Arvixe is one of many web hosting brands owned by Endurance International Group, and like its siblings HostGator and Bluehost, it won’t be making our best web hosting guide any time soon. That said, even if it was an independent offering it wouldn’t make it. The infuriating setup and dated website left us wondering if the service still operated.
In this Arvixe review, we’ll talk about our mostly negative experience when we tried the service. So much effort was involved in getting our website working that there was little room for anything else. Still, we’ll talk about the features, speed, usability and security of the service, even if they’re overshadowed by the setup.
Even without that, it’s hard to recommend Arvixe. The prices are high, the packages aren’t attractive and the usability is, frankly, bad. It’s a mediocre provider in every regard, with a particularly poor performance when it comes to configuration.
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Decent features
- Impressive speed
- Many hosting types
- Prompt support
- Windows & Linux hosting available
- Dated website
- Broken setup process
- No managed WordPress hosting
Alternatives for Arvixe
Arvixe doesn’t have many features outside of what’s included in a normal cPanel implementation (read our best web hosting with cPanel guide). That said, the goodies included aren’t bad, and though we wanted to see more for security, the overall feature set satisfies.
Though average in almost every regard, Arvixe has one uncommon feature. Outside of A2 Hosting, it’s one of the few web hosts that offer Linux and Windows servers, meaning you can choose the operating system that best fits the website you’re building. Windows plans are more expensive, as they usually are, but we like to see the option regardless.
Otherwise, it’s the standard fare. You get the Softaculous app installer, which holds scripts for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and more, as well as $200 in ad credits spread across Bing and Google.
You also get a website builder, which is increasingly common. As with most web hosts, the builder provided by Arvixe will get you by, but you’re better off with one of our best website builders. We recommend Wix (read our Wix review).
Something to note is that when we tried to launch the website builder, we were met with a warning page from Google that our connection may not be secure.
What’s lacking are the security features. Though Arvixe’s security is sound overall, many of the free security features at other web hosts are paid here. For example, standard shared hosting doesn’t come with a free SSL/TLS certificate.
Arvixe Features Overview
|Web Application Firewall|
|Live Chat Support|
Arvixe is one of the more expensive hosts out there, with multi-year rates above some providers’ monthly rates. The dated look of the website doesn’t help much, either, and makes it difficult to know what you’re buying. That’s more of a concern for the next section, but user-friendliness still comes up here.
On the website, you’ll see the price advertised “as low as.” That translates to the monthly rate you’ll be paying if you buy two years upfront, which we’ve reflected in the table above. Arvixe offers plans in durations of one, three and six months, as well as one and two years, with six months and above receiving discounts.
The discount is horrible, though. Bluehost, which is another starchild from Endurance International Group, starts at around $4 per month on multi-year plans and renews at only $8 a month (read our Bluehost review). Arvixe starts high at $7 a month for multi-year plans and renews at around $10 per month.
No matter how you slice it, Arvixe is expensive. More annoying than the high price tag is the strange distribution of prices. For example, Business plans start at $25 per month, but there’s a “pro” version available for $38 a month. The only difference between them is that “pro” plans offer unlimited domains while standard Business only offers six. The same goes for Personal.
That’s not how web hosting is sold anymore. Take Hostinger, for example. It offers three tiers of shared hosting, and like Arvixe, there’s a limit on the number of domains you can host on the cheapest plan. That said, the more expensive plans come with extra processing power, features such as daily backups and a higher bandwidth limit (read our Hostinger review).
Arvixe’s division between pro and non-pro versions doesn’t make sense, and the massive price hike between the two means you’ll end up paying a lot more if you need more than six domains.
Thankfully, there’s a decent money-back guarantee. Arvixe gives you 45 days to change your mind, which, though not as generous as InMotion Hosting’s 90-day window, isn’t bad (read our InMotion Hosting review).
Ease of Use
Arvixe’s site is dated, and though an ugly face doesn’t inherently make for poor usability, it does in this case. There’s an overwhelming amount of information on product pages, nailing down prices for the types of hosting is confusing and much of the information on product pages isn’t relevant for many users.
Streamlining the process would help, but, thankfully, the worries end for a moment during checkout. It’s almost a carbon copy of Hostgator’s checkout page, which isn’t surprising considering they’re both owned by the same company. There are add-ons that can be confusing, though.
There’s also a lot of confusion about the price you’re paying. The most inexpensive shared plan costs $168 for two years at the time of writing. At the bottom, it says the plan will renew at $168 two years from the date you sign up, but it also says “introductory prices apply to the first term.” That’s the introductory price, so what gives?
