HostMonster is yet another company offering web hosting services in the budget-priced category. Is there anything to distinguish HostMonster from all the rest? Do they really offer hosting plans with the features of a VPS at a more affordable price, as their home page claims? You’ll find out by reading this review.
Is HostMonster the Same as BlueHost?
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For the most part, HostMonster is BlueHost with a different brand (in fact, if you search for HostMonster on Wikipedia.org, you will be directed to an entry on BlueHost). These sister companies are both part of the huge hosting conglomerate, Endurance International Group, which includes lots of other brands such as iPage, HostGator, JustHost, FatCow and many others. Between HostMonster, BlueHost and the third “sister”, FastDomain, they represent one of the biggest hosting services in the world, hosting over 1.9 million domains worldwide.
Both BlueHost and HostMonster are headquartered in Provo, Utah and share more similarities than differences, including the same physical address.
However, HostMonster maintains its own social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. Updates are sporadic, but at least it appears someone is trying to maintain the pages to provide information about downtime, attacks and changes, etc. BlueHost does a far better of engaging users via social media and they enjoy a much larger fan base and active pages.
Both the BlueHost and the HostMonster brands offer pretty much the exact same product (shared hosting service) at the same price (from $4.95 per month). Like so many other companies in the hosting business these days, you get unlimited domains, space, bandwidth and site file transfers. The company also started to offer dedicated and VPS hosting recently. With an upgrade to VPS (price starts at $29.99/mo) and dedicated hosting (price starts at $149.99/mo), your site will be hosted on faster servers, ave access to a few more features and be able to use more CPU and memory.
For additional information about the specifics of HostMonster hosting packages, please refer to our BlueHost review.
Will HostMonster Throttle Your Site?
If you have ever heard the term “CPU throttling” chances are it was in conjunction with BlueHost web hosting. Just as HostMonster shares packages, pricing and features with BlueHost, it also shares the other company’s tendency to reduce the amount of resources to a particular site if they determine it is using too many of the resources on a shared server.
It could also be that you have uploaded too many files; the limit on the amount of “unlimited” files is actually 200,000. Going over this limit could result in CPU throttling of your site, as well.
Likely you won’t even realize your website has been throttled unless you start getting complaints from visitors about page loading time and/or downtime.
The worst part of this practice is that HostMonster doesn’t always identify the correct website. Your site could suffer when it isn’t even causing the issue. For more information about CPU throttling, refer again to my BlueHost review or Jerry’s previous post: Bluehost and Hostmonster Users Alert – CPU Throttling.
Updates From Jerry Low
We still hold the test account on Hostmonster at this time of writing and use it to host a mini site named Hostmonster Secret Revealed. The site receives less than 100 visitors per day and our account is actively receiving CPU throttling on daily basis. I used to like Hostmonster very much, but after reading more than hundred of complaints in my the HostMonster/BlueHost CPU throttling post, I can never say that anymore. I have no idea why BlueHost/HostMonster management is allowing this to happen but I hope they will fix it some day in the future.
Support That Doesn’t Make the Grade
In addition to the CPU throttling, another disadvantage you will find with HostMonster is customer support that really isn’t all that supportive. Although they offer an extensive help center online and a diverse number of ways to contact their team, current customers have nothing good to say about the responses they’ve received from customer service reps. A common complaint? CPU throttling or adverse actions taken against websites that exceed the limits of “unlimited” space and bandwidth.
Let’s go back to the HostMonster website for a minute…remember that claim about offering the same features as a VPS with a shared hosting plan? That refers to upgrading your account to the Pro package which moves your file to a less crowded server. You also get “more” CPU, memory and resources – but HostMonster does not define just how much that is. So, yep, that’s what you get for an additional $15 per month.
And if you have anything other than a small, personal website based in the United States, HostMonster itself admits their hosting service isn’t right for you. According to their Terms of Service, “Hostmonster’s service is designed to meet the typical needs of small business and home business website Subscribers in the United States. It is NOT intended to support the sustained demand of large enterprises, internationally based businesses, or non-typical applications better suited to a dedicated server.”
That leaves out a lot of potential clientele.
The Low Down on HostMonster
Just like BlueHost, I simply can’t recommend HostMonster based on:
- CPU throttling
- File, bandwidth and storage limits
- Poor customer service rating
There are plenty of other web hosting services that offer the same features and a comparable price. Instead of choosing either HostMonster or Bluehost, try InMotion Hosting, A2 Hosting or HostGator for larger or commercial sites and perhaps iPage, WebHostingHub, or even GreenGeeks for smaller, uncomplicated sites.
Sometimes bigger just isn’t better.
Order HostMonster Now
For more details or to order HostMonster, visit (link opens in new window): http://www.hostmonster.com