HostGator – Web Hosting Review 2017

Best Web Host For Speed

HostGator

From our ongoing speed tests, Hostgator Cloud came out top when it comes to load speed. You’ll  get lightning fast of (~280ms)
Read the rest of our detailed Hostgator review to see if this is the right web host for you.

HOSTGATOR SUMMARY

 

Price: $3 p/m + Free Domain

Unlimited email addresses

Easy sign up process

Payment methods: Credit Cards & PayPal

EDITOR’S RATING

9.0

Ratings out of 10

UPDATE: 1st Feb 2017

Hostgator have a special offer on Shared Hosting.
Get the ultimate web hosting package for just $3 per month.
This includes everything you’ll need to get online. Free domain name, web hosting and unlimited number of email addresses.

new-hostgator-deal

 

Get this amazing deal by clicking through on our discount link

 

 

 

A common misconception nowadays is that you need to be a web designer or developer to get your own website or blog up and running. This might be true if you really want to design every element of your own website personally. However, if you select the right web hosting service, you won’t need to worry about this part.

 

What you need to know is how your website should function; navigate; how you want it to look and what your call to action is going to be. As well as this you want to consider how well you want your site to be able to scale, what your expected traffic volumes are likely to be and what media content you are likely to share, if any, on site. With these requirements in mind, a web hosting provider can help you create the kind of website you’re looking for.

 

The list of companies providing web hosting services is far too long and this makes finding the one best suited for your needs as confusing as can be.

 

Every provider has their key strengths and weaknesses, and you need to match them with your needs.  If your list of questions includes, can I start a website with small investment, or will my data be in secure hands, or where can I get the best dedicated servers, then there is just one answer, HostGator.

 

HostGator is a reputed hosting provider that offers comprehensive services to its clients from around globe. Before we get into the features and advantages, let’s take a look at a brief history of this service provider to see where they’re coming from.

 

 

A Brief History of HostGator

 

Brent Oxley, a student from Florida Atlantic University, founded HostGator in 2002. Growing exponentially, the company has achieved various benchmarks such as integration with Ecosystem Market Services and establishing a multi-national presence throughout the years.

 

By the year 2013, it was hosting 9 million websites. With these awesome figures, how better can you define growth!

 

Let’s be clear here, you can’t be a host provider in the industry for that long, with the sustained growth and presence that Hostgator have without doing something right. Each year there are always one or two hosts that “breakout” with acquisitions and experience a large portion of growth. But most of these hosts can’t sustain the growth and over burden themselves with too high a demand, only to fall back down the ladder of competitive providers. Hostgator have sustained steady growth and remained very competitive for a long time and that says something for the company.

 

 

Features and Advantages

 

At first glance, the HostGator website displays a strong hint of professionalism. Package information is clear and in easily digestible sections. The web hosting services they provide include virtual private servers, dedicated servers, cloud hosting including WordPress specific cloud hosting and reseller hosting as well. They have several plans to fit any budget and requirement.

 

 

Shared Web hosting Plans for Every User

 

 

HostGator has a number of hosting plans that are built for a wide and diverse range of functions and subscribers. All shared hosting plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth. The site itself can be a little confusing here. At the time of writing, when you clicked on the ‘web hosting’ tab, it didn’t actually show you all the shared web hosting packages. What it showed you was the hatchling shared plan, and the baby and business cloud hosting plans. This seems to have been fixed now and the navigation all pointing to where it should, but it is something to be aware of as the site updates very regularly. Let’s look at what’s on offer for the shared hosting first.

 

 

Hatchling Plan

 

The Hatchling Plan is perfect for those starting out and people just setting up their first website or blog.

 

 

This plan comes with support for a single domain name, and a shared SSL certificate, as well as several other features that are common with other plans. Pricing for this plan starts at $10.95 per month for a monthly subscription (month to month payment plan), $4.95 a month for an annual subscription, and $3.95 a month for a 3-year subscription.

 

 

Baby Plan

 

 

 

Scaling up to the next level, the Baby plan comes with support for unlimited domain names, and a shared SSL certificate. It costs $11.95 a month for monthly or $8.95 per month for annual subscriptions, and $5.95 a month for 3-year subscriptions.

 

 

Business Plan

 

 

 

The business plan is great for small and medium businesses and comes with support for unlimited domains, a private SSL certificate and dedicated IP, and your own toll free number that can be used by US callers to get in touch with your business directly.

 

Pricing for this plan starts at $16.95 per month for monthly and annual subscriptions $8.95 per month, and $5.95 per month for 3-year subscriptions.

 

 

Cloud Hosting Plans

 

 

HostGator’s cloud hosting plans are marginally more expensive than shared hosting, with the hatchling plan starting at $4.95 , baby at $5.95 and business cloud plan at $8.95 per month for a 36 month plan.  The cloud plans do have a few added benefits. For a start, it is easier to allocate more resources using a cloud package, if your site and traffic grow quicker than anticipated. By the very nature of cloud hosting you are not restricted by the parameters and dimensions of a single physical server, and this makes it easy to scale up or down accordingly. Also, if for any reason an issue occurs with hardware, it is easy to switch the site to another server to reduce any downtime risk or data loss.

