Should You Host with HostGator? Review of Features, Pricing & Performance

in Web Hosting

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HostGator is one of the biggest, and oldest, web hosting companies in the industry. In this 2024 HostGator review, we’ll take a look at the popular web hosting provider to see if their low prices and features are worth it. Is HostGator really a good option for your website? Let’s find out.

HostGator Review Summary (TL;DR)
Pricing
From $3.75 per month
Hosting Types
Shared, WordPress, VPS, Dedicated, Reseller
Performance & Speed
HTTP/2, NGINX Caching. Cloudflare CDN, Increased performance (3 vCPU’s)
WordPress
Managed WordPress hosting. Easy WordPress 1-click installation
Servers
Fast SSD drives on all hosting plans
Security
Free SSL (Let’s Encrypt). SiteLock. Customized firewall against DDoS attacks. Free backups
Control Panel
cPanel
Extras
Free 1-year domain. Free website builder. Free website transfer
Refund Policy
45-day money-back guarantee
Owner
Newfold Digital Inc. (formerly EIG)
Current Deal
Get 70% OFF HostGator’s plans

Key Takeaways:

HostGator offers flexible and cheap hosting plans with unlimited bandwidth and storage, making it a popular choice for website owners.

HostGator offers flexible plans that come with a range of features, including easy WordPress set up, and a free website builder, and 24/7 customer support.

HostGator’s upsell options and unreliable support can also be frustrating for users, with long waiting times as a common issue when trying to access support.

HostGator is one of the oldest web hosting providers on the market. It’s also one of the cheapest. Founded in 2002, it’s part of the Newfold Digital (formerly Endurance International Group or EIG) parent company, which specializes in web hosting and owns Bluehost, as well. 

It’s safe to say that HostGator is one of the most popular web hosting providers out there since it powers more than 2 million websites worldwide. That being said, you’re here today because you want to see whether it lives up to the hype. 

Well, I’m here so we can figure that out together and see if HostGator is truly any good. If you don’t have time to read this HostGator web hosting review, just watch this short video I put together for you:

Pros and cons are a good introduction to a hosting provider because they help us see what sets them apart from other such services on the market.

Reddit is a great place to learn more about HostGator. Here are a few Reddit posts that I think you’ll find interesting. Check them out and join the discussion!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very, very cheap – That’s right. When it comes to the basic, shared plans, it’s even cheaper than Bluehost, which is also popular for being pretty affordable. For instance, with the current 60% discount, HostGator’s most basic shared hosting server plan starts at $3.75/month! Of course, the renewal price would be according to the usual hosting plan price (without any discount).
  • Free domain name –  For one year when you sign up for a 12, 24, or 36-month HostGator Shared, WordPress, or Cloud hosting plan.
  • Free site transfers – HostGator offers to migrate a site you might already have for free. You might think all hosting providers have this rule, but think again – Bluehost charges $149.99 for site migration.
  • Easy WordPress installations – HostGator is well integrated with WordPress, so if you want to host a WP site with them, they’re going to make it super easy for you. The HostGator Website Builder is also excellent. Or, you can just choose the WordPress hosting plan, and you’ll have WP already automatically installed on your hosting account. No hassle at all!
  • Easy one-click installations – this implies easy app integration; with one-click installation, you can have any app you want on your own HostGator hosting dashboard within minutes.
  • Unmetered bandwidth and disk space – HostGator’s unmetered bandwidth mean that you’re not going to be charged as long as you use disk space and bandwidth that corresponds to your site’s needs (this applies to personal or small business websites). All of this should be in compliance with their Terms of Service. If you use more bandwidth and disk space than what corresponds to HostGator’s usage policies, you will receive an email from them, asking you to reduce your usage of it. But this is usually pretty rare.
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee – HostGator provides a guarantee of 99.9% uptime for your site, regardless of which hosting plan you choose, which is pretty good when you think about how none of the hosting providers can guarantee a perfect 100% uptime 24/7.
  • Free SSL certificate – Also comes with every hosting package. The SSL certificate makes your site much more secure by encrypting the communication flowing between the server where your site’s hosted and the visitors checking it out or entering personal data into it. They flag your site, which means each visitor will be able to see the well-known ‘secure site’ symbol of a padlock at the very left corner of the address bar. It also uses 2048-bit signatures, 256-bit customer data encryption, and 99.9% browser recognition.
  • 45-day money-back guarantee – While most hosting providers out there offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, HostGator offers a pretty generous 45-day grace period during which you can try out their services after purchase and see whether you like them or not.
  • Flexible billing options – when it comes to paying for your hosting, HostGator provides six different billing cycles – you can choose between 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. However, the billing for 1, 2, and 3 months is significantly more expensive than the other cycles.
  • Windows hosting option – a lot of the web hosting providers out there rely on the Linux operating system. However, HostGator also offers Windows hosting plans for those of you who have websites that require specific Windows applications and technologies such as NET, ASP, MSSQL (Microsoft SQL Server), and Microsoft Access.

Cons

  • The free domain for a year feature is not valid for all hosting plans – Unlike Bluehost, HostGator gives a free domain for one year only on the Shared, WordPress, or Cloud hosting plans. For all the other hosting plans, like VPS and dedicated, you will have to get a domain for an additional fee.
  • Aggressive upselling – Newfold Digital (formerly EIG) is known to push for aggressive upselling options, especially on services like automated backups and advanced functionality options. So make sure to uncheck the features you don’t need if you don’t want to find yourself accidentally paying for something additional. And don’t worry, if you realize that you do need them at a certain point, you can always add them later on. 
  • Limited options for backup – HostGator gives free automated daily backups, but other than that, the free backup options are pretty limited, unless you pay for add-ons. 
  • High monthly pricing – when you compare the monthly Hostgator pricing and annual plan pricing, there is a huge difference. For the shared hosting plan, the most basic billing option is $2.75 with the current 60% discount paid on a 36-month subscription, but if you choose to pay on a monthly basis, every three months, or every six months, it’s going to cost you a whopping $10.95 per month – just for the most basic plan!

In this 2024 HostGator review, I am going to take a close look at some of the pros and cons which you should be aware of before you decide to sign up.

hostgator reviews on twitter
There’s a mixed bag of user reviews on Twitter

Standout Features

Solid Speed, Performance & Reliability

In this section, you will find out..

