HostPapa is an independent company (not owned by a bigger corporation) founded in 2006 in Toronto, Canada. Their offer ranges from Shared to VPS hosting and has a rather strong emphasis on small-to-medium-sized businesses. Aside from the industry-standard hosting plans, the folks at HostPapa offer a wide array of other perks: e-mail support, live chat and an all-encompassing 30-day money back guarantee. Most online reviewers suggest that this company is reliable, offers a great price/quality ratio and, most importantly, shows tremendous confidence in their services. I was personally attracted by their rather cheap yet qualitative plans, and due to “online peer pressure”, I finally decided to give them a try. Here’s my review of their impressive services:
HostPapa Review: Noteworthy Advantages
Before we actually get started, it is important to bear in mind that there is no such a thing as “best web host” on the almighty Internet. My experience with them was mostly positive, but yours could largely differ from mine, so take this review with a grain of salt. There is however a “best fit for your project” web host, and whether HostPapa falls in that category is up to you to determine now. Let’s delve in the company’s advantages.
Virtually every hosting company in the world offers the same thing as their fiercest rival on the market, so it is important to be able to create a quick breakdown of their plans so as to determine whether they offer more than others for the same price or preferably less. I’ll refer to these “advantages” as core hosting features and bonus hosting features.
When we talk about the core features of a web hosting company, we’re actually referring to the customary 3D’s of this industry: domains, databases and disk space. The “core” purpose of a hosting server is to serve web files when someone accesses your website by typing your domain name in a browser.
- Domains determine how many sites you’re going to have at a given time, and which you can point to your hosting account. If you want, for example, 3 websites, all pointing to your hosting account, you’ll have to separately buy 3 domain names. If you have custom e-mail preferences, you’ll have to look into how many e-mail accounts they allow per domain as that is not an unlimited feature.
- Databases are directly proportional to the number of website software you can install to your site. For example, installing WordPress to your website only requires one database. If you need other software, such as Magento, you’ll need more.
- Disk Space is equivalent to your computer’s hard drive. It determines how much information you’ll be able to store in your website – images, text, PDFs etc.
Bonus features are usually not plentiful and only intended to lure you into buying any plan at all, such as: website builder software, advertising credits, backend software etc. Be wary that these are not compulsory add-ons – some companies will offer you the best website builder software you’ve ever seen, some a very rigid one, and others none at all, so it is best to do your own due diligence prior to opting for a hosting plan.
Their hosting plans are as follows: Starter ($5.99 per month), Business ($9.99 per month) and Business Pro ($18.99 per month).
All three plans will very likely cater to your needs, but unless you’re running a medium-to-large-sized website, the $5.99 per month offer is going to suffice – you don’t have to spend more than you actually need. On top of that, they are also very fond of the “unlimited everything” marketing stunt. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a way for them to ensure as many clients as possible by providing them “unlimited resources”. Since it’s shared hosting that we’re talking about here, the term is rather vague and misleading. If you use too much of your allocated part of the server’s resources, you’ll destabilize your website and the whole network in the process alike. If you do that on a daily basis, they might have the right to waive your right to use their services, so be careful.
Transparency & Ownership
I personally put a lot of emphasis into a company’s transparency and who specifically owns it. It is enough to take a quick look into the way the industry has been involving in the past few years in order to see that most companies are owned by bigger brands, such as… Google and Amazon. It also doesn’t take much to see that these big brands pretty much buy the competition, so having an independent company, although it may not suggest professionalism in a lot of people’s eyes, is very welcome. One reason to consider opting for an independent company is that, while the big brands might have a lot more experience in this area of expertise, they will usually perceive you as mere entries on a spreadsheet, instead of providing you due respect and quality for the price you pay. They are also very confident about the way they are doing business. As such, they have specially created a Network Status page to inquire about the network status.
Customer Support – Is It That Great?
Aside from the great offer HostPapa propose to each one of you potential clients, you must still take into consideration the imminent situation when you will probably struggle finding your way around the ubiquitous technical jibber jabber. To counterattack it, established and professional customer support is necessary for you to make use of. Generally, you must look for obvious indicators that suggest your preferred company, and not necessarily HostPapa, takes necessary steps to ensure you are as happy as you can possibly be.
As far as HostPapa is concerned, they have phone, chat, email and forum support as well. When I used them to solve a quick issue I experienced on their end, I was hugely surprised to see that not only did I have to wait only for a couple of minutes to be answered to, but they also offered a quick resolution to the respective issue.
HostPapa’s offer is great and plentiful, there’s no arguing with that. However, they do lack many bonuses that other corporate companies offer wholeheartedly.
For example, their 30-day money back guarantee is no longer an industry standard. Most web hosting providers offer at least 45-day money back guarantee, with some taking it to the next level with a 90-day money back guarantee.
Secondly, and this is probably the hugest downside to using HostPapa, is that they do not offer any kind of automated backup included with your plan, unless you buy it for an extra $19 per year/per plan. That is a huge disappointment for me, since any DDOS attack directed towards them would potentially cause my website to fail and lose important information.
HostPapa – How Does It Perform Compared to Corporate Web Hosts?
Having used a plethora of hosting companies till now, I would like to create, as part of this review, a quick comparison with other corporate web hosting providers
HostPapa vs. GoDaddy
If I had to choose between HostPapa and GoDaddy at any given time, I’d choose HostPapa undoubtedly. If you’re from the US or UK, you may already know that GoDaddy promote their hosting plans absolutely everywhere, from TV to highway billboards. I personally believe GoDaddy is not really up to par with the industry standards. They are reputed for upsells, confusing backend and very poor hosting performance at times. On the other hand, HostPapa seem to be a little more professional and committed to making you a happy repeat customer, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t go rogue as well.
HostPapa vs. eHost
As opposed to the independent HostPapa, eHost benefit from a lot of funds from their Endurance International parent company. They have great pricing, good onboarding and constant supply of competent workforce. Unless you’re intrinsically skeptical about choosing a corporate host, I’d really recommend you stick to eHost rather than HostPapa.
HostPapa vs HostGator
Just as eHost, HostGator (Read Hostgator Review for more information) is also owned by Endurance International. However, HostGator are a lot more different than eHost with regard to many aspects. For one, they are basically subordinated to DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). If you are found to be in breach of even a single rule this American law enforces, your site will be shut down. Secondly, their business scheme is also a bit different. Those of you who have subscribed to a plan of theirs before know that you are basically forced to accept a “discount code”. Most of the times, they lure people into buying one of their plans by offering their first month of hosting for only one cent. If I had to choose between HostPapa and HostGator though, I would probably still choose HostPapa for a wide variety of obvious reasons, one of them being the fact they do not constantly try to bait you into subscribing to their plans.
HostPapa vs. InMotion Hosting
Here’s the decisive showdown between two independent companies this time. Reviewing the offer of both hosts, I found that InMotion hosting offers an all in all better “everything” compared to HostPapa, both in terms of performance and customer support quality. In what concerns performance quality, they offer a better price/quality ratio (a few bucks less expensive), while the customer support is a little bit more insightful and diverse.
HostPapa Review: Personal Conclusion
Overall, HostPapa is not a bad choice for small-to-medium-sized business whatsoever. If you do not give too much importance to the independent status they take so much pride on possessing, you would be better off opting for a larger company’s offer. I do highly encourage you to make yourself an opinion about their service and buy one of HostPapa’s affordable offers today!
If you are currently hosted at Hostpapa, please don’t hesitate to share your experience on the comment session below.