Hostgator Review

Reviewed by: Jerry Low . .
  • Review Updated: Jun 25, 2019
Hostgator
Plan in review: Baby Cloud
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Updated: June 25, 2019
Summary
Hostgator Cloud Hosting is reliable, reasonable priced, and relatively simple to setup. We recommend Hostgator Cloud Hosting and think they are particular right for bloggers who want a simple and affordable host.

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.

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.).

Summary: What's in this Hostgator review

Verdict & Relevant Info

 


 

My 11 years experience with Hostgator hosting service

This Hostgator review was first published in 2008. That was more than a decade ago.

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 (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.

I am hosting some secondary domains at Hostgator Cloud currently.

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

Apparently Hostgator is no longer the same beast that we knew in 2008. And we need a new review on Hostgator's service.

In March 2017, I bought myself a new Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plan and started monitoring its server performance. This new Hostgator review is built on my experience in two different plans – Hostgator Shared and Cloud.

 

 


 

Hostgator Hosting Review: The Pros

1. Solid server performance (Uptime > 99.99%)

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 Cloud Hosting Uptime (Under Baby Cloud Plan)

June 2019: 99.94%

Hostgator uptime score 2019 june
There was a 20 minutes downtime recorded on June 7th.

August 2018: 100%

Test site hosted at Hostgator Cloud has not gone down since May 2018.

March 2018: 99.99%

Hostgator cloud hosting uptime (March 2018): 99.99%.

Sep 2017: 99.9%

Apr 2017: 100%

 

 

Hostgator Shared Hosting Uptime

March 2017: 100%

Hostgator shared hosting uptime (March 2017): 100%. This test site hosted on Hostgator Shared Hosting has not gone down since November 2016. We stopped tracking Hostgator shared hosting after April 2017.

Jul 2016: 100%

hostgator uptime 072016

Mar 2016: 100%

hostgator - 201603

Feb 2016: 100%

hostgator feb 2016 uptime

Feb 2015: 100%

Hostgator uptime (Jan 10 - 11 Feb, 2015) - test site hosted on Hostgator has been staying up for more than 780 hours.

Jun 2014: 99.91%

Hostgator uptime scores for Past 30 days (May - June 2014)

Oct 2013: 99.97%

hostgator uptime score

 

 

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 result for Hostgator Cloud (June 2019) – Test site scored an impressive “A+” on first test. Most other web hosts in this price range do not score above A- in Bitcatcha speed test.
Speed test result for site #1 (April 2017): A

Speed test result for test site #2 (April 2017): A

Speed test result for test site #3 (April 2017): A

 

Speed test at WebPageTest

Test site recorded TTFB at 426ms in one of the recent tests.

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).

Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plans:: HatchlingCloud, Baby Cloud, and Business Cloud.

To order, click (affiliate link): https://www.hostgator.com/cloud-hosting/

4. Free site migration for new customers

Hostgator provides a limited number of free transfers from other web hosting companies to new users.

For Cloud Plans, you are eligible for one full transfer within 30 days of signup.

To request a site migration, login to your customer portal > Support > Request Migration.

5. Good customer care policy

 

Free SSL installation

In conjunction with Google Chrome browser changes, shared SSL will be automatically installed to every domain for Hostgator customers.

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 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.

Hostgator posts server maintenance updates and handle support requests via @HGSupport on Twitter.

45 days money back guarantee

Most web hosting companies offer a 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's terms on Money-back Guarantee.

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.

You can visit Hostgator forum here.

Screen shot of Hostgator forum (April 2018).

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 frequent mentioned name (7 times) in the survey.

 

hosting survey chart 1
WHSR 2015 Hosting Survey – 7 out of 41 votes casted go to Hostgator hosting. More details: WHSR Web Hosting Survey 2015.

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.

 

Numbers of web hosting brands mentioned in the survey.
Numbers of web hosting brands mentioned in the survey. 30 out of 188 respondents are hosting their primary site at Hostgator. More details: WHSR Web Hosting Survey 2016 

Hostgator users are generally happy with their host

Hostgator business trends.
Interests over time on Hostgator.

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.”

Credit: Enstine Muki

 

Abrar Mohi Shafee, Blogging Spell (Blog Sold)

“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

 


 

Hostgator Hosting Review: The Cons

1. Hostgator “unlimited' hosting is limited

In reality, all unlimited hosting offers are limited by a long list of server usage limitation.

Hostgator – as a for-profit business, is not exceptional in this issue – excessive usage of Hostgator server may result in account suspension or termination.

If you read the company Acceptable Use Policy

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.

2. Expensive renewal fees

Like many other cheap hosting service providers, Hostgator will jack up the price once your bill is up for renewal.

For your reference, here's the renewal price for Hostgator Cloud Hosting Plans.

Hostgator Plans
Signup (36-mo)*
Renewal (24-mo)
Renewal (36-mo)
Hatchling Cloud
$4.95/mo
$9.95/mo
$8.95/mo
Baby Cloud
$7.95/mo
$12.95/mo
$11.95/mo
Business Cloud
$9.95/mo
$18.95/mo
$17.95/mo

 

* Note: All signup price based on Hostgator's recent discount (June 2018), please refer to https://www.hostgator.com for latest offer price. 

** Also – To see this in context, also read our market study on the web hosting cost

3. Occasionally long wait time for live chat support

In 2017, I reached out to 28 hosting companies’ live chat support and recorded my experience in a spreadsheet.

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.

 


 

Plans, Pricing, and Additional Updates

Hostgator Cloud Hostin g Plans

Like their shared hosting, Hostgator Cloud Hosting comes in three different plans – Hatchling Cloud, Baby Cloud, and Business Cloud.

FeaturesHatchling CloudBaby CloudBusiness Cloud
Domain1UnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
CPU Capacity2 Cores4 Cores6 Cores
Memory Capacity2 GB4 GB6 GB
Dedicated IP
Private SSL
Signup Price (24-mo)*$6.95/mo$8.95/mo$10.95/mo
Signup Price (36-mo)*$4.95/mo$7.95/mo$9.95/mo
Trial Period45 days45 days45 days

 

* 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 ($19.99/year) and CodeGuard ($19.95/year) when you checkout at Hostgator. These two features are relative cheaper and convenient for customers who are looking for affordable business web hosting with basic site protection.

List of some useful features offered when you checkout at Hostgator.

Gator Website Builder

Special promo coupon for Gator Website Builder – “WHSRBUILD”; save 55% on first bill.

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.

FeaturesStarterPremiumeCommerce
Free Domain
Pre-built Templates
Free Shared SSL
Priority Support
Inventory Management
Shipping & Tax Calculator
Signup Price (36-mo)*$3.46/mo$5.39/mo$8.30/mo

 

* Gator  eCommerce plan (signup at $9.22/mo, renew at $18.45/mo) is relative cheaper when compared with other similar online store / website builder plans.

** Prices shown are discounted prices using our promo code (55% off) “WHSRBUILD”.

 

 


 

Verdict: Is Hostgator best for your websites?

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 expectation 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”.

Quick recap on our Hostgator review

Alternatives and Comparisons

Also check out:

 


 

Order Hostgator Cloud at 45% discount

Click (affiliate link): https://www.hostgator.com/cloud-hosting/

 

About Jerry Low

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.