Recommended Web Hosting for Small Business

Attention: If you're not building something like Google, Facebook or Amazon kind of giant online businesses, then this solidly good and reliable web hosting company I'm recommending will definitely meet your small business needs and help your small business grow money like grass.

By Soon Chai

I don't easily recommend any web hosting company to any small businesses because I know very well that finding a web host for your small business is like choosing your better-half. Done right, you two will live happily ever after making as much money for as long as you desire. Done wrong, you die an ugly death.

Imagine this: You put up a persuasive sales letter that's ready to inspire, motivate and "seduce" whoever hop on your web site to flip out their wallets. And just when they feel good with you and convinced that your products are the best in the world and they're ready to give you the business and check out to buy your products... your potential buyers suddenly encounter this...

Internal server error message
Figure 1 — This error message appears when your web hosting server crashes

How frustrating! A message so cold that pisses them off and immediately puts off their burning desire to buy! It will freak you out and piss you even more once you realize it only hours or even days later!

Worse is, if that happens frequently, you're going to have lots of potential customers leaving your web site... lots of sales slipping through your fingers... lots of Adsense ads not getting clicked... AND lots of money flying away from you.

Seriously, can you imagine that?

That's why you need a good web hosting company that provides excellent uptime and professional service to help you run a successful small business online. And even if you're just getting started, you should get off on the right foot and pick the best recommended web hosting company for your small business right out of the gate.

You don't want to go back to square one and waste weeks desperately seeking high and low for another better web host all over again and spending extra hours transferring web sites like I used to, do you?

HostGator web hosting

In 2008, a friend recommended HostGator's web hosting service to me and I've been using it until now. I've tested its service against the toughest criteria (particularly its customer support service) and it has passed with flying colors. Best part is, it consistently helps my small business to churn out more profits every month (I got about 10 web sites hosted with it) than the few web hosting companies I previously used.

Why, by simply changing to or using a good web host can make running your small business online more profitable? Let me explain...

Best Recommended Control Panel in Web Hosting Industry

Knowing that a good web hosting control panel can make building small business online with ease, HostGator pulls no punches in getting the best web hosting control panel (cPanel) in the world for you, at all costs, yet you don't pay a penny more.

Clear-cut, user-friendly, easy to use... managing your files, configuring security, checking stats, monitoring web site traffic, transferring domains, editing files with WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor and many more features and functions could not be any easier now.

Take a closer look at some insider screen shots below:

Main panel of cPanel
Figure 2 — You can even re-arrange the order of categories to your liking in the main control panel

The left side of the main control panel above shows you the disk storage (web space), hosting bandwidth, type of server you're using, number of domains and sub-domains you're currently hosting with, your email accounts, web hosting package, operating system and many others to let you grab the stats at an instant. While the right side shows you all the powerful features and functions well categorized to allow for easy access (due to space constraint with my screen-capturing software, I can only display part of it).

This alone separates HostGator from many other top web hosting companies. Next, let's step down one level to zoom in on its File Manager.

File manager of cPanel
Figure 3 — Quick response one-click functions make managing files and hosting web sites for your small business fast and easy

Look at those one-click functions. What's so great about them? You don't get to enjoy these small yet efficient widgets in other web hosting control panels, I don't know why. But if you use cPanel, you can simply click on any of them and quickly access your most commonly used functions and applications, which can greatly improve your web site hosting experience.

Couldn't be happier with Host Gator

Everet Regal

I have been with Host Gator for just over 6 months. In that time I have not had one single issue or down time. The control panel is so superior over the garbage that AIT provided, I just had no idea what I was missing.

Not only do my web sites run flawlessly, but I've been able to set up two extensive, professional store fronts and generate sales at no additional cost. The Mcart that AIT offered was an embarassment.

I am extremely pleased with Host Gator and their tech staff and would recommend them to anyone, without hesitation.

Everet D. Regal
Phoenix, NY USA

Host Gator does it for me!

John Melanson

My Host of choice is HostGator. They have the best (read cheapest) starter packages and in my opinion the best services and choices. You've gotta love Fantastico Deluxe on the Cpanel. It makes it so easy that even if you make a mistake configuring your blog or whatever, you can always just start over. Very easy to become a veteran webmaster with those kind of tools.

John Melanson
Brewster, Massachusetts, USA

Now you got the best recommended web hosting control panel at your fingertips to help you build your small business efficiently, how about a dedicated support team to wait on you at your beck and call in case you need help?

24/7/365 Instant Customer Support

You can "scream" for help anytime, even during weekends or public holidays or at 2 A.M. in the morning, because HostGator is one of the few top web hosting companies that truly delivers 24/7 round-the-clock customer support service (including email, live chat, and phone) throughout the year.

In short, regardless of which part of the world you live and what time zone you're in, they're always there for you whenever you need help.

Also, if you prefer to "chat online" because you're shy to speak over the phone, afraid that they may not understand you due to your specific regional accent or having sore throat and not able to communicate your web hosting issues clearly over the phone, their live chat support will be the best tool for you to get your problems across and resolved.

