When it comes to choosing a crucial service provider like a web host, large businesses and corporations need to work with hosting companies that have it all - a fully-customizable cpanel, cutting-edge drive technology, power redundancy, and state of the art website security system. However, for the majority of personal bloggers, newbies, and small businesses with smaller needs, they just need a reliable hosting with near-excellent uptime, simple interface, affordable packages, and necessary tools to help them launch, manage, and grow their blogs.
HostMetro hosting is all that a personal blogger or small businesses need. If you are looking for a hosting service with simplified packaging, reliable customer service, and offering great value for your money, then this is worth consideration.
Founded in 2003, HostMetro is a popular web hosting company that majorly focuses on meeting the hosting needs of a specific line of people looking for hosting services. The company has packages that target new or experienced bloggers who only needs simplified hosting for a small business or personal blog at an affordable price point.
Their data center is situated in Elk Grove Village, Illinois; just 15 minutes’ drive from north of Chicago. As per the HostMetro description, their data center offers network connectivity, redundancy in power, security, and fire suppression. What’s more, their network infrastructure features multiple 10GB/S connections to give users some of the fastest and most reliable server speeds online.
HostMetro also states that their servers are run by Dual Quad-Core Intel processor that has 96GB of RAM. Also, RAID-protected storage and MySQL database servers have SSD drives for increased loading speeds and reliability.
To keep each hosting account isolated, HostMetro servers use CloudLinux so that if one server gets a resource spike, the effect will not be spilled on other websites or accounts. Traditional hosting services do not have control over individual accounts in case one server gets a resource spike. With a CloudLinux-based system, servers are more secure and stable and provide needed resources to each website in a reliable and swift manner.
In terms of hosting plans, HostMetro offers two hosting packages, with both built on the prototype of shared-server. There is no dedicated or VPS hosting available. As mentioned earlier, HostMetro services and packages are aimed at new bloggers who do not have extensive needs. Small businesses with relatively low traffic will find this hosting service reliable and great as well.
HostMetro, a Linux-based web host, focuses its efforts on providing affordable, shared-hosting packages. However, as compared to other web hosts, HostMetro only offers two shared hosting plans- Mega Max and Super Max. This makes everything simple. Besides, these two plans are offered at an affordable price, and it gets better if you purchase either of them for a longer period; the more the length of your contract, the lesser the subscription fee.
Both the Mega Max plan and Super Max plan are shared hosting packages that come with state-of-art cloud technology, a number of ‘unlimited’ and ‘maximum’ features including unlimited domain hosting, great eCommerce elements, free shared SSL certificate, and a whole lot of great perks. Both packages also include unlimited FTP and email accounts, free website builder, and MySQL databases. There is also an option to install a website app, which you get to choose from the many web apps available. This comes with a script installation tool.
For Mega Max plan, the effective prices are $2.45 per month while you get to pay $4.95 per month for the Super Max hosting package. See how affordable this hosting service is? Note that, each plan offers one free domain. To secure payment and make it more convenient, this company allows users to purchase their hosting services via PayPal and credit card.
With both plans, you get maximum levels of bandwidth and disc space. ‘Maximum’ in this case means there is a capping for data usage. However, for most users, the quotas will be satisfactory, according to HostMetro website.
If your site has a lot of content or you are receiving a lot of traffic that ends up using more data than what you have been allocated, you can request for more space. However, your increased storage will be revoked if HostMetro finds out that 15% of your 2GB disk space is taken by your multimedia, email storage, or backup. Therefore, don’t use your account as your storage space or a way of sharing files.
Below, we breakdown what each hosting package include, beyond storage and disk space:
For Mega Max Plan, you get unlimited FTP accounts, access to a free online website builder, unlimited MySQL databases, and an option to transfer your website content to HostMetro site if it is not larger than 3GB. There are also common hosting features such as;
- Unlimited email accounts to help you create a domain-specific email address
- eCommerce integration for an extra amount
- PayPal, OsCommerce, ZenCart, and Google Checkout integration to make payment processing easier
- WordPress integration to make building your site easier
- Inbuilt website analytics to help you monitor your traffic and site performance
- Support for audio streaming
- Advanced firewall protection to safeguard your website and its content
- Support for streaming video once you request for extra storage
- For Super Max Plan, you get all the above features in addition to the following;
- Free domain privacy for the first domain that you register with HostMetro
- Free search engine submissions, SEO consultation, marketing, and SEO tools
- Free SiteLock and SSL certificate for eCommerce sites
- Daily malware scans to keep your website secure all the timeIf you are looking to create an eCommerce store, the Super Max hosting package is the best bet for you. Besides, it is priced competitively as compared to many hosting plans offered by other companies for the same features. If you are buying it for 3 years in advance, you will pay $6.95 per month. If you want to pay it for only one year, you will have to pay $8.95 every month. Therefore, the lengthier your contract is, the more affordable it gets.
