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HostGator Cloud Review

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HostGator is a powerful web hosting service with the most hosting choices, catering to anyone from beginner to expert. While they offer many of the same things a hosting service like Bluehost might, their strength lies in getting specific with their host offerings and allowing you to really personalize what you want in your hosting package.

That’s probably the reason why two million others use them for reliable hosting. Because of this and many more of its useful features, HostGator makes it on my best web hosting services list. 

HostGator Compared to The Best Web Hosting Services

With HostGator, you can start any site on a shoestring budget. It’s accessible to the point where you can start hosting a site for as little as $2.75 a month. And yes, they have plenty of customer support available, along with a live chat feature you can tap into at any time. They also offer free SSL certification and a free domain name. 

This puts HostGator firmly on my list of the top eight web hosting services as one of the most affordable options. I painstakingly raked through each web host on the market to ensure I was recommending only the best to choose the rest. As a result, I created an in-depth guide that’ll guide you all the way through until you feel comfortable making a sound web hosting decision for your website.

See all of our top picks here and get ready to dive deep into how to choose a service and what to look for. Now, let’s look at everything HostGator offers and how it measures up to other web hosts on the market. 

Who is HostGator Best For?

To put it simply, HostGator is best for entry-level beginners searching for a low barrier to entry hosting service. If you’re looking for one of the easiest and affordable website hosts to help you get your site up and running, HostGator is a great place to start. 

HostGator: The Pros and Cons

Like every other website builder, HostGator comes with its list of pros and cons, depending on where you stand. It goes without saying that no hosting service is perfect. 

No matter which service you choose, you’re bound to run into problems like occasional downtime or technical issues. Still, it’s a good practice to look at each website builder’s pros and cons to see who they cater to best. 

Pros

Free migration: If you don’t want to deal with migrations and the fees associated with it, HostGator has your back and migrates your site for free. Other sites with similar features can charge you a pretty penny for this type of service. 

24/7 support: HostGator takes customer support seriously. You can reach out to them through their live chat feature whenever you need no matter the day or the hour. 

99.9% uptime guarantee: Not all hosting providers are bold enough to make this guarantee, but HostGator does. As you might already know, uptime is essential if you want your site to keep it’s rank on Google, a good online reputation, and be accessible to your audience at all times. Knowing HostGator cares about uptime enough to offer a guarantee can give you peace of mind. 

Free domain for a year: Much like Bluehost, HostGator lets you register a free domain name with them for a year. Anything free that makes the process of creating a website easier is always a plus in my book. 

Cons

Higher renewal prices: Granted, many hosting providers offer you entry-level prices to get your foot in the door. However, when it’s time to renew your yearly plan, those prices tend to go up. For HostGator, this is definitely the case. So, it’s a factor to consider when you’re budgeting and thinking long-term. 

No staging options: Staging is a great option to have if you’re a developer that needs to test changes or fix bugs. Unfortunately, this isn’t something HostGator offers at the moment. You’ll have to install a third-party staging plugin. 

HostGator Pricing

There’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to HostGator hosting options. As I mentioned before, they offer you a buffet-style spread of hosting options. 

To start, HostGator includes the following options regardless of what plans you choose:

  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • An uptime guarantee of 99.9%
  • Round-the-clock server monitoring
  • Unlimited FTP users
  • One-click installs
  • 24/7/365 customer support
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • cPanel control panel
  • Free migration

Once you know those are all included, here are the types of hosting services HostGator offers:

  • Web Hosting
  • Cloud Hosting
  • WordPress Hosting
  • VPS Hosting
  • Dedicated Hosting

Now, how exactly does each one measure up, and what do they offer? 

Web Hosting

  • Hatchling Plan – $2.75 a month
  • Baby Plan – $3.95 a month 
  • Business Plan – $5.95 a month

Each plan is priced on a 36-month billing cycle. But you can always adjust that to shorter billing cycles, though keep in mind that this will alter your monthly prices. For the sake of simplicity, I’ve chosen the longest billing cycle, as it’s the cheapest option.

