|Ease of Use|
HostGator is my host of choice for shared Web hosting plans, and I’ve been recommending them for years. The resources allowed on their shared plans are more than adequate, you can host as many sites as you want on a single account in most cases (saving time on site administration), and Cpanel proved to be remarkably easy to figure out even when I was still a new webmaster learning the ropes. Their support staff is usually quick to answer the phone, they’ve always been delightful to work with, and there are rarely any issues they need to fix (I usually contact them when I manage to screw something up; not them). If you’re interested in shared hosting, I can wholeheartedly recommend them.
HostGator offers a wide array of features that would be of interest to any webmaster. Here are some of the basics that apply to all of their shared hosting packages:
Control Panel: Cpanel (Note: VPS hosting comes with Virtuozzo Power panel, and Cpanel / WHM are optional features, at an added cost.)
Uptime: 99.9% uptime guarantee
Support: Email ticket support and 24/7 live chat and phone support
The following chart will give you a deeper look at some of HostGator’s Web hosting packages so you can compare them side-by-side before signing up.
|Server Space||Bandwidth||Domains Allowed||Price (monthly)|
|Hatchling||Unlimited||Unlimited||1||$8.95 / month|
|Baby||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||$9.95 / month|
|Business||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||$14.95 / month|
|Level 1||10 GB||250 GB||Unlimited||$19.95 / month|
|Level 2||22 GB||375 GB||Unlimited||$29.95 / month|
|Level 3||30 GB||500 GB||Unlimited||$39.95 / month|
|Level 4||59 GB||1050 GB||Unlimited||$69.95 / month|
|Level 5||80 GB||1425 GB||Unlimited||$94.95 / month|
|Level 6||102 GB||1800 GB||Unlimited||$119.95 / month|
|Level 7||165 GB||2250 GB||Unlimited||$149.95 / month|
|Level 8||198 GB||2700 GB||Unlimited||$179.95 / month|
|Level 9||231 GB||3150 GB||Unlimited||$209.95 / month|
|Basic||250 GB HD||1500 GB||Unlimited||$174 / month|
|Standard||2 x 250 GB HDs||1500 GB||Unlimited||$219 / month|
|Elite||2 x 500 GB HDs||2500 GB||Unlimited||$279 / month|
|Pro||2 x 500 GB HDs||2500 GB||Unlimited||$374 / month|
† Available with both Linux and Windows operating systems
Whether you’re a complete Web hosting newbie just looking to launch your first blog (where they offer one-click WordPress installations) or you’re an experienced pro at the webmaster game, HostGator has something for you. They offer industry-leading features, a well-known control panel option, and fully-managed VPS and dedicated packages for those who need more resources but who don’t want to be bothered with server admin.
Shared hosting users can save money by opting for longer-term hosting contracts instead of paying monthly. With the Hatchling plan you can pay as little as $4.95 per month, $7.95 per month for the Baby plan, and $12.95 per month for the business hosting plan (based on three-year commitments).
All packages offer access to their SiteBuilder tool and instant backups, making it easy for even beginning webmasters to setup and protect their own sites. Unlike some other hosting companies, HostGator also doesn’t charge a setup fee so you can pay for the first month and get started right away with no extra charges. Some other hosts also charge extra for things like email hosting. HostGator offers unlimited POP3 email accounts hosted for free.
Do you plan to host several database-driven sites? It’s not a problem with HostGator. Fantastico and instant installation options (such as for WordPress) make it easy to set your sites up. You’ll also have access to an unlimited number of MySQL databases, even with the smallest shared hosting package.
Some advanced users frown on any Web host offering “unlimited” resources of any kind. That’s because they don’t agree with the marketing tactic of overselling. Therefore I’m considering that a con for the purposes of this review. That said, in the 5 years or so that I’ve been hosting some of my sites with HostGator (shared plan), I’ve not once had a problem resulting from overselling. The fact is that many webmasters don’t come close to using the full resources available to them, and it’s therefore not caused any problems. However, if you choose to go the shared hosting route, you need to understand that it’s a possibility.
I rated their pricing at 4 rather than 5, simply because you can get similar advertised resources for less. However, that doesn’t mean a slightly higher price isn’t worthwhile. For example, the cheaper option might be a less reliable host so you’re paying less, but also getting less despite what’s advertised.
If you need private SSL for your e-commerce site, or a dedicated IP, you’ll have to use the business shared hosting account or better. The Baby shared plan has both available for an extra cost, but the Hatchling plan doesn’t offer either.
I give HostGator a huge thumbs-up. If you’re looking for a new Web host, consider HostGator and sign up today.
My review is based on my own experience or evaluation. Not everyone’s experience will be the same. Have you had a different experience with HostGator? Please feel free to share your own review in the comments.
*Information in this review was valid at the time of writing – April 1, 2010.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. The author is not directly compensated by the inclusion of these links, and earns the same regardless of writing a positive or negative review. Web Hosting Directory prides itself on providing objective information and hosting reviews to help readers choose the best hosting provider for their needs.