HostGator is undoubtedly one of the best known companies in the web hosting industry. They’ve been around since 2002. But reputation isn’t everything, so are they any good?
Some of HostGator’s many competitive features include a 99% uptime guarantee, unlimited bandwidth, free website transfer and quick installation.
And they’re cheap!
All their plans are competitively priced and offer excellent value for money. You can choose to pay either monthly or yearly and HostGator offers a generous 45-day no questions asked money-back guarantee.
HostGator’s cheapest web hosting plan is 4.86 per month.
In 2002, HostGator was founded by Brent Oxley in his dorm room at Florida Atlantic University. The company has grown enormously since then and continues to do so, year after year. Their logo is “We eat up the competition.” Today, HostGator has headquarters in both Austin and Houston, Texas, after outgrowing several other sites. In 2007, their Brazil office was opened. HostGator has won lots of awards for support and hosting services.
In June, 2012 HostGator was bought out by the Endurance International Group (a company that also owns numerous other hosting providers apart from HostGator). However, it continues to trade under the HostGator name. HostGator is a green energy company. The company buys Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from a wind farm in Texas. 130% of the green energy cools and powers all shared and reseller servers.
Whenever there’s a discussion about web hosts, the name HostGator is bound to come up, and with good reason. Having been around for more than a decade, HostGator can be said to be one of the most trusted and recognized web hosts. It excels in several areas including customer support, hosting flexibility, uptime, shared hosting, plus so much more.
This excellence in several aspects of web hosting coupled by the company’s experience, array of features, and unrivalled performance makes HostGator a smart choice for any website owner.
With all the other web hosting providers that are available, why choose HostGator? Well, the truth is that no single web host is perfect. So, whether you’re a novice webmaster or are looking to change web hosts, here’s a quick look at the good and the bad of HostGator to help you know more about the company.
One of the best features of HostGator is the fact that the company offers flexible packages that leave users (both large and small businesses/blogs) with plenty of room to grow.
The most basic of the packages, the “Hatchling Plan”, comes with support for one domain, unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, shared SSL certificate, plenty of email addresses, and support third party applications like content management systems. Other shared hosting plans build on this Hatchling package by adding additional features such as unlimited domains, private SSL certificate, and a toll-free phone number (just to name a few).
Alternatively, if you need more power, or have certain requirements that shared servers cannot meet, there’s the option of more advanced packages such as VPS and Dedicated server plans. The highest tier VPS package offers 8GB RAM, 240GB storage, and monthly data transfers capped at 3TB.
Dedicated server packages on the other hand can be customized with up to 16GB of RAM, 25TB of monthly data transfers, and an impressive 1TB of storage.
HostGator also offers WordPress and Cloud hosting. You can always visit HostGator’s official web page to find the most updated hosting packages on offer as well as their specifics.
Another great thing about HostGator is that it provides you with all the tools you’ll need to create and maintain a professional looking website.
With over 4000 templates at your disposal from HostGator’s BaseKit Site Builder Tool, designing and customizing your website is made fast and easy. Additionally, HostGator supports a variety of open-source applications such as CMS software, shopping cart, wiki, ecommerce, and others. Therefore, you can install whatever apps you need to make the designing and running of your site easier.
Other website related tools offered by HostGator include email tools (mailing lists, autoresponders, spam and virus filters, etc.), SEO and marketing tools, security tools (IP deny manager, password protect directories, etc.), Google Analytics, plus so much more.
Performance and Uptime
HostGator promises a 99.9% uptime and has the resources to back it up. One of the largest and most popular web hosts, HostGator has thousands of servers under its management. In addition to being strategically located across the world, these servers utilize top quality server hardware and are housed in state of the art data centers that take all the necessary measures (UPS battery backup units, top tier HVAC systems, constant infrastructure monitoring, fire protection systems, etc.) to ensure performance remains flawless and uninterrupted.
Thanks to these world-class data centers and their strategic locations, HostGator provides reliable, quality performance that never disappoints. With over 90% customer satisfaction (from a June 2008 customer satisfaction survey) HostGator remains at 99.9% at most times according to a majority of users. And in addition to the reliable uptime, HostGator also delivers satisfactory load times with speeds ranging from 22 to 940ms depending on the browser’s location.
