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HostGator review

  October 1, 2012 • Category: Reviews

General

HostGator is an independent hosting company created by Brent Oxley in 2002. They are based in Houston, TX which is a good central point for serving all of the US with minimum access times (latency). Today they are one of the world’s 10 largest hosting companies, but despite the growth, Brent still takes personal involvement in customer satisfaction and will often handle concerns personally.

  • Customers: 250,000 +
  • Hosted domains: 3,500,000 +
  • Created: 2002
  • CEO: Brent Oxley
  • Based in: Houston, TX.

HostGator’s offering covers several web hosting product families, which is an advantage if you ever want to upgrade to a more complex hosting solution:

Green hosting / Environmental considerations

HostGator is powered by 130% wind energy – by purchasing more certified Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) than they actually consume – which makes them a Green hosting company. They also strive to use the most energy efficient servers possible. See details »

Standard / Shared web hosting

The standard web hosting offer is shared hosting, which means you share a server with other clients.

Technical specs

HostGator’s shared hosting runs on Dell PowerEdge servers and have a robust and reliable network which has proven itself to handle any type of web site – from blogs, eCommerce stores, and even fortune 500 companies.

We have verified that the essential software (PHP version, MySQL version and GD library) were up to date.

  • Control panel: cPanel
  • Easy software installer: Fantastico Deluxe - Up to date
  • We were able to perform up to 6 simultaneous FTP uploads which makes sites updates fast and easy. However Secure FTP (SFTP) was not available which can be a negative if you are uploading sensitive data to your website. (It’s a non-issue if your site is 100% public content).
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases with phpMyAdmin Access
  • Programming Languageq: CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, SSI
  • Programming Modules: Curl, CPAN, GD Library, ImageMagick
  • System Management: SSH Access and Cron Job Scheduling
  • FrontPage Extensions

Performance

With shared hosting, it’s important that the servers are not overloaded with other clients, or else your site will suffer from degraded performance due to other sites hosted next to you.

To evaluate this we have set up a test site for Host Gator. We were satisfied with the response times and uptimes observed on this test account.

Security

With shared hosting, it is especially important that your webspace is isolated from the other clients’ web space on the same server. Otherwise it would be possible for a hacker to open/compromise an account on a server and then easily access your own web space.

To prevent this, HostGator is running mod_suPHP which is the best for providing strong isolation between user accounts. Perfect!

Shared Hosting Plans

Hostgator offers different web-hosting plans depending on your needs. Current package plans are Hatchling, Baby & Business.

The Hatchling plan is geared for individuals who only need hosting for one domain.

If you plan on expanding or already own multiple websites, the Baby plan will be better suited for you.

If you’re starting a business, then you should definitely consider the Business plan, which in addition to hosting, will provide you with your own Toll Free phone number! HostGator has partnered with Voipo to offer this service to their new clients. 100 minutes are included by default per month.

Each of these plans offer a package that is reasonable enough for your web hosting needs. All these plans come with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. In addition, Hostgator also offers unlimited MySQL databases and POP3 email accounts.

Pricing

Month to month contract: HostGator is one of the very few hosts allowing you to pay monthly without being tied in into a long term contact.

You will get 25% OFF by using the coupon code “b2evolution25″. This puts the monthly price at $3.71/month!

VPS hosting

Virtual Private Servers are the next level in HostGator’s hosting offering.

You can think of a VPS as being like shared hosting BUT with guaranteed resources (CPU, RAM, Disk & Bandwidth) allocated to it as well as OS level isolation from one client account to the next (which means you get full root access on your own virtual server).

The pricing of VPS hosting depends on how much of these resources you want to be allocated to you. For example with 0.57 GHz of CPU, 384 MB of RAM, 10 GB of of Disk Space and 250 GB of monthly bandwith, you will pay $19.95 per month.

VPS technology allows you to increase your resources as your needs (and your traffic) grow. The next level will cost you $29.95 per month and you can go all the way up to 5.94 GHz of CPU, 4GB of RAM, 231 GB of Disk Space and 3150 GB of monthly bandwidth before you need to switch to a dedicated server.

