HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

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HostGator was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley, a student at Florida Atlantic University, which now hosts over 8 million websites turning into one of the most popular web hosting providers in the industry.

With every HostGator plan, you get a vast array of tools that help you quickly get your website up and running. Whether you want site builder tools or one-click application installer, SEO tools or backup solutions, you get everything at your fingertips. It also comes with a 45 day money back guarantee, so you can sign up for a hosting account risk free.

HostGator’s award winning support team is available every day throughout the year whenever you need it by telephone, live chat or email. The documentation is extensive that helps you walk you through every aspect of website hosting with ease.

Hostgator always strive for excellence by upgrading their infrastructure as well as user experience. Whether you want to build a hobby site or a company website with off-the-charts growth, you’ll find their backend user interface extremely easy to use. As your business grows, you can easily upgrade to their VPS and dedicated server options.

Features

HostGator comes packed with features you’ll need to run your website smoothly. Let’s take a look at some of their highlights.

  • 1-click WordPress install: This lets you set up your WordPress installation in minutes. You don’t need any technical skill and you won’t have to hire a developer. If you can point and click, you can install WordPress with HostGator.
  • Backup and security: All your files are backed up daily and can be restored with a single click. Plus, HostGator has partnered with SiteLock to ensure your website is protected from malware and hackers.
  • Free website transfer: Move your existing website from a different host or domain for free.
  • Free SSL and domain: Enjoy free SSL protection along with a free 1-year domain registration.
  • eCommerce and SEO tools: Get tools to create your online store to sell goods and services. Plus, you can make use of SEO tools to get your site to rank on search engines.
  • cPanel access: Take full control of the backend of your website.
  • Professional email: Make use of email and productivity tools to connect with your subscribers

HostGator has a lot to offer but like every hosting company, it has its downsides too. Keeping this review fair, we’ve listed out the pros and cons of this hosting provider.

HostGator Pros:

1. Uptime Guarantee

HostGator promises an uptime guarantee of 99.99%. Moreover, you get one month credit on your account if you experience downtime that falls short of their uptime guarantee.

HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

2. Generous Money Back Guarantee

Unlike most web hosting companies out there, HostGator allows you to try their service risk-free for 45 days and if you’re not fully satisfied with their service, you’ll get your money back.

3. Free Migration

HostGator’s expert migration team helps you transfer your existing website and domain registrations from anywhere to your HostGator account. This way you can manage your entire online portfolio under a single hub. All new accounts are eligible for HostGator’s free transfers.

HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

4. Award Winning Customer Support

HostGator offers 24/7/365 server monitoring and customer support via telephone, live chat, and email ticket system. Their extensive support portal boasts over 500 video tutorials and about 700 step by step articles that help you explore different aspects of web hosting.
HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

5. Unlimited Email Accounts

Unlike most other hosting providers, all web hosting plans allow you to set up unlimited email accounts with unmetered disk space.

6. Flexible Billing Periods

When signing up with HostGator, you can choose to pay for one month to 36 months, with discounts for longer periods.

7. Add on Website Builder

You can build your website with the HostGator website builder that starts at $3.84 per month. It lets you created email campaigns and online stores as well.

HostGator Cons:

Here are some limitations of HostGator hosting:

1. Limited Free Domain Registration

HostGator offers a free domain only for the first year, after which you’ll need to pay.

2. No WooCommerce Hosting Option

Unlike Bluehost, HostGator doesn’t offer WooCommerce hosting option. So there’s no dedicated option to create an online store. However, you can use their WordPress Cloud hosting service for hosting a WooCommerce website.

HostGator Speed Tests and Uptime Guarantee

Website performance is one of the biggest factors you need to consider when choosing a web host.

Without a doubt, your visitors expect your site to load quickly – and they’ll abandon your site if it takes about three seconds to load, according to a study.

To test the performance of HostGator, we created a test site with WordPress using the default Twenty Seventeen theme. We also uploaded some dummy content to mirror the live environment on our test site.

HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

According to Pingdom’s website speed test, our test site loads in less than a second for a server in Dallas, Texas. That’s faster than 94% of all tested sites.

Apart from Pingdom, we also used a testing tool called Load Impact to figure out how HostGator handles visitors during a traffic surge. Load Impact sent some virtual users (VUs) to our site and gradually built up to 100 visitors at a time.

For a detailed look, take a look at the charts below.

HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

In the chart, you can find a blue line (VUs active) which shows the number of virtual users sent to our HostGator site and a green line (VU load time) which represents how much time it would take to load a web page for a user.

Evidently, our site was quick until there were about 80 visitors at a time. As traffic grew, the site started to slow down.

Considering the shared hosting environment, these results are pretty good. With shared hosting, you’ll be sharing your server resources with other sites. If you often get that much visitors at a time, you’ll likely need to upgrade your hosting to VPS for smoother performance.

That being said, the site never went down during our speed test. Take a look at the report on uptime and response time of our HostGator site.

HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

HostGator Server Response Time

Content published on your website will have an impact on the performance of your site. For instance, a site containing too many images will likely take more time to load compared to a site with no image.

To get a more accurate result on server response time, we decided to ignore the content of our page entirely and test the response time.

For this purpose, we used a speed testing tool known as Bitcatcha, which works differently by completely ignoring the content and records the loading time from eight different global locations: New York, LA, London, Brazil, India, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. The speed for each location is measured three separate times, and then the results are averaged.

