HostGator recently reached 200,000 active customers and we are on pace to break 300,000 within a year.

I remember when I’d be out celebrating if HostGator managed to get two signups in a week. Now, we’re seeing thousands of signups a week. Back in the day, my celebrating consisted of nothing more than dropping the Ramen noodles or the tuna can I had in my hands and grabbing some sushi for an hour before scrambling back to work. At the time, I was a poor college student who invested every penny I had back into the business I was building.

The domain was registered on October 10, 2002 and here are some statistics about how many active customers we’ve had at a few points since then.

  • 2/1/2003: 112 active customers
  • 2/1/2004: 1,031 active customers
  • 2/1/2005: 6,892 active customers
  • 2/1/2006: 21,434 active customers
  • 2/1/2007: 50,213 active customers
  • 2/1/2008: 92,752 active customers
  • 2/1/2009: 157,432 active customers
  • Today: 200,000+

How HostGator Came To Be:

I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a kid. In sixth grade, I sold candy at school and had all the kids in my neighborhood working for me. When I was 14, my cousins and I had a business where we sold watermelons from a truck on the side of a road. The deal we offered was simple, but effective: “2 for $5.”

Ain't no Glory in Selling Watermelons
Ain\’t no Glory in Selling Watermelons

It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I got hooked on trying to make money on the Internet. What sucked me in was the paid to surf programs such as AllAdvantage,, Cashfiesta, and the like. These companies claimed they would pay you to surf the Internet while looking at ads. I created my first website on a service much like GeoCities and was able to generate over 50,000 referrals between all the programs I was enrolled in. One by one, I learned that all of the programs were a scam. I made $65 when I was entitled to over a million.

After the paid to surf venture failed, I decided to create real web sites and sell my own advertising inventory. The network that I created was called The Freak Network and consisted of,, and, all of which were named after best selling Blizzard Entertainment games (Starcraft, Diablo, and Warcraft, respectively).

My network was making me about $40 a day, which was impressive given that all of my pimple covered friends had to get real jobs and make less money. Everything was going great until the .com bubble bursted and my advertisers began to cheat me out of money. I was left with no choice but to find alternative sources of income and that’s when I had the epiphany to start selling web hosting on the side. My network of websites was receiving tens of thousands of page views per day and I already had the servers, so selling web hosting seemed like the perfect plan. was born. My plan was to use the traffic from my gaming websites to gain customers.

Freak Web Hosting
Freak Web Hosting

I built Freak Web Hosting to just shy of a hundred customers that consisted mostly of gaming sites. The problem was that I wasn’t a system administrator and that I wasn’t that technical. This resulted in poor security which lead to hackings, horrible uptime, and a never ending series of technical issues that kept me from running a successful business. I hated being a webhost at the time! I was able to get the business but no matter how hard I searched I couldn’t find someone to take care of the technical issues at a price I could afford.

I spent years trying to make my network a viable business and another year trying to get my web hosting venture running smoothly . The final straw was when the Data Center claimed that my server was “compromised and outgoing malicious traffic.” To alleviate this problem, they ordered OS reload after reload, which drove me to a point just short of insanity and a state in which I felt life was over. (In hindsight, I believe the datacenter lied to me about the malicious traffic in order to get me to leave due to the amount bandwidth my sites were using. The deal they gave me at the time was too good to be true and that’s exactly what it ended up being.)

I could have kept on fighting, but it would have been a futile effort. I was left with no choice but to scale down operations. I did the right thing by refunding everyone’s last month of hosting and even refunded those that prepaid for a year in advance. At the time there were three annual customers that I didn’t have enough money to repay, so I contacted them to let them know my intentions and eventually paid them back a few months later.

By the time The Freak Network and Freak Web Hosting failed, high school was coming to an end. I didn’t have much time before I would have to decide what to do with my life. I felt like a complete failure and had nothing to show for all my years of work.

I wanted to be a success and make some type of difference in the world and I felt as if I couldn’t accomplish this by going to college. I was very close to joining the army and even went to see a recruiter. I believed that if I joined the army, I’d have purpose in my life and be able to make some type of difference. Just days before enlisting, my dad talked me out of joining the army and helped me get into Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida.

