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1&1 IONOS vs HostGator: can low prices mean quality?

In this 1&1 IONOS vs HostGator comparison, I’ll break down the differences between the providers in terms of pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and support.

IONOS and HostGator are 2 of the biggest names in the web hosting industry. IONOS is the biggest host in Europe while HostGator is massively popular, especially among beginners. Affordability, reliability, speed, and ease – these providers seem to have it all.

To the casual eye, it’s hard to tell them apart. It’s even harder to choose between them. Well, this is where this 1&1 IONOS vs HostGator comparison comes in.

1&1 IONOS vs HostGator: general info

⭐ Rating:
💵 Price:From $1/monthFrom $3.75/month
📑 Uptime guarantee:99.99%99.9%
🔥 Coupons:IONOS coupon 91% OFF!HostGator coupon 62% OFF
Storage space (from):10 GB SSD10 GB SSD
✂️ Free domain (first year):YesYes (first year)
🔒 Free SSL certificate:YesYes
➡️ Site migration:Manual migration or migration with the help of WordPress plugin1 free WordPress/cPanel migration and inter-server migration
💾 Automated backups:Yes (daily)Yes (paid)
📧 Email accounts:1 free accountYes (unlimited accounts)
👨‍💻 24/7 live support:YesYes
💰 Money-back guarantee:30-day30-day

1&1 IONOS vs HostGator: pricing comparison

In terms of price, 1&1 IONOS is the cheaper option, compared to HostGator. IONOS shared hosting services start from an incredibly affordable $1.00/mo. Meanwhile, HostGator’s start from $3.75/mo.

On top of that, they have other types of hosting:

Hosting type1&1 IONOSHostGator
Shared hosting✔️
WordPress hosting✔️
eCommerce hosting✔️
Cloud hosting✔️
VPS hosting✔️✔️
Windows hosting✔️
Reseller hosting✔️
Dedicated hosting✔️✔️
Visit 1&1 IONOSVisit HostGator

While each host has quite a few hosting options to choose from, shared hosting is still the most popular solution. So for this 1&1 IONOS vs HostGator comparison I’ll be focusing on that.

Talking about their the cheapest shared hosting packages, both providers give you unlimited storage and 1 free custom domain registration for a year.

Here’s how they compare:

  • IONOS’ Business ($1.00/mo) can host unlimited websites and comes with unlimited databases, a single email account, an SSL Wildcard certificate, Site Scan, DDoS protection, and automated daily backup.
  • HostGator’s Hatchling ($3.75/mo) can host 1 website and includes unlimited bandwidth, as well as email accounts, an SSL certificate, and a Gator website builder.

Right away, it’s clear that IONOS’ Business offers better value. It’s much cheaper than HostGator’s Hatchling, yet can host unlimited websites, compared to just 1 for Hatchling. Additional services include heightened security with the upgraded Wildcard SSL certificate, Site Scan, and DDoS protection as well as daily backups.

But, the providers have even more plans to meet various needs, So which ones are worth your time?

IONOS has 3 shared hosting plans, with prices ranging from $1.00/mo to $9.00/mo.

In terms of best value, Business is the best selling plan, and it’s easy to see why. At just $1.00/mo, it’s super affordable, yet you can host unlimited websites and get generous server resources. Plus, it comes with many premium features that are usually reserved for much costlier plans.

However, if you’re looking to build website for personal use, the Essential plan might be just enough for you. Especially, long-term.

Best Value

For the lowest price, take advantage of Business’ huge introductory discount and sign up for a year at $1.00/mo. It comes up to just $6.00 for 12 months. However, be mindful that the renewal price will be significantly higher.

At the same time, HostGator also has 3 cheap web hosting plans. They cost between $3.75/mo and $6.25/mo, with a 3-year subscription.

Now, talking about the most optimal plan, HostGator themselves suggests going for Baby. And it’s pretty clear why – it includes generous server resources, unlimited email addresses, and lifts any restrictions on the number of sites you can host.

At the same time, while the Business plan is quite reasonably priced too, the renewal rates are quite off-putting. Especially for what it has to offer.

Best Value

To snag the best price, sign up for the Baby plan, with a 36-month subscription. This way, you get to secure the introductory monthly rate of just $4.50. Yet be aware that after the renewal, the monthly installments will go back to the regular price.

Both of the hosting providers offer their money-back guarantee. 1&1 IONOS comes with the standard 30-day money-back guarantee policy. At the same time, HostGator offers a slightly longer 45-day money-back guarantee.

To sum up, IONOS is the clear winner of this round of 1and1 vs HostGator. Its plans are glaringly cheaper but still packed with a wider array of resources and hosting features than HostGator’s plans.

Hosting management: ease of use

1&1 IONOS and HostGator both emphasize ease of use but have gone about website management very differently. IONOS has a custom control panel to take care of both account and hosting management. In contrast, HostGator pairs its custom control panel with cPanel.