For web hosting, all three plans include one-click installs and unlimited email. The Business plan offers a bit more. This means if you go with it, you’ll have a private SSL, dedicated IP, and free VoIP phone service. 

In this category, the most basic plan you can go with is the Hatchling plan, and it only allows you to host one domain. This is what makes HostGator a great entry-level hosting provider if you want to get your one site up and running quickly. 

Cloud Hosting

  • Hatchling Cloud – $4.95 a month
  • Baby Cloud – $6.57 a month
  • Business Cloud – $9.95 a month

HostGator stands out as a reliable cloud hosting provider with three different options to choose from. You’ll first need to decide how much RAM you’ll need. Their Hatchling plan with 2 GB can be a solid starter option.

But you can go as high as their Business Cloud option with 6 GB of RAM. The highest tier in their cloud hosting plan includes a dedicated IP and VoIP phone service for as little as $9.95 a month. Learn more about HostGator Cloud Hosting.

WordPress Hosting

  • Starter Plan – $5.95 a month
  • Standard Plan – $7.95 a month
  • Business Plan – $9.95 a month

If you already know you’re hosting your site with WordPress, you’ll want to pay close attention to HostGator’s WordPress hosting solutions. Picking between each tier is easy. All you’ll have to consider is the amount of traffic your site gets and if you’re trying to host one or multiple sites.

The Starter plan is best for around 100k monthly visitors, while its Standard plan can manage with up to 200k site visitors. If you have a popular site that gets around 500k monthly hits or more, it’s safest to choose their Business plan. Each tier is reasonably priced and accessible for the amount of web traffic they can manage. This is yet another reason why I highly recommend HostGator as a hosting provider for starter sites. 

VPS Hosting

  • Snappy 2000 – $19.95 a month
  • Snappy 4000 – $29.95 a month
  • Snappy 8000 – $39.95 a month

With HostGator’s VPS Hosting plan, you’re in for fewer service limitations and a slew of additional features. As you grow, you can easily add more RAM, CPU, or disk space to accommodate your site.

A virtual server dedicated to your site ensures you have more control over your site’s hosting environment in a cost-effective manner. This is yet another example of the flexibility of HostGator as a hosting provider, which is a favorite feature of mine. 

Dedicated Hosting

  • Value Server – $89.98 a month
  • Power Server – $119.89 a month
  • Enterprise Server – $139.99 a month

HostGator’s dedicated hosting category can be summed up in one word: maximization. You choose a hard drive and how much RAM you want depending on your site needs. Then they provide you with IP-based firewall protection. 

Dedicated servers are equipped to host sites that are in full growth mode. They need powerful features that enable them to grow while minimizing downtime, space limitations, and technical difficulties that might arise with a less robust hosting plan. 

If you decide to go the dedicated hosting route, you can be sure HostGator offers you all the hosting and site management tools you could ask for. And again, their ability to personalize their offers to your needs sets them apart as a powerful web hosting provider. 

HostGator Offerings

We’ve already established that HostGator is a great option for either entry-level sites or sites that need advanced options ranging anywhere from blogging and personal use to the entrepreneurship space. But what are their main offerings?

Here’s a closer look.

Shared & Cloud Hosting

HostGator offers you the standard package that you can find with any reliable hosting provider with these options. What sets them apart in this camp are unlimited storage features and unmetered bandwidth. Keep in mind this all comes with guaranteed uptime as well. With the entry-level prices, you get with shared hosting on HostGator, it definitely stands as a contender to other providers like Bluehost

The difference between shared and cloud hosting is straightforward. Shared hosting is when you shared a server with multiple other sites, and all clients share the available bandwidth. Cloud hosting is when your site is hosted on multiple shared servers instead of just one.

WordPress Hosting

As you can expect, their WordPress hosting option includes a free domain, having WordPress ready and installed so you can start publishing on your site, and an easy to use control panel. HostGator also offers plenty of site security features like site backups and malware protection. The WordPress hosting option is exactly what it sounds like: hosting in a way that directly caters to WordPress sites.

