HostPapa Review 2019: Which is CHEAP but high renewal fees and lack of speed

What is HostPapa?

HostPapa hosts over 500,000 websites on their data centers in the US and Canada.That’s impressive considering they’ve only been around since 2006 (founded by Jamie Opalchuck).

One potential explanation for their meteoric rise could be their various customer services options, offering phone support in a few different languages including English, French, Spanish and German to both domestic and international clients.

High value, low costs, full features are the 3 main things you should be getting from them.

HostPapa Services

  • Website Builder
  • Domains
  • Shared Hosting
  • WordPress Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Reseller Hosting

HostPapa Shared Hosting Plans

Features Starter Business Business Pro
Website Hosted 2 Unlimited Unlimited
Disk Storage 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Data Transfer Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
HostPapa Website Builder Starter Edition Starter Edition Unlimited Edition
CDN      
Premium Servers      
Wildcard SSL + $69.99/year + $69.99/year Free
Signup Price* $3.36/mo $3.36/mo $11.01/mo
Renewal Price $7.99/mo $12.99/mo $19.99/mo

HostPapa Exclusive Discounted Price vs Normal Price

  Starter Business Business Pro
Disk Space 100GB Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Domains 2 Unlimited Unlimited
SSL Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
SSD or HDD used in servers HDD (SSD Caching) HDD (SSD Caching) HDD (SSD Caching)
Anti-DDoS Included Included Included
Anti-Malware No No Included
Email Accounts 100 Unlimited Unlimited
FTP Accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Website Builder HostPapa Website Builder HostPapa Website Builder HostPapa Website Builder
Website Templates 120 120 120
Assisted Website Transfer Free Free Free
cPanel Included Included Included
Auto-Installer Softaculous Softaculous Softaculous
Auto-Installer Scripts 400+ 400+ 400+
Money Back Guarantee 30 Days 30 Days 30 Days
Customer Support Options Phone, Live Chat, Ticket, Knowledgebase Phone, Live Chat, Ticket, Knowledgebase Phone, Live Chat, Ticket, Knowledgebase
Choice of Server Location No – USA Only No – USA Only No – USA Only
Free Automated Backups 1GB $35.88 per year 1GB $35.88 per year 1GB free

As you can see from above, there aren’t many differences between the three plans. The only difference between the Business and Business Pro plans, for instance, is that the latter comes with 1GB of free automated backups, while the former does not.

In terms of the entry-level plan, Starter, you get 100GB of disk space and just 2 domains to play with, compared to both options being unlimited with the Business and Business Pro plans.

However, with the Business Pro plan, you automatically get SiteLock Security and a WildCard SSL Certificate pre-installed. This is really cool but I don’t think it’s worth the big price increase over the standard Business plan.

HostPapa’s Features

HostPapa’s basic web hosting plan, Starter, uses a mix of standard features you’ll find anywhere, as well as a few surprises. First off, its lowest tier price allows you to host up to two websites on your account. That is unusual since most web hosts only allow a single website on its most basic plan.

The Starter package also has what the company calls “Essential Features”, which include free website transfer, Cloudflare CDN, one-on-one training, free SSL via Let’s Encrypt, cPanel Control Panel, Starter Website Builder, 24/7 support, and a 30-day money back guarantee.

HostPapa also offers a free domain when you pay for a full year of web hosting. This feature is often hit or miss. Some web hosts offer it, and some don’t. What’s key is that HostPapa does, and there don’t seem to be any hidden fees for that free domain as there are with other hosts.

The Starter package allows for 100GB of disk space for your websites, which is a good amount of storage. It’s not the unlimited amounts that InMotion offers, but it’s as good or better than some of the bigger hosting companies.

HostPapa also offers unlimited bandwidth, though you can be penalized for excessive use, which is also not uncommon. As HostPapa describes it, the company’s policy is to deliver all the hardware resources a typical website needs, even at times of increased traffic, without costing you extra. Seems reasonable.

If your site does get insanely large, HostPapa will eventually put constraints on your site performance so as not to impact other customers. Still, you’d have to get pretty big before worrying about that.

Is HostPapa Easy to Use?

HostPapa does not offer month-to-month billing, and the company declined to provide us with a trial account to check out its interface. We can quickly talk about the service’s basic checkout process, which is fairly simple.

For the Starter plan, you begin by choosing your plan and time commitment, which makes clear the cost you’ll be paying. Below that, however, are two high-priced add-ons labeled as “website essentials”, both priced at $20 per year. The first is the the SiteLock Security Seal, which is just another way of saying SiteLock protection plus a nice icon for you site. The second is automated backup.

Both are optional, but HostPapa doesn’t make this obvious since there are no check boxes. Instead, it uses check mark icons, which transform to red cancel “X” icons when you hover over them with your mouse. There’s also a sidebar on the right-hand side that shows your order total where you can also cancel these add-ons.

Next, you get to the domain name sign-up section where you can pay for domain privacy, which shields your personal information from WHOIS domain databases.

After that you have to supply our personal and payment information. Overall, a relatively easy process, but it could be a little more obvious about how you cancel the initial high-priced add-ons.

Customer Support

HostPapa’s support starts with its Knowledge Base, which is a series of support articles organized by topic. This is the best place to start when you have some basic questions about how to get started with a new product or add-on you’ve purchased.

If you search for HostPapa forums, you’ll find a page that is supposed to host a community forum where fellow customers answer each others’ questions. However, there is currently little to no content at all on the forum page.

Pricing & Value for Money

HostPapa’s pricing for shared web hosting ranges from $3.95 per month with a three-year commitment up to $20 per month for the Pro plan without a special offer price.

If you opt for the dedicated WordPress Hosting plan that offers better performance and specialized support for WordPress blogs, you can pay the same $3.95 per month with a 3-year commitment to $22 per month for the Pro level.

If you’re interested in VPS hosting, there are 5 different pricing tiers ranging from $50 to $300 per month.

Conclusion: Is HostPapa Right for You?

HostPapa offers pretty good packages and value for its price, especially at the lower ends. The drawback is that you have to commit to three years to get the best price, though that is not uncommon in the hosting world.

It doesn’t have the most comprehensive package either. With providers like HostGator and BlueHost, you have more choice and more features. However, if you want to support one of the only independent hosting companies out there, HostPapa could be worth a shot.

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