Web Hosting Companies Reviews: HostMonster

If you are looking for web hosting, HostMonster is worth a look. In this article, I go through what it has to offer and how it compares to other hosts.

HostMonster Homepage HostMonster’s homepage. 

Small Business Hosting

HostMonster is yet another web hosting company that specializes in hosting for small businesses.

Larger companies can find more powerful hosting options with their VPS and dedicated server plans. However, HostMonster is mostly focused on providing budget shared hosting.

Their plans are well-suited to anyone starting a website for the first time.

Visit HostMonster.com (£4.95/MONTH)

Small Business Features

With included domain names, easy hosting set-up, a free site builder, and one-click app installations, people can get started without needing any technical knowledge or going elsewhere for additional services.

HostMonster’s Corporate Background

HostMonster Features

  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • MySQL
  • Uptime Guarantee
  • Perl
  • cPanel

HostMonster is a web hosting provider that’s been around for two decades. The company is part of the Endurance International Group, a collection of hosting brands for small businesses.

As a result, HostMonster will provide a fairly similar hosting experience as other companies under Endurance International.

For example, HostMonster is a sister company of Bluehost and the two seem almost identical in what they offer.

Getting a Domain with HostMonster

All HostMonster plans include a free domain name for one full year. After this, you will have to renew your domain registration and pay for it yourself.

If you’re looking to get a domain name alone, check out HostGator. They will let you purchase names on their own and point them to whichever hosting company you choose.

PRO TIP: You won’t be able to buy domain names from HostMonster without purchasing a hosting plan as well.

You Get Unlimited Resources for Shared Hosting

HostMonster’s shared plans are perfect for small business web hosting.

It seems commonplace for hosting companies to offer unlimited resources to their shared hosting customers — and HostMonster is no exception.

All of their shared hosting plans will give you unlimited bandwidth. But, this doesn’t mean that you can use as much as you want. It just means that the company won’t charge you according to how much you use. Instead, accounts on a shared server share all the bandwidth.

But Sometimes “Unlimited” Isn’t Actually Unlimited

Sharing bandwidth can be a problem for demanding websites as they may require more bandwidth than is available at times.

However, this storage situation should be adequate for personal websites and small businesses since they won’t have a problem with bandwidth limits. In fact, 99.95% of HostMonster’s customers will be fine with their bandwidth and disk space.

Your disk space allotment will depend on the shared hosting plan that you choose. There are strict limits placed on their cheaper plans while their highest-level plan provides unlimited disk space.

Any small website will have more than enough disk space, even with their cheapest plan.

Visit HostMonster.com (£4.95/MONTH)

HostMonster’s Cheapest Plans

HostMonster’s cheapest plan also only allows you to host one domain and manage 5 email accounts.

On the other hand, their most expensive shared hosting plan will give you unlimited email accounts, and allow for the hosting of unlimited domains.

Why You Might Want a More Expensive Plan

Why would you need all these email accounts, you ask? Well, you’ll probably never need hundreds of them.

But for businesses, it’s nice to have different addresses for professionalism. If you have many different employees, then you can give out email addresses to them which they can use for work or to communicate with customers. This makes your businesses appear much more professional and unified.

With HostMonster, you’ll have three different webmail solutions, so your employees can choose the email client that they like the best.

HostMonster’s Top 10 Shared Hosting Features

If you explore HostMonster’s website, you’ll eventually land on their “Hosting Features” page. This is full of everything that they offer. But these features aren’t necessarily included in every plan. This list is a bit overwhelming, so I’ll break it down for you.

Shared Hosting Features
HostMonster Feature Description
Website Builder In addition to their unlimited resources, they have listed many other inclusions. For one, all accounts will have access to the free Weebly website builder. This will be described in detail later on.
MOJO Marketplace Additional user-friendly features include HostMonster’s partnership with MOJO Marketplace. With access to this marketplace from your control panel, you’ll be able to install applications in one click.
WordPress So, if you want to start a WordPress website, you won’t have to spend any more time on your HostMonster control panel then you want to.
Blogging As a result, HostMonster supports blogging. You will also be able to collect mailing lists, insert survey software on your site, or add scripts for project management.
Developer Features Developers will have features like FTP access, SSH access, custom Cronjobs, MySQL databases, and CGI-Bin.
Supported Coding Languages Additionally, people with coding knowledge will enjoy support for multiple languages including PHP5, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails, and JavaScript. These features won’t be important to most hosting users.
E-commerce For e-commerce functionality, HostMonster gives you various shopping carts to choose from. For example, OS Commerce, Agora, Cube Cart, and Zen Cart.
Security Certificates Your website will be hosted on an SSL-secure server and you can generate a free shared security certificate to place on your website. This will provide your customers with the reassurance they need to enter payment information on your store.
Bonus Plan If you want a dedicated IP address and a private SSL certificate for further e-commerce security, HostMonster offers a bonus plan with these included. This bonus plan also comes with Site Backup Pro so you won’t have to purchase it separately.
Media Hosting So that you can give your website all the dynamic and interesting content it needs to keep visitors around, HostMonster supports video streaming, audio streaming, and MIDI files.

