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Hostgator Review: Pros, Cons & Performance Tests (2024)

Hostgator Review Featured Image

With years of experience in the web development industry, I had the opportunity to use HostGator on my numerous projects, providing me with insights on its reliability and efficiency.

To determine if HostGator still stands as a reliable web hosting provider, I decided to put their services to the test.

During this time, I’ve witnessed HostGator’s growth as one of the top five web hosting companies worldwide, hosting over 2.5 million websites and offering competitive pricing.

In this review, I’ll provide you with all pertinent information you need, supported by data gathered from our test websites. 

Introducing Hostgator

HostGator, founded in 2002, has grown into a leading provider of shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated web hosting services. It has built its reputation on delivering reliable, user-friendly services tailored to beginners, making website building and management more accessible.

Their offerings include a variety of web hosting plans, each packed with features such as unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, and easy WordPress installs. 

For beginners, their website builder with hundreds of customizable templates can be a game-changer, simplifying the website creation process significantly.

Hostgator Features Review

Hostgator hosting offers a range of web hosting plans including:

  • Shared hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Reseller hosting

We’ll look at the details of each later in this article.

Since most people use a shared plan, and these are Hostgator’s most affordable plans, we’ll use these as the baseline for our comparisons of all of Hostgator’s available features.

1. Disk Space

First up, let’s address how much space Hostgator’s plans offer.

After using the web hosting provider, I noticed that all of Hostgator’s shared and managed web hosting plans provide “unmetered” bandwidth. Note, this is not the same as “unlimited” storage or bandwidth.

  • Unmetered Bandwidth: Your disk space and bandwidth usage is not strictly monitored or limited unless you exceed fair usage policies. You can freely use as much or as little as you need so long as you leave enough resources for the other people sharing your server too.
  • Unlimited Storage or Bandwidth: The web host has no cap on disk space and bandwidth usage. However, all servers have a physical limit to how much data they can each hold, and your account may be subject to such a limit. So, it will never offer “truly” unlimited bandwidth or storage.

Hostgator does have fair use policies in place. For instance, if your account uses over 25% of a server’s resources for longer than 90 seconds, this will be flagged as a violation of Hostagtor’s usage policies.

You may be asked to reduce your usage or upgrade to a more suitable plan that can better accommodate your website’s needs.

2. Backups

Based on my experience, you will not receive adequate backups with Hostgator’s out-of-the-box plans. Instead, they offer an upsell for CodeGuard’s service, which starts at an extra $32.95 per year.

As such, Hostgator makes it very clear that they take no responsibility for failed backups. They do offer free weekly backups for customers, but they’re also “not guaranteed” in any way.

Hostgator Automatic Backups

Besides, Hostgator only takes backups once a week on a random day. There may also be an additional fee of $25 for Hostgator to provide you with a copy of a courtesy backup file.

Compared with companies like SiteGround, which offers free daily backups on all plans, Hostgator severely lacks its in-built backup features and policies.

3. Security

Upon employing HostGator’s services, I found out that the web hosting provider lack some security features in its out-of-the-box offers.

In fact, on all the shared web hosting, some essential security features (like spam protection) are added as an upsell offer instead of built into the service.

Hostgator’s limited in-built security offerings may be sufficient for some, but for users with high-traffic websites or more sensitive data, this could be a potential pitfall.

A robust security suite is key to preventing data breaches and cyber threats, and essential tools like spam protection should ideally be a part of the initial package rather than an additional cost.

Free SSL CertificateYes (Let’s Encrypt)
Hotlink ProtectionYes
Spam ProtectionPaid Option - Spam Assassin
Free Automatic BackupsYes (Weekly)
Web Application FirewallYes
DDoS ProtectionYes
Brute Force ProtectionYes
Bot BlockingYes - Manual
Malware ProtectionPaid Option
24/7 Server MonitoringYes
WP Security PluginNo

Honestly, there are far better web hosting options out there that constantly invest in their in-built security features for all shared plans. SiteGround and WPX  are our top choices, to name a few.

Hostgator’s basic security setup seems to lag behind other competitors like SiteGround and WPX.

If you are making your decision on price alone and don’t intend on growing your website into a money-making asset, you will find Hostgator to be an acceptable web hosting plan.

