HostGator Review: Budget Shared Hosting With Bite

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HostGator, founded in 2002, is an award-winning, Houston-based provider of web hosting. You can choose from four different plan options, which means that you can select the package that works the best with your needs and pay for only the resources you need to serve your user base.

HostGator boasts an easy-to-use control panel, marketing credits to help you increase your traffic, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and 24/7 customer support availability.

Who Does HostGator Cater For?

Regardless of where you are in the website-building cycle, HostGator has something for you.

You can begin building your website using their drag-and-drop Website Builder. If you’re at the other end of the spectrum, you can enlist the help of HostGator’s dedicated Migrations Team to transfer your website and configure it for optimal performance on their platform – for free.

If for whatever reason, you’re not satisfied, HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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HostGator reviews

About HostGator

In 2002, HostGator was founded by Brent Oxley in his dorm room at Florida Atlantic University. The company has grown enormously since then and continues to do so, year after year. Their logo is “We eat up the competition.”

Today, HostGator has headquarters in both Austin and Houston, Texas, after outgrowing several other sites. In 2007, their Brazil office was opened. HostGator has won lots of awards for support and hosting services.

An EIG Owned Green Host

In June 2012 HostGator was bought out by the Endurance International Group (a company that also owns numerous other hosting providers apart from HostGator). However, it continues to trade under the HostGator name.

HostGator is a green energy company. The company buys Green-e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from a wind farm in Texas. 130% green energy cools and powers all shared and reseller servers.

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Overview of HostGator’s Top Features

Whenever there’s a discussion about web hosts, the name HostGator is bound to come up, and with good reason.

Having been around for more than a decade, HostGator can be said to be one of the most trusted and recognized web hosts. It excels in several areas including customer support, hosting flexibility, uptime, shared hosting, plus so much more.

This excellence in several aspects of web hosting coupled with the company’s experience, array of features, and performance makes HostGator a smart choice for any website owner.

What Perks Are On the Table?

HostGator offers a range of plans. If you’re struggling to make a decision on which plan to choose, consider these features, which we’ll discuss below:

  • You manage your account using cPanel, the industry-standard interface
  • To keep your account secure, you get a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate
  • If you want to increase security and malware scanning, you will have to buy SiteLock
  • Even the entry-level shared hosting plan comes with support for unlimited email accounts
  • Monthly billing options are available
  • One-click installs, even from the basic plan
  • Access to the website builder – at a cost
  • A Content Delivery Network (CDN) keeps your site fast
  • Multiple support options including live chat

With all the other web hosting providers that are available, why choose HostGator? Well, the truth is that no single web host is perfect. So, whether you’re a novice webmaster or are looking to change web hosts, here’s a quick look at the good and the bad of HostGator to help you make the right decision.

Try HostGator. 45-day money-back guarantee.

HostGator’s Hosting Packages

One of the best features of HostGator is the fact that the company offers flexible packages that leave users (both large and small businesses/blogs) with plenty of room to grow.

Shared Hosting

The most basic of the packages, the “Hatchling Plan,” comes with support for one domain, unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, shared SSL certificate, plenty of email addresses, and support for third-party applications like content management systems.

Other shared hosting plans build on this Hatchling package by adding additional features such as unlimited domains, private SSL certificate, and a toll-free phone number (just to name a few.)

VPS and Dedicated Hosting Plans

Alternatively, if you need more power, or have certain requirements that shared servers cannot meet, there’s the option of more advanced packages such as VPS and Dedicated server plans. The highest tier VPS package offers 8GB RAM, 240GB storage, and monthly data transfers capped at 3TB.

Dedicated server packages, on the other hand, can be customized with up to 16GB of RAM, 25TB of monthly data transfers, and an impressive 1TB of storage.

HostGator also offers Cloud and WordPress hosting, which we dig into below. You can always visit HostGator’s official web page to find the most updated hosting packages on offer as well as their specifics.

WordPress Hosting

The company also provides WordPress hosting with the cheapest package allowing one site with up to 100,000 visitors each month. The cheapest WordPress plan also includes 1GB backups. Higher-end plans allow for up to 3 sites and up to 500,000 visitors each month.

Meanwhile, the top WordPress hosting plan also allows for up to 3GB in backups.

Heaps Ahead of Competition – Really?

All WordPress hosting plans include optimized cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multiple caching layers which mean that sites load up to an alleged 2.5 times faster than competitors.

