If you have ever dealt with hosting or website development, you are sure to know about Hostgator, a widely-recognizable brand in the hosting industry. Today, the company ranks among the top-preferred providers in the world.
HostGator offers diverse services, including all types of hosting and an AI site builder (Gator). You can create a new website or transfer the existing one to HostGator. The company supports popular CMS and has very impressive promotional prices.
Still, is HostGator the very hosting provider you are searching for? It depends on your chosen hosting type, price expectancies, and capacities needed for your project. In the following review, we’ll observe the platform’s performance, pricing, security, support, and everything you need to know to make the right decision.
What Is HostGator?
The brand with the Snappy mascot was launched in 2002. Unlike Snappy, the HostGator company has come through a series of changes over these two decades. Now, this is a hosting provider that powers up 2.5M+ websites worldwide.
HostGator positions itself as a team of hosting experts who nevertheless can speak to clients with any level of web tech knowledge and find reliable and adequate solutions for them. And you can trust this company’s philosophy. Today, HostGator covers all possible areas, from the US to Africa and Asia. Most clients appreciate HostGator’s support and a good supply of instruments to start with and scale up.
Who Can Benefit from HostGator the Most
HostGator is the king of shared hosting. The platform has excellent plans with nice features covered even within the cheapest one. This is also an excellent solution for those who wish to move their WordPress site or create a new one with the help of HostGator.
In case you need to build a simple website quickly and hands down, you can also opt for HostGator since the platform offers an easy-to-use AI-powered builder. HostGator provides custom domains, security tools, design guidance, and more. All this is enough to create an effective online presence for a small/medium-sized company.
The mere popularity of HostGator may serve as a positive sign. Yet, take into consideration the platform’s advantages that helped HostGator win so many fans across the globe:
- reliable web hosting;
- high loading speed;
- low introductory prices;
- WordPress hosting plans;
- HostGator site builder;
- a convenient cPanel;
- high-class support.
For many users, the free domain and SSL options available for one year and unmetered bandwidth across all shared hosting plans will be big pluses, too.
You won’t find a host with no drawbacks, and HostGator also has certain disadvantages. Knowing these weaknesses is crucial for your final decision on HostGator:
- less competitive renewal prices;
- no flexibility for VPS or dedicated hosting;
- many security features are paid.
It’s great that the HostGator team uses ‘human language’ when communicating with clients. However, its way of promoting products may seem annoying.
How Expensive HostGator Is
HostGator is the #1 choice for newcomers. Take any hosting type and any plan, and you’ll see a juicy introductory price for it. You can expect the best ratio between the cost and included features on the HostGator shared hosting plans:
- Hatchling: for $2.75/mo., you’ll get 1 website, 10 Gb of disc space, and chat support only.
- Baby: A subscription of $3.50/mo. will bring you 4 websites, 40 Gb of disc space, and chat+phone support.
- eCommerce: At the price of $5.25/mo., you can host an unlimited number of sites, use unlimited storage, and enjoy full support via chat and phone.
On any of these plans, you receive a one-year free domain, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and unlimited emails. You’ll be able to set up WordPress, Magento, Joomla, or MediaWiki with one click. Moreover, each package goes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As for VPS, dedicated servers, and other hosting types, HostGator offers three packages for each of them. These are interesting plans with no bad capacities and feature sets. Their main advantage is in attractive promotional prices. Thus, the cheapest VPS solution will cost you $23.95 a month, while dedicated packages start at $59.98 a month.
A significant drawback is the mere concept of fixed plans. Some competitors of HostGator offer a larger variety of solutions with the ability to customize your RAM, CPU, storage, etc. Only three packages are insufficient in today’s reality.
Finally, any user should bear in mind the significant rise in prices after their promotional period is finished. Thus, the cheapest Hatchling plan will cost you $11.95 a month on your renewal (when you wish to pay month by month.) For this plan, a regular subscription for one year is $9.99 a month. Expect a similar price rise for all the other plans.
Yet, such practice is common for many providers. When compared with other competitors like Bluehost or IONOS offering low-price packages, HostGator is more generous in supplying its plans with more facilities and offers a better value for money.
HostGator’s guaranteed uptime is 99.9%, but we experienced even better results. Our simple-design website on a HostGator shared hosting plan passed a one-month test with a final uptime of 99.98%.
