Interestingly enough, since EIG took over Bluehost, their domain whois hasn’t been updated with proper ownership information as of the time of this review (see bottom of page).
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Shared Hosting Plan Comparison
Host Monster is an “unlimited everything” style host that offers unlimited space, bandwidth, hosted domains, email accounts, and more. They currently offer $100 in Google Adwords pay per click advertising and include a free site builder and a one click installer software to install the most popular open source software like WordPress.
You’ll pay the following during checkout:
- Monthly payment: Not available
- 12 Month Prepay: $6.95 per month totaling $83.40
- 24 Month Prepay: $5.95 per month totaling $142.80
- 36 Month Prepay: $4.95 per month totaling $178.20
During checkout you’ll see that they offer a “Pro Package” that includes faster speed on “PRO” severs, maximum power with more CPU, memory, and more resources available to your website, and included security with a dedicated IP address, an SSL certificate, Postini anti-spam (10 accounts), domain whois privacy, and more. This add-on is basically a different package and will cost $19.95 per month.
In my opinion, this is basically telling you what hosting experts already know. There is no “unlimited” and hosts that offer these types of packages are typically oversold, slower, and each server is shared with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of websites. The PRO package will basically put your sites on a faster server that is not oversold and not shared with as many people.
Are They Reliable and Trustworthy?
HostMonster is owned by Endurance International and many prior customers have had a lot of negative things to say about the company as a whole. However, with the Bluehost transition, they seem to continue to offer US-based support out of Provo, Utah.
Bluehost offers an Anytime Money Back Guarantee policy that states that you can request a prorated refund for any unused pre-paid portion of your hosting services at any time. If you cancel within 30 days, you will receive a full refund minus any domain name fees. If you choose to take advantage of the free domain for a year feature, you will have to pay a fee of $13.99 for your domain name.
The bad: After reviewing WebHostingTalk, an independently run web hosting discussion forum, I’ve found numerous complains from 2012 that I’ll bring to your attention.
User hostpostmost posted November 28th, 2012 that they had a poor HostMonster hosting experience and said:
From past 2 days sites are very slow and several times does not even open. Analytics shows traffic too has reduced. [..] hostmonster unfriendly staff does not believe that to be true and they quit chat without any intimation. Tried twice with them. Support ticket was also answered with copy/paste replies without deeply looking into anything.
User shovenose shared his poor experience with HostMonster on October 11th, 2012 said:
I used them in the past, the performance and support was horrible. The uptime was average, no complaints there. I had also used other “unlimited” hosts like WebHostingPad, etc. They all sucked, except for HostGator; that used to be the best unlimited hosting. However, EIG (owner of BlueHost and many others), now owns HG as well.
User rEaS made a very lengthy post about HostMonster’s unlimited plan’s limitations on April of 2012 and said:
I’ve had a few moments of downtime, but that’s expected and ok most of the time. There’s been times where the server crawls to a stop almost, having a Drupal site load pages in about 20-25 seconds each which made us almost lose a client as he was reviewing the site at that moment and thought we had messed up on his site.
Anyways, turns out I get a nice little email one of these days telling me that my UNLIMITED account has too many tables in the dbs, and that for “optimization purposes” and other bs, that I had to lower the limit of tables in my databases to 1000.
User LarryTX posted on June of 2012 about their terms of service being less than friendly.
After three years of hosting my site and providing reasonably good service, they recently started a “Terms of Service Compliance Department” and have shut my Web site down three times in the last two months because of what they call excessive database size.
I’ve tried to find positive reviews about HostMonster from 2012 or 2013 and couldn’t find any at all. I try to show both sides of the coin but it simply wasn’t possible in this case.
The Host Monster ECommerce Solution
The best way to get an E-commerce store running with HostMonster is to initially purchase or upgrade to the “Pro Package” which includes a SSL certificate and the dedicated IP address you’ll need to accept credit cards online via your website.
This “Pro Package” includes a 1-click installer that allows you to quickly install the most popular open-source shopping carts including OS Commerce, Agora, and more.
Customer Service Review
Host Monster offers several customer support options including:
- A toll-free telephone number with 24×7 support.
- Live chat.
- Help ticket system.
- Knowledge base that was updated as of a day ago according to the site.
- Video tutorials
- User discussion forum that is not active with only a few posts made daily, 7,246 threads, and 32,396 posts at the time of this review.
Scott’s Final Thoughts
I’ve found that their own user forum was flooded with spam and junk topics at the time of this review with little to no user interaction.
Additionally, I was able to find some negative reviews posted recently on their own forum complaining about customer support, backend management system not supporting IE10, email not working properly, and more.
This particular review on HostMonster’s own forum will likely be deleted by the company, therefore, instead of directly linking to the review, I took a screenshot of it and uploaded it here:
Unfortunately after my review of HostMonster’s independently posted Internet reviews, I’d say use this brand at your own risk.
Please visit HostMonster directly to verify current pricing and plan options.