The world of hosting is continually evolving with players changing positions and new ones entering the market – such is the case with HostMetro, an Illinois-based hosting company established on June 23, 2012 (check WhoIs record here).
This Linux-based, cPanel shared hosting provider specializes in budget-friendly hosting plans. Specifically, HostMetro offers shared hosting solutions via two plans: Mega Max and Business Max – more on that to come. The company operates its data center out of ServerCentral located at 350 E. Cermak (got this after some digging work).
HostMetro Hosting Plans
As mentioned, the Metro operates in the budget hosting space. It offers just two plans which offer subscribers a simple choice, not to mention heavily discounted rates.
Both plans are shared hosting environment plans that include cloud technology, a money-back guarantee, plenty of “unlimited” features, including unlimited hosted domains; parked domains; and sub domains, unlimited email accounts, a free shared SSL, e-commerce features, PHP support, Cron jobs, streaming audio and video, and Flash support – to name just a few of the perks.
Mega Max, the cheaper of the two plans, rings in at just $2.45 per month. There are some add-on options, such as the domain privacy which is an extra $.50 each month, e-commerce SSL certificates ($2.50 per month), and e-commerce SiteLock Security Seal ($2.50 per month). Additionally, there are a handful of e-commerce perks not included with the plan, such as a free business directory listing, SEO e-book, or an SEO consultation – but all perks, not core features that you need to get your site up and running.
The Business Max hosting plan starts at $4.95 per month and includes those “pay-for extras” from the Mega Max plan, not to mention the bundle of e-commerce goodies.
Either plan comes with term discounts – those ultra-low rates are for the three-year plan, though one and two-year terms are also available.
Exclusive Discount: HostMetro at $1.84/mo
HostMetro Hosting discount – $1.84/mo for first contract
Use coupon code: WHSR – insert coupon code “WHSR” at your order page and get 25% discount. Hosting price starts at $1.84/mo when you order 3-year.
To order HostMetro at this discounted price, click this link to order now (opens in new window).
HostMetro Advantages – Features You Might Like
My HostMetro experience (tested since June 2014) in overall is good. Whichever way you go, there are a handful of advantages to hosting with HostMetro.
Renewal Rate Lock Guarantee
Most other budget hosting organizations offer new subscribers with fantastically low rates – however, when subscribers need to renew their hosting contract, they are forced to do so at a much higher rate. Thankfully, HostMetro offers a great alternative – Host Metro subscribers get to renew at their same low introductory rate forever.
|Signup Price (per month)*||$3.45||$3.99||$6.26||$4.95||$5.90|
|Renewal Price (per month)||$3.45||$8.99||$8.95||$6.99||$6.95|
|5-Year Hosting Cost(Signup for 2 years + renewal for 3 years)||$3.45 x 60mo=$207||($3.99 x 12mo) + ($8.99 x 48mo)=|
|($6.26 x 24mo) + ($8.95 x 36mo)=|
|($4.95 x 24mo) + ($6.99 x 36mo)=|
|($5.90 x 24mo) + ($6.95 x 36mo)=|
|Review||WHH Review||Hostgator Review||BlueHost Review||G.Geeks Review|
|* All hosting price based on 2-year contract (via WHSR’s exclusive deals) on first signup except for WebHostingHub (option N/A).|
Great Values with Add-on Services
Even though there are a few add-on services not included in the base rate (particularly the case with the lowest cost plan), the fees for those add-ons are impressively low. For example, domain privacy with HostMetro will run you $0.50 per month – however, GoDaddy charges $10 per year.
Reliable Web Host
You know the rule of thumb – anything less than a 99.9% uptime guarantee is a no go. Host Metro’s servers ran an impressive 99.92% overall uptime for the period July 2012-July 2013. This is according to the officials, but I do have a Nagious uptime report (see image below) as proof from HostMetro’s manager. Additionally, the site response rate ranges from 1,000 – 2,400 ms (see uptime record for more details) – not too shabby for a super affordable shared host.
Each hosting account on HostMetro’s server is isolated – which really means that if another user encounters a resource spike, your site’s performance won’t be negatively affected.
Speedy Live Chat Support
I personally contacted HostMetro live chat support at 4 p.m. in the afternoon (3-5 a.m. in the United States) and got a reply in less than one minute – that’s pretty darn impressive.
Clear Terms of Service
One thing that you’ll find consistently is that many hosting companies – especially budget hosting companies – have terms of service statements that are a bit vague at best. HostMetro blessedly provides a clear terms of service with defined parameters – which allows you to know where that “unlimited” really hits the line. With HostMetro, each account is limited to 200,000 inodes and hosting accounts may not use more than 10 percent of the system resources for longer than 90 seconds. See? Clear.
Quoted from HostMetro’s TOS (dated August 18, 2014)
HostMetro accounts are limited to 200,000 inodes. In the event that an account is using over 200,000, the account owner may be warned about the account usage, and if no action is taken the account may be suspended…
Hosting accounts may not use 10% or more of system resources (CPU, memory) for longer than 90 seconds. If an account is found to exceed this amount the process may be killed or account suspended without notice. Activities that may cause such issues include: FTP, PHP scripts, CTI scripts, etc.
Disadvantages – Important to Know
No host is perfect and HostMetro is no exception – however, I have found limited downfalls.
HostMetro Uptime = 98.6% on First 30 Days
One is with regard to server reliability. My test site was constantly unreachable in early June/July, causing the overall uptime test to drop to 98.6%. The Metro manager did explain that this was due to a configuration error on the server I am testing. Quoting his words:
We did have an issue with the server your test account is on, for some reason it went read-only so our admins had to run a file systems check to make sure everything was stable. That is the reason for the downtime. It isn’t something that happens normally, however.
If it helps at all I have attached a screenshot of our Nagios uptime report for the server over the past year, which shows a downtime of less than 7 hours in total.
– Host Metro manager, Kyle Dolan.
Update Dec 2014: HostMetro’s bad uptime record continues as we move into the last month of 2014. Be sure to check our uptime records below for more info.
HostMetro is Relative New
My second reservation is that, in the hosting world, HostMetro is very new. This means that there is limited data available as to reliability, performance, etc., –however, the low renewal pricing offsets this issue somewhat in my mind.
HostMetro Uptime Records
We started testing HostMetro since June 2014. The following are some screenshots captured from Uptime Robot.
HostMetro Uptime – 99.92% (Jun/Jul 2016)
HostMetro Uptime – 99.38% (Mar 2016)
HostMetro Uptime – 99.49% (Feb 2016)
HostMetro Uptime – 99.61% (Sep 2015)
HostMetro Uptime – 98.82% (Nov/Dec 2014)
HostMetro Uptime – 99.56% (Jul/Aug 2014)
HostMetro Uptime – 98.59% (Jun/Jul 2014)
At the end of the day, I have to hand it to HostMetro as the best value hosting and, probably, the cheapest long-term web host out there.
But HostMetro’s uptime record is a major concern – no matter how cheap they are, I certainly do not recommend hosting services that go down frequently. If you were looking for the cheapest hosting options for your not-so-important project, then by all means go for it. Else, you might want to look elsewhere – check out my other budget hosting reviews, including iPage, eHost, Interserver, and A2 Hosting.
(P/S: The links pointing to HostMetro are affiliate links. If you purchase via this link or use my coupon code “WHSR”, HostMetro will credit me as referrer and pay me commission. This is how I keep this site alive for more than 6 years and add more free hosting reviews based on actual test account. Making a purchase via my link doesn’t cost you more – in fact, I guarantee that you’ll get the lowest possible price for HostMetro using promo code “WHSR”. )