HostGator Review

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hosting expert review

Demian San

Web Hosting Expert

Studying all Hostgator.com hosting reviews was not an easy task! But how else could we identify strengths and weaknesses of this provider and compare it to others? Of course, using the most important criteria that hostings are evaluated by. We analyzed the key advantages and disadvantages of the provider in each category and made the final verdict that you can see in the form of a mark. Want to see the analysis on a specific parameter? To do this, simply go to the section that interests you!

We rated this provider rather high, even to make it stand out and be in the line with other leaders. If you were to ask us “Is hostgator good?” we’d definitely say yes. And below we will chart out in detail each aspect of this hosting that we evaluated while testing it with various soft.

hosting rating in each category

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overall

total overall rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:45-Day
  • Disk Space: 45-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

The fact that you know the name HostGator and even considering it as your potential hosting provider means that money spent on advertising campaigns paid them out well. The headquarters of the provider are in Houston (Texas). FYI, the company launched its services in 2002 (more than 15 years ago!). Since then, HostGator has managed to become one of the largest hosting sites that services over 9 million domains. 

HostGator’s hosting plans give you access to a variety of important features, including unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space, email, subdomains, and MySQL databases. In addition, you will have a variety of convenient tools at your disposal – for example, ready-to-install content management systems, free Google AdWords credits, a website builder, and so on.

In general, HostGator’s popularity didn’t come out of nowhere. Cost-effective prices, impressive features and a diversity of plans – HostGator will have a small business and a large company find something suitable. Each plan (literally each one of them) gives you access to unlimited bandwidth and disk space. In addition, HostGator is struggling to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, using only the electricity generated by wind turbines.

What we personally like HostGator for?

  • Easy installation
  • Favorable prices
  • Great toolkit for webmasters
  • Green technologies used
  • Impressive technical support.

But, frankly, those are nothing out of the ordinary and you need to dig deeper to find out if HostGator is right for you.

cheap

total overall rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:45-Day
  • Disk Space: 45-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Indeed, Gatorhost is not after your money! Ok, it is, but that is not their ultimate goal. As you enter the site you can see that the starting price is only $2.75 per month. We also thought it was some kind of trick but the humble little package for less than 3 bucks has everything a beginner webmaster needs: free domain and domain transfer, free website transfer, one-click installs (refers to CMS installs), unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate. That is a pretty great start! 

But here comes the main catch: prices you can see at www.hostgator.com apply to 3-year subscriptions only. 

You will see the change in prices already at the registration stage so don’t be surprised if they are higher for short-term deals. Also, what you do is adjust the subscription parameters and select the best combination of services for yourself. Don’t forget that you can utilize the money back guarantee within 45 days from the time you make a subscription. It is more than sufficient time to check if this web hosting service really suits you.

Let’s talk more about 3 year subscription. On the one hand, it is a really good deal if you sit down and calculate the benefit painstakingly in nominal values. Indeed, you save tons of money and forget about paying for hosting for the whole three years. On the other hand, the two problems are: where to get such a huge sum to pay at once and the usual “What if I don’t like it?” It is all up to you whether to pay month by month or try and catch the deal. And as to the traditional question of “if I don’t like it”, remember that you have 45 days to understand whether you do or you don’t. Yet, if you weren’t planning such a long-term investment, we totally get that. Still, those who want a 60% off the usual price have got to think in advance. 

So, if we talk about prices as they are i.e. with no discounts, they vary in such a way that a web developer of any wallet size will find a perfect solution based on her needs. What also adds fuel into the fire (in a good way, of course) is that the provider has many attractive promotions. Constantly. 

Besides, you won’t have to do anything to prolong the contract – they will take care of it. But the longer you use the services, the cheaper they will cost you. You can subscribe for up to 3 years ahead and enjoy huge discounts, especially with their best-selling Hatchling plan.

dedicated

total overall rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:45-Day
  • Disk Space: 45-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Now, let’s have a look at HostGator dedicated server. You know that dedicated stands for a server where there is only one site – yours. So, basically, you’ve rented out the whole piece of hardware and enjoying the ultimate amounts of bandwidth, security, and resources. Good for you!

There are only two major features – no, not drawbacks – that are fairly disliked by users: high prices and high prices. Just one, then 🙂 Hostgator hosting plans aren’t the cheapest in the neighborhood, with price tags ranging from $120 – $150 per one month. There are only 3 plans with proportionally increasing RAM (8, 16 and 30 GB) and storage (SSD or HDD.) Dedicated hosting clients also get a full root access to the server. The other items are same as in the rest of Gator Hosting plans.

Any time you decide that you website needs ‘like-a-boss’ hosting, GatorHosting team will help your site migrate from the old hosting and get started on the HostGator platform without any problems. You can also transfer registered domains, which will allow you to work with all your online assets on one site.

