HostGator was founded in 2002 and is now 16 years in business.
Review by Lori Soard
HostGator is one of those well-known names in the web hosting industry. There
are a couple of reasons for this. First, they advertise widely, so their name
has likely popped up in your search results or when you've been browsing on
websites about web hosting. The company was founded in 2002, so has been around
for about 15 years now. This means it has had enough time to go through some
growing pains, work through those issues, and find its own hosting company
rhythm. Today, they have about 12,000 servers they manage and a 90% customer
Brent Oxley started the company out of his dorm room in Florida. In 2006, the
company had grown to the point that they could no longer fit in their
2000-square feet of office space and they were having trouble finding enough
technologically inclined talent to staff their offices. They moved from Boca
Raton to Houston, Texas, taking up residence in a 25,000 square foot space. Out
of their fifty Florida employees, forty of them moved with the company to Texas.
Host Gator has settled in the Texas area and remained through today, although
they've moved cities.
From 2002 to 2008, the company grew to 100,000 customers. Then, in 2009, the
company saw massive growth and doubled that in less than a year. HostGator has
continued to expand into other countries, including China, Russia, and Mexico.
Their current office is in Austin and is now 100,000 square feet.
Hosting Plans and Pricing
It isn't hard to see why this company has had such massive growth when you look
at the wide range of plans they have to offer. Not only do they offer shared
hosting, but WordPress hosting, cloud hosting and virtual private servers. You
have the ability to become a reseller or to purchase your own dedicated server.
Another advantage to going with a company that offers a variety of plans is that
as your business grows.
If you're looking for shared hosting, HostGator offers three plans for all
business sizes. Basically, they don't limit how much you can use, but if you are
a big drain on the resources on that server (25% or more) then you may violate
their TOS and lose your ability to host with them. The normal running of a
business shouldn't create any issues, unless you have a streaming site or
something that is bandwidth heavy.
The Hatchling Plan
- Allows you one domain and unmetered bandwidth and space.
- You can get a rate as low as $3.95 per month, but you'll have to sign up for
three years and pay for 36 months upfront to get that rate. If you choose to pay
month to month, you'll pay $10.95/month. There are many other levels, depending
upon how much you want to pay in advance, and each level will save you a little
more on your monthly rate.
- Includes full support.
- Set up on cPanel with one-click installations.
The baby plan is recommended by HostGator as their ideal shared hosting plan.
You'll gain a couple of things by going to the Baby plan and the costs are a
- Instead of only being allowed a single domain, you can install multiple
domains on this plan.
- Unlimited space and bandwidth (again, within reason).
- Unlimited parked domains.
- Private SSL.
- Dedicated IP for $4.00 more per month.
- Rates start as low as $5.95/month paid upfront for 36 months of hosting and
$11.95/month paid on a month-to-month basis.
The Business plan is the largest of the shared hosting options. You gain
everything with the Hatchling and Baby plans plus:
- Free dedicated IP
- Free private SSL
- Anonymous FTP
- Rates start at $5.95/month when paid 36 months in advance and $16.95/month
when paid by the month.
There are some real advantages to going with web hosting and it doesn't cost
much more to go this route, especially for the smaller sites that only need a
single domain and less memory. HostGator states that their cloud hosting is
twice as fast, has four times the resources, and offers a statistics dashboard
so you can see how your site is performing on multiple levels. The cloud plans
have similar name to the shared hosting plans, but the word "cloud" is added to
If you have a small business, or are just getting started, then this is the plan
for you. The Hatchling Cloud plan offers:
- Single domain
- 2 GB memory (this should be more than enough for a small business unless
your site is extremely image or video heavy)
- 2 Core CPU (speed of the processor)
- Unmetered storage and bandwidth
- Local caching
- Starts at $4.95/month when you pay for 36 months in advance and goes up to
$12.95/month when paying one month at a time.
HostGator's middle of the road cloud hosting plan is the Baby Cloud plan. It
includes everything that comes with the Hatchling Cloud plus:
- CPUs - 4 Cores
- 4 GB memory
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited parked domains
- Plans starting at $7.95/month when paid 36 months at a time and $13.95/month
when paid on a month-to-month basis.
In the cloud hosting platform, you gain a bunch of features when you take out
the top level of hosting. The Business Cloud plan offers everything that the
other two plans have and then some.
- CPU - 6 Cores
- 6 GB memory
- Dedicated IP
- Private SSL
- Unlimited domains
- Costs start at $9.95/month when paid in 36-month increments and $19.95/month
when paid one month at a time.
