Reviews and expert opinion HostPapa

Mark Holden
Mark Holden
Web Hosting Expert

HostPapa is an excellent beginner-friendly hosting company. It offers comprehensive plans with SSD storage and 24/7 customer service. Overall, I’m impressed – but be cautious of the pricing. On first glance, it looks affordable, but there are a few hidden costs which increase the monthly rate considerably.

Overview

HostPapa is fine, but fine is not good enough. While HostPapa is a decent web host, you can get better quality hosting at a cheaper price with Hostinger, for example.

HostPapa, one of the leading hosting providers in Canada, has been around for a while. It currently has more than 200,000 customers, with reportedly thousands more being added each month. Granted, that’s still small fry when you compare it to some of the U.S.-based hosting giants, but in Canadian terms, it’s top dog.

The company’s website is available in American English and Spanish. It proudly displays tons of industry accreditations and awards, and makes the bold claim HostPapa is “America’s leading host.” As I can’t find any third-party sources to back that up, let’s take it with a grain of salt. Moving swiftly on…

hostpapa-overview1

The company offers a 99.9% uptime Service Level Agreement, a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, and 24/7 customer support, alongside affordably priced plans and masses of value-added features.

The packages are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, with a simple but effective range of shared hosting, WordPress hosting, and, if you’re ready to scale, there are VPS plans and reseller hosting.

It all sounds good, doesn’t it? Especially with prices starting as low as $3.95 per month for shared hosting and $19.99 for VPS. But before you rush to the checkout page, take a few minutes to read this in-depth review. I’ll cover the ins and outs of HostPapa; the features, ease of use, pricing, and support.

We’ll delve deep into the data; the user reviews, performance, speed tests, to name a few. By the end of the review, you’ll know whether this is the right host for you. If it’s not, I’ll recommend alternatives.

Features

4.7

A One-Stop Shop for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

HostPapa is a full-service hosting provider, offering all the standard features you need to get your business (or personal) website off the ground. For instance, there’s SSL support, automatic backups, SPAM protection, a free Cloudflare CDN, and free website migrations. There’s even a website building tool to sweeten the deal.

Automatic WordPress Updates

If you’ve ever owned a WordPress website, you’ll know how often it needs to be updated. Oftentimes this is a quick job, but other times, it can take valuable time out of your day and suck the joy from your soul. OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but when you’re running your business the last thing you want to be worried about is manually updating your WordPress.

HostPapa’s WordPress automatic updates mean your website will automatically be updated to the latest version of WordPress, along with all of the security and performance updates.

hostpapa-features1

Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Included in HostPapa’s plans and easily installed via the cPanel is a free Cloudflare CDN. Not only does Cloudflare protect your website from spam and DDoS attacks, but it also caches your static file (CSS, JS, Images) and serves it from the nearest location. Cloudflare CDN will increase your website performance by up to 50% and help your website load faster. Boom!

99.9% Uptime Guarantee

HostPapa has an industry average uptime guarantee of 99.9%. There are certainly companies with higher uptime Service Level Agreements, but in HostPapa’s case, it is important to know that compensation is paid (despite it not being explicit in the terms and conditions).

I chatted with a live chat agent who advised me that “at the end of the month, we check the server uptime and, based on those results, will or will not offer compensation.”

Sure, it’s ambiguous, but it’s something at least.

hostpapa-features2

Beginner-Friendly Tools

Starting out with website development can be daunting. Not only do you have to learn a new vocabulary full of acronyms and techy words, you’ve got a ton of features and applications to get to grips with. Any features that make your life easier are a win.

For instance, HostPapa offers a premium Softaculous one-click installer with more than 400 applications. It’s easy to access via the beginner-friendly cPanel and if you’re stuck, it’s simple to reach out to support throughout the process.

There’s also a website builder and optimized WordPress plans to make life even easier.See full list of features

Ease of use

4.6
HostPapa is aimed at smaller and medium-sized business owners.

If you are a developer, this is probably not the best host for you – there are plenty of other hosts that offer more advanced features like staging environments, git access, scalable resources, and so on.

However, if you want an easy-to-use, one-stop solution for all your business hosting needs, HostPapa is a great choice. From automatic backups to free website migrations, you’ll find a ton of user-friendly features.

hostpapa-ease-of-use1

Creating an Account

Creating an account with HostPapa was an easy – but not hiccup-free – process. When I signed up for $3.95 and created my account, I received an email stating my application had been flagged due to security reasons. This could have caused a huge delay, but the excellent customer service team helped me every step of the way and got me set up in less than an hour.

