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- Free Domain
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- FTP Access
- Web-Based File Manager
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Custom Control Panel
- Unlimited E-Mail Accounts
- Web-Based E-Mail
- POP3 / SMTP
- E-Mail Forwarding
- Spam Protection
- Free Domain
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Sub-Domains
- Ruby & Ruby on Rails
- Website Builder
- Image Gallery
- Forum Software
- Online Store / Selling Tools
- Google AdWords Credit
- Yahoo! / Bing Search Marketing Credit
- 24/7 Phone Support
- E-Mail / Tickets Support
- Live Chat Support
- Video Tutorials
- FAQ / Knowledgebase
Omnis was founded in early 2000 as both a web host service provider and domain name registrar. Being one of the older players on the market, the company is now beginning to use modern buzz words and calls its services "cloud web hosting". Specifically, this means that all resources offered to a customer including, but not limited to, CPU, bandwidth, disk storage, and MySQL connections are dynamically allocated among accounts according to demand.
Omnis provides both Linux and Windows cloud hosting starting at $5.95 and $7.95 per month respectively. Alas, there are no "first time client" discounts, nor can you order a host for longer than two years to lock in a low price.
Nonetheless, the list of default features provided is quite impressive and should cover the needs of virtually any small or medium sized business web site. The defaults are unmetered bandwidth and disk space, unlimited e-mail and database accounts, a free domain name, and many scripts ready to be installed. Dedicated IP and private SSL are paid options.
The company offers 24/7 technical support and claims that all support employees are native English speakers located in California.
Like many other medium segment web hosts, Omnis guarantees 99.9% uptime of their servers. This promise is more than fulfilled. The Pingdom™ uptime monitoring service reported 100%* uptime during the measurement period. The servers are fast as well as reliable. Pingdom™ reports approximately 0,388* seconds as the average response time for the tested website.
UPDATE: On June 01, 2012 Omnis Network blocked Pingdom™'s access to its servers. Thus, we were able to check the uptime and average response time only for the period of May 15, 2012 through May 30, 2012. We rated Omnis's speed and reliability to be 3 out of 5 because 16 days of testing are not enough to draw any conclusions.
Unfortunately daily backups of client's data are not available. System backups are made, but with no guarantee that you can restore your very latest information from them. Even worse, a fee of $100 may be charged to you for any files you need from a system backup. That may be a small price to pay to save your entire website, but it is certainly not pleasant.
By default, Omnis provides a 30 day money back guarantee with no hidden catches. Of course, the refund is only available for new host accounts, and any additional fees will be deducted from the refund amount.
Omnis utilizes its own custom control panel and mastering it takes only a few minutes. All options and setup parameters are well explained, though the design of the panel is a bit techie-oriented for our taste. However this definitely doesn't detract from its functionality. All standard functions work perfectly. For example, we tried to create two e-mail accounts and setup forwarding from the first one to the second one. All went as expected.
The home page promised $100 in Adwords credits and free access to SiteBuilder, and both appear at the bottom of the control panel along with a script installer and a Google site maps link. Aside from those items, this section also contains a link to website design services and an SEO offer providing various SEO tools like link building and rank tracking. As a bonus, useless search engine submission and meta tags optimization are also included.
The most interesting part is the script installer.
Blogs, CMSes, picture galleries and shopping carts are ready to install with a click. Interestingly, the Joomla CMS displays an incompatibility message which means the installation package for this script is outdated and doesn't match the host's PHP version.
To test the installer we tried to install WordPress and Serendipity blogs to our account.
Everything worked OK, except that you don't get your script installed immediately. It is queued and installed later, after which you are sent a confirmation e-mail. This was an insignificant problem, especially since the wait was only a minute or two, but it is an unusual procedure that requires additional effort for the user.
The free SiteBuilder provided by default allows easy development of websites with up to 3 pages using 450 design templates.
Installing a template and configuring it works like a charm.
Along with the free basic package, Premium ($7.95) and eCommerce ($11.95) SiteBuilder packages are available with more templates, more pages and more capabilities, which is great as long as you want to sacrifice originality to easier and faster deployment.
In general, working with Omnis is seamless and easy. Its unusual account manager panel, which requires some time to get used to, is a minor defect. All functions work as promised, and we didn't experience any significant glitches during the test.
It is claimed that all technical support staff resides in California, so we were especially interested in finding out if that is somehow reflected in support quality.
Our live chat message was answered light-speed fast, in about 40 seconds. And the online ticket we opened was answered in 22 minutes.
|Online Ticket Support|
This is not a leading time, but the answer was accurate and solved the reported problem well. Our phone call was picked up in 1 minute and, again, the personnel were informative and straightforward.
If you prefer self-help materials there are 'how to' articles in the control panel and the FAQ section.
Omnis is an old-fashioned web host, but, nevertheless, tries to keep up with modern trends. The cloud web hosting it provides offers competitive hosting capacity with a lot of bonus options, including a decent website editor and a nifty script installer. AdWords and Yahoo credits will come in handy if you are just starting your own business, while dedicated IP address and private SSL are a must if you're serious about it.
Reliability and the speed of the web host are excellent too. Powered by Tier1 fiber optic network connections and SSD drives, Omnis shows impressive response time. The 99.9% guaranteed and 100%* actually recorded uptime prove the high quality of this hosting provider.
At the same time, the web host seems overpriced compared with other players. Dedicated IP addresses and SSL, as well as the offered SEO and web design services, require additional payment. You still might want a lot more for your $5.95/month than all the scripts and functions Omnis provides. Even flash-like technical support cannot justify this price.
The hosting quality, on the other hand, is far superior to what you would expect for the price.
How do we check uptime / response time?
We buy an account from every web hosting provider to be tested and place a mini site on each account. Next, we begin testing the uptime and average response time of these mini sites with the help of the Pingdom™ monitoring service. Please note, most of our competitors check the uptime of the web hosting provider's site instead of buying an account and creating a new site. This information does not reflect the real situation of the hosting's reliability.
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