HostMonster’s Technology

In addition, HostMonster’s technology includes:

  • Dual Quad Processor Performance Servers
  • Diesel Generator Backup power
  • Linux operating system
  • 24/7 network monitoring

These architecture and infrastructure specifications allow HostMonster to offer reliable hosting, reducing the risk of their customers’ websites experiencing large outages.

“Our mission is to bring the power and promise of the web to people.” James Grierson, CEO of HostMonster.

Free Website Builder

HostMonster gives you access to the Weebly site builder, a popular drag-and-drop website builder. It allows almost anyone to design and build a website. The website builder software is completely online, meaning you won’t have to install anything to use it.

Using Weebly’s Site builder

Designing with Weebly is simple. You just choose a template to start with and then customize it to suit your brand. You can change colors, fonts, and add social sharingbuttons. You can drag in pre-built sections like forms.

Weebly vs. WordPress

Upon logging into HostMonster for the first time, you’ll be greeted by options to pick a theme to start designing your new website with WordPress. This shows how simple it is to get started on WordPress when you host with this company.

How to Activate the Weebly Site Builder

But, if you’d rather use the Weebly site builder, you just have to enter your control panel instead and navigate to it.

When you select Weebly from the control panel, you’ll be prompted to pick a theme. Then you’ll have complete drag-and-drop control over your design. Add elements to your pages like maps, contact forms, and buttons.

Visit HostMonster.com (£4.95/MONTH)

Building an Online Store Is Easy

People building online stores will like that they can add product pages and categories to their store as well.

How to add a product
Add a product to your store with a few clicks. 

You’ll also have the possibility of adding entire pre-built sections to your website pages.

To test this out, I added a menu and a “meet our team” section to my website. These snapped into place and integrated nicely into the homepage.

HostMonster’s 24/7 Customer Support

One thing I always look for on hosting company websites is live chat for their browsing site visitors. It’s unbelievably helpful to be able to just start a live chat with a customer service member.

Support for Prospective Customers

Sometimes you’ll want to know something about a hosting company that they don’t make clear on their website. For example, they may not make it obvious where their servers are located, if they offer website migration, or what kind of control panel they give you.

Having live chat support for everyone, not just paying customers, is a great thing that HostMonster does. I had a chance to ask them a question and they responded within 5 minutes with a helpful answer. I was satisfied with our short interaction.

Support for Paid Customers

For customers of paid plans, HostMonster support can be reached by live chat or with a toll-free number as well.

These resources are available 24/7. Their website displays a little green light on the support page if their phone and chat assistants are online. They also have a place to display the average wait time you may experience.

Chat with customer support Anyone can contact HostMonster’s support. Screenshot courtesy of WhoIsHostingThis.

Quality of Online Help Documentation

When you land on HostMonster’s support page, you’re greeted with links to their most popular help articles. These will tell you how to do things such as set-up your email account.

The articles themselves are very helpful, but the layout of the knowledgebase isn’t. I would have liked to see some kind of organization on this page.

Many other companies, like Bluehost, make it easier to find help articles on the topics you need. But with HostMonster, you’ll have to use their search feature to find anything.

Payment and Renewal Options

HostMonster gives you multiple payment options and billing preferences. Their services are auto-renewed by default to prevent you from experiencing outages or losing your domain name. However, you can also choose to renew your services manually.

The company does not offer monthly billing options. You will need to sign up for and pay in advance for at least a full year of hosting.

Cancelling Your Plan

You also won’t be able to get a refund if you cancel your plan before your term is up. So, keep in mind that you’ll be stuck paying for HostMonster’s services until the end of your term if you decide you no longer want to host with them.

Monthly vs. Yearly Payments

If you don’t like this and would rather pay for hosting month-to-month, then HostGator may be a better company for you. They offer their plans on a monthly basis so you can cancel anytime without losing months of hosting that you’ve already paid for.

VPS Plans

HostMonster has powerful virtual private servers (VPS) for people and businesses that need more power. These plans are all fully-managed, so you won’t need technical expertise to use them.

You’ll also be given dedicated and guaranteed server resources.

No Need to Worry About Shared Resources

What does this mean? That you will always have the disk space and bandwidth that is pre-defined by the plan you choose. No sharing of resources with other people on one server. The resources that you purchased are guaranteed to always be available to you.

HostMonster’s servers are built on cloud technology, allowing them to offer you scalable features. As a result, you can expand your business in the future with easy resource upgrades.

VPS Pricing at HostMonster

Their VPS plans are the same prices as the ones you’ll find at Bluehost and HostGator. However, their cheapest plan will give you much less disk space than you’ll get with HostGator’s VPS plan. And, Bluehost gives you unlimited bandwidth on all of their plans.

HostMonster's VPS plans HostMonster has a variety of VPS plans. 

Behind the Scenes

For managing your hosting, HostGator gives you their own customized version of cPanel.

Using the HostMonster control panel is simple. Upon logging into your hosting account, you’ll be greeted by a clean and organized space to work with. Right away they give you a preview of your website and an easy log-in button to access WordPress.

HostMonster's Control Panel HostMonster’s Control Panel. 

On the left sidebar, you’ll be able to view the sites you’re hosting, visit the Marketplace for themes and add-ons, check and manage email, as well as access advanced features typical to cPanel.

When you select these advanced options, you’ll be able to view information about your hosting plans and keep track of disk space and bandwidth usage. You’ll also have access to various statistical tools like AWStats and Webalizer.

You’ll find it easy to install applications like WordPress and Joomla from the “website” section of the control panel.

Also, try out the included Weebly website builder if you want to build your website here instead of on WordPress.

What do HostMonster’s courtesy backups entail?

The company states that they provide courtesy backups for your website. So, what exactly does this mean? First of all, they don’t offer redundant or mirrored backups. Only one copy of your website will be backed up.

They run these backups at their own discretion. These are not guaranteed, so don’t rely on them for your backup needs.

Instead, you can add Site Backup Pro to your plan which will allow you to perform your own daily backups and restore your website from multiple points in history. It will be your own responsibility to download backups if you wish to keep a copy of your data.

HostMonster will delete backups older than 30 days.

Does HostMonster make an uptime guarantee?

No, so you will not be compensated if your website experiences significant downtime. Other companies, such as HostGator, provide uptime guarantees and will compensate you with a full month of hosting credit if you experience significant downtime.

Instead, HostMonster makes the same uptime statement as many other companies that don’t offer guarantees. They acknowledge that their servers may experience downtime which is caused by issues typically resolved within 15 minutes. Though, it can sometimes take longer to fix problems.

As a result, HostMonster will issue a pro-rated refund if you cancel your hosting account due to server downtime. You can engage in uptime monitoring from your control panel to keep an eye on this.

How easy is it to set up a basic website with HostMonster?

The process of getting a website up and online will be fairly simple. Once you choose a hosting plan, you’ll be prompted to pick out a domain name. Remember you’ll get one for free with HostMonster. Then, you’ll be given additional add-on options including Site Backup Pro, Search Engine Jumpstart, and SiteLock Security.

Once you have set up your account and paid for your hosting, you’ll have access to HostMonster’s cPanel. Here, you have two options for creating a website quickly. The first is using their site builder, and the second is installing WordPress.

Either way, you’ll be able to create a basic website in minutes and post it online for the world to see.

Do We Recommend HostMonster?

No, we don’t.

HostMonster’s performance is pretty average across the board, to be honest.

Their customer support is inconsistent and underwhelming.

HostMonster failed in our uptime tests and that’s a huge concern, seeing as a ‘live’ website is kinda a prerequisite here. And their speed has fallen below average over the past year.

Then you have the issue of all-too-common pricing tricks, which isn’t quite as good as advertised when you start adding up all the extra fees and charges over time.

Simply put, there are better hosts out there for your money.

Visit HostMonster.com (£4.95/MONTH)

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Originally posted 2018-10-25 15:17:35.

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