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HostMonster

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Overview

Let’s face it, there has been a boom in the number of websites being developed in the past several years. This comes at the backdrop of continued campaigns for businesses to increase their visibility online as well as sensitizations for more brand development among professionals. As a result, the number of web hosting companies has also multiplied during that time as each seeks to meet the growing demand for this service.

Are you looking for a web host for your business or personal website? You might want to check out HostMonster. However, a caveat is that like all other hosts, it comes with its own strengths and shortcomings and therefore it’s important that you’re aware of them to decide if it’s the right fit or not.

If you’re interested in learning more about this web host, our review explains more:

HostMonster – About the Company

Established in 1996, HostMonster is among the oldest web hosting providers today and one with a strong presence in the hosting space too. The company’s main target market comprises personal and commercial website owners looking for affordable albeit feature-packed hosting packages. HostMonster offers several Shared Hosting packages, VPS, and Dedicated Server options. However, unlike a majority of its counterparts in this business, it lacks Cloud, WordPress, and Reseller hosting plans.

HostMonster has its offices and main data center in Provo, Utah where it shares a 50,000 square foot space with its sister company, BlueHost. The provider which is one of the many web hosts owned by Endurance International Group (EIG) hosts well over a million websites today. It is known for its reputable customer support and decent web hosting services.

HostMonster Hosting Plans

HostMonster has hosting plans for nearly all types of users depending on needs and budget. The company offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting packages, all coming packed with decent performance and the necessary features.

We take a look at what you can expect with different plans offered by HostMonster:

Shared Hosting

First, it’s worth mentioning that unlike several of its competitors, HostMonster doesn’t offer the highly sought after month-to-month web hosting packages: this means the shortest period you can commit yourself to this web host is one year.

Back to the Shared Hosting packages, HostMonster offers users three options to choose from: Business, Plus, and Pro Plans.

The Basic Plan which is the entry-level option meant for owners of small business that don’t require a lot of resources, comes with 50GB of storage, a maximum of 5 email accounts, and a free domain name. You can only host one site on this plan. This plan starts at a discounted rate of $4.95/mo.

The mid-range package (Plus Plan) supports up to 10 websites all which have to share 150GB storage, 100 emails, special marketing offers, and even spam protection. This plan renews at $12.49/mo.

The Prime Plan which is the most stocked shared hosting package by HostMonster is meant for budget conscious users who also want a high-performance server for their website(s). With it, you can host unlimited websites, create unlimited emails and enjoy unlimited storage and bandwidth. What’s more, you also enjoy spam protection, premium marketing offers, automatic website backups, and privacy protection. This plan starts at $14.99/mo.

HostMonster also offers a special pack for users that would prefer having a higher performance server but still within the realm of shared hosting. The GoPro Plan is the company’s improved version of its Pro Plan whereby you get access to a high-performance server as well as a dedicated IP address. This package goes for a discounted price of $14.95/mo.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

Have you outgrown your shared hosting resources and would like to move up to a higher plan with more dynamic server resources? Then a VPS hosting package might be more suited for your needs. These plans are quite powerful and also offer you ample space for growth. And while they’re pricier as compared to their shared counterparts, they still save you a lot more money than if you went straight for a dedicated server.

HostMonster offers four main packages for its VPS Hosting namely Standard, Enhanced, Premium, and Ultimate. All of them are Linux-based running on CentOS 6.5 (64-bit) OS: this might not be good news if you prefer Windows OS instead. The plans are also cloud-based and come with an enhanced cPanel as well as full root administrative privileges. HostMonster also offers them are fairly reasonable prices that won’t break your bank.

The Standard Plan is HostMonster’s entry-level plan and which renews at $19.99/mo. With it, you get a dual-core environment 2GB RAM, 30GB or disk storage, and 1TB bandwidth. Besides, this web host also offers you a free domain name and a dedicated IP address for your business.

On the other hand, The Enhanced Plan not only comes with a dual-core environment but also roughly twice as many hosting resources as those offered by HostMonster on its Standard Plan. This means you get 4GB RAM, 60GB worth of storage space, 2TB bandwidth every month, and 2 IP addresses. You also get a free domain name to spice up the package. This package goes for $29.99/mo.

