HostGator Reviews and Expert Opinion

Based on 155 user reviews in 8 languages
4.5
POOR

Customer score for HostGator

  • Reliability
    4.3 / 10
  • Pricing
    5.2 / 10
  • User Friendly
    4.7 / 10
  • Support
    3.7 / 10
  • Features
    4.7 / 10

Detailed Scores / Summary

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Mustafa Dogan
Mustafa Dogan
United Arab Emirates
  • Reliability2
  • Pricing2
  • User Friendly2
  • Support2
  • Features2
2.0
NEW

Complete scam!!

Service used: Shared
I was charged renewal fee for a domain that is NOTbought from them. And they lied and claimed that was bought from them while I already renewed the domain from godaddy. Complete scam!
Erinn
Erinn
Hi Mustafa,

We've tried calling and emailing you to help get this resolved. If you could please respond to our emails we'd love to get this resolved. Thanks.

Erinn
Customer Advocate at HostGator
Wil T
Wil T
Australia
  • Reliability2
  • Pricing4
  • User Friendly4
  • Support2
  • Features6
3.6

WORST SERVICE

I have been using Hostgator to host my websites for more than 5 years. Lately, I have had issues with hosting connection. I received an email notification to optimise my site -- which I did. However there was no communication ...Read More
DJ
DJ
Hey Wil,

That isn't what we want for our customers. We have asked an Escalations Manager to reach out and see how we can fix this.

DJ
Customer Advocate at HostGator
Kelly Moores
Kelly Moores
United States
  • Reliability6
  • Pricing6
  • User Friendly6
  • Support2
  • Features6
5.2

Will double-bill you

Service used: Shared
They will process a payment on the due date even if you have already paid for or cancelled those same services. They are not worth the time or trouble it takes to resolve this. And I am out the overdraft fee I incurred because the charged me for something I had already paid for.
DJ
DJ
Hey Kelly,

That definitely doesn't sound like us. Let us straighten this out. We have asked an Escalations Manager to reach out and assist.


DJ
Customer Advocate at HostGator
David Smith
David Smith
United States
  • Reliability2
  • Pricing2
  • User Friendly2
  • Support2
  • Features2
2.0

Stay away

Service used: Dedicated Server - Value Server
Hostgator has suffered a race to the bottom of their industry and represent the fall from grace the company was.
1) they have outsourced all overseas operations to india and will shut down their houston office
2) their domain na...Read More
DJ
DJ
Hey David,

Wow. That review saddens us. We hate that you feel that way. If you could send us an email to reputation@endurance.com with your primary email address, we would love to gather your feedback and answer any questions you may have.

DJ
Customer Advocate at HostGator

Typical HostGator Prices

Service Monthly Price Range
Shared Hosting $2.75 - $14.36 8 plans
VPS $19.95 - $39.95 3 plans
Dedicated Server $89.98 - $139.99 3 plans
Cloud Hosting $4.95 - $9.95 3 plans
Website Builder $3.84 - $9.22 3 plans
Resellers $19.95 - $24.95 3 plans
The Services & Prices are taken from www.hostgator.com

HostGator Expert Review 2021

Written by: Bruno Mirchevski

HostGator Rating

  • Reliability
    9 / 10
  • Pricing
    8 / 10
  • User Friendly
    9 / 10
  • Support
    9 / 10
  • Features
    8 / 10
8.6
Rated by Bruno Mirchevski
Expert

Last Update | June 2021
 
 

Monthly Update - June 2021

Hosting Plans Shared Hosting; Cloud Hosting; VPS Hosting; WordPress Hosting; Dedicated Hosting
Top Features Free Domain; Free Site Transfers; Unmetered Bandwidth; 99.9% Uptime Guarantee; One-click Installs; Free SSL Certificate; 24/7/365 Support
Customer Support Live Chat; Phone and Email Support; Knowledge Base

 

During May, HostGator:

  • Didn’t issue any new features or updates
  • Didn’t report any server issues

HostGator is quite possibly one of the largest hosting providers on the planet. Brent Oxley, who at the time was a student at the Florida Atlantic University, founded the hosting service in October of 2020. Since then, they have been making a name for themselves due to their solid offerings, uptime, and competitive pricing.

