Hostwinds vs. HostGator (2019)

Laura Bernheim Laura Bernheim Hosting Expert
“We tested Hostwinds & HostGator — The winner is Hostwinds!”

It’s a common dilemma or choice facing consumers: When do you splurge and when do you save money? Whether you’re weighing fast food or a filet mignon or the choice between web hosting affordability and performance, the decision often rests in a variety of factors. What’s your budget? What goals are you looking to accomplish? HostGator is an industry veteran and trusted brand that provides hosting and support services trusted by millions. Hostwinds, however, represents a fresh-face upstart looking to push the industry forward with modern infrastructure. Compare the two companies’ different approaches to hosting by reading through our reviews below.

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Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Hostwinds »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build... read more +

Promising enterprise-grade hosting solutions for prices that appeal to small and medium businesses, Hostwinds delivers the full range of operating systems and server configurations to help customers build and grow an online presence. With hosting plans covering niches like vBulletin and Minecraft, Hostwinds attracts a customer base as mixed as the server configurations.

After frustrating web hosting experiences of his own, CEO Peter Holden set out to prove that providers didn't need to choose among powerful infrastructure, responsive support, and cost-effective prices. As a 20-year-old, he launched Hostwinds in 2010 to accomplish all three objectives. Now, the fast-growing company offers the full range of services while guaranteeing complete satisfaction.

We'll put the magnifying glass to the company's shared, cloud, VPS, and dedicated server options later, but we wanted to give a quick shoutout to Hostwinds for its top-notch reseller and white label plans. The traditional reseller route operates as you'd expect, with the added perks of being able to set your own prices and capitalizing on Hostwinds's robust product line.

For the less tech-savvy reseller or those wanting to offer multiple hosting options to clients, Hostwinds makes its full spectrum of services available under your branding. The company streamlines deployment and sets up WHMCS for billing management and payment processing. We already appreciate the company's high-powered hardware, so we're naturally supportive of easy-to-configure plans that help customers spread the love.

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  • 500% faster speeds via SSDs
  • LiteSpeed web server performance
  • FREE dedicated IP address
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee
  • Datacenters in Dallas and Seattle
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

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

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. The standard shared hosting services compete with the likes... read more +

A recurring theme in the Hostwinds product lineup, the company offers multiple configurations to ensure every customer's needs are perfectly met. The standard shared hosting services compete with the likes of InMotion Hosting, SiteGround, and A2 Hosting. Modern solid-state drives place Hostwinds and the others in a somewhat more expensive hosting bracket, but savvy customers will notice the value.

Between the SSDs and LiteSpeed web servers, Hostwinds ekes out 500% faster performance compared with typical shared hosting plans. Combined with the bevy of unlimited features (bandwidth, disk space, subdomains, email accounts, databases, and FTP accounts), we love how Hostwinds matches superior services with affordability.

For hosting customers looking to take a small step up without committing to the management requirements and time investment of a virtual private server, Hostwinds offers business hosting plans with an even more souped-up approach to performance. Virus and malware scans are upped to once per week, instead of monthly for regular shared hosting.

We appreciate that Hostwinds began including a free domain registration with its shared hosting plans, and recognize that the company's 60-day money-back guarantee is twice as long as most others in the space. Add in the Weebly site builder and instant setup, and the full spectrum of site owners will be well served with Hostwinds.

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  • Shared hosting plans offer the ultimate affordability
  • Upgraded business plans give users more control and room to grow
  • Unlimited bandwidth, email accounts, and subdomains
  • FREE website transfers and domain name registration
  • Softaculous auto-installation scripts
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#6 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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  • Get 62% off monthly pricing by buying 36 months up front
  • 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

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the... read more +

At the highest end of the hosting spectrum, it can sometimes be challenging to discern which servers reign supreme. Providers naturally put their finest hardware and most luxurious features at the forefront when it comes to attracting customers for high-price dedicated hosting. Hostwinds, however, somehow manages to eke out ahead of the rest on the strength of the company's incredible range of configurations.

For starters, customers can choose from among 15 Windows or Linux operating system and equip servers with up to 3TB of hard-disk drive storage per bay (the maximum number of drives is four). Alternatively, servers can be equipped with up to 1TB of solid-state drives per hard drive bay. RAM scales from 8GB to 128GB, outpacing even the most luxury hosts at seemingly every turn.

From there, users can select to use up to 128 IP addresses. Although inbound bandwidth is free and unlimited, outbound transfers can scale between 10TB to 200TB and more. Depending how many hard drives you opt to deploy, you can configure five different RAID backup options for free.

All told, customers can easily configure servers that cost upward of $1,000 per month — but the performance will undoubtedly be worthwhile. Hostwinds servers somehow always seem to ring up a few dollars per month cheaper than competitors and come with a superb 99.999% uptime guarantee.

Our only tentative reservation is trusting a smaller, newer company with such a business-critical task at such a large scale. We have absolutely zero evidence to support our fears, just feel the need to mention the company doesn't have the tried-and-true legacy of some other well-known brands. If the premium hardware and slight savings are worth the tiny gamble, however, we expect large companies will enjoy the payoff.

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  • Highly configurable servers with a choice between Windows or Linux
  • Fully managed support and nightly backups available
  • SAS Type II and Tier 4 datacenters
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee and automatic DDoS attack detection
  • 1-hour hardware replacement
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
120 GB SSD - 12 TB HDD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#6 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

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#2 out of 9 in VPS Hosting reviews

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10... read more +

Does any hosting provider have more virtual private server packages than Hostwinds? The company offers 10 configurations — and that's just for managed Linux server partitions. Hostwinds provides 10 additional plans each for managed Windows VPS and unmanaged varieties of both operating systems.

Virtual servers range from 1 CPU core, 1GB of RAM, and 30GB of storage all the way to 16 cores, 96GB of RAM, and 750GB of storage. Customers can pay roughly $5 per month — or more than $250. Around-the-clock monitoring of the company's network and devices ensure reliability, but Hostwinds promises a five-minute response to incidents and hardware replacements within an hour.

For those wanting even more flexibility and scalability, Hostwinds offers cloud hosting billed by the hour or month. Create an instance, select your operating system and infrastructure, and enjoy the company's fully managed support. Customers can deploy block or object storage volumes and rely on the company's strict firewall to protect it all.

Add in the company's stellar 99.999% uptime guarantee, high-powered solid-state drives, and the guaranteed 1Gbps port, and customers will be hard-pressed to find a more flexible, performant, and affordable VPS or cloud service.

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  • Managed or unmanaged virtual servers available in Windows or Linux
  • Cloud hosting instances with hourly or monthly billing
  • Instant upgrades without downtime
  • FREE around-the-clock monitoring
  • Automatic nightly backups available
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
30 GB - 750 GB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

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

N/A

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

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

N/A

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

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#4 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)

Hostwinds vs. HostGator - Our Conclusion

Laura Bernheim Laura Bernheim Hosting Expert
“We tested Hostwinds & HostGator — The winner is Hostwinds!”

As you can see, Hostwinds and HostGator prices aren’t dramatically different — but those few dollars per month can make a drastic difference to site owners and small businesses operating on thin margins and lean budgets. We appreciate how HostGator caters to all levels of the hosting spectrum, from user-friendly WordPress and site builder options to robust dedicated servers. Hostwinds tends to focus on flexible technology options, with a variety of managed and unmanaged hardware configurations to choose from. Good luck in choosing where to make your hosting investment — we hope it pays dividends!

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Hostwinds »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »