In the battle of web hosts, there's a constant vying for superior position. HostGator has attempted to portray itself as a superior feature-packed option.
Great customer service, they say. Great uptime, they claim. They even boast about their powerful site-building features...
Is all as it seems, though? You can't afford to waste time with inferior hosting. The nature of the web game means you need to identify the best solutions from the get go.
With that in mind, we're going to do a quick HostGator review so that you can get an idea of their services, along with what there is to like (and dislike) about the platform.
Preliminary HostGator Reviews
I'll lead in by saying there are definitely benefits to HostGator and their platform. They say they offer a lot, and they do deliver on it.
You might have cause to choose it over other options based upon your particular situation. Chances are you'll skip over HostGator for a more advanced service.
What Does HostGator Offer?
As you're likely already aware, HostGator is a web hosting service. They provide servers for you to store your website and make it accessible to the web at large.
They have four major service categories on offer:
Cloud Hosting — Several machines working together to power your site. They've broken their Cloud Hosting down into several plans with different pricing:
- Hatchling: $4.95/month
- Baby: $7.95/month
- Business: $9.95/month
The different plans offer different numbers of domains, services, and computing power. To get you started, I've negotiated an exclusive deal just for Start Blogging Online readers...
You can get started for only $2.92/month (over 60% OFF the regular Hatchling plan!) by signing up through the image below:
WordPress Hosting — If you have a small WordPress site that you just want to move on over, this is the route for you. Again, there are three levels:
- Starter: $5.95/month
- Standard: $7.95/month
- Business: $9.95/month
Your number of sites, monthly visitors, and storage space is restricted by plan. Again, you'll have to consider what's right for you.
VPS Hosting — A Virtual Private Server that you can upgrade as your site grows. If you need more space, you can certainly get it, but it'll cost you:
- Snappy 2000: $19.95/month
- Snappy 4000: $29.95/month
- Snappy 8000: $39.95/month
The more you spend, the more RAM, disk space, and bandwidth HostGator will deign to allocate to you.
Dedicated Hosting — A server all your own. They even give you a choice of Linux or Windows. Prepare yourself to shell out for top dollar prices, though:
- Basic: $79/month
- Standard: $89/month
- Elite: $109/month
- Pro: $129/month
Again, the more you pay, the more you get in terms of power for your server.
Hostgator Reviews: Pros & Cons
So, why would you want to use HostGator? There are quite a few reasons that this host stands out among the competition.
You're Getting A Big Name & Plenty Of Options.
HostGator is a well-known industry name. Just think, they get lots of press, they have awards, they have resources.
They have hundreds of employees and hundreds of thousands of users. They're hosting over 9,000,000 domains. It shows how much they have on offer.
Just look above again and see all the plans they have to tailor to specific situations. If you need it, they have a solution for you.
They are very confident that you'll like the services. They offer a 45-day money back guarantee for whatever services you want to try out. It gives you plenty of time to try things out and determine if they are right for you.
This is, of course, on top of the hefty sales and discounts they're usually offering on their options. At the time of writing, they're running a 44% off promotion on their shared cloud hosting (over 60% off here!). 50% off for WordPress. For the VPS, they're offering 75% off. That's rather substantial and shows that they think they've got a product you'll love.
Their site is clean, and their interface is slick. If you're using HostGator to configure your site, it's not going to be too complicated. Even if you are a beginner, the learning curve isn't so steep that you'll be lost.
Take a look at the HostGator account management portal. This video shows how easy it is to install WordPress:
There's plenty else you can do from this all-in-one control center. Take care of your billing, manage your site, and access the plethora of tech support options. This brings us to another pro...
There's A Range Of Support Features.
They've certainly got a lot of options on the main page. There's the customer support portal, which you can access once you become a member. You can learn about new features and essentials from there.
The support portal also gives you access to other methods of receiving guidance. There the live chat option, which brings up a chat box you can use to contact HostGator tech support. You can call in. You can create a support ticket. You could even use the extensive forums.
People have asked many of the same questions that you have already. A trip through the forum topics may well provide you with an answer without even having to contact anyone.
If you need advice on specific procedures, there is an extensive video tutorial library that covers all sorts of topics. Using the control panel, billing, access webmail, integrating WordPress, etc.
You can even get in contact with the HostGator team on social media. They have active Twitter and Facebook accounts, and you can learn plenty just by following them.
They Incorporate Some E-Commerce Features.
That's a boon for those looking to dip their toes into the online store pond. In addition to the email marketing and promotional tools, they give you the ability to use Magneto to craft your online shop and incorporate it into your site.
Some might argue that Magneto isn't exactly top of the heap when it comes to e-commerce solutions. That's true, but it's a solid platform, and for those that have the DIY spirit and like to craft and control the minor details, it has a good deal of functionality. Plus, it's free. Hard to really argue with that.
They're Good At Integration
As we mentioned, there's the built-in Magneto integration, as well as plenty of options for CMS. They're a managed WordPress hoster, so if you've got a WordPress site you want to get up you can do it with one-click installation.
They don't shun other CMS, though. If you're using Drupal or Joomla, they provide options for working those in as well. All-in-all, you can host your website regardless of how you set it up, which is a big plus.
And remember, this exclusive cloud hosting offer is only 1 click away...
Uptime & Speed Aren't Always Quite As Advertised.
Unfortunately, some sites on HostGator can move just a bit slower and be down for just a bit longer than competitors. It might not seem like much, but even fractions of a percent can have a big difference in the hosting game.
Consistency is key. It's just too bad HostGator has a few dips and fluctuations in how their service runs from month to month.
They Employ Pricing Trickery.
We talked earlier about those discounts. They seem great, at first. Once they have you locked in, though, these introductory rates disappear, and HostGator will balloon your monthly fee.
They'll annoy you with upselling. There are also some hidden stipulations they don't advertise up front, such as not exceeding 25 percent of their system resources for longer than 90 seconds at a time.
They Have Poor Customer Satisfaction.
For all the methods they have for providing support to clients, HostGator doesn't seem to be the best at it. One might even accuse them of growing so large that they don't have to care about the overall customer experience any longer.
Just take a look at accounts from angry customers from across the web, and you'll see a few reports of unresponsiveness and reportedly shady billing practices.
HostGator has the framework for a great host. They offer lots of packages that are aimed at different customer needs. They have a nice site with a good interface. Ease-of-use is there, and they've definitely got a focus on letting customers integrate third-party software as need be.
Unfortunately, they only provide average-at-best speed and uptime for their sites. Definitely not what you need when other hosts can provide quick sites with nearly constant access.
Hostgator web hosting reviews indicate that they also seem to have lost their way when it comes to providing a comprehensive and friendly customer experience. There's really no need to subject yourself to lackluster support when you can get quality elsewhere.
If you do want to give it a go with HostGator, though, they do have quite a few choices. Start by checking out their hosting options, and narrowing down which would be most applicable to your site.