HOSTGATOR

Server Locations:

North America
South America
Asia

Recommended for:

Beginners (GATOR site builder tool)
Web hobbyists
Bloggers and Affiliates

Highlights:

Average page loading time 419ms
Average uptime (99.97%)
Free Website Transfers, CDN and SSL Certificate

hostgator webhosting

Reliable Web Hosting
  • Support
  • Quality of Service
  • Features and Services
  • Value for Money
4.9

Summary

HostGator is a good option for those who want a cheap hosting option. Its best feature is the unmetered hosting, which is perfect for a smaller website. The support is also excellent, even if their knowledge base is a little difficult to navigate. Their cloud service is worth mentioning, we were impressed by it and would be more than sufficient for almost every business out there. HostGator is a good, solid, easy to work with hosting provider. Its user-friendliness and good support make it a good choice for small/ medium sites.

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HostGator Review – 2019

Looking for affordable plans and easy set-up? Specializing in hosting for individuals and small business, HostGator provides what you need without a lot of the frills. HostGator is one of the best options for hosting smaller websites. The company offers a wide variety of hosting options. These range from user-friendly shared and cloud hosting to virtual private servers (VPSs) for more advanced users.

HostGator generally offers lower prices than its competitors. But this does not mean that their plans are bare-bones. They offer more than enough features for most people. As a matter of fact, they provide a really powerful hosting infrastructure. HostGator is a leading hosting provider with headquarters in Houston and Austin, Texas. They also have international offices to cater to their international users.

Founded in 2002, they host websites for over 400,000 customers. You don’t get that kind of following and trust without being reliable and consistent.

Shared Hosting 

Most of HostGator’s web hosting plans are meant to serve low-maintenance websites such as blogs or e-commerce stores.

The Hatchling Plan

hostgator webhosting

Their cheapest shared hosting plan, the Hatchling plan, is perfectly suited to people who are brand new to web hosting. Cheaper than starter plans from competitors such as GoDaddy and Squarespace, HostGator should definitely be considered by anyone on a tight budget.

The Hatchling plan allows people to host a single domain and unlimited subdomains. There is a whole range of applications such as WordPress and others that you simply install with one-click and that is how things should be done. You will be allotted unmetered disk space and bandwidth. However, do not think for a second that you can host a high-traffic e-commerce site on HostGator for $2.75 per month.

What this means is that HostGator doesn’t put any strict limits on your bandwidth and disk space but you’ll still be required to keep your usage within a reasonable range that doesn’t compromise the server’s resources by putting too big a strain on them.

For most users, this really means that they will never have to worry about their resource use. On the other hand, if you do need to worry about it is a good sign. It means your website is doing well and you need to upgrade. If this is the case. you should be able to upgrade to a VPS plan instead.

But here’s something cool: you’ll get $100 in AdWords and $100 in Bing Ads credit with any plan so you can start marketing your brand-new website right away.

The Business Plan

HostGator’s Business plan has even more excellent features to offer than the bare-bones basic Hatchling plan. Straight away, you get included a private SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address so you are pretty much ready to start accepting payments on an e-commerce store right away. This is a rare inclusion for hosting companies as most of them only give you shared SSL certificates.

Private SSL certificates often need to be purchased separately. An affordable business plan that includes these is a rare encounter and definitely a big plus in their favour.

Cloud Hosting

hostgator webhosting

One of the best reasons to consider HostGator is their cheap cloud hosting options. For a small amount of money compared to their basic web hosting plans, you can get cloud hosting. And cloud hosting will give you twice the speed and four times the resources over a shared plan, almost instantly. This deserves anyone’s attention, and rightly so.

Cloud hosting is able to reach this kind of speed due to:

  • Low-density servers
  • Premium hardware
  • Multiple caching layers
  • Data-mirroring that distributes 3 copies of your data across multiple devices.

Cloud hosting is great for people currently on shared web hosting who find they are maxing out or nearly getting to their usage limits. You can easily upgrade to cloud hosting at any time from the control panel.

Overall, your website is managed efficiently so dynamic content is processed super-fast. With unmetered resources, your websites can be scalable to respond to visitor spikes. You can scale up your resources from your dashboard with one click. It is that simple. This will give your websites the muscle they need without experiencing downtime or requiring reboots. We think they are terrific value for money.

