HostGator Review for 2023, Currently headquartered in Austin, Texas, this hosting company started out at Florida Atlantic University in 2002 as an independent firm. Today it is part of the Endurance International Group (EIG), which also owns Bluehost. From a dorm room venture, HostGator has blossomed into a global hosting leader hosting over two million websites.
With the wide array of well-priced hosting plans they offer, it’s little wonder HostGator has become so popular among website owners. They have a variety of shared hosting plans starting at just $2.75 per month, and if you want specialized WordPress hosting, plans start at $5.75.
This is well below what many competitors offer. Besides shared and WordPress hosting, you can get VPS or dedicated server hosting if you need more processing power or storage space. You can also become a hosting reseller with HostGator if you would like to earn an extra coin.
If you’re in the market for any level of best web hosting services, is HostGator an excellent choice? Their pricing seems fair on the face, but are there some strings attached? And what kind of performance can you expect- is there a chance your site is in for downtime or sluggish load times? Or worse still, will your site be vulnerable to the many security threats the Internet harbors? Let’s find out.
Let’s start with the all-important question of price, or value for money. Your ideal hosting provider should be able to avail of the amount of storage space, speed, reliability, traffic capacity, and security you need along with a user-friendly environment.
They should also be able to throw in a couple of helpful extras as well as provide prompt support whenever it’s required. All this should come at a price point that doesn’t overstretch your budget.
Shared hosting pricing
If you’re just getting started in blogging or entrepreneurship, you can select from HostGator’s shared hosting plans. You can begin with the appropriately named Hatchling Plan at just $2.75 monthly. Though this only caters to hosting for a single website, you get a lot for that amount. If the site is currently under a different host, they will transfer it for free.
You get a free domain for a year if you register it with HostGator. Other freebies with this plan include an SSL certificate, $150 Google Ads credit, $100 Bing Ads credit, email, unmetered disk space, and bandwidth. Being signed up to the most popular hosting provider with bloggers is a bonus.
If you look at what other equally popular hosting providers offer, there are some that go lower in pricing. Namecheap’s shared hosting starts at just $1.16. And for this pricing, you still get free SSL, unmetered bandwidth, and one-year free domain registration for selected top-level domains.
Managed WordPress hosting pricing
HostGator also offers to host specifically geared toward optimizing WordPress websites. Pricing for these plans starts at $5.95 and when you sign up and log in, you will find WordPress already installed for you.
It will entitle you to up to 100,000 visits every month and 1 GB of daily backups besides the perks you get with ordinary shared hosting. Contrast this with SiteGround’s managed WordPress offering that starts at $6.99 per month but only allows you 10,000 monthly visits. And SiteGround’s money-back guarantee is only 30 days long.
VPS hosting pricing
There are three options available to you if you’re looking into VPS hosting from HostGator; Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, and Snappy 6000. Introductory pricing for the three ranges from $19.95 to $39.95 per month.
Depending on how much you’re willing to part with per month, you will get between 2 GB and 8 GB RAM and between 120 and 240 GB of hard disk space. To process power, you will get between 2 and 4 CPU cores. Each of these guarantees 2 dedicated IPs and unmetered bandwidth.
What does the competition offer? Going back to Namecheap, you get two VPS hosting plans to choose from; Pulsar and Quasar which start at $7.88 and $13.88 per month respectively. The former comes with two CPU cores, while the latter comes with four.
But it limits the two in terms of the disk space you can get- you get a maximum of 120 GB SSD storage. If you don’t need too much storage space, Namecheap would appear to be a better option.
Dedicated server pricing
If you’re hosting online games with many users logged in simultaneously at any one time, a dedicated server may be your best hosting option. This will allow you to better control the performance of the server hosting your site or application.
HostGator’s dedicated servers are reasonably priced. Starting at $89.98 per month, you can have a server with between four and eight cores running on an advanced Intel Xeon-D processor. Your server will run on either Linux or Windows and have between 8 and 30 GB RAM and a 1-2 TB SSD disk drive.
At A2 Hosting, dedicated server pricing starts at $99.59 and ends at $199.99. The cheapest of the four plans is for you if you have the know-how to navigate an unmanaged environment. The most expensive offers you root access to your server while still doing the technical heavy lifting for you.
As you browse through HostGator’s plans, you need to remember what you see in most cases will be a promotional price that will apply only if you make a long-term commitment to your plan. For instance, the Hatchling shared hosting plan will only cost $2.75 per month if you sign up for three years. In which case you will actually spend $99.
If you’re not ready to make such a commitment and can only do a year, the Hatchling plan will cost you $5.95 per month, or $71.40. It will require those who prefer to pay month by month to pay $10.75. And this is not where the surprises end.
