What Is BigRock?
BigRock was established back in 2010. It quickly blew up and now houses well over 6 million domains. Today, it’s one of India’s largest web hosts and domain registrars.
Back in 2014, EIG acquired Directi, which owned Bigrock, along with several smaller hosting companies. The deal was worth a whopping $110 million—a testament to BigRock’s importance.
An unfortunate side-effect is that there is a bit of a stigma on BigRock web hosting. EIG-owned brands rarely fare well and tend to decline in quality. Some webmasters take the acquisition as the writing on the wall.
Of course, each host deserves a fair chance, and EIG doesn’t do bad by all companies it acquires. Some brands, like Bluehost, have even improved under the conglomerate.
So I got a plan and began the testing. Here’s the good and the bad:
The Essentials—Uptime, Speed, Support
These are the first three things I tested once I had my BigRock logins. The provider clocks in fast load times and has decent support, though uptime is a bit iffy.
Once your website is live, you want it to remain up for as long as possible. While various accidents can happen to crash a website, the biggest hurdle will likely be server downtime.
Now, all website hosts experience occasional downtime. Something as silly as a faulty network switch can take down multiple machines. It’s challenging for a provider to be ready for all possible eventualities.
That said, some companies are more prepared than others. High uptime is indicative of a well-maintained infrastructure and a reliable setup. I monitored the BigRock servers to see how it fares.
Unfortunately, BigRock’s uptime is unimpressive at best. Across months of testing, the servers averaged the availability of 99.78%.
In other words, you can expect over an hour and a half of downtime per month. It’s hardly a positive result, considering that the industry-standard uptime, certainly among the best hosting providers, is 99.9%.
The website does mention an uptime guarantee, but there is nothing about this in the legal documents. BigRock is not legally obligated to maintain a certain level of availability. Good for the company but bad for the customers.
BigRock shared hosting is not the most reliable and has no uptime guarantee, contrary to its claims.
Speed is just as important as uptime, if not more. It is also where you can really see what the servers are made of.
Hosts with cutting-edge hardware and expertly optimized technologies can make your website blazing-fast. Those that skimp on optimization and overcrowd their servers, on the other hand, will only slow you down.
I set up a website to see if BigRock rises up to the challenge.
Across multiple measurements, BigRock cPanel hosting recorded:
- 440 milliseconds to respond to a page request
- 0.72 seconds to fully render a basic web page
These are some lightning-fast speeds. BigRock easily outpaces even top performers like Bluehost.
And if that’s not impressive enough, BigRock’s backend is no slouch either. I sent out 50 virtual users that made 300 simultaneous requests to the server—a hefty amount of traffic for a small shared hosting plan to handle.
The load slowed down the response times to a mere 740MS. It’s a barely perceptible change. BigRock handles traffic much better than most providers.
BigRock hosting frontend is one of the fastest you’ll find, and the backend can endure a heavy workload. If you want fast local servers, look no further.
Support is every provider’s maintenance crew. You should always be able to talk to someone in the company if you need assistance.
I contacted the support team on multiple occasions during the making of this BigRock review.
I tried the live chat first. This opened up a new window with the email ticket form, saying chat support is not available. The lack of 24/7 chat support is hardly ideal, but you still have phone or ticketing options.
An excellent advantage if you’re based in India is BigRock’s local support team. You can call the toll-free number at any time and chat with an engineer nearby.
I did get through during work hours, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of BigRock customer support.
The agents are all polite and knowledgeable. I pointed out a few unclear things on the site, and they had no issues filling in the gaps. It took a minute or two to double-check answers to more complicated questions. You can’t really expect the frontline support to know everything, though, and I did get the answers eventually.
If you prefer to explore things on your own, you can use the knowledge base as a handy reference point. It contains articles on getting started with most features, like the control panel or CodeGuard backup software. Some more troubleshooting info would be even better, but the knowledge base is respectable as things stand.
BigRock has a decent local support team and a well-maintained knowledge base. The only complaint is the lack of 24/7 chat support.
The Pros of BigRock
BigRock hosting has plenty of features to attract users. Here’s what makes it stand out among other web hosts.
CloudLinux Account Isolation
CloudLinux is an increasingly popular distribution among shared hosting providers. It has several advantages over the traditional Debian/CentOS/Ubuntu setups.
It uses a technology called CageFS to put each client account in a virtual cage of sorts. The accounts are much better isolated from one another and the server’s base software.
It allows a cap on how much resources each account can access. This means BigRock customer support doesn’t have to continually monitor resource spending and suspend shared accounts that hoard more computational power than they should. Instead, clients can’t go over their allocated resources, so they won’t drain the server even without the tech team’s intervention.
The advantage is being practically guaranteed access to resources you purchase.
Another typical hurdle with shared hosting is that attackers that gain access to one shared account can often wiggle their way into the server’s main configuration files. One bad site can compromise the entire machine.
CageFS solves this as well. Even if another user’s poorly configured site falls to hackers, it won’t affect your website.
