Hostgator: Competing with Boutique Web Hosting

Hostgator makes no pretensions about what it offers. Basic, solid web hosting without bells and whistles. It doesn’t have a built-in backup plan, doesn’t offer server caching, and uses SSDs only for its database servers. So how does it manage to compete against boutique web hosting that provides all these things? In fact, it has a few tricks up its sleeve that render the case more complicated than it first appears.

With Hostgator, You Pay ONLY for Hosting

Lest you get the idea that Hostgator is bad, know that it’s merely lacking in add-on features. The things that other boutique web hosts provide, increase the cost of hosting. And you either might not want those features, or prefer to use your own. As a result, you pay less for basic web hosting with Hostgator, than with any other host. There’s a Hostgator coupon code for every product and need. You have one coupon for 12-months, and another for 36-months. Here’s the highest discount you can get:

Duration: 36-months
Price: $2.62/m

Competing With Boutique Web Hosting
Competing With Boutique Web Hosting

This also includes a free domain even on the most basic plan – something other web hosts do not include because their clients aren’t cost sensitive. So the pattern is simple – basic web hosting at the lowest possible price. Any lower than this, and web hosts start cutting corners in ways that impact your site.

CodeGuard Add-On Takes Care of Backups

If you want, you can purchase an additional add-on called CodeGuard with Hostgator. This will backup your site and databases, and allow you to restore them easily. It plugs a gap in Hostgator’s service offering. However, I would recommend that you get DropMySite instead. It’s more versatile, and far cheaper than CodeGuard.

And that right there is the advantage of Hostgator. If you want something additional, you have the option to use a 3rd party service instead of having to rely on whatever your hosting service provides. It allows you to customize your hosting solution to your own needs.

Cloudflare Takes Care of CDN and Caching

One area where Hostgator could really improve their offering is server-caching. Without it, we have to rely on slower plugins. Luckily, CDNs like Cloudflare and are entering the space of static HTML caching. This means that even cheap hosting can be sufficient with certain types of websites that are static, and not dynamic.

A common complaint is that Hostgator is too cheap for “serious” web hosting. But with EDGE caching from CDNs like Cloudflare, even cheap web hosting can easily handle large traffic loads. It means the future is pretty bright for low-cost web hosting products like Hostgator since it will scale so easily.

Getting More Resources from Hostgator

It’s a good philosophy to use Hostgator just for web hosting, and get your other services from 3rd party providers. You can increase the performance of Hostgator by just upgrading to the Baby or Business plan. Or if you want to do something different, try out Hostgator’s WordPress package. It’s surprisingly good, and is hosted on low-density servers. It also has in-built server caching, which is a huge plus.

Bottom Line: Boutique Web Hosting Has its Drawbacks

Boutique web hosting promises to give you an “all-in-one” solution for hosting. Backups, malware scanning and optimization – everything in one place. You just need to focus on one service and nothing else. But as I’ve shown, this can lead to waste if you don’t use these additional services, or want to use a 3rd party. And this is how Hostgator manages to compete against boutique web hosts even today. By focusing on one thing only, and letting the customer make the decision to purchase add-ons if necessary.

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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