Choosing a website host is never easy, especially if you’re starting. There are so many companies to choose from! Should you go for a well-known name like GoDaddy or HostGator, or a less prominent company like today’s topic, HostPapa? HostPapa is based in Canada and invoices itself as a web host for small businesses. However, the reality is that shared hosting prices are low enough to be open to anyone who needs to build a website. This is our HostPapa review.
If you have selected one of the shared hosting plans, the first thing you will probably notice is the lack of a monthly billing option. Instead, you can choose between billing for just 12, 24, or 36 months, which seems unnecessarily inflexible.
On the positive side, all plans offer good value for money, and customers can choose from a few (not too specified) server locations: the US, Canada, and Europe. Besides, you can add a few add-ons labeled “website essentials” at a reasonably high price. Some of these add-ons may already be marked, but you can easily disable them all.
After this, you can choose a new domain name for free or move an existing one. To continue, you will need to provide HostPapa with some fairly regular personal information, select a payment method, and complete the purchase. All in all, it is a relatively simple process. All details about your order are displayed on the far right of the screen transparently, showing both individual and total costs, which are always clearly visible.
Since HostPapa does not support Windows hosting, you will use Linux-based cPanel, which is intuitive and easy to use even for the average user. From there, you can install WordPress in no time via Softaculous app installer, and the same goes for hundreds of popular apps like Joomla or PrestaShop.
HostPapa offers at least a basic version of its prominent drag-and-drop website builder with all his plans, but there is a catch. This product is only provided to users whose domains are registered with HostPapa. Therefore, if you already have a registered domain elsewhere, you need to move to HostPapa before using a website builder or signing up for a new hosting plan. Unfortunately, if you have multiple domain names on your account and you want to have a website builder with each of them, you will have to pay separately for each case of the website builder.
HostPapa Review: Performance
A repeated GTmetrix speed test of HostPapa’s main website gave us some reasons for concern. It took as much as 20.8 seconds to fully load the page compared to an average result of 8.0 seconds and 253 requests compared to an average of 88. Therefore, it is not surprising that GTmetrix decided to rate the website’s speed with a solid F (34%). The truth is that the test of GTmetrix on HostPapa’s website not only determines the speed of your future website, but it is also a step in a questionable direction.
An uptime test via UptimeRobot, which ran for over a month on the HostPapa website, didn’t show any sign of downtime and only offered a few significant fluctuations in response time. Given that HostPapa guarantees that their uptime will never drop below 99.9%, we can only confirm that.
HostPapa Review: Pricing and plans
HostPapa claims that its goal is to offer every customer a fully-cared-for hosting package at the lowest possible cost without compromising quality. All of the above should come together with top-class customer service and powered by renewable green energy. With this in mind, we expected budget-friendly prices, and that’s more or less what we got.
The shared hosting starter plan starts at $3.95 per month (although it costs $7.95 when renewed after the first three years), supports the hosting of up to two websites, and includes a free domain, starter website builder (two-page limit), 100GB of SSD storage and unmeasured bandwidth. This sounds like a pretty good value for money.
Although all customers have the right to cancel HostPapa’s services at any time, there is a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee. However, this only applies to shared and reseller web hosting plans, which seems a bit reductive. Regarding the payment method, HostPapa accepts credit/debit cards and PayPal.
HostPapa Review: Customer support
If you click on the Support button on the HostPapa landing page and then go to the Customer Care Center, you will be presented with a few (and certainly more than we usually see) self-help services that are well done. The knowledgebase contains remarkable 2539 articles and 74 different categories. As far as quality is concerned, as far as we can see, they are written in a very understandable, instructive, and helpful way, covering various possible questions, concerns, and problems.
Besides, HostPapa offers video tutorials, network status information, and options to write an email, submit a support ticket, open a live chat, or contact the support team by phone. Both chat and telephone support services are available 24/7.
HostPapa offers rather good packages and value for its price, particularly at the bottom. The downside is that you have to gamble for three years to get the best price, although this is not strange in the hosting world. It also doesn’t have the complete package. With providers like HostGator and BlueHost, you have more choices and more options. However, if you want to support one of the only independent hosting companies, HostPapa may be worth it.
HostPapa is an independent hosting provider that offers a fair amount of options with a handful of attractive features in its fairly affordable hosting plans. Along with first-class self-help support, this may sound like a perfect solution for small businesses, but its limits can drive others away.
- Eco-friendly approach
- Free domain registration even with the cheapest plan
- Free domain transfer and website migration
- Outstanding self-help options
- The starter plan supports hosting two websites.
- No free automated backups
- Add-ons can quickly drive up the price.
- No monthly billing for shared hosting plans
- No Windows hosting option