CoolHandle was founded by a group of IT Professionals lead in 2001 with a goal to introduce new standards in a fast changing world of web hosting. The company is one of the smaller companies offering shared web hosting as well as reseller accounts and Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.
In early 2010, CoolHandle is acquired by ProNetHosting.net and it’s currently managed by the combined team from both companies.
My Review on CoolHandle Hosting
CoolHandle has been around for some time. However, as it is fully acquired by ProNetHosting in January 2010, I take it as a brand new company. In other words, most CoolHandle reviews you read online are inaccurate. We got a free hosting account from CoolHandle in late 2010 and this review was written on Feb 2011. In case you are looking for updated details on this hosting company then our opinion should be helpful.
We do not hold a CoolHandle account now. This review is written based on our usage experience in 2011/2012.
Update October 2014
We got a shared hosting account from CoolHandle in October 2014 and are now tracking on the web host server performance. Please check uptime review below for more details.
Update May 2014
Just yesterday I found out that CoolHandle had changed its pricing and hosting plans – I have updated the feature list at the sidebar and my rating since then.
The company now offers only CloudLinux-based hosting (basically you can understand this as VPS hosting) and the price is $29.95/39.95/49.95/mo for Starter, Business, and Pro plans. There’s a tight limitation on number of domains and databases you can add to CoolHandle Starter and Business plans and basically I am not impressed by the changes (seems too pricey to me).
Shared Hosting Plans
Although CoolHandle offers reseller accounts and VPS hosting, their main focus appears to be shared hosting. There are three plans available: Starter, Business and Pro.
All accounts include the basic features you would expect from any hosting company. These are:
- Unlimited storage space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free domain name
- Free setup
- cPanel control panel
- DNS management
- Custom error pages
- Instant backup/restore
- SSH shell access
- Statistics reporting
- Choice of shopping carts
CoolHandle hosting accounts also support most of the popular software:
- Custom PHP.INI
- Ruby on Rails
- CGI scripts
- CRON jobs
- Multimedia files (Shockwave, Flash, etc.)
All of this is available for $3.95 per month when you choose the Starter account, which also includes 5 domains, 5 parked domains, 5 subdomains, 5 MySQL databases, 5 email boxes, and 5 FTP accounts. Note: you do not get PostgreSQL databases with this plan.
The Business account offers 100 domains, parked domains, subdomains, MySQL databases, PostgreSQL databases and FTP accounts. In addition, Business customers can have up to 1,000 mailboxes. All these extras cost $10.95 per month.
The most expensive plan is the Pro package, which gives you unlimited everything. This plan costs $12.95/month.
Note: only the Business and Pro plans provide an option for a private SSL and dedicated IP address (which is only free for the first year on one-year plans or longer).
To sum up, the Business and Pro plans from CoolHandle offer just about everything most customers are looking for in a website hosting plan. Management of your site via cPanel is usually preferred so CoolHandle gets a few points on the positive side for using this popular system.
VPS Hosting Plans
Another option you get with CoolHandle is to host your website on a virtual private server (preview plans here).
Once again, CoolHandle offers three different account levels: VPS 01 ($29.95/month), VPS 02 ($39.95/month) and VPS 03 ($79.95/month). Real creative naming system, huh?
If you have a site that may have outgrown the limits of shared hosting (because even though your shared account may say it is “unlimited”, there is no such thing), then VPS hosting is the next step up and the base VPS 01 or possibly the VPS 02 package would probably be sufficient.
CoolHandle’s VPS hosting accounts allow full root access so you can customize your site as much as you wish and management access via cPanel. You get a free domain name and dedicated IP address (two of them if you opt for the VPS 03 package), domain privacy, backup system, manager DNS, 100 Mbps of Cisco network speed and managed DoS/DDoS mitigation. CoolHandle guarantees a 99.9 percent uptime for all VPS accounts.
The three levels of accounts vary only in the amount of space, bandwidth, RAM, etc.
Fast + Reliable Web Hosting Service
The first impression I got when I first login and put up my test site on CoolHandle is: “This host is fast!”
We believe the best thing about CoolHandle is its super fast network links and reliable web servers. When you take a close look on the company’s hardware specs, you’ll see that CoolHandle’s operations is back by massively overbuilt hardware and redundant connectivity. The company management openly guarantee to keep their links under 50% utilization – thus allows the web host to absorb traffic bursts without dropping packets.
The company’s data center, located in Los Angeles, California, is in the same building used by the nation’s 12 largest Internet providers to connect to each other. Plus, CoolHandle also maintains multiple Tier-1 upstream providers; which allows the web host to route around outages and spikes in traffic.
Update Oct 2014: Please see uptime record below for reference. CoolHandle has some really good results in term of server uptime and response speed.
Great Room For Future Expansion
CoolHandle offers a wide range of web hosting services; including shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting services. The company used to be very reputable with its VPS and dedicated hosting plans thus I believe it is a good choice for those who have big plans for their website.
Dedicated IP, Free Domain Privacy, Cloud Flare, and Bulk Domain Tool
CoolHandle Pro Hosting Plan comes with free dedicated IP address, lifetime free private domain registration, and CloudFlare CDN support; which we think it’s great bargain for a $12.95/mo hosting deal.
Furthermore, the web host’s Bulk Domain Tool is a great help for those who buy or trade domain names regularly. Customers get to search and transfer bulk domain names in their Client Area. At this time of writing, the company support registration of 18 different TLDs.
A quick view on CoolHandle’s domain prices.
Pricey Shared Hosting Services
In general, we think CoolHandle VPS hosting deals are better than the shared ones.
For 36 months subscription, the monthly prices for CoolHandle’s Starter/Business/Pro Hosting Plans are priced at $4.95/mo, $10.95/mo, and $12.95/mo. Although we mentioned earlier that Pro Package is quite a sweet deal – $12.95/mo to host unlimited domains, free dedicated IP, and free Cloud Flare CDN support, CoolHandle’s Starter Package allows customers to have 5 addon domains, 5 parked domains, 5 mySQL databases, 5 FTP accounts, and 5 mailboxes only – which is a lot lesser than what you can get with other hosting providers (for example iPage and BlueHost offer unlimited addon domains at a much lower cost).
Customer Support Issues
In taking a look at a sampling of customer reviews regarding support, CoolHandle gets a poor to mid-range grade. It could have something to do with that online support being offline most of the time. In any case, the company doesn’t seem to be upholding their supposed number one value.
CoolHandle Uptime Review
As mentioned, we started tracking CoolHandle hosting since October 2014. The following images are some screens captured from Uptime Robot.
Verdict: Should You Go with CoolHandle Hosting?
As mentioned, CoolHandle has some really fast network and the massive redundancy protection with the server sets CoolHandle apart from other similar hosting providers. BUT, in the same time, the price of CoolHandle’s shared hosting plan and customer support issues could be a big turn offs.
Do I recommend CoolHandle? Not really. For the same price you pay with this company, there are plenty of other website hosting services with better support, better reliability and even better guarantees. For a mid-sized business, your best options may be InMotion Hosting (pricier but well worth what you pay), Interserver and A2 Hosting, while for smaller sites – eHost, Web Host Face, iPage, and TMD Hosting are some excellent choices.