What is HostGator?
HostGator was founded in 2002 in Florida. They moved around North America for years. Moving to different offices in the likes of Toronto. Their main office is now stationed in Houston, Texas since they moved there in 2006. In 2015 they launched there own WordPress hosting. HostGator provide hosting for many other applications such as, Joomla and Magento.
Many hosting review websites also rate HostGator within their top 10 hosting websites. This is due to the different features they offer, their support and the price of their packages.
Is HostGator’s Hosting any good?
HostGator other multiple plans for WordPress hosting. These plans range from $5.95 upto $9.95 for the basics of each plans. The multiple plans HostGator have are called the starter plan, the standard plan and the business plan.
HostGator have data centers in Houston, Provo and other locations. They also have many proxy servers around the world. HostGator have a lot of pro’s and con’s which I will talk about further in the article. One thing that HostGator is good at is advertising their features. This was one thing I found difficult when researching GoDaddy, as they didn’t tell me a lot about their service, which I presume they do until you actually start hosting with GoDaddy,
What Plans do HostGator offer?
Plan 1; Starter Plan
The first plan HostGator offer is there starter plan. With this plan you’re allowed one WordPress site, with a monthly traffic of 100,000 visits to your one website. Your storage space is unmetered as long as you stick with HostGators T&C’s. HostGator explains it is uncommon to violate their T&C’s to do with the storage space. To violate the T&C’s you would need to be using 25% of HostGators system resources for more than 90 seconds.
This plan starts at $5.95 a month depending if you would like additional features, it could be more. The ideal person customer for this plan would be a person looking to host a personal website such as a personal blog or portfolio site. You also get upto 1GB of backups for your site.
Plan 2; Standard Plan
The second plans price starts at $7.95 a month. again depending it could be more just like the starter plan. This plan is called the standard plan as it is the plan HostGator recommend themselves. With this plan everything is essentially doubled compared to the started plan. So this would be ideal for a person who would need hosting for multiple websites. The amount of traffic you’re allowed is 200,000 monthly visits till two sites. 2GB of daily backup is included within this plan.
Plan 3; Business Plan
The final plan for WordPress hosting HostGator offers is more for businesses (Don’t know where I got that idea from but it wasn’t the name of the plan). For $9.95 a month you get five websites and upto 500,000 visits a month across all five websites. 3GB of backup isincluded within this plan.
With every plan you get an unmetered storage space, as long as you keep within the T&C’s. You also get a $100 Google credit to advertise your websites on google. This will undoubtedly attract more traffic to your website. Along with every plan you also get CodeGuard and SiteLock, which help secure your website even more.
Do HostGator offer good Performance with their Plans?
We all require good performance for our website. This is to increase user satisfaction, gain returning users to your site and increase traffic to your website. So do HostGator offer good performance? For the most part they do. Uptime and upload speeds seem very consistent throughout the world with HostGator. With Uptime HostGator offer a 99.9% guarantee, which means your site can only be down 0.01% of the time. If your site falls short of the 99.9%, you can then get one month free with whichever package you have.
This is a great incentive to have, as customers are guaranteed, and if something goes wrong, they can be reimbursed. This also provides a great statistic when choosing your hosting, that can make potential customers shop with HostGator.
What is HostGator’s Security like?
With the cloud hosting plans for WordPress, HostGator offer CodeGuard and SiteLock free of charge. CodeGuard secures your websites data, including plugins, themes and code with automatic backups. Whereas SiteLock defends your sites from malicious malware, hackers and viruses from destroying your site.
You can also purchase SSL certificate and Domain privacy for a small fee, to also secure your site if you think CodeGuard and SiteLock won’t do the job. SSL certificates can boost you google global ranking attracting more traffic to your website and it also protects visitors personal information when on your site. Domain privacy helps to keep the name of your domain secure which can prevent spam being attracted to your site.
Do you get a good Support Network with HostGator?
HostGator provide a number of support methods for their community. This includes their live chat, 365 days telephone line, forums and tutorials. Having a 365 days telephone line means anyone can get in touch with HostGator directly if they have any issues.
