HostGator is one of the most interesting web hosting providers you can work with.
We’re going to consider some of the most relevant aspects in order for you to make the most informed decision about it.
First of all, let’s immediately consider what (for many people) are the most common HostGator pros and cons (even if there are some things “in-between” that need specific attention, as we’ll see later).
Form one side, the best-reported feature is the uptime, followed by one of the best customer support you can find.
On the other side, some people complain about a page load time slower than expected and the need to pay for some features that several other hosting providers make available for free.
But this is just a very short preview of what we’re going to analyze in detail during this HostGator review.
If you don’t want to read it all, you can jump to the conclusions and make faster decisions.
If you want to learn a bit more about HostGator, keep reading and discover all pros and cons of one of the handiest hosting providers on the web.
HostGator Review: What You Need To Know
This is for sure one of the best choices for people who are just starting out, especially because of their customer support.
In fact, when you’re at the very beginning of your online business journey, you may want to rely on a solid provider, to ask questions and learn on a day by day basis.
Also, the really impressive 45-day money-back guarantee they provide is worth mentioning.
HostGator gives you, starting from the basic plan, several tools, and features that you’re going to love because they make your website safer and stable, such as SSL, a very-well created website builder, along with unmetered disk space.
In short, HostGator is a good choice, especially if you plan to work with WordPress, and we strongly recommend doing that.
HostGator SEO Tools Review
HostGator is very serious about SEO.
As you see in the screenshot posted above, they give you the opportunity to create your unique, personalized, and totally supported SEO strategy.
You need to purchase this service as an add-on, however, it’s very good.
But Hostgator gives you another opportunity.
In fact, in the case you don’t need such a specific, customized SEO experience, you can activate SEO plans within your specific plan.
By doing so, you’ll have the opportunity to get some basic, but useful, SEO insights and reports, such as:
- keyword monitoring
- page analysis
- pages scan
- competitor’s analysis
- alert and notifications
- marketing suggestions
The above-indicate services vary according to your shared hosting plan, and if you want to play a more “serious” game when it comes to SEO, you can always call for a free consultation and then get your personalized strategy.
This is probably where HostGator excels more than others.
In fact, their “Uptime Guarantee” can be found on this page.
If you are on a shared or reseller server, which falls short of the 99.9% uptime guarantee, you may receive one month of credit for that package on your account.
But this does not only apply to shared and reseller hosting plans.
VPS and Dedicated Servers are covered by a detailed “Network Guarantee”, to make things even safer for your business.
In general, HostGator is rated as one of the top hosting providers currently available.
The most appreciated features are the ease of use and available features from the start if compared to many other providers, such as GoDaddy, for instance, which has a lot of upsells.
Another thing that makes HostGator rating generally on the top, is that it’s suitable for both personal businesses, and companies, or even agencies, without the need to switch from one plan to another on a regular basis.
This is not an easy feature to find, unlike some providers, such as Bluehost, which cater much more directly to small business users and personal websites.
In this case, HostGator is more similar to GreenGeeks, just because of the great features available immediately and the possibility to manage everything with ease.
however, as it happens for all web hosting providers, you can find some people who complain.
We don’t really suggest compulsively search for reviews from other people before purchasing a service because experiences can vary greatly from case to case.
However, just to give you an idea, you can find people who complain about HostGator on Trustpilot. The most common reasons are:
- problems with MySQL database
- website migration
- system setup
- some light issues with upgrades
- issues with SSL for VPS
By the way, the vast majority of reviews (even outside Trustpilot) are more than good.
That’s why we recommend HostGator, and not only for people who are starting out but for all people who work online, with no restrictions.
This service is very good, and it helps to make your website much safer than usual.
The “snippet” for this option is “Be A Security SuperHero”, which is quite a big claim, to be honest.
With a bit more detail, this service helps you in the following:
- advanced protection from malware, through their proprietary tool called SMART (Secure Malware Alert & Removal Tool)
- advanced protection from the risk to be blacklisted by search engines (by doing so, your ranking is protected)
- the SiteLock badge, which is particularly useful for people who run eCommerce stores, because it shows that your website is 100% secure
If you’re just starting out, or if your business does not have so many special needs, the first plan (Essential) can still work for your case.
The price goes higher when it comes to the other two plans, specifically provided for businesses with much more needs, and especially recommended for online stores.
Let us point out the importance of having CDN, even if in their basic configuration, to further speed up your website.
