This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
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HostGator is a powerful web hosting service with the most hosting choices, catering to anyone from beginner to expert. While they offer many of the same things a hosting service like Bluehost might, their strength lies in getting specific with their host offerings and allowing you to really personalize what you want in your hosting package.
That’s probably the reason why two million others use them for reliable hosting. Because of this and many more of its useful features, HostGator makes it on my best web hosting services list.
HostGator Compared to The Best Web Hosting Services
With HostGator, you can start any site on a shoestring budget. It’s accessible to the point where you can start hosting a site for as little as $2.75 a month. And yes, they have plenty of customer support available, along with a live chat feature you can tap into at any time. They also offer free SSL certification and a free domain name.
This puts HostGator firmly on my list of the top eight web hosting services as one of the most affordable options. I painstakingly raked through each web host on the market to ensure I was recommending only the best to choose the rest. As a result, I created an in-depth guide that’ll guide you all the way through until you feel comfortable making a sound web hosting decision for your website.
See all of our top picks here and get ready to dive deep into how to choose a service and what to look for. Now, let’s look at everything HostGator offers and how it measures up to other web hosts on the market.
Who is HostGator Best For?
To put it simply, HostGator is best for entry-level beginners searching for a low barrier to entry hosting service. If you’re looking for one of the easiest and affordable website hosts to help you get your site up and running, HostGator is a great place to start.
HostGator: The Pros and Cons
Like every other website builder, HostGator comes with its list of pros and cons, depending on where you stand. It goes without saying that no hosting service is perfect.
No matter which service you choose, you’re bound to run into problems like occasional downtime or technical issues. Still, it’s a good practice to look at each website builder’s pros and cons to see who they cater to best.
Free migration: If you don’t want to deal with migrations and the fees associated with it, HostGator has your back and migrates your site for free. Other sites with similar features can charge you a pretty penny for this type of service.
24/7 support: HostGator takes customer support seriously. You can reach out to them through their live chat feature whenever you need no matter the day or the hour.
99.9% uptime guarantee: Not all hosting providers are bold enough to make this guarantee, but HostGator does. As you might already know, uptime is essential if you want your site to keep it’s rank on Google, a good online reputation, and be accessible to your audience at all times. Knowing HostGator cares about uptime enough to offer a guarantee can give you peace of mind.
Free domain for a year: Much like Bluehost, HostGator lets you register a free domain name with them for a year. Anything free that makes the process of creating a website easier is always a plus in my book.
Higher renewal prices: Granted, many hosting providers offer you entry-level prices to get your foot in the door. However, when it’s time to renew your yearly plan, those prices tend to go up. For HostGator, this is definitely the case. So, it’s a factor to consider when you’re budgeting and thinking long-term.
No staging options: Staging is a great option to have if you’re a developer that needs to test changes or fix bugs. Unfortunately, this isn’t something HostGator offers at the moment. You’ll have to install a third-party staging plugin.
There’s a lot of ground to cover when it comes to HostGator hosting options. As I mentioned before, they offer you a buffet-style spread of hosting options.
To start, HostGator includes the following options regardless of what plans you choose:
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- An uptime guarantee of 99.9%
- Round-the-clock server monitoring
- Unlimited FTP users
- One-click installs
- 24/7/365 customer support
- Unmetered bandwidth
- cPanel control panel
- Free migration
Once you know those are all included, here are the types of hosting services HostGator offers:
- Web Hosting
- Cloud Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
Now, how exactly does each one measure up, and what do they offer?
- Hatchling Plan – $2.75 a month
- Baby Plan – $3.95 a month
- Business Plan – $5.95 a month
Each plan is priced on a 36-month billing cycle. But you can always adjust that to shorter billing cycles, though keep in mind that this will alter your monthly prices. For the sake of simplicity, I’ve chosen the longest billing cycle, as it’s the cheapest option.
For web hosting, all three plans include one-click installs and unlimited email. The Business plan offers a bit more. This means if you go with it, you’ll have a private SSL, dedicated IP, and free VoIP phone service.
In this category, the most basic plan you can go with is the Hatchling plan, and it only allows you to host one domain. This is what makes HostGator a great entry-level hosting provider if you want to get your one site up and running quickly.
- Hatchling Cloud – $4.95 a month
- Baby Cloud – $6.57 a month
- Business Cloud – $9.95 a month
HostGator stands out as a reliable cloud hosting provider with three different options to choose from. You’ll first need to decide how much RAM you’ll need. Their Hatchling plan with 2 GB can be a solid starter option.
But you can go as high as their Business Cloud option with 6 GB of RAM. The highest tier in their cloud hosting plan includes a dedicated IP and VoIP phone service for as little as $9.95 a month. Learn more about HostGator Cloud Hosting.
