HostGator is a flexible and feature-rich web hosting service that excels in terms of unlimited services, with unrestricted bandwidth and disk space. The service also provides unlimited domains, so you can host as many websites under your account as you want. Although the service is brimming with features, HostGator lacks some of the intuitiveness and usability found on our higher-ranked web hosting services. But if you are willing to spend the time and effort necessary to learn your way around the service, HostGator delivers robust hosting capabilities at an exceptional value.
HostGator offers three different hosting packages. With the exception of the lowest-priced package, each one provides the unlimited features detailed above, and the service supports international domains. With the business plan, you also get your own toll-free number and a dedicated IP address and private SSL.
When it comes to features, HostGator provides all of the general features we were looking for, including a site builder, shopping carts for eCommerce websites and easy one-click installs of popular website apps and platforms. HostGator also includes an impressive amount of email features in each of its plans. In addition to a webmail option, you can create an unlimited amount of POP3 accounts. Additional email features include email aliases, autoresponders, mailing lists, catch-alls and mail forwarding. Finally, you don’t have to worry about spam because HostGator includes Spam Assassin in each of its packages, a powerful spam protection program that effectively keeps unwanted junk emails out of your inbox.
Overall, we are impressed with HostGator’s feature set which includes some advanced features including custom cron jobs and error pages. Cron jobs refer to server tasks you can schedule to occur automatically, such as downloading email. The service, however, lacks a script library. While these features aren’t essential to web hosting, they are convenient and give advanced users more hands-on control of their website.
HostGator is a web hosting service that’s relatively easy to use, though it does require you to spend some time learning your way around the service. Not all of its features are intuitive, and it will likely take you a few minutes to learn how to navigate its interface. It’s a similar story with the service’s support; it’s good but there is definite room for improvement. On the HostGator website, you can read the frequently asked questions, browse through user forums or view video tutorials. You can also contact the company for technical support via email, live chat or toll-free telephone. While we think the company expertly strikes a balance between good help documentation and effective contact methods, we’d like to see better response times; more than once we waited to speak with a rep online and on the telephone for nearly an hour.
HostGator has features that cater to both people who are creating their first website and those who have web hosting experience. The service would benefit from more intuitive usability and quicker response times. And while its entry-level hosting package is rather sparse, HostGator’s other hosting packages deliver unbeatable value with unlimited hosting capabilities.
You can host unlimited domains under your account, with no restrictions on bandwidth or disk space.
Response times for the service’s technical support can be sluggish.
Flexible but lacking some features and usability, Host Gator is a decent web host that doesn’t provide anything you won’t find elsewhere.