Is Hostgator Legit, Or is it a Scam?

Hostgator is most definitely not a scam. It’s a completely legitimate web hosting company that’s been around for longer than the vast majority of hosting providers. It was founded on October 22, 2002. That means it predates even companies like Bluehost and SiteGround. Hostgator is a perfectly reliable web host. It might not be what you’re looking for, but they’re not shady in any way.

These days, it’s fashionable to bash big name web hosting brands like Hostgator simply because they’re a part of a conglomerate – like EIG. But the criticism is baseless. Hostgator is a reliable web host – in fact, more so than others for reasons I’ll explain below.

Table of Contents

Why Hostgator is Not a Scam

Though Hostgator current has its headquarters in Austin, Texas, it was originally founded in Florida in Boca Raton in late 2002. In 2006, it opened its first international office in Toronto, Canada. Since then, they have subsidiaries in Brazil, India, China, Russia, and Mexico. That’s a lot of countries!

If Hostgator was a scam, it wouldn’t have survived this long. Over the years, people have consistently turned to Hostgator for affordable web hosting. Here’s a screenshot of the Google search trends for Hostgator since 2004:

Hostgator Google Trends Since 2004
Hostgator Google Trends Since 2004

So while its popularity peaked in 20012, it’s still very much a player today. You can’t see it from the graph, but other web hosting companies have search volumes far lower than Hostgator’s. So Hostgator is completely legit.

Hostgator Isn’t THAT Cheap

Normally, we associate unreliability and poor quality hosting with ridiculously cheap prices. But while Hostgator is pretty cheap, there are plenty of other web hosts that are suicidally cheaper. Here’s the main Hostgator coupon code list. We have two main coupons to consider:

12-month Hosting:

3-year Hosting:

Given Hostgator’s features, I don’t think there’s anything cheaper on the market. But there are plenty of providers – Hostinger is one example – that will host your site for literal pennies every month. Sometimes even for free! However, all these dirt cheap plans have serious flaws like ridiculously low storage and bandwidth quotas, restrictions on the number of MySQL databases, and more.

Those are the hosts you need to be wary of. But at its price point, Hostgator’s is very reliable. It’s not a scam and is completely legit. You don’t need to worry about your site going down as long as you adhere to their terms of service.

Acceptable Customer Service

Again, for this price point, Hostgator’s customer service is normal. It’s what you would expect to get when you sign up. Nothing special like NameHero, but not bad either.

I’ve personally had experience with Hostgator’s reps for several years now. I can confirm that they’re adequately managed and staffed. They’re available over phone, live chat, and e-mail. I prefer live chat because I don’t like to talk over the phone, plus there’s a written record of the conversation with no scope for misunderstanding.

So Hostgator has its bases covered as far as customer support goes. Yes, there are plenty of horror stories floating around, but when you consider that satisfied customers rarely leave reviews as often as dissatisfied ones, the trend begins to make sense. And when you have as many customers as Hostgator does, the effect is multiplied.

So go into it with your eyes open – the customer service is satisfactory for this price point.

They Own Their Data Centers

It helps that Hostgator has their own data centers in Texas and Utah. That’s something most web hosts can’t claim. The majority of them lease their servers from either a primary host or a colocation center, which means they have less control over their servers.

Hostgator however, appears to have pooled its resources with other EIG owned companies and maintains its data centers in two locations in the US. In addition, they have branches all around the world with their own localized data centers such as India. It’s worth mentioning though, that the India web service is actually more expensive than the US one!

Here’s a list of Hostgator locations around the globle:

  1. Toronto
  2. Brazil
  3. Mexico
  4. India
  5. Turkey

They’ve Been Around for a While

The web hosting industry is unforgiving. If a host doesn’t compete, it’s not sustainable. Hostgator has been around since October 2002 – that’s a long time for any business, never mind web hosting. If Hostgator wasn’t reliable, it wouldn’t exist anymore, it’s as simple as that.

Some say that ever since EIG bought them out in 2012, it has lost some of the characteristics that made it special. While I’m sure there were some initial kinks to be worked out in operations, it hasn’t made a huge impact so far and the doomsday predictions haven’t come through.

Dealing with Negative Customer Reviews

Web hosting companies have a tough time when it comes to customer reviews. In most cases with vanilla hosting like Hostgator, satisfied customers don’t need to praise the service. It’s like you don’t praise your electricity or water company for basic, yet reliable service. Unless the hosting in question provides value addition – which Hostgator doesn’t.

But the reverse isn’t true at all. When something goes wrong, hosting customers make their displeasure very evident. They’re vocal on forums and review sites. As a result, the negative complaints about standard hosting tend to dominate the news, and leave out the number of customers who just don’t say anything at all because of satisfactory service.

Take Advantage of the 45-day Money Back Guarantee

There are two easy ways to see for yourself if Hostgator is legit or a scam:

  1. Use the 45-day money back guarantee
  2. Try out their “1-cent” hosting for a month

If after 45-days you don’t like the service, you can ask for your money back, and Hostgator will return it, no questions asked. The other option is to use the following coupon below to obtain virtually free hosting for one month:

This gives you a risk-free way to test out the hosting for yourself. If you like it however, I suggest you recreate your account and try with another coupon. The reason is that while the “1-cent” plan lasts only for a month, you pay full price going forward on a monthly basis. To avoid this, use another coupon that gives you better long-term discounts.

Bottom Line

The takeaway here is that Hostgator is pretty reliable. More so than many other unscrupulous web hosts who massively oversell their servers. Yes, Hostgator oversells too (as does everyone), but they have the experience to know when to stop. Given their massive operations, well staffed customer support teams and longevity, you needn’t worry about them shanking your site!

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!

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