HostGator Review

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Paul Mahony

26 comments

2019 December 10th

HostGator is one of the industry-leading providers offering a variety of services including web hosting, website builder and domain name registration services.

The provider aims to make hosting affordable, easy, and powerful. And most importantly it claims that it has plans for everyone whether you're a small business or a huge corporation.

If you'd like to see an in-depth video review, check out Emmit's video:

So in this HostGator review, we'll check exactly how true are these claims and its plans overall.

Let's see!

What is HostGator?

HostGator is one of the hosting providers offering all-rounded service packages. It has shared, VPS, WordPress and dedicated hosting plans. And it's not just hosting, it also offers domain registrar and its own website builder.

HostGator focuses on clients in need of scalable and affordable, yet easy to use and powerful hosting.

HostGator Reveiw - Home Page

HostGator is managed by the Endurance International Group (EIG), which also owns Bluehost. And while lots of industry professionals expected HostGator's demise after being acquired by the EIG, it's still up and in the leading positions.

HostGator Pricing

HostGator offers 3 shared hosting plans to choose from starting at $2.75/month. Every plan includes unmetered disk space, bandwidth, and free SSL certificates. You can scale up to the Baby plan for $3.95/month or the Business plan for $5.95/month to get unlimited websites.

HostGator Review - Pricing

If your planning to create a bigger website, the Business plan will get you a free upgrade to Positive SSL, dedicated IP, and SEO Tools. And if your still not sure, HostGator has a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you don't have to invest your money blindly.

HostGator Review - Money-Back Guarantee

It's obvious that HostGator offers quite a lot for an affordable price. Once in a shopping cart, you will get a bit of upselling attempts. While of course not mandatory, it can add up to the original plan price.

HostGator Review - Upselling

You can get professional email service, site backups, and SEO tools if you need them. While upselling can rise the initial price of hosting it also gives you extra features and tools if you need them.

As is with most hosting providers, the prices you see on HostGator's main page are only available if you buy its service for a long period. In this case, the $3.95/month price point is only available with 36 months billing cycle.

HostGator Review - Price Discount

If you want to pay just for one month, the hatchling plan will cost you $10.95/month. Moreover, after the initial first term, the price will go to a regular rate as well, so the discount is one use only.

HostGator offers free 1-year domain name registration. You can choose from .com, .org, and more than 15 other top-level domain extensions. Keep in mind, that the free domain is only available if you buy hosting for at least a year.

HostGator Review - Free Domain Name

If you're planning ahead this will help cut the overall cost of your website.

You can compare all the features that each plan offers here:

Hatchling Baby Business
Disk space Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Domains allowed 1 Unlimited Unlimited
SSL Included Included Included + Positive
Email accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Customer Support 24/7 chat and phone 24/7 chat and phone 24/7 chat and phone
Free Automated Backups Paid Paid Paid

Overall, HostGator offers great features for a decent price. It gives you a 45-day money-back guarantee, free SSL certificate, and you can save money by pourchasing 12-36 month plans in advance.

HostGator Features

HostGator has an extensive list of features to offer you. Employing a website builder, reselling domain names, offering a variety of hosting options - little Gator has quite a few things to handle.

Gator free website builder

HostGator includes a free website builder with its plans called Gator. It has a bunch of responsive templates and drag-and-drop functionality, so even the ones without any coding knowledge can build a website themselves.

HostGator Review - Drag & Drop Builder

It allows to quickly build regular or e-commerce focused websites. And you get templates specifically created for blogs, business, or portfolio. While a website builder is included with all the plans, you can choose to use it separately.

HostGator Review - Website Builder Plans

If you want to focus on the Gator website builder, you can choose to buy specially design plans for it. Starting at $3.84/month you get a domain name, free hosting, and SSL certificate.

And if you want to have more security and eCommerce functions, you have to get the most expensive plan for $9.22/mo.

Domain name purchase and registration

Apart from the free 1-year domain name with every hosting plan, HostGator also lets you buy domain names separately. Buying a domain you'll be able to lock a domain, auto-renew them, and manage all domains from the domain control panel.

HostGator Review - Domain Locking

HostGator not only includes classic TLDs (Top-Level Domains)  like .com or .net but also a lot more interesting and specific ones. You can also get TLD based on profession (like .law.pro), international (like .asia), or country-specific domains (like .ca).

HostGator Review - Domain TLD

HostGator has partnered up with Domain.com to offer you the ability yo buy new TDL's. So you can buy domain extensions that are brand new or that are soon to be released. Some of the most interesting variations include .ninja, .tips, and .guru.

HostGator Review - New TLD

At the time of writing HostGator and Domain.com offers about 310 new top-level domain extensions for you to choose.

