If you’re looking for a cheap, entry-level hosting plan for a starter website, there’s nothing wrong with basic providers such as HostGator. However, if you want to get the most from your web host, then speed, security, and reliability should be among your top considerations.
HostGator began as a shared hosting provider. While it now offers managed WordPress hosting, along with VPS and dedicated plans, it’s not what the company specializes in. It’s an extra service HostGator only started offering a few years ago. What’s more, its WordPress hosting plans lack some of the advanced features one might expect from a premium web host.
At Kinsta, we hear from customers every day who are looking for a better HostGator alternative. They want a service that’s able to provide advanced features, powered with scalable tech stack, able to provide robust tools for WordPress users.
If that sounds like you, this page has the answers you’re looking for. Below, we’ll dive into what makes Kinsta so special and discuss the biggest advantages of using us as your managed WordPress host!
How Kinsta Compares to HostGator in a Nutshell
Before we get into the specifics of Kinsta vs HostGator, we want to first take a look at some of the key differences between the two hosting solutions.
As we mentioned, HostGator is largely known for its shared hosting plans. They only recently added WordPress hosting to its offerings. On the other hand, Kinsta is the highest-rated managed WordPress host on G2, which is the world’s leading software review and comparison site:
We’re also the first hosting provider to be powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform. Using Google’s global premium-tier network enables Kinsta to maximize speed and performance for each of the websites we host.
Let’s take a look at some of the other major differences between Kinsta and HostGator:
- Unlike HostGator, Kinsta is not a general host, nor do we offer shared hosting. We only work with WordPress and our team consists of WordPress experts and Linux engineers.
- Kinsta has been the fastest WordPress host for five consecutive years (based on independent benchmarks).
- We have 32 data centers across the globe, while HostGator only discloses two locations for its data centers (one in Texas and the other in Utah).
- All sites on Kinsta are protected by a secure Cloudflare integration.
- Unlike HostGator, Kinsta gives customers the option of choosing which data center location they’d like to use for each of their websites.
- Automated daily backups at HostGator are limited by the size of your site (GB) and this can be problematic for most sites. Kinsta doesn’t have a limit like this in place.
- Kinsta performs weekly automatic MySQL database optimization on all your sites to ensure better performance.
- The latest (fastest and most secure) PHP 7.4 is available on all Kinsta plans while HostGator supports only PHP 7.2
- All of Kinsta plans include a free premium DNS.
- All Kinsta plans come with a free CDN powered by Cloudflare.
- Kinsta works with Google Cloud’s premium global tier network and all of the plans come with an enterprise-level Cloudflare firewall.
- Kinsta provides free website migrations for all plans. HostGator offers free content migrations within 30 days, and after that for a fee. Also, the number of sites you can migrate for free with HostGator varies by plan.
- Rather than the traditional cPanel that HostGator offers, Kinsta provides a custom-built, WordPress-specific MyKinsta dashboard.
- All of Kinsta plans include a free security guarantee.
- You’ll get a free staging environment and SSH access with all Kinsta plans. SSH access is only available to HostGator users on shared and dedicated plans.
- There’s reverse proxy support on all Kinsta plans.
- Kinsta provides a 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee.
- Kinsta support’s initial ticket response time is less than 2 minutes.
- Kinsta offers premium 24/7 multilingual support for all clients.
- We offer six types of backups: free automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, downloadable and backups sent automatically to your Amazon S3 or Google Cloud storage.
- Kinsta provides an automatic site healing feature and 720 daily uptime checks.
- Kinsta support multisite setups out of the box.
- The Kinsta infrastructure is highly optimized for WooCommerce stores.
- Kinsta has a very attractive affiliate program with recurring commission.
Try it out for yourself with our free MyKinsta dashboard demo! Register your account to see the user-friendly interface and explore our various tools.
Kinsta is Built for Performance and Scalability
Since the beginning, Kinsta was built with performance and scalability in mind, which means our platform is equipped to handle sudden spikes in traffic. Unlike with shared hosting, you won’t have to worry about experiencing downtime or having to share resources with other sites on an overloaded server at Kinsta.
