Lunarpages Review: A Cheap Host If You Don't Need Anything
Product Name: Lunarpages Hosting
Brand: Lunarpages - acquired by Hostpapa
Offer price: $3.49
Offer URL: http://lunarpages.com/
Lunarpages Review: Summary
Lunarpages has been around since the 1990s. Today, the company serves over 150,000 customers. So, surely they are doing something right, right? Keep on reading to find out!
- Native website builder
- 99.99% uptime
- Expensive and complicated pricing
Lunarpages serves over 150,000 customers. Operating since the 1990s, they have a strong online presence and are known for their native website builder that comes free with all hosting plans.
Lunarpages claim to be not just ahead of the curve, but that they invented the curve… whatever that means! Gimmicky website copy aside, Lunarpages has over two decades’ worth of experience providing what they call “quality web hosting.”
Founded in 1998, Lunarpages is one of the oldest hosting companies currently in existence. What began as a garage project has since grown to a company supplying hosting services to hundreds of thousands of customers with data centres located across the U.S.
With an initial glance at their website, the impression you get is that they are running a tight ship. If their testimonials and client list are anything to go by, Lunarpages are doing very well.
Is all this true, though?
Well, that is what we are going to consider in our comprehensive review of the Lunarpages service. We have done all the hard work so that you don’t have to.
If you are considering using Lunarpages to host your website, carry on reading to find whether they are a suitable host for your needs.
- Lunarpages Review : What We Love About Lunarpages
- Amazing Uptime Rates
- Free Domain Name and Site Migration
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- Website Builder and Professional Design Options
- Things Lunarpages Can Improve On
- Not Charging for cPanel Use
- Not Charging Setup Fees
- Not Charging Fees, Period
- Not Suspending Customers for Resource Usage
- Adding Working Customer Support Options
- Domains are Expensive
- Their Website is Very Basic
- Lunarpages Pricing
- Lunarpages Review: Final Thoughts
At the time of writing this review, Lunarpages was an independent brand. Now it has been acquired by Hostpapa so performance might differ.
Lunarpages Review : What We Love About Lunarpages
Here are some of the things that we really liked about Lunarpages.
Amazing Uptime Rates
Between March 2018 and March 2019, Lunarpages’ uptime was 99.99% That is an amazing figure that every hosting company should strive to achieve. While 100% uptime is always going to be the best uptime rate (of course!), it is very rare—Lunarpages comes close.
As a general rule, we advise people to steer clear of hosting companies that have an uptime of less than 99.95%. This is because anything below this figure could cause problems for your site in the long-term. Even short periods of downtime, for example, can harm your site’s ability to rank in Google search results. If Google’s bots and crawlers notice that your website is down often, you will be penalized heavily.
With 99.9% (99.994166%, to be exact) up-time, Lunarpages blows most of their competitors out of the water.
Free Domain Name and Site Migration
Most of Lunarpages’ plans include a free domain name. Unfortunately, you only get it free for a year—check out the “cons” for more information about this!
Do you already host a website elsewhere? If so, Lunarpages will transfer it over from your current host completely free of charge (if it uses cPanel, that is)! This is great news if you don’t have the time, skill, or simply don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.
Website migration can be difficult, particularly for larger websites with complex structures, so it is great to know that Lunarpages will take this load off your back.
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Most hosting companies offer some form of refund guarantee for their shared hosting plans. With some hosts, the money back period is seven days and with others, it can be as high as 90 days.
Across the industry, 30 days is the standard time period. It is also one that Lunarpages adheres to.
If you are dissatisfied with the plan you have purchased, you can get a full refund within 30 days (less the cost for domain registration, $19.95) by emailing customer support. This applies to all shared hosting plans of any length.
Website Builder and Professional Design Options
Do you want a stunning site but don’t have the time (or knowledge!) to build one from scratch?
Lunarpages has you covered!
With their easy-to-use drag and drop builder, you can have a stunning site completed in a matter of hours. You have the choice to use pre-made themes or build upon a basic theme yourself.
All customers have access to their basic “Free” version with additional tiers carrying an extra charge. Still, access to any form of a website builder for free is nothing to be sniffed at.
Lunarpages also offer professional design services provided by a team of expert designers. This service is not free. If you are looking for a professional site and don’t mind paying for it, it could be something worth considering.
Things Lunarpages Can Improve On
While Lunarpages is great, there is room for improvement.
Not Charging for cPanel Use
This is a first we’ve seen—a hosting company charging for cPanel. It is not something we expected and, unfortunately, it marred our opinion somewhat.
cPanel access is something that is provided by virtually every single hosting company in the world. And they all let you use it for free. cPanel is a pretty standard open-source backend solution that you shouldn’t have to pay for. It’s like someone charging you money to use WordPress.
While Lunarpages will only charge you a couple of dollars for it, that’s beside the point. With pretty much any other host, you get it for free.
Their own control panel, LunarPanel, is free, though.
We don’t like proprietary control panels. They lock you in a specific host and are generally a nightmare to work with.
Not Charging Setup Fees
Lunarpages also charge setup fees. This is something else that other hosting companies don’t charge for… at least not for their shared hosting plans.
Although there is no fee for the Starter shared hosting plan, there are fees for plans including and above Basic shared hosting.
Not Charging Fees, Period
The fees don’t stop at cPanel access and setup, either. They charge an additional fee for so many different things.
