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HostPapa Review—Is This Website Builder Right for You?

An affordable website builder with few advanced features

Michael Graw

In a Nutshell

The HostPapa website builder is an affordable option for first-time creators who want to get up and running quickly. The platform includes more than 230 templates and simple customization options. However, the builder doesn’t include any advanced features like built-in email marketing or dedicated blogging tools. Overall, HostPapa might be okay for designers on a tight budget, but we think there are better options available.

pros

  • Included with HostPapa hosting plans
  • Free one-on-one training session
  • Very simple to use

cons

  • No free trial or money-back guarantee
  • Very few marketing or SEO tools

HostPapa HostPapa Visit Site

What Is HostPapa?

HostPapa is a Canadian hosting company founded in 2006. The company specializes in low-cost hosting solutions for small businesses, but it’s also suitable for individuals looking to make their mark online. 

The HostPapa website builder is designed to complement the company’s hosting plans, and the lowest-tier builder package is free with all HostPapa hosting plans. The platform is designed to enable you to launch a site in minutes and it comes with free one-on-one coaching from HostPapa’s customer support team. On the whole, HostPapa’s builder is suitable if you just want to get online quickly, but it’s not as robust as other website builders for ecommerce or online marketing.

HostPapa homepage

Using HostPapa

HostPapa’s website builder was quite easy to use. You can get started simply by choosing one of the platform’s templates, and it’s easy to modify the look of your site by customizing fonts and colors.

The HostPapa site builder is fairly straightforward to use and lets you drag and drop content elements onto your site. You can preview how your site will look to visitors on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device at any time. When you’re ready to launch, it only takes one click to bring your website live.

HostPapa Features and Tools

Free Domain

The HostPapa website builder comes with a free domain name for the first year. If you choose HostPapa hosting, you’ll also receive a free SSL certificate, email addresses at your domain, and unlimited bandwidth for your website.

Code Editor

HostPapa makes it easy to modify some aspects of your site’s template, like fonts and background colors. For more in-depth changes, you can edit your site’s HTML and CSS code directly. HostPapa also enables you to inject code into the header and footer of your site, which allows you to further customize how text and images are displayed across your pages. 

Note that the code editor is only available with the upper-tier Premium and Enterprise website builder plans.

How to Create a Website with HostPapa

HostPapa makes the process of launching a new website incredibly simple. To get started, you can choose from more than 230 templates. All templates are mobile responsive and they’re organized into categories for different types of businesses. You can change your template later on, but you’ll have to redesign your site from scratch if you do.

Once you’ve selected your template, you can customize it. HostPapa’s drag-and-drop site editor lets you add content elements like text boxes, image galleries, and forms to your website. You can also add maps from Google Maps and social media icons.

HostPapa’s content element options are limited compared to other builders we’ve tested, but you’ll find everything you need for a basic business website, portfolio site, or blog. The biggest issue we found with the site editor is that you don’t have a lot of options for how to arrange your content elements. All elements must conform to your template’s preconfigured layout, so there’s not a lot of flexibility to create a unique-looking site.

Overall, HostPapa’s website builder is very simple to use, especially for first-time designers. It only takes a few minutes to customize your template and launch. However, HostPapa isn’t a great choice if you want to build a site that features an unusual layout or non-standard content elements. You also can’t migrate your site to another platform.

Adding Multimedia to Your HostPapa Website

HostPapa allows you to add photos, videos, and audio files to your website. However, you cannot add PDFs or other types of documents. HostPapa keeps track of all your content in a media library, so you can easily reuse photos and videos across pages. You can also upload multiple files simultaneously, which makes it easier to create photo galleries.

Another thing that we liked about HostPapa is that it comes with a built-in photo editor. It’s pretty basic, but it comes in handy to have the ability to crop and adjust photos in your media library. 

Overall, we were happy with HostPapa’s multimedia capabilities. The support for audio and video files is a plus, although we’d like to see support for PDFs as well. The media library makes it easy to adjust and reuse images across your site.

