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HostPoco Tiny quality cpanel hosting with all of the features
#1
This has been a very interesting shared hosting account to review.  I've had many years of experience with shared hosting accounts however this is the first time I've looked at a free cpanel hosting with softaculous with only 200 MB disk space and 200 MB bandwidth.  What made me curious was to see how far the disk space and bandwidth would take me and this is how far I got with it until I hit limits on the disk space and I was no longer able to access the WP blog due to exceeding the 200 MB Bandwidth limit.  A first for me for sure as by usual shared hosting spec standards, I'm a minimalist with using resources.

Here are the specs for the free Hostpoco Lifetime Hosting Account:

200MB Web Space
200MB Bandwidth
2 Email Accounts
2 Sub Domains
FREE Auto SSL
DDOS Protection
99.99% uptime
Softacolous Supported
Tier 1 Technical Support

Before I hit the bandwidth limit I did the following:

1. I wanted to give the cPanel that comes with the account a good workout.  So instead of using Softaculous I installed the WordPress script manually by uploading the script with the File Manager.  That went very well, however I noticed that it took much longer to upload than what my experience usually is with cpanel.  Possibly because of it being monitored.  This was clearly a sign of using a good chunck of bandwidth.

2. Next I noticed that although the specs say Auto SSL, the capability was there in cPanel with Let's Encrypt, but it was not enabled when the account was set up as my experience with cpanel accounts usually is.  It was actually very easy though to do this by just clicking on the SSL tab in cPanel, and maybe two other clicks and the SSL was completed.  The option for Wildcard was dimmed, however I could enable SSL for sub-domains and cpanel as well.

3. Next I created a mySQL database and noticed that the specs forgot to mention one is only allowed one mySQL database.  It was a classic cpanel database with creating a user as well and connecting the database with the user.  That went as fast as always and I don't think it used that much bandwidth.

4. Following this I was able to create the site the classic manual way with entering the URL of the primary domain and following the usual WP Blog Create steps. It went fast as usual and I doubt it used that much bandwidth.

5. Next I cleaned up the empty WordPress blog of its pages, posts and plugins.  Then loaded the All in One WP Migration plugin as well as plug extension as well as the Classic Editor plugin.  I don't think that took lots of bandwidth, as it went very fast as it usually does.

6. I then used the All in One WP Migration plugin to import an exting WordPress blog that I was going to edit down and create a new blog out of.  I used it as a template.  This must have taken a chunk of bandwidth as the import went much slower than it usually does in my experience.  It was successfully imported though.

7. Next I edited the blog, deleted a bunch of pages and posts, edited the menu.  Also updated all of the plugins in the imported blog.  I then took a backup as well and that took longer than what is in my experience indicating it was eating away at bandwidth.

8. A little while after I went back to create two new blog posts.  Then when I tried to make a backup of the site, as I usually do after a change like this, it hit the 200 MB disk space limit.  I then remembered that when one downloads a backup, a copy is stored on the Website as well.  Once I had deleted the backup, I was able to create a fresh download and updated backup again.

9. Next morning when I tried to get up the blog it came up with a notice that I had exceeded the bandwidth limit.  So the above was the sum total of bandwidth and disk space it took to get to its limits.

So in retrospect this is indeed an entry level mini account meaning the expectation is to wet one's appetite for the next level of hosting, which I think is well worth it at only 1$ a month.  The entry level mini account gave me ample opportunity to try the hosting out and all of it rocked - more about this later.

In the meanwhile, back to hitting the hard disk and bandwidth limits.  If any one else is going to use the Free Lifetime Hosting to create a WP blog, here are some suggestions for saving on the resources.

1. Use Softaculous in cPanel to create the WP blog.  
2. Uploading files, importing and exporting eat bandwidth and add disk space.  Use this minimally.
3. You can only create one mySQL Database
4. Although you are allowed two free sub domains, I'd advise against using this option due to minimal resources.
5. Ditto e-mail accounts.  I don't think there are enough resources for having a full all round hosting account.

