HostPapa Review: Good Hosting or Better Left Alone?

8.0 Out Of 10

PlansReseller, WordPress & Shared
Data CentersCanada, California/US & Amsterdam
SupportHelp Desk, Chat, Videos, Phone & Knowledge Base
UptimeExcellent (100% in the past 6 months).
GuaranteesUptime and 30-Day Guarantee
Migration is free
Best forSmall business owners
StrengthsSolid Pricing, Performance and Support
WeaknessesCompetitors offer missing bonuses
Promotion30% Discount on Select Plans

HostPapa, a Canadian independent web hosting provider, is based in Toronto. They offer a range of hosting services, from shared hosting to VPS servers. Their focus is on small business owners and not bloggers or online-only operators.

What is HostPapa?

HostPapa, an independent provider, offers web hosting services and complimentary products like domain names, website builders web design, web design, and email service.

HostPapa provides web hosting services that range from shared up to VPS, dedicated along with custom products like WordPress or Reseller Hosting.

Is HostPapa a legitimate website?

HostPapa is one of few stable, growing hosting companies that is independent of one of the two large web services holding companies (ie. GoDaddy and Newfold Digital). also has all the resources and expertise needed to host websites for organizations and businesses.

HostPapa was established in 2006 and has experienced rapid growth over the years.

HostPapa offers email and website building services, as well as other complementary services. They offer 24-hour support and a 30-day guarantee.

HostPapa can be trusted. They’re not a cheap hosting company.

What is HostPapa used for?

HostPapa can be used to host web applications and websites. Their marketing focus is on growing businesses and organizations. They offer a complete range of products for websites, including domain names, hosting, email and web design.

As I have stated in my hosting reviews it is all about finding the right service for you based on your needs and goals. As a HostPapa customer, here are the pros and cons of HostPapa’s products.

Here is my HostPapa review. It’s based on my customer experience.

HostPapa Pricing

HostPapa offers a variety of hosting plans. Let’s take a look at each.

Web Hosting Plans

Web hosting (or Shared) is the mainstay of website hosting. Each account is a separate account on a Linux server. They can run WordPress and any other application on a LAMP Stack. It is a reliable and cost-effective way to host most websites. This guide provides more information about shared hosting. HostPapa offers three levels of shared hosting.

PlanStarterBusinessBusiness Pro
*Prime Price$3.95/mo.$5.95/mo.$12.95/mo.
Renewal price$9.99/mo.$14.99/mo.$23.99/mo.
Storage100 GBUnlimitedUnlimited
No cost domain name1 Year1 Year1 Year
SSL Free
IP dedicated
Daily Backups

* Prices per month for a 36-month subscription

Get HostPapa

WordPress Hosting Plan

WordPress can be run on shared hosting. However, many hosting companies offer WordPress hosting plans to meet customer demand and WordPress’s hardware requirements. Many hosting companies offer WordPress hosting that is identical to their shared hosting plans.

HostPapa can be described as such to a certain extent. The WordPress plans they offer are Web hosting plans that include WordPress auto-installed. They have the same pricing as Web hosting plans. It’s a good deal, and there is no harm in it.

You might want to look at my best WordPress host article if you’re looking for a WordPress-specific host.

VPS Hosting Plans

VPS hosting allows you to have a set amount of server resources without the need to lease an entire server. Your website can live on the same server that other websites, but you are in complete control of what resources you use. This guide will help you learn more about VPS Hosting. HostPapa offers affordable VPS plans with managed and unmanaged options.

Reseller Hosting Plans

Reseller hosting can be described as a shared, VPS or dedicated server plan that allows for third-party billing and management. Reseller hosting allows anyone without having to start a hosting business. This guide provides more information about Reseller Hosting. This is a great way to increase recurring revenue for your agency and add value for your clients. HostPapa offers a variety of reseller hosting services.

Email Hosting Plans

HostPapa offers a unique email hosting plan that isn’t tied to Microsoft or Google. This is a great way for businesses to save money and still have an @company email address. View their plans.

Website Builder Plan

HostPapa developed its own template-driven website creator. This is included with any hosting plan. It offers many of the same benefits as a hosted website builder, such as Wix and Weebly. or Jimdo, but you have complete control over your server. Their website builder.

HostPapa Alternatives

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The Best Web Hosting

HostPapa’s Pros

HostPapa reviews are plentiful online. Most of them are user-generated reviews, based on anecdotes or personal experience. This is fine, but I have a different approach. There is no “best” web hosting. I have stated this in my best article. Based on your needs, budget, experience, and expertise, the “best” web host is the one that will work best for you. These are the advantages (pros) of HostPapa.

Value Pricing & Transparency

HostPapa’s main advantage is its pricing and relatively simple plan structure .

Although web hosting companies all sell the same thing, a website home, they offer different plans, with different renewal prices, caps, bonuses and bonuses. Most people find it difficult to determine their true value without a breakdown of the various parts.

To make it easy to compare hosting companies’ “apples to oranges”, I broke down Core hosting services and bonus hosting features.

The “3 D’s” are the core hosting features – domains and databases as well as disk space. Hosting servers are designed to host website files.

