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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
|SSL||Included||Included||Included + Positive|
|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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
- Unlimited storage space and bandwidth
- Great Uptime and performance
- 45-day money back guarantee.
- There are a few upselling attempts
- No email customer support