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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

HostGator has been around since 2002 and is one of the most popular hosting companies in the world.

Having such a vast customer base is enough evidence that they are doing something right. They offer a full range of web hosting services that are suitable for everyone.


Quick Look at HostGator

Our Verdict: 4.2/5 | Reading Time: ~15min | Our Overall Ranking: #17

HostGator logo
HostGator is one of the biggest and oldest website hosting providers in the world, managing over 2.5 million websites worldwide. Among many other useful features, they offer 1-click installs, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and 24/7 customer support.


We have been a paying customer with HostGator since 2015 (source) and have been monitoring their performance(source) (uptime and page loading speed) ever since. Over the past year, they delivered an average uptime of 99.98% and a speed of 660 ms. Our Review Process


But is HostGator the best host for your website?

We’re going to help you decide.

In this HostGator review, we will take a closer look at the features they have to offer, give an overview of their performance statistics, pricing, and find out if they can provide the high-quality website hosting service that you need.

Ready? Let’s start.

Don’t have time to read the whole review? Skip to Our Verdict.

About HostGator

HostGator is a Houston-based web hosting provider that was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley. Not only does HostGator offer shared hosting, but also cloud, VPS, reseller, dedicated web hosting, and even comes with a site builder.

HostGator hosting types

Today HostGator’s headquarters are based in Texas and they have more than 1000 employees who all help to host over 2.5 million websites globally.

In 2012 HostGator was sold to Endurance International Group (EIG), which also owns many other hosting industry giants like Bluehost, Hostmonster, Site5, etc.

Most of their servers are located in Provo, Utah, and Houston, Texas. You can also optionally activate CloudFlare which would route your content through an additional 23 data centers worldwide.

HostGator Features Overview

Every HostGator plan is packed with many useful features. Let’s take a closer look.

Storage and Bandwidth

Every HostGator’s hosting plan offers unmetered bandwidth and storage.

What does it mean?

Well, basically that means you can use the bandwidth and storage space without limits. However, it must be with the extent to which the hosting company can obtain. It would be good to take a look at HostGator’s usage policy so you’d have information about the limitations.

Security

HostGator offers a free SSL certificate that provides protection for your website domains and encrypts communications between the server and visitors to your website.

They also offer a few extra security features like the ability to add SiteLock monitoring to your site. This service will run daily, looking out for any potential site breaches or hacks, and let you know instantly when they find it. The only downside is that SiteLock will cost you a little extra – $5.99/month.

SiteLock securityMoreover, they offer Spam Assassin on their email plans to help prevent spam from hitting your inbox in the first place.

Site Migration

If this isn’t your first site, and you’re trying to move an existing one over, HostGator’s got your back.

You’ll have 30 days after sign-up to get in touch and have them help move any site files, databases, scripts, and even a domain name over for you.

This includes a full cPanel transfer. So if you happened to have multiple site installs (like subdomains for one large site), you’re covered.

All of HostGator’s shared hosting plans come with a single site (or cPanel) migration included. Different plans, like resellers, for instance, will get access to more (up to 30).

A single free site migration isn’t a lot compared to some hosts. But it’s still better than nothing.

Money-Back Guarantee

HostGator is so confident in their service that they extend the industry-average 30-day refund policy an extra two weeks or so to 45 days.

That means you can use them for over a full month and still get your purchase price back if any issues pop up.

This 45-day money-back guarantee applies to all shared, reseller, and VPS hosting packages.

The only catch is that this does not apply to HostGator’s dedicated servers, administrative fees, install fees for custom software. After combing through many Terms of Service documents by now, we’ve found that these caveats are fairly common in the hosting industry.

So, for example, if your plan included a free domain name, they’ll deduct the standard fee of $15.00 for the domain from the refund amount.

There are a few other points to make. HostGator’s Terms give them up to 90 days to actually issue a refund. No refunds will be given on checks, money orders, Western Union payments, or bank wire transfers, either.

Refunds are only available for new plans or accounts. So if you previously signed up for one, and are canceling a renewal or second attempt, you won’t get anything in return.

And last but not least, foreign currency refunds are processed based on the U.S. Dollar exchange rates.

Ease of Use

HostGator is tailor-made for beginner bloggers or webmasters.

Their site is full of tutorials, walkthroughs, and more to help you navigate the murky world of DNS and data centers.

They also have extra features for beginners who are looking to set up a site without the hassle of hiring other people to design, build, and manage everything.

Their website builder tool, Gator by HostGator, is one of the better ones we’ve reviewed. It comes with free hosting and a domain name, so you just need to purchase a single account for all of the necessities.

