Today web hosting has a wide array of options ranging from free to paid hosting. Do you find it difficult to decide which hosting platform suits your requirement?
Well, I will make your task simpler by providing some good and not so good insights through my review about HostMonster.com
About the company:
A brief about HostMonster is, they have been providing hosting solutions since 1996. They are part of the Endurance International Group- EIG which also provides shared support to other hosting platforms such as Bluehost, HostGator, A Small Orange.
They have an office in Provo, Utah in the United States, which is one of the reasons they have a major chunk of clients, about 63% of US.
With HostMonster, you can either register a new domain or can use an existing domain and they do provide multiple hosting options.
Not a very large number, but about 17,807 companies use HostMonster. Well, mainly chosen by smaller-sized companies with less than 50 employees.
Uptime and Reliability:
HostMonster guarantees maximum uptime. However, I found no specific percentage demarcation on the level of uptime.
On Further analysis, I came across a Network/Server agreement which states that though they maintain best in industry uptime, they do experience downtime caused due to traffic congestion, hardware failure, activities by clients or file corruption.
Roughly they take about 15 minutes to resolve the issue but can take additional time based on the issue.
In certain cases, this could take hours and in some rare cases could take a day to get the server up and running.
Next speaking about their reliability, they use quality equipment along with several tools for administration and maintain secure backups. Their quality customer services are extremely reliable.
Their base KVM hypervisor and OpenStack integration, make hosting affordable and almost instantaneous. They have engineers monitor servers 24/7 and are built with industrial grade Intel Xeon processors and CentOS.
On a positive note, I found the website to be transparent about their services.
Let me now review and put forth some insights about their feature list.
Interestingly they have several features catering to business and individual requirements, also catering to the budget needs. Along with VPS, dedicated, cloud and shared hosting, they also have some add-on features such as backup, SEO optimization.
They have provided 4 VPS hosting options:
- Ultimate- has the highest configuration
The difference in these plans is in speed and storage configurations.
If you choose dedicated hosting, you can directly contact a dedicated specialist.
They have 3 options for dedicated hosting-
- Premium- has the highest configuration in terms of storage and speed.
In case of dedicated hosting, they provide mirrored storage where data gets automatically protected in RAID 1.
Some other features include enhanced performance and caching through its write-back cache with inbuilt RAM.
With dedicated storage, you can add additional SAN storage at any point, starting from 500 GB to 2 TB.
They do have some special privileges for Dedicated hosting such as a separate customer support line.
Though they have a money back guarantee, there are some fine print terms for this and refunds are allowed only within 30 days of the trial period. The good news is, you can still transfer the domain name, though there are some fine print terms and conditions around this.
|Free Domain Name||1 year|
|Support International Domain||Yes|
|Site Transfer||Unlimited GB|
Well, they also allow easy switching over to dedicated hosting which is extremely simple using their inbuilt Control Panel upgrade option.
In case you register a domain at the time of signing up for hosting account, it has a small non-refundable domain fee.
The good news is; you can still retain your domain name while switching between HostMonster or any other hosting platform.
Some other features included are free website scripts, e-commerce features, multi-media features along with CGI/Database support.
They have a decent enough feature list with Dual Quad Processor, UPS/Diesel Generator power backups, 24/7 network monitoring, on request site backups, multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections.
The easiest way to get in touch is through their live chat option.
I tried the live chat option and to my surprise, in less than 3 seconds I was allocated with a technical assistant. I asked several questions about the hosting options and pricing details. Well, the assistant patiently explained me each of these in details.
The support person provided me, with relevant links to give additional information about hosting services and pricing options.
I feel the key highlight is, the technical assistant also provided suggestions on the best hosting option based on my requirement. They also allow you to rate the chat once you finish.
I consider live chat to be the most suitable option for technical queries.
Other options I found are- to raise tickets for queries related to sales, affiliates, billing, and verification. The site also contains relevant demo tutorials which are helpful.
You can also use call option as an alternative to chat option, with toll-free numbers. And yes not to forget they have the email option as well
Kudos!! For the efficient support they have.
HostMonster Plans & Pricing:
Now the most interesting part is their pricing options. On a positive note, they have a number of affordable options.
