HostGator Review

hostgator

If you’ve been shopping around for a good web host for your website, you have probably heard about HostGator. HostGator is one of the leading web hosting companies. Founded back in 2002 and headquartered in Houston and Austin, Texas, HostGator has grown from a small hosting company with just three servers into a behemoth that has over 800,000 customers across over 200 countries and hosts over 8 million domains. 

But is HostGator as good as it promises? In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about HostGator to help you decide whether it is the right hosting company for your needs.

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WHY HOSTGATOR?

HostGator prides itself on being a company whose sole focus is to make hosting your website easy and affordable. If you want a web host that will allow you to set up your website quickly and without breaking the bank, HostGator is the right web host for you. 

HostGator provides a wide variety of hosting options, including shared and cloud hosting packages, which are good for beginners and small websites, to virtual private servers (VPS), which are more suited to advanced users. 

Their hosting packages are quite affordable, which makes HostGator a good option if you are just starting out and do not want to spend a fortune on hosting. Once your website grows, you can easily upgrade to a bigger package that will handle your increased traffic. In addition to being affordable, all HostGator plans give you access to a free drag and drop website builder known as Gator. With this website builder, anyone can easily build their website from scratch, even if you have no technical knowledge. 

With HostGator’s basic shared hosting plans, you also get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain (for the first year). 

Below are some other great features that make HostGator a great choice for your web hosting needs. 

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Intuitive, User-Friendly Control Panel

Before settling on a web host, it is important to consider the user-friendliness of their control panel, especially if you are a beginner with no prior experience on setting up a website. Luckily, HostGator provides an intuitive, easy to use cPanel based control panel. Hostgator even went a step further to customize their implementation of cPanel, making it a lot more user-friendly compared to the default version of cPanel. HostGator’s version of cPanel also has a sidebar with a knowledge base search that gives you quick access to a huge collection of articles in case you ever get stuck. 

From the HostGator control panel, you can perform a wide variety of actions, such as creating and managing email accounts, adding domains and subdomains to your hosting account, viewing the traffic on your site, purchasing or viewing your SSL certificates, setting up email marketing, adding Google Apps to your website, and so on. 

Strong And Stable Uptime

Once you set up your website, you want maximum uptime, since downtime means lost revenue. Fortunately, Hostgator offers very strong and stable uptime. For the last two years, HostGator’s uptime has been almost flawless, ranging between 99.99% and 100%. 

What’s more, they have an uptime guarantee that customers will receive a month’s credit on their HostGator account should the uptime fall below 99.9% at any one time. However, uptime guarantee does not cover impossible-to-predict hacks and planned maintenance. 

hostgator hosting review

HostGator WordPress

For those looking to set up a WordPress website, HostGator allows you to easily install the WordPress CMS on your hosting account. They have a one-click WordPress install that automates the WordPress installation process. All you need to do is to enter your website name, your admin username, your first and last name, and the admin email address and then click on the install button. This makes the whole process a breeze for beginners without lots of technical know-how.

Aside from installing WordPress yourself, HostGator also provides managed WordPress web hosting, which is a concierge service where the web host handles all the technical aspects of running WordPress, such as website uptime, performing daily backups, as well as site optimization for speed, security, and scalability. HostGator offers three managed WordPress hosting packages: 

  • Starter package: Allows hosting of just one WordPress site. Supports up to 25,000 visits per month. Offers unlimited email and 50GB of storage.
  • Standard package: Allows hosting of two WordPress sites. Supports up to 200,000 visits per month and 150GB of storage.
  • Business package: Allows hosting of three WordPress sites. Supports up to 300,000 visits per month and offers unlimited storage. 

Free Site And cPanel Migrations

If you had a site on another web host and want to move this site to your HostGator hosting account, HostGator handles the migration for you free of charge if you inform them that you want to migrate a site within 30 days of signing up for hosting on HostGator. 

As part of the migration, HostGator will help you move everything, including all your site files, scripts, databases, and even your domain name. The migration also includes a full cPanel transfer, which means that even the subdomains you had installed on your site will all be transferred. 

This free site migration can save you a lot of time and hassle, especially if you are a beginner who isn’t well versed with site migrations. If you sign up for the VPS hosting plans, you get unlimited site transfers. 

HostGator Web Hosting Price

One of the greatest advantages of Hostgator is that it offers very affordable prices. Actually, HostGator prices are some of the lowest you will find in the market, with prices starting from as low as $2.75/month if you buy hosting for 36 months. The low prices are meant to serve HostGator’s core market – people running their own blogs and e-commerce stores. Despite the low prices, HostGator web hosting packages offer more than enough features. 