It has a wide assortment of applications that it supports, and you also get unmetered bandwidth and storage, a free domain for the first year with certain packages, an SSL Certificate, 99.99% uptime guarantee, and all of this is available within shared hosting plans, cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers.

To test out these claims, I decided to make an account and actually see what all of the fuss is about and if it truly lives up to its reputation.

Getting Started With HostGator

Getting started with HostGator is quite a simple process.

Screenshot of home page

To make an account, click on the big yellow “Get Started” button.

Assuming you don’t want to pick a shared account as your hosting option, you always have the option to click on “Learn More” from the bottom row of icons and get access to the pricing there.

Here, you can select one of three plans: Hatchling Plan, Baby Plan, and Business Plan.

For the purposes of this review, I’ll do what I always do and pick the cheapest plan available, as I want to see what each and every hosting provider out there can offer the users who are just starting out and might not have that big of a budget, to begin with.

Screenshot of the shared hosting plans

With the Hatchling Plan, you’re getting the following:

  • Single website
  • One-click WordPress installs
  • Free WordPress/cPanel
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain included

On the next screen, you can either register a new domain or use a domain you already have.

The best part here is the fact that you get a free domain for 1 year when you select the annual plan.

Screenshot of choosing a domain page

Next, you need to choose the plan, as well as the billing cycle.

Screenshot of the choosing a hosting plan

You can choose a 1-month plan, 3 months plan, 6 months plan, 12-month plan, 24-month plan, and 36-month plan. This allows for a lot of flexibility.

Then you’ll need to enter your email address, password, and security pin.

Screenshot of the creating account page

After that, you’ll need to enter your billing info.

Screenshot of the billing info

After you fill in this information, you can add additional features, such as an SSL Certificate, SiteLock Essentials, Professional Email, Site Backup, and HostGator SEO Tools.

Screenshot of the additional services

You can enter a promo code, which you get by default, although there are countless other codes out there, and you’ll have a review of the order details at the very bottom which showcase exactly how much you’ll need to pay for it.

Now, the main thing that surprised me here is that all of this costs extra, none of this is included for free when you are choosing the hosting package. Of course, I want SSL; of course, I’d love SiteLock, professional email, site backup, and SEO tools, but you get the impression that you would be getting shared web hosting at a certain price point, so why does this need to catch you off-guard like this? Maybe you had planned that money for something else, and now you find that you are questioning yourself. It’s not such a good aspect about this hosting provider in my opinion.

Screenshot of the order details page

Once you agree to HostGator’s Auto-Renewal Terms, Terms of Service and Cancellation Policy, all you have to do is click on “Checkout Now!” and you will be good to go.

Screenshot of acceptance of Hostgator's terms and conditions

screenshot of the message that they are creating your account

Setting Things Up at HostGator

The first time you log in after your HostGator account has been built, you’ll see this screen.

screenshot of the small questionnaire on website creation

This is a standard survey, and you can skip it if you feel the need to do so.

Finally, we come to the fun part, you’ll be able to build your website here.

screenshot of the page where you can create a WordPress site

What I love about this initial Dashboard is the fact that you can get started with WordPress at the very top, or use other methods for building a website.

You can use Weebly, use FTP, or Choose different CMS Options.

This is all done through the Softaculous App Installer, and through scripts.

Screenshot of the Softaculous App Installer

If you end up using Weebly, you can just click on a theme you like, and the entire process is straightforward after that.

Screenshot of the theme selection page

You also have the main dashboard, which now has a Weebly icon since I chose that method of building a website.

Screenshot of the client dashboard

Now, let’s look at what we get in the main dashboard for a bit before diving too deep into anything else.

On the left side, you have access to:

  • Dashboard – lets you view your website, as well as manage your hosting package easily.
  • Hosting – lets you see your hosting packages that are currently active.

Screenshot of the Hosting tab

  • Marketplace – on the marketplace, you have the ability to buy various solutions, including CodeGuard, Office 365, Constant Contact, Google Workspace, SEO Tools, and SSL management to name a few.

