HostMonster Review and Test Results



spacer. Ranking: 3.5 stars.
spacer. Cheapest Hosting Plan: (1-year term renewal)* $9.99 per month
spacer. Discount: $4.95 Unlimited Space and Transfer
spacer. Company Founded: 1996
spacer. Domains Hosted: 2000+
spacer. 24×7 Phone Support: Yes
spacer. Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days
spacer. BBB Rating: A+

*Price above based on 1-year term before application of coupon code/introductory discount. While you may pay less for the first year of hosting, unless otherwise indicated, the pricing displayed on this page is the 1-year term renewal rate. Star ratings based on a 0.5 minimum to 5 star maximum scale. Why you can trust our web hosting reviews. >

The Bottom Line


HostMonster’s cheapest shared hosting plan provides unlimited disk space, bandwidth, e-mail accounts, domains hosted, subdomains and more. Exclusive of ecommerce functionality, it includes everything required to set up a personal or business website.

In addition the numerous hosting features, HostMonster performed well in our speed and reliability testing. We do however take issue with a few of their business practices related to their shopping cart and renewal pricing disclosure. We cannot in good conscience endorse a web host whose business practices we find deceptive.

HostMonster has earned the NCM Online designation of NOT RECOMMENDED.

Visit Site >>


Price: 2.5 stars.
Ease-of-Use: 1 star.
Disk Space: 5 stars.
Bandwidth: 5 stars.
Speed: 4 stars.
Uptime: 5 stars.
Support: 5 stars.
BBB Rating: 5 stars.
Guarantee: 4 stars.
Satisfaction: 0.5 stars.
TOTAL: 3.5 stars.



HostMonster offers two shared hosting plans — Standard and Pro. Both provide numerous unlimited features including disk space, bandwidth, domains hosted, e-mail accounts, subdomains, and parked domains. Free extras include one domain name (first year only), a drag and drop site builder, as well as the Mojo Marketplace library of applications and scripts. Both plans feature 24/7 US-based phone, chat, and e-mail support; a 30-day money-back guarantee; and HostMonster’s A+ Better Business Bureau rating (shared with their sister company, Bluehost).

Screenshot of HostMonster homepage. Click image to visit site.

The HostMonster experience begins with their website and simple two-step checkout process. The homepage offers shared hosting for “$4.95/mo*”. If you follow the asterisk down to the bottom of the page, you are informed that this is for the initial 36-month term and that renewal rates start at $6.99 per month. See screenshot below right. While we don’t like the idea of emphasizing the 36-month price, this is a common practice in the web hosting industry upon which we will not dwell. What we do take issue with is the fact that the renewal rates for the more commonly purchased shorter terms are nowhere to be found on the site — not even in the shopping cart.

We have experience with hosting companies that list their renewal rates on a separate page; and even companies that bury them in their Terms of Use. However, we have not often encountered a host that simply did not disclose the renewal rates within the shopping cart or the sales pages of their website. After unsuccessfully searching the HostMonster site, we called the sales line and were informed that the 1-year term plan renews at $9.99 per month.

Screenshot of HostMonster homepage. Click to enlarge.

HostMonster homepage. Click to enlarge.

While the HostMonster 2-step checkout process is fast, we found it to be deceptive. The first practice we took issue with was the fact that the shopping cart automatically selected two optional added-cost services (Site Backup Pro and SiteLock Domain Security). We have nothing against these services, but best business practices dictate that customers actively select any and all products/services added to their shopping cart. We unchecked the two items.

The shopping cart does make reference to renewal pricing within the fine print near the bottom of the page: “Renewal rates and discounts will be available through your control panel.” See screenshot below right. We have reviewed a good number of web hosting companies, but HostMonster is the first to inform us that renewal rates are made available after you make your purchase. Further, the shopping cart does not display the total amount due today or the recurring payment amount.

Screenshot of HostMonster shopping cart. Click to enlarge.

HostMonster shopping cart. Click to enlarge.


We completed the checkout process using the PayPal payment option. One minute after receiving the PayPal receipt, the HostMonster “Welcome” e-mail arrived in our inbox. It provided the information required to upload our NCM Test Site quickly.

HostMonster includes the cPanel control panel with their shared hosting accounts. cPanel allows you to access webmaster functions from a single user-friendly page. It remains our control panel of choice.

WordPress is installed on HostMonster shared website hosting accounts by utilizing the Mojo Marketplace scripts installer. While we prefer the faster and pop-up-advertising-free Softaculous and Fantastico Deluxe script installers, Mojo Marketplace handles the task without notable difficulty.

