Hostgator Review - Below is a summary of the feedback we gathered from the company's ACTUAL customers!

Hostgator Review

Hostgator

Company Name: Hostgator

Official Home Page: Hostgator.com

COMPANY DESCRIPTION:

Hostgator offers several web hosting services such as shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS (virtual private server) hosting, windows hosting, dedicated servers, etc. In addition, they also offer domain registration services! According to their domain's WHOIS info, they have been in business since 2002, and they are based in Texas (77092)!

Features:

* Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth

* Flexible, Easy to Use Control Panel

* Unlimited Sub Domains, FTP Accounts, and Email Accounts

* 99.9% Uptime Guarantee

* No Contract with a 45 Day Money Back Guarantee

* Safe Harbor Certified

* Free SiteBuilder and SiteStudio Website Building Tools

* 4,500 Free Website Templates

* Free Website Transfer, Domain Transfer, MySQL Transfer, Script Transfer

* 52 Free scripts can be instantly installed on your account with a few clicks

* $100 in Google Adwords Credit

Guarantee:

45 day money back guarantee

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY:

Below is a summary of the feedback we gathered from the company's ACTUAL customers:

Pros:

* Support is not bad. I never had to wait more than 5-8 minutes for a support staff to reply to my ticket, and none of my tickets were for site downtimes! Overall, I am happy with Hostgator but I got to say that it is not as awesome as I expected it to be! I am sure I could get a cheaper deal elsewhere, and I don't think their uptime is all that good! The pricing was not that great a deal either, but it was still a decent hosting package!

* I am not a huge fan of "unlimited" deals; however, I must say that hostgator is the only web hosting company that "gets it" and does it right! They know exactly how many customers to put on a single server so as not to overload it!

* I have been with Hostgator for more than 6 years and I can say that I have run almost every kind of application from Joomla to PHPBB, Simple Machines Forum (SMF), WordPress, Openx, etc., without too much trouble. The only trouble I had with them was the odd "permissions issue" and they have always been quick to resolve it for me as soon as I contacted them through their ticketing system!

* I have run Drupal many times with Hostgator. I had to make some tweaks to make things run smoothly on their servers, but after that, my site loaded fast and worked well!

* As a forum administrator, I must say that I am really pleased with the support I got from Hostgator. Only recently I faced trouble when installing a myBB forum script and the live chat personnel walked me through the whole process with extreme patience and enthusiasm, until the problem got fixed! I cannot say bad things about Hostgator!

* Very good and reliable host, with a decent live chat support! I would happily rate Hostgator 10 out of 10!

* I have my account with Hostgator since 2009 and although problems crop up, they manage to keep my website and business running and that is what really matters at the end of the day! Overall, I think I get the best value for my money from them!

* I have been with Hostgator since 2009 and extremely pleased with their professional service! Sometime ago, due to a billing oversight on the part of Hostgator, I was overcharged and I requested a refund. Although Hostgator staff confirmed that they have refunded the extra charge, the refund did not show up on my bank statement and I was losing faith in them. However, recently, Brent Oxley, the owner of Hostgator, contacted me personally and solved the matter in a nice and polite manner! I am so impressed with Brent's professionalism that I plan to be with Hostgator for a really long time!

* I have been a reseller with Hostgator since one year and I must say that they were quick to solve whatever technical issues I have had, be it through live chat or their online ticketing system! I did have 2-3 downtimes last month as well as server outages but their support staff has been very quick in bringing everything back to normal. Some of my customers whose websites run on MYSQL databases still face slow connections, but Hostgator's support has always been a great help! I would be with Hostgator for as long as it exists!

Cons:

* Hostgator is a good host if your websites consist mainly of static content, that is, plain vanilla sites! If you are going to host any script at all, whether one or several scripts, then this is NOT the host for you! Also, you don't get unlimited bandwidth; if you change the theme you would notice that they limit you to 9999 GB! The servers are a bit slow!

