HostGator Managed WordPress Hosting Review

Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by 11 Comments

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HostGator Managed WordPress Hosting Review
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With so many options for WordPress hosting companies, you might be overwhelmed trying to sift through your choices. If you are a WordPress developer/creative type looking for a new hosting place to call home, HostGator could be a good option for you. HostGator prides itself on available features, freebies, and price points for every budget, making it one of the most budget-friendly hosting companies available. Let’s get to know HostGator and discuss whether it can fulfill your hosting needs.

What is HostGator Managed WordPress Hosting?

HostGator is one of the largest managed WordPress hosting companies around. They state that they currently host more than 2 million websites, with 30% of them being professional developers. They offer one-click WordPress installs, a simplified control panel, backups with 1-click restore points, and excellent support. Pricing is attractive as well. There are several plans to choose from to get you started: the Starter Plan, the Standard Plan, and the Business Plan. Each price tier starts under $9.95 per month for a 36-month agreement.

What is HostGator hosting

HostGator claims its offerings are different from other WordPress hosting providers because of their faster speeds, stringent security features, and free migration. We’ll break down our thoughts on the features, pricing, and possible benefits of using HostGator so that we can make your choice easier.

What Features Does HostGator Hosting Include?

HostGator offers quite a few features with its hosting plan offerings. Among those are 1-click installations of WordPress, advanced security features, an easy-to-navigate control panel, free website migrations, and a free domain for one year (with select plans). Let’s break features down one by one, so you can make an informed decision.

Ready-to-Go WordPress With Hostgator Hosting

Having the ability to begin designing in WordPress without worrying about installing it yourself is a nice feature to have. With some managed WordPress companies, you’ll be responsible for installing WordPress yourself. With HostGator hosting plans, once you sign up and sign in, you have a fresh install of WordPress sitting there waiting for you. In Addition, you’ll have hundreds of themes to choose from, making life easy for you. If you’re a creative type, you can start from scratch with your design magic.

Hostgator 1-Click installs

Advanced Security Features

HostGator offers free Malware protection with automatic malware removal, free website backups, a free SSL certificate for each site you host, and two excellent features — CodeGuard, and SiteLock Fix. CodeGuard is a backup service that allows daily backups, protection against pesky hackers, viruses, and broken code. SiteLock Fix is software that helps protect your website against cyber attacks, which has become increasingly important in our current environment.

HostGator security features

Free Website Migration

If you decide to make HostGator your hosting provider, you’ll get free migration with any plan you choose. To access this feature, navigate to “Quick Links” in your account dashboard to request a migration.

Free Migration

A Control Panel That is Easy To Use

With some hosting providers, it can be difficult to navigate the interface. HostGator simplifies this process by creating a panel structure that anyone can use. All options are clearly visible — from your hosting plans to support — making it easy to find what you are looking for.

How to Navigate the HostGator Hosting Dashboard

The dashboard is well thought out and places all crucial information in plain sight. Let’s go over what’s in the dashboard and where you can find it.

HostGator WordPress dashboard

1. Hosting Tab

This is where you’ll see the hosting plans in your account. You can manage your account here, as well as access your cPanel. Adding another hosting package to your plan is easy, with just a click of a button.

Hosting Tab

Upon clicking on manage, you’ll be redirected to your account overview page. You’ll be able to add additional features such as Office365, Constant Contact, or Google Workspace. Additionally, you can access SEO Tools, or manage your SSL amongst other handy things. cPanel, email, install WordPress in one click, access databases, and addon domains are a mere click away.

HostGator Overview

2. Marketplace Tab

In this section, you can access your plan add-ons, or add new ones. Additionally, related services such as one-click installs — which allows you to easily install WordPress — are found under the marketplace tab.

HostGator Marketplace

Options for web design services, professional SEO services, and PPC management services are available for a fee. Lastly, plan perks such as Microsoft or Google free ad credits are also available to you.

