Bluehost Vs HostGator: Who Wins Our Head-To-Head Comparison?

You want to start a website or blog but can’t decide between Bluehost and HostGator? Which company should you sign up with? This Bluehost vs HostGator (2020 update) head-to-head comparison will help you decide which one is the best web host for you.

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Marko Csokasi
Marko is a digital nomad and freelancer. He has been creating and consulting in the technology, finance, and cryptocurrency sectors for over 4 years.

Last Updated on August 5, 2020

Bluehost or HostGator? Which one is the best web host and why?

Bluehost vs HostGator; two of the most well-known companies in the web hosting industry. Here is a head-to-head comparison where we look at 5 of the most important features when it comes to choosing a web hosting company.

Choosing between these two providers, however, is no easy task as they both offer great features and fantastic value for the money. Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of HostGator and Bluehost and find out which web host is the best, and why.

  1. Ease of Use for Beginners

Here in this section we look at Bluehost vs HostGator ease of use, beginner friendly and easy to get started with in regards to money back guarantee, domain name registration, website transfer/migration, installing WordPress, and website building tools.

Bluehost

  • Moneyback guarantee

Bluehost's money-back guarantee is 30 days. You should be aware of the fact that this guarantee does not apply to add-on products, such as domain names. If you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund. If you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term.

  • Domain name registration

Bluehost gives you a free domain name when you sign up for hosting with them. The domain is registered for a year and the domain will be renewed when you renew your web hosting plan.

  • Website transfer or migration

There are two options to move your site. You can either do it yourself for free by manually transferring your files over to Bluehost. Alternatively, you can use the Website Transfer service to migrate up to five sites and 20 email accounts from your former hosting company. This service costs $149.99. Don’t forget; you’ll need to add the FTP option to your hosting package before you can migrate an existing site.

  • Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress can seem like a daunting task. Bluehost has worked hard to make the process easier by using the MOJO Marketplace for all of its installations. Now you can set up your WordPress website straight from your cPanel dashboard.

With Bluehost, you decide how to build your site. You can choose to utilize the on-site builder that is powered by Weebly. You can install WordPress. There are other options available in the Mojo Marketplace, as well.

  • Plugins and Apps

Beginners can further enjoy Bluehost's extended Mojo Marketplace as it offers users access to more than 140 plugins, various professional WordPress related services, and ready-to-launch themes with templates. While these are all beginner-friendly additions, they will cost you extra.

Visit Bluehost.com

HostGator winner

  • Moneyback guarantee

HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee on hosting plans with them, and as with Bluehost it only applies to hosting (not domain names etc). If you are not completely satisfied with their services within the first 45 days of your service, you will be given a full refund of the contract amount.

  • Domain name registration

HostGator includes a free domain name for the first year. After that, it is renewed at the regular price.

  • Website transfer or migration

HostGator states their commitment to making transferring your site over to HostGator as easy as possible. HostGator will migrate WordPress/cPanel website files including databases, scripts, and one domain registration transfer for free with each new hosting account within 30 days of sign-up, as well as to newly upgraded accounts.

  • Installing WordPress

WordPress installations are simple with HostGator. They offer the MOJO Marketplace quick install for existing WordPress sites., but you can also use Softaculous. Also, they offer tutorials on their site for easy “how to” install WordPress manually. There is a separate “how to” offered for installing a WordPress Optimized site.

  • Website Builder tool

HostGator has a free proprietary site builder for easy creation of a basic site. It features an intuitive interface with drag and drop WYSIWYG functionality that includes the following:

  • 100 or more mobile optimized templates
  • Pre-built site sections
  • Six pages included in the free basic plan

There are upgrades to this service available for a fee.

  • Plugins and Apps

Like Bluehost, HostGator also offers the Mojo Marketplace integration for paid add-ons. You can also enjoy more than 190 free one-click application installations with Softaculous.