Back to specific features that can improve security, there’s a special suite created by iThemes which delivers a lot: we want to suggest it because we know about its value.
HostGator Plans Comparison
The screenshot below presents the three HostGator’s plans you can start with.
All the above-reported plans are very good for people who are just starting out, but also more advanced users can find them very handy and good for their purposes.
We’ll consider them in detail later, for the moment we just want to point out some common features.
We really like the opportunity to work with cPanel in all plans, as well as the free website migration and the unmetered bandwidth.
In addition, HostGator support is considered the top on the net, which adds value to each plan.
Another very important thing is that you have no limitations in creating MySQL databases, unlimited FTP accounts, and 99.9% uptime guaranteed.
All these features are a very solid foundation for your online business.
What we’ve considered in the previous section is shared hosting.
You should start using it if you’re just starting out, but also in the case you have a small business things can be good.
If possible, we recommend going for the Business plan, especially because you have some additional features you’ll need along your business journey.
Moreover, HostGator provides a detailed, comprehensive guide on how to get started with your website, which you can find at this link.
HostGator Windows Hosting
This feature is not common to very many web hosting service providers.
In fact, HostGator gives you the possibility to work on Windows Hosting.
There are two plans, Personal and Enterprise, to meet all your needs.
They are quite similar, but the Enterprise comes along with free dedicated IP, and you can create up to 5 websites, while this is limited to only one website within the Personal plan.
This is a well-done service, and you can get benefits from Parallels Plesk Panel, IIS (Internet Information Services), Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, as well as several other features.
Also for Windows Hosting, you have a 45-day money-back guarantee.
This service is widely recognized as one of the tops, when it comes to Windows Hosting, meaning that if you’re interested in servers that run on Windows, this probably is the #1 choice to make.
HostGator Email Plans
You are free to create unlimited email addresses with all HostGator plans.
As you see from the zoom of the image presenting the shared hosting plans, the unlimited email feature is common to all.
This means that you can create as many email addresses as you want, and you can brand them to make your business more professional.
Not all web hosting providers make this available from the most basic plans, but this is a very important feature to have in your business pipeline.
HostGator Email Hosting Price
Email hosting is attached to shared hosting, VPS, and Dedicated Servers.
This means that depending on the plan you choose, you also can benefit from unlimited emails.
Of course, your space to store messages is varying, and it depends on the disk space made available by the respective chosen plan.
An interesting feature about email is that you can run everything on Gsuite, or your own server.
HostGator provides a very detailed step-by-step guide on how to set up everything properly.
HostGator Baby Plan
This plan is the one in the middle, meaning that it’s the recommended choice for most businesses.
It presents some features that are very good for basically all businesses, such as:
- Unlimited domains
- Unmetered disk space and bandwidth
- One-click installs to get started faster
- Free domain
- Free SSL certificate (great!)
- Free website migration
In addition, HostGator helps you set up everything with some detailed guides.
In fact, you can find information on domains, a comprehensive explanation about the importance of SSL certificates, and how to transfer a website to HostGator.
HostGator Starter Plan
This plan is kind of essential, and it works well only for small websites and businesses with a few needs.
In fact, you can only create one website (with one domain), and this may be good for most businesses, however, if you’re thinking about the possibility to register more domains, similar to yours, this will not be possible.
HostGator Hatchling Plan Review
HostGator is very good when it comes to delivering even on the more basic levels of hosting plans, which is a great asset for sure.
That’s why we want to say that despite “essential”, this Starter plan could be perfect for many online businesses, especially if you have a personal business and/or a static website (meaning that you do not post on your blog frequently).
However, we don’t recommend it if you have an online store. In that case, we recommend going for the WordPress Optimized plan or the Shared Business.
HostGator Business Plan
This is the most complete plan for the Shared Hosting provided by HostGator.
We want to point out again the importance of SSL certificates (you have for free with this plan), and the dedicated IP.
These two features will add security to your website and business.
Moreover, you can also benefit from the free VoIP phone service.
Perhaps not so necessary for many businesses, especially if you’re working with affiliate marketing, and/or your business is 100% online (meaning that you do not expect to have direct contact with customers).
We’ll talk about pricing later, however, this Business plan has an extremely good cost/benefit ratio.
In short, if you’re thinking about purchasing one of HostGator hosting solutions, this Business plan on Shared hosting is the #1 choice to start with.
