Reviewing the midPhase Hosting Service

midPhase
Rating:

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Pros: Generous space and bandwidth allocations, free site transfers, competitive affiliate program

Cons: The company seems to nickel and dime customers, setup fees for many plans

Bottomline: midPhase is a solid host for customers that want the basics for an affordable price.

midPhase (www.midphase.com) is a fairly large and well known web host based in Chicago. The company, which was launched out of its founders’ dorm room, has been around since May 2003 and is adding over 4,000 new accounts per month. Some people I know say midPhase is the best host others, while others would never get near it. One would assume a company that is getting so many new customers per month is doing something right. This review will find out if they are, and if so, what.

The company’s offerings are pretty standard: midPhase offers Linux shared hosting (the subject of this review), Windows hosting plans, VPS plans, dedicated servers, and web design services. VPS hosting and web design services are both new offerings from midPhase.

midPhase wants your business. They will transfer your sites, domains, databases, and so on, buy out your old hosting contract (basically, up to a $50 credit on your bill), and renew your domain name as long as you have an account with them. midPhase also owns the smaller AN Hosting.

Signing up at midPhase was simple. All of the instructions and information was clearly stated and the first step took about 5 minutes. The second step required confirming your order (likely for fraud prevention purposes). As a new customer, your options are to confirm your order using the telephone or fax. A telephone call simply involved clicking the link to have a call placed and entering in a confirmation code. The verification call did not take more than 15 seconds. After that, the account was setup.

midPhase Telphone Verification

Shortly after receiving my welcome email, I received a phone call from midPhase. The message they left said (paraphrased):

“Hi, my name is … I’m working at midPhase and I’m a technical support manager. I’m trying to walk you through our hosting services and want to let you that we are here 24 hours/day to talk to you. For any contact support you need, you can reach us via email at support@midphase.com. You can also reach us via phone which is… You can also chat with us live and you can find that link on our main page www.midphase.com under live chat. If you have further questions, you can reach me at my personal extension… That would be all. Have a nice day.”

I’ve never heard of a budget hosting company doing something like this before and it was interesting. I’d be curious to see how much the technical support manager will walk you through the hosting process, but the personal call is definitely a nice tough.

As expected, the company offers 24/7 support over the phone and email, a 30 day money back guarantee, high quality servers in a secure datacenter, an uptime guarantee (99.9%), and all of the standard things. Nothing too amazing or spectacular, but midPhase is on or above par in all of those areas. All accounts also come up with varying ad credits from companies like Yahoo ($50) and Google ($25).

Be aware of some of midPhase’s terms of service clauses:

  • They charge $21.95 per year for a domain name. If they register a domain name for you (as their promotion states) and you cancel within your 30 day period, they will charge you for that domain. It is obviously well above the ~$9.00 you pay for an average domain.
  • Their site says to read their Terms of Service for details about their uptime guarantee. I could not find any specific details about the uptime guarantee besides a section of their TOS stating it is basically impossible to provide 100% uptime (“When the Services Will be Available”). If an uptime guarantee is important to you, I suggest reading and asking about this.

midPhase’s shared hosting plans are very competitive. They offer 200,000 MB of disk space and 3,000,000 MB of bandwidth on their smaller plan. Their larger plan has 250,000 MB of diskspace and “unmetered” (supposedly unlimited) bandwidth.

Their plan details page is fairly vague, but do note that their small account only includes 1 MySQL database (the larger one includes 3). Unlike most shared hosting companies that include it, midPhase charges you extra ($1.95/month if you signup during the ordering process) for AWstats. A lot of people like AWstats and I have never seen a hosting company charge extra for it.

Plans “start” at $7.95 a month for the smaller plan. The larger one “starts” at $11.95 a month. Be aware that you only get the advertised price of $7.95 a month if you signup for a year in advance. If you want to pay quarterly or semi-annually, expect to pay a higher monthly fee and a $29.95 setup fee.

