- Free domain registration: Yes
- Network uptime guarantee: 99.99%
- Free Google/Bing Ads credit: Worth $200
- Unlimited bandwidth: Yes, Unmetered
- HostGator control panel: Yes, cPanel
- Server hotlink protection: Available
- DDoS protection: Yes, Free
- Live chat customer support: Yes, 24/7
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Free website transfer service
- Contract-free hosting plans
- Dedicated IP sold separately
- Strict policies on resource usage
- US-only data centers
If you’re looking for an all-around solution, get HostGator. It offers affordable hosting plans for setting up any type of website. Despite the low-price, it maintains quality services with an uptime guarantee of 99.99%. Support is available round the clock to help users address challenges as well.
In preparing this HostGator review, we evaluated it based on the following:
- Network uptime
- Customer support
We also covered its most useful features extensively. But we didn’t stop there. You’ll find a comparison of it against peers such as BlueHost, SiteGround, and GoDaddy.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What is HostGator?
HostGator is a veteran in the web hosting industry. The company started operating in 2002 by offering affordable shared plans. A decade later, it became part of Endurance International Group through a $225 million acquisition. This saw the host expand services to target the ever-growing needs of corporates. Despite the changes, it still upholds the spirit of providing pocket-friendly solutions to individuals and businesses.
It offers a robust website builder, DDoS protection, and free domain registration. Developer plans are available too. There are dedicated servers for gaming, apps, and large enterprises. It’s for this reason that 800,000+ customers trust HostGator worldwide.
HostGator has 12,000+ servers in Texas and Utah data centers. Each facility is backed up by UPS batteries and diesel generators for redundant power. The setup enables this cheap web hosting company to have an excellent uptime always.
When it comes to performance, this host aggregates connectivity from multiple suppliers. This includes Comcast, Hurricane Electric, and Cogent Communications. The combination delivers ultrafast low-latency gigabit speeds across the network. It also minimizes downtimes by rerouting traffic requests away from lines that are experiencing downtimes.
Security is equally superb at these facilities. HostGator’s network administrators monitor the systems round the clock. This ensures incidents are addressed timely to prevent outbreaks from occurring. Manned surveillance is in place to make things better. It includes CCTV monitoring, biometric locks, and access restrictions at all points of entry.
Here are HostGator’s most outstanding features:
Ease of use
Getting started with any service might be tricky. But HostGator makes it simple through its easy-to-use control panel. Its user interface is borrowed from the popular industry-leading cPanel. What’s noticeable is the arrangement of features. You can easily configure domains, manage emails, and upgrade your database.
There’s a separate marketplace for adding more functionality to your server. The beauty of it is you don’t even have to be an expert. It offers one-click installation for plugins, scripts, and essential apps. You can also uninstall any software that you wish.
A number of HostGator reviews made mention of paid add-ons as well. This covers services such as website development, graphic design, and SEO. But it gets better. For teams, users can rely on premium Google apps and Facebook Business for work.
Tons of freebies
HostGator offers domains at a zero cost for the first year. Once this period ends, it will cost you $15.00 to renew the web address.
Users also get SSL certificates on HostGator’s bill. The exciting part about it is it supports an unlimited number of websites. On top of it, you can additionally include a limitless number of subdomains. Unlike domains that are renewable, site encryption is free for good.
For users that want to switch hosts, HostGator makes onboarding easy. They provide a migration service for moving your website to their servers. Moreover, the company’s team of experts will customize everything to suit your needs. You won’t be charged any extra.
HostGator’s hosting plans come with a website builder. It has 100+ free prebuilt templates for creating any type of site. To make things simple, you can use the drag-drop and live editor for customizations. You can move, reposition, and edit elements with ease on webpages.
SEO tools are available for increasing your visibility on search engines. Users can edit meta descriptions of articles, images, videos, and more. This enriches the schema markup that’s of benefit in displaying rich snippets on search results.
Here’s how that works:
Google, Bing, and others alike usually display text results. Using schema adds data such as media files to the code of a webpage makes search engines display an attractive sneak preview of your site. Overall, you’ll benefit from tons of organic traffic by implementing it.
