HostPapa Review: Independence at a Price

When someone new to web hosting looks for their first service to host a

Choosing a website host is never easy, especially when you’re just starting out. There are so many companies to choose from! Should you go with a well-known name such as GoDaddy or HostGator, or with a lesser-known company like today’s subject, HostPapa?

Based in Canada, HostPapa bills itself as a web host for small businesses. The reality, however, is that its shared hosting prices are low enough that they are open to anyone who needs to build a website.

The big question, however, is whether HostPapa is the right choice for you. To help to decide, we’ve assessed it on its features, value for money, and performance.

Spoiler alert for those short on time — HostPapa is by no means a bad solution, but it does come bottom of our rankings. With an overall score of 60%, it doesn’t quite compete against the big guns. If you want to pick from the best, read our review of the top three hosting providers.

  • Basic plan supports up to two websites instead of one
  • Free domain with no hidden costs


  • High-priced add-ons at checkout
  • No free backups

The two-domain basic plan is the real eye-catcher. For that very specific need, HostPapa is superb value. Otherwise, it struggles to match up. HostPapa is one of the few independent web hosting providers left in the business, but that independence means they simply don’t have the resources of its competitors.

Reliability & Performance

HostPapa’s uptime is fairly standard at 99.97 percent. That’s a good number. It’s impossible to expect a company to have 100 percent uptime, because problems (as well as maintenance) happen, especially on the internet.

Nevertheless, you do want a company that offers uptime as close to perfect as possible. A 99.97 percent uptime amounts to less than three hours of downtime per year. That’s a great number and offers a high level of reliability whether you’re planning to run a blog or a shop front.

HostPapa’s basic web hosting plan, Starter, uses a mix of standard features you’ll find anywhere, as well as a few surprises. First off, its lowest tier price allows you to host up to two websites on your account. That is unusual since most web hosts only allow a single website on its most basic plan.

The Starter package also has what the company calls “Essential Features”, which include free website transfer, Cloudflare CDN, one-on-one training, free SSL via Let’s Encrypt, cPanel Control Panel, Starter Website Builder, 24/7 support, and a 30-day money back guarantee.

HostPapa also offers a free domain when you pay for a full year of web hosting. This feature is often hit or miss. Some web hosts offer it, and some don’t. What’s key is that HostPapa does, and there don’t seem to be any hidden fees for that free domain as there are with other hosts.

The Starter package allows for 100GB of disk space for your websites, which is a good amount of storage. It’s not the unlimited amounts that InMotion offers, but it’s as good or better than some of the bigger hosting companies.

HostPapa also offers unlimited bandwidth, though you can be penalized for excessive use, which is also not uncommon. As HostPapa describes it, the company’s policy is to deliver all the hardware resources a typical website needs, even at times of increased traffic, without costing you extra. Seems reasonable.

If your site does get insanely large, HostPapa will eventually put constraints on your site performance so as not to impact other customers. Still, you’d have to get pretty big before worrying about that.

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