DIGITAL PACIFIC REVIEW 2018 – BEWARE OF HUGE HIDDEN FEES

Digital Pacific is one of the leading Australian web hosts. They provide web hosting for businesses throughout Australia. This review covers why I don’t recommend using them.

Here’s the summary:

Digital Pacific is an average host with slightly below average uptimes/downtimes and prices that are fairly standard. They also have BIG hidden upcharges ($200-250). Overall, it’s not a great choice. We believe there are some much better options.

Earnings disclosure: Some of the products we reviewed on this page contain affiliate links. We use those proceeds to help cover costs of maintaining the website and doing research. Thanks again for your support. 


WHAT WE WILL COVER IN THIS REVIEW

We are all about data here at Aussie Hosting. We have accumulated over 10 years of data via running a web/seo agency for the last ten years. We use that data to help our clients/readers find the best hosting available.

We’ll discuss…

  1. Digital Pacific’s load times/speed/reliability from 5 major Australian cities
  2. Look at their pricing and show you the hidden $200 fee they will hit you with.
  3. Compare their support plans with other hosts
  4. Suggest 2 alternatives which we use ourselves (we have the data to prove it too 🙂 )

WHY LISTEN TO US

  • My name is Lucas Johnson and for the last ten years we have been running a digital marketing and web development agency with offices in two locations in Australia. We have a lot of web clients and as part of our service we provide a totally inclusive marketing plan that includes hosting.

    For the last ten years we’ve been using an internal system for tracking our clients websites. With a portfolio of 413 sites (as of 4/4/2017) sites we track everything in an internal dashboard.

    So when we decided to write this review we just pulled data from our existing Australian clients who were using Digital Pacific. We also did that in our VentraIP review which you can see here.

  • uptime and downtime tracking

    Uptime tracking via our American clients

WHAT IS UPTIME AND DOWNTIME AND LOAD TIME?

When it comes to web hosting these are the most important factors to remember. They basically dictate how fast a website will load and how often it will go “down”.

Let’s look at them in more detail…

Uptime

 This is the amount of time a server is “up” or functioning without being disrupted. The higher the uptime the better a host is. A quality host will have an uptime of 98%+ and ones on the lower end will have >97%.

Downtime

This is bad. Downtime is a measure of the amount of time a website is down or unable to be accessed by visitors or clients. Generally speaking, we avoid hosts with any downtime issues as it’s usually a pretty good indication that they are running old servers and underpowered datacenters.

Load Time

This is the amount of time it takes to load website data for a visitor. So this requires a connection between the visitor’s computer/ISP and the actual datacenter that the host is utilizing.

Now that you know the basics let’s look at the data….

  • Sydney
    • Uptime – 97.6% 
    • Average Loadtime – 1,912Ms 
  • Melbourne
    • Uptime – 97.9% 
    • Average Loadtime – 2,012Ms 
  • Canberra
    • Uptime – 97.5% (ouch!) 
    • Average Loadtime – 2,182Ms 
  • Adelaide
    • Uptime – 98.09% 
    • Average Loadtime – 1,658Ms 

While these definitely aren’t the most terrible results I’ve seen (GoDaddy is much worse) they definitely aren’t worth the insane prices they will get you with.

More about that below.

THE REALITY BEHIND DIGITAL PACIFIC’S “COMPETITIVE” PRICING

Here is their pricing.

image of Digital Pacific Pricing

On average this is pretty standard and at first glance you would think this is pretty standard.  So let’s take a closer look but in order to do that we’ll have to look at something called SSL.

INTRODUCING SSL AND WHY YOU NEED IT

image of SSL protected website

SSL or secured socket layer has become the standard for the modern web browsing experience. If you’re ever seen the green https:// on any website (like mine) you’ll know it’s safe.

Developed in 1994 by IBM to address a growing concern for Internet security it has become the standard for the safe web browsing experience.  It’s now almost required for any website to be considered safe from phishing or other malicious attempts.

Google openly requires it if you want your website to show up on the Google Search Results. Chrome has recently begun warning web visitors if a website doesn’t have SSL installed or is running an outdated certificate.

If you’re accepting payments on your website and don’t have SSL no payment processor will work with you.

image showing an unsecure SSL certificate

This is not what you want your clients to see. Back to safety isn’t a very reassuring first impression.

At this point you’re probably thinking, what’s the big deal – I’ll just get SSL.

Yes, you will and when you do – Digital Ocean will hit you with this.

image of Digital Pacific SSL Pricing

So that $49.99 a year suddenly became $250-300 a year. A nice 6X markup.

Like I said the devil is in the details.

Paying for SSL at this rate is NOT standard practice. It was in 2003 when SSL was new, but now SSL certs are ubiquitous with free and safe browsing.

So much so that most hosts have entirely free SSL services using a great initiative developed by a group of engineers called “Let’s Encrypt“.

USE LET’S ENCRYPT ON ANY OTHER HOST FOR FREE

Siteground has one of the free SSL certificates that is installed in 1 click via your hosting dashboard.

image of Siteground SSL

EASY TO INSTALL

Most hosts utilize the cPanel and a really easy to use app called Softalicious. From there anyone can open it up and install either SSL certs or WordPress on a new domain or subdomain. Either way if you get stuck at any point, support can do it for you.

OUR RECOMMENDED ALTERNATIVES

Like I mentioned, Digital Pacific has slightly below average speeds and load times. We’ve helped transition over 11 clients thus far from their servers and with each one we’ve noticed:

  1. Increase in time on website
  2. Better Google Ranking (Google likes fast websites)
  3. Better uptime
  4. Faster Loading time

The image below is from a corporate client who ran a large window installation website. People could choose how they want the windows built and customize some features online.

This is the before and after switching to one of our better quality hosts.

siteground switch from client

As you can see they experienced a massive increase in sales, client retention and improved their Google ranking by a full page on the search results.

So which hosts do we recommend?

 
 

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