Hostgator VPS Review: A Terrible Choice

Compared to the competition, the Hostgator VPS is just bad. Other providers justify their prices with extra features or excellent customer support, but Hostgator doesn’t bother. There’s no sound backup system, no reasonable compensation for SLA uptime violations, and it doesn’t even have cPanel. With all the choices available to you, there’s no good reason to pick the Hostgator over all the others.

Here are the pros and cons of the Hostgator VPS packages:

Hostgator VPS Pros:

  • Good initial discount
  • 2 Dedicated IP addresses
  • Good storage space
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Hostgator VPS Cons:

  • Expensive renewals
  • No automatic backups or storage
  • No cPanel
  • No bandwidth commitment
  • No good uptime SLA compensation
  • No Windows hosting
  • No add-ons
  • No upgrade path from shared hosting
  • No OS choices

Hostgator VPS Rating:




Customer Service

☆☆☆ 1 star

3 stars

★☆☆☆☆ 1 star

★★★☆☆ 3 stars

Overall Rating:

★★☆☆ 2 stars

Best Alternative to Hostgator VPS: Liquid Web VPS

For a superior VPS, my vote goes to Liquid Web. It’s cheaper than Hostgator, has free offsite Acronis backups, cPanel, and more. Here’s an in-depth Liquid Web VPS review.

Liquid Web VPS: $15.00/m

The best alternative to a Hostgator VPS.

Table of Contents

Hostgator VPS Pricing: Poor

Here’s the pricing chart for the Hostgator VPS plans:

Discount PriceRenewal Price
Snappy 2000$19.95/m$79.95/m
Snappy 4000$29.95/m$119.95/m
Snappy 8000$39.95/m$149.95/m
Hostgator VPS Pricing

If you want cPanel, it costs $10.00/m extra per month. There are no add-ons for backups, e-mail, different web servers, or security. You can see that Hostgator VPS packages are very expensive – more so than many other premium hosts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t justify the price with the expected features. Here’s a complete list of all the Hostgator promo codes.

Hostgator VPS Performance Rating: ☆☆☆ 1 star

Hostgator VPS: The Good

There isn’t much good about Hostgator VPS, but here are a few points in its favor.

1. High Initial Discounts

Despite the high renewal price, the Hostgator VPS has an excellent initial discount of 75%, starting at just $19.95/m. Here are all the Hostgator coupons for all the deals. Unfortunately, this discount only lasts for 12-months. Others like Liquid Web or A2 Hosting, let you extend your discounts for much longer.

But the high savings in the first year have a disadvantage. When you finally receive your first renewal bill, the price can shock you. While in the first year, you only pay $239, the bill from year two onward is a staggering $959. That’s four times higher. So while discounts are a good thing, too much leaves you unprepared for the massive bill.

2. Good Starting Storage Space

Many VPS providers have tiny amounts of disk space, and if you store a lot of backups on your server, it quickly depletes your free storage. The Hostgator VPS plan has a generous amount of space, and it’s extra helpful because it doesn’t have offsite backups. Here’s how it compares to others in terms of storage.

VPS ProviderStorage Space
Hostgator VPS120 GB – 240 GB
Liquid Web VPS40 GB – 200 GB
KnownHost VPS75 GB – 300 GB
NameHero VPS30 GB – 120 GB
Bluehost VPS30 GB – 120 GB
A2 Hosting VPS150 GB – 450 GB
RoseHosting VPS30 GB – 400 GB
InMotion VPS90 GB – 360 GB
Hostgator VPS Storage vs Other Web Hosts

For the starter VPS plans, Hostgator has good storage, and only A2 Hosting’s VPS is better. While the Hostgator shared hosting plans use HDDs, the VPS packages all use SSDs. And unlike shared hosting, there are no restrictions on what you can do with the extra space. That’s the benefit of a VPS – your resources belong to you.

3. Two Dedicated IP Addresses

A Hostgator VPS comes with two dedicated IPs instead of one. There’s no real benefit to this, except in some scenarios where you run your own nameservers and want to follow best practices by having them on different IPs. You can also run various services on each IP.

Other VPS services like KnownHost also give you more than one IP address. But other than the use-case involving nameservers, there’s no real reason to have two, except for some edge case scenarios. So this isn’t a tangible benefit. Instead, it’s a “nice thing to have”.

4. 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Hostgator has a more extended money-back guarantee than its competitors. Most web hosts only have a 30-day cash-back plan, which often doesn’t apply to VPS plans. Fortunately, all Hostgator VPS packages are covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to change your mind. In addition, you receive the full amount of the refund and not just the pro-rated amount for the days when the VPS was running.

The only web host with a longer money-back guarantee than Hostgator is InMotion Hosting.

Hostgator VPS: The Bad

These are all the disadvantages of a Hostgator VPS.

