HostGator Web Hosting Review

December 11, 2016 Hosting Reviews

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The list of companies providing web hosting services is far too long and this makes finding the one best suited for your needs as confusing as can be.

Every provider has their key strengths and weaknesses, and you need to match them with your needs.  If your list of questions includes, can I start a website with small investment, or will my data be in secure hands, or where can I get the best dedicated servers, then there is just one answer, HostGator.

HostGator is a reputed hosting provider that offers comprehensive services to its clients from around globe. Before we get into the features and advantages, let’s take a look at a brief history of this service provider to see where they’re coming from.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOSTGATOR

Brent Oxley, a student from Florida Atlantic University, founded HostGator in 2002. Growing exponentially, the company has achieved various benchmarks such as integration with Ecosystem Market Services and establishing a multi-national presence throughout the years

By the year 2013, it was hosting 9 million websites. With these awesome figures, how better can you define growth! 

FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES

At first glance, the HostGator website displays a strong hint of professionalism. The web hosting services they provide include virtual private servers, the dedicated servers and reseller hosting as well. They have several plans to fit any budget and requirement.

 WEB HOSTING PLANS FOR EVERY USER

HostGator has a number of hosting plans that are built for a wide range of subscribers. All shared hosting plans come with unlimited storage and bandwidth. Let’s look at what’s on offer.

HATCHLING PLAN

 The Hatchling Plan is perfect for starters and people just setting up their first website.

This plan comes with support for a single domain name, and a shared SSL certificate, as well as several other features that are common with other plans. Pricing for this plan starts at $10.95 per month for a monthly subscription (month to month payment plan), $4.95 a month for an annual subscription, and $3.45 a month for a 3-year subscription.

BABY PLAN

Scaling up to the next level, the Baby plan comes with support for unlimited domain names, and a shared SSL certificate. It costs $11.95 a month for monthly or $6.45 per month for annual subscriptions, and $4.95 a month for 3-year subscriptions.

 BUSINESS PLAN

The business plan is great for small and medium businesses and comes with support for unlimited domains, a private SSL certificate and dedicated IP, and your own toll free number that can be used by US callers to get in touch with your business directly.

Pricing for this plan starts at $16.95 per month for monthly and annual subscriptions $8.45 per month, and $6.95 per month for 3-year subscriptions.

VIRTUAL PRIVATE SERVERS (VPS)

 HostGator offers five flexible plans as part of their VPS hosting services. They are all scalable plans that allow you to move from one plan to another with ease. You can update software with full root access and all plans support unlimited domains, email accounts, MySQL databases, and unlimited FTP accounts as well. The details of their plans are as follows.

SNAPPY 500

This plan provides you with access to 0.5 cores, 512MB RAM, 25GB disk space, 500GB bandwidth, and two IP addresses. It costs $11.97 per month for the first term and $19.95 for recurring terms.

SNAPPY 1000:

This plan provides you with one core, 1GB RAM, 60GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses. The pricing with cPanel is $33.97 per month for the first term and $49.95 for the recurring plan. For the semi-managed plan with no control panel, pricing starts from $23.97 per month for the first term, with $39.95 for recurring terms. 

SNAPPY 2000

 This plan provides you with two cores, 2GB RAM, 120GB storage, 1.5TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses. The pricing for the plan with cPanel is $57.97 per month for the first term and $89.95 for the recurring terms. For the semi-managed plan, prices start from $47.97 per month for the first term, with $79.95 for the recurring terms. 

SNAPPY 4000

This plan provides you with two cores, 4GB RAM, 165GB storage, 2TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses. The plan with cPanel starts at $81.97 per month for the first term, and $129.95 for the recurring terms. For the semi-managed plan, pricing is set at $71.97 per month for the first term and $119.95 for the recurring terms.

SNAPPY 8000

This VPS plan is fastest of all available. It provides you with four cores, 8GB RAM, 240GB storage, 3TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses.

The pricing with cPanel is $99.97 per month for the first term and $159.95 for the recurring terms. For the semi-managed plan, pricing starts at $89.97 per month for the first term, and $149.95 for the recurring terms. 

DEDICATED SERVERS

With many satisfied clients, HostGator is well known for its reliable, dedicated server hosting plans. The best part is that they have servers for both LINUX and Windows operating systems.

HostGator carries four flexible plans, with each managed through the popular cPanel, web-based manager. Let’s take a look at these plans.

BASIC DEDICATED SERVER

This plan provides you with an Intel Xeon dual core processor with 2.3GHz speed, 4GB RAM, 100Mbps uplink, 500GB RAID-1 storage drives, 10TB bandwidth, and 2 dedicated IP addresses. The pricing starts at $105 per month for first term and $174 per month for every recurring term.

 STANDARD DEDICATED SERVER

This plan gives you a 2.5GHz, Intel Xeon dual core processor, 4GB RAM, 250Mbps uplink, 1,000GB RAID-1 storage drives, 15TB bandwidth, and 3 dedicated IP addresses. The plan is available at $132 per month for the first term and $219 per month for recurring terms. 

ELITE DEDICATED SERVER

This plan includes a 2.5GHz Intel Xeon dual core processor, 8GB RAM, 500Mbps uplink, 1,000GB RAID-1 storage drives, 20TB bandwidth, and 4 dedicated IP addresses. The plan starts at $168 per month for the first term and $279 per month for recurring terms.

