Review SummaryUpdated: July 12, 2020
- Free domain on shared hosting plans
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 customer support + Priority support available
- Range of useful hosting add-ons available
- Optimized server environments for Premium and WordPress plans
- Vague usage policy for 'Unlimited' resources
- VPS plans lack flexibility and configuration
- Questionable value with WordPress plans.
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
HostPapa’s shared web hosting plans provide an excellent solution for individuals or small businesses looking to get a simple website setup at an affordable price. Plans include all the staple features customers will want and need, including free domain registration, one-click app installs, Cloudflare CDN (freemium), Let’s Encrypt SSL, and 30-day money-back guarantee.
As the names suggest, HostPapa’s shared plans are best suited for customers just starting and business sites. All servers utilize Hard Disk Drives (HDD) enhanced with CacheCade Pro. This enhancement works by optimizing the drive to match the speeds you’d typically get from a Solid State Drive (SSD). SSD’s are superior to HDD in both speed and redundancy. While some hosts on the market utilize pure SSD’s, we’d have to appreciate the fact that HostPapa provides the next best thing.
Storage starts at 100GB on the Starter plan and scales to ‘Unlimited’ for the other two tiers. For most users looking to create the types of websites we mentioned previously, 100GB is a generous amount of storage and is more than what a lot of other competitors offer on entry-level plans. To give you an idea, the average blog or website that utilizes shared hosting can be anywhere from 5GB-10GB. This gives you more room for email storage, plugins, and high-quality media.
As for plans with ‘Unlimited’ storage, you will have much more flexibility to build your site content but keep in mind that you are limited to a certain extent. This sort of measure is standard practice across hosting companies and is primarily put in place to protect other sites on the shared environment and also so that customers can’t host streaming, downloading, or resource-heavy websites on the platform.
These rules are the same for all ‘unlimited’ resources HostPapa offers such as websites, email accounts, and MySQL Databases, and is outlined fully within HostPapas Usage Policy:
“We may restrict certain resources to prevent other customers’ websites on that server from being adversely affected. The vast majority of our customers’ sites grow at rates well within our rules, however, and will not be impacted. Typically, customers only experience issues if they use their accounts for storage (for example, large multimedia files) backup, computer backup, or file sharing.”
As for bandwidth, all plans are ‘unmetered’ and don’t limit the amount of visitor traffic your website can receive or how much content you can upload. This is quite standard across hosts and does fall under the same rules mentioned with ‘unlimited’ hosting.
A free subscription to Cloudflare’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) is also included in all plans. Cloudflare is a freemium service that’s quickly become a standard inclusion across web-hosting plans and can be added to any site, regardless of hosts. In short, the platform optimizes the way your site is delivered to users and also provides some security features.
Speaking of performance, the Business Pro plan uses a separate server environment to those on the Starter and Business plans. In short, better performance is achieved through the fact fewer sites are hosted on the Business Pro servers. This allows more resources to be readily available per account to ensure a stable and secure hosting environment.
For businesses that depend more on the integrity and performance of their website, This is a great feature that isn’t obviously highlighted on their pricing page and is only offered by a handful of hosts.
Moreover, Business Pro also comes with all features that are usually paid extras. Including Domain Privacy protection, a premium wildcard SSL, automated site backups, and Sitelock detect. These features can be considered essential for business or eCommerce websites and add up to $55 per year of included value.
Offering new customers up to 70% discounts on shared hosting, HostPapa provides one of the cheapest price points on the market. In terms of renewal prices, the rates are decent as well, sitting at the median industry price for similar hosting services.
Customers should know, there is one caveat with HostPapa’s discount pricing. In that, they’re only applicable with 36-month term payments. Outside of this, plans are priced at their regular rates, without discount. While this may seem shady, it’s common practice in the hosting industry as a way to draw in new customers.
For all customers utilizing shared hosting, customer support should be an essential part of your consideration. HostPapa offers one of the leading support systems in the industry. Firstly, they check all the boxes in terms of support channels – providing support tickets, 24/7 live chat, and 24/7 phone support—each with a lower than usual wait time and available in multiple languages.
What’s more, HostPapa also provides free website migrations across all plans and a complimentary 30-minute onboarding session that’s optional for users. These are a great time and money-saving features that will ensure you’re happy with your hosting. The 30-minute training session is particularly significant and isn’t offered by most hosts. Once again, if you’re unhappy with your service, HostPapa 30-day money-back guarantee also provides peace of mind for new users.
Those new to creating a website may also appreciate HostPapas custom website builder, which comes included on all plans. With the tool, Starter and Business plans are limited to creating two pages. While this isn’t useful for those looking to create a blog, it can be a time saver for those looking to develop a professional portfolio or business homepage. You can also increase your limit to 1,000 pages for $9.99/month, which is also the included limit on the Business Pro plan.
