HostGator = Bad Web Host? Read Honest HostGator Review

We now come to Hostgator number 5 on the top 25 and #5 of 10,293. with The only host whose top 25 ranking matches its popularity ranking. Also the only company with a single digit ranking in traffic popularity on It does not seem in the last 2 years that hostgator, while their claims of growing popularity have not been able to get past number 5 in rankings.   You would think they could at least beat Arvand.  Perhaps hostgator paid in advance for their “advertising” on for that 5th spot. I would suggest contacting to get a push up on those rankings, perhaps hostgator can get in a bidding war with iPage for that number 1 spot …… sorry I meant advertising does not “sell” rankings *eye roll*. Did I forget to mention the mysterious disappearing negative fee back.

Clearly Hostgator has no problem with listing awards from websites that are nothing more then elaborate or not so elaborate affiliates.

There are only a few of those that offer an award that don’t have an affiliate link, or better yet a coupon. Plus is on the list.

Though one of the affiliates……….. I mean award sites does not have all good reviews:

I am not sure the point of these “awards” when most of the sites don’t have any visible advertising, other then coupons and affiliate links. Clearly they have to pay for their hosting some how, nor is anyone going to write tons of content for nothing. After all are you going to bad mouth an organization that will pay you $50 – $125 per sign up, or are you going to sing their praises. This is nothing more the a list of reviews for profit, not an unbiased set up like Consumer Reports.

Hostgator Affiliate Program(s)

So far I see that has two commission programs. One at Commission Junction and their own.

Through Commission Junction you get a flat $100 fee per sign up

At directly

1-5 a month $50 per sign up
6-10 a month $75 per sign up
11-20 a month $100 per sign up
21+ a month $125 per sign up

It appears unlike other companies I have reviewed this is on any term Monthly – higher terms.

Depending on your marketing skill if your not that great your better off with Commission Junction, if your really good your better off with

But the big payouts are reason why they are growing so fast is just like the other 4 hosts I reviewed they have a large payout that encourages their affiliates to flood the search engines with tons of crap. You can see this when you do a search on “host gator sucks”, real complaints are hidden in between the “I have your coupon” sites and other affiliates. likes to brag about numbers, which I imagine impresses people to believe they are a legit operation. Which is why I got so many comments on my video from people who need an lesson on ethics, that having the money does not mean you need to cheat. Their large numbers are based on a high payout. What I would love to know is the amount of cancellations versus the amount of new orders. The amount of refunds. How about operating costs? Numbers that I don’t see. Their company may be growing, but they are going to suffer loses. Another number I would like to see is the number of affiliate payouts. What they are paying Commission Junction, after all the affiliate gets $100 per sign up, and commission junction is not a free operation.

Then there is this link

I am not sure how valid the information is, but there are several points that ring true such as the affiliate program. But anyone can look that up. Its not like the person she is supposedly interviewing is not disgruntle or for that matter real. But having worked at Wal-Mart during my college years I know how those benefits that drew me in were not immediately available and had tons of catches. Two examples were their health insurance and college tuition programs. They claimed I had to be a full time employee (did not matter I was working 40 hours a week for 18 months). But on the flip side I have been with good employers that had dirt threw at them that were lies, such as one company I only had to wait 30 days for my health insurance to kick in. But I have to wonder if hostgators employee pages is nothing more then veneer. After all they have make sacrifices some where to make sure that their affiliates that drive those big numbers and drown out the negative feedback.

Unlimited plan, you must use this much space in order to apply

I am not sure how many customers read the cartoon and saw the irony in Hostgator talking about the wonders of overselling and unlimited space. But you have a heavy set man at a all you can eat buffet next to what is mock “you must be this tall” roll coaster ride sign, indicating you must be this thin to enter.  Subliminal truth?

The Traceroute

Tracing route to []…

hop rtt rtt rtt ip address fully qualified domain name
1 1 1 1
2 90 1 1
3 0 0 0
4 9 1 1
5 1 0 0
6 1 1 0

Even though Hostgator has their own building, it does not appear they have their own server center, and they to like the first three companies I reviewed that are also using

My finale thoughts on rather anyone should buy from

Even though is only in number 5th position, they probable should be in the top position at Granted I consider the top 25 hosts, a list for the top 25 to avoid because their main concern is raking in money, not making investing in infrastructure that advances their services. Developing “unlimited” / “overselling” is not investing in infrastructure, but concentrating on the misinformed world wide consumer that may not understand that you get what you pay for. Bernie Madoff did the same thing with promises of over optimistic promise of high returns on investments.  Anyone that offers a higher then 100% commission on a first payment is more interested in bringing customers in then keeping them.

