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HostGator Review 2020: Why Choose 10Web instead?

2 servers with 10web logo and hostgator logo

Are you looking for a good HostGator review? Well, ask and you shall receive. But first, let’s look into why you should be looking for HostGator alternatives.

Here’s the thing about HostGator: it lures you in with it’s unbelievably cheap prices and then pulls the rug out from under your feet, when you realize that those prices are not real. Step by step you’ll find that in order for your hosting plan to remain as advertised you have to

  • commit to the hosting provider for 3 years to get the maximum amount of discount,
  • do without certain security features, such as an SSL certificate,
  • reconsider your backup options, because they don’t come for free, and
  • mind the monthly costs you’ll have to pay for your website builder.

Even if you’re forgiving of this intransparent pricing model, we highly doubt that you’ll be as understanding with their performance results. Keep on reading to find out more and let yourself be swept away by our cheaper yet qualitatively better HostGator alternative. Trust us, you’ll be thanking us!

    1. Infrastructure
    2. Speed
    3. Scaling
    4. Real-time Backup
    5. Pricing
    6. Security
    7. Website Builder, Plugins, Themes
    8. Image Optimizer
    9. SEO Service
    10. FAQs

Is HostGator reliable?
Why is HostGator so slow?
Where are HostGator servers located?

1. Infrastructure

For this HostGator review to hold up on what it promises, we need to first take a close look at the hosting infrastructure of HostGator and its alternative.

Here’s some information about HoseGator’s infrastructure: the hosting provider has only 2 data centers, one in Houston and one in Provo. Their infrastructure equipment has performance gear from Arista Networks, Arbor Networks, Brocade, Juniper, and CISCO.

Moreover, they rely on a considerable number of network carriers, such as Level 3, nLayer, Comcast, Cogent Communications, and Hurricane Electric.

In comparison, 10Web’s managed WordPress hosting services are powered by Google Cloud. This partnership with the tech giant ensures that we only provide state-of-the-art infrastructure. Here’s how:

  • We have the latest generation of high performing servers at our disposal, with the optimal hardware configuration.
  • In terms of connectivity, we offer 8 data centers distributed over 4 continents. By cutting the distance between your server and the end user short, we ensure a fast travel time of your data.
  • Next to this we rely on LXD containers to keep your hosting resources separated from others, thereby guaranteeing a high level of security and performance for your website.
  • For the purpose of performance enhancement we also provide Google Cloud’s high-capacity SSD storage, Nginx, FastCGI caching, and PHP 7.4.

2. Speed

browser with skyrocket on the bottom right

Now let’s jump to the second item on our HostGator review, which happens to be related to the state of infrastructure, namely website speed.

Some of our avid followers might have noticed that we, at 10Web, are somewhat obsessed with speed. It’s one of our top priorities to ensure that every website migrated to 10Web is rewarded with a 95+ PageSpeed score. We even went so far as to conduct a case study that compares the speed performance of the crème de la crème of the hosting business.

If you’re interested in reading this article, just follow this link. Have a quick read and make sure to come back to read the rest of this article!

But to those who are only interested in the results of HostGator and 10Web, here they are:

HostGator had average performance results. The desktop score lies at 79, while the mobile version is 64. There’s definitely room for improvement there.

10Web, on the other hand, had a 100 desktop score and a 93 mobile score. Of course, this brings up the question of how such a disparity is even possible.

It’s simple, 10Web offers a WordPress Speed Optimization service that’s dedicated to keeping your website’s performance at an optimal level and HostGator doesn’t.

You can try it out yourself. Go visit our WordPress Speed Optimization page and enter your website’s URL. If your PageSpeed score is lower than 90, then we urge you not to settle for that result. You can do much better.

That’s why we offer you the possibility to test our speed optimization service by signing up for 10Web and installing our Manager plugin. In a matter of seconds, we’ll provide you an optimized copy of your website that’s guaranteed to have a 95+ PageSpeed score. And we’ll only make changes to the copied version of your site, the live version will remain untouched.

