Hit Director v. HostGator for hosting ARP (Auto Response Plus) Comparison

We believe that Hit Director provides the best web hosting on the internet for people using ARP.

While we think that HostGator is a great hosting company if you are not using ARP.  However, there are certain limitations that make HostGator and most other hosting companies unable to run a ARP successfully.

Below are some of the specific comparisons of the services that you need to run your ARP successfully.

Hosting designed from the ground up with ARP in mind
HostGator is an all-purpose hosting company.  Their system is not optimized for ARP, but is set up primarily for general website hosting, with the ability to support scripts and some amount of email activity.  But if you are a heavy user, and anyone that uses ARP is a heavy email user to HostGator in this respect, their system is not optimized for you.
Hit Director was designed from the ground up to host Auto Response Plus. From the servers and other hardware, to the account package options for different mailing levels, to the globally distributed DNS servers, Hit Director has created a hosting environment specifically aimed at helping you get the most out of ARP.

The best ARP support in the business
HostGator’s service and support are generalized and handled by support people working from trouble shooting scripts in a book. They have no specialized knowledge of ARP, and will not be able to help you with any but the most basic problems.
Hit Director’s support is provided by the same high level techs who have been installing and supporting ARP at Hit Director since 2002, and who have a deep and specialized knowledge of this program.  The same team that creates HitDirector’s  custom  ARP tools, answers any help desk tickets you might place.  Because of this Hit Director’s service and support are second to none.

Specific System Limitations
General hosting companies (like HostGator), and other hosting companies, have resource limitations in place to keep control of how much email you send at a time, how many processes you can run, and other system limitations that will keep you from being able to use ARP successfully on their systems.

Hourly email limit
HostGator has a 500 email per-hour limit on all outgoing email per domain for mailing lists on their shared hosting servers.  This means that if you try to send more than 500 emails in an hour the emails will either not be sent, or will fail and bounce back with an undeliverable error.
Hit Director has no hourly email limit.

Mailing list restrictions
HostGator does not allow lists of more than 5000 addresses on their shared servers. They require a dedicated server or VPS, at considerable expense, for anyone with a list larger than 5000.  That includes breaking a larger list into smaller lists to get around this limit.  So, even though you have a 500 email an hour limit, you cannot send 500 emails an hour for 24 hours and send out 12,000 email on a shared account.  HostGator requires you to purchase dedicated hosting.
Hit Director allows you to send up to 20,000 messages per day on the lowest level of account, without any hourly sending limit.  It doesn’t matter what size your list; Hit Director bases the account levels on the number of daily email sends. If you need to send more than 20,000 messages per day, there are reasonably priced account levels to accommodate you. CLICK HERE to read more about Hit Director’s ARP hosting packages.

Time of day you can send to your mailing list
Hostgator limits when you can send your email messages. Hostgator says, "Any mailing list over 900 email addresses is only allowed to be sent to during off-peak times to prevent high server loads."

Hit Director allows you to schedule your mailings when its convenient for you. Your mailings are part of your marketing strategy.  No hosting company should dictate to you when to send email.

Limiting the number of Processes
ARP spawns a new process for each email that it sends.  So if you had a mailing list with 1,000 customers on it and you wanted to send them all a message at 10:45 tomorrow morning, ARP allows you to schedule that.  But...
HostGator limits the number of processes that your shared hosting account can run to 25 simultaneous processes. (Click Here - to read about HostGator’s process limitations).  So you can’t send to more than 25 people at a time.
Hit Director has no ARP process limit. So if you want to send a mailing to 1 - 20,000 (or higher if you have a higher account level), you just schedule it and Hit Director will let ARP do what it was designed to do - Manage your email list and communicate with your customers when you want to.

Major ISP Feedback Loop (FBL)
The major ISPs (like AOL, etc.) have program that hosting companies like Hit Director and Hostgator can apply to join.  Then the ISPs let us know when their customers mark one of your ARP emails as spam, by sending send the message back to Hit Director and Hostgator.  This is where the difference begins.
HostGator might have a feedback loop but they don’t share the information with you unless it’s to berate you or suspend you  for sending spam (even if the messages were double opt-in and you can prove it).
CLICK HERE to read more about Hit Director’s Major ISP Feedback Loop.
Hit Director has an custom built system, that reads all of the emails that the ISPs send Hit Director as being marked as spam (by the ISPs user) and automatically removes anyone who complains to their ISP, once an hour from your list. This means that if you Send a mailing at noon and antoher at 2:00pm, anyone who told their ISP that you sent them spam (even if it was not), gets removed from your mailing list so you don’t email them again.  If this system was not in place, you would mail them over and over again, never knowing that they didn’t want to get your messages.  Because for whatever reasons, these are people who don’t click the unsubscribe link.

