First impressions of Hostgator

Hostgator Web Hosting

So this last Black Friday, I actually got in to the shopping spirit and stayed up late to buy some Hostgator hosting at 80% off. I’ve been an affiliate with them for a while but never actually needed an extra hosting account until this price was too good to refuse. Unfortunately, that price isn’t still available, but now I can take a better look at the features they’re offering and the levels of service you can expect if you decide to sign up with them as well.

I’ve done a technical analysis of the host before, but this Hostgator review didn’t have a whole lot of personal experience behind it when it was written. Now I’ve got a more personal perspective and I can describe the signup process step by step:

At 6 am, I started to fill in my account information. It took about 10 minutes to complete and double check, but it probably helped that I had a domain name in mind and a debit card ready to pay. I was kind of in a rush since the 6 am sale was for a limited supply of hosting accounts, and the actual registration form was straight and to the point.

Minutes after hitting submit, I got an email with all the info I needed to log in to the account. There could be a security snag here, because it looks like the passwords are stored, unencrypted, on the servers somewhere. Unfortunately, this is about standard for shared & discount hosting services.

After about half an hour, I couldn’t log in any more. I received a second email from Hostgator, and this one was for a phone-based validation. At first I was afraid they’d try to scrub my awesome 80% off discount, but they just wanted me to call them up and confirm my email address. Honestly, I didn’t feel like this was adding too much to the security, but they got my account back online quickly and I didn’t dwell on it too long.

Inside the CPanel, I was a little surprised to see that it was so incredibly similar to Bluehost. I’ve compared Hostgator & Bluehost before, but the similarities go even further than the technical specifications let on. So if you’re familiar working with one CPanel, you definitely don’t need to worry about setting up shop in a second one.

The baby plan I’m on lets me host unlimited domain names – but on each account you can only have one dedicated IP. Reseller accounts can assign a different IP to each domain, but shared plans will have to stick to sharing IPs.

A manual installation of WordPress proved no problem, but I didn’t try out any install scripts so I can’t comment on that alternative right now.

As far as performance goes, I have to say I’m also happy about that so far. The WordPress pages are loading swiftly, and I haven’t encountered any downtime yet in the short time I’ve been hosting with Hostgator.

All in all, I’d have to say I’m very satisfied with the quality of services, and I have gotten exactly what I hope for and expect when I’m buying shared hosting. And considering the price I got during the Black Friday sale, I’d say this actually ends up being an incredible deal. Even with the regular Hostgator coupon options, this is definitely a good bargain for web development newbies or anyone who is looking for an IP and place to put a new domain.

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