Web Hosting Review: HostPapa 2018

I have been using HostPapa for a couple of months. Very few web hosting review sites are actually giving a big thumb-up to HostPapa. It took me a while to decide to go for it. But I am pleasantly surprised by the flexibility and usability of it. Not the best, cheapest, nor the turbo-fastest on earth, but I actually don't think it's too bad.

Web Hosting Review: HostPapa

Pricing

On the face of it, $3.95 per month seems very reasonable - but not the cheapest - comparing to other popular web hosting companies such as HostGator and Bluehost. But like so many others, the lowest price offer is based on 36 months contract.

Starter Plan May Be Sufficient

HostPapa offers 'introductory' discounts; 51% off on Starter Plan and 70% off on Business Plan, making both plans the same pricing structures. So there's no reason why you shouldn't chose Business Plan. Having said that, the main difference between Starter Plan and Business Plan is;

  • Starter Plan - up to 2 websites / Business Plan - unlimited number of websites
  • Starter Plan - 100Gb disk space / Business Plan - unlimited disk space

So if you don't intend to own more than 2 websites, the Starter plan will be good enough. Unless you have an existing site with a really huge amount of data to transfer to HostPapa - 100 Gigabyte disk space is more than sufficient for a normal blog site.

Starter Plan + Business Plan

12 mths

$5.95 x 12 = 

$71.40

24 mths

$4.95 x 24 = 

$118.80

36 mths

$3.95 x 36 = 

$142.20

Optional

SiteLock security seal = $19.95 per year

Optional

Automated website backup = $19.95 per year

The both plans include free SSL certificate (https). Considering https is becoming the standard, I think it's very fair (while I still see many other hosting companies charge extra for it!)

Higher Renewal Rate

Bad news is, the renewal price will be higher because the discount only applies to new customers. It's best to shop around before the renewal date and go elsewhere, or try negotiating the price with the sales support and see what they say!

Business Pro Plan

Business Pro plan offers a server with fewer accounts, i.e. your site will be sharing a server with less number of other websites, so it's faster, so it says. I haven't tried it myself therefore cannot comment how much faster, but here's the 'Pro' price plan.

Business Pro Plan

12 mths

$17.95 x 12 = 

$215.40

24 mths

$15.95 x 24 = 

$382.80

36 mths

$12.95 x 36 = 

$466.20

Included

SiteLock security seal

Included

Automated website backup

Included

'Wildcard' SSL certificate

Refund Policy

HostPapa offers a 30-day money back guarantee but does not offer a partial refund after 30 days of usage. If you've paid for any of the plan and changed your mind after 30 days, you won't get any of your money back. I don't know any other web hosting companies who offer refunds on pro rata basis, perhaps it's fair enough as a standard policy.

Getting Started

Domain - Don't Buy It

You can either transfer your existing domain or buy a domain via HostPapa. If you're starting a brand new site, I'd recommend you to buy a domain from elsewhere like Namecheap or GoDaddy, who offer WhoIs protection (domain privacy) for free. HostPapa charges $10 for it, that's too much.

WordPress Ready

WordPress Plugins

Once you've paid HostPapa for the hosting service, you'll receive 2 x separate login ID's and passwords. One for your account (incl. profile, cPanel, billing info and support), the other one for your WordPress admin. So you'll have an instant access to WordPress and be able to start building your site immediately. Some plugins are already installed, which you might find useful;

  • Akismet (anti spam comment - essential)
  • Elementor (visual editor - useful, though I prefer Thrive Architect)
  • Hello Dolly (nothing useful - delete it!)
  • WP Super Cache (essential to maintain the site speed) 
  • WPForms Lite (useful if you want a contact form in your site)

Control Panel

HostPapa cPanel

It's a standard web hosting cPanel, but really easy to navigate. If you are a Joomla user or Drupal user, you can install it from here and overwrite WordPress. There are also e-commerce apps; AbanteCart, PrestaShop and OpenCart (never heard of any of them - sorry)

Other main features in the cPanel include:

  • Files: View directly and transfer files in and out of webspace, FTP accounts, take a full backup.
  • Databases: php admin, MySQL databases.
  • Domains: Addon domains, subdomains, aliases, redirects.
  • Email: Forwarder, router, filters and spam filters, autoresponder (as in sending response while you're away), calendars and contacts.
  • Metrics: analysis such as bandwidth, visitors, CPU and concurrent connection usage, check errors.
  • Security: IP blocker, SSL/TLS, hotlink protection that prevents other websites from directly linking to files in your site.

