Compare your eCommerce options

Choose the right eCommerce platform to start and grow your business

Shift4Shop logo


hostgator logo
Shift4Shop logo Shift4Shop features
hostgator logo hostgator features

The real cost of Shift4Shop vs. the real cost of HostGator

A complete eCommerce solution vs. a dedicated web hosting provider

At first glance, HostGator may seem like an affordable option for running your online store. They are a popular web host and offer relatively cheap hosting plans. But if you want to run an online store, that's only a fraction of what you need, and your costs aren't going to end there. Since HostGator’s only available service is web hosting, that means you’ll have to take care of all the technical stuff yourself, like installing a shopping cart onto your server, installing and configuring a database, making your cart secure, and installing and updating any necessary software. If any this sounds too complicated, you’ll need the assistance of qualified contractors, which can cost thousands of dollars. And if you do get a shopping cart installed, beware of bandwidth caps or other issues that can bring your site down as soon as it gets popular. You'll need to upgrade your hosting package and put a huge dent in your budget.

Sure, the idea of choosing your own web host and software separately can be appealing, but you're only creating more work for yourself — and it's going to be a lot pricier than you were expecting. The much better choice is to go with an SaaS (Software as a Service) all-in-one eCommerce platform like Shift4Shop. And Shift4Shop is the best of the best, since we include everything you need to build and grow an online store, all without any technical knowledge required on your part.

cost of

Shift4Shop vs. HostGator functionality comparison

A dedicated eCommerce platform vs. a hosting provider

Ease-of-useEase of use

With HostGator, you'll need to have exceptional technical knowledge just to get started. Building an online store from scratch is no easy feat, and even though HostGator does offer some quick installation methods for a small selection of eCommerce software, you'll still need to learn to manage a lot of complex tasks to create and manage your store. Shift4Shop eliminates this hassle and uncertainty — we handle all the nuts and bolts behind the scenes so you can dedicate your time and energy to what's most important: growing your business.

Technical SupportTechnical support

Running an online store 24/7 means issues can arise at any time of day. Having access to reliable support around-the-clock is critical to your business’s success. Unfortunately, HostGator only offers support for server issues, not for any eCommerce software you may have installed. But with Shift4Shop, you’ll have access to world-class support 24/7/365 at no extra charge.

sad emoji

“With years of IT experience, I thought I was doing myself a favor by taking on everything myself. I thought it would mean more control, more room for customization. But in the end I was killing myself. After countless hours of programming and what felt like non-stop troubleshooting, I realized it was time for someone else to handle the heavy load so that I could just focus on selling.”

– Ex-Hostgator customer

Theme selectionStore design

Building an online store from scratch is not easy, and that's what you'll have to do if you use HostGator. You could end up spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on software and web design. But if you use Shift4Shop, you'll have everything you need in one complete package, like online payments, email and social media marketing tools, responsive themes, advanced SEO tools, a POS system, and integration with major real-time shipping carriers.

Maintain control of your business

Shift4Shop gives you the tools and freedom to manage your store how you see fit

Shift4Shop: Convenient payments and freedom to choose

Shift4Shop payment options

Shift4Shop lets you take payments in minutes with a built-in Shift4 integration and also supports more payment solutions than any other eCommerce platform. See a full list of payment providers here.

HostGator: No built-in payments

hostgator knowloedge

Since HostGator is only a web host and you'll need to install your own eCommerce software, your available payment providers are dependent on the shopping cart you choose. You'll have to do extra research to ensure you get a cart that supports the payments you need.

Everything you need to help you sell more and grow faster

Create a stunning online store that reflects your brand

Unless you’re savvy with coding, signing up with HostGator means you’ll need to spend thousands of dollars commissioning a professional web designer. With Shift4Shop, you’ll have access to a wide selection of fully customizable, responsive, optimized themes, allowing you to easily create a beautiful online store in just seconds. Whether you’re looking for something bold, chic, classic, edgy, rustic, or elegant, you’re sure to find a theme to match your brand and style. Our built-in Theme Editor and HTML Builder make personalization easy, and you'll also have full access to your store's theme files so you can edit HTML and CSS directly if you choose. No matter your skill level, you can customize every facet of your storefront for a truly memorable shopping experience.

Enterprise-grade features available to all merchants — free

Shift4Shop offers the most advanced features in SaaS eCommerce, even to merchants using our free, unlimited End-to-End eCommerce plan. Our fully scalable solution includes everything you need to run a successful online store and adapt to complex business needs, unlike HostGator which is only a simple web host.