10 Top HostGator Alternatives for Hosting a Website 2020
HostGator is a veteran hosting provider and domain registrar that has been operating for nearly two decades now. The company had its fair share of ups and downs over the years, but its services have been relatively reliable and very affordable for most of its history. This has allowed HostGator to quickly gather a large userbase, however, it also made them complacent and somewhat slow to innovate.
As a result, many users are now starting to look into other options and, as it happens, there are plenty of HostGator alternatives out there for those who want to try out similar hosting providers. We know that researching and comparing hosting services can be time-consuming, so we took it upon ourselves to do most of the heavy lifting for you.
With that in mind, in this article, we’re going to take a look at the best HostGator alternatives currently available on the market. This list is based on our own experiences with these companies but we have tried to be as objective as possible with our ranking. Still, we strongly recommend checking out all these companies instead of choosing based on what we consider to be the best because your needs may differ from ours.
The Best HostGator Alternatives for Web Hosting
Before we get started it’s worth noting that although we’re primarily going to cover hosting providers in this article, we’re also going to look at a couple of domain registrars. That’s because HostGator is well-versed in both hosting and domain registration services. Our alternatives for web hosting are as follows:
- Bluehost – Best HostGator alternative for beginners
- DreamHost – Best HostGator alternative for WordPress hosting
- InMotion Hosting – All-around solid hosting solution with a huge variety of services
- SiteGround – Very good performance and lets you build WordPress sites with ease
- A2 Hosting – Great HostGator alternative for reseller hosting. Anytime money-back guarantee
- Hostinger – One of the cheapest HostGator alternatives on the market right now
- Hostwinds – High-performance hosting. Ideal for VPS and cloud hosting enthusiasts
- Kinsta – Premium HostGator alternative that focuses exclusively on WordPress hosting
Now that you’ve got a quick glimpse at our favorite HostGator alternatives let’s take a closer look at each of them, starting with our number one pick.
While DreamHost differs from HostGator in quite a few areas, Bluehost can be considered a more direct HostGator alternative. Despite being owned by the same company, the two providers are long-time rivals and are constantly trying to surpass each other. At the end of the day, though, Bluehost usually comes out on top whenever you compare the two.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Bluehost is the most popular hosting provider on the market today. The company’s reputation is, for the most part, well-deserved as its services are user-friendly and fairly priced while its customer support is one of the best out there. It’s also important to mention that, just like DreamHost, Bluehost is officially endorsed by WordPress and offers every type of hosting you can think of, except for cloud hosting. Bluehost did use to have cloud hosting as well before it was later removed for unknown reasons.
You Get What You Pay For
For the longest time, Bluehost focused its efforts on attracting new customers by enticing them with cheap hosting plans that also offered a great bang for the buck. Needless to say, that strategy worked extremely well but recently the company started focusing more on performance than anything else. Bluehost’s prices went up a bit as a result but the service can still be considered relatively cheap and now it runs better than ever.
Bluehost’s good performance is one of the main reasons why you may want to choose it over HostGator. To put things into perspective a bit, HostGator doesn’t offer SSD storage with any of its shared hosting plans. By comparison, Bluehost includes 50 GB of SSD storage with its cheapest 3.95$/mo package and unlimited SSD storage with the other shared plans. In addition to now offering SSD storage, Bluehost is also constantly working on its infrastructure in order to improve server performance. These improvements have yielded excellent results so far, as Bluehost is currently crushing HostGator in performance tests.
Award-Winning Customer Support
We can’t stress enough how important it is to sign up with a provider that has good customer support if you don’t have a lot of experience with web hosting. Having experienced tech agents to rely on is crucial in that situation because you never know when you’re going to run into issues. Naturally, veteran webmasters should not overlook customer support either but this aspect is definitely more important for newbies than experienced users.
As one of the biggest players on the hosting market, Bluehost has no shortage of qualified support agents that can assist you with any problems you may have. The company has 24/7 customer support via ticket, live chat, and phone along with an international number for customers outside the US. HostGator has similar support options but there’s no international number and its agents are known to be slower to reply and less knowledgeable when compared to those of Bluehost.
Bluehost has a long and storied history but there are a lot of other HostGator alternatives we need to talk about so make sure to check out our Bluehost rundown if you want to learn more about the company.
