HostGator is my current host after trying some free hosting. Many bloggers begin with free hosts, sub-domains and free scripts – There is nothing bad in it. But decide it in time when it’s good to go for paid services. I switched to HostGator and find here why I did so? (Note: This is not HostGator paid hosting review)
Binaya overheard his parents say “Money attracts money” but he was never more in sorrow to see his coin dropped inside the piggy in an attempt to pull some money out with that poor coin. “Uuff! What the hell were they talking about?” Binay felt his heart down. Sat in a corner of his room and staring that smiling piggy, all of a sudden, he was enlightened “Oh yes, the more money inside piggy attracted my coin! Its true, its true!” That was a story we used to read in junior schools. Whatever, forget it. Today I am here to talk about my switch from friHost to HostGator. How I started my online journey and why I started buying the products online.
A Journey to HostGator from Free Hosting
Why friHost for free hosting?
Settled to friHost after hopping through at least half dozen other free hosting providers. Some were free but displayed their ads too much, some did not let me show my ads, some run my site for a week and sent a note to tell the quota was over and will be live again next month and bla bla bla… I’d read a lot about Adsense and at that time, it was a hot cake. Its about the time – four years ago. I knew some English, some computer and was studying computers in my college. Why not to establish a website and earn handsome money just from my desk without spending a dime? I did not have even that Rs 2 coin Binay found in his box. Had to push a folded paper inside piggy. Our country still restricts money spending in foreign currency. We need to submit invoices to get permission to pay in dollars. PayPal does not work in our country yet. No way out, but I did not lose hope. On a quest to free hosting and free top level domain I got ddBoard and friHost. These were the two forums that awarded points which could be cashed into domain name and hosting (Read here how friHost offers top level domain name and free hosting). A great opportunity for me! After participating actively and proving myself worthy, I got the Premium like friHost hosting and PS Exam domain name. ddBoard no longer exists but friHost is still there and I still recommend it to anybody new to test and try before he/she plunges into full-fledged blogging. Click here to join friHost forum and earn your free domain name & hosting
#1. friHost is FREE!
Free goods and services are sweet, aren’t they? But here you need to pay with your work, though not money. friHost requires you to submit 5 quality posts before you can request hosting; and need to remain active in their forum to keep your free hosting alive. (But they have not deleted my account yet when I’m away for more than two years. They are just concerned more on spamming to delete your account instantly.
#2. Offers Premium though it is free hosting
I was provided cPanel to manage my account and hosting. I guess these days they offer ‘The DirectAdmin control panel’. 10GB bandwidth per month was more than enough for a beginning website. Fantastico, File Manager, Add on domain and everything that you get on paid hosting.
#3. Supports Joomla, WordPress and many other popular scripts
Because they provide Fantastico it is damn easy to install and configure the required scripts. This is very good for beginners.
#4. No Forced Ads
The best thing of friHost which is hard to get in any free hosting is, it does not show any ads. You are free to use your account as if you’ve paid $120/year.
#5. Supports Your Ads
This is what I started to create a website for. Incorporate your Adsense ads or any other as you wish. I run my PS Exam there for about two years before I decided to switch to paid hosting.
Why I moved to paid hosting?
You can understand, I wouldn’t stay on free hosted website for ever. I had to and learned a lot while in friHost but investment was necessary. Binay’s parents were not in illusion – they were talking real world fact! At the end of the day, “Money attracts money”
One primary reason for this switch was bandwidth. 10GB/month is not bad for free hosting but, as my site grew, the traffic grew gradually and there were good search engine visitors. The allocated bandwidth appeared to be insufficient. Two or three times, the administrator increased the bandwidth to 15 & 20 GB for that particular month but this was not going much far.
Read this if you don’t know: What is bandwidth
Read this to know How bandwidth is calculated and how much bandwidth you need.
#2. Shared IP and Bad Neighborhood
friHost work hard to keep its server clean from porn and illegal contents that may harm your website ranking on search engines. But still I was worried of the fact that almost all of the emails from website was blocked or thrashed in to spam box because of excessive spamming. Even on my own domain name could not help much. Through their forum I concluded this is almost impossible to solve it for free accounts.
#3 Limited support
Because there are innumerable free websites on their server, its not possible for them to provide individual support. I was in heavy learning phase and faced many nonsense problems. There was a separate section in friHost forum to talk about hosting and other service related issues, it was not always pleasant. And I could not expect more from a free hosting account.
#4 Website Hacked
It was not caused by friHost but my website hacked for three times when in friHost. On the first time, I did not have backup and there was nothing they could do. Everything was vanished and started again from scratch. I learned how important it is to have a backup copy of your website. On successive hacks, I could restore my sites quicker.
Interested to hacking? Read: Hacked blog, How My Site got Hacked, Preventing Hackers | Marathon You Can Do It Check if your site is hacked: Website Security Check – Unmask Parasites
#5 Had some money in pocket
By that time I had some money in pocket. Though I could not withdraw money from paypal, the account had some, to make online purchases. The first thing I’d thought of buying anything was paid host after own domain. My website earned some money through Adsense and I got some in payPal through selling links and other stuff.
Why I chose HostGator?
After going through all those sweet and sour experiences, there was no meaning to look for cheaper hosting. I was more concerned to quality service and better security. I hope, you’ll certainly agree that HostGator is the #1 hosting provider for small and large websites. Though I paid a few dollars more than what other’s tempt with, I’m enjoying the stability, reliability and top quality support. I say the money worth! I won’t sit on that corner to stare the piggy anymore! I’ve got the enlightenment. Click here to register on HostGator
#1. HostGator is suitable for all sort of websites
HostGator provides three different plans to suite everybody. Hatching for single domain but no worries about bandwidth and disk space all for $4.95/month. Baby for unlimited domains, disk space and bandwidth all for $7.95/month. Business plan for unlimited domains, diskspace, bandwidth and added dedicated SSL & IP with a toll free number for $12.95/month. Because I wished to host my PS Exam, ICT Trends and this blog all in one hosting, choose Baby Plan. After reading some posts on bad neighbourhood I’m planning to upgrade for Business Plan shortly when revenue will be sufficient to cover the expenses.
#2 Super quality support
May you never need to contact their support but ever if you need, you’ll love how they response. I made a few contacts and every time its well organized and problem was solved on single sitting. They provide toll free numbers to make a call and inquire or discuss your problems. For a couple of time I’ve used live chat and always appreciate how they helped. Click here to Chat with HostGator Support
#3 Recovery in case of disasters
Its always advisable to have a backup copy of your site. Its not always hackers and intruders who harm your blog but sometimes you yourself might be mischief. I have a bitter experience. I was working with a dummy site testing different things. When everything was over I was deleting that site through File Manager. You know how devastating it may be when you are not super-conscious. The whole hosting folder was deleted just in a click when I was intending to delete just a sub-folder. OMG! all my three sites were gone before I realized what I did. Now uploading everything was not much enjoying job. Thanks to the HostGator support. They provided me a link and the site was live just in another five minutes (I had to pay $15 for the service though ) I’m glad to know, they have everything we had in case of any disaster.
#4 Discount and Coupon Codes
What I don’t like with HostGator
I did not get any discounts when renewing my account and had to pay full charge. That is the worst thing I did not like . Whatever, I won’t hesitate to pay HostGator for this superb services.