HostGator Review: A Top Unlimited Web Hosting Provider

So, you want to start your own website?

Well, when it comes to unlimited web hosting, the snappers at HostGator are the best in the swamp!

No matter what type of website you are interested in hosting, HostGator has the tools you need to build and sustain a professional and successful site.

This company has been around for over a decade and are well-known for their constant reliability and consistent customer support.

HostGator is one of the best-known, unlimited web hosting providers when it comes to the easy setup of a website!


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Read our HostGator review and see if it's the right unlimited web hosting service for you!

HostGator home page screenshot

HostGator home page

Here are a few pros and cons that will be discussed throughout our review:

Pros Cons
Decent price Customer support is mainly automated
Unlimited everything Auto renewal is enabled by default
99.9% Uptime  
Easy to use cPanel  
Customer service  
45 days money back guarantee  
Clean energy powered  

From Dorm Room to the World – History of HostGator:

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

Once upon a time…

There was a dorm room in Florida Atlantic University with only three servers.

And… that's where HostGator began!

The service was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley, who was a student at Florida Atlantic University.

The company’s original offices were set up in Boca Raton, Florida.

However, they soon had to relocate to bigger offices and in 2007 they moved to a new 20,000 square building in Houston, Texas.

Today, there are HostGator offices in Austin, Texas as well as an office in India!

HostGator separates itself from its competition by advertising themselves as providing “unlimited” hosting services.

Fun fact:

In 2008, HostGator decided to work with Integrated Ecosystem Market Services and go green!

A Bit about Brent Oxley: The Mastermind behind the Gators

OK so who is this Brent guy?

Brent Oxley started HostGator when he was just a freshman in college and he has run it ever since.

How inspirational is that?

He was motivated to start the company by creating his own websites when he was a teenager and that was his introduction to web hosting.

Now:

It became clear that Brent could no longer manage college and the rise of HostGator.

He made the decision to drop out of college and run the company full time.

Better still:

Brent is extremely hands-on in all aspects of the business.

Some aspects he is involved with are advertising, paying the bills, hiring, monitoring servers and helping customers on a daily basis.

What’s better than a hands-on kind of guy??

Who is HostGator Best for?

One of the great things about HostGator is that they pretty much cater to everyone!

Think about it:

They offer such a wide range of plans and types of unlimited hosting that no matter what your needs or your budget, there is a plan that suits you.

So whether you are looking to become the next big business owner, or simply looking to start your own blog, HostGator has you covered!

What Do the Gators Offer?

Shared Hosting Plans:

For those of you who are beginners and are looking for a good, cheap and unlimited hosting provider, HostGator bundles offer some great features that you are guaranteed to appreciate!

HostGator offers customers 3 basic shared hosting plans:

  Hatchling Plan Baby Plan Business Plan
Domains 1
Free dedicated IP
Free private SSL
Addon or Parked domains

Here’s how they work:

Hatchling Plan

The hatchling plan is one step below HostGator’s most basic plan.

This plan can only support hosting from one domain name instead of hosting for unlimited domains.

Let us explain:

The Hatchling option is perfect for those of you who are planning to host only one website as well as those of you who are just starting out with Wordpress.

It offers customers a single domain, one click installs, unmetered bandwidth and a shared SSL Certificate.

To sum up:

This plan offers customers:

Baby Plan

The baby plan allows customers to host as many sites as they desire!

The plan allows you to add add-on domains without extra cost!

It is picture-perfect for most bloggers as you can host unlimited sites without paying anything extra.

This package allows you to run several sites at the same time and the site's speed is not affected!

In fact:

If you’re an agency, you can also run your clients’ sites with this plan, which is another huge benefit of choosing it!

The baby plan offers customers:

Whether you need to begin a forum, start a blog or sell stuff online, you can do so quickly and effortlessly by subscribing to this plan!

That’s not all:

The baby plan offers a large number of existing applications and software!

It includes a wide assortment of plugins which allow for expanded functionality.

Your website is guaranteed to stay flexible and active for a long time.

Business Plan

The business plan is a more powerful, upgraded version of the baby plan.

If you want to take your business to the next level, the business plan is the way to go!

This plan is built for small businesses as it is able to support hosting for unlimited domains.

It includes more e-commerce features than the baby plan for example: a private SSL and a toll-free support number of your own!

What’s the bottom line?

This makes it the best solution for creating an online store!

This plan offers customers:

One of the main benefits about HostGator’s shared hosting plans is that their Disk space and bandwidth is “unmetered”.

