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. Our research pinpointed Bluehost as the winner overall because it’s good value, beginner friendly, and the best WordPress integrations!
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.
10GB – Unlimited
2GB – 16GB
700MB – 128GB
Bluehost is better for you if you want a WordPress site…
…And want great a feature rich, good value for money, and wonderful customer support.
HostGator is better for you if you have a small website…
…It’s got the best shared hosting plans, great features, and 99.99% uptime.
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With a score of 4.8 out of 5 overall for Bluehost and 4.7 out of 5 for HostGator, these two are close competitors – but they each have their benefits and shortcomings.
| Features, Performance, & Ease of Use |
|Bluehost's features include a free domain, free backups, and unmetered bandwidth. Its interface is also super polished, slightly better than HostGator's.||HostGator offers quality features, with extra control panels, a free domain, a free SSL, and fantastic uptime, to name a few.|
| Pricing & Value for Money |
|Bluehost's hosting plans are super cheap to start off, it also offers four plans for shared and WordPress hosting. Bluehost's renewal prices are very competitive and it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.||HostGator's introductory prices are more expensive than Bluehost's, higher plans in the same hosting type tend to be cheaper but overall the costs are higher with HostGator.|
| WordPress integration |
|Bluehost is better for WordPress integration than HostGator. All it takes is one click!||HostGator does offer WordPress integrations but not quite as easily as Bluehost does.|
| Migration |
|All it takes is a few clicks, and Bluehost's support team will be on hand throughout the process, but it does not offer free website migration.||HostGator wins for website migration, as it offers free website migration and the prices after that are super competitive.|
| Help and Support |
|Bluehost has excellent help and support options, including an awesome knowledge center, live chat, email services, and 24/7 phone support.||HostGator offers all kinds of support including a community center, which Bluehost doesn't have. It also has 24/7 phone and live chat support!|
|Are You Ready?||Bluehost||HostGator|
- Bluehost Review – See our in-depth review of Bluehost itself.
- HostGator Review – Learn key insights on why HostGator is such a good hosting provider.
- Best Web Hosting Providers – See our comprehensive list of the best hosting services on the market today.
- Hosting Comparison Chart – For a side-by-side look at the top hosting providers, use our detailed comparison chart.
Bluehost is easier to use than HostGator
The features are the key difference between the two, and Bluehost scored higher than HostGator across the different categories in our rankings. For example, HostGator beats Bluehost for features in shared hosting (it ranks 4/5 compared to Bluehost’s 3.3/5 for shared features). But Bluehost takes the win in dedicated hosting, WordPress, and ecommerce features. As you would expect with such popular providers they both offer excellent features and overall they are pretty well matched.
|Control Panel||cPanel, Plesk||cPanel, Plesk, WHM|
Both providers offer a free domain name for the first year. 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%. 100% uptime is highly difficult to obtain, with only two providers we’ve tested achieving 100% uptime (DreamHost and Liquid Web). Both Bluehost and HostGator 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!
Bluehost is better value for money than HostGator
HostGator’s plans start at $2.75/month and are generally cheaper across the board than Bluehost’s – HostGator also got a 3.6 out of 5 for price in it’s shared hosting compared to Bluehost’s 3.1. But Bluehost’s VPS and dedicated plans beat HostGator’s scores. Bluehost also takes it further and wins value for money through it’s WordPress and ecommerce plans.
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
In terms of which is better value for money Bluehost and HostGator, we recommend Bluehost. Despite it being a little bit more expensive on higher plans, it packs a feature rich punch, with the best dedicated plan prices. Let’s take a look at how Bluehost and HostGator’s annual prices compare…
|Shared Hosting||$2.95 – $13.95||$3.95 – $7.25|
|Cloud Hosting||N/A||$4.95 – $9.95|
|WordPress Hosting||$2.95 – $13.95||$7.95 – $11.95|
|WooCommerce Hosting||$9.95 – $12.95||N/A|
|VPS Hosting||$23.99 – $83.99||$23.95 – $59.95|
|Dedicated Hosting||$99.99 – $139.99||$109.98 – $159.99|
|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 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 is currently offering up to 75% off on some of its 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 its 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 has better WordPress integrations!
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. It tops the charts with a 4.6 out of 5 for WordPress plans, while HostGator scores 4.2 for its WordPress plans.
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.
Find Out More
If you’d like to know more about WordPress you can read our WordPress Review to see if it’s something that would be suitable for you.
HostGator wins for website migration
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 one free cPanel website migration and that includes all your emails, domains, addon domains, and subdomains. After the free one it will cost you $25 per website, which is still relatively cheap!
Bluehost offers a web migration service of moving five websites for a flat fee of $149.99, which includes 20 email accounts that 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 just wins for customer support
HostGator just about takes the help and support win, as in every category we tested HostGator takes the lead in scores. For example in its shared hosting plans HostGator get’s a 4.8 out of 5 for support, while Bluehost get’s a 3.6. Also, even so Bluehost is a better overall dedicated hosting provider, HostGator get’s a support score of 4.9, while Bluehost get’s a score of 4.5.
Things rarely go wrong when hosting, 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.
Not sure if either Bluehost or HostGator are for you?
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.
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