  • Why site speed matters… a lot!
  • How fast a site hosted on HostGator loads. We will test their speed and server response time against Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics.
  • How a site hosted on HostGator performs with traffic spikes. We will test how HostGator performs when faced with increased site traffic.

The most important performance metric that you should look for in a web host is speed. Visitors to your site expect it to load fast instant. Site speed not only affects user experience on your site, but it also affects your SEO, Google rankings, and conversion rates.

But, testing site speed against Google’s Core Web Vitals metrics isn’t enough on its own, as our testing site does not have substantial traffic volume. To evaluate the efficiency (or inefficiency) of the web host’s servers when faced with increased site traffic, we use a testing tool called K6 (formerly called LoadImpact) to send virtual users (VU) to our test site.

Why Site Speed Matters

Did you know that:

  • Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 1.9% conversion rate.
  • At 3.3 seconds, the conversion rate was 1.5%.
  • At 4.2 seconds, the conversion rate was less than 1%.
  • At 5.7+ seconds, the conversion rate was 0.6%.
Why Site Speed Matters
Source: Cloudflare

When people leave your website, you lose not only potential revenue but also all the money and time you spent generating traffic to your website.

And if you want to get to the first page of Google and stay there, you need a website that loads up fast.

Google’s algorithms prefer displaying websites that offer a great user experience (and site speed is a huge factor). In Google’s eyes, a website that offers a good user experience generally has a lower bounce rate and loads up fast.

If your website is slow, most visitors will bounce back, resulting in a loss in search engine rankings. Also, your website needs to load up fast if you want to convert more visitors into paying customers.

page speed revenue increase calculator

If you want your website to load up fast and secure the first spot in search engine results, you will need a fast web hosting provider with server infrastructure, CDN and caching technologies that are fully configured and optimized for speed.

The web host you choose to go with will significantly impact how fast your website loads.

How We Perform the Testing

We follow a systematic and identical process for all the web hosts we test.

  • Buy hosting: First, we sign up and pay for the web host’s entry-level plan.
  • Install WordPress: Then, we set up a new, blank WordPress site using the Astra WordPress theme. This is a lightweight multipurpose theme and serves as a good starting point for the speed test.
  • Install plugins: Next, we install the following plugins: Akismet (for spam protection), Jetpack (security and backup plugin), Hello Dolly (for a sample widget), Contact Form 7 (a contact form), Yoast SEO (for SEO), and FakerPress (for generating test content).
  • Generate content: Using the FakerPress plugin, we create ten random WordPress posts and ten random pages, each containing 1,000 words of lorem ipsum “dummy” content. This simulates a typical website with various content types.
  • Add images: With the FakerPress plugin, we upload one unoptimized image from Pexels, a stock photo website, to each post and page. This helps evaluate the website’s performance with image-heavy content.
  • Run the speed test: we run the last published post in Google’s PageSpeed Insights Testing tool.
  • Run the load impact test: we run the last published post in K6’s Cloud Testing tool.

How We Measure Speed & Performance

The first four metrics are Google’s Core Web Vitals, and these are a set of web performance signals that are critical to a user’s web experience on both desktop and mobile devices. The last fifth metric is a load impact stress test.

1. Time to First Byte

TTFB measures the time between the request for a resource and when the first byte of a response begins to arrive. It’s a metric for determining the responsiveness of a web server and helps identify when a web server is too slow to respond to requests. Server speed is basically entirely determined by the web hosting service you use. (source: https://web.dev/ttfb/)

2. First Input Delay

FID measures the time from when a user first interacts with your site (when they click a link, tap a button, or use a custom, JavaScript-powered control) to the time when the browser is actually able to respond to that interaction. (source: https://web.dev/fid/)

3. Largest Contentful Paint

LCP measures the time from when the page starts loading to when the largest text block or image element is rendered on the screen. (source: https://web.dev/lcp/)

4. Cumulative Layout Shift

CLS measures unexpected shifts in the display of content in the loading of a web page due to image resizing, ad displays, animation, browser rendering, or other script elements. Shifting layouts lower the quality of the user experience. This can make visitors confused or require them to wait till the webpage loading is completed, which takes more time. (source: https://web.dev/cls/)

5. Load Impact

Load impact stress testing determines how the web host would handle 50 visitors simultaneously visiting the test site. Speed testing alone isn’t enough to test performance, as this test site doesn’t have any traffic to it.

To be able to evaluate the efficiency (or inefficiency) of a web host’s servers when faced with increased site traffic, we used a testing tool called K6 (formerly called LoadImpact) to send virtual users (VU) to our test site and stress test it.

These are the three load impact metrics we measure:

Average response time

This measures the average duration it takes for a server to process and respond to client requests during a specific test or monitoring period.

The average response time is a useful indicator of the overall performance and efficiency of a website. Lower average response times generally indicate better performance and a more positive user experience, as users receive quicker responses to their requests.

Maximum response time

This refers to the longest duration it takes for a server to respond to a client’s request during a specific test or monitoring period.This metric is crucial for evaluating the performance of a website under heavy traffic or usage.

When multiple users access a website simultaneously, the server must handle and process each request. Under high load, the server may become overwhelmed, leading to an increase in response times. The maximum response time represents the worst-case scenario during the test, where the server took the longest time to respond to a request.

Average request rate

This is a performance metric that measures the average number of requests per unit of time (usually per second) that a server processes.

The average request rate provides insights into how well a server can manage incoming requests under various load conditions. A higher average request rate indicates that the server can handle more requests in a given period, which is generally a positive sign of performance and scalability.

⚡HostGator Speed & Performance Test Results

The table below compares web hosting companies’ performance based on four key performance indicators: average Time to First Byte, First Input Delay, Largest Contentful Paint, and Cumulative Layout Shift. Lower values are better.