Marketing Functionality with HostPapa Websites

One of the biggest downsides to the HostPapa website builder is that it has virtually no marketing tools to speak of. This builder doesn’t include email marketing, and social media integration is limited to adding icons to your website.

HostPapa does support blog pages, although we didn’t think it was the best platform for blogging. The blog editor is pretty basic and doesn’t give you many options for organizing your posts with tags or categories. You also need to upgrade from the basic website builder package that’s included with HostPapa hosting to create a blog, since that package only allows you to have up to 2 pages on your site.

SEO Functionality & Add-Ons with HostPapa Websites

HostPapa’s website builder is also very limited when it comes to SEO and traffic analytics. You can customize the meta title and description for your whole site, but not for each individual page. There’s also no built-in way to analyze keyword usage across your site or to evaluate how to improve your site’s search engine rankings.

HostPapa offers only basic traffic analytics. You can see how many visitors came to your site and how long they stuck around for, but not what pages they visited. If you want to use Google Analytics to get more information, you’ll need to have access to your site’s code. In other words, you’ll need to upgrade to a Premium or Enterprise builder package.

Ecommerce

HostPapa offers ecommerce only with its Enterprise website builder plan. There’s no limit to how many products you can sell, and digital downloads are supported. You can choose from more than 45 payment gateways, and HostPapa helps you manage your inventory online.

The ecommerce features are decent, but the builder doesn’t offer many options for customizing your products. You can add descriptions and images, for example, but not product videos. Online store pages also look similar across all of HostPapa’s templates, which can be constraining if you want your site to stand out.

How Much Does HostPapa Cost

HostPapa pricing table

HostPapa offers 4 pricing plans: Starter, Business, Premium, and Enterprise. The Starter plan is free with any HostPapa hosting plan, while the Business plan is free with a Business Pro shared hosting plan ($23.99 per month).

The Starter package is somewhat limited in that you can only have up to 2 pages on your site. The other packages allow you to have up to 1,000 pages, although your storage limits will depend on your hosting plan.

Unfortunately, HostPapa doesn’t offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee. You must sign up for a 12-month, 24-month, or 36-month term.


Starter
Business
Premium
Enterprise

Price per month

$2.99

$9.99

$19.99

$39.99

Number of pages

2

Up to 1,000

Up to 1,000

Up to 1,000

Code editor

No

No

Yes

Yes

Ecommerce

No

No

No

Yes

HostPapa Help and Support

HostPapa support options for customers

HostPapa offers excellent customer support. The company is available 24/7 by phone, email, and live chat, and all new website builder customers can sign up for a free 30-minute one-on-one training session.

The company also has a detailed online knowledge base. It’s organized into categories and fully searchable, although we didn’t find many screenshots or videos with the tutorials. 

How HostPapa Compares to Other Website Builders


HostPapa
IONOS
GoDaddy
HostGator

Pricing

$2.99-$39.99/month

$5-$35/month

$9.99-$24.99 per month

$9.98-$24.98 per month

Hosting included?

Site builder included with hosting plan

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of templates

230

400

100

220

Blogging functionality

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ecommerce functionality

Yes (with upgrade)

Yes (with upgrade)

Yes (with upgrade)

Yes

Email marketing functionality

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Responsive design

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Analytics & Reporting

Built-in and Google Analytics (with upgrade)

Built-in and Google Analytics

Built-in and Google Analytics

Built-in and Google Analytics

HostPapa vs IONOS

HostPapa is competitive with the IONOS website builder when it comes to price, but we think IONOS offers more advanced features for the money. For example, you get email marketing functionality and Google Analytics integration standard with all IONOS plans. We also found that IONOS offers more templates and content elements, which means greater flexibility for designing your site.

HostPapa vs GoDaddy

GoDaddy is more expensive than HostPapa, especially for basic websites. However, it includes handy tools for businesses, like appointment scheduling and email marketing. The GoDaddy website builder is much more flexible than the HostPapa builder, so we think it’s a better choice for small businesses that can afford the extra cost.

