In this HostGator WordPress hosting review we take a deep dive into the primary benefits of hosting your site with HostGator.
In particular, the WordPress features and how they benefit you in setting up your WordPress site and managing it into the future.
To gain the best perspective, we outline all of the top features, primarily those that relate to WordPress. In addition, we consider HostGator pricing and talk about the types of customer support to expect from the folks at HostGator.
Overall, HostGator WordPress hosting makes sense for small and mid-sized businesses that don’t want to mess with the installation or ongoing management of WordPress.
The pricing from HostGator beats out almost all competition on the market, and you get access to management tools like backups, malware scanners, and SSL certificates.
Combine all this together and it becomes clear that although HostGator isn’t a completely managed WordPress host, it still creates an ideal environment for many types of websites.
The primary problem we see is that HostGator doesn’t have a staging system for developing your site prior to publication, but there are plenty of other features to get excited about.
With that said, keep reading our in-depth HostGator WordPress hosting review to get some ideas about which hosting provider is right for your WordPress website.
A Review of the Top HostGator WordPress Hosting Features
HostGator markets two types of WordPress hosting packages, one called “Premium WordPress Hosting” and another for its managed WordPress hosting plans.
The “Premium WordPress hosting” is just a fancy way for them to sell their standard shared web hosting plans. The only advantage you receive from a WordPress perspective is the one-click WordPress installation button.
However, most reputable web hosting companies offer that, so it’s not something that makes HostGator stand out.
Having said that, the shared web hosting plans still work rather well for bloggers and small businesses with limited web hosting needs, seeing as how you can configure a WordPress site within seconds and keep costs on the low end.
This HostGator WordPress hosting review will primarily focus on the Managed WordPress hosting packages, seeing as how those present additional benefits for WordPress users, and you gain access to a pre-installed WordPress system.
Let’s take a look at some of the top features from the HostGator managed hosting plans:
A Rapid WordPress Setup Process
The whole point behind the HostGator WordPress hosting is to get you up and running with a host and a full WordPress site in a matter of minutes.
HostGator accomplishes this by offering free WordPress migrations for all those not currently on the HostGator hosting platform.
This way, you can talk to a migration specialist and ask them to move over a previously created WordPress site and have them transfer it without any problems.
In addition, HostGator gives all customers a fresh installation of WordPress once you sign up for web hosting.
You don’t even have to use a one-click button, since it’s already installed and optimized for you to start adding your own content like blog posts and pages.
Finally, a large collection of WordPress themes comes with HostGator, cutting down on the time you have to spend seeking out a theme.
Many of these themes would have been free without HostGator, but we’ve noticed some that are actually premium themes.
Regardless, it’s a nice integration where you can search for the themes within WordPress or HostGator and forget about downloading and uploading a theme file.
A Free Domain and Email to Go With Your HostGator WordPress Hosting
All HostGator WordPress hosting plans gain access to a free domain for a year. After that, you must start paying for it, but that free first year comes in handy for launching a site and saving some money in the short-run.
The dashboard also makes it easy to either transfer over a domain or pick a new one, without having to search on a different site. Keep in mind that you must also sign up for at least one year of web hosting to get the free domain.
The free email enables you to send and receive professional emails to an email client of your choosing. Add your domain name to the email for a refined look, and utilize the unlimited POP3 accounts to give out emails to all people in your organization.
It’s also possible to get your email sent to your phone, so hook it up to your favorite app and use that to manage your inbox.
Finally, the HostGator email system provides essential elements like unlimited email aliases, autoresponders, and mail forwards.
You can even build email lists for sending out in bulk. Not to mention, the SpamAssassin integration reduces spam without you having to worry about it.
In general, it looks like the email tools from HostGator are easy to configure and have options to combine them with all of your favorite email clients.
We wouldn’t say this is a truly unique feature (since many web hosting companies provide emails) but it’s great to see that HostGator hasn’t missed a necessity.
Advanced Security Elements
All WordPress hosting requires top-notch security measures, so it’s good to see that HostGator covers its users with features like automatic malware removal.
In short, HostGator scans and monitors your website to identify any malware or suspicious activity. It then removes any malware when detected.
You also receive a free SSL certificate with all plans, further securing your website, especially if you plan on completing transactions online.
An SSL certificate is easy to install and ensures that customer data like personal and payment information never leaks to the public.
In addition to all those security features, HostGator includes two tools: CodeGuard and SiteLock Fix. The CodeGuard feature monitors your site code to see if anything goes wrong with your files or databases.
It also manages backups and sends you notifications when a problem occurs. In addition, CodeGuard provides the option to quickly restore an old version of your website if needed.
SiteLock Fix, on the other hand, provides automated malware removal, a brand reputation protector, and several other defense mechanisms to fight against malicious attacks.
