3. HostGator (Best for Reliability)
HostGator is my favourite dedicated web host in terms of reliability. Their services never let me down, and their large customer base reflects how great they are. As well as being very reliable, they also display a good balance between features and affordability.
HostGator may not offer the fastest speeds on their dedicated servers, but they do offer a few guarantees. They offer both HDD and SSD options, allowing for greater flexibility to a wider market.
HostGator offer 3 dedicated hosting plans from $119 per month. Their most expensive plan is only $149 per month, which (in comparison to other web hosts) is actually fairly decent!
All of HostGator’s dedicated servers come with 24/7/365 support, including their live chat service. They offer cPanel and WHM on all Linux based servers as well as 3 dedicated IPs, full root access, and DDoS protection.
As you can see, HostGator’s Value Server starts from just $119 per month. It comes with an Intel Xeon CPU with 8GB RAM, 1GB HDD, and unmetered bandwidth. The price is very affordable considering it’s a dedicated server, and the features included are pretty good.
If I had to think of something negative here, I’d like to see the value server offer SSD storage as well as a HDD option (like their other plans). When you look at what BlueHost offer for a cheaper price, if you were just basing your decision on features, BlueHost would win my vote.
However, when you move up to the power server, you get double the RAM (16GB RAM), double the storage space (2TB) and the option to swap to an SSD. If you’re willing to spend just $10 more per month, their top plan boasts a whopping 30GB RAM and 1GB SSD.
When you look at the base features HostGator offers, I’d conclude that they’re pretty good. You get unlimited bandwidth on all plans (which is actually around 10TB), but that’s plenty in my opinion.
Their RAM is very generous, as is the processor behind each server. Maybe they’re not the absolute best features you could find in the dedicated hosting world, but when you weigh up the price, they’re damn good:
3 Dedicated IPv4 IPs
Full root access
Fully redundant network
If you do happen to exceed the bandwidth cap, which is very unlikely, your site won’t go down. It will get a lot slower, but unlike some web hosts, HostGator will ensure your site stays live (thankfully).
Unfortunately HostGator doesn’t offer a free CDN service like BlueHost, nor do they provide automatic backups (like LiquidWeb). However, they do have the option of semi-managed or fully-managed dedicated servers. These options and add-ons are available before you purchase, and the price change reflects this beforehand.
HostGator Customer Support
My experience with HostGator’s customer support has always been positive. I decided to put their agents to the test at around 7PM (GMT) when I thought they’d be pretty busy. Connecting to their live chat took a mere 3 seconds which was incredible. The response time of the agent was very fast, and I never felt like I was waiting too long for an answer.
I was connected to Christa very quickly (as I mentioned). I wanted to test her knowledge around the dedicated server features, so I asked her about the DDoS protection on offer. I felt the start of the answer was a little strange, as they couldn’t tell me much, what what the agent did tell me was more than satisfactory.
I also asked whether they offered a CDN on any of their plans, which unfortunately they don’t. But, this wasn’t about the features, this was about the agent’s knowledge of their products.
HostGator’s customer support exceeded my expecations. They offered quick answers, and ones which explained what I had asked. Although I felt an element of copy/paste answers, at least the wording was clear. A more personal approach would’ve been nice, but if you’re looking for support, HostGator will give it to you.
HostGator Speed & Performance
Remember when I told you that HostGator is my favourite host in terms of reliability? This is where they really excel! I tested my dedicated server that I rented from HostGator to monitor it’s uptime.
HostGator gave me a top score of 100% uptime which is absolutely spot on. I haven’t incurred a single disturbance or downtime during my time with them. Having a website which is reliable is incredibly important to me (and I’m sure will be to you).
Like I have done with other web hosts, I also wanted to test HostGator’s response time. The average response time was 895ms which is a little below the industry standard. I was a little disappointed, but I knew this wasn’t HostGator’s sweet spot. My site still loaded within 1 second which is perfectly acceptable.
Very reliable web host (100% uptime)
Features versus price is well balanced
Support isn’t very personal