Hostgator vs Bluehost: 2022 Review [Backed by Data]

Hostgator vs Bluehost Featured Image

Hostgator and Bluehost are two of the most popular web hosting providers on the market. Known for their affordable web hosting packages, both companies have surely earned their place among the top ten hosting companies globally.

However, with such similar product offerings, it’s not easy comparing the two on the performance of their web hosting services.

So, in our head-to-head analysis, we compare both web hosting providers on 16+ features and performance tests. Then we declare our ultimate winner in the Hostgator vs Bluehost battle.

Bluehost and Hostgator are among the ten most popular web hosting companies in the world. Hostgator is ranked 5th, with a 5.12% market share while Bluehost comes in 6th with a 3.49% market share.

Since popularity does not always match performance, it can be hard for you to know which hosting provider is best for your needs. We’ve taken both of these services out for a spin in our head-to-head Hostgator vs BlueHost analysis so you don’t have to guess.

Read on to discover which hosting provider is best for you by comparing them side by side for over 16 different features and tests.

Let’s get straight into it!

Introducing Hostgator

HostGator Homepage
Founded in 2002, Hostgator quickly made a name for itself in the hosting market. It has hosted over 2.5 million websites and operates with over 1,000 full-time staff.

So it’s no surprise why Hostgator was acquired in 2012 by the Endurance International Group (EIG) for an aggregate purchase price of $299.8 million!

Introducing Bluehost

bluehost homepage
Founded in 2003 in Utah, Bluehost also powers over 2 million websites. With 750+ employees on its roster, the company has seen slightly lower growth levels than Hostgator.

However, Bluehost has been on an upward trend with no signs of slowing down since they first opened their doors. In 2010, they were also acquired by EIG which now owns a solid portfolio of hosting companies.

Now, you might be wondering whether there’s any difference between these services given the same parent company now owns them.

We were surprised to see one company does indeed offer better performance. However, the other hosting company offers move value and a lower price tag.

Stick with us to the end for all the juicy details on how Hostgator and Bluehost compare.

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Web Hosting Plans Compared

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Web Hosting Plans Compared

Let’s start this analysis by comparing the plans each company offers.

 BluehostHostgator
Cheap Shared HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Managed WP HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Managed Woocommerce HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Cloud HostingCancel iconChecked icon
VPSChecked iconChecked icon
Dedicated Server HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Reseller HostingChecked iconChecked icon

The only initial differences appear to come down to managed Woocommerce hosting and cloud hosting options. At first glance, it appears that the plans offered by Hostgator and BlueHost are very similar.

Bluehost supports e-commerce store owners using WordPress by offering managed Woocommerce hosting. Hostgator doesn’t.

On the other hand, Hostgator offers cloud hosting options though Bluehost doesn’t.

Hostgator Cloud Hosting

In the next few sections you’ll see how the plans offered by each host compare at a more detailed level.

All in all, Hostgator and Bluehost are very popular because of their cheap pricing. So all their services are suited to website owners who are willing to sacrifice performance for a lower price tag.

The best hosting plan for your needs will depend on what features and performance you’re after for the amount you spend. So let’s dive right into comparing prices and features.

Shared Hosting: Hostgator’s Pricing Works Out A Little Cheaper

When looking at Hostgator vs Bluehost pricing, first impressions can be deceiving. Both hosting providers offer cheap deals on the condition that you sign up for a long-term plan.

HostGator Pricing
In addition to their evergreen deals, you can also score extra discounts during sale periods such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Essentially, both Bluehost and Hostgator are using loss-leader pricing strategies. They won’t make as much money from the initial sale, but they will make more sales by dropping their rates as low as they do. They recoup their profits by charging more upon renewal or through upsell offers.

That’s why they have as high a market share as they do. They are among the most affordable hosting providers on the market.

But, when doing your research, make sure you look beyond the initial deal. Especially when it comes to the term required to secure cheap monthly rates and renewal pricing. That’s how you get a better sense of the total costs.