Simply put, the resource integrity and security with CloudLinux is superior.
You can’t have a BigRock review without looking at the Windows plans. They are a major part of its offer.
The best place to start is usually the shared ASP.NET hosting. The plans run a standard Plesk setup with various supported IIS, ASP.NET, and MSSQL technologies. The features aren’t too flashy, but the plans do the job for typical ASP-based websites or CMSs.
If you need something a bit more robust, Windows dedicated servers are an option. These can be a fantastic choice for more demanding MS applications. Just keep in mind this service is not available in the US data center.
BigRock Windows hosting is not an option on VPS and cloud servers, though. The setup creates a gap between the shared and dedicated services, making it tough to scale. If you happen to outgrow shared ASP.NET plans, you would likely have to switch companies to avoid overpaying for a dedicated server.
BigRock is a decent choice for smaller websites or large-scale applications. If your site might outgrow shared hosting, you might want to pick a provider that allows scaling into VPS.
DIY Website Builder
If you want an easy way to build a website, BigRock has just the thing -“DIY Website Builder.”
This was one of the most pleasant surprises in the making of the BigRock review. It performs way better than most similar builders.
For starters, the interface is uncluttered. You can easily find all the options either in the navigation bar or by hovering over page elements.
You can also move around content blocks by dragging them with your mouse. It makes a world of difference in getting a quick design. The dashboard even lets you preview what your site looks like on mobile devices, simplifying the design process.
BigRock website creator makes it beyond easy to design an attractive and responsive site.
The numerous design options are a pleasant surprise as well. It’s easy to add modern features like page-wide images. You can also get into the nitty-gritty with the builder’s code editor. It allows you to input your own CSS or even edit the theme source code. Most builders don’t allow such fundamental changes, so BigRock’s platform is a real treat for developers.
Some themes do look a bit better than others. Still, you can change just about anything on your website, so this shouldn’t hinder you.
To top it off, the drag-and-drop website builder is SEO-friendly. You can easily manage things like meta tags, redirects, sitemap, etc. They are standard tools that are very useful for search engine optimization.
BigRock website builder is fantastic if you want a quick and easy way to create a website—especially when you consider most providers include a half-baked solution. A massive advantage over hosts like GoDaddy and their more restrictive builders.
Email is a nice feature to go with hosting, especially if you run a business website. You can get a custom email address, which will make you look more professional. Plus, website visitors often expect some sort of contact info, and email does the job.
You can start with RoundCube. It is the standard webmail software integrated into cPanel. You can set up as many accounts as you want, and the provider allows up to 5GB per mailbox, though this counts towards your total storage. It’s similar to webmail you get with most hosts, and it works well enough.
If you need an upgrade to the standard BigRock email hosting, Business Mail is a nice choice. You get a 5GB inbox (size can be increased), protected by robust antivirus software. You can also access the service via phone or tablet app, letting you manage correspondence on the go.
Business Email starts at $0.66/month. The inboxes are relatively small, but they are extremely cheap. It’s a good-value deal if you want something more potent than the standard BigRock Linux hosting email.
If you need something even more powerful, Enterprise Email will set you back $1.99/month for a 30GB inbox. Aside from the aforementioned advantages, it adds attachment preview features, an improved contact list, and a calendar tool. The systems are connected globally across all your accounts, so different users can exchange contacts and keep track of important info. It’s ideal for businesses that need numerous employees to collaborate efficiently.
With Bigrock, you get access to a range of email solutions. You can use the standard free email to send out a few messages or move your entire business onto a unified mailing system. There’s something for everyone.
Comodo SSL reseller
Like most hosts, BigRock lets you automatically encrypt your domain with a free SSL.
But if you run a business website, you might want to up your game with a premium SSL certificate. This can get you a recognizable trust seal, liability warranty, and full support.
If you’re interested, aside from letting you buy hosting, BigRock resells certificates signed by Sectigo (previously Comodo).
You can only get DV certificates directly from BigRock, meaning you can’t get that sought-after green address bar. The best part is that the certificates are available at greatly reduced prices.
For instance, a Positive SSL certificate costs $24/year. If you were to purchase it directly from Sectigo, it would be $49/year—more than twice as much. Other certificates have similar discounts. It’s a pretty sweet deal.
If you need a professional SSL certificate, you can get one very affordably from the top India web hosting provider.
Refunds might be the last resort, but they are a vital part of any service. A set money-back period gives you time to test out the service without risk.
It provides some assurance that you can back out if the host doesn’t cut it. Plus, it shows the provider is confident about its platform.
BigRock hosting has the standard 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you time to see how the platform works.
One nice thing about longer guarantees is that you usually get to bring in more traffic and see how the host handles it. You might not see how BigRock really performs under stress until after the end of the refund period.
Only a few companies extend a guarantee beyond the first 30 days, so BigRock is in line with industry standards.
If the service is not for you, you can just back out, no questions asked.