Bluehost vs HostGator: Here is the winner

Are you still confused which host to sign up with - Bluehost or HostGator? Before signing up with any web hosting company, you need to consider a few factors such as uptime, speed, security and customer support, among others, that can affect the performance of your website and subsequently your business. In this post, we will be comparing all factors offered by Bluehost and HostGator, making it easier for you to choose the best among the two hosts for your website.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Delhi | Updated: 05-03-2021 13:01 IST | Created: 03-02-2021 10:00 IST
Bluehost vs HostGator: Here is the winner
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Web hosting is essential for any business - regardless of the size - looking to establish an online presence, reach new customers and grow. However, finding the best host for your website may seem like a daunting task as thousands of companies in the market are offering hosting services.

Before signing up with any web hosting company, you need to consider a few factors that will affect your website's online presence and performance and subsequently, your business. These include server uptime, speed, security, SEO tools and customer support, to name a few.

In this post, we will be comparing two popular web hosting companies - Bluehost and HostGator - to make it easy for you to choose the best among the two hosts for your website.

In case you have been living under a rock, Bluehost and HostGator are sister companies - both are owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG), a Massachusetts-based IT services company specializing in web hosting.

Bluehost vs HostGator

Both Bluehost and HostGator offer various forms of web hosting to fit your business needs.

Types of Web Hosting

Bluehost

Founded in 2003, Bluehost powers over 2 million websites globally and provides the following web hosting services:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • Managed hosting
  • Woocommerce hosting

Notably, Bluehost no longer offers cloud hosting and its reseller hosting plans are powered by ResellerClub that offers over 800 products with various customization options and 24/7 support.

HostGator

Founded in 2002, HostGator currently hosts over 2 million websites globally and offers:

  • Shared hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Application hosting
  • Windows hosting

Bluehost vs HostGator: Features

1.Domain Registration

2.Site Transfer

3.Security

4.Site Builder

5.Interface

6.Money-Back Guarantee

7.Customer Support

Domain registration

At the time of hosting signup, both Bluehost and HostGator provide free domain name registration with qualifying plans for one year. However, the domain renews at a regular rate after the initial term.

Site transfer

Bluehost site transfer

For Bluehost, You will have to pay nearly USD149.99 for site migration.

HostGator site transfer

HostGator provides free migration services with all of its web hosting plans. HostGator offers a limited number of free site and cPanel to cPanel transfers - depending upon the plans you have purchased - to new customers within 30 days of signup.

Here is a breakdown of the number of free transfers offered by HostGator with each hosting account:

Hosting account Free site transfers cPanel to cPanel transfers Max. manual transfers
Shared /Cloud 1 1 1
WordPress 1-3 Blogs - -
Reseller 30 30 30
VPS Unlimited Unlimited 0-90
Dedicated Unlimited Unlimited 100
Windows 1 1 1

Security

For website security, Bluehost and HostGator offer a free SSL certificate for all web hosting plans. The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a cryptographic protocol responsible for establishing secure communication between a client and its server.

Bluehost Security

For additional security, Bluehost's top-tier hosting plans also include free Domain Privacy, free automated backups powered by CodeGuard and free dedicated IP. For advanced security, you can also purchase add-on products like SiteLock that protects your site from malware and malicious attacks.

HostGator Security

On the other hand, HostGator customers can purchase upgraded SSL certificates -Positive SSL, Multi-Domain SSL and Extended Validation (EV) SSL - for additional features including up to USD1,750,000 warranty level and TrustLogo Site Seal. Further, the company offers optional additional services, including CodeGuard-powered site backup and SiteLock that can be purchased separately during checkout.

Site builder

Bluehost offers Weebly, a famous drag-and-drop website builder, on every hosting account for free. You need to drag various desired website elements such as images, texts, videos etc. and design your website in no time.

On the other hand, HostGator is an easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder from HostGator that automatically creates a site in an optimized layout and industry-specific design as per your needs, without you needing any coding experience. The intuitive website builder comes with more than 200 mobile-friendly professional design themes, an image library, LogoMaker, integrated analytics, eCommerce functionality, an SSL certificate, one free domain name registration and other features. Gator plans start at USD 3.84/month, and each package comes with free cloud hosting included.

Interface

HostGator and Bluehost hosting accounts feature cPanel control panel, one of the most popular Linux-based graphical interface (GUI) that enables you to manage your account. The easy-to-use control panel lets you manage your website's technical aspects - like monitoring resource usage, managing email accounts and plugins, backup and updates, file management, etc. - all from one place.

HostGator dashboard / Image Credit: HostGator

Bluehost has customized its cPanel to make it easy to use. The company provides two interface options for managing its hosting accounts- the original control panel called 'Legacy' and the updated one - Rock - with optimized design and features.

Bluehost dashboard / Image Credit: Bluehost

Money-back Guarantee

Bluehost Money-back Guarantee

Bluehost provides a 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee on its hosting plans. If you cancel the service within the first 30 days of sign up, the company claims to offer you a full refund on your hosting service.

