Joe owns an antique bookshop and a website dedicated to selling his books online. As he is not a website expert he is finding it quite difficult to cope up with his competitors’ websites which are highly organized. “How do they do that?” Joe wonders. On the other hand, Joe’s website isn’t performing well and tons of software and apps are costing him money. One of his friends suggests a web hosting solution. So he starts finding reviews on web hosting to get started. With other companies, he also lands on a HostGator review just like you did.
If you can relate with joe in real life and want to know whether HostGator is the one that can help your website shine then you are on the right webpage. In this HostGator review, I’ll give you an unbiased tour of all the merits and demerits of HostGator. We’ll also find out the reliability of this service provider against its price. We know HostGator is cheap but does it provide enough for that price or is it bare bones only! Let’s find out.
HostGator in brief
HostGator in brief
Though HostGator is popular now, still everything has a starting point. So did HostGator. It was founded in Florida in 2002 by Brent Oxley. Brent was a student at Florida Atlantic University. The interesting part is it was founded in a dorm. Many years passed and by 2012 their success had exploded. Now it is a common name in the web hosting industry.
Hostgator is one of the oldest web hosting companies. If you own a website for a long time there’s no way you have never heard of HostGator. Yes, it is that popular.
Hostgator is a big fish in the web hosting industry. It has been a favorite of many for quite a long time for its cheap prices. We know HostGator is cheap but does it provide enough for that price or is it bare bones only! Let’s find out.
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Decent storage
- Swift load time
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Flexible purchase terms
- Multiple programming languages
- Free site migration
- User-Friendly interface
- Too much upsells
- Price tricks on expensive plans
- Below average uptime
- Paid auto backup
- No advanced features
- Amature customer support.
Website hosting services
In shared hosting, the website shares the resources and bandwidth of the server with other websites. To illustrate, think of it as a unit in a dorm. The people living there share the same resource ( ie. bathroom, parking, dining space). By doing this they fulfill their need for shelter yet save money through sharing resources.
In shared hosting also you will be sharing the resources of the host with other fellow users. If your website is new and doesn’t require that many resources then it’s the perfect plan for you. As shared hosting is for basic website essentials ( bandwidth, domain, SSL certificate, WordPress installation). There is no extra privilege just the essentials to host a website.
In one word it comes with the core features only. In HostGator you can add sitelock monitoring to your site for extra security. it lets you know if there are any breaches or hack attempts. Keep in mind that Sitelock will cost you extra. With an extra cost, you can provide security to prevent spam from coming to your inbox.
A dedicated hosting server is the most powerful server. It comes with all the resources and storage. It gives you control over your web hosting solution. It’s like owning your bungalow. All the resources( washroom, parking space) everything is dedicated to you and you only.
There is no need to share resources in dedicated hosting. It comes in handy when you have tons of traffic engaging with your website all the time. To keep the website uptime going they need all the hosting resources for themselves. If the resources are shared the website performance will decline.
VPS means Virtual Private Server. It provides some extra specific software configuration. So that you can enjoy a level of customization in your website. It’s like having a flat in a complex. You have your partitioned share of resources and essentials still have to share space with others. These sort of server-specific resources are dedicated to you.
It is for those who need customization for their website and a low to medium range of resources for their moderate traffic. The catch here is you have to know some technical knowledge like programming. You need to use a different programming language. If you can deal with that then you are good to go.
WordPress is our go-to solution for website building and maintenance. So almost every web hosting solution tries to honor the love of users for WordPress. Keeping that tradition on HostGator WordPress hosting provides WordPress hosting that is optimized for WordPress.
It can cost you $12.95 for one site to $81.95 per month.
Cloud hosting is one of the newest and modern additions to website hosting. Here you share resources with other users, the same as shared hosting. The only difference is it does not limit the sharing on the server only. It keeps switching from server to server. It is a network of connected servers. So your websites won’t only be hosted on one server but several.
And they will share resources like memory and CPU when needed more from other servers. At a really cheap cost of $10.95 per month.
This HostGator review won’t be complete without a comprehensive performance analysis. So here I go.
The well-organized interface of the HostGator is great for beginners. It is easy to navigate and make choices. If you are more comfortable with the classic cPanel then the HostGator has covered you up with that also. So it’s a win-win situation for both the beginners and the pros. Everything is well explained in the customized dashboard of the HostGator. Providing you the premium ambiance for web hosting.
It shows interactive features for beginners to design, build, and manage everything on their website. Which comes as a boon for beginners like Joe, remember? If even that doesn’t convince you then let me break this to you. Hostgator comes with its website builder tool called “gator”. So by all this, I can tell HostGator has done comprehensive market research and found out what its customers( mostly the beginners) need. Well, beginners need assistance and an easy-to-understand interface which is always honored by the HostGator.
It comes with the easiest drag and drop feature to customize the look of your website like a color filling game.
Domain names are the prime identity of a website. So it’s basic that a hosting company will provide domain names. Hostgator gives Free domain for one year with its basic shared plan( hatchling) even. After that, you have to renew it. If you ask me, don’t fall for it. You can have a domain name outside of a web hosting company for a much cheaper price. ( it’s an implied rule of the industry).