PRO DEDICATED SERVER

This plan provides you with an Intel Xeon quad-core processor running at 3.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 1Gbps uplink, 1,000GB RAID-1 storage drives, 25TB bandwidth, and 5 dedicated IP addresses. The plan is available at $225 per month for the first term and $374 per month for recurring terms.

 Quick service is another very important feature of these dedicated servers. Within 24-hours of payment, the servers are prepared and available for service. While they are prone to some slowdowns every now and then, their security is top notch.

RESELLER PLANS

HostGator has some excellent reseller hosting plans for designers that want to include web hosting into their list of services.  They currently have five plans that are listed below:

    • The aluminium plan comes with 50GB disk space, 500GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $19.96 per month, while, for recurring terms, it is $24.95 per month.
    • The copper plan comes with 80GB disk space, 700GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $27.96 per month, while, for recurring terms, it is $34.95 per month.
    • The silver plan comes with 120GB disk space, 1000GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $39.96 per month, while, for recurring terms, it is $49.95 per month.
    • The gold plan comes with 160GB disk space, 1200GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $59.96 per month, while, for recurring terms, it is $74.95 per month.
    • The diamond plan comes with 200GB disk space, 1400GB bandwidth, and unlimited domains. The cost of the service for the first term is $79.96 per month, while, for recurring terms, it is $99.95 per month.

 OPTIMIZED WORDPRESS

Hosting a website using WordPress can be a challenge with speed, support, and security being the primary concerns. HostGator provides the most comprehensive managed WordPress hosting solutions available today, and has hosted million of WordPress websites. Let’s look at some of the salient features of these websites.

    • They are powered with blazing speed, scalable cloud hosting, secure environment and robust functionality
    • They are extremely easy to manage as you can manage files, databases, and e-mail accounts through a single portal
    • They are scanned daily for any malware or spyware, and at the same time, the system comes with automated backups as well
    • The cloud architecture allows instant scaling without much downtime
    • 24/7 real-time support is provided over the phone

UPRIGHT SECURITY:

GOOD FIREWALL

 Your sensitive data is in secure hands with HostGator’s security measures. It has a strong firewall in place to counter virus and DDoS attacks. In case of UPD flooding, it provides protection at the network level. That makes their servers very secure to almost any type of threat.

FREE SCANNING

Subscribers can opt in to have their servers and accounts scanned every six months for free, to ensure that there aren’t any loopholes or infections. In case you wish to increase the frequency of the scheduled scans, you can do so by paying a small fee.

PROTECTION GUIDELINES

 Protecting the account is a shared responsibility of the service provider and the account holder. HostGator gives you a list of guidelines to avoid any incidents and to keep yourself safe from hacking attempts.

There are detailed instructions provided to secure your account against such threats. Maintaining strong passwords and altering them at regular intervals, updating your software regularly, and using good antivirus protection are some of the basics covered in the guidelines.

 PIN CREATION PROCESS

 The account creation process prompts you to create a pin. The pin length ranges from 4-8 numeric digits, which seem easy to crack.

PROTECTION PLANS

Every web hosting plan has its own security system and policy in place. The Hatchling plan provides a shared SSL while the Business Plan comes with a dedicated, private SSL. The Baby plan also comes with a shared SSL certificate. 

UPTIME, DOWNTIME, AND PERFORMANCE

The service provider guarantees 99.9% uptime for their 12,000 servers. However, their servers are prone to slowdowns every now and then. So, before you sign up for their service, you should be wary of your speed and performance requirements.

 CUSTOMER SUPPORT

 HostGator provides 24/7 customer support over the telephone and online chat. While the telephonic support representative provides you with detailed instructions related to any issue almost instantly, the online chat support is rather slow. However, their tech support knows what they are talking about and are quite knowledgeable. They also offer a ticketing system for customer support. On top of that, video tutorials, support forums, and other support mediums are also available.

 QUICK SERVICE AND USABILITY

 The service provider offers quick service once you have registered with them. Immediately after purchasing any of the plans, you can start making your new website.  If you want your website to be powered by WordPress, then the application is setup easily, with just a few clicks. Similarly, other applications can be installed using the Quick Install tool.

 DISCOUNTS WITH EVERY PLAN

HostGator also provides 20% discounts for VPS, 40% discounts for dedicated server plans, and 20% discounts for reseller plans.

DISADVANTAGES

While HostGator has a number of positives going in its favour, it also has some downsides as well. Let’s see what they are. 

INCONSISTENT SPEED

Server speeds and performance are not consistent and they sometimes slow down. Though this isn’t that big of a deal for most, smaller websites, larger businesses will want to take note of this. 

DELAYED ONLINE CHAT SUPPORT

The online chat support is very slow, which sometimes leads to miscommunication and unsatisfied customers. 

A RECOMMENDED HOST

 HostGator has been around for long enough to understand how important security and uptime are for its customers. This is why they pay so much attention at securing their servers and making sure the websites they host are online and active.

With a number of plans to suit all budgets and requirements, and the customer support that is always available, HostGator has time and again, proven itself to be one of the best hosting companies around.

Are you using HostGator to host your website right now? What features have you found to be the most useful, and what drawbacks have you come across so far? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

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