The problems don’t end there. After signing up, we couldn’t log in. The password we set didn’t work, and after requesting a password reset, we were sent an email asking that we verify our identity, which, in this case, meant uploading a full color, photo ID. We’ve reviewed a lot of web hosting providers and not once have we seen a verification process like that.
Responding to the email didn’t work, despite that being what we were told to do. Finally, we reached out to support to ask about it, which required us to upload the document again. After that whole fiasco, we could log in.
We couldn’t do anything with our hosting, though. As if dealing with verification wasn’t enough, our account was “pending,” with no explanation as to what that meant. Once again, we needed support, and this time it took two rounds because the support agent didn’t fully activate our account the first time.
Once we logged in, we couldn’t access cPanel. In the client area, which is actually good, the link to log in to cPanel just redirected back to the client area. We reached out to support for a third time, once again waiting for five to 10 minutes while the rep pulled up our account information.
The usability beyond sign-up isn’t bad. Arvixe’s account dashboard displays the most important information, including bandwidth and disk usage, in an easy-to-read format, along with quick links to important cPanel items. Plus, it shows your billing information, including when the next payment is due and how much it’ll cost.
There’s nothing to note in cPanel other than the fact that it’s cPanel. It’s about as stock a build as you can get, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s nothing special, either. If you want to see what a terrible control panel looks like, read our 1&1 Web Hosting review.
That said, any ground Arvixe gains in the control panel is overshadowed by the horrendous setup process. We assume that what we went through isn’t the process for everyone, but it happened to us, and that’s generally a good sign that it has happened before. The infuriating setup made us want to close the book on a story that was just beginning, and that’s never good.
Arvixe offers shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud hosting. The lineup is more complex than that, with a split between two types of shared hosting, but it basically boils down to that. Unfortunately, managed WordPress isn’t offered, so read our best web hosting for WordPress guide if you’re interested in that.
Our Kinsta review may be helpful, too, considering there’s little power outside of shared hosting for WordPress. Arvixe splits its shared hosting into Personal and Business classes, each of which come in two tiers with Linux or Windows, much like A2 Hosting (read our A2 Hosting review).
As mentioned, the only difference between the two tiers is the number of domains you can host. Otherwise, they’re the same. That said, we like that you can choose between Windows and Linux.
There’s reseller hosting, too, but it’s just a shared package that you can, well, resell. The prices aren’t the worst, but we like SiteGround’s credit-based approach to reseller hosting much more (read our SiteGround review).
VPS plans, which provide dedicated resources on a shared server, are offered, but we don’t recommend them. The price is much higher than the competition’s and the specs are mediocre. Developers won’t be able to save money, either, with Arvixe only offering managed VPS plans.
Dedicated and cloud hosting are available, too, and we’re only lotting them together because Arvixe does. Under the “DedicatedClass” tab, you’ll find dedicated and cloud servers, with the latter seeming like it was shoehorned in at some point. The specs aren’t terrible, but the price is high, so it’s best to look elsewhere. Our Pagely review is a good place to start.
The lineup isn’t bad, but the prices are high across the board. The major types of hosting are represented, and with a lot of flexibility thanks to the choice in OS. Even so, the high price and lack of managed WordPress makes the lineup look less than desirable.
Speed & Uptime
Speed is one of the first areas we judge with a web host. It’s easy to get up and running, provides a solid base on which the rest of the service can be based and, unlike most areas, is objective.
That said, it was the last thing we could text for Arvixe. Our website took over four days to get online thanks to the multiple times we had to reach out to support. Part of the the problem was the nameservers. DNS propagation — which is better explained in our what are DNS records guide — shouldn’t take more than 24 hours, but it was over three days before we saw anything.
That was because, despite clearing payment and reaching out to support two times to confirm our account had been activated, our website was never set up on the server. We spent almost a full work week trying to get the service working and confirming that it should be, only to be told that our money was taken but the service wasn’t active.
Once we got the website working, we tested speed using Pingdom Speed Test and Load Impact. Initially, Pingdom Speed Test returned a perfect score, with a load time of around 200 milliseconds and a 100 out of 100. It turned out that wasn’t a true representation of the website, though.
We ran the test using a blank version of WordPress, but for whatever reason, WordPress wasn’t installed in the root of the website. That means when visiting our test domain, you’d be met with an index of the website instead of WordPress. Why WordPress installed like that is beyond us.
We got more reasonable results when we reran the test, with Arvixe scoring a 90 out of 100. That said, most of our wait time came from the hosting, not DNS requests or SSL handshakes. Because of that, our results suggest that Arvixe could be faster.
