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HostGator Review [2024] – Is This Web Host Past Its Prime?

Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem Web Hosting Expert

To put it plainly: HostGator’s services just aren’t as good as they should be. I was disappointed with the support and the limited feature selection. And unless you sign up for several years, the plans aren’t all that affordable, either. If you want better value for your investment, I recommend you check out Hostinger’s cheap plans.

We hosted the same WordPress website on the most popular web hosting platforms and measured their performance
Click here to see our results >>

Overview

HostGator Must Be Doing Something Right. But Is It Right for You?

HostGator home page
HostGator’s been in the game for a long time, but does it still live up to its reputation?

HostGator used to have an impressive presence in the web hosting space – or at least an impressive marketing budget. But fame alone doesn’t ensure that a host will provide the performance, security, and features you need, especially with so many new competitors on the market.

I personally had a great experience with HostGator in the early 2010s, but things change. Some corporate meddling and “business optimizations” are all it takes for a great company to take a turn for the worse.

I decided to see for myself how the company fares today and signed up for the basic shared web hosting plan. Other than shared hosting, HostGator also provides managed WordPress, VPS solutions, and dedicated servers. Everything is available in English.

I’ll get into a lot more detail below, but long story short – you can do better. HostGator isn’t really cheap, support has been outsourced to who knows where, and it doesn’t offer the features you should expect from a modern hosting provider.

4.0

Features

The Basic Features You’ll Need to Get Started, but Nothing Too Impressive

HostGator offers all the basic features of a modern web host. You probably won’t be surprised (or particularly excited) to know you get security tools like an SSL certificate or SpamAssassin to keep your email protected.

HostGator also advertises automatic backups and free website migrations, though the latter is only available on the most expensive shared hosting plan, and HostGator clearly states that the former is more of a courtesy than a guarantee. If you really want to be sure your site is getting the protection it needs, you can add daily backups with CodeGuard for an additional fee.

For the basics, HostGator does offer unmetered bandwidth, a free domain for one year, free SSL, and Cloudflare CDN integration for most of its shared and WordPress plans. Also, there are free website migrations for VPS and dedicated hosting plans – although with this host, you’ll want to check the fine print first to see if you’re eligible.

Scalable Resources

HostGator hosting features
You can allocate more resources to your hosting plan according to your needs

The cPanel control panel offers one-click scalability. This means if you’re experiencing a peak or (hopefully not) a trough in your traffic levels, you can easily increase the capacity requirements with just a couple of clicks. Not only does this ensure your performance remains consistent — you only pay for the resources you need, when you need them.

Blazing Fast Servers

HostGator WordPress features
HostGator promises impressive server performance

According to HostGator, thanks to “supercharged cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multiple caching layers,” your WordPress website should load up “freakishly fast.”

What constitutes freakishly fast, you ask? Well, I’m wondering the same thing. HostGator isn’t exactly clear on the specifics. However, what is clear is that your content will be managed efficiently, with dynamic content requests processed quickly via cloud hosting services. And our tests do show that HostGator’s performance is quite decent.

Developer-Friendly Features (Beginners, Skip This Bit)

HostGator is definitely a beginner-friendly host, but if you’re by no means a beginner, don’t let that stop you. It also comes with all the standard advanced-level features (e.g., MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin access and FTP accounts), as well as some value-added extras.

There’s support for PHP 8.2, CGI, Fast CGI, Ruby on Rails, Perl, and Python, and SSH access and Cron job scheduling for optimal system management.

HostGator Features at a Glance

Free domain name?
Free SSL?
Money-back guarantee 45 days
Uptime guarantee 99.9%
Data centers 2 in the US
4.6

Ease of use

HostGator Makes Hosting Easy

HostGator’s features are designed to make your life easier. From account creation to account cancellation, the processes are uber beginner-friendly. Take advantage of the one-click installers, the managed WordPress hosting, and the website building tool, which can all help you get set up without any coding experience or technical background.

Creating a New Account With HostGator

HostGator sign up page
Signing up with HostGator is relatively easy – but watch out for preselected add-ons and upsells

Creating an account with HostGator is ridiculously easy. There are only a few steps on the online signup form and your dashboard is set up for you. It’s all done entirely from the browser and you don’t even need to confirm your account via email to finish the process.