There will be a bigger surprise waiting for you when you renew your plan. The 60 percent off offer will expire and it will require you to pay $6.87 per month. If you’re on the three-year plan, this will mean They will dock your credit card a whopping $247.50. That’s more than twice the $99 you would have paid initially.
Virtually all hosting providers tempt would-be customers with a money-back guarantee. But while most of them offer a 30-day time period for a refund, HostGator will allow you a 45-day window. If you feel dissatisfied with the service you’ve received during this time, they will entitle you to a full refund of your hosting fees (excluding domain registration fees), no questions asked.
Speeds of HostGator sites accessed from the U.S. are impressive with speed tests from multiple locations recording sub-50ms load times. Across they expected the border’s load times to be higher, especially because HostGator doesn’t have any overseas data centers.
That notwithstanding, the response times from London and Singapore were 326 and 585ms, respectively. This is not too shabby considering that the test was carried out on HostGator’s lowest tier of shared hosting.
To give you confidence in the reliability of their services, HostGator offers a 99 percent uptime guarantee with its shared hosting plans. This is rather underwhelming considering many of HostGator’s rivals promise 99.9 percent uptime.
However, if uptime on your site falls below the guaranteed uptime, you will be credited with one month’s hosting fees. Claiming the refund is a process though- you have to raise a support ticket and offer fitting justification.
Actual tests have proved HostGator’s uptime to be far higher than what they advertise. They monitored a site hosted with HostGator for over a month and only suffered downtime for a few minutes on one day, which works out to an average uptime of 99.99 percent.
That HostGator has no data centers other than in North America may be a put-off for those looking to reach a global audience. While this won’t prevent your site or apps from being accessed by Internet users in Europe, Asia, and other continents, there will be a noticeable delay in loading speeds.
While HostGator promises customers ‘unlimited’ storage and ‘unmetered’ bandwidth, you shouldn’t take them at their word. According to their Acceptable Use Policy, you’re not allowed to use over 25 percent of HostGator’s processing power for over 90 seconds continually.
If you use over 250,000 inodes in HostGator’s shared plans, you will receive a warning or have your account suspended. VPS subscribers have a limit of a million inodes, but dedicated server users don’t have any such limits. Inodes are a measure of the number of files and folders you have hosted on a server.
Load impact testing has found the performance of HostGator sites to remain stable even as the number of users increases. Load times did not go down as the number of visitors accessing the site simultaneously increased.
If you have an account-related query or need help with any technical aspect of your hosting, you can reach out to HostGator’s support team via live chat. They are available 24/7/365 to answer any queries both on the live chat and by phone. You even have the option of calling via FaceTime.
You can also reach them on social media via their Twitter handle. For those who would rather help themselves, there is an extensive database of well-categorized articles covering everything from domain registration to cPanel usage optimization of WordPress sites. You can use the search bar provided to zero in on the information you need faster.
Besides these articles, you can get useful tips and tricks from the HostGator blog. Whether you need pointers on how to market your site more effectively or how to use WordPress features to improve the user experience on your site, you will find a relevant post there.
HostGator provides a video tutorial portal where you can browse through a catalog of clips covering an array of topics from using SSL plugins to setting up your HostGator email. Though it’s not apparent from their website, HostGator has a forum where fellow customers can ask each other questions.
All HostGator plans come with free SSL certification. This provides 256-bit encryption of customer data being transmitted to your site. Such security measures will be welcome for e-commerce sites to keep transaction information hidden from hackers.
If you would like to take your socket layer protection to the next level, you will need to upgrade to the Business Plan shared hosting package. Here you will be entitled to a free upgrade to Positive SSL, which secures both your domain and its subdomains. A $10,000 warranty backs this SSL option.
However, unlike other providers, HostGator doesn’t offer free automatic backups of your files, regardless of which plan you sign up for. You will need to cough up an extra $2 per month for CodeGuard site backups.
SiteLock, which actively scans your site for malicious files and fixes any contaminated files, comes at an initial price of $1.99 per month. When you renew your plan, they will bill you $5.99 per month, which you will require paying for a full year upfront.
The knowledge that competitors like A2 Hosting and SiteGround provide backups and some of those security features as part of their plans will take a little shine off HostGator’s plans.
Some hosting providers have taken the trouble to institute two-factor authentication in their account logins. HostGator is not one of them; you only need a username and password to log in. It carries the same security flaw onto the entry-level accounts of their cPanel.
Speaking of security flaws, a reviewer recently discovered that some of the software they use has not been updated for years. The cURL library, for instance, was found to be over 10 years old. The version of OpenSSL they are using is equally out of date.
If you’re already hosting your website with another provider, HostGator will help you move it to their servers for free. After you sign up with HostGator, it will give you access to cPanel to manage your websites and administrative details to do with your plan. cPanel is known for how easy it is to use and its flexibility.
However, the version of cPanel HostGator offers riddled with ads and upsells, which makes it slow to load and makes the user experience rather tedious.