I was very impressed with the all over service though.  Imagine GENUINE cPanel like we know it in its best up to date form, together with an equally up to date Softaculous.  But that is not the only gems I came across.

When one applies for the Free Lifetime Hosting, one has to open a client account first.  The features in the client area of that account rock.  Initially I was concerned as although I had received plenty of well written e-mails to confirm my application, the service application was stuck as "pending" in the Dashboard of my Account.  It was very easy though to submit a ticket through the support options of the Client Account.  Alternatively I could also have checked with "chat".  HostPoco definitely gets a 10/10 for options for support.  I went the ticket route.  At the time I submitted the ticket I was wondering whether the fact that the service had not been activated yet had to do with the service not existing at all.  But was impressed when I received a response to my ticket within a few hours.  Turned out after a number of back and forth messages between HostPoco and me, HostPoco is a conservative and hands-on host.  Although most of everything is automated as with all other hosts, they take a very careful approach to those who qualify for the free hosting account.  Turned out that MasterPoco left a number of things out of the post where he advertised the Free Lifetime service.  Such as a review that needs to be written.  Once that had been straightened out however, to my surprise, but also great curiosity to try it out, I received this tiny quality free cpanel with softaculous hosting account.  And a cpanel that turned out to be state of the art, up to date, real mcCoy product.  

So far my account and service hasn't been down, except of course blocked due to hitting the bandwidth limit.  So uptime sofar is 10/10.  Support far exceeded my expectations.  I for example checked in at HostPoco and used their chat (available to registered account users only), to ask them where they wanted a review published.  It was a great experience with a real person instead of the feeling of dealing with an exhausted person who doesn't care.  There were no gaps in time in between messages and I never had to wait in between.  There are people who care at HostPoco for sure.  I was provided with the following URL for the review.  One of those review sites that vets the review before it is published:
https://hostadvice.com/hosting-company/h...o-reviews/

I also like Hostpoco’s knowledgebase with very useful articles about everything including a Demo for the free account. The person who set all of this up obviously is gifted with writing good materials as the e-mails of confirmation and information about the account and setup are all impeccably written with loads of info.
https://www.my.hostpoco.com/index.php?rp...eb-Hosting

So everything is true or exceeded my expectations. Uptime is genuine, pricing is genuine, it is genuinely user friendly with a state of the art cpanel and softaculous, support is more than excellent through their chat feature in addition to support through ticket.  $1 for upgrading to unlimited hosting with Hostpoco would definitely be worth it for anyone considering a hosting account.  More than worth it.  I see it as a great deal!  For now any way.  But looks as though they've been around for a while now (since 2018)

These are the specs that come with the Hostpoco Shared Hosting Pro at 1$:

Double Domain Hosting
Unlimited Web Space
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Email Accounts
Unlimited Parked Domains
1 Addon Domains
4 MySQL Databases
Unlimited Sub Domains
FREE cPanel Control Panel
FREE PHP MyAdmin
FREE AwStats
FREE Auto SSL
FREE Virus Scanner
DDOS Protection
99.99% uptime
Softacolous Supported
Tier 2 Technical Support

Terms of Service (TOS)
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
Terminal
Thank you to Post4VPS and VirMach for my awesome VPS 9!  
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#2
That's a great Review with in-depth information. Now with cPanel price increase, there aren't many cPanel based free shared hosting providers. I don't mind restrictions on a free service. It usually gives fewer headaches to both providers and users. Unfortunately, the ridiculously low amount of space and bandwidth makes it look less interesting. I wouldn't want to run a WordPress or most of those big CMS there. Since I used Wordpress for all my sites it stopped me right there.


~ Be yourself everybody else is taken ~




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#3
Thanks @xdude  I've just noticed another neat feature of Hostpoco's Lifetime Free Host service.  Even when one exceeds the bandwidth and one is no longer able to see the Website (until bandwidth is reset at first of next month), one can still get into cpanel to delete files.  