* The fact that they are a reseller with Softlayer (formerly ThePlanet) makes me hesitate to join Hostgator! I would much rather prefer signing up with a web hosting company which owns and manages their own datacenter, rather than someone who acts as a middleman!

* I don't like Hostgator because their focus seems to be more on marketing their web hosting services than genuinely serving their customers! Once I could not reach my website and the support staff came up with a lame reply like "It is working fine here, in United States…try again later"! Also, when you want to leave them, they ask you a lot of questions!

* Hostgator's servers are really fast but not as fast as they should be! Customer support is good overall, but sometimes they can be slow or difficult to communicate with! I would happily rate Hostgator 10 out of 10 as far as website security is concerned! However, it is extremely difficult to leave Hostgator. If you request cancellation then they are either going to delay or ignore it!

* The one thing I don't like about Hostgator is that, although I PAY for my hosting, they still use my website's 404 error page to advertise their hosting offers without my permission! Such marketing tactics make me throw up!

* Good, reliable web hosting company with decent ticket response times. However, they are not without issues! For example, they claim their servers to be PCI-compliant but one of my customer's websites did not pass the compliance test when verified through a 3rd party; Hostgator did offer to work out the issues in order to make the website compliant! They also have a hidden cost with their prices; not sure if that is the industry-standard in their niche. On top of that, I wanted to change my root domain and they asked me for a $5 or $9 fee for doing that!

* I found Hostgator's VPS and reseller hosting packages to be more expensive than those of their competitors! Even the extra "add-ons" you get don't really justify their prices which are almost double or even triple more than what other companies are offering!

* I have been with Hostgator for a decent amount of time. They used to be a great host but over time things have started falling apart and they have gone from bad to worse!

* We are an ecommerce company and when we were with Hostgator our website mainly consisted of static content - each page containing no more than a few lines of text and product image! On normal days we would at most get 5 simultaneous visitors on our site, that too, only at peak hours! We were on their MOST EXPENSIVE shared hosting plan at that time (around $50-75 per month)! Then came Christmas, and that is when we make most of our sales within a matter of a few days! To our disappointment, our website was suspended on the morning of 22nd December due to "heavy traffic" and they asked us to move to a dedicated server! I would say it is a total joke: if this is what they call "heavy traffic" then what would "normal traffic" be like?

Anyway, they offered us a free month on a dedicated server and took almost 36 hours to move our 600 MB of data! However, the free month was not really "free", as we got charged on our next credit card billing statement for one whole month of dedicated hosting! Their support staff is so incompetent that they could not even upgrade our shared hosting space without deleting part of the data in our company's mailboxes!

The moral of the story is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! DO NOT signup with Hostgator or for that matter, any company which promises you "unlimited disk space and bandwidth" because they are NOT going to give that to you for a measly 8 or 9 bucks! What companies like Hostgator do is that they lie, and they know they can lie with their head up because at any given time, most customers don't use all the disk space and bandwidth allotted to them!

* They don't pay their affiliates. To avoid paying affiliates, they play their "90-day" game (that is, a customer referred by you should stay with them for at least 90 days in order for you to become eligible to receive a commission from Hostgator) although on their website they have a 45-day money back guarantee!

CONCLUSION:

Might I add my "con" here as well (hostgator staff, please feel free to take a look at ticket AJG-3427081 and NKS-3568993 for verification)? I was with Hostgator for almost a year (maybe a little longer) and did not experience either too much downtime or slow loading because my sites were mostly plain, vanilla sites with static content, and I DID NOT have WordPress, one of the biggest consumers of CPU/RAM!

However, the trouble with them was that they would keep upgrading my server (I was on a shared hosting package, so I am not the only one on the server) for 'security reasons"; sometimes they would upgrade their MYSQL and that would break my little eCommerce script; at other times, they would upgrade their server to FastCGI and "for God knows what reason" my sites would break again because most of them were driven by PHP and .Htaccess! Their support staff would try their best to fix my issues, sometimes with success and at other times with pure incompetence (like once when I asked them to help me add a "php include" file on a page, they instead chose to redirect that page to that php include file instead; for the record, they allow "allow_url_fopen" but NOT "allow URL include", again for "security reasons"), but at least, they were prompt with their support!

