9.0 Out Of 10
|Plans||VPS, Reseller, Dedicated, WordPress, Shared, WordPress, Website Builder|
|Data Centers||Texas/US & Utah/US|
|Support||Chat, Video, Chat, Phone, Knowledge Base, & Social Media|
|Uptime||Good (99.96% past 6 months)|
|Guarantees||Uptime and 45-Day|
|Migration is free|
|Best for||Freelancers and website owners|
|Strengths||Amazing Value for the Price|
|Weaknesses||Confusing Control Panel and Upselling|
|Promotion||Get 65% Off|
What is HostGator?
Brent Oxley founded Hostgator in 2002. They are located in Houston, Texas and have hosted more than 2.5 million websites.
Endurance International purchased HostGator in 2012. They are now a sister company of:
These are just a few.
HostGator is a well-known brand in the hosting industry. They are the flagship brand of Newfold Digital, formerly known as Endurance International, the largest global web services company.
HostGator provides a wide range of services.
- Hosting shared
- WordPress Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Hosting dedicated
- Site builder
- Hosting for resellers
This review is primarily about their bread and butter, web hosting (also known as shared hosting).
How does HostGator make it stand out in a sea of web hosting providers? This detailed review will help you find out.
HostGator is the most well-known and largest provider of web hosting services online. They were my first choice for hosting back in 2010.
They also offer hosting services.
HostGator provides web hosting services that range from shared to VPS, dedicated and custom products like WordPress and Reseller hosting.
HostGator offers a variety of hosting plans. Here is a quick overview of each.
Web hosting is also known as. Web hosting (also known as. Each account is hosted on a Linux server. They can run WordPress and any other application on a Stack . A shared plan allows you to manage most websites at a low cost and with high reliability. This guide provides more information about shared hosting.
HostGator has been ranked Best Price Web Host in my top web hosting rankings.
HostGator offers three types of shared hosting plans.
|No cost domain name||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
* Prices per month for a 36 month subscription
Get HostGator Web Hosting
WordPress can be run on shared hosting but many hosting companies offer specialized WordPress plans to meet customer demand and meet the hardware requirements of WordPress.
Many hosting companies offer WordPress hosting, which is the exact same as their shared hosting plans.
HostGator offers Managed WordPress Hosting plans that include custom features, plans and resources to help you run a large, fast-growing WordPress-powered site. You pay for performance, not features. They are competitive with other WordPress Hosting Plans.
|No cost domain name||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year|
* Prices per month for a 36 month subscription
Get HostGator WordPress Hosting
A virtual private server (VPS), hosting, is a great way for you to have a set amount of server resources without the need to lease an entire server. Your website can live on the same server that other websites, but you retain complete control over the resources. This guide will help you learn more about VPS Hosting.
HostGator offers a variety of affordable VPS plans which offer managed and unmanaged hosting options.
Reseller hosting with HostGator is a shared, VPS or dedicated server plan that allows for third-party billing and management. Reseller hosting allows anyone without having to start a hosting business. This guide provides more information about Reseller Hosting. This is a great way to increase recurring revenue for your clients and offer additional value to them. HostGator offers a variety of reseller hosting services.
Cloud hosting is different from shared / VPS/ dedicated hosting because there are no server resources that can be used to run your website or applications. You only pay for the resources and performance. Although it’s confusing, I explain it in this cloud-hosting guide.
HostGator offers cloud hosting plans that charge a monthly base price for the equivalent resources. HostGator Cloud offers competitive pricing and, even though it is more costly and less flexible than shared hosting services, it still provides several performance benefits, including faster response times and greater scalability. See HostGator’s Cloud hosting plans.
Traditional hosting runs on a HTML stack. Linux is an open-source operating platform. The letter “L” stands to represent Linux. Microsoft Windows is an alternative to Linux. Although it’s not as well-known, Microsoft Windows is a useful operating system for many websites, particularly those that use ASP.NET.
If you have a LAMP-based website like WordPress, you should stick with the shared hosting plans that are cheaper and more suitable. Windows hosting should be used only when you actually need to run Microsoft Windows-specific software.
HostGator, one of the few discount hosting companies that offer Windows Hosting with competitive pricing, is one of them.
Many “hosted” website builders offer only their own hosting (i.e. Wix, Weebly Squarespace, Jimdo and Strikingly, WordPress.com). I have explained website builders.
Self-hosted website builders don’t have this lock-in. HostGator offers a self-hosted website building tool called the GATOR website builders.
This tool is included with the purchase hosting plans and offers many of the same functionality and ease-of-use as a hosted website builder. See the GATOR website builder.
