If you’re new to the world of website building and hosting, or even if you’re a seasoned techie just looking to switch providers, the search to find the best hosting service can seem daunting. With so many options available, it can be hard to decide on just one.
You want the best for your site, and so do we! That’s why we took two of the biggest hosting providers, Bluehost and HostGator, and did some in-depth research to see which is actually the better option.
At first glance these two providers seem very similar in terms of what they offer. Overall though, Bluehost came up the winner over HostGator, with stronger features and better value for money.
Both are extremely strong though, hosting millions of websites across the globe, so you’ll be in good hands whichever one you choose. If you’d like to know more and really get to grips with these two providers, check out our in-depth reviews:
If you’re in a hurry, compare the two below. You can click on the link to sign up, or read on for a breakdown of both providers, to help you decide on the perfect hosting service for your site. Will it be HostGator or Bluehost? Let’s find out.
First of all, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each provider side by side, to clear up any headaches that have been brewing so far. They both have strengths and weaknesses which will affect your decision depending on your needs.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
|#1||Great value for money|
|#2||Beginner friendly, very easy to use|
|#3||Best host provider for WordPress integration|
|#1||Below average amount of storage on Basic shared plan|
|#2||Lots of add-on options in checkout which could hike up your price plan if not deselected|
HostGator Pros and Cons
|#1||Beginner friendly, very easy to use|
|#2||Comprehensive customer support|
|#3||Great uptime – 99.99%|
|#1||No free domain|
|#2||Interface could be more simple and modern|
As you can see, they’re both evenly balanced and your choice will really depend on what you want to get out of your hosting provider, and what is important for your site or business.
Hostgator vs Bluehost: Pros and Cons – the Verdict
Although on pretty equal footing here, Bluehost steals the win, coming up top as our best all-around provider over HostGator.
The features are the key difference between the two, and Bluehost scored higher than HostGator in our rankings. As you would expect with such popular providers they both offer excellent features and overall they are pretty well matched.
The main difference here is that Bluehost offers a free domain name. You do still have to pay the registration fee, but from that you get your own domain name which lasts for one year and is yours to manage or transfer. You have ownership until it expires, at which point you can simply renew or extend it at the regular price (this varies depending on what type of domain you have, for example .com, .org, .blog etc).
Both providers use cPanel, which is a popular, reliable and standard control panel for hosting providers. The interfaces are user friendly and simple, especially on Bluehost – it’s less cluttered and more modern than HostGator’s.
HostGator vs Bluehost: Uptime
Uptime is great for both, with HostGator just taking the lead with 99.99%, closely followed by Bluehost’s 99.98%. Considering 100% uptime just isn’t possible, both of these providers are working very hard to make your site as available to your users as they can.
This is really important for your website, especially if you are trying to run a business. You can’t reach clients or grow your reputation if your site is always down. It’d be like handing out blank leaflets to advertise your business: there’s just no point!
Hostgator vs Bluehost: Features, Performance and Ease of Use – the Verdict
Although both are pretty evenly matched, Bluehost’s cleaner interface and offer of a free domain name just tips it ahead of HostGator in regard to features. A special shout out goes to HostGator for its impressive, industry-topping uptime score of 99.99% though.
HostGator’s plans start at $2.75/month and are generally cheaper across the board than Bluehost’s – but with Bluehost’s plans, you get what you pay for. Namely, excellent features.
One of the most important things we look at as customers when we’re making decisions is the price. This is pretty sensible when you’re starting your own business or working to a budget!
Creating your own website should be exciting, not break the bank. Both Bluehost and HostGator give you great value for money, so whichever one you choose it’s a win-win in terms of price.
Bluehost and Hostgator Pricing Head-to-Head
|Shared Hosting||$2.95 – $14.99||$2.75 – $5.95|
|Cloud Hosting||N/A||$4.95 – $9.95|
|WordPress Hosting||$2.95 – $16.99||$5.95 – $9.95|
|WooCommerce Hosting||$12.95 – $24.95||N/A|
|VPS Hosting||$19.99 – $59.99||$19.95 – $24.95|
|Dedicated Hosting||$79.99 – $209.99||$119 – $149|
|Reseller Hosting||Outsourced for $17.99 – $49.99||$19.95 – $24.95|
Both Bluehost and HostGator have a money-back guarantee. With Bluehost this is if you cancel within the first 30 days, and HostGator within the first 45 days of purchase (this is only for their shared, VPS and reseller hosting packages). This is a great way of trying out your provider without the fear of committing long-term straight away.
The cheaper offers you find are usually for longer term contracts. For example, HostGator are currently offering up to 75% off on some of their 36 month contracts. Bluehost also offers cheaper rates for pre-paying for a 36 month contract, and have promotional discounts for new customers too. At the moment their choice plus plan for shared hosting is $5.99 a month rather than the usual $14.99, or you can go Pro for $13.95 instead of the standard $23.99.
It is worth noting that neither money-back guarantee applies to add-ons or extra purchases (for example, domains). It is also worth being aware that often when promotional discounts are offered, this is usually just for your first term and when it renews this will be at the non-discounted price. This is really normal but something to look out for when renewal time approaches!
Bluehost vs HostGator: Pricing and Value for Money – the Verdict
While HostGator can offer you cheaper prices, the extra bucks you’ll spend on Bluehost will go towards better features, ease of use, and WordPress integration. That’s why we’ve decided Bluehost offers better value for money than HostGator.
WordPress is very popular for bloggers and developers (and everyone else!). Approximately 30% of the internet is built on WordPress, so it’s worth including as a factor here.
The winner is clear so we’ll get straight to it: Bluehost is the best for WordPress integration.
WordPress themselves have chosen Bluehost as their most highly recommended host provider. In their own words, “Bluehost offers the ultimate WordPress platform”, which sounds pretty good to us! This strong relationship will definitely benefit you if you’re looking to use WordPress, and with their one-click set up process and in-house WordPress support experts it’s never been easier.
Plus, if you’re running an online store, then Bluehost’s WooCommerce plans offer super simple WordPress ecommerce integrations, from one-click payment processing capability to a pre-installed storefront theme.
HostGator also offers WordPress hosting, of course. With three levels of price plans (hatchling, baby and business), and the offer of transferring your existing WordPress website for free on sign up, they’re certainly not neglecting their WordPress users by any means.
Hostgator vs Bluehost: WordPress Integration – the Verdict
Bluehost, definitely and undeniably. Bluehost and WordPress are the dream team, we would never try and tear them apart. With one-click installation, automated updates and an array of stunning features, Bluehost is the clear choice for anyone looking to host their WordPress website.
If you’d like to know more about WordPress you can read our WordPress 2018 Review to see if it’s something that would be suitable for you.
For whatever reason, you may want to switch hosting providers down the line. Thankfully, both HostGator and Bluehost make this a seamless process.
HostGator provides a limited number of free transfers from other hosting providers within 30 days of signing up. After that period, you’ll need to pay a bespoke price.
Bluehost offers a web migration service for a flat fee of $149.99, in which all up to five websites and 20 email accounts can be switched to another hosting provider. You’ll also have access to 24/7 customer support to help you with any issues during the migration process.
Better still, Bluehost provides free migration services for WordPress website owners, as long as you sign up to a Bluehost plan first.
HostGator vs Bluehost: Website Migration – the Verdict
Bluehost just wins this round because of its transparent pricing, as opposed to HostGator’s bespoke quote pricing. Bluehost also offers free migration services for WordPress websites, as long as you’re signed up with a hosting plan.
Getting hosting is easy. And things rarely go wrong but if or when they do, you don’t want the stress of feeling like you’re dealing with it on your own, especially for those of you who are new to the world of hosting.
HostGator and Bluehost both have most areas of support covered, so you can sleep easy at night knowing that their team of tech-experts is only a click or a phone call away. With so many users relying on them, neither can afford to neglect their customer support – just look at that table!
|24/7 Live Chat||No||Yes|
In all seriousness though, customer support is so important for giving you the best experience possible of hosting your site – you wouldn’t buy a car without seat-belts or air bags, and this is the tech equivalent!
