HostPapa Review: Can This Small-Timer Challenge The Web Hosting Giants? We Asked 387 Real Users Cloud or shared Hosting

Kevin Wood

Our overview of HostPapa…

Hosting Plans

Compare the best HostPapa hosting plans and their prices.


Most asked Questions about HostPapa – answered!

Should You Host Your Website With HostPapa?

HostPapa distinguishes itself from other companies with its easy-to-use tools appropriate for even beginners, its global reach, and focus on sustainable hosting.

With that said, not all hosting companies are the right fit for everyone. In this article, I document my experience with HostPapa so you can decide if they are for you.

HostPapa's Shared Hosting PlansHostPapa’s shared hosting plans.

HostPapa Quick Overview

Here is a quick rundown of what HostPapa has to offer. Use it to compare to other hosts.

Green hosting

Cheap eco-friendly hosting from wind energy.

Easy to use

Everything beginners need to get their sites online.


Great multi-language support for non-English speakers.

Shared hosting

Starts at $3.95/month


Free website migration for new accounts only, email migration is also included.

Support materials

Good quality.

Control panel



Main datacenter is located in Toronto, Canada. Additional datacenters exist across North America, but the locations aren’t specified.


30-day money back guarantee


No automated backups for the cheaper plans. You can upgrade for automated backups, or add it to your plan for a fee.

Website builder

A basic website builder is included, which can be upgraded.

PCI compliance

Certified PCI compliant e-commerce merchant.

Pros and Cons of HostPapa

is a solid beginner host with multi-language support, however, it’s not perfect for every style of website owner, as you’ll see below.


Some of the cheapest green hosting out there

Easy to use and integrated website builder

Multi-language customer support, which can be invaluable for certain users

Built-in website security tools


Available datacenter locations are unclear

Loading speeds are slower than average

To get the lowest pricing you must sign up for a lengthy hosting package

Backups not included on shared plan

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HostPapa Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 387 Reviews by HostPapa Customers


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All About HostPapa

HostPapa started back in 2006. Since then, they have grown to host over 500,000 websites spread out across the globe.

A Canadian Hosting Company

HostPapa’s website and hosting plans cater mostly to beginner and intermediate level business owners.

HostPapa is a Canadian web hosting company based in Burlington, Ontario.

While everyone is welcome to purchase its hosting products, the company prides itself in hosting and domain registration (of domains ending with .ca) geared specifically toward Canadians.

Hosting for Beginners

HostPapa’s website and hosting plans cater mostly to beginner and intermediate level business owners.

The company has an array of shared hosting packages geared toward various business types. But beyond various levels of shared hosting, you’ll also find VPS hosting options and reseller plans.

Green Hosting With Carbon Offsets

The main thing that makes HostPapa stand out from other beginner hosts is its focus on being a green host.

Now, this doesn’t mean its datacenters are powered by solar panels and wind turbines but instead buys renewable energy credits to offset its energy usage. For users concerned about their own environmental impact, it could be a huge selling point.

All About Green hosting at HostPapaAll About Green hosting, from HostPapa’s website

Beyond HostPapa’s beginner-oriented hosting packages, where does this host stand out from the pack? After all, the entry-level hosting space is quite crowded.

All-in-One Packages

HostPapa ends up making a name for itself by providing all-in-one beginner packages, catering to a worldwide audience, offering solid uptime and security features, along with company values that show they care about more than just profit.

Globally Focused

One of the main reasons for the massive growth of HostPapa is due to its focus on marketing and tailoring their offerings towards an international audience. They offer multiple website versions that cater to users in countries like Australia, Europe, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Belgium.

HostPapa’s Uptime and Response Time

Regardless of the features a host provides, the most important one is a high uptime. What good is a host if visitors can’t even access your site!

HostPapa Service GuaranteeHostPapa’s Service Guarantee

We’re happy to report that HostPapa offers users an uptime that’s better than the industry average. Far from just saying it has 99.9% uptime it actually has the historical data to back it up. However, there isn’t a credit system that’ll discount your payment if your site goes down, like some hosts offer.

