Whether it’s a simple blog to show off your food recipes or even to make the next biggest online store of e-commerce products, everyone needs a website to do this. And you’ll need a web hosting provider to do this, like HostGator. This provider has VPS, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting services and so much more. In our HostGator review, we take a look at all these packages to ensure you get the best deal and the best web hosting service throughout 2021.
Who Are HostGator?
First of all, it is one of the oldest companies offering hosting services online. So much for reliability, isn’t it? They have been serving clients with over 8 million domains, worldwide. Amazing! It employees almost 850+ employees to ensure that their customers are appropriately cared for, from support to technical updates. Those are some interesting numbers. Even though they have been in the market since 2002, they are up-to-date and frequently come up with new plans and features to offer.
The following web hosting services are offered:
- Shared Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
Features like one-click WordPress installation, 24/7 customer support, free SSL and domain name, live chat, and 99.99% uptime make it one of the best hosting service providers for freelancing agencies and businesses. Hence, why HostGator is probably one of the best web hosts.
Expert HostGator Review
An in-depth analysis has been covered in our HostGator review to help you decide if HostGator is your match. We have tested it personally and have evaluated it on very strict criteria. After all, you wouldn’t want to settle for anything but the best, Following are the points we have evaluated the hosting company on. Plus, we have included the pros and cons also.
- Customer Support
- Hosting Price and plans
- Refund Policy
- Coupons and Discounts
- Option of Migration
- 45-days money-back guarantee
- Excellent customer support
- 99.98% uptime
- Free migration option
- Choice of billing duration
- User-friendly Interface
- Free SSL
- Higher security
- Comparatively slow page speed
- No free domain
- Hidden charges
Great Uptime Performance
How annoying would it be to sign up for a host only to find out that your website hardly functions properly? You face immensely slow loading time and the website keeps on disappearing while you are working on it? Moreover, switching hosts again and again certainly is not an option. So, you should go to a company that has an excellent performance quotient.
HostGator has excellent Uptime and Speed. If we talk about speed, we tested and found out that it takes on an average of 1.8s to load a site. Moreover, it got an A on the PageSpeed Score. Pretty decent, isn’t it? Also, on a different server location, Dallas, it opened in less than 1 second. Another positive feature is that the server did not under-perform even when we increased the traffic.
Now, the loading speed also affects the performance of the server. As we know, the type of content on the website affects the time it takes to load it. Therefore, a website with a lot of pictures will take longer to load. Again, HostGator outperforms the majority of the websites in terms of performance.
Taking a look at something more powerful, options like dedicated server hosting are great for those wanting more performance and traffic. Unfortunately, HostGator isn’t the top dedicated server host, that vote goes to Hetzner hosting and HostWinds.
HostGator Loading Speed
Surprisingly, even though the site has an amazing uptime of almost 99.99%, it had a comparatively low loading speed as compared to the rest of the hosts. It is a little over 1 second to load. Yes, this is not much, but when you look at the competitors, they are offering much less than this.
As you can see above, HostGator’s speed in America, and some areas of Europe are great but Los Angeles, Singapore, Australia, Tokyo, and some other aren’t great in terms of loading speed.
It has a 99.99% guaranteed uptime. Also, in the past 24-months, it has given a 99.98% uptime. Best of all, the site promises a money-back guarantee for the month your experience any downtime greater than 00.1%. AMAZING. Who even does that now, right? Thus, this shows how reliable they are. But, the only thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to submit a support ticket within 30 days. After that, there will be no refund whatsoever. Take a look at the average uptime they have provided in the past 12-months:
- Feb 2019 – 100%
- March 2019 – 99.99%
- April 2019 – 99.98%
- May 2019 – 99.95%
- June 2019 – 99.99%
- July 2019 – 100%
- August 2019 – 99.99%
- Sept 2019 – 100%
- Oct 2019 – 100%
- Nov 2019 – 100%
- Dec 2019 – 99.89%
- Jan 2020 – 99.97%
- Feb 2020 – 99.9%
There are so many ways in which support is provided to the customers. You have the following options:
- Live chat
- Ticket support
- Support Portal
- Video tutorials
- Toll-free number: 866-98GATOR
- Customer portal
- Knowledge Base
Undoubtedly, problems do arise. Even though HostGator has amazing service and gives you excellent features, there are certain situations in which you need help. First of all, you can check the knowledge base to see if the question you want to ask is already answered or not. Mostly, many topics are already covered in the knowledge base. Even then, if you don’t find your answer, you can always contact them.
