Hostinger vs Bluehost: will the cheap overtake the popular?
In this Hostinger vs Bluehost comparison, I’ll analyze the most important features of both providers. I’ll talk about their prices, ease of use, performance, security, as well as customer support. These are the key things that will allow us to objectively tell which provider is better.
Both hosting providers are very popular, and they improve their services by day to keep up with the competition. So if you'd ever stumble across a post asking for advice on which of these 2 providers to pick, you’ll end up reading thousands of comments with tons of pros and cons. The providers are stacked against each other to fight till death.
But I have a better way of solving this once and until the next service update.
If we tested and compared each major area of the two, we'd come out with a decent analysis highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each. That's exactly what I did. So read on my Bluehost vs Hostinger comparison to find out which one of them is the perfect match for your website.
Hostinger vs Bluehost: general info
Both Hostinger and Bluehost are popular choices, but the latter is more so because it’s an old and well-established company. Hostinger is known for low prices and beats the odds when it comes to performance. Meanwhile, Bluehost focuses on WordPress and business features but is not as performance-driven.
Apparently, there are more differences than similarities. Here's a quick overview of how these two look like. The article ended up being pretty long, so if you're in a rush – skip to the conclusion altogether.
|Pricing:||from $1.39/mo||from $3.95/mo|
|Ease of use:||Native hPanel control panel||Modern native dashboard with the classic cPanel integration|
|Performance:||100% uptime and 511ms response time||99.99% uptime and 361ms response time|
|Security:||SSLs, server monitoring, weekly/daily backups||SSLs and server monitoring|
|Support:||24/7 live chat and email||24/7 live chat and phone|
Hostinger is cheaper than Bluehost, with prices for shared hosting starting at $1.39/month, while Bluehost is priced at $3.95/month. Hostinger charges less for its scalability options too. VPS hosting, for instance, starts at $3.95/month, as opposed to Bluehost’s VPS hosting, which starts at $19.99/month.
The main and the most popular product of both providers is shared hosting. It's easy to use and usually matches the needs of both small and medium-sized websites.
Both providers include free SSL certificates and have a 1 website limit on the cheapest plans. But that's where the similarities end:
- Hostinger's Single ($1.39/mo) comes with 30GB SSD storage and 100GB bandwidth for around 10 000 visitors. It also includes weekly backups and 1 professional email account.
- Bluehost's Basic ($3.95/mo) comes with 50GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, email accounts, and a free domain for a year.
Hostinger is more straightforward about bandwidth allowance, while Bluehost is still hiding under the surreal unlimited buzzword. At the same time, Bluehost does not limit how many email accounts you can create and include a domain name that could be worth around $10/year. With Hostinger, you'd need to buy the domain, although weekly backups compensate the price difference, in my opinion.
As for storage space, both offers are generous – with 1 website limit, you are not risking to use more than 30GB of storage any time soon.
But no matter which provider you choose, you'd need to select the longest billing term to get the advertised price. Plus, it is going to increase on renewal. So while calculating what's best, consider this:
|Provider||Plan||Billing term||Total inital price||Total renewal price|
It's quite obvious what pricing difference this makes. Even by pre-paying for Hostinger, the price is not that scary looking. As for Bluehost, it's 2 times more expensive.
But the cheapest plan suits only a very small circle of people. So what is the actual best value for a different kind of user?
Hostinger has 3 shared hosting plans in total. The prices range from $1.39/mo to $4.99/mo, increasing server resource limits and adding extra stuff.
The cheapest plan is really generous when considering the resources included, but if you need more than one site – it is not an option anymore. As for Business, the features and resources included are great, but it's an option for bigger business websites.
I personally think that Premium ($2.59/mo) is what most users would benefit the most from. Just a little bit more than $1 more expensive than Basic, it allows hosting up to 100 websites with 100GB storage and includes a free domain. If your websites remain relatively small, you might never need to upgrade.
To get the best value with Hostinger, pick the Premium plan with a 48-month pre-payment. The total is $124.32, which will renew at $287.52, making it still a cheaper option than Bluehost cheapest plan.Check Hostinger Pricing Now
As for Bluehost, it has 4 shared hosting plans ranging between $3.95 and $13.95 monthly. Each plan includes more server resources and extra features than the previous one.
Just like with Hostinger, the cheapest plan is nice but limiting. As for the most expensive one – that's a huge price increase for little extra value. The options worth looking at are Plus and Choice Plus.
