So you have finally decided to start a blog or create some kind of a website. Now you are not sure which web hosting company to choose. I understand the frustration because I once hit a crossroad as well. I also understand that the idea of comparing two web hosting companies is never something that can easily be done. Okay, let me begin this Bluehost vs HostGator comparison review.
Normally, I hate comparing Endurance International Group (EIG) hosting companies. However, Bluehost and HostGator are their toughest and most reliable hosting brands.
EDITOR’S SIMPLE ANSWER – JUST GO WITH BLUEHOST
Before I continue this comparison, I realize that some of you will not have time to read a long post and want to cut to the chase. So, I have summarized the distinguishing features between the two hosting providers in the table below. And as always, if you want to read the entire Bluehost vs HostGator comparison, feel free to continue reading.
WHAT DO BLUEHOST AND HOSTGATOR HAVE IN COMMON?
Since you are here reading this Bluehost vs HostGator comparison, I am sure that you already know that both are providers of both basic and advanced web hosting services. Bluehost and HostGator ultimately do the same thing at the end of the day – they host websites.
Besides being two of the most popular web hosting brands, both Bluehost and HostGator offer:
- Shared hosting for under $5/month.
- Instant access to your hosting account.
- 1-click installs using the MOJO marketplace (features 78 scripts).
- Web hosting with unlimited features (bandwidth, email, databases, etc.).
- The famous cPanel hosting interface for easier site and file management.
- FTP access, add-on domains, subdomains, parked domains and SSH Access.
- 24/7 technical support via live chat, phone and email ticketing.
WHAT BLUEHOST DOES BETTER THAN HOSTGATOR?
Bluehost has faster servers: I was a bit surprised here. Since both web hosts are owned by the same company, you would expect to have the same servers. However, for some reason, my Bluehost sites loaded in the range of one to two seconds. On the other hand, my HostGator sites loaded in the three second range.
A website that loads a second faster may not seem like a big deal, but in the eyes of Google and the customer, it is a big deal.
Bluehost technical support is more responsive: The responsiveness of their technical support is where Bluehost crushes HostGator to bits and pieces. On top of being more responsive, Bluehost has a technical support team that seems to be more knowledgeable when it comes to scripts and hosting in general.
On the busiest days, Bluehost has always responded within ten minutes whereas HostGator has wait times of up to thirty minutes.
Due to the nature of web hosting, I value good technical support that is responsive, especially when I really need them.
Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org: I find it a big deal when the largest content management system recommends you to all of its users. If I knew nothing about Bluehost, the WordPress.org recommendation alone would convince me that Bluehost is a reputable hosting provider. This just shows that Bluehost works very well.
Bluehost saves you money with a free domain name: A purchase of a hosting account qualifies you for a free domain name, a savings of about $12/year. You do not get a free domain name with HostGator. So, if money is an issue or you want a free domain name, Bluehost is the clear choice here.
Bluehost does automated backups well: Bluehost has an automated backup process that backs up your entire hosting account on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. These backups can easily be restored as well.
While HostGator has an instant backup feature as well, it is not automated and has to be done and requested by the user. It also limits the backup file to a certain file size.
WHAT HOSTGATOR DOES BETTER THAN BLUEHOST?
HostGator has both Linux and Windows hosting: Depending on the type of hosting you need, the availability of both Linux and Windows hosting is one benefit of using HostGator. I do not use Windows hosting, so it does not affect me nor is it a deal breaker for me.
HostGator has more hosting options: HostGator offers both basic and advanced hosting services such as shared hosting, reseller hosting, optimized WordPress hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. In addition, HostGator gives you the option to pay on a monthly basis whereas Bluehost does not. With Bluehost, you have to purchase hosting in yearly increments.
However, I recommend purchasing hosting in yearly increments because it is much cheaper.
HostGator offers a 45-day money back guarantee: I always like to have the option to get my money back, just in case I am not satisfied with my purchase. Thankfully, HostGator offers a lengthy money back guarantee of 45 days. If things do not go as planned, simply contact their support team and request a full refund.
Bluehost only offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
HostGator promises a 99.9% uptime: Their shared hosting accounts come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Bluehost promises a reliable hosting service without any uptime guarantees.
My website monitoring service showed constant downtime for my sites that were being hosted with HostGator. Sometimes, my websites went down for several minutes on multiple occasions. I found this unacceptable.
Even with the downtime, I still like to have a guaranteed uptime for several reasons. Basically, if my website goes down, I can at least make a complaint, questioning their policies.
BLUEHOST VS HOSTGATOR – WHICH WEB HOST SHOULD I CHOOSE?
After using both Bluehost and HostGator to host multiple websites, I think that you cannot go wrong with either web host. However, I feel that HostGator is not as good as it once was and is slowly losing many customers due to its declining reputation.
Based on my own experience, server performance and reliability, Bluehost has the edge over HostGator. If you are looking for a reliable web host with a responsive technical support, Bluehost is the right web host for you.
If you feel that neither web host fulfills your hosting needs, feel free to look at these best web hosting providers.