We took it upon ourselves to ask the support team a few questions. We even jumped from one topic to another, but the support team was very supportive and did not show any discomfort in answering any of our questions. Overall, we give them 100% on customer support. The staff was not only courteous, friendly, and well-trained, they were well-educated in their field.
Hosting Price and Packages
Now comes the best part. The plans and price. HostGator has catered to every category of clients. The plans are very budget-friendly and there is something available for everyone. First of all, you need to choose a hosting type. As mentioned above, it can be shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS, WordPress hosting and Cloud hosting, Reseller hosting, windows hosting, website builder, and application hosting.
Shared Hosting: This is an excellent way to host your site. With shared hosting, you get to share the resources with other websites.
WordPress Hosting: This is an across the board plan which is specially optimized for only WordPress sites. It helps to protect against malware attacks and optimizes performance.
Cloud Hosting: You get to use multiple servers. It is perfect for websites that are facing sudden spikes in online traffic. Unfortunately, HostGator’s cloud hosting isn’t that of Cloudways or even a platform like DreamHost. Overall, Cloudways is the best for cloud hosting options including AWS, GCP, and other mainstream cloud providers.
Dedicated Hosting: In this, the package option is solely dedicated to your website or resource, hence the name. This can be excellent if you have a huge website and the manpower to run it also. As in this, the total responsibility is on you and the host provides you with nothing else except the server, you can often purchase further support on these, referred to as ‘Managed dedicated server hosting.’
Free domain for a year. Easy and affordable
Scalable hosting with full root access
Drag, drop and you are ready to publish
Free migration along with 2.5 times the speed.
Full control of your server. The ultimate control.
All these plans are the initial ones. You get the following features with each plan you opt for:
Unmetered Bandwidth: You get unlimited bandwidth (the maximum each plan offers) to cater to unlimited traffic for your website.
Free transfer of sites: Do you already have an established website? Easily bring it over!
Free Domain: You are covered for the first year. Yes, HostGator offers free domain for the first year. Nice, isn’t it?
Free SSL support
Shared Hosting Plan
Usually, when you are starting off, you should opt for the shared hosting plans. Therefore, we will look in detail at the plans being offered in the shared hosting category. You can easily get more traffic and build your website in very economical rates. But, you are not restricted to it at all. If you feel your site has outgrown the plan, you can always shift to some other plan.
There are three plans which HostGator offers in shared hosting. All three of them come with unlimited bandwidth and storage options. The major difference is in the websites you can host. The number of websites you can host depends on the plan you are opting for. Following are the plans:
Business: Want to run a small business? Or a small e-commerce website? The business plan is a plan for you. It provides a free IP which is fully dedicated. Along with it, free SSL certification.
Baby Plan: In this plan, you can easily host unlimited websites on your server. You get a one-click installer for WordPress and private SSL.
Hatchling Plan: This is the most basic plan you can go for. In this, you get a 1-click installer for WordPress. Moreover, you can only host one website at a time.
cPanel Website Transfer
Free SSL Certification
Free dedicated IP
HostGator’s refund policy is a very important aspect to look into. You must be aware of many hosts, we come across who offer 24-hours money-back guarantee or 72-hours money-back guarantee. But, HostGator has gone a step further. They are offering a 45-day money-back policy. Even though the normal industry average is 30 days.
This shows the level of confidence they have in their services. You can easily use if for over a month and see how it works out. If you are not satisfied, you can always ask for a monetary refund.
