Updated · Aug 03, 2022
Best for: Dedicated hosting users
What Is HostMonster?
HostMonster is a shared, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated hosting provider with a home base in Utah. It’s one of the web hosts under the control of Newfold Digital, Inc. (formerly The Endurance International Group, Inc.).
HostMonster doesn’t have the feature set of other blue-chip vendors. But it has teamed up with the likes of Cloudflare, CodeGuard, and SiteLock to enhance its platform’s hosting prowess. Natively, it has stellar spam filtering capabilities.
HostMonster has been offering web hosting since 1996. Without a doubt, its longevity is admirable. But judging by verified HostMonster reviews, its user base is divided on whether it’s worth the money.
Infrastructure and Network
HostMonster has a custom-built network, application-specific integrated circuits, and server chipsets. It has customized Apache running on Linux web servers and multiple 10-GB ethernet connections too.
To prevent data loss, it uses an interruptible UPS power supply backed up with diesel generators. In addition, it has an automatic site backup system in place.
This vendor’s data centers are all in the United States. And they’re under monitoring around the clock.
To cache site content all over the world, HostMonster has partnered with Cloudflare. Using the latter’s CDN service, the former can improve the online experience of site visitors outside the US.
This hosting provider’s CDN covers all seven continents, but only the European side of the network is free. Unlocking the rest requires a fee, but you can purchase it directly from HostMonster.
Here are the goods:
With this hosting platform, you can build sites using leading content management systems (CMS). This is good news if you’re a fan of WordPress, Tikiwiki, Joomla!, or Drupal.
If you plan to offer training courses and other educational resources, you’ll find this web host useful too. It supports the world’s most popular learning management system Moodle.
HostMonster Ecommerce Hosting
The service can power online stores. It’s compatible with different shopping carts, including CubeCart, OsCommerce, AgoraCart, and Zen Cart. It also leverages password-protected directories, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security, and more.
HostMonster Email Hosting
This vendor supports all email clients. After signup, its team will help you set everything up.
With the right package, you can create an unlimited number of email accounts and enjoy storage with no cap.
HostMonster Website Scripts
To lend interactivity to your sites, use this vendor’s free form-mail, project management, social networking, and support ticket scripts.
Likewise, you can enrich your pages with polls, surveys, and Coppermine-based image galleries.
Powered by Weebly, HostMonster’s drag-and-drop builder makes it simple to design web pages.
Only the tool’s basic version is accessible for free. If you wish to beautify your ecommerce sites with it, you have to pay extra to unlock advanced capabilities.
You can use HostMonster for a quick domain check to see all the available options for your site’s name. The company gives you access not just to original and country-code top-level domain names but also to new generic ones.
Alternatively, you can use your existing domain. But buying one empowers HostMonster to change nameservers.
You can also hide your personal details by purchasing Domain Privacy.
HostMonster charges more for domain renewal than for registration. Nevertheless, it throws in one free domain registration for a year, so you still stand to save some money.
As your registrar, this host can assist in sorting out domain disputes under certain circumstances.
HostMonster Modified cPanel
This web host has an improved version of the cPanel for managing all hosting-related matters. Its interface is beginner-friendly. But experienced users have the option to use the control panel’s traditional layout.
This hosting provider goes out of its way to display site-related stats. These figures can help you analyze the performance of your pages, revealing their strengths and weaknesses.
Ultimately, HostMonster can only recommend what you ought to do for better search engine optimization (SEO). You have to make the needed improvements to make your pages appear above the fold.
HostMonster isn’t an excellent alternative to tried-and-true SEO tools by any stretch of the imagination. But you may get by with it if you’re pinching pennies.
Now let’s take a look at the measures this web host takes to keep user accounts and sites under its custody secure.
As mentioned, the company uses SSL certificates to improve the reputation of the sites it hosts. They facilitate secure communication between end-user devices and web servers by encrypting and decrypting data.
Each SSL certificate is married to a specific domain. So, you’ll need a new one when renaming yours.
Using the HostMonster cPanel, you can manage your SSL certificates with ease. That’s where you have to go to buy some and pick the domains to install them on.