The third package known as Premium Plan goes a notch higher to give you a triple core, 6GB RAM, 90GB of hard disk storage, and 2TB bandwidth per month. HostMonster also throws in two free dedicated IP addresses and a domain name. This pack goes for $44.99/mo.

The highest VPS plan by HostMonster is known as the Ultimate Plan. And as the name suggests, you get the best you can find at its modest price of $59.99/mo. First, this web host gives you a generous quad core environment that’s powered by 8GB RAM and with up to 120GB disk space. What’s more, you get a huge 3TB bandwidth per month, 2 free dedicated IPs, and a free domain.

Worth noting is that unlike many other web hosts that require several hours or even days to set up your VPS servers upon registration, HostMonster gives you access to your account almost immediately. In fact, you will get up and running within a few seconds of completing your payment.

Dedicated Server Hosting

If your business has developed fully and now requires the most powerful hosting package available to take care of the immense traffic and overall growth it’s recording, then a dedicated server is what you need. Luckily, HostMonster doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to providing users with solid servers in this category.

For starters, all its dedicated plans utilize the top in class Intel Xeon processors as well as the high-grade CentOS. In addition, this web host uses advanced technology for cloud storage including OpenStack and KVM: with these two in particular, you don’t need to worry about failed backups and other potential security issues.

In this hosting category, HostMonster offers three plans namely Standard, Enhanced, and Premium. All of these are outfitted with a Linux OS and each comes with ample disk space, bandwidth, and RAM to ensure smooth operations for your website.  We take a close look at the resources each comes with below:

The Standard Plan which is the lowest of the three options available gets you a four-core environment with a crucial 3MB of cache, 4GB RAM, and 500GB of RAID disk storage. What’s more, you get 5TB worth of bandwidth per month, 3 free dedicated IP addresses, and a free domain name. This plan goes for a regular price of $109.99/mo.

The mid-range package known as the Enhanced Plan also comes with a quad-core environment like its Standard counterpart. However, it has a bigger 8MB cache storage, powered by a more spacious 8GB RAM, and has a 1000GB worth of RAID HDD. HostMonster also provides you with up to 10TB bandwidth every month, a free domain name, and four dedicated IP addresses. This plan renews at $159.99/mo.

Finally, the Premium Plan is the top end server offered by this web host, coming with a 4-core environment that has 8MB cache space. Additionally, you will be provided with 16GB RAM, 1TB storage space, 15TB bandwidth, five dedicated IP addresses, and a free domain. This plan will cost you $209.99/mo upon renewing your initial plan.

Note: If your preferred hosting plan doesn’t come with the following features, HostMonster offers them to you during checkout so you can add them to your package if you wish to:

-          Domain Privacy Protection to enable you hide your personal names during registration of a new domain name.

-          Site Backup Pro to safeguard your website information in the unfortunate event of data loss.

-          SiteLock Security to enhance your site’s legitimacy and trustworthiness to your visitors.

SSL Certificate by Comodo to protect any sensitive information that users might provide at your website: this is particularly important if you’re running an ecommerce store.

Webhosting Plans
Shared Hosting
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
Choice plus - - USD cPanel Unlimited - - - $ 6.95
Plus 150GB - USD cPanel 10 - - - $ 6.95
Basic 50GB - USD Plesk,cPanel 1 - - - $ 4.95

VSP Hosting
Plan Name Disk Space Bandwidth Admin panel OS Cores RAM Core Speed Backups Managed Location Price
ULTIMATE 120GB 3000GB Admin panel 4 8GB - $ 59.99
PREMIUM 120GB 2000GB Admin panel 3 6GB - $ 44.99
ENHANCED 60GB 2000GB Admin panel 2 4GB - $ 29.99
STANDARD 30GB 1000GB Admin panel 2 2GB - $ 19.99

