HostGator Review: Compare the best business web hosting plans of 2018


For small shops, HostGator’s web hosting business plans offer plenty of bang for few bucks. Business.org reviewed all 15 plans from Snappy the blue gator.

host gator logo
Overall Rating4 / 5
Wide variety of plans
Inexpensive pricing
Low rates only with 3-year contract
Limited Windows servers

HostGator web hosting is best for small businesses and individual startups

Agonizing over which of the many, many web hosting services out there you should trust with your business? If a cuddly mascot will put you at ease, have we got a lead for you: HostGator, the only web host repped by a cute blue alligator. There, you’re feeling better already, aren’t you?

Real talk: mascot Snappy is the least of HostGator’s attractive web hosting features for a small business—emphasis on small. But he’s still cute, and blue.

The Texas-based company—which was founded in 2002 in Florida, where most non-blue gators actually reside—hosts over 8 million domains ranging from mega-sized Fortune 500 enterprises to micro-sized indie shops. HostGator has also won awards galore from the tech industry, as well as steady accolades from customers. Here at Business.org, we’ve ranked it as one of our best web hosting services of 2018.

HostGator business web hosting plans

PlanStarting price (per month/per user)Hosting typeLearn more
Hatchling$2.75Shared, LinuxView Plans
Baby$3.95Shared, LinuxView Plans
Business (shared web hosting)$5.95Shared, LinuxView Plans
Hatchling Cloud $4.95Cloud, LinuxView Plans
Baby Cloud $6.57Cloud, Linux View Plans
Business Cloud$9.95 Cloud, LinuxView Plans
Starter$5.95WordPress, LinuxView Plans
Standard$7.95WordPress, LinuxView Plans
Business (WordPress cloud hosting)$9.95 WordPress, LinuxView Plans
Snappy 2000$29.95 VPS, LinuxView Plans
Snappy 4000$39.95VPS, LinuxView Plans
Snappy 8000$49.95VPS, LinuxView Plans
Value Server$119 Dedicated, Linux or WindowsView Plans
Power Server$139Dedicated, Linux or WindowsView Plans
Enterprise Server$149Dedicated, Linux or WindowsView Plans

Data effective 07/13/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas. HostGator prices listed reflect three-year contract.

HostGator offers a full buffet of platforms and plans for businesses of any size, but most would work well, and inexpensively, for a smaller startup just getting online. Especially reassuring for web newbies is HostGator’s 24/7 customer support, in addition to an in-depth online knowledgebase that covers every web hosting question imaginable. When it comes to customer support, Snappy is no crock (last alligator joke, promise).

HostGator shared hosting plans

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Strengths

  • Dirt cheap plans
  • Simple setup
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Weaknesses

  • Performance that can depend on sharing clients
  • Linux-only servers

As the name implies, shared web hosting splits the hosting load (and cost) between clients of the host. Overall pricing is lower with shared web hosting, which makes it an enticing tier for new businesses that aren’t (yet) expecting massive amounts of traffic. On the downside, if one or more of the other sharing clients experience user surges, it can potentially affect your site’s performance—it’s not always your internet service provider’s fault. Conversely, if your site is the heavy-traffic culprit, you could be penalized with extra fees.

Shared hosting is a dead-simple and inexpensive option for new businesses just getting online with little web experience—and shared hosting is one of HostGator’s greatest strengths. Its three plans, Hatchling, Baby, and Business, all come in under $6 a month, and each one has enough basic features to get your biz functional quickly.

PlanStarting price (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Hatchling$2.75QuickInstall tool, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL ticket View Plans
Baby$3.95QuickInstall tool, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited domains, free SSL ticketView Plans
Business$5.95QuickInstall tool, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited domains, free SSL ticket, Positive SSL upgrade, $10K warranty, dedicated IP address, TrustLogo seal, free SEO toolsView Plans

HostGator cloud hosting plans

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Strengths

  • Speedy performance
  • Reliable uptime
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Weaknesses

  • Limited dedicated IP
  • Linux-only servers

With cloud hosting, your site and data are supported over a network of servers acting as one system—a collective, like the Borg in Star Trek. (Fun fact: Business.org is nicknamed B.org internally.) Uptime, reliability, and regional load speeds are increased with cloud hosting, as are security and future scalability, since space isn’t limited to a single, physical server. Unlike its other hosting platforms, HostGator’s cloud servers are Linux-only, with no Windows options. That’s not a deal breaker, but more choices are always better.

Cloud hosting is a little more expensive than shared hosting, but it’s also faster and more secure—and you’re less likely to “grow out” of it as your site’s data and space needs increase. HostGator’s cloud plans also give you access to an intuitive performance and metrics dashboard, resource management tools, and data mirroring that automatically distributes three copies of your data across several servers for site safety and redundancy.

PlanStarting price (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Hatchling Cloud$4.95Single domain, one-click install, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL ticket, 2GB memory, two CPU coresView Plans
Baby Cloud$6.57Unlimited domains, one-click install, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL ticket, 2GB memory, four CPU coresView Plans
Business Cloud$9.95Unlimited domains, one-click install, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL ticket, 6GB memory, six CPU cores, Positive SSL, dedicated IP address, free SEO toolsView Plans

HostGator WordPress hosting plans

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Strengths

  • Full WP functionality
  • Free site migration
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Weaknesses

  • No free domain included
  • Linux-only servers

The WordPress CMS (content management system) is behind almost a third of all internet sites, thanks to its operational simplicity, flexibility, and early-web legacy. (Who didn’t have a WordPress blog back in the day?) Rather than learn a whole new CMS—like Joomla or Drupal, which HostGator offers alongside its own HostGator Website Builder—you can set up a website within the familiar environs of WordPress and let Snappy host it.

