How to Find the Best Hosting Provider for Your Needs – Our Personal Experience – Full Honest Hostgator Review! Do Not Buy a Plan until you read this!
Our brief Hostgator Review, was posted on TrustPilot you can check it out here. That includes Hostgator generic response!
In this post, we share with you our personal honest Hostgator review. Hostgator has been around since 2002 and we took out a shared hosting Business plan in 2013! They have a large number of servers and have been respected in that space for years. So of course you will find conflicting users reviews on the web! That’s to be expected for a provider of their size.
Some Background – Hostgator Review by User:
Hostgator was started by Brent Oxley CEO, in his university days! The company today has over 400,000 customers in over 190 countries, hosting over 8 million domains.
The Endurance International Group (EIG) bought Hostgator for $225 million in 2012 keeping Brent on as CEO! They also own FatCow, Bluehost, HosMosnter etc.
Hostgator is still based is in Houston with an offshoot in Austin. Recently they bought up 2 small companies and merged them. Creating a Brazil office and site at http://www.hostgator.com.br plus an Indian subsidiary, site: http://hostgator.in. They have over 200 employees and growing steadily!
Hostgator’s name was built on offering ultra-competitive, budget, shared web hosting plans. These include: Hatchling, Baby and Business Plans – in order of user benefits, service options and support given. The most popular plan is the Baby Plan! Our choice was the Business Plan!
Hostgator User Review – Support & Customer Service
This is what originally attracted us to Hostgator. On the face of it, the support machine at Hostgator is quite impressive, despite their low-cost product pricing. Here’s what they offer:
- An online FAQ – in their knowledge base with full video tutorials covering a wide range of trainings and issues you could ever come across in domains and webhosting.
- Live chat support – 24/7
- Phone support Toll-free (US customers only)
- Email support
- A Separate Billing Portal & support.
- Customers can upgrade their accounts, inquire on technical matters, billing, Domain, and admin matters. They also have a user’s forum, and encourage customers to check Twitter for any updates @HGStatus!
Yet despite all the gold in China above, Hostgator’s customer service and stellar performance has progressively dropped over the past 2 years, and it seems we got in just when things were going down!
On investigation we noticed an increase in concerns from other users and even some downright complaints. Usually we take reviews with a pinch of salt esp, negative ones. BUT we started keeping an eye on things esp. since we wrote that article on Website tools!
Therefore, this post is to educate and open your eyes. If you are reading this and have a Hostgator hosting package…Please take your personal needs into consideration. Read to the end and then maybe rethink your plans.
Your blog is your online brand, protect it any way you can! AVOID the heartache!
It’s not a rant, although it could be…Because seriously,
When did Hostgator Turn Mercenary and Unmindful of Customers? When did they lose the plot?
Back in the day,
We and lots of others really USED to love the Hostgator approach to customer service. You could contact them via chat and discuss with an agent who was knowledgeable about all geeky stuff on websites and coding! They would do their best to help you solve any issues. We never once left a chat without a solution.
Those days seem to be long gone.
Honest Hostgator User Review – What the Heck’s going on Today?
In the last 12 months’ customer care, has steadily gone downhill, things changed and not for the better. Don’t take our word for it, find out how Hostgator is holding up Vs other host services here, simply scroll to bottom. Even smaller hosting services are ranking better today! And its all down to poor Customer Experiences!
Here is what you get when you get in touch with them these days:
- By phone, perish the thought. They never pick up.
- On Live Chat, you wait for ages before an agent shows up online. I once waited 45 minutes, seriously. So, if internet data is an issue, you are toast.
- By email, you get a generic bot response. It always states that a ticket’s been created and you will be dealt with soonest, Once it took 3 days before I heard from them! We couldn’t access our cPanel due to an unauthorized password change! Plus a request for a review…! What the chickins…
TODAY, Hostgator agents seem to have been taken over by Aliens. Or they’ve been covered with the persona of their mascot animal an Alligator. It doesn’t care whom it gobbles up or hurts. It only cares for its belly…
They don’t seem to know what they are doing, no attention to detail. They make you wait for ages while they consult…whoever. Then literally drive you insane with “are you still there?” 2 secs after they get back to you. And you are trying to respond to their almost insulting questions like: did you clear your cache? If you take a minute the chat is abruptly ended…Remember it took you eons to get connected…what the gibbons is that!
Hostgator agents’ practical help seems to only extends as far as giving you a link to an article if you ask anything remotely technical.
That would be fine, no need to reinvent the wheel…BUT, the articles show info from their old site layout, that would confuse the heck out of a non-techie.
Their agents excel at trying to make you think you are at fault for any site issues, which usually were clearly Host related! One of our blogger friends Lori English has had a hard time with them. Her blog has seen days with Hostgator and their run around tactics too.
Hostgator admins, wasted hours of our time for days bandying us from one agent to another without really solving the numerous issues. Once our content went AWOL for a whole 3 days, losing us customers, audience, and rankings. No explanation from them other than “You’re responsible for your site security.”
Both the 505 and 404 error messages we kept getting were proven to be HostGator related (see one below)! Server outages that they refuse to accept or communicate to customers. Referring you to twitter for updates at @HGstatus….!!!