Plus is the best option for the long-term, as it does not limit the number of websites you can create. Choice Plus is a great option that adds some additional security by including daily backups and domain privacy for just $1 more than Plus costs. But that's only for the first billing term – the pricing difference will be much greater upon renewal.
To get good long-term value, pick Plus. It will cost $142.20 for the first 3 years. The plan renews at $431.64 for the next 3 years.Check Bluehost Pricing Now
Very very clear, Hostinger is the cheapest option here. Of course, such a low price makes me question where the provider is cutting corners. And that's what the rest of this Hostinger vs Bluehost comparison will show us.
Altogether, pricing alone considered, Hostinger is much cheaper. Especially when it comes to renewal pricing. At the same time, both providers include quite similar features, making Hostinger look even better.
Hosting management: ease of use
After using Hostinger and Bluehost, I noticed that they are both easy to use. They each have their own native, beginner-friendly dashboard. However, while Bluehost decided to integrate cPanel, Hostinger created its very own control panel. It’s called hPanel, and it’s just as intuitive and functional as cPanel.
Indeed, Hostinger and Bluehost have much in common when it comes to ease of use. However, their dashboards and control panels are different, and for a better understanding, I’ll talk about them individually.
Account management dashboard
Hostinger provides a simple and functional user dashboard that gives you access to all necessary website creation and management tools. While Bluehost’s dashboard is just as effortless to use, I found it more functional than Hostinger’s.
In corner number one, we have Hostinger’s dashboard. It’s incredibly simple. The thing I like the most about it is that while it’s clean of any clutter, it somehow manages to give you access to many tools and plenty of information. It’s one of those less is more kind of situations.
The first time you log in, the dashboard is used to set up your hosting account – install WordPress, activate SSL, and finalize the domain registration. After that, it will be used to navigate the account – reach the main control panel or domain management area.
In corner number two, we have Bluehost’s dashboard. Not only is it easy to use and navigate, but I found it more functional than Hostinger’s dashboard. It gives you access to management tools, suggested setup actions, and some guidelines that will help you set up your website.
In fact, Bluehost's dashboard is functioning more like a control panel rather than a navigational area. You can manage the key things here – install WordPress and reach the management area of each website that you create, install SSL, add domains and subdomains, or access paid email accounts.
If more advanced tools are not needed, all the website management is done in this user interface, making Bluehost incredibly intuitive. But, if you'd like to tweak databases and other advanced settings, the Advanced button will take you to cPanel.
Overall, I found both Hostinger’s and Bluehost’s dashboard easy to use. Navigation was not an issue with either one of them. Nevertheless, I have to give Bluehost extra credit here because it created a way more functional dashboard than Hostinger.
Control panel comparison
While Bluehost decided to integrate the traditional cPanel we all know and love, Hostinger chose to create its own and call it hPanel. It’s inspired by cPanel. The only difference is that it was designed with beginners in mind. Not that cPanel is that challenging to use.
Hostinger's hPanel is used for all the main website and hosting management tasks. This is where you can install additional WordPress or any other content management systems, add domains, create subdomains, access file manager, and more. That's the main difference when compared to Bluehost, which only uses the control panel for advanced management tasks.
hPanel is very clean-looking and functional. It's very easy to navigate it and find the tools you are looking for. Inspired by cPanel, it inherited that logical categorization of tools, putting them under such categories as Email, Software, Security, and so on.
Additionally, Hostinger added a WordPress management area.
You can use this dashboard to log in to the WordPress admin panel, turn on "maintenance" mode, manage caching, or update plugins in bulk.
Overall, Hostinger's control panel is very straightforward, functional, and beginner-friendly.
Bluehost’s cPanel may be a bit more familiar to many of you, even with the skin that matches the provider's branding. It gives access to more advanced hosting settings, such as access to file manager, phpMyAdmin for databases, and free webmail client management.
Bluehost tweaked its cPanel quite a lot, integrating it into its own management area.
For example, it decided that standard cPanel one-click installations for WordPress and other apps are not good enough anymore and you won't find them in cPanel. For such a thing, you need to go either to My Sites or Marketplace.
The same goes for domain management – it's not available in cPanel anymore. Bluehost created its own tool for these tasks, which you'll find in the Domains section.
With such things omitted from cPanel, it really becomes the Advanced tool. Not in terms of being difficult to use, but in terms that you don't regularly need it. Beginner users might not even step their foot here.