Sending email from your dedicated IP address
HostGator sends your email out from email servers and not from your own dedicated IP address.  This practice reduces your email deliverability. It does this by by making you suffer from the reputation of the email servers that are shared by all and some of Hostgator’s other users are going to send spam or other unwanted mail which affects the reputation of the mail servers.  The way HostGator’s system is set up when you send an email to your mailing list, it appears to the receiving ISP to be coming from the IP address of the email server that your mail is being sent out through.  However, there may be another user on the same server who is sending out spam.  When the ISP sees that spam is coming from the IP address of that mail server, they will block all mail coming from that server, including your legitimate email.
Hit Director allows you to send your ARP email directly from your IP address, so your email is only blocked because of your own actions. If you do not send out spam or suspicious emails your emails will not be blocked by the receiving ISP.  As you can imagine, this greatly improves your email deliverability. CLICK HERE to read more about sending your ARP email from your dedicated IP address at Hit Director.

You should always backup your website whenever you make changes to it. The control panel has the tools for this, that make it easy.  But ARP also makes backups of your ARP databases which you should download on a regular basis.  However, should you fail to make a backup and then something happens and you need a restore it will be important to you how recent that restore was.  Because if you restore an old version of your database it will return all the people who opted out of your list, back to being active subscribers, which means when you mail them you are spamming them.  And you will loose any new subscribers that signed up since the restore was done.
Hostgator does backups only only once a week (on Sunday's) and they don’t keep anything older than a week. There is a $15 charge for per restore.  Also, if you are suspended for more than a week, when Hostgator runs backups, your old backup will be erased and you will not be included in the new backups.
HitDirector backs up all accounts every 24 hours. This is to ensure that if backup is not usable (which does happen) that another one will be available from a close date range. There is no charge for the first restore, but after that the charge is $15 per restore.  However if you only need a specific file restored and can provide it's exact location, the charge is generally waived.  The only reason we don't guarantee that it's always free, is so that we can have the discretion to cut off abusers.  But having said that, over the last 10 years of providing hosting services, we have never charged for a single file restore.  Backups are made even when the account is suspended and all backups are kept for 4 months.

Special Tools for ARP users
This is one of the areas that Hit Director really shines.  Because we have our ARP customers front and center, we have created special tools to help optimize your ARP usage on our servers in ways that HostGator can’t touch.

Default mail
HostGator has all default email accounts disabled by default. As ARP uses the default mail as part of its normal functionality you must change that setting at HostGator, and the only way to do that is to write in to them and have them manually enable it.  However, once the default email for your account is enabled, they have no instructions on how to configure your default email so that ARP works.  Since their support people have very little, if any, experience with ARP, if you have any trouble with your default mail and ARP they will most likely not be any help. Additionally, if you do write to them to have them enable your default email, and then figure out how to configure it for ARP, your default email box, and hence your account, wiill little-by-little fill up with spam.  The only option is to log into your default email account and manually remove the email once ARP is finished with it.

Maybe you are thinking this is not important because Hostgator says that they offer unlimited space. And Hostgator does offer unlimited space, but only if you don’t use it for lots and lots of tiny files (which is how your email is stored on the server - each one in its own file).  See Storage Space: unlimited space doesn't mean unlimited files below for specifics.

Hit Director does not disable its default email account, and has the knowledge and experience to help you if you have any problems with ARP and your default mailbox. Additionally, Hit Director has created a special tool to keep your default email account cleaned out and prevent lost space, while allowing ARP access to the default mail box that it needs to function properly. CLICK HERE to read more about the HitDirector default email tool.

ARP backup cleaner tool
ARP routinely makes backups of your lists and stores them on your account.  If you don’t delete these backups they will little-by-little use up the space in your account until your account is full of backups.
HostGator does not have an ARP backup cleaner tool and this maintenance must be performed manually (assuming that you remember to do it).
Hit Director has created a special ARP backup cleaner tool to help you manage your backups, keeping what you need and getting rid of what you don’t.   CLICK HERE to read more about the backup cleaner tool.

Storage Space: unlimited space doesn't mean unlimited file

Hostgator offers unlimited space.  But unfortunately they don't mean it. Because if they did, they wouldn't limit the number of files on your account, which they do.  And if you go over the file limits they will stop doing backups of your website, and eventually you will be suspended. To be fair the lower limit on number of files are very high (100,000), but if your default email address is configured properly for ARP, and you don't have the default email account tool that Hit Director offers free, you will reach this number.  If you get to 250,000 files then your account will be suspended.  This can happen in as little as 500MB of space, so clearly unlimited space doesn't mean unlimited files.  Hostgators assumption is that by promising all customers something they will likely never need (unlimited space) in the anticipation that only 1% of all customers will use it (that's hostgator's estimate from their blog, where they admit they don't expect people to use the space)  that it will all work out, and then just in case it doesn't work out and people actually try to use the unlimited space, applying a back end limit in the fine print to force customers to reduce their space.

Hit Director does limit the space, but provides the tools you need to manage it and the instructions to make it simple to do so. Hit Director's hosting is based a fair value and honesty, with no fine print. If there is every a problem with how many processes you are using or the way you are using the space, we work with you to fix it.

Specialized ARP Helpfiles
HostGator has no ARP specific helpfiles.
Because Hit Director’s ARP customers are so important, we have crated many helpfiles specifically for ARP customers. In addition to the helpfiles already mentioned above, Hit Director has ARP helpfiles on ARP and spam complaints, ARP and spam assassin, ARP maintenance instructions, and many other ARP specific topics.

So if you need ARP hosting, who are you going to use? HitDirector.com!

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