Hostwinds vs. HostGator (2018)

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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  • 400% 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
$14.84

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

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

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 400% 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. Instead of placing 200 clients on the typical shared server, Hostwinds gives business hosting customers a larger piece of the shared server pie. Business hosting servers top out at 50 customers per machine, and CPU limits are lifted. Virus and malware scans are upped to once per week, instead of monthly for regular shared hosting.

Our one gripe about Hostwinds is how the company doesn't include a free domain registration, which is commonly tacked on to what seems like every other shared hosting plan on the market. This obviously doesn't affect Hostwinds's impeccable performance or customer experience, but it could be a damaging tie-breaker against Hostwinds in the ultra-competitive shared hosting market.

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  • Shared hosting plans offer the ultimate affordability
  • Upgraded business plans give users more control and room to grow
  • Softaculous auto-installation scripts
  • Unlimited bandwidth and subdomains
  • FREE website transfers
  • Get started on Hostwinds now.
Money Back Guarantee
60 days
Disk Space
Unlimited SSD
Domain Name
$14.84

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

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

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 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 32 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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  • Choice between Windows or Linux
  • Fully managed support 24/7/365
  • SAS Type II and Tier 4 datacenters
  • 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
$14.84

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

★★★★★ 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, 512MB of RAM, and 20GB of storage all the way to 16 cores, 64GB of RAM, and 500GB of storage. Customers can pay less than $5 per month — or more than $630. 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
60 days
Disk Space
20 GB - 500 GB
Domain Name
$14.84

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#7 out of 9 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

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

#4 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

N/A

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Neither host currently offers this type of hosting. While we do not recommend choosing these hosts for this web hosting category, we do recommend our expert's top pick for 2018's Best Site Builder Hosting. See 2018's Best Site Builder Hosting »

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 »