Hostgator Web Hosting Review
Hostgator is a large, privately owned hosting company that operates from multiple state-of-the-art facilities in Dallas, Texas. Hostgator was founded in 2002, since then it has grown rapidly and currently hosts over 400,000 websites. They are also widely regarded as the world’s leading provider of reseller hosting accounts. Currently, they host over 10,000 individual reseller account customers.
Hostgator offers many different web hosting packages and suits a wide range of customers. From the first webmaster who needs simple, stress-free hosting for their personal site; to large corporations, which require specialized dedicated hosting services.
Hostgator hosting packages can be divided into three groups; standard shared hosting plans (suitable for the vast majority of people), reseller hosting plans (these are mainly for individuals and businesses who want to “resell” their account resources to their own customers), and finally, shared hosting plans. dedicated server (these accounts give the customer their own server, so they don’t have to share their resources with anyone else). Very few of us will need a dedicated server, so this review will focus on the shared hosting plans that Hostgator offers.
Hostgator’s three main shared hosting plans are named: “Hatchling” (the entry level plan priced at $6.95/mo), “Baby” (this is the most popular plan and is likely to satisfy the requirements of a wide range of clients) and “Swamp” (very similar to the “Baby” plan, but with increases in bandwidth and disk space, priced at $14.95/month).
For a complete list of features and a side by side comparison of all hosting plans, you should visit Hostgator’s website here. Below is a review of the most important features of the “Baby” plan, this is probably the most suitable package for most users, and it is our favorite plan.
100 GB of disk space – Hostgator recently upgraded this amount from 5 GB to 100 GB. It is likely that all users will find it impossible to use up this amount of disk space.
1000 GB/month Bandwidth: Also increased the bandwidth allowance, from 75 GB to a seemingly excessive 1000 GB. Again, almost no chance to use all of that, but it’s nice to know that you definitely won’t face additional charges for going over your limit, even if you have a very busy website.
Site Studio Website Builder – This is a great free program that allows you to build your website from scratch. You have more than 500 templates and color combinations to choose from. You don’t need HTML experience or coding knowledge. It offers the easiest possible way to design a professional looking website in a very short space of time. No need to take my word for it though, as Hostgator provides us with a demo version of the software on their website!
Unlimited Addon Domains – This is really the highlight feature of this hosting plan (the “Hatchling” plan only allows 1 domain) and allows you to host as many websites as you want on a single account, at no additional cost. All your websites then share your account resources. This allows you to take full advantage of your massive bandwidth and disk space allotments, and host multiple websites at a fraction of the normal cost. Fantastic!
99.9% Uptime Guarantee – This basically tells us that Hostgator is a serious host that offers a reliable service. If your uptime falls below this figure in any given month, then you don’t pay for that month of hosting, it’s as simple as that! We would never consider using a host that did not offer a solid uptime guarantee; this is simply because there is only one good reason a host will not offer an uptime guarantee: unreliable uptime!
30-Day Money Back Guarantee – This has become a fairly standard feature in the web hosting community, although it’s nice to have for peace of mind.
Instant Setup – Most hosting providers take 24-48 hours to set up your account, but Hostgator promises to have you up and running in less than 15 minutes (they don’t charge a setup fee, either)!
Unlimited MySQL Databases: This is very useful because each Fantastico script (see below) requires its own MySQL database.
Fantastico DeLuxe – This impressive program allows you to instantly install over 50 scripts through its control panel. Scripts include blogs, forums, galleries, shopping carts, and more.
Unlimited Email Accounts – Allows you to have as many or as few different email addresses as you like.
Control Panel cPanel – At the heart of any web hosting experience is the control panel, luckily Hostgator uses one of the best units out there, a cPanel. It is well designed and easy to operate. It contains many features and offers good performance. Best of all, there’s a full demo up and running on the Hostgator website, so you can try it yourself!
Customer service and technical support
Hostgator provides us with 24/7 phone support and live online chat. The fact that you are given two options for instant tech support at any time of the day is great. Our experience has always been very good when contacting Hostgator, their agents are very friendly and most importantly, they seem to know their stuff when it comes to technical issues. However, we always recommend contacting them yourself before signing up. Ask them a question and see if you’re impressed by their answer. This always says a lot about a company!
Hostgator servers performance is excellent! Hostgator places much stricter limits on the number of websites sharing the same server compared to most other shared hosting providers. This provides greater reliability because less pressure is placed on the servers; and it also greatly improves the speed at which your web pages run.
Server performance is another one of the key areas where Hostgator stands apart from the crowd of other web hosts.
Overall there is a lot to like about the way Hostgator does business, they really seem to have a good understanding of what the average customer requires from a web host. You rarely come across reports of dissatisfied Hostgator customers, and after hosting with them, we now know why! The reliability, performance, and uptime of the servers are top notch, and the customer service is way ahead of most other web hosts out there. However, the area where Hostgator really excels is value for money. For only $9.95/month for the “Baby” plan (which includes unlimited domains); Anyone looking to host more than one website has a pretty easy decision to make. The other big advantage of this package is that you don’t have to sign a contract. You pay month to month, which allows you to cancel your account at any time without losing money. So, to summarize, we really don’t have anything wrong with Hostgator; at the prices they charge, we truly feel that they offer exceptional service. Keep up the good work Hostgator!