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Currency||Admin panel||OS||Websites||Scripting||Email-Transport||Database||SSH||Databackups||Free Domain||1-Click Installer||Websites Builder||Location||Price|
|Super Max Plan||-||-||USD||cPanel||Unlimited||PHP||IMAP, POP3||MySQL||$ 6.95|
|Mega Max Plan||-||-||USD||cPanel||Unlimited||PHP||IMAP, POP3||MySQL||$ 2.95|
When it comes to uptime, there is a minimum threshold, and that's excellence. The rule of thumb is; anything less than 99.99% uptime guarantee is a no-go zone. However, this applies only to pricey hosting. For a budget-friendly shared host like HostMetro, anything close to that is acceptable. According to HostMetro, they have a 99.99% uptime guarantee; however, a few run tests will reveal 99.95%. What’s more, the host offers a site’s response rate range of 1,000ms to 2400ms. This is not so bad for a shared host like HostMetro.
As per their terms of service, HostMetro offers credit to your account plus one month of free hosting if their uptime falls below their promised 99.99% minimum level. This, however, is exclusive of the times when uptime is affected by things the company has little control of such as backbone provider failures, denial of service attacks, issues with DNS, connection issues between the client and their servers, as well as any unscheduled downtime. If you experience any downtime caused by any other problem other than the ones listed, simply send them a request for additional hosting service by emailing them on email@example.com. Of course, you must provide a justification.
Additionally, there are free weekly backups provided that ensures you get back online in case your website develops major problems. Since HostMetro is a relatively new hosting service, there seems to be scarce information online regarding what customers are saying about this hosting reliability and speed. This should not raise any alarm, but it's always nice to see what actual customers are saying about its speeds and reliability.
HostMetro takes security very seriously. They conduct weekly backup of user’s resources. Although some host provides daily backups, weekly rate is still good and will help you get back to your feet in case your website runs into major problems. The only downside to their backups is that current backup overwrites older backups. Therefore, only backup your files once a week and remember not to backup files exceeding 1GB.
On the positive note, HostMetro data center has backup generators with N+2 system. To enhance uptime more, the company has 24/7 video surveillance at their data center in Elk Grove as well as screening equipment, biometric authentication points, badge, and tracking system. The company conducts daily malware and spam scans.
In addition, HostMetro employs CloudLinux to keep individual hosting accounts isolated. This helps prevent traffic influx or resource spike from one account on the shared hosting doesn’t affect other websites or accounts. This gives it an upper hand over most hosting companies employing traditional shared hosting packages.
With Cloud Linux, you can be assured of a more secure and stable server, with guaranteed 99.99% uptime to each website.
It appears that this web hosting company prioritizes on security for their user’s accounts and resources. They have their data center located in a secure place in Elk Grove. Their network has redundant network notes with speeds of 10 GB/s to ensure no downtime of websites hosted on their SaaS servers. There is complete redundancy in network connectivity, security, power, fire suppression, and HVAC. This makes their data center one of the most secure and efficient in web hosting industry.
These security measures are for both users on Max Plan and Super Max Plan. However, if you are on Super Max Plan, then you have an option of having free domain privacy. This hides your crucial information from WhoIs search. For users looking for free domain privacy for their extra domains or for domains that are not on the Super Max Plan, you can pay $6 every year.
The Super Max Plan also allows for SiteLock security and SSL certificates. For users on the Mega Max Plan, they will have to pay $2.50 every month for every SiteLock or SSL seal needed.
HostMetro runs on CloudLinux, which can support MySQL, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Perl. In addition, it supports LAMP web development and also has the foundation needed for CloudFlare CDN configuration. One of their major drawbacks is that they have older hardware configuration.
Currently, their servers run on the Intel Xeon L55020 @ 2.27GHz. Although this is commendable, when compared to most hosting services, HostMetro has a lower quad-core server. However, they make up for that by having large RAM installs and efficient SSD drives. This means their older hardware is highly optimized to provide top performance and is part of the reason their server costs are affordable.
