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Founded in 2002 by a university student, Hostgator now has more than 400,000 customers. They provide reseller, VPS, shared, and dedicated green web hosting. The company prides itself in having truly unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and domains.
- Extremely affordable packages
- Unlimited bandwidth and domains
- Free site builders, templates and help building a website
- 45 Day Money Back Guarantee for shared, reseller and vps hosting
- 24/7 365 customer service
- Weekly backups as opposed to daily backups offered by other webhosting services
- History of downtime years ago may make some weary of HostGator despite recent ratings of very good uptime by tracking sites
Hosting Package: (Rating: 9/10)
HostGator web hosting provides a variety of packages at an affordable price. The packages come with an easy control panel, 1 click script installs, 4,500 free website templates, and other benefits for subscribers. Some of those benefits include a 99.9% uptime and 24/7 tech support. One hosting package benefit that sets HostGator apart from the competition is a 45 day money back guarantee.
Cloud hosting is available with all plans. There are levels of cloud hosting plans depending on the needs of the user. The levels of plans can also accommodate site traffic of 100,000 or more, depending on the package chosen. Cloud hosting includes single domain for hatchling plans to unlimited domain for baby and business packages.
HostGator plans for web hosting packages are easy to understand and are available in three levels: Hatchling, Baby, and Business. Hatching includes a single domain while Baby and Business plans offer unlimited domains for web hosting. There is an upgrade fee for cloud hosting included in packages. The Business level package has the most to offer including free private SSL and IP, and a free toll-free number.
There are frequent sales on hosting options. HostGator also offers transfer of content from another host and transfer of domain registration.
Features: (Rating: 8/10)
HostGator’s WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated hosting packages offer many features that can accommodate the needs of bloggers and large businesses and anyone in-between.
WordPress hosting plans come in three levels: starter, standard, and business. The starter plan offers one site, standard has two sites, and the business package has five sites. The WordPress package is easy to use and advertises a 2.5X’s faster speed than competitors. It also includes daily scans and daily backup, along with malware removal.
VPS hosting through HostGator allows for upgrades at any time and the installation of advanced hardware. There are more customization tools and flexible software options. VPS includes full or semi-managed hosting and Cent OS Linux with full root access and customized applications. It also includes a free sitebuilder tool and website and domain transfer.
Dedicated hosting server options are ideal for larger businesses. This hosting package offers features such as: unlimited email accounts, multiple layers of security, server monitoring, 4,500 website templates, free transfer of content and domains, and plans that affordable and varied. The features available with dedicated hosting offer the most customization for today’s businesses.
Cloud Hosting features include integrated caching, intuitive dashboard, and resource management.
Security: (Rating: 6/10)
HostGator has locations in various locations but does not provide specifics about security measures at those locations. There are automatic weekly backups done off-site, which is considered lacking when compared to those who conduct daily backups. Weekly backups may not be enough for some users to feel secure.
There are daily scans for WordPress hosting and removal of malware. The built in and automatic removal of any detected malware is included in pricing and gives users peace of mind. HostGator also has spam assassin in packages to help keep sites somewhat secure, but the company appears to lack in the explicit security features outlined by others.
WordPress: (Rating: 8/10)
WordPress hosting capabilities are affordable and include many features. There are starter, standard, and business packages. Starter offers one site and the other packages offer two and five sites. WordPress hosting packages can accommodate 100,000 to 500,000 user site traffic. There are customization tools and automatic software updates, making keeping up with traffic spikes or technology changes easy for WordPress users.
There is automatic back up daily and back up to a secure site location for added protection and peace of mind. Daily scans are also done for extra security. Designed specifically for the first time or newer users, WordPress packages through HostGator are easy to use and easy to navigate in general. Unlimited email is also a plus. The number of transfers depends on the package chosen. Currently, WordPress starter is $5.97 a month, standard is $8.77 a month, and business is $13.98 a month.
Reliability: (Rating: 7/10)
Hostgator offers a 99.9% uptime. Hostgator has servers in multiple geographic locations but does not specify how many. There is a money back guarantee after 45 days if users are unhappy with reliability or other features. No specifics are given as to actual uptime statistics. While wide-spread outages made news a few years ago, HostGator currently has good standing with uptime tracking sites.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 9/10)
HostGator is billed as the source for beginners. It has easy to understand feature and upgrade capabilities to meet changing needs. The ability to transfer domains and content make it easy to start anew without necessarily needing to start from scratch. The tutorial videos are widely varied and address most common concerns.