Overall, dedicated HostGator hosting is not bad altogether. We haven’t purchased any dedicated package (you’ve seen those prices) but we’ve worked dozens of HostGator reviews with real pieces of feedback from customers. We’ve also put their support through test and they did pretty well by giving prompt replies to our tricky questions.

vps

total overall rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:45-Day
  • Disk Space: 45-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Guys from Host Gator customer service promise control and functionality similar to that of dedicated servers and scalability of resources like that of clouds. Quite doable even with the most affordable in the line of VPS plans, Snappy 2000, that gives us whole 2 GB of RAM, 2 CPU Cores, 120 GB of disk space, and 1.5 TB of bandwidth. Nowhere near the dedicated counterparts but what you expected. Besides, this amount will be more than enough for a website with medium CPU usage and traffic.

Basically, you will be right to go with the VPS Gator web hosting if you think your traffic is about to grow, yet you don’t know by how much and when and, thus, not sure you need a dedicated server. That is, probably, the best description of a typical VPS customer.

What we liked about Gator host this time is its multifunctional services. Each plan gives you access to a variety of important features, as we’ve already mentioned. These may be unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space, email, subdomains, MySQL databases. All the more so, you will have a variety of convenient tools at your disposal, like a ready-to-install CMS, free Google AdWords credits, website builder, etc.

As to reliability and backups, HostGator ensures that customer sites remain available for 99.9% of the time, that is, it is a very reliable service. Gator web host keeps its word, because this company owns truly powerful servers that are managed by competent specialists.

Servers are regularly monitored by special monitoring systems. Access to the company’s data center is limited, which also has a positive effect on the security in general. Monitoring is conducted around the clock and every day, backup copies are created once a week, which allows you to return everything back without any problems, should such a need arise.

wordpress

total overall rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:45-Day
  • Disk Space: 45-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

Yep, they have a separate packages for that, too. The Starter, Standard, and Business plans come with SSL certificates included and promise a 2.5X greater speed of performance.

We’ve decided to check that and placed one of our ‘demanding’ WP sites on the HostGator business plan. Truth be told, we haven’t noticed the difference (the website used to be on shared business plan.) That’s why we see no reason for you to pay more. The only exception applies to those who want everything done for them. In that case, yes, you’ll have to shell out and pay $5 more each month but won’t have to bother with technicalities. Yet, they equip it with convenient HostGator cPanel that works great for beginners.

site builders

total overall rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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  • Money Back Guarantee:45-Day
  • Disk Space: 45-Day
  • Uptime: 99.9
  • Bandwith: unmetered
  • Domain Name: included

A tool that HostGator web hosting can use to attract customers is their website builder. It is drag and drop one, and it was literally developed for kids. At least, we had such an impression. It is indeed great in a way that creating a website with zero knowledge of web stuff has become a new reality thanks to builders like this one. 

They have three packages promoting site builders: Starter, Premium, and eCommerce. The first one is more or less like an ordinary shared package. They make it look like hosting goes for free and you only pay $3.84 for the builder, let it be. The next one targets clients who tend to heavily rely on support. Same shared one but with even better support (maybe tickets from Premium clients go first in the list.) The last one is stuffed with all kinds of eCommerce and SEO tools. These marketing and SEO tools can really help to make your site noticeable.

Traditionally, website management is carried out using the latest version of Host Gator cPanel. Working with cPanel is very simple, access to all the most needed areas of the site can be obtained from the menu at the top left. Various training materials available will help you to better understand the principles of web hosting and its capabilities.

If you need a website builder badly, take the third plan. It is really worth overpaying. As to the first two ones, it is better to go with the cheaper HostGator shared hosting than to pay more for nothing. What we liked about website builder eCommerce plan: 

  • convenient SEO tools
  • 500+ themes
  • easy and quick installation
  • the newest version of HostGator c Panel.

features

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  • Server response time

We tested response time of the website hosted on HostGator’s servers.

The minimum response time was ⅕ of a second while the longest was 8 seconds. The overall server performance can be described as smooth and stable. If we take an average response time, it can compete with other hosting leaders on the market like BlueHost and InMotion.

  • Page loading speed

To test how fast pages would load, we’ve selected two of our websites hosted by Hostgator and a different provider. Both web pages were identical, of the same size and design.

A website hosted on Hostgator server showed a result of ½ second, which was a lot faster than that of its competitor.

Based on the test results, we see that Hostgator web hosting is really fast and reliable.

  • Host Gator C Panel

Hostgator uses cPanel as its main control panel. For those who are not familiar with cPanel, it should be noted that this is the most demanded control panel, known for its ease of use. Some providers, however, allow users to choose between cPanel and Plesk.

