HostGator’s alligator mascot is larger-than-life and its TV commercials are quirky enough to stick in the memory banks, allowing the US-based web hosting service to remain in the public spotlight as one of today’s top hosting providers.

However, beyond all the hype and marketing dollars, it’s HostGator’s commitment to delivering superior features and performance that has kept them at the front of the pack since 2002.

In this enlightening HostGator review, we’ll pull back the curtains on this popular hosting provider, go into its pros and cons, look at each of its hosting packages, and help you determine if HostGator is the right hosting company for you.

What’s Right with HostGator?

As you’ll find out in this HostGator review, HostGator has plenty to boast about. After all, there’s a reason it’s one of the world’s most popular hosting services providers.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest pros of going with HostGator for your web hosting needs:

Fast Servers and Loading Times

HostGator’s servers are fast. Even its most inexpensive shared hosting plans regularly earn high performance marks compared to other web hosts.

That said, the speed of your website will largely depend on how it’s constructed and whether or not site speed best practices were followed.

Nonetheless, if you want your website to thrive rather than just survive, you’ll need a hosting provider with high-performance servers to let the traffic flow quickly from page to page.

Fast Servers and Loading Times

HostGator’s servers are fast. Even its most inexpensive shared hosting plans regularly earn high performance marks compared to other web hosts.

That said, the speed of your website will largely depend on how it’s constructed and whether or not site speed best practices were followed.

Nonetheless, if you want your website to thrive rather than just survive, you’ll need a hosting provider with high-performance servers to let the traffic flow quickly from page to page.

Solid Uptime

A free domain, amazing website builder, easy-to-use cPanel, cloud hosting, and one-click WordPress installation is great, but if you’re reading a review of HostGator, it’s important to get to what matters most: server speed and uptime.

We covered HostGator’s server speed, which is pretty darn fast, but its uptime is equally impressive. Right from the get-go, you’ll experience 99.9 percent uptime with HostGator.

However, don’t get too excited because this has become standard for most of today’s well-known hosting companies. That said, it’s still important.

Every minute your website spends offline is another £1 or £100 you’re losing. Poor uptime also provides a bad user experience, which can affect your brand much deeper than losing a buck or two.

To back up their claims of having 99.9 percent uptime, HostGator offers a money-back guarantee. If your website doesn’t reach the 99.9 percent uptime threshold for any reason, HostGator will compensate you accordingly.

Unlimited Everything (Almost)

As other Hostgator reviews will attest, HostGator offers nearly unlimited everything. While you don’t get a free domain name, you get access to important hosting features like unlimited bandwidth, disc space, and databases.

You don’t have to get a dedicated server or VPS, but if you opt for more than the basic shared hosting plans you also get unlimited account domain names and email addresses. This is a big plus, especially for businesses with several employees and web properties.

That said, as you’ll see a bit further down in this Hostgator.com review, even HostGator will put some limits on your account. However, if you’re on a standard shared hosting plan and only using it to run a site or two, your chances of running into a resource issue should be slim at best.

In fact, it would actually be quite difficult to reach HostGator’s limits. The good news is, if your site is experiencing a high volume of traffic, you can always upgrade to VPS hosting or a dedicated server. You’ll simply have to pay a little more.

Free Installations and Site Migrations

If you’re reading this HostGator review because you’re wondering whether or not it’s better than your current provider, you’ll be pleased to know HostGator makes the process as simple as can be.

Whether you’re migrating to cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, or switching to a VPS, you simply need to sign up. They’ll take care of the necessary technical steps.

HostGator also offers a wide-variety of one-click installs. From WordPress to Joomla and Drupal, you can install a CMS by entering a site name and clicking a few buttons. That’s all there is to it.

Many HostGator reviews gloss over the importance of simple and easy site migration. However, if you already have a site and lack the technical know-how to get it done without pulling your hair out, it’s importance can’t be stated enough.

Other than perhaps Bluehost, the tools and services HostGator provides makes getting a website off the ground easier than other web hosts we’ve used.

Helpful Customer Support

Hostgator provides its users with helpful 24/7 support via phone and online chat. While the chat support can be a little slow, the techs are extremely knowledgeable and know their stuff.

If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, there are several tutorials, forums, and other support channels available as well.

Discount Pricing

At HostGator, you can choose from a variety of quality hosting packages for next to nothing. With great first-time user discounts, they make a compelling argument to switch providers or finally make the leap to creating your first blog or site.

