Hawk Host Review 2020: Best Global Web Hosting on a Budget

Hawk Host has everything just right. It is a well established brand that keeps setting the trend in web hosting. It implements the latest technology yet offers some of the most affordable hosting. Hawk Host is large enough for its customers to have peace of mind and small enough to provide friendly 24/7 in-house support.

Starting at $47.88/year, Hawk Host’s hosting plans allow for an unlimited number of domains within the plan’s resources. Our experience with Hawk Host has been very positive. We have particularly liked Hawk Host’s use of advanced tools and optimizations for WordPress hosting. Read our in-depth Hawk Host review below.

Table of Contents

Hawk Host Review at a Glance

Performance
95%
Features
95%
Transparency
100%

Hawk Host Performance

We regularly test Hawk Host using HetrixTools to monitor both the uptime and load times of our website. For our most recent results we tested Hawk Host for a year between November 2018 and October 2019. The performance of our website hosted in New York was monitored from three locations: New York, Dallas and San Francisco.

In most months the uptime was around 99.99%. However, due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, the uptime dropped below 99.9% (for example, in June & August 2019). The load times are nonetheless quite impressive, normally under 500 ms.

Below is a summary of the uptime and average load times for 2019. You can see also the actual test results and the test site setup in detail for yourself.

Hawk Host Uptime 2019
Hawk Host Uptime 2018

2019 Uptime:

99.90%

Average Load Time:

440 ms

Hawk Host Features

Hawk Host offers two shared hosting plans. The difference between the two plans is that the Primary one allocates 10 GB of disk space while the Professional one does not impose such limits. That means that if you have – or plan to build – several small websites, you can definitely start with the Primary plan at $4.99 a month (or cheaper on a longer term billing cycle).

Hawk Host Web Hosting Plans

Both plans have the same resource limits at 1 CPU core and 1 GB memory. When your websites start to attract more traffic, you can easily upgrade to Hawk Host’s Semi-Dedicated shared hosting plans with 2 CPU cores and 2 GB memory and/or buy additional resources from the client area. Hawk Host also offers affordable semi-managed VPS hosting.

Plan Specs

We have been testing the Primary plan. Here are the plan specs in detail.

Name of the planPrimary
Monthly price$4.99
Annual price$47.88
Recurring pricesame
Domainsunlimited
SSD storage10 GB
Bandwidthunlimited
Email accountsunlimited
Databasesunlimited
CloudLinuxyes
CPU Cores100% of 1 CPU core
RAM Memory1 GB

Technical

The hardware used by Hawk Host is key to its excellent performance. Our website is hosted on the server that runs on Intel’s Broadwell processor and includes 20 cores, 55 GB RAM and 1 TB storage. Unlike many budget hosting providers, Hawk Host operates in part its own servers and network, in particular in Dallas and Los Angeles.

Beyond its hardware, Hawk Host has several server-side software implementations that accelerate page load times. These include not only LiteSpeed and MariaDB but also Memcached and Redis, both of which can be easily managed in cPanel. Other software features shown below are equally top-notch.

Control panelcPanel
Script librarySoftaculous & Fantastico
Web serverLiteSpeed
CacheMemchached, Redis & LSCache
MariaDB database serveryes
PHP 7.xyes
HTTP/2yes
SSH (advanced)yes
Let's Encrypt SSLyes
SecurityImunify360
Backup softwareAcronis Backup
Backupsdaily

Essential

Hawk Host provides dedicated 24/7 support. So far, our service has run so smoothly that we could not find a reason to contact tech support. We did submit a pre-sales question and it was forwarded to technical support. The response was quick, honest and helpful. It is worth noting that Hawk Host additionally has a community forum, knowledge base and blog.

Among other essentials, Hawk Host has refund and uptime guarantees.

24/7 supportyes
Knowledge baseyes
Instant setupno
Free migrationsyes
Uptime guarantee99.9%
Money back guarantee30 days

Open Source

Hawk Host partners with such commercial organizations as LiteSpeed Technologies and Cloudflare and sponsors non-profit projects including Let’s Encrypt. 

Hawk Host also embraces open-source software, including WordPress. Indeed, many of its hosting optimizations are aimed specifically at WordPress users. Hawk Host is best described as a semi-managed WordPress hosting provider. It is a great choice if you want to be in control of your website’s performance while having all the handy tools (one-click installs, caching, etc.) and experienced support staff by your side who will help with more than just free migrations.

Transparency

Whether you are looking for web hosting for personal or business projects, you need a host that you can rely on. This is why we always examine the transparency of the company and its practices.

Company

Hawk Host is perfectly transparent about its history and operations. Based in Canada, Hawk Host was founded in 2004. The company is privately owned and medium-sized. The key person is Tony Baird. 

Hawk Host offers web hosting in 7 data centers: New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Singapore, Hong Kong and Toronto.

Pricing

The pricing is generally transparent. The plans renew at the same price. A longer billing cycle offers nice savings. The monthly price advertised on the website is based on the 24-month billing cycle. Payment methods include credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin and Alipay.

Hawk Host Billing Cycles

Hawk Host Review in a Nutshell

4.8/5

We can only reiterate that Hawk Host, unlike many established brands, remains a pleasure to deal with. Its hosting is reliable and fast while also very affordable. With servers in seven locations worldwide, Hawk Host is easily the best global web hosting service on a budget.

There are not many critical points we can make. One is that the account is activated promptly but not immediately. Another is that Hawk Host does not provide DDoS protection although it does implement hardware firewalls and integrates with Cloudflare.

What we love about Hawk Host is its WordPress optimized hosting, competitive prices, 30-day refunds, generous resource limits (100% CPU), free daily backups and a choice of 7 data center locations (including three in the US and two in Asia).

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