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HostGator is a great website hosting service that is easy to use and offers an array of useful plans for customers and small businesses. It is one of our top picks for shared website hosting along with the novice webmasters.
- Variety of featured-packed website hosting plans.
- Great Shared Website Hosting offers
- Great for novice webmasters
- Site building software
- Excellent customer service
- Superb uptime
- Does not offer Window Based VPS Hosting
Each business needs a website, whether it be a fully functioning eCommerce setup or just a simple blog to post updates daily. Either way, you will need a website hosting service. This makes the featured-packed HostGator a top choice, with boasting quality cloud, reseller, virtual private server, along with dedicated server packages, but it is HostGator’s shared plans that really stand out from the very crowed website hosting pack. HostGator shared packages are so robust that the service wins our choice rating in the website hosting category.
Shared Website Hosting, if you are not familiar with this category, it is a type of website hosting that sees multiple sites living on a single server. In this setup, sites share the server resources so that a large traffic surge on Website A can impact Site B’s performance in a negative way. Shared Website hosting is a good option if you are looking for cheap hosting, if you would like more server resources devoted to your website, you need to go with VPS or dedicated website hosting.
HostGator offers a month to month shared website hosting plans, however, they push hard for you to sign up for the longer terms starting at the six months. We did not like that during our signup process HostGator defaults to a three-year term. It is one thing to encourage users to skip the monthly service but pushing you into a three-year term is a bit much.
With that said, HostGator offers Linux or Windows-based shared website hosting packages that will give small and medium businesses room to grow. The Hatchling plan offers you unlimited disk space, monthly data transfers, databases, email addresses, support for one domain, and the third-party applications like the content management systems and eCommerce platform. The baby plan builds on the Hatchling offering by adding unlimited domains. The top plan being a Business plan that includes highly specialized options, like a toll-free number for your business and private SSL certificate.
VPS Website Hosting
Virtual private server website hosting is for people who want more server horsepower than what shared website hosting offers. VPS website hosting also sees multiple sites living on one server, however, far fewer in numbers than that of a shared website hosting server. You will pay more for the VPS service, but it will give you more server power.
HostGator offers Linux based VPS website hosting starting at $19.95 per month. If you going to need more power, expect higher traffic volumes, or maybe specific compliance requirements that will prevent you from using shared servers then this is a good option to consider.
The basic VPS plan, Snappy 2000 offers 2GB of RAM, 120GB of disk space, and 1.5TB of monthly data transfers that start out at $79.95 a month. The medium Snappy 4000 package starts at $119.95 a month that boasts 4GB of RAM, 165GB of storage, and 2TB monthly data transfers. The advanced plan, Snappy 8000, offers 8GB of RAM, 240GB disk space, and 3TB monthly data starting at $149.95 a month or $39.95 a month if you sign up for the thirty-six-month term.
Dedicated Website Hosting
Dedicated website hosting is a powerful form of website hosting that will see your site existing on the server by itself. This makes it the most expensive website hosting but powerful. If you think going to get tons of traffic, then this is what should power your website.
HostGator dedicated website hosting packages start off at $119 a month with fine features. As a HostGator user, you can customize the servers up to 1TB of SSD storage, 32GB RAM with unlimited monthly data transfers that will let the bandwidth offer many other dedicated server packages.
HostGator dedicated servers both come in Linux and Windows, which is not a commonplace as you think, as Linux tends to dominate in this field. HostGator is one of the website hosting services we tested that scored well with both operating systems.
Cloud Website Hosting
HostGator, like other website hosting that we have reviewed, offers cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, the resource that your website needs to operate is shared across multiple servers. What are the benefits? You can see resources in real-time, as your website is not limited to physical server constraints.
The plan that is $12.95 a month comes with 2GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, domain, along with unlimited data and storage. The $13.95 a month plan will add unlimited domains and ups the core to 4 with RAM of 4GB. The very top plan is $19.95 a month for the Business Gold that gives you 6 CPU cores, 6GB RAM along with dedicated IP address.
WordPress Website Hosting
HostGator will let you install the WordPress content management onto any of its servers, however, they do also offer three levels of managed WordPress website hosting that includes a starter, standard, and business.