Want a dedicated IP address? That’s an extra $4.95 per month.
Want shell access? $2.00 per month, please.
Want backup and restore? $1.50 per month.
We’re not joking.
All these hidden fees are no good—it ends up making what would have been relatively cheap hosting not so cheap.
Think you’re paying $3.95 for hosting? You’re certainly not when you throw in all the above. You can get by without cPanel, though we wouldn’t recommend it. You can’t, however, run a site without shell access, automated backups, or a dedicated IP.
Not Suspending Customers for Resource Usage
Many hosts offer “unlimited” features. More often than not, these features are not truly unlimited; there are limits hidden away in their Terms & Conditions.
Lunarpages is no different from these hosts.
Although Lunarpages clearly states what limits apply to what plans, they do not say what will happen if you exceed them—either accidentally or intentionally. They are notorious for suspending customers without warning for “high resource usage”.
Yes, their reasoning for this is somewhat valid, however, it’s not a nice way to go about it. There is not a warning system—you just get suspended.
This is terrible customer service.
Adding Working Customer Support Options
When you look at Lunarpages’ customer support section, you may think all is good. Well, it’s not. While there is a live chat, each time we tried to access it we were met with the message “Our agents are not available at the moment.”
As for their sales chat, that didn’t work either.
They do offer email support—supposedly it is 24/7—and email support, however, we expect live chat support to be available, too.
Personally, we do not believe that their email support line is 24/7. If this was the case, their live chat would be 24/7, too… or it should be, at least. There is an FAQs section, but this is lacking somewhat and their community forum is very slow and quite empty.
On the customer support end, it just feels like a big lie.
Domains are Expensive
Although Lunarpages give you your domain for free in the first year, you’ll have to pay for it after this time is up—you don’t get it free for life like with some other hosting companies.
Unfortunately, Lunarpages charge a lot of money for .com domains. At the time of writing, this price sits at a huge $19.95. This price is about double what you would pay at Namecheap. And no, there’s no significance in getting a domain from here or Namecheap.
If you plan on using Lunarpages, we would recommend registering a domain externally and only using the hosting from Lunarpages. This way, you can own the domain for half the price. Also, it’s always a good idea to not put all your eggs in one basket.
Their Website is Very Basic
The Lunarpages website is very basic. Why not go and see for yourself?
This doesn’t give us much hope for the service quality. After all, a hosting company should have a good website… especially one offering professional website design services.
So far as shared hosting plans go, you have two options—personal and business hosting. Both are operated on Linux-based servers. Windows shared hosting is available, however, it is more expensive, starting at $9.95 per month.
As for the difference between Windows and Linux-based hosting, it is something you don’t need to worry about. If you’re reading this review, so far as your website is concerned, there is no noticeable difference.
|Anti-Malware Protection||$9.95 p/month||$9.95 p/month||No|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
|Customer Support||Mon-Fri: Live chat, ticket, phone||Mon-Fri: Live chat, ticket, phone||Mon-Fri: Live chat, ticket, phone|
|Choice Of Server Location||USA Only||USA Only||USA Only|
|Free Automated Backups||$1.50/month||$1.50/month||$1.50/month|
Personal Shared Hosting
|Payment Period / Plan||Starter||Basic||Windows|
There are two plans available—Starter and Basic.
As you can see, Starter is $3.95 per month. For an extra $1 per month, however, you can get their Basic hosting that comes with “unlimited” storage, FTP accounts, databases, bandwidth, and email accounts.
We are not sure why a free domain name and website builder are listed as features in the Basic plan, however—these are included with the Starter plan. Sloppy!
Let’s suppose for a moment that you want to subscribe to the Starter plan for three years. Here’s how much it would cost:
$202.05 for three years, or $5.61 per month when you factor in the domain cost. This is without the add-ons, too. When you include the most basic add-ons, ones that are typically free with other hosting companies…
The price jumps up to a ridiculous $792.45, or $22.01 per month for a few extra addons. Also, you cannot use cPanel with the Starter plan, so you are stuck with Lunarpages’ own one.
Thinking of spending the extra dollar for the Basic plan? Well, it’s not quite that simple…
To get the price of Basic down to $4.95, you will need to sign up for 5 years…
- Monthly: $12.95
- 3 Months: $10.95
- 6 Months: $9.95
- 12 Months: $8.95
- 24 Months: $6.95
- 36 Months: $5.95
- 60 Months: $4.95
This runs you up to a total of $352.80, or $9.80 per month, before add-ons. With add-ons…
You are looking at an exorbitant price of $1,576.80. That’s $26.28 per month.
This is terrible value for money. There are plenty of hosting companies who will give you everything Lunarpages do, and then some, for a single-digit monthly price.
Business Shared Hosting
At those prices, just don’t bother.
Lunarpages Review: Final Thoughts
Do we recommend Lunarpages?
No, unfortunately, we do not.
While there are plenty of good things to talk about, these simply do not outweigh the negatives.
Although Lunarpages’ plans may look cheap and value-packed, they are not. You will be bombarded with upsells and add-ons (many of which are included for free by virtually all other hosting companies) which overshadow the low price point.
In fact, if it was not for these ridiculous upsells and add-ons, Lunarpages would be a hosting company we recommend.
We cannot, however, do so in good conscience when they charge you $2 a month for cPanel of all things.
They are just nickel and diming their customers.