Choosing a web hosting company has polarised into few US-based companies. More specifically, HostGator, SiteGround or Bluehost hold the top spots in terms of the most used and trusted web hosting companies.
In this article, we’ll be conducting an extensive Bluehost Vs HostGator comparison, which should help you choose the better hosting company for your particular needs.
HostGator and Bluehost are both owned by the same parent company, namely Endurance International Group (EIG), which owns over 60 hosting brands. However, that doesn’t mean these two companies are equal. In fact, there are considerable differences between the two and this review will help you choose the best one for your particular needs.
Here’s how HostGator and Bluehost compare.
Bluehost vs HostGator review breakdown
|Popularity||Very popular||Popular||– Bluehost|
|Fast||Very Fast||– HostGator|
|Uptime||High reliability||High reliability||– HostGator and Bluehost|
|Security||Highly secure||Highly secure||– HostGator and Bluehost|
|For Beginners||Recommended for beginners||Recommended for beginners||– Bluehost and HostGator|
|WordPress and Cloud||Highly optimized plan||Highly optimized plan||– Bluehost and HostGator|
|Pricing||Very affordable||Very affordable (Check Latest Price)||-Bluehost and HostGator|
|Customer Support||Average||Good (Check Support)||-HostGator|
|UA Interface||cPanel||cPanel l(Try Demo)||– HostGator and Bluehost|
Is HostGator better than Bluehost?
Yes, HostGator scores 8 out of 9 compared to Bluehost’s 7 out of 9.
HostGator and BlueHost offer similar features for the exact same price. While Bluehost is more popular due to their excellent marketing strategy, HostGator performed better than Bluehost in overall performance. Not only HostGator is faster, but they also offer better support. Their similarity in features and price is because they are owned by the same parent company. However, EIG doesn’t really invest in infrastructure when they purchase a web hosting brand. Therefore, both hosts are still using the data centers they had in place prior to acquisition.
1. Performance – Which Hosting Company Performs Better?
HostGator and Bluehost rely on SSDs for all their servers.
SSDs, or solid-state drives, are much more reliable and significantly faster than traditional hard disk drives. They use a completely different technology without any moving parts, which is where the speed and reliability come from.
So, when your site is hosted on an SSD, it will respond faster and will be less likely to experience downtime due to hardware failure.
Now, the fact is that offering SSD hosting is becoming pretty standard in the industry, meaning that this isn’t so much a positive for HostGator and Bluehost.
In recent years, Bluehost has been mainly known for their CPU throttling (Dynamic frequency scaling) feature, this protects all the users in shared hosting when a particular user is using too much server resources. It freezes and shut down that website which uses excessive resources.
Both HostGator and Bluehost has established high standards and uses latest cutting edge technology to ensure high performance.
But, which hosting offers better performance? Let’s find out doing some real tests.
2. Speed Test – Which Hosting Offers Better Speed?
A number of studies have discovered a direct connection between website speed and revenues. While it should be obvious that a slow site will affect your sales, there are also statistics to support this fact, beyond just common sense.
Why Speed is Important ?
Thus, the Aberdeen Group conducted a study and found that a delay of only 1 second results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decline in customer satisfaction and a 7% drop in conversion rates.
Amazon took things to the next level and conducted their own study, only to find that for every 100 milliseconds of site speed optimization, their revenue increased by 1%, which is a lot of money when you consider the size of the company’s turnover.
We did 3 tests in total to determine the speed of both HostGator and Bluehost, namely:
- Individual web page speed test from the USA.
- Individual web page speed test from AROUND THE WORLD.
- Speed test under high stress.
Firstly, we conducted a speed test by actually hosting an identical web page with the same theme, content and size on both HostGator and Bluehost. We calculated its load time from the USA. Here are the test results.
HostGator was very fast.
Bluehost speed was below average
HostGator loaded faster than Bluehost with a load time of 2.5s compared to Bluehost’s 3.9s
We then tested the speed of HostGator and Bluehost from different locations around the world and here are the results.
|Location||HostGator Load time||Bluehost Load time|
|Azure US West||1.8S||2.6S|
HostGator loaded much faster by a large margin than Bluehost from the USA and Europe. Bluehost, however, performed better in Asia. Overall, HostGator loaded faster than Bluehost across the world.
