I’ve been hosting with Hostgator since February 2006. I spent the better part of a month researching a great many US and non-US based hosting providers before committing to hosting with Hostgator. With over eight years of first hand experience with Hostgator, I figure it’s time for a bit of a review—albeit a fairly basic one.
Dedicated IP and SSL — A must for serious e-commerce site owners
What has spurred writing this review is that today I needed to install an SSL encryption certificate to one of my sites. That means adding a dedicated IP address to the domain in question. I found out this would cost $2 per month ($24 per year), and $10 to have the third-party SSL certificate installed. This process is repeated every year, so it essentially adds $34 to the overheads of the site in question. I spent the past few hours shopping around to see if I could find a better deal.
Shopping around for cheaper SSL & Dedicated IP options I checked out the following major low-cost hosting providers:
- InMotion Hosting
Cutting a long story short, it turns out Hostgator provides the lowest cost dedicated IP and private SSL certificate solution of any of the companies I checked on. I was thinking it was a bit much to have to pay $2 a month just for an IP address. Yet the nearly all the other companies I looked at charge significantly more. I thought $10 for an SSL installation was a bit much too, but again it’s the lowest cost out of all the solutions I look at. Some charge $25 for the installation and $6 or more per month for the IP. Some will only allow the installation of an SSL certificate they sell you, at an extraordinary $99 per year for a SSL certificate I can pick up for under $10 elsewhere.
Inmotion Hosting also charge $2 / month for a dedicated IP. They charge $25 to install an SSL certificate, which is a $15 more than Hostgator. Their cheapest shared hosting plan is $5.59 / month. So in effect, it comes to $8.84 / month for their most basic plan, with a dedicated IP and an SSL certificate (not including the cost of the SSL certificate itself).
Enom came out best overall. They provide, on request, a dedicated IP address at no cost. They do require buying the SSL from them, but their SSL prices are relatively good (although when I phoned to confirm all these details, I was told they don’t mind where the SSL comes from). They have no fee for issuing the IP nor for installing an SSL. In fact, unlike Hostgator, they allow the end user to install and manage the SSL themselves. Enom’s most basic hosting package is presently $5.96* / month. So for someone who is not already hosting with Hostgator and who needs a private IP and SSL certificate, enom is as good an option as Hostgator, if not better. You’re total cost will be the US$5.96 for their most basic shared hosting package, and no additional cost for activating a dedicated IP or installing an SSL certificate (you’ll still need to purchase the SSL certificate itself).
With Hostgator you’re looking at US$7.97* / month for their Baby Plan (the lowest plan that allows dedicate IP), plus $2 per month for a dedicated IP, bringing it to $9.97 / month. The installation of the SSL will cost $10, which brings it to $10.80 per month. Or you can get their Business Plan for US$11.96, which includes a dedicated IP and SSL installation, and it includes the actual SSL certificate.
So it’s the difference between $10.80 for Hostgator and $5.96 for Enom, and $8.84 for Inmotion. These three were the cheapest options. Hostgator provide “Unlimited” disk space and data usage, although in reality the 20 GB of disk space and 200 GB of data usage on Enom’s most basic plan is going to be more than adequate for one e-commerce site.
If you want to check out Hostgator, click here.
* The above monthly hosting prices are both for packages billed in 12 month cycles.
So, what’s the cheapest dedicated IP and SSL shared hosting option?
If you already have a hosting account with Hostgator, as I do, they come out cheaper because you’ll only be looking at the $2 per month plus $10 SSL installation costs (effectively $2.83 / month).
If you don’t already have hosting with Hostgator, then Enom has the best up-front pricing. I’ve never used Enom’s hosting services so I can’t comment on their reliability. They are, however, a massive ISP with fast 24/7 tech support, and a global array of servers and datacenters, so I don’t imagine you’ll have any issues with them. Ultimately, it would all depend on how many accounts Enom load up on their shared servers, compared to Hostgator. Again, that’s not something I can comment on as I have no data to look at.
In my experience Hostgator have pretty good support. I generally use their email support, and normally hear back within a few hours. Sometimes it does take them longer. They have a chat system, but the only time I tried to use it (US Thanksgiving weekend, admittedly) it said there would be a 30 minute wait time, and in my Google Chrome browser the chat system appeared to not load properly. The few times I have used phone support, there have been no issues.
As for Enom support. I’ve used their phone support, and they answered quickly. Email support has also bee acceptable. I’ve only used their support for their domain reseller services, but I assume their hosting support is also just fine.
I have no experience with Inmotion Hosting’s support.
Cheapest SSL certificate source?
The lowest price SSL certificates I can find are sold by gogetssl.com. They sell Comodo, GeoTrust, RapidSSL, and Twarte SSL certificates at the lowest prices I’ve seen anywhere. They are even a bit cheaper than I can buy them wholesale for on my Enom reseller account. Their client interface is excellent, and is especially useful if you are managing a number of certificates.