InterServer is less mainstream but it's hard to look past them once you get to know the company. The web host is a great bargain (shared hosting locked at $5/mo for life), highly scalable; and their server performs very well in our test.
Founded by Michael Lavrik and John Quaglieri, InterServer is a New Jersey-based company that’s been in the game since 1999. Initially launching as a virtual hosting account re-seller, the hosting provider has grown over the past 17 years and now operates two data centers in New Jersey and is in the process of expanding to additional locations, including Los Angeles.
Self-deemed (and widely proven) a budget-friendly provider, InterServer specializes in shared, VPS, and dedicated and co-location hosting solutions.
My experience with InterServer
This review is based on my experience with their VPS hosting (in year 2013/14) and shared hosting service, which I still own at this point of writing (June 2019).
I did an online interview with Interserver co-founder Michael in September 2014 and visited the company’s HQ in Secaucus, New Jersey in August 2016.
About InterServer, the Company
Headquarter: Secaucus, New Jersey
Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and co-location hosting
About Michael Lavrik, Interserver Co-founder
Excerpt from my previous interview-
My name is Michael Lavrik and I’m an operating partner at Interserver, but my official title is Director of Business Development.
My colleagues and I work out of our office/datacenter in Secaucus, NJ. We started this business in 1999 -when I was only 15 years old- by reselling virtual hosting accounts for another provider. Then we bought our first dedicated server, switched to colocation, then a rack, then multiple racks. Fifteen years later we operate two datacenters in Secaucus NJ and are expanding rapidly into other locations like Los Angeles, CA.
After sitting in front of the computer at the office all day, I love to get dirty! In addition to the various maintenance and repair at the office, in my free time, I’m restoring a 1969 Pontiac GTO Convertible.
I have got two test sites hosted at InterServer. In overall, I am impressed with the host performance.
While most hosting sites shoot for a 99.9% uptime (and many fall short of that), InterServer managed to keep my site up 100% most of the time. The uptime history is published below.
InterServer Uptime (February 2018): 100%
Past Uptime Records (2015 – 2017)
* Click image to enlarge.
2- Fastest budget hosting around – TTFB below 220ms
InterServer Speed Test (Bitcatcha)
InterServer server response speed meets my expectation for a $5/mo host.
Recent server speed tests show that InterServer is one of the fastest budget hosting services around.
We ping our test site from 8 different locations using Bitcatcha and compare the server response times with other websites. As you can see in images below, the results were pretty good.
Jun 2019: A
Feb 2018: A+
* Click image to enlarge.
InterServer Speed Test (WebpageTest)
Speed test is equally impressive as well for Interserver’s hosting. We used Webpage Test for our test site on the U.S. server and received a high A rating with a Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) of 222ms.
Side note: Why stress so much on server speed?
That’s because 1) according to expert case studies, just 1 second decrease in site load time offers a 7% improvement in conversion rate and 11% bump in page views; and 2) Google is now using site speed as one of their ranking factors – you need a faster site (or at least a up to par server) to rank well.
3- Price lock guarantee
Many hosting providers lure in new customers with super low pricing for their initial term of service and then jack the rate upon renewal. The renewal prices increase for more than 200% fro some hosting companies. I love that InterServer avoids this practice and instead values loyalty. The company’s price lock guarantee ensures that the price you start with will continue to be your price for as long as you keep your InterServer hosting account.
4- Great support: Helpful + 100% In-house
InterServer customer support team doesn’t just say they’ll help you. They actually do.
For example, during a recent crackdown of another hosting company (Arvixe), InterServer stepped in to help the unhappy customers. It set up a special team to help the people migrate their sites over to the InterServer hosting platform, making the transition seamless. You won’t get that type of service with many hosting companies.
5- 99.9% uptime backed by SLA
InterServer service is backed by clear writing SLA (see image). Should they fail to meet the guarantee in a given month, they’ll credit clients on a case by case basis.
