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HostArmada Review: Is This Host Too Good to Be True? [2023]

Lynn Gammie Lynn Gammie Web Hosting Expert

HostArmada is relatively new to the hosting game, but in a short amount of time it has managed to catch up and surpass some of its bigger competitors. Come for the cute sci-fi-themed plan names, and stay for the excellent loading speeds, inclusive customer experience, and great value.

Overview

Just Enough Good Stuff, in All the Right Places

HostArmada website main page advertising fast, secure, stable cloud web hosting.
HostArmada’s brand is fresh, lively, and accessible to a broad range of audiences

There are so many hosting providers to compare, so many features to scrutinize – are any of them really that different? For us, HostArmada breaks the mold in all the right places.

Its feature offerings are fairly standard, but are clearly explained in plain language. Its prices, too, are average.

Where HostArmada stands out is the actual experience of being a HostArmada customer. Your sites load faster, the customer support is better, and the user dashboard just makes sense. If you’re looking for an inclusive, customer-centric place for your blog, personal website, portfolio or small business site, HostArmada’s shared hosting plans are for you.

Over a period of one month, we thoroughly tested HostArmada’s entry-level Start Dock plan using a WordPress site setup. Keep reading to learn how HostArmada’s features, ease-of-use, performance, support, and pricing stack up against the competition. Or, take advantage of HostArmada’s latest discount pricing with the coupon below!

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4.3

Features

Speed, Security, and Transparency

HostArmada does not compromise on offering speed and security features, some of which rival other top hosts.

We signed up for Start Dock, the entry-level shared/WordPress hosting plan, which includes support for one website, 15GB of storage, free domain name and SSL certificate, and unlimited email. Start Dock has resources that are perfect for a wide range of small-to-medium web projects, from personal portfolios to an online store.

HostArmada is refreshingly transparent about the features included in the Start Dock plan. Bandwidth, for example, is set at an acceptable usage range (3GB – 30GB), encouraging customers to level up their plan when they see fit as opposed to imposing hard limits. This transparency carries over to other HostArmada features, which are explained in clear, plain language on their website, creating a sense of trust and reliability.

Acceptable usage for each of HostArmada's plans.
Acceptable bandwidth is clearly stated on the HostArmada plan page

Free SSL and Multi-Level Security Solutions

Unlike some other hosts, HostArmada includes the same security features with all of its hosting plans. This creates the sense that every customer is important, regardless of the size or breadth of their web project. We all deserve good web security!

All HostArmada plans come with free SSL certificates, which gives your website the ‘s’ in https, and is essential for establishing a user’s trust when they visit. SSL installation is included with all plans, and all SSL certificates are renewed automatically.

HostArmada also offers PHP hardening, a process that removes potential vulnerabilities from your website configuration. And it supports a surprising range of PHP versions, so your older website (hello, PHP 5.6!) can live on safely.

Other security features are bundled under the Imunify360 suite, a third-party service that offers spam and bot blocking, upload scanning, and database patching. Imunify360 is a “set-it-and-forget-it” service, and is a great value-add for all HostArmada plans.

NGINX and Powerful Caching

Our test HostArmada website performed well above average in terms of site speed (more on our speed tests below), thanks to NGINX web server and a proprietary service it calls Cache Commander.

Cache Commander is set up by default on all hosting plans, and allows control over the static and dynamic site cache. You can clear the cache right from cPanel, or disable it during development.

HostArmada also provides Cloudflare CDN support for edge caching of your website assets on servers closer to your international visitors. It isn’t built into any of the standard plans – you’ll need to sign up for your own (free) account on the Cloudflare website. However, customer support was helpful in guiding us through the setup process.

For the extra-speedy LiteSpeed web server, you’ll need to upgrade to the highest-tier ‘Speed Reaper’ plan. It wasn’t worth it for our single test site, but if you’re managing multiple large websites this plan is a good option, and doesn’t come at a huge additional cost.

Reasonable Storage Limits

One potential concern with HostArmada is the storage included with each plan. For our single WordPress site, however, the 15GB included with Start Dock was more than plenty.

Take stock of your website and how you want it to grow – blogs, portfolios or magazine-style sites can, over time, amass thousands of images and assets, which take up space. Want to host video content or allow users to download large files? You’ll likely need a plan with more resources.

Nothing is truly unlimited when it comes to web storage, and hosts that offer “unlimited everything” often have a hidden cap. We liked HostArmada’s transparency here, even if it means you might need to upgrade your plan sooner rather than later.

