The Best Cheap Affordable Web Hosting


Hostgator Snappy Eating the Letter H
And the survey says! Hostgator.

Hostgator Review

My Hostgator Review for those looking for cheap affordable high-quality web hosting with quality 24/7/365 support via phone, live chat, and email.

Updated 2/9/2014

  • Outstanding English-Speaking Support
  • Hostgator Has Never Failed Me
  • Hostgator Is Always There For Me
  • The Best Cheap Affordable Web Hosting
  • I Use Hostgator for Client Sites too, Lots of Them
  • This very page is hosted on Hostgator!

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Hostgator Over-Delivers Service

Technical support is the key for me. Hostgator can’t be beat for technical support. Hostgator has never failed me or let me down when times get tough. From hacking, to software issues, to server outages, they are always there for me. I am never alone. I’ve been through a lot of bad support. No more. Hello Hostgator.

In light of their support alone, Hostgator is the best cheap web host. ***Note: Please accept my apologies for this review sounding so enthusiastic. I don’t mean to be pushy. I didn’t do this review to be a comprehensive “objective” review or anything. I did this to share my experience, and help you make a decision, like, right now, and hopefully earn your business.

As I mention below, I just want to know what to buy already, and I know you do too. Hostgator is your answer.

Coupons

Use the coupon code 1CENT to get one month for one cent, not what I recommend since you’ll love them. Use coupon code SNAPPY (defaults with this already entered) to get you 20 percent off right away. I always buy at least a year. Three years is the most you can buy at one time, for the best price. No matter what you purchase, you get a trial period satisfaction guarantee.

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Cheap? Cheap As in Affordable, Not Crappy

dollar-sign-with-snappy-powerd-by Yeah, low price matters to me, and you. But it’s really about value. What does Hostgator offer that others do not? Exceptional value. They over deliver.

For giant “authority” sites with thousands of unique visits per day, probably a premium, costlier, specialty host makes more sense.

Meanwhile, affordable, low-cost, “cheap” web hosting that is still high-quality web hosting, matters. All things being equal, the vast majority of web sites will only ever need Hostgator for web hosting. You have to start somewhere.

That’s why I’m still using Hostgator even after the Endurance International buy out of 2012. Great support, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited sites, unlimited email storage.

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Why I Did This Hostgator Review

Powered by Hostgator Snappy

I did this review to help you choose the best affordable web host.

I would have loved to have access to an article like this back in the day. I would have loved if Hostgator had existed back in the day. I would have loved to have avoided all the various hosts with crappy support and inordinate amounts of outages.

So I did this review for you, so you can hopefully avoid all that.

Of course I want to earn your business too. So I’ll tell you up front that I am a Hostgator affiliate through Commission Junction.  You may or may not have already assumed that. I will earn a commission if you try their web hosting through one of the links on this page and decide to stay with them (if the voodoo works). And I will earn your business.

Hostgator Banner AdsYeah, I know Hostgator banners are everywhere. They are like a plague aren’t they? They’ve been hyped to the extreme. So there is a need for real good solid information about Hostgator. Especially since Brent Oxley sold Hostgator to Endurance International in 2012. My article fills that need.

So you’ve probably seen literally dozens of “Hostgator Sucks! Scam! Bogus! Get the Truth about Hostgator!” pages, and so on, who are all affiliates pitching Hostgator to make a quick buck.

But do they actually earn your business? Do they provide you with value? Do they actually use Hostgator? Would they say so if they didn’t use Hostgator? Of course not. But I use Hostgator and want to share my experience and rationale for using them.

What I wanted to do for this hosting review was different. I wanted to do an affiliate review that was straight up honest, and yeah, I actually use Hostgator too! So I did this article. And you bet! This web site is hosted on Hostgator right now as you read this! So my hope is to help you and earn your business too.

So Let’s Make It Easy

So let’s make it easy before you read the whole thing, unless you want to of course. Hostgator is what you want. Trust me.