We didn’t stop there, however. We went one step further and tested the quality of the servers used by Hostgator and Bluehost. The Server is where your website files are hosted. A better server will ensure a smoother and faster experience for your visitors.
It’s easy to be fooled by a speed test when you only have one or two visitors coming to your site. In reality, there might be a lot of situations when your site will receive a higher number of visitors at a time. Therefore, it’s important that all the visitors experience good load times, regardless of the number of concurrent visitors to your site. So, we tested these hosting companies to see how their servers would perform under a heavier load of multiple concurrent visitors.
We tested these for Bluehost and HostGator using Load Impact App.
We measured the load time of a test website ( equal in size, requests, content) as traffic was increased from one to 500.
The Blue line indicates the number of visitors, whereas the Green line indicates load time(response time) for concurrent traffic.
HostGator’s performance was consistent. They had a great response time all the way until the end of the test.
Bluehost was consistent and loaded without any errors during the entire test. However, they were slower than HostGator by 1s.
Which hosting is more popular among HostGator and Bluehost in 2019?
This is due to the fact that Bluehost is a much older company, they were founded in 1996 and was one of the first company to offer web hosting. On the other hand, HostGator is relatively a new company and started making name for themselves only around 2010.
Also, popularity and hosting performance don’t go hand to hand. As the host tends to get popular, they try to oversell their server, causing issues to customers.
Codeinwp surveyed over 6,000 respondents about the best web hosting company around. Bluehost and HostGator were popular choices among the respondents. Bluehost had, in fact, more votes as they are very popular. They both received a very high rating of 8 from the respondents.
Bluehost received 592 votes and 8.07 rating as compared to 402 votes and 7.84 ratings with HostGator.
3. Uptime Report – Who Has Better Uptime?
Logically, everyone realizes that it’s important for your site to be available to your audience at all times, which is why uptime is so important.
The problem is, though, that not many people realize how even a few minutes of downtime can affect their websites and their businesses.
Why Uptime is Important?
At first glance, you might think that a company that has slightly less than 99% uptime is pretty good. Yes, they do promise 99.99% uptime and don’t exactly deliver, but not everyone is perfect, and they are pretty close to 99%, which is good enough, right?
Wrong. Very, very wrong.
If your hosting company has less than 99% uptime, that means that your website will be down as follows:
- 14 minutes 32.6 seconds per day
- 1 hour 41 minutes 48.5 seconds per week
- 7 hours 22 minutes 40.4 seconds per month
- 3 days 16 hours 32 minutes 5.2 seconds per year
Now, to put these timeframes into perspective, we hunted around and pulled statistics from various sources, including Forrester Research, Information Week, and the Aberdeen Group, among others. Here are the results:
- An hour of downtime costs an enterprise an average of $686,000, which translates to over $60 million per year. Across the board, enterprises lose revenues in excess of $26 billion, without considering the time it takes to fix the issues or the loss of productivity;
- Small businesses suffer losses in excess of $1 million per year due to downtime;
- Other issues caused by downtime beyond monetary losses include:
- The decline in employee productivity
- The decline in brand image and reputation
- Loss of traffic
And don’t think that your site has to be down for hours at a time for this to be an issue. Even a few minutes can be a disaster, as Amazon discovered when they calculated their losses after the site went down for 30 minutes – they lost $66,240 per minute. That’s definitely painful!
Thus, to keep losses to a minimum, you need to make sure to choose a host that can provide as close to 100% uptime as possible. You also want to look for a company that has a proven track record of being able to solve problems quickly when the worst does happen.
As a result, we are tracking uptime of all the hosting reviewed on this website using the test website hosted under them.
As you can see, Bluehost and HostGator had an uptime of 100% with no downtime during our testing period.
Uptime can vary from one plan to the next with the same company, and you generally find that more reliable and efficient servers are used for websites on more expensive plans.
