HostPapa HostPapa
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3 5stars

HostPapa Review

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Bottom Line:
Green hosting and domain privacy are pluses, though interface was challenging and support uneven

Full Review:
While HostPapa offers cheap hosting and good support, their site building options, mediocre service and challenging interface make the web hosting package less than desirable.


HostPapa offers web hosting for $3.95 per month for 36 months and has no set-up or annual registration fees. This puts it in the median range for hosting plans, but includes some compelling offerings that may make it worthwhile for some users. Included in the fee is free domain privacy, something we strongly recommend for users who have a personal site.

There's a 30-day money-back guarantee, with a pro-rated refund policy after that. However, HostPapa charges a fairly substantial $19.99 for early termination of the domain.

Basic Features

HostPapa also calls itself a green host, meaning it uses 100% renewable energy. Those concerned with shrinking their carbon footprints should take note as this is one of the few hosts to offer it.

HostPapa offers two options for site creation: ViaStep and SoHo Launch. We used SoHo launch, since ViaStep requires you to choose a template, download that template, edit it on your computer, and then upload it again. This feels cumbersome. While SoHo Launch is the preferable option, it is not one of the best editors we've seen. It lacks true WYSIWYG functionality, and may be confusing for first-time users.

There are three options for shopping cart installations: CubeCart, osCommerce, and Zen Cart. All require a fair amount of tinkering, and don't approach the ease of use of other options like ShopSite. Still, if you have a fairly large catalog of goods, you'll probably want to invest the time in learning one of these options.

Advanced Features

Advanced users will like HostPapa's unlimited email addresses and MySQL databases. The host also supports PHP, Perl, CGI, and SSI. All shared hosting accounts use Linux servers. However, HostPapa does not offer Shell Access (SSH) to shared hosting customers.


One of our biggest issues with HostPapa is the sheer difficulty of performing everyday tasks. Billing and the Control Panel have separate logins, and we found it difficult to decipher how to get to the proper login page for each area. While the site promises chat support, chat windows we opened counted down our position in line for a response but never actually got us through to a representative. Submitting an email support ticket was possible, but fairly unintuitive, and hidden inside the billing interface.


HostPapa offers 24/7 email support as well as chat and phone (24 hours a day, Monday through Friday and 6am to 7pm ET on the weekends). In our tests, two attempts at chat went unanswered, though their phone support was quick, friendly, and responsive. Email support tickets required a slightly confusing login.


Users with moderate experience and their own site-building software may get the most out of HostPapa, as well as those who like the idea of green hosting. If you need easy-to-access, comprehensive support, you're probably better off with another host.

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Service Details

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

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