Comparing any two hosts is usually like comparing apples and oranges. Some of them (think: AN Hosting and midPhase) are very similar because one company owns the other, but when you compare two independent hosts that have radically different approaches towards business (such as 1&1 and HostGator), it’s like comparing fruits to vegetables.
HostGator (review) is a cPanel shared, reseller, and dedicated host based in Houston, Texas. The company hails from South Florida (hence the gator part) and moved to Houston in September 2006. HostGator is fiercely independent and uncommonly straight forward with its business and business practices. Their servers are leased from The Planet and are located in Texas.
1&1 Internet (review) claims to be the world’s largest and fastest growing web host. The German company is owned by United Internet AG, a conglomerate that serves as an ISP to more than two million German customers. The company’s newest datacenter is in Kansas City and they own or operate 4 others. 1&1 offers a lot of services ranging form exchange hosting to dedicated servers.
Which company you go with should primarily depend on what you’re looking for. 1&1 doesn’t offer cPanel and HostGator does exclusively. HostGator doesn’t offer SharePoint or Exchange hosting, but 1&1 does. The differences in services, addons, and incentives between the two hosting companies are huge – and change frequently.
Here is an overview of the services offered by each host:
- Domain registration
- Shared hosting (Linux only. Windows coming soon.)
- Reseller hosting (Linux only)
- Dedicated hosting (Managed. Linux only. Windows coming soon.)
- Domain registration
- Email hosting (Exchange and regular)
- Shared web hosting (Linux and Windows)
- VPS hosting (Linux and Windows)
- Dedicated hosting (Managed and unmanaged. Linux and Windows)
The pricing and plans from both of these web hosts are competitive. You’ll get more space and bandwidth than you could ever need for a reasonable amount of money. Like most web hosting companies, 1&1 and HostGator encourage you to signup for months and years in advance by offering discounts. They guarantee their uptime (99.9% at HostGator; 99.99% at 1&1).
One thing to keep in mind is the size of each host. 1&1 has over 3,000 employees. HostGator’s head count is around 150. There is going to be more personal attention with HostGator and you have a chance of talking to the same representatives. HostGator is largest enough where you don’t have to worry about it disappearing, but it is not huge like 1&1.
Both companies provide 24/7 support via the phone and over their respective helpdesks. Both 1&1 and HostGator have good reputations as reliable hosting companies that back their services. Both hosts offer sitebuilders with their shared hosting plans. HostGator offers a 45 day money back guarantee; 1&1 offers a 90 day money back guarantee.
So which is the best hosting service for you, 1&1 or HostGator? If you’re looking for a keep it simple type web host that offers good service at a reasonable price, go with HostGator. If you want more bells and whistles in terms of marketing and software extras or if you have requirements beyond standard web hosting, you probably want to go with 1&1.