HostGator and CloudAccess are both very good hosting companies, but the way you host Joomla with them is very different. HostGator can hosts all types of websites, but Joomla performs well when used. CloudAccess hosts Joomla sites as a service and they are the best at what they do.
1. Company Info
HostGator has a lot of experience in the web hosting industry and CloudAccess is known for their expertise with Joomla.
Founded in 2002, HostGator is located in Austin and Houston, Texas, and they have over 500 employees. They have 400,000 customers and host over 9,000,000 domains. They have datacenters in Provo, Utah; and Austin and Houston, Texas.
I have hosted Joomla sites with them for years with great success.
Founded in 2008, CloudAccess is located in Traverse City, Michigan and they have over 30 employees. They have over 7500 paying customers. Datacenters are located in Detroit, Michigan; Phoenix, Arizona; and Bissen, Luxembourg.
About a year ago I moved a site to CloudAccess, since I have seen great results.
2. Plans and Prices
HostGator and CloudAccess are very different in what they offer. HostGator hosts normal web hosting plans allowing for any type of website including Joomla. CloudAccess offers Joomla as a service, so they only host Joomla sites.
- Hatchling plan - $3.96/Mo. unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, emails, databases, and 1 domainBaby plan - $6.36/Mo. unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, emails, databases, and domains.
- Business Plan - $10.96/Mo. unlimited diskspace, bandwidth, emails, databases, and domains. Free SSL & IP and Toll Free Number.
- Entry plan - VPS Level 1 - $19.95/Mo. 10GB space, 250GB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Top plan - VPS Level 9 - $219.95/Mo. 231GB space, 3150 bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases.
- Entry plan - Basic Dedicated Server - $174/Mo. 500GB RAID-1 space, 10TB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email, and databases, 5 free dedicated IP's.
- Top plan - Pro Dedicated Server - $374/Mo. 1TB RAID-1 space, 10TB bandwidth, unlimited domains, email and databases, 5 free dedicated IP's.
Discounts for paying upfront
- For shared hosting plans you can get a $1 removed from your monthly payment by signing up for two years or $2 removed by signing up for three years.
- For VPS plans, the first month is reduced which gives you a varying discount.
- For dedicated, the first month is reduced which gives you 20% off the original price.
- Standard - $19.95/Mo. RAM 1GB, 2 CPU cores, 20GB space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email addresses.
- Business - $49.95/Mo. RAM 2GB, 3 CPU cores, 50GB space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email addresses.
- Pro - $99.95/Mo. RAM 3GB, 4 CPU cores, 100GB space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email addresses.
- $699.00/Mo. 15GB RAM, 8 CPU cores, 15GB flash storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails.
3. Control Panel and User Experience
HostGator and CloudAccess have different control panels yet both are easy to use. HostGator gives you access to a plethora of tools through access to cPanel which is easy to navigate. CloudAccess provides a basic set of tools through their cloud control panel which is easy to navigate as well.
HostGator uses cPanel which is a widely used control panel by hosting companies. I like using it simply because I know my way around. It's good to get used to it if your not already. Also, if you are switching from another host that uses cPanel to HostGator, you will already know how to navigate it.
CloudAccess developed their own control panel. They don't give you access to as many tools as cPanel does, but it's a cleaner build. Since you are only working with Joomla, the extra tools that cPanel has are not necessary, which makes CloudAccess much less cluttered.
4. Managing and Installing Joomla
HostGator and CloudAccess are both different in how you install and manage Joomla. You can install Joomla at HostGator three different ways while CloudAccess come with Joomla preinstalled. Managing sites at either company is the same.
At HostGator there are three ways you can install Joomla: QuickInstall, Fantastico, and Manually. QuickInstall is a one-click installer and is the easiest and most effective way to install Joomla. Fantastico is a one-click installer and just as easy as QuickInstall but is not always up to date. I always opt for a manual install, because it's the most secure and easy to customize.
To install manually I use the File Manager and MySQL Databases to move files into place and create databases.
Managing Joomla at HostGator can be done several different ways. You can use FTP to access files, you can use phpMyAdmin to change database lines, and you backups are taken weekly to protect your site from failure.
At CloudAccess Joomla comes preinstalled so there is no guesswork involved with installation. If you need help moving a current Joomla site to CloudAccess, you can call their technicians and they will migrate the site for you. I really like using CloudAccess because hosting Joomla there is so easy.
Managing Joomla is very easy at CloudAccess because it's their job to make sure sites work flawlessly. They take daily backups of all of the websites that are hosted with them.
If you need access to files you can use FTP and if you need to change your database you can log into phpMyAdmin through the control panel.
HostGator and CloudAccess both perform very well with Joomla.
The test site these numbers come is a site with around 200 pages of content on their shared server plan. Over a four year period the average response time is 963ms which is really fast and the average uptime is 99.62% which is really reliable.
The test site that I got my numbers from has around 100 pages of content on their basic shared server plan. Over a one year period the average response time is 923ms which is really fas and the average uptime is 99.72% which is really reliable.
6. Technical Support
You will get the same attention from both HostGator and CloudAccess. The main difference is that CloudAccess has a Joomla trained support team who are experts in their field and they do not have live chat.
At HostGator you get 24/7 phone, live chat, and ticket support. You may wait a couple minutes for phone or live chat and tickets I have issued were responded to in 20-30 minutes.
Answers to technical questions are right on par, and it rarely gets escalated to a higher level. They are not Joomla experts and will not always help you fix Joomla specific problems.
You get phone, live chat, and ticket support. Phone support is only available during business hours, but tickets are answered 24/7. Response time on for a ticket is 20-30 minutes.
Answers to technical questions are answered friendly and quick. Since they are trained Joomla answers you can get help to more specialized questions about extensions, templates, or any errors your site may be having.
This a really close matchup. To make it simple, HostGator is better for most people because they have more tools and features for a lower price. CloudAccess is used mostly by businesses and Joomla enthusiasts because it's more expensive and tailored strictly to Joomla.