HostPapa vs HostGator

HostGator is one of our favorite value website builders. While the basic plan starts at $9.98 per month compared to $2.98 per month for HostPapa, that price includes hosting, email marketing tools, and an online store with up to 3 products. All HostGator website builder plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, plus a logo maker to help you launch a new online business.

HostPapa HostPapa Visit Site

Bottom Line

The HostPapa website builder is an affordable option for individuals and small businesses looking to get online quickly. You can design a website in minutes using the more than 230 templates and simple drag-and-drop site editor. While HostPapa doesn’t offer a ton of customization options, sites created using this builder look decent with relatively little effort.

The main issue we have with the HostPapa builder is that it lacks the advanced tools that most small businesses need. You won’t find email marketing tools included with this platform, and your options for blogging, analytics, and SEO are limited. HostPapa might make sense if you’re on a tight budget, but we think platforms like HostGator and GoDaddy offer much more bang for your buck if you’re willing to pay a little bit more for a website builder.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is HostPapa’s website builder good for small businesses?
-
+
The HostPapa website builder is designed with small businesses in mind. It features more than 230 templates organized by business type, plus support for blogging and ecommerce. However, the HostPapa builder doesn’t include email marketing, which is an essential tool for many businesses.
Is HostPapa secure?
-
+
HostPapa websites come with a free SSL certificate to encrypt your site. However, the company doesn’t offer automated backups, so it’s up to you to create a copy of your website content for safekeeping.
Is HostPapa good for WordPress?
-
+
HostPapa offers shared hosting and VPS hosting for WordPress websites, as well as managed WordPress hosting plans. The managed WordPress plans are very inexpensive and include unlimited bandwidth. The HostPapa website builder, however, is not designed to be used with WordPress websites.
Michael Graw is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Pacific Northwest who writes for top10.com.

HostPapa customer reviews

Based on 43 reviews

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Top Reviews

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8 months ago

HostPapa has been a really good experience for me and my coworkers, It helps us to improve our performance.

9 months ago

Long process, takes way too long you know. I still like the app. It's ok.

9 months ago

HostPapa offers extensive support options to help customers in a variety of ways.

2 years ago

It was good. Okay speeds, good tools, and good customer satisfaction, I personally think they can did a good job!

2 years ago

Because it took a lot of time to figure out how to use it but once I did, it was so simple and convenient to use

2 years ago

They are really good at helping customers getting what they really need as of services and friendliness

2 years ago

I love it.. It's easy to use and gives good quality. Our site has yet to crash and they are responsive when we have slight issues.

2 years ago

A very good hosting service. It could get confusing sometimes, but it works for us.

2 years ago

Not really anything I hate. I like customer support and good hosting service. Our website is safe with them.

2 years ago

It's a nice and easy to use hosting site. Very detailed and self explanatory and very easy to navigate

2 years ago

HostPapa offers high quality service with free site building tools and unlimited space. Also it is one of the leaders in web hosting.

2 years ago

This brand was fairly easy to understand and use. I was overall pretty satisfied with the service.

2 years ago

They are an excellent web hosting site. I find them user friendly and have the best customer service.

2 years ago

Friendly service , great deal great price. It's very to use, it's easy to manage the website

2 years ago

Very good and reliable service. Our website has had a couple issues and they've been resolved within 24 hours.

6 months ago

They are a good company for the price. I would do business with them again for sure.

6 months ago

Quick and easy to use. No problems with it since we started using it 3 years ago. Great customer support. Easy to use. A great application to use.

6 months ago

HostPapa helped me get my site setup quickly and with minimal difficulty, service answered questions quickly and clearly. I'd honestly give them a 4.5 more than a 4 or a 5 since very little was missing in my opinion.

7 months ago

Great application to use. Good hosting site for most of your needs to run a site.

8 months ago

I really don't know much about website hosting services but this is the one I use and this one works.

43 reviews