Hostmonster Review

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$4.95

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hosting expert review

Demian San

Web Hosting Expert

HostMonster is just another provider of web hosting services at low prices that you probably have come across before. Is there anything that makes HostMonster stand out? Are their hosting plans with VPS features really come at the most affordable prices, as their homepage states? We say that they do, even though some minor shortcomings cannot not be taken into account. You will find out everything about this provider while reading our Hostmonster review.

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overall

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$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:30-Day
  • Disk Space: 30-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

The best deal for $4.95 includes just a little bit of everything: free site builders, domain name, fast WP install, and the best ever support for each client. It is catered to the beginning users by offering an expansive knowledge base filled with various tutorials, articles, and guides.

The company was founded in 1996 and, as we can see, is still around and flourishing. Even though it often gets chastised for bad quality of support or insufficient uptime indicators, we should admit that their services are on a decent level. For example, they are the best deal when it comes to security and protection of personal data. The choice of plans will have even the pickiest user interested in deciding on one of them. Overall, their work can be estimated at 90/100. What we like is that the Host Monster is active on social networks. Even though their updates are irregular, at least, they are trying to be persistent in providing information about downtimes, attacks, unscheduled changes and stuff. For comparison, BlueHost, makes a much better user engagement via social media, and they have a much larger client base.

cheap

total overall rating

$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:30-Day
  • Disk Space: 30-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Hostmonster has been providing web enthusiasts with high quality and inexpensive hosting services since 1996. It has managed to become one of the largest and well-known brands in the niche. Along with hosting services, Hostmonster is also an official registrar of top-level domains.

The company offers some additional services. Even buying the cheapest basic plan for $4.95 per month, you get provisioned with a stonewall web security for your sites and 5 Hostmonster email accounts with 100 MB of storage each. If you need a website builder, support for the registration of trademarks, and tools for Internet marketing and online communication with customers, there is a bit more expensive plan costing $6.95 per month.
All the customers have access to a multi-functional Hostmonster cPanel control panel. Note that Hostmoster servers are optimized for many CMS systems, not only cPanel. You will be using the chosen control panel to manage domains, sites, hosting accounts, corporate email, and your account status.
The solution for beginners (the “Basic”) would be an ideal option for a small website or a WordPress blog. The best plan, of course, is the “Choice Puls,” which features the best Host Monster webmail with unlimited accounts and disk space, unlimited number of websites and storage for these websites, unmetered bandwidth and a number of domains. Such a package will definitely cover the needs of the pickiest customer at a moderate fee.

You will be surprised that on top of everything, they may also offer to transfer your site from other providers and a domain transfer for free, as well as a free SSL-certificate. For regular customers there is a program of cumulative discounts.

It should be said that this is one of the few providers to which we have almost no comments and complaints about the quality of work, both in the field of technical parts and technical support.

dedicated

total overall rating

$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:30-Day
  • Disk Space: 30-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Dedicated packages can definitely make your eyes happy when you see the ampleness of resources and freedom of control that they offer. Judge for yourself: if your website is so popular that it needs dedicated hosting, it would be an absurdity to go with just any provider, wouldn’t it? What Moster hosting can do for you is to offer the selection of packages, one of which will surely match your needs in terms of tools and resources.

Let’s start with the “Standard” offer for $80 per month. The price is okay but some numbers are not good enough. Of course, we’d love to see “unlimited” everywhere and there are providers that do that – but we know it is not and can’t be true. In this package we are offered:

  • 4 cores
  • 3 MB of cache space
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 500 GB of storage (with RAID 1 protection)
  • 5 TB/month of bandwidth
  • Free Domain Name
  • 3 IPs

Yet, we think that a true dedicated hosting starts with “Enhanced” and “Premium” packages. They both offer 1000 GB of storage and 4x times more RAM and 3x times more bandwidth (with the Premium package.)

vps

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$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:30-Day
  • Disk Space: 30-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Monster hosting is a proud promoter of cloud technology that they have successfully implemented in their VPS hosting packages. Host Monster cPanel is equipped with enhanced features that definitely makes it look more appealing to users.

If you need root access yet doubt that you want to finance the rent of an entire dedicated server, VPS can become just that golden middle alternative you’ve been looking for. The prices range from $20 to $60, so it is possible to have a good deal paying as little as $20 monthly.

Despite that all sites are hosted only on the high-quality and high performing servers, the potential scalability adds some additional assurance that your site will always be available to users. Also, Host monsters promise instant provision of resources. It means that you don’t have to wait hours until your server is set up and ready for use.   