HostGator Web Hosting vs. HostGator WordPress Hosting
Here’s the deal. The industry’s move to ” WordPress hosting” services has been a confusing, confusing, and frustrating mess. I have a whole post about Web Hosting vs. WordPress hosting. But here’s the quick version.
- WordPress is simply software that runs on any Linux server running PHP (aka ” regular Web Hosting”).
- Again WordPress can and does run perfectly on shared hosting plans.
- WordPress uses some server resources at a higher than average rate, while others are used at a lower level.
- WordPress has many predictable issues & needs. It must be updated regularly. It is database-driven, not static. It adds functionality using plugins. This is great, but it can lead to temporary security issues.
- Hosting companies realized the opportunity to set up whole clusters of servers hosting only WordPress sites.
- Because they were all in one place, they could provide support at a reduced rate and specific WordPress add-ons.
- Thus, the “WordPress Hosting” plans were created. This added an additional opportunity for pricing specialists and marketers.
WordPress Hosting plans have been a way for some companies to increase their revenue and decrease their costs, while adding little value.
WordPress Hosting Plans was a way for companies to add value and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Customers also benefit from the savings. It was mixed for other companies. It was all very confusing.
HostGator WordPress hosting plans differ from their Web hosting plans. Although the plans have fewer websites, they are managed on cloud servers.
However – The key takeaway here is to determine your needs and goals instead of going for a company’s WordPress Hosting plans.
Convenience is wonderful, but it is important to know what you really are paying for in order to set the right expectations.
Alternatives to HostGator
HostGator isn’t the only web host. These are some other popular hosting services that offer similar features to HostGator.
Migration is free
Starting At $2.95/mo
Review of InMotion Hosting
Migration is free
Starting At $2.29/mo.
Migration is free
Starting At $1.39/mo
The Best Web Hosting
Hosting companies are not perfect. Hostgator certainly has positive things… but also some negatives.
Here are some pros that I have found with HostGator.
HostGator’s pricing is the “killer feature”. Although they aren’t the most affordable web hosting, they offer great value for money. You must sign up for a long-term contract to lock in low prices.
I have yet found a web hosting company with:
- Low renewal prices
- Regular promotions
- You can “lock in” discounts for three years
- Support and reliability are not sacrificed.
- Critical plan features are fairly “unmetered”.
This last point is particularly important. If you’re a novice like me and have multiple projects in mind, it is better to price per month per site or per storage space – also known as total value pricing.
HostGator is the best hosting company on this point. This is why I have my microsites and small traffic clients at HostGator rather than InMotion Hosting (where the site currently lives).
HostGator offers a great deal if you’re looking for a host with a low budget.
HostGator guarantees 99.9% network uptime, which is equivalent to 8 hours of downtime each year. My testing account achieved a much higher update rate than their guarantee.
HostGator, like all web hosts, has had its problems in the past (especially in August 2013). This is compared to GoDaddy, which promises the same thing and I had documented 8 hour in a month (not including DNS hack).
Amazing Customer Service
HostGator promised 24/7 customer support – they delivered. One of my tests involved me transferring a site development from my HostGator host to the client’s host. I encountered a technical issue (which turned out to be an error I had made) at 2AM.
I connected to chat and got all my questions answered immediately. Fabulous.
As I stress in my web hosting reviews, customer support is difficult to evaluate because it’s subjective. It’s impossible to know what their rockstar is like or if they have a rookie who is having a bad day.
However, given the number and depth of HostGator’s knowledge base, which I use as a proxy for investment in customer service, I give them an overall score of 9.5/10.
QuickInstall, Onboarding and Transfer Service
The actual start is one of the most difficult parts of creating a website.
HostGator offers many channels to help you get started. Multiple times I have used their website transfer services and QuickInstall scripts. It has all been great.
They also offer a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. You also get a free SSL certificate, a domain and a dedicated IP at the top tier.
HostGator offers unmetered everything except for the Hatchling Plan which limits the number of domain names that you can host.
This is huge. This means that you can install WordPress as many times as you like in unmetered databases.
- You can have unlimited domain options (on HostGator Baby and Business plans). This means that you can host literally unlimited websites on one plan. (My websites cost cents to host, not dollars because I have so many)
- Unmetered bandwidth allows you to scale and not be concerned about the number of visitors (although all shared hosts will crash if they get on CNN’s front page, where millions of people come simultaneously).
- If you require unmetered email accounts, this is the right option for you.
There are also unlimited subdomains, and FTP accounts that allow you to give secure access for any number of users.
