In today’s digital age, having a website is essential for any business.
From a simple blog to a full e-commerce platform, a web hosting service is necessary to make your online presence a reality.
Among the many options available, HostGator stands out with its various hosting plans, including cloud, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated server packages.
While all these options are impressive, it is the company’s shared hosting plans that truly shine.
In fact, their shared packages are so comprehensive that we have chosen them as our top pick in the shared hosting category.
- A wide variety of hosting plans with many features
- Exceptional shared hosting options
- Ideal for beginner webmasters
- Useful website building software and e-commerce tools
- 24/7 customer service available for assistance
- Consistently high uptime for reliable access to your website.
- Not all hosting plans offer a Windows Server option.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting service where multiple websites are hosted on a single server.
This means that the websites share the server’s resources, including storage, memory, and processing power.
While this can be a cost-effective option, it also means that the performance of one website can be affected by the activities of another on the same server.
If you require more dedicated resources for your website, you may want to consider a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hosting instead.
HostGator offers monthly shared web hosting plans, but they strongly encourage users to sign up for longer terms, starting at six months.
However, during the signup process, HostGator defaults to a three-year term, which we feel is excessive.
While it is understandable for a company to encourage users to commit to longer-term plans, setting a three-year term as the default option is excessive.
HostGator offers shared hosting packages for Linux and Windows that are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.
Their Linux hosting plans include the Hatchling plan, which starts at $11.95 per month or $3.95 per month with an annual plan.
This plan includes unlimited disk space, monthly data transfers, and email addresses.
It also includes a free SSL certificate and support for one domain and third-party applications such as content management systems and e-commerce platforms.
The Baby plan, which starts at $12.95 per month or $5.00 per month with an annual plan, includes everything in the Hatchling plan and adds support for unlimited domains.
The top-tier Business plan, which starts at $17.95 per month or $7.25 per month with an annual plan, offers specialized features such as a free dedicated IP, SEO tools, and the Cloudflare CDN.
HostGator also offers Windows-based shared hosting plans.
Their Personal Plan starts at $7.96 per month or $6.36 per month with an annual commitment.
This plan includes unlimited disk space, monthly data transfers, a free SSL certificate, and support for a single domain.
The Enterprise plan, which starts at $15.96 per month, includes everything in the Personal plan and adds support for up to five domains.
HostGator’s shared hosting packages provide unlimited storage, email, and monthly databases that give businesses plenty of room to grow.
Overall, it is the best service we have reviewed for shared hosting packages.
VPS Web Hosting
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a good option for those who require more server power than what is offered by shared hosting.
Like shared hosting, VPS hosting involves multiple websites hosted on a single server, but the number of websites is much smaller. VPS hosting is more expensive than shared hosting, but it provides greater server power in return.
HostGator offers three Linux-based VPS hosting plans.
These are good options to consider if you need more power, have high traffic volumes, or have specific compliance requirements that prevent you from using shared servers but do not want to pay for dedicated server prices.
The most basic VPS plan, Snappy 2000, starts at $29.95 per month or $23.95 per month with an annual commitment. It includes 2GB of RAM, 120GB of SSD storage, and unlimited email and monthly data transfers.
The mid-tier Snappy 4000 package, which starts at $59.95 per month or $34.95 per month with a one-year plan, includes 4GB of RAM and 165GB of SSD storage.
The most advanced plan, Snappy 8000, starts at $119.95 per month or $59.95 per month with an annual plan, and offers 8GB of RAM and 240GB of SSD storage.
While these plans are flexible, they are not as well-rounded as Hostwinds, our top pick for VPS hosting.
Hostwinds offers affordable and comprehensive VPS plans that start at $16.99 per month for 1GB of RAM, 30GB of disk space, 1TB of monthly data transfers, and unlimited email.
Plans scale up to $574 per month for 96GB of RAM, 750GB of disk space, 9TB of monthly data transfers, and unlimited email.
