HostGator’s popularity is no surprise, as it has something to offer everyone with its stellar uptime guarantees, unlimited bandwidth, and a range of reasonably-priced hosting options. You’re in good hands with reliable support available every day.
Who should choose HostGator? Beginners can find a lot of value in HostGator with its easy-to-use tools and website builder, but HostGator can scale alongside growing and large businesses, too.
HostGator Pros and Cons
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.
What we like about HostGator
- Extensively used: Over 2 million websites rely on HostGator’s servers.
- 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.
- Easy scaling: HostGator makes it easy to upgrade to a different hosting plan and adding more RAM, CPU, or disk space to a package is easy.
- 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.
- Free SSL certificate: Every package, including the entry-level ones, comes with a free SSL certificate to ensure a minimum level of security. Depending upon the hosting plan, you can use more robust security features at an affordable price.
- Money-back guarantee: HostGator will refund the fees in full for your basic hosting services within the first 45 days if you are not satisfied with the performance.
- Reliability: Outages are expensive. With HostGator’s 99.9% uptime guarantee, you don’t need to worry about downtime.
- Unmetered bandwidth: HostGator does not charge based on the bandwidth and disk space they use as long as the usage is within the limits prescribed in the Terms of Service.
- Flexible billing: You can choose to pay on a monthly or yearly basis, depending on what is most convenient.
What fell flat
- Upselling features: HostGator’s user interface prompts clients to buy features or add-ons at purchase. We suggest being thorough at this stage to avoid adding unwanted features.
- 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.
- Weekly backups: HostGator runs backups on a random day every week.
Digital.com’s Editorial Review
At Digital.com, our technical editors have tested and analyzed HostGator’s web hosting services comprehensively. The ease of setting up or transferring a website, a myriad of useful features, and the affordability of its plans make HostGator an excellent choice for anyone who values scalability at low price point.
Add to the mix overwhelmingly positive feedback from beginners and pros alike, as well as highly reliable servers and you get a well-rounded hosting provider.
- Free domain
- Free site transfers
- Unmetered disk space & bandwidth
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- One-click installs
- Free SSL certificate
- cPanel for site management
- Cloudflare CDN integration
The customer support teams are both helpful and knowledgeable, ensuring that your site hosting experience is as hassle-free as possible.
- Live chat
- Social media
- Help center
Plans and Pricing
HostGator offers virtually every type of hosting any regular website or online store needs. On top of that, prices are comparable or better than its competitors across the board.
Shared–starts at $3.75 per month
- Good for: new websites or stores, beginners, small businesses
Windows–starts at $4.76 per month
- Good for: anyone that wants to use Windows
Cloud–starts at $4.95 per month
- Good for: an affordable performance boost over shared hosting
WordPress–starts at $5.95 per month
- Good for: hosting new and growing WordPress sites
Reseller–starts at $19.95 per month
- Good for: businesses interested in reselling hosting packages
VPS–starts at $23.95 per month
- Good for: websites and online stores that have outgrown shared hosting
Dedicated–starts at $89.98 per month
- Good for: massive websites and projects, high-security situations
All of HostGator’s shared hosting plans include unmetered bandwidth, one-click WordPress installs, email, and chat support along with a free domain name for one year with all shared hosting plans.
An impressive aspect of HostGator’s site hosting plans is the stellar features the company will offer every package holder, regardless of tier. What differentiates the tiers usually is the number of resources available to you.
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 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 on all plans; you are not charged based on the amount of bandwidth or disk space your sites use. It is uncommon for personal sites or small businesses to exceed usage beyond what is required for normal operations and you’ll be notified if there’s a problem.
99.9% uptime guarantee
HostGator has declared a 99.9% uptime guarantee across its hosting plans and offers credit if you experience downtime that violates the guarantee.
HostGator offers one-click installs on shared hosting plans so that 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 for every HostGator domain and subdomain. An SSL certificate is a basic security measure that encrypts all data and supports visitor trust and SEO.
The cPanel is included in all hosting environments on HostGator. This control panel allows you to manage your sites and the server features. The cPanel is easy to use for advanced users and beginners alike.
For users on a VPS or dedicated hosting package, HostGator also provides a Web Host Manager (WHM) to manage several cPanel accounts.
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, so your websites load faster. Additional benefits include spam minimization, reduced CPU usage, and offline site accessibility if the servers are unavailable.
Performance and Uptime
HostGator guarantees that sites hosted on its servers will be up and running 99.9% of the time. Downtime isn’t a concern, and you can take advantage of fast load times.
Uptime and reliability
Recently, HostGator has reported an uptime of 99.7%, which is slightly below their guarantee. However, their overall stability is excellent, so if you host your website on HostGator, you can be assured that your site will run consistently.
While it is never good to see uptime below the industry standard of 99.9%, fluctuations happen. HostGator’s long-term uptime is over 99.99%, which is exceptional.
Site response times
HostGator is 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.
Although some security practices, such as setting strong passwords, are your responsibility, HostGator has certain robust security measures. Its servers are protected from DDoS attacks, and all (except dedicated servers) are backed up weekly to scan for security issues. A custom firewall and mod security rules are in place, and the company’s data centers are also secured and have network-level flood protection.
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 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 is 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.
Although the quality of support is high, sometimes waiting times can be long. In a situation like this, the knowledgebase is especially useful.
HostGator has recently made some additions and improvements to its services, including:
- 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.
Check out the comparison table below to see how HostGator stacks up to its closest competitors or dig deeper into all of our top web hosting picks to see all of your options.
Pricing + Basic Plan Features
What You Need to Know
What are the drawbacks of HostGator?
Be wary of upselling when you make a purchase of 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 website backups, which may not be enough for all websites.
How reliable is HostGator?
HostGator is reliable with a strong global presence and exceptional data centers. Although its recent uptime falls short, its long-term uptime is an excellent 99.99%.
What if my site is abusing HostGator server resources?
If your site exceeds server resources, 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.
How We Reviewed HostGator
I test web hosts based on the following factors:
- Plan value: What plans are available, and do they offer a good value?
- Ease of use: Is the dashboard easy to navigate?
- Support: How fast can you get help when needed, and is support genuinely helpful?
- Features: What features does the host offer, and how do they compare to similar competitors?
- Security: Does the host offer SSL certificates, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection, backup services, and scans for viruses and malware?
- Speed and uptime: Does the provider offer a fast, stable environment for your website? How does it perform in tests, and what kind of servers does the hosting company use?
- Recent improvements: What has the host done lately to update its technology and services?
Learn more about our review methodology.