Review of Features

Below you will find a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of my reviews for both of these companies. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend HostMetro over HostGator, but please take a look for yourself:

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PRICEHostMetro offers relatively inexpensive hosting. While they are not the absolute cheapest, they are below the average. With our HostMetro Coupon you will be able to get the best deal possible. The best part about the HostMetro pricing is that they do not increase renewal prices. Part of their Metro Max Guarantee is a price lock guarantee, ensuring that loyal customers get rewarded instead of being hammered with high renewal rates. Out of all the web hosting companies I have reviewed I have yet to see another offer anything like this.

HostGator’s prices are reasonable. Their basic hosting package is a bit restrictive, though. In order to have the ability to host unlimited domain names, something that most other hosts offer, you have to pay an extra $3.00/month and upgrade to the “Baby Plan.” Their prices also reflect a 40-60% automatic discount on the initial cost, so your renewal rates will increase or even double. It's nice of them to be upfront about the percetage off, but since they don't list their renewal rates anywhere on their site, it leaves you to do the math yourself.

I've done the math for you, and reflected the renewal rates below:

Hatchling Plan: $5.65 / mo
Baby Plan:$8.33 / mo
Business Plan: $9.52 / mo

As you can see, that's a pretty big jump.
FEATURESOf course, a low price means nothing if there aren’t any features to go along with it. HostMetro does not skimp on features, and they are pretty transparent about what they offer. One of the biggest marketing gimmicks in web hosting today is the idea of “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth. There is no such thing as unlimited resources. I don’t know who started it, but it was made up to make customers think they can do whatever they want, which simply isn’t the case. HostMetro offers “Max” hosting space and bandwidth, meaning that they do have initial limits for each (10gb disk space, 100gb bandwidth/month) but if you need more you contact them and they can increase these. The initial limits are big enough that 95% of customers won’t have an issue (my test account took up less than 1gb of total disk space).

They also provide a free domain name, the ability to host unlimited domain names, unlimited email accounts, two free website builders, $100 in Google AdWords credit, and more. The list of features that HostMetro includes is impressive. I can’t think of anything a customer would need that they do not offer.
While HostGator does offer a huge library of features, these features come at a cost. Their most basic plan, which costs roughly the same as most other hosts at $3.96/month, only allows you to host a single domain name. That means if you want to have multiple websites on one account you need to upgrade to a bigger package. Their basic package does not allow you to add an SSL certificate or Dedicated IP address, either. If you want to be able to accept credit card charges through your website you not only have to upgrade your package, but also have to purchase those features on top of that.

Basically, HostGator’s packages are structured in a way that makes them more money. If you want anything extra you have to pay them extra. This would make sense if other companies operated in the same fashion, but there aren’t many other shared hosts that do not allow unlimited domains on the most basic account.
RELIABILITYAs explained earlier, HostMetro has new, top of the line servers for all of their customers. This is one of the biggest positives of being a newer host in the industry. There is no outdated technology for you to worry about. All of their servers are RAID protected as well to ensure that there is no data loss.

HostMetro also provides automated weekly backups as a safeguard for your account. If you get hacked, accidentally delete a file or folder, or make a huge mistake on your website they will be able to restore your previous files. In the event you need more frequent backups of your account they also offer a free backup tool within cPanel that can be used at any time.

HostMetro also uses industry leading technologies CloudFlare and CloudLinux to ensure the highest stability and reliability of their servers. I did not enable CloudFlare on my account because I wanted to be sure that I was not running cached versions of my website from a CloudFlare server (for the sake of this review only), however I always recommend enabling CloudFlare when it is an option. It is a free way of increasing your website speed and security.

After a 6 month test my website has been up for a total of %99.958 of the time, which puts them in the top 3 of all the hosts I have tested. This is an extraordinary number for a shared web host, especially one so afordable. I was thoroughly impressed with the speed and reliability of their servers.
HostGator’s service used to be one of the most reliable in the industry. The operative term here is used to. After the EIG takeover (and subsequent merging of accounts to different, more crowded servers) the reliability has gone downhill tremendously.

There was a period of time after HostGator was bought by EIG that the service was still good. Great, even. That’s because the hosting accounts hadn’t been moved to the EIG data center yet. As soon as the migration to the new data center happened (customers didn’t have any choice but to accept this. No other option was given) my test account was noticeably slower, and reliability was much worse.

Perhaps the most unnerving of all was last month when there was an outage of the whole EIG data center. This not only affected HostGator, but other EIG brands including BlueHost, JustHost, HostMonster, and any other brand that has servers in their Utah location.

I’m hoping for the sake of their customers that HostGator can bounce back and get their reliability back up to a high standard. I’m not sure I see that happenign with the EIG takeover, however.
TECH SUPPORTHaving been a support representative for several hosting companies over the course of about 4 years I know what questions to ask that annoy employees. I’ve been there. When you contact support you should fully expect them to be able to help you with your questions. What I look for most in a good support team is if they make me feel like I am bothering them with my questions. Some support representatives for other companies made me feel like I should know these things already, almost as if I was an annoyance to them. HostMetro does not have this problem. They were always friendly and courteous when I called or started a live chat. They were able to help me in a quick, concise manner, as well.If you’re sensing a theme with this whole review then this might be a bit of a refresher. HostGator’s support team is largely still in place from before they were taken over. How long it will be this way is anybody’s guess, but for now their support is still very good. This is the biggest redeeming factor. They have a lot of support avenues and have online server monitoring so you can see the status of your server which is something very few other companies offer. If you do choose HostGator you will be getting great support. At least for now.
CONCLUSIONHostMetro’s price, coupled with their reliability and customer service makes them my #1 web host for personal websites. They do everything you should expect from a great web host, and they do it better than the rest.It is my estimation that HostGator is going to continue to slide down in terms of reliability, with support soon to follow. It is how all companies bought out by EIG end up (so far) and the signs are pointing the same way this time. I would be cautious when signing up with HostGator, and would avoid paying for more than 1 year. Leave yourself an exit strategy if something happens and you decide they aren’t for you.


Key Differences

These are some choice differences between these two hosts. Note that this is not a complete list of features offered by both companies, but rather the most useful and popular features requested by clients for their websites.

Introductory Price$2.95 / mo$3.95 / mo
Renewal Price$2.95 / mo$5.65 / mo
SSLavailablenot available
Advanced Firewallincludednot available
Hidden Feesnoyes