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  1. #1
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    HostGator: My Experience

    I'm sure everyone has heard of HostGator - they're one of the larger hosting companies out there, offering shared, reseller, and dedicated servers, and various other services. From my experience with other webmasters, it seems to be either a love or hate relationship concerning HostGator. I've been with them for 3 years now, and I have had nothing but good experiences. Here are the things that I like most:

    • HostGator is a large company, and stable - they're not going anywhere. After just having one of my other hosts completely fall off the face of the earth (taking my sites with them), having this peace of mind is definitely a plus
    • Their personal service is great - for the amount of clients they have, their ability to give timely personal service is excellent in my opinion. Their email response may not be as fast as some of the smaller hosts, but it is certainly not unreasonable. I've always gotten a timely, helpful reply - not something that just says "look at faq #12". I definitely get the feeling that I'm talking to a real person and not just some support staff member that wants to get rid of me fast.
    • Piggybacking off of my last point, I feel like HostGator values each customer, big or small, and pays them all the same amount of time. When I first went there, I only purchased their smallest shared $4.95/month plan. However, I had a couple of databases to transfer over. At my discretion (as I was a lot less technical back then), I gave a HostGator support staff member a limited username/pass to my cPanel, and he took care of everything for me - downloading the database and files, transfering them over to HostGator, and making sure they were up and running properly. A lot of time spent for a smaller customer
    • You get a bunch with their plans. I think they offer some of the most competitive plans on the market. A lot of hosts will give big numbers, but you quickly realize that you don't actually get that. I've never had a problem with my server resourcess.
    • Great uptime - my last host, although promising 99% uptime, really only stood at about 94%. In the 3 years i've been with HostGator, I think i've been unable to access my site 3 times, and each of those times lasted for less than 5 minutes.
    • They keep up with the technologies - for example, PHP 5. I know a lot of hosts still are not upgrading to PHP 5. But HostGator is fairly quick to upgrade to the newest stable versions.

    Well that's the good stuff. As for the bad stuff, I honestly can't think of any - my experience has been all positive. I guess the only thing I would like to see is faster email response, but like I said, they're response isn't slow - I was just used to a much smaller host that didn't have the volume of emails that they do.

    I'm sure people here have had bad experiences with HostGator, and I would be interested to hear about them. However, in my book, they are definitely recommended
    Nick . all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream
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  2. #2
    Trash Boat mkoenig's Avatar
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    How is the load time. I'm on lunarpages and hostmonster, but hostmonster load times are sloooow most of the time.

  3. #3
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    Very fast. I've not come across any sizable lag.
    Nick . all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream
    Show someone you care, send them a virtual flower.
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Member bigmarc's Avatar
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    I agree mkoenig. You know it's not just a money thing. I dumped Host Gator after 3 days. Installed a site for a customer(Wordpress) and was trying to do updates to show the customer. We were both getting very very slow response time. Client said dump 'em. I was really wanting it to work, even got the Swamp plan to negate bandwidth issues, If I was a bit smarter I'd go to a managed server but am clueless about databases and the like. Sigh.

  5. #5
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    Did you contact HostGator about the slowness?
    Nick . all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Member bigmarc's Avatar
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    No, the client just said dump them. So I did. His feeling was that a new service with a site that had very little content yet should load fast. Some of the ping response times were 20 seconds. I kept the logs. I guess I'll have to learn how to run a VPS.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    I've had the pleasure of working with Hostgator at a few different levels - First as user of their service for some of my sites, and commercially with some advertising and partnerships. One thing I've noticed is there customer service is exceptional, I've had to work with their support teams a few times and it has been a fantastic experience. The guys who run the place are top notch as well. Like Nick said -- I've not go a bad thing to say about them.
    Shayne Tilley

    My slightly left of center thoughts on
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  8. #8
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    I have used godaddy for over a year and I have been satisfied with them

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy ldcdc's Avatar
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    Your experience Possibility, sounds very much like mine, only that mine is a bit longer. I've been using their shared hosting from back when they probably had only a couple of servers, and IMO time has only improved things (e.g. outsourced support became in house support).

    even got the Swamp plan to negate bandwidth issues
    Upgrading, in shared hosting, would have no influence on the connection speed I'm afraid. Changing servers might have had, if the server was severely overloaded, but I doubt they would leave a server under-performing for long.

    Some of the ping response times were 20 seconds.
    That sounds very much like a network issue which may or may not have been on Hostgator's side. But if the customer wanted to leave, then that's that.
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  10. #10
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    I heard that their database performance is good, is that right?
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  11. #11
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    The majority of the sites I host with HostGator utilize MySQL databases and they are all very fast.
    Nick . all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream
    Show someone you care, send them a virtual flower.
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmvictoria's Avatar
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    I picked HostGator after much research and found them to be the best host out there. The only qualm I have is when servers do go down, briefly, I would at least enjoy a "We're working on it" general email. Or to at least post in their Network Status section in their forum the nature of the problem and ETA to fix.
    STOP!
    Berofe selecting a host, read these WEB HOSTING REVIEWS first.