Once you’re setup, midPhase is pretty much like any other shared host that uses cPanel. Their version of cPanel is slightly modified (read: a prettier template), but is easy to navigate and functional. It offered no notable features or addons that I noticed besides some promotional items.

Feature wise, midPhase provides what is expected. The control panel and FTP weren’t slow, nor were they ultra speedy. Using Fantastico, I was able to setup a basic WordPress blog quickly and without any problems. Everything seemed to work as expected. midPhase’s control panel was actually quite boring compared to all the fancy addons that 1&1 offered, for example. However, as a person quite used to cPanel and its offerings, I had no complaints.

I decided to give midPhase’s customer service a test. When going to check my email using NeoMail, I got an error. I knew the error was because cPanel essentially stopped offering NeoMail, but did midPhase? I emailed support@midphase.com A few seconds later, I got a confirmation email stating they had received my inquiry and a ticket had been created. I received a reply exactly an hour later (well past their “20 minute average response time”, but not bad). The reply said that NeoMail was no longer supported by cPanel.

There was no answer on their live chat (they don’t promise 24/7 live chat, though). I decided to give midPhase a call.

After about four minutes on hold, it seemed like I was disconnected. I called back and after about three minutes on hold, the elevator music stopped and I had no idea if their IVR had dropped my call again. I called back once again and waited on hold some more. After 3 minutes or so, sure enough the hold music stopped looping. A very easy problem for midPhase to fix, but quite annoying when it does happen. I tried again and waited on hold for technical support for 10 minutes before giving up. To ensure it wasn’t a problem with either of the two phones I used, I called another well known hosting company and was connected to a person within about a minute.

midPhase’s customer service was disappointing. The company mentions several places on their web site about how they are available 24/7 and you can call anytime and talk to a human. I didn’t get to the point where the human’s attitude or knowledge was even an issue.

My verdict is that midPhase is essentially an average host offering average features and average customer service. They don’t do anything spectacular, but regardless, it seems to be working for them.

Visit : MidPhase

URL: http://www.midphase.com/

13 comments

  1. Pingback: AN Hosting Review (ANHosting)

  2. David K

    I’ve been building sites since 1995, been dealing with many web hosts. midPhase is at the bottom of the barrel. Two months of technical nightmares that have yet to be resolved. Support is a joke. Deceptive advertising, hidden fees (advertsising says “no hidden fees”), etc. I could go on, but let’s just say I would only recommend midPhase to someone I wished to see suffer.

  3. James Perkins

    I have been with them for 6 mnhs. First 4 were fine. Nothing but problems since. “Oh, we’ll fix that.” “We’ll take care of it.”

    They don’t.

  4. disapointed customer

    DO NOT host your website with them!!!

    I have a family share photo site with them. They have been by far the worse site I ever dealt with. My website hosted by midphase run so slow that most members of the family decided to use utube instead. I have problems generating and downloading backups and they keep backups only for 2 days in house.

    Midphase deleted a personal file from my disk because it was named “backup”. the explanation I’ve received from then was “We don’t allow customers to use disk space to store backups”

  5. Charles

    I too have been with midPhase for some years, on the face of it the package is attractive but the email support is lacking, usual questions are answered by ill thought out questions, making it obvious that the first email you sent was not properly read. I’ve learned to send support requests in baby language and only give one problem at a time!

    They are having problems upgrading at the moment but I’ve been with other companies that don’t have these problems.

    You get the feeling that they are constantly tinkering with the settings, when what they should really be doing is leaving it alone.

    “I really would not recommend this company for you business”.

  6. Mark

    This is the worst company ever. Their customer service is the worst in the industry. I wouldn’t allow them to host my site if they paid me.

  7. Christine

    Using Midphase for last 3 yrs. Very poor service since 6-8 months (perhaps after their buyout):
    1. Site downtime up by >500% – frequent & no prior notice.

