Want to go for HostArmada Web Hosting but not sure if it will be suitable for your blog? Keep reading our HostArmada Shared Web Hosting Review to find out.
Web hosting is one of the three main pillars behind a well-optimized, fast, and SEO-friendly WordPress website, the other two are 1. your WordPress theme, and 2. your cache configuration, image optimization, CDNs, etc. A heavyweight theme can dramatically slow down your blog no matter how well you have configured your cache plugins. Similarly, a slow web server can affect your blog performance while also increasing your page loading times. Hence, choosing a worthy web hosting is essential.
HostArmada was launched a little more than 2 years ago (at the time of writing this post), in 2019. Yet, in just 2 years, they have managed to strengthen their position in the market very well. They rank 4th in the list of Best Web Hosting Services 2021, and 3rd on the list of Best Shared Web Hosting Services 2021 on Hostadvice with a noteworthy 9.9 rating. This is exactly what grabbed my attention, and I quickly decided to give it a try. Here’s my full review of HostArmada shared web hosting.
HostArmada Shared Web Hosting Features:
HostArmada provides Managed Cloud SSD Shared Web Hosting, that you can use to host your WordPress or any other web software.
- Datacentres across the World: HostArmada servers are present in Fremont, Toronto, Dallas, Newark, London, Frankfurt, Mumbai, Singapore, and Sydney. You may choose to host your website from any of these locations depending on the kind of audience you are serving to.
- CPanel Included: CPanel, probably the most sought web hosting control panel software available right now, is included with HostArmada Shared Web Hosting. It offers an easy way to navigate through important regions of your web hosting. You can browse your file manager, configure emails, set up SSL, backup and restore, and more through CPanel. It also includes a one-click WordPress installer via Softaculuous.
- Free Domain Registration + Free SSL Included: Every shared hosting plan from HostArmada includes Free Domain Registration or Transfer. You can Free SSL is also included with every web hosting plan from HostArmada. Additionally, you can also install free SSL via ZeroSSL or Cloudflare.
- 24×7 Support: This is more of a necessity for every web hosting provider, but HostArmada goes a bit further with their commitment of getting a 10-minute response for every support ticket opened. Live chat is available as well, and I have anonymously tried them. They respond instantly. You may ask anything regarding your web hosting, migrating websites, installing themes and plugins, compatibility issues, SSL certificates, and basic website optimization tricks.
- Choice of Litespeed & Nginx: Whether you like Nginx or Litespeed, HostArmada offers you both. Check out the plans below to get the details.
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee: HostArmada promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is the industry standard. Whether or not they live up to this will be explored in the Uptime section, which you will find below.
- 45 Days Money Back Guarantee: In case you are not satisfied with their service, you can opt for a full refund within 45 days. Your money back will be processed without any deductions.
- (Upto) Last 21 Days Backup Retention: Depending on the plans, you will get the last 7/14/21 days backups. It is located in Cpanel > Jetbackup > File Backups. You can restore any file from there in one click. However, using dedicated WordPress Backup Plugins is recommended along with this to restore your website before any theme or plugin update, etc.
HostArmada Shared Web Hosting Plans:
HostArmada believes in a non-cluttered experience, and hence they have kept 3 plans HostArmada shared hosting plans to help you choose from.
- Start Dock
- Web Warp
- Speed Reaper
Don’t let the names confuse you. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of all 3:
|Start Dock||Web Warp||Speed Reaper|
|First Year Price|
|First Year Price|
|First Year Price|
|1 Website||Unlimited Websites||Unlimited Websites|
|15 GB SSD||30 GB SSD||40 GB SSD|
|2 Cores CPU||4 Cores CPU||6 Cores CPU|
|2 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||6 GB RAM|
|~ 10k Visitors||~ 60k Visitors||~ 120k Visitors|
|Last 7 Days|
|Last 14 Days |
|Last 21 Days |
|NGINX Server||NGINX Server||LiteSpeed Server|
Which plan should you go for?
If you have only 1 website, then the choice is obviously the Start Dock plan. In case you have more than one website, then you can choose Web Warp or Speed Reaper depending on which type of server you are preferring, Nginx or Litespeed. Note that all your websites will share the same server, so you cannot modify your server type at a later stage. Choose wisely.
