September 21, 2014

HostGator Web Hosting and VPS Hosting Review

[infobox]Congratulations! HostGator has made two special offers available to you. Use coupon: hostingchoose during your order of the Baby plan for one month and get your first month for one penny. Use coupon: hostingchoose25 to save 25% on larger prepaid plans. More details.[/infobox]
HostGator Web Hosting and VPS Hosting Review

HostGator Review Essentials

Web Hosting Hub is currently a top 5 ranked web host and for good reason. Let’s take a quick look at their plans:

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What’s the difference between all of these plans? Which one do we recommend?

We strongly recommend the Baby Plan. This plan offers you the ability to setup unlimited websites whereas the Hatchling plan only allows you to have 1 website on your account.

All shared hosting plans in the table above include unlimited disk space, bandwidth, 1-click installs and free advertising with Google Adwords.

Have experience with HostGator? Awesome! Please click here and leave a review below!

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Featured HostGator Video

This is a great video by HostGator on using their QuickInstall feature to quickly install WordPress. This system automatically installs WordPress, the database, and everything else needed to get started with your first website using one of the most popular content management systems available.

Hosting Plan Comparison

These prices are available with the hostingchoose25 coupon that gives 25% off. Prices on HostGator’s website reflect 20% off so keep that in mind.

Hatchling Shared Web Hosting Price Comparison:

  • Monthly payment: $6.71 per month $0.01 (reminder use coupon hostingchoose for free month!)
  • 6 Month Prepay: Your total price: $40.28
  • 12 Month Prepay: Your total price: $62.55
  • 24 Month Prepay: Your total price: $107.10
  • 36 Month Prepay: Your total price: $133.65

Baby Shared Web Hosting Price Comparison:

  • Monthly payment: $7.46 per month $0.01 (reminder use coupon hostingchoose for free month!)
  • 6 Month Prepay: Your total price: $44.78
  • 12 Month Prepay: Your total price: $89.55
  • 24 Month Prepay: Your total price: $161.10
  • 36 Month Prepay: Your total price: $214.65

Business Shared Web Hosting Price Comparison:

  • Monthly payment: $14.95 per month $5.01 first month (reminder use coupon hostingchoose for 9.95 off!)
  • 6 Month Prepay: Your total price: $67.28
  • 12 Month Prepay: Your total price: $134.55
  • 24 Month Prepay: Your total price: $251.10
  • 36 Month Prepay: Your total price: $349.65

Note: Use coupon hostingchoose25 for 25% off any prepay plan because it saves more. Only use coupon hostingchoose on the monthly payment options.

HostGator Available Hosting Options

HostGator Hosting Options

Besides the shared hosting plans highlighted above, HostGator also offers reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. The exclusive coupons work on all of these plans as well, however, you aren’t able to prepay on most plans as they are only available as monthly payment. That being said, let’s go ahead and review these other options:

Reseller Hosting: Use this if you plan to host clients or want to be your own web hosting company. In the past, I’ve used this exact plan because I wanted all of my accounts to have separate cPanel accounts.

Virtual Private Server: If you want more control over your environment, check out the VPS offering. More expensive but the servers typically have less websites crammed on them providing a better reliability.

Dedicated Servers: HostGator offers 4 dedicated server configurations in both Linux and Windows OS varieties. Prices start at $174 per month and end at $374 per month depending on the configuration.

HostGator’s E-commerce Solution

HostGator E-commerce FeaturesOne of my favorite things about HostGator is they have a package available targeted specifically to business owners who want to run an E-commerce website.

Under the Business Plan, you’ll have access to a free private SSL, a dedicated IP address, and a toll free telephone number you can use for your business (first time I’ve seen a free toll-free number offered). This is everything you will need to setup your first (or existing) E-commerce website.

This plan also includes a 1-click installer to install open-source shopping cart software such as Magento, Cube-Cart, osCommerce, Zencart, and more. Please refer to the comparison section above to see current Business Plan pricing at the time of this review.