Still, I decided it was too much for me because I could not sleep peacefully on even one night without the thought that I would wake up the next morning to find my website broken and sales lost as a result! So I decided to cancel my account with them!

Cancellation with them is no easy matter, as one reviewer already noted above! Luckily, I used PayPal with them, so although they sent me another "invoice" ("Your web hosting payment for your HostGator web hosting account is due. Please pay all outstanding invoices as soon as possible to avoid service interruption") after I had ALREADY cancelled my account with them, they really could not get one penny extra from me!

Lesson: Do NOT use a credit card when signing up with them, or they would give you a heart attack with their "charges"! Better yet, don't sign up with them at all, as I have another "bad story" to share with you!

It so happened that my friend had 6 WordPress blogs installed on their server! She was not a WordPress expert but still, she managed her sites well. She did not have any of the cache plugins such as WP Super Cache or WP Total Cache installed (and neither do I; they don't really help you much when you are on a weak server, and if you are on a strong server, they are not really needed)!

So, one fine day she gets a notice from Hostgator that her account has been suspended (in fact they did more than just suspending her account; they also blocked access to her website from ALL IP addresses EXCEPT hers) because some of the "scripts" (read WordPress, as it was just WordPress through and though) were consuming a high amount of server resources. To quote them verbatim:

"I apologize, but I was forced to suspend some of the scripts below as they were causing a high load on the server, and due to it affecting all of the other accounts on the system, I forced [sic] to take immediate action for the health of the server.

I noticed that this is a WordPress blog, and recommend installing the plug-in W3-Total-Cache, and which helps to greatly reduce the CPU required to run a WordPress blog and can help you to have more traffic while using less CPU [sic]. You can also find some tips on how to optimize WordPress installations for use on shared servers here: http://return-true.com/2010/05/optimizing-wordpress-for-shared-hosting/. Please note that though this link provides information about WP-Super-Cache, the plug-in W3-Total-Cache can be setup to provide the same sort of caching with the page caching method "Disk (enhanced)". Also, we would strongly recommend that you enable "Database Cache" and "Object Cache" in the plug-in's settings for the best performance.

We will need you to update us with your IP address so that we can safely open access for you to make the needed changes to your site. Please let us know how you would like to proceed.

[This was followed by a list of scripts and processes - ALL being either WordPress core files, themes or plugins - that are currently consuming high memory and/or CPU]"

(Note to Hostgator staff: This can be verified by looking at Ticket CJY-14143424)

Typical canned response you would get from an incompetent host. Like I said, cache plugins don't really help on a weak server such as that of Hostgator. Actually, it is not the fault of the technical support staff, but rather that of the sales staff who oversell the servers without realizing how badly it affects their clients (maybe they don't even care; they are just after your purse, that's all)!

She DID put a cache program on her blogs but as you can understand, that did not help matters; her requests to restore access to her website fell on deaf ears!

How do I know? Well *I* was the one who helped her shift to a "better" host. She signed up for a VPS package on this new host, and although she could have done the same on Hostgator too (that is, upgrading her hosting package to a VPS plan), I had no faith in Hostgator due to my previous bad experience with them, and also because I thought their VPS plans are a bit too pricey compared to this new host! Her sites have been running fine ever since! You can verify this from her if you like to, by contacting her here!

On the other hand, I also have a friend who is very happy with Hostgator. Good for him; I can only say, perhaps he just got lucky, like many of those "happy customers"!

