I’ve been meaning to write about Hostgator for a long time and today is the day. If you’re thinking about new hosting, or it’s time to upgrade to a more secure, high-performance host, Hostgator deserves serious consideration.

Hosting is critically important to your overall online marketing strategy . The number one reason people leave websites is because of slow loading pages.

Additionally, Google now considers site performance as part of its ranking algorithm. That’s right, slow loading pages will probably hurt your ability to get and keep top rankings at Google.

Hostgator has been around since 2002 and is a provider of hosting services for websites and blogs. They are one of the world’s top 10 largest web hosting companies and claim more than 8,000,000 domains are hosted on their servers. They have over 750 employees.

I’ve been using them for some time, since switching from Verio, and I’m very happy with Hostgator service and support – so much so I would recommend their hosting services highly.

First, they meet my minimum requirements for a hosting company – they offer 24 hour a day, 365 days a year technical support. On top of that I always get the feeling they are genuinely interested in providing excellent service and support. I’ve never been disappointed with their support.

Second, you can get technical support via the phone or using their online chat option. I think in two years I’ve only called by phone once. I usually use their online chat option since it gives me an option to send a transcript of the support session to myself via email for future reference.

Third, from what I can tell, they don’t source their support overseas and their people are very knowledgeable and communicate very well. Sorry, but it’s REALLY frustrating when you can’t even understand the person on the other end of a support conversation!

Additionally, Hostgator has all the bells-and-whistles you’ll probably every need and they are easily managed from what is known as a CPANEL. This includes WordPress installations, FTP access, EMAIL management, multiple-domain hosting, and more!

Finally, and maybe most importantly, I’ve never had a security issue (i.e. hack) or performance issue. I use Pingdom (http://www.pingdom.com) to monitor my hosting server and month after month I get 100% uptime reports.

Which hosting option is best for your hosting? Here are my basic guidelines:

Less than 10,000 visitor sessions per month: Shared Hosting, Business Plan

More than 10,000 visitor sessions or ecommerce site: Consider a VPS or Dedicated Server.

Bottom Line: Hostgator offers a variety of different hosting options, high-quality 24/7 support, and a great value. http://www.hostgator.com