After using HostGator from 2013 to 2016 for my personal sites, I made a list of the best HostGator alternatives that you can switch to. I will keep the list updated and I will not include any web hosting companies that are owned by Endurance International Group (a.k.a. EIG).
Commenters on Web Hosting Geeks (a large customer review site) gave HostGator 169 1-star ratings and 143 2-star ratings. A lot of the reviews say â€œdo not use HostGator,â€ â€œconstant 500 errors,â€ and â€œworst customer service.â€
Why you may need an alternative to HostGator?
For whatever reason you are here looking for HostGator Alternatives, I am the first to admit that HostGator has lost the reputation and service it once offered. I remember when WordPress and blogging became popular, everyone would recommend HostGator.
Heck, I was a HostGator fan at some point. Unfortunately, that has since changed. Other than affiliates, I rarely see anyone recommending HostGator for hosting anymore.
Here are the common reasons that I was able to find which lead to people switching away from HostGator:
- Not a lot of people like Endurance International Group. Some of us like to stay far away from any web host that they own. They are famous for acquiring popular web hosting providers and placing them on the same data centers which sacrifices performance.
- Facing unexpectedly poor customer support, which is a big reason of why I no longer support them. For instance, support tickets are no longer answered in hours, but days. You no longer receive instant support through live chat. Phone support has excessive wait times as well.
- Control panel and script installers are crowded with advertisements which are annoying when completing administrative tasks.
- HostGator does not offer automatic backup and restoration (this is not the same as the cPanel integrated backup and restore tool, which is pretty much useless). Automatic backup and restoration can reinstate your hosting files and database with a single-click. This is vital for WordPress sites because WordPress is highly vulnerable to hackers and other attacks.
- Their hosting servers perform poorly. Your website will load slowly, even after using caching plugins. Some customers reported that they receive error messages on a consistent basis. This is a result of HostGator crowding multiple websites on the same hosting servers.
Wait, what about Bluehost?
There was a time when Bluehost and HostGator were completely different companies. In fact, they were two major rivals that competed for market share. HostGator and Bluehost were excellent alternatives to one another. This is no longer the case.
Both are owned by Endurance International Group. They are virtually the same company, sharing the same technology and resources. HostGator is not better than Bluehost, and Bluehost is not better than HostGator. In other words, they are the same company that operates under two different names.
I find it funny that some affiliates list HostGator as an alternative to Bluehost, and vice versa.
Best HostGator Alternatives for shared hosting
As mentioned above, the alternatives below are not owned by Endurance International Group. Every web host featured on this list will be better than HostGator in one way or another.
Not only is SiteGround the best alternative to HostGator, it is the best web hosting company for shared web hosting. When you switch over to SiteGround, your website performance will improve dramatically, you will get instant support, you will not be charged ridiculous renewal fees, and you will not get false promises.
Price: $3.95 to $14.95 a month
Storage Space: 10 GB to 30 GB
Hosted Sites: 1 to unlimited
- SiteGround is recommended by WordPress.org.
- Pages load in 1.7 seconds without cache, and 1.3 seconds with cache.
- You get a free domain name when you purchase web hosting.
- Free website transfers, SSL certificates, CDN, and daily backups of your hosting account.
- User-friendly and intuitive cPanel interface with SSH access.
- 1-click installs and automated updates for WordPress and Joomla.
- Flexible staging tools for WordPress and Joomla.
- 9% uptime guarantee and 30-day money back guarantee.
SiteGround Clients: WP Beginner, Matt Cromwell, and Andrew Norcross.
Best For: Personal use, blogging, and small business.
If you do not find SiteGround suitable for your site, InMotion Hosting is the next best hosting provider and an excellent alternative to HostGator. When you switch over to InMotion Hosting, you will get better performance, support, and your hosting will not be managed by Endurance International Group.
Price: $3.95 to $14.95 a month
Storage Space: Unlimited
Hosted Sites: 2 to unlimited
InMotion Hosting Pros:
- Excellent options for WordPress hosting (basic and advanced).
- Simple onboarding process for new customers.
- Drag-and-drop editor for editing and designing your site.
- 1-click install for 400 different applications.
