When you look at the stock market today, you’ll see that many of the most successful companies around the world are completely internet-based. So as a young entrepreneur, it’s logical to want to seek riches online. Maybe you run a photography store outside of Toronto and want to start selling your work through a website.
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Well, in order to launch a successful online enterprise, you’ll need to make some investments up front. One of the most important ones is picking a web hosting provider and paying for storage and computing power on a monthly basis. This is the model of cloud computing, where you share resources in a data center while owning your own website.
But with thousands of companies claiming to offer the fastest hosting speeds and best performance, how do you know whom to trust and whom to avoid? Luckily, HostingCanada is here to offer clear, robust analysis on different hosting companies that sell their services in Canada.
Arvixe is a cloud company that has been around for a while, having first launched at 2003. At times it’s been considered one of the leading providers online, but read on to find out if their reputation matches up with our own tests and opinions.
Our Analytical Approach
Our reviews of hosting providers are based on hard numbers, compiled over many months of testing with our own sample web projects. With Arvixe, we’ve run a number of tests in their data center to determine their average level of performance. With that information, we can compare them to other cloud providers and provide recommendations.
Of course, you must remember that web hosting can be a costly endeavor. If you simply pick the cheapest company, you’ll likely end up with slow speeds and poor reliability. But even larger companies with better reputations can be misleading about their metrics. That’s why HostingCanada is here – to hold companies accountable and provide the information that you need to make the best decision for your web project.
Now that you know how we operate with these reviews, let’s dive in and look at the different topics to be covered here:
- First, we’ll present the results of our testing with Arvixe’s data center and explain what the numbers should mean to you.
- After that, we’ll analyze the cost of hosting with Arvixe and describe the different plans and options they offer.
- Then we’ll wrap up with some comparisons between Arvixe and other hosting providers, including SiteGround, our top pick for Canadian customers.
Why Our Opinion Matters
The great part about the cloud computing revolution is that web hosting companies are getting better and better at handling spikes in traffic as well as gradual site growth. It’s a good development for website owners like you, because you can be assured that your cloud platform will be able to scale up or down as needed.
We’ve factored the concept of scaling into our reviews and analysis of companies like Arvixe. When we ran our set of tests on the Arvixe data centers, we measured its performance against different rates of traffic to see how it stacked up with the competition. A good web host needs to be fast and continuously fast.
At HostingCanada, we understand that people and businesses need websites of different sizes. And our goal is to an affordable web host to meet your needs and make your life easier. Launching a website should be a painfree experience when it’s done right.
The Hard Science
When testing the performance of a web hosting provider, it’s important to spread out geographically, as different locations have varying local network speeds. In evaluating Arvixe, we’ve run tests from several major Canadian cities to give you a good overall impression of what to expect from their data center. Here are the plain numbers:
- Uptime – 98.9%
- Average Loadtime – 2,612Ms
- Uptime – 98.7%
- Average Loadtime – 2,532Ms
- Uptime – 98.8%
- Average Loadtime – 2,885Ms
- Uptime – 97.9%
- Average Loadtime – 2,758Ms
So what do these numbers actually mean? Well, first it’s important to understand the terminology. When we talk about update on HostingCanada, it refers to a measure of how consistent the hosting provider’s services are. The statistic is presented as a percentage to indicate the overall time that the hosting provider is online and functioning normally.
For example, Arvixe has performed with 98.9% uptime from Montreal testing locations. This means that in all of the data we’ve collected in our testing, Arvixe’s services were unable for only 1.1% percent of time for Montreal users. The math equates to around 96 hours of downtime over the course of a year.
When gauging uptime performance, even a fraction of a percentage point can make a significant difference to your website’s availability. At HostingCandada, we consider uptime metrics of over 98% to be strong, with anything below that classified as poor. The very best hosting companies guarantee 99% uptime or else will refund you some of your payments if that expectation is not met.
Now in switching gears to loadtimes, our focus shifts from overall availability to actual speed measurements. The numbers compiled by HostingCanada are an average over months of testing with Arvixe’s platform with various browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Times provided above are measured in milliseconds and cover the length of a full request and response to a cloud web server.
Keep in mind that your website’s end users may seem some variation in response times due to a variety of factors, including local network speed, browser behavior, and server traffic. Overall, Arvixe’s loadtime speeds performed quite poorly when compared to other common providers available in Canada.