An easy-to-use control panel isn’t the only HostGator advantage. You have the option of choosing between semi and fully managed plans. The former is for advanced users with knowledge of web hosting. It’s ideal for installing and running apps other than the ones provided by the host. Apart from that, you can tweak your server’s performance to the maximum.
If you’re not one of them, the latter option is your best pick. HostGator’s technical team will handle security and maintenance tasks. Likewise, they’ll optimize everything to deliver a smooth experience to your visitors. This leaves you with more time in your hands to update your website.
This vendor isn’t like other site hosting services that limit resource usage. It gives users limitless bandwidth that’s capable of serving millions of visitors.
However, the terms of service made quite a negative impression, when we were preparing this HostGator review.
It states that users are disallowed from using 25% of system resources for 90+ seconds. If you do so, it will result in a violation of the contract. As a result, your website will temporarily go offline for exceeding this limit.
But. Given that bandwidth is shared, reaching that restriction will be impossible. No matter how much we tried in our performance tests, our website stayed put. Above all, we were unable to find any complaints about it.
HostGator’s website hosting plans offer top-grade security to guard your apps/websites. For starters, there’s a robust web application firewall (WAF). It helps to keep bad guys away by filtering spam/suspicious traffic requests. For massive cyberattacks, anti-DDoS protection kicks into action to defend you.
Advanced users are also not left out. There’s room to configure custom rules. You can filter out IPs and geo-restrict users. Data-center level defense secures your resources from network-wide incidents.
Malware attacks are a noteworthy threat to websites nowadays. To avoid that, you’ll find CodeGuard that alerts you before viruses take control. You can clean all malicious codes from your site with just one click.
Apart from software-automated tasks, HostGator’s team of experts also keep watch. They ensure all threats are picked up and stopped. In short, you’re always in safe hands with this host.
This host hardly makes mention of backups on the list of features. Upon further inquiry, we found the option inside the user control panel. You can manually back up your data. Note that the availability of space is limited to your hosting plan.
We found out from HostGator reviews that the automation of this task is possible through cron jobs. However, this method is for advanced users. You are required to program the servers via root access.
If that’s out of your expertise, you can pay for HostGator’s CodeGuard service. For just $2.00/Month, you’ll be able to secure your site to an offsite location. Though it runs daily, it offers just 1GB of storage.
Backups are important in a number of ways. You can restore your site in the event of failed updates or hacking incidents. It’s a must-have too for switching hosting providers. All you have to do is create and transfer the archives to a new host.
Free credit Google/Bing Ads
If you think building a site from scratch is hard try marketing it. The good thing is HostGator gives users up to $200 for Google and Bing Ads. This is part of its business plan to attract new customers with irresistible offers. With this amount, you can advertise your website to start receiving traffic straightway.
Since free launch doesn’t exist, there’s a catch. HostGator requires you to spend at least $25 on the mentioned networks. Once you accomplish that, you’ll be given a coupon code to claim the offer. On the downside, it’s only applicable to new ad accounts on Google/Bing. If you already have one, just register afresh to take advantage of this bargain.
This host promises clients an uptime guarantee of 99.99%. In case something goes wrong, you’ll be given one month’s credit as compensation. The good thing is it covers all HostGator packages across the board.
That sounds decent on paper. But details hidden in fine print tell a different story. As per the service level agreement (SLA), some issues don’t qualify for reimbursement. These include maintenance and technical issues beyond control.
Another thing is HostGator reserves the right to compensate customers. This means that it needs to conduct audits before approving a refund. However, that shouldn’t worry you. In a period spanning 9 months in 2020, there were zero network-wide issues.
We conducted a few tests to determine the company delivers as per their promise. To accomplish this, we set up a website on a trial HostGator VPS account. The first thing we checked is response time as measured by Fastorslow.com. This gives you the idea of how fast the servers respond to traffic requests. We managed to obtain an average of 350ms.
The next thing we checked is the time to first byte (TTFB). This refers to the period it takes for the website to fulfill visitor requests. For this one, we used Bytecheck.com and the results were impressive. From our setup, we obtained 250ms on the higher side.
DNS connectivity is fast too. It’s used to determine the duration for finding your domain across the internet. Based on the results we got from Bytecheck.com, HostGator averages 50ms. Overall, your website will load in under a second. Honestly speaking, that’s super fast.
Here are HostGator’s hosting services alongside the preview of features.
