Hosting often is one of the more difficult decisions to make when starting a website and our own Jonathan Bailey has written several entries on the topic already, over at BloggingPro, as part of his Blogging Pitfalls column. The main problem with hosting though is that often YMMV applies and what one thinks is a great host, could be horrible experience for the next user. I recently switched several sites to Hostgator and here’s my experience with them.
One of the main reasons why it often is difficult to decide on a host, is that the user never knows whether the server they receive space on is oversold or not. Most hosting companies, especially larger ones do oversell, in order to keep the price down. Often this results in the dilemma: “Do I go with a larger, and cheaper, host company or do I decide for a smaller company which is more expensive?”.
Making the decision to switch sites to another host is even for experienced webmasters a difficult decision to make. More often than not they will wait until the last minute before making the decision. Additionally switching sites often involves lots of work. So I was recently confronted with the decision to make, a decision I had been putting of for a long time already. I mainly wanted to base my decision on hosting reviews and recommendations of peers, and started mainly looking into the webhosting offerings of Hostgator. What lead me to check out Hostgator was that the guys over at Gravity Forms, a plugin we extensively use, regularly tweet about the awesome support offered by Hostgator, as well as many positive Hostgator review found online.
After having hesitated for quite some time, I decided to pull the trigger and went with Hostgator, especially because of their popular live-support chat, additionally to the fact that they seemed to support most modern features. I thought that such a big and popular webhoster would function quickly and not cause any problems. And honestly, aside from some minor issues, I have been satisfied switching sites.
For the uninitiated who are still not sure about starting a website with Hostgator, Hostgator is compatible with almost any open source script you might use in your career as webmaster. Sadly using the latest scripts might occasionally require you to update several settings, or to quickly hit up the tech support via chat – who will solve most issues within few minutes only.
I did experience some problems with scripts though, especially with the popular script
timthumb.php. Timthumb, which is used in many WordPress themes and also other platforms, is not compatible with the specific
mod_security rules applied by Hostgator and will require that you contact the live chat.
First of all make sure that all your folders have
permission (chmod)755 and then ask the team to add following rules to the mod_security whitelist:
1234234 , 340151 , 340153.
Other than that, my experience with HostGator has been positive and the two or three times I had to contact the tech support team, via chat, issues always were solved within few minutes. Fast and competent support I gladly pay a couple bucks every month for more.
Site speed at Hostgator is fast to really fast, customer support is really fast and in the first month I have not experienced any reliability issues yet. I am not the only one who recommend Hostgator, check out this Hostgator review as well before making a decision.
If you’re looking for a reliable, fast webhosting company, with great support… look no further and sign up with Hostgator. You might pay some bucks more every month but the fast customer service and support definitely makes up for these.
Photo credit: Jayntguru