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  13. #13
    Certified Ethical Hacker silver trophybronze trophy dklynn's Avatar
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    dmv,

    WHAT? You want a host to exercise "professionalism" in this day and age?

    Regards,

    DK
    David K. Lynn - Data Koncepts is a long-time WebHostingBuzz (US/UK)
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast dmvictoria's Avatar
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    Gosh ever since I made that post I have come across others spouting Gators' reluctance to step up to the plate regarding certain security issues *cough Joomla *cough. But for the most part, when I had a problem and asked for help they were right there ready and willing to help.

    As I said before though a courtesy email or forum post would be nice when there are server issues, because, I don't know if others are having the same problem or if its something messed up with my account. ... Regardless I stopped petitioning when the server goes down and just wait it out.

    Host Gator is still pretty good and have not even come close to some of the fly by night, hosting server under some kids bed in Russia kind of problems.
    STOP!
    Berofe selecting a host, read these WEB HOSTING REVIEWS first.

    OMG! Another List of Directories! Open for submissions.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the info, I might try them for my next project.

    {snip}
    Last edited by dklynn; Jul 17, 2008 at 02:10. Reason: blank image

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast splenditello's Avatar
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    hostgator has worked well for me. i have relatively smaller sites based on wordpress and havent had any major issues.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the review I'm thinking of switching hosts.. I may turn to these guys. Thanks!

  18. #18
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    Sure thing kyro. Hope your transition goes well
    Nick . all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream
    Show someone you care, send them a virtual flower.
    Good deals on men's watches

  19. #19
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    I am looking for a porn host and it looks like hostgator is best bet.
    Last edited by Matt Mickiewicz; Feb 13, 2012 at 17:17.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot csmarshal's Avatar
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    I switched to Hostgator a month ago. So far im happy with them. Yet, i think support could be better. Usually the live chat support just tells you to email support. I usually prefer live chat for support since you can get things resolved quicker. But uptime and speed have been great till now. The server im on isnt overloaded at all.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy ldcdc's Avatar
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    Live chat is quite often mostly for sales stuff. The techs manning it are level1, and don't get low level access to the servers. If a customer is stuck setting up email etc, they can help though.
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard
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    They keep up with the technologies - for example, PHP 5. I know a lot of hosts still are not upgrading to PHP 5. But HostGator is fairly quick to upgrade to the newest stable versions.
    That is in the OP, I am ditching these guys after several years because this is the exact opposite of what they do.

    They installed php5 as an option about 2 years after it's release, that's hardly keeping up.

    About 4 months ago they emailed everyone that they would finally be upgrading all of their servers to php5 (4 years after it's release - wouldn't want to get too close to the bleeding edge now). I thought I would be fine as all of my sites were currently running php5, so this should not effect me.

    A few days ago they performed the upgrade, without notifying anyone. I found out when I started to get emails from clients wondering where their sites had gone. It was a simple fix (they neglected to install a driver) so I opened a ticket, and over a 13 hour period tried to get assistance from live support 4 times before this was resolved.

    Great, nightmare over. Not.

    I still had a few clients with problems. It turns out that hostgator in their infinite wisdom, without notice, and after explicitly stating on their forums they would not do this, had turned on register_globals. A setting that has been deprecated since 2002 (php4.2).

    It is true that there is nothing inherently insecure with that setting, but it is bad practice to use it, and simply turning it on without notice is beyond comprehension.

    So here I am searching for a new host. Once that communicates a little at least :P

  23. #23
    masquerading Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hash View Post
    I thought I would be fine as all of my sites were currently running php5, so this should not effect me.

    A few days ago they performed the upgrade, without notifying anyone
    A few days ago? I've been running PHP 5 on HostGator for a long time. Were the servers you're hosted with not upgraded?

    Also, how were you running php5 if your Hostgator server did not have php5 installed? Do you mean that your code was php5 compliant?
    Nick . all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream
    Show someone you care, send them a virtual flower.
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard
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    About 2 years ago they installed php5 as an option (it never worked properly with temp urls etc). I have been using it since then with AddHandler application/x-httpd-php5 .php

    For the last four months they have been upgrading servers. I had contacted them twice in that time to find out when I would be upgraded, never even got an estimate. They finally informed me by taking down half of my sites. The php5 ones, not the php4 ones that were php5 compliant.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy ldcdc's Avatar
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    For the last four months they have been upgrading servers.
    If I recall correctly, they're switching to php5 as default, and will be removing php4 at some point.
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