It is important to look at the history and personality, as well as the services provided when considering web hosts. This web host review of sorts covers HostGator (review and rating) and Lunarpages (review and rating), two award-winning hosts which have many years of experience. HostGator was founded in Florida in 2002 and later moved to Texas. Lunarpages was founded in 2000 and is based in California.
The personalities of these two web hosts are very similar. Both hosting companies are comparable in size. HostGator employs about 150 people, and Lunarpages employs about 100 employees. Since both hosts are relatively small and neither has changed hands since their inception, they each maintain that “family feel” that provides their customers with a more personable experience. HostGator provides 24/7 phone support, but the phones at Lunarpages are only staffed on weekdays from 6-8. They both provide around-the-clock support via email help desk, and HostGator also offers live chat online. HostGator emphasizes their customer service as they prominently display their toll free number, while Lunarpages forces their customers to dial their California-based number. Neither company outsources their technicians. If a customer wishes to collaborate with others, Lunarpages provides a forum with about 36,000 members. HostGator customers are also provided access to a similar community with nearly 13,000 members.
Each host provides a quality level of hosting. HostGator’s network is comprised of four datacenters in Texas backed by 10 carriers. Lunarpages has three datacenters, all of which are located in the southwestern U.S. Both hosts provide 99.9% uptime, although Lunarpages does not provide a SLA guarantee for this while HostGator does. If either is found to be dissatisfying, it is helpful to know that both provide money-back guarantees. HostGator offers a superior money-back guarantee allowing a customer up to 45 days and allowing them to cancel unconditionally. Lunarpages offers a comparable guarantee, but only for 30 days and it only refunds certain things.
The basic hosting plans of each are very similar in terms of bandwidth and disk space. As expected, they are competitively priced.
An overview of the services provided by the two web hosting companies appears below:
- Shared hosting (Linux and Windows)
- Dedicated hosting (Linux and Windows)
- Virtual Private Servers (Linux and Windows)
- Reseller Hosting (Linux only)
- Shared hosting (Linux with Windows coming soon)
- Reseller hosting (Linux only)
- Dedicated hosting (Linux with Windows coming soon)
Both hosts use cPanel for Linux hosting and Lunarpages uses Plesk for Windows hosting.
Each web host provides some extra features that may be of interest to certain customers. Lunarpages provides their customers with at least one free domain for life, depending on the hosting plan. They also offer free design software. If a site builder is of interest, both hosts offer one as well as free design templates. HostGator provides a WYSIWYG editor with their site builder while Lunarpages does not. Both hosts offer affiliate programs that are very rewarding, with HostGator offering up to $125 per sale and Lunarpages giving $65 and up.
When comparing two similar hosts whose plans change often, it is useful to look at the defining qualities of each host, as these can often make or break them. For example, webmasters requiring the convenience of toll free telephone support will go with HostGator. With 99.9% uptime backed by a SLA and a 45 day money-back guarantee, HostGator may be the choice to make. Although, if Virtual Private Hosting is required, the best choice is Lunarpages since HostGator does not offer this service. You can be assured that both of these hosts are reputable, offer competitive services, and provide valuable means for service and support.