Last Update | January 2021
Monthly Update - January 2021
|Hosting Plans||Web Hosting; WordPress Hosting; Online Store Hosting; VPS Hosting; Reseller Hosting; PapaCare+|
|Top Features||Easy-to-use Tools And Apps; WordPress-friendly Hosting; Servers Built For Speed; User-friendly Control Panel; Support You Can Trust; Secure & Reliable Business Email; Over 400+ Apps Included; Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate; SSD Storage; Free Cloudflare Cdn; Cloudlinux|
|Customer Support||Live Chat; Email and Phone Support; Knowledge Base; Ticketing System|
During January, HostPapa Hosting:
- Announced a new managed WordPress solution for emerging businesses.
- Announced its acquisition of web hosting provider Osiris Communications.
- Completed emergency maintenance on S200-S203 servers.
- Fixed a DNS issue in its SXX Servers.
Better yet, HostPapa gives access to free domain transfer and free website migration. So, if you already have a hosting provider but don’t like how it serves you, they make it easy for you to switch.
Still, keep in mind, their motto is to assist small businesses with small web solutions. So, if you are the owner of one, this might be just the perfect solution for you. Let’s take a short trip down history.
Jamie Opalchuk founded HostPapa in 2006 in Canada. Ten years later, 180,000 websites were already using their services. Their current logo features the “Papa” character, which most probably comes from the 2012 logo design contest named “Who’s Your Papa?” logo design contest. But enough about that.
You know that I always want to get technical. Today, I will get into the details of HostPapa’s features. I will put their web hosting on the test. I had one research question in mind while writing this review. Will HostPapa live up to its reputation? Time to find out!
Getting Started with HostPapa
As soon as you enter HostPapa’s website, it will warmly greet you with a limited discount offer. I especially loved this idea, as first impressions always matter.
It’s true that these limited deals eventually end. But worry not, the team always comes up with a new one. Chances are, you will always stumble upon an exciting offer to take advantage of.
In general, hosting providers provide significant discounts for all first-time users. However, they usually come attached to one- or two-year term plans. The rule of thumb is, the longer the period, the better the discount.
To get a grasp of what I am saying, let’s see what was on promotion when I entered the site. HostPapa offered me up to 74% discount on the Shared Hosting and WordPress Hosting plans. If I quantify this deal, it produced starting prices of $3.95 and $5.96 per month, respectively, which is not bad at all.
As mentioned before, HostPapa offers several types of hostings. Still, I decided to go for Web Hosting, as it’s the most basic one. Of course, pricier plans provide enhanced features. And it’s entirely up to your needs and preferences whether you decide to invest further.
Once you enter the Web Hosting category, you can go in two directions, leading to the same result. You can either scroll a bit down to see the plans or click on “Get Started Now.”
Either way, you will find the three plans, Starter, Business, and Business Pro.
With the applied discount, the Starter Plan and the Business Plan are the same prices. However, these prices will differ on renewal. So, it would be best not to rush your decision at this point. Instead, identify what your business truly needs in the longer term.
You can spot differences in the number of websites and email addresses, certificates, amount of SSD Web Space, and additional features offered in each plan.
For instance, the Started Plan (which I will be using in this review) comes with a maximum cap of hosting two websites, 100 GB of SSD Web Storage, and 100 email addresses. So, if you need more, it would be best to choose either the Business or Business Pro plan instead.
If you click on the arrow next to “Server location: United States” on any plan and scroll down, you’ll get even more details.
Here, you can choose your billing term for 12, 24, or 36 months. As expected, the latest comes with the best discount, but it requires commitment and a higher initial investment. What I didn’t like here is that I couldn’t purchase a 1-month plan.
Depending on your location and target region, you can also change the server location to Europe or Canada.
Finally, there is the “Add these website essentials” section.
If price is not your primary concern, you can also get some additional features to improve your service.
One thing to look out for here is that the first two are checked by default. So, if you don’t want to add the features to your purchase, make sure to uncheck the boxes.
Now, let’s see what HostPapa Hosting has to offer.
