Since it was founded back in 2002, HostGator has been striving to provide simple-to-use web hosting services with a range of affordable plans that cater to small businesses and enterprises alike. HostGator promises cheap plans, strong uptime, generous money-back guarantee, and stellar support. But does it deliver? Our research, backed by HostGator reviews on the web, gave us the answer.
HostGator offers a wide array of hosting services with some great features that put it on the map of the best web hosting services. With any plan you choose, you’ll get access to a wealth of features that will make website maintenance easier.
Putting website availability above all, HostGator delivers consistency and stability typical for the top web hosting companies. The vendor offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee, and you can get a month of credit for the package on your account if a shared or reseller server fails below 99.9%. We came across many HostGator reviews that confirm that the web host has been consistent with 99.98-99.99% uptime. Users say their uptime record is remarkable and rarely found elsewhere.
HostGator uses several data centers. Most of them are located in Utah and Texas. There’s an option to activate which routes the content to 23 more data centers worldwide. The network infrastructure is good, and data centers feature multiple security layers, advanced cooling systems, redundancy power generators, and robust physical security.
The powerful servers run on 32-core AMD Opteron Processor 6376 or Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2630 v3. They come with SSDs and have 4 RAID 1s across.
On the flip side, HostGator’s speed is a bit behind other industry leaders. Several HostGator customer reviews indicate that users have experienced problems with servers’ speed for no apparent reason. They say servers are consistently low with the average page loading time. This is mainly an issue with the shared plans, so, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for cloud hosting, you’ll enjoy great speed (twice the speed of shared plans) plus more resources.
HostGator has its own website builder with easy-to-use drag-and-drop features. There’s a wide selection of themes across 20 categories, and some of them even come with pre-built sections so you can set up your website as fast as possible.
There is the option for one-click installs which makes it convenient for you to set up your favorite CMS like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, b2evolutions, Tiki, and Mambo. The File Manager meanwhile lets you upload files to the server. This tool ups the basic FTP as it gives you the option to edit the files directly or use a separate editor.
Our HostGator website builder review shows that plans are affordable and come packed with features like free hosting, site analytics, social media integration options, and a free SSL certificate.
Getting a free domain name is possible only if you sign up for at least one year of shared, cloud, or WordPress hosting. Keep in mind that the free-of-charge period lasts only one year and the domain is limited to .com, .net, and .org extensions. If you already have a domain name with one of these, HostGator provides free transfer.
Additionally, the site builder comes with an ecommerce plan (starting at $9.22/month) which gives you the opportunity to set up a fully functioning online store with payment gateways, plugins, inventory management options, and more.
Creating an account is straightforward and payment processing is fast. However, some HostGator hosting reviews report longer-than-usual waiting times for the service to become available. While not a deal-breaker, this can be annoying, especially since the process is said to be automatic. Still, once you are in, things get better.
Designed to cater to beginners, HostGator features a clean and easy to navigate UI. Everything is optimized to ensure a user-friendly experience.
To further assess the ease of use, we made a DreamHost vs HostGator comparison. DreamHost comes with a proprietary web-based control panel and a bit of a learning curve. HostGator meanwhile uses the industry-standard cPanel. It’s been further customized to be even more beginner-friendly than the default version.
HostGator is unique because it offers unlimited disk space and unmetered bandwidth with all plans — something rarely seen with rivals. That said, you’ll need to keep the usage within the range that doesn’t burden the server’s resources.
HostGator offers free email marketing for the first three months with up to 500 contacts. With tools for building your email list, creating email messages with ready-to-use templates, and segmenting lists, this can be an excellent asset to support your marketing efforts.
HostGator generously offers free site and cPanel migrations. 30 days after you sign up, you can get in touch with the support team and have them transfer your cPanel, databases, scripts, files, or domain name.
HostGator offers a 45-day guarantee which applies to shared, VPS, and reseller hosting packages. The administrative fees, custom software install fees, and dedicated servers are not eligible for HostGator refund. This is quite common in the web hosting industry; however, there are a few caveats. There’s a $15 worth non-refundable domain fee and, if you have a newly registered domain, you’ll be able to transfer it only after 60 days of the registration.
