HostGator offers many hosting solutions for small businesses, including shared, cloud, WordPress, VPS and dedicated hosting. It has three shared hosting plans at an affordable price; however, the Business plan is recommended if you want to create an e-commerce website. All packages include unmetered bandwidth and disk space.
To view all our recommendations for web hosting services, visit our Best Picks page.
Pricing and Plans
HostGator offers a discount if you commit to a longer contract. The cheapest plan, Hatchling, starts at $8.95 per month if you opt for a yearlong contract. On this plan, you can only run one domain per account.
The Baby plan starts at $11.95 per month after the introductory prices. In addition to all of the Hatchling features, the Baby plan includes unlimited domains.
The Business plan, which starts at $16.95 per month following the discounted prices, is the best choice if you're planning to host an e-commerce website. It's the only plan that offers a dedicated IP address and positive SSL. Dedicated IP is required for any form of e-commerce, and SSL ensures encryption between your website and visitors.
All plans provide unlimited bandwidth, disk space, email accounts and MySQL databases. This means you aren't charged by the amount of space and bandwidth you use, but you must still be within normal operations of a personal or small business website. If you exceed this usage, HostGator will ask you to reduce your usage.
HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. You also can cancel at any point in the contract, but you won't get your money back for the month you cancel in once your 45 days are up.
Here are a few of HostGator's most useful features:
- The control panel gives you the option to make an instant backup of your entire cPanel account. After you back it up, the program provides you with a link to download the backup and restore your account on HostGator's servers.
- HostGator boasts a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee. If your website isn't up 99.9 percent of the time in any month, you'll receive a service credit to your account for the month.
- You can create an unlimited number of subdomains.
- As with most of the other web hosting companies we evaluated, you can transfer your domain from one web host to another for free. However, you must pay to register your domain.
- HostGator provides several shopping cart and e-commerce features.
- HostGator is compatible with WordPress, giving you a familiar interface and web builder you can use.
- To promote your website, HostGator offers $200 in advertising credits ($100 goes toward Google AdWords and $100 to Yahoo or Bing), which is pretty standard for the industry.
HostGator's website has FAQs, user forums and video tutorials. You can contact representatives by email, live chat and telephone.
While HostGator's Hatchling plan is cheap, it's missing some key features businesses need to host websites. With the Hatchling plan, you can't park any domains and can only host one domain. Also, the Hatchling and Baby plans don't offer SSL certificates or dedicated IP addresses. However, you can add some of these features to your plan for an additional price.
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