Our unique infrastructure is built on the Google Cloud Platform, so we don’t fall into traditional hosting categories. We use LXD-managed hosts and orchestrated LXC software containers. This means every site has its own isolated container with all the required resources it needs to run, including MySQL, Linux, Nginx, and PHP.
In addition, at Kinsta your MySQL databases are hosted at localhost rather than a crowded remote server. The result is quicker loading times and faster queries. Our scalable infrastructure also makes it easy to upgrade or downgrade your resources with ease.
Kinsta’s compute-optimized C2 machines are used for every plan, not just the highest tiers. Therefore, depending on the type of site you have, you could see a speed improvement between 20 and 200% just by switching to Kinsta!
Fabulous dashboard! With great stats for debugging and speed optimisation.
Although it recently began offering WordPress hosting, HostGator isn’t a WordPress-specific host. Instead, it specializes in shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.
HostGator offers affordable discount plans, many of which are lacking in advanced features and tools that you would need for large or high-performance websites (such as e-commerce stores). As one customer pointed out:
“You pretty much get what you pay for in terms of performance, disk space, and bandwidth. This is the perfect place for hosting sites that you don’t want to spend much money on and where you don’t care about performance, at a low, fixed, annual cost.”
MyKinsta: A Custom-Built Dashboard for Powerful Site Management
Like so many hosting providers out there, HostGator uses cPanel for most of its plans. That platform can be difficult to navigate, as well as limiting in terms of available features.
At Kinsta we’re unlike other web hosts. We know our clients deserve the best and we didn’t feel like most of the control panel solutions on the market delivered that.
That is why we custom-built our own user portal from scratch: MyKinsta. It’s specifically designed for WordPress site management:
Some of the features that make our MyKinsta dashboard so powerful include:
- Quick phpMyAdmin access.
- Premium Amazon Route 53 DNS included, so you can directly manage your DNS records within the dashboard.
- One-click CDN integration.
- Detailed insights and analytics, including performance analysis data, CDN usage and insights, bandwidth and visitor data, and cache HIT and MISS ratios.
- Search and replace tool for performing bulk updates.
- Ability to toggle between PHP versions with one click, and restart PHP if and when needed.
- Website redirect management.
- Option to purge site cache within the dashboard.
- Ability to create a staging environment in seconds.
- Features to restore backups to staging and push staging sites live.
- Ability to add SSH keys to the dashboard to enhance login security.
- IP Deny tool for quick and easy IP address blocking.
- New Relic integration (license is required)
- Advanced WordPress debugging tool.
- Simple password protection for your environment.
- Free Cloudflare SSL certificates, and the option to import your own.
- A built-in Cloudflare integration with optimized settings to secure and boost the performance of your site without the need for a separate Cloudflare subscription.
- Multilingual dashboard that’s available in 10 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, and Dutch.
There’s no need to simply take our word for it, though. We’re confident in our dashboard and encourage you to take it for a test spin yourself. Simply create a free account, then use the interface and tools to discover firsthand what makes the MyKinsta dashboard so special.
We care deeply about our clients’ feedback, which is why we’re constantly making improvements based on the requests we receive. We’re always looking for ways to make everyone’s lives easier and more productive!
Optimized for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads
Another benefit of Kinsta hosting is that it’s optimized for ecommerce sites. We know these sites can be complex and often demanding, generating a lot of cache-bypassing dynamic page loads.
That is why we help our clients who use WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads increase the speed of their online stores. Some examples of how we do this include:
- Putting fast server-level page caching in place, with rules to ensure proper WooCommerce and EDD functionality
- Excluding certain pages from caching that shouldn’t be cached by default, such as cart, ‘my account’, and checkout pages
- Ensuring a smooth, in-sync checkout process by automatically bypassing the cache for users when “woocommerce_items_in_cart cookie” or “edd_items_in_cart” is detected
HostGator offers ecommerce features only with the highest plan.
Kinsta has allowed us to offer a bulletproof service to our top tier clients and keep them happy. Especially those who have traffic spikes with sudden server demand.