CompanyTTFBAvg TTFBFIDLCPCLS
GreenGeeksFrankfurt 352.9 ms
Amsterdam 345.37 ms
London 311.27 ms
New York 97.33 ms
San Francisco 207.06 ms
Singapore 750.37 ms
Sydney 715.15 ms
397.05 ms3 ms2.3 s0.43
BluehostFrankfurt 59.65 ms
Amsterdam 93.09 ms
London 64.35 ms
New York 32.89 ms
San Francisco 39.81 ms
Singapore 68.39 ms
Sydney 156.1 ms
Bangalore 74.24 ms
73.57 ms3 ms2.8 s0.06
HostGatorFrankfurt 66.9 ms
Amsterdam 62.82 ms
London 59.84 ms
New York 74.84 ms
San Francisco 64.91 ms
Singapore 61.33 ms
Sydney 108.08 ms
71.24 ms3 ms2.2 s0.04
HostingerFrankfurt 467.72 ms
Amsterdam 56.32 ms
London 59.29 ms
New York 75.15 ms
San Francisco 104.07 ms
Singapore 54.24 ms
Sydney 195.05 ms
Bangalore 90.59 ms
137.80 ms8 ms2.6 s0.01

HostGator’s TTFB varies significantly depending on the server location, with the best response time in London (59.84 ms) and the worst in Sydney (108.08 ms). The average TTFB is 71.24 ms, indicating a generally good performance across the globe, though there is room for improvement, especially in Sydney.

The FID is 3 ms, which indicates an excellent performance as it is very low. This suggests that users can expect their interactions with the website to be processed quickly.

The LCP is 2.2 seconds, which is acceptable, although striving for a score below 2 seconds would provide an even better user experience. This means it might take a bit longer for users to see the largest content on the webpage.

The CLS is 0.04, which is a strong score, indicating minimal layout shift and providing a stable experience for users. Google recommends a CLS score of less than 0.1, so HostGator is well within this range.

HostGator has solid performance metrics. There are some differences in TTFB based on server location, and there could be improvements to the LCP. However, the FID and CLS scores indicate a good user experience overall.

⚡HostGator Load Impact Test Results

The table below compares web hosting companies’ performance based on three key performance indicators: Average Response Time, Highest Load Time, and Average Request Time. Lower values are better for Average Response Time and Highest Load Time, while higher values are better for Average Request Time.

CompanyAvg Response TimeHighest Load TimeAvg Request Time
GreenGeeks58 ms258 ms41 req/s
Bluehost17 ms133 ms43 req/s
HostGator14 ms85 ms43 req/s
Hostinger22 ms357 ms42 req/s

HostGator’s Average Response Time is 14 ms, which is excellent, indicating that the server generally responds to requests very quickly.

The Highest Load Time is 85 ms, also an impressive figure. This suggests that even under high traffic load, HostGator servers can respond to requests in less than a tenth of a second.

The Average Request Time is 43 requests per second, which is a measure of throughput rather than speed. This indicates that HostGator’s servers can handle a high number of simultaneous requests, making it suitable for websites that expect to experience periods of high traffic.

HostGator demonstrates strong performance in both response times and handling high traffic loads. This suggests that it’s well-suited for hosting websites with variable or high traffic levels, as it can quickly respond to requests and manage a large number of requests simultaneously.

Solid Uptime

They promise a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is great news for any website owner. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this is the standard, and anything less is not generally tolerated.

Page speed is important, but it’s also important that your website is “up” and available to your visitors. I monitor uptime for a test WordPress site hosted on HostGator to see how often they experience outages.

Sites that load slowly aren’t likely to rise to the top in any niche. A study from Google found that a one-second delay in mobile page load times can impact conversion rates by up to 20%.

The above screenshot only shows the past 30 days, you can view historical uptime data and server response time at this uptime monitor page.

Adding to that, HostGator is prepared to compensate its customers with a one-month credit if at any time the server falls short of the 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Security and Backup

HostGator is equipped with a custom firewall that is aimed at protecting its customers’ websites against DDoS attacks. HostGator also offers an SSL on all Hostgator plans and they also have free SSH access (but needs to be enabled in the dashboard). 

ssl certificates

You can easily get additional security through the SiteLock app which includes automatic daily and continuous malware scans and malware removal, basic CDN, database scanning, blocking of automated bot attacks, and a lot more stuff, depending on which plan you choose (they start at $5.99 per month). 

hostgator sitelock

SiteLock is a paid addon that scans for malware and prevents your site from being blacklisted. HostGator’s SiteLock starts from $5.99 per month.

Currently, Cloudflare’s CDN is free of charge only on the shared hosting Business plan that HostGator provides. Cloudflare CDN is a good idea to have because it not only provides extra protection for your site from various hacker attacks and malware but also gives your site a serious performance boost.

hostgator cloudflare integration

If you purchased and registered your domain with HostGator, you can automatically enable Cloudflare. If you purchased a domain with another provider, you will need to make sure that the domain is using HostGator name servers.

What about backups?

HostGator does offer a complimentary backup service on all their plans that runs once a week, and the day is chosen at random. Each subsequent backup erases the previous one, which means you won’t have any previous backup versions of your site. According to HostGator, the terms of their backup policies depend on what kind of hosting plan you’re currently using.

However, you should have in mind that these free backups are considered a kind of courtesy and they shouldn’t serve as the only guarantee for your site’s backup system. HostGator is clear that the customer is responsible for their website content and their backups and that they should make additional backups if they want extra protection for their site. 

HostGator CodeGuard

This means that if you run a more serious and complex site, with lots of data and especially business information, you should definitely seriously consider a third-party app for backup, such as CodeGuard, which HostGator officially recommends.

hostgator codeguard

CodeGuard offers daily automated backups, unlimited databases and files, on-demand backups, and daily website monitoring, as well as 1-10 GB of storage, depending on which of the three plans you choose. The most basic one starts at $3.75/month. 

What all of this means is that if you opt to use the free security features that HostGator provides, you’ll be left with a very basic array of options. The same goes for backup features. If you’re just starting out with your site and you intend to keep it pretty light and low-key in the beginning, then you don’t need all of these add-ons.

But if you want to start an online business and your site becomes loaded with data and customer info, then I would definitely recommend getting third-party help for extra protection.

HostGator Website Builder

hostgator website builder

HostGator includes their own website builder for free in all plans. HostGator’s builder is a very handy tool to have, especially if you’re new to creating and running a website

It’s a builder that makes the website creation experience extremely easy through its intuitive setup, drag-and-drop interface, hundreds of pre-built templates, and whole pages, as well as it’s simple, but also varied options for customization.

The image above is a screenshot from a test page that we created to see just what this built-in builder can do.

