HostGator vs IX Web Hosting

Today we have, for your entertainment, a rousing game of Host Versus Host. HostGator and IX Web Hosting will be vying for points to determine which one of them offers the better shared hosting. Well, let’s get right into the game, shall we?

Features

Their features are collectively similar, both of them offering the basics. There are, however, a few differences here and there between the two. Here is a list of differences in their features. As you look through the list, keep in mind that very every difference, there are 2 to 3 similarities between the two. So, even though this list might look long, it’s not actually THAT long. Also, keep in mind that this is only a comparison of each of their respective cheapest offerings, and that the differences tend to get even smaller as their respective prices go up.

Feature

IX Web Hosting

HostGator

Number of Domains Unlimited 1
Free Domains 1 None
Dedicated IP Addresses 2 None
International Domain Support Yes Unspecified
Ad Coupons $100.00 $50.00
cPanel No Yes
Email Accounts 2500 Unlimited
Single Mailbox Max 2GB Unspecified
Total Mailbox Max 2GB Unspecified
MySQL 50 Unlimited
PostgreSQL 50 Unspecified
PhpPgAdmin Yes Unspecified
Total SQL Database Max 1GB Unspecified
Firewall Protection Yes Unspecified
IronPort Spam Filter Yes No
Spam Assassin Protection No Yes
UPS Backup Power Yes Unspecified
Flash and Shockwave Support Yes Unspecified
MIDI File Support Yes Unspecified
Real Audio and Video Support Yes Unspecified
Anonymous FTP Yes No
Custom MIME Types Yes Unspecified
External Domains Yes No
Parked Domains Yes No
URL Masking Yes Unspecified
Add-on Domains Yes No
FrontPage Extensions Unspecified Yes
SSH Unspecified Yes
Python Unspecified Yes
SSI Unspecified Yes
Curl Unspecified Yes
GD 2 Unspecified Yes
Image Magick Unspecified Yes
Email Catch Alls Unspecified Yes
SMTP Support Unspecified Yes
Without a Contract No Yes
45 Day Money Back Guarantee No Yes

Just a note: unspecified does not necessarily mean that they do not support it, it simply means that they make no claim to support it on their site. It does, however, mean that there is a chance that they do not support it. Furthermore, bolded items are more likely to be important compared to the other items.

As you can see, at least at the base level, IX Web Hosting definitely has a wider breadth of features. However, as our HostGator Review points out, they have all the essentials of a shared web host.

IX Web Hosting earns 1 point for having more features.

Pricing

To get detailed pricing for IX Web Hosting, you actually have to start the ordering process. This is annoying, but you can always start the order process and quit it once you find the information you need. It’s much easier to see HostGator’s prices, which is good, but doesn’t necessarily make them the best. Let’s see what the prices come out to:

Term of Commitment

IX Web Hosting

HostGator

1 Month $39.95 $8.95
3 Months $53.85 $26.85
12 Months $59.40 $83.40
24 Months $94.80 $142.80
36 Months $142.40 $178.20

It looks like IX Web Hosting wins for any long-term commitment. However, something important to note is that they are currently in a promotional period right now that shaves off $3.00 a month for the longer terms. So, the 3 year plan could increase back to $250.20 at any time, which would make HostGator the cheapest. They don’t provide all of their normal rates right now, so it’s unfortunately not possible to determine how expensive their 12 month option normally is.

Both IX Web Hosting and HostGator earn 1 point for being a better deal… sometimes.

Terms of Service

HostGator’s Terms of Service seems more strict than IX Web Hosting’s does. For example, it includes a fairly long list of topics that their customers aren’t allowed to host on their websites, including a few things that seem relatively harmless like investment sites and even some online games (RPG’s, a.k.a. Role Playing Games, and MUD’s, a.k.a. Multi-User Dungeon games, for example). They also have very strict guidelines about how much of the server’s resources you can use. For example, using more than 25% of a server’s resources for more than 90 seconds at a time can get your account suspended or banned, which is problematic since it’s impossible to actually know how much of the server’s resources you are using.

HostGator loses 1 point for being so strict.

Control Panel

Almost every shared web host uses cPanel as their Control Panel of choice. HostGator is no different, and they use a fairly standard cPanel configuration, complete with Fantastico, which is great for quickly installing a number of things (like WordPress). IX Web Hosting does not use cPanel, though. Our IX Web Hosting Review states that IX Web Hosting uses a variation of H-Sphere, which is old and kinda tacky, but performs all the essential functions in a straightforward manner. But, if you want a familiar Control Panel, IX Web Hosting is likely lacking in that area.

Familiar:

HostGator cPanel

Unfamilar:

IX Web Hosting Control Panel

HostGator earns 1 point for being familiar.

Customer Support

Both HostGator and IX Web Hosting have excellent customer support. They both provide support 24 hours a day through multiple avenues, they answer questions clearly and quickly, and there’s not really anything to complain about. However, IX Web Hosting does get a slight 1-up for having a call center in the USA, ensuring that you can understand what is being said when you call them. So, in this area, IX Web Hosting does better… but barely.

IX Web Hosting earns 1 point for having a US-based call center.

The Final Score

IX Web Hosting: 3

HostGator: 1

It would appear that, as it stands right now, IX Web Hosting is the winner. Lower prices, more features, and their terms of service aren’t quite as strict. However, they may only be a clear winner while their promotion is going. Once that promotion wears off, they won’t have lower prices, and that could make the comparison that much more difficult. For now, though, I can personally recommend IX Web Hosting over HostGator.

–March 2010, Steve Miller

Visit HostGator or IX Web Hosting

Steve Miller

Steve's interests lie mostly in Japanese games. He imports Japanese games and reviews them on his Japanese Game site Kuromatsuri.com. Check out a review: Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Review

2 comments

  1. Mauricio

    The best is HostGator…

  2. Very helpful review and comparison.

    I am currently with IX and looking to change to HG. My experience with IX has been generally positive. My site got hacked once but it was my fault and IX was quick to help with a fix. Their webmail is awful (Horde) and their tech support is out-of-country. Most of the time email/chat is with a non-native English speaker so can be difficult.

    I went through HG demo tutorial and cPanel and everything was easy to use and understand … the litmus test for me. But, it is definitely more expensive.

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