HostGator Review: Web Hosting
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|Reliable web host with a 25% exclusive discount (code: NEXTADVISOR), particularly strong for advanced users|
[Editor's note: HostGator is currently offering an exclusive 25% discount to NextAdvisor visitors with the coupon code NEXTADVISOR. Just click through on any link to HostGator from NextAdvisor and enter the code at checkout to take advantage of this great deal.]
HostGator is a high-quality web host with a great online site-builder. It's fast and stable, and comes in at a low price of $3.71 per month, with a three-year plan.
At $3.71 per month, this price includes a 25% discount that you get by clicking though from NextAdvisor and using the coupon code found at the top of the review. There is a $15.00 per year charge for domain registration. If you want domain privacy to keep your name and address out of public hosting records, that will cost $10.00 per year. However, the monthly price is very reasonable with a 3-year commitment. Plus, you're getting a solid, feature-packed web host with unlimited storage and bandwidth.
HostGator calls itself a green host, meaning it achieves carbon-emission reductions through efficient servers and the purchase of wind-energy. If shrinking your carbon footprint is important to you, web hosting is one place you can do it. HostGator uses cPanel as its control panel, which will be familiar for many intermediate and advanced web hosting users, and easy-to-learn for beginners.
A number of different sitebuilding apps are included with HostGator, but we had fun using the Parallels Plesk sitebuilder. There are a large variety of templates to choose from. While many appear a bit generic, there's a good amount of easy customization you can do to add some originality. The design process is very fluid, and it's a true WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. There's support for virtually any kind of page you might make: basic text pages, galleries, blogs, and one of the easiest shopping cart creators we've come across. You can even add a nice, animated flash intro with just a few clicks. Users looking to build a multi-faceted site should give this one strong consideration.
HostGator has recently added its own homegrown script manager as a competitor to the ubiquitous Fantastico scripts that come with other web hosts. HostGator's QuickInstall environment allows you to install many blog programs, shopping carts, content management systems, and photo albums from one centralized interface. We found it slightly less intuitive to use than Fantastico, but that's ok, since Fantastico is available as well.
HostGator uses cPanel's default form for setting up new email accounts, and offers a choice of three webmail interfaces for reading and writing email. Setting up new accounts is quick and easy.
TUTORIAL: How to Set Up an Email Account with HostGator
HostGator is a great web host for advanced users, with just one caveat: the service will only allow you to host one domain unless you pay to use more. That said, the company does offer unlimited MySQL databases, Shell Access (SSH) for advanced administration and shared hosting accounts on both Windows and Linux servers, which are a bit of a rarity. HostGator supports a wide range of programming languages, including CGI, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, SSI and ASP.
HostGator uses the cPanel control panel system, which is one of our favorite standard interfaces. If you've used cPanel before, HostGator will be very easy to get used to. Setting up email accounts is simple, as is installing plugins and scripts. Most users should have no trouble finding the features they want within a few minutes, and if not, support was helpful, friendly and accessible. Though it has strong features for advanced users, HostGator should not be too intimidating for beginners and intermediate users.
HostGator has shown to be a great performer in our spec tests. See the chart below for details. For uptime, higher percentages are better. For all others, lower numbers indicate better performance.
HostGator test data:
NextAdvisor Web Hosting Blog Headlines
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HostGator Forum Posts
- How do I move my domain name to a new web host?
It's actually easier than you might think. Here's a blog post that details exactly what you need to do to transfer your domain name to a new web host:...
- How do I move my domain name to a new web host?
I presently am with myhosting.com, I have been with them for over 15 years, I need to know what is needed to be done to move my website to HostGator.
- HostGator Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of HostGator: http://www.nextadvisor.com/web_hosting/hostgator_web_hosting_review.php