I used to be a Hostgator client. Three years ago I switched from GoDaddy lured by a good promo and their shared SSL certificates (I was intrigued by them, and at the time I think some app I was playing with required https. These shared SSL certificates were a real frustration since what you get is a generic address (something like https://gator0123.hostgator.com/~yourusername/) making it useless for most user-facing applications. After struggling with workarounds, I just dropped my interest in it (after all, I don’t consider any of the low-volume websites I keep as big target for attacks)
But renewal time came, and with a hefty increase from the promotional rate, so I decided to move. I toyed with the idea of a dedicated server, (heck even one of those $5 Digital Ocean offers could probably handle the load I generate) but in the end, I couldn’t justify the overhead of actually setting up and managing a server for multiple small sites.
So after a moderate (but by any means not exhaustive), I ended up choosing Dreamhost, which does offer free SSL via Let’s Encrypt. That, plus a significant discount I got using a code I found was enough to lure me in.. They do not offer CPanel (I knew this before signing up), which is a bit odd after I got familiar with it while using Hostgator. Yet, I find the custom interface less cluttered and to the point (but I could think of some power users complaining about missing features).
The migration process was not as easy as I expected. It took me a couple of nights and some downtime on my websites, mostly due to DNS issues and changing config files to use a different MySQL server (Hostgator allowed me to get away using localhost, while Dreamhost requires an actual host address)
It’s too soon to tell much about the quality of the service, but I must say that so far so good, therfore if by any chance you got to this post while looking for a new host, please consider using my affiliate link and check out Dreamhost for yourself. As of today, they are including 1-year free domain registration (which is also valid for transfers as it was my case)