HostGator experts are also on hand to provide a free migration service and top quality support in case anything breaks.


web hosting discountInterested in HostGator? You can currently save up to 75% on their hosting plans. Use this discount link to get the deal. Includes a free website transfer plus a 45-day money-back guarantee.


Overview: Cloud vs. WordPress vs. VPS Hosting

Here’s a quick look at features offered by 3 types of HostGator hosting: Cloud, WordPress, and VPS (virtual private server).

CLOUD HOSTING WORDPRESS HOSTING VPS HOSTING
Intuitive dashboard Simple WordPress Cloud Interface cPanel
Varnish caching Low-density servers and CDN Fast 20Mbit connection
Resource management Access to Mojo Marketplace Full root access
SSL SSL SSL
Add-on: backups Auto backups Weekly off-site backups
One-click scalability One-click scalability One-click scalability
Free email hosting Free email hosting Free email hosting
Automated failover, Data mirroring Architecture optimized for WordPress Advanced server features
Add-on: SiteLock security Advanced security Multiple layers of security

Specialist Hosting Packages

HostGator doesn’t just offer standard cloud and shared hosting packages including reseller hosting and WordPress hosting, and you can choose from a wide selection to meet your business needs.


web hosting discountInterested in HostGator? You can currently save up to 75% on their hosting plans. Use this discount link to get the deal. Includes a free website transfer plus a 45-day money-back guarantee.


Does HostGator Offer Reseller Hosting?

Yes. The cheapest reseller hosting package comes complete with 60GB Disk space, 600GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains.

Larger packages include up to 140GB disk space, and up to 1400GB in bandwidth.

hostgator cpanel
This is what HostGator‘s control panel looks like. The interface is simple and easy to use.

Easy Email Set-up From cPanel

A professional email, with the domain of your business, is an important part of your online presence. Not all web hosts come with support for email, but even HostGator’s entry-level hosting package includes email.

To give you an idea of how easy it is to get started with HostGator email set-up from your cPanel, we’ve listed some of the steps here:

  1. Log into cPanel. You’ll get the cPanel address when you sign up
  2. Head over to Email
  3. Select Email Accounts
  4. Find the Email field, and configure the address
  5. Choose your passwords
  6. Decide on your Mailbox Quota
  7. Create an account
  8. Access your account quickly via Webmail
  9. Going forward, manage accounts or remove old accounts easily from the Email section

Learn to Setup Your Email From a Video

It’s that simple to set up a professional email for your business. And because it’s hosted by HostGator you don’t have to worry about any of the technical work. If you need help, you can select the guided walk-through from the email setup screen.

This HostGator video provides step-by-step instructions on creating an email account. HostGator has numerous tutorials available in their YouTube account

What About Performance and Uptime?

HostGator promises a 99.9% uptime and has the resources to back it up.

Powered by Thousands of Global Servers

One of the largest and most popular web hosts, HostGator has thousands of servers under its management.

Protected Infrastructure for Continuity of Service

In addition to being strategically located across the world, these servers utilize top quality server hardware and are housed in state-of-the-art data centers that take all the necessary measures (UPS battery backup units, top-tier HVAC systems, constant infrastructure monitoring, fire protection systems, etc.) to ensure performance remains flawless and uninterrupted.

Thanks to these world-class data centers and their strategic locations, HostGator provides reliable, quality performance that never disappoints.

Uptime and Speed

HostGator has an over 90% customer satisfaction (from a June 2008 customer satisfaction survey). HostGator maintains an average of 99.9% uptime. And in addition to the reliable uptime, HostGator also delivers satisfactory load times with speeds ranging from 22 to 940ms depending on the browser’s location.

Security and Backup

As mentioned earlier, HostGator takes several measures to ensure servers remain functioning at full capacity.

The data centers in Houston and Provo are designed to prevent interruptions to services and to do that; they have state-of-the-art:

  • Server hardware
  • Network
  • Electrical
  • Highly sophisticated HVAC systems

They have high-tech cooling systems to prevent servers from overheating, backup power sources in the event of blackouts, lasers for detecting fires, redundant chillers, among other systems.

Real-Time Monitoring

This web host also performs 24/7 monitoring of servers and keeps intruders out with biometric locks and mantrap security entrances and exits. Additionally, technicians of the company also have a system in place for anticipating and fixing problems in real-time.

