Web Design and Development

KVC Hosting 4-year Review, Pt1: Price, Speed, Uptime

Way back in 2012, Andy from KVC Hosting contacted me. He wanted me to try out their hosting services. (As a web developer and multiple site owner since the 90s, I’ve used 100s of hosts. That experience has made me a defacto web host reviewer, so every host wants me to try them out, and suggest their company to prospective customers.)

At the time, KVC was a young host, all of about 2 years old. After a cursory glance at their unimpressive site, and seeing some services that raised an eyebrow, I declined.

That was a mistake!

Thankfully, Andy was persistent, and would contact me again in about 6 months, and 6 more after that, and 6 more, and 6 more, etc. In April 2015, I relented. And for the past 4 years, I’ve had a pleasant hosting experience.

Hassle-free migration/onboarding

One of my biggest dreads with using a new host is the sign-up process. Many hosts have traps and upsells in their signup. It’s not uncommon to learn that the advertised pricing on the site was fake, or that you’re required to agree to terms that are buried on some hidden/unlinked document.

KVC has opted to make the signup process simple using WHMCS. It only takes 5 clicks, and filling in some essential information.

  1. Select the desired product on website, then ORDER NOW.
  2. Choose whether to use an existing domain, transfer in, or buy a new one.
  3. Select the plan length (monthly/annual/etc), and for VPS (which is what I’m using) set the hostname, NS, root password, OS, add to cart.
  4. Review order, enter promo code, proceed to checkout.
  5. Enter billing info, complete order

Good Prices, Great Value

I want quality, so I don’t look for the cheapest host. That never ends well. What matters is affordability and good value.

KVC manages to provide both a low cost, and a good value, especially considering the quality of uptime/support/etc, as I’ll get to in this review. Their pricing hasn’t changed much in the past 4 years.

  • Shared is $68 for a multi-year term
  • Reseller is $15/month (was $25)
  • Managed SSD VPS is $50/month
  • Managed dedcated servers are $90/month

Those should be tempting prices to ever the penny-pinchiest of consumer!

However, a pricing warning

KVC’s pricing does confuse me. I’ve reached out to them for comment, and have offered some suggestions. (I think WHMCS is at fault, and that can be resolved.)

For example, on the $3 shared hosting plan, pricing is plain screwy.

  • 1 month is $10
  • 3 is $9
  • 6 is $8
  • 12 is $7 — so $84 total
  • 24 is $2.50 — also $84 total!
  • 36 is $3

What the… ? I’d be really curious to learn if somebody sucks at math, and opted for a 1-year plan that was priced identically to a 2-year plan.

As another example, the enterprise SSD plans are $50 monthly, no matter then term. So what’s the advantage to prepaying for a longer term?

This reminds me of Walmart pricing, where an item is $1, or $15 for a dozen. And I’m nonstop amazed at those Walmart shoppers who opt for the “bulk” priced item that is more expensive. Pay attention!

“Blazing Fast” Speed Promise is Delivered

Contrary to many so-called “web hosting reviews” online, site speed has little overlap with actual server speed. So I’m not going to fill the pages with GTmetrix or Pingdom screen caps that “prove” the host is fast or slow. Because it’s just nonsense.

  • There have been times at KVC where email is working fast, but the site had hiccups.
  • Or FTP worked fine, but WHM would timeout.

.. and pretty uptime graphs would miss all of that.

Overall, in 4 years, slow downs have been rare. I log issues with hosts, and on average non-downtime speed issue have happened only 4 times per year. That’s an amazing record.

Uptime vs. Downtime

Did you know that 99% uptime means you’re getting 7 hours of downtime per month? (Ouch!) Or that those “uptime guarantees” are there to allow the host to have downtime? (At KVC, the guarantee is 99.9%, meaning about 45 minutes is allowed monthly.) Or that the contractual punitive consequence for breaking the “guarantee” is a small credit, a % of the payment? In other words, the guarantees are just worthless words.

In the past 4 years, I’ve had 10 downtime incidents.

Of those 10 incidents, 9 lasted less than an hour. Only 1 issue took longer, but thankfully was during the overnight hours.

To Be Continued in Pt2…

In the web hosting world, 4 years is an eternity. The industry is dominated by competition trying to lure you away with bigger promises and better deals, so many people jump host to host after a year or two. Or worse yet, many hosts don’t even last 4 years, either dissolving or being bought out by a bigger company that destroys quality and support.

Staying with a host for 4 years generally means they’re doing a good job, and are a good steward of your online data.


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