99.9% Uptime...?

HostPapa promises 99.9% uptime, so do many other web hosting providers, but it means your website can be down for 43 minutes every month on average, that doesn't seem good enough. But anyway here's what I found from Uptime Robot

Uptime

I have actually never encountered a downtime moment myself in the past 2 months, so HostPapa seems to provide a pretty stable service as far as my experience is concerned.

The Speed

I was happy with Bluehost for many years (and I am still confident that it provides great service for the price it offers - take a look.) HostPapa was recommended to me by someone I know, who thinks his site speed has improved since he switched from Bluehost to HostPapa. He thinks the service is a little more reliable. 

Pingdom Results

Pingdom Results

My thoughts? Hard to say. I haven't seen a dramatic difference since I switched to HostPapa. In fact I can't see any difference. It's fast enough. 

GTmetrix Results

GTmetrix Results

Pingdom and GTmetrix obviously show different results at different times, from different locations. A loading speed varies from page to page, and how well it's optimised is a major factor anyway. GTmetrix shows that the server elements ('Leverage Browser Caching', 'Specify A Cache Validator', 'Enable Gzip Compression', 'Enable Keep-Alive', 'Specify a Vary: Accept-Encoding header') show score A's, so perhaps it's good enough.

I've also tested TTFB (Time To First Byte) every now and again but like any other shared server hosting services, the result varies. Do these two results below mean anything to me? Not, really!

ByteCheck Results

ByteCheck Results

Upsells ("Website Essentials")

There are two optional features, SiteLock Security and Automated Website Backup, sold for $19.95 each per year.

SiteLock Security

I'm not a fan of SiteLock services. Website security issues cannot be underestimated but firstly, paying a little extra will defeat the purpose of going for a cheap web hosting.

Many hosting companies generally charge an optional fee "to protect from malware, hacking" etc, but they actually do very little work. All they do is to run a quick daily scan over your site, but it does not guarantee to detect malware. If your site was infected or hacked, it would be your own responsibility to fix it, which would cost you like $200 or more.

HostPapa support has also confirmed to me that all they do is to scan up to 25 pages daily. They won't scan your 26th page and beyond. So don't waste your money while your website is small to medium sized. Take a backup of your site periodically in case something goes terribly wrong. If the worst comes to the worst, then you can restore the entire website or get a professional help.

Automated Website Backup

Full Backup from cPanel

This is a handy option and it's up to you to decide whether to pay $19.95 per year to have your website automatically backed up daily by HostPapa. Personally I wouldn't. It will only save your website at a set time of day and if restored, any changes you've made during the rest of the day will be lost. Taking a backup again is your responsibility - you want to make sure you have the latest version in your hands.

You can easily take a backup from your cPanel - fully or partially - including MySQL database and email forwarders. Do this periodically, daily if you can, and you won't have to pay extra to have it done.

Help and Support

The knowledge Base contains over 2,700+ articles with a search box, but I find somewhat hard to find what I'm looking for. There's also a live chat and email support available 24/7. If you have a question that can't find the answer in the knowledge base, I'd suggest that you go on live chat. A support agent is always available and I've never had to wait for more than a minute.

Sending a support ticket (email support) I'd say should be the last solution because depending on the time of day, it takes 1-6 hours for them to respond. When I had a problem with my login, we exchanged our messages several times to clarify a few things and it took 24 hours for them to solve the issue.

HostPapa - Pro's and Con's

Pro's

  • Easy to navigate control panel for newbies
  • WordPress ready
  • check
    Free SSL certificate
  • Uptime - satisfactory
  • check
    Speed - cannot complain

Con's

  • Renewal price will be higher
  • Support ticket response can be slow
  • Some complain about lack of customer support, though I'm pretty happy so far.
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Ray Alexander

Hi! I’m Ray. Over the past 15+ years I have been involved with web designing, programming and online marketing. I work from home and have a passion for exploring new tools, services and programs in order to make money online. I’m here to help you succeed in building a profitable business by sharing my experiences. Any question, don’t hesitate to ask!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Hitesh

Thank you for a valuable information. HostPapa sounds like a legitimate and useful web hosting company. I will keep it in mind. I am not looking to own a website just yet but I would like to sell my hand made pots on line. I need some help in the future.
Thank you.