HostGator shared hosting
Shared hosting provides an affordable way for anyone that wishes to create a website. Unlike the competition, HostGator gives users limitless resources. With that in mind, users can host an unlimited number of sites.
On the list of features, you’ll find unlimited bandwidth/storage, dedicated IP, and free SSL. Other than that, webmail services are available as well. You can configure professional emails for your business and colleagues.
Some of the tools to help you get started include a website builder. It’s easy to use and has drag-and-drop functionality. There’s also a live editor. You can edit your web page while simultaneously checking for device compatibility.
WordPress plans on HostGator offer a cost-effective solution for setting up a website. All servers come preconfigured to help you get started. Unlike in the shared tier, resource usage is decent. You get 100,000+ guaranteed visitor support. In case you exceed this, your users will experience a slight decline in performance.
The best thing about WordPress CMS is platform support. You’ll have access to 50,000+ free templates to use. There are 5,000+ plugins to help you with customizations – our favs are Beaver and Elementor. Together, you can get your site up and running in under 30 minutes.
As for the features, users get a free domain and email hosting. Likewise, top of the range security is included. You get CodeGuard for backup/restore tasks and malware removal. Site lock beefs up security by blocking bots, spam traffic, and intruders.
Website migrations come at a zero cost. You can use it to swiftly break ties with a bad host. All that’s required is to submit a support ticket to get it done.
VPS allows you to install custom software other than the ones provided by the host. That way, you’ll have greater control of performance optimization and security. Users still get to benefit from datacenter-level protection. This reduces the chances of facing downtimes due to hacking incidents.
For novice users, HostGator provides managed services to help you. With this arrangement, software and server updates are handled by the host. This leaves you with the easy task of creating content for your website.
HostGator dedicated server
Dedicated hosting provides users standalone servers for building powerful apps/websites. This plan differs slightly from VPS. In the latter option, customers share the same resources. While on this one, you’re given a physical computing machine to use all for yourself.
Developers have the option of working on Linux and Windows environments. While preparing this HostGator review, we were impressed by the CPU/RAM allocation. Users can deploy custom applications to meet any hosting demands.
The storage space is nothing short of exciting. It comes with a minimum of 120GB and goes all the way to 2TB. On the downside, customizable options are missing. It would be ideal to order a unique server outside what’s listed on the website.
This top-rated hosting provider offers reseller plans for businesses and freelance agents. It allows you to operate as a host without owning any infrastructure. Users get to benefit from maintenance and technical support for free.
With this plan, you can accommodate an unlimited number of domains. Users get to offer their clients a control panel by cPanel L.L.C. Apart from that, you can rebrand all services to that of your company. This includes swapping HostGator’s name servers to that of your domain.
A free WHMCS software is included to assist you with client management. You can automate billing, organize products, and add/suspend dormant accounts. It includes a separate dashboard for monitoring resource usage.
Not all is perfect. While you can add countless users, storage and bandwidth are limited. In a nutshell, clients will experience a drop in service quality when you overload the server. To address this, you may be required to upgrade to a higher plan.
There are multiple channels for addressing issues. One of them is a knowledge base for troubleshooting common challenges. Based on HostGator reviews, users compliment it for being rich with loads of useful content. From our observation, we were able to count 1000+ articles and video tutorials.
You can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat, phone, and email. We talked to them about a few issues and found the support agent to be friendly and willing to help.
The host offers localized support depending on user regions. There are dedicated sites to support users based on country. Some notable ones include India, Brazil, Turkey, China, and more.
HostGator vs Bluehost
HostGator and Bluehost both rank among the best website hosting providers. They offer affordable plans backed up by excellent customer support. However, there are critical areas where these hosts differ in terms of product and service delivery. The most notable one is pricing. Whereas the former has monthly tiers, the latter only offers yearly plans.
HostGator’s pricing is transparent too. While comparing the two, we found Bluehost to have many hidden add-ons. The host additionally requires users to sign-up for long-term contracts to benefit from discounts. That can deter potential customers.
HostGator also wins in terms of resource allocation. You get unlimited bandwidth and storage in select plans. With the competition, everything is limited. As bad as it sounds, there are upsides to it. It enables the host to offer superior service by restricting the abuse of resources. From our tests, Bluehost managed to perform 15% better than its rival.