Kinsta is the fastest WordPress host you’ll find on the web! Each year, Review Signal publishes a review in which it conducts rigorous performance testing of the top hosts in the industry. For five consecutive years, Kinsta has scored “top tier” performance. HostGator has not participated in the Review Signal tests.
However, Down.com, which also publishes data-driven reviews of hosting companies, ran similar tests for HostGator, as did WebsiteToolTester. Below, we’ll be comparing their results to Kinsta’s results on the Review Signal tests.
Web Performance Benchmarks (Starter Plans)
These web performance benchmarks tests were run using identical WordPress dummy websites with the same plugins installed (aside from ones needed for the provider’s particular caching mechanisms).
WebPageTest.org was used to measure in seconds the overall loading time for the first view only, from 11 different geographical locations. Note: The lower the loading time is, the better:
|Average Load Time||608 ms||2.7 s||1.08 s|
|Average Response Time||440 ms||758 ms||5.27 s|
As you can see, Kinsta outperformed HostGator in every category, often by a wide margin.
Kinsta is Developer-Friendly
Here at Kinsta, many of us are developers. Therefore, we understand how important it is to have tools and features that make workflows more efficient. This is why, from day one, we’ve created our tools and dashboard with WordPress developers in mind.
Kinsta provides the following features and accessibility to help streamline your workflow and enhance your productivity, not all of which are available at HostGator:
- Unrestricted access to your site’s critical files. SFTP and PHPMyadmin access.
- Git, WP-CLI, and SSH access included with all plans.
- One-click staging environments on all plans. We also let users turn on caching in their staging environments. HostGator limits its staging environments to certain plans.
- Five types of backups: free automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, and downloadable. HostGator offers weekly automated backups only and limit them by size.
- Quicker database performance through the Redis add-on, which is not offered by HostGator.
- The ability to load your site over reverse proxy. HostGator doesn’t allow reverse proxy on shared, VPS, or managed WordPress hosting, only offering it on dedicated servers.
- Kinsta lets you run a different version of PHP for every live and staging site, as well as switch your PHP version with one click. HostGator requires you to use a PHP configuration plugin.
- Post and page revisions are enabled by default.
At Kinsta, we provide free Cloudflare SSL certificates on every plan. You can also install your own certificate if required.
You can also enable HTTPS and import your SSL certificate directly from the MyKinsta dashboard. While HostGator plans include an SSL certificate, you need to download a plugin to enable it.
Free Performance Monitoring Tool
WordPress is a dynamic CMS, which means it’s constantly executing PHP code in the background. Depending on your theme and plugin configuration, it’s possible for your site to get bogged down with bloated and inefficient code.
That’s where APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tools can help. An APM monitors requests to your site, and tracks various metrics like external API requests, database queries, PHP execution time, and more. This information allows you to quickly debug and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks.
All Kinsta plans come with a free custom-built APM tool that can be easily accessed right in the MyKinsta dashboard. Kinsta APM provides you with key WordPress performance insights without the need for expensive third-party subscriptions to other APM services.
With Kinsta APM, you can debug the following and more:
- Slow WordPress plugins and themes.
- Long calls to external APIs and domains.
- Unoptimized MySQL database queries.
HostGator plans do not come with a free APM tool, which makes it very difficult to quickly troubleshoot performance issues on your WordPress site.
Develop Locally with DevKinsta
For developers and agencies, Kinsta offers a simple to use (but powerful) local development tool called DevKinsta. With DevKinsta, you can launch WordPress sites with a full hosting stack and SSL support on your local computer with just a few clicks.
DevKinsta is fully integrated with MyKinsta and Kinsta’s hosting platform, which means you can develop locally and push updates directly to a staging environment on Kinsta! HostGator doesn’t have an integration with a local WordPress development tool, which means there is no way to clone and push WordPress sites for HostGator customers. If you’re a busy freelance or agency developer, DevKinsta’s advanced features and MyKinsta integration can be a huge time saver.
