HostGator has had several network outages since its original owner sold it to Endurance International Group (EIG) back in June 2012.
The latest HostGator server outage was in December 2016. With the yearly outages plaguing its network since 2012, we wonder when the next HostGator outage may be.
Since we haven’t heard from the company what steps they’re taking to prevent similar network outages from happening again in the future, we can only surmise that they have taken care of the problem internally.
One other concern that some have raised about HostGator is its worsening customer support, which again came about after its acquisition by EIG.
If you are wary of HostGator in light of the network outages and/or worsening customer support, or if you’re looking for more reliable hosting, you might want to look at other providers with more stellar records in network uptime as well as customer support.
HostGator Alternatives for Web Hosting:
HostGator Alternatives to buy Domain Name:
HostGator Alternatives for Email:
In this article, we’ll present HostGator Alternatives namely: BlueHost, DreamHost, and InMotion Hosting.
In particular, we’ll be looking at how these companies measure against HostGator in terms of features, price, and customer support, which are among the more important things to look at when comparing the capabilities of prospective web hosts.
If you’re looking for more detailed reviews on BlueHost, DreamHost, and InMotion Hosting, we’ve tackled all three providers in separate review articles here on our website. Feel free to read them for more detailed explanations on each of their features.
Alternative No. 1: InMotion Hosting
Our first alternative web host, InMotion Hosting, offers the following advantages over HostGator:
Advantage 1 – Faster Solid-State Drive Servers
Like DreamHost, InMotion Hosting offers SSD servers that allow for fast access on all its hosting plans. Compare this to HostGator, which has the traditional spinning-tape hard disk drives running its servers. Thus, in terms of speed, SSD wins over HDDs any time.
Advantage 2 – Free Retrieval of Data Backups
Like HostGator, InMotion Hosting offers free automatic site backup. What separates this feature from HostGator’s though is that this is free to all customers and there is no charge to get this data. Compared to this, HostGator charges $19 to retrieve your data backup.
Advantage 3 – 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee
InMotion Hosting offers a 90-day money-back guarantee on all its hosting plans. This is slightly lower than DreamHost’s 97-day guarantee, but twice the length of HostGator’s 45 days.
Advantage 4 – Customer Support
Email, chat (in the form of Skype), and phone support is offered 24/7 while a comprehensive knowledge base (including a YouTube channel) that offers video tutorials is also available.
Advantage 5 – Pricing
Below is the comparison of InMotion Hosting’s basic hosting plan vis-a-vis Hostgator’s Hatchling plan.
|Price / mo.||$3.49||$3.95|
|Free Retrieval of Data Backups?||Yes||No|
|Solid-State Drive-Powered Servers?||Yes||No|
|Refund Period||90 Days||45 Days|
Alternative No. 2: DreamHost
DreamHost currently serves 1.5 million websites and 750,000 WordPress sites, and is another excellent alternative to HostGator for the following reasons:
Reason 1 – Unprecedented Uptime and Money-Back Guarantees
This HostGator alternative touts a 100% uptime guarantee. DreamHost seems to be serious in this regard – it garnered the highest score in terms of reliability (it also scored highest in technical support and likelihood to recommend) in a recent PC Magazine survey that became the basis for its inclusion in PC Magazine’s Best Web Hosting Services of 2017 and Best Small Business Web Hosting Services of 2017.
Aside from the aforementioned 100% uptime guarantee, all plans include a 97-day, money-back guarantee.
Both the uptime and money-back guarantees are unmatched in the web hosting industry.
Reason 2 – Faster Solid-State Drive Servers
DreamHost offers SSD servers that allow for fast access on all its hosting plans. Yes, that’s right, SSD servers run DreamHost websites, regardless of whether these are on shared hosting, virtual private servers, or dedicated servers.
Reason 3 – Built-in CDN
Like BlueHost, all DreamHost websites are served from a CDN, ensuring faster download speeds. The only difference between the two offerings is that DreamHost has its own CDN, dubbed DreamSpeed.
Reason 4 – Custom Control Panel
DreamHost has won rave reviews for its custom control panel, which the company started developing way back when it was just starting up as a web host back in the late 1990s.
If you want something else than the vanilla cPanel that traditionally powers many hosting plans, this can be ideal for you.
Moreover, you can use your own domain name with the service. Existing customers can enable DreamSpeed by flicking on a switch on their control panel.
Reason 5 – Customer Support
Dreamhost offers unlimited 24/7 support via email and Twitter. Customers also get access to a knowledge base and a community forum.
Unlike HostGator, there is no phone support, though existing customers can request for a callback.
Reason 6 – Pricing
In terms of pricing, DreamHost is competitively-priced compared to HostGator. Given the advantages above, particularly the faster SSD-powered servers and built-in CDN, the slightly-higher prices may be worth it, at least for some of you who value quality over money.
|Plan||All DreamHost Plans||Hatchling|
|Price / mo.||$10.95||$3.95|
|Content Delivery Network?||Yes||No|
|Solid-State Drive-Powered Servers?||Yes||No|
|Refund Period||Anytime||45 Days|
Alternative No. 3: BlueHost
Let’s look at the second HostGator alternative on our list, BlueHost, which serves more than two million websites currently.
