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HostGator Review

Company: Hostgator Inc.

Background: Hostgator Inc. was founded by Brent Oxley in his college dorm back in 2002. The web company grew from a one-person operation to one with hundreds of employees over the years. In 2012, Brent sold the company to Endurance International Group (EIG) for an unofficial figure of $225 million. EIG today holds the largest number of web hosting brands under its corporate umbrella. These brands include BlueHost, iPage, FatCow, HostMonster, Pow Web, Easy CGI, Arvixe, eHost, A Small Orange, and more.

Starting Price: $2.75/mo

Currency: USD

Visit Online: https://www.hostgator.com/

Review Summary & Ratings


In short Hostgator is a great hosting solution. In particularly Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plans are highly recommended for its reasonable pricing and newbies-friendly setup. Their strong server performance and cheap signup fees make them particular right for bloggers who want a simple web host.

My 12 Years Experience with HostGator

WHSR (the site you are reading) was once hosted at HostGator. Since then, I’ve moved on for various reasons, but I retain hosting plans here and at many other service providers. My latest account at HostGator is one of their Cloud Hosting Plans, acquired in March 2017, which I use to host some side projects.

My 10 years billing history with Hostgator
My 10 years billing history with Hostgator… and now this review. Can I get a free company T-shirt? :)

Who Should Host with Hostgator?

Given their all-round hosting choices and excellent business track record, Hostgator is a “stable choice” for both big and small businesses. The one dark spot I see is somewhat spotty support, but they make up for this with excellent access to their various support channels.

Hostgator Pros & Cons

Hostgator Service Overview

Pros: What I Love About HostGator

1. HostGator is a Reliable Service Provider

Uptime is the lifeblood of a website. If your web service goes down, nobody can access your website. Not only does that potentially anger visitors, but if Google notices, you may get penalised on your search rankings.

Thankfully, HostGator does offer an uptime guarantee. The company c server uptime and will refund your money should the uptime fall short:

If your shared or reseller server has a physical downtime that falls short of the 99.9% uptime guarantee, you may receive one (1) month of credit on your account.

This uptime guarantee does not apply to planned maintenance. Approval of any credit is at the sole discretion of HostGator and may be dependent upon the justification provided […] To request a credit, please visit http://support.hostgator.com to create a support ticket to our Billing department with justification.

HostGatorTerms of Service (clause 16

2. HostGator Servers are Very Fast (Response Time < 200ms)

Hostgator test server speed is well within Google speed requirements.
Hostgator test server speed is well within Google speed requirements.

I ran multiple speed tests on my test website at Hostgator using the Bitcatcha speed test utility. Their servers show remarkable performance with a response speed of well within 200ms. That’s excellent performance even by Google standards.

Testing HostGator from various points showed a universally decent performance.
Testing HostGator from various points showed a universally decent performance.

The only location that offered a slightly longer response was from Mumbai. However, you can expect incredible speeds from both the East and West coasts within the US. Here, response times dropped to an average of 45ms.

3. Free Site Migration for All New Customers

Hostgator offers to help new customers migrate one website to their service. This free migration is helpful if you’re moving here from another hosting service. While some hosts do offer free migration, it isn’t a universal standard. I’ve seen hosting companies try to charge hundreds of dollars for a single migration!

4. Good Support via Multiple Channels

HostGator Twitter Support

Support from HostGator comes via multiple channels and includes 24×7 live chat, telephone, forums, ticketing system, and Twitter. Today, not many companies are willing to go the extra mile to help their customers.

The company also hosts a comprehensive customer support knowledge base for those who hate to wait and like to solve the problem in their own hands. These support channels combined make HostGator support have massive potential.

Do note, however, that not everyone is happy with their after-sales service. That isn’t surprising given that EIG took over, but at least the options remain.

5. 45-day Money-back Guarantee

Many hosting companies offer customers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee. At HostGator, they’ll give you a little extra time to assess the quality of service. You get 45-days to decide if you want to continue using Hostgator. 

