HostGator Review — Updated December 2020
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Benefits and Features of HostGator Hosting
It can be challenging to find the best web hosting company for your website. There are so many options that you could use, and it seems that every hosting provider is offering something different.
One of the things that you’ll want to look for is the features and benefits that a web host can offer you. If a hosting provider has a lot of features that you can’t use, then you may want to choose a different hosting company so you can get the most out of your web host.
In this HostGator review, we took a look at HostGator hosting and found some of the reasons that you should use them as your web host. Here’s what we found:
1. Impressive Uptimes
When you’re looking for a hosting provider, you’ll want to be sure that they have a strong uptime record. This is important because your website isn’t doing much good if your hosting server is down for some reason.
Your audience members may try to find you online, but if they can’t find your website because your server is down, then they’ll leave your site, and you’ll likely lose their business.
When you use HostGator hosting, you can rest easy knowing that your website will almost always be live, since HostGator has such high uptime rates. Over the last two years, HostGator has been able to maintain an uptime record of over 99%, which is impressive.
HostGator also has an uptime guarantee, which means you can request a refund for any period where they did not meet their minimum uptime requirements.
2. Strong Customer Support
When you use HostGator, you can rely on their knowledgable support staff to help resolve any issues you may experience. You can reach their support staff on a 24/7 basis, so you won’t need to wait long to have your problems resolved.
We think customer support is an important factor in choosing a hosting partner, and so we tested the HostGator support staff, and we found that they are experts within the hosting space. Their support team is friendly, fast, and knowledgable — the three things we love when working with a customer service representative.
Within 1 minute, we were able to get in touch with a support member who was happy to help us resolve our questions.
If you have little experience within the tech space, then I would suggest that you find a hosting provider with a strong support team like HostGator that you can lean on for help.
3. Free Website Migrations
If you currently have a website and you’d like to change your hosting provider, then you’ll need a website migration. It can be a challenging task to perform a website migration on your website, so unless you know what you’re doing, it’s usually a wise decision to recruit the help of an expert.
Many hosting companies will charge you for website migrations, and some may even cost you as much as $150 per website migration. This can get expensive, so it’s nice when a hosting partner provides this service free of charge.
When you switch your hosting to HostGator, their experts will perform the website migration at no cost to you. This is a nice bonus and helps make the onboarding process with a new web host much more pleasant.
4. Cheap Hosting Plans
One of the reasons that we love HostGator is because they offer some affordable hosting plans which are perfect for smaller website owners. If you need a basic hosting plan, then you can get started for just $2.75 per month.
If you use the shared hosting plans from HostGator, then you’ll easily be able to grow your website without breaking the bank on hosting fees. They also have higher tier hosting plans, which we find to be affordable and priced within the industry average for website hosting.
While these basic hosting plans won’t be great for larger websites, it’s ideal for websites that get under 10,000 viewers per month. This is a pretty good deal since it’s cheaper than a cup of coffee per month.
5. Great Website Builder
If you don’t understand how to develop a website, but would like to build a website without hiring an expensive web developer, a website builder may be the right choice for you. A website builder is a platform that allows you to create your website within a couple of hours by customizing pre-built website templates.
When you use HostGator, you’ll have access to their website builder for as low as $3.84 per month. This will allow you to choose from hundreds of different templates and pick the best site for your business. Once you select a template, you’ll easily be able to customize the theme for your own business.
You’ll also have access to e-commerce themes, which will allow you to start selling products and services in an online environment. This is a pretty nice feature to receive with your web host because you’ll be able to build and host your website all on one platform.
6. Fast Cloud Hosting Speeds
If you need a fast website, then you may want to choose a hosting provider that is fast so that you have a great foundation to build off of. If your web host is slow, then there’s only so much that you can do to speed up your website.
The peed of your website is becoming increasingly important, and you’ll find that your audience expects your website to be fast. If your website doesn’t load within a few seconds, then they will become frustrated and leave your site, which can hurt both your business and your search rankings.
We have reviewed the hosting speeds of over 30 different hosting companies, and we found that the average load time was 700ms. When we tested the HostGator Cloud Hosting, we were pleased to discover that they recorded a load time of just 428ms.