 

HostGator’s cloud hosting packages give you all the features of the shared hosting packages, even the names of the plans are the same, but the cloud plans are twice as fast, with four times the resources. You also get a performance dashboard with cPanel which is something you don’t get with the standard shared hosting plans.

 

 

Optimized WordPress Hosting

 

 

Hosting a website using WordPress can be a challenge with speed, support, and security being the primary concerns. HostGator provides the most comprehensive managed WordPress hosting solutions available today, and has hosted million of WordPress websites. Again, these are marginally more expensive than shared hosting plans, but with some notable features that are more than worth while. Let’s look at some of the salient features of these websites.

 

    • They are powered with blazing speed (2.5 times faster than shared), scalable cloud hosting, secure environment and robust functionality.

 

    • They are extremely easy to manage as you can manage files, databases, and e-mail accounts through a single portal, with free migrations too.

 

    • They are scanned daily for any malware or spyware with advanced security features, and at the same time, the system comes with automated backups as well.

 

    • The cloud architecture allows instant scaling without much downtime

 

    • 24/7 real-time support is provided over the phone

 

OK, so these are the standout features, lets now take a look at the different plans available.

 

 

STARTER PLAN

 

The Starter Plan is geared toward hosting a single site, with traffic up to around the 25k per month. You get up to 1GB space for backups and 50GB storage for your site and content. This is great for a standalone blog or site with a modest flow of traffic. Pricing for the Starter Plan comes in at $14.95 per month for a monthly subscription, $7.95 for 12 month subscription and $5.95 per month for a 36 month subscription.

 

 

STANDARD PLAN

 

Step up to the Starter Plan, and you can host 2 sites, with up to 200K visitors per month. You get 2GB storage for backups and 150GB storage for your sites and content. This package is good where you perhaps have a site and a blog hosted separately, where traffic is significant. Pricing for the Standard Plan comes in at $20.95 per month for a monthly subscription, $9.95 for 12 month subscription and $7.95 per month for a 36 month subscription.

 

 

BUSINESS PLAN

 

The Business Plan is geared toward the top end where perhaps you have separate sites for different areas of your business, or a blog, business and e-commerce site. You can host 3 sites and up to 300K visits per month at capacity. You can store up to 3GB of backups and there is unlimited storage for your sites and content. Pricing for the Business Plan comes in at $27.95 per month for a monthly subscription, $11.95 for 12 month subscription and $9.95 per month for a 36 month subscription.

 

 

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

 

 

HostGator offers three flexible plans as part of their VPS hosting services. They are all scalable plans that allow you to move from one plan to another with ease. You can update software with full root access and all plans support unlimited domains, email accounts, MySQL databases, and unlimited FTP accounts as well. The details of their plans are as follows. All pricing mentioned below is based on taking a three year plan, which is heavily discounted. Taking a plan for a shorter period I will have an effect on the price offered and you can check these rates before signing up if you wish to have a shorter agreement. The best price by far is over three years however.

 

 

Snappy 2000

 

This plan provides you with two cores, 2GB RAM, 120GB storage, 1.5TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses. The pricing for the plan with cPanel is $29.95 per month for the first term and $89.95 for the recurring terms. For the semi-managed plan, prices start from $19.95 per month for the first term, with $79.95 for the recurring terms.

 

 

Snappy 4000

 

This plan provides you with two cores, 4GB RAM, 165GB storage, 2TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses. The plan with cPanel starts at $39.95 per month for the first term, and $129.95 for the recurring terms. For the semi-managed plan, pricing is set at $29.95 per month for the first term and $119.95 for the recurring terms.

 

 

Snappy 8000

 

This VPS plan is fastest of all available. It provides you with four cores, 8GB RAM, 240GB storage, 3TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses.

 

The pricing with cPanel is $49.95 per month for the first term and $159.95 for the recurring terms. For the semi-managed plan, pricing starts at $39.95 per month for the first term, and $149.95 for the recurring terms.

 

 

Dedicated Servers

 

 

With many satisfied clients, HostGator is well known for its reliable, dedicated server hosting plans. The best part is that they have servers for both LINUX and Windows operating systems.

 

HostGator carries four flexible plans, with each managed through the popular cPanel, web-based manager. Let’s take a look at these plans.

 

 

Basic Dedicated Server

 

This plan provides you with an Intel Xeon dual core processor with 2.3GHz speed, 4GB RAM, 100Mbps uplink, 500GB RAID-1 storage drives, 10TB bandwidth, and 2 dedicated IP addresses. The pricing starts at $79 per month for first term and $174 per month for every recurring term.

 

 

Standard Dedicated Server

 

This plan gives you a 2.5GHz, Intel Xeon dual core processor, 4GB RAM, 250Mbps uplink, 1,000GB RAID-1 storage drives, 15TB bandwidth, and 3 dedicated IP addresses. The plan is available at $89 per month for the first term and $189 per month for recurring terms.

