HostMonster is yet another web hosting company which is part of the large EIG (Endurance International Group) brand. If you were to compare this company with another one from the same portfolio, you would find that it mostly resembles BlueHost in many aspects. There are however some main differences as you’ll see in this review. Without further ado, let’s delve into the hosting packages they offer.
Table of Content
- HostMonster Hosting Plans
- Website Throttling – Is It a Myth?
- The Bad Side of HostMonster
- The Good Side of HostMonster
- Should You Go With HostMonster?
- Basic plan – as the name suggests, this plan offers the most basic features of their shared hosting servers at $4.95 per month and comes packed with 50GB of storage, unlimited monthly bandwidth and support for 5 email accounts and 25 subdomains.
- Plus plan – this plan builds on the previous and comprises support for up to 10 websites, 150 GB of storage, unlimited monthly bandwidth, 100 email addresses and 50 subdomains for $6.95 per month.
- Pro plan – for only $14.95 per month, this plan supports unlimited websites, storage, email accounts, subdomains and bandwidth.
These prices, however, only apply if you commit to at least 3 years worth of web hosting. Anything below that has significantly bigger price tags.
Unfortunately, no. While HostMonster claim to offer unlimited monthly bandwidth per month with any shared hosting plan, it is not really unlimited. The correct terminology is, in fact, “unmetered”. If you are found to use resources excessively, they will reduce the allotted resources by a significant margin. It’s not HostMonster-specific though – many web hosting providers resort to such misleading tactics.
VPS and Dedicated Hosting
If shared hosting does not appeal much to you, the folks at HostMonster have also got VPS and Dedicated Hosting plans in the box. The most basic VPS plan starts at only $29.99 per month, whereas for Dedicated Hosting, it starts at $149.99 per month. Both hosting solutions are highly customizable, scalable to your specific needs. Do expect to take some money out of your pocket for the benefit. It is worth the sacrifice though, as they offer more independency, reliability and security to your website – more than shared servers could ever do.
Unfortunately, there are many downsides to using HostMonster, so a special review section must be created with respect to them. Let’s delve into them.
- Mediocre Customer Support
I’ve personally found that HostMonster’s customer support is, in fact, not that helpful at all. They do offer an extensive amount of information in their knowledgebase and community forum, but the customer reps are not that committed to fixing your problems at all. When I inquired about the common “CPU throttling” issue that, unfortunately, was imposed to my site as well, they could not tell me anything except from “We’ll look into it.”. They obviously do not wish to fix this particular issue and would like to postpone it as much as they can.
- VPS Equals … Shared Servers?
HostMonster have a pretty negatively-surprising claim: VPS plans have the same features as Shared Hosting plans do which implicitly means that the only benefit to upgrading to a VPS plan is the fact the servers are less crowded than shared servers are. They do claim to offer “more” CPU, memory and space resources, but how much specifically that is, it’s not clear.
On top of that, if you don’t happen to have a small business based in the USA, they won’t be able to provide you great services. It’s something they personally admit according to their Terms and Services. Essentially, that’s a big middle finger to international clients.
- Unmentioned Resource Limitations
We’ve partly covered this before with respect to the “CPU throttling” tactic, but apparently there are a lot more limitations in store for you, namely storage, disk space and even monthly bandwidth limitations. These are not mentioned beforehand, so clearly there’s a lot of transparency concerns to look at before considering their services.
- Hidden Clauses
I can understand hidden disk space, storage, CPU and bandwidth limitations. These are to be found at virtually every host on the market. However, there are many other hidden clauses that HostMonster seem to be taking advantage of. There’s a rather shady one I have stumbled upon: when you subscribe to any of their plans, you agree to give them exclusive access to use content on your website at their leisure as they deem fit without your express written consent. If you happen to be a talented artist, they will be able to use any material on your website without them asking for your consent. I am not really sure that’s entirely legal though.
It’s not entirely dark though. There are some advantages to using their services undoubtedly:
- Ease of sign up – they make it very easy for you to sign up and buy a plan of theirs without asking for identity documents and whatnot. At least I wasn’t prompted to supply any of that.
- PayPal Payment Method – you might be surprised for me to perceive this as an advantage, but you’d be shocked to find out that many web hosts have stopped processing payments via PayPal for their own specific reasons. HostMonster don’t seem to neither have given up on it, nor consider doing it any time soon;
- One-click install CMS – such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc. via the popular cPanel.
If I were you, I’d probably look elsewhere. HostMonster don’t seem to come to par with the stern industry requirements (they even failed to abide by their generous 99.99% uptime guarantee), although they do have some interesting bonuses in the box that may or may not appeal to you. Given the fact they are part of the notorious EIG brand, and that BlueHost resembles it in many aspects, I’d personally look at what they have to offer and then make my final decision as to which one to choose.
If your websites’re currently hosted at HostMonster, please tell us your experience with HostMonster on the comment session below. Thank you!