HostPapa Review: Can This Small-Timer Challenge The Web Hosting Giants? We Asked 387 Real Users

Should You Host Your Website With HostPapa?

There are many thousands of web hosting companies. So it can be hard to find the right one for your website. As a result, we’ve put together all of the data to help you make the right choice. Is HostPapa right for you? Read on.

Web Host Review: HostPapa

When you think of eco-friendly hosts you probably also think of steep monthly costs. But HostPapa has made a name for itself by being an eco-friendly host that’s also friendly on the wallet. Still, supporting the environment isn’t the only thing HostPapa has going for it.

HostPapa’s offerings cater to beginners who don’t want to utilize a handful of different services to get their sites online. Now, it’s still not without its drawbacks. But HostPapa stands out in its accessible hosting packages, it’s worldwide presence and suite of site tools that cater to beginners.

All About HostPapa

HostPapa is a relatively new hosting provider, coming into existence back in 2006. A decade of doing business might seem like a long time, but with other hosts doing multiple decades of work, it’s one of the newer additions. Still, in that short period of time HostPapa has grown to host over 500,000 websites spread out across the globe.

Hosting for Beginners

HostPapa’s website and hosting offering cater mostly to beginner and intermediate level business owners.

It has an array of shared hosting packages geared toward various business types. But beyond its levels of shared hosting, you’ll also find VPS hosting options and reseller plans.

Carbon Offsets

The main thing that makes HostPapa stand out from other beginner hosts is its focus on being a green host.

Now, this doesn’t mean its datacenters are powered by solar panels and wind turbines but instead buys renewable energy credits to offset its energy usage. Although this might seem like nothing, for users concerned about their own environmental impact, it could be a huge selling point.

All About Green
All About Green

Beyond it’s beginner-oriented hosting packages, where does this host stand out from the pack? After all, the entry-level hosting space is quite crowded.

All-in-One Packages

HostPapa ends up making a name for itself by providing all-in-one beginner packages, catering to a worldwide audience, offering solid uptime and security features, along with company values that show they care about more than just profit.

Globally Focused Shared Hosting

One of the main reasons for the massive growth of HostPapa is due to its focus on marketing and tailoring their offerings towards an international audience. They offer multiple website versions that cater to users in countries like Australia, Europe, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Belgium.

Multi-Language Support

However, they don’t just sell hosting packages to users across the globe, but they offer multi-language support that caters to those users as well. Combine an international focus with a robust shared hosting plan, and you’re ready to serve people around the world.

HostPapa Global Focus
HostPapa Global Focus via pixabay

HostPapa Offers a Lot

Usually, shared hosting plans that are geared towards everyone ends up being limited. Either in bandwidth, or disk space, or features. But the shared hosting plans offered by HostPapa actually offer your website a lot.

For starters, the very basic plan is not only incredibly cheap, but it allows you to host up to two websites. Not only that it offers you plenty of disc space, so you won’t be running into any plan limits here. But maybe the coolest thing that those just getting started online will love is the inclusion of a free domain name.

Let’s face it, although there are better domain name management providers out there, when you’re brand new to the online world it can all get a little overwhelming fast. So, being able to take care of your hosting, domain name, and build your site all in one place can be very helpful.

A Hosting Plan for Everyone

The main focus is obviously offering shared hosting plans. You can see that through the scalable shared hosting plans available on the site. The starter plan is the most obvious choice if you’re looking for the cheapest option available, but if you want to build a larger website for your small to medium-sized business, then you’ll want to look into the Business and Business Pro plans.

HostPapa Hosting Plans
HostPapa Hosting Plans

Both of these will give you more options when building out your site, along with giving you unlimited disk space. But if you’re the type who wants to sell products, or build out a full-fledged e-commerce store, then Business Pro is the only plan for you.

Luckily, it’s easy to upgrade your plan, so if you find yourself wanting to build out a larger site, then you can quickly upgrade your plan.

Other Plans

HostPapa also provides WordPress plans that are similar to the shared hosting plans but come with WordPress pre-installed and run on WordPress optimized servers.

Finally, there are some more advanced hosting plans available like VPS and Reseller hosting. Beginner users will probably find these plans too much. However, it’s nice to have if you want to stay with HostPapa for the long-run, but your site won’t stop growing. A great problem to have.

