Hostmonster Hosting Review

 
Hostmonster is another Endurance International Group brand, and is in fact the sister company of BlueHost. As such, they have a virtually identical offering and price points.

Prices starting at $3.95/Month

Shared hosting

Like BlueHost, they start at $3.95 p/mo for their basic shared hosting option. This includes unlimited bandwidth and 100GB website space. However, this is subject to their terms and conditions and acceptable use limits. Basically, it means that if you’re seen using what they say is more than your fair share, then they ‘throttle’ your site, essentially massively reduce your site speed and access to shared resources. Both BlueHost and Hostmonster have a string of complaints against this practice, as there are problems with Hostmonster both unreasonably shutting down sites as well as shutting down the wrong site.

That aside, their shared hosting isn’t a bad option. Virtually identical to other IEG products, they offer general support for a wide range of options for most small website needs, including message forum, blog, and CMS scripts, ecommerce features like OS commerce shopping cart and SSL secure server, and a range of language and databases to choose from.

VPS and dedicated hosting

The VPS option for Hostmonster starts at only $14.99, which puts it at the lower end of things for VPS. That gets you a single core, 2GB RAM, 1TB of bandwidth and 30GB of storage. This is all run on CentOS 6.5. More expensive hosting plans will get you more cores, storage, RAM, bandwidth, and an additional IP address. Their VPS uses cPanel to get absolute control and root access, so you have absolute control over your patch of server.

Their dedicated hosting option starts at $74.99 for duel core 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon processor, 3MB cache, 4GB RAM,500GB RAID-1 storage, and 3 IPs. Like their VPS solutions, their dedicated solutions are tiered, with more expensive plans giving customers more processing power, a bigger cache, more RAM and more storage. They top out at $124.99 p/mo.

MySQL

Hostmonster offers MySQL 5 and PostgreSQL. They have both phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin, and they actually store their shared databases on separate servers to their web files, which significantly increase the stability of the entire system.

However, due to the complexity of caching they don’t offer any caching for their databases for shared hosting, a serious lapse given how effective it is for increase site speed. What’s more, they don’t offer any option for webmasters to develop a SQL cache themselves with shared hosting, instead pushing their VPS and dedicated options if caching is a requirement. So while they might optimize their own WordPress sites, for example, there’s little to no control for developers who want shared hosting but want a fast site.

When it comes to support though Hostmonster does a great job. In addition to the basic knowledge base and user forums to answer questions, they also have a database demo option, where you can go and sandbox new ideas or just try and get your head around MySQL. Their demo service alone makes up for a lot of the problems with their MySQL hosting options.

Conclusion

Hostmonster is basically the same offering as other IEG sites like BlueHost and Just Host – it’s highly standardized, and for those who want a really basic and easy-to-understand product then it’s fine. They promise to get you up and running in a hurry and stay within your budget. But if you want to make your SQL queries sing and you’re a tinkering developer at heart, even their demo service isn’t going to make up for their lack of database flexibility.

Prices starting at $3.95/Month

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