4. Servers

Hostgator’s servers and data centers are located within the United States Utah and Texas.

If you’re targeting audiences outside of the US and want your website files hosted near your audience groups, you’ll need to set up a good CDN service if you intend on using Hostgator. Otherwise, a web host with international data centers may be a better option.

It’s also worth noting that, unlike some other web hosting companies, Hostgator does not allow you to choose which data center your files are hosted in.

This lack of customization might not suit everyone’s needs, making it a point to consider when choosing a web host.


As mentioned earlier in this article, besides investigating the features of each type of web hosting account offered by Hostgator, we also ran our own tests.

The data we gathered first-hand lends insight into whether Hostgator lives up to the performance claims they make on their website and in their marketing materials.

1. Speed

To test the speed of an average Hostgator account, we ran a test website through two tools: GT Metrix and Pingdom.

The same website was used and tested three times on each tool for each location. Yes, that’s a whole lot of tests we ran so that we could be extra sure of the data we gathered.

The average results from each tool are below. As you’ll observe, they’re below optimal and quite disappointing for the needs of today’s websites.

Also, we didn’t take things one step further to implement any of the recommended speed upgrades.

Essentially, we wanted to test what the speed performance would be like for an average WordPress user.

Unfortunately, Hostgator just doesn’t live up to the top-notch speed performance expected today.

GT Metrix

Performance ScoreTTFB


Pingdom PerformancePingdom Load Time
San Francisco653.24s
Washington DC643.65s

Our Verdict: There’s a lot that could be improved with Hostgator’s speed performance. If you’re interested in using a web hosting company that offers better speed performance, check out our post on the fastest hosts.

2. Uptime

Like loading speed, uptime is a critical performance factor that needs to be weighed up before purchasing a web hosting plan.

Hostgator offers an uptime guarantee of 99.90%, which matches the industry benchmark. However, according to Pingdom’s uptime monitoring data [1], Hostgator’s average uptime is lower than the guaranteed amount at 99.89% since 2015.

Here’s what it has been over more recent years:

2018 Uptime2019 Uptime2020 Uptime2021 Uptime

Our Verdict: As with loading speed, Hostgator’s uptime performance, and server reliability is quite underwhelming.


Given Hostgator’s products and services are generally aimed at beginner markets, customer support is crucial.

Hostgator garnered a 3.7 rating on Trustpilot, as shown below [2].

Hostgator Rating

Hostgator’s rating on Trustpilot

There have been complaints about their 24/7 chat support, which ironically, is often unavailable, contradicting their promise of round-the-clock availability.

Some users have also pointed out that the response time for email support was disappointingly slow, sometimes taking several days to receive a reply.

Poor support is a major red flag for us. If anything goes wrong, you need to know your hosting provider has your back when you need it most.

Web Hosting Plans & Pricing

Hostgator Hosting Plans

Although widely known for its affordable shared hosting, Hostgator offers a range of different web hosting packages to suit the needs of many types of websites.

In general, Hostgator tends to limit the amount of included features, and it chooses to upsell additional products and services instead. Thus, we found that Hostgator’s pricing is not as favorable as it may initially appear.

When comparing pricing with Hostgator alternatives, we also found that Hostgator consistently charges extra hidden or higher renewal fees.

Take a look at the details of Hostgator’s costs for each of their plans below.

1. Shared Hosting

Hostgator’s pricing for shared web hosting works out cheaper than many other web hosting companies on the market.

This is because Hostgator uses a loss-leading price strategy[2] and offers benefits (like a free domain name) to attract new users to the service.

To receive such low prices, customers must commit to a 3-year term and pay upfront. Then, the renewal prices increase significantly for both the web hosting and the “free” domain. We’ll look at the domain pricing later on.

Here’s how Hostgator’s evergreen promotional prices stack up against renewal prices for shared hosting.

Hostgator Shared Plan PricesEvergreen Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
Lowest Tier (Hatchling Plan)$2.75/month$6.95 - $10.95/month
Middle Tier (Baby Plan)$3.50/month$9.95 - $11.95/month
Highest Tier (Business Plan)$5.25/month$14.95 - $16.95/month

It goes without saying these prices are always subject to change.

2. WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting is an excellent service to consider if you don’t want to  to set up and maintain a WordPress site by yourself.

