I think you’ll agree with me on this:
Web hosting companies can be hard to choose.
There are so many competing plans, packages, and terms that it can easily get lost in translation.
This is true especially if you are new to web hosting, domains, servers, and looking for free web hosting business in general.
I want to clear up some of the mess by providing you with a simple guide to HostGator web hosting and the services they provide. They’re not free web hosting, but they provide much more value than you pay for.
In fact, in the next few sections, I want to lay out what I’ve discovered about HostGator and why I recommend them as one of the best web hosting companies for 2017.
After this, you’ll be confident that you can make an informed choice about which provider you’ll choose for all your hosting and domain services.
I’ve known that HostGator has been around for a while, and that they’ve been providing a steady and reliable source of web hosting for newcomers and experienced web wizards alike.
But it was when I saw in the news that they were opening up their line of all-new, high-powered dedicated servers that are 4 times faster than before that I perked up.
4 times faster dedicated servers! I’ll tell you more about why you care about that in a second.
But for a company to introduce such a revolutionary speed for their dedicated server speeds, it means they’re serious about providing the best service for all your web hosting needs.
This post has 2500+ words so I have included a table of contents below to read specific section (feel free to jump around):
HostGator: The Early Years
The name HostGator came as the result of a brainwave from founder Brent Oxley. He was a student at Florida Atlantic University at the time that he created the business, and like all Florida-based organizations, the word ‘Gator’ had to be in there somewhere. (Think Gatorade or the nickname for the University of Florida; “Gators”)
Back in 2002, there were a few names on the scene for web hosting, but HostGator quickly rose through the ranks to list over 200,000 domains in just 4 years.
They’ve since become a leading standard in the web world for hosting domains and websites. They’ve formed ties with Cisco and Linux, if that should give you an indication of how well they’re doing.
5 years ago, Brent Oxley sold the company to a holding group called Endurance International Group for the tidy sum of $225 million dollars. Not bad for a dorm room project at a mid-level university.
EIG owns several of the best web hosting companies such as BlueHost, JustHost, and Domain.com. They’ve fixed some of the early problems with HostGator’s services, and now host over 10 million domains over several platforms.
What’s the bottom line for you?
HostGator used to be a middling web hosting company that serviced a decent number of sites and packages, but they’ve since grown to epic proportions to give you a complete web hosting service across different mediums.
Great news for you.
1. Web Hosting
If you’ve bought a domain through them, or if you want to host your site on their servers, they offer excellent web hosting options. I’ll go more into the features below, but they don’t skimp on what you’ll need for your website, your online business, or your presence on the internet.
2. Cloud Hosting
This is 2017 and the world is heading to cloud hosting. It’s a fact of life that you want your website to be up and running no matter when and where it gets accessed.
Cloud hosting allows your website to grow as you do. If you get surges in traffic, or you want to be prepared to scale up, HostGator has several options for your cloud hosting requirements.
3. WordPress Hosting
Check this out:
As of 2016, a whopping 27% of online content is currently on WordPress. I can do the math. That means at least 1 in 4 of you reading this right now have a WordPress site up and running.
So, the question is who do you host it through?
Well, if you’re deciding on complete WordPress hosting services, HostGator offers this option too.
They offer options based on your website size and requirements, and offer excellent security as well.
Here’s the bottom line:
You get a faster, more responsive site that’s secure against hacks and intruders.
4. VPS Hosting
If you require a server for your site, you don’t have to purchase a bulky machine to do your work. HostGator offers a Virtual Private Server for your needs.
You’re essentially renting space on an online server, saving the hassle and cost of buying and maintaining your own server. It’s a convenient way to make the whole transaction smoother for you and your clients.
5. Dedicated Servers
Of course, if you require more power and processing ability, HostGator has got you covered. A dedicated server caters to your business alone with a machine that works just for you.
Get access to unmetered bandwidth and powerful memory on a machine that’s specifically reserved for your site.
Less downtime and more power? Win-win.
You can get all of those options, but it means nothing if you don’t have a website.
So, here’s the kicker:
Get your domains at HostGator as well, so they can service you with a complete package. Great rates on domains can be found here.
