About Web Host
Web Hosting Pad, or WebHostingPad (WHP) was established back in 2005 targeting the growing need for affordable web hosting. WHP is owned by Complete Web Reviews, DBA WebHostingPad, a Limited-Liability Company (LLC) with its main office in Rolling Meadows, IL, US. WHP has a few hosting-related brands and a sister branch operating in India. For those interested, WHP is not an EIG webhosting brand (which is good news!).
The WHP services have been widely recognized for their budget pricing and fair hosting solutions.
WHP is known by maintaining a balanced technical infrastructure. Their servers are located in Chicago, IL, US. The shared hosting plans use fast SSD drives for website files storage. Also, databases are exclusively hosted on SSD disks for increased speed. WHP servers utilize Linux, CentOs operation system and the latest stable version of Apache web server. Users can use various PHP versions (from older to the newest ones), MySQL database, as well as choose from multiple scripting languages.
There are three shared hosting plans to choose from:
- Power Plan Mini – 10GB of space, 100GB Bandwidth, Free SSL Certificate, can host 2 Domains, comes with less processing power than other plans; Price starts at $3/month (with 3-year plan, no price change after that) – no introductory/or promotional pricing available
- Power Plan – *Unlimited Space, *Unlimited Bandwidth, Free Let’s Encrypt SSL, can host unlimited websites, twice as much Computing Power than Mini Plan; Price starts at $1.99/month (with 4-year plan)
- Power Plan Plus – *Unlimited Space, *Unlimited Bandwidth, Free Certificate Authority SSL, can host unlimited websites, more CPU & RAM power (3x than Mini Plan), SSH Access, Premium Backup Service, Spam Filter; Price starts at $4.99/month (with 3-year plan)
All plans offer an easy one-click installation of popular CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, MODX, various forums, or many e-commerce packages: Prestashop, osCommerce, OpenCart, etc. This is done through the versatile Softaculous module that is a part of the Hosting Panel.
* Unlimited expressions, of course, do not really mean that those plans have no limits. You cannot expect to upload there all your movies, videos, pictures or other large files. The Unlimited Storage or Bandwidth should be to be understood as services provided for fair use.
In the past, many users had complained about various restrictions that were not “transparent” to them. That was reflected in many negative reviews that stained WHP’s reputation.
To have a better understanding of what to expect, I am going to list a few key restrictions that are, in fact, quite common among shared web hosts:
- Unlimited Space – The understanding of “unlimited” is incremental. The initial quota for web hosting space is 10 GB, which the majority of users will never exceed. If you have used 90% or more of this quota, you may contact WHP to request an increase, which will be granted to you, free of charge, if your account is in a good standing and clearly used for your website files and website activities only.
- Bandwidth – Similar to Unlimited Space above, the initial quota for bandwidth is 100 GB per month, which is not easy to achieve for even a big sized website. Again, if you have used 90% or more of this quota, you may contact WebHostingPad to request an increase. This can be allocated to you, again, free of charge, if you meet the same criteria as for the unlimited space.
- Input/Output Usage – I/O is the speed at which information is read and/or written to the hard drive (example: when creating/updating files or during an FTP transfer). At any time, this usage cannot exceed 1 Mbps. Excessive I/O usage often negatively affects the entire server, hard drives, and other clients on the server.
- Emails – To prevent spamming, limit is 60 outgoing e-mails per 1 hour (and per domain).
- Site Backups – WHP offers Premium Backup Service (a paid service), that guarantees weekly site backups directly at WHP without imposing any size restrictions. Otherwise, there is a free monthly backup for sites that are under 3 GB in size. If you need more frequent backups or if your site exceeds the 3 GB limit, you are responsible for your own site backups. Those are to be external, done “outside” of WHP using an FTP client or any cloud service.
The WHP pricing is based on promotional and regular rates, meaning that you should expect to see a bit higher price at the time of renewal. Be that as it may, even the regular rates are still one of the lowest (best) in the industry. You most likely won’t find a similar level of service at these prices anywhere else.
Many other hosts lure in their customers by catchy “introductory” rates. The renewal cost is, however, often almost twice (or thrice) as much.
Plans & Prices
All prices stated are in USD currency.
Power Plan Pricing
|1 Year||$3.99 / $47.88||$6.49 / $77.88|
|2 Years||$2.99 / $71.76||$5.99 / $143.76|
|3 Years||$2.29 / $82.44||$5.49 / $197.64|
|4 Years||$1.99 / $95.52||$4.99 / $239.52|
|5 years||$1.99 / $119.40||$4.49 / $269.40|
Power Plan PLUS Pricing
Power Plan PLUS
|1 Year||$7.99 / $95.88||$9.99 / $119.88|
|2 Years||$6.99 / $167.76||$9.49 / $227.76|
|3 Years||$5.99 / $215.64||$8.99 / $323.64|
|4 Years||$4.99 / $239.52||$8.49 / $407.52|
|5 years||$4.99 / $299.40||$7.99 / $479.40|
As for the Power Mini Plan, as mentioned previously, the rates do not change:
For 1-Year Billing Cycle – $3.50 /month, Invoice Renewal $42.00
For 2-Year Billing Cycle – $3.25 /month, Invoice Renewal $78.00
For 3-Year Billing Cycle – $3.00 /month, Invoice Renewal $108.00
WHP accepts these types of payments:
- Credit Card
Credit Cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express.
For US residents they also accept the paper checks. No eCheck or wire transfer options offered. Also, no Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or other online payment methods like Payoneer or Skrill available.