Learn more about how to create an account with HostPapa.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

Again, connecting a domain and installing WordPress was a simple process. It can be done entirely via cPanel with just a few clicks. When I encountered an issue with the CDN, it was easy to get help from an agent.

Read my full experience with step by step instructions.

Ecommerce Ready

If you’re running an online store, you’ll be glad to know the plans come with a variety of ecommerce features and tools.

Alongside prerequisite security features such as a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and enhanced SSL certificates, the hosting comes with various integrated checkout tools like osCommerce, OpenCart, Prestashop, and many more.

Disaster Recovery Plans

Included free in the upper-tier plan and paid in the lower-tier packages is an automated website backup and restore service. As it’s not always included free of charge, be sure to check whether it’s included in your plan to avoid disappointment – not to mention, the loss of data in the event of a disaster.

Also, the backup quota is limited at 1GB, so depending on your needs, it could be too restrictive. Check the small print!

User-Friendly Control Panel

All the plans come with cPanel, a popular control panel you may already be familiar with. It’s known for its ease of use, which is great if you’re just getting started.See if HostPapa is Right for You

Performance

4.6

Not a Perfect Score, but More Than Enough for Most Small Businesses

Although HostPapa is clearly aimed at smaller businesses and not enterprises, website performance is still a high priority. It’s good to see that HostPapa comes with a selection of performance-enhancing features and tools to optimize page load speeds.

For instance, the plans use SSD drives, which mean disk read/write speeds are up to ten times faster than traditional HDD. HostPapa uses robust Intel server equipment and a fully featured Cisco powered network.

It’s hard to find any negative reviews online relating to HostPapa’s performance. In fact, anecdotal evidence is nearly all positive (a rarity in the world of web hosting!), citing uptime close to 100% and no documented speed issues.

I decided to test the performance for myself by running a Sucuri page load test (after installing the free Cloudflare CDN via the control panel). The results were positive and the website got an overall grade of A.

hostpapa-performance1

Granted, plenty of hosts I’ve reviewed scored A+ overall, but with HostPapa, most locations scored less than half a second which is well below the cutoff point for a website visitor. None of the locations scored particularly badly and none even close to the dreaded two-second mark.Check Out HostPapa Performance

Support

4.8

Friendly, Efficient, and Available 24/7

HostPapa offers a solid range of customer service. Available 24/7, you can contact the team by phone (at the rate of an international call), email, live chat, ticket, mail, or fax – although, as you can imagine, I am not sure about the popularity of the latter two.

hostpapa-support1

If you’re the kind of person who likes to research on their own, there’s a knowledge base with a whopping 2500 documents covering topics ranging from hosting to email to administration.

Ticket

I contacted HostPapa via live chat to ask whether the plans supported Windows operating systems. Unfortunately, the live chat agent was unable to answer the question. However, he quickly created a support ticket for me.

Within a couple of hours, I received a reply via email, answering my question in full. The whole interaction was seamless and refreshingly easy.

hostpapa-support2

Live Chat

It is really easy to contact HostPapa via live chat, which is readily available wherever you are on the website (both the main site and the admin dashboard).

When I was setting up my account, my account was flagged as a security risk. I quickly hopped on live chat to ask some questions. The operator was helpful and passed my concern on to the correct member of staff so that the issue was resolved quickly.

hostpapa-support3

Email

While I was setting up my account, I received a series of emails explaining that my account had been flagged for security reasons. I was asked to provide some follow-up information to confirm my identity. I did so, via email, and within a couple of hours, the whole situation had been fixed.

The customer service agent was always polite and respectful in our interactions.

hostpapa-support4

Pricing

4.0
There are three shared hosting plans which, on first glance, considering the level of resources and the value-added features, appear to be affordably priced – starting at $2.99 per month. In addition, all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is excellent.

However, I do have a couple of gripes. First, it’s not possible to purchase hosting on a month-to-month plan (why, oh why, is this not possible?). You have to choose from a one, two, or three-year term. Despite the money-back guarantee, this seems like a big commitment.

Second, the advertised price is heavily discounted and this reduced rate does not apply upon renewal. Therefore, you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the “real” price, as you’ll be stuck with it when your contract renews.

Finally, there are several add-ons that are automatically added to your cart. You can remove them, but they are included by default. These include features that I think should be included free of charge, for example, automatic backups and domain privacy. I seriously dislike paying for backups.

When you’re ready to pay, you can purchase the hosting with major credit cards and PayPal.

