Hostgator Review

Hostgator Review

Hello everyone, and welcome to this review as we discuss the various details about HostGator with a well written, well informed article that is published by our team based in Australia.

HostGator, I wonder how they came about with this name, but I guess we have gotten used to it! I guess the concept came about with alligators being related to Australia. So for that we give them a full score for nationalism.

However, I haven’t heard of any tech firm even having a name with Gator in it. The yellow and blue mascot looks like a cute little Gator instead of a ferocious one. So I’m not really sure what is the point they’re trying to make; however, let’s move on.

Apart from their silly little Branding, I must say HostGator is an excellent web host. They are reliable, fast and they have super competitive pricing, especially in the Australian market.

What we like the most is that they keep away from the regular budget tricks like most web hosting’s do. For instance, we have hosts that would charge you extra for things like SSL, which should actually be offered for free.

hostgator

About HostGator 

The company was launched in 2002, and before you knew it, they grew quickly, and today they are the largest hosting providers known to the industry.

On account of their amazing shared hosting packages, excellent customer support and reliable hosting, they attracted various users that have contributed to their growth. 

HostGator has their headquarters in Texas, and they host more than 10 million active domains. They also have over 850 employees on board that are available to help and support the customers 24/7 no matter the sizes of the businesses.

HostGator is a subsidiary of Endurance International Group, and they offer an extensive range of hosting services to our huge global client base.

So what does HostGator actually offer? 

Everything that is related to hosting, and that is why at times, their catalogue can seem a bit confusing. Let’s take a quick look at their services;

Domain Names 

You can purchase a domain name from HostGator; however, they are not a leading registrar. A .com domain will cost you an annual fee of $12.95; and however, after a year, when you decide to renew the service, you will be charged a renewal fee of $17.99. You could also go in for options that are cheaper, like Namecheap.

Shared Hosting 

These plans are specially designed for small to medium sized businesses that do not receive tons of visitors in a month. This service hosts various customers (websites) on a similar server; it’s just like living in a house and sharing it with someone else.

If you’re just starting off, this would be ideal for your business. The prices for this plan range from $8.95 right up to $16.95 per month.

WordPress Hosting

This is ideal for users in search of shared hosting but optimized for WP. These plans are available from $12.95 and increases right up to a monthly charge of $81.95. I personally think that there are plenty of alternatives for WP users like SiteGround.  

VPS Hosting 

The full form for VPS hosting is Virtual Private Server. This is just like shared hosting but divided into two sub servers using specific configurations for the software.

These plans are absolutely amazing, especially for small and medium sized websites that are in need of a specific server configuration like they need to utilize a completely various programming language. The VPS packages at HostGator begins at a monthly charge of $80. 

Dedicated Server

If your business begins to receive thousands and thousands of visitors every month and you feel you require a much more powerful server, then I suggest you take a look at the dedicated server plans.

With this, you will have your individual server, and your resources will not be shared with anyone. HostGator offers dedicated servers that begin with a monthly charge of $180.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting is simply a network of servers that are connected. This means your site will not just be hosted on a single server but on several. You can add or reduce the resources according to your business requirements, like an increase in memory or CPU. HostGator offers cloud hosting at a monthly charge of $10.95.

Website Builder 

In addition to all these features, HostGator also offers their customer the most amazing website builder that is famously known as Gator. This builder is especially beneficial for website owners who want to create and build their websites but have no technical experience or knowledge.

The product is good; however, it does require a couple of more tweets. I guess the developers are still working on it. Various other builders provide much more with their product and that too at the same cost.

In this review, we will focus on the shared hosting packages, and moving forward, and all references will be made to the same.

Plans and Pricing 

Let’s take a look at the shared hosting plans, pricing and the various features they include. 

At first, the only thing that I noticed about their plans is that they are offered with huge discounts, especially for the initial term. Not only that, but they also offered their customers a free domain name. This is free, at least for the initial year. But I would like to warn you that their renewal charges are very steep.

Suppose the inodes pounds are over 150,000; the account will not get backed up. HostGator will only keep one daily, one weekly and one monthly backup. 

So, If you decide to go in for a long term, like 36 months, then the initial term charges will drop even more. However, the renewal charges will remain steep.

In search of an additional discount? 

HostGator always has various promotional codes floating across the Internet. But with the help of these codes, you can get huge discounts beginning from 25% to 60%. But it will depend on the contract duration.

Hatchling Plan 

With the hatchling plan, you will receive the following features;

  • You will receive a single website 
  • They offer single click WP installs 
  • You will also receive website transfers for cPanel/ WordPress at no extra cost 
  • They offer unmetered bandwidth 
  • You will receive SSL certificates for free 
  • They also include a free domain

This plan is available at a monthly introductory charge of $2.75. 

Baby Plan 

This plan is one of their most popular and highly recommended plans. With this plan, you will receive the following features;

  • You will receive unlimited websites 
  • They offer single click WP installs 
  • You will also receive website transfers for C panel/ WordPress add no extra cost 
  • They offer unmetered bandwidth 
  • You will receive SSL certificates for free 
  • They also include a free domain

This plan is available at a monthly introductory charge of $3.50. 

