Bluehost and HostGator are both among the biggest names in the web hosting industry. And they offer quite similar services as well, including shared, VPS, dedicated, and WordPress hosting.
But in the comparison of Bluehost vs HostGator, one must be better.
We'll compare the features, performance, and pricing of Bluehost and HostGator to see which of the providers is the best.
So let's begin!
What Is Bluehost?
Bluehost is one of the leaders of the hosting industry. Offering shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting, Bluehost is still most known for offering high-quality WordPress hosting services. In fact, it is one of a few hosting providers recommended by WordPress.
In order to keep its reputation, Bluehost aims to offer fully WordPress-optimized servers and all the important website essentials - domain names, support, unlimited data, etc.
What Is HostGator?
HostGator is claiming to offer a powerful, secure, and fast web hosting for an affordable price. With a clear focus on simplicity and low shared hosting prices, the company is trying to be a perfect "beginner's host." In addition to that - HostGator is fully scalable.
HostGator also offers VPS, dedicated, WordPress, and reseller hosting - all at low prices.
Bluehost vs HostGator: Which One Will Win The Battle?
Which one of the two is better for you and your website? Let's see the differences between Bluehost and HostGator by putting them to the test of pricing options, security features, and performance.
Bluehost vs HostGator Pricing: HostGator Is Just A Little Bit Cheaper
Comparing the prices, it seems pretty clear that Bluehost is the more expensive option with its pricing starting at $2.95/mo. HostGator offers its cheapest plan for $2.75/mo but its pricing only goes up to $5.95/mo. The most expensive Bluehost plan costs $13.95/mo.
Bluehost has 4 plans for shared hosting:
- The Basic plan offers 50 GB of SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth. Prices start from $2.95/month for the first term ($7.95 when you renew).
- The Plus plan has unlimited storage and bandwidth. It costs $5.45 a month for the first term ($10.99 when you renew).
- Choice Plus also adds in advanced site security and backups, as well as domain privacy for $5.45/month ($14.99 when you renew).
- Pro plan includes everything from the previous plan, plus a dedicated IP, and increased performance servers for $13.95/month ($23.99 when you renew).
Also, when choosing a provider, take a look at add-ons. Many hosts are known to put extra paid features in the shopping cart automatically and Bluehost is not innocent of that too.
So once you reach the shopping cart, take a good look - domain privacy, premium security, and CodeGuard are likely to be marked. And that's how pricing adds up quickly.
By comparison, HostGator has fewer - 3 plans. And true to the "easy and affordable" claims, they're a little bit cheaper. This is how much they cost:
- The Hatchling plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth for $2.75/month ($6.95 after renewal).
- The Baby plan allows you to make unlimited websites for $3.95/month ($9.95 after renewal).
- Business plan includes a more advanced SSL certificate and a dedicated IP for $5.95/month ($14.95 after renewal).
Just like Bluehost, HostGator is guilty of including paid extras in your shopping cart. So take a good look before you complete the purchase and check if you need 3rd party software for security, backups, and other paid features.
So, to sum it up - the prices are fairly similar, but HostGator is a little bit cheaper. The three plans in each of the provider are pretty comparable to one another, with HostGator having the edge in terms of price, and the fourth Bluehost plan is more expensive than anything HostGator has.
HostGator vs Bluehost: Ease Of Use
HostGator and Bluehost are both good options even for beginners. Both of the hosts offer one-click installations and even drag-and-drop website builders. However, Bluehost website builder is much more flexible, intuitive, and user-friendly.
Talking about HostGator, for shared hosting accounts it uses cPanel. cPanel is probably the most used control panel in the hosting industry and not only is intuitive but has a huge user base. You'll find tutorials and answers to all of your questions.
You'll also find a bunch of one-click installs for software like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc.
The website builder that HostGator uses is another thing. While it's an excellent option for beginners that are not willing to write a line of code, the HostGator website builder has all the essentials, but not pleasant extras to make your site unique.
Bluehost also uses cPanel making it easy to manage your hosting account. It also has many one-click installations, just like HostGator.
So if you want to build your site visually instead of writing code, you'll be able to choose from almost a hundred templates and even more design elements.
Both HostGator and Bluehost are easy to use because of an intuitive control panel and a bunch of one-click installs that they use. However, Bluehost uses better website builder.
Bluehost vs HostGator Performance: Bluehost Is Faster
Comparing the response times, it is pretty clear to see that Bluehost is faster than HostGator. While both companies have rather reliable servers, which barely ever go down, Bluehost has better server response times. On the other hand, both hosts are fast.
During our testing, Bluehost has not gone down and kept its response time at 319ms. Such a result makes Bluehost one of the best hosting providers with the above-average server speed.
To imagine how fast Bluehost performs, you can compare its response time to an eye blink - 200ms. Bluehost is just a tiny bit slower.
HostGator is a little bit slower, averaging at 416ms response time. However, such a result is also great - especially considering that HostGator has not gone down during our testing.
When you compare HostGator vs Bluehost server speed, it's not a big difference - looking at the numbers. However, when you look at it visually, one eyeblink is almost unnoticeable, while two can be seen by the naked eye.
Bluehost is about 33% faster than HostGator. While a 100ms difference doesn't seem to be big, every page on your site will load faster with Bluehost, meaning better user experience, and even increased Google rankings.
Bluehost vs HostGator Security
Both Bluehost and HostGator are pretty average at support features, although they both will keep your website secure. Bluehost is also a little bit better at security as it provides premium features with the more expensive plans while with Hostgator you have to buy everything yourself.
HostGator includes SSL and creates system backups every week for shared hosting accounts that are under 20GB. However, it strongly recommends using 3rd party software for its users.
Bluehost includes an SSL certificate with all of its plans. Backups are done at the company discretion, though the Choice Plus and Pro plan buyers also get Site Backup - CodeGuard basic features included for more security.
It is worth mentioning though that Bluehost does not take responsibility for damaged or lost backups.
Both of the providers are pretty average when talking about security. However, with the more expensive Bluehost plans, you'll have premium security included, while with HostGator you'll need to buy it separately.
HostGator vs Bluehost Support
While both HostGator and Bluehost have 24/7 customer support including live chat, phone, and tickets, Bluehost is way better. Not only its agents are more knowledgeable and helpful, but it's also easier to reach them. HostGator has fast and functioning support, yet the agents don't seem to be very helpful.
For our HostGator review, we tried contacting the support. First, the Contact Us button was not taking us anywhere and then the agent was not very helpful. HostGator tech support was unable to tell us anything about basic technical stuff like maintenance or recent downtimes.
We have not experienced the same problems during our Bluehost review.
Bluehost live chat agents reply instantly and are professional. And although it took a couple of days to get our email ticket solved, Bluehost has improved. Now, the waiting times for email tickets rarely exceed an hour.
So, you'll be able to reach both HostGator and Bluehost fast. However, it is likely that Bluehost will be able to help you better than HostGator.
Bluehost vs HostGator - The Verdict
Our Bluehost vs HostGator comparison is very close - but compared to HostGator, Bluehost is better in several areas. It costs only a little bit more, yet has more security features and better performance. Bluehost also wins at support while HostGator has cheaper plans.
WordPress users will especially love Bluehost, as it's fully optimized to perform well with this CMS, and is even recognized by the platform itself.
HostGator isn't a bad option though - and if you're fine with a slightly inferior product with a smaller price tag, you can give it a shot as well. But if a good price is what you're looking for, there are plenty of great cheap web hosting providers you could pick instead.
If you can afford a little bit higher price tag, Bluehost is a way better option. However, HostGator is not a bad alternative.