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What is it?
Provider of shared web hosting for small businesses.
How popular is it?
Arvixe is not very well known and hosts thousands of websites all over the world.
Who is it right for?
Businesses that want an inexpensive web host with unlimited storage, bandwidth, and emails (no managed wordpress hosting, SSL certificates have to be purchased).
Who is it not right for?
Businesses that want a more well-known and reputable web hosting provider.
Types of Hosting Solutions Available?
Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server, Dedicated Server.
24/7/365 phone support + live chat + email + self help.
Average Uptime/Response Time?
Good. There’s not that much data available on this for Arvixe, but a look at other reviews indicates about an 99.9 % uptime and response times under 800 ms.
Shared hosting is $5.00 or $8.00 per month depending on which plan you select (see pricing section for more details).
1-Click WordPress Installation:
1-Click Shopping Cart Installation:
Unlimited (see below for more details).
Yes (free for as long as you use Arvixe).
Does it include a Website Builder?
Yes, RVSiteBuilder is included.
Included Security Features:
Password protected directories, daily auto backups, SSL certificate for extra fee, spam blocker, SFTP secure file transfer, SSH.
Integrated Control Panel?
CPanel/WHM for Linux and DotNetPanel Windows.
Of all the web hosts we reviewed, Arvixe offers the best value for your money. It comes with unlimited emails, unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free domain name, and extensive security features for the lowest price of all the web hosts we reviewed. There are no price hikes when you renew. Arvixe even throws in a few freebies that some other providers charge for — for example, daily auto backups and one domain transfer are included for free.
Arvixe hasn’t built up a following like the larger hosts GoDaddy or Bluehost, but it’s pretty easy to use. Arvixe has cPanel, the user friendly control panel for managing websites, and the included website builder and application library make it easy to create a website. Since Arvixe isn’t very well known, there wasn’t much data on Arvixe’s uptime and server response times, so you may have to try Arvixe to see if your website runs quickly on their servers (they have a 60-day money back guarantee).
Unfortunately, what keeps us from recommending Arvixe more whole heartedly is the poor customer reviews it gets on customer service. Many users have told us that it’s easy to get up and running on Arvixe, but once you are a customer, it’s very difficult to get help if your website experiences issues.
One other drawback–Arvixe doesn’t have a separate plan for businesses with highly trafficked WordPress websites. If you want managed WordPress hosting, you’ll have to go with another provider. Also, if you have a single website and already have a domain name, A Small Orange is cheaper.
In the table below, you can see what Arvixe charges for its shared hosting plans (these prices are for a 1-year contract). When you take into account that there are no price hikes upon renewal (rare for a web host) and the set of features that are included, Arvixe is cheaper than all the other web hosts.
free domain name,
and up to 6
websites on one account
Everything in Personal Class
plus you can host
(that’s the only difference
in the two plans)
Most small businesses won’t need more than the PersonalClass plan. According to an Arvixe rep I spoke with, the PersonalClass plans support about 100,000 monthly visitors to your website and about 100-200 people viewing your website at the same time. If your website experiences more traffic than this or gets sharp seasonal spikes in traffic, you should upgrade to the BusinessClass plans.
The BusinessClass plans are also on a shared server, but there are fewer websites that are sharing the server. As a result, they can support up to 200,000 monthly visitors and 200-500 concurrent visitors to your website. The BusinessClass plans cost $25 (for up to 6 websites/domains) or $30 (for unlimited websites/domains). Don’t get confused when hosts use terms like “business hosting”–you don’t necessarily need a business hosting plan to host a business website. It all depends on how large and complex your website is.
Just like the other service providers, Arvixe saves you a bit of money if you sign up for a longer term. You can save $1 on the Personal plans and $3 on the Business plans if you make a two-year commitment. You have to pay a bit extra if you want a 6-month contract or if you want to pay month-to-month. See pricing details here for PersonalClass and here for BusinessClass.
As a nice bonus, you can get $100 in free Google advertising credits and $100 in free Bing advertising credits. That is more than what other providers give you in similarly priced plans.
Non-profit businesses are eligible for a 20 % discount from Arvixe.
You can get more discounts on Arvixe pricing by using the coupons available here. If you try Arvixe and don’t like it, they offer a 60-day money back guarantee, minus the costs of registering a new domain name.
If you’re not very familiar with web hosting, you should prioritize customer service when selecting a web host. A good customer service rep can, for instance, help you figure out how to use your control panel and what to do if your website goes down.
Arvixe Support Hours:
24/7/365 phone support and live chat support are available. I used their live chat support a few times, and their sales reps were helpful. In fact, Arvixe was the only web host we reviewed that was truly transparent about the amount of traffic their shared servers could handle.
That being said, many customers have complained it’s difficult to get support for technical issues after they become a Arvixe customer. Long wait times and unresolved issues are typical, they say.
Self Help, Phone, Email, Live Chat?