Visit HostGator.com

  1. WordPress

WordPress powers more than 35% of all websites. Meaning if you want to build a site or blog, you want to use WordPress. Any web host that you are thinking of using should offer hassle-free and secure hosting options when it comes to WordPress. Plus, the host should make it easy to install and get started with WordPress.

Bluehost winner

Bluehost offers beginner friendly WordPress hosting starting from $2.95/mo, as well as VPS powered and fully managed WordPress plans starting from $19.99/mo.

  • Officially recommended by WordPress

Bluehost is recommended by WordPress.org, and has worked closely with WordPress since 2005.

  • Installing WordPress

You can easily and instantly install WordPress with a click-of-a-button and manage all your installations from an enhanced cPanel control panel, so you can start building your website immediately. After your WordPress installation, you can get your WordPress website up and running with ease.

  • WordPress security

Basic plans come with a free SSL certificate, a WordPress custom designed control panel, and a CloudFlare CDN built directly into your account for free without any coding. Premium managed WP hosting comes with Jetpack site analytics, malware detection and removal, and daily scheduled backups. More advanced plans include Jetpack Premium or Pro.

  • Range of hosting plans

Bluehost offers hosting plans from small business to enterprise level, starting with shared hosting and WordPress hosting for newcomers. Growing businesses can benefit from cheap VPS and WordPress Pro hosting, while enterprises have high-end dedicated servers at their disposal. E-commerce plans are also an option.

  • WordPress speed

Bluehost's managed WordPress hosting is built on a VPS platform with custom architecture engineered to deliver unprecedented performance:

  • VPS powered platform
  • Advanced NGINX architecture
  • Custom PHP-FPM configuration

Visit Bluehost.com

HostGator

HostGator offers WordPress Cloud Hosting, that comes with 2.5x speed, advanced security, and free site migrations - starting at just $5.95/mo.

  • Officially recommended by WordPress

HostGator is not recommended by WordPress.org

  • Installing WordPress

If you already have a WordPress powered site, a free migration service will transfer your existing WordPress website to HostGator. You can easily and instantly install WordPress with one click. Once your WordPress installation is complete, you can manage your new website from an enhanced cPanel control panel.

  • WordPress security

HostGator's WordPress plans include a free SSL certificate and a global CDN. You also get automatic malware removal using SiteLock security. CodeGuard automatic website backup is included. Get daily automated website backup for all web files and databases with a 1-click restore.

  • Range of hosting plans

HostGator plans also cater for all business sizes with shared, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated server options. However, they do not offer an explicit e-commerce plan.

  • WordPress speed

HostGator promises that pages load at blazing speed worldwide without having to configure your caching and CDN. Experience up to 2.5X faster load times due to super charged cloud architecture, low-density servers, CDN, and multiple caching layers. Your website content is managed more efficiently, enabling dynamic content requests to be processed lightning-fast

Visit HostGator.com

  1. Speed & Uptime

Speed and uptime are the cornerstones of any web host's core features. Because having a fast loading website that is up online at all times are two of the most important things you want from a good web host.

Bluehost winner

  • SSD Drives

Bluehost shared hosting plans come with solid state drives (SSD), and their server infrastructure is powered by enterprise level SSD database storage.

  • Datacenters

Bluehost doesn’t disclose the locations of their datacenters. However, we know their main datacenter is in Provo, Utah.

  • Infrastructure and Technology

All servers operate at Tier 3 (Tier 4 is the highest) certification. This means that you can expect superior uptime and redundancy capabilities. Uptime is projected to be around 99.982% with an average downtime of 1.6 hours per year. The infrastructure boasts:

  • Quad-processor servers
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply
  • Diesel Backup Generator
  • Multiple 10 Gb internet connections
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Bluehost offers the content delivery network powered by CloudFlare. This means your site's traffic is routed through a global network that is optimized for fastest content delivery.

Visit Bluehost.com

HostGator winner

  • SSD Drives

HostGator shared hosting plans do not come with solid state drives (SSD). However, MySQL databases are stored on SSD hardware.