- Protection Power Website Security
The HostPapa Hosting team developed this feature to protect you from hacks, infections, or Google security notices. With trained security experts available 24/7, you will receive proactive monitoring, advanced CDN, and real-time alerts of potential vulnerabilities. Their ultimate goal is to provide you with a fully operational site.
- Automated Website Backup
As the name suggests, HostPapa Hosting offers automated website backup for all web files, databases, and emails with a single click.
- Single SSL Certificate
The SSL Certificate serves as a guarantee to your visitors that they are on a secure site. It also ranks you in Google’s Chrome browser as a safe domain.
The last is probably the most interesting add-on of them all. The PapaCare+ feature ensures your priority support and ongoing expert advice at all times. With this enhanced support level, the team aims to improve your website’s performance and security.
If you have skills or experience in this niche, you might not need this added support. However, if you are a beginner, it might as well come in handy.
I genuinely like this Menu because you can always track your order. There is a detailed report on your primary plan and all added essentials on the right side of the screen.
As you can see, I went for the 12-month plan and turned all add-ons off. I wanted to go as low as possible with the price to test how it works first.
Once you click on the orange button “Next Step” you will get to Domain Selection.
Here, you get a new domain or use one you already own. I’ve been in this industry for a while, so I have a domain that I can use. That’s why I went for the second option and transferred my existing domain name to HostPapa.
On the next and final Menu, the Account Setup, you need to enter your account details.
HostPapa Hosting requires your First, Last, and Company Name, Country, State, Address, City, Postal/Zip Code, Email Address, and Phone Number.
Once you enter all this information, you will get to the Payment information. At this point can use your credit card or pay through a PayPal account.
You can also use a promo code. Once you fill all this up, you can place your order and begin your hosting adventure. HostPapa Hosting will greet you with the following screen.
Click on Exit.
One thing I would like to mention is the unique email I received upon signing up. To be clear, I really liked it!
I used my sister’s card to pay for the service. As it’s the end of the month, I’ve run out of funds on mine. So, I didn’t think it was a big deal. But HostPapa Hosting certainly did.
When I followed the link provided in the email, the camera on my laptop automatically opened. Instead of wasting my time taking a photo of my card, I just showed it to the camera. And the process was done.
I was impressed both by their effectiveness in detecting fraud and the efficiency of the verification process. Other providers don’t usually take these extra steps for better precaution.
Once I submitted the documents, I got this screen. They received my submission, which was fast.
Still, I had to wait a few hours before actually getting to set things up and use HostPapa Hosting.
At first, they didn’t activate my account. So, I decided to contact their support team in the morning. Fortunately, they were highly responsive and resolved my issue in less than 10 minutes.
After this conversation, my account was approved, and I could log in. That wasn’t the end of the security features.
When I entered my Client ID and Password, HostPapa Hosting took me to the following screen.
You can set up security questions for account authorization and the prevention of fraudulent activity.
Setting Things up at HostPapa
As soon as you log in to HostPapa Hosting, you will find the Menu below the logo. It’s a user-friendly interface that is especially easy to navigate. And you cannot not like this, even as an expert.
There is an option to change the language from English to French, Spanish, or German in the top right. You can also find your Contact Info, My Invoices, Change My Password, or Logout next to it.
In Contact Information, you can find and edit your Name, Address, Telephone Number, and Email. There are also options regarding the payment method, adding users to your account, changing your password or security questions, or associating your HostPapa dashboard with social media accounts.
The first icon in the Menu, the house icon, or as I like to call it home, takes you to the following screen.I like the level of support offered by HostPapa Hosting. If something is dysfunctional on your site, they instantly inform you in the Alerts section.Next to it, you can spot the Network Status. Here, you can find information regarding the current operation of your servers, along with any past incidents that your domain has encountered. HostPapa Hosting provides the report, including the date and time of these events.If you scroll a bit down in the Home Menu, you can also find options to Add a Domain, track your Recent Tickets, or Invoices Due.
