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Bluehost vs Hostgator Hosting: Who Wins in 2021?


HostGator vs Bluehost hosting comparison. We’ve checked both web hosting services for uptime, page load speed, performance, value for money, security features, and more.

bluehost vs hostgator

Web hosting is the process of renting or buying space to house a website on the Internet.

Hosting providers like Bluehost and Hostgator provide the servers, connectivity, and associated services to host any website.

Being the two giants of the industry (owned by EIG – Endurance International Group), these hosting providers have the resources to provide high-end services with security and reliability.

Both Bluehost and Hostgator are equipped with powerful servers, domain names, numerous hosting plans, and we’ll help you diversify these services by examining key criteria and seeing how each one caters to your needs.

We’ve compared the two services in categories like performance, speed, uptime report and guarantees, security, control panel, customer service, ease of use.

You can see which provider we’ve chosen as the better-performing service in each category with intelligible explanations.

Read this in-depth Bluehost vs Hostgator comparison, and you’ll know which one you should choose.

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Web Hosting Comparison Overview

Bluehost

Along with the extensive web hosting services, Bluehost provides social media training, marketing training, content creation services, SEO services, graphic design services, local business listings, emails, and domain names to grow traffic for everyone from bloggers to e-commerce owners.

Bluehost is a flexible web hosting tool known for its bargain prices, one-stop-shop services, and WordPress prowess.

The versatile web host provider covers a full range of products and services that will facilitate a successful start to your website or online shop.

It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for software that caters to all needs of small businesses, including shared and WordPress hosting, website building tools, as well as digital marketing and training.

Being one of only three hosting providers endorsed by WordPress and having engineers who work on the WordPress software, you’ll find all the tools and resources necessary for running a successful website or a blog with Bluehost.

Their Basic plan is $2.95 for a single domain, and the next scalable plan offers unlimited domains and subdomains for just $5.45 per month.

What’s admirable about Bluehost is besides being a complete solution for beginners, it provides advanced developer tools like SSH Access, FTP, fully-customized Linux kernel, etc.

Benefits

  • Enterprise-level SSD database storage
  • Multiple 10 GB internet connections and a UPS system
  • Free site migration and SSL certificates
  • Industry-low average downtime of 1,6 hours per year
  • A free domain name for one year
  • Automatic WordPress installation and updates, and free staging environments
  • CPU throttling protects the users within a shared system 
  • Optimize the page load times with CDN and multi-layer caching
  • Free and Premium WordPress themes access
  • Unmetered SSD storage and bandwidth in the Plus plans
  • Unlimited websites in the Plus plans
  • DDoS protection
  • Search engine advertising credits

Hostgator

Hostgator will create a website for any business, covering everything from eCommerce stores to blogs with daily updates.

This EIG company is considered a top choice for dedicated, reseller, VPS, and cloud programs. 

But, it’s their shared plan that’s renowned in the crowded web hosting industry.

The hosting provider is known for its robust server infrastructure, below 50ms TTFB for the USA users, A-rated Bitcaptcha speed test, all of which make the 99.9%+ uptime guarantee possible.

By offering a limited number of free transfers from other companies to new users, and one full transfer in the first 30 days of using the cloud program, Hostgator proves again they will go beyond what’s necessary to satisfy their customers.

Everything from search engine advertising credits, 45-day money-back guarantee, one-click script install, and multiple discounts and promotions throughout the year are a part of every Hostgator’s plan.

Benefits

  • Tier 4 server infrastructure
  • Free site migration and SSL certificates
  • Automatic daily backups and malware scans
  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth for entry-level plans
  • Up to 2-seconds faster page load time than Bluehost
  • WordPress cloud hosting
  • 99,9%+ uptime or refund policy
  • Compensation for prolonged periods of downtime
  • One, thee, and six-month contracting terms
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Highly-attentive customer service
  • DDoS protection
  • Ad marketing credits

WINNER: Hostgator. The far less-limited entry-level program with unmetered disk space and bandwidth, the flexible refund policy and contract terms, and a profound customer service team are just some of the features.

Add to that supercharged page loading speed, and you have a balanced provider driving your site to peak performance.

Performance Comparison

SSD and Domain Name

Bluehost and Hostgator both rely on SSDs for all their servers that enable significantly better uptime and response time.

When your website is hosted on SSD, it will be more responsive and far less likely to experience hardware failure downtime.

Unlike Bluehost, Hostgator’s shared hosting plans don’t come with SSDs.

Bluehost’s infrastructure is powered by enterprise-level SSD database storage, while Hostgator’s MySQL databases are powered by SSD hardware storage.

Although they’re pretty evenly-matched performance-wise, there are a couple of differences.

Bluehost offers a free domain name, and you still need to pay the registration fee.

Bluehost - Free Domain Policy
Source: bluehost.com

But, you get your domain name, which lasts for one full year, and you can manage and transfer it as you choose.

Upon expiring, you can renew or extend your ownership at a regular price (this can vary depending on the type of domain you have, like .com, .org, .blog, and so on).

CPU Performance

Bluehost’s interface is a little less cluttered and more visually-digestible than Hostgator’s.

Bluehost adds extra strength to the CPU with CPU throttling.

CPU throttling (Dynamic frequency scaling) protects the other users within a shared hosting system when one user is consuming too many resources.

CPU throttling shuts down the website that’s using excessive resources.

CDN (Content Delivery Networks)

Both hosting services optimize the page loading times with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and multi-layer caching.

Bluehost and Hostgator are both known for their power and consistency when it comes to speed and performance.

A geographically distributed group of servers that work together to deliver fast Internet traffic distribution make up one CDN.

Content Delivery Network is the engine that drives the assets necessary for loading Internet content like HTML pages, stylesheets, javascript files, videos, and images fast.

You will also get protection against some malicious threats like DDoS attacks.

CDN improves site performance by reducing hosting bandwidth with caching, preventing interruptions, and enhancing security.

