Generating web traffic and boosting conversions begin with creating a visually-appealing and highly functional website. However, that is just one side of the coin. To ensure your website or blog works efficiently, it is important to work with the best hosting provider. However, there are hundreds of hosting services out there, offering attractive plans at affordable prices. This makes it complex to choose the right hosting provider that can help improve your digital presence.
A good hosting provider is one that enables your website to function efficiently with demanding web traffic and minimum downtime, provides excellent customer support and high-end security. In this article, we will review two of the most popular hosting services – Namecheap vs HostGator. So, let’s get started!
Namecheap: A Brief Overview
Predominately ruling the domain registration industry, Namecheap also offers dependable web hosting services. The best thing about Namecheap is that you have a variety of hosting plans available at your disposal: shared web hosting, reseller hosting, WordPress hosting, private email hosting, and VPS hosting.
The shared hosting plans offered by Namecheap provide features and benefits that can enhance the overall functionality and performance of your website or blog. Namecheap also integrates with several SSL and productivity apps, managed WordPress hosting tools, as well as site builders.
HostGator: A Brief Overview
HostGator is a popular web hosting provider that has been providing dedicated shared hosting plans since 2002. It is one of the most widely-used hosting services with more than 9 million domains hosted. HostGator offers a full suite of a dedicated server, virtual private server (VPS) packages, and high-end cloud servers.
Primarily, it provides shared hosting services for Windows and Linux, used by small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, it also offers dedicated cloud hosting and server packages. HostGator is known for its high speed and uptime, security, user-friendliness, and low prices.
Namecheap vs HostGator – A Detailed Comparison
In this section, we will compare the hosting providers based on some important factors. This will help you make an informed decision.
The number of domains you can host with Namecheap or HostGator will vary depending on the hosting plan you choose. Below are the different shared hosting plans that Namecheap offers and the number of websites you can host with the plan:
With its basic plan – Stellar – priced at just $1.58/month, Namecheap allows you to host up to 3 websites. The subsequent plans – Stellar Plus and Stellar Business – provide unlimited website hosting.
Furthermore, Namecheap’s shared or managed WordPress hosting plans give you the option to host non-WordPress websites as well, including custom-scripted websites. This is a good solution for website owners who are not sure whether or not to use WordPress and are more comfortable using cPanel or want better control over their website.
On the other hand, HostGator offers the following shared hosting plans that also describe the number of domains or websites you can host:
HostGator provides just single domain hosting in its basic Hatchling Plan, which is priced at $2.75/month.
Winner: Namecheap – as it offers more number of domains with its basic plan, which is also affordably priced as compared to HostGator. Adding to that, you get with Namecheap a free domain privacy protection for your domain.
When it comes to Namecheap’s server technology, many software versions are used on their servers. These include Apache, PHP, Perl, HTTP/2, cPanel, CodeGuard, Git, Node.js, MariaDB, Rails, Python, Ruby, ZendGuard Loader, and others. Bringing together the power of multiple modern technologies, Namecheap ensures an improved hosting experience, faster uptime, superior speed, and enhanced website performance.
On the other hand, HostGator shared web hosting plans are powered by CentOS Linux x86. Windows shared web hosting accounts by HostGator run on Windows Server 2008 – 2012 R2. Both are powerful technologies that promise high website performance and speed, improved security, and minimum downtime.
Winner: Both Namecheap vs HostGator shared hosting plans run on powerful server technologies that ensure an improved overall experience.
For all websites, it is of utmost importance to be “up” a majority of the time. And therefore, server uptime is one of the most vital factors to consider when choosing a hosting service.
And HostGator is doing really well when it comes to uptime. Most of the time, they offer 99.9% uptime, ensuring the websites are running always with minimalist glitches. Another impressive aspect is that they also offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. i.e., if your website ever experiences an uptime of less than 99.9%, you will be compensated with 1 month of credit on your account.
Surprisingly, Namecheap’s uptime averaged at 99.94% upon testing and this is really amazing for a relatively new entrée in the market. But Namecheap too provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee and for every hour of downtime the clients face, they will get one day of hosting for free.
An uptime of 99.94% boils down to around 6 hours of downtime per year, and this is not bad. But in comparison to HostGator, the former still has to go a long way to reach that near-perfect uptime of 99.9%.
Winner: HostGator undoubtedly has an improved uptime as compared to Namecheap.
While having your website up and running 24/7 is important, it is also crucial that the hosting servers respond fast to queries. As a matter of fact, a faster web host can make a huge difference between higher conversion rates and poor ones. Additionally, websites that have a high loading speed typically rank high on search engine result pages.
So, how does Namecheap vs HostGator perform in terms of page speed?
Upon research, it was found that Namecheap offers an average page speed of 708ms depending on the chosen data center, while HostGator also has an average speed of 765ms. This isn’t much impressive for two top names in the field of hosting services. If a website takes more than 2 seconds to load, it can cause 40% of your website visitors to bounce back.
Winner: Both the hosting providers are average with regard to speed. However, when it comes to choosing a winner, we would recommend HostGator. They might have a lower speed and uptime, but their server technologies are definitely better than HostGator.
