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Known initially just for their domain registration service, Namecheap expanded its service into hosting years after its inception. It provides affordable domain registration and hosting services for businesses looking to build their online presence. Apart from the ability to host multiple websites on their servers, users get free DNS service, limited period security via WhoisGuard privacy and flexible management of their website, all under one package. They offer shared hosting, WordPress hosting and reseller hosting, among other hosting options.
- It has the industry’s leading cPanel control panel which makes the interface clutter-free and organized. This helps users to manage their website without hassles.
- Added benefits like free high-quality DNS, one-year WhoisGuard privacy protection and flexible domain management are available under every package.
- It offers a stable software platform, thanks to CloudLinux.
- The high-quality servers and large memory that it makes use of, ensures good uptime.
- For users who are just getting acquainted with the platform, there are several online step-by-step video tutorials that they can make use of to complete any task.
- Starting at prices as low as $3.95 per month, it is one of the cheapest hosting services. Users can also upgrade to another plan later if they wish to.
- The only customer support that Namecheap has is their online live chat support. Although the team attends to customer issues on time, it still lacks the efficiency that comes with providing customer support through a hotline.
- Although the basic package is very economical, it comes with very limited features. Most often customers end up switching to a higher value package for the benefit of better features.
- The WhoisGuard privacy is available only for a year and users have to pay for subsequent years in order to benefit from it. This adds on to the cost of the package.
- Unlike other hosting service providers that give a 30-day money back guarantee, Namecheap provides only a 15-day money back guarantee. This can be an issue for those who do not find it satisfactory within the 15-day time period.
Hostgator, a Houston based hosting service, has become a name synonymous with web hosting. With over 8 million hosted domains, it provides shared hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private server hosting and dedicated web hosting. Affordable introductory prices, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage and lengthy money-back guarantees are some of the benefits that users of Hostgator receive. Let’s take a look at some of Hostgator’s pros and cons now.
- Each package that Hostgator provides has a composite range of web hosting services. Hostgator provides different plans depending on the hosting required.
- For users on a shoestring budget, the plans offered by Hostgator are quite affordable even though they might not be the lowest among the hosting services. Since it comes with a composite set of features and benefits, even the introductory prices are worth paying for.
- It is one of the few hosting service providers that has a lengthy money back guarantee. While the standard is a 30-day money-back guarantee, Hostgator provides a 45-day money-back guarantee.
- It uses cPanel control panel, which makes website management very convenient for its users, even if they are beginners. Video tutorials are available for assistance as an added benefit.
- Irrespective of the plan one chooses, the user gets unmetered bandwidth and storage.
- Irrespective of the hosting plan chosen, every customer gets add-on benefits such as a free domain transfer, website transfer, MySQL transfer, Hostgator Website Builder, $100 in Bing and Adwords credits.
- Instant setup, good customer support and efficient server monitoring ensures that users do not struggle to manage their websites.
- It supports even the Windows OS.
- The built-in web design tools make it a lot easier for users to build a good website.
- Hostgator upsells its services to its users a lot more than it should. Users often end up adding features to their plans that they might not require.
- The introductory prices are affordable. However, renewal prices post the initial term is quite expensive.
- Hostgator provides 24/7 support, but the team is not efficient enough to handle queries and issues faced by users.
- It is known for shifting users to another server rack without prior notice during traffic spikes.
Customers often have difficulty choosing between Namecheap and Hostgator. Based on the parameters below, one can understand better as to which among the two is a better option.
Web pages that do not load within three seconds are usually dismissed by users as slow websites. Good speed is important for websites and a good host service must provide the same. In a test conducted by down.com, Namecheap delivered pages with an average speed of 3.15 seconds. Its fastest was 2.09 seconds and the slowest was as bad as 72.71 seconds. Namecheap has inconsistent load times, which could be improved through compression and caching headers.
Hostgator does a lot better in terms of page speed with an average speed of 2.82 seconds. The best speed recorded was 2.07 seconds and the slowest was 15.02 seconds. However, recently their page load times have gone down due to issues with their data centers. The speed is still better than other hosts.
Verdict: Hostgator does better in terms of page speed than most of the hosts. It is easily the winner in comparison to Namecheap.
Uptime ensures that websites are always online, have a better chance to be found and rank better in search results. Namecheap has a below average uptime. The average uptime it recorded was 99.94%, with the best run being 100% and worst being 92.92%. Namecheap has several issues of outages as a result and is not reliable.
Hostgator has recorded one of the best uptimes across the industry. The average uptime it had was 99.97%. The best run was recorded at 100% and the worst was 97.5%. Although initially, Hostgator had several outages, recently it has managed to keep up with its 100% uptime.
Verdict: Hostgator has a much better uptime record and is a lot more reliable than Namecheap, which has had several outages recently.