- My cPanel
HostPapa Hosting is yet another web hosting provider allowing for the cPanel feature. If you haven’t noticed by now, it’s one of my favorites. It allows you to easily navigate and adjust all tools needed for your site, especially if you are a beginner.The first three sections consist of standard features found in almost all quality web hosting providers’ dashboards.You can use the Email category to improve the deliverability of your campaigns by setting up tools and filters, such as Autoresponders or Spam Filters.In Files, you can manage your information, setting up backups, and tracking insights, such as Disk Usage.HostPapa Hosting works with the SQL Database, and you can manage these variables in the Databases category.All primary, sub, and add-on domains and the aliases, redirects, and zone editor are part of the Domains.You can use the Metrics such as Resource Usage and Errors to track and improve your site performance.In Security, you can find IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Manage API Tokens, Hotlink, and Leech Protection, Two-Factor Authentication, and Imunify360.I also liked the Software section, as HostPapa Hosting works with Cloudflare, WordPress, Softaculous, PHP Version, Optimization, and Backup.There are Cron Jobs, Indexes, Error Pages, Apache Handlers, and MIME Types in Advanced features.At last, you can adjust the language, style, contact information, and similar Preferences. You can find the WordPress Manager in the Applications center.HostPapa Hosting also has a dedicated section for the Softaculous app. Here, you can find the Scripts and the Categories.Scripts consist of WordPress, Joomla, AbanteCart, phpBB, SMF, Open Real Estate, MyBB, pH7CMS, OpenCart, Gallery, Piwigo, MODX, OSClass, e107.Blogs, Micro Blogs, Portals/CMS, Forums, Image Galleries, Wikis, Social Networking, Ad Management, Calendars, Mails, Polls and Analytics, Project Management, E-Commerce, ERP, Guest Books, Customer Support, Educational, RSS, File Management and Others are all part of Categories.
- My Domains
Here, you can manage your domains. If you have a few, you can filter “Show All”, “Active” and “Cancelled”.If you click Register New Domain or Transfer New Domain, HostPapa Hosting will take you to the following page.It’s a straightforward process, and I liked the number of domains you can choose from, as many web hosting providers come with limited offers.The Whois Lookup feature allows you to track the owner of any domain worldwide. All you need to do is type in the website you are interested in.
- My Services
In this section, you can find the services you already own, along with the possibility of expanding your offer.In My Services, you can find your initial web hosting plan and domain and the add-ons such as website protection, marketing tools, and email services.In Add Services, you can choose among a variety of offers to add to your existing account. More precisely, you can purchase:
- Google Workspace from HostPapa
- Advanced Email
- VPS Hosting
- SiteLock Security Seal
- Fix Your Website
- Optimized WordPress Hosting
- Automated Website Backup
- New Domain
- Reseller Hosting
- Additional Hosting
- SSL Certificates
- Website Builder
- Basic Email
- Domain Privacy
- Dedicated IP Address
- Secure your website
- My Website
In this section, you can find the HostPapa Website Builder Plans. The Starter Plan comes for free. But if you spot a need to upgrade your current plan, you can easily do that here.HostPapa Hosting offers you four different Web Hosting Plans:
While all Web Hosting Plans offer mobile-friendly, responsive design templates, the difference lies in the number of pages and e-commerce options. As the Enterprise plan provides for the best features, it comes at the highest price.
Let’s dig into the Website Builder’s features:
- Customized Websites
HostPapa Hosting allows you to adjust each individual element, such as colors or images, to your brand.
- A Vast Amount Of Templates
HostPapa Hosting provides for many professionally designed templates. Not only do they look great, but they are also easy to manage. All you need to do is insert your content in the provided space, and you will be good to go.
- Easy Website Navigation
In addition to the pre-established templates, you can also use the interface to add image galleries, maps, custom forms, or social media-linked icons quickly.
- SEO Friendly
All templates are search engine optimized. In turn, this incorporated SEO strategy can better rank you, allowing customers to find you more easily on the web.
- E-Commerce Option
HostPapa Hosting allows you to open a shop, say on Facebook. Apart from setting up your e-commerce store, you can also use the tool to track your inventory or similar advanced capabilities.
- No Experience Required
If you consider all features as explained in this section, it turns out you don’t need any technical or design experience. The intuitive interface can help you design a beautiful website, even if you are a first-time user.
If you choose to add any of the plans, as explained in this section, HostPapa Hosting will once again require your payment information.
Now, back to the Menu.
My Billing once again takes you to the history of your invoices, where you can also print your files. My Profile, in turn, redirects you to your contact information, so there is no need to explain this again.
I skipped My Support on purpose, as I will get into details regarding this issue below.
Performance, Speed and Uptime
While many web hosting providers struggle with keeping a website live, HostPapa Hosting keeps its promise. During the testing period, they have maintained an incredible average of 99.98% uptime. And as mentioned earlier, you can track the incidents or downtimes with a single click.
Another thing I liked is the speed of HostPapa Hosting’s servers all around the globe. The conclusions from in-depth testing, including several US, European, and Canadian locations, are an average of a great 121.7 ms.
What I like especially about HostPapa Hosting is its consistency. They maintain their average, with no short-term hiccups or significant variations.
Level of Support at HostPapa
No matter how good of features a web hosting provider claims, what makes one superior is the level of support. I had an option to contact them during my sign-up process, and I was delighted with their responsiveness and expertise. As explained earlier, they resolved my issue in less than ten minutes, which is especially fast.
If you click on My Support in the Menu, you can find all past discussions with the support team.
As you can see, the site gives you the ticket number, support, subject, date opened, last update, and current status.
You can also open a new ticket to the Sales, Support, or Billing department. Here, you need to include your name, email address, subject, and details. Also, there’s an option to attach a file.
The Welcome Emails provide copies of everything you received during the sign-up process for HostPapa services.
I especially liked HostPapa Hosting’s Knowledge Base, consisting of over 2,690 Articles subdivided into 75 Categories. They can assist you in all you need with the tool, such as registering a new domain or all you need to know about SSL and similar.
Next to the Knowledge Base, you can also find the News on HostPapa Hosting’s blog. At last, there is the Support section.
You can choose to contact HostPapa Hosting through Phone, Mail, Email, or Fax.
They provide phone numbers for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Europe, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or the United States.
The options for Mail consist of Australia, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, or the United States.
You can send Fax to Belgium, Canada, Europe, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.
As I have already put their email option to the test, I went for the live chat option this time. The green window is positioned in the bottom right corner.
Here, you can choose whether you need Technical Support or you have a Sales-related question. Once you enter your name, email, question, and domain name, you can start the chat.
As surprising as it sounds, I got support in less than a minute. My Support Agent was friendly and knowledgeable. He instantly provided me with the needed information.
As usual, I asked for a refund. It truly helps me determine how a web hosting provider can handle a request, accept a critic, and stand true to their claims (in this case, the refund policy).
Essentially, the support agent has provided me with a guide from their Knowledge Base. It explains in detail how to cancel a HostPapa service, providing a link to their “Refund and Cancellation Policy” documentation.
To get a refund, you need to go to the My Services section. From there, you need to find your Domain and click on Details. Once you do so, you will see the orange button Request Cancellation.
At this point, you need to select the services you wish to cancel and provide a reason for your doings. Also, once you check the boxes in the Web Hosting section, HostPapa will open an additional window where you need to choose when to cancel. You can either cancel immediately or at the end of the term.
Once I confirmed my cancellation, I got the following information.
Security and Backups
HostPapa Hosting takes security seriously. Their servers come with enhanced security features, firewalls, and intrusion detection. What’s more, all hosting is secured with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. As part of their proactive security offer, you can also find DDoS attack prevention and responses, RAID-10 redundancy, network monitoring, brute force detection, and more.
As mentioned before, they don’t hesitate to add on security at different user experience points. You can receive a verification for your card as I did. Also, you can add security questions to protect your account further.
In the sign-up process, you can also add Automated Website Backups or Power Website Security. But you can also choose to opt these features out.
HostPapa Hosting also offers Automated Website Backup, starting at $35.88 a year. Keep in mind that you might encounter a discount on top of this offer.
