HostPapa's goal is to provide every customer with a fully-featured hosting package, backed by top customer service and powered by renewable green energy. HostPapa is an established, privately owned company and a leader in high-value, low-cost hosting.HostPapa
Canadian-based hosting provider HostPapa isn't afraid to make big promises. High value, low costs, full features are the 3 main things you should be getting from them. They seem to be trusted by over 180,000 active websites all around the world - and we made it 180,001 when we decided to make our own website and write a HostPapa review. So let's get to it and see just how good this hosting provider really is.
- Website Builder
- Shared Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
A fairly well fleshed-out list of options here. But that's just the beginning. If you dig into the menus of HostPapa's site, you will see even more products on offer.
HostPapa offers some nice email solutions, from simple basic email accounts hosted with them, to full Google G Suite access. Pricing is as follows:
- Basic Email: $1.00/month per user
- Advanced Email: $2.00/month per user
- Office 365: $4.99/month per user
- G Suite: $4.99/month per user
Each of these options offers a different level of features. The basic email plan will simply give you a simple functionality with an @yourcompanyname.com domain. Moving up to G Suite and you will have full access to all of Google's incredible and well-established tools (Gmail, Drive, Hangouts, Keep etc).
Before we dive any more deeply into this HostPapa review, I'd like to show you something that caught my eye when browsing the HostPapa site:
Green Web Hosting
HostPapa joins a prestigious club of hosts, which power their server using only renewable energy sources. Together with GreenGeeks and Eco Web Hosting, HostPapa makes sure to do its part in promoting green energy.
However, it's not like HostPapa has huge windmills or own-branded solar panels. The company uses a system which allows them to use renewable energy without any separate infrastructure. HostPapa purchases what's known as green energy tags.
A certified green energy supplier then calculates the total energy consumption used in HostPapa's operations and then uses their suppliers of green energy to pump an 100% equivalent of that power back into the grid.
This is the most common way that 'green' suppliers do business, and it's not something to turn your nose up at. By doing this, HostPapa completely offset the fossil fuels used in their operations and help remove thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases from the environment.
So that's some seriously good commitment HostPapa have made to keep the world energy efficient and green!
What’s Included In The HostPapa Packages?
In short: plenty. HostPapa is not a host that goes cheap in terms of features, that's for sure:
HostPapa gives you a really nice and easy-to-read list of what they actually offer. A lot more hosts could learn from this. Of course, some of this is going to be pure marketing speak, but I'm sure plenty of the rest is going to be true.
On top of this list, HostPapa has a great page that breaks down exactly what is in each plan in detail.
And that's not even half of the page. Good stuff.
To be perfectly honest, though, there isn't that much useful information here aside from the obvious things. You can find out exactly what is useful in the table below:
|SSL||Free Let's Encrypt SSL||Free Let's Encrypt SSL||Free Let's Encrypt SSL|
|SSD or HDD used in servers||HDD (SSD Caching)||HDD (SSD Caching)||HDD (SSD Caching)|
|Website Builder||HostPapa Website Builder||HostPapa Website Builder||HostPapa Website Builder|
|Assisted Website Transfer||Free||Free||Free|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
|Customer Support Options||Phone, Live Chat, Ticket, Knowledgebase||Phone, Live Chat, Ticket, Knowledgebase||Phone, Live Chat, Ticket, Knowledgebase|
|Choice of Server Location||No - USA Only||No - USA Only||No - USA Only|
|Free Automated Backups||1GB $35.88 per year||1GB $35.88 per year||1GB free|
As you can see from above, there aren't many differences between the three plans. The only difference between the Business and Business Pro plans, for instance, is that the latter comes with 1GB of free automated backups, while the former does not.
In terms of the entry-level plan, Starter, you get 100GB of disk space and just 2 domains to play with, compared to both options being unlimited with the Business and Business Pro plans.
However, with the Business Pro plan, you automatically get SiteLock Security and a WildCard SSL Certificate pre-installed. This is really cool but I don't think it's worth the big price increase over the standard Business plan.