How much does HostPapa cost?
HostPapa offers plans from $3.95 and up. The price depends on which type of hosting plan you choose. You can see the updated pricing table (updated weekly) below.
Which HostPapa plan should I get?
My recommendation is to start with a cheaper plan. You can always upgrade later on. HostPapa can help you with the migration to a more expensive plan. The increase in visitors many times takes longer than expected and you shouldn’t pay a lot of money until the need arises. Of course, your needs may vary, and you can consult with a hosting expert from HostPapa here.
How good is HostPapa’s customer support?
HostPapa is not ranked as one of our top web hosts. But that can also be a result of Hostpapa being a small, under the radar, hosting provider. There are advantages to a small hosting company – as a customer, you are more important to them. You can also check out our comparison of the most popular web hosting services here.

Cancellation & Refunds

Canceling an account with HostPapa was a slow, frustrating, and soul-destroying process, which surprised me considering my good experience with customer service up until that point. It took several emails and conversations on live chat in order to receive a partial refund.

Read about my full experience canceling my HostPapa account.

User reviews

Based on 18 reviews in 3 languages
4.2
Write a Review
Language
  • English (5)
  • Español (4)
  • Français (9)
Sort by
Newest
  • Newest
  • Oldest
  • Best
  • Worst
Reply to review
Reply
Visit HostPapa
reply
en
Error
onClick="trackClickout('event', 'clickout', 'Vendor Page - Visit User Reviews', 'hostpapa', this, true);"
View 1 reply
View %d replies
avatar
5.0
Azizur Rahman
Bangladesh
March 19, 2020
Excellent

Hostpapa is one of the most popular domain and hosting service provider. It's service is affordable. I highly request evryone to take IT support from HostPapa. HostPapa's instant chatting support is really admirable. I hope HostPapa will succeed in future.

avatar
5.0
Robin S.
Canada
scaletron.com
March 18, 2020
Great hosting with great help if you need it.

I've been with Hostpapa for several years now. I joined because of their green commitments and found their commitment to their customers above the norm. I started with 3 simple sites before Wordpress came along. I found that I could host all 3 sites on the same subscription. I converted to Wordpress a year ago for the main site but I still have one other conventional site running on the side. They switched my development site to the running site when I asked them to, which saved me a lot of time, and I have requested assistance many times since, with prompt service every time. These folks are on the ball and I don't mind telling everyone about it.

avatar
5.0
Louis Freris
Australia
majesticweddingsandevents.com.au
February 11, 2020
Service Excellence

As a complete newbie, I had to use the chat service a number of times. At all times, the operator was very helpful, and solved my issues without fuss, in fact, the opposite, and every time I clocked out, the conversation will conclude like this: Don't hesitate to call us if you need anything else. Thanks guys!

avatar
4.0
anonymus
Canada
February 07, 2020
Great Support

Hostpapa support has been there when I've needed them. the service is solid and has tons of options for the price. their tutoriasl and self-support page has very well maintained articles for some that is just getting started with web hosting.

avatar
4.0
Jennifer C.
USA
June 30, 2015
Hostpapa Review

I've had a great overall experience with this host and their customer service team. Although they don't offer 24/7 telephone support, they do offer 24/7 support online and through live chat which is great! Their services and uptime are superb and meet the needs of my business, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Comparison

How does HostPapa match up to the competition?

Hostinger Compare 4.9 Compare
InterServer Compare 4.8 Compare
HostPapa Compare 4.5 Compare
Bluehost Compare 2.5 Compare

Bottom line on HostPapa

HostPapa is an excellent beginner-friendly hosting company and, something of a mythical creature, it is one of the few hosts which has primarily positive sentiment from its past customers.

It offers comprehensive plans with SSD storage and 24/7 customer service.

Overall, I’m impressed – but be cautious of the pricing. On first glance, it looks affordable, but there are a few hidden costs which increase the monthly rate considerably.

Still not sure if this is the right web host for you? Check out our top recommended web hosts to learn more.

Mark Holden
Mark Holden
Mark is a full stack web developer specializing in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, MySQL, and PHP. When he's not busy building websites or geeking out over the latest addition to his ever-growing gadget collection, he enjoys playing drums for his progressive rock band. He can also make a mean Spanish omelet.

HostPapa Alternatives

Hostinger
4.9
Best overall value for money
Read Review
InterServer
4.8
Best hosting for growing businesses
Read Review
A2 Hosting
4.8
Unlimited SSD storage
Read Review
Liquid Web
4.7
Best managed hosting solution
Read Review
2309