HostGator offers free SSL certificates, automatic malware removal, and backup service which runs once a week. Other than that, you can get SiteLock for an extra cost starting at $1.99/month. The service provides advanced security features like malware scanning and removal, TrueShield web application firewall, TrueSpeed CDN, application scanning, blacklist monitoring, trust seal, SQL injection scanning, and more.
While SiteLock provides a good level of security, reviews of HostGator point to users who complain about the price they had to pay to get security features. Our HostGator vs InMotion comparison has confirmed that what HostGator offers at an additional price, InMotion provides for free.
HostGator throws in some extras like updated security and marketing services. These come at an additional fee so let’s check whether they are worth it.
The vendor provides automated backups once a week on a random day. If you want to upgrade this, you’ll need to purchase CodeGuard — an automated tool that provides daily backups and protects your website against hackers, viruses, and more. From the intuitive dashboard, you can easily restore a file or the entire site to a previous version. CodeGuard Basic starts at $2/month for up to five websites. It includes 1GB of storage and three restores per month. This is a nice upgrade from the basic weekly backup but some users may be reluctant to pay for a feature other web hosts include in their plans for free.
For creating an SEO strategy, you can consider hiring an SEO expert, but HostGator offers such service in-house. You can contact them for a consultation and connect with a dedicated marketing project coordinator to audit your site, conduct expert keyword research, and launch the campaign. Content creation and on-page optimization are also part of the SEO services. Starting from $2.95/month, you can choose between a start and a growth plan. HostGator SEO reviews show that users find both to provide good value for money.
Another great extra service provided by HostGator. Starting with a simple consultation, you can get a full-fledged team of PPC consultants and managers to handle the keyword research, optimize your ad spend, and provide end-to-end AdWords management services.
New HostGator plans are eligible for $100 AdWords credit after spending $25 on ads, as well as $100 worth of Bing Ads. This perk allows you to start promoting your website and get decent exposure right away.
HostGator offers professional web design services with templates and up to three pages of SEO-friendly content to give you a jumpstart. You get a personal team of experts including an SEO strategist and account manager. An ecommerce integration is also possible — you can build an online store with up to ten product pages including payment processing and shipping solutions.
HostGator customer service is provided 24/7 via live chat, phone, or fax. Our initial tests of the support team yielded positive results. The agents are knowledgeable and ready to assist with any issue that might arise. Usually, they respond within minutes to the queries.
Digging deeper in the HostGator reviews, complaints about long wait times and a poor response came up. Some users even said they had to push hard to get the problem resolved. Looking for an alternative, we made a FastComet vs HostGator comparison. FastComet has swift support and many customers share positive experiences.
HostGator stands as one of the most affordable web hosts. Bear in mind that it’s standard for hosting companies to advertise low introductory prices. So expect higher renewal fees with HostGator, too.
The initial discount, which is a HostGator coupon automatically applied to the real price, is valid for the first billing cycle. Occasionally, a HostGator promo code is made available on the official website, providing an opportunity for bigger savings. At the time of writing this HostGator review, there was an active promo code for 70% off hosting plans.
All in all, HostGator is a moderately priced web host and many users think you get decent value for money. Some reviews, however, reveal that users feel you can find better value for money elsewhere.
HostGator offers a variety of hosting options, all coming with a set of distinctive features and multiple pricing plans. We provide you with an overview of the plans with an emphasis on the features and pricing details.
Catering to low-maintenance websites, HostGator’s shared hosting packages are competitively priced. The web host offers month-to-month plans but there are options for longer terms as well. All plans feature free SSL certificate, unlimited storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, sub-domains, FTP accounts, and a free domain for the first year.
Many HostGator web hosting reviews emphasize the affordability of the plans, as well as the versatility of the features. What users listed as a con is that the basic plan can’t handle more than 5,000 real-time users. You should keep in mind though that the shared hosting plans are meant to serve low-maintenance websites.
