We were not happy with the up-time from our old Hosting Provider and the cost associated with our previous CDN provider and we started looking for other Hosts and CDN’s that were available to us that had the best bang for the buck and stability and up-time.
First off I’ll start with why we moved. Our previous provider was great at first when we first started out but then thing got a bit bad in their up-time ratio. The server kept lagging out and was slow and then it just went down more often then I liked. I moved it up to a faster server with a static IP but that didn’t help either. We then tried to speed up the site up with a Content Delivery Network (CDN), that helped a bit but the Host still didn’t keep the up-time of the server on their end. Also we had absolutely no control over our DNS unless we send an email to support for changes and that to us was just frustrating; especially coming from a networking background.
The plus side with our old host was that they had great customer service and we were very pleased with thier customer service and tech support but that was just not enough for me to stay. Don’t get me wrong, we still have them as a hosting provider for other sites but we just needed a more stable provider that would keep our sites up more often then down.
We started our internet search and asked around for various providers meeting our requirements. Of course one of our main concern was up-time, cPanel and of course control of the DNS with a bonus on excellent customer service and price. We have looked at quite a few from Blue Host, Host Monster, iPage, and Fatcow just to name a few and in the end we have decided on Hostgator.
Hostgator offered many of the requirements that we were looking for and the best of them all was the 99.9% uptime Guarantee (have not had our site down since we started) and as a start we chose the Shared Server and the mid range Baby Plan. They do over many more other server options such as Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting and if we get busier and need to upgrade we’ll probably move over to the Reller or VPS Hosting. But for now we will talk about thier Shared Hosting as we have experience with it.
Their Shared Hosting Plans are based on 3 Teirs, Hatchling, Baby, and Business Plan and they all come with the following:
Web Hosting Features…
- - Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth
- - Flexible, Easy to Use Control Panel
- - Unlimited Sub Domains, FTP Accounts, and Email Accounts
- - 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- - No Contract with a 45 Day Money Back Guarantee
- - Safe Harbor Certified (Details)
Free With Each Web Hosting Plan…
- - Free SiteBuilder and SiteStudio Website Building Tools
- - 4,500 Free Website Templates (View Website Templates)
- - Free Website Transfer, Domain Transfer, MySQL Transfer, Script Transfer (Details)
- - 52 Free scripts can be instantly installed on your account with a few clicks
- - $100 in Google Adwords Credit (Details)
Control Panel Features…
- - Latest cPanel Control Panel
- - Website Statistics: AWStats, Webalizer, Raw Log Manager, Referrer and Error Logs
- - Fantastico: Instant Shopping Carts, Blogs, Portals, Forums, Counters, Formmail
- - Password Protected Directories and Custom Error Pages
- - Web Based File Manager, Hotlink Protection, IP Deny Manager, Redirect URL
Programming and Database Features…
- - Unlimited MySQL Databases with phpMyAdmin Access
- - Programming Language: CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, SSI
- - Programming Modules: Curl, CPAN, GD Library, ImageMagick
- - System Management: SSH Access and Cron Job Scheduling
- - FrontPage Extensions
- - Unlimited POP3 Email Accounts with SMTP
- - WebMail Access: Horde, SquirrelMail, RoundCube
- - Receive your email to your phone via IMAP Support
- - Prevent spam with SpamAssassin
- - Unlimited Autoresponders, Mail Forwards, Email Aliases, Mailing Lists
Award Winning Support…
- - 24/7/365 Premium Support via Phone, Live Chat, and Ticket System (Email)
- - Automatic Weekly Off-Site Data Backups
- - 24/7/365 Server Monitoring
- - Online Support Portal with over 500+ Video Tutorials and 680+ Help Articles
- - HostGator Community Forum Access
- - Instantly install over 75 open-source scripts with just a click!
- - WordPress Hosting - Host your very own WordPress blog
- - Joomla Hosting & Drupal Hosting - Professional CMS Solutions
- - Magento Hosting - Free E-commerce platform for your own store
- - Wiki Hosting - Start a Wiki web site with MediaWiki
Green Web Hosting…
- - We’ve invested in Texas Wind Energy to help offset server emissions
- - Climate Friendly, Wind Powered, Certified RECs (View Green Web Hosting Details)
- - HostGator purchases certified Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s)
Of course they keep mentioning the 99.9% up-time and the 45 day money back guarantee.
As we said earlier, they have 3 plans for their shared hosting (Hatchling, Baby, and Business), and the differences is that in the Hatchling Plan you only get a Single Domain while the Baby Plan you you get Unlimited Domain and Shared SSL Certificate (you also get the shared SSL) and finally the Business Plan you get the Unlimited Domain, Free toll Free Number and you also get Free Private SSL and IP address.
Their cPanel is one of the best I’ve seen so far and quite extensive. It also give you the ability to change the look and feel of it to suit your needs. They also have added a few modules that you don’t normally see in other cPanels such as Cloudflare integration directly from Hostgator and that saves you the hassle of changing Nameservers and still allow you to control your DNS directly from Hostgator. Plus one of the neat things they have in the Security section of their cPanel is a module that automatically allows Hotlink Protection for your site and that is something that I’ve really not seen in most Hosting Providers.
|We were also going to discuss that we moved our CDN to Rackspace from MAXCDN but so far this Post has been pretty long and we will continue with moving our CDN in Part 2 later on.|
If you’re looking or thinking of changing Hosting Provider then I would highly consider giving Hostgator some serious consideration. At the time of this Post they have a special out for 20% off and if you enter the the Coupon Code 25PercentOffPkg you can get 25% off the complete year. Don’t forget that you have the 45 Day Money Back Guarantee if you’re not happy with the host. But we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
Don’t forget to please come back here for Part 2 Tech Hardware Overview Site Moved To Hostgator and Rackspace.