1. Very Expensive Renewals

Hostgator’s VPS plans are inexplicably expensive. Renewals start at a whopping $79.95/m, which is more costly than better VPS plans from other providers and has fewer features. Usually, for this price, web hosts will give you either free backups, cPanel, fantastic customer service, or good SLAs.

Hostgator gives you nothing. You get an ordinary VPS with a basic management level, without even cPanel. There’s nothing wrong with this – Bluehost’s VPS plan is equally bare. The problem is that Hostgator charges premium prices without premium features, service, or hardware quality.

2. No Backup Package

With a Hostgator VPS, backups are your responsibility. The system takes a weekly backup of your server, and you have to raise a ticket to request them to restore it. Other than that, you have to configure everything else on your own. You have to use your own server resources and storage space to save the backups, set up your own schedule, rotate them properly, and generally handle it yourself.

Other VPS providers like Liquid Web do much more. You should expect your host to take backups automatically and let you restore them quickly at these prices. Apart from Liquid Web, another example of a VPS host that offers easy backups is KnownHost. But Hostgator washes its hands of backups entirely.

There’s no option to pay for an add-on for backups to make matters worse. Regular Hostgator shared hosting plans let you purchase CodeGuard Basic for peace of mind. But there are no add-ons for Hostgator’s VPS plans. So you’re entirely on your own.

3. No cPanel Accounts

If you pay this much for a VPS, you expect to get cPanel for free. Other VPS providers in this price range offer either five cPanel accounts or at least a solo account. But a Hostgator VPS plan requires you to pay extra for cPanel, as shown in the order screenshot below:

Hostgator VPS cPanel Costs Extra
Hostgator VPS cPanel Costs Extra

Hostgator considers the inclusion of cPanel as “fully managed hosting”. But for the price, you have every right to expect them to include it by default.

Liquid Web VPS: $15.00/m

The best alternative to a Hostgator VPS.

4. No Bandwidth Commitment

VPS providers typically state their bandwidth commitment. For example, Liquid Web’s VPS has a limit of 10 TB. The VPS from Hostgator, on the other hand, promises “Unlimited Bandwidth,” as you can see in this screenshot:

Hostgator VPS Unmetered Bandwidth

While this language is suitable for shared hosting, it’s inappropriate for a VPS. With a VPS, you get your own dedicated RAM, CPU, storage, and bandwidth resources. This means your resources are clearly defined, and you can use whatever you want because they belong to you. But Hostgator’s “Unmetered” bandwidth for VPS is deceptive because it’s not really unlimited. A closer reading shows that you’re not allowed to use more than 25% of the system’s resources for more than 90 seconds, including bandwidth.

So Hostgator doesn’t give you dedicated bandwidth, which goes against the principle of a VPS.

5. No Good SLA Compensation

Good web hosts back up their SLA with penalties if the SLA terms aren’t met. Hostgator promises 99.9% uptime on its VPS but doesn’t back it up with significant penalties. For example, the KnownHost VPS plan gives you a 10% discount on your bill for every 1/10th of a percentage point of downtime below the SLA. Liquid Web pays you ten times the credit value for any downtime because their SLA is 100%.

By contrast, the Hostgator is very lax about downtime, and they only refund you for the amount of time below the 99.9% limit. This doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in the reliability of their network.

6. No Add-ons for Additional Services

Unlike their shared hosting plans, the Hostgator VPS service doesn’t have additional add-ons to improve your experience. Nothing for backups, e-mail, or security. You can’t opt for a different web server like LiteSpeed or NGINX, there’s no server monitoring service, and it’s very bare-bones.

Again, this wouldn’t be a problem if Hostgator was cheap. But it’s more expensive than other web hosts who have these features for free.

7. No OS Choices

The Hostgator VPS only allows you to use CentOS. Other hosts like KnownHost and Liquid Web let you choose between AlmaLinux, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Debian. Liquid Web even enables you to host on a Windows server. This allows you to run a wider variety of software stacks and is very useful if you use special software. But Hostgator doesn’t allow any choice, and you’re stuck with a vanilla CentOS install.

Hostgator VPS Performance: Mediocre

Though it’s hard to judge performance, you should be aware of a couple of warning signs.

First, Hostgator doesn’t have a bandwidth commitment for its VPS plans. While they claim that the bandwidth is “unmetered”, they reserve the right to impose restrictions if it affects other servers. This shouldn’t be the case on a VPS that’s supposed to have dedicated resources. Strangely, they have this restriction even on dedicated servers, so I don’t know what’s going on at the backend.

Second, the Hostgator uptime SLA compensation is also lackluster. Unlike other web hosts that compensate you many times over for downtime exceeding the SLA, Hostgator simply doesn’t bill you for the extra time that your server is offline. This implies that they’re not very confident in matching the SLA, which doesn’t bode well for its performance.

