HostGator, a web hosting company based in Texas, with a background of over 15 years in the industry is now part of Domain.com, Bluehost, iPage, SiteBuilder.com and more. and a member of Endurance International Group
HostGator provides a broad range of products covering all the basics of core hosting: shared hosting, website builder drag-and-drop, cloud and VPS hosting, dedicated servers, a variety of Windows products, a reseller account and more.
Nevertheless, the products offered by HostGator are surprisingly competitive, particularly at the range’s budget end.
The shared hosting platform of HostGator offers from the outset. Even the cheapest shared hosting package, Hatchling, offers you unmetered disk space; unrestricted access, MySQL databases, email and FTP accounts; free SSL certificate, simple WordPress and shopping cart (osCommerce and ZenCart) installation and full-featured cPanel web maintenance. For many personal and business websites, that’s more than enough strength, yet it’s priced from just $2.75 a month on the three-year contract ($6.95 on renewal).
The Business plan at the top of the range supports unlimited domain hosting and adds professional features such as a free dedicated IP and a premium SSL certificate.
HostGator provides easy, low-priced WordPress hosting, but without the high-end functionality, you’ll get with the more professional competition.
Because of its’ supercharged cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multiple caching layers,’ the company claims’ 2.5X Faster Load Times & Increased Website Performance.’ HostGator also offers a free migration service to transfer your existing WordPress site to the new account while automatic WordPress updates should keep your site securely patched.
Prices are less than other standard subscription subscriptions, starting at $5.95 a month for three years (renewal at $9.95).
While many web hosts require you to navigate through multiple pages to buy the easiest of items, HostGator can consolidate anything you need-account information, schedule availability, any bonuses you need, your preferred method of payment (card, PayPal) and personal details (name, email and physical address, phone number)-to a single page.
Which makes for a lot of vertical scrolling as you go through the data, but otherwise it’s an intelligent approach. It is quick to see what’s involved, the options that you have and their consequences, such as adding the regular backup option ($2.00 a month) with a button and seeing the final price change to suit instantly.
It’s good to see a reminder of HostGator’s 45-day money-back guarantee, too. That’s more generous than usual, but keep in mind that there are the usual restrictions: you’re not covered for dedicated servers or domain registration, for instance, and you won’t get a review if HostGator has given you one before.
We worked our way through the form and handed over our cash in the usual way. Some web hosts force you to wait for an email telling you they’ve activated your account, but not HostGator. The website redirected us to a ‘please wait while we set up your account’ web page, but after a brief delay, barely a minute, HostGator’s dashboard appeared and we were ready to go.
First launch HostGator and two website creation options are presented to you: install WordPress, or use a Webly-powered drag-and-drop web site builder.
Choose the choice of WordPress and you are required to pick your domain and, optionally, a directory.
Tapping Next allows you to type your blog title, admin username, first name and last name, and email address. More click on the Download tab and the site has WordPress installed for you.
It helps, but it’s simple, and it’s low on detail. What is the app ‘ manager,’ maybe newbies wonder? What is your first and last name needed on the site? There is nothing to tell you anything about on the list.
It is very small too. For example, the automatic WordPress installation at Bluehost asks for your development experience. Your tagline on site. Whether you want to have a web store built. You can even choose a theme that fits your app. And with all the additional features, it’s even simpler and straighter than the very stripped-back solution from HostGator.
At the top of the WordPress configuration tab, where HostGator recommends you’ speak to a WordPress specialist,’ there is a possible explanation for this and it gives a phone number. Alternatively, scrolling down takes you to a panel called’ Let a Pro do it for you,’ where HostGator offers you to set up your website at a charge.
The Webly-based website designer from HostGator sounds appealing, at least initially, but beware: there is a limit. It has some substantial limitations.
What you are having is essentially the $4 a month Connect package from Weebly. There’s the same excellent drag-and-drop editor, you can use it with your own domain, and there’s free SSL thrown in. But, if you have big web design ambitions, your website is limited to a tiny 500 MB, maybe a problem.
The feature still has some value, of course, especially if your hosting plan supports unlimited domains. It’s a simple way of allowing your kids to build and manage their own small family sites, for instance.
Perhaps you could use it as a testing ground to try out different ideas for the platform, see what would fit for you.
HostGator also provides paying plans for lifting these limitations and adding additional useful features: domain search, shopping cart, page analytics, password protection, etc.
Prices on the annual plan are fair at $8.68 a month, significantly cheaper than the $12 you’ll pay when you buy Weebly’s Pro direct account (for the annual plan). And there’s more money available if you’re happy to extend your contract, with prices falling on the three-year package to $5.99 a month.
The user portal of HostGator is an electronic platform where you can monitor your account and take full control of your Webspace
HostGator’s first level of support is a robust web knowledgebase, grouping a stack of articles into groups that are sensibly selected: cPanel, Server, Domains, Email, Protection, VPS / Dedicated and more.
If you are confused about the type, enter a keyword and a list of matches will appear in the Search box.
The search engine of Advertisement HostGator usually does a great job of first displaying the most relevant articles. For example, when we typed’ import WordPress,’ the site highlighted articles about transferring WordPress sites from WordPress.com or other sites, moving a WordPress site, or using standard tools for importing and exporting.
Support is available 24/7/365 when you run into trouble via live chat and mobile (toll-free in the US).
We’ve always had good results from the help of HostGator and it was no different this time. When we tried live chat, a supportive agent replied within a minute, instantly heard our question and gave us reasonable and detailed advice: just what we wanted
HostGator’s high-end VPS and dedicated plans are short on configurability, but its shared hosting plans offer loads of features at a very fair price, there’s top-quality support to ensure everything runs smoothly, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee ensures no risk. A smart choice for users who need more shared hosting.