One of the earliest hosting companies to power its datacenters with renewable energy, HostPapa is an established provider that furnishes customers with plans backed by award-winning customer service and covered with a bevy of features. Currently hosting more than 500,000 websites, HostPapa is the epitome of a high-value, low-cost provider.
We went straight to the source to find out what sets HostPapa apart from other hosting companies and sat down with CEO Jamie Opalchuck, who said HostPapa is "a little bit different than the average beast" in the hosting industry. The privately-owned company considers itself less of a straight-up hosting provider and more of a one-stop shop for small businesses looking to grow their brand and online presence.
Whether through CRM tools, automatic backups, or unlimited storage, we found that HostPapa excels at giving its customers a seamless, easy experience.
Each user gets a dedicated account manager and a single bill, no matter how many services are added. That account manager will recommend products, such as email platforms, based on your needs — even if it means suggesting Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365 instead of HostPapa's proprietary platform.
"We want to act as consultants and help our customers reach new heights," Jamie said. "It's a different take on the hosting industry."
With locations in 18 countries and support in four languages (English, French, German, and Spanish), customer support is a major component of HostPapa's modus operandi. Representatives are available to assist users around the clock, including for one-on-one video chats.
HostGator has been around for more than a decade and is well-respected for its large number of servers and consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale.
HostGator costs slightly more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that echoes the brand's reputation for strong infrastructure and helpful support. HostGator offers decent features in its basic shared hosting offerings, such as unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. Plus, you get the flexibility to add numerous add-ons for privacy, security, and productivity as you see fit.
Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is its strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs, as well. Root access, SSH, and support for Ruby, Perl, Python, and other languages is available on all plans.
HostGator has nearly limitless options and control available for their servers, with the support and beginner-friendly tools that will appeal to the full range of customers.
Where HostPapa shines is with its shared hosting, which offers affordable and feature-rich plans geared toward helping both website and small business owners grow their online presence.
HostPapa wants to be more than just a web host, according to CEO Jamie Opalchuck, who told us that the company aims to be a 1-stop shop for small businesses looking for a seamless and simple experience to help them grow.
"We're looking for a person that we can bring in for $4 a month and help him become more and more successful," he said. "Our goal is to find that person that just doesn't have the IT support they need. They can call us, and we'll actually answer the phone."
Once we signed up and got our hands dirty with HostPapa's services, we found they are poised to achieve that and more. A ton of features make marketing, eCommerce, and email a breeze. Beyond Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365, HostPapa also offers two in-house email plans with a user-friendly interface and modest functionality. HostPapa's email storage limits pale in comparison to the Gmail or Outlook offerings, but the price — less than half of Google and Microsoft — makes HostPapa a great alternative.
"Our plan might be more economical, but it's not necessarily for everyone," Jamie said of HostPapa's email packages. "We want to act as consultants and help our customers reach new heights."
In addition to unlimited bandwidth and CloudFlare's content delivery network, Business Pro plan customers can also boost speed and performance with Rocket Fast Premium Servers — double the RAM, double the hard drives, and up to three times faster. HostPapa's 99.9% uptime guarantee isn't spectacular but should be plenty sufficient for most users.
Need extra help getting started? HostPapa is the only hosting provider that offers one-on-one sessions with one of their support experts. The 30-minute conference, done via phone or video chat, is included in HostPapa's Business or Business Pro plans.
#3 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews
HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. The company offers unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus one-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on its shared hosting plan.
HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to its vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. The company's many hosting options make HostGator a great choice for sites on the rise, in need of options for the future.
For those just getting started and looking for a good, cheap host, HostGator bundles some nice features that hosting newbies can appreciate.
The Hatchling Plan is perfect for users who just want to create one website, while upgrading to the HostGator Baby Plan unlocks unlimited bandwidth, domains, and email inboxes.
The web hosting company’s custom website builder comes with more than 4,500 drag-and-drop, mobile-friendly templates to help users launch their website, blog, or ecommerce store, while the familiar HostGator cPanel interface helps customers seamlessly manage domains, email, databases, and one-click software installations.
If you are looking for a solid web host, with a ton of flexibility, plenty of power, and great price points, you should consider making HostGator your web host of choice. Be sure to use a HostGator coupon to make sure you score the best deal!
#6 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews
Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator balances performance, quality web hosting service, and competitive pricing.
As one of the few hosts to offer managed support and a Windows-based operating system, HostGator is an excellent fit for those seeking hassle-free ASP.NET support.
HostGator boasts a top-of-the-line, fully redundant network and datacenter, which dedicated hosting users should appreciate. The company also offers several dedicated IP addresses per HostGator server hosting account.
Finally, HostGator has a fantastic support team and 24/7 customer service available via phone, chat, or email. Combining that HostGator support with plenty of power, HostGator is a very respectable choice for a dedicated server host.
If you've outgrown shared hosting and are ready to take on new challenges and customers, consider expanding with HostPapa's high-performance VPS hosting.
The company's Linux plans simultaneously give users high levels of both control and flexibility. The affordable, fully managed solution is easy to scale as your site or application grows. We found HostPapa's 1.5GB RAM and 50GB of SSD storage to be a touch shy of competitors, but users can quickly scale resources to upward of 24GB RAM and 1TB of storage.
HostPapa makes up for the slightly limited specifications with fully managed services, however. "Managed" can mean anything to hosts, but HostPapa definitely puts its technicians to work for you. Included in those services are automation, performance and firewall troubleshooting, email and backup configuration, software upgrades and migration, and security audits.
"We're doubling down on support," CEO Jamie Opalchuk said. "We're doubling down on a lot of things that make the client experience better."
Pair that with HostPapa's award-winning support teams, who are available 24/7/365 via telephone, email, and chat, and you've got a solid managed VPS hosting plan ready to help you move on from shared hosting.
#8 out of 10 in VPS Hosting reviews
HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared web hosting options. The company's VPS hosting solution, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those who are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared plan.
Starting at low price points and boasting tons of support, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IP addresses and a bunch of storage, and recently expanded CPU and RAM offerings lend a ton of computing power.
If you're not sure a VPS hosting package is a good fit, take a look at the revamped HostGator cloud offerings, which offer additional scalability and redundancy at remarkable price points. For those managing multiple hosting accounts, be sure to consider a HostGator reseller hosting plan, as well.
HostGator’s strongest point comes from its state-of-the-art datacenter. Featuring a fully redundant network with no single point of failure and multiple bandwidth providers, uptime should almost never be a concern.
Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts. The company has more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.
Nearly all hosts these days include easy installations and support for WordPress, the world's leading content management system. While HostPapa is no different, we discovered the company's ultra-attentive support team can help new users navigate the sometimes challenging platform.
Available through Softaculous, we found the WordPress installation to be incredibly simple — find the WordPress logo in your control panel and follow the prompts to set up your site with the appropriate title and tagline.
Paired with all the apps and features HostPapa offers for marketing, ecommerce, and email, WordPress hosting opens the door to millions of plugins that should take care of all your needs. Also, you can give WordPress an extra boost by taking advantage of HostPapa's partnerships: CloudFlare's content delivery network for speed, SiteLock protection for security, and Let's Encrypt SSL certificates for additional safety and ecommerce capabilities.
"Our play is what we can supply a small business owner to help in any kind of way with their web properties," CEO Jamie Opalchuk said when we sat down with him. "Keep it simple; that's our place."
If you run into trouble, PapaSquad support is only a phone call, email, or chat message away. Technicians are available 24/7/365 to help, as are HostPapa's video tutorials, downloadable manuals, and knowledgebase.
"We're doubling down on support," Jamie said. "We're doubling down on a lot of things that make the client experience better."
WordPress can be challenging at times, and HostPapa is the only hosting company that provides 30-minute sessions through video or phone with one of the company's support experts. Those sessions are included in Business or Business Pro plans but are available to other customers for a fee.
#5 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews
HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already clean and intuitive HostGator cPanel dashboard, wherein users can find a myriad of free apps and scripts to install, including WordPress. You could quite realistically have a WP-powered site up and running in as little as an afternoon.
As is the case with many of our favorite shared WordPress hosting providers, including sister company Bluehost, HostGator offers unlimited emails, databases, disk storage, and bandwidth. The one downfall is the lack of the popular free domain perk, but domain names are easy to obtain for around $10 to $15 bucks with any registrar. You can also select, register, and pay for a domain directly from the HostGator signup page.
