If you are doing many niche websites or just one for your business or a blog the most important factor is your hosting service. If your host is unreliable no amount of SEO is going to help, since your website wont be there! I often see tweets and post of people in a panic cause the host they are with is causing so many problems, trust me I’ve been there as well. When I first started web design and hosting for others way back in the 90′s I went with a company that I thought was pretty good. Actually they were but their main focus was merchant accounts (processing credit cards) so they soon sold off the hosting. Now this wasnt some big hosting company as I soon found out, it seemed more like it was servers in their garage. I would have websites go down and they would give me one excuse or another and it would eventually come back up. This is when I could get a hold of them (there seemed to be only 2) heaven forbid if my site went down on a friday about 3pm. Often I wouldn’t get a reply till Monday and the site would be down the whole time. Also I had been asking for them to upgrade to the latest PHP, a year later still nothing and thats when I left.
Finally I had had enough and made the switch to Hostgator and moved all my sites over. It was like night and day! First in the 3 years I’ve been with Hostgator I’ve only had a site go down once, they knew about it and had it solved before I finished the email to them. Other times I would have questions that I needed from suport, I would have an answer within an hour almost every time!
The most common plans with Hostgator offered is their shared web hosting plans. This means that your site(s) will reside on a server with other sites. This is great if your site has low to medium traffic. I know we all have dreams of our sites getting traffic like google or amazon but lets be realistic and start slow. If your site does start to get traffic in the 1000′s per day then you can consider moving it to a more robust or dedicated server all your own. The good thing about shared hosting is that the costs are so much lower (starting at $3.96 a month).
Two Shared Hosting Plans
If you plan on only having one site, Hostgator’s Hatchling plan is your best bet. It offers unlimited space and bandwidth, so you can go nuts with your site and not have to worry about extra charges like other hosts. Go crazy with uploading files. Lots of space for photos and videos if you wish. It will come with its own back end c-panel for you to set everything up. It starts at $3.96 a month if you pay for 3 years in advance.
If you plan on having many sites then the Hostgator Baby plan is the most preferred. It still has unlimited storage and bandwidth but on top of that you can have unlimited domain names as well. This plan is perfect for those like me that build many niche sites as you can have them all under one plan for the one cost, currently $6.96 if you pay for 3 years. The one thing to consider here though is you will only have one C-Panel for controlling all of the sites, so it makes things a bit more interesting if you want to sell off a site or turn over complete control to a client you may be hosting for.
Unlimited is not always Unlimited
Hostgator is the bees knees but if you are building an online empire of 100′s of websites I must warn you that ‘unlimited’ has its limits. First off lets talk storage. Yes you can continue to load up sites and files till your heart is content. Here’s the kicker if your account has more than 100,000 files on it (pages, photos, docs) your account is no longer backed up by hostgator. They say they will still back up your databases but not the files themselves. Important note!
Also they do have a graph in your C-Panel menu that shows how much space you have used out of 20,000MB (20GB) what happens when you reach that number? Another thing to remember is for every domain you add to your account the number of processes go up and you are limited to 25 processes! I learned this the hard way and now have 2 Baby Plans for my sites and looking at getting another to spread them out more, keeping just a few mission critical sites on one account. That being said I do have 29 niche and small client sites on one account and doing fine with files, the other has 26 sites but way over files due to my photography sites.
Ease of Use
Along with the great price and suport Hostgator is so easy to use! You can have a self hosted wordpress site up and running in 5 minutes, and Im being generous with that 5 mins. In my next post I will walk you through the process of adding your first website to your hostgator account. If wordpress is not your thing they have a library of quick install scripts to fit any need you have, even have a site builder. I can not comment on the site builder though as i have never used it, all my sites are currently wordpress, why would I want anything else?
If you are signing up with them and you have an existing site that you want to move they will even move the site for you (this is limited to one site though and is to be your main site) But really it is super duper easy to move a site, even a wordpress site. Hey that would make for a great post as well, looks like we have a series coming up.
Sign Up Now
So if you are interested in starting with Hostgator (you knew this part was coming) you can use one of my links in this post or the button over there in the sidebar. Yes these are affiliate links and if you sign up after clicking I do get a small commission. I thank any of you in advance that do sign up and I guarantee you will not regret it. If you have any questions in your site you are more than welcome to shoot me an email and Ill do what I can to get you an answer. Hey if you just dont want the hassle of setting up your own host or wordpress account, I’ll be more than happy to do it for you! Let me know and Ill send you my rates
If you decide to sign up later you dont have to come back here to click a link just type in http://mymultiplestreams.com/hostgator in your browser!