BigScoots Review: 8 Pros and 5 Cons After Using it (2020)

BigScoots is not a major name in hosting. There’s a fair chance you haven’t heard of BigScoots, or if you have, you know very little.

Well, BigScoots has been around for a while—8 years, in fact—and during that time seems to have done quite well for itself.

It’s been generally received positively, and is one of the more niche companies: it offers only managed solutions, but with some unique plans.

The site is sleek and modern. The prices look okay at first. The company claims to perform well.

BigScoots SOUNDS like a hidden gem. But is it really?

Well, that’s what you’re about to find out.

Let’s start off with a deep dive into BigScoots’ positives:

Pros of using BigScoots

Pro #1: Good performance

This is the big question most people will have from the onset, so let’s get it over with.

BigScoots guarantees 99.99% uptime, and credits you a percentage of your fees for any outages:
bigscoots-uptime

The only catch is that you’ll only be credited for downtime 15-minute increments of downtime.

Which is a pretty enormous rate of downtime.

That said, it doesn’t appear to be an issue BigScoots customers deal with—BigScoots keeps its uptime guarantee, so no biggie.

In terms of response times, BigScoots is similarly reliable. It’s not the fastest host I’ve used, but it’s consistently on the faster side of average.

So with that covered, let’s get to the cost!

Pro #2: Shared prices are pretty good

I will get into the features that make the prices good soon. For now, suffice it to say that the features are solid.

So what makes the prices good?

The REAL question is whether you want managed shared hosting at all. Shared hosting is MUCH easier to work with than regular VPS or dedicated hosting.

But it’d still be a lot easier if it’s managed for you.

Since these are managed plans, they’ll naturally be more expensive than regular shared plans.

So here’s the main challenge BigScoots has to meet: can they lower the price of managed shared hosting ENOUGH to be worth it?

They did. This is the price range:

bigscoots-shared prices-regular

It’s not far off from the regular shared hosting price range from many bigger web hosts.

The cheaper end of shared hosting can start as low as $1-$2 a month but many competitors offer closer to $3-$4 for a first tier.

You can check out my list of the best shared web hosting for more info on what else is out there.

So this is a relatively small price increase, and is thus fairly impressive.

And on that note…

Pro #3: Shared prices are flexible

Let me explain why it’s worth mentioning:

Firstly, not all shared plans from competitors have monthly payment options.

Most other hosts require commitments of 1 or more years, with the advertised low price being the price-per-month of a 2 or 3-year commitment.

So being able to pay month-to-month, even at a higher price, allows for a lot more flexibility for those without a lot of cash-on-hand.

And here’s the second major good point:

The price increase for paying on a monthly basis?

It’s not that high:

bigscoots-shared prices

The difference between a 2-year commitment, and a 1-month commitment? It only breaks down to a $2 difference per month.

Granted, over YEARS that adds up, but compared to just about every other host…it’s a small difference.

In short, this is one of the most flexible shared hosting pricing structures around.

It’s fantastic for those who want a high quality of shared hosting but can only afford it with more flexible payment.

Pro #4: Some good shared hosting features

To be clear, this isn’t the best set of features I’ve seen.

There are a couple of things I find faulty, which you’ll find in the “cons,” list.

Until then, though, there are several nice points:

bigscoots-shared features

Even the entry-level gets to accommodate up to 5 domains, which is pretty unusual for shared hosting, and the higher tiers can support unlimited domains.

(Though, note that this does not mean the domains are included for free).

Additionally, daily backups are included for free on ALL tiers. This is a great feature that is only found on a few hosts’ shared plans.

Typically, only the highest tier will get it, and the shared tier will get monthly backups AT MOST…and often nothing in the way of backups is included for free.

SSL may be standard for shared plans, but there’s actually a good point here as well: all plans can get unlimited free SSL certificates.

Combine with that unlimited mailboxes and databases, and all the tiers are looking strong—even the first one.

Pro #5: The WordPress plans are cool

Here’s what I mean by that:

They’re managed WordPress plans, but they’re also virtual dedicated servers.

  In other words, they’re kind of a hybrid between VPS and WordPress plans.

This combination of being a managed WordPress plan and dedicating resources virtually means the prices are naturally going to be higher.

But truth be told, they’re not too bad. Especially when you look at what the nature of the resources for these plans means:

bigscoots-managed wordpress features

By virtually dedicating resources to each plan, BigScoots guarantees a given WordPress plan can support a lot of traffic.

While I take issue with the storage allocations (more about that later), it’s otherwise pretty solid.

Additionally, these plans are always monitored, have regular backups for free, site stats, extra security tools, and staging (basically, the ability to create clone sites for testing changes).

Pro #6: Independently-owned and secure

This is a mix of pros, actually. A company isn’t necessarily more secure BECAUSE it’s independent.

But generally speaking, hosting conglomerates guarantee a base level of security that’s reasonable.

Independently-owned hosting companies MAY be weak on security, but often they can go above and beyond the basics too.

BigScoots heavily emphasizes its protection from DDoS attacks and has dedicated security measures on-site.

On top of that, they take good care of their data center:

bigscoots-data center

So while I’m not saying BigScoots is the most secure host ever, it is overall pretty solid on that front.

And it’s not being a subsidiary is nice insofar as you get to support a more dynamic hosting market!

Pro #7: Easy to use

This should go without saying, but BigScoots is very easy to use.

Part of this is because it’s a managed solution—meaning all the hard work is taken care of for you.

You only need to deal with a few basic settings most of the time, if at all, and can devote yourself to managing your SITES, not the hosting of them.

But even aside from that, the interface is smooth and easy to work with.

