Hosting service is essential for those who need to start their online business. In this Hostgator review post, I will not repeat all the details and features of Hostgator but to point out several things you must be aware before you sign up any web hosting services, including Hostgator. This is based on my experience and not just some theory from the textbook. If you follow the guide, you will save yourself a lot of trouble for your online business and know how to pick up the best deal of hosting service without getting ripped off.
Paid Web Hosting Or Free Hosting?
Just in case you are still wondering either to go for paid or free web hosting to start your online business, I can tell you firmly that go for paid web hosting if you intend to treat your online business as a real business, not just a hobby.
Yes, there are some free web hosting companies out there that you can choose but they all come with conditions and limitations such as limited monthly bandwidth, limited disc space or limited domains. Apart from these, you will need to check if the web hosting is reliable, (i.e. do they have a 99.9% uptime guaranteed?) and the access of the support from the hosting company. These are all critical factors when you decide to sign up for a hosting company.We will go into detail for each of the critical items of Hostgator.
Hostgator Review Overview
Hostgator is a pretty established brand in the web hosting industry. It hosts more than 7 millions of domains and is currently one of the world’s top 10 largest web hosting companies.
There are all kinds of web hosting available in Hostgator such as Dedicated Hosting, VPS Hosting, Reseller Hosting and the typical shared web hosting. For people who run online business or small or medium enterprise, typical shared web hosting is normally the first choice. Unless your websites are getting significant amount of traffic, causing your server down from time to time, shared web hosting is the best deal in terms of the pricing and the capabilities.
For the shared web hosting plan, it means that you will the server with others. There are 3 plans to choose from, which are hatching, baby and business plans. A brief comparison of these 3 plans is shown below:
Generally, Hostgator’s baby plan is the most popular plan because you can host unlimited domains comparing to hatching plan. If you need a toll free number and a private IP address, then business plan is your choice. For your information, this blog is hosted with Hostgator baby plan together with some of my niche sites.
Hostgator Coupon Code
The price shown above is based on a 3 years period without any discount. If you want to get the best deal, you can use the hostgator coupon provided below:
Hostgator Coupon Code: warriorsdeal25
By using warriorsdeal25 as the Hostgator coupon code, you will be able to save 25% of the total bill, which is truly a great saving!
How To Apply Hostgator Coupon Code?
2. Click “View Web Hosting Plan”.
3. Choose either hatching plan, baby plan or business plan and then click order now button.
4. Enter your Domain Name then copy and paste the Hostgator coupon code – warriorsdeal25 in the marked area with an arrow shown in red below:
Note: If you don’t have a domain name yet, I suggest you go to Name Cheap to purchase your desired domain name.
5. After you click “CONTINUE TO STEP 2″, you will be asked to fill in your payment detail and you can review your order detail similar in the screenshot below:
You will notice that the Hostgator coupon – warriorsdeal25 actually saves you $116.55 (i.e 25% off) off the total bill for 3 years period. This is how you apply the coupon code for hostgator - warriorsdeal25 to save you 25% off the total bill!
Key Components To Decide A Good Hosting
There are several key components we need in order to decide if the hosting service is reliable.
1. Disc Space
Disc Space is the storage provided. The more disc space you have, the more you can store your files, video, music, etc… on your website. We always after unlimited disc space when we choose the hosting. Hostgator Baby Plan satisfy this criteria.
Bandwidth is the amount of the data transferred such as when you upload files to your websites, people visits your sites or download some files from your website also take up certain bandwidth. Any of the Hostgator web hosting plans satisfy this criteria.
3. Domains Allowed
Some of the plans or hosting companies only allow you to host limited domains on each hosting. This is actually a drawback and we want to have at least more than 100s of domains allowed to be hosted on each hosting account. Hostgator Baby Plan satisfy this criteria.
4. Uptime Guaranteed
Most of the hosting companies will guaranteed a 99% uptime but I don’t think this is good enough. Always look for 99.9% uptime guaranteed. Apart from believing the promise of the hosting companies, I personally use a free service – Uptime Robot to monitor all my sites. Should any of my sites down, Uptime Robot will send instant notification to my email so I will know something’s wrong with the server. Take a look at the screenshot below for the email notification sent by Uptime Robot:
We won’t be able to know the down time of the server since we are not monitor ourselves 24/7. With this monitoring service, we will know if the hosting companies keep their promise. Hostgator have a 99.9% uptime guaranteed and so far, with my monitoring service, it delivers what it promises.
Support is a big issue. Only stick to the hosting companies provide phone and live chat support 24/7. I have very bad experience with my old hosting companies, which only provides email support and it takes 2-3 days to get back to you. This is not the service we are after. We will need to be able to access to the support immediately should the site is down otherwise this will only cause us time and money.
Hostgator support is really top notch and I am very happy with the live chat (usually only wait for less than 1 minutes).
6. Cpanel and MySQL Database
Cpanel is a handy platform where there are tons of useful tools for you to manage and monitor your websites. I especially love Fantastico where you can install WordPress with 1 click and Awstats to monitor the number of unique visitors to your site everyday. Since CPanel is user friendly and easy to use, it has become a must feature to me.
The other technical aspect is the MySQL Database. Some hosting service has limited the no. of MySQL Database that you can create. For every WordPress blog you need a Database. Some of the tracking script and software such as Adtrackz do need a database to install. To me, I don’t know if I will need 100s of the database in future, but I think at least 1000s of the MySQL Database will be sufficient for me.
Fortunately, Hostgator contains Cpanel and unlimited MySQL Databases for you to access, which is excellent.
Hostgator Baby Plan Problem
If you would like to ask me if there is any problem using the Hostgator Baby Plan, I can only tell you that it might not be able to handle huge amount of traffic that flood in to your site within a short period of time. The insane amount of traffic that I am talking about is like 100,000 ++ visitors within 30 minutes period.
However, in order to have this kind of traffic, you will mostly need to pay for this traffic using Pay Per View (not even Pay Per Click). If you can afford to spend money to buy this size of traffic, you can afford to upgrade the web hosting to dedicated hosting or VPS hosting, which will solve the traffic problem, which is kinda a good thing to have huge amount of traffic flood in to your site.
Indeed, Hostgator is one of the best hosting services that I have used in terms of technical, support and features. If you would like to change your hosting or start one, I high recommend you to try out Hostgator since they have a 45 days money back guaranteed so you literally do not have any risk.
Remember to use Hostgator Coupon Code – warriorsdeal25 to get 25% off the total bill based on my Hostgator review above.
P.S. If you are not sure how to point the Domain Name Server (DNS) to your HostGator account, you can refer to my step by step screenshot instruction to setup domain name server and point to your Hostgator account.