A with the Better Business Bureau
Customer Service Going Downhill
New Management (EIG)
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HostGator is a very heavily advertised web hosting company that you have probably seen on numerous sites all around the internet. But, what are webmasters saying about their experience with them? For years and years I supported them. In fact, years ago if you would have told me you didn’t like them I would have looked at you like you were a crazy person.
But, times have changed with HostGator!
Since they were bought out by EIG which owns several host I do not support like PowWeb, StartLogic and Dot5Hosting. Bear in mind, there are a some such as Fatcow and Bluehost that are owned by them (EIG) which I do support. At one time they really had a good thing going, but sadly good things don’t always last. Aside from that they were started by their founder Brent Oxley in 2002, and they ran greatly for 10 years. I actually used to host dozens and dozens of websites on their servers. In June of 2012 I started to notice my VPS was really going downhill and I migrated away from them.
Sadly, HostGator has a lot of questions that are just unanswered by their team or current operators (EIG). Please note that if you are promoting them they are notorious for not paying their affiliates. Just Google it! So if you’re a webmaster and have your clients sign up with HostGator there is a good chance that your commissions will get mysteriously reversed. I like to review companies on a number of different criteria; features, uptime, performance, and customer support. Prior to reading this full HostGator review you will see why I no longer standby their service anymore.
HostGator’s Shared Plans
HostGator offers 3 shared hosting packages to meet all of your websites needs. They should be able to handle anything you need, but find out why I stopped using them a little later in this article. If you are a newbie to intermediate webmaster they offer shared web hosting plans. They offer three plans the “Hatchling” ($3.96/month), the “Baby” ($6.36/month), and the “Business” plan ($10.36/month). These plans should be able to handle anything you need for a small sized site, with very little issues.
HostGator’s VPS Plans
For the more experienced webmasters you will need a VPS server (which is fully managed). They offer 9 different levels with full root access. Depending on the traffic and obviously your budget would determine whether you want to purchase the level one for $19.95 a month or there level 9 plan which is $209.95 a month. Bare in mind, that if you want cPanel installed on your VPS its going to cost an extra $10 per month. For me and my VPS I had the level 3 plan with cPanel so it’s $49.95 a month. You’re not forced to use cPanel if you don’t want to and there is even an option to not take advantage of it. Really, I guess it’s just a personal preference for the webmaster. The price is reasonable and I was more than happy to pay that monthly bill. Additionally, if you sign up for a year HostGator will give you discounts on it, since you are paying all at once.
HostGator’s Reseller Plans
Along with the above mentioned services they also offer a reseller service, which a lot of people are using right now. They currently offer 5 different plans for resellers; “Aluminum” (24.95/month), “Copper” (34.96/month), “Silver” (49.95/month), “Gold” (74.95/month) and “Diamond” (99.95/month). HostGator will give you discounts on your first month of service, too. So if you’re a webmaster and own lots of different websites for your clients you could easily sign up for a reseller plan, and have your clients pay you to host their sites on your HostGator server. Ideally you should be able to manage and brand your own reseller account and HostGator does have all the features to make it possible.
HostGator’s Dedicated Plans
If you are requiring a dedicated server for your website then you’re expecting a lot of traffic and/or have a lot of videos or streaming audio. HostGator does offer full managed dedicated servers at a pretty reasonable price. Currently, they are offering “Basic” ($139/month), “standard” ($175/month), “elite” ($223/month), and “pro” ($299/month). Each of these plans comes with 5 dedicated IP’s and free cPanel (which is a plus, because as mentioned above they charge you $10 a month for it with your VPS plan).
Hostgator does take security very important. They have partnered with a company called SiteLock. What SiteLock does is monitor your website for possible malware threats. Once your website is compromised they will even restore your website to a previous state. This service does come with a monthly price tag though. I have written about SiteLock, and you can read my full SiteLock review here.
HostGator has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which they actually abide by or once did. The above screenshot shows my sites up time tested through siteuptime.com which shows my website has been up for 5 months straight without one single month of being down. That is pretty impressive and I would like to see someone try that with GoDaddy, because it simply won’t happen. Well since June of 2012 things haven’t quite been the same. As the screenshot below will show my site has been down 16 times in 2013. 7 of those are in December and there were numerous issues that HostGator told me was an issue with my site, which turned out to be false. They told me that one of my sites was using to many resources with my VPS (70-100 hits a day)? Each time my site was down I spent about an hour to 1 1/2 hours talking to them to get it back up. Most VPS hosting wouldn’t have a problem with that. Hell, shared hosting would even support that! I had WP Super Cache installed on that site too. But time after time they blamed it on plugin after plugin and finally told me the problem would keep happening so I signed up for InMotion and told HostGator they have lost a customer, because they really didn’t care to do anything to resolve the issue. Their response to that was “sir it’s your problem not ours”. In total I spent about 5 hours going back and forth with them. It would just keep happening and after awhile it really started to get old. This was really the straw that broke the camels back for me.
You might be thinking the graphic down below is kind of outdated. It’s not really. In fact, if you click on my “more articles” section you will see in 2014 I have collected more problems with uptime from HostGator. Bad news really travels fast!
