Hostgator CodeGuard Basic – Worth it? Free Alternatives

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Hostgator CodeGuard is a backup solution for websites. The basic option is quite cheap, and it’s an additional paid add-on to the regular hosting plans – click here for a list of Hostgator coupons. CodeGuard comes in 4 tiers:

PriceStorageNumber of SitesOn-Demand Backups
CodeGuard Basic $23.95/year 1 GB 5 No
CodeGuard Professional $99.95/year 5 GB 10 Yes
CodeGuard Premium $49.95/year 10 GB 25 Yes
CodeGuard Enterprise $239.95/year 25 GB 100 Yes

As you can see, the basic plan is pretty cheap, starting at $23.95/year. However, here’s what it doesn’t provide. Here’s what it doesn’t provide:

  1. No On-demand backups (Professional and above)
  2. Site change monitoring (Professional and above)

These two features are available in the more advanced plans as you can see in the table.

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Table of Contents:

Is the Hostgator CodeGuard Basic Worth it?

No. In my opinion, the basic Plan is very limited. Sure, they say you can backup 5 sites with unlimited files and databases. But you only have 1 GB to play with! There’s no way you’re going to keep the total size for multiple sites under 5 GB. To get any real value out of the backup, you’re going to need at least the Professional plan. Moreover, there’s no on-demand backup with Basic. Meaning you can’t take a snapshot of your site just before undertaking a major change in case something goes wrong. There’s no point paying for a backup solution that doesn’t allow for on-demand backups. So in my opinion, the Hostgator CodeGuard basic plan simply isn’t worth it. There are other, better alternatives which we’ll look at below.

Bluehost has the Same CodeGuard Plans

Hostgator’s sister EIG company Bluehost has the same CodeGuard add-on. Here’s a comparison of the Bluehost cost for various hosting plans.

Limitations of Free Hostgator Backups

Like all other hosts, Hostgator also has some form of free, automatic backup. Unfortunately, it’s far inferior to all the other web hosts. They take a random weekly backup of your site – and that’s it. You can’t even restore it via the admin panel. You have to call customer support. This free backup is limited to 20 GB and 100,000 files/folders. It’s ironic that the free service has a lot more space than the paid CodeGuard!

Hostgator CodeGuard Alternative: Other Hosts with Free Backups

Like I said, Hostgator comes last when it comes to automated backups. Here are some hosting providers who offer better automatic backups for free:

A2 Hosting Server Rewind

A2 Hosting has probably the most comprehensive backup plan that comes for free with all its packages. They call it “Server Rewind”. It provides real-time backups of all its hosting packages. That alone will save you around $50 a year that you would pay for a solution like CodeGuard! Here’s a complete list of A2 hosting coupons with prices starting from $2.96/month. Limitations: None!

NameHero FREE Nightly Backups

NameHero is a web hosting procider that has unique infrastructure like LiteSpeed, MariaDB, and is completely cloud based. They also provide free nightly backups of your site that they retain for a single day. This is perfect for disaster scenarios where you need to quickly revert to yesterday’s copy. If you want more, you can sign up for their DropMySite integration for more comprehensive offshore backups of your files and databases for a small monthly fee. Here’s a full review of NameHero and a comparison of their plans. Limitations:

  1. Backups limited to 20 GB
  2. Backups are retained only for one day

InMotion Free Backups

InMotion hosting takes a backup of your site once every 24-36 hrs. You can request a complete restore via their AMP control panel. It’s not a comprehensive backup solution by any means, but it’s better than nothing. You also need to manually enable this functionality by sending an e-mail to [email protected] and including your verification like your AMP password or the last 4-digits of your credit card on file. Here’s a full price comparison of the InMotion Hosting plans. Limitations:

  1. Backups run only once every 24-36 hours
  2. Older backups are overwritten
  3. Need to specifically request a restore – no 1-click.

SiteGround Backups

Update: SiteGround has now upgraded its plans to allow the following:

  1. StartUp: Free restores
  2. GrowBig: Free instant backups

With these two changes, SiteGround becomes one of the most compelling hosts with free backup solutions. Previously, StartUp users had to pay 20 bucks for restoration.


SiteGround backs up all its hosting plans once every day. That sounds great. However, their basic StartUp charges $19.95 for each full restore. It’s free for the GrowBig and GoGeek plans. They also allow you to take “Instant backups” on demand. While it’s free for GoGeek plans, it costs $29.95 for the lower StartUp and GrowBig packages. Here’s a visual comparison of SiteGround’s free backup plans:

SiteGround Full Backup Comparisons

And here’s a complete comparison of SiteGround coupons for all their hosting plans. Limitations:

24-hr backups

Exabytes Backups

Exabytes is a special web hosting providers that offers free daily  backups for almost all its hosting plans. It’s pretty amazing, since it provides the service for free – a service that others charge for. These backups are kept for 14-days, and you can restore them with the click of a button. Here’s a list of Exabytes promo codes that you can redeem. Limitations:

  • Backups are kept only for 14 days
  • Not available with the “Startup” plan

VERY Cheap Alternative – DreamHost DreamObjects

With the exception of A2 Hosting above, all the other “free” backup solutions have limitations. Either the backup is too infrequent, or it’s clumsy to restore, or they cost a lot (Looking at you SiteGround!). However, a really cool solution is to use DreamHost’s DreamObjects cloud storage. It’s dirt cheap at just 2.5 c/GB per month. And if you’re running WordPress, you can use the convenient DreamObjects backups plugin to schedule your backups as per your desired frequency. You can also specify how often you want older copies to be overwritten and everything. In my opinion, this is one of the best backup solutions I can think of if you’re using DreamHost. It’s amazingly cheap and gives you all the power you need with backups as frequently as you want. No size limitations! I would personally use this solution if I didn’t have A2 Hosting! Hopefully, this comprehensive analysis of backup solutions between hosting providers has given you a better understanding of the limitations of Hostgator’s CodeGuard. There are many other options for you to choose from, and I think they’ll better suit your needs!

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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