Screenshot of the Marketshare tab

  • Email and Office – email and office give you access to professional email and business tools.

More specifically, you can select between two solutions, one being Microsoft Office 365 and the other being Google Workspace.

Screenshot of the Email services

Microsoft Office 365 Google Workspace
  • Domain-Based Email
  • 50 GB Mailbox
  • Outlook Web Access
  • 24/7 technical support
  • 1 TB of OneDrive Storage
  • Online Excel, Word, and PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Domain-Based Email
  • 30 GB Mailbox
  • Gmail Web Access
  • 24/7 Technical Support
  • 30 GB of Google Drive Storage (Shared with Mailbox)
  • Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides
  • Google Chat and Meet
  • Domains – In this tab, you can register a domain or transfer a domain, with an additional function being the ability to lock your domain.
  • Billing – Here you will have the billing history, make payments, Credit Card(s), PayPal and Credits.
  • Support – In the support tab, you will have ways through which you can contact the support team. This can be done through live chat support, or through a phone number.

Screenshot of the Support tab

Getting back to the main screen, the stand-out feature here is the fact that you have an SSL management tab.

Screenshot of the SSL certificates tab

By default, you get Let’s Encrypt SSL free, and its status is pending.

On the Control Panel Tab, you have access to email accounts, webmail, Databases, File Manager, Install WordPress and Launch cPanel.

Screenshot of the control panel

Let’s switch from the Weebly builder and install WordPress.

Screenshot of Wordpress in Softaculous App

Click on Install Now.

Screenshot of the WordPress page with highlighted Install button

Here, you’ll need to select the version you want, the URL, the site name, site description, admin account, admin password, language, and plugins alongside the theme.

Screenshot of the Install button

Click on Install at the bottom.

screenshot of the Installing WP (loading)

Wait for it to finish.

Screenshot of the "Congratulations" message (WP was installed)

That’s about it.

Next, let’s launch the cPanel.

Screenshot of the cPanel

Here is what you are essentially getting with the cPanel, and while it may seem like a lot, we will be taking a look at exactly what is available step by step.

  1. Email

Here, you get access to email accounts, forwarders, email routing, autoresponders, mailing lists, global email filters, email filters, email deliverability, address importer, spam filters, encryption, boxtrapper, calendars and contacts, and email disk usage.

Screenshot of the Email tab of cPanel

  1. Files

Here, you will get access to the File Manager, Images, Directory Privacy, Disk Usage, Web Disk, FTP Accounts, FTP Connections, Anonymous FTP, Backup, and Backup Wizard.

It is important to note that HostGator’s automatic backup service runs once a week on a random day, and each run overwrites any of the previously made backups. Only one week of backups is kept at a time as-well, and this is dependent and varies depending on the type of hosting account you have.

When it comes to creating manual backups, you can create them through cPanel up to 10 GB and/or 150.000 inodes or less. If your backup is larger than this, you need to contact the support team for assistance.

Screenshot of the Files tab of cPanel

  1. Databases

Here, you will get access to phpMyAdmin, MySQL Databases, MySQL Database Wizard, and Remote MySQL.

Screenshot of the Databases tab of cPanel

  1. Domains

In the domains tab, you are getting access to domains, addon domains, subdomains, aliases, redirects, zone editor, and dynamic DNS.

Screenshot of the Domains tab of cPanel

  1. Metrics

Discussing the Metrics tab, you are getting access to visitors, errors, bandwidth, raw access, awstats, webalizer, webalizer FTP, and the metrics editor.

Screenshot of the Metrics tab of cPanel

  1. Security

In the Security tab, you are getting access to SSH Access, IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Manage API Tokens, Hotlink protection, and SSL/TLS Status.

Screenshot of the Security tab of cPanel

  1. Software

In the software tab, you will be able to access the WordPress Manager by Softaculous, PHP PEAR Packages, Perl Modules, Application Manager, MultiPHP Manager, MultiPHP INI Editor, and the Softaculous Apps Installer.

Screenshot of the Software tab of cPanel

  1. Advanced

Discussing the advanced tab, you will be able to access the terminal, cron jobs, track DNS, indexes, error pages, Apache Handlers, and MIME Types.

