HostGator Reviews of 2021

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Our Verdict: Outstanding Choice for Overall Value

HostGator strives to make web hosting easy and affordable. If you're looking for a plan that allows you to get a site up and running quickly, look no further.

Those creating new websites can utilize HostGator's website builder, while those with existing websites will get free migration assistance.

Below, we'll review everything else you need to know about this host. And when you use any of our exclusive HostGator discount links that are featured on this page, you can get up to 75% off your monthly hosting fee.

HostGator Review

HostGator Quick Overview

HostGator is a leading hosting provider with headquarters in Houston and Austin, Texas.

The company was founded back in 2002, and they now host websites for over 400,000 customers. This long-term success is indicative of their hosting service's quality and reliability.

Performance

Let's look at the last six months of HostGator's uptime and response time, as measured by Pingdom.com. Although this data represents only one test site, it still provides you with a good idea of what it's like to use HostGator.

  • Downtime: 9 minutes
  • Outages: 2
  • Uptime: 99.996%.
HostGator response time graph for the past 6 months from Pingdom
HostGator server response data from Pingdom.com

HostGator guarantees 99.9% uptime. You can monitor your site's uptime from the HostGator user dashboard — if they fail to meet this guarantee, they'll credit your account with one month of free hosting.

HostGator uptime graph for the past 6 months from Pingdom
HostGator uptime data from Pingdom.com

Migration Policy

Within 30 days of opening a shared hosting account, HostGator will transfer one website to your new domain for free. They will also transfer one full cPanel, which includes all domains, email accounts, and settings.

VPS plans are eligible for unlimited transfers.

Available Datacenters

HostGator has datacenters in Houston, Texas and Provo, Utah. They do not allow you to choose which datacenter houses your servers.

Money-Back Guarantee

HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, while most other hosting providers only offer a 30-day guarantee.

Although no hosting company wants to lose business, HostGator is very transparent about the process of getting your money back.

Here's how to claim your refund:

  1. Use their online cancellation form (noted in your Terms of Service) to request cancellation.
  2. After about 48 hours, you'll get a confirmation email that you must reply back to.
  3. Your refund will be processed within the next 15 days.

Pros and Cons of HostGator

Here are the key advantages and disadvantages to using HostGator:

Pros:

  • Cloud servers optimized for high-performance WordPress hosting
  • Free website migration
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Search engine advertising credits

Cons:

  • Some users complain of long wait times for support
  • Knowledge base is difficult to navigate
  • Not PCI-compliant by default

HostGator Shared Hosting Plans

Let's review HostGator's least and most expensive options for shared hosting, their Hatchling and Business plans.

Hatchling

The Hatchling plan is perfect for people who are brand new to web hosting. It's cheaper than the starter plans of both GoDaddy and Squarespace.

With this plan, you can host a single domain and unlimited subdomains.

Hatching also provides a variety of one-click installs that allow you to quickly set up WordPress and other popular applications. And you'll get credits for $150 on Google Ads and $100 on Bing Ads, so you can start marketing your brand new website right away.

Even with the Hatchling plan, you will be allotted unmetered disk space and bandwidth. But this doesn't mean that you can host a high-traffic e-commerce site on HostGator for just $2.75 per month.

Indeed, unmetered resources can be deceiving. HostGator doesn't place hard limits on your bandwidth and disk space, but they will still limit accounts that use an excessive amount of resources. In that case, you would need to upgrade to a VPS or dedicated server plan.

Business

HostGator's Business plan offers even more excellent features. With the included private SSL certificate and dedicated IP address, you will be ready to start accepting payments on an e-commerce store immediately.

This is a rare feature for hosting companies, as many other hosts will only include shared SSL certificates with their plans. These can still trigger security warnings for your store customers.

Additional Hosting Plans

If your hosting needs are too demanding for a shared server, HostGator also offers more powerful options to choose from:

Cloud Hosting

One of the best reasons to consider HostGator is their cheap cloud hosting options.

For each of their basic web hosting plans, you can pay a small amount more for cloud hosting. This will give you twice the speed and four times the resources of the shared plan.

Cloud hosting is able to achieve this level of performance due to:

  • Low-density servers
  • Premium hardware
  • Multiple caching layers
  • Data-mirroring that distributes three copies of your data across multiple devices

These plans are also great for dealing with traffic spikes. You can scale up your resources from your dashboard with one click, without experiencing downtime or requiring reboots.

VPS Plans

A virtual private server (VPS) gives users full control over their hosting environment. It's meant for people who want root access to the server and need to install their own software or scripts.

But VPS servers can be challenging to maintain. Thankfully, HostGator offers fully-managed VPS plans which include access to their customized cPanel.

