Bluehost vs Hostgator  – Which One I Choose?
I have used HostGator and BlueHost for more than three years, in fact, one of my websites currently hosted on BlueHost hosting. That said, an existing, as well as experienced user, can tell better about both providers compared to one making assumptions and theoretical stories just by reading online reviews.
Both hosts are well known and one of the most affordable web hosting companies to start a website within budget. When we talk about cheap WordPress hosting providers, you can find them at the top of other web hosts. In this BlueHost vs HostGator comparison, I am going to share everything you must know before deciding which one would be an exceptional choice for your website hosting.
You might know that both hosts are operating under the same parent company EIG (Endurance International Group). It is one of the biggest web hosting and technology company, and they are handling more than 80+ small and big names. Some of the big names are BlueHost, HostGator, ASmallOrange, FastDomains, JustHost, and FatCow, etc. If you want to know about Non EIG hosting providers, head over to linked article. There are many shared web hosts listed working independently and also have an excellent reputation.
As BlueHost and HostGator offer same features at the almost same prices, so sometimes it becomes difficult for newbies to choose the perfect one for their website need. Due to prominent web hosting, reliable server uptime and server speed, I can’t stop myself to say that both hosts are one of the best and stable web hosting providers for starter and med-level websites. And that is why they are most popular among new users and novice bloggers. I also had started my blogging journey with BlueHost.
Now, without further ado, let me explain this BlueHost vs. HostGator comparison. For better perception and easy to compare all the essential features, I split this article into distinct sections.
I will compare the Basic plans and try to cover everything you should know before making a purchase.
2020's BlueHost vs HostGator Review: Let’s Find Which One is Best for You?
BlueHost is a Provo, Utah based web hosting company was started on 2003 by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth. The core purpose was providing the most convenient, easy to use, and sustainable hosting solutions for novice and professional users.
Currently, they are handling more than 2 million websites. It was acquired in 2010 by EIG, and since now they are improving their servers using latest and cutting-edge technologies. Recently, they developed WordPress tools which are specifically designed for WordPress websites.
On the other hand, HostGator was started back in 2002 by Brent Oxley and a Florida-based company. In 2012 HostGator was acquired by EIG. They claimed to empower 8,000,000 domain names till to date and growing exponentially. It is also very famous among money conscious users.
Web hosting is a business in which hosting providers continuously improve their server for better performance than before. Web hosts strive to make their hardware workable with latest softwares. A good provider always tries to improve their platform, and that is why they implement updated software and latest system hardware.
HostGator and BlueHost known as some of the companies who implement advanced technologies in the first place than any other hosts in the industry. And that is why both hosts deliver high server speed and site uptime than many other providers when it comes to shared web hosting.
BlueHost consider usability and ease of use very seriously, so they have built custom system control panel which is easy to navigate and improved cPanel dashboard. New users with no experience can easily understand it within few minutes. Same goes to HostGator. They also have a custom panel which comes with minimalist setting and features to maintain your blog.
Site Loading Speed
Web hosting performance is one of the essential things to consider before choosing any web host. Your website should load within 3 seconds otherwise chances are you might end up losing visitors. Would you like to wait for a site which takes 2 or 3 minutes to load? I don’t think so.
HostGator and BlueHost both deliver high speed web hosting and their server builds with the modern hardware. But, with my speed tests, I found that HostGator is a little bit faster than BlueHost. Here, keep in mind that I installed WordPress on both web hosts and optimize using the W3 Total Cache plugin.
BlueHost Hosting Speed Test
HostGator Hosting Speed Test
You can see the difference between two hosts. My test site hosted on HostGator hosting loads twice faster than the BlueHost. But, the website hosted on BlueHost also performed quite faster but not than HostGator. So, for high speed web hosting just choose HostGator without any hesitation.
Time to First Byte Load
According to Wikipedia “Time To First Byte (TTFB) is a measurement used as an indication of the responsiveness of a webserver or other network resource.”
So, First byte response time means how much time a hosting server take to respond to a web browser request. Faster hosting server response time means high speed site.
In this test to find which host deliver the first byte as soon as it gets a data receiving request, I have used WebPageTest service. No matter BlueHost or HostGator both companies managed to perform an impressive TTFB time.
For more insights have a look on below images.
BlueHost TTFB Test
HostGator TTFB Test
HostGator uses the latest hardware and advanced technology to offer high speed user experience. In this BlueHost vs. HostGator TTFB test, HG server showed better speed than BlueHost hosting.
LoadImpact Test Reports
Now let’s compare both companies to check which one perform better over other when it receive sudden traffic or traffic spikes. Load Impact is a great tool to analyze your server performance by sending virtual users in the given time. With premium Load Impact account, you can send hundreds of users toward any website for the specified period.
