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Bluehost vs HostGator: Which is better in 2024?


Hosting providers make hosting your own website easy – they provide the server space, ensure that your site stays visible and accessible to visitors, and offer comprehensive site security against spam, DDoS attacks, and more.

Bluehost and HostGator are some of the most well-known hosting providers on the market today. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, as well as use cases – but which one is ultimately better?

In this Bluehost vs HostGator comparison of 2024, we compare both hosting providers across various categories. We review and evaluate each provider’s pricing and plans, performance, ease of use, customer support options, as well as website security features. Continue reading to find out which host is the better choice.

Bluehost vs HostGator 2024: general info

BluehostHostGator
⭐ Rating:
4.5
4
💵 Price:From $2.75/monthFrom $3.75/month
📑 Uptime guarantee:99.9%99.9%
🔥 Coupons:Bluehost coupon 77% OFF!HostGator coupon 62% OFF
Storage space (from):10 GB SSD10 GB SSD
✂️ Free domain (first year):YesYes (first year)
🔒 Free SSL certificate:Yes (first year)Yes
➡️ Site migration:Free WordPress migration (1 site) or paid (up to 5 sites)1 free WordPress/cPanel migration and inter-server migration
💾 Automated backups:Daily Website Backups (Free 1st year), not with Basic PlanYes (paid)
📧 Email accounts:Free (up to 10 accounts)Yes (unlimited accounts)
👨‍💻 24/7 live support:YesYes
💰 Money-back guarantee:30-day30-day

At first glance, both Bluehost and HostGator are pretty similar when it comes to pricing, storage space, and overall feature offerings. Indeed, it looks like HostGator is the better provider up front, as it offers unlimited email accounts, an uptime guarantee, and a free domain. However, Bluehost’s starting plan is cheaper, and it offers a free domain, as well as up to 10 free email accounts. The overall rating of Bluehost is better as well. Although it does not offer an uptime guarantee, spoiler alert – it has a better uptime and response time than HostGator. All in all, Bluehost is a better hosting option than HostGator.

Bluehost vs HostGator pricing

Bluehost is slightly pricier than HostGator, offering shared hosting plans from $2.75/month, while HostGator plans start at 3.75. However, Bluehost shared plans go all the way up to $8.99/mo while HostGator stops at $6.25/mo, making it a cheaper option overall.

Other hosting options provided by the providers are pretty similar:

Hosting type Bluehost HostGator
Shared hosting✅yes
✅yes
WordPress hosting✅yes
✅yes
WooCommerce hosting✅yes❌no
Cloud hosting❌no✅yes
VPS hosting✅yes✅yes
Dedicated hosting✅yes✅yes
Visit BluehostVisit HostGator

Although both hosts have many options for scaling, shared hosting is what made both popular.

And without any surprise, there are some similarities between the plans. Both providers will give you a free domain for a year as well as unlimited SSL certificates. The entry plans also start with the 1 website limit.

  • Bluehost's Basic ($2.75/month) – this plan can host 1 website using 10GB SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth. Alongside that, you get a free domain and SSL certificate. Basic will be best for a small personal site.
  • HostGator's Hatchling ($3.75/month) – this plan allows you to connect 1 website using unlimited storage and bandwidth. You also get a free domain and SSL certificate. Hatchling is great for a portfolio website or casual blogging.

In any case, these advertised prices are available with 36-month subscriptions and will get more expensive once they end.

All in all, HostGator is significantly cheaper than Bluehost while managing to offer the same resources. It also has cheaper renewals.

Shared hosting plans

Bluehost has 4 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $2.75/month to $8.99/month.

However, all plans offer quite different value for money. Even though Bluehost itself suggests that the recommended plan is Choice Plus, I’d say Plus offers better value for money. Especially in the long run.

HostGator offers 3 shared hosting plans. The prices for these plans range between $3.75/month to $6.25/month, making this provider much cheaper. The Baby plan is not much pricier than the cheapest plan, and you automatically get to connect as many websites as you'd like.

