HostPapa Review

 Harper Wilson | Updated: October 31, 2019

HostPapa is a relatively new entrant in the web hosting sphere, having come on the scene in 2006. Nonetheless, they have been able to carve out quite a large market share as they now host more than 500,000 websites.

Through agreements with Cloudflare CDN and by offering enticements like SSL certificates, HostPapa has built a fairly solid reputation. They even boast impressive uptime. Nonetheless, some issues with speed keep them from entering the top echelon of web hosting providers.

Through this HostPapa review, it will become clear that this company offers some pretty good basic services. However, don't forget; there are better performers in this category.

An Introduction to HostPapa

HostPapa was founded in 2006 by Jamie Opalchuk, an expert in technology marketing who is based in Toronto, Ontario. Calling himself a "serial entrepreneur," Opalchuk has been in on the ground floor of numerous startups. To this day, he remains HostPapa's CEO.

The company is based in Canada, and they provide virtual private server, shared and reseller hosting among other services. More than 500,000 websites are currently hosted by HostPapa. Records indicate that the company operates in not only the U.S. and Canada but also Spain, Belgium, Ireland, France, throughout the European Union, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

About HostPapa

HostPapa's primary focus is on hosting websites for small businesses. However, they provide enough scalability to perform well for medium- and large-sized businesses. Individuals also may gravitate toward getting a HostPapa login with one of the more basic packages.

HostPapa's Uptime - Above the Industry Average

This is one of the metrics in which HostPapa excels. This is critical because if your website isn't up and functional, how can anyone visit it? With a 99.94% uptime rating over a 16-month period, HostPapa demonstrates that they understand how to keep their customers' websites live.

HostPapa Uptime Guarantee
Guaranteed 99.9% UptimE

It's important to note that HostPapa's score is .02% above average numbers in the industry for the same period. This means that you can likely trust them to keep your website going even during traffic spikes and other unexpected events.

HostPapa's Speed Is Not Its Best Feature

When it comes to speed, this HostPapa review demonstrates that websites hosted by this service aren't going to win any races. It's not that HostPapa's speed ratings are bad. It's just that they are right in there at the industry average.

Over a 16-month period, average website load time on HostPapa was 618 ms. While this provider manages to eke out numbers that are slightly better than average (Roughly 700ms across 20+ hosting providers), they aren't able to do so by much.

HostPapa Uptime and Speed
HostPapa's speed and uptime

This is bad news for website owners, because evidence after evidence have suggested that visitors will drop a request in the blink of an eye as website resources take more time to load.

There are web hosts out there that can load your website in far less than 618 ms, like Siteground and InMotion Hosting. Speed is an area where HostPapa needs to improve if it's going to compete with the best in the business.

HostPapa Gives You cPanel Access

The well-designed and accessible cPanel takes many of the headaches out of the website publishing process. Once you have your HostPapa login, you'll be able to access the cPanel for your website, and it has some really great features.

For instance, it includes Site Publisher, a straightforward, easy-to-use app that lets you put up a "coming soon" website while you're still ironing out the details on the real thing.

HostPapa cPanel Access
HostPapa's cPanel

Another plus is access to the Softaculous app installer. With more than 400 available apps, you can add an incredible range of functionality to your website. Whether you're concerned about optimizing your SEO or making the most of WordPress, you'll find the perfect app.

Also included in the cPanel is CacheWall. This enormously useful software improves the speed of your website by regulating its caching. Since speed is a critical website metric, this package is a decided advantage.

cPanel makes everything easy and straightforward. HostPapa is doing its customers a favor by including it.

HostPapa Server Locations

HostPapa relies on Hewlett-Packard servers and hardware, which are networked by Cisco. Hosting services are brought to customers via Sucuri server software as well as CloudProxy.

In 2017, plans to build data centers in the UK, Australia and the US were publicized. However, as of 2019, there hasn't been any development and their main data centers remain to be in only 2 locations:

  • Toronto
  • New York City

Their main data centers are categorized as tier-one -- which essentially mean these data centers are bare-bones and generally lack infrastructure components. Don't be discouraged though; HostPapa's network infrastructure was designed to be very lean to cut large costs in hardware, so more resources could be spent on maintaining the servers, ensuring consistently high uptime and fast speeds year-round.