Website Builder

In alignment with the focus on providing beginners and small business owners everything they need to get their sites online, you’ll find a bundled website builder. There are multiple versions of it depending on which hosting plan you’re using.

Free Website Builder Features

The free version is a little limited, but you still get access to features like:

  • A library of over 100 mobile-friendly design templates
  • The ability to create a basic 3-page website
  • Easy drag and drop website creation
  • A selection of ready-made widgets and apps
  • Easy navigation menu creation, including nested navigation

Site Publisher
Site Publisher

Higher-Level Plans

Now, three pages might not be enough for some users, but for people who want to build a simple site in the quickest amount of time possible, then it could be enough.

For more will need to upgrade your website builder subscription to a higher-level plan. As the plans scale up, you’ll gain access to additional features, like creating unlimited pages for your website, getting access to even more templates (including tap-to-call features), and Google Map integration. With the highest level plan, you can build your very own e-commerce site.

The level of service you need is up to the goals you have for your site. But regardless of which plan level you choose, it’s super easy to build your site. Since it’s a drag-and-drop website builder, you can rearrange site elements until it’s perfect, all without any previous design knowledge.

HostPapa’s Uptime

Regardless of the features a host provides, the most important one is a high uptime. What good is a host if visitors can’t even access your site!

HostPapa Service Guarantee
HostPapa Service Guarantee

We’re happy to report that HostPapa offers users an uptime that’s better than the industry average. Far from just saying it has 99.9% uptime it actually has the historical data to back it up. However, there isn’t a credit system that’ll discount your payment if your site goes down, like some hosts offer.

Stellar Security Features

Website security is something you need to take seriously, so it’s nice to see a beginner host that makes it easy for users to keep their sites secure. The last thing you want to do is think about how to best protect your site on top of that.

All of its shared hosting plans are equipped with Panda Cloud anti-spam, regular attack monitoring, a server firewall, and detection of any intrusions into the server environment. These features are actually pretty advanced for any basic shared hosting package.

Industry-leading security technology for websites of all sizes!
Industry-leading security technology for websites of all sizes!

If you have more extensive security demands, then you’ll want to upgrade to a higher level package, which gives you things like a free SSL certificate, a dedicated IP address, automated backups, and domain privacy protection.

HostPapa: Room to Improve

Even with all the features highlighted above, HostPapa isn’t without its drawbacks. Some of these flaws aren’t dealbreakers, but it probably narrows the pool of people who would find this host the best fit for their needs.

Here are a few things that HostPapa could improve upon:

  1. Loading speeds aren’t up to par
  2. Pricing option are a bit misleading
  3. Datacenter options are limited
  4. The 30-day money back guarantee could be improved
  5. Backups aren’t included with lower-level plans

I’ll go over these issues in more detail now.

Loading Time

Although it’s uptime is stellar, the average loading speeds aren’t up to par. If you barely get any traffic or have a very small site, then this probably won’t be an issue to you.

But since page loading speeds play such a huge factor in your user experience and search engine rankings it’s something crucially important, especially today.

Pricing Options

The pricing options seem to be a bit misleading.

Upon first glance, the super low advertised prices might seem like a huge bargain. But these prices are only valid if you sign up for a long-term hosting deal of two or three years.

Granted, the prices are still cheaper, but it never feels good to have to lock yourself into such a long-term deal right out of the gate.

Datacenter Options

Although HostPapa serve customers from all over the world, the datacenter options are actually quite limited. At the time of writing this, they serve all of the websites out of the Toronto, Canada datacenter.

This might be advantageous for some users, but those located halfway across the globe could probably benefit more from a datacenter closer in proximity.

Money Back Guarantee

The 30-day money back guarantee for hosting packages should be enough for most users. It’s not the longest guarantee ever, but it’s still enough time to give the service a real test drive.

However, there is some fine print you’ll want to be aware of. If you choose to take advantage of the free domain upon registration, then your domain set-up fee will be deducted from your total refund.

Backups

Backups are included with higher level plans, but users on shared hosting plans are out of luck when it comes to automated backups.

You can add backups to your plan for an additional fee, but that probably contradicts the reason you signed up for the host, to take advantage of its low prices.

General Improvements

The service issues highlighted above won’t end up being problems for everyone who uses the service. Especially if all you want to do is build a small site with a couple of pages.

The one thing that would be really nice to see happen is a greater datacenter selection. This would help to better cater to users around the globe and probably help to speed up page loading times as well.

