A majority of the web hosting companies I review are typically based in the United States. HostPapa on the other hand is a Canadian based web host who specializes in helping out the little guy.
But is the mustache man a good fit for your blog or small business? In this HostPapa review, we’ll dive into the pros, cons, renewal rates and everything else in-between.
What Is HostPapa?
HostPapa is a web hosting company headquartered out of Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
They were founded in 2006 by Jamie Opalchuk and are currently 1 of 7 green web hosting providers that have a focus on green energy hosting.
All of their energy used to power their data centers, office computers, and web servers comes from 100% renewable energy.
This means that everything used to maintain and provide their hosting services comes from wind, water, and solar.
Is HostPapa Any Good?
For the most part, yes. HostPapa is a good web hosting provider. As of 2020, HostPapa was providing web hosting services to over 200,000 websites. That’s a lot of uptime to maintain!
In 2015, HostPapa earned a PROFIT 500 ranking among Canada’s fastest-growing companies. It’s safe to say that HostPapa is doing something right in the web hosting space.
They also formed partnerships with SiteLock Website Security and Cloudflare.
Accolades only tell a part of the story. Let’s get into the details that matter.
Would Recommend If..
Great for small businesses or a blogger who wants an affordable web host. If you want a free domain name, unmetered bandwidth and expect to have two websites or more using the same hosting, HostPapa is a great choice.
Wouldn’t Recommend If…
You care about speed, need unlimited bandwidth, have an existing website that’s already doing well, and value excellent customer support.
Pros and Cons of HostPapa
|30-Day Money Back Guarantee||Expensive Add-Ons|
|Free Domain Name||Backups Only Available With Pro Plan|
|PHP7, SSD & CacheCade Pro 2.0||Expensive Renewals|
|24/7 Email Support||3-Year Commitment For Best Deals|
|Fast Servers||Limited Data Center Locations|
|Free Site Migration Service||No Free Site Migration|
|Live Multilingual Phone & Chat Support||Potentially Misleading Pricing Options|
|100% Renewable Energy Hosting||Chat Support Can Be Slow|
|SSL Certificate Included In All Plans|
As with all of our web hosting reviews, we like to test the performance with a few website speed test tools.
In this case I found a website that’s being hosted with HostPapa and ran their site with the following tools. Here are the results:
The first tool we use is a performance tool by the team over at WebDev. They pull a multitude of data and give an overall website score using Google Lighthouse.
The HostPapa hosted website kicked back an overall score of 94 out of 100 using the HostPapa Business Plan. Very impressive!
GTMetrix Speed Test
Tested from a Vancouver, Canada web server, GTMetrix kicked back a fully loaded website time of 634ms! This is insanely fast!
If HostPapa offers consistent site speeds like this for your visitors, you’re going to be in excellent shape.
Don’t let the B performance grade from Pingdom fool you. 665 ms is still under 1 second for a fully loaded website. Compared to other hosting companies I’ve tested, HostPapa offers some serious speed.
HostPapa Uptime Guarantee
An important detail you want to take a look at is a web hosts uptime guarantee. This means the amount of time your website is guaranteed to be accessible.
HostPapa has a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
See the uptime guarantee chart below to compare.
Having a safe and secure website is super important. You want to make sure your website is protected from hackers, malware and anything else that may compromise your visitors information.
This is where website security comes in handy. Most web hosts offer multiple website security options to keep everything safe and secure. Here are some of the HostPapa security features you can expect to get.
With the Basic Protection Power Plan you get daily malware scans, a CDN (content delivery network), Unlimited Pages to be secured, manual vulnerability scans, secure website trust seal, automated malware detection, real-time notifications and alerts, one-time malware assistance and all the essential features that come standard across all plans.
The only drawback about this service is that it doesn’t come standard with the lower-tiered plans. You’ll have to pay for it as an add-on service. Features for each tiered security plan go up in price and up in features as well.
SiteLock comes at a slight discount when purchased through HostPapa. The features seem to be a bit less than what you would get if you were to purchase directly through SiteLock.
The top-tier Shield Security Plan is $25.00/mo and is billed annually at $299.99 per year. A 30-day money back guarantee is also included (excluding SiteLock 911).
This includes a SiteLock trust seal, daily malware and vulnerability scans up to 500 pages, automatic malware removal, daily FTP scanning, spam and blacklist monitoring, SSL support, DDoS monitoring, and a web application firewall.
Malware is something you never want on your site. Think of credit card hackers trying to take your web visitors information or inject spam in your content for linking purposes.
HostPapa offers malware removal and protection. Their malware removal service is only included with the top-tiered Business Pro and WP Business Pro plan.