Overall, the website builder is a great starting point for new customers and is relatively easy to use. However, if you’re already used to other website builders platforms like Shopify, Squarespace or Wix, you may find this HostPapas UI to feel out-dated and slightly more complex.
Overall, HostPapa’s shared web hosting service options are competitive to most others on the market and provide a range of excellent features useful to both beginners and businesses. Plans come at affordable prices, with an attractive first term discount making them easily one of the best value for money options on the market. Furthermore, with one of the best customer support services available, we can’t find a solid reason not to recommend HostPapa for your shared hosting solution.
WordPress Hosting Review
Best for: Blogs and eCommerce sites
HostPapa’s WordPress hosting plans offer an affordable, easy setup solution for both new users and those looking to migrate over. For the most part, the plans come with a lot of the same features found on their shared hosting plans, such as free SSL, free domain, and ‘Unlimited’ resources on business plans. Like shared, premium plans offer more allocated resources and even a separate shared server environment for WP Business Pro customers.
As we mentioned in our shared hosting review, the Starter plans 100GB storage is one of the largest offerings you’ll find for entry-level hosting and gives you enough space to build out a large blog or decently sized eCommerce store. Do expect to upgrade plans once you see some consistent monthly traffic.
Moreover, you’ll want to be aware of HostPapa’s ‘Unlimited’ usage policy, especially for those looking to start an eCommerce site. Your site may not be supported if it utilizes a high number of databases or storage, to the point where they impact server performance. Unfortunately, HostPapa’s terms are slightly vague with the ‘Unlimited’ resources. While they don’t outline any specific inode, database, or storage limitations, you can expect there will be a certain level at which your site will be expected to upgrade if resource limits were reached.
Where HostPapa’s WordPress plans differ from Shared is that WordPress and JetPack will now come pre-installed with your website. Compared to most providers on the market, this is the standard level of WordPress hosting customers will find. While it’s a great starting point for most basic sites, if you’re looking for a premium solution, other providers can provide better server and site performance for WordPress.
With HostPapa, the best features of each plan are provided by the Jetpack plugin. It comes with a host of performance, security, and marketing tools to help optimize your site. Some of its most notable features include CDN hosting for site media, WordPress themes, and automated site backups (Business Pro only).
Enhanced server security is also a bonus you’ll get with Jetpack, with the free version, including DDoS protection, which is great added security on top of HostPapa’s included server firewalls and automatic malware detection software.
One downside of HostPapa’s offering is that the Starter and Business plans only include the free version of JetPack. While still useful, some hosts at least provide the basic license (Jetpack Personal / $39 per year), which comes with many more features that Businesses will want to utilize.
Other than Jetpack, HostPapa also offers free Cloudflare CDN across all plans. With it, you can essentially have your site running across two CDN networks, providing increased reliability, security and redundancy. Again, however, this is a Freemium add-on, so expect to pay at least $20/mo for a premium license.
Price-wise, HostPapa’s WP plans are identical to their shared web hosting plans and sit at the median industry price for this type of hosting. While the Starter and Business plans provide a cheap solution for most, prices could quickly add up were you to purchase premium subscriptions. That being said, HostPapa does offer more value over some competitors when it comes to their free domain and site migration, which other hosts make you pay for. 30-day money-back guarantees are standard across the industry.
Where customers can find the most value for money, however, is through the WP Business Pro plan. Considering you’ll get the $99 JetPack Licence included as part of your hosting, plus all the performance benefits of HostPapa’s isolated business pro servers, it ends up providing a robust solution, suitable for most businesses.
Overall, HostPapa’s WordPress plans are quite basic and are nearly identical to the shared web hosting plans. As we mentioned, the most value can be found through the Business Pro plan, offering ideal performance for WordPress sites. We can only see those inexperienced with setting up a WordPress finding the first two plans useful, as they essentially provide two site software pre-installed.
VPS Hosting Review
Best for: High Traffic and Fast Growing sites
HostPapa’s VPS hosting provides a scalable, enterprise-grade, on-demand hosting with server provision in only minutes. Like most hosts, HostPapa offers three levels of management to suit your business needs, from self-managed to fully.
While the plans provide a good solution for those running high-traffic eCommerce sites or blogs, customers requiring custom server setups will find the level of configurations offered to be less flexible than most.
To start, all servers run on Linux and provide no alternative OS and control panel options, other than cPanel. With HostPapa, resources are also initially locked across their five packages, with additional CPU or memory available for purchase after signup. At checkout, you will be able to upgrade your cPanel license and select a few add-ons. However, that’s about the extent to which you’ll be able to configure plans across all management levels.
This is one downside customers may find with HostPapa’s VPS solutions as, with many hosts, you’re typically given the ability to configure everything from server resources, nameservers, and OS freely at checkout. What’s more, there’s no choice of data center or additional dedicated IP’s (two included on all plans) on signup either.
