HostGator Web Hosting review
HostGator is an excellent web hosting service that offers an array of powerful tools, including a terrific website builder, for bloggers and small businesses.
Every business needs a website, whether it’s a fully functioning e-commerce setup or a simple blog to post daily updates. Either way, you need a web hosting service. The stacked HostGator is a top choice, as it includes feature-rich cloud, WordPress, virtual private server (VPS), and dedicated server packages. However, it’s the company’s shared plans that stand out from the very crowded web hosting pack. In fact, HostGator’s shared packages are so robust that the service is our Editors’ Choice pick in that hosting subcategory.
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting, if you’re not familiar with the category, is a type of web hosting that sees multiple sites living on a single server. In this setup, sites share the server resources (hence the name), so a large traffic surge on Site A can, unfortunately, impact Site B’s performance in a negative fashion. Shared hosting is a good option if you’re looking for cheap hosting; if you want more server resources devoted to your site, you need to go the VPS or dedicated hosting routes.
HostGator offers month-to-month shared web hosting plans, but pushes hard for you to sign up for longer terms, starting at six months. I don’t like that during the signup process HostGator defaults to a three-year term. It’s one thing to encourage users to skip month-to-month service, but pushing them into three years from the start is a bit much.
That said, HostGator offers Linux- or Windows-based shared hosting packages that give small- and medium-size businesses room to grow. The Hatchling plan (starting at $10.95 per month, or $3.95 per month with an annual plan) offers unlimited disk space, monthly data transfers, databases, and email addresses, plus support for one domain and third-party applications such as content management systems and e-commerce platforms. The Baby plan (starting at $11.95 per month, or $5.00 per month with an annual plan) builds on the Hatchling offering by adding unlimited domains. The top-tier Business plan (starting at $16.95 per month, or $7.95 per month with an annual plan) includes highly specialized options, such as a toll-free number for your business and a private SSL (secure socket layer) certificate.
HostGator’s rich shared hosting packages offer unlimited storage, email, and monthly databases that give business plenty of room to grow. In short, it’s the best service we’ve reviewed for shared hosting packages. As a result, HostGator is our Editors’ Choice pick for shared web hosting services.
VPS Web Hosting
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is for people who want more server horsepower than what shared hosting offers. VPS hosting also sees multiple sites living on a server, though far fewer in number than what you’ll find on a shared hosting server. You’ll pay more for a VPS server, but you get more server power in return.
HostGator offers three, Linux-based VPS hosting tiers. If you need more power, expect high traffic volumes, or have specific compliance requirements that prevent you from using shared servers (but you don’t want to pay dedicated server prices), these are good options to consider.
The most basic VPS plan, Snappy 2000 (starting at $29.95 per month, or $23.95 per month with an annual commitment), offers 2GB of RAM, 120GB of SSD disk space, and unlimited email and monthly data transfers. The mid-tier Snappy 4000 package (starting at $59.95 per month, or $34.95 per month with an one-year plan), builds upon Snappy with 4GB of RAM and 165GB of SSD storage. The most advanced plan, Snappy 8000 (starting at $119.95 per month, or $59.95 per month with an annual deal), offers 8GB of RAM and 240GB of SSD storage. The plans are flexible, but not quite as well rounded as Hostwinds, our Editors’ Choice pick for VPS hosting.
Hostwinds has wallet-friendly, well-rounded VPS offerings that start at $16.99 per month for 1GB of RAM, 30GB of disk space, 1TB of monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. Plans scale up to $574 per month for 96GB of RAM, 750GB of disk space, 9TB of monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. Hostwinds’ VPS plans also have a Windows operating system option, which is something that HostGator doesn’t offer.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting is a powerful form of web hosting that sees your site existing on a server all by itself. As a result, this expensive hosting is also the most powerful. If you expect lots of traffic, it’s what should power your website.
HostGator’s dedicated server packages begin with the Value tier (starting at $189 per month, or $109 per month with an annual plan). With Value, you get 8GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD storage, and unlimited email and monthly data transfers. Building upon Value is Power Server (starting at $249 per month, or $139 per month with an annual plan), which includes 16GB of RAM and 2TB of HDD storage (or 512GB of SSD storage). The high-end Enterprise Server (starting at $289 per month, or $159 per month with an annual plan) contains 30GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage.
HostGator’s dedicated servers come in both Linux and Windows flavors, which isn’t as commonplace as you might think; Linux tends to dominate the field. In fact, HostGator is one of the few web hosts we’ve tested that scored well and offers both operating systems. Even DreamHost, one of our favorite hosting services, lacks Windows-based dedicated servers. That said, Hostgator isn’t the Editors’ Choice pick for dedicated hosting. That title goes to AccuWeb.
AccuWeb has an impressive feature set. Its dedicated hosting packages (starting at $105 per month) can be outfitted with up to 2TB of storage, a whopping 512GB of RAM, and 50TB of monthly data transfers. The servers come in either Linux or Windows flavors, too.
Still, HostGator’s dedicated hosting offerings are nothing to sneeze at. Check them out if you’re in need of dedicated hosting with high-capacity SSD storage.
Cloud Web Hosting
HostGator, like the many other web hosts that PCMag has reviewed over the years, also offers cloud hosting. With cloud hosting, the resources that your site needs to operate are shared across multiple servers. The benefits? You can scale resources in real time, as your site isn’t limited to physical server constraints.
HostGator’s cloud hosting service—unlike that of DreamHost, the category’s co-Editors’ Choice—is only available via the Linux platform; if you want the Windows operating system, you must look elsewhere. Still, HostGator has attractive cloud hosting plans that are worth your consideration.
The Cloud Hatchling plan (starting at $12.95 per month, or $7.95 per year with an annual plan) comes with 2GB RAM, and unlimited email, monthly data transfers, and storage. From there, Cloud Baby (starting at $13.95 per month, or $9.95 per month with an annual plan) adds unlimited domains, and ups the RAM to 4GB. At the top of the offerings is Cloud Business (starting at $19.95 per month, or $11.95 per month with an annual plan), which includes 6GB of RAM and a dedicated IP address.
1&1 Ionos, the other co-Editors’ Choice pick for cloud hosting, is designed for enterprise-level businesses. You’ll find 16-core CPUs, servers with 48GB of RAM, and other high-end specs. You can greatly customize your package, too. Please read that review for in-depth details.