LunarPages Review

Outdated experience, but great in speed...

Brad Smith  —  · Read user reviews

We’ve been a paying customer for LunarPages for 40+ months. During that time, we’ve monitored their performance.

This review relies strongly on data, such as uptime, load time (speed) and customer support experience.

What is LunarPages?

Lunarpages is one of the oldest web hosts in existence.

Starting from humble beginnings in a garage in California (isn’t that how this story always begins?!) in 1998, to growing a customer base of over 150,000 people, including clients such as Microsoft, BlackBerry, Cisco, Sony, Caesar’s Entertainment, and more.

They were founded by Maximillian Andersen and Ron Riddle, a Harley Davidson-riding former brick mason (yes, you read that right!).

Today, Lunarpages has data centers in California, Arizona, and Nevada.

lunar pages datacenter
Image Credit: Lunarpages

A quick glance at that illustrious client list gives you the impression they know what they’re doing.

So, do they?

To find out, we set up a basic WordPress website on the Lunarpages ‘Starter Web Hosting Plan’ in June 2015. Since then, we’ve been analyzing performance like uptime & speed (click “History” to see the data yourself).

Here’s what we found:


Pros of using LunarPages Hosting

Lunarpages has a few great things going for it. Speed, for one. Nightly backups too.

Here’s a summary of their advantages:

1. 8% Faster Page Loads than Competition

Lunarpages came out of the gate with average page loading times of 822ms. It’s about 8% faster than the industry average 890ms we’ve seen.

That’s important because speed also has a huge bearing on other factors like where you rank in search engines and the number of people converting on your site (in addition to the obvious user experience).

Previously they have been pretty stable, but the last 4 months have been a steadily over 900ms, which is worrisome.

Last 10-month average speed:

  • December 2017 average speed: 722ms
  • January 2018 average speed: 722ms
  • February 2018 average speed: 742ms
  • March 2018 average speed: 725ms
  • April 2018 average speed: 723ms
  • May 2018 average speed: 759ms
  • June 2018 average speed: 956ms
  • July 2018 average speed: 988ms
  • August 2018 average speed: 950ms
  • September 2018 average speed: 950ms

2. Premium Backup & Restoration Service

Your site is almost finished. You just need that one extra plugin to power that special functionality you’re lacking.

Problem is, it doesn’t play well with others. The minute you hit ‘install’, the screen goes white. And… nothing.

This is an all-too-familiar occurrence for most site owners, as different third-party tools (like plugins) don’t play well together.

The good news is that Lunarpages run automated nightly backups on your server. Their Premium Restore Service will also restore files for you — on a priority basis — at no cost.

3. No Pricing Games on ‘Starter’ Plan

Many web hosts will play this game of offering a low monthly rate on their website, only to reveal the real terms of that pricing in the final checkout process.

Often, you’ll have to purchase three years, upfront, if you’d like to lock that low pricing in. Many times, upon plan renewal, your pricing will jump back up to the ‘normal’ rate (which can sometimes be 2x the price!).

While Lunarpages doesn’t offer a true month-to-month plan (which is kinda a bummer), their Starter ‘monthly’ pricing is the same for 12 months as it is for 24 months.

4. Free Domain Name & Site Migration

Some Lunarpages’ plans come with a free domain name registration (that needs to be redeemed within 30 days of signup). Please note that like other hosts, this only covers the first year of the domain name (any renewals will come out of your pocket).

If your existing website is currently being hosted somewhere else, Lunarpages will help you transfer it to their servers for free.

5. 30-Day Money Back Guarantee

Lunarpages’ plans are backed by a standard 30-day money back guarantee.

6. Offers great uptimes – 99.97%!

Since we signed up with LunarPages they have offered very good and reliable uptimes. The uptimes have been very stable. The worst we’ve seen by them is 99.73%, but other than that they’ve been extremely consistent.