Overall, I would rate their support 8/10, but their service gets a measly 5/10 from me, and even that is quite a generous rating I believe! However, "good support staff" doesn't exactly run a website, good servers do, and their shared servers are not very good, so I would recommend that you AVOID them at all costs! It is not exactly a bad host; you get exactly what you pay for! Their VPS plans may be good, I don't know, but they are also pricey, so I am not sure why one would choose them at all! They do oversell their servers, no doubt, but so do many shared hosts! For resource intensive stuff, such as more than 1-3 WordPress blogs, I would suggest opting for one of the VPS plans of Knownhost!

Writing a bad review of hostgator ain't easy. I would not be surprised if tomorrow they cancel my hostgator affiliate program membership (I would update this review accordingly, LOL). Then again, Hostgator does not pay its affiliates, so why do I even care, as I have got nothing to lose, LOL! I tried joining Hostgator's affiliate program through Commission Junction though, but they declined my application without giving any reason lol!

Hostgator detractors beware! Hostgator police would tear away your negative comments into tiny pieces (joking)!

Also, it is not a good idea not to buy web hosting and domain name from the same company: in Hostgator's case due to the propagation issue, and in general, because of the dangers of putting all of your eggs in one basket and thus, subjecting yourself to unfair extortion!

To conclude, static content sites should be more or less okay with Hostgator, but if you want to host a WordPress or Vbulletin site with them (or for that matter, any DYNAMIC site running on a MYSQL database) then you are asking for trouble! Even if it is not their overselling, their sudden server upgrades would definitely break your website someday!

Oh by the way, I recently posted a ticket with them and their reply started with the line:

"Thank you for considering Hostgoat for your hosting needs."

Yeah right, the company should be indeed renamed to "Hostgoat" (even though it was an honest typo, I am sure)!

COMPANY INFORMATION:

About the Company

HostGator.com LLC is a world leading provider of shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated web hosting. Privately held and based in Houston, Texas, the company was founded in 2002 by Founder and current Chairman Brent Oxley, who started the company from his dorm room at Florida Atlantic University. Since then, HostGator has grown from a small hosting company with just three servers into a world leading and industry recognized hosting provider with more than 12,000 servers under management. The over eight million domains hosted by HostGator make up approximately 1% of the world's Internet traffic.

As a technology and product innovator, HostGator is able to provide its more than 400,000 customers with innovative products and services designed to complement their existing businesses. HostGator serves customers ranging from individual freelancers to Fortune 500 companies in more than 200 countries.

Because of the nature of reseller hosting, HostGator customers are frequently web designers and or developers who have chosen to provide hosting services to their clients. Businesses of all sizes and shapes frequently make use of HostGator's affordable, but still powerful shared, reseller, and dedicated hosting services. Customers range from complete novices to computer and technology experts.

In 2008, HostGator was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in America. According to Inc. Magazine, HostGator is the 21st fastest growing private company in America, the second fastest growing private company in the "business services" sector, and the fastest growing private company in Texas.

In order to keep up with the company's rapid growth, HostGator moved from its original office in Boca Raton, Florida into a new 20,000 square foot office building in Houston, Texas. Since moving to Houston in January 2007, the company has added more than 200 employees. The company is growing rapidly and expects to add roughly 200 employees within the next two years.

In a June 2008 customer satisfaction survey, approximately 90% of HostGator customers reported being satisfied with HostGator and the services it provides. Industry-leading customer service and support is at the forefront of what HostGator does on a day-to-day basis. The company is constantly working to improve and refine that service and support and achieve its goal of becoming the world leader in the global web hosting market.

In addition to President and CEO, Adam Farrar, HostGator's management team consists of web hosting and technology veterans working together to ensure HostGator continues to grow and progress.

The HostGator Network

HostGator has chosen The Planet to be its exclusive data center and network provider and has since become The Planet's largest customer. HostGator's long standing relationship with The Planet allows HostGator customers to utilize one of the world's best networks to power their web sites and ensure maximum uptime. The Planet's world-class datacenters feature state of the art security, power, safety, and cooling systems - all designed to ensure that service remains uninterrupted.
Data Center Features

HostGator houses servers in four of The Planet's Dallas, Texas-area datacenters. Ranging from 22,000 to more than 78,000 square feet, these world-class datacenters contain top of the line technology to ensure that servers stay cool, secure, and up at all times. The datacenters feature redundant power, HVAC, and fire detection systems, and are monitored 24/7 by both HostGator and The Planet's Network Operation Centers.

