Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.

Host Gator Review

Sunday, October 2nd

2022 Web Hosting Company Reviews

Host Gator Review 2 Star Rating

Host Gator

2 Star Rating
  • Website builder
  • Free domain
  • Free site transfers
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • 24/7/365 support via chat, phone, or social media
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

HostGator has been in the hosting business since 1997, offering domains, web hosting, WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated hosting, and reselling. They were acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012, making them part of a large group of hosting companies owned by EIG.

Owned by Endurance International Group

One thing to know about hosting through any EIG company is that they have made a practice of moving all the technical expertise for their hosting offerings to offshore IT contractors and employees. So, if you value hosting operations and support personnel being within the Americas, you may find it desirable to look at other hosting providers.

Low Cost at the Cost of Long Term Billing

All the lowest prices for HostGator hosting plans are introductory rates billed in 36-month increments that renew at higher amounts after the initial term completes. If you want shorter terms, you'll pay more per month. This feels a bit predatory because it's often impossible to know whether a website will be in business three years from when it starts. It's nice to be able to start with such low pricing, but if you shut down your site because it fails to live up to its promise after year one, you're out the money for years two and three.

That said, you can begin as an entry-level user with the $2.75 to $5.25 per month shared hosting plans. That's without any website builder or installed WordPress. If you need the website builder, that's a range of $3.85-$9.22 per month, or if you want to have WordPress already installed, migrated, and managed, that's in the $5.95-$9.95 per month range.

Free Features and Guarantees

HostGator provides free domains and free SSL certificates with its hosting plans and free site transfer within 30 days of initial purchase. If you do decide HostGator is not for you, there is a 45-day money-back guarantee you can take advantage of, within certain conditions. As with most hosting companies' money-back guarantees, refunds aren't valid for things like dedicated hosting, administrative or installation fees, custom software, domain name purchases, or add-on services like SiteLock that come from third-party vendors.

Best Web Hosting

HostGator hosting costs

HostGator offers the following web hosting plans:

  • $2.75 - $5.25 per month for Shared hosting
  • $3.84 - $9.22 per month for Website Builder
  • $5.95 - $9.95 per month for WordPress hosting
  • $89.98 - $139.99 per month for Dedicated hosting
  • $23.95 - $59.95 per month for VPS hosting
  • $19.95 - $24.95 per month for Reseller hosting

Disappointing Performance

At the time of this review, HostGator server performance as measured via GTMetrix and Pingdom showed a lot of room for improvement. Time to First Byte numbers were all above one second and page load times were over 3 seconds on average.

Reputational Stresses

Of concern is the fact that HostGator is not Better Business Bureau accredited. There is also an administrative note on their BBB entry since 2017 about a problematic pattern of complaints regarding HostGator customers paying for services not received, cancellations not being processed quickly, and not adhering to the contract agreement and/or website advertisements as well as a failure to honor their 45-day money-back guarantee.

Reviews outside of the BBB are also not encouraging for HostGator. Lots of complaints center around slow or ineffective support, poor quality hosting service, and billing problems.

Many Better Alternatives Exist

Even though HostGator is in the top five hosting companies as far as popularity goes, it's not a good idea to host with them when there are alternatives that can offer better service and hosting. Why not get more for your money, with superior customer support and better performance?

Which Web Hosting Service is the Best?

Having a website is a necessity for anyone who wants to communicate with a regional, national, or global audience. Whether it's a website for brand awareness, eCommerce, media, services, writing, or a hobby, every site needs to be hosted somewhere. Since the web began, thousands of hosting companies have arisen, flourished, and disappeared. How do you know which companies available today will be around as long as you plan to have your website online? And, how do you know what features to look for?

For starters, be aware of your budget and what hosting companies charge. Don't be lured in by apparently low-priced plans without first reading the fine print. Many companies attract website owners with seemingly impossibly low fees only to jack up the rate at the time the hosting plan is renewed. Some offer a single rate regardless of the billing period. Others offer discounts based on whether you pay monthly, yearly or multiple years in advance. Yet others offer more advanced capabilities depending on the size and needs of your website and audience.

