Dotster Review and Rating on the Joomla Hosting

Dotster Review and Rating on the Joomla Hosting

Dotster was started as a domain registrar in 2000, and just like other well-known registrars, it began offering other services including web hosting several years later. Now the company provides various online solutions that customers may need, including web hosting, domain registration, custom web design and online marketing.

Dotster has registered millions of domains for customers, but the same success has not come to its web hosting services because there are too many complaints on the web about the support, speed and several other aspects. As far as we know, the ratings that most users have given to Dotster web hosting are quite low.

This Dotster review focuses on the shared web hosting plans offered by the company, revealing the pros and cons of using the services to host Joomla and other scripts. As an early conclusion, we do not suggest Dotster as your web hosting provider. The detailed reasons can be seen in the content below.

Pros of Hosting Joomla with Dotster

Dotster offers scalable web hosting plans, and guarantees 100% Joomla compatibility. Besides, its web hosting services are green.

Upgradable web hosting plans with free extras

Dotster provides altogether 3 web hosting plans named Basic Hosting, Deluxe Hosting and Ultra Hosting. After purchasing a plan, you can make an upgrade at any time through the control panel when your needs grow beyond the current resources. The upgradability ensures some room for growth.

Each of Dotster web hosting plans includes some free extras. These are:

  • A drag-and-drop site builder which you can use to build a blog, portfolio site or eCommerce store easily with pre-made templates and built-in features.
  • $100 Google AdWords credits, $100 Bing/Yahoo! marketing credits, and free listings.

100% Joomla compatibility and 1-click Joomla install

Dotster does not state clearly which versions of PHP and MySQL it has installed on the servers, but you don’t have to worry because this web host guarantees no compatibility issue for running Joomla as well as dozens of other popular scripts.

In addition, the company offers SimpleScripts installer to assist you in the installation of Joomla. With the use of this tool, a brand new Joomla install can be ready within two minutes even if you have had no experience before.

Eco-friendly hosting

Dotster is a green web hosting provider that has been invested in renewable energy. The company adopts several green methods including purchasing wind energy credits which are equal to 150% of the data centers’ power consumption, planting one tree for each new hosting customer, and upgrading servers for the maximum efficiency.

Dotster hosting customers can add a green badge on their websites to tell the rest of the world that they are contributing to environment protection.

Cons of Hosting Joomla with Dotster

Cons of Hosting Joomla with DotsterAt present, Dotster is doing well in none of the most important hosting aspects including cost-effectiveness, uptime, speed and technical support. This fact makes the company not a good choice for hosting Joomla.

Relatively high web hosting costs

Among the 3 web hosting plans, Basic Hosting is quite affordable, priced at $3.75/mo for all of the 1-year, 2-year and 3-year terms. However, the other two plans, Deluxe Hosting and Ultra Hosting, are expensive.

Deluxe Hosting is now available at $6.75/mo, but this price is valid for the initial term only, and for renewals, the rate raises to $12.95/mo, $11.95/mo and $10.95/mo for 1/2/3-year billing. With such a high pricing level, you can easily find a plan with unlimited features, but Deluxe Hosting includes 25 databases, 25 FTP accounts and 250 emails only.

Ultra Hosting, the only unlimited hosting plan, is priced at $13.75/mo for both the initial term and renewals.

Limited features

As is mentioned above, the most expensive Ultra Hosting plan includes unlimited features, which means you can create unlimited databases, host unlimited websites, create unlimited email accounts, and so on.

However, the Basic Hosting and Deluxe Hosting plans come with strict limits on the number of FTP accounts, databases, and email accounts. With the former plan, you can only host one domain and create 5 FTP accounts, which is quite limited.

In addition, as Dotster is not innovative enough, it does not offer a complete feature set. The lack of features like SSH and SFTP may cause inconveniences.

To ensure a clear understanding, we have made a feature comparison between Dotster Basic Hosting plan and the Plus plan offered by BlueHost, a top-rated web host.

Feature Dotster BlueHost
Plan Basic Hosting Plus
Hosted Website(s) 1 Unlimited
Disk Space Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
MySQL Databases 10 Unlimited
FTP Accounts 5 Unlimited
Email Accountss 100 Unlimited
PHP/Python/Perl Yes Yes
Ruby on Rails No Yes
SSH No Yes
Free Domain No Yes
Regular Price $3.75/mo $10.99/mo
Discount N/A 57%
Discounted Price $3.75/mo $3.95/mo
How to Claim Pro Link

Custom control panel

Dotster does not offer cPanel. Instead, the web hosting customers have access to an exclusive custom control panel. Unfortunately, the provider does not mention a single word about the control panel, so you cannot find any information about it before completing an order, not even to mention a demo. There is no clue of the ease of use.