Hostgator VPS Performance Rating: ★★☆☆ 3 stars

Hostgator VPS Features: Poor

Hostgator doesn’t have any features that would justify the high price on its VPS plans. My article on good web hosting features mentions backups, server-side caching, and malware scanning as three essential aspects that separate good hosting from lousy hosting. Hostgator’s VPS packages don’t have any of these three, and it doesn’t have cPanel, a choice of Operating Systems, or even add-ons that can make up for its deficiency.

There’s nothing wrong with a bare-bones VPS. But it’s unforgivable to charge this much for it.

Hostgator VPS Features Rating: ☆☆☆ 1 star

Hostgator VPS Customer Service: Average

Hostgator isn’t known for its customer service. The Hostgator support gets an unfair rap because of its size and the EIG acquisition, but it’s nothing special. You can contact them via live chat, phone, or e-mail. The initial responders can help you with basic stuff, but for anything more complicated, you’ll have to wait until they escalate it to someone more qualified.

So I would classify Hostgator’s customer support as average. It’s slightly worse than a regular web host but not as bad as some make it out to be.

Hostgator VPS Customer Support Rating: ★★☆☆ 3 star

Liquid Web VPS: $15.00/m

The best alternative to a Hostgator VPS.

Hostgator VPS vs Other VPS Hosts

Here’s a table comparing the ratings of the Hostgator plan with other VPS hosts:

VPS ProviderRating
Hostgator VPS★☆☆☆☆ 2 stars
LiquidWeb VPS★★★★★ 5 stars
KnownHost VPS★★★☆☆ 3 stars
NameHero VPS★★★★☆ 4 stars
Bluehost VPS★★☆☆☆ 2 stars
A2 Hosting VPS★★★☆☆ 3 stars
RoseHosting VPS★★★☆☆ 3 stars
InMotion VPS★★★★☆ 4 stars
Hostgator VPS Rating vs Others

Below, we see a more detailed breakdown.

Hostgator VPS vs Liquid Web VPS

The Liquid Web VPS plan is far better than a Hostgator VPS package. Liquid Web comes with inbuilt backups, 100% uptime SLA with generous compensation for downtime, huge bandwidth quotas, and cPanel. By contrast, Hostgator has nothing. And it even costs more than Liquid Web. See my complete Liquid Web VPS review for a more in-depth look.

Even though the renewal price is a bit heavy, the initial two-year LiquidWeb VPS discount of $15.00/m is very impressive, and it achieves price parity with other VPS providers over four years. Here are all the Liquid Web promo codes to see how much you save.

FeatureHostgator VPSLiquid Web VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$15.00/m
Backups100 GB Free Acronis
BandwidthNo commitment10 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB40 GB – 200 GB
Free cPanel?Yes. 5 Accounts
Uptime SLA99.9%100%
Hostgator VPS vs LiquidWeb VPS

Here’s the complete Liquid Web vs Hostgator comparison for more details.

Winner: Liquid Web VPS

Hostgator VPS vs KnownHost VPS

Despite having lower discounts, the KnownHost VPS is superior to Hostgator’s VPS. For one, the renewal prices of Hostgator are far higher than those of KnownHost, despite having similar configurations. Here are all the KnownHost promo codes with the best deals. One significant advantage of KnownHost VPS packages is that their discounts renew year after year, unlike Hostgator, which lures you in with a massive initial discount of 12-months, and then hikes up the price.

In terms of features, KnownHost beats Hostgator once again. KnownHost has free alternate day backups that they store for up to two weeks, whereas Hostgator takes a “courtesy” backup once a week and tells you not to rely on them. If your server goes down for longer than the 99.9% uptime SLA, KnownHost gives you a 10% discount for every tenth percentage point, while Hostgator gives you a flat SLA credit.

In addition, KnownHost VPS packages have a lot more options for add-ons, alternate Operating Systems, and web servers compared to Hostgator, which has nothing.

FeatureHostgator VPSKnownHost VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$20.00/m
BackupsPaid add-on
BandwidthNo commitment1 TB – 6 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB20 GB – 300 GB
Free cPanel?
Uptime SLA99.9%99.9%
Hostgator VPS vs KnownHost VPS

Winner: KnownHost VPS

Hostgator VPS vs NameHero VPS

If you host for more than 12-months, the NameHero VPS plans are far cheaper than Hostgator’s VPS packages. The basic NameHero VPS renews at just $21.97/m, compared to $19.95/m for Hostgator. Here’s the best NameHero coupon to get the best deal.

NameHero VPS plans also come with the InterWorx web hosting control panel, so you can save money instead of using cPanel. Hostgator plan doesn’t give you an option – you either have to pay for cPanel, or install your own control panel, leaving it more or less unmanaged. NameHero VPS systems also integrate with Cloudflare’s Railgun technology, so you don’t have to pay extra.

