One of the newer companies on our list of top discount dedicated servers, HostGator have been busy building up a solid reputation as one of the biggest hosting companies on the block since they first launched in Boca Raton, Florida back in 2002.
As well known for their ever-present, blue and yellow mascot as they are for offering great deals on everything from shared hosting to Virtual Private Servers, the company employs the same playful demenour coupled with a seriousness about the service they provide to their dedicated hosting solutions, too.
In the following review, our web hosting experts take a closer look at the HostGator dedicated server plans to bring you all the details, plus their own insights and opinions on the things that really matter to you when you come to invest in a dedicated hosting solution; price, performance, service and key features.
Care to share your own experience of hosting with a HostGator dedicated server? Why not leave us your comments at the end of this review.
HostGator Dedicated Server Pricing
Unlike a lot of top dedicated server providers who either go down the usual three-tiered payment plan, or offer a seemingly never-ending number of options, HostGator stick to just four, with a plan to suit everybody from complete beginners to advanced experts with numerous large, high-powered websites and programs to maintain.
Things start off with the basic HostGator dedicated server package, which comes in at $105 per month for your first term, and $174 per month there after.
Powered by a Intel Xeon Dual Core 2.3GHz processor, the basic plan comes with 500Gb of RAID-1 storage space, 10TB of data transfer, 4GB of ram and two dedicated IP addresses.
Moving up a scale, the standard package, at $132 per month for the first term ($219 after) may be a little more expensive than services offered by competing providers, but if you’re a longtime HostGator user happy with the service you’ve been getting on a shared or VPS plan, this might be the way to go for you.
Ideal for web owners making upgrades rather than just starting out, the STndard package is fueled by an Intel Xeon Quad Core 2.5GHz processor and comes with 4 GB RAM, 1,000 GB RAID-1 Drives for your storage and 15TB of data transfer. An additional IP address -making three in total- also comes with this package.
If you’re serious dedicated server hosting and building your online empire, the Elite package may well be worth a look.
Again, you’re paying a higher price here than you perhaps would elsewhere, but you get plenty thrown into the bargain. The same eight-thread Intel Xeon processor is behind your server, whilst the amount of RAM at your disposal is double that of the Standard plan. You’ll also recieve the same 1k GB RAID-1 storage drive, but your data transfer limits are increased to 20TB with an additional IP address, making a solid package for those whose server needs are likely to increase as time goes on.
That one will set you back a first term rate of $168 per month or $279 beyond that, whilst the top-end plan, at $225 per month ($374 per month after your first term) does come with a few additional resources,s uch as 16GB of RAM, 25TB of bandwidth and 5 dedicated IPS, as well as a 3.3GHz processor.
Again, you could well get this cheaper elsewhere, and with storage space pretty much consistent across the board, it’s questionable why you wouldn’t at least explore your other options, though as we said earlier, it’s good to know that it’s available if you’re a loyal HostGator customer with needs for upgrading.
Unlike many other dedicated server solutions which are usually geared towards single businesses whose own web presence requires a powerful back-end resource, HostGator are more fond of targetting resellers, making much ado about their use of both WHMCS or WHM AutoPilot to handle billing when splitting up your dedicated server and selling it on as a shared hosting platform.
Beyond that, they also speak highly of their of cPanel, which in most cases is industry standard anyway.
Again focussing on resale opportunities, HostGator also mention their free drag-and-drop website builder for your customers, one-click installation of shopping carts, content management systems and other tools, and unlimited email accounts for third-party customers.
Getting down to the technical stuff, there’s full support for MySQL (with unlimited databases), PHP, Perl and other leading scripts, software and tools, a full reseller management console and a multi-layered approach to network security to keep your data (and those of your customers) safe.
Performance and reliability
In their sales pitch, Hostgator dedicated servers’ page promises us ‘higher level of security, speed, and uptime’ and in our expeirence, we’ve no reason to doubt that they deliver on this promise.
Using fully redundant hardware to ensure no single point of failiure, several different bandwidth providers to ensure your server is always running when you need it to, and backup hardware always on stand by should the worst happen, HostGator are at least serious about making good on their guarantee of 99.9% uptime.
All of the standard customer support access points are present and correct here. A premium phone line just for dedicated server customers is a nice touch, whilst there’s also the usual live web chat and a ticket system for email support.
All of these are available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, meaning no matter where you are in the world, and no matter what time of day you run into problems there’s always somebody there to help you.
From past experience, HostGator’s response times can be somewhat hit and miss. With web chat in particular, we’ve been left waiting for somebody to help us for far longer than we would with other leading hosting companies, though we are at least pleased to say that when we finally did get to speak with someone, all of our queries were dealt with quickly and efficiently.
If you’d rather have a bash at fixing the problem yourself, a huge knowledge base containing almost 700 help files and over 500 video-based tutorials are on hand, as is a helpful community forum where other users are always happy to pass on their advice, experience or suggestions.
Over all, if your dedicated server needs are based purely on your own website, programs or platforms, then you might be better served by at least exploring your other options. With some of the higher-end prices on the market, there’s nothing you can get from HostGator that you can’t get at a better rate elsewhere.
Yet if you’re getting into the website reseller game, this is absolutely the one for you. Geared almost exclusively to those looking to sell on website hosting to third parties, with the reputation and reliability of a company like HostGator behind you, you can’t go too far wrong.