HostGator is wildly popular for their shared hosting plans. When comparing HostGator’s Hatchling vs Baby vs Business plan, it’s not always straightforward what exactly is the same and different between the three.
Our website is hosted on HostGator’s server. We find HostGator’s infrastructure to be fast, reliable and responsive. While there are more optimizations we can make to zuziko.com to improve speed, out-of-the box, pages load quickly.
We started with shared hosting years ago with a HostGator coupon code that lured us in with their highly competitive pricing. Today, we have moved beyond Shared hosting (which the Hatchling, Baby and Business plan are) but find them to be a great starting point.
Understanding Shared Hosting
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Each of these hosting plans – Hatchling, Baby and Business – are from HostGator’s Shared Hosting offering. Shared hosting means that multiple websites are sharing the same web server.
Each of the websites has its own domain name and the owner of each usually isn’t aware of the other sites on the server. Sharing disk space, CPU processing power, RAM and bandwidth allows hosting companies like HostGator to offer extremely low pricing to their customers.
HostGator Shared Hosting Plan Features
There’s a lot in common when comparing the Hatchling, Baby and Business plans. In fact, there are far more similarities than differences. As far as the high-level features go, each plan includes the same competitive baseline features:
- FREE Domain Name / Domain Registration
- FREE SSL Certificate
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- Unlimited Storage
There’s also one click-installs available for all three plans including:
These aren’t the only features, and aren’t the only features shared by the Hatchling, Baby and Business hosting plans. There’s so much in common, we’ve provided a full feature comparison grid below.
Differences between HostGator’s Hatchling vs Baby vs Business Plans
We’ve already mentioned it, but these plans share more in common than what is different. The main differences between the Hatchling, Baby and Business plans comes down to how many websites you can host, add-on domains, dedicated IP address, positive SLL and access to HostGator’s SEO tools.
|Hatchling Plan||Baby Plan||Business Plan|
|Positive SSL||Paid Upgrade||Paid Upgrade||1 Included|
|Free Dedicated IP||No||No||Yes|
|Free SEO Tools||No||No||Yes|
We asked HostGator, and they said although the Business plan comes with unlimited websites, the Positive SSL Upgrade is limited to one domain and subdomain for one year. Additional years, or securing additional domains is $45 per year.
Another important note is that the pricing above does change, and also reflects a 36-month commitment. Renewal of any of the plans is not at introductory price, so read the fine print at HostGator before signing up.
What we love: if after 3 years a site we build hasn’t matured to the point that it needs more advanced hosting, we’re doing something wrong! So, we’re ready to upgrade or move on by that point anyway!
HostGator Hatchling vs. Baby
There are only two significant differences between HostGator’s Hatchling and Baby hosting plans. First, the Hatchling Plan is for a single site whereas the Baby Plan allows hosting of an unlimited number of sites. Second, the Hatchling Plan does allow parking domains whereas the Baby Plan does. Beyond these two differences, the plans are identical.
HostGator Hatchling vs. Business
HostGator’s Hatchling and Business Plan are at the opposite end of the shared hosting spectrum and have many key differences.
First, the Hatchling Plan is for hosting one website whereas the Business Plan allows hosting any number of sites.
Second, as the Hatchling Plan is only for a single domain, it doesn’t afford for parking domains – the Business Plan has unlimited domain parking.
Finally, the Business Plan has Positive SSL Upgrade, a dedicated IP address and SEO tools all included in the monthly cost. These features are not available with the Hatchling Plan.
HostGator Baby vs. Business
The Baby and Business Plan are quite similar. The key differences are that the Business Plan has Positive SLL Upgrade, a dedicated IP address and access to HostGator’s SEO tools. Beyond that, the plans are identical.
