HostPapa Review

HostPapa Review - screenshot

HostPapa is a relative latecomer to the web host market. Founded by Jamie Opalchuck, HostPapa has been providing web hosting services from 2006 and has grown to host over half a million sites. Currently, HostPapa only has data centers in the United States and Canada but provides multilingual support options for German, Spanish, French, and English speakers.

HostPapa’s primary target market is small businesses, though their price points are appealing enough for individuals looking for a web host. So how does it compare against some of the competition? In this HostPapa review, we looked at pricing, their support, and various pros and cons of the service, which allowed us to give an objective opinion.

Pricing

The main appeal of HostPapa is its pricing. Shared hosting starts from $3.95 per month if you opt for the three-year plan. If you want a two-year plan, you can expect to pay $4.95 per month, and a one-year plan costs $5.95 per month. It’s also worth noting that the company does pull the usual bait-and-switch of increasing prices to $7.99 per month after the first term expires.

Unlike most of its competitors, HostPapa offers two domains as part of its basic plan, as opposed to just one. If that’s a specific need you have, then HostPapa is the no-brainer option for you. All of the company’s shared hosting plans include:

  • 100 GB SSD storage
  • unmetered bandwidth
  • free website migration
  • Cloudflare CDN
  • Access to a website builder

Support

The web hosting industry is notorious for poor customer service. HostPapa provides all the usual avenues of contact, including live chat and 24/7 phone support. It also has a comprehensive FAQ and knowledge base, which should answer most of your frequent questions.

While on paper, HostPapa’s support looks to be average, the many negative reviews online would indicate that the picture isn’t as rosy as you’d like. Most people report struggling to get hold of an agent, and agents were unable to resolve issues that customers had.  

Customer support often depends on the luck of the draw, but in the case of HostPapa, there appear to be more instances of unhelpful customer support than usual.

Pros

Above Average Uptime and Speed

The most important thing a web hosting service needs to provide is reliable, fast hosting. Overall, HostPapa has pretty good uptime, with an estimated 24-month uptime of 99.95%, which is well above the industry average.

HostPapa also boasts relatively good speeds of around 705 ms, which is slightly above industry standard. While their data centers are limited to the US and Canada, the availability of Cloudflare CDN in their base package can help bring down international speeds even further.  

Proactive Security

All of HostPapa’s shared hosting plans come with built-in security features including:

  • Panda Cloud anti-spam protection
  • Server firewall
  • Monitoring and intrusion detection

Higher-tier plans also include useful security features such as:

  • Free SSL certificate
  • Automated website backups
  • Domain privacy protection
  • Dedicated IP address

Cons

Hidden Fees

While HostPapa offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, it doesn’t explicitly state that this money-back guarantee may end up costing you money. The problem is that the company offers free website setup, and if you request a refund, they’ll charge you $30 for that service. It’s a hidden cost that most customers should be wary of when signing the contract.

Long-Term Contracts

HostPapa’s appealing $3.95 offer only works if you sign up for three years, which is a long time to commit to one provider. Many companies have started offering short-term contracts that give companies the flexibility they need to succeed.

Conclusion

HostPapa’s three-year base plan is an excellent value for the money, and the service has above-average uptime and speed. Unfortunately, even these appealing features don’t make up for the fact that the company has inferior customer service and locks you into a three-year contract.

We’d only recommend HostPapa to organizations willing to commit to the three-year contract and who need two domain names.

Overall, it’s good but not great. For most users, we would recommend looking into our top-10 lists:

Get Started with HostPapa Canada

Get Started with HostPapa Australia