Feature Comparison Overview
Let’s take a moment to review some of the key differences between Kinsta and HostGator:
|Pricing||Plans start at $35/month||Plans start at $5.95/month|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days on all plans||45 days (some plans)|
|Plan Tiers||10 (not including custom)||3 per type of hosting|
|Premium 24×7 Technical Support||All plans||X|
|Core Infrastructure (GCP)||Same across all plans||Varies by plan|
|SSH Access||All plans||Shared and Dedicated plans|
|Global Data Centers||32 locations||2 (disclosed) locations|
|Continent Locations||5||Not specified|
|Bandwidth Limits||No limits (within AUP)||Unmetered|
|Container Technology||100% resource isolation on all plans||Not specified|
|Free Migrations||All plans||Free content migrations within 30 days (full cPanel transfers not available for WordPress plans)|
|Free Cloudflare Integration||✓||X|
|Free DDoS Protection||✓||X|
|WooCommerce optimized infrastructure||✓||X|
|Weekly automatic MySQL database optimization||✓||X|
|Staging Environment||All plans||Not specified|
|PHP Versions||PHP 7.4, 8.0, 8.1||PHP 5.5, 7, 7.1, 7.2|
|Switch PHP Engine||One-click change in dashboard||Varies by plan; PHP Configuration plugin|
|Free CDN||200+ PoPs (All regions)||SiteLock add-on|
|Free Premium DNS||Amazon R53||Premium add-on|
|Free SSL Certificates||All plans||All plans|
|Resources Limits||Only limited by PHP workers||Varies by plan|
|Free APM Tool||Kinsta APM||Not specified|
|Multisite Support||Pro plans and higher||Not specified|
|IP Geolocation||✓||VPS/Dedicated only|
|Reverse Proxy Support||✓||Dedicated only|
|New Relic (license required)||✓||X|
|Multilingual Dashboard||English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, French, Swedish, Danish, Japan||English|
At Kinsta, we only allow encrypted SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) and SSH connections for direct WordPress access. HostGator, on the other hand, only allows less secure FTP connections. Also, SSH access isn’t available by default at HostGator and requires shared or dedicated hosting.
Another aspect distinguishing Kinsta vs HostGator is that we provide one or more free premium migrations with all of our hosting plans. Kinsta’s experienced and skilled experts take care of the entire process for you, so you won’t have to deal with complex technology or worry about losing critical data.
Kinsta offers unlimited free migrations from HostGator! It doesn’t matter whether you want to move one site or dozens of them: Kinsta hassle-free migrations make it an effortless process.
Simply complete our site migration request form to get started. Then, a Kinsta migration engineer will contact you to schedule a time for the migration that will minimize downtime and disruptions. You’ll also be able to track the status of the migration through the MyKinsta dashboard.
Kinsta is reliable and makes shipping changes easy. The support team was exceedingly helpful when we needed to migrate our blog. A+ on their support team.
Things are very different with HostGator. Technically, migrations are free yet there are some important caveats to note. First, the migration options HostGator provides vary by plan. For example, you can only migrate up to one site on the WordPress hosting starter plan, with a maximum of three for the business plan.
Also, for fully-managed dedicated plans at HostGator, offsite backup solutions are available only as an option and data migrations are ‘upon request’. With HostGator’s semi-managed plans, you’ll need to perform your own data backups and migrations.
Rather than DIY migrations, our WordPress experts take care of everything for you, free of charge. You save time and money!
We don’t have anything against HostGator, but without bias we are in a different league and customer support is our top priority. By searching for their reviews online you will see that HostGator’s customer support is slow, unresponsive and lacks technical knowledge about WordPress. Their Trustpilot score is very low and you will find hundreds of negative reviews about their customer support.
At Kinsta, our customers always come first. It doesn’t matter what plan you have, either. We don’t have support tiers. Instead, we treat each and every customer as a priority, and our team of engineers and WordPress experts are available 24/7. Whether you’re a blogger or a Fortune 500 company, if you need us we’re there.
We use the Intercom customer messaging platform to make support as convenient as possible. We’re also quick, too. In fact, our average initial ticket response time is under two minutes!
Just check out our customer support ratings for the past two years. More than 97% of our customers closed a chat support session happy or satisfied:
Our team is filled with WordPress experts and engineers, so you always get knowledgeable advice. No problem is too big or too small. In addition to multilingual customer support, our Kinsta knowledge base has resources available in 10 languages.
