Think of web hosting and HostGator is the first name that strikes in mind. Well, this web hosting giant has never been free of mixed reviews, which is quite common these days, as different users have different expectations and needs, as you see.
Overall, HostGator is one of the most popular and leading hosting companies worldwide. It provides VPS hosting, shared hosting, managed and dedicated WordPress hosting plans.
In this honest review, we will test their promises and we will look into the following areas –
- Plans and Pricing – Are plans according to your budget?
- Customer Support – Do consumers get quick support when they need it?
- Features – Is it easy to create and manage your WordPress site?
- Reliability/Uptime – Will it avoid downtime completely and make your website available all the time?
Don’t have time to read further? Let’s come to the point! To sum up, HostGator is a customer-friendly, reliable hosting solution. With best 24×7 Customer service, HostGator is something you should trust on.
Want to know how? Let’s come to a more detailed review of HostGator and find out if it is the right choice to host and manage your website.
HostGator – Company Background
Founded in 2002, HostGator grew exponentially as one of the biggest hosting providers in the world. The credit for this shocking growth goes to their amazing and attractive shared hosting plans, excellent customer support, and unmatched web hosting services.
Today, the company has up to 400,000 happy customers in more than 200 countries and distributed over 8 million domains worldwide.
With foundation stone laid in Florida, the company has quickly expanded and moved to Texas after five years, i.e. in 2007.
Currently, the company’s headquarter is located in Houston, Texas. With over 850 employees, the company provides round-the-clock support and serves all kinds of businesses.
It also has a Brazilian subsidiary and has an office in India.
In 2012, it served Endurance International Group (EIG) and got massive $225 million for its services. EIG also owns HostMonster and Bluehost. Hostgator has a great blend of hosting services to offer, but they have always become ultra-competitive in affordable shared hosting offers.
On shared hosting, they have three plans to offer – Hatchling, Baby, and Business – by considering the comprehensiveness of support and service options. Along with it, HG also has reseller plans – dedicated servers and VPS hosting, and an affiliate program.
Pros & Cons
Like any product and service in the world, each hosting provider has some pros and cons. So, let’s take a look on both sides of the coin –
- Reliability – With 99.99% uptime on average, reliability is the major strength of HostGator. Even if you get downtime, the company provides one month credit on its customers’ accounts. Isn’t that awesome?
- 45-Day Money Back Guarantee – When other web hosting providers offer around 30 days money back guarantee, Hostgator allows 15 more days to test its reliability.
- Flexible Billing – Another best part of HG is that it offers monthly and annually billing options to choose. With longer billing periods come with more discounts.
- Free Migration – All new accounts get free migration service. During the first 30 days of registration, you will get your website transferred from the last host for free.
- Lacks in Free Domain – Unlike its hosting competitors, HG doesn’t provide free domain registration when you sign up.
- Forceful Up-selling – It will ask you to review other services that are pre-selected during the process of signup. You have to uncheck them if you don’t know about them. When needed, you can include them later.
Plans and Pricing
HostGator provides different types of hosting plans, such as VPS hosting, shared hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, and WordPress hosting. All of these plans are suited for different hosting needs and budget and have a lot of features. Let’s take a look –
- Shared Hosting – If you are just starting up with a small online business and low traffic, shared hosting is your best bet. Here, the resources will be shared to other websites that are hosted on the same server.
- Cloud Hosting – When shared hosting is restricted to one server only, cloud hosting uses several servers. If your website’s traffic hikes suddenly, you may go with this plan.
- WordPress Hosting – It is another shared hosting plan which is dedicated to WordPress websites. It is designed to protect your website from some malware attacks and boost performance.
- VPS Hosting – Virtual Private Server manages all your virtual resources on a cloud platform. It is best suited for websites that are growing with huge traffic hikes.
- Dedicated Server – As the name suggests, you will have a server that is dedicated solely to your website. But bigger benefits come with bigger responsibility. You will be liable to manage it yourself.
Types of Shared Hosting Plans
For startups and new websites, shared hosting plans are the best way. You can set up your website easily and work on growing your online business and attracting more traffic. Later on, you can upgrade your hosting with the growth of your website.