I spent a few months living on campus and attending classes without deviating too much from the life of a regular student. That’s when an old friend contacted me telling me that he started a server company. He knew that if we went into business together I’d have no problem getting the customers. He begged me for a week to get back into hosting and eventually convinced me to partner with him and try hosting again. After failing the first time around, I was against the idea and didn’t want to try again unless I was confident I had someone with technical abilities to keep the servers up and running.

The deal we came to orally was that I’d run my own business and I’d give him half the proceeds for keeping the servers secure and up and running. I quickly revived the old brand and reached out to all my old customers. I managed to convince a majority of them to sign up very quickly and within days, I was once again a web host and once again in the hosting industry.

It only took a couple of months for reality to set in . Servers began having multi-hour outages on a daily basis as a result of the datacenter going offline. I was bringing the business in while my partner was failing to uphold his end of the bargain. The servers weren’t up and running; they were failing.

I decided to break the partnership and venture off on my own. I ended up purchasing a few servers from and managed to find a system administrator who would help me as I needed and bill me by the hour. The combination of the new Data Center and system administrator made Freak Web Hosting more stable than ever.

With things running so well and the old Freak Website Network being dead, I knew the company needed a new design and a new name. I searched for days and tried hundreds of domain name combinations before I narrowed it down to two names: HostGator and GatorHost. I was torn on which domain to choose. I didn’t know which one sounded better and couldn’t afford both domain names. HostGator may sound like a much better name now, but at the time and without all of our branding, they both sounded the same.

Original Web Site for HostGator
Original Web Site for HostGator

Business was booming and my freshman year of college was coming to an end. By this time, every second of my life was spent in class, doing homework, or taking chats and answering emails on the computer.

I was a 24/7 one-man operation. I was being woken up numerous times a night with phone calls and there wasn’t a single class I would make it through without having to leave at least a few times to take a business call. I knew I was on path to be making more than the average college graduate in about six months. I also knew it would have been impossible to finish another year of college while running HostGator, so I decided to drop out of school and follow my dream of growing HostGator into the world’s largest hosting company.

Understandably, my family and friends were all very much against my decision to dropout. I had many businesses that failed to pan out and the chances of HostGator succeeding were slim. In the end, everyone expressed their thoughts strongly, but supported me in my decision. To me, it was a no-brainer. If things didn’t work out, I’d just go back to school and be miserable. If they worked out, I’d be pursuing my dream.

Things continued to go well for the Gator at the expense of living life, having friends, and never being able to leave the computer. Within minutes of leaving the computer there would always be some type of emergency with a service going offline that would require a restart and I’d have to run back to my computer. More times than not, I’d make it half way to my wherever I was going before getting a phone call or an alert and being forced to turn back to resolve the issue. This was before the iPhone, smartphones, air cards, or any other type of mobile tool. What amazed me is the fact that I was not that technical, but was still able to help most of my customers by simply taking their question and applying common sense or finding a work around.

When HostGator had just started, I hated resellers because they required a large amount of relatively technical service. What’s ironic is that as we grew, I saw how easy it was to obtain reseller customers. Before long, obtaining reseller customers is where most of my focus and advertising money went. Ideal timing allowed us to fill the reseller niche while the competition focused primarily on shared hosting. Today, shared hosting is the source of most of our new business, but we continue to remain the worlds’ largest reseller hosting company.

If a major issue ever came up, I’d be helpless when it came to actually solving the problem. I was at the mercy of an hourly system administrator who usually had something more important to do than fix my servers. In the early days, HostGator was inadequately prepared for drives failures and similar large-scale issues. When one happened, there would usually be data loss and days of little to no sleep while I helped customers recover. I continued life in my apartment prison for another year before the company grew beyond what I could handle myself and I hired my first full time employee, Ben Welch.

