1. Garen

    Hey Kyle,

    I couldn’t agree more with you that Hostgator really doesn’t care anymore about their customers. They have just turned into a big corporate giant that was bought out by EIG in 2012. EIG owns tons of host, and they put a lot of dirt on once good companies names. I used to host with them 3+ years ago and slowly started to notice that the level of service has drastically went down hill over the years. I had a VPS with them and the site only got 200 unique visitors per day and Hostgator suspended my account for high resource usage.

    Not to mention, I used to promote them through their affiliate program and they started reversing sales. At one time they reversed 2,900 worth of sales. I even had a friend test one out and it got reversed because they told me the customer cancelled their account.

    Since then I warn others about hosting with them, and even promoting them through their affiliate program.


    • Kyle

      Lots of crazy stuff going on there Garen and all too common these days, not just with Hostgator but this is a model that has been instituted by most of the BIG hosting companies out there. Definitely anything within the EIG umbrella will behave in this sort of manner.

      Jacking your fees or forcing you to move to a much more expensive hosting package if you get ANY traffic is happening all over the place. They are doing a good job getting people into a CHEAP hosting package then holding them for ransom with all of their websites if they get any traffic. You have to pay $50-100 per month (if not more) if you want to continue to keep your site live. Godaddy is doing the same thing.

      I have also had BAD experiences with their affiliate program in the past, funny you mention that. I remember after they started reversing my commissions I went online to find out that they are doing this to MANY others. I guess they are in the business of making money and if that requires them to take money from others.

      Thanks for your feedback and insights into HG.

  2. Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. why oh why!!!!!!
    We just moved our hosting from Godaddy to Hostgator. However, we haven’t experienced any problems yet (even toes crossed) that we experienced with Godaddy.

    • Kyle

      And you very well may have a wonderful experience within HG, however if you are on their shared platform you cannot expect the highest level of hosting and you will be vulnerable to attacks on your “neighbours” websites.

      I hope you have a good experience and I am sorry to hear about your horrible one with GoDaddy. You do get what you pay for these days and if you are paying under $10 for hosting, chances are it will be bottom of the barrel.

  3. Steve

    I was a Host Gator customer years ago and when I decided to stop using the service, I simply allowed the account that were drawing the monthly fees from run dry. As expected, my hosting was canceled.

    Then, 10 months later when I wanted to start using them again, they wanted me to pay them all the money they would have billed for those 10 months!

    Pay for a service I wasn’t provided? Seriously? I think they’re a joke.

  4. ciric

    So for you guys, there’s the poor,and the rich.
    what comes in between? A good host at less than $50 a month for the guy starting out and looking?

    • Kyle

      There isn’t the poor and the rich, rather there is quality, secure hosting and there is budget hosting (which is truly where you get what you pay for).

      By all means you can get a $5 hosting plan if you like, but just be forewarned that if you get too much traffic you are going to be contacted by Hostgator and required to upgrade to a much more expensive package or be booted off of their service. Your website, in particular if you are hosting WordPress websites, are vulnerable to hacking even on their dedicated services as well so you can expect regular blackouts with their service and a considerable amount of downtime.

      Why? Because WordPress is not their speciality. Making money off of hosting is and they are run like a true “capitalist” company where they capitalize on consumers and as a result their overall hosting surface suffers in terms of quality.

      Just remember, hosting is the foundation of your business operations. Paying $40-50 per month to run your business on a quality host and being able to rely on the quality of that service is a small price to pay versus having your website hosted on low grade provides like HostGator where your websites are vulnerable to hacking, security holes, performance issues, and downtime.

  5. Wolf

    I have a resellers account with Hostgator, which accommodates my 30+ websites.

    Who’s the heir apparent to Hostgator ?

    I’m not sure I even know when any of my websites are down because of Hostgator problems — how do you monitor ?

    • Kyle

      The best way to monitor a website is to get a program that will notify you when your sites are down. One such program is:


      It will actually even notify you right to your mobile phone when your site is down via text. This way you can keep a good eye on your websites and the “service” that you are getting with Hostgator.

  6. John

    It’s the part about internet marketing/SEO training that interests me the most in this article. I’ve been trying to rank my Amazon affiliate site for more than 2 months now bu it’s stuck on the 3rd page of Google and won’t move no matter how many backlinks and social signals I send to it. I would gladly join Wealthy Affiliate if you can help me get to the first page of Google.

    • Kyle

      You are still working on getting backlinks John? That is your first problem right now. If you WANT rankings online, you don’t want backlinks. Whoever told you this or whatever company is doing this for you is delivering outdated information.

      Quality Content, a well organized site with ongoing engagement and dialogue is what will lead to rankings online. At Wealthy Affiliate you will learn how to properly build out your website in a way that ranks in Google and other search engines and how to properly create your content based on low hanging keywords to build your base of traffic.

      Will you rank under every keyword on the 1st page. No. Over time though you will have 100’s if not 1,000’s of rankings in the SERP’s delivering you enough traffic to drive a full time business. WA will teach this and provide you with absolutely everything you need to scale your business online.

