WordPress started as an offshoot of the blogging application b2 in 2003. It soon developed into a major blogging platform, overtaking its predecessor. Since then, the company has expanded to become a full web content system that offers website platform options of all types, now bringing WordPress to the masses.
68 million sites and counting run on the WordPress platform today. The platform’s popularity is not difficult to understand at all. The software is completely open-source, meaning countless developers can create unique themes, plug-ins, and widgets to help end users completely customize their websites and implement powerful administrative tools.
To best understand WordPress hosting and know what to look for in a WordPress host, you first need some knowledge of the workings of web hosting in general. All working websites on the internet today are run from special computers called servers. Although you can own and operate your own web server, the cost, time commitment, training, and staff requirements make it quite cost prohibitive and highly inefficient for most individuals and businesses to do. This is where many of the web hosting companies in existence today come into play; these companies build large server farms, then lease their server space and resources to people for a fee.
WordPress hosting essentially works exactly like any other form of web hosting. All that happens, in this case, is that the servers and environment are all built to handle running the WordPress framework. Because today’s demand for WordPress specific hosting is at an all-time high, nearly every reputable web hosting company also offers options for WordPress hosting, and, just like their other web hosting services, these are offered with various features and rates depending on the specifications you need or desire.
What should you look for in a WordPress Web Hosting Company?
Choosing a web host provider can be a big step for your company since you’ll rely entirely on the host’s servers and service offerings. There are several factors you should consider and compare when choosing a company to host your WordPress site, including these 5 things:
- Reliability: You want a host that is reliable both in terms of page loading and uptime. Look for a company who guarantees 99% or higher uptime and boasts quick page load times.
- Ease of Use: You should easily be able to access, update, and change anything you need for your WordPress site. Look for a host who offers easy to use dashboards and mentions any extra features to enhance ease of use.
- Customer Support: You should be able to have all your questions answered and problems solved nearly anytime. Look for a company who offers 24/7 support and has a variety of support methods like email, phone, and live chat.
- Hosting Package: With all the options available today, you shouldn’t pay more than you need for features you won’t use. Look for a host that will provide a plan that fits your needs and your budget exactly.
- Price: Obviously competitive markets offer benefits, including in the price. Look for helpful comparison features or pricing pages that really solidify options for you, then pick what works with your budget without overpaying for the same features another host offers for less.
Who is HostGator?
Founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley, HostGator Inc. is a domain registry and web hosting company that has grown from a one-man operation to a major corporate platform with hundreds of employees. As of 2012, HostGator was purchased by Endurance International Group, one of the largest website hosting companies in the business. EIG also owns a number of other hosting brands such as Arvixe, BlueHost, FatCow, HostMonster, iPage, and Pow Web.
Today, HostGator boasts over 9 million hosted domains, including partnerships with tech corporations such as Cisco and Linux. They have two US data centers located in Houston, Texas and Provo, Utah. HostGator also has an office location in India, helping them expand their international services.
HostGator runs more than some of the more budget-conscious hosting platforms, but the phrase “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to HostGator’s services. HostGator is well known for their reliability and top-notch support. They include many beneficial features even within their most basic plans, like an easy-to-use control panel and unlimited disk space.
Geared towards semi-technical users, HostGator’s flexibility of service is really their strong suit. They offer a wide array of hosting options to fit almost any needs and budget. And, for those who need certain language needs, HostGator offers support Perl, Python, Ruby, and many other languages on all plan choices. HostGator’s nearly limitless options and control make them a top choice for your hosting needs.
What hosting services does HostGator offer?
HostGator offers a multitude of hosting options to fit nearly any individual or business needs and make nearly any budget feasible.
Shared Web Hosting
HostGator offers shared hosting plans in both Windows or Linux systems. All plans come with unlimited bandwidth, databases, disk space, and email addresses. They offer three plan options and add additional services like unlimited domains and private SSL onto each one to entice customers.
VPS Web Hosting
HostGator offers VPS hosting in a Linux environment starting at $19.95 per month. VPS hosting is a great choice if you expect high traffic, need more power or have specific security or compliance needs. Just like with the shared hosting, their VPS hosting comes with 3 plan options. These plans range from 2GB RAM, 120GB disk space, and 1.5TB data transfers all the way to 8GB RAM, 240GB disk space, and 3TB data transfers.
Dedicated Web Hosting
HostGator’s dedicated server packages offer an amazing lineup of features, starting around $120 per month. HostGator users have options to customize their dedicated servers to include up to 1TB of storage, unlimited data transfers, and 32GB RAM. Their dedicated servers can be hosted in Linus or Windows environments, giving some great flexibility that many other web hosting companies can’t offer.
Cloud Web Hosting
HostGator also offers the option for cloud-based hosting. With cloud hosting, your resources are spread over multiple servers, meaning you can scale your resources in real time and not feel limited by physical server constraints. Unlike their dedicated service, though, HostGator’s cloud-based hosting is only available in Linux.
Reseller hosting is a great way to make some extra money with a web design business. Having the option to host sites in addition to the design aspect can help you gain more clients. HostGator offers the option for you to do reseller hosting, meaning they actually host the sites for you and you manage them for your clients. You get unlimited domains and emails, which is great, but disk space and bandwidth are limited on most of these plans, so pay attention to your needs before signing up.
HostGator offers a variety of WordPress hosting plans based on your needs. They have both cloud-based WordPress plans and shared server WordPress plans as well. All of HostGator’s WordPress plan options come with many great features that we will explore below, plus all the great benefits that HostGator offers for all of its plans.
What Are The Main Benefits To HostGator’s WordPress Plans?
Free Migration And Help
HostGator offers migration services for free to help you transfer an existing WordPress site to HostGator for hosting. Also, consultation services are actually included with plans to help you make sure you have all your ducks in a row and get started right. HostGator also offers valuable tools and tips with all of their managed hosting plans, including access to WordPress templates inside the MOJO Marketplace.
HostGator boasts upwards of 2.5X faster loading times with WordPress hosting thanks to the architecture, multiple caching layers, low-density servers, and CDN. WordPress hosting with HostGator manages your content more efficiently, providing content requests to be quickly processed with their exclusive hosting for WordPress sites. Furthermore, because of the simplicity of WordPress, load times are much faster than other types of services.
The ease of the host’s provided control panel is an important consideration, especially if you are a new user to website setup and hosting. HostGator uses an industry-standard control panel for all of its plans, cPanel. HostGator has gone a step further, though, and completely customized cPanel to make the controls and overall navigation more user-friendly.
When you log into your HostGator hosting account, you’ll have many options presented. There will be tabs for account settings, hosting specifics, billing information, and support. This easy-to-navigate set up with tabs is just one of the customized parts of the cPanel that you get with HostGator’s service. Additional benefits include live support chat built in and easy access to their knowledgebase straight from the main screen.
Additional actions you can perform through the customized control panel include:
- Email Account Creation and Management
- Google Analytics Website Traffic Info
- Domain and Subdomain Creation
- SSL Certificate View or Purchase
- Access to Google Apps
- Email Marketing Set Up and Features
You also have the option to purchase and use HostGator’s custom website builder straight from their control panel. Their website builder is easy to use with its drag and drop design, a full library of images, and complete customization options.
HostGator makes sure that your sensitive data is secure in their hands with great security features. They have strong firewall protection in place to prevent DDoS and virus attacks against your website, plus they have featured at the network level to prevent issues like UPD flooding.
HostGator also includes the option to have your accounts and servers scanned every six months, helping you ensure there aren’t any issues, infections, loopholes, or breeches. If you want more frequent scanning, this can be added to your account for an additional fee, meaning you have the flexibility to enhance security even further if you desire.
HostGator also gives you tools and tips to keep your site safe from any hacking attempts or security issues. They encourage you to make strong passwords and alter them periodically, update software as recommended and utilize antivirus protection. They also have you create an account pin during the setup process, and options for shared or private SSLs.
It’s undeniable that HostGator offers some of the top customer service in the field. They offer 24/7 on their site through live chat. If you prefer phone support, though, they have a toll-free line that is also available for customers 24/7. There are also the options to get email-based support or to submit service ticket for non-urgent needs. They also have a support portal with easy access through the hosting dashboard, and this knowledgebase includes hundreds of video tutorials and even more articles.
Clean Energy Powered
HostGator uses wind energy as a way to help offset server emissions. They are climate-friendly, wind-powered, and purchase Renewable Energy Credits. Though this isn’t a perk with performance, it’s a great way to say that your company is invested in the environment.
What Are The Features With HostGator’s WordPress Plans?
Great Support and Guarantees
HostGator provides a flexible 45-day full money-back guarantee with all of their plans, giving you ample time to try out their service and make sure it fits your needs. HostGator also guarantees a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is about as close to 100% as you can get without paying a massive premium. HostGator also promises 24/7 support via live chat, telephone, and through their knowledge base. They also provide great support via email and their ticketing system.
Lots of Freebies
HostGator provides tons of freebies with all of their hosting plans. These nice perks include unlimited bandwidth, databases, and disk space, free site builder and building tools, over 4,000 templates, and free domain transfers. They have 1-click install options for a majority of other add-ons, like Joomla, WordPress, or Magento. Additionally, when you launch a new site with HostGator, you can utilize Google Adwords credits of us to $100.
With WordPress hosting specifically, the freebies keep coming. The number of free themes and plugins available is nearly endless. WordPress has a huge community itself, plus HostGator provides many great templates available through the MOJO Marketplace. Additionally, there are close to 100 open source scripts that can be installed with just one click thanks to HostGator’s setup.
Control Panels Galore
HostGator uses the newest cPanel to power their controls. With their customized version of cPanel, you can quickly get up and rolling, launch added features, and organize tasks for automation. You can also collect logs and statistics through their backend panel features. And, a web-based management system for files keeps your server clear of clutter.
HostGator’s email marketing feature is free for the first 3 months for up to 500 total contacts. The tools to build a distribution list are built in, and you have the option to add contacts from other sources like Facebook or existing databases. They also have great ways to build email templates and mailings to be distributed on a regular basis. Email marketing has high rates of returns on investment, so this feature is great if you are trying to build a business.
HostGator WordPress Plan Pricing Details
HostGator offers both physical, shared server and cloud-based WordPress plans, for a total of 6 options to fit your needs.
Shared Server Plans
The Hatchling WordPress Plan starts at just $3.95 per month (3-year contract). It includes a single domain and unmetered bandwidth and disk space. Additionally, it includes a shared SSL and all the other great features that all HostGator Plans include.
The Baby WordPress Plan starts at just $5.95 per month (3-year contract). It includes unlimited domains and unmetered bandwidth and disk space. Additionally, it includes a shared SSL and all the other great features that all HostGator Plans include.
The Business WordPress Plan starts at just $8.95 per month (3-year contract). It includes unlimited domains and unmetered bandwidth and disk space. Additionally, it includes a dedicated SSL and IP, plus all the other great features that all HostGator Plans include.
The Starter WordPress Plan starts at just $3.48 per month (3-year contract). It includes a single site, 100,000 views per month, 1 GB daily data backup, unmetered storage, and an SSL certificate.
The Standard WordPress Plan starts at just $5.58 per month (3-year contract). It includes two sites, 200,000 views per month, 2 GB daily data backup, unmetered storage, and an SSL certificate.
The Business WordPress Plan starts at just $8.03 per month (3-year contract). It includes three sites, 500,000 views per month, 3 GB daily data backup, unmetered storage, and an SSL certificate. Additionally, this plan provides an additional speed boost to keep your site running at speeds of up to 5x faster.
HostGator’s WordPress Hosting Top Competition
- 1&1 IONOS
- WP Engine
- A2 Hosting
- Site 5 Hosting
- Liquid Web
- Synthesis by StudioPress
- TMD Hosting