HostGator Review: Most Popular Web Hosting Providers

From the report, you can find that our HostGator site was rated C by Bitcatcha. In the United States, the web hosting server responded quickly, in just a few milliseconds.

For all locations around the world, HostGator still responded in less than a second. It came as no surprise since HostGator servers’ are located in the United States. It also means your site will load quickly for your website visitors around the world and even faster for US visitors.

HostGator Customer Support

Over 2 million customers have already trusted HostGator; without a doubt, HostGator is one of the most reliable web hosting companies in the world.

HostGator’s award-winning customer support team is available every day throughout the year whenever you need assistance via telephone, live chat or email. Upon subscription to any of their hosting plan, you’ll get access to HostGator’s dedicated support portal from which you can manage all of your support tickets.

The documentation is extensive that helps you walk you through every aspect of website hosting with ease. Their extensive support portal comprises answers to your pertinent questions regarding web hosting. You can easily find a solution by using the search bar in the portal. Their robust help center includes 680+ help articles and 500+ video tutorials.

The best thing is that HostGator support is guaranteed by the CEO, Adam Farrar himself. If you find an issue with the regular support, you can ask your ticket to be assigned to Adam, so he can respond directly.

Ease of Use

All HostGator hosting account comes with an easy to use cPanel by which you can manage all your website, emails, billing and support portal.

You’ll find tons of different website scripts that help you easily kick start a new website with the one-click installer.

HostGator also comes with a complete drag and drop builder known as HostGator website builder, which is shipped with 100+ mobile-friendly templates. It also offers seamless integration with PayPal, making it easier for your customers to purchase your product or services right from your site built with HostGator builder.

Pricing

No matter which HostGator’s hosting plans you’re choosing, you’ll get unmetered storage and bandwidth along with an unlimited number of email addresses you can set up for your domain.

Here are some of the shared hosting plans offered by HostGator:

PLAN DISK SPACE BANDWIDTH PRICE
Shared Hatchling Unlimited Unlimited $2.64 / mo.
Hatchling Cloud 2 GB Unmetered $4.95 / mo.
WordPress Starter Unlimited Unmetered $5.95 / mo.
VPS Snappy 120 GB 1.5 TB $19.95 / mo.
Dedicated Value Server 1 TB HDD Unmetered $89.98 / mo.
Reseller Hosting 60 GB 600 GB $19.95 / mo.

FAQs

Having helped thousands of users choose a web hosting plan and start their website, we have answered just about every question you can think of. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about HostGator.

Which HostGator plan should I get?

Use shared hosting if you’re just starting out and are not expecting extremely high traffic volume. As you grow, you can upgrade your hosting to VPS (Virtual Private Server), which gives you more flexibility and high performance.

Dedicated server is for hosting a website with high traffic volume. It doesn’t share server resources with any other websites, except yours.

Where are HostGator servers located?

HostGator servers are located in Provo, Utah and Houston, Texas.

Can HostGator handle high traffic?

Yes. It depends on your hosting plan. If your site starts consuming too much resources, then HostGator will ask you to upgrade to a higher plan.

What’s unmetered bandwidth and disk space?

This means you’re NOT charged based on the amount of bandwidth or disk space you use. However, keep in mind that with a shared hosting account, according to HostGator’s Terms of Service, you can only utilize disk space and bandwidth in the normal operation of a small business website.

Hosting accounts that use 25% or more of system resources for longer than 90 seconds would be in violation of HostGator’s Terms of Service.

What happens if you exceed usage?

Once you exceed usage, you’ll receive an email notification asking you to reduce the usage. If you continue to exceed usage, you’ll probably need to upgrade to a higher server.

Does HostGator offer free website migration?

If you have an existing website that you want to transfer to HostGator, the good news is they offer FREE site transfers for new accounts within 30 days of subscription.

Can I upgrade my HostGator plan later?

We always recommend users to start with the smaller plans and upgrade as needed. HostGator makes it easy for you to upgrade without hassle.

Does HostGator offer a month-to-month payment option?

Yes, HostGator offers a month-to-month payment option for all of their hosting plans. Although it’s important to note that they offer significant discounts for longer-term deals.

Can I create subdomains in HostGator?

Yes, you can easily create subdomains in HostGator using the cPanel.

Do I need to purchase the addons that HostGator offers me?

No, you do not need to purchase any addons while purchasing a hosting plan. Should you decide that you need them later, you can always add them to your account.

How can I start an online store with HostGator?

HostGator supports a lot of different online store tools, including Magento. With a single click, you can install Magento on your hosting server.

If you want to create an online store with a WordPress powered solution like WooCommerce, you’ll first need to install WordPress on your host and then WooCommerce on top of it.

Final Recap

HostGator allows you to select from a wide variety of hosting plans that best suit your needs. You can find dozens of one-click installers to quickly kick start your website. Each plan also comes with a built-in free website builder with 100+ free mobile-friendly templates to choose from.

Over 2 million websites have already trusted HostGator, which proves that HostGator is one of the most reliable web hosting providers. Whether you are a seasoned Internet pro, or just kick starting your online career with your first website, you’ll find all tools to run an awesome website without hassle.

If you’re looking for an affordable and reliable web host, HostGator is the best bet for you.

  • Free site builder. $100 each Google AdWords and Bing Ads credit
  • 1-click WordPress installs
  • Unmetered disk space and bandwidth
  • Regular price $6.95 / mo. but our users pay $2.64 / mo!
  • 24/7 phone, chat and email support
  • Get started with HostGator now!

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