- Uptime: 99.99%
- Support: 6/10
- Loading Speed: 1.14s
- Features: 6/10
Last Updated: December 11, 2020
- Uptime: 99.99%
- Support: 6/10
- Loading Speed: 1.14s
- Features: 6/10
- HOSTING OPTIONS: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Cloud, reseller, and dedicated.
- DATABASE: MySQL & MariaDB, included in all plans.
BEST FOR SHOPPING CARTS
- Solid infrastructure
- Frequent backups
- Secure and ecommerce-ready
- Few data centers
- Cloud plans are limited
KnownHost is not the most popular provider in the gang reviewed by HostingTribunal. The host doesn’t rely on aggressive marketing tactics – it seems to be more focused on bolstering its current infrastructure than acquiring new customers.
That said, the provider did acquire a tremendous following through word of mouth. A bunch of KnownHost reviews by real users, as well as posts on sites like Reddit, vehemently praise the company.
Naturally, I was intrigued. It’s not every day you see an established provider forsake marketing and still get ahead.
That’s why I set out to do a KnownHost shared hosting review. I signed up and tested all the vital factors like uptime, speed, and support quality.
Keep reading to find out how KnownHost performs and what good (and not-so-good) features it offers.
What Is KnownHost?
KnownHost is a US-based provider from West Chester. It was established back in 2006, meaning it has 16 years of experience (and success) in a highly competitive industry. And all of that while remaining independent of any hosting conglomerates.
What’s more, the host mostly flies under the radar, so you likely haven’t seen many KnownHost ads. It relies on its reputation among customers to grow its user base.
This is by no means a bad thing. Companies that don’t splurge on marketing usually have more budget left for technical advancements, which leads to a better service.
KnownHost focuses on robust managed web hosting services. While this might sound very high-end, the prices are reasonable for the features you get. The host is also releasing a bunch of info about its infrastructure and services plain to see on the product page—a good indicator of transparency.
The offer looks nothing short of impressive, so I decided to give it a trial run. Let’s dig right in and see how the host performs in action:
The Essentials—KnownHost Uptime, Speed, and Support
These three factors are essential for achieving success with your hosting platform. The host’s role is crucial here – it can make managing a website a breeze or a living hell. So, of course, I reviewed KnownHost performance:
1. KnownHost Uptime—99.99%
Put simply, uptime signifies the percentage of time the server remains available. If the server is down, visitors can’t access your website, which makes you look bad and loses you traffic. So, the higher the uptime, the better.
Like most providers, KnownHost extends a 99.9% uptime guarantee. It allows for about 40 minutes of downtime per month, which is fine in most cases. It’s the industry-standard SLA, and it gives some peace of mind you’ll have reasonable uptime.
According to KnownHost’s own logs, the provider maintains an average 99.996% availability across all servers. This implies an average of 1 minute and 45 seconds of downtime per month, which is impressive.
Third-party data confirms as much. According to Hyperspin, all monitored VPS machines record average availability of 99.992%. The result is not too far off from KnownHost’s records.
Of course, I hooked my site up to StatusCake and tested the availability for this 2020 KnownHost review.
Unsurprisingly, the solution maintained near-perfect availability over months of testing. The provider obviously has the server infrastructure to back up all the boasting.
KnownHost claims perfect uptime, and it delivers on the promise. You can expect excellent availability at all times.
2. Respectable Speed
Website speed is arguably even more important than uptime. Faster websites have all sorts of advantages, including a lower bounce rate, better SEO, and higher conversion rates.
As you might have guessed, it all starts with the hosting provider. Website optimization plays a huge part, sure, but the server speed sets the baseline for how your website performs.
KnownHost makes some rather bold claims about its speeds. The host did keep its promises so far, though, so I was eager to test this.
For this KnownHost review, I stepped away from the standard review process. Instead of setting up a test site, I went with five real-life websites hosted with the provider. These feature pages are built for practical use and get real traffic.
I hooked up all five to the usual testing tools and checked how the servers perform. This gives a much more complete picture of what kind of load times you can expect for your own website.
For starters, the servers take an average of 338MS to respond to a request. This is entirely decent. The responses are even faster than those of most providers. The servers would need a bit more to compete in a matchup of KnownHost vs. Hostinger, but it’s only a minute difference.
Testing the backend yielded decent results as well. Connecting 50 virtual users to the servers increased the response times to an average of 0.88 seconds, which isn’t too much. The servers can handle heavy traffic, but the response times do suffer a bit under load.
It takes about 1.14 seconds to fully load a basic website frontpage. Pretty good. With the right speed optimization, you should easily get your pages to load under the recommended three seconds.
KnownHost performs reasonably across the board. Admittedly, when comparing KnownHost vs. SiteGround or other premium hosts, the former comes off as slower. Still, you are unlikely to experience any server performance issues.