The customizable templates are all pretty modern, to begin with, and you can easily customize how they look by dragging and dropping each feature. You’ll also get site analytics and a free SSL certificate to help safeguard your visitors’ personal data (like their physical location).

HostGator uses cPanel as their control panel. If you have previous experience with hosting, you should feel right at home, since cPanel is one of the most used control panels in the hosting industry.

HostGator cPanel

However, even if you’re a beginner, it’s still very easy to navigate and doesn’t have a steep learning curve.

Customer Support

Similar to other known providers like SiteGround and Dreamhost, HostGator provides a knowledge base, phone, email, and live chat support.

We tested out their live chat option.

We asked a simple question about their shared hosting plans and got connected to a customer rep within two minutes. The replies were fast and knowledgeable.

HostGator support live chat example

Overall it was a good customer support experience.

HostGator Performance Stats

You don’t have to rely entirely on our subjective opinions in this HostGator’s review — we also have cold, hard numbers to show on how they perform.

Uptime

HostGator has posted an average of 99.98% uptime with a bit less than two hours of downtime over the last 12 months.

Another good thing is that they have an uptime guarantee which says that if they drop below 99.90%, you can receive one month of credit on your account.

Obviously, any planned maintenance or impossible-to-predict hacks aren’t factored into this guarantee. You will, however, have to reach out and ask for the credit by submitting a support ticket to their billing department within 30 days.

HostGator last 12 month speed and uptime data
HostGator last 12-month average uptime (monitoring since 2015) | See stats

We’ve started to notice recently that quite a few other hosts pop up with uptime guarantees – that means all customers win as a result. Competitors coming out and doing this helps raise the bar for the entire industry. It forces everyone else in the market to either match their guarantee and raise the standard level of service or risk falling behind.

Page Load Speed

HostGator’s servers had no issues keeping our site up and live over the past year.

However what about their server speed?

HostGator delivered an average page loading time of 660 ms over the last 12 months. This is definitely not the fastest speed we’ve seen but it’s decent enough.

HostGator last 12 month speed data
HostGator last 12-month average speed (monitoring since 2015) | See stats

Moreover, HostGator has improved its page loading times quite a lot. Not a very long time ago, it took more than a second to load our site.

Why is it important to have a fast page loading time?

Slow page loading times have been shown to impact your visitor’s experience directly. And that has a trickle-down effect to hitting your bottom line, too.

There are a few things you can do to speed up your site without switching hosts. But if your host is consistently slow, it means you’ll constantly be fighting a losing battle.

HostGator Pricing and Plans

HostGator has three shared hosting plan options to choose from:


Hatchling PlanBaby PlanBusiness Plan
Pricing $2.75/month
Renews at $6.95/mo
$3.50/month
Renews at $9.95/mo
$5.25/month
Renews at $14.95/mo
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
StorageUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Email AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Other Features•Unlimited Addon Domains• Dedicated IP
• Free Positive SSL Upgrade
• Free SEO Tools

Let’s start with HostGator’s cheapest Hatchling plan.

The hatchling plan starts at $2.75 per month. However, this price only applies if you sign up with them for three years. After the initial sign-up period, the price renews to $6.95 per month.

In case you don’t want to commit for that long, you can also choose an annual plan for the price of $3.95 per month (renews to $8.95 per month). You also have an option to go with six months or one-month plan, but in that case, the price would be $10.95 per month (same renewal price).

With HostGator’s Hatchling Plan, you get:

  • One website
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain for a year

Here’s an example of HostGator’s billing for Hatchling Plan:

HostGator billing exampleThe other shared hosting plans all offer unlimited websites and unlimited storage, among other features. Starting with the Baby Plan, you get unlimited add-on domains. With the Business Plan, you get a dedicated IP, free SEO tools, and Free Positive SSL upgrade.

There are also some other types of plans, including:

HostGator Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons we found while reviewing HostGator. Before making the final decision choosing to sign up with them, make sure that you’re okay with the negatives.

ProsCons
Solid uptime (99.98%) and decent speed (660 ms)Higher renewal rates
Easy to useBackups, SEO tools, and SiteLock cost extra
Free SSL certificate + domain name (for the 1st year)
45-day money-back guarantee
Good customer support
Monthly plan option
Comes with a site builder

Our Verdict

TL;DR? Here’s our review summary.

Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 4.2

SPEED: 660 ms (January 2021 to December 2021)
UPTIME: 99.98% (January 2021 to December 2021)
SUPPORT:24/7 Live Chat
APPS:Over 75 Apps Supported
FEATURES:Unmetered Bandwidth and Storage, Single Email Account, Free Domain 1st Year, SSL Certificate, 99.9% Uptime Guarantee, AI builder, etc.
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, Cloud, WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated Servers
SITE TRANSFER:Single Free Site Transfer
PRICING: Starting at $2.75/mo (renews at $6.95/mo)

We recommend HostGator, but there are better options out there to choose from.

HostGator’s shared hosting does offer a lot of benefits. The uptime has been solid together with improved speed. The customer service was good. And the plethora of beginner-friendly options make it user-friendly.

However, the extra pricing hikes make it too expensive to get our 100% recommendation.

Best alternatives for HostGator:

Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2022)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about HostGator.


 

252 user reviews for HostGator

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    Abdallah N

    5  — April 3, 2022

    Excellent performance and delicate support

    It is the best experience I got so far with affordable web hosting. It is the exact place where I could find the features running at great performance, without storage limits and with lower price. The support team is extraordinary and always ready to help.

    Gary B

    1  — February 6, 2022

    Dangerously Neglected Servers

    Dig into their website for the PHP version before you buy. As of today, the newest version of PHP supported is 7.3. More than 30 releases behind! No longer supported and vulnerable to hacking. If your website runs on WordPress, any other website builder, or just has a contact form, it is running on this outdated, vulnerable PHP version. This isn’t just that they forgot to update the website. 

    To get the current version of PHP (which is free by the way), we had to call, spend literally an hour to get the customer service agent to take us seriously, and wait two days for a person to add the options to our web host manager and control panels. Since the WordPress in question was already built on the old PHP, upgrading the PHP broke it. We had to uninstall all the plugins, upgrade the PHP, and then reinstall all the plugins. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    They have not applied basic patches to stop symlink attacks. Meaning when one of their customers gets hacked, the hacker can then hack your account like a root-level admin, no matter what 2FA, firewall, or other security you have applied to your account.

    Their entry-level hosting accounts do not support industry-standard two-factor authentication for the control panel.

     

    Their cURL library, which is meant to transfer secure data, is version 7.19.7. 11 years old and amazingly out of date and vulnerable to hackers.

    We have been using HostGator for longer than I can say, many years. From back when their servers and customer service were based in Texas. Ever since EIG bought them (along with their 80 other hosting brands) in 2012, they pretty much stopped maintaining their servers. EIG is just milking what they bought for cash and not doing the basic professional maintenance work like HostGator did before the conglomerate buyouts.

    The other thing that happened when EIG bought out HostGator is they outsourced their customer service. Boy, can you tell the difference when a company outsources its own customer service. Now it’s running through Sales Force. Literally, every other contact is with a person who spends 30 to 60 minutes just trying to figure out which server in my account I am talking about. 

    Note: there is only one server in my account. If you get that guy, disconnect and call back. There’s a 50/50 chance the next person will be able to pull your account up properly right away. Unfortunately, the person who can get your account up quickly will still spend the next 30 minutes trying to blow you off if you need technical support. They are fine if you call with a question that is already answered in the help files. They will search the help files and recite the thickly-accented answer for you. “I will be very kindly happy to help you today, sir.” But if you need actual technical support, you better be a master negotiator and know your stuff. They will spend 30 minutes debating with  you, before creating a support ticket for technical support. Then technical support will email you in two days saying yes, indeed, you did need technical support and they fixed the error. In sum, if you need technical support, spend 30 minutes or more researching and preparing your case, call/chat and debate for 30 to 60 minutes more, then wait two days.

    Brittany H

    1  — December 3, 2021

    No, no, no – don’t risk it

    Although Hostgator load times are slow, I initially was happy with the prompt service I received from their customer service team. But, the last time I contacted them, the rep I worked with was clueless, messed up my site files and broke my site. He wanted me to pay a $25 restoration fee to fix what he messed up. I’m now almost 48 hours past this point, and after working tickets through phone calls and emails, most (but not all) pages on my site are operable. I still don’t have access to the WP dashboard. Three different support representatives have suggested I should pay the $25 restoration fee to fix Hostgator’s mistake. I finally got a service rep on the phone who was willing to listen and her supervisor approved waiving the restoration fee, but I’m still waiting, and I’m going to lose about 7 hours of work that I put into the website the morning before Hostgator broke it.

    I guess you get what you pay for. As soon as I have access to my WP Dashboard again, I’ll be switching hosting providers. I’ve also learned that I not only need to make a back-up of the website before I make changes, but also before I reach out to any sort of support team that has access to make changes.