Below are the reasons why BlueHost is an excellent HostGator Alternative.
Reason 1 – Cloud Sites
This is by far the strongest reason why anyone wanting to avoid the recent outages at HostGator would want to transfer to BlueHost.
Cloud Sites, as BlueHost refers to its Cloud hosting solution, is a major improvement over other cloud hosting solutions, including HostGator’s.
What makes Cloud Sites different is that it automatically mirrors a copy of your website onto other servers. If the primary server goes down for whatever reason, BlueHost’s failover technology takes over.
A copy of your website residing on a backup server automatically goes up. The other copy is then used to rebuild your website on the affected server.
HostGator, nor any other hosting provider for that matter, doesn’t have an equivalent solution to this BlueHost innovation. This solves your problem with network outages.
Reason 2 – Built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN)
All BlueHost hosting plans are on CloudFlare, one of the world’s most reputable CDNs. This means that websites get served faster wherever a user may be located since these are replicated/cached to Cloudflare’s network of proxy servers across the globe .
To give you an example, a user based in New York accessing a website hosted in a server somewhere in California will experience the same speed as a user in California since the website is being served in a location near New York.
This BlueHost advantage is not available on HostGator. Thus, in terms of faster access to your websites, BlueHost is a clear winner, at least on paper.
Reason 3 – WooCommerce Hosting
BlueHost is the only provider I know that offers WooCommerce Hosting. If you’re looking to set up a WooCommerce store, BlueHost is the ideal web host for exactly this reason.
Instead of setting up WooCommerce on your hosting plan yourself, BlueHost will set it up for you, helping you save on time and money in the process.
On HostGator, you will have to manually set up WooCommerce yourself once you subscribe to a hosting plan. If you are new to WooCommerce, this might prove time-consuming, if not totally impossible.
Reason 4 – Customer Support
BlueHost offers 24/7 chat and telephone support. A knowledge base that customers can refer to is also available, although as mentioned above, there may be a dearth of available information in it.
This can be remedied, however, via the other available support channels.
What is more likeable about the support options is the availability of separate chat and telephone numbers for the different areas of concern to customers.
For example, there are separate chat channels and telephone numbers for general sales questions, new businesses, new customers, traffic generation, and website speed and performance, among others.
We cannot find a similar option on the websites of the other providers covered under this article.
HostGator doesn’t have this feature, though it does have 24/7 support as well over email, chat and an online ticket system. However, as mentioned earlier, HostGator has been criticised for its lackadaisical attitude towards support.
Reason 5 – Video Tutorials
Another thing going for BlueHost is its active, frequently-updated YouTube channel, which features hundreds of video tutorials on a wide range of subjects, from web hosting basics to WordPress walkthroughs, and web design tutorials to training webinars.
Though HostGator does have its own video tutorials, these have not been updated for a while. This is apparent when you view a HostGator flash video showing a demo of a HostGator service on an old version of Internet Explorer.
Also, only the most basic topics are covered in its tutorial series.
Reason 6 – Resource Protection
BlueHost offers resource protection for websites on its shared hosting plans. When BlueHost identifies excessive resource usage by a website, it automatically shifts that website over to an isolated server.
This effectively limits the impact of the excessive resource usage on the other websites on the shared server. Again, this is a BlueHost innovation that cannot be found in HostGator, or any other web host for that matter.
Reason 7 – Pricing
The table below compares the prices of available hosting plans on BlueHost with those of HostGator. As you can clearly see, BlueHost is competitively-priced.
For the complete list of BlueHost hosting plans, click here.
|Price / mo.||$2.95||$3.95|
|Content Delivery Network?||Yes||No|
|Refund Period||Anytime||45 Days|
|Discount||63% Off||55% Off|
All three hosting providers we reviewed under this article are viable HostGator Alternatives.
In terms of uptime, DreamHost seems to be the most attractive option, considering its 97-day money-back guarantee as well as 100% uptime guarantee.
However, InMotion Hosting is not far behind with its 90-day and 99.9% uptime guarantee, with BlueHost bringing up the rear with a 30-day money-back guarantee and the same uptime guarantee as InMotion Hosting.
However, whether this matters at all considering the always-up network in a BlueHost Cloud Site is another thing – maybe it doesn’t really matter that much.
Pricing-wise, InMotion Hosting leads the pack, followed by BlueHost, with DreamHost bringing up the rear. InMotion Hosting’s plans seem a bit complicated.
Carefully weighing all the pros and cons of each of the HostGator Alternatives presented in this article, I would recommend getting DreamHost because it has the perfect balance of features and affordability, plus it has innovative features (Cloud Sites and resource protection come to mind) that cannot be found anywhere else.
Though BlueHost is a close second, its pricing, however uncomplicated it is, may be a bit high for some. InMotion Hosting brings up the rear, though it remains a good alternative to HostGator.
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