HostGator Landing Page

HostGator has been a strong competitor in the web hosting sector since its inception in 2002. It has steadily grown to emerge as a solid hosting choice for amateurs and professionals alike. HostGator stands tall among other companies offering similar services thanks to its consistent delivery and affordable solutions.

Even for its most basic packages, HostGator goes above and beyond to deliver a satisfactory experience to its customers. No matter which plan is chosen, all customers can benefit from a free domain name, a free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. Starting at $2.75 a month, there is something for everyone. HostGator specializes in helping users scale over time, so those with particular needs or with the capital to invest in more resource-intensive plans are spoiled for choice.

With more than 2 million websites hosted on its servers, HostGator is an experienced player in the industry. The company has made big leaps over time and is known for its affordable and reliable web hosting solutions today.

HostGator’s services do not end at hosting your websites. It also provides support with the following features:

  • Domain registration
  • Website builder
  • E-commerce tools
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools
  • Professional email
  • Daily, automatic backups and monitoring with CodeGuard
  • Web design
  • Pay-per-click advertising
HostGator Standout Features
PerformanceReliable, high speeds
Uptime99.7% site availability
Average Load Time634 ms
Average Response Time525 ms
Free DomainOne free domain for a year
Site TransfersFree for all hosting plans
SSLFree SSL certificate
1-click installsIncluded with all hosting plans
BandwidthUnmetered, in compliance with the terms of service (ToS)
Support24/7 year-round support via phone, live chat, or on Twitter. Information also found on KnowledgeBase and blog

What Makes HostGator Stand Out?

There is no shortage of web hosting providers. So what makes HostGator stand out as one of the best in the business?

Shared Hosting Is the Tip of the Iceberg

Shared hosting is only the first of HostGator’s multiple offerings. For advanced users whose needs go beyond what can be met by shared hosting, HostGator provides high-quality services such as WordPress, Virtual Private Server (VPS), and dedicated hosting. And if that wasn’t enough, it also offers cloud and Windows hosting.

HostGator Scales With Your Businesses

HostGator acknowledges the fact that not all users are equipped with the hosting know-how they need to run their website successfully. For this reason, it ensures that the services are easy-to-use and can be scaled up for existing pro users or those who develop an advanced understanding over time.

Increased Control

At HostGator, scaling means more power and control in the hands of the users. While the support team is always on duty, the more advanced hosting packages come with features and options that effectively hand the reins back to you.

Some of HostGator’s services for advanced users include:

  • Limited Sharing: With the VPS hosting option, although you are still sharing resources with other users, you can basically run a private server for your websites. Dedicated hosting is the way to go if you want to refrain from sharing resources.
  • Network Guarantee: With a 99.9% uptime guarantee already established across all plans, HostGator goes the extra mile to ensure your bigger sites never go down.
  • DDoS Protection and Backups: HostGator does not take security lightly, providing protection from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and the ability to create and automate backups.
  • Support: Managing resource-heavy websites is no easy feat. In addition to premium support, HostGator also emphasizes server monitoring and remediation as part of its support activities.

Dramatic Quality Improvement

In the early years, HostGator did a great job at marketing its business and became one of the world’s most recognized web hosting companies, especially for its shared hosting services. While its growth in popularity was impressive, it had some trouble keeping up with the demand. This resulted in HostGator getting a reputation for overselling its shared servers, which caused slowness and unplanned downtime.

Since then, however, HostGator has added plenty of servers to keep up with demand and solved these problems. If you tried HostGator’s hosting in the past and were not impressed, you may want to give it another try, as its shared hosting is now among the best in the business.

What Are the Pros and Cons of HostGator?

HostGator makes it easy to scale and switch between the various hosting options, and offers the perfect support in terms of domain names and bandwidth. At the same time, there are certain aspects of its services that could be improved. To help you make an informed choice about the right hosting service for your needs, here is a list of pros and cons of HostGator:

