HostGator has been around since 2002 and is one of the most successful hosting companies out there. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing companies in America according to Inc. Magazine. As of 2008, HostGator hosted over eight million domains – roughly 1% of the world’s total Internet traffic. They have a huge datacenter in Houston, TX run by a staff of close to 1000 employees. Though it began with a mere three servers, it now has more than 12,000 under management. A June 2008 customer satisfaction survey reported a near 90% satisfaction rate.
HostGator offers three hosting plans starting at under $4.00 a month. The Hatchling Plan includes a single domain and shared SSL certificate with unlimited disk storage and bandwidth. The Baby Plan features unlimited domains, disk space, and bandwidth, as well as the shared SSL certificate. The Business Plan offers all of the features included in the other two plans in addition to free private SSL, private IP, and toll free number. These latter two plans cost $6.36 and $10.36US per month, respectively.
HostGator uses cPanel control panel and has the Easy BaseKitsitebuilder for inexperienced webmasters. You can try out both free on the site before you make a purchase. 4,500 templates and 52 scripts are included in all of the plans, along with free website transfer, domain transfer, MySQL and script transfer, and more. They also include $100 Google AdWords credits. e-Mail includes unlimited POP3 accounts with autoresponders, mail forwards, aliases, and mailing lists. SpamAssassin handles spam and you can receive e-mail on your phone with IMAP. You can also access your e-mail from your browser using three different webmail clients.
Programming options include unlimited MySQL databases with phpMyAdmin Access and FrontPage extensions. Programming languages include some but not all of them; several modules included; and system management include SSH access and at least one other one.
HostGator’s award winning support includes around the clock support via phone, live chat, and e-mail. Their online “support portal” has over 500 video tutorials and nearly 700 help articles and FAQs. They also have a community help forum where you can ask other users for help and advice.
They also offer fairly comprehensive search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing tools that rival those found on any other host. Attracta is the world’s most popular SEO toolset, used by some two million sites worldwide.
HostGator appears to be a fine host for personal websites that do not need a lot of the high-end features more robust sites do, but the cost becomes prohibitive at higher plan levels. e-Commerce sites can probably find better deals with other hosting services. HostGator does have a comprehensive reseller program however, if that is something in which you are interested. Overall, HostGator is not a bad deal but certainly not the best.