HostGator Feature Comparison Table: Hatchling vs Baby vs Business
|Hatchling Plan||Baby Plan||Business Plan|
|Number of Sites||1||No Limit||No Limit|
|Positive SSL||No||No||Yes, 1|
|Money Back Guarantee||45 Day||45 Day||45 Day|
|WordPress||One-Click Install||One-Click Install||One-Click Install|
|Drupal||One-Click Install||One-Click Install||One-Click Install|
|phpBB||One-Click Install||One-Click Install||One-Click Install|
|Magento||One-Click Install||One-Click Install||One-Click Install|
|Joomla||One-Click Install||One-Click Install||One-Click Install|
Programming Language Support with Shared Hosting
- PHP 5
- PHP 7
- Ruby on Rails
HostGator Shared Hosting Programming Module Support
- GD Library
How to pick the right plan
Once you’ve decided on shared hosting from HostGator, selecting the right plan comes down to two simple questions.
First, will you be hosting a single website, or will you be hosting multiple websites? If you are only hosting a single website, the Hatchling is likely the right fit. If you are hosting 2 or more websites you are really deciding between the Baby and the Business plans.
Second, do you need a dedicated IP address? If you do, out of the box, the only plan that can provide that is HostGator’s Business Plan.
Finally, beyond those two questions, the next thing to consider is how long do you plan on using the hosting plan? The longer you can commit to up-front, the more you’ll save.
What about Positive SSL and SEO Tools?
You’ll only really need positive SSL if your’e in an industry which you feel you must have it. Positive SSL can be added on to any plan, so if that’s the case, do check that option. When we have a hosting need for Positive SSL, the other project requirements almost always have us choosing a managed or VPS server anyway.
Most people serious about SEO wouldn’t use the SEO tools that HostGator provides although it is nice that they included them.
HostGator Pricing for Shared Hosting
Pricing for HostGator’s Hatchling, Baby and Business shared hosting plans are below. Beyond their extremely low pricing for 36-month commitments, there are several shorter hosting plan terms, albeit with a higher monthly price tag.
|Hatchling Plan||Baby Plan||Business Plan|
Do note that the prices are introductory prices. They do carry for the entire length of the hosting plan’s term. At the end of the term the renewal price is the same as, or slightly less than the single-monthly price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is HostGator Shared Hosting?
Shared Hosting is one of HostGator’s hosting options. They have three plans, each priced competitively among shared hosting competitors. HostGator also offers Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, VPS hosting and WordPress Hosting.
Does HostGator offer free domains with hosting?
Yes. Most of HostGator’s plans offer a free domain included with a hosting plan subscription.
Can I host WordPress on HostGator?
Yes. All of HostGator’s web hosting plans include support for hosting WordPress, including one-click installation. If considering cloud hosting as an option, give HostGator’s WordPress Cloud Hosting a look, too.
Can Magneto be hosted on HostGator shared hosting?
HostGator’s shared hosting plans include a one-click install of Magneto e-commerce.
Is shared hosting bad?
No. It depends upon hosting needs. For personal sites and small companies, shared hosting is often perfectly fine. Inherently, shared hosting isn’t bad. But, it is generally used for lower-end hosting needs as it lacks the performance and dedicated resources of more expensive hosting plans.
Does HostGator offer specialized hosting?
Yes. In addition to the hosting services offered by most providers, HostGator also allows adult hosting on its platform as long as the content is legal in the United States. To clarify, adult hosting includes all adult topics which include content that is graphic in nature as well as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and firearm related.
Is HostGator better than GoDaddy?
From our standpoint HostGator is better than GoDaddy for hosting. We prefer their backend management and the performance HostGator offers for the price is exceptional.
Whether you choose the Hatchling, Baby or Business plan you will be able to use HostGator’s Website Builder. Most hosting companies have reasonably ’s website builders for beginners. HostGator’s site builder is a drag-and-drop tool that allows anyone to create a professional looking website.
We build our sites on WordPress, so we can’t vouch for every little feature. But, from tinkering around with it, HostGator’s site builder is on par with the competition.
Email hosting on the Hatchling, Baby and Business hosting plans
All three plan have unlimited number of POP3 accounts. You’ll also get mailing lists, spam filtering with spam assassin and email forwarding included. And, when sending outbound emails, HostGator does allow the user of their servers.