Overall, your site gets all the tools necessary to stay safe when you go with HostGator.
Automated Backups to Protect Your Site
The HostGator automated backups get logged in a secure location, all without requiring you to click any buttons or make the backups yourself.
The backups run daily and support an unlimited number of files and databases. You can also hook up several websites to the backup account, making it ideal for website networks.
Some HostGator plans even come with on-demand backups.
To top it all off, the HostGator backups wait there until you need to restore a version from the past. It provides a one-click button to make a restoration, just in case your site breaks or you’d like to go back to a previous version.
Access to Your Database, Domains, FTP Accounts, and More Through the cPanel
All HostGator accounts come packed with features within the cPanel control panel, the dashboard used to manage things like databases, emails, and web hosting plans.
It’s not all that common for ordinary website users to access the cPanel on a regular basis, but you often find yourself there during the configuration of your website and for handling things like backups and email address integrations.
Therefore, it’s nice to see that the HostGator cPanel is about as clean as it gets, with direct links to your databases, domains, and FTP accounts.
You can also see website stats, add elements like shopping carts, and utilize the web-based file manager without having to connect via an FTP.
Not to mention, you can install over 75 scripts or apps directly from the HostGator dashboard. This includes a one-click WordPress installation along with various other items for things like Wiki web hosting and making an online store.
A Review of the HostGator WordPress Hosting Customer Service
Quality customer service makes the difference between a great web hosting company and a so-so one. It’s no fun having to wait around for a support call or online chat while your website has problems and sales go out the window.
That’s why we’re taking a deep look into the HostGator hosting customer service, which is what you receive when signing up for one of the WordPress hosting packages.
From a timing standpoint, it’s possible to contact a customer support rep from HostGator at any time of the day and on any day of the year.
They offer 24/7 support for 365 days of the year. That’s a significant advantage considering you never know when you may have trouble with your website design or need to restore a backup due to malware.
We also like having customer support available for traffic spikes, seeing as how you may need to quickly upgrade to a stronger web hosting plan to withstand the increase in visitors.
In terms of contact methods, HostGator offers support through the following:
- The phone.
- A live chatbox on the HostGator dashboard.
- Social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- An email ticketing system.
Those check most of the boxes you would expect to see, allowing you to reach out to customer support however you see fit.
We’ve tested each of the customer support methods and found that making a phone call or opening a live chat gets you connected with a rep at HostGator the quickest.
The ticketing system takes a little longer, but you should still get a reply on the same day.
But let’s say you’d rather research a situation yourself by utilizing documentation, videos, or forums. Does HostGator provide anything to improve your knowledge of web design and hosting?
The answer is yes. It appears HostGator offers a plentiful collection of documentation and guides online, ranging from its knowledgebase to a blog. Here’s what to expect from the HostGator online resources:
- A Help Center Knowledgebase with a search bar and categories to locate articles and tutorials on a wide range of topics. Some of the topics include information on domains, hosting, files, and website building.
- A Video Library that links to the HostGator YouTube channel. This is an excellent resource for visual learning, as it covers topics like the cPanel, customer portal, and website security.
- A blog that helps you expand your knowledge about web design, hosting, and marketing. The blog isn’t a place to get immediate customer support, but rather a complementary way to improve your business online. Regular topics include marketing on social media, web hosting tips, and small business assistance.
The only thing that seems to be missing is a true HostGator forum for users to discuss business strategies and problems they may have with web design and hosting.
A forum is provided for checking uptimes and new features, but that’s not really what we’re looking for from a customer support perspective.
Overall, HostGator offers an outstanding collection of tools for learning, along with all the right connection points to reach out to a customer support representative.
You can make a phone call, email the company, or start up a live chat. It’s not all that common to see a phone number listed directly on a web hosting company’s website, so that’s a big plus.
A Review of the HostGator WordPress Hosting Pricing Plans
Known for its reasonable pricing, HostGator offers managed, shared WordPress hosting for a little higher fee than its standard shared web hosting packages.
However, those extra few bucks provide free migrations, hundreds of free themes, and a free WordPress installation, so you don’t have to do much in terms of the setup yourself.
HostGator provides three standard plans for WordPress hosting (keep in mind that most of these are introductory offers that only apply when you sign up for multiple years):
- Starter Plan – Starting at $5.95 per month for one website, an included WordPress installation, free migrations, access to hundreds of WordPress themes, up to 100k visits per month, a free domain name, free email, SSL certificate, backup options, malware removal, and more. The true per month pricing is $14.95 if you don’t opt for a yearly plan.
- Standard Plan – Starting at $7.95 per month for a pre-installed WordPress copy on two websites, hundreds of WordPress themes, free migrations, up to 200k visitors per month, and every feature from the previous plan including a free SSL, site backups, and email accounts. The monthly price is $20.95 when you don’t go for a yearly plan.