Cloudflare CDN

Although HostPapa’s uptime is stellar, the average loading speeds aren’t up to par. If you barely get any traffic or have a very small site, then this probably won’t be an issue to you.

But since page loading speeds (also called response time) play such a huge factor in your user experience and search engine rankings it’s something crucially important, especially today.

The good news is that on HostPapa’s Business and Business Pro plans, you get the speed-boosting Cloudflare CDN at no extra charge.

HostPapa offers Cloudflare CDN on business plansHostPapa provides Cloudflare CDN for free on business plans.

Pricing Options

One thing to be aware of with HostPapa’s pricing is that, upon first glance, the super low advertised prices might seem like a huge bargain. But these prices are only valid if you sign up for a long-term hosting deal of two or three years.


Although HostPapa caters to customers from all over the world with its multilingual support, they do not list where their datacenters are located.

HostPapa does offer Cloudflare CDN to help boost site load times, but it’s only offered on their shared business hosting plans.

30-Day Money Back Guarantee

The 30-day money back guarantee for hosting packages should be enough for most users. Although it’s not the longest guarantee ever, it’s still enough time to give the service a real test drive.

However, there is some fine print you’ll want to be aware of. If you choose to take advantage of the free domain upon registration, then your domain set-up fee will be deducted from your total refund.


All of HostPapa’s shared hosting plans are equipped with anti-spam, attack monitoring, firewall, and intrusion detection.

Backups are included with higher level plans, but users on shared hosting plans are out of luck when it comes to automated backups.

You can add backups to your plan for an additional fee, but that probably contradicts the reason you signed up for the host, to take advantage of its low prices.

Stellar Security Features

Website security is something you need to take seriously, so it’s nice to see a beginner host that makes it easy for users to keep their sites secure. The last thing you want to do is worry about how to best protect your site on top of everything else you need to learn.

All of HostPapa’s shared hosting plans are equipped with Panda Cloud anti-spam, regular attack monitoring, a server firewall, and detection of any intrusions into the server environment. These features are actually pretty advanced for any basic shared hosting package.

Industry-leading security technology for websites of all sizes!HostPapa’s security technology page.

If you have more intensive security demands, then you’ll want to upgrade to a higher level package, which gives you a free SSL certificate, a dedicated IP address, automated backups, and domain privacy protection.


HostPapa utilizes the classic cPanel setup, like most other beginner web hosts. Chances are, you’ve stumbled across cPanel before, or have at least read about it. It’s one of the most popular and commonly used control panels in the world.

cPanel Layout and Searching

The cPanel environment is well laid out and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. You can access your cPanel from the main user dashboard, or directly from your cPanel URL.

The setup is similar to other cPanel layouts. You can either search for the app you’re looking for, or browse through the collection of different apps you can use. You’ll also notice a right-hand column that offers you an account breakdown, so you can get an understanding of your current account usage.

HostPapa cPanelHostPapa’s version of cPanel

Doing It All With cPanel

If you’re looking to do things like manage your account, access your domains, add additional services to your account, build your website, adjust your billing, or input a support request, then you’ll be doing this from the main user dashboard.

Having the ability to access every single thing related to managing, creating, and paying for your website in one single dashboard is a very nice feature that streamlines using the service.

Excellent Customer Support

HostPapa takes its customer support seriously. You can access support via phone, email, live chat, and even fax. There’s also a big library of tutorials and walkthrough videos if you’re the hands-on type who likes to work through everything on your own.


HostPapa’s Knowledgebase is vast. If you know what you’re looking for, you can get started with the prominently-displayed search bar. Alternatively, you can browse to the topic of your choice.

All of HostPapa’s documentation is divided into appropriate categories (eg, hosting, email, domains). There are hundreds of articles available — some are simple explanations, while others are lengthier how-to guides or tutorials.

Papa Squad Experts

One stand-out feature is the support offered by Papa Squad Experts. First, the name is awesome. Second, it’s incredibly helpful and you’ll get a guided walkthrough via video or phone about whatever issue you’re currently experiencing.