To top it off, they have grown to having 500+ in-house customer support staffs (and they're still expanding their support team) to cater to the demand of growing customer base, which explains their quick response to enquiries.

On one occasion, I emailed them about a simple web hosting issue but it took about 4 to-and-fro interactions (within a day — that's a fast response!) before it was resolved. We could have fixed it in just one correspondence. My fault for not being specific in my first message.

So, if you want to get your web site hosting issues resolved quickly, take a few more minutes to provide more details about the problems so you'll get it done once and for all. Or even better, call them directly instead of using email or live chat as you'll receive immediate attention and get your web site problems fixed even faster.

You can also access their peer support forum which they specially create for all small business web site owners to share their web hosting experiences, interact with and help one another. Again, it opens 24/7 around the clockwork. You'll love going there (like me) as you'll get lots of very useful feedback and tips for web site hosting, and some nifty web site building tricks from other friendly and knowledgeable users besides the staffs.

By the way, Brent Oxley (founder of HostGator) rewards his staffs based on their performances rated by customers like us. A brilliant way to stimulate top quality customer support service, which explains why more and more small business web site owners (including me) immigrate to HostGator for its exceptionally good and reliable web hosting services.

Great Customer Service, Thanks Mitchell I!

Michael Allen Talbot

Hi, I just wanted to recognize Mitchell I for providing great customer service! He was detailed yet personable and offered very helpful advice about different hosting methods. He made it easy for me to relate to his ideas by using personal experiences from hosting his own sites. I think that is key to quality CS, talking to people not over them. Customer service of this quality is becoming so rare that anytime I come across someone who really does an exceptional job I make a point to tell others. On a scale from 1 to 10 he gets a 10, easy.

For what ever this worth I hope someone in HG management sees this and thanks him for a job well done and making HG stand above the rest!


Michael Allen Talbot
Appleton, WI USA

Best Support in the Industry

Greg Grabowski

I have been using Host Gator over 5 years. I can not tell you the number of times they have helped me with situations. Even some that I don't think really had anything to do with them. I have a dedicated server with close to 80 web sites on it. Whenever I have a problem, I simply send a ticket and within a very short time the problem is addressed.

A couple years ago, the servers went down due to a problem with The Planet. They did everything they could to help even though most of it was out of their control. I delt a great deal with a gentleman named Josh, who gave me advice that really saved me a lot of time and money.

Anyone interested in hosting sites can not go wrong with Host Gator.

Greg Grabowski
Cumming, Georgia USA

However, to be honest, you can't be all things to all people. Even the highly-recommended HostGator is no exception. Gerard Farrell, a small business owner, is unhappy with the web hosting company because...

Re: Very dissapointed with hostgator!

Gerard Farrell

Well, to my surprise I feel a little led on by the sales dept. I purchased the business plan at 2:15 today and requested my plan to be canceled at 2:40 - did I set a new record? lol..

Before purchasing my plan I spoke with three different sales people on your chat system and was made to believe I would get all of my domains transfered for free, along with databases and files, etc..! Not the case as I found out.

I'm not trying to blame anyone, I should've read the plan more carefully, but also, the sales dept should also know what there selling.

When chatting with the hostgator sales dept. I clearly stated what plan I wanted to purchase and how many domains and databases I needed transfered.

Watch how HostGator handles this complaint

Excellent web site Uptime

Hardware in servers are subject to aging effect while software programs are prone to virus attack. Even if there's absolutely no hardware or software defect, a reliable web hosting server may still require occasional reboots upon hardware/software upgrade or for maintenance reasons.

In other words, when you operate your small business on any web hosting server provided even by the best recommended web hosting company like HostGator, don't expect to get 100% web site uptime throughout the entire year. That's just not possible unless they lie.

However, 99.9% web site uptime is plausible and is by far the best possible uptime that any good and reliable web hosting companies can offer for small business owners. HostGator guarantees you that. It simply means, if they fail to keep your web sites up and running 99.9% of the time in any month, they'll compensate you by giving out one month of web hosting credit on your account, provided the downtime is not caused by you on your end.

Very happy

Randy Bullard

We switched to Host Gator because our last host was getting worse and worse. Our site was frequently down and the old host techs kept telling me there was no problem. We have a business and can't afford for our site to be down. Night and day difference between what I had and Host Gator. To my knowledge the site has never been down since we switched to Host Gator and it's a faster connection.

Host Gator's cpanel is light years ahead of my last host. It is a hugely useful cpanel. I especially like the Awstats. It not only gives you all sorts of traffic statistics for your site, but it also shows 404 link errors and other such errors. Adding subdomains and other such stuff is a breeze.

I've only called support once. They answered right away and fixed the problem right away. The problem was some annomus ftp was using up my bandwidth. The tech blocked them and I've had no problems since.

Randy Bullard
Garden Valley, CA USA

Hostgator: Extremely Reliable

Shy HostGator User

In the few months that I've had with Hostgator as my host, I've never been let them. If there were any indications of downtime, I haven't had any. This may be because the web sites that I have aren't huge, nor are the resources that I take up. I pay about $10/month for hosting, and I have several web sites so it's quite a deal. The customer service is responsive and you do get your questions answered. All in all, I would recommend Hostgator to friends and family.

