When I first signed up for hosting at HostGator, I had no idea what I was doing, so I ended up paying too much for things I didn’t necessarily need; I bought all the default upsells.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the cheapest way of buying hosting at Hostgator, and explain what the ‘additional services’ are. Most of these are unnecessary for regular users and can be avoided.
Domain name and domain privacy
I wouldn’t necessarily call this an upsell, but domain names at HostGator are just overpriced. A domain at Hostgator costs $15 or $12,95, depending on whether you’re using a discount code.
A better alternative is to buy a domain name at Namecheap.com, where a .com domain name is $10.69 or $9,66 with discount. If you buy your domain name elsewhere, you can pick the ‘I Already Own This Domain’ option at Hostgator. This allows you to add the domain you already bought, and want to host.
Furthermore, Namecheap includes a free year of domain privacy (at only $2,88 every next year), which HostGator will immediately charge you $9,95 for, as well as every year after that.
This step in the checkout process shows you all additional services. Most of these are unnecessary upsells.
Domain Privacy Protection
If you still want to purchase your domain name from Hostgator, their Domain Privacy Protection service shows up as an option. If you use this service, it means people won’t be able to find your personal information when looking up your domain at a service like whois.net. Generally, I’d recommend domain privacy protection for two reasons. First, it prevents spam because doing a WHOIS lookup won’t show your personal email address. Second, it protects your private information.
I’d highly recommend to just go with Namecheap for your domain name, as they offer this service free for the first year (as I wrote earlier in this article), so you’ll instantly save $9.95.
Secure and accelerate your site. Okay, what does that mean? I bought this service, but I have never used it, so I didn’t even know what this was about until I researched it for this article.
Basically, SiteLock does daily malware scans on your website (which you can do yourself for free at www.virustotal.com), and has you fill out some details and confirm you own the site. When this all checks out, SiteLock gives you a code for a badge that you can display on your site, which looks like this:
If you’re showing the real SiteLock badge, it’s live, and it’ll show visitors your site is safe and secure to use as long as your site passed their last scan. This could improve the trust from visitors. At least, that’s the idea. However, websites that are actually hosting malware, will usually already automatically get blocked by Google Chrome. So if you can view a website using Google Chrome, in most cases, it is safe. Therefore, I’d say you don’t need badge by SiteLock to prove this, unless you’re really desperate to convince people that your site is legitimate. For webshops, it might be interesting to see if the amount of sales go up when showing a SiteLock badge, because it might improve trust. In all other cases, don’t waste money on SiteLock.
The CodeGuard service makes daily backups of your website, so you can easily restore it if something bad were to happen. You can also do this for free, even automatically, and on a regular basis. For instance by using the WordPress Backup to Dropbox plugin (wpb2d.com, full video instructions). Another reliable WordPress backup plugin is called BackUpWordPress.
Only if you’re hosting a huge website with custom coding, or one that has a high risk of getting attacked, you might need CodeGuard. CodeGuard is a reliable way to get your backup done and getting related support, but for most users, just not necessary. If you’re new to building websites, you’re better of saving the $19,95.
Search Engine Visability / SEO Gears
Don’t worry, your site will be visible in the search engines without buying this service. It’s an upsell that gives you an e-book on SEO, a Competitive Analysis Report (?) and Rapid Indexing (?).
You can find all you need to know about SEO online for free, and there are tons of websites that are willing to give you an excellent e-book on SEO just for signing up for their e-mail list. I have no idea what to expect from the ‘Competitive Analysis Report’ as they’re not showing any examples. I looked at what they mean by Rapid Indexing, and it looks like they’re just submitting the sitemap of your website to search engines. You can do this yourself in a few minutes of your time, for free. Just remember that you can’t buy indexing speed or rankings in Google.
How much money can you save on upsells?
Here’s how much money you can save if you get a cheaper domain name, and none of the upsells at Hostgator:
$ 3.29 for a cheaper domain name
$ 9,95 for not needing to buy domain name privacy from Hostgator
$19,99 for not getting SiteLock
$19,95 for not getting Codegaurd
$ 0,00 for not getting SEO gears (as it’s not selected by default)
Totalling: $53,18 saved! (most of it yearly recurring)
This means that if you’re getting the Hostgator Baby plan, select monthly payments, and enter a 25% discount coupon code (IMSTARTPAGE25), you can get started with hosting your own website right now for just $7,96 for the first month.
Apart from the hosting, the only other thing you need is a domain name from Namecheap, which costs $9,66 with a discount. This means that for just $17,62, you could start hosting your own website today.
So far I’m completely satisfied with the hosting at HostGator, as well as their customer support, and can therefore recommend it to anyone. I just wished I knew what I know now, so I could’ve saved myself some money.
Anyway, now you know how to get the cheapest Hosting package at HostGator! If you’re looking to buy hosting from Hostgator, you can use my coupon code IMSTARTPAGE25 to get 25% off, and support my website in the process!
Also, don’t forget to buy your domain name at Namecheap!
If you have any questions about this article or hosting at Hostgator in general, leave me a comment, and I’ll get back to you.