HostGator Complete Review: Our Pros and Cons of Hostgator

HostGator Complete Review: Our Pros and Cons of Hostgator

HostGator may be one of the oldest and largest web hosting companies in the industry, but they've still posted a solid average uptime of 99.93% over the last 12 months.

Their basic shared hosting plan comes with unlimited storage, bandwidth, free domain (for the first year), and free SSL certificate. They also have great customer service, who connect via live chat instantly and answer any questions within seconds.

Unfortunately, many additional services, such as backup and security, will incur as an additional fee. Plus, renewal rates go up aggressively after your first term ends.

Here's a full look at our live tests, using third-party data from Pingdom to explain their performance.

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General Info & Hostgator Hosting Overview

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our verdict: 4.0/5

SPEED: 734 miliseconds (as compared in April to March in current year)

UPTIME: 99.93% (April 2020 to March 2021)

SUPPORT: Live Chat 24/7

APP: More than 75 Apps Supported

FEATURES: Unmetered Bandwidth and Storage, Single Email Account, First Year Free Domain, SSL Certificate, 99.9% Uptime Guarantee

HOSTING PLAN: Shared Server, Cloud, WordPress, VPS and Dedicated

SITE TRANSFER: Single Free Site Transfer

PRICE: Starting at $2.75/mo (updated at $6.95/mo)


Pros of Using HostGator Shared Hosting

Pros of Using HostGator Shared Hosting

HostGator's uptime performance used to be a problem in previous years. But not anymore, based on our tracking for 12 months.

Apart from that, their customer service is fast and friendly. They will help move your site to their service for free. And beginners will love the many simple and intuitive options that are pointed their way.

Here's a brief summary:

1. Stable Uptime 99.93%

HostGator has posted an average of 99.93% uptime with a little over six hours of downtime over the last 12 months.

HostGator has posted an average of 99.93% uptime with a little over six hours of downtime over the last 12 months. It wasn't the best uptime we've seen but it wasn't the worst either.

The good part is that they have an uptime guarantee which says that if they drop below 99.90%, you can receive a month's credit in your account.

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Obviously, planned maintenance or hacks that are impossible to predict don't count towards this guarantee. However, you must contact and request credit by submitting a support ticket to their billing department within 30 days.

HostGator last 12 months speed and data uptime

We started seeing a few other hosts come up with guaranteed uptime recently, and that means all customers win as a result. 

Competitors go out and do this helping to raise the bar for the entire industry. 

This forces everyone in the market to match their guarantees and increase the standard of service levels or risk being left behind.

HostGator last 12 months speed and data uptime

Average uptime in the last 12 months:

March 2021: 99.95%

February 2021: 99.99%

January 2021: 99.97%

December 2020: 100%

November 2020: 99.99%

October 2020: 99.99%

September 2020: 99.50%

August 2020: 99.99%

July 2020: 99.98%

June 2020: 99.99%

May 2020: 99.96%

April 2020: 99.78%

2. Decent Load Time 734 ms

HostGator's servers have had no problems keeping our site up and running for the past year.

HostGator's servers have had no problems keeping our site up and running for the past year.

But what about their server speed?

HostGator provided an average page load time of 734ms over the last 12 months.

HostGator average speed of last 12 months

It's definitely not the fastest speed we've seen but it deserves a spot in our pro section.

Apart from that, HostGator has improved its page load times quite a lot. Not long ago, it took more than a second to load our site.

Why is it important to have fast page load times?

Slow page load times have been shown to directly impact your visitor's experience. And it has a dripping effect to reach your bottom line too.

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There are several things you can do to speed up your site without switching hosts. But if your host is consistently slow, it means that you will be constantly losing battles.

3. Good Support

HostGator provides knowledge base, phone, email, and live chat support.

Similar to other well-known providers like SiteGround and Dreamhost, HostGator provides knowledge base, phone, email, and live chat support.

We tested their live chat option.

We asked a simple question about their shared hosting plan and got connected to a customer representative within two minutes. The reply was fast and knowledgeable.

We asked a simple question about their shared hosting plan and got connected to a customer representative within two minutes.


Overall it had been a decent client support experts available all time

4. 45 Days Money Back Guarantee

HostGator is so confident in their service that they extended the industry average 30 day refund policy to two weeks or more to 45 days.

HostGator is so confident in their service that they extended the industry average 30 day refund policy to two weeks or more to 45 days.

That means you can use it for more than a full month and still get your purchase price back if any issues arise.

This 45-day money-back guarantee applies to all shared, reseller and VPS hosting plans.

The only catch is that this does not apply to HostGator dedicated servers, administration fees, installation fees for the custom software packages.After combing through many Terms of Service documents now, we found that this warning is quite common in the hosting industry.

So, for example, if your plan includes a free domain name, they will deduct the standard $15.00 fee for the domain from the refund amount.

