Finding the best website hosting services before creating your own website is something that you can never overlook.
One of the most common mistakes is people look for the cheapest hosting services without considering its features, security, and overall reliability.
In reality, choosing a web hosting service is not that hard, you can start by sorting out the best possible hosting companies. In this case, we recommend Bluehost and HostGator.
In terms of features, performance, and other aspects, both have their own unique qualities. It is extremely hard to say which one is better, but we will guide you through a detailed comparison of both hosting services in the following article.
99.99% uptime and 361ms response time
>99.99% uptime, 525ms response time
SSLs and server monitoring
Free SSL and server monitoring
24/7 live chat and phone
24/7 live chat and phone
Bluehost vs HostGator - Features
Bluehost practically has every feature that you would want from a good hosting service. When using Bluehost, you will gain access to cPanel, which consists of essential tools for you or your website manager to control various aspects of your website. As for the other essential features, Bluehost offers a free SSL certificate, domain name, a Code Guard Basic site backup tool, and other security features including a spam protection tool and a virtual private server.
Bluehost is also equipped with convenient features for both beginners and small website owners. Since web hosting can be quite expensive, Bluehost offers shared hosting plans which allows you to share server space with other websites. Of course, you can still get dedicated servers exclusive for your website, which is recommended for websites with higher traffic.
From an SEO and website marketing standpoint, Bluehost is also highly convenient to use. It comes with tools and marketing services such as pay per click campaigns, SEO, and content marketing.
As you would expect from another great website hoster, HostGator also comes with the basic features that Bluehost offers, including a full access to cPanel, a free SSL certificate, SEO tools, etc. In terms of security features, HostGator is protected by malware protection and your website will be given its own dedicated IP according to the plan you are getting.
When you are subscribed to any of HostGator plans, you will also receive an unlimited bandwidth and disk space. For us, the feature that sets HostGator apart from any other web hosting services is their beginner friendly website builder. Upon hosting a website with HostGator, you will have full access to mobile compatible templates which can also be used for e-commerce websites.
When it comes to the basic tools and features, both Bluehost and HostGator are practically similar, they offer full access to cPanel and an extensive security feature to keep your website safe. While Bluehost does offer shared hosting plans which may be more appealing for beginners, we can safely say that beginners are better off with HostGator as they offer their own website builder. On the other hand, both are equally good and convenient for more experienced website builders/managers.
Bluehost vs HostGator - Performance
There are 2 crucial factors that determine the overall performance of a web hosting service, the uptime and speed.
Uptime is essentially the amount of time your website will be operating when someone clicks on your website. Thus, you always want your uptime to be as close as possible to 100%, especially if you are running a website with higher traffic.
Similarly, speed is also an important aspect of a website. The speed of a website can be measured by its average load time. Conclusively, the faster the load time, the better the user experience will be when using your website!
As you always want your uptime to be close to 100%, you should never settle for a hosting service that can not guarantee an uptime of at least 99.9%. It may seem extremely high, but with the option of high quality website hosting services you can find online, this is a fair benchmark.
After analyzing 12-month data, the uptime of Bluehost is at 99.96% with a downtime of only less than 4 hours in that particular year. On the flip side, HostGator has a slightly lower uptime with 99.93%, accumulating up to 6 hours of downtime on a similar year. It may not seem like a huge difference, but you should never really compromise much when it comes to your website uptime.
Speed is not as important when compared to uptime, but it is still a huge factor in giving an optimal user experience. According to google research, more than 30% of website visitors will abandon your website if it does not load successfully in 3 seconds. To avoid losing potential visitors, it is very important for you to use a website hoster with reliable speed and load time.
Bluehost has an average load time of 688 ms, which really is as fast as it gets when compared with other website hosting services. While HostGator has a slower average load time at 734 ms, do note that HostGator is constantly upgrading their load time over the years (a few years ago the average load time of HostGator was 1 second).
