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EarthLink Overview

EarthLink is one of the biggest names on the Internet. One of the earliest Web service providers, EarthLink has undergone a lot of changes since its start as a dialup service, finding new niches to fill and catering to the interests of a vastly changed Web from the one they helped build.
Going to their website, a person would have no idea that they were not a recently started company, which is a good thing. EarthLink looks modern, sleek and utilitarian. While it’s not exactly clear where the plans are or what they’re offering at first glance, a little looking around makes it pretty easy to see what can be expected from EarthLink.


Ease of Use

Using the hosting is pretty simple in the most direct of fashions. That is to say, it uses a standard interface for customers to access their account through a Web page and has FTP access for those who prefer the speed and simplicity that it entails. The website, as mentioned above, is a bit confusing at first since the company offers both standard hosting and hosting coupled with Web design and management services. Perhaps the biggest drawback here is that the website prominently features the three-month introductory pricing and follows with the standard price in small print underneath. It’s not exactly “hidden”, and the prices aren’t very bad, but the use of this on the website makes it easy to be confused.


Like many hosting companies, EarthLink includes (with its bottom two plans), a site creation wizard that helps people who may not understand how to create a website for their business. It’s largely template based and comes with a number of high-quality designs. This isn’t offered with the top level plan, but that’s likely because it’s specifically for e-commerce, and that can be incredibly complex to design templates and standardized websites for. While it would behoove Earthlink to work on a solution for this, it’s understandable that they would keep the e-commerce web building in their own design department for individual customers. Perhaps most useful, though, is the suite of marketing tools including custom HTML-rich email newsletter service for a certain number of people based on the plan purchased. There are SEO tools, social media managers, survey-makers and quite a few other things. This almost makes their hosting worth the price alone.

Customer Support

Support through EarthLink is absolutely key to the company’s image, and they have developed quite a system. It’s somewhat surprising, actually, that more companies haven’t used what is basically a stripped down concept of support and just provided the most versatile options rather than all of them or not enough. There are three support options available through EarthLink. All are 24/7 for existing customers only, which makes sense since it can keep support staffed around the clock, but save money on sales. First, there is a chat service through their website that is easy to access and always staffed.

Beyond that, there are two phone options: one where the customer calls them and one where the customer can request a phone call. The latter cuts down on hold time during high volume parts of the day, while still giving customers a chance to call themselves should they feel the need. Additional service options like a forum or email support is just superfluous compared to this combination. The support agents are friendly and helpful and professional.


There are packages that include Web design services, but as far as hosting goes, there are three available plans: Website Plus, Business Website Plus, and E-Commerce Website Plus.

1. Website Plus – The most basic plan, it has an introductory price of $12.47 a month for the first three months, then $24.95 thereafter. That includes 200 GB of storage, 2000 GB of bandwidth, unlimited FTP accounts and 25 MySQL databases. It also comes with access to the website builder and the marketing tools as well as 100 email addresses and 3 GB of storage for each.

2. Business Website Plus – This plan starts at $17.47 a month and jumps to $34.95 after three months. It comes with 300 GB of storage and 3000 GB of bandwidth a month as well as 50 MySQL databases and one SQL database up to 100 MB. It also includes 200 email addresses.

3. E-Commerce Website Plus – This plan starts at $42.47 a month and ends at $84.95 after three. This is the level that the builder is no longer available to use, but they make up for it with 100 email addresses, 500 GB storage, 5000 GB bandwidth and support for 50 domain names.

The Good

There are strong offerings here, both in terms of what you get and can do.

EarthLink also offers strong, multi-faceted customer support

The Bad

There aren’t any real discount plans with fewer services.

And The Ugly

The introductory pricing is misleading in how it’s presented.



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