 

wordpress

total overall rating

$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:30-Day
  • Disk Space: 30-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

WordPress allows installing many additional plugins that add functionality and inevitably increase memory usage. Traffic of up to a thousand visitors per day will not affect the server loading speed. But the traffic of ten thousands or more is something we think only a dedicated server will be able to handle.

Hostmonster does not single out WP into a separate hosting package. Why would they? Every user can install WordPress or virtually any other CMS in one click no matter the plan.

Instead, they prefer to focus on security issues. WordPress, being the most popular system, attracts attention of hackers who are focused on finding loopholes in the latest versions. We strongly recommend that you keep an eye out for new versions and update your WordPress as soon as a new version comes out. We also advise you to make a list of plugins that you have installed, and to monitor the appearance of new versions to update them regularly as well.

site builders

total overall rating

$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:30-Day
  • Disk Space: 30-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Host Monster does not offer a built-in site builder. As an alternative, you can use open-source tools like Weebly or install additional plugins to your CMS. The previously mentioned WP allows one to build a website thanks to the variety of plugins. Simply download and install the plugins and you have a drag-and-drop editor ready to go.

Note that having logged in at hostmonster.com, you will see a pop-up notifying you about the company’s policy on a domain registration. The provider warns that domain fee is non-refundable and, due to this, you don’t lose your domain name if you decide to change the provider. You also should not worry about whether or not it stays with you after the registration period is over.

features

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Just as HostMonster shares packages, prices, and features with BlueHost, they also share another feature which is the so-called “throttling.” Throttling allows to reduce the amount of resources used by a particular site. What does it give you? For instance, if they decide that your neighbor is consuming too much resources, it can be temporary restricted for the sake of restoring the equal rights of all shared server dwellers. The bad part is that HostMonster may not always correctly identify the website that consumes excessive resources. It means that the site that doesn’t cause a problem may suffer.

With Hostmonster, it is also possible that you can download too many files; the limit on the “unlimited” number of files is 200,000. Exceeding this limit may result in a decrease of the performance level of your site.

As claimed by Hostmonsters, their site works well for everyone, starting with business owners and ending with individuals who need a full functionality operating with a limited budget. You can check the full list of multimedia, e-commerce, hosting and other features on the official homepage at www.hostmonster.com.

Now, let’s make a review of key indicators that we used to evaluate the performance of a given provider.

 

1.Uptime – 99.5%

We have taken our time to carefully evaluate the average uptime of the website throughout the year. The results are satisfying with an uptime of 99.5%, which however, is not so great if you translate it into yearly terms. It means that your site might be down for 43.8 hours over the course of one year. Of course, server maintenance and other unexpected occurrences are inevitable yet we believe it is possible to find a much better uptime for this price.

 

2.Support

Lately, we haven’t come across providers with a bad support because that would put an end to such kind of business right away. Hostmonster pricing allows to supply users with round-the-clock support. We have personally checked the responsiveness of CS representatives in live chat and over the phone. Both times, they were able to offer us a solution to our problem and even contacted us back to find out whether it worked.

 

3.Security

These days, the WWW is not the safest place when it comes to personal data, which necessitates the existence of various protective measures. Hostmonster cares about the security of communication between servers and clients.  Every plan is equipped with free SSL certificate that they help to install on your domain.

They give you one Dedicated IP and one SSL certificate for Standard and Pro accounts because you will have only one Hostmonster control panel. Yet you are allowed to have multiple dedicated IPs and SSL Certificates purchasing VPS, dedicated, and reseller accounts because they allow to create multiple cPanels on one account.

 

4.Truly instant provisioning

Hostmonster helps you get started really quickly and without unnecessary fuss. Once you get registered with the site and make a payment, they will get your server ready asap.

 

5.Good package deals

We like the way the packages are compiled. There is a good solution for a website of every size, CPU usage, and the amounts of traffic. VPS plans are quite cheap and there are four options to choose from.  

 

6.Page load time

If the page loads in less than 1 second we give it a green light. We haven’t noticed any decreases in loading speed over the last months. Even though the load speed demonstrated by HostMonster is not as great as that of its main competitors it is still less than 1 second and, which is even more important, this indicator is stable.

 

7.Pricing policies

Pricing policies are somewhat irritating and misleading. You never know whether the stated price is ‘real.’ They tend to use asterisk far too often and you always have to follow their explanations to find out what is the trick this time.     

This creates hidden fees that don’t come as obviously not included into the stated price to the beginner users. We also hoped for one price and appeared to be changed with a different one as a result. We’ll talk more about their prices in the next section. For now, you should remember that you should always check the fine print before getting too excited with Hostmonster’s offers.

 

8.Experience and number of users

It is clear that the longer hosting exists, the better it is. Yet, in an era of high competition, the one who provides the best offers on the market survives. Hosting is no exception to this. Long-existing company like Hostmonster has quality services if it has been selling for so long. Unlike some new companies without sufficient resources and experience, it is much better to start with time-tested guys.

