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Fasthosts Personal Standard review

Fasthosts Personal Standard
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £5.86
inc VAT

Fairly generous on space, but not on extras like databases. If you're after a basic hosting account, there are cheaper alternatives.

Fasthosts is one of the biggest names in web hosting. However, bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better. From its home page you have to click through three further pages to get to the control panel – not the end of the world, but unnecessary.

Once you get to it, the control panel is clean, well designed, logical and easy to find your way around. In fact, it was one of the better experiences we’ve had with hosts’ control panels. Getting a website online and mailboxes setup was easy and quickly accomplished.

As part of the Home Hosting Package you get SiteBuilder, which comes with nine customisable templates for various different types of web sites. Predictably, these are pretty cheesy – but no more so than those of other providers. It’s a step-by-step affair and easy to use, but we wouldn’t recommend it for anything more than a placeholder site.

More exciting than SiteBuilder is the new online shop feature. This allows you to sell in six major currencies, including Sterling, Euros and US dollars and collect funds through PayPal. Other advanced features that we particularly liked included the easy-to-use database setup wizard and the ability to easily password protect sections of your website. You can even create customised error pages that fit the tone of your site.

We were a bit baffled, however, to find that there were no easy installs (these are only available with FastHost server packages). The closest you get is a wizard that adds a blog to your site. But only the basic blog, with 10MB of web space and 100MB of bandwidth a month, is free. If you want anything more you’ll have to pay extra. And you have to pay extra to install SQL or MySQL databases too, £15 and £25 respectively. This restricts what you can do with the package.

If you don’t need a database, Fasthosts’ allocation of 5GB of server space, unlimited bandwidth and 500 email accounts is generous. There’s also 24/7 telephone support, but it’s disappointing that you don’t get a domain name included. This adds unnecessary hassle for novices. Plus, other hosts, such as iPage, offer more space and unlimited databases for only £2 per month. That makes Fasthosts looks pretty stingy.



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