What Broke the Ice for Me? [2019 Edition]

What Broke the Ice for Me? [2019 Edition]

When it comes to hosting a blog, there are a lot of big-name companies that everyone knows. However, while those companies have the brand name recognition, they’re by no means the only quality options to host your blog.

In my ICDSoft review, I’ll give you a hands-on look at one of those other options.

ICDSoft has been helping people host websites since all the way back in 2001. They offer affordable hosting plans with a helpful custom hosting dashboard and good performance, especially when you consider their prices.

Keep reading my ICDSoft review to learn about the features, explore the custom hosting dashboard, and see some performance tests.

ICDSoft Hosting Features & Pricing

ICDSoft offers three shared hosting plans, as well as managed VPS and reseller hosting.

For my ICDSoft review, I’m specifically looking at the mid-tier shared Business plan.

With this plan, you get:

  • 100 GB of disk storage
  • 1 TB of data transfer per month
  • Custom-built web hosting dashboard (i.e. not cPanel – I’ll show you this in the next section)
  • Automatic daily backups, plus storage of the last three days of backups and on-demand backups
  • SSD storage, which offers better performance than the older spinning drives
  • A free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt to keep your site secure
  • The latest version of PHP, which offers improved performance and security over older PHP versions (you can also use older PHP versions if desired)
  • 24/7 tech support
  • Choice of three different data centers in the USA, Europe, or Asia (Hong Kong)
  • Free site migrations
  • One-click installers, including a one-click WordPress installer
  • Email hosting

ICDSoft Pricing

The Business plan that I’m looking at in this post costs $10 per month. However, one unique thing about ICDSoft is that you get a 20% discount when you renew, instead of the price increase that you see with a lot of hosts.

So, for the Business plan that I’m reviewing, you would only pay $8 per month when you renew after the first year. This is a nice little bonus for being a loyal customer.

You can view a table of the prices and details for all of ICDSoft’s shared hosting plans below:

ICDSoft Pricing

Hands-on With ICDSoft: Performance Tests and The Dashboard

Now that I’ve told you about the features at ICDSoft, let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you:

  • A look at ICDSoft’s custom-built hosting dashboard
  • Performance tests for my site hosted on the ICDSoft Business plan

Exploring the ICDSoft Hosting Dashboard

Here’s what the main dashboard area looks like at ICDSoft. Again, this is a custom-built dashboard, so you won’t have seen this at other hosts:

ICDSoft Hosting Dashboard

While it is custom built, it uses the same icon-based approach as cPanel which makes it easy to navigate.

I won’t show you every single area, but here is a look at some of the most helpful features.

WordPress Autoinstaller

First off, if you want to install WordPress, you can use the included WordPress installer. All you need to do is enter your information and the tool will take care of the rest:

ICDSoft review of WordPress installer

And just like that, you’ll have a working WordPress blog.

File Manager

As an alternative to FTP, you can use the web-based File Manager tool to browse and manage the files on your server right from your browser.

Below, you can see all of the files from the WordPress installer that I showed you above:

File Manager

Easy Backups on ICDSOFT

To manage backups or run a manual backup, you can use the Backup tool. The tool will tell you the backup data and give you an option to save the backup to your local computer:

Backups on ICDSoft

If you want to restore from a backup, the separate Restore tool makes it easy to restore a backup from any date:

Restore backup

One-Click SSL Certificates

If you want to use a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt, you can enable it with just a few clicks from the SSL/HTTPS area:

Enable HTTPS on ICDSoft

The control panel even gives you an easy option to force HTTPS on all of your domains and subdomains, which is more convenient than having to edit your site’s .htaccess file directly.

Force HTTPS

ICDSoft Hosting Performance Tests

Now that I’ve installed WordPress using the auto installer, let’s run some speed tests to see how the ICDSoft Business plan performs.

To create a realistic test website, I set up an Elementor landing page template that includes plenty of images and other heavy elements.

Next, I ran it through some page speed test tools.

First, I used Pingdom to test load times for a North American test server (Washington, DC). ICDSoft performed quite well, loading my test page in under one second:

ICDSoft Hosting Performance

Next, I ran a test from Europe (London), where, as expected, it loaded a little slower at 1.68 seconds:

ICDSoft Hosting Performance test

Next, I tested from Asia (Tokyo), where things slowed down a little to 3.13 seconds:

ICDSoft load impact test

Overall, these page load times are quite good. If you target an audience in Asia, however, you might want to choose ICDSoft’s Hong Kong data center location to speed up your page load times for that region (my test site is using the USA data center, which is why the US test had the fastest page load times).

Finally, I used the Load Impact tool to simulate 50 web visitors at the same time to see if ICDSoft can offer similarly good page load times when under some stress.

Here, ICDSoft did pretty well. Below, you can see that up to about 35 active visitors (the blue line), the page load times (green line) were steady and fast.

However, once the test passed 40 active visitors, the load times were less consistent:

ICDSoft load impact test

Most blogs will not have 40 active visitors at the same time, so this test shows that most of the time, ICDSoft will perform quite well for you. However, for a very high-traffic site, you might want to consider using a higher tier plan for better performance.

Again – this is a $10 per month hosting plan, so I think that performance level is quite fair for the price.

ICDSoft Support Area

If you need support, you can use the dedicated support dashboard to post a new ticket:

ICDSoft Support

ICDSoft guarantees a response within 15 minutes, but usually answers tickets even faster than that.

And again, you can get support 24/7.

Final Thoughts on ICDSoft Hosting

ICDSoft might not be as well-known as some bigger-name hosts, but don’t let that cause you to leave it off your list.

The custom hosting dashboard makes it easy to manage key areas of your site – like installing WordPress and managing backups. And the performance was quite good, especially when you consider the low price of the plan that I was testing.

Speaking of price – at just $10 per month, the Business plan is a very good deal, especially with add-ons like free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt. And remember – you’ll get a 20% discount when you renew.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable web host for your blog, you should consider ICDSoft’s plans.

Now, it’s your turn to let me know your experience and review of ICDSoft hosting. What are the pros and cons according to you and would you recommend it to others?

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