Pros

  1. Extensively used: Over 2 million websites rely on HostGator’s servers.
  2. Multiple hosting packages: In addition to its popular shared hosting offering, HostGator also provides managed WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting services. It also offers Windows hosting for those who do not wish to use Linux-based solutions.
  3. Easy scaling: HostGator recognizes that a user’s needs can change over time, and to accommodate this, it has made it easy to upgrade to a different hosting plan. Additionally, adding more RAM, CPU, or disk space to a package is easy.
  4. Free site transfers: If you have a website hosted with another hosting company, you can easily transfer it to HostGator free of cost within the first 30 days.
  5. Free SSL certificate: Every package, including the entry-level ones, comes with a free SSL certificate to ensure a minimum level of security for users’ websites. Depending upon the hosting plan, you can choose to use more robust security features at an affordable price.
  6. Money-back guarantee: HostGator will refund the fees in full for your basic hosting services within the first 30 days if you are not satisfied with the performance.
  7. Reliability: Outages are expensive. With HostGator’s 99.9% uptime guarantee, users need not worry about their sites going down.
  8. Unmetered bandwidth: Especially useful for small businesses and personal websites is the fact that HostGator does not charge users based on the bandwidth and disk space they use. As long as the usage is within limits prescribed in the Terms of Service, users need not worry.
  9. Flexible billing: Users can choose to pay on a monthly or yearly basis, depending on what is most convenient.

Cons

  1. Upselling features: HostGator’s user interface prompts clients to buy features or add-ons at the point of purchase. We suggest being thorough at this stage to ensure you do not end up paying for something you never wanted in the first place.
  2. Slow customer support: Although HostGator offers round-the-clock quality customer service, we find that there is room for improvement when it comes to waiting times.
  3. Weekly backups: HostGator runs backups on a random day every week. The company suggests that customers with sensitive data make use of a third-party solution like CodeGuard to run backups. Ideally, we would see HostGator provide more secure and robust backup solutions.

HostGator may be the best web host for: While marketers and businesses can benefit from HostGator’s services, the company’s comprehensive set of packages has something for everyone, including those with no previous experience setting up a website.

HostGator Shared Hosting Packages

HatchlingBabyBusiness
Price:$2.75/mo$3.50/mo$5.25/mo
Best for:Personal websites, entrepreneurs, small businessesSmall businesses or anyone who wants to set up more than one siteSmall businesses or individuals needing faster sites
Websites:1UnlimitedUnlimited
Bandwidth and disk space:UnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Email accounts:UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Extras:Free 1-year domain registration
Free website builder
Free transfers
One-click WordPress installs
Free SSL certification
Free 1-year domain registration
Free website builder
Free transfers
One-click WordPress installs
Free SSL certification
Free 1-year domain registration
Free website builder
Free transfers
One-click WordPress installs
Free SSL certification + Positive SSL upgrade
Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN)
Free dedicated IP

Who should use shared hosting? Because of its versatility, shared hosting is one of the most popular options. Anyone with little technical know-how can have a website up and running with great ease. If you want to get more out of shared hosting and are not looking to switch to another kind of hosting package, the more advanced option is perfect. It’s beneficial for small businesses that do not necessarily have the bandwidth for website development.

HostGator WordPress Hosting Package Options

StarterStandardBusiness
Price:$5.95/mo$7.95/mo$9.95/mo
Best for:Personal websites, entrepreneurs, small businessesSmall businesses or anyone who wants to set up more than one siteSmall businesses expecting higher traffic
Websites:123
Visits per month:100k200k500k
Bandwidth:UnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Backups:1 GB2 GB3 GB
Extras:Free 1-year domain registration
Free email
One-click WordPress installs
100% free migration up to 1 site
Free SSL Certificate
Free 1-year domain registration
Free email
One-click WordPress installs
100% free migration up to 2 sites
Free SSL Certificate
Free 1-year domain registration
Free email
One-click WordPress installs
100% free migration up to 3 sites
Free SSL Certificate

Who should use WordPress hosting? For those who want to make use of WordPress features, this is a good option for your hosting needs. If you have an existing WordPress site, HostGator will transfer it for free. Its specialized packages help you make efficient and reliable WordPress sites. HostGator offers increased security and facilitates updates, so you do not have to work much.

HostGator VPS Hosting Package Options

Snappy 2000Snappy 4000Snappy 8000
Price:$23.95/mo$34.95/mo$59.95/mo
Best for:E-commerce sites, larger businessesLarger businesses and sites expecting higher trafficLarger businesses and sites expecting high traffic
Cores:224
Storage:120 GB SSD165 GB SSD240 GB SSD
Dedicated IP:222
RAM:2 GB4 GB8 GB
Bandwidth:UnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Extras:LetsEncrypt SSL
Free transfers
DDoS protection
LetsEncrypt SSL
Free transfers
DDoS protection
LetsEncrypt SSL
Free transfers
DDoS protection

Who should use VPS hosting? Sites with heavy user traffic or resource usage may not run well on shared hosting plans. For those who need more control over their hosting environment, we recommend choosing VPS hosting. A VPS allows you to run an entirely separate hosting environment, which means that resources such as CPU or RAM are not shared with other HostGator users.

