HostMonster Review: Dated Dud Or Next Big Brand? We Asked Users

Our Verdict: #1 For Unmetered Bandwidth

HostMonster provides budget web hosting bundled with a free domain name, 5 email accounts; and one-click WordPress installation. Their hosting services come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

You can currently get up to 50% off with our exclusive discount link .

Pros:

  • Free SSL certificate protects your website visitors’ privacy
  • Get online fast with the user-friendly cPanel control panel
  • Dedicated servers and VPS servers available

Cons:

  • Windows hosting not available
  • No uptime guarantee

Is HostMonster the Right Host For You?

  • Expert Review — read our thorough analysis by hosting expert Toni Allen.
  • Customer Reviews — see what HostMonster customers have to say.
  • Plans — see HostMonster plans and pricing.
  • FAQs — find the answers to the most asked questions about HostMonster!

HostMonster is a popular web hosting company that offers free domain names and plans that target small business customers.

In this HostMonster review, I’ll examine the features they offer with their web hosting services and show you how their hosting plans compare to other hosts.

HostMonster Homepage
HostMonster’s homepage

Small Business Hosting

HostMonster specializes in hosting for small businesses.

With included domain names, easy hosting set-up, a free website builder, and one-click app installations, people can get started without needing any technical knowledge or going elsewhere for additional services.

Larger companies can find more powerful hosting options with their VPS and dedicated server plans. However, HostMonster is mostly focused on providing budget shared hosting.

Their plans are well-suited to anyone starting a website for the first time.

About HostMonster

HostMonster is a web hosting provider that’s been around for two decades. The company is part of the Endurance International Group (EIG), a collection of hosting brands for small businesses.

HostMonster’s Technology

In addition, HostMonster’s technology includes:

  • Dual Quad Processor Performance servers
  • Diesel generator backup power
  • Linux operating system
  • 24/7 network monitoring.

These architecture and infrastructure specifications allow HostMonster to offer reliable hosting, reducing the risk of their customers’ websites experiencing large outages.

Continued below user reviews.

HostMonster Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 88 Reviews by HostMonster Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Chad Pederson avatar
Chad Pederson pedersonrewalty.com
Feb 26, 2016

I’ve been a HostMonster customer for about 8 years. I host all kinds of different custom Html and WordPress websites on my HostMonster account. I’ve never had an issue with downtime, service, etc.

Everything seems to run very smoothly. FTP always works. I like the cpanel interface. Making custom name server changes is also a breeze for the domains I purchase through HostMonster (though the bulk of my domains are at GoDaddy).

Visit Host Now →

Brandon Hanna avatar
Brandon Hanna allinforou.com
Mar 15, 2017

Best hosting I could ask for. Their customer support is second to none, and the support staff speaks perfect English. Very professional and always helpful.

I work on mostly WordPress websites and have never had an issue. Only thing to consider, however, is that their monthly prices are very expensive. You get what you pay for though, so I don’t mind it at all ($6 a month extra over the competition never killed anyone).

Visit Host Now →

Martin Z avatar
Martin Z hellosuckers.net
Feb 22, 2014

I have been with Hostmonster for about 7 years. At the beginning it was OK and they provided a great service – fast, reliable, and with a great support. But about 3 years ago I started experiencing slow loading, too many down times (at first, they claimed fire in the server room, then a failure of a router and today DDoS attack).

Many times when I complained about a speed time, they blamed me for unoptimized websites and many other stuff. Today I lost my patience when my whole account was down since 11 am and it is now 9 pm and it is still down. All my domains, websites, email accounts are dead.

At first I called them and they told me that it is OK and that they could load everything on their end. And they blamed my ISP provider using wrong routing tables. I had to argue that even third party ping services such as isitdown.com couldn’t ping the server and whether they also used wrong tables.

After arguing for some time, they found out that their server I was hosting on was under DDoS attacked, so they shut it down. Can you imagine it? They simply shut down the server.

They do not care about businesses of their clients. So, if you want a reliable service, run! Run fast away from this company.

Visit Host Now →

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Shared Hosting Plans and Features  

HostMonster’s shared plans can work for hobbyists or small businesses.

It seems commonplace for hosting companies to offer unlimited resources to their shared hosting customers — and HostMonster is no exception.

All of their shared hosting plans will give you unlimited bandwidth. But, this doesn’t mean that you can use as much as you want.