Dedicated Hosting
Plan Name Disk Space Bandwidth Admin panel OS Core RAM Core Speed IPs SSH Backups Managed CPU Guarantee Location Price
PREMIUM 1000GB 15000GB cPanel 4 16GB - 5 Intel® Xeon Processor ؋ 119.99
ENHANCED 1000GB 10000GB cPanel 4 8GB - 4 Intel® Xeon Processor $ 99.99
STANDARD 500GB 5000GB cPanel 4 4GB - 3 Intel® Xeon Processor $ 79.99

Performance and Speed

The unprecedented rise of technology-reliant consumer base has brought around evolution in how companies treat their online presence and content delivery to existing and future customers. The result of this can be seen in their investments in quality web hosting which has a direct positive impact on revenue growth.

HostMonster promises to offer not only high speeds in loading time but also a consistent performance in terms of ping and uptime. Here are some of the factors that make HostMosnter standout:

-          Unlimited disk storage

Your website requires a constant supply of new and updated content. For this reason, you might find yourself running out of storage space, i.e. if your hosting company has a cap on allocated storage space. Thankfully with HostMonster, you don’t have to worry over such as the company offers unmetered disk space for all their customers.

From the outside, this might seem detrimental for customers on shared hosting plans where hardware is shared amongst various websites and this consequently limits the bandwidth available per user. In such a scenario, this web host insists that individual performance will not be affected as they continually monitor the servers for any accounts that are not operating as per their fair usage policy. As a result, nearly all their customers record normal usage thus ensuring that they all get optimal hosting performance and ‘unlimited’ disk usage.

-          Unlimited domain hosting

Your site is bound to generate more and more traffic as you increase content or undertake an aggressive marketing campaign. Your host will have to handle the additional traffic with consistent results or else you will lose visitors especially if your site is taking ages to load. Some hosting companies avoid this scenario by limiting the bandwidth for your website.

However, this is not the case with HostMonster which offers you unmetered domain hosting bandwidth and read/write speeds.

-          Support for various web builders

While HostMonster does offer its free-to-use drag-and-drop website builder with each hosting account, that doesn’t mean you are restricted from using other advanced site builders including WordPress, Joomla, Tikiwiki, and b2evoltion.

HostMonster has also recently added support for other third-party software that will help in enriching your web content. These include Moodle, Drupal, Poll and Survey software, project management scripts and social networking scripts.

Security

When it comes to the safety of your website, your web host plays a vital part in keeping spammers and intruders away. HostMonster web hosting packages come with numerous security features including, Hotlink Protection, SSL support, SSH access Spam Assassin Protection, 24/7 network monitoring, and site backups.

Hotlink Protection is a popular service that prevents other websites from embedding your site’s files on their site. If left unchecked, this results in numerous websites linking directly to files hosted on your site. Hotlinking may pose a problem as it consumes your bandwidth which then results in slow speeds for users.

While HostMonster’s Basic package lacks enough security mechanisms, you get additional features starting from Plus and above plans. For example, this web host offers you SpamExperts which is a spam and virus protection tool designed to filter out annoying content before you get it. This tool contains customizable protection tools designed by Google to stop most spam issues. You can enable Spam Experts through the control panel.

Prime Users can access Site Backup pro and domain privacy. The former helps if malware infects your site and you need to revert to the previous version. On the other hand, domain privacy is crucial as it keeps WHOIS information that you use while registering private.

Pro users will also have the same features as Prime users with an addition of free SSL certificate. That said, user buying all plans below Prime will have to purchase an SSL certificate. The issue with lack of SSL certificates is that browsers like Chrome have begun listing all sites without an SSL certificate as non-secure – which obviously might scare visitors.

Regarding spam, HostMonster offers other additional options such Spam Hammer for email users. This tool which you can enable or disable in your control panel temporarily rejects emails from unknown senders.

HostMonster also offers Cloudflare although this has been disabled by default in the cPanel. The powerful CDN helps in preventing DDoS attacks and server outages. Cloudflare also enables your customers to access your website’s content from locations closest to them. The result is much faster loading speeds and hence increased traffic to your website.