HostArmada Features at a Glance

Free domain name?
Free SSL?
Money-back guarantee 45 days
Uptime guarantee 99.9%, compensation provided for downtime
Managed hosting features?
Data centers 4 in North America, 2 in Europe, 2 in Asia, 1 in Australia
4.7

Ease of use

The Dashboard Makes Everything Easy, No Experience Required

HostArmada’s management dashboard is clean and simple, allowing experienced hosts and newbies alike to take care of simple site management tasks quickly. If you get stuck, help is there when you need it (see the Support section below).

Better yet, once you’ve registered, HostArmada doesn’t constantly upsell its plans or push add-ons via the dashboard. Either their sales team is really chill, or they just respect that customers will upgrade when the need arises.

Creating a New Account With HostArmada

Once we chose our shared hosting plan, the next step was to create an account. This process was user-friendly and flowed well from step to step. Watch out for the auto-selected Privacy Protection add-on – this prevents the contact information connected with your domain name registration from being visible online, but if you don’t need it you could end up paying for it anyway.

Billing is done only through credit card or PayPal, but is easy and secure. Once registration was complete, our verification email went to spam (oops!), but all email filters are different and yours may land in your inbox without issue.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee, we were verified and able to log in to the HostArmada dashboard. Having just registered our domain, we had to wait for DNS propagation (essentially telling the internet where to find our site).

Users who are unfamiliar with this process might be confused at the PENDING warning in their account – expect that DNS propagation can take as little as a few hours and as long as three days. This delay is not unique to HostArmada, but their messaging surrounding it could have been better.

Setting up WordPress was a breeze with the one-click Softaculous installer in cPanel. As with any WordPress install, be sure to use a strong password.

Another heads-up, you’ll need to clear the cache via Cache Commander in order to actually see your site at your domain. HostArmada didn’t warn us of this quirk, but luckily Cache Commander was easy to find, and the Clear Cache button is unmissable.

HostArmada dashboard showing the Cache Commander button, used to clear the cache.
Make sure to clear your cache via the Cache Commander before browsing to your new website

Managing Your Website via cPanel is Simple and Reliable

Our website was finally live! This can be the end of your journey with the HostArmada dashboard, or just the beginning.

cPanel makes it easy to set up things like email or FTP accounts, and we highly recommend using the cPanel search feature to find what you need instead of scrolling through rows and rows of app icons.

Account and Usage Details Are Clear and Accessible

The HostArmada dashboard is sparse, in a good way. When you don’t know where to click, the fewer options, the better.

Besides cPanel, the only other dashboard feature of note is the Product Details area. Here you can check your disk space and bandwidth usage, check your billing cycle, and purchase add-ons. Again, there isn’t a sales and marketing vibe to the dashboard, and we never felt pressured to purchase additional stuff. There are also some cPanel shortcuts in this space, though it would be great if users could configure these themselves.

Website dashboard with service details, billing details, disk usage, bandwidth usage and cPanel quick access icons.
The HostArmada dashboard is clean and simple, with a useful WordPress shortcut
4.8

Performance

A Speedy and Reliable Shared Hosting Plan? Yes, Please!

Yes, HostArmada’s features are pretty good, and the setup was easy, but the main benefit is really the server speed. With shared hosting there is always a worry that using the same resources as other clients will slow things down, but that did not appear to be the case with HostArmada.

Our testing website consistently loaded fully in under 130 milliseconds, and that was without a CDN installed. To make the testing site as realistic as possible, we included resource-heavy css, javascript, fonts, and images similar to an average WordPress site. If you’d like to know more about our testing process, you can read about it here.

We chose the Chicago data-center, so users on the other side of the globe would likely experience longer load times. That being said, we’re still confident that HostArmada is one of the fastest shared hosting providers around.

HostArmada overdelivered on its shared hosting promises with consistently fast loading times – under 1.5s, and typically 1.1s – along with 99.98% uptime over a month.

GTMetrix

Quick loading time is extremely important to catch the ever-elusive attention span of the modern web user. If your site takes more than two seconds to load, or users see a flash of unstyled content, they will go elsewhere.

Graph summarizing the HostArmada test website performance. Grade is A for speed, performance and structure.
HostArmada performed very well in general performance, speed, and load time

GTMetrix allows us to measure site loading speeds across a period of time, and we tested our HostArmada site for a full month before compiling the results. The verdict? The results in all areas – time to first byte, time to fully-loaded, and general performance score – scored ‘A’s across the board.