Been running on InMotion with no issues, seeing how I trust all my sites with them now. As I sit back and think about it after they screwed me out of 29 (in a month) sales and a couple I tested out with clients, and made sure there site was up, they corrected commissions. As stated above this is a huge problem with HostGator. If they are running that kind of business do I even want to associate with them anymore? Finally, I just said they are not worth my time anymore. I am probably one of the few web hosting review sites to tell people to go elsewhere. But, slowly but surely others are catching on. Now, a lot of affiliates are still promoting them. I see them all the time on Twitter. However, you need to think about your integrity when recommending a company. If I told you XYZ company was awesome and I use them, but as it turns out people don’t like them would I have any creditability?
It’s Getting Worse Though
Now, since then downtime has been a major issue with Hostgator. I have written a post about this on May 2, 2014. After monitoring the Twittersphere I have found that not only do they not abide by their 99.9% uptime policy, webmasters are pissed about it. If you want to see what I have to say about their uptime in 2014 please click here. Note: I even tweeted it to HostGator and they told me they would get back with me on that post. Been waiting 2 months and haven’t heard anything from them. I will keep hitting the refresh button every 5 minutes..LOL. One of these days! Either they don’t care or are to busy with their angry customers.
Another problem with HostGator is for their shared packages they limit your processes to 25. For anyone that is wondering what a process is, it’s just a fancy name for scripts that open and close on your website. So if you have a number of plugins and widgets on your website and a shared plan with HostGator your out of luck. This means that once you reach the processes limit of 25 HostGator will suspend your web hosting account.
Just a word of advice, always contact any host you do business with to make sure there are no limitations on the number of processes you can run.
Hostgator Customer Service
Hostgator at one time had the best customer service (or very close to it). I can remember a time when they would bend over backwards to help you. Live chat only took 5-10 min to fix any issues, but honestly I have noticed it’s taking a hell of a lot longer to get a response and I have speculations about them hiring overseas customer support. That used to be their bread and butter (local support). Sadly, the company (EIG) that bought them out for 225 million dollars is really putting a lot of dirt on their name.
Here are some screenshots to show how bad customer service is getting with HostGator.
Waiting times are getting longer and longer with Hostgator. In my 6+ years of reviewing hosting services I haven’t seen a company go down so quickly. As mentioned above, I remember a time when it took 5-10 minutes to chat with them on “live chat”. On average it now takes a lot longer. This is way to long! Their Twitter blows up 24/7 with customer complaint after complaint. Really, the glory days for HostGator are coming to and end. EIG and their management has already ran a lot of companies into the ground and HostGator is no exception to the rule. Forget “world class” customer support because it isn’t there anymore!
BBB – Complaints With Hostgator
To be quite honest with you ever since EIG has bought them out the complaints have been piling up pretty steadily. EIG owns hundred of companies and has completely destroyed their once good name! These complaints can be anything from advertising issues, billing issues, delivery issues, guarantees, and most commonly problems with their services. At this time; March 10th, 2014 Hostgator has 163 total complaints on them. See the screenshot down below:
Hostgator has lost my trust and I no longer recommend them. I can’t support a service with unethical practices and correcting commissions for no reason is a huge mistake. In business your supposed to treat your business partners right, otherwise they won’t be to loyal to you. They couldn’t support my VPS with 70-100 hits a day and they play the blame game. They could possibly be overloading their servers or just getting a little careless. I really feel they are on a downward spiral; something needs to be done because the mound of filth on their company is growing and growing every single day. They are falling quickly into the gator swamp. I am one of the few hosting review sites that actually will constantly update reviews and make sure things are accurate. I am not stating they are horrible host by any means. Some people have used them for 10+ years and wouldn’t ever consider moving. But I would choose InMotion (VPS) or WebHostingHub (shared) over them. They have a lot of issues they need to iron out before I can recommend them again.
I have asked Hostgator to give me some feedback on my review of their company a number of different times. I have tweeted to them, wrote on their Facebook wall, emailed them, and contact them on live chat to show them my review. Each time I do it Hostgator told me they will look into it or pass it along to someone. Sadly, they never contact me so I can post up their rebuttal on my review. It really would be nice if they would do what they state they’re going to do one of these days. Is it to much to ask?
If you liked this post please share it with the buttons down below and feel free to leave me a comment good or bad and I will be sure to publish it. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my full HostGator review. Happy website building!
I started this unique section about HostGator because I want to show you some other sites that are talking about them. Clearly, if you have read my review on their company you can see that I don’t recommend there service. I have had personal experiences with them over the years. There are just so many better companies out there that haven’t fallen prey to the EIG take over. The articles about HostGator are stacking up each and every day. In fact, I have received a lot of feedback from webmasters that have used their service in the past. Their comments come in each week. Some of them are loving there experience, while others are completely fed up with them.
So, from the research I have done I have found there is a lot of articles about HostGator. I have handpicked some of my favorite articles on their company. I will include the good, bad, and neutral articles that I have come across over the years. Please take the time to view the content on HostGator down below.
If there is one part of this review I am really excited about it’s the interview section. This is the part of my HostGator review where I actively go out and reach out to webmasters that have used their service over the years. The idea here to give webmasters a more in depth review on what you can expect when you decide to host with HostGator. Whenever I conduct an interview I like to mix up the questions so that my readers get a wide variety of Q&A’s that will help then in making a decision to host with the company or not. I really like doing interviews and would love to talk with you about HostGator if you have experience working with them. If you want to reach me to do an email interview please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can always send me a tweet through Twitter @tbwhs, too.