As to loading speed, the platform showed excellent performance. Our pages’ average response time was less than 120ms. HostGator web hosting showed the best LCP we’ve ever observed. The LCP metrics show how fast a website’s main content loads and its indices of 600-800ms are considered good. Our HostGator site showed an LCP of 552ms. So, in terms of loading speed, HostGator is one of the best hosts, if not the best.
Security and Protection
A free SSL certificate, an indispensable protective means for every website, is included in every HostGator plan. With the help of an SSL certificate, you’ll get all data transferred through your website properly encrypted. Moreover, your site will be marked as safe in all web browsers.
HostGator can offer extra features to ensure more security for your site. First, you can plug in the SiteLock software. This is an excellent way to automate the detection and removal of malware and defend your website against malicious attacks.
One more must-have feature is CodeGuard. The software executes automated backups and up to three restores of your data per month (if necessary.) It also protects websites from viruses and hackers.
Unlike SSL certificates offered for free, both SiteLock and CodeGuard are paid options at HostGator. The platform enables them at $5.99 and $2.75 a month, respectively. Mind that these are also introductory prices available only during your first promotional subscription.
All HostGator plans include the cPanel option. This software is designed to add more convenience to any platform’s management. It is familiar to many users, so they do not need to learn anything new. HostGator has improved its cPanel interface so that you can maintain all the aspects of your website through this unified console.
You need to log in to your account to access your dashboard. You should click Sign In on the HostGator main page and choose Portal (hosting settings) or Website Builder (creating a website.) As soon as you enter your account, you are redirected to the Welcome page of your dashboard.
On the left, you can see the menu with the following options:
You’ll also see the HostGator Control Panel icon. Press it to maintain your website in a more comfortable way. Here, you can manage your email accounts, databases, and domains. Special offers for backups, security, site building, design, and more will appear on the main screen. Right from this place, you can easily install WordPress and choose WP themes.
The HostGator Control Panel will also let you observe your website’s performance (the Metrics menu) and manage your files. The Advanced section allows going deeper into the technical settings of your website(s). It is designed for techies who know what to do with such options as the Terminal, Indexes, Track DNS, etc.
Web Building Tools
HostGator offers several solutions for website building. First of all, each shared hosting plan goes with a free preinstalled WordPress. Of course, this option will suit only total beginners who simply want to publish their simplistic sites on the Internet.
For a business site or an online store, the HostGator site builder is a more suitable option. This is a very simple tool for creating websites. HostGator has based its builder on AI tech. That is, you simply need to launch the software, answer several questions from the system, and there you go: your website is almost ready to be used.
You’ll only need to add a logo and smooth up your newly-created site’s design. You can use the HostGator LogoMaker to create a logo for your project or upload the existing one from your computer. There’s a massive bank of free images you can use. You can customize fonts, styles, navigation bars, and many more.
What’s next? You simply click Publish, and your website goes online at once.
HostGator Website Builder Plans
You’ll have a choice of three website builder plans on the HostGator platform. This website builder is called Gator.
Their introductory prices are given below:
- Expert Start: $3.84/mo.;
- Express Site: $5.99/mo.;
- Express Store: $9.22/mo.
The cheapest package includes free SSL security and a 1-year free domain. Its email campaign and product options are very limited. So, if you plan eCommerce, opt for Express Store since it offers unlimited products.
Customer and Tech Support
HostGator offers excellent support to its customers. No matter which means you prefer, expect the team to react quickly and be eager to help. You can request qualified help using the following means:
- online chat 24/7;
- phone number.
HostGator offers a very useful Support Panel where everyone can self-help. Here, all articles are grouped into quick-access sections like Policies, Security, Domains, etc. There’s a search line to type in your request, too. Finally, the platform has Customer Portal and Video Tutorials designed to simplify your work with the hosting and site-building features available.
Is HostGator Worth Trying?
HostGator is one of the forwarding hosting companies in the world. Its shared hosting solutions rank among the best offers available in the market. If you need a fast-loading website capable of business activities and eCommerce transactions, choose HostGator.
The platform will let you build a simple but truly effective online website with enough security and special features necessary for your project’s growth. HostGator is ideal for individual websites, blogs, small online stores, and small to medium-sized business companies.