Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Our Quick Summary
HostGator wins this comparison. The value for money is just too good to pass on. That being said, Bluehost is a bit more reliable, both in support and general performance, but it comes at a higher cost.
Keep reading to find out how both hosting companies rate on pricing, support, speed, and ease of use!
Bluehost and HostGator are two of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They offer some of the most highly competitive prices, speeds, and features on the market. They are also both owned by the Endurance International Group.
Bluehost was founded in 2013 and currently hosts more than two million domains. They have gained traction and made a name for themselves on reliability, uptime, and customer service. Over the last few years, Bluehost has also partnered with WordPress, showing its commitment to the open-source community.
Based in Houston, HostGator was founded in 2002. The company saw rapid growth and made a name for itself by providing “unlimited” hosting services. HostGator was sold to Endurance International Group in 2012, two years after the conglomerate acquired Bluehost.
Choosing a hosting provider is the equivalent of laying the foundation for your website. Taking the time to ensure your provider is reliable and secure can make all the difference later. Here is a point-by-point comparison of the pricing, supporting, performance, ease of use, and overall quality of Bluehost and HostGator.
Pricing – HostGator Wins
When it comes to cheaper long-term plans, Bluehost and HostGator are in an even heat. Both offer basic packages at $2.75 per month over three years. Let’s look at Bluehost first.
Bluehost’s basic option comes with a single website, 50 GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and free SSL certification. Users also have access to five email accounts for the domain and a domain (gratis).
Of course, to lock in the $2.75 price tag, you have to purchase a full three-year plan, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bluehost also offers Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro options, which go for $5.45 per month. These provide the ability to host an unlimited number of websites, unmetered storage, and bandwidth. Choice Plus and Pro come with domain privacy, site backups, and assistance with spam.
HostGator’s basics tier, or Hatching Plan, offers a single domain, unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate. Similarly, users must purchase the full three-year plan to take advantage of the low rates. HostGator does offer a 45-day money-back policy, though, which is two weeks longer than Bluehost.
HostGator has two additional tiers, including the Baby and Business Plan. For $3.95 per month, Baby Plan users get unlimited domains and disk space, in addition to the free SSL certificate. The Business Plan goes for $5.95 and offers the previously mentioned features plus SEP tools, a dedicated IP, and an upgraded SSL certificate.
Support – Bluehost Wins
In both the pricing and support services comparison, Bluehost and HostGator are nearly identical. Both offer knowledge centers, live chats, 24/7 phone service, and the ability to put in tickets. The one difference on the surface is that HostGator has 24/7 live chat features that Bluehost does not.
No matter when you have a question or find a problem, you can rest assured either hosting provider has you covered. Additionally, each offers FAQs and educational resources on its website for people with general questions. You can even check out the YouTube pages for Bluehost and HostGator for more information.
According to user reviews for Bluehost, the customer service is typically mentioned as a bright spot, thanks to knowledgeable and friendly assistance. While there is a slight delay between each question, the support is generally quick and efficient.
As for HostGator, users get connected with an agent in roughly 15 seconds, who is usually well trained and insightful. That being said, overall customer reviews suggest more mixed results when it comes to their experience getting support.
Speed – Bluehost Wins
Page speed is one of the essential features of a great website. Here HostGator falls behind with the category averaging 940ms of “shared” speed to Bluehost’s 420ms. That said, both have made marked improvements in their performance quality over the past few years.
Bluehost is considered one of the five fastest hosting companies. Based in Provo, UT, Bluehost also manages a stellar uptime of 99.99%.
While HostGator hasn’t improved at the same rate as its speed is half of Bluehost’s. It also has an uptime of 99.97%, which is useful when users want to enjoy their websites. HostGator does have the benefit, though, of servers in Provo, UT, Houston, and other locations across the country.
That being said, while both Bluehost and HostGator would be great if you’re looking for a USA based web host or website hosting for Canada, they’re not great if you’re searching for a web hosting provider for Australia, or Singapore for example. Unless, of course, you use a CDN like CloudFlare help you out.
Ease of Use – HostGator Wins
When it comes to back-end control panels, both companies utilize cPanel. As an intuitive and user-friendly option, cPanel is among the most popular control panels for hosting providers. The one discernible difference is that Bluehost’s panel looks sleeker and is less congested.
Each hosting provider has distinctive strengths when it comes to ease of use. For instance, Bluehost offers a free domain name when you sign up while HostGator forgoes this benefit. The domain is yours for a year and can be renewed with the web hosting plan you selected.
HostGator has committed to easing website transfers and migration, though. They will migrate all websites files and registration for free, while Bluehost makes you do the transfer manually. Bluehost does offer a $149 migration that can move five websites, twenty email accounts, and any associated databases, too.
There are many different ways you can build your site. Bluehost offers Weebly, WordPress, and other options in Mojo Marketplace. HostGator has a comparable selection, including more than 100 mobile templates and pre-built site sections.
Conclusion – HostGator Wins
It is hard to go wrong with either option, but if we had to pick one, the win goes to HostGator. It offers remarkable reliability and tremendous value for money. With robust uptimes and 24/7 customer support, HostGator will certainly take care of your hosting needs.
Of course, whatever provider you select depends on your needs as a consumer. HostGator’s strengths lie in its dependability and its features. However, if a free domain and accessible WordPress integration is something you value, Bluehost may be the better choice.