What’s Wrong with HostGator?

HostGator is solid and has plenty of good things going for it, but no HostGator review would be complete without picking it apart to find and share any shortcomings.

So, in an effort to be the go-to HostGator review 2019, we dove headfirst into the platform and service to find any disadvantages. Here’s what we found:

Inconsistent Speeds

Although HostGator’s web hosting delivers fast speeds and rock-solid uptime, there have been several reports of inconsistent loading speeds. As a major hosting company, it should deliver consistently fast speeds, but it doesn’t.

That’s a bold statement to make, and you certainly won’t find many other HostGator reviews dishing out such honesty and transparency, but it’s true. Sometimes, your site will load super-fast, but at other times it may lag.

This is often due to having too many sites using up too many resources on the same server. However, it can also be due to a surge in traffic or not optimizing your site the right way, both of which would cause it to load more slowly.

Delayed Chat Support

HostGator’s phone support is great. They answer calls immediately and will walk you through whatever you might need help with. However, the live chat support is often delayed by at least a few minutes or more. Talk about a real pain.

Lackluster Website Builder

HostGator’s website builder is a bit overpriced. Although the free site builder is a pretty neat and handy tool, it’s also limited in what it can do. If you want to unlock more features to build a large and dynamic site, you’ll need to upgrade one of the many paid hosting plans.

When you add it all up, it’s easy to spend more than you might have budgeted to have a blog or website online. However, you don’t need to.

In fact, you don’t have to pay more for a website builder at all. WordPress is free, and it’s responsible for millions of fantastic websites in the Internet today.

Limited Backups

In almost any review of HostGator, the hosting services provider is bashed for its extremely limiting, non-automatic backup process. Although HostGator allows you to perform these backups yourself through our cPanel, it can be tedious.

Automated backups are available, but you’ll have to pay more. Plus, even they have their limitations and you’re only allowed to keep a week’s worth of backups at any given time. if you want to set your site back to a point any earlier than that, you’re plum out of luck.

This means, if you take your website seriously, you’ll need to use a third-party backup service. However, these can also be a pain whenever you have a problem you need taken care of right away.

Pricey Renewal Fees

HostGator’s renewal fees can be a bit expensive, but honestly, pricey renewal fees have been standard practice throughout the industry for a while now.

Although the rates are enticingly low when you first sign up with Hostgator, they usually jump when your first term expires. Known as “promotional pricing,” it will leave you doing a double-take when it comes time to renew.

HostGator Hosting Plans

Now that we’ve discussed some of HostGator’s pros and cons in this HostGator review, it’s time to move on to the different web hosting plans it has to offer. Like BlueHost and other popular web hosts, HostGator offers a bevy of hosting packages to suit just about every website owner.

Whether you need shared hosting, cloud hosting, WordPress cloud hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated server hosting, you’ll find a wide-variety of web hosting options to pick from. Here’s an in-depth look at every plan HostGator offers:

Shared Hosting

Hatchling Plan – Great for Beginners

From £2.23 a month, HostGator’s Hatchling Plan is perfect for anyone creating their first blog or website. While it may not be the most affordable hosting option like some HostGator reviews claim, it definitely won’t break the bank.

The Hatchling Plan comes with support for a single domain name, unmetered bandwidth, a shared SSL certificate, one-click installation support, and a few other nice features.

Hatchling Plan pricing structure:

• £2.23/month for three years
• £2.91/month for two years
• £4.83/month for one year
• £8.89 month-to-month

Similar to other hosting companies and plans, the longer you commit to and the more you pay upfront, the lower your monthly and overall costs will be.

Baby Plan – Next Step Up

The Baby Plan is the next step up. It starts at £4.83 a month and is one of HostGator’s most popular plans. One of its big perks is the ability to host unlimited domains.

So, if you’re reading this HostGator hosting review hoping to find a plan that will allow you to expand and start another site, or two, or three, this is the plan for you.

Baby Plan pricing structure:

• £4.83/month for three years
• £5.64/month for two years
• £7.27/month for one year
• £9.70 month-to-month

Business Plan – Good for Small Businesses

If you’re reading this HostGator review as a small business owner or someone planning to launch an online empire from the ground up, the Business Plan may be an ideal solution. It’s the last shared hosting plan and it’s loaded with features designed to elevate your SEO and site security.

