If you’re looking for web hosting, this in-depth HostGator review should clear up any questions you have about one of the most well-known services out there. Should you be using one of their plans for your blog, business or personal page?
The answer is a definite YES and you’re about to learn why they are one of the best web hosts in the review below. Some people have written HG off, saying they are out of touch and don’t really care about their customers like they used to. But we don’t feel the same way.
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HostGator Review Summary
This well-established provider stands out from the crowd with it’s huge range of tools and features – there’s everything for the beginner and plenty more for the experienced user, which is no surprise when you know that HostGator is home to over 9 million domains.
The features are backed up by an intuitive control panel, plenty of tutorials, and a solid and reliable support service, so if you do have questions, you’ll be back on track in no time. On our test, live-chat support answered within seconds, and were able to answer all our queries straight away which is reassuring if you’re new to the world of web hosting.
Uptime is guaranteed to be an excellent 99.9% or better, and data speeds are faster than the industry standard of 1059ms (on average around twice as fast). When speed means conversions it’s good to know you’re not compromising on load times when you take out a cheaper hosting plan.
Overall, HostGator is a great choice for shared hosting. Despite being around since 2002, this grand-daddy of web hosts can still hold its own against the new kids on the block.
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- 45 Day money-back guarantee
- 24/7/365 support via live-chat or phone
- Instant backups
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Unmetered disk space
- cPanel control panel
- 1-click WordPress & Joomla installation
As with most providers, the price you pay depends on the plan you choose. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, and great for small businesses and blogs, but there are still more options within this category of service. On offer at the time of writing are:
- Hatchling Plan – $3.95/mo
- Baby Plan – $5.95/mo
- Business Plan – $5.95/mo
Initial services are often discounted, so you could find yourself paying at least $2 per month more at renewal time. Don’t let this put you off though – we’ve got a top tip for you!
What other HostGator reviews might not tell you is that there are also discount coupons to be found, giving you some extra savings. Visit hostgator.com/coupons and choose which discount you’d prefer. These can bring the price of hosting plans down by as much as 60% – well worth an extra minute to check out.
The Pros [The Good Stuff]
- Uptime: The folks at HostGator guarantee 99.9% uptime, with a credit worth one month’s hosting available if a shared server does not meet the promised standard.
- cPanel: The control panel is clear and easy to use even for first-time website owners. It has plenty of great tools such as 1-Click WordPress hosting and Joomla Installation.
- Free Migration: Moving from another provider? That can feel daunting but HostGator will help you migrate within the first 30 days, so there’s nothing to worry about.
- Reliability: This provider has been around since 2002, so they know what they’re doing. You can be sure of a reliable service from an industry giant hosting millions of domains.
The Cons [The Bad Stuff]
- Watch the SSL: If you want to take payments online, you’ll need private SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to keep your transactions safe. However, this is not included as standard in the Hatchling and Baby shared hosting plans.
- Upselling: Tick boxes for optional extras are already checked on the sign up forms. If you want to keep costs low, make sure you uncheck as you go.
- Instant Backups: cPanel features a simple one click backup button. This will save a recent copy of all the technical details of your website, minimising disruption if data is lost. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it is, but unfortunately HostGator charge $25 to restore data from a backup. Talk about hitting a man while he’s down!
- Restricted Domains: The Hatchling plan only allows one domain so if you have more than one you’ll need the Baby or Business plans, both of which allow unlimited domains.
HostGator Review: The Bottom Line
For solid service from a reliable company, choose HostGator. Their control panel is full of useful tools and features that beginners and experienced users alike will love.
The uptime is excellent at 99.9%, and you get credit on your account if services do go down. Speeds are faster than average, and support via live-chat is quick and simple. There is a simple backup button, which is great, but you do need to remember to click it every now and then, as the feature isn’t automatic.
The very cheapest Hatchling plan does restrict you to one domain name, but you can still enjoy all the features, tools and dependability that people have come to expect from this provider.
Combine all that with a 45 day money-back guarantee and you really can’t go wrong with them.