So far in our HostPapa review, we've seen that they are a green provider that offers some really nice features. Now it's time to see if all of that is affordable for you.
Three plans to choose from here.
- Starter: Including 100GB of disk space and 2 domains from $3.95/month
- Business: Including unlimited everything from $3.95/month
- Business Pro: Everything the Business plan has, plus free backups from $12.95/month
Another thing we should be looking into is different period prices and renewal prices. Here's what they are and how HostPapa uses them.
In numerous hosting reviews, we have spotted a trend of providers doing two things to charge users more than their advertising says. Different period prices mean that for a different length of the package, you'd be paying differently as well. Namely - longer packages usually have better monthly value.
Let's take the Business plan as an example. It says it costs $3.95 a month - but the plan shows a different story once you put it in the cart.
That lucrative $3.95/month is only valid when purchasing a plan with a duration of 36 months. Choose 24 months, and you'll be paying $4.95. 12 months - $5.95.
In all fairness, the increase isn't all that steep. We've seen much worse but it's still something to keep in mind.
The other thing is renewal prices. It's a practice done by almost everyone, where you should remember that the prices you see advertised are promotional. Which means that after the initial period runs, they are bound to increase and sometimes the billing structure will change as well.
After the initial HostPapa package ends, you will be paying monthly fees - this is what they'd be like for each shared hosting plan.
- Starter: $7.99/month
- Business: $12.99/month
- Business Pro: $19.99/month
More to add, by clicking our link you will receive a special coupon which will allow you to save even more from a regular price. For example, regular price for 12 months Starter or Business plan is $71.40 but by clicking the button on our website, you would pay $60.69.
And here's how much you'd be paying for each plan for each initial package using our special coupon:
|Payment Period/Plan||Starter||Business||Business Pro|
Well, that's interesting. Due to the fact that HostPapa's Business plan is on offer right now, it actually is identical in price to the Starter plan. And in it, you get pretty much everything unlimited. If you're going to buy a HostPapa plan, choose the Business one, as it offers the both good price and superior features.
HostPapa Customer Support
Customer support is a really important section to me, personally. I have worked in customer support, both front facing and remotely, and let me tell you, it’s not an easy job. Having a disgruntled customer at the end of the phone shouting at you for something that isn’t your fault is always disheartening.
However, it is important to understand how each and every hosting provider performs in this area. Bad customer support can truly break an otherwise wonderful hosting experience. On the other side of the coin, great support can lift up an otherwise bad host. So, it’s an important part of this HostPapa review.
Take a look at the support options we have available to us:
And that's not even all of it. HostPapa also offers a toll-free phone support line.
Live chat is something every host should be offering by now, luckily for us, HostPapa do just that. The little green bar with the words "Chat Now" is available to all visitors, at all times.
One thing immediately comes to show itself - not only HostPapa's chat fully 24/7, the waiting times are almost nonexistent. A non-registered user on the homepage can be connected to an agent in a matter of seconds.
When it comes to technical/sales knowledge, HostPapa agents are performing really quite well. There's another to that though - one noticeable thing about HostPapa live chat is its simplicity.
As mentioned earlier, it takes mere seconds to connect and chat agents tend to answer the inquiries with the utmost simplicity. One-word replies are actually quite common. And while they may seem even rude and take some getting used to, it's actually a genius move.
If it takes less time to understand the answer, your problems can also be solved much quicker. This kind of chat support simply gets things done - and this is precisely what's needed.
I can definitely see what the company was going for here, and this live chat support is one of my favorites.
As widespread and advanced live chat may be, they still won't fully replace the customer support tickets. When you have technical issues that need addressing or long questions, which require a lot of someone's time and skill, live chat doesn't quite cut it. So I'm glad to see HostPapa still supporting this.
I opened up a ticket with a fairly simple question about the HostPapa website builder and awaited a response.
