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Courtesy of Hostgator
Customer service via phone, email, & live chat
45-day money-back guarantee
Low-cost options for cheap hosting
FREE web builder tools & site migration for beginners
Pay extra for Gmail, security, and automatic backups
Slower speeds than promised
Time commitments necessary for good pricing
Can have slow speeds and poor customer service
Hostgator has a reputation for excellent uptime and reliability, and although it may not be the premier service out there, it offers a lot of good features for a great price.
Hostgator consistently remains at the top of the list for reliability and speed, although some users have report issues with Hostgator's customer service and speed. In our experience (spanning ten years), the customer service was excellent, the prices reasonable, and the features were easy-to-use, especially for beginners.
Hostgator offers three levels of shared web hosting. The base Hatchling plan is the least expensive offering a free Hostgator domain and a free SSL. The next level up is the Baby plan, which allows you to host multiple sites/domains and also gives you one free SSL and domain registration. The final tier is the Business plan, which builds on the Baby plan. With this one, however, they throw in a more secure SSL, a free dedicated IP (this will make life easier for developers) and some free SEO tools to boot.
Hostgator also offers VPS services, dedicated servers, and even cloud hosting, which we have heard good things about. They even provide beefed up hosting plans specific for WordPress that promise 2.5x the speed of their regular shared plans, enhanced security features, and free migration of your old site.
If you are in the market for web hosting, we recommend the business plan from the shared tiered offerings. All three plans come standard with the Hostgator email service, unlimited MySQL databases, and Linux cPanel.
All Hostgator plans are fortified on the Apache Linux backbone providing a solid base and with the classic cPanel for easy access to all the necessary website tools you need. You also have unlimited MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin built-in so that you can access your data 24/7.
Compared to GoDaddy, Hostgator comes out on top for reliability and price.
Storage for all Hostgator plans is unlimited, however the lowest tier plan on Hostgator limits users to a single domain/website. However, even with the Hatchling plan, you can add as many subdomains as you want. Email and FTP are unlimited across all plans as well.
One of the best features of all the Hostgator plans is unmetered bandwidth. That being said, shared hosting does experience bottlenecks from time to time. Therefore, those speeds will vary at different times. The good news is that Hostgator consistently ranks high for uptime and keeping their promise of a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
All Hostgator plans include unlimited email accounts. Setting up a new account, changing mailbox limits and passwords are a snap within the Hostgator cPanel. Although hosted email is not always the most secure, Hostgator throws in a lot of extras here worth talking about. You can set up autoresponders, and email forwards in seconds. Additional features include an area to create mailing lists, import your contact lists, and set up calendars. You can even turn on email encryption, activate Apache SpamAssassin, and edit MX records from this area.
Hostgator remains at the top of the list for quality, reliability, and speed.
Hostgator offers a no-frills registration process making it quick and easy to sign up and grab a plan. However, be sure to choose and register your free domain when you sign up. We found out the hard way; it’s difficult to register the new free domain after creating the account. A quick call to Hostgator support, and we were all set, but not worth the hassle if you can avoid it.
From a single Hostgator login, users can access the customer portal. This unified system integrates the Linux cPanel with Hostgator’s dashboard tools. So from under one roof, you can manage your domains, set up email campaigns (using the Constant Contact account included with your plan), check billing, contact support and of course manage all your web hosting features.
All accounts come with a free domain and SSL that are easy to set up and use from inside the control panel. The step right after registration prompts you to install their own website builder or WordPress. You can choose to skip this step, but if you need a WordPress website, it couldn’t be easier.
The control panel inside Hostgator has a one-click installation of many popular CMS systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and WHMCS. They claim to offer one-click installs for 75 open source scripts. Hostgator also offers a lot of freebies like plugin installs and templates for many of these popular systems. Some plugins and templates are fee-based, however.
Some things we like best about Hostgator is their easy-to-use control panel. Many web hosts offer poor interfaces with confusing navigation, and it is difficult to figure out where to go to get the job done. We really like their 45-day money-back guarantee. You don’t see that with a lot of other web hosting companies. Another key feature is their reliable 99.9% uptime, which is backed by stats. We also love the options for support, including live chat, email, and phone at any time of the day or night. You also get free access to Constant Contact; that’s a great bonus. They pack a lot into a small package, and we like that.
Using the standard Linux cPanel, you can create multiple users with access to specific domains. You can also easily set quota limits for FTP and email accounts as well as restrict access to specific areas of the server by directory.
Although Hostgator offers some of the lowest prices for hosting, those monthly fees are only available if you sign up for three years. So, you have to factor in a higher price if you want to sign up for a shorter term. For example, the lowest tier shared hosting lists for $2.75/month. If you only want to pay for one year, that price jumps to $5.95/month. Anything less than a year jumps to a whopping $10.95/month. The listed prices per tier are:
Compared to GoDaddy, Hostgator comes out on top for reliability and price (with the 3-year pricing plan). Although some users have complained about customer support and speeds. Over the past ten years, we have found Hostgator to excel in both areas, whereas GoDaddy let us down.
Hostgator is a good, solid hosting option that will fit most needs.
Aside from the price gimmicks, based on a 3-year commitment, we feel that Hostgator is a very cost-effective, reliable, and trustworthy web hosting provider. For business clients, we strongly recommend that you go with the business plan. You may not need everything it offers on day one, but you will eventually.
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