Screenshot of the Advanced tab of cPanel

  1. Preferences

In the preferences tab, you are getting access to password and security, change language, contact information, and user management.

Screenshot of the Preferences tab of cPanel

  1. Softaculous Apps Installer

In the Softaculous Apps Installer, you can essentially view software scripts, including WordPress, Joomla, AbanteCart, phpBB, SMF, WHMCS, Open Real Estate, MyBB, and much more.

Screenshot of the Softaculous apps installer tab of cPanel

Level of Support

What I always like to do when contacting support is to cancel my account and ask for a refund. This is convenient in my case due to the fact that I am reviewing the hosting services, so I won’t be using them for a long time anyway, however, it also shows me how nice they are to new users who just want to leave.

Screenshot of the support tab

Click on support, followed by Start Live Chat.

Screenshot of the start of a live chat conversation

Here, you’ll need to select a topic, description, and explanation of the issue.

Screenshot of the start of a chat conversation (selecting a topic)

You’ll be given some article options that could potentially solve your issue, but if they don’t, click on “Start Chat”.

Screenshot of live chat conversation

Screenshot of live chat conversation (second part)

The support chat started at 12:48 am, and I had my account canceled at 1:08 pm. Overall, it took around 20 minutes to get things done. Keep in mind that they also have a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can easily request a refund in this chat as well, and it will be given to you.

However, your mileage may vary, as they have countless services, and a lot of people on the support staff. Just because I had a good experience this time around, does not imply that you will have a good experience with other issues your website might have.

However, we need to discuss one other side of HostGator you might not always read about, and that is the fact that their billing situation can be a bit complex, to say the least. You see, you cannot really get a refund on things that are not directly offered by HostGator, and typically, at the checkout screen, you can select and purchase services that are offered by a third party. This is never really clearly shown to you, and when you contact support, you could be surprised to learn that, well, you might not be able to refund SiteLock.

This is something all users need to keep in mind. Aside from that, there will be times where even the support team could potentially not be able to resolve your issue due to a lack of personnel at the time of your connection.

Specific Features

HostGator is known due to the fact that it hosts more than 2 million websites, out of which 30% of the customers are web professionals. This is due to the fact that they offer a free domain when you sign up for an annual plan, get free site transfers, unlimited bandwidth, 99.9% uptime guarantee, one-click installs, and Free SSL certificates. Keep in mind that you also get a free site and cPanel migrations, which is always a plus.

You also have multiple website builders, as well as the choice to install WordPress, which is always a plus. The cPanel is filled with useful features, and you never really feel like you are lacking anything.

The 24/7 chat support is legitimate and gets the work one, at least that’s the case if you are in luck at the time to get a person that’s actually knowledgeable.

Then you have the Gator builder, which is this website building software that essentially allows you to build a website simply by dragging and dropping elements. It has eCommerce, email marketing, and appointment booking elements associated with it.

Performance Speed and Uptime

With the time I had to test out HostGator, I saw a 100% uptime, and when it came to the page speed itself, the average response time was at 700ms, with the minimum dropping to 500ms.

This was done using a simple, empty WordPress theme with some pre-installed plugins.

Pricing

Keep in mind that all of these pricing options are typically for the annual plans, up to the 36-month plans, they will differ based on the amount of time you decide to sign up for.

  1. Shared Web Hosting
  • Hatchling Plan- $2.75 per month.
  • Baby Plan - $3.50 per month.
  • Business Plan - $5.25 per month.
  1. Website Builder Hosting
  • Express Start - $3.84 per month.
  • Express Site - $5.59 per month.
  • Express Store - $9.22 per month.
  1. WordPress Hosting
  • Starter Plan - $5.95 per month.
  • Standard Plan - $7.95 per month.
  • Business Plan - $9.95 per month.
  1. VPS Hosting
  • Snappy 2000 - $19.95 per month.
  • Snappy 4000 - $29.95 per month.
  • Snappy 8000 - $39.95 per month.
  1. Dedicated Server Hosting
  • Value Server - $89.98 per month.
  • Power Server - $119.89 per month.
  • Enterprise Server - $139.99 per month.

