iThemes Review: Web Hosting Review

iThemes at a Glance

  Bandwidth  N/A
  Free marketing offer  50% off select plans, Free SSL certificate
  Uptime  99.9% guarantee
  Website builder  Yes
  Money-back guarantee  30-day money-back guarantee
  Price per 6month  From $15/month

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In a Nutshell

iThemes is a WordPress themes and plugins company, and it has now entered the hosting scene. Partnering with Liquid Web, a hosting service that offers powerful hosting solutions for every business need, iThemes delivers simpler yet smarter hosting solutions for small businesses and their smaller budgets. Being the one that hosts your site directly, iThemes can control and manage the entire process from the top down for its customers.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable plans
  • Auto WordPress backup plugin built-in
  • Security Pro packages

Cons

  • Only the most basic hosting packages available
  • No live chat or phone support

Ideal For

  • Website admins
  • Bloggers and freelancers
  • Agencies that work with WordPress sites

Hosting Types

Unlike its partner brand Liquid Web that has an overwhelming number of hosting products to choose from, the iThemes offering is much more basic. It does away with all the options and leaves you with a single option, giving businesses a simpler and more straightforward signup process. This is great for a lot of businesses that don’t really understand the complexities involved in web hosting (and don’t have the time, patience, or interest to learn about them) because it provides easy, uncomplicated, and useful hosting solutions without all the confusing terminology, dizzying choices, and eye-popping price tags.

What’s included in the plan is 20GB storage and 80K pageviews. Plus, you’ll get a free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate automatically. These features are available for 2 websites simultaneously. This is a no-frills, good quality, and solid plan that covers all the basics you need. But what makes the iThemes hosting plan really a great value for your money are all the extras that are included in your package. Here’s what else you get:

  • BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is the iThemes WordPress backup plugin. It will automatically handle all of your backups and also deals with site restorations. What’s more, BackupBuddy helps you effortlessly migrate and manage every stage of your WordPress site journey. You also have full control over your backups, including scheduling automated backups, setting up off-site backup storage, and database rollbacks.

  • iThemes Security Pro

For a no-frills service, iThemes provides some serious security features. What used to be Better WP Security and is now simply iThemes Security Pro, this security suite packs a punch with features like:

  • Brute force detection
  • Malware scanning
  • File change monitoring
  • User blocking
  • Away mode, even on admin levels
  • Hide pages and URLs for limited access
  • Action logging

And, that’s just the beginning. iThemes Security Pro is rated number one in security tools for WordPress sites, so there’s no question that this is an invaluable addition to your lineup. And this all comes with email notifications that will alert you of any issues or possible security breaches. It’s a well-rounded and reliable security plugin.

  • iThemes Sync

Lastly, iThemes Sync is a useful tool to have if you manage more than one WordPress site. What’s nice about iThemes is that it lets you sync up to 10 sites for free. More than that, and you’ll have to sign up for a paid-for plan. iThemes Sync gives you the ability to install updates to all sites simultaneously, manage comments and user activity across sites, integration with security and other plugins for a seamless and trouble-free backup process, and a lot more. This feature really makes managing multiple WordPress sites a lot easier.

Having everything under a single roof, users are given more freedom, flexibility, and options for what they can do with their WordPress sites and how they can do it.

Uptime and Performance

iThemes has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. As the company itself says, the numbers are off, and iThemes actually strives for higher than that, but nobody can promise 100% uptime unconditionally. So, iThemes conservatively offers a 99.9% guarantee.

Website Builder Features

iThemes has a built-in website builder aptly named Builder. It offers both DIY and prefab themes and frameworks for creating fully-functional and feature-rich WordPress websites. No matter how much, or even how little, you want to be involved in the design process, iThemes Builder gives you everything you need. It has an excellent editor for customizing pages, a style manager, and building blocks to put your site together.

Additionally, iThemes has a hefty web design toolkit that’s great for beginners. The kit contains everything you could need to get your WordPress site up and running in style, including:

  • 20+ WordPress plugins
  • 200 customizable themes designed for WordPress
  • 900 hours of WordPress training (that’s hands-on experience)
  • 10+ iThemes Sync Pro sites

That’s a lot of tools to get you started.

Email

iThemes knows what it’s good at and what’s better left to the pros. Rather than tripping over their own feet to provide yet another feature, iThemes doesn’t even bother with email hosting. Like everything else about this product, it’s about sticking to the basics. iThemes does have recommended email hosting services including partner brand Liquid Web, G-Suite, and Zoho Mail.

Control Panel

Since iThemes plugins do all the heavy lifting, the whole process is smooth, fast, and really easy. The user dashboard is intuitive, and it lets you do everything within a click or two. What’s more, iThemes has tons of material and resources online to help you learn more about WordPress and all the exciting things you can do with it. The library has more than 35 eBooks dedicated to everything that is WordPress, along with video tutorials, to help walk you through troubleshooting scenarios.

Pricing and Packages

The iThemes pricing structure is incredibly reasonable. Charging just $15 a month for a hosting plan means any business can afford this kind of service. Customers are billed annually for their hosting plans, and that includes all the extras that are thrown into your plan bundle (i.e., iThemes Sync, iThemes Security Pro, and iThemes BackupBuddy plugins).

The standard plan (the only one available currently) is for hosting 2 websites. If you have more than 2 sites that you want hosted by iThemes, get in touch with a customer service rep. They’ll help you create a tailored hosting plan to suit your business needs. We like that iThemes is basic, easy to use, and has simple pricing, yet also provides additional options for expanding outwards and upwards if the need arises.

Help and Support

iThemes has a friendly and knowledgeable customer support staff. The team is based in Oklahoma, so you always get someone who speaks your language and understands the issues you are having. Support can be reached via the online contact form. Messages are generally answered within 24 hours during normal business hours Monday thru Friday 8am – 5pm CT.

Bottom Line

iThemes is the best choice for businesses that are looking for a solid and reliable solution for hosting their WordPress sites. The system is easy to use for anyone, and $25 a month at most makes it extremely affordable, no matter what your budget is. The web design toolkit gives users oodles of tools to help tweak their site and make it exactly what they need. With a strong customer support team, free online learning resources, and automatic backup, iThemes is clearly a top-quality brand.

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