However, despite their older software configuration, very few users will be able to notice the difference between performances of a website hosted on HostMetro and one hosted on another hosting using modern software configuration. It ensures your website perform just as good as to how it would have performed were it hosted by larger hosting companies.
Like most web hosting companies, HostMetro gives its users access to a standard cPanel. It features an interface that's similar to those offered by most other hosts and includes developer tools such as email setup, file manager, subdomain setup, FTP access, and access to phpMyAdmin. Users in Super Max Plan will also find icons for extra SEO tools. In addition to basic cPanel access, you will also get FTP access. This might not be necessary if you are getting started online, but later you can require it for files transfer.
You will also find multiple built-in tools that you will find helpful when creating a website. There is also a website builder loaded with dozens of design templates that are easy to customize. All you need to do is go to your cPanel and click on website builder, select your desired template, and start customizing.
With HostMetro’s cPanel, you can handle virtually all the aspects of your website including email addresses, technical details, domains, FTP accounts, applications, and many more. You also have several options for managing your content including:
- Managing and uploading web pages stored in the File Manager
- Dragging and dropping files into your dashboard
- Create more FTP accounts for your employees/clients
- Besides these features, HostMetro cPanel also comes loaded with many other cool options such as;
- Installing popular web application such as osCommerce, phpBB forums, WordPress, etc.
- Data backup through Backup Wizard
- Quick view server PHP configuration, customize error pages, install Ruby Gems, etc.
- Virus protection and frequent file scanning. With this cPanel, you can keep your files safe using passwords to prevent unauthorized individuals from using your resources. You can also ban users from accessing certain areas of your site.
- Create email accounts for your website
- Spam deterrents such as SpamAssassin and BoxTrapper
- Easy access to your emails
- Mail filtering
Many SEO experts prefer cPanel over other types of control panels because of its user-friendly interface and access to crucial information about web traffic. With it, you can generate web stats using three stats generators. It also makes it easier for one to get crucial information regarding error logs your site visitors’ encounter on certain pages, tracking, bandwidth, and raw FTP access logs.
HostMetro cPanel also comes with a Getting Started Wizard to make setting up your account easier. You will also be given access to a ton of onscreen documentation and step-by-step video tutorials on how to get started.
Like most of its competitors in this shared hosting market, HostMetro tries its best when it comes to addressing the needs of its customers. They have published documentation in their knowledgebase section where they address commonly encountered problems. In this section, you will find detailed written guides as well as tutorials for specific categories such as SEO, email, eCommerce, billing, cPanel help, domain management, and more. Regardless of whether you are new to blogging or a seasoned blogger, you will find these documentations helpful. There’s also an articles and FAQs page where you can learn about this hosting and website setup.
However, despite the knowledgebase section having a lot of resourceful guides, we noted that the company has not updated most of its publications for a few years now. Nonetheless, HostMetro remains active on its Twitter feed and Facebook page. They have not added many videos on their YouTube channel though.
If you fail to get help from the published guides, you can start an online chat with their support via email or telephone. HostMetro states that their support team is available 24/7.
All of your technical issues are processed through online chat, telephone or email. To make a support request, start by creating a new ticket, after which it’s forwarded to the respective department.
Alternatively, if you wish to solve your issues in real time, you can always give the customer reps a call or initiate a request via online chat. The support team is well versed with hosting and website creation issue and will be quick to help.
Below are ways you can use to reach HostMetro customer service;
- Online chat via their website- HostMetro.com
- U.S.A Toll-Free number- 1-(800) 485-9730
- Resources- HostMetro Knowledgebase
Having been around for over a decade, HostMetro understands the importance of addressing technical issues and queries from their users in a timely and helpful manner. That’s why they have managed to survive in this ever-competitive, ever-changing web hosting market. The company has an experienced team of great professionals who provide a high level of customer care service to their users.
One of the outstanding features that HostMetro offers is its price lock guarantee. Many host companies lure users with great deals during the first year of subscription, then raise their rates gradually.
However, HostMetro values its customers by guaranteeing your initial hosting rate as long as you remain a recurring customer. This makes it relatively cheaper in the long-run. For payment methods, they accept both credit card and PayPal options.
On top of its price lock guarantee, HostMetro also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is only applicable to new users; reoccurring customers are not covered by this guarantee. The 30 days period will give you enough time to test out this service to see if it suits your website needs.
The simple nature of HostMetro means it doesn't offer a lot of extras. They do not have a huge variety of add-on services to augment the value of their packing, unlike many other hosting providers in the shared hosting market.