Once the NCM Test Site was up and running, we set up Dotcom Monitor page-load speed and reliability testing. Ten days later we reviewed the test results.

Screenshot of HostMonster Speed Test Results Chart 4/18/14–4/27/14. Click to enlarge.

HostMonster Speed Test Results Chart. Click to enlarge.


All website hosting services reviewed by NCM Online are purchased and subjected to our 10-day test for uptime and speed. HostMonster speed and uptime testing began on April 18th, 2014 and concluded on April 27th, 2014.

While not the fastest shared hosting provider reviewed to date, HostMonster recorded very good page load speeds. Page-load speed was fastest when accessed from the Colorado testing location with an NCM Test Page load time of only 0.9516 seconds. Site speed was slowest when accessed from Asia. However, HostMonster recorded a comparably excellent average of 1.4786 seconds to load our test site when accessed from the Hong Kong testing location.

Screenshot of HostMonster Uptime Test Results Chart 4/18/14–4/27/14. Click to enlarge.

HostMonster Uptime Test Results Chart. Click to enlarge.

Overall, HostMonster recorded a very good average speed of 1.3804 seconds to load our test site from 13 locations worldwide, and an excellent 0.9722 seconds from 7 U.S. locations. See screenshot right.

Tested for uptime every 15 minutes over 10 days, the HostMonster produced a perfect reliability score of 100%. See uptime test results chart below right.


  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited e-mail accounts
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Unlimited domains hosted
  • Unlimited parked domains
  • Free domain name (1-year)
  • Free drag-and-drop site builder
  • PayPal payment option
  • US-based, 24/7 phone, chat and e-mail support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Good page-load speeds
  • 100% uptime test result


  • Renewal rates are made available after your hosting purchase
  • Two optional items automatically added to shopping cart during checkout process
  • Shopping cart does not display total amount due or the recurring cost
  • The Mojo Marketplace WordPress installer is slow and includes pop-up advertising


Despite the numerous positive aspects of their shared hosting plans, HostMonster’s dubious pricing disclosure practices make them impossible to endorse at this time. Should the company decide to correct their questionable policies, we would be happy to reconsider their current ranking.

HostMonster has earned 3.5 stars and is not recommended by NCM Online.

Pricing and Features

Cheap website hosting company price comparisons based on 1-year term list price before coupon/promo codes or limited time/introductory offer discounts. These are the renewal rates for the second year of hosting. To ensure that you receive the most affordable HostMonster pricing possible, please visit our Web Hosting Coupon Codes page for current discounts and special offers before making any purchases.

