Hostmonster

Hostmonster Review: Web Hosting

 
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Rating:
Bottom Line:
Great balance of price, features and support: includes exclusive 50% discount
Full Review:
[Editor's note: Hostmonster is offering NextAdvisor visitors a 50% discount on web hosting, bringing the price down from $6.99 to $3.95 per month. There's no need to enter a coupon, just follow any link to Hostmonster from NextAdvisor.com]

A well-recognized name in web hosting, we love Hostmonster for its great blend of features, support and value. For everyone from beginners through advanced users, Hostmonster is a simple, functional web host.


Pricing

Hostmonster is a solid and affordable web hosting option at $3.95 per month for a three-year plan with our exclusive discount. Domain privacy, which we highly recommend for individuals, is less than a dollar per month ($9.99/year). Hostmonster is a bargain web hosting option that doesn't come at the expense of performance.


Basic Features


Hostmonster uses the basic cPanel control panel interface. This software is paid for by Hostmonster for its users, and provides a standard organization and interface for all the most popular administrative tools for your web hosting account. Through cPanel, you can install scripts to run blogs or ecommerce tools, set up email accounts, and design your site.

Hostmonster includes a number of SimpleScripts add-ons, which makes it easy to create a depth of information on your site. It provides additional functionality and allow you to manage your blogs and shopping carts in a nice user interface. There are some powerful apps here. Hostmonster also offers a number of sitebuilders, including the newly-supported Weebly, which is one of our favorite options for helping beginners construct sites. Weebly allows users to drag and drop elements onto their pages and templates with one of the smoothest user interfaces we've seen. The free version is limited to 6 pages and does not support eCommerce features, so more advanced users may need to upgrade to the Pro version or choose another sitebuilder.

Many users who want to create blogs on their site will enjoy using the simple Hostmonster interface for installing Wordpress, one of the most popular blogging and sitebuilder options available today. Through SimpleScripts, Hostmonster users can install Wordpress in just a few minutes.



TUTORIAL: How to Set Up a Wordpress Blog with Hostmonster


eCommerce solutions come in a few forms. We prefer the Shopsite Wizard, a good choice for those who are more visually inclined, though it's not free. Agora cart is another option, and it's free, but it's built from the back end, making it less intuitive than WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors. Creating a cart looks like a serious undertaking.

Hostmonster uses the standard cPanel format for setting up email addresses, with one extra requirement about password strength. You can easily set up unlimited email accounts.



TUTORIAL: How to Set Up an Email Account with Hostmonster


When you sign up with Hostmonster, you get a number of free or promotional offers with affiliated companies, including free credit with Google Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Bing and Yahoo!, a free trial from JustCloud and a trial account with email marketing firm iContact.


Advanced Features

Hostmonster allows you to host an unlimited number of domains and use an unlimited number of MySQL databases, so users who plan to host a number of small sites or develop database-intensive sites should be happy. Relatively unusually, Hostmonster also offers Shell Access (SSH), so advanced users can administer their hosting with shell commands rather than through the control panel.

Hostmonster uses Linux servers for its shared hosting, so if you currently use ASP or another Windows-specific language or program, you will need to either upgrade to a Virtual Private Server or choose another hosting company. This restriction is extremely common, as Windows hosting is more expensive for the company to provide, and it should not pose much of a problem for most users.


Usability

Hostmonster is very user-friendly, with detailed video tutorials, extensive online help documentation and friendly support personnel. Logging in to the control panel is simple and intuitive, and most features are very easy to locate, install, and use. We were particularly pleased with how easy its one-click installations of software like Wordpress, Roundcube, Zen Cart and Drupal were.


Performance

Hostmonster tested fairly well, particularly where uptime and download tests were concerned. Its response time does leave a bit to be desired. See the chart below for details. For uptime, higher percentages are better. For all others, lower numbers indicate better performance.


Test Data

Hostmonster Group Avg. Group Best Group Worst
55-Mo. Uptime Score 99.81% 99.83% 99.98% 99.51%
55-Mo. Avg. Response Time: .754s .592s .359s 1.018s



Support

Support is provided 24/7 by phone, chat, and email. One phone call was answered quickly and capably, though the agent was a bit curt. A second phone call was handled in a more professional manner. If you're unhappy with the service, a full refund is offered under 30 days. A pro-rated refund is offered after that. You will pay a $14.99 fee for the domain registration, which will leave you with the domain. A unique three-day cancellation window allows you to avoid that fee.


Conclusion

With a strong blend of support, performance, price and features, we were very impressed with Hostmonster. Provided you don't need Windows hosting, Hostmonster is a great option for everyone from beginners through advanced webmasters.

Sign up for Hostmonster | Compare to Other Web Hosts


 
Service Details:

Cheapest Price:$3.95/mo
Storage/Data Transfer:Unlimited
Money-Back Guarantee:30 days
Domain:Free for 1 year
Support:Email, Phone, Chat

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