Milton Young
San Carlos, CA USA

Fast Web Site Speed

I couldn't agree more with Paul on the web site (or web page) load speed:

Thumbs Up The graph don't lie!

Paul Hale

Please look at the attached graph, and see if you can tell when I moved to Hostgator. It is a capture direct from my Google Webmaster Tools account.

'Nuff said? smiley grinning

Edit: I should have listed the web site, for anyone interested.

Paul shows graph of his web page load speed

Paul Hale
Deland, FL USA

The first couple of small-scale web hosting companies I used sucked at their web site load speed. The last one (quite large-scale) was pretty fast. But when I switch over to HostGator and stake my entire business on it, all my web sites load even faster.

How long did your browser take to load this content-intensive web page just now? Is it fast?

If you use a low-speed web hosting server to run web page of this size (about 1.2 MB) that contains close to 10,000 words with 50+ small and large images, your end users can take anywhere from 20-60 seconds to load and view your web site (depending on where they access your web site). You'll drive them nuts.

Apart from the web hosting server speed itself, overall size of the web page and distance between web hosting server and end users, factors like network traffic volume at the time visitor loads the web site, number of redirects, type of browser used, and quantity and size of special scripts used (e.g. java, perl, asp) etc can also affect your web site speed.

Oh, how fast a web site loads also relies partly on individual's network bandwidth.

Although most people nowadays subscribe to broadband (cable modem, DSL, T-1) service, there's still a 1% (about 16 million online users) who for some reasons stick with their run-of-the-mill 56k dial-up or even lower network service.

This could mean that if your web hosting server functions at low network speed, yet on the user end they're using the low speed network, then you can imagine how frustrated that person will be. As slow as 120-second load time is no stranger to them.

On the other hand, if your web site runs on HostGator's fully-optimized high-speed web hosting server, slow-network users at least won't need to wait that long, probably around 15-20 seconds (big bonus to them!).

If you can make that 16 million users happy, you're destined to make even more money than those who are entrusting their small businesses to a web hosting company that uses low-speed web hosting servers.

By the way, Google uses web site speed as one of its 200+ signals in ranking web sites. So, if you want your web sites to rank higher on Google SERPs (search engine results pages), you got to use a fast web hosting service.

You Pay Less, But You Get More!

Web hosting bandwidth controls your web site traffic volume and disk space governs the size of your web site. When you got unlimited web hosting bandwidth, you can drive as many visitors as you wish to your web site without hitting the ceiling. When you got unlimited disk space, you can grow your small business from a 1-page mini-site to a 1000-page web site.

Oh, not forgetting you can host as many web sites as you deem fit because there's simply no limit.

You might wonder, web hosting bandwidth and disk space are finite commodities, how can they be unlimited?

The 'unlimited' simply means unmetered — they don't keep tabs on how much you use. You can use 10 GB or 100 GB for all they care, so long as you don't violate their terms of service that could have posed problems to other users on the same web hosting server (if you're sharing server resources with them).

Honestly, it's unlikely of anyone to break their terms of service, unless you're a renegade. It's just like you're driving on the road and you observe traffic rule carefully, traffic police won't come to you. Simple as that.

I've been hosting multiple web sites via HostGator's shared web hosting plan since 2008 and I never had any problem with their terms of service. However, it's good to read carefully their terms of service before you buy their web hosting service to operate your small business online.

Hosting Multiple Domains on Hostgator

Sue Bride

I have been with hostgagor for 5 years now, after moving from a much more expensive Australian Host (who hosted from US anyway) and have been delighted with them. As a web developer and professional and personal blogger I host over 20 domains on the one account (.com and .au) and multiple sub-domains (for myself, clients, friends and a couple of non-profits). A few have Google ratings of 5-7 which indicates how much traffic they get and I am only on their baby plan.

If there has been any downtime at all since have been with them it must have been so short as neither myself or clients have noticed it and I am working with my sites for hours each day.

The only times I have needed to contact customer support has been for problems I have created myself and the matter has been dealt with speedily through their online chat. The operators have all been friendly, very helpful and knowledgeable. I have helped other bloggers with their own sites hosted through various different hosts so I am confident that I have chosen the best.

PS - I am not a hosting reseller for Hostgator so I have nothing to gain from writing such a glowing review.

Sue Bride
Melbourne, Australia

Good "Traffic Spikes" Absorber

Going back to the "unlimited bandwidth", few other web hosting companies also offer this exact same benefit for small business owners, but their unmetered bandwidth may not be large enough to absorb "traffic spikes", depending on the number of web sites hosted on the same web hosting server (shared server plan) and the bandwidth allotted to each individual web site.

I've come across way too many small businesses on various forums having their web sites and accounts suspended for suddenly generating high traffic volume (e.g. 1000 visitors per day) by other web hosting companies. I do also experience roughly that kind of traffic surge at times (sometimes even up to 3000 visitors per day) but all my web sites remain active and operational without a single suspension issue with HostGator.