HostPapa's contact options for 24/7 SupportHostPapa’s 24/7 Support Options

Multi-Language Support

If English isn’t your first language then don’t worry, you’re covered. HostPapa offers phone support for over 18 different countries in English, French, Spanish, and German. Most other hosts can’t match this level of language diversity on their customer support lines.

Video Tutorials

If reading isn’t the way you learn best, HostPapa offers a large selection of video tutorials that show you how to do things like use your cPanel control panel, set you your domain names, update DNS records, and use popular content management systems.

Video: HostPapa’s 2-minute tutorial on how to setup your website.

Ready to give HostPapa a try? Make sure to get our discount

HostPapa’s Hosting Plans

Often, shared hosting plans try to appeal to the masses by limiting bandwidth, disk space, or features. But HostPapa’s shared hosting plans actually offer a lot more value than most.

Shared Hosting

For starters, the very basic plan is not only incredibly cheap but it also allows you to host up to two websites.

You also get plenty of disc space, so you won’t be running into any plan limits here.

HostPapa’s “Starter” plan is the most obvious choice if you’re looking for the cheapest option available.

However, if you want to build a larger website for your small to medium-sized business, then you’ll want to look into the “Business” or “Business Pro” plans.

Unlimited Storage with Business Plans

Both of HostPapa’s business plans give you more options when building out your site, along with giving you unlimited disk space.

But if you’re the type who wants to sell products, or build out a full-fledged e-commerce store, then Business Pro is the only plan for you.

Luckily, it’s easy to upgrade your plan, so if you find yourself wanting to build out a larger site, then you can quickly upgrade your plan.

Free Domain Name

Maybe the coolest thing that those just getting started online will love is the inclusion of a free domain name.

Let’s face it, being able to take care of your hosting, domain name, and build your site all in one place can be very helpful.

Features Common to All Shared Plans

Regardless of which hosting option you choose, some things come standard with all plans:

  • Unlimited resource allocations so that you can use as much storage space and bandwidth as you’d like without worrying about hitting usage limits (subject to HostPapa’s terms of service, of course).

  • Website builder with a drag-and-drop editing interface.

  • A user-friendly control panel that allows you to manage your account, check on your resource usage, upload files via FTP, set up domain names, add email accounts, and so on.

  • Over 400 free apps to extend your website with things like shopping carts, a blog, and more.

  • Free SSL Certificate from Let’s Encrypt — SSL certificates are a vital aspect of securing your website, as well as ensuring that your site ranks as highly as possible in search engine results listings.

  • Support that’s reachable 24/7 via phone, snail mail, email, and fax. You’ll also get access to a robust knowledgebase in English, French, Spanish, and German; plus a wide assortment of video tutorials.

WordPress Plans

HostPapa provides WordPress plans that are similar to the shared hosting plans but come with WordPress pre-installed and run on WordPress optimized servers.

Advanced Plans: VPS and Reseller Hosting

HostPapa offers some more advanced hosting plans available like VPS and Reseller hosting. Beginner users will probably find these plans too much. However, it’s nice to have if you want to stay with HostPapa for the long-run, but your site won’t stop growing. A great problem to have.

Video [2 minutes]: HostPapa’s introduction to its VPS hosting plans.

Email Plan

HostPapa offers an email service that gets you everything you need to receive messages via an address that matches your website’s domain name. You can access your inbox from any device or app of your choosing.

There are two email service plans from which you can choose. The Basic Email plan gets you 1 GB of storage per mailbox, while the Advanced Email plan gets you 5 GB of storage per mailbox.

Google Apps

If you would like to purchase both cloud-based email and productivity tools, HostPapa offers Google’s G Suite to its customers. You’ll get Gmail using a custom domain, as well as Google Drive and its associated apps (eg, Docs and Sheets).

Site Publisher: HostPapa’s Website Builder

In alignment with the focus on providing beginners and small business owners everything they need to get their sites online, HostPapa bundles with its plans a website builder called Site Publisher. There are multiple versions of it depending on which hosting plan you’re using.