The amazing thing is, HostGator servers managed to deliver low response time and again wins this section as well like above. For unbiased BlueHost vs. HostGator comparison, I checked every host for 3 times, and this is what I got.
BlueHost Load Impact Reports
HostGator Load Impact Reports
Let me ask one question, Is there any benefit of using a fast web host when your site frequently face server downtimes? For an online business, it could cost sales, leads, and ultimately drop in search ranking. A site with too much downtime lose its credibility in the eye of search engines.
HostGator beats BlueHost in uptime statistics as well. I use UptimeRobot to track uptime performance, and my test site has 100% uptime so far. Yes, it is unbelievable. Check the below image.
HG Uptime Statistics
BH Uptime Statistics
BlueHost hosting also manages to deliver 99.99% and even 100% uptime. For more statistics, I am continuously tracking both websites and will update this review shortly with latest reports. But, I have seen a frequant number of outages in BlueHost than HostGator in the past. So, I would personally recommend HG for incredible uptime.
Free Domain Name
To attract more customers, almost all the hosting companies offer a free domain name on the purchase of one year hosting account. BlueHost give you a free domain name for the first year whereas HostGator charge a standard $12.95/year for .com domain. Yes, no free domain name 🙁
You can avail any TLD extension (.com, .net, or .org) from BlueHost when buy web hosting annually. So, in this BlueHost vs. HostGator free domain section, BlueHost clearly has the edge over HG.
Having a huge storage space is always better than a specified limit. BlueHost restrict its Starter plan to 50 GB disk space for site content such as images, multimedia, PHP, HTML, and CSS files or any other data.
However, the competitor host (HG) allow unlimited disk storage which is limited to maximum 100,000 files. But you can still upload more contents than BlueHost.
HostGator and BlueHost support unlimited bandwidth or data transfer. If you’re new to this term, let me explain.
Bandwidth is a data capacity which is transfer to visitors browser when he/she browses your website. More visitors means higher bandwidth consumption.
Number of Databases
You can create unlimited databases to run multiple websites in a single account with HostGator. Most of the cases, in basic plans you are allowed to manage only one website. BlueHost and HostGator also support only one site within their basic plans.
BlueHost named their starter plan as “Basic” and HostGator as “Hatchling”. Both packages are good for a single website and allow multiple sub-domains creation.
So, both hosts enable you to run multiple sub domains. But for more sites or add-ons, you will have to subscribe to higher plans. You can create unlimited databases with HG but BlueHost allow only 20 databases.
Taking regular website backups is crucial as backups can help you restore your site in any hacking situation or if your server gets crashed. You can use WordPress backup plugins to create automatic and manual backups. There are several free backup plugins for WordPress sites available in the WP directory.
Now, the good news is BlueHost and HostGator offer an automatic backup feature to secure your content from any bad situation. But, HostGator charge few dollars for restoration which is totally insane, I don’t know they have this policy. BH users can restore content without paying a single penny.
Winner: BlueHost (Free backup creation and restore)
If you are in blogging and SEO domain, I am sure you must be aware of that Google loves websites having SSL certificate. Back in 2014, they already mentioned that HTTPS sites would receive a minor search ranking boost over non-HTTPS websites.
And this where BlueHost beats HostGator in term of free SSL because they recently launched free SSL certificates by Let’s Encrypt. You can enable it just with a click, but HostGator don’t offer free SSL right now.
If you still desire to install SSL certificate on HG hosting, you can avail one separately or simply subscribe to higher plans which cost extra money. But BlueHost includes free SSL for all hosting plans.
At the time of writing this BlueHost vs HostGator review, HG isn’t offering any particular tools for WordPress websites. However, BlueHost recently launched an excellent section for WP sites within the control panel. The new section named as “WordPress Tools” where users can update their WP websites, take backups, install Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, and much more.
These tools endeavor a high level of usability, user friendliness, and essential features to manage all of your WordPress powered sites via a single dashboard. But right now, HostGator doesn’t have any feature like that.
HostGator allow unlimited branded email accounts such as [email protected] In my case, it is [email protected] You can even configure the disk space for any of your email account. These brandable email accounts can be used for email marketing, getting in touch with your visitors and clients, or simply for better branding.
On the other hand, BlueHost has a stipulation of 5 email accounts with a limited storage capacity for each account. In most of the cases (Bloggers and individual users), five email address are sufficient, but for higher level, it’s unacceptable. For instance, if you are a business or a team of 10 guys who collaborate then in such scenario, how can you provide ten branded email accounts? In that case, you’ll have to buy a higher plan.