Catering to Your Small Business Growth

Are you going to keep your business "small" for good?

I don't think so. You definitely will expand your small business in the near future so that you can make more money online, right? As such, a shared web hosting plan may no longer satisfy your needs. You need to upgrade!

But what if your small-scale web hosting company only offers you shared web hosting service and nothing else?

You'll have to transfer your web sites to another web hosting company that offers better web hosting packages or plans which provide more powerful resources for your small business to grow.

To be frank, transferring 1 or 2 web sites is no big deal. But if you got 5 or 10 or even more already-established web sites to move, I tell you, it's gonna take you heck lot of time as you need to backup your files and re-set up your web sites at the new web host — familiarize yourself with the new web hosting control panel, configure FTP, set nameservers, add domains, set up sub-domains, set up email accounts, perform web page redirects, check scripts and links, and lots of other tests to make sure all your web sites are working properly in the new web hosting environment.

It's super time-consuming and tedious. What's worse is that what if something goes wrong in the process of changing web hosts? All your web sites may go down and that's it to your income for that few days of downtime.

Actually, you don't have to change your web host, move your web sites, go through the troubles and hassles and worry about incurring web site downtime if you stick with HostGator because this best recommended web hosting company has an affordable yet reliable shared hosting plan for your small business start-up, then a solid virtual private server (VPS) hosting plan to take your small business from start-up to intermediate level, and finally, a professional dedicated server hosting plan for you to take your small business to the next higher level.

Why make yourself suffer when there's a good and reliable web hosting company having everything planned out for you already to make sure your small business grow like a tree?

Quick Problem Recovery

Let's face it. You can't expect a web hosting service or any other services to stay problem-free. It's just not practically possible. Problems will always surface in one way or another. It's the attitude of the web hosting company's customer service/tech support team and the speed of recovery that make the difference.

In my past several years with HostGator, I merely experienced slow web site speed once in a blue moon and occasional downtimes (during off-peak period) from as short as 5 seconds to as long as 25 mins due to battery change, file system check (FSCK) or other web hosting service updates. I'm fine with all these maintenance works because they're understandable, essential and necessary to help keep my small business running at its best form.

But on Aug 2, 2013, an unexpected outage broke out at their data center in Provo, Utah during a network maintenance. Quite a number of web hosting servers went down.

Unfortunately, my web site hosting server was among the down servers and so all my web sites went down for about 17 hours. That was a pretty bad downtime for the first time I was with HostGator.

But come to think of it, firstly, they took only 17 hours to settle a disastrous outage, secondly, comparing to my last web host (one of the top web hosting companies) whom I had my web sites gone down for 496 hours (3 weeks of "total blackout" for my small business online) due to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, the downtime caused by HostGator is so much lower.

Moreover, this experience could further strengthen HostGator's skills in handling similar serious outages in future and thus, shortening the downtime dramatically. Just like our body's immune system that always grows stronger and becomes more vigilant after a viral attack.

In view of that, I have absolute confidence that HostGator will perform even better than ever after that incident and continue to strive for what they have always been doing in the past — keeping excellent uptime.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that HostGator has credited my web hosting account with one month of web hosting as compensation (they honor their uptime guarantee). Although this small compensation cannot fully make up for my business loss during the incident, it's better than nothing. And what's even more commendable is that they never attempt to shirk responsibility and save their ass, unlike some dirty web hosts out there who will never admit their fault and honor their promise.

Thanks Security Team

David Skau

Over the past couple of weeks I've had a very unique security problem with one of my sites. I would like to thank Security Administrators Tom J. and Adam D. for taking the time early on to start pinpointing the cause of the problem.

I'd also like to give a special thanks to Security Administrator Patrick H. for all the time he's spent over the last 48 hours looking into it. It was his dedication to my ticket and taking the extra steps that (hopefully) helped me put the final nail in the coffin of my problem.

David Skau
Sarasota, FL USA

Well Done HG

Derek Knight

I wish all hosting companies were as efficient & effective as

This morning I reported a phishing site on one of their shared servers.
I reported it at 07.46 am UK time
They replied at 08.05 that they were investigating
At 0807 I saw the phishing pages on the site had been removed and the legitimate content on the site was still working

It is so refreshing to report a breach of TOS & it get immediately dealt with, with none of the usual crap you get from several well known hosting companies who try to pass the buck to the client

Every malware spreader or hacked site or phishing site I have ever reported to Hostgator has always been dealt with quickly & efficiently. I think the longest that I have ever seen a dodgy site active after reporting it, was 1 hour.
10-15 minutes is a brilliant response time, especially bearing in mind that it is the middle of the night in Texas USA where you are based
That is one of the reasons why I use them for my hosting and always recommend them to others. Good customer service and a willingness to help

Derek Knight

Transparency in System Status

HostGator always has a thread dedicated for notification of network/server status. Because of that, I can always update myself on when my web sites will be down for what sort of server maintenance so that I can take steps or measures to minimize the impact on my end and cut down my business loss or at least won't get shocked over my web site downtime if there is.