Graph showing an average of 0.5 seconds to first byte and 1 second to fully load
Response time and time to fully load were consistent and fast

Sucuri Load Time Tester

Results outside of the US varied, but were generally slower, as we had chosen a US data center during setup. The Singapore test site took well over two seconds to load, although these times could be improved with a CDN.

Chart showing load times for different data centres. US locations are around 0.5 seconds, while Europe and Asia are 1-3 seconds.
HostArmada performed well in the US, but for faster load times in other parts of the world we would recommend adding a CDN

Cloudflare CDN is not preinstalled with any HostArmada shared hosting plans, but it’s easy to integrate. Customer support was really helpful here – when we asked about our slow international loading times they let us know that they could integrate the CDN free of charge – all we had to do was sign up for a Cloudflare account.

UptimeRobot

As you can see, uptime was not an issue for our test site. It scored 99.98% uptime over a period of one month, with only one outage recorded. These results are great, and are in keeping with HostArmada’s 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Chart detailing uptime for the test website. The chart shows a consistent line with one minor outage.
Uptime was consistent, with only one minor outage over 30 days

Upon further investigation, we found that HostArmada allows for exceptions to uptime in cases of scheduled or unscheduled maintenance and provides compensation for downtime in the form of credits, rather than cash. Nevertheless, the majority of users can rest assured, as HostArmada ensures an exceptionally consistent uptime, minimizing concerns about receiving compensation.

4.7

Support

Prompt and Concise Customer Support

Hosting companies need to stand out amongst the many options available, and HostArmada’s support services do just that. Chat, ticketing, and phone are available 24/7, and the host boasts a 99% issue resolution rate.

We communicated mainly through the chat interface, and found the responses to be fast – we were connected with a real human in under one minute every time – and friendly. We even got the same agent a few times, a good sign that the support team services HostArmada exclusively, and not a slew of hosting companies.

Three chat windows with conversations about subdomains, CDN, and ssl certificates.
I got fast and useful answers to my specific questions using the HostArmada chat

When we asked about increasing website speed, an agent suggested Cloudflare CDN and provided instructions and a blog article to guide us through the setup process. Another agent, when we specifically asked about WordPress optimization, recommended several plugins to try and also provided a link to a blog article. Neither time did they upsell us or suggest increasing our storage or bandwidth.

There isn’t a huge backlist of how-to articles to pull from, unfortunately. For anything not covered we recommend opening a ticket, which you can do easily from your account dashboard.

HostArmada's blog archive, featuring six article cards covering security, PHP, SSL, Technical Tips, and other topics.
HostArmada offers some useful how-to articles, but only a few are beginner-friendly
4.5

Pricing

Average Budget Pricing for Higher-Than-Average Service

HostArmada seems to have taken a page from every other hosting provider’s book and made its introductory pricing very, very competitive. Ultimately, rates for each tier of shared hosting are so similar that you could easily upgrade for one or two dollars more per month.

The rate displayed on the website will not remain constant for the entirety of your subscription. Prior to making a purchase, we strongly advise reviewing the renewal prices, as these prices are notably higher than the initial promotional prices.

For a single WordPress website, the entry-level plan provided more than adequate value for the price. If you’re looking to host multiple sites, check out the Web Warp plan. And if you have multiple asset-heavy sites, the LiteSpeed-powered Speed Reaper is probably better for you.

hostarmada logo alt

HostArmada now has a 45 - day money-back guarantee!

Get a discounted annual plan without taking any risks.

60 users used this coupon!

HostArmada also offers VPS and dedicated hosting, alongside reseller plans that might be useful if you’re a web development agency looking to host your clients’ sites. One thing to note about the reseller plans: they are all powered by LiteSpeed web server software.

You can pay by credit card or PayPal only (i.e. no crypto), but there is a 45-day money-back guarantee with all shared hosting plans. Beware of the aforementioned auto-selected privacy add-on when you check out – otherwise the process is straightforward and painless.

A free domain name is included with some hosting plans from HostArmada

Comparison

How does HostArmada match up to the competition?

KamateraCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Liquid WebCompareOur Score4.8Compare
HostArmadaCompareOur Score4.6Compare
Tailor Made ServersCompareOur Score2.9Compare

HostArmada REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

HostArmada scores high in features, ease-of-use, performance, support, and pricing, making it a good choice for anyone looking for easy and reliable shared hosting.

The company’s focus on quality web server software – as well as its quick and friendly support – are standouts in a crowded market, and set it apart as a customer-centric and trustworthy place to host your web project.