Bluehost vs HostGator - Ease of Use
Creating and managing your own website is not necessarily easy especially for beginners. While an experienced website manager will not have any problem with getting used to both Bluehost and HostGator, beginners might want to take the ease of use as consideration before choosing either services. After all, the ease of use may contribute to your final result!
Bluehost has one of the easiest setup and dashboard that even beginners will find simple to operate. Bluehost did a particularly good job in allowing users to manage and host their websites with just a few clicks. As for the layout and dashboard, you will find it highly adaptable as it is similar to the ones that you can find in Microsoft Office. Finally, you will have access to an integrated log in system where you can conveniently access all your Bluehost accounts with just one email and password.
When it comes to general usage, HostGator is just as easy to use as Bluehost. The cPanel itself is really straightforward and can be easily navigated at first glance. One thing that stands out with HostGator is their built-in website builder which can be a huge help for beginners. The only downside with HostGator is that you can only send up to 500 emails per hour, which would only be relevant if you are managing a large scale website.
Pricing & Value for Money
Bluehost has a rather unique pricing where you will pay what they refer to as introductory price on your first month, and you will be charged with a normal rate in the following months. The introductory prices for each plan is $2.95/month for the basic plan, $5.45/month for the plus plan and the choice plus plan, and $13.95/ month for the pro plan. Upon renewal, the price will be $7.99/month for the basic plan, $11.99/month for the plus plan, $16.99/month for the choice plus plan, and $26.99 for the pro plan.
The basic plan in Bluehost offers 50 GB of website space for just 1 website and 100 MB of email storage, which is worth it considering the cheap price you are paying for it. Anything above the basic plan will gain you access to unlimited website space, unlimited amount of website, and unlimited email storages. You will also receive an addition of better security measures and marketing deals as you upgrade your plan.
Similar to Bluehost, HostGator also offers introductory plans.
- Hatchling plan: for $2.75/month and it includes all the basic tools such as a single domain, unlimited bandwidth, and an SSL certificate.
- Baby plan: for $3.95/month, you will receive the same tools and features but an access to an unlimited number of domains.
- Business plan: will give you access to all additional features such as free SEO tools and website management tools at just $5.95/month.
Upon renewal, each plan will cost you at $8.95, $11.95, and $16.95 respectively. Overall, HostGator is slightly more affordable than Bluehost and definitely holds a great value for its low prices!
Bluehost is actually one of the only three website hosting companies that is endorsed by WordPress. Thus, it does not get any easier to integrate your website with WordPress when you are hosting your website with Bluehost. In fact, the features and dashboards in Bluehost are designed for easy integration towards WordPress.
HostGator is not endorsed by WordPress, but it is still highly compatible with WordPress. In fact, you will still receive unlimited storage and email accounts when you are subscribed to the WordPress manager plan. On top of that, you will receive all the basic WordPress tools including free domain, an SSL certificate, and daily backups.
According to a guide from Bluehost, website migration can be done in 4 easy steps after you are subscribed to any of their plans, exactly like the followings:
- Click on the migration service page and enter the name of the site you plan to migrate
- Start the migration process on the Bluehost Migration plugin
- Bluehost team will assist you while you can finalize your website migration
- You will be ready to connect your domain to your new website
Website migration in HostGator is also simple and convenient. With each plan, you will receive a free migration service, but you will be charged an additional cost if you are planning to migrate more than what you are allocated with. In addition, website migration in HostGator may require more time as you have to submit migration requests depending on your migration plan.
As 2 of the leading website hosting companies in the world, both Bluehost and HostGator offer 24/7 customer support which you can contact via live chat on both websites. After examining both customer support, you can be assured that they will assist you in any kind of problem you have. However, we do have to point out that HostGator tends to be less responsive when compared with Bluehost customer support.
In the end, both Bluehost and HostGator are both very reliable website hosters that you could never go wrong with. Each service does offer their own unique qualities, and HostGator does have the edge when it comes to lower prices and beginner-friendly usage. However, we still have to go with Bluehost as the better hosting company solely because of their higher uptime and slightly faster average load time, which we feel is 2 of the most important factors when choosing a website hoster.