Pros and Cons of HostGator

Pros:

  • Amazing features
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Good for newcomers
  • Unique website building drag and drop software through the Gator Builder
  • Amazing Customer Service
  • Exceptional Uptime

Cons:

  • The prices are cheap up until the renewal, where the prices change
  • You have to pay for a backup add-on to have a solid experience
  • Not all Services are Refundable

Summary

HostGator is one of the most convenient hosting providers out there due to the fact that it gives you a lot of options in terms of the way through which you can build your website, what you can use, and script support so you can install just about anything you’ll ever need with ease. Alongside the 24/7 support, solid uptime, and fast speed, it is highly recommended. All of this was seen through the use of the cheapest, shared hosting plan, so you know what you expect even if you go through that route.

You have to be warned however that the monthly pricing goes higher after your initial payment period, and it has aggressive advertising in the signup screen, where some add-ons are selected by default, so ensure that you pick only what you genuinely need and will be using. Aside from that, you might also pay for services that you cannot refund, or that will charge you a lot more in the long run.

Read the full expert review Visit HostGator See Plans & Pricing

HostGator Prices, Plans & Features - 2021

Shared Hosting Plans

Plan Name Space Bandwidth Price Score
Hatchling (Everything Unlimited) Unlimited Unlimited $2.75 4.6
Baby (Everything Unlimited) Unlimited Unlimited $3.50 4.8
Business (Everything Unlimited) Unlimited Unlimited $5.25 4.0
Personal (Windows) Unlimited Unlimited $4.76 9.2
Enterprise (Windows) Unlimited Unlimited $14.36 5.8
Starter Plan Unlimited Unlimited $5.95 4.5
Standard Plan Unlimited Unlimited $7.95 4.5
Business Plan Unlimited Unlimited $9.95 4.5

VPS Hosting Plans

Plan Name Space RAM OS Price Score
Snappy 2000 120 GB 2 GB $19.95 5.2
Snappy 4000 165 GB 4 GB $29.95 3.6
Snappy 8000 240 GB 8 GB $39.95 4.5

Dedicated Server Plans

Plan Name Space RAM OS Price Score
Value Server 1 TB 8 GB $89.98 2.0
Power Server 512 GB 16 GB $119.89 4.5
Enterprise Server 1 TB 30 GB $139.99 4.5

Cloud Hosting Plans

Plan Name Space RAM Bandwidth Price Score
Hatchling Cloud Unlimited 2 GB Unlimited $4.95 6.4
Baby Cloud Unlimited 4 GB Unlimited $6.57 3.5
Business Cloud Unlimited 6 GB Unlimited $9.95 2.8

Website Builder Plans

Plan Name Space Bandwidth Features Price Score
Express Start Unlimited
Intelligent site builder
Free domain Free SSL certificate
3 email campaigns per month
3-product online store
$3.84 4.5
Express Site Unlimited
Intelligent site builder
Free domain
Free SSL certificate
5 email campaigns per month
10-product online store
Appointment booking
Priority support
$5.99 4.5
Express Store Unlimited
Intelligent site builder
Free domain
Free SSL certificate
10 email campaigns per month
Unlimited product online store
Appointment booking
Priority support
No transaction fees
$9.22 4.5

Resellers Plans

Plan Name Space Bandwidth Price Score
Aluminum Plan 60 GB 599.96 GB $19.95 4.5
Copper Plan 90 GB 899.99 GB $24.95 4.5
Silver plan 140 GB 1.4 TB $24.95 4.5
A Free Domain is included when purchasing any hosting service from HostGator
Submit a HostGator Coupon

Server Locations

United States
Refund & Cancellation Policy

  • 45 day money-back guarantee
  • Applies for shared hosting, reseller hosting and VPS hosting

    • Does not apply to dedicated servers, administrative fees, install fees for custom software, and domain name purchases.
    • Only first-time accounts are eligible for a refund

See the complete and updated policy by Host Gator: http://support.hostgator.com/articles/pre-sales-policies/billing-account-changes/how-do-i-get-the-45-day-money-back-refund

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