HostGator vs SiteGround
SiteGround is another top contender in the hosting industry. It offers a wide range of products such as shared, WordPress, and cloud services. However, it lacks VPS and reseller plans, which are offered by HostGator.
SiteGround’s pricing is also on the higher side. Its lowest tier of $6.99/Month is more than double that offered by the competition. On the brighter side, traffic is unmetered. But this comes at the expense of limited storage space. Even on the cloud plans, you can get up to 120GB of SSD space.
This falls short of the 120GB+ offered by HostGator. Despite that, it compensates the shortfall by giving free CDN to all customers. It enhances user experience by accelerating webpage loading time.
GoDaddy vs HostGator
GoDaddy is a big brand in the web hosting industry. You probably know them from their unbeatable domain offers. But they do have attractive plans for users looking to develop websites/apps. Pricing is equally as affordable as HostGator plans.
On the resource side, both HostGator and GoDaddy are basically on the same level. They offer unlimited storage and bandwidth for supporting millions of visitors. You’ll find a number of options to help you jump on board. These include one-click app installations, website builder, and priority customer support.
GoDaddy, however, outpaces its peers when it comes to ecommerce. It has dedicated plans for supporting online business. You’ll find WooCommerce for managing products in your shop. A payment gateway is included as well for processing customer purchases.
HostGator’s pricing is as follows:
- Shared hosting – $2.75/Month
- WordPress – $5.95/Month
- VPS server – $19.95/Month
- Dedicated – $89.98/Month
There’s no free version but the host has a 45-day unconditional money-back guarantee. This is more than enough time to test their products. In case you’re unimpressed, just request a refund.
HostGator is one of the best full-service web hosting companies around. It offers affordable solutions for running all types of websites and applications. You’ll find a good number of useful features to help you get started. The website builder is one of the best out there. You can choose from 100+ templates to use.
Another notable mention is bandwidth – it’s endless. You can serve millions of users without the worry of running out of resources.
Overall, HostGator reviews praise the company and the solution. We’re no exception. The host has a variety of wonderful things in store for its customers. Why don’t you see for yourself?
Yes, it is! HostGator has affordable WordPress plans for beginners and expert users. You’ll find unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth.
A free domain is included in the mix. You can use it to also create a matching business email for your company.
For more info about that plan, see our HostGator review above.
WordPress in itself is a free content management system (CMS) for websites. HostGator provides you with an easy way of installing it through the marketplace. Apart from that, this top domain hosting company has preconfigured plans for this purpose. All that’s required of you is part of hosting fees to benefit from this product. With prices starting at $5.95/Month, that’s practically a steal.
HostGator uses a customized control panel that’s based on cPanel L.L.C’s version. The only difference that you’ll notice is the branding. You can easily access all the features without any hassle and hustle.
Most definitely. All hosting plans come with premium SSD storage by default.
During our tests, we managed to get network ping times of 350ms. When combined with a DNS connectivity of 50ms, expect your website to load in seconds. Likewise, there are a number of tricks that you can employ to boost performance.
During tests, we didn’t face any downtimes whatsoever. The company has an uptime guarantee of 99.99%. If something fails, you’ll be credited a month’s worth of hosting.
They’re sister companies. Both HostGator and Bluehost are part of Endurance International Group (EIG). It also owns major hosting brands such as PureHost, FatCow, iPage, and more.
According to website hosting services reviews, HostGator is better. Bluehost only offers year-long plans that are costly for the average user. Despite that high cost, their resources aren’t any better. It provides customers with limited storage and metered bandwidth.
Unlike its peer, HostGator has pocket-friendly plans. There’s also an online portal with 1000+ support articles/videos to get you started. In case you get stuck, support is available via chat 24/7. You surely can’t go wrong with this host.
HostGator has affordable plans that will make you get spoilt for choice. Some notable features include unlimited bandwidth/storage, custom WordPress offers, and excellent customer support. Likewise, you’ll have access to hundreds of templates for building professional websites in a snap.
In comparison, GoDaddy shines in domain registration. They offer incredible deals than any other registrar in the market. The company also has limited web hosting products. All in all, it provides a perfect start for users looking to host basic websites.
However, HostGator reviews reveal that users prefer it for hosting over the competition.