Loadtimes that average at 2,000 milliseconds or less are considered to be high performance, as it means the end user will face very little delay when loading the webpage. Hosting providers with slower response times are risky to use, because your readers and customer may get annoyed with the delays and choose to browse other sites instead.
So let’s get back to your plan of expanding your photography store into an online enterprise. You know you need to launch a brand new website, but you want to conserve costs as much as possible. These days, it’s very feasible to run a web project on a small budget, but you still need to be ensure that you are receiving good performance and support from your hosting provider.
Hosting fees are typically billed on a monthly basis, at which time you pay for all of the computing resources that you’ve used over the past month. Keep in mind that bills can fluctuate over time, depending on what host you use and what subscription you’ve signed up for. It’s important to use a hosting provider that is very clear in its billing practices and has no hidden fees.
Here’s a look at Arvixe’s plans and pricing:
On their website, Arvixe splits their offerings into two plans, although the setup is a little more confusing than that. First of all, they force customers to pick between Linux and Windows environments. That’s great for people with deep technical knowledge who know want platform they want, but for those newer to website development, it may be confusing.
Most Canadian customers will be better off with the Linux option, especially since the prices for those plans are cheaper. From there, you can pick between the Personal Class or Personal Class Pro options. The only significance between the two plans is that Personal Class limits you to six domain links, while the Personal Class Pro option will let you use unlimited domains with in Arvixe’s data center.
Be aware that bills with Arvixe will quickly grow as you add more features. For example, using WordPress with Arvixe will typically cost an extra seven dollars per month. In order to lock in Arvixe’s best payment rates, you will have to subscribe to a two-year plan that cannot be canceled. Combining all of this together makes us rather weary to recommend Arvixe as a smart hosting pick.
In order to lure more customers to their platform, Arvixe boasts about a range of extra features that come included with their hosting plans. The screenshot below captures a few of the highlights.
On their website, Arvixe makes a big deal about the website building tool that is available to all of its customers, regardless of whether they pick the Personal Class or Personal Class Pro plan. The tool helps new users design their website using a drag-and-drop interface. It sounds like a great solution, but our tests found it underwhelming at best.
Arvixe also offers a few different features for email management. Their subscription plans include mailbox space so that you can link your domain to incoming and outgoing mail. In addition, you can get set up with different email marketing tools. This could be helpful as you expand your web enterprise and want to start advertising over email.
One major thing to watch out for with Arvixe is the way they handle SSL, the protocol which encrypts transmissions between web browsers and servers. A lot of hosting providers include an SSL certificate with their packages or else will help you set up a free one through Let’s Encrypt. But Arvixe does neither and will actually charge you $25.00 per year in order to secure your website.
Customer Service, Please Help!
Poor performing customer support is another reason why HostingCanada is disappointed by what Arvixe has to offer. They offer a live chat options where you can speak directly with a service representative, but they are one of the only hosting companies that does not offer phone support. That means if you have a complex issue that you want to discuss over the phone, you are out of luck.
There are also clear issues with their documentation and knowledge base. A lot of the support articles you’ll find are out of date or contain misleading information.
To top it off, when you sign up for a new account with Arvixe, they will try to convince you to add a Priority service package to your subscription. This costs an outrageous $20.00 extra per month, and Arvixe has little information on how it actually benefits you. Be warned!
What are the Alternatives?
As you move your Canadian small business onto the internet, we recommend looking for other options than Arvixe. Their prices look compelling at first glance, but you can find other affordable providers with better speeds and better billing practices.
SiteGround is our top recommendation for people looking to launch a new website on the cloud. As you can see from the metrics below, SiteGround has proven to offer better reliability and faster connection speeds than any of our tests with Arvixe.
SiteGround also offers affordable pricing with their different tiers of plans, which exceed everything that Arvixe claims to offer. Importantly, SiteGround also includes a free basic SSL certificate for all customers, regardless of their plan.
Contracts with web hosting providers can often be locked in for a period of many months or even years. If your website is currently hosted elsewhere, you should find out what kind of commitment you have signed up for and what transition options are available. With SiteGround, you can migrate an existing web project onto their platform with minimal interruptions. Then you can go ahead and enjoy the best hosting experience on the cloud.
Summing It Up
You’ll want to avoid hosting your website with Arvixe unless you like to pay for poor performance, mediocre customer service, and lackluster functionality.