Namecheap vs HostGator: which cheap hosting provider to choose?
In this Namecheap vs HostGator comparison, I’ll analyze both companies side by side in terms of pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and customer support.
Namecheap is a big name in the web hosting service. It's mostly known as a domain registrar, but exceptionally cheap web hosting is also something the company offers.
HostGator is one of the most popular shared hosting services out there. Low prices, good resources, and reliability make this host a favored choice.
Both are similar, yet very different. Therefore, without further ado, let’s see how the two stack up against each other.
Namecheap vs HostGator: general info
Both Namecheap and HostGator offer cheap and easy to manage shared hosting solutions. As the name suggests, Namecheap’s main selling point is its extremely low price. However, HostGator proves to be more reliable and faster.
So let’s take a look at each provider’s main points of comparison. Although, if you’d like to get a little more detailed summary of the two, feel free to jump to the final conclusion at the end.
|💲 Price from||From $2.75/mo||From $1.44/mo|
|🌐 Free domain||Yes||Yes|
|💳 Payment types||Credit/Debit Card, PayPal, Check, Money Orders, and Bank Wires||Credit/Debit, cryptocurrencies, card and PayPal|
|🏘 Hosting types||Shared, WordPress, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting||Shared, WordPress, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting|
|🕹 Control panel||Native dashboard and a slightly customized cPanel integration||Native dashboard and a standard cPanel integration|
|🚄 Average speed||525ms||1.05s|
|▶️ Monitored uptime||>99.99%||99.82%|
|📑 Uptime guarantee||99.9%||100%|
|🌎 Server locations||The US||The US, UK, EU (Amsterdam)|
|🛡️ Security||Free SSL, server monitoring, and server-level firewall||SSL certificates, DDoS protection, and backups|
|👨💻 Support||24/7 live chat and phone||24/7 live chat and ticketing|
|➡️ Website migration||One free WordPress/cPanel migration and inter-server migration||Free WordPress and cPanel migration|
|➕ Extras||Emails||Emails, domain privacy, and CDN|
|💰 Money-back guarantee||45 days||30 days|
Namecheap vs HostGator: pricing comparison
As far as pricing goes, Namecheap lives up to its name. The provider’s cheapest shared hosting plan comes for as low as $1.44/mo, while HostGator’s prices start at $2.75/mo.
Additionally, both hosting services offer a couple of scalability options:
- VPS hosting (Nc – $9.88/mo vs HG – $19.95/mo);
- Dedicated hosting (Nc – $49.88/mo vs HG – $89.98/mo).
Additionally, only Namecheap offers reseller hosting solutions with prices starting at $17.88/mo. However, since shared hosting is the most popular among all the hosting options, that's what I’ll focus on.
Regardless of which provider or plan you’ll go for, a free domain, an SSL, and unmetered bandwidth will be included. That’s where the similarities end. Here’s how both providers’ cheapest plans compare:
- Namecheap (Stellar – $1.44/mo) – 3 websites, 20GB SSD storage, and 30 email accounts.
- Hostgator (Hatchling – $2.75/mo) – 1 website, unlimited storage, and unlimited email accounts.
It’s clear that while HostGator costs more, you get more resources too. However, Namecheap does allow hosting 3 websites, which is pretty rare for an entry plan. It’s undeniable that when it comes to price, this Namecheap vs HostGator battle has a clear winner.
Now while the cheapest plans offer pretty good value, are they really the best that each provider has to offer? Let’s see.
Namecheap has 3 plans with prices ranging from $1.44/mo to $4.44/mo.
If you’re going to run a website or a blog, the Stellar plan is more than enough. However, if you own a small business, Stellar Plus will offer much better value-for-money. One thing to note is that Stellar Plus is supposed to offer unmetered storage, while the Business plan only offers 50GB. This suggests that the middle plan’s storage won’t be any bigger than 50GB either.
To get the best deal with Namecheap, opt for its Stellar Plus plan with a 2-year subscription. For an additional $1/mo on top of the entry plan’s price, you noticeably get more storage, unlimited websites, and email accounts.
HostGator also comes with 3 plans priced between $2.75/mo and $5.25/mo.
If a single website is all you need, HostGator’s Hatchling plan offers more than enough resources for it. However, if you’ll need at least 2 or more websites, consider HostGator’s official recommendation – the Baby plan. For just $0.75/mo, you get to host as many sites as you’d like, and the renewal rate is much lower than with the Business plan.
