HostGator Web Hosting Customer Review & Rating
A leading name in the field of web hosting and shared hosting plans. It provides an extensive range of services which are best and cost effective. The shared hosting plans are – Hatchling, Baby and Business. Reseller plans, VPS hosting and dedicated servers, as well as an affiliated programme are amongst the finest services offered by HostGator.
The company was a brainchild of the current CEO Brent Oxley, formed in the year 2002. Though, in the initial years company had just about a few employees but Now, It hosts more than 8 million domains for 400,000 customers in over 200 countries. Initially started from Florida but later moved to Texas in the year 2007, due to rapid growth and expansion. Apart from their base in Houston, they even have an office in Austin and in India as well which can be checked through http://hostgator.in in addition there another office is in India – http://in.hostgator.com The present employee strength is 200, which is expected to be doubled in the coming years.
Hostgator Hosting Plans:
All the servers of HostGator shared, reseller and VPS plans run Linux (CentOS is specified on the Linux plans). The users can select Linux or Windows while deciding dedicated servers.
Shared hosting has three plans – Hatchling, Baby and Business. Foremost is the basic plan, which is a one domain package with no add-on domains and no anonymous FTP, But it’s suitable to host a blog. For Further domains, clients must upgrade to Baby or Business. For anonymous FTD, only Business is fine. Dedicated IPs is not yet available with the Hatchling plan but it is available with Baby (with a very minimal charge) and Business (Without any charge). Business also includes private SSL (the others are shared) and a toll-free number for users. This is mainly beneficial for US customers or for those who are marketing primarily to US customers and the same can be provided to Canada users with a minimal charge.
Apart from Shared hosting, they deal with other services that are:-
- Reseller hosting has five different plans depending on the disk space, bandwidth and domains which is essential. Else, the other provisions are almost same.
- VPS hosting has nine plans. The Users can select the plan according to their requirement.
- Dedicated servers are also priced according to the need of the customer. The price range will remain same for both Windows hosting and Linux hosting, but the software will differ depending on the OS.
- If a user wants to run Java, he/she will require a VPS or a dedicated plan. Also, Python is there with all the servers.
- Cloud hosting facility is also available with HostGator presently.
HostGator’s data centre provider is “The Planet”. It ensures proper Power back-ups, fire detection, and on-site expert to keep their 12,000 servers safe and protected. They have 10 different fiber providers, which includes hardware from Time Warner and AT&T. They provide 99.9% uptime guarantee, though they haven’t mentioned this anywhere. For service status updates they provide RSS feed.
The accounts are backed up on a weekly basis (except for dedicated servers). Backup is free when a user provides a backup file but will be charged $15 when the same is not provided.
HostGator host more than 8 million domains and they are transparent when it comes to their staff, resources and services. There high-profile partners are Cisco, AT&T, Dell etc. The users will get the actual capacity as the company doesn’t deal with overselling. But yes, with VPS or dedicated server overselling facility is available but at user’s own risk.
HostGator support options are extensive. It has 24/7 live chat support, a FAQ, email support and phone support (Free within US). The details of the base of their support staff are not shared.
A portal is also available for support and billing purposes where a user can login and have access to a lot of facilities i.e. upgrading their account, access user forums, to check out the knowledge base and watch helpful video tutorials related to configuration issues. But the above said login is separate from the Cpanel login. Also, a quick online form is available for smooth and quick transfer requests.
HostGator in the News
In June 2012, the site of HostGator was hacked by a hacking group. It was a DDOS attack named as #TheHolocaust. UGNazi. They later used similar tactics to hack other hosts and payment processing companies. However, HostGator managed to bring back their servers online in less than four hours.
HostGator Control Panel
HostGator provides Cpanel 11 with all its Linux plans as standard, and a wide range of themes are shared with the users to select. Cpanel has all the important features a user would require such as webmail, one-click backups and DNS setting for Google Apps.
For reseller account users, Cpanel and WHM are also provided. Though it is optional for VPS and HostGator’s Linux dedicated server hosting plans. With a Windows dedicated server, Plesk 11.x is included in the package.
With VPS plans, Virtuozzo service is also available, which serves as an administration package itself.
Payment and billing services are easy and hassle free as customers are provided with a separate billing area to make payments and download receipts.
HostGator Pros and Cons:
HostGator has been in business since 2002 and offers a wide range of web hosting services. All HostGator hosting plans are cPanel included and can be used for blogging all the way up to business sites. There are some pros and cons of wordpress I am listing here as every hosting services providers is different:
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Host Unlimited Domains (except Hatchling Plan)
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- cPanel Interface
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
- 45 Day Money Back Guarantee
- Support has been spotty in the past.
- Site performance not always the best in the past.
- Restore from backups requires additional fee.
- Not the most economical option for business hosting.
Toll-free number facility is available for US callers on the Business shared plans which can also be provided to Canadian callers by paying some additional charge per call. In order to keep the line active the customer needs to receive at least one call on a monthly basis.
With most of the packages SiteBuilder, SiteStudio, Fantastico (a range of php scripts), osCommerce, WordPress, Joomla, one-click installs and a host of capable stats packages are provided. On dedicated servers, the user will be able to allocate individual Site Builder accounts and templates to their clients.
HostGator also provides $100 Adwords credit to all its shared hosting plans, and every reseller account gets a free upgradation to an eNom domain reseller account. This will require a manual set-up and the same can be done within a few minutes.
HostGator Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy:
If a customer wishes to cancel their shared, reseller or VPS hosting plan within 45-days of buying, the complete amount will be refunded (Not for dedicated servers). But, charges such as admin and installation fees or domain name purchases are non-refundable.
Customers need to send their cancellation request through special online form. After receiving the form, the cancellation of the account will be done within 48 hours. If a customer wants to claim refund, he/she needs to reply to the cancellation mail and request for the same as it is not automatically refunded. The refund will be done via credit card or PayPal.
HostGator believes in an eco-friendly work environment and methods. They balance their emissions by using 130% wind power through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). As per the company’s claim that more than 1% of the planet’s internet traffic flows to and from HostGator’s 12,000 servers, which certainly is a big accomplishment. HostGator’s plans are not only cost effective but are extensive and upgradable, so that customer will be able to upgrade its plan whenever they would require.
In order to ensure customer satisfaction and timely assistance, it provides live chat, email and phone support for free to its customers. The Add-ons such as eNom account and affiliate programme which will definitely be an advantage for a new business that endeavors to grow and make a space for them in today’s competitive world. On the whole, HostGator provides a wide range of features for its customers that too with a good market price to ensure customer satisfaction.