It will minimize the page load times by using the closest server to distribute content closer to website visitors.

before and after content delivery network cdn

To reduce the bandwidth costs for website owners, CDN will decrease the amount of data an origin server must provide through caching.

With CDN, you can withstand greater hardware failure and streamline site content traffic jams more successfully than many origin servers.

Enhanced security certifications, like SSL, will protect any website from DDoS and other cyber threats.

Performance Tests

Various performance tests that were conducted showed the differences in response times between Bluehost and Hostgator.

Down below, you can see another performance test example (Bluehost) displaying the load time, page size, requests, testing location, and an overall score.

Some of the performance tests used Pingdom tools to assess fresh WordPress installations on each provider’s server.

Overall, Hostgator loaded the sites one to two full seconds faster than Bluehost on average, across locations like New York, London, Sydney, Tokyo, Stockholm, and more.

WINNER: Hostgator. Although Bluehost and Hostgator are equally praised for their reliability and consistency, we’re going to give the edge to Hostgator when it comes to performance.

Hostgator allows your dynamic website content to be streamlined fast without disruptions, and the supercharged 2X faster load times maintain the steady data flow. 

Speed Test – Which Web Host is Faster?

The Servers

Although Bluehost is quite secretive about its server quantity and location, the general estimation is that the company owns 20+ data centers across the USA, Europe, India, and China.

It’s these Tier 3 servers that assure a 99.9%+ uptime per year on average.

Operating from its main data center in Provo, Utah, Bluehost strategically utilizes its Tier 3 server facilities to provide performance, reliability, and flexibility for you and every other customer.

You have an additional benefit if your website visitors are from the USA because Bluehost located its highly-reliable Tier 4-certified servers in Texas and Utah.

Elements like Quad-processor servers, a Diesel backup generator, multiple 10 GB Internet connections, and a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) system play a part in forming Bluehost’s powerful infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Hostgator’s Tier 4 server infrastructure, HVAC, electrical, and backup generators give the software confidence to place a service guarantee of 99.9% uptime.

Just like Bluehost, Hostgator routes the website traffic through CDN and manages the fastest content delivery.

Bluehost pre-integrates with Cloudflare with some CF services being paid separately, while Hostgator can also enable a CDN, but no pre-built integrations are sparing you from the manual configuration.

Which provider scored more on the performance tests?

While measuring the website speed from different locations across the world, many performance tests showed a similar pattern.

Average Pingdom test would show that Hostgator’s page load time is faster for almost 2 seconds, while GTMetrix average would show Hostgator having a one-second lead, and Google PageSpeed Insights would show a 1.5-second advantage for Bluehost.

Although we’re talking about speed here, it’s impossible not to mention uptime when analyzing page load speed since the two are interconnected.

Here we can see the advantage in page load speed time Hostgator has shown compared to Bluehost, as well as a comparison with other notable web hosting tools.

page load speed in milliseconds

Improved performance over time

However, while Hostgator was performing better speed-wise, Bluehost showed a considerable advantage in the uptime performance.

Uptime is a measure of how consistent a hosting provider is in keeping its servers up and running.

Of course, this is important because, without a reliable server, there’s no place for any website to exist.

These measures changed for the better through time, and both providers made improvements to become the industry-topping hosting providers in terms of speed.

Performance tests taken in 2017 were more favorable towards Bluehost uptime-wise and more towards Hostgator in the speed category.

Bluehost’s uptime success rate was 99.96% on average, while Hostgator somewhat underdelivered at 99.91%.

Over time, providers improved upon their weaker parts and established a well-balanced speed-delivering structure.

Customers of Bluehost can benefit from the improved page load speed, 99.982% uptime, and reduced average downtime of 1.6 hours per year.

Current state of speed in Bluehost and Hostgator

Google’s recommended average for page load time is a maximum of 3 seconds, while recommended uptime is 99.95% minimum.

Based on data from various tests conducted over one full year in 2019, Bluehost and Hostgator showed consistency in page load speed performance throughout the whole testing process.

Web providers held consistent page load speed of under 500 ms, with Hostgator having a 99.99% uptime lead and Bluehost following closely behind with 99.98%.

Here,you can see a GTMetrix performance report of the Hostgator Cloud-hosted website (hgcloudhosted.com), which shows the incredible server response speed.

Small-scale projects (example: mid-size food business) probably wouldn’t be affected by the lower uptime in Hostgator, while hosting-dependent projects like expansive blogs, digital agencies, or online stores were more suited for Bluehost.

Starting these kinds of projects through Bluehost will not only help you in the early stages of building an online store.

Rather, you can learn how to utilize this platform tailored for you to make money blogging.

WINNER: Hostgator. With numerous GTMetrix and Pingdom (and other website performance tools) long-span and shorter period tests conducted showing a clear advantage, sometimes reaching a 2-second lead, Hostgator has proven to have a consistently-faster page load speed.

Uptime Report and Guarantees

Why is it important?

Uptime is the measure of uninterrupted time that a web-hosting system can produce through the power generated by its servers.

In an ideal world, uptime would be 100%, but this is almost impossible to achieve.

This would mean zero downtime.

In downtime, your website isn’t available, and you won’t be able to display your services to anyone, which is obviously bad for your business.

You can’t send or answer any emails, and Google can recognize your website as underperforming, affecting your ranking poorly in the process.

How do they accomplish such high uptime?

Data centers that power Bluehost and Hostgator ensure consistently-high uptime and website availability.

Backup systems ensure that no failures result in downtime, while racks split the power supply in dual power feeds so that no failure results in server blackout.

This is important to understand because knowing how a web hosting provider approaches its architecture reveals how much they can be a reliable host for you.

Uptime performance is at an extremely high level for Bluehost and Hostgator.

With Hostgator being in a slight lead of 99.99% and Bluehost right behind at 99.98% average uptime, both providers come the closest to reaching the seemingly impossible 100%, more than any other tools.