HostGator takes measures to protect your website from outside attack. The company performs weekly malware scans to ensure that there are no malicious programs embedded on your website.

New Datacenters and CDN

HostGator main two datacenters are massive facilities with cutting-edge resources. The first is CyrusOne’s Houston West center. The other is Ace Data of Provo, Utah. In addition, HostGator uses Cloudflare, a global network of 152 datacenters. Cloudflare recently added 22 datacenters in mainland China.

What’s more, each hosting package you purchase from this web host comes with the powerful spam protection program, “Spam Assassin” which keeps unwanted junk email from your inbox.

What About Website Backups?

But even with all that said, when it comes to backups, HostGator does not offer the best service in the industry. This company only carries out backups on a weekly basis and charges a fee if you want your site restored from a backup.

Although the chances of HostGator servers malfunctioning are very low due to the numerous security measures in place, if you plan to upload a large amount of data to your website on a daily basis, you may need to do your own backup or go with a web host that backs up their servers daily (or even hourly – which translated to additional costs).

How Good is HostGator’s Customer Support?

When it comes to customer support, very few web hosts can compete with HostGator’s customer service. The company even has awards to prove this fact. For general questions and issues, you can use HostGator’s email support, which is always available, social media support on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

Or seek answers from the company’s extensive knowledgebase, which is full of FAQs, helpful articles, and video tutorials that walk you through some of the controls. HostGator also offers a forum where you can ask questions and answer those posed by other users of the web host.

HostGator has several help and support options; screenshot of support portal
HostGator provides a support portal, knowledgebase, and FAQs among other resources.

Alternatively, if you need a little more immediate help, or are experiencing an issue that needs special attention, HostGator has customer support representatives on standby 24/7/365 ready to assist you with whatever questions you may have.

These representatives can be reached by phone or live chat.

Is There a Money-Back Guarantee?

No locked-in contracts and a 45-day money-back guarantee. Meaning if you decide to cancel within the first 45 days of joining, you get a full refund, no questions asked.

Additional HostGator Tools

HostGator provides a number of tools to help the small business owner.

Build Your Own Website

With over 4,000 templates at your disposal from HostGator’s BaseKit Site Builder Tool, designing and customizing your website is made fast and easy.

Video: The HostGator YouTube channel has plenty of tutorials, like this one.

Boost Your Marketing and E-Commerce Store Sales

Other website related tools offered by HostGator include email tools (mailing lists, autoresponders, spam and virus filters, etc.), SEO and marketing tools, security tools (IP deny manager, password protect directories, etc.), Google Analytics, plus so much more.

Additionally, HostGator supports a variety of open-source applications such as CMS software, shopping cart, wiki, e-commerce, and others. Therefore, you can install whatever apps you need to make the designing and running of your site easier.

Screenshot of HostGator's free SEO review offer

Hosting Freebies

Further making HostGator a good catch is the fact that the web host throws in a few extra features with their various hosting plans. For instance, each hosting plan comes with several freebies.

You get a free website builder and website building tools, unlimited bandwidth and disk space, over 4,000 website templates, free domain transfers, and unlimited MySQL databases.

HostGator are Generous with Valuable Extras

Other extras that you can look forward to with HostGator include:

  • $150 worth of Google Adwords or Bing/Yahoo advertising credits.
  • Free site transfers when you want to move your website from another host to HostGator. And the best part is that your website can be upgraded during the transfer at no cost. However, the said migration has to be done within 30 days from the day you sign up.
  • A free domain name for the first term when you transfer and set up a new account.
  • 1-click installs available for all major open-source projects such as WordPress, Magento, and Joomla.
  • A 45-day money-back guarantee for all HostGator hosting plans. Most web hosting companies only give you a 30-day window to cancel your account and get your money back.
  • A getting-started email with links to all of the resources you will need to build your website and get it up and running.

Who Are HostGator’s Competitors?

Today’s hosting market is increasingly crowded with many companies all promising the very best product and service to customers.

To give you the best possible review and help you pick the service that’s right for you, I’m going to compare HostGator’s base package with some of their competitors.

In this section, we will test out HostGator Vs GoDaddy, Hostmonster, and Just Host using the cheapest package available from each company.

HostGator vs. GoDaddy

HostGator and GoDaddy are two of the biggest names in the world of hosting. However, there are a number of differences between the cheapest shared hosting packages available from each provider.

