Web Hosting Reviews Driven by Data, Not Dollars

I'm disgusted with fake webhosting "reviews." Since 2014, I've been tracking the results of real-life performance tests for downtime, speed & support at the world's most popular web hosting companies. You'll be shocked by the results...

HostGator Review and Stats

HostGator is known for their unlimited web hosting and 24/7 tech support. They were founded in 2002 and now host over 9 million websites. Their data centers are located in Provo, Utah.

I have purchased a hosting plan on HostGator and set up a typical web site. I use that example website to run these tests. Learn more about how I test.

Here's the plan information I chose:

Plan NameHatchling
Cost$8.95/month
Disk SpaceUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimited
Uptime Guarantee99.9%
Money-Back Guarantee45 days
NotesSite was ready within minutes after I purchased.

On this page: Uptime | Speed | Support | Alternatives

Uptime Test

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better.

I use Pingdom to report website uptime. Pingdom is configured to make an HTTP request to the host every minute, and report if it is unreachable. It'll also report an error if the host takes longer than 30 seconds to respond (Yes, that's not actually down, but if your site takes that long to respond it is unusable in my opinion). Pingdom performs this test from at least 3 servers worldwide, and reports a problem if 2/3 servers do no respond.

This test is important if you are concerned about the reliability of your web host (this is important!)

Measuring uptime with Pingdom

HostGator Uptime Test Results

HostGator performs incredibly in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.98 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 97.50 %. HostGator's most recent result on Sep 21 was 100.00 percent. Back in 2013 HostGator had several outages that lasted days. While I wasn't recording detailed stats at the time, I can vouch that it was a miserable experience. Many blame the lack of reliability on their new data center, which they made everyone move to after they were bought out by EIG. To be honest, HostGator's downhill performance was the reason I created this site (I was too annoyed by them to let them get away with it).

Let's see if HostGator is consistent in its uptime stats:

Recent Raw Results for HostGator

Date Uptime Downtime Outages Avg Response Time
2018-09-21100.000 %0 mins0743 ms
2018-09-20100.000 %0 mins0721 ms
2018-09-19100.000 %0 mins0746 ms
2018-09-18100.000 %0 mins0727 ms
2018-09-17100.000 %0 mins0736 ms
2018-09-16100.000 %0 mins0728 ms
2018-09-15100.000 %0 mins0681 ms
2018-09-14100.000 %0 mins0706 ms
2018-09-13100.000 %0 mins0698 ms
2018-09-12100.000 %0 mins0704 ms
2018-09-11100.000 %0 mins0778 ms
2018-09-10100.000 %0 mins0734 ms
2018-09-09100.000 %0 mins0707 ms
2018-09-08100.000 %0 mins0712 ms
2018-09-07100.000 %0 mins0745 ms
2018-09-06100.000 %0 mins0726 ms
2018-09-05100.000 %0 mins0605 ms
2018-09-04100.000 %0 mins0631 ms
2018-09-03100.000 %0 mins0652 ms
2018-09-02100.000 %0 mins0601 ms
2018-09-01100.000 %0 mins0603 ms
2018-08-31100.000 %0 mins0635 ms
2018-08-30100.000 %0 mins0659 ms
2018-08-29100.000 %0 mins0671 ms
2018-08-28100.000 %0 mins0647 ms
2018-08-27100.000 %0 mins0713 ms
2018-08-26100.000 %0 mins0684 ms
2018-08-25100.000 %0 mins0680 ms
2018-08-24100.000 %0 mins0663 ms
2018-08-23100.000 %0 mins0702 ms
2018-08-22100.000 %0 mins0670 ms
2018-08-21100.000 %0 mins0682 ms
2018-08-2099.306 %10 mins1742 ms
2018-08-19100.000 %0 mins0677 ms
2018-08-18100.000 %0 mins0670 ms
2018-08-17100.000 %0 mins0651 ms
2018-08-16100.000 %0 mins0669 ms
2018-08-15100.000 %0 mins0734 ms
2018-08-1499.167 %12 mins1867 ms
2018-08-13100.000 %0 mins01021 ms
2018-08-12100.000 %0 mins0867 ms
2018-08-11100.000 %0 mins0801 ms
2018-08-10100.000 %0 mins0928 ms
2018-08-09100.000 %0 mins0944 ms
2018-08-08100.000 %0 mins0863 ms
2018-08-07100.000 %0 mins0861 ms
2018-08-06100.000 %0 mins0774 ms
2018-08-05100.000 %0 mins0704 ms
2018-08-04100.000 %0 mins0689 ms
2018-08-03100.000 %0 mins0761 ms
2018-08-02100.000 %0 mins0752 ms
2018-08-01100.000 %0 mins0733 ms
2018-07-31100.000 %0 mins0720 ms
2018-07-30100.000 %0 mins0705 ms
2018-07-29100.000 %0 mins0680 ms
2018-07-28100.000 %0 mins0713 ms
2018-07-27100.000 %0 mins0723 ms
2018-07-26100.000 %0 mins0702 ms
2018-07-25100.000 %0 mins0617 ms
2018-07-24100.000 %0 mins0579 ms

Page Speed Test

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better.

