For those small businesses looking for website help, HostGator represents a solid player in the web-hosting game, offering many of the unlimited features seen across the board in web host providers in a relatively accessible way for a competitive price. A few hiccups exist for those new to web development, but for those looking for basic website creation and seasoned development pros, HostGator offers features with, and above, the pack.
Unlike some hosting providers’ upfront payment requirements, HostGator offers month-to-month hosting plans, though it does push for long term deals. HostGator offers up three pricing plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business. When deciding which plan to spring for – apart from the fine print – ask yourself one specific question: How robust does your web hosting platform need to be?
The plans themselves are all similar as far as basic features are concerned. Each offers unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and email addresses, as well as support for one domain and third-party applications. Where HostGator distances itself from their competitors is in the specialization it offers in their higher priced plans.
As you move up the ladder and see specialized options which can provide genuine value for those business that need it, such as a free toll-free phone number. Add in the increased security from dedicated SSL certificates that allow for secure connections from a web server to a browser, these websites are set up to quickly get started with the security you need to begin accepting credit cards. HostGator lends itself to those well versed in web development, offering up a number of glitzy features. Using them at times, is another story.
Issues arise when users first encounter HostGator’s interface for website development. The site builder, Weebly is available for website creation. To those as of yet unfamiliar, this is a good thing. Simple drag and drop functionality makes creating a basic site relatively easy. The control panel though, located within the hosting panel, can at times feel clunky to use. This can pose a problem to the uninitiated as building tools and applications are located here. While the learning curve isn’t prohibitive, it leaves a little to be desired. This wouldn’t be a huge issue if customer support offered consistent superior service.
Another issue HostGator creates for itself is in customer support. Labeled a nuisance by most users of web hosting platforms, HostGator our review process found that HostGator wait times exceed many of their competitors. While support is offered via LiveChat, a detailed FAQ, and a robust set of getting-started links, these value ads seem primarily driven by a desire to avoid having their customers call them directly. Compared with the near instant support and five to ten minute hold times we observed at some of their competitors, HostGator finds itself near the bottom of the pack, on occasion keeping business owners on hold for upward of an hour via the phone and over a half hour via LiveChat.
HostGator isn’t new the web hosting game. But in steady growth a few basic tenets of business fell by the wayside. That being said, HostGator offers up a bevy of tools to the web developer and is easy enough to use for the beginning, basic web creator. All-in-all, if your business isn’t one calling for support on the regular, HostGator brings everything else you need to the table.
All-in-all, if your business isn’t one calling for support on the regular, HostGator brings everything else you need to the table.
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