30-Second Review

9

Value Ranking
(#6 OUT OF 17)

8.2

Quality Ranking
(#10 OUT OF 17)

8.6

Overall Score
(GOOD)


Emoji-Smiley-106

Well known for being reasonably priced and great for beginners


Emoji-Smiley-107

They don't own the servers your files are stored on

Details

HostGator is known for being incredibly inexpensive and friendly to people new to the world of hosting. If you search for cheap or beginner hosts, they are pretty much on every list out there. 

 

That many opinions can’t be wrong. 

 

Most people join for the unlimited shared hosting plans, but they do offer more than the bargain basement form of hosting.

 

From the basic shared plans to dedicated servers, pricing is low. Features are great. Everything is clearly laid out and easy to do. They built the service for people who know nothing about putting a site online. 

 

If that’s you, give them a closer look.

 

Features

 

One of the newest fresh features in HostGator is the cloud hosting plans. The plans offer 2 times the speed and 4 times the resources of the shared plans, but the cost is almost the same. 

 

It seems like they are the least expensive cloud on the internet. Very Impressive. 

 

Most other budget hosts don’t even have cloud plans, but here you’ll find them to be a decent option and an incredible value.

 

All of the cloud plans come with a free shared SSL, so selling things will be secure and your SEO won’t be hurt. The resource management is surprisingly intuitive for a budget cloud and can make you think twice before going with a more expensive option.

 

The thing HostGator is best known for are their prices. You can get a month of shared hosting for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks. 

 

Price motivated buyers won’t need to look elsewhere. 

 

The basic “hatchling” plan will only get you the ability to host one domain, but the next step up (still cheap) will award you unlimited domains and traffic. Great for niche site builders, or people who just like to own sites.

 

Every plan gets access to the Weebly sitebuilder. HostGator didn’t make it, but it’s one of the easiest and customizable to use. Not only that, the templates you start with are beautiful. 

 

The site you create can be great looking and online in minutes.

 

WordPress users will be happy with the WP specific hosting options. Their site boasts that your blog will be 2.5 times faster than a normal shared plan. The cool part is that the WP plans are barely more expensive.

 

The number of sites on the WordPress plans is limited to three at most, which is a bummer. However, the level of traffic you can have is larger without getting capped like their shared plans.

 

There are VPS and dedicated server plans available, but to be honest they aren’t the cheapest (shocker) and don’t have the hardware of other providers. 

 

If you are considering more power for your website, these plans won’t impress you too much.

 

One of the quirky features is for business owners. “Business on Tapp” is an application that gives business owners an edge. Tips, insightful articles, trends, tactics, and how-to's in an app available by your hosting company.

 

If you have some free time throughout the work day, it’s better than spending your time on Angry Birds.

 

May not influence your decision, but if you go with HostGator it’s a bonus resource.

 

Support

 

HostGator offers three levels of support 24/7 (phone, live chat, or support ticket). It’s not hard to get a hold of them, but it’s not red-carpet status.

 

They are one of the cheapest hosts and if you factor that in, it fairs a bit better than par.

 

The knowledge center is full of helpful information on all the standard questions and issues that may arise during your setup and hosting life. There are also many helpful tips and dozens of video tutorials if you are more of the visual learner.

 

Speed

 

Site speed is a mixed bag with this host. The shared plans won't deliver anything fast, but there are a couple of plans for speed.

 

The cloud and WordPress hosting plans stand out as the speed winners.

 

There has been some effort on HostGator’s part to make these platforms faster and it’s paid off. Tech and hardware for these plans are noticeably better than the other plans. 

 

Most of the plans fall short of the speed you may want. 

 

There just aren’t any features that other hosts are beginning to regularly offer. Better server hardware, better ways to ship files through the web, and better caching aren’t really available in the shared, VPS, and dedicated plans.

 

If you don’t want the cloud or WP, but want a fast site; there are better options (like SiteGround).

 

Uptime

HostGator’s uptime is a weird topic. They don’t own the servers, but do offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. 

 

At least they offer the promise, but the specifics aren’t available on their site. You won’t find any status updates or uptime monitor either. You’re kind of on your own to track the down time and then confront them to do something about reimbursing you.

 

Not ideal.