The NameHero VPS also comes with add-ons for backups and extra dedicated IPs, while Hostgator does not.

FeatureHostgator VPSNameHero VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$21.97/m
BackupsPaid add-on
BandwidthNo commitment10 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB30 GB – 120 GB
Free cPanel?
Uptime SLA99.9%99.9%
Hostgator VPS vs NameHero VPS

Winner: NameHero VPS

Hostgator VPS vs Bluehost VPS

Contrary to expectations, Bluehost VPS is the true low-cost alternative to Hostgator. Starting at the low price of $18.99/m, Bluehost is one of the cheapest managed VPS providers on the market. In addition, Bluehost lets you keep your discount for 36-months or three years, and it even comes with cPanel/WHM. Here’s the best Bluehost discount for all their plans.

The Bluehost VPS also lets you buy add-ons for backups and security – CodeGuard and SiteLock, unlike the Hostgator, which is strange because they’re both owned by the same company. Whatever the reason, it has a lot more flexibility. There are some warning signs, however. Bluehost VPS plans don’t have an SLA, unlike Hostgator, and that’s very suspicious. Still, you can’t beat it for low-cost VPS-managed hosting.

FeatureHostgator VPSBluehost VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$18.99/m
BackupsPaid add-on
BandwidthNo commitment1 TB – 3 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB30 GB – 120 GB
Free cPanel?
Uptime SLA99.9%No commitment
Hostgator VPS vs Bluehost VPS

Winner: Bluehost VPS

Hostgator VPS vs A2 Hosting VPS

A2 Hosting’s VPS plans are more expensive compared to other providers, but they’re the same price as a Hostgator VPS, with renewal prices starting at $76.99/m. Like Bluehost, you can lock in your A2 Hosting VPS savings for 3-years, making it much more affordable than Hostgator.

A2 Hosting’s VPS also has a single free cPanel account and two dedicated IP addresses. Unfortunately, scheduling, storing, and restoring backups are your responsibility. A2 Hosting also has data centers in Europe and Asia, making it a better all-around choice for VPS hosting.

FeatureHostgator VPSA2 Hosting VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$39.99/m
BandwidthNo commitment2 TB – 4 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB150 GB – 450 GB
Free cPanel?
Uptime SLA99.9%99.9%
Hostgator VPS vs A2 Hosting VPS

Winner: A2 Hosting VPS

Hostgator VPS vs RoseHosting VPS

RoseHosting is one of the oldest VPS providers. They’re a bit expensive but much better than Hostgator. The prices start at $20.97/m for 24-months, and the discounts renew each year. You can read my complete RoseHosting review for more details.

RoseHosting is unique because it has NVMe drives on all its plans – an unusual feature. It also has excellent customer service, with an average ticket response time of five minutes. RoseHosting is on my list of providers with the best web hosting support. Unlike Hostgator, it supports a wide range of Operating Systems, lets you choose the LiteSpeed webserver at checkout, and even offers a second weekly backup in addition to the one they already take. RoseHosting also has a 100% uptime SLA.

FeatureHostgator VPSRoseHosting VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$20.97/m
BackupsFree Weekly + Paid Extra
BandwidthNo commitment2 TB – 12 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB30 GB – 200 GB
Free cPanel?
Uptime SLA99.9%100%
Hostgator VPS vs RoseHosting VPS

Winner: RoseHosting VPS

Hostgator VPS vs InMotion VPS

InMotion VPS plans have the same renewal costs as a Hostgator VPS, renewing at $17.99/m. However, you can lock in your discounts for three whole years as opposed to 12-months with Hostgator. Here’s the complete InMotion discount list with all the deals.

InMotion VPS plans, like RoseHosting plans, also come with NVMe drives, but in addition, you also get five free cPanel accounts. On the downside, there doesn’t appear to be any uptime SLA, so that’s worrying because, as with the Bluehost VPS, you don’t know how seriously they take their infrastructure. With all the benefits, it beats out Hostgator easily.

FeatureHostgator VPSInMotion VPS
Initial Pricing$19.95/m$17.99/m
BandwidthNo commitment2 TB
Storage150 GB – 450 GB90 GB – 360 GB
Free cPanel?5 free accounts
Uptime SLA99.9%None
Hostgator VPS vs InMotion VPS

Winner: InMotion VPS

Liquid Web VPS: $15.00/m

The best alternative to a Hostgator VPS.

Final Thoughts on Hostgator VPS Plans

My recommendation on a Hostgator VPS is this – get another VPS provider. Liquid Web, KnownHost, NameHero, and InMotion are superior and cheaper. For a price this high, you should expect backups, free cPanel, a solid uptime SLA and a suite of add-ons to complement your hosting. Hostgator has none of these and yet charges a considerable premium. Stay away.

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!