Choosing the right web hosting platform for your needs can be a tedious task that’s easy to postpone. HostGator is a popular web hosting platform that offers affordable prices, 24/7 customer support and flexible web hosting options, including WordPress hosting and e-commerce features.
If it’s your first time building a website, or you’re looking to create an online presence for your business, you need a web hosting server. For many business owners, this essential step might be the last thing on your to-do list. HostGator was established to offer one of the most affordable plans on the market, excellent customer service and a reasonable money-back guarantee period. Read our comprehensive HostGator review to decide if it’s right for you.
- Unlimited storage included for basic hosting
- One-click WordPress installs
- Free SSL certificate with a web hosting plan
- Free domain name for the first year
- Expensive short-term plans
- No Linux server option
- Lower uptime than some competitors including Bluehost, ScalaHosting and Hostwinds
- Additional costs for services such as domain privacy and automated backups
What Is HostGator?
HostGator is a web hosting company that offers various plans and services for creating and maintaining websites. According to their website, they provide “secure and affordable web hosting” with a “99.9% uptime guarantee, free SSL certificate, easy WordPress installs, and a free domain for a year”. They also have 24/7/365 support and a ton of website hosting options, such as shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. You can also access their billing and support system through their portal. HostGator claims to be “the best website hosting” and to have “thousands of customers” who trust them to handle their website hosting needs.
HostGator is a web hosting service that has some pros and cons that you may want to consider before choosing it for your website needs. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of HostGator, based on the web search results and the question-answering results:
HostGator Pros and Cons
- HostGator is very cheap– you’ll struggle to find another cheaper host.
- You get a free domain name for the first year.
- HostGator offers unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth for all plans and an uptime of 99.9%.
- HostGator provides essential features for free, such as a free SSL certificate with a web hosting plan and one-click WordPress installs.
- HostGator has a simple interface and a website builder that offers drag-and-drop functionality to easily build websites.
- HostGator has 24/7 customer support and a reasonable money-back guarantee period.
- HostGator’s support quality has been spotty in the past, and some users have reported issues with site performance and uptime.
- HostGator’s short-term plans are expensive, and the renewal prices are higher than the introductory deals.
- HostGator charges an additional fee for services such as domain privacy and automated backups.
- HostGator does not offer a Linux server option, which may limit some users’ preferences.
- HostGator is not the most economical option for business hosting, as some of its features are more suited for personal or small-scale websites.
HostGator Pricing Plans
HostGator pricing plans are the different options that HostGator offers for hosting a website. The pricing plans vary depending on the type of hosting, the features included, and the duration of the contract. HostGator has four main categories of hosting plans: shared hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, and dedicated hosting. Each category has different sub-plans that cater to different needs and budgets. Here is a brief overview of each category and its sub-plans:
– Shared hosting is the most basic and affordable type of hosting, where you share a server with other websites. This is suitable for beginners or small websites that do not require much resources or customization. HostGator has three shared hosting plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business. The Hatchling plan starts at $3.75 per month and allows you to host one website with unlimited storage and bandwidth. The Baby plan starts at $5.95 per month and allows you to host unlimited websites with unlimited storage and bandwidth. The Business plan starts at $9.95 per month and includes all the features of the Baby plan, plus a free dedicated IP address, a free SSL certificate, and a free upgrade to positive SSL.
– Cloud hosting is a type of hosting that uses multiple servers to distribute your website’s load and improve its performance and reliability. This is suitable for websites that have high traffic or unpredictable spikes in demand. HostGator has three cloud hosting plans: Hatchling Cloud, Baby Cloud, and Business Cloud. The Hatchling Cloud plan starts at $7.95 per month and allows you to host one website with 2 GB of memory and 2 CPU cores. The Baby Cloud plan starts at $9.95 per month and allows you to host unlimited websites with 4 GB of memory and 4 CPU cores. The Business Cloud plan starts at $11.95 per month and includes all the features of the Baby Cloud plan, plus a free dedicated IP address, a free SSL certificate, and a free upgrade to positive SSL.
– WordPress hosting is a type of hosting that is optimized for WordPress websites, which are the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world. This is suitable for WordPress users who want faster speed, better security, and easier management of their websites. HostGator has three WordPress hosting plans: Starter, Standard, and Business. The Starter plan starts at $7.95 per month and allows you to host one website with up to 100k visits per month, 1 GB of backups, and a free SSL certificate. The Standard plan starts at $9.95 per month and allows you to host two websites with up to 200k visits per month, 2 GB of backups, and a free SSL certificate. The Business plan starts at $11.95 per month and allows you to host three websites with up to 500k visits per month, 3 GB of backups, and a free SSL certificate.
–Dedicated hosting is the most advanced and expensive type of hosting, where you get a whole server for yourself. This is suitable for large or complex websites that need full control, customization, and security of their server environment. HostGator has four dedicated hosting plans: Value Server, Power Server, Enterprise Server, and Elite Server. The Value Server plan starts at $89.98 per month and gives you a server with 4 CPU cores, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB of HDD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a Linux or Windows operating system. The Power Server plan starts at $119.89 per month and gives you a server with 8 CPU cores, 16 GB of RAM, 2 TB of HDD or 512 GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a Linux or Windows operating system. The Enterprise Server plan starts at $139.99 per month and gives you a server with 8 CPU cores, 30 GB of RAM, 1 TB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a Linux or Windows operating system. The Elite Server plan starts at $169 per month and gives you a server with 16 CPU cores (Intel Xeon-D), 32 GB of RAM (DDR4), 1 TB SSD RAID-1 storage (mirrored), unmetered bandwidth (100 Mbps), Linux operating system (CentOS), cPanel/WHM control panel (unlimited domains), full root access (SSH), DDoS protection (up to 2 Gbps), IP-based firewall (CSF/LFD), free SSL certificates (Let’s Encrypt), free site migration (up to 30 cPanel accounts), free domain name (for first year), free dedicated IP address (IPv4), free private name servers (DNS), fully managed support (24/7/365), server monitoring (Nagios), backup manager (JetBackup), Softaculous script installer (400+ apps), WordPress toolkit (WP-CLI), PHP selector (multiple versions), MySQL/MariaDB databases (unlimited), email accounts (unlimited), and a 45-day money-back guarantee.
HostGator Web Hosting Services
As far as hosting options, HostGator offers many options including VPS hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated hosting. Here’s a breakdown of the hosting options available and what each one is best suited for.
Types of Hosting Available
Shared hosting: Shared hosting, which means that you are using space on a server that is also used by other websites, is the most popular plan for websites.
Cloud hosting: With cloud hosting, you can use the resources of multiple servers instead of using one fixed to a single location.
WordPress hosting: This type of hosting is optimized to use WordPress in the easiest and fastest way.
VPS hosting: This type of hosting is best suited for website owners who want more flexibility in software installations and more freedom to send emails and stream media.
Dedicated hosting: The most powerful type of hosting, this choice is suited to meet the requirements of large businesses. Dedicated hosting is best for businesses that have heavy traffic or a very popular site.
Reseller hosting: This type of hosting is suited for website owners who want to sell hosting services for profit. This plan is suited for users who want to start their own web hosting company and white-label HostGator’s products.
HostGator Domain Services
HostGator domain services are the services that HostGator offers for registering, transferring, and managing domain names. Domain names are the unique identifiers of websites, such as hostgator.com or google.com. HostGator sells various top-level domain (TLD) extensions, such as .com, .net, .org, .site, .online, and more. You can also get a free domain name for the first year when you purchase a web hosting plan from HostGator.
Some of the benefits of using HostGator domain services are:
- You can lock your domain names to prevent unauthorized transfers and retain control to unlock them if you want.
- You can set up auto-renewal for your domain names so that you don’t lose them if you forget to renew them.
- You can manage your domain names from a simple and user-friendly control panel.
- You can protect your personal information from being publicly available on the WHOIS database by purchasing domain privacy protection.
- You can route your DNS to any host or server you want, including HostGator’s servers.
- You can forward any of your domain’s email addresses to any other valid email address for free.
Reliability and Uptime
HostGator’s uptime is 99.9%, which is standard for web hosting businesses. This means that HostGator guarantees that service is available 99.9% of the time, which equates to around 8.76 hours of downtime per year. It is rare for web hosting services to guarantee a higher uptime (after all, no one can truly guarantee available service 100% of the time). However, some competitors, including Bluehost, ScalaHosting and Hostwinds, do guarantee 99.99% uptime, and that extra digit reduces the overall downtime per year to 52.56 minutes.
Speed and Performance
Overall, HostGator’s speed and performance are rated highly among users. However, some users did complain about slow load times.
HostGator has security protection from DDoS attacks. HostGator’s additional server security and precautions are confidential. However, the security is set up to enable network-level flood protection.
For added security to individual websites, HostGator offers the feature SiteLock Security for $5.99 per month. This feature scans your website for malware daily, automatically removes malware from your website and defends against malicious attacks.
Storage and Bandwidth
HostGator comes with unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth for all plans. For automated website backups, HostGator offers an add-on feature that is included initially but renews for $4 per month, billed annually at $47.95.
HostGator offers 24/7 live chat and email support to all customers. When Forbes Advisor connected with a live agent through chat, we were able to speak with someone within five minutes, and the agent was able to answer our questions.