Here’s the problem. HostGator uses “unmetered” to describe their limited resources on finite servers. Because you are sharing space on a shared server with other websites, there is no way to have unlimited bandwidth or disk space. However, do not limit the server resources you have before they are used up.
This has the knock-on effect that their servers may have more websites than other hosting companies. This could impact their overall performance. This setup works well for me, as I have small projects that require minimal costs.
It’s actually great, because I don’t have to plan or think about how to assign my domains and databases across my account. It’s easy.
cPanel runs the backend of your server. This is where you log in when you want to create a website.
Using cPanel to manage your website is a big pro – it’s free-source (no company has it) and it is the industry standard. It also has tons of documentation and can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet, in addition to HostGator.
It is a big difference from GoDaddy (and 1&1) and other hosts such as FatCow that use proprietary backends.
Although they are somewhat easier to use, you are still completely dependent on them for support. They can also be very restrictive and frustrating regarding what you can do and cannot. You couldn’t, up until recently, edit file permissions via FTP using GoDaddy. It can be frustrating and time-consuming to design a website.
cPanel can be a huge plus – not forgetting that the WordPress user guide assumes you are running cPanel.
Here’s a look at the HostGator panel. There are many options available, but the most popular ones are displayed at the top (e.g. Note the huge WordPress icon at its top.
HostGator also loads cPanel loaded with many scripts and other software options. It is easy to install everything, from WordPress to Wikis and RSS Readers.
Clean Energy Powered
Although this point is not necessarily a “oh my god I gotta have” feature, it is useful to know.
This allows you to look down on the nose when a major story about how energy it takes to run data centers comes out (and not to harp more on GoDaddy, their data center is located in… Scottsdale, Arizona).
It is nice to know that my websites are powered by large wind farms in Texas and Utah, not from a huge coal plant.
However, if you’re really interested in sustainability and clean energy, I recommend my GreenGeeks review.
Cons of HostGator
HostGator isn’t perfect, but that’s to be expected with any hosting company. These are my criticisms of HostGator, along with other negatives that could make them a poor choice for website owners.
Average website speed
HostGator has been a solid host for small websites on my HostGator server. They always have plenty of bandwidth and the resources to handle large traffic spikes.
However, I have never been able to achieve the best TTFB times compared to other shared hosts.
Time to First Byte is the acronym. It is the speed at which a server responds to a request.
Your browser could be a guy who needs a stack (a website) from his neighbor (the web host).
TTFB refers to the time it takes your neighbor to knock on the door.
HostGator has been slow in my tests, but they are consistently fine and deliver the rest of the files.
In the analogy, hostGator takes some time to get to the door but once he does, he’s super fast at gathering the books and giving them out to you.
It is part of the problem, and it is not HostGator’s fault. I could do things to speed up my website. But some of it is.
This is a problem for many shared hosts, but HostGator needs to fix it.
HostGator is relatively new to this complaint. HostGator used to have a lot of upsells, but I still consider it a pro.
However, this has recently changed. This is not a bad thing. Some upsells can be very useful. While some may enjoy them, it is something you should be aware of and take into consideration.
HostGator is a partner with SiteLock (site security), CodeGuard(site backup), MOJO Themes, premium WordPress themes and plugins), which all offer semi-useful, but also redundant services (i.e., HostGator offers backup and restore services).
HostGator promotes them during their signup process.
The big change is that HostGator’s WordPress QuickInstall doesn’t do a clean install. Instead, it includes several plugins, such as MOJO Themes and W3 Total Cache.
It’s not a big deal. You can deactivate them and then add your WordPress plugins. It’s still annoying. Although they may be helpful, I don’t like companies personalizing my software.
Not the cheapest web host
As I mentioned in the Pros – HostGator was both the most affordable in terms of value and the longest-lasting price for shared web hosting.
Nevertheless, if you are looking to save just 1 or 2 dollars per annum, you can go with Web Hosting Hub ( Web Hosting Hub review ) or HostGator’s sister company iPage. This is a great option (and very affordable).
Namecheap offers extremely low pricing if you are willing to accept some limitations and limited support.
There are many others, but money is worth it as a starter site. I would still recommend HostGator. HostGator will also allow you to lock in savings.
Register Domains at a High Price
HostGator is a domain company that sells domain names. They also offer them through cPanel.
They are however quite expensive at $17.99 per annum for renewals of.com.
Although it is annoying, this is normal. HostGator does not offer domain registrations. Although domain registration is offered for free for the first year, it is not their main focus.
If you’re buying a lot of domains, it is best to search for a better domain registry.
HostGator: Is it worth it?
HostGator is a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable and reliable hosting company to host your WordPress website. They have been a great host for me. Get a HostGator account.