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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

HostMetro was recently founded in 2012 to specialize in providing only shared hosting.

They’re also one of the only web hosts with a ‘guaranteed price lock’, so your pricing doesn’t jump 200% when it’s time to renew.

HostMetro hosting reviewIn addition, they boast 99.9% uptime to round out a decent array of offers for budget-conscious customers.

But are all of these claims too good to be true?

We set up a basic WordPress website on the HostMetro Mega Max Plan and we’ve monitored and analyzed their performance over an extended period of time, compiling the most important results including uptime and speed to be able to provide you with this unbiased review.

Let’s get started.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 3.0

SPEED: 942 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)
UPTIME: 99.98% (February 2020 to January 2021)
SUPPORT: 24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base
APPS: WordPress, Joomla, Weebly, Drupal, phpBB, etc.
FEATURES: Unlimited Bandwidth, Storage, Websites, and Email Accounts, Website Builder, Softaculous 1-click Installs, Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate, and more
HOSTING PLANS: Shared Plan
SITE TRANSFER: Free (within 30 days of account creation)
PRICING: Starting at $2.95/month (no higher renewal fees)

Pros of Using HostMetro Hosting


HostMetro has quite many perks going on for them. We especially like their price lock guarantee and improved uptime.

But what else do they offer?

Let’s have a more detailed look.

1. Average 99.98% Uptime

HostMetro delivered an average uptime of 99.98% over the past 12 months. This is a solid result, especially compared to previous years, when they were constantly showing below-average results (for example in the last testing period they delivered uptime of 99.81%).

However, looking at last year’s data now, HostMetro is steadily showing improved results.

HostMetro last 12-month uptime and speed
HostMetro average uptime | See stats

Last 12-month average uptime:

  • January 2021: 99.95%
  • December 2020: 99.94%
  • November 2020: 99.99%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 100%
  • August 2020: 99.92%
  • July 2020: 100%
  • June 2020: 99.98%
  • May 2020: 99.98%
  • April 2020: 99.99%
  • March 2020: 99.99%
  • February 2020: 99.98%

2.Decent Customer Support

HostMetro offers 24/7 live chat, email support, a knowledge base, and also phone support (available weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm (CST)).

We tested their live chat and our experience with HostMetro’s customer support started pretty well. Their agent connected quickly and answered all of our questions in a timely manner.

HostMetro support live chat

However, one thing to note is that before you start your chat, you will have to give out some personal information to them (name, email address, primary domain name), so make sure you’re okay with that.

3. Price Lock Guarantee

Most hosts suck you in with a ridiculously low rate the first time you sign up with them. When your plan is up and it’s time to renew, that low rate disappears and your price can double or even triple seemingly overnight.

HostMetro bucks that trend though, guaranteeing your initial registration rate – even for future renewals.

That’s a tremendous deal, offering a huge price advantage if you plan on sticking with them long-term.

For best month-to-month hosting, use Dreamhost.

4. Free Website Transfer (With Limitations)

HostMetro will happily migrate your existing website over to their servers for free.

But…

Only if it doesn’t exceed 3GB. Otherwise, you’re on your own.

And the site transfer needs to be requested within 30 days of creating an account.

If you’re unhappy, you can always take advantage of their 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee.

5. 99% Uptime Guarantee

The Terms of Service page for most hosts is where optimism goes to die.

What seemed like such a good deal at first quickly starts turning into a nightmare as you read one questionable policy after another.

However, every now and then you come across something positive that restores your faith in some companies.

Buried inside HostMetro’s Terms is their Uptime Guarantee policy.

If their annual uptime average falls below 99%, you’ll get a free month of hosting credited back to your account. Even though this mark is lower than the average uptime we’ve seen across other hosts, it’s still a good policy that shows they stand behind their service.

A few standard exceptions apply, too, even if they’re fairly common. If one-off events like a natural disaster or big hack take place, this downtime won’t be factored into the uptime average calculation.

6. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

If you’re unhappy at any time during your first 30-days as a new HostMetro customer, you can ask for a full refund. Overall, that’s a great thing.

Just keep in mind that there are a few issues that can affect your refund amount.

First, refunds only apply to hosting plans. So that means other add-ons, like backup services, or domain names aren’t refundable.

The good news about domain names is that if you paid for one, you can take it with you to another host.