6- InterServer free site migration service
One big plus for InterServer is their free, white-glove site migration service.
For those who are too busy to move your web host, just contact InterServer and get their support staffs to do it for you.
7- Highly customizable VPS hosting plan
I tried InterServer’s VPS plan in 2014 and quickly appreciated how its flexibility.
InterServer VPS clients can customize just about everything, from their preferred operating system to the software, control panels, and server capacity.
Also, unlike many other VPS hosting providers that require users to pay for bundled software and apps, InterServer only requires its clients to pay for what they need and use.
* Note: Usually what many other VPS hosting providers do is to include the cost of these features into their VPS plans and claim that they are free. With InterServer, you get the choice to go without these additional software.
8- 20 years of proven business track record
With over 20 years of experience under their belt, Intersever has established themselves as one of the best hosting providers today with a business track record that’s equally impressive.
They’ve often been the choice for bloggers and website owners who want a great performing web host that is still affordable.
Everything is built and managed in-house at InterServer – including the power and room cooling system. This is how the company manage to keep their prices low – as told by Mike.
InterServer servers are built from scratch by the team in this “Builders” room.
This will always be the case with any provider, though… and, like with any provider, InterServer users are bound by server usage rules and terms. However, unlike many other hosts, InterServer gives users a clear foray into what those limits are, providing them in the ToS (quoted below).
No single shared hosting account is permitted to use more that 20% of the server resources at a time. A single account is limited to 250,000 inodes at any given time. Clients on the Unlimited SSD shared hosting platform using more then 1GB of space will be moved to SATA.
2- VPS hosting not for newbie or non-techie
Because InterServer does not bundle the usual software (like cPanel and Softculous) into their VPS plans – the initial setup process maybe overwhelming for newbies and non-techies. I tested InterServer VPS in 2014, the setup process was very manual and took longer time than I expected.
If you plan to go with InterServer VPS, I recommend allocating a bit of additional time for the learning curve and setup process.
3- Host in United States East Coast only
InterServer operates on only one data center – which is the one they built in their Secaucus, New Jersey office. If majority of your website traffic is non-U.S. , you will need a content delivery network (CDN) to ensure that they can access your website quickly.
The InterServer shared hosting plan is a budget-friendly option, at just $5 per month with discounts available for longer-term contracts. If you use promo code WHSRPENNY and pre-order 3 years, the price drops to $3.88/mo.
The service includes a wealth of handy features, including one-click installs, 24/7 customer support, a free migration service, “unlimited” features (more on that later), and more. InterServer shared hosting features, server specifications and other details are shown in the table on right sidebar.
All five hosting companies offer wide range hosting solutions (shared, VPS, managed WP, dedicated) and performed well in our server tests. A2, Hostinger, and TMD Hosting are relatively cheaper where users get to host multiple sites with them for less than $5/mo (first bill). SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are slightly pricier but they do come with additional advanced features and good customer support.
In short, I think InterServer is a rare gem in hosting market. I spoke to Michael and John, the two founders, at length during my visit to their New Jersey office.
It was clear that they’ve very serious about their customers and their business. They have a clear vision of how they’re going to take their business to the next level.
To put it simply, I strongly recommend this web host.
Who should use Interserver?
InterServer shared hosting is good for small businesses and individual bloggers who want a cheap hosting solution. Keep in mind that InterServer does not jack up their price during renewal – this means your hosting cost will be stable for long term.
InterServer VPS, on the other hand, is a great solution for advanced users who are not afraid of handling their own server.
WHSR is funded mainly by affiliate income. If you like my work, please support us by buying via our affiliate link. It does not cost you more and helps me to produce more helpful hosting review like this one.
About Jerry Low
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.
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Server Usage Limitation
Very clear guidelines printed in TOS: No single shared hosting account is permitted to use more that 20% of the server resources at a time. A single account is limited to 250,000 inodes at any given time. Clients on the Unlimited SSD shared hosting platform using more then 1GB of space will be moved to SATA.