The HostPapa Automated Website Backup comes with the following features:
- Automated Daily Backups
- Version History And Control
- 7 Restore Points
- Disaster Prevention And Recovery
- Easy, Do-It-Yourself Restore Functionality
- The Basic Plan Includes 1GB Of Backup Space
- Upgrade To 5GB, 10GB, 25GB, Or 50GB Of Backup Storage
- Website, Database, And Email Backup
Specific Features of HostPapa
As you are well aware, there are many web hosting providers on the market. You are the one that needs to choose the one best suited for your business needs.
Here’s what makes HostPapa Hosting different and valuable:
- Independently Owned And Operated
- 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
- An Option To Find Your Custom Domain Name In 60 Seconds
- Easy To Navigate Website Builder With Templates
- Free Domain Transfer and Free Website Migration
- Enterprise-Grade Hosted Email Plans
- Easy-To-Use Tools And Apps
- Fast Loading Speeds
- WordPress-Friendly Hosting
- Award‑Winning Support Team Available 24/7/365
- Over 400 Open Free Apps To Build Or Extend Your Website
- Enhanced Security Features, Firewalls, And Intrusion Detection
- SSD Storage - Three Times Faster Than The Traditional HDDs
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- Cloudlinux As Protection For A Shared Website Hosting Environment
During December, Hostpapa Hosting:
- Experienced high load issues which were later investigated and fixed.
- Performed emergency maintenance on C100.
- Renewal and reinstallment of the Korax securemailserver.ca SSL.
- Encountered login issues for readwebmail.ca which was later fixed.
- Identified an issue that prohibits users to login to the Weebly site editor interface which was later resolved.
- Completed emergency maintenance on HP230.
- Experienced connectivity issues with S155 which were resolved.
During November, Hostpapa Hosting:
- Had connectivity issues with the papamail accounts and performed an emergency fix
- Experienced high load issues on the hp293 server, on the s116 server and on the hp314 server and performed an emergency fix
- Had issues with hosted email for inbound/outbound emails and performed an emergency fix
- Had issues with HP Dashboard and the Ticketing System and performed an emergency fix
During October, Hostpapa Hosting:
- Up to 74% off on Shared Hosting and WordPress Hosting plans
- Had some connectivity issues; experienced high load issues; performance issues; performed emergency maintenance
During September, HostPapa Hosting:
- Experienced caching issues from the expired SSL certificates; performed emergency maintenance; identified an issue with its voice support phone lines; experienced login issues with HostPapa Basic/Advanced email accounts and the Korax mail server; encountered VPS connectivity issues.
- Placed No. 329 on the Globe and Mail’s third-annual ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies
During August, HostPapa Hosting:
- Up to 74% off on Shared Hosting and WordPress Hosting plans
- Performed emergency maintenance, had some performance issues, and a Korax client area issue
During July, HostPapa Hosting:
- Some clients experienced bounce back errors on email
- Had an issue with the Dashboard and Ticketing System, and the Live Chat
- Performed emergency maintenance; some customers experienced intermittent connectivity issues
- Up to 74% off on Shared Hosting and WordPress Hosting plans
- Acquired uptime monitoring software UptimeMate
During June, HostPapa Hosting:
- Announced the acquisition of iHost Networks and Canadian company LFC Hosting;
- Experienced performance issues on some of its web hosting servers
- Up to 80% off on Shared Hosting and WordPress Hosting plans
During May, HostPapa Hosting:
- Made a strategic investment in managed WordPress provider Rocket.net
- Performed scheduled and emergency server maintenance, and faced several server issues
With all the testing I performed today, I can say that HostPapa Hosting stands true to its reputation. They have a vast amount of plans appropriate for different customer or business needs. They offer Web, WordPress, VPS, and Reseller Hosting, along with Online Store and PapaCare+.
I love that they prioritize security at all stages in their service. The second best thing, in my opinion, is the support team. Apart from it, the plans come with lots of unlimited and free add-ons. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you can benefit from the easy-to-use or navigate cPanel and Website Builder.
On the other hand, HostPapa Hosting lacks speed-enhancing software and free automatic backups. Also, as a customer, you need to pay attention to the hosting provider not to add any features to your account.