For a beginner, the search to find the best hosting service can seem intimidating. With so many options available, it can be hard to decide on just one. I’m sure you want the best one for your site, so do we! We did some in-depth research to see which is actually the better option between HostGator or Bluehost. Let’s get into it.
HostGator and Bluehost are some of the largest web hosting providers in the space. Just a little background – both Bluehost and HostGator are owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG). Bluehost has been in existence since 1996 and has more than 19 years of experience in offering web hosting services while HostGator was founded in 2002 and thus only has about 13 years of hosting experience.
1. Features and Pricing. One of the most important things we look at as customers when we’re making decisions is the price. Creating your own website should be exciting, but it should not break the bank. Both Bluehost and HostGator give you great value for money, so whichever one you choose it’s a win-win in terms of price. BlueHost offers three plans called Starters Plan, Plus and Business Plan. On the other hand, HostGator also have three hosting plans called Hatchling, Baby and Business plan. Let’s study below the detailed features for the different plans between Bluehost and HostGator.
The main difference I noticed here is that Bluehost offers a free domain name. You do still have to pay the registration fee, but from that you get your own domain name which lasts for one year and is yours to manage or transfer. You have ownership until it expires, at which point you can simply renew or extend it at the regular price (this varies depending on what type of domain you have, for example .com, .org, .blog etc). Also, Bluehost provides an automatic backup feature for free, while HostGator will charge you additional fees for the automatic backup facility.
2. Ease of Use for Beginners. By means of “ease of use”, the criteria we considered was if it is beginner friendly and easy to get started with in regards to the following:
- Domain Name Registration. As I’ve mentioned above, Bluehost gives you a free domain name when you sign up for hosting with them. With HostGator, there is no free domain name but domain transfer is always free.
- Website Transfer. There are two options to move your site in Bluehost. You can either do it yourself for free by manually transferring your files over to Bluehost. You can use their paid Website Transfer service to migrate up to five sites and 20 email accounts from your former hosting company. While with HostGator, they will transfer all your 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 account.
- WordPress Installation. Bluehost now have the MOJO Marketplace for all of its installations. Now you can install WordPress straight from your cPanel dashboard. As for HostGator, they also offer MOJO Marketplace quick install for existing WordPress sites. They also provide tutorials on their site for easy “how to” install WordPress manually.
- Website Builder Tool. With Bluehost you have multiple option on how you would like to build up your site,either you utilize the on-site builder that is powered by Weebly, you can install WordPress, whichever one you prefer.
- Moneyback Guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the service, Bluehost’s money-back guarantee is 30 days. If you cancel after 30 days you receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your hosting term. HostGator offers a 45-day money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with their services, you will be given a full refund of the contract amount.
3. WordPress Integration. WordPress themselves have chosen Bluehost as their most highly recommended host provider. As mentioned above, 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. Similar with HostGator, if you already have a WordPress powered site, a free migration service will transfer your existing WordPress site to HostGator. You can easily and instantly install WordPress with one click and manage your site from an enhanced cPanel control panel.
4. Speed and Uptime. Website downtime can be a very bad experience for visitors so it is important that we check the speed and uptime factors of the two hosting sites. BlueHost and HostGator both guarantee 99.9% uptime.
Speed is an important factor to consider before choosing a web host. We provided a breakdown of important things you’ll want from a great web host.
- SSD Drives. Bluehost shared hosting plans do not come with solid state drives (SSD), but their server infrastructure is powered by enterprise level SSD database storage. HostGator’s Cloud and WordPress hosting plans all come with SSD included.
- Data Centers. The data centers of both web hosts are pretty robust and their servers are powerful. Bluehost runs on AMD power centers and HostGator runs on Dual Xeon. Bluehost has data centers located throughout the US, China, India, and Europe. HostGator utilizes several Tier 4 data centers located in Texas and Utah. Their data centers are highly secured facilities that have controlled access.
- Infrastructure and Technology. Both web host provides at least at least 99.9% uptime.
- Content Delivery Network. Both web host utilizes CloudFlare for its content delivery.
5. Security and Support. Another key criteria which could turn your decision in favor of a particular web host is the security and quality of customer service and technical support offered.
In terms of customer support, both web host provides email support, live chat and phone support.
In terms of security of the web host, Bluehost offers complimentary adhoc automatically generated backups for their customers which HostGator does not offer. Bluehost also provides a free shared SSL that is available to accounts which reside on a shared IP, but not on HostGator’s end. Both sites offers distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack protection wherein they have an extensive custom firewall rulesets that protect servers from the many forms of attack. As well, their data center has enabled network-level flood protection.
So which one is actually better HostGator or Bluehost? To wrap it all up, Bluehost has an edge over HostGator in terms of automatic backups, pricing and WordPress Integration. On the other hand, HostGator provides many other features as well like unlimited email accounts, sub-domains, higher storage for emails, and free website templates.
I will leave it all up to you, depending on your budget and considering the features you prefer and need the most, you can select the most appropriate web host that suits you best.