The company takes pride in using 100% renewable energy to power everything from its data centers to its office space.

The company's plans for expansion are a crucial consideration. The closer a website visitor is to the server that is hosting the website, the faster the load time will be. Consequently, it is wise for website owners to choose a host that uses servers that are physically close to the location from which most visitors will be browsing.

Unmetered Bandwidth with HostPapa

With all of its web hosting packages, HostPapa includes unmetered bandwidth. This means that even if you go with the most basic plan, your web host will not put restrictions on how many visitors your website receives each month or how much content you upload to your website.

HostPapa Unmetered Bandwidth

However, the company does note that if certain websites are using too many resources, website owners may be asked to choose a more appropriate hosting plan that is in line with their bandwidth needs.

This promise of unmetered bandwidth is a really big plus for HostPapa. Many web hosts seek to restrict the number of website visitors you can have per month or they only allow you to upload a small amount of content. Having unmetered bandwidth means that your website likely can handle any traffic spikes or a major upload of new content. That's excellent news for a website that's growing.

HostPapa's Customer Support

A knowledgebase is essential for any web host provider, and HostPapa's version excels. It is incredibly thorough and detailed; offering clear, concise instruction on a wealth of the most common issues that arise for customers.

HostPapa has divided their knowledge base into several different folders. It's a well-organized system that makes it easy for users to find precisely what they are looking for. Each entry appears to be highly detailed, enough so that even a novice user will be able to feel like a pro when they are done reading.

HostPapa goes one better by providing numerous video tutorials. If your eyes tend to glaze over as you read technical jargon, then these informative videos are for you. They present tons of details and let you get back on track in a minimum of time.

HostPapa Customer Support
HostPapa customer support options

Through this HostPapa review, it became clear that the company's 24/7 live chat option is really great. Virtually no waiting time is required when customers have a question. Answers from support staff tend to be brief, to the point and accurate. This means that your problem gets resolved, and you quickly go on your way.

Email tickets are the way to go when you have a more involved question. Chances are good that you won't get an immediate response as you would with a live chat, but the average wait time for a response is about one-and-a-half hours. That's not too shabby, especially for a complex issue.

If you prefer to speak one-on-one with a representative, then the telephone support at HostPapa is there for you. Just give them a call, and the helpful personnel can walk you through virtually any problem.

One of the things that makes HostPapa's customer support so stellar is that it's available in several languages. In addition to English, you'll find support for Spanish, German, French and others.

HostPapa Features You Need to Know About

Before you sign up for a HostPapa login, it's wise to know what you're getting. This deeper exploration of some of HostPapa's features will help you get to know this web host better.

Free Domain Name Registration

All of HostPapa's web hosting packages include free domain name registration. That's an especially nice feature for the entrepreneur with a startup. Your budget is tight, and you can't afford to waste even $10 or $15. HostPapa makes getting the domain name of your choice cheap and easy. Pay attention to this feature as you browse other web hosts. Not all of them offer free domain name registration.

HostPapa Gives You Cloudflare CDN

A Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is a vital component of any web host's services, but not all of them offer it. A CDN not only boosts performance but also adds another layer of security to your website. This means greater stability and reliability.

Thanks to Cloudflare CDN, one of the best providers in the business, your website is loaded by the server that is physically closest to the website visitor. This ensures faster delivery times. Even basic CDN services mean that individual websites receive 65% fewer requests, which also translates to using 60% less bandwidth. Accordingly, your website won't be adversely affected by traffic surges.

SSL Certificates

SSL certificates are what changes an HTTP web address into an HTTPS address. That "S" is critical, because it makes your website more secure while also making your website rank higher in search results. Customers will feel more comfortable browsing your website and potentially making purchases when they know their transaction is protected by SSL certificates.

All of HostPapa's web hosting packages include SSL certificates. That means you never have to pay extra to get this essential level of security and peace of mind. This is another thing that this web host gets right.

Compatible with eCommerce

If it's your dream to own an online retail store, then HostPapa may have the right solution for you.

