We have carried out an in-depth and objective HostGator review, which discusses every aspect of their hosting services, including price, features, reliability, page loading speed, and industry reputation.
Do note that this review is based on our editors’ real hosting experience with this company for the whole year, as well as the verified customers’ feedbacks by now.
HostGator was privately established in 2002 by the current CEO Brent Oxley, who formed this company while he was at Florida Atlantic University.
This web host offers a broad range of hosting services, including shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting, but they’re undoubtedly best known for the budget-friendly shared hosting services. Therefore, the review presented below is mainly about HostGator web hosting – Hatchling, Baby and Business plan.
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HostGator was originally based in Florida but soon moved to Texas due to the rapid growth. They have a base in Houston and 3 offices in Austin, Indian, and Brazil. Since then, this company has grown from a small web host with just 3 servers to one of the best hosting providers worldwide with more than 12,000 servers under management. Besides, as estimated recently, this company has hosted more than 9 million domains for 400,000 customers in over 200 countries.
To make sure that this review is objectivity, we have personally conducted a customer satisfaction survey by collecting a total of 130 reviews from verified customers of this company. These reviews indicate that 97.7% of the customers are satisfied with its services in many aspects including reliability, control panel and support.
Now, HostGator has launched a 20% discount in the homepage, which allows customers to get the service starting at $4.76/mo. To be honest, this rate is fairly affordable. Here, we display the prices for Hatchling, Baby and Business of HostGator in the following table. Note that the price information mainly focuses on 24 months billing cycle.
|Discount||45% Off||45% Off||45% Off|
In fact, the price of the services applies to billing, which means the longer you purchase, the more you save. Therefore, we highly recommend customers going with the 2 years plan with HostGator at once. Although this means customers need to pay 2 years in one time, but the purchase is totally risk-free and worry-free with the 45 days money back guarantee that is going to be explained in detail as follows.
45-Day Money Back
HostGator provides customers with a 45 days money back guarantee on shared, VPS, and reseller hosting packages, which allows them to get their money refunded if they cancel the hosting services. To take advantage of this policy when terminating the account, customers only need to follow the below steps.
- Fill out the HostGator exclusive cancellation form, which can be found in the 6th section of Terms of Service.
- Receive a reply email that confirms the cancellation requests.
- Wait for up to 48 hours for identity verification.
- Reply to the confirmation email.
- Ask for your refund.
- Wait for up to 15 days to get the money back via Paypal or credit card.
Features & Compatibility
In hundreds of web hosts we have reviewed, the hosting packages offered by HostGator are undoubtedly rich-featured, with almost all the latest cutting-edge technologies on the Linux platform. As the three hosting solutions all come with specific features, each of them is designed for certain websites.
- Hatchling Plan is best suited for newbies looking to set up a simple website.
- Baby plan is created for people who wish to get more features but have a serious limitation on budget.
- Business Plan is best suited for business owners establishing a complex business website.
|Free Dedicated IP|
|Free Private SSL|
Each solution includes unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Also, by integrating with the most user-friendly cPanel, HostGator makes site building much easier. Since more and more people tend to choose multi-purpose hosting services, this company keeps for the release of more possibilities. Here, we briefly introduce Magento hosting, OsCommerce hosting and Drupal hosting offered by HostGator.
HostGator Hosting Service for Magento Users
To ensure Magento goes 100% compatible with shopping websites, the company offers as many features as the application requires including unlimited MySQL databases, FTP accounts, POP3 accounts as well as add-on, parked and subdomains, so that people may set up limitless stores to gain huge profit.
In addition, there are $100 Google AdWords open to customers which greatly help business achieve success. Following are other great add-ons:
- Spam assassin, Hotlink protection.
- SSI, SSH, Shared SSL & Private SSL allowed.
- PHP5, Perl, Python, Ruby on Rails & Cron Jobs.
- Free module installation, Image Magick & Streaming audio/video.