Even in early morning hours, HostPapa had someone that could do a response. With a result of around 1.5 hours, HostPapa is one of the fastest responders we have on our list. Compared to an industry-average 12 hour response time, this was much, much better. This is how tickets should be handled. Quickly, professionally and accurately. Good stuff, HostPapa.
A knowledge base is a must these days. It is often the fastest and easiest way to let your customers find useful information. Not to mention that essentially, it's training materials. Articles and tutorials found in a knowledge base help the users do things themselves and improve as professionals of the field. It reduces the resources spent on training support staff too, so it should be a win-win all around.
That is, of course, if the knowledge base is actually good and helpful.
And HostPapa passes the test in flying colors.
I'm really happy to report in this HostPapa review that this provider has perhaps one of the best knowledge bases I have ever seen. It's truly fantastic and even rivals that of InMotion, who we praised very highly for theirs.
A lot of that praise comes from sublime attention to detail - especially when sorting a lot of great material into folders.
As you can see in the picture above, there are separate knowledge bases for many various hosting-related topics. Should you pick one more extensive one, you'll see all of the articles put into folders, which further explain what kind of problems will those topics solve.
For example, a WordPress beginner could click the "WordPress" section in the knowledge base - and use the information placed in the "Getting Started" section to start learning.
As for the articles themselves - they're examples of what tutorials should be. Fully in-depth and including plenty of informative pictures, they don't only help solve the problems - they educate as well.
Every page is full of details, from simple things like how to open cPanel to complex things like fixing HTTP errors.
This is a really interesting one. Not many hosting providers offer video tutorials, so when one does it's certainly something I want to check out.
Quite extensive to begin with, but just wait and see what is coming next. Let's take a quick look at the phpBB3 tutorial for example. I went ahead and clicked on the link and was presented with:
Options are abundant and very cool. The only downside I can see with this set-up is the lack of a search button. You have to know exactly what you want to see before you get here. But, I suppose, if you need to search then you're probably better off checking the knowledgebase in the first place (which links to here for relevant videos too).
Overall, looking at both text and video resources, there's only one thing racing through my mind. It's very obvious that HostPapa easily has one of, if not the best knowledge bases in the business. Quite frankly, I am surprised just how not many people know of this perfect learning tool. If you start using HostPapa, don't miss this opportunity.
First Impressions During And After Purchase
After deciding on the package you want to purchase with HostPapa, you will reach the following screen, allowing you to either purchase, transfer or update nameservers for your domain.
After this simple step, you'll be prompted to input your personal information as well as card details, and then you're all set!
It took around 1.5-2 hours of waiting to get everything sorted out after the payment - which is pretty alright. Here's the email I received then:
It was worth the wait. This email contained links to the HostPapa dashboard, to a quick start guide, to cPanel and more. It also told me all relevant logins for each of those things. Really useful, really good.
So with that information, I headed over to the dashboard to see what awaited me.
HostPapa continues the trend of "it's simple and it works" - which we spotted earlier while in the live chat. If the design scares you though, don't worry - everything becomes much more modern once you sign into cPanel.
We are provided with a standard ‘paper_lantern’ cPanel theme to begin with, but there are customization options in the cPanel settings section. So if you're used to a specific layout, there's an easy way to bring it back.
The cPanel itself is very functional and has pretty much everything you could ask from it. For example, here are a few things:
- Softaculous App Installer (Over 400 installations available, from WordPress to SEO improvements)
- Site Publisher (A simple and quite lovely way to publish a ‘coming soon’ page to your site whilst you build the full thing)
- CacheWall (A site optimiser, improving speed by regulating website cache)
- File Manager (Really useful for adding images and files to your site’s backend)
cPanel makes things really simple. I am a firm believer that unless the company has absolute confidence in its own solution, it should be using cPanel.
Let’s take an example of how easy things are to show you why I value cPanel so much. I wanted to make a simple HTML subdomain site, for our performance testing. With cPanel, this took me less than 30 seconds.
Hit the ‘Subdomains’ button, type in the word ‘HTML’ and click create. And that’s it. Done. No messing around with settings and the rest of it. It just works.