It just means that the company won’t charge you according to how much you use. Instead, accounts on a shared server share all the bandwidth.

What Does “Unlimited Bandwidth” Mean?

Sharing bandwidth can be a problem for demanding websites as they may require more bandwidth than is available at times.

However, this storage situation should be adequate for personal websites and small businesses since they won’t have a problem with bandwidth limits. The majority of HostMonster’s customers will be fine with their bandwidth and disk space.

Your disk space allotment will depend on the shared hosting plan that you choose. There are strict limits placed on their cheaper plans while their highest-level plan provides unlimited disk space.

Any small website should have enough disk space, even with their cheapest plan.

Free Domain Registration

All HostMonster plans include a free domain name for one full year. After this, you will have to renew your domain registration and pay for it yourself.

Note: You won’t be able to buy domain names from HostMonster without purchasing a hosting plan as well.

If you’re looking to get a domain name alone, check out HostGator instead. They will let you purchase names on their own and point them to whichever hosting company you choose.

Cheapest Plans

HostMonster’s cheapest plan also allows you to host one domain and manage 5 email accounts.

On the other hand, their most expensive shared hosting plan will give you unlimited email accounts, and allow for the hosting of unlimited domains.

More Email Addresses

Why would you need all these email accounts, you ask? Well, you’ll probably never need hundreds of them.

But if you’re a business it’s useful because you can create email addresses for individual employees.

With HostMonster, you’ll have three different webmail solutions, so your employees can choose the email client that they like the best.

Shared Hosting Features

If you explore HostMonster’s website, you’ll eventually land on their “Hosting Features” page. This is a list of everything that they offer. Realize that these features aren’t necessarily included in every plan.

The list is a bit overwhelming, so I’ll break it down for you.

Website Builder

In addition to their unlimited resources, they have listed many other inclusions. For one, all accounts will have access to the free Weebly website builder. This will be described in detail later in this review.

MOJO Marketplace

Additional user-friendly features include HostMonster’s partnership with MOJO Marketplace. With access to this marketplace from your control panel, you’ll be able to install applications in one click.

WordPress and Blogging

Like almost all bargain hosts, HostMonster provides a user-friendly way to create and launch a WordPress website.

You can do this directly from the control panel (dashboard).

If you already have a website you may not realize that you can add a WordPress blog to it. HostMonster provides instructions on how to do this.

Developer Features

Developers will have features like FTP access, SSH access, custom Cron jobs, MySQL databases, and CGI-Bin.

Additionally, people with coding knowledge will enjoy support for multiple languages including PHP5, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, and JavaScript. These features won’t be important to most hosting users.

E-commerce

For e-commerce functionality, HostMonster gives you various shopping carts to choose from. For example, osCommerce, Agora, Cube Cart, and Zen Cart.

SSL Certificates

Your website will be hosted on an SSL-secure server and you can generate a free security certificate to place on your website.

This will provide your customers with the reassurance they need to enter payment information on your store.

Best practice in 2019 is to use an SSL certificate for any site, not just e-commerce sites.

Bonus Plan: What’s In It?

If you want a dedicated IP address a a private SSL certificate for further e-commerce security, you can get these bundled in HostMonster’s bonus plan.

This bonus plan also comes with Site Backup Pro so you won’t have to purchase it separately.

Media Hosting

So that you can give your website all the dynamic and interesting content it needs to keep visitors around, HostMonster supports video streaming, audio streaming, and MIDI files.

Free Website Builder

HostMonster gives you access to the Weebly website builder, a popular drag-and-drop website builder.

It allows almost anyone to design and build a website. The website builder software is completely online, meaning you won’t have to install anything to use it.

Weebly vs. WordPress

Upon logging into HostMonster for the first time, you’ll be greeted by options to pick a theme to start designing your new website with WordPress. This shows how simple it is to get started on WordPress when you host with this company.

Designing with Weebly is simple. You just choose a template to start with and then customize it to suit your brand. You can change colors, fonts, and add social sharing buttons. You can drag in pre-built sections like forms.

How to Activate Weebly

Log into your control panel and navigate to “Weebly.” Then click on it.

You’ll be prompted to pick a theme.

Then you’ll have complete drag-and-drop control over your design. Add elements to your pages like maps, contact forms, and buttons.

Online Store Features

People building online stores will like that they can add product pages and categories to their store as well.

