It doesn’t work.
I am a small town creator/artist and over the years I’ve had a website to help showcase my portfolio and bring my fans together. For several years I used Wix (and loved it!) but as Wix‘s prices continue to rise (3 years ago it cost me $40 for a year of the professional middle tier – Now it would cost me $180) I set out to try some other web builders/hosts.
I found Yahoo Small Business and tried their free editor. I’ll admit – the editor seemed very basic… but it was hard to figure out still… Things just didn’t seem to move where they should. Yahoo also had very few apps and widgets to add to your site (like e-mail boxes and such). I’m getting older and tired… I’m all about simplicity.While their prices weren’t bad at all.. I wanted an editor that did a little more work.
I looked up best web builders and found a list of the top ten! WordPress was number 1 and Host Gator was number 2. Host Gator was SUPER CHEAP. Buying 2 years at $90 averaged out to $45 a year! (Slightly more than Wix used to be.) So I went and browsed their site. The site seemed legit. However – I couldn’t find a way to test the web builder without actually paying for their service – so I paid. The price was too good not to! I’d make it work!
Once I was in, the web builder worked much like Wix‘s. I picked out my free domain (for a year) that was included with the deal.Everything seemed fine and dandy! I published my site… Typed in my secure domain, and the page loaded just fine! Wahoo!
Then a big problem occurred. BIG.
Everywhere I tried to share my domain link, it would be flagged as spam. Facebook, twitter, instagram…. All these sites were flagging my website as a spam link. I checked the black list to see if my domain was listed and it wasn’t. I reached out to host gator who advised me that my ISP was blocking the site so contact them. I did. I’m sure I looked stupid because in retrospect – if my ISP was actually blocking that site – it wouldn’t have even worked when I typed the link directly into the bar…Duh.
As an online business… you need to be able to share your website through links to bring in traffic. I can’t tell everyone by word of mouth across the globe, for them to type it in themselves.
So I had an old domain from GoDaddy that was still active. I tried to link it up to Host Gator. First off… the directions to link them up on Host Gators end were completely wrong (I had to contact GoDaddy and they told me right away what I was doing wrong… But I did EXACTLY what the directions on Host Gator said to do.) It seems strange to me that a site that sells domains doesn’t even know how the A Records should be listed… Huh?
So once I fixed my domain information, it linked right up. I used my GoDaddy domain with wix and had no issues. I type it in the bar – it loads.
Then a big problem occurred. BIG.
My GoDaddy domain was now being flagged as spam!
So I began doing some research. I can’t tell you why, but there are tons of people who have had the same experience as me. I wish I would have looked into their business more but I just never had any issues before and Host Gator looked pretty legit. And I did find some good reviews…But I found more bad ones than good.
So I contacted Host Gator for a refund (despite them swearing it had nothing to do with their end)…They kept a $20 fee for the FREE DOMAIN they provided (“as per their rules”…though when I browsed their site it said $15…) Luckily I paid with Paypal (any other form of payment it looks like they won’t give refunds… Probably because it can’t be disputed so easily?) However.. They only refunded me $20! (Paypal notified me in minutes so I still had the Customer Service Rep on the line… “Oh! She messed up!” She told me Paypal wouldn’t let her send any more money. I saved every screenshot, chat, message… I was getting my $70 back.
A few hours later I did receive the rest of my refund. I was out $20 and though about disputing it, but I was just glad to be done with Host Gator at that point.
I decided to try WordPress. The web builder was simple. I setup my domain (no issues!), and for the price – it’s a nice little setup and still cheaper than Wix.
Moral of the story – don’t use Host Gator unless you want to be out of money for a service that doesn’t work to begin with.