Automatic Backups & Free Transfers

To ensure the highest security for millions of its users, HostGator recommends using its CodeGuard Automatic Backups. Service price starts at $2/month, which is very reasonable and includes 1GB automatic daily backups for up to 5 websites, unlimited databases, and files.

HostGator Review - Backups

This plan also allows up to 3 restores per month. If you want to have unlimited restores, 10 websites and bump the storage space to 5GB it will cost you $5/mo. And when you need even more you can pay $8.33/mo for 25 websites and 10GB storage.

HostGator Review - CodeGuard

The tool also protects your website from viruses and hacking; it performs daily monitoring, which a useful feature to add to the plans that do not include automatic backups and other security features.

HostGator solves one of the messiest and most frustrating issues - transferring your website and its content to the new provider. You get a free website, domain, or even MySQL transfer when you start

HostGator Review - Free Transfer

And inter-server transfers, meaning moving between two HostGator servers, are always free. 

Overall, every HostGator plan comes filled with useful features and tools. Domain purchasing, automated backups, website building and transferring, everything is here.

HostGator Performance

HostGator promises 99.9% uptime which can still round up to 10 minutes downtime weekly. During our testing, 100% uptime was achieved quite easily. As far as response time goes, our website with default WordPress installation had an average speed of 292ms.

HostGator Review - Uptime Robot

While there are some spikes in the response time, we didn't notice anything drastic when testing HostGator services. The worst response time we got overall was 462ms, which is still a solid response time.

HostGator Review - Speeds World Wide

We used Bitcacha to evaluate HostGator server performance. While the results were extremely good in the US, Canada, and Europe, they were a bit slower in Asia.

GTmetrix allows us to test the loading times and optimization of our website and the server itself. In the former case, our website fully loaded in 1.8seconds, so while not rocket speed, HostGator offers great load times.

HostGator Review - GTmetrix

As far as the optimization part, we got A(90%) in PageSpeed and B(87%) in YSlow scores. Meaning most of the necessary optimizations on HostGator's side were implemented correctly.

HostGator has top-notch performance and stability, you can expect your website to have short loading times and great optimization.

HostGator Support

HostGator offers 24/7/365 customer support through live chat and phone. While not offering a regular ticket or email system, the two available options are more than enough.

HostGator Review - Support

The Knowledge Base is where you can find plenty of articles made to help you. You can just type your question and you will automatically get suggestions for the most common problems. Most of these articles are for general problem solving, so if your problem is more specific you will have to contact support.

HostGator Review - Knowledge Base

If you are more of a visual learner, HostGator also provides plenty of video tutorials. They show exactly how to fix most of the problems or build a website for less tech-savvy users. And HostGator has a video on probably every topic because its library seems to be endless.

But if browsing through the video tutorials didn’t get you the information you were looking for you have to use the live chat or phone options.

So with no email customer support, we decided to give the live chat a go and try to ask some questions that we still had. While not lightning fast, we got all of our questions about downtime and the email system answered in about 10-15 minutes.

HostGator Review - Live Chat

The wait time for the live chat varied between 1 and 5 minutes - which is a great speed for customer support. And the agent we got was very eager to help and politely answered our questions.

Overall, while not the greatest, HostGator support is fast and actually tries to solve your problems. Add a Knowledgebase and tons of video tutorials and you have yourself a solid support system.

HostGator Review - the Verdict

In this HostGator review, we found out that this provider offers solid hosting packages that are worth your time. The performance and reliability of the host are great and there is plenty of features it offers.

The Initial prices do go up by a bit if you want to host for a shorter period of time. But all the feature you get makes it wise to invest in a longer hosting term with HostGator. 

HostGator is great if:

If you need great loading speeds and solid performance for a smart price. With its Gator website builder and free transfers your start will be buttery smooth.

Do you have any experience with HostGator? Share them in the comment section down below!

Pros

  • Unlimited storage space and bandwidth
  • Great Uptime and performance
  • 45-day money back guarantee.