You can also choose between having 2 or 4 private IP addresses. Having private IP addresses for your web sites is essential for Search Engine Oprtimization (SEO), so your sites don’t get a bad reputation from neighbor sites (other clients) that may share an IP with you in a shared hosting environment.

VPS hosting includes unlimied domains & sub-domains, unlimited email accounts and unlimited MySQL Databases. It’s your (virtual) server! You have full root access. You can put as much on it as your resources allocation permits.

HostGator will also provide you with free Site Builder Software, private Name Servers, 24/7/365 Award-Winning Support and, if you want to, they will fully manage your installation (with cPanel/Plesk) so you don’t have to worry about OS upgrades.

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, there is one physical server dedicated 100% to you allowing for even higher technical specs than VPS, like a Quad core Xeon processor just for your site and 8 GB of RAM for example.

Dedicated Hosting give you the ultimate quality & control when hosting your web site.

Linux Dedicated Servers

HostGator offers 4 levels of Linux Dedicated Servers (Basic, Standard, Elite & Pro) starting at $139 for the first month and $175 recurring.

Offers differ by their technical specs and you will chose depending on the needs of your site. If you are just starting out and want a dedicated server just for the control it gives you, the smallest version will be more than enough. You can upgrade later.

HostGator’s dedicated server offering is fully managed which means you can rely on them for keeping your system up to date and secure. Thechnical support is also here to help you, should you break something while fiddling around in your operating system.

The servers all come with 10 TB (10,000 GB) of monthly bandwith and 5 IP addresses which is very generous compared to industry standards.

The 5 IP addresses will let you run 5 different web sites on 5 different addresses in order to make them look clearly independent from each other. (If you run more sites, you cna of course share an IP for multiple sites, just like shared hosting works.)

Windows Dedicated Servers

HostGator offers 4 levels of Windows Dedicated Servers but we won’t get into these in detail as we consider there is no reason to use Windows Hosting (even if you use Windows at home) outside of very specific cases which do not concern us with b2evolution.

Customer support

If there is one thing Hostgator is known for, it is their customer support. Most of their clients can attest to the efficience of Hostgator’s support services. If you have a question or need help regarding their hosting services, they are able to respond fast, sometimes in just 10 minutes, and provide thorough and reliable answers.  Their customer support is very easy to reach either by email, online chat or telephone.

Customer satisfaction & Guarantees

Hostgator is known for their guaranteed 99.9% up-time. Their servers are fast and efficient. Their clients barely notice any downtime at all. Potential customers and current clients would also be pleased to know that Hostgator manages their own data center. This means that they are in control of their servers and could efficiently manage their system.

Hostgator is so confident about their services that they offer a 45-day money back guarantee on all their web hosting plans, should you not be satisfied with their services. The company founder himself, back-ups this guarantee.

Another distinctive feature that makes clients choose HostGator is being able to pay monthly.

Overall, customers feedback shows they are generally satisfied with HostGator.

  • Money back guarantee: 45 days
  • Uptime Guarantee: 99.9%

Conclusion

Hostgator may be slightly more expensive than some of their competitors, and they may not offer as many free add-ons or additional features as some others do. However, do you really need those?

On the other hand, HostGator provides top-notch service in terms of server up-time and lets you pay monthly with no long term contract. Add to this guaranteed 99.9% up-time and world class customer support. All this definitely makes Hostgator a serious option to consider when looking for a new web-hosting provider.

Check out HostGator now »

12 comments

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Average user rating:
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Average user rating:
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Comment from: persephone [Visitor]
persephone

I agree, host gator is not the best web hosting service out there. Ive used host gator for a little over a year now and the technical support is probably the worst I’ve ever seen. they dont get to my answer right away and I’m often left waiting for a response. Ive been doing some research online to find a better hosting service.