Business Plan 

With this plan, you will receive the following features;

  • You will receive unlimited websites 
  • Single click WP installs are available 
  • You will also receive website transfers for C panel/ WordPress at no extra cost 
  • They offer unmetered bandwidth 
  • You will receive SSL certificates for free 
  • They also offer an upgrade to the positive SSL at no extra charges 
  • You will also receive dedicated IP for free 
  • SEO tools are also included at no extra charges
  • A free domain name is included with this package

This plan is available at a monthly introductory price of $5.25. 

The backup features with these plans are not all that great, but they do provide additional backup as an add-on which will cost you approximately $25 annually. I find this strategy pretty sneaky.

To top it off, you will also incur an additional expense if you want to restore any of the backups. You will find yourself paying an additional charge of $25, and this is an unacceptable extra hidden charge.

How do we get our data? 

This review will include stats and numbers; to some, it may sound boring, but I assure you when you look at the numbers, it will give you clarity and help you assess a host.

If this review had to be based on just their logo, it wouldn’t come out too well.

We will have a quick look at the reliability, speed and uptime. And if any of you don’t have the time to read so much, you can move to the bottom of this article and get a conclusion and an overall synopsis of our recommendation.

Spoiler: currently, they have secured a place at the top of the charts in the Australian market.

Moving on, for years now, we have been collaborating with various hosts and collecting plenty of data about their services. As a result, we are able to build up, in my view, an amazing database on various hosts that are good for Australian users.

In today’s review, I have referred to the database that we collected over the years for HostGator, and this helped us to give you guys an average of their total score in terms of performance.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.

I will mention it so you can look at them and decide for yourself. 

LocationAvg Load timesUptime
Sydney1902 ms98.5%
Melbourne2000 ms98.8%
Canberra2172 ms97.6%
Adelaide1655 ms98.05%

The numbers above are very nice. However, I feel that Canberra is a tad low, but then they are a tad behind with everything (no offence).

What do we make of these numbers? 

I am going to explain what they mean so that you can save up on your time and do not go looking for answers on the web.

Uptime 

This is practically self explanatory. Uptime is the total number of hours your website is available online. It also means the hours the servers are on and running, displaying web pages to the customer.

A web host that is good will always offer uptimes that is above 98%. Therefore host offering uptimes of 97% and less that’s your cue to move on. In terms of web hosting, a single difference can make a huge difference in terms of sales that your website generates.

People do not like unavailable websites (that includes me as well). If the website is offline when a first time visitor tries to reach it, I am confident they will never return to your site, ever again!

In terms of uptime, we have seen the statistics, and I can say that HostGator has scored very well in this segment. In fact, recently, we had come across stats that mentioned the best uptimes offered, and they did indicate that HostGator are best, especially with maintaining the servers.

Speed

I don’t think any of you would have an issue understanding this segment; however, I must tell you that while comparing hosts, every bit in the speed matters. According to various top-notch researchers, even a delay of a single second could cost you a potential customer.

This means that the visitor simply did not have the patience to wait around for your web page to load. I’m confident they will choose to visit your competitor.

In Australia, HostGator is known to be the best hosting provider, especially in terms of speed. If you have a large website and you need to include various fancy high resolution pictures all over it, then who’s skater will be an amazing choice. Once you do the math, you will see it.

Pricing 

What do you think are the charges of this excellent hosting solution?

Honestly, it’s not much, and I think that alligator doesn’t have too much need for money anyway. In the earlier section, I have mentioned prices for their shared hosting.

I would like to add that their pricing is pretty competitive and offers free SSLs, so that’s pretty good. We know of a few hosts that charge their users for this feature.

According to me, I don’t suggest the Starter plan. And as I mentioned earlier, the Baby plan is highly recommended and used by multiple site owners.

This plan offers fast and reliable service; however, the most number of features you would receive is with the highest tier of plan that is the Business plan.

The Business and the Baby plan are second to SiteGround with regard to value. That’s amazing!

Extras 

This is one of the things that we love the most about HostGator is that they throw in plenty of extra features with their plans. Discussing all of them in this segment will consume a lot of time, so, at this point, you can just take my word for it.

Unlike most hosting providers, HostGator guarantees their customers money back in 45 days. If you look around, the standard return policy covers 30 days; however, HostGator has given in a couple of additional days.

This only reflects their confidence in the service that they offer. At any point of time, if you feel their services do not match your business requirements, you can make it known to them within the initial 45 days and expect a full refund.

I find it an excellent way for you to try out their features and services and get a first hand experience of what they are serving. So you don’t have to believe our review; instead, you can try out the service for yourself.

And you know you are covered for 45 days, so it seems to be a win-win situation for you. So if you’re leaning towards trying out their service, I would encourage you to go ahead and experience it and make a decision for yourself.

For those who are not as geeky as I am, please excuse me, but I would like to point out that they do offer Pearl. For those of you who are aware of it, I must say that a web hosting company that supports many languages is not very common. This only goes to show that their customers are offered amazing web hosting solutions.

