HostMetro Review

HostMetro offers an impressive selection of features with an easy-to-use interface, making this company a natural fit for first time website builders. Using an intuitive cPanel design, which supports many of the web's most popular plugins through Softaculous, site building should be incredibly simple with HostMetro. When you factor in the competitive pricing and SEO friendly features, this growing company also seems like a good choice for new businesses. HostMetro also offers impressive, knowledgeable and responsive customer service to help address any problems that might arise during your hosting experience.

 

Company Information

Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Arlington Heights, IL
Domains Managed: Over 50,000

Accreditations and Awards

HostMetro awards

Pricing

HostMetro has two different web hosting plans to choose from: Mega Max Hosting and Business Max Hosting. Both hosting plans come in durations of 1, 2 or 3 years, but Mega Max Hosting offers a one-month option as well. For the 1-month plan, there is a one-time setup fee of $14.49, though longer subscriptions exclude this fee.

Prices are as follows:

  1 Month 1 Year 2 Years 3 Years
Mega Max $7.95/month +
$14.49 setup fee
$4.45/mo $3.45/mo $2.45/mo
Business Max N/A $6.95/mo $5.95/mo $4.95/mo

All hosting plans will automatically renew for the same duration as the initial term. Billing will take place automatically before the new term of your hosting contract begins. In order to cancel, simply contact the billing department to stop payment on your next term.

If you don't already have a domain name, you can opt to purchase a new one through HostMetro for an additional $14.49/yr. Other optional services are available for purchase, including SSL certificates and additional site security, which can each be added for a nominal fee.

 
Compare HostMetro's Pricing to other Web Hosting Services >>

Money Back Guarantee

HostMetro offers all of its customers a 45-Day Money Back Guarantee to ensure that you are satisfied with the level of service you receive. This includes all fees you pay toward hosting services, but won't cover add-ons like domain registry or SSL certificates. In this scenario, the good news is that you will retain the rights to your domain name and will be able to migrate it to another registrar for free, so long as it adheres to ICANN regulations.

Features

The primary difference between the two HostMetro services is their different approaches to SEO and Ecommerce adaptability. One option, Business Metro, is more geared toward sales and Ecommerce than the other option, the Metro Max plan. If you're starting a blog or any other personal website, Metro Max would most likely offer you more than enough features to accomplish your online goals.

Service Features:
Hosting Space Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
Cloud Technology v_sign v_sign
99.9% Uptime Guarantee v_sign v_sign
Unlimited FTP Accounts v_sign v_sign
Unlimited MySQL Databases v_sign v_sign
Weekly Backups v_sign v_sign
cPanel Control Panel v_sign v_sign
Softaculous v_sign v_sign
Trendy Website Builder v_sign v_sign
RVSiteBuilder v_sign v_sign
Domain Name Features:
Hosted Domains Unlimited Unlimited
Domain Privacy $0.50/mo Free
Parked Domains Unlimited Unlimited
Sub Domains Unlimited Unlimited
Email Features:
E-Mail Accounts Unlimited Unlimited
Web Based Email v_sign v_sign
POP3 & IMAP Supported v_sign v_sign
Auto Responders v_sign v_sign
E-Mail Forwarding v_sign v_sign
Mailing Lists v_sign v_sign
Customizable E-Mail Filters v_sign v_sign
Advanced Spam Protection v_sign v_sign
Mobile Devices Supported v_sign v_sign
Ecommerce Features:
SSL Certificate & Dedicated IP $2.50/mo Free
SiteLock Security Seal $2.50/mo Free
FREE Shared SSL v_sign v_sign
$100 Google AdWords Credit v_sign v_sign
FREE SEO Submission - v_sign
FREE SEO Consultation - v_sign
Business Directory Listing - v_sign
Google Checkout Supported v_sign v_sign
PayPal Supported v_sign v_sign
ZenCart v_sign v_sign
osCommerce v_sign v_sign
Advanced Firewall v_sign v_sign
Additional Features:
CGI-BIN v_sign v_sign
PHP Support v_sign v_sign
SSI (Server Side Includes) v_sign v_sign
Cron Jobs v_sign v_sign
Log Files & Site Analytics v_sign v_sign
WordPress v_sign v_sign
b2evolution v_sign v_sign
Forums v_sign v_sign
Flash Supported v_sign v_sign
Compare HostMetro's Features to other Web Hosting Services >>

Ease of Use

HostMetro has certainly worked hard to design an interface that works easily for people who are trying to build a website, whether they are seasoned vets or first timers in the web hosting game. To see if HostMetro will suit your needs, the company offers several demos of its most popular services. These previews allow potential customers to sample HostMetro before making a decision, since they'll know exactly what type of service they're getting.

