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HostGator.com Overview

Our Rating:
*9.6/10
User Rating:

HostGator is a relatively new web hosting provider that offers web hosting with a simplicity that can't be matched by most other web hosts. HostGator offers the services you'll need in their basic web hosting packages so you won't pay extra for standard services. HostGator's comprehensive cPanel control panel is suited for both experienced webmasters and novices alike and its reliable and friendly customer service is surprisingly refreshing.

Plans and Pricing

HostGator offers 3 web hosting plans; the "Hatchling" plan is a solid option if you're only interested in launching one site, while the "Baby" and "Business" plans are suited for you if you want to keep your options open and hope to expand your business or your online presence. The primary differences between the Baby plan and the Business plan are that the Business plan includes a toll-free phone number, anonymous FTP, dedicated IP and private SSL. If you are interested in the toll-free phone number, you should note that this number is hooked up to an existing phone line and will not provide an additional phone line for your business.

Price Hatchling Plan Baby Plan Business Plan
1 Month $8.95* $9.95 $14.95
1 Year $6.95/month $9.95/month $14.95/month
2 Year $5.95/month $8.95/month $13.95/month
3 Year $4.95/month $7.95/month $12.95/month

Please note that HostGator offers you a twenty percent discount on the first month of your hosting plan, and that subsequent months will commence at each specific plan's standard rates listed above.

HostGator accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and PayPal.

Money Back Guarantee

All HostGator plans come with a 45 day full money back guarantee. If you request a refund within 45 days of registration you will receive all of your money back, with the exception of administrative (setup) fees when relevant, dedicated domain costs, installation fees for custom software and domain name purchase costs. After 45 days you will be prorated for the amount of time remaining on your contract.

Features

Features Hatchling Plan Baby Plan Business Plan
# of Domains Available 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Disk Space Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Instant Backups      
Parked Domains   Unlimited Unlimited
Dedicated IP Address      
Private SSL      
Anonymous FTP      
# of FTP Accounts Available Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
# of Sub Domains Available Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
MySQL Databases Available Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Cron Jobs      
Uses cPanel      

Content Management Systems

  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • PHP-Nuke
  • phpWCMS
  • phpWebsite
  • Siteframe
  • TYPO3

Customer Relationship Management

  • Crafty Syntax Live Help
  • osTicket
  • PerlDesk

E-commerce

  • OS Commerce
  • Zen Cart
  • Magento

Site Builders

  • Soholaunch Pro Edition
  • Templates Express

Other Supported Features

  • FAQMasterFlex
  • PHPlist
  • TikiWiki
  • WordPress
  • Perl
  • PHP 5
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Fast CGI
  • SSH
  • Python
  • FrontPage Extensions
  • Curl

Ease of Use

A tremendous benefit of HostGator is that the website offers free demo versions of their cPanel and site builder so that you can see for yourself whether you will enjoy using this service. HostGator's cPanel is designed so that you can find what you're looking for at a glance. The left navigation offers helpful information including a search feature, your website traffic at a glance and a place to redeem the $100 Google AdWords offer that you received upon registration.

The main section of the cPanel is equally organized. It begins with a Special Offers section, followed by a HostGator Links section to provide instant access to technical support, which is another unique feature. As compared with other cPanels, HostGator's cPanel seems remarkably thorough and entirely easy to use.

My first goal was to setup an email account. Locating the email setup was simple, as it was situated near the top of the cPanel. I found the email setup process quite easy, as it only involves 2 simple steps.

Step 1: Click the email address icon on the cPanel
Step 1: Click the email address icon on the cPanel
Step 2: Provide account name and password
Step 2: Provide account name and password

Unlike many other web hosts, HostGator's email was up and running instantly.

Setting up a WordPress blog was equally straightforward. HostGator offers several blogging platform integrations in its cPanel, located at the top of the Fantastico De Luxe section.

The blog appeared instantly on the proper domain and there were absolutely no glitches or problems with the setup.

Customer Support

HostGator offers 24/7 technical support by phone. I called their customer service center throughout the day and was never on hold for more than 6 minutes.

Live chat support is also available 24/7. HostGator chat support is specifically useful for several reasons. Firstly, when you initiate chat, HostGator tells you how many people are waiting on line ahead of you, as well as how many members of their support staff are working to answer questions. Unlike some other help forums that time you out, HostGator will allow you to wait as long as it takes to sufficiently answer your question. In 7 chat sessions, I never waited more than 3 minutes for a response. HostGator's chat services are also notable because they provide the opportunity to request a chat transcript which will appear immediately in your inbox. You are also requested to provide feedback to help them improve their chat service. Although I did take the time to submit my feedback, I see very little room for HostGator to improve their live chat service.

HostGator's email troubleshooting system stood out because unlike every other email systems, HostGator asked me to verify myself before they responded to my inquiry. Although this step could potentially delay the troubleshooting process, it is understandable that by verifying inquiries HostGator can provide more timely responses to actual inquiries, and I was pleased to see that I did receive an extremely quick response.

I emailed HostGator with a billing question early on Friday morning. I instantly received an auto-response requesting a confirmation, which I submitted. I received a personal and helpful response 57 minutes later.

Finally, HostGator has a complete library of video tutorials and articles built directly into its cPanel so that you can find answers to your questions about the cPanel without having to go back to the HostGator website. The company also offers forums and articles on its website. These resources can be searched with HostGator's convenient search features so that you can find answers without having to skim through irrelevant information.

Summary

  •   Top quality customer service
  •   Reasonably priced
  •   Easy-to-use interface
  •   99.9% uptime guarantee

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