Fun Fact: Did you know that HostGator and Bluehost are not only the world’s largest web hosting service providers but also owned by one company – the EIG Group?
Well, now, you know. You should also know that these two web hosts provide hosting to 544,721 domains, translating to about 4 percent of the entire market.
That said, however, it’s clear that HostGator and Bluehost have a number of differences when it comes to the features offered and even their performance. Which brings us to the big question – which is the better host? HostGator or Bluehost? Is HostGator more reliable than Bluehost?
Well, we understand how confusing it can be to pick one web host out of another, let alone having to make a choice out of tens of potential web hosts which is why we do the hard work.
We understand that your choice of one web host over the other depends on factors and features like uptime, pricing, integrations, ease of use, security, control, customer support, and performance.
So, we will look at each of these features and compare what each host has to offer. A side by side comparison should simplify your search and decision between HostGator and Bluehost.
So, let’s jump right into it!
HostGator is one of the top-rated web hosts, and it’s also one of the 10 largest web hosting service providers. Founded in 2002 in Florida, it boasts hosting over 8M domains, and it employs at least 850 employees.
These employees offer around-the-clock technical and non-technical support. Also, the company meets the hosting needs of small and large businesses.
It was acquired by the Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2012.
Bluehost is also a leading web hosting company, and it offers some of the best web hosting solutions in the industry.
Founded in 2003 in Utah, Bluehost has been on a steady rise, offering great features.
The company hosts over 2 million websites from around the world, and it also boasts more than 750 workers.
Bluehost was acquired by the EIG group in 2010, becoming one of the many companies in the EIG family.
Both companies provide web hosting services that meet the needs of all their clients, big or small.
To meet the varying needs, the web hosts provide the best of shared, VPS, dedicated, and WordPress hosting. WooCommerce hosting is offered by Bluehost only.
As mentioned above, HostGator offers different web hosting solutions like shared hosting, dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and WordPress hosting. Below, we look at the pricing plans and main features offered under these plans.
HostGator has three shared hosting plans – Hatchling, Baby plan, and Business plan.
The Hatchling plan is the ideal hosting plan for blogs and small businesses. Currently, the company is offering a 60% discount on this and all the other plans.
So, the Hatchling plan will set you back a mere $2.75 each month for 3 months before the price changes to $6.95/month.
In this plan, you will get a single domain, unmetered bandwidth, one-click installations, as well as free SSL certificates.
The Baby plan also comes with a free SSL certificate, one-click installs, and unlimited bandwidth. Being a higher plan that Hatchling, it also gives you access to an unlimited number of
The price is currently discounted (60%) at $3.95 every month.
The third plan is the Business plan. It’s highly recommended because it comes with everything you need to get started with your website.
Some of the features offered in this plan include unlimited domains, one-click-installs, unmetered bandwidth, SSL certificates, dedicated IP, SEO tools, and a free upgrade to the positive SSL.
The Business plan costs $5.95 monthly (discounted rate) or $14.95/month, undiscounted price after 36 months.
Note that this shared hosting plan and all the web hosting plans offered by HostGator come with free features. These features include a HostGator Website Builder with over 100 mobile-friendly templates.
It also comes with website transfer, domain transfer, script transfer, and MySQL transfer features.
The plans also come with 52 free scripts, $100 worth of Google AdWords credits, $100 worth of Bing advertising credits, and free SSL certification.
The other common features include access to cPanel, programming databases, email marketing, and instant software installation.
This is the idea hosting plan for anyone getting started with a blog or a small business. This shared hosting plan is available in four different plans. For comparison with HostGator’s pricing, we’ll use the discounted rates here too.
Under shared hosting, Bluehost offers a basic plan at $3.95 per month ($7.99/month undiscounted). This plan comes with one website, 50GB of SSD storage, free SSL certificates, one free domain, 5 parked domains, and 25 subdomains.
The other plans are Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro going for a monthly rate of $5.95, $5.95, and $13.95 respectively.
Despite the differences in pricing, all these plans provide you access to unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, free SSL certificates, unlimited domains, and subdomains and packed domains.
You will also enjoy $200 marketing credits. The Choice Plus and Pro plans offer domain privacy and site backups powered by CodeGuard Basic.
If you’re looking for a web hosting plan that gives you more control, more resources, and scalability, you might want to try VPS hosting from HostGator.
The hosting plan comes with three plans – Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, and Snappy 8000. All these plans currently come at discounted monthly rates.
Snappy 2000 currently costs $29.95 per month. This hosting plan gives you access to 2GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 120GB disk space, and 1.5TB of bandwidth.
Snappy 4000 is currently discounted at 75% off, and it costs $39.95 per month. It comes with 4GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 165gb disk space, and 2GB of bandwidth.
Then there’s Snappy 8000 at $49.95 (73% discount) with 8GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, 240GB of disk space, and 3TB of bandwidth.
These VPS plans give you full root access and control over the hosting environment and access to adequate resources to handle traffic spikes. The hosting is also fully scalable meaning that you do not have to pay for more resources than you need. The RAID 10 disk configuration enhances data protection in virtual private server hosting environments.