Free certificates get the job done. But paid ones include many useful features like an attention-grabbing seal that would underscore your site’s security.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a means of requiring an additional key to unlock an account upon login. This cybersecurity booster doesn’t translate to absolute impregnability, but it can frustrate hackers.
HostMonster supports two 2FA options: time-based one-time password (TOTP) authenticator apps and email.
To set up the former, download a third-party authenticator app and then add your hosting account using a secret key. Google Authenticator is a common choice. Once verified, the app will constantly generate a TOTP, which you’ll need to log in.
To set up the latter, go to settings and enter the email address where you want to receive your authentication codes.
The first option is device-based, so it can work offline. The second needs an internet connection, but you can get the code through any device.
You can supplement your main account, billing, and hosting passwords separately with either 2FA option.
With proper configuration, this free email filter can reduce your chances of falling victim to fraudsters.
SpamAssassin scans incoming messages across all of your email accounts, hunting for words, phrases, and formats that reek of phishing. Needless to say, it’s one of the first things you should activate when you log into your account.
For more potent spam filtering, strongly consider this premium service. It has advanced spam pattern detection and self-learning filtering mechanisms designed to outsmart fraudsters who never stop reinventing themselves.
HostMonster claims that this email filtering system is wrong only 0.02% of the time. If true, then it’s super accurate.
If SpamExperts catches something “phish-y,” it’ll quarantine the suspect message. You can securely check this email later through the SpamPanel, which is powerful in its own right.
The SpamPanel logs email connections and retains them for 14 days. It can keep incoming mail in a queue when the server is down and generate reports. It lets you blacklist or whitelist specific senders and recipients too.
SpamExperts may come with your chosen plan at no extra cost. But you may spend some money if you have more HostMonster domain names than it can cover.
This premium monitoring solution can keep your site free from malware and off search engine blacklists.
Similar to the partnership between HostMonster and Cloudflare, this vendor sells its third-party malware scanner and remover directly.
To protect you from costly data loss, this web host can automatically back up your sites daily with CodeGuard. The backups are downloadable for ease of transfer and offline access in the form of zip files.
It renders data restoration a breeze too. You can replace your current files with their versions in storage with just a click.
The company maintains short-, medium-, and long-term archives. This way, you can quickly find the right ones instead of dealing with confusing duplicates.
Furthermore, you can browse and choose the specific pieces of data you want to bring back online.
Using the HostMonster backup and restoration functions, you can recover data by file, group of files, or folder. This is neat if you don’t want to replace your entire site.
And you can do the same with MySQL databases. If you wish, you can restore individual tables instead of entire databases.
I second the reports from several other sources: this vendor’s uptime is around 99.97%–99.98%. Either way, the hosting provider’s network availability is above average.
However, I also echo the observations of other HostMonster reviews: the company doesn’t seem to have any uptime guarantee.
The best this web host can promise is to resolve any issue resulting in downtime within 15 minutes. In extreme cases, it acknowledges that it could take a day for its team to restore everything. Despite this, it offers no compensation for such inconvenience.
The vendor’s help desk confirmed that its shared servers have a response time of 4–5 seconds. With proper optimization, they can bring it down to 3 seconds.
The company’s VPS and dedicated servers can be as fast as 500 milliseconds to 1 second.
HostMonster Hosting Services
This vendor offers three hosting solutions.
If you have a small or medium site, splitting a server’s resources with others is cost-effective.
To help ensure that nobody suffers from performance issues and discourages abusive behavior, Hostmonster Inc. implements CPU protection. The company would penalize any user who’s hogging supposedly shared server resources.
On paper, this CPU protection system would enforce parity. But in reality, the company has misidentified abusers and has throttled the usage of the wrong users in the past.
Due to the nature of other hosting solutions, CPU protection doesn’t apply to users who are paying for dedicated resources.
Moreover, HostMonster sells shared hosting in four packages, all of which have unmetered bandwidth. This means you don’t have to worry about your usage and its impact on your bill.
Naturally, its starter plan has some limitations. But you can get rid of constraints if you upgrade to the next one up. This web host’s top-tier package comes with more and better security features.