The sign-up process is quite simple to follow at every step. If you have yet to secure the rights to the domain you'd like, you may register an available domain name on the sign-up page. Conversely, if you already own your domain and want to switch over to a HostMetro package, simply purchase your desired package, reassign your name server and then you should be off and running.

In terms of site building and design, HostMetro offers access to the popular cPanel control panel, as well as the RVSitebuilder and Trendy Website Builder. These programs may offer the ability for newcomers to build an impressive site through the extensive features and ease-of-use they each provide.

Control Panel A Look at HostMetro's cpanel
 

The cPanel has an easy to follow layout, making backend more intuitive and less confusing. Email, files, logs and even more advanced features (like page extensions) will be at the fingertips of every web designer. That being said, less experienced users may be a little put off by an inability to immediately find the plugins they are looking for. These popular plugins are available, however, just by clicking on the Softaculous program installer. Once Softaculous is launched, members will be offered one click installations of their favorite software, including Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, osCommerce, phpBB and Coppermine, just to name a few.

Softaculous A Sample of What Softaculous Can Offer You
 

For the purposes of this review, I decided to install a WordPress blog to see exactly how easy plugins were with Softaculous. Through Softaculous, I was able to install WordPress on my website with a click of my mouse and then register an account with WordPress while still in the Softaculous interface. Since it was all linked through my HostMetro membership, I received a helpful email with my admin screenname and password for the WordPress blog. The WordPress interface, as anyone who's used it could tell you, was entirely straight forward and easy to customize. In less than an hour, I had exactly what I was looking for.

Softaculous I Finished My WordPress Blog in No Time With HostMetro
 

Setting up new email accounts for my website was almost as easy as installing my WordPress blog. I simply clicked the Email Accounts option in cPanel, which redirected me to a very straight forward form. Choosing the password can be a little tricky, since it has various difficulty requirements, meaning a generic password might not work. Some helpful approaches include incorporating numbers and special characters into the password, or alternating lowercase and capital letters to make your password more secure.

Email Account Set-up How To Set-up an Email Account

Once your password is accepted, you simply select whether you'd like a limited (250 MB) or unlimited email storage amount. Your account should be available instantly, and you should be able to visit your inbox as soon as you'd like.

To test the account, I sent an email from my new account to a personal account at 2:12 p.m., which was available in my personal inbox a few seconds later. I then responded to this email to test out the new account's receiving abilities and was pleased when it arrived just a moment later. This entire process only took about a minute.

Email Reply Reply From My Personal Email
 
Compare HostMetro's Ease of Use to other Web Hosting Services >>

Customer Support

When I contacted HostMetro's chat support, I found them to be very helpful, answering all of my questions. Unfortunately, getting ahold of this service was more difficult than the other support services offered, which were always available. For quick answers on the fly, though, HostMetro's chat service can't be beat, especially since it will let you work out your problems in real time with someone who can provide assistance with relevant links to tutorials and instructional articles. The service also incorporates a print button, which allows you to print out the advice directly from the chat window.

Helpful Chat Service HostMetro's Helpful Chat Service
 

The phone support team was entirely impressive, fully willing and able to help at a moment's notice. To test the phone service, I placed a call at 2:09 p.m., which was connected to a representative at 2:15 p.m.-just a little over five minutes. The operator's knowledge was very impressive and helped me to resolve my issue in less than 10 minutes.

HostMetro's email support system is very well structured and helpful for all issues a web builder might encounter. I contacted the customer support team several times via email with questions ranging from technical support to billing information. After opening a ticket from the member's area, I received a reply email to inform me that my request had been received. Most of the emails sent during HostMetro's business hours were answered in an hour or less, with straight to the point information that was clear and concise, providing the necessary answers.

 
Compare HostMetro's Customer Support to other Web Hosting Services >>

Summary

Icon -review -v

Positive Features

  • Intuitive cPanel layout
  • Courteous and knowledgeable customer support
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee

Negative Features

  • Chat support can be hard to reach
 
Back to Top