TSOHost Review

Above average UK host...

Brad Smith  —  · Read user reviews

What is TsoHost?

Tsohost was founded in 2003 by the Paragon Internet Group.

Today they host over 500,000 websites from their UK base.

Unlike some companies that have reached this same scale and sold out, Tsohost is largely led by the same founding team that’s operated it since its inception almost 14 years.

Tsohost may not be one of the biggest or well-known hosting providers out there. But that steady growth and stable leadership points to a company that knows what it’s doing.

This review you’re reading has been almost a year in the making.

Last November, we signed up for their cloud hosting plan and have been closely monitoring performance statistics like uptime and page load speeds every since.

Our goal is to compile a fair, unbiased review and let Tsohost’s data speak for itself based on the performance of our live test website.

Let’s see how Tsohost has done over the last few months.

 

Pros of using TsoHost Hosting

Tsohost (the company) has grown steadily and kept its founding team intact. That points to a well-run organization which (should) deliver on the most important aspects like uptime and speed.

 

 

1. Nice ‘Bonus’ Plan Features

tsohost price plan comparison

Like many of the web’s top hosts, Tsohost features a simple one-click installation of your favorite applications like WordPress, Drupal and ZenCart. That means you can have a new site up within minutes, and possibly selling by the end of the day.

Each shared hosting plan also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. (And unlike many other hosts, this money back guarantee really is a good deal, with no hidden fees or other tricks to worry about.)

Their plans — even the most inexpensive and basic ones — come with free daily backups. Simply put: this is a HUGE benefit. Mistakes, unfortunately, are incredibly easy to make. And if WordPress has any flaws, possible security holes are one of them because of so many third-party tools used on a single site.

Backups can help you restore the previous, un-tainted version of a site in minutes. And having those performed daily means you’ll always have one at the ready (without having to stress or worry about doing any of the heavy lifting personally).

2. Transparent pricing

Many hosting providers have a ton of upsells at the last minute check-out. When you choose their chosen plans, it often comes with 2 or 3 years commitment with higher renewal prices.

We liked Tsohost’s pricing plans as you’ll find ALL THE FEATURES shown in their price plans and they also show you the different price commitment prices.

The shows prices are for 24 months (approximately 4$/mo for start-up plan) and for monthly payment you’d be looking at a price increase of 2$ – approximately 6$/mo.

 

3. Fast, Responsive Support

Tsohost offers customer service on all major channels. Like many companies today, they enjoy mixed reviews.

What we appreciate though, is their quick response times and transparent communications on major social networks like Twitter.

tweets_with_replies_by_tsohost___tsohost____twitter

We were also impressed by their live chat options. They connected immediately, were responsive and professional as well as showed sincere interest in our needs. We connected on a Saturday, too, which was a pleasant advantage Tsohost comes with.

Tsohost also recently extended their phone support hours a few months back, from 7am to midnight GMT. That’s both good and bad, as we’ll see in a second…

 

Cons of using TsoHost Hosting

All in all, Tsohost has a lot of things to like.

Their uptime and speed are both solid. Their plans, even the cheapest ones, come with some nice features like daily backups and one-click installs.

And their customer support, while not perfect, at least responds quickly to try and address any outstanding issues.

However, there are a few drawbacks to their service you should be aware of.

1. 98.17% Uptime – Worse than the industry average

Uptime is arguably the most important criteria a hosting company’s responsible for.

The reason is that even the slightest bit of downtime — like 99% — can add up to your site being offline for almost a full day each month.

Tsohost has posted weak uptime numbers within the period we’ve monitored them.

Last 4 months of monitoring: uptime

  1. December average uptime: 99.99%
  2. January average uptime: 99.58%
  3. February average uptime: 99.28%
  4. March average uptime: 96.96%

Tsohost performance and review

TSOhost: Page Load Speed and Uptime (Last 9 months, full data can be found here.)

Their average uptime is below the industry average. It’s NOT IMPRESSIVE.

Ther’es just way too many outages and a lot of downtime means lost traffic and potentially a lot of lost income.

You’d be much better off with some other providers (including our #1 choice, the HostGator Managed WordPress plan).

2. Page Loading Times Slower than Competition

The second major decision-making criteria you should use when evaluating a new hosting company is speed.

The reason? Three-fourths of your website traffic will leave if pages take longer than five seconds to load.

Last 4 months of monitoring: LOAD TIME

  1. December average load time: 694ms
  2. January average load time: 976ms
  3. February average load time: 2,338ms
  4. March average load time: 1,415ms

We’re very worried about the recent months. It does seem that Tsohost has lost all competitive edge. 2sec of load time means that almost half of your traffic will leave the site and visit someone else, who has much better loading time, at least under 1sec.

