HostGator is another big name in the web hosting industry, being in business since 2002. The company was founded by Brent Oxley, who started with three servers at that time. By 2009 the company has reached over 200,000 customers, rapidly outgrowing their Houston office and forcing them to expand into a new 100,000 square foot office in Austin, Texas. In 2012 the company was acquired by EIG, who purchased other big hosting companies in the past few years, along with BlueHost and iPage.
HostGator has become popular thanks to its well-priced shared hosting plans and top quality support. In addition to the affordable shared plans, at HostGator there are available other hosting types like reseller, virtual private servers, dedicated hosting and domain registration.
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HostGator has long been known as the go-to pocket-friendly hosting provider thanks to their all-inclusive shared hosting plans. Today, HostGator’s hosting services are much more diverse and include premium hosting options as well, namely VPS, cloud and dedicated hosting services. HostGator appeals to a wide range of audiences through their feature-rich and easy-to-use hosting plans. Besides hosting, the provider also offers domain registration and domain privacy services.
HostGator is not new to the industry, in fact, it’s one of veteran hosting providers, whose name is not lost on anyone using hosting services. The company was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley, and despite a humble beginning, today, the company prides itself with hosting over 9,000,000 domains on their servers. In 2012, the company was acquired by the Endurance International Group, one of the biggest hosting conglomerates in the world.
Plans & Pricing of HostGator Plans
At HostGator, you’ll find multiple shared hosting plans, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated server, and even reseller hosting plans.
Shared hosting plans start at $3.95/month for the Hatchling plan. There are two other shared hosting plans – the Baby plan and Business plan – both priced at $5.95/month for the duration of the promotional period. All shared plans feature unmetered bandwidth and one click installs. Hosting for unlimited domains on a single account is reserved for the Baby and Business plans only.
Scalable cloud hosting plans start at $4.95/month and go as high as $9.95/month for the Business cloud plan offering hosting for unlimited domains on a single account, 6 GB memory, 6 core CPU, and free private SSL and IP.
Application specific hosting plans – WordPress hosting, Joomla hosting, Drupal hosting, Magento hosting – are among the other popular hosting services offered by HostGator with prices starting from as low as 3.95/month.
VPS hosting plans at HostGator are some of the most affordable in the industry, with prices ranging between $19.99/month and $39.95/month. In terms of resources, you can get up to 8 GB RAM, 4 cores CPU, 240 GB disk space, and 3 TB bandwidth. These plans are scalable too, meaning that you can add resources on the fly to keep up with your site’s growing demands.
Dedicated servers can be purchased with Linux or Windows OS, and you can choose between semi-managed and fully managed options. Plus, all servers come with 3 dedicated IPv6 IPs and DDoS protection.
The entry-level dedicated server is priced at $119/month and has the following specs: Intel Xeon-D CPU with 4 core/8 thread, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, and unmetered bandwidth. The most expensive server at HostGator starts at $149/month and boasts 32 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, and unmetered bandwidth.
Windows based hosting is not exclusive to dedicated servers, HostGator offers you the option to purchase Windows based shared hosting plans as well from as low as $4.47/month. Plans in this category feature unlimited disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and come with Plesk control panel included.
Reseller plans start at $19.95/month for 60 GB storage, 600 GB bandwidth, and hosting for unlimited domains. cPanel, WHM and WHMCS licenses are included with each package.
HostGator Hosting Features
HostGator’s hosting plans are packed with amazing features and freebies, making them some of the most well-rounded hosting plans in the industry. Without further ado, here is a rundown of HostGator’s hosting features:
- Windows and Linux based hosting plans;
- Plesk, cPanel, WHM & WHMCS licenses included for free;
- 45-day money-back guarantee;
- 99.9% uptime guarantee;
- Free migration services (including domain, website, MySQL transfer and script transfer);
- Application hosting (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento);
- Wide range of programming languages supported (CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, SSL);
- SSH access & full root access;
- Free website builder tool;
- SEO tools;
- Managed and semi-managed server options;
- Weekly off-site data backups;
- Free dedicated IPs and SSLs included with some plans;
- Add-ons available for purchase at checkout (CodeGuard, SiteLock, GSuite, Domain Privacy);
- Scalable hosting plans;
- Free marketing credits (Google AdWords, Yahoo/Bing);
- 24 x 7 support;
- HDD and SSD storage options available with some plans.
HostGator Uptime Record & Performance
As we mentioned earlier, HostGator offers 99.9% uptime guarantee for their shared plans. In order to test their uptime, we have set up a test website with HostGator and started measuring the uptime using UptimeRobot. We’ve been monitoring this website for more than one year and we come to the conclusion, that their guarantee is actually true. In fact, they are so stable and reliable that they are greatly above their guarantees.
Here is a screenshot for proof:
In the last 30 days we experienced 2 minutes of donwtime. As you might notice, the server response time is only 79 ms.
According to Pingdom the load time is 371 ms, which is faster than 98% of other tested websites.
All above test results concludes, that HostGator is reliably and offers high performance service.
HostGator Customer Support
HostGator’s customer support channels include toll-free phone support, live chat and email based support. A vast knowledge base is also available for customers open to a little self-help support. Community support is available on the HostGator forum, where you can browse through over 330,000 threads and get insight from over 200,000 members.
Despite the many support options available, HostGator’s customer support has been both praised and criticized, but this is hardly surprising considering their large customer base.
Pros & Cons of HostGator
HostGator is an established and popular hosting provider with feature-rich hosting plans covering most hosting needs. That being said, let’s see the what are the pros and cons of HostGator.
- Linux and Windows hosting options
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Feature-rich hosting plans
- Free migration services
- cPanel and Plesk licensest
- Long commitment periods to benefit from reduced pricing (e.g. 36 months)
- No free domain with shared hosting plan
HostGator offers month-to-month plans, however, to enjoy lower prices, you may need to be serious about committing to HostGator. This may not sit well with customers that don’t like to get caught into vendor lock-in type of situations.
In terms of reliability, HostGator promises to keep your site up and running 99.9% of the time. Their 45-day money-back guarantee is also above the industry average, giving you plenty of time to put their services to the test.
HostGator Review Conclusion
HostGator is a well-established presence in the web hosting industry that is becoming more and more competitive, and even crowded. Besides the long commitment periods, HostGator’s hosting plans are popular for the choke-full of features and freebies included. They offer a diversified set of hosting plans, which are built with scalability in mind, which is coupled with the fact that they also offer domain registration and domain privacy services. This makes them a suitable choice for those who want to have their domain and website hosted at the same provider.