A wide variety of software and apps are available to facilitate online sales that are prompt and secure. Choices include ZenCart, CubeCart, AbanteCart, Avactis Shopping Cart and more. With the option to include thousands of add-ons, you'll be able to track all sorts of metrics and make your online sales efforts more targeted and successful than ever before.

Email Hosting

Email is one of the most critical forms of communication in the modern business world. Most entrepreneurs would like to have a unique email address that keeps the name of their business in the forefront of customers' minds.

HostPapa facilitates this by providing 100 email addresses with even its most basic hosting package. If you need more email addresses, simply upgrade to a higher tier package where you get unlimited addresses.

HostPapa's Website Builder

If you don't already have a website that you are planning to migrate to HostPapa for free, then you may want to use the company's website builder. It's a drag-and-drop interface that is pretty easy to use. However, if you're going with the basic Starter plan, you'll be pretty limited with your design choices, and you won't be able to use any ecommerce capabilities.

Upgrade to the Premium Website Builder Unlimited Edition by signing up for a Business or Business Pro plan. Alternatively, you have the option of using WordPress, a popular content management system, to build your website. However, it may be important to know that HostPapa does not offer managed WordPress hosting, so this may not be ideal.

Green Energy Leader

If you believe in leaving a smaller carbon footprint in all that you do, then this is the perfect web host for you. HostPapa uses green energy to power its hosting services and everything else that it does.

The process is a pretty simple one. HostPapa purchases green energy tags, which also may be called certificates, from a green energy supplier. That supplier then calculates how much energy HostPapa uses, replacing the full amount on the power grid.

Accordingly, HostPapa effectively offsets all of the fossil fuels used in its operations, and this additionally translates to the removal of tons of greenhouse gases from the environment. If you are committed to keeping your business operations as green as possible, this is something you'll definitely want to consider.

HostPapa Pricing Plans, Fees and Renewal

People who are seeking a new HostPapa account will find that the introductory prices are attractively low.

However, you only get the lowest possible monthly pricing when you sign up for three years of service. Signing up for only two years or one year will raise the monthly price by a dollar or two.

That's not too extreme, but the jump from the initial hosting period to the next is substantial. In most cases, you'll find yourself paying well more than twice what you were paying in the introductory period. This is relatively standard practice in the industry, but still something to be aware of.

Hostpapa hosting plans
Hostpapa hosting plans

As you go through the set-up process, keep your eyes peeled and proceed with caution. Some extra features that come at an additional cost, are selected as a default on the checkout page. Watch out for this, especially if you're on a strict budget.

Also, notice that you can only get daily automated backups for your website at an extra cost. This is an essential security feature, and it's kind of surprising that HostPapa doesn't just include this in its packages.

If you're not satisfied with HostPapa, they say that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, there's a catch. Use that guarantee, and you'll be on the hook for a $29.95 "set-up fee." It is effectively a money-back guarantee that will result in a charge to your credit card. That's not exactly the kind of "guarantee" you expect from a company that truly values its customers and is dedicated to providing an unsurpassed support experience.

Types of Hosting

While this HostPapa review has focused mainly on the company's shared hosting services, it's important to understand that they offer a variety of other hosting packages. These include hosting for WordPress and online stores. Additionally available are Virtual Private Servers and reseller hosting.

Final Thoughts

This HostPapa review has demonstrated that this web host puts up some impressive uptime numbers. In addition, customers who sign up for these packages get useful features like SSL certificates, Cloudflare CDN, email addresses and reliable server technology. Even the customer support team seems helpful and available when you need them.

Nonetheless, HostPapa does have drawbacks. Their speed could definitely use some work, and when it comes to their pricing, they are less than transparent. They have a money-back guarantee that will actually cost you money, and they only give you automated daily backups if you pay for them.

The upshot is that HostPapa is pretty good if you just need some basic web hosting for a small business and you like their commitment to environmental responsibility. However, there are faster, more transparent options out there.

Overall, The Nomad Intel still recommends HostPapa as a good web hosting provider. Just be sure to review other web hosts before making a final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

HostPapa has data centers in the U.S. and Canada. Soon, they also may have servers in the U.K. and Australia