Some additional features that you can find in HostGator site builder are HD video embedding, branding removal, easy social media integration, Google Analytics, PayPal payment gateway, coupon codes, SEO tools for better search engine results, as well as inventory management, and an eCommerce shopping cart.

hostgator website builder templates

You can also purchase HostGator’s website builder individually, and with that, also get HostGator’s web hosting services (whichever works for you best). Otherwise, as I said earlier, the website builder comes for free with all of HostGator’s hosting plans.

Save for the most basic shared hosting package, which limits the domains to 1, HostGator offers unlimited everything (well sort of – see below) else which is a great deal since their plans are so cheap, to begin with.

(Almost) Unlimited Bandwidth & Unlimited Disk Space

Unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space mean you can transfer and store as much data as you need. “Unmetered” allows for the seemingly limitless growth of your website while using an affordable shared hosting plan.

hostgator unlimited bandwidth and disk space

Having unmetered bandwidth means you can move an unlimited amount of data between your host server, your site visitors, and the internet. This is great for ensuring the speed and performance of your website, especially on a shared plan.

You also receive unlimited databases, which means you can have as many WordPress installations as you want. This is good for those who have many clients and want to test website changes before pushing them live.

However, you should know that “Unlimited” hosting is a myth and at least HostGator is transparent about their resource usage limitation. They offer “unlimited everything”, as long as you:

  • Don’t use more than 25% of the server’s central processing unit (CPU)
  • Don’t run more than 25 simultaneous processes in cPanel
  • Don’t have more than 25 simultaneous MySQL connections
  • Don’t create more than 100.000 files in cPanel
  • Don’t check more than 30 emails per hour
  • Don’t send more than 500 emails per hour

However, there is no limitation on:

  • Bandwidth you use
  • Email accounts you create

At least HostGator is open and transparent about it (most other cheap web hosting companies aren’t!).

Free Site Transfer & One-Click Install WordPress

Migrating websites from one host to another is typically the norm for most web hosting companies, however, most companies only provide free website transfers for WordPress sites.

Not HostGator. They make transferring any type of site from another host to them simple, and free. Simply sign up for the plan you wish to use, and let HostGator do the rest.

Depending on which type of hosting account you sign up for, the number of free migrations they offer varies:

Hosting TypeFree Site MigrationFree cPanel MigrationFree Manual Migration
Shared / Cloud Hosting1 site1 site1 site
Optimized WP Hosting (Starter)1 blogNot AvailableNot Available
Optimized WP Hosting (Standard)2 blogsNot AvailableNot Available
Optimized WP Hosting (Business)3 blogsNot availableNot Available
Reseller Hosting30 sites30 sites30 sites
VPS HostingUnlimited sitesUnlimited sites0 – 90 sites
Dedicated Hosting (Value, Power, and Enterprise)Unlimited sitesUnlimited sites100 sites

Adding to that, if you are new to owning a website, and HostGator is the first hosting solution you have ever used, rest assured that installing your preferred CMS(Content Management System) like WordPress is as easy as clicking a few buttons during sign-up.

hostgator install wordpress

Using their 1-click-install tool, you can easily set up your website without worrying about having technical knowledge.

Your installed WordPress site comes with pre-installed plugins like Jetpack, OptinMonster, and WPForms – as well as HostGator performance tools like built-in caching.

hostgator caching

Customer Hostgator Support

hostgator live chat

There are two main ways you can reach HostGator’s customer service. One is through the live chat option in which you can introduce yourself as a new customer or an existing customer and explain your problem in more detail by selecting a topic, a set of offered descriptions for the problem, and then filling out a small field with the specific details of your question or problem. 

The other main Hostgator customer service option is by calling the support team directly at the number (866) 96-GATOR. Both of these options can be reached 24/7, 365 days a year. 

You will also be able to find additional info and answers to various questions about HostGator’s services through their vast knowledge base. HostGator’s knowledge base contains 19 categories (with their own subcategories) that include hosting services, policies, the website builder, cPanel, files, design tools, optimization, partnership programs, and more. 

If you have any questions, you can write them down in the search window at the top of the knowledge base page. We wrote “how to enable SSL certificate” and this is what came out:

knowledge base

As you can see, there are a number of answers to this question that the base holds in its archive. Some of the answers provided are more specific, and some less, but they are all somehow related to the target word in the question related to “SSL certificate.” This basically works as a FAQ section. 

There is another type of knowledge base that HostGator has compiled, and that is the HostGator blog. It has five categories: 

  • HostGator Happenings
  • Marketing Tips and Tricks
  • Startup & Small Business
  • Infographics
  • Web Hosting Tips

This blog works as a vast network of how-to resources, in-depth articles, and various tips on how to manage and expand your site and how optimize your hosting experience.

HostGator Cons

As with every web hosting service out there, there are going to be some disadvantages to using such a cheap, web hosting solution. Here are the biggest negatives.

Limited Features

While the overall features provided are pretty standard, and a free domain, free website transfer, and unlimited everything are nice, the truth is, HostGator doesn’t offer shared hosting users a whole lot of standard features.

Features that should be standard, and that most other web hosts include in their packages for free, aren’t with HostGator:

  • Automated website backups is a paid addon (CodeGuard)
  • Website security such as malware protection is a paid addon (SiteLock)

While the overall features provided are pretty standard, and a free domain, free website transfer, and unlimited everything are nice, the truth is, HostGator doesn’t offer shared hosting users a whole lot of standard features.

Features that should be standard, and that most other web hosts include in their packages for free, aren’t with HostGator:

  • Automated website backups is a paid addon (CodeGuard)
  • Website security such as malware protection is a paid addon (SiteLock)

Is Part of Newfold Digital (formerly EIG)

Again, I am not going to attempt to sway you either way when it comes to the reputation of Newfold Digital. However, most people who review hosting companies will say that a hosting company that is part of thisruns the risk of harboring a bad reputation.

That’s because if you were to go with hosting company A (that is part of Newfold Digital and you didn’t know it) and have a bad experience, and move to host company B (also part of Newfold Digital and you didn’t know it), who is to say your experience is going to get any better?

Just be aware that HostGator is a part of this group of companies and that the way it runs things is probably going to trickle down into how HostGator handles things.