In addition, Hostwinds offers VPS plans with the Windows operating system, which is not available with HostGator.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting is a powerful form of web hosting that involves your website being hosted on a server by itself.
This means that your website will have access to all of the server’s resources, making it the most powerful and expensive form of hosting.
Dedicated hosting is ideal for websites that expect a high volume of traffic.
HostGator offers dedicated server packages that begin with the Value tier, starting at $159.99 per month or $108.98 per month with an annual plan. This plan includes 8GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD storage, and unlimited email and monthly data transfers.
The Power Server plan builds upon the Value plan and includes 16GB of RAM and 2TB of HDD storage (or 512GB of SSD storage), starting at $208.98 per month or $139.99 per month with an annual plan.
The top-tier Enterprise Server plan includes 30GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, starting at $249.98 per month or $159.99 per month with an annual plan.
HostGator offers dedicated hosting packages for both Linux and Windows, which is not as common as you might think.
Linux is the most commonly used operating system for dedicated hosting, so it is noteworthy that HostGator offers both options.
In fact, HostGator is one of the few web hosts that scored well in our tests and offers dedicated hosting for both operating systems.
Even DreamHost, which is one of our favorite hosting services, does not offer Windows-based dedicated servers.
While HostGator’s dedicated hosting plans are impressive, they are not our top pick in this category.
That title goes to AccuWeb, which offers dedicated hosting packages starting at $105 per month and scales in price and power according to your needs.
AccuWeb also offers servers with either Linux or Windows operating systems. If you are in need of dedicated hosting with high-capacity SSD storage, however, HostGator is worth considering.
Cloud Web Hosting
HostGator, like many other web hosts, offers cloud hosting, which allows for sharing of resources across multiple servers for a website.
This type of hosting allows for real-time scaling of resources and eliminates limitations caused by physical server constraints.
HostGator offers a cloud hosting service that is only available on the Linux platform.
If you require the Windows operating system, you will need to look elsewhere.
Despite this limitation, HostGator’s cloud hosting plans are worth considering.
The Cloud Hatchling plan starts at $12.95 per month or $7.95 per year with an annual plan. It includes 2GB of RAM, unlimited email, monthly data transfers, and storage.
The Cloud Baby plan, starting at $13.95 per month or $9.95 per month with an annual plan, adds unlimited domains and increases the RAM to 4GB.
The top tier Cloud Business plan, starting at $19.95 per month or $11.95 per month with an annual plan, includes 6GB of RAM, a dedicated IP address, and free SEO tools.
WordPress Web Hosting
HostGator allows you to install the WordPress content management system (CMS) on any of its servers.
Also, it offers three tiers of managed WordPress web hosting that come pre-installed with WordPress: Starter, Standard, and Business.
These plans provide different levels of resources and features, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs.
HostGator offers three tiers of managed WordPress hosting: Starter, Standard, and Business.
These plans provide different levels of resources and features, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs.
The Starter plan, starting at $14.95 per month or $7.95 per month with an annual plan, offers 100,000 visits per month, the ability to host one WordPress site, and unlimited email.
The Standard plan, starting at $20.95 per month or $9.95 per month with an annual plan, increases the number of WordPress sites that can be hosted to two and the monthly visits to 200,000.
The Business plan, starting at $27.95 per month or $11.95 with an annual plan, grants access to three WordPress sites, 500,000 monthly visits, and unlimited storage.
Setting up WordPress on HostGator is easy, even if you don’t choose a managed WordPress hosting plan.
The customer portal includes a Quick Links option that opens a dedicated interface for installing third-party applications, and there is also a shortcut called “Get Started With WordPress Today” that leads to the Quick Links interface.
We were able to quickly set up our site and get it running using these tools. HostGator also automatically installed the WP-Super-Cache plug-in to improve blog performance.
If you want to add more plug-ins to your site, you can check out the best WordPress plug-ins for supercharging your website.
The process of setting up our WordPress site on HostGator was straightforward, thanks to the pre-existing database and the availability of a Mojo Marketplace link under the WordPress services.