- Free data backups and site transfers.
- All hosting plans offer unlimited bandwidth.
- Free domain registration with $250 in advertising credits.
- 90-day money back guarantee.
InMotion Hosting Clients: Dish Costs Less, Richest Lifestyle, and USA Churches.
Best For: Medium to large websites, and websites that utilize a large amount of storage space.
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HostGator Alternatives for managed hosting
If you have outgrown shared hosting and plan on working with WordPress, managed WordPress hosting is something to consider. This type of hosting is highly optimized for WordPress sites, which offers benefits such as increased performance, enhanced security, and support that is tailored for WordPress sites.
1. WP Engine
When I first started using WP Engine, I was impressed by the overall performance and service. If you want your website to experience the benefits of managed WordPress hosting, WP Engine is a web host to consider. On average, your website will load 10X faster, your WordPress site will rarely ever get hacked, and you will never have to look elsewhere for support.
Price: $29 to $249 a month
Site Traffic: 25,000 to 5 million a month
Storage Space: 10 GB to 1 TB
WordPress Installs: 1 to 150
WP Engine Pros:
- The option to choose the location for your hosting server.
- You can transfer an existing WordPress website with the free automated site migration plugin without any downtime.
- Hosting is optimized for WordPress.
- You do not need to install any caching plugins.
- Advanced developer tools such as Git version control, 1-click restore points, and 1-click staging area for testing updates and plugins.
- Free firewall and malware protection.
- Uptime guarantee of 99.95%.
WP Engine Clients: Yelp, Constant Contact, and Readerâ€™s Digest.
Best For: WordPress sites that need better performance and enhanced security, and sites that need scalable hosting for WordPress.
Review: WP Engine Review
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Shared hosting or managed WordPress hosting?
This is entirely up to you and what you plan on doing with your website. Generally, if you plan on using something other than WordPress to build your website, I would stick to one of the shared hosting providers in the beginning, and maybe upgrade in the future.
On the other hand, if you already have a WordPress site with a lot of traffic, a managed WordPress hosting solution like WP Engine is something to consider. Same goes for if you plan on building a WordPress website and do not plan on switching to a different platform in the foreseeable future.
Personally, if you are using WordPress and have the budget to pay more for web hosting, I almost always recommend using a managed WordPress host over a shared hosting provider. As you add more content and products to your WordPress site, your traffic will increase and it will use more resources. This will cause you to exhaust your hosting resources and you will most likely need to upgrade to larger hosting plan. By signing up for a managed WordPress hosting in the beginning, you are already setting up your site for the future. Thus, you will not encounter the same problems.
In addition, I hate the idea of transferring an existing website to a new provider. The process is not always smooth. Anyways, that is my personal opinion on shared web hosting vs managed WordPress hosting.
HostGator Alternatives â€“ Conclusion
If I was in your shoes, I would make the switch to SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, or WP Engine as soon as possible. By making the switch now, you are improving the performance of your website, which leads to better search engine ranking. In addition, your visitors and customers will have a better experience on your site.
Whether you make the switch or stay loyal to HostGator, it will be your own decision â€“ hopefully it does not bite you in the rear down the road. Just remember that HostGator will never be the same web host it once was. Every web host that is owned by Endurance International Group has lost customers due to poor performance and lack of reliable support.
HostGator is only good for small websites that do not plan on growing any time soon. In reality, how many people create websites and do not want them to have a spike in traffic? Not many.
Here is the final overview of the key points discussed in this HostGator Alternatives post:
- Use shared web hosting if you are not using WordPress and have low traffic levels and do not rely heavily on performance.
- Use managed WordPress hosting if you plan on using WordPress and need more resources for your website.
- Use SiteGround or InMotion Hosting if you need a shared web hosting provider that is better than HostGator and not owned by EIG.
- Use WP Engine (use coupon code WPE20 for 20% discount for your first three months of hosting) if you plan on using WordPress and need a managed WordPress hosting provider with advanced resources. This type of web hosting is better than any shared hosting provider, not just HostGator.
Which HostGator Alternative do you recommend? Help others by posting a comment below, even if you are loyal to HostGator.