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I want you to be able to stop looking and have your answer and get going building your web site or sites. So Click to Try Hostgator Now.

If you do read the whole thing, I sincerely hope that this article earns your business and solves your problem searching for and purchasing the right website hosting for you.

If I don’t earn your business through this article, then I failed in my objective to help you make a decision, like right now, with no more endless “comparing” and agonizing over if you are really doing the right thing.

It’s not only about web hosting cost, there are a ton of cheap “best” web hosting solutions out there, but it’s about your time too. Making a poor choice costs you in time, and making that choice takes your time. Don’t waste any more time.

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Onward dear reader!

Who Am I?

Mark Stamas My name is Mark Stamas and I’ve been doing web sites and web marketing since 1998. I started Off Media Web Marketing in 2000 and now make a living providing internet and web marketing to clients throughout the United States.

I live in North Fork, California and have a home office. I’ve used quite a few hosts over the years. This was at the time when hosting was 10 meg or even less. They were all bad.

As times changed and technology and hard drives got better and better, web hosting became highly competitive and “cheap”. I just wanted an easy answer to “who’s the best web host”?

After several hosts, and lots of bad support, I came across Hostgator when it still had Brent Oxley’s personal guarantee on the home page. My brother Yianni was using them. I took the plunge and I haven’t stopped since.

While there are high-powered specialty hosts that cost more for a different set of services,  to me, overall, relative to price and value, the best cheap web site hosting is Hostgator.

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I’m Sick of Too Many Choices, Aren’t You?

Over the years doing web marketing, I got really sick and tired of too many choices and I can imagine you are too.

I can’t tell you how many times I go online, for whatever, and always, always, run into information overload with 5,000 options and comparison charts and I find myself mentally screaming “just tell me what to buy gosh darn it!”too-many-choices-hostgator-web-hosting

The lowest price isn’t always the right answer, and getting what feels like simple and straightforward answers seems nearly impossible sometimes.

Finding the “right” answer to my hosting problems took a lot of years, trial and error, bad experiences, hacking experiences, really bad technical support, and I want you to be able to take advantage of my experience and make an educated choice without fear and with confidence.

So now you don’t have to agonize over your choice. Hostgator is the best web hosting for 99 percent of cases.

You get linux apache mysql php (LAMP) hosting. You get stellar support, 24/7/365, phone, email, live chat. You get unlimited web sites on a cheap hosting account. You get as much peace of mind as there is out there in an affordable web hosting package for average web sites.

So the answer to your burning question “what the heck hosting company should i go with?! just tell me already!” is definitely Hostgator.

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Cheap, Affordable, Easy Web Host

powered-by-hostgator-orangeSo by now you know that if you want a great cheap, affordable, easy web host you can take my word for it that Hostgator will do an outstanding job with big bang for the buck. They started the “unlimited” bandwidth scene. They went from Brent’s college vision to big player in a few short years. They employ a ton of folks here in the states. And you get the support you need. In English.

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Not The Only One

arrows-not-the-only-one-hostgator-hostingAre there others out there that might work for you? Undoubtedly. Do you want to spend hours and hours testing and reading? No. Neither did I.

So I’m hoping this page cuts down your time invested. I use WordPress a lot, almost exclusively, Hostgator has it covered. I love cPanel hosting, Hostgator uses cPanel. While there really is no right answer to the best WordPress hosting, Hostgator works for me, and I’m confident will work for you.

We’ll talk a little more about why in the rest of my Hostgator review, but it really all comes down to support after the sale, USA support, and USA servers. Your search is over, your answer is Hostgator. They work well for me, and my clients, and they will work for you too.

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Support, Support, and Did I Mention Support?

awesome-support-hostgator-web-hosting

All right, so is Hostgator the best or only worthy cpanel wordpress web hosting out there literally? No web host can claim that, and Hostgator is no exception. Everything is subjective.

Do they have issues? Of course they do. Web servers are computers, and computers fail. Human beings fail too.