Ben would arrive at my house while I was sleeping and immediately get to work taking calls, chats, and tickets. When I woke up, I’d head over to bedroom and get to work with him. At approximately the same time, I hired an Indian outsourced support company. The support volume was more than Ben and me could handle alone and it was impossible for us to man all of the stations all of the time.

I don’t believe in outsourcing, but at that point, outsourcing was the only way I could have 24/7 coverage of email and chat support that I could afford.

In hindsight, outsourcing was a big mistake. Choosing to outsource our supported resulted in the loss of customers, a damaged reputation, and low caliber support. As soon as we could afford an office, we rented a 1,600 square foot office in Boca Raton, Florida and began replacing our outsourced employees with in-house employees. We learned our lesson with outsourcing and have had 100% in-house support for several years now. There’s absolutely no chance of us switching to outsourced support in the future – it just isn’t worth whatever we’d save in the short run.

When we first moved into our first office, I thought that it was overkill and I wasn’t sure how (or if) we’d ever fill it. In no time, sales and growth caught fire. We had people working in closets, hallways, and I had to share my office with another employee. The office wasn’t that bad of a place, but there was one major problem. We had a single stall co-ed restroom for over 24 employees to share and nobody to clean it. If you had to go, you’d usually end up holding it or driving home.

I continued to wake up numerous times a night to take support calls and contribute to our service and support as much as possible. This took a toll on me, though. At the ripe old age of 22, I began to develop a very serious case of carpel tunnel syndrome. It slowly progressed until I was at the point where tapping any finger on either hand would feel like needles piercing me to the bone. I ended up trying a few alternatives to typing, including holding pencils in the palms of my fists and hiring someone to type and move the mouse for me. Typing with pencils only helped so much and hiring someone to communicate what to do ended up being a nightmare.

Eventually, the pain worsened to the point where it affected everything I did. If I went to a movie, all I could think about was my hands hurting. If I drove home, the pain would be so intolerable that I would have to alternate sitting on my hands so they would fall sleep to allow the pain to temporarily go away. Technology began to improve and I soon learned of Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition software. This was a lifesaver for me and while it wasn’t perfect, it did allow me to continue to perform my duties, just less effectively. I ended up using Dragon for a few years before my hands recovered to a point where I’m no longer in pain and I’m able to type without any discomfort. I’m sure if my old lack of sleep and constant typing routine came back, my problems would as well.

Eventually, we ran out of closets in our Boca Raton office and had to find a new location. We were also severely understaffed and couldn’t find the people we needed to keep up with our rapid growth. Boca Raton is where people go to retire not find a job. It’s so bad that the locals would always joke that Boca was “Heaven’s waiting room.”

We initially searched for office space in South Florida, but found the prices to be astronomical for the size we needed to maintain growth. We began looking in Dallas, Texas for a new office and somehow ended up looking in Houston. Soon after, we found and purchased the 30,000 square feet office building that we’re currently located in. The office was perfect for us since 16,000 square feet was available for use and the rest was leased out. We currently occupy around 18,000 square feet of the building and I anticipate that we’ll be filling the rest in a little over a year .

When we first moved into the new building, me and a few other employees took up residency throughout the building. There was very few employees at first and nothing but empty space. Many people that I met had no idea what web hosting was and were convinced that I was a drug dealer. They believed this because I was so young, successful, and living in an empty building with a bunch of young adults in what resembled a frat house. It also didn’t help at the time I had just gotten back from Brazil to open HostGator Brazil.

The Future of HostGator:

I still haven’t reached my goal of HostGator becoming the world’s largest hosting company, but as one of the world’s largest and with how well things have been going, I can definitely see it happening within the next eight years. In order to achieve this, we’ll need to go more mainstream. This includes launching a brand to compete with GoDaddy, more billboards, starting TV commercials, and hiring many, many more high quality employees to continue supporting our customers.

HostGator has been a real blessing in my life and I couldn’t have gotten us to where we are today alone. I owe much of HostGator’s success to our customers as well as to each and every employee who has put their heart and sweat into this company. If it weren’t for all of you, I would most likely have to return to college. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Thank you!