For those of you who want to sneak a peek behind the curtains, here’s how we make sure that your website’s speed is automatically optimized at all times:

  • As already mentioned, the combination of the latest generation of servers, sufficient SSD storage, and the highly reliable Google Cloud “premium tier” network provides a solid basis for a high level of performance.
  • We also provide a state-of-the-art hosting infrastructure that includes containerization, caching, and elastic resource management.
  • Additionally, we automatically optimize our website’s images, minify JS and CSS files, lazyload resources, and much more.


3. Scaling

Next factor in our HostGator review is scaling. It’s a feature that everybody needs, because it serves as a quasi safety net.

Basically, scalability refers to your hosting provider’s ability to match your resource demand seamlessly, even if you exceed the limits set in your tariff. Some people think they don’t need these elements, because they think they have figured out how much traffic to expect.

But unless you have super-psychic abilities that allow you to see well into the future, we recommend you don’t risk losing website speed or availability just because your hosting provider isn’t equipped to deal with unexpected traffic surges.

When it comes to scalability, HostGator’s Baby and Business plans offer unlimited domains and unmetered bandwidth, which indicates great scalability.

Here’s the thing, though: There’s no such thing as “unlimited bandwidth” or “unlimited” anything for that matter. It’s just something that a lot of hosting providers mention, most probably for marketing purposes, which tricks people into thinking that they’re getting the best deal.

Just think about it this way:

  • It’s impossible to occupy unlimited physical space to host unlimited servers.
  • It’s impossible to have an unlimited number of cables to transmit an unlimited amount of data around the world.
  • It’s impossible to hire unlimited human resources to maintain servers and networks.

But we do agree that the idea of unlimited resources is appealing. It basically has the same appeal as unicorns. It’s nice in theory, but there’s simply no such thing.

So, let us introduce to you something that actually exists and works. 10Web offers amazing elasticity of resources. Should your website experience an enormous traffic spike in one day ranging somewhere between 2K to 200K visitors, rest assured that we got your back.

Not only do we ensure that your website won’t experience any downtime, we also guarantee that we’ll maintain your speed performance at its original level.

And don’t get us wrong, experiencing a sudden increase in traffic doesn’t mean that we’ll automatically upgrade your tariff and you’ll be forced to pay a higher price for something that wasn’t under your control. You can always rest assured that no changes to your tariff will be made unless you explicitly ask for it.

Instead, we’ll adjust the resources provided according to the resources needed and add the extra fees at the end of the billing month. So, for every extra 10K visitors and for extra 5GB SSD storage used, you will be charged an extra $2 at the end of the billing month. As you see, we’ve kept the overage pricing pretty low and fair so that you won’t have to experience a heart attack every time you exceed the limits of your plan.

4. Real-time Backup

10web dashboard displaying backup feature

You remember that episode on Friends where Ross had prepared a presentation, which he lost when Chandler clicked on a fishy email that infected his computer with a virus? Of course you do, it’s a classic! Anyway, as Ross himself would say, the message here is clear: Don’t be like Ross, always make sure to back up!

And since we, at 10Web, fully understand the importance of regular backups, we offer it with all our plans.

The backup service that we provide is a real-time differential backup. Real-time as in on an hourly basis and differential as in only the most recent changes made after the last full backup are saved.

Basically, by providing you a flexible automatic scheduling option (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly), we make sure that each and every change made to your website is captured and stored safely in AWS S3. It goes without saying that none of this backup process will negatively affect your website speed.

But what about HostGator, you ask? Well, this being a HostGator WordPress hosting review, we understand your request and will gladly share with you the information needed.

The hosting provider also offers an automatic backup service, albeit backups are done on a weekly basis and the day on which they run your backup is chosen randomly. But this isn’t even the half of it: every new backup overwrites previous backups. You also need to pay attention to the fact that their backup services vary depending on the type of hosting you choose. So make sure to read the terms of your plan very carefully.