  • Datacenters

HostGator utilizes several Tier 4 datacenters located in Texas and Utah. Their strategic utilization of these facilities allows them to provide the flexibility you need and the performance, quality, and reliability your business requires. Each facility boasts a state-of-the-art server, HVAC, electrical, and backup generators. Their datacenters are highly secured facilities that have controlled access.

  • Infrastructure and Technology

Fully backed by their SLA, HostGator promises at least 99.9% uptime. This is part of their service guarantee. They use proprietary technologies that have built-in redundancy for greater security.

  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Like Bluehost, HostGator also utilizes CloudFlare for its content delivery and firewall network solutions.

Visit HostGator.com

  1. Security

You need to take security seriously and use a web host that has the tools and preventative measures in place the protect your website from being spammed, hacked, injected with malware or taken completely.

Bluehost winner

  • Website Backups

On its higher-level shared plans, Bluehost offers CodeGuard Basic, which provides automatic back-ups. You can schedule these to take place on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. All plans allow you to create your own backup (via cPanel).

  • SSL Certificates

Bluehost provides a free shared SSL that is available to accounts which reside on a shared IP. For Standard and Pro accounts, there is only one Dedicated IP and so only one SSL Certificate. For VPS, dedicated, managed, or reseller accounts, you can purchase multiple Dedicated IP and SSL Certificates since there will be multiple cPanels created within the account.

  • Malware Scans

Malware scanning only comes as a paid upgrade. Bluehost's SiteLock addon includes:

  • Basic Spam Monitoring: Checks daily to make sure your site is free of spam
  • Basic Business Verification: Establishes trust in your business site
  • Site Verification Certificate: Develops customer trust
  • Blacklist Monitoring: Avoids quarantining by Google
  • Basic Malware Monitoring: Daily scans for malware

For a yearly fee, Bluehost offers Site Doctor. Site Doctor can quickly diagnose and stop any issues that arise from malware.

  • DDOS protection

DDos protections is built into Bluehost's infrastructure. But according to the site, DDoS attacks are not something they can warn customers about beforehand. They do say that when these attacks occur to understand that their team will do all things possible to restore your service quickly.

Visit Bluehost.com

HostGator

  • Website Backups

HostGator allows you to automatically create weekly backups. You can also make an instant manual backups. There is a paid upgrade called CodeGuard, it creates daily automated website backups for all your web files and databases with a 1-click restore. This is included with WordPress plans.

  • SSL Certificates

A free domain-validated SSL certificate comes with all plans. The following types of SSL certificates are also available for purchase through HostGator.

  • Company Validated
  • Extended Validation
  • Wildcard
  • Multi-Domain
  • Malware Scans

Like Bluehost, HostGator has partnered with SiteLock to provide powerful and reliable malware scans. The HackAlert monitoring service is particularly useful as it checks your website daily and immediately notifies you if your website has been hacked or injected with malicious code.

  • DDOS protection

HostGator protects from DDoS attacks. The site states that they have implemented an extensive custom firewall ruleset that protect servers from the many forms of attack. As well, their datacenter has enabled network-level flood protection.

Visit HostGator.com

  1. Customer Service & Support

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.

Bluehost winner

  • Ways to Get in Touch

Bluehost offers several ways to contact them for a variety of reasons. There is dedicated toll-free number for support. Additionally, you can submit support tickets and chat.

  • Response Times
  • Support Tickets - no time given
  • Chat - instant
  • Phone - instant
  • Areas of Expertise

There is 24/7-365 dedicated support personnel available for the following areas:

  • Account Management
  • Sales
  • Tech Support

Visit Bluehost.com

HostGator winner

  • Ways to Get in Touch

From the Support Panel, there are several options for getting the help you need. You can contact support by phone, get help with billing, start a live chat, or see if anyone in the forums can help.

