What is HostGator? How Do Web Hosting Plans Work?
HostGator is a webhosting company that opened in 2002; since that time, the site has won numerous awards and gained tremendous popularity among site owners as one of the top hosting companies on the web. HostGator is known for its excellent customer service and flexible web hosting plans. Does HostGator live up to the hype? Is it worth using this website hosting company? This HostGator review explores web hosting in general and the ways in which HostGator performs against the competition.
What is Web Hosting
In order to be visible on the internet, a website must be hosted through a website hosting provider. Essentially, the website is hosted on a computer called a server, which houses all of the data for the site and allows web browsers to access the pages and view the site at any time. While it is possible to run a server from a home or business, the vast majority of website owners prefer to use a remote hosting plan due to its ease and flexibility as well as the lighter start-up cost of not needing to purchase a server computer up-front. Instead, users pay a monthly fee to the web hosting company in exchange for the use of a server.
Any site on the web must have an IP address in order to be accessed by web browsers. The IP address is a unique set of numbers which identifies the hosting computer and points the browser toward where the files are located so that the browser can display the page accurately. Depending on the type of web hosting, these IP addresses may be unique, or they may be shared by several accounts. Dedicated IP addresses are more secure than shared, and may be necessary for certain types of sites such as online businesses requiring the transmission of financial data.
Many different options exist for web hosting. The most basic type of websites can be hosted at low cost as they are not very taxing on the server and thus can share space on the server with other sites. Examples of this type of site are the single-page personal website, which rely solely on basic HTML to display the page. More complicated sites that use Java or PHP require more powerful servers.
Types of Web Hosting Plans
Depending on the type of plan you choose, your website will have varying functionality. Cheap or free hosting plans are available but usually have very limited features. Free hosting will usually require you to run advertisements on your site to generate revenue for the host, or will limit your bandwidth usage for a given month. While free hosting may work for individuals wanting to put a personal webpage on the net, most serious site-owners and bloggers will require a higher quality plan.
Shared hosting plans offer greater flexibility than free plans, but continue to be very affordable. These plans will host multiple sites on any given server, allowing server costs to be spread out across several accounts. For many people, shared hosting is the best balance of functionality and price; most shared hosting accounts will continue to have very high or unlimited bandwidth and are able to support PHP, MySQL, Java, or other advanced coding requirements.
Some individuals or companies will require dedicated hosting, however. A dedicated server is substantially more costly to run, but allows the site full use of a single server machine. Dedicated hosting plans give the highest amount of control to the site owner, and provide a lot of power. If you are running a very busy internet business, or hosting a game or other high-traffic, interactive site, dedicated hosting will provide the best quality of site for you.
With over 7 million sites being hosted at HostGator, it’s clear that this is one of the top hosting companies available on the web. This top hosting provider guarantees 99.9% uptime, making it one of the most reliable hosts on the web. All new accounts come with a no-contract, 45-day money-back guarantee for hosting.
HostGator provides tremendous variety and flexibility in hosting packages. In addition to regular shared hosting, you can choose a dedicated server or even a reseller account enabling you to host other sites through your account.
HostGator website hosting is available in several plans:
– Hatchling Plan: $3.96/month for a single domain, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited disk space. This plan shares an SSL certificate.
– Baby Plan: $6.36/month for unlimited domains, unlimited disk space, and unlimited bandwidth. This plan also shares an SSL certificate.
– Swamp Plan: Also called the business plan. $10.36/month for unlimited domains, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, private SSL and dedicated IP, and a free toll-free phone number associated with the account.
Every hosting plan comes with free SiteBuilder software, as well as easy one-click downloads of WordPress, Joomla, MediaWiki, and other site-building programs. HostGator also enables the easy use of 52 free scripts that can be installed into your account, and provides $100 in Google Adwords credits.
The thing that really makes HostGator stand out from the competition, however, is the customer service. The site has a full-time staff of 750 employees offering support 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Users also have access to hundreds of video tutorials, help articles, and an active community forum. HostGator support has won several awards and continues to offer some of the most responsive and fast customer service in the industry.
Overall, HostGator is one of the best hosting companies on the web. Excellent customer service, ease of use, affordable pricing, and flexible account options all make this an excellent option for any site owner looking for quality web hosting. HostGator is not the only site to offer these features, and may not be the least expensive hosting option depending upon your needs; some sites offer unlimited domains for a lower price than the Baby Plan, for example. The customer service may be the best in the industry, however, and is the feature most commonly pointed out to explain HostGator’s popularity.
Whether building a personal website, online business, or hosting a blog, HostGator may be the best web hosting choice for your needs. In addition to all of the great features available on the site, there are also several coupon deals available to offer an even greater discount to site owners. If you are looking to save some money on web hosting, you can utilize hostgator coupon codes to find the best coupon for your hosting needs.
HostGator is truly an excellent value and may be the top choice for many website owners as a source for shared or dedicated hosting.
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