If you are interested in HostGator’s shared hosting, there are three hosting plans to choose from:

  • Hatchling: This plan gives you one domain name, unlimited subdomains, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and an SSL certificate. The hatchling plan starts at $2.75 per month. 
  • Baby: Starting at $3.95 per month, this plan gives you unlimited bandwidth, storage, and domain names.
  • Business: Starting at $5.95 per month, this plan gives you all the features of the Baby plan, plus a free SSL certificate, a free dedicated IP, and a toll-free number.
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HostGator Promo Code

From time to time, HostGator offers promo codes that allows customers to get discounts on various products, such as web hosting, domain names, SSL certificates, and so on. You can find HostGator promo codes here. You can also find them by searching online. All you need to do to get the discount is to enter the promo code during checkout after purchasing a hosting plan. 

Money Back Guarantee

Another great advantage of HostGator is that it offers you a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with their services. And unlike most other web hosts, who offer a 30 day money-back guarantee, HostGator gives you a 45 day money-back guarantee. This means that you have 45 days to decide whether HostGator is the right web host for you. If you are not satisfied, just let them know and they will give you a refund. 

To request a refund, use the online cancellation form to cancel your plan and ask for your money back. HostGator will get back to you in about 48 hours with a confirmation email. Make sure to reply to this email. After that, you will receive your refund within 15 days. 

It is good to note that the money-back guarantee only works for new accounts or plans. If you had a HostGator plan before and request a refund for renewing the plan, you will not be given any refund. 

Excellent Support

To help you learn your way around, HostGator provides you with a collection of articles and tutorials, which can be quite useful if you find yourself stuck. However, if you still have issues even after going through these tutorials, you can reach out to HostGator’s excellent support for assistance. The support team is available around the clock and can be reached on phone, email, or live chat. You even have the option of reaching out to them via snail mail, though it might not be a very viable option due to the slow speed of snail mail. The fastest way to get help is through live chat, which can connect you to a support representative in as little as 15 seconds. 

HOSTGATOR HOW TO SET UP EMAIL

Setting up your email on HostGator is quite easy. If you have already purchased a domain and setting up hosting, below are the steps on how to set up email on HostGator.

  1. Login to the HostGator cPanel. You can access the cPanel via http://yourdomain.com/cpanel (in this case, replace yourdomain.com with the domain your purchased. You will find the login details in the web hosting confirmation email from HostGator
  2. Scroll down to the “Email” section and click on “Email Accounts”. This will take you to a new page that allows you to set up your email account. 
  3. Type in your desired email address. If you have more than one domain on your hosting account, select the right domain name where you want to set up the email account.
  4. Set up a password for the email. You also have the option of using the password generator tool to generate a strong password. 
  5. Scroll down and find “Mailbox Quota” and click on the “Unlimited” checkbox. Making this small change reduces the likelihood of the mailbox for this email address filling up. 
  6. Click on “Create Account” to finish. You will receive a confirmation box notifying you that your email has been successfully set up. 

To access your email account, you can either go to cPanel, scroll down to “Email”, click on “Email Accounts”, click on “More” and then select “Access Email.” You can also access the email via http://yourdomain.com/webmail. Use the email address and password you just created to log in. You can also set up a mail client to allow you to access the email address on different devices. 

HOSTGATOR HOW TO CHANGE A DOMAIN NAME

If you set up a hosting account but are dissatisfied with the domain name you used to set up the account, HostGator allows you to change this domain name. However, you will also have to buy the new domain name as well. Once the previous domain name expires, you can forego renewal so you’re only left with the new domain name. 

Below are the steps on how to change your primary domain in HostGator. 

  1. Login to your HostGator cPanel.
  2. Scroll down to “Files” and click on “Backups.” This will take you to the backup page. It is important to back up your full website before making a domain change. This will allow you to easily restore your site in case something goes wrong during the domain change process. 
  3. On the backup page, click on the “Download Full Website” button to back up your whole website. Click on the “Generate Backup” button to begin the backup process. 
  4. Go to the HostGator customer portal at https://portal.hostgator.com/ and log in with your credentials.
  5. One the menu on the left hand side, click on “Hosting.” This will bring up a list of all the domains you have on your hosting package.
  6. Find the domain you want to change and click on the “Manage” button next to it. 
  7. On the new page, click on the “Settings” tab.
  8. Click on the “Change Domain” button on the right hand side.
  9. Enter your desired domain and click on “Update Domain.” You will receive a notification confirming that your domain has been changed successfully. Note that this process does not register the new domain for you. You need to have registered the domain before starting the domain change process. 

WRAPPING UP

If you are a beginner who wants to set up their first website and are therefore looking for a user-friendly yet affordable web host that will allow you to easily set up your site without eating deep into your finances, HostGator is a great option for you. Their prices are among the cheapest, their control panel is intuitive and user-friendly, they offer strong and stable uptime, they offer managed WordPress hosting, you get free site migrations, and they have excellent support. What’s more, they give you a 45 day money-back guarantee.

Grab an Hostgator coupon code and get your next purchase at the best possible price!