WordPress hosting plans

With Bluehost, shared WordPress plan prices start at $2.75/month. Here’s what you get with it:

  • A guide dedicated to creating a WordPress website
  • A separate WordPress management area to manage plugins, updates, comments, and other settings globally
  • A staging tool

As for HostGator, its managed WordPress plans start at $5.95/month. All HostGator WordPress plans include:

  • One-click WordPress installation via a shortcut from the dashboard
  • Theme installation
  • Design service.

Hosting management: ease of use

Bluehost and HostGator feature their own native account management dashboards, which are equally easy to use. Whine native dashboards are created with beginners in mind, they both don’t slack in terms of advanced management by incorporating improved cPanel versions.

Account management dashboard

Your first encounter with each web host will be via the account management dashboard.

Both interfaces are clean, uncluttered, and intuitive. However, Bluehost has a slightly better dashboard if you are looking to host a business website.

When you first log in to Bluehost, it guides you through an automatic WordPress installation and setup.

So by the time you reach the dashboard, your website will be ready for customization.

The homepage of Bluehost’s dashboard presents you with a drop-down list of all your websites. Plus, you get a beginner-oriented checklist form on how to start building a WordPress website.

Bluehost main website management dashboard

Nonetheless, you won’t spend much more time on this main screen as more important tools are on the left-side menu where you can:

  • Manage existing websites and access individual site control panels in the “My Sites” menu. This is where the main website management features are located.
  • Add new services or features via the “Marketplace” – WordPress, other CMSs, website builder, email marketing options as well as themes and plugins for WordPress can be found there.
  • Manage and access email accounts – both settings and mailboxes are accessed through the “Email & Office” menu option.
  • Manage domain names via “Domains” – add or purchase new ones as well as add subdomains.
  • Access cPanel under the “Advanced” tab.

With all the features accessible from the main menu, most of the users won’t even need to get familiar with cPanel. However, if you’re looking for more advanced management options, you might have to visit it.

One more thing that allows you to skip on cPanel is the “My Sites” management area. In there, you'll find all of your websites listed. So simply click on a website to access more functionalities, like logging in to your WordPress, setting up a CDN, and more.

“My Sites” is a powerful tool that definitely gives Bluehost an upper hand in this dashboard comparison.

Meanwhile, HostGator leaves the website set up for you, so the first thing you see when logging in is the main user interface.

The homepage of HostGator’s dashboard is a bit more business-like. You will not see tips and tutorials here, but it does give you more links to important management functions.

HostGator's native hosting management panel

Now a big perk is that HostGator enables you to set up your website directly from your dashboard. You can install a CMS by clicking on “Install WordPress,” add a professional email account in “Email Accounts,” and check if SSL was automatically installed in “SSL Management.”

Additionally, HostGator also has an individual website management area, but it is not as powerful as Bluehost’s “My Sites.” You’ll find it under the “Hosting” menu tab.

Regardless, HostGator is responsive and easy to use. In fact, there’s less clutter in the main dashboard compared to Bluehost, which tries to just give you everything.

As a whole, Bluehost's native user interface proves to be just a tad bit more functional, with more conveniently organized features.

Control panel comparison

Both Bluehost and HostGator offer customized versions of the popular hosting control panel cPanel. This tool is used for more advanced website development tasks and configurations – think of creating subdomains, managing databases, blacklisting IPs, or implementing frameworks. It always comes in handy when custom websites are built.

Bluehost’s cPanel opens in the same window or tab as the rest of the dashboard, but it actually exists on a different subdomain. Many won’t even notice, though, because it’s been skinned to look like the rest of the dashboard. That’s nice and sleek.

Bluehost cPanel view

Theming aside, it’s a fairly standard cPanel offering. It has all the functions that those familiar with hosting control panels would come to expect.

Compared to the main account dashboard, the transitions between pages aren’t as fast. Going between cPanel and the account dashboard, or vice versa always takes a few seconds.

But in general, it’s an easy-to-use interface that looks good and has everything you need to manage your service.

HostGator also offers a pretty standard-looking cPanel. It has just a tad bit more spice mixed in it compared to the original. However, not enough to have a left-side menu option like Bluehost.