Cons

  • There are a few upselling attempts
  • No email customer support

HostGator User Reviews

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User comments

Lee Floyd picture
Lee Floyd

2019 April 9th

After paying for 3 years of service, Hostgator refuses to refund the unused hundreds of dollars of service paid for that will go unrendered because I tried to cancel past... Read more

After paying for 3 years of service, Hostgator refuses to refund the unused hundreds of dollars of service paid for that will go unrendered because I tried to cancel past 45 days. Thus, even though my site is slow as molasses and they cannot resolve it, they say they will not refund me whether or not I use them or not. So, the only way to get their advertised rates is by paying for 3 years of service, however it is impossible to get a refund beyond 45 days no matter how crappy the service. Stay away and use another reputable service. Check BBB and other reputable reviews where Hostgator is 1 star and find someone without draconian policies that they can stick their boots in the mud on. There's plenty of better places to host your site.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
    Erinn

    2019 June 20th

    Hi Lee, We've researched your account and see that this issue has been resolved. We'd love it if you'd please update you review to reflect how things are going for... Read more

    Hi Lee, We've researched your account and see that this issue has been resolved. We'd love it if you'd please update you review to reflect how things are going for you since this was resolved. Please let us know if you have any other concerns. Thank you! Erinn Reputation Manager at HostGator

isa ro picture
isa ro

2018 November 14th

hostgator gets hacked, my 3 websites infected and suspended. did not receive notification, but billed like clockwork. asked for support and their solution is to charge me for sitelock. from... Read more

hostgator gets hacked, my 3 websites infected and suspended. did not receive notification, but billed like clockwork. asked for support and their solution is to charge me for sitelock. from reading other reviews its a scam. will be cancelling.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Deandre Nalty picture
Deandre Nalty

2018 November 8th

As long as you're honest with yourself, there's not much of a risk. For example, if you plan to only serve a few pages to a few local customers, you'll... Read more

As long as you're honest with yourself, there's not much of a risk. For example, if you plan to only serve a few pages to a few local customers, you'll never run afoul of any limits. But if you know that you're really building a site that will stress low-end shared servers, be sure to pick a dedicated or cloud-based server. That's next.

dreamhost review picture
dreamhost review

2018 October 11th

a very well written and detailed review. I am planning to migrate to a managed shared hosting plan. I consider siteground and Media temple. Though I saw some negative reviews... Read more

a very well written and detailed review. I am planning to migrate to a managed shared hosting plan. I consider siteground and Media temple. Though I saw some negative reviews about MT so I might consider Siteground

Luca P. picture
Luca P.

2018 January 24th

Wake up HostGator, performance is going to the floor. It's finished. Finito. Whatever. According to my collegue and your status page, their servers are becoming hilariously bad. More downtimes than... Read more

Wake up HostGator, performance is going to the floor. It's finished. Finito. Whatever. According to my collegue and your status page, their servers are becoming hilariously bad. More downtimes than a snoozy cat. Still advertising themselves like they're hot shit. If they won't fix it (quick) the combustion will be hard and fiery.

Thomas Williams picture
Thomas Williams

2017 September 13th

Oh God, DO I AGREE with the cPanel criticism or what!? I'm a HostGator fan, always been, to the point where my wife thinks I'm insane. Their recent updates have... Read more

Oh God, DO I AGREE with the cPanel criticism or what!? I'm a HostGator fan, always been, to the point where my wife thinks I'm insane. Their recent updates have made the thing so much worse! I hope they will listen to their fans because this is weird.

Performance Pricing User friendly Support Features
Nathan Lee picture
Nathan Lee

2017 September 5th

I’m just glad that with one good provider turning worse, there are new, good providers taking their spots. The circle of life lives on! Lion King!

I’m just glad that with one good provider turning worse, there are new, good providers taking their spots. The circle of life lives on! Lion King!

Alda picture
Alda

2017 September 5th

I have heard many awesome things about HostGator Cloud! Are you guys going to test it anytime soon? I grew really fond of what you’re doing here, Paul, hope you... Read more

I have heard many awesome things about HostGator Cloud! Are you guys going to test it anytime soon? I grew really fond of what you’re doing here, Paul, hope you can get to it!:)

PetPri picture
PetPri

2017 August 28th

List of not good hosting companies: 1. This one. I was DISGUSTED with the way HostGator treated me and my website. So glad to have finally ran AWAY to another... Read more

List of not good hosting companies: 1. This one. I was DISGUSTED with the way HostGator treated me and my website. So glad to have finally ran AWAY to another host, I even saved some money. Don't make the stupid mistake I've done, don't give these people your credit card details.

Tyler picture
Tyler

2017 August 27th

I have no idea why are they so hated and I also have no idea why are they loved. Looks like a yet another run-of-the-mill provider. Good for puppy pics,... Read more

I have no idea why are they so hated and I also have no idea why are they loved. Looks like a yet another run-of-the-mill provider. Good for puppy pics, bad for serious work.

    Lee E

    2017 September 6th

    HG used to be the best thing in the business. after some years some suits bought them out and ran HG to the ground. many people used to adore this... Read more

    HG used to be the best thing in the business. after some years some suits bought them out and ran HG to the ground. many people used to adore this company and now this…..understand?