3. Email & Office Tab

You have options to add additional emails through Microsoft for $4.99 per month per email, or Google for $6.00 per month per email. HostGator’s email service gives you unlimited POP3 email accounts with SMTP, free installations of Horde and RoundCube, and mobile phone emails via IMAP. There’s spam preventative in the form of Apache’s SpamAssassin, unlimited email aliases, unlimited autoresponders, and unlimited email forwards. Lastly, you’ll be able to create up to 25 mailing lists with any starter, standard, or business plan HostGator offers.

HostGator Email

4. Domains Tab

You can view all of your domains, register a domain, or transfer a domain into your HostGator account under this tab.

HostGator Domains

5. Billing Tab

Viewing your billing history, making a payment, viewing your credit cards on file, setting up Paypal for payments, or viewing your credits (if applicable) are all located until the billing tab.

HostGator Billing

6. Support Tab

If you are running into trouble with your site, Hostgator offers you several ways to contact support. You can get help using the HostGator chat software, check the community knowledge base, or retrieve phone numbers to contact support by phone. When we were testing the HostGator environment, we were able to speak with a support representative within a few minutes. He was very knowledgeable and handled our issue in a short time.

Support Tab

Free Domain With a HostGator Hosting Plan

HostGator offers a free domain for one year when you sign up for a WordPress hosting plan. To receive your free domain, at least an annual plan must be chosen. You’ll need to do this immediately when you sign up, or you’ll lose this benefit. They also stipulate that you must remain a customer of HostGator without canceling your plan during your contract term. While this is a great feature, domains aren’t typically too expensive. You can generally get a domain for $12 with other hosting providers, so keep that in mind.

HostGator Hosting: Which Plan is the Best Value for You?

As we mentioned before, HostGator offers three tiers in its pricing structure. Which of these plans is best suited to your needs? The answer to that question depends on how many sites you have, and whether you plan to add more sites in the near future.

HostGator Pricing

The HostGator Starter Plan

Their lowest-priced option is the Starter Plan, which includes 1 website, 100k visits per month, 1GB backups, an SSL certificate, and a free domain for $5.95 per month if you sign up for 36 months. This is a discounted rate of 40% from their regular pricing. Additionally, the Starter Plan comes with 1 free website migration.

HostGator Starter Plan

The Starter Plan offers the option of a positive SSL certificate through Sectigo. This SSL is different from the free option you receive when you sign up for a plan. With the Sectigo SSL certificate, you’ll receive a warranty of up to $10,000 ensuring your visitor’s info is protected and encrypted. To add the Sectigo SSL certificate, you’ll need to pay $3.33 per month, which is billed annually at $39.99.

Features of this plan include 24/6/365 live chat and email support along with instant account activation, which means your WordPress site is ready to go when you sign in for the first time. HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is nice if you decide you’re not in love with them.

The HostGator Standard Plan

The next level pricing plan for HostGator is their Standard Plan. You’ll receive 2 sites with 200k visits per month, 2GB of backups, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain. The Standard Plan starts at $7.95 per month if you sign up for a 3-year contract with annual payments.

HostGator Standard Plan

Like the Starter Plan, you will receive free SiteLock essentials which give you peace of mind knowing your site is protected from malware and malicious attacks. Additionally, you’ll receive daily automated site backups with 1-click restore points. With the Standard Plan, you’ll need to utilize the Sertigo SSL certificate upgrade if you want to incorporate a more robust SSL. Plan features include 24/7/365 live chat and email support along with instant account activation and a 45-day mostly money-back guarantee. In addition to those features, you’ll receive 2 free website migrations.

The HostGator Business Plan

The HostGator Business Plan grants you three sites, 500k visits per month, 3 GB of backups, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain. Prices begin at $9.95 per month for a 36-month contract. You’ll receive the same level of service with email and live chat support, a 45 money-back guarantee, and instant account activation. Plus, you’ll have the bonus of 3 free website migrations.

HostGator Business Plan

HostGator 5 Site Business Plan

An upgraded offering of the Business Plan gives you 5 sites, with the ability to migrate up to 5 websites. You’ll still have the features of the 3-site Business Plan, but you’ll be able to host 2 more sites. The 5-site Business Plan will run you $11.95 per month if you opt to host for 3 years. Lastly, you’ll receive email and live chat support, along with instant account activation, and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

HostGator Business Plan 5 Sites

HostGator 10 Site Pro Plan

HostGator Pro Plan is a top-tier plan that offers the ability to house 10 websites. The most affordable rate is $22.95 per month with a 36-month contract.