Hostgator

What’s admirable about Hostgator is that they offer compensation if they fail to deliver on the 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Uptime can vary depending on if you host your website through a free, shared, dedicated, VPS, Cloud, self-service, or colocation hosting plan.

How to get accurate performance reports?

You can get inaccurate performance reports because your website is too expansive for the server you’ve chosen, equipped for lesser demands.

For an accurate uptime performance report, you need to test several websites across different types of plans to get the average figure.

This kind of well-rounded and insightful uptime performance summary is presented below.

Storage and Bandwidth

As far as storage and bandwidth go, Hostgator differs from Bluehost by offering unlimited databases and storage options, as well as unmetered bandwidth for all their plans.

This means there are no limitations to how much traffic your website can take in.

The inode limit of Bluehost for shared hosting accounts is 200K, while Hostgator goes up to 250K.

Backup and restore service

For a web hosting provider to deliver on a high-level uptime guarantee, an efficient backup and restore service needs to be in place for your website to be working.

Hostgator will back up your data once a week if your account takes up less than 20 GB (100K indoes), and it only keeps one backup at a time.

What if they fail on the guarantee?

Once you pass the legitimate justification of downtime and your request is granted, you will receive credit for the month you witnessed low uptime back.

Bluehost

Does Bluehost offer uptime guarantees?

Meanwhile, Bluehost approaches the uptime strategy with more caution and without any bold claims.

They instead notify their customers that most of the uptime-related issues get resolved within 15 minutes while issuing a warning that this may last longer in case of severe malfunctions.

Storage and bandwidth

Bluehost does offer unlimited storage options, but only for its Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro packages.

For the entry-level Basic program, you get 50 GB and 20 databases for one website, though bandwidth is unmetered in all programs.

Another valuable and often overlooked element hosting providers use to measure a website’s capacity are inodes.

Inodes represent the number of files and folders you have on your web hosting account and having too many of them can slow your website down.

The limit for indoes of an account is 200K for shared hosting, and it increases the more you go up to dedicated servers.

Backup and restore

Elements like plugins, databases, scripts, customized codes need to be backed up by your web hosting provider.

A solid backup assures that your photos, videos, or any other content are kept safe during any crashes or downtime.

With Bluehost, you’ll have the option to buy their backup and restore add-ons, which usually start at $3 per month.

WINNER: Hostgator. Due to their guaranteed uptime policy that assures every customer of average uptime being 99.9%+ or they honor a refund for the month underperformed, Hostgator takes the win in the uptime and guarantees category with a slight advantage.

Security Measures

SSL Security

The SSL security is marked with a padlock icon next to your URL, indicating to visitors that your website is safe to browse.

Besides HTTP/2 and 2-factor authentication, Bluehost’s free shared SSL is available to accounts residing on the same IP.

For accounts in the Standard and Pro package, Bluehost provides one SSL certificate for the single Dedicated IP.

However, you can purchase multiple Dedicated IPs and SSL certificates for the dedicated, managed, reseller, and VPS accounts.

These plans will have more cPanels created within an account, requiring more safety certificates.

For every one of its plans, Hostgator provides you with a free domain-validated SSL certificate.

On the image below, you can see the characteristics of a DV SSL.

EV ssl certificate vs DV ssl certificate

You can purchase the Company Validated, Extended Validation, Multi-Domain, and Wildcard SSL certificates in Hostgator.

Additional and Paid-On Features

Bluehost’s extra security features are paid-on options (SiteLock & CodeGuard) that equip you with the tools and measures to avoid security issues and extinguish data breaches.

Both Hostgator and Bluehost protect their servers from different attacks with a custom firewall that protects you from DDoS attacks, reliable network-level floor protection in case of data center attacks, as well as automatic backups.

Check below to see what type of SSL are available in Hostgator.

Hostgator claims to have an additional set of security precautions and practices that they are purposefully secretive about and don’t reveal any information about publically.

Some people have criticized Hostgator for not being open about the additional security features, but, considering it minimizes the chances of anyone breaking the security code, it’s valid to claim that the secretive approach only strengthens the customers’ defense.

Third-Party Integrations

SiteLock integrates with Hostgator to deliver fast, responsive, and damage-neutralizing malware scans.

The specific security method Hostgator utilizes through the HackAlert monitoring service is a daily website check-up.

A check-up is followed by instant notifications if malicious data or hacking activity has been detected.

Meanwhile, Bluehost deploys their DDoS protection from a third-party source like Cloudflare.

Cloudflare is a third-party website protection program.

When you access the additional security features through SiteLock and CodeGuard, you will have more backup options.

Take a look at the pricing for Bluehost’s Constant Contact and CodeGuard services.

Bluehost's Constant Contact
Constant Contact plans are billed by number of contacts:
0 - 500
Renewal Price - $3 per month
501 - 2.500
Renewal Price - $25 per month
2.501 - 5.000
Renewal Price - $45 per month
5.001 - 10.000
Renewal Price - $75 per month
10.001 - 25.000
Renewal Price - $185 per month
Bluehost's CodeGuard
CodeGuard Basic
Renewal Price - $2.99 per domain per month or ($32.95 per domain per year)
CodeGuard Professional
Renewal Price - $5.99 per domain per month or ($59.95 per domain per year)
CodeGuard Premium
Renewal Price - $9.99 per domain per month or ($99.95 per domain per year)
CodeGuard Enterprise
Renewal Price - $23.95 per domain per month or ($239.95 per domain per year)

Source: bluehost.com

SiteLock add-ons for Bluehost include password-protected directories, Basic Spam Monitoring to check your site for spam data, Blacklist Monitoring to blacklist certain IPs and avoid Google quarantining.

How Do They Compare?

With Basic Malware Monitoring ensuring daily malware scans, and Basic Business Verification and Site Verification preserving customer trust in your website, Bluehost can stop any issues arising from malware fast.

Apart from offering free SSL certificates, another advantage Bluehost has over Hostgator are daily backups and malware scans, which are available in Hostgator, but only as additional protection features.