So, just what is it that each provider is offering? Most of them, such as the 24/7 live chat and phone services are pretty self-explanatory, but the knowledge center and tickets features may not be immediately obvious.
Basically, HostGator’s knowledge center is a support portal offering 24/7 live technical support and documentation. This includes a forum (covering such topics as customer reviews, suggestions, pre-sales questions, general announcements and more), video tutorials, as well as having live chat and telephone support options. You may find that it’s actually quicker finding your answer on the knowledge center rather than via the phone; but at least you’ve got the option!
The Bluehost knowledge base looks slightly more clean and professional than the HostGator site, although it takes a bit more navigating. It has a search function as its main feature, as well as educational resources such as articles and “how to” guides for different sections of the site (such as emails, WordPress, domains, etc.).There is also the essential FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, and a link to their contact page with information on how to contact the right department for your query.
If you have a more complex issue not covered by general advice online, you can submit a ticket. This is received by a team who will attempt to resolve the problem, offering a more personalized solution. It is worth noting that Bluehost no longer accepts tickets for tech support, as they are now focusing on other support channels.
Hostgator vs Bluehost: Customer Support – the Verdict
Both HostGator and Bluehost offer 24/7 support via phone, live chat, a ticketing system and a help center. HostGator just tops support, purely because its help center is easier to use and was more intuitive when we tested it. You’ll get great help from either provider, though.
Finding the best hosting provider for you needs often comes down to the type of hosting you need. HostGator is the best overall hosting provider, while Bluehost has the best WordPress service – but what if you’re looking for something else entirely? Well, lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of alternatives.
If shared or VPS hosting is what you need, InMotion has you covered. It offers better features than any other provider for shared and VPS hosting and has a very respectable uptime of 99.97%. InMotion also came second in our overall rankings, just behind HostGator, and may well be the ideal provider for you.
Customer service is at the forefront of everything A2 Hosting do. It has the best help and support of any provider, with 24/7 phone and live chat help, a comprehensive ticket system, and the most intuitive help center. A2 also offers customers an anytime, money-back guarantee – the only host without a time restriction on refunds. Perfect for hosting beginners.
If you’re looking for a stable web host that you can count on, then SiteGround is a great choice. Its automated daily backups and excellent knowledge base make it the best hosting provider for reliability, so you can feel confident with this provider powering your site.
Still not found the right fit for your site? Worry not, you can head over to our web hosting comparison chart and compare all these providers and more side-by-side. Failing that, dive straight into out top ranked hosting providers and feast your eyes on the best in the business.
Both Bluehost and HostGator are established and reliable hosting providers, who deserve their great reputations. Both are suited to beginners as well as pros, and offer affordable and competitive price plans. Either way, you’re in a great place to start your journey into web hosting.
That being said, Bluehost takes the cake in this competition. Its established reputation in both ease of use for beginners as well as its relationship with WordPress make it the better choice, and its affordable plans make it a realistic option no matter what level your site is at.
HostGator comes in a strong second place, boosted by its excellent 99.99% uptime and in-depth customer support system.
The best option for you will depend on your needs – if value for money, ease of use, or WordPress integration is your top priority, then Bluehost is the clear answer. If uptime is most important to you, then you’ll want to think about HostGator.
Are Bluehost and HostGator secure?
Absolutely. Both companies provide SSL security, which is the padlock icon users see next to your URL. This tells visitors that your site is safe to browse. You also have root access with certain types of hosting and can install extra security software should you wish.
Do Bluehost and HostGator use cPanel?
Yes – both Bluehost and HostGator use cPanel. cPanel is the industry standard dashboard that most hosting providers give you to work off. It’s easy to get to grips with but does look a little dated (not that anyone will see it other than you!)
Who owns HostGator and Bluehost?
HostGator and Bluehost are actually owned by the same company – Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG are a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to hosting and also own multiple other providers. As you’ve found out in this article though, HostGator and Bluehost’s services are still very different.
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