Security and Backup
As mentioned earlier, HostGator takes several measures to ensure servers remain at full functioning capacity. The data centers in Houston and Provo are designed to prevent interruptions to services and to do that, they have state-of-the-art server hardware, network, electrical and highly sophisticated HVAC systems. They have high-tech cooling systems to prevent servers from overheating, backup power sources in the event of blackouts, lasers for detecting fires, redundant chillers, among other systems.
This web host also performs 24/7 monitoring of servers and keeps intruders out with biometric locks and mantrap security entrances and exits. Additionally, technicians of the company also have a system in place for anticipating and fixing problems in real time.
HostGator takes measures to protect your website from outside attack. The company performs weekly malware scans to ensure that there are no malicious programs embedded in your website. What’s more, each hosting package you purchase from this web host comes with the powerful spam protection program, “Spam Assassin” which keeps unwanted junk email from your inbox.
But even with all that said, when it comes to backups, HostGator does not offer the best service in the industry. This company only carries out backups on a weekly basis and charges a fee if you want your site restored from a backup.
Although the chances of HostGator servers malfunctioning are very low due to the numerous security measures in place, if you plan to upload a ton of data to your website on a daily basis, you may need to do your own backup or go with a web host that backs up their servers daily (or even hourly – which translated to additional costs).
Help and Support
When it comes to customer support, very few web hosts can compete with HostGator’s customer service. The company even has awards to prove this fact. For general questions and issues, you can use HostGator’s email support, which is always available, social media support on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
Or seek answers from the company’s extensive knowledge-base, which is full of FAQs, helpful articles, and video tutorials that walk you through some of the controls. HostGator also offers a forum where you can ask questions and answer those posed by other users of the web host.
Alternatively, if you need a little more immediate help, or are experiencing an issue that needs special attention, HostGator has customer support representatives on standby 24/7/365 ready to assist you with whatever questions you have. These representatives can be reached through phone or live chat.
No locked in contracts and a 45 day money-back guarantee. Meaning if you decide to cancel within the first 45 days of joining, you get a full refund, no questions asked.
Further making HostGator a good catch is the fact that the web host throws in a few extra features with their various hosting plans. For instance, each hosting plan comes with several freebies. You get a free website builder and website building tools, unlimited bandwidth and disk space, over 4,000 website templates, free domain transfers, and unlimited mySQL databases.
Other extras that you can look forward to with HostGator include:
» $150 worth of Google Adwords or Bing/Yahoo advertising credits.
» Free site transfers when you want to move your website from another host to HostGator. And the best part is that your website can be upgraded during the transfer at no cost. However, the said migration has to be done within 30 days from the day you sign up.
» Free domain name for the first term when you transfer and/or set up a new account.
» 1-click installs available for all major open-source projects such as WordPress, Magento, and Joomla.
» A 45-day money-back guarantee for all HostGator hosting plans. Most web hosting companies only give you a 30-day window to cancel your account and get your money back.
» A getting-started email with links to all of the resources you will need to build your website and get it up and running.
Pros and Cons
So, is HostGator the right web host for you? Well, given the fact that HostGator gives you a simple way to build and manage your site, provides you with all the resources you’ll need to deliver high-level services on your site, offers several feature-packed hosting packages, and brings a ton of experience to the table, it can be an ideal web host for anyone with a website. To top it up, HostGator offers several benefits including:
» Reliable uptime and fast response times
» Affordable hosting plans
» Plenty of room for growth
» No restriction on bandwidth, disk space, and emails
» Rock solid security
» Free weebly site builder
» A great control panel with a ton of features ranging from a web-based file manager to more advanced features such as cron jobs, image manager, error logs, and apache handlers
» The option of cloud hosting
» Flexible email management
» Free shared or private SSL certificate on all hosting packages
» Generous 45-day money back guarantee that gives customers peace of mind.
As for the negatives of the company, you’ll only have to deal with the issue of weekly backups, slow customer response times (according to some of the host’s users), an advanced cPanel that requires some getting used to, and no one-stop WordPress import. These are cons you can work around and still get to enjoy the immense web hosting quality of HostGator.
