One of the best-known web hosting providers, HostGator has a massive 5000 servers at their headquarters in Houston, Texas. Established in 2002, they have gone on to become a leader in the industry, now hosting over 7 million domains.
They have recently launched their Premium addition; HostGator WordPress Cloud. And it has now made it to the top-ranked hosting sites list. It is among one of the largest web hosts throughout the globe. With more than 9 million domain names hosted, it is a very reliable hosting hub.
Its Control Panel
HostGator has the industry-standard control panel for all of its plans. Control panel can be confusing if one has never used it before. Therefore, HostGator has customized it to make it more easy-to-use.
From the control panel, the users can easily add packages to the plan based on what they want to do. For example, one can select that one needs to support more traffic, integrate a blog, or are trying to sell stuff. Based on the selections, HostGator recommends a package to add to users’ plan.
One can see all of your options nicely organized in tabs. This makes it easy to find what one needs.
The control panel also makes it extremely easy to get support. A knowledgebase search in the sidebar gives a quick access to articles. And a support tab at the top lets the users reach live chat support with no problem. This makes its control panel very user-friendly.
Customer Service: 5/5
Technical Support: 5/5
Storage Allowance: 5/5
Response Times: 5/5
Overall Usability: 5/5
Total Score – 93%
What you get!
HostGator offers a choice of three hosting plans on their Linux servers. Each has a great range of features and tools. It offers unlimited storage allowance and unlimited bandwidth. Ease-of-use is guaranteed with the top-rated Cpanel as the control panel software of choice. This means that accounts can be managed simply and efficiently. The Fantastico script library is included, providing 52 scripts suitable for forums, blogs or e-commerce sites.
HostGator web hosting plans aren’t that expensive. Unfortunately, they don’t include the price of a domain, which will set one back another $15. Most of their competitors include a domain for free.Host Gator has a wide variety of price points. It’s basically Starbuck’s style of pricing: the users tell them how much they’re comfortable spending. Host Gator gives the option of VPS or Dedicated Servers.
There’s also the opportunity to join in a more economical package now and upgrade down the road as the business grows. The users can upgrade to a VPS or Dedicated Server without switching web hosts. VPS packages start at $19.95 per month and Dedicated Server packages start at $174 per month. If one is ready to commit to a 3-year deal, one will get a great deal. It’s definitely a big chunk up front, but they’ve been around a long time, so it’s not likely they’ll disappear. Beating the typical promise is Host Gator’s 45-day money back guarantee. That’s 50% longer than most!
Again, unlike most of their competitors, HostGator charge setup fees on some hosting plans.
The Sharing Plans
HostGator comes with three sharing plans.
- Hatchling plan
- Baby plan
- Business plan
Let’s break the three plans down.
The first and the cheapest one is the Hatchling plan which starts at $3.95 per month. Moreover, it offers one domain name, unlimited disk space, and storage. It also includes unlimited subdomains.
The Baby plan has somewhat a reasonable price. It starts with $5.95 per month. It provides unlimited storage, bandwidth, and domain names.
Lastly, the business plan! This one also starts with $5.95 per month. Its features include unlimited storage, bandwidth and domain names. It comprises of a free dedicated IP, SSL and a toll-free number. It is called Business plan because of its improved feature functionality.
Can you rely on it?
Some recent outages from the HostGator servers spoil what was otherwise an exceptional record of reliability. Normally, uptime is good as online customer reviews will show.
It is User-Friendly
The Host Gator interface is great for beginners. One is walked through every single step, regardless of the product or function. If the users pay attention and follow the directions, they’ll be able to get completely set up without a single call to support, even if they’ve never managed a website before. Host Gator uses cPanel. The users can find everything grouped and labeled clearly, and they have everything they need to set up a simple site. Handy SEO tools are right there, as well as a simple marketing suite
Its Up-Time is Great!
A website appeals the audience only if it is easy to use with it’s up-and-running being stable and consistent.
Fortunately, HostGator was able to hit 99.99% uptime over the past year.
Initially, the up-time of HostGator was below average. But it has now become even better than the overall industry’s average. It has been improving ever since.
Account Activation Time
The account activation usually takes 24 to 48 hours which is completely reasonable.
Installation of Apps and CMSs Made Easy
HostGator makes the users’ experience of installing the apps very smooth. They can install Apps using the QuickInstall button.