Despite not being quite as well-known as HostGator, Dreamhost has been around for longer than its competitor and is just as user-friendly, if not more so in some regards. In addition, DreamHost is the best hosting provider that supports monthly billing, which makes it an excellent pick for users on a budget. By comparison, HostGator only came in at number seven in the same category.
One of HostGator’s biggest selling points is its versatility, with the company offering every type of hosting service you can think of, including shared hosting, VPS, WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, and reseller hosting. DreamHost doesn’t have reseller hosting but it does offer very cheap cloud hosting. Aside from that, you can expect a similar level of variety at both companies.
Ideal for WordPress Enthusiasts
Virtually every major provider offers hosting plans specifically tailored for WordPress users, but DreamHost takes things one step further and is hands-down one of the best options for those who love working with the CMS. For starters, the company is officially endorsed by the makers of the platform and offers three types of WordPress-based packages – Basic, VPS, and DreamPress.
Most users would probably be content with WordPress Basic plans since they are identical to the regular shared hosting packages, save for a few extra goodies like free automated WordPress migrations, and a custom-built WordPress website builder. The WordPress VPS plans are pretty self-explanatory while DreamPress is high-performance managed WordPress hosting that comes with tons of features. HostGator doesn’t have anything similar to DreamPress and its basic WordPress plans aren’t anything to write home about. Especially since they are more expensive compared to what DreamHost offers.
Most hosting providers seem averse to listing detailed prices for all their hosting plans. Sure, every company tries to hook you in with their cheapest offers but often leave out crucial details. Like the fact that you have to sign up for a three-year contract to take advantage of the best prices. HostGator is a perfect example of this type of business model while DreamHost is a perfect example of the opposite.
DreamHost and HostGator have similar starting prices ($2.59/mo vs $2.75/mo) for long-term plans, but only one of these companies will tell you immediately how much you can expect to pay for a short-term contract. DreamHost clearly displays the prices for the various contract lengths and lets you know upfront how much you’ll have to pay upon renewal. Finding out this essential information at HostGator requires jumping through various hoops and can be very confusing for new users.
Make sure to check out our DreamHost review if you want to learn more about this HostGator alternative. We also have an in-depth DreamHost vs. HostGator comparison for those interested in seeing how these two companies stack up against each other in other areas.
3. InMotion Hosting
InMotion is another veteran hosting provider that has been around for a while, but you probably wouldn’t know it just by looking at the company’s website because it very recently got a much-needed facelift. That was a very wise decision in our opinion because the previous version of InMotion’s website hadn’t changed significantly in nearly a decade and was starting to look quite outdated.
Alongside the visual upgrades came a series of changes to the hosting plans. The previous system was a bit confusing given the large variety of plans on offer but that’s no longer the case. Coincidentally, HostGator recently redesigned its website as well and made it easier to navigate. Now, we’re not necessarily recommending HostGator alternatives based on how good their websites look, but if we were, InMotion Hosting might end up winning at the moment.
A Plethora of Server Solutions
If you’re looking for a company that goes above and beyond when it comes to variety, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better choice than InMotion. Shared hosting starts at only $2.49/mo and from there you can upgrade to VPS, managed WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, reseller hosting, or a dedicated server. If you’re a new user, some of those terms probably won’t mean anything to you but don’t worry because InMotion’s new website does a better job than most at explaining what everything is and at helping you choose the perfect hosting solution for you needs.
For example, you can find a list of suitable packages if you’re buying hosting for a small business, an agency or an individual user. Of course, there’s also an entire page dedicated to users who want to work with WordPress and there are comparison charts explaining the pros and cons of every type of hosting package found in each of the available categories. Regardless of your budget or needs, you’re guaranteed to find a good hosting plan at InMotion.
Continuing the trend of giving users as much power of choice as possible, InMotion Hosting offers a service that lets you build your own custom server. There are quite a few options to choose from, including the operating system, pre-installed applications and technologies, eCommerce options, content management system, caching type, and of course, server resources. This service is managed and can get quite pricey depending on the added options but definitely worth it if you need a custom server solution.
And speaking of customization, you can work alongside InMotion to build a professional website by combining your creativity with the company’s technical prowess. The company offers a free consultation where you can chat with one of its web designers and the price depends on the complexity of the project. Building the website yourself would be cheaper but if web design isn’t exactly your strong suit, it might be worth letting your hosting provider do it for you, as opposed to a potentially even more expensive freelance designer.
