You’ve started a website and have reached the crucial decision of which web hosting service provider to choose. If you’ve narrowed your choices down to two of the biggest names in web hosting, Bluehost (opens in new tab) and HostGator (opens in new tab), we can help you make the right decision.
Whether you’re just switching providers or are looking to find the perfect choice before you start building your dream website, we will take you through each web hosting service to give you better insight.
From security to site performance, let’s take a deeper look at what these platforms have to offer and how they can make a difference to your website and, eventually, your business.
1. Bluehost is the best overall web hosting service (opens in new tab)
While the competition is cut-throat, Bluehost (opens in new tab) continues to impress in almost every aspect, delivering the complete package of speed, security, versatility, and most importantly, superb reliability for just $2.75 per month.
2. Hostgator surprises with the best shared hosting service (opens in new tab)
Hostgator (opens in new tab) has surprised us with an exclusive offer that delivers some of the best shared hosting features we've seen for a very long time, with a slew of freebies like domain names, an SSL certificate and marketing money from only $2.43 per month.
Bluehost vs HostGator: main similarities and differences
Not only are Bluehost and HostGator leading names in web hosting, but they also power over 10 million of the currently active domains around the world right now. This is in part due to their notable reliability, load times, features, and low pricing.
Before the big comparison, it’s important to note what Bluehost and HostGator share in common (apart from being web hosting companies). For starters, both Bluehost and HostGator prove reliable, with over 99% uptime. They’re also known for their equally competitive user support, and an almost similar page speed (more of that later.)
In terms of features, however, HostGator leads the game with its built-in website builder (opens in new tab) that offers intuitive design templates and even e-commerce (opens in new tab) functionality - a feature users won’t find with Bluehost.
Speed and uptime
As the two foundations of the core features of any web host, speed and uptime play an invaluable role in the success of your site. If you want to keep your visitors on your site, you’ll want to keep your page speed fast.
Both Bluehost and Hostgator are strong competitors performance-wise, with Hostgator averaging 700 ms (opens in new tab) in page speed, and Bluehost trailing not so far behind at 729 ms (opens in new tab) over the past ten months. There’s not much of a difference, but these stats should help users who still can’t decide between the two.
In terms of uptime guarantee, Bluehost falls slightly behind with 99.98%, while Hostgator offers 99.99%. The dependability exhibited by both in uptime makes them the toughest contenders in web hosting.
Types of hosting
Bluehost offers different types of hosting, including shared hosting, dedicated hosting (opens in new tab), VPS hosting (opens in new tab), and WordPress hosting (opens in new tab). Shared hosting is the easiest, most common way to get your website connected, while WordPress hosting is great for businesses running a WordPress site.
Hostgator, on the other hand, offers shared hosting, cloud hosting, managed WordPress hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and dedicated servers. Shared hosting and Managed WordPress hosting are two of Hostgator’s most popular choices.
Bluehost’s plans start at $2.95 (basic) per month and comes with 50GB of storage space, custom themes, 24/7 support, five email accounts and a free domain for a year. Other plans include plus, choice plus, and pro, which range from $5.45 per month to $13.95 per month.
Hostgator only comes with three plans: hatchling, baby, and business. The hatchling plan, which includes one domain, one-click installs and unlimited email, costs $2.75 per month. The next plan, the baby plan, which has the same features as the hatchling plans plus unlimited domains, costs $3.50 per month. Hostgator’s best plan, the business plan, offers everything in the baby plan plus unlimited websites.
When it comes to renewal prices, Bluehost is a bit more steep. The trick to keeping the costs to a minimum is to sign up for longer contracts. Hostgator’s 45-day money back guarantee also beats Bluehost’s 30 days, but it’s important to note that Hostgator only offers this for its shared or VPS hosting.
If you’re looking to switch hosting providers, migrating to Bluehost servers is free only for WordPress sites. Therefore, if you are running a website that is not WordPress-based, migrating will incur a fee of $149.99. This includes moving up to five websites and 20 email accounts. There is an option, however, for users to handle the migration instead of paying Bluehost to do it. This requires a little bit of technical knowledge, though, otherwise it can easily freak someone out.
HostGator, on the other hand, allows website migration for both WordPress and cPanel (opens in new tab) website files. This includes a single domain registration transfer as well as databases and scripts. This service is free if done within 30 days of the sign-up date, and to accounts that are recently upgraded.
You want to be able to get the help you need when you need it (because there will come a time when you need support from your hosting company). It is essential to have a hosting company with high quality, responsive, friendly and knowledgeable customer and technical support.
Getting the support you need at any time is essential, especially when running a website. That’s why your hosting provider must have responsive and reliable customer support to get you through every difficulty. All of Hostgator’s web plans include 24/7 support 365 days a week. Hostgator support is available via live chat or via its toll-free number: 1-866-96-GATOR.
Bluehost’s exceptional customer support makes it an easy choice for users. From support tickets, 24/7 phone and email support, support tickets and live chat, the user experience is always regarded as exceeding expectations. Their dedicated support is also available 24/7/365.
As one of the most popular website building software available, WordPress is behind 39.6% of the websites you see today. Installing WordPress with Bluehost is one of the easiest things you can do. The process is easy and seamless, and can be done in five simple steps.
With Hostgator, it’s the same one-click install for WordPress. This can be done as soon as a user purchases a hosting plan. HostGator allows WordPress installation using Softaculous, a software that helps automate web applications installation. However, there is also an option to install WordPress manually, which is a fairly easy process, which the company provides a step by step “how to install guide (opens in new tab)” for users to follow.
Bluehost and HostGator have a lot in common, but in a head-to-head comparison, Bluehost is usually a top choice. It comes in strong with its solid uptime, great customer service and is worth the money. Though only WordPress migration is offered for free, manually migrating sites outside of WordPress can be a worthwhile task, especially if you want to save on the costs of migration.