I’ve technically been with HostGator for at least 3 years and I manage different types of accounts with them. I say “technically” because these hosting accounts aren’t mine, but my clients’. HG was good the past few years but the quality of their service has declined recently. They’ve deteriorated so much that I’m currently in the process of helping at least 10 of my clients transfer to another host.
Servers are slow. Support is almost non-existent; they take weeks to answer tickets and their live chat isn’t helpful either. Downtimes are a normal thing. In fact one of my client’s site was down for TWO WEEKS last October. Two weeks of downtime is totally unacceptable for any site, especially an eCommerce site like my client’s!
Useless Support is Useless
Here’s a story to further illustrate just how bad their support is. This happened last November.
A client’s WordPress site was loading very slowly and I couldn’t update it at all. This was a new site so it obviously wasn’t an issue about getting too much traffic or using too much resources. I spent an ample amount of time being patient with it and all, but I finally gave up and decided to ask HostGator’s tech support for help.
I went to their live chat platform and a big “Estimated Waiting Time: 30 mins.” was written on the page. What, 30 minutes? That’s like the average time a small to medium issue gets RESOLVED with other hosts. Some hosts even take much less time than that.
After 30 minutes or so of waiting, I had this conversation with their support rep:
System:Customer has entered chat and is waiting for an agent.
(3:07:38am)Darcy D.:Welcome to HostGator Live Chat. My name is Darcy! I’d be happy to assist you today.
(3:08:01am)Brent:My client’s site, [domain], is very slow today. The site is running WordPress and I can’t save any changes at all. I get a “Server not found” error everytime I try.
(3:08:05am)Brent:Is there a problem?
(3:10:48am)Darcy D.:For security purposes, could you please verify the last 4 digits of the credit card you have on file, please?
(3:11:00am)Brent:It’s not my account. It’s my client’s account.
(3:11:41am)Brent:Why do you need to verify credit cards when I’m simply asking if there are any technical issues, or if the server the site is on is low on resources?
(3:12:15am)Darcy D.:Without account verification I cannot discuss details.
(3:12:35am)Brent:I just need to know if there is anything wrong with the server.
(3:12:46am)Brent:I can verify I have permission to access the account/website through other means.
(3:12:58am)Brent:Unfortunately I won’t be able to send you credit card info as I said I don’t own the account.
(3:15:03am)Darcy D.:I cannot discuss any matters on the account without credit card verification.
So after waiting for half an hour, I get to talk with a support rep that is no help at all. Two hours later the client’s site started spewing 500 internal server errors. I went back to live chat and as expected, support was not willing to help me unless I provided credit card information. I understand that it’s for security purposes, but this wasn’t even an issue with billing at all. The website was slow and eventually went down, I provided them with domain and other information (cPanel username, client’s email, etc.) but they stood their ground.
More than 24 hours passed and the site was still down. Technical support remained useless. It was when I decided to tell my client to cancel the account and ask for a refund, which she did.
HostGator (yes I have a link in case you’re stubborn and still want to sign up with them) IS ON THE DECLINE BIG TIME and I don’t think they’ll be able to change for the better. Hosting with them would be detrimental to your site/business and I’d only recommend them if, for some reason, you need THE ultimate source of frustration. Again — speed sucks, uptime sucks, support sucks. Check these out if you don’t believe me and if you think I just made everything up.
So just do yourself a favor and don’t sign up with HostGator. They were good (just good, not awesome), but with EIG’s acquisition they’ve gone downhill really fast. They may be a popular hosting company but since their servers are so slow, I can say that their service is almost comparable to those $1 kiddie hosts. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!