Compare HostGator Competitors

When choosing a web hosting service, comparing the available options is important. Here’s a look at how HostGator stacks up against its competitors: SiteGround, Hostinger, Bluehost, BigScoots, and HostArmada.

FeatureHostGatorSiteGroundHostingerBluehostBigScootsHostArmada
User-FriendlinessGood for beginnersGood for beginners and tech-savvyExtremely user-friendlyGood for beginnersProfessional, business-focusedInnovative, user-friendly
PricingAffordableMid-rangeVery affordableAffordablePremiumAffordable
PerformanceReliable with Cloudflare CDNCustom CDN, advanced featuresGood performanceAdvanced PHP supportHigh performance, managedInnovative tech, reliable
SupportGood customer supportExcellent supportStrong supportStrong supportPersonalized premium supportGood support
Special FeaturesGator Website BuilderAI Email Writer, custom CDNBudget-friendly plansE-commerce enhancementsManaged hosting servicesCutting-edge hosting solutions

SiteGround

  • Similarities: Reliable hosting with strong customer support.
  • Differences: SiteGround offers advanced features like AI Email Writer and a custom CDN, catering more to e-commerce and tech-savvy users.
  • Learn more in our SiteGround review here.

Hostinger

  • Similarities: Both are budget-friendly and user-friendly, ideal for beginners.
  • Differences: Hostinger is known for extremely affordable plans, making it more suitable for users with tight budgets.
  • Learn more in our Hostinger review here.

Bluehost

  • Similarities: Both offer easy WordPress integration and are beginner-friendly.
  • Differences: Bluehost focuses on e-commerce enhancements and advanced performance features like PHP 8.2 support.
  • Learn more in our Bluehost review here.

BigScoots

  • Similarities: Both provide reliable hosting services with strong uptime records.
  • Differences: BigScoots is known for its personalized support and premium managed hosting services, targeting more professional and business users.
  • Learn more in our BigScoots review here.

HostArmada

  • Similarities: Affordable and reliable hosting solutions with good customer support.
  • Differences: HostArmada is relatively new with a focus on innovative technologies and services, appealing to users looking for cutting-edge hosting solutions.
  • Learn more in our HostArmada review here.

HostGator Hosting Plans

HostGator offers a variety of hosting plans. All in all, you can find eight hosting options with different fee schedules:

  • Shared hosting – this is HostGator’s cheapest hosting plan, starting at just $3.75/month, with the current discount, paid on a 36-month basis. This type of hosting is just what the name suggests – your website shares a server and the resources necessary for its operations with other similarly small websites from different site owners. It is not bad when you’re just starting out, if your site doesn’t require too much power, and if you aren’t expecting too big of a traffic surge.

Prices from just $3.75/month make HostGator one of the cheapest web hosts in the industry.

  • Cloud hosting – as the name suggests, cloud hosting uses the resources of cloud technology. This means that, unlike other types of hosting, which use a single server, cloud hosting uses a network of connected virtual cloud servers that host the website or application in question. This means that your site will be able to use the resources of multiple Hostgator servers. Cloud hosting is recommended for websites and online businesses that need fast loading times, at all times, even if they experience frequent traffic surges, like the ones coming from promotions, current offers, or sales. In short, cloud hosting provides more scalability, flexibility, and reliability. With the current discount, HostGator provides the cheapest cloud hosting plan costs $4.95 per month, paid on a 36-month basis.
  • VPS hosting – VPS stands for a virtual private server, which basically describes dedicated resources that are only for your site on a particular server. What this means is that physically speaking, your site is still on a shared server (a.k.a. the server’s hardware), but the resources that your site needs are yours and yours only (such as CPU power or RAM memory, for example). VPS is the best option for website owners who want more control over their hosting resources and hosting environment. Also, if you experience a growth in traffic or need to manage multiple websites and require the necessary resources to manage them in an effective way, while also not wanting to pay the extra money, then you should consider signing up for a VPS plan. VPS hosting plans start at $19.95 per month, paid every 36 months.
  • Dedicated hosting – dedicated hosting goes a level beyond VPS hosting. With this hosting plan, you get a server just for you. You’ll be able to use all its resources and power multiple websites, without having to share space and resources with other users. Dedicated hosting is a good idea when you notice that you’re running out of space, or you notice that your site has been loading slower than usual. If your audience has grown over time, and you have more traffic, more site demands, and you generally need more space and want a faster website, as well as full control of your server, you might want to think about getting a dedicated server hosting plan. With the current discount, dedicated plans start at $89.98 per month, paid every 36 months.
  • WordPress hosting – as the name suggests, this hosting plan is specifically aimed at powering WordPress sites. It means that it has more features that are related to WP and it makes setting up a WP page easier and more efficient, compared to other hosting plans. It’s recommended for people who specifically want to create and run a WordPress website. This hosting plan starts out at $5.95 per month (paid on a 36-month subscription), with the current discount.
  • Reseller hosting – also called “white label hosting”, enables you to offer hosting services as if you yourself were a real hosting company. You can offer your services to clients without the hassle of actually creating a hosting company from scratch. It means you don’t need to deal with server and software maintenance or handle any uptime troubles. This type of hosting allows you to make money from providing hosting services to others, though they’re actually facilitated by HostGator. It’s best for agencies or freelancers who offer their clients services related to web design and web development, as well as other business-related services. It allows them to promote their brand and receive income from their customers, as well as combine hosting options with other services they might offer. HostGator ensures a client management and billing software called WHMCS which is included, for free, in all of their reseller plans. The plans start at $19.95 per month, for 36 months, with the current discount. 
  • Windows hosting – a large portion of hosting hostgator servers out there run on the Linux operating system, which is the most popular one by far, but some also run on Windows. This is because there are certain applications that can only run on Windows servers, as well as specific Windows-related technologies that are only possible with this kind of hosting. For example, ASP.NET developers cannot work on any other type of hosting software. Windows hosting plans start at $4.76 per month, with the current discount, paid on a 36-month basis.
  • Web application hosting – Application hosting allows you to host and run your applications on a cloud or regular server that HostGator offers. This means that your application can be accessed from the internet, so it doesn’t need to be downloaded, and your clients and users can interact with a web-based user interface. HostGator’s hosting services run on multiple operating and data management systems such as Linux, MySQL, Apache, and PHP, making them compatible with lots of other software and existing applications. With the current discount, the starter plan for the Web application hosting plan is pretty cheap, coming at only $2.75/month, paid every 36 months.