Network Features

Web sites hosted with HostGator are accessible via a fully meshed and redundant Certified Cisco Network feature 10 backbone and fiber providers including:

* AT&T
* Global Crossing
* Level3
* AboveNet
* Savvis
* SBC
* Time Warner
* MCI
* Broadwing
* XO Communications

Monitoring

In addition to a fully redundant network and top of the line data centers, HostGator system administrators monitor all servers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Servers are monitored and issues are acted upon before they become serious. Additionally, the network and datacenters are monitored and managed by on-site technicians dedicated to ensuring maximum uptime and reliability.

COMPANY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Snail mail:

Houston, Texas

11251 Northwest Freeway, Suite 400

Houston, TX 77092

United States of America
Our Office in Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas

8100 Cameron Road, Suite B-100

Austin, TX 78753

United States of America
Our Office in Rio de Janeio, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Av. Evandro Lins e Silva,

840 Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro

+55 21 2178 2368

Phone:

* Toll Free: (866) 96 - GATOR (42867)

* Local: (713) 574 - 5287

* International: 00+1-713-574-5287

Best Time to Call: None Available

Fax:

* Fax (Billing): (281) 476 - 7800

* Fax (Abuse): (281) 476 - 7801

Email:

* Sales: sales [at] hostgator [dot] com

* Billing: billing [at] hostgator [dot] com

* Support: support [at] hostgator [dot] com

* Affiliates: affiliates [at] hostgator [dot] com

* Reboots: reboots [at] hostgator [dot] com

* Transfers: transfers [at] hostgator [dot] com

* Jobs: jobs [at] hostgator [dot] com

Live Chat: https://chatlite.hostgator.com/chatlite3.0.3/interface/index.php?region=us

Community Support: http://forums.hostgator.com/

Website: http://tickets.hostgator.com/

COMPANY TERMS AND POLICIES:

Terms of Service: http://www.hostgator.com/tos/tos.php

Privacy Policy: http://www.hostgator.com/privacy.shtml

Shared Web Hosting Details (as gotten from Ticket EGQ-17650441):

1. Restriction on cron usage for shared hosting accounts?: On shared hosting we restrict your cron jobs to no more frequent than once ever 15 minutes. In addition your cron jobs will count towards your usage, and will need to avoid any restrictions we place on other types of programs and websites. Please review:

http://support.hostgator.com/articles/pre-sales-policies/rules-terms-of-service/cpu-resource-usage for more information.

2. Email Sending Restrictions on Shared Hosting Accounts: We do offer SMTP, IMAP and POP mail services. You may send up to 500 Messges per hour. Please read

http://www.hostgator.com/mailpolicy.shtml

for more information on our mail policy.

3. Allow_url_include, allow_url_fopen and SSI enabled?: We do support both custom php.ini files and Server Side Includes. allow_url_fopen is not enabled by default but you can place it in a custom php.ini

4. Passthru(),system(), and exec() enabled?: Yes these are enabled, however you will be in a chrooted environment, and will only have access to the system calls that we present to you.

5. Ioncube and zend allowed?: Ioncube and Zend are only offered on dedicated servers, not on shared hosting.

6. 777 chmod allowed?: We use suPHP and mod_security with rules that will not allow pages or scripts with those permissions to execute. You can use curl, however you will need to request it from support.