HostGator Dedicated Hosting Package Options

ValuePowerEnterprise
Price:$89.98/mo$119.89/mo$139.99/mo
Best for:Larger businesses and e-commerce sitesLarger businesses with resource-intensive sitesLarger businesses and e-commerce sites with resource-intensive sites and high traffic
CPU:4 Cores
8 Threads
Intel Xeon-D CPU
8 Cores
16 Threads
Intel Xeon-D CPU
8 Cores
16 Threads
Intel Xeon-D CPU
RAM:8 GB16 GB30 GB
Storage:1 TB HDD2 TB HDD or 512 GB SSD1 TB SSD
Bandwidth:UnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Extras:Full root access
Dedicated resources
Free transfers
3 dedicated IPs
Advanced DDoS protection
Full root access
Dedicated resources
Free transfers
3 dedicated IPs
Advanced DDoS protection
Full root access
Dedicated resources
Free transfers
3 dedicated IPs
Advanced DDoS protection

Who should use dedicated hosting? This is the most powerful type of web hosting and most users will not need this kind of power or control. A dedicated server comes useful when resources on other plans do not suffice because of high traffic or loads. Usually, it is only bigger businesses that need to opt for HostGator’s dedicated hosting packages.

Free Domain

If you opt for a shared, WordPress, or cloud hosting plan for a 12, 24, or 36-month period, HostGator throws in a domain name registration for free. The domain name renews at its regular rate after this term ends. This is a great feature, especially for users running personal websites or smaller businesses who may see the added cost of a domain name as an additional burden when they are starting out.

Free Site Transfers

One of HostGator’s best offerings is its free site transfers. These are applicable for new accounts or accounts that are upgrading their hosting plans. If you fall under one of these two categories, you can avail of this feature within 30 days of signing up or upgrading.

Site transfers migrate the content and data of your website to HostGator’s servers. Separately, HostGator also offers free domain name registrar transfers for one domain name.

Unmetered Disk Space and Bandwidth

HostGator provides unmetered disk space and bandwidth to all users on any plan; you are not charged based on the amount of bandwidth or disk space your sites use. It is uncommon for users, especially those with personal sites or small businesses, to exceed usage beyond what is required for normal operations. If that happens, HostGator notifies the user so they may reduce their usage.

99.9% Uptime Guarantee

HostGator has declared a 99.9% uptime guarantee across its hosting plans. As a result, anyone from a small business owner to someone managing a large e-commerce site can feel confident that their sites will be able to handle the traffic. In case HostGator fails to uphold this promise, it offers credit to the users that have suffered.

One-Click Installs

HostGator’s mission is to make your hosting experience as hassle-free as possible. With this in mind, it allows for one-click installs for users on shared hosting plans, so you can integrate your apps such as WordPress with your sites in no time.

Free SSL Certificate

Another feature we appreciate is the free SSL that every domain and subdomain hosted on HostGator’s servers receives. Having an SSL certificate is a basic security measure that is almost non-negotiable today. With all data transmission encrypted, your site visitors are more inclined to trust you. A bonus is that having a valid SSL certificate also boosts your SEO.

cPanel

The cPanel is included in all hosting environments on HostGator. This control panel allows users to manage their sites and the server features in use. The cPanel is easy-to-use, such that advanced users and beginners alike can use it to effectively run their sites. In case of any difficulties, the HostGator support team is available 24/7 to assist users.

For users on a VPS or dedicated hosting package, HostGator also provides a Web Host Manager (WHM) that allows them to manage several cPanel accounts.

Hostgator's dashboard

Cloudflare CDN Integration

You can enable Cloudflare on any domain hosted on HostGator’s servers or using its name servers. Cloudflare caches the most requested files and pages from your sites. Doing so enables your websites to load faster. Additional benefits include spam minimization, reduced CPU usage, and offline site accessibility in case the servers are unavailable.

Security Measures

HostGator ensures that a certain level of security is met across all its servers. It has robust firewalls and safeguards all sites against DDoS attacks. The company’s data centers are also secured and have network-level flood protection.

Uptime and Reliability

Recently, HostGator has reported an uptime of 99.7%, which is slightly below their guarantee. As you will see, however, their overall stability is excellent, so if you host your website on HostGator you can be assured that your visitors aren’t going to be turned away disappointed that your website isn’t working.