HostGator Money-back Guarantee

HostGator gives you a 45-day money-back guarantee on its managed shared, VPS, and reseller hosting services, an additional 15 days over Bluehost to try its services without any risk. This means if at any point of the offered term -30 or 45 days- you feel the hosting services aren't a good fit for your website, the companies will fully refund your hosting fees.

Notably, the refund policy does not apply to the add-on products and services (e.g. SEO tools, Premium SSL, Domain Privacy, SiteLock Security etc.) you purchase from the companies.

Customer support

Customer support is a key factor to take into consideration while looking for a reliable web hosting company. Both Bluehost and HostGator experts are available to resolve all of your hosting-related issues via live chat, email, and over the phone, depending on your plan. Both companies have a vast knowledge database containing articles, guides, how-tos, instructions, and answers to the most FAQs and a search function that makes it easier to look or answer a specific topic.

Bluehost also provides optional professional services like Blue Sky, wherein the company experts provide you with friendly and professional guidance to build, grow, and maintain a WordPress website. The Blue Sky basic plan starts from USD29/month and includes on-demand ticket support, Account Access Assistance, website backup assistance and design guidance. Full-Service Website Design is another such service wherein the company provides a team of website builders to help you create a full-fledged, customized WordPress website. However, Bluehost's professional services are currently limited to US customers only.

Bluehost vs HostGator: Uptime

Uptime is simply the amount of time your website is available to visitors and is one of the key indicators of a website's performance. It is to be noted that 'uptime' can vary with the hosting plan you have purchased for your website. For instance, dedicated hosting plans provide more excellent uptime than shared hosting plans as server resources are not shared.

A review of 6-month (August 2020-Jan 2021) site test data on Pingdom (via) suggests that Bluehost delivered an average uptime of 99.94% over this period while HostGator's average uptime was found to be 99.90% during the same period.

Month Bluehost uptime HostGator uptime
August 2020 99.99% 99.99%
September 2020 100% 99.50%
October 2020 99.67% 99.99%
November 2020 100% 99.99%
December 2020 99.98% 100%
January 2021 100% 99.97%
Average 99.94% 99.90%

Further, HostGator provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee for Shared and Reseller web hosting accounts. If the server falls short of the guarantee, the company promises to give one month of credit on your account. Further, if you have a dedicated or VPS hosting account with HostGator, the company prorates the credit for the amount of time the server goes down, as part of the network guarantee.

Unlike Hostgator, Bluehost does not offer an uptime guarantee with shared and reseller hosting, but it does promise excellent uptime of 99.9% for its Managed WordPress, aka WP Pro hosting accounts.

Verdict: When it comes to uptime, HostGator and Bluehost stand on an equal footing. Based on the above stats, Bluehost is little ahead of HostGator, but the latter has a plus with an uptime guarantee they offer on hosting plans, and if they fail to deliver it, you may request one month of credit for your package.

Bluehost vs HostGator Speed

The speed of a website impacts the traffic and affects the site's Google search ranking. If your website responds slowly, visitors will get disappointed and spend less time there.

Here is a breakdown of Bluehost and HostGator's page response time over the last six months (via):

Month Bluehost (response time) HostGator (response time)
August 2020 724 ms 798 ms
September 2020 628 ms 836 ms
October 2020 670 ms 738 ms
November 2020 655 ms 659 ms
December 2020 698 ms 701 ms
January 2021 770 ms 696 ms
Average 691 ms 738 ms

A website may get slow due to many issues such as traffic density, site optimization and configuration issues. An ideal web host provides several solutions and strategies to fix slow-loading websites and handle a sudden spike in traffic.

Bluehost Speed

Bluehost has integrated methodologies like a content delivery network (CDN), a global network of servers that store copies of websites to serve visitors based on their geographic location, thereby reducing the physical distance between the server and the user and allowing sites to load faster.

HostGator Speed

HostGator also provides a premium service called SiteLock TrueSpeed CDN which serves pages from proxy servers worldwide. HostGator claims that, on average, sites load 50% faster and use 40-70% less bandwidth when using TrueSpeed.

Verdict: With an average page load time of 691ms (lower is better), Bluehost outperforms HostGator in terms of site speed.

Bluehost vs HostGator for WordPress

WordPress is one of the most widely-used and user-friendly content management system (CMS) that powers over 30% of the internet. WordPress hosting is tailor-made to cater to WordPress sites, meaning you get access to more WordPress-specific features with this form of hosting.

Both Bluehost and HostGator offer managed WordPress hosting with 99.9% uptime and a host of features.

To know the pros and cons of each type of hosting and which form will be best for your site, read our previous post on"Top 10 Best Web Hosting for Small Businesses".

Bluehost for Wordpress

Bluehost has been recommended by WordPress since 2005, all thanks to its reliable and affordable WordPress hosting and excellent customer service. Bluehost provides 'one-click install' feature, which means you can start creating your site within a few minutes of your sign up.