SSL Certificate 

If you have read any of our reviews in the past (you know by now we are amazing), you will notice that we stress a lot about SSL. This is because there’s a real issue in Australia; many have termed it a con, especially in terms of SSL.

The schemes play out in this manner;

A hosting company provides an average hosting solution and makes it available at a very cheap price. This attracts plenty of customers to commit for a long term or minimum of a year.

Some of these plans are so basic that the users end up incurring costs of hundreds of dollars annually for all the extra features that should have been provided for free in the first place. And the worst is the SSL certificate.

I am glad to say, HostGator doesn’t cook up any such schemes. The plans they offer include SSL certificates, and this is very good because the user does not have to purchase of feature that the host receives for free (and of course, it saves my time as I don’t have to go on a rant about it).

Customer Support 

The customer support that HostGator has is actually pretty good. I believe this could be because they might not have much to deal with. That doesn’t mean they are lazy, and in fact, they are miles away from it.

I have noticed there is a pattern to it, web hosting providers that offer excellent uptimes have amazing customer service teams that is because they don’t get flooded with hundreds of calls on account of the servers being down. 

If a company knows to maintain their servers, the servers are all likely to stay up most of the time, giving the customer support team plenty of time to reply to their customers. And this is exactly what’s happening at HostGator.

I guess all the executives in the HostGator call centre must be dressed up in the mascot costume colour of yellow and blue. To be honest, we have made plenty of inquiries, and at this moment, we can exclusively confirm this is not the case. I’m a bit disappointed.

Alternatives 

I am sure that most of my readers, by the time they reach this segment they are absolutely desperate to find out what are the alternatives to the current host that I am reviewing. I am not particularly cynical, but I don’t blame you guys because many Australian web hosts suck.

I am most certainly glad to declare to all of you that HostGator doesn’t suck. There are a couple of web hosts that could be considered as alternates to HostGator; however, if you are in search of reliable, cheap and fast hosting solutions, then HostGator is the perfect host for you.

At this point (after reading a fantastic review), if you are thinking of switching from your current web host, then I would encourage you to do it right now. I could not stress enough on how vital it is to get a great web host that can genuinely help you to increase your sales, your margin of profit and your happiness (citation needed).

However, we have also experienced improvements in other areas as well;

  • We have experienced an increase in customers time that they spend in browsing the website (people prefer fast websites) 
  • We have also noticed an improvement in Google ranking (they also prefer fast websites) 
  • We have experienced better time 
  • Along with fast load times 

So at the moment, if you feel that you are stuck with a host on account of a long contract, you should still consider switching hosts anyway. The Australian web hosting has improved quite a bit over the years, so if you have signed up with a host a couple of years ago, you can expect to get much more for your investment today. 

HostGator is pretty good; however, let’s also look at a few alternatives, in case you are totally put off with their colour scheme.

HostGator is excellent, and so they have just one alternative, and that alternative we are currently using.

The alternative it’s called SiteGround ta-da! And yes, SiteGround, I believe, represents the Australian future of web hosting. The various other hosting companies, I believe, have a very long way to travel before they could even get close to them.

If any of you are interested in the stats and numbers that SiteGround offers, I must say, it’s the best so far. I wouldn’t go to say that they are way better in comparison to HostGator as their services are pretty much close.

That’s like HostGator; their competitors, SiteGround also provides their customers with free SSL and plenty of additional features, which are very helpful if you are working with a site that is unusual. 

There are certain disadvantages with SiteGround, they are expensive in comparison to HostGator. The difference in the prices between the companies works out to approximately $1 every month.

Summary 

Before we conclude, I would like to make a summary of the various things that we love about HostGator and things that they could work upon. I will quickly explain the important advantages as well as disadvantages of hosting with HostGator.

ProsCons
Lots of Storage: All they are plans offer unlimited storage, but you have to make sure that all the files together must not be over 250,000.Tricky Fees and Prices: The initial term offers you extremely cheap prices; however, upon renewal, it gets extremely expensive. A charge of $25 is applicable only to restore a single backup.
Flexible Terms: You can purchase a hosting plan and commit to various months like one month, quarterly, half-yearly, yearly, two years and three years.Constant Upsells: They have many unnecessary options for upselling. 
Multiple Programming Languages: They are one of the few hosting providers that offer to support plenty of languages like Python, Pearl, Ruby and PHP.Improved uptimes: In terms of uptimes, I feel they can do better.
Bandwidth is Unmetered: Also Gator does not limit traffic to the site, offering unmetered bandwidth Weak backups: The backups are extremely weak, and only if you pay an extra fee they’ll give you access to just a single backup.
 Advanced features are missing: For Instance, you do not receive staging areas and they do not have a server-side built-in caching system.
 Support is unreliable: There are times that we found ourselves waiting for more than half an hour just to connect with their support team executive.

Final Thoughts 

If you are in search of a host that is fast, reliable and also offers extremely amazing customer support that you could reach out to on an extremely rare occasion, only if there is an issue, then HostGator is your go to host.

And I must assure you, there are plenty of hosts out there that offer horrible services. In comparison to them, HostGator is definitely a keeper! You can also check our article on Bluehost review.

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