Have I had issues with them? Yes I have. Overall though, I’ve only been frustrated with support a couple times. Generally the problem was either my fault, or insoluble, meaning one of those mysteries of computers. And servers are computers after all. Re-installing the offending software generally does the trick.

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Support is All That Matters, Everything Else Being Equal

snappy-on-support-hostgator-web-hostingSo yes I’ve had issues with Hostgator, but generally minor ones. Nothing compared to the slew of hosts I’ve dealt with that are arrogant, smart-allecky, know-it-all unhelpful pricks.

With them sites get shut down, accounts frozen, outages, email failing, hacks with little or no help, all that is now history. Again, outages happen, hacking happens, but how the host deals with it is what matters.

Hostgator is simply awesome during trying times.

I can always rely on fast, helpful support with them. So support is key and Hostgator is truly a pleasure to work with. You get awesome support with Hostgator whether for shared, reseller, dedicated or VPS hosting, and great service and support is the key to great web hosting.

Don’t worry about all those other kinds of hosting if you don’t know what they are. I don’t use them. I just use the shared “Baby” plans for numerous projects, with numerous sites, or the “Hatchling” plan for a single web site. Great value, great service, great web hosting.

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A Note About Unhappy People

Yeah, I guess some folks out there aren’t happy with HostGator. WordPress SEO plugin guru Yoast told a story about Hostgator shutting someone down. I’ve never seen that.

unhappy-eyes-nose-hostgator-web-host

So some folks have their grievances and I assume not without cause. That’s gonna be the case no matter what in this life. But I can tell you that I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve never found web hosting that holds a candle to Hostgator, in their market sector.

And truly, they are the best web host I’ve ever used. I haven’t “moved up” to specialty hosting yet because I don’t need it. I certainly hope that specialty hosts provide more than Hostgator, but for the moment, Hostgator does the job for 99 percent of the cases.

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What About Speed?

speedy-car-hostgator-web-hostThis is where Hostgator falls down a bit. Hostgator is not an expensive high-end specialty host optimized for speed.

The “time to first byte” can sometimes be over a second with WordPress, and then after that, loading is pretty snappy. By most measures that’s respectable, but can get irritating if you have a WordPress site that isn’t optimized and has too many plugins.

Time to First Byte?

Time to first byte is that lag time before a page starts to load while your web browser talks to the web host. Reloading is always snappier once you are connected and your browser caches some of the page elements.

With Hostgator, moving around a site is fast enough, but not smoking hot unless it’s a plain old html site with no dynamic elements. At times it’s better than other times due to congestion I assume. It’s all relative though. For the price, the speed is good. And better than most of the hosts I’ve used. Way better.

Speed Isn’t Everything

So definitely, Hostgator is not the fastest host out there.

checkered-flag-hostgator-web-host

Their hosting is now housed in Provo Utah since Endurance International bought them out in 2012. I saw one four hour outage on a few sites right after the migration, and another for about an hour with a few accounts.

I think the migration hiccups are over and things are pretty stable again. But remember, these are computers in a room and you won’t see 100% up time. 99.99% is doable.

Performance is good at the new location, as good as or better than performance before the migration, as near as I can tell.

So If you just want a solid affordable reasonably snappy web host, Hostgator is perfect.

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You Want Smoking Hot As Fast As Possible?

You won’t find that kind of high performance on a shared host for this low a cost. But if you really do want smoking hot, one web site web hosting, the fastest possible host out there, then pay more money, a lot more money, and get what I call an “artisan” or specialty host.

rocket-hostgator-web-hostA specialty host, optimized for speed is one where you pay more, to get more. Speed, WordPress optimization, higher security protocols, and presumably superior support to go with it. I don’t know.

They might not have cPanel for security reasons. They won’t be unlimited bandwidth. Sometimes they won’t host email even. They won’t host multiple domains without upgrades. So you won’t be able to do multiple web sites on the cheap.

But a specialty host will supposedly smoke speed wise, and they will have great support, or so I would hope. This would be a  host like Synthesis from Copyblogger Media. Hosts like this are starting to show up for optimized high speed WordPress sites with a lot of traffic. I haven’t tried one.

A specialty host is more than I need right now and I really love cPanel hosting. Do you need a specialty host? Probably not. For big hosts like Hostgator, there are trade offs in running massive numbers of websites on massive shared server farms. But Hostgator does a pretty darn good balancing act, though not scorching hot instant on fast, it’s all you need.

No one is instant actually. Especially with WordPress, which can be a dog on bad hosts. But is Hostgator fast enough? Absolutely, yes. With WordPress? Yes, absolutely. Performance is fine. This page and web site are hosted on Hostgator. This is a WordPress site.

You can also do a lot to optimize WordPress hosting in the software itself, and you can use CDN’s like Cloudflare, all of which is voodoo beyond this web hosting review.

Anyway, again, for me, for 99 percent of the sites you and I will ever manage, Hostgator is the best host dollar for dollar value and performance. It’s all in their support, unlimited sites and bandwidth, all with relatively good performance at really great pricing. And did I mention stellar support after the sale?

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What About Security?

Over the years I’ve been “hacked” on every host I’ve ever had. How does this happen? Who knows. I don’t bother even trying to figure it out any more. Yes, your computer can be the culprit, yes the host can, WordPress can, all in all it doesn’t matter how it happens. Just keep you computer scanned and clean at all times, keep web site software and plugins updated, change passwords constantly, use strong passwords, don’t store passwords, and you’ll be fine.

lock-hostgator-web-hostingBut hacking will undoubtedly still happen. Get used to it. So what I’ve found that matters most, is what the host does about it when hacking occurs.

So here’s my past experience. The host can either do nothing, suspend your site and do nothing, or suspend your site and sort of help you by suggesting what files might be infected. They will then tell you to clean your account of all infected files and then they’ll consider turning your hosting back on. Oh boy. Big help there.

I do understand that specialty hosts eliminate cPanel in order to plug that potential security hole. That they are also able to provide tighter scanning and security measures. I don’t use them, so I really don’t know. But I believe that it’s probably true. Again, if you want to pay much more for the fastest, most secure hosting, then specialty hosting might be your bag. But we’re looking for cheap hosting.

Here’s my experience with Hostgator when I got hacked. They run a comprehensive scan of all your files, clean all the infected files, send you a list of all the files that were infected, send you a log showing where the hacking occurred, change all relevant passwords for you and send you a list of all WordPress installs that are out of date suggesting you update them. They will even do this on request even if you haven’t been hacked if you just want to make sure.

Bottom line is that Hostgator was there for me during some nasty hacking events. My sites weren’t down at all. Other than Google doing the “this site is dangerous” bit for a couple hours, the hacking produced no ill effects with Hostgator’s help and support.

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What About Outages?

This is kind of interesting and probably a reflection of how far the hosting industry has come to a certain extent. Outages are rare nowadays.

lightbulb-hostgator-web-hostingBut, I’ve never had a host that didn’t have outages, and neither will you. By outages I mean the server just flat stops working, for whatever reason. When I started out early in the internet’s history, outages were pretty common and pretty much a nerve-wracking probability. Then, as now, you just have to live with it.

But then hosts got better, yet I was still having more outages than I wanted. How often? Not very. I guess maybe one a quarter. But too many if you ask me.

But after I switched to Hostgator outages became no problem. Again, it’s because of the support. Hostgator is so on top of outages, you don’t really need to submit a support ticket or call or anything. They just take care of it.

I know I keep gushing, but seriously, I’m glad I’m hosting with Hostgator, support, support, support.

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What About Email?

Yikes. I hate email “issues”. If you host your email on the same server as you host your web site you have certain challenges.

email-at-symbol-hostgator-hosting

The biggest is that when the server is down your email is down. The other is, support. Geez I keep on talking about support. But there it is. Email access requires support too. How to connect and so on.