However, if you were given a free one through HostMetro, then the normal cost can be reduced from your refund balance. They can also subtract the cost of free SSL certificates, too. Make sure to double-check your plan when getting these ‘free’ extras, because they could come back to literally cost you when it’s time to ask for a refund.

7. Unlimited Features Included With Their Cheapest Plan

HostMetro offers a lot of unlimited features even with its cheapest plan.

For example, you’ll get an unlimited amount of websites, email, and FTP accounts. Their bandwidth and storage have a quota for maximum hosting space, however, according to HostMetro 95% of their customers will never reach this limit. In case you’ll reach the quota, you’d have to contact their customer support and they will increase it for you free of charge (if you’re within their terms).

Considering how many other hosts on the market like to limit their cheapest plans, we’re glad to see that HostMetro doesn’t do that.

8. Easy-to-Use Control Panel and Dashboard

HostMetro’s backend shouldn’t be a problem to navigate around. It’s quite common also among other hosts on the market. From there you can access your domains, billing, services, and more. On the main page, you can also see usage statistics. On the left side of the client area, under “Actions” is the control panel login.

HostMetro client area

HostMetro uses traditional cPanel as a control panel. It’s easy to use and you can find all the necessary for website hosting from there with no difficulty. There’s also a search bar included to smooth things out even more.

HostMetro cPanel

Cons of Using HostMetro Hosting


HostMetro has quite a few things to like, but unfortunately, there are also some downsides that come with their services.

Let’s start with a slow response time.

1. Slow Page Speeds

Over the last 12 months, HostMetro somehow managed to put up page loading times of 942 ms. And this is not good news.

HostMetro Speed Feb 2020 - Jan 2021
HostMetro average speed See stats

That makes HostMetro three times slower than our fastest host A2 Hosting.

Considering that a single second delay can result in 7% fewer conversions, HostMetro might cost you more in lost sales than actually paying for their service.

The worst part is that they’ve been consistently below average almost every single month. So it wasn’t like there was one bad month that brought down their results.

2. Backups Are Not Free

Backups are an essential feature because issues will undoubtedly pop up from time to time. Most hosts offer them in some capacity, whether free or paid.

HostMetro’s Terms say that they offer “free backup services as a courtesy.”

Sounds awesome, right? Having regular backups on hand can save you a lot of hassles if your site gets hacked.

But there are three big problems with this claim:

  1. This backup service only runs once a month (ideally, you should have daily or weekly at a minimum).
  2. They will only backup 1 GB of size. That’s not very large, to be honest, so you’ll probably pass this at some point.
  3. And worst of all, to restore the backup, it’s going to cost you $39.95.

If you want to get your sites backed up weekly, then you would have to pay $19.95 annually. However, if you sign up with their Super Max Plan, anytime (weekly basis) free backups will be already included in the package.

3. Only Shared Hosting

HostMetro only offers two shared hosting plans. No VPS, no cloud, or dedicated hosting options are available.

That will make it tough to scale your existing infrastructure if you outgrow things quickly, forcing you to move to another web hosting company in the near future if you get to that point.

4. Restrictive Free Domain Offer

They offer a free domain name when signing up, but only if you use their “FREE DOMAIN” coupon code.

Domain name renewals (or purchasing additional ones) will set you back with an additional $14.49, which is more expensive than many other major domain name registrars.

5. Short-Term Plans More Expensive

HostMetro advertises a $2.95/monthly price. However, to get that price, you’re going to need to sign up for a full three years.

There is no plan that’s shorter than a year in length. And even that one year option will cost $4.95/month. You also have an option to choose a biennial plan with a $3.95/monthly price.

HostMetro billing cycle

HostMetro Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

HostMetro only offers shared hosting. Here’s a quick overview of their shared hosting plans:


Mega Max Plan Super Max Plan
Pricing $2.95/month $6.95/month
Websites Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered
Storage Unmetered Unmetered
Email Accounts Unlimited Unlimited
Other Features •Free SSL and SiteLock Security
•Anytime Backups Included

Quick Facts

  • Ease of Signup: The signup process is a bit difficult. This could be easier.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
  • Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: Free site migration and backups are limited. No hidden fees.
  • Upsells: A few upsells.
  • Account Activation: It can take a long time. You can make activation instant by paying a $5 fee.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Easy 1-click install of popular apps and CMSs with Softaculous.

Do We Recommend HostMetro?

Yes and no.

HostMetro’s customer service is decent.