Both Namecheap and Hostgator have affordable basic plans. Namecheap starts at prices as low as $3.24 per month. Namecheap has four plans: Value, Professional, Ultimate and Business SSD. The basic Value plan is the cheapest and therefore comes with limited features which forces customers to to opt for a higher value plan.
Hostgator has plans starting at $3.82 per month. It has three different plans Hatchling, Baby and Business plan. All the plans come with unmetered bandwidth and storage.
Verdict: Namecheap might seem a lot cheaper than Hostgator but one would have to opt for higher plans on Namecheap for better features. In Hostgator, even the basic Hatchling plan provides a composite set of features and web hosting services.
Both Namecheap and Hostgator have online customer support via chat that works 24/7. Namecheap has an efficient team of support staff, who attend to customer grievances. Hostgator has a similar system, but in the test conducted by down.com, it was observed that customer support provided by Hostgator was very poor.
In most cases, Namecheap responds to customer queries in a short period of time. The average time taken to resolve a customer’s issue was 2.2 hours, with 0.1 hours being the fastest and 6.0 hours being the slowest time. Hostgator had an average response time of 53.4 hours. This is much slower as compared to other hosts. The fastest was 3.0 hours and slowest 168.0 hours.
Verdict: Namecheap is the winner in terms of support, since it quickly attends to customer queries, although the customers can reach out for support only through online chat.
Namecheap has a very short duration during which their money-back guarantee is applicable. The 15-day money back guarantee is one of the lowest in the industries. The 15-day time period is too less of a time for customers to decide if their service is satisfactory. Hostgator, on the other hand, provides a longer money-back guarantee period. Customers have the benefit of a 45-day money-back guarantee. The industry standard is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Verdict: The money-back guarantee offered by Hostgator is more promising than Namecheap, due to the longer time period benefit that customers receive.
Verdict: The feature-rich Hostgator is a better option than Namecheap since even the basic plan on Hostgator comes with most features that the average user would require.
The performance of hosts is usually measured based on their costs, uptimes and customer support. Hostgator has a good uptime and page speed but lacks good customer support. This puts the host slightly behind as a good service provider. However, Hostgator is reliable and many users have faith in the host. It has over 8,000,000 domains when compared to Namecheap, which has less than 1,000,000 domains.
Verdict: Except for lack of good customer support, Hostgator definitely offers better website performance to its users than Namecheap does.
- Domain Registration: Namecheap, although known for domain registration does not provide any free domain registrations. Hostgator provides free domain registrations depending upon the plan chosen.
- Interface: Both Namecheap and Hostgator make use of cPanel which is a clutter-free organized control panel for domain management. There is a similarity in this case.
- Security: Namecheap and Hostgator make use of SSL certificates to secure websites, at a fee. Namecheap, however, offers a free WhoisGuard (for one domain) for the first year.
Between Hostgator and Namecheap, Hostgator is a wiser option as it is definitely cost-effective and more efficient. With the affordable introductory plans, excellent uptime, fast page speed and well to do website performance, users choosing between the two should make the wise choice of picking Hostgator.
However, there are better hosts that are out in the industry than Hostgator and Namecheap. Two of the best host service providers are Bluehost and Siteground. Bluehost and Siteground have also been endorsed by WordPress as the best partner hosts.
Bluehost is known for its unbeatable technology, excellent customer support and optimized hosting. Although the prices are not the lowest in the market, their plans are value for money. It is a feature-rich host that provides users with every necessary service required to manage their websites. Bluehost provides the additional benefit of adding on features at an extra price to further enhance the hosted websites. With a good average uptime of 99.9% and page load time of 3.05 seconds, it is one of the most reliable hosts that prevent outages. Bluehost has also taken the additional task of protecting hosted websites with resource protection technology that safeguards the user’s website from other abusive users on the same server. The cPanel control panel that comes with a SimpleScripts 1-click installer makes it easy even for beginners to manage websites. Above all, Bluehost provides several free features like one free domain registration, Facebook, Twitter and Google Adwords credit, unlimited domains hosted, unlimited storage, etc.
Siteground is another affordably priced host that is user-friendly for beginners. Siteground does day-to-day monitoring and backing up of websites that has helped improve its hosting service over the years. It assists users at every single step of the hosting process. It comes with advanced security features such as Wildcard SSL and PCI Compliance certifications. Siteground has good server performance due to the presence of its data centres in five major cities across the globe. This ensures that the websites hosted by Siteground have fast page loading speed and good uptime. Transparency in its functioning is another trait that Siteground is best known for along with industry-leading customer service.
Hostgator is a far cry from what it used to be back in its heydays. Once acquired by EIG, their support and efficiency took a massive beating, which doesn’t make it a great choice any more. For users looking to invest in a good host, Bluehost is a great choice followed by Siteground, as they’re not only the most reliable hosting services in the industry but also provide the best customer service, making them a class apart.