This test is performed by submitting a typical web page served on the host to WebPageTest and recording how long it takes to load. This test web page is 56 KB of HTML, 287 KB of JavaScript, 51 KB of CSS, and 1,128 KB of images (these are typical according to the HTTP Archive). WebPageTest (a 3rd-party, vendor-neutral organization) uses servers located in Virgina and California to measure the page load waterfall in the latest version of Chrome, on a very fast internet connection. The test is ran 5 times each, and the middle (median) result is what is counted from each location. Then the east coast and west coast times are averaged, which should eliminate any bias due to server location. We're interested in first page load, not the repeat/cached view.

If you're really interested, I use the 'Load Time' measurement that's returned from WebPageTest for ranking page speed. I still collect other metrics such as TTFB (time to first byte), fully loaded time, and the speed index, in addition to server setting scores which are translated to grades. You can see these detailed values in the "Raw Results."

This test is important if your site resembles a typical website and you're concerned about speed (which you should be!)

Measuring page speed with WebPageTest.org


In September 2014 I updated this test to be more accurate, and you'll notice page speeds were a bit higher before then. The test used to be run only 3 times from one location using a simulated cable internet connection on Internet Explorer 11. The new method provides much more consistent results.

HostGator Page Speed Test Results

HostGator performs incredibly in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 2.82 seconds. Its best run was 2.07 s, but has been as bad as 15.02 s. HostGator's most recent result on Mar 23 was 2.40 seconds. Back in the day HostGator used to share a datacenter with SoftLayer - and they were lightning fast. Now that they made everyone transition to their own datacenter (after the EIG buyout), page speed has been worse, although not as bad as some other hosts here.

Let's see if HostGator is consistent in its page speed stats:

Recent Raw Results for HostGator

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
2018-04-05Dulles, VA3.1s0.3s3.2s0.9sAAF
2018-04-05San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.7sAAF
2018-04-04Dulles, VA2.9s0.5s3.1s1.1sAAF
2018-04-04San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.8sAAF
2018-04-03Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.8sAAF
2018-04-03San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.7sAAF
2018-04-02Dulles, VA2.5s0.4s2.6s0.9sAAF
2018-04-02San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.7sAAF
2018-04-01Dulles, VA2.6s0.3s2.8s0.9sAAF
2018-04-01San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.7sAAF
2018-03-31Dulles, VA2.5s0.4s3.2s0.9sAAF
2018-03-31San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.7sAAF
2018-03-30Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-30San Jose, CA2.5s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-29Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-29San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-28Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-28San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-27Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.9sAAF
2018-03-27San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-26Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-26San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-25Dulles, VA2.5s0.4s2.3s0.9sAAF
2018-03-25San Jose, CA2.5s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-24Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-24San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-23Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-23San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-22Dulles, VA2.1s0.4s2.3s0.9sAAF
2018-03-22San Jose, CA2.1s0.4s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-21Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.9sAAF
2018-03-21San Jose, CA2.2s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-20Dulles, VA2.2s0.3s2.3s1.0sAAF
2018-03-20San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-19Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-19San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-18Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-18San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-17Dulles, VA2.2s0.5s2.4s0.9sAAF
2018-03-17San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-16Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-16San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-15Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-15San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-14Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-14San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-13Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-13San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-12Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-12San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-11Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-11San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-09Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.8sAAF
2018-03-09San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-08Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.9sAAF
2018-03-08San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.2s0.7sAAF
2018-03-07Dulles, VA2.1s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-07San Jose, CA2.1s0.3s2.3s0.8sAAF
2018-03-06Dulles, VA2.4s0.3s2.5s0.8sAAF
2018-03-06San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.6s0.8sAAF

Does HostGator Suck?

Some people may think HostGator sucks. Here are some real benchmarks to show you HostGator's speed, reliability, and support - so you can see if they really do suck.

Is HostGator slow?

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better. Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

HostGator performs above average in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 2.82 seconds. Its best run was 2.07 s, but has been as bad as 15.02 s. HostGator's most recent result on Mar 23 was 2.40 seconds. Back in the day HostGator used to share a datacenter with SoftLayer - and they were lightning fast. Now that they made everyone transition to their own datacenter (after the EIG buyout), page speed has been worse, although not as bad as some other hosts here.