For additional security add-ons in Hostgator, you will pay somewhere between $2 and $40 per month, depending on which services you choose.

Visit Hostgator’s site and locate specific add-on services.

In the table below, you can see the General Account Functions.

AddonDescription
Upgrade AccountFree, Upgrade your hosting package.
Downgrade Account$10, Downgrade your hosting package.
Register / Transfer DomainsRegister or transfer domain registration to Hostgator.
Free Domain Name TransferTransfer registration of your domains to us.
Build A Website QuoteContact us for a web design quote.
Purchase Domain Validated SSL CertificateIncludes installation, $10.000 warranty, and site seal.
Purchase Company Validated Instant SSL CertificateIncludes installation, $10.000 warranty & Trust Logo.
Restore Account $25, Restore your account from one of our backups.
Terminate AccountCancel your Hostgator account.

Source: hostgator.com

Hostgator offers free automatic backup services and malware scans and removals, but only once a week.

With Bluehost’s Site Doctor, any damage inflicted by hackers, malware, viruses will be diagnosed on time and resolved, protecting your online service and reputation.

DDoS Protection and Firewall

With Basic Site Security, you’ll be able to remove malicious files, update scripts/apps, change account passwords, delete unused databases, hide configuration files, tweak your php.ini file, connect to email safely, and much more.

To see the complete checklist for Basic Site Security, check the image below.

Bluehost Basic Site Security Checklist
Source: bluehost.com

While DDoS protection is built into Bluehost, they state on their site that they can’t predict these attacks, so they can’t warn the customers.

But, they can and will do everything to neutralize the attack and restore the service quickly.

As far as DDoS protection goes, Hostgator states that they have developed an extensive custom firewall that protects the servers from various attacks.

WINNER: Bluehost. With the free daily backups, malware scans,  and free SSL certificates, Bluehost takes the round in a close fight of free hosts with resounding security features.

Which cPanel is Better?

cPanel is an industry-standard dashboard that equips you with the tools to manage your hosting account.

Using a dashboard like cPanel enables you to conduct what would otherwise be complicated, time-consuming tasks in just a couple of clicks.

Complete beginners can manage their hosting accounts with a variety of icons assigning specific tasks.

The intuitive navigation bar will have icons that you can activate to conduct tasks like installing WordPress or another CMS (Magento, Durpal, and so on), creating domain-specific email accounts, installing new applications and software on the server, etc.

Besides providing you with one-click installations for every notable CMS on the market, Bluehost and Hostgator will organize your server through a visual interface.

You will be able to check your server usage statistics, oversee the most rigorous security strategies being executed, and schedule and run website backups.

Hostgator cPanel

Besides the usual cPanel features, Hosdtgator offers extra customization options for total server control.

While managing your server files and installing additional server scripts will take more steps to accomplish, it is by no means a strenuous task.

The free proprietary site builder in Hostgator will help you create basic sites easily.

Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface includes more than 100 mobile-optimized templates, pre-built site sections, and six pages within the free basic plan.

You can upgrade this service for a certain fee.

To get your website built, place it online, and perform flawlessly live, you will need to activate only the most basic applications in just a couple of steps.

For you to have the experience as effortless as possible, Hostgator will give you access to insightful video tutorials.

Hostgator offers the MOJO Marketplace integration for paid add-ons and more than 190 free one-click application installations with Softaculous.

Bluehost cPanel

If you want to access the cPanel in Bluehost, you need to log into your account and find the Advanced tab in the side navigation menu.

After you log in, you can see all the different services and functionalities separated into categories.

Bluehost cPanel

In the website section, you will find the icons to install the scripts and software like WordPress, Weebly, Themes & Templates, Page Speed Grader, AppMachine, Logos & Graphics, etc.

With MOJO Marketplace, Bluehost allows its customers to work within the dashboard to find the desired themes & plugins for their site, which means they won’t need to leave their control panel ever again.

With the vast field of options this affordable, beginner-friendly host provides, you need to examine each section of this article. 

This way, you will be able to reach a definite conclusion if Bluehost fits your business needs.

Bluehost allows you to decide how to build your site by choosing to operate the Weebly-powered on-site builder, installing WordPress, or choosing other options in the MOJO Marketplace.

MOJO Marketplace offers access to more than 140 plugins, different WordPress-related services, and ready-to-launch themes with templates to its users.

WINNER: Bluehost. The easily-navigable user interface, website manager that gives you various software options to build your website, and a MOJO Marketplace integration that will allow you to install any plugins, services, themes take this round for Bluehost. We give the advantage to Bluehost over Hostgator’s paid add-ons.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Any issues that arise with your website server can cause prolonged downtime, compromising the services you provide and limiting the visitor’s experience.

You need web hosting software that will respond instantly and dedicate a  specialized team of experts to produce actionable, personalized solutions.

Both Bluehost and Hostgator offer phone support, live chat, knowledge center, and tickets.

Bluehost Support window
Support: reddit.com

When it comes to Customer Service, both hosting providers cover all areas of support through the service provided by their teams of tech experts.

Customer support teams of both providers have earned a reputation for being responsive, knowledgeable, and attentive.

Hostgator

Hostgator’s knowledge center is a support portal that provides you with 24/7 live technical support and documentation.

Through Hostgator’s Support Panel, you can contact phone support, get billing guidance and troubleshooting services, ask for help in the forums, or even start a live chat to share any issues you might be facing.

While scrolling through the forum, you can read or engage in discussions about customer reviews, pre-sales questions, general announcements, network status, suggestions, and much more.

Response time in Hostgator has shown varying results depending on the support type, revealing instant response times in chat and phone support.

Hostgator - Knowledge base

Billing support response time ranged from minutes upon request to one business day.

While chat and phone support showed an equally fast response in Bluehost as in Hostgator, support tickets varied immensely.

Besides having a proactive user community happy to share their experiences and knowledge, Hostgator provides its users with hundreds of helpful videos and tutorials.

