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HostGator was founded in 1997 and is now a hosting brand of Endurance International Group (EIG). The company has a large market presence, bringing in about $800 million a year in revenue. They offer full-service hosting for small and large businesses with competitive pricing.
Hostgator's offerings include:
The standard, shared, static web hosting packages are priced in three tiers with introductory rates leading to higher renewal rates at the end of 12, 24, or 36 months depending on the term chosen at signup. The renewal rates are not immediately apparent on the HostGator website, so the numbers given below are estimates based on their stated discount on each plan:
WordPress hosting is similarly cryptic with regards to renewal rates:
HostGator finds praise in its hosting package pricing being among the lowest available among new users looking for shared hosting. There is also a 45-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with the service. This is a bit more than most other hosting companies which only offer a 30-day guarantee. And, if you need your site migrated over from another host, HostGator will do that for free. Plus, if you buy a premium plan, they'll do malware scans and fixes and give you a free SSL certificate, which is important for secure eCommerce and good SEO.
People like the familiar cPanel interface. However, some find that HostGator lacks CPU (processing) power and memory, causing CMS platforms like WordPress to install incorrectly. The VPS offering has also been reviewed as being lackluster when compared to shared hosting. However, most shared hosting customers aren't going to be as concerned about VPS offerings until their sites become popular enough to need VPS.
Other problems HostGators have reported include long hold times on phone and chat as well as long resolution times for email-based support tickets. One reviewer wrote about how his web development client's sites were frequently hacked and taken down by HostGator, which replaced the site with a "suspended" message. Upon calling support to resolve the issue, the support reps consistently told them they had to purchase other services to secure the sites. He canceled HostGator and moved the site to another hosting company, but was unable to obtain any refunds for the HostGator plan.
Backups at HostGator come in two types: "instant" backups, which the user initiates through the cPanel on an as-needed, manual basis, and truly automatic backups, which cost $15.95 per year.
HostGator's performance is on the slower side, being just under 1 second to render a page for one user on shared hosting. Their Cloud hosting service, being about twice as fast as their shared server offerings, is a much better option for all website performance concerns.
Uptime at HostGator could be much better. It registered at about 99.85% in one test, which is far below the industry average of 99.90% and the industry ideal of 99.95% or more.
1&1 is the web hosting company that has been around the longest (since 1988, before the Web, when it served other IT markets). They now mainly serve small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
1&1's main features include:
Between standard and WordPress hosting, there are six website hosting plans of varying complexity that are all priced in 3 basic tiers.
None of these plans have setup fees, all are payable in advance, and there's a minimum contract term of 12 months. Each has a 12 month billing cycle and a 30 day money back guarantee. Also, each plan includes a free domain when you add it to your order at purchase, but free domains renew at the normal price after 12 months.
For reputation, 1&1 tends to be below average in the number of people who are likely to recommend it to others. This may be due mainly to their brand name not being as recognizable in popular culture, general word-of-mouth, and in mainstream advertising as are GoDaddy and other big name web hosting providers.
On review websites, there are numerous complaints of outdated server software, bad security practices, poor customer service, not being able to cancel service, bad domain registrar service, and people being charged for services they didn't order or use. However, on the consumer complaint sites reviewed, 1&1 is making an effort to reach out to people to resolve their issues.
1&1 claims to be the "safest of the safe" web hosting companies. They do offer SSL, DDoS protection, geo-redundant infrastructure, and secure data centers. However, the fact that they offer a separate security package (SiteLock) as a paid add-on demonstrates they are not fully committed to providing the best security for all customers at all times. A great hosting company will offer the best security for every site on its platform.
Security incidents reported by 1&1 customers include hackers using social engineering to trick 1&1 employees and even account owners into giving them access. Most of these types of incidents appear to be from 2011. In 2016, Symantec, the online security company, recognized 1&1 with its "Game Changer" award for global security leadership. So it is likely that 1&1 has improved its security practices since 2011. Still, complaints about bad security persist in online forums.
While all web hosts eventually experience some degree of down time, performance reviews (in terms of site availability) for 1&1 generally agree that the uptime is very close to 99.9%, as most web hosting services who want to stay in business generally will be. Performance as measured by page loading speed, according to one review, has been steadily improving over GoDaddy performance as measured through a period of 3 years.
For customer service options, 1&1 offers only email and phone support, not online chat support. However, you do have access to 24/7 phone and email support for both technical issues and billing problems.
One customer service review noted it took about 2 minutes to talk to a representative on the phone and 1 hour from when the account owner emailed 1&1 customer service until receiving a response. For both the phone and the email transaction, the first response was courteous and useful one. Everyone's experiences will vary based on the complexity of each individual customer service issue.
To help you find the Best Web Hosting, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Host Gator and 1 & 1.
If you're a business owner, a writer, or a hobbyist, sooner or later you're going to want a website. To have a website, you'll need a web hosting service. There are hundreds of web hosting companies available to host your site, but which one do you choose? And, how do you know what to look for?
The first step in choosing a web host is figuring out how much you want to spend per month in hosting costs. While some web hosts are nearly free when you sign up, there is often some fine print involved. Many web hosting companies will lure you in with cheap pricing at the outset, but then will raise the monthly subscription cost when you renew at the end of a month or a year.
Some web hosting companies will offer you a lower overall cost if you choose to pay up front for multiple years. While some web hosts will seem really expensive compared to other, that's because they're usually offering more value for your dollar in more advanced or innovative features their cheaper competitors aren't covering. Whether you choose a more expensive host will depend on whether those features improve convenience or lead to a better return on investment (ROI).
That leads us to the next decision to make: features. You'll want to decide which features you genuinely need versus which ones you don't really need at all. Aside from the core service of hosting the actual website will be offerings such as web design, do-it-yourself site theme implementation, domain registration, email, eCommerce tools and setup, online advertising to promote your website, website development tools, and search engine optimization (SEO) help. Some of these will be important to you and others will not be necessary.
Security and performance are considerations that often get overlooked in the drive to find the cheapest web hosting available. Cheaper cost to you means the web host is cutting corners somewhere in how they host your site. Often that means "shared hosting", which means your site is put on the same web server as hundreds of others. There are security and site speed implications to this that often are not in your best interests.
Reputation can also be a key factor - web hosts with bad reputations or "fly by night" business practices can hurt your business or position in search results.
Finally, you want to know how reliable and supportive each web host is from the perspective of its customers. How many people are complaining about hacked sites, slow page load times, poor support, and price hikes over time? There will be many, many complaints across all web hosting options, so you'll want to narrow the list of things that are important to you and focus primarily on those as you evaluate options.
Once you have an idea of which web host you want to subscribe to, shopping online will make it easier than ever to find it. To summarize, as you decide which web host should get your business, keep in mind these criteria:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best web hosting companies available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the right web host to make your website appealing, secure, and affordable!
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