Hostgator: A Detailed Review

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Hostgator: A Detailed Review

Introduction To Hostgator

HostGator was established in October 2002 by Brent Oxley, who was then a student at Florida Atlantic University. Despite where you are in the website-building cycle, HostGator has something for you. You can begin building your website using their drag-and-drop Website Builder.

If you’re at the other end of the spectrum, you can obtain HostGator’s dedicated Migrations Team to transfer your website and configure it for optimal performance on their platform for free.

Here are some of the interesting facts about Hostgator that you should know:

  • In 2006, the company moved from the original office in Boca Raton, Florida to a new 20,000 square foot building in Houston, Texas. The same year in June, the company opened its first international office in Canada.
  • In 2008, Inc. Magazine ranked HostGator in its list of fastest-growing companies at 21 in the United States and 1 in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas area. The same year, HostGator decided to make their hosting service green hosting by working with Integrated Ecosystem Market Services.
  • HostGator prepared for competition companies touting themselves as providing “unlimited” hosting services in 2008. Founder Brent Oxley decided to back up an “unlimited” option before offering a service named as such and increased staffing. He suggested that this move increased sales by at least 30%.
  • In 2010, Hostgator opened a new office in Austin, Texas.
  • In May 2011, HostGator started operations in India with its office in Nashik, Maharashtra, and a data center.
  • On July 13, 2012, HostGator was sold to Endurance International Group (EIG) for an aggregate purchase price of $299.8 million, of which $227.3 million was paid in cash at the closing.
  • In 2015, HostGator launched Optimized WP, a set of tools for building and maintaining WordPress websites. By the end of 2015, EIG launched local HostGator sites in Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, and Mexico.
  • As of 2019, HostGator also offered a web hosting service in the United Kingdom and Australia.
  • In 2020, HostGator rolled out its cheapest web hosting plans.

Here is my honest review on Hostgator.

Review Overview

HostGator, founded in 2002, is an award-winning, Houston-based provider of web hosting. You can pick from four different plan options, which means that you can select the package that works the best with your needs and pay for only the resources you need to serve your user base.

HostGator claims an easy-to-use control panel, marketing credits to help you boost your traffic, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and 24/7 customer support availability.

All the information written in our article are either claims by Hostgator or information sourced from different reviews of the hosting service.

So, we will put these claims to test by performing various kinds of speed and load testing to give you our honest and unbiased report.

In our complete and impartial review, we will be covering the following aspects of Hostgator’s hosting service:

    • Performance: We will determine if websites hosted by Hostgator can efficiently manage sudden spikes in traffic.
    • Speed: We will check the load speed and response times of a website hosted by Hostgator.
    • Security: We will explore all the security features offered by Hostgator.
    • Pricing: The review will also cover all the plans offered by Hostgator, along with the features included with each plan and the cost involved.
    • Features: We will explore all the additional features that make Hostgator’s service pleasant and amusing.
    • Policies: We will also explore Hostgator’s customer and pricing policies.
    • Quality Of Customer Support: We will present reviews on the quality of customer support provided by the Hostgator and also examine if their team is trained and equipped enough to deal with common customer challenges and queries.
    • Hostgator Pros And Cons: We will summarize all the positives and negatives aspects of using this hosting service.
    • Our Verdict: Based on the review and the speed test results we will provide our final judgement and opinions on this hosting service.
    • FAQs: We will provide some of the frequently asked questions by the users.


Review Summary

Here’s a quick overview of our findings while testing Hostgator service:


Average Rating 4.5/5.0
Reliability 5.0/5.0 (99.9% uptime)
User friendliness 4.4/5.0
Performance grade A+
Average Load Time 1.03 s
Average Response Time 0.1434 s
Support Options Knowledge Base/Live Chat Support/Phone Helpline/Email Support/Support Ticket
Free Domain Yes
Free SSL Yes
1-Click WordPress Integration Yes
Best Features 99.9% Uptime Guarantee, Full CPanel Support, Easy Sign Up Process, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Servers, Affordable Prices, 45 Day Refund Policy, Excellent Customer Service, Unlimited Bandwidth and Disk Space
Pricing Shared hosting plans start at $2.75/month

WordPress hosting plans start at $5.95/month

VPS hosting plans start at $19.95/month

Dedicated hosting plans start at $89.98/month


Now, let us dive deep into each aspect of the hosting service offered by Hostgator. We will begin with performance tests.

Hostgator Performance Tests

Performance testing helps to determine whether the website will meet the speed, scalability, and stability requirements under high user workloads as the websites and web applications have to regularly provide a stable speed to thousands of users concurrently.

With the remarkably high-speed internet that we have been using, we expect our website should load as fast as possible. The ideal website load time for mobile sites is 1-2 seconds. 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. A 2-second delay in load time resulted in abandonment rates of up to 87%.