  • Domains refer to the number of domain names that you can point at your hosting account. Multiple domains are required if you plan to host multiple websites. It is also important to consider email addresses per domain. Sometimes, these are also capped.
  • Databases show how many pieces you can run on the hosting server. One database is required for a WordPress installation. You will need additional databases if you have Listservs or apps.
  • Disk Space refers to the maximum number of files that you can place on your server, including images, text, and PDFs.

Other features include website builders software, advertising credits, backend software and more.

It is possible to at least compare apples with apples, and gain a sense for value based upon what you need.

HostPapa offers three pricing levels. Starter renewals start at $9.99/mo. Business renewals start at $14.99/mo. Business Pro plans renew at $23.99/mo.

Starter restricts you to two websites (Domains), and 100GB of storage. This is plenty if your site has only a few images. Unlimited* allowance is available for business. All have unlimited bandwidth and SSD storage. All include a free domain name for one year and a complimentary SSL certificate.

*Aside, remember that “unlimited” for all cases in all cases is “no particular limit but still limited by the actual servers space and abuse policy.” They use “unmetered bandwidth”, which is more precise in all cases.

The Business Pro plan offers additional bonus features that elevate it above the Business plan.

All HostPapa plans are affordable for the shared web hosting market. The Starter and Business plans are actually quite affordable, even though they seem a little too good to be true.

Because every hosting company operates with a similar business model, similar infrastructure and costs, it is easy to see why. It all comes down to how they manage the variables, how they recruit good people and how they maintain their processes.

HostPapa makes it clear that their servers are being given more resources and that their service is “higher-touch”. To honor their bargain, I would expect prices to remain the same.

HostPapa pricing has a strong advantage, especially considering overall value as well as short-term discounts.

You don’t always want total value or a discount for a short time. Sometimes you don’t need more value for the extra cost. This will be covered in the cons section.

Independence and Ownership

HostPapa, a privately-owned hosting company, is one example of an independent private company. This is a rare find in a world where only a few corporations control nearly all of the hosting brands.

Privateness and independence are not always a good thing. Likewise, being part of a large corporation does not necessarily make you a poor person.

Independent businesses might not be able to raise the capital needed for long-term improvement. They may not be able to provide a top-notch service. They are often “closer” to customers and more willing to make adjustments for the good of all.

While big corporations may have the resources and expertise to provide world-class services, they might also see departments (like customer support) as a cost or customers as entries on a spreadsheet.

Some people prefer independent, local businesses. Most of the time, I don’t care which way they go.

Hosting is a well-established industry. It’s Amazon and Google on the enterprise side. Endurance and GoDaddy own an astonishing number of brands on the shared/small business side. Some run well, while others are not.

In any case, I believe that competition and diversity are good things in the hosting industry. That being said, I would like to see HostPapa grow and be an independent company like HostPapa.

Although I would not choose them solely based on their independence, I think it’s a strong pro in their column.

They also have little touches of transparency like the Network Status page, where you can receive 24/7 updates about their service.

Customer Service

It is not easy to judge customer support. It is difficult to judge what’s really happening behind the scenes and whether a company will respond positively when you contact them.

Many user-submitted online reviews of any company are either exaggerated positives or naive negatives. You never know what anecdotes are about, and you don’t even know if it is a trend or a one-off.

Instead, you should be looking for indicators to determine if a company views customer service as an investment or a cost. So, is the company trying to cut costs and maximize profits in the short-term or do they want to create happy, long-term clients?

Two of the best indicators I have found are availability in a variety of support channels, and investment for DIY customer support.

HostPapa has solid foundations in both.

They offer phone, chat and email support. The wait time for me to chat with their support team was very short. HostPapa offers multilingual support which is very rare.

They have good knowledge about an auto-translate feature that can be used to translate between languages. Although you can do it with Google Translate I believe that this indicates an investment and thought.

You can also find a lot of video tutorials. This again shows that they have invested in customer support.

HostPapa’s customer service seems quite good, especially when compared to other entry level providers.

Comprehensive Hosting Services & Extras

HostPapa offers web hosting services, as well as a range of complimentary services. Many web hosts offer domains, email and design services.

HostPapa offers these services on a slightly higher level.

They not only sell domains, but they also act as a domain registrar. This means they can offer a wider range of domain TLDs and better pricing compared to other hosting companies. They are an excellent place to register domains.

This is true for email and design services, as well as specialized hosting services. VPS hosting is available for resource-hungry websites, as well as a superior WordPress Hosting product.

Improved onboarding and usability

HostPapa was a great platform for me to launch my first project. I had many issues with their onboarding process (i.e., the transition from purchasing to using the service). It was very frustrating.

Although they didn’t improve everything (see the cons section), had made significant improvements to the checkout and setup process. It is the constant improvement which is always a good thing to see in a hosting company.

There are many small details that make it easy to sign up and set up your account. It’s not the best I’ve ever seen, but it’s quickly moving in the right direction. It’s clear that they have the resources to support the project. This is great because they can implement the most recent onboarding practices.

Despite their claims, they are very focused on their target market. They are a great fit for small businesses, so they integrate things such as email hosting and transfers right into the setup & checkout process.