Some business owners simply want to focus on building up a following online and
they don't have the time to deal with worries about installing various types of
software and tracking backend features. If you want just what you need in order
to build a WordPress based website, look into WordPress hosting, which typically
includes WordPress specific support features as well.
HostGator offers a platform that is specifically created with WordPress users in
mind and claims that they are 2.5 times faster and have advanced security
features to help users avoid the many hackers that target the WordPress CMS.
They also offer free migrations so you can easily move your WP site onto their
servers without the hassle usually involved in making sure the database and
files are all moved correctly.
- 1 WP site
- 100,000 visits per month
- 1 GB backups
- 2X relative compute power
- Unlimited email accounts
- Unmetered storage space
- Plan starts at $5.95/month for 36 months at a time and $14.95/month when
- Up to 2 sites
- 200,000 monthly visitors
- 2X relative compute power
- 2 GB backups
- Rates start at $7.95 when paying for 36 months in advance and go to $20.95
per month when paying a month at a time.
- Up to 3 sites
- 500,000 visits
- 5X relative compute power (this is an increase)
- 3 GB backups
- Plan starts at $9.95/month when paid 36 months in advance and $27.95/month
when paid month-to-month.
If you're looking for a more customized solution to your web hosting needs, but
you are not yet able to afford a dedicated server or justify the expense, then a
VPS may be the right choice for you. You'll gain full root access for custom
installations and control of your hosting platform. A VPS can also scale with
your business growth.
- 2 GB RAM
- 2 Cores CPU
- 120 GB disk space
- 1.5 TB bandwidth
- Plan starts at $29.95/month when paying 36 months in advance and
$89.95/month for a month at a time.
- 4 GB RAM
- 2 Cores CPU
- 165 GB disk space
- 2 TB bandwidth
- Plan starts at $39.95/month when paying for 36 months and $129.95/month when
- 8 GB RAM
- 4 Cores CPU
- 240 GB disk space
- 3TB bandwidth
- Plan starts at $49.95/month for 36 months in advance and goes to
$159.95/month for month-to-month plans.
If your business has grown to the point that you need more speed and
reliability, then you'll likely want to get on your own dedicated server. You
will be the only customer on this server, meaning no one else can drain the
resources. HostGator offers HHD and SSD hard drives. Servers are hosted in a
US-based data center. Of course, you also gain full root access and a fully
redundant network. They offer managed or semi-managed solutions, depending upon
your level of knowledge and need. All have unmetered bandwidth.
- 4 Core/8 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU
- 8 GB RAM
- 1 TB HDD
- Linux or Windows for operating system (OS)
- Plan for managed server starts at $118.99/month for 36 months and
$189.00/month when paying monthly. However, rates can change based on whether
you choose managed or semi-managed and other options.
- 8 Core/8 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU
- 16 GB RAM
- 2 TB HDD or 512 GB SSD (your choice)
- Linux or Windows OS
- Plan for managed starts $138.99 month for 36 months in advance and $249.00
- 8 Core/16 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU
- 30 GB RAM
- 1 TB SDD
- Linux or Windows OS
- $149.01 month for 36 months in advance and $289.00 month-to-month.
Reseller plans are a bit different in that they give you the ability to become
your own hosting company (sort of). Reseller plans come with WHM panels and
billing software, control of resource allocation, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
You will also receive private name servers according to your domain name.
- 60 GB disk space to use between all your clients
- 600 GB bandwidth
- Unlimited domains
- $19.95/month when you pay for 36 months in advance and $29.95/month when
- 90 GB disk
- 900 GB bandwidth
- Unlimited domains
- $24.95/month when you pay for 36 months in advance and $41.95/month when
- 140 GB disk space
- 1400 GB bandwidth
- Unlimited domains
- $24.95/month when you pay for 36 months in advance and $59.95/month when
Overall, HostGator offers nearly any type of hosting plan you'd need along with
strong support for each type. Whether you are a startup that needs a basic
shared plan, or you are a growing mid-sized business ready for a dedicated
server, you can find what you need. As your company grows, you won't have to
change hosting companies to gain the services you need, which can save you time
and money migrating to a new server.
5 out of 5 Stars
HostGator uses cPanel with all of its hosting plans and keeps it updated with
the latest version. cPanel is a very intuitive control panel to use with
one-click installations of popular software, access to phpMyAdmin and the
ability to add emails to your domains. In addition, you can access backend type
features, such as restoring your website from a backup or checking website
|Custom Error Pages
|Web Based File Manager
|IP Deny Manager
|Unlimited MySQL Databases
|PHP5, PHP7, Ruby on Rails, SSL, Perl, Python, CGI
|SSH Access and Cron Job Scheduling
5 out of 5 Stars
On the surface HostGator seems to stack up when it comes to customer support.