-          Regular backups

Does HostMonster offer regular backups? Sure. If a serious problem such as a hacking incident hits your site, HostMonster offers courtesy site backups to get it up again. You can choose free daily, weekly or monthly backups with this web host.

Nonetheless, HostMonster advises that you keep the latest backup files by downloading them as often as possible. This is because the web hosts performs backups at its own discretion meaning you don’t need to rely on them fully for backups at any time.

To be on the safe side, consider purchasing the Site Backup Pro tool to make your job easier by offering a ready backup from multiple points in history. Remember, HostMonster deletes backups older than 30 days and thus it’s your responsibility to download your important files if you want to have copies of your data.

 Customer Support

While HostMonster appears to be its own brand, the web host merged with EIG where all the servers are maintained by EIG. As a result, customers communicate with HostMonster support, but EIG solves all technical issues.

To ease security concerns, HostMonster has adopted a validation token system generation system mainly when they speak with their customers. This is a way to verify whether they are talking to a real customer or just a person who has acquired your personal details. The validation token is an excellent idea that ensures the safety of your site.

The web host offers 24/7 technical support using channels like live chat, telephone, and email. The web host also provides additional phone lines for billing, terms of service compliance, sales and verification.

-          Knowledgebase

HostMonster offers a highly resourceful knowledgebase that contains over 500 searchable articles on nearly every topic you want to learn about regarding web hosting. These articles are clear and concise and come with the right tone for consumers. Better yet, some of them come with video guides to make them as self-sufficient as possible. For instance, you can get an article on all aspects of email hosting.

Worried of how to get started on HostMonster? There’s a ‘getting started’ section which is full of valuable guides for beginners and experts alike. It categorizes articles chronologically to make it easier for readers.

Their knowledgebase, however, disappoints in some areas; for example, its video section is full of dead links. Also, their forums aren’t as engaging with little activity going on in there. This is an area they can improve on.

HostMonster cPanel

Your site’s backend can be somewhat hectic to navigate particularly if your control panel doesn’t provide useful controls and commands in an uncluttered view. Thankfully, HostMonster has included cPanel which not only features an intuitive design but is also packed with additional functionalities. As a result, you’ll find it easy to use while also enabling you to control every aspect of your website from a central spot.

Hostmonster’s decision to go with cPanel can be attributed to its popularity: cPanel is the most common control panel software in the market and comes with the following key features:

-          Central mailbox

 Use this functionality to create email accounts, forwarders, and autoresponders. The user-level mail filter comes in handy especially when dealing with spam. You can also use it to launch wide-scale email advertisement and monitor the feedback.

-          Security

Use this feature to configure passwords for protected directories, update SSLTLS as well as IP address denials. HostMonster allows configuration of GnuPG critical settings for restricted access from cPanel: this further secures your site from unauthorized access.

-          Apps Store

A vast collection of custom apps and add-ons are available for integration with cPanel. A majority serve to increase the functionality of your website and also improve its responsiveness.

-          File manager

While HostMonster does offer unlimited disk usage, it’s always recommended to keep track of your disk space usage to avoid accumulating unnecessary junk. Such files might lead to slower loading time and what might be considered as a breach of the fair usage policy.

-          Databases

HostMonster supports various database management software such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL. This diversity comes in handy when you want to add interactive features to your site, and they require different databases to run.

-          Transfers and Backups

HostMonster provides curtsey backups for every site. Take advantage of this feature to to back up your site locally just in case something happens.

30-day money back guarantee

Like most other web hosts, HostMonster offers a 30-day money back guarantee. The refund policy says that you’ll be refunded the cost of hosting packages but fails to give a refund for most add-ons products. For instance, if you choose a plan with a free domain, they will deduct the cost of the domain from your refund.

E-commerce features

One of HostMonster’s most outstanding feature for e-commerce is the Mojo marketplace which contains a series of site scripts. A majority of these scripts require a one-click installation process and include Joomla, Drupal, and Moodle.

