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HostGator Web Hosting Service Review: Best Affordable

It has some of the most affordable hosting plans, offers free domains, unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth.

HostGator Web Hosting Service

HostGator Web Hosting Service

HostGator’s main strength is its affordability.

  • Brand: HostGator
  • Founded: 2002
  • Headquarters: Houston, Texas, United States

Evaluation

Hostgator offers a lot of unlimited features like unlimited disk space, unmetered bandwidth and unlimited databases. The platform is also based on cPanel interface, which helps you manage your website very easily. The only setback is that it has limited backup options and is a little sluggish.

Pros

  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 24/4 support
  • cPanel interface
  • Free domain name and emails

Cons

  • Few backup options
  • Server may experience slow speeds
4.0/5
Overall
Speed
3
Uptime reliability
4
Customer support
4
Value for money
5

The details

Since it was established back in 2002, HostGator has been a world-leading provider of web hosting services. The company is privately-owned, and headquartered in Houston, Texas.

In the nearly two decades it’s been in existence, it’s grown from a small hosting firm with three servers to an industry-pioneer with over 12,000 servers across the world. The platform hosts more than five million domains, and this accounts for at least 1% of the global Internet traffic.

HostGator has a broad clientele base, which comprises both individuals and Fortune 500 companies, spread across 200+ countries. Here is an in depth review of what you can expect from HostGator web hosting provider.

Speed

Speed is not one of HostGators strongest points. Over the past one year, the platform has averaged a loading speed of 707 ms, which gives it an edge over BlueHost.

Still, compared to the likes of WP Engine and A2 Hosting, HostGator loads much slower. If speed is a priority, we’d recommend paying a little more for a web host provider that offers a better speed.  

Uptime

When you sign up for HostGator web hosting services, you’re promised a 99.9% uptime. Thankfully, the provider has invested in resources that enable it to live up to this promise.

First off, it manages thousands and thousands of servers, resulting in a speedy and flawless performance. Secondly, these servers are strategically-positioned and they use cutting-edge server hardware.

HostGator has also invested heavily in creating state-of-the-art data centers, where these servers are housed. These centers get constant infrastructure monitoring, and they’re equipped with UPS battery backup and fire protection systems.

With all these features, it is no wonder HostGator provides such reliable web hosting services. And even if they don’t, they promise to compensate you handsomely.

To be specific, if their servers don’t live up to the 99.9% uptime guarantee, you’re rewarded with one month of credit for that particular hosting plan. That said, approval of any compensation is at the sole discretion of the provider.

Customer support

HostGator offers two main forms of customer support, that is, via telephone and an online web chat platform.

Our research reveals that this hosting provider excels in both areas. If you dial up their phone number to make an inquiry, you will receive detailed instructions through email.

Their online chat section is also very user-friendly. Just type your question, and you will instantly be informed of how long you have to wait before a customer service representative can get back to you. Usually, the longest you’ll have to wait is about two minutes, which is a good response time.

Another thing you’ll love about HostGator is that they provide a highly-resourceful section containing answers to any questions you might have.

Just to sweeten the deal, they also offer a 45-day money back guarantee. It means that if you’re not pleased with any of their services, simply submit a request and you’ll be fully compensated.  

Value

HostGator offers differently-priced plans depending on the type of hosting you’re interested in. These range from shared to VPS, cloud, WordPress and Reseller hosting.

Shared web hosting

Shared web hosting is their cheapest offering, with plans starting as low as $2.08 a month. While the provider lets you sign up for just one month, it pushes hard for clients to sign up for long-term plans.  

With the Hatchling plan, which is their most basic shared hosting package, you’ll get unlimited disk space, databases, monthly data transfers and email addresses. You’ll also get one free domain along with third-party apps like CMS.

The Baby plan builds on the Hatchling package by offering unlimited domains. This one currently goes for $2.98 a month.

Business Plan is their top-tier package. It’s currently discounted and being offered for $4.48 a month. This package gets you highly-specialized options like a toll-free number for your enterprise and a private SSL certificate.

We like that even if you sign up for their top-tier shared hosting plan, you’ll still be paying much less compared to the likes of SiteGround and DreamHost.

VPS web hosting

This provider’s VPS hosting plans are based on Linux, and they’re available at a starting price point of just $19.95 a month. With this, you’ll get 2GB RAM, 120 GB SSD and 2 core CPU, which is a decent offering for the money.

However, if you anticipate more traffic on your site, you’re better off signing up for their Snappy 4000, which costs $29.95 a month. This gives you 4GB RAM, 165 GB SSD and 2 core CPU.

Their most advanced is Snappy 8000, which comes with 8GB of RAM, 240 GB disk space and 4 core CPU. This one sets you back about $39.95 a month. A similar package from DreamHost would cost you almost thrice as much, making HostGator surprisingly affordable.

Reseller hosting

HostGator also offers reseller hosting plans, which start at $19.95 a month for their Aluminum package. From this, you’ll get 60 GB of disk space, and 600 GB bandwidth.

The mid-tier known as Copper plan, goes for $24.95 and it affords you 90GB disk space and 900 GB bandwidth. Their most-prized plan in this category is Silver plan, which also costs $24.95. This one gets you up to 140 GB of disk space and 1400 GB bandwidth.

Dedicated hosting

If you prefer to have your website hosted on a server all by itself, then consider HostGator’s dedicated hosting plans.

As with other hosting services, you’ll get to choose from three options: Value, Power and Enterprise. The Value plan starts at $89.98 a month, and it affords you 4 core, 8 GB of RAM and 1TB HDD.

If you want more space, consider the Power plan priced at $119.89 a month. This gets you 2TB HDD and 16 GB  of RAM. Their premium-tier, Enterprise, costs $139.99 a month, and it includes 30 GB RAM and 1TB SSD.

What we love most about HostGator’s dedicated plans is that they’re incredibly cheap. Just to put this into perspective, you’d pay twice as much for a starter dedicated hosting plan from DreamHost.

Safety

In the security department, HostGator’s features are on the basic side of the spectrum. You’ll be given access to the most essential aspects like SSL and a server-level firewall. But if you want more advanced security features, be ready to pay through the nose.

We’re impressed that HostGator provides an SSL certificate with all of its plans. In fact, you’ll also have access to a server-level firewall, which shields your site from unwanted or malicious traffic.

However, the fact that you have to pay more for higher-tier security features doesn’t sit well with every client. Here’s a rundown of these paid systems:

  • Positive SSL upgrade for $39.99/ year: this provides strong protection for your data and it comes with Sectigo’s $10,000 limited warranty.
  • Sectigo SSL upgrade for $99.99/ year: this offers the same protection as the Positive SSL. But each Sectigo SSL includes a $250,000 limited warranty against unsanctioned transactions.  

SiteLock Essentials – another security feature you’d have to pay for is SiteLock Essentials. This one scans your site for malware and signs of hacking. You can get it for as low as $5.99/month for minimum protection or $24.99/month for round-the-clock protection.

Final verdict

Some web hosting services can be quite expensive, which discourages clients from signing up altogether. But this is not the case with HostGator, which offers very competitive prices for all of its plans.

For this reason, HostGator is best suited for website owners looking to save a few bucks on the hosting affair. Added advantages include a 45-day money back guarantee, unmetered bandwidth and a free SSL certificate.

While there’s a lot to like about HostGator, keep in mind that if you want specific security features, you will have to upgrade your plan or pay extra. Plus, the platform doesn’t offer as many backup alternatives as one would like.

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