Furthermore, the company adopts the latest cPanel as the control panel, in which 1-click scripts installer is integrated so that people are able to set up Magento with a few clicks in one minute. Since cPanel has a clean and well-arranged interface, it also greatly facilitates people to manage every aspect of the sites, accounts and billing information with the least trouble.
HostGator OsCommerce Hosting for Online Store
OsCommerce is free e-commerce software, which can be used on any web server with PHP and MySQL installed. There are more than 7,000 add-ons offered by OsCommerce, which can be downloaded and used for free to customize the online store. These add-ons have been categorized in different function groups, so users can find their target with ease.
Since this software has become increasingly popular, HostGator releases premium hosting solutions with OsCommerce. Likewise, the free Weebly SiteBuilder is another powerful tool that allows customers to create a professional online store within minutes.
HostGator Drupal Hosting
HostGator hosting services are 100% compatible with Drupal, which ensures that customers will never encounter any problems during the setup and management processes. According to the statement from Drupal official site (Drupal.org), the minimal Drupal hosting requirements are
- Drupal 6: MySQL 4.1+ and PHP 5.2+
- Drupal 7: MySQL 5.0.15+ and PHP 5.2.5+ (PHP 5.3 Recommended)
- Drupal 8: MySQL 5.0.15+, PHP 5.4.5+
HostGator has far exceeded the minimum technical requirement for Drupal by leveraging the power of:
- cutting edge Apache/Linux web servers.
- up to 256MB PHP memory_limit which is enough to handle a complex site.
- the support of suPHP to ensure the most secure Drupal hosting environment
- Apache mod_rewrite to make Drupal site more SEO-friendly.
- Fast CGI to improve the page loading speed of Drupal site up to 120% faster.
And also, HostGator enables QuickInstall to make Drupal installation much easier. This powerful 1-click installer not only allows users to easily install each version of Drupal, but also supports to one-click upgrade for the existing Drupal site from the old version to the latest version. Here, we have presented a detailed step-by-step direction on setting a Drupal site up with QuickInstall:
- Login to the cPanel control panel, and click the “QuickInstall” icon under the Software/Services section
- Click on “Drupal” in the left-hand column, and then the Continue button.
- Select the domain and location where you want your Drupal installed.
- Enter an available e-mail address where you want the Admin password e-mailed to.
- Enter the name of the website.
- Select your time zone, and then click “Install Now!”
Wait a moment while it is installed, and once complete you will be able to start your Drupal site. To be honest, it is quite easy to host a Drupal site with HostGator, and this simple installation process is appealing for those who wish to design a professional website without possessing web design and development knowledge.
HostGator Blog Hosting
For most bloggers, they prefer hosting solutions that are easy-to-use, budget-friendly and rich-featured. In this case, HostGator is the one that can meet all the needs to start a blog. Enough disk space and bandwidth makes it possible for bloggers to upload anything they want on the web pages. And also, the Weebly website builder with more than 4,500 templates makes a big difference on blog building and optimization.
HostGator guarantees the highest level of hosting reliability. The company locates the servers in several data centers, which are equipped with HVAC, redundant power, back-ups, and are monitored day and night by the latest advanced monitoring system and professional engineers.
Here, we’d like to present some core information about their data centers, servers and network.
CyrusOne Data Center
HostGator has two data centers, one of which – CyrusOne – is the large one that features 300,000 sq.ft. One of the main highlights is its multiple levels of redundancy, achieved by the UPS power units, Detroit diesel generator, HVAC floor and many more.
In addition, this data center keeps the 24/7 constant monitoring for the working of all the data center facilities. This is a critical system for better security. Even, the facility comes with the VESDA smoke detection, water detection and hurricane shutters.
Ace Data Center
This is another data center used by HostGator, which is a little bit smaller. However, the small scale does not mean the poor facilities. Instead, this data center comes with all the infrastructures needed to ensure the uninterrupted power supply, the high level of security, climate control and many more.
This web host achieves a fully redundant network with the latest technologies. Its high-performance gear comes from Arbor Networks, CISCO, Juniper and many more.