Hostgator server status
Figure 10 — Forum thread dedicated to showing network status

That's how I got to learn about the downtime of my web site hosting server in the outage on Aug 2 and claim compensation against their uptime guarantee when my web sites' uptime go below 99.9%.

Many other top web hosting companies do not have such a thread. That's why their customers have essentially no clue as in how long their web sites have gone down and when their web sites will be up again. They have to rely on third party software or other means (you may need to pay extra for that) to track their web site uptime/downtime and use the data to file a claim for compensation if they need to.

For your info: In quite a number of cases, most web hosts do not recognize the data collected from third party software, which means, you may not get compensated.

Comprehensive Online Video Help

You can self-help yourself with their exceptionally comprehensive how-to tutorial most of the time. The tutorials are all video demos, which makes it faster and easier for visual non-techies like us to learn quickly. Just monkey see, monkey do.

High Security Level

HostGator is always improving to furnish their users with the highest security level possible so that small business owners like us can gain peace of mind for we know our confidential info and identity kept in their super tight virtual security locker will not have a chance to leak out.

Months ago they implemented another new security system that will hold our data in an even more closely guarded manner.

No-no, it's not those simple security alert systems prompting you to change your password once every few months. That's history and far from what this best recommended web hosting company is currently using.

The new security system works to help you generate a highly secured password that no matter how clever the hackers are, they will never be able to crack the code. Of course, the system can also work with you to set the password to your liking, and you'll get the instant advice from the system on how secure your password is.

In short, you can do it in auto, or manual mode. Up to you.

They'll even perform random check on your password and if they feel your password can easily get hacked, they'll notify you and even "force" you to set a more secured password unless you use their password generator to help you come up with one that will definitely rip off the hackers' hair.

Now I feel even safer having my personal data with them. And the best part is, the new security system costs higher, but they never let us bear any additional cost.

Another thing worth mentioning is, besides their own weekly data backup, they have also installed a manual data backup gadget on their control panel whereby you can fully back up your entire web hosting account (including all web site files and folders in your home directory, FTP accounts, email accounts, add-on/sub/parked domains, databases, mailing lists, everything that is setup with the web hosting account) so that you can quickly restore your web sites and resume your online business with ease in the event of data loss.


HostGator has gone green!

Yes, while other web hosting companies are still "dancing cha-cha" as in whether they should throw in thousands of dollars in saving the environment, HostGator has already leaped ahead of them by buying renewable energy to power their web hosting servers. Again, their new investment doesn't put extra load on our shoulders.

Imagine running your small businesses online making money with your web sites while protecting the environment against pollution from fumes coming out of gas-powered generators. How nice of it to kill two birds with one stone! Don't you just love it?

Kim Harrison

This is very good news and makes me proud to be working with Host Gator. I will recommend your company even more highly now.

Kim Harrison
Carmel, CA USA

Robert Reite

I'm not happy with my current hosting provider, and have been looking to move when my contract is up. There are 1000's of hosting companies out there, and Hostgator made it to my top 5 list based on features and price. The fact that Hostgator has gone green in a big way makes it the winner! Expect a hosting order from me within the next month.

Robert D. Reite
Exeter, PA USA

Carole Zabbal

Delighted by the green hosting, fellahs. Very proud to be using Hostgator for all my web sites. Keep up the good work!

Carole Zabbal
Verdun, QC Canada

Jay Jay Jagelka

I've always love host gator. Never had on ounce of trouble and support has been awesome.

Jay Jay Jagelka
Carmel, IN USA

Like the small business owners above, I'm one who also supports green life since I myself have been a vegetarian since 1994. Come join us. Play a part and help minimize the impact on global warming. And you'll enjoy HostGator's green web hosting service like us.

45-Day Money Back Guarantee

While most web hosting companies offer you 30-day money back guarantee, HostGator promises you a longer 45-day full refund risk-free protection.

Frankly speaking, you won't even want to ask for refund once you use their web hosting service to operate your small business online. That's why they confidently give small businesses a longer guarantee period that not many web hosting companies dare to offer.

Let me share with you how I signed up with them the first time, just to give you an idea.

I knew they offer 45-day money back guarantee. But I still felt the pinch of paying about $200 up front for a two-year shared web hosting package when I wanted to start up a small business online (well, you can opt for the one-year web hosting plan to build your business online but two-year web hosting plan saves more money).

So I chose the monthly web hosting package to test-drive their system first. Yes, it costs more but I was thinking for a few more bucks per month I get to gain peace of mind, why not? Moreover, I'll be getting back the monthly fee if it sucks.

Well, after that one-month test-drive, they blew me away! I then signed up with them for 2 years straight. They have a 3-year plan (I can save more with that) but I feel more comfortable with the 2-year contract.

You might think that why not they offer free web hosting service so that small business owners like us can test the water without having to pay some fees up front.