To secure the best deal, go for the Baby plan with a 3-year billing period. Host as many sites as you like enjoy unlimited storage, bandwidth, and email accounts just for $126 in total.
In short, Namecheap is significantly cheaper than HostGator. However, the latter comes with more resource-rich plans.
Hosting management: ease of use
As far as ease of use goes, both providers do a good job at keeping things simple. Namecheap, as well as HostGator, use a combo of native user interface and control panel.
Both providers’ native dashboards are simple, with HostGator having just a tad more functional one with many shortcuts to most frequently used tools like domains, emails, and many others. However, we’ll concentrate on cPanels – the panel both hosts use for their website management. Now talking about cPanel, they’re both are very similar.
The Namecheap panel is all about function. You get a bare standard cPanel, no flashy colors or custom skins. However, that does not interfere with ease of use – everything is well organized and within reach, just maybe not as sleek-looking.
Meanwhile, HostGator’s cPanel gives off a more modern look. Again, this is the same cPanel, yet HostGator chose to dress it in a custom skin to fit the overall brand image.
Functionality vise, HostGator’s cPanel slightly differs from Namecheap’s one, as it has a slightly different layout. Same tools just organized nicer.
Simply put, both Namecheap and HostGator are very simple to manage. As most users are most familiar with using cPanel, both hosts have capitalized on this and delivered the easiest and smoothest user experience.
Namecheap vs HostGator performance
When it comes to performance, this Namecheap vs HostGator faceoff has a clear frontrunner.
While Namecheap lacks speed and trustworthiness, HostGator steals the throne with reliable uptime and much quicker response time.
Uptime and response time
Both providers had a little different examination period – I’ve monitored Namecheap for 2 weeks, while HostGator had over 2 months of examination.
In barely 2 weeks, Namecheap experienced 16 outages or 31 minutes of downtime. This has brought Namecheap’s uptime to a pretty low 99.82%. That’s pretty unfortunate, especially when the host comes with a 100% uptime guarantee.
Talking about the response time, Namecheap averaged at 1.05 seconds. While this time is not the worst I’ve ever seen, just know, the market’s average sits at 600ms.
Now looking at HostGator, the host had only 3 outages in more than 2 months’ time. Barely 5 minutes of downtime or >99.99% uptime. An impressive result, when the official uptime guarantee only promises 99.9%.
In terms of average response time, HostGator also used only half of Namecheap’s time – just 525ms.
As a whole, performance vise HostGator is the absolute winner. The host proved to be very reliable and much faster than Namecheap.
Both Namecheap and HostGator are hosted in data centers located in the US. Therefore, my test is also performed in the US too. It’s good to note that HostGator has data centers in the US alone, while with Namecheap, you can choose from the US, UK, and EU. The latter 2 do cost an extra $1/mo.
Now just like with uptime and response time, Namecheap is not much better at speed either. The provider's Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) came up to 2.3s, and that’s a close call. For better search engine rankings, Google suggests this measure to be under 2.5s.
A similar situation is with Fully Loaded Time. Namecheap loaded in 2.7s, and the best user experience is guaranteed with a loading time that’s under 3s. Again, made it but just barely. If you’re interested to know more about performance, you can jump to Namecheap’s review.
On the other hand, HostGator was as quick as they come. The provider’s LCP was just 1.1s, far from the undesired 2.5s mark.
Fully Loaded Time was just as good, just 1.2s. Loads of wiggle room till the recommended 3 seconds. If you’d like to explore the provider’s performance more, visit the HostGator review.
In short, HostGator demonstrated a much faster loading time, Namecheap did not stand a chance. If speed is vital for your site, you can also take a look at our fastest hosting providers list.
Overall, when it comes to performance, HostGator is an overall better web host. You can expect reliability and very good speed.
Talking about performance, this Namecheap vs HostGator comparison uncovered which host offers more. While HostGator comes with basic free security tools, Namecheap offers that and more. Regardless, both providers include a free SSL and a server-level firewall.
Additionally, Namecheap includes:
- WHOIS Domain Privacy Protection,
- DDoS protection,
- Automated backups (twice a week),
- Built-in cPanel Virus Scanner to manually scan your files,
- Web Application Firewall (WAF) comes for an extra $8.88/mo.
To get automatic daily backups with Namecheap, you’ll have to opt for Stellar Plus or Stellar Business plan.
Looking at HostGator, its free offerings end at the SSL and a server-level firewall. However, you can additionally purchase:
- Positive SSL upgrade comes for $39.99 a year.
- Sitelock essentials – scans for malware in your website and costs $23.88/year.