But, there is a catch. You can only ask for a refund on VPS hosting, reseller, and shared hosting plans. You can not ask for a refund for dedicated servers, installation fee, and administrative fee. Still, it is an excellent offer for you.
You don’t need to worry about how you are going to pay for the services. You can easily pay through PayPal and multiple credit cards. Hence, you have flexibility over the way you spend.
If we consider the shared hosting plan, it is fairly simple. You get the general features, but not the high-end ones. Added features like the SiteLock monitoring system are available. It is a feature that runs in the background daily. What it does is that it keeps track of any potential breaches on your site. Moreover, it informs you as soon as it finds any sort of threat.
You also get Spam Assassin. You will not be getting any spam in your inbox after you install it. SiteLock has an additional fee. So, check that before you go ahead and opt for it.
It only takes 24-48 hours to fully activate your account. Considering the time other hosts take, it is quite feasible.
Free migration of cPanel and Sites
If you have an already established and developed site, don’t worry about it. Hostgator has got you covered. The only catch is that you have to inform them about your site within 30 days. Only then you can get them to help you in transferring all your data, scripts, files and even the domain name. It covers the entire cPanel migration. Therefore, if you have multiple sites, you can easily bring them over to the server. All of them come with only single cPanel migration. Only for the more complex plans do you get access to more than 30.
Both the host and the interface are user-friendly and easy to operate. It is tailor-made for newbie’s and easy enough to use for professionals. You can find unlimited tutorials and walkthroughs on how to use and navigate the world of data centers. The interface is so easy to use that you don’t need to set up a site.
Coupons and Discounts
Another very interesting feature we came across was the 60% coupon they offer to the clients. Different websites have customized coupons that you can avail.
Disadvantages of HostGator
Let’s look at some of the issues we faced while testing HostGator for our website hosting.
On the forefront, the basic plans are very economical. But, once you add in features, the price keeps adding on. All you get is a single domain name, free SSL, unmetered bandwidth, and unlimited storage. Anything else and you have to pay a price for that.
You get free data backup for all your websites. All the data is saved and secure on the global host server for use later on. Hence, no need to worry at all!
Honest HostGator Customer Reviews
Even though we have used and reviewed HostGator ourselves, we always look around for verified customer reviews and include it in our guide. Not only does this give you a clearer picture of what others have experienced, it makes the decision easier. So, let’s get down to it
Chloe: I am very happy with the services being offered so far. The customer support was very patient while dealing with me.
Sudhir Kumar Pantagai: This turned out to be good. It is my first website. Even though I did not have any prior knowledge in handling things myself, the team helped me in clearing many doubts. Sometimes, I take help from YouTube. Overall, I am very happy.
Brendan Kelly: While I was setting up my website, I went to customer support through chat many times. On most of the occasions, I received excellent help. I am still struggling with collecting resources to put on the website, but I have still not abandoned it. I will have it up and running in a month or so.
Anne Ready: I am so happy that my tech recommended HostGator to me. First of all, Miss Kirby and then Ralph M have been a delight to work with. They responded quickly and with knowledgeable information. Best of all, they patiently answered all my questions and kept up with me. Thank you so much and please keep them both.
John Solaroli: Amazingly, HostGator is half the price we were paying for our previous website host. And best of all, it works just as well.
HostGator Review Roundup
It goes without saying that more than 2 million people worldwide have used HostGator. That says quite a lot about the host. The reason for such a wide clientage is that they offer budget-friendly plans for everyone. If you don’t want to overspend, you can always opt for the basic plan. On the other hand, if you want the best of the line, you can go for all the added features.
Moreover, our experience has also been a delightful one with them. So, why not give it a try? The features and pros speak enough for the site. The WordPress cloud hosting is a bit expensive, but the performance is just right for the price.
To be honest, it is not exceptional. It is a fairly simple host, easy to use, and affordable. So, if you are not looking for something very fancy, this can be a good option to opt for.