  7. Alexander

    My view of HostGator declined somewhat a couple of years ago when I cancelled my membership with them as I was moving over to WA. I canceled near the end of the monthly subscription and I felt there was enough time to cancel before the next renewal bill cycle would take place. Also there was no real argument on the cut off date apart from allowing a few days for the cancellation to take place.

    Well a few days came and went, and in my world a little too late, as the renewal billing cycle took place and I was charged for the next month.

    On the same day or a day after they then cancelled my Subscription as requested. I didn’t challenge what they did as I felt they would just argue that I cancelled too late.

    Is this an ethical way to run a business? Certainly they have now lost a customer for good. Reading your interesting article, it looks like karma has come back to haunt them!

    • Kyle

      This is a very common complaint over at HostGator, you are the 2nd person this week that has been having issues cancelling their hosting package. They have been taking days (sometimes longer to respond) just so they can capture you in the next rebill cycle. You shouldn’t be subject to another monthly billing because of their low quality support.

      Definitely not an ethical way to run a business and this sort of ruthless and unethical practices is what is happening over at hostgator and other hosting companies in the industry as their level of service diminishes and their profitability diminishes.

    • Andrejs

      Hi Kyle and everyone here!

      All you said about HG is absolutely true and perfectly fits in my experience except someone was stated that he had been billed after cancellation. I had such a situation before with other monthly payment not HG. With HG I simply change payment method to almost empty CC. Regardless from this HG still is sending me monthly bills for about $30. I wondering how long? No I enjoy WA-all included on high level.


      • Kyle

        I hope you are able to cancel. I have heard many others complain about payments that drag on from Hostgator beyond their terms as well and they can make it very difficult to cancel.

        Another thing that one should expect is that although they buy into $5 hosting packages, as soon as you get any amount of traffic you are going to be “pushed” into more expensive packages, be upsold other products/services that should just be included, and ultimately the $5 cheapie hosting becomes more of a nightmare!

  8. Hanson

    My business website myusmailforwarder.com was down since yesterday, luckily a customer notified us this morning, the ticket was created for tech support to look into 500 server error and 5 hours later the problem still a live and the website is down! They promote 99.9% up-time, that is a joke! I was using them for 3 years and now is the time to go elsewhere. I am not happy with slow response time and lack of support. I will take my business somewhere more reliable. Hostgator clearly missed the mark, what started as great service and tech support is rapidly becoming a nightmare

  9. Jelena

    I have felt the pain hostgator has put on my personal business. I have been running a webstore (run on a wordpress framework) for 9 years now and it is very successful netting me $45K+ per month. When you are doing this sort of business, you expect the highest quality hosting service and the reliability. That is why I actually moved to a dedicated hosting solution over at HG in 2011 because I was having issues with lunarpages.com hosting plan.

    Well, 4 years later here I am. As frustrated as ever, I am seeking out a new solution. Hostgator has had no less than 5 complete outages for me in the past year. This costs me $1,000’s in income each time this happens, so on top of the $4K or so per year I pay for hosting…they have probably lost me $20-30K in business minimum in the past couple of years.

    My website load times have been going downhill. I haven’t noticed too much with my rankings yet, but I can only expect my slower loading times are freaking the search engines out.

    Thanks for bringing some realism to what is going on within Hostgator. All you tend to hear out there these days is ra ra because they are getting paid good money to promote this below par service.

  10. Rocknation

    I’ve never gone near a host that wasn’t WordPress friendly, and even then, I’ve never used their one-click installers. The WordPress five-minute manual install is easy enough!

    • Kyle

      If you are comfortable with the manual process of installing WordPress, then you could continue doing that. I know that a lot of people are worried about “installers” because many of them install junk onto your sites and don’t actually work properly. If you do get a chance, I highly recommend you check out the SiteRubix.com platform though, very easy to use and a very simple installation process.

  11. Nathaniell

    How is Hostgator a horrible service? Let me count the ways. As someone that’s hosted with them for 3 years after moving from Fatcow (an even worse hosting service), I know plenty about them and the way things are run and why I no longer recommend them.

    1. Unlimited hosting is not truly unlimited. For their shared hosting packages they reel you in with the big ‘ol “unlimited” sign, but once you start collecting websites and growing them, they start to reveal what it actually means. Sure, they don’t limit files sizes, but they limit the actual number of files you can store (inodes).

    I was curtly informed by their staff that that this is common and no host can offer truly unlimited hosting. Well, don’t advertise it that way then.

    2. Many incompetent employees. Since I have numerous issues with my websites for whatever reasons, I call HG at least once a month. Sometimes I get someone that can solve my issue quite quickly, but more often than not the phone staff serves as nothing more than a gateway to ticket support. I am constantly put on hold while they consult their ‘database of answers’ of whatever they do while I’m on hold. The vast majority of the time they have to pass me up to a more experienced person which means I now have to wait several days for ticket support to respond.