The other benefits of the VPS hosting plans by HostGator include flexibility in software options, the use of powerful hardware, weekly off-site backup, great customer support, and a full suite of website development tools.
Note that all the three VPS hosting plans above come with an optional cPane with a WHM control panel, support for PHP, MySQL, Python, FFmpeg, Perl, and Ruby, among others. All plans also include 2 IP addresses, centralized DDoS data protection free IP firewall, and a secure VPS firewall. The server hardware used includes Supermicro servers and Intel processors.
VPS hosting gives you a significant level of control and access to resources compared to the shared hosting plans.
Bluehost offers some of the best VPS hosting plans in its Standard, Enhanced, and Ultimate hosting plans going for $19.99/month, $29.99/month, and $59.99/month, respectively.
The Standard plan comes with 2 CPU cores, 30GB SSD storage, 2GB RAM, 1TB bandwidth, and one IP address.
The Enhanced plan features 2 CPU cores, 60GB of SSD storage, 4GB RAM, 2 IP addresses, and 2TB of bandwidth.
Then there’s the Ultimate hosting plan which gives you access to 4 CPU cores, 120GB of SSD storage, 8GB RAM, 2 IP addresses, and 3TB of bandwidth.
These hosting plans also come with free domain name registration for a year, 30-day money back guarantee, and 24/7 support.
There also are three plans under dedicated hosting – Value server, Power server, and Enterprise Server, and they attract a monthly fee of $119.00, $139.00, and $149.00, respectively.
Note, however, that these prices are discounted and you can only enjoy the discount if you subscribe to an annual or a three-year plan then pay in full, upfront.
The features offered under these plans include:
Value server plan – 4 CPU cores and 8 thread Intel Xeon-D CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB of HDD, and unmetered bandwidth for Windows and Linux OS.
Power Server plan – 8 Core/ 16 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU, 16GB RAM, 512SSD/ 2TB HDD, and unmetered bandwidth also for Windows and Linux OS.
Enterprise Server plan – 8 Core/ 16 Thread Intel Xeon-D CPU, 30GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and unmetered bandwidth for Windows and Linux OS.
All these dedicated servers also come with 3 dedicated IPv4 IPs, RAID-10 configuration, full root access, DDoS protection, unlimited databased, a fully redundant network, and 24/7/365 live customer support.
Note that hosting can be fully managed or semi-managed.
If you’re looking for web hosting solutions that offer level-best and reliable performance, control, and security, opt for the dedicated hosting solution.
Bluehost has three dedicated hosting plans: Standard, Enhanced, and Premium for a monthly fee of $79.99, $99.99, and $119.99.
The Standard plan gives you access to 2.3 GHz from two CPU cores, 500GB of mirrored storage, 4GB RAM, 5TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses.
The Enhanced and the Premium plans come with 4 CPU cores (2.3 GHz) and 1 TB of mirrored storage. The Enhanced plan also comes with 8GB RAM, 4 IP addresses, and 10 TB bandwidth, while the Premium plan features 16GB RAM, 5 IP addresses, and 15TB bandwidth.
HostGator boasts super-fast WordPress hosting service that comes with free migrations and advanced security.
The three plans offered, Starter, Standard, and Business offer different features, and they’re available at discounted rates of $5.95/month, $7.95/month, and $9.95/month, respectively.
Your choice of one over another hosting plan will depend on the number of site visits you anticipate. Fortunately, HostGator offers reasonable resources for different plans.
The basic Starter plan works best for single sites with a maximum of 100,000 monthly visits while the Standard and Business plans allow 200,000 and 500,000 monthly visits. The respective plans also enjoy,1GB, 2GB, and 3GB of data backups, respectively.
All the plans get free SSL certificates, unmetered bandwidth, $100 Google AdWords credit, and automatic malware removal which gets you off blacklists, protecting your protection online.
The basic WordPress hosting plans are priced, like the shared hosting plans seen above.
But for improved performance and for a hosting solution that meets the growing needs of your business, you might want to opt for Bluehost’s new plan, the WP Pro plan – a managed WordPress Hosting plan. The rates start from $19.95/month to $49.95/month.
The plans come with unlimited websites, unlimited domains, unlimited subdomains, unmetered traffic, a staging environment, and unlimited web storage.
Bluehost’s basic plan, Build comes with Jetpack Site analysis, daily scheduled data backups, 100 free premium themes, domain privacy protection, and malware detection/ removal.
The next plan is the Grow plan which comes with everything in the Build plan, as well as business review tools, Jetpack Ads integration, Jetpack premium, Bluehost SEO tools, 10GB worth of video compression, and WordPress Live Ticketing.
The Scale plan is the advanced stage in the WordPress hosting plan, and it comes with everything in the Grow plan, as well as unlimited data backups and data restoration, Jetpack Pro, PayPal integration, elastic search, Unlimited video compression, and WordPress Live chat.
All these plans also feature free SSL certification, spam protection, instant WordPress installations, CDN, SSD disk space, 1-hour of on-boarding concierge call, WP auto updates, 24/7 support, and 30-day money back guarantee.
Comparing the web hosting plans by HostGator and Bluehost, it’s clear that these hosts have a lot to offer their clients.
