HostGator

HostGator Review

  • 99.98% of Reliable Uptime
  • Unlimited Hosting (unmetered bandwidth, unlimited disk space, and unlimited databases)
  • Free Site Migrations
  • Excellent Customer Support
  • 45-day Money-back Guarantee
  • Inconsistent Speeds
  • Industry-standard Pricing Tricks
  • Extra charges after the first year
PRICING
4.8/5
UPTIME & SPEED
4.3/5
SUPPORT
5/5
RELIABILITY
4.4/5

Hostgator is another web hosting company that is part of the group of web hosts owned by the Endurance International Group, like Bluehost and HostMonster. It is one of the most renowned web hosts in the world today. We are going to introduce it to you, give you a brief account of its history and how it came to be where it is today. Then we will provide you with the details of how good it is as a web host.

HOSTGATOR: A BRIEF HISTORY AND INTRODUCTION

Brent Oxley founded HostGator in 2002. It snowballed and passed the milestone of 200,000 registered domains as early as 2006. The company moved the first office in Florida to a new 20,000 square foot building in Houston, Texas, in 2006, where it is still based. It opened its first international office in Canada. In 2008, Inc. Magazine ranked HostGator in the list of fastest expanding companies at number 21 in the United States. HostGator became a green hosting service by partnering up with Ecosystem Market Services in 2006. In 2008, HostGator planned to start giving unlimited hosting services to handle the competition and decided to back the offer up by increasing resources and staff. In the same year, they started working in India and placed a data center there, and another office in Texas.

Brent Oxley sold this company to the Endurance International Group for an aggregate price of around 300 million dollars in 2012. In 2015, HostGator launched a set of tools for building and maintaining WordPress websites called Optimized WordPress. The Endurance International Group moved on to launch Hostgator sites in Brazil, India, Russia, Turkey, China, and Mexico in 2015. HostGator started offering services in the United Kingdom and Australia in 2019. In terms of market share, HostGator web hosting hosts around 9 million websites currently, surpassing the market shares of several popular sister companies like Bluehost. HostGator has consistently been expanding since the day it was first conceived and is intent on maintaining the same level of growth. It has never faded out from the list of the popular web hosting companies and still holds a loyal user base. It has a high reputation and is one of the best web hosts around, and we are going to discuss how well it performs, pros and cons included.

99.98% OF GUARANTEED, SOLID UPTIME

Uptime is the most influential factor in the list of advantages that HostGator has to offer you. It has given an uninterrupted uptime of 99.99%-100% for several months in a row, and the lowest point to which the uptime dropped was 99.94%. We have always emphasized that uptime is the most important thing to consider when it comes to a web host. It refers to the actual time during which your website is online and available to the visitors. Speed and efficiency are of secondary importance. Your visitors have to receive a response from your site in the first place, for it to be called quick or slow, efficient, or lagging. If the uptime provided by your website is not excellent, then your visitors will see a page not found error when they try to access your page during the time it is down or unavailable. There will be a massive chance of users abandoning your site entirely and moving on to your competitors.

Uptime is something that solely depends on the web host and its servers, so you have to choose a web host wisely when deciding on a company. The importance of this factor is why we recommend going for the web hosts, which have an uptime average higher than 99.94% at the least. Most web hosting companies do give you an uptime higher than 99.90%; few give you an uptime higher than 99.94%, which is essential for the basic running of a good website. HostGator, fortunately, is one of those few companies that are highly reliable and well-reputed in terms of uptime.

You can trust your website to this web host without having to worry in the least about the uptime your website will have while being hosted by it. It has an uptime guarantee that will give you one free month of web hosting if your uptime ever drops below 99.90%. That is if it is not due to something unforeseeable or a fault on your part. Even then, though, you do have to put in a complaint. The uptime average and uptime guarantees of HostGator are just up-to-the-mark and unbeatable, so this is a plus point we will later count in the pros of using the services of this web host.

FAST BUT INCONSISTENT RESPONSE TIME

Speed is the second most important factor to consider while choosing a web host. Having excellent uptime means that your webpage will load at a user’s prompt. It doesn’t mean that it will load quickly enough to please your visitor or stop him from abandoning it. So, not only does your website have to respond to a user’s request, it has to load whatever your visitor needs, quickly. Speed is another factor that a web host can significantly influence because theirs are the servers that you’re counting on. They have to produce the file that your user has requested and load it for them to see. There have been multiple studies and reviews concerning the effects of loading speeds on the behavior of users, visitors, or buyers. Here’s an account of the results obtained from such a survey:

  • Slow-loading websites cost the U.S. eCommerce market more than $500 billion annually
  • A one-second delay in site-loading will result in a 7% loss in conversions
  • 51% of U.S. online shoppers say slow site-load times are the number one reason they leave a product purchase
  • Decreasing page loading time from 8 to 2 seconds can boost conversion rates by up to 74%

It is clear from the facts mentioned above that speed is the prime factor that builds or destroys the reputation of your website and attracts people to it. We are living in an era of speedy technology and mobile. People are continually moving up on the ladder of speed, looking for the quickest way to get a job done. It won’t help your website to be lacking efficiency when convenience is the thing that is most prioritized and prized by your visitors and competitors. HostGator sometimes gives loading speeds that are slower than the industry average. Even then, as many reviewers criticize them, many more are satisfied with their rates. That controversy occurs because the response time of the servers of HostGator is excellent but inconsistent. It does not stay the same if you are not observing the best website practices. If you are on a shared server, somebody else could be consuming much of the server resources. Many other web hosts, (like a sister hosting company of HostGator called Bluehost) employ a technique called CPU throttling to get rid of this issue. Hence they drastically reduce the CPU usage of a user who is pulling too many resources on a shared plan.