If you don’t need the processing power of an entire server but want guaranteed resources, use a HostMonster VPS.
This hosting vendor uses KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine), OpenStack, and other advanced cloud technologies. This is how it ensures that the processors, memory, and disk space you paid for are always available.
Furthermore, it gives you root access to CentOS, lets you play with the enhanced cPanel, and has one-login multi-account management capabilities.
Whichever of the four packages you select, rest assured that you’ll enjoy managed services. Instantly provisioned, you can get started right after signing up.
Perfect for hosting resource-hungry sites, this option is scalable to achieve greater performance when needed. The price tags of this hosting solution’s three plans may be relatively steep. But you stand to get powerful specs no matter which one you choose.
Contrary to what the company’s representative told me, every HostMonster dedicated server is managed. This web host can get everything up and running in seconds thanks to instant provisioning.
HostMonster has 11 plans across 3 hosting services. Each service has a unique set of add-ons.
A word of caution:
This vendor advertises the monthly pricing of its plans, regardless of the term. And it likes to offer a promotional price and tends to check some extras automatically. So, double-check everything before completing your order to know what you’re really signing up for.
HostMonster Shared Hosting Plans and Prices
1 site, unmetered bandwidth, 50-GB site space, 5 100-MB email accounts, 200,000 files max, and standard performance. It includes 20 MySQL databases, free SSL certificates, 1 free domain registration, and 25 subdomains too.
Unlimited sites, email accounts and storage, MySQL databases, and subdomains, plus unmetered bandwidth and site space, and 200,000 files max. It also includes all Basic free features and SpamExperts for 1 domain.
All unlimited, unmetered, and free features of Plus along with 200,000 files max. It includes SpamExperts for 1 domain, 1 free Domain Privacy, and 1-year CodeGuard Basic too.
All unlimited, unmetered, and free features of Choice along with 300,000 files max. It also promises high performance, SpamExperts for 2 domains, Positive SSL certificate, automated backups, and free dedicated IP.
CentOS 6.5 (64-bit), Dual-core CPU, 2-GB RAM, 30-GB SAN storage, 1-TB monthly network bandwidth, and free SSL certificates. It also includes 1 free domain registration, 1 dedicated IP, and cPanel and WHM with root.
All Standard features, except that its RAM is 4 GB and SAN storage is 60 GB. It has 2-TB monthly network bandwidth and 2 free dedicated IPs too.
All Enhanced features, except that it has a triple-core CPU, 6-GB RAM, and 90-GB SAN storage.
All Premium features, except that its CPU is quad-core, RAM is 8 GB, and SAN storage is 120 GB. It also has 3-TB monthly network bandwidth.
CentOS 6.5 (64-bit), quad-core 8-thread Intel® Xeon Processor, 3-MB cache, 4-GB RAM, and 500-MB RAID. It has 5-TB network bandwidth, 1 free domain registration, free auto SSL, and 3 dedicated IPs too. Plus, it includes cPanel and WHM with root.
All Standard features, except that it has 8-MB cache, 8-GB RAM, 1-GB RAID 1, and 10-TB network bandwidth. It also comes with 4 dedicated IPs.
HostMonster offers different billing options. But the payment frequency you can use would depend on your chosen hosting service.
The terms you can choose from are as follows:
- Shared web hosting: 12, 24, or 36 months
- VPS hosting: 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months
- Dedicated hosting: 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months
HostMonster has inconsistent content. The extras displayed on its Help Center and Checkout page are different:
Nevertheless, here are the HostMonster add-ons and prices you may encounter:
- CodeGuard: $2.99/month
- Dedicated IPs: $5.99/month
- Premium SSL certificates: Prices start at $80.04/year
- SpamExperts: $2.99/domain/month
- Domain Privacy: $0.99/month
- SiteLock: Prices start at $2.08/month
- SEO Tools: Prices start at $1.99/month
- SAN Storage
- $50.00/month for 500 GB
- $100.00/month for 1 TB
- $200.00/month for 2 TB
- $400.00/month for 4 TB
The fee to reactivate an expired account is $30.00.
Payment and Refund Policy
You can use your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or PayPal to buy a HostMonster hosting package.
