HostPapa Review

HostPapa is a web hosting company based in Canada. They offer various services like; WordPress Hosting, Reseller Hosting and VPS hosting.

Jamie Opalchuck founded HostPapa in 2006; as we speak, they have hosted thousands of sites.

HostPapa provides its customers with various attractive features in all their web hosting plans. Small businesses find their service more appealing.

Their beginner package is available at a cheap rate making it affordable to many people. But, we felt the prices they charge to renew the package are very expensive.

Many find the small size very appealing, however, if your requirement is more, it can be somewhat off-putting.

An Overview

If you are a beginner or an experienced user, selecting the right web host can always be very nerve-racking.

When you take a look at the web host market, you will see an endless list of web hosts available. All of them are unique in their own way.

It’s a very competitive market in terms of offers, features, prices etc. At times it gets overwhelming and extremely confusing. I can understand it; I’ve been there too.

We need to make a decision if we want to go in for companies that are popular, like HostGator and GoDaddy, or should we consider opting for a less popular host but with great features like HostPapa?

The answer is simple, HostPapa always says their features and service are apt for small businesses.

So, if you find yourself in this category, you can consider HostPapa. If not, continue to read; if you feel their service matches your requirement, then go for it.

Because as always, the question is; Is HostPapa the correct choice for your business?

To help you make the right decision, we have tested HostPapa and will share the results we got in terms of their Performance, Features, Price, Speeds and more.

For those of you who have a time constraint, I would like you to know that HostPapa is not a bad solution; however, you will notice it to be on the bottom of the ranking list.

Their service has secured a 65% score; it by no means is in competition with the giants.

If you are not on a tight budget and wish to check out what’s best in the market, check out our review on Best Web Hosts in Canada.

Web Hosting Overview and General Information

Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5

570 ms Mar 2020 – Feb 202199.98%24×7 email, Fax, Mail, Phone, Live ChatSingle-Click Installation for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and Softaculous Installer for over 400 apps
FeaturesWeb Hosting PlansSite TransfersPricing
30 Days Refund, free domain, unlimited bandwidth, SSL certificate, Spam Assassin, Email accounts (100), Two websites and 100GB Storage  WordPress, Reseller, VPS and SharedFreeStarts at a monthly fee of $2.95, Renewal at a monthly fee of $9.99

Alternate Hosts

Blue HostHostingerA2 Hosting
Features: Beginner-Friendly, Strong uptime, Customer assistance 24×7Features: Good Load Time, Very economical, Multilingual SupportFeatures: Site Migration (Free), Good Uptime, Quickest Provider

Performance and Reliability

The uptime that HostPapa web hosting service offers is pretty decent at 99.97%. It is difficult to find a company that provides an uptime of 100%.

Realistically speaking, various issues are anticipated on the internet that hosts are well aware of.

The goal is to select a host that offers an uptime close to 100%. HostPapa web hosting service offers a 99.97%, and if you put it to application, the downtime works out to almost three hours every year.

That is a good number, and no matter what you plan to do, whether you have an online store or just a simple blog, you can count on them. We find them very reliable.

Key Features

HostPapa hosting company has a basic start-up hosting plan with standard features that you would find with other hosts as well. They also have a couple of extra features.

The starter plan permits you to have two sites. This is definitely a bonus, as many hosts allow only a single site at the basic level. 

The basic hosting plan has something tagged by the company as Essential Features. These features include; 30 days Refund Policy, 24×7 customer support team, website builder (starter), control panel – cPanel, free SSL through Let’s Encrypt, individual training, Cloudflare CDN, and website transfer for free.

If you happen to take the yearly package, HostPapa hosting company will throw in a free domain. Many users have availed of this benefit. Not many web hosts offer this feature.

The best part of this is, the free domain is free; there are no extra charges that will be billed to you later.

We have noticed this as a practice with other hosts, their Free Service is not at all free, and there is always going to be some or the other condition to it.

The disk space is 100 GB for the basic hosting plan, which we feel is a good amount for a starter.

It may not be like InMotion that offers unlimited, but 100 GB is a good place, to begin with. It is much better than most big hosts that we have seen.

Their bandwidth is unlimited; however, they will penalize you if your consumption is excessive. This is not an uncommon practice.

HostPapa hosting provider has a policy of meeting hardware resources that are needed by websites, even when the site faces high-volume traffic, you are not charged extra for it. It seems pretty reasonable to us.

In the future, when your site grows too insanely large they will impose certain constraints on the performance of your site, so it doesn’t have an impact on other users. However, if you are just starting out, you don’t have to worry about this as of now.


HostPapa hosting provider doesn’t offer monthly billing. We had spoken with their team and requested for a temp account to help us try the interface, but that didn’t work out. The process for basic checkout is very simple.

We had taken the starter package; you must select your time and plan commitment. This will help you understand the amount of money you will need to pay towards it.

You will see two add-ons that are high-priced and labelled at the bottom as “Website Essentials”, the add-ons are available at a yearly fee of $20.

The site has an icon, “SiteLock Security Seal”, it’s nothing but SiteLock protection for your site. We also like the auto backup.

Both the above features are optional, but it doesn’t have a check box, so it isn’t obvious. When you go over the icon using your mouse, you will notice the icon of the checkmark turning into X icon and changes colour to red.

If you look to the right, you will see a sidebar that displays the order total; this will help you to cancel any add-ons that you feel you don’t need at the moment.

You will then come to the sign-up section for the domain name. Here, you can make a payment for the privacy of your domain. This will protect all your sensitive data from domain databases like WHOIS.

Soon after this, you will need to enter all your payment and personal information. It is a very simple process; however, you need to pay close attention to the add-ons that are high-priced; if you don’t need them, ensure to cancel them initially.

Customer Support

HostPapa has a strong knowledge base. This knowledge base has plenty of articles categorized according to the topics. This makes it easier to find what you are looking for if you have any basic queries about starting up with a new add-on or product that you have bought.

HostPapa also has a community forum, and all their customers are on this forum. This is a customer support forum where people answer questions and share experiences.

This is also a good place to get help, as there is a high chance that someone must have had an issue like you and now has experience tackling it.

Apart from this, they also have Live Chat support that is available 24×7. You can also reach out to them via ticketing and phone.

Whenever you find yourself in need of support that’s advanced, reach out to the live chat assistance.

But if you are in a situation where you would like to check the status of the server, you can go to the Network Status Page; here, you will know if your server has any issues. This page will inform you if there is a planned maintenance scheduled. This will give you a chance to plan things accordingly.

Value for your Money and Pricing

The shared web hosting plans have a monthly range of $3.95 with a commitment of three years and goes up to a monthly fee of $20 for the Pro package with no special discounts.

If you go in for the WordPress hosting dedicated plan, you will get a better performance with specialized assistance for WordPress blogs.

The monthly plan is similar to $3.95 with a commitment of three years to a monthly fee of $22 for the Pro level.

If you plan on the VPS hosting, they offer their customers five different price ranges, starting from a monthly package of $50 and goes up to $300.

We would like to talk about a couple of things we liked about HostPapa’s service.

When we signed up, we were looking forward to optimizing on the service they had to offer and see how much we can push through and get out of it. Here’s what we found;


Great Uptime

I am glad to let you know that since day one, HostPapa has kept to their word and offered us a good uptime.

In the twelve months that we tried them, we had an average uptime of 99.98%. That means we had downtime of two hours in twelve months. This is very good, I must say.

Let me tell you, and this might come as a surprise, but there are plenty of hosts in the market who struggle with one of the most essential factors a host must have, that is, keeping the website live!

Excellent Loading Speed

The first thing that we search for in a web host is fast loading speed. If the host offers multiple features that are unique at an economical price, it is of no use, if your page doesn’t load in time for your visitors, you are going to be at a major loss. This is directly connected to the experience of your user.

HostPapa gave us an average of 570 ms load time in the last year. This is a strong reason they have made it to the pros section.

HostPapa has offered us a steady load time the entire year. I agree it is not fast as Hostinger or A2 Hosting, but it is faster than a few hosts we know.

Support Options

They provide their customers with support options that are extensive and in multiple ways. HostPapa has set up a virtual library that is huge and has multiple self-help videos.

Their customer support team is available 24×7, 365 days to assist you with your concerns. They are available via live chat, ticketing, phone, email, fax and mail as well.

They support their customers in 18 different countries via phone. We haven’t seen any company reach out to their customers at this scale.

Not only this, but they also have a unique service of reaching out to clients in multiple languages that include; English, Spanish, French and German.

You can connect with them in a session that’s known as Papa Squad Experts. You can connect with these experts through a phone or video conference. These sessions are person-to-person; in this way, you get special attention.

It was time to check their live chat support, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that an executive responded to us almost immediately.

We also got a swift response for all our queries, and it was all under two minutes.

Security Features

The shared plans have multiple proactive security features like; network monitoring, SSL certificate, redundancy Raid-10, DDoS attack responses and prevention, intrusion and monitoring detection, server firewall, brute force, and more.