The Best Web Hosting Companies Compare Web Hosting Companies Compare Web Hosting Company Reviews What are the best Web Hosting Companies Best Web Hosting Company Reviews

Web Hosting Company FAQ

Web hosting is a service that provides a computer (called a server) that delivers web page content to your website visitors. Rather than learning how to build and connect your own server to the Internet, web hosting companies provide all of these services for a fee so you can just focus on your website.
Web hosting can be very inexpensive if your needs are basic. But there is also a trade-off of lesser quality availability, security, and performance with lower-cost hosting. It is highly recommended that you prioritize your web hosting budget to balance obtaining the highest quality for a reasonable price. As your website's traffic grows, you'll be happier if you purchased hosting that can grow with it.
All reputable web hosting companies provide some kind of money-back guarantee. Avoid those companies that do not allow you to back out of a plan without penalty if it doesn't initially meet your needs. Choose a company that provides a guarantee that you will love their hosting or they'll refund at least your first payment.
Most web hosts do not require that you sign a contract for their services. Rather, they provide monthly pricing plans or yearly pricing plans that discount the monthly service cost if you pay for a year of hosting up front. It is not advisable to sign a contract or purchase a hosting plan for more than a year of service. Your needs, and the quality of the web host, could change in that time - leaving you out of pocket for the difference if you have to move to another web hosting provider.
Having good web hosting will enable you to get the most out of your website. A fast website is typically hosted on a fast server. Fast websites get and keep more visitors than slow websites. Additionally, the more secure your web hosting company is, the more secure your website will be from the attacks of hackers. And, you'll want a web host that will provide the best features, even if it costs more than some of the cheaper competitors.
Some key features to look for in a web host include:
  • Fast Time to First Byte (the time it takes for the web server to deliver the first byte of data in a request)
  • Free SSL certificates that automatically renew
  • Focus on security and performance so that an attack or spike in traffic on another unrelated site on the same server will not adversely affect your site
  • Included Content Delivery Network (CDN) to duplicate your content closer to the geographical location of your visitors for faster content delivery
  • High availability (typically 99.99% uptime) so that you have as little downtime as possible
  • Backup and restore capabilities, preferably included at no additional cost
  • Maintenance package if your site uses a content management service like WordPress
  • Easy access to support via chat, email, and phone in case of problems or questions
It doesn't matter where your domain is registered, so choosing a hosting provider that doesn't provide domain registration is not a problem. You can always select a different domain registrar service and simply point it to your hosting provider's name servers. Sometimes this is a better option in case your hosting provider decides to cancel your account for any reason. If they do, your domain name will not be jeopardized.
In general you can get some value from most hosting providers. However, there is a practice of very large holding companies buying up popular hosting providers and consolidating their services under one "roof" . Users of these consolidated companies often complain about poor customer service and very low performance and security. Seek out reviews for each company you're considering and ensure that they are not part of a larger consolidation.
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

When considering features, make a list of what you really need, what would be good to have, and what isn't very necessary. For example, do you need a plethora of themes to choose from in a do-it-yourself direction, or would you rather have a web designer create a custom design for you? Do you need a high-availability, supercharged dedicated server or just a bit of space on a shared server? Do you plan to develop your own code or do you need a professional developer for that? If you don't have a domain, will the host sell you one? If you do have a domain, how hard is it for the host to transfer it and also migrate your existing site? If you need email, eCommerce, advertising, and search engine optimization (SEO), be sure to list those as well.

Something people almost never think about is security and performance. Most like to assume that all hosts are secure and provide fast page load speeds. But that isn't always the case! This is especially a problem when a host charges very low prices for marginally capable plans. Those services are not likely to be secure or fast. Beware of shared hosting, which means your site is among hundreds or even thousands of others housed on the same server. In a shared server, when someone else's site is compromised or has a problem, it puts your site at risk.

Finally, look at a hosting company's reputation. This is not just about how many years they have in business. It's a combination of longevity, how they treat customers, how many complaints are logged, and how many of those complaints are directly answered by a representative of the company. Ask other website owners, web designers, and developers if they like or dislike a hosting company you're considering. Most of them will be able to share good and bad stories about any hosting company.

