Bluehost vs HostGator 2024: Which Is Better?

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Finding the right web hosting service for your website or blog is a big deal. You want reliable uptime, fast performance, and helpful support, all for an affordable price. Fortunately, there just so happens to be two popular options—Bluehost and HostGator—that make tempting claims as tip-top web hosts.

In short, Bluehost is the winner thanks to its excellent starting price and WordPress-specific setup (it’s even recommended by WordPress). But HostGator is no slouch, and there are other aspects to factor in, including speed, customer support, and more. So let’s see how they stack up against each other over a range of criteria.

Bluehost is better for you if... HostGator is better for you if...
You want a low introductory rate that’s one of the cheapest around You prefer a longer money-back guarantee period (45 days compared to Bluehost's 30 days).
You need WordPress-specific training and support, as Bluehost is recommended by WordPress. You require support for both Linux and Microsoft servers
You want slightly faster loading times for your website. You're looking for strong uptime guarantees, with compensation if the guarantee isn't met.
You're a beginner or want an intuitive and easy-to-use interface with a dashboard that's clearly organized. You're looking for an easy website migration for both WordPress and cPanel sites.
You need a hosting provider that offers automatic backups on all plans and a large app and integration library. You want cloud hosting capabilities

Bluehost vs HostGator: Comparison Table

Offers better performance with faster loading times.
Provides strong uptime guarantees with compensation for downtime.
Cheapest introductory pricing starts at $1.95/month.
Pricing starts at $2.75/month but comes with a longer money-back guarantee.
Customer support
WordPress-specific support and training, recommended by WordPress.
Highly responsive support team with a history of going above and beyond.

More information:

  • Learn more with our Bluehost review and learn about its capabilities as a web hosting provider.
  • Get the lowdown on HostGator with an in-depth review on its features.

User Interface

When first setting up your hosting account, ease of use matters. You don’t want a complex dashboard and myriad of configuration options getting in the way when you just want to get your site launched.

The good news is that both Bluehost and HostGator incorporate the industry-standard cPanel for central account and domain management. There are, however, some notable differences that impact the user experience depending on your technical skill level and needs.

Bluehost supplements cPanel with guided setup flows and checklists designed to simplify the process for first-time users. Its proprietary admin portal centralizes otherwise complex areas like managing WordPress installations and optimizing site performance.

Bluehost's cPanel dashboard
I had no trouble finding the cPanel dashboard from my Bluehost account. Source: Website Builder Expert

Useful features like one-click CMS installs, automated backups, and integrated SEO tools remove the headache if you don’t have much know-how. The basics, such as setting up email accounts, databases, and adding domains, are short, with visual guides to help you along. Bluehost is likely the better option if you want as few barriers as possible when launching your initial website.

HostGator also meets basic setup and management needs with cPanel. But it trails Bluehost when it comes to the polished guides and visuals designed to aid first-timers. Where it excelled was its offering of an integrated website builder, Gator, as part of its hosting plans. However, this is no longer available to new sign-ups.

Overall, Bluehost simplifies the setup process for first-timers through guided onboarding and one-click CMS installs. HostGator did have an edge with its visual website-building capabilities, but that’s no longer the case if you’re new to the service.

The Winner

Bluehost has a better user interface

Bluehost is the winner for best user interface because of its guided site launch checklists, one-click CMS installs like WordPress, and integrated SEO tools. Combined, these provide the most intuitive first-time setup experience that simplifies the hosting journey for users without much technical expertise.

Performance and Reliability

A hosting provider’s reliability and how quickly your site loads for visitors can make or break the user experience you’re able to provide. Downtime directly impacts revenue for ecommerce sites, while sluggish speeds lead to high bounce rates.

Both Bluehost and HostGator advertise high uptime in their service level agreements, but real-time usage tends to show mixed results. Bluehost delivers consistently on its promise, with some months of perfect 100% uptime reported by its users.

Meanwhile, HostGator has faced periodic outages hitting sites across its shared hosting plans. It does, however, compensate the affected customer with one month of credit on their account if it fails to meet this uptime guarantee.

Feature Bluehost HostGator
Free Domain Yes Yes
Control Panel cPanel, Plesk cPanel, Plesk, WHM
Free Backups No No
Unmetered Transfer Yes Yes
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered
Uptime 99.98% 99.99%

Page load times are on par for simple sites. But once traffic ramps up, Bluehost’s improved infrastructure keeps site performance more stable despite increased visitors. HostGator starts strong, but an influx of traffic can bog down individual site efficiency noticeably in side-by-side comparisons.

Graph showing average uptime for Bluehost and HostGator across six tests
Our uptime tests proved that Bluehost offers more reliable uptime than HostGator. Source: Website Builder Expert

Migrating to a dedicated IP on either host can provide site speed and isolation boosts during traffic spikes. However, Bluehost generally over provisions resources, so performance degradation is minimized without needing the upgrade.

One area HostGator does appear ahead in is international site access and content delivery network (CDN) support. It has data centers located across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, allowing for improved local speeds globally using anycasting IP routing.