3. Okay Support
Support is the third and final pillar of hosting. Good customer service simply means getting the help you need when you need it.
Unfortunately, way too many providers tend to cut corners, and customer support is usually the first to go. In such cases, you tend to see slow responses and a general decline in support quality. Simply put, if the provider doesn’t invest in its team, the customers are on their own.
So, reaching the support was a crucial part of the testing for this KnownHost shared hosting review.
The result? The KnownHost customer support performs well, but not perfectly.
The main issue here is that live chat support is reserved for sales. Once you become a customer, all technical queries need to go through ticketing. This is kind of annoying since simple technical issues can often get resolved through a faster channel.
Surprisingly enough, the actual KnownHost support team does an excellent job and is fast at that. Tickets tend to get a response within 2-3 minutes, which is impressive.
I contacted the team, and, every time, I reached a polite and helpful support agent. I asked for clarification on the backup system, and they were even more informative than I had expected. I got all the details I needed to use the system broken down so even a complete beginner would understand. It’s precisely what you want in a support team.
The provider also maintains a massive Wiki that’s chock-full of helpful articles. You can find an explanation about everything from basic hosting concepts to complex operations. The provider even assigns the guides a difficulty rating, so you know how much technical skill you need to have to follow the tutorial.
And if that’s not enough, you can join the KnownHost forum with an active community and over two thousand threads. If you want to discuss anything about the provider or your website, it’s an excellent place to do so.
The support does a decent job and the knowledge base is excellent, but the lack of a fast customer support channel leaves a bad taste.
The Pros of KnownHost
When picking a hosting provider, you’ll want any advantage you can get. Coincidentally, plenty of KnownHost reviews praise the provider for its extensive and flexible offer. Here are the key advantages the host has over the competition:
1. Robust Infrastructure
A part of why KnownHost can offer such high uptime is its robust setup. The provider is PCI DSS, HIPAA, and SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II compliant with N+1 redundant systems. You can read more info on the security measures, power systems, and networking on KnownHost’s website.
The typical server machine is equipped with:
- Dual hexa-core Intel Xeon processors
- DDR4 ECC RAM
- RAID-10 redundant SATA SSD storage
KnownHost virtualizes the infrastructure and deploys the shared plans on top of the cloud setup. This ensures no plan is compromised if an individual server machine goes down or needs to be shut off for maintenance.
The managed hosting provider uses CloudLinux to create its client accounts. This is a distribution that’s designed specifically for shared hosting.
It ensures greater account isolation than typical shared plans, so clients hosted on the same server can’t interfere with each other. This essentially guarantees you can access the resources you purchase, effectively resolving one of the greatest pitfalls of shared hosting.
The server stack is based on LiteSpeed—a premium web server. It typically has better security than traditional Apache/Nginx. Even better, it loads static content way faster, leading to better load times.
It also lets you access LiteSpeed-specific caching plugins. These are available for CMSs like WordPress and shopping carts like PrestaShop and OpenCart. You can get unmatched performance if you need ecommerce or managed WordPress hosting.
The provider supports various other speed optimization technologies like QUIC and OPcache.
KnownHost has robust hardware, and the well-optimized setup only adds to its power.
2. Advanced Backups
Backups are what you fall back on if something goes wrong with your site. They are essential for maintaining your website’s integrity, especially if you can’t afford to lose any data.
The extensive backup tools were one of the most refreshing features when putting together this KnownHost shared hosting review.
KnownHost takes daily backups of the entire server. If you need to restore a previous version of your website, you can just contact the support. The service is completely free, which is excellent. You can request a partial restore as well, but this might incur a small fee.
The provider also integrates JetBackup into cPanel at no extra cost. The managed web hosting services allow you to control your own backups. You can store the files on the server or download them to your own machine.
Alternatively, the solution is compatible with various storage services like S3. You can automatically send your backup files to a cloud storage service and keep them safe there. If you want to get remote storage from KnownHost, it costs $0.02/month per gigabyte, which is fine.
Between KnownHost’s own backups and the JetBackup extensions, all your backup needs are taken care of.
3. Optimized for WordPress
WordPress is everyone’s favorite CMS. That’s why KnownHost has special WordPress-ready plans.
Like regular hosting, these run on LiteSpeed web server. Combined with the LiteSpeed Cache WP plugin, this can get you incredible WordPress speeds.
But the advantages don’t stop there.
The WordPress hosting company throws in automated WordPress updates. The system will ensure your core software, themes, and plugins are up-to-date without you having to keep track of new releases. It’s a massive time-saver, as all potential vulnerabilities are all patched up.
The WordPress plans run a custom control panel. This retains all the key features while allowing for easy management of WordPress-related features.
