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HostMonster: In Group of Cheapies with Good Basics
HostMonster is a part of a ring of hosts that are all owned by a guy named Matt Heaton, and they all basically provide the same features and support, just in different packages, with a different photo on the homepage. Other web hosts in the group: BlueHost, FastDomain, and Just Host. So when you’re shopping around those four sites, you’ll realize that it’s all one operator.
One of the group’s big selling points is that they are cheap and are completely American-run with zero outsourcing. You get all the typical unlimited basics: domains, email accounts, disk space, and bandwidth, plus you get a free domain. They’re so confident you’ll be happy, there’s an anytime money back guarantee.
Uptime & Reliability
HostMonster doesn’t throw out a promise of a number, but our testing shows basically perfect uptime. This is probably due to its back-end protections, like SSH access, spam blocker IP deny, and leech protect. These technologies are a step above the usual cheap host offerings, and it means more stability at a lower price.
HostMonster boasts of an impressive selection of features – more than 70, at last count. That’s more than double some hosts, and the selection can be a little overwhelming. However, pay close attention to the Terms of Service—this is where they stipulate limits for things like mysql tables, total number of files—and since every email you receive is counted as a file, there is really no such thing as ‘unlimited email space.’
In addition to the basics, there are some great options for e-commerce, blogs, media management, free search engine submission, and $100 Google AdWords credit to launch your first online advertising campaign.
|Bandwidth||You are allowed unlimited bandwidth with all HostMonster accounts.|
|Disk Space||You are allowed unlimited disk space with all HostMonster accounts.|
|Website Builder||HostMonster includes a slim version of Weebly for free, but if you want over 6 pages on your site, you have to pay for it. Also, with a single click, you can install simple site-builders like WordPress with a single click..|
|Email Accounts||You are allowed unlimited email accounts with all HostMonster accounts.|
|Shopping Carts||HostMonster gives you the option of OS Commerce Shopping Cart or Agora.|
|Stats||Track your site traffic with Awstats or Webalizer.|
|MySQL databases||Although all HostMonster accounts have MySQL, it’s not clear how many databases are allowed.|
|FTP Account||You are allowed unlimited FTP accounts with all HostMonster accounts.|
|Multiple Domains||You are allowed unlimited domains on each HostMonster account.|
Not Many Self-Help Options
If you’re a self-learner, you might find the company lacking. The Help Center doesn’t have a great selection of video tutorials, and the User Forum is unimpressive. For someone who prefers to poke around to find the answer, this isn’t the best option.
The email-based ticket system is responsive, and wait times for live chat and live phone calls are quite slow.
Price Break with 3-Year Contract
Although the service offerings are basically identical, HostMonster is a bit less expensive than BlueHost, and a bit more expensive than JustHost. If you want to work with HostMonster, you get a price break with a 3 year contract.
You also get the common free domain when you purchase hosting for one year.
There is also a “pro” version that offers better performance, but this isn’t necessary for typical individuals and small businesses.
Easy Signup, Easy to Use
Registration is pretty easy, but the company opted to do that sneaky thing of automatically checking some add-ons, so if you don’t pay attention and uncheck them, you’ll be paying for stuff you didn’t necessarily want. For example, SiteSecure is automatically selected. Not cool.
Thankfully, HostMonster utilizes cPanel, which is a relief to those used to its interface. One nice feature about HostMonster is that you can access the cPanel before purchasing, so you can get familiar with it and be sure you like that layout before forking over the cash.
On the downside, HostMonster lets cPanel get a little overburdened with promotions, so it seems a bit cluttered. On the upside, applications like WordPress can be installed with a single click.
HostMonster is one of four sites providing the same features, just priced slightly differently, with different breaks at different contract lengths. For people who want to rely on live help, this is a great option, but if you want a deep pool of knowledge available on videos and a user forum, you will be disappointed.
- Free domain with 1-year contract
- Economical pricing
- American live support
- Money back guarantee, anytime
- Big price break only at 3 years
- Small video tutorial library
- Small user forum
- Poor customer service
- Long wait time for support