With IONOS, you get a custom control panel that also doubles as the main dashboard. This is where you can deal with billing matters (which can be found in My Account), as well as find everything else that you need to run your website.

This includes:

  • Domain & SSL – add and manage 1&1 domain names or subdomains.
  • Email – set up and manage your email address.
  • Hosting – switch PHP version, scan site, manage databases, and track storage usage.
  • Security Solutions – manage security solutions like site scanning and SSL certificate activation.

Additionally, this is also where you can reach out to your assigned personal consultant. A free service from IONOS, your personal consultant offers tailored assistance for everything from expert recommendations to hosting tips/guidelines, as well as advice on online presence.

In terms of looks and usability, the interface is clean, intuitive, and user-friendly.

IONOS main dashboard and control panel upon the first login

To keep things clutter-free, all the tools and features are tucked into the main categories. But, everything is just a few clicks away and easily accessible.

HostGator, on the other hand, uses a combo of a custom control panel and a cPanel.

The native HostGator panel looks a bit dated. But it’s straightforward enough since everything is clearly-labeled.

On the panel, you’ll find all the main shortcuts to cPanel for everything from SSL, domain, and email management to WP installation. Additionally, you can also reach the Gator builder from here. Mainly, though, the control panel is used for billing and for reaching the cPanel.

Now, cPanel is the main panel for website management. It has all that you need to run your site like domain, email, SSL, file, and database management as well as the Softaculous 1-click app installer.

HostGator cPanel

Since HostGator uses the standard cPanel with just little tweaks here and there, it’s no doubt still a familiar sight to many. Now, the panel isn’t exactly the sleekest, but all the tools are carefully-arranged in a way that’s intuitive to both beginners and advanced users.

All things considered, 1&1 IONOS and HostGator are on an almost equal footing when it comes to ease of use. IONOS is just a tad bit better, with their easy beginner-friendly custom control panel and personal consultant help. Meanwhile, HostGator relies on the slightly dated native panel and cPanel combo.

1&1 IONOS vs HostGator performance

When it comes to performance, the 1&1 IONOS vs HostGator battle is down to the wire as both demonstrated remarkable results. IONOS is slightly faster with a load time of just 1s, while HostGator is slightly more reliable in terms of uptime.

Uptime and response time

To test providers’ reliability and server responsiveness, I’ve monitored both hosts over a slightly different time. Throughout the test, IONOS and HostGator proved to be very reliable.

For this examination, IONOS was monitored for around a month, while HostGator was monitored for nearly 2 months.

In a month's time, IONOS had only 3 outages, which resulted in 3 minutes of downtime. This works out to a 99.99% uptime, which is excellent and very much in line with IONOS’s 99.99% uptime guarantee.

IONOS uptime and response time

As for its server responsiveness, IONOS started rather sluggish and even peaked at 1.05s. However, the overall average response time rounded up to 758ms. Sure, that’s slower than the market’s average time of 600ms, but the signs of improvement are promising.

On the other side of the race, HostGator demonstrated even more outstanding results. In the 2 months, there were only 3 outages that caused 5 minutes of downtime, which translated to >99.99% uptime.

Considering that HostGator only has the industry-standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, the >99.99% result is impressive.

hostgator performance linux hosting

What’s less impressive is HostGator’s 525ms average response time. While that’s by no means terrible, I’d prefer it to be a little further from the industry’s average of 600ms.

In brief, both IONOS and HostGator have no trouble meeting the high bar when it comes to reliability. But, HostGator leads this round with its almost - 100% uptime and faster response time.

Website speed

Both put the pedal to the metal when it comes to website speed. However, 1&1 IONOS proved to be slightly faster.

Before we discuss the specifics of 1&1 IONOS speed vs HostGator speed, here are 2 important measures:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this marks how long it takes to load the largest element (image, video, font, etc.) on the page. For best results, keep this time under 2.5 seconds.
  • Fully loaded time – this shows the time in which all elements on site have been fully loaded. For the best user experience, keep it below 3 seconds.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that both providers were hosted in and tested from the US to gauge their optimum loading speed. Alternatively, IONOS offers 2 server location options – in the US or Europe. On the other hand, HostGator only offers data centers in the US alone.

Getting back to site loading, IONOS wiped the floor with the speed test. Its LCP took just 1s, and its fully loaded time followed close behind at 1.1s. Both figures are well below the recommended time frames.

IONOS page load time on built WP

HostGator, too, put up a good fight. Its LCP loaded in 1.1s, and there was only a 0.1s delay until its fully loaded time at 1.2s.

HostGator fully built website loading speed

Overall, both providers were very fast. While this might not land them a spot among the fastest hosting solutions, the results were definitely impressive. However, IONOS is slightly faster than HostGator, which sees it taking the crown for this round.

All in all, IONOS and HostGator both nailed it when it comes to performance. But HostGator was slightly ahead of its competitor, and therefore the winner of this comparison category.