- Automated backups will cost an extra $23.95 a year.
Although both are basic on the security side, Namecheap and HostGator are secure enough for even anonymous hosting. However, Namecheap does offer more for less, which makes it a more appealing option of the two as far as security goes.
In regards to customer support, both hosts offer 24/7 live chat and extensive knowledge bases. Additionally, Namecheap has a ticketing system, while HostGator offers phone support.
To test each provider’s support agents, I tried contacting their live chats.
In my experience, Namecheap’s live chat is the best option. The responses came quickly, and the agents are always kind and helpful, solving my issues in a matter of minutes. Additionally, Namecheap also has an extensive knowledge base, where all general topics are covered.
When it comes to HostGator, my experience with its live chat was just as good. The agents tend to be very knowledgeable and friendly, solving my issues on the spot rather than sending me a knowledge base link. Don’t get me wrong, HostGator’s Knowledge base is also amazing. There you can easily find any topic you might be searching for.
As far as customer support, both providers proved their services are up to standard. Support came through in a timely fashion and solved our issues in no time. More so, their knowledge bases are also very informative and easy to navigate.
Namecheap vs HostGator: final recommendations
In this Namecheap vs HostGator comparison, it became apparent that going for a cheaper option might cost you elsewhere. Although Namecheap is as affordable as they get, its reliability, resources, loading speed, and outdated interface make it less desirable.
|Price||Namecheap is noticeably cheaper, with prices starting at $1.44/mo, compared to HostGator’s starting point of $2.75/mo.|
|Ease of use||Both Namecheap and HostGator use a mix of native user interfaces and cPanel. Both are beginner-friendly, yet HostGator is more modern-looking and better organized.|
|Performance||HostGator was both more reliable and significantly faster than Namecheap. The former’s uptime and response time was >99.99% and 525ms, compared to Namecheap’s 99.82% and 1.05s.|
|Security||Both providers offered basic security features like free SSL and a server-level firewall. However, Namecheap offers a few more free tools like DDos protection, domain privacy, and automated backups, although all of them are still more on the basic side.|
|Support||Namecheap and HostGator offer 24/7 live chat, but the first add ticketing and the latter, phone support. Both hosts offer a good customer support experience with swift responses and helpful tips.|
All in all, the winner of this comparison is HostGator. Speedy performance, inclusive plans, user-friendly interfaces, and helpful customer support make this provider the better option of the two. So, if you’re looking for a cheap yet resource-rich host, HostGator has all that and more.
With that being said, Namecheap is a pretty good option if you're just starting out in the hosting world, and would just like to dip your feet in without any big monetary investments.
Alternatives to Namecheap and HostGator
Namecheap and HostGator both have their pluses and minuses, so if after this comparison you feel like neither is what you’ve been looking for, I’ve got you covered. There are loads of great web hosting providers on the market, and here, I suggest you take a look at Hostinger and DreamHost.
Hostinger is one of the most popular web hosting providers that rivals even Namecheap’s prices – the cheapest plan is only $1.39/mo. However, unlike Namecheap, Hostinger delivers only the highest quality services.
Hostinger brings great performance, resource-rich plans, easy-to-navigate hPanel, and pot-level security to the table. So if you’re looking for a cheap and fast hosting provider, Hostinger has your back.
DreamHost is yet another good alternative for Namecheap and HostGator that combines generous resources, affordable prices, and good performance.
DreamHost primarily focuses on WordPress hosting, but you are free to choose any CMS you’d like. While it falls in the same price range as HostGator, the host comes with a 100% uptime guarantee and very secure hosting solutions. Plus, you can pay monthly without a barbaric price tag.
More Namecheap comparisons you might want to read
More HostGator comparisons for you to check out
Namecheap vs HostGator FAQs
Which provider is better – Namecheap or HostGator?
HostGator provides better features for its price. Namecheap puts up a good fight in some of the categories, but others are below impressive. The performance category is the deal-breaker.
Namecheap vs HostGator – which provider is more secure?
Both providers are considered secure. The only difference here is that Namecheap offers more for less. While HostGator indeed provides some security features, most of them are paid and not exactly cheap. Namecheap’s basic version is more secure.
Which host’s performance is better?
HostGator is significantly faster and more reliable than Namecheap. Performance-vise, HostGator is better in every stat: uptime, response time, LCP, and Lully Loaded Time.
Which provider is better for WordPress sites?
HostGator is better for WordPress hosting than Namecheap as the former includes better resources, a more functional user interface, and makes the WordPress setup process as quick as it gets.