So far in our HostPapa review, everything seems to be pretty good. They have nice support options, a fantastic knowledgebase and video tutorials section, and their pricing, while only long term, is quite fair.
This could all mean nothing if they don't deliver great performance, though. So, let's find out. Here is what we'll be taking a look at:
- Host’s speed during low upkeep
- Host’s speed with a website created using HostPapa Website Builder
- Server’s overall uptime
- Anti-theft security strength
As with all of our reviews, these tests will be updated over time, as performance isn’t something you can judge once and then ignore forever. Just look at Hosting24, who have gone from a sub-par host to one of the best. Sometimes things change, so we must, too.
Host Speed During Low Upkeep
For this part of the performance evaluation, I used the code editor previously mentioned to create a really simple HTML site. It has fewer than 30 lines of code, in total. These kinds of sites should be a breeze for all but the absolute worst hosts, so let’s see how HostPapa does with it!
I did warn you that it's basic... Anyway, here is how it did:
We got the A score, and there are some things worth looking into. First things first, the US speeds - which are brilliant, with 13 ms on the East coast and a very nice 69 ms on the West coast. Sao Paulo speeds are great as well.
And seeing how other continents are slightly behind, you can tell that this host is first and foremost making sure that its American speeds are the best. If that's where your users come from, you're in for a treat.
Host Speed During High Upkeep
We all like beer, right?
In America, it's literally the same. Low upkeep or not, American HostPapa visitors will get stable, superior performance. The story slightly changes when it comes to visitors abroad. Although even then, no response times are over 1 second, so it's still pretty good.
Server Overall Uptime
A basic WordPress website was set up. I went ahead and set our friend Uptime Robot to check its performance once every minute – by doing so, we can see HostPapa's overall availability. Both in downtimes and in the fluctuating response times. Here’s how it went through several days of testing:
Overall, very good. The speeds are easily going into our top 5 - and for now, there hasn't been a single downtime. Your results may vary, but in our tests, HostPapa is comfortably above most of the basic hosting providers.
An average response speed over 6/700ms is considered poor, anything over 900 bad, and over 1000+ pretty awful. Well, that is where HostPapa arrives. Averaging 1170ms is a poor showing by any standards, and certainly is bad for a host that claims to have superb performance.
Anti-Theft Security Evaluation
For the final test, I will be attempting to steal my own hosting account without anyone noticing. In doing this, I will find out how seriously HostPapa takes security.
Firstly, I tried to brute-force my way into my account by entering an incorrect password as many times as possible and as quickly as possible. A really secure system would notice that this is probably a bot trying to access an account and would throw out some extra verification steps. And HostPapa?
Well, after 30 incorrect attempts, I logged in with the accurate credentials and that was it. Easy as that. Not ideal by any stretch, considering there are many manageable options for extra verification available.
Next up, I attempted to lure some information out of the live chat support. I told them the usual excuse (‘Oh I’m so sorry, I lost access to my email inbox so I can’t receive a password reset!’) and hoped they would slip up.
Well did they? Yes and no.
After some time I was provided with my client ID, which surprised me a little. I then used this to follow the link to reset my password. Sadly for any potential hacker, this is as far as I got - I could "get my account back" by using my email.
In this case, your email is the master key to your hosting account. So it comes without saying, you should keep it very secure - complete with a difficult password and two-factor authentication. And then, your HostPapa account will be secure as well.
So, how do we sum up this HostPapa review?
Overall, pretty darn good! The plans have loads of features, support is well-established, and the knowledge base is one of the best in the business.
The prices, while not the lowest in the market, also offer overall good value. HostPapa has plenty of things that are worth paying for.
All in all, it’s a good choice for most users. If you want a host that is going to be stable, well supported and offering loads of interesting features, then HostPapa is a decent choice for you.
- Great customer support and knowledge base
- Good uptime and response time
- 100% ecological
- International performance could improve
- Shortest available plan is 12 months