However, their semi-managed servers do not include the control panel. You will need advanced technical knowledge to run your websites smoothly on these semi-managed plans.

While these VPS plans do provide you with access to dedicated resources, you shouldn't assume that they will always lead to better performance. HostGator's lower-level VPS plans will not necessarily outperform the company's shared hosting plans.

But they will give you more flexibility with your hosting. For better performance, I advise you to opt for their higher-level VPS plans.



web hosting coupon

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Save big on HostGator plans by using our special discount link. Includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.



Control Panel

HostGator uses the industry-standard cPanel interface. While cPanel can be confusing if you've never used it before, HostGator has customized their control panel to make it more user-friendly.

HostGator cPanel dashboard
HostGator cPanel dashboard

Upon logging into your HostGator account, you'll be presented with many options. Tabs in the control panel point you to your account settings, billing information, hosting specifics, and more. Notice that you will be presented with HostGator advertisements in the sidebar.

The control panel also makes it extremely easy to get support. A knowledge base search in the sidebar gives you quick access to articles, and a support tab at the top allows you to reach live chat support immediately.

You'll be able to perform many other actions through the control panel, including:

  • Create and manage an email account
  • View website traffic by integrating Google Analytics
  • Add domains and subdomains
  • View your SSL certificate or purchase one
  • Set up HostGator email marketing

From the control panel, you can also add packages of bundled features to your account. HostGator offers a wizard-like tool that allows you to enter what you want your site to do and then recommends a package to add to your plan.

Add a package screenshot
Adding a HostGator package

Website Builder

All of HostGator's plans now come with their free website builder, called Gator (until recently, you had to pay an extra fee to add on the Gator builder). You also have the option of purchasing a Gator-only plan for a very low monthly fee.

The Gator builder includes a drag-and-drop editor tool and a full image library, allowing you to completely customize your site.

Website builders can be useful, but they often result in messy code on the back end, which can make it difficult if you want to transfer your site or abandon the builder.

It's often easier for developers to build you a brand new site than customize one you have built on a drag-and-drop platform. Just keep this in mind before you use the Gator builder.

Video: How to add a store to your site with the Gator website builder (~1 minute)

Check out our in-depth review of the Gator builder.

Email Marketing

HostGator's email marketing tool is free during your first three months for up to 500 contacts. This feature allows you to:

  • Add contact information from your Facebook page or existing website
  • Segment email lists to target specific audience groups
  • Create email messages with mobile-friendly templates

Never underestimate the power of email marketing. It has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing technique. And when you're trying it for free, there's nothing to lose.

Customer Support

I would have liked to see a better-organized support page on HostGator. Their knowledge base is a little difficult to navigate, so people may find it hard to find the answers they're looking for.

Support ticket history screenshot
Support ticket history screenshot from HostGator.

However, you can contact customer support directly from your control panel. In fact, your support tickets are the first thing you see when you log in.

With a team ready to help you 24/7, you won't have to worry about your website problems for long.

Getting support screenshot
Getting support

If you prefer to talk to someone on the phone, you can reach a support assistant via HostGator's toll-free customer number:

1 (866) 964-2867

They're available to answer calls at all hours.

Backups and Restore Points

Although HostGator doesn't do automated backups more than weekly, you can manually backup your site whenever you like.

Additionally, HostGator saves a number of "restore points" that let you roll back your site to a previous version of its contents.

Other Hosts to Consider

HostGator has a lot to offer. But if it doesn't seem quite right for you, there are many alternatives. Here are three of the best:

Bluehost

Bluehost logo

One advantage Bluehost holds over HostGator is that all of their WordPress plans come with a free SSL certificate. They offer excellent performance and customer service as well.

InMotion Hosting

If you don't like the vagueness of "unmetered" resources, check out InMotion Hosting. Their plans come with solid disk space limits, and their WordPress services are quite affordable.

SiteGround

SiteGround is one of the best all-around hosting companies. They provide high-quality hosting at all levels, from basic shared plans to dedicated servers.


web hosting tips

Ready to try HostGator?
Remember: HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. Use our special discount link to get the best possible deal on hosting plans.


HostGator Review Conclusion

HostGator is best suited for individual websites and small businesses, but their VPS plans make them a viable option for high-traffic sites as well.

If you decide to go with HostGator, just make sure to use our coupon while signing up.

Contributing Editor: Natalie Mootz

Toni Allen

About Toni Allen

Webmaster, mom, juggler. Toni manages the day-to-day operations of WhoIsHostingThis. She is a keen hiker, climber, and outdoors explorer.

Connect with Toni

    HostGator Frequently Asked Questions

    • Does HostGator support Magento sites?