This means that you are not charged according to the amount of disk space or bandwidth you use.

Another attractive aspect the shared hosting offers, is their e-commerce features.

Here is a table comparing all the shared hosting plans and their e-commerce features:

Features Hatchling Plan Baby Plan Business Plan
Free toll-free number
Free Dedicated IP
Private SSL allowed
Shared SSL
osCommerce
ZenCart

VPS Web Hosting Plans:

With the same easy layout, VPS hosting is a desirable bridge between shared hosting and dedicated hosting.

Customers can customize their plans to match their specific requirements and upgrade anytime as their websites grow.

So, here's how it works:

You have full root access which allows you to have complete control as well as the ability to install advanced software and completely modify your hosting environment.

If your website’s traffic is continuously growing and outliving the benefits of shared hosting, HostGator’s VPS packages offer a variety of features!

HostGator offers customers 5 VPS hosting plans:

VPS plans

VPS plans comparison table

Cloud Hosting Plans:

HostGator offers their users the option of cloud hosting.

Cloud plans screenshot

Cloud hosting plans

With HostGator's cloud hosting plans, you are able to experience a loading time that is 2x faster and this is due to low-density servers, many catching layers and world class hardware.

Essentially, cloud hosting turbocharges your website!

HostGator's cloud hosting options allows you to scale required RAM and CPU with just a few clicks.

This enables you to plan for spikes in your traffic flow and general increases as your business grows.

HostGator offers three cloud hosting plans:

Here is what you can expect from the three cloud hosting plans:

Cloud hosting comparison

Cloud hosting comparison table

 

Dedicated Server Plans:

Dedicated servers are the ideal solutions for larger businesses and high-traffic websites!

These servers allow for maximum customization, configuration, installation and flexibility.

In fact:

HostGator offers two servers: Linux servers and Windows servers, each offering four plans:

Plan Basic Standard Elite Pro
Disk space (TB) 0.5 1 1 1
Bandwidth (TB) 10 15 20 25
Dedicated IPs 2 3 4 5
Cores 2 4 4 4
Ram (GB) 4 4 8 16
Uplink (Mbps) 100 250 500 1000
Processor (Intel Xeon; GHz) 2.3 2.5 2.5 3.3
Price USD/mo 77 92 104 116

Benefits of HostGator?

You still not sure about investing in Hostgator?

Do not worry!

We have provided a list of some benefits of using HostGator as your domain provider:

Site Navigation – Easy to Use & Easy On the Eyes

Let’s be honest,

No one wants to spend hours trying to look for something on a website.

Everyone loves a clean, easy to use site…

and with HostGator, that’s exactly what you get!

While the site boasts animation and color, this does not distract from the fact that their site’s layout is easy on the eyes and a pleasure to use.

The tabs are clearly marked and stand out in bright yellow.

It's super easy to get around the site and find the information you require.

Site Navigation

Site layout

Start-Up Process: As Simple as 1, 2, 3

One you have decided which unlimited plan you would like to go with, the process of setting it up is very easy!

Everything from choosing a plan to payment is quite straightforward and accessible!

That’s what makes HostGator such a great provider… your website can be set up in a matter of minutes!

Step 1:

At the top of the website, there is a “get started” tab that stands out and is clearly marked.

Set up process - step 1

Set up process - get started

Step 2:

Click on the plan that you would like to use for your website.

Set up process - step 2

Set up process - choose plan

Step 3:

The final step is where you have to enter all your billing information.

Set up process - step 3

Set up process - enter information

Want to know the best part?

When you choose your billing cycle, the coupon code will be automatically added and you will get a discount of 30%!

Coupon code

Set up process - coupon code

How’s that for a deal?

And that’s it!

You have now bought one of HostGator's unlimited web hosting plans… It’s as simple as that!

Once you have purchased your plan, the set up time will differ according to which payment method you used.

Pricing: Cause the Best Things in Life Aren’t Free

It’s true:

HostGator is not the cheapest unlimited web hosting provider out there.

However, it's important to remember that going with the cheapest domain hosting provider is not always the best option!

In fact:

If you are still having doubts about the prices… Don’t!

HostGator is always offering discounts and promotions that you should always keep an eye out for.

This should take a bit of pressure off your wallet!