While it is never good to see uptime below the industry standard of 99.9%, it can happen to any hosting provider. As you will see in the next image (under the “Site Response Time” heading), HostGator’s long-term uptime is over 99.99%, which is exceptional.

Site Response Times

They are extremely reliable but slower than average. The average response time for pages hosted by HostGator is 525ms, which is several times more than other services like Bluehost and GreenGeeks.

HostGator's Response Times

SSL Certificates

No matter which package you choose, you are guaranteed one free SSL certificate, which is essential for any website.

SSL is a security technology that encrypts the link between a user and a server. In addition to encrypting the information, it triggers a “handshake” between the two devices to verify their identities.

SSL is important because it protects user privacy. Anybody who attempts to intercept the communication between the two devices will not be able to decipher the information being passed.

Protecting Your Data

HostGator includes a Redundant Array of Independent Disks or RAID-1 in all of its shared, reseller, and dedicated hosting plans. This is a technology that mirrors your data on two or more disk drives. While this does not replace the need to perform backups regularly, it does make your data more reliable and secure.

Not only does HostGator offer support in a multitude of ways, but it also does so 24/7/year-round. Whether you are more comfortable speaking to somebody on the phone, on live chat, or even via a social media platform, the support teams are happy to come to your rescue.

Additionally, the KnowledgeBase is one of the best offerings. Not only does it help you troubleshoot common issues on your own, but it also offers general information and guidance about a variety of topics related to the service and your experience of using it. There are a plethora of articles and video tutorials you can benefit from. This is partly what makes the service friendly and less intimidating for complete beginners to use.

HostGator Landing Page

Although the quality of support is high, users have mentioned that sometimes waiting times can be long. In a situation like this, the KnowledgeBase proves especially useful.

HostGator has recently made some additions and improvements to its services:

  • Gator Website Builder – In addition to hosting websites, HostGator has also made it easy for those with few technical skills to build their own sites now. The Gator Website Builder uses AI to quickly whip up an entire website by asking relevant questions to the user and even facilitates setting up a blog or an e-commerce store as part of the site.
  • Redesigned Customer Portal – Making any changes to your hosting account has been made simpler with a complete revamp of the customer portal. Users can complete logistical tasks like changing their contact information or managing their bill preferences with greater ease.
  • Cloudflare CDN Integration – Websites now load faster thanks to HostGator’s Cloudflare CDN integration. Servers spread across the globe store copies of your website’s content, increasing the speed at which your site responds to users anywhere.

Compare HostGator Alternatives

Although HostGator is a powerful web hosting service provider, there are some strong alternatives. Depending on your needs, one hosting environment may be better than another. After spending hours researching all the different options, we have compiled a comparison chart. You can use it to weigh the pros and cons of each site hosting platform in relation to HostGator, before choosing the right one for you.

Here is a look at some high-quality hosting providers and how they fare in comparison to HostGator:

Web HostPricingHosting PackagesBasic Plan FeaturesCompare
HostGator

Overall rating:

(4.5)

$2.75 to $139.99/month
  • Shared
  • WordPress
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • 1 website
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain
SiteGround

Overall rating:

(4.0)

$3.99 to $400/month
  • Shared
  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce
  • Cloud
  • Reseller
  • 1 website
  • 10GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free email
SiteGround has the Supercacher, a powerful tool that boosts loading rates and handles increasing site traffic. However, HostGator is cheaper and offers more types of hosting solutions.

Consider SiteGround if: You want incredibly fast website loading speeds.

DreamHost

Overall rating:

(4.5)

$1.99 to $279/month
  • Shared
  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce
  • VPS
  • Cloud
  • Dedicated
  • 1 website
  • SSD storage
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Free domain
  • Free SSL certificate
DreamHost and HostGator are fairly comparable in offerings. That being said, DreamHost lays a stronger emphasis on robust security and privacy practices. But its panel has a steep learning curve unlike HostGator’s cPanel.

Consider DreamHost if: High-level security is of the utmost importance.

GreenGeeks

Overall rating:

(4.5)

$2.95 to $109.95/month
  • Shared
  • WordPress
  • VPS
  • Reseller
  • 1 website
  • 50 GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free nightly backups
GreenGeeks prioritizes how environmentally friendly its services are. HostGator has more hosting options to choose from and is more affordable.