Evergreen Promotional Pricing Compared

PlanHostgator PlansBluehost Plans
Lowest Tier$2.75/month$2.95/month
Middle Tier$2.75/month$5.45/month
Highest Tier$5.25/month$13.95/month

Bluehost’s promotional pricing is available for a 12-month term, whereas Hostgator’s is available for up to 3 years if you buy 36 months upfront.

Interestingly, if you wanted to buy 36 months upfront with Bluehost, you’d be charged $4.95/ month instead of $2.95/month (for their lowest tier). It’s still a discount compared to the renewal rate though almost double the cost of their cheapest deal.

In any case, if the price is your biggest concern, Hostgator’s promotional pricing works out cheaper.

Renewal Pricing Compared

PlanHostgator PlansBluehost Plans
Lowest Tier$6.95 - $10.95/month$8.99 - $10.99/month
Middle Tier$9.95 - $11.95/month$11.99 - $16.99/month
Highest Tier$14.95 - $16.95/month$16.99 - $20.99/month

Winner: Hostgator is a clear winner on shared hosting if the price is a concern for you. It comes in cheaper for both the promotional and renewal pricing rates.

 

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Managed WordPress Website Hosting

Bluehost vs Hostgator WordPress

Bluehost is a top hosting provider for many WordPress websites. It is recommended by WordPress.org, alongside DreamHost and Siteground.

However, Hostgator also offers WordPress site hosting.

As per the above data, both Hostgator and Bluehost offer managed WordPress website hosting and shared WordPress hosting.

Hostgator does not offer managed Woocommerce hosting for any WordPress-based e-commerce stores though Bluehost does.

It’s also worth mentioning that both Bluehost and Hostgator offer their customers similar cPanel dashboards for managing all aspects of their websites through their hosting account.

HostGator Dashboard
Within these dashboards, there are a range of WordPress installation options.

All in all, for most users, once you go through the WordPress installation process, the rest is pretty even between Bluehost and Hostgator.

So if it’s down to a price-based decision for you, let’s see how they compare.

Promotional Pricing Compared

PlanHostgator WordPress HostingBluehost WordPress Hosting
Shared WPFrom $2.75/monthFrom $2.95/month
Managed WPFrom $5.95/monthFrom $9.95/month
Managed WoocommerceN/AFrom $12.95/month

Renewal Pricing Compared

PlanHostgator WordPress HostingBluehost WordPress Hosting
Shared WPFrom $6.95/monthFrom $8.99/month
Managed WPFrom $14.95/monthFrom $19.95/month
Managed WoocommerceN/AFrom $24.95/month

Winner: Hostgator comes out on top with regard to pricing for shared and managed WordPress hosting. If you have an e-commerce store, Bluehost is the better hosting provider between the two.

 

Bluehost vs Hostgator: VPS & Dedicated Hosting Plans

When comparing dedicated and VPS hosting to shared hosting, we must note that we’re not comparing apples to apples here.

  • Shared hosting uses a single server and hosts multiple websites on it. It means your website is open to vulnerabilities affecting the other websites on the same server.
  • VPS hosting uses a virtual environment that imitates a dedicated server. It’s still shared hosting, but you get a partitioned space with all its resources to yourself.
  • Dedicated hosting allows you to have your own server and is recommended for sites with loads of traffic coming to them every month.

Make sure you read the fine print to know what type of server situation you’re getting into with your web host.

VPS Hosting

 Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
PlanBluehostHostgatorBluehostHostgator
Middle Tier
(2GB Ram)
$19.99/month$19.95/month$29.99/month$79.95/month
Highest tier
(4GB Ram)
$29.99/month$29.95/month$59.99/month$119.95/month
Enterprise
(8GB Ram)
$59.99/month$39.95/month$119.99/month$149.95/month

Winner: It depends on whether price or features matter more to you. As far as price goes for VPS web hosting, Hostgator has slightly lower promotional prices. They’re negligible unless you’re considering a plan offering 8GB RAM.

