“With a 99.9% uptime guarantee, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed; HostGator aren’t a pop-up web host, they’re there for their customers”
HostGator have been established since 2002 and have been well-known ever since, with a recognisable brand and over 400,000 customers worldwide. HostGator offer 6 types of hosting products; web hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting and dedicated hosting.
HostGator’s web hosting package comes with 3 different plans to choose from, which all include unmetered disk space, bandwidth, instant backups, 24/7/365 support, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
|Free dedicated IP||NO||NO||YES|
|45-day money back||YES||YES||YES|
|Google AdWords||$100 credit||$100 credit||$100 credit|
|Yahoo!/Bing||$100 credit||$100 credit||$100 credit|
|Free instant setup||YES||YES||YES|
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All web hosting plans come with HostGator’s website builder which is a drag and drop experience with over 4500 free themes, customizations and templates to choose from. CMS systems such as WordPress come with 1-click installations, including forums, e-commerce stores, wiki’s, and more.
It was, however, slightly disappointing to see that HostGator doesn’t offer a free domain upon signup, which most other web hosts do offer. It’s not a deal breaker, but it’s a nice to have, especially if you’re just starting out.
HostGator’s WordPress hosting plans all come with a WordPress cloud interface, auto-backup with 1-click restores, and is easy to manage and view all of your email accounts.
Their free migration service will allow you to transfer your existing WordPress site to HostGator. Some plans also include a free consultation with WP Experts.
|Free migration||1 site||2 sites||3 sites|
|Google AdWords credit||$100||$100||$100|
The starter plan is great if you are just starting out on your website/blog journey, however, we feel it would be better to opt for the standard plan, as HostGator recommends. You get a lot more for your money without stretching the budget too far.
The only real difference between the standard and business plans is the number of sites allowed, and the storage space. Considering the average size of WordPress websites, or most websites, you wouldn’t ever come close to reaching the limit set out anyway.
Performance & Uptime
HostGator guarantee a 99.9% uptime which is something we always like to see with web hosting providers; it gives us and the companies customers the confidence required before making a purchase.
Although there are no stats on their website, we checked out HostGator’s uptime record to make sure everything checks out. For the last 5 years, HostGator have successfully recorded a 100% uptime; they pride themselves on having the best and latest technology for their servers and host over 8 million domains.
Considering their reliability and standards, we can understand why they have such a large customer base, and are so well known and recognisable.
We tested out our website’s speed to see how it performed compared to other web host providers, and were pleasantly surprised to see fast speeds. We loaded our website with users to put it under pressure, and although the page load time increased slightly with more users, this is something that isn’t unexpected when you’re on a shared hosting plan. After all, you are sharing the space with other websites, so it’s fairly common, and again, not a deal breaker.
Tools & Features
HostGator offer a great range of tools and features within their hosting plans, as well as a range of hosting options covering shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting. If you’re looking for a domain, HostGator also provide you with an easy to use domain searcher and purchasable options, so you can start your new website or business all in one place.
Website Builder: HostGator’s free website builder allows you to create a new website, at ease, from scratch. You’ll have access to over 4,000 templates to choose from, ensuring that you get off to the best start, depending on your website needs or business industry. With free domain transfers and unlimited MySQL databases, you could have multiple websites up and running, and looking great, within a matter of a few hours.
Google AdWords: HostGator’s free Google AdWords credits allow you to put $100 worth towards your campaigns. If you’ve never used Google AdWords before, there are many tutorials out there that can help you get started. With free credits, you can’t go too far wrong, and may even be able to initiate a brilliant campaign, all for free thanks to HostGator.
1-Click Installs: As with many web hosting providers, HostGator have 1-click installs available to their customers at the touch of a button, including WordPress, Magento, and Joomla. So whatever type of customer you are, you’ll be able to utilise HostGator’s 1-click installs immediately and with ease.
cPanel: Although other web hosts don’t necessarily always use cPanel, HostGator do, and we’re glad that they do! Running the latest cPanel software, you can get your website off to a great start. With so many tools and features available on cPanel, we’d be here all day listing them.
With the ability to organise your website via your own administrative tools, gather statistics, check logs, and manage your files, HostGator makes it easy for any type of user to dive into their web hosting package and get things rolling within minutes.
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HostGator offer 24/7/365 support; something which should really come as standard with all web hosting companies, given that if anything goes wrong, it could cost a customer their business.
From the get go, HostGator’s support system was easy to navigate to, offering quick links to get you to where you want to be, as well as video tutorials, forums, and helpful resources. We were able to contact HostGator via live chat, email, and a toll-free number (for U.S customers), as well as taking a peek at their FAQ’s and knowledgebase.
We tested out HostGator’s live chat service to ask about their website migration and transfer process. We filled out the required chat information and, as you can see, they estimated we would be connected within 5 minutes. Within 2 minutes we were connected to an agent.
We spoke to one of their live chat advisors who was helpful and seemingly knowledgeable; although they couldn’t give us a time frame for the migration process, they were able to confirm that we wouldn’t experience any down time. The average response time between messages was around 30 seconds.
Live support is such an important feature; often people are very busy and don’t have time to wait on hold on the phone, or wait hours for an email response. It certainly feels as though HostGator push for the highest of standards when it comes to support and their technical knowledge.
HostGator offer a wide range of services, and have a lot more plans available compared to other hosting companies; so, if you’re not quite sure where to start, there’s always a package for everyone with HostGator. HostGator offer easy to use and simplified tools within their plans, making it easy for beginners, and even experts, to get to grips with their interface. Compared to other competitors, HostGator doesn’t always come out the cheapest, but with their offers and regular sales, this doesn’t always apply.
If you’re looking for a reliable web host, with a clear user journey and slick experience, HostGator is most definitely the way forward. Everything was easy with HostGator, and if we did get stuck, it was simple to access their live chat service from wherever we were on their system.
Customer support, in our opinion was great, though others don’t seem to feel this way. As we said before, it’s worth giving their services a try, including customer support, to see how your experience turns out. If it isn’t suitable for you, HostGator offer a 45-day money back guarantee, so you don’t need to worry about wasting your money. With a solid reputation, HostGator offer some brilliant services at a reasonable cost, with years of experience behind them, so why not give them a try.
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