Page loading speeds have gone really bad by LunarPages, but they still offer one of the best uptimes in the industry. Holding our website at 100% 6 out of the last 10 months.

In overall, their average uptime is .03% better than the industry average uptime of 99.94%.

Last 10-month average uptime:

  • December 2017 average uptime: 100%
  • January 2018 average uptime: 99.73%
  • February 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • March 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • April 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • May 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
  • June 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • July 2018 average uptime: 99.96%
  • August 2018 average uptime: 99.98%
  • September 2018 average uptime: 100%

LunarPages 10month stats

LunarPages: Page Load Speed and Uptime (Last 10 months, full data can be found here.)


Cons of using LunarPages Hosting

Lunarpages provided great page loading times and fantastic uptimes. They also threw in a few helpful features.

Unfortunately, there are some grievances we can’t overlook.

Here are the grim details:


1. Slow, Limited Support Options

Almost every other host we’ve reviewed provides a HUGE variety of ways to get in touch with them for fast customer support.

Almost every single one offers live chat, so you can reach out and get in touch ASAP if there’s a problem.

After all – responding to issues quickly and efficiently to keep your site up-and-running is an integral part of what you’re paying for.

Lunarpages has live chat… but it’s only available for sales – not customer support. The only way we could reach out to them was through their archaic ticketing system.

Their ticketing responses were great, but it took 12 hours to hear back from them!

That’s a LONG time on the internet. If a website is down and not making money during that entire 12-hour window, it could have serious ramifications for many businesses.

LunarPages Support reviewed

A background check revealed that many existing customers are not satisfied with their support either.

2. Poor Website Experience

Lunarpages was founded back in 1998. Honestly, it seems that their website hasn’t been updated very much since then.

It’s difficult to navigate and find helpful (read: usable) information. Most of the content on their site is very technical and unusable for most people who are not IT-professionals (read: the majority of their Shared hosting customers).

In overall, finding what you need on their site is a very frustrating, tedious process.

3. Setup Fee!

Most of the companies we’ve reviewed (going on ~30 now) will help you set up your site for free.

But not Lunarpages, who will charge you a fee.

4. They Charge for cPanel

cPanel access on most shared hosting plans is almost a given, considering it appears literally everywhere and is pretty standard.

Lunarpages will charge you for it. It’s only two bucks a month. But still – it’s a complementary feature with most other hosts.

5. Possibility of User Suspension

Most hosts promise ‘unlimited’ features. But that’s rarely the case.

Lunarpages is no different. Our research uncovered that users can be suspended due to ‘high resource usage’.

While their server configuration reasons might be valid, it would still come as quite a shock to wake up one morning, attempt to login to your website just to see that your site’s been suspended without notice.

6. Expensive Pricing Tricks on Basic Hosting Options

It seems like just a minute ago we were singing Lunarpages’ praises because of no pricing games on their ‘Starter Plan’.

Unfortunately, these show up on their Basic Website Hosting, which is considered a ‘step-up’ from their Starter Plan.

It’s also worth noting that the pricing for the Basic plans, compared to other companies, is expensive.

LunarPages Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Shared Hosting: Here’s an overview of their shared hosting plans:

  • Starter Web Hosting: Their “Starter” hosting starts at $3.95 per month. It comes with 5GB storage, 50GB bandwidth, 1 MySQL database, 5 email accounts, unlimited sub-domains and a free site seal.
  • Basic Web Hosting: Their “Basic” hosting starts at $4.95 per month and includes unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts and unlimited MySQL databases. It also comes with a free domain name. You need to pay upfront for 60 months at once to enjoy the $4.95 per month rate: the minimum term you can pay for is three months, which costs $10.95 and a $30 setup fee.