Plesk is the second most popular control panel after cPanel and it is sad they don’t have it. Plesk can work with both Linux and Windows operating systems. This is quite an important parameter, which means this control panel can be used regardless of the OS of the server.

pricing

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We will start looking at webgator hosting pricing from bottom up to make the most complete picture of it. The provider has the following services on offer:

Shared hosting

 

(3 plans with unlimited disk space; cPanel; support for MySQL, PHP 5, Perl, etc. – just some of the features of this line of packages);

1) Hatchling – (60% off regular rate) $2.75/month

2) Baby – (60% off regular rate) $3.95/month

3) Business – (60% off regular rate) $5.95/month

 

VPS hosting

 

(various configurations of virtual dedicated servers can satisfy any wishes of the user);

1) Snappy 2000 – (Now 75% OFF!) Starting at $29.95/month

2) Snappy 4000 – (Now 75% OFF!) Starting at $39.95/month

3) Snappy 8000 – (Now 73% OFF!) Starting at $49.95/month

 

Dedicated hosting – rental of physical Linux and Windows servers

 

1) Value Server – (Now 37% OFF!) Starting at $118.99/month

2) Power Server – (Now 44% OFF!) Starting at $138.99/month

3) Enterprise Server – (Now 48% OFF!) Starting at $148.98/month

 

Reseller Hosting – the possibility of developing your own hosting brand and getting the maximum profit from your customers.

 

1) Aluminum – (Now 33% OFF!) Starting At $19.95/month

2) Copper – (Now 41% OFF!) Starting at $24.95/month

3) Silver – (Now 58% OFF!) Starting at $24.95/month

 

If you want to see the original price, just add the discounted percentage back and you’ll see what a plan will really cost you. In general, the prices are very reasonable, not to say more. The discounts are there all year round, so take your time to analyze pros and cons properly. We also decided to address the issue of money-back. Some users spread rumors that the company may refuse to give the money back without explaining the reason. It would be really unreasonable for such a respected company to spoil its reputation like this, would not it? However, the company rightfully can refuse to give your money back if any of the prerequisites have not been followed by you. For instance, you may request the money back on the 46th day, and they will be right to say no. The same way, there are other reasons all stated in T&Cs. If you read those carefully, no problems should arise.

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support

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Hostgator receives high rates of customer satisfaction largely due to their live chat, which operates 24/7/365. A reactive HostGator customer service will always quickly and responsibly address any issue. Gators prioritize this type of communication with users since it is most frequently used by users themselves. You simply enter the question in the chat box and wait for the reply in a matter of minutes or even seconds.  

Hosting Gator provides its users with the opportunity to give technical support a toll-free phone call. But this, unfortunately, is not enough for a highly professional web hosting. Besides, users are the least likely to choose phone if other options (like live chat or email) is available. 

One of the key problems of Gator customer service is the limited functionality of the email and ticket system support. Ticket system is common with other top hosting companies that want to avoid clients’ long waiting for a specialist to answer a tech support call. But it is fairly disliked by customers for there are lots of fields they feel reluctant to fill in. 

All in all, we appreciated HostGator’s desire to get better and revolutionize hosting support system. We don’t see necessary calling them (even though it is toll-free) because live-chat guys give instant replies 95% of the time. 

conclusions

total rating

$2.75

Monthly Starting Price

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Here is our final verdict that will sum up the given Hostgator review. 

We found no particular differences with other providers in terms of plans, prices, and resources. However, there are noticeable differences in functioning of the support system, performance, and reliability.

HostGator accounts for 1% of Internet traffic in the world, and not just that. This hosting provider services large and small sites, as well as provides convenient tools for webmasters of all levels. Whether you are starting your first blog, or going to make money on the resale of goods or intend to create your own version of Amazon.com, HostGator has a suitable plan for you. 

Hostgator has a relatively high uptime and an excellent response time. So, we came to the conclusion that Hostgator is a good provider. 

PROS

Easy to install and work

Unlimited bandwidth / disk space / email with any plan

24 hour user support

Advanced tools for SEO and online commerce

45-day money back guarantee

CONS 

Expensive, unless you are subscribing for 3 years right away

Website builder is too complicated for newbies.

In conclusion, American company HostGator (www.hostgator.com) has become the recognized leader on the international hosting market over the period of eighteen years. HostGator has managed to turn from an ugly duckling (an unknown regional hosting with only three servers in control) into the beautiful swan – the world’s leader among the ten largest hosting operators of the planet, which has more than 7000 servers.

customers reviews

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luisa

Junk hosting. I bought a Hatchling package for my site and everything was ok first, but as the site expanded, it suddenly turned out that I needed to buy a cooler package and I did. So they extended my plan but glitches persisted. Each time I contacted the support on this matter they used to write it off to CMS developers. After two years of torment, I switched to another hosting provider and all problems disappeared. Now my site does not go down for no reason and there are no glitches.
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lak

I have been hosting my website with them for several years now. In general, everything’s fine but once, they moved my site to a different server and changed the settings - so I had to reconfigure the site on my own. As for the price, I think that nowadays it is possible to find cheaper offers.
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jim

I have 5 WordPress sites, all on Hostgator’s servers. 3 years passed, there were no problems, servers work steadily, rarely if ever go down.

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