    3. Wait times. I spent over 3 hours on hold one time while my site was down (on the phone). Why do I call phone support so much when they have a live chat feature? Live chat waits are usually more than 30 minutes long. This wasn’t the case before, but now it seems to be the standard.

    In a similar vein to #2, I used to get some pretty savvy people in chat. Now, I just get guys that are really good at creating tickets for me.

    4. Downtime. In 2014 I can’t even remember if it was 2 or 3 major outages they have. It’s happened so much, that now every time my site goes down (yes, it happens a lot), I scan twitter and Google+ to see if there’s any chatter about HG’s service going down so I know if it’s just me or if everyone is having this issue.

    My site’s go down on average about once a month. The reasons why they go down is still a mystery, as each person that I talk to has a different reason.

    I could probably do fine with a VPS level 3, but an employee back in the day told me that if I upgraded to level 4 that it would fix my issue. Nope. Then another guy said that it was because I didn’t have a caching plugin installed. Another one told me it’s because I get too much comment spam to my website.

    It’s only become clear to me recently that these were “best guesses”, and no one could provide any insight into issues that were happening let alone help me fix them.

    Hey, if they could tell me it’s my fault and point out what I’m doing wrong, that would be awesome. At least the problem could be fixed.

    6. The most recent debacle, the straw that broke the camels back, was where an employee changed the password on one of my security features and didn’t change it back to my original password. I got locked out of my site. After an hour on the phone the next day, the 2nd employee couldn’t figure out how to change it back.

    After contact various live chat support people over the next 2 days, I finally got one that was able to fix the password issue in 5 minutes.


    If my websites are down, I can’t get a hold of live chat, phone support is incompetent, and ticket support can’t decide what the issue is, what’s the point of paying them over $1000 a year to host my websites?

    Bye bye Hostgator. It’s been a long time coming.

    • Kyle

      Awesome insights Nathaniell, thanks for sharing your personal hostgator review.

      You hit the nail on the head with the entire “business model”. Upgrade and it will fix the issues. This is something that I found all too common in the hosting industry, within Hostgator being one of the leaders in this upsell process (they have definitely refined their process). They claim their service is great until you actually get traffic to your website, then start to tell you that you need “a better package” until you have moved from $1.99 per month to $100’s per month. The shared hosting is ridiculously low quality, if people only had a clue as to what they were really getting.

      The downtime is unacceptable as well, many are complaining about downtime and blackouts with their hosting, although it has gotten better with recent months. Sure, this sort of thing will happen with any technology (even Facebook goes down on occasion), but hours at a time…days at a time…and full network blackouts. You think that a host of this size would have a better grasp on this sort of thing.

      Here is thing what happens with many companies as they go through “buy outs” and become part of one big conglomerate (Hostgator and many hosts are owned by Endurance International Group). A service can suffer when it is bought out, something that happens across all industries They lose sight of what got them to where they are and honestly, the stop caring now that they are part of one big massive entity. The exact same thing happened after GoDaddy was bought out.

      Sorry to hear about your crazy debacle RE: your password, I know of two other people that this happened to in the past week so this must have been something more widespread. Frustrating and I think you are going to be much happier once you move your business over to a new hosting platform. I recommend something that offers a WordPress specific managed hosting solution.

    • AaronH

      All unlimited hosts out there do one basic thing to limit you: They cram all your sites on the same server, so that the customers who they’ve put together on a single server will all reach a limit of what the server can handle as they add domains. The customer to add the most domains first wins the prize of reaching the server’s capacity, then after that, all sites on that server will have problems going forward because the server resources will be indefinitely max’d out. On the other hand, Siterubix never does this. Siterubix will distribute an individual customer’s sites across many servers, and as new servers come available, your new sites will go to them.

  12. Great post, Kyle!

    I blogged about leaving hostgator a few months ago (after being a loyal customer and affiliate for 7 years!). To be honest they were a pretty decent company until 2012 or so, then it went down the hill.

    When I finally cancelled my account, they still tried to charge me for a renewal, although my renewal was coming up in 2 weeks! Luckily for me the credit card on file was expired so the payment didn’t go through.

    Whenever I get a chance I always tell people to NOT go with Hostgator (or any other EIG owned company).

    Wealthy Affiliate hosting with SiteRubix platform is a great choice for hosting, especially because folks can have 2 sites completely free (and ad-free).

    • Kyle

      Yeah, as they continue to let their shared hosting prices get even cheaper and their “not so dedicated” servers, the quality continues to spiral downwards. What was once a pretty good service has slowly dwindled. Still one of the definite leaders in the industry, but not without lots of downtime, slow loading times for sites, people getting locked out of their servers and sites, security holes, and that is not to mention complete “day long” blackouts.

      The foundation of a business is built off of quality hosting. It is the last thing you need to worry about when trying to focus on building out your business, but unfortunately the hosting has dropped the ball for several folks in this respect.

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