So let’s look at how Hostgator’s hosting service functions in terms of speed and its ability to manage massive amounts of user traffic.

Hostgator Speed Test Results

As mentioned earlier, your choice of hosting provider will greatly influence the load speed of your website. For this reason, we decided to create a dummy website, complete with dummy content and images, and hosted it on the Hostgator shared hosting server.

The test website was not optimized for speed and there was no caching plugin used to improve the load speed of the website.


As you can see, according to the Pingdom’s website speed test, the website loads in less than two seconds. This helps in meeting the industry’s approved standards. Considering there are no speed optimization actions taken on the website, their load time is very good compared to other hosting providers.

Hostgator Server Response Time Test

The Hostgator server response time test is done using a tool called Bitcatcha, which works a bit unique from other website speed testing tools. With Bitcatcha, you can analyze server response time around the globe by overlooking the content of the site.

With this test, we’d get a more comprehensive survey of how the server responded globally to the page requests.

Here are the results:


Hostgator Load Test

A website load test is directed to discover how efficiently the hosting service can handle massive amounts of traffic. Websites that don’t use hosting services that can deal with large spikes in user traffic and often find their websites crashing at the most crucial times and on the big days.

For example, on the weekends and in the holiday season businesses that are not prepared enough in advance for the sudden surge of customers, experience a website crash.

When customers have some days that are more active than other days, the challenge is even greater, with tens of thousands of visitors hitting a site at once. In such situations, a web host must be able to smoothly balance to meet the demand.

To help you avoid such a situation, we used a tool called Load Impact to test the traffic handling capabilities of Hostgator.

After the testing, we found that the hosting provider performed amazingly well. We send over 100 virtual users to the dummy website in a relatively short period. Even when the surge was at its top, the website was running smoothly and there was virtually no change in the load speed.

Here are the results of the load test:


Hostgator Security Features

Hostgator uses cPanel for providing the graphical interface (GUI) to publish websites, manage domains, organize web files, create email accounts, and more. cPanel is one of the most popular control panels in the United States. cPanel provides outstanding security features that help to make your website more secure.

Security Features in cPanel:

Enables Encrypt SSL certificate

Your cPanel-enabled account can be configured to automatically generate, install, and renew valid SSL certificates.

Configuring SSH keys with cPanel

You can utilize cPanel to configure and manage your SSH keys. SSH keys help you to automate the logins to your Hostgator account, or use two-factor authentication. This helps in providing much more trustworthy and enhanced security.

IP Blocker

Hostgator supports IP Blocker that is used to block and unblock domains and IP addresses. This feature prevents visitors who use a large amount of bandwidth.

Huge Firewall Protection

HostGator is protected from DDoS attacks (UDP flood). They have an extensive custom firewall rule and large mod security rule sets that protect their servers from a variety of forms of attack. If they experience heavy flooding, they have our data center enable network-level flood protection. Their data centers are all highly secure facilities with restricted access. They also employ additional server security methods and precautions that are confidential.


Hostgator gives you an option of purchasing an additional level of security application, that is, SiteLock website security scan. However it does not come free. You have to purchase it. It helps in automated malware removal, brand reputation protection, defense against malicious attacks.When the scan finds something that doesn’t look right, you are alerted via email and your control panel. Their website security services help keep your site safe from harmful malware or hackers. From small businesses to online businesses, to even massive enterprises, HostGator can help keep any site protected and under control.

Hostgator Pricing

Money Back Guarantee

Hostgator does not offer a free trial as most of the companies offer, but it does offer a money-back guarantee. Hostgator offers a full refund to the users within 45-days. This makes Hostgator an excellent choice if you just want to test the service for yourself without any risk and with these money-back offerings.

Renewal Plans

Hostgator does not provide any different renewal plan. It is the same as the new plan. You may choose to renew the plan yourself or enable the auto-renewal option.

Free Trial Period

As mentioned above, Hostgator does not offer a free trial of its service, however it offers a 45-day money back guarantee when you are using it for the first time.

Billing practices – users can refund or cancel account easily

Hostgator maintains a good reputation when it comes to refund processing. The company is very sorted and provides absolutely hassle free, no questions asked refunds.

Types Of Hosting And Hosting Plans Offered (Explained)


Shared hosting means you are using space on a server that is also utilized by other websites, with each user getting a shared amount of bandwidth. This is the most basic of the packages and it comes with support for one domain, unlimited bandwidth, disk space, databases, shared SSL certificate, plenty of email addresses, and support for third-party applications like content management systems. Other additional features that the shared hosting service provides are unlimited domains and a private SSL certificate.

