In this discussion I offer my unique take on Hostgator from my own experiences. I dare to ask the question, is HostGator a scam and the debate if they are an ethical company to work with?
If you are reading this there is a good indication that you have run into some issues with using HostGator’s service and looking for answers and alternatives.
It is best to start with my own experiences first and how I felt I had been scammed or at least ripped off.
I used HostGator back in 2013-2014 where I released it was also going to be my last with them. I am now thankfully with a far better and superior of two hosting solutions today.
I use both Wealthy Affiliate Hosting Services along with SiteGround and I have never looked back. We will discuss about these two options below in a little while as they are both different.
I always like to provide the reader with more than one option rather than forcing their hand on something that I would prefer.
But for now lets look at my experiences with HostGator!
Decide To Leave HostGator?
HostGator has always been the place of good choice for me and most people on the online world. All the hot online entrepreneurs recommended them.
They were good, cheap and effective, plus easy to use but most importantly they had quality support.
But the million dollar question, are they anymore?
My personal experiences of using HostGator went down the dark abyss into oblivion to the point of no return.
I didn’t have any major issues with them but at the time I was looking to move over to Wealthy Affiliate University using their hosting platform. I was using their training to learn how to build an online business and learning the tricks of the trade to make money online.
It made good sense to move to their hosting platform plus everything is so much easier not having to worry about how to install WordPress and using cPanel for configuration subdomain setup.
With a click of a button it is done for you. There is nothing wrong with using cPanel, and configuring your subdomain plus installing WordPress as some people like to have full control of the technical side. However, if you are new to the online world and want to setup a website to make money online with ease, it is best to keep everything simple as possible.
This is why I always recommend WA for beginners.
Does HostGator have Good Ethics?
So at the time back in 2014 into 2015, when I was still relatively new but started to get more proactive in the online world, I wanted to move over to Wealthy Affiliate’s platform. Naturally I waited until my hosting service subscription with HostGator was about to expire.
I made sure there was ample time left to cancel before the renewal kicked in and thus I would not be charged. At the time I was being charged monthly with HostGator. The only real terms of condition on this was to allow a few business days for the cancellation process to take effect.
Time came and went as the hands of the clock continues to go round, and around, and around.
Time is pretty reliable and predictable. The future becomes the present and the present becomes the past.
You can always expect that.
However, you cannot always predict what events will occur in the sequence of time. And in my universe some rather unexpected turn of events happened.
The HostGator’s future billing cycle become the present moment that felt like an eternity as I got an email that I was charged for the following month.
Even worst the next day the cancellation process from Hostgator was initiated.
How thoughtful and considerate of them!
I always think it takes two to tango and perhaps I could have done more on my part. But I think I did everything correct.
The only part I handled badly was not putting myself forward challenging them about this additional monthly charge when I had already cancelled.
The monthly charge was around $9, so it wasn’t going to break than bank.
It would have been wise to ignite the fire within and request my credit card company to issue a chargeback. Even if its only 1 penny you are entitled to it back.
And lets face it these companies like HostGator have more money than you and I… a lot more!
Does HostGator have good ethics on running a business? Not as far as I am concerned, absolutely not. It is not just me but loads of unhappy customers whom express their issue with HostGator’s ethics. I have highlighted a few of them on this page.
But are HostGator scamming people? We will look at that more closely in a moment.
I can say with great confidence that they have lost a customer for life.
A customer whom does not fuss too much.
A customer whom is pretty laid back.
A customer who is usually pretty cool, even with long delays on support requests…
But like all customers I don’t tolerate when being ripped off.
Have HostGator got their act together?
What I described above about my experiences, was around 4 years ago. I decided to write up this article after looking to see if things have changed.
I thought to myself after all this time things must have surely changed for the better with HostGator’s services? You will see for your self that unfortunately things have not improved much.
And to be honest I am shocked.
You see, host provider industry is serious competition. You make one wrong move and your history. As least it is for a small start up hosting company. So you may think they would get into serious trouble with so many unhappy customers.
But HostGator is a massive company founded in 2002 and one of the top 10 in this industry (or so it is claimed). This is the problem when you are a massive multi-national corporation, you can play the game of lawlessness and get away with it. For these companies there is always plenty of fish in the sea.
Here is what unhappy customers are saying today if we check out Trust Pilot which is a highly respected review site on the Web.
