Like most other popular web hosting companies, HostGator has a wide variety of web hosting plans to choose from. One of those is its cloud hosting package. We at WebHostBros tested out this plan, and we are here to give you the lowdown.
Cloud hosting is different from all other web hosting types by nature. Unlike the shared, VPS, and dedicated servers, it does not host websites on a single server. Instead, it makes websites and applications available using cloud resources on multiple virtual servers.
It has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason too. Cloud hosting comes with a lot of advantages over traditional web hosting on a physical server. Hosting on the cloud translates to greater flexibility in structure and pricing, high uptimes, increased performance and speeds, and scalability.
Additionally, the server setup process is fast, and you don’t have to deal with hardware issues. Finally, it is much better for the environment. If you’re an eco-conscious person, you’ll be glad to know that cloud hosting has a significantly lower negative impact on the environment than traditional web hosting.
Here’s a quick review of HostGator’s cloud hosting service:
- Strong uptime
- Excellent performance
- Quality customer service
- Free website transfers
- Free domains
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Free SSL certificate
- CPanel available
- 1-Click install apps such as Joomla and WordPress
HostGator has three cloud hosting plans to choose from, depending on your website’s resource requirements. They are the Hatchling Plan, the Baby Plan, and the Business Plan. Each of these plans comes with certain features in common. They include a free SSL certificate and a free domain.
HostGator’s cloud hosting makes it easy for you to top off the resources that your website needs with just a click. Everything is managed quite easily with the cPanel, and you get complete control.
The Hatchling plan limits you to one website. It comes with 2GB of RAM and a 2 Core CPU. Bandwidth, storage, and sub-domains are unlimited or unmetered. This plan starts at $4.95/mo. for first-time buyers. Subsequently, it renews at $8.95/mo.
Up next is the Baby cloud plan. This plan pushes up the number of websites that you can host indefinitely. It also comes with double the memory and CPU on the Hatchling plan. The Baby plan starts at $6.57/mo. for new customers. On renewal, the price rises up to $11.95/mo.
The final level is the Business plan. Like the Baby plan, it allows customers to host an unlimited number of websites. It comes with 6 Cores CPU and 6GB of memory. This plan is HostGator’s only cloud plan that comes with a dedicated IP address for free.
HostGator Cloud Pros
Great uptime and superb page loading times are the highpoints of HostGator Cloud’s service. In addition to this, they offer whooping discounts that make their service very pocket-friendly.
Here is a quick look of their strengths:
1. Very Strong Uptime
Website uptime is a very important metric. It is essential for the well-being of your website and business that your website is available for visitors when they try to access it. If your website is constantly down, then you will lose visitors, no two ways about it.
The average website has an uptime of 99.60%. While this looks like a lot, it means that such a website is down three hours a month. Even a few minutes of downtime can be devasting to a website.
I tested HostGator’s cloud uptimes on a test website. Over a period of three months, the website recorded a very impressive 99.99% uptime.
2. Excellent Speed
Just as important as uptime to the sustainability of your website is its response and page load times. More than 53% of users leave a page that does not load in 3 seconds. Your website’s speed is also essential for how well it is ranked by Google.
After carefully reviewing and tracking their load times data for a few months, it’s safe to say that HostGator Cloud has put their money where their mouth is. With its integrated multiple caching systems, low-density servers, and premium hardware, you will find that there is not much to complain about when it comes to speed.
It is not the fastest we have seen (DreamHost is certainly faster), but HostGator’s cloud hosting is up there in terms of performance with an average of 389ms.
3. Quality Customer Support
HostGator’s customer support is available 24/7. That means that it is always available to handle any customer inquiries and complaints around the clock. You can contact support through phone and live chat.
I contacted them through live chat and was put through almost instantly. The response was professional and helpful, and issues were handled efficiently.
In addition to the phone and live chat options, HostGator also has a robust knowledge base. It is full of useful articles and walk-throughs which can handle your questions.
4. Very User-Friendly Hosting
HostGator is not threatened by the growth of your site. And when it does grow, your cloud hosting plan is ready, whichever you chose. Storage and bandwidth across all cloud hosting plans are unmetered. So you’re unlikely to run into resource issues.
Your major setback is the number of sites you may want to host. And that problem only exists on the Hatchling plan, which limits you to a single plan. Every other plan will allow you to host an unlimited number of websites.
You’re not also charged for using extra resources or features, either. This is in sharp contrast to other host platforms like WordPress Engine, which hit you automatically with extra fees as soon as your websites pass the regular limits of your set plan.
HostGator’s cloud hosting is also very user-friendly because it allows you to very easily reallocate server resources in response to user spikes. This is a function of cloud hosting’s flexibility. The dashboard is pretty easy to use.
5. Lots of Free Extras
HostGator’s cloud hosting plans come with a lot of freebies thrown in to make a sweeter deal. When you purchase a plan, you get data mirroring, managed cloud resources, and free server monitoring for free.
If you have decided to move to HostGator’s cloud hosting plan from another web host, you will not be required to pay for the transfer. In addition, you get integrated caching without any extra charges.
HostGator Cloud Cons
HostGator’s cloud hosting has a lot of pros that make it attractive to cloud hosting customers. But it is not all sparkly. There are also a few drawbacks that need considering.
The highlight is basically that its short-term plan costs a pretty penny, and when it’s time to renew, it cost even more.
1. High Prices for Short-Term Plans
Users who are conversant with the industry understand how to navigate the hurdles of pricing that are common to the industry. Web hosting companies will lure in new customers by dangling low prices on their websites. Of course, this is simply baiting.
The prices displayed are only available for their long-term packages. That means that if you decide to pay for shorter-term plans like the monthly plan, it ends up being significantly more expensive.
For instance, HostGator’s Hatchling cloud plan starts at $4.95/mo. This looks like an awesome bargain on the face of it. The reality is that this price is only available if you pay upfront for 36 months. The shorter the term of the plan you decide on, the more you will need to pay per month.
2. High Renewal Rates
To be fair to HostGator, this is a con that is pretty universal in the industry. The prices dangled are great, but they do not last past the first subscription. After that is up, the prices that you will be required to pay will shoot up dramatically.
Let us consider the Baby plan, for example. Pricing starts at $6.57/mo. for the first 36 months. When it is time to renew the plan, you will be required to pay at least $11.95/mo. to continue to host your website.
Do we recommend HostGator’s cloud hosting? Yes, we certainly do. It has enough features and functionality to make it an attractive package for potential customers. You can get excellent uptime, performance, and customer service. In addition, it is very user-friendly.
If your mind is not absolutely made up, you can try it out absolutely risk-free. HostGator has a 45-day money-back guarantee in place. That means that you will get a full refund if you decide that you are unimpressed with the service within 45 days.