WordPress Hosting HostGator
HostGator is one of the best hosting providers for people who work with WordPress (it has long been considered DreamHost’s most direct competitor, for WordPress clients).
If you only look at the screenshot above, you may miss some important features.
In fact, the image shows three plans, called Starter, Standard, and Business: they something great in common, such as:
- Global CDN (for faster websites)
- Unlimited emails
- Automatic malware removal (improved security if compared with non-WordPress hosting)
- Automatic backups
However, there are some specific features that should guide you in your choice.
HostGator WordPress Plans
About WordPress Hosting, there’s another thing to mention.
As you see from the screenshot above, you can go beyond the Business plan presented before, in fact, you can own 5 websites.
If you need, even more, there’s also a Pro plan, which allows you to manage 10, or 20 websites.
This is pretty advanced stuff, for sure, but worth mentioning.
As expected, depending on the chosen plan you have a different number of visitors per month your website can handle.
Moreover, storage and backups are also progressive, meaning that when it comes to WordPress Hosting you must have clear in mind what your business needs now and also what it would need in the future.
This will guide you in the choice between the three plans seen above.
HostGator Ecommerce Review
We recommend starting with Shared Hosting, Business plan.
This because of several reasons, such as SSL certificates, shopping carts, and payment gateways (all available from your dashboard if you purchase the Business plan).
Not to mention free SEO tools that will help your online store starting to be found on search engines.
One of the things you’ll probably love the most, especially if you’re working on the creation of your new online store, is the HostGator Website Builder.
It has helped very many small businesses stand out online thanks to its ease of use.
HostGator Website Builder Review
This is not a tool, but a suite of tools, to make your website stand out fast and with little effort.
In the screenshot we posted above, you find that there are three different plans to choose from.
There are some common features, such as the possibility to have products in the store (the number increases from one program to another), free SSL certificates, a free domain, and also an email campaign, to configure your email marketing strategy.
If you can go for the most complete plan, called Express store, you’re going to make a very good and potentially rewarding choice, but the other two plans are also good, for online businesses with fewer needs.
To say the truth, despite the HostGator Website Builder is very good, we don’t like to use similar tools/suites.
This because, even if great, you need to have a certain degree of capability as a designer, and especially if you’re just starting out, you could be “distracted” from working on the things that really matter to your site, namely the content.
There are so many web templates out there, and you can focus the attention on features like speed, to choose the best for your case.
If you like to design, however, or in the case you have a special idea in mind, feel free to use this website builder because the final result could be really outstanding.
This opportunity is for the people who already run a business (or at least they are experts) and want to push forward things like website speed and general performance.
This offer comes with three different options, as usual for HostGator.
We have to say that this Cloud Hosting opportunity is very good and trusted by several thousand businesses, of any size.
In fact, this type of hosting fits the needs of personal websites, small-medium businesses, even agencies, and corporate.
Depending on your specific needs, you may have from 2 Gb RAM, up to 6 Gb RAM, and from 2 Core CPU to 6 Core CPU.
A very interesting feature for the most complete plan, is the private SSL certificate, while the other two plans have a shared one.
Also, in this case, the Baby Cloud plan is the one recommended by HostGator, and the most purchased as well.
It’s a solution “in the middle” that can satisfy almost all needs, and you can always update your plan to the most complete one when things get bigger.
HostGator VPS Review
There are three progressive plans you can choose from.
The features common to all plans are dedicated resources, full root access, & easy scaling. This latter is particularly important, because, in general, people who rely on VPS have to change (and more demanding) needs over time.
These plans are also recommended for eCommerce websites, also because servers are able to handle multiple processes at the same time, without any losses in website speed.
In addition, Softaculous is available on all plans, and we literally love this script, because it makes dramatically easier the installation of your favorite CMS and Apps on a server, while you can focus your attention on your business and website contents.
You also have unlimited outgoing emails per hour, while on the security side you can schedule backups, with centralized DDoS protection.
Not to mention the network uptime guarantee, and a fully redundant network with multiple bandwidth providers.
A tip about backups: if you prefer to make them directly from your WordPress dashboard, we definitely recommend using a plugin called Backupbuddy: not just easy to use, but highly reliable and fast.
HostGator Dedicated Server Review
This is the “ultimate solution” for most advanced users and highly demanding websites.
We don’t want to dive deep into these features, however, unmetered bandwidth, powerful hardware, and the possibility to make a choice between Linux and Windows are the likely best to consider.