But, no matter what, we also do not recommend to rely solely on this parameter. Even the most praised hosting can deteriorate over time. Rather, be guided by the number of people using hosting.

 

9.It is not free

Free servers are not as popular as they used to be. Now paid hosting is not all that money-consuming, you can find a decent provider for $4-$5 per month. We think we don’t  to avoid such services Free hosting does not have technical support. They just do not need it, because they are not responsible for anything.

If the free provider will have problems, crash the server or the site will be unavailable, you have nowhere to complain. The hosting administration can do anything with the site, because they are in fact the owners of your resource. For example, they may place their ads on the site without your consent. That is why we are lucky Hostmonster isn’t one of those free providers that advertise free services.

 

10.Control panel

The control panel of your site should be clear and convenient. That’s all. And it is all provided by cPanel. HostMonster also allows to install other control panels of choice. Basically, they provide all conditions to help every user feel satisfied.    

pricing

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We encourage you to never analyze a company’s price policy in absolute values but always compare with other hosting companies. Also, consider the methods of payment. There has to be a sufficient number of reliable payment options like PayPal, Visa or Mastercard cards, etc.

Let’s make a quick recap of prices that we have. The cheapest one can be purchased at $5 per month. The best deal is of course the “Choice Plus” plan that usually costs $15 per month, yet often comes at a great discount. We recommend this one since it contains lots of unlimited features like sub-domains, storage, hostmonster mail accounts, etc.

Amidst the most disappointing things is that the advertised prices only work when purchasing a plan for a 3-year term 🙁 While there is a money-back guarantee, it is still quite a long term for an average user. Still, we should admit, there are some other advantages to take into account.

First of all, they make it very easy to become a member with a simplified one-page sign-up. No problems should arise when it comes to paying for the services either, since they have all the popular credit cards and e-wallets in the list of payment methods. Your account is activated instantly after sign-up.

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support

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The support service works well, we have no special complaints about it. According to our tests, web projects with medium and high CPU usage and traffic will be perfectly fine with this provider.

To contact technical support, you need to create a request in the Billing section of the Support Center. Requests via other communication channels like telephone, e-mail, or live chat are of an advisory nature only and may not be processed outside of business hours and during technical maintenance.

Technical support responsibilities (as outlined in HostMonster’s T&Cs):

Provide users with requested information regarding hosting options and services
Promptly respond to problems in the work of all hosting services
Notify users about planned technical works
Block accounts for sending spam or any other violations without prior notice to users.

Hostmonster contact information

Schedule of work with clients: available 24/7
Monitoring of servers and hosting services is around the clock
Hostmonster phone number: 866-573-4678

conclusions

total rating

$4.95

Monthly Starting Price

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From the good things is that they offer a cloud hosting on SSD drives. This is one of the leading technologies with great scalability potential available so far. Hostmonster is also a domain name registrar. The minimum plan starts at $4.95/month when paying for a year in advance. There are both Windows hosting and Linux hosting, very good deals for WordPress sites, as well as an inexpensive line of VPS packages.

Hostmonster works with HTTP/2 protocol, which is the only connection used for communication between the server and the client browser. The pluses of it is that it can increase the speed of loading of the site and reduce the consumption of resources by the server. Working with such a protocol requires SSL certificate that is also provided by HostMonster.

If you have not dealt with security certificates before, technical support will help you set up and install an SSL certificate. By the way, it should be noted that both the customer service and technical support service is organized at a high level – you will always be helped in solving your problems. In terms of price and performance, we think that HostMonster is the best option for hosting sites/resources that require medium CPU usage.

We cannot say that Hostmonster is a superb provider – there are surely better ones. We encourage you to check its nearest competitors like BlueHost and JustHost that have higher uptime indicators and less controversial customer feedback.

customers reviews

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jim

Good hosting overall. It was very important for me to find a hosting that does not glitch even with a greater than usual influx of visitors to the site. And it is also important that hosting offers a good protection from viruses and DDoS attacks. I recommend HostMonster for sites with a lot of weight and those targeted at social networks. Stable work of hosting is the key to the success of your business.
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ilon

I am a current client of hostmonster. Recently my domain got deleted, due to the fact that I was abroad and did not have time to pay for it. So I texted technical support via live chat on the site and explained the situation to them. The guys fixed everything and restored the site within two hours. Thank you very much!
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matt

It is not expensive and not that great. I’ve experienced many downtimes throughout the year, and I am more than sure that the stated 99.9% uptime is a lie. the support is responsive but it does not change the fact that their servers go down far too often.

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