There are several other points to note. HostGator's terms give them up to 90 days to actually issue a refund. No refunds will be issued for checks, money orders, Western Union payments or bank transfers.

Refund request are only available for new packages or new paid package accounts. So if you previously signed up for one, and canceled the renewal or second attempt, you won't get anything in return.

And last but not least, foreign currency refunds are processed based on the US Dollar exchange rate.

5. Site Security Features Available

HostGator's shared hosting plans are quite simple. You get enough for one site, but not much extra on top of that.

HostGator's shared hosting plans are quite simple. You get enough for one site, but not much extra on top of that.

Luckily, they offer some additional security features like the ability to add SiteLock monitoring to your site.

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This service will run daily, looking for potential breaches or site hacks and notifying you instantly when they find it.

This service will run daily, looking for potential breaches or site hacks and notifying you instantly when they find it.

They also offer Spam Assassin on their email plans to help prevent spam from getting to your inbox.

The only downgrade is that SiteLock will incurred a charges you a little amount extra in your package. We'll expand on this below in the Cons, but the sticker price is $1.99/mo, billed annually at $23.88.

6. Free Site & cPanel Migration

This includes full cPanel transfers. So if you have multiple site installs (like subdomains for one large site), you're covered.

If this isn't your first site, and you're trying to move an existing site, HostGator has you covered.

You'll have 30 days after signing up to contact and ask them to help move site files, databases, scripts, and even any domain names for you.

This includes full cPanel transfers. So if you have multiple site installs (like subdomains for one large site), you're covered.

This includes full cPanel transfers. So if you have multiple site installs (like subdomains for one large site), you're covered.

All HostGator shared hosting plans come with one site (or cPanel) migration included. Different plans, like retailers, for example, will get access to more (up to 30).

One free site migration is not much compared to multiple hosts. But it's still better than nothing.

7. Very User-Friendly for Beginners

HostGator is made especially for beginner bloggers or webmasters.

HostGator is made especially for beginner bloggers or webmasters.

Their site is full of tutorials, guides, and more to help you navigate the grim world of DNS and datacenters.

They also have additional features for beginners who want to build a site without needing to hire someone else to design, build, and manage it all.

Their website builder tool, Gator by HostGator, is one of the better ones we've reviewed. It comes with free hosting and a domain name, so you only need to buy one account for all your needs.

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Their website builder tool, Gator by HostGator, is one of the better ones we've reviewed.

The customizable templates are all fairly modern, to begin with, and you can easily customize their appearance by dragging and dropping each feature. You'll also get site analytics and a free SSL certificate to help protect your visitors' personal data (such as their physical location).

Gator by HostGator even comes with an eCommerce plan, so you can set up a fully functional online store with inventory and more, all without worrying about payment gateways, plugins, or other messy technologies. It just works.

Cons of Using HostGator Shared Hosting

Cons of Using HostGator Shared Hosting

HostGator's consistently strong uptime is, frankly, surprising (in a good way). We're also fans of their uptime guarantee.

Plus, their beginner-friendly approach and helpful customer service mean there's a lot to like about their service.

Unfortunately, we also ran into some issues while testing it. 

Here are some of the higher issue troubles we found:

1. Lots of Extra Fees for 'True' Backup, Gmail, and Malware

Lots of Extra Fees for 'True' Backup, Gmail, and Malware

HostGator shared hosting plans are affordable, with introductory offers begin at just $2.75/month (for total of 3 years).

Their most affordable plan (“Hatchling”) comes with a single website name, one-click installation of must needed apps like WordPress, Joomla, and others, unlimited space, unlimited storage, and a free SSL certificate. Basically, all the core features you need for a complete website.

All the 'extra' stuff, like site backups, Gmail access, SiteLock Monitoring and SEO tools will all cost you extra when it's time to checkout.

However, that's all they provide in their default plan. All the 'extra' stuff, like site backups, Gmail access, SiteLock Monitoring and SEO tools will all cost you extra when it's time to checkout.

This is disappointing because many of these features are carefully written on the site, such as "available", to make you think they are included. Explore the other top hosts we've reviewed and you'll see that many of them do, in fact, include this in their base price.

Only when you reach the end of the process, when you enter your billing information, will you realize that all these extra features will cost you, well, extra.

Gmail is the standard $5/month or $60/year per user, which is their normal price. But then SiteLock will charge a $19.99/year, CodeGuard (to securely copy your site) make you $23.95/year, and they doesnt keep many versions of your blog or website on control panel files case you run into troubles

So while the initial plan seems cheap at first, it starts to get very expensive when all is said and done.

2. The Industry Standard Pricing 'Trick'

The Industry Standard Pricing 'Trick'

Aside from the extra cost, HostGator does two pricing tricks that are pretty standard in the industry.