How to add a product
Add a product to your store with a few clicks.

You’ll also have the possibility of adding entire pre-built sections to your website pages.

To test this out, I added a menu and a “meet our team” section to my website. These snapped into place and integrated nicely into the homepage.

Pre-built sections
Dragging pre-populated sections to a web page makes it easy to change your site quickly.

VPS Plans

HostMonster has powerful virtual private servers (VPS) for people and businesses that need more power. These plans are all fully-managed, so you won’t need technical expertise to use them.

You’ll also be given dedicated and guaranteed server resources.

Dedicated Resources

What does this mean? That you will always have the disk space and bandwidth that is pre-defined by the plan you choose. No sharing of resources with other people on one server. The resources that you purchased are guaranteed to always be available to you.

HostMonster’s servers are built on cloud technology, allowing them to offer you scalable features.

As a result, you can expand your business in the future with easy resource upgrades.

VPS Pricing at HostMonster

Their VPS plans are the same prices as the ones you’ll find at Bluehost and HostGator.

However, their cheapest plan will give you much less disk space than you’ll get with HostGator’s VPS plan. And, Bluehost gives you unlimited bandwidth on all of their plans.

HostMonster's VPS plans
HostMonster has a variety of VPS plans

No Uptime Guarantee

No, so you will not be compensated if your website experiences significant downtime.

Other companies, such as HostGator, provide uptime guarantees and will compensate you with a full month of hosting credit if you experience significant downtime.

Instead, HostMonster makes the same uptime statement as many other companies that don’t offer guarantees.

They acknowledge that their servers may experience downtime which is caused by issues typically resolved within 15 minutes. Though, it can sometimes take longer to fix problems.

As a result, HostMonster will issue a pro-rated refund if you cancel your hosting account due to server downtime. You can engage in uptime monitoring from your control panel to keep an eye on this.

Cloudflare CDN

Yes, they give you access to Cloudflare, a powerful CDN, for free.

You will just have to enable this from your control panel by clicking the Cloudflare icon and clicking “activate.”

Cloudflare caches the content of your website across a global network so that your website viewers will receive content from the location closest to them. They will enjoy much faster loading times as a result of this.

This will help you reduce bounce rates from visitors who don’t want to wait a few seconds extra for your website to load.

24/7 Customer Support

One thing I always look for on hosting company websites is live chat for their browsing site visitors. It’s unbelievably helpful to be able to just start a live chat with a customer service member.

Support for Prospective Customers

Sometimes you’ll want to know something about a hosting company that they don’t make clear on their website.

For example, they may not make it obvious where their servers are located, if they offer website migration, or what kind of control panel they give you.

Having live chat support for everyone, not just paying customers, is a great thing that HostMonster does.

I had a chance to ask them a question and they responded within 5 minutes with a helpful answer. I was satisfied with our short interaction.

Tech Support for Paid Customers

For customers of paid plans, HostMonster support can be reached by live chat or with a toll-free number as well.

These resources are available 24/7. Their website displays a little green light on the support page if their phone and chat assistants are online. They also have a place to display the average wait time you may experience.

Chat with customer support
Anyone can contact HostMonster’s support.

Online Help Documentation

When you land on HostMonster’s support page, you’re greeted with links to their most popular help articles. These explain how to do things like setting up your email account.

The articles themselves are very helpful, but the layout of the knowledgebase isn’t. I would have liked to see some kind of organization on this page.

Many other companies, like Bluehost, make it easier to find help articles on the topics you need. But with HostMonster, you’ll have to use their search feature to find anything.

Payment and Renewal Options

HostMonster gives you multiple payment options and billing preferences. Their services are auto-renewed by default to prevent you from experiencing outages or losing your domain name.

However, you can also choose to renew your services manually.

The company does not offer monthly billing options. You will need to sign up for and pay in advance for at least a full year of hosting.

Cancelling Your Plan

You also won’t be able to get a refund if you cancel your plan before your term is up.

So, keep in mind that you’ll be stuck paying for HostMonster’s services until the end of your term if you decide you no longer want to host with them.

Monthly vs. Yearly Payments

If you don’t like this and would rather pay for hosting month-to-month, then HostGator may be a better company for you.

They offer their plans on a monthly basis so you can cancel anytime without losing months of hosting that you’ve already paid for.

Behind the Scenes: cPanel

For managing your hosting, HostGator gives you their own customized version of cPanel.

