HostGator (HostGator.com) has become one of the better known web hosts in the industry by being themselves. Though nothing they do is completely spectacular or unbelievable, they do what they should do. That is, HostGator actually answers their phones, replies to their emails, responds to live chat requests, doesn’t rip you off, and provides quality hosting. It’s actually quite sad that most hosts can’t seem to get these things right, but it’s great for HostGator as they’ve banked on it and it’s translated into success.
At first glance, HostGator is not too impressive. They have a fairly generic web site, a logo with a fairly lame slogan – “we eat up the competition” (the alligator in the logo is eating the “H”) (sorry HostGator), ordinary copy on their text, an apparent lack of updates on their site, a pretty standard ModernBill setup, cPanel, and basically everything an average web host has.
However, that’s the beauty of HostGator. They don’t have too many bells and whistles, marketing ploys, or anything of the sort. What you see is what you get and it’s that simple. HostGator’s terms of service is pretty standard, as is their order process. Marketing isn’t shoved down your throat at every page and billing is simple. The order process takes about 5 minutes and HostGator accepts both credit cards and PayPal (which is always nice), as well as debit cards.
I found it interesting how HostGator accepts quite a few forms of payments, so I contact them, and be a little, different. I requested a live chat, and it went like this I was George, pretending to be someone whose English wasn’t the best.
Chat Information Please wait for a HostGator operator to respond.
Chat Information Welcome to HostGator! You are now chatting with ‘Bueford’
Bueford: Welcome to HostGator, how may I assist you?
George: Hi Bueford!
George: Hi Bueford!
George: I have a question regarding your order process – the process at which you order.
George: Would you be willing to assist me with answering these questions regarding the ordering process at HostGator.com?
Chat Information Please wait while I transfer the chat to ‘Kafel’.
Chat Information Welcome to HostGator! You are now chatting with ‘Kafel’
Kafel: sure, go ahead
George: Why was I transferred from Bueford?
George: Never the matter. My question is this.
Kafel: he is tied up with another chat and didn’t want to keep you holding
George: Oh, very well then! tell Bueford I appreciate his kindness.
George: My question is this. I live in another country and I am unable to pay with a credit card or with PayPal, as my country does not support PayPal.
Kafel: I will do
George: Do I have the ability to “DHL 5-7 Day International Express” HostGator.com a check for the amount of the total of my order?
Kafel: One moment please…
George: That is fine. I will wait one moment. You’re welcome.
George: Excuse my English, please. English is not the principal language of the country that I live in.
Kafel: yes, you could send a bank check to us and once we receive it we will apply it to your account
Kafel: You could call me on the phone if you’d like
Kafel: and by the way your English is excellent
George: That is okay, Kafel. I do not have a telephone that calls international numbers.
George: That sounds very good, Kaefel! Thank you very much for your help in assistance with helping and assisting me with your order process at HostGator.com.
George: I will be honored and excited to be hosted by such a company as HostGator.com.
Kafel: Oh ok.. I thought you were calling from within the US
Kafel: Thanks for your kind word. Looking forward to assisting you in the future
George: Have a wonderful day, Kafel! Many wishes to you and your family!
They handled the somewhat different situation quite well and answered the question (which was not a standard process, apparently). It’s nice to see companies that don’t always go by the book and offer to help you, without you having to constantly request their help. I later spoke to Kafel as Douglas and told him who I was and that he did a very good job in handling the situation.
HostGator’s phone support was just as good, and when I asked the three standard questions (Do you support mod_rewrite, mod_security, and are your servers Windows or Linux (Linux)) they were answered promptly. I sent those three questions, along with “Do you support PHP5 and Ruby on Rails?” at 5:44 PM on a Monday, and got a response about 10 minutes later that said:
“We support PHP4.4 We support mod_rewrite Our servers on Linux this on our shared server but if you take dedicated server then we installed php5 and mod_security on your server.”
It wasn’t worded too well, but it did answer most of the questions (Ruby on Rails was completely ignored).
HostGator offers some other services such as web design, merchant services, domain registration, SSL certificates (which at $75 each, are overpriced), and script installation. They outline all of their upgrades quite clearly in the Addons section of the Support Center, which is always nice.
The actual HostGator control panel is cPanel. There is absolutely nothing that I can tell that is different than any other standard installation of cPanel. It has the standard mail and database features. Speed was good. Everything worked fine and installation of the scripts I tried worked just fine.