However, we’ve chosen Bluehost for this round because of their significantly cheaper renewal prices. You could save up to $50 a month!

Bluehost VPS Pricing

In saying this, if you’re looking for more SSD storage, Hostgator offers significantly more and with unmetered bandwidth to boot!

Check out side by side if you’re looking for specific features for any of your WordPress websites.

Dedicated Hosting

 Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
PlanBluehostHostgatorBluehostHostgator
Lowest Tier$79.99/month$89.98/month$109.99/month$189/month
Middle Tier$99.99/month$119.98/month$159.99/month$249/month
Highest tier$119.99/month$139.99/month$209.99/month$289/month

Once again, at first glance, it appears that Bluehost is significantly cheaper than Hostgator. However, for the value that Hostgator’s dedicated hosting plans include, the additional price may be worth it to you.

Winner: We’re handing it to Hostgator for this round. Hostgator’s smallest plan offers 4 core/ 8 thread and 8 GB RAM. To get the same features with Bluehost, you would be paying more per month unless you buy 36 months in advance.

 

Honestly, if you can afford to pay that much upfront, your website will likely need a better-performing solution than what either Bluehost or Hostgator can offer.

So, on this note, let’s dive into the features and performance of each of these hosting companies next.

Bluehost vs Hostgator: Hosting Features Compared

Bluehost vs Hostgator Hosting Features Compared

We think that price should not be the only deciding factor when shopping for hosting. But, for most customers using Hostgator or Bluehost, the reality is that price is usually the only factor considered.

So if that’s all you care about, you already have all the info you need.

Read on if you also care about getting the best performance and in-built features for your website.

As much as possible, we share the data from tests we’ve run to quantitatively prove which is the better option between Bluehost and Hostgator.

Ease of Use: Both Hosting Companies Are Easy And Intuitive

Both Bluehost and Hostgator offer classic cPanel based solutions. It can seem a little daunting for people just starting to navigate a cPanel dashboard. You can also feel overwhelmed with all the upsell offers that show up.

However, there are many features and actions you can perform in this space once you get the hang of it.

Winner: Both are just as intuitive and easy to use as each other.

Speed: Bluehost Scrapes By With Faster Loading Times

Bluehost Speed

With website speed being among the most critical factors for user experience, it’s no surprise Google has also made it an official ranking factor.

Thanks to studies by Amazon and Deloitte, we already know that slow-loading websites are constantly losing money.

In Amazon’s case, 100ms extra in load time costs about 1% of revenue. Back in 2006, when Amazon’s engineers first discovered this, 1% of revenue amounted to about $107 million. Today, that’s over $3.8 billion in annual revenue!

Poor web hosting services could also be costing you a tonne of hard-earned cash.

So we put Bluehost and Hostgator to the test to see who puts their money where their mouth is.

GT Metrix

 

Hostgator

Bluehost

Performance ScoreTTFBFully Loaded TimePerformance ScoreTTFBFully Loaded Time
Vancouver48%1.6s12.7s67%559ms4.8s
London27%1.7s7.1s39%439ms8.1s
Sydney12%1.3s9.5s34%872ms8.2s

Pingdom

 

Hostgator

Bluehost

Pingdom PerformancePingdom Load TimePingdom PerformancePingdom Load Time
San Francisco653.24s703.41s
Frankfurt652.84s702.94s
Tokyo653.09s713.15s
London645.70s701.5s
Washington DC643.65s711.63s
Sydney643.41s713.14s

Winner: We’re handing this one to Bluehost. The data above indicates better performance compared with Hostgator; that much is clear.

But, we’re not gonna lie; we weren’t super impressed by either of these companies as far as speed performance is concerned.

If speed is an essential feature for your website, check out our post on the fastest web hosting companies. Compared to other companies on this list, Bluehost does offer a nice balance between affordability and performance.