The plans integrate WP-CLI and Git, making them excellent for more advanced WordPress users.
There’s a lot to love about the WordPress offer. A bunch of KnownHost reviews are praising the provider, and for good reason.
4. Instant Account Setup and Free Migrations
Nobody likes purchasing a hosting plan and waiting a week for verification. That’s why KnownHost lets you get started as soon as you are out of the checkout page.
If you already have a hosting account with someone else, KnownHost can handle the migration for free, including a QA follow-up.
The company routinely migrates websites between the standard control panels. If your website is hosted on cPanel, Plesk, or DirectAdmin, the provider can move it to a KnownHost cPanel or DirectAdmin account at no extra charge.
If you are hosted on a different system, the migration would cost $35/hour. You can contact KnownHost and get an estimate of how long the process would take, though it’s less than an hour in most cases.
All in all, KnownHost’s expert team can handle migrating your website. Most users will be able to get the migration for free, which is fantastic.
5. Strong Security
Hosting servers are regularly exposed to all sorts of malware and targeted attacks. For that reason, you want a provider that can endure whatever gets thrown at it.
KnownHost starts off with robust DDoS protection. It can handle attacks up to 500Gbps and a 700mpps packet processing rate.
The fully managed web hosting plans also come with Immunify360, which is a robust malware prevention software suite. It sports a web application firewall, intrusion detection, malware scanning and cleanup, and many other features. It integrates naturally into cPanel, so you can effortlessly track the health of your server.
Lastly, you can access Patchman security, which is used by industry leaders like InMotion Hosting. It can patch up various vulnerabilities of CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. If you’re a CMS lover, it will add an extra layer of security to your site—and who doesn’t want that?
Of course, the tech team still works tirelessly to harden server security and catch any threats. KnownHost ensures maximum safety for your website.
6. Good for eCommerce
KnownHost doesn’t forsake business website owners. In fact, the plans have plenty of features to help them out.
The managed hosting provider is excellent for running various ecommerce apps like AbanteCart, OpenCart, and X-Cart. The server stack does wonders for the performance of these apps.
One thing to point out is that the shared hosting plans all have a PHP memory limit of 256MB. This is fine for most shopping carts, but it’s a bit low for Magento. If you want to run that ecommerce platform, the provider’s VPS plans have a more robust environment.
The provider does users a solid and throws in an IPv6 address for free with all plans. The feature is beneficial for running email campaigns or setting up custom certificates. This is fantastic for businesses that want to establish a brand identity.
Speaking of, KnownHost resells various SSL certificates by the top providers like GeoTrust and Sectigo (previously Comodo SSL). Since the company is a reseller, these are available at reduced rates than when purchasing directly from the certificate authority. It’s an excellent option if you want to get both hosting and an SSL certificate from KnownHost.
Of course, you still get a free SSL certificate that you can install through cPanel.
You get access to advanced emailing tools as well. You can choose from several webmail clients and set up autoresponders or spam protection.
KnownHost is completely business-ready, and it offers a few helpful add-ons to get your business website that little bit of extra oomph.
7. Choice of Fully Managed Services
One of the main selling points of KnownHost is offering fully managed services, no matter if you need VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting. Managed WordPress hosting is the cherry on top.
What this means is that the provider will take care of the OS and control panel installation, server stack optimization, and security hardening, as well as further management and patching. The provider’s team will put in reasonable effort to install any third-party apps you might have in mind (this doesn’t cover remote desktop systems).
There is quite a range of plans. You can get anything from a tiny 2 CPU core, 2 GB RAM VPS to a gargantuan 24 CPU core, 128GB RAM dedicated server.
You get plenty of choices with KnownHost.
8. Free Domain and WHOIS Privacy
When doing research for this 2020 KnownHost review, I was wary of its free domain offer. Many hosts offer free domain registration, but then they overcharge you for domain privacy and hit you with ridiculous domain renewal prices.
I am happy to report KnownHost has very reasonable rates. For instance, a .com domain would cost you $13.95/year, which is what you’d pay with most domain registrars.
Even better, the host throws in WHOIS privacy with your domain name, and that stays free forever. The service is essential for keeping your info out of the public record and avoiding spam. It’s a real treat!
9. Reputable Company
KnownHost doesn’t have the largest user base out there. However, the provider sports an excellent reputation among its customers. Among hundreds of KnownHost reviews written by users, nearly all of them praise the host. Plus, the provider is lauded as one of the most reliable hosts on community sites like Reddit.
Customer loyalty is an excellent sign the provider takes care of its customers and maintains a stellar service.