Here’s a complete breakdown of what’s included in the shared hosting plans offered by Hostgator:


Hatchling Plan Baby Plan Business Plan
No. of websites 01 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth & Disk Space Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Free Dedicated IP No No Yes
Free Positive SSL Upgrade No No Yes
MySQL transfer & script transfer Free Free Free
$150 Google Ads spend match credit Yes Yes Yes
$100 Microsoft Advertising credit Yes Yes Yes
Pricing (First term) $2.75/month $3.5/month $5.25/month



A Virtual Private Server is a server divided into fully separate hosting environments. When you have VPS hosting, one of those environments is completely dedicated to you. That means you don’t have to share resources such as RAM or CPU with other customers, and you’re less likely to be impacted by their behavior.

Hostgator offers a number of VPS hosting plans:


Snappy 2000 Snappy 4000 Snappy 8000
vCPU 2 cores 2 cores 4 cores
RAM 2 GB 4 GB 8 GB
Storage 120 GB SSD 165 GB SSD 240 GB SSD
Unmetered Bandwidth Yes Yes Yes
Dedicated IP 2 IPs 2 IPs 2 IPs
Pricing (First term) $19.95/month $29.95/month $39.95/month


WordPress Hosting

In reality, “web hosting” is just an umbrella term that encompasses all types of hosting, including WordPress hosting. WordPress web hosting is specially designed to help you get up and running with WordPress quicker and easier than other plans would provide. All WordPress hosting plans include optimized cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multiple caching layers which mean that sites load up to an alleged 2.5 times faster than competitors.

Here are the WordPress Hosting plans that Hostgator offer:


Starter Standard Business
No. of websites 01 02 03
Visits per month 100k 200k 500k
100% free migration by our web pros Up to 1 site Up to 2 sites Up to 3 sites
MySQL transfer & script transfer Free Free Free
$150 Google Ads spend match credit Yes Yes Yes
$100 Microsoft Advertising credit Yes Yes Yes
Pricing (First term) $5.95/month $7.95/month $9.95/month



If your website is loading slowly, running out of space, or your audience is growing quickly, it might be time to consider a dedicated server. A dedicated server is a server that’s literally dedicated to you and no one else.

These are all the dedicated hosting plans offered by Hostgator:


Value Server Power Server Enterprise Server
CPU 2 core / 8 thread

Intel Xeon-D CPU

8 core / 16 thread

Intel Xeon-D CPU

8 core / 16 thread

Intel Xeon-D CPU

RAM 8 GB 16 GB 30 GB
Storage 1 TB HDD 2 TB HDD or 512 GB SSD 1 TB SSD
Unmetered Bandwidth Yes Yes Yes
Pricing (First term) $89.98/month $119.89/month $139.99/month


Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting, sometimes referred to as white label hosting, allows you to create your own web hosting company without having to incur the costs of server maintenance, software, site uptime, and more. While anyone can take advantage of reseller hosting, it’s especially suited for freelancers or agencies offering web design, development, and other business services to their clients. With reseller hosting, clients can purchase and host their websites through you as if you were the hosting company.

Types of Reseller Hosting that Hostgator provide are listed below:


Aluminium Copper Silver
Disk space 60 GB SSD 90 GB 140 GB
Bandwidth 600 GB 900 GB 1400 GB
Websites Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Pricing (First term) $19.95/month $24.95/month $24.95/month



CPanel: All HostGator shared hosting accounts come with CPanel, which is the world’s most popular web hosting control panel. It’s exceptionally easy to use and offers great support options for beginner and advanced web developers alike.

Site Builders: HostGator lets you install WordPress and Joomla with a single click. WordPress comes with thousands of free and premium themes available, and you can also enjoy other site builders through the HostGator platform.

VPS and Dedicated Servers: Advanced web developers will be satisfied to note that HostGator offers Virtual Private Servers (VPS) as well as dedicated Servers.

Joomla and WordPress: WordPress is the choice of most website developers and bloggers, but Joomla is an outstanding alternative. HostGator supports both content management systems for maximum versatility.

Manage Multiple Domains: HostGator’s Baby Plan and Business Plan both let you add an unlimited number of domains to your shared hosting plans. Whether you’re running one website or twenty websites, you can utilize the same HostGator hosting plan.

Unlimited Bandwidth: HostGator has no bandwidth limits, which means you will never be charged bandwidth overage fees or worry about traffic shutting down your website.

Unlimited Disk Space: HostGator also offers unlimited disk space, which means you can upload as many files as you like without worrying about how much space is left on your server.

Shared and Private SSLs: Secure Socket Layer protection is an essential layer of security used by the majority of websites including major retail sites and government sites. Hatchling and Baby HostGator plans include shared SSL certificates, while higher-level plans feature private SSL certificates for maximum security.

Shared and Private IPs: Just like smaller plans have shared SSL certificates, they also have shared IP addresses. Higher-level plans including the shared hosting Business Plan, include a private IP address for your convenience.

