HostGator Review

HostGator Review

Rating

4.7

  • One of the Oldest Hosting Providers
  • Great Prices
  • Excellent and User-Friendly cPanel
  • Advertising Credits for Most Packages
  • 45-Day Money-back Guarantee

The HostGator is one of the oldest web hosting service providers, and it offers the users an amazing service. If you are looking for a stable, highly-appraised host for your personal site or for your business, HostGator is a great choice! Check its great prices and pick the plan fitting you!…. Read More

  • Price
  • Support
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4.7
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User Review
4.51 (84 votes)
User Rating(84 votes) 4.51
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HostGator Review

The HostGator will be a really good choice for those who are looking for a good host, and who would like to keep their site safe. This website hosting provider has a great user-interface, and its reputation surely precedes it. We strongly recommend the HostGator to everyone who needs a new site up and running fast, and who prefers to feel safe for they can rely on a great service, and top-notch support. To help you find the best host, and to make a well-informed decision regarding your new site (or where to move the one you already have) we’ve tested the HostGator. In this HostGator review, you will find everything you have to know and consider. From features, speed and packages, everything is covered. We are quite sure that you will have a really great experience with this web host, but let us tell you the details first!

HostGator as a Company

The HostGator was established back in 2002. It was created by Brent Oxley, who was a student at that time. It proved to be a successful business: four years later, HostGator was the host for more than 200,000 websites.  According to the Inc. Magazine, HostGator was the fastest growing company in 2007, and after moving to Texas, it was the no. 1 fastest growing enterprise in its area. As it usually happens, HostGator eventually ended up in the “claws” of a mammoth. Brent Oxley sold the HostGator to the Endurance International Group for $225 million. He now only owns the buildings of the company, and it was also a good choice, as EIG fixed the registering and billing options at HostGator. Nowadays, HostGator is among the ultimate leaders of the hosting industry, as it hosts nearly 10 million websites of about half million customers!

Easy Sign-Up – Even for Newbies

You are going to find that the HostGator has a very simple signup process, and you can get to build your site in minutes. You have to find the proper package, get a domain name, and of course, pay the fees. Once done, you won’t be alone! The HostGator offers very nice online knowledge-center for you, and after you register, you receive an email with the first steps. Building a website is very easy: you can use a drag’n’drop website builder, a Weebly builder, or simply pick a WordPress Template and customize it for your needs.

Web Hosting Services

Shared Hosting

HostGator is one of the few web hosts which grant you a monthly-billing shared hosting plan. It would prove to be a great choice for those who prefer to pay smaller amounts regularly, than coughing up yearly and 3-years’ fees with one payment. Naturally, you can always sign up for longer terms, and there is a nice mid-term solution too: 6 months hosting contract. Of course, the longer terms are always discounted, but the short terms grant a feeling of flexibility.

At HostGator, you get either Linux or Windows shared hosting service. It would be the perfect choice for sole entrepreneurs and small companies. Nowadays, the shared hosting is also “unlimited”. This means, your site – if it receives a solid yet not excessive traffic – will be available all the time. On the other hand, the HostGator offers “unlimited” database, storage and email with all solutions. With the shared hosting, you also get support for the most common management systems and e-commerce solutions. Depending on the package you choose, you could even have a shared hosting service (which is the cheapest solution) and a free SSL certificate!

Virtual Private Server

If you have more advanced needs, and you would like a solution that fits your needs but it’s still budget friendly, you should consider the VPS plans. A reminder: VPS, aka. Virtual Private Server means that you get a portion of the servers’ computing power as a virtual machine which has its own memory, CPU, and storage, along with its own bandwidth.  The basic VPS plan of HostGator grants you 2GB RAM, 120 GB storage, and a fine 1.5 TB bandwidth (data transfer per month), and you get 2 CPU cores at your disposal. This package, the Snappy 2000 is a good choice for those who want more power, but don’t need a dedicated server. There are two other plans for the VPS service: you can choose the Snappy 4000 or Snappy 8000, which both offer better attributed virtual servers.

Dedicated Hosting

On the field of dedicated web hosting, the HostGator offers one of the best solutions in the industry. There are several plans you can choose from, and the higher you go, the better your server gets. Dedicated servers mean you “rent” an actual server, and you don’t have to share the power with anyone. The Basic Plan in the dedicated section gives you a machine with 4GB RAM, 2 cores, 500 GB (RAID-1) storage, and a nice, 10TB bandwidth. The dedicated plan is good for mid-size businesses or even large corporations (given they go for the Elite or Pro plans). If you are just a beginner in this field, you are on a budget, or you don’t really know how many traffic your site might get, the Dedicated hosting isn’t for you… yet.

WordPress

The HostGator grants you an option to install WordPress. You can do so with any plans, and it’s very easy to do it. However, there is a special hosting plan for WordPress. This hosting plan is special in two ways: you get to host your site via the cloud, and you get exclusive WordPress setup for your site. It’s a recommended plan for professional bloggers and WP marketers, although it’s not unlimited. You get a limited number of sites to host (1 site at the first level), and the monthly visits are limited too (100k on the first level), and only a selected size of the backup is available. Nevertheless, in case you would like to run a solely WordPress based site, you should choose this solution, as it’s cheap, and gives some nice speed and stability.

Cloud Hosting

Taking advantage of the cloud technology, this is a budget-friendly solution which gives a fine boost to an entrepreneur’s online presence. It’s faster than the shared hosting, and even the most basic plan grants a share of power in the form of 2GB RAM and 2 CPU cores, for a low starting price $4.95 per month!

Email Solutions

Every plan at HostGator includes free, unlimited email accounts too. This way, you can set up all the accounts you need (e.g.: one for contact, other for help, etc.), and there are some other features making this solution quite handsome. There are some extras you could buy to increase your email security, so you won’t be overwhelmed with spam or viruses. It’s a good solution, but if you already have a trusted email provider, you might like to stick with it or forward the emails from your website to that account you already have and trust.

Selectable Bonuses for Shared Plans:

Hack Protection:

This service is powered by SiteLock, and it monitors your website and alerts you of any hacking or suspicious activity, including malicious third-party codes.

Email:

You can create a professional email account with a custom account name and your domain.

Advanced and Easy Backup:

Provided by CodeGuard, you get daily backups, and restoring will be as easy as just clicking on the right menu option. It’s essential, and one of the most recommended extra services, for only $1.67 a month (annual billing).

Extra safety:

For a low price of $1.67 per month, you can have an SSL certificate for your site, granting your users that their info and payment details are safe.

Bonus for VPS: cPanel

If you choose a VPS or better service, you gain access to the cPanel too. This way, you can customize your site to the smallest details. Starting from the Snappy 1000 package, you can opt-in for a cPanel, which only increases the renewal price slightly. However, if you want bigger freedom, you should consider this option. As for the other plans like WP and shared, you will have to settle with HostGator’s own interface. For VPS and Dedicated, you may even choose Windows-based server and control panel.

Building a Website at HostGator

HostGator grants access to all the tools you might need to build your site. You can use its own drag’n’drop website builder, cPanel, or a CMS. Well, CMS and a builder are not the same, but almost. So, the absolute beginners shouldn’t use a builder, instead, they should pick a template from the vast template storage of the HostGator. In case you have a hunch for design, you could try a builder, but as a common rule, you have to know that built sites tend to be a bit slower than a good, optimized template. We agree with professionals on this: if you can afford, hire an agency to create your design, and the hosting providers should provide you with only the hosting. After all, that’s the main service of them.

Supported Apps

The HostGator supports every major CMS and content creation apps. WordPress or Joomla are just the tip of the iceberg, there are even more! If you want to launch a wiki site, for example, you can easily do so after installing one of the wiki-apps like PMWiki, MediaWiki, WikkaWiki or TikiWiki. For a forum, the phpBB is the most common, and you can install it in a few seconds and with a few clicks. Those who prefer community-supported CMS would be glad to know that Drupal is fully supported, while e-commerce business owners will love the ever-popular Magento.

Where to Reach for These Apps and Scripts?

You have to visit the QuickInstall menu. There, you will see all the available apps, sorted into different categories like CMS, blogging, e-commerce, etc. You just have to choose one, enter the details it asks you and – if it’s not free – make the payment. After these steps, you are good to go!