You also get a 45 day money-back guarantee. This allows new users of HostGator to try them out to see if they like their hosting. If they don’t then they can get their money back and try out a different hosting provider.
Also having a live chat is great as people can get directly in touch with HostGator easily without having to lift up the phone. Not everyone likes to talk on the phone so this is an alternative they provide as well as email.
Does HostGator offer any unique/other Features?
Similar to many other hosting providers, such as WP Engine and SiteGround. HostGator offer a free site migration to their hosting. Free site migration minimizes the list of costs for add-on’s that the customer already has to put up with.
Positives of HostGator;
There are many positives to HostGator. These include their user friendly service and their customer support. One of the positives about HostGator is their support. We already know they offer 365 round the clock telephone support, but is it a good service? They have a very knowledgeable team, which can fix problems and answer any inquiries you may have. They used to have a reputation, that their support wasn’t amazing but for the past few years they have been trying to improve this alongside many other companies.
HostGator also guarantee an uptime of 99.9%, and if a customer doesn’t get this, they will be compensated. This is the type of service we should expect from big companies such as HostGator, not only in web hosting but in many other industries. A money back guarantee is also included when you first sign up to HostGator. This allows new customers to test the waters of HostGator to see if it is right for them.
Free site migration is also another benefit to HostGator. This means moving your site to HostGator costs nothing apart from the whole hosting package. Although migrating your site is free, it might be easier with a plugin.
Since 2008 HostGator have used wind power to power their hosting servers. This not only saved HostGator a tonne of money but it also kept the cost down for customers of HostGator. So if you’re one for the environment, then HostGator is the web hosting service for you.
Whenever you sign up to the WordPress Cloud Hosting, you also get free instant account activation. This means you can dive straight into your hosting. You also get free email hosting with the WordPress hosting. Access to an unlimited amount of email addresses is free making your websites and its brand look more professional.
Negatives of HostGator;
One of the biggest negatives to HostGator is their own website. It can be very tricky and awkward to navigate through the many many different hosts they offer. There website even gives you a feel of the 1990’s/early 2000’s when you access the support portal. So for a company that offers a site builder, I think it would only be appropriate to update every page of your website.
Another concern for me is their datacenters. They have many around the world but they don’t tell where they are apart from the two main centers in the US. I would imagine they would have some in Europe and Asia. They have offices in Brazil and India, so I would also imagine there would also be datacenters in these countries to. On the topic of datacenters, another negative to them is that you don’t get to choose which datacenter your sites are housed in.
HostGator also only uses Dollars as payment. With this many customers are going to get a surprise with extra VAT put on top of the final bill. This could lead customers away to competitors as competitors might have multi currency’s. By having multi currency, it could lead to more appeal for international markets away from the US.
One thing I have noticed about HostGator is that they talk a lot about their T&C’s and everything they offer have specific terms. One of these is after initial plan is ready to be renewed the plans shoot pricing goes back up to the normal price it should be. A lot of the times you only get told about this is when your’e purchasing a plan and its usually in smaller writing. Essentially its in the small print.
HostGator’s support seems very good as of late, but one problem I keep seeing when I go on to review sites is about their livechat. It seems this is the support that has a lot of problems. Between inexperienced staff not knowing key information and waiting times. This livechat should be one of the most upto date ways of support as many people would contact them through this instead of phoning.
In terms of upload speeds, HostGator seem to have a problem. Many other competitors seem to have a better upload speed. This can deter traffic accessing your sites then ultimately leaving it because it hasn’t loaded quickly. Everyone hates a white screen, even for just a second. This is something they should look into and improve.
Personally I think HostGator have some good and some disappointing aspects to them. If you need hosting for a number of sites, then I would go with a different host as their upload speeds are not that fantastic. They do have excellent uptime, so if you are only hosting a few websites, they would be worth considering. The support they offer and the fact they use wind power to power their centers certainly brings a unique feature to them. Offering many other hosting services for the likes of Joomla and Magento is also a plus.
To find out more about HostGator and what they offer, check out HostGator