Bluehost

Bluehost’s knowledge base may feel more complex in structure when navigating through the functions, but its interface is more polished.

The search function allows you to type in any issues you’re facing or worried about, and the program will produce troubleshooting articles and guidelines to help you handle the situation.

You can also find educational resources and “how-to” guides for email, domains, WordPress sections, etc.

If you’re looking for a more complex solution that can’t be covered by general advice, you can submit a support ticket.

A special team will brainstorm and deliver an effective personalized solution, while the FAQ section can help you when in need of quick solutions for common issues.

By accessing the link to the contact page, you can find the right department that will produce the most relevant answers to your search query.

You will find Tech, Sales, and Account Management dedicated support services in Bluehost, which will be available 24/7.

WINNER: A TIE.  With both hosting providers offering different options for self-service support, as well as 24/7 phone and live chat support, we have enough valid reasons to declare both tools equally powerful.

Site Migration

Bluehost

Bluehost offers two options for website transfer or migration.

You can manually transfer your files to Bluehot for free, or you can use the Website Transfer service to migrate up to 5 sites and 20 email accounts from your previous hosting software.

If you choose to use it, the web migration service will cost you $149.99, with the benefit of access to 24/7 customer support that will help you address and solve any issues during the migration.

You’ll need to add the FTP option to the hosting package before migrating an existing website.

One your website is migrated, Bluehost conducts a complete review so you can verify that everything is functioning as it should.

If you sign up for a Bluehost plan first, you will receive free migration services for your websites.

In Bluehost, you can set up your WordPress website straight from the cPanel dashboard.

Hostgator

Hostgator simplifies the transferring process.

It migrates the cPanel/WordPress website files, as well as databases, scripts, and one free domain registration transfer with each new hosting account within the first 30 days.

After this, you’ll need to pay a bespoke price.

Likewise, this applies to newly upgraded accounts.

If you have additional domain registrations you’d like to transfer, Hostgator covers everything from types of transfers, qualifications for a free transfer, etc.

Check out the chart below that shows the number of free transfers Hostgator offers depending on the type of account you’ve signed up for.

You can see what your options are if you don’t qualify for a free transfer.

For Shared Account Transfers, you need to submit an online form to move content/databases for one website or cPanel over from another host.

Optimized WordPress Transfers use the combination of WordPress XML export/import and command-line tools to install themes and plugins.

For the Dedicated, VPS, Reseller Transfers, and Windows Shared Forms, you need to submit an online form the same way.

WINNER: Bluehost. With its straightforward pricing plan and free migration service, Bluehost is more personable than Hostgator with its bespoke pricing.

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Which Web Hosting is Better for Beginners?

What do Bluehost and Hostgator have in common?

Besides the one-click WordPress installation, these hosting providers offer many functions that are convenient to the users and minimize your task participation.

Bluehost - one-click WordPress installation

These features include a dedicated customer support team guidance through the set-up process, user-friendly and customizable UI, free site migration (Hostgator), and much more.

Concerning the UA interface with both hosting providers, both Bluehost and Hostgator operate their control panel dashboards through cPanels.

The cPanels is a key feature that appeals to beginners looking to navigate through the software without being tech experts.

On the plus side, pro developers will find the tools more than admirable with all the advanced features.

In both cases, cPanel comes with 52 script installations for WordPress, Joomla, and this makes learning how to build successful websites easy for newcomers.

Softaculous can replace Marketplace as the default installer of all available applications, except WordPress.

Bluehost

The “walk-me-through” feature in Bluehost maps out the steps you need to complete to get your hosting set-up configured and provides clear explanations for how you can accomplish each step.

You can find a list of the most common tasks people want to set up on their hosting account.

If you want to set up an email for your domain, for example, you just need to click on the “create an email account” button.

Upon selecting your task, you’ll be guided on-screen on all the steps you need to set up your email account.

If you need to restore your site to a previous state, Bluehost makes things easy for all beginners by providing daily, weekly, and monthly backups of the whole account.

Here’s how email backups look in Bluehost.

Bluehost - Backups and backup wizard

You will receive automatic updates in Bluehost for every single plan they offer.

As a beginner, you won’t have to worry about going into WordPress and manually update plugins, themes, and WordPress Core (WP versions).

The automatic updating will save you about 10 minutes per each website per month, which might seem insignificant, but for the people running five, ten, or dozens of websites, this will save a lot of time.

Another Bluehost’s safety net for beginners is the free website staging tool.

The staging tool allows you to develop a copy of your site, develop and change content and settings on that copy, and transfer the changes to the original if proven effective.

The staging features allow less-experienced users to test any changes in content and configuration before launching it live.

Upon merging the live site with the staging one, you will get rewarded for your extra efforts in the staging phase with positive feedback from site visitors.

Using a success-proven tool like Bluehost will help you stand out from the crowd and make money fast once you develop a strong work ethic.

The visitors won’t run into functions that are under construction, eliminating any glitches due to you trying to fix the issues in heavy site traffic because you’ve taken care of everything on time.

Hostgator

The server set-up of Hostgator makes the software feel somewhat confusing.

The one-click WordPress installation approach in Hostgator can be more time-consuming compared to Bluehost, where the interface operates more fluidly and receptively.

It’s important to notice that the providers behave differently depending on the account they’re servicing.

In that sense, just like Hostgator has shown to have a more confusing DNS set-up process, Bluehost’s backend interface performed significantly slower than Hostgator’s.

The results in response time in Hostgator have shown great consistency.

lightweight Twenty Twenty theme - test results with Hostgator

Hostgator’s automatic backup service overwrites any previous backups once a week, which will help the starting businesses prevent any data loss and maintain any significant relationships they’ve developed with their first customers.

You can watch insightful tutorials on WordPress and hosting services through Bluehost’s and Hostgator’s Video Tutorial Systems.

WINNER: Bluehost. The fluid interface Bluehost provides, along with concise video tutorials explaining every hosting procedure to a newcomer, and cool features such as the merging site builder, make Bluehost a little more manageable for beginners.