 

Uptime: Bluehost Averages 99.98% Uptime In Recent Years

Bluhost Uptime

After speed, the next performance factor that plays a critical role in making money online is uptime.

Any decent hosting service should be able to put their money where their mouth is and deliver the uptime levels they guarantee.

In saying that, no web host can guarantee 100% uptime. Hostgator guarantees 99.90%, whereas Bluehost guarantees 99.98%.

Let’s take a look at whether they live up to these guarantees.

Hostgator Uptime

Historically, Hostgator had the highest uptime guarantee for shared hosting at 99.99%.

HostGator Uptime
We’ve noticed that Hostgator’s servers’ performance was unable to meet this level of uptime over recent years. Instead of improving its server infrastructure, Hostgator has opted to reduce their uptime guarantee to 99.90%.

This allows Hostgator’s servers to experience up to 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime per year instead of just 52 minutes – per the original guarantee.

While Hostgator’s web hosting packages were unable to meet the original guarantee, uptime is generally relatively stable, with only 4 downtime events in 2021. According to Pingdom’s uptime monitoring, Hostgator’s average uptime has been 99.89% since 2015.

Bluehost Uptime

Bluehost has experienced a few more downtime events than Hostgator in recent years. In 2021, there were 22 minutes of downtime in total, and most downtime events lasted longer than 3 minutes.

This means that Bluehost occasionally is unable to meet its guarantee. However, historically, Bluehost has a higher uptime rate than Hostgator even when it is unable to meet the guarantee.

Here’s the data in a head-to-head format.

 2018 Uptime2019 Uptime2020 Uptime2021 Uptime
Hostgator99.98%99.94%99.91%99.98%
Bluehost99.99%99.98%99.96%99.98%

Winner: We’re handing it to Bluehost. Solid uptime is a critical feature you should be looking for in your web hosting provider if you care about your site’s performance.

 

Customer Support: Bluehost And Hostgator Leave A Lot To Be Desired

Given that Hostgator and Bluehost are both hosting aimed at beginner markets, customer support is another crucial feature that their audiences will need to rely on.

Building a website isn’t easy!

The last thing you want is to be left high and dry by your hosting provider when something goes wrong.

That’s why we always look at the level of support each company offers to their customers. Good customer service is what enables a web host to reach excellence in our book.

To compare the level of customer support between these two hosting providers, we turned to Trustpilot. You can access Bluehost’s page here, and Hostgator’s one here.

Bluehost’s Support

bluehost trustpilot

bluehost trustpilot

Bluehost’s rating on Trustpilot

Hostgator’s Support 

Hostgator Rating
Hostgator’s rating on Trustpilot

Winner: It’s a tough choice and for all the wrong reasons. It’s clear in our Bluehost vs Hostgator comparison that they both offer average support.

If we had to pick one, we’re going with Hostgator only because there is a smaller percentage of bad reviews. The overall average is also higher so that helps.

But, making this decision is like voting for a politician based on who you hate the least. Thankfully with hosting, you can look beyond these two choices and go with a company that offers MUCH better support.

Check out our list of the best web hosting companies for alternatives if customer support is as important to you as it is to us.

CDN: Both Web Hosts Offer Free CDN Options

Hostgator vs Bluhost Cloudflare

To help deliver your content to audiences worldwide, hosting companies rely on content delivery networks (CDN).

Both Hostgator and Bluehost offer free CDN options, and you can choose between SiteLock CDN or Cloudflare.

As far as the best free CDN service available, Cloudflare is firmly the lead. Offering incredibly fast content delivery for both static and dynamic content, Cloudflare can help businesses reach global audiences without sacrificing the loading speed of their websites.

Compared to Cloudflare, SiteLock leaves a lot to be desired.

Winner: It’s a tie since both hosts offer the same features for free and through the same providers.