Having an extended money-back guarantee is a good sign that the service provider is confident in what they offer. If the service isn’t excellent, they stand to lose a lot. This 45-day guarantee applies to most of their hosting products, including shared, reseller, and VPS hosting.

6. HostGator Has Solid Customer Testimonials

All web hosting companies will have good and bad customer testimonials. The key to understanding their real quality is knowing which to believe. That means choosing seasoned website owners who know what they’re doing.

In this sense, Host gator has its fair share of solid testimonials. Here are two examples of what two expert users have said:

Enstine Muki, EnstineMuki.comEnstineMuki

Been with them [Hostgator] since 2008 and have not had any major issues. The Live support has become the worst thing on Hostgator. It’s becoming more and more difficult to get help either by mail or live chat. Looks like it’s the worst in the industry at the moment.

Credit: Enstine Muki

Abrar Mohi Shafee, Blogging Spell (Blog Sold)Abrar Mohi Shafee

People might’ve noticed HostGator has gotten very slow in live support. Previously, it was 2-3 minutes, but now it is taking 30 minutes or longer.

Just to clarify, I think, this is the consequence of data center transfer as off the owner has changed. Though I should let you know, HostGator was the company who provided the fastest live support ever. The existing customers are thinking to move from it where the new customers think they will be trapped by getting themselves in. But I think, we should give them a chance as they are gradually overcoming. The company was the gem of web hosting in last few years. There has to be a tough reason for all these difficulties. But that never means they are a bad host

Cons: What I Didn’t Like About HostGator

While there are lots to love at HostGator, it is far from perfect. Yet many of its flaws are superficial and can be ignored unless you can’t stand them. So here’s what I disliked about the brand, but read between the lines since they’re mostly my pet peeves.

1. HostGator “Unlimited' Hosting is Limited

When anyone states “unlimited” I expect it to be as such. You don’t purchase an “unlimited” plan expecting to work within terms and conditions. It’s an outright lie. While I understand they need some limitations, it feels too much like false advertising.

To be fair, all unlimited hosting offers are limited in some ways. This reality is put in place against malicious users. However, I feel that the terms and conditions make it unfeasible for these plans to be sold as “unlimited.”

For regular users, don’t worry about the terms, though. As long as you’re using the plan and not abusing it, you won’t get cut off unreasonably.

2. Live Chat Sometimes Takes Long to Respond

In 2017, I did a live chat support experiment. I reached out to 28 hosting companies’ live chat support and recorded my experience in a spreadsheet. The Hostgator live chat support performance met my expectation in that case study. The average wait time was 4 minutes, but they resolved my issues efficiently.

However, there was a time when I needed to wait 15 – 20 minutes to reach their live chat support – which I find somewhat dissatisfying. Customers who are big on live chat support might want to check out others.

Given that EIG now owns HostGator, I am not optimistic about potential improvements in this area. 

3. Pricing Increase After First Term

Like many other hosting companies, HostGator offers promotions and special discounts to customers during signup. These special offers are limited to new customers and are valid for the initial term only. To demonstrate, below are the signup and renewal pricings (monthly) for Hostgator Shared Hosting Plans.

  • Hatchling Plan: Signup $2.75, Renewal $6.95
  • Baby Plan: Signup $3.50, Renewal $9.95
  • Business Plan: Signup $5.25, Renewal $14.95

HostGator Plans and Pricing

HostGator sells a massive range of hosting services but mainly focuses on a few key areas. These include shared hosting (they also offer WordPress-specific hosting) and VPS plans. If you need something specific, though, dig deeper, and you’ll find it.

HostGator Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting at HostGator is impressive despite the simplicity of their plans. The lower-cost options are mainly segregated by how many websites you can host on each plan. They have a plan geared to businesses, including a better quality SSL certificate – very reasonable indeed.