  • Starter Plan: It supports 1 site, 25k visits per month, 1GB backups, and unmetered storage.
  • Standard Plan: It supports 2 sites, 200k visits per month, 2GB backups, and 150GB storage.
  • Business plan: It supports 5 sites, 300k visits per month, 3GB backups, and unlimited GB of storage.
  • Ease of Signup: Signup process is a breeze!
  • Payment Methods: You can pay by credit card or PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: The only major ‘gotcha’ is a restriction that you can’t tap over 25% of their system for over 90 seconds.
  • Upsells: There are some upsells along the way.
  • Account Activation: It might require up to 24-48 hours for accounts to be activated in some cases.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Extremely easy, one-click installation process of the most popular apps available.
VERY Strong Uptime of 99.97% (Over the last 10 months)

Although HostGator Cloud’s uptimes have slipped a tiny bit in recent months, dropping from a perfect 100% to 99.97% (0.03% better than the industry average) their stats are still impressive. With only 36 outages, HostGator cloud is the eleventh most reliable host that we’ve ever seen and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

HostGator Cloud Load Time & Uptime

When choosing a web host, uptime is the #1 statistic to pay attention to. You can have all of the advanced security features and rapid load times possible, but if your site isn’t live at all times, it won’t matter a thing because nobody can see it. You are losing business. Luckily for you, with Hostgator, it doesn’t get much better than this…

Last 10-month’s average uptime:
  • March 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • April 2018 average uptime: 99.89%
  • May 2018 average uptime: 99.93%
  • June 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
  • July 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • August 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • September 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
  • October 2018 average uptime: 99.89%
  • November 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • December 2018 average uptime: 100%

Your page loading time is one of the single most important factors in maintaining a high-quality and user-friendly website. With a speed less than 419ms (more than 50% faster than the industry average of 890ms), HostGator Cloud is one of the fastest and most affordable hosting providers that we’ve ever reviewed.

This clearly shows that if you choose to trust HostGator Cloud with your web hosting, you can rely on both sites always up and fast loading times, resulting in happy users all around.

Here are the load time averages from the past 10 months:
  • March 2018 average speed: 440ms
  • April 2018 average speed: 430ms
  • May 2018 average speed: 456ms
  • June 2018 average speed: 479ms
  • July 2018 average speed: 433ms
  • August 2018 average speed: 491ms
  • September 2018 average speed: 447ms
  • October 2018 average speed: 339ms
  • November 2018 average speed: 356ms
  • December 2018 average speed: 318ms

HostGator Cloud has managed to provide a service that is both stable and fast, ensuring a great customer experience for you and extraordinary user experience for your audience.

Dashboard and control panel sections

Navigating Hostgator’s front-end site and the control panel is a breeze. Even the most novice webmaster can quickly find and change important features, integrate useful applications, and make changes to account settings.

HostGator instead uses clear terminology like ‘max sites’ and ‘monthly traffic’ to give even the most basic prospect a clear understanding of the bang you’re getting for each buck. And if you get stuck, their live support (detailed below) is available 24/7 and they have a deep library of support tutorials, FAQs, and other troubleshooting documents available.

FREE Extras: Anti-Malware, Global CDN, Daily Backups etc…

HostGator throws in a bunch of extras on their plans that push their offer over the edge. Here’s just a sample of what you’ll get:

Free Migrations: One of the most notable features that HostGator Cloud offers is free migrations. HostGator Cloud will transfer your site over completely free of charge. Simple.

Daily Backups: With a few mouse clicks, you can quickly set up full daily backups that will automatically store previous versions of your site so that, if you have any problems, you can quickly and effortlessly get your website back online.

Automatic Malware Removal: In the (inevitable) event that your website is infected with some form of Malware, HostGator will pitch in, help you put out the fire, and get back to business as usual.

Global CDN: Content Delivery Networks help take all of your large files like images and video off your site so it doesn’t get bogged down by requests, and instead delivers them to customers using tiny little magic fairies closest to their location to make load times blazing fast.

WPPro Developer Help: Another perk that is unique to HostGator Cloud is access to their WPPro Developer Help which includes access to comprehensive WordPress beginner training and a network of trusted professionals to help you troubleshoot a wide variety of different issues. For the non-tech savvy webmasters among you, this can be a HUGE perk in the event that you run into a technical issue that is beyond your skill or understanding. No more slumming around Craigslist to find shady “WordPress Experts” to help resolve your issues.

