I have been using Crocweb for close to a decade now. I just logged in to my account at Crocweb and realized that my first invoice was created on 15th June 2014, almost nine years ago. My overall experience has been reasonably good with them, so I thought I would write a small blog about my experience. This blog has been with Crocweb since then!
How did I find Crocweb?
I was looking for a new web hosting back in 2014 and looking for someone like Arvixe. I went over to WHT forums and started looking for hosting offers. WHT has a lot of different providers, from small to large, new and old all of them. Once you are in there, you get lost. I needed clarification by looking at all the offers in various price ranges, many locations, and providers.
I was looking at a mid-sized provider that could offer decent pricing and personalized support. The small web hosts provide good support and price-to-performance ratio compared to big players, so I preferred them. I came across their offer, which offered 40% off on the first invoice.
Crocweb review – What was the pricing and plan like?
Initially, they were offering the Egg croc plan for different prices based on the duration of your subscription. So, if you wanted to pay monthly, it was $5.95. Similarly, if you commit for a year, it would be $4.95 per month, followed by $3.95 and $2.95 per month for 2- and 3-year pre-payment, respectively. I initially hesitated to get the 3-year plan, but they had a 60-day (about two months) no-question refund policy. Besides, they offer PayPal as a payment method, so you can use buyer protection if things go south.
Keeping all things in mind and taking advantage of the 40% off the first invoice, I went with their 3-year plan for the Egg Croc plan. This plan had 10 GB of pure SSD storage, and 100 GB of bandwidth, with unlimited domains, email, and everything else. After a couple of years, the bandwidth was set to unlimited for all plans without any additional payments or intervention from my end. So, for three years, I paid just ~$63, less than $2 a month!
Crocweb review 2023 – My experience with them
Currently, they have only one location, which is Montreal, in Canada. They have yet to start at any other location, so safe to assume they are not looking for other locations right now. You can ask for their support if you need a different location or if they have another location.
The cPanel plan that I am hosted on uses Intel Xeon E5-2660 v2. Previously, it was some other CPU, if I remember correctly. Well, the 2660 v2 is not bad; many web hosts still use the same CPU, and it provides okay performance.
Over the years, they have revamped their shared hosting plans. In 2023, they started using the AMD EPYC CPU, which is modern and offers NVMe storage. The NVMe storage is faster than pure SSD storage, so you get a boost in I/O with these drives.
Control panel for shared hosting
My shared hosting plan is hosted on cPanel servers. But the last time I spoke to them, I was told that they had discontinued the cPanel as a control panel on their shared hosting. They are using the DirectAdmin control panel instead, which is like cPanel. No doubt everyone is familiar with cPanel, and it offers a lot of other things that DA needs to include, but the pricing of cPanel is becoming a pain for providers. You can check out this thread on Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/webhosting/comments/xqe916/comment/iqasuux/)
You will see that the cPanel pricing has increased by almost 200% since 2018. So, moving from cPanel to alternatives makes sense, and Crocweb is moving in the right direction. Removing dependency on their panel is the only alternative to counter price hikes.
Just like most of the providers, they are using WHMCS for accounting and billing management. This is one of the most preferred options by the hosting providers. It has a lot of plugins for different control panels and VPS providers and offers a lot of automation to providers. There is even a module that takes care of domain registration and renewals. So, in the case of the billing portal, they are using an industry-standard portal. By the way, you can check my invoice history with them, my first invoice was in 2014!
Backups and restores
Crocweb offers automatic backups via the Acronis backup tool. The backups are taken daily, and around 30 are retained at any time. I just checked my account, and I was surprised to see the backups from 2021 listed there! Restoring from backups is easy. You must click on any backup from the list and restore it. It will be restored within no time. In addition, cPanel/ DA also offers an automated backup option, which can generate and store backups in your local storage. (You can click on image to enlarge it)
The performance of the hosting is average. You will find better performance if you use caching and CDN like Cloudflare. I used the plugin – WordPress Hosting benchmark tool to find out how fast the hosting is, and you can see the results below. It rated 5/10, which is average. This was set on the test domain, and I have set up Litespeed LS cache and Cloudflare, so performance is okay. With the new generation EPYC, you can expect much better performance from their shared hosting plans. The uptime is what I loved about them; I had seen instances where the server was up for more than 400+ days.
I had relatively positive feedback in this field. I have noticed that they mail you in advance if any software/ hardware update is needed or if any maintenance activity is scheduled. This is important for business sites that use ads to drive visitors, so the sites must remain accessible. Their maintenance windows are usually at midnight, which is a positive point.
After-sales support – An essential factor!
This is one of the most crucial factors to consider in any service. The after-sales service plays a key role. Most shared hosting users are sometimes not tech-savvy, so they need support to resolve their queries. I had pleasant experiences with Crocweb. Their support is friendly and up to a point.
Most importantly, they are responsive and answer my queries within a few minutes. I had most of the tickets created during the night due to the time zone difference, but I still found replies quickly on most occasions. However, I was not expecting fast responses on hosting that I am paying $3 per month! I am okay with a few hours’ delay, but they surprised me!
Conclusion: Should you go with Crocweb shared hosting?
Yes, I highly recommend them. If you are looking for reliable shared hosting with good uptime and better support, go with them. Their new cloud-shared hosting is based on model EPYC CPU, which offers the best bang for the buck. You may find DA a bit new after moving over from cPanel, but you will get used to it after some time. It offers all the benefits the traditional cPanel offers, and the UI has improved significantly over the last few years.