Thus, to get an accurate picture, we test a number of websites across different plans and present you with the average figure.
Again, both these hosting companies showed great uptime.
★ Winner Tie. Both these hosting companies have excellent uptime and are highly reliable. We couldn’t really find much difference when it comes to uptime.
4. Security – Which Hosting Is More Secure?
HostGator takes the security of its customer’s websites seriously and use a number of different methods to protect them. Thus, they protect their servers from various types of attacks, including DDoS attacks, via extensive custom firewall rules as well as large mod security rule sets.
They are also capable of enabling floor protection on a network level via their datacenters in the event of an attack.
HostGator also explains they have a series of additional security precautions and methods that they keep confidential.
Now, some might think that this is a copout and that they should be upfront about what approach they use.
However, the fact is that it would be the equivalent of a bank handing out the algorithm their safe uses to generate access codes, enabling anyone with a little experience and knowledge to break into said safe.
Bluehost, on the other hand, relies on a third party to protect their servers against DDoS attacks, namely Cloudflare. Cloudflare is one of the best third-party providers who specialize in website security. Bluehost offer other security features such as password-protected directories, the ability to blacklist certain IPs, and spam protection. However, these are the very bare minimum of what they should be offering, and they certainly aren’t anything special.
HostGator Vs Bluehost – Site Transfer
If you are a beginner or someone who has limited knowledge on handling a site transfer, HostGator makes this process easier for you by providing a free website transfer. They will transfer your entire website from your previous hosting company to your new account for free.
Here are more details on HostGator’s site transfer service.
Bluehost offers the same service for 149$.
5. Bluehost Vs HostGator – Which Is The Best Managed WordPress hosting?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) or website builders as it currently powers more than 27% of the internet. Moreover, WordPress has a 58% market share, which is more than all other CMS (Drupal, Joomla, Magento, PrestaShop) combined.
Why is it popular?
- It’s easy to use for beginners and has all the functionality for advanced websites.
- It’s faster than other CMS.
- It has the best User Interface.
- Most developers are well equipped in developing WordPress websites.
- Every popular hosting companies support WordPress.
So what is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress is when the host handles all the technical aspects of running a WordPress website. The servers are specifically configured for WordPress, thereby ensuring the website loads faster. It also means access to faster support, as well as premium themes and plugins for free.
Managed WordPress improves the performance of a WordPress website compared to hosting your website under normal shared hosting.
Bluehost offers Managed WordPress hosting which is being called Bluehost WordPress PRO.
It’s expensive than shared hosting plans. However, it offers very high performance, great speed, and reliability.
All these plans include Jetpack Premium(costs $4/mo when purchased separately), 100 free premium theme, and daily scheduled backup, and domain privacy(costs 80$/year) for free.
Their User Interface(Control panel) is designed specifically for WordPress and is quite different from shared hosting.
HostGator offers Managed WordPress hosting, which they call as HostGator WordPress Cloud hosting.
Key features are:
- 2 x speed than shared hosting.
- Free transfer of website from your old hosting to the new one.
- Higher protection against WordPress specific attacks.
- Automatic WordPress updates.
Which Managed WordPress Hosting is better?
From our testing, Bluehost performed better and offers better features compared to HostGator.
HostGator WordPress hosting is same as their shared hosting with only a few notable differences.
Bluehost WordPress hosting is packed with some very high-quality WordPress related features and an easy to user-interface. Bluehost’s features are all unique to WordPress, whereas HostGator WordPress hosting is just an extension of their shared hosting.
However, If you are willing to spend that much for a managed WordPress hosting and Considering the fact that Bluehost Managed WordPress hosting costs $19/mo (renews at $30/mo). For that price, you can easily opt for a hosting like Kinsta which is primarily focused on WordPress and offers 3x better performance than Bluehost. More on that can be read through this Kinsta Vs Bluehost review.
6. HostGator VPS Vs Bluehost VPS
VPS stands for ” Virtual Private server”.
Web hosts split its large server into multiple virtual machines. VPS hosting can be used when you need more resource than shared hosting. VPS hosting can be used when you are managing multiple websites that receive traffic above 10k per day.