01/15/14 @ 21:57
Comment from: Tom Stark [Visitor]
1 stars
Tom Stark

They have downgraded support of the sitebuilder thousands of people used to build a site. My site was down for days because they have no control. they want you to pay for any website more than 6 pages now. Customer service has become useless, used to be good. I can’t post on my own blogs about them because each page take a minute or more to load. The wheels have come off at HG, don’t waste your time or money.

07/24/13 @ 20:34
Comment from: WD3 [Visitor]  
2 stars
WD3

I have been a HostGator customer for 9 years, 5 of which have been on a dedicated server. The tech support response time has become abysmal. Two months ago response to a ticket took 24 hours. I currently have a ticket that has been open 20 hours with no response. I came across this site while researching alternative dedicated hosting vendors. When everything works, it works very well. But when your butt is on the line with customers calling asking why their website is down HostGator could seemingly care less. I hate to spout negativity, but feel compelled to relate my experience with HostGator.

07/09/13 @ 19:40
Comment from: BrandMe [Visitor]
5 stars
BrandMe

We have been a Hostgator fan for many years now and still contented and satisfied of their services up to this day!

In all those years, we haven’t encountered any problems, that’s why we’re stickin’!

04/10/13 @ 13:12
Comment from: Belajar Bisnis Online [Visitor]
5 stars
Belajar Bisnis Online

Have been a customer on Hostgator for 2 years now and my experience with them have been really terrific!!

My site got hacked several days ago, lose everything, but thanks to their customer support, they restore almost all of my data and my site is up and running in 24 hours after i asking for assistance.

It got really pricey after the initial discount gone though, but it is a great hosting solution for anyone… :D

12/27/12 @ 13:12
Comment from: Lynn [Visitor]
Lynn

Stay away from Host Gator. Their automatic email system sucks. It never gets anything correct. Their support is terrible. I was on the phone or chatting on-line for hours with these people. Finally had to cancel the account. Just my opinion, but I thought they were really bad and difficult to work with.

12/06/12 @ 17:07
Comment from: Darlene [Visitor]
5 stars
Darlene

I really can’t say enough good things about Hostgator. They do it the way it should be done. Regardless of time zone, I can always get the answers I need when I need them. Have not experienced ANY downtime on any of the sites I support. Hostgator is currently hosting about a dozen websites for me. I’d have to say (from my previous experience with other hosting companies) that they are one of the best (if not THE best) hosting sites out there. Their fees are very reasonable.

11/27/12 @ 04:57
Comment from: Shea Korte [Visitor]
5 stars
Shea Korte

Excellent review! I’ve been through 7 different hosts personally but the one I’m with now is HostGator and I’ve been with them for years now. Unless HostGator does something silly, I’m not going anywhere that’s for sure.

09/29/12 @ 15:05
Comment from: Rick [Visitor]
4 stars
Rick

I have one site on HostGator. Technically, they are superior, but one thing that confuses me is the praises for their response time. Every time I have had to contact them for support, I have had to wait 15 minutes for a live chat and about the same for a rep on the phone. JustHost has proven to me to be much more responsive. Every time I complain to the rep at HostGator they have given me the stock line that they are constantly working to improve their customer support.

09/18/12 @ 04:44
Comment from: urhostgatorcoupon [Visitor]
5 stars
urhostgatorcoupon

Managed hosting servers offer the reliability of a good hosting platform and the convenience of having your server managed by a professional. It also is a great way to make some savings as it is less expensive than keeping a dedicated administrator.

05/04/12 @ 10:26
Comment from: HostGator Coupon [Visitor]  
5 stars
HostGator Coupon

One of the many ways you can save money even when using a dedicated server is by going for a managed hosting solution. This gives you the confidence that you hosting account are being managed by a professional.

05/03/12 @ 08:20
Comment from: urhostgator [Visitor]  
5 stars
urhostgator

If it is about superior technology, then HostGator clearly is a leading hosting provider in the world. They host more than eight million domains comprising more than 1% of the total websites on the Internet.

05/03/12 @ 08:14