HostGator is ubiquitous in the web hosting industry. Started in 2002, HostGator is one of the old stalwarts of the web hosting world. In this article we are going to touch on the many pros and cons of using HostGator as a cloud hosting provider.
Pro: Quantity of Cloud Hosting Packages
Slated as VPS web hosting, the HostGator cloud hosting plan offers five different packages. Those packages are as follows:
– Snappy 500
- .5 CPU Core
- 512 MB RAM
- 25 GB Disk Space
- 500 GB Bandwidth
- 2 IPs
– Snappy 1000
- 1 CPU Core
- 1 GB RAM
- 60 GB Disk Space
- 1 TB Bandwidth
- 2 IPs
– Snappy 2000
- 2 CPU Core
- 2 GB RAM
- 120 GB Disk Space
- 1.5 TB Bandwidth
- 2 IPs
– Snappy 4000
- 2 CPU Core
- 4 GB RAM
- 165 GB Disk Space
- 2 TB Bandwidth
- 2 IPs
– Snappy 8000
- 4 CPU Core
- 8 GB RAM
- 240 GB Disk Space
- 3 TB Bandwidth
- 2 IPs
One of the pros of cloud hosting with HostGator is the plan range consumers can choose from.
Con: Price of Cloud Hosting Packages
The Snappy 500 costs $15.96 per month. The Snappy 1000 costs $41.96 per month. The Snappy 2000 costs $73.96 per month. The Snappy 4000 costs $105.96 per month. The Snappy 8000 costs $129.96 per month.
The aforementioned costs are advertised for “first term”. The “recurring” charge for the associated packages are $19.95 per month (Snappy 500), $49.95 per month (Snappy 1000), $89.95 per month (Snappy 2000), $129.95 per month (Snappy 4000) and $159.95 per month (Snappy 8000).
The major cons about these price plans are consumers can easily find similar, if not better cloud server packages at much better prices. Due to the size of HostGator, their operating costs are higher. As such, their cloud hosting plans are priced higher than most.
Pro: Semi-Managed Cloud Hosting
If you are a Linux admin or happen to be an expert web hosting professional, the semi-managed cloud hosting plans offered by HostGator will speak to you. For HostGator, a semi-managed cloud hosting package is a server without a control panel (cPanel or Plesk).
For the Linux admin or the command line professional, not having a control panel shouldn’t prove to be an issue at all. Rather it should represent a positive because it means you are spending less on VPS technology than you might spend with another brand.
Con: Semi-Managed Cloud Hosting
If you don’t fancy yourself a Linux admin or a web hosting professional with certified knowledge of command line interfaces, a semi-managed cloud server without a control panel is useless to you. If you are just starting to learn the command line, not having a control panel to manage your server means your paying a monthly fee for a useless box which, until you learn CLI, will collect dust.
The other major downside of semi-managed cloud hosting with HostGator is that unlike other web hosting companies, HostGator will charge you a monthly fee on top of your already over the industry VPS pricing to utilize a control panel.
Pro: Domain Name Registration
Much like GoDaddy, HostGator enables consumers to register their domain name for a small one-time fee. This process makes mapping your IP address to your domain name simple, easy and pain free.
Con: Domain Name Registration
Getting tired of using HostGator as your cloud hosting provider yet you want to keep your domain name? Either pay a price or lose your domain name. It’s really that simple. HostGator makes domain name registration easy, simple and pain free. HostGator makes leaving HostGator with your registered domain name annoying, aggravating and costly.
Pro: Data Center Locations
Cloud hosting with HostGator means server deployment in multiple data center facilities located around the United States. Currently HostGator provides VPS consumers with deployments from the following data center facilities:
– Houston, TX: CyrusOne’s Houston West facility
The facility is 30,000 square feet with redundant power systems, 24/7/365 NOC staffing, looped camera security, raised floors for higher level hosting equipment cooling and fire suppressant systems.
– Provo, UT: Ace Data Centers
The HostGator Ace Data Center facility is a 8,500 square feet featuring power redundancy, N+1 cooling, raised floors for high level equipment cooling, fire protection systems and on-site 24/7/365 security protocols.
Con: Data Center Locations
HostGator operates out of two data center locations. Key point: they operate out of two data center provider facilities. For a company as established and large as HostGator, if it comes as a surprise that they don’t own and operate their own data center, you aren’t alone.
The other major issue at hand is the amount of geographical location of both HostGator data centers. As noted, HostGator VPS clients have access to deployment in two data centers separated by nearly 1,500 miles. Other cloud hosting providers maintain more facilities (see DigitalOcean, Rackspace, Google, Amazon or Linode) with more geographic diversity. The amount of facilities and the distance between them provides consumers with multiple points of deployment, a stronger global network and a more secure data redundancy network.
HostGator gets scalability right. With the size of the company, they have the ability to offer shared, dedicated, reseller and VPS hosting. Upgrading your services, adding compute power or lowering your compute cloud hosting power with HostGator is pretty simple.
Con: Technical Support
HostGator supplies it’s consumers with what they deem “Award Winning Support”. The site copy reads, “We are here for you 24/7/365 via Telephone, Live Chat, and Email to assist with any questions you may have.” The only issue with here is the level of service provided. Conduct a quick Google search on HostGator technical support reviews. Consumer after consumer has openly complained that the level of service provided by HostGator is slow, clunky and hardly all encompassing.
Pro: Free Site Migrations
By the end of 2014, this practice is almost ubiquitous across the industry. Sometimes migrating sites can prove to be a pain in the butt for normal consumers and non-technical hosting clients. To get around this, HostGator provides free site migrations to the HostGator platform.
For the non-technical, free site migrations for cloud hosting is a great deal.
If you search for HostGator, it won’t take long for you to read consumer reviews complaining about downtime issues. While HostGator claims to have a 99% uptime, simply visit this link: http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/hostgator.com.html to check out the last time HostGator went down. As of the writing of this article, the last downtime HostGator experienced was on December 7th.
HostGator has a downtime issue.
Overall HostGator Rating
If we had to critique HostGator from 0 – 10, with ten being the highest grade, a grade of 6 feels right. While the company does some things right – site migration, scalability, availability of packages, high tiered data centers – the company gets a lot of other cloud hosting items wrong.
With more downtime than they let onto, low level data redundancy and highly over priced VPS packages, HostGator charges consumers too much for cloud hosting services performed better and cheaper by other brands.
Is HostGator a decent VPS hosting company? No. HostGator is a decent web hosting company who offers cloud hosting amid other client offerings. HostGator does not live or die by their cloud offerings. Nor should you.