HostMonster Review

 Harper Wilson | Updated on November 5, 2019

HostMonster and its parent company, the Endurance International Group, are established names in the web hosting industry; both were founded in the mid-1990s at a time when the concept of registering a domain and trusting a data center to host sites was relatively new.

EIG added HostMonster to its vast portfolio of web technology brands in 2015. Not all HostMonster reviews mention EIG as a parent company, but it is important to acknowledge this because we are talking about an internet giant with servers around the world and millions of customers.

With this in mind, it should be noted that reading a HostMonster review prior to its acquisition by EIG will not give you a good idea about its current products and services. This review takes into account what the company has to offer as of 2019.

What is HostMonster?

Unlike major competitors that are mostly known for flashy television commercials that air during the halftime of the Super Bowl each year, HostMonster prefer to market its services through more discreet internet channels.

In essence, this is a budget hosting provider that focuses on offering complete solutions at the personal and business levels. The company often underscores factors such as bandwidth, speed, uptime, and reliable servers as their main advantages.

While HostMonster cannot claim to be the most affordable hosting provider in 2019, it has every right to boast about the overall value offered to clients, particularly with regard to bandwidth.

HostMonster's Amazing Uptime

Since this is a strong factor guiding the decisions of individuals shopping around for hosting providers, it makes sense to get it out of the way first: As of mid-October 2019, the uptime reported by Solarwinds, also known as Pingdom, was 100% during a seven-day period.

HostMonster Speed and Uptime
HostMonster Speed and Uptime

Once you start getting into the historical performance for this provider, the lowest uptime was recorded in July 2019 at 99.93%, which puts HostMonster firmly above the industry average for this metric.

It is not unusual to see consecutive months when the uptime was between 99.99% and 100%, which means that seeing a "HostMonster down" is not common at all. If uptime is important for your website goals, and it should be if you are running an e-commerce operation or pages that are constantly updated with fresh content, you cannot go wrong with HostMonster.

Speed Needs Some Improvement

Great uptime is not always synonymous with fast page loading times; however, with the average page speed with HostMonster underscores that their servers are indeed capable of quickly delivering pages.

Once again, a Pingdom check over the last few months returns an average page loading time of 940 milliseconds. When compared to other major hosting providers, this average page speed is about 6% slower, but when you consider the solid uptime and other factors we will discuss later, this will work out for most situations.

Something to note about page speed these days is something that website administrators should strive to optimize. If your loading times on HostMonster are too slow for your business goals, you should run them by Google PageSpeed Insights and see how they can be improved.

With the advent of modern programming frameworks that call up library routines and elements loaded with JavaScript, it is easy to fall into the page bloat trap. Think of each page as being a download; you do not want visitors to suffer through 3 MB page where the meaningful content content is just a few paragraphs with a couple of images.

HostMonster Servers and Data Centers

As with many other EIG web hosting brands, the main HostMonster data center serving North America is located in Utah; however, the company also keeps servers in other major overseas markets such as China and India, not to mention numerous content delivery network (CDN) arrangements with partners around the world.

In order to provide and manage hosting plans that include cloud, dedicated, and virtual private servers, HostMonster maintains state-of-the-art server technology with dual quad-core machines, automated network monitoring for mitigation, diesel-powered generators as backup power solutions, and enterprise Linux configuration for best performance.

Unmetered Bandwidth with HostMonster

As previously mentioned, you or your visitors will rarely come across "HostMonster down" error messages thanks to the company's commitment to providing excellent uptime, but let's talk about another situation whereby visitors sometimes end up seeing an error on their screens instead of the intended page, such as when you exceed your bandwidth capacity.

All of HostMonster's plans, even the most affordable one, will grant you unmetered bandwidth as well as generous storage.

The error pages set up by some hosting providers in this situation can be quite embarrassing, but this is not something you have to worry about with HostMonster.

Even though HostMonster is a budget hosting platform, there are many competitors that offer lower prices, but not all of them will grant customers the benefit of unmetered bandwidth; for this reason, it is more accurate to think of HostMonster as a value provider, particularly when some competitors are notorious for charging an extra $100 per year for this advantage.

HostMonster Usage Policy
HostMonster's Usage Policy

Customer Service and Support

Online chat is the most common method to get HostMonster customer service, and the company goes to great lengths to ensure that this channel is always available.

There is a main HostMonster phone number, 866-573-HOST, which serves as a sales channel as well as a switchboard to direct callers to various department.

Your best bet to get HostMonster support related to billing, technical issues, sales, verification, and terms of compliance is by online chat.

The online chat support channel for tech support is available around the clock, and it will always work better than calling the HostMonster phone number.

Customer Support Hotlines
Customer Support Hotlines

Customer contact agents mainly work with scripts, which is useful when it comes to inquiries such as having problems with your main HostMonster login or HostMonster email login, but for more detailed explanations that need step-by-step guidance, you will be given a telephone number to call, and this is when you may run into waiting times.

HostMonster Features You Need to Know About

Like many other hosting providers today, HostMonster has their own set of features. Many of these features often costs a good sum, so pay attention to the details and look out for what you'll need.

Enhanced cPanel

Customer accounts and websites can be managed directly from the HostMonster cPanel (Read more: Guide to cPanel) dashboard, which is an enhanced version of this popular interface. The HostMonster login procedure can be accomplished directly from cPanel or through the hosted websites.

Dynamic Webmail Account

Once logged into the HostMonster cPanel, customers can also access and manage their HostMonster webmail. Although the HostMonster webmail login can be done separately and directly from the RoundCube or Horde clients, it is recommended to do so from the HostMonster cPanel.