Both plans offer one domain name and unlimited pages to host your site content. Both firms also include a 99.9% server uptime guarantee and supposedly unlimited bandwidth.

What About Cold Hard Performance?

However, HostGator offers unmetered storage compared to GoDaddy’s 100GB offering. Both providers also differ based on the number of email addresses offered with their bottom rung shared hosting plans. Both GoDaddy and HostGator include cPanel and support options with all of their plans.

See our HostGator vs. GoDaddy comparison for more information.

HostGator vs. JustHost

JustHost is often touted as another thorn in Host Gator’s side. But how do the two actually compare? We Find out.

JustHost offers a very appetizing entry-level shared hosting plan with five email accounts, unmetered bandwidth, and one website as standard.

One disappointing feature is the somewhat limited storage space offered by Just Host (50GB compared with GoDaddy’s unlimited option). An uptime guarantee is also lacking from the Just Host package.

HostGator vs. HostMonster

HostMonster is seen as a worthy foe for the likes of HostGator. We find out which one of these beasts is the king of the hosting jungle.

HostMonster provides unlimited disk storage, unlimited domain hosting, a drag-and-drop site builder, unlimited forwarding email accounts and unlimited GB site transfer.

However, HostMonster doesn’t offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, rather they rely on a “maximum uptime” promise, which overall sounds pretty meaningless.

What are the Pros and Cons of HostGator?

So, is HostGator the right web host for you?

Well, given the fact that HostGator gives you a simple way to build and manage your site, provides you with all the resources you’ll need to deliver high-level services on your site, offers several feature-packed hosting packages, and brings a ton of experience to the table, it can be an ideal web host for anyone with a website.

Plenty of Pros

HostGator offers several benefits including:

  • Reliable uptime and fast response times
  • Affordable hosting plans
  • Plenty of room for growth
  • No restriction on bandwidth, disk space, and emails
  • Rock-solid security
  • Free Weebly site builder
  • A great control panel with a ton of features ranging from a web-based file manager to more advanced features such as cron jobs, image manager, error logs, and apache handlers
  • The option of cloud hosting
  • Flexible email management
  • Free shared or private SSL certificate on all hosting packages
  • Generous 45-day money-back guarantee that gives customers peace of mind.

Extensive Knowledgebase

Additionally, HostGator has a large knowledgebase with answers to practically any question you could have ranging from the simplest to the most advanced. So, when the customer support team takes too long to answer, you can seek out the solution to your problem from this knowledgebase.

What Are the Cons?

As for the negatives of the company, you’ll only have to deal with the issue of weekly backups, slow customer response times (according to some of the host’s users), an advanced cPanel that requires some getting used to, and no one-stop WordPress import.

These are cons you can work around and still get to enjoy the immense web hosting quality of HostGator.


hosting discountLooking for a great hosting deal?
This month you can save up to 75% on HostGator plans with this special discount link. Remember: you’ll get a 45-day money-back guarantee.


Try With No Commitment

Given that HostGator has a lot to like and very few things to dislike, you should definitely try the company if you own a website or plan to build one.

If the web host does not make a good fit for your website, the 45-day money-back guarantee on offer will allow you to walk away without losing money.

Try HostGator. 45-day money-back guarantee.

HostGator Frequently Asked Questions

Anything else you’d like to know about HostGator? We have created a group of frequently asked questions to cover any instant queries you have.

HostGator Plans and Prices

HostGator offers a range of hosting solutions to choose from; shared (both Linux and Windows), VPS and dedicated servers, to fully managed WordPress and cloud hosting. Here below is an overview of their plans and current price list. For latest and most up-to-date prices visit HostGator’s website.

Plan nameDiskspaceBandwidthMonthly price
Hatchling Shared Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 2.75
Baby Shared Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 6.96
Business Shared Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 10.46
Hatchling Cloud Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 6.26
Baby Cloud Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 8.36
Business Cloud Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 12.56
Snappy 500 VPS Hosting 25 GB 0.5 TB 11.97
Snappy 1000 VPS Hosting 60 GB 1 TB 33.97
Snappy 2000 VPS Hosting 120 GB 1.5 TB 57.97
Snappy 4000 VPS Hosting 165 GB 2 TB 81.97
Snappy 8000 VPS Hosting 240 GB 3 TB 99.97
Basic Dedicated Server 500 GB 10 TB 105.00
Standard Dedicated Server 1000 GB 15 TB 132.00
Elite Dedicated Server 1000 GB 20 TB 168.00
Pro Dedicated Server 1000 GB 25 TB 225.00
Starter WordPress Hosting Unlimited 100K visits/mo 5.97
Standard WordPress Hosting Unlimited 200K visits/mo 8.77
Business WordPress Hosting Unlimited 500K visits/mo 13.98
Personal Windows Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 6.36
Enterprise Windows Hosting Unlimited Unlimited 15.96

 

Try HostGator. 45-day money-back guarantee.