The Cons of KnownHost
No matter how well a host does its job, there is always room for improvement. Most KnownHost reviews don’t really touch on these, but I found a few important things to mention. Here’s what KnownHost is yet to work out:
1. Slim Choice of Data Centers
KnownHost has three facilities located in Atlanta, Seattle, and Amsterdam. This gives it a decent presence in the US and Europe. Still, KnownHost’s coverage can’t match that of a few global providers.
It’s up to you to decide if the available data centers work for your target audience. KnownHost does cover the key hotspots, but it’s not ideal for Asia or Australia.
2. Difficult to Break out of Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is where most websites start. A simple shared plan can last you for years, and it won’t cost you much.
That said, many websites eventually outgrow shared hosting. When that happens, you want an easy jump to VPS.
Unfortunately, the smallest KnownHost VPS plan costs 2.5 times more than the largest shared one, even though it has comparable resources. If you need a resource upgrade, you might have to pay four times as much.
Obviously, it’s a pretty significant price jump between shared and VPS hosting. Many hosts offer a lower-end VPS plan that makes it easier to scale up. KnownHost is at a bit of a disadvantage if you plan on growing your website.
3. Limited Cloud Plans
Cloud hosting is all the rage. However, many KnownHost reviews fail to mention the cloud plans aren’t as flexible as you might assume.
The provider only has three plans with preset resources. Their main advantage is spreading website data across more physical servers than usual. This makes them more reliable than a typical virtual server.
Other than that, the cloud plans don’t have decisive advantages over standard VPS, despite being more expensive. You miss out on all the flexibility and scalability you’d expect out of cloud hosting.
KnownHost Plans at a Glance
KnownHost has three shared hosting plans. The features are all the same across plans, so the only real difference is the resources. The overall pricing is reasonable.
Managed WordPress hosting costs a bit more, but it gets you more resources, so the pricing is fair across the board. Just be aware you need to pay for three years to get the best discount.
|Starting at $3.47/month, the Basic plan provides an affordable entry point into hosting. It lets you have a single website, and gets you 5GB of SSD storage, 512MB RAM, and 50% of a CPU core. It’s an ideal starting point for users getting into fully managed web hosting.||The Standard plan raises the limit to five websites and gets you 20GB of storage. It doubles the CPU power and RAM allocation, so you can roll in a bit more traffic. The plan would set you back $6.47/month.||The Professional plan lifts most of the limitations and leaves storage up to fair use. It lets you access 2 CPU cores and 2GB RAM, which is generous. It costs $9.97/month, and it makes for a decent jumping-off point to get into KnownHost VPS plans.|
|Email:||Multiple webmail clients integrated into cPanel|
|Domain names:||Free registration and free domain privacy for life|
|Control panel:||cPanel (DirectAdmin available on VPS plans and higher)|
|Software installation:||1-click installers via Softaculous auto-installer|
|Migration:||Free for cPanel, Plesk, and DirectAdmin accounts|
|Payment options:||Credit cards and PayPal|
|Other hosting solutions:||Managed VPS, cloud, and dedicated servers|
|KnownHost user reviews:||Predominantly positive|
Do We Recommend KnownHost?
Yes, we do.
The provider doesn’t heavily market its services. However, user-generated KnownHost reviews reveal excellent customer satisfaction. And, comprehensive testing shows there’s a good reason for its popularity.
KnownHost does a decent job across the board. The server uptime is stellar, and the provider outperforms many larger hosts. KnownHost support is okay as well, though the lack of live chat for customers is a pain.
The provider throws in a bunch of handy features to spice up the offer, especially if you’re a WordPress or business user. This includes advanced backup options, robust security measures, and an optimized server stack. And all of that is available at just $3.47/month.
Admittedly, the provider still has a few things to improve, like the narrow choice of data centers and a massive price jump to KnownHost VPS hosting. None of these are critical issues, though.
Overall, the provider performs well, and it compares favorably to most of the competition.
One of the main ideas behind KnownHost’s offer is having fully managed services. While you can get unmanaged cloud plans, they are not the main focus. The provider can handle pretty much anything, from helping you pick a plan to fine-tuning the servers for your web app. It even made it to our top managed VPS hosting review, so it’s definitely worth a look.
Yes, they are. KnownHost is something of a cloud specialist, so its entire offer is founded on such technologies.
KnownHost uses KVM to virtualize its platform and CloudLinux to deploy containerized shared accounts. The provider is one of the sturdiest options in the market, though it’s not as elastic as some cloud hosts. If you enjoy the reliability of the cloud, it’s a great choice.
KnownHost is a solid provider of fully managed solutions. It runs a decent cloud setup, and it has shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated plans. The offer is WordPress-optimized, features strong security, and gets you respectable performance. And you can get it all at a reasonable price!
It’s a good choice if you need hosting in the US or Europe. If you’d like to learn more, check out my comprehensive KnownHost shared hosting review above.