These plans also provide HDD or SDD hard drives, with an IP-based firewall to boost protection from attacks, just to name a few.
HostGator can semi-manage, or fully manage your server, depending on your specific needs, and they also guarantee real-time, total support.
In most cases, the second option is best, and this means that they help with virtually any technical or configuration requests you may have, excluding custom software/script installations.
HostGator Reseller Hosting Review
This is an advanced opportunity because you can resell hosting plans to earn money.
They are called Aluminium, Copper, and Silver, from the “lighter” to the “heavier” one.
As you see in the screenshot posted above, the Copper and Silver plans start at the same price, despite their specific features are different, especially for what concerns the disk space, and bandwidth.
One of the interesting features about HostGator Reseller Hosting is that you can leverage the power of Website Builder and make available design and customization services to your clients when they purchase the hosting via your reseller program.
With these plans (all of them) you have WHMCS Client Management, and dedicated billing software totally for free, meaning that you can start earning money fast, without the need to attach external payment gateways.
HostGator Hosting Prices
You can find detailed information about pricing on their website.
This is just a sample of several tables presented on the HostGator website when it comes to pricing and renewals.
Introductory prices are very competitive, in fact, you can start your website with less than $3/month if you take advantage of their special discounts.
Similarly, if you start with their “medium” plan (called Baby) you have a website for less than $4/month (with discount).
Under these conditions, we suggest thinking about the opportunity to go for their Business plan, in fact, you’ll be ready to start a website with so many professional features paying less than $6 a month, with their discount.
Please note that such discounts are for “first term” subscribers, then regular fees will apply.
HostGator Renewal Price
In the same table posted before, you can read regular prices, which apply at renewals.
This is considered quite a downside, by some people.
The hosting is good, one of the best for WordPress, however, as you notice there is a significant difference between the low (very competitive) introductory prices from one side, and the renewal fees from the other.
HostGator Monthly Plan
Talking about the monthly plan, always referring everything to the Shared Hosting, they are not so convenient.
In fact, there are no significant savings in the first 6 months, and you start saving money only with the yearly plan.
HostGator Yearly Plan
If you can spend more in advance, go for it.
In fact, if you pay for the annual plan, you basically have 2 free months.
If you have the opportunity to pay in advance for 2 years, savings are even better.
The very best condition refers to the 3-year advanced payment: probably one of the best payment conditions of the market, if we think that you could have (for instance) a Shared Business Hosting with $14.95/month only.
If you’re just starting out, or if you want to start a business that is expected to grow with time, HostGator can be the right choice for you.
We suggest considering the Shared Hosting, if possible the Baby or (even better) the Business Plan, especially if you can pay for 2 or 3 years in advance.
By doing so, you’ll get huge savings, and great performances for your website, considering that most features provided by the Business Plan are not free from many HostGator competitors.
It’s also good for eCommerce, one of the best choices for WordPress users, and we really did not find any significant downsides.
We list below a series of pros (green bullets), and cons (yellow bullets for things that could be improved, or red bullets for real downsides).
Here are the pros:
- Probably the best uptime currently available on the market
- Probably the best customer support you can rely on (or, at least, one of the very best)
- One of the best solutions for people who are just starting out their online business journey
- A great 45-day money-back guarantee
- Very good SEO tools
- High scalability, which makes HostGator perfect for a business that grows over time
- Advanced security suite
- cPanel integrated
- Free website migration
- Unlimited domains from the “middle plan” (called Baby) (very good!)
- Unlimited MySQL databases for all plans (great!)
- Unlimited emails for all plans (great!)
- Great introductory prices
- Huge savings if you pay years in advance
- Possibility to run your website on a Windows-based hosting
- Global CDN for all WordPress plans (great!)
- Perfect for eCommerce
- One of the best website builders you can find
- Very competitive solutions for advanced users (VPS, Cloud, Dedicated Servers, and Reseller Hosting Plans)
Here are things that could be improved:
- Some people reported slow page loading times from time to time (but HostGator is generally very fast)
- Some features are not available for all plans
- Some issues with system setup (for managed hosting) can occur
- In some cases, website migration can be longer than expected
- Due to the high number of clients, customer support (although great), maybe slower than expected
- A bit higher than expected renewal fees
Here are real downsides:
- There are no real downsides
What To Do Now
We hope that this HostGator review was helpful for you.
Now, check HostGator plans right now and start your new business journey!