 

Best HostGator alternatives


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GreenGeeks Review


GoDaddy Review


Bluehost Review

People share their opinions about companies on Twitter each and every day. We monitor tweets about HostGator and apply a sentiment analysis algorithm that classifies these tweets as positive or negative. Every review is from a real person opinion. We use this information and output an approval rating score, which is based on real people, positive and negative, opinions about HostGator on Twitter

HostGator Review on Twitter

We monitor tweets about HostGator and apply sentiment analysis to classify tweets as positive or negative. This allows us to output an approval rating score, which is based on real people, positive and negative, opinions about HostGator on Twitter. HostGator approval rating score is 67%. This is based on a total of 1331 tweets that mention HostGator on Twitter. There are 895 mentions that share a positive sentiment and 436 mentions that express a negative sentiment. Find out more about how it works.

HostGator Rating

67% Score

HostGator vs Competitor Ratings

  •  All reviews  (1331)
  •   | 
  •  Positive   (895)
  •   | 
  •  Negative   (436)

Jeannine Morber (@MorberMarketing)

@HostGator @hgsupport THANK YOU for the phenomenal support I received today from Reynaldo M & William L in Live Chat! #MadeMyDay

Shaun M. ® (@sinistercaine)

For beginner to even advanced online digital #NoMads @HostGator has great blog posts. Also thanks for the awesome service back when. Cheers!

Sarkopheros (@sarkopheros)

@HostGator From Florida, I wish you the best of luck in your hurricane recovery. Is there an ETA on when our websites will be back up?

Desde aquí se ve así (@desdeaquiseve)

Thanks @hostgator

Skip Bieber (@skip7547)

The latest #TechSupport Review by @skip7547! https://t.co/0x0OvksrlJ Thanks to @ITCompliance @HostGator #security #infosec

Sohil Memon (@SMemon)

@HGSupport @HostGator Give my FULL money back. You have fucking slow service and not replying to any ticket!

Janie Art - (@JanieArt)

Avoid @HostGator . They will not give a prorated refund because I am slightly over their 45 money back guarantee. Horrible! #chargeback

Evan (@MJTM)

@whitefirdesign Holy shit that's exactly what I got from @SiteLock and @HostGator ! That is bullshit!

GetRealChat (@GetRealChat)

Don’t miss out on this free eBook from our sponsor @HostGator – “Get Online the Easy Way” >>… https://t.co/GjmjXyQpSk

Adam Carmack (@adamcarmack)

The Best Ways to Survey Your #SmallBusiness Customers https://t.co/MjO35JI6YV via @shaylaprice @HostGator https://t.co/3n6AYsW7Zj

SpreadStreet (@1k_experiment)

The Best Ways to Survey Your #SmallBusiness Customers https://t.co/5BRCm2ttGS via @shaylaprice @HostGator https://t.co/y2xTLewid1

Market WorkFlows (@MarketWorkFlows)

RT @NinaRVegas: The Best Ways to Survey Your #SmallBusiness Customers https://t.co/1GPa6b3Fc5 via @shaylaprice @HostGator https://t.co/Gev4…

Nina Radetich (@NinaRVegas)

The Best Ways to Survey Your #SmallBusiness Customers https://t.co/1GPa6b3Fc5 via @shaylaprice @HostGator https://t.co/Gev4xOJMA1

Zee Ali (Zeeshan) (@theZeeAli)

the slowest customer service in the world @HostGator #hostgator #FAIL

Codes Designs (@codesdesigns)

The latest The Codes Designs Daily! https://t.co/BqXP7FINTD Thanks to @hagengraf @HostGator #technews #trending

You’ve seen the ads and you’ve read our reviews. But maybe you still don’t know if HostGator is right for you. If that’s the case, check out our system site WhoIsHostingThis.com. It features over 500 actual HostGator user reviews. It should let you know what hosting with HostGator will be like.