HostGator cPanel view

Other than that, you’ll find all the regular things in there – file manager, email settings, databases, and tools such as PHP manager.

Overall, HostGator offers a more standard-looking cPanel, which is very easy to navigate.

So when it comes to cPanel, there’s no winner here. Both Bluehost and HostGator put in some effort to customize and make the user interface friendlier. Nonetheless, Bluehost’s cPanel has a left-side menu, which could help to navigate quicker.

Website migration

Bluehost and HostGator both can migrate your website for free, although HostGator policy is better. Bluehost migrates just WordPress sites, while HostGator can transfer all cPanel and WordPress-based projects.

Bluehost is a bit secretive about its website transfer service. Although it's there and available. So if you have a WordPress site with a different provider, find Migration Service in the Marketplace.

Bluehost website migration service

Transfer of 1 site is free, while a $149 fee will get you up to 5 transfers.

HostGator is proud of its migration service and mentions it when you purchase a plan. And ordering is very simple. You just need to fill out a form on your dashboard.

HostGator website migration request

The service is free of charge for 1 cPanel or WordPress-based website.

So in this department, our vote goes to HostGator. It's simply a more flexible option when it comes to switching hosts.

Website builder experience

If you are entirely new to hosting and managing a website or if you need to get a website launched really quickly, both Bluehost and HostGator give you access to website builders. While both website builders are easy to use, Bluehost’s one has an advantage – it is based on WordPress.

I was honestly very impressed with Bluehost’s website builder. It started very regularly – you answer some questions, get to pick some colors, images, and so on. The editor itself is very simple. Simplistic, even.

Everything is based on blocks. These blocks each have a couple of different templates based on functionality, and they all stack together nicely. Not too flexible, but makes a tidy website.

Setting up Bluehost's website builder

It’s also a modern builder that adapts the design to all screens automatically. You won’t be missing out on mobile traffic.

Nonetheless, we were most impressed when we discovered that the website builder is actually based on WordPress. So you get to use this very quick way of arranging a simple website that you can later customize further with WordPress.

This takes the one thing that always stops users from using website builders from the equation – being tied to one platform or one hosting provider. You see, when it’s a WordPress website, migrating becomes super easy.

So while Bluehost website builder is very simplistic, that simplicity allows it to work together with WordPress. Once you’re ready, you can use the basically limitless possibilities of the most popular CMS.

HostGator’s website builder is more standard. It works by allowing you to choose a template and then changing the content to yours. However, the free version allows you to create just 6 pages and there’s HostGator’s logo in the footer. Although, it allows PayPal integration, making it great to accept payments or donations.

Gator has over 100 responsive templates that are modern and well-made. The templates are organized into various categories including blogs, eCommerce, one-pagers, and so on making it easy to find something to match unique needs.

Website builder templates in HostGator

The editor features drag-and-drop functionality. You can take a design element and place it on the website. On the other hand, spots, where you can place that design element, are pre-allocated based on a template. This makes for less customizability but more tidiness.

Using HostGator's website builder editor

In general, HostGator’s website editor proved to be more functional and easier to use. On the other hand, once you make a website with it, switching to WordPress is almost impossible.

In this case, Bluehost has a more comprehensive option that can become a permanent website. Especially for beginner users. Meanwhile, HostGator’s option remains a temporary solution for a very quick site.

All in all, Bluehost is one step forward when it comes to user interfaces and ease of use. It has a more functional dashboard area, a clean cPanel, and a website builder that can save a lot of time and struggle. That being said, HostGator is very easy to use as well and no less functional. However, its tools are a little less comprehensive.

Bluehost vs HostGator performance

Surprisingly, Bluehost vs HostGator performance was not consistent with the price. HostGator was faster and was able to handle more traffic than Bluehost. On the other hand, both providers showed reliable and speedy results.

Uptime and response time

For starters, we have monitored the long-term performance to see if any of these hosts can be trusted to stay up.

Over a period from January to March, the site on Bluehost’s server was down on 6 separate occasions for nearly 11 minutes. This equates to an uptime rate of 99.9%.