It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, making its hosting service fully refundable within the said period.
This guarantee doesn’t apply to most add-ons. And if your chosen subscription includes free domain registration, this vendor will deduct $15.99 from your refund.
The fee intends to not only cover the host’s expense but also allows HostMonster to ensure you won’t lose your domain. As its owner, you may change registrars 60 days after registration or point them elsewhere.
Irrespective of the term, this hosting provider’s subscriptions don’t come with a contract. So, there’s no penalty for canceling your account early.
There’s some confusion as to whether you can get a partial refund for the unused portion of your term, though. HostMonster’s money-back guarantee says that you’re not entitled to it, but a member of its help desk told me otherwise.
HostMonster Customer Support
To get in touch with HostMonster, you can chat with its representatives, who are available night and day.
If you’d like to speak with someone over the phone, you can contact any of its US and non-US hotlines. The company provides phone support for sales, tech, billing, and terms of service compliance and verification.
What’s more, it has a dedicated number of users who rely on assistive technology.
With a HostMonster demo account, you can easily get a grip on the platform through a guided walkthrough.
I had a back-and-forth with a chat rep. And I can attest to the fast responsiveness of the company’s help desk. The agent was helpful and knowledgeable. But some of the information I received contradicts what HostMonster’s site states. The best example was the web host’s refund policy.
Moreover, this hosting provider no longer monitors its social media accounts. In January 2022, its team announced on Facebook and Twitter that users should visit their site for customer support. Save for this post, both pages have been dormant since 2014 and 2016, respectively.
This company’s YouTube channel is the same story. Created in 2014, it’s devoid of content except for an old HostMonster video about SSL certificates.
When it comes to self-help options, the company doesn’t provide enough insightful resources.
Its Help Center contains many reads, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find something meaningful about a popular topic.
Just look at the results for my “CDN” search inquiry below.
Some entries are even empty. Like this one:
And if you discover helpful articles, you won’t see their date of publication and/or modification. So, you can’t tell when HostMonster uploads or updates knowledge-base entries.
Plus, I couldn’t find a blog and a forum.
HostMonster vs GoDaddy
Which one will triumph in this face-off: the older or the bigger web host?
GoDaddy is the more diverse provider, offering shared, VPS, dedicated, WordPress, business, and reseller hosting packages. HostMonster can only cover the first three of its rival's offerings.
Either can help you build sites and offer insights into how to optimize pages for search dominance.
HostMonster has free SSL encryption, solid email security features, and site backup capabilities. But GoDaddy has more sophisticated anti-hacking functionalities like hotlink protection.
As far as networks go, GoDaddy has a native CDN, while HostMonster depends on Cloudflare's infrastructure. The former is a domain checker and registrar, but the latter is also a premium domain broker.
Speed and Uptime
GoDaddy's response time is 150% faster than HostMonster’s.
It has a 99.9% uptime guarantee and provides a 5% discount when it falls short of its own standard. On the other hand, HostMonster hardly experiences downtime but offers no compensation when it does.
GoDaddy has live chat reps and a more organized knowledge base. It has a forum for its community too. But if you need technical help, you'll have to submit a ticket.
HostMonster extends tech support via chat and phone, which is more convenient.
HostMonster’s starter shared and VPS hosting plans are 100% and 300% more costly than their GoDaddy counterparts.
In terms of dedicated hosting, HostMonster is 18% more affordable than GoDaddy. But the latter is available for trial use.
Likewise, GoDaddy renders its monthly and annual subscriptions fully refundable within 2 and 30 days, respectively. Regardless of the package, HostMonster’s refund policy covers buyer’s remorse for 30 days.
HostMonster vs Bluehost
Let’s see which web host is better in this sibling rivalry.
Both web hosts share many freebies, including:
- Free SSL certificates
- drag-and-drop site builder
- SEO tools
HostMonster advertises unmetered bandwidth; Bluehost only implies it. But each has its own way of keeping data hoggers in line. The former would throttle your usage of resources, whereas the latter would ask you to upgrade.
Bluehost and HostMonster deliver decent ecommerce and CMS support. In terms of webmail, HostMonster can handle all email clients, whereas Bluehost only covers the Microsoft Office 365 suite.
