KnownHost is a reliable web hosting company that has been around for over a decade, which is good to know when choosing a host because there are a lot of fly-by-night companies that seem to swoop in, and then you wake up one day and they’ve disappeared, along with your priceless data. Either that, or they end up being acquired by another company who basically decide to run them into the ground. Seeing a host that has been around for a long time, and managed to keep the quality up while constantly improving, is always a good sign.
What Sets Some Hosts Apart From The Pack?
At the end of the day, a lot of different companies are selling you hosting on the same servers, so the major difference is when it comes to things like customer support and how well they maintain their operations.
In this Knownhost review, we’re going to take an in-depth look at why this company has developed such a good reputation over the years, and why they’re so commonly recommended. You won’t always see them at the top of “best webhosting” lists, but it’s not because they don’t deserve it (that’s a whole other story.) In the case of Knownhost, they aren’t spending a fortune on promoting themselves, they mostly gain referrals through word of mouth, so while you won’t see them getting as much praise as some companies that have massive marketing budgets, but they’re definitely in the higher-tier of managed VPS hosting solutions, and we’re going to go into great detail to explain exactly why.
What You’ll Find In This KnownHost Review
We’ll start with a general overview, then we’ll look into some specific areas like speed, cost, how reliable they are, how easy they are to use, how quick they’ll respond to any support inquiries, and more. We’re primarily looking at the virtual private servers, however they have recently started offering managed WordPress hosting, and they also have affordable dedicated servers that your site may eventually grow into as well. In any case, it’s easy to upgrade as your needs change, and you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re with a hosting company that can support you as you grow.
Price and value are two very different things. Price is how much your hosting costs, and value is whether it’s worth it or not. In the case of Knownhost, their prices are very reasonable compared to other higher-tier managed VPS hosting options out there. As far as price goes, for servers and support of this quality, they’re priced on the cheaper side, for sure. When you have a low price, and a great quality server, that means you’ve got an incredible value – and KnownHost scores huge points for their overall value. Yes, you’ll find VPS servers that cost less, but good luck finding the same level of support, speed, reliability, and all of the other aspects we’re about to look at.
Often, how this tier of hosting, you can expect to spend at least 25-50% more than Knownhost is charging, and sometimes considerably even more than that. So, when it comes to value, it’s hard to not give them full points.
NEW: If you’re on a very tight budget and need to spend less than the $25 for Knownhost’s VPS, you can either look for an unmanaged VPS (We have reviewed several of them, including Digital Ocean and Vultr), or take a look at KnownHost’s newest offering: Managed WordPress Hosting. These plans cost a fraction of their managed VPS servers, and have you on a shared hosting plan instead, where you can still take advantage of their great support, without over-spending on a server that you might not need yet. When you’re ready to upgrade, that’s easy to do too. Their managed WordPress hosting is as low as $6 per month when you pay in advance, or around $12 on a month-to-month basis.
We recommend going with the SSD option, since solid state drives mean their servers can get your website onto your visitor’s browsers more quickly. They offer managed VPS with SSD, and ones without SSD, and the prices both start at $25. The speed boost from an SSD is almost always going to be worth it, and for the same price, why not?
Here’s a speed test showing a completely fresh WordPress installation with a simple and free optimization plugin (Autoptimize) installed on KnownHost’s least expensive SSD VPS, and no further tweaks or performance adjustments have been made. This is what you can expect right out of the box. Now, your website will have more requests than this, but you’ll also have the opportunity to improve that performance grade by using a CDN and further optimizations.
This gives you a good baseline for making comparisons to other hosting companies, and overall it’s a great score to have on a fresh installation:
One of the biggest factors when it comes to how quickly your site or app are going to load and perform has to do with the actual site itself. If you’re using WordPress with a big, bloated theme, it’s going to load more slowly than a simple HTML site. Having said that, we’ve found that Knownhost is more than willing to help you speed up your WordPress sites and themes for maximum performance, and as you can see they’re already really zippy from the get-go. If there is anything holding you back, it won’t be the servers themselves, and this hosting company is eager to help you get the best performance possible, even when it comes to things like themes that many other hosts wouldn’t offer help with at all.
KnownHost has numerous high-speed data centers available to host your site, and all of their plans come with ample, premium bandwidth to keep things moving as quickly as possible.
They’re also now offering DDOS protection included in the price, so if any competitors or people with malicious intentions try to slow your site down to a crawl, you won’t end up with some massive bill at the end of the month, because your hosting company has got your back and will work to protect you when you have one of their virtual private server plans.
We’ve already touched on the DDOS protection that’s now included with every KnownHost VPS, but we’ve yet to mention their uptime guarantee. The absolute minimum uptime that KnownHost guarantees is 99.9%, however in reality their overall uptime is much higher than that. Historically, their uptime is 99.996%. The fact that the guarantee is lower than the actual uptime they’re getting just means they have a little leeway in case of a catastrophe, however over the years, their actual uptime has been stunningly higher than the amount they guarantee, which is perfect.
