Hostgator Hosting Review

Whilst HostGator’s popularity may have much to do with the iconic yellow-and-blue mascot which features so prominently across their site, memorable branding is far from the only reason why so many customers use HostGator for their websites.

Earning a full five stars in our list of the top cheap web hosts of 2016 for their cost effective plans as much as the impressive range of features which come as standard with most of said plans, HostGator caters for everything from small, simple websites to sprawling eCommerce enterprises.

Hosting plans

One reason why we like this company is that they provide unlimited bandwidth and storage space across all their hosting plans, so there’s no restrictions even if you opt for their most basic package.

In our opinion, HostGator are better at this than most of their competitors by limiting the variance between their basic ‘hatchling’ plan, and the more expensive ‘business plan.’

For most users with fairly simple small or large websites, the hatchling plan should actually be more than enough. Again, you get the same amount of bandwidth and storage space, and the only things you miss out on by not purchasing a more expensive plan are things like dedicated IPs, a private SSL, anonymous FTP and parked domains.

In all likelihood, you’ll be able to put together a secure, well-performing, professional looking website without such features, and if you do need them, you’re only talking a dollar or two more for an upgraded ‘baby’ or business plan.

There’s also the slight snag that you need to upgrade to have more than one domain name associated with your account, though most users we know only need one anyway, making this something of a non-issue.

Hosting features

Along with one-click installation for a whole range of popular applications and platforms such as WordPress, Joomla and the Magento eCommerce CMS, HostGator gets the upperhand over its competitors by teaming up with Weebly to offer a very powerful online website builder, complete with well over 4,000 beautiful, pre-designed themes and templates.

All your communication needs are catered for too, with unlimited POP3 email accounts, webmail access, and as many email forwarders, autoresponders and mailing lists as you could ever possibly hope for.

Reseller hosting

When they’re not helping new website owners get up and running with great value hosting, HostGator can usually be found carving out a name for themselves as one of the best reseller hosting providers on the block.

Regular prices for reseller plans start at just $24.95 for 50GB of space and 50GB bandwidth, upto $99.95 for 200GB of storage and 1400GB of bandwidth, with several different packages in between.

No matter which you one pick, you’ll enjoy unlimited domains, cPanels, private name servers, billing systems and more, along with as many email and FTP accounts as you’ll need.

Creating even more value for money, the company even throw in guides and tutorials, teaching you the best way to start your own website hosting company and really turn a profit.

VPS and Dedicated servers

Dedicated server solutions are ideal for those with lots of websites, lots of large files, or lots of traffic coming their way. They offer a greater amount of dedicated resources than shared plans, whilst at the same time offering all the freedom and flexibility you could ever need to effectively manage your own server.

With both HostGator’s VPS hosting and dedicated servers, you’ll have at least five options to choose from, all offering varying amounts of ram, space, bandwidth and other key components. Since the company’s plans are packaged together slightly differently than those of their competitors, it’s hard to compare them exactly to others, though in most cases, though in most cases it does appear that they offer greater value for money than some of their closest rivals.

Green hosting

With their commitment to eco-friendly hosting, HostGator are a good choice for webmasters concerned about their carbon footprint.

HostGator data centers are fuelled by wind energy to offset emissions caused by their servers, whilst they regularly purchase certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to provide greener, cleaner hosting across all their current shared and reseller plans.

Ease of Use

As with most good hosting companies, we found it only took a matter of minutes to familiarise ourselves with HostGator’s features, and to get straight into making the most of our new hosting account.

Using the ever-popular cPanel interface to manage your account, you can do everything within a few clicks.

The whole process, from logging in for the first time to launching your site is highly intuitive, so novice website owners should have no problem getting the hang of things pretty quickly

Customer support

Whilst those who pay for the more expensive plans can enjoy the benefits of having their own toll-free number for support issues, even HostGator’s basic support is nothing to be frowned at.

Most independent reviews rank their 24/7 access to phone, email and live chat support highly, so you’ll always be well looked after if there’s a problem.

Pros of HostGator

Affordable packages to suit everyone from hobbyists to serious businesses, use of cPanel to make managing and maintaining websites a breeze, and satisfactory customer support all combine to make HostGator a top contender for the cheap web hosting crown.

Cons of HostGator Hosting

There’s actually very little to dislike about HostGator, though some have expressed concerns about the company’s ownership. Since the Endurance group – owners of several other major hosting providers such as Bluehost- took over, the company has had a tough time of things, with a series of power outages driving scores of customers away.

Our verdict

That being said, major downtime does seem to be a thing of the past for HostGator, who are marching forward with their commitment to clean, green hosting solutions that have little in the way of serious drawbacks.

Compared to some of their nearest competitors, HostGator ranks highly for value for money and ease of use, qualities which have earned them an endearing popularity even more so than that blue-and-yellow mascot of theirs.

What others say:

“As much as I understand the value of having my own website, I don’t always have a lot of time to manage mine. With my Hostgator account, I was able to build a website from start to finish in no time, and can make updates quickly and easily. Just what I need!”
Beverly Stewart – beautician

“I only had a small budget for my website. Thankfully, Hostgator were there with a great service at a price I could afford. I’d recommend them to anybody.”
David Roylance, restaurant owner

“Hostgator’s support team are always there when I need them. They explain things clearly and simply, and always ensure any issues I have are dealt with swiftly. I can’t fault them for service.”
Amanda Lynn, business consultant