Hostgator Backups Are Pitiful: Do Better

Hostgator does a terrible job at backing up your site. Even compared to the generally poor standards of shared hosting, the service is woeful. Most web hosts automatically take at least a daily backup, in addition to once a week. Hostgator only takes weekly backups – and that too on a random day that overwrites the previous one. This means that at any given time, you only have ONE Hostgator backup copy which can be over a week old.

That’s unacceptable. It’s true though, that they have the cheapest reliable web hosting on the planet – here’s a list of all the Hostgator coupon codes. But they really need to step up their game in this area.

Another huge drawback of the Hostgator backup service, is that you can’t restore them yourself through cPanel. You need to raise a support ticket and get someone to do it for you. Needless to say, I don’t approve. I should be able to restore my backups whenever I want without needing to speak to anyone.

To recap, we have:

  • Once a week random backups
  • Only one copy stored
  • Restoration needs a support ticket

Why is it So Bad?

I can only imagine that the reason why the Hostgator backup system sucks so hard, is that they view backup as a completely separate service from web hosting. In their view, it’s the customer’s headache to take care of their backups either on their own, or by subscribing to an external 3rd party service.

Since Hostgator focuses on price more than anything else, backups probably just cost too much. First, it requires a TON of storage, especially when you have the huge customer base that Hostgator has. Second, it adds an additional layer of responsibility and support. If something goes wrong with people’s backups, Hostgator takes a huge hit to their reputation. As a result, they probably find it simpler to just let someone else handle it.

Speaking of which…

What About Hostgator CodeGuard?

CodeGuard as offered by Hostgator is pretty awful as well. I mean don’t get me wrong, its a hell of a lot better than nothing. A LOT better. But there’s a world of a difference between the standalone CodeGuard service, which is a premium backup solution starting at some $40/m, and the token plan they have with Hostgator starting at $2/m.

The version of CodeGuard that comes with Hostgator only allows for 1 GB worth of backup data and 3 restores a month. 1 GB of data is nothing. You can barely store 3 days worth of backups. The fact that they advertise “Up to 5 Websites” on it is a joke:

Hostgator CodeGuard is Quite Bad
Limitations of the Hostgator CodeGuard Service

I don’t understand the “3 restores per month” limitation here. If you purchase CodeGuard normally through their site, there’s no such restriction. So what’s the hold up when it comes to integration with Hostgator? It’s a mystery.

What’s My Recommendation?

So far, I’ve only met one web host that meets all my criteria for backups – and that’s NameHero hosting. Here’s what it has:

  • Daily and weekly automatic backups
  • Manual backups with snapshots
  • Restore at will from cPanel – no customer support
  • Backups stored offsite in a separate location

What’s more, NameHero offers this free backup functionality to all its users – not just those on the higher tier hosting plans. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of NameHero’s backup systems.

Get started with a 55% off coupon for NameHero:

Get a 3rd Party Backup Solution

If you choose to host your site with a provider that doesn’t take automatic backups, then you need to use a 3rd party service. This isn’t easy, since there are going to be drawbacks to whatever method you choose. But don’t take risks with your site. It’s like insurance – you think you’re wasting your money when everything goes smoothly for years. But that one time when something goes wrong…boy, are you glad you have it!

Right now, I’m trying out DropMySite. I prefer it to CodeGuard because it’s much cheaper. I keep trying out new things, so this might change in the future. If it does, I’ll be sure to let you know!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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