HostGator Review: Great Service & Features
Location: Houston, TX
Year in Business: 9
The name HostGator is synonymous with top service in the web hosting industry. In fact, HostGator's owner, Brent Oxley, will personally oversee the resolution of your inquiry – simply assign him your support ticket. We can tell you from experience that most web hosting companies do not provide this kind of personal attention, especially at the ownership level. This definitely makes HostGator unique.
Of course, Brent can't respond to every help request so there is a highly trained team of customer support specialists that are available 24/7/365 via phone, chat, e-mail and a speedy online ticket system. There is also a knowledge center with over 250 articles and more than 60 Flash tutorials if you want to help yourself become a better website manager.
In addition to great service, HostGator's feature set is one of the best. There is plenty of disk space and bandwidth to accommodate almost any website, as well as a free website builder, over 4,500 website templates, and Fantastico. These tools enable you to easily build or enhance a website, and add plenty of useful functionality for visitors - like a blog or forum.
HostGator doesn't offer the cheapest web hosting solutions, but the packages are robust and still very affordable. And, if you're going to need some help and truly value good service, the peace of mind is worth every penny.
Price & Plans
HostGator offers a wide variety of plans for Shared, Dedicated and Reseller web hosting. This review focuses on the "Hatchling" shared hosting plans, which have several pricing levels based on contract length:
Monthly - $7.16/month
12 month - $5.56/month
24 month - $4.76/month
36 month - $3.96/month
None of the plans have set-up fees, even the monthly contract – giving you maximum flexibility and value. While the convenience of a monthly contract is nice, you can save over $100 by going with the three year term versus renewing every month for 36 months.
FeaturesSee table (left) for a list of key features and benefits as part of the Baby shared hosting plan. For a complete list of features for all plans, visit HostGator.
HostGator has some of the strongest service in the business across all channels: phone, chat, e-mail and self-help. Phone support and live chat are available 24/7. There is also a responsive ticket system and a self-help knowledge center that contains close to 250 articles on various web hosting topics. In addition, there are 60+ flash tutorials that will make you a smarter website owner.
Many web hosts are now offering unlimited disk space. While no host can truly provide unlimited resources, HostGator easily supports the average website that uses 20 megabytes or less (1 gigabyte = 1,024 megabytes).
In addition to disk space, many web hosting companies are also offering unlimited bandwidth. Again, no web host can provide infinite bandwidth each month, but HostGator easily supports the typical website that uses 10 gigabytes or less. If your site has very high traffic (several million page views per month) or is very image intensive, consider a dedicated or VPS hosting plan.
HostGator employs SSH or Secure Shell Access; this allows you to make changes to your site and development environment within a secure channel. HostGator also provides SSL secure servers. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) ensures that any information exchanged between your visitors and the website is encrypted and safe.
HostGator data centers feature raised floors, multiple power supplies and redundant connections to Internet backbone providers like AT&T. All this means more website uptime and protection for your data. In fact, HostGator offers a 99.9% website uptime guarantee. While most other hosts preach this kind of uptime, HostGator will actually give you a month of free hosting if the 99.9% benchmark isn’t met.
Ease of Use
cPanel, one of the most popular and easy-to-use control panel programs, is available with every account. It enables you to monitor space and bandwidth usage, access website stats, create e-mail accounts, develop MySQL databases, and much more. Try the demo at HostGator.com.
HostGator's best giveaway is the free access to over 4,500 website templates. This makes it easy for you to find a professional looking design and add it to your domain using the free website builder.
All accounts come with a full 45 day money-back guarantee. If you are unhappy with the service for any reason, just ask for a full refund. There is also a 99.9% website uptime guarantee; if your site doesn't meet this guideline in a given month, you get a full refund on the monthly charge. Make your purchase with the assurance that HostGator stands behind its product 100%.
HostGator tends to run periodic specials of 10% - 20% off during the major holidays. So be sure to check the HostGator site for the latest offer by clicking the link below.