This is a review for HostICan web hosting service. To get started, check out the HostICan logo above. Take a sheet of paper and cover the M in the trademark symbol. What does it spell? " HostICant ". If all you need is a web hosting review in a nutshell, that should be sufficient. For a detailed explanation (with a sprinkling of humor) for why you shouldn't waste your money on HostICan, continue reading... (btw, if you have had a HostICan phone dude siting, please send in a snapshot!)
When I first signed up for HostICan back in September of 2007, I was impressed. They had the latest versions of PHP and MySQL installed for their shared hosting accounts. HostICan advertised 24/7 technical support and the pricing was reasonable. At the time, most other big name web hosts were still running PHP4 as default. However, as the months rolled by, I became more and more disappointed with the service.
My first experience with HostICan was when I moved themebot.com to their hosting, after having issues with Site5. Everything seemed great once the move was complete. However, four days later I got an email that the website had been suspended due to "Resources overusage". I thought this was likely caused by the testing I was doing after moving Themebot. I had them to put the account back online and thought all was well. But then, a few days later the site was suspended again without any warning or email. This was very annoying because I was getting ready to take a camping trip and if I it hadn't turned out that the trip had to be canceled, the website would've been down for more than a week. Site5 was able to handle more than three times the traffic before getting suspended (when I later moved the site back to Site5) as compared to HostICan.
Statements like "Unmetered Bandwidth" are a catch 22 and should not be taken seriously. Any website that comes even close to needing unmetered bandwidth is going to require way more system resources than a shared hosting account can serve up.
Another disappoint came while trying to get a hold of the HostICan technical support over the phone on numerous occasions. Instead of being able to speak to somebody who could address the server issues I was having, I often got a voicemail greeting. It goes something like this,
I actually put their claim of 24/7 Live Customer Service to the test over the past two years and it failed. It failed for the shared hosting account I had and it also failed for the VPS hosting account that one of my partners had. I was treated to the "HostICanned" voicemail message so many times that I practically have it memorized, even though I haven't called in for quite some time now.
In fact, I have reason to believe that the same guy always answers the phone, for both sales and support. On the occasions that I have had the privilege to speak to somebody live, it has always been the same guy, I recognize his voice. I called in today (August 16th, 2009) to cancel my hosting account and transfer a domain name and it was the same dude! If the dude is sleeping or doesn't feel like answering the phone, you are going to get the voicemail. To make things worse, the dude can't actually do much, he usually says that you need to submit a support ticket, which completely defeats the purpose of phone support i.e. instant fixes.
The true icing on the cake was when I received this email in regards to my affiliate account:
No, thank you HostICan! What the hell are the talking about? "Thanks again for choosing to stick with us and promote our services..." You just cancelled my account and may have caused me to lose commissions. I believe I lost at least one commission due to the account closure but I have no way of knowing because the account is gone. Apparently, they had sent out a warning email, but it had been filtered by Gmail as spam, so I had no way of knowing they were going to be canceling the account. I emailed them about this and did not receive a response. Truly lame.
It's not all bad with HostICan. They do have some cool looking dudes and dudettes at the top of their informational pages. Check for the dude with the leather jacket and the dude with the headphones on. I wonder if the dude who answers the phone has his picture in there somewhere?... Wait a minute!!! I think I found him. There is a serious looking dude wearing a salmon-colored button up shirt who has a call-center headset on in the HostICan careers page.
If that is not the HostICan dude, then surely this must be him:
Hopefully, if you are thinking about becoming a customer for HostICan web hosting, or if you are considering becoming an affiliate, you have managed to find this review and won't be wasting your time or money. There are much better web hosting providers out there that cost less, provide true 24/7 phone support and a better overall package. There are also other affiliate programs that will pay you more. I will be writing more web hosting reviews soon, but if you can't wait and need to buy hosting now, I can recommend HostGator for shared hosting, among others.