HostGator vs Shopify (2018)

Toby Sembower Toby Sembower Hosting Expert
“We tested Shopify & HostGator — The winner is Shopify!”

Choosing between HostGator and Shopify ultimately comes down to picking between a specialist or general practitioner. You can accomplish much of the same things with either host, from starting a website, blogging, and processing payments. Because of the sensitive data associated with online shopping, Shopify includes SSL certificates for free with all plans. While Shopify is all about eCommerce, however, HostGator offers a more well-rounded approach to selling online. The company starts with the web hosting and free marketing credits before opening the doors to your online store. As you browse through the hosting racks, which do you think will look best?

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Overall Rating
4.6/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Shopify »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Plans are fully hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of... read more +

Shopify is easily one of the more well-known eCommerce web builder platforms in the hosting industry. Plans are fully hosted, include a free site builder tool, and allow you to boast an unlimited number of products with unlimited file storage as well. Compared to other web hosts, Shopify's not going to offer you the same level of robustness in their technological offerings, but their eCommerce features are on point. Online store building is their bread-and-butter of services, and they're darn good at it.

First of all, the Shopify Theme Store features hundreds of free and premium theme options that are relatively easy for end-users to manipulate; plus, dev-savvy folks can customize their eStores and themes via the Shopify API. You can actually start building your online marketplace today — for free for 14 days — and select your plan later. The Shopify experts are on call and ready to help 24/7.

Once you've built your online store with Shopify, build your business by processing product transactions through a myriad of payment methods. Shopify users can sell via social media, by integrating a BUY NOW button, or using the Shopify POS system. Serious eCommerce folks may opt to purchase the Retail Package add-on as well, which includes a cash register, receipt printer, and barcode scanner.

All in all, Shopify offers everything you need to run an efficient and lucrative online business. The commerce-oriented features are many, and they only advance with each upgrade in service package — from the "Basic" to the "Unlimited" plans. Also, you can buy or transfer your domain name, or park your online store at a free MyShopify.com subdomain. If you're eCommerce-focused, trust Shopify for your online store building.

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  • Sell via social media or fully hosted commerce platform
  • FREE website builder and hundreds of elegant themes
  • Showcase unlimited products
  • Integrate PayPal or Shopify POS
  • Advanced reporting and real-time shipping available
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-respected for their large number of servers and their consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies... read more +

HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-respected for their large number of servers and their consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale.

HostGator costs a little more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that contributes to their reliability and well-known support. They offer decent features included in their basic offerings, unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. While the feature list is short compared to other hosts, you do get the flexibility to add them as you see fit.

Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is their strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs. For those than need it, root access, SSH, and support for Ruby, Perl, Python, and other languages is available on all plans.

HostGator has nearly limitless options and control available for their server, however, they require a little more knowledge than beginner-focused web hosts. If you need to host multiple sites, their wide array of offerings make them a great choice.

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  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • Unlimited disk space, emails, and bandwidth on all plans
  • No contract required and 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 50% off your first month, plus domains starting at $5!
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

The great thing about Shopify is that the feature set centers around eCommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even their most basic plan is more costly than a... read more +

The great thing about Shopify is that the feature set centers around eCommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even their most basic plan is more costly than a majority of the shared hosts we've come across; however, if you're serious about building an online store, Shopify offers a broad range of plan options and feature additions to make that happen within a reasonable budget. Plus, you can host your business at a complimentary MyShopify.com subdomain, or at a new or existing domain of your own.

All plans allow you to showcase an unlimited number of products, and you can sell them via Facebook, a BUY NOW button, or the Shopify POS system. Accept payments via Shopify Stripe and ask for help when you need it, because the Shopify experts are available around the clock to help with anything from Shopify theme development to transaction issues. As you're building your online marketplace, you have hundreds of customizable themes to choose from, and the more technically inclined user can manipulate said themes via the Shopify API.

Shopify is great for online store building. It's a one-stop shop for building and hosting an online marketplace and should be considered as such. If you're looking for a super cheap shared hosting option, there are other providers to consider, but if you want a leading eCommerce platform, Shopify may be your winner.

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  • Includes a site builder with 100s of FREE and premium Shopify themes
  • Fully hosted plans with unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products
  • Easy-to-use Shopify Stripe Payments for processing transactions
  • Tons of eCommerce features, including discount codes
  • New or existing domain or FREE MyShopify.com subdomain
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to... read more +

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their shared hosting plans.

HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to their vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. Their many hosting options make them a great choice for sites on the rise, in need of options for the future.

For those just getting started and looking for a good, cheap host, HostGator bundles some nice features that hosting newbies can appreciate. A very nice site builder from Weebly is included. Their control panels are also very easy to use and a free domain is a nice touch.

If you are looking for a solid web host, with a ton of flexibility, plenty of power, and great price points, you should consider making HostGator your web host of choice.

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  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Unlimited disk, emails, and bandwidth
  • 24/7/365 premium support
  • 50% off your first month, plus domains starting at $5!
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

N/A

Shopify does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 7 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator... read more +

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator balances performance, quality of service, and competitive pricing.

As one of the few hosts to offer managed support and a Windows-based operating system, HostGator is an excellent fit for those seeking hassle-free ASP.NET support.

HostGator boasts a top-of-the-line, fully redundant network and datacenter, which dedicated hosting users should appreciate. The company also offers several unique IP addresses per dedicated server account.

Finally, HostGator has a fantastic support network and 24/7 customer service available via phone, chat, or email. Combining that support with plenty of power, HostGator is a very respectable choice for a dedicated server host.