For instance, HostGator has a large knowledge-base with answers to practically any question you could have ranging from the simplest to the most advanced. So, when the customer support team takes too long to answer, you can seek out the solution to your problem from this knowledge-base.
Given that HostGator has a lot to like and very few things to dislike, you should definitely try the company if you own a website or plan to build one. If the web host does not make a good fit for your website, the 45-day money-back guarantee on offer will allow you to walk away without losing money.
HostGator frequently asked questions
Who owns HostGator?
HostGator is owned by Endurance International Group (EIG).
Did you know that EIG owns a large slice of the web hosting industry, for example EIG owns Arvixe, A Small Orange, Bluehost, Dotster, iPage, HostGator to name just a few companies.
What kind of support do I get?
How to contact HostGator? You get 24/7/365 support via phone, live chat, emails and a comprehensive database of knowledge. There are 500+ tutorials to help you with almost anything related to HostGator. There are also more than 680 helpful articles on their website. What languages does HostGator support speak? HostGator’s customer service is only provided in English.
How long has HostGator been in business?
Founded in 2002, HostGator is an established and reputable web hosting company that has been in business for over a decade.
After being sold off in 2012, HostGator became a subsidiary of Endurance International Group (EIG).
Why should I choose HostGator?
With more than 8 million hosted domains, HostGator is among the top 10 largest web hosting companies. HostGator is worth considering because of their top-notch customer support service, state of the art datacenters, and comprehensive web hosting packages. Millions of website owners choose them for these reasons.
What are HostGator name servers?
There are two places where you will be able to find Hostgator name servers. You can find them in your welcome email or find them listed inside of your cPanel controlpanel. Your nameservers will have the following syntax: xx.hostgator.com – xx.hostgator.com.
What if I decide to cancel my hosting with HostGator?
There are no locked in contracts and a 45-day money-back guarantee for shared and VPS plans. Certain forms of payment are not eligible for a refund, so make sure to read HostGator’s terms of service when it comes to canceling accounts.
Will I be billed monthly or yearly when using a HostGator account?
Customers get to choose their preferred billing cycle when signing up with HostGator. You can choose to be billed monthly, after 6 months, annually, biannually or once every 3 years. The longer terms come with discounts that amount to significant savings over time.
Are there any hidden charges?
There are no hidden fees associated with any of HostGator’s hosting packages. A billing summary is usually included on the order page where you can easily remove add-ons that you don’t want to pay for. New monthly subscribers should keep in mind though that the introductory prices for the first month are usually discounted and automatically renew at the regular rate.
What forms of payment does HostGator accept?
HostGator is very flexible when it comes to payments. They accept payments via PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, wire transfers, personal checks, cash and money orders.
What types of hosting packages are there?
There are three shared hosting plans: Hatchling, Baby and Business. There are also a range of VPS and Dedicated server packages. HostGator also offers cloud hosting and fully managed WordPress hosting for your WordPress websites and blogs.
Does HostGator offer Linux or Windows servers?
Unlike most web hosts that focus on Linux hosting only, HostGator offers the choice of Windows based servers as well. Plesk is the default control panel on Windows servers while those who prefer Linux get to use cPanel.
Can I purchase a domain name with HostGator?
Yes HostGator can be your domain registrar whether you decide to purchase hosting from them or not. They also offer over dozens extensions as well as Top Level and country code Domains.
What are the best alternatives to HostGator?
HostGator is an affordable and good entry level web hosting provider, and they’re one of the world’s most popular web hosting companies. However if you are looking for alternatives to HostGator you should check out; Bluehost, SiteGround, DreamHost and A2 Hosting.
What is HostGator cheapest web hosting plan?
HostGator’s cheapest plan is 4.86. They offer a free trial with a 45 day money guarantee. In other words you get your money back, no questions asked, if you decide to cancel within the first 45 days.
How do I transfer my website to HostGator?
HostGator makes it easy to transfer your website to your HostGator hosting account. They can transfer website files, databases, scripts, and one free domain registration transfer. HostGator provides free transfers for new accounts within 30 days of sign-up, and to newly upgraded accounts.
How do I install WordPress in HostGator?
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms around. The first step to install WordPress is to login to your cPanel account, the second step is to go to the MOJO Marketplace go through the Quick Install process.