That’s backed by our Load Impact testing. We sent 50 virtual users to the website over five minutes, and though Arvixe was solid at first, it received a greater than average number of HTTP errors as the user load increased, suggesting the resources of the server were being pushed to their limit.
As for uptime, there’s a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee that will provide you one month of service if your website falls below that threshold. Considering we had four days of no service, that would fall under the guarantee, but when we reached out to support, there was no mention of a credit. Don’t hold your breath.
Of the many flaws Arvixe has, security isn’t among them. All plans come with an impressive range of security features, which seems like something that carried over from Arvixe’s glory days.
Your server is protected with brute force attack detection, a firewall, redundant power carriers, constant network monitoring and nightly security updates.
That said, what looked attractive a few years back has lost its luster. For example, Arvixe offers distributed denial-of-service attack response. It’s response, not protection, meaning it can mitigate a DDoS attack once it has started, but it doesn’t take proactive measures to keep them from occurring.
Another example comes with SSL/TLS certificates. A few years back, SSL certificates were almost exclusively paid, but most web hosts include a low-level certificate for free now. DreamHost and InMotion Hosting are among those that do, but even Arvixe’s partners Bluehost and HostGator include one.
There are no automatic backups, either, which is important, especially for WordPress. Read our guide on manually backing up your website so you don’t lose your work.
That said, there’s a glimmer of modern conveniences with things such as free Cloudflare integration. The security is solid, but some of the goodies that other hosts include for free will cost you at Arvixe.
The only glaring omission is malware removal. Though a paid service almost everywhere, Arvixe doesn’t even provide a way to scan your website. Given that SiteLock is part of Endurance International Group like Arvixe, it would be nice to see deeper integration with that platform.
Let’s start with domain privacy. When you register a domain, you also register a lot of personal information, which is known as a WHOIS record. Those records are online, meaning your name, address, phone number and more are publicly searchable and can be tied back to the domain you own.
Domain privacy gets around that by replacing your information with the registrar’s, and like DreamHost, Arvixe used to offer it for free (read our DreamHost review). An entry in Arvixe’s knowledgebase created in 2009 talks about free domain privacy, but it was edited in 2015 to reflect that the service no longer offers it.
That doesn’t come as much of a surprise, though. Endurance Insurance Group acquired Arvixe in late 2014, suggesting the change in domain privacy came from the powers that be. It now runs $10 per year for a single domain, which, though not expensive, is clearly a cash grab from above.
There’s a lot of internal sharing, too. Endurance International Group is a massive company, with multiple web hosts and domain registrars caught in its web. There are peripheral products, too, including SiteLock and MOJO Marketplace.
The only concern here is selling more products, not protecting your privacy. The domain privacy change is a clear demonstration of that.
Support is decent, but nothing special. Much like other Endurance International Group brands, the support staff is helpful, if pushy and impersonable. Even so, you can find answers to the questions you have promptly.
You can contact Arvixe over live chat or email, but it isn’t clear when that support is available. On the “contact us” page, it says support is available 24/7, but the departments that deal with billing, migrations and abuse are not. Especially for the first two, we’d categorize those as general support, so clarification is needed.
Outside of the direct contact, there’s a knowledgebase, which you can access by clicking the “support center” button anywhere on Arvixe’s website. Annoyingly, the knowledgebase opens a separate subdomain with no option to navigate back to the homepage.
The knowledgebase isn’t bad, but the dated navigation makes it more difficult to get around than it is with other offerings. Even so, the issue is mitigated by clear categories and a search bar. Unfortunately, you won’t find much help. Though there are a lot of articles in the knowledgebase, a lack of detail and visual references makes them difficult to follow.
Next to the “support center” button is the “discussion board” button, which we assumed led to a forum. It didn’t. Rather, the discussion board is something of a bulletin board that details the status of servers and upcoming maintenance.
Overall, support isn’t bad, but other hosts provide more oomph. It feels like Arvixe put in the bare minimum when it comes to creating support resources, and though that means you can find answers, it isn’t the most pleasant experience.
Arvixe isn’t impressive, but it’s not bad, either. The speed is decent, even if real-world use may cause issues, and the security features aren’t terrible.
That said, our experience setting up our website can’t be ignored, and because it happened to us, we can’t imagine we’re the first. The usability is horrendous, which wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t for our website never being added to the server.
Overall, Arvixe is expensive and not worth the cost, even when our experience isn’t factored in. You’ll be better off reading our other web hosting reviews.
What do you think of Arvixe? Was our experience an outlier? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.