But, if you’re a beginner, not very tech-savvy, or managing a portfolio of websites and want to free up time, using a managed service may just be a lifesaver.

It’s worth noting that Hostgator’s managed WordPress plans are not on par with their shared web hosting as far as some limitations are concerned.

The most websites you can host using a managed server hosting is three.

There are also traffic limitations on the managed service, with the highest plan allowing up to half a million visits per month across the entire account (i.e. not per WordPress site).

For the affiliate marketers in the room, these limitations can be quite restrictive as your portfolio grows and as you scale your audience size using marketing channels like SEO.

Despite these restrictions, the managed web hosting plans are all more expensive than shared hosting.

Hostgator Managed WordPress Hosting PricesEvergreen Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
Lowest Tier (Starter Plan)$5.95/monthFrom $9.95 - $14.95/month
Middle Tier (Standard Plan)$7.95/monthFrom $15.95 - $20.95/month
Highest Tier (Business Plan)$9.95/monthFrom $22.95 - $27.95/month

These include: despite the restrictions mentioned, both plans come with features like a free domain for the first year, a free SSL certificate and unmetered bandwidth. But, there are also a number of other features that managed WP web hosting offers that do not come with Hostgator’s shared hosting.

  • Up to 3 GB of backup storage space
  • WordPress is pre-installed
  • Automatic malware removal
  • Free security and website protection
  • 24/7/365 premium support

We’ve gotta say though, there are other web hosting companies out there offering far more features for comparable prices, especially as far as security and support are concerned.

3. VPS Hosting

If having a private server with loads of storage is what you’re after, hands down Hostgator’s virtual private server plans (VPS hosting) are among the best options.

VPS hosting imitates a dedicated server by using virtual partitions. By using virtualization technology, web hosting companies allow you to access private resources even if your server is shared with others.

It’s a great interim step if you want to limit the risks of sharing a server but don’t have the budget to get your own dedicated servers.

We’ve reviewed Hostgator’s VPS plans against many other leaders in the web hosting arena, and the amount of SSD storage offered comes out on top almost all the time. Check out these articles for more details:

As you’ll observe, Hostgator’s VPS plans are often more expensive than comparable offers from other web hosting companies. They also offer fewer CPU cores and RAM capacity but come out on top for SSD storage in most cases.

Virtual Private Server PricesEvergreen Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
Lowest Tier (Snappy 2000)$23.95/month$79.95/month
Middle Tier (Snappy 4000)$34.95/month$119.95/month
Highest Tier (Snappy 8000)$59.95/month$149.95/month

4. Dedicated Servers

Dedicated hosting is among Hostgator’s most expensive type of web hosting plan. These web hosting services are usually best suited to power users who know how to configure servers to their needs or for websites with large traffic demands.

Here are the prices Hostgator offers.

Hostgator Dedicated Hosting PricesEvergreen Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
Lowest Tier (Value Server)$89.98/month$189/month
Middle Tier (Power Server)$119.98/month$249/month
Highest Tier (Enterprise Server)$139.99/month$289/month

In order to secure the promotional pricing for dedicated hosting, you must pay up to 3-years in advance.

Honestly, if you can afford that much upfront, you may be better off looking into other dedicated hosting providers that offer better value for money, like SiteGround’s cloud hosting.

5. Cloud Hosting

Hostgator’s cloud plans are not what would be considered “true” cloud hosting.

True cloud hosting uses multiple servers and virtualized partitions to offer each user dedicated resources.

So if one particular server is experiencing issues, your site won’t go down with it because other servers in the network step in to mitigate the damage and maintain data integrity.

However, Hostgator’s cloud hosting plans have no partitioning, and it’s essentially one server.

The biggest drawbacks about Hostgator’s cloud-based plans are that:

  • They don’t offer root access
  • They’re cheap because they use cloud SSD shared hosting
  • They don’t offer a virtualized VPS
  • They cap the resources you can access
  • They don’t offer a dedicated server environment

We’d only suggest using Hostgator’s cloud-based plans if you want to move your website to the cloud on a very low budget. Even so, the only tangible benefit you’ll get is faster loading speeds.

If you’ve ever compared Hostgator’s pricing to the pricing of other cloud hosts, you’ll notice significant price differences. Check out the price comparisons below.

