In a highly competitive and fairly crowded web hosting industry, HostGator remains a popular provider of hosting services that cover all hosting types from shared to reseller hosting. For long, the company has been known as a wallet-friendly shared hosting provider, however, today, HostGator’s cloud, dedicated and VPS hosting plans are gaining significant ground as well.
HostGator Company Overview
HostGator was founded by Brent Oxley in 2002. The company had humble beginnings, however, in a span of 7 years, they reached 200,000 customers. Their success hasn’t gone unnoticed and in 2012 HostGator joined the ranks of other popular hosting brands, acquired by the Endurance International Group. According to their website, today, HostGator hosts over 9,000,000 domains.
HostGator is an award-winning hosting provider, being awarded with multiple best hosting awards by PC Magazine, WPBeginner, and Hosting Advice.
HostGator Features & Value
HostGator manages to provide feature-packed hosting plans that are reasonably priced, meeting a diversified range of hosting needs. HostGator’s best hosting features can be summed up as follows:
- cPanel, WHM & WHMCS license included: At HostGator, even shared hosting plans come with cPanel included for increased usability and convenience. Dedicated servers come with WHM and WHMCS billing system included;
- Support for multiple programming languages (CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, etc.) and multiple applications (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Wiki, phpBB, etc.);
- 45-day money-back guarantee: Although HostGator doesn’t offer the highest money-back guarantee in the industry, its 45-day money-back guarantee is above the general 30-day guarantee provided by most companies;
- Free migration: Some hosting companies charge for migration (e.g. BlueHost), however, HostGator offers a free migration service with all their plans, and unlimited cPanel transfers with their VPS and dedicated hosting;
- Free dedicated IP and SSL with some plans: For increased security, HostGator offers free dedicated IPs and private SSL even with some of their shared hosting plans (Business shared hosting plan).
HostGator Plans & Pricing
HostGator offers plenty of hosting options and packages – you get at least three hosting plans for each type of hosting. Plans are reasonably priced and they are abundant in well-rounded features.
Shared hosting is available for as low as $3.95/mo, which includes hosting for a single domain, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered disk space, unlimited MySQL databases and email accounts, cPanel included, instant backups, advertising credit and one-click installs of several scripts and applications.
Prices for shared hosting go as high as $5.95/mo for their Business plan, which also provides hosting for unlimited domains, free toll-free number, dedicated IP, free private SSL.
If you want your website to benefit from better load times and the flexibility of a scalable hosting environment, HostGator’s cloud hosting plans are up for grabs. Available from as low as $4.95/mo, cloud hosting plans include cPanel, unmetered bandwidth, unmetered storage, local caching, unlimited domain hosting and dedicated IP with higher tier plans.
Each hosting plan has different CPU and RAM configurations, thus, the Hatchling cloud plan comes with 2 cores CPU and 2 GB RAM (costs $4.95/mo), the Baby cloud includes 4 cores CPU and 4 GB RAM (costs $7.95/mo), while the Business cloud plan includes 6 cores CPU and 6 GB RAM (costs $9.95/mo).
HostGator’s virtual private servers allow complete customization (custom installs and configuration via root access), provide dedicated resources without the expenses involved by a dedicated server. You can choose between fully-managed and semi-managed VPS options.
All three VPS plans (Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000 and Snappy 8000) come with cPanel and WHM, 2 IP addresses, support for multiple programming languages, cutting-edge server hardware (fault tolerant RAID disk arrays). Monthly costs start at $19.99 and go only as high as $39.99 (within the promotional period).
HostGator’s WordPress optimized hosting plans are built on a flexible cloud architecture for better speed and reliability. In the interest of speed, this type of hosting delivers fast load times, multiple caching layers, and an integrated content delivery network. HostGator focuses on usability, security and speed optimization, doing away with the complexities of traditional web hosting.
Prices for WordPress hosting plans start at $5.95/mo and are configured according to the number of sites you’re looking to host (up to 3 possible), the number of monthly visits your site gets (up to 300k visits per month possible), storage space and backups available.
HostGator offers both Linux and Windows servers, an option that is not provided by many hosting companies in its category. In 2016, HostGator received the Best Dedicated Hosting award from PC Magazine.
You can choose from 4 dedicated server plans and prices start at $79 for the first term ($174 recurring), and you can customize your server with up to 4 cores CPU, 16 GB RAM, 1000 GB storage, 25 TB bandwidth, 5 IP addresses.
cPanel, WHM and a free reseller account is included with all plans, as well as support for multiple programming languages and databases.
Whether you’re looking to add a hosting component to your web design services or you want to start your own full-time web hosting company, HostGator provides 3 reseller hosting plans, priced $19.95/mo (Aluminium plan), $24.95/mo (Copper), and $24.95/mo (Silver).
The latest cPanel, WHMCS billing software, brandable video tutorials, private nameservers based on your domain, 45-day money-back guarantee, easy upgrades and scalability are just some of the perks that come with reseller hosting accounts.
HostGator Customer Support
There are both positive and negative remarks about HostGator’s customer support, which is not surprising considering the size of its customer base.
All support channels – phone, email, live chat – are open 24/7 for customers, and those who like to have a go at solving problems themselves can check out HostGator’s website and browse through the huge knowledge base that contains video tutorials and handy guides categorized by topic.
HostGator Pros & Cons
Let’s take a quick look at what are HostGator’s best and worst aspects:
Pros of HostGator
- Affordable shared hosting options: Shared hosting plans start from as low as $3.95/mo. With at least 3 hosting plan variations for each hosting type, HostGator offers you plenty of options to find the hosting that’s most suitable for your website;
- Choice of Windows and Linux hosting for dedicated plans;
- Money-back guarantee: HostGator boasts a 45-day money-back guarantee, which may not be the highest in the industry, but it’s still above what most hosting providers offer;
- Beginner-friendly hosting: HostGator makes an effort to understand the needs of both beginner and advanced customers. To this end, they provide easy drag and drop site-builder tools, access to MOJO marketplace (WordPress hosting), one-click installations, but also several advanced tools in order to offer the most complete hosting experience;
- Customer service that is available 24/7 on chat, phone (including a toll-free number) and email.
Cons of HostGator
- High renewal rates with some plans: Promotional prices are always tricky, and even though some plans do have reasonable renewal rates, other plans may have pretty high renewals rates once the promotional period is over. To truly benefit from affordable pricing, HostGator requires you to commit for at least a 36-month period.
- No free domain: We can’t say that HostGator is being cheap with the freebies they offer, but unlike the majority of hosting companies, HostGator doesn’t offer a free domain name included with any of their plans.
Most customers agree that HostGator’s shared, VPS, dedicated and even WordPress hosting plans are some of the most well-rounded and feature-packed plans available in the industry. Depending on what are the typical features that you expect from a hosting provider and the period for which you may be willing to commit to a certain host, HostGator’s service may or may not be suitable for you.