Founded in 2006 by Jamie Opalchuk, HostPapa, an Ontario-based web hosting company, provides small businesses, web designers, and resellers with a number of web solutions.
Those solutions include shared web hosting, virtual private server (VPS) hosting plans for small businesses, a drag-and-drop website builder, and a powerful multi-site reseller option for designers and IT firms.
The company states that the goal is to give every customer the full-featured hosting packages they are looking for, backed by excellent customer service. HostPapa was named 27th Annual PROFIT 500 Ranking of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2015.
I had some good experience with HostPapa in 2010 – I was helping a non-profit organization and setup a site on HostPapa. Their server was always up and running and most importantly for a non-profit, the hosting costs with Papa was ultra-cheap. That was 10 years ago. I left HostPapa after my charity project ended and never look back… until recently.
In December 2016, I did an interview with the company founder, Jamie Opalchuk. It was a fruitful session. Mr. Jamie was very helpful, very knowledgeable, and transparent with his company operations. The company was under some negative PR attack and some people left a false claim on the company in some popular forums. And I was able to prove them wrong after did my own investigation.
After the interview, I decided that I wanted to learn more about HostPapa again. So I got an account (Business Pro) at HostPapa and setup a new test site on. After some extensive research of their service and testings – I was surprise to find out that HostPapa shared hosting are quite affordable (see my cheap hosting guide for comparison) at signup and their performance is above average.
In all honesty, I wouldn't and say HostPapa is the best in everything. They are not. But in case you were considering a Canadian web host or a shared hosting provider that doesn't break your wallet – I think they are worth checking upon.
In this review, I am going to share my personal experience with the Papa, as well as server test results I collected throughout the years. Hopefully by bringing you to the backstage and showing you “behind the scenes” actions, you can make a better decision on where to host your website.
We received some feedback from both company CEO, Jamie Opalchuk as well as company Marketing Director, Dave Price, after this review is published – part of the responses from the company is published under “HostPapa Plans and Pricing”.
I will also share a special deal for WHSR visitors only at the bottom of this page – you'll get 58% discount on all HostPapa shared plans with this deal.
Photos of HostPapa Office
HostPapa Plans & Pricing
There are many things that I like about HostPapa’s shared hosting plans. I find that they offer a strong value proposition, actually giving you your money’s worth. For example, The Starter plan kicks in at just $3.36 a month (with our discount link) and allows you to host two websites. That’s less than what a cuppa at Starbucks would set you back.
Resources allocated are decent as well. You get 100GB of disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain name. You also get 100 email accounts, access to over 200 free apps, and the use of the starter version of an excellent drag-and-drop website builder – all with the excellent speed and security of a good host.
|Host||Full Refund Trial||Signup Price||Number of Sites||Learn More|
|A2 Hosting||Anytime||$3.92/mo||1||Read Review|
|BlueHost||30 days||$2.95/mo||1||Read Review|
|Hostgator||45 days||$2.75/mo||1||Read Review|
|Hostinger||30 days||$0.80/mo||1||Read Review|
|InMotion Hosting||90 days||$3.99/mo||2||Read Review|
|Interserver||30 days||$5.00/mo||Unlimited||Read Review|
|TMD Hosting||60 days||$2.95/mo||1||Read Review|
FYI – WHSR backs all our reviews with data. We operate test sites on all hosts, conduct speed tests using independent tools, and have established a sister site to track host performance. You can see HostPapa's latest server performance on this page.
HostPapa wasn't always great in the past. There was a time when my test site goes down very often and I reduced their star rating to just 3 stars. In mid-2017, there was some frequent short outages for my test site – you can see one of the records below where their uptime score is below 99.8% for one whole month.
The situation has improved a lot since then. With average server uptime in excess of 99.9%, HostPapa can be considered as being in the upper range of stable hosts.
October / November 2018: 100%
June / July 2018: 100%
May 2018: 100%
June 2017: 99.75%
Do take note that HostPapa does have a solid service level agreement (SLA) in place and guarantees 99.9% uptime to all of their shared hosting users.
The fact that environmental sustainability and service affordability goes hand in hand with HostPapa is something remarkable. Hostpapa is one of the cheapest green hosting services available in the market. HostPapa's Business plan costs $3.95/mo which is pretty good compared to similar hosting plans from GreenGeeks and HostGator at $5.95/mo.
In case you’re wondering – HostPapa has taken the initiative of going green since 2006 by buying renewable energy to power its servers and offices.
After an energy audit by a third-party provider (Green-e.org, for example) to calculate HostPapa’s electrical energy consumption from traditional sources, they purchased “green energy tags” from a certified clean energy supplier.