They offer multiple ways to contact them 24/7/365. They claim to backup your
site each week off-site. They list 24/7/365 server monitoring. I really wanted
to give them five stars here, because they are doing a lot of things right. Here
is what I like about their support:
- Can phone, email, start a support ticket, use forums, use knowledge
database, or use live chat feature. The ability to get help 24 hours a day is
- I like the idea of them monitoring the servers, because they'd likely catch
any DDoS attacks for example.
However, they lost a star from me when I tested out their system anonymously,
because even though the support was there and they did answer my questions they
just didn't go above and beyond. Perhaps with hundreds of thousands of customers
they simply can't give me that undivided attention I'd like, but I found the
interactions very impersonal and even felt a little stupid with some of the
questions I asked. However, I asked very specific questions that I felt a newbie
website owner would ask to see what the response was. In one instance, I was
pointed to a video tutorial on webmail. What I would really want as a newbie
would be to have someone walk me through the steps.
In addition, when digging deeper and looking at reviews on their customer
service, I found a number of one and two stars reviews across the Internet. One
site compiled a list of complaints they'd gotten from their own readers.
Customers stated things such as:
- The rate going up so much after the introductory period and HostGator not
making that clear enough to them.
- Customers stating that their service was throttled as soon as the 30-day
money back guarantee (now 45 days) period was over.
- Customers complaining about a lack of knowledge from support at
Now, to be fair, some of the complaints were with issues such as not enough
things being in other languages. While HostGator is a global company, they are
headquartered in the United States, so I'm not surprised this is a slight issue.
Hopefully they will continue to improve in this area, so I didn't mark them down
I'll share more of my experience with the CS below when I give my verdict of
this hosting company.
4 out of 5 Stars
Their money-back guarantee is for 45 days, which should allow people to see how
well the hosting works for them and get a good idea of average speeds. Granted,
I only tested them for two weeks, but my uptime stats were strong and I never
noticed an issue with throttling. Of course, my test site was very basic. I
uploaded a test site that I use for this and is about the size of a small
business site with some images, mostly text, and a few additional features
installed, such as a shopping cart.
I didn't actually try to attain a refund, so I'm not certain how easy that
process would be, but since they state it on nearly every page, I would think
they would comply if a customer was really dissatisfied.
5 out of 5 stars
HostGator is a good choice for companies looking for an all-around solution for
4 out of 5 stars
There are a couple of reasons I withheld that star. First, I hosted with them a
number of years ago, and the customer service at the time was atrocious. I wound
up taking my toys and leaving for another hosting company. However, they seem to
have cleared up the issues of reps not being polite and they were very fast to
respond as well. I am going to chalk the previous experience up to growing pains
and perhaps poorly trained customer service reps.
The other reason I withheld a star was the confusion with the rates after
introductory period. I really want you to be aware of that, so you can buy a lot
of package up front and save as much as possible in the long run. That is what
makes this hosting a great deal. First, you'll save money, and second the
renewal rates go up to about double after your introductory period. So, if you
sign up for 36 months, your monthly rate won't go up for 36 months. However, if
you sign up for 12 months, your rate will go up after the 12 months are up.
Things I really liked about my HostGator experience were how easy it was to set
up my test site and that it is very familiar as it runs on the same cPanel that
many other hosting companies utilize. Another advantage to going with a company
that offers a variety of plans is that as your business grows you can simply
move to a new plan without having to completely move your website.
HostGator also lists that they still offer the FrontPage extension. When
Microsoft stopped updating and supporting this HTML editor a number of years
ago, many servers stopped offering the ability to use FrontPage with an
extension. This is actually a difficult feature to find a real bonus to anyone
who still utilizes the software to build basic websites.
Overall, HostGator is a good choice for the beginning website owner. The ability
to start with a WordPress package is also very helpful to beginners. I'd
recommend this hosting company.
Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Servers - Website Hosting w/ cPanel - HostGator
Hostgator offers web hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers. Over 1,800,000 websites trust Hostgator for their web hosting needs.
Company name typos
Houston, Texas ( Headquarters )
11251 Northwest Freeway, Suite 400
Houston, TX 77092
United States of America
What moneyback guarantees do you offer?