Mobile Support

Though 99% of the WordPress templates are all responsive, if you are not into WP, you still have the option to create a mobile friendly site. It’s utterly important to have your site ready for mobile for two reasons: many people use only smart phone or tablet nowadays, so you have to be seen and your site have to appear as a professional site on smart screens too; and second, the mobile versions don’t use as many data and bandwidth as a desktop page. There are responsive templates at HostGator, and most of the apps you can install have mobile-ready solutions, so you don’t have to bother with making your site appear on mobile!

E-commerce Solutions

HostGator is a perfectly good host if you are trying to build a shop online. For those who create and sell their own items, or who sell digital goods, or even those who want to try dropship stores, the HostGator is a fine option. Uploading, organizing, and publishing items are very easy with Magento for example, and it grants you several options to manage the stock and make statistics of your sale. As an additional – but must-have – feature, you can opt-in for an SSL seal, which makes sure the payments are all done in a safe environment. The SSL increases user-trust and makes your site more professional.

The HostGator has the industry standard pricing with a low price that gets even lower if you choose the longer contracts. Depending on the package, some are much better offers than what you can find at other hosts. Also, HostGator is one of the few hosting service providers that offer you monthly and other short-period payment options: 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. For better prices, you should pick at least the 12 months option, but the 24 months is all right too. However, the highest discount and better renewal price are usually for the 36-months option. Here is a short overview of the starting prices for the different services and plans:

Shared Hosting

As the cheapest option, it starts at a low price, and the renewal after the first period isn’t going to bust your wallet! The most basic plan (one domain is allowed) costs $3.95 per month (it’s called the Hatchling plan) with a 3 years commitment. For this, you get “unlimited” space and “unmetered” bandwidth. However, if you plan to make your site to be a high-traffic one, you might like to go for VPS or cloud hosting. With the highest plan, which sets you back only $5.95 per month (also 3-years contract), you get free VoIP services, SSL certificate, and a private IP. This plan, which is called Business Plan is the most suitable for new businesses.

Cloud Hosting

The second most affordable solution. Depending on the plan, you choose, the discount starting price is in the $4.95-$9.95 range (3-years). The Business Cloud plan grants you SSL, IP, and the power of 6GB RAM and 6 process cores… all through the clouds!

WordPress Hosting

Only for bloggers, this one is recommended to. It’s a cheap solution, and it’s in the $5.95-$9.95 per month range (3-years again). There is a limit to the monthly views though, but if you know how many visitors your blog would rule, you should try one of these plans.

VPS

This is for professionals, who want full control over their site (cPanel, scripts, larger databases). The Snappy 2000 starts from $19.95, and for this, you get a nice 2GB RAM, 2 cores, 120GB storage and 1.5 TB bandwidth. It’s not bad, but if you can afford it, the next two plans might be even better: $29.95 is the Snappy 4000, and only $39.95 is the Snappy 8000. This latest one grants you 8 GB RAM, 3TB bandwidth, 4 cores and 240GB storage. It’s a nice choice for medium-size business or online stores. You can also opt-in for a cPanel access.

Dedicated

Only for those who know what they are doing, or have their own IT department. Four plans, starting from $79 per month to $128.99 per month, you can get a fully operational, fast server to serve your needs.

The HostGator is an old player in the industry, and thus it has its ups and downs. The past downtimes were due to attacks and hacking, but so far in 2017, the HostGator kept up its 99.99% uptime promise. However, when you join the HostGator, you can rest assured that your info is safe and that your site will be online throughout the year. The increased security, you can opt-in for a daily backup program with one-click restore, and you can select different anti-spam filters, spam, and attack monitoring services too. Also, we suggest you to grab the SSL protection, so you can say you’ve done everything to keep your, and your clients’ info safe. You should always consider these three things when you choose a hosting service provider: uptime, encryption option (e.g. SSL), monitoring and backup.

Now, the support of the HostGator receives cold and warm review from the clients. It’s available, that much is true, however, you might have to wait a bit of time to get to an agent. You can get in touch with the experts via phone, live chat, and you can open a support ticket too. The billing has its own support, so you won’t get to mix the technical with the financial. We had no issues with the HostGator support so far.

As a conclusion, we have to say, the HostGator still stands up to its reputation, and it’s one of the most trusted hosting providers among that EIG provides.

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