As its name clearly states, it’s a business plan, so you won’t get a free domain, a shared SSL certificate, or extra GB of disc space. Instead, you get a private SSL certificate, dedicated IP address, FTP accounts, solid SEO tools, a business phone number, and other business-related perks.

Business Plan pricing structure:

• £4.83/month for three years
• £5.64/month for two years
• £7.27/month for one year
• £13.76 month-to-month

Cloud Hosting

While they’re a little more costly than shared hosting plans, with the most affordable one starting out at £4.02 a month, HostGator’s cloud hosting plans provide a higher level of hosting and a ton of additional benefits.

Most site owners don’t need this elevated level of hosting, but if your website is growing fast or you’re scaling your traffic, it’s definitely worth considering.

With HostGator’s cloud hosting, rather than being tied down to a single physical server, your website files are hosted on a network of servers. This makes scaling much, much easier.

Plus, there’s the added advantage of having nearly perfect uptime. You never have to worry about hardware malfunctions and switching to another network server is quick and simple if need be.

HostGator’s cloud hosting will also provide you with twice the speed, 400 percent more server resources, and access to an enhanced cPanel with a performance dashboard for better server and website monitoring.

Cloud Hosting pricing structure:

• £4.02 monthly for Hatchling Cloud plan
• £5.33 monthly for Baby Cloud plan
• £8.08 monthly for three years of Business Cloud plan

As you can guess, with each of these plans, you get the same features as the corresponding shared plans. The only difference is access to a server network verses a standalone server.

WordPress Hosting

If you use WordPress for your site like millions of others do, you’ll want a host that will help optimize your site for better performance and results.

While you can get away with using a regular shared hosting plan when your site is small, an optimized WordPress hosting package will better support its growth and improve things like security and loading speeds.

If you have a growing WordPress blog or website, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal on WordPress hosting. Here’s a look at each of HostGator’s WordPress hosting plans:

Starter Plan – Perfect for New WordPress Sites

The Starter Plan is geared towards those running a single WordPress site that doesn’t get too much traffic. I know what you’re thinking: there’s no such thing as too much traffic. However, you need a hosting plan able to support that traffic.

The Starter Plan can support up to 25,000 visitors to a WordPress site each month, but you’ll have to upgrade when you start pulling in thousands of visitors a day.

That said, 25,000 monthly visitors is nothing to scoff at, and the Starter Plan also comes with 50 GB of file storage space and 1 GB of space for backups alone.

Starter Plan pricing structure:

• £4.83/month for three years
• £6.45/month for one year
• £12.14 month-to-month

Standard Plan – Most Popular

This is HostGator’s most popular WordPress hosting plan. It’s only a couple of pounds more a month, but it gives the ability to support up to 200,000 visitors each month and host not one but two WordPress sites.

Standard Plan pricing structure:

• £6.45/month for three years
• £8.08/month for one year
• £17.01 month-to-month

Business Plan – More Websites and Traffic

This is the last WordPress hosting plan. Not only does it allow you to operate three different WordPress sites, but it also supports up to 300,000 monthly visitors.

The Business Plan also provides you with unlimited disc space and up to 3 GB of backup file storage, which is great for larger sites.

Business Plan pricing structure:

• £8.08/month for three years
• £9.70/month for one year
• £22.69 month-to-month

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is ideal for those who’ve grown beyond the limits of shared hosting but not quite enough to justify a dedicated server. Utilizing virtualization technology, virtual private servers are able to construct a dedicated server environment at half the cost.

With VPS hosting, you’ll get upgraded storage, super-fast performance, enhanced security, and the ability to scale quickly as your traffic continues to grow.

There are three HostGator VPS plans. Let’s have a look at each:

Snappy 2000

HostGator’s Snappy 2000 VPS plan offers two CPU cores, 1.5 TB of bandwidth, 120 GB of disc space, and 2 GB of RAM. You also get full access to the root server, several security layers, weekly offsite backups, a script installer, web development tools with thousands of design templates, and much more.

Snappy 2000 pricing structure with cPanel:

• £24.31/month for three years
• £32.43/month for two years
• £40.55/month for one year
• £73.03 month-to-month

Snappy 2000 pricing structure without cPanel:

• £16.20/month for three years
• £24.31/month for two years
• £32.43/month for one year
• £64.91 month-to-month

Snappy 4000

As the next step up, the Snappy 4000 VPS plan provides two CPU cores, 2 TB of bandwidth, 165 GB of disc space, 4 GB of RAM, and all of the same Snappy 2000 features.