I noticed that since I'd imported a "template" WP site that there was an inflated media library (with images from 2014 to date) and I was able to save 60 MB by editing out the ones no longer in use.  I also deleted plugins and themes that are not being used. That brought my disk size well within the 200 MB limit to 120 MB - with some spare space to use for new posts in future.  

My bandwith total was 368 MB before my Website was stopped.  So HostPoco gives plenty of "grace" bandwidth before the proverbial axe comes down for going over the bandwidth limit of 200 MB.

In meanwhile I've also edited a copy of the WP site at another hosting of mine, and reduced the size to 62 GB.  Once my bandwidth is reset on 1st of April I'm planning to completely delete my WP site on my Hostpoco account and start fresh.  Knowing what I know now how to use the minimum of bandwidth.
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Thank you to Post4VPS and VirMach for my awesome VPS 9!  
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#4
(03-18-2021, 10:31 AM)deanhills Wrote:  Thanks @xdude  I've just noticed another neat feature of Hostpoco's Lifetime Free Host service.  Even when one exceeds the bandwidth and one is no longer able to see the Website (until bandwidth is reset at first of next month), one can still get into cpanel to delete files.  

I noticed that since I'd imported a "template" WP site that there was an inflated media library (with images from 2014 to date) and I was able to save 60 MB by editing out the ones no longer in use.  I also deleted plugins and themes that are not being used. That brought my disk size well within the 200 MB limit to 120 MB - with some spare space to use for new posts in future.  

My bandwith total was 368 MB before my Website was stopped.  So HostPoco gives plenty of "grace" bandwidth before the proverbial axe comes down for going over the bandwidth limit of 200 MB.

In meanwhile I've also edited a copy of the WP site at another hosting of mine, and reduced the size to 62 GB.  Once my bandwidth is reset on 1st of April I'm planning to completely delete my WP site on my Hostpoco account and start fresh.  Knowing what I know now how to use the minimum of bandwidth.

Yes! Wordpress is a huge bandwidth eater and though the features it provides are great, trying to upload themes, plugins, assets and even creating content is going to eat away at that let alone regular traffic to your website. You can see that reflected with WP hosting provided with GoDaddy and others, that there is a steep cost associated with it just for disk space and bandwidth allowances.
Thank you to CubeData and Posts4VPS for the services of VPS 8.
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#5
I think it is good to see the test limits of WordPress and see how to optimize the size and bandwidth. But these days everyone offers a considerable amount of Space and Bandwidth enough to run multiple WordPress sites. Also, it's important to optimize images and files. Not to save bandwidth but to make sure the sites load faster.


~ Be yourself everybody else is taken ~




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#6
(03-18-2021, 10:31 AM)deanhills Wrote:  Thanks @xdude  I've just noticed another neat feature of Hostpoco's Lifetime Free Host service.  Even when one exceeds the bandwidth and one is no longer able to see the Website (until bandwidth is reset at first of next month), one can still get into cpanel to delete files.  
That made me think of my webo.hosting experience.
They are using Plesk as the panel and you got 50MB of storage(no databases) for simple basic(free).Not enough for a blog unless you are using a very light-weight system but enough for self-made PHP script testing(mzltest.webo.page).
However the disk space is a hard limit and you will lose access after the updated info indicated you exceeded the disk space(the data isn't real time),and I once lose access for trying the builtin composer plugin.However after a support ticket I was able to do the cleanup.
Okay.Though the disk space is embarrassing but at least it's fine with a rss reader(miniflux)
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#7
(03-17-2021, 01:20 PM)deanhills Wrote:  (......................)
Here are the specs for the free Hostpoco Lifetime Hosting Account:

200MB Web Space
200MB Bandwidth
2 Email Accounts
2 Sub Domains
FREE Auto SSL
DDOS Protection
99.99% uptime
Softacolous Supported
Tier 1 Technical Support

Before I hit the bandwidth limit I did the following:
(....)

