- Other TLD prices
- Number of TLDs available
- ICANN fees
- Bulk price
- Mobile app
- Simple domain transfer policies
- ICANN accreditation
To register a .com domain with HostGator, the cost is $12.95/year. This price comes with complimentary features including FREE Domain Locking, Automatic Domain Renewal, a User-friendly Domain Management Panel and 24/7/365 Technical Support. Compared to the top billing domain registrar sites on the market, which on average run between $11.00 and $16.00/year, $12.95 is still a competitive price. The problem lies with the fine print, since this price reflects a discount on the first invoice only. After that, the regular price goes up to $15.00/year (on the higher end but still a competitive price). This is non-transparent on HostGator's part and leads one to question if they are really getting a deal.
Other TLD Prices
Customers wanting to purchase other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) can expect to pay prices ranging from as little as $0.95 for a .site extension to as much as $39.95 for a .host TLD. The most popular alternate domains (.net, .co, .org, .info, etc) are also $12.95/year. These prices also require reading the fine print, as prices for these also only reflect the first invoice.
Number of TLDs Available
HostGator offers a total of 15 Top-Level Domains (TLDs). This covers the most popular and commonly used domains, but compared to some companies that offer around 100 different TLDs (or as much as 500+ domains) of soon-to-be-released extensions or exotic domain names, HostGator is limited.
All domain name registrars have to pay an annual fee to ICANN for each domain name, so when checking out on HostGator's platform, ICANN fees are not indicated either in fine print on the bottom of the web page next to an asterisk or included in the fee in their advertised cost as some companies do. HostGator appears to have some transparency issues in this area.
If customers want to purchase several domains at once (especially if it's a huge amount of domains, like 50 or more), HostGator won't be able to accommodate their needs. Some companies offer bulk discounts such as 100 domains for 10% off, 200 domains at 20% off or $30.00 off for 300 domains, etc. Because HostGator only offers 15 Top Level Domains, bulk discount pricing is not an option.
For a domain registrar company of its size and global recognition and popularity, it is surprising that HostGator does not offer a mobile app for both iOS and Android mobile devices. It seems the company has not been listening to their customers who ask if there is an app and share what type of app would help them most. For example, on one of HostGator's interactive forum pages, a customer suggested they make an app that has a push button payment feature so they could make payments from their phone and avoid being late with their domain payments. To date, HostGator has not responded with an app for any of these needs. A few domain registrars do offer apps for mobile devices, which makes HostGator deficient in this area.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
A major disadvantage for HostGator customers is domain transfer policies. On their 'Transfer Domain' page, HostGator appears to charge a transfer fee for names purchased elsewhere and transferred over to their hosting service. Pricing ranges from $7.95 for a .com domain all the way up to $45.00 for a .host domain. What's really confusing about this is that other registrars don't charge for transferring domains. It also is confusing why the fee is an annual rate, not a one-time transfer fee. It definitely seems that HostGator is looking for an additional internal revenue stream.
The actual transfer process is approximately 8 steps. Other companies seem to have tutorial pages online regarding how to transfer from HostGator since it's such a popular brand-which makes the process easier.