The HostMonster webmail feature is not limited to RoundCube and Horde; you can use various applications to access email, including Microsoft Office 365 an Gmail. Customers can adjust their IMAP or POP HostMonster email settings so that they can get their messages on smartphones or desktop clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.

Even though the Horde and RoundCube clients are not as fancy as other apps, you can easily configure your HostMonster webmail to act as a forwarder or auto-responder. Your HostMonster webmail login credentials are different from the HostMonster login account. Customers who wish to use SSL and TLS to protect their accounts can configure their HostMonster email settings on two dedicated ports.

Weebly - Drag-and-Drop Website Builder

Weebly is the website builder solution provided by HostMonster, a leading drag-and-drop online builder that is intuitive and easy to use. With Weebly, creating a stylish and functional website is simple even if you do not have knowledge of HTML or CSS; plus, getting started is as easy as choosing from hundreds of templates that include e-commerce stores.

Many of the Weebly templates are provided for free and can be extensively customized; premium templates can be purchased if you feel that they are a better fit for your websites. Unlike other point-and-click website builders, Weebly gives you full access to the code in case you need to edit elements or layouts, and the responsive design properties in all templates will adequately render websites on mobile devies. The excellent reputation that Weebly enjoys is a major selling point for HostMonster.

If you intend to use HostMonster as an e-commerce platform, you can design your online stores on Weebly, but you will find Magento to be a more sophisticated and comprehensive solution. Other e-commerce tools you will find include: secure server environment for PCI compliance, various shopping carts such Agora and Zen, PGP encryption, HTML directories that can be protected with passwords, and merchant processing services through Square.

Supports Hundreds of Different Applications

Aside from Weebly, HostMonster offers other scripting software platforms to build websites. The Drupal and Joomla open-source content management platforms are supported, and the same goes for WordPress, but there is no dedicated hosting for the latter. Specialized web publishing platforms include Moodle for online courses, Coppermine for media galleries, TikiWiki for encyclopedic websites, mailing lists, online project management, help ticket platforms, and more. As for database support, you have access to standards such as MySQL CGI-BIN, Python, Ruby, and Perl. JavaScript and Shockwave are also supported along with DHTML.

HostMonster Shared Hosting Plans

This is the most popular HostMonster offering, and it consists of three plans: Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.

Let's go over the highlights.

HostMonster Basic Plan
Basic Plan

If you come across HostMonster online banner ads, you will likely see $4.95 per month being promoted, and this is the new rate for the Basic plan that used to cost $9.49 per month. This plan is for a single website, and it includes the following features:

  • Free HostMonster SSL certificate.
  • Parking for up to five domains.
  • 50 GB of website storage.
  • Unmetered bandwidth.
  • Five HostMonster email accounts with 100 MB of storage.

The Choice Plus plan used to be priced at $14.99 per month, but HostMonster has reduced prices for the purpose of staying competitive and providing greater value to customers. Even the Pro package has been reduced from $25.49 to $14.95, and it includes all the features of Choice Plus in addition to having access to a high-performance server and dedicated IP.

Other Hosting Solutions by HostMonster

Even though shared hosting is HostMonster's bread and butter, the company also offers virtual private servers and dedicated website hosting.

HostMonster VPS Plans
HostMonster VPS Plans

The VPS packages include unlimited email and free registration for one domain; they start at about double the price of the Pro package for a Linux server powered by 2 GB of RAM. Standard VPS plans are capped at 1 TB of data per month, but this can be enhanced to 8 GB of RAM, 3 TB of data, and 120 GB of storage with the Ultimate plan.

HostMonster Dedicated Hosting Plans
HostMonster Dedicated Hosting Plans

Dedicated hosting plans start at $79.99 per month for an Intel Xeon machine with four cores, 3 MB memory cache, 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB RAID drive, and 5 TB data transfers each month. The servers run on the CentOS Linux distribution, and a free domain registration is included. Customers who opt for the standard dedicated hosting plan can manage up to three dedicated IPs; the Premium plan provides management of up to five IPs.

HostMonster has recently improved its data center infrastructure with advanced cloud computing technology for the benefit of VPS and dedicated hosting customers, but this company is not a leader in this segment. Although pricing is now more competitive, there are no Windows server options and the specs of the physical and virtual machines are not as impressive as the ones offered by rival hosting platforms.

Final Thoughts

The new pricing points rolled out by HostMonster puts the company on a competitive level that is on par with budget hosting providers, but you get more than just a low monthly price. The Choice Plus hosting plan, for example, provides incredible value to individuals and business owners who plan to operate and manage multiple websites. The uptime and uncapped bandwidth offered by this provider make it one of the most attractive options for prospective hosting customers looking for real value. No other web hosting company offers a plan that can truly compete against Choice Plus.

In the end, HostMonster is a highly recommended hosting provider for just about anyone. There are a few things that the company surprisingly does not offer; for example, dedicated servers do not run on Windows, there are no optimized plans for WordPress, and there is no cloud hosting options available to customers. What is strange about the lack of these offerings is that HostMonster is certainly in a position to provide them. Nice touches such as the Weebly website builder, the free SSL certificates, the unmetered bandwidth, and the unlimited storage of the Choice Plus plan puts HostMonster ahead of many other website hosting providers. Something else to consider about HostMonster is how long it has managed to stay in business and the considerable client base it has built without resorting to purchasing television commercials to air during the Super Bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

As part of the EIG family of web technology brands, HostMonster is a hosting company that started doing business during the early stages of the commercial server era.

Since 1996, HostMonster has provided hosting solutions for thousands of personal and business websites, and it has become a major player in the web technology sector thanks to factors such as an above-average uptime rate and redundancy.

The company recently lowered its monthly rates in an effort to enter the budget shared hosting segment.