If you visited Omega Web yesterday afternoon, you would have noticed an outage due to changing web hosts. I recently switched over to Host Gator for a couple of reasons and I sure hope I am here to stay. To recap, I purchased my first web hosting plan from FatCow in January of this year. I was happy with FatCow until they screwed me in June by suspending my websites for having “too many requests to the server.” I had to act fast, so I went to a company I knew and trusted, which is GoDaddy.
After switching to GoDaddy, I was happy because everything was back online. They were considerably more expensive than FatCow (about a $25/year difference), but it didn’t matter. Now after just three months with GoDaddy, I am moving to Host Gator… But this time I wasn’t evicted.
Hostgator Hosting vs Godaddy Hosting Review
Why I Moved
Before I get into why I’m happy that I switched, let me go over some of the background information and events leading up to my switch.
GoDaddy Was Hacked On September 10th
According to many sources, the hacker group Anonymous had brought down millions of GoDaddy-hosted websites and even their own homepage, reseller accounts, email accounts, and other services. I know for a fact that Omega Web was down for about five hours and simply displayed a database connection error in the meantime.
After everything was back up and running, my blogging colleague Wade Harman posted about why you should rethink GoDaddy web hosting. In his article, he argues that Anonymous brought down GoDaddy because they support the SOPA bill that regards online privacy. I personally could care less what bills, politicians, or sports teams that GoDaddy supports – I just want them to do their job, which is to keep my websites online.
Don’t Miss: GoDaddy Hosting – Is It Worth It?
I Got To Thinking About My Security
Later that night I started considering how safe my websites were when they are hosted on GoDaddy’s servers. I pour a lot of time constructing blog posts, tweaking my layout, building relationships, and trying to make money from my websites. If GoDaddy were to go down to the point where my WordPress databases and files are lost, there’s no getting them back. I would lose my entire blog, six months of work, and tons of money in damage. It was then that I realized I needed to move to a new hosting provider soon.
Host Gator Offered Free Hosting To Victims
Host Gator made one of the smartest business decisions ever and offered six months of their Baby plan for free if you used the coupon code “GODADDYISDOWN” at checkout. It was 8:00 in the morning when I saw this and I knew that I had to leave for the bus at 8:07 to get to school, but I raced over to Host Gator to sign up before the deal went away. They asked for my credit card number (to renew my plan after my free six months is up), a primary domain name, my name, address, and other WHOIS information that hosting companies need. I was finished signing up at 8:04 and I was the proud owner of a Host Gator web hosting account. The best part is I don’t have to pay a single penny until April 2013.
Why I’m Glad I Moved
After moving six websites from GoDaddy to Host Gator, I am extremely happy that I decided to make the switch.
Host Gator Delivers More For Less
The main reason I switched to Host Gator was the fact that they gave away free hosting accounts, but leaving that aspect aside, they are generally cheaper than GoDaddy. I used to pay $8.54 a month (billed $102.48 at one time) at GoDaddy and $7.95 a month (billed $95.40 at one time) at Host Gator. Although Host Gator is only about 6% cheaper than GoDaddy, they include things like IMAP email for free, which is something I had to pay for with GoDaddy. Host Gator also delivers unlimited storage, databases, and bandwidth whereas GoDaddy had a limit.
Host Gator Is Easier To Use
I’m not a big fan of cPanel, but it is much better than the cluttered mess GoDaddy was using. After using FatCow’s control panel which was powered by vDeck, cPanel will always seem harder to use, but it’s better than where I was coming from.
GoDaddy Was Slow… But Not The Way You Think
My biggest complaint with GoDaddy had to do with the speed of the control panel, admin features, and file transfer. Whenever I would add a subdomain to my account, it would take at least 10 hours to become active. The GoDaddy WordPress installer took 10-20 minutes to create a database and install a fresh version of WordPress. I could never get FileVilla to download files via FTP, only upload them, so I ended up having to use the Java FTP Client that was build into their control panel and it took forever… The list goes on and on. As far as my website speed, everything was pretty good, but when it came to changing a nameserver, updating DNS records, adding a subdomain, or installing a fresh version of WordPress, I had to wait forever.
When I used Host Gator’s service to install WordPress, it took about 4-5 seconds – literally. No sooner did I click the “Install” button and I was getting an email telling me that it was ready to go. I also added a subdomain for one of my domains – instant. Changing DNS records to use a custom email server – instant. Using FileVilla for FTP – super fast. Everything with Host Gator was completed almost instantaneously, which allows me to spend less time fumbling around with my web host and more time blogging and making money.
Host Gator’s Affiliate Program Is Advanced
Unlike GoDaddy’s affiliate program (and most web hosts for that matter), Host Gator offers the ability to create coupons for your customers. Instead of the traditional cookie being placed in the browser, you will earn commissions every time somebody signs up with your coupon. For example, I made my coupon code “OMEGAWEB25”. If you enter this code at checkout with Host Gator, you will save 25% on any web hosting package and I will make a commission from the sale. It doesn’t matter if you clicked my affiliate link or not… This comes in handy when you’re simply texting a friend to convince them to sign up with Host Gator.
In addition to the coupon deal, Host Gator also offers affiliate links that work just like any other affiliate program. Commissions from the affiliate link and coupon code campaigns are the same.
What I Will Miss About GoDaddy
Although there are many reasons why I am happy I made the switch, there are some things that I will miss about GoDaddy as well.
Domains and Hosting In One Location
When I first started Omega Web back in May 2012, I posted about having your domain names and web hosting in one location. I am a big fan of this system and especially on a registrar/host like GoDaddy, you can have almost any extension and host it with the same company. Unfortunately with Host Gator, they only support .com, .org, .net, and .info at this time. Any other domain name extensions must be kept on a registrar like GoDaddy with the nameservers pointed to Host Gator. There is really no difference to which method you choose to do, but it made it easier when I could buy a name on the GoDaddy Auctions and click the button that says “Host This Domain” to automatically set it up with my GoDaddy hosting account.
My favorite part about GoDaddy’s support team is that they all seem dedicated to what they do, they don’t try to sell you garbage, and they speak English. I have called them many times in the middle of the night and the customer support representatives are still just as helpful, friendly, and knowledgable. When I called to cancel my account, the guy asked me why I was canceling my hosting and I simply told him “I got a better deal with Host Gator and I’m trying to save money,” and he replied with “That’s understandable. I’m canceling your account now.” On the other hand, when I called to cancel my account with FatCow, they charged me a $35 fee, didn’t refund me for the remaining months I had paid for, and were generally rude.
I haven’t dealt with Host Gator’s support yet, but they have a lot to live up to.
Overall, I am happy with Host Gator for the two days that I have been using it. I am sure I will be posting more about their services in the future and who knows, I might even change to a fourth web host in the year 2012. I don’t see that happening any time soon, but you never know.
If you would like to receive 25% your Host Gator order, enter the coupon “SellersBay” at checkout.