This web host also offers many other e-commerce features such as:

-          Zen Cart

-          SSL Secure Server

-          Video Streaming services

-          oS Commerce

-          Custom MME services

-          Audio Streaming

Stable sites can use FTP to upload the site files to HostMonster servers. FileZilla is one of the web host's partner and can therefore serve you well if you need to move files manually to your cPanel.

Finally, HostMonster accepts payments in different forms including all major credit cards, checks, Paypal, money orders, and even purchase orders.

HostMonster Extras

-          Multiple database solutions

HostMonster servers support a number of database solutions such as PostgreSQL, SQL, and MySQL. It’s important to note that websites often require different databases solutions for varied tasks. This is why having a host that supports all the major options here is key in enabling your site run smoothly.

-          Supports multiple programming languages

HostMonster provides support for Python, Perl 5, Ruby/Ruby on Rails, and JavaScript. This collection of programming languages can be used to develop custom web solutions and apps thus giving your site more functionality.

-          Image galleries

You no longer have to second guess on which images to use for your site. With Coppermine image gallery or any of the other provided solution, you can review available images and test them out to see if they actually fit well on your site before hosting them.

-          Poll and survey software

It’s recommended to keep track of what is happening on your site at any given time. This calls for survey software that can administer polls automatically. HostMonster offers these tools for free for improved website performance.

-          Social networking scripts

HostMonster uses some of the best social networking scripts out there. These scripts will automatically generate social media links and deploy them accordingly. An increase in social networks presence results in increased traffic inflows.

-          Project management scripts

These scripts provide planning, tracking and reporting solutions for custom projects. As a result, you can set new projects for your site and collaborate with others right from your control panel.

-          Multimedia support

HostMonster provides streaming serves for video and audio. The company also supports MIDI files and adding custom MIME types.

HostMonster – Pros and Cons

Like any other service provider, HostMonster comes with its own fair share of strengths and weakness as we’ll find out below:

Strengths

-          Affordable hosting plans across all categories, i.e. shared, VPS, and Dedicated servers. What’s more, most are scalable which is particularly important if you’re anticipating an increase in your business needs as it grows.

-          Uses a feature-rich custom cPanel. EIG has added a few modifications to the traditional cPanel and this means more features to make your website management much easier. A notable addition is its Mojo Marketplace which gives you access to over 100 open-source apps, plugins, and theme, all which comes with a one-click install feature.

-          HostMonster also offers you free advertising credits to advertise your business: this package comprises $100 worth of Google Adwords and a similar figure for Bing credits.

-          This web host also boasts an impressive performance and uptime.

-          Has friendly and knowledgeable US-based customer support staff.

Weaknesses

-          HostMonster doesn’t offer month-to-month payment options like some of its competitors. Payments start at annual and above. Luckily, you can ask for a prorated refund in case you need to break your contract with them before the end of your period. Terms and conditions exist though.

-          Prices are a little higher compared to the competition. Worth noting in particular is the difference in plan prices compared to its sister company, BlueHost. The two have almost similar packages (based on features) but prices differ sharply.

-          This web host doesn’t offer Windows hosting.

-          SSL certificates and regular backups are only available for higher tier hosting plans.

-          Coming with a custom cPanel, it might prove difficult transferring your content to another host in the event you want to migrate to another company.

HostMonster Frequently Asked Questions

What is HostMonster’s Refund Policy?

HostMoster offers a 30-day guarantee just in case you feel dissatisfied with their services. All you need is to contact their customer representatives to cancel your hosting - you get a full refund if the window is yet to elapse. However, it's necessary to read through the policy carefully to ensure that your request is valid.

Who is HostMonster?

HostMonster was created by Matt Heaton in 1996 in Utah. It's a sister brand of BlueHost.  HostMonster Utah data centers boast 3 modernized technological facilities. The company was acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2015. While it might appear as if the web host is its own brand, EIG runs its servers. As a result, customers interact with HostMonster Customer representatives, but EIG will handle technical uses.

What kind of control panel does HostMonster use?

HostMonster offers the traditional control panel but with a few modifications. Some of the common features to find inside it include domain name, billing and hosting management. The interface is efficient except that the file manager can be quite sophisticated to navigate.