91 thoughts on “200,000 Web Hosting Clients and Climbing

  1. Congratulations! I’ve used lots and lots of hosting companies over the years, dumping one after another for bad experiences – but Hostgator never lets me down. I love y’all!

  2. This is a great article, you have a great GREAT service here and I love it.

    Ive tried so many hosting companies and I have to say, this is the best one yet. I am a reseller currently (with and plan to resell with HostGator soon.

    I absolutely love the speeds, support and prices. Thanks for keeping it up man, if you didn’t we wouldn’t have this great provider to host our websites and programs with.

    Keep up the good work man, and maybe someday we can compete with each other haha (I could only hope).

  3. When you were doing all of that typing, were you typing from a keyboard tray, or on top of a standard desk?

    My pain seems to be getting better now that I moved to a keyboard tray, I am assuming since my hands are now pointed down instead of up?

    Not sure why that matters.

  4. I wasn’t sure anyone was going to read this posting with it being so long.

    The name really came out of desperation just trying to find one that wasn’t taken. If I recall correctly I think I tried first. Gator prob popped into mind being in FL and having gators all over the place. There was a place near my house we’d go to once in a while and see them at night. It’s illegal to feed them but every time we went there someone would be feeding them marshmallows and they’d go nuts.

    I always typed from a tray. Now a days I use the Microsoft ergonomic keyboard which I believe makes a big difference. It can take a few weeks to get use to it but once you do you’ll never want to switch back.

  5. Good read!

    Looks like I was one of the first thousand! I’ve been with Hostgator since early 2004.

    Sometimes it was a tad rough in the early days and I swear there were times I called support in the middle of the night after my customers called me and the dude who answered (it was Brent) sounded like I just woke him up (I know now that I did). Even though it seemed dodgy at the time he fixed my issues when I called. Being able to call a person made a difference to me as a customer.

    I remember when support was outsourced for a while. IT SUCKED. Even then though, email support came through in the end so I stuck around.

    My experience with Hostgator has always been relatively positive. In the end, I have never been anything but satisfied. I’ve recommended Hostgator to many colleagues and friends and never been burned.

    Now I know that I was one of the first thousand and my quality of service hasn’t changed now that I am one of 200,000 plus. That says something Brent.

    I appreciate your companies focus on customer service in this industry renowned for crappy service. It has kept me with Hostgator for a long time, even through hard times because I knew in the end it would get taken care of.

    Shawn Herrin

  6. Wow,

    Just a few days ago, I was telling a friend about those early days cos I remember them very well. I think I delved into hosting business just about the same time you started hostgator cos I used to communicate directly with you, after a bad experience from Your customer service is cannot be compared to another. Wow! Just keep on keeping on. Congratulations.

  7. Great story, I always wanted to know more about hostgator history.

    Although im not a customer but I did read alot of positive reviews about your company.

    I wish you more clients and good health :)

  8. Hi Kayol,

    I plan on furthering my education in other areas that can be applied in my life. I do not plan on going back to school for a degree.

    I’m currently studying to receive a private pilot license. I also would one day like to learn a second language.

    It’s actually quite the contrary. I felt empty when I was in school.

  9. I think it will help if you start selling domain names. People like having everything on one bill..

  10. Another shout in a huddle of praise: HostGator is one of my favorite companies. No other service offers as much as you do for the price that you do. Cheers!

  11. Hello Brent,

    I’d like to start off by saying great blog :). Your tale is definitely a triumph and your story I am sure is very motivating which will help others recognize that nothing is impossible. In addition, you help paint the picture that if you hit hard and stay devoted to your work results will come. Also, you mentioned the following:

    “In order to achieve this, we’ll need to go more mainstream. This includes launching a brand to compete with GoDaddy, more billboards, starting TV commercials, and hiring many, many more high quality employees to continue supporting our customers”

    I can’t agree with you anymore. Also, I wanted to add that I saw your sponsor at the latest UFC 102 event which took place just 2 weeks ago. I was extremely astounded to see HostGator on the shorts of the fighter and on the back banner. I believe it was for the main event or co-main event.:). Regardless, you’re absolutely correct, in order to compete or go head to head with the large Brands you will definitely need to revise your venues.

    Good luck and all the best in the near future.



  12. What a great story. Thanks for sharing your pitfalls and triumphs. Gives all of us hope. Way to stay the course and follow your dreams.

    I’m sure it was tough, but now (hopefully) it was all worth it.

    Well done.
    cd :O)

  13. I remember when u had 100 customers and we were working on your seo. That’s when seo didn’t even exist really haha. You have done great for yourself. Can’t wait for the plan hehe.

  14. WTG Brent! We found HG a few years ago and we have been so overwhelmingly pleased with your services!

    Our ventures haven’t progressed as well as HG, but we are still trying. Knowing that HG is there – along with the AWESOME support staff, we are sure to have all the support we need.

    Best of luck in the future and we’ll see you at 300K????


  15. Great history and it’s very inspiring. I felt the same way when I first started my business.

    Congrats with all of your hard work and wish you continued success. Thank you for the great service.

  16. Nice Brent! What a story.

    You were the first good host our web site had. It was back in 2003 or 2004. I remember talking to you on MSN a long time, while I was describing you my website’s need. I had a pretty popular video web site here in Québec, Canada. It was before YouTube and all those other sites appeared. You ended up putting my web site in a empty ASP box, and I stayed there without any problems for many months. My website grew and I had to get a dedicated server elsewhere. In 2007, things slowed down and I came back to your company, using a reseller account.

    I noticed when calling that your one-man company was now something really big. Congratulations for your success and live a good life!

  17. Great story. I love your service. I can foresee this:

    2/1/2011 – Half a million!

    Wishing you all the best!
    Nishant Kasibhatla

  18. Dear Brent,

    A BIG Omedeto Gozaimasu!! or Congratulations from Japan!

    Your story is indeed something very amazing.
    Through all the ups and downs, you remained determined to pursue your dreams and look today through all your hard work, efforts and continued persistence, you are the best web host around !

    I hope many young people will read your post so they can be inspired to do some great things just like you have done with Host Gator!

    You’re the best Web Hosting Company with the Best Support.

    Congratulations once again to you and your fantastic team and Warm regards from Osaka, Japan!

  19. Well done!

    Nothing great comes without a little struggle. You made it!

    Keep up the excellent service!

  20. Nice to know the history of hostgator. I would definitely say this is the best host I’ve ever had – so much so that I take it for granted. The only time I ever even come on this site is to pay my bills. That’s what all hosting companies should be like. One thing, you mention “The deal they gave me at the time was too good to be true and that’s exactly what it ended up being.”, aren’t you being a bit hypocritical here, since you offer unlimited bandwidth for $5/month? If someone started using too much bandwidth, wouldn’t you force them off too?

  21. bent let me say your story has been a real inspiration
    i started my reseller account with Host Gator way back in 2005 i had no problem except minors.

    maybe i am the first Jamaican to use your services

  22. Great post! I think we always assume people will be bored with our long stories – not so!

    One thing causes me concern though – I love HG, recommend it to my clients, and became a reseller not long ago.

    HOWEVER – SlowDaddy is currently the largest host in the world – and, as I said to their tech support when it was taking me 3 DAYS to launch a client’s site (something that would have taken 15-45 minutes from start to finish on HG, limited only by the speed of screen refreshes and clicks) – IT SHOWS.

    I wish you all the success in the world, but PLEASE don’t emulate SlowDaddy! If that happens, I’ll be forced to find the next up-and-comer.

  23. Hi Brent,

    I’ve been a customer of HostGator since 2005, and now have about 3 dedicated servers with you guys. Support has always been great.

    It’s inspiring to hear your story, and I’m sure HostGator will be the largest hosting company in the world. It is already the best in the world.

  24. I must say I have used about 10 hosts in my time, but I have been with hostgator for the longest period. Screw you old webhosts. Now I get twice the service for half the price.

  25. I am your customer mainly because of the quick response time to issues.

    Price is awesome and offerings are awesome in comparison to other hosting services. I was with websitesource but switched to you guys due to consistent downtime and lag in issue resolution.