    2. Support quality poor. Most replies “sorry for problem, but can’t do anything.

    3. Support time too high – for 911 tickets: 4-5 days!!

    4. Servers too slow or loaded – pages don’t load properly.

    5. Recently, too many migrations –> frequent downtimes & DB failures!

  8. Jim

    I have just closed my account with these clowns. This company is absolutely awful. They are dishonest and unreliable. They are down all the time and are hard to get in touch with. Look to hostgator or bluehost and do not go with midphase or the other name they go under which is Hosting Services, Inc.

  9. Richard

    I cancelled my MidPhase by talking to Customer Service a month before the service expired. Then I was getting notices to renew which I ignored because I cancelled. I was actually being nice to let them know before expiration that I would not renew. Then I tried to cancel and could not remember my ID or password. The link did not work so I ignored it. Finally after continued harassment I sent MidPhase an email and they gave me the ID and password. I cancelled using their “formal” process and now they are trying to bill me for 1 month extra since I didn’t cancel “formally” MidPhase apparently lets the billing department run their PR department. MidPhase sucks.

  10. ken

    Dont host with midphase. As with other comments here, I had tickets open for a good month or more before they fixed it, and that was only after repeated calls and emails. Some tickets were pretty simple in my opinion, and those took weeks as well

    Database queries would regularly take several seconds to complete. Then to top it off, my transfer speeds to the site were good for the first 2 months then suddenly I couldnt get any up/down transfer faster than 10kb/s, this continued till I canceled my service with them.

    They were actually pretty good for the first 2-3months when I signed up but then it’s they just stopped trying.

  11. Twolane

    Don’t host with MidPhase!

    Load times for four WP subdomains are horrible. It was good for a month or two, but now the load times are horrendous, even with all of my plugins disabled. A call to tech support said it was site maintenance at the start of the call, and then plugins at the end of the call – thus leading me to disable all plugins. Wrong! It’s not MY domain, it’s MidPhase that has the problems.

  12. Dom O

    I had a vps running with these guys for 3 years – okay service. Then they got bought out by uk2.net and things started changing.

    In Aug 2010 they completely lost a RAID array and deleted an entire server, the one that my VPS was on. Clearly some clown of a system admin was buggering up a data centre migration.

    No back-ups, no option of data recovery, nothing. All data gone. I could have lived with the huge amount of work involved in getting a new VPS tuned up, and 50GB of client accounts and databases restored from local files. I was annoyed, and staggered that they could lose the mirrored drive as well as the main storage. But I recognize that hardware fails and although 100% data lose is about as bad as it gets and screams poor infrastructure, bad sys admins and general incompetence, I’m not unreasonable and was ready to get on with it.

    The thing that blew me away was the ‘support’ that was non-existent. There was no recognition that this was a disaster for me hosting commercial clients websites – no offer to get a VPS fired up to help me start restoring the 50GB data they wiped. No. What they did was refer me to another website – and told me to get my credit card out to pay up-front for a new vps! After that, if i chased around their billing department they may issue a credit for the time I was down!
    Unbelievable – who cares about a credit – in that situation you want someone to give a damn and help fast track you back online.

    After I had begged for some support to speed things up, and my cries went unanswered for another day, and it was clear these clowns had no intention of doing anything I cancelled and sorted everything out myself with my other host in the UK who are very good (xilo.net)

    A complaint to their Customer Service (Ha Ha) manager has gone unanswered.

    If you value your business steer clear of this company and its associates, vps.net, midhase.com, uk2.net, anhosting.com and others.

    Utterly Appalling!

    PS. It is only after i decided to try and warn others that I realised how bad the customer ratings of this company is.

  13. Adam

    I used them from 2008 till 2010. Initially, there was hardly any downtime. But from 2009 till 2010, I experienced lots of downtime. Worse it that my site remains down for days.

    I lost a lot of my search engine results position and needless to say a lot of money as well.

    For those who are exploring hosting with them, my advice is DON’T. You are going to have a nightmare on your hands.

    There are many good companies out there. Avoid Midphase like the plague.

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