When you sign up by default, you would see shared hosting options. They have 3 plans for shared hosting:
Shared Hosting Plans
|Space||50 GB||150 GB||Unmetered|
|Number of Sites||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|More Details||More Details||More Details|
I started with the Basic plan evaluation. This is the least cost hosting option and probably you would be interested if you just want to host 1 website.
For basic plan setup fee and domain registration is free. Other paid services included are Domain Privacy Protection, Site Backup, SEO based optimization, SiteLock Security.
For Plus Plan, there is nothing additionally free, except some configuration differences.
Next moving on to the Prime plan, you additionally get free domain privacy protection and site backup.
A Brief Summary: In case you have a requirement for more than one website, then the prime plan would be more economical since both plus and prime, the cost is $6.95/month. There is no significant benefit of using a Plus package.
Additionally, they have a Go Pro option at $14.95/month. This includes everything present in Prime plan along with high-performance servers.
They have different pricing options for VPS, Dedicated IP and Cloud hosting.
For VPS you have 4 options:
VPS Hosting Plans
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB|
|Space||30 GB||60 GB||90 GB||120 GB|
|Core||Dual Core||Dual Core||Triple Core||Quad Core|
|More Details||More Details||More Details||More Details|
For each of this, you have payment details starting from minimum 1 month to maximum 36 months. These plans differ in server configurations, storage, and speed.
Standard VPS configuration uses- Dual Core, 2GB RAM, 1 TB/month.
Enhanced VPS configuration has a Dual core, 4GB RAM, 2 TB/month with 2 IPs. This starts at $29.99/month.
Premium package has Triple Core, 6GB RAM, 2 TB/month with 2 IPs. This starts at $44.99/month.
The Ultimate plan has Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 3 TB/month with 2 IPs. This starts at $59.99/month.
They have 3 options for Dedicated hosting:
Dedicated Hosting Plans
|RAM||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB|
|Space||500 GB||1000 GB||1000 GB|
|More Details||More Details||More Details|
The Standard plan provides 4 Cores, 8 threads Intel Xeon processor, 3 MB Cache, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB (RAID1), 5 TB/month with 3 IPs. This start at $79.99/month
The Enhanced plan consists of 4 Cores, 8 threads Intel Xeon processor, 8 MB cache, 8 GB RAM, 1000GB (RAID1), 10 TB/month with 4 IPs. This starts at $99.99/month
The Premium plan consists of 4 Cores, 8 threads Intel Xeon processor, 8 MB cache, 16 GB RAM, 1000 GB(RAID1), 15 TB/month with 5 IPs. This starts at $119.99/month.
Apart from this for dedicated hosting, you can add high-performance SAN storage. The pricing details are-
- 500 GB at $50.00/month
- 1 TB at $100.00/month
- 2 TB at $200.00/month
Overall I can see a good mix of economical and high budget hosting options. Though this is not very cheap, it is still at par with its competitors.
I feel the website is pretty self-explanatory for someone who has used hosting platforms before. Again, not a great website for novice users. Since some of the information is missing and would seem little confusing.
While they have options for shared, VPS, dedicated and cloud; I could see only some of these mentioned on the website. For the rest, I had to chat and gather the required information and found that some of these details are listed on the sister hosting platform Bluehost.
Something worth noting is their conscious attempt to provide a detailed feature list for each plan.
Well, I found that by and large, HostMonster has the latest technology compiled with ample of choices for hosting. Something that caught my eyes, is its good mix of medium performance to high performance hosting options along with latest cutting-edge technology.
On the prices front, it is at par with its competitors and pretty reasonable. I couldn’t find any specific incentive, except that the domain registration is free.
There is no mention of any performance benchmark or any client reviews or testimonials available on the website. Again a point to ponder, it does not have a free trial period. This means I would have to take a risk, pay, and check out if HostMonster works out for me.
The positive side is efficient customer support, simple installations and easy to run scripts. Their website has a Control Panel option which allows you to quickly modify hosting settings.
You may need to pay additional fees for certain scripts, services based on the plan you choose.
The good news is; you have some optional services and you can skip these if you don’t need them. I like the way they have provided flexibility around the pricing options. Definitely a great deal to try!!