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is when an entirely virtual private server is divided into dedicated hosting spaces for each client. HostGator’s VPS hosting option is the way to go if you’re looking for top-tier site hosting tools like the ability to host unlimited domains, create unlimited email addresses, databases, and FTP accounts. The web hosting feature that takes the cake for VPS hosting is the off-site courtesy backup it does for you weekly. 

Dedicated Hosting

If you want the absolute best hosting, HostGator has dedicated hosting to offer you a number of valuable web hosting tools. You’ll have plenty of customization options to maximize your site’s efficiency with a dedicated server all for your site. 

They guarantee your site stays up and running, and they give you the option to manage it yourself or have their team fully manage it for you. HostGator will also help with any technical or custom software installations. This makes HostGator’s dedicated hosting packages one of the best in their industry. 

The Best Website Builders

I encourage you to read through my in-depth guide to the best hosting providers. In it, you’ll see how each hosting provider stacks up in comparison to the rest. That way, you’re informed well enough to make the best decision possible. So, check out my top picks here. To help, here’s a quick overview of who made it on the list: 

  1. Dreamhost Best option if you want quick and responsive website changes
  2. Hostinger Low-Cost shared hosting options for startups
  3. Bluehost Best for WordPress hosting
  4. Nexcess Best ecommerce hosting
  5. HostGator Most affordable option for startups
  6. WP Engine Best option if you know your limits
  7. InMotion Best option for scaling BIG
  8. Siteground Best for WooCommerce hosting

HostGator is a powerful hosting provider for first-time site builders who want a reliable and choice-rich option they can rely on. With HostGator, you not only get plenty of hosting options, but you also get access to added perks like free SSL certification and free domain registration. What’s great about HostGator is that you can start small and then switch hosting tiers as your site grows without having to migrate if you’re happy with their service.  

Now it’s your turn. Let me know your thoughts about HostGator below.

Or better yet, if you’re starting your site and don’t want to wait any longer, get started with HostGator today. 

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/hostgator-cloud-review/

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Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services

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Make no mistake: running a website is hard.

There are so many areas to focus on, from content creation to admin, to maintaining a site via updates.

The good news is that WordPress maintenance services can take a load off users’ shoulders, keeping their sites up to date and allowing them to spend their time elsewhere.

These services offer support and can help with website downtime, theme modifications, site backups, and more.

I’ve put together a list of the best WordPress maintenance and management services to help you get started.

#1 – GoWP — The Best For Agencies

GoWP is an ideal WordPress maintenance service for agencies.

It positions itself as a white-label service, which allows an agency to layer its own branding and SOPs on top of the maintenance services GoWP provides as if those services are now part of the agency’s own back end. 

The white-label focus allows GoWP to create a dedicated mailbox using a domain, provide help and support to all requests to that email, and share a white-labeled dashboard with clients.

On top of that, you have WordPress plugin updates, security monitoring, and automatic site backups with 90 days of offsite storage.

Other powerful features of GoWP include:

  • Unlimited content edits
  • Dedicated account manager (premium)
  • Dedicated WordPress developer (premium)
  • Daily security scans and malware cleanup
  • White-label help desk

GoWP has four main tiers of pricing that come under the following sequential packages:

  • Maintenance / $29 monthly per site       
  • Content Edits / $79 monthly per site       
  • Page Builds / $1299 monthly per site      
  • Dedicated Developer / $2299 monthly per site

The second tier gives agencies access to a 24/7 team of experts, a support ticket dashboard, and Visual Validator WordPress updates.

The next tier jumps up in price but does provide you with a dedicated WordPress developer for it. Learn more at GoWP.

#2 – FixRunner — The Best For Tech Support

FixRunner is a great choice for dedicated tech support.

The service features monthly support time from two hours to four hours—this does depend on the plan you opt for—and additional help is available if you need it.

You’ll be able to use this support time to make all sorts of tweaks to a site, including full debugs, performance improvements, and more.

I was particularly impressed with FixRunner’s 30-day satisfaction guarantee that offers a full refund, no questions asked if you’re unhappy with the service.

