HostGator Reviews: Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons Discussed
HostGator is a popular website hosting provider offering remarkable services to users since 2002. It is one of the best of all hosting providers in the industry.
This company has become popular because of its affordable prices and beginner-friendly features. HostGator is ideal for people who are looking for better hosting plans.
Among the available features, its drag-and-drop editor and impressive templates are the best. To make its services helpful for everyone, it includes eCommerce, blogging, analytics, and marketing with each package.
In 2020, EIG (Endurance International Group) bought HostGator, which is not surprising since the conglomerate owns several other brands in the industry, including Constant Contact, Bluehost, and iPage.
Through this review, we will discuss the major aspects of HostGator in detail so that you can make an informed decision.
HostGator Products Overview
HostGator offers almost all the services that are hosting-related. Below you can find the complete list.
While HostGator is not a leading domain name registrar, if you choose it, you can purchase domain names. To avail .com domain for one year, you need to pay $12.95. But after renewing the plan, you will be charged $18.99.
The increase in price makes HostGator a relatively costly option. You can use NameCheap to get your domain since it makes more financial sense.
To make its services helpful for every kind of business, HostGator offers six types of plans, each available at different prices. Whether your website gets limited visitors or tons of visitors, you can easily find an ideal plan that will work for you.
If you have just started, or if your website doesn’t attract thousands of visitors, you can select the Shared Hosting Plan. It is created for small business or medium projects.
This plan can host different websites under the same server, like living in a shared house. It’s ideal for people who have just begun and want to create a website since the regular pricing starts at $10.95/month and goes up to $16.95/month in the Business plan.
Each shared hosting plan offers a free domain and SSL certificate. You must choose the Business Plan if you want add-ons like a free upgrade to positive SSL and SEO tools.
Related: HostGator vs Godaddy: Which is Better? | 2022
WordPress Web Hosting
This hosting plan is designed for people who want shared hosting, optimized for WordPress sites. It’s an excellent alternative to SiteGround because it’s cheaper, has plenty of features and offers some high-quality WordPress themes.
Its plans start from $14.95 a month and go up to $91.95 per month. Each of Managed WordPress hosting plans includes a free domain and SSL certificate. Regardless of which plan you pick, you can install WordPress and start working in no time.
Next is the VPS hosting, i.e., Virtual Private Server. It’s a kind of shared hosting that uses a certain kind of software configuration. If you have a small or medium website requiring a particular configuration, then VPS hosting plan is ideal.
VPS plans start at $79.95 per month. Besides being affordable, these unique VPS hosting plans are also scalable.
Related: HostGator vs InMotion: Features and Hosting Parameters Compared
Dedicated Hosting Server
This hosting plan is the first choice of people who want complete control over their real and virtual servers. It’s a powerful plan that can handle tens of thousands of visitors.
To own a HostGator dedicated server, you need to pay $189 per month. However, the prices go up to $279/month if you get the Enterprise Semi-Managed Dedicated Server plan.
Related: Bluehost Vs HostGator: Who Wins Our Head-To-Head Comparison?
The Cloud Hosting plan of HostGator is affordable and can offer you better control over your website. You can see this hosting plan as a network of connected servers. It starts at $12.95 per month.
Besides the five hosting types outlined above, HostGator also offers Reseller Hosting plans starting at $34.95. You can use these plans to offer your clients excellent hosting services.
HostGator Shared Plans: What’s Right for You?
An important thing to notice about HostGator plans is that they come with big discounts for the first term. Besides a better price, the plan includes a free domain name for the first year.
But when you have to renew the plan, you would be required to pay a much higher cost. However, the offered services are worth it.
Here’s what the HostGator’s Shared Pricing Plan includes:
|Features||Hatchling Plan||Baby Plan||Business Plan|
|Customer support||24 hours||24 hours||24 hours|
|Maximum number of inodes (Hard Limit)||200,000 inodes||200,000 inodes||200,000 inodes|
(only 1 available)
(only 1 available)
(only 1 available)
|Backup restore cost||$25 per restoration||$25 per restoration||$25 per restoration|
|First-term price for one-year deals||$2.75 per month||$3.50 per month||$5.25 per month|
|Renewal price for annual plan deals||$8.95 per month||$11.95 per month||$16.95 per month|
The Hatchling Plan is ideal for people who want a single website. The best thing is that this plan comes with unlimited storage.
If you are choosing Baby Plan, you will get a chance to host unlimited websites. And lastly, you can select a Business Plan if you want a dedicated IP address.
While signing up, one thing that you might not like is HostGator’s pushy purchase process that would try to convince you to choose longer deals, i.e., 36 months. Also, the company will try to upsell add-on features that you may not think you need initially.
HostGator Pros & Cons
Just like others, HostGator also has certain advantages and disadvantages.
- Plenty of Storage: All the Shared Hosting Plans of HostGator offer unlimited storage to users. That means one can freely store the files. But the files combined should not be more than 200,000.
- Unmetered Bandwidth: The highlight of the Shared Plan is that it doesn’t restrict your site’s traffic.
- Multiple Programming Language: This hosting plan supports multiple programming languages like Ruby On Rails, Python, Perl, PHP, and more.