Let’s quickly go over what features you can expect from HostGator and why I recommend them to anybody from the newly-initiated inter-noob to the IT specialist with a degree in Battlestar Galactica.
I know that HostGator offers so much more than I’m about to tell you about, but let me cover just the top three options that you’re likely to care to buy
1. Web Hosting
To get your site up and running, get a web hosting package that suits you. They offer three different options for your hosting requirements, and they don’t skimp on what they offer, even in the most basic bundle.
What that means for you is this:
Even if you’re brand new to the internet, you won’t miss out on anything you need just because you’ve started out on the most basic package.
No matter you choose, you’re guaranteed to get unmetered bandwidth.
That simply means this:
Get your website up and running, but don’t ever worry about how you’ll afford the traffic coming to your site.
Unmetered bandwidth means that you never pay more if you suddenly get an extra 10,000 visitors in a day.
That’s good news because unexpected bandwidth charges from other companies can be shocking.
b. Email Addresses
You get access to unlimited email addresses with your new HostGator site.
Choose any combination of emails addresses to have more options.
Choose your name, your number, “sales”, “enquiries”, “stuff”, or “donotcontactme”, all at your website’s domain. The options are endless, literally!
This is especially cool & not offered by any hosting company I know of. Its best suited if you operate a small business.
Don’t want to miss a single call? Don’t want to get a phone line, but still want to be able to do actual phone calls?
Get the free VoIP service included in the Pro Plan.
It allows you to have more control over your business and how contactable you want to be.
2. Cloud Hosting
Manage your own site better and get faster results with cloud hosting. Your data is secure and accessible anywhere in the world you happen to be. You’re no longer tied to a location with cloud hosting.
Also, here’s the best part:
Your website is up whenever you need, and no matter how many people access it. Cloud hosting allows you the room to grow.
So, if you have a website, cloud hosting gives you the ability to plan for a bigger and better future without worrying about your online site.
One of the key factors in getting a good response time is the amount of memory you get access to on your site.
Each plan has an overabundant amount of memory allocated to storing your site.
Your site could have anywhere between 2-6 Cores available at any time. And given that the whole site is cached optimally, that means one thing:
Extremely fast response.
Those long waiting times for loading a site are over with a powerful dedicated CPU on each plan. Get more visitors and keep them there with lightning-fast loading speeds.
c. Data Mirroring
One of the benefits to choosing cloud hosting is data mirroring.
Your data is the lifeblood of your site, so you need to know that nothing will ever crash or get lost in the cyberspace world.
Data mirroring means your cloud-stored data is forever secure in fail-safe locations across multiple devices.
3. WordPress Hosting
As I mentioned before, over one quarter of the world’s sites are on WordPress. That’s the power, and simplicity of this site. It doesn’t mess around with creating beautiful, accessible sites.
What’s the best part about using a WordPress site? One word:
You get recognized as being a reputable and quality website if you use a WordPress plan.
HostGator caters to this incredibly huge market with some impressive packages as well.
It’s hard to find a better metric of a good web hosting company than backups. With their competitive WordPress hosting options, you get backups that rival anything else on offer.
In fact, get this:
HostGator doesn’t even compare their WordPress packages with other web hosting companies, because they don’t fall in the same category. Get premium backup storage on each plan, no matter how big or small you are.
b. Plans Per Visitor
I love this innovative way to think about plans.
You think about your WordPress site in visitors, so why not choose the option that suits the number of visitors you get.
Or better yet, get the package for the number of visitors you expect to get. It’s this type of forward thinking that continually ranks HostGator in the top web hosting companies in the world.
This is the one number you should know:
That’s the Gbs of storage you’ll get on just a standard plan.
That’s right. While other companies “generously” offer 10-30Gb, HostGator offers an impressive 150Gb of storage on your standard WordPress hosting plan. That’s a telling statistic.
Check this out:
Because HostGator has such a wide variety of plans, I can’t break down every single cost. I’m going to give you the highlights though.
Their pricing structures are much more competitive in the last couple years, and I think that’s why they’ve grown to host over 10 million domains.
