Hostgator Cloud Hosting Review, Coupon, and Features!

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When Hostgator announced their cloud hosting on January 13th 2016, I was pretty excited. At that time, the term “cloud hosting” was still new and not very well understood. Many people viewed it as the successor to shared hosting. After all this time, I have a better understanding of what cloud hosting is, and how it differs from shared hosting. This Hostgator Cloud Hosting review will cover the following:

  1. Pricing comparison of the various plans
  2. The biggest Hostgator cloud hosting discount
  3. Features of Cloud Hosting vs Shared Hosting

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plans (Yearly)

Here’s a comparison of the Hostgator cloud hosting plans, standardized to 1-year renewals:

Click Below! 🡇
Cloud Hatchling
(Yearly Renwal)
Cloud Baby
(Yearly Renwal)
Cloud Business
(Yearly Renwal)
Hostgator Logo
Hostgator Cloud Hosting
$4.95/month
$8.95
Discount 45% off
With 27% - 45% off Coupon code: READYHOSTING
$6.57/month
$11.95
Discount 45% off
With 27% - 45% off Coupon code: READYHOSTING
$9.95/month
$17.95
Discount 45% off
With 27% - 45% off Coupon code: READYHOSTING

Here’s my complete Hostgator coupon code list. You can find different types of discounts for cloud hosting, shared hosting, and VPS hosting as well. Also, here’s a table comparing cloud hosting pricing from various vendors including SiteGround, Hostgator, Bluehost, and A2 Hosting.

The Best Hostgator Cloud Hosting Coupon

The above table is for yearly hosting. If you want the cloud hosting deal that gives you the biggest discount, then here it is:

Duration: 3 years
Hostgator Cloud Coupon Code (Click to copy):

 

 

Note: You get the maximum discount only when you sign up for 3-years in advance. Like this:

Highest Hostgator Cloud Hosting Discount is for 3 Years

The discounts drop as the billing cycle shortens.

Table of Contents:

Features of Hostgator Cloud Hosting

Except for the points mentioned below, Hostgator’s cloud hosting has the same features as the equivalent shared hosting plans.

For the differences between the two, see below.

Hostgator Cloud Hosting vs Shared Hosting

The two types of hosting – cloud and shared are very similar. In fact, they share the same Hostgator brand names too! Here’s a beginner’s general explanation for the differences between cloud hosting and web hosting. When it comes to Hostgator Cloud Hosting specifically, here are the major differences from their normal plans:

Data is Spread Out Across Servers

In normal web hosting, all your data resides on a single server. This means that if something were to go wrong with it, your entire site would drop dead. Hostgator cloud hosting however, distributes your data across a cluster of servers. There are always three copies of your data stored in the cloud. So if one server fails, another one can take its place.

This failover is instantaneous and you won’t even notice that anything happened. That’s pretty cool! However, it does not mean that your data is spread out across multiple locations across the globe. It’s not a CDN. See below for more information.

Static Data Caching with Varnish

Hostgator cloud hosting comes with what they call a “speed booster”. This is nothing but a varnish cache that sits in front of your server and serves static content. It means that your site won’t be queried for images, Javascript, CSS, fonts, and all other standard types of content that doesn’t change. Those files will be served from the varnish cache, leaving your site free to serve only dynamic content like HTML.

This is known as a “reverse proxy” and is similar to how Cloudflare functions.

“4x” More Resources Compared to Shared Hosting (?)

According to Hostgator, cloud hosting accounts get 4 times more resources than shared hosting accounts. I’m a bit skeptical of this claim, because I’m not sure what it means! Sure, if you look at the specs of the various packages, each plan comes with the following:

  1. Hatchling Cloud – 2 CPU cores, 2 GB RAM
  2. Baby Cloud – 4 CPU cores, 4 GB RAM
  3. Business Cloud – 6 CPU cores, 6 GB RAM

However, these resources are still shared, and not dedicated. For proof, see further below for the difference between Hostgator cloud and VPS hosting.

So it’s not like a VPS where you get these juicy resources all to yourself. Maybe it means there’s a lower number of people sharing these resources with you? I’m not sure, and Hostgator hasn’t released any data about this. So take this claim about “4x” more resources with a grain of salt!

