HostPapa is a web hosting company based in Toronto, Canada.
Since 2006, they have been providing hosting service to a rapidly growing group of customers.
The hosting services that they offer cover the spectrum of shared hosting all the way to VPS servers.
They are especially focused on serving the small business community.
Similar to what you will find with other hosting companies, HostPapa provides:
- Website builder
- 24 hour support
- 30 day money back guarantee
We have recently had some of our readers ask about our opinion on HostPapa. We decided that we would give a review that included pros and cons and a review of the different features they offer.
HostPapa Pricing Explained
HostPapa is a web hosting company with shared hosting suited for beginners and small businesses. Their VPS and reseller hosting is tailored toward advanced users. They offer cheap web hosting with a number of useful features.
They offer comprehensive support and have friendly staff members. Features that are free with other web hosting companies are considered premium. They have a 99.97 percent uptime and offer decent load speeds.
Overall HostPapa is a great choice for web hosting and it has continued to provide great service at an affordable price point.
HostPapa has also been kind enough to offer our readers a 67% discount (follow this link to get the discount) on their premium shared hosting packages.
HostPapa offers their basic web hosting at three different tiers. They are:
- “Starter” is regularly $7.99 a month. On promotion for $3.95 a month
- “Business” is regularly $12.99 a month. On promotion for $3.95 a month
- “Business Pro” is regularly $19.99 a month. On promotion for $12.95 a month
The “Starter” package is going to cost you $3.95 per month. For that price, you will get:
- Two websites
- 100 GB of SD storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free domain registration
Additionally, the “Starter” package comes with what HostPapa refers to as “All Essential Features.” These refer to:
- Free website transfer
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- Cloud Linux servers
- 24/7 support
- Free one-on-one training
- cPanel control panel
- 99.9 percent uptime
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Starter website builder
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Free website transfer
- Softaculous with 400 plus free apps
Business Pro Plan
The “Business Pro” plan is the most comprehensive plan HostPapa offers. It starts at $12.95 a month at its promotional price. Regularly, it is $19.99 a month. This plan is marketed as having enhanced performance security and speed. With this plan, you get:
- An unlimited number of websites
- Unlimited SSD storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free domain registration
One of the upgrades you get with this plan is the website builder. The other two plans we have reviewed come with the “Starter Website Builder Edition.” However, this plan comes with the Unlimited version of the website builder.
You have access to “All Essential Features” and the “Advanced Features” we discussed with the last two plans. You are also given access to “Performance Enhancements.” These include:
- Rocket fast servers
- 300 percent performance boost
- 4X more CPU and MySQL resources
- Fewer accounts per server
Security enhancements included with this plan are:
- Premium wildcard SSL
- Protection Power Pro
- Domain privacy
- Automatic website backup
Email /Extra Domains
Like the previous plan, you get unlimited hosted domains and unlimited sub-domains.
Individual mailbox storage for your email goes up to 1,000 MB. Overall mailbox storage goes up to 10,000 MB. You are still limited to sending 250 emails per hour, and your email attachment size is still capped at 10 MB.
With the “Business Pro” plan, server resources are increased to include:
- 40 entry points
- 4 CPU cores
- 4 cores MySQL
- Memory per process 1,024 MB
- Database size 2,000 MB
- Table size 1,000 MB
With all of the plans, dedicated IP addresses cost extra.
HostPapa VPS Hosting
HostPapa offers five VPS server plans. These include:
- Plus: Regularly $49.99 a month with a promotional price at $19.99
- Pro: Regularly $79.99 a month with promotional price at $39.99
- Premium: Regularly $149.99 a month with a promotional price at $109.99
- Ultra: Regularly $149.99 a month with a promotional price at $199.99
- Extreme: Regularly $299.99 a month with a promotional price at $249.99
The promotional price for each of these packages is only applicable during the first month of service.
- 4 core CPU
- 1.5 GB memory
- 50 GB SSD storage
- 1 TB transfer
- 4 core CPU
- 3 GB memory
- 1,000 GB SSD storage
- 2 TB transfer
- 8 core CPU
- 6 GB memory
- 200 GB SSD storage
- 2 TB transfer
- 8 core CPU
- 12 GB memory
- 500 GB SSD storage
- 4 TB transfer
- 12 core CPU
- 24 GB memory
- 1 TB SSD storage
- 8 TB transfer
All of the packages come with the “Managed VPS.” This is where HostPapa takes care of security audits, network issues, migrations, configuring email, firewall setup, etc.
All packages come with “Essential Features.” These include things like wholesale domains, a money back guarantee, free VPS migration, host unlimited domains, two IP addresses, and a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.