Let's take a look at some of the times that HostGator had some poor page speed performance:

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
None found!

Is HostGator unreliable?

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

HostGator performs above average in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.98 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 97.50 %. HostGator's most recent result on Sep 21 was 100.00 percent. Back in 2013 HostGator had several outages that lasted days. While I wasn't recording detailed stats at the time, I can vouch that it was a miserable experience. Many blame the lack of reliability on their new data center, which they made everyone move to after they were bought out by EIG. To be honest, HostGator's downhill performance was the reason I created this site (I was too annoyed by them to let them get away with it).

Let's take a look at some of the times that HostGator had some poor uptime performance:

Date Uptime Downtime Outages Avg Response Time
2018-08-2099.306 %10 mins1742 ms
2018-08-1499.167 %12 mins1867 ms

Does HostGator's have poor customer service?

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

HostGator performs miserably in the Support Response test, with an average result of 53.4 hours. Its best run was 0.3 h, but has been as bad as 168.0 h. HostGator's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.3 hours. HostGator's tech support had proven to be pretty slow - you can count on them taking about a day to respond to you. Things used to be faster before they were bought out by EIG.

Let's take a look at some of the times that HostGator had some poor support response performance:

Date Support Ticket Submitted Support Ticket Resolved Response Time
2015-02-24Feb 24, 3:28amOver 7 days168.0 hours
2015-01-27Jan 27, 5:54amFeb 1, 12:46pm126.9 hours
2014-11-28Nov 28, 4:33pmDec 2, 4:18am83.7 hours
2014-10-26Oct 26, 10:55amOct 28, 12:13am37.0 hours
2014-09-06Sept 6, 6:46pmSept 7, 5:48am23.0 hours
2014-08-09Aug 9, 2:46pmAug 10, 3:18pm24.5 hours
2014-07-12July 13, 2:07pmJuly 14, 7:03am16.9 hours

Still think HostGator sucks?

I've presented you with lots of data that will show you whether or not HostGator sucks. So, what do you think? Are they reliable, fast, and helpful? If not, consider these HostGator alternatives.

Support Response Test

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better.

I personally contact each host's support department with a new question/concern and measure how long it takes for them to get back to me.

This test is important for every host - it's imperative your web host is able to quickly address your concerns in a timely manner, even if you're an expert webmaster. Who wants to deal with a host that has poor customer service? Tech is hard, and tech support is critical!

Measuring a host's support response speed

HostGator Support Response Test Results

HostGator performs pretty poorly in the Support Response test, with an average result of 53.4 hours. Its best run was 0.3 h, but has been as bad as 168.0 h. HostGator's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 0.3 hours. HostGator's tech support had proven to be pretty slow - you can count on them taking about a day to respond to you. Things used to be faster before they were bought out by EIG.

Let's see if HostGator is consistent in its support response stats:

Recent Raw Results for HostGator

Date Support Ticket Submitted Support Ticket Resolved Response Time
2016-03-22Mar 10, 4:19pmMar 10, 4:34pm0.3 hours
2015-02-24Feb 24, 3:28amOver 7 days168.0 hours
2015-01-27Jan 27, 5:54amFeb 1, 12:46pm126.9 hours
2014-12-20Dec 20, 2:51pmDec 20, 3:10pm0.3 hours
2014-11-28Nov 28, 4:33pmDec 2, 4:18am83.7 hours
2014-10-26Oct 26, 10:55amOct 28, 12:13am37.0 hours
2014-09-06Sept 6, 6:46pmSept 7, 5:48am23.0 hours
2014-08-09Aug 9, 2:46pmAug 10, 3:18pm24.5 hours
2014-07-12July 13, 2:07pmJuly 14, 7:03am16.9 hours

HostGator Alternatives: Better speed, reliability, and support

Are you having problems with HostGator? It's not uncommon to want to change to a better host if your current host has issues with being slow, down, or unsupportive.

Let's see if we can find a HostGator competitor that has better uptime, faster load times, and speedier support.

Hosts faster than HostGator

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better. Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

If HostGator is having page speed problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

Host Average Best Worst
HostGator2.82 s2.07 s15.02 sTest ResultsSignup Now

Hosts more reliable than HostGator

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

If HostGator is having uptime problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

Host Average Best Worst
HostGator99.98 %100.00 %97.50 %Test ResultsSignup Now

Hosts more helpful than HostGator

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

If HostGator is having support response problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

HostGator Versus Other Hosts

If you're trying to decide between HostGator and another host, here's are some specific comparisons that will show you the differences in detail:

FTC Disclaimer

Yes, I do use affiliate links on this site to help cover the cost of testing and $1000+ per year in server charges. Results are 100% unbiased and never skewed to favor a higher commission. Thanks for understanding :)

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