To make this HostGator review unbiased I will break it to you that HostGator isn’t a leading domain name registrar. There are many cheap options other than hosting companies available out there. In HostGator, a .com domain costs $12.95 for the first year. And the cherry on top the renewal price is $17.99. Which seems unacceptable to me.
Here are the terms of a domain name for each shared hosting plan.
- Hatchling plan – 1 domain name.
- Baby plan – unlimited domain names.
- Business plan – unlimited domain names.
You will also get unlimited subdomains with each of the above plans.
In the HostGator hosting plan you will get unlimited email accounts with email storage. The only downside is it is not suitable for sending bulk emails. The capacity of sending email is restricted to 500 emails per hour. Which is an upsetting range for large business enterprises.
Need multiple databases? Then the basics are provided here. You can have as many databases as you need in the HostGator. The size of your databases isn’t limited either, just you have to keep it in mind that databases should be under 250,000 files (inodes). Another disappointment for the enterprise users.
You can get over 75 apps and plugins in HostGator. Each app comes with distinctive features which take your website performance one step further. Popular apps like WordPress and Joomla are present here. We will talk about these in detail in this HostGator review later. In HostGator, they make sure it is easy to install popular apps and CMSs in a few steps using QuickInstall. Again respecting the inexperience of the newbies.
Popular content management applications like Magento and Drupal are also available in HostGator.
Already had a web host but now you want to switch to Hostgator? No problem, HostGator will fully assist you in site transfer for free. This is a commendable service of HostGator as most web hosting companies don’t do it for free. After subscribing to any plan of HostGator you have to let them know that you want a site transfer. You have to do it within the first 30 days. Then the support team of Hostgator will shift all the
- A domain name
- Site files and
You can even get a full cPanel transfer. It’s like changing an apartment but still staying at home. As you will have every necessity from your previous site. Hostgator’s shared web hosting plan offers 1 cPanel transfer which is the minimum of this server and the reseller plan provides up to 30 Cpanel transfers.
Measurable site analytics is another helpful feature that helps you to measure the data and traffic engagement of your website. Any malicious activity can also be tracked easily. Which helps to protect the sovereignty of your website. Moreover, a free SSL certificate to help safeguard your visitors’ data. That little lock icon beside your domain address assures your visitors that their device data is safe with your website. Which tremendously affects the number of website visits and SEO.
Uptime is the life support of your website. If the website’s uptime is down then it can surely be listed as a failure. Uptime is the ability of a website to present itself to its audience. Downtime negatively impacts the audience’s satisfaction. The uptime of the HostGator is a bit controversial. As it has been poor in the past years having average uptime of 99.93% only. Which didn’t even meet their policy promise of 99.90%. It is a bit disappointing. But the word of hope is now HostGator is serious about their uptime and working to improve it.
To gain back the trust of its clients HostGator is now guaranteeing 99.90% uptime if not then return of one month credit on your account. This is a unique and challenging offer, to begin with. If you experience any real downtime in HostGator then you can simply contact their customer support and avail of this offer. To avail of this offer submit a ticket to the support center to get the credit within 30 days. It shows how hard the HostGator is working on uptime improvement to stay in the competition. This is reasonable as uptime is the life support of every website.
Loading speed is the time a website takes to load its contents. The faster it loads the better. you are not going to offer barebone websites to your clients, are you? your website will naturally have content like images, videos, and tons of plugins which can ultimately affect your load time. Now your web host must help you optimize the website for faster load time. An ideal web hosting server does so. The load time has to be less than a second.
The loading speed of the HostGator that I experienced is 734ms. It has improved since the last time I tested it because It took more than a second before. If I have to break it to you then I have to say that this load time is not the best nor the worst either. Compared to its starting price it somehow seems reasonable also. If you have a basic website then it will look faster to you and your audience.
Unfortunately, default backup features of HostGator are almost non-existent, They only keep 1 weekly, daily and monthly copy of your site. Which is not so appealing in this modern era. For extra backup, you have to add on at around $25 extra per year. And to more disappointment $25 extra each time you ask them to restore.
CDN stands for content delivery network. It assures fast delivery of data through geographically distributed groups. They work as a proxy server. This is practiced by many web hosting companies in recent times. Unfortunately, the HostGator doesn’t provide a CDN. You can have a similar facility if you connect an external solution like Cloudflare.
The confidence of the HostGator shows in its return policy. It offers a 45 days return policy instead of the industry standard 30 days. Which gives an extra boost to the beginners. Is this web hosting custom designed for beginners or what? Giving all the privileges to them every time. keeping my agenda aside, I think this can help you to make an informative decision after you try HostGator. And you are also having the basics from this HostGator review so you are good to go.