For the first-year promotional rates, you need to use the 70% off promotional coupon which is displayed on the top of their website.
Higher Renewal Rates:
Okay here’s a heads up. Even though you have a heavily discounted first-year pricing, the renewal prices go upwards steeply.
I am never a fan of web hosts that offer a reduced rate for the first year and bumps it up the next year onwards. Rather a flat pricing (with a healthy 20-30% discount coupon for special occasions) is more transparent and trustworthy.
If you look up the rates for start dock, it’s around $4 per month for the first year, which translates to around $50. But the second year onwards, it is bumped up to around $13 per month, which translates to more than $150. That’s more than 3x of the initial rate.
How this pricing stacks up with the competition is a completely different question altogether, and sometimes I feel every host is free to set up their own pricing and offer services accordingly. But whatever may be the case, HostArmada’s higher renewal rates are something I felt that needs some mention.
It is up to you whether you want to stay with HostArmada after your first billing period, however, a discounted first billing ensures you get to test their servers to your fullest before committing.
HostArmada Shared Web Hosting Performance:
Before I share the performance results, here are some important things that you should know:
- The following performance reports are not absolute. It may vary from user to user depending on what resources you are running on your server. Your actual usage will depend on which theme you have installed, how many plugins you are running, and how well you have optimized your blog. Consider using cache plugins or image optimization plugins for better pagespeed.
- My web hosting plan was Speed Reaper, with a Litespeed Server. The server location was Mumbai since I am based in India.
- I installed WordPress on the server. At the time of testing, it was running on the latest version of WordPress, v5.8.
- The test website was running on Kadence WordPress Theme. However, I did not do many customizations. I wanted to test out the raw capabilities of the server as it is. 8 Plugins were active, including the cache plugin: Litespeed Cache.
A few more things to keep in mind:
- Since the website is not fully customized, the pagespeed report (included below) won’t give true metrics of the actual server performance. Hence, I haven’t included a pagespeed insight report. However, you may check the WebPageTest report below, which may give an idea about the TTFB (time-to-first-byte).
- Cloudflare CDN services were on at the time of testing.
- I have used the Loader.io tool to measure the Server performance. It offers a set of tools that imitates server load.
Before I dive into the performance tests, here’s a speedtest result from WebPageTest.org. Since the server location was in Mumbai, the test location I chose was also Mumbai.
The TTFB (Time to First Byte) was 0.449s, which is excellent. Ideally, this means the website is fully optimized for Indian traffic. This is where a lightweight theme and lesser plugins will give you an edge over others.
Changing the location to Toronto changes the dynamics a lot.
The TTFB falls to 1.2 seconds. This is tested with Cloudflare CDN.
Loader.io offers the following 3 kinds of tests in its free plan:
- You can gradually increase traffic from 0 to ‘n’ clients over 1 minute.
- You can maintain ‘n’ clients traffic per second for 1 minute. This can give a rough idea about the real-time capabilities.
- You can specify a total of ‘n’ clients traffic to be maintained over 1 minute without any ‘per second’ requirements.
Out of these three, I have conducted tests for (1) & (2) only, since (3) is just a diluted version of (2). Here it goes:
Test 1: Gradually Increase 0 – 100 users in 1 minute:
The first test was very basic: I started from 0 and increased it to 100 over 1 minute. Needless to say, it surpassed the test with flying colors.
The average response time was 318ms (maximum response time of 1954ms), and there was no 400/500, timeout or network errors at all. This is a decent value.
Test 2: Gradually Increase 0 – 250 users in 1 minute:
Next time, I bumped up the traffic to 250 under 1 minute.
It went smooth again. In fact, the average response time decreased slightly to 311ms (with a maximum response time of 1706ms), which could only mean one thing: HostArmada shared servers can handle traffic loads comfortably.
Test 3: Gradually Increase 0 – 500 users in 1 minute:
Finally, I doubled the no of clients to 500. Note that this is something I tried earlier with a VPS server, and generally shared hosting is not expected to handle such a huge influx of traffic.
OMG! HostArmada made it! Zero errors! However, a close inspection of the graph will tell you that the response was not as smooth and uniform as the earlier two. The average response time increased to 459ms, while the maximum response time slowed down to 3436ms. This implies the server is stressed, which is pretty normal at a hefty 500 traffic!
