Hostgator Web Hosting Review

Armed with their ever-cheerful mascot and some of the best value packages around, HostGator have come a long way since they first launched back in 2002.

In the space of just over a decade, the Texas-based company have amassed over nine million customers, and today enjoy an enviable reputation as one of the web’s best hosting providers.

What got them to this level, is their unwavering commitment to simplifying the whole process of setting up a website for first-timers, whilst simultaneously delivering almost everything the more experienced web professional could ask for.

Below, we’ll go into more detail about Hostgator’s shared hosting plans, but we’d love to hear your thoughts too. Are you a current Hostgator customer? Have you used the company in the past? Why not write your own hosting review here?

Hostgator Hosting Plans

Hostgator Hosting Plans

Much as with fellow EIG-owned brand Bluehost, we’re a little disappointed to note that HostGator don’t have an option to pay in British Pound Sterling or other countries. Still, if that’s all we’ve got to grumble about, we’re doing pretty good.

Sure, having to work out the cost from US dollars does another hurdle for those looking for web hosting in the UK, but when you break it down, you’re still getting a really affordable deal.

Hatchling
At $3.96 (£2.56) per month for a 36 month term, the company’s Hatchling plan is, at the very least, comparable with other discount hosting solutions.  We’d recommend going for this long-term plan, too. As is standard industry practice these days, you’ll end up paying more for a shorter deal. Two years, for example, will set you back $4.76 (£3.08), whilst a six-month term costs $7.16 (£4.64).

Baby and Business Plans
The same applies for those who need something a little more to effectively manage their websites. Prices for the Baby package range from $6.36 (£4.12) for 36 months, up to $7.96 (£5.12) for six. Need a more powerful solution for eCommerce sites, large databases or huge volumes of traffic? The Business Pro plan caters for all of that, with plans from $10.36 (£6.71) to $11.96 (£7.75).

HostGator Plans – What’s Included?

One of the the things we like the most about HostGator, is that no matter which plan you take, you automatically get unlimited bandwidth and storage space, along with a free shared SSL certificate. This is certainly a welcome difference from other hosting companies, who normally reserve those sort of things for their more expensive plans.

What this ultimately means, is that those in need of budget hosting for a single website can enjoy better value for money with HostGator’s Hatchling Plan than with other company’s basic packages.

On closer inspection, there isn’t a great deal of difference between each of the company’s three plans.

HostGator Plan Comparrison

Along with everything you see in the image above, unlimited MySQL databases, subdomains and POP3 email accounts all come as standard with each plan, as does support for WordPress, PHP5, video and audio streaming, and a whole lot more.

So, with all that available even on the Hatchling plan, is there any valid reason for taking out a more expensive package? In short, yes there is, though it all depends on what you really need.

If you’re looking to host more than one website, you’ll need to at least look at the Baby Plan, whilst the Business Pro package comes in handy only if you need your own private SSL and a free, dedicated IP address.

Ease of Use

HostGator use the latest version of cPanel to take all of the guess work out of building, publishing and maintaining your website. Everything you could possibly need to do, from uploading files and installing applications, to managing your domain names and email accounts can all be done in the click of a button.

In the past, we’ve used HostGator to run WordPress, Magento and static websites, and were pleasantly surprised at just how easy it was to get up and running, even when developing projects that were a little outside of our comfort zone.

Reliability

Bluehost Moneyback GuaranteeThe company claim to deliver at least 99.9% uptime. In our own experience, and that of other users we’ve spoken to, there’s little to suggest that this isn’t the case.

For the most part, we’ve found that HostGator provide exactly what they promise: Solid, reliable web hosting at affordable costs.

If you’re not happy with the service, then they’ll gladly refund your money providing you cancel within the first 45 days of your account.

As yo might expect, this refund doesn’t include the cost of a domain name, or any set-up and administration fees you paid when you first registered your hosting plan.

Customer support

There was a time when we would have told you that GoDaddy ruled the roost when it came to providing five-star customer service, but HostGator are certainly giving them a run for their money.

Live chat, email and a ticketing system are all in place here, whilst the company also boast one of the most active user forums on the net. Beyond that, their social media platforms are always a great place to turn for support and guidance, as there always seems to be someone on hand to respond quickly.

HostGator Guarantee

Though the company’s phone support all seems to be American based (and US customers can get a dedicated toll-free number on the Business Pro plan), on the one occasion that we did need to make a call here in the United Kingdom, we did manage to find a UK-based phone number after some digging around.

Ecommerce

The Business Pro package is practically tailor-made for eCommerce websites. You’ll find the free private SSL and dedicated IP address invaluable when it comes to providing a secure, reliable store for your customers.

Meanwhile, you’re well served with some of the leading shopping carts, including Zen Cart, Cube Cart and OS commerce.

Our verdict

On the whole, Hostgator does provide good value for money when it comes to hosting a basic website quickly and easily. It’s range of free features and the promise unlimited space and bandwidth make it an attractive prospect, and among our pick for one of the best all-round web hosting providers.