Users who previously had shared hosting like the fact that they will still be using the cPanel interface they are familiar with. This will be augmented with the Solus Virtual Manager for VPS managing. The Softaculous script installer gives users control over the applications they want to run on their server.
Verdict on Pricing
When we look at HostPapa’s pricing, we rank it as being fair. The pricing hits that sweet spot where it is cheap enough to be considered reasonably priced but not so inexpensive that we worry about the quality of the service being offered.
When shared hosting gets too cheap, it becomes too good to be true. That’s because every hosting company is going to have the same cost for employees, infrastructure, etc. Any extra money they have is used to cover variables, like hiring good people, maintaining their equipment, and providing an overall decent service.
One thing we did want to emphasize is that when you look at their pricing plans, you see the words “unlimited” and “unmetered.” This does not mean that you get all of the server space that you want. There are limits, and these limits are clearly laid out in the “Server Space and Abuse Policy.”
For more options see our guide to cheap web hosting Australia.
Pros and Cons
In this next section we're going to look at what we like about HostPaPa and what we don't like. If you have any questions don't be afraid to use the contact form to ask me.
Reliability and Performance
When we examined HostPapa’s uptime, we saw that they have an average 99.97 percent uptime.
This is pretty fair. It is not the 99.9 percent that they promise, but it’s close enough.
We realize that it would be unrealistic for us to expect HostPapa to have 100 percent uptime because problems arise and servers need maintenance.
The 99.97 percent uptime means that HostPapa’s servers are down on average three hours per year. Depending on how you look at it this, it can be a good thing or a negative thing.
It is unlikely that the three hours is going to be consecutive, so it may just be a few minutes here and a few minutes there.
That being said, there are other hosting services that have a consistent 99.9 percent uptime and only have about one hour of downtime throughout the year. Of course, these may cost you little bit more than what you are going to pay with HostPapa.
We found HostPapa to be relatively easy to use and get set up. Right off the bat, we did find it disconcerting that they do not offer a month-to-month billing option but require you to pay larger chunks up front.
That being said, the payment process is relatively easy. You simply select the plan that you want. You choose a new domain name or transfer over an existing domain name. You are asked for your payment details, and then you go through the account setup process.
Hosting Plans That Grow with You
By far the most popular plan that HostPapa offers is the “Business Pro” plan that we have mentioned above. This plan is tailored for individuals who want to sell their products or who are looking to put together an e-commerce store. It is easy to upgrade this plan as it is designed to scale with your e-commerce store as it grows.
While we did not review this in detail, the WordPress hosting is optimized to run on WordPress servers. And the plan comes with WordPress pre-installed. This means that the business owner is going to be able to save a lot of time and money.
The “Reseller” plan is perfect for people who are looking to take their business design or multi-site development to the next level. HostPapa offers a number of different packages, starting at $19.95 a month and ending at $79.95 a month.
These “Reseller” plans range from 50 GB SSD storage up to 200 GB SSD storage. The bandwidth offered goes from 500 GB with the lowest tier product up to 1.4 TB bandwidth with the “Titanium” plan.
While the shared hosting plans and the WordPress optimized plans are designed with beginners in mind, the VPS and “Reseller” plans are geared toward more experienced users who are looking to build a longer-term relationship with HostPapa.
Carbon Offsets: Creating Green Web Hosting
HostPapa distinguishes itself from some of the other web hosting companies by focusing on being green.
Their eco friendly approach means that they will purchase renewable energy credits designed to balance out energy that they use.
Many people, ourselves included, are concerned about the impact a company has on the environment. For us, the fact that they are concerned about the environment is a major selling point.
cPanel is a popular control panel that makes it possible for you to manage your server settings. It does this by supporting a number of unique features designed to help people working with files, configuring DNS records, working with folders, creating and working with domains and sub-domains, managing your email, etc.
The reason why we are happy that HostPapa uses cPanel is because cPanel has a user-friendly design that is ideal for beginners. Other control panels are harder to manage for newcomers.
Hostpapa has a variety of hosting plans. However, this means diddly squat if the website is never up. HostPapa promises a 99.9 percent uptime.
However, based on the information we have gathered, it seems like their uptime is closer to 99.7 percent. Definitely not bad, better than many, but definitely not the best.
HostPapa uses built in caching by default. As such, you cannot edit any settings.
However, by compressing MIME file types, you are able to optimize the speed a bit.
This optimization can be done in at the cPanel software section. Using the “Optimize Website” settings, you can tweak the way that Apache deals with requests.
This has allowed some to improve their site load time from one second down to 0.9 seconds. WordPress sites that are using the WordPress optimized server are going to load fast. By doing a few tweaks, you can get HostPapa to load even faster.