Servers & Locations: Both Bluehost And Hostgator Have US-Based Servers

For anyone targeting audiences in a specific location, it’s worth looking at where your website’s servers are located.

Both Hostgator and Bluehost have servers in the US.

The locations of Bluehosts’s data centers are unclear on their website. So we reached out to support and confirmed they are only available in Utah, US.

Bluehost-Data-Center-Locations
Hostgator’s data centers are located in Utah and Texas. You can find out more about Hostgator’s servers here.

If you have an international audience, you’ll definitely need to use a CDN service to help readers from other countries access your content easily and quickly.

Winner: It’s a tie. Neither company offers flexibility with server locations.

Storage: Hostgator Offers More Storage For Lower Prices

For anyone with a media or data-heavy website, storage will be a big factor for you to consider. Most website owners won’t reach their storage limits; however, if you know you’ll need more storage space than the average website user, here’s what we’ve found.

Hostgator offers unmetered storage on all shared plans. Bluehost offers only 50GB on their lowest tier of shared hosting and unlimited on the rest.

Hostgators Unmetered Bandwidth
A quick word about unlimited vs unmetered bandwidth. Essentially, it’s the same thing. No hosting company can truly offer unlimited storage since every server has a storage capacity.

However, instead of only allocating you a fixed amount of the disk’s storage space, with unmetered hosting, you can use as much as you need. Fair usage rules apply, but most websites won’t come close to reaching those limits.

Regarding VPS and dedicated hosting, Hostgator offers more storage and RAM for lower prices.

Winner: Hostgator since there is no hard limit on any shared hosting plans, and they also offer more storage for lower rates on VPS and dedicated hosting plans.

 

Security: Hostgator’s Security Features Outperform Bluehost’s

Hostgator Security

If you look on the website of any web hosting company, you’re bound to find some version of “we offer the best security” on there.

It can be challenging to look beyond the sales pitch and know for sure that they will stand by their words. There’s also the matter of how each company defines “best” and to what lengths they will go to ensure your website is safe.

 BluehostHostgator
Free SSL CertificateYes (Let’s Encrypt)Yes (Let’s Encrypt)
Free Domain PrivacyOnly on Expensive TiersPaid Option
Hotlink ProtectionYesYes
Spam ProtectionYes (Akismet)Paid Option - Spam Assassin
Free Automatic BackupsOnly on Expensive TiersYes (Weekly)
Web Application FirewallYesYes
DDoS ProtectionYesYes
Brute Force ProtectionYesYes
Bot BlockingYesYes - Manual
Malware ProtectionYes (Daily Automated)Paid Option
24/7 Server MonitoringNoYes
WP Security PluginNoNo

Winner: It’s a tough call since many features sound the same on the surface. We’re handing it to Hostgator, though.

We like that they include free backups on all tiers of their shared hosting. Backups are crucial in case something goes wrong!

However, there are caveats with both Hostgator and Bluehost when it comes to their backup policies. Let’s look at that next.

 

Backups: Hostgator Offers Free Automated Backups, Bluehost Doesn’t

Since most people using Hostgator or Bluehost are beginners, backups will be an essential feature.

If anything ever goes wrong, being able to restore a backup easily will make all the difference.

However, upon researching the backup policies of both Hostgator and Bluehost, we’re a little disappointed with what we found.

Bluehost’s Backup Policy

Bluehost Backup Policy

Bluehost makes it very clear that they take no responsibility for failed backups. They do offer free backups for customers, but they’re “not guaranteed in any way.”

Since most people buy Bluehost’s cheaper plans, likely, they won’t receive any backups at all. Free backups are only included in Bluehost’s more expensive plans.

Customers on the cheaper plans need to pay extra for a third-party service to take care of daily automated backups.

Also, Bluehost doesn’t offer redundant or mirrored backups.

  • Redundant data storage provides a real-time fail-safe against hard drive failure.
  • Mirrored backups are exact copies of your data. Another failsafe in case something goes wrong.

