Hostgator Inc. was founded by Brent Oxley in his college dorm back in 2002. The web company grew from a one-man operation to one with hundreds of employees over the years; and was ranked 21st (year 2008) and 239th (year 2009) in Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company.
In 2012, Brent sold the company was sold to Endurance International Group (EIG) for, unofficial figure, $225 million.
EIG, which also owns a number of other well-known web hosting brands, including BlueHost, iPage, FatCow, HostMonster, Pow Web, Easy CGI, Arvixe, eHost, A Small Orange, and so on; is now the largest website hosting company.
My 12 years experience with Hostgator
This Hostgator review was first published in 2008 – which was more than a decade ago.
Hostgator, the company, has went through a number of big changes – Brent sold his company to Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012. The new owner released a new Hostgator.com site design, reinvented themselves as a cloud hosting provider, and adding a new drag-and-drop site builder, the Gator Website Builder, in 2019.
As a long time Hostgator customer, I have witnessed the up and down of the company.
WHSR used to be hosted at Hostgator!
WHSR (this site you are reading) was once hosted at Hostgator before I moved to cloud-based hosting WP Engine in 2011, and to InMotion Hosting two years later.
In March 2017, I bought myself a new Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plan and started monitoring its server performance. I am currently hosting some side projects, including Dsgn x Dvlp that I use to run hosting tests, at this Cloud Hosting account.
What's In this Hostgator review
In this review, you will get the inside scoop of Hostgator hosting, as well as years of server performance statistics. Let's dive in!
About Hostgator, the company
Founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley.
Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, WordPress, and cloud hosting
Offices in four locations: Houston and Austin, Texas; Florianopolic and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Data centers: Houston, TX and Provo, UT, America (U.S.).
Server uptime is the one thing that I stress a lot in my hosting reviews. Can you imagine what will happen to your business if your site goes down frequently? Fancy additional features are meaningless unless your site stays online.
As I own both Hostgator Shared hosting and Cloud hosting in the past – I am giving you the uptime record for both plans.
HostGator Uptime (2020)
Past Record (2013 – 2019)
Hosting uptime records prior to 2017 are based on my old Hostgator account.
June 2019: 99.94%
August 2018: 100%
March 2018: 99.99%
Sep 2017: 99.9%
Apr 2017: 100%
Mar 2017: 100%
Jul 2016: 100%
Mar 2016: 100%
Feb 2016: 100%
Feb 2015: 100%
Jun 2014: 99.91%
Oct 2013: 99.97%
2. Hostgator Cloud Hosting = Speed
I ran multiple speed test on Hostgator Cloud Hosting using Bitcatch and WebpageTest.
The results were magnificent.
Here are some speed test results I got for different test sites. Take note on the server response times for test nodes located at United States – the results (below 50ms) were superb.
Speed tests at Bitcatcha
Speed test at WebPageTest
3. Special discount: Save 45%
Save up to 45% when you signup to Hostgator Cloud hosting plan today.
Bear in mind that, however, this price falls back to normal when you renew (see below for more).
Enabling the SSL will give your domain an “HTTPS://” prefix, which ensures your website will be labeled as “secure” in most web browsers.
Hostgator uptime guarantee
The company guarantees 99.9% server uptime and will refund your money should the uptime fall short. Read Hostgator's ToS (clause 15).
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.
Support from Hostgator comes in different channels: 24×7 live chat, telephone, forums, ticketing system, as well as Twitter.
For those who hate to wait and like to solve the problem in their own hands – The company also hosts a comprehensive customer support knowledge base.
While not everyone is happy with their after-sales service the company, at least Hostgator does care about their customers.
Hostgator Support on Twitter
Hostgator Support comes in various channels, including Twitter.
45 days money back guarantee
Most web hosting companies offer standard 30-day money back guarantee for their first-time customers.
HostGator is one of the few that bumps the trial period up to 45 days, giving you an extra 15 days to try out their offerings with no risk.
Hostgator User Forum
A forum (that allows its customers to speak freely) is usually positive indication of company's will to listen from their customers' feedback and reviews, and improve continuously.