Snappy 4000 pricing structure with cPanel:

• £32.43/month for three years
• £40.55/month for two years
• £48.67/month for one year
• £105.50 month-to-month

Snappy 4000 pricing structure without cPanel:

• £24.31/month for three years
• £32.43/month for two years
• £40.55/month for one year
• £97.38 month-to-month

Snappy 8000

With this last VPS plan, you get four CPU cores, 3 TB of bandwidth, 240 GB of disc space, 8 GB of RAM, and all of the same great features as the previous plans.

Snappy 8000 pricing structure with cPanel:

• £40.55/month for three years
• £48.67/month for two years
• £56.79/month for one year
• £129.86 month-to-month

Snappy 8000 pricing structure without cPanel:

• £32.43/month for three years
• £40.55/month for two years
• £48.67/month for one year
• £121.74 month-to-month

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is expensive, but it gives you access to your very own physical server. In addition to pretty much unlimited everything, you can use your server how you want for whatever you want.

That said, dedicated hosting requires some degree of technical knowledge, especially if you want to optimize your server setup.

Most sites never get large enough to require their own server, but if your site is and you have the technical know-how and resources to manage a dedicated server, it will provide you with a number of benefits, including:

• Lightning-fast performance
• Insane amount of storage
• Extremely high levels of security
• Endless customization options

HostGator is known for its high-performance dedicated server hosting plans. With any of them, you can choose to run Windows or Linux operating systems and manage your entire server environment with a relatively easy-to-use cPanel app. From here, you can also choose between a semi-managed or fully managed hosting environment.

Here’s a look at the specifics of each plan:

Value Server Plan

The Value Server plan gives you access to a 4 Core/8 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU with unmetered bandwidth, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB HDD. You can choose to run either Windows or Linux operating systems, and you also receive an IP-based firewall, advanced server management tools, cutting-edge DDOS protection, and 24/7 server monitoring.

Value Server pricing structure:

• £96.60/month for three years
• £104.72/month for two years
• £112.84/month for one year
• £153.44 month-to-month

Power Server Plan

The Power Server Plan gives you access to an 8 Core/16 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU with unmetered bandwidth, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD or 2 TB HDD, and everything included in the Value Server dedicated hosting plan.

Power Server pricing structure:

• £112.84/month for three years
• £120.97/month for two years
• £145.32/month for one year
• £202.15 month-to-month

Enterprise Server Plan

The Enterprise Server plan gives you access to an 8 Core/16 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU with unmetered bandwidth, 30 GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD, and everything included in the Power Server plan. Like the other plans, you can also choose between Windows or Linux operating systems.

Enterprise Server pricing structure:

• £120.95/month for three years
• £145.32/month for two years
• £161.56/month for one year
• £234.62 month-to month

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting allows you to lease your server resources as an add-on service and earn money from it just like any legitimate hosting company. Unlike them, however, you don’t have to physically maintain any servers.

Here’s a quick look at each of HostGator’s reseller hosting plans:

Aluminum Plan

Starting at £16.20 a month, the Aluminum Plan gives you access to:

• 500 GB of bandwidth
• 50 GB of disc space
• Free SSL
• Support for unlimited domains

Copper Plan

Starting at £22.70 a month, the Copper Plan gives you access to:

• 700 GB of bandwidth
• 80 GB of disc space
• Free SSL
• Support for unlimited domains

Silver Plan

Starting at £32.44 a month, the Silver Plan gives you access to:

• 1000 GB of bandwidth
• 120 GB of disc space
• Free SSL
• Support for unlimited domains

Gold Plan

Starting at £48.68 a month, the Gold Plan gives you access to:

• 1200 GB of bandwidth
• 160 GB of disc space
• Free SSL
• Support for unlimited domains

Windows Hosting

Although Linux is the OS of choice when it comes to hosting, if you need a Windows-specific hosting setup, HostGator has a plan for that too.

HostGator’s Windows hosting plans feature a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, Parallels Plesk Panel, IIS, and a myriad of other hosting services specific to Windows. If you need to run Windows, it will allow you to fully optimize your server and website performance.

