If you bought my SiteBuilder Elite website authoring package, you’ll know that I recommend Hostgator as a webhost. Why them and not GoDaddy who are a huge brand in the web hosting business?
Well, first off, I have used both hosting platforms so I have good experience of both. For me, however, GoDaddy is all about making people aware of their brand and not providing an end product that’s good enough. It’s a classic example of style over substance.
So why have I come to this conclusion?
1. The Hosting Packages on Offer
Most decent webhosts now offer unlimited hosting packages – unlimited domains, webspace and bandwidth and an unlimited number of mySQL databases. To get that from GoDaddy, you have to opt for their “Unlimited” Plan which costs $14.99 per month. Their cheaper ($6.99 per month) “DeLuxe” Plan does provide for unlimited domains but your webspace is capped at 150Gb and bandwidth at 1500Gb and you can only have 25 mySQL databases. For many people that will be more than enough but serious marketers should be thinking about the future and possible expansion plans for their business.
Hostgtor’s “Baby” Plan, on the other hand, offers unlimited everything for $9.95 per month, so they offer the same, if not more than GoDaddy, at a cheaper price.
2. Support for IonCube
You may never have heard of IonCube. It’s a package that decrypts encoded PHP scripts. Software writers and companies use encryption to protect their software from being copied or hacked by software pirates. IonCube is an industry-standard decryption tool and, guess what, GoDaddy doesn’t officially support it. What does that mean?
It means that GoDaddy do not install IonCube on their webservers by default (as does Hostgator). Other webhosting companies like Bluehost and Hostmonster have IonCube installed but not enabled by default and you have to generate a php.ini file though your cPanel to get it working (it’s a simple process). GoDaddy don’t even provide that.
With SiteBuilder Elite, I provide the loader files to get IonCube up and running on a webhost that doesn’t provode IonCube support by default. Depending on how the webhost configures its webservers, there may be the need to add a php.ini or php5.ini file to get things working. On the better webhosts it’s not a problem. But because GoDaddy configures its webservers differently (for reasons best known to themselves), getting IonCube running on a given webserver isn’t guaranteed. It’ll work on some of their webservers but not others. And that leads me to…
3. Technical Support
Hostgator have very good support. They respond in a timely manner to emails (usually within a couple of hours) and have knowledgeable staff who are willing to help customers in difficulty. I wish I could say tthe same for GoDaddy. Unfortunately, responses from them can take up to 2-3 days. Often they’re stock replies showing that the responder either hasn’t properly read your email or understood what you’re asking. Enquiries where IonCube are concerned (e.g. please help me get ionCube running) are met with a “we don’t support ionCube” response (with an implicit “so you’re on your own” caveat). Technically speaking, their support in general isn’t very good, often requiring two or three attempts from a customer to resolve an issue. So a big thumbs down for GoDaddy.
In every way, Hostgator beats GoDaddy hands down; better and cheaper hosting packages, better provision of tools (like ionCube) as standard and better support.
That’s why I recommend Hostgator.
By the way, if you do decide HostGator is for you, use coupon code AUTUMN at checkout to save 20% on your initial order (best used when paying for a year’s hosting or more up front).
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