HostGator Expert Review
Customer score for HostGator
Table of contents - H3
With almost two decades of experience in the field of hosting, HostGator is one of the top names in the market for good reason. The company offers a variety of plans that provide both basic and mid-range solutions ideal for an entrepreneur or small business seeking to construct their online presence. The platform has become known for its affordability factor as well as for its HostGator cPanel and administration features that make it easy to run your website.
More importantly, our HostGator reviews and tests reveal that the company consistently delivers reliable uptimes and steady loading times which help your website offer a better user experience. Thanks to a variety of HostGator coupon and promo deals that can reduce your prices significantly, HostGator is a great option for a variety of companies and website needs. Read our expert review below to see if it’s right for you.
Hostgator Pros and Cons
- It gives your reliable hosting – One of the first things that stood out to us is HostGator’s uptime, which is guaranteed at 99.9% and largely delivers on its promise.
- It’s affordably priced – Unlike some competitors that have ditched affordable plans, you can get started with hosting for under $3 a month (and even less with a HostGator coupon code).
- It’s user-friendly – Despite its extensive customizability and number of features, HostGator is an excellent hosting solution if you’re a beginner building your first website.
- It offers great customer support – With a 24/7 live chat available and a massive collection of educational material and tutorials, you’ll be able to quickly solve any issues that come up.
- The website builder could use some improvements – Although it’s a great tool for beginners to get started, we found it wasn’t as intuitive as some competitors’ offerings.
- They require a longer commitment – To really get the company’s top pricing and best features, you may have to sign up for an extended contract.
HostGator Prices and Payment Methods
One of our favorite aspects of the HostGator pricing model is that it really emphasizes helping beginners and inexperienced users build their websites with a combination of affordability and features. It starts with the Hatchling, the most affordable of the HostGator plans across its offerings. Shared hosting for a single domain starts at $2.75 a month and includes free website migrations, unmetered bandwidth, one-click installations for a variety of useful apps and plug-ins, and unlimited emails for your business needs.
The cloud hosting version of the plan starts at $4.95 a month, and gives you a free shared SSL certificate, along with unlimited users for your FTP, an unlimited number of MySQL databases, and unmetered bandwidth. If you prefer to use WordPress for your website needs, you can choose the WordPress hosting plan for $5.95 per month, which includes an enhanced version of the cPanel dashboard, a variety of speed-optimization tools including advanced caching and HostGator’s performance cloud infrastructure, along with fully managed hosting services. You also receive access to global CDN, 50 gigabytes of storage, and 1 gigabyte’s worth of backups to go with your single domain. You can even add a HostGator coupon to extend your savings.
We were impressed to see the variety of payment methods HostGator offers, which extend past most competitors’ alternatives. The company accepts any of the major credit cards, including Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express, JCB, and Diners Club. You can also pay via a verified PayPal account, and several regional payment methods accepted through PayPal. Additionally, you can use a personal check or money order, as well as a bank wire, though there are some conditions to consider to be approved for this method. Before you check out, make sure to look for a HostGator promo code or HostGator coupon code to sweeten your deal and lower your prices even further.
HostGator User Experience
We were pleased to find that HostGator is surprisingly easy to use and intuitive, a major benefit for beginners. No matter if you’re using the standard HostGator cPanel, or the HostGator control panel made especially for WordPress hosting, managing everything from your domain to your email accounts is made easy. More importantly, the ability to modify your plan and add the tools with simple one-click installations means that even if you’re not an expert at something like SEO, you can still implement it in a few seconds.
Another great feature for beginners is the company’s drag-and-drop website builder, which could be fine tuned to be a little more responsive and smoother, but which can help you quickly get online. If you’re more familiar with hosting and setting up servers, you can also take advantage of expert tools that include a variety of scripting languages, unlimited MySQL databases, and easy back-end access. Overall HostGator cloud, WordPress, and shared hosting are all viable options to build a great website.
HostGator Load Times and Reliability
In its service level agreement, HostGator guarantees a 99.9% uptime or it will refund you for time your website was down. We were pleased to see the company lives up to its promise, offering a reliable hosting solution across all HostGator packages. No matter which plan you sign up for, our HostGator reviews found that uptimes were actually closer to 99.99% on average, with barely any outages during our test period.
In terms of loading times, though HostGator may not be the fastest service on the market, it does provide a surprisingly consistent service that does away with the spikes and accompanying dips many competitors suffer from. The company’s servers averaged just under one second per page during our tests, which is still well below Google’s recommended maximum of two seconds. Even so, you can still accelerate your website if you have the cloud hosting and WordPress hosting plans. Moreover, you can use tools like HostGator NodeJS compatibility to further add caching tools and other optimization aids.
HostGator Main Features
If you’re looking to quickly build a website and an online presence, HostGator offers a great toolkit. All three HostGator plans include access to the company’s drag-and-drop website builder, as well as unlimited email to help you start communicating with your clients and vendors. You can also add a shopping cart to your ecommerce site easily, as well as install a variety of tools like blogs, forums, CMS, and thousands more with a single click. HostGator also includes more advanced tools such as AWStats, ImageMagick, and compatibility with popular scripting languages such as Ruby on Rails.
Additionally, all plans include HostGator free SSL, as well as instant backups, and functionality for video and audio streaming tools. If you can afford to upgrade to a HostGator VPS plan, you can also get fully customizable environments and off-site backups in addition to more advanced developer tools. Overall, we found that regardless of which HostGator pricing plan you choose, you’ll have access to great features.
HostGator Customer Support
No matter which hosting plan you choose, HostGator customer support is available to you 24/7, 365 days a year. You can reach the company via the HostGator customer service number, live chat, or via snail mail at the company’s address. Overall, we found the company’s support staff to be well-trained and knowledgeable, as well as friendly and quick to respond.
If you prefer to find answers yourself, or have a problem that’s less urgent, you can also take advantage of the company’s extensive knowledge base. It includes over 500 video tutorials which cover a variety of topics, as well as 700+ articles that answer common questions and issues that may arise. You can find the HostGator support number on its contact us page and access the live chat directly from the HostGator support portal.
HostGator Hosting for Free
If you want to test HostGator, the company offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. You can also take advantage of the company’s coupons, such as its HostGator cloud discount, which gives you up to 45% off your 36-month contract. Although it doesn’t include a free trial, you can take advantage of several perks, such as HostGator free SSL certificates included with every plan.
Our Final Thoughts on HostGator
Overall, HostGator is a great deal if you’re seeking to get started without going over your web budget. The company’s feature-rich platform, as well as its wallet-friendly hosting plans make it a great choice regardless of if you’re a beginner or an expert. With tools such as HostGator cPanel and its own control dashboard available, you can also better manage your online tools and domains.
Furthermore, we were also impressed with the quality of HostGator support and found the company’s knowledge base to be one of the more informative and value-added on the market. If you want to learn more about the user experience you can read our HostGator reviews by hundreds of subscribers to see how the company stacks up against the competition.