Make sure your account information is up-to-date. WHP sends the renewal notifications by e-mail. The upcoming renewal of a 3 or 4-year billing plan might likely escape your attention. You don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected invoice, or worst by missing the payment and risking having your account blocked.
WHP hosting plans come with a 30 day money-back guarantee. Simply, if for any reason you’re not satisfied with the services provided, you will get a full refund. The 30-day period begins on the date your hosting account was first set up. The renewals do not qualify for the money-back guarantee, only new accounts.
In addition, you won’t get any refunds for registered domain names or any add-on products like SSL certificates or Premium Backup services. Similarly, you should not expect any partial or pro-rated refunds for any web hosting plans.
We have selected the Power Plan for our review. The sign-up process is easy and pretty much straightforward. WHP’s sign-up forms are based on the conventional WHMCS system. When signing-up you don’t have to fill-out myriads of boxes or prove your identity as with some other web hosts. Some really do require your scanned confidential documents like your driving license or passport.
Since we used our own test domain, we did not take advantage of their free domain deal. Make sure you do! Or use any other web promotion to save money. You can only do that once, at the sign-up.
We also didn’t come across any hidden fees (no setup fees, good sign!). The new account information was sent to our email in a timely fashion.
Coupon Codes, Promotions
Occasionally, WHP offers discounts on their hosting plans and services. Naturally, only one coupon or promo code can be used at the time of sign-up. This includes the free domain name offer! In many cases, it is better to get a good promo deal on hosting plans and buy your new domain separately.
Any sale promotions are only applicable to new hosting accounts and are only valid for the initial invoice.
To obtain your free domain, use the coupon code “FREEDOMAIN” and you will receive your first year of domain registration for free. The renewal domain fee (for TLD domains like .com or .net) is $14.95 . You can register any other domain extensions if you like. By using the coupon above you will still get that $14.95 discount for the first year.
“The WHP free domain offer is only valid within the first 30 days of account sign-up and must be claimed within that time-frame“.
Previously, the WHP shared hosting used the industry standard cPanel. Nowadays the company has changed their approach. They have stopped including the cPanel with their shared plans, instead, they swapped it with the Direct Admin Web Control Panel (by JBMC Software). For an average user the DirectAdmin panel is even better than cPanel. It is simpler, uncomplicated, uncluttered and easy to understand. This way the web host can keep its prices low as the cPanel licenses keep going up every year.
Direct Admin panel provides all the essential control functions and it is enhanced by many additional features and plugins. Especially Softaculous plugin, as mentioned previously, with many one-click installation program choices. We used it to install our WordPress test site (it was easy and fast).
In case you are not familiar with the DirectAdmin hosting panel, in the gallery bellow you can see some sample screenshots that will give you a better understanding of how it is built and what it does.
Additional Hosting Features
Additional hosting services that are included with the hosting plan, or that can be requested (or bought):
- Increased space storage or bandwidth
- 1 complimentary (free) malware scan per year per account. Additional malware/virus scans will have to be paid
- A free website transfer (per account) of an existing site over to their servers. This comes with restrictions, though. The overall website size has to be less than 3 GB.
- Choice of SSL certificates (Authority SSLs available)
- Multiple scripting languages supported (Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails)
As one of the key aspects of every web host, WHP strives to keep improving their support services with every new customer. WHP provides all the standard forms of support.
- Chat support (available 24/7)
- E-mail Support (available 24/7)
- Toll-free Phone Support (Monday – Friday, 8am-10pm, CDT)
- Extensive Knowledge Base
In the past, their customer service department had received mixed public reviews. We believe that their support level and services have improved since.
We have tested their chat and e-mail support channels. The response time was really fast and we got all our questions answered. In the screenshot below you can see our answered/solved SSL installation request for our test domain. It took around 10 minutes to settle:
WHP claims that their connection and servers will be up and running at least 99.9% of the time. As per their terms, this excludes any operations where WHP has no direct control, such as network provider failures, domain registrar or DNS provider issues, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, or connection outages between your location and the WHP data center.
WHP has its own monitoring channels, however it is wise to use an independent service like Bitcatcha or Pingdom. For this, we need to target a specific website located on our tested shared Power Plan.
We continuously monitor our test website at WHP for both – the uptime and speed. Obviously, there are more factors involved, like size of the website, CMS used, coding, scripting styles, etc. We only have a simple WordPress site, which should provide us with basic performance information of their shared hosting services.
This monitoring, of course, takes time, and we will be updating this section after a feasible time period (6 months – 1 year). For the time being (first week), we have experienced three short disconnections (in the early morning hours). This was probably due to their server maintenance activities.
However, in our last year monitoring data, I noted a few downtimes records. Specifically in May, June and July. Each of those months accounted for outages of aproximatelly 4-5 minutes in average.
The tested WHP shared plan has, indeed, delivered an adequate hosting experience. An average user, or a beginner would be likely content with WHP cheap hosting services. Despite all the limitations or some previous bad reviews, I think the web host has still a lot to offer. This low-cost host market segment is cut out for clients who are in need of an easy and uncomplicated web host for their personal blog or low traffic website. So, if you want to play with a small WordPress site or just have a nice test host environment, the WHP is really a candidate to be considered.
WebHostingPad’s Shared Power Plan is a solid choice for users who are looking for an inexpensive working hosting environment.
- Really great pricing
- No setup fees
- Reasonable renewal pricing
- Good for small or static sites
- Not suitable for large or business critical sites
- In the past, received many negative reviews for unresponsive services, billing issues