Site Publisher’s Free Features

The free version of Site Publisher is a little limited, but you still get access to features like:

  • A library of over 100 mobile-friendly design templates

  • The ability to create a basic 3-page website

  • Easy drag and drop website creation

  • A selection of ready-made widgets and apps

  • Easy navigation menu creation, including nested navigation.

Site Publisher theme selection screenHostPapa’s website builder, called Site Publisher

Paid Site Publisher Plans

Now, three pages might not be enough for some users, but for people who want to build a simple site in the quickest amount of time possible, then it could be enough.

HostGator’s website builder is great for people who want to build a simple site in the quickest amount of time possible.

For more functionality, you will need to upgrade your Site Publisher subscription.

As the plans scale up, you’ll gain access to additional features, like creating unlimited pages for your website, getting access to even more templates (including tap-to-call features), and Google Map integration. With the highest level plan, you can build your very own e-commerce site.

The level of service you need is up to the goals you have for your site. But regardless of which plan level you choose, it’s super easy to build your site.

Since it’s a drag-and-drop website builder, you can rearrange site elements until it’s perfect, all without any previous design knowledge.

HostPapa: Room to Improve

HostPapa isn’t without its drawbacks. Some of these flaws aren’t dealbreakers, but I’d really like to see these five issues addressed:

  1. Loading speeds aren’t up to par

  2. Pricing option are a bit misleading

  3. Datacenter options are limited

  4. The 30-day money back guarantee could be improved

  5. Backups aren’t included with lower-level plans.

Is HostPapa Right for You?

HostPapa is a solid budget host. But even though it’s oriented towards beginners, it’s still not right for everyone.

They do offer a solid selection of features, especially for beginners, but the unclear pricing, loading speeds, and lack of backups might be a dealbreaker for some.

Still, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly green host and only want to build a simple website with a few pages, then HostPapa can fit your needs perfectly.

Lastly, if you’re interested in HostPapa, then you should take advantage of our coupon code. This will let you get HostPapa’s cheap hosting for even less.

HostPapa Alternatives

If you like HostPapa but don’t think it is quite right for you, check out these hosts. All of them offer unmetered (unm) bandwidth.

Free Domain Storage Websites Cost
HostPapa Yes 100 GM 2 $3.36/mn
HostGator No Unm 1 $2.75/mn
SiteGround No 10 GB 1 $3.95/mn
GoDaddy Yes 100 GB 1 $1.00/mn
InMotion Yes 10 GB 2 $3.95/mn


If you’re looking for a beginner host but think that the slow loading speeds might be an issue for you, take a look at HostGator. You’ll find cheap hosting plans that compare to the pricing options offered by HostPapa, but the overall loading speeds with HostGator seem to be better.

If being eco-friendly is a big concern, then you’ll be happy to hear that HostGator offsets their energy usage by purchasing renewable energy credits too.


If price isn’t a big concern and you don’t mind spending a bit more for your hosting, then consider choosing SiteGround. It’s one of the best beginner hosts out there and offers solid uptime and loading speeds.

Plus, you’ll have the ability to choose between multiple datacenters, which is a great option for users who don’t live in the US.


is very similar to HostPapa in that both offer a full spectrum of internet- and website-related services.

While GoDaddy remains mostly known for their domain registration services, the primary difference between the two companies is that HostPapa is privately-owned and maintains a small business feel.

GoDaddy also offers more advanced hosting options like dedicated servers, as well as professional services (such as marketing).


InMotion is another hosting company that sells many different products to its users. The company offers a slightly more extensive array of options (including dedicated servers), though the base prices for InMotion plans tend to be a bit higher than HostPapa’s.

On the down side, I found InMotion’s customer support offerings to be more limited than HostPapa’s.

HostPapa sound right for you? Try them with out discount


Those looking for a high-performance host the prioritizes website performance will want to continue their hosting search.

But if you are looking for a beginner-friendly host with plenty of features at a great price, you should check out HostPapa

Contributing writer: Katie Horne, Contributing editors: Natalie Mootz and Frank Moraes.

HostPapa Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is HostPapa located?