Bluehost uptime and response time monitoring

The average response time was 361ms, which is really good. Response times were rather inconsistent but improved to around 300ms towards the end.

One thing that raises some concerns about Bluehost is the absence of an uptime guarantee. While it performs well, a legal obligation to keep servers online would make users much more confident. Meanwhile, HostGator promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is an industry standard.

The testing of HostGator’s server was over a slightly different period of time – between December and February. In that time there were 3 outages, resulting in 5 minutes of downtime. This means that the uptime was greater than 99.99%.

HostGator uptime and response time monitoring results

Average response times were slightly off at 525ms compared to Bluehost. Even though it is worse than Bluehost's, it's still better than the industry average of 600ms. Meaning the provider still manages to rise higher than average.

Website speed

Another test that we did was a simple page load speed test. Users expect pages to load almost instantaneously and if it takes more than 3 seconds – a lot of them will bounce.

Especially those users coming from Google and not targeting your site directly.

So we set up identical WordPress websites on both of the providers and ran the tests.

I must note that both websites are hosted in US data centers. The test is also run from the US, meaning these are the best results from these providers.

Good To Know

Both Bluehost and HostGator do not offer server location choices. Their private servers are located in the US and will perform best for audiences located in the North American region.

To understand the results, there are 3 main things you should look at:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – the time when the biggest chunk of content (image or text) is loaded. For many visitors, LCP is equal to full page load time.
  • TTFB (time to first byte) – similar to response time, this metric shows us how long it took for the server to react to the visitor’s request to open the page.
  • Fully Loaded Time – speaks for itself. At this point, the website is fully loaded and interactive.

From the first look, the results look very much different.

When we're talking about Bluehost, it's the Largest Contentful Paint, and the Fully Loaded Time is the exact same 1.8 seconds. If we take the fact that visitors are more likely to bounce if the loading time is any longer than 3 seconds, Bluehost is doing a good job.

Bluehost page load speed test with fully built website

On the other hand, HostGator demonstrated significantly speedier results. HostGator's Largest Contentful Paint is only 1.1s, while the Fully Loaded Time is 1.2s. So if we take only the end result as a conclusion, HostGator loads websites faster.

HostGator page load speed test with demo WordPress website

But not so fast.

There's another measure that we should pay attention to, and it's TTFB. Bluehost would be a ton faster if it wasn’t for that slow 1 second. Meanwhile, HostGator’s server reacts super quickly in 154ms.

Knowing that Google only cares about LCP and TTFB… HostGator definitely wins. On the other hand, users may barely notice any difference.

Stress testing results

The final point in this comparison is how many visitors can each provider handle. For the stress test, we sent 50 virtual visitors to each website and analyzed the results.

Unfortunately, Bluehost did not pass the test initially. We had to keep decreasing the number of visitors. The first test it passed was with 15 visitors.

Bluehost stress test 15 visitors

Even with that, the blue line representing speed did go up as the number of visitors (grey line) increased. This shows that Bluehost had to slow down in order to fit everyone in.

Meanwhile, HostGator handled the test with ease. 50 visitors was a mere joke.

HostGator stress test 50 visitors

HostGator didn’t even slow down except for a small bump in the middle. The blue line (response time) experienced little change in regard to visitor increase (grey line).

So there’s a big difference in what Bluehost and HostGator can handle. But for disclosure, 15 visitors at exactly the same time is not what small or even medium-sized websites reach easily. It would amount to at least 10,000 visitors monthly if there were constantly 15 users browsing your site.

All in all, HostGator shows better results in all regards when it comes to performance. It is faster, more reliable, and can handle more traffic. Nonetheless, Bluehost results are not bad either, but it’s obvious that the tech used by this provider could use an upgrade.

Bluehost vs HostGator: which offers better security?

FeaturesBluehostBluehost
Free SSL✅yes✅yes
DDoS protection✅yes❌no
Automatic backups❌no❌no
2FA account security✅yes (with Plus plan)✅yes
Spam protection✅yes✅yes
Monitoring software❌no❌no

Neither Bluehost nor HostGator is brilliant when it comes to security. Both of them include free SSL certificates, but that’s about it when it comes to freebies. Bluehost might be a bit more secure here as it has one-step Cloudflare integration which helps to prevent some DDoS attacks. HostGator does not have immediate Cloudflare protection, but as with all websites, it can be set up manually.

