HostGator seems like such a great deal, right? It’s so cheap for their shared hosting!
Welp. When it’s time to renew with them, HostGator’s price is gonna jump, and it will jump almost to the same price as Cloudways, which is wayyyy speedier.
And Cloudways will cause you less headaches.
And they won’t try to nickel-and-dime you every chance they get.
Maybe you’re here because you’re a HostGator customer and you’re feeling frustrated and you’ve had enough. Or maybe you’re thinking about becoming a customer and you’ve seen their super-low intro deals that seem like a great deal.
Like a moth to flame
Everybody is drawn to low prices. But it’s not really a low price if it’s only temporary, right?
You’ve probably seen those HostGator ads that advertise a very low price to start hosting a website with them. Here’s an example, touting their very sexy $2.75 per month offer.
Seems pretty sweet right?
It tastes less sweet after your first term ends, when they jack up their prices.
Then you feel the burn
If you go to their website, you’ll see that their lowest-tier “Hatchling” plan is indeed available at $2.75 per month, at least to start.
Notice that it includes only one website, maximum. And it doesn’t include website migration.
It includes a free domain, but you shouldn’t buy your domains through your web host anyway.
Hold up, what’s that asterisk at the end of the price?
When you scroll to find out, you learn that the intro price is for the first invoice only. Because of course it is.
Well, how much is the regular price that you’ll have to pay after the intro period? A couple of clicks later, we learn the harsh truth.
If you sign up for 3 years initially (!) to get that low intro rate — which I strongly recommend against — then you’ll renew at $7.99 per month after that:
If, like most people, you’re not willing to commit to a bargain basement host for 3 years and instead choose the 12 months option, then it will cost you $10 per month when you’re ready to renew.
Remember this is HostGator’s weakest and most limited plan. They want ten bucks a month for freaking super-limited shared hosting!
More realistically, let’s say you sign up for HostGator’s mid-level “Baby” plan because you don’t want to be limited to one website. If you sign up for 12 months initially, then after the intro period ends, you’re on the hook for $15 fucking dollars a month:
In that HostGator “Baby” plan, you’re still limited to 5 websites maximum, and you’re on shared hosting with other people’s websites potentially slowing yours down.
And they want $15/mo for that. Outrageous, especially when cloud hosting from Cloudways is next-level faster, and it costs only $11/mo.
Oh, you want backups? That’ll cost extra
Then you realize that HostGator wants to charge you extra for site backups. Which are free at Cloudways, by the way.
Two extra bucks per month which you shouldn’t have to spend. And shocker, it jumps to $4/mo when you renew. And you have to pay for it all up front.
Don’t get me wrong, site backups are critical. You should definitely have site backups.
But you shouldn’t have to pay extra for it. That’s a cynical and shitty business practice, in my expert-but-humble opinion.
Feedback from actual customers
I haven’t actually used HostGator myself, because I’m too smart for that.
It just reeks too much of “cheapest of the cheap”, and I can smell the bullshit a mile away. They’re well-known to me as a bottom-of-the-barrel host from EIG (just like Bluehost).
Would you survive if you ended up choosing HostGator? Yeah, probably. You’ll have a website that loads.
But your site will be slower than necessary, and you might not even notice it. I’ll tell you who will notice it: your users. And Google will notice it too, and they’ll penalize you.
And let’s apply a little common sense here — you’re not going to get excellent support when you’re paying $2.75 a month. You’re just not. And support is super important when it comes to hosting, second only to speed.
You’re going to get a full helping of grief with HostGator though, I can promise you that!
From the expert Facebook groups and subreddits that I’m a part of, here is actual customer feedback:
Then why is HostGator recommended all over the Web?
The answer is simple: the people recommending HostGator are unscrupulous affiliates who are just out to make a quick buck off of your ignorance.
If I was a sleaze-ball, I’d recommend HostGator too! But I can’t do that in good conscience, because they are terrible.
HostGator gets recommended all over the place because affiliates are basically just hoping that you’ll click on one of their 8 million affiliate links, and then they’ll get paid. They don’t care about recommending the best, just whatever you’ll click on.
That’s some straight up bullshit, isn’t it?
Cloudways costs about the same, and it’s way faster
Instead of paying $10-15 per month to HostGator for shared hosting, why not pay the same amount to Cloudways and get super-fast cloud hosting? It didn’t use to be possible, but it is now, thanks to Cloudways’ model. Take advantage of it, like most other people are doing!
Think about it this way. If you had a choice between a Toyota Tercel and a Lamborghini, and they cost the same amount, wouldn’t you pick the latter?
Especially if it’s going to be wayyyy faster. Because speed kills in a good way when it comes to web hosting. It’s the most important factor when choosing web hosting.
And choosing Cloudways is not going to make you pull out your hair and claw out your eyes, like HostGator will. Trust me (and the experts above) on this one.
If you’re still not convinced, I’ll end this post with a cautionary tale from someone who made the mistake of signing up with HostGator. Be smarter than him!