HostGator vs Shopify (2019)

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 showcase an unlimited number... 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 showcase an unlimited number of products with unlimited file storage as well. Compared to other web hosts, Shopify is not going to offer you the same level of robustness in terms of technological offerings, but the company's ecommerce features are on point. Online store building is Shopify's bread-and-butter service, and the company is darn good at it.

First of all, the Shopify theme store features hundreds of free and premium theme options that are relatively easy for customers to manipulate. Dev-savvy folks can further customize their storefronts 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 by using the Shopify POS system. Serious ecommerce folks may opt to purchase the retail package add-on, 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. 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 on unlimited bandwidth
  • Integrate PayPal or Shopify point-of-sale systems
  • 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 subdomain

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

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

HostGator has been around for more than a decade and is well-respected for its large number of servers and 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 slightly more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that echoes the brand's reputation for strong infrastructure and helpful support. HostGator offers decent features in its basic shared hosting offerings, such as unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. Plus, you get the flexibility to add numerous add-ons for privacy, security, and productivity as you see fit.

Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is its strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs, as well. 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 servers, with the support and beginner-friendly tools that will appeal to the full range of customers.

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  • Familiar and easy-to-use cPanel control panel
  • FREE drag-and-drop custom website builder
  • Unlimited disk space, email, and bandwidth on all plans
  • No contract required and 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 62% off your first three years
  • 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 how the feature set centers around ecommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even the company's most basic plan is... read more +

The great thing about Shopify is how the feature set centers around ecommerce, a focus of many shared hosting shoppers. Shopify plans are fully hosted, but even the company's most basic plan is significantly more costly than a majority of the shared hosts we've come across. The 14-day free trial is key to Shopify's success, giving customers a chance to try out the platform before committing to such an expense.

If you're serious about building an online store, however, Shopify offers a superb range of plan options and feature additions to make successful stores 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 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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  • Site builder with 100s of FREE and premium themes
  • Unlimited bandwidth, storage, and products
  • Easy-to-use dashboard for managing orders, shipping, and payments
  • Tons of ecommerce features, including discount codes
  • FREE MyShopify.com subdomain or use your own
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE subdomain

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. The company offers unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus one-click installs of popular open-source projects, in... read more +

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

HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to its vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. The company's many hosting options make HostGator 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. The company’s custom website builder comes with more than 4,500 drag-and-drop, mobile-friendly templates to help users launch their website, blog, or ecommerce store, while the familiar cPanel interface helps customers seamlessly manage domains, email, databases, and one-click software installations.

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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  • $0.01 for 1 month. Renews at $10.94 monthly, or as low as $4.17/month on annual contract
  • Unmetered disk space & bandwidth
  • Unlimited email addresses & free SSL certificate
  • One-click WordPress install & free blog tools
  • New domain costs $15/year, or use existing domain free
  • 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

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#5 out of 10 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
  • HDD or SSD storage options, plus unlimited databases
  • Top-of-the-line, fully redundant network and datacenter
  • SSH access and support for multiple languages
  • Managed or semi-managed solutions
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
512 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

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

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#8 out of 9 in VPS Hosting reviews

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared hosting options. The company's VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those who are new... read more +

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared hosting options. The company's VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those who are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared server.

Starting at low price points and boasting tons of support, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IP addresses and a bunch of storage, and recently expanded CPU and RAM offerings lend a ton of computing power.

HostGator’s strongest point comes from its 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. The company has more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.

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  • Full root access with fully or semi-managed options
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of network security
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • RAID-10 storage for data protection
  • Get up to 75% off when you sign up
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
120 GB - 240 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★ 3.8/5.0

Although Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's ecommerce capabilities without redoing their online store. For just $9 per month, you can integrate a... read more +

Although Shopify isn't your traditional web host, WordPress fans can take advantage of Shopify's ecommerce capabilities without redoing their online store. For just $9 per 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.

Shopify is 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 WP site for $9/month
  • Easily copy and paste Shopify-generated code to sell unlimited products
  • Customize the button's colors to match your brand
  • 100+ payment gateways accepted with secure checkout
  • 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 subdomain

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.

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 credits to kickstart marketing
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

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, with drag-and-drop elements or the Shopify API. Best of all, you can start building your store 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 subdomain 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
  • Get help with your name, logo, and online presence
  • Sell unlimited items via social media, a button, or POS
  • Developers can easily build on the platform via the API
  • Shopify experts available 24/7 to assist you
  • Try Shopify FREE for 14 days.
Money Back Guarantee
14-Day FREE Trial
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE subdomain

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#3 out of 9 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

Setting itself apart from the scores of competitors that rely on white-labeled website builder solutions, HostGator spent the time to painstakingly craft its own platform. Gator provides a frustration-free... read more +

Setting itself apart from the scores of competitors that rely on white-labeled website builder solutions, HostGator spent the time to painstakingly craft its own platform. Gator provides a frustration-free experience that pairs the simplicity of drag-and-drop design with the company’s powerful and respected web hosting services.

Signing up is a breeze, and HostGator gives customers an option to add a suite of social media marketing tools. Users are quickly ushered into a gallery of more than 200 modern, mobile-responsive, and visually impressive templates that can be sorted by categories like beauty and fashion, music and entertainment, real estate, business consultant, portfolios, and others. Gator covers blogs and ecommerce stores, even coming with a free domain name and SSL certificate.

Once you choose your basic look, Gator ushers you through a 15-second tour to show you the basic features of the editor — and it’s all you need. Clicking on any element opens a menu that gives you options to change styles, whether it’s a section’s complete design or something simple like font or color.

We especially appreciate how Gator’s drag-and-drop interface gives users pixel-perfect control while still suggesting guides and grids for appropriate spacing. Throughout the customization and design phase, users can seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile views to understand how your site will appear to all visitors.

Adding a blog or ecommerce store takes just a click. We wish Gator would suggest a select few designs that matched the current site’s template instead of the dozen or so options that reflect a wide range of categories, but we were impressed that the in-depth previews covered both the blog page and individual posts, for instance.

All in all, HostGator can be incredibly proud of its proprietary site builder — and customers can sit back and enjoy the confidence in having such a well-rounded tool at their design disposal.

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  • Drag-and-drop design with the Gator™ website builder
  • Hundreds of mobile-friendly, industry-specific templates
  • FREE hosting, domain name, and SSL certificate
  • Easily add a blog, ecommerce, and social media marketing
  • Analytics portal helps you gauge your site’s performance
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

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 »