HostGator – The Best Hosting Choice for WordPress Sites

What other hosts are good for WordPress blogs? And beware of these bad hosts!
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Price Starting at $4.95/month

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I know how important a good web hosting is to my site. Having tested more than 10 hosting services, I decided to engage HostGator to host this site.

Let me share with you how I go about choosing HostGator. I hope by giving you my insight, you’ll know what to look out for in choosing your own WordPress hosting.

Hindsight is 20/20 and I know that a lot of people I work with regret their initial hosting choice because of many of these reasons. And it’s one of the main reasons that I almost exclusively recommend HostGator as my hosting provider of choice.

HostGator have been around for over 10 years now and have developed into one of the top hosting companies around. The reasons are simple:

  • Current hardware, software and technologies, to keep your site running on the most up-to-date, secure and efficient servers.
  • cPanel for managing your site – the most widely recognised and utilised control panel.
  • Customer service reps that are knowledgeable, genuinely helpful and responsive to your needs.

My site is running on WordPress platform so I need a control panel which fulfills WordPress minimum requirements as follows:

- PHP 4.3 or greater

- MySQL 4.0 or greater

- The mod_rewrite Apache module

HostGator current software version is PHP 5.2.1, MySQL 4.1.19 and Apache 1.3.37 so they are fully compatible with WordPress.

To install WordPress program, HostGator’s cPanel allows you to do it with just a click of the button. Take a look at this screenshotInstall wordpress in CPanel

Get your WordPress admin username, password and other information ready and you are all set to install the WordPress program in the server.

Also, there are more than 52 scripts with instant installation in the Fantastico section and I am sure you’ll be able to find some useful scripts for your blog.

This is a big one. Even if you don’t go with HostGator, do not select a web host that doesn’t use cPanel to allow you to manage your site (and it shouldn’t cost extra – it should be a standard feature).

cPanel is an immensely powerful tool that allows you to manage your files and databases (using File Manager and phpMyAdmin), park and add-on domains, edit your DNS settings, run backups, setup FTP accounts, check stats, schedule tasks (with Cron jobs) and setup email accounts, to name but a whole lot of features.

Beyond that though, it’s very standardised; any web developer or designer worth his salt will know how to use cPanel quickly and efficiently, which means they don’t have to spend more of your money trying to figure out how to perform simple functions. And if you feel up to the task and want to try certain things yourself, you’ll always be able to find options on how to do it using cPanel.

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Even though I am only using less than 100 MB of diskspace at the moment, I know that in the next 2 years I’ll increase my database to at least 100GB (that’s 1000 times more than the current value). Hence, I need a host that offers huge diskspace.

HostGator baby plan now offers unlimited diskspace so I don’t need to worry about my future expansion.

What you need to cosider about diskspace being offered?

Always plan for future expansion. You might not need huge diskspace now but one day your blog will become very rich in content and graphics.

My site currently has more than 1000 unique visitors a day. I am sure that as long as I keep working on this site, my daily visitors will eventually exceed 8,000 after two years. It is simply unacceptable if my site is down due to the excessive use of bandwidth.

I have done a rough calculation about how much bandwidth my site needs if I get 8,000 visitors daily. I have estimated that average each visitor will transfer 300kb of data. Base on this, my daily bandwidth will be 2.4GB and monthly bandwidth to be 72GB. Taking 50% safety margin, I need a host that can provide me with 144GB of bandwidth.

HostGator baby plan offers unlimited bandwidth! Therefore, I am able to get the excessive-bandwidth-usage issue off my worry list :P

What you need to cosider about bandwidth being offered?

Find out your daily and monthly bandwidth usage. Then estimate how much your future bandwidth after 1 year will be like. From there, you can calculate how much bandwidth your site needs.

A real quick way to decide how much bandwidth you need is to take my site as the benchmark. If HostGator Baby plan works well on this site and if you think your site is not as heavy traffic as this site, you will be very safe.

