This is a review of the cheapest shared hosting plan offered by HostGator – the Hatchling plan.
The nature of my business allows me to handle different websites for my clients. So I got the opportunity to try the Hatchling plan first-hand while managing the website of one of my clients. It enabled me to bring this detailed HostGator Hatchling plan review for you.
I found the Hatchling plan to be enough for small blogs and websites with limited resource needs. It is good for your website when you have less content and low traffic.
In this review, I’ll share my opinions about the Hatchling plan, who it is suitable for, its features, pros & cons, the traffic it can handle, and the costs involved. I’ll also discuss the limitations of the plan and some of the best alternatives to HostGator hosting.
To know whether the HostGator Hatchling plan is for you or not, keep reading the next part.
Who is the Hatchling plan for?
The HostGator Hatchling plan is most suitable for beginners who are about to launch their very first website.
This affordable hosting plan can also be used when you are on a tight budget. The Hatchling plan is suitable for small blogs or websites that do not have a lot of traffic.
What are the features of the HostGator Hatchling plan?
The HostGator Hatchling plan comes with the following major features:
- You can host only 1 single website under this plan.
- The host offers unlimited bandwidth and disk space.
- The Hatchling plan comes with a free SSL certificate for your website.
- The Hatchling plan comes with the convenience of one-click WordPress installation.
- A long-term subscription (12-month or longer) to the Hatchling plan gets you a free domain.
- The host allows free domain and website transfers with this shared hosting plan.
- The host also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee with the Hatchling plan.
Pros & Cons of the Hatchling plan
The HostGator Hatchling plan offers you the following pros and cons:
Pros of the HostGator Hatchling plan
- The Hatchling plan is available at a cheap price which is great for beginners.
- You will receive a 45-day money-back guarantee with this plan that allows you to try it out completely risk-free.
- The plan comes with a free SSL certificate for secure communication over your website.
- The host also allows monthly billing for the Hatchling plan, so if you do not want to commit long term, you can choose to pay monthly.
- This entry-level shared hosting plan from HostGator comes with one-click installs (WordPress and more) to help you get started with your website quickly.
- You will save domain costs when signing up for at least a 12-month term since a free domain is available with the Hatchling plan.
Cons of the HostGator Hatchling plan
- The Hatchling plan only supports 1 single domain or website so you will have to get additional plans if you wish to host multiple websites later.
- The host does not offer free daily website backups with this plan, you will have to either pay for automatic backups or maintain them on your own.
- The Hatchling plan is costly when you pay for it monthly. Even a 6-month upfront payment is an expensive deal.
- Though the Hatchling plan comes with unmetered bandwidth and disk space, the host places a limit on the use of CPU resources.
- The host has set an inode limit of 100,000 for this plan which is a soft limit and a warning sign to remain within the hard limit of 200,000 inodes.
- You can carry out only up to 25 concurrent processes with the Hatchling plan.
- The host also imposes several mailing limitations like maximum emails sent per hour, cap over the mailing list, etc.
How much traffic can the Hatchling plan handle?
The HostGator Hatchling plan comes with unmetered bandwidth and disk space. But it can handle about 7k to 8k visitors daily.
This can be stretched to 10k max. However, HostGator officially recommends 7,000 – 8,000 average visitors per day only, so try not to go beyond that limit.
The above estimates are based on the average CPU usage of a well-coded website in a day.
The host considers it a violation of its Terms of Service if you use 25% or more of the server resources for more than 90 seconds. But if you are running a small blog or website, you don’t need to worry about crossing this limit.
How much does the Hatchling plan cost?
The Hatchling plan is the most affordable plan offered by HostGator. You can purchase it for as low as $2.75 per month.
Initial costs of the Hatchling plan
Let’s find out the initial prices available for the Hatchling plan for different term lengths:
|Term Length||The initial price of the Hatchling plan|
|1 month||$10.95 per month|
|6 months||$10.95 per month|
|12 months||$3.95 per month|
|36 months||$2.75 per month|
You can always check the latest prices at the HostGator Checkout page:
Renewal costs of the Hatchling plan
The renewal cost of the HostGator Hatchling plan differs from its initial cost. Here is an overview of the renewal prices available for this plan for different term lengths:
|Term Length||Renewal price of the Hatchling plan|
|1 month||$10.95 per month|
|6 months||$10.95 per month|
|12 months||$8.95 per month|
|36 months||$6.95 per month|
You can find these prices on the Checkout page when selecting the term length for your HostGator plan.