Web Application Firewall (WAF)
A web application firewall helps protect your website from any malicious code or cyberattacks. It prevents any important information from leaving your website.
With the Protection Power plan you’re able to set up customized WAF settings to block suspicious traffic or failed login attempts.
Think of it as a shield around your website. Nothing sketchy gets in and everything important stays in. HostPapa provides this security feature as an add-on service. It only comes included with their Pro and Premium plans.
Free SSL Certificate
HostPapa offers a complimentary SSL certificate included with all plans (secure sockets layer). The companies they use to provide this added layer of security are Let’s Encrypt and GlobalSign.
They use 256-bit data encryption, which is the highest standard available in virtual security. They also offer what’s called a WildCard SSL which allows you to encrypt layers of your website using one certificate (two websites or more).
If you plan on using subdomains and want to ensure they’re encrypted, this is a great option.
Automatic Website Backups
Automated website backups usually come standard with every hosting provider. HostPapa is no different and provides 7 of the most recent versions of your website to recover from.
Disk space (SSD storage: solid state drive) for backups range from 5GB all the way to 50GB. When first starting out, you won’t need as much space for site recovery but as your website grows it would be wise to upgrade.
It’s inevitable that you’ll run into issues with your website. Whether you’re experiencing slow load times or you accidentally wiped out your website, you’re going to need reliable customer support.
HostPapa support (“Papa Squad”) isn’t the best in class. Here’s the experience I had with their live chat support agent Barbara.
I needing clarification regarding the security features that came with each plan. Some features on the security page seemed overlapping.
Barbara was kind enough to help me out but seemed confused. You can see at 20:40 Barbara told me to ‘Hold on.’ I waited nearly 7-minutes to get this question answered.
Maybe she was confirming the information before giving it to me?
HostPapa TrustPilot Reviews
Here are some HostPapa reviews from Trustpilot revolving around customer support. First up we have Jihad of Canada, he’s got nothing but positive words to say.
Next up we have Rob of the United Kingdom. His experience with a website migration looks to have taken longer than he would have liked.
Finally, we have Matt from Germany who had a whole lot to say. One of his main talking points is how HostPapa has jacked up the pricing, something we’ll dive into deeper once we get to the pricing and plans.
Ease of Use
HostPapa for the most part is very easy to use. It’s a bit outdated with a web 2.0 sort of feel to it but it’s still easy to navgiate.
Here’s how the HostPapa dashboard looks.
At the top you have access to your cPanel, domain, additional services, billing, support and your personal profile. They’ve even made domain registration easily accessible right from the dashboard.
Here’s a quick cPanel demo as well. It’s very similar to the dashboard.
Here you can access your file manager, manage site backups, phpMyAdmin, email, and even website metrics.
You can access the HostPapa website builder from the MyServices tab.
Navigating overall is fairly easy but again very web 2.0 in terms of it’s design.
HostPapa Plans and Pricing
All HostPapa hosting plans shown below are at 36-month pricing level and all come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Also, detailed HostPapa renewal pricing wasn’t something disclosed on their website. It simply said that all plans “typically renew” at the regular rate.
Initial pricing shown below are dubbed as “limited-time promotional prices” for new customers only. When your web hosting renews, you’re likely to see an increase with the renewal cost.
Shared Hosting Plans
All shared hosting plans come with free domain registration, free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, HostPapa’s website builder, and all essential features.
- Starter Plan: $3.95/mo at 3-years or $5.95/mo at one-year.
- Business Plan: $3.95/mo at 3-years or $5.95/mo at one-year.
- Business Pro Plan: $12.95/mo at 3-years or $17.95/mo at one-year.
Enterprise WordPress Hosting
- WP Starter: $3.95/mo at 3-years or $9.99/mo at one-year.
- WP Business: $5.95/mo at 3-years or $9.99/mo at one-year.
- WP Business Pro: $12.95/mo at 3-years or $9.99/mo at one-year.
HostPapa VPS Hosting
- Mercury: $19.99/mo at 3-years or $29.99/mo at one-year.
- Venus: $59.99/mo at 3-years or $69.99/mo at one-year.
- Earth: $109.99/mo at 3-years or $129.99/mo at one-year.
- Mars: $169.99/mo at 3-years or $179.99/mo at one-year.
- Jupiter: $249.99/mo at 3-years or $269.99/mo at one-year.
HostPapa Reseller Hosting
Reseller pricing shown below is at a one-year billing cycle.
- Bronze: $24.99/mo at 3-years or $29.99/mo at one-year.
- Silver: $34.99/mo at 3-years or $39.99/mo at one-year.
- Gold: $49.99/mo at 3-years or $64.99/mo at one-year.
