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HostGator Web Hosting review

Texas-based HostGator is a obvious web hosting association with some-more than 15 years in a business. It’s now partial of Endurance International Group, along with Domain.com, Bluehost, iPage, SiteBuilder.com and more.

HostGator offers a plain operation of products covering all a core hosting essentials: common hosting, a drag-and-drop website builder, cloud and VPS hosting, dedicated servers, a handful of Windows products, a reseller comment and more.

There’s not a lot of abyss to any particular area, though. HostGator usually offers 3 VPS server skeleton and 3 bottom dedicated servers, for instance, and these usually have unequivocally singular pattern options. 

Dedicated servers usually concede we to select Windows or CentOS handling system, for instance. Meanwhile, Hostwinds has 4 VPS skeleton accessible in Linux and Windows flavors; a dedicated servers capacitate selecting adult to 3 additional drives, adding RAID support, additional RAM, selecting from 5 handling systems and mixed versions, and adding additional IPs and bandwidth.

The products HostGator does offer are surprisingly capable, though, generally during a bill finish of a range.

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Shared hosting

HostGator’s common hosting operation delivers from a start. Even a cheapest common hosting plan, Hatchling, gets we unmetered hoop space; total bandwidth, MySQL databases, email and FTP accounts; a giveaway SSL certificate, easy WordPress and selling transport designation (osCommerce and ZenCart) and full-featured cPanel-based site management. That’s some-more than adequate energy for many personal and business websites, nonetheless it’s labelled from usually $2.64 a month on a three-year devise ($6.95 on renewal).

At a tip of a range, a Business devise supports hosting total domains and adds veteran facilities such as a giveaway dedicated IP and a reward SSL certificate. This has a unequivocally low pretension cost from $5.68 a month over 3 years, and renews during a still-reasonable $14.95-$16.95, depending on subscription length (1 month to 3 years.)

(If you’re looking for some-more detail, there’s a technical comparison of a several common hosting skeleton on a HostGator site.)

The usually tiny emanate we could see was in HostGator’s choice of programmed installers. Many web hosts offer Softaculous, a intelligent height that simplifies a routine of installing WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, PrestaShop, Drupal, Magento and hundreds of renouned web apps. HostGator is mostly focused on WordPress, with usually a handful of others. That will be glorious for many users, though if you’re looking for something else, we competence have to implement and set it adult yourself.

Application hosting

HostGator offers elementary WordPress hosting for a unequivocally low price, though though a high-end facilities you’ll get with a some-more dilettante competition.

The association claims’ 2.5X Faster Load Times Increased Website Performance’ due to a ‘supercharged cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and mixed caching layers.’

HostGator also offers a giveaway emigration use to send your existent WordPress site to a new account, while involuntary WordPress updates should keep your site firmly patched.

Prices are reduction than some elementary common packages, starting during $3.98 a month over 3 years (renews during $9.95.)

If you’d like a small some-more WordPress government power, InMotion Hosting’s WordPress skeleton embody a entertainment sourroundings to capacitate contrast updates though violation your prolongation site. Prices start low during $6.99 a month over dual years, $8.99 on renewal, though a devise usually supports 20,000 monthly visitors. HostGator’s starter devise can hoop 100,000, so if we usually need a WordPress basics, it’s still a improved deal.

HostGator creates signing adult easy by putting all of a information we need onto a singular page (Image credit: Hostgator)

Signing up

While many web hosts force we to work by mixed pages to buy a simplest of products, HostGator crams all we need – comment details, your choice of plan, any extras we need, your elite billing routine (card, PayPal) and personal sum (name, email and earthy address, phone number) – onto a singular page.

That creates for a lot of straight scrolling as we make your proceed by a detail, though differently it’s a intelligent approach. It’s easy to see what’s involved, a choices you’ve got and their consequences, for instance adding a daily backup choice ($2.00 a month) with a click and immediately saying a final cost refurbish to match.

It’s good to see a sign of HostGator’s 45-day money-back guarantee, too. That’s some-more inexhaustible than usual, though keep in mind that there are a common restrictions: you’re not lonesome for dedicated servers or domain registration, for instance, and we won’t get a examination if HostGator has given we one before.

We worked a proceed by a form and handed over a money in a common way. Some web hosts force we to wait for an email revelation we they’ve activated your account, though not HostGator. The website  redirected us to a ‘please wait while we set adult your account’ web page, though after a brief delay, hardly a minute, HostGator’s dashboard seemed and we were prepared to go.

With HostGator we can build your site regulating WordPress or regulating a Weebly-powered drag-and-drop website builder (Image credit: HostGator)

WordPress

Launch HostGator for a initial time and you’re presented with dual website origination options: installing WordPress, or regulating a Weebly-powered drag-and-drop website builder.

Choose a WordPress choice and you’re asked to select your domain, and, optionally a directory. 

Tapping Next enables entering a blog title, admin username, your initial and final name and a email address. One serve click on a Install symbol and a site installs WordPress for you.

While this works, it’s basic, and brief on detail. What is a ‘admin’ user, newbies competence wonder? Why does a site need your initial and final name? There’s zero on a page to tell we more.

It’s also unequivocally limited. Bluehost’s programmed WordPress installer asks for your growth experience, for instance. Your blog tagline. Whether you’d like to implement a web store. You’re even means to select a thesis for your site. And notwithstanding all a additional functionality, it’s still some-more transparent and candid than HostGator’s unequivocally stripped-back approach.

There’s a probable reason for this during a tip of a WordPress setup page, where HostGator suggests we ‘talk to a WordPress expert’ and offers a phone number. Alternatively, scrolling down takes we to a ‘Let a Pro do it for you’ panel, where HostGator offers to set adult your site for a fee. 