Neither Bluehost nor HostGator includes automatic backups – though they can be purchased separately as third-party software. Bluehost charges $2.99 per month for automatic backups, and the price can go to $23.95/mo (free with Choice Plus and Pro). HostGator has 3 options for backups with the cheapest being at $2.76/mo and going up to $8.33/mo (free with Business). Fortunately, cPanel allows creating backups manually, but automation is a much more secure way to go in case there’s an attack or a problem.

Other things in terms of security that should be considered are the overall safety of your account, spam prevention, and monitoring. In terms of account security, you will get two-factor authentication, and both providers will regularly ask you to confirm your identity when contacting customer support with more advanced inquiries. Bluehost includes spam protection starting with the Plus plan, while HostGator has the functionality built-in. Monitoring software to prevent threats has to be purchased both with Bluehost and HostGator unless you are opting for the most expensive plans.

Altogether, Bluehost is slightly more equipped than HostGator when it comes to security. Nonetheless, neither of the providers is doing all to make sure they are secure, and additional tools need to be purchased separately.

Hostgator vs Bluehost: Customer support

BluehostHostGator
24/7 live chat✅yes✅yes
Email❌no❌no
Phone line✅yes✅yes
Knowledge base✅yes✅yes
FAQs✅yes✅yes

Both providers offer 24/7 live chat and phone support. Additionally, Bluehost has a help desk ticketing system and a premium customer support option for an additional cost. Regardless, both hosts also have extensive knowledge bases too.

To test how effective each support team is, we decided to ask both providers a few easy questions via live chat.

Starting with Bluehost, we contacted the support team with an inquiry on how to set up staging sites. The operator was very speedy in providing us with guidance and helpful tips.

Bluehost live chat support about staging

However, it’s important to note that the initial connection took some time to occur. Also, quite a lot of time passed between replies in some cases. Sometimes the gap was as long as 10 minutes.

Getting connected to live chat with HostGator also took a while. Unfortunately, our experience with HostGator from there wasn’t exactly positive either.

Bluehost live chat support about staging

We didn’t get a clear answer to our question and gave up. Also, the operator wasn’t replying in complete sentences and didn’t use any punctuation, which made it hard to understand.

So in this particular scenario, Bluehost’s support gave us quicker, more accurate answers to the same question, and the wait times to chat with an operator weren’t as long either. However, be mindful that your experience may be different from ours.

Lastly, in terms of knowledge bases, both offer good resources and display answers to questions under a variety of common categories. Bluehost goes a bit further by recommending different methods of getting help. While HostGator doesn’t provide recommendations with its knowledge base, we discovered its search function to be lightning-quick and much quicker than Bluehost’s.

Overall, our live chat experience was better with Bluehost. However, your personal experience may vary depending on the issue.

Bluehost vs HostGator: final thoughts

In the grand summary of this Bluehost vs HostGator comparison, we tend to put our favors with HostGator. The provider is less expensive; it offers significantly better performance stability. Bluehost is not far behind with its more functional user interface and slightly better security.

FeatureBluehostHostGatorVerdict
Pricing
While the initial pricing difference does not look big, HostGator is around 30% cheaper overall if we take more expensive plans and consider renewals.
Ease of use
Both providers are easy to use, but Bluehost's interface is more functional and has more tools to help websites succeed.
Performance
Both providers showed reliable uptime of 99.99%, while Bluehost's response time was significantly better than HostGator's. However, overall HostGator showed much better results regarding the website's loading speed and the amount of traffic it can handle on the site.
Security
Neither Bluehost nor HostGator is very comprehensive when it comes to security with many tools being paid for. However, Bluehost makes setting up security easier.
Support
Both providers have similar options to reach support. In our case, Bluehost provided us with more accurate answers while HostGator’s issue was not solved with one interaction.