So in all honesty, Bluehost's control panel is not as functional anymore as all of the essential tools are located in the main dashboard.
What is important to remember here is that both Hostinger and Bluehost made their user interfaces easy to use and navigate. No matter which one you go for, you won’t have a hard time. Even so, in my mind, Hostinger is a winner in this category. Why? Because it invested its resources in creating its own control panel, and it did so with beginners in mind. So, I’ll give it an A+ for effort.
Extra hosting management features
One area where Bluehost really steps up is the extra features that help managing websites. Bluehost includes such things as site staging and marketing management straight from the control panel. Hostinger, on the other hand, can only be proud of the account sharing feature.
Hostinger has been promising to add a website staging tool for quite a while now, but it's still not there.
However, it does have an account sharing feature. You can add members of your team to the account, giving them their own login credentials. Also, you can give them varying privileges. For example, you can allow them to use billing details to purchase services or not. They can also get access only to a certain website if you have more than one.
This is a great tool when it comes to privacy and security. It can even be implemented to suit agency needs. For example, you can host your clients' websites yourself and give them separate access to the control panel.
At the same time, Bluehost does not offer such a useful feature but takes a big win when site staging and business features are considered.
Staging allows you to create an identical copy of your website to make changes on. It's basically your secret playground no visitor knows about. If you like what you made – you can seamlessly push those changes to the actual website.
Everything is managed from the WordPress admin panel itself via Bluehost plugin. It requires only a couple of clicks to create a copy and a couple of clicks to make the changes visible on your live website.
Additionally, Bluehost allows you to set up marketing for your website directly from the dashboard. Such tools like Google My Business and Google Ads are integrated for ease of use.
- Google My Business will list your website on Google Maps and will help rank on queries such as "Pizza near me."
- Google Ads is a simplified ad manager straight in your dashboard.
While these tools are not advanced, you get to manage crucial marketing aspects in one place. It's very easy and helpful if you're a beginner business owner.
Altogether, Hostinger is not as extensive with extra functionalities as Bluehost. It focuses more on your account security, while Bluehost helps with web development and marketing.
All in all, ease of use and hosting management is a very tight battle between Bluehost vs Hostinger. Both providers are very easy to use, but the differences are huge. Hostinger might be more straightforward, including a more traditional control panel. Bluehost puts main management features in its dashboard but gives access to cPanel too, which can turn navigation clustery. Extra stuff considered, Bluehost is the winner with site staging and marketing management tools.
Hostinger vs Bluehost performance
In the performance comparison of Hostinger vs Bluehost, Hostinger is a clear winner. It was faster, handled more traffic, and even scored better uptime than Bluehost. In fact, the provider's results are some of the best in the industry. Bluehost, on the other hand, was quite average.
Uptime and response time
I've monitored Hostinger's and Bluehost's uptime and response time for around 2 months to see how reliable these providers are.
In 2 months' time, Hostinger had 0 outages resulting in 100% uptime. That is an excellent result, but don't be fooled. 100% uptime is not possible in the long term as servers need to be maintained. So we probably caught a very good period, yet more accurate results will be visible in a year or so.
As for response time, Hostinger was quite mediocre, scoring 511ms average response time. At the same time, the speed was quite stable apart from one bigger peak.
In the same period, Bluehost had 6 outages and 11 minutes of downtime in total. This is still a very reliable result which translates to 99.99% uptime. This is a more realistic result, although still very optimistic for shared hosting.
The average response time was much lower than Hostinger's, at 361ms. However, Bluehost wasn't as stable – at first, the peaks reached 500ms or even 700ms and only later stabilized at around 300ms.
Overall, both providers proved to be reliable, and that is what matters here the most.
To test how fast the providers load websites, I've created similar websites and ran them through the test. Hostinger results were more than 2 times better.
When testing speed, we are looking at 3 things:
- Largest Contentful Paint – it shows how fast the biggest chunk of the website's content is loaded. Up to 2.5 seconds is considered a good result.
- TTFB shows how fast the server reacted initially – it might tell us if it's the provider, or the theme at fault if the page is loading slowly.
- Fully Loaded Time, of course, tells us when the website is 100% ready to be clicked on and scrolled through.
Hostinger was quick in all aspects. The Largest Contentful Paint was 849ms which leaves no space for doubt. The server reacted very fast initially too, with TTFB being at 207ms. This shows that the server itself is fast.
As for fully loaded time, there was a small delay from the LCP. It loaded in 936ms. But why am I complaining here? How many fully built websites have you seen loading in less than a second? Hostinger is fast and that's the fact.
