HostPapa is a privately owned Canadian web host that offers a wide range of web hosting services including WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting and more.
Since the company isn’t part of a massive corporation like HostGator and Bluehost which are now owned by the Endurance International Group, it can present itself a bit differently than its competition. On its site for instance, HostPapa highlights its support for sustainable business practices and green hosting as opposed to just advertising its speed and features.
So let’s take a closer look at this web host’s plans, pricing and features to see if HostPapa is the right fit for your website.
As we mentioned before, HostPapa offers a wide range of different web hosting services but in this review we’ll be taking a closer look at the company’s shared hosting plans as they’ll likely appeal to both experienced and first-time users.
HostPapa’s shared hosting plans begin with its ‘Starter’ plan for $7.99 a month. This plan lets you create two websites and includes free domain registration, 100GB of SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth.
Next up we have HostPapa’s ‘Business’ plan for $12.99 a month and this plan allows you to create unlimited websites. It also includes free domain registration, unlimited SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth. The Business plan includes all of the essential features from the Starter plan as well as some advanced features
Finally, we have the company’s ‘Business Pro’ plan for $19.99 a month. This plan includes everything the Business plan does as well as performance and security enhancements.
One thing to point out is that these are the regular prices for HostPapa’s plans but the company routinely offers big discounts for new customers. A 30-day money-back guarantee for any hosting fees you pay upfront is also available for those who are still unsure about the service after giving it a try for themselves.
HostPapa: Signing up
After picking out your plan, HostPapa has you review the items you’ve selected before completing its checkout process.
While this may sound fairly straightforward, you need to be extra careful during this step as the company adds its SiteLock and backup extras to your shopping cart by default. If you rush through HostPapa’s checkout process, you could easily miss this and as each of these add-ons costs an extra $19.95 per year, they could end up raising the cost of your plan significantly if you don’t uncheck them.
Next you’re asked to enter a domain name for your site. HostPapa does provide you with one domain for free but you’re also able to choose to use one that you already own. If you do decide on the latter, the company defaults to a ‘please transfer my domain to HostPapa’ setting but you can keep your site where it already is if you prefer.
The company then has you enter your contact details including your name, email address, physical address and phone number. From there, enter your payment details and you’re all signed up and ready to start building your site. When it comes to payment options, HostPapa accepts credit cards as well as PayPal which is a nice touch as it makes things a bit easier for its customers.
HostPapa: Creating a site
Unlike other web hosts which provide you with a getting started guide after you complete their signup process, HostPapa simply gives you a summary of your hosting plan invoice and the option to print it.
Thankfully, the company did send us a second ‘welcome’ email five minutes after our payment was processed which included all of the essentials we’d need to get started, such as a starter guide, some quick advice on website building, our account information, our FTP details, support links and more.
HostPapa uses cPanel as its host manager and experienced users will feel right at home. cPanel provides you with everything you’ll need to get your site up and running with key features such as the File Manager and FTP module appearing on the first screen alongside a search box which lets you quickly locate anything else you might need.
HostPapa’s cPanel is broken down into several categories with colorful icons used to represent each item. The layout isn’t overly crowded and the icons themselves give you a good idea of what each menu item is. For example, the file manager has an icon depicting a file cabinet and disk usage shows a hard drive with a green bar indicating free space with a red bar indicating how much disk space you’ve used. If you’ve used cPanel in the past, this will be instantly familiar to you and if not, you shouldn’t have too much trouble navigating its menus and icons.
One-click installs of popular apps are handled by the Softaculous installation framework and we were able to get WordPress setup in just a few minutes without any major difficulties.
HostPapa also includes a drag and drop site builder with all of its plans but you won’t be able to access it from within cPanel. Instead, it’s hidden away behind a ‘My Website’ button. The site builder comes with 120 responsive templates along with easy integration of videos, maps, forms and more. The free edition does have a page limit of just three pages but it is a welcome addition nonetheless.
When reviewing a web host’s performance, one of the first things we like to do is to take a look at the support options on hand as even the most experienced users will likely run into some difficulties when setting up their sites.
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HostPapa has several support options available with the first of which being ‘Basic Training’. This is a free 30 minute ‘one-on-one dedicated session with a PapaSquad Expert’. The service is aimed at beginners who may need some extra help with the basics but of all the web hosts we’ve reviewed, HostPapa is the only one that offers such a service. It may not be useful for everyone but for those that need it, Basic Training could be quite useful when building your first website.
In terms of customer support, HostPapa provides support via live chat, a support ticket system and over the phone. Support tickets generally take up to 10 minutes for the first reply while live chat and phone support are both instant according to the company.
HostPapa’s knowledgebase contains 2,551 articles at the time of writing that cover 75 categories of web hosting related topics including hosting, domains, email applications, its products and your account.
We concluded our performance test with a few simple server speed tests to measure HostPapa’s performance. Our website was hosted in the US so response times weren’t the fastest we’ve seen but running connection tests from other countries showed slightly above-average performance.
HostPapa: Verdict and Conclusion
HostPapa entices new users with impressive discounts and good value at signup but its high renewal prices could be a turn off for customers looking for multi-year hosting. cPanel support, the company’s basic website builder and Basic Training do help to offset the company’s high renewal prices though.
- Want to see the competition? Check out our guide to the best web hosting