But HostGator allow unlimited email address even for the basic plan (Hatchling). As a BlueHost user, you must accumulate Plus or Prime hosting package.
HostGator allow custom storage limit for each email account you create. You can allocate requited space for every account as per your need. Personally, I have created separate accounts to manage different tasks.
But with BlueHost, you cannot configure more than 100 MB storage space for email accounts which is another disadvantage. They should extend the limit to at least 500 MB for the Basic plan. Though, Plus and Prime plans allow unlimited space.
Both hosting providers, enable you scheduling time interval based tasks. So, you can set up any job which should be performed after the particular amount of time.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Content Delivery System or CDN in another way to make your website fast and speedy. WordPress users can install and activate cache plugin to boost site speed, but for more speed, you can use CDN faster results.
CloudFlare is a free and paid CDN service provider. They allow enough features to improve website speed as a free user. HostGator and BlueHost offer CloudFlare integration right from the cPanel dashboard. You can enable it just with one click, and that's it.
One Click Installer Scripts
For non-techy users and newbies who don’t have advanced technical skills, One-Click installer scripts could be a life saver. If you don’t like to get your hands dirty in technical stuff, use this feature to install any major CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, etc. with just one click.
And it roughly will take a couple of minutes to create a WordPress blog. Both BlueHost and HostGator has one-click installer scripts that support all the major platforms.
BlueHost offers a dedicated WordPress control panel to manage WP sites through a single dashboard. There you can update themes, plugins, and core files or set up automatic update feature.
Are you tired of your current web host? There could be a number of reasons to migrate your site from the existent host to another. It could be slower server speed, frequent downtimes, outdated security protocols, or lake of quality customer support. Website transfer is time consuming and bit frustrating.
A wrong database configuration can break entire site or cause inaccessibility. Some hosts offer a free site transfer to shift your content from old server to new one with zero downtime and HostGator is also one of those web hosts. The bad news is BlueHost demand a whopping $149 for migration, is it make any sense? It is more than the cost of one year hosting account offered by them.
So, pick HostGator for free migration and they will do it within the 30 days of signup. The process won’t take more than a week.
User Control Panel/ User Interface
Both companies use industry standard software which is known as cPanel. Almost all the web hosts in hosting business provide cPanel to manage your account. However, BlueHost goes beyond the standard panel, and offer customized cPanel design for the cleaner and minimalist look.
Now, the noteworthy thing here is you can utilize HostGator and BlueHost accounts without facing any problem no matter if it’s customized or not. Because the legendary cPanel is also easy to navigate, convenient, and user friendly.
HostGator Control Panel
However, due to custom designed panel BlueHost shows that they care about their customers more than the HostGator or their aim is to offer more cleaner and user-friendly control panel.
BlueHost Control Panel
Winner: BlueHost (Because of the custom designed panel)
Migrating your website from one server to another is not an easy task when you are a newbie or non-techy guy. You must have advanced technical skills like database and site content transfer steps for successful transfer with zero downtime.
Each competitor allows scalability which is very helpful to upgrade to the higher plans when your site grows. You just have to choose the greater plan and pay charges for the upgraded plan. And you’re good to go.
They provide easy upgradations with just a few mouse clicks. So, no need of site migration or anything else.
No matter which company you are going to use, you get hundreds of free website templates, free site builder, auto script installers, and cPanel based website statistics tools from both companies. Script installers can help you install any major platform from 75 open source scripts within a few minutes.
HostGator even provide their own website builder tool for all shared hosting plans to design a site with drag and drop functionality.
Getting traffic on a newly established website take some time particularly from search engines but you can use paid traffic to bring instant traffic. Google Adwords and Bing are most popular search engines for advertisement.
HostGator shared hosting plans comes with $100 Google Adwords and $100 Bing ad credits to monetize your site. So, you get $200 worth free credits for website marketing. Isn’t awesome?
But BlueHost does not include any ad credits for the “Basic” plan. They allow $200 ad credits for “Plus” and “Prime” account holders.
Note: Keep in mind these advertisement credits available for specific countries such as the US and Canada. So, if you want to avail marketing credits, must check policies of each host before making any decision.
Winner: HostGator (As they include even for the basic plan “Hatchling”)
Both web hosts present quality hosting, reliable uptime, and affordable hosting plans with impressive features. In my HostGator vs BlueHost comparison, BlueHost has an edge with $1 less/month over HostGator.
When you buy one year web hosting account from BH, it costs $4.95 per month, and for 3 year subscription, it costs just $2.95 per month which is significantly lower than one year subscription.
Whereas HostGator charge one extra dollar per month for the basic “Hatchling” plan, they offer Hatchling plans for one year at $5.95. per month. Though you can save some money for the 3 year plan which costs just $3.95 per month but it’s still higher than the first host.