All of these support types are available.
Uptime & Server Response Times:
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find well catalogued data on Arvixe’s uptime and server response times, but the data that was available from Arvixe users was quite positive. Uptime is the time during which the shared server (and your website) is up and running. Response time is how long the server takes to deliver content when visitors come to your website.
Similar to GoDaddy, Arvixe offers a 99.9 % uptime guarantee, which means they will credit you for any excess downtime.
Uptime/Response Times: 99.9 % uptime and response time under 800ms for Linux (the more popular operating system). The performance is even better if you use their Windows server. We got this data from user analysis (see here and here). The uptime is equivalent to GoDaddy’s. The server response time is a bit slower than GoDaddy on Linux but faster than GoDaddy on Windows.
Supported 1-Click installations:
You can add applications to tailor your website to your business needs. Arvixe uses an application library called Softaculous. It lets you easily install your WordPress site, add a shopping cart application if you’re an e-commerce business, and add many more types of applications.
Although Arvixe is Windows and Linux compatible, more applications are available for Linux.
Most web applications like WordPress and Joomla need a database for storing content. You need a MySQL database for every WordPress site or application that you install. (Arvixe also supports PostgreSQL, a different database format for certain special applications).
Popular 1-Click Applications Supported (in Linux): WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Zen Cart, Cube Cart. See the full list of applications available here.
Number of MySQL databases: Unlimited.
Arvixe has several security features to keep your website secure and give customers confidence that their information will be protected on your website.
Regular Backups – Arvixe does automatic daily backups of their servers. Backups ensure that your website can be restored in the event the server crashes or your website is compromised. However, restoration of websites that use over 10 GB of storage space may be limited with Arvixe.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) – An SSL certificate costs $25/year on Arvixe. GoDaddy and Bluehost include a free 1-year SSL certificate in their most expensive shared hosting plan. However, after one year, you can save more with Arvixe because they charge less for SSL certificates annually. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encrypts private data that is transferred over the Internet. Small businesses that accept credit card payments or store sensitive data on their websites should get SSL protection.
When comparing different web hosts, you will likely come across the distinction between shared and private SSL certificates. A shared SSL certificate (included in most shared hosting plans for free) has a URL containing the host’s name (e.g. servername.arvixe.com), and your customers will see a popup that your website is not fully secure. Most businesses that accept credit cards or store sensitive information will want a fully secure private SSL certificate with their own business’ URL (e.g. yourbusiness.com).
Secure File Transfer – Arvixe supports SFTP technology, which encrypts confidential data while you are transferring files into and out of your website. Businesses that store sensitive data on their website should use secure file transfer.
Other Included Security Features –
- Secure Shell (SSH) Access – Allows you to remotely manage your server (e.g. remotely reset a password).
- Nightly security updates to the server
- Brute force detection – blocks attempts by hackers to gain access to hosting accounts.
- Firewall – helps prevent viruses from entering the server.
- Free domain privacy – protects your online identify and prevents people from spamming your business. Only Arvixe and Dreamhost offer free domain privacy in the basic shared hosting package.
Since WordPress powers over 17 % of the entire web, many hosts now offer managed WordPress hosting plans that are optimized for WP blogs and websites. Unfortunately, Arvixe does not do full scale managed WP hosting, so if you have a highly trafficked WP site that’s central to your business, you’re better off choosing another host–GoDaddy, Bluehost, Dreamhost, and WP Engine are all options to consider for WP hosting.
Arvixe has a page about managed WordPress hosting, but they don’t offer a separate plan for WordPress sites. They do some things that resemble managed WP hosting, such as auto backups and WordPress update prompts.
But this isn’t true managed WP. For example, you get prompted about WP updates, but you still have to initiate updates yourself, and there’s no guarantee that the updates will be compatible with all your themes and plugins. Other managed WP hosts, such as GoDaddy and WP Engine, automatically update your WP site and ensure nothing breaks, so you don’t have to do anything.
Arvixe also has only one type of server. It doesn’t offer any WP-specific technology to make WP sites run faster. Most other hosts overlay WP optimizations on a VPS server to make your WP site run really fast.
Bandwidth & Storage
Bandwidth and storage limits determine how fast your website will work for your customers. Bandwidth measures the amount of traffic that can come to your website. Storage is the amount of space available for the files, images, and videos on your website.
Although shared hosts claim to offer “unlimited bandwidth and storage,” a word of caution is warranted. A shared server has a finite amount of CPU (processing power) and RAM (memory) that is divided among the websites of several businesses. Every time someone visits your business’ website, uses your website’s search function, or views files on your website, it consumes CPU and RAM. If your website gets a lot of traffic and uses up too many resources, your shared hosting provider may ask you to upgrade your plan.