If you want to learn more about InMotion, don’t hesitate to check out our review. And make sure to look into our HostGator vs. InMotion Hosting comparison to find out about some of the other differences and similarities between these two companies.
Forget about spending countless hours trying to fix website problems and instead let InMotion’s experts do all the work for you. Sign up with InMotion to take advantage of cheap hosting, on-demand IT support, and many other quality services.
SiteGround completes the holy trinity of hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress. This is the most expensive option of the three but well worth the cost if you’re looking for a company that includes a lot of interesting features with its plans. There are certain drawbacks to signing up with the company, however, as we pointed out in our SiteGround review, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
In addition to standard shared hosting plans, SiteGround also offers cloud hosting, managed WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, and enterprise hosting. That last service is essentially a custom-built managed hosting solution for big companies and comes with a flexible price tag, which changes depending on the company’s specific needs. As far as the other types of hosting are concerned, shared and managed WordPress hosting both start at $6.99/mo while the cheapest cloud hosting package will set you back a whopping $80 per month. Granted, you’ll get more than enough resources to work with, in exchange.
Build a WordPress Website the Easy Way
Most of the HostGator alternatives found on this list allow you to install WordPress with a single click and some will also include pre-installed plugins to help you get started on the right foot. However, none of them are quite as good as SiteGround at building your website for you. How so? Well, SiteGround has a very useful tool as WordPress Starter that guides you through the process of creating your first website after you install the CMS. The tool lets you pick between various pre-made designs, templates and plugins, all of which are installed automatically on your site.
The aforementioned tool is only available with the WordPress managed plans, and since they cost the same as the regular shared packages, they are definitely a great investment for users who are thinking about working with the CMS. Especially those who haven’t used WordPress before. If you decide to go with a regular shared plan, on the other hand, you won’t benefit from the tool but you will be able to choose between WordPress and Weebly. Check out our Weebly review if you want to learn more about the builder.
Multiple Data Centers
Being able to choose where your site is hosted is always a major benefit. That’s because the closer you are to your server, the better the performance. This can also be used to your advantage when you’re targeting users from a different country or continent. Unfortunately, most of the companies that focus primarily on shared hosting usually only have one or two data centers to choose from, including HostGator.
HostGator only has two data centers, both of which are located in the United States. By comparison, SiteGround has six data centers spread across four continents. One of them can be found in the US, three in Europe, one in Australia, and one in south-east Asia. In addition, SiteGround has great integration with Cloudflare CDN, which allows it to expand its effective coverage all over the globe. Free Cloudflare accounts are included with both regular shared and managed WordPress plans.
5. A2 Hosting
The next HostGator alternative we’re going to cover is one you may have already heard about as it’s a fairly popular company that offers reasonably priced hosting packages. Like a lot of the other companies on this list, A2 Hosting specializes in shared hosting but also puts quite a lot of emphasis on its reseller hosting plans, which are considered some of the best on the market. Aside from that, here you can also find virtual private servers, dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting.
With prices starting at just $2.99 per month, A2 can be considered on par with HostGator in terms of affordability. The company ranked fifth on our list of hosting providers that support monthly billing, as well as on our list of best overall hosting providers of 2020. As you can tell from A2’s position on the list at hand, we consider A2 Hosting the quintessential middle-of-the-pack provider. It doesn’t stand out in a lot of areas but it doesn’t disappoint either and can easily act as a good replacement to HostGator.
Create Your Own Hosting Company
Why simply buy hosting when you can be the one who sells it? Of course, setting up a full-fledged hosting company is no easy feat but you can get a reseller hosting plan in order to achieve the next best thing. With this type of hosting you can essentially create your own small-scale hosting business that you can manage as you see fit, with little to no interference from your provider.
Both HostGator and A2 offer very solid reseller hosting solutions, however, A2’s plans are a bit more appealing to regular users. That’s because they start at only $13.19/mo, which is quite a bargain compared to HostGator’s $19.95/mo, and come with SSD storage. The disk space itself is smaller compared to what HostGator offers but the performance boost you get from the solid-state drives easily makes up for that drawback.