There are three different levels of shared hosting plans and all of them have unlimited bandwidth and storage. It is up to the number of websites a customer can host –
- Hatching – In this plan, you can host one website only. It has 1-click installer with standard features.
- Baby – You can host multiple websites with this plan. It has all the benefits of hatching plan. It also allows you to use private SSL and other add-ons.
- Business – It is another suitable option for small businesses. It has free dedicated IP for e-commerce website and SSL certificate.
Customer Service & Support
With ticket-based email support and 24×7 Live Chat and Phone support, HostGator is known to provide the best customer service in the industry. Their support portal is provided in your hosting dashboard. With this portal, you can get your answers quickly from over 500 video tutorials and 680 articles.
Every account is fully checked by Adam Farrar, CEO. If you still got an issue with support, get your ticket to be referred to Adam. He will, himself, respond to each ticket.
There are four leased facilities where HG operates their data centers from, and all of them are owned by The Planet, Texas. Fire detection, 24×7 Monitoring, and UPS power supply are something that HG ensures in their data centers. They have the in-house technical staff to care for the safety and security on site. The company is networked with 10 different fibre-optics providers and use hardware provided by AT&T and Time Warner.
They provide 99.9% of guaranteed uptime. Customers may opt in for frequent RSS feeds for more service updates. They perform backups every week at their data center for all accounts. To restore every backup, the company charges $15 as a fee. It doesn’t involve any levy if you have a backup file.
The company which hosts up to 8 million domains is quite transparent on its resources, staff, and services. Some of the high profile companies that HG is partnered with are AT&T, Cisco, and Dell.
The company also has a strict policy to keep it from overselling. Hence, you can stick to it. In the case of dedicated or VPS server, you can have total control on capacity.
It includes cPanel without failure for all Linux plans and it includes several options of themes. It provides universal access points to all features in this package, such as 1-click backups, webmail, and DNS settings.
Both WHM and cPanel are bundled for reseller accounts. If your plan includes Linux dedicated server or VPS, WHM and/or cPanel will be optional. It includes Plesk 11.x for Windows Server.
For service administration, users would get Virtuozzo on VPS plans. HostGator provides separate billing and customers can download invoices and organize payments.
What Else Does HostGator have to Offer?
The business plan includes a toll-free number to benefit US callers. It charges a fee for a call to Canadian users. After canceling hosting plan, customers won’t be able to access call support.
However, you can contact the company and make way to access it for a fee. You would have to do at least one call per month to keep status alive.
Most of their packages include some features like WordPress, osCommerce, Joomla, 1-click installs, SiteStudio, SiteBuilder, Fantastico and other stats.
If you choose their dedicated plan, you can allocate separate SiteBuilder accounts as well as templates to the clients. For shared hosting plans, a great benefit is $100 credit for Adwords. They are provided as a free upgrade for reseller accounts to eNom reseller account.
You may need some manual setup but the process is quick and simple. You can also get it done within 2 minutes.
Cancellation Rules/Money Back Guarantee
No matter what you choose (reseller, shared, or VPS), you are entitled to get the full refund if you cancel the plan within 45 days. Remember, it doesn’t work with dedicated servers. In addition, the paid items like installation and admin fees and domain purchases are non-refundable.
You will have to send the cancellation request through a specific online form to the company. Is usually takes 2 days to complete the process.
To get a refund, request it with cancellation email from the company to get first priority. Your refund will be credited to your PayPal account or credit card.
Should You Go with HostGator?
Now that you know how HostGator works and you may be thinking if it would work for your business?
HostGator provides different hosting plans for all of your needs and budgets. You will get all the tools required to build a website. Hostgator has been the trusted brand and recommended by over 2 million customers, who definitely can’t go wrong.
With their well-designed cPanel and widest range of tool, I don’t think you would need support to create and customize your website. And there is also no complaints about their customer support. So, you should definitely go for it.
Whether you are just starting out or you are a seasoned webmaster, you will find everything to get your online business to a whole new level.