This marketplace offered a range of premium add-ons and services that we could use for our blog.
Although HostGator itself did not have a blog-import button, WordPress made the import process simple and efficient.
Building a HostGator-Powered Website
HostGator’s interface can be a bit confusing at first, but thankfully they send a getting-started email with links to all the necessary resources to create a website.
This email includes a link to the customer portal, where payment information, details about the plan, and options to purchase add-ons can be found.
The customer portal also has tabs for account and domain management, as well as the control panel with site-building tools, applications, website statistics, and more.
HostGator offers several options for building a website, including their own Gator website builder which is easy to use and offers drag-and-drop functionality.
This makes it possible to quickly create an attractive page complete with slideshows, contact forms, social media links, and more.
They also offer the option to install WordPress or other CMS platforms such as b2evolutions, Drupal, Joomla, Mambo, and Tiki.
For those who prefer to manually upload files to the server, HostGator offers a File Manager tool that is better than a basic FTP client because it allows for direct editing and includes a built-in HTML editor.
HostGator offers a free domain name for one year when signing up for at least 12 months of cloud, shared, or WordPress hosting (excluding dedicated and VPS hosting).
This is a common feature among web hosting providers, but it is still a nice touch. However, there are a few limitations to keep in mind.
First, the free domain name is only available for the first year of hosting.
Second, the domain name must end in either .com, .org, or .net. If you already own a domain name with one of these extensions, HostGator will transfer it to their server for free.
Reseller Web Hosting
If you’re interested in entering the web hosting industry but don’t want to handle the technical details, HostGator’s reseller hosting packages may be worth considering.
These packages provide a way for you to offer web hosting services without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
HostGator’s reseller hosting plans start at $19.95 per month and include unlimited email.
The Aluminum, Copper, and Silver plans are available in both Linux and Windows versions, but they do not come with unlimited storage and monthly data transfers at each tier, unlike Hostwinds’ offerings.
However, HostGator does allow you to apply your own branding to the servers you rent and provides 24/7 technical support.
HostGator is partnered with Mojo Marketplace, which offers a range of design tools such as graphics, logos, themes, and templates.
Quick Links also has e-commerce packages available, including Magento, phpCOIN, SugarCRM, and ZenCart.
We tested the Magento platform, which provides a drag-and-drop interface for creating an online store.
Setting up a store with this tool is easy and straightforward.
You can select a theme, add products, pricing, and images, and choose your desired payment and shipping methods.
If you plan on using your website to sell products, HostGator has many excellent options available.
Excellent Uptime and Customer Service
We used a website-monitoring tool to track the uptime of our HostGator-hosted test site over a 14-day period.
The tool pinged the site every 15 minutes and sent us an email if it was unable to contact the site for at least 1 minute.
The results of the testing were impressive: HostGator was remarkably stable and did not go down at all during the two-week testing period.
This suggests that you can rely on HostGator to keep your website up and running.
In addition to its stability, HostGator also offers excellent customer support.
They have 24/7 telephone and live web chat support, and we were able to quickly speak to a customer service representative when we called.
The representative was friendly and knowledgeable, and was able to answer our questions about the different hosting tiers.
We also used the live web chat to inquire about their WordPress services and pricing, and the support agent replied within seconds to provide detailed information about the features and pricing of each tier.
HostGator offers a money-back guarantee, which is a common feature among web hosts.
However, they stand out from many of their competitors by offering a 45-day refund window (most web hosts only offer a 30-day window).
This is longer than the guarantee offered by most other web hosts, but it is still not as generous as the 97-day guarantee offered by DreamHost, another of our top picks.
Dedicated to Hosting
HostGator offers a wide range of hosting options, excellent customer service, great uptime, and a long money-back guarantee.
These features make it a great choice for launching a personal or business website, as long as you don’t need to use a Windows-powered server.
If you do need to build on the Windows Server operating system, AccuWeb is a good option.
Overall, HostGator is packed with the tools you need to create a successful website.