    There are no words to describe how disgusted I am at Hostgator’s unwillingness to fix problems they create.

    Sherry G

    2  — October 31, 2021

    Disappointed

    This is a very deceptive company.  They say that it is very easy to set up. It is not at all. If I could get my money back to cancel, I would. I got a book and watched several videos and the program did not work the same way. The support is almost worthless.Sherry Gallant

    jonathan c

    1  — October 30, 2021

    Poor phone support

    Phone support is operated in the Philippines and it’s awful. I’ve been on the line with one of the supervisors for over 4 hours now and it’s getting more and more frustrating. I asked if I could be directed to support in the USA, but they said no. I’m still on the phone waiting and I’m running out of patience. I have to depend on the support from the Philippines and it’s horrible.

    I will be looking to go with a hosting company that offers support with American personnel.

    DM

    1  — October 28, 2021

    Worst support I’ve ever experienced.

    Hostgator’s customer service is the absolute worst that I’ve ever experienced – garbled phone connections, poorly trained reps who can’t even understand the issue, language barriers, disconnects after long hold times, promises of supervisors to call you back but never do, etc.  My company is leaving Hostgator and will never return.  The final straw was a botched order of an SSL certificate (paid for 3 weeks prior to expiration, yet was never even ordered). Then two days just trying to get the matter resolved while our site is effectively down.  It’s clear to us that Hostgator couldn’t care less about resolving the issue in a timely manner, and we’ve been waiting for two days for a promised supervisor call that just never happens.  My advice is to avoid doing business with Hostgator at all costs!

    Gary B

    1  — October 24, 2021

    Dangerously Bad Management of Dedicated and Virtual Private Servers

    I have a virtual private server managed by HostGator. When one out of 200 cPanels was hacked through a WordPress website, they found one phishing file and shut down the entire server in response. 200 completely unrelated businesses all across the country, their emails, their landing pages for advertising, all blocked by HostGator because someone they never met got hacked. The correct response would have been to limit http at the affected cPanel. Managed properly, each cPanel is walled off from the other, so one shared hosting customer cannot hack their neighbors. Imagine if you purchased shared hosting from HostGator, one of their other customers got hacked, so they shut down everyone of their customers just to be safe. They don’t need to do that on their shared hosting, and since they manage shared hosting for other companies, they don’t need to do it there. But you can’t talk to them. They don’t care. They can’t understand basic things being explained. They are dangerously arrogant and incorrect and should be avoided.

    A P

    1  — September 4, 2021

    Very slow, very frequent downtimes

    I use shared hosting with hostgator.in, and have probably been with hostgator for more than a decade – with hostgator.com, and then later with hostgator.in. The immediate incident that is prompting this review is that my websites are down for 18 hours now. The server is apparently down, and they don’t have a time frame that they are able to provide as to when the service will be up again.  I have been using a website monitor – uptrends, and just about every day I get two or three alerts that the website is down, and at times as many as 15 alerts. Their shared hosting is really bad, and I have decided to move – it was inertia that was keeping me here, and I don’t know if any of the others are any better, but do intend to move and try anyway.

    Segun A

    5  — August 4, 2021

    Segun

    Hostgator is my number one go-to hosting company, very professional in customer relations. There was a time my hosting package was about to expire, and I had an issue with my bank, no way to renew the hosting plan. I reached out to Hostgator for an extension so that my website won’t be offline. They extended my package with enough time to get the issue solved and pay. All my websites with HostGator are blazingly fast.


    Response received from Erinn, HostGator (Responded August 4, 2021):

    Hi Segun,

    We’re so happy that you’re happy. Thanks so much for the great review!

    Erinn
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    John L

    4  — June 23, 2021

    Hostgator helps, but new site not without challenges

    Hostgator provides many suggestions, tools and services to get my website up, but it has not been without challenges. My site did not have my SSL cert installed, so the site did not work, but with a call to HG tech support, we had it up and running.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey John,

    We are so happy we could help! Thank you for your review!

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Roddy I

    5  — June 10, 2021

    Superb Service

    Been with several other hosts. Really satisfied with HostGator. Everyone is knowledgeable and you don’t have to wait for service. You can talk to a person at any time of the day 24/7/365. Would highly recommend HostGator to anyone seeking web hosting, etc, and offers a lot of services for the price. Thumbs up for me.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey Roddy,

    Thank you for your awesome review!!

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Julien

    3  — June 9, 2021

    Works

    I had to ask chat support three times, for now, to get things going as I needed. At least one time because of a bug on their part.