If you opt to buy a domain name during registration, you’ll get it for free (for one year). This can make it even easier to connect your domain name to your hosting account. But beware all the upsells before you check out – you might end up with some add-ons that you didn’t budget for.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

Largely due to cPanel, the process to connect a domain and install WordPress is easy as pie. It only took me a few minutes and I didn’t need any help from customer service.

However, if you’re a beginner or you just want to ask live chat for support while you’re doing it, be prepared to wait on hold for a long time.

Automatic Backups

The plans come with automatic weekly off-site backups. Okay, so it’s not the best backup policy I’ve ever seen (for example, IONOS includes daily backup and restore at cheaper prices). However, at checkout, you can upgrade to CodeGuard backup and restore for an additional monthly fee.

Application Hosting

HostGator plans are compatible with all the usual applications, such as WordPress, Joomla!, Magento, and Wiki. If that’s not enough for you, you can install more than 75 open-source scripts with the one-click installer.

It’s not the most premium one-click installer out there (some include 300 – 400 apps), but all the popular programs are included.

cPanel Access

HostGator cloud hosting features
cPanel is available across plans, including cloud hosting

If you’re a newbie, you’ll be pleased to see cPanel is the control panel. Sure, more advanced users may prefer a customized in-house panel, but for beginners (or people who want things to just work), cPanel is a reliable, easy-to-use, and well-recognized option.

It’s from here you’ll access your website statistics, setup your password protected directories and custom error pages.

4.8

Performance

Impressive Test Results

HostGator offers a solid, but fairly standard 99.9% uptime guarantee. While it’s not going to break any world records, it is good to see it’s backed by a full month’s credit in the event of excessive downtime.

Other third-party tests show uptime records well over 99.98%. However, anecdotal evidence from other customers often cites downtime and slow website load speeds as major issues with the service.

Never to take things on face value, I decided to run a Sucuri Page Load Test of my own. It’s important to know how fast your website is going to load, as we all know that Google recommends less than 2 seconds if you want your visitors to stick around.

As you’ll see from the screenshot, the overall performance is A+. You can’t ask for better than that. The website loaded in as little as 30 milliseconds for some locations, with the slowest locations at around 800 milliseconds. Whatever location you’re in, the page load speed is far below the 2-second rule.

HostGator Succuri Load Time Tester Results
HostGator’s worldwide test results were fairly impressive
4.3

Support

Customer Service is Not HostGator’s Strong Suit

My experience with HostGator’s customer support was much like the rest of my experience with HostGator: unimpressive. It was far from the worst support interaction I’ve ever had to endure but it wasn’t what I’d call “great” either.

My first attempt at contacting HostGator’s customer support was through live chat. There, I asked about the location of HostGator’s data centers.

HostGator Live Chat Support
I got the feeling it was more important to sell me a plan than to answer my questions

As it turns out, tough luck for me. Besides saying “we’re US-based” (which you can easily find on its site), I didn’t get any additional information (though ironically, I did volunteer that my “US-based” site was in Colorado). What you see above is just one of many interactions of me trying to get that information.

I also contacted HostGator’s phone support with questions about its content delivery network (CDN) integration. Though the phone representative was much more knowledgeable and direct, I still got the feeling that they didn’t exactly answer what I was asking.

HostGator also has a blog and knowledge base, but I’d be wary of relying too much on these since there’s a lot of outdated information.

4.5

Pricing

Pricing Breaks at 3-Year Commitment

HostGator displays its prices for three-year terms on the main product pages, so at first glance, the prices seem very cheap. However, if you’re looking for a month-to-month plan or any term less than one year, you’ll pay a much higher price. In this case, you’re better off with a cheap unlimited plan from InterServer. You’ll have the option to sign up for monthly billing.

HostGator offers a generous 45-day money back guarantee, but you’ve got to watch out for the pricey (and optional) add-ons which are added to your cart by default.

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A free domain name is included with some hosting plans from HostGator

Comparison

How does HostGator match up to the competition?

KamateraCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Liquid WebCompareOur Score4.8Compare
HostGatorCompareOur Score4.4Compare
Tailor Made ServersCompareOur Score2.9Compare

HostGator REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

HostGator has lots of great aspects. The plans are feature-packed, catering to experts and beginners, although marginally more geared towards the latter. The prices are affordable (although you need to sign up for a long term to get the best prices)

That said, the support is slow and the upsells are opportunistic.

Overall, if you want an easy-to-use host with decent resource quotas, HostGator is a good bet, with the caveat of limited customer service.

Still not sure if this is the right web host for you? Check out our top recommended web hosts to learn more.

FAQ

Is HostGator easy to use?

HostGator offers the easy-to-use cPanel along with a mostly painless account creation process. That said, support can be unresponsive and uninformed, though HostGator does try to make up for it with an extensive knowledge base filled with tutorials.

Do all of HostGator’s plans include a free domain name?

Every shared, WordPress, and cloud hosting plan includes a free domain name for the first year. To be eligible for the offer, you must sign up for an annual, biennial, or triennial payment plan.

Which of HostGator’s shared hosting plans is best for a blog?

HostGator’s WordPress plans are amply optimized for WordPress, and should work just fine for most blog sites. On the entry-level plan, you’ll be able to host two basic WordPress sites but you’ll have to share this across 20 GB of storage.

Is HostGator cheaper than Hostinger?

While HostGator is certainly affordable, Hostinger manages to be far cheaper. And, as our Hostinger review revealed, it offers better performance. You’ll find multiple budget providers represented – including Hostinger – among our list of the best web hosts of 2024.
Andrés Gánem Andrés Gánem
Andrés writes about a variety of topics aimed at helping business owners and merchants grow and manage their ventures. These topics include (but are not limited to) website building, web hosting, project management software, and credit card processing. Andrés has 3+ years of experience as a writer and content creator. He’s also worked as a project manager, website designer, and social media manager for a variety of science communication groups.
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They lost my website and offer me 3 months free

Custumer services of HostGator are in India and they deleted all my website after asking they to cancel an upgrade. Their services are terrible and they did nothing for me excepting apologies… if you dont want to be screw dont take them to host your website.

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Martín Pelletier, Canada
January 26, 2024
1
Service and Server are terrible!

I had bought the 3-year subscription plan more than 2 years ago. It was okay initially, then the service deteriorated and the server is SUPER SLOW! I regretted. 1. They terminated/canceled/suspended my account without prior notice. Only when I asked them why they told me it was a mistake. They thought my account was expired. No compensation to me! 2. They crashed my site and blamed me. I didn't even log in or update the site until I found out my site wasn't accessible, then they want to charge me money for recovering the site. 3. Site is loaded SUPER SLOW, more than 30 seconds. Your customers are not going to wait for that long. In conclusion, please stay away from HOSTGATOR.

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anonymus, Malaysia
November 09, 2020
1
Great start to my new blog hosting

As a webpro I was looking for a hosting provider that can help me host my own blog where I talk about meeting the hosting needs of clients.. My technical knowledge is something I harp on and wanted to find a partner that understood my needs when it came to creating content for users on a day on day basis. My core requirements from a brand were - great uptime, speed and pricing. I found that balance in HostGator as a brand and that's where I took it off.. been 2 years or more now and I have been enjoying the experience..If someone wants to start for hobby or even a small/micro business, Hostgator is my recommendation.

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Mark Gallaway, Canada
May 17, 2020
5
They are stealing moeny

Do not use the site and do not enter any of your personal information. Otherwise you will find out one year later, that their system kept your information and settled the payment method as an automatic and you will be charged for whatever package you were looking for. even though you thought you deleted your information there. Most importantly, they do not refund? Because they want so. Because they are desperate, hunting for every penny they can steal!

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Mariam Sulashvili, Georgia
July 08, 2019
1
Hostgator Review

I have been using them for a few years. I can honestly say I have no complaints. I never really faced any downtime that I noticed.

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Andrew, USA
October 09, 2017
4
Family sharingMulti User SharingExpert SupportBackupSmart syncPersonal SolutionBusiness SolutionTeams optionsOffline foldersFile history and recovery
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