Hostgator is a well known web hosting company that has stood the test of time. HG’s history stretches all the way back to 2002, an eternity for web hosting. Believe me, for every one of these companies that has lasted from way back in the early aughts, there are 100 that failed. Probably more. Anyway, Hostgator’s early years were very much like those of other familiar hosting providers. Started by overachiever Brent Oxley is his cramped dormitory, Hostgator was named the 21st fastest growing company in 2008. With thousands of customers and hundreds of employees, the company was sold to EIG in 2012. EIG also owns BlueHost and a smattering of other web companies you might be familiar with. I’ve got lots of other information and details to…detail. So read on, if you like, and all will be made clear.
Simply by existing more than a decade in, a hosting company declares something about its quality. Like I said before, lots of businesses have failed at this game. So by being a web hosting provider in its second decade of operation, HostGator can clearly deliver. If you’re a new customer, you’ll start out with one of three plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business.
For all of you hatchlings and babies (mixed metaphors, but I’m splitting hairs) out there, you’ll both have “unlimited hosting”. But unlimited is slightly more unlimited for Babies, who can have more than one hosted domain and who can also buy IPs. Hatchlings have to rent their one dedicated IP forever, essentially, or upgrade to Baby status. Business Plan members get the royal treatment: Private SSL, dedicated hosting IP, and 100 minutes of included talk time on your own toll free business number. By using HostGator’s whimsical discounting programs (just Google HostGator discounts for current codes), you can get these three tiers for roughly $4, $6, and $10 per month, give or take $0.50.
A Deeper Look
If you’re read this far, you probably already know if you want to be a hatchling, a baby, or a business. The features really make the choice pretty simple. Basically, if you need more than one HostGator domain, you’ll need to be a baby or a business. Do you need more complex features? Be a business. If you really can’t commit to Baby or Business at the moment, never fear. HostGator makes upgrading a totally seamless experience. Fill out the form when you need to expand your features and a HostGator techie will make the upgrade for you, free of charge.
So what’s it like to use? Really, you don’t want to think about your web hosting very much, right? You just want it to work, fast. And HostGator does, by and large. Because speed is one of the biggest factors for SEO these days, you’ll be glad to know that HostGator keeps pace. HostGator is also reliably online, despite a couple of big outages in years past. They guarantee 99.9% uptime, in fact, which is about as good as you can hope for, in my opinion. In experience this means that your site will always be up, except when it’s not. The “not” is so rare that it barely registers in the memory of longtime users. Also, HostGator is a company more than 100% powered by wind energy. The extra energy produced for them that exceeds their needs goes back onto the grid. So there you go.
If you should grow beyond the scope of even the fully utilized Business Plan, HostGator has Reseller, Dedicated Hosting Plans, and VPS (with lots of levels). I mention this to say that with HostGator, you won’t have to worry about outgrowing your hosting provider. It isn’t uncommon to hear about businesses going with HG for more than a decade without ever needing to look for a more feature-rich provider. One downside is that, since selling to EIG, customer service is slow. It usually takes 20 or 30 minutes to hear back from them, which is an eternity when your site is acting up. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but I do think it’s important to mention.
HostGator performs very well in all categories of consideration that go into picking a web host: customer service, performance, reputation, cost, features, growth potential, etc. Except for support, they’re in the top of their class on all of these metrics. I think, at the very least, HostGator should make your short list for potential web hosting providers. I have been happy in my own use of their service, and so have thousands of others. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
If you go with HostGator here are some exclusive coupons to save you some money:
MODESTMONEY for 30% off
SAVEBIG for $0.01 for the first month of hosting
Just enter the coupon code when checking out for instant savings.