Hosting Performance

As I said, the main job of a web host is to provide website files for anyone who types in your domain name. However, most people agree that there is a missing adverb. It should read “to serve website files quickly.”

Website speed is not important, especially in this age of mobile. Although server speed does not affect overall website speed, it can be a significant factor.

It’s also critical because it can cause a bottleneck. This means that no matter how fast your website is compressed or speeded up, your server will only respond as fast as you can.

It is difficult to measure server response time and speed. Only the HostPapa network engineers can determine what’s happening with server speed. However, anyone can get a rough idea of server performance.

It is called Time to First Byte (TTFB). It shows how fast a server responds to a request.

You can see that HostPapa is doing well and has improved over time. This is a positive trend, especially considering the solid growth in those same years.

TTFB can be best described as a trend. This trend is great, but it all depends on how your website is managed by the owners and how they continue to manage critical vendors & servers.

According to the Network Status page, HostPapa’s uptime assurance is solid. They have high uptime rates and very few incidents.

Downtime is a problem for every hosting company. YouTube, and Amazon all experienced outages in the last year. Causes and consistency are the key. HostPapa is a good example of transparency in infrastructure and basic speed testing. They are a pro in terms of performance.

Cons of HostPapa

HostPapa is like any other web host. HostPapa complaints are all over the Internet. Some of these complaints are legitimate, while others are merely anecdotal. These are some of the more significant disadvantages I discovered while using HostPapa as a hosting platform.

Feature Pricing

HostPapa, as I said in the pros section, is competitive on the basis of value pricing. However, not everyone requires higher value to pay higher prices. Sometimes, a website is necessary to meet your budget. Sometimes you want to get the best price on a particular set of features.

I have had clients from the former bucket, and I have projects from the latter. Example: I had multiple microsites and needed a shared hosting plan with enough domains and databases to host them all, while still providing enough memory to handle consistent, predictable traffic. This was at a very affordable price.

HostPapa may not be right for you if you fall into one of these two categories. The mid- and low-tier plans offer a great deal, but they are only available for 3-year commitments. They are also quite expensive for basic shared hosting plans at renewal.

SiteLock and Automated Backups aren’t included in the price. This adds to the overall cost of the feature.

This is true if you look at the price per website, database, etc. HostPapa may not be the most expensive, but they aren’t necessarily the best. HostPapa will charge more if you have a tight budget or don’t know the project’s length.

Marketing & International Presence Overstated

Marketing is about identifying your strengths and finding a way to reach them.

For everyone to be happy, all three parts must be true – particularly the “thing that you are good at” part.

HostPapa offers a number of excellent hosting options for small North American businesses.

HostPapa also does a lot in marketing outside North America. They also make many exaggerated claims.

If they are the best fit for their customers in those countries, that’s okay.

They are in some ways. HostPapa offers multilingual customer service. They accept payments in many currencies. They’re a good fit for international customers.

But, I found everything (including running geolocations on Singapore websites), that they still serve all their customers from their Toronto, Canada data center.

It’s misleading to claim that “best hosting for [country]” is available if the nearest data center is more than 10,000 miles from your target customers. You can make bold claims. I believe they are great for global website operators from specific countries. Be aware of this caveat.

Compared to other providers such as SiteGround which offer data centers around the world, or hosts like InMotion that at least provide bicoastal data centers, I believe it speaks volumes about HostPapa’s internal culture that they specifically target markets they are not a good fit for.

HostPapa might appeal to someone looking for a web hosting company in the UK, India, Australia, or other countries. The datacenter distance may not be as important as customer service.

The same thing applies to a lot of their marketing. They do a good job of providing transparency to clarify many claims…but still make the same claims over and again.

This is a disadvantage, because it, like customer service indicators, speaks volumes about the company’s internal culture. I believe it’s better to over-promise than under-deliver. As a marketer, I understand that this is not always possible. It’s important to understand the customer’s perspective.

You are missing certain features

Although HostPapa offers a comprehensive feature set for each plan they offer, there are some missing features.

First Their money-back guarantee may be a little short. HostPapa has 30 days. But corporate competitors like HostGator do 45 days. Independent competitors such as DreamHost and InMotion hosting offer at least 90 day money-back guarantees.

Second They don’t offer any automated backups with the Starter or Business plans. This is a $19+/year upgrade. Many hosting companies offer automatic backup, even if they use a setup such as HostGator’s. You pay for a restore.

You should always back up your data, no matter what provider you use. It’s a good idea to have your hosting company back up your backup in case of an emergency. HostPapa charges more for backups, so make sure to take care of it.

Is HostPapa Worth It?

I found HostPapa a solid host for small businesses. It’s refreshing to find an independent company that offers great hosting services in an industry dominated by only a few mega-corporations. Check out HostPapa’s current promotion.

View Plans

InMotion Hosting is a great choice if you’re looking for a shared hosting company that offers almost the same pricing, better service, and customer support as the big companies.

HostGator is a great option for those looking for an affordable plan with the possibility to pay monthly.

If you’re still not sure, then read my article on the best web hosting services .

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