Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: August 2020
Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we've used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts... these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands we've been featured on
This review is focused on HostPapa as a web host for Canada, but most of the review also applies if you’re looking to use them for another country. HostPapa is through and through Canadian, their headquarters and data centers are both in Toronto, AND they charge in CAD (which is hard to find these days as most web hosts charge in USD). We gladly recommend them as a great web hosting provider for Canada (Though they’re generally a great choice for any country really)!
We generally look at the following 4 aspects of a web host to determine its overall quality: Ease of use, Speed (on a global level), Support, and Uptime. HostPapa scored very high on all points!
Reasons to choose HostPapa
Let’s start with what we consider HostPapa’s best features, those that immediately give them the edge over the competition. For the majority of people looking for a decent web host, the following quick summary is enough to convince them that HostPapa is the one to go with.
- Servers in Canada: For a lot of people, this is the most important decision point. The majority of web hosts advertising as “Canadian” web hosts, only have servers in the US. HostPapa actually has servers in Canada (Toronto to be specific), meaning less loading times for a Canadian audience.
- 24/7 support: Super helpful, and that’s via phone, chat, and tickets, the choice is yours. They even offer 30-minute one-on-one sessions to help you get set up right.
- Lots of free stuff: Free domain name, free SSL certificates, free CDN integration, free website migration… we love it!
- 30-day money back guarantee: Not happy for any reason? No problem, you have nothing to lose.
- Plenty of Disk Space: Their basic plan comes with 100 GB, enough to power a big e-commerce store… you won’t be running out of disk space anytime soon.
It’s truly a no-brainer. As for costs, they have 3 hosting plans, their most affordable plan starts at only CAD $3.36/mo!
HostPapa is a privately-held company that focuses on providing hosting services including shared, reseller, and virtual private servers (VPS). The company was founded in 2006 by Jamie Opalchuk. Their main headquarters is based in Canada with most of their customer-based residing in Canada as well.
HostPapa takes corporate responsibility seriously. They are one of the first Canadian web hosting companies who made a commitment to going green. They take environmental protection measures into account by using 100% green renewable energy. Their web servers, office spaces, and data centers are all powered by renewable energy.
The company has garnered both corporate and industry awards. They have an accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). From 2013-2016, they garnered an award from Profit 500 as one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies.
We’ll go through the plans below, you’ll notice the pricing is higher here… this is the normal pricing HostPapa has, but going through one of my review links, you can grab a plan for only $3.36. Now, let’s have looksy, HostPapa provides three types of Web Hosting Plans. These are called “Starter,” “Business,” and “Business Pro.”
The cheapest Starter plan costs CAD 3.95 per month if you pay for 36 months upfront. However, it will cost you CAD 4.95 and CAD 5.95 per month if you pay for at least 24 months and 12 months, respectively. With their plans, you cannot opt for a month-per-month mode of payment.
The Starter Plan gives you the ability to host two websites on your hosting account. Plus, they provide you with 100GB worth of storage space. The good thing about it is they offer unlimited bandwidth. This means, you can transfer unlimited data from the server to the device requesting the data. The cheapest plan also provides you with a free domain name registration if you opt for plans that are 12 months or longer.
HostPapa gives you the ability to build a website within a few minutes with its easy-to-use website builder. You don’t need any coding or design experience to construct your own website. It has a drag-and-drop capability and provides you with a variety of widgets and applications. In addition, they provide hundreds of stunning website templates suited for a variety of niches. They provide user-friendly control panels and HostPapa dashboards to manage all the products and/or services you have availed.
If you love WordPress-based websites, then HostPapa is the hosting company for you. You can install more than 400 applications with 1-click installation features. These applications include WordPress, Joomla, and a variety of small business tools.
If you want to migrate your website, HostPapa would help you do it for free. And if your website handles sensitive information, the company also provides a free Let’s Encrypt SSL. This is good for both protecting sensitive information and enhancing your website’s ranking in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
User experience is made superior since HostPapa provides enhanced website performance through a combination of astounding Cloudflare delivery networks and SuperMicro servers. Through their powerful servers, users won’t experience lags and won’t notice indications of poor website performance. In addition, they promise a 99.99% uptime which helps you avoid website crashes and downtimes.
Incredible as it may seem, HostPapa provides you almost all options for customer support:
- You can call them through phone,
- You can send a fax letter,
- You can message them through email,
- You can contact them through live chat support,
- You can opt for the self-help knowledgebase and video tutorials,
- You can hop onto a weekly webinar for more knowledge,
- You can check the network status through their website, and
- You can opt for a free and exclusive one-on-one video training session with an expert from HostPapa.
The company’s self-help knowledgebase and video tutorials are enough to help you learn how to get your site up and running. They pride in providing 24×7 customer support service through email, submission of support tickets, live chat, phone, and fax.
One unique thing about HostPapa is their provision of a webpage that includes the Network Status of the company. In their Network Status, you are able to check if the company is experiencing Service Disruptions, Service Outages, and various issues with their products and/or services.
For example, you can check if there’s an issue with FTP Services, DNS Control Panels, Mail Delivery Services, mySQL Database Services, and the like. Their Network Status page also includes schedules of planned maintenance. All of these are very helpful for website owners like you. It allows you to schedule and think ahead of time when it comes to your website.
When it comes to reviews, HostPapa is a clear winner. Most users experienced great customer support that provided troubleshooting guidelines according to their needs. Almost every review stated that the support team is very professional and timely. And some even say their customer support team exceeded users’ expectations.
Signing up with HostPapa has clear advantages. Here are some of them:
Free Domain Registration
If you opt for plans that are paid 12 months (or more) in advance, you can get a free domain registration. This means, you can create your own domain name for free. This can save you a few bucks since you don’t need to pay for your website’s domain name.
When your website get thousands or even millions of users per day, you will need a huge amount of bandwidth. With HostPapa’s Starter Plan, you get unlimited bandwidth allowing you to accommodate multiple website users all throughout the day.
Free Let’s Encrypt SSL
Users are getting warier nowadays. Website encryption and security have become a common ground for most website owners. HostPapa gives you a free Let’s Encrypt SSL making your website more secure. You’re able to protect your users’ sensitive information when you opt for this feature.
Excellent Customer Support
An astounding customer support service is provided by HostPapa. Aside from multiple options to contact them for high-class support, you can also opt for a free one-on-one training session. This can be very valuable especially if you don’t know the ropes of web hosting and cPanel management.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
No questions asked. If you are not happy with their service, they provide you with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is useful for starters out there who are trying out multiple hosting providers before they commit to a single company.
1-Click Installation of Apps
With their interface, you are able to install a lot of applications by choosing from over 400 tools available. Small business tools are included in the package and it also comes with WordPress and Joomla. If you don’t have the coding experience, then using 1-click installation features can defintely help you to build your websites.
No Email Accounts on the basic plan
The Starter Plan doesn’t provide you with mailboxes for your website. Thus, you have to opt for the next plan in order to get unlimited email accounts. The Starter Plan might not be for you especially if you need an email account in your domain name (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mimicking the summary at the top, HostPapa is definitely a great choice, highly recommended. Speedy servers in Canada, CAD prices, excellent customer support, HQ in Toronto… it’s a no-brainer!