Overall I was very happy with the incremental traffic performance and wanted to move on to the real-time load tests.
Test 4: Maintain 250 clients per second for 1 minute:
The real-time load tests simulate a ‘continuous’ real-time traffic of a specified value and will stress the server incessantly. I was skeptical at first on where to begin but decided to test with 250 clients per second for 1 minute.
Ahh! It cut through the test without errors. The average response time was usual at 303ms (with a maximum of 1595ms).
Test 5: Maintain 500 clients per second for 1 minute:
Time to double the traffic. But mind you, this is the test that is usually meant for VPS. You won’t expect 500 real-time traffic continuously on a shared server. Anyways here’s the outcome!
It came in as a huge surprise to me. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to hold up. This is a point a lot of shared servers throw timeout errors. The average response time was 288ms (1335ms maximum). Sweet!
Test 6: Maintain 1000 clients per second for 1 minute:
Okay, how about doubling the traffic again (1000 real-time traffic)? This is an insane act, but it was like HostArmada was throwing challenges at me. I had to do it to fulfill my curiosity. Here it goes:
The results are up above. I don’t need to announce it. However, there is a minor change in the graph pattern. At 53 seconds, it didn’t allow beyond 770 clients, however, it averaged out the next instant. Minor hiccup, but the maximum response time fell to 2621ms. This shows that the server is stressed heavily.
But in the end, I am glad that HostArmada could hold itself up without going down. It definitely sets a threshold for shared hosting providers, which will force them to improve their servers for the greater good.
Note that my site was a demo without heavy themes or plugins as such. In case you work with too many plugins, you will consume server resources more quickly. Hence, you should not expect 1000 real-time. More importantly, if you do reach such a high real-time, you’d probably want to upgrade to a VPS or Dedicated Hosting Server. In case you are not sure which hosting suits you more, check this post: Shared Web Hosting v/s VPS: Which should you choose?.
HostArmada Shared Web Hosting Uptime Results:
So, time to move to the server monitoring results. Don’t expect surprises, because you already saw the HostArmada shared server capabilities above.
I have set up my demo blog hosted on the HostArmada Speed Reaper plan on 12th July 2021. At the time of writing this post on 7th August 2021, I have run it for over 25 days, and here are the results.
The average server response time was close to 1 second (950ms). This again depends on the location.
Needless to say, I faced no downtimes in the last 25 days at all. The uptime sticks to a whopping 100%. Overall, I am very satisfied with the performance and uptime results.
Just wanted to add that in case something happens, you are also protected via their automatic daily backups. Their support is just one chat or mail away.
HostArmada Shared Web Hosting Review:
I prefer web-hosting based on 4 major factors: Server Location, Server Capabilities, Support Options, and Pricing. HostArmada offers servers from 9 locations across the world, which is great. The performance is what impressed me the most. Even though it is a shared environment, it will comfortably handle sudden traffic spikes as well as sustained traffic loads over a period of time. The technical support options are pretty robust, and you also have daily automatic backups as well. The pricing is where it gets nasty. While the first-year rates are fine, it goes up more than 3x from the next year onwards, which obviously brings the question of whether you’d want to stick with them when there are other options. Well, test them out and decide for yourself! There’s a 45-day money-back guarantee!
That’s all you need to know about HostArmada Shared Web Hosting. To summarize: They have 3 plans: Start Dock, Web Warp, and Speed Reaper. The Good? Resilient Servers with strong uptime. The Bad? Probably Pricing. Should you try? If you are just starting out and not having heavy traffic requirements, you can check out cheaper options like VapourHost. But if you are on an existing shared hosting and facing issues in scaling up, then HostArmada shared hosting is definitely worth a try.
Lastly, don’t forget the 45-day money-back guarantee. You can spin it up for yourselves. Overall, I am pretty much satisfied with the quality of service that I got from HostArmada, and it will be fair to say that they lived up to my expectations.
Thank you for reading. Do share this post with your friends, especially those who are struggling to find a good web host. HostArmada fully justifies the 3rd position on HostAdvice, and I will be looking forward to more improvements from them.
Time to sign off for now. I will be back soon with another interesting update. Don’t forget to join our Telegram Channel for getting the latest tech updates.