In this HostGator hosting review, we will dig deep into the main features of HostGator web hosting plans and give our unbiased opinion on whether we think quality is worth the money. Our goal is to help make choosing your future hosting provider easier.
Choosing the right hosting provider for your website can be very overwhelming. With so many different options to choose from, it can feel impossible to know for sure if you’re getting a good deal.
About HostGator Website Hosting
If you don’t know what shared hosting is, it is when multiple websites are able to be shared with a single server, making your websites share the same recourses. This modality is used by practically all hosting companies, and is why it is possible for a hosting plan to be so cheap.
HostGator’s shared hosting plan is most suitable for sites and blogs that are just starting or that have a moderately low amount of traffic. Virtual stores can also be hosted on this plan, but it is possible that you will encounter storage restrictions as the store grows.
More information on HostGator’s web hosting plans below:
How HostGator hosting works (in practice)
The process as a whole – from activating your desired hosting plan, to setting everything up – has several steps, but it is not complicated.
Host Gator Shared Hosting Plans
The differences are due to the number of domains (one domain in the Hatchling plan and unlimited in the Baby and Business plans), storage space (100 to 150 GB SSD), and other resources. The SSL certificate is included free of charge in all plans.
The Business plan is the most powerful of the three offered. Among the main differentials is the smaller number of clients per server and twice as much processing power. This feature allows the Business plan to be able to support more than twice as many visits, compared to the Hatchling and Baby plans.
Choosing the most suitable plan among the three options available is not as complicated a task as it may seem. The plans have similar features in many ways.
By answering a few questions, you can reach a conclusion, as explained below:
Likewise, if you own or intend to have a virtual store, Business is a good choice because it will be prepared to support demands common to this type of application. It is worth mentioning that all plans offer free SSL. It is automatically renewed every 3 months and serves most sites that need the feature.
Key HostGator Web Hosting Features
In order for you to review the website hosting plans offered by HostGator, we will explain the main features that are included in each plan below.
Also called “disk space“, this feature represents how much space you have available in your account. HostGator’s hosting plans range from 100 to 150 GB of storage, which is a lot of space in the vast majority of cases.
This means that your need for disk space will also depend not only on the size of your website but also on the size of your email accounts. If you don’t use your email much or have a separate email service, such as G Suite, then that space is likely to be much more than enough, especially if your website is institutional.
However, if you have dozens of email accounts and are frequently being used, you may find yourself at some point hitting the space limit of your hosting. If this happens, you can request an upgrade to a higher plan, for a small difference in the monthly fee.
The transfer of data is related to the traffic on your website. When hosting HostGator sites, the transfer is unlimited, but that does not mean that there is no traffic limitation. In the terms of service, there is a limit of up to 25% in the use of server resources, such as processing, memory, and disk for periods equal to or greater than 90 seconds.
It is rare for personal or institutional websites to exceed this server limit. Popular sites, with a high number of simultaneous accesses, can run into this issue, as well as sites with an excess of plugins, poorly developed scripts, and other exceptions.
Processor and Memory
Unlike other hosting companies, HostGator does not define an exact amount of memory and processing for each customer. The limitation is in the use of these resources, which cannot exceed 25% of the total capacity of the server for a period of time of up to 90 seconds.
This configuration offers some advantages in relation to lodgings that have fixed values for the use of these resources. On the other hand, it becomes a little more difficult to identify if your account is close to this limit.
If the usage is exceeded, the account is temporarily suspended and the customer is notified immediately so that they can take the necessary measures.
And what would be 25% of memory and CPU usage? By default, the servers of the HostGator shared hosting come equipped with 16-core processors and with 16 GB of RAM.
Following the company’s limitation logic, a hosting account could use up to 4 GB of server memory, as long as this usage does not exceed 90 seconds of continuous use. It is worth remembering that this is a considerable amount of memory and higher than what many accommodations offer in their most basic plans.
The overall amount of memory and processing available in HostGator’s shared hosting plans should be able to serve most small and medium-sized sites.
HostGator allows you to create unlimited email accounts on your shared hosting, which is interesting for those who have a team or several departments. The limiting factor, in this case, is in the contracted storage space, which will also be used to store emails. As we mentioned, website hosting comes with plans for 100 to 150 GB of total storage, which we consider to be sufficient for most cases.
The number of account inodes can also influence but is less common. An inode corresponds to a file, which can be an image, a document, a page, an email, etc. The hosting has a limit of up to 250 thousand inodes, in the Hatchling and Baby plans, and 500 thousand in the Business plan.
It is a very high limit, but with intensive use of e-mail over the years it would be possible to reach this limit. In this case, it would be necessary to continue with one of these options: change plans or accommodation, delete old emails, or hire a professional email service, such as G Suite.
SSL is an acronym for Secure Socket Layers. This is a security protocol that guarantees the security of data exchanged in the hosting environment, which in this case includes, data transfer, emails, and navigation on web pages.
The feature is increasingly common on websites and blogs and has been recommended by Google for some years, including among the ranking factors of a website in search results. In practice, SSL guarantees the confidentiality of the information exchanged with its users and can also give a boost to the positioning of your website on Google.
HostGator offers a free SSL certificate for all domains included in the customer’s account. The feature, baptized by the company SSL Free, is available in all hosting plans. SSL installation can be performed by the customer on the hosting panel. The process is 100% automatic and the only prerequisite is that the domain is pointed and configured on the company’s servers.