Secure Data Centers
HostPapa has gained fame for their reliable hosting infrastructure.
For being a mid-sized web hosting company, they have high standards when it comes to how they secure their data. You can have the confidence that comes from knowing that HostPapa offers the following security features on their servers:
- Raised floor facilities
- Fire suppression systems
- Uninterruptible power supply
- Fault protection
- Climate and temperature controls
- Redundant power
- Backup generators
HostPapa uses a Cisco powered network to keep their data secure. All of their equipment is powered by Intel Server products.
What We Do Not Like About HostPapa
We have discussed many of the plans HostPapa offers as well as some of the things that we like about them. However, with the goal of keeping this review objective, we would like to discuss a few of the things we consider to be drawbacks.
Renewal Is a Bit Expensive
The majority of affordable web hosting sites offer an initial price for the first year or so of using their service. We expect that after the initial subscription, renewals are going to be a little bit more expensive.
At first glance, the prices that HostPapa offers seem reasonable, especially when you consider that this is a green web host. Using green technology usually spikes up the price.
The increase in renewal prices with HostPapa are quite drastic. For example, their “Business” plan starts out at a reasonable $3.95 a month for the first three years.
However, after those first three years, the price jumps up to $7.99. That is quite significant. What HostPapa is hoping is that you do not want to switch hosting companies every couple of years so that you will stay with them even though they almost double your monthly fee.
The Features They Offer Are Not As Great As They Originally Sound
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
One feature that might catch your eye right away is the fact that they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. That sounds amazing until you look at the competition and realize that 60 day money back guarantees or 90 day money back guarantees are common.
A second feature that may catch your eye are automatic backups offered as a premium service when you get the “Starter” or the “Business” plan.
However, when you look at a lot of the web hosting companies that offer services similar to HostPapa, you realize that they offer weekly backups, not as a premium service but, as part of their hosting plans.
A third feature that is not as impressive as it originally seems is their claim to be an international hosting company.
When you look at their data center, you see that the locations they offer are limited. This is true even if you are using CDN services. If your business is not in the United States or in Canada, HostPapa may not be the right option for you.
The support that HostPapa offers is one of their more remarkable features. Every customer, regardless of the hosting plan they purchase, benefits from:
This is great if you learn visually. These tutorials are going to show you how to use each feature of HostPapa in a step-by-step easy-to-understand way.
Extensive Knowledge Base
If you are the type of person who likes to learn on your own, the knowledge base is right for you as it gives you guides and tutorials. All of these are divided in two categories, such as email or domains, to make it easy for you to find exactly what you are looking for.
HostPapa offers weekly webinars as well as 30 minute one-on-one training sessions. All of this additional support is free.
The HostPapa dashboard makes it easy for you to keep track of your support tickets and monitor the progress of them.
This feature allows you to talk with a real person using the 24/7 live chat feature.
When you couple this with HostPapa’s live system status and the fact that they translate all of their content into English, Spanish, French, and German, you see that HostPapa is catering to a growing international customer base.
Inexpensive Domain Names
HostPapa has a domain name tool that allows you to pick domain names using classic endings or specialized ones, like .guru or .club. You are able to register a new domain name for free during the first year of service.
Encrypted SSL certificates are included for free. Premium wildcard SSL certificates as well as other certificate options are available at an additional charge.
Content Delivery Network
The “Business” and the “Business Pro” plans comes with free Cloudflare CDN service.
Automatic Website Backups
As a premium service, HostPapa offers daily site backups, allowing you to backup your databases and emails.
HostPapa offers a number of predesigned templates, making it easy for those new to web building to create a website or even an e-commerce store.
HostPapa offers email solutions, including:
- Basic email
- Advanced email
- Office 360 email
- G Suite email
HostPapa takes their responsibility to the environment seriously. For this reason, they use and promote solar energy and purchase green certificates.
The problem is that if your small business starts to grow, HostPapa will not be able to serve your needs in the best way possible.
That being said, as a small business, your site is going to be secure and have a good uptime.
And it would be good to know that your website is being run by a company that is interested in saving the planet.
We would recommend that you carefully review all of the pricing plans before committing to HostPapa. There are a number of features that look great until you realize how much you have to pay for them.
Since HostPapa only gives you a 30 day money back guarantee, you will have to determine quickly whether or not they are the right web host for you. And, remember, that your 30 day money back guarantee only covers the actual cost of the web hosting. It usually does not cover any additional services you have purchased.
Have you tried HostPapa? What do you think about their service? Let us know in the comments section below.
If you're still looking for more info please read our guide to the best web hosts in Australia.