Hostgator is one of the world’s oldest hosting companies, and it has been a favorite in blogging and online business circles. But is it really the best choice? How does it hold up when compared to other hosting companies? In this article we’ll be comparing Hostgator to Hostinger, a budget friendly hosting solution for bloggers.
If you have narrowed down your choices to these two companies, but are having a hard time picking one, this guide is for you. When you’re done reading this post, you’ll know exactly which company is better for your situation.
Let’s get started.
What is Hostinger?
Hostinger is a European-based company that offers a wide range of hosting solutions, from Windows virtual private servers, to WordPress, and video-game servers.
During the course of its lifetime, Hostinger has been through a number of changes, including a complete brand change. Although it’s not the most popular company out there, their hosting solutions are great, especially for small business owners and bloggers.
Nowadays, it’s known as one of the best budget hosting companies. They also claim to host over 29 million users.
What About Hostgator?
With headquarters in Houston, Texas, Hostgator is one of the world’s most popular United States based hosting companies. It’s also one of the oldest.
The veteran marketers reading this are probably familiar with Hostgator. Founded in 2002, It was one of the world’s most popular hosting companies back in the day. Nowadays, Hostgator still delivers a good service, comparable to other hosting companies.
But I feel like some of their hardware hasn’t been upgraded in awhile, which is something we’ll talk about later on.
Plans and Prices
Let’s start with the most important topic.
First we’ll compare the prices, and then move on to the features.
What you need to know is that both of these companies have three plans to choose from. Another thing to keep in mind is the longer plans, such as 2 years or more, are heavily discounted. For the sake of convenience, we’ll be comparing the 12 month hosting plans below, as we feel like it’s a good middle ground.
Advertised Hostinger Shared Hosting
Price for 12 Months
- Single Plan (one website) – $11.88
- Premium – $31.08
- Business – $49.08
Advertised Hostgator Shared Hosting
Price for 12 Months
- Hatchling (one website) – $85.92
- Baby – $114.72
- Business – $162.72
(You might be wondering why these prices are so low, and we’ll explain why in the next section)
What About Renewal Fees and Regular Rates?
One thing that can bother new bloggers is expensive renewal fees. A lot of hosting companies use a payment structure where the first plan is heavily discounted, and then when it expires, the user needs to pay the full price. Sometimes that price is 2 – 3 times the initial amount. Each company has their own payment structure, and we’ll briefly explain them below.
With Hostinger, the initial plans are heavily discounted. Taking the 12 month price from earlier, the single plan for one website has a 90% discount, while the Premium is 82%, and Business is 78%. If you choose to renew before the plan expires, you’ll only have to pay around half of the regular fee (the exact rate varies depending on the plan). For example, with the Single 12 month plan, the regular price is $115.08, but the first year is $11.88, and to renew for one more year, it costs $25.80.
It’s a little complicated. Overall, the renewal fees aren’t that high. The key point to remember is you need to renew before the plan expires, otherwise you’ll have to pay the full regular price.
Hostgator’s structure is quite simple. They offer a 20% discount on first payments, that’s it. After the first payment, the regular price is applied. At least they keep the discount and payment system simple. It’s more expensive, but also you don’t need to worry about calculating the renewal fees.
So from looking at the charts you can clearly see Hostinger is the cheaper choice. Even the renewal fees aren’t much, especially when compared to other companies. For example, to renew a Premium (unlimited websites) plan for a year it only costs $41.88.
Now that you have an idea what these companies are about, we’ll be comparing the most notable features of these two hosting companies to see which one is superior.
Before we continue, I would like to point out that neither of these companies are bad. They both offer a decent service, at least good enough for bloggers and small time business owners. On the other hand, one of these choices has significantly more features, and cheaper plans too.
- Credit & Debit Cards
- CoinPayments (a payment gateway for over 1,575 cryptocurrencies)
- Money Orders
- Bank Wire
One aspect of Hostinger worth mentioning is that they accept a wide range of payment methods, making it a very accessible platform.
I like how both of these companies allow you to pay with PayPal. In the case of Hostinger, the option to pay with cryptocurrency is great too.
Most people will use PayPal or cards for payments, so both of these companies are pretty accessible. Now that we’re done with the price, we can move on to the core features.
Hard Drives & Disk Space
Hostagor promises unmetered storage and bandwidth on all their shared hosting plans, but there’s a catch. Hostinger offers a set amount of storage for each plan, starting at 10 GB with a maximum of 30 GB for Business plans.
So what’s the catch? Hostinger provides SSD drives for on all of their shared hosting accounts. Hostgator, on the other hand, does not use Solid State drives (SSD). Instead, they use regular hard drives (HDD). What you need to know is SSDs are many times faster than HDDs, not to mention more reliable and stable.
Although HDD drives are cheaper, they’re also much slower, and that can bring your website’s performance down. So you should always look for a hosting company that uses SSDs for storage, which most modern hosting companies do. The unmetered storage is great… but it’s on slower drives. Personally, I prefer to have less storage but on faster drives.