Sounds like a good idea but it can unfairly pose annoying problems to web site owners who are serious business people. That's because free web hosting tends to attract spammers and crooks. You know these people... they're "proficient" in spamming the network. Spamming not only can overload the network and defunct the web hosting server's ability to speedily process users' requests, but also can cause the web hosting server IP to get blacklisted.

Imagine when you're on a shared web hosting package and your web sites are hosted on the same web hosting server with these bad "neighbors", you'll get implicated and your web sites may get blocked or even crash.

It's not fair to the innocent web site owners who are running a legitimate business online.

That's why in order to ensure fair play for all their customers who are doing real, decent small businesses online, HostGator must uphold reliability of their shared web hosting servers at all times, and thus they're very strongly against the idea of free web hosting.

You can now be sure that most, if not all your neighbors are responsible web site owners, just like you who are serious about doing business and not spamming.

As for Designing Web Site...

You definitely need a web site builder to help you build web pages for your small business once you have your web hosting service in place. HostGator has its in-built web site builder in store for you.

I've tried it. Although it took me some time to familiarize myself with the tools and functions inside the web site builder (because it's new to me), overall I still feel it's pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it.

All you need to do is to pick a suitable template, type in the title, edit the header, drag and drop your graphics, copy and paste your content, and boom, your web page is out! Here's a simple web page that I created with the web site builder spending only few minutes.

Sample page to illustrate ease of web design
Figure 11 — Free web site builder that takes only minutes to create a web page

If you're not someone who loves hard coding or you're not HTML savvy, then this is the kind of web site builder embedded in a web hosting service you'll definitely love. In fact, most user-friendly in-built web site builders (like the one in HostGator) come in a simple format so as not to confuse people who are not code savvy.

However, as in all such embedded web-based site builders, the only con is you can't manually edit the layout of the template to suit your specific needs, unless you meddle with the HTML code.

For example, template A may have the color combo you like but you prefer to have the design layout of template B and the overall feel of template C. It would be nice if you can combine the 3 templates into one but usually you can't. The limitation is there. Signing up with other web hosting companies won't solve this issue.

Although the software developer keeps adding new web site design templates every now and then, making up to hundreds of templates, there's a chance that each template could have already been used by hundreds of other web site owners. Your web site design may end up clashing with several others.

If you want your web site to look unique yet you don't want to get involved in any coding, the only way you can do is to get a standalone web site designing software instead of the in-built designing software. But if you're not so concerned about the uniqueness of your web site design but are focusing more on the information aspect, then the in-built web site builder should suffice.

Oh, I need to remind you this. When you want to use HostGator's in-built web site builder, make sure you've already linked your domain name to their web hosting server or you won't be able to access the web site builder application.

Anyway, whatever issues you encounter, you can always check with their 24/7 support team via email, live chat or phone.

Last but not least, I heard they're offering some great discount off all their web hosting plans for small businesses right now. They rarely offer such a special deal. So, please make your decision fast or you may lose the discount ANYTIME from now.

Thumbs Up 3 Years +

Kevin Ure

I have used hostgator for three years without a single problem that wasn't resolved within a few minutes and my web site has never been down due to a server outage. I have multiple web sites with them and they all function amazingly well on a shared server. I use both Moodle and Joomla and have never had a serious problem.

Before I found hostgator, I went through 15 different hosts. Some of these were supposedly top quality hosts and had incredible reviews. There was always something that didn't work, and I was always the one that was blamed for it. If there was a restriction and Moodle didn't work correctly, they said it was because I misconfigured something.

It was only after moving to hostgator, that I began to realize it had nothing to do with my installations, it was the limitations of the servers I was on. Everything works perfectly in my installations at hostgator and functions are not blocked because of overly restrictive security policies.

The support is always quick, and friendly. I have never had a rude response yet. Although, the Live Chat probably isn't the way to go to get more in depth problems fixed. I have found that I get much more in depth answers when using the ticket system. Live chat is probably good for rebooting your server on a VPS or Dedicated account, or dealing with a billing issue, if those ever arise.

For me to stay with a host for more than 6 months is unheard of. Typically, what happens is that you find out the quality of the host after the introductory period as things start to fall apart. I was very satisfied with my previous host until a year in I started to receive hourly alerts that my web site was down. They denied the issue, and I went to hostgator. I'm very glad that I did. I've gone through over 15 hosts. I used to tell my wife, that it seems that you just have to move hosts every year. They are always good at first and then they go downhill quickly.

I've read many of the negative reviews when looking for information on here and judging by some of them, it is not the fault of hostgator because they usually aren't given a chance to correct things. Things go wrong when you are hosting a web site. You have to take responsibility for your site, make personal backups and monitor your usage. If you aren't willing to do this, fine, but that is your responsibility. Don't blame your host for things that are out of their control. They make it possible to make backups, and if your web site is too big to do that, you can still backup through ftp.

Personally, I blame hosts for having server issues, rude service, and not being transparent enough to understand what is going on with your web site. I understand there is a certain responsibility that falls to me as well. Your CPanel will show you the resources you are currently using. If you need to move to a bigger box, that will become evident as long as you pay attention.

