I signed up with CrocWeb two months ago because I have Canadian clients who want their websites hosted on a Canadian server. I started out with a shared hosting plan for one website but I upgraded to a reseller plan shortly after.
Overall, my experience with them has been great. I am happy with my reseller account although I can’t deny the fact that there are areas where CrocWeb could use some improvement.
Amazing Speeds, Erratic Issues
When things are working as they should, CrocWeb serves websites insanely fast. To give you an idea of how fast “insanely fast” is, here’s the Pingdom test result of one client’s business website on CrocWeb’s servers:
The site loads in less than half a second and my client is VERY happy about this. This site was previously hosted on another Canadian server and it used to load in more or less 3 seconds. Three seconds may not seem too long for some, but every second is critical when it comes to online businesses. Believe it or not, a few additional seconds in loading time could spell the difference between securing and losing a potential customer. This means having a 480ms load time is a huge plus for this site and moving it to CrocWeb was obviously the right decision.
I’m sure you noticed I wrote “when things are working as they should” above. I said this because there were several occasions when websites would just load very slowly for me and for my clients. The random slowness seldom happens though so it’s not something I’m overly concerned about. I just wish I knew why because this has been going on for some time now. I did contact CrocWeb but I never got any useful info from them (more on this later) so I still have no clue why something as erratic as this happens.
Solid Uptime Brings Peace of Mind
In the two months that I’ve been hosting with CrocWeb, I’ve had a total downtime of 17 minutes. According to my uptime monitor, the longest downtime lasted 9 minutes and this was because of a kernel panic which required a server reboot. My uptime monitor reports a 99.97% uptime for the last 30 days and this is pretty darn good for a shared server!
My clients expect their websites and emails to work without any issues. The statistics I posted above are proof that CrocWeb is committed to providing a reliable service that can live up to high expectations. This brings me peace of mind because I know I would never have to worry about clients getting angry due to sites or email accounts being down for hours.
Above Average Support Lacks Transparency and Commitment
Don’t get me wrong, CrocWeb’s support has been helpful for the most part. I remember asking them to somehow “convert” my shared account to reseller, then migrate a whole reseller account from another host, then change main domains, etc. They did all these within a reasonable time frame and I was very pleased with everything. I was treated well despite the fact that I got my account for a heavily discounted price. This says a lot about CrocWeb’s values as a company.
I would describe their support response and resolution time as above average. They answer most tickets within an hour although consistency is somewhat lacking. There were times I got a meaningful response within 5 minutes, but there were also instances where I had to wait more than two hours for a reply that simply says something along the lines of “there’s nothing wrong on our end.”
No real complaints as far as ticket response/resolution time is concerned. CrocWeb is definitely faster than a lot of companies out there, but I know of a few other hosts that do a better job than CrocWeb in this department.
The quality of CrocWeb’s support isn’t lackluster by any means but I’m not convinced that they deserve 5 out of 5 stars for support. Well, at least not yet. I have several support tickets which I can’t consider fully resolved; I felt like CrocWeb answered those tickets just for the sake of getting them marked as “Answered.”
I once opened a ticket asking why my clients’ sites have been loading very slowly. One of my clients was furious at the time because they were editing their content in WordPress and they couldn’t save any changes. I opened a ticket at 6:32 am and asked CrocWeb to check if there were any issues. I anxiously waited for them to reply and they did so after one hour. Their response:
The server and network is not slow. Which website loads slow?
I gave them the URLs and told them the sites were slower than normal. I got this reply a few minutes later:
Both of them are loading fast from my end.
I was like, “okay…” The sites may be loading fast for the CrocWeb techs but the sites were certainly slow for us. FYI my clients are from different parts of Canada (and I’m currently staying in another country) so I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an ISP issue. CrocWeb’s last response gave me the impression that they didn’t want to bother looking into the issue further.
Fortunately, the problem fixed itself soon after (as it always does), but I would’ve appreciated a more comprehensive and helpful response, really. At least make an effort to help your clients figure out why their sites are slow? To be fair to CrocWeb, I did fail to mention this was a recurring problem. But that doesn’t change the fact that how CrocWeb dismissed the issue just because the sites were loading fast for them was very disappointing.
Here’s another one. A few weeks ago I had to contact support because one client was having an issue with their emails. I sent in a ticket at 5:55 am:
Hi, my client can’t receive incoming emails.
<Domain and email info here>
A little over two hours later (8:08 am), I received the following response:
We tested both incoming and outgoing mail, they work properly.
CrocWeb Support Department
Somehow, emails were working by the time they replied, but I’m certain that issues were present before I heard back from CrocWeb. I don’t know if they fixed something AND THEN tested incoming/outgoing mail, or if the problem just magically fixed itself. Either way, I was never informed of what went wrong. I was simply told everything’s okay and that’s it. I don’t know why it happened, I don’t know if the issue is likely to occur in the future, I don’t know if it was triggered by my client or not.
CrocWeb sure knows what they’re doing on the technical side as evidenced by their solid uptime and fast (well, most of the time) servers. However, I believe they need to work on their support department’s transparency, commitment, and most importantly, consistency.
Sometimes they take time to make sure your sites are up and running, sometimes they send you one-liner replies which are of little to no help. I’m sure their clients would appreciate it if they exerted more effort in resolving issues and providing details on why this and that happened.
Reasonably Priced Hosting Plans
CrocWeb has one of the most reasonably priced hosting plans out there, period. Their plans are affordable, and one thing I like about them is they don’t have silly limitations like you can only host one website if you choose the cheapest plan.
The prices on their website may be a bit confusing because they display triennial rates on their homepage. One of my biggest pet peeves is when hosts advertise a very attractive price on their homepage, then by the time you reach the checkout page you find out you’re going to have to pay for three years in advance.
Thankfully, CrocWeb doesn’t have huge homepage banners screaming “$2.95 PER MONTH!!!” They also made sure it’s clear that it would be $5.95 per month for their “Egg Croc” plan if you choose to pay monthly. I would’ve honestly given them a lower Price score if they didn’t have those “Monthly,” “Annually,” etc. buttons on their web hosting info page.
Call me nit-picky if you want, but I feel that customers should at least have an idea of how much they’re going to pay BEFORE they even reach the order form. CrocWeb seems to understand that as well and I can’t help but give them two thumbs up for it.
CrocWeb is a solid web host, no doubt about that. They provide dependable and feature-packed hosting services at amazing prices. They’re very close to being the perfect Canadian host and I hardly have any serious complaints about them. One thing I’d like to reiterate: CrocWeb should work on improving their consistency in speed and support, but not in a sense that they’re so bad in those aspects they’d have to do a major overhaul in their company. It’s more of making something good much, much better.
CrocWeb is definitely one of the top hosts I’ve ever used. Sure, there may be a few hosts that I’d personally pick over them, but if someone asked me to suggest a Canadian hosting provider, CrocWeb would be one of my top recommendations.
Today, CrocWeb suffered another large attack to their network. My clients’ sites were down for more than three hours. Obviously we weren’t happy about this and though it’s not CrocWeb’s fault, I don’t think I can keep important sites on CrocWeb’s servers. I know I said good things about CrocWeb’s uptime earlier in this review but this downtime coupled with a lot of intermittent speed issues is just not acceptable.