HostGator is one of the largest and most popular hosting companies in the world. They offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting plans.
At WPBeginner, we have been using Hostgator since 2007, and the WPBeginner website is hosted with them. Read our detailed HostGator review to find out if HostGator is the right choice for you.
In this detailed HostGator review, we will put their promises through our testing process. Following are the areas we will look into:
- Reliability: Will your website be available 24/7/365 without any downtime?
- Performance: How fast will your website load on HostGator? We will run our own performance tests to analyze this.
- Customer Support: Can you count on their customer support? Will you be able to easily get help when needed?
- Features: Do their features help you easily create and manage your website?
- Pricing: Do they offer the best pricing in industry? Are there any HostGator deals that can save you money?
Bottom line: Want to skip the details? To summarize, we found HostGator to be reliable and customer friendly hosting service. Their 24/7 customer support is among the best.
That’s why we’ve added HostGator as one of the best WordPress hosting companies, and thats why we use them to power WPBeginner.
Let’s jump to the more detail oriented parts of our HostGator review. This will help you figure out if HostGator is right for your website.
HostGator was founded in 2002 and grew quickly to become one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. You can credit the monstrous growth to their great shared hosting plans, reliable web hosting, and quality customer service.
Today it is headquartered in Houston, Texas and hosts over 8 million domains. They have 850+ employees that offer around the clock support and serve businesses of all sizes.
Pros and Cons of HostGator
Like every other product and service, each hosting company have their pros and cons. Here are the pros and cons of HostGator that we learned.
- Reliable hosting: HostGator guarantees an uptime of 99.99%. If you experience downtime below that, then you will get back one month credit on your account.
- Generous money back guarantee: HostGator offers 45 days money back guarantee. Normally, web hosting companies do not offer a money back guarantee exceeding 30 days.
- Flexible billing periods: You can choose between monthly and yearly billing periods. Longer billing periods will get you the most discount.
- Free migration: HostGator offers free migration service with all new accounts. Their expert team will transfer your website from your previous host at no extra cost during the first 30 days of signing up.
- No free domain: Unlike many other hosting companies, HostGator does not offer a free domain registration upon signing up.
- Aggressive upselling: You need to review the additional services pre-selected during the sign up process. If you are unsure, then uncheck them anyways. You can always add them later when needed.
What would you do if you sign up for a host and find that your website is painfully slow and often disappears? You’d have to switch providers, and this will cost you more money and headache.
That’s why you want to choose a web hosting company that is reliably fast with stable performance record all around. But how would you get this information?
We decided to check HostGator’s performance by running our own tests. Let’s find out how well it performed.
HostGator Speed Test Results
The most important performance indicator is the speed. A faster website is good for your users, and it also helps your SEO rankings.
In fact, studies suggest that 1 second delay in page load will cost you 7% less conversions, 11% less page views, and 16% decrease in user satisfaction.
For our detailed HostGator review, we created a test site to find out how fast HostGator really is.
Our test site was powered by WordPress using the default theme. We also imported dummy content for theme development, including images.
After that we used Pingdom website speed testing tool to run the tests. Here are the results:
As you can see, our test site loaded in just under a second for a server in Dallas, Texas. That’s faster than 94% of all tested sites.
That’s nice but how would your site perform under peak traffic hours?
To test this we used a tool called LoadImpact. It sends virtual users to a website and gradually increases the number of users on your site up to 100 at once.
You can see the result in the chart below:
The green line in the chart is page load time and the blue line shows the number of users on the site. As you can see, our test site performed really well up to 80 users, after that it started to slow down.
These results are particularly good for a shared hosting account. Remember that on a shared hosting account, you share server resources with other sites hosted on that same server. You will need to upgrade your hosting account if you start getting more visitors at the same time.
Another remarkable thing to be noticed is that our test site didn’t went down during the test. As you can see in the screenshot below.
HostGator Server Response Time
The content of your website significantly affects the page load time. For example, if your website has many images, then it will increase the page load time.
This affects your server’s speed test results. We wanted to see how fast the HostGator server actually responds.
To test this, we used a tool called Bitcatcha. It works differently than other website speed testing tools. Instead of loading the content, it only tests the response time of the server.
It also runs the test three times from multiple locations spread all over the world to get the average response time for each location.
Here is how HostGator performed in these tests:
Our HostGator review site performed really well. The server response time remained less than a second. In the United States, it was merely 37 ms.
Overall, this result indicates that your site will load quickly around the world.
HostGator Hosting Plans and Features
All these plans are feature rich and suitable for different budget and hosting requirements.
Let’s take a look at these plans offered by HostGator.
- Shared hosting: Shared hosting is the best way to start a new website with low traffic. On shared hosting environment, your website shares resources with other websites hosted on that same server.
- Cloud hosting: While a shared hosting account is limited to a single server, cloud hosting utilizes multiple servers. This plan is suitable if your website gets frequent traffic spikes.
- WordPress hosting: This is their shared hosting plan optimized for WordPress powered websites. It optimizes performance and protects your website from some common WordPress attacks.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server): Virtual Private Server allows you to manage your virtual resources on a cloud hosting platform. It is suitable for growing websites with frequent traffic spikes.
- Dedicated server: With dedicated hosting you get a server solely for hosting your website. But it also comes with great responsibility because you’ll have to maintain it by yourself.
Breakdown of HostGators’s Shared Hosting Plans
Shared hosting plans are great for new websites and beginners. They allow you to easily set up your website, so you can start working on getting more traffic and growing your business. You can later upgrade your hosting as your website grows.
HostGator’s shared hosting plans come in three different levels. All plans include unlimited storage and bandwidth. The main difference is the number of websites you can host.
- Hatchling: The Hatchling plan allows you to host only one website. It includes 1-click WordPress installer and comes with standard set of features.
- Baby: The Baby plan allows you to host unlimited websites. It includes all the features of Hatchling plan, and you can also use addons such as private SSL.
- Business: Suitable for small business websites. This plan includes free SSL certificate and free dedicated IP which you will need to create an eCommerce website.
HostGator Support and Customer Service
HostGator offers one of the best customer service in the industry. This includes 24/7 phone and live chat support as well as ticket based email support.
Inside your hosting dashboard, you will find their support portal. This portal helps you find quick answers from a knowledge base of 680+ articles and 500+ video tutorials.
Every HostGator account is fully guaranteed by the CEO, Adam Farrar. If you ever have a problem with the regular support, then you can ask your ticket to be assigned to Adam. He will actually respond personally to each ticket assigned to him.
Conclusion: Is HostGator the Right Choice for You?
Now that you have read our detailed HostGator review, you are probably thinking if HostGator is right for you?
HostGator offers variety of hosting plans that fit all budgets and requirements. They offer all the tools you will need to build a website.
Over 2 million customers have already trusted HostGator. Whether you are a seasoned Internet pro, or just starting out with your first website, you’ll find every necessary tool to bring your website to next level.
Ready to get started with HostGator? Click here to select your HostGator plan today.
WPBeginner users get an exclusive 60% OFF with our HostGator coupon code.
All you have to do is click on this link to purchase. The discount will be applied automatically.