Host Metro is a privately owned and managed web hosting company. The business was launched in 2003 and the management team have a combined total of over 50 years experience in the web hosting industry.
Host Metro is specialised in shared web hosting only. It has a decade of experience in this niche, so we can assume customers are in safe hands.
Host Metro Hosting Plans
The shared hosting plans from Host Metro are easy to understand. There are just two options, the Mega Max Hosting plan and the Business Max Hosting plan. The longer the length of your contract, the cheaper the monthly fee.
On both plans, customers get ‘maximum’ disk space and bandwidth. This is a bit of a strange clause. It actually means customers are set a quota, and Host Metro says that the quotas are enough to satisfy 95% of their customers’ needs. Customers can request more space if they need it, but they will be turned down if 15% of the existing space is taken up by files that aren’t used to build the website. This is all rather vague; it’s designed to prevent customers from using the service as a file storage facility, but some people won’t feel comfortable without figures to rely on.
Both hosting plans include unlimited FTP accounts, MySQL databases, weekly backups and site builders. Customers can use unlimited domains and set up unlimited email accounts. The Business Max Hosting plan comes with an SSL, dedicated IP and a few other minor bonuses.
Host Metro Uptime/Downtime
Host Metro’s hosting plans are covered by a 99.9% uptime guarantee, but it has an important get-out clause for the host. It will compensate customers if uptime falls below 99.9% over the period of a year – not a month. In this situation, customers are given an extra month of hosting for free, but it’s highly unlikely that any period of downtime would trigger the guarantee in the first place. If it did, would you remember to claim?
There is little information regarding the Host Metro data centre on its website. The company says that its facility is one of the most efficient in the world; perhaps this is because of its odd approach to resource allocation. I managed to deduce that the data centres are redundantly powered and networked. There also feature security, fire suppression, HVAC conditioning units and backup power.
Host Metro Support
Host Metro’s support options include US-based 24/7 live chat, email and telephone channels. There is also a knowledgebase for self help purposes, and it includes articles, guides and frequently asked question lists.
Customers can follow the Host Metro Facebook page and Twitter account. While the Twitter feed is lively, the Facebook page is barely used.
Host Metro in the News
Host Metro is a relatively small hosting company, so its lack of press is unsurprising – and a good sign.
Host Metro Control Panel
cPanel is offered across all Host Metro plans, which is always a plus point. As there are no advanced hosting options, cPanel is the one and only option here.
Host Metro Extras
Host Metro offers a range of freebies and extras to tempt customers to sign up. These include a free domain name, free access to SSL certificates and a Google adwords coupon worth $100.
The host supports a range of e-commerce features including Google checkout, PayPal, Zen Cart and OSCommerce. Softaculous is also installed as you’d expect.
Host Metro Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
It’s good to see that there is a 45 day money back guarantee available for anyone who signs up for a Host Metro plan. This is slightly longer than the average money back guarantee on shared hosting generally. The guarantee does not cover add-on services (such as the cost of registering domain name or an SSL certificate). It’s also only available to genuine, new customers, although there is a 5 day guarantee which covers any future renewals.
Host Metro Summary
Host Metro is no-fuss shared hosting company. It’s clear that the plans are designed to be as straightforward as possible, although that has its drawbacks.
Whilst many companies offer unlimited space and bandwidth with strings attached, Host Metro only offers customers the space they need. This may be great for anyone getting started on the web, but if you need more space it can be restrictive, especially if you sign up for a three year term. Who’s to say your site won’t breach the rules in future? We prefer to see terms set in stone. But despite our scepticism, there is something to be said for a low cost hosting provider that doesn’t blind its customers with technical jargon.