Here’s a real-world look at the uptime for a website running KnownHost. In the past month, they have scored 99.99%+, however in the months before this there was zero downtime at all, so the total is even much better than 99.99%.
When you do experience issues, even if they’re caused by your site in particular and have nothing to do with any kind of error on the hosting side of things, they’re still going to do everything they can to help you out, and it’s going to happen very quickly. If you want to see how quick and helpful their support is for yourself, send them a quick message as a test.
Ease of Use
Everything is very simple and straight forward, and unlike an unmanaged VPS, you’ve got the famous WHM panel along with the option to upgrade and have cPanel on your server as well. For anyone who has had hosting before, it’s all going to be very familiar. If it’s your first foray, no problem, everything is very intuiting and very well documented as well.
Ease of use and support go hand in hand. With your hosting managed control panel, you can “self-serve” when it comes to a lot of changes that you may want to make with your server, but y ou can also reach out to Knownhost’s excellent support staff to help with just about anything you could imagine, but we’ll cover that more in-depth in a moment.
They have their own control panel for their new managed WordPress hosting offering, and it’s all very straight-forward. Furthermore, if you have a VPS with KnownHost, you can use a variety of different control panels. If you’re familiar with cPanel, you can run that via WHM, or something else if you prefer.
We have saved the best for last. One of the shining features of KnownHost is how quickly their support will respond to you, and how willing they are to help with a variety of issues, even things that a host might not necessarily cover. We’ve gotten in touch with them for a variety of issues, around the clock, from first thing in the morning to the dead of night, and always gotten a response in a matter of moments. You’re not waiting 10, 15, 20+ minutes for a reply, they get back to you almost instantly to let you known they’re looking into whatever your concern is, and then from there you’ll hear back with a solution very, very quickly (of course, it depends on the issue you’re having, but generally speaking things can be all sorted out in just a matter of minutes in a lot of cases.)
KnownHost hosts an in-depth wiki filled with information about hosting and various related software and apps:
It’s extensive, in-depth, and can help with all sorts of hosting questions. That doesn’t mean you can’t reach out to them for the answer, but if you’re someone who prefers to figure things out on their own, KH has your back, too. Sometimes when companies put together resources like this, they’ll use it as a way to push you away from their support, saying “You can find the answer in our Wiki.” In many years of hosting with KnownHost, they’ve never once tried to do that. They don’t use their Wiki as a way to try to lighten the load of their support staff at all, when you reach out for help they’re not going to try to direct you elsewhere to find the answer, they’re going to tell you the answer or simply just handle it for you.
In addition, they host a support form for their customers to share further advice:
Once you’ve selected your hosting package, the order process couldn’t be easier. Even if you do run into any snags or have any questions, they’ll have someone waiting by around the clock to help.
Adding new sites to your server is also very easy, and you can add an unlimited number of domain names to your hosting plan. From inside WHM, you simply click account functions, then go to add new account. Then, your screen will look like this…
You will in the domain name you want to use, you create a username and a password, enter the email address you want associated with that account, and the rest is already filled in for you for the most part, unless you want to change any of the default settings. From there, you’ll have a new cPanel account ready to go, where you can easily install WordPress or any number of other scrips or applications.
Overall / Final Thoughts
It’s worth pointing out that KnownHost isn’t the cheapest when it comes to any of their offerings, from managed WordPress, VPS, or even their dedicated servers – but they’re not the most expensive, either. They fall somewhere in the middle in terms of price, but they’re in a higher tier when it comes to performance and support, and that’s why we can easily recommend them as a great option when you need a solid server for your website from a hosting company that you know isn’t going to just disappear overnight and leave you stuck out in the cold.
They are located at 1625 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S., Birmingham, AL 35205, United States, and their website encourages people to pay them a visit to learn more. They encourage customers to talk to one another on their support forums, and that’s just another way that they are very transparent about their whole operation. If a company wasn’t doing their absolute best, they sure wouldn’t want their customers talking to one another, not to mention setting up a forum for that to take place.
The member dashboard is easy to navigate, you can see all of your current and past invoices and payments at a glance, download important files, and more. With automatic payment options, you never have to worry about logging in, but it’s all there and readily available for you come tax season.
Whether you need a simple server for a site that’s going to get a few hundred visitors a day, something that can handle thousands in a day, or you’re going to be having hundreds or thousands of visitors at any given moment, KnownHost will be able to put together a solution for you and you’ll be able to take advantage of their knowledgeable and helpful support start, their quick server bandwidth, and all of the other advantages we’ve covered in this review of KnownHost.
If you still aren’t sure which server size might be the best fit for you, we encourage you to visit KnownHost and talk to their sales team. It’s very low pressure, their main goal is to help inform you and to ensure you’re having your meets met without going overkill, because that’s the kind of service that leads to a long term hosting relationship.
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified: