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Wordpress HostingHi and welcome to my Hostgator Review. I’ve been hosting my websites with Hostgator for over a year now, and I’ve been very happy with their service. I’ve also used Bluehost, Godaddy, Network Solutions, and other smaller hosts, and I’ll compare them below.

Hosting is at it’s best when it’s invisible – which is to say when your website works, and works well. If your website is making you money, then good hosting is critical because bad hosting will cost you money due to downtime and slow website performance.

The best thing I can say about Hostgator hosting is that I never have to think about it. I test my websites often – and even use a monitoring service.

All of my websites have 99.9%+ uptime, and my website speeds are excellent using Hostgator. I’ve also had excellent service, and find the Hostgator support team to be excellent and knowledgeable!

The vast majority of websites that I work with are built in WordPress, so it’s very important to me (and my clients) that any host I use is highly WordPress compatible. WordPress does require good hosting to run well.

To be compatible with WordPress 3.2 (current as of this post) a host needs:
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  • PHP version 5.2.4 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.0 or greater
  • Apache (server) is recommended

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And that’s it. Of course there are lots of other things that I look for in a host. These include:
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  • cPanel – I can’t stress this enough!
  • Unlimited Websites per Account
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • 24/7 Tech Support
  • 99.9%+ Guaranteed Uptime

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Other stuff that’s nice to have:
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  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Fantastico or simplescripts (common with cPanel)
  • Dedicated IP addresses

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This is all the stuff that I look for in a host, and Hostgator does it all. The only package that limits you at all is the Hatchling Plan – which only allows you to host 1 website.

cPanel is a Must!

Hostgator CpanelI’ve said this in other posts, and I’ll repeat it here. cPanel makes it SO MUCH EASIER to work with your web host.

Setting up new email addresses is a breeze. Setting up WordPress is simple. Moving and transferring files, Setting up FTP, checking server status, you name it, cPanel makes it easy!

Hostgator uses cPanel of course, and they preinstall fantastico to make WordPress installation super simple.

Hostgator Support

I’ve contacted the Hostgator support team literally dozens of times. The majority of the time I use the live chat feature, and I’ve had excellent service every single time!

On average a Customer Service Rep answers my chat request in 2 minutes. I’ve had to wait at most 6 minutes, but in general there are around 100 support staff available, and the queue moves quickly.

I’ve found every Hostgator support rep to be helpful and knowledgeable. They’re all very well trained, and very friendly. I haven’t had a single bad experience – and I can’t say the same for any other host I’ve ever worked with.

Update – December 2012 – I finally had a bad experience with a Hostgator Customer Service Person. I asked to be transferred to a manager and he explained to me that they’ve been having growing pains, namely they’re growing so quickly that they can’t train new reps fast enough.

Based on my experience with them I trust that they’ll get this ironed out, but I figure it was worth noting that not every experience I’ve had with Hostgator has been perfect. Oh – the manager did get my issue resolved, so even still I felt taken care of when all was said and done.

Hostgator vs Bluehost

I used Bluehost to host my websites for over a year. While I found their service to be very good, what I didn’t like was that Bluehost uses CPU throttling.

What this means is that when your websites are getting a lot of traffic or putting any strain on the server processor, Bluehost gives you LESS server resources – they ‘throttle’ the amount of server resources they give your website.

That means that when you’re getting the most traffic your website will literally grind to a halt, which will result in visitors leaving your site. I had this happen to me several times, and it was CPU throttling that ultimately led to my leaving Bluehost.

During the time that I’ve been with Hostgator I’ve never had my websites grind to a halt like they did regularly on Bluehost.

I know that Bluehost has to protect all their other customers on each server, but throttling performance when you need it most can cost you tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.

Also, Hostgator support is much better than Bluehost customer support. I found Bluehost support to be good most of the time, but when I started asking about throttling and site speed they simply blamed my websites and didn’t offer any useful suggestions.

I also found that a large percentage of Bluehost Customer Service Reps didn’t care if I got my question resolved or not. If they didn’t know the answer to something they’d tell me that it couldn’t be done or blow me off. Not an approach I appreciate. Often I was able to find the answer myself after digging – or after hanging up and trying a new rep.

Hostgator vs GoDaddy

Say No to GoDaddyMy biggest problem with GoDaddy is that they don’t use cPanel – and that their custom control panel is awful!

I first signed up with GoDaddy way back in the day – just like a lot of people – and I struggled every time I logged in to do anything. Creating email accounts, installing WordPress, transferring files, you name it!

I periodically have to use GoDaddy as some of my clients made the same mistake that I did. Don’t make this mistake yourself!

As I said above, GoDaddy uses their own control panel which is poorly organized. Not only that but if you want to install (or uninstall) a WordPress website you have to submit a ticket and wait until they finish the installation.

Sometimes this happens quickly, and sometimes it can take days. I had one case where I needed to uninstall a clients WordPress installation because he installed it in the GoDaddy default – www.mysite.com/wordpress – and I needed to install it in the root directory – www.mysite.com. It took GoDaddy nearly a WEEK to do this! I could have done it myself in less than 5 minutes with Hostgator.

Oh, and on a separate note GoDaddy ads are sleezy and dumb, and the President of GoDaddy shoots elephants for fun. Seriously.

My Hostgator Coupon Codes

Hostgator has given me coupon codes that will save you money on your first order. Definitely take advantage of the coupons below! In most cases I recommend purchasing 2 years worth of hosting and applying the 25% savings coupon – richkent25

Apply my coupon code on the “Step 1” page shown below:

Hostgator Coupon Code

These are my coupons, and hostgator does pay me a commission when you use them. Of course it doesn’t cost you more to use my coupons (you save money) – and I appreciate it when you do, so thanks!

[notice]Save 25% Off Your Order. Coupon Code: RICHKENT25[/notice]

[notice]Save $24.95 Off a Reseller Package. Coupon Code: RICHKENT2495[/notice]

If you’d like to check out Hostgator hosting, click the button below. Thanks for reading my Hostgator Review and I hope you found it helpful. Feel free to ask my questions in the comments below!

Click Here to Sign Up With Hostgator

Affiliate link. If you purchase hosting after clicking my link I’ll receive a commission.

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Hostgator VPS

Hostgator recently introduced Hostgator VPS services. I host all of my websites on a Hostgator VPS and I’ve been very happy with the speed and performance of my sites.

What is a VPS? A VPS is a Virtual Private Server.

WordPress VPS HostingVPS hosting is like renting a fixed percentage of a web server for a reasonable cost. A full web server costs several hundred dollars a month, whereas a VPS can cost as little as $20 a month.

Unlike shared hosting, a VPS gives you your own dedicated resources, so that your websites will always have a certain amount of processing power and memory available.

Advantages of Hostgator VPS Hosting:
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  • Dedicated Memory and Resources to Your Websites
  • Easy to add ‘nodes’ if you need even more performance for your sites
  • Hostgator VPS is fully managed, so you get 24/7 support!
  • Hostgator will even transfer your websites to your new VPS for free in most cases.

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If you’re making several thousand from your websites, I strongly recommend that you purchase Hostgator VPS service, as in general this will make your websites run faster more reliably – and site speed is a factor in SEO.

Click Here to try a Hostgator VPS

Affiliate link. If you purchase hosting after clicking my link I’ll receive a commission.

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