This is my own personal rant against

In many ways has been a good host for me, and I am not saying because I hosted with them. I say that because I would get a lot of their dissatisfied customers. Customers that thought before hostgator that my prices were too high, only turn around and realize that being cheap on your source of income was not all that smart. For that matter I think at the time I loved at least until I saw this post back in February 2009:

It was as if Hostgator was telling everyone in the United States we have jobs but you ignore us. Their a big host, but it does not mean everyone is going to know who they are. So in the search for jobs they are not on the top of the list. Better yet not everyone is going to have skills to deal with computers and customer service. My grandfather a soft spoken person, awesome at fixing cars (for that matter he spent more time with his truck then my grandmother) and generally any thing mechanical would not have the first idea of how to use a computer. I could not imagine him on the phone trying to handle customer service, as he is not very loud.

Somehow the 10% employment was a result of people being lazy. It had nothing to do with the mismanagement with companies, the deregulation to prevent those companies from being corrupt, or did it? Apparently Brent has never had to go door to door with a resume. What job that you might be able to get barely pays the bills so you have to get a second job and still its not enough. The jobs that you have skills for won’t hire because you had no experience (in my case) or you were too old (my grandfathers case). The first job I had to settle for did not even involve a resume but an application. I am sorry Brent, but you need to walk in the people that are getting welfare’s shoes before complaining about handouts. I encountered these problems when I was in school and my scholarship that only covered so many of of my expenses had to be supplemented. The effort to find a secondary source of income was killing my grades. Yes there are dead beats, and even those that milk the system to get a nice pay check from the government. But its not everyone.

But this is coming from someone pretending to be a bum for a day:

Oh look I see my video to the side when you go to youtube to view his  video 🙂

28 Replies to “HostGator = Bad Web Host? Read Honest HostGator Review”

  1. I am really wonder which web-hosting company is use. Is it Hostgator, as state in this blog article? Or the hosting company own by Benjamin himself, and what is the website for Ben’s company?

    Further more, the, a reviews site which Benjamin had point out that their top 25 could be bribe. As hostgator has climb up to the top of WHS’s dirty money top 25 board, should I take Hostgastor’s “victory” as a fraud? Also, HG has a lot out of date positive reviews; quote from one of Benjamin’s comment. (In face, HostGator has no poor reviews at all in WHS)

    And last but not least, Ben, which of web hosting company will you choose in term of cost-effective and reliability?

  2. Hello again Mark,

    Question when was the last time Hostgator had a review on

    Answer March 4, 2010.

    They have alot of negative reviews out there also, just remarkable not on

    Where is this site hosted?

    Its no mystery do a network look up and you will see its mediatemple.

    Also its no mystery who I host with, Mediatemple, Softlayer, and Rackspace. Would I recommend them? No they are adequate but they have issues that make it hard to put my name behind them. I don’t host in terms of cost effectiveness, being an ex-hosting provider I know the pit falls of doing business on cheap service.



  3. Thanks for reply so fast Ben,

    Ex-hosting provider? I thought you currently own “one of those companies effected by the practices of” (quote from blog: ‘ – revisited’) And their unethical strategy had put your company in a disadvantage situation, thus you create this blog to fight back.

    I hope by inquire a little story behind this blog don’t cross the line of your privacy.

  4. Hello Mark,

    The back story is in my blogs, as well as who I use when anyone ask I tell.

    I have to say I am curious to know what brought you to my blog, especially since your first comment was on



  5. I just a customer who’s looking for true reliable web host provider. If you had your own web hosting company I’d be glad to hear and consider. That’s all nothing special.

  6. Benjamin, think you make some good points. Sucks though … everybody is on the hustle nowadays. Can’t trust anything it seems.

    Occurred to me, many of the things you’ve touched on here are true. An honest review ( with a coupon for the host)? 😀 All that’s obviously affiliate crap. Noticed ipage even posts it’s affiliate info for the world to see on their site.

    Paying like $110+ bucks a sign-up ? How does that add up ? I mean if a shared hosting plan brings them in under $10/mnth in revenue, lol.

    I don’t know who to trust with the whole hosting issue. It’s like you said all the top organic SERP’s are filled with thinly veiled (affiliate) reviews.

    I’m trying to find some sources of actual reviews, based on actual customer experience. So found your site for one. Still digging … maybe some webmaster forums the affiliates haven’t managed to spam up ?

    Any recommendations would be appreciated. A point in the right direction ? Anyway, liked the article you’ve posted … best wishes.