Cloud hosting is a great upgrade from shared hosting. Its low-density servers, caching layers, and top-notch hardware promise more reliability and faster load times. For extra safety, three copies of your data are automatically distributed across multiple devices, and there’s an automatic failover that will switch your account to another server immediately in cases of a hardware issue. Also, since your site won’t be physically limited, you’ll be able to scale in real-time.
Another notable feature is the access to statistics and instant resource management. The simple dashboard with intuitive tools give you an overview of page download speed, usage, global reach, and more so you can stay on top of your website’s performance.
The provider’s WordPress hosting promises 2.5X faster load times and improved site performance. It features cloud architecture, CDN, low-density servers, and multiple caching layers. The centralized portal provides convenient access to files, email accounts, and database restores. Plus, you’ll have complete control over the usage allocation. Free HostGator SSL and automatic malware removal are featured in all plans.
HostGator says it’s “light years ahead of the competition”, yet our HostGator vs Bluehost comparison proved that the latter reigns supreme in WP hosting. Bluehost reviews praise the array of features and functionality the web host offers, and this comes at no surprise as Bluehost is one of the three WordPress-recommended hosting providers.
When opting for HostGator dedicated server hosting, you can choose between semi-managed and managed plans. For the former, the choice of OS includes CentOS, Ubuntu, Windows, and Debian. The plans include proactive system monitoring and software patching, as well as customer-managed data backups and migration.
For managed dedicated hosting, you can choose CentOS or Windows. Besides proactive and reactive system monitoring, HostGator’s managed dedicated hosting provides advanced software patching, cPanel or Plesk control panels with automated updates, and the option for offsite backup solutions and data migration. Server optimization is available upon request.
Ensuring maximum performance, dedicated hosting plans offer the flexibility of letting you choose between an HDD and SSD hard drive to get what works best for your website — a feature users love, as seen in many HostGator dedicated server reviews. Security-wise, you get DDOS protection and an IP-based firewall.
The plans come with advanced management features. Linux servers provide cPanel and WHM while plans for Windows dedicated hosting include Plesk control panel and WebMatrix. Other notable features include RAID-1 configuration, full root access, and three dedicated IPv4 IPs.
Packed with all the benefits of a dedicated server but with more affordable prices, HostGator’s virtual private servers are held in data centers with redundant network and HVAC units. What is more, the RAID 10 disk configuration, multiple network security layers, and several bandwidth providers ensure maximum reliability. With the HostGator VPS plans you can scale easily and pay only for what you’re using.
HostGator’s reseller hosting offers you the possibility to earn money by providing web hosting to third-party clients. You’ll get access to a wealth of features including WHMcs which allows you to create cPanels for your clients and deploy billing software to handle payment operations.
Through the WHM panel, you’ll be controlling every aspect like resource allocation, choice of payment methods, and deciding on the additional service you want to provide to clients. It also lets you monitor server status and brand the client panels with your logo.
A notable feature we discovered during our HostGator review is the free reseller club account which aims to streamline domain management. There are tools for account access, domain registration/deletion, management of domain forwarding systems, DNSSEC, restoring a domain, and more. It also includes great bulk action tools that allow easy management of multiple accounts at once. Creating an account is completely free and you can integrate it with your WHMCS.
People love how easy to use it is, and the affordable price. On the flip side, HostGator reviews show a not-so-positive side of the reseller hosting. Some users say that the plans have some limitations that prevent deploying more sophisticated backend operations.
HostGator is a great web hosting provider for beginners and semi-technical webmasters. The platform provides generous features like unmetered bandwidth, unlimited disk space, free site migration, and a 45-day money-back guarantee. HostGator reviews and our in-depth research further confirm that the company delivers dependable uptime and robust performance. That said, there are several things that could be improved, customer support included. Also, if you’re looking for robust security features, you might want to consider A2 Hosting or InMotion.