Plan Standard Pro
Forwarding Email Accounts UNLIMITED UNLIMITED
Free Domain Name Registration 1 Year 1 Year
3 Web-based Email Solutions Checkmark. Checkmark.
Free Drag and Drop Site Builder Checkmark. Checkmark.
Support International Domain Names Checkmark. Checkmark.
Search Engine Submission Checkmark. Checkmark.
cPanel Account Control Panel Checkmark. Checkmark.
FTP Access Checkmark. Checkmark.
Web File Manager Checkmark. Checkmark.
Secure Shell (SSH) Access Checkmark. Checkmark.
Server Side Includes Checkmark. Checkmark.
Hotlink Protection Checkmark. Checkmark.
Override .htaccess Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
Log Files Checkmark. Checkmark.
Site Statistics Checkmark. Checkmark.
Customizable Error Pages Checkmark. Checkmark.
Custom Cronjobs Checkmark. Checkmark.
Spam Assassin Protection Checkmark. Checkmark.
24×7 Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
30 Day Money-back Guarantee Checkmark. Checkmark.
MySQL Databases Checkmark. Checkmark.
PostgreSQL Databases Checkmark. Checkmark.
CGI-BIN Checkmark. Checkmark.
CGI Library Checkmark. Checkmark.
PHP 5 Checkmark. Checkmark.
Support for Custom PHP.INI Files Checkmark. Checkmark.
Perl 5 Checkmark. Checkmark.
Python Checkmark. Checkmark.
Ruby/Ruby on Rails Checkmark. Checkmark.
MySQL 5 Database Server Checkmark. Checkmark.
PostgreSQL Database Server Checkmark. Checkmark.
Javascript Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
DHTML Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
Flash Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
Shockwave Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
SimpleScripts 1-Click Script Installs Checkmark. Checkmark.
Free Website Scripts
Message Forum (PHPBB and More) Checkmark. Checkmark.
Form-mail Scripts Checkmark. Checkmark.
Social Networking Scripts Checkmark. Checkmark.
Blog Support (WordPress, b2evolution, …) Checkmark. Checkmark.
Mailing Lists Checkmark. Checkmark.
Image Galleries (Coppermine and more) Checkmark. Checkmark.
Poll and Survey Software Checkmark. Checkmark.
Moodle Checkmark. Checkmark.
Tikiwiki Checkmark. Checkmark.
Drupal Checkmark. Checkmark.
Joomla Checkmark. Checkmark.
Project Management Scripts Checkmark. Checkmark.
Help Center/Support Ticket Scripts Checkmark. Checkmark.
E-Commerce Features
SSL Secure Server Checkmark. Checkmark.
OS Commerce Shopping Cart Checkmark. Checkmark.
Agora Shopping Cart Checkmark. Checkmark.
Cube Cart Shopping Cart Checkmark. Checkmark.
Zen Cart Shopping Cart Checkmark. Checkmark.
Free Generated Certificate Checkmark. Checkmark.
Password Protected Directories Checkmark. Checkmark.
OpenPGP/GPG Encryption Checkmark. Checkmark.
Multimedia Features
Streaming Video Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
Streaming Audio Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
Real Audio and Video Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
MIDI File Support Checkmark. Checkmark.
Add Custom MIME Types Checkmark. Checkmark.
World Class Technology
Dual Quad Processor Performance Servers Checkmark. Checkmark.
UPS Power Backup Checkmark. Checkmark.
Diesel Generator Backup Power Checkmark. Checkmark.
Linux Operating System Checkmark. Checkmark.
Customized Apache Web Server Checkmark. Checkmark.
24/7 Network Monitoring Checkmark. Checkmark.
Courtesy Site Backups Checkmark. Checkmark.
Multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet Connections Checkmark. Checkmark.
Advanced Features
Increased Server Performance X Checkmark.
SSL Certificate X Checkmark.
Site Backup Pro X Checkmark.
Premium Spam Protection X Checkmark.
Enhanced Security X Checkmark.
Domain Privacy X Checkmark.
Dedicated IP X Checkmark.
Price per Month* $9.99 $24.99

*Prices based on 1-year term before the application of coupon/promo codes and introductory/limited-time offer discounts. While you may pay less for the first year of hosting, the prices displayed on this page are the 1-year term renewal rates.

Company Information

Founded in 1996, HostMonster has since offered thousands of customers affordable internet hosting packages to help build their personal and business websites. The firm is dedicated to providing top-quality service hosting with the best servers set up with top feature sets. For website administration, they have a plethora of premium tools including secure data backups. Their top-tier services are provided with maximum uptime while still beating the prices of many other hosting companies.

Screenshot of HostMonster homepage. Click image to visit site.There is an online demo website that allows prospective customers to fully understand how HostMonster can enable them to build their websites best. This site has access to cPanel, the site management page, and a wide variety of options allowing the individual to create their website with the most advanced features. The Mojo Marketplace gives every customer access over a hundred plugins, open-source apps, and themes. These are even all easy to use with a one-click installation. Those who host with HostMonster also receive a complementary Yellow Pages listing, complementary business cards, one hundred dollars to use in Google AdWords, and a complementary Yext scan for local web presence examination. Free quotes for customers who require custom programming and professional web design are offered.

For Drupal, PHPB, WordPress, Joomla, and other frequently used content management systems, discounts are offered on premium themes. Postini’s quality anti-spam filtering for e-mail can be purchased for a dollar each month for each e-mail address. For less than one hundred dollars per year, the firm can provide PCI Compliance Service by McAfee. That is only 45% of the normal price.

Downtime is not a threat as HostMonster has some of the best fully redundant systems to maintain reliability for their customers’ websites. Their services are accessible to all types of customers ranging from personal to corporate use. The firm’s customer service team is completely based in America. The support offered is incredibly reliable, quick, and accessible at all hours of the day. They can be reached by live chat or a toll-free number. Webhosting with HostMonster is a convenient and low-price solution for anyone in need of quality webhosting.

HostMonster Inc. 560 Timpanogos Pkwy Orem, UT 84097 866-573-4678 801-494-8462

How to Install WordPress

This video tutorial demonstrates the installation of WordPress on a HostMonster shared hosting account using the cPanel control panel and the Mojo Marketplace applications installer.

Bullet green large.Click to visit the Official HostMonster Website

Return to Website Hosting Reviews >

PLEASE NOTE: While we attempt to provide timely and accurate information, any and all pricing, features, discounts, coupon codes, promo codes, etc. included on this page are beyond the control of and are subject to change without prior notice.

NCM Online