There have been mixed testimonies in regards to the credibility of HostMonster as one of the best Web hosting providers today. Some customers enjoyed the affordable solution that this provider offers; while some released negative feedback concerning issues that cropped during the term of their use of the service. This review aims to shed light to the capability and quality of HostMonster as a Web Hosting solution, as well as the issues experienced by their account holders.
HostMonster started its hosting business in 1996 and has been up and running today. It is one of the branch off from its original company, BlueHost, so most of its services and features are similar — even the site design and layout is similar.
If you checked out the websites of BlueHost and HostMonster, you will see that they are identical. They both have only one shared hosting package offered to their customers though both differs in terms of hardware specifications, solution details, and the likes. Even the functionality of their control panel (cPanel) is similar, yet differs only in terms of the theme used for both.
According to HostMonster website, the price of their shared hosting package is $5.95, a dollar less from its original value — no setup or installation fees and a free domain name included in the bundle.
Sign-up to their service is easy; all you need is to type a domain name you want to register for free or type in the domain you already own. The next step is to fill out your account information, credit card info, and you’re done.
Their hosting solution requires you to pay a year at minimum, as well as 2 to 3 year subscription with their promo rate of $5.95. Setup fee and domain registration is waived. During the promo period, Domain Privacy is also included for free if you chose to activate it.
The HostMaster Web hosting solution includes unlimited disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, and domain names — which is a standard for shared hosting packages; as well as other features, like SSH, SSL, FTP, Site monitoring tools, basic script compatibility, FrontPage extensions, free web-based site builder, and customer support. Their shared hosting package is also included with Ad credits on Yahoo and Google to help promote your site. You also get 24/7 access to their customer support in case of problems.
Despite their website stating “no long-term contract”, HostMaster require a minimum subscription of 12, 24, and 36 months. No discount is offered if you sign up for 2 or 3 years. This simply means that once you sign up, you either wait for the term to finish or cancel midway then ask for a refund amounting to the number of months left on your subscription. No fee is charged during cancellation.
There was an issue in 2009 regarding HostMonsters sudden charge of increase pricing to their package without prior notification to their account holders. An email requesting for explanation to the said charge reasoned out that the increase in hosting price was mainly due to the demand of subscribers on improvement on customer support and hardware for better use of the service.
There was even a customer feedback indicating that she was charged with a setup fee of $30 on her credit card considering that the site mentioned that there wasn’t supposed to be any.
According to Webmasters who were signed up to HostMonster, the company spread out fake reviews on the “excellence” of their services, yet some freelance site owners posted their own “honest” opinion to what they really experienced with the hosting provider — some good and some bad.
In most cases, negative reviews that cropped up in different sites mentioned their customer support to be inept in dealing with downtime issues, site suspension, account deletion, impromptu charges on their credit cards, as well as email problems.
Common HostMonster Issues
Common issues of HostMonster subscribers regards to the “overuse” of MySQL that led to the suspension of their service. There were also mention of HostMonster offering compatibility with database and scripts, and subscribers found out not to be true when they tried it out.
Another issue seems to be regarding the sluggish performance of their servers in terms of FTP (upload/download), access to control panel, as well as site downtime.
According to those who have tried out HostMonster for more than 2 years, the problem started in mid 2009. Problems that cropped up involved unsanctioned deletion of their website and customer support blamed such actions due to the subscriber not following the Terms of Service (ToS). There were also issues in regards using FrontPage with their hosting package and ended up getting an error in the end — customer service put the blame on Microsoft.
HostMonster offers 24/7 customer support to their account holders to fix common issues, like configuration and setup, downtime, account reset, migration, and other problems that crops up in a hosting environment.
Their customer service representative can be reached through toll-free number, live chat with their personnel, or email. They also have other departments to deal with specific issues, like technical, billing, abuse, sales, and affiliate programs.
Considering the price of their shared hosting offers, many find HostMonster to be one of the most affordable Web hosting solutions in the market today. However, their offers do have some limitation that might be an issue when you need dedicated server to deal with expansion or upgrade.
That’s right; HostMonster only has 1 Web hosting plan and it’s on a shared server. You get unlimited disk space and bandwidth as long as you don’t overuse the resources allocated to you in the shared environment. They don’t offer a dedicated server or VPN so you might be forced to switch to other hosting providers who do.
In other words, HostMonster’s shared hosting package is perfect for minor use — like blogs, small-business websites, and similar. If you plan to put up a forum with hundreds of subscribers logging at one point then you either get a slow response from their server or your account becomes subject to suspension.
HostMonster is definitely one of the most affordable Web hosting providers today. Their offer of $5.95 is definitely cheap, but the only drawback is that you have to sign-up for a yearly basis to use. You get the same price on other providers on a monthly basis.
Being a share hosting solution, expect a lot of things to be unlimited but everything is always based according to your use of shared resources. As long as you stay within the boundaries then you’re good to go with no issues muddying up the works.
Also, if you’re planning for just basic hosting package for a static website, a blog or two, or even a small business with a shopping cart then the features offered by HostMonster is adequate. However, if you’re looking for an upgrade or seeing a potential for improvement of your site that takes up a large space or bandwidth, then you might want to consider other providers since this company doesn’t offer other package aside from its shared hosting plan.
All-in-All, HostMonster is your average day-to-day hosting solution provider. Don’t expect too much quality and ready yourself from potential downtime if you use too much resource. Customer service provides adequate solution to problems but you might have to be persistent just to get the issue resolved in the quickest possible time.