- Flexible Terms: The last thing that makes this hosting provider a better option is its flexible terms. You can freely choose a plan for 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months.
- Tricky Prices and Fees: While HostGator is a remarkable platform, there are a few things that you might not like about it. The pricing can be a bit off-putting since the prices are low for the first term, but once they get renewed, the charges increase.
- Constant Upsells: Another thing you might not like is their backend, packed with unnecessary upsell options.
- Missing Advanced Features: If you are looking for certain kinds of advanced features, HostGator does not offer them. These features include a built-in server-site catching system and staging areas.
- Unreliable Support: If you have any queries or difficulties and want to connect with the live chat support team, you would have to wait. At certain times, you have to wait for around 30 minutes before you get a chance to get a phone support team.
- Speed: Like other website hosting service providers, this one doesn’t offer the fastest loading times.
- Poor Backups: If you wish to have better backup options, you must pay for add-ons.
Who is HostGator Right For?
HostGator’s hosting plans are great for people who are willing to use multiple programming languages. It’s also designed for people who want a generous service provider with storage options. Also, it offers unlimited bandwidth.
Who is HostGator Not Ideal For?
While HostGator is an excellent web hosting service provider, it’s not recommended for large projects. Also, if you have a hosting-dependent project like online stores, you should look for an alternative.
Ease of Use
HostGator has an easy-to-understand interface. But when you look a little deeper, you will realize that the free domain registration process is confusing. On top of that, it pushes the users to buy add-on features, which are not required.
Talking about their backend, it looks modern. Also, if you have ever used cPanel hosting services, you might find HostGator similar to it.
The last thing to remember is that if you have canceled your service plans with HostGator, your account will be closed immediately. That means even if you have a few months left with your current plan, the hosting package will be gone.
Related: Is the Gator Website Builder Worth Trying Out?
The best thing about HostGator is that it offers free domain registration for the first year. Also, domain names can be purchased. You can easily get a .com domain by paying an introductory price of $12.95 for the first year. After that, the price renews. So, always check the then-current rate and increasing price.
The different Shared Hosting Plans offer different features. For instance, the Hatchling Plan allows one domain, but you can get unlimited shared domains with the other two plans.
All of HostGator’s hosting plan comes with unlimited free email accounts and storage that you can use to improve your productivity. But remember that you cannot send more than 500 emails an hour.
You can get as many databases as you need. Moreover, the size of the database is also not limited.
By selecting HostGator, you get a chance to install useful content management systems. These include Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and their easy-to-use installer.
The unlimited storage capacity is another feature that works in its favor. You can store so many things, but you’re not allowed to store all kinds of files. This hosting provider only supports the storage of emails, user-generated content, and web files.
As far as security features are concerned, you will be quite impressed because it has a custom firewall to protect you from hacker attacks. It also provides free SSL certificates and SSH access.
Along with this, you can also get extra security with an external paid app. This tool is designed to monitor and scan the files. And if it finds any security issues, it will inform you.
If your account is less than 20GB, HostGator will backup it once a week. This backup system is really frustrating and unfortunate. That’s because other hosting service providers have kept a smarter approach to backups.
Talking about the server features, it allows you to use PHP 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3. Also, they have MySQL databases. But you might not find extra features like side-server catching systems or staging areas.
This plan comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee.
We have conducted tests on speed and uptime to get an idea of how excellent the HostGator’s performance is.
HostGator Speed (Server Response Times)
If a provider doesn’t use fast hardware, your website will not load quickly. It will affect your visitor’s experience and increase bounce rates.
As far as the HostGator speed is concerned, according to Bitcatcha, the reported response time in the U.S. (W) was 32 mn and in the U.S. (E), it was 36 ms. In London, the speed was 221 ms, in Sydney 205 mn, and in Canada, it was 36 ms.
Overall, it is rated as A. Thus, the speed is exceptionally quick.
HostGator faces some service interruptions. But the good thing is that these interruptions are short and not frequent. So, this hosting provider is not constantly down.
To offer a better experience, HostGator promises 99.99% uptime on all hosting plans.
HostGator is undoubtedly an excellent web host provider that you can consider to get the best services. It offers different plans and also comes with a money-back guarantee.
But if you are not impressed with this provider or looking for an alternative, here’s a list of a few options you can consider:
- If you want reliable and low-cost web hosting services, you can choose A2 Hosting or DreamHost. You can visit the real website to know DreamHost pricing.
- InMotion, SiteGround, or DreamHost offer the best support.
- Next are SiteGround and GreenGeeks, which have performed exceptionally well in many speed tests.
- And if you want an excellent web hosting service for managed WordPress, you can choose SiteGround. It has interesting features like advanced speed optimization, staging, and a built-in caching system.
Conclusion: Should You Get HostGator Hosting?
Choosing HostGator will not disappoint you because this website hosting provider offers better bandwidth, email, and storage. It does not limit storage and offers some of the best WordPress website services.
In addition, it has six hosting plans, each offering a different feature set and available at a different price.
But then, certain things do not work in its favor. First things first, it charges $25 per backup restoration. Also, backups are made only once a week. And the backup service is only available for sites that are less than 20GB.
That means you should make a decision only after considering all the pros and cons.