However, they do have several add-ons. For instance, you can register a domain after signing up HostMetro, and also get an SSL certificate for your blog.
This hosting service also offers Softaculous, one of the best one-click installation script popular with many hosting providers. Softaculous enables you to install several popular tools, platforms, and content management systems on your server. For instance, through Softaculous, you can install WordPress, the world’s most popular blogging and CMS platform, with a few clicks. The whole process saves you a lot of time and frustrations since installation takes a few minutes.
Other application installations offered by Softaculous include b2evolution, phpBB, Joomla, and eCommerce tools such as CuberCart and PrestaShop.
HostMetro is a reliable hosting service for beginners. It is best suited for website owners who are looking for an affordable hosting for their simple websites. Below are the reasons you will want to consider hosting your website with HostMetro;
Simple and easy-to-use interface
HostMetro excels in its simplicity. With only two shared hosting packages that have honest and straightforward pricing, you will not go wrong with this hosting services. In this ever-competitive shared hosting environment, it is hard to find hosts that are specific in their payments. Besides, it has a simple-to-use cPanel which makes building a site easier and tackling technical tasks quick.
Price lock guarantee
Most hosting service lure customers with cheap hosting at first, then gradually increase the rate once you become a recurring customer. However, with HostMetro, you will not experience anything like this; their price lock guarantee is incredibly innovative.
With this guarantee, you are assured that the price you will pay at the start is what you will be paying even when renewing your plan. This simple and straightforward pricing makes it a perfect hosting for budget-conscious website owners who don't have a spare budget to cater for rising hosting fees and hidden charges.
Small team support environment
As compared to other big hosting services, in HostMetro, you will feel more at home and well taken care of because you are given undivided attention. It has a multi-tiered level of support which allows you to address any issues swiftly. With many large-scale shared hosting services, you will rarely get an opportunity to be served to satisfaction since there are many users waiting in the queue to be served. Sometimes when dealing with hosting issues, it can be important to feel like a human, not just another user.
A commendable uptime
A host with less than 99.9% uptime guarantee is a no-go zone. With HostMetro, it has an impressive 99.92% uptime, and thus your website will be up and running virtually all the time.
Besides, the site response rate ranges from 1,000ms to 2,400ms. This is commendable for a super affordable shared hostas HostMetro.
Speedy live chat support
HostMetro has an experienced team of professionals in their customer care center that is available 24/7. They reply to queries from their customers very fast and are friendly. Their stellar customer support is one of the main reasons they have managed to remain relevant and a popular choice for many beginners for over a decade.
Every hosting account on HostMetro is isolated thanks to the Cloud-Linux system. This means that if one account encounters a resource spike, other sites will not be negatively affected.
Clear terms of service
One thing that is common when it comes to most budget-hosting companies is vague terms of service statements. However, HostMetro has clear terms of service with clear payment methods and rates. This allows you to budget for your payment and to know when you hit the capping provided.
With HostMetro, every account has a capping of 200,000 inodes and hosting accounts should not use more than 10% of the reserved system resources for more than 90 seconds. See how clear HostMetro terms of services are?
As with everything else, HostMetro cannot be the best hosting service for everyone needs. In fact, it is only suited to a specific audience – bloggers who are just starting out and are looking for the most affordable hosting service.
Here are some of the weaknesses of HostMetro as a hosting service;
Relatively slower site speed and performance
When you compare HostMetro’s site loading speed and performance with other hosting services, you will notice that it is slower. This could be attributed to their older server hardware configuration. HostMetro does not use modern web servers, and thus performance issues will crop up once in a while. However, the older server hardware configuration is optimized for greater performance by having large RAM installs and capable SSD drives.
Overall, you still cannot compare loading speed and performance of a site hosted by HostMetro and another similar site hosted by a service using modern servers; the difference will be noticeable. But this is not to say it is not efficient; for new bloggers and small businesses, the company is an efficient and fast hosting service. What's more, there is an account credit in case their servers falls below their promised 99.90% uptime rate.
Account throttle limits
Many hosts have their own version of throttle confines on shared hosting plans, but HostMetro has overly strict limits. For instance, they have a policy whereby you should not use over 10% of the system resources for more than 90 seconds. If your website exceeds this limit, it could be flagged down and taken offline.
If you are scaling your website and expecting a significant increase in levels of traffic, then you are better off choosing another host. You will not want a scenario where your website was taken down because of an influx of traffic brought by one of your post going viral or your website becoming popular.