Kinsta provides a fantastic product and rock-solid support when it’s needed. We are recommending the platform more and more to our clients. The bonus of reduced pricing for non-profits makes it a no-brainer for hosting your WordPress site.
Unlike HostGator, our 24/7 support also includes technical support. While HostGator says it includes 24/7 support for all its plans, it only lists “live 24/7 support” for the dedicated plans. Plus, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a response in mere seconds like you do with Kinsta.
Safe and Secure
At Kinsta, we believe that a strong website is a secure one. That is why we take both active and passive measures to protect your site from security attacks and malicious activity.
All sites on Kinsta are automatically protected by Cloudflare’s firewall, which includes free DDoS protection. With our Cloudflare integration, you’ll get the benefits of enhanced security and performance without having to configure your own Cloudflare account.
Our secure hosting platform monitors your site every two minutes for uptime, and has software-based restrictions in place to further help safeguard your data. We can detect DDoS attacks as they happen, and stop malicious code from infiltrating our network.
Some of our key security features include:
- Cloudflare firewall with included DDoS protection.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) support
- Isolated LXC containers
- Automated backups with all plans
- Self-healing PHP
- Free hack-fix guarantee
- Only support for encrypted SFTP and SSH connections (no FTP)
If we’re notified about a vulnerability on your site, you’ll also know right away. We’ll contact you immediately to let you know what the next steps are. Our goal is to act swiftly and communicate clearly.
With HostGator, advanced security features are only included on high-performance plans. Most plans only include weekly backups. If you want daily backups, you’ll need to handle them yourself.
Kinsta Has a Global Presence
Powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform, Kinsta has 32 data centers (and counting) around the world, spanning five continents. Regardless of your plan, you can choose a different data center for each of your websites, with no extra fees or hidden charges.
Kinsta data center locations include:
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Hong Kong
- Tokyo, Japan
- Osaka, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Mumbai, India
- Delhi, India
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Sydney, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Warsaw, Poland
- Hamina, Finland
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- London, United Kingdom
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Montréal, Canada
- Toronto, Canada
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Santiago, Chile
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
- Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Milan, Italy
- Paris, France
- Madrid, Spain
The only two data center locations that HostGator discloses on its website are both in America (Utah and Texas). Also, it doesn’t let you choose which data center to use for your site.
Turbocharging Your Content Delivery with Kinsta CDN
All Kinsta plans include a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) via our Cloudflare integration. This is a premium HTTP/3-enabled CDN, to deliver your content lightning-fast across the globe.
Our content delivery architecture was tailor-made for high throughput and low latency. You can enable Kinsta CDN directly from your MyKinsta dashboard, and your content will be delivered and cached from data centers in over 200 cities around the globe. This spans all major regions, including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa.
With HostGator, CDN is available as an add-on feature for SiteLock plans.
Best Affiliate Program in the Industry
Kinsta has become one of the fastest-growing managed WordPress hosts, thanks in no small part to our many happy customers eager to help spread the word about our products and services.
Therefore, whether you’re an agency or a blogger, Kinsta is proud to offer true profit sharing through our affiliate program. In fact, it’s one of the highest-paying programs in the hosting industry!
Here’s how it works: For each signup you refer, you can earn between $50 and $500 (depending on the plan). In addition, you get a 10% monthly recurring commission for the lifetime of the customers you refer. Kinsta customers have a low 4% churn rate, making our affiliate program a powerful opportunity for earning a passive income.
Also, we created our own unique WordPress hosting affiliate dashboard. That way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with confusing third-party platforms.
HostGator also has an affiliate program. However, the max commission you can make per month is $125 (and that would require at least 21 qualified signups).
Join Others Making the Switch to Kinsta
Kinsta will never stop innovating, providing our clients with the latest and greatest technology and solutions. If you don’t believe us, simply check out our feature updates! We constantly push out new integrations, tools, and features at a faster rate than anyone in the industry.
We are confident in our platform and services, and want you to be happy with your hosting. This is why we are proud to offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and no long-term contracts.
If you’re ready to make the move away from HostGator and switch to a new hosting provider, try out Kinsta risk-free for 30 days!