HostMonster is part of the Endurance International hosting conglomerate that focuses on budget-friendly hosting services and appeals to a wider audience including beginners. BlueHost and iPage are some of HostMonster’s sister companies, whose hosting plans come with pretty much the same features. Is there anything that distinguishes HostMonster from other EIG-owned companies and should you sign up with them? We’ll answer these questions and more in this review of HostMonster.
HostMonster Company Overview
HostMonster is certainly not new to the hosting industry. It was founded in 1996, so they count as one of the veterans of the industry. In 2015, HostMonster merged with EIG and entered the realm of budget hosting. Today, they offer shared hosting, VPS and dedicated hosting aimed at individuals and small business users.
HostMonster Plans & Pricing
HostMonster offers a total of 10 hosting plans, 3 of which are shared hosting packages, 4 are VPS hosting plans and another 3 are dedicated hosting options.
Their shared hosting options start at $4.95/month with hosting for a single website, 50 GB website space, unmetered bandwidth, 5 email accounts with 100 MB storage per account. The Plus package (at $6.95 monthly) increases the number of websites you can host to 10, adds more website space (150 GB) as well as more email accounts (100), email storage (500 MB per account), and also includes 1 SpamExperts and $150 in marketing offers. The Prime plan runs at the same introductory price as the Plus plan and it’s your run-of-the-mill unlimited shared hosting plan: unlimited domain hosting, unmetered disk space, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited email accounts and email storage. The Prime plan also includes $200 in marketing offers, 1 SpamExperts, 1 DomainPrivacy, and BackupPro.
VPS plans at HostMonster are instantly provisioned and are built on cloud technology. VPS configurations use an enhanced cPanel, come with guaranteed resources, root access, OpenStack and KVM hypervisor virtualization. The Standard VPS plan costs $30 per month and has the following configuration: Dual Core CPU, 2 GB RAM, 30 GB storage, 1 TB/month transfer, free domain name, 1 IP, and CentOS 6.5. The VPS configuration that packs the most resources is the Ultimate plan with Quad Core CPU, 8 GB RAM, 120 GB storage, 3 TB/month transfer, free domain name, 2 IPs, and CentOS 6.5.
Dedicated hosting packages start at $79.99 per month with 4 cores, 8 threads Intel® Xeon Processor, 3 MB cache, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB (RAID 1) storage, 5 TB/month, free domain name, 3 IPs, CentOS 6.5. The most expensive dedicated package is the Premium, which costs $119.99/month and includes more RAM (16 GB), more storage (1000 GB), more traffic (15 TB/mo), 5 dedicated IPs, and 8 MB cache, free domain, and CentOS 6.5.
HostMonster Features & Value
HostMonster’s hosting solutions come with several useful features including marketing offers, eCommerce features, security features, support for multiple programming languages and databases. Their website includes the full list of their features under the Hosting Features menu.
Here are our top picks from the features included with their plans:
- Unlimited shared hosting option;
- Free domain name with all plans;
- cPanel control panel;
- Security features: Hotlink Protection, SpamAssassin, SSH access, SSL support, site backups, password protected directories, OpenPGP/GPG Encryption;
- Instant provisioning and fast setup;
- eCommerce features: OS Commerce, Agora, Cube Cart, Zen Cart shopping carts, free generated certificate;
- 1-click installs (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) via MOJO Marketplace;
- Audio-Video Streaming support;
- Drag and drop site builder tool.
HostMonster’s hosting plans have all the features a first-time user can benefit from, but several other features as well that more seasoned users can put to good use. Although the company promotes itself as a hosting for small budget users, their hosting plans are not the cheapest ones around.
HostMonster Customer Support
If you do a quick search about HostMonster’s customer support, you’ll see that it doesn’t get too much praise. The biggest complaints they get is the long wait time customers are submitted to as well as the poor customer service.
HostMonster has a phone support with a toll-free number for US, a live chat support and a ticketing system. Apart from this, their website also features a small knowledge base with a few How-to video tutorials.
HostMonster Pros & Cons
It’s undeniable that HostMonster has plenty of experience in web hosting, but does it measure up to industry-standards for budget hosting?
Pros of HostMonster:
- Several hosting plans with instant provisioning and fast setup;
- Good security features (SSH access, SSL support, hotlink protection, spam protection, etc.);
- Free domain name with all plans;
- Useful drag and drop site builder tool.
Cons of HostMonster:
- More expensive than other EIG-owned providers (see HostGator or BlueHost for comparison);
- Bad ratings for customer support;
- Decent uptime, but it doesn’t hit the mark of 99.99%.
Since HostMonster is owned and operated by EIG, which also owns iPage, HostGator, and BlueHost, you may want to compare prices and see where you can get more bang for your buck. For example, HostGator’s entry-level VPS plan comes with 2 GB RAM, 2 cores CPU, 120 GB disk space, 2 IPs, and 1.5 TB bandwidth and starts at $19.95/month, whereas HostMonster’s entry-level VPS plan costs $30/month and comes with fewer resources (just 30 GB disk space, 1 IP and 1 TB/month bandwidth).
In fairness, HostGator doesn’t offer a free domain name, but if you’re hell bent on getting that too, you can opt for BlueHost’s Standard VPS plan, which costs $19.99/month and comes with the exact same resources included with HostMonster’s VPS plan.
HostMonster is an example that experience alone does not make you a better hosting provider. In any event, HostMonster does have some good features, especially when it comes to security, but it’s prices are higher than HostGator’s or BlueHost’s prices for similar plans, so it simply doesn’t make sense to pay more for something that you can get for less and with better support.