      HostGator doesn't offer plans specifically for Magento, but all of their Linux hosting is Magento-compatible. They also provide free transfer of your Magento site from your old host when you sign up.

    • Does HostGator offer Windows hosting?

      Yes. They offer Windows hosting packages with the Plesk control panel.

    • Which development languages are supported?

      HostGator's Linux hosting plans support unlimited MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin access, as well as CGI, Fast CGI, PHP 5, PHP 7, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, and SSI.

      Windows plans support unlimited MySQL, Microsoft SQL, and Access databases, as well as ASP, ASP.NET 2.0, ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET 4.0, ASP.NET 4.5, PHP, Python, and SSI.

      VPS and dedicated servers offer the ability to install any language of your choice.

    • Does HostGator offer dedicated hosting?

      Yes. They offer semi-managed and managed dedicated hosting plans with either Linux or Windows operating systems.

    • Does HostGator offer VPS hosting?

      Yes. HostGator offers three VPS plans, starting at $19.95 per month.

    • Does HostGator offer a reseller hosting plan?

      Yes. HostGator offers Linux reseller plans with cPanel and WHM.

    • How many email addresses can I create?

      All shared hosting plans come with unlimited email accounts and unlimited disk space. VPS and dedicated servers offer unlimited email accounts, but storage space is limited by the disk size of the chosen plan.

    • Is there a money-back guarantee?

      Shared, reseller, and VPS plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee. However, HostGator does not provide refunds for all payment types.

      Dedicated servers, administrative fees, install fees for custom software, and domain name purchases do not qualify.

      Outside of the 45-day guarantee, you may be able to claim a refund for unused months when you cancel, provided you have not violated HostGator's terms of service.

    • Can I pay for my hosting via PayPal?

      In addition to major credit cards, customers can also pay via PayPal.

    • What is the minimum contract term?

      You can pay for your hosting month-by-month or pre-pay for one or more years. Some plans offer a discount when you pre-pay for one year or longer.

    • Do HostGator's prices increase upon renewal of a contract?


      Yes, once your initial term is over, you will be charged a higher rate.

    • What kind of security protections are in place?

      HostGator offers DDoS protection, custom firewall rules, and mod_security rulesets to prevent network disruption.

    HostGator Reviews by Our Community

    Overall Rating from 652 Reviews by HostGator Customers

    Support
    Quality
    Features
    Value

    Most Helpful Reviews

    Rene Leyva avatar
    Rene Leyva
    Mar 28, 2018

    I like hostgator. I am new to making websites so I was looking for an easy solution for my business. He went to hostgator because he had an easy constructor for those who are not graphic designers like me.

    I love the templates they gave me, easy and with ideas for my business. I would recommend this hosting service to anyone who wants something easy and economical. An effective way to have your business online. In just 15 minutes you can have a professional website and a good hosting service.

    Visit Host Now →

    Gigi Fazikas avatar
    Gigi Fazikas wildcardmediamarketing.com
    May 10, 2016

    I switched to Host Gator after having issues with my old host. I chose Host Gator because one of my clients has all of his websites hosted there and since I am in charge of web site maintenance I've dealt with them one and one without any issues. During my first month, I had my website go down for two hours and didn't receive a reply from support until 4 days later, long after the issue resolved itself.

    This is drastically different from the treatment I receive when contacting support on behalf of my client, though he is on a much larger plan than I am (16 websites compared to my single site). Aside from this small issue, I've been happy with the features they have. My old host gave me no control over which version of php I was running (and was also running a very old version of it that some of my wordpress plugins had a conflict with) and my website is running much faster now.

    My old host couldn't handle the load of one WordPress theme I used and Host Gator loaded it without any issues. The interface is very easy to get around and has all the popular features like one-click software installations, unlimited mail accounts, unlimited domain hosting and more. The price is great also.

    As a web designer, I've worked with more hosts than I can name and believe me, they all have their quirks but host gator has been my favorite so far. I recommend using live chat for support issues as you'll get a quicker reply but otherwise definitely give this host a shot, especially since they allow you to pay month to month instead of annual so you can really test them out before you commit to an entire year.

    Visit Host Now →

    sohail ahmed avatar
    sohail ahmed onlinemoneymania.in
    May 16, 2014

    I have experience of buying Hostgator's WordPress shared hosting plan for two years. I will deliberately call it as premier web hosting company of world due to following reason.
    1: affordable price
    2: extensive promotions and discounts
    3: maximum features offered
    4: very impressive uptime
    5: 24/7 available support team
    6: attractive cpanel
    7: 1click script installing
    8: fast server speed
    when i bought web hosting i was advised to go for other premier web hosting companies but i bought plan from host gator due to impressive discount of 60% off on first month. I was offered this discount twice during my relation of customer with hostgator.

    their customer support team reply to every query and also many times video support is available. My page speed was higher than many other sites, server up time was very satisfactory. It offered hosting on their Texas based server and i did not experienced any technical flaw and interruption in their servers.