Finally, we found the plain language and transparency on the HostArmada site to be a breath of fresh air for those who are tired of deciphering cryptic hosting features.

FAQ

Do other people have access to my files on a shared hosting plan?

Most hosting providers that offer shared hosting implement account isolation, shielding your files from other users on your shared server. HostArmada offers account isolation with all its plans. The only downside is that you are still sharing the server’s resources, so a lot of traffic to another customer’s site may affect the loading speed of your site.

Do I need a CDN?

A CDN, or content delivery network, offers many benefits, including faster site loading speeds in areas of the world further away from your chosen data center. A CDN can also offer better traffic management and better Google rankings. CloudFlare CDN is free, and HostArmada will help you integrate it after you sign up for a plan.

Which hosting plans are best for WordPress?

WordPress sites come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s better to evaluate your website based on your specific needs. Remember that sites with more pages have more information, and thus have larger databases. Images, videos, or large downloadable files take up space on your server, and sites with thousands of daily visitors need more bandwidth.

Does it matter which data centre I choose?

A data center close to your site visitors will deliver your website more quickly, so it’s important to choose a data centre that is near to your primary audience. If your audience is international, a CDN can help to load your site quickly anywhere in the world. However, top-quality web server configuration is of the utmost importance no matter where your site visitors come from.
Lynn Gammie Lynn Gammie
Lynn is a WordPress developer and technical product manager with ten years of experience bringing web products to life. In her spare time she enjoys swimming, biking, and hanging out with her cat, Cornelius.
4.7
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Amazing service

Absolutely extraordinary service in both support, speed, and security aspects. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to break the cycle of constantly moving web hosting providers around and setting in permanently with a Hosting provider worth every penny!

avatar
Alexander Katzmann, USA
September 27, 2023
5
10/10 Service

I have been using HostArmada for more than three years already and the service has always performed amazingly fast. Surprisingly , compared to the hosting providers I've used in the past, this one has been stable during my whole term. I would highly recommend their services.

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Gurses Rejeb, Bulgaria
September 18, 2023
5
Bad service experience using HostArmada

i had a bad experience using HostArmada, they asked me for personal details such as my private images and other documents which I shouldn't include in the my registration to a hosting company. Also they wanted to know exactly what each site hosted would include (small business sites - my clients), and made me feel like I was bin-laden. i went along with some of their demands that didn't seem to end. This is not the first time I heard of them squeezing out personal data from people. finally, after 3 verifications requests (in a phone conversation, chat etc) I said no thank you and went with a different supplier. Must of all i felt insulted and i do not trust them with my personal information or my client's websites.

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Imri Sagive, USA
September 27, 2022
1
Best of the Best !

I'm with 5 websites now for 4 months with Host Armada and can say I'm very happy with that decision. All my wishes have been met like Stability - Speed - Security - and I have not had any problems or complaints, not even one which gave me a real Peace of Mind - All prognoses and promises have been met - and on top of that, the competitive low price for that high quality of service and reliability is outstanding.

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Jan Smeets, USA
March 15, 2021
5
Laura Kezena

Fast live and real 24/7 support. They have their own trained staff not outsourced support. We are using vps hosting for a few months now. Until now, everything suits us. If we have any questions, they are solved within no time. Migration from our old server was smooth and fast, taking into account that we had two online stores that had to be active during the daytime.

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Laura Kezena, Latvia
December 27, 2020
5
Very fast and great

Service quality is a very good, timely support LiveChat. Especially the discount price of 70% is very impressive. I will recommend more friends to use Hostarmada's service. If you are wondering what hosting options are, Hostarmada is the best choice at the moment.

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KiemTienTop, Vietnam
November 06, 2020
5
Speed and support!

I can't be more satisfied with these guys! They take care of my website transfer and setup, and everything was working exactly the same but FASTER! The support was awesome, and the "speed reaper" plan is incredible! The best hosting I ever tried.

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Jesus Rosillo, Venezuela
October 14, 2020
5
Service and host quality is very good

Through the experience of using Hostarmda, despite being a new provider in the market, the quality of the host is very good, I like the most that their customer care service is very fast and professional. Easy-to-use intuitive management interface

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Son Nguyen, Vietnam
October 01, 2020
5
Family sharingMulti User SharingExpert SupportBackupSmart syncPersonal SolutionBusiness SolutionTeams optionsOffline foldersFile history and recovery Read more reviews
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