Is HostPapa Right for You?

HostPapa is a solid budget host. But even though it’s oriented towards beginners, it’s still not right for everyone. They do offer a solid selection of features, especially for a beginner shared host. But the unclear pricing, loading speeds, and lack of backups might be a dealbreaker for some.

Take a quick look at the good and bad about HostPapa:

The Good The Bad
Cheap and eco-friendly Lengthy contract for cheap rates
Intergrated site builder Slower loading speeds
Multi-language support Lack of included backups
Built-in website security tools Lack of datacenter selection

Still, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly green host and only want to build a simple website with a few pages, then it can fit your needs perfectly.

Lastly, if you’re interested in HostPapa, then you should take advantage of our coupon code. This will let you get HostPapa’s cheap hosting for even less.

cPanel

HostPapa utilizes the classic cPanel setup, like most other beginner web hosts. Chances are, you’ve stumbled across cPanel before, or have at least read about it. It’s one of the most popular and commonly used control panels in the world.

cPanel Layout and Searching

The cPanel environment is well laid out and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. You can access your cPanel from the main user dashboard, or directly from your cPanel URL.

The setup is similar to other cPanel layouts. You can either search for the app you’re looking for, or browse through the collection of different apps you can use. You’ll also notice a right-hand column that offers you an account breakdown, so you can get an understanding of your current account usage.

HostPapa cPanel
HostPapa cPanel

Doing It All With cPanel

If you’re looking to do things like manage your account, access your domains, add additional services to your account, build your website, adjust your billing, or input a support request, then you’ll be doing this from the main user dashboard.

Having the ability to access every single thing related to managing, creating, and paying for your website in one single dashboard is a very nice feature that streamlines using the service.

Excellent Multi-Language Customer Support

HostPapa takes its customer support seriously. First, you can access support via phone, email, live chat, and even fax. There’s also a pretty big library of tutorial and walkthrough videos if you’re the stubborn type who likes to work through everything on your own.

Papa Squad Experts

One stand-out feature is the support offered by Papa Squad Experts. First, the name is awesome. Second, it’s incredibly helpful and you’ll get a guided walkthrough via video or phone about whatever issue you’re currently experiencing.

24/7 Support
24/7 Support

Multi-Language Support

If English isn’t your first language then don’t worry, you’re covered. HostPapa offers phone support for over 18 different countries, which most other hosts can’t match.

HostPapa Alternatives

If you like HostPapa but don’t think it is quite right for you, check out these hosts.

HostGator

HostGator Logo

If you’re looking for a beginner host but think that the slow loading speeds might be an issue for you, take a look at HostGator. You’ll find cheap hosting plans that compare to the pricing options offered by HostPapa, but the overall loading speeds with HostGator seem to be better.

If being eco-friendly is a big concern, then you’ll be happy to hear that HostGator offsets their energy usage by purchasing renewable energy credits too.

SiteGround

SiteGround Logo

If price isn’t a big concern and you don’t mind spending a bit more for your hosting, then consider choosing SiteGround. It’s one of the best beginner hosts out there and offers solid uptime and loading speeds.

Plus, you’ll have the ability to choose between multiple datacenters, which is a great option for users who don’t live in the US.

HostPapa Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about HostPapa. For more, see our questions and answers below.

Question: Are there any hidden fees I need to be aware of?

Answer: There aren’t any hidden fees per se. But there are some pricing discrepancies you’ll want to be aware of. For example, the low pricing featured on the plan pages is only available when you agree to a 2 or 3-year contract. Otherwise, the plan rate will increase. You’ll also want to be aware of the price increases after your initial contract. The low rate you lock in for your service is only available for the length of your first term.

Question: Is there any way I can make my website faster?

Answer: Like we mentioned above HostPapa is a bit slower than average for site loading speeds. However, there are some ways you can speed this up. Beyond optimizing your site, which we won’t cover here, you can utilize the Cloudflare CDN.

You can activate Cloudflare from within cPanel. Just click on the Cloudflare icon, follow the steps, and you’ll setup Cloudflare for your chosen domain.

HostPapa FAQ
HostPapa FAQ via pxhere

Question: What languages are currently available for support?

Answer: You’ll be able to reach the support team via the following languages, English, Spanish, French, and German. Plus, there’s also the promise to add more support languages in time.