7. Grace period allowed in case of payment failure: 10 day grace period on all invoices and you may contact us to request an extension if necessary.

http://support.hostgator.com/articles/pre-sales-policies/billing-account-changes/how-do-i-get-the-45-day-money-back-refund

8. Backup policy for shared hosting accounts?: We may provide backups. There is no charge for our automatic backups, however there are restrictions on when we will provide them. There is a fee for us restoring you from our backups, however if you can provide a backup there is no charge. Please read our backup policy at:
http://support.hostgator.com/articles/pre-sales-policies/rules-terms-of-service/backup-policy-do-you-provide-backups

9. Clustered hosting offered?: Regarding your clustered hosting there are a number of ways to accomplish this all of which require a dedicated server.

10. Perl 5.6 or later,mod_rewrite, Crypt::SSLeay,DBI module, etc enabled?: We offer perl 5.8, mod_rewrite is present on our shared servers, SSLeay must be enabled for you through a ticket, DBI is enabled by default.

Service Cancellation Terms:

Customers may cancel at any time via a cancellation form. HostGator gives you an unconditional 45 day money back guarantee on managed shared hosting, and reseller solutions for any customer who paid the first invoice with a credit card or with Paypal.

Cancellations requested after the initial 45 days for Shared and Reseller accounts will go into effect on the renewal date for that particular hosting package. Unless specifically requested, the account will remain active until the period expires. If the account is eligible, any request for a refund outside of the initial 45 day period will be given on a prorated basis with any previous extended term discount withheld. Refunds are to be determined once the account has been canceled. Payments older than 60 days may require a refund via PayPal or mailed check due to our merchant account policies and procedures.

The following methods of payments are non-refundable, and refunds will be posted as credit to the hosting account:

* Bank Wire Transfers
* Western Union Payments
* Checks
* Money orders

There are no refunds on dedicated servers, administrative fees, and install fees for custom software. Refund requests for .com, .net., and .org domain names (made within the 45 day money-back guarantee period) will have the common market value subtracted for those tld's. Any ccTLD's domain name purchases are non-refundable. Please note that domain refunds will only be considered if they were ordered in conjunction with a hosting package. Eligibility of said refunds will be determined at the time of cancellation.

Only first-time accounts are eligible for a refund. For example, if you've had an account with us before, canceled and signed up again, you will not be eligible for a refund or if you have opened a second account with us.

Violations of the Terms of Service will waive the refund policy.

Attribution/Credits:

Most of the above information regarding this hosting company has been collected by us through various sources (apart from the information offered on company's website), such as:

Source #1 | Screenshot 1 | Screenshot 2 | Screenshot 3 | Screenshot 4 | Screenshot 5

Source #2 -Hostgator Review after 1 year | Screenshot

Source #3-Hostgator Review | Screenshot 1 | Screenshot 2

Source #4-Hostgator Review | Screenshot

Source #5-Hostgator Almost 2 years review | Screenshot

Source #6-HostGator Review | Screenshot

Source #7-HostGator Review | Screenshot

Source #8-HostGator VPS Reviews? | Screenshot

Source #9-HostGator review - WARNING | Screenshot

Source #10-Alternative to Hostgator | Screenshot

Source #11-Hostgator questions, need your help!!! | Screenshot

Source #12-Why HostGator sucks - Review | Screenshot

Source #13-Being harrassed by Hostgator | Screenshot

Source #14-A Warning About Hostgator Shared Hosting | Screenshot

Source #15-Don't use HostGator | Screenshot

Source #16-Hostgator Problems | Screenshot

Source #17-Hostgator Problems - Any Recommendations? | Screenshot

Source #18-Hostgator email problems - is there better hosting? | Screenshot

Source #19-Problems moving my WordPress website within Hostgator | Screenshot

Source #20-Hostgator problems? | Screenshot

Source #21-Hostgator is slow? | Screenshot

Source #22-Hostgator shared accounts are overselling? | Screenshot

Source #23-Getting Screwed Out of Hostgator Affiliate Commissions? | Screenshot

Source #24-Hostgator affiliate payments? | Screenshot

Source #25-Hostgator "90 days" before AFFILIATES get Paid... Better Alternative? ( | Screenshot

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