HostGator is a Houston-based web host provider founded in 2002 that has grown to become one the largest in the industry. With over 9 million registered websites to their servers, they have developed into a go-to provider for everyone from bloggers to small business owners.
While HostGator offers three different packages for users to choose from, the two most basic options that they have available are the Hatchling and Baby Plans. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the two plans to help you better determine which one best fits your unique needs:
What is the Price Difference Between the Hatchling and Baby Plans?
While the price difference fluctuates quite a bit throughout the year depending on the discounts being offered at the time, the monthly difference is generally somewhere around $1 more per month for the Baby plan. You can receive further discounts for both plans by committing to using HostGator for two or three years.
Do Both Plans Allow for Unlimited Domains?
No. The Hatchling plan unfortunately only allows for one domain to be registered. The Baby plan, on the other hand, does allow for unlimited domains. It should be noted that you can upgrade your account from the Hatchling to the Baby plan if you begin with a single domain and decide later on that you would like to add others.
Are There Unlimited Sub-Domains for Each Plan?
Yes. Both plans do allow for unlimited sub-domains to be created.
Does Each Plan Include a Dedicated IP Address?
No. Unfortunately neither plan includes a dedicated IP address, which is why these packages are considered best for personal use instead of business use. The Baby plan does give you the option to include a dedicated IP for an additional $2/month. While this option does exist, you should be aware that the Business plan includes a dedicated IP and the overall cost of that plan is only $2 more per month over the Baby plan.
Are Private SSLs Allowed for Both Plans?
No. Private SSLs are only allowed with the Baby and Business plans, as you will need to have a dedicated IP address to set this up. A private or shared SSL is required if you plan on taking online payments for products or services. It should be noted that both plans do allow for shared SSLs, although it is highly recommended that you go with a private SSL if you plan on asking for any type of private financial information from users.
If you already own a private SSL certificate, HostGator will install it for you for only $10. For those that do not have one, they offer them directly through their site for $150/year and will install it for free. Once again, this option is only available for the Baby plan.
HostGator has a 99.9% uptime guarantee for all three of the plans that they offer. This uptime is for both the servers and the networks. If they do not follow through with this guarantee and your website does not have 99.9% uptime for a given month, you will receive a one month credit as retribution.
What Type of Email Hosting is Included?
The email hosting that HostGator includes with their plans is actually among the best that you will find in the industry. Both the Hatchling and Baby plans allow for an unlimited number of POP3 accounts and perks like auto responders, mailing lists, spam assassin, and email forwarding are all included. HostGator also allows you to use their servers to send your outgoing mail.
What Control Panel is Used for Each Plan?
As with just about every other major website host on the market, HostGator utilizes cPanel as their control panel. cPanel is obviously one of the more popular control panels used by website hosts, which is mainly due to the fact that it is easy-to-use and allows for a variety of customizable options.
Is There a Website Builder Included?
Yes. For users that do not want to use cPanel to set up their website, HostGator gives you the opportunity to set things up through SohoLaunch. This website builder is designed for helping you seamlessly set up everything from a blog to a ecommerce store.
Some of the main features of SohoLaunch include integrated Google Analytics, email marketing tools, shopping cart integration, social media tools, ability to upload photos and videos, and even the ability to create members-only areas. In addition, the simplicity of the drag-and-drop editing tools makes it easy for users of all different experience levels to create a website catered to your needs.
The Final Word
Overall, the differences between the Hatchling and Baby Plans are not quite as extensive as you would think. The two most significant advantages of paying the extra $1/month for the Baby plan is the fact that you will be able to setup unlimited domains and also have the ability to use a private SSL, which is essential if you plan on accepting payments through your website.
At the end of the day, the best plan for you is going to come down to your unique needs. The Hatchling plan has plenty of features that will more than likely be sufficient if you just plan on running a single website and will not be accepting online payments. If, however, you are planning to setup multiple websites or receive financial information from users, the Baby plan is a must.