While looking for an easy to use hosting option, you might have run into HostMonster. HostMonster is a hosting provider, offering easy to use hosting, full of features that will be useful for many beginner users.
However, the host is not as popular as it once was. Reaching the peak of popularity back in 2008, it's been on a decline ever since. But maybe there's no reason for that? In this HostMonster review, we'll see if the old dog still knows some cool tricks.
What Is HostMonster?
HostMonster provides several hosting options: shared, VPS, dedicated and of course, domains. A regular user might find this hosting attractive due to pricing, fast servers or a comfortable cPanel that comes with it.
Of course, some users may be discouraged by the fact the company's been founded back in 1996, as well as the slightly outdated website.
But in all fairness, it's not what's outside that matters. It's the product that the company has. And since shared hosting is the crown jewel of the HostMonster's services - let's give it a spin and see what it does.
HostMonster offers three plans to choose from - Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus. The prices of the plans go from $4.95 to $6.95 a month, and that is a pretty good value.
Let's have a look at a quick overview of all plans:
- Basic - $4.95 per month, 1 website, 50GB disk space, 5 email accounts
- Plus - $6.95 per month, 10 websites, 150GB disk space, 100 email accounts
- Choice Plus - $6.95 per month, unlimited websites, unmetered disk space, unlimited email accounts
The shortest term of contract available with HostMonster, on all three plans, is 12 months. Then you have the option for 24 months and finally 36 months.
But here's a catch - these low prices are only valid when buying a plan for 36 months.
Below, I'll show you exactly how much you'll be paying for each package - with each available purchase period.
|Payment Period / Plan||Basic||Plus||Choice Plus|
The lengthy contracts would be easily digestible if the prices themselves were solid. Sadly, they aren't that great either. $4.95 per month is quite a lot when compared to something like Hostinger, who offer unlimited everything for just $3.45 per month.
You might be wondering, why the Plus and Choice Plus plans cost exactly the same. Looking at the features they provide, choosing Choice Plus seems like a no-brainer. But of course, there is a catch. This discount is available only with the first term, meaning your renewals will be calculated with the original higher price.
When looking to renew the Plus plan, you'd have to pay $12.49 a month. And the Choice Plus would set you back a solid $14.99. So that's a big price difference.
Keeping that in mind, HostMonster's pricing becomes less than desirable. But if you do end up purchasing hosting with HostMonster, it offers 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind.
Good Features, But There Are Some Drawbacks...
Now it's time to look at the plans in more depth. In HostMonster, there are a few things that make this provider worth your time.
First, HostMonster provides all users with cPanel. It's a very popular, simple to use, and powerful server administration panel. And while some providers offer inferior options or ask to pay extra for cPanel, HostMonster includes it for free.
And as for building the website itself, you will be provided with Weebly builder. If you're looking for a simplified drag-and-drop website builder, Weebly is going to be great for you. It's one of our highest-rated website builders, and there's plenty to love there.
But if you're looking for something more advanced, you can also go for easy installation of WordPress.
Here's a short list with features for all three plans:
|Customer support||Phone, live chat||Phone, live chat||Phone, live chat|
|Free automated back-ups||No||No||No|
As you can see, HostMonster provides you with unmetered bandwidth and quite a reasonable disk space. Although that's not very competitive compared with other hosting providers.
Talking about Security Options, HostMonster provides a couple of ways to keep your site secure. From SSL support to Hotlink Protection, your site should be safe with HostMonster. They offer both Anti-Malware and Anti-DDoS protection at the server level, too.
But considering HostMonster backups policy, things start to look poor again.
Many hosting companies offer free automated backups, sometimes even nightly. That's not the case of HostMonster - you can only back up once per month. And they will charge you $1.99 each time you do it.
Other paid add-ons with HostMonster include Domain Privacy, SpamExperts Mail filtering, or SEO Tools.
These are quite basic features that other providers put little or no charge for.
Finally, customer support can make or break any company, hosting providers included. HostMonster does pretty well here.
It has the options for toll-free phone or live chat. Let's not forget the online help center, although it is pretty small and basic. But I got quickly connected to live chat, and they were knowledgeable and friendly.
Considering all the features, HostMonster equips you with comfortable tools and features. However, coming with extra charges these features do not stand their value.
HostMonster is using SSDs (Solid State Drives) for their servers. These are more costly for the host, but they can ensure better performance and less chance of downtimes. Usually, SSDs are far more reliable and quick to respond when compared to their Hard Disk counterparts.
Unfortunately, testing didn't show anything exceptional about HostMonster's performance. The average response time for a page hosted with HostMonster was around 1000ms. That's nothing terrible, but to the fastest web hosting providers, that even charge less, it's not good enough.
Uptime was also mediocre, to say the least. Hovering around a flat 99% sounds good - but in reality, it means that your website can be down for nearly 2 hours a week.
So for the performance part, HostMonster turns out to be disappointing. Although they seem to have promising SSD hardware for their servers, the performance is simply weak.
HostMonster Review - The Conclusion
Compared to other hosting providers, HostMonster just doesn't offer enough. For what it has, the provider is overpriced. And while there are things HostMonster does really well, like customer support and security options, the bad outweighs the good.
Performance isn't great and paying for backups feels like something from the early 2000's.
Overall, there are many other good hosts out there offering more for less money, so check them out and decide on your favorite!
- Good Support
- Nice Security Options
- Expensive Plans
- Backups Cost Money