Customer Service Review

HostGator Customer Service ReviewHostGator offers everything but the kitchen sink when it comes to customer support options. These support options include:

  • Toll-free telephone technical, sales, and billing support that is North America based and is 24/7.
  • Toll / local telephone support including an international number.
  • Live chat – 24/7 that was active and live at the time of this review.
  • Direct email addresses to specific departments.
  • Ticket submission system.
  • Direct mail addresses to 3 locations.
  • Social networking. Facebook for pictures and videos of what is going on and group discussion. Twitter for live updates, fast responses, and discussion. Very active with 11,000+ tweets and 35k+ followers.
  • Discussion forum. Very active with 113,250 members, 222,800+ threads, and 400,396 posts with many posts this month so far. This is the most active host-specific forum I’ve seen, even beating GoDaddy.
  • Company blog. This blog is updated frequently and has 4 lengthy posts made this month alone (as of Jan 23rd, 2013).
  • Billing system to manage your billing, invoices, upgrade/downgrade, etc.
  • Video tutorials.
  • Searchable support portal with updated answers to the most frequently asked questions. This is updated and kept current. This is commonly known as a Knowledgebase.

HostGator continues to outpace all of the other hosts when it comes to customer support channels and options. If you need help, you’ll undoubtedly find the answers you are looking for, whether it be by live chat, tickets, or a quick telephone call.

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About the author 

Scott Buehler

I'm Scott Buehler and I'm here to help you choose the best web host for your needs. This site aims to be completely unbiased and is data driven for the ranking charts. Be sure to leave a review or comment below to share your experience. This site thrives off of word of mouth. Please share this site on your website, blog, or social media. Add me to your circles! Thanks!

  • Hostgator is quite good, using them over the years to host my sites. Thing I like most about them is that you can always migrate to upper or lower plan. Support is also good.

    Scott, you have done a great job with this review, listed everything one would like to read in a hosting review. Cheers, Max

  • Nice review,I have been hostgator almost 1 years,has no issue at the moment,and their supports good too,not like EIG “Unlimited” hosting,they banned you without notice or given your reason.

  • We love hostgator and have seen no reliability issues as we have had no downtime since we joined about 8 months ago.

    We like the fact that you can go for a dedicated server down the road as our business grows. This is something the other low cost shared hosting providers don’t offer.

  • We have been with hostgator for over 8 years. They have been great over the years but recently there has been a huge decline in the ability of their customer service and support. We are a website development firm and host many websites with Hostgator. We have both a shared hosting account and a VPS account with them.

    It has been a mystery to me for the last 8 – 9 months why the sudden change in their service and customer support. now after finding this article it makes sense that the acquisition has been the root cause of all of the issues we have been experiencing.

    Their live chat and phone support used to be top notch and really good. In the past year though we have experienced many server issues affecting our hosting up-time and their front line support staff has been sub par. I have actually had to educate many of their support staff as to what the issue is and how to fix it on their end. We have had our emails go down more than half a dozen times in the last year for many of our clients as well having their websites also go down for hours on end. No explanation has ever been given, they just randomly go down.

    I have been very frustrated with their lack of up-time service. In addition they have changed our hosting servers a few times and not given us adequate time to update the DNS records for all of our clients. As such we experienced many downed websites until the problem was fixed.

    They do have a great staff on their higher up tech support level 3. These are the guys that usually get things fixed for us. However you can only get to them via emailing support or submitting a ticket.

    overall I would put them at 6.5 out of 10. They used to be 9.8 in my book. I think they just got too big.

  • HostGator used to be the best. After EIG bought them, word on the street is they wanted to cut costs. So in June and July they started migrating everyone to new servers. People on the forums were saying that they were stuffing too many users onto too few servers and that’s why everything was becoming slow. What I observed personally was when I was connected to my mysql database via a command line, I would run a simple command like “show databases;” or “select now();” and, as you may know, after every command the console says how long it took to execute. It would take between 30 and 60 seconds to run one of those simple commands.