Hostgator’s Backup Policy

Hostgator Automatic Backups
Hostgator’s approach to backups is also very similar to Bluehost’s.

Hostgator makes it very clear that they take no responsibility for failed backups. They do offer free backups for customers, but they’re also “not guaranteed in any way”.

Besides, they only take backups once a week on a random day. This can make it hard to plan big updates to your site without manually backing up your site every time.

But hey, if it’s a choice of a random backup vs no backups at all, the former wins every time.

Winner: Hostgator. All their customers get free weekly backups. Although this isn’t great in itself, it’s a step up from Bluehost’s non-existent backups for most customers.

With both companies, the option to buy a third-party service to handle daily, automated backups is available. We advise you to factor this into your costs as it is an essential service!

 

Domains: Bluehost Offers A Free Domain Name With Many Plans

Bluehost Domain Name

Both Bluehost and Hostgator offer a free domain name for the first year. This offer is bundled with their hosting plans and cannot be added separately to other plans.

Bluehost also offers free domain privacy on its expensive hosting tiers. Hostgator doesn’t.

If you get a free domain name with your hosting plan, it will renew for around $18 per year. We recommend looking at cheaper places to buy domains if budget is a concern for you.

Both Hostgator and Bluehost offer unlimited domains for parking and unlimited sub-domains on comparable plans. So for these domain features, we’ve considered them equal.

Winner: All in all, the Hostgator and Bluehost offers are very similar. We’re handing this one to Bluehost because they include free domain privacy on some plans.

 

Migrations: Hostgator Offers Free Migration Services For Most Customers

If you have an existing website and want to switch hosting providers, you’ll need to factor in the cost of migration.

Hostgator offers free professional migrations, whereas Bluehost charges a fee.

Bluehost’s free migrations are limited and not available to all users. Even so, they are through a website migrator plugin which can often be hit or miss. You can, however, pay to migrate up to five websites.

 BluehostHostgator
Price$149.99Free
Number of SitesUp to 5 sitesDepends on your plan
EmailsUp to 20 EmailsManual
Downtime?No downtime, guaranteedNot Mentioned
AvailabilityNot available on Reseller, VPS, or Dedicated AccountsAvailable on all accounts with restrictions

Winner: Hostgator. Being able to offer free professional migrations for beginners is a great incentive!

Hostgator vs Bluehost Comparison: Pros & Cons

 

Hostgator logo

Hostgator Pros
  • Very low prices
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Offers more resources on VPS and dedicated hosting
  • Better customer support than Bluehost
  • Free website migrations
  • Free SSL certificate and security features
Hostgator Cons
  • Uptime could be improved
  • Doesn’t offer managed Woocommerce hosting
  • Poor speed performance
  • Poor website performance
  • Limited server locations
bluehost logo

Bluehost Pros
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Recommended WP hosting provider
  • Lower cost VPS and dedicated hosting
  • Better speed performance than Hostgator
  • Better uptime than Hostgator
  • Free SSL certificate and security features
Hostgator Cons
  • General speed performance needs improvement
  • Limited server locations
  • No free automated backups


Hostgator vs Bluehost: The Ultimate Winner

If you have a WordPress website and are choosing between these two popular web hosting companies, our top pick is Hostgator.

Hostgator is a better option for you if you are making a price-conscious decision. Not only are the dollar values lower on most accounts, but Hostgator also squeezes more into their hosting plans than Bluehost does.

However, it had some significant shortfalls too.

The main difference between Bluehost and Hostgator is Bluehost performed much better in our performance tests than Hostgator did.

As supported by the data shared in our Hostgator vs Bluehost review, most other features are equal between these two hosting companies.

If you’d like to get up to 60% off your Hostgator subscription, use this link to Hostgator’s website!

 

Decided Bluehost is the better option for you?

No worries! Click this link to Bluehost’s website to secure up to 63% off your initial purchase with Bluehost.