With Hostgator’s so-called “unlimited” bandwidth you never have to worry about running out of space for email. You can store as much as you like on the server, within reason I assume. I’ve never hit any limits for email storage, and I’ve got clients who store 10 or more gigabytes of email on their Hostgator server.

Suffice to say, self hosted email is a breeze with Hostgator for me, though I’m looking at splitting email off to Google Apps for Business just to have a separate email host.

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What About ‘Unlimited’ Bandwidth?

I’m pretty sure Hostgator started this. At least they were the first I saw to offer “unlimited” bandwidth. One host I tried right before Hostgator went unlimited, offered something like half a terabyte, 500 gigabytes of storage. Pretty crazy. And pretty not true. Web hosting bandwidth isn’t storage, even for unlimited accounts.

stratocaster-hostgator-hostingAll of this “how much space do you get” stuff is a thing of the past. As I mentioned above, hosting started out back in the day as low as a couple megabytes, 5 or 10 megs, and then slowly went up. I remember when I was elated to find a whole gigabyte of hosting for only $20 bucks a month! Yay!

You Get What You Need

The reality of “unlimited” bandwidth is that you are entitled to as much space as you need directly related to your web projects and their email if you host email too. In other words, hosting is not cloud storage. You can’t just dump a bunch of stored files unrelated to your web project onto the server without risking being asked to remove them. Use a cloud service for that.

So in practical terms, you just don’t think about hosting “bandwidth” any more. As for traffic, same thing. Again, if you exceed some astronomical numbers of visits I bet you’d hear from Hostgator about how to deal with that. But the practical reality is, bandwidth is not an issue.

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What About WordPress Web Hosting

wordpress-hostgator-hostingLike I said, I use WordPress almost exclusively now. This site is on WordPress. This site is on Hostgator. This is your site. This is your site on Hostgator. Any questions?

One host I had was so awful with WordPress you couldn’t use WordPress. Another was even worse. I mean the site would barely load in 15 seconds or more. Unbelievable.

With Hostgator, WordPress works really well and their support is reasonably versed in how to keep it perky and running right. They’ll send you to WordPress support forums for complex stuff, but they have been known to log into the wp-admin to check and optimize WordPress configuration to help out customers.

WordPress is a breeze with Hostgator. Choose it and use it.

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About HostGator Web Hosting from Hostgator

hostgator

According to them, HostGator has been a world-leading provider of web hosting service ever since Brent Oxley started HostGator in 2002.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HostGator has clients in over 200 countries internationally and a staff of over 750 employees.

snappy-shopping-hostgator-hostHostGator offers you Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated hosting for beginners and professionals alike. I use the shared hosting with unlimited bandwidth and sites and it’s fine for pretty much anything.

And all their plans include that outstanding support I keep talking about, real USA support that speaks English, 24/7/365. The 99.9% uptime guarantee with the 45-day money-back guarantee really doesn’t mean much to me, but it’s nice to have.

There’s a really neat history of Hostgator up to 2009 that the founder Brent Oxley did here covering HostGator’s history. It’s quite a story. Suffice to say, Brent’s vision seems to still be intact even though Hostgator is now part of the Endurance International Group of web host properties. In fact, in addition to wanting to travel the world before he gets old, Brent was hoping Endurance would help Hostgator enter the domain name registration arena to go up against Godaddy.

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Summary

Well I hope you have learned that Hostgator web hosting is going to solve your hosting problem and will try it out. It’s risk-free in the money sense, and will do the job nicely.

hostgator-ninja-web-hostMy experience with HostGator overall has been a great one and I really hope this not so short article has helped you. If I did my job, you now know what has worked for me and what to expect with Hostgator and can try it out with confidence.

Thanks,

Mark

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p.s. Coupons

Use the coupon code 1CENT to get one month for one cent when selecting a monthly plan. Use coupon code SNAPPY which is automatically entered for you to get you 20 percent off right away. I always buy at least a year. Three years is the most you can buy at one time, for the best price. No matter what you purchase, you get a trial period satisfaction guarantee.

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