 

 

Elite Dedicated Server

 

This plan includes a 2.5GHz Intel Xeon dual core processor, 8GB RAM, 500Mbps uplink, 1,000GB RAID-1 storage drives, 20TB bandwidth, and 4 dedicated IP addresses. The plan starts at $108.98 per month for the first term and $229 per month for recurring terms.

 

 

Pro Dedicated Server

 

This plan provides you with an Intel Xeon quad-core processor running at 3.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 1Gbps uplink, 1,000GB RAID-1 storage drives, 25TB bandwidth, and 5 dedicated IP addresses. The plan is available at $128.99 per month for the first term and $329.01 per month for recurring terms.

 

Quick service is another very important feature of these dedicated servers. Within 24-hours of payment, the servers are prepared and available for service. While they are prone to some slowdowns every now and then, their security is top notch.

 

 

Reseller Plans

 

 

HostGator has some excellent reseller hosting plans for designers that want to include web hosting into their list of services.  They currently have five plans that are listed below:

 

    • The aluminium plan comes with 60GB disk space, 600GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $19.95 per month where a 36 month term is selected, while for recurring terms, it is $29.95 per month.

 

    • The copper plan comes with 90GB disk space, 900GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $24.95 per month where a 36 month term is selected, while for recurring terms, it is $41.95 per month.

 

    • The silver plan comes with 140GB disk space, 1400GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $24.95 per month where a 36 month term is selected, while for recurring terms, it is $59.95 per month.

 

 

Upright Security:

 

Good Firewall

 

Your sensitive data is in secure hands with HostGator’s security measures. It has a strong firewall in place to counter virus and DDoS attacks. In case of UPD flooding, it provides protection at the network level. That makes their servers very secure to almost any type of threat.

 

 

Free Scanning

 

Subscribers can opt in to have their servers and accounts scanned every six months for free, to ensure that there aren’t any loopholes or infections. In case you wish to increase the frequency of the scheduled scans, you can do so by paying a small fee.

 

 

Protection Guidelines

 

Protecting the account is a shared responsibility of the service provider and the account holder. HostGator gives you a list of guidelines to avoid any incidents and to keep yourself safe from hacking attempts.

 

There are detailed instructions provided to secure your account against such threats. Maintaining strong passwords and altering them at regular intervals, updating your software regularly, and using good antivirus protection are some of the basics covered in the guidelines.

 

 

PIN Creation Process

 

The account creation process prompts you to create a pin. The pin length ranges from 4-8 numeric digits, which seem easy to crack.

 

 

Protection Plans

 

Every web hosting plan has its own security system and policy in place. The Hatchling plan provides a shared SSL while the Business Plan comes with a dedicated, private SSL. The Baby plan also comes with a shared SSL certificate.

 

 

Uptime, Downtime, and Performance

 

The service provider guarantees 99.9% uptime for their 12,000 servers. However, their servers are prone to slowdowns every now and then. So, before you sign up for their service, you should be wary of your speed and performance requirements. It is worth noting that their cloud servers and plans are both considerably faster and less prone to downtime than shared servers.

 

 

Customer Support

 

HostGator provides 24/7 customer support over the telephone and online chat. While the telephonic support representative provides you with detailed instructions related to any issue almost instantly, the online chat support is rather slow. However, their tech support knows what they are talking about and are quite knowledgeable. They also offer a ticketing system for customer support. On top of that, video tutorials, support forums, and other support mediums are also available.

 

 

Quick Service and Usability

 

The service provider offers quick service once you have registered with them. Immediately after purchasing any of the plans, you can start making your new website.  If you want your website to be powered by WordPress, then the application is setup easily, with just a few clicks. Similarly, other applications can be installed using the Quick Install tool.

 

 

Discounts with Every Plan

 

HostGator also provides 73-75% discounts for VPS, 55-66% discounts for dedicated server plans, and 33-58% discounts for reseller plans.

 

 

Disadvantages

 

While HostGator has a number of positives going in its favour, it also has some downsides as well. Let’s see what they are.

 

 

Inconsistent Speed

 

Server speeds and performance are not consistent and they sometimes slow down. Though this isn’t that big of a deal for most, smaller websites, larger businesses will want to take note of this.

 

 

Delayed Online Chat Support

 

The online chat support is very slow, which sometimes leads to miscommunication and unsatisfied customers.

 

 

Do I Recommended HostGator?

Damn right I do!!

HostGator has been around for long enough to understand how important security and uptime are for its customers. This is why they pay so much attention at securing their servers and making sure the websites they host are online and active. Don’t get me wrong, no host is perfect, not a single one, there is no such thing. But getting these two things very right, security and uptime, these are critical and HostGator knows it.

 

With a number of plans to suit all budgets and requirements, and the customer support that is always available, HostGator has time and again, proven itself to be one of the best hosting companies around.

 

Are you using HostGator to host your website right now? What features have you found to be the most useful, and what drawbacks have you come across so far? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

HOSTGATOR $3 p/m - FREE DOMAIN + FAST HOSTING + UNLIMITED EMAILS