    Congrats on the milestone. I refer folks to you when they ask about hosting. Godaddy is okay, but some folks I deal with don’t want to be associated with the GoDaddy image… go figure

  26. Awesome, and grats! I’ve been with you guys for about 4 years now and have NEVER considered leaving.

    One of my friends now is signed up on here after me and another guy told him how great it is!

    Grats Host Gator!

  27. Congratulations to all at HostGator! Great story!

    Your are the best hosting company, we currently using 3 others hosting companies in different countries and no one compares to Hostgator for support, uptime, and value.

    Yes go after the Godaddy market.


  28. We have been with HostGator since Feb 2007. Yes, they have the best customer supports :) Thank you for your inspiring story, Brent :)

    Denny Harianto

  29. Keep up the great work and please never sell out to another company! One of the things that keeps me at HG is that I feel like you are in it for the long haul and I don’t have to worry about you being bought by another hosting company, which in the past with other hosts has always forced me to leave eventually due to poor service. Thanks for what you have done so far and keep it up!

  30. Congratulations Brent! A terrific success story. As one of your top affiliates since January 2005, it’s been a pleasure to help grow the business :-) I look forward to sending thousands more customers your way.

  31. congrats on hitting 200k customers! It just goes to show how dedication and hard work can pay off. I’ve been happy with HG since I joined in 2007, I’ve been happy every since. Keep up the great work, and again congratulations on all your accomplishments.

  32. after all these years i never knew hostgator used to be freakz which is amazing since i was one of the first customers of freakz way to go guy determination is what it takes we took a $20 a month business and grew s you did to over 5000 a week now and well we didnt give up on the pay to surf craze lol.

  33. Hi,

    I’ve been with hostgator since 2005, and I can honestly say that I’m extremely happy with the service I’ve gotten over the years.

    I’ve only experienced two problems with service interruption, and each time (as with the other few times I’ve contacted support) I was helped quickly, by people who knew what they were talking about, solving the problem pretty much immediately.

    Keep up the good work!

  34. Brent, I enjoyed your story and can empathize as a 24/7 one-man gang running my online businesses. You guys are doing great! I hope to have a few employees of my own one day so I can get the balance back in my life. Thanks for sharing your history.

  35. hi Brent,this is really impressive story ,you got such a great vision,you will reach your goals soon we are with you.God bless you

  36. Thom were actually very interested in finding an awesome web designer to bring in house to our Houston location. I’ve taken a look at your portfolio and liked it a lot! You being in Canada though would make it very hard to get you a visa however.

    Frozen fire very good point. Believe it or not I come across $5ish customers all the time using over 5,000 gigs bandwidth. We pretty much have unlimited bandwidth due the amount of servers we have so bandwidth usage doesn’t bother us. We do however endup having to kick people all the time for crashing the servers from cpu / memory. A dedicated server is completely different they can crash it all they want.

  37. After my initial signing up problems with Hostgator that drove me into the hands of an inept and incompetent reseller company, I tucked my tails between my legs and returned to HG. We made up and time has confirmed that it was the best decision in the world because it has been worth it. Nice story and very inspiring for some of us trying to make it in the hosting business. Please keep it up and congrats for this important milestone.

  38. Congrats, and thanks for sharing your story.

    I have a similar story in many ways, and am very glad I found HostGator a few years back. No other hosting company can match your service, and quality.

    Congrats again to u sir!

  39. I have been with Hostgator for a little while, however I have been having chats with your consultants for over a year.

    Being a blogger, I have been told by other bloggers that Westhost and Bluehost are way better.. but I went where I got the best assistance – without being a client.

    I finally became a client a month or so ago, and I am experiencing the best service ever.