Site Performance Dashboard

This is a concrete benefit of Hostgator cloud hosting. With it, you get access to a dashboard that displays a bunch of cool metrics for your site such as:

  1. RAM usage
  2. CPU usage
  3. Page load speed
  4. Site availability
  5. Visitor stats

These are quite useful to have – especially the page-load speed metric. The RAM and CPU usage is great to know whether or not your site is exceeding its limitations. With traditional shared hosting, Hostgator is very cagey about things like RAM and CPU. All web hosts oversell their servers, and Hostgator is no different. But with Cloud hosting, it seems that they’re much more clear about how much RAM/CPU your site is using.

Do I Get Free SSL with Hostgator Cloud Hosting?

Yes. As of July 6th 2018, Hostgator now has free SSL for all its plans. That includes cloud hosting. Before, there were distinctions between the various plans, but now it’s available for everyone. This is a standard Let’s Encrypt certificate, and not a “positive SSL”. If you want the higher tier of SSL, you should sign up for the Business Cloud plan, which includes it by default.

Is my Site Hosted in Multiple Locations with Cloud Hosting?

No! This is a big misconception with cloud hosting plans. Despite your data being stored in multiple servers, these servers are all clustered together in the same geographic location. Here’s the official answer from Hostgator support answering this very question:

Hostgator Cloud Servers in the Same Location

In fact, there is no easy way to mirror your site like this across multiple geographical locations, short of creating a load balancer with something like DigitalOcean, or configuring one yourself with Google’s Cloud Compute or Amazon’s AWS. A feature like this is not trivial, and will certainly never be found in a hosting plan costing just a few dollars a month 🙂 .

So if anyone tries to tell you that standard “cloud hosting” means your site is free of geographical restrictions, they’re either lying, or don’t know what they’re talking about.

Does Hostgator Cloud Hosting Come with a CDN?

Again, no. The static caching that Hostgator calls “speed boost” is only a varnish cache sitting in front of your server. It’s not a CDN. The data is still being served from only one location. To get a Hostgator CDN, you need to do one of the following:

  1. Sign up for Hostgator’s Managed WordPress Hosting
  2. Purchase SiteLock, and active the “TrueSpeed” option

Unless you choose one of these options, there is no CDN functionality with Hostgator Cloud Hosting. Personally, I feel that Cloudflare is the best CDN – and it’s free!

Can I Purchase Additional RAM or CPUs?

Yes. Your Hostgator cloud hosting dashboard will tell you if you’re getting close to your limit and you can always purchase more. Here are the costs:

  1. $2/m per additional CPU core
  2. $1/m per additional Gigabyte of RAM

Hostgator Cloud Hosting vs VPS Hosting

If you read the specs for RAM and CPU on the Hostgator cloud hosting page, you might feel there’s no difference between that and VPS hosting. After all, the CPU and RAM seems to be around the same, and cloud hosting is much cheaper! So it’s obviously the better option, right?

Wrong.

What they fail to clearly mention is that the resources you get from Hostgator cloud hosting are not dedicated to you! It’s still being shared by a bunch of other people. Here’s a screenshot from the Hostgator comparison page where this detail is mentioned when you expand the heading:

Hostgator Cloud Resources are Shared Not Dedicated

With a Hostgator VPS plan however, you have exclusive access to your resources. So it’s faster – much faster. And also why it’s more expensive! That makes sense right?

How to Transfer to Hostgator Cloud Hosting?

If you’re currently on a shared hosting plan, you can migrate to cloud hosting by logging in and filling out the Hostgator transfer form. This will let you choose what you want to change it to, and take it from there.

Is Hostgator Cloud Hosting Worth it?

I would say that Hostgator cloud hosting is worth it, yes. It’s marginally more expensive than shared hosting, and comes with a bunch of benefits like a varnish cache, and the capability to expand and view your resource usage. Also, your data is more secure since it’s spread out across a cluster of servers.

While it doesn’t include a CDN, or have other features like multiple location hosting, that’s only to be expected. These are usually additional service features that you should expect to pay a premium for. It doesn’t take away from the benefits of the Hostgator cloud hosting plan itself.

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!