VPS Hosting Comparison

Virtual Private Server (VPS) is an excellent hosting solution when you need more resources to manage your websites than the shared hosting solution can provide you.

VPS is a self-managed hosting plan, especially suitable for managing multiple websites of 10K+ visitors per day caliber.

As with any self-managed hosting plan, you will take responsibility for website and server maintenance and optimization.

While Bluehost and Hostgator use the WHM cPanel interface to provide VPS hosting, the general recommendation would be to hire an experienced Linux-based server technician.

On the image below, you can see the benefits of Linux VPS hosting.

Benefits of Linux VPS hosting

A WHM-powered cPanel will allow you to execute functions such as

  • Allowing your customers to build, monitor, and launch their websites
  • Enabling your customers to launch new email accounts, create shared calendars, and get spam protection
  • Creating separate control panels for each of your websites
  • Allocating resources to each website accordingly
  • Backing up, transferring, and managing files
  • Managing domains and launching databases

The KVM hypervisor virtualization in Bluehost guarantees that the resources you purchase will always be available.

Everything from Domain Names and Privacy, Dedicated IP, Premium SSL Certificates, Spam Experts Email Filtering, and much more is available within Bluehost’s VPS plan.

At the same time, Hostgator offers custom installation, unlimited domains, and subdomains, free email services, and various configuration options to help you coordinate different site functions.

Site templates, development tools, script installations will help you streamline the traffic of mid-volume websites.

VPS can be the optimal platform to support personal websites, small-to-medium-sized business websites, company websites, eCommerce software, blog hosting, FTP, email server, data storage, etc.

In contrast, it’s important to identify when not to use the VPS hosting as well.

Here are some facts about VPS hosting.

VPS hosting will deliver dedicated RAM, CPU, disk space resources that your website requires.

If you experience a traffic surge, needing more resources than you specified, you can temporarily borrow the resources from another VPS.

While running your VPS site on Bluehost or Hostgator, you’re able to adapt to and operate under high-pressure conditions.

If you’re technically profound or want to hire a developer, you can make use of the root access and configure your VPS.

VPS hosting allows you to use the enhanced customization options of the dedicated server.

In VPS, these customization options will come without a hefty price.

VPS hosting is a much more affordable option for website creators than the dedicated server alternative.

Since the dedicated options can sometimes be up to 3X more expensive, you must take some time and consider the features you’re getting with the Bluehost and Hostgator VPS solution.

Bluehost VPS Hosting - Raising the Bar

You can host your website with complete reliability, handle traffic surges, and expand the functions as the needs arise over time.

Only truly large websites facing continuous traffic surges in immense volume will experience the need to scale up to dedicated servers.

Most website owners will hardly experience a drop in performance over time.

Bluehost’s VPS program starts at $18.99 per month, while Hostgator goes a bit higher at $19.95.

WINNER: Hostgator. This one is close, and it really could’ve gone either way. But, since we want to provide you with as many definitive winners for the rounds presented, Hostgator has our vote in this one.

With the prices being neck to neck in the lower and middle plan, Hostgator does offer a similar high-end plan service to Bluehost at a $20-less price.

Shared Hosting Comparison

Shared hosting allows multiple users to share space on a server, with each user getting their slice of bandwidth.

A single server, maintained by a hosting provider (Bluehost & Hostgator), carves an affordable path for multiple websites to utilize the server resources.

Shared hosting servers can host hundreds of users at a low cost, with each customer having access to the database, disk space, monthly traffic, FTP & email account features, as well as many other add-ons.

System resources like RAM, CPU, Apache server, single MySQL server, and email server are other elements that each user of the shared server can employ on-demand.

This is a perfect solution for blogging, hobby, and small business websites that don’t require advanced configuration or bandwidth.

When your blog or a business site is built on such a strong frame, you will have more opportunities to monetize your brand and make money faster.

What should be considered when choosing a shared web hosting company

The providers manage the servers in shared hosting platforms.

Hostgator provides free SSL certificates for all accounts, while the Increased SEO facilitates higher search engine results than the identical pages without SSL protection.

Your SSL assures compliance with information privacy acts, and you can get refunded if you’re in any way unsatisfied.

Bluehost also includes an SSL certificate, domain name, resource protection, and many more traffic-optimizing features.

Thanks to SiteLock protection, Hostgator can generate automated malware removal, malicious data defense, search engine rankings protection, WordPress security, starting at just $2 per month.

Apart from the free domain and an SSL certificate, Bluehost will provide you with 50 GB SSD Storage, Custom Themes, Free CDN, 24/7 Customer Support.

The higher-tier plans will render services such as Unlimited Websites and SSD Storage, Free Office 365, Free Domain Privacy, Free Automated Backup, etc.

One great benefit of hosting your website on a Bluehost or Hostgator shared hosting platform is that you can host multiple domains.

After you make sure the domains you purchase are connected to your user inventory, you can install numerous websites.

For example, you can have different domains for your business website, blog, or hobby activity.

As these hosting providers are professionally managed in the shared hosting package, you will leave all the hardware maintenance, software updates, cyber-attacks (DDoS), network outages to technical experts to solve.

Both hosting companies provide an extensive amount of disk space for their users, which is excellent if your website is image-heavy or offers downloadable video files.

You can monitor the amount of disk space or bandwidth you’re using through your software’s control panel.

Software like Bluehost and Hostgator are ready to adapt to unexpected circumstances of a new website launch.

When you’re launching a new website, it’s highly unlikely you will immediately attract a substantial amount of traffic without a big-budget marketing campaign.

So, it’s unlikely that a newly-launched site will need too much bandwidth, but when it comes to space you’ll need, that’s a little harder to predict.

Shared hosting solutions of Hostgator and Bluehost are highly-adaptable to the changing of your requirements. 

These hosts can adapt if you’re uncertain of the content or image size of your site.