  7. I’m actually looking fir a trustworthy host as I’ll be setting up an e-commerce site with HostGator will I read this review of yours. Any recommendations for a trustworthy host to start up a new online biz?

  8. Hello Royal,

    While there are reasons I would not sign up for hostgator, the one thing I have not seen is complaints about refunds. You could try hostgator under monthly terms and see if they work. Admittedly I don’t like them because they were a former competitor and they show up on fake review sites.

    At this time there are no hosts that I recommend.



  9. I had a really bad experience with hostgator as well (sorry to hear things went maybe even worse for you)

    I used hostforweb recently (“host for web”) and I was extremely disappointed with them as well. Even though I cancelled, they continued to charge me while they were not providing service any longer. The HostForWeb “team” cited some obscure part of the contract and claimed they had the right to do what they were doing…

    I would definitely avoid hostgator (I have been ripped off by them), but I would recommend you avoid hostforweb too, another rip-off company.

  10. I began to use some of my HostGator features a few days ago. When I registered for their website builder, I got an email from someone listed as a “billing administrator” who sent me my new login information for the sitebuilder feature. Oh – did I mention that the “new” credentials he sent me was my cPanel login and password IN CLEAR TEEST to boot?


    Uhh…that also violates EU “Safe Haven” laws – you cannot have a way to impersonate a customer – especially available to anyone at the company who wants access to it.

    Do YOU want to take a chance that every single employee at a company is 100% honest?? How much would the username and paswords of say 10 customers be worth? 100? 1000? I don’t want to take the chance.

  11. Hello Jack,

    I am not sure the circumstances behind your problem. But when I ran a hosting company my billing dept could send passwords. Usually without even seeing the login information.

    Billing Administrator may very well be a generic term used by the Billing Dept.

    Unless you know for certain that the person who set up the website builder on your account manually cut and pasted your information this is not a big deal.



  12. Ben,

    No offense, but just because you did it doesn’t make it right. I know what
    you are saying, and I agree that it is possible that everything is just fine –
    but it is not. Even if this particular person couldn’t see my password, it
    was part of the reply the tech support manager sent me – making two times I
    got my cPanel password handed to me in clear text across an unsecure link.
    Not necessary. Not cool. What’s worse is – what DON’T I know about?

    I’ve had to change credit card numbers three times in the last 5 years,
    including Chase, Capital One and American Express. I’ve had my veteran’s data
    lifted twice in the last two years, along with 4.4 million others this last
    time. As databases are created to gather & store information on individuals,
    little pieces of data can be the key that unlocks the puzzle. Geez, just go
    to Spokeo – for a few dollars they will give you every bit of info that they
    can aggregate. Also, did you read the Congressional Report on the LulzSec
    hacks? 450 websites in 50 days.

    Verified data is worth more than unverified data. When money is involved,
    people can be motivated – especially people who may not feel too kindly
    towards the unwashed masses. I spent more than half my life with a top secret
    clearance – the ease at which social engineering or blackmail can motivate
    data loss is staggering.

    Since you commented, here are a few things to consider.

    Why was my billing password sent to me in clear text across the ‘Net? I
    didn’t ask for it – I already know my passwords. If this deviation from ISO
    and DHS standards is happening, what other things are happening that I am not
    aware of? What is preventing that person from ending my information to a
    different email, or sniffing their network to gather information? The “just
    trust us, we know what we are doing” model doesn’t work – I’ve been around the
    block too many times to get fooled that way. The arrogance and ego of most
    sysops/sysadmins is amazing to me.

    Here is an example. I used to work for a guy who was a Solaris king. As long
    as you didn’t throw a graphical interface in front of him, he was fine. He
    took full advantage of the fact that he could work from almost anywhere,
    traveling the country and logging in from different places to do his work and
    call in to meetings. Now, this guy was not just any system admin – he handled
    the servers that held the entire engineering data set for a very large firm
    you would instantly recognize. His passwords should have been in his head and
    not written anywhere. However, he didn’t feel this way, and because he
    traveled he put his passwords – including the root passwords to the main
    engineering systems – on a wiki. Turns out, the guy hosting the wiki figured
    it would be a good idea to put everything public – and in doing so exposed all
    of the information someone would need to steal billions of dollars worth of
    engineering information. The Solaris king didn’t understand why he got

    The point is that standard ISO or DHS standards are not being used across the
    low-end hosting space. The days are gone when someone had to work to break in
    to someplace. With 16 character rainbow tables available for $200 and groups
    like lulzsec hacking sites en masse, everyone should be taking the best
    precautions possible. You never know when your slip may be the one piece
    someone needs to get bragging rights – and the money that now goes with them –
    to your system.