    I contacted support for 3 days in a row and they kept trying to pin it on WordPress even though I had told them that I wasn’t even using a browser and it had nothing to do with WordPress or PHP or anything. Then they kept trying to say that there were other users hogging resources on the same server. It’s just so annoying when support doesn’t try to fix the problem and insults your intelligence by trying to lie to you.

    Finally, I got a REAL answer from support:

    Jonathan S.:I greatly apologize for the inconvenience this has caused, at the moment our Migrations Team and our Server Monitoring Team are very aware of the network situation with our new servers. As we concentrate on stabilizing all of our servers to be able to correctly handle the load and optimizing them to control the network and MySQL request along with all of the other issues that arise. I can assure you our team is working day and night to ensure we can get all of our servers to an optimal speed. Your patience is greatly appreciated in these moments. We hope you see better results very soon as we roll out new optimization scripts.

    This was on July 25, 8 days before HostGator went down for an entire day. And as of this writing the database slowness is STILL not fixed. So I am done with HostGator with their cost cutting, with their shitty support, with their UNACCEPTABLY SLOW infrastructure.

  • thank you for the comments. I had been with hostgator for few years never had problems until the last 4-5 months… The emails are starting to bounce, the host gator server gets all the time put on black lists 🙁 hostgator has always nice explanations for the reason but never fix the problem. I expect the email to be working for $25 per month hosting.. time to move to different host…

  • I was using just Hostgator, but mistakingly created too many accounts, to the point where I couldn’t keep track of everything so I switched to in the UK and moved most of my sites across, in an attempt to simplify everything, but my new Daily VPS is not managed, so in that regard I miss Hostgator, because HG can usually get you sorted on issues 24/7 on live chat, which Daily doesn’t have.

    I am not a techie…

    I can’t fault the support I got from Hostgator… when my 1 yr is up with Daily I need to consider some better options for hosting around 30 WP sites.

  • I purchased a Hostgator reseller account in 2/2012, I mainly host static sites there and, for the most part, they have been running fine since since the buyout. However, the single concrete5 site now often slows down to a crawl. I know concrete5 isn’t the highest performing CMS around, but it sometimes gets so slow it keeps pages from fully loading. The site does not do a lot of business, but it got so bad towards the end of July that a few customers wrote in saying they couldn’t add items to the shopping cart. I only used their support a handful of times before the buyout and they were great. Since the issues I had in July, I noticed that the level of support has dropped to a nearly non-existent level. That is to say, none of my issues have been resolved via support since then and I can no longer recommend them for anything besides static site hosting.

  • We’ve had Hostgator for the last year plus. We were a little ignorant about hosting at the beginning and didn’t understand that “UNLIMITED” doesn’t actually mean unlimited. We started running into problems with maxing out our inodes and then we lost the ability to do back ups. On top of this, there were 2 major outages and then we had our servers switched over on us with NO warning whatsoever, and when we wrote and called them to find out what happened, they had no apology available. We’re in the process of switching over to Knownhost right now, and have been VERY pleased with them. Hostgator serves it’s purpose, but I’ve heard from many sources that feel like their service is slipping.

  • We use Hostgator and have two dedicated Apache Web Servers for our clients. Their online help desk is second to none and they respond immediately when there is a breech in security. Below is a typical email:


    Thank you for contacting HostGator Support. I was able to replicate the issue with the missing databases. It appeared to be a mapping issue within cPanel. I have re-mapped these databases and they are now appearing as they should.

    Let us know if you have any further questions or issues and we’ll be happy to assist.


    Ryan R.
    Supervisor LLC

  • I love Host Gator! I have their mid-grade plan and it’s been fantastic. Their customer support is awesome, they are prompt with fixes and updates and they are ALWAYS polite! Great company, great staff, fantastic service. I can’t recommend them enough.

