In this HostGator review, you’ll learn whether this web host is a good choice for beginners. I’ll highlight the various features and pricing plans that HostGator offers, as well as what you need to know to start with HostGator.
HostGator has been there for more than 20 years.
The company was launched in 2002 by Brent Oxley, who was then a student at Florida Atlantic University. In 2011, it was acquired by Endurance International Group [EIG], a leading web hosting investor with more than 20 acquisitions, which also owns Bluehost, BigRock, and iPage web hosting.
So, in this HostGator review, I’ll share my experience with HostGator with you, as well as discuss the following topics:
- Brief introduction about HostGator
- Pros and Cons of HostGator
- Pricing and Features of HostGator
- Creating your website with HostGator hosting
- And, so much more
For over a year, I’ve been testing the performance of some of the most popular hosting providers, and HostGator ranks fourth in my list in terms of loading speed, server uptime, top features, and pricing.
So, read on to find out why HostGator is considered one of the best web hosting providers for beginners as well as experienced users.
HostGator Web Hosting Services
HostGator was established in 2002 and is well-known for its excellent performance and consistent uptime. HostGator currently hosts over 8 million domains worldwide and employs over 850 people who provide round-the-clock support.
It is considered one of the best web hosting services for small and medium-sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and bloggers.
In their shared hosting plans, you can get unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain for a year, a free SSL certificate, and a lot more.
Not only that, but they also offer 24/7 assistance, a 45-day money-back guarantee, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
HostGator also provides a website builder, BaseKit, Joomla, and WordPress, as well as a variety of other services such as backups and security including daily backups, malware scanning and removal, and site recovery.
Top Features of HostGator Hosting
- Guaranteed Uptime: 99.99%
- Server Speed: Fast server response time – 32 milliseconds in the US
- Support: 24/7/365 responsive live chat, email & phone support
- Sites Hosted: Over 8 million websites hosted
- Bandwidth: Unmetered
- Disk Space: Unmetered
- SSL Certificate: Free
- Domain Name: Free with Annual Plans
- CMS: Free 1-click App Installation
- Apps: WordPress, Jumla, Drupal, and many more (75+)
- Backup: Weekly Free Backup
- Google Ads Credit $100
- Bing Ads Credit $100
- Migration: Single Free Site Transfer
- Setup Time: 15 minutes or less (mostly instant)
- Refund: 45 days Money-back guarantee
- Pricing: Starting at $2.75/Month (renews at $6.95/mo)
Overall, HostGator is perfect if you have a limited budget, but you still need a good hosting provider with a ton of features and excellent uptime.
I love how they provide a free SSL certificate. You can also get daily backups with the help of CodeGuard. Well, this is a paid service. You can also get a free domain name if you sign up for one of their annual plans.
Another great feature is their very fast live chat, which you can access anytime on their website. You can even call them if you want to.
Pros of HostGator Web Hosting
The following are some of the biggest advantages you’ll find with HostGator if you decide to purchase a hosting plan:
1. High Uptime
Uptime is one of the most important factors – if not the most important factor – you should consider before selecting a web host.
After all, you want your website to be online 24/7, right?
HostGator offers a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, which is awesome.
HostGator‘s uptime is almost perfect, which means that your website will stay live whenever your visitors visit your website.
In my experience with HostGator, I had no downtime during the time I tested their hosting services. To be honest, when you buy a hosting plan for your website, you can’t expect 100% uptime. In an ideal world, a few downtimes a month wouldn’t be a big problem. But, HostGator provides a fantastic uptime.
Not only that, but they also provide an uptime guarantee, meaning that if their uptime goes below 99.9% in any way, you will be given a one-month credit on your account. However, HostGator has always been reliable in terms of uptime, so I doubt you’ll ever get a credit from them.
As a result, you won’t have to worry about your website’s uptime because they’ll make sure your server is always up and running.
2. Free Domain Name for Annual Plans
You can get a free domain with the purchase of an annual plan if you order it through HostGator. This is a pretty sweet deal, especially since a lot of other web hosts require you to pay extra for a domain name.
So, this is another reason why HostGator is perfect for beginners.
If you have a limited budget, you’ll love this because everyone wants to save money if they can. I mean, who wouldn’t want to save money?