Lunarpages hosting plans

  • Windows Web Hosting: Their “Windows” web hosting starts at $9.95 per month. It comes with unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, unlimited MySQL databases, and unlimited subdomains. It comes with Plesk Control Panel included.
  • Free Domain: Yes.
  • Ease of Signup: Lengthy signup process.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal, Alipay, Check, Money Order.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: An account may be suspended if it is using “too many server resources.” Unfortunately, they do not seem to explain what they mean by “too many server resources” anywhere on their site.
  • Upsells: Lots of upsells.
  • Account Activation: Quick activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel. Which you have to pay for.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick and easy installation of popular apps and CMSs with Softaculous.

Do We Recommend LunarPages?

No, we don’t.

While they provided great page loading times and throw in a few extra, ‘nice-to-haves’ like free backups, their lengthy CONS list is just too much to bear.

For a similar price, you’re better off going with A2 Hosting, SiteGround or HostGator Cloud.

Have you used LunarPages? If so, please leave your LunarPages review below! Good or Bad – doesn’t really matter as we try to keep our reviews unbiased and transparent.

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10 user reviews for LunarPages

1/100 — 

Horrific company

This company is beyond a joke. We are unfortunate enough to host 3 websites with these clowns. So here are some clear and precise facts. All 3 websites working fine this year. Suddenly we can't get in the backend because some intelligent person in their support team decided to install a depreciated version of captcha (ver 1). From what we can tell this was installed recently but ver 1 actually depreciated in 2016 so not a good move.

After much discussion, we managed to get them to remove the captcha on the sites so that we could access them again. I logged on and secured the sites, wordfence, IP-Geo etc. Everything was fine for a week or so and then suddenly, all the sites went offline. After making an enquiry the support team informed me they had suspended the sites due to high usage (i.e. 2% memory usage, 3% CPU) back in January 2018. Yes, we are now in the middle of June and they suspended the sites which have been working fine because of apparent high resource usage in January.

Despite requesting they put the sites back online and they are now secure, they literally didn't even answer my question. They did express sadness and regret that I was thinking of leaving them and wanted a phone call to discuss where they had gone wrong.

I have no words really. What I do know is that this company should not be doing web hosting as they are either playing a joke or really are that bad.

10/100 — 

Customer of 15 years left in disgust

For many years, I referred customers to Lunarpages.. I regret it now. The company has changed, and extremely not for the better. Read on for some horrid, true stories...

Their yearly server upgrades broke my services. It took me 2 months of waiting a week per reply with their tech support to finally learn that they had opted to change their software and no longer support Perl FCGI... I won't criticize them for their decision; that's their business.

However, over and over, the technicians repeatedly referred to my PHP scripts, ignoring me when I told them I did not use any PHP scripts. Multiple times, my site was further broken by their agents going in and "fixing" my problems by forcing my PERL scripts to run through the PHP interpreter...

Any server admin should know better.

I requested a refund near the beginning of the year and was forwarded to their support department. Ultimately they switched me to another server that still supported the software I needed, and told me that it would remain that way until December..

A few months later, they upgraded that server and broke my site again... Furthermore, when I finally went to cancel and requested a refund, they charged me a "termination fee" because I had not cancelled sooner.

Let that sink in. I'm sure we're all thinking the same word here, but I won't say it..

Warning: They used to be great, I considered them the best, but when a loyal customer of 15 years leaves like this, something is majorly wrong.

20/100 — 

Incompetent tech support

This company has godawful tech support. Not only are there large delays in response times for issues (days), and a low chance that they'll pick up their 'dedicated support line', but when they get back after a day or two of non-response they've completely misunderstood the issue despite the inclusion of screen captures. Or they say they're going to escalate the issue, and seem to hand it off to someone who isn't able to understand simple English plus screencaps. And the cycle starts again.

In regards to the most recent issue, I sent them the message; "In CPanel, my error log is not displaying any errors. By this point, there should be quite a number"

And included a screen capture of the relevant portion of cPanel. The response was to 'diagnose' the issue by telling me that my index.html page was blank. ?!

They also pointed to an error log unrelated to cPanel located in a file that my account was not privileged to access.