If you want a hosting subscription with free domain registration, you can’t go wrong with either of the two. Both vendors let you purchase domain names plus privacy protection.
When it comes to account management, both of them use cPanel.
Like HostMonster, Bluehost offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting services. But it goes even further. It sells managed hosting plans for WordPress and does business with resellers.
Security-wise, HostMonster and Bluehost can scan for malware and save backups automatically. The former has the upper hand in terms of spam filtering. But the latter has the advantage in anti–Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection.
Speed and Uptime
The shared hosting servers of these sister web hosts can load sites in as fast as three seconds. And HostMonster and Bluehost’s historical uptime figures have been higher than the industry average. However, only the latter guarantees minimal downtime.
Both Bluehost and HostMonster extend support via chat and phone. But only the latter is reachable via email and is available 24/7 across all mediums.
The monthly pricing of Bluehost’s cheapest package costs $9.04 less than its HostMonster equivalent. But this affordable subscription fee comes with a twist: a three-year contract. HostMonster is more expensive, but at least it doesn’t ask for commitment.
HostMonster vs HostGator
What will happen when a monster and a gator go head to head? Let’s find out.
HostMonster and HostGator give away a domain and offer free site encryption. You can expect unmetered bandwidth and unlimited subdomains from either. And both vendors have site builders with drag-and-drop functionality, provide SEO tools, and use CodeGuard too. Plus, these two have their own version of cPanel.
As far as packages are concerned, HostMonster can only match HostGator’s shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting solutions. The former has no answer to the latter’s plans for WordPress site owners and resellers.
To help you switch providers, HostGator offers free migration. It can also help you get a head start in advertising with $200 worth of Google and Bing Ads credit. HostMonster provides neither of those.
On the security front, HostGator has robust enterprise-level protections like a web application firewall that can deny malicious traffic. It can also geo-restrict users through their IP addresses. On the other hand, the notable HostMonster security features are automatic backups, spam filters, and malware scans.
Speed and Uptime
After comparing VPS hosting services, HostMonster’s 500 ms isn’t fast enough to catch up with HostGator’s 350 ms.
Moreover, HostGator ensures that its network stays available 99.99% of the time and backs it up. If it breaks this promise, it will give you a month's credit for the trouble.
HostMonster’s servers historically remain online for about the same amount of time. But this web host offers no uptime guarantee you can hold on to.
HostMonster doesn’t hold a candle to HostGator in this department.
HostGator does almost everything HostMonster does to assist users at a higher level. Good cases in point are its abundant video tutorials and localized sites for country-based support.
HostGator’s lowest price is cheaper than HostMonster's comparative plan by $9.24. Also, the former has a longer money-back guarantee, 45 vs. 30 days.
HostMonster Review – Verdict
The thing about this web host is its anti-spam defenses. Although it has limited hosting options, it has flexible pricing and requires no long-term commitment.
I didn’t like the inadequacies of this provider’s knowledge base. But the fact that I could expect a live chat rep any time I needed one was reassuring.
Also, despite its lack of uptime guarantee, its historical network availability numbers are encouraging, making it less of a risky bet.
What is HostMonster used for?
HostMonster has the means to host sites of different sizes and with various resource requirements. It’s compatible with major CMS as well as ecommerce solutions.
Primarily, it sells shared hosting. But it also offers VPS and dedicated hosting solutions.
Is HostMonster safe?
To protect sites from different cyber threats, this web host uses spam filters and data backup and restoration capabilities.
Also, it supports 2FA and has a working relationship with SiteLock, a premier malware scanner and remover.
Who owns HostMonster?
HostMonster is among the dozens of brands under the umbrella of Newfold Digital, Inc. For this reason, it’s a sibling of Bluehost and HostGator.
How do I contact HostMonster?
HostMonster offers round-the-clock live chat and phone support for sales, tech, billing, and more during office hours. It has dedicated hotlines for US and non-US callers.
To learn about the quality of customer support you can expect from this web host, read my complete HostMonster review.
Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he's trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a content contributor for TechJury, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.
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