These are the specs that come with the Hostpoco Shared Hosting Pro at 1$:

Double Domain Hosting
Unlimited Web Space
Unlimited Bandwidth
Unlimited Email Accounts
Unlimited Parked Domains
1 Addon Domains
4 MySQL Databases
Unlimited Sub Domains
FREE cPanel Control Panel
FREE PHP MyAdmin
FREE AwStats
FREE Auto SSL
FREE Virus Scanner
DDOS Protection
99.99% uptime
Softacolous Supported
Tier 2 Technical Support

@deanhills
Good, meticulous review!.. but not sure the 'service' is worth the effort!.. It looks more like a showcase(/PR/demo) than a free service to me!..

One can still deal with the 200MB Web Space limitation by distributing the Web site assets across different servers BUT the 200MB bandwidth limitation!.. That's just ridiculous and a waste of time.. Only justifiable if someone is willing to upgrade... Hence why it's there!..

So it's definetly a demo(/PR/showcase) stunt.

I would advice the service provider to increase the bandwidth to at least 1GB -which is still low- to start giving its service the appearance of a genuine 'FREE Web Hosting'.
Current VirMach's Buffalo-based VPS-9 Holder (Dec. 2020 - Present)
Former VirMach's Phoenix-based VPS-9 Holder (Apr. 2020 - June 2020)
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#8
(03-19-2021, 06:41 AM)fChk Wrote:  @deanhills
Good, meticulous review!.. but not sure the 'service' is worth the effort!.. It looks more like a showcase(/PR/demo) than a free service to me!..
Absolutely true @fChk.  It was a nice little project for me though to see how much of a minimalist I could be.  Also to check how far one can go with 200 MB Bandwidth and 200 MB Space.  I was impressed because of the quality cPanel, the quality client area, the documentation on site, the knowledgebase, and the support.  When I did a review for them with an outside review site (the kind that checks and vets the reviews before they are published) I noticed they had good reviews too.  They've been up and running since 2018.  Since I've been in shared hosting for a while, all of it intrigued me.

(03-19-2021, 06:41 AM)fChk Wrote:  One can still deal with the 200MB Web Space limitation by distributing the Web site assets across different servers BUT the 200MB bandwidth limitation!.. That's just ridiculous and a waste of time.. Only justifiable if someone is willing to upgrade... Hence why it's there!..
You're so right about this.  200 Bandwidth just about kills everything else, since one can do so little with it, one can barely publish a very simple blog.  To be honest though, they only cut me off at 368 MB, so there is some "grace". Again, for me it was a fun exercise to see where the bandwidth goes.  For me it went into uploads and downloads.  Given the little specs I was very impressed that once the bandwidth and/or disk space is gone, one can still get into cpanel.  So at least one can go in to delete files.  But of course with bandwidth one has to wait until it resets itself.  I could probably have asked them to do it as I went to a lot of trouble with the review, but it wasn't what it was about for me.  For me it was a project to check the size and bandwidth limitation.  Was fun  Big Grin


(03-19-2021, 06:41 AM)fChk Wrote:  I would advice the service provider to increase the bandwidth to at least 1GB -which is still low- to start giving its service the appearance of a genuine 'FREE Web Hosting'.
Well the provider's next Plan after ZERO is only 50 US cents.  Can you believe it?  So really, why not just sign up for it for a year.  6 dollars?  (renewing a TLD dot.net domain is approx 14 dollars)

This is what you get for 6 dollars (50 cents/month ) - they forget to mention the biggest PLUS in the service which is free GENUINE up to date cpanel with softaculous and client area with ability to create tickets. I'm impressed.

Quote:Single Domain Hosting
Unlimited Web Space
Unlimited Bandwidth
10 Email Accounts
10 Sub Domains
FREE Auto SSL
DDOS Protection
99.99% up time
Softacolous Supported
Tier 2 Technical Support
Source: https://www.hostpoco.com/
Terminal
Thank you to Post4VPS and VirMach for my awesome VPS 9!  
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#9
The 200MB bandwidth is indeed very crazily insufficient for a normal website. But perhaps, for me, this free hosting account is still useful for testing or development purposes.

So I think I will try it out when I have time later. Thanks Dean for posting that. And once again, it is an excellent review, for such a "tiny but quality hosting". Smile


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