HostMonster Review: So Good, It’s Scary!
HostMonster (www.hostmonster.com) offers affordable shared hosting packages for those consumers and organizations that are not in need of the sheer power of a dedicated host or even a VPS solution. HostMonster’s packages are not only affordable, they are packed with features, backed by an excellent support staff that is on call 24/7, and an ultra-reliable network. This combination makes HostMonster a real winner when it comes to shared web hosting, and they are currently offering a promotional deal that is simply too good to last forever.
Do keep in mind that swapping providers usually results in down times and often headaches on top of planning. HostMonster does not offer dedicated or VPS services, which will make the migration to another host something of a headache if it ever has to happen due to HostMonster’s single plan. That being said, HostMonerster’s servers are robust and their offerings are quite generous.
Monstrous Amount of Features
Before discussing deals, it is important to see what HostMonster has to offer. While it would be a shorter list to cover what HostMonster does not have to offer, here are the major points that should excite just about anyone serious about web hosting: unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited e-mail accounts complete with webmail and spam assasain, unlimited FTP accounts, 100 MySQL databases, 100 PostgreSQL databases, support for CGI-BIN, cPanel, customizable error pages, mailing lists, PHP 5, PERL 5, Python, Drupal & Joomla support, a complete suite of e-commerce solutions, WordPress support, and the nearly obligatory support for Ruby/Ruby on Rails. These are just the major features, though other features exist as well. Most of the other features probably fall into checkmark-oriented category, meaning that they will not be used by those serious about web-design and monetization, such as a web-based WYSIWYG, image galleries, and basic script libraries. Nonetheless, some may find such support nice from time to time.
All of HostMonster’s servers are quad-core, which means that they can handle a lot of traffic. This is important because obviously those who pay for an unlimited everything account are likely to do so with the intent of using it. While some of HostMonster’s competition still uses aging dual-core or even expensive and wasteful multi-socket systems, HostMonster’s server farm is well-balanced in terms of speed, affordability, and efficiency. The result is that customers who sign up for a HostMonster account are likely to find their sites to be responsive while the bills remain low.
A Price That is Anything But Terrifying
On the subject of pricing, it is important to understand that HostMonster charges as little as $6.95 per month for their services but only if customers are willing to pre-pay for 3 years of service. HostMonster is running a promotion at the time of this writing that offers the same package for $5.95 per month, which is a price that is hard to beat without sacrificing features such as access to cPanel or support for other features. There are a few other fees that those hosting multiple sites might need to consider in order to make the most informed decision possible. The first, and most obvious, is the $10 annual domain registration fee. While this fee is in line with industry standards, some might find it advantageous to shop elsewhere for their domain registration if they plan on registering and maintaining dozens of domain names.
Those that need SSL certificates on a per-domain basis instead of sharing the included SSL certificate will need to pay $45 per year for each private SSL certificate. Most people looking into SSL certificates will find themselves looking into dedicated IP addresses, which HostMonster offers for $30 per year as well. Additional fees for privacy ($4.95) and Postini mail filtering ($1 per month per e-mail address) are also available for those that see the see the need. Even with these additional fees, HostMonster is a great bargain, especially when measured against plans that might be a dollar or two cheaper each month but lack critical features or only offer those features at higher price points.
HostMonster’s server farm is very modern, and protected by both UPS systems and backup generators. This means that support calls to HostMonster are likely to be the result of something other than network downtime, despite the company’s lack of a prominent uptime guarantee. Checking Google for reports of unhappy customers did not yield any results, so it is probably safe to say that HostMonster’s support team has little to do most of the time, which is probably why they answer their phones so quickly.
Wrapping It All Up
The bottom line is that HostMonster provides a shared web hosting package that is sure to excite those looking to monetize their web presence or simply host a page or two for other reasons. Backed by competent customer support that is on call 24/7, it is hard not to recommend HostMonster to anyone looking for a shared hosting solution. Given the promotion that the company is currently running, customers looking for shared hosting solutions for serious pages should not think twice about signing up for HostMonster. Even at normal prices, HostMonster’s shared hosting plans offer excellent value.
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