Additionally, with HostGator backups are not guaranteed, they are more of a courtesy. At the end of the day, the customer has full responsibility to ensure the availability of their website data. Plus, HostGator charges an extra $25 to complete a restore request or to provide a copy of the courtesy backup.

5. Pricing

The next important element in our HostGator review is pricing.

10Web’s annual plans start at $10 per month for 1 website. If you’re a freelancer or an agency that’s hosting 10 or more websites on our platform, you’ll be paying only $6 for each website.

Keep in mind that those prices don’t include any discounts. And there are no hidden fees there. What you see is what you get. For the purpose of flexibility we also offer a custom plan. As the name suggests, this option allows you to customize your plan, i.e. the number of hosted sites, bandwidth, and SSD storage according to your personal needs.

With HostGator you have to be aware that the cheap prices that you see refer to the shared hosting plans. Due to lack of quality, we won’t get into the discussion of these options. But here’s an informative article about why you should avoid shared hosting to begin with.

Their WordPress hosting plan starts at $5.95. But you only get this price if you commit to a 36-month subscription. The annual pricing is at $7.95 per month, which is cheaper than 10Web’s starter plan, right? Wrong!

If you scroll down the subscription form, you’ll see that this plan doesn’t include an SSL certificate, the purpose of which is to encrypt your data exchange and protect from unauthorized third party access. That’s what the https in the URL box stands for.

Now check all the websites that you usually visit and you’ll see that every reliable site will have an https encryption. Without it you’ll have a hard time gaining the trust of visitors and consequently the trust of Google’s algorithm.

So, if you add the SSL certificate, you’ll arrive at an annual cost of $144.32, which is more expensive than 10Web’s $120/year, which includes a higher range and quality of services.

6. Security

browser with security logo on top right

This brings us to another significant feature in our HostGator review: website security.

For 10Web, it’s not an option to provide hosting services without sufficient security. Security is something that should be a given for all our customers, not just an exclusive feature reserved to those who pay more.

With this in mind, this is what you get with all our plans:

  • A free SSL certificate,
  • Built-in login number limitations,
  • Vulnerabilities’ and file change scans,
  • DDoS attack protection,
  • Full and fast restoration of hacked sites,
  • Constant monitoring and support.

This is but a small fraction of it. We also offer free and automatic website audits. Moreover, you have the option to scan your site yourself or you can have the 10Web team conduct manual check-ups for you. Our 24/7 system administration team will gladly assist you.

HostGator’s security features also include DDoS protection. They also have a custom firewall ruler and mod security to protect their servers from various threats. For instance, if there’s heavy flooding, their data center performs network level flood protection. Moreover, they have other server security methods that are confidential and therefore can’t be disclosed.

7. Website Builder, Plugins, Themes

Now this feature in our HostGator review is particularly interesting, considering the newly announced Google page speed update, which further highlights the importance of page experience and consequently website design, its functionality and its impact on website speed.

Let’s start by focusing on the making of a website. For that you’ll need an easy-to-handle website builder. Both 10Web and HostGator offer a builder that allows you to manage your website via drag and drop. This means no more coding!

The main difference between here is that 10Web’s builder based on Elementor is already included in all our plans, while HostGator’s builder will cost you $4.99 per month.

Our builder based on Elementor allows you to:

  • Arrange your layouts,
  • Adjust your content on all screens and resolutions,
  • Choose from a wide variety of design elements, and
  • Create responsive experiences.

But we don’t stop there. We also provide you 40+ designer-made and mobile-friendly WordPress themes. What’s great about this is that those site templates are already pre-optimized to reach a 95+ PageSpeed score. See, with us you can always rest assured that we’ll do everything we can to ensure a high speed performance.

When it comes to functionality, we also offer the following:

  • 40+ premium widgets, consisting of Elementor and premium 10Web widgets, and
  • 50+ premium plugins, including a Form Maker and Photo Gallery plugin.

Offering all of these features in one pack is something that you won’t find with HostGator or any other hosting company for that matter. It’s what makes us stand out in this highly competitive market.

