TMDHosting Shared Hosting Review
TMDHosting was first started in August 2007 by Peter Darazhanski, a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. You can read an exclusive in-depth interview we carried out with Peter, which includes all the exciting things coming up for their company in 2016, here.
We are often approached by web hosting companies asking them to review their services, and with very limited time we have to be very choosy. Usually when we get emailed about a web host, we quickly check out the site. We check prices, features and very often open a live chat asking very dumb questions to see how they react, and then very often add it to a very long list (almost never to be seen again).
Well, with TMDHosting it never made it to a “list”. Within 24 hours, we had signed up, and we commenced putting them through their paces. What got us interested was the excellent support we received on our initial live chat and their claim on the website that all tickets are answered in just 15 minutes. Knowing that fast support within these time frames is something many of our readers were interested in, TMDHosting got our full attention.
Fast forward a few days, after the purchase of their “Amazing” shared hosting plan we are very pleased to be able to add TMDHosting as one of our recommended hosting providers.
Shared Hosting Plans
TMDHosting only offers two plans. Both plans are based on “unlimited hosting” principles, with the exception that the “Amazing Package” is limited to just one domain. Apart from the number of domains, the features of both plans are identical, including resource allowances.
If you need to host two sites, you may wish to consider purchasing two “Amazing Packages,” as this will give you double the available resources than choosing the Unlimited Package. Also, your websites will be isolated from each other which is always recommend to ensure one hacked site does not affect the other.
TMDHosting also offers specialist SocialEngine hosting (social networking platform), which include FB Flash Cache and Memcache to give greater performance. TMDHosting became the exclusive official partner of Social Engine on the 16th November 2015. You can read more about that here (coming soon).
- SSD Hosting
- 15 support response time
- Free daily backups \ restoration
- SSH Access
- Email Spam Protection by SpamExperts
- Softaculous Auto Installer
- Cloudflare CDN
- Extensive Free Website Templates
- Free website transfer from your existing web host
- PHP 7 available
Also, they have a few unique tools that we thought were pretty good (which can be accessed from within cPanel):
- Permissions fix tool – Easily fix incorrect file permissions.
- Magento & Dolphin Optimize – Optimizes database for better performance
- Password Reset Tool – Easily reset your password for your content management systems, such as WordPress.
- Increased stability – Each user is isolated in their own Lightweight Virtualized Environment (LVE) and given a predetermined amount of resource. What this means is that one user can’t cause other users to slow down due to resource hogging, or a poorly designed script.
- Increased security – Cloudlinux comes with CageFS, which is a virtualized per-user file system that uniquely encapsulates each account, preventing users from seeing each other and viewing sensitive information. Also, CageFS adds another layer of security to the server by preventing most of the privilege escalation and information disclosure attacks.
While some hosts will hide the amount of resources made available (note these are shared resources), TMDHosting displays the available resources for your account within the sidebar of the cPanel. Also you can access detailed graphs of your usage over time as shown below. This can help troubleshoot resource usage issues, and give you some indication when you might need to upgrade to one of their VPS or Cloud hosting plans.
General Stats in Sidebar
The statistics (not all web hosts make them available) have to be one of our favorite things about Cloud Linux, especially with “Unlimited Hosts”. There should not be any surprises about using too many resources, which in many cases can occur due to a specific WordPress plugin, or simply many bots (malicious or otherwise) visiting your site.
A Look at the Client Area
The TMDHosting client area boasts a smart modern theme, with we believe WHMCS used for the underlying platform. WHMCS is a secure, and well-maintained system which is used by many web hosting providers, and as such you may be instantly familiar with it.
You can see a quick video walkthrough of their client area below:
Unfortunately, the add-ons offered by TMDHosting are a bit of a mixed bag. Some are excellent value (i.e. their dedicated IP \ third party SSL installation service) while others we do not like (i.e. Google Services, Site Submission) as they are not required (perhaps we will write an article about this later). You can order the add-ons from within the client area.
Here is a list of “some” of the main add-ons offered:
- Add-on slot ($25 per year) – Each add-on slot allows a single additional website to be hosted within your existing cPanel account.
- Dedicated IP ($25 per year) – This is an excellent price for a dedicated IP.
- GoMobi Mobile Sitebuilder ($59.40 per year) – A third party service that lets you create mobile websites quickly and easily.
- Your own DNS Servers ($45 per year) – CBrand your internet presence by having your own DNS servers, such as ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com. (this feature requires that you have a TMDHosting registered domain name).
SSL & Security
- Domain privacy (ID Protect) ($9.99 per year) – This hides your whois information for your domain.
- GlobalSign 256bit SSL Certificate ($69 per year) \ GlobalSign 256bit Wildcard SSL Certificate ($179 per year) – GlobalSign SSL’s are a little more expensive than Comodo SSL certificates. You may want to research the differences before purchasing and perhaps buy a cheaper one from elsewhere.
- Personal Daily Backup($35 per year) – They will store up to 7 copies of your website. Personally, we would choose a third party solution such as Vaultpress, so your data is stored away from your web host. TMDHosting do take daily backups for free, but the number of copies is limited.
- Security Audit ($45 one-off) – TMDHosting will review your website and its plugins, modules, etc. and prepare a detailed report, listing all the “weak” elements or any threats that may lead to future compromising.
- SSL Installation + Dedicated IP (does not include the certificate) ($40 one-time) – If you need an SSL certificate, we highly recommend using this add-on and buying the SSL Certificate via Namecheap, rather than purchasing the SSL certificate directly through TMDHosting. This is great value.
All the following services we are not keen on:
- Sitemap Generation ($19 one-time) – We don’t know why you would use this over a free solution like Yoast SEO (or equivalent for other platforms).
