HostPapa is a web hosting company who takes pride in being eco-friendly. They claim their servers are “100% powered by certified green renewable energy sources” and that’s good if it’s true. Now if you want to help the environment in your own small way then you might want to consider green web hosting… but if it means you’d have to go with a company like HostPapa then I suggest you pass on the opportunity to make a difference, at least for now.
I’ve had the chance to try HostPapa’s service last month when a client contacted me to help them with their photo blog. They wanted me to migrate all their Blogspot content to WordPress. I had to do the tweaking, optimizing, and all the typical tasks I do for my WordPress clients. I love helping my clients and I love doing all these things for them, but sometimes it just gets so frustrating when I have to deal with slow and unresponsive hosts.
HostPapa’s Servers: Slow as Hell!
Okay first off, I believe I optimized my client’s site really well. All existing and even newly uploaded images were compressed. Different caching rules were enabled through W3 Total Cache. Plugins were kept to a minimum and the site used a lightweight theme called Schema by MyThemeShop.
Despite doing these and many other things to optimize my client’s WordPress, the site’s loading speed was just horrible. The site was so slow I felt like it was hosted on a cardboard box server powered by paper windmills.
Take a look at the screenshots below. These are the Pingdom website speed test results of my client’s website. These tests were done today but the results have been pretty much consistent since our first day with HostPapa.
10.60s for a 1.1mb page? I manage a lot of my own and my client’s websites and most 1mb pages load in 2 seconds or less. I know of a lot of popular sites that have ~5mb of data on a page and these pages load in about 3 seconds. Surely 10.60s is the slowest this site could get? Unfortunately that’s not the case here… take a look at the two other results below (tested from different locations).
Yeah this is bad. It’s worse than the first one but it’s not the worst. I’m sorry but HostPapa can do a much crappier job than this.
I don’t even know what to say anymore. This is one of the worst speed test results I’ve ever seen. 12.37s for a 1.1mb page is detestable. My client is from the Netherlands and I could only imagine their frustration as they wait for their blog to load.
These shameful loading speeds should be enough to convince you to NOT host your site with HostPapa, but in case you’re still having second thoughts then go ahead and read the rest of this HostPapa review.
Just by taking a look at the speed test results above, you can tell I obviously had to contact HostPapa’s support team about the speed issues. I got on live chat and asked the support rep to check on my client’s account and see why it’s awfully slow. After waiting for about 15 minutes, I got a canned response saying there’s no issue with there servers and that I should just optimize the site instead. He ended the chat right after his copy-pasted response. How unprofessional!
A few hours later, I tried to get on live chat again to discuss the issue with another support rep. I got the same exact reply as I did from the first rep. Who would have thought, right?! It was funny and disgruntling at the same time.
At that moment I just gave up on HostPapa and tried to convince my client it was time to move. As of this writing, my client’s site is still hosted with HostPapa but fortunately I was able to make my client realize that it was about time we end our frustrations. We will be moving their site to a much better and faster server soon.
Ludicrous Pricing and Marketing
Not only does HostPapa provide extremely unsatisfactory service but they also have ludicrous pricing and marketing strategies. If you review their pricing structure, you’ll see that they require all clients to prepay for at least a year.
One year: $5.95/month = $71.40 first invoice
Two years: $4.95/month = $118.80 first invoice
Three years: $3.95/month = $142.20 first invoice
They display a big, fat $3.95/month banner on their homepage but the catch is you have to pay for 3 years to get that monthly rate. That equates to $142.20 for your first invoice and it’s not practical to spend that much for such a unreliable service. You can’t even safely try them for a month because the minimum you’d have to pay is $71.40.
HostPapa‘s servers are slow and their support reps don’t give a flying windmill about that. They will never admit that the problem is on their end. Nevermind their pricing structure that requires clients to prepay for at least three years to get the rates advertised on their homepage. If you don’t want to deal with bad service and unprofessional support then don’t host your website with HostPapa.