Should I upgrade from Hostgator Hatchling to Baby plan?
Hatchling plan is the cheapest shared hosting plan from HostGator but it does not allow you to host more than one website. So if you decide to host country-wise domain extensions when your business grows and expands its reach to multiple countries, you will not be able to do so with the Hatchling plan.
It is because each of these domain extensions is considered a separate domain. So the Hatchling plan will not be sufficient for your needs at that time. In such a case, you can consider upgrading from Hostgator Hatchling to Baby plan if you want to stick with HostGator.
Though the HostGator Hatchling plan offers many benefits, it does have some inherent limitations:
CPU resource restriction
Though the Hatchling plan offers unmetered bandwidth and disk space, you cannot use all the server resources for your website needs. The host has set a limit of CPU resource restriction for all its Hatchling plan customers.
You cannot use 25% or more of the server resources for more than 90 seconds. Using this many CPU resources is considered a violation of the HostGator Terms of Service.
The HostGator Hatchling plan comes with a limit on the number of processes that can run simultaneously. The host sets a limit of 25 processes per cPanel for its cheapest shared hosting plan.
Though the processes are very quick to perform and hardly overlap, HostGator takes care if they do. The host’s server system automatically kills the processes running for the longest time when you are about to touch this limit.
The hatchling plan also comes with a predefined inode limit. HostGator has set a soft limit of 100,000 inodes. You can still upload files to your account when you hit this limit.
However, it is best to consider this limit as a warning as the host has set a hard limit of 200,000 inodes for the Hatchling plan. If you reach this inode limit, your account is flagged and might be suspended by HostGator.
Mail policy and limitations
The host also sets several email limitations for the Hatchling plan. You cannot send more than 500 emails in an hour from your website. If you exceed this limit, your emails might bounce back and display an undeliverable error.
You cannot send emails from a mailing list of over 900 email addresses during peak hours. Lastly, there is a limit of 30 POP checks per hour for each connecting IP. Going beyond this limit will display a password/login error.
Can I cancel HostGator services?
Yes, you can cancel HostGator services at any time. The host offers a 45-day money-back guarantee with the Hatchling plan. So if you are not satisfied with the hosting services, claim your refund within the first 45 days.
Alternatively, you can also choose to pay for a single month in the beginning to try the HostGator services. Unlike many other hosting providers, HostGator allows monthly billing for its services thereby allowing you to try them.
What are the Best Alternatives to HostGator?
HostGator offers cheap shared hosting plans to help you get started with your online journey at a tight budget.
Alternative #1 – BlueHost
But if you are unsatisfied with the HostGator services, you can choose the shared hosting services provided by Bluehost.
Bluehost is a reliable host and is recommended by WordPress itself. You can expect to receive similar features with Bluehost but there aren’t any monthly payment options available.
Alternative #2 – DreamHost
Another great alternative to the HostGator shared hosting services is DreamHost.
It offers cheaper initial prices than HostGator when it comes to monthly payment options. You can expect fewer limitations and better performance with the host.
Alternative #3 – Cloudways
On the other hand, if you are looking for more powerful hosting than shared hosting, Cloudways can be the best alternative.
The host offers affordable managed cloud hosting solutions that can handle huge traffic.
Verdict on HostGator Hatchling plan review
The HostGator Hatchling plan is sufficient for the needs of small websites that are in their beginning stages. But as soon as your website starts growing in terms of content and traffic, it is worth spending a little more to move to the higher shared hosting plan, the HostGator Baby Plan.
It is an investment well worth your money since the Baby plan will offer you a lot more features than the Hatchling plan. With so many unlimited features on hand, you will have peace of mind for the future.
Is it worth upgrading from HostGator Hatchling to Baby?
Yes, upgrading from the HostGator Hatchling to the Baby plan is completely worth it because the Baby plan offers many unlimited resources.
You can host any number of websites from your HostGator account with this plan and the price difference is not much either.
Can I switch from Hatchling to Baby plan at any time?
Yes, you can shift from Hatchling to Baby plan at any time since the host does not restrict you for the same.
No plan transfer costs are involved in such a case, you only need to pay for the cost of the new plan.
Is HostGator monthly?
Unlike many of its competitors, HostGator offers monthly payment options for its services.
You can buy the Hatchling or any other HostGator plan for just 1 month or go for a longer term as per your convenience.
Does HostGator offer a free website migration?
Yes, HostGator offers 1 free website migration for all its new customers.