Its objectives is to bring customers and companies together so that they can communicate with each other and resolve their issues.
As you can see the overall regard for HostGator is less than average. In fact according to Trust Pilot’s data based on people’s reviews it is horrible.
After all this time since I left them you would think they would sort out this mess and get back on track?
No company is going to be perfect and will always have issues with at least a certain percentage of customers.
However, with HostGator the emperor has no cloths on!
Here is one customer that is written recently as of August 2018 the same month this post was published.
This customer’s experience is very similar to my own but this is 2018 not 2014. How can things get this bad? I know I keep repeating myself here, but has nothing improved since the last time I was with them all those years ago? Clearly not.
If you look at that star rating it is only giving 1 star which means the average customer submitting their reviews are very negative.
This is unheard of especially for such a large company like HostGator.
You would expect that it would be around 3 or 4 stars which would be average with customers giving both good and bad reviews of their experiences.
If you search for SiteGround in the Trust Pilot website you will see glowing reviews with a very high star rating.
If we look at Wealthy Affiliate we can observe again a very high rating and comments giving fantastic praise. We will delve in and explore these two options that I highly recommend and why HostGator just cannot compete.
You will notice that WA does not have as many stars for the rating. This is because not at many reviews are given. Since WA is not as well known when it should be, most of the good stuff is always underrated.
We will be getting back to Wealthy Affiliate soon, but first I want to reflect on HostGator first before moving on.
Is HostGator a Scam?
This is a question that has been going around the internet a lot and I wanted to put it into perspective and address it. If you are one of those whom feel you have been scammed by HostGator then chances are you are not far off.
Your website and business going down, customer’s still being charged when cancelled, and a whole host of other issues that you can see in the Trust Pilot website of people’s feedback and experiences.
They do all indeed seem to indicate they have been ripped off in some shape or form.
But how do you define a scam? The dictionary defines it as a dishonest scheme or fraud, or a swindle.
What is a swindle? The dictionary defines this as using deception to deprive someone of money or possessions.
In my experience, I would say HostGator is not a scam, but they are unethical! It is more of having a rip-off experience, where I was charged for an addition month when I had already cancelled.
According to other people’s experiences, HostGator have committed fraud and how it has cost a lot to their business with websites going down.
At least in my case I was only short changed by $9 but other people have suffered a lot worse at the hands of HostGator. People argue they have been scammed but of course we use the term scam in a board sense.
Again I say HostGator is NOT a scam but I would argue they are certainly not ethical.
I also appreciate that there are many, many people out there whom are very pleased with HostGator and recommend them and that is fine.
What is your experience with HostGator and have your been stung really badly?
Great Alternatives to HostGator!
If you are looking for alternatives to HostGator then the good news is that there is plenty to choose from. The big issue you may find yourself in is if your confidence has being shattered not willing to trust another hosting company again.
Know, Like and Trust is the name of the game. HostGator seems to be so remote from that.
In the remainder of this article we will look at what I personally use and why I will always stay with them.
Siteground is probably one of the best hosting platforms for your website or blog today. They are rated the #1 as shown on Facebook polls for the past three years from 2016 to 2018.
When it comes to customer satisfaction they always get the most positive reviews as you can see with the feedback on the Trust Pilot website that I mentioned above.
On the first day I was migrating my sites over to SiteGround their support was amazing where they migrated one of my sites for free. I have submitted a few support requests and questions and they always answer them very quickly.
They have excellent Speed Technology giving fantastic site loading times in my experience. In addition they have a number of different features that you can choose from which is shown in their StartUp vs GrowBig vs GoGeek Hosting Features Comparison Diagram.
Plus they also have a 30 day money back guarantee so there is no reason not to try them out. In fact, I actually tested this to see how genuine their no questions-asked money back policy and refund stood up.
It was very simple to do inside my account and with a click of a button everything was cancelled and an invoice was issued showing the 100% refund.
They did say it may take up to 7 days to receive the refund but in my case the money was deposited back into my bank account the following day.
I have been with SiteGround for nearly a year now and I am very impressed with them and their hosting technologies. I will most likely want to stay with them for the foreseeable future.
I will go into more detail in future articles with tutorials about moving your website from a hosting company to SiteGround. I am using the GrowBig package and I find this perfect for my needs. This option is recommended if you are going to be running more than one website.