An extensive list of features is also included in the cheapest plan. In future, when you decide to go in for the Pro plan, you will receive additional features like; auto site backups, dedicated IP address, SSL certificate – Premium Wildcard, and privacy protection for your domain.

Spam protection is something that you should never stress about, and they have you covered. It feels good to know that someone is always watching your back.

Domain Name, Site Migration and Refund Policy

Just like most hosts offer, HostPapa also offers a 30 days refund policy. They will also help you to transfer your site to another site for free.

Upon sign up, if you commit to a year with HostPapa, they offer you a domain name for free. However, it is free for a year.

Starter Price has Good Value

The basic package is available for $2.95, and it is for the initial three years. We were very happy with it because, unlike other hosts, they offered a variety of features like; unmetered bandwidth, email accounts – 10, SSD Storage – 100 GB, and the domain registration is free.

It’s amazing, Isn’t it!

And guess what, the features don’t stop here; they also offered us Essential Features that included; website builder, which permitted us to use +400 applications, SSL certificate, Cloudflare CDN, and web migration for free.

Overall we found it offered good value. Many hosts would charge us for all these extras, which would have increased our pricing tremendously; it wouldn’t be available at a monthly price of $2.95.

Green Hosting Services

If you’re keen on investing in an environment-friendly host, HostPapa is apt for you. They have claimed to have made a public announcement of going green.

This is a wonderful initiative by the company to make a humble contribution towards the welfare of the environment.

HostPapa purchases renewable energy in order to power their office space, servers, office laptops and computers.

Control Panels

The client area that HostPapa has made is logical. It is extremely user-friendly and allows the customer to access websites, billing settings, domains and profiles.

Anything to do with your web hosting account can be handled from here.

HostPapa uses cPanel as its control panel. You will find an icon with My cPanel in the client area; select it.

The cPanel control panel is very popular among various hosts and users for a simple reason being; it is extremely simple to use and is very innovative. This is best suited to advanced users as well as beginners.

We do agree that HostPapa has some excellent features to offer and we enjoyed their services; however, somethings they can do better;


Renewable Prices are High

HostPapa’s starter package begins at a monthly price of $2.95, which requires a 3 years commitment. Yes, we have got a good bargain for our money.

But, as soon as the initial term ends, the prices increase by almost double. Let me explain this; the renewal prices are;

  1. Starter Plan: monthly fee of $9.99
  2. Business Plan: monthly fee of $14.99
  3. Business Pro Plan: monthly fee of $23.99

All of them come with a commitment term of 3 years. That’s paying a notable amount of money as advanced fees.

So, after taking a closer look at the features offered and the renewing fees, the value for your money ratio doesn’t look so good.

Quick Facts

  • Free Domain Registration: They do offer you a domain for free but, that’s free for the initial one year.
  • Easy sign-up: They have a very straightforward sign-up process, unlike most hosts in the market.
  • Method of Payment: You can make your payment either by credit card or using PayPal.
  • Refund Policy: Like most hosts in the market, they offer a 30-day full refund of your money. For this, you need to make your request within the initial 30 days of application.
  • Hidden Clauses and Fees: The prices they mention in their ads are applicable just for the initial term. The renewal charges are very steep. If you plan to make use of the refund policy, you will incur a charge of $29.99 as a setup fee.
  • Upsell: Like most companies, we have come across upsells, but they have been very few.
  • Account Activation: The activation of our account wasn’t as quick as we wanted it to be. It tools a while.
  • Dashboard and Control Panel Experience: We have a very good experience as HostPapa uses cPanel.
  • CMS and Installs of Apps: They have many CMSs like Joomla, WordPress etc., you can also, with much ease, install popular apps with the single-click install.

Our Thoughts

If you are wondering what is our final take and if we would recommend HostPapa, then I must say, yes, we most certainly recommend using HostPapa. You can also check our Greengeeks review.

We regularly review and monitor the services offered by HostPapa, and I must say they have come a long way. Their quality of service is increasing as the years pass.

I agree they are in no way close to the big players in the market, but they are not the worst either and believe me, we have seen the worst.

They offer the unique feature of being eco-friendly, which is not common in the market. If you’re keen on getting an eco-friendly web host, then do read more about GreenGeeks in our review.

The only drawback we noticed is the renewable charges are too high. So, if you’re not on a tight budget and can invest that kind of money, we encourage you to go for it!

Do share your comments and suggestions with us. All the best, cheers!