Bluehost offers standard as well as managed WordPress hosting, also known as WP Pro. The WordPress hosting is available in three tiers- Basic, Plus and Choice Plus. Here is what the plans include:

  1. Basic (USD2.95/mo): 1 website, 50GB SSD storage
  2. Plus (USD5.45/mo): Unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, free Office 365 for 30 days
  3. Choice Plus (USD5.45/mo): Unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, free Office 365 for 30 days, free Domain Privacy, free automated backup (1 year)

Bluehost offers custom themes, 24/7 customer support, free Domain name registration for one year, free CDN and a free SSL Certificate with all WordPress hosting plans.

As for Bluehost's Managed WordPress or WP Pro hosting, all plans come with a ton of features including:

  • 99.9% uptime
  • Built-in scalability to meet sudden traffic demands
  • 200+ edge servers
  • Multi-layer caching to ensure maximum speed and efficiency
  • Free SSL Encryption
  • Auto-backups
  • Daily automated malware detection and removal
  • Spam protection
  • Multi-tiered security -Web Application Firewall (WAF), DDoS, brute force attack protection and bot blocking

Bluehost Build managed WordPress hosting is offered in three levels:

  1. Build - 1 WP website, best for up to 50,000 visitors/mo, 20GB web storage
  2. Grow - 1 WP website, best for up to 150,000 visitors/mo, 40GB Web storage
  3. Scale - 1 WP website, best for up to 500,000 visitors/mo, 80GB web storage

Other key features of Bluehost Managed WordPress include free WordPress site migration, live support, WP-CLI/SSH access and PayPal integration. Furthermore, all WP plans include Jetpack plugin for enhanced site search, one-click ad creation and other benefits.

HostGator for Wordpress

On the other hand, HostGator's managed WordPress hosting packages include the following perks:

  • Free site migrations
  • Free domain name registration
  • Simplified control panel
  • USD150 Google Ads spend match credit
  • One-click WordPress installs
  • Advanced security features

The company provides managed WordPress hosting in three levels:

  • The 'Starter Plan' allows for hosting 1 website with up to 100k visits per month and free migration of 1 site by HostGator experts. This plan will cost you USD5.95 per month.
  • The 'Standard Plan' costs USD7.95 per month, and it includes hosting for two websites, each with 200k visits per month.
  • The 'Business Plan' allows for hosting 3 websites with 500k visits per month.

HostGator also provides access to three free top-notch security solutions including SiteLock Fix, CodeGuard for daily automatic backups and SSL certificate.

Verdict: Bluehost is one of the top three web hosting providers that are officially recommended by WordPress. Its top-tier managed WordPress hosting plans include advanced features like SEO Tools, unlimited video compression, professional live chat support, Elastic Search, unlimited backups, and restore. However, Bluehost's WordPress hosting plans are more expensive as compared to HostGator's WordPress hosting plans.

HostGator's affordable plans make it an excellent choice for beginners and small businesses. If you're on a tight budget, HostGator will be an ideal choice for you to host your WordPress website.

Bluehost vs HostGator Price

Both companies provide limited-time promotions and special offers to new customers. The discounted introductory rates are not valid for successive terms, meaning your renewal price will be significantly higher after the initial period. All hosting plans get automatically renewed unless you cancel them manually.

Below are the introductory prices for each hosting service offered by Bluehost and HostGator:

Price Bluehost HostGator
Shared Hosting USD3.95-USD13.95/mo USD2.75-USD5.25/mo
VPS Hosting USD19.99-USD59.99/mo USD19.95-USD39.95/mo
Dedicated Hosting USD79.99-USD119.99/mo USD89.98-USD139.99/mo
WordPress Hosting USD19.95-USD49.95/mo USD5.95-USD9.95/mo
Cloud Hosting - USD4.95-USD9.95/mo

Both companies provide multiple payment options, including all major credit cards (Master Card, Visa etc.), PayPal, Check or Money Order.

Verdict: In terms of pricing, HostGator has a slight edge over Bluehost.

Conclusion

Your choice for the best web host depends on your business needs and budget. As already discussed, 'performance and customer support' are two of the most important factors to consider when choosing a web host for your website.

While HostGator and Bluehost are reliable hosts, Bluehost outshines Hostgator when it comes to performance (based on the site test data), making it a clear winner.

On the other hand, HostGator is a budget-friendly host that provides ultra-reliable hosting services,and a 45-day money-back guarantee, enabling you to try their services completely risk-free.

In case, you are looking to switch your web host, HostGator is your go-to option as the company will migrate your site from the old host to the new one at no cost.

Lastly, both companies are equally impressive when it comes to providing excellent customer support.

Last Words :-

If you are a beginner or looking for Free Site Transfer and want to go with some pocket-friendly plan with reliable hosting, go with HostGator.

And if the price does not bar for you, your main focus on performance then definitely go with Bluehost.

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