So, it’s suggested that you get a free domain name from HostGator.
Please note that the domain will be free for one year only. From the next year, HostGator will charge you a renewal price for the domain name.
Note: The free domain is only available if you buy an annual plan.
3. Free SSL Certificate
As I’ve mentioned before in this article, HostGator provides a free SSL certificate for all of their hosting plans. So, if you want to use an SSL certificate on your website, (which you should), you won’t have to pay extra for it.
This is a pretty good deal, especially since SSL certificates usually cost around $10-$100+ or more per year for an SSL certificate.
With HostGator, you won’t have to pay anything for it.
4. Free Migration
HostGator provides a free site migration service, making it easier for you to move your site from one hosting server to another.
Their expert Migration team will assist you in transferring files, databases, scripts, and the domain name of your website. All you have to do is fill out a form and let HostGator handle the rest. Please make sure that you should request migration within the first 30 days of signing up with HostGator.
You can only transfer one website with shared hosting plans.
But you’ll be able to migrate as many as 30 websites with other hosting plans such as reseller, cloud, and dedicated servers.
Although the majority of hosting companies offer free site transfer, some, such as Bluehost, charge up to $149.99 for up to 5 websites. However, HostGator offers a completely free site migration service, for new accounts.
5. Fast and Professional Customer Support
Customers can reach HostGator hosting via phone, email (ticket system), or live chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can ask their friendly, knowledgeable, and well-trained staff for any inquiries about hosting.
If you prefer the chat option on the website, you can expect a response within 30 seconds during normal business hours. You won’t have to wait for hours before getting a reply from their team.
This is another one of the reasons why HostGator is perfect for beginners. After all, nobody wants to wait for hours before getting a response.
If you’d rather talk to someone, you can call them at the number they’ve provided, which will vary depending on the location where the site is hosted. You’ll also need to fill out a form and explain your issues if you use the ticketing system.
I’ve had a wonderful experience with HostGator customer service.
They’ll usually respond within 30 seconds and your problems will be resolved within 15 minutes, well, in most cases.
So, this is why I recommend HostGator for beginners because their support team will provide fast and friendly service at any time of the day.
6. Unlimited Almost Everything
Unlike other hosting companies, HostGator includes practically everything in all of their plans, with the exception of the shared hosting cheapest plan, which only allows you to host one website at a time.
They offer unlimited disk space, bandwidth, email accounts (forwarders and aliases), FTP accounts (sub-accounts as well as unlimited), MySQL Databases, and more. This is a really good deal, especially since some hosting companies will only allow 5 email accounts and 1 MySQL database.
Unlimited disk space means that you can have unlimited data on your hosting account. Unlimited bandwidth means that you can transfer an unlimited amount of data from your web space in a given period of time.
And unlimited databases means that you can install as many WordPress as you want. So, you don’t have to pay extra fees for that.
7. 45-day Money Back Guarantee
HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can use their services for 45 days and get your money back. So, you can try them risk-free and decide whether you want to continue their service or not.
While most hosting providers do not provide a money-back guarantee after 30 days, HostGator gives you plenty of time to review their performance.
This feature is included with all of their hosting plans.
Although they will deduct the standard fee if you have purchased the domain name along with web hosting.
Aside from that, you can use their services without risk, and if you are not totally happy with their performance, you can cancel your hosting plan and receive a full refund within 45 days.
Cons of HostGator Hosting
The following are some of the biggest disadvantages you’ll find with HostGator if you decide to purchase a hosting plan:
1. Average Loading Time
Even though HostGator’s uptime is good, it is not enough.
The loading speed of your website is also very essential, as it can have a significant impact on the number of visitors it receives. It can increase a website’s bounce rate and lower its search engine ranking.
Their server’s average loading time for the last 12 months has been 1191 ms, which is more than a second.
Consider the following scenario: your blog posts contain a large number of images, and you have a large number of WordPress plugins installed on your site. In that situation, the loading time of your website may increase to over 6-7 seconds, giving Google and your visitors a negative image of your website.
Note: A website’s loading time should be less than 2 seconds.
2. Limited Features
Although they offer some excellent features such as one-click installation of WordPress, Magento, and Joomla, as well as unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate, some important things are missing.