Kevin Ure

Longtime HostGator client still happy

Debbie Campbell

I had a reseller account with HG for about 3 years and have recently upgraded to a dedicated server.

All in all I'm very happy with HG. Tech support is generally very good and reasonably fast - having the live chat capability is a big plus for less complex problems. There's a pretty good community of support available on the forums and HG is not afraid to post bad reviews - to me that says they care what people think.

The only major issue I've had with my hosting in the last year was an emergency drive replacement that resulted in basically 4 days of downtime while the RAID array was rebuilt - that was really difficult to explain to clients and I think that could have been handled better, possibly by scheduling the rebuiliding at night, which did help when they decided to do that on the last day. However, this was an isolated incident.

I still recommend HG to clients who don't go through my hosting company. I have no qualms about those recommendations.

Debbie Campbell
Fort Collins, CO USA

HostGator rocks!

John Wolf

HostGator has been so good of a provider. I am just sad I did not know about them when I first got my site on the web in May of 2006. I had to suffer 2 years with Yahoo! Google has gotten into the web hosting game and I think they too will be not much better than Yahoo and wont be able to compete against professional web hosting companies like Hostgator.

John Wolf
Greenville, SC USA

HostGator: friend also to those ignorant of web wisdom

Daniel Gardner

Well well well! A week ago, I again reached the "one more year at HostGator" mark, and as is my custom, I post an update in this thread.

My priority timeline looks like this:

Two years ago, all I wanted was a personal web site - and HostGator met the need.

One year ago, I began hosting an active forum - and HostGator met and filled that need.

This coming year, I hope to upgrade my personal webpage to a video showcase of my vlogs and become active in web entertainment. This will be a rather big step from merely interacting with my audience on YouTube. Thankfully, I'm glad I can trust the consistency of HostGator to meet this need as well.

Thank you HG and staff for yet another year of great hosting! This smilie says it best where words fail:

Daniel Gardner

Re: HostGator: friend also to those ignorant of web wisdom

Well folks, I'm beginning my 4th consecutive year with HostGator. As is my habit, I leave a review on my thread here every year. (Happy new year 2009 btw.)

And it appears that something else is quickly becoming a habit: adding more domains to my HostGator hosting. I've begun another web site, this time relating to live video broadcasts/streaming, and HostGator has worked like a charm. In fact, I didn't contact the HostGator's support group all year in 08 (sorry guys, I've missed you).

I'd readily suggest you begin a habit too: start hosting at HostGator. Over the past couple of years I've found this host to be tried, true, and trusted.

Thank you HG for taking care of the smallest details so that my hosting experience runs smooth as silk!

Daniel Gardner

THANK YOU Hostgator

EuGene McCombs

I have been a customer for a few years and have just cancelled my account. Not because of the great service you guys provided to me but i had to make some budget cuts due to the economy. I found hosting on my friends site and am getting all my sites hosted for a fraction of the cost. I do think your prices are more than fair and your services are top notch. I wouldnt rule out returning if things pick up for me in the future. It has been a great experience being a customer of hostgator. For now THANK YOU, and best of luck in your professional endeavors.

EuGene McCombs
Douglassville. Pa USA

I love it here!

Jean Parks

I'm a new site owner & Hostgator has been really patient & friendly with answering my questions. I'm also very pleased with how fast my site is, I have friends far bigger than I in the blogging world & a lot of their sites load pretty slowly. So far very pleased I chose HG as my 1st hosting company & hope to grow big enough to need to upgrade my plan

Jean Parks

Outstanding, exceptional technical support

Dr George C. Huang

I have all of my clients switching to HostGator. Your technical support is simple outstanding.

With all the technicians you have on staff, I have yet to chat with one who was not willing to go beyond plain hosting support.

Your technicians have been willing to go beyond that and take a look at specific issues with my WordPress installations, even when they aren't directly related to hosting.

And your crew solved a problem where a hacker had attached a shell to my site and was feeding unsavory links from it. I had previously paid a WP design company several hundreds of dollars to address this for me and it still wasn't done right. But you guys solved in in just a few minutes.

You rock!

Dr George C. Huang

Drew Sc Best Live Chat Operator

Pete Ulatan

Drew Sc helped me for more than 30minutes, answering my questions immediately, and also had great knowledge. Usually I would need to dumb things down to make an operator understand what I'm saying, but with Drew he knows what I'm talking about. This is what I call premium support service.

Pete Ulatan
Oceanside, CA USA

very awesome

Tim Sviridov

I come from and was pretty happy with them, however I decided to open a forum and moved fully to a new host altogether (Webs doesn't support php and their forum alternative is really bad) I decided to go with HostGator because they seemed the most affordable. I was with them for 2 weeks now and was very happy. its absolutely amazing in a sense that its fast and it didn't shutdown for maintenance every month or so (which was a common problem with Webs). Another thing is support, its amazing at HostGator, I was able to get my questions answered quickly (which it took forever at webs). But the best part yet, is that I was able to get all of those amazing features for about the same price as webs (thats including more memory, bandwidth, sub domains etc)

Thanks HostGator,

Tim Sviridov
Bellevue, WA USA

Host Gator Are Excellent

David Gerrard

I have used Host Gator for a multitude of web sites over the years and their service never ceases to amaze me. All packages are excellent value for money and are backed by supreme uptime and speedy and knowledgeable customer service; whenever I have a problem - which is a rare occurrence - or question, a live rep is generally online to help me out instantly. In the cases where one isn't online, I only usually have to wait about half an hour or so before I receive a reply to my e-mail.

