Just having a website isn't enough to boost your online presence, you need to have an aesthetically pleasing site that's able to cater to your target digital market's needs. That said, with options presented to you from all angles, choosing the right hosting solutions for your website can be overwhelming - especially for those who are still starting.
In this article, we will discuss two different web hosting providers (opens in new tab) that can cover your digital needs. The differences and similarities of both providers, including which one has the best plan for those who are on a budget and for those who are willing to invest in a plan, are included in this head-to-head comparison.
We will include their best features brick by brick and other relevant information to help you decide which hosting provider is the best for your website.
- Check out our top picks for the best small business web host (opens in new tab) in 2021
- Take a peek as we list our top reseller hosting services (opens in new tab)
- Take your pick from our roundup of the best cloud hosting services (opens in new tab)
Main similarities and differences
Both hosts offer the same functionality for personal and business websites. They offer the same services as shared web hosting (opens in new tab), VPS (opens in new tab), and dedicated server (opens in new tab) plans.
Although they have similarities when it comes to most of their features, one can still differ from the other.
HostGator offers a much faster loading speed and has a WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) option. Hostwinds, on the other hand, owns 100% of their servers and systems, which means that when a problem arises, they can directly fix it.
Another key difference is their try-before-you-buy options. While HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, Hostwinds offers a refund request within 72 hours of your purchase, which is not much time, in some cases, to decide if you want to keep it or not.
HostGator may offer their services for less than $3 but will charge more when it's time to renew your plan.(opens in new tab)
Hostwinds offers a more flexible plan depending on your web hosting needs, however, HostGator is currently offering an introductory price of less than $3 per month for their plans. Let's compare their shared web hosting pricing.
HostGator has three shared hosting plans with their lowest introductory plan starting at $2.75 per month and $5.25 per month for their business plan. Their most recommended baby plan comes with unlimited websites, one-click WordPress installs, free WordPress/cPanel website transfer, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate (opens in new tab), and a free domain.
Hostwinds also offers three plans, the basic one starting at $6.74 per month. Their more advanced plan starts at $8.24 per month, and their ultimate plan at $9.74 per month. These plans come with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, unlimited domains, SSD, instant setup, and free dedicated IP.
With Hostwinds’ flexible plan pricing, this round definitely belongs to them.
Hostwinds offers loaded features that come with SSD storage, solid uptime, and the option to add cloud backup (opens in new tab). It is an upgrade for those who are after performance-driven results. The plan includes higher PHP memory limits, higher inode limits, and more outbound email (opens in new tab) limits.
If you prefer WordPress hosting, HostGator has the advantage. Their recommended standard plan offers one-click WordPress installs and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Their WordPress web hosting is designed to help you set up quicker and easier. Hostwinds doesn't offer WordPress hosting.
If you need help building your website, Hostwinds offers Weebly, their in-house website builder (opens in new tab), while HostGator has custom site builders available as well.
Hostwinds also has excellent reseller hosting packages for those who want to get into the web hosting business. Compared to the HostGator reseller plan which starts at $19.95 per month that comes with 600GB bandwidth, unlimited websites, and 60GB disk space, Hostwinds’ reseller plans start at $8.99 per month and includes unlimited email, storage, and data transfers.
HostGator offers add-ons that make it an even better hosting provider of choice, especially for small business owners. Of course, these additional tools come apart from the unlimited bandwidth, dedicated servers, free website migration, free domain for a year, and all the other features that make it an excellent choice.
With the demand and preference for WordPress constantly increasing, we’d have to say HostGator wins this tight round.
When it comes to security, both hosts offer SSL certification across their plans with additional protection options via add-ons. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate ensures that any data information sent from your website visitor's web browser to the server remains private.
Hostwinds offers Windshield, a security feature that enhances your VPS's security against security hazards. They also offer an automatic daily backup add-on for all their services. HostGator does seem to have integrations that boost security, but it’s worth noting that these are only available via third-party apps, thereby costing more.
Hostwinds’ security features have been found to be more superior to HostGator’s.
Ease of use
Much like many other hosting providers, both HostGator and Hostwinds have great feedback when it comes to ease of use.
The HostGator control panel is very much straightforward, accessible, and can easily be navigated. Once you are logged in to your cPanel, you can easily access all your tools and features from there. If you have previously used similar cPanels from other hosting services, then navigating on HostGator's cPanel is as easy as pie.
The same goes with Hostwinds with its most common cPanel features. If you have worked with a standard Linux server, you won't have trouble with its easy-to-navigate control panel.
Both are beginner-friendly, so both win this round.
Support is undoubtedly one of the most crucial features of a hosting provider. Of course, it’s important to ensure that your site is always up.
HostGator and Hostwinds both offer 24/7/365 customer support services with superb and helpful agents ready to answer your queries anytime you’re in need of support with your website.
Hostwinds live chat average response time is 30 seconds, and the option to submit a ticket via email is also available. Even without phone support, the fast response time and self-help resources ensure you are covered anytime you need help. HostGator offers live chat apart from email, self-help resources, and phone support.
Hostwinds provides an excellent customer support experience, but HostGator’s live chat feature certainly makes it win this round.
Both HostGator and Hostwinds are fantastic hosting providers that offer super services to both personal and small to medium business websites. In launching your new website, it's important to keep in mind that seamless navigation, security, and a fast loading speed all contribute to the overall user experience.
It certainly varies from your website's needs and wants, but overall, we can tell that Hostwinds offer a bit more of an edge over HostGator due to its flexible services plan, value for money, ease of use, and better customer support.
Despite this verdict, however, Hostwinds put up a good fight, and, in the end, is still worthy of being at the top amongst the best.
- Also, don't forget to take a look at our list of the best anonymous hosting of 2021 (opens in new tab)