This Canadian company has been called the “father of hosting” by some raving customers, and I wanted to see joining the family tree that includes more than 500,000 hosted Web sites would truly be a match made in heaven.
HostPapa was started in 2002, and remains an independent company hosted out of Oakville, Ontario. Their beginnings included offering dedicated and hosted applications.
In 2005, they moved into shared Web hosting plans.
I was intrigued when they said that, combined, their top executives have more than 70 years of combined experience, and wanted to learn more about their claims of being “America’s #1 Small Business Host.” They note that they are 100 percent green-energy backed, with a high rate of customer satisfaction, reliability, and state-of-the art technology. I did my own research, and this is what I found.
HostPapa Plans and Pricing
Shared Web Hosting
HostPapa offers three shared hosting plans, all of which come with unlimited bandwidth, free domain registration, access to more than 200 popular applications, like WordPress and Joomla, server firewall, monitoring and intrusion detection, and $200 in marketing credits for sites like Google and Bing. They offer free migration to give you a hassle-free transfer with no downtime for your site.
Starter ($3.95/month; regularly $5.99/month): The starter plan gives you 100 GB for two Web sites, 100 e-mail accounts, and access to the starter edition of the HostPapa Web site builder, which gives three pages, 120 different design templates, and HTML editing capabilities.
Business ($3.95/month; regularly $9.99/month): You get unlimited domains and storage, unlimited Web sites, unlimited e-mail addresses, the starter edition of the HostPapa Web site builder, and Content Delivery Network to increase your page load speeds.
Business Pro ($12.95/month; regularly $18.99/month): Like the business plan, you get unlimited domains, storage, Web sites, and e-mail accounts, but you also get the unlimited edition of the HostPapa Web site builder, which gives you 120 templates and unlimited pages.
You’ll be hosted on their premium servers, which have twice as much RAM, advanced security features, and receive a domain SSL certificate, 1 GB of automated backup, SiteLock detect, and a dedicated IP address.
Both the business and business pro plans include a 30-minute training session.
Virtual Private Servers are fully managed with an easy-to-use control panel and full root-level command lines. They offer free migration on their three scalable plans. All of their plans include a variety of features, including:
- cPanel or WHM for your control panel
- A wholesale domain reseller account
- 2 IP addresses
- Unlimited hosting. E-mail, and FTP accounts, MySQL 5 and PostgreSQL databases, unlimited subdomains and domain aliases
- Private nameservers
- SolusVM VPS panel and SolusVM dashboard
- CentOS 6
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Nightly security updates
- Weekly backups
VPS Plus ($19.99 first month; $49.99/month renewal): 4 CPU Cores, 1.5 GB RAM, 50 GB disk space
VPS Pro ($39.99 first month; $79.99/month renewal): 8 CPU Cores, 3 GB RAM, 100 GB disk space
VPS Premium ($109.99 first month; $149.99/month renewal): 8 CPU Cores, 6 GB RAM, 200 GB disk space
HostPapa’s five different reseller accounts offer a wide variety of benefits, including unlimited cPanel accounts, free domain reselling, unlimited domains, either Client Exec or WHMCS for your free billing software, private nameservers, and three IP addresses.
- Bronze ($19.95/month): 50 GB disk space, 500 GB bandwidth
- Silver ($27.95/month): 80 GB disk space, 700 GB bandwidth
- Gold ($39.95/month): 120 GB disk space, 1 TB bandwidth
- Platinum ($59.95/month): 160 GB disk space, 1.2 TB bandwidth
- Titanium ($79.95/month): 200 GB disk space, 1.4 TB bandwidth
Industry standard for uptime is 99.9 percent, which means that your site is online and working for 99.9 percent of the month – this means that your site will be down, on average, for less than 45 minutes each month. Staying online is vital for the success of your Web site.
Visitors seeking information will become frustrated and leave if they can’t get to your Web site, and while they might try once or twice to return, they will quickly tire of trying, and give up, costing you traffic, prospects, and sales.
HostPapa guarantees their uptime to be 99.9 percent for shared hosting and 99.99 percent for VPS hosting, which means that your site will be down for less four-and-a-third minutes each month. These are some impressive claims, but what isn’t so impressive is that they don’t list or include in their terms of service any kind of compensation or refund if your site experiences a larger downtime as a result of their equipment or service.
They appear to have data centers in Toronto, London, and Sydney, Australia, and their main data center is home to more than 150 telecommunications companies. They have a high level of security and backup controls in place, and note that they strive for 100 percent uptime to provide customers the best service while recognizing the reality of technology.
Cheapest Green Hosting
HostPapa states that they were one of the first Web hosting companies to publicly go green. They invest in renewable energy sources, like wind and solar-powered initiatives.
HostPapa uses 100 percent green renewable energy to keep their data centers up and running, along with their servers, office computers and laptops, and the utilities for their office space.
The company buys green energy tags, which means their energy suppliers calculate their total energy consumption and give the equivalent back into the power grid, reducing CO2 emissions and greenhouses gases.
Suppliers are from a variety of different suppliers in Canada and the U.S. HostPapa’s customers are also given banners to let their Web site’s visitors know that their sites are powered by renewable energy sources
HostPapa isn’t the only to offer unlimited bandwidth, but they are one of the few to make sure it is truly unlimited. They have no limits on visitor traffic or on uploads, so there are no additional fees or penalties for exceeding any limits.
