Despite the cheap, locked-for-life price tag, HostMetro is not recommended due to the major drawbacks I discovered recently. Should you choose to proceed with this host - be extra caution and backup your website frequently.
My overall experience with HostMetro in the beginning (2014) was good but I no longer recommend them today. I am grateful that the company still allows me to keep the test account 6 years later today – but I wouldn't host any important sites with HostMetro given the many drawbacks I observed in the past 2 years. A few major issues I experienced include:
Lack of live chat support – Can't reach out to anyone from the company via live chat after trying for hours
Can't access SSL page from my user dashboard – hence can't install a free SSL manually
Can't find any meaningful help from Host Metro knowledgebase / support documents.
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.
Mega Max, the cheaper of the two plans, rings in at just $2.95 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 $6.95 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.
HostMetro Advantages – Features You Might Like
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)*
Renewal Price (per month)
5-Year Hosting Cost(Signup for 2 years + renewal for 3 years)
* 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.
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.
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)
Conclusion: Not Recommended
At the end of the day, HostMetro's $2.95/mo (for 3-year subscription) is a huge plus for deals hunters.
However, HostMetro's uptime record and lack of support are two major concerns – no matter how cheap they are, I certainly do not recommend hosting services that go down frequently. Given the low price tag, they may be right for your not-so-important project; but definitely don't host anything important with the Metro.
(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”. )
About Jerry Low
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.
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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.