The internet is awash with web hosting services, with each one promising to be better than the next. Naturally, this can prove to be very confusing, especially for beginners who might never have had their own website before. If you just want a website for the fun of it, then really, you can choose virtually any hosting service you want, but if you need a more professional website, then you will need to choose a web hosting service carefully.
HostGator is perhaps one of the best-known hosting services, but does that mean they are the best choice for you? Continue reading to find out.
HostGator – A General Description
HostGator offers unlimited web hosting, and their rates are among the lowest you are likely to find. Their rates alone are enough to make them a very attractive option, regardless of whether you want shared hosting; reseller hosting; VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting.
Originally founded by Brent Oxley while studying at Florida Atlantic University, HostGator has grown to be one of the world’s leading web hosting services, with their headquarters based in Houston and Austin, Texas. Their generous offerings and remarkably low prices are very hard to beat.
Whereas most web hosting services limit their customers to a certain amount of disk space based on what sort of subscription you choose, HostGator offers unlimited disk space even with their cheapest packages. They also offer you unlimited bandwidth, which once again, is not offered by most of their competitors.
One would expect to encounter a lot of downtime with such a low cost service provider, but according to the company’s official website, HostGator provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee; a feature which is held in high regard by website owners. The company has also made 4,500 website templates available free of charge to their customers. While this might not be a deal breaker for seasoned webmasters and website designers, it can be a real blessing for anyone starting out on a tight budget.
This HostGator Review discusses the many different benefits to be had if you decide to use this company, but those most commonly referred to include:
- Affordability – HostGator are one of the most affordable web hosting providers around.
- Unlimited Disk Space – While several web hosting services also offer unlimited disk space, their rates are typically a lot higher than those offered by HostGator.
- Unlimited Bandwidth – Bandwidth restrictions are one of the things which website owners complain about the most, so naturally, having unlimited bandwidth is seen as being a big plus.
- Impressive Uptime Guarantee – Businesses can lose a considerable amount of business due to downtime. If visitors arrive at your site and your site is down because of your web hosting service provider, those visitors are going to look elsewhere, and when they do, they will most likely find what they are looking for, which in turn means you lose money. A 99.9% uptime guarantee certainly is a VERY strong selling point.
- Reliable Customer Service – HostGator operates a 24/7/365 customer service department, which essentially means that help is on hand 24 hours per day, regardless of where about in the world you live.
With such a vast number of customers, it is hardly surprising to see HostGator reviews appearing on the internet on a regular basis. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the company receives very favorable reviews, and it is clear that the pros far outweigh the cons. Okay, so let’s take a look at some of the pros:
- It is cheap – You would be hard pressed to find a more affordable web hosting service. Everyone likes to save money, and website owners are no different. If your online business is generating thousands of dollars every month, then the cost of hosting might not seem important to you, but for most of us, it is a matter of “every dollar counts”.
- Very impressive uptime – HostGator don’t only promise good uptime, they guarantee it. It is also one of the things mentioned the most in customer reviews, which essentially shows that the company is in fact true to their word.
- Ongoing promotions and discounts – HostGator has become famous for their generous discounts and special offers that never seem to end. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you look around, you will almost always be able to find a discount coupon or some other kind of HostGator promotion.
- Impressive server speed – If you have used low cost hosting before, you will probably have witnessed poor server speed. This is definitely not something you are likely to encounter with HostGator.
- A wealth of features – Unless you own and maintain one or more highly complex websites, you will find that the company provides virtually all the features you could possibly hope for.
- Impressive control panel – The HostGator control panel is nicely laid out without any unnecessary clutter. Even beginners should not encounter any difficulties here, which is more than can be said of many other web hosting services.
- Excellent customer support – Most HostGator customers feel that the company has a fantastic approach to customer support, and in fact, it is cited in practically each and every one of the reviews I have studied. My own personal experience with their customer support was really as good as what I could hope for.
- WordPress compatibility – WordPress has grown to be a phenomenally popular platform, but many people who have WordPress websites routinely run into problems because their chosen web hosting service aren’t 100% compatible with the WordPress platform. Thankfully, HostGator is more than capable of hosting WordPress sites.
I am tempted to actually say that there are no cons, but in all fairness, there are some customers (past and present) who feel that certain things could be improved on.
- Inconsistent customer support – While most reports concerning customer support are positive, a number of customers have reported that it is a bit of a “hit or miss” situation. They say that sometimes customer support is fantastic, while on other occasions it is dismal, and that you can end up waiting for days before you receive a response.
- Under qualified Live Chat operators – Again, this does not seem to be widespread problem, but a number of customers have reported that when they contacted customer support using the Live Chat feature, the people they spoke to were either not willing to help, or else they simply weren’t qualified enough to be able to help. In these instances, customers were told they need to wait for an email response.
- Backups and malware scanning – HostGator only carries out these tasks once every week, which is not bad, but there is room for improvement. Also, if you run a WordPress site, you are basically on your own as far as this is concerned. With all of this having been said, I should point out that this is the sort of thing you can expect from most web hosting services, unless you’re willing to pay top money.
HostGator offers a range of different packages, including regular Shared Hosting; Reseller Hosting; VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Hosting. At the time of writing, prices start at just $3.96 per month for unlimited hosting, but this price includes a 20% discount that is currently being offered. In short, how much you pay for your hosting will depend on what sort of package you choose.
HostGator offers global web hosting, and their round the clock customer support means that there is always someone available to help you, regardless of which time zone you reside in. While HostGator is available internationally, their customer support staff communicates only in English.
Based on my own personal experience as a past customer, and also on the considerable amount of research I have done, I would have no hesitation in recommending HostGator. I think it represents fantastic value for money, and there are clearly many thousands of others who agree. If you are thinking of moving your site to a new host, then I would recommend doing the following:
- Visit the HostGator homepage and take a look around at what is on offer
- Check to see if there are any discounts or special promotions. If there are not, then do a Google search for HostGator coupons.
- If you are concerned about negative comments pertaining to their customer support, simply test it for yourself before you sign up.
NOTE: HostGator offers a “45 Day, Full Money Back Guarantee”
If you would like to find out more about HostGator web hosting services, including things such as pricing and what sort of packages are available, then