Unsatisfying uptime

Most web hosting providers nowadays offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee to ensure users a stable hosting environment, but Dotster is an exception. This company has not provided any uptime guarantee, nor does it publish any uptime statistics.

Although Dotster says it takes reliability and security seriously by utilizing dual power grids, HVAC, full network redundancy and secured data center access, the uptime records pulled from our monitoring tell another story. The uptime the company offers barely reaches 99.9%. Below is Dotster uptime in the last 30 days.

Dotster Uptime

Slow hosting speed

At most times, the speed of Dotster web hosting services is acceptable as the server responses take around 500ms and page loads take less than 3 seconds. However, during our monitoring, there were frequent spikes which led to slow server responses of approximately 2 seconds and unbearable page loading speed. You may wait for over 10 seconds for the loading of a simple page.

Dotster Server Response Speed

Although Dotster offers a multi-homed network to guarantee the stability, it does not use CDN or advanced equipment like SSD to further speed up its hosting services.

Inefficient technical support

The technical support offered for web hosting users comes with the most complaints compared with any other aspects that matter. According to many users, Dotster support service is sometimes non-existent. When an issue is reported, the support staff usually promises to get it addressed within 12 hours, but after a whole day or longer, you may find the issue still exists.

In addition, the waiting time is quite long even for the live chat and phone. You cannot expect your phone to be picked up immediately or the live chat to be replied within one minute.

If you want better technical support, you may need to try the expensive Ultra Hosting plan because it includes a premium support package with which your tickets will be handled with priority and there is a unique toll-free support number.

Limitations of the money back guarantee

In the TOS, Dotster claims to offer a 30-day money back guarantee for all web hosting customers. If you cancel the service within 30 days, the company will issue a refund of the hosting fees. However, you have to pay attention to the following restrictions.

  • Dotster charges $35 early cancellation fee.
  • Refunds are only available for the payments processed via credit cards. Those paying bills with PayPal are not eligible for any refund.
  • Dotster may offer pro-rated refunds for those terminating their accounts after the 30 days, but this is not a guarantee.

Any Better Hosting Choice for Joomla?

Of course. There are many web hosts which are more experienced and professional than Dotster. If you are looking for one to host open source applications including Joomla, you can check the top 10 Joomla web hosts or take a look at the following leading web hosting providers.

Rank Company Highlights Price
1 JustHost
  • Free domain name
  • Unlimited hosting
  • 99.9% hosting uptime
  • Anytime money back
  • PHP, MySQL 5, Python, Perl, SSH, suPHP, SSL
  • 24×7 support via telephone, live chat & email
Learn more at
2 BlueHost
  • Free domain name
  • Enhanced cPanel
  • PHP, MySQL 5, Python, Perl, SSH, suPHP, SSL
  • Serving for 850,000+ Joomla websites since 1996
Learn more at
3 InMotion
  • Automated daily backup
  • Fully upgradable
  • $100 Google ads,$75 Bing/Yahoo ads
  • Max speed zone technology, up to 6x faster than peers
Learn more at
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Dotster Joomla Hosting
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Dotster Review

Plan Name Basic Hosting
Regular Price $3.75/mo
Discount N/A
Claim Discount N/A
Effective Price $3.75/mo
Feature 2 2 of 5
Performance 2 2 of 5
Reliability 2.5 2.5 of 5
Control Panel 2 2 of 5
Tech Support 1.5 1.5 of 5
Conclusion Not Recommended
Purchase Safety
Full Refund Trial 30 Days
Pro-Rated Refund N/A
Accept CC Yes
Accept PayPal Yes
Accept Check No
Basic Features
Free Domain N/A
Addon Domains N/A
Hosting Sites 1
Web Space Unlimited
Monthly Transfer Unlimited
Memory limits Unspecified
Zend Optimizer Yes
.htaccess N/A
Custom PHP.ini N/A
Control Panel Custom Control Panel
AppInstaller SimpleScripts
Cron Jobs Yes
Adv. Credits
Google AdWords $100
Bing/Yahoo Search $100
Facebook Advertising N/A
Twitter Advertising N/A
Amazon AD N/A
Yellow Page Listing Yes
Totally $200
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FTC Disclosure
I receive payment from the web hosts included in the site. However, this doesn't affect my judgetment for the review, rating and recommendation. I only promote the web hosts deserved. If you think my review helpful, please support me by purchasing a plan via my promotional links.