That being said, the resources available on shared hosting plans will be sufficient for most small businesses. An Arvixe rep told me that their PersonalClass shared server can handle about 100,000 visitors a month and about 100-200 customers concurrently browsing your website. If you get more visitors than this, you should upgrade to BusinessClass or a Virtual Private Server.
Arvixes utilizes CloudFlare technology to makes websites on its shared servers run faster. By caching static content on your website, CloudFlare reduces the load on the server and leaves more resources available for complex server requests. In addition, Arvixe lets you choose your server location (US, Europe, or Hong Kong) so that it’s closest to your customers.
Arvixe uses Solid State Drives (SSDs), which can cause webpages to load 200 percent faster than on typical hard drives. SSDs are also more secure for storing your website data.
Bandwidth Available: Unlimited.
Storage Available: Unlimited.
Domains & Emails
A domain name (URL) should be catchy and memorable so that customers can easily visit your business’ website. Arvixe includes a free domain name (.com, .net, .org, and more options) for your website. There’s no cost as long as you continue using Arvixe’s hosting services. This is better than GoDaddy, which offers the free domain name only for the initial term of your plan, and Bluehost, whose lower tier plans offer the free domain name only for 1 year.
Businesses with up to 6 domains/websites will be ok with the PersonalClass plan. More than that, and you’ll need to purchase the Pro plan. While it is cheaper to have all your websites on a single hosting account, keep in mind that all your websites will have to share resources, so each site may run more slowly if your sites get a lot of traffic.
You can also set up unlimited alias (parked) domains and subdomains on Arvixe. Alias domains reroute customers to your primary website (e.g. mybusiness.com) when they type in a secondary URL (e.g. sale.mybusiness.com). Subdomains are memorable URLs associated with your domain for specific content (e.g. help.mybusiness.com for your support center).
In addition to domain services, Arvixe also provides free unlimited emails (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) so that you and your employees can have business email accounts.
Number of free domains: 1 free domain as long as you use Arvixe services. If you cancel your hosting plan, Arvixe will deduct that year’s domain cost ($9.95/year) from your refund.
Number of free emails: Unlimited.
Number of websites per hosting account: 6 websites on PersonalClass and unlimited on PersonalClass Pro plan.
Arvixe includes the RVSiteBuilder website building tool (soon, Site.pro website builder will replace RVSiteBuilder). This is a bonus for small business owners who want to smoothly transition from website creation to website hosting.
RVSiteBuilder has over 500 templates, a drag and drop tool, and an easy image editor. There is no limit on the number of webpages you can build, as long as the Arvixe shared server can support the size and scale of the website.
RVSitebuilder is not very well known though. If you’d rather use Weebly, Themify (for WP sites), or another more popular website builder, we have a separate guide about those. Bluehost comes built-in with Weebly, our recommended website builder for small businesses.
The control panel is where you can manage several things related to your website from one location. For example, you can add new files to your website, monitor how much bandwidth and storage you are using, and install applications like WordPress or Joomla.
Arvixe has cPanel for Linux and DotNetPanel for Windows. cPanel is the most popular control panel available for Linux. DotNetPanel is pretty well known, but Plesk (offered by GoDaddy) is the control panel of choice for Windows servers. The majority of small businesses will be fine using Linux/cPanel.
This is what the Arvixe cPanel screen looks like:
Likewise, most small businesses do not have to worry about the programming languages that the web host supports unless they are trying to run scripts on their website. If you do have questions about this, we suggest you talk to your web designer or IT person.
Control Panels Available: cPanel/WHM for Linux and DotNetPanel for Windows.
Operating System Supported: Linux and Windows.
Programming Languages Supported: PHP, Perl, Python, and (for Linux) Ruby on Rails
Switching Hosts or Upgrading
As your business grows, you may choose to switch hosting providers or upgrade from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server. The goal is to minimize the disruption to your website during the transition.
For smaller websites (under 5-10 GB) using cPanel/Linux, Arvixe will migrate your site over to their servers from another provider for free. If you use Windows, the free migration is not fully managed; you would need to take care of some parts of the migration yourself. If you have a larger website or want fully managed Windows migration, the Arvixe site transfer team can quote you a price.
If you want to upgrade from shared hosting to a VPS or dedicated server, Arvixe will handle all the setup and migration for you at no charge if you use cPanel/Linux. If you use Windows, the site transfer team can quote you a price for upgrade assistance.
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Arvixe offers the best value for money out of all the web hosting providers we reviewed. For an affordable cost that doesn’t increase when you renew, you get unlimited emails, unlimited bandwidth and storage, a free domain name or transfer, and extensive security features. Even business owners that aren’t very tech savvy will like Arvixe because it includes a website builder for free.
On the downside, Arvixe doesn’t have managed WordPress hosting. If you have a WordPress website that gets a lot of traffic, your best bet is to go with another provider such as WP Engine or Dreamhost. In addition, they don’t get great reviews for customer service, which is troubling and prevents us from making a more wholehearted recommendation.