    Having tried a few hosting companies over the years, I am not impressed by Hostgator’s quality of service nor quality of support. I mean it works, but it’s not great.

    The ssh shell is sometimes slow. The site’s response time (in staging for now), is not great, for a wordpress site with polylang.

    Having said that, I know it does the job, as I have many clients using them and it works flawlessly for wordpress sites for many years (some are around 7 years old).
    But it’s a bit too early to tell if it will fit my own needs as expected.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey Julien,

    Thank you for feedback. We greatly appreciate it!

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    B

    5  — June 8, 2021

    You Guys Rock

    Super Easy Setup, Extremely Affordable, You guys ROCK! I’ve used other hosts before, but HostGator by far has been the easiest setup and process ever.
    Keep up the great work. I will definitely be recommending you guys to anyone who asks for the best place to host a website
    Thanks!


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey B,

    Thank you for your awesome review!

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Richard B

    1  — June 7, 2021

    Trouble to the power of trouble

    16 years, few problems. Now accounts randomly disappear. They insist my password is compromised, but after 3 changes, it continues. Had to prove to them using their own logs that they had been compromised. Then they tried to extort $75 from me for restoration. I declined and recreated. Shortly after this, they restored all my accounts! And tried to bill me for it. Today was the 4th time accounts disappeared. I’m moving NOW.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey Richard,

    We would hate to see you go. Let us help you. If you could send an email to reputation@endurance.com with your primary email address on file, we will get to work at resolving this issue.

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Mohammed A

    1  — June 6, 2021

    Terrible experience

    Paid to renew a domain but kept writing to me to still pay. In the end they suspended my domain. Wrote abuse(at)hostgator(dot)com and haven’t replied to me.
    Won’t recommend it to anyone. They also used inodes in their limitless hosting to cap your usage.
    My business is offline and they don’t care after reaching out to them. No company takes your money and refuses to issue service paid for. Welcome to hostgator.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey Mohammed,

    We are so sorry to hear you had a poor experience. We would love to help. If you could, send us an email to reputation@endurance.com and we will be more than happy to assist.

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Peter

    3  — June 5, 2021

    Okay

    Hostgator is okay. The one thing I can give them is their customer service. However, the shared plan has some restrictions which are a dealbreaker for me, one of which is that you cannot upgrade your SQL server. I host moodle on my server, so that means effectively that I cannot install any plugins. They require that you pay for their dedicated server option, which is prohibitively expensive.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey Peter,

    Thank you for your kind review!

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Daniel B

    5  — June 4, 2021

    Exactly What I Needed

    My web designer recommended this site to me for my new, small business website. It’s very affordable, and the site works flawlessly. No issues to complain about, seems to be a solid hosting company.

    There are different packages to choose from, however I chose the most affordable one for me as I am just starting out. My package cost $98.95 for 3 years


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded August 20, 2021):

    Hey Daniel,

    We are so happy to have you as part of the HostGator family! Thank you for your review.

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Abby H

    5  — May 31, 2021

    HostGator ROCKS!!!

    The best thing I can say about the complete HostGator experience is that it serves, supports and enables success. And what more could any customer ask for? Well, we could ask for patience, knowledge, understanding and a genuine desire to help us get over the hurdles and master the challenges we were faced with.
    And your people DO that, consistently, reliably and cheerfully. I am beyond words grateful for all that you design, deliver and do. My number one rule in my business is… “Make them glad they came.” And you do that. Time and time and time again. Thank you. Abby Hagyard


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded June 3, 2021):

    Hey Abby,

    We are just happy that we have the pleasure of providing you such wonderful service. Thank you for choosing HostGator!

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Stacie P

    5  — May 31, 2021

    Excellent Web Host!

    I was up and running within 24 hours of setting up. Service is reliable and customer service is fantastic. When I ran into problems with my FTP, I got a reply by phone quickly and my problem was resolved right away. I wish I found HostGator sooner!


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded June 3, 2021):

    Hey Stacie,

    You are always in good hands here at HostGator. We are always happy to help. Thank you for your review.

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator

    Bill M

    4  — May 26, 2021

    I’m a fan

    Great value. Easy to use and set up. Haven’t been using them long, but so far, I dig it. Still figuring everything out, but I am getting there. Solid customer service. I should be able to get the site live soon. I just want to get everything in shape before I do.


    Response received from DJ, HostGator (Responded June 3, 2021):

    Hey Bill,

    We are so glad to hear you are a fan! Thank you for your review.

    DJ
    Customer Advocate at HostGator