Storage (SSD)UnmeteredUnmetered
Free MigrationYesYes
Free Domain NameYesYes
Free PositiveSSLNoNo
Website BuilderYesYes

HostGator VPS Hosting

VPS plans at HostGator are all unmanaged services. That means you need to handle the technicalities on your own. However, the prices are low, and you get a lot of power for the amount paid.

FeaturesSnappy 2000Snappy 4000
CPU Core22
Storage (SSD)120 GB165 GB
Dedicated IP22
Backups (Weekly)YesYes

Alternatives to HostGator

Compare HostGator vs Bluehost

Both HostGator and Bluehost are big names in the web hosting business. They run head to head in close competition at the lower end of the spectrum. However, it should be worth noting that Bluehost is pretty well-known for its WordPress hosting, as acknowledged by WordPress themselves.

Our Rating
Server PlansShared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Managed WP HostingShared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Managed WP Hosting
Shared Plans Pricing$2.95 - $18.95/mo$2.75 - $5.25/mo
VPS Plans Pricing$19.99 - $59.99/mo$23.95 - $59.95/mo
Dedicated Plans Pricing$79.99 - $119.99/mo$89.98 - $139.99/mo
WP Plans Pricing$2.95 - $18.95/mo$5.95 - $9.95/mo
Special Promo(Link Activate)WHSRBUILD
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSL SupportYesYes
Paid SSLSingle Domain SSL - $80.04/yearPositive SSL - $39.99/year
Customer SupportLive chat, TelephoneLive chat, Telephone, Email
Telephone No.+1-888-401-4678+1-866-964-2867
Payment SupportCredit Card, PayPal, CryptoCredit Card, PayPal,
Free Trial30 Days45 Days
Energy SourcesTraditionalGreen Certificates
Server LocationNorth AmericaNorth America
Learn MoreHostgator ReviewBlueHost Review
OrderClick HereClick Here

Compare HostGator vs DreamHost

Again, HostGator is a close match to DreamHost in their shared hosting plans. Yet my feeling is that DreamHost makes too much fuss over the details. One glaring example is the exclusion of email services, which Hostgator provides for free with all plans.

Plan in ReviewHatchlingShared Starter
StorageUnmetered50 GB SSD
Free DomainYesYes
Automated BackupsNoYes
Website BuilderYesYes
Signup Price$2.75/mo$2.59/mo
Order / Learn MoreVisitVisit

Frequently Asked Questions on HostGator

What is HostGator used for?

HostGator offers web hosting and domain name services. Their product range includes the full spectrum of hosting – from shared hosting to dedicated servers. These packages come at reasonable prices and offer good performance.

How much is HostGator monthly?

HostGator’s cheapest plan starts at $2.75/mo. For that price, you’ll get a shared hosting plan suitable for one small website. They also offer more professional, heavy-duty plans at higher prices. For example, their VPS range starts at $23.95/mo.

Is HostGator good for beginners?

Yes, HostGator shared hosting plans are excellent for beginners. Their shared hosting plans include application installation tools, lots of freebies, and even a website builder. However, beginners to VPS should be aware that HostGator VPS are, by default, unmanaged plans.

How do I contact HostGator?

You can get in touch with HostGator in many ways. Most directly would be via the live chat feature on their website. If you’d like to speak more directly to someone, you can call their phone line at (866) 96-GATOR.

Is HostGator trustworthy?

Hostgator is a trusted hosting brand. The company has been in the web hosting business for many years. Many of their assurances are spelt out in terms of service documents, ensuring transparency of service.

Final Thoughts: Should You Pay Hostgator to Host Your Sites?

HostGator is a solid all-round choice regardless of what services you need. They have just the right range of products to fit requirements without overwhelming you with choices. Even better, what they do offer performs well. The one dark spot I see is somewhat spotty support, but they make up for this with excellent access to their various support channels.

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Article by Jerry Low

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