Also, their ‘price lock guarantee’ is pretty cool. They come with a lot of handy unlimited features and have a solid industry-average uptime.

On the downside, HostMetro comes with one of the slowest page loading speeds we’ve seen. Considering site speed influences – not just user experience, but also your search engine rankings and conversions on your website – there’s a serious danger to your bottom line (read: income) here.

Honestly, there are lots of web hosts out there that will give you much better page loading times, more stable uptime, and better feature package for the same (or less) bucks.

Best alternatives for HostMetro:

Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)


Have you ever used HostMetro? If so, please leave a review below. We welcome all reviews, whether good or bad, as long as they’re transparent and honest.

24 user reviews for HostMetro

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    Sharon

    4  — December 9, 2019

    Problems now solved

    I moved my web hosting account to HostMetro in October. I had problems with the former web hosting entity defederation (detaching) of my email address that had to go through ICANN. This process needs to be a step-by-step process on the website for customers to avoid unnecessary delays.

    1. I finally asked for a way to access my email on HostMetro website and got it (wish it was obviously available).

    2. Then I received an invitation to have a rep access my computer remotely. Through quite a bit of trial and error, Conner succeeded when others have tried. Yea!

    I give high marks for the customer service I have encountered but do wish I could have had these two services three weeks ago instead of agonizing about steps, imap settings, ports, authentication, etc. I am computer literate but can’t negotiate too far with these types of issues that continue to fail.

    Thanks again for solving my problem.

    Dennis M

    5  — January 2, 2019

    Not me…

    I have been using HostMetro for a few years now on a few different sites and have had great luck with with them. When i call tech support, I get an answer in a timely manner… yes, I have to be “on hold” for a bit, but someone will answer and they will deal with the issues i have. So far very few! I even had to do a cancellation of a new hosting service I set up for a client… I got a refund promptly. Perhaps I am ‘one of the lucky ones” but they’ve been spot on for me. Sorry others have not had a similar experience.

    Tomas

    1  — March 13, 2018

    Fraud

    1.) If you want to cancel your services there – Good luck! Very complicated and messed up, they have to approve it. It takes days.
    2.) Even when you think you cancelled it, you may have not, just like in my case.
    3.) When you want to double make sure that they won’t charge. You cannot delete your credit from their system. It’s there forever. Btw, is that even legal?
    4.) So, they end up charging you whether you are for it or not.
    5.) Of cours, no refund!

    Traci L

    1  — January 31, 2018

    They hosted my site

    Unbelievable. I noticed my site was down and contacted support. They told me they retired that IP address “a long time ago”. At no time did they notify me that the site was being moved, and apparently it wasn’t, after all. My URL points to a dead IP address. They didn’t make a backup, nothing. And when I asked about it, they answered my question with this information and closed the ticket as if they had solved my problem. I lost many hours of work and they don’t even apologize.

    Lyndsey

    3  — December 18, 2017

    VIRUSED

    For the past 2 months, they have continuously ignored my support tickets regarding the ongoing viruses spreading all over my files. I deleted one WordPress website because the problem wasn’t going away and affecting all my websites. I have to explain to customers that their website is infected. Pfff bloody hard work.

    William

    1  — September 8, 2017

    Leaving Hostmetro after last straw

    After a major event this spring that led to a two week downtime – yes – TWO WEEKS for all 5 of my web sites and email, I took a chance and moved my sites to a different server. Well that worked well for a while and then the problems started again. Then, like another reviewer here, I started seeing spammers use my email servers. Somebody in India started spamming via one of my email accounts. I traced the culprits and reported them and alerted tech support for over a period of several weeks. I found the culprits but HM CS did nothing but make excuses.

    I think somebody was offended when I commented on some of their support being overseas in India and that it went against what it said on their web site main page “US Support”. The very next day I started seeing spammers from three ISP’s in India run messages through my account. Then, just a few days ago I discovered a rogue email account had been added to my site and I reported that also. I asked them to remove it and got zero cooperation – just a lame excuse that cPanel lets them do that.

    Their response today was not even denial, but an out and out deflect to a lecture on virus prevention on my own systems. HM’s CS staff simply ignored my concern for server security and I get the impression that their attitude now is that they can do no wrong.

    I also would not recommend this company to anyone either; there’s nothing there to be proud of any more.

    Michael M

    1  — August 15, 2017

    This is not the hosting company you want

    The above evaluation is pretty accurate. I would rate their customer treatment and tech support a bit lower but overall they nailed it.

