What is shared web hosting?
Shared web hosting is simply when one server hosts multiple customers. This is the most common and cost effective option for web hosting, and something we excel at truth be told. Our shared web hosting servers are configured for maximum security and performance relative to the number of customers, and types of websites, being hosted. In other words, there's no need to give any thought to the other websites on the same server as you; we've got all that handled.
What is a domain vs. hosting?
In order to have a website live on the internet, you will need both web hosting and a domain name. Both of these things can (and do) exist independent of each other, though it is generally considered universal to employ both in order to have an actual website. Metaphorically, let's say you want to invite people to a party (your website). Your party is at a location, such as your house or apartment (web hosting). In order for people to know how to get to the specific location, you must provide them with an address (domain name). So, web hosting is the actual server space where your website files live, and a domain name is the address visitors need in order to view these files as your website. You can have a domain without a website, and you can have a website without a domain name, but to truly benefit from having either in the traditional sense, you actually need both working together.
How can I transfer my web hosting to HostGator?
We make it very easy to transfer your existing website files, and even your existing domain registration(s), to us. For primary domains on new hosting accounts, we will perform the domain registry transfer for free. To prevent any downtime on a live website, the correct order of operations is: create new HostGator account, transfer a copy of your website files to the new server, update the DNS of any domain(s) to point to the new server, wait 24 hours and verify everything loads from the new server, cancel old hosting account, initiate domain registration transfer, verify the domain registration transfer completed successfully. This sounds daunting at first, but taken one step at a time it's a very easy and logical sequence.
What is web hosting?
In basic terms, web hosting is where your website actually lives. Or to get slightly more fancy about it: a website is a collection of files that exist on a server connected to the internet and accessible to be viewed via a web browser. When someone visits the given domain, these website files are displayed within the web browser as the actual website. When you combine the website files with the hosting server and a properly-pointed domain, you have all the ingredients necessary for a website to be visible online. And that, in a nutshell, is web hosting.
Which shared web hosting plan is right for me?
It basically works like this: if you intend to conduct eCommerce on your website, accepting credit cards and selling goods or services, then you need the Business plan. If you don't need eCommerce functionality, but do intend to host more than one domain, then the Baby plan should be perfect for you. If your intention is to host a single domain without eCommerce, then the Hatchling plan should meet your needs. It's really just those 3 factors that determine the best plan for you.
What is the difference between shared hosting vs. cloud hosting?
The primary difference between shared vs. cloud hosting is that on cloud hosting the website files actually exist on multiple servers, these servers themselves are also shared so it's kinda-sorta like having multiple, duplicate shared hosting accounts. The reason is that with shared hosting if the one server goes down, the websites become unavailable, but with cloud hosting if one server goes down then the other cloud servers ensure that the websites remain available online.