prompt in resolving problems.posted by Aaron Sunday, 13 January 2013 06:46 Comment Link
I signed up for Homestead packages but they did not fulfill their promises. They had advertised a lower price than the one they billed me for so I am paying more than they had promised. They also started billing me immediately after sign-up although they had advertised for a free 30-day trial which they did not honor. They even ask for credit card details for the 30-day free trial.
Homestead may have an appealing website but when you host with them you realize that their main interest is to help you create a website. But, we need more than a website. We need a platform that we can use to generate a flow of traffic and sell products online. They do not seem to focus on that so I would not recommend them for any type of business. Furthermore, their prices are quite confusing so you never know how much you are supposed to pay when you give them your card details.
I had a bad experience when I went to the bank and found that they had charged my credit card yet they lack some of the features and some of their advanced features are hard to use. I contacted them because they had charged me wrongly but they said that they could not refund my money. Don’t be like me do not give them your credit/debit card details at all.posted by Robert Thursday, 23 August 2012 06:46 Comment Link