2021 January 8
HostPapa has never been the most popular or most liked provider. It was always competing with the top dogs, but not one of them. Still, they got a huge client-base all of who praise the provider for generous business-oriented features offered. So is it any good?
ABOVE AVERAGE. PROS OUTWEIGH THE CONS.
ABOVE AVERAGE. PROS OUTWEIGH THE CONS.
SPEED — 489ms
Fast, HostPapa speed is better than average.
UPTIME — 99.97%
Great reliability score, outperforms the uptime guarantee.
PRICING — 7.2/10
Above average, provider is not considered cheap.
HostPapa might look goofy but it’s actually a very popular Canadian web hosting provider. And from my experience, nothing Canadian is bad. Just from the lack of other HostPapa reviews, let's just say that they like to keep the good stuff to themselves.
Well, not anymore.
All of HostPapa’s branding is directed towards businesses. So is their hosting good enough for your project?
In this HostPapa review, I took a look at their pricing, performance, and features. So before you click that “Buy” button, let’s find out if this Canadian goof is good enough for your business.
HostPapa’s pricing starts at $3.95/mo which is on the expensive side considering that Bluehost is starting at $2.75/mo while DreamHost would cost you $2.59 per month. On the other hand, HostPapa’s features are way more generous starting with 2 websites and 100GB of storage. Free domain and SSL are also included.
So it’s immediately clear – the features and resources are definitely targeted towards business users. If you’re creating just a personal blog or portfolio, you’d never use half of what’s offered in the entry plan. Meanwhile, it’s a great package for small business websites.
You see, often entry plans limit websites to just 1 making the value of the plan questionable. With HostPapa, you are not as limited and storage is generous enough to host 2 not so small sites.
So for the best value, what are your options?
On a regular day, Starter would offer you the best value. But now, we have Business discounted to $2.99. Sound like it's too good to be true.
With either of the plans, you’ll need to stick with HostPapa for 3 years. And pay in advance.
Is that a long commitment? Yes, it is. Is there a way to avoid it? Rarely. Most of the providers do the same thing but if you really need hosting for a short period of time, InterServer offers monthly hosting while DreamHost is affordable with 1-year plans.
The catch is that Business will renew at a higher rate than Starter. So for the first term, it is cheaper, but not in a long run. So if you don't need more than 2 websites, Starter looks way better.
All in all, I think HostPapa offers really good value for their services. While the pricing is a little above average, the features included are way more generous too.
One thing that’s a little bit lacking with HostPapa is their user interface. It has an easy to navigate user area and uses the standard cPanel for hosting management but both look a tad bit outdated.
Once you log in to your account, this is the interface that will greet you:
A lot of stuff going on here from ads to your support history. Everything’s in the interface that you’d expect from Microsoft in the early 2000s. Thankfully, the menu at the top is very straightforward and you can go directly to the cPanel by clicking the “My cPanel” button.
HostPapa still uses the standard version of cPanel. Which is fine, I think. Just that if you’ve ever used modern panels like those offered by Hostinger or DreamHost, this might look like a downgrade.
On the other hand, cPanel is straightforward and you’ll find yourself installing WordPress using Softaculous in minutes.
So as outdated as it might be, HostPapa is user-friendly and functioning perfectly fine.
Performance is what you are paying for with every provider so I do 3 thorough tests to see if they can prove to be worthy – speed, stress, and stability. HostPapa turned out to be quite average in terms of speed but did show one of the best reliability scores out there.
For the first test, I used Softaculous to get a simple WordPress site running. The installation was done in less than a minute and I ran the speed test using GTMetrix.
The result I got was pretty average. The Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is 1.2 seconds. That’s when most of the visuals are loaded and what a bare eye would hold for a fully loaded site.
On the other hand, the actual fully loaded time is 1.5 seconds, and time to first byte (how long the server took to react) was 322ms.
Lots of terms and numbers. So is this FAST?
The time to first byte is really fast. For the most expensive of plans, you’d get something around 200ms. So HostPapa is definitely not far behind.
Now fully loaded time is another story. The best result I’ve recorded this year was 0.6s. This means that HostPapa is twice as slow. On the other hand, those were premium options coming in at $15 to $20 a month.
So let’s say that HostPapa is good for its price range.
But wait a second. On the previous test, absolutely 0 visitors were on my site. How would the website react if 10s of users came in at the same time? You’d definitely expect that from your business site?
That’s why I sent 20 bots using K6 Cloud software. And the results were not as good as expected.
See that blue line? In an ideal scenario, it should stay flat. Well, with HostPapa it follows the grey line (bots). So as the number of bots increases, the website slows down a little.
That in itself is not very bad. It just shows that if put under a lot of pressure like in this case, the cheapest plan will make your site a little slower. Fortunately, it will keep it online.
The last test will show us how reliable HostPapa is. I’ve monitored it for over a month to see how much it was down.
Aaaand, absolutely 0 downtime. This just cannot get better.
So one thing for sure – HostPapa will keep your website online no matter what. Actually, this result adds to the stress testing. No matter how overloaded the servers are, they are set up to stay online, even if a little slower.
Altogether, I’m quite happy about HostPapa’s performance. It might not be the fastest horse, but it’s the one that will finish the race.
HostPapa is the most proud of their customer support. 24/7 live chat, email support, and phone calls together with loads of articles and even video tutorials. Plus, you can book a free 1on1 training session too.
First, I checked the basics.
Both of the options provided me with accurate answers and overall the agents were very helpful.
But 1on1 training session took it to another level.
With each plan, you can book your own session and focus on the topic that interests you. For example, setting up the basics for your site or configuring security settings. During my training session, we managed to do a lot, thanks to the very professional agent:
That’s honestly the best experience with customer support I’ve had this year.
In this HostPapa review, I found it to be a very unique provider focusing on business users. It might not be the fastest but it sure is reliable. More to add, the support can be labeled as the best in the industry.
So can I recommend HostPapa to you?
Well, if your website does not depend on speed entirely, it’s a very good business web hosting option. You get a really good value for the money as the features included are better than what some other premium providers are offering.
On the downside, the price is quite high and if you need fast performance, I’d look elsewhere. Hostinger is a cheaper option offering better performance while A2 Hosting is entirely performance-focused, for example.