So, who in their normal senses would dash off to twitter to check if their web host had a problem as their first port of call? 2nd maybe? Okay a remote chance? We thought not!
Whatever happened to email communication?
Fix the problems Hostgator/EIG. You were once the best, you can still turn this round. Why change a winning horse?
Sadly for Hostgator, we won’t be there to see this. We made the fortunate decision to take our custom elsewhere.
The worst is we bought their Business Hosting Plan for 5 years for our sites. That was activated on 20th January 2017. Between then and 20 Feb 2017 we had no less than 4 outages. Chats with Hostgator agents produced no results, they could not put a finger on what was going on with our data despite escalating the matter to their top geeks desk…This was from 2 specific sites that are Protected from Brute force attack by “Stopthehacker.com, Wordfence and iThemes pro.
We waited too long to leave for sure…
So, we requested for a refund of our funds and cancellation of the services. With a time-line of literally only 30 days into the renewed service, we are well within our rights to demand a refund.
Well would you believe, HostGator flatly refuses to refund our cash. Their lame and downright lie of an excuse; You’re outside a 45 days’ refund window. We have no clue how they do their maths.
They also locked us out of our cPanel within 30 hours of notifying them of the decision to end our custom. Despite agreeing 72-hour window and stating we can use our hosting package until the end of our contract term!
WHAT? 5 more years of stress, outages, poor customer care. Errr No Thanks!
Keeping in mind they refused to refund our money, then locked us out in 30 hrs. THIS IS BROAD DAY LIGHT ROBBERY. We were forced to cajole/threaten them…okay, okey begged them :/ eishhh
Yes, I Julie begged them to create and generate a backup of our cPanel database so it can be transferred to a new Host Service. 4 years of Hard work. Ranking, Sweat, Client Trust…This is priceless. We did what we could. No shame in it and the end justifies the means …right!
With our New Host service SiteGround, we can smile again…phew! Super fast site loading, Excellent Customer Care, Attention to detail, Knowledgeable, some great techie geekery! And they are at the Top of the Hosting Ranks at time of publishing this post with 9.7 out of 10 five star ratings!
On the other hand, Hostgator dropped to 6.7/10. They DO NOT GIVE A DAMN! Here is the thing, all the above can be rebuilt, apart from TRUST. And HostGator has lost Ours.
All your polite request for real practical help fall on deaf agents ears whose only aim is a paycheck!
Your pain, stress, frustrations, all that seems to mean nothing to them, NO APOLOGY and No Care. DO NOT Host with them if you know what’s good for your brand and website. Or until they scrub up their act!
We have done extensive research including a highly responded to Facebook Inquiry you can check it out here. We inquired from other bloggers, technical geeks and TrustPilot and have found our new Web Hosting provider.
They are the highest rated Hosting service today, according to TrustPilot. And you can Use banner below to see if they are the right fit for your brand. Check out their GrowBig Shared Hosting Plan via the Web Hosting tab!
Final words on Hostgator User review
Listen to your gut instinct, it’s always right. We ignored it in October 2015 and again last year. We have paid a steep price. Yet, we have taken it on the chin, learnt the lesson and share it here in a full, honest Hostgator user review. Lessons are broken down for you below:
- Never let your current host know you are leaving until you have generated and downloaded a full backup of your Home directory aka cPanel or a copy of your xml file if you have no access to cPanel.
- Check your Public_html file for any duplicate files and old backups, Delete them. They take up your disk space and could delay the move/transfer. (Ours couldn’t happen for 48 hours’ cos the file was heavier than allowed Hostgator back up space…So we couldn’t generate a backup) Panic stations is an understatement…!
- If no access to cPanel, ask host provider for a backup & database of your files with some excuse, like something doesn’t seem right and you want to have one. DO NOT let on your plans to Cancel the hosting until you get one!
- Always do research with sites like TrustPilot to ensure your current provider is still rated highly. If they are not, DO NOT renew with them, however attractive any offers they may make.
- Find a new host service, get them to generate a backup and upload a copy of your database asap.
- Go change your Domain Name Servers (DNS) with your domain provider to point to your new host service. Give them 24-48 hrs to propagate. Then check your sites and make sure everything is running smoothly. Then…
- Let the old host service know you are leaving and thank them for their service to you, never mind the reasons for leaving. Good energy, leave with good energy. We did.
- We are grateful that somehow, we had a backup of our database, call it Godly guidance!
- All the above saves you to never have to beg your host for a backup/database, worse still get locked out like we were. Pure unwarranted nastiness that!
- That’s it, Job done Happy days!
We, hope our experience and detailed, Hostgator user review helps someone else. Avoid the pain, time wastage and sheer panic we went through! This a rundown on our experience in the last 6 months with a Hostgator 5 year Business Plan!
Well what’s your biggest take away?
Share your thoughts below, like, bookmark. And what are you waiting for, go make sure you have the best host for your online brand! implement. Consistency, persistence, focused action, get the best value for your dollar.
As always You deserve more
Learn. Love. Live
Julie Syl & Pauli Kalungi
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