Their shared plans afford you a fair amount of space and bandwidth and their policies are such that you could host almost any type of site you wanted with them (save for illegal sites, but that goes without saying). I have run media heavy web sites with them before and have never really had to spend over $25 a month to support myself.

All in all, my experience with Host Gator has been an overwhelmingly positive one and I would recommend them to anybody looking to run a small to medium-sized web site. You will not be disappointed.

David Gerrard

Host Gator is the Best!

Gloria Jean

I have been a reseller with Hostgator for about 9 years with a small reseller account and I have always been treated like a VIP by their support teams who have gone out of their way to help me with things I needed help with, above and beyond what a support team would normally do. This includes over the phone or with their live chat. There are many web servers out there but I wouldn't recommend any one of them except Hostgator.

Gloria Jean
Springfield, CO USA

HostGator Hosting Company is AWESOME!

Anna Miller

After about 15 years of experience with hosting companies, I finally found the BEST Customer Service, and it's from HOSTGATOR! I'm fairly savy when it comes to the internet. But there are some things I need to rely upon from a hosting company. One for sure it the ability to talk to a live person when a problem pops up. Hostgator provides 24/7 people service. They are available for general questions and security issues. With all the new PCI requirements and problems imposed upon merchants from the credit card companies, it's a relief to know the Server Admins at Hostgator are there whenever I call! I truly appreciate their help, kindness and understanding when I call. Thank you HOSTGATOR, you are AWESOME!

Anna Miller
North Palm Springs, CA USA

Promising Web Host

Mohsen Sadeghi Gol

registration was easy and straight forward.

its amazing how chat technicians resolved 160 customers in 20 min and my thanks to Michael who was really nice to help me on authorization.

account authorization was really fast, after a 2 min call with a nice lady in ext 1010 my site was up and running in no time, my thanks to her too.

server is fast, control panels are nice and user friendly.

couldn't ask for more, keep up the good work.

Mohsen Sadeghi Gol (Mike)

Outstanding Service From HostGator

Ron Schaefer

I have been a HostGator customer for a number of years. Up until recently I have had two shared business accounts there, and have always been impressed by the service. Heck I was only paying ~$30 a month, but whenever I needed anything from the support group I was always made to feel like HostGator's biggest customer.

I just recently acquired a dedicated server for a new site (which will hopefully justify it in the next couple of months ). I was a little nervous about making the move, mainly because I have never managed anything other then some early Windows servers back in my "hands on" days at work.

The HostGator support & transfer team, along with the GREAT video tutorials HostGator makes available, made the move a snap. I spent a week or so going through the tutorials and familiarizing myself with my server and WHM (the managemnet interface which I had never used). When it came time for the move the HG transfer team was outstanding to work with. Immediately after the move I had a few questions regarding some standard practices on my server setup, and the support team was more than helpful.

HostGator just ROCKS. From the stable infrastructure, to the great equipment and affordable service, to one of the best support teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I am definitely looking forward to a long term partnership with HostGator as my business grows, and would recommend them to anyone!

Ron Schaefer
Lake Forest, CA USA

Host Gator Still the Best Shared Host for The Money

Paul D. Guyon

I've been using Host Gator for about 6 months and it is the best shared host for the money.

Host Gator offers all of the services & software you need to run a professional site and their customer service is second to none.

Host Gator live chat customer service simply rocks. They have knowledgeable people online. They have always answered my questions right away and accurately.

I will keep using Host Gator. I will upgrade to a dedicated server once my business demands it.

Host Gator Rocks!

Paul D. Guyon
Traverse City, Michigan USA

Thumbs Up OMG ... Amazing

Zac Drayson

Well I was having some issues within my WHMCS Licence and with my SSL.

The SSL issue was resolved via several people.

And with my WHMCS Licence I was speaking with "Jonathan Ma" - I must say I was extremly impressed at how the issue was handled and the matter was resolved quickly. Also, he kept his word by saying when he was going to update my ticket with a note so I knew exactly what was going to happen, it was done within minutes.

As a result of Jonathan Ma's support I have upgraded my Reseller account from the Aluminum to the Silver - Completly bypassing the Copper plan.

Thanks heaps Jonathan Ma, keep up the great work you

Zac Drayson
Dee Why, NSW Australia

Hostgator Superb

David Gordon

Well after a few years now with hostgator, I have to say I could not expect more in terms of customer support or satisfaction. My French Property site has been rarely out of action in all that time.

The support team is A1. I am so pleased to have used them for their VPS hosting. Rarely have any problems not been resolved in minutes.

David Gordon