WINNER: Hostgator. Apart from the slight price advantages, Hostgator provides unmetered bandwidth and disk space, a 45-day money-back guarantee, free website and domain transfers, and much more.

On the other side, Bluehost is more serviceable towards the higher-priced plans, which is why we pick Hostgator as the winner of this round.

Managed WordPress Hosting Comparison

Bluehost WordPress PRO vs Hostgator Cloud Hosting

WordPress is the most dominant CMS on the Internet, with more than 35% of all websites being powered by it.

Bluehost offers beginner-friendly WordPress hosting and VPS-powered and fully-managed WordPress plans.

Hostgator’s WordPress cloud hosting comes with 2.5X faster speed, free site migration, and advanced security.

Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting plan is called Bluehost WordPress PRO.

It’s more expensive than the shared hosting alternatives, but it delivers higher speed and reliability results, as well as a custom WordPress control panel.

Hostgator’s WordPress Cloud hosting delivers 2X faster speed than shared hosting, free domain name registration, WordPress-specific attack protection, and automatic updates.

Bluehost starts at $2.95 per month with the starting package, while Hostgator starts at $5.95, but Bluehost charges $19.99 per month for its fully-managed WordPress plans.

WordPress officially recommends both providers.

Features of WordPress Hosting Providers

Bluehost hosting packages include 100 free premium themes, daily backups, Jetpack Site analytics, malware scans and removal, domain privacy protection, WordPress-centric dashboard, email, free domain name, and SSL scanning, and more.

Hostgator’s MOJO Marketplace allows you to build a WordPress website in a few clicks.

You can get free Cloudflare CDN service, free site migration, 1 GB backups, free SSL certificate, and more.

Installing WordPress in Bluehost is easy and can be done in one click.

You can manage your installations through an enhanced cPanel control panel.

Hostgator’s free migration service can transfer any existing WordPress websites to the software.

Once the installation is done, you can manage your new website through the enhanced cPanel control dashboard.

Speed-Tailored Architecture

Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting service is built on a VPS platform with speed-tailored custom architecture.

The Advanced NGINX Architecture and Custom PHP-FPM configuration make Bluehost the perfect driving engine behind WordPress site configuration.

Hostgator assures the customers of 2.5X faster page load speeds, without necessary caching or CDN configuration.

Its supercharged cloud architecture, low-density servers, multiple caching layers, and CDN enable the demanding website content flow to be processed fast and without slowdowns.

WordPress Security

A free SSL certificate, built-in no-code Cloudflare account CDN, and a custom control panel maintain WordPress security in the Basic program.

Premium WordPress hosting plans support malware detection and removal, Jetpack site analytics, and daily scheduled backups.

Hostgator’s WordPress hosting plans are supported with an SSL certificate and a global CDN, while SiteLock Security conducts automatic malware removal.

CodeGuard will distribute daily automatic website backup for all web files and databases with a one-click restore.

WordPress Hosting for Different Businesses

Bluehost covers hosting services for small businesses, enterprise-level companies, and everything in between.

You can start with shared hosting and WordPress hosting for newcomers.

Developing businesses can take advantage of the cheap VPS and WordPress Pro hosting.

Here’s a chart showing the correlation between price and performance with the shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting services.

Where does the different servers stands in the price chart

Enterprises can get access to high-end servers, with e-commerce plans at your disposal as well.

Although Hostgator doesn’t offer an ecommerce-specific WordPress plan, there are plans tailored to all business sizes with shared, VPN, WordPress, and dedicated server options.

What Will You Achieve with WordPress Hosting Software?

These two managed WordPress hosting software will handle all the technical aspects of running a WordPress website.

You will improve the performance of a WordPress website compared to the usual shared hosting circumstances.

VPS Cloud Hosting

The hosts ensure the website loads faster by applying the specifically-designed servers for WordPress.

Additional benefits of the WordPress-tailored servers are access to faster support and free premium themes and plugins.

WINNER: Bluehost. Hostgator’s WordPress Cloud hosting offers features with only slight differences from their shared hosting program.

Bluehost WordPress hosting offers features unique to WordPress cultivated through an easy-to-use interface.

Hosting Plans & Pricing

Both Hostgator and Bluehost, like many hosting providers, will try to attract long-term customers by offering discounts on the long-lasting contracts.

The method doesn’t come off as a cheap attempt at gaining more customers. 

The companies offer great value for money and are flexible with the refunding and payment options.

The rival host providers both offer a money-back guarantee in their contracts.

Bluehost Pricing

Knowing the priorities and purpose of the site you’re building, you can choose the right Bluehost plan for you.

You are eligible to use the refund guarantee within the first 30 days in Bluehost.

The guarantee doesn’t include add-on products, like domains.

If your plan includes a free domain and you decide to cancel within 30 days, Bluehost deducts the non-refundable domain fee of $15.99 from your refund.

Bluehost covers their expenses and secures your domain name this way.

The newly-registered domains can’t be transferred to another registrar during the first 60 days of the registration period.

If you cancel the service after the initial 30 days, you’ll receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting contract.

Bluehost offers promotional discounts for its new customers and 40%+ discounts on Shared Hosting, Online Stores, and Managed WordPress hosting programs.

The Online Stores program, which is regularly priced at $24.95 per month, Bluehost offers at $15.95 in the 36-month contract, saving you over $300 in the process.

Hostgator Pricing

Apart from offering 12, 24, and 36-month contracts like Bluehost, Hostgator expands the commitment options with the 1, 3, and 6-month plans.

A great way to test a hosting tool without immediately committing to it long-term is to use the Hostgator’s 45-day money-back guarantee.

The guarantee is available in their shared, VPS, and reseller hosting packages.

If you’re unsatisfied with their services within 45 days, you will receive a full refund.

In the longer-term contracts, you can find some substantial discounts in Hostgator.

Not falling behind Bluehost, Hostgator spreads its hand out to customers by offering up to a 60% discount on the Shared Hosting plan and even a 75% discount in the VPS program.