Using the HostMonster control panel is simple. Upon logging into your hosting account, you’ll be greeted by a clean and organized space to work with.

Right away they give you a preview of your website and an easy log-in button to access WordPress.

HostMonster's Control Panel
HostMonster’s Control Panel

On the left sidebar, you’ll be able to view the sites you’re hosting, visit the Marketplace for themes and add-ons, check and manage email, as well as access advanced features typical to cPanel.

When you select these advanced options, you’ll be able to view information about your hosting plans and keep track of disk space and bandwidth usage.

You’ll also have access to various statistical tools like AWStats and Webalizer.

You’ll find it easy to install applications like WordPress and Joomla from the “website” section of the control panel.

Also, try out the included Weebly website builder if you want to build your website here instead of on WordPress.

Advanced options on the Control Panel
Advanced options on HostMonster’s Control Panel

Our HostMonster Discount for You

If you want to give HostMonster a try, don’t forget you can get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days. Just make sure you take advantage of our discount before signing up.

Alternative Hosts

If HostMonster sounds good to you but you want the reliability of an uptime guarantee, you should look at HostGator.

HostGator is a very similar hosting company with a lot of the same features and pricing structures.

HostGator includes a 99.9% uptime guarantee for all plans. You can receive compensation from them if your site experiences more downtime than this.

HostMonster may run WordPress, but all they offer is one-click download of the app. Other hosting companies can give you optimized WordPress plans that are designed to run the CMS system at optimal performance.

For this, look into Bluehost’s WordPress plans which are built on VPS technology for extreme speed.

HostMonster Quick Overview

Here’s a look at HostMonster from cruising altitude.

Specializations

HostMonster provides customer support in several ways. They are available 24/7 via phone and live chat, ready to answer questions or solve problems.

Inexperienced users to install apps easily through MOJO Marketplace.

HostMonster offers developers many access features and tools.

Migration Policy

HostMonster offers a website transfer service from your account. They will migrate up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts for you, from one single account with your old hosting provider.

Online Support Documentation

HostMonster has good online help materials.

  1. Searchable Knowledgebase with 550+ articles
  2. “Getting Started” launch page that links to all the steps you’ll need to take as a new website owner
  3. “How-to” video tutorials
  4. All help pages are tagged, making it easy to find relevant search terms
  5. Live chat 24/7.

Control Panels

HostMonster uses a customized version of the cPanel control panel.

Datacenters

The company’s datacenter is located in the state of Utah, in the U.S.

Money-Back Guarantee

HostMonster offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel your hosting account by contacting their customer service and you will be issued a full refund.

HostMonster’s Lowest-Priced Plan

HostMonster’s cheapest plan starts at $4.95/month for your first term, when signing up for 36 months. Your plan will renew at their regular rate which is $10.99/month.

This plan comes with:

  • One website and one free domain
  • Unmetered bandwidth and 50 GB of storage
  • 5 email accounts, each with 100 MB of storage
  • 5 parked domains
  • 25 subdomains.

Backup Policy

The company states that they provide courtesy backups for your website. So, what exactly does this mean? First of all, they don’t offer redundant or mirrored backups. Only one copy of your website will be backed up.

They run these backups at their own discretion. These are not guaranteed, so don’t rely on them for your backup needs.

Site Backup Pro

Instead, you can add Site Backup Pro to your plan which will allow you to perform your own daily backups and restore your website from multiple points in history.

It will be your own responsibility to download backups if you wish to keep a copy of your data.

HostMonster will delete backups older than 30 days.

PCI Compliance

Yes, HostMonster supports PCI compliance on all of their plans.

Pros and Cons

Let’s summarize. What’s HostMonster best at? What could be improved?

Pros

  1. User-friendly control panel with easy application installs
  2. Lots of tools for developers
  3. Unlimited disk space and storage

Cons

  1. No uptime guarantee
  2. Unorganized support knowledgebase

Final Thoughts

HostMonster’s website isn’t nearly as welcoming as their popular alternatives, Bluehost and HostGator.

It doesn’t provide much detail for consumers and lists a lot of features without really explaining them. You’ll also have to do some work to find the breakdown of their shared hosting plans as they’re hidden behind a “get started” button.

However, the company does have some affordable hosting options. You can find some basic shared hosting for smaller businesses at a budget price. And many included features that developers will enjoy.

