There are big hosts like HostMonster and FatCow, there are small ones like A Small Orange, and then there are companies somewhere in between, like HostPapa.
In this review I am going to shine a light on this provider and whether or not I think it’s a reliable web host.
HostPapa is a web hosting company from Canada with a grand vision: providing competent shared web hosting services without causing further harm to the environment.
This web host from Oakville has a very clear objective: to back up its provision of fully-featured web hosting packages with 100% green energy.
Established since 2006, it is public knowledge that the company remains privately held to this date. But apparently beyond that, information on the company is pretty patchy.
The Better Business Bureau rates HostPapa as an “A-” business and the web host has established being a BBB accredited company since 2010.
Over the past 3 years, there are 21 complaints associated to HostPapa with 14 out of the total emerged just over the last 12 months (from the time of writing this review). The majority of these complaints are related to its hosting service.
Host Papa’s Hosting Plans & Pricing
Web hosting at HostPapa comes in two plans: a shared hosting plan and a reseller plan, both powered by Linux OS servers.
For the shared hosting plan, both unlimited disk space and bandwidth would be provided. Additionally, the company also includes the ability to host unlimited domain names with an individual account.
There is a tier pricing scheme, which is tightly linked to the number of years of web hosting a customer is willing to commit to. Minimum commitment is one year, with the max being 3 years – the timeframe that yields the cheapest rate.
- Monthly: The Company does not offer hosting on a monthly basis.
- 12 Month Prepay Contract: $8.99 per month. Upfront payment: $71.40
- 24 Month Prepay Contract: $7.99 per month. Upfront payment: $118.80
- 36 Month Prepay Contract: $6.99 per month. Upfront payment: $142.20
Of course, with discount codes and coupons you can always get much better rates than these. So, it’s always worth it to look around for Hostpapa coupons and discount codes, not to mention you may even be able to catch them when they are running promotional offers.
Reseller Hosting Plans
While shared hosting forms the mainstay of the business, there are also services for resellers.
HostPapa provides 5 reseller hosting plans:
Regardless of plans, all resellers are entitled to unlimited domain names, MySQL databases and 3 IP addresses.
As for the price, each plan is associated with some pre-defined sets of resources, like the amount of disk space and bandwidth, with bronze being the cheapest plan and Titanium the most expensive, which can scale up to 200 GB disk space and 1.4 TB bandwidth.
The company claims that it can uphold its 99.9% uptime guarantee, but there is no price to pay even if it can’t hold up to that part of the bargain.
Toronto hosts HP’s data center and it is guarded with round the clock security system. The diesel generators ensure continual UPS power supply and its 24/7 network monitoring system at their data centre make sure of optimal network performance
There are regular backups done on the servers, but these are performed as part of business routines so that HP is able to continue operation should a major system failure strike at the data center.
In that respect, the backup copy is never intended for the customers. Instead, the company suggests that customers perform regular backups of their sites to mitigate any risk of a crash, a standard pitch employed by the wider hosting industry.
What Kind of Support They Offer?
24/7 support is available through a number of channels: live chat, phone and email. HostPapa is also well known for its multi-language support, so clients who look for native speakers of English, Spanish and French would feel pretty much at home. The company never says where it houses all the technical support staff.
For its international customers, the company provides a number of toll-free lines. In countries where it has established physical presences, dedicated help desk contacts and snail mail addresses are also made available to clients. Naturally, the working language would be the dominant language in the concerned locales, including non-English languages.
Other forms of support include support tickets, a knowledge base and a good mix of video tutorials (all in multiple language formats) featuring all sorts of capabilities and plugins. The support also includes a status page and a user forum to exchange ideas among users.
If you are into social media, you would be glad to know that they maintain a Facebook page, which it regularly updates with technical articles, blogs and what have you.
The company also sponsors staff on Twitter and you can count on quick responses to customers’ queries and problems.
On the public domain, there is a HostPapa YouTube channel where you can view ‘how to’ videos and user reviews. They are also active on Google+.
As a standard feature, cPanel is employed the cPanel as its control panel for all their clients. For the resellers, an additional WHM is deployed alongside cPanel.
- A free domain name is provided during the active lifespan of any account holder, and you can also expect free website setup as well.
- To entice new signups, it also offers marketing credits such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Bing/Yahoo!, Miva and Bidvertiser.
- Web hosting plans also cover free SEO tools and the Fantastico script installer to help on installing WordPress, Joomla, wikis and more.
- If you are targeting the mobile market, the goMOBI application provided would be helpful to test a mobile version of your site. It is a paid service nevertheless but you get to try it out free for 30 days.
- For businesses, you will be glad to know that HostPapa has embedded itself into Google Apps. The advantage is obviously access to Google Apps and ready integration options.
- More impressively, the company is committed to green policy and its 100% green energy backed would also feature on customer websites.
- The affiliates program is highly rewarding, it comes with a dedicated program manager to ease customers’ access to marketing support.
They promise 30-day money back guarantee for all customers, regardless of shared or reseller hosting. But take note that domain names, privacy, set up fees, mobile fees and other add-on features would not be credited back. Cancellation is easy through the web interfaces.
HostPapa is obviously going after the international market. It has made a conscious attempt to extend multi-language support through its website, support and tutorials.
The primary business is on shared web hosting, though, reseller hosting is taking on increasing prominence. In term of flexibility, its reseller hosting plans indeed stand out from the competition in the industry.
Its commitment to the green environment is demonstrated through purchases of green energy tags from solar and wind energy suppliers.
It says that its green investment is equivalent to 100% of the energy used, not just for the operation of the data center but also includes running of office computers, laptops and office space. This is definitely a step up compared to other companies that spend on the equivalent of their data centre operation.
HP hosting appeals especially to many small and mid-sized businesses, and its multi-lingual capability extends its reach further to the international market.
If Google Apps is a significant play in your business strategy, then you would love the tight integration between HostPapa and Google. A new and useful tool to build mobile websites is a welcome feature as well.
I think they have many things going for them, but, some are unhappy with what they think is a “turn off” practice, like not being able to get the full refund on their 30-day guarantee as they would invariably deduct a setup fee from that refund.
Ultimately, unlimited hosts are always going to present themselves as main draws because of the “unlimited” space gimmicks. But customers, especially those running multi-sites, would soon get disappointed and some would cancel their accounts because of the hidden “heavy resource usage” policies.
But if you are running a small business with no more than a handful of sites, HostPapa’s simple shared hosting service may be a good fit for you.