I will go into more detail about the key features of each of these plans in the Pricing Plans section in the next section of this article.

Plans & Pricing

As I mentioned earlier, HostGator offers eight types of hosting services. First, I’d like to give you an overview of all of their hosting plans, and then, I’ll also get into more details about each of the key features of the types of hosting services they offer.

PlanPricing
Free planNo
Shared hosting plans 
Hatchling plan$3.75/month* (with the current 60% discount)
Baby plan$4.50/month* (with the current 65% discount)
Business plan$6.25/month* (with the current 65% discount)
Cloud hosting plans 
Hatchling cloud$4.95 per month* (with the current 45% discount)
Baby cloud$6.57 per month* (with the current 45% discount)
Business cloud$9.95 per month* (with the current 45% discount)
VPS hosting plans 
Snappy 2000$19.95 per month* (with the current 75% discount)
Snappy 4000$29.95 per month* (with the current 75% discount)
Snappy 8000$39.95 per month* (with the current 75% discount)
Dedicated hosting plans 
Value Server$89.98 per month* (with the current 52% discount)
Power Server$119.89 per month* (with the current 52% discount)
Enterprise Server$139.99 per month* (with the current 52% discount)
WordPress hosting plans 
Starter Plan$5.95 per month* (with the current 40% discount)
Standard Plan$7.95 per month* (with the current 50% discount)
Business Plan$9.95 per month* (with the current 57% discount)
Reseller hosting plans 
Aluminum Plan$19.95 per month* (with the current 43% discount)
Copper Plan$24.95 per month* (with the current 49% discount)
Silver Plan$24.95 per month* (with the current 64% discount)
Windows hosting plans 
Personal Plan$4.76 per month* (with the current 20% discount)
Enterprise Plan$14.36 per month* (with the current 20% discount)
Web application hosting plans 
Hatchling Plan$2.75/month* (with the current 60% discount)
Baby Plan$3.50 per month* (with the current 65% discount)
Business Plan$5.25 per month* (with the current 65% discount)

* These prices refer to the 36-month plan. The plans renew according to their regular rates. 

45-Day Money-Back Guarantee

When it comes to money-back guarantees, HostGator is more generous than a lot of other hosting providers out there. 

If you sign up for one of HostGator’s hosting plans, you’ll be able to get a full refund of your money within the first 45 days if you’re not satisfied with the plan you’ve chosen and paid for. 

You should keep in mind that this money-back guarantee refers to the basic hosting services HostGator offers. It doesn’t refer to any setup fees or domain registration fees, or to any other fees that apply to additional services you might’ve purchased or used from HostGator. 

After the 45-day window passes, you won’t be able to get a refund of your money anymore. 

Shared Hosting Plans

hostgator shared hosting

As you are able to see, HostGator’s shared hosting plans are definitely among the cheapest shared plans you can find. 

Starting at just $3.75/month with the current 60% discount, the basic Hostgator’s shared hosting plan (called the Hatchling plan) offers unlimited storageunmetered bandwidth, and:

  • A single website 
  • Free SSL certificate 
  • Free Domain 
  • One-click WordPress installation 
  • Free WordPress/cPanel website transfer 

The Baby plan, which is slightly more expensive, comes at $4.50/month, and it is pretty similar to the Hatchling plan. The main difference is that instead of a single website, this plan allows you to host an unlimited number of websites.

The Business shared plan offers additional benefits, such as:

  • Free SEO tools 
  • Free dedicated IP 
  • Free upgrade to Positive SSL 

All of the plans within the Shared hosting plan offer unmetered bandwidth, which means you shouldn’t worry about any occasional traffic spikes (although if they keep happening too often, HostGator is probably going to contact you and ask you to get a bigger plan).

You’ll also be able to get a domain and register it for free. The SSL certificate also comes with all plans, making your site secure and trustworthy. And last but not least are the one-click WordPress installation, which makes WP integration all the easier.

HostGator includes free email accounts with the POP3 and SMTP protocols. It also offers 25 mailing lists for all plans, webmail access, and spam protection with the help of SpamAssassin. 

Cloud Hosting Plans

hostgator cloud hosting

Should you want to use the resources of several cloud servers, you should opt for HostGator’s cloud hosting plans.

They’re also pretty cheap and start at $4.95 per month (paid every 36 months), with the current 45% discount. 

The basic, Hatchling cloud hosting plan offers:

  • Single domain 
  • Free SSL certificate 
  • Free Domain 
  • 2 GB memory
  • 2 core CPU

The Baby cloud plan is similar to the Hatchling plan but upgraded. It offers the basics such as an SSL and domain, but it also offers hosting for an unlimited number of domains, as well as 4 GB memory and 4 core CPU power. 

The premium plan in HostGator’s cloud hosting offers, a.k.a. the Business cloud plan also offers an unlimited number of domains, a free domain, and SSL, but it additionally offers a free upgrade to Positive SSL, a free dedicated IP, and free SEO tools. Its cloud servers are able to provide 6 GB memory and 6 core CPU power resources for your site.

The cloud server plans have an integrated caching option, which means your site will always have an optimal caching configuration that makes it load pretty fast. You’ll be able to control the performance of your site and have a clear overview of all the metrics you need for your site’s success through their intuitive dashboard. 

Easy resource management and total control over resources allow you to increase and improve the resources your site needs to operate seamlessly, so you needn’t worry should you get a traffic spike, for example. Also, if another unexpected issue arises, you’ll be able to tackle it in real time.

The cloud hosting plan also includes an automated failover. This means that if one of the servers your site is being hosted on through the cloud network experiences a hardware issue, your site’s performance and availability won’t suffer: the automated failover allows for an automatic transfer to another fully functional server.

The cloud hosting plans offer unlimited email accounts with SMTP and POP3 protocols, a standard of 25 mailing lists, spam prevention with SpamAssassin, access to email via phone through IMAP, as well as unlimited email aliases, unlimited mail forwards, and unlimited autoresponders. This is a great Hostgator email hosting you can consider for your business.

VPS Hosting Plans

hostgator vps

HostGator’s VPS hosting plans give you full root access to the server’s resources, and plenty of dedicated resources. 