FixRunner additionally offers:

  • Speed Optimization
  • WordPress core updates
  • Plug-in and theme updates
  • Uptime monitoring
  • Security scans

The service provides plans for both small websites and bigger, enterprise-level ones. There are three core plans available for smaller websites:

  • Premium / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $69 monthly
  • Rocket / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $99 monthly
  • Advance / Monthly, quarterly, or yearly / $179 monthly

For bigger websites or Enterprise-level business, we have the following:

  • Advance + / Monthly or quarterly / $300 monthly
  • Advance ++ / Monthly or quarterly / $500 monthly
  • Custom / Monthly or quarterly / Call for price

If you’re a smaller website, I think the Rocket package is a good starting point–it includes support for online shops, on-page SEO optimization, and a faster response time for sites, making it a notable offering all around.

#3 – WP Buffs — The Best For Site Security

WP Buffs is a top maintenance service for those that want full confidence in their site’s security.

When users purchase the service, they’ll be able to use the iThemes Security plugin—considered to be one of the best security plugins available.

The plugin exists to protect a site from nasty malware and spam, but it’s also useful for its cache feature that improves the loading speed of a site—something crucially important for good rankings.

Users also have the option to back up their entire site with WP Buffs and store it in the cloud for extra peace of mind.

Other key features of WP Buffs include the following:

  • 24/7 site edits
  • Speed optimization
  • Ongoing security
  • Weekly updates
  • Emergency 24/7 support

On the pricing front, WP Buffs offers multiple different plans. The four key ones are Maintain, Protect, Perform, and then a series of custom plans for those with advanced needs.

Itemized these are:

  • Maintain / Annual or monthly / $56 a month billed yearly
  • Protect / Annual or monthly / $123 a month billed yearly
  • Perform / Annual or monthly / $164 a month billed yearly
  • Custom / Annual or monthly / starts at $290 a month billed yearly

The iThemes Security Pro premium plugin is included from the second package onwards or the ‘Protect’ tier in this case. The third level of pricing, ‘Perform,’ includes four daily cloud backups, priority support, and complete malware removal.

#4 – Valet — The Best For Ecommerce Store Owners

Valet should be a top pick for those that run ecommerce stores.

It’s a comprehensive service that provides manual updates and includes uptime monitoring, security scanning, and full examinations of checkout workflows, all of which help ensure everything is running smoothly for your customers.

Some of the other highlights include:

  • Code checks
  • Reports and analysis
  • Remediation for website accessibility
  • Up to five hours of dedicated support per month

The first paid plan with Valet starts at $300 per month and includes two hours of support.

Ecommerce store owners should check out the professional plan that costs $750 a month but includes five hours of dedicated support every month.

The top tier plan with Valet is the ‘Elite Plan’ that offers over ten hours of support each month, and this is quite clearly catered towards large companies that have the extra funding available.

General consultations with Valet are available and cost $175 per month.

#5 – SiteCare — The Best For Performance Optimization

SiteCare is the best option on my list for site performance optimization. If you want a service that will optimize a site so it loads as quickly as possible, this is your top choice.

SiteCare gets to work by first looking at aspects of a site that could be causing it to slow down. This can be due to anything from poorly optimized images to faulty plugins or a web host’s quality.

Once that’s done, the service implements a series of best practices, removing the website’s weaknesses step by step until it’s responsive and efficient.

SiteCare offers the following to those that use the service:

  • Hack cleanups
  • Daily backups
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Theme and plugin updates
  • Mobile optimization

In terms of pricing, things are clear and simple. There are two key plans available: a basic plan and an advanced one.

The basic plan costs $79 a month and includes access to the essentials, such as daily backups, malware cleanup, and access to support.

The more advanced plan costs $299 a month, so quite a jump, but for that, you get access to custom development hours with a specialist and a few extras such as ecommerce support and Sucuri firewall.

#6 – The WP Butler — The Best For Custom Plans

Only want specific parts of a service? Well, The WP Butler is unique because it allows users to customize their service plan.