- Platinum: $79.99/mo at 3-years or $89.99/mo at one-year.
- Titanium: $109.99/mo at 3-years or $119.99/mo at one-year.
• Kinsta: A great option if you own a small business and want to have a fast managed WP hosting. Free domain registration is something they don’t offer either but the user interface is very sleek (much nicer than a traditional cPanel control panel). Very fast and worth every penny.
Which is a downside in terms of bundling everything but it lets you know that they’re serious about providing an excellent hosting service.
• BlueHost: Considered by many to be one of the best in the hosting world when it comes to shared hosting. They also offer dedicated hosting, VPS, a website builder and also offer free domain registration.
• WP Engine: If you want a hosting provider packed with features, this is it. You get a SSL certificate, fast load times, GenesisFramework, and even 35+ StudioPress themes to make site building easier. Lots of value compared to other hosts.
HostPapa Reviews Via Twitter
Fixed thanks to the help of a super nice tech named Andres at @HostPapa 👍— Karen McCrae (@farmfreshkaren) July 31, 2021
Hostpapa are great, they have good green credentials, good customer service and very reasonable prices!— Andreia (@GreenChainDev) May 31, 2021
@HostPapa when your hosting company is merged into a bigger company and the migration gets all screwed up and your business email is down for weeks is not a good look for the new company – not happy with the support team as well – this needs to be taken care ASAP— The Auger (@auggerdogger) July 8, 2021
@HostPapa Can you explain why I’ve been overcharged by $700 and no one from your support team can assist? I was told I would get a billing supervisor call back and then told those don’t happen. No one over chat or the phone is providing any help.— Ashley Harper (@obagaar) June 24, 2021
@HostPapa @opiecanada After being loyal for 6 years, when your team forces me into buying an exorbitantly expensive renewal plan although many cheaper plans are available on your own website and I am not allowed to choose them, I feel the need of moving my business somewhere else— Vaibhav B (@wellbeingdesinr) July 15, 2021
@HostPapa not starting out well – 20mins on chat to get a phone number to call sales which I now on hold for over 20 more mins – not needing any new customers today ??— JobSiteGroup (@jobsitegroup) July 8, 2021
Hey @HostPapa any idea when I can tell people when our website will be back up? This is the second time we’ve had to be moved due to a server failure with LFC. Last time it took them a week to restore us and then nothing worked properly.— Joni (@jonimattatall) June 28, 2021
If you are looking for web hosting and @HostPapa made your shortlist, get a thick black marker (like those old school ones with the smell) and spend a good ten minutes scratching it the f*ck off your list. I wish someone had said that to me a few months ago.— Ms. Petty Rubble (@Alassinsane2) April 20, 2021
Yes, HostPapa has shared web hosting and WordPress specific hosting options. They’re a great choice for small businesses, bloggers, and enterprise users alike.
LunarPages, formerly owned by Add2Net, Inc, was acquired by HostPapa in 2019.
• North America — Miami, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Jose, Tampa, Ashburn
•South America — Buenos Aires (Argentina), Lima (Peru), Medellín (Colombia), São Paulo (Brazil)
•Europe — Amsterdam (Netherlands), Athens (Greece), Barcelona, Madrid (Spain), Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg (Germany)
• Africa — Cairo (Egypt), Johannesburg (South Africa), Luanda (Angola), Mombasa (Kenya)
• Asia Pacific — Bangkok (Thailand), Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi (India), Hong Kong (HK), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
• China Mainland — Hengyang, Guangzhou, Shijiazhuang, Wuhan, Hangzhou, Shenyang
• Oceania — Auckland (New Zealand), Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney (Australia)
• Middle East — Doha (Qatar), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Kuwait City (Kuwait), Muscat (Oman)
A free domain name, SSL, free website migration and an automated website backup should be standard across the hosting industry. Unfortunately, a lot of companies like to mask general features as premium level stuff – HostPapa included.
Technical support should take less than a minute, not 20 with live chat waiting to get the number itself. Users shouldn’t have to switch out their payment methods to stop getting charged hefty renewal fee’s either.
Overall HostPapa is not a bad hosting provider but they’re not so great either. You have video tutorials, a knowledge base to check the network status of the servers, dedicated server options, and now even more extensive network monitoring with newly acquired company UptimeMate.
Still, it seems that the money they’ve spent acquiring other companies could have been used to improve customer experience and support.
If you want to run your online business with an affordable shared hosting option, HostPapa would be a good choice.
If you want to run a serious online business with a web hosting plan you can rely on and don’t want to worry about changing your payment method out of fear of being overcharged, I’d consider other shared hosting options.