  • I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE HOSTGATOR. 10 OUT OF 10 I can’t believe some of these reviews. I’ve had nothing but an amazing experience with Hostgator. So much so, that I have converted a lot of companies I’ve worked for from private hosting sites and Go Daddy to hostgator and have looked like a rockstar because I saved them so much money. When they say 24 hours customer service, they are not lying. I have chatted with representatives at all times of the day and night. Their representatives have all been courteous and extremely knowledgeable. Technically, they don’t support errors on WordPress but some way some how they have fixed any time I have gotten myself into a snag. I have done 9 websites hosted through hostgator and found it to be inexpensive, and very extremely valuable. I do not work or have ever worked for them, this is a 100% real review. I have to admit I am the ultimate evangelist for hostgator, I absolutely LOVE THEM!

    • Arlene, to be fair, HostGator had a lot of tough issues they worked through earlier in the year which is where a lot of the negativity came from. Unlike almost every hosting review site out there, I publish it all. 🙂

  • I had a problem where my account payment got switched with another account I had. They fixed it real easy for me. I was really surprised about how on top of it they were. I have no reason to switch over to a new hosting service because HostGator is a great host!

  • We’ve been with Hostgator for over a year.
    They were absolutely fabulous until the EIG takeover and Migration to Provo.
    They are now terrible, to the extend that I am shutting our accounts and moving them to Hawkhost.

    WAS: Live support chat usually answered in under 1 minute by an operator who was just just handling your enquiry and who was knowledgeable.
    NOW: Live support chat is answered in between 5 and 30 minutes by an uneducated muppet obviously dealing with 10 different people (1 minute between each message) who seems to be following a script which goes as follows : (1) There isn’t a problem (2) There might be a problem but it’s your fault (3) OK, there is a problem, but we’re sorting it (4) Actually I’ve no idea what I’m talking about and will create you a support ticket.

    WAS: Server uptime – Perfect, never down. Server speed – Like lightning.
    NOW: Server uptime – down at some point every day. Server speed – morse code would be quicker.

    I’ve tolerated this terrible service for 4 months now and things aren’t any better – in fact live support is getting worse.

    It’s time to move!

    • I would echo exactly what Clive has said regarding HostGator. We’ve been using them for roughly 4 years and service WAS AMAZING. Whenever we had issues we could jump into an online chat almost instantly, with no wait time to speak of, and have a solution very quickly. Now, sites on our reseller account are having unacceptable load times happening sporadically and without cause and without explanation from HostGator. Now, when do go into chat we often have to wait 20+ minutes to get connected to a support person AND they are not as knowledgeable as they used to be.

      I came to this website from a Google search as I look for a replacement. With over 75 sites with HostGator moving will be a pain, and expensive, but we can’t continue to provide our customers with unacceptable service. It makes us look bad if we can not provide a functioning website for our customers or an explanation when things are not working as they should.

      We keep hoping that these sporadic glitches will stop, but they have not over the last 3-4 months, they have only increased. So sad. I’ve thought about converting over to a VPS with them to see if this helps the issue, but I’m having a hard time saying I want to give them even more money.

  • We have been with hostgator from the early days in 2003, when they still run a small hosting firm out of boca raton
    Over the years i have referred 100+ clients to them and always knew that they will be happy with HG
    Unfortunately everything changed when they decided to move to the Provo data center, over the last few months we had drastic downtime (13 hours in January and 14 hours in April 2014) and i have lost some serious business because of that.

    At this point I’m looking for another hosting solution and will move away from HG

    Bottom line, i can’t recommend HG at all anymore, times when you could email Brent (the owner) for any help are over, support lacks on quality and up-time – well, 2 days down in just a few months explains everything

    Kind of a sad story to see such a good business turn into a nightmare for their clients….

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