For example, maybe you’re just looking for caching and speed improvements but don’t require anything else.

Monthly services with The WP Butler include malware scans, daily or weekly backups, and plugin or theme updates.

The itemized one-off service includes everything from configuring HTTPS to a custom security inspection.

Additional features of The WP Butler include:

  • Weekly site reviews
  • Uptime monitoring
  • 30 minutes of development time on retainer
  • Emergency site restoration
  • Security plugin configuration

As there are quite a few options with The WP Butler, pricing varies significantly depending on what you need.

If the monthly packages are more suited to you, these come in the following tiers:

  • The Basics / $39 a month
  • The Solopreneur / $69 a month
  • The Small Business / $129 a month
  • The Company / $299 a month
  • The Enterprise / $599 a month

One-off services range from $100 to $250, and there’s even the option of a monthly retainer. With this, you pay for a set number of hours of development work each month. Lots to choose from here.

What I Looked at To Find the Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services

Before deciding which of these WordPress maintenance and management services to go for, it’s worth knowing how I chose them.

The first thing to mention is that there are two primary forms WordPress maintenance can take.

Generally speaking, there are WordPress maintenance services like the ones featured in this list, and there is “managed WordPress hosting.”

If a site is part of managed WordPress hosting, then there’s a good chance you won’t need maintenance service on top of that. Examples include WP Engine, Bluehost, SiteGround, and WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). If you’re hosting your WordPress site with any of these, maintenance services may not be necessary for you. 

Since you’re reading this post, though, you’ve probably chosen to use a WordPress maintenance service outside of your hosting platform (or are hosting your site with a platform that doesn’t provide those services), so here are some of the features I looked at to pick out the best maintenance services. 

Security Monitoring

It goes without saying how important security is for a site in the internet age. With the increase in threats and cyberattacks, knowing someone has got your back can bring great comfort.

Most of the maintenance services on this list include top security monitoring as part of their monthly packages, although not every service will. Some, for example, might include this as an optional extra.

How essential this is depends on the size of a company, but in most cases, monitoring a site for threats and knowing what to do if attacked is key. A maintenance service removes a great deal of worry here, so I think it’s a vital area to consider.

Site Optimization

Site optimization is a broad term, but in the case of WordPress maintenance and management services, I’m mainly talking about making a site more responsive and quicker to load.

A slow website can lead to people leaving sites rapidly in today’s fast-paced world, not to mention that Google actively penalizes slower websites by pushing them down in the search results.

A WordPress maintenance service can optimize a site to load quickly, making it responsive and pleasurable to use. This is important for every single site on the internet.

Almost all of the WordPress maintenance services on this list include site optimization in some form, though the exact service carried out can vary.

Backups

A site that’s a victim of a cyberattack could find itself damaged and beyond repair—that’s where site backups come in. These allow users to restore a healthy and fully working version of said site.

In fact, it might not be a cyberattack, mistakes that delete files or whole databases can happen, sometimes inexplicably.

Having a maintenance service ready and waiting to install a healthy backup of a site if something goes wrong is beyond useful. It removes a lot of the stress from potentially losing everything.

Companies of most sizes will find this a vital feature, although site backups are easy enough to do if you’re an informed solopreneur—in the case of the latter, they might not need this particular service.

Conclusion

WordPress maintenance and management services can be crucially important to the right person. There’s a considerable amount of choice out there too, and knowing where to start can be difficult.

My list covers all of the key areas to consider:

  • GoWP — The Best For Agencies
  • FixRunner — The Best For Tech Support
  • WP Buffs — The Best For Site Security
  • Valet — The Best For Ecommerce Store Owners
  • WP Site Care — The Best For Performance Optimization
  • The WP Butler — The Best For Custom Plans

These are respectable choices, and thinking about exact needs can help make the decision process a little bit quicker.

There’s a lot to think about when running a site, from site backups to security and optimization.

WordPress maintenance services will allow the process to become more manageable, saving precious time for use elsewhere.

The post Best WordPress Maintenance and Management Services appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/best-wordpress-maintenance-and-management-services/

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