By bandwidth, we mean the total amount of data that a website can transfer to the users in a particular span of time. The higher the bandwidth, the better because it means delivering an improved web experience to the users. Ideally, bandwidth is made available in Gigabytes; however, many web hosting providers also offer unlimited bandwidth.
Both HostGator vs Namecheap offer “unmetered” bandwidth through all their shared web hosting plans. This means they provide a set amount of bandwidth that you can use as much as you want. You may experience a limited maximum server speed, but not the amount of data you can transfer through the servers.
Winner: Since both the hosting providers offer unmetered bandwidth, you need to make a smart choice based on how much storage capacity you get with each shared hosting plan.
The storage space your web hosting provider offers is also an important factor to consider when choosing a hosting plan.
With its Stellar package, Namecheap offers a disk space of 20GB SSD, followed by unmetered SSD and 50GB SSD for Stellar Plus and Stellar Business plans. Cloud storage is also not available with Namecheap, except with the Stellar Business plan.
On the other hand, you can enjoy unlimited storage with HostGator, allowing you to store, share, and do more with all your files.
Winner: HostGator is unsurprisingly the winner here because it offers unlimited storage space, allowing you to do more every time.
When choosing a hosting service, security is one of the most crucial factors to consider. How secure is your business-critical information when hosted on the servers? Do you need to pay additional to buy security features? Can you back up your files and data?
Namecheap takes an amazing approach to security, offering 50 free PositiveSSL certificates for one year with all its shared hosting plans. And if you wish to add more security certificates to your website, it can be done through cPanel. Bi-weekly guaranteed backup, WhoIsGuard privacy protection, and two-factor authentication are other security features you will get for free.
Additional security features include VPN service to keep user location safe on public Wi-Fi networks, brute attack mechanism, reCAPTCHA, and Leech protect. Together, these features allow you to keep your data secure from hacking and third-party access.
Apart from its shared hosting plans, Namecheap also provides EasyWP, the fastest and easiest Managed WordPress Hosting plan, which is based on the cloud platform. With EasyWP, your website comes live in less than 30 seconds. Additionally, you would get benefits like backup and restore, custom dashboard, SFTP, up to 100GB storage space, website maintenance, and much more.
HostGator, on the other hand, only offers SSL certificates for free. You can benefit from other security features by paying additional fees during checkout. The CodeGuard Automatic Backup feature starts at $2 per month and provides 1GB automatic daily backup for up to five websites, files, and databases.
It provides protection against DDOS attacks, allows three restores per month, and comes with SiteLock security and network-level flood protection. However, all these features are not free and you need to pay for the same.
Winner: Both hosting providers have good security infrastructure. It could be a tie between both of them, but Namecheap wins one point here because it offers pretty decent security features free of cost. On the other hand, HostGator only offers free SSL certificates. Other advanced security features are available with additional charges.
Ease Of Use Comparison
HostGator is one of the easiest and user-friendly web hosting providers in the market today. The signup process is a breeze and the user interface is pretty amazing. Users can seamlessly manage their website via standard cPanel so that the transition from one platform to another becomes efficient. You can also have access to advanced databases and programmings like MySQL, SSH access, PHP, and much more. Installing and using whatever apps you want is also simpler with HostGator.
Namecheap also has an uncluttered, clean, and highly efficient user interface, ensuring you an improved hosting experience. You can easily access all your features in one place – hosting management, domain management, billing information, and more. It also uses cPanel, making the entire experience seamless and effective.
When we compared the basic plans of both the hosting providers, we found that Namecheap offers 20GB SSD, 3 website hosting, free domain name registration, free SSL installation, unmetered bandwidth, privacy protection, and free website builder at just $1.58/month.
On the contrary, HostGator’s basic plan charges $2.75/month for similar features and benefits
Winner: Namecheap, undoubtedly, has cheaper pricing plans as compared to HostGator for almost similar features.
Website Migration Comparison
Do you wish to migrate your website from the current hosting provider to a more reliable and secure one?
Namecheap offers free site migration, providing simple steps to transfer your website. You need to provide access to the cPanel of your website or blog that you want to migrate and everything else will be taken care of by the professionals.
HostGator also provides a single free website transfer. It also has a free cPanel transfer plan and if you have a large website having multiple subdomains, the hosting service has got you covered.
Winner: Both the hosting providers offer free website migration and therefore, both are clear winners.
When it comes to customer support, Namecheap provides excellent technical support through all stages of website hosting, using additional features, making payments and for any issue that may arise ever while being subscribed to their shared hosting plans. For customer inquiries, they have a fantastic support ticketing system that helps resolve problems with minimum downtime.
However, getting through a technical expert at HostGator is an uninspiring experience. They promise to provide support through phone, email or live chat. But their waiting time is unimpressive, often as high as 35 minutes.
Winner: Namecheap stands out with superior customer support.
The Final Verdict
From the above comparative review, we can conclude that both hosting services are good choices when it comes to choosing one that is reliable and secure. HostGator is a popular name with a wide audience base and excellent features, but Namecheap too does not lag behind and offers an incredible hosting experience. The final choice will depend on your hosting needs, the size of the website, and your budget.
If you can afford to choose between the two, then HostGator would be the best option for you.
We welcome your suggestions and views on this article. If you would like to add any information or if you need further explanation on any of the points mentioned in this article, we would be happy to help.