Wealthy Affiliate Hosting
Another awesome quality hosting solution is Wealthy Affiliate University. However, they are much more than a hosting provider as they provide superior training on how to start a new website and build it into a full online business.
I have been with Wealthy Affiliate (WA) since 2013. However, it was in 2014 and especially in 2015 that I started building up on my sites. At this time I left work and decided to take a sabbatical and engaged on building my projects that have worked really well.
Originally starting out in 2005, WA has grown and developed over the years I have been with them. And they seem to be growing and expanding all the time.
Their hosting platform has grown and become more powerful over the years using the latest technologies for security and high speed load times. The SiteRubix platform gives SiteGround and any other hosting company a serious run for their money.
If you are starting out, WA is most certainly the answer as everything is included, with training in building up an online business, but most importantly you don’t need to worry about configuring a new website with cPanel as this is already taken care of in the background. You can have a new website up and running in as little as 30 seconds.
For newbies getting involved with some of the technical details of using cPanel to install WordPress, setting up the subdomain and so on, can be overwhelming, with WA’s platform you don’t have to worry about this and focus on writing your content and building your business.
One of the elements I tested with Wealthy Affiliate was leaving the membership and with the process of migrating my websites. This was one of the easiest experiences I have found. After you have cancelled your membership they will allow you 30 days to migrate your websites over to another hosting platform. The process was very simple and the 24 hour support team was very helpful and responsive with moving my sites outside of WA.
I then went through the process of renewing my WA membership with the process of migrating my websites into Wealthy Affiliate this too was a simple process.
I will be discussing in depth in future articles on how to migrate your website both of moving outside of WA and transferring your website into WA.
Like most other hosting services, SiteGround will migrate your first website, but any additional sites comes with an additional fee. However, if you want to move your websites over to WA from Hostgator or any other hosting, the 24/7/365 support team at WA will do this for you, with moving as many as 25 sites across without additional charges.
The following article written by Kyle the co-founder of WA, gives a unique analysis of WA Hosting with comparing to other hosting platforms.
Wealthy Affiliate comes with the following to name a few:
- Online Entrepreneur Certification Training
- Free Keyword Research Tool
- Live community and help
- Mentorship from leading experts
- Up to date Internet Marketing training along with SEO and PPC
- 100% Reliable and Secure Hosting Solutions.
- SSL for websites.
The hosting is implemented on their SiteRubix platform and this is available in the Wealthy Affiliate community.
One of the interesting features of WA Hosting is their SiteSpeed Technology. Keeping a competitive edge, is providing reliable and FAST loading speeds for your websites.
Most hosting companies like SiteGround provide caching plug-ins for your WordPress website to keep things running at optimal speeds. This works well but is an inefficient way for speeding up a website. The issue here is that you are trying to increase speed from the software/website side and this is a lot slower than handling cache optimisation from the hardware or server side.
WA’s SiteSpeed Technology cache’s all of the site’s content at the hardware or server side. You don’t have to figure out what settings to implement on your website. By turning on a switch in your WA account your website will start to load like warp speed.
As you most likely understand a website loading fast is not just beneficial for the user experience but also for search engines.
Google gives extra credit for well maintained, fast and secure websites. This leads to better rankings in the search engines, which results in increased targeted traffic, this in turn means more revenue for you as a result.
You can read a more in-depth of this technology and how it is implemented by checking out Carson’s article inside WA. He is the co-owner of Wealthy Affiliate with a background in computer science engineering.
Basically, when you have a powerful technological hosting system with an educational and online business model then you have no comparison especially if you are a beginner.
When it comes to signing up it is completely FREE to join with the Starter Package to get a taste of setting up a website and working through some of the training. Also there is no payment details expected when trying out the starter package.
So we have looked at the problems with HostGator and if it is a scam with major customer complaints, which really comes down to the company’s cheap and below standard services.
However, that all being said I must stress and to be fair to HostGator there are many customers with them whom are very happy using their services. But there are many more whom have had a raw deal and terrible experience. So be careful and do your research.
It may sound cliche but you do get what you pay for and with HostGator’s unethical practices. Yes, they offer very cheap hosting which can be great if you are on a budget but that can come with a nasty sting in the scorpion’s tail.
As you can see with the comments of many upset customers the back biter has hit them pretty hard including myself.
How do you feel about HostGator and what are your opinions of this article? Do you have any experiences you like to share? If you have website that you want to get up and running I would be very happy to help you along.