One thing to keep in mind when renewal time arrives is that the promotional discounts are usually offered just in the first term, after which you’re billed at a regular renewal price.

WINNER: Hostgator. Although Bluehost delivers more enhanced features and integrations in some sections, Hostgator gives more flexible contract terms and significantly lower prices.

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Pros and Cons

While Hostgator and Bluehost, along with 60 other hosting providers, are both owned by EIG (Endurance International Group), they have their differences and distinct target audiences they attract.

What are the Pros of Bluehost and Hostgator?

Hostgator:

  • Unlimited disk space and bandwidth available in the entry-level plans
  • A considerable edge in speed and a slight lead in uptime over Bluehost
  • A 1 – 2 seconds faster average page load time than Bluehost
  • Unlimited domains and email accounts
  • WordPress cloud hosting
  • Free migration of an existing website or a cPanel
  • Automated daily backups of 1 – 3 GB
  • One-click MOJO Marketplace CMS installations
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Fast customer support, more flexible contract terms, and refund policy

Bluehost:

  • Free domain and SSL for year-long security and a strong Internet identity
  • Customizable on-site website builder
  • Unlimited websites, SSD storage, domains, and subdomains
  • Build beautiful sites easily through one-click installations of CMS like WordPress and Joomla 
  • 24/7 access to a team of experts that includes live chat, tech sales, and account management, ticketing
  • Automated free daily backups and malware scans for every plan
  • Free CDN
  • More expansive and versatile SSL certificates, malware tools, and website backups than Hostgator
  • Industry-low downtime
  • Affordable first-term pricing plan

What are the Cons of Bluehost and Hostgator?

Bluehost:

  • No site migration options for reseller, VPS, and dedicated server accounts
  • You have to meet the qualifications criteria to be eligible for free migration
  • No short-term contracts, only 12, 24, and 36-month programs available
  • No uptime guarantees
  • No refund for extended downtime periods

Hostgator:

  • No staging areas and server caching systems
  • Malware scans and daily backups available only for an additional fee
  • In-built backup features limited to one daily, weekly, and monthly copy
  • The hidden fee for backup is $25 per year
  • Backup restore is an extra $25 when you ask for it

When to consider which?

Hostgator is a web hosting provider of unlimited bandwidth and expansive storage that’s very compatible with beginners and has reasonably-priced programs in every hosting type.

Bluehost is equipped with more WordPress-specific support, cheap hosting solutions for the first term with a more stable security infrastructure.

Bluehost vs Hostgator FAQ

Is Hostgator better than Bluehost?

All things considered, yes.

While some articles are pointing at the flashy features of Bluehost, we believe that Hostgator has the edge over Bluehost when it comes to fundamentals of web hosting.

The 99.9%+ uptime guarantee or refund policy makes Hostgator committed to delivering uptime higher than a recommended rate to each customer consistently.

Customer support teams are known for the instant response times in phone support, billing guidance, live chat, forum help, support ticketing system that’s more responsive than in Bluehost, and hundreds of video tutorials.

This well-rounded structure allows you to enjoy your site at peak performance with almost zero downtime while the vibrant support team answers your every call.

Who owns Bluehost and Hostgator?

EIG (Endurance International Group), formerly BizLand, is the biggest name in the web hosting industry.

This USA-based company was started in 1997 and has followed the economies of scale principle, growing into an industry giant and going public in 2013.

They have obtained numerous smaller companies and established dominance in the market.

Along with Bluehost and Hostgator, EIG owns more than 80 web hosting tools.
The EIG umbrella covers some of the most popular cheap web hosting solutions on the market.

Other notable EIG companies with industry-leading performance results include Constant Contact, iPage, Sitebuilder, BigRock, Domain.com, MOJO Marketplace, ResellerClub, Singleplatform, and much more.

EIG is a prime example of a larger, well-established company continuously offering the best in excellence and facility.

Why do I need Bluehost if I have WordPress?

Both WordPress and Bluehost share a target audience of first-time website owners looking to create simple blogs or professional websites easily.

If you still question the enormous earning potential the smallest of blogs have, the latest powerful blogging statistics will demystify the money-making process through blogs.

The main difference here is that Bluehost is a web hosting provider, and WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS).

Bluehost is dependent on the self-hosted CMS like WordPress, which you can quickly install in Bluehost and start building websites.

WordPress, on the other hand, allows you to publish your content on wordpress.com.

In WordPress, you don’t have to purchase additional services.

WordPress is easy to set up, doesn’t require technical expertise, and is equipped with tools perfect for creating blogs (social sharing buttons, monetization options).

While its fully-hosted structure does mean immediate use, Bluehost does function on a higher level when it comes to having complete control over your website.

Bluehost allows you to add power to your traffic-gathering strategy with its many integrations, which include limitless WordPress options, as well as multi-CMS use.

You can use WordPress to create free blogs without grappling with web hosting, but the results are quite limiting when it comes to building sturdy high-traffic websites.

In Bluehost, you can create budget-friendly, professional-looking websites with custom branding, powerful integrations, and a full set of WordPress features.

Should You Use Bluehost or Hostgator for Your Website?

The two hosting providers are established, reliable, effective, and well-deserving of their top of the range reputation.

If you’re seeking a greater choice of features that include a free domain name, WordPress staging environments, daily automated backups, malware scans, WordPress integration, and a beginner-friendly interface, you should consider Bluehost.

Go ahead and start using the pre-installed WordPress Bluehost provides, with little to no setup required, through the simplistic interface and enhanced features tailored to newbies and experts alike.

If your priorities include limitless entry-level plans that include unlimited disk space, bandwidth, emails, the highest uptime performance scores in the industry, and a profound customer service team, you should consider Hostgator.

Utilize the 99%+ uptime guarantee or refund policy of Hostgator, which extends to 45 days, and start creating a website that will continuously expand its traffic capacity through flexible contracting terms.

Written by
Anastasia Belyh
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