Consider GreenGeeks if: You value using environmentally friendly hosting services.

InMotion Hosting

Overall rating:

(4.5)

$2.99 to $539.99/month
  • Shared
  • WordPress
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • Reseller
  • 2 websites
  • 100 GB SSD storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 10 free email addresses
  • Free SSL certificate
InMotion hosting boasts high performance and reliability, including on its shared hosting plans. It is, however, slightly pricier than HostGator.Consider InMotion Hosting if: High speeds are non-negotiable for you.
Bluehost

Overall rating:

(5.0)

$2.75 to $119.99/month
  • Shared
  • WordPress
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • 1 website
  • 50 GB SSD storage
  • Custom themes
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • Free SSL certificate
Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress and it has SSDs for secure storage. On the other hand, HostGator has free site transfers compared to Bluehost.

Consider Bluehost if: You want a stronger security guarantee.

GoDaddy

Overall rating:

(4.0)

$5.99 to $399.99/month
  • Shared
  • VPS
  • Dedicated
  • 1 website
  • 100GB storage
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Daily backups
  • Free domain
Primarily a domain name registrar, GoDaddy is a good option for those who want to host their website in the same place. HostGator is overall more focused on hosting and also offers the option to register and maintain domain names.

Consider GoDaddy if: You want to keep it simple and have both your domain name and hosting environment in the same place.

Frequently Asked Questions About HostGator

What Are the Cons of HostGator?

We recommend that users be on the lookout for any features or add-ons being upsold when they are in the process of making a purchase with HostGator. Additionally, although the customer service network is vast and of excellent quality, it can sometimes take a while to catch a support representative. Finally, HostGator runs weekly backups for websites, which may not suffice for some users.

What Is HostGator Best For?

HostGator has something for everyone, from simpler single-page sites to heavy and complex ones that need to run on a dedicated server. No matter the scale of your website or the extent of your technical knowledge, it is easy to set up the kind of site you want thanks to the myriad of hosting plans at your disposal.

How Reliable Is HostGator?

Over the years, HostGator has developed a strong global presence and runs its servers in exceptional data centers. As a result, it delivers high-quality services and does not fall short on reliability.

Is cPanel the Same as HostGator?

cPanel is the control panel that users have access to manage their websites. This is different from HostGator, which is the larger platform that provides various site hosting services.

What if My Site is Abusing HostGator Server Resources?

In case your site is exceeding the number of server resources it should be using, your account will be suspended temporarily and HostGator will notify you about the situation via email. Usually, you will be given the choice to either fix the issue or upgrade to a plan that allows you to use more resources. HostGator generally handles these situations on a case-by-case basis.

I Registered My Domain Name With Hostgator, but It’s Not Working. What Should I Do?

One of the benefits of registering your domain name with the same company that you use for hosting is that everything is set up and configured for you upon purchase. When you register a domain name with HostGator, you should get an email with instructions on accessing your control panel to set up your new website.You will need to install a content management system (such as WordPress) from the control panel or upload your website files before your site can come live.

If you did not get this email or the instructions are not working, you must contact HostGator’s 24/7 customer support.

I Ordered a HostGatorReseller Account. How Do I Set Up DNS?

Depending on where your domain name is registered and whether you need to set up a private name server, there are a few ways to set up DNS for your reseller account:

Where Can I Find My DreamHost Invoice?

You can find your invoices in your Customer Portal. Here, you can either look up your Billing History, which includes both paid and unpaid invoices. Or, you can go to the Make a Payment section, where both your unpaid invoices and invoices for upcoming payments will be visible.

I Need To Make a Payment to DreamHost. Where Do I Go to Pay?

You can navigate to the Make a Payment section within your Customer Portal. This is where all your unpaid and future invoices are listed. You can choose your preferred method of payment or decide to switch payment methods. The process is fairly straightforward.

How I Rated HostGator

I rate a service only after extensive research and testing, including that of top competitors in the same ecosystem. My rating takes into account both HostGator as a stand-alone service as well as its performance across multiple criteria in comparison to the alternatives.

While my approach is comprehensive, I do give more weight to certain criteria. These include the reliability, security, and speed of HostGator’s offerings, as well as the quality and diversity of hosting plans, and the nature of its customer support provisions.

There is no denying that despite the few shortcomings it has, HostGator merits a 4.7/5 rating. Overall, it is an excellent site hosting provider that has been in the game for 20 years and continues to outdo itself in all aspects.