Today I’d like to share with you my personal updated review on the hosting available at Wealthy Affiliate and Hostgator. I’m also going to include a comparison to try help you decide if one or the other is best for you and your hosting needs.
In short, my opinion is both Hostgator and Wealthy Affiliate can provide you with your hosting needs especially if you’re just getting started. It’s just a matter of taking the time to figure out who has the right package for you. Granted none of these two are perfect and both have their own pros and cons that I’ll cover below.
It’s also important to remember that quality hosting is a vital part of any online business. If your business website or clients websites are always going down or perhaps just performs sluggish due to server overload, then this isn’t going to help your business in any way and this is when you should consider switching hosting companies.
My history with Hostgator and Wealthy Affiliate:
I’ve been using Hostgator for 10 years and 7 months as of November 2014 and currently still have a BABY shared account and a VPS level 3 account. The shared BABY account I’ve had since day one and the VPS hosting is coming up for its one-year renewal on Black Friday.
The VPS hosting is for our clients sites mainly, it give us more control and flexibility if ever needed for our clients. If a client wants their own Cpanel then it’s no problem for me to create one and grant them complete access. (not that any client has ever requested this or even access to their own wordpress dashboard)
Am I Happy With Hostgator?
For several years I’ve been very happy with Hostgator, I hardly ever had any downtime or website problems, support was fast and helpful after my sites became compromised and infected (several times). However this all changed around two years ago when the company changed hands or merged (I forget the exact details).
Long story short, all servers had to be moved and during the move I suffered a few days of downtime and other problems because they messed something up. Did I mention they claim we’d have no downtown during the move. The Hostgator support was also moved to India I believe and went downhill at the same time. If you needed to speak with someone via the live chat you’d be waiting 30+ minutes and then not really getting any help or answers.
I’ve lost a lot of respect for Hostgator since then, but I’ve stayed with them hoping that one-day everything would improve. Yes, I’m still waiting but getting ready to switch to a cloud-based hosting.
My history with Wealthy Affiliate hosting:
I’ve been an active paying member of Wealthy Affiliate since 2007. In 2009 they first came out with what people referred to as free hosting for paying members and in all honesty it wasn’t any good back then. The software was outdated and the servers likely became overloaded as most members started building websites.
Fast forward a few years and Kyle and Carson have totally changed everything around. I don’t know all the technical details and what exactly changed, but they now have some top notch wordpress hosting included with the monthly membership fee.
Wealthy Affiliate vs Hostgator Comparison
It actually hard to compare these two businesses side by side because they’re both so different from one another. Wealthy Affiliate offers far more than just website hosting and Hostgator offers far more hosting related features, granted 90% of the time the average person will not use or need any of these features.
my comparison table plugin is causing nothing but problem, so for now the content below has been added to two columns
Hostgator Shared Hosting
Cost: $7.96 per month
24/7 Hosting Support: Phone, Live Chat, and Ticket System.Expect to wait 30+ minutes for live chat support.
Easy WordPress Installation: QuickInstall & Fantastico – Install wordpress in under a minute.
Hosting Backups: Weekly Off-Site Data Backups (it’s $15 to have Hostgator restore a backup)
Domain Email: POP3 Email Accounts with SMTP and Webmail.
24/7/365 Server Monitoring: Yes
Website Monitoring: Nope, Not that I’m aware of anyway!
Type of hosting: Shared hosting with Cpanel. One server shared with many other users.
Domains Allowed: Unlimited domains – (nothing is unlimited as I mentioned below)Nothing is unlimited so that be fooled by this.
Training & Tutorials: Very basic tutorials covering how to use cpanel wordpress. Nothing covering how to build a successful optimized website.
Installing WordPress with Hostgator Video:
Wealthy Affiliate Cloud Hosting
Cost: $47 per month
24/7 Hosting Support: Public Live Chat, Private Messaging, Ticket System and Community Support.Receive support on not just hosting but working and customizing wordpress.
Easy WordPress Installation: SiteRubix Website Builder – Install WordPress with your selected theme and some pre-installed plugins. Under a minute if you select a theme straight away.Far more user-friendly than using Cpanel, no experience required.
Hosting Backups: Daily Back-ups and Full Redundancy (two instances of your site run in parallel)
Domain Email: Domain webmail and email forwarder. User-friendly, no experience required. But no MX option.
24/7/365 Server Monitoring: Yes
Website Monitoring: Personal website monitoring and maintenance, removal of “rogue” plugins and themes.