- Basic SEO ($39 one-time) – This does similar things to Yoast SEO, but also submits your URLs to search engines. This makes us cringe, and would advise you avoid.
- SEO for Blogs ($49 one-time) – No information is given about this, but we suggest you avoid.
- Advanced SEO ($99 one-time) – This one advertises sending hundreds of low quality bookmarking backlinks to your site. This is against Google Guidelines, and is likely to get your website penalized. Most definitely avoid this.
- All-in-one SEO ($149 on-time) – This includes all the above, plus Google Analytics intergation. Same Black Hat SEO techniques and should be avoided at all cost.
- Google Apps Configuration ($19 one-time) – This helps integrate Google services with your domain. Many hosts will assist you with for free and indeed offer a cPanel wizard so you can set this up yourself. That being said, if you want everything taken care of, $19 is not bad for specialist help with this.
- Google Webmaster Account and Site Verification ($29 one-time) – There are plenty of tutorials around that will help you do this for free.
- Google Analytics Integration ($39 one-time) – There are plenty of tutorials around that will help you do this for free.
Automatic Search engine and Directory submission ($25 one-time) – Avoid this black hat style SEO at all costs. It is likely to harm your site’s rankings.
OK, we have been a little harsh on the add-ons, but for good reason. We suspect they just implemented a third party service for the SEO related ones with the aim of helping their customers. However, they probably do not realise that many of the techniques could actually be very harmful to a site’s rankings. Indeed, they are not the only web host that offers this kind of third party SEO service.
A few decent tutorials on their knowledge base would have done the job better, and we will now prioritize preparing some tutorials for this site.
cPanel Control Panel
They use the most popular web hosting control panel, cPanel. This is our personal favorite control panel for Linux hosting. That being said, they have disabled the full backup option that would make it easy (automatic transfer) to transfer your site to another host if you wanted to.
The reasoning given is due to the high load on the servers that a large backup can cause. While disappointing, some of our other top hosts do the same, so understandable.
You can read more about cPanel here.
We tested the hosting using our standard install and utilizing our standard W3 Total Cache Settings (where we have tested other web hosts, you can directly compare the speeds). While the speeds were good, they didn’t break any records. You should have in mind that this is a non-optimized theme with php generated stylesheets. We use this as it allows any differences in hosting speeds to be amplified. Your website may or may not be faster.
Optimized with W3 Total Cache
For comparison, our top host Siteground loaded the test site in just 0.536 seconds.
Helpful + Fast Support
TMDHosting advertises a response to your support ticket within 15 minutes. We suspect that more complicated matters may take longer for full resolution, even though the initial response would come within the 15-minute timeframe, which is understandable.
During our tests (They were unaware of our tests while writing our TMDHosting Review), we opened three tickets. Two were simple questions related to their service so easy to respond to.
The third ticket was an actual error we encountered after changing PHP to version 5.5. This was a fundamental error where they did not set default extensions within the Cloudlinux settings, although their ticket would imply that we needed to click the “use default extensions” button.
The error message: “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension that is required by WordPress.”
We filed a “Site Down” ticket for this and got a full resolution, along with full explanation in just 2 minutes! For this, we must show the full screenshot, as we were impressed:
TMDHosting currently have five different datacenter, four in the United States and one in Amsterdam in Europe:
- Chicago, Illinois
- Elk Grove, Illinois
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Houston, Texas
- Amsterdam, Europe
For their data center partner they use Singlehop. Singlehop is one of our favorite data center companies, who we know from extensive experience are incredibly reliable.
As you can imagine, with TMDHosting using Singlehop as their data center partner there are virtually no complaints around the web about downtime \ servers being offline.
At just $2.95 with our offer when you sign up for three years, TMDHosting is incredible value. The level of support provided is among the best in the hosting industry, and we would even go as far as the best we have seen, mainly due to the willingness to help without charging additional fees.
The only concern is that their VPS and Cloud plans seem a little over-priced for the amount of resources allocated. While we do not advocate budget hosting and think you get what you pay for, we believe they could easily double their RAM allocations at the pricing points they have set.
TMDHosting currently has a 60-day money back guarantee. If you wish to take advantage of this, you will need to cancel your account from within the account area, and then open a billing ticket. Your money should arrive within a couple of days.
As the final part of our test, we initiated a refund for our test account. A representative from TMDHosting contacted us to see if they could assist \ determine the reason for cancelling. After confirming we wanted the account cancelled and a refund, they were happy to process the request.
Final Thoughts about TMDHosting
In an unusual step, we made them one of our recommended hosting providers after writing this TMDHosting Review with very little user feedback. As a result, if you do host with them, or are intending to try them out, we would appreciate your views.
Our recommendation has been made from personal testing of their “Amazing package”, several tests of their support services (yes, they managed resolution of all our tickets within 15 minutes) as well as scouring other forums and social media for any hints of bad service \ downtimes.
When we started testing we had in our minds that we might be recommending them, so we have been a little more “harsh” \ “picky” about their services than some of our other older reviews. You should not let that necessarily phase you, as they still made it to our recommended list.
Feel free to check out the User TMDHosting Reviews at the end of this article.
TMDHosting Frequently Asked Questions
Does TMDHosting Offer Linux and Windows Hosting Plans?
How do I get SSH Access?
Do you offer Email Spam Protection?
Yes, they do several things to ensure spam is kept to a minimum.
Firstly, they have configured their servers to include a special spam house monitoring system that reports if any spam has been marked by a spam house authority.
Secondly, they have Spam Assassin installed on the servers. You can read our detailed tutorial on how to configure this here.
Do you offer PHP 5.6?
How long does it take for my web hosting account to be setup?
From our own experience, the account was setup within a minute or two. Immediately after placing the order we were able to log into the Client Area with the login details specified during signup.
Does TMD Hosting offer Cloudflare Railgun?