Hostgator is a reliable and affordable hosting provider with a minimal user interface and control panel, excellent performance results, especially concerning site loading speed and traffic handling, as well as a rather basic site security suite. Similarly, Bluehost offers somewhat affordable pricing, a native and cPanel control panel with a variety of useful tools, and excellent performance with uptime and response times. Nevertheless, while both providers have their strengths, Bluehost is the better hosting provider than HostGator overall. Its control panel is easier to navigate and includes more useful tools, as well as makes it easier to set up site security. The Bluehost customer support was also more efficient and helpful than HostGators.

Alternatives to Bluehost and HostGator

If you’re still not convinced by either Bluehost or HostGator, there are many other viable web hosting alternatives for you to consider. A2 Hosting, for example, is another company that provides competitive low pricing for shared hosting. And if you want more powerful WordPress hosting, Flywheel is a good choice.

A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting offers very similar prices to both Bluehost and HostGator. Its shared hosting prices start at $2.99/month which compares to $3.75/month for HostGator and $2.75/month for Bluehost. It uses classic cPanel for hosting management, making it an easy-to-use and familiar option.

A2 Hosting also offers a full range of hosting products including standard and managed WordPress options, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting plans.

One thing that A2 Hosting can offer that Bluehost and HostGator don’t, is a choice of data centers. A2 Hosting has data centers in two locations in the US, Europe, and Singapore.

Flywheel

Flywheel provides managed WordPress hosting with prices starting at $13.00/month.

It has a particular focus on freelance web developers and agencies. You can create accounts with Flywheel and then later transfer billing to your clients. Or you can resell the hosting to create recurring income.

For web professionals, Flywheel has even released its own server development tool, which they can use to work on sites locally, and then connect to Flywheel for easy deployment.


More web hosting reviews from Cybernews:


Bluehost vs HostGator FAQs

Comments

Lora R Gunter
prefix 2 years ago
Thanks for the comparison. I am new to setting up a website, and I had narrowed it down to these two providers. Going through the comparison gave me a lot to think about! I didn’t realize all the variables involved. I appreciate the writeup.
App
prefix 2 years ago
Maybe it’s just me but if both web hosting providers have the same rating, just the price is different, I can’t see why I should pay more when it comes to the decision between bluehost and hostgator. What are the advantages of Bluehost?
Miglė Šeikytė
prefix 2 years ago
Hey! I must agree – they do seem very similar at first sight. But looking at the details, we can see that Bluehost is more expensive because it offers more additional tools. You’ll find WordPress management area, staging, and marketing integrations. HostGator, on the other hand, is a bit more simplistic 🙂
Cam Preston
prefix 2 years ago
What advice would you provide to someone searching for a WordPress host that can support numerous domains? Iit’s hard to choose between bluehost or hostgator and which plan is the most suitable.
Kotryna Degutytė
prefix 2 years ago
Hello, Cam! It really depends on what you’re looking for:
1. Bluehost has more cool features like WordPress staging and marketing management integrations. The Plus plan would be great for multiple smaller sites, while Pro is better for businesses.
2. HostGator is more of an affordable no-fuss hosting option. The Baby plan can support multiple small websites, while Business will work with bigger ones.
Hope this helps 🙂
gift that keeps on giving
prefix 2 years ago
didn’t know these two major hosting services are produced by the same company. So wouldn’t that make the choice of bluehost or hostgator kinda easier because if they’re made by the same people, probably it’s the same thing, just different price? Because I assume they use the same equipment and code to create it all, but I could be wrong.
Kotryna Degutytė
prefix 2 years ago
Hey! Bluehost and HostGator were not started by the same people, just acquired by the same company later. So they are pretty different. Bluehost has a lot of focus on WordPress and custom tools, while HostGator is more of a “classic” provider. In terms of performance, they don’t use the same data centers either. Not sure if that makes a choice easier 😉
David Ridley
prefix 2 years ago
I like how you compare bluehost and HostGator. They both have the same rating because they really outweigh one another. One is cheaper, while the other one is faster. Really a hard choice but I guess it comes down to personal needs and preference. Though I can see why you chose Bluehost as the winner, it’s very good for web hosting.
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