The basic plan, called Snappy 2000, starts at $19.95 per month paid every 36 months with the current whopping 75% discount, and includes: 

  • 2GB RAM 
  • 2 core CPU 
  • 120 GB SSD 

All plans include unmetered bandwidth and 2 dedicated IPs

The second, Snappy 4000 plan has the same 2-core CPU power, but it offers 4 GB RAM memory and 120 GB SSD memory. 

The most premium plan from this group, the Snappy 8000 includes an upgrade of the CPU power with a 4-core CPU, as well as 8 GB RAM memory and 240 GB SSD memory. 

These plans offer full root access to the virtual private server’s resources, so you can manage the CMS(Content Management Systems) on your own should you want to, as well as insert custom code. 

This hosting also includes advanced functionality meaning you get to create an unlimited number of email addresses, as well as unlimited domains, FTP accounts, databases, and much more. 

HostGator’s VPS hosting uses hardware from proven industry leaders such as AMD and Intel, which means your site is going to use only the best and the fastest. 

You’ll also be able to use a full suite of VPS tools such as site templates, site development tools, script installer, and others. 

And if you’ve been wondering about site backups, HostGator’s VPS plans offer weekly off-site backups of your site’s data. 

Dedicated Server Hosting Plans

dedicated hosting

If you need the power of a dedicated server, HostGator has you covered. The cheapest plan from this category is the Value Server plan coming at $89.98 per month (paid every 36 months), with a current discount of 52%. 

This plan offers: 

  • 4 core/8 thread processor
  • 8 GB RAM 
  • 1 TB HDD

All plans offer unmetered bandwidth, Intel Xeon-D CPU, and the ability to choose between Linux or Windows OS-run servers.

The second plan, called the Power Server plan, includes an 8-core/16-thread processor, as well as 16 GB RAM and 2 TB HDD/512 GB SSD memory. 

The best and most expensive plan in this category is the Enterprise Server plan coming at $139.99 per month with the current 52% discount. It has the same 8-core/16-thread processor as the Power Server plan, but it offers 30 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD memory. 

HostGator’s dedicated hosting plans allow you full server control, which means you’ll have at your disposal the whole array of system resources.

You’ll also be able to choose between HDD (space) and SDD (speed) hard drives, depending on what your site needs.

The dedicated hosting plans give you DDoS protection so you don’t get too worked up about your site and your resources, should an attack on your server occur.

The included IP-based firewall is there to keep your server safe and to assure optimal performance, whatever happens.

You can also choose between cPanel and WHM on Linux or Plesk and WebMatrix on the Windows server. 

All of HostGator’s dedicated servers are hosted at a US location, a Tier 3 data center. Also, HostGator offers a network guarantee that your site is always going to be online. 

WordPress Hosting Plans

hostgator wordpress hosting

If you’ve set your mind to have a site in WordPress, it’s best to get one of HostGator’s WordPress hosting plan packages. 

The cheapest one, called the Starter plan, starts at $5.95 per month, with the current 40% discount, paid on a 36-month basis. 

It includes one site, 100k visits per month, and 1 GB data backup. The rest of the plans just double or triple the same key features as the first plan. So the second, the Starter plan, includes two sites, 200k visits per month, and 2 GB worth of backups. And the third, the Business hosting plan, which costs $9.95 per month with the current 57% discount, offers the hosting of three sites, 500k visits per month, and 3 GB worth of data backup. 

All WP hosting plans include a domain (for a year), an SSL, and free email with up to 25 mailing lists.

Reseller Hosting Plans

reseller hosting

If you want to offer hosting services to your clients, but don’t want the hassle that comes with creating a hosting company from scratch, then why not get one of HostGator’s reseller hosting plans?

The Aluminum plan, the cheapest in this category, comes at $19.95 per month with the current 43% discount, and of course, paid every 36 months. It offers 60 GB disk space and 600 GB bandwidth.

The second plan called the Copper plan offers 90 GB disk space and 900 GB bandwidth, and the third plan called the Silver plan offers 140 GB disk space and 1400 GB bandwidth

All plans include unlimited websites and an SSL. 

This hosting category also comes with free billing software (called WHMCS or Web Hosting Billing & Automation Platform), already automatically installed in whichever plan you choose. 

Also, you’ll get complete flexibility when it comes to payment methods, resource allocation, and any other services you want to provide for your clients that come to your mind. 

Windows Hosting Plans

hostgator windows hosting

And if you really need to work on a Windows-operated server, HostGator has you covered. You can choose between two plans here – the Personal plan, coming at $4.76 per month (with a current discount of 20%), and the Enterprise plan, coming at $14.36 per month (also discounted by 20%), paid on a 36-month basis. 

The Personal plan offers registration of a single domain; unmetered disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and an SSL security certificate come in both plans. The Enterprise plan allows for the registration of five domains and it also comes with a free dedicated IP.

HostGator’s Windows hosting plan offers a host of powerful admin tools such as file manager, scheduled tasks, secure directories, and a lot more. It also offers programming features such as ASP and ASP.NET 2.0 (3.5, 4.0, and 4.7), as well as PHP, SSICurl, GD Library, MVC 5.0, and AJAX.

As with most of its hosting plans, HostGator here also offers one-click installations of important applications such as WordPress and other open-source scripts. 

The Plesk control panel, loaded with features, is included in the Windows hosting plans. It will make it that much easier to create websites and set up applications, among other things. 

One of the greatest things about the Windows hosting plans is how free you are to manage the server and build it as you, please. You get an unlimited amount of sub-domains, FTP and email accounts, Microsoft SQL and MySQL, and Access databases.

Questions & Answers

In this section, we’ll try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about HostGator, its features, and its services.

Our Verdict ⭐

Is HostGator any good? Yes, HostGator is a good solution if you want a web hosting provider that is cheap, easy to manage, has a decent speed, and offers an uptime of 99.99%. It’s one of the most popular hosting companies.

Get Unlimited Everything with HostGator

Get unlimited bandwidth, disk space, email accounts, and more with HostGator's affordable plans. Plus, enjoy 24/7 support and free site migration.

It’s a good provider if you’re just starting out with a single site or want to manage multiple small sites, for which you can choose their basic shared plans, especially if your budget is tight. 