They don’t offer free Gsuite access, website backups, Sitelock monitoring, and free SEO tools are not available. As a result, you will need to pay an additional price when purchasing hosting in order to gain access to these functionalities.
Gsuite access costs $60 per year, SiteLock costs $19.99 per year, and CodeGuard, which backs up your site, costs $23.95 per year.
HostGator offers a variety of hosting plans which include shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers. You can choose whatever is suitable and affordable for you. Although, if this is your first website, I strongly advise you to go with shared hosting plans.
Here are the different hosting plans they offer to their customers:
- Shared hosting
- Cloud hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated Servers
Shared Web Hosting is the most popular type of web hosting that most people use, and it is mostly suitable for beginners.
Shared hosting simply means that you share a web server with other people. Your data is stored on a server along with other sites. In other words, you’ll be using the same server resources as many other customers.
HostGator offers 3 different types of shared hosting plans:
- Hatchling plan
- Baby plan
- Business plan
The Hatchling plan from HostGator starts with a low price of $2.75/mo. That will be the perfect solution for beginners who just need to run a single website with only a limited number of visitors per month.
The plan also includes a free domain name for one year, so you don’t need to spend extra money on buying a domain name. I should mention that the free domain name is only available to new customers, opting for annual plans.
One-click WordPress installation, free WordPress/Cpanel website transfer, free SSL certificate, free domain for a year, 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited free email addresses, and 24/7 support are all included in the Hatchling plan.
The baby plan with HostGator starts at $3.95/mo. This plan allows you to host multiple websites at the same time.
The plan includes one-click WordPress installation, free WordPress/Cpanel website transfer, free SSL certificate, free domain name for 1 year, 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited free email addresses, 24/7 customer support. And, add-on services such as private SSL and daily backups are available at an additional price.
As you can see, the Baby plan starts at quite a reasonable price, and they do offer more value for your money than the Hatchling plan.
HostGator’s Business plan starts at $5.95/mo. This is the best choice for those who run a small business and want to scale up that fast.
This plan contains all of the features of the hatchling and baby plans, as well as some extras like free SEO tools, a free upgrade to positive SSL, and a free dedicated IP address, all of which are required to build an eCommerce website.
So, you can see that the business plan is a lot more expensive than the Hatchling and Baby plans. It’s because you will get more benefits from this plan.
As I mentioned earlier, HostGator hosting is very affordable. So, it’s still possible to get a decent web hosting plan even if you don’t have enough budget. And, the best part is that HostGator offers customers up to a 60.5% discount on all hosting plans (depending on how long you subscribe to the service).
WordPress hosting is focused on WordPress users.
If you’re planning to use WordPress for your website, then WordPress hosting will be a better choice than any shared hosting plan offered by HostGator.
WordPress hosting differs from regular shared hosting services. It is designed specifically for WordPress websites. This hosting package offers 2.5X quicker page loading speed, free site migration, and enhanced security.
HostGator comes with different types of WordPress hosting plans:
This plan starts at $5.95/mo. You can access only 1 website at a time.
This plan includes multiple features like 1 GB backups, a free SSL certificate, unmetered storage space, a free domain for 1 year, and automatic Malware removal. Also, you can have up to 100K visitors on your site.
The price of this plan is $7.95/mo. In this plan, you can access 2 websites.
This plan includes multiple features like 2 GB backups, a free SSL certificate, unmetered storage space, a free domain for 1 year, and automatic Malware removal. You can have up to 200K visitors on your site.
The price of this plan is $9.95/mo. In this plan, you can run 3 websites at a time.
This plan includes multiple features like 3 GB backups, a free SSL certificate, unmetered storage space, a free domain for 1 year, and automatic Malware removal. You can have up to 500K visitors on your site.
If you want a more controlled and flexible website, VPS hosting is the way to go. It’s best for websites with medium-level traffic.
All of their plans come with unlimited domains, subdomains, email addresses, FTP accounts, databases, 24/7 support, weekly off-site backups, and private nameservers, as well as easily managed VPS hosting.
This VPS hosting service is available in three different plans:
The price of this plan is $29.95/mo. It includes features like 2 GB RAM, 2 Cores CPU, 120 GB disk space, and 1.5 TB Bandwidth.