You’ll receive the standard SSL certificate along with SiteLock Essentials, CodeGuard, daily backups, round-the-clock support through email and live chat, instant account activation, and the 45-day money-back guarantee.

HostGator Pro Plan 10 Sites

HostGator 20 Site Pro Plan

This plan is the most expensive, yet robust WordPress hosting plan that HostGator offers. With the ability to have 20 sites, this plan makes sense for small to medium-sized agencies or web developers with multiple clients. The 36-month plan saves you the most money in the long run, costing $33.95 per month. If you choose to pay monthly or quarterly for shorter terms, the price increases substantially.

You’ll receive a standard SSL certificate, SiteLock Essentials, CodeGuard, daily backups, and live chat support 24/7/365. HostGator says “if you’re working, we’re working.” Plus, you’ll get a 45-day money-back guarantee should you not be satisfied with your purchase.

HostGator Pro Plan 20 Sites

Now that we’ve explored all of the pricing options offered by HostGator, you might be asking yourself a question. “Is HostGator Hosting right for me?” Let’s take a look at who HostGator WordPress hosting is geared towards, and who might want to look for other options.

Who is HostGator Hosting Best Suited For?

The answer to this question largely depends on what type of WordPress user you are. If you are an individual who only has one or two websites that don’t want to deal with the daunting task of setting up your own server environments, HostGator could be a good option for you. With their 1-click WordPress installs, you won’t have to worry about messing things up. HostGator takes the initiative to do the techy stuff for you, allowing you to focus time on making your site look good. The security aspects of your site are handled for you as well. They’ll install your SSL, protect you from the meanies that want to do your site harm, and keep your site safe and sound with daily backups.

Hostgator Hosting is a Good Option for Freelancers

What if you are a freelance web developer with more than just a couple of sites? Well, the answer is tricky. It depends. We think that HostGator could be a good option for you if your clients are mostly bloggers or small businesses. With that said, if your clients have sites that are larger than 5-10 pages and have lots of files, HostGator might not be the best option. HostGator touts unlimited bandwidth, but the fine print on their website reads:

Disk space and bandwidth is “Unmetered” which means you are not charged according to the amount of disk space or bandwidth you use.
However, we do require all customers to be fully compliant with our Terms of Service and to only utilize disk space and bandwidth in the normal operation of a personal or small business website.

HostGator is affordable compared to other hosting providers. If you charge your customers a monthly maintenance fee, the cost you’ll pay to host your sites is pretty low. For less than $300 per year, you can host 10 client websites on their 10-site Business Plan. Even if you only charge your customers $50 per month for hosting, you’re still pocketing a couple of hundred dollars a year using HostGator.

Is HostGator a Good Option for Larger Agencies?

If you are a medium to large web agency, HostGator might not be the best option. The largest plan they currently offer is their 20-site Pro Plan. The cost for this plan is roughly $432 per year. Those savings only apply if you sign up for a one-year contract. This plan would be good for a smaller agency that’s just starting but doesn’t leave much room for growth. If you continue to add clients you’ll need to buy an additional plan to accommodate your business growth. Plus, there’s that bandwidth issue we mentioned above. You wouldn’t want to limit yourself to smaller business clients that will have smaller sites.

Regarding the 45-Day Money Back Guarantee…

We signed up for a Starter Plan for our testing purposes. When we decided to test the refund policy, we discovered that you don’t get all of your money back. If you take the free domain during signup, you’ll be charged regardless. Our upfront cost was $84 and some change. When we canceled our service, we had no problems doing it, but our refund was only $55. We thought it worth mentioning in case you decide to try HostGator and end up canceling it within the refund period.

Wrapping Things Up

HostGator is priced very affordably with a variety of plans and price points to suit any budget. They offer some nice features that will make the lives of WordPress users a lot easier. Additionally, they have a good support policy that is available to you any time of the day or night, year-round. We feel that HostGator can be a good option for WordPress hosting for some people. If you are an individual looking to host a couple of websites or a freelancer with a few sites, it would work for you. HostGator would also suit the smaller web agency that hosts small client websites.

