After developing a web or blog site you will need a special computer, server, to host the site. This can be made possible by acquiring your own server or using a third party host to give you access to their servers so that your organization can serve the content on the internet. Web host providers offer a combination of services including domain hosting, e-mail hosting, website hosting, blog site hosting, among other services.
Many leading host providers provide a mix of generic features to their clients, including: PHP/MySQL support, Microsoft FrontPage extensions support; multiple POP3 and IMAP email accounts; multiple sub domains and parked/add-on domains; web site building tools with free web page templates; unrestricted FTP access with multiple FTP accounts; web site stats, virus & spam protection, CGI, Perl, SSL support; money back guarantee; professional 24/7 technical support; 99.9% network uptime guarantee, among other enticing features.
HostGator, based in Houston Texas, was founded in 2002 by Brent Oxley from his University dormitory room. The company has grown exponentially and currently has more than 10,000 servers and over 8 million domains. The company has been offering Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, Application Hosting, Windows Hosting, domain names and dedicated servers for those clients whose needs exceed the shared hosting plans.
The company is one of the global leaders in web hosting services since its foundation. It prides itself as a reliable, feature-rich, well known web hosts that offer affordable hosting services at the lowest prices possible. In 2006, it was acquired by the Endurance International Group, EIG, but its level of services and customer service remained at par.
Web Host Service Features
The company gives a wide range of choice options to clients in well featured packages that also include free goodies, easy to use cPanel, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, Unlimited sub domains, FTP accounts and email accounts, 99.9% uptime guarantee and 45 days money back guarantee, when compared to a 30 day period that many other companies offer. The 99.9% uptime is something that many other host providers also claim to offer, but this guarantee is backed up by the company’s positive industry reputation and the strategic positioning of servers in Dallas, meaning client location will not inconvenience the service they receive.
One of the free goodies offered by the company is a world-class Free Basekit Website Builder, with Instant installs of 75+ scripts and CMS , that is WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, among others; 4500+ free website templates, Free website transfers including domains, databases among others features and Free Adwords coupons, although every leading web host is also offering this.
It may take some time for a client to get accustomed to Hostgator’s control panel, but the company’s support team is there on standby 24/7/365 and the team is well skilled intellectually and technically to give any support required. It also offers 24/7/365 phone support on their 800 number, live chat, as well as email or ticket support. They also have online tutorials that anticipate common questions and detail step by step instructions on almost any client query, reducing the need to call them in the first place.
The pricing plans for their normal website range of hosting services are in a set of packages:
- Hatchling Plan – Starting at $3.96/mo, with single domain, unlimited disk space and bandwidth and a shared SSL certificate.
- Baby Plan – Starting at $6.36/mo, unlimited domains, unlimited disk space and bandwidth and a shared SSL certificate.
- Business Plan – Starting at $10.36/mo, unlimited domains, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free private SSL & IP and also a free Toll Free Number.
- Their reseller hosting plans starts $19.96/mo, and a client can make money by running their own web hosting business. The VPS hosting and dedicated server services start at $9.97 and $139 respectively, during the month, progressively varying according to usage.
Clients Opinion of Company Services
Despite the many successes, Hostgator’s review of services brings out a number of issues, some positive, others negative.
In the positive sense, HostGator is best known to offer superb hosting services and excellent 24/7 customer support by experienced staff. Many clients who have been with Hostgator have had excellent experiences, and rated it positively as a great host in terms of its customer support and performance.
It is very rare for a company to suspend a user account without good course as stated in their terms of service. Many Hostgator customers have affirmed to never having their accounts suspended at any one time, since starting to use Hostgator’s services.
However, it is the negative reviews that is disturbing, as social media and blogs are full of bad things about the company’s services. Some customers have been very upset with the company over a number of issues, and as such have switched to other hosts.
Some clients feel that the acquisition by the Endurance International Group could be the cause of the exponential decline in service quality. Some client severs have been down more often than before and customer service takes close to 30 minutes to respond, when they only used to take under a minute to do so before the acquisition.
Many of the clients who have seen the company grow from scratch into a giant, are shocked that the company can shut down services without first informing the client. The company at some point admitted to having a cache running problem on account of a client using two plugins, WordPress SEO plugin and WordFence, at the same time. This still left the question as to why two plugins could prevent caching. All in all, the company was to blame for not calling the customer first and giving them a chance to resolve the issue before disabling them. This is the reason a number of clients switch to other hosts.
Clients have also had issues with HTACCESS files getting corrupted and taking down the site, in addition to slowness and caching problems as well as hackers’ attempts to gain access to their servers.
Customer phone support has been alleged to be terrible, and the technicians know very little about the working of dedicated responsibilities, making it useless-mail support has gone down tremendously, it is argued that it can take up to 48 hours to get a response through their email ticket system and company has no convincing explanation for this.
The after sales support has also been disappointing, as clients have had to wait extra longer on the live chat support. The staff are perceived to be no longer helpful as was the case before the EIG acquisition.
Their claim of 99.9% uptime cannot hold, as the server outage has caused a great deal of pain and losses to clients, who are instead opting to move out.
All in all, these problems are not isolated to Hostgator alone, as many other hosting companies experience similar cases, only the number may vary.
In conclusion, the company remains strong, with superb customer ratings in the market; even though some are weary of the slightly high prices for their services. Nonetheless, their package of features and customer support, server speed, up-time, make it worth every penny paid for such standards of services.