HostPapa: Green Business Hosting
HostPapa was founded in 2006, and is based in the US and Canada, with server headquarters based in Toronto. While it’s now common for web hosts to offset their carbon footprint by buying green energy credits, but that trend was started by HostPapa. HostPapa does more than the usual – offsetting just their data centers – and purchases green credits for the amount of energy used by their entire company. Instead of just doing something to boast of it on a button on their site, it seems they really want to do the right thing. HostPapa gives a lot away in the most basic package: unlimited domains, bandwidth, disk space, and MySQL databases. There are also some features like a promotional campaign package, a nice website builder, and support.
Uptime & Reliability
Secure and Reliable
HostPapa says it provides “100% Service Guarantee” and boasts of 99.9% uptim or your money back. That number holds up almost perfectly during testing. The servers are great, thanks to solid hardware with Linux on board, constant site monitoring, a backup power system, and a great firewall.
Economical Price, Many Add-on Features
HostPapa lures you in with unlimited domains and subdomains, bandwidth, disk space, MySQL 5.1 databases, and emails, then tried to fork over some big bucks for a a wide variety of features. They offer great small business tools, like programs for blogs and e-commerce solutions. If you’re a Google fan, you can spend a little bit and get access to a Google Apps package. You also get a free marketing package with some credits for promotional tools, to help get you started with a campaign.
|Bandwidth||All HostPapa accounts include unlimited bandwidth.|
|Disk Space||All HostPapa accounts include unlimited disk space.t|
|Website Builder||HostPapa’s site builder, SohoLauch, is included in all packages for free, and is surprisingly easy to use. You can add in such advanced features as shopping carts, photo albums, and blogs.|
|Email Accounts||All HostPapa accounts include unlimited email accounts.|
|Shopping Carts||All HostPapa accounts include OS Commerce Cart and ZenCart Shopping Cart. Your HostPapa account is also compatible to be used as a PayPal merchant.|
|Stats||You can track your website traffic with AWStats, Webalizer, or Analog.t|
|MySQL databases||All HostPapa accounts include an unlimited number of MySQL Databases with phpMyAdmin.t|
|FTP Account||All HostPapa accounts include unlimited FTP accounts with constant access.t|
|Multiple Domains||All HostPapa accounts include unlimited number of domains and websites for each account.t|
Help, I Need Somebody!
HostPapa’s provides support via phone, live chat, or a ticketed system; however, you’ll find a plethora of complaints on the web about slow response times and poor technical support. However, we were impressed with the library of video tutorials and the user forum space—there are even articles in Spanish and French.
In a decision I’ll call “not the coolest move,” HostPapa opted for the sneaky move of pre-checking add-ons during the check out process. So although there are great, competitive prices, pay attention to the total before you confirm payment. If it doesn’t look right, it might not be. For example, a Private Domain for $8.99, SiteLock for $14.95, and domain extension after the first free year for $15 are all auto-checked. There is a $29.95 setup fee that HostPapa generously waives when you sign up (thanks, HostPapa), but if you take advantage of the money-back guarantee and cancel, you’re then charged that previously waived $29.95 setup fee (not cool, HostPapa). If you read the fine print, you can get a good web host at a great price, but there’s a sense that feels like they’re trying to take advantage of people who aren’t paying the closest of attention. As a side note, if you want a dedicated IP address, you can do so for an extra $36 per year.
Easy Signup, Easy Use
HostPapa’s site is organized and even has an often-updated blog. (Who actually has an often-updated blog?!) Packages are clearly distinguished, and signup is a breeze. HostPapa opted for cPanel, the standard across many web hosts. But even if you’re familiar with cPanel, you may be surprised by how full your HostPapa cPanel is: because of all of the included features and products even in the basic package, your page may be more cluttered than you’re used to. If you like WordPress, you can easily install it from cPanel, complementary in all packages.
HostPapa isn’t the cheapest on the block, but for small businesses looking for features like help with blogs or e-commerce, this is a good fit. You need to pay attention during checkout, and you might choose to solve your own support issues, but with those caveats in mind, the packages are priced well considering the included features. PROS
- Truly green company
- Excellent, timely support
- Fantastic add-on features
- Unlimited basics (domains, email, bandwidth, etc)
- Lengthy contracts
- Sneaky, auto-selected add-ons
- Waived setup fee charged if you cancel
- Poor customer service
- Limited technical tools
- Difficulty with cancellations