This offer is available for all shared, reseller, and VPS hosting plans. Though it does not apply to dedicated servers. Some expenses like
- administrative fees,
- installation fees
- custom software
Are also not part of the refund policy for obvious reasons. It is a common practice in this industry So nothing to be surprised about. Another thing you should keep in mind is refunds are available for first plans and accounts only. Renewal plans don’t fall into the refund category at all. People sometimes assume that they will get refunds even for the renewal plans. Unfortunately, it’s not so. The hosting company provided that on first plans to gain your faith.
The customer support of Hostgator is amazing. The best part is their fast response time. I have contacted them at three different times of the day with problems and the average response is 30 seconds. Which exceeds way beyond my expectations. Commendable in one word. They provide their support through,
- Phone calls
- Live chat (for all the introverts out there)
- Knowledge base.
Hostgator is a big fish in the web hosting industry. It has been a favorite of many for quite a long time for its cheap prices. The Price here starts at $2.75. Which is one of the cheapest rates if you have any idea about the rest of the web hosting companies. Plans of Hostgator can be purchased on a 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months basis.
Shared hosting prices
The basic attraction of HostGator is its cheap-priced shared hosting plans. It has 3 categories.
- Hatchling( i would recommend)
- Baby plan ( try when you are experiencing growth)
- Business plan ( not worth the money)
The price of hatchling and baby plans justify the money because it gives the basics every website would need to run the business. But a business plan is not worth it because you can get better offers from other web hosting companies at a cheaper price to run your full active busy website. So why settle for less?
Dedicated hosting plan
For the premium users of web hosting services, the price of HostGator dedicated hosting plans is settled.
VPS hosting plan
Getting liberty of customization in a budget that’s what VPS hosting plans offers to you.
What any HostGator review won’t tell you
What any HostGator review won’t tell you
There are a few downsides of this web host that many HostGator reviews seldom mention.
- Limited features: there are so many basic features Missing in this hosting solution. It is disheartening. It neither has staging areas nor a built-in server-side caching system.
- Push sells: there are a lot of upsells in HostGator which can be annoying sometimes. Their beautiful-looking interface often offers you to purchase plugins and upsells without maintaining the integrity of interface usage. Who would like to see upsells when working on their website? This thing about HostGator and such other servers seem really off to me.
- Fees and add ons: it is appreciable that the HostGator is cheap. But does it lack the basics even to keep that price? You have to pay extra Fees for ‘True’ Backups. To maintain healthy Gmail, and manage Malware also requires an extra payment. SiteLock Monitoring and SEO tools are also not for free.
But they note that as “available,” as if they’re included in the plan. In actuality, you have to pay for them separately. On the other hand, many web hosting servers include these in their basic pricing.
- For speed: if you have been a site guard user then you would agree with me that SiteGround delivers hands down speed. As speed is one of the major problems, then you can switch to SiteGround or DreamHost. But let me remind you prices will be high.
- Better customer support: though in my opinion, the customer support of HostGator is decent enough still if you want more knowledgeable support then try InMotion or Site guard.
- Reliable & cheap option: A2 Hosting is known as the fastest provider at a reasonable price. Dreamhost also makes a good deal. They both can be a great price competitor of HostGator. Still, HostGator is the cheapest.
- For WordPress: Bluehost is recommended by WordPress itself. For exclusive WordPress hosting try Bluehost. It gives great uptime performance also. Siteguard is alpha in every sector even WordPress hosting.
We all know HostGator provides a cheap price but this cheap will only seem to be cheap if you lock in that low rate for three years. Other than that it’s all the same. If you can commit to their three-year plan then I think You’ll be getting a pretty good deal, no doubt. That’s why I will suggest HostGator to those users who are at beginner level looking for a low price and average performance. Hostgator can definitely serve this purpose well.
But if you own websites that need extensive server resources, speed, uptime, and value for money then HostGator might not be the right pick for you. Another thing to worry about is the pricing hikes make it too expensive after the renewal. So even the beginners should be mentally prepared to face that after your sweet period of three-year low price ends.
Anything but a larger project. In my opinion, HostGator is not suitable for larger projects.
Frequently Asked Questions of HostGator Review
What are the safety measures of the HostGator?
What are the safety measures of the HostGator?
Is HostGator fast enough?
Does WordPress recommend HostGator?
Are WordPress installation and usage free in HostGator?
What is HostGator best known for?
Still, confused? Let me wrap this up with some key points. HostGator comes with the Easiest sign-up process, interface, and dashboard. Which is a boon for all non-technical users. As they can still organize their website and not get themselves into technical jargon. It doesn’t measure the bandwidth and is generous with the storage. Which is the best part by far of my HostGator review.
Another unique fact of this hosting solution is HostGator uses other programming languages such as PHP. Using Perl, Python, and Ruby On Rails. Many web hosting servers don’t allow you to use this many languages. But one thing that I have mentioned earlier in this HostGator review and want to make you aware again is that HostGator offers big discounts for the first term. Then it costs much higher prices at renewal. It is a common practice of web hosting companies.
To make you a loyal user HostGator tries to sign you up for longer deals like 36 months at a minimum. As the payment is concerned you can pay through Credit Card, PayPal, and other options as well. By far HostGator is the best EIG hosting service I’ve tried.