[Note: Please click on below buttons to check the most updated prices as each host offer promotional prices time-to-time and chances are you might find a minor difference in prices.]
Basic and Hatchling Plans Comparison
1 Year Price
2 Year Price
3 Year Price
Plus and Baby Plan Comparison
1 Year Price
2 Year Price
3 Year Price
Prime and Business Plan Comparison
1 Year Price
2 Year Price
3 Year Price
So, for money conscious users, I would like to recommend using BlueHost but also consider they allow limited disk space, limited email accounts, and sub-domains. It’s the best option for newbies and beginner bloggers to get started with the low budget.
When it comes to web hosting, customer or technical support is one of the critical factors to keep in mind before buying hosting account from any company. It doesn’t matter how fast a web host is, if it provides 99.99% uptime, or if it has bulletproof security measures.
What will you do in case of any server issues? Would you like to wait for hours or even days to get replies from the company? Anybody like it? You must choose a host who offers multiple ways for customer support, for example, Live chat, Email support, Phone Call, and Support tickets.
In this HostGator vs BlueHost review, deciding which one is best in support section is quite tough. Why? Because both website hosting provider offers 24/7/365 day Live chat, Ticket system, and Phone call. They also have a giant knowledge base and easy to follow tutorial for instant help without contacting the support. There you can find almost each and every solution to your problem or directly reach them.
Here substantial thing is BlueHost staff is much quicker than HostGator. BH team take 2~10 minutes to reply whereas HostGator take 10~45 minutes which is unacceptable. They should revamp customer support zone and upgrade it for better service.
You might be surprised to know that HostGator staff has good knowledge about technical issues when compare to BlueHost. The technical team behind HostGator is much more capable of fixing your problems with 2~5 minutes. There are more than 680 helpful articles and 500+ video tutorials in their knowledge base.
Money Back Guarantee
BlueHost offer you a 30 days money back guarantee whereas HostGator allow 45 days for the refund. So, you get the longer time with second website hosting provider which is simply awesome. However, a whole month is also enough to test any web hosting.
Keep in mind, recently BlueHost modified their refund terms, and in the past, they were bound to the full refund within 30 days and pro-rated refund after that. But now you get only 30 days full refund and the pro-rated option does not work anymore.
Usually, I prefer buying anything online using my PayPal account. It’s all your choice and chances are you might like to purchase via credit cards. But there is no problem with having multiple payment gateways to buy online.
Both web hosts, HostGator and BlueHost support multiple payment methods like PayPal and Credit Cards. Therefore, you can avail any web hosting package using your preferred payment method.
Conclusion – BlueHost and HostGator Review
So, in this HostGator vs BlueHost war, HostGator got 9 point whereas BlueHost 6 where 8 points tie. The difference isn't that big as both hosts striving hard to offer affordable but quality hosting services.
You can choose any web hosts which fulfills your website requirement because every user needs different features.
Still, confused? Check out the short overview below to decide which one will be right for you.
BlueHost is Best For
Novice bloggers and beginners choose BlueHost to create a new website under budget. As they offer a cleaner and user-friendly control panel to perform all the necessary tasks such as email accounts, installing CMS, editing DNS, One-click CloudFlare integration, and much more.
As a beginner blogger or webmaster, I recommend using BlueHost because as you are in a starting stage, so you will not need high resources, storage, unlimited email accounts, and add-on domains.
Another reason to choose BlueHost is a free domain name for one year that make sense when it comes to save some bucks. Here are more features:
- Free domain name
- Free SSL certificate by Let's Encrypt
- Free website builder and pre-made templates
- Free data backups
- 24/7 fast in-house customer support
- Best choice for newbies and professionals
- Recommend by WordPress.org
- Exclusive WordPress tools
HostGator is Best For
If you are a kind of user who loves to have unlimited disk storage, bandwidth, unlimited email and FTP accounts, maximum uptime, and high website loading speed then choose HostGator.
They use latest server hardware and updated softwares to provide the staggering user experience.
However, their hosting plans are a little bit expensive, but all the plans come with valuable and useful features which make it affordable host.
Techy guys who loves to get more access on their servers should choose HostGator.
- High speed hosting servers
- 99.8% server uptime
- Their server can handle traffic spikes
- Multi-layer security protocols to secure your data
- 24/7 customer support for instant help
- Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and email accounts
- They allow unlimited sub-domains
- Recommended by Professionals and advanced users
So, this was the most updated and in-depth BlueHost vs HostGator comparison I've shared to help you decide which one you should choose. I hope after reading this review, you'll be able to make the right decision.
If I missed any essential feature that should be listed here, please let me know in the comments section and please share which web host you think is the best one.