Is HostGator a Good Web Host For Beginners?

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HostGator is one of the most popular web hosts on the market. Chances are you have already come across them when researching web hosts online, but is HostGator a good web host for absolute beginners?

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  • How easy is it to set up a website with HostGator?
  • Does HostGator make it easy to manage your website?
  • Are they good for building a website, and good for WordPress?

I will answer all these questions and more in this article. After reading this article, you’ll know for sure whether HostGator is for you or not.

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HostGator’s Offerings For Beginners

HostGator has many different offerings for many different types of businesses. Here I will review their offerings that are most suitable for beginners:

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!

Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting is where all web hosting journeys start.

Shared Hosting gives you access to a small number of resources of a much larger server that is shared by hundreds of other websites.

The shared nature of this service makes it the most affordable type.

HostGator’s Shared Hosting packages start From $3.75 per month and come with everything you need to launch your first website:

hostgator hosting plans

The best part about Shared Hosting is that you can use it to host any type of website.

You can use any CMS software you want including Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, and many others to build your website.

You can even install eCommerce software such as PrestaShop, Magento, and others. You can launch an online store if you want.

All Shared Hosting plans come with a free domain name for the first year. You also get a free SSL certificate for all your domains.

If you own a lot of side-project websites, the Baby and the Business plans are made for you.

They allow you to host an unlimited number of websites on one account.

DEAL

Get 70% OFF HostGator's plans

From $3.75 per month

Website Builder

HostGator’s Website Builder lets you build, launch, and manage your website using a simple interface. It also lets you sell your products online.

The best part about Website Builder is that it builds your website for you automatically.

You just have to answer a few questions about your business, which builds a web design pattern for you.

You can then edit your website’s copy and customize the design to your liking. This can save you hours of time when building your first website.

And the best part is that this site will be search-optimized and mobile responsive. That means, your website will show up on Google, and look great on all devices.

The pricing for HostGator’s “Gator Builder” is affordable and scales with your website’s success:

gator builder

If you are running a business that requires appointments, the Express Site plan comes with appointment booking functionality.

It lets you add a form on your website to let your customers pick a time and date for appointments.

Website Builder also allows you to send email campaigns to your customers.

An email marketing platform would charge you a lot of money to let you send email campaigns.

Website Builder is for you if you want an easy way to build your website but don’t mind giving up control and flexibility.

This tool will let you build almost any kind of website you want without much effort or technical knowledge.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress is the most popular Content Management Software on the market. It lets you easily create and manage your website.

HostGator gives you a simple control panel to manage your website. This panel lets you manage everything about your WordPress installation from one place.

The pricing for HostGator’s WordPress Hosting is straightforward and simple:

wordpress plans

You get everything you need to launch and run a successful online business on all these plans.

The Starter Plan allows 1 site and up to 100k visitors per month. That is more than most sites will get in their first year.

You also get a free domain name for the first year and free SSL certificates for your domain names.

If you have a WordPress website with some other web host, HostGator’s support team will migrate your site to your HostGator account for free.

You also get to create email addresses on your own domain name for free. You can create as many email addresses as you want.

A lot of other web hosts charge money for this service. HostGator, on the other hand, lets you create an unlimited number of email addresses.

I recommend WordPress Hosting over Shared Hosting solely for the fact that WordPress is very beginner-friendly. And it is highly scalable.

Once you launch your website with WordPress, you’ll never look back.

The best part about HostGator’s WordPress hosting is that you’ll never have to worry about the technical side of things.

You can focus on growing your business knowing that everything is taken care of.

If HostGator’s pricing seems confusing to you, read my review of HostGator’s pricing plans.

Pros and Cons

HostGator is one of the most popular web hosts on the internet and has been around for over a decade.

They are trusted by millions of website owners around the world.

HostGator is one of the top five web hosts we recommend for beginners. You just can’t go wrong with them.

BUT before you sign up with them, here are some pros and cons to keep in mind…

Also, check out some of the best alternatives to HostGator before you make your final decision.

Pros

  • 24/7 Support: HostGator’s support team is one of the best in business. Their responses are quick and clear. You can reach them 24/7 and they will help you solve any problems you might have with your website.
  • Highly Scalable: Scaling your online business with HostGator is really easy. You just have to upgrade your plan with the click of a button. With HostGator, you only have to worry about managing your business and not about the technical side of things.
  • Create Email Addresses on Your Own Domain For Free: HostGator allows you to create an unlimited number of email addresses on your own domain name. Other web hosts can charge as much as $10 per email per month for this service.
  • Affordable Options For Starting an Online Store: HostGator’s Website Builder, Shared Hosting, and WordPress Hosting allows you to easily and quickly build an online store. This is one of the easiest ways to build and manage your online store.
  • $150 Google Ads Spend Match Credit: With all Shared and WordPress Hosting plans, you will get these credits. If you spend $150 on Google Ads, this coupon will give you the same amount in credit.
  • Free CodeGuard: Other hosts charge up to $50 per year for this service.
  • Free WordPress Site Migration: If you already have a WordPress site hosted on any other web host, HostGator’s support team will migrate it to your HostGator account for free. This free service is available on all WordPress Hosting plans.
  • Free SSL Certificate: A SSL certificate allows your website to send data over the secure HTTPS protocol. If your website doesn’t have an SSL, your customers’ data will be unsafe and can get stolen by hackers.
  • Free Domain Name: Almost all HostGator plans come with a free domain name. You get this domain name for the first year. It renews at its regular renewal price.
  • 45-Day Moneyback Guarantee: If you don’t like HostGator’s services for any reason, you can ask for your money back within the first 45 days. This is 15 days longer than the industry standard.

Cons

  • Renewal Prices Are Higher Than Promotional Sign-Up Prices: HostGator is known for its affordable prices. That’s how they pull in new customers. But keep in mind that their renewal prices are much higher. This is the case with all web hosting providers.

Our Verdict

HostGator is certainly one of the best web hosts for beginners.

They regularly are in the top 5 of every list on our site. Their support team is available 24/7 and their control panel makes it really easy to manage your website.

Whether you want to launch an online store or a personal blog, HostGator has the right solution for you.

If you are just testing the waters with your first website, try Website Builder. It asks you a couple of questions and then builds your website for you.

But if you want more control, go for WordPress Hosting. WordPress is the easiest CMS tool. It will help you create, launch, and manage your website with ease.

But before you sign up with HostGator, read my complete review of HostGator’s web hosting.

In my review, I go over everything you need to know about them.

DEAL

Get 70% OFF HostGator's plans

From $3.75 per month

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 February 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.

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.

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.

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