HostGator customers are able to pay with various methods of payment including:

Shared Hosting Prices: (USD)

 

Plan Price
Hatchling 4.86/mo
Baby 6.96/mo
Business 10.46/mo

VPS Hosting Prices: (USD)

 

Plan Price
Snappy 500 19.95/mo
Snappy 1000 49.95/mo
Snappy 2000 89.95/mo
Snappy 4000 129.95/mo
Snappy 8000 159.95/mo

Cloud Hosting Prices: (USD)

Plan Price
Hatchling Cloud 4.95
Baby Cloud 5.95
Business Cloud 6.95

Dedicated Hosting Prices: (USD)

 

Plan Price
Basic 76.56/mo
Standard 91.98/mo
Elite 103.23/mo
Pro 115.94/mo

Wait! Here comes another tip for you guys:

HostGator is constantly updating their prices so it's important that you keep updated and check their site on a regular basis!

But don’t worry… we got you covered.

We also check prices regularly and will keep you updated!

HostGator Coupons, Discounts and Promotions… Oh My!

You have to hand it to HostGator:

Their customers do not have to work to find a great deal!

They even go as far as to list all valid HostGator promotion codes on their main website!

Customers can find percentage-off deals for hosting and one-cent bargains for some hosting services.

One more thing:

There is a second list for valid HostGator domain coupons as well!

So instead of having to search the web for deals, customers can find deals straightaway on the HostGator site.

How is that for a deal??

However, keep in mind:

Discounts

Discounted prices

While HostGator offers these totally awesome promotions, coupons and special offers to their customers, it is only relevant for the initial term!

Unfortunately, these deals are not for successive or renewal periods (bummer right?)

But hey… it’s still pretty cool that they are offered for the first time!

Refunds & Cancellations:

Money-back Guarantee

Now listen up!

Their money-back guarantee is considered an important aspect that sets HostGator apart from other unlimited web hosting services!

While their competitors only offer a 35-day money-back guarantee, HostGator allows their customers to try them out for 44 days.

Basically:

If the customer is not satisfied with the services, they can cancel within 45 days and get all their money back!

However, keep in mind:

HostGator will not provide refunds if you have paid by bank wire transfers, money orders, checks or Western Union payments.

If this is the case, they will post any applicable credit to your hosting account instead of a refund.

Auto Renewal Mechanism

Here is another thing to keep in mind:

With these service providers, auto-renewal comes with the territory.

Unfortunately, this aspect usually causes a lot of confusion…

So let us help you make this part a little less stressful!

The best advice we can give you is to read the Terms & Conditions on this matter as all the information is there.

Here is a summary of the information regarding auto-renewal:

The entire point of the auto-renewal aspect is to prevent any kind of disruption to your experience.

The issue is:

People often forget about this aspect and then get a fright when they see they have been charged again.

So to avoid this unpleasant surprise you can notify HostGator to switch off the auto renewal through their customer support.

Right,

Now that we have gotten the serious business out the way, let’s talk about the awesome aspects of this unlimited hosting provider:

The Control Panel: Giving You 100% Control

A main aspect that attracts people to HostGator is their control panel.

They use the latest cPanel software to power their administration consoles.

This panel is used for all their shared hosting accounts!

This means that you will get the same user experience as you would on other popular hosting providers.

Wait! There is more:

HostGator has a quick install so you can install popular scripts with a single click!

Also included are the website creation tools: WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

The different features of the control panel are set out in a simple and clean manner.

They are clearly labeled which ensures a user-friendly experience for all customers!

Control panel

Control panel layout

It’s as easy as that!

If you are still not sure whether HostGator and their control panel will be the right fit for you…

HostGator makes the decision a bit easier for you by offering a control panel demo on their site so you can see exactly how the control panel will look!

Control panel demo link

Link to control panel demo

Snappy Customer Support?

Available customer support options

Customer support options

In the world of web hosting, the importance of reliable technical support that is available is extremely high!

HostGator has an extremely comprehensive technical support system.

They boast 24/7 live chat support, a FAQ, a toll free phone support, standard email ticketing and email support among their support capability.

They have always had a good reputation for its helpful and responsive customer support.

We tested this theory out…

Their live chat option responds immediately.

When asking for help, if the question is already on the site, they will direct you to that article!

Support answer

Customer support response

The downside to this however, is that in order to get an actual response, your question has to be fairly complex and not covered on their website.

As part of their customer support service, they offer a portal to ease support and billing.

All their customers can do a multitude of things through this portal such as:

  1. upgrade their account
  2. take part in user forums
  3. access all the useful information that the company offers
  4. a range of helpful video tutorials that will assist customers with all their technical issues they may stumble upon

For those of you who are more hands on and prefer to solve problems by yourself, HostGator offers an online support portal!

