An important outage affected HostGator on the last twelve hours, putting down almost all sites and services. Of course there have been many customers for that but half a day of outage over 365 days is a very low percentage.
People who claim to have had their business compromised by that outage or are lying or they put a so delicate business in the wrong place. Ultra redundant structures are available, one just need to pay.
About outages, what happened to HostGator is not uncommon to other companies: shit happens. I had virtual servers on Leaseweb and sometime they free because they had storage problems. I have servers on Amazon, load balanced, and near Christmas the whole system got down for many hours (and they are not cheaper that HostGator).
Some years ago I bought a web space on Dream Host and the subsystem where my space were located was unusable for few days.
I have customers on Aruba (Italy), who last year had a stop for at least a day because the power system of the data center got on fire.
And the list of outages can be infinite and even the more prepared company can fail sometime.
Anyway I should admit that lately HostGator performance (shared hosting) has been decreased. Specially after the migration to the new servers and the same thing has been reported by others as well.
Does that mean HostGator is nor more a viable solution? I think HostGator is still a good company, I never had a problem with their customer support which is a important key in evaluating an hosting company.
By the way site owner must be aware that an hosting space is not for everyone. Site starting with 100 visits per day and grown to 10.000 visits per day cannot pretend to stay on a shared space and have good site performances. Hosting company must earn money (or they close leaving the customer on their feet) and there are time to move to other solutions, specially when the site is no more a personal site but is a source of money.
Call it a coincidence but I moved satollo.net to my dedicated server just before the HostGator outage (just because I don’t want to pay both) and because the kind of traffic of satollo.net was making the site too mush slow.