Hostgator is a very well known hosting company which has been serving the services for thousands of clients, and could be way more than that but who cares about the numbers when you are getting to know that those customers are not being served the way they deserve it after paying so much and having their web property hosted at a place where nearly half of the world isn’t able to access the website on time and that makes the customer lose the potential visitors and clients. In the review below, I am listing out the issues I have been facing with Hostgator, but keep in mind, these are my thoughts and you might one of the lucky customers of them who hasn’t faced any problems with them till date. Still, I have you in my mind while writing, so that you think of alternatives any time soon.
The good thing about Hostgator has always been one which was mere a marketing tactic – the Live Chat. One would always be pleased to see a person chatting with you to solve your problems, but now that good isn’t the same because there are two issues with it –
- Long wait time – There are several instances when I had to wait for at least 45 minutes for a person to get free and start taking my queries, and to make it worse, as soon as you are connected finally, you would see the chat screen with no response and you have no option but to try it again from the very beginning. Several other hosting companies do not have a live chat option but they reply within a few minutes itself.
- Repetitive answers – The customer care guys don’t have any other answers than the standard ones, and when we prompt that it’s not the issue our side, they blame the ISP but don’t accept the blame on themselves, although the end problem is all because of them.
One of such examples is (this is not the actual chat, but something similar to what I always get) –
Hostgator: I would suggest you to clear your browser cache and try to check it then
Me: I have done that hundreds of times and you always repeat the same answer. I cleared the cache, tried from another browser too, asked a friend to check it from his place (South Africa) and another from US. No one is able to open the website.
Hostgator: I would then suggest you to contact your ISP because they could have possibly blocked the access.
Me: I did even that. They said they don’t even block adult sites unless someone reports, and in my case for my blog, they don’t have the URL in the block list.
Hostgator: From our side, we cannot do anything else to resolve this. I will open a support ticket with your complain and you will receive the support through the email from here.
Oh thank you, I will now have to wait for a week to see the same reply as you gave. WTH? every guy around who isn’t able to open my website has to go contact his ISP and check whether they intentionally blocked the website? is that what my visitors would do when they directly land here from a search engine search?!?
When I searched around my network to see if people are facing some similar issues, I found I wasn’t alone. There is a big group of bloggers who have shifted to several other web hosts and this was even worse when a year back a couple of my friends had shifted to BlueHost mainly for the reviews it has always got. But in August this year, finally we got to know that these both are under the same group – Endurance International Group, something which owns around 50 web hosting companies now after buying each slowly and steadily to become this big, but that didn’t matter earlier until the huge network outage happened and EIG posted about it. That is when one got a feeling that buying a hosting plan with any of these could lead to the same problem in the near future.
How all this affected me?
If I thought it seriously was a problem with my IP and Hostgator is a big company, and they shouldn’t be blamed, I was totally wrong. My rankings in search engines started changing, and the hosting is seriously one of the reasons why it happened. Downtime, delayed page response and what not, everything is taken into consideration by Google. And eventually, I am totally unsure of how much traffic and final earnings I lost during this time, with some serious damage to the rankings.
The worst time was recently when I had shifted the website to a friend’s server and whenever I try to open the website, it says “Account suspended”. That doesn’t show to only Hostgator and a few people who I cross-checked with but my clients who have placed ads on my sites, mailed me to ask what is the issue with the site. All thanks to Hostgator.
What else is not good with them?
The affiliate system is more crappy! I tried them and only for once out of eight signups, I see the commission approved, i.e. 12.5% conversion off signups. And at a serious note, I have seen three websites already running a week after the signups happened, but Hostgator never counted them and set them as Inactive for always in my affiliate panel. One of my friends, Ricky Shah, posted a picture of his experience with it. This one below would explain everything to you.
Is the condition same with Shared and Dedicated accounts?
I am not sure of these, because I know a couple users who have dedicated accounts and the support system for them is quite better I suppose, because of the money they pay. Shared, well, is “Shared” where I won’t risk hosting my website along with some unknown sites on the same IP, and these could do some serious damage in the eyes of search engines. I have used only their reseller plan, thus sharing my experience only with that.
Experience shared by a few friends
Sunny Bajaj: Using a Dedicated server.. and no response for days WRT tickets.
George Mathew: Regarding Affiliate commissions. Cant trust them on whether they’ll pay you
Shrestha Ashesh: I assume I am the most affected with outage. Hostgator is not for high traffic website (5000+). They will restrict or suspend saying error in script or any nonsense reason. I am on share hosting. But response form staff is average++
Sachin Kumar: I am using hostgator from past 5 years. dedicated and VPS are not good at all. but if i tell you about shared Awesome. No other host can provide you service like HG. I have proof HG can handle too much traffic. yes, Agree there is some issue with HG these days. but the main reason is shortage of Resources. They are growing very very fast.
My final sincere advice
If you are someone new or someone already fed up with some other hosting service, don’t risk it with Hostgator for now. They won’t respond well, they would keep replying with the same answer if they don’t have a clue of what is happening, and they are not trustworthy anymore. There are several hosting companies that are emerging and that take care of their clients so well, and although they won’t have the tempting live chat option, they respond to tickets in a few minutes. I was happy with Hostgator at one point of time, but eventually they have become average to bad to worse. For now, I won’t recommend them.