The price of this plan is $39.95/mo. It includes features like 4 GB RAM, 2 Cores CPU, 165 GB disk space, and 2 TB Bandwidth.
The price of this plan is $49.95/mo. It includes features like 8 GB RAM, 4 Cores CPU, 240 GB disk space, and 3 TB Bandwidth.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated servers are dedicated to you, which means that you have full control over this server. If your website experiences heavy traffic, then it’s the best option. But, as you may already understand, this hosting is more expensive.
This hosting is significantly faster than shared hosting because you have your own server and do not have to share resources with other websites.
This type of hosting is used by major companies and website owners.
Full root access, 24/7 live support, unlimited databases, DDOS protection, 3 dedicated IPv4 IPs, RAID-1 configuration, and a fully redundant network are all included in all dedicated servers.
HostGator’s Dedicated server hosting includes the following plans:
The price starts at $89.98/mo. It includes 4 core/8 thread Intel Xeon-D CPU, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, unmetered bandwidth, and Linux or Windows OS.
The price starts at $119.89/mo. It includes 8 core/16 thread Intel Xeon-D CPU, 16 GB RAM, 2 TB HDD or 512 GB SSD, unmetered bandwidth, and Linux or Windows OS.
The price starts at $139.99/mo. It includes 8 core/16 thread Intel Xeon-D CPU, 30 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, unmetered bandwidth, and Linux or Windows OS.
How to Get Started with HostGator?
There are basically 2 ways you can purchase a domain name from HostGator, the first way is to get hosting and domain name and get a discount from them.
The other way is to just purchase a domain name with HostGator and pay the full price for 1 year.
In this article, I’ll be covering both ways.
1. Buy Domain without Hosting
First, let me tell you how you can register a domain name without purchasing their hosting.
Step#1 Go To HostGator.com
The first step is to go to the home page of HostGator.com and click on the “Domains” tab which you’ll see at the top.
Step#2 Search The Domain Name
Now you’ll be redirected to a new page where you can enter the domain name that you are looking for, then click on “search”.
Step#3 Check The Availability Of The Domain
Once you enter a domain name, it will show you whether it is available or not. If it is available it will let you know that congratulations, your domain is available. Try as many domain names if they are unavailable.
Under the search bar, you’ll see add domain privacy to each domain for $14.95 per year. This is completely up to you whether you want this domain addon or not. I highly recommend this add-on as it will keep your personal contact information safe and secure.
This will also protect you from getting a bunch of spam that is looking for the website owner’s information.
If you see on the right, in the cart section you can choose to purchase the domain for 1 year, 2 years, or 3 years. If you want to add privacy as well, you can select by clicking on the cross symbol. Now click on “Continue to Checkout”.
Step#4 Create An Account
Now you’ll be redirected to a new page where you have to create your new account by putting the email address, password, and pin you want to use in your account and then click on “Continue”.
If you already have an account on HostGator, you can put in your login credentials and get logged in.
Step#5 Enter Your Billing Infomation
The next step is to add your billing information where you have to add your name, phone number, address, city, state, country, and zip code.
You also need to add your payment method i.e. through credit card or Paypal. Once you fill in the information, click on Continue to Checkout.
Step#6 View Your Order Summary
Now you’ll be able to see your order summary where you can check your subtotal, estimated tax, discount, and total price.
Once you click on Continue to checkout, now you’ll be able to transfer the payment with the help of a credit card or Paypal.
2. Buy Domain Along With Hosting
Now I’ll show you stepwise how you can register a domain name along with hosting.
Step#1. Go To HostGator.com
Click the link HostGator.com and once you do this click on the “Get Started” button.
Step#2. Choose the Best Plan
You can see 3 different plans starting from $2.75/mo to $5.95/mo. The plan I recommend going with is the Hatchling plan. You can have one domain name and a free SSL certificate.
If you want to have more than 1 website, then you can select the baby plan as this plan offers unlimited sites.
The business plan comes with more advanced features such as unlimited sites, free dedicated IP, SEO tools, free SSL certificates, etc.
Although you can anytime move on to other advanced plans, you’ll get enough from the starting plan.
Go and select the plan that you want by clicking the “sign up” now button.
