As both rookies and hardened webmasters can attest to, getting your website online can be a strenuous task. With so many hosting companies fighting for their piece of the pie, it can be hard to settle on the right hosting package for your needs. In this article, I’ll try making your decision a little easier by focusing on two of the most popular providers on the market today – HostGator and JustHost.
HostGator provides three different shared hosting packages: Basic ($3.95/month), Essentials ($5.95/month) and Pro (also $5.95/month). The Basic package includes a single domain, easy 1-click installs, unmetered storage and unmetered bandwidth. Both the Essentials plan and the Pro plan offer unlimited domains, but the latter contains some useful additional features such as a dedicated SSL & IP and access to free VoIP phone service.
JustHost offers four shared hosting plans: Basic ($3.95/month), Plus ($6.95/month), Prime ($6.95/month) and Pro ($14.95/month). The Basic package comes with one domain, 50 GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth, whereas the Plus package offers 10 domains and 150 GB of storage. Of course, they both pale in comparison to the Prime plan, which comes with unlimited domains, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage and some extras such as $200 worth of marketing offers. If you’re interested in the dedicated SSL & IP, however, you’ll have to splash out for the Pro package.
Those of you looking into the more powerful hosting packages will be pleased to know that both HostGator and JustHost provide VPS and dedicated hosting options. The prices and features here are fairly comparable, so there’s no true best choice. However, HostGator goes one step further by offering three WordPress hosting plans at different price points. Additionally, HostGator’s 45-day money back guarantee policy is slightly more impressive than JustHost’s 30-day one.
When it comes to overall reliability, both companies provide that all-important 99.9% uptime guarantee. HostGator’s servers are all equipped with E5 Intel processors, and the company offers automatic backups, weekly off-site backups and 24/7 network monitoring. JustHost is a bit more secretive about these things, but they claim that their servers are powered by quad-core processors. They also provide 24/7 network monitoring, and their facilities are protected by biometric security and a CCTV system.
Given their reputation in the industry, it’s no surprise that HostGator and JustHost are big on customer support. Both support teams are knowledgeable and quick to respond, and you can contact them via phone, email or live chat. Additionally, HostGator features an enormous support portal filled with tutorials, video guides and articles designed to help first-time customers find out everything they need to know about the hosting process. Though JustHost has its own support portal, it’s noticeably less impressive in comparison.
When you take all these considerations into account, it becomes pretty obvious HostGator comes out on top. JustHost is a perfectly fine hosting provider in its own right, but HostGator has a slight edge in most important categories. HostGator’s packages provide great value for money, their network infrastructure seems quite impressive, and their uptime statistics are consistently high. For a hosting company, that’s all you can hope for.