Editor's Note: Updated Septemeber, 2017 Founded in 2003, Bluehost is a popular hosting provider based…
HostMonster Review: So Good, It’s Scary!
Bloggers in recent years have been blessed with numerous web design apps and integrations.
Think about it. It wasn’t too long ago when the average blogger had to install WordPress manually, using an FTP. That approach is problematic for the least tech-savvy among us. Sometimes, it required hiring someone to get the job done.
The same went for e-commerce. Magento and PrestaShop weren’t easily installed on a hosting account back then. Now, hosts like HostMonster help you get up and running within minutes.
It’s all because of the wonderful world of apps. And thankfully, HostMonster has embraced app integrations with gusto.
Sure, the actual hosting from HostMonster is pretty standard, but the infrastructure is built to allow beginners to launch professional-looking websites.
There’s no managed WordPress hosting, but the WordPress one-click installation button is enough for most bloggers and small businesses. There are even apps for things like Cube Cart and Drupal. It doesn’t matter which platform you use since it’s all provided through HostMonster.
Combine that with excellent customer support and HostMonster is a viable hosting partner for smaller sites. This especially applies to those who consider themselves beginners. With all this in mind, keep reading to learn more about HostMonster, its pros and cons, and who would benefit the most from its services.
HostMonster Support Rocks
HostMonster puts lots of focus on its live chat module. This 24/7 area asks for your name, domain, and whether you’re an existing or new customer.
It’s one of the more helpful live chat modules we’ve seen, seeing as how the wait times aren’t that long and the customer support reps take their time with each customer.
HostMonster also has technical support over the phone, with the main line for the United States customers as well as an “outside the US” line. This telephone support is also available 24/7, allowing you to contact the team late at night if needed.
It’s clear that HostMonster prefers phone and live chat support over email, but there is an email address if you need it. Other than that, the HostMonster website has a help center for researching your own problems. The HostMonster help center has relevant articles for getting your email account setup and using name servers, too.
The help center leads to links for opening a ticket, looking at your support history, and viewing the full knowledgebase. HostMonster provides video tutorials in this area as well. Not to mention, you can chat with other users in the HostMonster forum.
Tons of Apps & Integrations
HostMonster has a partnership with MOJO Marketplace. If you’re not familiar with MOJO, it’s a website for buying anything from WordPress themes to Magento extensions. Many of these apps and extensions are completely free, but the value comes into play when all of this gets combined with your hosting provider.
So, HostMonster can provide one-click installations for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, OpenCart, Magento, and PrestaShop. This means bloggers don’t need any installation experience with WordPress, and e-commerce newcomers aren’t forced to work with FTP or anything else more complicated.
The one-click installations only scratch the surface of MOJO Marketplace. You can find WordPress and Magento plugins, CSS code, HTML code, and PHP scripts. Some of this is for more advanced users, but the template collection is sure to help out beginners at some point. For instance, the marketplace has templates for Magento, WordPress, OpenCart, Tumblr, and more.
We liken the app and extension collection to that of an iPhone. It’s cool without the apps, but true personalization and functionality come when you start adding apps. The same goes for hosting.
A Few Downsides
The starter (shared) hosting from HostMonster isn’t the most affordable on the market. It’s still pretty inexpensive for hosting, but there are far less expensive options. Another problem we found is that HostMonster fails to offer any monthly hosting plans. This means you must signup for at least one year.
The 30-day guarantee mitigates that problem a bit, but we don’t like seeing customers forced into 12-month contracts.
Other than that, the pros seem to outweigh the cons. The HostMonster pricing isn’t ideal, but the features packed into the plans — like apps — give you a good amount of value.
The Types of Hosting Available
The standard website hosting from HostMonster is shared hosting. This type of hosting is usually inexpensive. As mentioned before, HostMonster isn’t a low-cost leader, but the shared plans are still fairly cheap.
With the standard shared hosting from HostMonster, you get adequate website space, bandwidth, and some included domains. Subdomains and parked domains are included as well, along with some email accounts to make your email communications look more professional.
If you’re looking for a dedicated IP, SSL certificate, domain privacy, or site backups an additional fee is required.
HostMonster doesn’t sell managed WordPress hosting, so bloggers will need to pursue a different host for that service.
The two other forms of hosting offered here include VPS and dedicated.
The VPS is far more affordable than competing services. It offers dual-core, free domains, multiple IPs, and a decent amount of RAM. The VPS services are built on cloud technology and provide an enhanced cPanel and root access. Also, the multi-account management keeps all your accounts in one location.
Finally, the dedicated server option from HostMonster provides one server for all of your business needs. The multiple cores and Intel Xeon processors deliver exceptional performance, while the multiple IPs are great for website networks.
A dedicated server is best for larger companies with lots of traffic coming to their websites. The VPS option works nicely for small and large businesses and bloggers since it’s more affordable.
Lastly, the shared hosting is a good fit for smaller businesses and blogs.
A Little History of HostMonster
HostMonster has been selling hosting since 1996. It’s maintained a focus on helping beginners, small businesses, and individuals who need to get a site online without a lot of technical knowledge.
Therefore, HostMonster has placed resources into building its customer service team and equipment.
Will HostMonster Be a Good Fit for My Blog?
HostMonster provides access to a ton of apps, plugins, and themes. If you’re interested in a one-click installation for something like WordPress, Magento, phpBB, or Drupal, HostMonster has you covered, too.
Affordability is a little tricky here. The shared hosting plans are a little more expensive than the competition. So, if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest hosting out there, HostMonster might not be the right choice for you. That said, the VPS hosting is a great value. Even the dedicated hosting has a lot to offer in terms of pricing. Therefore, low-price seekers will find those two forms of hosting appealing.
Finally, the customer support from HostMonster is hard to pass up. If you’re interested in a reputable support team with a 24/7 live chat, phone line, and ticketing system, HostMonster has what you need.
Overall, bloggers and small businesses are going to enjoy the apps and one-click installs, while larger sites will like the cheaper VPS and dedicated hosting options.