HostGator's Website Builder
When hiring a website hosting plan, HostGator offers the company’s own website creator. The version available includes the virtual store mode and allows you to create pages using drag and drop. Several templates are available on the website creator and can be pre-populated with content.
HostGator’s website builder is a very easy-to-use tool and is also available for hire separately.
HostGator offers, in all hosting plans, a website creation tool. The tool, developed by the company, is user-friendly and easy to use. The customization of the website is done entirely in the browser and no technical knowledge is required on the part of the user.
The website creator offers dozens of templates that already come with tagging content, to facilitate the replacement of content by the user himself. All templates can be completely customized, being able to change the position of the elements on the page, customize colors, fonts, and much more.
The version included in the website hosting has an unlimited number of pages and allows the creation of virtual stores.
Accessing the Control Panel
After confirming the payment, you will receive by email access data to the main HostGator Hosting tools, being the Financial Panel, where you can manage the contracted service, the credentials for accessing the server via FTP, and access to the payment panel. hosting control, which is the heart of your hosting.
HostGator uses cPanel as a control panel, which is also used by other hosting companies, being the most used control panel in the world. It is possible to make all settings related to the domain, hosting, e-mails, and many other things.
HostGator has a personalized cPanel, that is, its appearance and organization were made exclusively for the company’s customers.
Configuring the Domain
HostGator’s cPanel comes with the account’s primary domain configured. The main domain is the one that you informed or registered at the time of contracting the plan. If you plan to use this domain only, you don’t need to do anything to set it up.
But, if your plan allows and you want to insert other domains in your hosting, you can do it easily through cPanel. To do this, locate the Domains area on the main cPanel page.
Basically, what you need to do to manage your domains in cPanel is to access the corresponding item and follow the instructions. We will not go into details on how to do each operation, but the main items in this area are:
- Subdomains: allows you to create a subdomain of any domain configured in your hosting.
- Add-on domains: allows you to insert additional domains in your hosting. Each additional domain will function as a new website, completely independent of the main website. Remembering that the domain needs to be registered to be added to the hosting.
- Redirects: this area adds parked domains, that is, that point to the same address as the main domain. For example: if I have the address mysite.com as my main domain, I could register the same domain with another ending and point the domain on the same site. Thus, the user will see exactly the same site regardless of the domain they access (mysite.com).
Creating Email Accounts
Creating email accounts is an equally easy process through cPanel. On the main page, find the EMAIL box and you will see at the top the option we need to create and manage email accounts.
When accessing the E-mail Accounts link, you will find a screen to create the e-mail, where you must enter the desired e-mail address and create a password for the e-mail, which can be changed later.
On the same page, you will see the e-mail accounts that have been created so far. You will be able to manage these accounts and perform operations such as deleting the account, changing the password, and accessing the corresponding account’s webmail.
Installing WordPress and Other Applications
Those who wish to use a content management system, such as WordPress and Joomla – or even install a virtual store like Magento, have a great advantage when using HostGator. Their hosting plans include the Softaculous Apps Installer tool, which is the company’s application installer. Softaculous can be found in the SOFTWARE box.
When accessing Softaculous, you will see, in the left column, a list with dozens of applications ready to be installed in your hosting. Choose your favorite, follow the steps and that’s it: in a few minutes, you will have your application 100% active in your hosting. The applications already installed are listed in the right column.
Technical Information about Hosting
From a technical point of view, the plans are quite complete and have everything you would expect from a modern hosting server. All shared plans to run on Linux CentOs servers with Apache, the most widely used HTTP server in the world, PHP (which includes version 7 and higher), and MySQL, to mention just the basics.
In addition, all plans are delivered with the cPanel control panel.
When hiring, you will need to choose a payment cycle. This means that you will be able to pay the plan monthly or for longer periods.
In addition to the convenience of not having to pay for hosting every month, you can still save, because the longer the payment cycle, the greater the discount on the final price. In some cases, it is possible to obtain additional free resources.
As an example, let’s see the cycles and prices in April 2021 below:
- Monthly – from $5.11 /month
- Half – Yearly – from $14.88 (equivalent to $2.47/ month)
- Annual – from $25.65 (equivalent to $2.14/month) + 1 year of free domain
- Triennial – from $65.23 (equivalent to $1.81/month) + 1 year of free domain
Final Evaluation of HostGator Website Hosting
As we have seen, in addition to having hundreds of resources, one of the biggest advantages of hosting HostGator sites is the cost-benefit ratio: for a fair price, you will have at your disposal versatile hosting with a good performance.
In addition, the company provides technical support through several channels, such as chat and ticket, 24 hours a day. Even before hiring the service, it is possible to trigger the company’s chat to answer questions about the resources offered.
In summary, these are the main highlights of HostGator hosting:
Powerful control panel (cPanel), which allows you to manage all aspects of the hosting through a friendly interface.
Fast server with high availability, offered by an international company, with many years of experience.
Automatic installer, which allows you to install dozens of applications, such as WordPress and Magento, in just a few minutes.
Free Website Creator in all plans.
Free SSL certificate on all plans, for all plan sites.
E-mail service included free of charge in all plans, with unlimited accounts. Turbo SSD storage, which means up to 10 times faster page loading speed.