Bluehost was quite significantly slower here. Its Largest Contentful Paint stood at 1.8 seconds. We fit into the benchmark, but there's room for improvement when comparing to Hostinger. And I know the reason for that – Bluehost initial server response, TTFB, was much slower at 1 second.
On the other hand, there was no further delay to Fully Loaded Time, as it's the same as LCP – 1.8 seconds. Still, very fast page load time.
And I found out the reason for such a result.
Hostinger is very performance-focused. It implements a variety of speed optimizations on its servers such as the LiteSpeed webserver with caching pre-configured as well as the latest PHP versions. Additionally, it allows choosing server location from 7 different data centers around the globe so it's amazing if your audience is based in a particular place. You can select the server closest to it and improve speed even more.
As for Bluehost, it's using old and reliable tech without jumping into the newest stuff. That's why caching is only very basic, and PHP versions are updated slower. Also, it has servers only in the US. So if your audience is in Europe or Asia, it won't be the optimal choice for you.
Altogether, both providers show good results when it comes to speed, but Hostinger is still significantly faster.
To find out if the websites are good if many visitors come in, I sent 50 Virtual Users (bots). This puts a lot of pressure on the server, highlighting all the problems that providers might have.
Hostinger passed the test perfectly. To understand the graph, look at the blue line – it's the speed, and the grey line (it's the bots). The blue line remains flat even when the number of visitors is increasing. Only a couple of bumps, later on, are visible, but nothing that would indicate a problem.
In comparison, 50 visitors was way too much for Bluehost and it failed that test.
The first test that the provider passed was with 15 visitors. Yet still, the blue speed line is all bumpy and increases together with the number of visitors. This means that Bluehost slowed down a little.
This shows that Bluehost's servers are not as powerful as Hostinger's.
But don't ditch Bluehost just yet.
50VUs is the maximum that we think shared hosting providers could reliably handle. And that's on more expensive plans. 15VUs could easily add up to 10k or 20k monthly visitors – that's quite a popular website, honestly.
So while Hostiner overachieves and makes its competitors look bad, Bluehost is actually performing very well for its category.
All in all, Hostinger is the frontrunner in almost every performance-related aspect of this comparison. With 100% uptime, fast page loading, and powerful servers, it really makes Bluehost look bad. Meanwhile, Bluehost shows quite average results.
When it comes to security, both Hostinger and Bluehost include basic features in their plans. None of them goes the extra mile in this department. Any security enhancements you may want for your website must be purchased.
Here is what you get in terms of security from both providers:
- Free Let’s Encrypt certificate installation and upgrades
- Easy one-click Cloudflare installation
- Basic spam protection
- Server-level security enhancements
If you want to look for differences between the two providers, you have to take a look at more advanced features.
For one thing, Hostinger is pretty clear about its weekly backups. Plus, if you go for the Business plan, the weekly backups turn into daily.
Bluehost, on the other hand, is very sketchy about its backups. Its TOS claims that backups are performed, but there is no clear point as to when that happens and whether restoring is possible or not. We don’t even know where backups are stored.
So, if you want some clarity, you need to purchase a third-party security tool that costs $1.99/month if you add it when you buy a plan. The Pro plan comes with free backups powered by CodeGuard, so there’s that.
So, while neither Hostinger nor Bluehost excel when it comes to security, I have to give Hostinger extra points for offering free weekly or daily backups. Other than that, the two providers are pretty similar.
If you need help, Hostinger's main option is 24/7 live chat while email is also available. Bluehost is also working 24/7 to ensure customer support via live chat, emails, and phone. Both providers also have knowledge bases full of tutorials and documentation.
Testing which provider offers the best and most efficient support was easy. All I had to do was to put the same problem in front of both of them. I chose a question about setting up a third-party SSL certificate, and I let the games begin.
My experience with Hostinger was usually good, the only problem is that they can take up to an hour to respond. In this particular case, I waited around 20 minutes.
However, once the agent connected with me, it took her just a few minutes to answer my questions. She was very knowledgeable and explained everything in detail. I would like to add that she did not urge me to buy SSLs from Hostinger even though that option is available. So Hostinger is very honest and helpful here, trying to ensure the best user experience.
In contrast, Bluehost was impressively fast. An agent connected with me within seconds. The answers, on the other hand, were not as clear.