    I ended off my contract with host gator due to some business reasons but it was great journey of excellency which give me immense professional pleasure due to professional excellency achieved by this company. I would also like to mention that some times hostgator created problems due to cache running plugins of WordPress on my website but when support desk was contacted problem was resolved. It was my experience with hostgator which was enough good to encourage other people to go for hostgator webhosting

    Visit Host Now →

    Sheri Spain avatar
    Sheri Spain nr2g.com
    Sep 17, 2018

    I have used Hostgator for about 7 years and have enjoyed using their service because it is easy to use and has all the features I am looking for at the cost. There is more downtime than I would like in some cases but overall it has consistency. I have contact support several times and they are not very helpful unless you have add-on features. Fortunately, I am able to handle most situations on my own.

    Visit Host Now →

    Mukesh Patel avatar
    Mukesh Patel actualpost.com
    Mar 13, 2018

    It provides the best hosting. I am using it from last year and I never get any problem. It's supports is too good.

    I recommend you to use it. Its support is amazing. It is giving 99.9% uptime.

    It provides unlimited resources, email account, FTP account, and disk. Lots of script for install in 1 click.

    Visit Host Now →

    Tejashwa Tiwari avatar
    Tejashwa Tiwari cryphub.co
    Oct 01, 2018

    I've been a customer of Hostgator for the last 9 months. I've monitored their performance, uptime and performance during that time. I took the Hostgator Shared Hosting plan and my experience was pretty good.

    Hostgator seems to be the ideal option for a serious business requirement. Some of the best features are like they always provide updated cPanel to manage my websites, I can park unlimited domain as well can redirect them to any of my website. Pros:

    - Uptime - 99.98% (In my case)
    - Ping - 998ms
    - Great Contact Support
    - Easy-to-use control panel
    - Free Weebly site builder
    - No contract required and 45-day money-back guarantee

    Cons:

    - The ping was really inconsistent most of the times.
    - Extra fee for True Backups
    - Shared basic plan can't handle more than 5,000 realtime users.

    Conclusion:

    If you're looking for a basic hosting to start with, go for it. If you're having business and you work with clients, don't go for it. Though the server uptime is good, but the ping is inconsistent which makes the website really slow. Thanks!

    Visit Host Now →

    Gustavo Carvalho avatar
    Gustavo Carvalho treinasaude.com
    Sep 11, 2018

    I've been hosting my site with Hostgator for almost a year now. I'm not an IT expert, so I rely on external providers to manage the necessary configurations. The service so far had been ok.

    No service interruptions, relatively responsive support (and almost always knowledgeable). When I needed access to an error log on the site, I had to request it to the advanced support since it was not directly available for me, and that took some time to get (and even when I got, I was only able to get it for specific dates, not for entire weeks/months). Today I decided to abandon Hostgator.

    They took my site offline without prior notice saying that it was using more resources than allowed by contract. They did not provide me with tools to monitor resource usage (so I could take measures to avoid such overusage) nor they notified me of such problem prior to taking my site offline. Apart from technical qualities of their service, I judge this attitude totally inadequate and demonstrates a lack of care for the consequences it might generate for their clients.

    Visit Host Now →

    adrian pasigna avatar
    adrian pasigna lostinvestor.com
    May 12, 2018

    Hostgator has powerful servers and level of convenience hostgator as the service provider has a clear record of powerful servers situated in superb data centers all over the world. Most of users have a positive opinion towards the performance of Hostgator servers, and Hostgator powered websites as well as blogs have an enviable Page Speed in different measures. This is one of important point to consider about Hostgator's services would be able to satisfy every internet marketers who are concerned about seamless working of them websites sI i recommended using hostgator because it is awesome and it surely rocks.

    Visit Host Now →

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    Review HostGator

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    Sherrie

    August 23, 2019

    I’ve used HostGator before and found it performed well for my purposes, namely testing sites quickly.

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    Bronwynne

    September 23, 2019

    HostGator migrated my site from StudioPress. The migration was free and didn’t come with any major hassles. Support was helpful and knowledgeable throughout. I wasn’t sure which plan was best for my site. I like that the support rep listened to my needs and provided advice on the right plan for me. StudioPress didn’t offer live chat. I never really needed it, but since experiencing live chat with HostGator, I don’t think I’ll consider a host that doesn’t provide support via live chat.

    avatar

    Sherrie

    October 12, 2019

    That’s good to know. I haven’t used HostGator to migrate a site yet.

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