August 24, 2019

HostGator Pricing: What You Need to Know

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How do HostGator's prices compare to competitors like Bluehost? Read on to learn what you can expect to pay after the first term and for extras like SSL.

Here's everything you'll need to know about HostGator's pricing.

Hostgator Basics

Hosting ServicePlanCost per Month
Shared Web HostingHatchling Plan$2.75
Baby Plan$3.95
Business Plan$5.95
Cloud HostingHatchling Cloud$4.95
Baby Cloud$6.57
Business Cloud$9.95
WordPress HostingStarter Plan$5.95
Standard Plan$7.95
Business Plan$9.95
VPS HostingSnappy 2000$29.95
Snappy 4000$39.95
Snappy 8000$49.95
Dedicated HostingValue Server$119.00
Power Server$139.00
Enterprise Server$149.00

*All prices advertised are only for new customers and for the 36-month billing cycle.

How Hostgator's Pricing Works

HostGator seems to offer rock-bottom prices. Their shared hosting plans, for example, cost less than $3/month - for the first three years.

What HostGator doesn't make clear is that these rock-bottom prices are only for first-time customers. And it's only if you pay upfront for their longest billing cycle—36 months.

So, what it really means is that on average, you would have paid only $2.75/month—if you're a first-time customer, and if you pay upfront for three years.

If you decide to pick a shorter cycle, like 12 months, the price jumps up to $5.95/month. That's more than twice their advertised rate.

For terms shorter than 12 months, there aren't any discounts at all—you pay the regular price of $10.95/month. This pricing structure applies across the board, regardless of the type of hosting.

You get the biggest savings if it's your first time with HostGator and if you go for the 36-month billing period. Otherwise, you'll be paying a bit more than what they advertise.

After your first billing cycle is over, you no longer get the first-time customer discount. Regular rates kick in, and these can be more than three times what you paid the first time. However, you'll still get cheaper rates for longer billing cycles.

For HostGator's regular price list, visit their official page here.

45-Day Refund

HostGator offers a decent refund window of 45 days. It's not the longest we've seen, but it's not as short as some companies either (Bluehost only has 30 days). If you decide to cancel at any time during this period, they'll give you your money back.

However, it's conditional. The guarantee only applies to shared, reseller, and VPS hosting. It doesn't apply to dedicated servers.

Also, the refund doesn't cover everything. For example, HostGator won't refund you for any administrative fees, installation fees for custom software, or domain name purchases.

If you paid for your plan with a check, money order, or bank wire transfer, you're not eligible for a refund either. HostGator can only refund orders paid with debit card, credit card, or PayPal.

Finally, if your plan included a free domain name, and you decide to cancel their service, they'll deduct $15 from your refund. HostGator doesn't include a free domain for their shared hosting services, but they do include one if you sign up for their Gator Website Builder service.

What Other Services Do They Provide?

HostGator has quite a few upsells during the checkout phase. Here's a few add-ons you'll see before completing your purchase.

Registering a new domain ($0.95/year to $15/year)
When signing up with HostGator, they'll first ask if you'd like to register a new domain. You can enter the name of your domain to see if it's available. If it is, you can purchase it from HostGator.

Fees vary depending on the type of TLD (.com, .org, etc.). The price ranges from $0.95/year to $15/year. You can ignore this if you already have a domain name.

Alternatively, you could also register your domain name with a cheaper service. Once you have a domain name, you can simply direct your DNS to HostGator from the cPanel.

SiteLock Monitoring ($19.99/year)
Security feature for websites, offered by HostGator. SiteLock scans your site for malware, looking for malicious code that could compromise your site's security. Once SiteLock finds something suspicious, they alert you via email and your control panel.

SiteLock Monitoring costs an additional $1.67/month ($19.99/year).

G Suite integration ($6.00/month)
If you want a professional email service for your site, HostGator provides the G Suite service too. You can have a customized email (you@yourdomain.com), which uses the Gmail interface.

It's not just email—G Suite offers a whole load of other features. This includes Google Drive (cloud storage), Google Docs, Google Calendar, and many others.

If you want the G Suite as part of your service, it'll cost you an extra $6.00/month.

CodeGuard site backup ($23.95/year)
CodeGuard is an automatic website backup service. It also monitors your site and keeps you informed of any changes.

For example, a CodeGuard backup will tell you on how many files were added, changed, and deleted on a specific date. You can choose to revert to the backup and other restore options in case something goes wrong.

HostGator SEO tools ($35.40/year)
HostGator's SEO tools comes in two plans: Start and Grow. The default add-on at the checkout window is for the Start plan, but you can upgrade it to Grow.

Both plans offer the same basic service, although Grow allows you to track more items. For example, one of the services offered is keyword tracking. You can see what keywords users are typing to find your site.

For the Start plan, you can track up to five keywords. With Grow, you can track 15.

The tool also provides other SEO-related services like tracking the keywords of your competitors, scanning your site for SEO-related problems, and analyzing each page for ways to improve your SEO.

For more information on HostGator's SEO service, visit their site here.

Gator Web Builder (plan-based)
If you don't want to use WordPress, HostGator also offers their own drag-and-drop site builder. You can choose among three plans:

  • Starter ($3.84/month)
  • Premium ($5.99/month)
  • eCommerce ($9.22/month)

The Gator Web Builder is great for beginners who want to set up their own site, but don't have the technical knowledge. With the drag-and-drop builder, all you need to do is choose a template and move the features around. The process is simple, and you can get a basic site up and running in no time.

Like all HostGator's plans, the advertised prices are also only for first-time customers and for the 36-month billing cycle. After the initial subscription, the prices jump back to the regular rates.

Bottom Line

HostGator's plans and pricing are less than transparent. Their advertised prices are low, but only for first-time customers willing to commit for at least a year. If you pick anything shorter than that, you'll be paying full price—no discounts.

Also, after the first billing cycle, prices jump back to regular rates. In some cases, these can be more than three times more expensive than your initial monthly fee. This could be a nasty shock if you're not prepared for it.

Take note of HostGator's upsells too. We've listed out some of their add-ons and their prices. They can up your costs if you're not careful.

Frankly, most of the add-ons aren't necessary. For example, you could backup your site yourself, without having to rely on the CodeGuard automatic backup. There are also free alternatives to services like HostGator's SEO tools, if you're willing to do a bit of research.

Overall, HostGator offers competitive pricing only if you're a first-time customer looking to settle in for the long term. If you decide to go with them, make sure you understand how much the regular rates are—you don't want any nasty surprises in the future!

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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