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This is one of the most important areas that I consider. I have tested many hosts in terms of how fast and relavent their response is and am very impressed with HostGator.

I have been with HostGator for a good number of years now (after being with my fair share of hosts before that). One thing that continues to stand out and keep me with them is their customer service. You might only really be able to appreciate this if you’ve had some other web hosts in the past, most of which are notoriously difficult to deal with and don’t usually know a whole lot above the basics of web hosting and so aren’t of much use to you when you need them.

You’re going to need help, at one point or another, with your server. You’ll want to tweak a setting, but won’t know how, or you simply won’t have the permissions to do so and will need to contact the support department to have them do it for you.

On every occasion that I have had to get in touch with them, they’ve always been outstanding, in every aspect of their support; they’re courteous, quick to get a hold of (whether by email, live chat, or telephone) and most importantly, knowledgeable. I’ve had them deal with some difficult situations before, and instead of having me go and try a few things and keep coming back to them, they’ve always stayed with me and tried to resolve the situation themselves, no matter how long it takes.

I contacted HostGator via email, live chat and phone after midnight and the following is how they fare:


Email sent at 2am Eastern time

Reply time: 1 hour later

Email Content
My question: Why are changes I made in SiteStudio not reflected on my site?

Their reply:

Hello Brian,

If the changes you made in SiteStudio do not reflect on your site, it is because your password for SiteStudio does not match the password for cPanel.

Your cPanel password and username must always match what you submitted when you requested the SiteStudio.


Bobbie N.

Technical support

Live Chat
Contacted live chat support at 3am Eastern time.
Waiting time: 10 seconds

Live Chat ContentWelcome to HostGator Live Chat! You are now chatting with ‘Brandon E.’

Brandon E.: Hello and welcome to HostGator Live Chat, my name is Brandon how can I assist you?

Brian: Hello Brandon, I would like to know more about the money back policy

Brian: the 45 day refund. is it full refund or partial?

Brandon E.: We have a 45 day money back guarantee

Brandon E.: You receive 100% of your money back

Brandon E.: Unless its a setup fee for the Hatchling plan

Brian: ok. that’s great. thanks for the info!

Brandon E.: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Brian: nope. that’s all i need to know. thanks!

Brandon E.: You’re Welcome , and have a great day

Brandon E.: Thank you for using HostGator Live Chat! If you could take a minute to rate your experience with HostGator as well as my overall performance, that would help us to improve our customer service. To do that, just click the button that says “close” in the upper right hand corner. The survey takes less than a minute to fill out.

Phone support
Called made at 4:30am Eastern time.
Holding time: 4 mins

Transcript of the Phone Conversation
Alex: Hi, this is Alex. How may i help you?

Brian: Hi, I’m interested in signing up for the Baby plan for 3 months. Do you allow quarterly payment for the plan?

Alex: Of course. We can make your payment to every 3 months if you would like. This is an option we have. Do you want me to proceed with the signup now?

Brian: That’s great! Let me consider it and I’ll get back to you in a few days.

Alex: Sure. You can dial the same number and one of our representatives would be glad to help you out in the signup. Thanks and have a great day!

Brian: Thanks for help. Bye.

Alex: Bye.

What you need to consider about customer support?

You need to make sure the tech support is always there for you regardless of the time. Try contacting the support via email, live chat and phone and see how well they respond to your enquiries. In this aspect, I think HostGator is the best. Don’t take my words for it. Test it for yourselves!

How many times have you visited a website only to find out the server is down? If that happens a few times, you’ll never visit the site again. was launched in July 2008 but I have been testing HostGator’s server for more than 3 years on my other sites. Alertra is the program I’ve been using to monitor my site’s uptime. You can viewAlertra web site monitoring report the server uptime report over the past three years.

As you can see, I enjoy 99.97% uptime over the 3-year period and I am extremely happy with the stability and reliability HostGator server offers.!

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What other hosts are good for WordPress blogs? And beware of these bad hosts!
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