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Hi Hitesh, thanks for your comment. Sounds very interesting that you’re looking to sell hand made pots? If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact me any time. Whenever you’re ready I’ll give you a hand to get started. HostPapa is reasonably trustworthy, I can recommend it to you.

    Reply
DD

I thought you were using siterubix since you promote Wealthy Affiliate, why are you using Host papa, have you changed your mind…….?

If so please tell me the reason because I’m not so happy with siterubix in terms of speed and support. I have been looking for other hosting companies but not looking to pay more than I pay now. Thanks for your help in advance.

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Hi, thanks for your comment. Yes I am using SiteRubix as well as HostPapa. HostPapa is (1) cheaper and (2) versatile, for example for users who wish to use different CMS e.g. Joomla! whereas SiteRubix is a WordPress-only web hosting.

    SiteRubix on the other hand offers an ultimate security system plus spam blocker. Means the users never have to worry about their websites being hacked, and they don’t have to have a comment spam-shield plugin installed, that’s a big advantage.

    Both SiteRubix and HostPapa offer shared server hosting (though HostPapa can offer a dedicated server that’s much more expensive), so they cannot promise a turbo speed. If you are happy to pay $49 per month to SiteRubix including all the training and updates, then I still think it’s the most value-for-money option. I wouldn’t recommend you to change it to HostPapa. Any more questions please don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks!

    Reply
Liu Wei

Your post is very intriguing, Ray. Can I access to Host Papa and my website from my cellphone? Reason being I am likely to publish my blog from my phone during daytime. Not from my PC. I am planning to write subjects, not much about photographs. If I can use my phone, I will like to take Host Papa. Thank you. Liu Wei

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Hi Liu Wei, yes you can access the control panel as well as WordPress admin using your phone. Let me know if you need some help. Thanks for leaving a comment!

    Reply
spiderman

What I don’t like about web hosting companies is they keep changing the prices. I was keen on going for Bluehost offering $2.95 per month. The next day I decided to pay for it with my credit card ready. It had gone up to $3.95. Hostpapa did the same to me. I paid for $3.95 for 3 years, then a week later found it offered for less than $3. I felt I had been robbed. SiteGround seems to be good because they are offering $3.95 only for 12 month.

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Hi, thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes it’s tricky to find the cheapest web hosting services, as they all offer seasonal discounts. I try to keep an eye out for these companies and when a good deal is out I spread it across the social media. I believe SiteGround is another reputable one too. Thanks for your comment!

    Reply
Shakaw

I’ve never heard of Hostpapa. You are right not many reviewers seem to approve their service. Sounds like the staff are not so helpful? I’ll keep an eye out. Thank you for that.

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Thanks for your comment Shakaw, perhaps as you say, it’s hit & miss, but as far as I’m concerned, they have been helpful so far!

    Reply
Chris Waters

I have been using Hostpapa for over a year now, I’m pretty happy but I only have 2 x websites with 3-4 page sales funnels. .tech and .online suffix. Cheapest option, really. I didn’t buy a security addons because if anything happens I’m always prepared to delete the entire site and start all over again. Not using SSL either. For users like me it’s perfect. I also used Hostgator in the past but experienced too much downtime too often. Definitely this one’s better.

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Hi Chris, thanks for sharing your experiences. I too, personally had a bad experience with Hostgator in the past but again it seems to have improved the service quality since. It seems like a great idea to use a cheap but fairly reliable web hosting service to build a simple sales funnel which is easily replaceable, whereas if you have a blog site with 100’s of pages, definitely a good site security will be needed. Thanks for your comment!

    Reply
Sakiyama

My opinion is that everything is good. But, the first time when I made my account, there was something wrong and I could not log in for a long time. Support helped me but there was no luck. Support helped me again but, I could not log in. I am happy with Hostpapa. But my opinion is that it’s good most of the time, but once there is a problem it’s difficult to support to help.

Reply
    Ray Alexander

    Thank you for sharing your experience, and sorry to hear that it took you a while to get your HostPapa account sorted. I have been in touch with several of its support agents and they seem to be fairly helpful (one was abrupt but still helpful!). So perhaps it’s hit and miss. I hope all is going well with your future experience with them. If you need some help from me please don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks for your input, I appreciate it!

    Reply
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