The start package is $14.95 a month that offers 25,000 visits a month, can host just one WordPress website, 50GB storage, and unlimited email. The standard plan starts at $20.95 a month with the ability to host 2 WordPress websites, 200,000 visitors, and 150GB of disk space. Moving on to the business plan that starts out at $27.95 a month that allows you to host 3 WordPress websites, receive 300,000 visitors a month, and unlimited storage. All these plans come with page caching and an optimized WordPress website hosting environment.
This is one of our top picks to host your WordPress website and tops their competition by allowing 3 WordPress websites that have unlimited storage and data transfers. The prebuilt environment comes with lots of WordPress friendly features that include malware protection and curated plugins that are designed to enhance your experience.
WordPress is easy to set up with HostGator even if you do not manage the WordPress route. The customer user portal has an option called Quick Links that will open a dedicated interface for installing third-party applications. They even offer a handy shortcut that is called “Get Started with WordPress Today”, that will lead you to the quick links interface. To set your path to the blog installation, enter the username for your WordPress administrator account, and then click on the install button. It is that easy, your site will be up and running. HostGator will also automatically install the WP-Super-Cache plugin to help with blog performance.
Setting Up Your HostGator Hosted Website
HostGator will send you a getting started the email with links to the resources you will need to create your website as their interface will take some getting used to. HostGator has a link for billing at the top that will lead to the customer portal, this is where all the payment information, plan details and add on services if purchased are listed. You will see tables across the top of the page for your account and domain management.
The hosting tab is where you will see the actual control panel with the site-building tools, applications, website statistics, and more options. Your introductory email will also have a direct link for the control panel, it will look different from what you would get through the hosting tab that will make the experience confusing at first.
HostGator has many options for building your website, including their own website builder. The drag-and-drop functionality will let you quickly build an attractive page complete with slideshows, forms, social media links, and more. You will be able to install WordPress or other CMS platforms if needed like Drupal, b2evolutions, Joomla, Tiki, and Mambo just to name a few. The file manager tool will let you manually upload files to the server to create your website that way. This tool is better than a basic FTP client as you can edit the files directly or use the built-in HTML editor.
HostGator will give you a free domain name if you signup for the 12 months of cloud, shared, or WordPress website hosting, the dedicated and VPS hosting does not qualify. The no-cost period lasts for 1 year, and you can choose a domain that ends in .com, .org, or .net. If you already own a domain, you can transfer to the server for free.
Reseller Website Hosting
If you are looking to get a web hosting business, but do not want to deal with infrastructure matters than I recommend checking out HostGator reseller packages.
These plans start out at $19.95 a month and boast unlimited emails across the board. The dedicated, shared, and VPS packages are both the Linux and Windows variety, however, HostGator does not supply them with unlimited storage and monthly data transfers at each level.
As earlier mentioned, HostGator offers Mojo Marketplace that will have email marketing tools such as DaDa Mail that starts at $34.95 a year, software that will let you send email newsletters to your subscriber list. The quick links will also have eCommerce packages that will include Magento, SugarCRM, phpCOIN, and ZenCart. If you install Magento, you will be able to use a drag-and-drop interface to create a beautiful online store. There are lots of design options that can get overwhelming.
Great Uptime Results
Website uptimes are the most important aspect of any website hosting service. If your site goes down, your customers will not be able to find you or access your products offered.
We use a website monitoring tool to track the HostGator uptime of our website within the 14-day research period. Every fifteen minutes, the tool pinged our website and send us an email if it is unable to contact the website for a least one minute. This testing data revealed to us that HostGator is stable, and in fact, the website did not go down once in this 14-day testing period. You will not have to worry about your HostGator website going down for extended periods of time.
Customer Service Quality
Unlike Bluehost, HostGator offers 24/7 telephone support service along with online webchat support features, that were both tested.
You can compare the HostGator review with BlueHost Review.
With the test phone call support on weekdays, we asked how a WordPress blog could be imported into HostGator. The detailed instructions were sent by email with no additional questions needed.
The HostGator online webchat support, type in our question into the form, and start the chat, was given an estimated wait time of 2 minutes. In just a minute a customer service rep appeared and helped us with easy to understand instructions on how to import the WordPress blog.
HostGator is a great website hosting service that is easy to use and offers many useful plans for their customers and small businesses. It is one of our top picks for shared website hosting and for the notice webmasters.