VPS hosting is a self-managed hosting plan, you will be responsible for properly maintaining and optimizing your server and websites. If you do not have experience maintaining Linux-based servers, we recommend hiring someone who does.
We tested the performance and usability of VPS hosting of both these hosting.
Both web hosting uses WHM control panel interface to run their VPS hosting.
Features of the WHM control panel includes:
- Ability to create a separate cPanel account for each website.
- Allocate resources to each website according to its need.
- Manage all website from one single control panel.
- Perform basic system and control panel maintenance.
We tested the performance of HostGator and Bluehost VPS by sending concurrent traffic and measuring the load time when excessive load is applied on the server.
We used loader.io to send 300 visitors in one minute to a website hosted under HostGator and Bluehost and noted the response time.
Loader.io was sending 5 active visitors each second for 1 minute and here are the results.
Load time – 3800-400ms
Load time – 3800-4000ms
Both hosting companies were very good at handling that amount of server stress and performed exceptionally well.
7. HostGator Vs Bluehost – Which is the best host for beginners?
The process of setting up a hosting account with both HostGator and Bluehost is an easy process and can be done by anyone without much technical knowledge.
However, I found that Bluehost took more time with server provisioning. There was also some DNS setup confusion, and it took more time for me to start building my website. Moreover, Bluehost’s backend interface was particularly slow when compared to HostGator.
These above problems can vary from account to account and aren’t that big of an issue if you have the time.
As a result, for a beginner, HostGator will be easier to set up than Bluehost.
Other than the above points, all the features provided to beginners are the same with both these hosting companies.
- 1 Click WordPress installation.
- Easy access to support.
- Support will guide you through the entire website setup process.
- Very user-friendly interface.
8. UA Interface
Both HostGator and Bluehost run their control panel on cPanels. cPanel is the most used control panel (User Interface). It’s very easy to navigate for beginners as well as equipped with all the advanced feature for pro developers.
Both cPanel comes with a 1-click installer for 52 scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, which is a great advantage for newbies looking to start a new website.
Also, you can try out the demo for both these cPanel from the link given below.
Bluehost cPanel: Try Demo
HostGator cPanel: Try Demo
Also Read: Cpanel Tips And Settings For Beginners
9. Bluehost And HostGator Pricing
HostGator offers quality hosting services for around $3.96/mo. It has three plans, namely Hatchling, Baby and Business plans. The Hatchling plan supports only a single domain whereas the other two plans offer hosting for unlimited domains.
Bluehost offers shared hosting for as low as $2.95/mo and it includes features like unmetered bandwidth and one free domain registration for one year.
|Regular Price||$ 3.49 per month||$ 4.99 per month||$ 6.99 per month||$ 2.95 per month||$ 5.95 per month||$ 5.95 per month|
|Plan Name||Hatchling||Baby||Business||Basic||Plus||Choice Plus|
| Visitors Per Month|
What is Unmetered - The resources are not infinite, but 99.95% of customers will have enough resources to meet their traffic needs according TOS of both hosting.
| Domains allowed|
The number of websites that can be hosted on a particular web hosting plan.
| Web Space|
Web Space represents the amount of space on a server allocated to the website owner for storing website text files, images, databases, etc.,
| Free SSL|
SSL secures connection between the browser and the host server. The 'S' in HTTPS site is the indication of SSL certificate.
| Sub Domains|
A subdomain is a part of your main domain. For example, if your domain is inlinehostblogger.com, your sub domain will look like review.inlinehostblogger.com.
| Parked Domains|
It refers to the number of domains that can be pointed to the same website. For example, buying inlinehostblogger.uk , inlinehostblogger.us and inlinehostblogger.org, and pointing to inlinehostblogger.com
| Free Included Domains|
Free domain registration given by hosting company along with the purchase of hosting.
| Money Back Guarantee|
Full amount is issued if you are not satisfied with your hosting account.
|45 Days||45 days||45 days||30 days||30 days||30 days|
| Email Accounts|
The number of email accounts that can be registered under your domain name. For example, you can setup an email with firstname.lastname@example.org .