This portal includes over 500 video tutorials and 680 written tutorials.

99.9% Uptime:

HostGator guarantee an uptime of 99.9% which is a very attractive feature for many of their customers.

Backups are done every week for all accounts.

They even offer the uptime guarantee of 99.9% in the company’s TOS. It's stated in clause 15:

Uptime guarantee

Uptime guarantee clause

It's important to remember:

Regardless of this guarantee, there is going to be minor downtime for maintenance but that will be standard for most hosting providers.

HostGator's 101 on Web Hosting:

HostGator is extremely easy to use and this unlimited web hosting company prides itself on helping customers set up their site without even breaking a sweat!

They offer a variety of features that make setting up a website a piece of cake.

Some of these features include:

So if you are a newbie to the world of web hosting, do not fear!

HostGator has got you covered with these awesome features!

Safety Comes First!

Now, obviously security is a main concern that people have about starting up their website!

They want to make sure no one can hack into their site and get personal information.

Luckily,

HostGator has these concerns in mind…

They offer a variety of safety features so you don’t have to worry about the security of your website!

They include Spam Assassin in each of their packages.

This is a powerful spam protection program that effectively keeps unwanted junk emails out of your inbox.

However, take note that:

The shared hosts do not offer a dedicated IP or private SSL at that level.

They do provide a shared SSL; this is a lower form of protection but it still encrypts private information like credit card transactions!

At the end of the day:

HostGator is SSL Certified which will provide peace of mind for users when they enter their credit card and personal information!

HostGator Goes Green

So listen to this…

HostGator is a certified green web host!!

How cool is that?

They do their part for the environment by buying the equivalent of 130% of its server energy consumption in Renewable Energy Certificate (REC).

Here's a short video explaining Renewable Energy Certificates.

This is done through an agreement with 3 Degrees, one of America’s leading renewable energy sales, trading and advisory firms.

Here’s our point:

All this means is that HostGator is effectively powered by wind energy!

An REC purchased by HostGator represents one megawatt hour of renewable electricity generated.

It is delivered to the relevant power grid by wind energy from wind farms in the state of Texas.

This is the equivalent of:

HostGator really wants to do its part to help deal climate change!

Green hosting

Green hosting award

HostGator Keeps the Awards Coming:

Let’s be honest:

Who wouldn’t want to sign up with an unlimited web hosting service who has awards behind its name?

Since their launch in 2002, HostGator has won many industry awards for their hosting and support.

HostGator boasts a bunch of impressive awards including:

  1. Best Host
  2. Best Transfer Service
  3. Best Small Business Hosting
  4. Editor’s Choice

Awards

HostGator awards

Social Media Presence:

Social media on site

Social media options

HostGator is keeping up with the times and a have an impressive online presence!

They are extremely active on a variety of different social media platforms and in a few different countries.

Here are some social media platforms that they are active on:

Social media image 1

Social media options image 1

They are also active in Brazil:

Social media Brazil

Social media options Brazil

Their reach stretches as far as India, Turkey and Singapore too:

Social media worldwide

Social media options worldwide

Is that a Yay or Nay for HostGator?

So what’s the moral of the story?

HostGator has over 9 million domain registrations and more than 400,000 customers.                

They were even listed on the Forbes List of the fastest growing organizations!

Now isn’t that impressive?

With every host provider, there are bound to be one or two complaints and while HostGator is certainly not perfect, it's a web host that has a lot to offer its customers.

They offer a variety of exciting features and extras which are included at every price point.

The diversity of the plans offers customers a lot of flexibility for every budget!

HostGator meets all needs and delivers in terms of its packages.

Despite some negative feedback, most customers are very happy with HostGator’s services.

There is a reason why this company has such a strong reputation as an unlimited web hosting provider!

So what’s the bottom line?

HostGator gets a big thumbs up from us!

If you are looking for an unlimited web host with a solid reputation, then this company is the service provider for you!

They will have you up and running in a matter of minutes!


Try HostGator

Since their inception in 2002, HostGator has won a variety of awards for their hosting and support! They provide every customer with the tools they need to get a fully-functional website up and running as quickly as possible. This unlimited web hosting provider also caters for web hosting newbies as well as experienced users, which makes them extremely attractive to many people!

HostGator
Date published:May 30, 2017
9.5 / 10 stars

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