Free and Easy Site Migration
If you read our article explaining how to migrate a WordPress website to a different hosting provider, you already know that migrating sites by yourself can be quite a hassle for users who aren’t tech savvy. Unfortunately, when it comes to these sort of things you generally have to either invest the time and effort or pay your new hosting provider to do it for you. However, a handful of companies offer a third option in the form of free site migrations.
A2 Hosting is part of a small group of providers that won’t charge you anything for moving a website to their service. Even better, the free site migration service is available with most types of hosting, including VPS and dedicated hosting. The only caveat is that you’ll need to opt for the managed version of these services, which are a bit pricey. HostGator has its own site migration service but it’s a bit more limited compared to that of A2 Hosting.
The Ultimate Risk-Free Hosting Service
Thanks to A2 Hosting’s anytime money-back guarantee you don’t have to worry about risking anything when you’re signing up for a hosting plan. Use the hosting for as much as you want and get refunded for your unused time if you ever decide to leave.
If you’re looking for a very cheap HostGator alternative your best bet would probably have to be Hostinger. While the basic plans are quite limited in many ways, Hostinger is a beginner-friendly option that will cost you very little, provided you don’t mind long-term contracts. The company supports everything from monthly billing to 4-year contracts but we recommend going with the latter since it will save a lot of money in the long run.
The quality of the service is not too bad considering the price but you’re certainly not going to get stellar performance with the cheapest package. Luckily, can easily scale to fit your needs and there are multiple upgrade tiers to choose from in case you need some extra juice. In addition, Hostinger’s cloud hosting plans and virtual private servers are very affordable as well so there’s definitely a lot of potential for growth here, provided you don’t mind spending a little extra of course.
Great Incentives for Long-Term Cooperation
Every hosting company offers certain types of discounts meant to incentivize users to stick with them for the long haul, but Hostinger takes this concept to a whole new level. Some people might be downright shocked to learn that Hostinger only charges a measly $0.99 per month for a basic shared hosting plan. This price is exclusive to users who opt for a 4-year contract but the grand total only comes in at $47.52 for the entire period, which is dirt cheap.
In stark contrast to long-term purchases, you have monthly billing that will set you back $9.99 for the same basic plan. The package comes with limited bandwidth, no SSL certificate, a single email address, no backups, no SSH access and various other drawbacks that make it an abysmal value proposition for those who want to pay on a month-by-month basis. In short, don’t choose monthly billing if you decide to sign up with Hostinger but you should definitely consider the long-term plans.
Interesting VPS Options
If you’re in the market for a virtual private server, chances are you’re looking into Linux-based ones as they are typically cheaper and less limited in many ways compared to their Windows-based counterparts. However, if you are working on a project that specifically requires a Windows VPS, you may be out of luck because very few companies offer them. Unless, of course, you decide to go with Hostinger.
Hostinger is one of the few mainstream hosting providers that offer both Linux and Windows virtual private servers. The Windows VPS is quite a bit more expensive but you get a good amount of resources with them and SSD storage is included on all servers, so there’s no need to worry about the performance. Interestingly enough, Hostinger also offers a third type of VPS-related service in addition to those in the form of Minecraft hosting. Now, Hostinger isn’t a typical Minecraft server hosting service but it’s not a bad choice if you’re the market for that because the company has a better infrastructure that most providers that deal in gaming servers.
So Cheap That It’s Almost Free
Don’t let the price of hosting stop you from launching your dream website. At Hostinger you can sign up for a shared hosting plan for next to nothing and upgrade later down the road.
Check out some of the cheapest shared hosting on the market only at Hostinger.
Hostwinds would have been a lot higher on this list if we were looking at the overall best hosting providers on the market. But since we’re looking specifically at HostGator alternatives, we find Hostwinds to be a good alternative only if you’re not necessarily looking to build your website using WordPress. Hostwinds does of course support WordPress, but doesn’t have any special packages or features designed for the CMS and instead recommends using Weebly as your website builder.
Now, if that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hostwinds because it’s a very solid provider that puts a lot of emphasis on performance and simplicity. This is in spite of the fact that its most popular products are cloud hosting packages and virtual private servers, which usually require a fair amount of technical know-how to be managed properly. That’s not the case here, however.