The first is to advertise a low rate like $2.75/month, only to realize that you have to pay upfront for three whole years to actually get it. Otherwise, you're looking at $10.95/month for an actual one month service. HostGator Shared Pricing Breaks for Long Term Plans

That's just the beginning. Because on top of all this, HostGator renewal prices skyrocket after your original plan expires.

So let's say you go ahead and lock in those low rates for three years. You'll get a pretty good deal, no doubt about it.

HostGator Shared Pricing Breaks for Long Term PlansThat's just the beginning.

The trouble starts when it's time to renew your plan in three years. 

At that point, your monthly rate for the same plan jumps to $6.95/month (or $250.20 total) — more than double what you just paid for the exact same service.

Basically, they prey on the fact that after a few years, the chances of you wanting to switch services are pretty low. So you're locked out for a while (like a cable company or gym membership).

Many of the other hosts we've reviewed perform the same stunt. 

However, that doesn't mean we have to like it. 

HostGator Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Shared Hosting: HostGator has three shared hosting plan options to choose from:

HostGator Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

Domains: Yes. For the first year.

Ease of Registration: Easy registration process.

Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.

Money Back: 45 day money back guarantee.

Hidden Fees and Clauses: Introductory valuation is barely offered for long-run set up purchases.The renewal rate will also more than double. Extra services, such as malware backup and monitoring, are also an additional cost.

Upsells: Lots of upsells.

Account Activation: It can take up to 24-48 hours to activate your account.

Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.

Installing Apps and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): They make it easy to install popular apps and CMS in a few steps using QuickInstall.

Do We Recommend HostGator Shared?

Do We Recommend HostGator Shared?


Yes, we did. But there are better options out there to choose from.

HostGator shared hosting does offer a lot of benefits. Uptime has been solid along with speed improvements. Good customer service. And the excess of beginner-friendly choices build it easy.

However, the extra price hike makes it too expensive to get our 100% recommendation.

HostGator Coupon

HostGator Coupon

Blogging Generation users get an exclusive 60% discount with our HostGator coupon code.

You have to just click on this exclusive coupon link to purchase the affordable plan. Discount will be applied automatically.

HostGator Hosting FAQs

HostGator Hosting FAQs

We've been answering user questions about WordPress hosting for over a decade now. 

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about HostGator that we hear from our users.

1. Is HostGator good for WordPress?

Yes, HostGator is great for WordPress and highly recommended for anyone looking to start a WordPress website.

It offers a 1-click WordPress installation that even lets you select essential plugins and templates during setup. In addition, you get 24/7 technical support which is useful for most beginners.

2. Which is better HostGator or Bluehost?

HostGator and Bluehost are hosting companies that we recommend. When it comes to Bluehost vs HostGator, they are very similar in terms of CPU resources, unmetered bandwidth, disk space, MySQL databases, pricing, and more.

We found Bluehost's user experience a bit better because they have invested a lot in their WordPress platform.

Bluehost has the upper hand in overall performance, SSD storage, security, and value for money. HostGator tries to address this with slightly cheaper hosting plans, a 45-day money-back guarantee, and faster support.

3. How does HostGator compare to SiteGround and GoDaddy?

HostGator is better than GoDaddy in terms of support, ease of use and overall user experience.

The main difference between HostGator and SiteGround is the price. SiteGround plans start at $4.95 and don't include a free domain name. This makes HostGator a better choice for users on a budget.

4. Where are HostGator servers located?

HostGator's servers are primarily located in Provo, Utah, and Houston, Texas. However, they also use data centers in other locations.

5. Does HostGator have a cPanel dashboard?

Yes, HostGator has a control panel or cPanel account customised into their official dashboard that you can use. You will find a link to cPanel under your website hosting plan. Your hosting dashboard also includes a file manager like FTP so you can easily upload files or edit them if needed.

6. Is HostGator good for eCommerce?

Yes, HostGator is great for running an online store using WooCommerce or any other eCommerce platform. However, as your business grows in terms of traffic, you may need to upgrade to a business plan to a virtual private server (VPS hosting plan).

7. Which HostGator plan do I need?

If you only want to start one website or blog, you can start with their Hatchling plan. However, we recommend starting with the baby pack as it offers some installation support. You can always upgrade your hosting plan later if needed. 

Just click here to select most affordable HostGator webhosting plans.

Have you used HostGator before? 

Please consider leaving a review below — good or bad — it doesn't matter as long as it's useful to our visitors.

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Post a Comment

3 Comments

  1. Awesome company, you like when they have almost 100% uptime so you don't have to worry. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah they have a 100% uptime and i also experienced that when i worked with my clients at a startup. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Fransic!

      If you want you can checkout other blogs too so that you never get out of any updated information.

      Have a good day.

      Delete
  2. VPS hosting refers to Virtual Private Server hosting. Actually, a VPS hosting is just like a dedicated service in a shared hosting system. Technically speaking, it's both dedicated and shared hosting. https://onohosting.com/

    ReplyDelete