    Thank you

  40. Congrats Brent, we have had a resellers account with you since 2004 and your service is the best.
    Its great to read your story, I had no idea, I always thought hostgator was something set up by a big corporate.
    I too have been an entrepreneur since school, Ive had my successes and failures. But your story motivates me further, Congrats on your success and here is to the next 200k

    All the best


  41. Great story!

    I’ve been running my own businesses for a few years now and very few people realize that it is indeed a 24/7 thing for almost all small business owners. They also don’t understand the level of competition you face – I hope this will help people understand the reality of it.

    I also agree 100% with you about schooling – especially when all the info in the world is right there on the ‘Net. My ma would agree with your ma about it, though :-) That’s ok, we have Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Scott McNealy on our side.

    I’m quite pleased overall with Hostgator, and unless you give me reason to, I’ll never leave – datz how I roll. Keep up the great work!

  42. very inspirational! Again, it gives us all hope an confidence to take the plunge and follow what we are meant to go after in life.

    never be afraid to fail, and never give up….thanks for this post

  43. Brent, you wrote, “to compete with GoDaddy.” Please, compete with GoDaddy all you want, but don’t ever become ANOTHER GoDaddy. The GoDaddy crew has so completely lost their customer focus that I believe they’re on the brink of turning their success around and heading back down the hill.

    HostGator is what it is Brent, primarily because of the interest and effort you’ve put into it and the fact that your customers have all FELT that personal investment you’ve made. Being big is wonderful, but being the best is better.

  44. Very touching story, congratulations on your success. I too, hope to become a succesful online entrepreneur one day. And by the way im a customer of your hosting plans and they are top notch. Keep it up!

  45. Congratulations!!!

    I think I was one of the 1,031 customers back in 2004 and stayed with you since then. Never had any problems or complains and the customer service was always awesome and quick.

    I hope all your hard work pays off for you.

  46. It’s great to hear your story, and I hope you continue to have success. My only comment as you try to take on companies like GoDaddy is to stay away from using sex to market your product. It cheapens the brand, paints your reputation a certain way, and probably attracts the type of customers you’d rather not have. GoDaddy has forever lost me as a customer. It’s not all about numbers.

  47. Great read. I started with Hostgator probably 4 years ago, after reading an online review. I was new to website stuff and was surprised how helpful the tech support was in helping me get the settings on my CMS correct.

    The prices were great then and they’re even better now, so I’ve purchased another plan recently, and again your tech support was very helpful and I had issues resolved within minutes.

    It’s rare nowadays that I am completely happy with a business, from the product, the support, attention to details etc., but Hostgator is an example of such a business. I recommend Hostgator to anyone who mentions wanting to start a website.

    Thank you and your team for making Hostgator what it is and best wishes for continued success.

  48. Congratz and thank you for the story – it really gives hope to all the little sites out there :)
    Keep your service up!

    A thankful customer

  49. Congrats on the growth and for having one of the best hosting companies around! I have been a customer for 3 years and you guys have been great, you have great uptime and always respond to support tickets quickly.

    Thanks for providing a great service!

  50. Super stuff. A request please have cheaper dedicated hosting, the current $174 is very unaffordable at the moment for people who want to shift from shared to dedicated, a nice $80 plan is highly welcome.

  51. Thanks for sharing your story!
    Just curious…how could an 18 year old at the time make a statement of “I had no issues getting the customers”….who in the world would take you seriously at that age and what was your clientele profile? Buddies? Students?
    Thanks again and keep up the ‘up time’ :)

  52. Wow,what an inspiring story. I especially love it when the CEO writes himself, something you rarely ever see. The CEO of companies are usually never seen publicly. I must say that all of your dedication and hard work seems to have paid off. HostGator is by far, the best service, pricing, and support that I have had the pleasure of working with.

    HostGator is simply the best. I continue to tell myself that HostGator will always be my only choice for shared and/or reseller webhosting, and it definitely will be that for as long as I need it. I’ve had nothing but great experiences with HostGator and I hope that it stays this way or continues to get even better. Congratulations on the 200,000 clients brent. Perhaps you’ll reach 1 million soon!

  53. Brent: I have been with you since 2004, and have to say I’ve never been happier with any company! (in any field)

    From our correspondence and my observations over the years, I’ve come to know you as a person who truly treats people with respect, and you consistently “do the right thing!”

    Please thank your dad for me will ya! He raised a great guy and saved him from heading off to a pointless invasion.

  54. Wow!!! what a story. Im working hard on building my SMALL hosting business and sold my first account yesterday. Your hosting service deserves to be where it is today. I have been with you for some time now and look forward to upgrading as my business builds. Congratulations!


  55. Hi lebisol2,

    I was able to get them one at a time. It wasn’t “easy” but was very possible with hard work. The trick I used in the early days was going on forums and other websites in search of people that complained about their web hosting support.

    I would message them personally offering to assist them free of charge. After I helped them with all their issues I’d casually let them know that I was a web host and that if they were ever looking to switch hosts I’d personally be there to help them 24/7.

    I’d usually be able to get about one customer a day following this technique.

    Then with time the word of mouth from all the customers slowly began to take the place of the hunting and gathering process.

    I’m positive if I was starting over from scratch today without the financial backing I’d be able to start over following this same process. You have to be good at sales but rather then pull the scummy typical car salesmen approach you sell with honesty.

  56. Hostgator really grows dramatically. I really love HostGator, especially the Customer Service.

  57. go host gator, I understand. I wanted to start my own hosting company years ago, but did not have the technical back round either.

    Keep growning

  58. This was a great post. Fascinating to follow the birth and growth of a great company.

    I don’t know if anyone will ever read this, but if you do — please, PLEASE when you’re ready to really take on GoDaddy, please don’t end up like they did. GoDaddy was a really great up-and-coming company like yours, until they started all their unethical advertising, with sneaky hidden add-ons, etc and a really sketchy series of ad campaigns. They have fantastic support, just like HostGator, but their business image is getting morally, ethically, and aesthetically filthy.

  59. i congratulate hostgator but i believe that this climbing is bound to its huge affiliate system.

    Of course your service is perfect especially your online help..

  60. Just goes to show that the only real way to fail is to give up. Thanks for the inspiring story. I’ve only been with Hostgator for a couple of months but I’m very happy with the level of service.

  61. This is a very very inspiring success story..

    In the past two years, I’ve experienced several webhosts already, but i would confidently say that hostgator is the best! Thanks for quality service.

  62. Well, that’s a very encouraging story.

    you’ve convinced me, Brent. I’m going to start my own reseller company type thing. So expect an order for a reseller package very soon.

  63. Believe it or not, I read the whole thing, and it was awesome! good luck! and thank you for sharing!

  64. That’s very encouraging for all those hit by a hard econnomy, to give hope so they know just what can be possible. Great story, thanks for sharing.

  65. Talk about inspiration wow ! Im a 15 year old with a small time webhosting comapany ! So far i have 76 clients which im happy with. I hope to grow to be like you guys one day.

    Best of luck for hostgators future !

  66. Great! I am also a school student and i just started my own web hosting business and I want to grow like HostGator

  67. hey brent just read the blog about the path to establishing HostGator and I congratulate you in that I to very much know the hardships, dedication, commitment, and vision required to launch a viable business. I too am in the beginning/intermediate stages of establishing my company and brand and I feel comfortable and confident being connected (no pun intended) with an entrepreneur that can related to my pursuits. Thank you and GOD Bless.

  68. I look forward to the day when Hostgator reaches its goal to be the number 1 host.

    Good luck!

  69. AWESOME STORY! AWESOME BLOG! I’m a single little user of and I have never missed an email, or experienced any problem. With my old host, I would miss emails, have mailserver problems, etc. As an enterpreneur, I CAN’T HAVE THAT! SO CHEERS TO HOSTGATOR for being the best! KEEP IT UP! :D

  70. Keep up the good work. I can’t have my hosting company going out of business.I actually just upgraded my server on RAM last month and very happy with how things are going. Response time is amazing and I ALWAYS recommend HG in case a client wants a web host that is larger. Thank you for putting the control back into the web designer and web developer’s hands.Tks!

  71. Interesting post and good read, hit Google and doing some research on this topic. I look forward to reading more posts from you.

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