Cloud Hosting PricesHostgator Promotional PricingHostgator Renewal PricingSiteGround Cloud Hosting
Lowest Tier$4.95/monthFrom $8.95 - $12.95/month$100/month
Middle Tier$6.57/monthFrom $11.95 - $13.95/month$200-$300/month
Highest Tier$9.95/monthFrom $17.95 - $19.95/month$400/month

6. Reseller

If you run an agency or offer website building services, getting a reseller plan may be a smart thing for you to do.

All of Hostgator’s reseller accounts allow you to add unlimited websites to the account. If you opt for reseller hosting, you can mark up the cost of hosting and earn an additional monthly profit from each of your clients.

You can also start slow with a reasonable pricing tier, and, as your web design business grows, you can upgrade the resources allocated to your web hosting package.

Here’s what Hostgator’s reseller packages will set you back in terms of price.

Reseller PricesEvergreen Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
Lowest Tier (Aluminum Plan)$19.95/month$34.95/month
Middle Tier (Copper Plan)$24.95/month$48.95
Highest Tier (Silver Plan)$24.95/month$69.95/month

Hostgator Website Builder

“Gator” is Hostgator’s website-building product that’s best suited for beginners and business owners with little technical experience. It allows people to build a simple website through the use of an intuitive drag-and-drop editor.

Suppose you’re considering building a website and would like the benefits of drag-and-drop functionality, a WordPress website using a beginner-friendly page builder (like Elementor) is a far better option.

WordPress offers far greater SEO optimization flexibility than Hostgator’s website-building platform does.

Hostgator E-Commerce Package

HostGator’s e-commerce plans offer SSL certificates, payment platforms and shopping carts, making it an ideal web hosting service for small to medium scale businesses. 

It is easy to set up with a single click WordPress installation, while 99.9% uptime and 24/7 customer support is guaranteed. 

Hostgator Domains

Hostgator Domain Review

Hostgator offers domain names for free (or significantly discounted) when bundled with other web services and products they offer.

However, in all instances, the low rates are only available for a limited period and are often restricted to the first year.

When looking at renewal rates, Hostgator’s pricing is always above average, making them one of the more expensive sites to buy a domain name.


Pros & Cons

Hostgator Pros
  • Low prices for shared hosting
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Offers more storage on VPS
  • Free website migrations
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain name with hosting
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Hostgator Cons
  • Speed needs to be improved
  • Uptime could be improved
  • Limited server locations
  • Poor backup policy
  • High renewal costs
  • Poor customer support



Is Hostgator Good for Beginners?

Hostgator is good for beginners because it made its services and products well suited to anyone just starting out with building a website.

However, if you would like a beginner-friendly option that also offers great performance, there are better options on the market than Hostgator.

How Does HostGator Protect Its Users from Cyber Threats?

HostGator protects its users from cyber threats by offering complimentary back up services at an additional cost. The platform also recommends using tools like CodeGuard  to act as a more reliable backup and SiteLock to detect cyberattacks and malware.

Is HostGator Eco-Friendly?

To cool its servers, Hostgator harnesses 130% renewable wind power, making it an eco-friendly platform.This practice allows the web hosting service to cut down on its carbon footprint.

Our Verdict on Hostgator Review

I found that Hostgator offers affordable hosting solutions that can easily help any beginner or new business owner get started. However, there are some major red flags for our expected level of performance and customer care.

A poor-performing or slow-loading website, as well as unexpected crashes can negatively affect your business. That’s why I recommend you check out a better-performing service with outstanding customer support, like WPX.

Having transitioned from Hostgator to WPX for my own website, I’ve experienced firsthand the significant improvement in performance and reliability.

WPX’s stellar customer service has been a game changer, always ready to assist me during critical moments, making the slightly higher cost completely worthwhile.

Our #1 Recommendation: WPX Hosting

  • Editor's Choice
Overall Rating:

Load Time


Support Score


Key Features:
  • 15 GB of Storage
  • 200 GB of Bandwidth
  • Custom CDN (34 global locations)
  • Staging area creation.
  • Unlimited site migrations to WPX.
  • Malware scanning
  • Free SSL certificates
  • 24/7/365 customer support

What more do you want?

Use coupon MATT90 to get 90% off your first month


Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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