HostGator Review


By Basil
HostGator

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Disclosure: BestWebHosting2014.zone serves as an independent web hosting reviews resource for the consumer. While we receive compensation from the companies we review, the compensation is used to cover our testing costs, as well as compensation for the authors who take the time to provide such thorough reviews. However, the compensation does not influence the end review; it is not tied to the rankings in any way.
Main Features
  • Unlimited Disk Space
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • FTP Access
  • Web-Based File Manager
  • 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases
  • cPanel Control Panel
E-Mail Features
  • Unlimited E-Mail Accounts
  • Web-Based E-Mail
  • POP3 / SMTP
  • IMAP
  • Autoresponders
  • E-Mail Forwarding
  • Spam Protection
Domain Features
  • 1+ Domains
  • Unlimited Sub-Domains
Language Support
  • PHP
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby & Ruby on Rails
  • SSI
  • .htaccess
Website Creation Tools
  • Website Builder
  • Wordpress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Image Gallery
  • Forum Software
  • Online Store / Selling Tools
Marketing Tools
  • Google AdWords Credit
Customer Service
  • 24/7 Phone Support
  • E-Mail / Tickets Support
  • Live Chat Support
  • Video Tutorials
  • FAQ / Knowledgebase
  • Support Forum

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Summary

First launched in 2002, the pace of HostGator's development has been impressive. This Houston based web host is now one of the leading solutions on the market and is recognized among the fastest growing private businesses in Texas.

Among the services offered by HostGator are shared web hosting, reseller plans, VPS and dedicated servers. Shared hosting plans start at $3.96/month for a three-year package that provides unlimited bandwidth, disk space, MySQL and e-mail accounts as well as a good script library, a set of productivity enhancing utilities and guaranteed 99.9% uptime. Domain parking is available starting from the mid-range Baby Plan, while advanced features like a dedicated IP address and a toll-free phone number come with the Business Plan.


HostGator Coupons

HAMSTER2014 - This coupon gives you $9.94 OFF the total amount.
GIRAFFE2014 - This coupon gives you 25% OFF the total amount.

Updated: September 21, 2014

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HostGator, like many other modern companies is ecology conscious. That's why they purchase certified Renewable Energy Credits (REC's) to ensure that the power for HostGator's servers comes from renewable sources.

New clients are offered cPanel, the famous SiteBuilder tool, for easy deployment, as well as a $100 credit for AdWords advertising. Advanced eCommerce capabilities like private SSL and a number of one-click-installed shopping carts attract pro clients as well.


Reliability

HostGator owns 12,000 servers in total and services about 400,000 clients in more than 200 countries. The promised 99.9% uptime meets the requirements of all but the most critical operations and is more than adequate for almost any small or mid-size business. The actual uptime measured by Pingdom™ is 99.99%*. The average response time measured by Pingdom™ is 0,247* sec which is the best time we have found among the web hosts we evaluate. Reliability is further assured through continuous 24/7 site monitoring and daily backups.


HostGator Uptime HostGator Response Time
Uptime Response Time

Money Back Guarantee

A shared web hosting account at HostGator can be cancelled at any time. There is an unconditional money back guarantee if you cancel your account within 45 days of purchase.


Ease of Use

HostGator's control panel is powered by the well known and proven software, cPanel. As of this review, the renewal announcement is displayed in the control panel to ensure regular updates and avoid having an outdated version that might have potential vulnerabilities.

Control panel
Control panel

New users will get used to the panel very quickly. All shortcuts are grouped by category and are well explained. The billing and support ticket shortcuts are placed at the very top of the list providing instant access to these vital functions.

In addition to standard options including domain manipulation, mail management and log analyzers, there is a special Software and Services section. It contains a number of utilities to install virtually anything you want on your website.

PHP, Perl and Ruby libraries provide additional functionality. The QuickInstall applet allows you to setup dozens of web software titles with a couple of clicks. For CMS, eCommerce, billing, blogs and forums, social networking and picture gallery software, the installation process is the same: select a name and click the install button. We tried to install Drupal 7 CMS and PrestaShop online shop application – both were installed in a minute without any glitches.

Drupal installer
Drupal installer

Drupal
Drupal

PrestaShop installer
PrestaShop installer

PrestaShop
PrestaShop

Deploying a simple (and even a not so simple) website at HostGator is also facilitated by BaseKit SiteBuilder. A number of templates and flexible editing instruments allow you to quickly create a website and start filling it with content. To promote your site, you can quickly create an account at Attracta, a one-stop SEO service for full scale web promotion. And don't forget to claim your $100 credits at AdWords for initial advertising!

Overall, working with the host is easy and generally doesn't require any special knowledge or the assistance of the support team. Some third-party offerings are less clear and may require more effort to manage.

Technical Support

A wide choice of support options and adequate response time leave no chance for a problem to remain unsolved. 24/7 phone support, an online ticket system, live chat, community forums and many articles and video tutorials all come as standard.

Online Ticket Support
Online Ticket Support

The staff is polite and professional. Questions were answered rather quickly and answers always solved the problem we had raised.

Live Chat
Live Chat

Strangely, the live chat support had longer wait times for response than the usual tickets. This might have been only a one-time incident, but it also may mean that the live chat staff is also working on the support tickets.

Conclusion

HostGator is an impressive example of a company that started with three servers and has grown to become one of the major players on the market. Luckily for us, this web host managed to avoid many teething problems: it remains stable, reliable, and fast. The support is great, and you may not even need to ask for their help because of a well built control panel and a range of options for creating or customizing your website available with even the basic plans.

All in all, HostGator seems to be the right choice for the site owners, as it provides a way to launch a website very quickly with no hassles and worries.

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* Uptime monitoring and response time data for hosting with iPage, FatCow, HostGator, WebHostingHub, JaguarPC, GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostMonster, and InMotion Hosting are presented for the period spanning from August 15, 2012 to September 30, 2012 inclusively. Monitoring data for hosting with JustHost are presented for the period spanning from October 02, 2013 to October 08, 2013 inclusively. Check interval is one minute.

How do we check uptime / response time?

Web hosting accounts are acquired from the providers that we are reviewing. Next, we design custom made sites to put on these hosting accounts. With the help of Pingdom™ monitoring services we receive the most accurate information available. We believe in doing everything ourselves and tweaking our sites to simulate different types of users. Other review companies just take the short way out but we are dedicated to up to the second information.
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