That supplier calculates the total energy consumption of HostPapa operations – from servers to office equipment – then uses their suppliers of green energy to pump in 100% in equivalent energy back into the power grid.
This effectively cuts down on the carbon dioxide-producing (CO2) energy that we normally would consume from non-green energy sources.
Learn more about how green hosting works in Timothy's article.
I spoke a few times with HostPapa live chat support staff in the past and was very happy with their performance. My inquiries were responded to very quickly and the support staff was all very helpful. Refer to the image below for my recent chat transcript where I named myself “J”.
Also worth mentioning – HostPapa is Better Business Bureau accredited since 13/8/2010 and A+ rated (at the time of writing).
I like the fact that there are five VPS and reseller hosting plans to choose from. Having this breadth of options to upgrade and expand your hosting server is important.
Budget hosting companies often pull down their signup price to attract new customers. The same goes with HostPapa – you will have to pay a much higher rate – $7.99/$12.99/$19.99/mo for Starter, Business, and Business Pro upon renewal of your service contract.
Unlike many major hosting companies which give their customers a strategic choice of data center locations, HostPapa has clustered theirs within North America and Canada. Although this does give them good control over the quality of data centers they work with, it doesn’t help their customers who want to target web traffic from other regions.
The result is a higher latency for visitors of those websites since they have to be routed over to North America.
For only $3.95/mo, HostPapa users get 100GB disk storage space, unlimited bandwidth, 25 databases,and 100 email accounts as well as one-click application installation support, the latest PHP and MySQL versions, basic SSL support, and more.
That’s pretty much at the top end of the line of what other shared hosting providers are offering at this price range of plans.
Message from Dave Price, HostPapa Marketing Director
We are not the same company we were a couple years ago. The infrastructure is upgraded/enhanced for better performance, the support channels are even stronger, we offer 30 minute free private sessions to help customers on a topic they want help with in addition to the 24/7 support in 4 languages via chat, ticket, and phone, plus we now have incredible VPS offerings, etc.
You can find out more about Hostpapa hosting plans in tables below, or simply visit HostPapa online at https://www.hostpapa.com/ for official information.
|Disk Storage||100 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|HostPapa Website Builder||Starter Edition||Starter Edition||Unlimited Edition|
|Wildcard SSL||+ $69.99/year||+ $69.99/year||Free|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB||32 GB|
|SSD Storage||60 GB||125 GB||250 GB||500 GB||1 TB|
|Data Transfer||1 TB||2 TB||2 TB||4 TB||8 TB|
|Signup Price **||$19.99/mo||$59.99/mo||$109.99/mo||$149.99/mo||$249.99/mo|
* Note: It's important to note that HostPapa is offering managed VPS hosting at an additional cost of $19/mo. The cost is optional. Meaning that if you want HostPapa to take care of your server issues such as security audit, network issues, software upgrades, migration, and firewall setup, you need to pay extra. Otherwise, you have to choose the self-managed option.
**VPS signup price is based on 36-month term and renew at the same price.
Is HostPapa any good?
HostPapa offers decent value for money plans and has relatively strong uptime based on our hosting tests. However, you should be aware that HostPapa increase their susbcription price after the first term – you should check out their renewal pricing in this review before you decide.
Where are HostPapa servers located?
HostPapa claims to have multiple server locations across the globe, but during the sign-up process, only two are available for shared hosting – Canada and the United States.
How do I use HostPapa website builder?
The HostPapa Website Builder is located under its Website Tools section. Launching it will open a graphic user interface-driven system that works based on a series of settings and widgets.
Does HostPapa have green hosting?
Yes. HostPapa has been buying renewable energy credits to offset its carbon footprint since 2006.
How do I cancel HostPapa?
To cancel a HostPapa service, log in to your dashboard and expand the ‘MyServices' tab. Expand the service area you wish to cancel and click on ‘Details'. From there, look for the ‘Request Cancellation' button.
Do I recommend HostPapa? Yes. I especially like their feature-rich plans and low signup prices.
But is HostPapa the best web host in market? I would probably say no. The expensive renewal prices push them out of budget shared hosting and will likely be a strain on the bottom line of many smaller websites..
If for some reason you want your website to be hosted in the U.S. or Canada, then HostPapa is definitely one of the best choices.
HostPapa is usually compared with the following hosting providers.
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Not all HostPapa deals are the same. As HostPapa's exclusive partner, WHSR is able to give you the best-discounted rate (58% off Starter plan). To get this offer, use coupon code “WHSR”; or simply click on this promo link.
This special discount is applicable to all shared hosting plans – Starter, Business, and Business Pro. The table below shows the prices before and after discount for 3 years subscription.
|HostPapa||Normal Price||With Discount||Savings (3 Years)|
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