Automatic Domain Renewal: HostGator will automatically renew your domains before they expire to prevent you from losing your website. Even if you’re not forgetful, this is a helpful feature.

Multiple Packages Available: Whether you need a dedicated server, a VPS, or basic shared hosting, HostGator has the plan for you.

Hostgator Policies

Below are some of the policies that Hostgator stands to, for more details and the complete list of policies visit

  • Any use of HostGator Content, other than as specifically authorized herein, is prohibited and will automatically terminate your rights to use the Services and any HostGator Content. All rights to use HostGator Content that are not expressly granted in this Agreement are reserved by HostGator and HostGator’s licensors.
  • HostGator does not make any representations or warranties regarding, and is not liable for, the quality, availability, or timeliness of goods or services provided by a third party provider. You undertake all transactions with these third party providers at your own risk.
  • HostGator reserves the right to migrate your account from one data center to another in order to comply with applicable data center policies, local law or for technical or other reasons without notice.
  • You are solely responsible for backing-up all User Content, including but not limited to, any User Websites. HostGator does not warrant that we back-up any User Content, and you agree to accept the risk of loss of any and all User Content.
  • HostGator offers a forty-five (45) day money-back guarantee for HostGator’s managed shared, VPS, and reseller hosting services only. There are no refunds on dedicated servers. The forty-five (45) day money-back guarantee does not apply to dedicated servers.

Customer Support Review 

Hostgator’s customer support is not up to the mark to be honest. There have been many issues reported by the people that their support team takes a lot of time to get back to reported issues. It offers support in a variety of formats like live chat support, phone support, ticket based support, and email support.

Even though there have been issues reported regarding the delay in response by Hostgator, it does have well-trained executives to handle and answer difficult customer queries. They provide 24/7/365 support.

Hostgator Pros And Cons


  • An abundance of storage: All plans come with unlimited storage, although all your files combined should not be more than 250,000.
  • Flexible terms: Hosting plans can be purchased on a 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months basis.
  • Many programming languages: Hostgator is one of the hosting providers that have multiple language support. PHP, Ruby On Rails, Perl, and Python are all allowed.
  • Unmetered bandwidth: They have no limit on the traffic that your site can get.


  • Tricky prices and fees: Very cheap prices the first term and expensive upon renewal. $25 is charged if you need to restore from one of their backups.
  • Constant upsells: Like many other EIG products, their backend is packed with unnecessary upsell options.
  • Poor backups: Unless you pay for an add-on, you have access to only 1 backup.

Our Verdict – Is Hostgator Right For You?

Honestly, we have a mixed opinion on this hosting service. There is no doubt that your website will be safe being hosted at Hostgator and their uptime is not extremely bad, but they still need to work on the speed they provide to match up to their competitors.

Even if HostGator restricts the number of files that you can have, they are pretty reasonable with their storage, email, bandwidth, and database limitations. Probably a good option for those who value quantity over quality. Having a decent backup system can save your hours of work and loads of money. But Hostgator charges extra fees of $25 for each backup restore that you request.

HostGator costs slightly more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that sounds like the brand’s reputation for strong infrastructure and helpful support. HostGator offers generous features in its basic shared hosting offerings, such as unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. Plus, you get the flexibility to add numerous add-ons for privacy, security, and productivity as you see fit.

Directed primarily at the semi-technical user, Hostgator’s flexibility is its strong suit. Root access, SSH, and support for Ruby, Perl, Python, and other languages are available on all plans. Hostgator has nearly limitless options and control available for their servers, with the support and beginner-friendly tools that will appeal to the full range of customers.

However, you have a risk-free option of trying Hostgator yourself as it provides 45 days of free service. it may turn out to be a great option for you.

FAQs About Hostgator Service

Q1: What is unmetered bandwidth?

Ans: Disk space and bandwidth are “Unmetered” which means you are not charged according to the amount of disk space or bandwidth you use.

However, Hostgator requires all customers to be fully compliant with their Terms of Service and to only utilize disk space and bandwidth in the normal operation of a personal or small business website.

For example, customers who are using 25% or more of system resources for longer than 90 seconds would violate Hostgator’s Terms of Service.

Q2: Which version of PHP does Hostgator support?

Ans: Hostgator provides PHP version 7.3 as a default with every plan.

Q3: Does Hosgator provide unlimited bandwidth ?

Ans: Hostgator has unmetered bandwidth. That means you are not charged according to the amount of disk space or bandwidth you use. However, that being said, they do require all customers to be fully compliant with their Terms of Service and to only utilize disk space and bandwidth in the normal operation of a personal or small business website.

Q4: Does Hostgator provide a free domain?

Ans: Yes. They provide a free domain registration for 1 year when you purchase any of their plans.

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