8. Image Optimizer

image in its original and optimized form

Perhaps you might be wondering why we included our image optimizer in a HostGator review, even though it’s a feature that’s unique to 10Web and 10Web only.

It’s simple: A good review should always attempt to suggest alternatives and maybe even bring your attention to things that you might’ve been missing out on.

But why an image optimizer in particular? It’s all in the name of speed. You can hardly ensure that a website has high performance if it’s riddled with images that are not properly optimized.

At 10Web, we offer up to 90% image compression without quality loss, which makes your images 10 times lighter and your website 3 times faster. What do you have to do to implement this feature, you ask. Absolutely nothing. Every image added to your WordPress will be automatically optimized. Not too shabby, huh? Don’t worry, we can do you one better.

9. SEO Service

Our SEO (search engine optimization) service is yet another feature that technically doesn’t belong in a HostGator review, given that HostGator doesn’t provide it.

But again, why do you even need this? The main function of this service is to assist you and help you achieve a high SERP (search engine results page) ranking. But why do you need to rank high on search engines, such as Google?

Google is the most widely used search engine, moreover it’s also the website with the highest traffic, indicating that people are constantly using it as a tool to guide them to their desired website. Consequently, ranking high on Google will make sure that your website reaches a wider audience, which then positively impacts your click-through-rate and your conversion rate.

For exactly this purpose, we have chosen to include our SEO service in all our plans: to provide assistance to those who don’t have an SEO strategist to help them out.

This service will basically identify the problems of your website content and structure and provide you recommendations that you can either take or leave.

Our features include, among others, Custom Metadata, XML Sitemap, Canonical URLs, Search Analytics, Redirects, and Knowledge graphs.

10. FAQs

blank pages with question marks on them

Is HostGator reliable?

The answer to this question is a matter of perspective. If we’re simply talking about the services GoDaddy provides, then the answer is most probably yes, with a few exceptions here and there, because nobody is perfect.

But when we’re talking about the reliability of HostGator as a hosting provider, then we recommend you use their plans with caution. As you may have noticed yourself, one thing that’s characteristic to HostGator is that what you see is not always what you get.

They advertise their WordPress hosting plan at a monthly price of $5.95. But later you find out that in order to get the hosting plan for such a low cost, you’ll have to commit to it for 3 years.

Besides that, they offer unlimited resources, which, at first glance, sounds very appealing. But on second thought, you’ll realize that there’s no such thing as “unlimited” anything. Which makes you question the integrity of their offerings altogether.

Why is HostGator so slow?

There are several reasons why your website hosted on HostGator might run slow. Here are some possible reasons that HostGator has identified itself:

  • Connectivity issues, which, according to the hosting provider, might make your site appear to be slow, even when it’s not. Keep in mind that should you experience these kinds of problems, the hosting provider suggests tools and means how to fix them, but they don’t take care of the issue themselves.
  • Website design: Due to lack of optimization, your site might be experiencing high latency because of heavy templates and images.
  • Last but not least, HostGator explains that sometimes a slow-running server is the reason behind a slow website. Even though the hosting provider is trying to prevent such issues, they can’t fully guarantee it.

Where are HostGator servers located?

HostGato has 2 data centers located in the United States (in Provo, Utah, and Houston, Texas). The hosting provider claims to have data centers in other locations as well. But the fact that there is no explicit information about how many other data centers exist and where they’re located makes us question the integrity of this information.

Also, keep in mind that with HostGator you don’t have the option of choosing “which data center houses your server.”

So, was this HostGator review helpful? Do you believe us when we tell you that you deserve more and can do better or are you still hung up on the old and afraid of the new? Let us know what you think and enlighten us with some of your musings regarding HostGator!

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Rebecca Ohanes
Rebecca Ohanes
Rebecca Ohanes is a content writer at 10Web. She’s a part-time PhD student and a full-time WordPress enthusiast. As an act of goodwill, she refrains from giving a humorous or ironic description of herself. You’re welcome!

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