6. Hostgator = Bloggers' favorite web hosting service?
In 2015, I spoke to a group of ~50 bloggers and asked for their comment about their blog hosting services. There were 43 votes and 21 hosting brands mentioned in the survey.
Hostgator was the most frequently mentioned name (7 times) in the survey.
The same thing happened in 2016. The survey size was 4x larger with ~200 respondents. Out of the ~200 responses I got, 30 of them are hosting their primary site at Hostgator.
Hostgator users are generally happy with their host
After two major server outage in 2013 and 2014, I did not expect so many bloggers to stick with Hostgator hosting. Some survey respondents I spoke to complained about the long wait time at live chat but generally most of them are happy with their host.
Enstine Muki, EnstineMuki.com
“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.”
“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.”
Hostgator users feedback on Twitter
@ImChemX depends what you need to do with it i run a couple wordpress sites with custom php on hostgator + their customer service is A+
C / a. i) [You may not] Use twenty-five percent (25%) or more of our system resources for longer than ninety (90) seconds at a time. Activities that could cause this excessive use, include but are not limited to: CGI scripts, FTP, PHP, HTTP, etc.
C/ b. The use of more than two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) inodes on any shared or reseller account may result in a warning, and if no action is taken to reduce the excessive use of inodes, your account may be suspended. If an account exceeds one hundred thousand (100,000) inodes it will be automatically removed from our backup system to avoid over-usage, however, databases will still be backed up as a courtesy in our sole discretion.
The performance of Hostgator live chat support met my expectation in that case study. Average wait time was 4 minutes and my issues was resolved efficiently.
However, there was time when I need to wait 15 – 20 minutes to reach their live chat support – which I find rather dissatisfying. Customers who are big on live chat support might want to check out others (SiteGround has the best live chat support in my experience so far, go check out).
4. Server location in United States only
Hostgator servers are located in United States only. For advanced users, you'll need a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce latency.
Hostgator Plans, Pricing, and Other Updates
Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plans
Like their shared hosting, Hostgator Cloud Hosting comes in three different plans – Hatchling Cloud, Baby Cloud, and Business Cloud.
Signup Price (24-mo)*
Signup Price (36-mo)*
* The price tags displayed at Hostgator official page (Hostgator.com/cloud-hosting) is based on 36-month subscription. Monthly price is higher when you go with a shorter subscription period (say, 24-month).
** Hostgator Business Plans come with Positive SSL, which is backed by $10K warranty, and provides a TrustLogo Site Seal to display on your site.
Hostgator SiteLock and CodeGuard Backup
Hostgator offers various upgrades and built-in features in their hosting plans.
For example, you can purchase SiteLock ($23.88/year) and CodeGuard ($23.95/year) when you checkout at Hostgator. These two features are relatively cheaper and convenient for customers who are looking for affordable business web hosting with basic site protection.
Gator Website Builder
Website Builder has emerged and became a major trend in hosting industry. In 2019, Hostgator has reinvented its Website Builder and launched Gator Website Builder.
For as low as $3.84/mo, you can now design (using one of the 200 ready made website templates), create (using drag and drop web editor), and host websites at Hostgator.
We usually select a web host based on few key factors: company reputation, reasonable price, features, and server performance.
Based on test results and studies shown above, you can see that Hostgator Cloud Hosting meets expectations in all categories. The company scored 4.5-star in our updated rating (we use a 80-point check list for our reviews, learn how it works here).
So yes – Hostgator is a go. And I personally think the Gator is particularly a good choice for newbies and individual bloggers who wish to “stick with the crowd”.
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.
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Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed Cloud Hosting
Extra Domain Reg.
$12.95/yr for .com domain
Private Domain Reg.
Auto Script Installer
Custom Cron Jobs
CodeGuard - $2/mo
Built-in Site Builder
No. of Email Accounts
Zen Shopping Cart
Customer Care Policy
Server Usage Limitation
Account using more than 25% system resources for more longer than 90 seconds at a time or more than 250,000 inodes may be suspended.