    This is a very poor hosting provider.

    I used them for three years and they continually got worse with up-time, speed, and customer service response. I used this account for only personal email and always very secure passwords for the c-panel and the email accounts. I decided to leave them after I discovered my account was being used for spam mailing and they could do nothing about. They blamed the problem on my computer being infected but as soon as I moved off of their host server the problem stopped. They will not provide access to management or tech’s so any problems you experience cannot be escalated when they are not solved. They generally reply with canned messages and I found many times they had not even read what the real problem was. I was told they had moved me to a different email IP address and when a few weeks later the problem still persisted they told me I had just been moved to a new email IP address it was the same one they said I had been moved to earlier. Although I talked with a few admin’s that seemed to know what they were doing I experienced more that seemed clueless and some that were very rude. I’m not convinced they have any fully qualified tech’s working for them. Several months ago they had what they call a server hardware failure. It took a full week for them to get my account back on line which is unacceptable.

    I also found out their 30 day money back guarantee is only valid on your original sign-up. If you sign-up for another year on an existing account and then decide to leave within 30 days of renewal they will not give you your money back.

    This hosting company is no bargain so use at your own risk. I do not recommend.

    Paul

    3  — August 14, 2017

    The Worst Hosting Company

    STAY Wide away from this hosting company HostMetro. It’s the worst hosting service and the slowest there help and advice is the worst when something goes wrong its your fault not their. I had to move two of my websites to new server just to slow loading. They said it were my websites, but guess what, they are super fast now that I have moved. So please stay wide away they promise you so much and it’s all lies.

    Beau

    1  — June 8, 2017

    Consistently horrible

    I did agree with the review on this page that says the customer service is ‘inconsistently decent’. There is nothing inconsistent about their customer service. I’ve had many major problems that I’ve had to contact customer service about. It is always a horrible experience. While some companies believe that the ‘customer is always right’, Hostmetro seems to believe the opposite. On two occasions the company deleted all my files. The logs proved it was not my fault. However, both times they wanted me to pay to get them restored. They will tell you to call in to get things resolved even though their phone system has been ‘under construction’ for months and does not allow people to talk to anybody. Based on my experience, I believe they intentionally try to scam people.

    Sarath B

    3  — May 11, 2017

    HostMetro is budget friendly, but not SEO Friendly

    I have been using HostMetro for the past one year, but I was not happy with their speed. The only factor keeping me attached to them were their low-priced plans. It is only good for very small websites.

    ABCDiamond

    3  — April 30, 2017

    Goods and Bads of Hostmetro

    Hostmetro has limitations on space and bandwidth. My current one (Mega Max plan) shows:
    Disk Space Usage 6.61GB / 10GB
    Monthly Bandwidth Transfer 37.51GB / 100GB
    This shows a disk space of 10GB and bandwidth of 100GB per month.

    My main issue though is the i/o usage which is also limited, I show two examples here, at different times:
    I/O Usage 5 / 1024 KB/s
    I/O Usage 1024 / 1024 KB/s

    The second one caused my site to be offline, with a message via a 3rd party check of: “Your site is responding intermittently, or extremely slowly. This can indicate an overloaded, under-powered, or misconfigured server. Your site is probably loading for some users, but not for everyone.”

    And then later I get the 3rd party update of “Your site was down for approximately 13 mins, but is up again as of Sunday, April 30, 8:41 am.”

    I have 2 installations of Hostmetro, one with a single simple site has no problems, the other, with 4 domains on it is having enough problems to make me reconsider the hosting, or not have as many sites on one hosting package.

    I though the value was good, as I paid $53.10 for 3 years. It maybe OK for one site, but it appears not for more than one or two small sites…

    Hostmetro did a free transfer from my old host, even though I had about 7GB of data etc.
    I’ve been with them on the 2nd hosting for about 5 weeks.

    Support for setting up was actually very good, even after I had paid.

    BB

    1  — April 30, 2017

    Overloaded Server Results In Website & Email Losses for Weeks

    In November 2016 and Late-March, Early April 2017 a server went down causing what HostMetro says were about a thousand customers to lose their websites, etc. for 2-3 weeks and 10-12 days respectively. One would have thought that they might learn from the first debacle… but no, they are probably attempting to resolve the server dysfunctions on the cheap. Who knows when it might happen again?