They do, however, note that there are conditions to being able to access the unlimited bandwidth, and their rules are very similar to others. If you’re using the server in a way that violates their terms of service, you could experience negative repercussions, like anti-abuse controls or limitations on your processing power and server memory.
However if you’re playing nice, following the rules, and not hogging all of the resources on your shared server, HostPapa says that “visitors to your Web site will be able to view, download, and add as much content from your site as they wish.”
Free Website Builder
I think that it’s great that HostPapa offers a Web site builder on their shared plans. It’s got drag-and-drop features on more than hundreds of different templates, and their plan allows you to get your Web site up and running with one click.
The templates are responsive, which means that your visitors can see a well-designed, easy-to-use site whether they are on their mobile devices, laptops or desktop computers.
Their starter plan is included in two of their shared hosting plans, and while this is a great start, it’s important to remember that this plan limits you to three pages.
You can choose from 120 different templates, and you are able to edit using HTML. The business pro plan includes their unlimited builder, which is normally $9.99/month, and give you unlimited pages.
For those building many sites, they offer premium ($19.99/month) and enterprise ($39.99/month) plans These also give you unlimited pages, with more than 230 design templates, HTML and CSS editing, one-click editing, SEO tools like tap-to-call and Google maps. On the enterprise plan, your site will also be e-commerce enabled.
Wide Variety of Apps for Blogging
You can incorporate Google apps for business for an additional cost, and many of their plans include integration with more than 200 different apps. Bloggers will appreciate the one-click installations of CMS solutions like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and Softaculous makes the installation even easier.
With so many different options, you’ll find that your Web site will thrive and grow through the programs offered by HostPapa.
Telephone, Live Chat & E-mail Support
I love that their support is available in more than one language. Their customer service reps are fluent in English, French, Spanish or German, and are located around the world.
An extensive knowledge base gives you access to hundreds of different topics that could affect your hosting, and will give you feedback and solutions, and their video tutorials were designed to show you step-by-step solutions.
Service reps are available through live chat, support tickets, and phone support. You can also send e-mails for service issues. Their reps are friendly and knowledgable, and, as long as you’re trying to reach them during normal business hours, I didn’t experience any problems with their service level and quality.
eCommerce Features Available
Through their builder, you can add different CMS that will help you run your Web site, and their payment and shopping cart integrations mean that you can get started quickly selling an unlimited number of products. You get hundreds of dollars in Google and Bing credits that will boost your advertising and awareness.
Some Negative Sides Too:
- Telephone and live chat goes off during non-office hours in weekends
When your site goes down, you don’t want to wait for someone to reach you via email or ticket. While HostPapa has a high uptime, their service could be improved by providing more one-on-one availability even when their offices are closed.
- You need to purchase at least a year’s worth of service at a time
While many different companies give you the option to purchase on a monthly or quarterly time period, HostPapa doesn’t give you that choice. While I realize the longer contract term length can lower the monthly payment, giving someone the option to choose their term is becoming more commonplace and is appreciated by customers.
Pros and Cons in a while [Only short form of the sentence, bullet points]
- Free migration gets your site transferred and running with no downtime.
- HostPapa shows their commitment to customers and the environment by providing multiple ways to reach them, along with a 100 percent renewable energy program used to power their company. That says a lot about their values.
- The 30-day money-back guarantee for shared and reseller hosting will refund your money after taking out any one-time or third-party fees, including those for domain name transfer and registrations.
- HostPapa notes in their terms of service that any backups done by the company are for their own disaster recovery purposes. This means that you need to be responsible for regularly backing up and storing your content.
- I would love for HostPapa’s renewal rates to be more in line with their introductory rates, rather than a short one-month discount before a steep increase. With other companies offering their introductory prices for a longer time, I think HostPapa could do better. However, I do appreciate that they put their prices out there for customers to see, rather than surprising them with a jump.
I highly recommend HostPapa. While they have several cons, the benefits of hosting with this Canadian company offer a tremendous value. I can tell they put their customers first, and, while I do think they are slightly on the high side for pricing, especially when it comes to renewal rates and contract term lengths, I appreciate the many features they have worked to include.
I think that they could be more customer-focused by giving better communication options when the offices are closed, but I respect their care for their employees, as well. Their uptimes are good, as are their page load speeds, and those are two of the most important components of Web hosting. All-in-all, HostPapa is a solid choice.
HostPapa began its operations in 2006 through Jamie Opalchuk. Currently, the company operates from Niagra Falls, USA, and Oakville, Canada. But the company is based in Ontario, Canada.
The company decided to rely on environment-friendly energy quite early in its years. So, the power driving their office and servers are a lot cheaper than others. You can find a direct reflection of this in their hosting packages as they begin as little as just under 4 dollars.
Over the years HostPapa got hands on a lot of awards that certify their service quality. Now after 10 years of quality service, they are ranked within the Top 10 Hosting Providers of Canada that people trust.
HostPapa soon saw the results of their services when they experienced a revenue growth of a staggering 223% during the years 2008 to 2013.
HostPapa has more than 70 years of managing hosting accounts in between its employees. That experience surely helps this company in providing personalized services to its customers.
HostPair provides “Manned Security Services” and for 24/7 to help safeguard the websites of its clients. That is a unique initiative that sets this company apart from the rest.
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