The Winner

Bluehost's performance is more reliable than HostGator

Bluehost wins when it comes to reliability with observed uptime exceeding stated guarantees month-over-month. Its site performance is also a strong point for users.


When evaluating hosts, you want one solid enough to support your site’s functionality needs both now and as you scale. The good news is that Bluehost and HostGator allow you to run common platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, or Joomla. But what key differences emerge when considering advanced features and scalability?

Bluehost includes built-in integration with the Softaculous marketplace, providing access to hundreds of site apps and themes with a one-click install. This allows you to easily expand your site’s capabilities. HostGator’s App Store has a smaller catalog by comparison, but it offers server management tools and SSH root access for technical users.

Softaculous marketplace dashboard
I could navigate to Softaculous, Bluehost's official marketplace, from my account settings. Source: Website Builder Expert
Bluehost Features HostGator Features
Softaculous with one-click app/theme installs App Store with smaller plugin and theme catalog
Free SSL certificates across all tiers Free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates
Unmetered bandwidth on all shared and dedicated hosting plans Unlimited bandwidth on shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting plans
Dedicated IPs to aid scaling included on dedicated hosting plans Add-on purchase required for dedicated IPs
Access to WP staging environments Staging not supported
Guided migration tools and checklists Generic cPanel migration capabilities
Built-in CDN support CDN capabilities through add-ons
24/7 chat, phone, and email support 24/7 support chat, phone (sales-focused)

Ecommerce sites requiring secure SSL connections can enable them across all plans on both platforms—though if you need to scale up, Bluehost provides dedicated IPs standard with higher tier pricing options, such as VPS and dedicated hosting. HostGator charges an additional $4 per month for add-on dedicated IPs outside initial shared resources.

Migrating an existing site is straightforward, with both hosts using cPanel and available temporary staging URLs. Bluehost edges out HostGator by providing guided tools and checklists specifically for migration assistance, introducing key steps to transfer your web hosting.

The Winner

Bluehost has more features to scale your site

Bluehost is on a roll thanks to its breadth of integrated apps via Softaculous, as well as the simplified enhancements offered. When it comes to scalability, they’re quite similar, although Bluehost just nips in with the win, thanks to the ability to scale sites vertically without add-on costs.

Pricing and Value for Money

Price remains one of the primary considerations when evaluating web hosting providers. After all, you want to make sure that you’re getting bang for your buck. The good news is that Bluehost and HostGator both offer competitive rates across their tiered shared hosting plans, from entry-level to more in-depth options, with both featuring on our shortlist of the best cheap web hosts on the market today.

Having an understanding of what each plan offers across the various pricing tiers helps match the right option for your budget.

A web hosting pricing table with four plan options: Basic, Choice Plus, Online Store, and Pro, highlighting discounts for a 36-month plan and features for each.
Bluehost pricing plans. Source: Website Builder Expert


  • Introductory offers: Bluehost provides competitive introductory pricing, with shared hosting plans starting as low as $1.95 per month for the first term of 12 months.
  • Renewal rates: After the initial term, renewal rates for shared hosting range from $9.99 to $28.99 per month, depending on the plan chosen.
  • Features included: All plans come with a free domain for the first year, SSL certificate, and CDN. Higher-tier plans offer additional benefits like automated backups and domain privacy.
  • Hidden costs: Be aware of the renewal prices, which can be significantly higher than the introductory rates. Additionally, some services and add-ons, such as domain renewal and additional security features, may incur extra costs.

Find out more in our Bluehost Pricing Review.

An advertisement for HostGator web hosting showing three plans: Hatchling, Baby, and Business, each with specific features and discounts highlighted.
HostGator pricing plans. Source: Website Builder Expert


  • Introductory offers: HostGator’s shared hosting plans start at the price of $2.75 per month for new customers, with various promotions often available.
  • Renewal rates: Renewal rates are provided in a clear chart, with shared hosting plans renewing at rates from $17.99 per month for the Hatchling plan, for example.
  • Features included: Like Bluehost, HostGator offers a free domain for the first year, SSL certificate, and a one-click WordPress install.
  • Hidden costs: There’s a non-refundable domain fee if you cancel your hosting within the first year. Also, additional services like site backups, security tools, and more advanced features may require extra fees.

Find out more in our full HostGator Pricing Review.

Introductory Deals for New Users: What To Know

When it comes to deals for new sign-ups, Bluehost frequently offers significant discounting that applies to the first year of hosting costs. This can make Bluehost an appealing option for anyone looking to try out WordPress hosting services at a lower starting price point.

It’s important to note that higher renewal rates do kick in after that initial discounted term. As for HostGator, renewal rates also kick in, but pricing is more transparent after the initial term. Plus, it can be slightly cheaper than Bluehost (albeit very slightly), as it’s usually possible to find various promotions and coupon specials targeted at first-time customers, which can include reduced pricing for the initial contract period.

A HostGator web hosting promo page with a headline "Amazing deals are all yours," offering up to 70% off with the coupon code SNAPPY for the Baby plan.
Coupons can reduce the price even more on specific plans. Source: Website Builder Expert

Both Bluehost and HostGator offer competitive pricing and valuable features for new customers. Bluehost is a strong contender if you’re looking for a hosting provider with WordPress-specific support and training, as it’s recommended by WordPress itself.