Limited hosting packages
In an effort to simplify things, HostMetro only style of hosting is shared hosting. This is a great choice for people who are looking for an affordable hosting for their personal website project. However, if you are looking for a high-performing host or a host that can cope up with the rising demands of a website as it grows, then you will want a powerful hosting service that can support that.
If you are planning on scaling your website soon, you might find that after a short time, you have outgrown your hosting options. This means you will need to go through the exhausting process of migrating your website to another host.
- Does HostMetro offer customer service options?
Yes. There are a variety of ways you can use to get in touch with HostMetro customer care team. You can get them via email, telephone, or online live chat on their website. The fast response of HostMetro is quite impressive. They also have a knowledge base where you can get helpful guides that explain how to solve common problems regarding website development and hosting.
- Does this host offer a price-lock guarantee to end users?
Yes, there is a price-lock guarantee. This means that you will have the same hosting price year-on-year. You will not have to pay hefty renewal fees like those charged by most hosting providers. This is a tremendous deal if you plan on sticking with them in the long term.
- Is there a cancellation policy?
Yes. Should you be dissatisfied with HostMetro services, there is a 30-day money back guarantee for new customers. Note that this is only offered to new clients and not for account renewals. Customers must request cancellation within the 30 day period of the account being created. Refunds are offered for hosting fees only minus the domain fee.
- Does HostMetro offer a control panel?
Of course. HostMetro offers the cPanel control panel. This control panel includes developer tools such as email setup, file manager, subdomain setup, FTP access, and access to phpMyAdmin. The cPanel is easy to use and is similar to most other hosting interfaces.
- Does this company offer free website transfer?
Yes. If you’re coming from another web host, HostMetro makes it much easier for you. They provide a dedicated support which will happily migrate your existing site free of any charge. However, your site needs to be less than 3GB in size.
- Do they offer free backups?
Yes. This company includes free backups. However, HostMetro only includes weekly backups which aren’t guaranteed. For this reason, consider utilizing a plugin or additional method backup on a regular basis to ensure you have your files and data should you need them.
- Do HostMetro offer domain names?
Yes. It offers a free domain registration. This is a great deal especially if you are starting from scratch. The domain is free for one year then after that it will be charged normally. The initial registration does not include domain privacy.
- Which security features does this web host offer?
The top tier plan includes free access to SiteLock Security Seal which carries out daily scans for malware and other threats. It also includes an SSL certificate to keep customer data safe. Lower tier plans can get the services at a fee.
- What programming languages does HostMetro offer?
They do support Perl 5.10, PHP 5.6, Ruby on Rails 1.8 and Python 2.6.
- Does this company offer uptime guarantee?
Yes. HostMetro offers an uptime guarantee of 99.99% over 12 months and credit customers with a month of free service should they fail to meet the target. However, this does not account to downtime caused by things such as DDoS attacks, scheduled maintenance, backbone power provider failure and DNS issues.
- Are there any restrictions on what clients can use their site for?
Yes. Customers should not video stream sites, run image hosting sites or use their sites as a backup. Additionally, they are not allowed to run gambling sites, sell controlled substances or do anything illegal.
- Does HostMetro offer sitebuilding?
Yes, all accounts have free access to a site builder. The builder has hundreds of themes and plugins to create a professional website.
- Does HostMetro offer SSL certificates?
Yes. You can purchase an SSL certificate from them along with their hosting services. They provide a bit range of SSL certificates from domain validated, extended validated, company validated, wildcard as well as Multi-domain SSL certificates.
- Does HostMetro offer unlimited host bandwidth and space?
Their plans are limited although they set it so high that a majority of accounts never reach it. If you do consume the resources up to 90% and you haven’t violated the terms of service, then HostMetro will allot more capacity to you.
- What applications can I easily install?
You get softaculous installer to offer easier installations of applications such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, and ecommerce shopping carts.
HostMetro’s plans are designed to be as straightforward and simple as possible. It is a great option for people that are getting started online. However, it is pretty restrictive especially if you are looking for a long-term plan.
The bottom line is that HostMetro is a reliable web host with a great technical team that is ready to help you 24/7. The company strives to deliver competitively priced hosting solutions that make it easy for you to create and manage a website. With an impressive uptime record and the fact that it offers cPanel hosting for maintaining and managing a hosting account makes it a great fit for most webmasters today. Overall, HostMetro is a quite affordable and reliable shared hosting service whose main target is small businesses and individuals looking for hosting service for their personal blogs.