My HostGator Experience
While I don’t have wide experience as far as the many options available, I do have specific experience with two shared hosting companies. My first hosting experience was with HostMonster. I was reasonably happy with their offering. There did come a time when I outgrew the limits of their ‘unlimited’ hosting account. (There are limits for all hosting accounts with which I am familiar. You just have to read their Terms of Service document to find what those limits are.)
When I outgrew the HostMonster space I was faced with a decision. I could have opened a second HM account and moved some of the sites there. Since I was opening a second account I thought there would be an advantage to have an IP address from a completely different IP block. I began looking at other options among web hosting providers. I knew that I needed to check the TOS pages to find the real limits for the hosting accounts, so that was my first stop when I checked an offering.
One of the alternatives that I found was HostGator. Their policies were a bit more liberal than HM and the price was in the ballpark, so I opened an account and moved a few sites onto the space. It didn’t take long to realize that the sites seemed much more responsive on the HG server. It is more noticeable if there are database calls, but even static pages are faster to load from the HG space. I am in the process of moving more of my sites to the HG account and may not renew the space with HostMonster this year.
I run a CMS on both servers that reports load time and server load in the admin section. I understand that the server load is reported in percent of capacity. The HostGator server reports typically under 1% while the HostMonster server typically reports over 5% and I have seen it over 100% on several occasions. I recently looked at a stats site and noted that there were almost 1500 domains on my HM server. I suspect that HM is oversubscribing their space significantly. (I have not seen the numbers for the HG server, so I can not compare on that basis.)
I am an affiliate with both HM and HG. Recently HostGator gave me a coupon code for 30% off the first year of hosting for new accounts. The coupon for the 30% discount is NEWYEAR30. They did not list an expiration date for the coupon, so go ahead and try it out. When you get to the order page look for the coupon code block at the bottom of the order screen. There will be something pre-filled there. Just replace that code with the NEWYEAR30 coupon code and enjoy fast reliable hosting! (Note: These are my affiliate links and lead directly to the web hosting page. Just select an offer to get to the order page and then use the code. Please Note: As an affiliate I will receive a commission if you click through on the link and use the listed code.