But, looking at the pricing, HostGator is the winner here since all the plans are cheaper than the rates charged by Bluehost. And as you can see in the features of the hosts, one host has more or one and less of the other.
This leads us to a comparison of the main features of HostGator and Bluehost.
Besides the pricing, one of the main differences between these two companies is that they have different uptime rates.
Uptime is a critical element when it comes to web hosting since it determines how much your website will be up and running, and how long your website will be down. Longer downtime, even lasting minutes more not only result in loss of money, but it also diminishes the level of trust your customers have in you.
HostGator is more reliable of these two in terms of uptime, and it boasts a high uptime rate of 99.99%.
Bluehost, on the other hand, has an uptime rate of 99.98%. Though the uptime rates posted by these two companies is quite minimal, it still makes a difference. Bluehost will keep your website offline for a few more minutes than HostGator.
It’s also important to keep in mind that 100% uptime is impossible in the web hosting world. So, while looking at these companies, comparing their reliability, always opt for the web host boasting the highest possible rates.
Note, also, that the uptime for shared hosting is different between the two web hosts with Bluehost boasting a high uptime than HostGator.
The main reason why Bluehost boasts a higher uptime than HostGator is that Bluehost uses advanced features and tools which enhance their performance.
After you’ve checked the web host’s uptime (downtime), it’s important to check the page speed. Page speed is an important feature when it comes to web performance, as well as ranking on SERPs (page speed is one of Google’s ranking factors).
Don’t forget that sluggish web pages will drive visitors from your site, and this will sabotage your sales.
Looking at these two web hosts, Bluehost is faster, with an average load time lower than what you get from Bluehost.
Therefore, comparing the expected performance from these web hosts, Bluehost promises a higher level of performance than HostGator.
3. WordPress Integration
Did you know that about 30% of the internet runs on WordPress? This also means that you could be one of the individuals with WordPress websites or the ones interested in a WordPress hosting for your WordPress website.
So, which of these two web hosts offers the best WordPress Integrations? Bluehost.
The reason for this lies in the fact that Bluehost offers the best WordPress integrations compared to HostGator. Also, Bluehost is regarded as the best WordPress hosting service provider by WordPress, and it comes with one-click setup processes, as well as an in-house team of WordPress support experts.
HostGator offers WordPress hosting too, and they allow the migration of your existing WordPress site at no cost. However, HostGator doesn’t offer advanced integrations.
4. Customer Support
While access to hosting is pretty simple and every host would like you to sign up for their services, it’s important to look at how the company treats its clients and if you will reach the support team fast in case of a technical or billing issue
Fortunately, these web hosts offer excellent customer support services, and they both come with a knowledge center, live chat, phone, 24/7 phone support, as well as ticketing. The only difference between them is that HostGator offers 24/7 live chat and Bluehost doesn’t. HostGator also boasts a forum section which has customer reviews, suggestions, general announcements, video tutorials, and pre-sales questions.
Navigating HostGator’s knowledge base is, however, complex.
In Bluehost’s knowledge base, you will come across helpful articles, a FAQ section, and “how to” guides.
The two web hosts offer a significant number of security features from a slew of spam and domain protection features to Free SSL certificates and everything good in between.
HostGator has implemented a number of security features to protect your website. These security installations include SSL certificates, DDoS and Malware protection features, as well as SiteLock, which you have to pay for monthly.
Bluehost, on the other hand, not only uses malware protection and free SSL certificates, but it also offers advanced password reset functions, single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and even account verification using tokens. These and many other security measures make Bluehost better than HostGator, especially in the shared hosting plans.
Both web hosts employ skilled professionals who monitor the servers 24/7 and get rid of threats as soon as they are detected.
6. Ease of use
HostGator and Bluehost come with a cPanel which gives you control over your website. The control panels are easy to navigate.
7. Data backups
You wouldn’t want to work with a web host with little regard for your data, which is why we recommend choosing a web host that offers daily or weekly data backups, automatically.
HostGator offers random and automated data backups one weekly, with each backup overwriting all the previous backups. The hosting plans have different backup policies.
But even with differential plans, you will have to manually backup your data daily or choose other web hosts.
You might, however, want to seek hosting from Bluehost, especially when it comes to data backups because this web host offers daily automated backups.
It has a Site Backup and a Restore tool which will back up your data automatically, every day. Bluehost also offers a one-click restore feature which makes data restoration easy, safe, and fast.
HostGator Vs. Bluehost – Conclusion
Both HostGator and Bluehost are very established and very reliable web hosting providers, which is why they are both highly reputable. However, when we pitted the two hosting providers against each other, it became apparent that HostGator is superior to Bluehost, albeit by a narrow margin.
HostGator is very reliable with a 99.99% uptime, it has super-affordable plans that give you value for your money, and it also wins in the customer services arena.
Bluehost ranks very close behind HostGator thanks to its advanced security features, advanced Web Hosting, and data backups.
Keep in mind that the two hosts have several similar features like the SSL security certificate and the cPanel.
At the end of the day, the decision to choose one plan and not the other will depend on the features you are looking for, your budget, the size of your business, and the web host that offers more value for money.