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:
#1 WordPress Hosting Provider by G2
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 24 data centers across the globe, while HostGator only discloses two locations for its data centers (one in Texas and the other in Utah).
- 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 included free CDN
- Kinsta works with Google Cloud’s premium global tier network and all of the plans come with Google Cloud 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.
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 auto-scaling 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!
I’ve tried multiple services including GoDaddy, Rackspace, InMotion Hosting, WP Engine, HostGator and homebrew solutions. Hands down, no questions or second thoughts, Kinsta is the best. Best support, Best performance.
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 Dashboard That’s Better Than the Competition
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 for troubleshooting website performance
- Advanced WordPress debugging tool
- Simple password protection for your environment
- Free SSL certificates via one-click Let’s Encrypt feature, and the option to import your own
- 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.
I am certain there is no better hosting than Kinsta. I have used GoDaddy, Bluehost, and HostGator, and a few others for a total of 17 years with over 200 websites. Kinsta is in a class in itself far above and beyond ALL others I’ve used, and cannot be compared to any I mentioned or have compared online in thorough search. The hosting platform is exceptionally superior to all in every respect
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.
- Faster search with the Elasticsearch add-on, as well as quicker database performance through the Redis add-on. HostGator doesn’t offer support for either of these add-ons.
- 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 one-click SSL with Let’s Encrypt integration 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.
Feature Comparison Overview
Let’s take a moment to review some of the key differences between Kinsta and HostGator:
|Pricing||Plans start at $30/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||24 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)|
|WooCommerce optimized infrastructure||✓||X|
|Weekly automatic MySQL database optimization||✓||X|
|Staging Environment||All plans||Not specified|
|PHP Versions||PHP 7.3, 7.4||PHP 5.5, 7, 7.1, 7.2|
|Switch PHP Engine||One-click change in dashboard||Varies by plan; PHP Configuration plugin|
|Free CDN||34 (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|
|Reverse Proxy Support||✓||Dedicated only|
|New Relic APM Support||✓||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.
The migration support was fantastic. We had our site at AWS and it was a mess, but somehow it was migrated over perfectly. It now runs faster at Kinsta and we are spending less money (considering support). I’ve asked a couple of questions via the online chat, and the techs are always very fast and knowledgeable. I’ve hosted direct with all the underlying cloud providers and, yes, they are great and a little cheaper; but for an extra $20 or so a month we get a huge return in time saved
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 has excellent support, solid infrastructure, and reliable uptime. Most problems I’ve faced on my website have been due to my own inexperience—but even then, Kinsta support staff were ALWAYS around to save my bacon. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them.
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.
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:
- Google Cloud Platform firewall
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) support
- Isolated LXC containers
- GeoIP blocking
- 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 24 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:
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- London, UK
- Sydney, Australia
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Mumbai, India
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Seoul, South Korea.
- Salt Lake City, USA.
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Tokyo, Japan
- Montréal, Canada
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Hamina, Finland
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Hong Kong
- Zürich, Switzerland
- Osaka, Japan
- Las Vegas, USA
- Jakarta, Indonesia
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
Kinsta cares about your website’s performance. This doesn’t just mean we care about the site performance from our data centers. We also care about how your site runs all across the globe.
This is why we partnered up with KeyCDN, a premium HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled Content Delivery Network (CDN). Plus, we include free bandwidth with every plan.
Built from the ground up and designed for high throughput and low latency, our content delivery architecture means your content is delivered and cached from our 34 POPs around the world. This includes all regions, including America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia!
Additionally, our CDN automatically helps to protect against bad bots, and adheres to industry standards such as GZIP and HPACK compression.
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!