This time is pretty impressive, and we would recommend that you use HostGator if your website needs to be faster than the competition.
7. Scalable Hosting Plans
If you’re looking to grow your website, then you’ll want to make sure that your hosting provider can offer scalable hosting plans. This will allow you to upgrade or downgrade your hosting plans easily, depending on the needs of your website.
When you don’t have flexibility with your hosting plans, you could quickly get yourself locked into a hosting plan that is far too small for your needs. This will limit the amount of growth that your website can have, so it’s essential to use a scalable web host.
With HostGator, you’ll be able to upgrade or downsize your hosting plan with a click of a button. You’ll be able to ensure your website has the proper hosting resources while taking advantage of the most economical hosting option.
8. Money-Back Policy for 45 Days
Another thing that we look for in any hosting provider is a strong refund policy. A good refund policy will allow you to set up a small website and then trial the hosting services before you commit to a long term contract.
Good refund policies can save you a lot of headaches because you’ll be able to trial the company and ensure that you’re willing to work with them on a long term basis.
When you work with HostGator, you’ll be able to get a full refund as long as you contact the HostGator sales team within 45 days of purchasing your web hosting.
This refund policy is more extended than most hosting companies, giving you more time to decide if you want to use that hosting provider or not.
Disadvantages of Using HostGator
It can be challenging to choose the perfect hosting company because every web host seems to have its own issues. While some hosting providers can be better than others, it’ll be up to you to choose the best web host for your website.
In our HostGator review, we found some negative points you’ll want to be aware of before you choose HostGator as your hosting partner. Here’s what we were able to find:
1. Common Renewal Schemes
If you’ve looked at the HostGator pricing plans, then you’ve likely noticed that they offer cheap hosting plans. This ultra-low pricing is a way to entice you into purchasing a long term contract with their hosting company.
The scheme works like this. You’ll have to purchase a 36-month contract to be eligible for the low hosting price that they showcase, and you’ll only be eligible if this is your first hosting contract with HostGator.
This means that when your initial contract has expired, and you go to renew your hosting plan, you’ll have to start paying the regular hosting fee.
While this scheme is pretty common, you should be aware of it so that you don’t get locked into any expensive hosting plans.
2. Fees for Additional Features
One of the disadvantages of working with HostGator is the fact that you’ll have to pay for additional features if you want to use them for your website. Most HostGator plans don’t come with all the bells and whistles that you may find with other hosting companies, but they still have reliable web hosting.
HostGator makes it easy for you to use the extra features for your website, but they will charge you for some of these features, such as Sitelock, which is a security software that you can use for $19.99 per year.
If you’re looking for a good hosting provider and you don’t need tons of features, then HostGator could be the ideal hosting provider.
HostGator Hosting Plans and Pricing
Before you purchase hosting, you’ll want to look at the hosting plans that will be available to you to ensure that they offer the features that you need at a price that you’ll be able to afford.
You’ll also want to make sure that they offer a lot of different hosting plans so that you can quickly scale your hosting to give your website a better chance of succeeding.
When you work with HostGator, you’ll be able to choose between 5 different types of hosting. Here are the different hosting types that you can purchase:
We will review each of these hosting tiers and breakdown the different plans within each hosting tier so that you can make an educated decision on which hosting plans are the best for you.
If you’re unsure about which hosting plans are the best for you, then you can contact the HostGator customer support, and they will help you find the best hosting plans that will meet your needs.
Shared Hosting is the most common form of web hosting because it’s cheaper than other types of hosting, and many websites don’t require a hosting plan with more data than the shared hosting plans can provide.
When you use a shared hosting plan, you’ll be sharing a hosting server with the other websites on your hosting server, which means that you’ll also have to share the server’s resources with the other sites on the server.
While it can be cheaper for you to share a hosting server, it can also cause some issues because there’s no guarantee for the amount of data that your website will receive every month. This means that a faulty webpage on your server could eat through the server’s resources, leaving little for your website. This is a common problem and can result in a dramatic decrease in site performance.
