Quite often I get asked about HostGator as a web hosting company since a lot of people use and still recommend them. What you are about to read is a an honest HostGator review about how they are a terrible web hosting company.
Adam's HostGator Review
Let first start off by saying that I have used HostGator before the company's founder, Brent Oxley, decided to sell his web hosting company to Endurance International Group (EIG). Before the buyout they were a great web hosting company with pretty much unbeatable customer service, servers, and uptime. However, since the EIG buyout things have gone downhill like all web hosting companies they acquire.
HostGator has moved a majority of customers using shared and VPS hosting from the Softlayer datacenter in Dallas, Texas to the the Bluehost datacenter facility in Provo, Utah. HostGator Outages at the Provo datacenter have been often and really annoying for EIG customers which includes other web hosting brands like HostMonster, JustHost, and BlueHost.
Speed tests I've run using WebPageTest.org show that on average AdamYamada.com takes roughly 9-10 seconds to fully load the homepage while a second pass shows it usually takes 5-6 seconds. Google PageSpeed Insights is not any better and my mobile speeds are pretty horrendous with HostGator.
Checking Google Webmaster Tools I can see that ever since the move to the Provo datacenter it takes Google much longer to crawl my websites too. For anyone that does Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you know that Google only allots a certain amount of crawling time each site. So server response time is important and Google has said that speed is a factor in search rankings.
I did try to improve this my subscribing to MaxCDN but if you read my MaxCDN review you will see that didn't help.
I use UptimeRobot and StatueCake to monitor my websites in addition to clients websites. HostGator tends to have constant downtime which is expected from
Sometimes when I manually tell the Googlebot to crawl this site I get “Temporarily Unavailable” errors even though the site is up. This isn't reassuring to tell me that HostGator isn't overpacking servers and my websites probably look down in the eyes of Google which I assume isn't helping my SEO rankings. In my opinion downtime hurts search engine rankings.
Having overpacked servers leads to tons of server errors. I got these “internal server errors” on HostGator all the time now.
HostGator Customer Support
Dealing with HostGator customer support now feels like I'm doing karaoke during amateur hour. Response to tickets can take a full 24 hours and mostly they will not reply with any helpful advice that isn't canned or regurgitated from something they said before. Chat times before the EIG buyout were minimal but now they are usually 30+ minutes so what is the point? Phone support is terrible so I wouldn't even try calling. Only call HostGator if you believe you idiot and they will treat you like one.
Final Thoughts about HostGator
I'm definitely not sticking around with HostGator and I've already begun the process of searching for a new web hosting company. I've been looking at shared hosting plans mostly from LiteSpeed web hosts which do not promise “unlimited” storage and bandwidth and have better uptime, server speed, and customer support. I've stopped recommending HostGator altogether and no longer do I send any affiliate traffic their way. Another thing to be aware of is that HostGator parks domains of customers using their DNS.
If you still want unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth on a shared hosting plan, I would recommend you go with Site5. You can read my Site5 Review to get an idea about Site5 as a web hosting company.
If you have any thoughts about my HostGator review, please leave them in the comments below. I'd be interested to hear others experiences with HostGator and Endurance International Group web hosting companies. Has it been good, bad, or really awful and terrible?