Affordable Virtual Private Servers
If you look at HostGator’s prices you’ll notice that the company charges quite a bit more for a VPS than a shared hosting plan. To be more specific, you’re looking at $2.75/mo for shared hosting vs $19.95/mo for a VPS if you’re sticking to the cheapest plan in each of the two categories. Significant price differences like this are very common across the industry, but Hostwinds is an exception to that rule as the company charges $3.29/mo for basic shared hosting while the cheapest VPS will only set you back $4.49/mo.
In addition to offering very cheap virtual private servers, the company also lets you choose between managed and unmanaged VPS. As an added bonus, Hostwinds supports both Windws-based and Linux-based servers. Even more impressive is the fact that Windows servers, which are generally pretty expensive, are quite affordable here, with prices ranging between $7.99 and $26.79 per month for the managed variants.
Customizable Cloud-Based Servers
Cloud services are also a big part of Hostwinds’ lineup and, just like all its other products, their prices are very affordable. Hostwinds lets you pay by the hour for your cloud hosting service and only charges you for the resources you’re using. There’s also a maximum monthly threshold, so even if you were to use an unusually high amount of resources one month, you’re not going to be charged and arm and a leg for it.
Even more important than the low prices is the fact that cloud instances can be deployed in under 20 seconds and are fully customizable. You can select not just the amount of allocated resources but also the operating system, pre-built applications, server location, and more. The cloud service also automatically scales to your needs, so you don’t have to worry about any sudden spikes in traffic because Hostwinds can adapt to handle anything you throw at it.
Don’t Pay More Than You Have to for High-Performance Hosting
Most hosting companies charge extremely high prices for cloud hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. There’s no need to worry about being overcharged at Hostwinds because all the company’s hosting packages are remarkably cheap.
Visit Hostwinds today to sign up for a cheap shared hosting plan.
Kinsta may seem like an unorthodox HostGator alternative because the company offers fewer types of hosting to choose from and its services are quite a bit more expensive. Despite that, however, we felt like we should include at list one premium option on the list for users who don’t mind spending a bit more in exchange for high quality hosting and stellar performance.
Kinsta specializes exclusively in managed WordPress hosting and is generally thought to be one of the best, if not the best at this particular type of service. The main drawback here is immediately clear – if you don’t want managed WordPress hosting, there’s no reason to pick Kinsta. If managed WordPress is exactly what you’re looking for, on the other hand, we guarantee that you’ll find Kinsta to be far superior to HostGator, as well as most of the other companies on the market.
Premium Pricing for Premium Services
No one wants to spend more than they have to for web hosting but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get a premium service to enhance the quality of your website. Especially if you’re new to hosting and need a provider that can do most of the heavy lifting for you. That’s exactly what you get at Kinsta. As far as the prices are concerned, they can range anywhere from $30 per month to $1,500 per month, so there’s something for most budgets here.
The entry point at Kinsta isn’t exactly cheap but you do benefit from a generous discount if you sign up for a yearly contract. Doing so will essentially net you two months of free hosting, or you can think of it as the equivalent of paying $25 per month. In exchange, you can expect SSD storage, free CDN, automatic and manual backups, unlimited website migrations, no less than 24 data centers to choose from (thanks to a partnership with Google Cloud Platform), and so much more.
Even More Impressive Features
Some of the features found at Kinsta are also available at other providers but there are quite a few that are pretty unique to the company. In addition to offering unlimited basic migrations with all plans, Kinsta also supports premium migrations. You can only benefit from anywhere between one and five of these types of migrations depending on your plan and they are designed for companies that need to transfer important sites without losing any data. Kinsta engineers will go to great lengths to ensure that your website, along with everything on it, will be transferred safe and sound to the company’s servers.
Interestingly enough, Kinsta is even willing to transfer websites infected with malware and clean them up for you, in exchange for a fee of course. If you’re already a Kinsta user you don’t have to worry about any fees because the company provides excellent anti-hack and malware removal tools for free with all plans. Another interesting feature worth noting is Kinsta’s self-healing technology, which automatically attempts to fix any PHP errors on your site should they happen to occur.
Your WordPress Website Deservers the Best
Don’t settle for less if you can afford a premium service. At Kinsta you can expect the best-managed WordPress hosting money can buy. Visit their website now to find out more.
