So you’ve just bought your desired domain name and now you just can’t wait to start your own self-hosted blog on WordPress? Great choice! But to start blogging on self-hosted WordPress requires one to first of all buy some hosting space through popular web-hosting service providers like Hostgator, Bluehost, Dreamhost, there are many… As someone who was migrating from blogger to self-hosted WordPress for the first time and having no prior technical knowledge of the WordPress platform, I was apprehensive in my search for a suitable web-hosting plan. I was looking for something that could be reliable, user-friendly and yet gentle on my pocket. I searched, searched and searched, and finally I settled for Hostgator. I’m currently using their entry-level plan – which they call ‘the hatchling plan‘. It is my ninth month with Hostgator and I’ve to say that I’m quite satisfied with their plans and services. In this post I’ll be reviewing their hatchling plan – the plan which I’ve been with ever-since I moved Budding Geek from blogger to WordPress.
For those new to the term web-hosting and why it is needed for WordPress, let me clear the concept for them first –
[su_note note_color=”#f4f4ee” text_color=”#000000″]A webpage (like the one you are reading right now) may typically contain a variety of multimedia files like HTML text, images, videos, audios, and even documents. If you want such webpages to be accessible to anyone in the world, you need to store them on a powerful computer called a web-server (just like the way you store the photos you’ve just clicked on your computer’s hard-drive for everyone to see). But these computers are quite different from the computers that you and I use everyday. These are specifically engineered to run continuously 24*7 and throughout the 365 days a year. They usually run Apache web-server software on the Linux OS environment. Fair enough, you too can try using a spare PC as a web-server but that would be simply inefficient. Would you keep running your PC continuously 24*7 and throughout the year? Can you keep up with all the maintenance headaches, security headaches and most importantly, the cost of power and the internet bills required to continue running the machine forever? Probably not. That’s why people prefer to buy desired hosting space on rent from professional companies like Hostgator whose primary business is to provide reliable web-hosting services worldwide.
WordPress is the most powerful blogging platform in the world. On top of that, it’s FREE. The only problem is that, unlike blogger which provides a web-hosting space for free, WordPress doesn’t provide any web-hosting space for free to its users. Thus, the only thing that you require is a web-hosting space to host your WordPress blog/website. And it costs money. If you’re just starting out with a single website/blog, I would highly recommend you to go for Hostgator’s hatchling plan – It’s the perfect plan for beginners![/su_note]
Well, I think that’s enough for the basics of web-hosting. Now let me review the hatchling plan (the plan I’m using right now). I’ll review the plan in form of FAQs –
1. Is “Hatchling” the right plan for me?
Hatchling plan supports only single domain hosting. So this plan is perfect for those:
- Who are planning to host only 1 website (Like I’m hosting only buddinggeek.com with my current plan)
- Who are just starting out with WordPress Or migrating for the first time from blogger to WordPress
2. What are the features of Hostgator’s Hatchling plan?
Hatchling plan is a shared web-hosting plan. It comes with the following set of features –
- Single domain hosting
- Unlimited Disk-Space – You’ll get a quota limit of around 1000 GB
- Unlimited Bandwidth – This means unlimited transfer of data from your shared web-server to the clients requesting your webpages. There are, however, limits to how much server resources (CPU, RAM, etc) that you can use at any one time or for a specific period of time. HostGator states that on its shared web-servers, it allows a maximum of 25% CPU usage limit which shall not continue for more than 90 seconds at a time. However, It is unlikely that one may hit the 25% CPU usage unless the site is script intensive and requires more processing.
- Unlimited email ids – Make as many ‘domain email ids’ as you want.
- Unlimited sub-domains and FTP accounts
- 1 click automatic WordPress installation
- User friendly cpanel for administrative controls (like IP blocking, web-mail services, access to file manager, dot htaccess file editing and a lots of other features) – Click here to try a demo version of the cpanel.
- Every shared hosting plan by hostgator comes with a free Google Adwords credit worth ₹2500 (valid only for new Adwords accounts)
3. How much does the Hatchling plan cost?
The best part of choosing Hostgator over other hosting providers is that it provides flexible options to pay your bills. You can choose to pay for 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, on 6 months basis, or even monthly. I like to pay my hosting bills monthly. No other hosting provider in my knowledge accepts monthly payment of bills.
This table gives you an estimated idea of how much you will spend with various possible billing cycles on hostgator’s hatchling plan –
[table id=5 /]
4. What if I don’t like their services?
For that there’s a 45 day money back guarantee. I think 45 days are enough to evaluate a service. If you’re not satisfied with the services, you can apply for a refund within this 45 day window.
5. How are their support services?
If I were asked to rate their support services on a scale of 1 to 10, I would give them a 7/10. It’s good, not great. They can be reached 24*7*365 via phone, live chat and email. Every-time I have a problem, I reach them on livechat and they solve my problem quickly. I have deducted 3 points in my rating because I’ve to wait for a few minutes before someone from their support staff is available to attends me. Sometimes there’s even a lag of two to four minutes in their reply while chatting. But at the end of the day, I’m a happy customer. They are quite supportive 🙂
6. They guarantee 99.9% uptime. Is it for real?
In my knowledge, in 9 months so far, my blog has experienced downtime only once and that too for only half an hour. Well that justifies why they don’t claim an uptime of 100% 🙂
[su_note note_color=”#ffff8c” text_color=”#000000″]To buy the same hosting plan by Hostgator, click here. This will take you to the official website. Once you’re there, click on the yellow button that says “get started now” and then choose the hatchling plan of the desired billing cycle :)[/su_note]
The limitations of shared web-hosting plans –
Shared web-hosting plans are no doubt very economical. The only problem with shared web-hosting is that you have to share the same web-server with many others who have opted for the same plan. Sharing the same web-server leaves you with limited resources like CPU and RAM usage. If someone else on your web server starts consuming more resources, then you’re left with the remainder and consequently your hosted website may have to suffer on account of various performance and speed related issues. That’s why many hosting companies that offer shared web-hosting plans have a policy of suspending those accounts that consume more resources than what they permit in their terms and conditions. Like here with Hostgator, you shouldn’t consume more than 25% RAM on a shared web-hosting plan. If this happens, they will suspend your account to protect the interest of others sharing the same web-server. So if you’re on a shared hosting plan, make sure that your website is properly optimized. Pay special attention to the pageload time. If it is more than 5 seconds, then there’s seriously something wrong. Take all necessary steps to decrease your pageload time and reduce the load on your server! All the best 🙂