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CoolHandle are a relatively small company, hosting around 50,000 domains, and are well suited to similarly sized businesses. Their technology is impressive and includes an ‘Always Online’ feature that will keep your sites online even if your server goes down, maintaining at the very least the image of perfect reliability. They also throw in a couple of perks with every one of their packages, a free domain and a 30 day no hassle guarantee if you are not satisfied, which covers shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated server hosting.
There are three plans on offer here, each with several common and impressive features. These include unlimited storage and bandwidth, so your site can grow as much as it needs to without you having to worry about data limits. To get your site up and running, there is also a site builder and use of the industry standard cPanel control panel to give the greatest ease of use. Any site with CoolHandle will also be e-commerce ready, with shopping carts from osCommerce, Zen and Cube, use of a shared SSL - needed to receive credit card payments - and PayPal capabilities all part of the deal. The ‘Starter’ plan costs just $4.95 a month and comes with 5 domains, databases and mailboxes. Upgrading boosts these essential stats to 100, 1000 and 1000 respectively for $10.95 with the ‘Business’ plan, while the ‘Pro’ option removes the limits completely: ideal for companies with plenty of divisions, data or staff.
Should you wish to start hosting for yourself, CoolHandle has another three packages on offer. Though bandwidth and storage are now obviously restricted, the limits on domains, databases and emails are absent from the start. Also included are several reselling tools such as WebHostingManager alongside cPanel, a dedicated reseller account and a ready to use billing system. The RS01 package will cost you $19.95 a month for 35GB of storage and a bandwidth allowance of 250GB. It should be noted that these limits may prove restrictive as overselling isn’t allowed on this first deal. With the $29.95 RS02 you can oversell, and the limits are now 50GB of disk space and a 400GB data allowance. The highest value plan includes four times the space plus a 1000GB bandwidth for $49.95 a month.
VPS and Dedicated Hosting
With virtual private servers, your options are once more three-fold, with ever increasing RAM, disk space and bandwidth. All offer a free domain name and instant operating system reloads from a wide variety of choices, so you can be as flexible as your sites require. VP01 and VP02 come with 1 IP address, whilst the third plan throws in an extra one.
However, when it comes to the dedicated plan, CoolHandle does not give you much room for movement. Its single plan offers 1GB of RAM, 80GB of storage and a large 2TB data limit - not unlimited, but enough for a fair number of visitors to your site. In addition there are 5 IP addresses included for multiple internet connections, and a free private SSL certificate so that the address for your online transactions includes only your name and not that of your hosting provider. These are all great strengths, it has to be admitted, but when it comes to dedicated servers, scalability and flexibility are often key, and on these counts, CoolHandle does not make the grade.
This is a section in which admirable hosting companies often let themselves down, leaving their customers to struggle with issues more than they should have to. Thankfully, CoolHandle offer 24/7 phone and web chat, as well as a mass of online support documentation and their site posts live updates on the status of the systems throughout the day, so you’ll never be in the dark as to what’s going on. While this is not the best support system we have seen, it is certainly going to be adequate for most common problems.
CoolHandle have done a great job for such a small enterprise in competing in the hosting market. Their plans offer decent value for money but their specifications fail to match those of the bigger competition. There is in all likelihood better value out there, but if you feel your needs won’t be compromised by some of the smaller storage, domain or bandwidth allowances, and want to go with a lesser-known brand, CoolHandle are one of the safer options. Otherwise, have a look at our Top 10 for more ideas.
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