If you decide to use a shared server through HostGator, then you’ll have three different tiers to choose from:
- Hatchling Plan — As low as $2.75 per month
- Baby Plan — As low as $3.95 per month
- Business Plan — As low as $5.95 per month
These hosting tiers are reasonably cheap, and they offer more than enough data to host a smaller website that doesn’t get a lot of viewers. You can start off with their hatchling plan and then scale your hosting as your site grows and your website requires a larger plan.
If your website is getting under 10,000 viewers every month, then you’ll be able to benefit from the HostGator Shared Hosting Plans. This is a pretty good deal when you consider that it costs less than a cup of coffee per month to host your website.
Another way that you can host your website with HostGator is through a Virtual Private Server (VPS). A Virtual Private Server is similar to shared hosting because you’ll be sharing a server with other websites. However, with a VPS, you’ll be given an allotted amount of server resources that are reserved for your site. No other websites on your VPS server will be able to affect your site performance.
This is nice because you won’t need to worry about your website loading slowly due to other websites or a heavy server load.
If you use VPS Hosting from HostGator then you’ll be able to choose from 3 different hosting plans:
- Snappy 2000 — As low as $29.95 per month
- Snappy 4000 — As low as $39.95 per month
- Snappy 8000 — As low as $49.95 per month
When you purchase a 36-month VPS hosting plan with HostGator, you’ll save as much as 70% on your hosting plan. This is an excellent way for you to save extra money on web hosting if you’re on a budget.
If your website is getting over 50,000 viewers every month, then you may want to upgrade your hosting to a Virtual Private Server so that you can provide a smooth viewing experience to your audience.
If you’re finding that the VPS hosting plans aren’t enough for your website, then you may want to upgrade your hosting plan to a dedicated server hosting plan. A dedicated server is a hosting server that’s reserved for you alone. You’ll have the entire server to yourself, and you won’t need to share server resources. The downside to a dedicated server is the fact that they can be quite expensive because you’re not sharing the operating costs with other websites.
If you use dedicated hosting from HostGator then you’ll be able to choose from 3 different hosting plans:
- Value Server — As low as $118.99 per month
- Power Server — As low as $138.99 per month
- Enterprise Server — As low as $148.99 per month
Keep in mind that there are few websites which will require a hosting plan this extensive. You should always double-check before you purchase a dedicated hosting plan and make sure that your site needs a dedicated host or else you may be wasting money on hosting.
If your website is getting over 500,000 viewers per month, then you may want to upgrade your hosting plan to a dedicated hosting plan so that you can give your audience a smooth viewing experience while they’re on your website.
If you’re looking to have a faster website, then you may want to upgrade your hosting plan to the HostGator Cloud Hosting servers. This is because the cloud hosting is much quicker than other forms of hosting, and it’s almost as cheap as the shared hosting plans.
HostGator has made its cloud hosting faster by using low-density servers and state-of-the-art hardware while also implementing multiple caching layers. This alone can provide hosting speeds that are 2x as fast as a regular hosting set up.
When you use cloud hosting from HostGator, you’ll be able to choose between 3 different hosting plans:
- Hatchling Plan — Just $4.95 per month
- Baby Plan — Only $6.57 per month
- Business Plan — From $9.95 per month
The cloud hosting plans are packed with extra features that you can use for your website without having to pay any additional fees. Features such as SSL Certificates, Free Domain Names, Dedicated IP Addresses, and SEO tools will all be readily accessible at no extra charge.
If your website is getting under 100,000 viewers per month, then you’ll be able to benefit from the HostGator Cloud Hosting Plans.
Do We Recommend HostGator Hosting?
Yes, we definitely recommend HostGator because they have maintained an impressive uptime record for the last two years, and their hosting speed is far better than many hosting providers on the market.
We also love that the HostGator support staff is reliable, knowledgable and happy to help their customers with any issues that they may be experiencing.
Another thing that we like about Hostgator is that they make it easy for you to get started by providing free website migrations and access to a website builder so that you can quickly build your website.
While HostGator’s hosting plans don’t have the “bells and whistles” offered by other hosting providers (unless you use cloud hosting), this isn’t a deal-breaker for us, because we can still purchase the extra features for a reasonable fee.
Overall, we would say that HostGator is one of the best hosting companies that you can work with, and we recommend them to anyone who is looking for a reliable hosting partner.