Hostgator offers a wide selection of shared web hosting plans. Prices start at $4.95 per month on a multi-year web hosting plan. Month-by-Month payment plans are available as well (small increase per price though). Upgrades to a better plan or even a dedicated server are possible at any time. Customers can slowly grow their website and switch to a better plan when traffic and website performance require more resources.
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Hostgator provides support through email, fax, phone and even live chat 24/7. Our tests showed very fast response. Email support is sufficient and convenient. However, we would recommend to use the phone or live chat option if an emergency requires an ultra-fast response from Hostgator’s support. The better hosting packages offer a 99.9 uptime guarantee. If not satisfied with the service within 45 days after signing up, a customer can take advantage of the money back guarantee.
Host Gator’s web hosting services offer a large variety of scripts and software with each account. For the starters there is even a website builder tool that let’s you build a website from scratch with no web design knowledge whatsoever. We found this tool very helpful and can highly recommend it. cPanel is a well-known web control panel that we hosts offer their customers to manage email, FTP, and other website related features. Hostgator accounts include cpanel at no extra charge. They even offer the cpanel extension Fantastico for free. Fantastico allows to install popular software packages like Wordpress or phpBB forums with just a few clicks. Again, we found this to be a very convenient feature for any customer.
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Our test accounts showed excellent performance except for in 2 situations. In one case another account on the server was apparently victim of an attack. However, shortly after we contacted support the issue was solved and our pages loaded fast as before. In the second case we had installed a CGI Perl script that apparently was not working properly. Support helped us out and killed the process that consumed too many server resources. They even helped us to analyze the problem and pointed us to a couple of things to check on to get us where we wanted to be.
Conclusion: Hostgator is in business for a little over 5 years now. Considering how fast some web hosting companies go out of business this seems like ages. Host Gator is definetely in there for the long run and their large customer base shows for sure they are doing a few things right. For a customer who is looking for a stable company to host websites with, Hostgator web hosting is a solid choice for sure. We liked the large number of features and the different options for support. Especially phone support is good to have. Prices are great, however we can see some customers being afraid of entering into a yearly payment plan – especially in the very beginning. However, we liked the 45 day money back guarantee. This guarantee should address some of those concerns. It still might keep some customers away. In general Hostgator cheap web hosting offers are a great choice when looking for cheap webhosting.