- Business Plan – Beginning at $9.99 per month for a pre-installed WordPress copy on three fully hosted websites, access to many great WordPress themes, complimentary migrations, support for up to 500k website visitors, and all features from the previous plans such as a free domain name, SSL certificate, and regular backups. The monthly fees are $27.95 per month without a yearly plan.
All WordPress hosting plans from HostGator include 24/7 customer support through a wide variety of mediums like a chatbox, the phone, Twitter, and a knowledgebase.
HostGator sells a few extra add-ons and has some stipulations for its free/discounted products. Here are some thoughts and tips about HostGator pricing to help you make a decision:
- All prices listed on HostGator pertain to the 36-month plan where you get the best savings. You can choose plans for 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, or 36 months. The longer you commit the cheaper web hosting becomes per month.
- You must start paying for your free domain name after the first year of web hosting. It’s only a one-year promotion.
- For $3.33 per month, you can upgrade to a Positive SSL certificate, which provides a secure-site badge for increased credibility. Other than that, the free SSL in all plans does the trick for protecting your user data, especially on eCommerce sites.
- The Site Lock Essential add-on comes free, but it renews at a price of $71.88 per year. So, keep an eye on the renewal to ensure you don’t get charged if you don’t want it. The Site Lock Essentials package helps you identify and block malicious attacks. It constantly monitors your site for malware and other problems, removing the suspicious malware and cleaning your site whenever it detects something.
- Luckily, the Site Backup feature is included with each plan and doesn’t have some sort of renewal price increase. It’s entirely free and runs an automated backup for your site files on a daily basis. This way, you can restore an old version of your site with the one-click restore button, should anything go wrong with your current website.
HostGator WordPress Hosting Compared to Other Hosts
With so many web hosting companies to choose from, how does HostGator stack up to the competition?
Take a look at the comparison table below to see where HostGator excels or could use some improvement when stacked next to other hosts with WordPress hosting plans.
|Pricing Plans - For WordPress Hosting Only||$5.95, $7.95, and $9.95 per month.||$16.95, $24.95, and $71.95 per month.||$6.99, $9.99, and $14.99 per month.||$6.99 and $9.99 per month.||$12.99, $22.99, and $43.99 per month.|
|WordPress Hosting Offerings||Pre-installed WordPress, themes, and migrations.||Pre-installed WordPress, themes, migrations, and a WP Site Builder.||Pre-installed WordPress, migrations, and automatic plugin updates.||Pre-installed WordPress, migrations, themes, premium plugins, and caching.||Pre-installed WordPress and migrations.|
|Direct Customer Support Options||Phone, chat, and email.||Phone callbacks, chat, and email.||Live chat and email.||Phone, live chat, and email.||Email.|
As you can see, HostGator excels in the areas of pricing and customer support when compared to other WordPress hosting options.
It’s a little tough to compare web hosting companies since they all call their WordPress hosting plans different things and assign unique features to each plan.
However, the pricing from HostGator looks like it beats out much of the industry, as long as you sign up for multiple years.
Keep in mind, HostGator WordPress hosting lacks a few advanced elements that you can find from other hosts, primarily the staging environment for developing your website prior to publishing.
Some competitors also have additional WordPress offerings like caching, premium plugins to choose from, and auto-updates for plugins and themes.
Therefore, it’s best to figure out what matters most to you then go with a WordPress hosting solution that caters to those needs.
Is HostGator WordPress Hosting Right for Your Business?
In this HostGator WordPress hosting review we talked about pricing, features, and the special offerings you get with the WordPress-specific hosting plans.
HostGator considers its WordPress hosting a “managed” hosting account, but it’s a little watered down compared to other managed WordPress companies.
Having said that, you get a solid host with a WordPress site already installed on the server. In addition, things like backups and emails are all included, making it a respectable managed plan.
The one main feature that’s lacking is a staging environment for developing your website in a separate area.
If you need staging, consider another web hosting option. If not, think about using HostGator for its reputable WordPress hosting and rock-bottom prices.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or thoughts about this HostGator WordPress hosting review. And feel free to check out our comparisons of Bluehost vs HostGator and GoDaddy vs HostGator.
Other Hosting Guides:
- SiteGround Review
- Bluehost Review
- SiteGround vs WP Engine
- SiteGround vs Bluehost
- SiteGround vs A2 Hosting
- SiteGround vs DreamHost
- Best Web Hosting for Blogs
- Best Web Hosting Providers
- Best WooCommerce Hosting
- Best Web Hosting Providers for Beginners
- Best WordPress Hosting Providers
- Best Web Hosting for Small Business
- Best Cheap Web Hosting Plans for Bloggers