HostGator offers two Windows hosting plans:

Personal Plan – £3.86/month and up

• Single domain
• Unmetered bandwidth and disc space
• Free SSL certificate

Enterprise Plan – £11.66/month and up

• Five domains
• Unmetered bandwidth and disc space
• Free dedicated IP and Positive SSL upgrade

Application Hosting

HostGator allows you to install dozens of applications on your server. WordPress is the most popular, but there are several other helpful applications available to choose from, all of which come with one-click installation.

Some of HostGator’s most popular applications include:

• WordPress
• Drupal
• Joomla
• Wiki
• Magento
• PhpBB

Why Use HostGator?

If you’ve made it this far in this HostGator review, chances are you like what you see. After all, millions of others obviously did too, and for good reason.

HostGator is a seriously reliable hosting provider with a number of packages and features to meet the needs of any website. When you sign up for a hosting plan at HostGator, you’ll get access to a ton of cool features like:

• Unlimited bandwidth and storage
• Free site migration
• One-click CMS and application installs
• SSL certificates
• Powerful cPanel software (including Plesk)
• Strong firewalls
• Network-level protection
• Regular site scans
• Security PIN creation and more!

Plus, HostGator throws in a $100 Google Adwords credit as well, which you can use to help get the traffic flowing and your site off the ground. When you factor in their 99.9 percent uptime and 45-day money-back guarantee on all hosting packages, there’s no reason not to take HostGator for a spin.

Additional HostGator Tools

In addition to everything listed above, HostGator also offers a variety of other useful tools, including:

Website Builder

You can access HostGator’s website builder free of charge with most plans. It’s super easy to use and great for creating websites quickly and efficiently. With drag-and-drop editing software, over 100 mobile-friendly design templates, and pre-built site sections, it speeds up the entire process.

The website builder is equipped with several other cool features as well, including:

• Google Analytics integration
• Social media integration
• PayPal integration
• Built-in SEO tools
• Ecommerce functionality and more.
• Social media integration

While it doesn’t quite compete with the likes of Wix, Weebly, or WordPress, it’s a viable option and a big help, especially for new site owners.

Domain Name Management

Much more than a hosting company, HostGator is also a domain name registrar with a variety of helpful domain name management tools.

With these tools, you can automatically renew your domain name, manage every single aspect of your domain, set it to renew automatically, lock it in case you forget to auto-renew it, and more.

CodeGuard

CodeGuard is one of many premium add-ons available for you to add to your hosting plan whenever you want. As one of the most popular add-ons, it allows you to automatically backup your site rather than going the manual route.

This handy tool can also be used for regular site monitoring, and similar to SiteLock it will alert you if anyone attempts to make any unwanted changes. You can also use it to restore your site from a prior backup if need be.

SiteLock

SiteLock is a helpful monitoring service designed to provide protection from hackers. If your website is compromised, it will send you an alert, assist in fixing the issue, and help beef up the security of your site.

Premium HostGator Services

In addition to all of the great features and tools discussed above and throughout this HostGator review, the popular web host also offers a bevy of premium services to make your life as a website owner easier and more profitable.

Web Design Service

If you want your site to look, feel, and function like it was designed by a professional, HostGator can provide you with exactly that. For a fee, their team of website design professionals will provide you with a premium custom website template built with WordPress and some pages of content to give you a great head start.

PPC Service

If you want to increase traffic and sales via paid advertising, HostGator’s pay-per-click service might be able to help. You can work directly with their team to create a profitable list of keywords to target, create compelling ad copy, and more. They can even manage your campaigns for you to boost your conversion percentage and ROI.

SEO Review Service

A solid SEO strategy and the know-how to put it in action can help your website rank highly in Google and the other search engines for a steady stream of free traffic. When you contact HostGator’s SEO team for a consultation and decide to take them up on their services, they’ll help you put together and execute a proven SEO strategy combining keyword research, content creation, and on-site optimization.

Should You Use HostGator?

In one word – YES!

While there are other solid hosting providers, like Bluehost, out there to choose from, HostGator is ultra-reliable and just about does it all.

As one of the world’s top hosting providers, it offers a multitude of different hosting packages and tools to support virtually every website owner, regardless of their needs, budget, or skill level.

That being said, no web host is perfect, so it does have some drawbacks. However, HostGator’s features are some of the best in the business and its reputation is as solid as it gets, earning it our recommendation.

Do you use HostGator for your website? What do you think? Feel free to share your experience and thoughts below!