  • Response Times
  • Chat - instant
  • Billing Support - minutes to within one business day
  • Forums - varies
  • Phone - instant
  • Areas of Expertise

HostGator is well-known for having excellent customer support. They have an active community of users that are friendly and helpful in the forums. As well, there are hundreds of helpful videos and tutorials available 24/7.

Visit HostGator.com

The “winner” is? (Summary)

Choosing between HostGator and Bluehost can sometimes feel like having to choose between a Coke and Pepsi. Different strokes for different folks.

That's why we created this head-to-head comparison of the two most well known hosting companies to help you choose between Bluehost (our review here) and HostGator (our review here).

Bluehost vs HostGator? Who is the winner? It's a very close call but Bluehost is the winner. But which one is right for you will depend upon your exact needs.

  • HostGator is easier to use and more beginner-friendly as they include more features such as free website migration and transfers (Bluehost charges $149.99 to migrate your site). Plus HostGator's refund policy is more generous than Bluehost. HostGator's downside is that most of their plans (with the exception of Cloud and Managed WordPress hosting) do not include the additional security features.
  • When it comes to WordPress hosting, Bluehost is one of only 3 officially recommended hosting providers by WordPress.org. More, you get better, more secure storage with Bluehost in the form of solid-state drives (SSD).
  • It's a tie between HostGator and Bluehost when it comes to speed and uptime. At the time of this comparison, Bluehost boasted an average uptime of 99.97% for throughout the past 12 months, while HostGator was slightly better at 99.98%. However, Bluehost's page load speeds were almost twice as fast as HostGator.
  • Bluehost is slightly better than HostGator when it comes to security. They both offer free SSL certificates, malware tools, and complimentary website backups, but HostGator's are more limited.
  • It's another tie between Bluehost and HostGator when it comes to customer service and support. Both companies offer similar features when it comes to this aspect of web hosting in the form of 24-hour live chat, phone support, e-mail, ticketing, and knowledge bases. We tested Bluehost's and HostGator's live chat functionalities -- the responses were quick and helpful with knowledgeable agents.

For latest prices visit Bluehost.com

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Both Bluehost and HostGator are popular hosts, and you may be perplexed after a competitive comparison of these two hosts. We answered a few questions to clarify some of these areas of confusion.

Is HostGator better than Bluehost?

We believe that HostGator is better for beginners, and the hosts are equally as impressive on fronts like customer service and performance. But Bluehost’s WordPress plans outshine HostGator’s and their overall performance is better. While our winner is Bluehost, your best choice depends entirely on your individual or business needs.

Who owns Bluehost and HostGator?

HostGator and Bluehost are flagship brands and are both owned by Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG is an information-technology company with over 2,000 employees and specializes in web hosting. Other hosting brands that belong under the EIG banner are iPage, Fatcow, Dotster, PowWeb, Netfirms, and BigRock.

Is WordPress free with Bluehost?

Yes, you can get WordPress for free with Bluehost. You can install it via your control panel using the Legacy Marketplace installer, or alternatively, you can use Bluehost’s “My Sites” to create a new site and WordPress installation. If you have FTP access with your Bluehost hosting plan, you can also install WordPress for free manually.

How much do Bluehost and HostGator cost per month?

Bluehost’s WordPress starter plan starts at $2.75 per month, while HostGator’s WordPress starter plan starts at $5.95 per month. Renewal prices are subject to active discounts on first-year contract terms. Advanced hosting plans like VPS plans are slightly higher, starting at $29.95 per month with HostGator, and $18.99 per month with Bluehost.

Is Bluehost fast?

All in all, Bluehost is a fast hosting provider. Based on data from our test site with Bluehost over the past 12 months, they have consistently held page load speeds (response time) under 500 ms, which we consider as excellent. Their fastest page load speed average was 348 ms in May 2019.

Is HostGator reliable?

Yes, HostGator can be considered a reliable host. According to data from our test site with HostGator, they held a good uptime of 99.98% over the past 12 months. More, 6 months of those clocked 100% uptime. This is well above average among other hosting providers.