| Control Panel|
Control panel is an interface which lets you manage everything related to backend of your website.
| Server Location|
Server location of your hosted website files.
|Provo, Dallas, Houston||Provo, Dallas, Houston||Provo, Dallas, Houston||Not Disclosed||Not Disclosed||Not Disclosed|
| Free CDN|
It loads your website much faster by delivering web pages and content from the nearest geographic location of the visitor, it means your files are located across mutiple servers around the world
| Google Adword Credit|
These hosting companies in partnership with Google provide free credits for marketing.
| Free Site Backup|
Backup of your entire website is created and stored in a seperate server from time to time.
|Automatic backup on every week.||Automatic backup on every week.||Automatic backup on every week.||No||No||Automatic backup on every day.|
| Free Backup Restore|
Option to restore your backup for free.
| Backup On Demand|
This feature will let you create a backup whenever you want, unlike the timely backup created by your hosting.
| Power Backups|
Hosting company equips their data centre with multiple failover option such as power distribution units, Detroit Diesel generators to protect your website from downtime.
| Operating System|
Just like your home computer, OS is required to run a web hosting server. Most powerful and commonly used OS for hosting server is Linux.
| SSD Storage|
SSD storage drive is 30% faster than HDD drives in performance.
| Free Site Transfer|
One of the hosting company expert will transfer your website from your old hosting to the new one without any worries.
|Yes||Yes||Yes||Pay $149||Pay $149||Pay $149|
| 1 Click CMS Installer|
Popular CMS like Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc., can be created for your website with just few clicks.
| SFTP And SSH|
SSH encrpts and secure your connection to your acccount panel, whereas SFTP lets you securely transfer your website files.
| 24/7 Support|
Hosting support is very necessary to solve your day to day related problem releated with your web hosting company
| Support Channel|
Availability of Support different channels like Phone, Email and Chat.
|Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now||Buy Now|
SSL certificates are becoming essential for any website because they make browsing more secure, but also because search engines like Google are pretty much making it mandatory for websites to have these certificates.
Not only do they assign non-encrypted websites lower rankings, but they’ve also started putting up warnings on all non-HTTPS websites, telling users that they are visiting an unsafe property.
HostGator and Bluehost offer their customers a free standard SSL certificate on all hosting plan.
HostGator Vs Bluehost – Backup feature
Backup protects your site from an accidental or intentional human error which destroys all the hard work you put in. It creates a copy of your site for future restore if anything happens to your current site.
Bluehost performs and keeps 3 automated backups on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It means, their daily, weekly and monthly backup overwrites the previous day’s, week’s and month’s backup.
That said, HostGator runs a backup only once a week on a random day. And, there is only one backup kept at a time. This is bad if you do regular changes to your website.
Moreover, as you can see from the below image, they specifically state that their backup is not reliable and forces us to use a third-party application for backups.
HostGator offers CodeGuard Backup addon at a price of $2/mo. CodeGuard will provide you with daily automatic cloud backup of your site.
Which hosting uses the latest server software?
Using the latest server software helps in a lot of ways.
- Increased site speed
- Increased protection from bugs and malicious codes
- When a software is updated, all the exploitable vulnerabilities of the previous version is known to hackers all around the world. This gives them a way to hack into your site and destroy your site. So it’s advanced to keep the latest version of all server software.
So let’s discuss which hosting is better in this aspect.
HostGator uses PHP 7.2.7 and Bluehost uses PHP 7.2 for their servers. It’s still not the latest version, but there seems to be some problems with PHP 7.3 and WordPress, which might be why they still aren’t using the latest PHP.
Bluehost still uses PHP 5.6 for old accounts. The new version of PHP is only available for new accounts. Otherwise, you have to pay $150 to get your site switched to a server with a newer version of PHP.
So, why should you care about what version of PHP your host is running on their servers?
Well, if you want your site to be more secure, faster, and to simply respond better and avoid all sorts of unpleasant issues, then you definitely need to care.
