HostMonster Review: Monster Hit Or Mistake For Your Hosting?

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Founded in 1996, HostMonster is a provider of high-powered web hosting services at prices that individuals and small businesses can afford.

Hostmonster Homepage Screenshot
Hostmonster Homepage Screenshot

The company boasts reliable web hosting backed by solid customer service. Read on to see if HostMonster is the choice for your next website.

Web Hosting Options

Unlike many other providers that offer a wide array of options, HostMonster offers just three types of web hosting: shared and VPS hosting and dedicated servers. Within each type of hosting, you have several options at a variety of price points.

Shared Hosting

HostMonster’s shared hosting plans are full-featured options that get you everything you need to get up and running with your website. Whether you’re launching just one site or many sites, you can use this plan.

Resource-wise, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth and data transfer. You’ll also get a free domain name, access to HostMonster’s drag and drop website builder, and a cPanel to manage your website.

When it comes to data storage, you can choose from MySQL or PostgreSQL databases. If you’re doing some custom back-end scripting, your plan supports PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby. For the front-end, you can use JavaScript.

HostMonster’s servers all run Linux, and the company monitors its networks 24/7. It also makes automatic backups in the case there are issues with the server.

MOJO Marketplace

To extend the functionality of your website, HostMonster has partnered with MOJO Marketplace to offer you over 100 open-source apps, plugins, and themes that can be yours with just one click. By taking advantage of the one-click installer, you can add or install things like message boards, mailing lists, image galleries, Drupal, Joomla, and more.

E-Commerce Support

If you’re looking to launch an online store in addition to your website, HostMonster offers the functionality you need to do so quickly. You can also be assured that your customer’s private data stays out of the hands of unauthorized users.

Your hosting plan includes:

  • An SSL certificate
  • Your choice of shopping cart integration (OS Commerce, Agora, Cube Cart, or Zen Cart)
  • Password-protected directories
  • Encryption

VPS Hosting

If you’ve outgrown your shared hosting plan, or you want to get started with a more resource-intensive plan (perhaps you are expecting rapid growth in terms of traffic levels in the near future), HostMonster offers Linux-based VPS hosting options.

HostMonster’s VPS plans are cloud-based solutions that you can manage with the enhanced cPanel that comes with your package. If you need to grant access to multiple people for server management, you can do so. You’ll get full root administrative privileges, and you’re guaranteed the resources indicated in your hosting contract.

Unlike many other hosts, who require hours (or even days) to provision their servers, HostGator offers instant provisioning, so you can get up and running in just seconds.

VPS Plan Options

Currently, there are four different VPS plans from which you can choose.

The entry-level option gets you a dual-core environment, 2 GB of RAM, 30 GB of storage, 1 TB of bandwidth, a free domain name, and a dedicated IP address.

The next option up is also a dual-core environment, but you get twice as many resources as the entry-level plan. You can think of it as an enhanced version of the starter package.

The second-most-expensive option moves you from a dual-core environment into one that is triple core. You’ll get 6 GB of RAM, 90 GB of storage, 2 TB of bandwidth per month, a free domain name, and two dedicated IP addresses.

The top-tier plan is a quad-core environment that comes with 8 GB of RAM, 120 GB of storage, 3 TB of bandwidth, a free domain name, and two dedicated IP addresses.

Dedicated Servers

HostMonster’s top-tier hosting option is its managed dedicated server which, unlike many of its competitors, can be provisioned in mere seconds. Currently, there are three different dedicated servers from which you can choose:

  • The entry-level server gets you a four-core environment with 3 MB of cache, 4 GB of RAM, 500 GB of storage (with RAID), 5 TB of data transfer per month, a free domain name, and three dedicated IP addresses.
  • The mid-range server is a four-core environment with 8 MB of cache. You’ll also 8 GB of RAM, 1000 GB of storage with RAID, 10 TB of bandwidth per month, a free domain name, and four dedicated IP addresses.
  • The high-end server** is also a four-core environment with 8 MB of cache, but you’ll get 16 GB of RAM, 1000 GB of storage with RAID, 15 TB of bandwidth, a free domain name, and five dedicated IP addresses.

Technical Support and Customer Service

HostMonster offers 24/7 technical support. You can get in touch with technicians via telephone, Live Chat, or the HostMonster support ticketing system.

In terms of self-help resources, HostMonster offers the following options:

  • Knowledgebase: search for individual articles that help you with a specific question or issue
  • Getting Started guides: a full guide you can use if you’re new to the HostMonster platform and need assistance getting up and running
  • Video tutorials: videos you can watch to learn how to set up things (like email) or implement certain functionality
  • User forum: post questions and crowdsource answers, as well as ideas for your website

Pricing and Billing

If you’re opting for a shared hosting plan, there are three options from which you can choose.

The entry-level option will get you support for one website, 50 GB of storage, 5 emails accounts (each of which supports 100 MB of data) and a free domain name.

The mid-range option gets you support for 10 websites, 150 GB of storage, 100 email accounts (each of which supports 500 MB of data), special marketing offers, and protection against spam.

The top-tier plan gets you support for an unlimited number of websites, as well as an unlimited allocation of resources (including email inboxes and storage). You’ll get premium marketing offers, spam protection, privacy protection, and automatic backups.

If you want a shared plan, but you’re interested in a high-performance server, HostMonster offers a Go PRO option that gets you a “souped up” version of the top-tier plan. This means that your website is hosted on a high-performance server, and you’ll get a dedicated IP address.

HostMonster bills their plans in cycles of 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. You’re required to pay upfront for your service, and the longer your contract, the greater your discount.

If you purchase a plan that doesn’t come with any of the following options, you can add them to your hosting package during checkout:

  • Domain Privacy Protection: keep your personal details (such as name, address, and phone number) unlisted when HostMonster goes to register your new domain name
  • Site Backup Pro: automatic back-ups of your website that you can use to restore your website if there are any server hiccups resulting in data loss
  • Search Engine Jumpstart: get assistance with making sure that your site is found in search engine results
  • SiteLock Security: prove yourself to be a safe and legitimate entity to your visitors by verifying your credentials and displaying the certificate you earn
  • Comodo PositiveSSL Bundle: if you’re engaging in e-commerce, help protect your customers’ sensitive information with an SSL certificate

Billing of VPS Plans and Dedicated Servers

VPS hosting plans, as well as dedicated servers, are billed slightly differently from shared plans. You can choose to pay for VPS plans on a monthly basis, but you can also pay upfront for extended contracts lasting 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months in exchange for a discount.

You can also add to your purchase Domain Privacy Protection, Search Engine Jumpstart, and/or SiteLock Security.

Summary

HostMonster is a provider of shared and VPS hosting plans, as well as dedicated servers, at reasonable prices. Its aim is to provide quality offerings to individuals, small businesses, or those who are looking for options that are reliable and are backed by solid customer service. If you’re looking to get started with your first website, HostMonster is a solid option. Its entry-level shared plans are inexpensive ways to get your website up and running, and if you ever run into issues, you can get in touch with the friendly and helpful customer support team.

Not completely sure that HostMonster is the provider for you? HostMonster offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you find that the option you chose isn’t the right fit for you, cancel your subscription and receive a full refund of all fees you paid.

Finally, be sure to take advantage of our special offer to save on your purchase of web hosting services.
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Your Review of HostMonster

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Katie began her tech career as a C# developer before turning her hand to technical writing. She still codes regularly but these days she can be found writing about web development, coding and technology for HTML.com and our sister websites.
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