Help and Support: (Rating: 7/10)
HostGator offers 24/7 support through phone, chat, or ticket. There are video tutorials to guide users through common problems, issues, or questions, which can minimize the need for reaching out for support. When support is needed, users can utilize the support ticket to address their particular needs. The support capabilities of HostGator are designed to help those who are new to domains or who are migrating from other simple sites.
Online support and a community forum serve as one means of outreach.
Several online review sources contend the ticket system is problematic despite the contention otherwise from HostGator and help is not as easily accessible as advertised.
- Hatchling Plan: One domain. Unlimited disk space and bandwidth, and a shared SSL certificate. One click installs Starting at $4.86/month.
- Baby Plan: Unlimited domains, disk space, and bandwidth; and a shared SSL certificate. One click installs. Starting at $6.96/month.
- Business Plan: Unlimited domains, disk space, and bandwidth. Private SSL certificate and IP address, along with a toll free number. Starting at $10.46/month
- Hatchling: $6.26/month with single domain and 2 core CPU
- Baby: $8.36/month with unlimited domain and 4 core CPU
- Business: $12.56/month with unlimited domain and 6 core CPU
- Starter: $5.97/month with one site and up to 100,000 site traffic accommodation
- Standard: $8.77/month with two sites and up to 200,000 site traffic accommodation
- Business: $13.98/month with five sites and up to 500,000 site traffic accommodation
- Snappy 500: $19.95/month
- Snappy 1000: $49.95/month
- Snappy 2000: $89.95/month
- Snappy 4000: $129.95/month
- Snappy 8000: $159.95/month
The first month is cheaper and the above rates are for reoccurring services after that initial month.
- Basic: $76.56/month
- Standard: $91.98/month
- Elite: $103/month
- Pro: $115.94/month
Special pricing and sales on packages advertised periodically.
Starting Monthly Price: $3.96
# of Domains: 1 to Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee: 45 Days
Disk Space: Unlimited
# of MySQL Databases: 1 to Unlimited
Unique IP Address
# of Email Addresses: Unlimited
Email Storage: Unlimited
1-Click App Installs
Custom Cron Jobs
Dedicated SSL Certificate
Shared SSL Certificates
Help and Support
What we Like About HostGator
Extremely Affordable Packages: Starting at barely $4 per month, Hostgator makes owning a website inexpensive. Even their business plans, which all come with toll free numbers, start at $10.36 per month. If customers don’t want to sign an annual contract, that’s fine too; Hostgator’s month-to-month plans are just slightly more expensive.
Unlimited Bandwidth and Domains: All of Hostgator’s regular hosting packages come with unlimited disk space and domains. Every plan aside from the Hatchling also comes with unlimited domains.
Free Site Builders, Templates, and More: Hostgator uses Weebly as their primary site builder. This site builder was voted as a Top 50 website by TIME and was reported on by the BBC and Wall Street Journal. The company also provides other site builders, easy to use templates, and help documents that cover both novice and advanced topics.
45 Day Money Back Guarantee: New customers are guaranteed their money back if they cancel Hostgator within the first 45 days, no questions asked.
24/7 365 Customer Service: Hostgator provides technical support year round and in the wee hours of the morning. Perhaps best of all, customers can contact support using a number of varied methods, including by phone, email, or live chat.
Unlimited email addresses with extensive support: Hostgator customers also enjoy unlimited email addresses with support for autoresponders and mailing lists. Thanks to the company’s unlimited disk space, you should never run out of room for incoming and archived emails.
What we Don't Like About Hostgator
Customer service issues: Reportedly not up to the standard the company once was in the beginning. Response times lag on support tickets, some times going days without a response.
Still plagued by outage issues in the past: Many think of mass outages when considering Hostgator despite recent reviews reflecting mass outages as a thing of the past. Reviews still point to outage issues, however outage tracking sites give them a rating of a very good response time to outages. Conflicting information from tracking sites and users may pose reputation problems.
Weekly backups: Hostgator only has weekly backups rather than daily. This can be disastrous for anyone who has a problem six days after the last backup, particularly for larger companies. Many web hosting services now offer daily or even hourly backups.
Who is This Host Best Suited For?
HostGator has grown substantially over the years but still has the reputation of being one of the most affordable options for all webhosting needs. The variety of packages and tools that are easy to navigate will appeal to those on a budget, as will the periodic special pricing. The customer service complaints may make it an unwise choice for those who may anticipate needing a great deal of assistance. However, the do-it-yourself type may find the tutorials and forums to be all the help they need.
Hostgator is a highly affordable web hosting company for both individuals and businesses. Cheap packages and free features are the company’s major draws. It certainly has flaws, but Hostgator rolls with the punches and seems to fix problems as they arise. The company’s services are perfect for novices and, in general, anyone who needs a website quickly and affordably.