    Hey – thanks for taking the time to do what you do, and if I get caught up
    maybe we can go over some things in detail that may give you some ideas on how
    to test & expose more things!



  13. Hello Jack,

    Sorry for the two late replies, been a busy 2 months for me.

    Anyway back to your original comment, which was why did the billing dept. have your login information. From what you indicated no one in the billing dept. actually seen it. It sounds like they sent it out through the system, perhaps protocol for when setting up a new service/feature. It came through a generic address of the billing dept. Not an individual such as John Smith. As I stated most hosting companies have this ability. Most hosts anyway that want to avoid having to send their customers through a little game I like to call musical departments. This does not mean that they let anyone have access to your account information, as I can tell you through two different support/billing systems not even the techs had the ability to see a customer’s password, they had to be in a management position to see this information.

    Now correct me if I am wrong, but you are from the U.S. like me? As that is what your ip said. Not always is the practice of one country adopted from another. Like the European Union’s ban on GMO foods, which as someone that wanted to be a biologist I actually agree with their ban. But your right it has to do with money. The main responsibility of any company is to be profitable. Not exactly the most ethical of priorities, but can you honestly tell me you would host with a company not making a profit? Sure it sounds nice to say, but one that makes a profit is far more likely to advance, not to mention be around. Since we are talking about a hostgator account, your lumped on a server with a ton of other people paying the least possible it takes a lot of you to make a profit, it’s hard to be labeled an individual. A support request is the most likely thing to cut in to’s profits. After all how much is that billing person at making? I have read they are paid between $9 – $12 an hour, and rumor is correct a high rotation rate. I know I am taking a shot in the dark here, but I am guessing you’re on the cheapest plan possible. Which if memory serves me correctly is less than $4 per month when you select something like 1 or more years. If you choose the cheapest possible terms that means it only takes 15 / 20 minutes for the billing dept. to eat up your monthly payment / fee. Don’t forget if you came under someone’s affiliate link they got paid $100 or more for referring you (granted it’s a tax deduction), so they may already be running in the negative territory before even giving you support. No telling how fast an actual trained tech would eat up your monthly fee if not already eaten up by an affiliate or the billing dept.

    Perhaps due to research on the service you requested they saw a high number of password requests in the process, maybe in the range of 10% every time someone request this feature, protocol of resending your login information was seen as a way of cutting costs on their end. Obviously the complaints about resending login information do not by any stretch of the imagination outweigh the amount of requests for the login information after getting the service you requested.
    Seriously between 4 hosting companies the less someone paid for service the more likely they were to obtain support. In most cases that support could have been obtained by going through the FAQ section or even by an online search. I can tell you from personal experience that most people don’t like being told to visit the faq section, and you end up spending more time with an argument then actually telling them what is in the faq section. Pardon a Star Trek reference, your more like a Borg then a part of the unwashed masses. Number xxx,xxx of xxx,xxx customers. Sending you a copy of your password is simply there way of reducing tickets. But as far as security is concerned, I can tell you sadly most people are not that concerned. You should see the rumble I got when I was last in the hosting industry we implemented a password strength requirement on accounts.

    I see from the domain in your email address you are still with Honestly if I felt that a company thought I was part of the unwashed masses I would not stay with them. If you don’t want to be a number I suggest looking for a smaller and/or newer host. Granted with a host like hostgator there is some value of being part of a collective (yeah another Star Trek reference). But being an individual is not one of them.



  14. Jack Cain, it was very amusing reading your post. hope i get to know more about who you are

    Ben, pardon my hasty inquiry but does that mean Hostgator is not as horrible as fatcow,ipage, etc?
    btw, to save you the hassle of digging after me i live in Dubai and used as host for two years.

  15. Hello J Q,

    Fatcow and iPage are part of Endurance International Group, often called EIG. I have had some experience with EIG servers because customers thought they should go with them (because they were cheap. I have had problems ftping in, and not to mention issues with general speed and performance. on the other hand I have not had any issues with. However keep in mind I do the design work on mostly new sites, so that does not tell weather or not would be good for the long run. I have friends that recommend steering clear of VPS services.



  16. Hey Ben –

    For some reason I missed your reply. I’ll put together a response soon as I think there are a few items of interest that would be profitable to discuss.

    If you want to, please delete this message as it is only to you.

    Best regards,


  17. I was reading some of the stuff you wrote about HostGator. You said,”Anyone that offers a higher then 100% commission on a first payment is more interested in bringing customers in then keeping them.” It seems to me that a payout over 100% of the first payment (in HostGator’s case way over) would logically indicate that the host very much intends to keep the client. After all, the client needs to last long enough for them to be worth the high affiliate payment.

