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HostGator Review – Read This Before You Sign Up?

Hostgator was a great web hosting company in the past. The company was established in 2002, became very successful and favorable by those internet marketers in 2012. Later was sold to EIG (Endurance International Group) for $225 million, it was the same company that owned BlueHost and iPage. I am not at all excited for any products and services owned by EIG, they are well-known for having a bad reputation in running web hosting companies. We did a review on BlueHost, and you can check it out here.

A massive enterprise doesn’t mean they have the best product to offer. We have learned from the failure of BlueHost and iPage. But Hostgator can be exceptional since this company used to be good and we will see if HostGator does keep up with their reputation.

Before we begin our in-depth review, what we learned so far is EIG has created a similarity business practise for every companies they have acquired for being:

  • Bad customer support
  • Lacking features 
  • Overpriced
  • Aggressive upsell
  • Hidden fees & Add-on

Good news is HostGator isn’t as bad as their sister companies iPage and BlueHost. We are very excited to offer this review based entirely on our experience.  We will review the price and package plan, customer support, features, hosting quality such as uptime and speed rate so you can decide if HostGator is meant for hosting your website.

HostGator Hosting Plans

HostGator has a domain registration service as well, the first term price for a dotcom is $12.95, but the renewal fee for the 2nd year is $17.99 which is not cheap. I find namecheap has the lowest renewal price ever. 

Shared Hosting: Like staying in a shared dormitory under the shelter with everyone. Ideal for small to medium size businesses that drive no more than hundreds of visitors to their websites per month. The price start from $8.95 to $16.95

WordPress Hosting: Which is a shared web hosting but optimize for running wordpress on the server. The price starts from $12.95 all the way to $81.95 monthly. However the price isn’t cheap, if you want to host your wordpress with optimization I suggest you to check out other alternatives, SiteGround for example.

VPS (Virtual Private Server): You will get a server sub-space with walls that separate your space from other users by server configuration. It is like living in a private room in an apartment. It is ideal for users who want to personally customize their server for their own use. HostGator’s VPS plan begins at $80 a month.

Dedicated Server: If you get more than a thousand visitors to your website per day or need a very powerful server to run your websites without having to use the shared space or share the server resource with anyone, then a dedicated plan is a way to go. At HostGator, you can get a personal dedicated server at $200 per month.

Cloud Hosting: Your website won’t be hosted at a single server, but several servers that connected with one another as a network. We can’t believe HostGator is offering a cloud hosting at the price of $10.95 a month, it is a steal and the cheapest price available!

Gator: It is a website-builder tool designed for users who have no technical knowledge or skill in designing a website. It is an add-on tool and isn’t available for free. They charge a price of $8.95 a month.

Hatchling

  • 1 Domains
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Database
  • $5.95 a month (First Term)
  • $8.95 a month (Renewal)

Baby

  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Database
  • $8.95 a month (First Term)
  • $11.95 a month (Renewal)

Business

  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Unlimited Database
  • $8.95 a month (First Term)
  • $16.95 a month (Renewal)

Beware that HostGator gives a huge discount for the first year, then charges an expensive renewal price the next year, unless you go for a longer sign up deal period like 36 months for the first term you still get a great discount. A very nasty marketing practice.

Please note that if your inodes counts exceed 100,000 counts, your data won’t be backed up. You can check your inodes count under the Cpanel interface.

Hatchling Plan

Users who need to host only 1 website and no more, the storage is unlimited for this plan.

Baby Package

Can host unlimited websites with unlimited storage space.

Business Plan

  • Same as the baby package, except users who need a dedicated IP address. Ideal for businesses.

Beware that when you sign-up, HostGator will always push their client to sign up for the 36 months period deal, furthermore they will aggressively push the up-sell for add-on service.

For more information about HostGator, Click here to visit their website.

What is the hidden Fee?

HostGator doesn’t offer any default backup and they only store a weekly copy of your website in their database. However, if you need a yearly backup, there is an extra cost of $25 per year, furthermore if you need to restore the backup there is an additional charge of $25 each time you want them to restore your site. This hidden cost is quite outrageous.

Pros & Cons

Pros

Unlimited storage space: Even though many web hosting companies used the term ‘unlimited’ but in practice the total files on the server should not exceed 250,000.

Flexible plan terms: A user can choose how long they want to be with HostGator. 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 and 36 term period.

Multiple Coding Languages: HostGator allows many programming languages to be used such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, Perl and Python.

Fast Speed: HostGator has the fastest speed compared to their sister companies. 

Unlimited Bandwidth: Bandwidth isn’t limited and won’t cause bottlenecks.

Cons

  • Unreasonable price and hidden fees: Huge discount for first term sign-up, then expensive on renewal price. Additional $25 for a yearly backup and additional $25 to restore a website.
  • Aggressive upsell: EIG is well-known for being a profit maker. The backend is full of unnecessary constant upsells with add-on options. This can be annoying. 
  • Uptime: The uptime is quite volatile, it can be bad and good at certain times. BlueHost has a good uptime percentage.
  • Poor Backup System: They offer you an add-on service with extra fee to backup your website.
  • Missing important features: If you are an advanced user or IT person, HostGator doesn’t offer a ‘staging area’ and built-in side server caching system. 
  • Bad customer support: We again experienced poor support via live chat. It takes approximately 30 minutes just to speak with one of their support members.

HostGator is For You If:

  • You need an unlimited storage space and un-measurable bandwidth. 
  • You need a web hosting server that allows other coding languages such as PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby On Rails.
  • You need an easy to use web hosting with a simple interface.

HostGator is Not For You If:

  • If you are a professional blogger or huge businesses. The uptime is not good and constant which may affect the business.
  • If you are working on a SEO project on your website. The uptime can cause the search engine to penalize your ranking. 
  • If you need advanced yearly backup system as default add-on with no additional charge
hostgator
3.5/5

Summary

HostGator is a decent web hosting company, its speed rate isn’t bad but the up-time is quite unstable sometimes. It is fine if you are an amateur blogger or run a simple website without depending on SEO, if you are a serious blogger or website that needs tons of traffic to make a sale, I do suggest you check out SiteGround or Interserver.

HostGator offers quantity over quality, unlimited bandwidth and storage spaces. Ideal for users with loaded media files. 

They have a poor backup system. There are extra and hidden fees for backing up your website and restoring it. This is unacceptable, other web hosting firms usually offer it for free.

HostGator, just like their sister companies that run by EIG, has really bad customer support. Don’t expect your issue will be solved by them and if you encounter a very technical problem you probably need to hire an outsider to help you get it done. Forget about live chat or phone support, it took us waiting for 30 minutes just to get someone to talk to us and can’t guarantee the issue will be solved.

There are alternatives for HostGator, you can either check out SiteGround or Interserver for better performance and services.

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