Ready to try HostMonster for your website? Use our discount!

Contributing editor: Natalie Mootz

Most Popular HostMonster Hosting Plans

Basic Plus Pro
Disk Space 50GB 50GB Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Price $4.95 / mo
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$6.95 / mo
Usual price: Get % off!
$14.95 / mo
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Plan Disk Space Bandwidth Price
Standard VPS
Shared
30GB 1TB $28.74 / mo Visit Host Now
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60GB 2TB $57.49 / mo Visit Host Now
Premium VPS
Shared
120GB 3TB $86.24 / mo Visit Host Now
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Shared
240GB 4TB $114.99 / mo Visit Host Now
Standard Dedicated
Shared
500GB 5TB $143.74 / mo Visit Host Now
Enhanced Dedicated
Shared
1000GB 10TB $191.66 / mo Visit Host Now
Premium Dedicated
Shared
1000GB 15TB $239.57 / mo Visit Host Now
More Plans +

HostMonster Frequently Asked Questions

  • How easy is it to set up a basic website with HostMonster?

    Getting a website online with HostMonster is simple. First, you choose a hosting plan and then your free domain name. After you’ve created an account and paid for your hosting plan, you’ll have access to the cPanel where you can start using their website builder. In a few minutes your site will be live!

  • Does HostMonster offer any Windows hosting plans?

    HostMonster is a Linux-only provider. Linux is the most common operating system among web hosts and it’s what’s required for popular CMSs (content management systems) like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. If you need a Windows plan and want bargain pricing, consider A2 Hosting, HostGator or GoDaddy . For complex or enterprise Windows hosting consider Liquid Web.

  • Where are HostMonster’s datacenters located?

    HostMonster does not publicize the location of its datacenter. However, according to DataCenter Knowledge, an industry publication, HostMonster uses the same Provo, Utah datacenter that Bluehost and HostGator do. (All three hosts are owned by Endurance International Group.) Note that HostMonster also uses the Cloudflare CDN which has a network of nodes that span the globe.

  • Are managed dedicated servers available at HostMonster?

    Yes. HostMonster provides both dedicated servers and VPS servers with full management.

  • Do I get a free domain with my hosting plan?

    Every plan comes with a free domain for the first year.

  • Will my price change from the intro price when I renew my services?

    HostMonster offers a promotional price for the first term only. It renews at the regular rate. It offers progressively lower prices for longer contracts.

  • If I am dissatisfied, can I get a refund?

    HostMonster provides a 30-day money-back guarantee on most hosting plans. If you cancel after this time, you will receive a pro-rated refund for unused months.

  • Will HostMonster compensate me for downtime?

    No. HostMonster does not have an uptime guarantee.

  • Can I get support on the phone?

    Yes. 24×7 support is available by phone.

  • Does HostMonster still offer reseller plans?

    No. HostMonster announced in late 2014 that it will no longer be accepting reseller hosting signups.

  • Can the team help me with transferring an existing site?

    It will migrate up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts from a single account. More information is provided in the customer account area.

  • Does HostMonster allow more than one domain per account?

    Yes. Unlimited domains can be hosted.

  • Does the company have a sitebuilder?

    Yes. To help users create sites easily and quickly, Weebly is provided.

  • Does it offer cPanel?

    Yes. cPanel is provided as the default control panel.

  • What payment options does HostMonster accept?

    HostMonster accepts credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover. It also accepts PayPal, checks (USD) and money orders (USD).

  • Is there a one-click installer library?

    Yes. All customers can use Mojo Marketplace which allows you to install or upgrade applications, including WordPress and Joomla!.

  • Does HostMonster set up monthly contracts?

    Yes, you can opt for a monthly contract or a longer deal.

  • What does its backup policy look like?

    HostMonster backs up data at its discretion, and those backups are kept for a maximum of 30 days. It would be sensible to set up your own backups, as HostMonster does not guarantee availailability.

  • Which of service would be most appropriate for multiple websites?

    All HostMonster hosting plans can accommodate an unlimited number of websites.

  • Does the company provide unlimited bandwidth and unlimited space?

    Yes. HostMonster offers unlimited bandwidth and disk space, subject to its fair use policy.

Toni Allen

About Toni Allen

Webmaster, mom, juggler. Toni manages the day-to-day operations of WhoIsHostingThis. She is a keen hiker, climber, and outdoors explorer.

Connect with Toni

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