The Best HostGator Alternatives for Domain Registration
If you’re thinking about switching from HostGator to a different hosting provider, chances are you’re also planning to transfer your domains. If that’s the case, or if you’re simply looking for other companies that offer good domain registration services, we recommend checking out the following options:
- Domain.com – Cheap domain registrations that supports every extension you can think of
- GoDaddy – Very solid HostGator alternative both in terms of hosting and domain registrations
Domain.com is probably the most fitting name for any company in the history of naming companies. The registrar has been around for a very long time and has always been in the fortunate position of not needing a lot of marketing in order to attract new customers. If you Google things like ‘domain’ or ‘domain name’ the company is going to be the first result, so it’s pretty easy to find.
Name aside, Domain.com offers very reliable services, which are actually not limited solely to domain registrations. You can get pretty cheap hosting at Domain.com along with web design services, and even subscribe to the company’s proprietary website builder. But domain registrations are definitely the biggest selling point here. And despite being one of the best HostGator alternatives when it comes to registrations, the two are actually owned by the same company. I guess a bit of friendly sibling rivalry can’t hurt anyone, right?
All the Latest Domain Extensions
If you’re looking to spice up your next website with a funky new domain extension like .blue, .kiwi, or .rodeo you’re in the right place. Domain.com offers a huge variety of extensions, including quite a lot of premium ones. Prices for most TLDs (top-level domains) range anywhere from less than $10 to a couple of hundred bucks per year. Premium domains are a lot more expensive than that, with prices varying greatly depending on the domain’s age, association with a certain industry, and various other factors.
As far as the highly sought-after .com extension is concerned, one of these domains will cost you $9.99 per year and can be renewed for the same price. By comparison, HostGator chargers $12.95/yr for registrations and $17.99/yr for renewals. Domain.com does sell SSL certificates separately and at $3/mo they’re quite expensive all things considered. However, you can get a free certificate by simply signing up for a hosting plan. Whether you want to do it at Domain.com or transfer your domain to a different provider like HostGator, that’s entirely up to you.
Buy a New Domain Name for Just a Couple of Bucks
Want to register a new domain name for dirt cheap? Well, it rarely gets any cheaper than this. A lot of extensions at Domain.com go for as little as $2.99 per year, including .live, .men, .stream, .digital, and many others.
Register your new domain for pennies only at Domain.com.
GoDaddy can rightly be considered the ultimate HostGator alternative and possibly the company’s biggest rival. The two have been competing against each other for nearly two decades at this point and while GoDaddy is the bigger and most popular registrar here, HostGator is slowly catching up to its long-time nemesis. Give it a few more years and it might even surpass it.
What makes GoDaddy one of the best HostGator alternatives is the fact that it offers essentially the same selection of services. We’re talking domain registrations, various types of web hosting, marketing services, security services, email services, you name it. In fact, GoDaddy is a bit more versatile than HostGator and doesn’t put all its eggs into one basket so you can expect the company to excel in most of the aforementioned areas.
All-in-One Hosting Solution
GoDaddy’s biggest strength lies in its ability to juggle so many different services at once without dropping the ball with any of them. Their shared hosting prices have been getting pretty high in recent years but they still offer incredibly cheap virtual private servers and they’re business hosting plans aren’t too shabby either. To top it all off, GoDaddy has one of the largest and most experiences teams of tech agents and a total of nine data centers spread across the globe.
As far as the domain registrations are concerned, GoDaddy’s selection of supported extensions is almost as impressive as the one offered by Domain.com. Interestingly enough, the company is soon planning to support Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and other non-Latin extensions in addition to all the common ones found in the west.
GoDaddy’s pricing system is a bit unusual as the company requires payment upfront for two years before it lets you benefit from its best prices. For instance, you can usually get a .com domain for $18.17/yr but you can get the first year for just $12.17 if you pay for two terms upfront.
Incredible Starting Prices for Top-Level Domains
GoDaddy is currently selling .co.uk domains starting at just $0.99 per year. Visit the company’s website to take advantage of the incredible offer and many others like it.
A Few Reasons Why You May Want to Look Into HostGator Alternatives
Even though we’re making a list of best HostGator alternatives we want to mention that we have always enjoyed working with the hosting provider/domain registrar. But just like any other company, HostGator has its fair share of pros and cons. You can read all about the pros in our HostGator review. As for the cons, here are a few of them that you may want to consider:
HostGator is certainly not unique in being less than transparent when it comes to listing the prices for their various hosting plans. In fact, the majority of hosting companies are in the same boat. However, HostGator has been doing it for longer than most and has been repeatedly criticized for it.