    You might want to read Brent Oxley’s post at It really improved my view of HostGator. The CEO was very honest about how screwed up the shared hosting industry was and about how HostGator caved into market pressure.

  18. Hello Chris,

    Thanks for taking your comment from email to the blog. Sorry I don’t have a lot of time for a detailed comment currently in the middle of things that actually pay bills, so let’s see what I can give you in twenty minutes.

    Have you heard of a thing called tax deductions? Seriously look into how much of a deduction you can get from a paying a commission. The less you pay in a deduction the less risk you incur. But while we are at it, we are talking about an unlimited hosting company. The main goal is stack people on a server like a can of sardines. It takes real numbers to make each and every server profitable when you lower the price. The greater the capacity the server the more costly it is (though that is a deduction). So the higher the cost of the server versus the less a customer pays equals how many people you have to get on that server to make it profitable (that’s not even including other expenses). There are better deductions that deal with keeping a customer, than paying someone to send you more.

    As for that 2007 post by Brent my grandmother used to say “sorry only works if you stop doing what you did wrong”. Seriously if I wrote a long post about how it was wrong of me to take your lunch back in 2007, but I am still stealing your lunch is that apology very effective? This 5 year old post amounts to no apology. They still offer unlimited accounts that are not unlimited. Nor do I see them doing anything to inform people, and it seems it took a year for Brent to forget about his apology:

    That’s pretty much the end of any remorse as far as I am concerned. But they have done far more to show case a guy who tattoos his body with logos.

    As with any hosting company that offers unlimited they have limits. Brent admitted to that back in 2007. After all its about profit, and if there is no profit there is no reason to be in business.

    Now with that said in the past 2 years I have worked with a lot of design customers that fall for the unlimited hosting crap. Who is the best so far? As much as I hate to give any company credit to a host that offers an unrealistic package, is the most reliable. Which is pretty amazing given they are less tricky than EIG’s many hosts when it comes to affiliate commissions. It’s also amazing that they can afford to not outsource to India or elsewhere, however they do have disgruntle ex-employees and I can’t say I have seen any from EIG employees (whose call center is actually located here in AZ).

    But my experiences are with brand new sites that have no traffic on their so called unlimited plans. Not actual up and running sites. Most people that employee me for design with active sites are on dedicated solutions. Service wise the only thing I can tell people to avoid is’s VPS services between some design clients and friends they are rather sluggish on performance.



  19. Hello Francis,

    The point of this blog was not to get you not to buy from More so the point was if you see a site that tells you that this host is the best I want you to be an informed consumer. is on this blog not because they are a bad host but they appear on a lot of so called review sites like They don’t bother to see if the host is actually any good, they just want the $100 pay out per sign up. They may very well work for you, I just want you to be aware of the practices of the so called review industry.



  20. Benjamin,

    I am looking for a hosting provider after my terrible experience with godaddy and I stumbled into this blog. I read good reviews and recommendations about hostgator and almost decided on them. Now, it is actually depressing because it appears there is no reasonable hosting provider out there and there are problems with almost every provider…

    Do you have any section in this blog that recommends ‘good’ hosting providers? If not, do you suggest anyone?


  21. Got a domain with a while back. I cancelled my service with them, and then they charged my bank account thew auto-domain renewal fee of $15.00. I wrote them and asked nicely for a refund. They rejected my request and said there was nothing they could do. They cancelled the auto renewal for next year, but they refused to refund the $15.00 charge even after I told them I won’t use the domain. Very poor customer service. I dealt with 2 people by the names of Gregory D and Rito A.

  22. Hostgator is phasing out their free sitebuilder for paid one if you need more that 6 pages (who doesn’t?). They did this without warning. I only found out after my site was down most of the time. Now I use wordpress but it’s taking forever for pages to load. Score 0 out of 100 with google page speed checker. They move my account to new server and now it’s down or so slow i don’t even want to use it. Now I have to spend weeks moving stuyff to a new host. STAY AWAY from hostgator, i wish i did!

  23. I f you build a website with PHP and Cache, Hostgator is not good choice.
    Because Hostgator limit a few actual resources; process, cpu usage, sql(DB) connections and memory.
    Shared server of Hostgator allow you only 4kb “SendBufferSize” of apache, so though you set Output Buffer size to 50kb or over in php.ini you can not experience the advantage of cache. Small buffer of apache cause a lot of concurrent PHP processes and cpu usages and with this Hostgator will advice you to upgrade hosting plan continuously.

    The trap of Hostgator Shared plan is SendBufferSize of apache.

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