If you already have a WordPress site, HostGator offers free migration over to their service, as well as access to ready-made WP templates from MOJO Marketplace.

PlanStarting price (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Starter Plan $5.95One site, 100,000 monthly visitors cap, 1GB data backup, free SSL ticketView Plans
Standard Plan$7.95Two sites, 200,000 monthly visitors cap, 2GB data backup, free SSL ticketView Plans
Business Plan$9.95Three sites, 500,000 monthly visitors cap, 3GB data backup, free SSL ticket, free upgrade to Positive SSL, free SEO tools.View Plans

HostGator VPS hosting plans

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Strengths

  • Dedicated-level performance
  • Generous features
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Weaknesses

  • Still technically shared hosting
  • Linux-only servers

Virtual private server (VPS) hosting simulates a dedicated server within a partitioned shared server. A VPS has its own operating system, storage, and RAM, operating with more stability and site efficiency. While VPS hosting is technically a form of shared web hosting, it’s slightly more expensive but still usually costs less than half the price of dedicated hosting.

For businesses looking to operate their website in a highly controlled environment with full customization autonomy, but aren’t yet in the position to lay out the cash for a dedicated server, a VPS is an appealing compromise—especially for a small site expecting sudden traffic surges. Sometimes, “overnight” success really does happen overnight; best to be prepared.

PlanStarting price (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Snappy 2000$29.952GB RAM, two CPU cores, 120GB disk space, 1.5TB bandwidthView Plans
Snappy 4000$39.954GB RAM, two CPU cores, 165GB disk space, 2TB bandwidthView Plans
Snappy 8000$49.958GB RAM, four CPU cores, 240GB disk space, 3TB bandwidthView Plans

HostGator dedicated hosting plans

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Strengths

  • Excellent performance
  • Windows and Linux servers
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Weaknesses

  • Expensive plans
  • No Snappy plush doll

Dedicated hosting is just what it sounds like: a server dedicated exclusively to your business. It also comes with an exclusively heftier price tag that might initially make some flinch—but if you’re expecting heavy web traffic, or operating a particularly complex or data-sensitive website, dedicated hosting might be worth the investment to avoid downtime losses later.

HostGator offers semi-managed and fully managed dedicated hosting, the former requiring some upkeep maintenance on your part and the latter being an almost entirely set-it-and-forget-it proposition. For a little less money, HostGator also offers dedicated hosting plans on older, upgraded “legacy” servers.

PlanStarting price (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Value Server$1194-core/8-thread CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD storage, unmetered bandwidth, Linux or Windows serverView Plans
Power Server$1398-core/16-thread CPU, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD storage or 512GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, Linux or Windows serverView Plans
Enterprise Server$1498-core/16-thread CPU, 30GB RAM, 1TB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, Linux or Windows serverView Plans

Standard HostGator features at a glance

Web hosting

  • cPanel dashboard (with site stats, error logs, shopping carts, blog platforms, forums, counters, custom error pages, a web-based file manager, redirect URL, and more)
  • Unmetered bandwidth, subdomains, FTP accounts, and email accounts
  • SSL certification
  • HostGator Website Builder
  • Site, domain, script, and MYSQL transfer
  • 52 free scripts installed
  • Magento e-commerce online store platform
  • $100 Google Adwords offer

Domain registration

  • Domains that can be purchased, transferred, and managed directly through HostGator
  • Domain locking and auto-renewal
  • Various domain extensions (.com, .club, .co, .space, .us, .website, .org, .net, .me, .biz, .info, .host, .online, .site, .tech., and others through HostGator partner Domain.com)

Email features

  • Unlimited POP3 email accounts
  • WebMail via Horde, RoundCube and SquirrelMail
  • Email to phone through IMAP support
  • SpamAssassin spam prevention
  • Unlimited auto-response, mail forwarding, and email aliases
  • Up to 25 mailing lists

Reseller plans

  • Three Reseller tiers for those who’d like to start their own web hosting company, like web designers looking to provide full service for clients
    • Aluminum plan (600GB bandwidth, 60GB disk space, unlimited domains, and free SSL at $19.95 a month)
    • Copper plan (900GB bandwidth, 90GB disk space, unlimited domains, and free SSL at $24.95 a month)
    • Silver plan (1400GB bandwidth, 140GB disk space, unlimited domains, and free SSL also at $24.95 a month)

Customer support and guarantees

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7/365 phone, live chat, and email ticketing system support
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Online support portal with over 500 video and 680 help articles
  • Access to HostGator’s community forum

The takeaway

If you’ve made it this far into the page, you’ve seen that HostGator offers an exhaustive amount of plans, platforms, and possibilities for a fledgling small business, or even a medium-sized company looking to make a switch. For such a large web hosting company, HostGator’s customer service ratings and performance reviews lean toward mostly positive.

FYI, as of 2016, HostGator is owned by Endurance International Group, which also claims web hosting companies Bluehost, iPage, SiteBuilder, and others. So if you’re wary of working with corporate behemoths, there are plenty of smaller-shop alternatives offering comparable à la carte services. If not, HostGator has everything you need in a web host.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.