Disclosure: BestWebHosts2013.net is an independent resource offering professional web hosting reviews. We receive compensation from the companies whose services and products we review. The compensation is used to cover the costs of testing, purchasing the accounts, and royalties to authors of the reviews. The compensation does not influence our judgment in any way and does not result in higher or lower rankings for certain host companies.
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- FTP Access
- Web-Based File Manager
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- cPanel Control Panel
- Unlimited E-Mail Accounts
- Web-Based E-Mail
- POP3 / SMTP
- E-Mail Forwarding
- Spam Protection
- One Domain
- Unlimited Sub-Domains
- Ruby & Ruby on Rails
- Website Builder
- Image Gallery
- Forum Software
- Online Store / Selling Tools
- Google AdWords Credit
- 24/7 Phone Support
- E-Mail / Tickets Support
- Live Chat Support
- Video Tutorials
- FAQ / Knowledgebase
- Support Forum
First launched in 2002, the pace of HostGator's development has been impressive. This Houston based web host is now one of the leading solutions on the market and is recognized among the fastest growing private businesses in Texas.
Among the services offered by HostGator are shared web hosting, reseller plans, VPS and dedicated servers. Shared hosting plans start at $3.96/month for a three-year package that provides unlimited bandwidth, disk space, MySQL and e-mail accounts as well as a good script library, a set of productivity enhancing utilities and guaranteed 99.9% uptime. Domain parking is available starting from the mid-range Baby Plan, while advanced features like a dedicated IP address and a toll-free phone number come with the Business Plan.
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Updated: December 5, 2013
HostGator, like many other modern companies is ecology conscious. That's why they purchase certified Renewable Energy Credits (REC's) to ensure that the power for HostGator's servers comes from renewable sources.
New clients are offered cPanel, the famous SiteBuilder tool, for easy deployment, as well as a $100 credit for AdWords advertising. Advanced eCommerce capabilities like private SSL and a number of one-click-installed shopping carts attract pro clients as well.
HostGator owns 12,000 servers in total and services about 400,000 clients in more than 200 countries. The promised 99.9% uptime meets the requirements of all but the most critical operations and is more than adequate for almost any small or mid-size business. The actual uptime measured by Pingdom™ is 99.99%*. The average response time measured by Pingdom™ is 0,247* sec which is the best time we have found among the web hosts we evaluate. Reliability is further assured through continuous 24/7 site monitoring and daily backups.
A shared web hosting account at HostGator can be cancelled at any time. There is an unconditional money back guarantee if you cancel your account within 45 days of purchase.
HostGator's control panel is powered by the well known and proven software, cPanel. As of this review, the renewal announcement is displayed in the control panel to ensure regular updates and avoid having an outdated version that might have potential vulnerabilities.
New users will get used to the panel very quickly. All shortcuts are grouped by category and are well explained. The billing and support ticket shortcuts are placed at the very top of the list providing instant access to these vital functions.
In addition to standard options including domain manipulation, mail management and log analyzers, there is a special Software and Services section. It contains a number of utilities to install virtually anything you want on your website.
PHP, Perl and Ruby libraries provide additional functionality. The QuickInstall applet allows you to setup dozens of web software titles with a couple of clicks. For CMS, eCommerce, billing, blogs and forums, social networking and picture gallery software, the installation process is the same: select a name and click the install button. We tried to install Drupal 7 CMS and PrestaShop online shop application – both were installed in a minute without any glitches.
Deploying a simple (and even a not so simple) website at HostGator is also facilitated by BaseKit SiteBuilder. A number of templates and flexible editing instruments allow you to quickly create a website and start filling it with content. To promote your site, you can quickly create an account at Attracta, a one-stop SEO service for full scale web promotion. And don't forget to claim your $100 credits at AdWords for initial advertising!
Overall, working with the host is easy and generally doesn't require any special knowledge or the assistance of the support team. Some third-party offerings are less clear and may require more effort to manage.
A wide choice of support options and adequate response time leave no chance for a problem to remain unsolved. 24/7 phone support, an online ticket system, live chat, community forums and many articles and video tutorials all come as standard.
|Online Ticket Support|
The staff is polite and professional. Questions were answered rather quickly and answers always solved the problem we had raised.
Strangely, the live chat support had longer wait times for response than the usual tickets. This might have been only a one-time incident, but it also may mean that the live chat staff is also working on the support tickets.
HostGator is an impressive example of a company that started with three servers and has grown to become one of the major players on the market. Luckily for us, this web host managed to avoid many teething problems: it remains stable, reliable, and fast. The support is great, and you may not even need to ask for their help because of a well built control panel and a range of options for creating or customizing your website available with even the basic plans.
All in all, HostGator seems to be the right choice for the site owners, as it provides a way to launch a website very quickly with no hassles and worries.
How do we check uptime / response time?
We buy an account from every web hosting provider to be tested and place a mini site on each account. Next, we begin testing the uptime and average response time of these mini sites with the help of the Pingdom™ monitoring service. Please note, most of our competitors check the uptime of the web hosting provider's site instead of buying an account and creating a new site. This information does not reflect the real situation of the hosting's reliability.