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x10Hosting.com offers a slick and professional service, including free web hosting, premium shared hosting and virtual private servers. They proudly compare themselves with their rivals, and based on these comparisons even their free hosting plan looks very promising. On top of this, they provide first-rate online support and a high level of reliability, and all at some of the cheapest rates around.
x10Hosting offers just two shared hosting plans: Free and Premium. Their free plan is probably one of the most comprehensive on the net. It offers 'unmetered' bandwidth and disc space, which is essentially the same as 'unlimited', and gives you the chance to grow your website as much as you need to (within reason!). For a shared plan, you receive an almost unprecedented level of control and flexibility, thanks to the award-winning cPanel control panel software and support of most major scripts. There are certainly limits here in terms of databases and FTP accounts, for example, but for a free hosting account there really is not much missing. x10 even promises not to use your website for advertising, which is how most free hosts make their money. The one major downside is that you cannot use your own domain name, and must opt for a free one that will include their branding. You do at least have options here, however, and can choose between '.x10.bz', '.x10.mx', '.pcriot.com' and '.elementfx.com'. And for the small upgrade cost you will be able to have a completely individual domain name hosted.
For more novice users, x10 have included a site builder, which is very easy to use and offers an impressive selection of over a hundred templates to start from. Unfortunately, however, there are few chances for further customization beyond this and each of the designs looks like a template rather than a custom-made site. For more advanced web designers, x10Hosting provides you with easy access to over one hundred free scripts, meaning that if you want to use software such as Wordpress to design your site you can easily install it onto your site with the click of a button and get working straightaway. Although this feature does not have any monetary value, it will save you time and effort if you plan to work on your website in this way.
Virtual Private Servers
Unfortunately, x10Hosting's virtual private servers do not live up to the quite high standards of their shared hosting plans. Although the unmetered bandwidth on the more expensive packages here is promising, the disc space limits are quite severe. On top of this, cPanel requires an additional purchase and the pricing is not particularly competitive. Whilst the plans are adequate, you can do a lot better elsewhere, and x10 offer no real incentives for choosing them over their rivals.
The real problem with x10Hosting's support is that it is all based online. However, if you overlook this downside, its support center is well designed and offers a very user-friendly experience. The support forums are extensive, and will help you to solve the vast majority of simple and more complicated problems. Understandably, free account holders do not have access to the ticket system, and this is probably one of the major incentives to upgrade. However, all users have access to the getting started guides and the alerts system so they can be warned of any potential problems and make preparations accordingly.
Overall, x10Hosting is a strong hosting company, but they let themselves down with their virtual private servers and the fact that their support system is entirely based online. This latter problem is likely to be a deal breaker, as there is little reason to compromise on technical support. However, their free plan is one of the best around, and if this is all you are looking for it is certainly worth considering.
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