Question: Do I get credit back if my site falls below the 99.9% uptime guarantee?

Answer: After digging through the terms of service I couldn’t find anything that pertained to account refunds or credits if your site does go down. So, no there’s no tangible offer if your site goes offline. HostPapa simply puts it in good faith that your site will experience 99.9% uptime, and the data suggests this is true.

See more frequently asked questions below.

HostPapa Quick Overview

Here is a quick rundown of what HostPapa has to offer. Use it to compare to other hosts.

Specializations

  • Cheap eco-friendly hosting.
  • Everything beginners need to get their sites online.
  • Great multi-language support for non-English speakers.

Shared Hosting Plans starting at…

$3.95/mo

Migration policy

Free website migration for new accounts only, email migration is also included

Quality of support materials

Good.

Control Panel Access

cPanel.

Datacenters

Main datacenter is located in Toronto, Canada. Additional datacenters exist across North America, but the locations aren’t specified.

Money-back guarantee

30-day money back guarantee.

Backup Policy

No automated backups for the cheaper plans. You can upgrade for automated backups, or add it to your plan for a fee.

Site Builder

Yes, a basic site builder is included, with paid upgrades for additional features.

PCI compliance

Certified PCI compliant e-commerce merchant.

Pros and Cons of HostPapa

HostPapa is a solid beginner host with multi-language support, however, it’s not perfect for every style of website owner, as you’ll see below.

HostPapa Pros

  • Some of the cheapest green hosting out there
  • Easy to use and integrated site builder
  • Multi-language customer support, which can be invaluable for certain users

HostPapa Cons

  • To get the lowest pricing you have to sign up for a lengthy hosting package
  • The loading speeds are slower than average
  • Datacenter selection is limited (there isn’t one) for having a global user base

Why You Should Host With HostPapa

HostPapa is a great choice if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly host that’ll not only allow you to host your site easily, but also let you build an attractive site too. All while staying on budget.

However, those looking for a high-performance host who prioritizes website performance will want to continue their hosting search.

HostPapa Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 387 Reviews by HostPapa Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Wellie Denoncourt avatar
Wellie Denoncourt dikafrato.com
Apr 05, 2017

What could I say exciting today? I have been at Hostpapa for 8 years, I think. I had some clumsiness and occasionally I did not plan my work well, which caused me some troubles as a webmaster.

But the Hostpapa team has always supported me. I am completely satisfied with what you have done for me. But please keep working!

Visit Host →

Rob Davies avatar
Rob Davies sunlightdigital.uk
Apr 23, 2016

When I first found HostPapa I couldn’t believe I was getting everything my old host offered for a fraction of the price, and figured there had to be a catch. So far I can say the only downsides I have found are that FTP access is a little slow and there have been maybe 2 or 3 instances I’ve noticed in the first year that my sites were briefly inaccessible (which happened on my old host anyway). This hasn’t happened for a few months, however.

On the upside, there is the price, the great customer service, and the fact I have everything I need at my fingertips to host several small sites for my friends’ businesses & take care of their emails. Overall, very pleased.

Visit Host →

Katz Green avatar
Katz Green yourhelpsalesmarketing.com
Mar 31, 2016

I am so very impressed with the quality and also the personal support I receive from HostPapa. I have never been phoned before to notify me of an issue with my hosting (my fault as well, way over data) until I changed to HostPapa. They rang me and explained the situation, gave me some solutions, and gave me a little time to sort it. I was extremely impressed.

Visit Host →

Susan Mills avatar
Susan Mills grandbendtourism.com
Dec 15, 2016

We’ve used HostPapa since 2009. Initially we chose them because of their Canadian location, but very quickly chose them for their ease of doing Business – with a few clicks you can register a domain, get the hosting account setup and receive a welcome email with all the key information for cpanel and ftp and billing etc. Before working with my current employer, I developed websites for small business owners and found Hostpapa’s pricing to fair and competitive and the big selling feature as a self-employed person at the time was the great technical support.

Over the years, I’ve put together dozens of websites and HostPapa is my hosting company of choice. The one-click application of WordPress to the account, the one-click website backup, the ease of creating emails and re-directs – makes it feel like I have an IT Department backing me up. Their Business model is fair and customer-centric.