Type of hosting: Cloud based hosting with easy to use interface. Cloud hosting is designed for high performance.
Domains Allowed: 25 domains/websites and 25 free SiteRubix websites25 is far more than enough
Training & Tutorials: Courses, video tutorial, resources and much more covering everything you need to know to build a website, plus live weekly training covering related topics.
Install WordPress Video with Wealthy Affiliate:
Want To Try Wealthy Affiliate
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Starter account can install two free websites.
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My Hosting Server Speed Test
So I decided to run a few tests to see and show you if one hosting performed better than another. Please keep in mind that the test I run in the video aren’t perfect and I don’t fully understand all the numbers. One thing being the DNS response time.
To perform these tests I installed a default wordpress installation on both hosts, I deactivated and deleted all plugins to try make both sites equal. I may try perform other tests with two clone websites running several plugins and containing more content and images.
The two websites used in the video are tools.pingdom.com and 200please.com
Hosting Pros & Cons
- Cheap website hosting from as low as $7.96 per month when you pay monthly for a BABY account.
- Easily install 75 other scripts like forums, Joomla, Drupal etc.
- Ability to create and change MX record.
- Cpanel features like Hotlink Protection, IP Deny Manager.
- It’s shared hosting with overloaded servers.
- Long 30+ minute waits to access live chat support.
- One security hole and malware/hacker can gain access to everything.
- No website monitoring.
- Server and CPU limits.
Wealthy Affiliate Pros
- Cloud based web hosting.
- Training, tutorials and community support to help you build a successful website.
- In-depth website monitoring.
- Daily backup and full redundancy
- Auto website login and a new site health analyzing and monitoring
Wealthy Affiliate Cons
- Higher monthly cost of $47 (but remember it’s quality hosting and only one of the included membership services).
- Currently they only support WordPress and HTML based websites.
- No option to edit domain MX records.
Questions to ask yourself when deciding between these two hosting companies
How much can I afford to spend every month on hosting and what else will I need?
Let’s face it Hostgators shared hosting is dirt cheap, but with that comes poor quality in many cases. However, if you can only afford to spend $5 or $10 per month on hosting and you’re just getting started building websites, maybe this is a good option to get started.
On the other hand, if you can afford to invest $47 every month you can get some high-quality wordpress hosting along with all of the training and support you need to build a successful website. Not to mention all the additional tools and services included wit your monthly membership.
What type of website do I want to build and how many websites do I want to host?
If you’re only interested in building a family type website to share pictures and videos with family and friends, then I would recommend going with Hostgators cheapest plan, it’s all you need for this type of website.
If you’d like to build a local business or a money making niche website then I’d recommend Wealthy Affiliate hosting as they have all the training and resources covering this, not to mention all members have a business plan in mind.
Does unlimited really mean unlimited?
Hostgator uses the term “Unlimited” on some of the hosting features, sadly the term unlimited is normally total BS and misleading because you’re limited in other areas. Or if you’re website gained several thousand visitors per day you’d likely be raising some red flag and asked to pay more or upgrade your hosting. But if you’re getting thousands of visitors per day you should probably be looking into a dedicated hosting server.
An example of here would be with a hostgator BABY account, they state you can host unlimited website, but you can’t have more than 250,000 inodes. I reached this limit a few years with my shared hosting account. I had no option but to delete and remove old unwanted files and wordpress installations to bring the numbers down.
Another example for Hostgator, with a shared hosting plan you’re allocated or allowed to use a percent of the server CPU etc, if you’re websites are putting stress on the CPU all the time, they’ll likely tell you that you need to upgrade your hosting plan or block/disable plugins etc that are causing the overload.
Hosting & Website – Support & Tutorials
Support should always be something to take into account when comparing one company with another. With that being said I’ve created a video to explain and show you in my words how each company provide hosting support, not in any great detail, but I also touch on the tutorial available.
I’m sure some people may read this and disagree with some of the things I’ve said and that’s perfectly fine, we’re all in entitle to share our own opinions. Not to mention I may have missed some key points of features that I should’ve mentioned.
In all honesty, it comes down to just trying the company you feel is best suited for what you have in mind and within your budget. You have the option to try Wealthy Affiliates hosting for free and you can also try Hostgators hosting for $0.01 one cent if you wish. If either one doesn’t work out then you switch or look elsewhere.
If your broke and just need cheap hosting then Hostgator is probably your best bet to get started. If you want to take this seriously and build a successful website, then I’d suggest visiting Wealthy Affiliate. Keep in mind you can cancel at any time and move your websites to another hosting company.