- Starter Plan – $5.95 a month
- Standard Plan – $7.95 a month
- Business Plan – $9.95 a month
If you already know you’re hosting your site with WordPress, you’ll want to pay close attention to HostGator’s WordPress hosting solutions. Picking between each tier is easy. All you’ll have to consider is the amount of traffic your site gets and if you’re trying to host one or multiple sites.
The Starter plan is best for around 100k monthly visitors, while its Standard plan can manage with up to 200k site visitors. If you have a popular site that gets around 500k monthly hits or more, it’s safest to choose their Business plan. Each tier is reasonably priced and accessible for the amount of web traffic they can manage. This is yet another reason why I highly recommend HostGator as a hosting provider for starter sites.
- Snappy 2000 – $19.95 a month
- Snappy 4000 – $29.95 a month
- Snappy 8000 – $39.95 a month
With HostGator’s VPS Hosting plan, you’re in for fewer service limitations and a slew of additional features. As you grow, you can easily add more RAM, CPU, or disk space to accommodate your site.
A virtual server dedicated to your site ensures you have more control over your site’s hosting environment in a cost-effective manner. This is yet another example of the flexibility of HostGator as a hosting provider, which is a favorite feature of mine.
- Value Server – $89.98 a month
- Power Server – $119.89 a month
- Enterprise Server – $139.99 a month
HostGator’s dedicated hosting category can be summed up in one word: maximization. You choose a hard drive and how much RAM you want depending on your site needs. Then they provide you with IP-based firewall protection.
Dedicated servers are equipped to host sites that are in full growth mode. They need powerful features that enable them to grow while minimizing downtime, space limitations, and technical difficulties that might arise with a less robust hosting plan.
If you decide to go the dedicated hosting route, you can be sure HostGator offers you all the hosting and site management tools you could ask for. And again, their ability to personalize their offers to your needs sets them apart as a powerful web hosting provider.
We’ve already established that HostGator is a great option for either entry-level sites or sites that need advanced options ranging anywhere from blogging and personal use to the entrepreneurship space. But what are their main offerings?
Here’s a closer look.
Shared & Cloud Hosting
HostGator offers you the standard package that you can find with any reliable hosting provider with these options. What sets them apart in this camp are unlimited storage features and unmetered bandwidth. Keep in mind this all comes with guaranteed uptime as well. With the entry-level prices, you get with shared hosting on HostGator, it definitely stands as a contender to other providers like Bluehost.
The difference between shared and cloud hosting is straightforward. Shared hosting is when you shared a server with multiple other sites, and all clients share the available bandwidth. Cloud hosting is when your site is hosted on multiple shared servers instead of just one.
As you can expect, their WordPress hosting option includes a free domain, having WordPress ready and installed so you can start publishing on your site, and an easy to use control panel. HostGator also offers plenty of site security features like site backups and malware protection. The WordPress hosting option is exactly what it sounds like: hosting in a way that directly caters to WordPress sites.
VPS hosting is when an entirely virtual private server is divided into dedicated hosting spaces for each client. HostGator’s VPS hosting option is the way to go if you’re looking for top-tier site hosting tools like the ability to host unlimited domains, create unlimited email addresses, databases, and FTP accounts. The web hosting feature that takes the cake for VPS hosting is the off-site courtesy backup it does for you weekly.
If you want the absolute best hosting, HostGator has dedicated hosting to offer you a number of valuable web hosting tools. You’ll have plenty of customization options to maximize your site’s efficiency with a dedicated server all for your site.
They guarantee your site stays up and running, and they give you the option to manage it yourself or have their team fully manage it for you. HostGator will also help with any technical or custom software installations. This makes HostGator’s dedicated hosting packages one of the best in their industry.
The Best Website Builders
I encourage you to read through my in-depth guide to the best hosting providers. In it, you’ll see how each hosting provider stacks up in comparison to the rest. That way, you’re informed well enough to make the best decision possible. So, check out my top picks here. To help, here’s a quick overview of who made it on the list:
- Dreamhost Best option if you want quick and responsive website changes
- Hostinger – Low-Cost shared hosting options for startups
- Bluehost – Best for WordPress hosting
- Nexcess – Best ecommerce hosting
- HostGator – Most affordable option for startups
- WP Engine – Best option if you know your limits
- InMotion – Best option for scaling BIG
- Siteground – Best for WooCommerce hosting
HostGator is a powerful hosting provider for first-time site builders who want a reliable and choice-rich option they can rely on. With HostGator, you not only get plenty of hosting options, but you also get access to added perks like free SSL certification and free domain registration. What’s great about HostGator is that you can start small and then switch hosting tiers as your site grows without having to migrate if you’re happy with their service.
Now it’s your turn. Let me know your thoughts about HostGator below.
Or better yet, if you’re starting your site and don’t want to wait any longer, get started with HostGator today.