HostGator cannot provide a consistent speed due to a lack of such a technique. It ends up getting criticized by some and appreciated by others who try to test its page loading speeds. Even then, inconsistent does not necessarily mean bad, as the average response time of HostGator has been as good as 400 ms at times, and as slow as 1000 ms on some occasions. It all depends on how you are managing your website, and which plan you are using.

HOSTING PLANS OFFERED BY HOSTGATOR

HostGator offers many kinds of hosting, including Shared Web Hosting, WP Optimized Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Server hosting. In this section, we are going to discuss their most popular shared hosting plans that they are currently offering on their official website.

Features Included In All Web Hosting Plans

Here are the technical specifications of the main features that you get for free with all the shared web hosting plans. They have stacked up quite a lot of those to out chart their competitors like GoDaddy.

  • 90% Uptime Guarantee
  • 45-day Money-back Guarantee without any contract
  • Free HostGator Website Builder including 100+ Mobile-friendly templates and an image library
  • Free Site Migration, Domain Transfer, MySQL Transfer, Script Transfer, and 52 Free scripts installable with just a few clicks.
  • Marketing credits of $100 for Google Adwords and $100 for Bing Ads Credit
  • Free SSL Certificates for the secure flagging of your website
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Sub-domains, FTP accounts, and Email Accounts
  • Flexible, latest, and user-friendly cPanel as in Web Hosting Control Panel
  • Website stats and figures like AWStats, Webalizer, Referrer, Raw Log Manager, and Error Logs
  • Instant Shopping Carts, Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Counters
  • Password protection for directories and customized error pages
  • Web-based File Manager, Hotlink Protection, IP Deny Manager, Redirect URL
  • MySQL Databases with phpMyAdmin Access
  • Programming Language: CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5 and 7, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, SSL
  • Programming Modules: Curl, CPAN, GD Library, ImageMagick
  • System Management: SSH Access and Cron Job Scheduling
  • Unlimited POP3 Email Accounts with SMTP
  • WebMail Access: Horde, RoundCube
  • Email sent to phone via IMAP Support
  • SpamAssassin to protect you against spam
  • Unlimited Email Aliases, Autoresponders, 25 Mailing Lists, and Mail Forwards
  • 24/7/365 Phone Support and Live Chat support
  • Automatic Weekly Off-site Data Backups
  • 24/7/365 Hosting Server Monitoring
  • Online Support Portal with 500+ Video Tutorials and 680+ Help Articles
  • One-click Installation of 75+ open-source scripts
  • WordPress hosting
  • Joomla and Drupal CMS Solutions
  • Magento Hosting
  • Wiki Hosting for a Wiki website

HATCHLING PLAN ($2.75/mo)

This plan includes the following basic features:

  • Single Domain
  • One-click Installations
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • Free Domain Registration for one year

BABY PLAN ($3.95/mo)

This plan consists of the following premium features:

  • Unlimited Domains
  • One-click Installations
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • Free Domain Registration for one year

BUSINESS PLAN ($5.95/mo)

This plan includes all the pro features that are listed below:

  • Unlimited Domains
  • One-click Installations
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • Free Domain Registration for one year
  • Free Upgradation to PositiveSSL
  • Free SEO Tools
  • Free Dedicated IP

PROS OF HOSTGATOR WEB HOSTING

Under this heading, you’ll find all the primary advantages of HostGator summed up for you.

Almost Unlimited Hosting

As we’ve mentioned above, the project that HostGator took up back in 2008 to out chart its fierce competition was to provide unlimited hosting to its users. Many other web hosts use the same phrases like unmetered bandwidth, unlimited disk space, and unlimited databases. All such hosts have limitations of fair usage, which are relatively hard to reach.

With HostGator, these limits are almost impossible to arrive at unless your business is too large for the hosting plan that you’ve chosen. In this way, it becomes virtually impossible to run out of resources. Here are the limitations that HostGator has set:

  • Don’t create more than 100,000 files via cPanel
  • Don’t check more than 30 emails or send more than 500 emails per hour
  • Don’t run more than 25 cPanel processes at the same time
  • Don’t use more than 25% of the server’s CPU for more than 90 seconds

None of these will pose an issue unless your site has too much traffic compared to the plan you’ve chosen for it, which won’t occur if you’re a beginner.

RELIABLE UPTIME

The uptime offered by HostGator is one of the top two or three, so that is the first and foremost advantage.

45-DAY MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE

The money-back-guarantee given by HostGator is also very flexible, allowing you to have a refund as late as 45 days after signing up.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

The customer support provided by HostGator is also one of its strong suits.

FREE SITE MIGRATIONS AND OTHER FEATURES

HostGator throws in many free features in all its packages that several others do not.

CONS OF HOSTGATOR WEB HOSTING

  • Inconsistent speeds
  • Industry-standard pricing tricks
  • Extra charges after the first year

MARK’S VERDICT

HostGator is one of the best web hosts that I’ve had experience with, and it has almost everything covered except page load times and speed consistency. It is highly recommendable for its services. Even the speeds go down well with many people. My personal experience was not exceptional, but I faced no significant issues regarding rate either, so I do recommend this web host.

  • 99.98% of Reliable Uptime
  • Unlimited Hosting (unmetered bandwidth, unlimited disk space, and unlimited databases)
  • Free Site Migrations
  • Excellent Customer Support
  • 45-day Money-back Guarantee
  • Inconsistent Speeds
  • Industry-standard Pricing Tricks
  • Extra charges after the first year
PRICING
4.8/5
UPTIME & SPEED
4.3/5
SUPPORT
5/5
RELIABILITY
4.4/5
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