At first, the agent offered assistant with SSL installation, but the conversation quickly shifted toward the dedicated IP question. For some reason, I need SSL to get dedicated IP to get key bundles?
So while the conversation started very well, I left with more questions than answers. And this is not the first time it does that – in my experience with Bluehost, most of the agents are truly helpful, but they are required to sell extra services. Plus, not everyone is fluent in English, so miscommunications like this are pretty common.
Nonetheless, the agent offered to install SSL and that's what matters.
So while I had to wait more to get answers from Hostinger, it was a better experience, and I got more straightforward answers. Bluehost was quick and helpful too, but miscommunication is a problem that the provider has not yet resolved.
Of course, live chat is not the only way to get assistance. You can also do some self-education in the knowledge base. Both providers have well-maintained documentation and tutorials.
All in all, neither of the providers is absolutely perfect when it comes to customer support. Hostinger makes you wait till the agents connect, while Bluehost is fast, yet not every conversation is straightforward. I'd still give the points to Hostinger here, as the agent was very helpful and provided me with directions on how to solve my problem very clearly.
Hostinger vs Bluehost: final recommendation
The Hostinger vs Bluehost matter is settled. In almost every major department, Hostinger showed better results than Bluehost. It's cheaper, faster, and more powerful. Although Bluehost is not far behind, providing useful website management tools and instant customer support.
Here's how it look in our scoreboard:
|Pricing||Hostinger's prices start at $1.39/mo while Bluehost charges $3.95/mo for the cheapest plan. On renewals, Hostinger is more than 2 times cheaper too.|
|Interface||Both providers are very easy to use, with Hostinger being more simplistic. At the same time, Bluehost includes more useful tools such as staging.|
|Performance||Hostinger wins every performance test, being more reliable, faster, and powerful than Bluehost.|
|Security||In terms of security, providers are similar. However, Hostinger adds weekly backups with each plan.|
|Support||Hostinger wait times to get connected are longer, but agents are more knowledgeable. Bluehost is very fast with friendly agents, but miscommunications happen.|
So, what's my final recommendation?
Facts considered Hostinger offers better value than Bluehost. It's cheaper and equally easy to use. Plus, you'll get better performance. Ultimately, it is the best option for the majority of websites. Especially those that have tight budgets.
Bluehost in no way is bad either. If you're looking for more business-focused features, it's definitely the one to consider.
Alternatives to Hostinger and Bluehost
While Hostinger and Bluehost offer affordable and reliable hosting services, you may be curious to see what other hosting services are out there that can provide you with what you need. HostGator, for instance, is very popular with beginners, and InterServer delivers reliable shared and advanced hosting solutions.
If you’re a beginner, you may be interested in what HostGator has to offer. The company designed an incredibly beginner-friendly management dashboard that will help you with any hosting-related process so that everything is smooth sailing.
HostGator’s prices are affordable, as well. For an entry-level shared hosting plan, you’ll pay $2.75/month, which is more than you pay for Hostinger hosting. Even so, the price is worth paying when every process you go through comes with a bit of guidance.
InterServer can be what you’re looking for if you need reliable shared hosting. It’s more expensive than Hostinger and Bluehost. You get an initial discount of $2.5/mo but then it increases to $7/month. However, you can choose monthly billing which can be even better for tight budgets. The provider also has some excellent scalability options, such as dedicated and VPS hosting.
The reason why InterServer is such a good alternative to Hostinger and Bluehost is that it features cheap but highly customizable VPS hosting, and all that for only $6/month. Dedicated servers are cheap as well. The prices start at $70/month, which is a bit cheaper than what Bluehost offers.
Hostinger vs Bluehost FAQs
Hostinger vs Bluehost for WordPress. Which one is better?
Bluehost is better for WordPress. Even WordPress.org says so. Plus, Bluehost offers impressive managed WordPress plans, and its WP interface is better than Hostinger’s.
Do I get a free domain name with Bluehost and Hostinger?
Yes, you get a free domain name with both Bluehost and Hostinger, but under certain conditions. For instance, Hostinger’s entry-level plan doesn’t have this feature. Also, all the other shared hosting plans from both providers claim to offer a free domain name, but it’s only for a year and applies to certain TLDs.
Do Hostinger and Bluehost allow their clients to choose a particular data center?
Bluehost has servers only in the US, so making a choice is not possible. Hostinger, on the other hand, has data centers choice in the UK, the US, Brazil, Netherlands, Singapore, Indonesia, and Lithuania.