To summarize, Hostgator has unlimited storage on HDDs, and Hostinger has limited storage (10, 20, and 30 GB) but on SSDs. In the case of hard drive performance, the point goes to Hostinger.
One Click Installs
Chances are you don’t want to spend hours figuring out how to install software on your website. Hostinger and Hostgator both offer decent one-click installs, with the latter offering more software than the former.
Hostinger offers a basic one-click install setup for WordPress (1-Click Install). Simply fill in the form on their control panel and WordPress will be installed in seconds. Besides WordPress, you can also install several other software, such as: Drupal, Joomla, and Magento.
What about Hostgator? With Hostgator you can also easily install WordPress in a few clicks by using their Quick Install service in the Cpanel.
The Quick Install service can install over 30 popular programs, such as: WordPress, LifeType, Drupal, Joomla, bbPress, phpBB, and many others. As a matter of fact, they have software for pretty much every online business category, from eCommerce, blogging and even social networks.
So, when it comes to compatible software, the point goes to Hostgator.
Free SSL Certificates
Nowadays, Google is pushing website owners to create security certificates for their websites, which not only creates a safer experience for everyone, but also adds the “Secure” label to your domain.
Hostinger provides a free SSL certificate, but only on the Business shared hosting account. For the other accounts, you’ll need to purchase the SSL certificate separately. Granted, it’s not that much, a Lifetime Standard LE SSL costs an extra $11.95.
Hostgator, on the other hand, does include free SSL certificates with all of their shared hosting plans. So you don’t need to worry about extra fees or installations. When it comes to SSL certificates, Hostgator earns the point.
Planning to make business emails? Hostinger only lets you connect one free business email in their shared hosting packages.
You can purchase more emails from the Web Mail service, and they’re relatively cheap too, starting at $2.99 a month.
On the other hand, Hostgator allows you to create unlimited emails, on every shared hosting account, even their cheapest option. So Hostgator wins, in this regard.
You might not think you need regular back ups, but if you make a mistake on your website and ruin the whole layout, or the site is infected, having a backup is a lifesaver.
Starting with Hostinger, only one of their shared hosting plans include free daily backups, the Business account. The other two, Single and Premium, don’t include free backups. But you always have the option to manually create a backup of your entire database for free. The good news is you can restore a backup for free.
Another thing to keep in mind is Single and Premium accounts are backed up once a week, while Business accounts are backed up daily. It’s a little complicated.
With Hostgator, no matter which shared hosting package you’re on, the backups are done once a week, on a random day. There’s also the option to manually download backups, but restoring a full backup costs $25.
Remember, it’s always best to contact the designated company’s support when it comes to backup issues, otherwise you risk making a mistake. In the case of backups, I like how Hostinger doesn’t charge to restore a backup, so the point goes to Hostinger.
When you run into a problem, you need to be able to quickly contact the support team. When it comes to customer support, these two companies have slightly different systems. We’ll start with Hostinger.
Hostinger’s support is mostly done through live-chat. At the moment, they don’t have a phone hotline, only live chat and email ticket. On the other hand, the live-chat system is rather interesting because they claim each agent is trained to deal with every problem. So there’s no need to wait for specialist. Just ask your question or explain your problem, and they’ll deal with it as best as they can.
One thing I liked about Hostinger’s live-chat is you can access it even if you’re not a member. Just look for the little chat icon and you’ll be connected to an agent. So I was quite happy with the customer support. The one agent I talked to even gave me an extra discount on the package I was asking about.
Hostgator has a live-chat service and a phone hotline. For some, talking on the phone is easier than chatting so Hostgator makes it easy for them. To access Hostgator’s live chat you’ll need to find their support menu and locate the chat option. It’s not as readily available as Hostinger’s.
Still, Hostgator’s live-chat service works pretty well. It’s also nice that they have a customer service hotline. For me, I would go with Hostinger because the live-chat is always available.
Tallying Up The Points: Who Wins?
So now you should know what each of these hosting companies has to offer, but you’re probably still unsure of which one to choose.
- Price – Hostinger is Much Cheaper
- Payment Methods – Hostinger has one more payment option.
- Hard Drives and Disk Space – Hostinger uses limited SSDs, much faster.
- One-Click Installs – Hostgator offers more software.
- SSL Certificates – Hostgator offers free SSLs on every plan.
- Business Emails – Hostgator offers unlimited emails.
- Daily Backups – Both companies perform weekly backups, but Hostinger doesn’t charge to restore a backup. Hostinger wins.
- Customer Support – Hostgator has a customer service hotline, but Hostgator has a better live-chat service.
As you can see, it’s almost a tie. For small time bloggers, I recommend Hostinger because it’s very cheap and it has all you need to build a basic WordPress website. Some of their features require an extra free, and there are limits, but for small blogs, it should be more than enough.
Hostgator is more expensive, but it includes more free features (unlimited emails, unlimited disk space, etc) and a phone hotline. On the other hand, I didn’t like how they still use HDDs. To me, I feel like Hostgator is a good company but it’s a little outdated.
Overall, I had a better experience with Hostinger. Just be aware of the renewal fees.