For example, after extensive testing, it’s been found that PHP 7.0 offers a response time that’s over 3 times faster than PHP 5.6. Yes, that’s a more than 300% improvement in speed, which is highly significant in a world where you have milliseconds to grab your audience’s attention.
And PHP 7.2 is more powerful than PHP 7.0. It’s not as great as PHP 7.2 RC, which is what SiteGround runs on their servers, but it’s definitely better than 7.0 and light years ahead of 5.6.
10. HostGator Vs Bluehost – Customer Support
Customer support plays a crucial role when you buy any subscriptions or services online.
When it comes to web hosting, you need support starting from setting up your website to whenever there is an issue with it. The issue can be as small as paying your bill or as advanced as asking for more resources during sudden traffic spikes. Therefore, consider choosing a web host that offers 24/7, speedy, and knowledgeable support through multiple channels, such as live chat, phone, and email.
HostGator ensures high customer satisfaction through their 24/7/365 live chat, ticketing system, and a toll-free number.
In the past, they were criticized for having a long wait time for their live chat, but their recent heavy investments in their support team have somewhat solved that problem.
Bluehost features very detailed video tutorials and a support forum. However, many clients seem to experience technical issues on a recurring basis, even after they’re supposedly fixed.
This might have something to do with the fact that in 2017, EIG downsized Bluehost’s staff by 440 employees. Laying off 440 employees out of a total of 750 has obviously had consequences in the quality of service they offer.
As seen from the above test, Bluehost’s live chat is exceptionally fast. However, the main problem is not the speed, but the fact that their team lacks qualified expertise in technical subjects.
Most of the support representatives are from Asian countries, which means Bluehost outsources their support.
When it comes to HostGator, their support team is fast and also knowledgeable. Furthermore, their support representatives are mainly based in the USA.
★ Winner HostGator.
Hostgator is hands down the best support you can get. They were having an issue w/ their chat support today. Their Twitter support helped us update our PHP version 100% via Twitter DM. Thank you @Hostgator for embracing the mediums your clients want to communicate with you!
— Pam Moore (@PamMktgNut) September 12, 2019
Bluehost vs HostGator twitter user reviews and reaction
Here are some reactions and reviews from users of Bluehost and HostGator.
HostGator’s Twitter user reviews and reactions.
Users were happy with HostGator’s performance and support, and this can be seen from their reactions on Twitter.
Bluehost’s Twitter user reviews and reactions.
It was very hard to find any positive user review about Bluehost. Their users were mainly criticizing them for their very slow site speed and bad support.
Bluehost OR HostGator? – My Final verdict
Here is my final verdict on this HostGator vs Bluehost review…
Bluehost used to be one of the best web hosting companies in existence with a slew of amazing reviews. However, over the past five years or so, you might have noticed those reviews have become less complimentary.
Now, it’s true that the quality of service at Bluehost has declined to a degree since they were purchased by EIG but there are still plenty of people who love their services. So, their growth might have slowed down, but things aren’t quite as terrible as some make them out to be.
What’s interesting is that both Bluehost and HostGator is an EIG brand, yet our tests prove HostGator is far better than Bluehost in every respect.
In our final analysis, HostGator wins mainly due to their better speed and support compared to Bluehost. When it comes to features offered, both companies are somewhat similar. We consider website performance to be paramount and here HostGator wins easily against Bluehost.
The company’s investment in superior technology is easily seen in their data centers which have several layers of redundancy, multiple failover options, several power feeds, in-house power backups and enterprise-class Unlimited Power Supply technology.
Why HostGator should be your choice?
- 99.99% uptime guarantee.
- A high-speed website for traffic from across the world.
- Uses cPanel, the most used control panel in the world.
- Plans for all requirements at an affordable rate.
- 30-day money-back guarantees without any hidden clauses.
- Protects websites from hackers, malware, and viruses.
We recommend HostGator over Bluehost to host your website.
Read More: HostGator Vs Godaddy Review 2019Set up your web hosting with HostGator now.
|HostGator 1 Year Plan||HostGator 2 and 3 Year Plan||HostGator 1 month||Bluehost|
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