Review of Doteasy hosting – do NOT use.
DotEasy engages in illegal business practices and is known for its scams. Please see Kevin’s comment for more information from a former employee. The original review before I discovered these scams is still quoted below. I have accordingly removed all links to them to prevent contributing to their SEO.
Some time ago I received an email asking for a sponsored post about a website called Doteasy.com which offers domains, webhosting and the usual hubbub with a shared server account. There were some delays but I’ve finally come ’round to writing what I hope will be an honest and relative review about this service.
To start with, I peeked at their plans page and scanned through. The plans page is an easy to follow comparison chart that divides features into clear-cut categories. A first read through only serves to confuse as it seems as though paying an extra $5 means you don’t get as many features – but apparently the justification lies in the control panel choice “Ensim” instead of the almost standard “CPanel” which comes with most providers.
A slightly closer inspection shows that you have to pay at least $8 bucks in order to get anything worth your time. The free package doesn’t even come with PHP support (and from that, no MySQL databases!), no ASP, if you’re into that sort of masochism, CGI/Perl nonexistent, and a measly 100MB space, which is quite depressing indeed. Together with the lack of support for SSL, key management and a unique IP really just makes you think it can’t get any worse.
It does however come with a generous 10 add-on domains and 10 parked domains, a rare sight among providers. Even rarer and quite a gem in their service is the provision of custom DNSes even with their free account. Interestingly although not allowing any sort of server-side scripting whatsoever they do allow .htaccess rules. Not quite sure how useful that’ll be with only html files in your account, but who knows.
The paid services don’t fare that much better. If you’re going to pay $7 a month, you might as well jack that up to $10, because you’ll miss out on a lot of the vitals. With $10 you get yourself a decent account by today’s standards but might still be annoyed by the lack of SSH. With a name like unlimited hosting it’s hard to not provide this. The IIS packages are much saner, giving you bearable functionality by the $15 price-level.
The next step was to get a free hosting account and revie- nope. I tried to grab myself a “free” account. Doteasy is one of those companies which try their best to throw hidden charges in your face. The $0 of the price has a lovely asterisk superscripted next to it. Yep, they don’t give any sort of subdomain or subdirectory URL but instead want you to to transfer or buy a domain name with them for a hefty price exceeding $20. Although this waives the technical knowledge required on DNS management for those who know what they’re doing it’s quite unacceptable. The registration process would put GoDaddy’s to shame – a 5 step process that in-between tries to sell “Spam & Virus Protection”, “MailPro Email Service”, and uh, what, um, yep – a “Photo Gallery”?
Doteasy is a hosting provider that aims to provide services with the account instead of giving a flexible environment for the more technically literate. (Note: these are available with a “free” account, which is a great thing) For example they provide a set of in-house scripts for the blogs, forums, e-commerce systems, mailing lists, etc that you might want installed. If these were good in-house scripts with excellent customer support I might be persuaded but a quick demo shows otherwise.
For those who didn’t see me saying that the scripts were in-house, I might want to emphasize that point. You won’t find your PHPBB, WordPress or OSCommerce here – no, you’ll get a couple half-baked scripts that were probably cooked up in somebody’s spare time. The only one probably worth mentioning is the “Site Creator”, which will initially give you an excellent website worthy of a Google Sites creation. The others are poorly designed (both aesthetically and technically) and should’ve been replaced by OSS-equilvalents long ago.
Given the rather expensive services and unmatching value for money I was determined to find out exactly what made them “The Leading Business Hosting Network” for over 160,000 domain owners – or so they claim. Apparently it lies in their groundbreaking customer service – I was wondering why they mentioned that several times in their comparison chart. The service is non-discriminatory and provided you don’t know jack, they provide quick and helpful responses.
Despite the lack of technical freedom we cannot say Doteasy is a bad webhost – it simply has a very clear-cut market segment. Hosting providers normally belong in one of three categories – the people who know absolutely nothing about it and don’t want to learn about it, such as Google Sites, the other extreme, of people who want to be able to do things with their account with freedom (which may be severely more costly).
However, Doteasy doesn’t seem to lie in either category. Doteasy is gives terrible customer support, terrible “features” (or lack of them), and engages in illegal business practices. Do NOT use DotEasy.