This is an observational consumer review of two website, blog hosting companies. I’ve used GoDaddy since 2005 for a few websites, and in January of 2010, I had transferred most everything to HostGator.
If anyone out there has been following any of my sites, you know they were all brought together under one banner web site. Various scenarios came together to make that happen, but the real motivator was how my different sites were being handled by my hosting company. As a consumer, I want the best service possible just like you would, and I wasn’t getting it.
I’m on HostGator and I have GoDaddy to thank for it.
Sometime last year, all my sites on GoDaddy, I started noticing slow load times. No, not a second or two. But delays of up to 90 seconds. I contacted GoDaddy’s technical support and they were willing to work with me. Communication was no issue. Mostly.
The odd part was that every time my site was loading slow, they either saw no issues or concurred there were issues and said that there was a server load issue going on. They tossed out suggestions and worked with me, but to no avail. For whatever reason, they weren’t identifying my problem. The problem occurred across the multiple sites I was hosting with them.
So I took my blogs, pulled them together under one domain, and via a complicated route of hosting tests, I had had ended up at HostGator after chatting with some knowledgable peers.
At first I didn’t want to just jump ship onto another host. I was gun shy. I contacted HostGator support a bunch of questions. Despite my not being a customer, they were willing to answer questions and even touched lightly on what problems I might have been encountering…. they were totally cool.
When I signed up with them, they were easy to communicate with. (I used the online live-chat communication tool) Everything was awesome and quick. At GoDaddy, I had to provide a PIN number to get any answers, even generic questions that didn’t involve personal account information. (At times it was very annoying.)
I found that the interface at GoDaddy is convoluted with many levels of interaction possible. One menu can lead to another and another before getting to where I want. It’s like trying to find important profile option panels in Facebook.
Everything on HostGator has one flat menu that seems to take me to wherever, from there. I don’t spend time wandering about.
Disk Space Limits:
Though I didn’t come close to the threshold, I did have a disk space limitat at GoDaddy under their shared server setup. If they offered different or better space options in new packages to new customers, I never received the changes.
HostGator, no limits.
On GoDaddy, once I found the right control panel, it was easy to pick WordPress to install. The order always had a 24-hour window, but GoDaddy usually got the job done within a few hours on most occasions.
At HostGator, I put in my request to install WP. I was expecting a similar wait time. I went to get a drink, sat down to do something else and found all my plans screwed up because within minutes, it was installed.
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First I have to say that for most of the time on GoDaddy, I had hosted a flat HTML based website and except for one outage in 5 years, I actually had a very good relationship with GoDaddy. For some reason, hosting a blog on shared servers didn’t seem to pan out well for our business relationship. And to be honest, I tried. 1/2 a dozen phone calls, many more emails later though, there was an odd inability for GoDaddy to resolve the slow load times.
HostGator on the other hand, is a totally awesome experience. Their service department answers questions lightning fast. My sites are loaded on their shared servers and I have had no load time issues like I experienced on my other host. I still have a blog sitting on GoDaddy servers. It has 4 posts to its name. Still to this day, it sometimes lags pretty slow in load times. LOL. If I look at what my real-world experience was over at GoDaddy, whose services left me frustrated, versus HostGator, whose services are lightning quick, well, I’d have to say that I am not turning back anytime soon.
Unless something horrible happens, I don’t see me leaving HostGator. They’re good people. The fact that they were wiling to put up with about a dozen questions without me even being a customer was pretty cool.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s a reason HostGator host’s over 2,500,000 domains.
If you want to check out their services and products, proceed from here:
No services or products were provided for this review. This review is based on my own business experience! And thanks to Wendy Shepherd for pointing me to them!