On the other hand, HostGator might be more appealing if you’re looking for slightly cheaper introductory rates and a longer money-back guarantee period.

The Winner

HostGator has better pricing options

HostGator, just! While Bluehost has the cheaper entry-level plans, HostGator offers coupons on more robust pricing options that bring the price down. Plus, there’s a longer money-back guarantee, as well as transparency around hidden costs—it provides a clear chart of renewal rates and explicitly mentions additional fees.


With cyber threats growing, hosting security practices are central to safeguarding your site. Both Bluehost and HostGator incorporate standard measures like firewall rules, patch updating, malware scanning, and mandatory password protocols. Bluehost, however, implements additional security through isolation and containment capabilities.

All shared servers on Bluehost are configured to run PHP scripts isolated on a per-account basis. This prevents any residual vulnerabilities from potentially impacting neighboring user accounts. It also implements an updatable blacklist across networks to block cyberthreat communication channels preemptively based on crowdsourced intel.

For disaster recovery, each plan provides automated weekly backups of sites with easy restoration through cPanel. More frequent daily backups are included in higher-tier plans and extended SiteBackup add-ons facilitate manual schedules like real-time backup triggers.

SSL certificates for enabling HTTPS site encryption are free through Let’s Encrypt on both platforms. But Bluehost also provides $200 in value per year to apply towards premium GeoTrust or Code Signing certificates for added ID assurance.

Security settings for HostGator website
I could review and upgrade my website's security from HostGator's settings. Source: Website Builder Expert
The Winner

Bluehost has extra security to protect your site

Bluehost offers additional server and security measures not found with HostGator, as well as customization options available through the Bluehost SiteBackup plugin.

Customer Service

Reliable customer service can make or break your hosting experience when issues emerge. Both Bluehost and HostGator offer around-the-clock live chat along with email and phone support. Yet, it seems Bluehost has a tighter customer service process and is more responsive across channels based on some user experiences.

Wait times for live chat also tend to be shorter with Bluehost before connecting to an agent. Phone support queues follow a similar pattern—it’s not uncommon to take more time to connect to HostGator while reaching a representative is faster with Bluehost.

Email ticket resolution tracked more closely between the two, with most responses within a reasonable business timeframe. Simpler inquiries like billing or sales questions were quicker—complex configuration troubleshooting took longer in some HostGator cases.

HostGator's live chat pop up
I used HostGator's live chat to answer my website queries. Source: Website Builder Expert

Both hosts provide knowledge bases and forums that cover common questions, and they promise US-based support teams. But interactions show Bluehost’s faster response across channels, especially with technical site issues.

The Winner

Bluehost has better customer support

Bluehost is the clear winner when it comes to superior customer service support, thanks to faster response times across phone, chat, and email channels.

How We Test Hosting Providers

At Website Builder Expert, we conduct extensive, in-depth research on various hosting providers to provide readers with fair and accurate recommendations. Our team of experts analyzes key criteria like pricing, performance, features, support, and market competition to score each provider. This allows us to showcase their strengths and weaknesses.

We also closely evaluate available support channels like live chat, phone assistance, and knowledge bases. By posing common troubleshooting questions through different mediums, we gauge response promptness and the quality of solutions offered by each provider’s support team. Potential language barriers, technical skill levels, or personalized guidance can significantly impact customer experiences.

Summary: Bluehost vs HostGator

In the hosting duel between Bluehost vs HostGator, faster reliability, performance, and ease of use make Bluehost a great fit for beginners, while HostGator is strong on affordability and uptime guarantees.

Weighing up all criteria, Bluehost is the overall winner, and we particularly recommend it for WordPress users, but as always, the best options often depend on your specific needs and requirements.

What kind of website(s) do you need to host?

Find Your Hosting Provider

Bluehost vs HostGator FAQs

For brand new sites with minimal traffic, Bluehost and HostGator will likely feel similar speed-wise initially. However, as your site scales and builds an audience over time, Bluehost’s improved infrastructure is better positioned to maintain fast performance despite increased visitors.
Both Bluehost and HostGator make migrations straightforward using industry-standard cPanel tools, temporary staging URLs for testing, and providing guidance. Bluehost edges out with more hand-holding through migration-specific checklists. But for simple sites, the process is achievable with HostGator, too.
Bluehost prioritizes simplifying the onboarding process for first-timers through step-by-step launch checklists, visual tutorials, and one-click CMS installs, requiring minimal technical know-how upfront. HostGator meets baseline needs through cPanel but trails Bluehost in polished guidance catering specifically to hosting beginners.
Written by:
simon banks headshot
I joined the Website Builder Expert writing team in 2023. With a decade of writing experience, I really love helping brands and small businesses, with a talent for making seemingly dull topics fun and engaging. My aim is to get you feeling confident about marketing your business so it can achieve success. Having a background in advertising has given me a unique lens through which to view topics. I love turning tricky subjects – like website security certificates and crafting a customer journey map – into easy-to-understand pieces of content that capture attention whether you're reading at home or browsing while out and about.

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