Getting your WordPress site going with HostGator’s made simple by One-click WordPress installs provided with all shared hosting plans. The same goes for Drupal, Joomla, and Magento. The only downside is as soon as you get started with your WordPress installation, they will bombard you with a bunch of upsells.
HostGator provides free access to its own website builder with all shared hosting plans. Their builder is very easy to use to build a professional-looking website. All you need is to answer a few questions and HostGator will work behind the scenes to create your website in a matter of minutes.
Whether it’s a simple blog or a fully-fledged online store, HostGator’s builder will have it up and running in a matter of minutes. If you’re subscribed to the Business Plan, HostGator will help you effectively apply SEO tools to speed up your business’ growth.
Some hosting providers don’t provide any email accounts, and some will only give a few accounts with some plans. This is not the case with HostGator; they offer an unlimited number of free email accounts with all their plans.
HostGator has PPC (pay-per-click) services that help member website owners to generate revenue through ads. The PPC management service helps you draw in potential buyers through SEO techniques such as keyword research.
You will create end-to-end campaigns and monitor their performance. Besides this, you will have HostGator’s in-house paid search service gurus at your disposal to assist you in maximizing your revenues.
According to an independent survey conducted in 2015, HostGator was among the most preferred hosting brands by bloggers, credit goes to their omnichannel marketing techniques. In fact, we mentioned HostGator the most in a field that included such strong competition as Bluehost, DreamHost, WP Engine, and A2 Hosting.
They found that most of the bloggers used HostGator as their primary service provider. Not all the feedback has been positive, though. Some HostGator customers have expressed disappointment at the sluggishness of their support in recent times.
- 45-day money-back guarantee longer than the standard 30 days.
- Google and Bing Ads credit with all plans.
- Provide an intuitive website builder at no extra cost.
- All shared hosting plans come with unmetered bandwidth and unlimited storage.
- Free one-year domain registration with all plans.
- Google and Bing Ads credit with all shared hosting plans.
- All plans come with free unlimited email accounts.
- Payment via PayPal is accepted.
- PPC management service to help you generate maximum ad income.
- Plan pricing can mislead- advertised introductory pricing only applies if you make a three-year commitment.
- Uptime guarantees are lower than the industry standard of 99.9 percent.
- A Money-back guarantee doesn’t apply to some plans.
- No overseas server locations.
- Site backups are a paid-for add-on.
- Many upsell during checkout.
- Complaints about slow support response.
- Lack of support for current security protocols.
- No two-factor authentication to log in to the admin account.
Considering the features offered by HostGator’s plans, and the pros and cons listed above, should you sign up with them? It depends on what is important to you, and how much you’re willing to spend on it. If you desire a site and hosting account with robust security, give HostGator a pass. Basic features like malware scans and backups are not available as part of most of their shared hosting plans.
If you would like a host who provides you with all the tools, you need to get started, including an easy-to-use website builder, HostGator will be ideal for you. Should performance be your number one priority, HostGator is the way to go. You will get brilliant uptime and reasonably fast speeds, even for your overseas visitors. And all these will come at a very reasonable price point.
But be wary of the promotional pricing displayed on their website. You should understand that the unusually low price will only apply if you make a long-term commitment (three years). And at the end of this period, your hosting fees will more than double.
The saving grace is that you can get your money back if you’re dissatisfied with HostGator’s service if you let them know within 45 days. This guarantee period is more generous than what many other providers offer.
HostGator’s plans are ideal for small businesses which are testing the online commerce waters or bloggers. The price is right and performing your site will keep visitors coming back. As your operations grow, however, look at other hosting options. If you’re running an e-commerce venture, work with a provider with a more comprehensive security offering.
Is HostGator a good hosting service?
Overall rating. HostGator is one of our top-ranked hosting providers for good reason. Its customer support, performance, and shared plan features are (literally) second to none! Read on to find out if HostGator is the best provider for your site.
What is the cost of HostGator?
As a leading web host, we offer 24/7 customer support and a 99.99% uptime money-back guarantee. Even with all that, our shared hosting plans start at $2.75 monthly, one of the best web hosting prices available.
Does HostGator charge monthly?
Talking about hosting, you can pay monthly for your hosting account monthly instead of annually. HostGator offers various options to pay, you can choose to deliver on the following duration. You can select any plan from one of these. All of them have different pricing.
is HostGator good for beginners?
HostGator is a reliable website hosting provider that offers a beginner-friendly interface and easy navigation tools. Its data centers are located in India as well as in the U.S. The shared and reseller hosting servers come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, while dedicated and VPS servers are covered under a network guarantee.
What is HostGator best for?
HostGator is a popular web hosting platform that offers affordable prices, 24/7 customer support, and flexible web hosting options, including WordPress hosting and e-commerce features.