Storage: The vast majority of basic shared hosting providers give you a couple of gigs of storage for uploads, for example, a video (singularly). HostGator sets itself apart from the competition by including unmetered storage on all of their cloud plans. No… I’m serious!

VPS Plans

A virtual private server (VPS) is meant for people who want root access to the server and need to install their own software or scripts as it gives users full control over their hosting environment. On the downside, VPSs can be, as a rule of thumb, challenging to maintain.

hostgator webhosting

HostGator offers fully-managed VPS servers which include access to their customized cPanel. On the other hand, their semi-managed servers do not include the control panel. You will need advanced technical knowledge to run websites smoothly on these plans.

Fully Scalable Hosting

HostGator’s VPS hosting will provide you with a scalable hosting environment. Your virtual server will be fully allocated to your own site. Forget about sharing resources with other people. Instead, scale your own resources with one click. Your hosting will be able to handle more complex websites and much higher numbers of visitors.

Due to the server’s virtual nature, HostGator can offer them at cheaper prices than dedicated servers would cost you.

Don’t just assume that VPSs will always lead to higher performance. HostGator’s lower-level VPS plans will not necessarily outperform the company’s shared hosting plans. But they will give you more flexibility in your hosting. For better performance, I advise you to opt for their higher-level VPS plans.

WHMCS Client Management

HostGator’s reseller plans include free WHMCS client management and billing software. This makes it easy to manage who you’re hosting websites for and bill them accordingly.

From the WHM control panel, resellers can limit packages and specify resource amounts for each client. You will also be able to brand your clients’ control panel with your own logo. Additionally, you can brand HostGator’s video tutorials as your own to help your clients get started.

HostGator’s Optional Site Builder

You can also purchase and use their website builder from the control panel. The builder uses drag and drop functionality, includes a full image library, and allows for complete customisation.

Site builders can be useful but often result in messy code. It’s often easier for developers to build you a brand new site than customise the one you have built on a drag and drop platform. Just keep this in mind before you use it. You might want to try out WordPress to build your website first. It’s free.

Email Marketing

HostGator’s email marketing is free to use for your first 3 months with up to 500 contacts. This feature includes tools for building your email list. Add contact information from your Facebook page or existing website. Segment email lists to target specific audience groups. Create email messages with their mobile-friendly templates.

Never underestimate the power of email marketing. It has some of the highest ROIs (Return On Investments) for marketing techniques. And when you’re trying it for free, you can’t lose.

Live Support and Helpful Resources 

Speaking of tutorials, this is a good time to mention what kind of support you can expect from HostGator.

hostgator webhosting

However, you can contact customer support directly from your control panel. In fact, your support tickets are the first thing you see when you log in. As you sift through the options for narrowing your particular issue, you will be presented with links to helpful articles.

Since the HostGator knowledgebase is not organized intuitively, this is a helpful way to find articles in it. If these fail to answer your question, you can continue on to contact live chat support.

We love the fact they have a very extensive section for video tutorials and there you’ll find answers and walk-throughs for most questions and issues. We think this is really, really good.

Always Available Support

With a team ready to help you 24/7, you won’t have to worry about your website problems for long.

Things we would like HostGator to improve on

Industry-Standard Pricing Tricks

HostGator Cloud is just as guilty of their competitors for hiding the true costs of their plans/ packages. If you’d like to take advantage of the mouth-watering $2.92 deal on their site, you can only sign up either monthly or 1 year upfront. If you want more than 1 year, you’d have to pay $5.48/mo, which would be a deal-breaker, right?

Honestly, why hosting companies can’t be straight and transparent with pricing? I reckon people would be much more loyal if they did!

No Social Support Channels

If you aren’t a fan of live chat, email, or phone support (a confusing stance to say the least), then you will likely be disappointed by HostGator’s almost inexistent social support.

Unlike many of their competitors, HostGator doesn’t appear to be very active on their social channels. You probably won’t receive any sort of response if you submit an inquiry on Twitter or Facebook. But then, why would you do it through social media in the first place?

While this certainly shouldn’t be considered a deal-breaker, it’s definitely a point to consider.

Would We Recommend HostGator Cloud?

Absolutely! The entry-level, shared hosting options from HostGator are just about ok but the upgraded Cloud hosting options are AWESOME.

Between the impressive uptimes, our insanely low $3 dollar deal, the user-friendliness of their site and all the outstanding extras, this really is one of the best places to host your WordPress website.

If you are still unsure, why not check our alternative options for web hosting companies? Full reviews available.