We offer a 45 day money back guarantee. You can cancel at any time during the first 45 days and receive a full refund. Just fill out the form at hostgator.com/cancel.php explaining why you wish to cancel, request a refund, and one of our cancellation team members will get everything taken care of for you.
What is your average uptime?
We have a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If you feel as if your site has been down or unreachable for more then an hour in a given month, give email firstname.lastname@example.org stating your site has been down during a given time frame, our admins will investigate, and if a months credit is due because of downtime, our sales administrators will post a credit to your account.
What is your support response time and what does it cover?
We offer support any cPanel issues, and general servers issues. We will not help you design your site, or write scripts. We have 24/7 live chat and phone support which will give you immediate assistance, or if needed, you can email email@example.com for billing questions, or firstname.lastname@example.org for advanced technical support. We work on tickets in the order they were received. If there is a high volume of tickets, your response time will be a little longer.
Do you have any coupons or discounts?
As of right now, we offer 20% off your first payment if you use the coupon code BEACH. This coupon only applies to your first payment, so the longer you pay in advance, the more you save.
What else can you tell about your company and services?
Host Gator strides to be the best web hosting company out there, and feel as if we provide the highest quality support the industry has to offer. There are plenty of employees who work for us that use to work for other hosting companies, such as Dream Host. With people defecting from other hosting companies to come work for us, we must offer something that no one else can!.
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Review of hostgator.com by Ummer on 2013/09/25 at 05:21Hostgator is the worst ever in which i had hosted my site and don't go for hostgator support is too bad
Review of hostgator.com by omar on 2013/09/13 at 22:17Hostgator is the best... I actually got FREE hosting for a year. check out the story here: http://incomequiz.com/did-hostgator-really-give-me-free-hosting-service-for-a-year/
Review of hostgator.com by Hookah.org on 2013/09/11 at 19:54I have hosted over 70 websites with HostGator on their VPS server and been paying them $95 month for over five years now. I was very happy with them and had no problem with the fact that i could get the same hosting features for half the cost elsewhere.
Then came summer of 2013 and HostGator got acquired by EIG. Since then the quality of service at HostGator has gone down exponentially. HostGator's servers go down more often than before (couple hours in less than two month) and their customer service takes for ever to respond to the simplest issues (they used to answer phone calls under a minute - now it takes almost 30 minutes).
It looks like that I'm not alone either. A simple search on Twitter and webmaster forums will show you how upset their customers are and how many people are switching away from them on a daily basis.
It's sad to see a good company like HostGator getting destroyed. I highly suggest staying away from them.
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Review of hostgator.com by Jackie on 2013/09/11 at 14:32We have been with hostgator since January 2013. Since then, we have experienced downtime but nothing compared to this last last week. 1st major downtime lasted about 20 hours and today we are at 15+ hours so far. They perform migrations without notice and change TOS often. Unfortunatly for us, this week brings in 1/3 of our yearly business. Support is poor and practically non-existant.
Review of hostgator.com by John Smithson on 2013/08/22 at 02:02Hostgator will not enforce their own terms of service. Despite many abuse reports proving TOS violations, they refuse to act and seem to be in fact protecting a hate website.
Reports have included links to images of a naked under age girl being held by a very much older nude male, as well as posts advocating date rape of a 15 year old girl. and others posts showing what look like underage boys engaged in sex acts.
This is potential harm to minors and is a violation of their TOS.
There is also a beastiality image showing a nude male having sex with a decapitated pigs head, again a violation, as their TOS states obscenity is prohibited.
There are many more such posts and images, but Hostgator will not enforce their TOS.
If anyone is thinking of joining Hostgator I would recommend that you look elsewhere first.
Review of hostgator.com by john carroll on 2013/08/04 at 23:27Down for over 10 hours on Friday with no support. Enough said... this is just an eig company now. All the old positive reviews are no longer relevant in my opinion.
Review of hostgator.com by Gator Hater on 2013/08/02 at 22:26August 2, 2013, Hostgator just went down for the day. Everyone affected by it. If you want reliability, hostgator just gave all their customers a kick in balls and said deal with it.
Review of hostgator.com by Sam Turral on 2013/07/24 at 18:41The stoppedv supporting their free sitebuilder without any notice. I only found out when my sites were down for days. They got them back up but I lost 1rst page search spots. Now even my wordpress sites are taking 40-60 seconds to load. Custom service says its a PROVO saturation issue. Hostgator was good for years but now there always another issue that causes me to lose money. Something is now broken at HG.