If you’d like to read more reviews on WordPress Hosting, check out this article, Google Cloud Hosting: A Review for WordPress Users.

Looking for a hosting solution for larger sites? Check out our post for the best AWS hosting partners.

For all you Divi users, we recommend checking out our Divi Hosting providers we’ve partnered with to give you the most reliable, Divi-compatible hosting. These include SiteGround, Pressable, Cloudways, and FlyWheel.

Do you have any questions about how HostGator, or are you currently using them? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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  1. can we have a trial test?

    • I suggest that you contact HostGator and ask if they offer free trial.

  2. unfortunately, i agree with most of the other users here, but there was one thing that really forced me and my clients to leave hostgator
    i usually try to go “value” hosting for all my small mom ‘n pop shops that i build and/or maintain/perform SEO, and for a few years I had myself and others there – however, with value plans, you get a shared server of course, and someone else starts doing a Spamy Hagar, and the entire IP address gets blackballed – so you call, and they move you to another server/IP, and it happens again after some time – repeat with lust!
    No mas, i moved myself and all my clients to another ‘value’ hosting company, and I was able to get my own private IP address for the cheap too, just in case
    Problem solved – easy peasy – at the time, this was not a solution at hostgator (being fair, it may be now, i have no idea)
    so the moral for others – if you go value there, maybe get a your own private IP address – if you ask hostgator about this issue, they of course will say they monitor for Spamy Hagars, which they may . . . but it will only be a matter of time . . . and you only need one Spamy Hagar to get by and flood the email system for you to get blackballed
    been there – done that – hope this helps somebody

  3. HostGator is the worst. I’m seriously surprised you’re recommending them. A long time ago there were okay. I had several of my client sites on their platform. They weren’t great but I loved that they were powered by solar. HOWEVER, over the years they kept going downhill.

    For example, one day your site is secure, the next day it’s not. They don’t tell you, usually, a visitor tells you unless you check it every day. Always, it was a problem on their end. Always.

    Their support is awful! I have literally had to spend 8 hours on talking with people who didn’t know what they were doing, and having them make the situation worse, all on very simple fixes like upgrading the PHP.

    They say they have great uptime on their websites, however, my client sites were down way too much.

    I could go on and on…. Bottom line, they are probably the worst hosting company out there.

    I think Elegant Themes is the absolute best! I only use Divi and think the products and customer support are always top-notch.

    This is the first time I’m questioning what you’re doing here. How are you actually recommending them? Is this just about money?

    Please know what you’re recommending before you recommend it. I know most trust what you say. This is not a good recommendation.


  4. I have a single website that I built in lockdown for my students. I found HostGator excellent. It was all new to me. I called from England and they helped me set it all up so quickly. Really quick in answering the phone, and so helpful. They then offered me a new 3 year renewal as cheap as chips. They were great. Can’t complain.

  5. Do you guys know what Hostgator did to our clients lately? You couldn’t edit any websites on there for days and days! Clients go mad and web designers were surely stressed! I lost hours and hours of work time moving my sites. 🙁

  6. I have used HostGator for years but no more! Their support system is lousy … and I am now in the situation of losing all my websites. I will NEVER use HG again.

  7. Hostgator chat support told me they didn’t support Divi on their Managed WordPress package. I also got confirmation by email from their Tier 2 admin support. We had to use another host, so I’m surprised to read this article suggesting Hostgator is an option for Divi.

    • Tom,
      Sorry for the confusion. This post is intended for general WordPress users, not specific to Divi users. That said, we could have made that clearer in the article. It is surprising to me that Hostgator wouldn’t support Divi on the managed WordPress Hosting. They seem to convey that they do here at least…

  8. We used to use Hostgator but have been disappointed in the last few years with their interface and ease of doing some tasks (e.g. try adding an A record to an account if you just have a domain with them – you can’t do it on your own, need to contact support). We are now big fans of Flywheel hosting. Great support and interface.

  9. Hi there! I’m looking for a new WordPress hoster. Is the speed of the business package fast? I have 3 large wordpress projects.

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