HostGator also offers the following features for free with each shared hosting plan:
- Free HostGator Website Builder that comes with more than 100 Mobile-Friendly Templates and an Image Library
- It offers website Transfer, Domain Transfer, MYSQL Transfer, and Script Transfer free of cost.
- The users get to instantly install 52 Free scripts on your account without any hassle.
- Their exciting $100 Google Adwords Offer (If you already have an AdWords account, this offer is not for you. the offer is only for new Google AdWords accounts)
- Users also get a 100 dollar Bing Ads Credit (This offer is only applicable for HostGator users who open a new Bing Ads account.)
Are there any hidden clauses?
Unfortunately, there are hidden clauses. It lets the users use the system resources no longer than 90 seconds at a time. Also, shared and reseller hosting accounts cannot have more than 250,000 inodes. Accounts with rather 100.000 inodes will probably get removed from the backup system.
Their Pricing Tactics
Web hosting pricing may appeal you at first but careful, your opinion might change.
The initial tactic is to only offer the lowest possible rates for a longer term. This means users will need to sign up for at least three years if they want the apparent promotion pricing as shown on their website. Or else, if they want a true monthly option or even a twelve-month plan, the monthly rate will rise over 50-150%.
Talking about the promotion pricing, the second trap that they set up for the users is to offer this low advertised rate for only the starting term. That means once the plan does expire and it’s time to renew, the rates will rise back up to their normal pricing (which again would be a havoc; could be more than double the original price).
In a nutshell, HostGator doesn’t look like such a good deal after all.
They Charge for Back-Ups
HostGator claims to provide ‘instant backups’ on the website. Amazing, right?
The real deal is, they’re referring to manual ones which are always available by default in control panel.
Want automated backups to simplify their life? It’ll set you back an extra $15.95 annually.
Here’s their exact statement:
“HostGator’s automatic backup service runs once a week on a random day, and each run overwrites any previous backups. Only one week of backups are kept at a time. The terms of our backup policy vary depending on the type of hosting account.”
Shared servers are only backed up on accounts that are under 20 GB and 100,000 inodes too.The company also claims that they provide backups as a courtesy, so they aren’t providing you a full guarantee.They recommend that customers seek third-party backup services to protect their important data.
Are the Unlimited Resources Really Unlimited?
The Web Hosting Company’s claim has raised questions. Unmetered or unlimited resources are very misleading as companies often still place some kind of restrictions on your usage of them. HostGator defines what they consider acceptable use in their terms of service.
Their unmetered disk space and bandwidth is really only enough to run personal websites and small businesses. They state that customers using more than 25% of system resources for more than 90 seconds will be asked to reduce their usage. HostGator may even terminate the users’ access to services if they continue to violate this.
If it is just running smaller websites, th users shouldn’t worry about this. It will only be a problem to larger businesses who think that unmetered resources mean they have access to as much as they need.
As far as customer care is concerned, HostGator is perfect. It offers toll-free phone support along with email assistance.Host Gator wants to provide perfect customer service, therefore offers every type of support: constant phone support, live chat, and a ticketed system, plus a user forum, 600+ video tutorials, and a snail-mail address. Host Gator’s CEO promises that if all of your options are exhausted, he’ll handle your ticket himself. That’s a heck of a promise. We’re guessing that the CEO gets more than his fair share of emails due to the massive amount of support complaints visible in web forums.
You can chat online 24/7. Tutorials, discussion forum and a lot more await to guide you.
- Smooth and easy setup, very convenient to use
- Unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and email
- Reasonably good add-on features to grow with
- It comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee
- Does not offer discounts
- Website builder difficult for beginners
- Long wait time in all aspects of customer support
The features on offer by HostGator prove that their customers need really do matter. Even with a basic web hosting plan, there's more than enough included in the package for almost everyone's requirements. Proof, if needed, that HostGator really are one of the top performers in the web hosting industry. Host Gator handles 1% of Internet traffic because it caters to the little guys – individuals and small businesses – as well as the bigger kids on the playground – the e-commerce businesses and bandwidth guzzlers. Because Host Gator offers such stellar webmaster tools, it’s a popular choice for webmasters who have control of choosing their host However, they do not do justice to the price their customers are paying because (a) Load speeds only averaged 846 ms (this isn’t fast enough) (b)Hidden fee when it comes to backups.