HostGator Website Builder
HostGator Website Builder is a tool that allows you to create a website without any coding or web development experience. You can choose from over 100 mobile-friendly templates, drag and drop elements, customize sections and pages, and add features such as a blog, shopping cart, and payment gateway. You can also integrate your website with social media, Google Analytics, PayPal, and more. HostGator Website Builder has different plans to suit your needs, from a basic plan that is free with every Shared or Cloud site plan, to a business plan that includes e-commerce and online marketplaces. You can learn more about HostGator Website Builder by visiting their website or reading their support article.
Here’s how the costs break down for the website builder:
Website: $4.95 per month
Website + Marketing: $7.95 per month
Online Store: $13.95 per month
Online Marketplace: $19.95 per month
The Website plan comes with most of the features you would need to build a basic website, including over 100 mobile-friendly templates, prebuilt sections and pages, SEO tools, social media links and PayPal integration. However, the main limitation is in the page count as you cannot add more than six pages to your website for this plan. The paid plans, on the other hand, do not limit the pages you can build.
The Website + Marketing plan also comes with a few more features including Google Analytics Integration and revision history for when you need to look back at past drafts of your work. The Online Store and Online Marketplace plans come with an e-commerce shopping cart, inventory management, multiple payment processors, coupon codes and Facebook integration.
There are many HostGator alternatives that you can consider for hosting a website. Depending on your needs and preferences, some of them may offer better features, performance, pricing, or customer service than HostGator. Here is a brief comparison of some of the top HostGator alternatives based on the web search results.
- Hostinger is the most affordable HostGator alternative, with excellent page loading speeds. It offers shared, cloud, WordPress, VPS, and Minecraft hosting plans, starting from $1.39 per month. It also has a free website builder, a free domain name for the first year, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, it does not have phone support or cPanel, and some features are only available on higher-tier plans.
- InterServer is another cheap HostGator alternative that offers unlimited resources at prices HostGator simply can’t match. It has a fixed price of $5 per month for shared hosting, with no renewal increases. It also provides free website migration, free SSL certificates, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, it has fewer data centre locations than HostGator, and its website builder is not very user-friendly.
- A2 Hosting is a great HostGator alternative for reseller hosting, as well as optimized plans for many popular CMSs, including WordPress and Magento. It has fast servers, free site migration, free SSL certificates, and a generous anytime money-back guarantee. However, it is more expensive than HostGator, and its customer support can be slow at times.
- DreamHost is the best HostGator alternative for WordPress hosting, as it is one of the few hosts that are officially recommended by WordPress.org. It has a custom control panel, a free website builder, a free domain name for the first year, and a 97-day money-back guarantee. However, it does not have cPanel or phone support, and its uptime is not very consistent.
- SiteGround is another WordPress-recommended host that lets you build WordPress sites with ease. It has high-performance servers, free site migration, free SSL certificates, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, it is one of the most expensive HostGator alternatives, and it has strict resource limits on its plans.
How HostGator Stacks Up?
HostGator is one of the most popular web hosting providers in the market, but how does it stack up against its competitors? Based on the web search results, here are some of the strengths and weaknesses of HostGator compared to other web hosts:
- HostGator has a wide range of hosting plans for different needs and budgets, including shared, cloud, WordPress, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting. You can easily upgrade or downgrade your plan as your website grows or changes.
- – HostGator offers a free domain name for the first year with any hosting plan, which can save you some money and hassle. You can also register, transfer, and manage your domains with HostGator’s domain services.
- – HostGator has a simple and user-friendly interface for managing your hosting account and website. You can use the familiar cPanel control panel to access your files, databases, email accounts, and more. You can also use the free drag-and-drop website builder to create your site without any coding skills.
- – HostGator has an outstanding uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which means your website will be online and accessible most of the time. If HostGator fails to meet this guarantee, you can get one month of credit on your account.
- – HostGator has a helpful and responsive customer support team that is available 24/7 via phone, live chat, and email. You can also find a lot of useful resources on their website, such as tutorials, guides, forums, and a knowledge base.
- HostGator has a poor security reputation, especially for its base plan. Some users have reported issues with malware infections, hacking attacks, and spam emails from their HostGator accounts. HostGator does not offer free SSL certificates or automated backups with its basic plan, which are essential for protecting your website and data.
- HostGator has a high renewal price after the initial term of your hosting plan. The introductory deals are very attractive, but they only last for one to three years. After that, you will have to pay much more to continue using their services.
- HostGator does not offer a Linux server option, which may limit some users’ preferences. Linux servers are generally more stable, secure, and flexible than Windows servers. If you want to use Linux-based applications or scripts on your website, you may have to look elsewhere.
- HostGator is not the most economical option for business hosting, as some of its features are more suited for personal or small-scale websites. For example, the free website builder has limited functionality and design options. The e-commerce tools are also not very advanced or integrated with popular platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce.