WEBHOSTINGPAD VS. HOSTMONSTER
Review of Features
Below you will find a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of my reviews for both of these companies. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend WebHostingPad over HostMonster, but please take a look for yourself:
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|PRICE||Yes, I’ve been going on about price in this review already, but it is a point of emphasis here. In my experience working with several other hosting companies, I have learned a lot about how hosts can afford to offer such cheap hosting and still offer a good (or even great) service. WebHostingPad does this in two main ways. The first is that they don’t offer outrageous commissions to affiliates who promote their products. I won’t go into too much depth about this here, but if you’re interested in how that works you can read my article on How Affiliate Programs Work.
The second way WebHostingPad saves money for their customers is by offering their basic shared hosting plan as an a la carte type option. Many other hosting companies will offer a bunch of additional features and market them as great tools, thus justifying the higher price. The fact is that most of these additional features won’t be used by 80% of the customers. They are useless to the majority of people who own small personal websites. Instead of adding these on and increasing prices, they offer them as additional features that each customer can pay for individually should they decide that they need the service. In my opinion, this is a much more efficient and cost effective offer.
|HostMonster falls into the same pattern of many hosts: their intro rates seem perfectly reasonable, and then double after the first year without informing you. While many hosts do this, HostMonster is the most deceptive about it, hiding their regular rates in a tiny bit of text at the bottom of the page that doesn't even look linked. |
Even if $10.99 / month isn't bad, that's with their Basic plan, which is unfortunately limited. Even their Plus plan, a good $4 more per month, has a lot of retrictions. Their Prime plan offers the same features and options as most host's basic plans, only they're charging $16.99 / month for it.
|FEATURES||As explained above, you aren’t going to get all of the additional features you may get from other hosts, but this won’t take away from your ability to run your website. WebHostingPad offers the same features as most every other shared web host including unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free domain name, 30 day money back guarantee, free website builder, and so on.
WebHostingPad also provides additional features at a cost like SSL certificates, SSH access, an advanced security scan, and more, but these are more suited for advanced web developers and business website owners. These tools are not going to be used by the vast majority of beginner and novice website owners, so why pay for them? They are an optional extra if you decide you need them at a later date, but this is how they save their customers from high prices.
|As mentioned earlier, HostMonster's lower-tier plans are extremely limited in features. Almost nothing but bandwith is unlimited at anything below "Prime" and there's a hard cap for file counts with every one of their plans.|
Their Basic plan offers just one website at 50gb max with five email accounts and no option for SSL, spam filters, or domain privacy. Considering the price of that plan, I would expect a lot more features to be available.
Even if you do pay more for the "unlimited" features, they still have policies in place that state they're allowed to terminate your account WITHOUT WARNING if you exceed their "acceptable usage" terms. "Unlimited" really doesn't mean much here.
|RELIABILITY||You might expect your performance to be lacking because of how inexpensive WebHostingPad is, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. WebHostingPad’s servers are stable and reliable. After a 7 month test my website had a total up time of 99.942%, which is above their 99.9% guarantee. Server response time is fast and my websites loaded quicker than on competitors servers.
This is just a guess, but my assumption as to why the server speed was quicker than other hosting companies is due to the lack of the additional features on every account. Having these features running in the background on every account on a server causes more resources to be used on the back end, which in turn leaves less of those resources to be used on website functionality. Again, just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
|Despite the fact that they, like many hosts, guarantee 99.9% uptime, they don't keep this promise. According to my test account, it does still average 98.5% uptime, but the response time is poor. HostMonster uses a Universal Power System to protect their servers from electrical outages, but that means very little when they're overloading their servers with too many users (from other EIG hosts, too) and slowing everyone down. No amount of live server upgrades and power protection can compensate for breathing room and well-organized servers.|
Their backup options leave something to be desired, as well. While they do offer backup service (for a fee) their basic plans don't cover this and you'd have to upgrade to a much more expensive plan. Not to mention, there's this in their Terms of Service: "IT IS SOLELY SUBSCRIBER'S DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO BACKUP SUBSCRIBER'S FILES AND DATA ON HOSTMONSTER SERVERS, AND under no circumstance will HostMonster be liable to anyone FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND under any legal theory for loss of Subscriber FILES AND/or data on any HostMonster server." Not responsible for loss of data on their own servers? Their terms of service explicitly shift the blame to the customer, presumably to pressure you to upgrade to their Pro plan with more backup options.
|TECH SUPPORT||WebHostingPad’s support team is generally knowledgeable and able to help quickly with easier questions that most beginners would face when starting a new account. The one gripe I have (which is the case with most hosting companies, not just WebHostingPad) is that only level 1 support is available over the phone or through live chat. If you have an issue that needs to be escalated to a higher department then you must submit a ticket. I will say that the response times of the tickets was quick, usually within 1 hour. In any case, the WebHostingPad support staff was able to resolve issues promptly and efficiently.||Like I’ve said a couple of times already, HostMonster is owned by EIG, who owns over 50 other web hosting companies. HostMonster shares support representatives with other brands of EIG, so when you try connecting to a live chat you have to explain what brand you host with, wait for them to pull up the system for that host, and then get started. This also means that support reps really only have a general knowledge of things since they have to support so many different companies, all with different features.|
HostMonster doesn't outsource their support, which is a pro, but even non-outsourced support can completely fail to understand their customers on even a basic level. Since their support is hired by EIG, you're not going to get personalized help, and sometimes the rep won't fully understand the question you're asking, instead sending out canned responses to problems you don't have. It can be very frustrating and very time-consuming, and it happens even without outsourcing their support, which is a shame.
|CONCLUSION||WebHostingPad is a great choice for beginners. It is cheap, easy to use, and reliable. You won’t get some of the features that other hosts include, but these features are not useful for customers who are new to web hosting. It is a great starting point for a new customer and it will get you familiar with how to run a website without being too overbearing.||HostMonster comes with a lot of asterisks. I highly recommend reading the complete terms of service before signing up with them, or better yet avoid them altogether. Their features are severely lacking on their most basic plans, they have limits hidden in the fine print, and it seems like their support was one of the hardest hit by the EIG takeover. I wouldn't waste your time when there are plenty of far better hosts out there.|
These are some choice differences between these two hosts. Note that this is not a complete list of features offered by both companies, but rather the most useful and popular features requested by clients for their websites.
|Introductory Price||$1.99 / mo||$4.95 / mo|
|Renewal Price||$3.49 / mo||$10.99 / mo|