Cloudways vs HostGator (2021): Which Managed Hosting Provider Is Better For Your Site?

Owning a website means having to manage your servers, a task that’s not exactly fun or enjoyable. Fortunately, gone are the days when we have to figure things out on our own because there are now plenty of managed hosting providers out there for us to choose from. Cloudways and HostGator, both considered big names in the industry, are worth considering although they come with some big differences so it’s important that you choose wisely. To help you decide, here’s an in-depth comparison of the two providers, taking speed and performance, security, additional features, and pricing into account.

Cloudways vs HostGator Comparison Chart

ModelCloudwaysHostGator
 
PriceCheck Price at CloudwaysCheck Price HostGator
StorageSSDMechanical drives
PHP-Ready ServersYesYes
CDNCloudwaysCDNCloudflare CDN
Caching SystemsMulti-tieredMulti-tiered
EncryptionFree Let’s Encrypt SSL certificateFree Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
BackupsYesYes
Free Site MigrationYesYes
Site StagingYesNo
Collaborative ToolsYesNo
Free DomainNoYes

Speed and Performance

Cloudways has the edge over HostGator, thanks to their solid-state drives.

Cloudways’ SSD storage provides faster performance versus HostGator’s mechanical drives.

When choosing a managed hosting provider, it’s crucial that you know how they’re going to affect your site’s overall speed and performance. While both Cloudways and HostGator have measures in place to keep page loading times at a minimum, the former has a slight upper hand in this area. While HostGator sticks to traditional mechanical drives to store their servers, Cloudways makes use of top-tier hardware called solid-state drives (SSD) for theirs. SSD storage has flash memory technology that makes transferring data from the server to your visitor’s device so much speedier.

Storage quality aside, it’s good news that both Cloudways and HostGator are equipped with servers that are of top-notch quality. With HostGator, you get PHP-ready, low-density servers that prevent resource hogging. As for Cloudways, not only are their servers compatible with PHP 7 but they’re also HTTP/2-enabled to further promote fast connection speeds. To boot, both Cloudways and HostGator take advantage of a CDN so that your visitors don’t have to wait to connect to a server that’s across the globe and can instead use a CDN node near them. HostGator gives you the option to use Cloudflare CDN while Cloudways has their own proprietary network called CloudwaysCDN.

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On top of quality servers and the use of a CDN, Cloudways and HostGator also improve performance through advanced caching. Cloudways utilizes an optimized stack which includes NGINX, Varnish, Redis, and Memcached while HostGator has a similar multi-tiered system.

Security

Both Cloudways and HostGator have proactive measures in place to secure your site.

Both Cloudways and HostGator provide a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.

When you have your own website, your biggest priority should be to create a safe environment for both yourself and your visitors. It’s a good thing that both Cloudways and HostGator are proactive when it comes to securing your site against hackers, malicious attacks, and other threats in the cyber world. First off, they both provide a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for all their plans. This means that the connection between the server and your visitor’s device will always be encrypted, thus boosting your site’s reputation and trustworthiness.

Cloudways and HostGator are also prepared to get your site back up in a jiffy in the event of a catastrophe. With Cloudways, you can access your backups on demand or schedule them as you please, thanks to their flexible backup system. Similarly, HostGator can perform daily backups if that’s what you want via a third-party backup system called CodeGuard. In addition to encryption and backups, Cloudways has dedicated firewalls that safeguard your site around the clock while HostGator includes SiteLock in their plans which scans your site for malware and blocks them out.

Additional Features

Cloudways wins for having unlimited site staging and collaborative tools.

Both Cloudways and HostGator make site migration an easy process.

For those who already have an existing site and would like to move its data to another hosting provider, not only do Cloudways and HostGator make the process an easy one but the transfer is completely free as well. Unfortunately, that’s about all that HostGator offers while Cloudways has a few more nifty features up their sleeve. When it comes to site staging, for example, Cloudways lets you try out as many new themes, apps, and plugins while keeping your live site up and running. HostGator doesn’t have any staging features at all. In addition, HostGator limits you to WordPress while Cloudways is compatible with many other platforms such as Magento, Joomla, and Drupal.

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Another point goes to Cloudways for having a complete set of collaborative tools, something you can greatly benefit from if you work with a big team. You can, for example, create groups, restrict certain parts of your site for extra security, add new projects, and give access to chosen individuals. You can’t perform any of these actions with HostGator. While they may be on the losing end when it comes to features, HostGator does provides a free domain as well as domain privacy for all their plans. This is a nice touch because it lessens startup costs for those who are creating a completely new site.

Pricing

HostGator has fixed prices while Cloudways has a pay-as-you-go billing scheme.

Take advantage of HostGator’s introductory offers.

One of the best things about Cloudways is their pay-as-you-go billing scheme. Because they only charge you for the resources you consumed the previous month, there’s more leeway for savings. As for their rate, it depends on which data center you’ve chosen, with DigitalOcean as the most budget-friendly option at $10 per month and Google Cloud as the most expensive at $80 per month. The most popular pick, however, is Amazon Web Services which falls somewhere in the middle at $42 per month. All of Cloudways’ plans come with pretty much the same inclusions and are only different in terms of RAM, processor, storage space, and bandwidth.

There’s less flexibility to enjoy with HostGator as they stick to the traditional pricing model, charging you a fixed price every month. You can, however, choose to pay on a monthly basis or pay a big one-time fee for a long-term plan. With the latter option, you get a smaller subscription fee which will prove to be more affordable in the long run. HostGator gives you three packages to choose from, namely the Starter Plan (introductory offer of $5.95 per month), the Standard Plan (introductory offer of $7.95 per month), and the Business Plan (introductory offer of $9.95 per month).

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Verdict

Cloudways is the clear winner because the quality they offer is unparalleled.

Cloudways

Best for most site owners

HostGator

Best for simple sites

While both Cloudways and HostGator are considered industry leaders, the former is the clear winner of this comparison for a number of reasons. While HostGator is stuck with mechanical drives, Cloudways’ makes use of modern, top-tier hardware that ensures the speed and performance of your site. To boot, they have their own proprietary CDN to further cut down page loading times. Not just that but you also get to enjoy a wide range of free features such as site staging and collaborative tools that can help boost your team’s productivity. Their pay-as-you-go scheme is a nice cherry on top as well.

FAQs

📌 Are Cloudways and HostGator safe and reliable?

Both Cloudways and HostGator have proactive measures in place to secure your site. Both providers have free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, backups, firewalls, and malware scanning.

📌 Which one is better for speed and performance, Cloudways or HostGator?

Cloudways wins for using top-tier hardware called solid-state drives (SSD). SSD storage has flash memory technology that makes transferring data from the server to your visitor’s device so much faster.

📌 Which one has more features, Cloudways or HostGator?

While both Cloudways and HostGator have free site migration, only the former has site staging features and collaborative tools.

📌 Which one is more affordable, Cloudways or HostGator?

While HostGator charges you a fixed price per month, Cloudways has a pay-as-you-go billing scheme which could allow for more savings.