There were errors from other pages on the site that I should have been able to see. As well as direct access of non-index related scripts.

40/100 — 

server move resulted in no email access

Moved servers in late October resulting in email outage over the weekend and beyond.
Support not available except M-F 8-5 (NOT on weekends). Down again today and support just hung up on me after being on hold for several minutes!

Web check on servers says all is OK, even great???

I have been a customer for several years, and their features and care for customer has rapidly gone downhill in the last 2-3 years. Up until then, they were OUTSTANDING.

I can no longer recommend their services!!!

20/100 — 

Service has declined

Locked out without notice because a lot of customers were using my site one day. Unreal. Now Im shopping for a new host despite having been with lunar pages since 2008.

50/100 — 

LunarPages = poor customer support

I have been with LuneyPages for over 10 years. First they locked my website without telling me. They don’t like Frontpage , yea I know it is ancient but they could have told me in advance. Would not help me to be able to use another program. Now they stopped my forwarding of emails to my primary host. Again with out telling me. I’m gone. Would not recommend. Oh, usually takes 2-3 days to get an answer to a problem.

85/100 — 

Works great for me, but ...

I have been with LunarPages for 12+ years, and it has never let me down. No issues with uptime, my site is very fast for shared hosting, good customer service with one or two rare exceptions, low cost since I have no problem with subscribing for 3 years at a time. I am “grandfathered” and get cPanel at no extra charge. I expect to remain a loyal customer for many more years.

But … I no longer use or recommend LunarPages for new sites. Many other providers offer cPanel hosting with as good or better service at lower prices. To the best of my knowledge LunarPages does not offer CloudLinux, another of my essentials for new sites.

30/100 — 

Outdated and poor service

I inherited Lunarpages as a host when I took over a website. PHP, mySQL, Apache, were several iterations out of date. They were windows 98 versions vs windows 10. They had gone extinct, beyond life support from their makers. I’m surprised they let the website owner ever keep those versions running. My positive experience with other host companies have led me to expect pro-active host providers to keep security holes plugged…

Working with LunarPages customer service to get these infrastructure items upgraded was not an easy experience. 72 hour+ response times on support tickets, a broken website, all make for a poor experience, meanwhile a user base is not able to do anything and complaining to me. I could only say, “I’m waiting for . . . . ”

Not recommended…

50/100 — 

Lunarpages in decline

We had been with Lunar for over ten years, but switched a few months ago to a different hosting company.

Lunarpages used to be one of the better priced options for the features provided, even if cPanel and backup services were extra (which they still are). For a while, they were one of the best, and I should have been paid by them for how enthusiastically I promoted them to friends and colleagues.

Over the years, performance on shared hosting has suffered, the pricing has failed to match the competition, and support response has taken longer. Our site began being slower to load and downtimes were more frequent.

We switched to a managed WordPress plan elsewhere and saw response times almost three times better than when we were on Lunarpages. Yes, the managed plan is on an optimized for WordPress server, but we are able to get that for less than what we were paying for basic shared hosting on Lunarpages. I must apologize to all those I persuaded to choose Lunarpages. They are far from the best option available today.

75/100 — 

Shared hosting with premium support

LunarPages is great for a small website and their customer service is outstanding. I have had a few incidents where my account on the shared server was hacked. Even though it might have been an exploit in one of my scripts (but it could have been any number of things on my account or another account) Lunarpages worked with me to get the site restored and secure. Since my site is a small one, the first people to notice the issue were LunarPages and they notified me in a quick and professional manner.

I currently use LunarPages for a personal site and a small business domain on the same hosting plan. The “Basic Hosting” plan with unlimited bandwidth and storage is perfect price point and service for a personal website or small business website.

Of course there are terms for the “unlimited” but it means that I never have to worry that my business site will get popular and cause huge overage charges. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend LunarPages to anyone looking to start a shared hosting account and I have no doubt their other offerings come with the same high level of personal support.