That being said, if you want a bit more speed,  increased security, and more features; if your site grows and needs more resources to function better, but you’re still on a tight budget, their cloud plans are a good option for when you need to upgrade.  

And, also, if you’re specifically interested in creating a site in WordPress, you can choose one of their special WordPress-managed hosting plans and get everything that you need for your WP site all in one place. 

HostGator offers a whole variety of attractive features, such as their easy-to-use website builder, simple cPanel, and QuickInstall tool that allows you to install your favorite apps on your site within minutes. 

What this means is that HostGator definitely offers good value for your money, especially with some of their cheaper plans.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that HostGator has everything you’re looking for. But that’s why there are so many other web hosts on the market! This just means that you’ll have to do your fair share of research and see what are the most important features for your site and the ones that you think are absolutely necessary to grow and expand your business. 

If you think HostGator is able to do that, I recommend that you don’t think twice and give it a shot! After all, there’s that 45-day grace period you can fall back on.

Who should choose Host Gator? Its user-friendly interface, including a simple control panel and website builder, makes it ideal for beginners and small business owners who want to establish an online presence without technical complexities.

I hope you found this expert editorial HostGator hosting review helpful!

Recent Improvements & Updates

HostGator constantly improves its hosting services with additional features. HostGator has introduced several updates and improvements to its services and hosting products recently (last checked June 2024):

  • Easier Customer Portal: They’ve redesigned their customer portal to make it easier for you to handle your account. Now, you can quickly change your contact details or how you want to handle your billing.
  • Faster Website Loading: HostGator has teamed up with Cloudflare CDN, which means your website can load faster for visitors around the world. This is because Cloudflare has servers globally that keep a copy of your site, so it loads quickly no matter where someone is accessing it from.
  • Website Builder: The Gator Website Builder from HostGator uses AI to assist users in creating websites, making the process simpler, especially for those with limited technical skills. This tool allows for easy setup of blogs or e-commerce stores as part of the site.
  • User Interface and Experience: HostGator uses the popular cPanel for its control panel, known for its ease of use, making it a good choice for both beginners and experienced users. The user interface is intuitive, simplifying tasks like managing files, databases, and email accounts.
  • Security Features: HostGator’s hosting services include various security features such as free SSL certificates, automatic backups, malware scanning and removal, and DDoS protection. These features enhance the security and reliability of websites hosted on their platform.

Reviewing HostGator: Our Methodology

When we review web hosts, our testing and evaluation are based on these criteria:

  1. Value for Money: What types of web hosting plans are on offer, and are they good value for money?
  2. User Friendliness: How user-friendly is the signup process, the onboarding, the dashboard? and so on.
  3. Customer Support: When we need help, how quickly can we get it, and is the support effective and helpful?
  4. Hosting Features: What unique features does the web host provide, and how do they stack up against competitors?
  5. Security: Are essential security measures like SSL certificates, DDoS protection, backup services, and malware/virus scans included?
  6. Speed and Uptime: Is the hosting service fast and reliable? What types of servers do they use, and how do they perform in tests?

For more details on our review process, click here.

What

HostGator

Customers Think

Cheap hosting that just works!

December 28, 2023

Web hosting that just works! No bells and whistles but my site is online without any downtime or dramas (fingers crossed). I want to recommend HostGator!

Avatar for Luka B
Luka B

Amazing Hostgator

May 20, 2022

HostGator is amazing!! Their support is 6 stars in my opinion. Every time I’ve had an issue and called the support team has always gone out of their way to help. I am very happy with their service. Just upgraded to their business plan, and my website is now lightning fast. If your looking for the best, definitely put Hostgator to the test, You will not be disappointed!

Avatar for Philips
Philips

Cheaper than SiteGround but..

April 23, 2022

I used to be a Siteground customer. The only reason I moved my website to Hostgator was the cheap price tag. At the time, I was paying Siteground about $10 a month. And Hostgator was only half the price. Back then I didn’t know that they double their price after your first year. I had heard mixed reviews about Hostgator but I never thought too much of it. As of now, my site runs fine but it slows down from time to time for no reason and customer support just plain sucks. I am paying a lot less than Siteground for now but I will move my site back to Siteground when they double their price at the end of my current plan.

Avatar for Ravi
Ravi

Pricing isn’t transparent

March 16, 2022

Hostgator offers an easy dashboard and cPanel to manage your website. As a web developer, cPanel makes my work 10 times easy. It is also really easy to teach clients how to use it. That’s the good stuff about Hostgator! The bad part is my clients sites have slowed down since I moved them to Hostgator from a VPS and the only way to improve speed is to keep upgrading. They keep throwing new upgrades in my face. That’s something I really don’t like. Their pricing isn’t upfront. They sucker you in with their 3-year cheap plans and then keep asking you to upgrade.

Avatar for Developer Tom F
Developer Tom F

Good for wordpress

February 19, 2022

I started my WordPress blog with Hostgator a couple of years ago. It has been smooth sailing ever since. I had a couple of issues here and there when I got started but Hostgator support was quick to help me resolve them.. Highly recommended!

Avatar for Shea - Belfast
Shea – Belfast

Startup Seller

October 7, 2021

I love HostGator’s entry plan as a freelancer and a startup seller. Though my plan may have limited features, this has helped me reached my goals so far.

Avatar for Phoebe W
Phoebe W

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References

About Author

Matt Ahlgren

Mathias Ahlgren is the CEO and founder of Website Rating, steering a global team of editors and writers. He holds a master's in information science and management. His career pivoted to SEO after early web development experiences during university. With over 15 years in SEO, digital marketing, and web developmens. His focus also includes website security, evidenced by a certificate in Cyber Security. This diverse expertise underpins his leadership at Website Rating.

WSR Team

The "WSR Team" is the collective group of expert editors and writers specializing in technology, internet security, digital marketing, and web development. Passionate about the digital realm, they produce well-researched, insightful, and accessible content. Their commitment to accuracy and clarity makes Website Rating a trusted resource for staying informed in the dynamic digital world.

Ibad Rehman

Ibad is a writer at Website Rating who specializes in the realm of web hosting and has previously worked at Cloudways and Convesio. His articles focus on educating readers about WordPress hosting and VPS, offering in-depth insights and analysis in these technical areas. His work is aimed at guiding users through the complexities of web hosting solutions.

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