HostGator Vs Bluehost
Updated: April 1, 2019
Choosing a web hosting company has polarised into few US-based companies. More specifically, its either HostGator, SiteGround or Bluehost at the top for 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.
While both these hosts offer great performance, we will be looking at the differences between them and which one is better for your needs.
Here’s how HostGator and Bluehost compare.
Bluehost vs HostGator review breakdown
- Performance Test 🥇- Bluehost
- Uptime Test 🥇- Bluehost and HostGator
- Website Speed Test 🥇- Bluehost
- Security 🥇- Bluehost and HostGator
- WordPress/Cloud 🥇- Bluehost
- VPS Hosting 🥇- Bluehost and HostGator
- For Beginners 🥇- Bluehost
- Price, Plans, And Features. 🥇- Bluehost
- Control Panel 🥇- Bluehost and HostGator
- Customer Support 🥇- Bluehost and HostGator
Is Bluehost better than HostGator?
Yes, Bluehost scores: 10/10
Whereas HostGator only scores: 5/10
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.
Bluehost – Bluehost is way ahead of HostGator in utilizing the latest technologies for better performance.
Which hosting is more popular among HostGator and Bluehost in 2019?
According to Google Trends (see below), interest surrounding Bluehost has been always 2x higher than HostGator over last 5 years. This explains the popularity of Bluehost over HostGator.
– Google Trends (HostGator and Bluehost)
And in the last year or two, more people are switching from HostGator to Bluehost than the other way around.
2. 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 ?</strong>”>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.
Both HostGator and Bluehost had an uptime of 100%.
As you can see, Bluehost had an uptime of 100% with no downtime, compared to Hostgator, which had a downtime of 1 minute.
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.
Bluehost and Hostgator uptime comparison for the last four months using Host-tracker.
Bluehost marginally wins both the tests. However, both hosting companies have excellent uptime.
3. 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 ?</strong>”>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.
So, clearly, speed is an important factor for a website. As a result, we tested load time and server response time of websites hosted on Bluehost and HostGator using Load Impact App.
We noted load time of a test website ( equal in size, requests, content) as traffic was increased from one to 500.
This test will measure the load time of each of these hosting companies when there are 100’s of visitors accessing your site at the same time. This is an important test as there might be a lot of situation when your site will receive a high number of visitors at a certain time. Therefore, we need to ensure the load time is good for all the users that access your site during such time.
The green line indicates the number of visitors, whereas the blue line indicates load time(response time) for concurrent traffic.
The web page hosted at Bluehost loaded at 132ms for first 100 visitors and was consistent throughout the test for 500 visitors.
HostGator’s performance was a disappointment. They had a great response time until the visitor’s count touched 250. Then, their server broke down and the website was not available for further visitors. As a result, we can conclude that HostGator’s performance is not as good as Bluehost’s when it comes to website speed.
We can conclude from this tests that Bluehost’s server responded 1.5X faster than HostGator’s.
Bluehost wins this tests as Bluehost’s website loads nearly 10-15% faster than websites of HostGator.
Google incorporating site speed in search rankings
Speed Up WordPress Site Using Siteground + Asset Cleanup + WP Rocket
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.
Its a tie in this round. However, they are not as advanced as SiteGround with their proprietary anti-bot AI.
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.
HostGator transfer features.
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 CMS(website builder)with more than 27% of the internet powered by WordPress. Moreover, WordPress has 58% market share, 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 all the technical aspects of running a WordPress website is handled by the host. It means the servers are specifically set for WordPress enabling the website to have increased speed, faster support, and premium themes and plugins for free.
Managed WordPress increases performance of a WordPress website when 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.
Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting Price, Plans And Features
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.
HostGator Managed WordPress Hosting Price, Plans And Features
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.
★ Winner Bluehost.
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.
Read: When you should (and shouldn’t) use a VPS?
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.
Average load time – 3846ms
Average load time – 3914ms
Bluehost marginally performs better than HostGator. However, both hosting companies were very good at handling that amount of server stress and performed exceptionally well.
★ Winner Tie.
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 HostGator took more time in provisioning server, there was some DNS setup confusion, and also it took more time for me to start building my website with HostGator than Bluehost. Moreover, HostGator backend interface was particularly slow when compared to Bluehost.
As a result, for a beginner, Bluehost will be easier to set up than HostGator.
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.
★ Winner Bluehost.
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
HostGator and Bluehost –Both offers a well-built control panel that ensures simplicity and great accessibility.
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.
$ 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 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 overwrite the previous day’s, week’s and month’s backup.
Bluehost lets you restore from 3 automated backups.
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.
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 7.0 and Bluehost uses PHP 7.0.32 for their servers.
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.
PHP 7.0 was released on December 2015, whereas PHP 7.0.32 was released on July 2018. That means HostGator still uses a PHP update dated two years back.
And PHP 7.0.32 is even 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.
HostGator server information Bluehost server Information
Additionally, as seen from the above images, Bluehost uses Apache version 2.4.37 as compared to 2.2.25 with HostGator.
Apache 2.4.37 release provides a number of enhancements and improvement over the 2.2.25 version, such as less memory usage and better asynchronous support in 2.4.37.
More differences on Apache 2.4.37 and 2.2.25 can be read here.
Bluehost’s plans are more affordable than HostGator’s offering.
Lets check Latest HostGator Plans Lets check Latest BlueHost Plans
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, we need the support starting from setting up our website to whenever there is an issue with our websites. The issue can be as small as paying up your bill to as advanced as asking for more resources during sudden traffic spikes. Therefore, consider choosing a web hosting which offers 24/7 speedy, knowledgeable support through 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, HostGator and Bluehost Live chat are exceptionally fast. However, the main problem is not the same speed, but their teams lack qualified expertise in technical subjects.
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…
It was very hard to find any positive user review about HostGator. Their users were mainly criticizing them for their very slow site speed.
Bluehost’s Twitter user reviews and reactions…
Users were happy with Bluehost’s performance, and this can be seen from their reactions on Twitter.
Bluehost OR HostGator? – My Final verdict
Here is my final verdict on this HostGator vs Bluehost review…
HostGator 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 HostGator 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 Bluehost is far better than HostGator in every respect. The differences between the two brands lead us to believe that EIG is not quite as hands-on as some people think.
However, our recommendation is to choose Bluehost. In the final analysis, website performance is paramount and here Bluehost wins easily against HostGator.
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 Bluehost 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 absolutely recommend Bluehost over HostGator to host your website.
Read More: HostGator Vs Godaddy Review 2019
Set up your web hosting with Bluehost now.
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Noor is a well-known webhosting blogger and industry analyst. Since 2006, he has tested a wide variety of web hosting services and posted the results on his popular blog, InlineHostBlogger.com. For each review, he extensively tests each web hosting company personally, or with his hand-picked team of technicians.