I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with GoDaddy when working on a client’s website and found their constant upsell and re-sell irritating and their website navigation / information architecture incredible confusing and I think designed to get you to buy services you don’t need or that you already have (was billed more than twice for a service the account had!). In comparison, I find HostPapa’s website and their cpanel clear and easy to navigate – this makes selecting the right products and services fast and easy and time is money so being able to quickly perform needed tasks enables me to use my time efficiently. Highly recommend HostPapa and in fact have to many times over. Susan Mills
Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce, Ontario, Canada
www.grandbendtourism.com / www.grandbendchamber.ca

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Most Popular HostPapa Hosting Plans

Business WP Starter Bronze Reseller
Disk Space Unlimited 100GB 50GB
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited 500GB
Price $3.95 / mo $3.95 / mo $19.95 / mo
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Plan Disk Space Bandwidth Price
Silver Reseller
Reseller
80GB 700GB $27.95 / mo Visit Host
Gold Reseller
Reseller
120GB 1TB $39.95 / mo Visit Host
Plus
VPS
50GB 1TB $49.99 / mo Visit Host
Platinum Reseller
Reseller
160GB 1.2TB $59.95 / mo Visit Host
Titanium Reseller
Reseller
200GB 1.4TB $79.95 / mo Visit Host
Pro
VPS
100GB 2TB $79.99 / mo Visit Host
Premium
VPS
200GB 2TB $149.99 / mo Visit Host
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HostPapa Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is HostPapa located?

    HostPapa is headquartered in Oakville, Ontario in Canada. It also has offices in the UK, Australia, Germany, and the US.

  • Does HostPapa offer dedicated hosting?

    No. HostPapa does not offer dedicated servers.

  • Does HostPapa offer Windows hosting?

    No.

  • What programming languages can I use?

    PHP and MySQL are fully supported on all shared hosting plans. Python, Ruby, and other programming languages are not supported on shared hosting plans, but can be used on VPS plans and higher.

  • Where are HostPapa’s datacenters?

    Its primary datacenters are located in Toronto, Canada. It uses additional facilities across North America, but does not specify the exact location.

  • Will HostPapa help me to migrate my site?

    Yes. HostPapa offers free migration for all new customers.

  • What support is available to me?

    Customers benefit from phone, email and live chat support from its technical support team, the PapaSquad. All support is available 24/7.

    Additionally, all new customers can book a free 30-hour session with a technical support person at HostPapa. This is included free on some plans, but is extra on others.

  • What languages do support staff speak?

    HostPapa offers support in English, French, and Spanish via live chat and email. Multilingual support is not available by phone.

  • Will I get a free domain name?

    Yes. Anyone registering for at least a one-year plan will get a free domain name for one year.

  • Does Hostpapa offer a money-back guarantee?

    Yes. HostPapa offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, less setup and domain registration fees.

  • Is there an uptime guarantee?

    Yes. HostPapa offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, its Terms of Service does not say that customers would be credited if it failed to meet this figure. It simply says it will make reasonable efforts to meet it.

  • What if I need to run multiple websites?

    There are no added fees for running multiple websites from one HostPapa account. The only exception is the cheapest shared hosting plan, which is limited to two websites only.

  • Does HostPapa provide a site builder?

    Yes. The HostPapa Starter Edition site builder is included with all plans. It allows you to build a single website with three pages for free.

    Some plans include the upgraded Unlimited Edition. You can pay to upgrade further if you need additional features or templates.

  • Can I get an SSL certificate?

    Yes. HostPapa provides SSL certificates for an additional fee over your hosting plan. 

  • Is there a web hosting control panel?

    Yes. All hosting is provided with cPanel. 

  • How can I pay for my hosting?

    HostPapa accepts payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) and PayPal.

  • What is the minimum length of a hosting contract?

    You must pay at least a year in advance. They have 1, 2, and 3 year plans available.

  • Is bandwidth and storage really unlimited?

    HostPapa, like many providers of shared hosting plans, advertises “unlimited” hosting plans. For average or casual users, this will be fine.

    For high-traffic websites, your account may hit their “soft” limits.

    These internal limits are not defined anywhere, but they can be a problem when a site is receiving tens of thousands of visitors a day.

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Kevin Wood

About Kevin Wood

Kevin got his start as a web developer. Now he spends his time as a technical writer and poet. His main interests are technology and human potential. When he's not diving headfirst into technical topics, you can find him scrawling lines of poetry and getting lost in the woods.

Connect with Kevin

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