HostGator plans & prices
HostGator offers a range of hosting solutions to choose from; shared (both Linux and Windows), VPS and dedicated servers, to fully managed WordPress and cloud hosting. Here below is an overview of their plans and current price list. For latest and most up to date prices visit HostGator’s website.
|Plan name||Diskspace||Bandwidth||Monthly price|
|Hatchling Shared Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||4.86|
|Baby Shared Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||6.96|
|Business Shared Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||10.46|
|Hatchling Cloud Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||6.26|
|Baby Cloud Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||8.36|
|Business Cloud Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||12.56|
|Snappy 500 VPS Hosting||25 GB||0.5 TB||11.97|
|Snappy 1000 VPS Hosting||60 GB||1 TB||33.97|
|Snappy 2000 VPS Hosting||120 GB||1.5 TB||57.97|
|Snappy 4000 VPS Hosting||165 GB||2 TB||81.97|
|Snappy 8000 VPS Hosting||240 GB||3 TB||99.97|
|Basic Dedicated Server||500 GB||10 TB||105.00|
|Standard Dedicated Server||1000 GB||15 TB||132.00|
|Elite Dedicated Server||1000 GB||20 TB||168.00|
|Pro Dedicated Server||1000 GB||25 TB||225.00|
|Starter WordPress Hosting||Unlimited||100K visits/mo||5.97|
|Standard WordPress Hosting||Unlimited||200K visits/mo||8.77|
|Business WordPress Hosting||Unlimited||500K visits/mo||13.98|
|Personal Windows Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||6.36|
|Enterprise Windows Hosting||Unlimited||Unlimited||15.96|
Best HostGator alternatives
People share their opinions about companies on Twitter each and every day. We monitor tweets about HostGator and apply a sentiment analysis algorithm that classifies these tweets as positive or negative. Every review is from a real person opinion. We use this information and output an approval rating score, which is based on real people, positive and negative, opinions about HostGator on Twitter
HostGator Reviews on Twitter
HostGator vs Competitor Ratings
@veronicaevalion Your website is a fail. Looks like you haven't been paying up your @HostGator bills. That Nazi mon… https://t.co/gIwReJqzQG
Happy Birthday, Snappy! | HostGator Blog https://t.co/5DUV9B8aja via @HostGator
@HostGator why don't you let customers raise tickets any more? The live chat system is terrible and not having an alternative is frustrating
Had a great chat with @HostGator! If you're looking to build a website, definitely check them out!
@dogsandco @HostGator I have no clue lol... hi! :D
Don’t miss out on this free eBook from our sponsor @HostGator – “Get Online the Easy Way” >>… https://t.co/yvKiEQBChY
Happy Birthday, Snappy! | HostGator Blog https://t.co/w4U3XJxboW via @HostGator
RT @_Zergee_: @HostGator Happy Birthday Snappy! From Russia With Love. https://t.co/17HmJEzA9H
Happy Birthday, Snappy! | HostGator Blog https://t.co/zCYYufD7PF via @HostGator
RT @tiffanyintl: @HostGator Thank you for taking care of your customers! I appreciate it! #customerexperience #customerservice https://t.co…
Thank you @hostgator for helping me get it up!! ;) https://t.co/Btb5Mlf5E2 #workinprogress
Happy Birthday, Snappy! | HostGator Blog https://t.co/RVOk9NtO31 via @HostGator
@HostGator happy birthday Snappy!
Be A Maverick—Jet Into The Cloud!Great @HostGator
@HostGator I wanted to enter when I just saw this but Twitter had been down all day due to the DDOS attack.
@HostGator well tell snappy happy birthday! We probably missed it
@hostgator Happy Birthday Snappy!
@HostGator Thank you for taking care of your customers! I appreciate it! #customerexperience #customerservice https://t.co/mWOW7MBpMB
@wirenine Um, huh? I'm very happy with my carbon free hosting and run my own hosting brand through @HostGator who has been good to me...
@HostGator I went to the mentioned blogpost and it says “All we ask is that you wish Snappy Happy Birthday on facebook or Twitter”
Happy Birthday @HostGator for turning 14. Please give me my snappy plushie gift https://t.co/MmT6Va8l82