Backed by the top-level data centers and state-of-the-art technologies, this web host currently offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Note that these statistics are not fabricated, but based on our uptime testing.
HostGator has been awarded as one of the fastest shared web hosts in the market by a lot of review sites and real customers. As the hosting speed is largely influenced by the data center infrastructure and hardware, the company powers the super-fast web hosting by the 100% factory-tested Dell hardware, as well as the well-equipped data centers.
We have done a performance testing against a site with the same WordPress program and the content hosted with HostGator Hatchling, Baby and Business plans. As a result, each solution has achieved a fast server response time, which takes approximately only 0.338 seconds on average. Read the web host’s server response time chart as below.
Hosting Ease of Use
In order to help you manage your hosting account, website files, domains, emails and many others without any hassle, HostGator includes the cPanel control panel into all of their hosting plans. It has a graphical front-end interface with great ease of use, so even a five-grade student can get used to it quickly.
In the following, we have listed some benefits you can get from this great control panel.
- Hassle-Free Website Management – The cPanel control panel has plenty of useful features, with which you can control everything of your site. For instance, you can easily manage and forward the email messages, keep the regular backup for database and files, add or remove the add-on domains under a single hosting account and many other tasks.
- A High Level of Portability – This control panel is highly portable. This means you can continue using it even if you transfer your website from one web host to another.
- Simple Installation – In fact, almost all the quality web hosts pre-install this control panel into your hosting account so that you can start using it directly. However, if you are required to install it manually, the process is pretty simple. You only need to download it from the official site and run the script for the successful installation.
- Intuitive Interface – The interface of cPanel is easy to be understood and utilized with the graphical-based icons. This means you do not need to have prior experiences or hands-on knowledge. In addition, there are different versions of interfaces for different users that include email users, administrators and clients.
In addition to the cPanel control panel, HostGator also offers the 1-click script installer that is called as QuickInstall. With it, you can install a large number of open source applications into your hosting account easily.
As the leading web hosting service provider, HostGator knows how important customer service is. The support team is 100% US-based, and all the technical support staffs are professional, knowledgeable, and patient, with at least 4 years of support experience. Therefore, once customers have encountered some problems, they can have a perfect resolution by contacting these representatives via live chat, toll-free phone call and email.
Toll-free Phone Support
HostGator provides professional toll-free phone support 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. With the responsive assistance backed by hundreds of highly proficient staff, customers are capable of seeking instant and effective help when they encounter any technical issues as soon as they dial the number (866)96-42867.
Furthermore, the hotline is also available for customers outside the US. Therefore, they are able to ask help by dialing 00+1-713-574-5287 via which their urgent technical problems can be resolved in high efficiency. Please check specific numbers in the following list.
- Toll Free: (866)96-42867
- Local: (713) 574-5287
- International: 00+1-713-574-5287
Live Chat Support
This company offers live chat support that is the most preferred and convenient way for customers who cannot correctly describe their technical problems to technicians orally. What needs to be done is only to click the live chat button, type the user name, select department and language, fill in the domain name and write down the specific problem at length.
Ticket & Email Support
This channel offers a way to seek help by simply creating a support ticket, entering an email address and billing password. Also, customers can choose to resort to sending an email with a detailed description of the technical difficulties. After this completed, all needed to be done is waiting which is no more than 12 hours.
Tutorials & Forum
HostGator peer support forums consist of 309,837 threads, 496,891 posts, announcements, public forums, and general discussion where more than 119,706 members exchange operation experience with other customers by writing specific problems and concerns on the forum, which covers a great range including general announcements, network status, pre-sales questions, customer reviews and suggestions and so on.
Summary – Is HostGator Recommended?
Yes, it is strongly recommended – as it offers the cheap price, rich features, 99.9% uptime, fast page loading speed, and outstanding customer service. Besides, as HostGator provides 3 levels of hosting plans, customers need to check the features carefully and choose one which suits their needs best.