And the migration of your sites to BigScoots are fully managed as well, for free:

bigscoots-migration

So all in all, BigScoots definitely wins on ease of use.

Related to ease of use, is customer support. So on that note…

Pro #8: Responsive customer support

Check out the live chat, for example. It only takes me a few minutes, max, to get an answer to a given question—with the first reply usually coming within a minute:

bigscoots-chat

In addition to that, BigScoots has a ticket/email support setup and options for phone support.

Combine with that the fact that BigScoots is offering managed hosting, and having good customer support is CRUCIAL to that, and none of this is too surprising.

Cons of using BigScoots

Con #1: Not a lot of storage in general

Usually, managed hosting will be more expensive. So you have to keep that in mind when connecting price to storage.

That said, let’s take a look at storage on different plans.

For shared hosting, also remember that many hosts claim to have unlimited storage for their shared plans, but that this is an exaggeration.

In reality, for shared hosting to work, storage is more limited.

EVEN SO, BigScoots’ managed shared hosting plans feel too limited. The first tiers starts you off with 5GB of storage—pretty small compared to just about every competitor.

The next two tiers offer 10 and 20GB of storage, respectively. It’s better, but still not that much considering they’re higher tiers.

Now, for managed WordPress, the range of storage is 10GB, 30GB, 250GB, and unlimited.

It’s great to know you CAN go higher, but is $34.95 a month worth 10GB of storage, or is $98.95 a month worth 30GB of storage?

In fairness: WordPress plans are virtual dedicated servers. That, plus being managed, means it’s not unreasonable as it seems.

The Cloud VPS plans range from 25GB to 100GB across four tiers. Again, this is managed VPS, so the prices aren’t too unreasonable with that taken into account.

For a lot of plans, you can add storage by paying simply an extra dollar per GB, which is a pretty good deal.

But even taking all this into account, I can’t help but feel you should get more storage for some of these plans.

Con #2: Entry-level shared plan doesn’t come with a domain

This is a minor issue, but…

Most web hosts offer free domain registration for all their shared plans.

Though admittedly, this domain registration usually only lasts for a year and then renews at cost.

Personally, I think purchasing a domain separately from your hosting package is a better idea any way.

That said, many people seek entry-level hosting plans solely for the value: low prices, and key features like free SSL and free domains included.

With BigScoots, the domain only comes in at the second and third shared tiers:

bigscoots-domain limit

If your bottom line values, BigScoots is already pushing it. It’s a great price for MANAGED shared hosting, but it’s still overall steep to start free domains at $8.95 a month.

Con #3: Non-shared plans can only be paid monthly

This is one of the bigger drawbacks.

While I praised the shared plans earlier for their diversity of pricing options, the shared plans are the only ones that get such praise.

I think it’s great that WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans on BigScoots can be paid monthly.

Small businesses that can’t afford to pay for higher-end plans for a year up-front?

Such businesses will appreciate the ability to pay on a monthly basis, even if it’s proportionally higher in the long run.

(Note: the reseller hosting plans are essentially the same as shared plans, but bigger, so they have more payment options).

But businesses that CAN afford the up-front cost? They won’t really be able to save, because the only options are monthly payments for WordPress, VPS, and dedicated plans.

Con #4: Not much information on website, little support information

In other words, BigScoots support is more or less just its support staff.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s support staff is great. They’re small, but that also means the quality of support is higher and as I’ve said, it’s usually pretty easy to get in contact.

And as BigScoots is only offering managed services, the amount of stuff you need a knowledge base for is limited.

And yet, with all that in mind, I still think there should be something for people to read up on themselves.

Other managed-only hosting services (like LiquidWeb) have detailed knowledge bases for those who would like to dive deeper.

There are a few big FAQs on the contact page and a few FAQs on the page for each type of hosting. But that’s it.

Also, many of those FAQs are answered shallowly anyway, with a lot of self-aggrandizement and little substance.

Let me show you a light-hearted example of this. Take a skim:

bigscoots-what is bigscoots

Instead of explaining what the brand name means—e.g., a combination of names, a play on words, an inside joke, etc—the answer simply talks about the company itself.

Even ASIDE from support material, there isn’t that much information on the website in general.

For example, I had to contact customer support to inquire about storage expansion, because there wasn’t anything on the site for it.

Con #5: In general: pricey if you can do it yourself

This isn’t a negative point particularly unique to BigScoots. This is a point I’d make in the cons list for ANY managed-only hosting platform.

Simply put, managed hosting services will just about always be more expensive than their regular counterparts.

And if you take that into account, BigScoots’ pricing is good.

But if you are looking at things purely from the perspective of value—what you get per price, BigScoots can come off as kind of expensive.

The only real exception is the shared hosting. The first tier or two have low storage limits but have other features that make them attractive combined with a low price.

Though again, getting managed shared hosting isn’t for everyone—most people get unmanaged shared hosting because it’s simpler to deal with by default anyway.

Do we recommend BigScoots?

There’s no easy answer to this one.

Distilled to one sentence, here’s where I stand on BigScoots:

It’s good if you want to be managed hosting in general, very good if you want managed shared hosting, but not very competitive if you want the discounts of the year or 2-year commitments.

At the end of the day, the major shortcomings come down to limited storage (though again, you can pay for more at just $1 per extra GB) and monthly pricing.

If you prefer paying monthly though, BigScoots is a great option. Its VPS and dedicated plans are solid, and its WordPress is particularly high powered.

And IF you want shared hosting to be managed, BigScoots provides probably the best value on that anywhere.

Overall, BigScoots isn’t for everyone, but to those people, it’s suited towards…it’s a definite hidden gem.

And if you’re still not sure if it’s for you, just try it!

bigscoots-money back

Happy hosting!

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