They’re not even good enough to beat the competition’s sluggish 850ms average by almost 32%.

3. UK-based servers

It’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, if your site is mainly for the US market and customer base, you’d be better off with your servers located in the US not overseas.

Overseas servers often slow your site down as data transfers take longer.

4. Strict Payment Terms

The long and dreadfully boring Terms of Service is usually where all the bodies are buried.

And Tsohost’s terms were no exception.

First up, is their strict terms around how and when renewals are paid.

Here’s the problem: how often do you get a new credit or debit card throughout the year, only for the old one to be still linked to many online accounts (like hosting providers)?

If overdue invoices aren’t taken care of within a few days, Tsohost will automatically suspend your account (which means your site goes down). So keep a watchful eye on those reminder emails!

When other products purchased through them, like a domain name, expire (again, unfortunately, common when they try to run a card with an old number and the payment doesn’t go through — even though you just assume it does), that product will immediately expire the next day.

After you do make the payment right, you’ll still have to notify them by email to get your domain or site back online within the next 24 hours. So you could be looking inadvertently at a lengthy downtime period if something common, like your card details changing, happens and payment doesn’t go through.

Another potential downside is that all payments received must be in UK Pounds sterling. That means you’re on the hook for any possible exchange rate charges.

Last but not least, they reserve the right to change or adjust pricing at any point in time. That means even though your next renewal period won’t cost you more right now… doesn’t mean that will be the case in the near future.

5. No Free Domain Name on Select Plans

Almost every single web host we’ve reviewed will happily throw in a free domain name and site migration when you’re creating a new account.

Tsohost will throw in a free domain name on some, but not all plans.

For example, their two most inexpensive plans, the Lite and Standard ones, don’t come with free domains (and those will be a separate charge).

Good news, bad news then. You can probably just upgrade to the next web host that does include a free domain name and you might break-even at the end of the day.

6. Limited Phone Support

A small final critique.

Yes, it’s great that Tsohost phone support has been extended to 7am to midnight GMT.

However, if you’re located in the U.S. (or anywhere else other than the UK and Western Europe) that might post a few problems.

For example, what if you’re sitting in California at 5:30pm and your site has issues? Too bad, as midnight GMT is 5pm PST, which means you won’t be able to reach anyone on the phone for another six or seven hours.

That, combined with the fact that you’re on the hook for exchange rates, might make it kinda tough to deal with outside if you’re living outside the UK.

TsoHost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

TsoHost offers four different shared hosting plans. All prices shown are with 24mo commitment. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Here’s what’s included in each:

 

  • Startup: This plan runs £2.92 per month, and gives you 15 GB of space storage, with UNLIMITED bandwidth and 100 x 200MB Mailboxes, Let’s Encrypt SSL Support + Free Domain Name.
  • Business: This plan £7.91 each month, 50GB storage, UNLIMITED bandwidth, 100 x 1GB Mailboxes, Let’s Encrypt SSL Support, Free Standard SSL + Free Domain Name
  • eCommerce: This plan £21.62 monthly, delivering a whopping 100GB of storage, UNLIMITED bandwidth, Unlimited x 10GB Mailboxes, Let’s Encrypt SSL Support, Free Standard SSL, 2 eCommerce Migrations + Free Domain Name.

TsoHost pricing plan

  • Ease of Signup: Signup process is relatively quick and painless
  • Payment Methods: You can pay by credit card or PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: No domain names on some plans. Be careful about renewals.
  • Upsells: There are a few upsells along the way.
  • Account Activation: Usually instant, however, can take up to a day in some cases.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Extremely easy, one-click installation process of the most popular apps available.

 

Do We Recommend Tsohost?

Unfortunately, no.

We like their relatively inexpensive plans offer great features like daily backups. We also appreciate that their pricing, although it comes with strict terms, is transparent and honest on their website. However, the prices are shown without VAT, which is determined by your country for billing details.

We’re not impressed by their uptime and terrible speeds, which seems to have gone worse, based on several reviews.

We’re happy with their support. However, when other important features are this bad, you should really be signing up with someone else.

You’d be better off with some of our top hosting providers.

 

Do you have any experience with TsoHost? If so, we’d love to hear a transparent and honest review below — positive or negative!

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8 user reviews for TSOHost

2 — 

Terrible Support, Awful Downtime

TsoHost support is appalling, they credit you with no knowledge at all. Even after pointing out a simple error in their DNS configuration, they said it couldn't be fixed. They've had numerous outages over the last few months, and intermittent problems on a regular basis affecting their 'shared cloud hosting' customers.