Step#3. Choose the Domain Name and Hosting Plan
Now you’ll see the choose a domain section where you can search for the domain of your site in the search area.
Enter the domain name that will be available for you. I recommend you to go with the most popular domain extension i.e. .com as it is suitable in all regions.
If you already have a domain name, then click on “I already own a domain” and enter your existing domain.
Once you do that, you need to choose your hosting plan. You can choose your plan according to your own wish, you can either choose to pay a monthly fee or pay for the whole year at once. You’ll notice that you can save money by selecting a full-year plan. You can see it below.
Once you select your plan, it’s time to add your username and security pin. Make sure to remember this, as it is used when you need to talk to HostGator support and whenever you want to login to your dashboard.
Step#4. Enter Your Billing Information
In this step, you have to enter your billing details. On the right-hand side, you can put your card information or you can pay via a PayPal account.
You can also add additional services if you want to.
You’ll see protect your website from hackers. But I recommend not to use all this as there are plenty of free alternatives available on WordPress. So, it isn’t necessary.
Another option you’ll see is getting your professional email from Google. You can get free email accounts with HostGator hosting. Select this only if you prefer via Google.
Next, you’ll see a backup of your hard work. This will help to create a backup of your site. I recommend not purchasing this as well because there are free alternatives you can find on WordPress.
The next option you’ll see is https:// SSL certificate. In order to have this, you need to have a baby hosting plan or above. SSL certificate helps to secure sensitive personal information.
Step#5. Enter A Coupon Code and Review Order Details
If you want to receive a special discount from HostGator hosting for a month. You can enter code DIGITALMILLIONS and click validate.
And, you’ll get 60% off of your total order value.
By using this code you can also get free .com domain worth $17.50/year. But this coupon is valid for a limited period. So, grab it before it gets expired.
Now you need to agree to the terms and conditions and click the “Checkout Now” button.
You will now be directed to the thank you page. HostGator will email you your HostGator receipt and cPanel login credentials.
Once you receive the link, just click on it and log in to the Cpanel.
The Cpanel is a place where you can control all the elements of your website.
As you log into your cPanel, you’ll land on your main overview page.
From here you will access all the features, you’ll require to seamlessly manage your web hosting account with HostGator.
This is what the cPanel looks like:
With the help of cPanel, you can easily install WordPress on your domain.
Under the Software section, you’ll find QuickInstall. You can also use the search bar on the top to search for QuickInstall.
Just click on QuickInstall.
Next, you’ll land on the QuickInstall Marketplace page.
From the dashboard, click on WordPress in the top left corner. By clicking on WordPress, you’ll reach the WordPress installation page.
From here, you can easily install WordPress on your domain.
Now click the big gray button that says Install WordPress.
Check out the image below.
Next, you need to fill up the WordPress Installation form with the relevant information such as administration email, username, blog title, and your name.
Then, hit the green button Install WordPress.
And, wait for the installation to be completed. Once the installation is completed, you’ll get a confirmation message with your login credentials.
When the installation is complete, you’ll get the following message:
You’ll need to click on View Credentials to note down your username and password. You’ll also receive an email with the credentials.
So make sure you type your email address correctly when installing WordPress.
You’ve now successfully installed WordPress.
|Web Hosting||Cost||Load time||Uptime|
|A2 Hosting||$2.96/mo||317 ms||99.93%|
Is HostGator Recommended?
Yes, HostGator is recommended for all types of users.
If you’re looking for a low-cost shared hosting plan for your website, you should look into their services. Even though the prices are cheap, you can expect a reliable and great web hosting service.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, but high-quality web hosting provider with an excellent reputation, HostGator is the place to go.
In short, HostGator has everything to help you build a website, especially their WordPress hosting, which is fast and secure.
However, one of the most significant disadvantages of choosing HostGator is that their loading time is just average. And if you’re looking for the fastest loading speed, I recommend WP Engine or Cloudways – Try it Free for 3 Days.
Both WP Engine and Cloudways are at the top of our list, with excellent uptime, loading times, and pricing, as well as the best features.
Overall I’ll give 4/5 stars to HostGator.
If you’re ready to get started with HostGator?
Go, set up your account on HostGator. With a 45-day money-back guarantee, you can get your money back, if you are not satisfied.