For Resellers, WHM does come pre-installed, and domains can be purchased at wholesale prices, which is a bonus. What’s more, if you’re already on a Reseller plan with HostPapa, your WHMCs license will carry over.
In terms of available resources, HostPapa’s entry-level plan, Mercury, comes with double the typical CPU, RAM, and Disk Space you’ll find with most competitors. However, it’s also double the price. Across the higher level tiers, HostPapa’s price for included resources starts to median out compared to the rest of the industry. If you’re looking at an unmanaged solution, HostPapa’s pricing is quite fair in comparison to the rest of the market, although not the cheapest.
One feature we’d like to have seen included with the plans is auto-scaling, which is offered by some hosts. While HostPapa will notify you when you’re about to reach any resource limits, your site will either reduce in performance or become temporarily suspended if you happen to spike in bandwidth or CPU usage due to an influx in traffic. Which, for businesses that rely on consistent performance during these times, is less than ideal.
Server Management and Support
Speaking of management, customers can expect industry-standard options and inclusions with HostPapa’s VPS plans. With self-managed, only customers who are comfortable with installing a control panel, or operating their server without one, should consider this option. Providing no migration or expert support one these plans, and no mention of whether their purchasable services (which some hosts do offer).
On the other hand, the managed and fully-managed options provide a varying level of support, at $29 and $129 per month, respectively. Whilst these options will hike up the price of your monthly hosting bill, they’re a convenient solution for those who are inexperienced or time-poor when it comes to server management, and can afford the price. In fact, the fully-managed plan essentially provides a dedicated team of admins for your server and is a level of management not all hosts offer. Some of the key tasks performed with fully-managed servers are; full site and server setup and optimization, full database management, and security monitoring.
As for customer support, you can expect all the same 24/7 support channels HostPapa provides across their range of products.
Overall, HostPapa provides a fairly priced solution that can ideally accommodate high-traffic shops and blogs, or resellers. They provide an efficient solution for existing customers looking to scale their sites, however, do little to entice new customers over other hosts, with the biggest downside being limited configuration options on signup.
HostPapa Server Performance
To test HostPapa’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on HostPapa’s shared server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Hostpapa website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
HostPapa measures up pretty well when it comes to security, with the sole exception of its WordPress plans not having backup options across the board. With customers having to pay for a premium Jetpack subscription to obtain consistent backup support.
Otherwise, the shared hosting plans and other services come with typical hosting security measures like antispam protection and server firewalls. These will protect your websites from a majority of digital threats and malware attacks, although monitoring and intrusion detection features are limited depending on the service type you choose and your subscription plan.
The WordPress firewalls are particularly excellent and a great value booster. WordPress sites have unique security needs, so we’d always recommend finding hosting providers who take this into account if they offer a WordPress hosting package.
For some service types, only the higher tiers of subscription have truly excellent security, which is a significant flaw in our eyes. We’re talking about features like a dedicated IP address and domain privacy protection. Some other hosting providers offer better server security across the board without requiring higher subscription payments.
Like a majority of other web-hosting providers, HostPapa also provides free SSL certification across all of its plans and options. We’re glad to see that this staple feature appears to be heading to ubiquity across hosting service providers.
Customer Support Review
For all customers, HostPapa provides 24/7 customers via email, live chat, phone, and fax. While wait times can vary for email and phone, we’d have to commend HostPapa on the immediacy of their Live Chat platform, which consistently connected us with a support agent within seconds.
Another aspect international customers will appreciate is that HostPapa provides multilingual support for most of their support services. This is rare to see among other hosting providers, with phone support available in 18 different countries in four languages: English, French, Spanish, and German.
Furthermore, HostPapa provides all of its users with access to a dedicated knowledgebase. This even has auto-translation features to serve multiple languages. These include video tutorials and written tutorials to help you navigate their customized control panels and any other functions for your hosting solution. The video tutorials are particularly nice, as they are usually only a couple of minutes long and are accompanied by streamlined graphics to help illustrate their points quickly and succinctly.
Finally, HostPapa has a specific customer support team called the “Papa Squad Experts.” These experts are well trained in practically any area you can imagine and are great if you run into technical difficulties or can’t get a part of your hosting service to work properly. They are usually easy to contact as well, although they are limited in number, so you might have to wait for up to an hour if you try to contact them during a high-traffic time frame.
Overall, we’d have to say HostPapa provides one of the most inclusive customer support departments on the market, providing 24/7 customer support through various channels and languages.
HostPapa offer ticketed support, which can be accessed via the Client Dashboard.
HostPapa offers expert live chat support 24/7/365
Tutorials & Guides
HostPapa offers a rich knowledge base and blog full of information.
Hostpapa offer free website migration from any provider.
HostPapa has support lines for multiple countries world wide.
HostPapa does not offer technical customer support via phone.
HostPapa does not have a dedicated community forum for customer support and troubleshooting.
Hostpapa does not offer a seperate premium or paid technical support channel.
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