So what do I meant by this, exactly? Well, if you visit HostGator’s website you will notice that the company only lists its lowest prices. That’s not misleading per say as HostGator plans do indeed start at only $2.75/mo, however, what the company fails to mention is that you’ll need to sign up for a 3-year contract in order to take advantage of that low price.
You can see the prices for the various terms during checkout, but there’s no reason why the company couldn’t be upfront about them. We’re seeing a similar situation when it comes to the renewals as well. HostGator’s renewal prices are quite high – the $2.75/mo plan costs $6.95/mo after the first term – but that little detail is very easy to miss unless you read the fine print during checkout.
DreamHost, InMotion Hosting and a few providers tell you everything you need to know about the prices right off the bat and we always appreciate that sort of transparency. Hopefully HostGator can learn something from its competitors.
Too Many Add-ons
Again, this isn’t a problem unique to HostGator but that doesn’t make it acceptable. Pretty much all EIG-owned companies follow the same trend of leaving out essential features from their hosting plans, only to sell them separately as optional paid add-ons. In the case of HostGator, you’re looking at a total of five add-ons: professional SSL certificate, SiteLock Essentials, professional email from Microsoft 365, site backups, and SEO tools.
One might argue that some of these should not be included for free and we agree, especially in the case of the Microsoft 365 emails, but SiteLock and site backups at the very least should be part of every hosting package. As far as the prices are concerned, each of these add-ons will set you back anywhere between $2 and $6 per month. That doesn’t sound too bad, but it’s worth noting that four out of the five add-ons only support annual billing, so the upfront investment is quite high.
The thing that’s particularly bothersome about these add-ons is that some of them are included automatically to your cart. Specifically, SiteLock and site backups, which are the most important ones. What this effectively means is that if you’re in a hurry to buy a hosting plan and don’t notice the add-ons that were added automatically, you’re going to end up paying a lot more than you bargained for. To put things into perspective, basic shared hosting with monthly billing will cost you $62.66 upfront with the default settings on.
Unreliable Customer Support
It’s no secret that the quality of HostGator’s customer support has been declining recently. If you go to Trustpilot and other similar aggregators you will notice tons of unsatisfied customers venting their frustration via negative reviews. A lot of them talk about the company’s subpar performance while others mention its lack of transparency. However, the vast majority of them complain about the bad customer support.
We can’t say for certain why HostGator’s support agents seem to be fairly bad at their jobs but we may have an idea about why the company’s customer support is usually slow. According to HostGator themselves, the company hosts over 2 million websites and serves at least 800.000 customers. Yet, the company only seems to have around 1,000 employees and, naturally, only a portion of them work in customer support. To make matters worse, support doesn’t seem to work 24/7 as advertised, which would explain why so many customers have to wait a long time for their tickets to be answered.
No SSD Storage
Using SSD instead of HDD storage has become the new norm in the industry and companies that are sticking to the old technology tend to fare worse than their forward-thinking competitors. HostGator is one of these companies and it’s looking like it doesn’t have any plans to adopt solid-state drives anytime soon. We probably wouldn’t have mentioned this as a drawback if only the shared hosting plans were missing SSD storage. Unfortunately, it’s the same situation with most of the other plans as well.
HostGator’s managed WordPress plans don’t include SSD storage and neither do the virtual private servers. The same goes for some of the dedicated servers. The company’s most expensive dedicated servers are the only ones that come with SSD by default while the mid-tier ones allow you to pick between SSD and HDD storage. Aside from that, there are no SSDs to be found anywhere at HostGator.
HostGator was a trustworthy and beloved company less than a decade ago. But in 2020, customer faith in the veteran hosting provider is at an all-time low, and it’s easy to see why. These days HostGator is very slow to innovate and adapt to the times and that has had a direct impact on the performance and quality of its services. Add to that the unreliable customer support and misleading business practices, and you’ve got a company that has become a mere shadow of its former self.
But while we do hope that the company will become better again in the future, there’s no reason to wait for a miracle to happen when there are so many great HostGator alternatives to choose from. We believe the companies covered in this article to be the best possible alternatives right now, but there are quite a few other providers that would make good contenders. Don’t hesitate to check out our web hosting section for even more solid hosting solutions.