5 — 

Good guys

TSO's hosting has always been pretty reliable and their support has been prompt and helpful. With their competitive fees, they've been one of my first choices for hosting for a few years. There are some annoying features in their interface (e.g. you can't assign a domain name or label to a hosting package on your control panel when you purchase it - you have to contact them to arrange it), but generally it's very good.

Now the bad news – they are, it would seem, now owned by GoDaddy, which can only be a BAD thing, given their business practices. Time will tell if the new owners destroy a trusted brand...

1 — 

Avoid like a plague

If you have your own website the only way to host it with these 'providers' is to connect it manually via so-called 'Customer support'. After opening of an account I called them the whole day with telephone waiting time up to 25 minutes: probably they were sure that I have nothing else to do. Live chat response time was 18-20 minutes! Can you imagine: ' Hello!' 20 minutes after 'What can I do for you?' again in the next 18 minutes 'You have a problem, is that correct?' etc etc. On the second day of that circus I fed up, closed the account and asked for the full refund. No reply at all. When I opened a PayPal dispute, two days later they replied and refused on the ground that I have opened a PayPal dispute.

Hope that my experience will save your time not to participate in this circus.

3 — 

Too many outages for me

I've been using TSO Host for a few years now and agree that their support is friendly and helpful, although I've only needed a basic level of assistance at the beginning of my service. My issues with them arise from the amount of downtime I have experienced over the past 12 months or so. There are good periods and bad. Recently I've been getting regular notifications that my WP hosted site is down. When checking I often get 'Internal Server Errors' message - a very no-specific error. The past 24 hours have been particular bad and I have now started to look for an alternative host.

1 — 

More like 90% uptime these days

I moved to Tsohost 4 years ago, at the time I was reasonably happy. Last year they moved their first line support to a team in Bulgaria, who struggle with English and are unable to fix anything other then the most basic of problems. In the past 6 months I’ve had 2 separate days where a simple unresolved problem means my website has been down. Can’t see anything improving soon so I will have to go through the pain of moving again. Suggest you avoid for now.

5 — 

Used TSO for 4 years in the UK and still happy

They may not be the fastest, they may not be the cheapest.

But they are very honest and reliable.

1. I’ve tried many hosts and used many hosts throughout my time as a web developer: Web Fusion, Pipex, HostingUK, Rackspace, 1and1, Mediatemple, goDaddy, Azure… to name a few.

I find myself today with just two: Rackspace for my Windows Sites. TSO for my Linux sites

2. Great Support Staff – at the end of the phone (in the UK) I have found TSO support staff to be very helpful… for a start they are English speaking and I mean native, so there’s never been any confusion explaining things back n fourth. They’re certainly never reading scripts to you either… and they KNOW WordPress, and I mean know it well. Their support staff are able to explain the intricacies to you if you’re getting lost and guide you what you need to do as well as explain why WordPress does and needs certain things.

3. Their pricing is what it is, no hidden structures or setups. I’ve also never been hassled by any sales hard sells unlike many other hosts have done.

4. Uptime
Of all the hosts I’ve ever used my sites have been up the most with these guys, either I’m on a quiet VPS or its just well managed but either way I can’t complain

5. User Interface
A little credit should be sent the way of their UX design that has made things super simple to find.

I honestly don’t really have any criticism, as the saying goes…
you get what you pay for and with TSO I think I fair better than I would with others.

4 — 

Decent Host

TSO Host is one of the best hosting providers out there for UK based clients. In my personal experience, the support staff have always been responsive and helpful. Whilst not perfect, site performance is generally good and better than other overloaded cPanel shared hosting providers. The costs are quite transparent too. Whereas I have been charged quite significant amounts for services that are done by TSO HOST for free – e.g migrations. I hope they continue to build and invest in their resources! So far, so good. If you can’t afford managed WordPress hosting and are based in the UK – I’d reccomend using TSO.

5 — 

TSOhosting

I’ve used TSOhosting for several years after having some of the issues you mention with other hosts, yearly increases that are very high and unexpected. I’m not a professional web creator or service provider, so only have small requirements – however whenever I’ve contacted TSO support they’ve responded within a few mins, once I messaged them at just about midnight (UK time) and was amazed at getting a response a few mins later. I’ve never had to call them as their ticketing system has always been so responsive day or night. I don’t know if they respond 24/7/365, but my own experience has been excellent with almost instant replies on the few occasions I’ve queried something.