How is HostMonster customer support?

HostMonster provides 24/7 technical support. You can contact their representatives via live chat, telephone, or the HostMonster support ticket system. You also get helpful resources with HostMonster which include individual articles and video tutorials. There are additional phone lines for sales, billing, terms of service compliance and verification.

Users will also get access to a help center offering valuable information including knowledgeable articles and FAQ section. Finally, there’s a ticketing system that ensures secure calls.

Is HostMonster reliable?

Various tests show that HostMonster offers up to 99.9% network uptime which is generally stable. Additionally, it has OC-48 backbone connections, top-notch QuadOpteron Servers and UPS backup with facilities that boasts ultra-modern technology. To ensure that your data stays secure, backups of websites are kept on the mirror where they wouldn't get lost even in the event of equipment failure.

While the web host doesn’t offer any tangible promise if it fails to hit its guaranteed uptime, results show that it has tried to keep a commendable uptime record. This can be attributed to back-end protections such as Spam blocker, SSH access, and leech protect. These technologies ensure more stability, all at affordable pricing.

What security features does HostMonster offer?

HostMonster provides an array of security features to keep your site safe including SSL support, Hotlink Protection, SiteLock Lite, Spam Assasin Protection, and SSH access.

Does HostMonster offer regular backups?

In case you have a serious problem with your site, HostMonster can assist you with backed up files to get your site up again. The company offers daily, weekly and monthly backup services.

You can also purchase its Site Backup and Restore Pro tool to restore specific files you might need. This service is available at an annual fee of $11.99 through the control panel center.

How much bandwidth does HostMonster allocate to my account?

HostMonster offers unlimited server space for each account. Note that the term “Unlimited” means unmetered thereby implying that you aren’t billed based on your bandwidth usage. Like other web hosts however, unlimited disk space does not mean infinite. If your bandwidth usage increases past the ‘reasonable’ level for shared environment, they may suspend your site.

But for a small business, you don’t have to worry as your site will unlikely exceed the data transfer or space. About 99.95% of their customers have enough bandwidth and space according to HostMonster.

What is HostMonster’s uptime guarantee?

The web host doesn't issue any guarantees about uptime. However, it gives a guarantee that all issues will be resolved within 15 minutes, or less or in what the company describes as “extremely rare circumstances”, a few hours. HostMonster does not charge you for terminating your agreement due to server downtime. The facility has UPS backup power supply that’s monitored 24/7 by technicians and live system monitoring.

Can I migrate my WordPress site to HostMonster?

Yes, the web host allows this migration. However, it recommends that you first update your site to the latest version of WordPress before beginning the process. You’ll also need to sign up with ManageWP.com for an account. Simply go to homepage and enter your email address and click on “try it for free.”

What forms of payments does HostMonster offer?

HostMonster accepts all major credit cards, Paypal Payments, Money Orders (USD only), checks (USD only), and purchase orders. On the other hand, it does not accept gift cards, prepaid credit cards, payments with PayPal balance, or wire transfers.

Can I get website builder with HostMonster?

HostMonster offers several tools to simplify building your own website such as Weebly, a favorite site among website builders. Weeby works using Drag and Drop to help you with design. The builder lets you add slideshows, contact forms, social media links among other things. You can use Weebly free version that can create up to 6 pages and allows you to add a custom HTML. You can also upgrade to the Professional version of Weebly for more improved features.

What are HostMonster alternatives?

While HostMonster has its strengths, it doesn’t mean it has to satisfy all of your business needs. As such, you might want to consider other hosting service products with better scores and satisfaction ratings if you feel this web host falls short of your expectations. Some of best alternatives to HostMonster include Bluehost, SiteGround and Site 5 hosting.

For WordPress Users, one suitable alternative to HostMonster that you might want to try is WP Engine hosting which offers a managed platform for WordPress. While its prices are quite high, the company offers a pretty stable and reliable service.

And if you’re not looking for a managed WordPress platform, you can try HostGator which offers better plans for its shared packages. It’s also known to provide excellent support.