Hostgator is one of the web hosts that has been getting a lot of buzz and hype on the internet today. The big question is this—is all that hype legit?
If you want to see some of the highlights of this review, here’s what you will find:
- Hostgator has been around for more than a decade. They have industry experience on their side.
- They are owned by EIG, which can be good or bad—depends on how you see it.
- Some of their services are a bit disappointing (to put it bluntly) however, there are hosting plans from this company that will be worth your while. You just have to know which one.
- Customer service and customer support is okay but not the best on the planet
- Managed WordPress hosting and other application hosting is above par
- Cloud hosting is also quite good—if this is the type of hosting that you are looking for then you might want to consider Hostgator.
- Note that some plans have limited features—especially the cheaper shared hosting plans.
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Hostgator’s Hosting Solutions
The following are Hostgator’s offerings. We will go over the details of :
- Shared Web Hosting
- Reseller Web Hosting
- Application Hosting (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Wiki, and phpBB)
- Cloud Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Windows Hosting
- Domain Name Registration
Hostgator also has a few other services that are not directly related to hosting your websites:
- Website Builder
- Web Design
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Shared Web Hosting
A shared web hosting service means that your website or websites will share resources with other web sites on the same server. It may be your other websites or web development projects of other developers.
Since you are sharing the computing power of a server then the idea is that you split the bill with the other customers. That’s basically how the concept goes and that is also the reason why shared hosting is usually very cheap.
In fact, Hostgator has one of the cheapest rates out there. The company offers three shared web hosting plans, which include the following:
- Hatchling Plan
This plan is the most affordable plan they are offering. When you sign up for this plan you get 1 website, unlimited bandwidth, and an SSL certificate for free. This is the cheapest hosting plan that the company is offering at $2.75 per month.
- Baby Plan
The baby plan ups the offer from the Hatchling Plan a little bit. You can host multiple domains with this plan, meaning you can host multiple websites on this plan. Just like the Hatchling Plan this one also features unlimited bandwidth and also a free SSL certificate. This plan will cost you $3.95 per month.
- Business Plan
This is the shared hosting plan that Hostgator recommends. It also gives you the chance to use unlimited domains/ host unlimited sites. It also has unlimited bandwidth.
The big difference with this plan is that it has a few more freebies other than the free SSL certificate. It also includes free SEO tools, a dedicated IP, and you can also get your SSL certificate upgraded to a Positive SSL. This hosting plan costs $5.95 a month.
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NOTE: all of these shared hosting plans include a one click install feature. Each plan with include Hostgator’s QuickInstall tool. This tool is pretty useful since it allows you to create a lot of different sites really fast.
You can make a blog, e-commerce store, photo gallery, wiki, CMS, and forum site in just one click. Customers get to choose which software to use on their site since they support PHP, MySQL, Apache, Windows, and Linux.
Email Addresses: comparing these basic offerings with other hosting providers, it is interesting that at the cheapest shared hosting plans, this web host has a slight edge over the competition.
With the Hatchling Plan you already get free unlimited email addresses. With GoDaddy you only get 1 free email address and if you check out other competitors at their lowest plans they don’t offer you any (e.g. Squarespace).
Hostgator even tops the competition at the most basic offering with two more freebies: you get a hundred dollar credits each from Bing Ads and Google Adwords.
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What’s the Catch? Now, this is the downside with this level of web hosting service. The shared web hosting options are cheap, right? Unfortunately the rule of thumb is that you also pay for quality service.
The higher the price you pay the better the quality of the service you get. And that is the case here. If you check out the myriad of customer reviews—some of them positive some are negative—the bulk of the complaints come from shared web hosting.
You will hear of complaints about getting their refunds, site down, slow site performance (page loads etc.), bandwidth issues, customer service complaints, and others.
Most of the time, they’re all coming from customers who signed up for the shared web hosting customers. You rarely find complaining customers who got the managed web hosting, cloud web hosting, or any of the more expensive hosting plans.
Another downside with shared hosting plans from this hosting service is that there is no free site management provided for you. For instance, Hostgator doesn’t give you any free daily backups.
Sure they will make weekly or some scheduled backups and that’s it. If you want to be up to date in case the site crashes or something, then you have to make your own backups daily.
Site security is also on you too. Sure, this web host will have their levels of security to protect their core but your websites on shared hosting plans will not have any direct defenses from malicious attacks.
You have to install plugins and other software to protect your sites on your own. You also have to update your WordPress or other software on your own too. They don’t do that for you.
We recommend Hostgator’s premium services for their reliability and scalability. Their shared hosting services can be kind of disappointing sometimes. Customer service is okay but it needs some revamping since a company should live up to their commitments to their customers.