If you're serious about your WordPress hosting, we recommend HostGator's new(er) managed WordPress platform, which is optimized for performance with cloud resources, multiple layers of caching tools, and a complimentary CDN. Managed WordPress plan subscribers enjoy up to 2.5x faster page load speeds for their HostGator website or blog. If you're running a business WordPress site, this is an excellent investment.
Once your site is designed and ready for promotion, HostGator helps you kickstart your online marketing efforts with $100 in paid advertising credits. Attract blog readers, potential clients, or online shoppers browsing Google search results.
We wish you the best of luck in your blog or online business hosting endeavors. WordPress is a known favorite in the space, and HostGator has established itself as a trusted partner well worthy of your consideration.
Despite a few limitations that might not matter to rookie site owners, HostPapa offers an easy-to-use web builder with a surprising number of features.
Coding experience or not, designing a website can be a long, confusing process. Hiring someone to do it for you can be expensive, stressful, and still doesn't guarantee you'll end up with something you like. CEO Jamie Opalchuk told us how HostPapa's site builder lets you avoid all the hassle and get a beautiful, professional website by yourself in a matter of minutes. Build and manage your site on your own, whether you're starting from scratch, getting a fresh look, or looking for a better tool.
We dug into the drag-and-drop editor, which is intuitive for the earliest of beginners — just click on the text you want to edit or area where you'd like to upload an image. For the more advanced users, you can customize your site even more by taking a swing at the HTML or CSS code. When we started our site, HostPapa showcased more than a dozen responsive template options. Once we made our selection, we could see more than 100 other choices. Not many site builders allow you to change templates once you've started adding content, so we appreciate the flexibility that HostPapa allows.
HostPapa's builder really shines, however, in the number of widgets you can add to your site. Easily add text, images, maps, videos, and social media widgets right from the start, or upgrade to include one-click publishing to Facebook or an ecommerce store. You can build forms with HostPapa's own tool or through Wufoo, just like you can add email marketing features through a Constant Contact integration.
"Our play is what we can supply a small business owner to help in any kind of way with their web properties," Jamie said. "We want to provide a seamless, easy experience."
Once your site is set up, you can preview how it will look on both desktops and mobile devices. You can always update on the go, from any web browser. The site builder is included for free with HostPapa's shared hosting plans, or you can buy builder-specific plans to add even more features.
If all else fails, HostPapa offers Do It For Me managed web design services. The company will write your copy, design your site, and optimize it for search engines and mobile devices. Contact HostPapa when you need to update your site, and they'll take care of you.
#4 out of 10 in Website Builder Hosting reviews
Setting itself apart from the scores of competitors that rely on white-labeled website builder solutions, HostGator spent the time to painstakingly craft its own platform. Gator provides a frustration-free experience that pairs the simplicity of drag-and-drop design with the company’s powerful and respected web hosting services.
Signing up is a breeze, and HostGator gives customers an option to add a suite of social media marketing tools. Users are quickly ushered into a gallery of more than 200 modern, mobile-responsive, and visually impressive templates that can be sorted by categories like beauty and fashion, music and entertainment, real estate, business consultant, portfolios, and others. Gator covers blogs and ecommerce stores, even coming with a free domain name and SSL certificate.
Once you choose your basic look, Gator ushers you through a 15-second tour to show you the basic features of the editor — and it’s all you need. Clicking on any element opens a menu that gives you options to change styles, whether it’s a section’s complete design or something simple like font or color.
We especially appreciate how Gator’s drag-and-drop interface gives users pixel-perfect control while still suggesting guides and grids for appropriate spacing. Throughout the customization and design phase, users can seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile views to understand how your site will appear to all visitors.
Adding a blog or ecommerce store takes just a click. We wish Gator would suggest a select few designs that matched the current site’s template instead of the dozen or so options that reflect a wide range of categories, but we were impressed that the in-depth previews covered both the blog page and individual posts, for instance.
All in all, HostGator can be incredibly proud of its proprietary site builder — and customers can sit back and enjoy the confidence in having such a well-rounded tool at their design disposal.