At a many basic, a association can implement WordPress and your theme, and give we $49 WordPress Theme Credit, for $99. Well, okay, it’s there if we need it, though we would cite HostGator offering a smarter setup routine that done it easier for anyone to do this.

HostGator provides a giveaway Weebly-based website builder though there are some restrictions (Image credit: HostGator)

Website builder

HostGator’s Weebly-based website builder offers an glorious drag-and-drop editor that we can use it with your possess domain, and there’s giveaway SSL thrown in. There’s no reduction on a volume of space we use, though do be wakeful that we competence need to ascent your hosting if your website proves apparatus intensive.

The website builder simply creates it unequivocally easy to set adult an effective and professional-looking website though any coding believe or experience, so will expected be well-worth it for those who aren’t informed with HTML, CSS, and PHP programming, generally for mobile-friendly web templates.

There are a series of paid skeleton available, with a Starter labelled during a ignored $3.24 per month for new users, and offers all a essential facilities you’ll need to build your website. The Professional plan, starting from $5.99 per month, simply includes priority support in box we need any help.

The Ecommerce plan, starting from $9.22 per month, gives we additional collection for building your possess online store, and includes facilities for register management, a shipping and taxation calculator, as good as a choice to offer coupons to customers.

From HostGator’s dashboard we can perspective all a information we need to know about your website and your comment (Image credit: HostGator)

Site management

HostGator’s patron portal is an online dashboard where you’re means to conduct your comment and take full control of your web space.

This is unequivocally text-heavy with a smoke-stack of links, though many of these describe to discretionary extras. ‘CodeGuard Backup’ sounds intriguing, for instance, though unless we purchased it during signup, you’ll usually get an upselling try perplexing to convince we to buy it now.

A ‘Search a knowledgebase’ box wasn’t as useful as it looked, either. We typed ‘cancel’ in a box and strike Enter, anticipating to see a knowledgebase arrangement a pop-up window with a couple to a ‘how to cancel your account’ article. Instead, a site simply non-stop a new add-on during a Help site, though even displaying relating articles. We had to hunt for ‘cancel’ again.

Despite these hassles, a dashboard scores for a many accessible touches. A ‘Control Panel’ territory includes links to common site government modules – Email Accounts, Webmail, Databases, File Manager – and with one click we can get on with uploading files, formulating email accounts or whatever else we need to do.

If we need more, a full-strength cPanel designation is usually a click away. FTP, phpMyAdmin, Awstats, Webalizer and all a common collection are prepared and waiting.

Overall, while there’s room for alleviation here, HostGator’s portal works unequivocally well. Once you’ve found your proceed around, it’s a gentle place to work with copiousness of useful shortcuts.

HostGator provides 24/7 support around live discuss and write (Image credit: Hostgator)

Support

HostGator’s initial line of support is a extensive web knowledgebase, where a smoke-stack of articles are orderly into realistically selected categories: cPanel, Database, Domains, Email, Security, VPS/ Dedicated and more.

If you’re uncertain about a category, enter a keyword in a Search box and a list of matches appears.

HostGator’s hunt engine generally does a good pursuit of displaying a many applicable articles first. When we typed ‘import WordPress’, for instance, a site highlighted articles on transferring WordPress sites from WordPress.com or other sites, relocating a WordPress site or regulating a customary Import and Export tools.

That’s usually a start. When we strike Enter, a site gave us 100 matches of identical and associated articles, including others that competence be applicable (How to pierce your blog from Tumblr to WordPress.)

Most articles embody copiousness of detail, too. The central ‘How to Transfer Your WordPress Blog From One Host to Another Host’ advice, for instance, explains that HostGator competence be means to send a site for you, points we to resources where we can find out more, explains 4 pivotal stairs (backup, download, emanate a new database, import), and includes some useful tips (don’t refurbish WordPress on a new horde until you’ve alien your database.)

If we run into trouble, support is accessible 24/7/365 around live discuss and write (toll giveaway in a US.)

We’ve always had good formula from HostGator’s support, and this time was no different. When we attempted live chat, a useful representative responded within a minute, accepted a doubt immediately and gave us essential and accurate advice: accurately what we needed.

We used a use Uptime.com to check a accessibility and response time of a HostGator site for a week (Image credit: Uptime.com)

Performance

We began a opening contrast by environment adult a elementary immobile website on a HostGator plan, afterwards regulating a site Uptime to check a accessibility and response time for a week.

Our site was never down during a monitoring period. That’s what we would design after usually a week of testing, though it was still good to see.

Response times ranged from 216ms to 807ms, with an normal of 251ms. That’s during a slower finish of ‘mid-range’ (the unequivocally best hosts normal around 100ms faster) though in many cases you’re doubtful to notice any issue.

There’s improved news in HostGator’s unchanging response times. Strong variations in response times advise an overloaded server (or network) with too many foe for resources. But HostGator’s response time draft was (for a many part) reassuringly prosaic rather than worryingly spiky, maybe indicating that a server and network had resources to spare.

As a final check, we ran Bitcatcha’s Server Speed Checker on a exam site. This tested a response times of a site from mixed locations around a universe – North America, London, Singapore, Sydney, Japan and some-more – and was some-more eager about HostGator’s performance, awarding a server a top A+ rating.

Final verdict

HostGator’s high-end VPS and dedicated skeleton are brief on configurability, though a common hosting skeleton offer loads of facilities for a unequivocally satisfactory price, there’s top-quality support to safeguard all runs smoothly, and a inexhaustible 45-day money-back pledge ensures there’s no risk. A intelligent choice for common hosting users who need more.

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