When evaluating your list and narrowing down your choices, consider these factors:

  • Features. Which features does the web host offer and do you need all the features or just some of them?
  • Cost. How are the hosting costs structured? Will there be monthly subscription cost hikes after a certain period of time?
  • Reputation. What are people saying about the web host online? Is the web host going to shut down or change names soon, and are they engaging in shady practices that can hurt your brand?
  • Security. How many security incidents has the web hosting company experienced? Are there widespread complaints of site outages? If so, how quickly and to what extent were those issues addressed?
  • Performance. Are websites generally faster or slower on one web hosting service compared to its competitors? Does the web host offer plans that handle increasing numbers of visitors or sudden traffic spikes with more ease?
  • Customer Service. If you experience problems with your website, what are the contact options for getting support, and how responsive are they? Are support representatives courteous and helpful, or are they rude and condescending? How long does it take to fix problems?

TopConsumerReviews.com has created a list of the most popular or prominent website hosting providers to guide you in your research. We hope this information makes it easier for you to choose the best web host for your business that will make your website engaging, performant, affordable, and secure.

Compare Web Hosting Companies

Select any 2 Web Hosting Companies to compare them head to head

best-web-hosting
  • ScalaHosting
  • A2 Hosting
  • Liquid Web
  • DreamHost
  • Host Papa
  • GoDaddy
  • Pantheon
  • Hostinger
  • One
  • Host Gator
  • Bluehost
  • iPage
  • Interserver
  • Network Solutions
ScalaHosting vs A2 Hosting ScalaHosting vs Liquid Web ScalaHosting vs DreamHost ScalaHosting vs Host Papa ScalaHosting vs GoDaddy ScalaHosting vs Pantheon ScalaHosting vs Hostinger ScalaHosting vs One ScalaHosting vs Host Gator ScalaHosting vs Bluehost ScalaHosting vs iPage ScalaHosting vs Interserver ScalaHosting vs Network Solutions A2 Hosting vs Liquid Web A2 Hosting vs DreamHost A2 Hosting vs Host Papa A2 Hosting vs GoDaddy A2 Hosting vs Pantheon A2 Hosting vs Hostinger A2 Hosting vs One A2 Hosting vs Host Gator A2 Hosting vs Bluehost A2 Hosting vs iPage A2 Hosting vs Interserver A2 Hosting vs Network Solutions Liquid Web vs DreamHost Liquid Web vs Host Papa Liquid Web vs GoDaddy Liquid Web vs Pantheon Liquid Web vs Hostinger Liquid Web vs One Liquid Web vs Host Gator Liquid Web vs Bluehost Liquid Web vs iPage Liquid Web vs Interserver Liquid Web vs Network Solutions DreamHost vs Host Papa DreamHost vs GoDaddy DreamHost vs Pantheon DreamHost vs Hostinger DreamHost vs One DreamHost vs Host Gator DreamHost vs Bluehost DreamHost vs iPage DreamHost vs Interserver DreamHost vs Network Solutions Host Papa vs GoDaddy Host Papa vs Pantheon Host Papa vs Hostinger Host Papa vs One Host Papa vs Host Gator Host Papa vs Bluehost Host Papa vs iPage Host Papa vs Interserver Host Papa vs Network Solutions GoDaddy vs Pantheon GoDaddy vs Hostinger GoDaddy vs One GoDaddy vs Host Gator GoDaddy vs Bluehost GoDaddy vs iPage GoDaddy vs Interserver GoDaddy vs Network Solutions Pantheon vs Hostinger Pantheon vs One Pantheon vs Host Gator Pantheon vs Bluehost Pantheon vs iPage Pantheon vs Interserver Pantheon vs Network Solutions Hostinger vs One Hostinger vs Host Gator Hostinger vs Bluehost Hostinger vs iPage Hostinger vs Interserver Hostinger vs Network Solutions One vs Host Gator One vs Bluehost One vs iPage One vs Interserver One vs Network Solutions Host Gator vs Bluehost Host Gator vs iPage Host Gator vs Interserver Host Gator vs Network Solutions Bluehost vs iPage Bluehost vs Interserver Bluehost vs Network Solutions iPage vs Interserver iPage vs Network Solutions Interserver vs Network Solutions
Compare the Best Web Hosting Companies
- VS -
Review the Best Web Hosting Companies
See the Best Web Hosting Company
The Best Reviews of Web Hosting Companies