    I hope more customers left this company or if not, understood the odds of more downtime in the future. The company denies any liability and compensates customers with a month or so of ‘free’ subscription extensions. Imagine! You can lose thousands of dollars of business and they give you rationalizations and extra months of exposure to lousy service!

    MRP

    1  — April 24, 2017

    Hostmetro is the worst hosting provider in the world

    Hostmetro is the worst hosting provider in the world. It is slow, support is bad and at the end of March 2017 they had a problem with a server and have not been able to solve it yet. Do not use it is very slow and does not respond by the information on their servers.

    Javier

    1  — April 16, 2017

    Near a month without mail service

    On 26th march 2017 we submit a ticket to Hostmetro customer support because no one of domains we hosted with them was working…
    After they try to repair and reinstall the OS because the shared server experienced a corrupt software failure (???)… Because on 500 server error on march 30th….
    No mailboxes at all… still on april 5th
    Well… with a FCSK they shurely fix it…. But on april 11th, still the same…

    Magic solution!!: they change us to a new brand server and sent the login details to our mailbox… but we can’t read this without the new login details because aur mailboxes aren’t working!!
    You need to be a soothsayer!!

    New brand Hostmetro server is not working, our mailboxes still got authorization issues, and we are on April 15th, and still without mailboxes and shurely loosing all our important emails…

    This is not a HOSTMETRO but a HELLMETRO

    CAUTION!! Be aware with them!

    BS

    1  — April 16, 2017

    Hostmetro is the worst hosting provider in the world

    It was a nightmare hosting my websites at Hostmetro. Initially they were a bit smooth, but as soon as their money back guarantee period was over, problems started popping up. Most of the times I could find that the websites had a network error:

    Failed to load resource: net::ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT

    I tried contacting them, but they came up pointing other client side factors for the issue like the speed of the ISP and distance of the client from the their server, etc. In my cPanel I could see usage bars marked as red under ‘memory’, ‘process’ and ‘cpu usage’ most of the time. When asked for it, they wanted to describe it to be a bug of cPanel x3 theme and cloud Linux.

    The final words from me about choosing Hostmetro would be ‘NO’ or ‘DO NOT’ choose them. You would be paying them the money (how less it might be) to buy some headaches and unwanted issues. If there was an option for negative value in the rating above, then I might have done that.

    l2r

    1  — April 13, 2017

    Hosting server down and no access to data since 14+ days

    The hosting account is inaccessible since last week of March 2017 with no access to hosted add-on domains sites, no access to business emails and no ETA.

    This is the worst situation I have seen with any hosting services in my 6-7 years of hosting experience with various companies.

    Yatin

    1  — April 11, 2017

    Down for more than 2 weeks now

    We have hosted services with HostMetro and just had renewal for another 3 years but since 15 days + the services are down for us and no access to corporate (small business) emails nor the site nor add-on domain site.

    We had to immediately get new hosting services somewhere else, but our old data is hostage (not accessible) with Hostmetro and until they restore the data and make a server available to access it, we are stuck.

    Paul S

    1  — March 28, 2017

    YOU be the judge

    HostMetro has been down for 3 days. You be the judge. Do you want your business website down for 3 days (and counting)? Is that reasonable?

    Hostmetro thinks so. Other hosts would replace a server in hours let alone 3+ days. It will be interesting to see just how many days the server is down. It was down last weekend too, but only for 6 hours or so. In the meantime, I’ve already moved everything to Webhostface who use Solid State Drives. Speedtests show my sites at 95% to 99% faster than most. Everything is a lot faster now.

    Nick

    1  — October 31, 2016

    Wouldn’t trust Host Metro at all

    Hostmetro, where to start! Customer service is very unhelpful and not willing to help or even consider helping you with any issues. I had asked for my service to be cancelled numerous times before, but of course did not get a response.

    Then $88.90 gets taken from my bank account for the service requested to be cancelled. I emailed them with a nice long email to get the service cancelled and money refunded, but the responses from them were far from what you expect from a company who has had a client for 3 years now!

    The service is laughable all round for this company and I would not recommend it to anyone wanting something professional for their website!

    Marc

    3  — September 20, 2016

    Worst host company ever

    Signed up to do hosting – come to find out if your users use the wrong FTP user / password – their firewall locks out that IP – forever — no way to see it, no way to know it, just very restrictive. No other host I have ever used has this restriction set this tight.

    Brought it to their attention, they refused to do anything, nor refund any of my money. Was told that “this is just how it is” and that was that.