When you decide to start your own blog and decide against a free blogging service, you have to take care of two very important things: selecting a domain name for your blog and choosing the web hosting provider for your blog.
Many people think that choosing a hosting service provider is as simple as looking for the cheapest host. The truth can’t be further than this!
The WordPress hosting service provider that you choose has an impact on a lot of things – right from installing WordPress for your blog to scaling up when your blog becomes successful.
Here is my review of HostGator – one of the largest web hosting providers in the world.
Why should you listen to what I am saying?
I have been using their service for years, which means I would have had the chance to experience the performance of their servers and their customer service. This is also long enough for me to experience any issues.
That’s why, I am writing this HostGator review from my own experience, and I hope you would get to know them and their service more by reading this review.
HostGator Review – The Features
Server uptime is the most important factor when it comes to hosting your blog – it decides whether the server hosting your blog (and therefore your blog itself) is running or not.
HostGator gives a guarantee of 99.9% uptime – this means that your blog is not running only 0.1% of the times. This is equivalent to 1.44 minutes per day, or 45 minutes per month! This is definitely acceptable even for established and successful blogs, and is definitely very good for a new blog.
I personally have never experienced any downtime with my blogs, nor have I heard any complaints from my readers about any of my blogs being down. HostGatro did their server maintenance at night, maybe. Whatever it is, I am very happy with their uptime.
Disk Space and Bandwidth
HostGator provides unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth – this means you can have as many images and videos as you want without worrying about paying additional charges.
Even when your blog grows and you want to have additional applications installed, you know you would have all the space that you need without any extra cost.
Practically speaking, there is only so much space and bandwidth that you need for your blog. However, it is good to know that there is no limit, especially when it comes at no additional charge!
Included Software and Scripts
All HostGator hosting plans come with Fantastico. This is a suite of scripts that can be installed with just one click.
This includes WordPress – which means you can install WordPress without any hassle of creating databases, users, etc.
You also get a lot of other functionality, like:
- Image galleries like 4images Gallery and Coppermine Photo Gallery
- Polls like phpESP and LimeSurvey
- Wikis like PhpWiki and Tiki Wiki
- Discussion boards like phpBB2
- Mailing list manager like PHPlist
- eCommerce shopping carts like osCommerce and ZenCart
- Customer support systems like osTicket and Help Center Live
- A lot more…
Now, these might not be of immediate use to you, but you can use these when your blog grows. And its good to know that these can be installed with just a few clicks, ad you can do it without any technical knowledge.
Your HostGator hosting account would come with cPanel, the best control panel in the market today.
Using that, you can create email accounts, take backups of your site, install software, and a lot more – without any technical knowledge.
Using cPanel, you can also analyze the statistics of your blog – how many people visited the blog, from where did they come, which keywords did they use to arrive at your blog, etc.
You can – and should – take backups of your blog using cPanel. However, HostGator will also take backups of your blog once a week.
So, if you lose your backup and something happens to your blog (say while updating a plugin), you can always get a backup from Hostgator.
You would also get Attracta SEO tools as a part of your hosting account. You can use these to get your blog indexed quickly in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
You can also use these tools to attract more traffic to your blog and grow your readership.
Email Accounts and Email Forwarders
HostGator let’s you create unlimited email accounts and unlimited email forwarders.
Also, you get a web based interface to check your emails. Of course, you have POP access which means you can also check your emails using desktop email clients like Outlook, or using Gmail.
Sub-Domains and FTP Accounts
With HostGator, you can have unlimited subdomains and FTP accounts.
This come shandy while installing new applications – you can create a sub-domain to test and fine-tune the application before publicly lunching it.
Sub-domains also come in handy when your blog expands – you can use sub-domains to segregate different areas of your blog.
Support Staff and Help Desk
HostGator provides 24/7/365 support using phone, chat and a ticketing system. They also have a very good knowledge base in the form of tutorials and videos that you can tap into in case you have some trouble.
I have used HostGator’s support desk a couple of times to make some changes to my hosting plan and for moving my blogs from another host (more on that later), and I have been absolutely delighted by their service. They understand your queries quickly, and act on them even faster! They are also great when it comes to trouble shooting.
The team is so great that they also help you with issues not related to their hosting! I have heard my friends talk about having some problems with WordPress which they got solved by the HostGator support team!
No Contract and 45 Day Money Back Guarantee
Once you try HostGaotr’s web hosting service, I am very sure that you would not want to move to any other web host.
However, it is good to know that HostGator doesn’t bind you with any contract – the billing is month to month, and you can cancel any time.
Also, they have a generous 45 day money back guarantee. If for any reason you cancel your account in the first 45 days, you get a full refund of your money. This means you can try their service wit absolutely no risk.
HostGator Review – Pricing Plans
This is another great reason for trying HostGator’s service – their web hosting plans are absolutely inexpensive.
In fact, their basic plan is priced at just $3.96 per month. Now that’s the price of just one Latte – and you spend that for hosting your blog for one whole month!
HostGator Review – Moving to HostGator from Another Web Host
If you already have your blog hosted with some other web hosting service and are thinking of moving to HostGator,you might be worried about all the hassles involved in shifting from one host to another.
There is no reason for you to worry! Please rest assured that this would be a completely hands-off task for you. HostGator’s support team would take care of the website transfer, including:
- Moving your WordPress and other files
- Moving databases
- Moving scripts
I had my blogs hosted with some other company earlier, and I was not happy with them. I wanted to move the blogs to HostGator, but was putting it off because I didn’t want to get into any issues because of moving the blogs.
The HostGator team assured me that they would take care of everything, and I agreed to moving my blogs to them. I was still a little apprehensive, but found out that my worries were misplaced.
The HostGator support team moved all my blogs without any problems. In fact, even while moving the blogs, I did not experience any downtime!
So if you are in the same boat as me and are postponing moving to HostGator, please do yourself a favor and move your blog to them now!
HostGator Review – My Recommendation
As you would have gathered from this HostGator review, I am very happy with HostGator.
They have excellent uptime for their servers, provide lots of unlimited stuff, have great support staff and are priced very reasonably.
I wholeheartedly recommend HostGator – I suggest that you stop reading this HostGator review and get a hosting plan with them as soon as you can!
Please click here for complete details of the hosting plans offered by HosGator.
With their low prices and 45 day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain…
My blogs are hosted reliably at HostGator
I run 20+ blogs, and each of these is hosted at HostGator. I have been using their service for a long time, and have never experienced any downtime. They also have a very responsive customer service team.
HostGator provides the most reliable and fully featured WordPress hosting service. Their plans start as low as $3.96 per month for unlimited hosting - try out HostGator now!