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Published author, small business owner and skeptical consumer D. Alan Carter has personally developed over 50 websites. Carter brings this practical experience to bear on his reviews of some of the more popular website hosts, including HostGator.

HostGator.com Review | Company's Home Page

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"Has anyone used HostGator?"
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HostGator Review

Below, my take on the popular website hosting service HostGator. Specifically, pros & cons and my recommendation. Also, Pricing Points, Fast Facts, details from Better Business Bureau reports, and Complaints Summary. 

-- D. Alan Carter

HostGator Review...
Pros & Cons, Recommendation
About HostGator.com LLC...
Pricing Points, Fast Facts, BBB, Complaints

A world-class provider of shared, reseller, VPS and dedicated web hosting, HostGator has grown from inception in 2002 to currently hosting domains that collectively make up approximately 1% of the world's internet traffic. Not bad for a company that got it's start in a college dorm room.

The Pros

Unlimited disk space and bandwidth in all plans.
Unlimited subdomains, FTP accounts and email accounts.
The control panel is cPanel; it's user-friendly and accommodating.
99.9% uptime guarantee.
Instant backups.
Tech support is there 24/7.
45 day money-back guarantee.
All web hosting packages offer a "no contract" option.

The Cons

At $15.00 per year, their domain name registration is pricey. There are cheaper registrars: go with one of them (i.e. GoDaddy.com), then simply sign up using your existing domain name.

"Unlimited" does not necessarily mean unlimited. The company markets their plans with "unlimited disk space and bandwidth," but the fine print in their Terms of Service spells out that... 1) You are allocated a monthly bandwidth allowance, 2) You cannot use 25% or more of system resources for longer then 90 seconds, 3) You cannot use more than 250,000 inodes on any shared account. BTW, every file--a webpage, image file, email, etc.--on your account uses up 1 inode.

For most folks and for most applications, disk space and bandwidth are sufficiently "unlimited." But for a few, there is a very real ceiling on file size and resource consumption. That's something that should be more upfront, but instead is buried in the Terms of Service.

The Wrap Up

The Gator is one the world's "Top 10" largest website hosts; a major company with over 850 employees. Those website owners anticipating serious resource consumption on a shared account should pay particular attention to the firm's Terms of Service. But since 2008, I personally have had multiple website hosted with HostGator, and have been 100% satisfied with everything from uptime to tech support. That, and given the BBB score of A+, I have no trouble recommending...

HostGator.com LLC

Best of luck,
D. Alan Carter

Pricing Points:
Shared IP Hosting Dedicated IP Hosting
starting at $3.96 starting at $10.36
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Fast Facts:
Company founded in 2002. Privately held.
Number of domains hosted: over 8 million.
Number of servers under management: 12,000.

Mailing Address: 11251 Northwest Freeway, Suite 400, Houston, TX 77092

Customer satisfaction rating of more than 90% (as reported by company in a 2008 survey).
More information from Wikipedia - HostGator
Learn about: Reseller, VPS and Dedicated Hosting.
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Better Business Bureau:
"A+" on a scale of A+ to F.

A BBB Accredited Business since 05/01/2008.

Link to the company's BBB Business Review.

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Complaints:

The number of complaints filed with the BBB "for a business of this size" was below average, and actually helped raise the company's score. The company's response to -- and the subsequent resolution of -- those complaints also helped raise HostGator's BBB score.

HostGator complaints posted on Internet forums are plentiful, as they are for all major website hosts. A good collection can be found at RipoffReport.com. Can they be believed? Many if not most, I'm sure, are legitimate, though bogus complaints by competitors are not unheard of.

Keep in mind that complaints on internet forums are usually devoid of any followups, so we'll never know if the issues were resolved satisfactorily or not.

Temper all complaints with the knowledge that HostGator is currently hosting over 8 million websites. That, and the BBB sees fit to give them an A+ while factoring in complaints -- and company response -- in their scoring criteria.

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