Website security

As far as 1and1 vs HostGator security comparison is concerned, IONOS wins the round effortlessly. It offers robust protection with both basic and premium security measures. In contrast, HostGator offers only the very essential features and bills everything else as paid add-ons.

There isn’t much that IONOS and HostGator have in common here.

IONOS comes with:

  • A free SSL Wildcard certificate to protect the main domain and all subdomains.
  • Site Scanincludes daily scans for malware detection, reputation monitoring, spam protection, and blocklist monitoring, as well as platform scan for WordPress.
  • Automatic daily backups for storage and databases.
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection is activated by default.
  • Geo-redundant infrastructure to protect against data loss and outages.

In contrast, HostGator provides:

  • A free SSL certificate to enable the encrypted server-visitor connection.
  • Server-level firewall to protect against malicious traffic.
  • Positive SSL is included in the Business plan. Alternatively, other plans can upgrade by paying $3.33/mo.
  • SiteLock Essentials is available for $1.99/mo for the first year. It offers a wide range of features like daily scans for malware protection, basic CDN (Content Delivery Network), and Google Blacklist monitoring.
  • Daily automated website backup for $2.00/mo for all web files and databases.

Overall, it’s an easy win for IONOS. While it might be incredibly cheap, IONOS’ rich and comprehensive security features rival that of a premium provider.

Customer support

Both of the hosting providers offer 24/7 help via live chat feature and phone. Additionally, HostGator is also reachable via email. Moreover, the duo has huge knowledge bases crammed with lots of articles, too.

With IONOS, it’s slightly difficult to get hold of its customer support team via an online chat feature. But if you do manage to connect with its agents, you can expect swift and effective services. Alternatively, its phone support is always staffed, and the on-call agents are very professional and keen to help.

Otherwise, the IONOS help center is also a good resource. Whether you need help with your SSL or simply want to compare 1and1 vs HostGator WordPress optimizations, there are heaps of articles here that could be helpful.

As for HostGator’s live chat feature, its customer support team is usually eager to assist. However, do expect a fair bit of wait time. Plus, it’s not uncommon to face language barriers as the agents are mostly outsourced.

Luckily, the host has a well-stocked knowledge base. Here, you’ll find articles on everything from getting started to design tools.

Overall, both hosts’ support could be better. However, HostGator is the winner of this round with its easier reachable and well-trained agents.

1&1 IONOS vs HostGator: final recommendations

From this 1&1 IONOS vs HostGator comparison, it’s clear that both hosts come with their benefits and banes. IONOS is cheap, easy, fast, and secure, but its support could be more available. Whereas HostGator is more expensive and lacks protection but it’s easy to use and reliable.

Feature1&1 IONOSHostGatorVerdict
IONOS is far more affordable, with its shared hosting plans starting from $1.00/mo, compared to HostGator’s $3.75/mo. Plus, IONOS is also more generous with its offerings.
Ease of use
The providers are very easy to use and intuitive. However, IONOS is slightly easier to use, it uses a custom control panel that doubles as its dashboard. HostGator uses a custom control panel alongside cPanel.
Both hosts excelled in different aspects. IONOS is faster with better loading time at just 1s, while HostGator is more reliable with a >99.99% uptime.
IONOS is a significantly more secure provider. Its well-rounded protection includes both basic and advanced security measures.
Customer support
The duo could improve on their customer service. But, HostGator has the edge as its agents can be reached quicker.

Facts don’t lie and, in this case, the facts point to 1&1 IONOS as the better host. It’s absurdly cheap and yet its plans are stuffed with resources and features. Plus, it’s also easy to use, fast, and secure.

However, if you’re looking to build a simplistic portfolio or a personal blog, HostGator is a very good option to consider.

Alternatives to 1&1 IONOS and HostGator

If both 1&1 IONOS and HostGator don’t fit what you’re looking for, there are many good hosting solutions in the market. I’d recommend that you check out Hostinger, Bluehost, and DreamHost.


If you want IONOS’ affordability, Hostinger is a close second. An extremely popular provider, its shared hosting plans start from an affordable monthly rate of $2.69/mo.

And, just like IONOS, Hostinger doesn’t compromise on resources, features, security, or ease of use. Plus, the host is well-known for its top-notch performance and many optimizations.


HostGator’s sibling, Bluehost is hugely popular for its WordPress-centered plans. The host offers a very beginner-friendly platform but rounds it out with more advanced tools like staging and caching.

Pricing-wise, it’s a tad bit more expensive than HostGator, with plans starting from $1.99/mo.


In terms of price, DreamHost sits between IONOS and HostGator, with plans starting from $2.59/mo. If you want to avoid huge upfront payments, DreamHost also offers a very reasonably priced monthly billing option.

A WordPress-centric provider, DreamHost comes with plenty of optimizations for the CMS. Additionally, it’s no slacker in terms of performance, either.

Other HostGator comparisons you might like to check out

1&1 IONOS vs HostGator FAQs

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