    HostPapa is headquartered in Oakville, Ontario in Canada. It also has offices in the UK, Australia, Germany, and the US.

  • Does HostPapa offer dedicated hosting?

    No. HostPapa does not offer dedicated servers.

  • Does HostPapa offer Windows hosting?

  • Are there any hidden fees I need to be aware of?

    There aren’t any hidden fees per se. But there are some pricing discrepancies you’ll want to be aware of. For example, the low pricing featured on the plan pages is only available when you agree to a 2 or 3-year contract. Otherwise, the plan rate will increase. You’ll also want to be aware of the price increases after your initial contract. The low rate you lock in for your service is only available for the length of your first term.

  • Is there any way I can make my website faster?

    Like I mentioned above, HostPapa is a bit slower than average for site loading speeds. However, there are some ways you can speed this up. Beyond optimizing your site, which I won’t cover here, you can utilize the Cloudflare CDN.

    You can activate Cloudflare from within cPanel. Just click on the Cloudflare icon, follow the steps, and you’ll setup Cloudflare for your chosen domain.

  • What programming languages can I use?

    PHP and MySQL are fully supported on all shared hosting plans. Python, Ruby, and other programming languages are not supported on shared hosting plans, but can be used on VPS plans and higher.

  • What languages are currently available for support?

    You’ll be able to reach the support team via the following languages, English, Spanish, French, and German. Plus, there’s also the promise to add more support languages in time.

  • Where are HostPapa’s datacenters?

    HostPapa has multiple datacenters but they do not list their locations.

  • Will HostPapa help me to migrate my site?

    Yes. HostPapa offers free migration for all new customers.

  • What support is available to me?

    Customers benefit from phone, email and live chat support from its technical support team, the PapaSquad. All support is available 24/7.

    Additionally, all new customers can book a free 30-minute session with a technical support person at HostPapa. This is included free on some plans, but is extra on others.

  • What languages do support staff speak?

    HostPapa offers support in English, French, and Spanish via live chat and email. Multilingual support is not available by phone.

  • Is there an uptime guarantee?

    HostPapa offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. However, after digging through the terms of service I couldn’t find anything that pertained to account refunds or credits if your site does go down. So, no there’s no tangible offer if your site goes offline. HostPapa simply puts it in good faith that your site will experience 99.9% uptime, and the data suggests this is true.

  • Will I get a free domain name?

    Yes. Anyone registering for at least a one-year plan will get a free domain name for one year.

  • Does Hostpapa offer a money-back guarantee?

    Yes. HostPapa offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, less setup and domain registration fees.

  • What if I need to run multiple websites?

    There are no added fees for running multiple websites from one HostPapa account. The only exception is the cheapest shared hosting plan, which is limited to two websites only.

  • Does HostPapa provide a site builder?

    Yes. The HostPapa Starter Edition site builder is included with all plans. It allows you to build a single website with three pages for free.

    Some plans include the upgraded Unlimited Edition. You can pay to upgrade further if you need additional features or templates.

  • Can I get an SSL certificate?

    Yes. HostPapa provides SSL certificates for an additional fee over your hosting plan.

  • Is there a web hosting control panel?

    Yes. All hosting is provided with cPanel.

  • How can I pay for my hosting?

    HostPapa accepts payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) and PayPal. There is a small amount of variation depending upon your country.

  • What is the minimum length of a hosting contract?

    You must pay at least a year in advance. They have 1, 2, and 3 year plans available.

  • Is bandwidth and storage really unlimited?

    HostPapa, like many providers of shared hosting plans, advertises “unlimited” hosting plans. For average or casual users, this will be fine.

    For high-traffic websites, your account may hit their “soft” limits.

    These internal limits are not defined anywhere, but they can be a problem when a site is receiving tens of thousands of visitors a day.

Most Popular HostPapa Alternatives

Kevin Wood

About Kevin Wood

Kevin got his start as a web developer. Now he spends his time as a technical writer and poet. His main interests are technology and human potential. When he’s not diving headfirst into technical topics, you can find him scrawling lines of poetry and getting lost in the woods.

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