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 stellar in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.97 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 97.50 %. HostGator's most recent result on Aug 15 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
2017-08-15100.000 %0 mins0426 ms
2017-08-14100.000 %0 mins0394 ms
2017-08-13100.000 %0 mins0362 ms
2017-08-12100.000 %0 mins0348 ms
2017-08-11100.000 %0 mins0368 ms
2017-08-10100.000 %0 mins0440 ms
2017-08-09100.000 %0 mins0475 ms
2017-08-08100.000 %0 mins0475 ms
2017-08-07100.000 %0 mins0458 ms
2017-08-06100.000 %0 mins0434 ms
2017-08-05100.000 %0 mins0431 ms
2017-08-04100.000 %0 mins0427 ms
2017-08-03100.000 %0 mins0381 ms
2017-08-02100.000 %0 mins0371 ms
2017-08-01100.000 %0 mins0388 ms
2017-07-31100.000 %0 mins0401 ms
2017-07-30100.000 %0 mins0405 ms
2017-07-29100.000 %0 mins0418 ms
2017-07-28100.000 %0 mins0426 ms
2017-07-27100.000 %0 mins0428 ms
2017-07-26100.000 %0 mins0418 ms
2017-07-25100.000 %0 mins0436 ms
2017-07-24100.000 %0 mins0430 ms
2017-07-23100.000 %0 mins0430 ms
2017-07-22100.000 %0 mins0438 ms
2017-07-21100.000 %0 mins0442 ms
2017-07-20100.000 %0 mins0447 ms
2017-07-19100.000 %0 mins0430 ms
2017-07-18100.000 %0 mins0448 ms
2017-07-17100.000 %0 mins0453 ms
2017-07-16100.000 %0 mins0458 ms
2017-07-15100.000 %0 mins0459 ms
2017-07-14100.000 %0 mins0460 ms
2017-07-13100.000 %0 mins0513 ms
2017-07-12100.000 %0 mins0568 ms
2017-07-11100.000 %0 mins0584 ms
2017-07-10100.000 %0 mins0599 ms
2017-07-09100.000 %0 mins0615 ms
2017-07-08100.000 %0 mins0616 ms
2017-07-07100.000 %0 mins0616 ms
2017-07-06100.000 %0 mins0578 ms
2017-07-05100.000 %0 mins0577 ms
2017-07-04100.000 %0 mins0589 ms
2017-07-03100.000 %0 mins0599 ms
2017-07-02100.000 %0 mins0575 ms
2017-07-01100.000 %0 mins0478 ms
2017-06-30100.000 %0 mins0467 ms
2017-06-29100.000 %0 mins0472 ms
2017-06-28100.000 %0 mins0507 ms
2017-06-27100.000 %0 mins0515 ms
2017-06-26100.000 %0 mins0531 ms
2017-06-25100.000 %0 mins0520 ms
2017-06-24100.000 %0 mins0502 ms
2017-06-23100.000 %0 mins0560 ms
2017-06-22100.000 %0 mins0575 ms
2017-06-2199.653 %5 mins1542 ms
2017-06-20100.000 %0 mins0575 ms
2017-06-19100.000 %0 mins0613 ms
2017-06-18100.000 %0 mins0627 ms
2017-06-17100.000 %0 mins0615 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 impressively in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 2.88 seconds. Its best run was 2.38 s, but has been as bad as 15.02 s. HostGator's most recent result on Aug 16 was 2.70 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
2017-08-16Dulles, VA3.0s0.3s3.1s1.5sAAF
2017-08-16San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-15Dulles, VA2.9s0.4s3.0s1.5sAAF
2017-08-15San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-14Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.6sAAF
2017-08-14San Jose, CA2.5s0.3s2.6s1.5sAAF
2017-08-13Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.6sAAF
2017-08-13San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.0sAAF
2017-08-12Dulles, VA4.1s0.4s4.5s1.8sAAF
2017-08-12San Jose, CA2.6s0.5s2.6s1.5sAAF
2017-08-11Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.4s1.7sAAF
2017-08-11San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-10Dulles, VA3.0s0.3s3.1s1.4sAAF
2017-08-10San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-09Dulles, VA3.4s0.5s3.5s2.2sAAF
2017-08-09San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-08Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.4s1.9sAAF
2017-08-08San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-08-07Dulles, VA2.8s0.4s2.9s1.5sAAF
2017-08-07San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-06Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.7sAAF
2017-08-06San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.6s1.3sAAF
2017-08-05Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.7sAAF
2017-08-05San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.0sAAF
2017-08-04Dulles, VA3.7s0.5s3.7s2.2sAAF
2017-08-04San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-08-03Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.3s1.7sAAF
2017-08-03San Jose, CA2.5s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-08-02Dulles, VA2.9s0.4s3.0s1.5sAAF
2017-08-02San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-01Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.3sAAF
2017-08-01San Jose, CA2.5s0.4s2.6s1.4sAAF
2017-07-31Dulles, VA3.9s0.4s4.4s2.4sAAF
2017-07-31San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-07-30Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.6sAAF
2017-07-30San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-07-29Dulles, VA2.8s0.4s2.9s1.4sAAF
2017-07-29San Jose, CA2.5s0.4s2.5s1.0sAAF
2017-07-28Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.3s1.8sAAF
2017-07-28San Jose, CA2.5s0.4s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-07-27Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.7sAAF
2017-07-27San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.5sAAF
2017-07-26Dulles, VA3.0s0.4s3.1s1.6sAAF
2017-07-26San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-07-25Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.2s1.8sAAF
2017-07-25San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-07-24Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.3s1.6sAAF
2017-07-24San Jose, CA2.4s0.4s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-07-23Dulles, VA2.9s0.3s3.2s1.3sAAF
2017-07-23San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-07-22Dulles, VA3.2s0.6s3.3s1.7sAAF
2017-07-22San Jose, CA2.5s0.4s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-07-21Dulles, VA2.9s0.4s3.0s1.4sAAF
2017-07-21San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.4sAAF
2017-07-20Dulles, VA3.2s0.5s3.5s1.7sAAF
2017-07-20San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-07-19Dulles, VA3.1s0.3s3.2s1.6sAAF
2017-07-19San Jose, CA2.6s0.3s2.7s1.6sAAF
2017-07-18Dulles, VA4.0s0.4s4.2s1.9sAAF
2017-07-18San Jose, CA2.4s0.4s2.5s1.4sAAF

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 impressively in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 2.88 seconds. Its best run was 2.38 s, but has been as bad as 15.02 s. HostGator's most recent result on Aug 16 was 2.70 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
2017-08-12Dulles, VA4.1s0.4s4.5s1.8sAAF
2017-07-18Dulles, VA4.0s0.4s4.2s1.9sAAF

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 stellar in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.97 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 97.50 %. HostGator's most recent result on Aug 15 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
2017-06-2199.653 %5 mins1542 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 under par 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 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 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
HostGator2.88 s2.38 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:

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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