For example, let’s look at Web Hosting.
But for just $2 more per month, you can upgrade to the powerful “Business” plan which include unlimited domains, 99.9% uptime guaranteed, and a free dedicated IP address.
Not too shabby.
But what about something more high end, I hear you asking?
Ok, let’s look at Virtual Private Servers.
Giving you 2 Terabytes of bandwidth, 165 Gb of space, and 2 unique IP addresses, you can choose the Snappy 4000 package for just $30 per month. When you compare that to the cost of buying your own server, hiring an IT guy to set it up and maintain it, and the costs of running it yourself, the VPS is a no-brainer.
But here’s the best part:
Don’t take my word for it. Go the pricing section of any package, and HostGator proudly shows you how they compare to other big name suppliers like GoDaddy and SquareSpace. They put their plans side by side with the competitors because they want to show you what they are capable of.
To be honest, with pricing so low, I wouldn’t even consider the price a factor in any decision making for hosting.
What I Love about HostGator
I’m going to make this pretty simple. Web hosting companies can be challenging to navigate, but I’ve broken it down into what I love.
This is uber simple, but it should give you a pretty idea of what you can expect.
To make HostGator accessible to everybody, they’ve tiered their plans. That means you can optimise your plan to what you need. Every offering they have is tiered for your ease.Need 150Gb of storage? No problem. Don’t want a dedicated VoIP service? That’s fine.Pick and choose the best plan for you on a tied system that makes sense
Your website doesn’t operate in normal business hours (if it does, you’re doing something wrong). So, why should your web hosting company do that either? Get access to online support across every topic no matter what time of night it is. They won’t even judge you if you’ve had one too many. 3AM service help is their speciality, just as much as noonday support, just as much as 9PM support, just as much as….
I love that HostGator offers you the chance to make a little money on the side.If you’re using HostGator, and you love it so much you’d tell your friends, make a little extra cash. Join up to be an affiliate and earn a percentage off of every referral you make.
If you’re making HostGator your one-stop shop, they’ve got you covered.Their shared hosting plans offer you a comprehensive list of goodies. Stuff like Google AdWords credit, email auto responders, simple cPanel access, and plenty of e-commerce features to sell your stuff.
Man, I love this. Don’t get locked in to something you don’t want or need. You have the freedom to try it out. If the plan you choose isn’t right for you, that’s OK. Just make a change to your plan, upgrade or downgrade, and there’s no fees, no penalties, and no restrictions.
45 Day Money Back Guarantee:
They’re not fooling around at HostGator. They are so confident that you’ll love them that they offer an industry-wide 45 day money back guarantee. If you’re not happy, or if you don’t need it anymore, get your money back, even after 6 weeks of using their hosting services
What I Don’t Love about HostGator
In the spirit of being open, there are a few things I’m not super keen on. There’s a lot to like about HostGator, but they aren’t perfect…
(HostGator, if you’re reading this, make these changes and I’ll follow you forever.)
Spotty Uptime History:
To be fair, I know HostGator is working on the reputation they had in the past for spotty uptimes. Their new dedicated servers show strides in that area. But HostGator used to be unreliable in that area.Their recent times are 99.8 and up so I’m not too concerned about. Just keeping my eye on it; that’s all.
Geared for Beginners:
If you’re new to the online world, I’ll turn you to here first. But if you’re experienced in the internet age, and you’re going through HostGator’s services, they’re biased towards beginners. You can find experienced plans and mature web hosting options, but they aren’t advertised that well.
Biased Towards Linux:
If you’re a Windows fan, you might find it difficult to work with HostGator. They obviously have close ties to Linux and all their servers operate mainly on Linux platforms. It takes some digging, and you can find Windows-optimized plans, but they’re few and far between.
I’m going to make this statement:
HostGator is definitely right for you.
Yes, I don’t know you. Yes, I don’t know your site. But HostGator can handle it.
They’re as close to free website hosting as you can get. And when you factor in the sheer amount of features and goodies, you’re actually getting the better deal.
HostGator is certainly my pick for the best all-rounder web hosting service that you can find online.
But don’t take my word for you…
Try it for yourself.
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