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  • Linux or Windows servers available
  • Top-of-the-line fully redundant network and datacenter
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • SSH access and support for multiple languages
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
500 GB - 1 TB RAID
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

N/A

Shopify does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#6 out of 8 in VPS Hosting reviews

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS... read more +

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared host.

Starting at low price points, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IPs and a bunch of storage, however, their CPU and RAM offerings could be better for their respective price tags.

HostGator’s strongest point comes from their state of the art datacenter. Featuring a fully redundant network with no single point of failure and multiple bandwidth providers, uptime should almost never be a concern.

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts. They have more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a very small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.

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  • Full root access
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of network security
  • Fully or semi-managed options
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
25 GB - 3 TB
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★ 3.8/5.0

While Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's eCommerce capabilities. For just nine bucks a month, you can integrate a Shopify BUY NOW button into your... read more +

While Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's eCommerce capabilities. For just nine bucks a month, you can integrate a Shopify BUY NOW button into your existing WordPress blog. The Shopify experts will generate a few lines of code for you and — voila — a stand-alone storefront is made for your site. Plus, you can customize via the Shopify API.

All you have to do is add your unlimited number of products and your Shopify/WordPress online store is officially in business. You benefit from all the easy payment processing solutions, including the Shopify Stripe Payment system, which accepts debit and credit cards. If you decide to upgrade your Shopify plan, the USPS shipping discounts and eCommerce features advance with you; you can even get a free SSL certificate.

While Shopify isn't your traditional WordPress host, it's a fine option for implementing top-notch eCommerce functionality into your existing WordPress website. It's not necessarily the most cost-conscious option, but for those who are serious about online store building, Shopify is certainly worth considering.

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  • Add a BUY NOW button to your WordPress site for $9/month
  • Easily copy and paste Shopify expert-generated code to add products
  • Display up to unlimited products
  • Custom design to match your brand
  • Process transactions easily with Shopify Stripe Payments
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#5 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already... read more +

HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already clean and intuitive cPanel dashboard, wherein users can find a myriad of free apps and scripts to install, including WordPress. You could quite realistically have a WP-powered site up and running in as little as an afternoon.

As is the case with many of our favorite shared WordPress hosting providers, HostGator offers unlimited emails, databases, disk storage, and bandwidth. The one downfall is the lack of the popular free domain perk, but domain names are easy to obtain for around $10 to $15 bucks with any registrar. You can also select, register, and pay for a domain directly from the HostGator signup page.

If you're serious about your WordPress hosting, we recommend HostGator's new(er) managed WordPress platform, which is optimized for performance with cloud resources, multiple layers of caching tools, and a complimentary CDN. Managed WordPress plan subscribers enjoy up to 2.5x faster page load speeds for their website or blog. If you're running a business website, this is an excellent investment.

Once your site is designed and ready for promotion, HostGator helps you kickstart your online marketing efforts with $100 in paid advertising credits. Attract blog readers, potential clients, or online shoppers browsing Google search results. Yay, traffic!!

We wish you the best of luck in your blog or online business hosting endeavors. WordPress is a known favorite in the space, and HostGator has established itself as a trusted partner well worthy of your consideration.

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  • Easy-to-set-up WordPress hosting on shared servers
  • Install WordPress with one click via cPanel dashboard
  • Unlimited email addresses hosted at your domain
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee means your blog stays online
  • $100 in Google Adwords credit to kickstart marketing
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
$12.95

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

Shopify is a fully hosted web building platform that specifically serves the eCommerce niche. All plans include a free site builder tool and you can browse the Shopify Theme Store for a design that most... read more +

Shopify is a fully hosted web building platform that specifically serves the eCommerce niche. All plans include a free site builder tool and you can browse the Shopify Theme Store for a design that most closely matches your brand. Themes are fully customizable, i.e., drag and drop elements or manipulate via the Shopify API. Best of all, you can start building your eStore at no cost with Shopify's 14-day free trial.

Host your online store at a new or existing domain name, or take advantage of the free MyShopify.com domain that the company provides. The Shopify experts have made it simple to display and sell an unlimited number of items online, and processing them is a snap. The Shopify Stripe Payments system allows merchants to accept and process credit and debit transactions after customers make a purchase via Facebook, by clicking on a BUY NOW button, or on other social media platforms. Depending on which plan you sign up for, you can get advanced reporting, shipping, and shopping cart features as well. All plans include the option to entice customers with discount codes too!

If you're shopping for a web builder to build an online store, look no further than Shopify. Build your business, build your brand, and boast an unlimited number of products with ease. Online store building is Shopify's specialty, and the team is available to help you any time of day.

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  • Plans include a website builder with tons of Shopify themes — FREE!
  • Sell unlimited items via social media, a BUY NOW button, or Shopify POS
  • Developers can easily build on the platform via the Shopify API
  • Shopify experts available 24/7 to assist you in building your online store
  • Tons of eCommerce features
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (MyShopify.com)

Website Builder Rating

N/A

HostGator does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Shopify vs. HostGator - Our Conclusion

Toby Sembower Toby Sembower Hosting Expert
“We tested Shopify & HostGator — The winner is Shopify!”

We may have listed a winner in this comparison between HostGator and Shopify, but we understand that your store’s specific needs maymight warrant a reversal. We appreciate that HostGator allows business owners more flexibility in terms of which eCommerce platform they can use; sellers can choose from among WordPress and WooCommerce, as well as osCommerce and ZenCart. That being said, Shopify is one of our favorite options in the eCommerce world — and the company’s monthly billing options mean you can give the platform a try without having to commit your business to a long-term contract.

Overall Rating
4.6/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Shopify »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »