BlueHost and HostGator are two of the biggest players in the shared web hosting industry. They are both extremely popular and well-known for providing excellent web hosting in a variety of forms.
I’ve reviewed both web hosts separately, however, because they are so similar, this could make it harder for you to decide which host to choose! I’ve taken the time to compare each host side by side, weighing up their performance, customer support, ease of use, plans & pricing, and features.
Performance: BlueHost VS HostGator
Understanding how a web host performs is vital to choosing the perfect host for your needs. When you run a website, you’ll be relying on your web host to ensure your website is live and visible to your visitors. If your web host can’t guarantee or display good uptime results, or provide fast response times, you’re already off to a bad start. Not only can this provide a bad user experience, it can also affect factors like SEO.
Response time, in web hosting terms, refers to the speed in which a server responds to a request. For example, if your website is hosted in the U.K. and you have a visitor from the U.S., how quickly will they be able to access the full contents of your web page. Response time is not only influenced by server location, it’s also dependent on other factors like caching, optimisation, and server performance.
I use Uptime Robot to monitor performance (both uptime and response times). It gives me an overview of any changes on an hourly basis, allowing me to provide you with accurate data to make an informed decision.
BlueHost’s results show an average response time of 639 ms (which equates to 0.639 Seconds). The response time standards in the U.K. are around 3 seconds, so if your website doesn’t load within this time, you could lose valuable visitors. My test website with BlueHost was setup using a WordPress install. I haven’t added any plugins or optimised the site at all, so this is completely raw data.
Overall, I’m really pleased with the results from BlueHost. My website loads on average in under 1 second with this web host!
HostGator unfortunately didn’t perform as well as BlueHost in this test. My website’s average response time was 2095 ms (around 2 seconds). This is less than the industry standard, so I’m confident I wouldn’t lose website visitors. However, with the same basic install of WordPress, it is a little concerning that the response time is so high with very little content to load.
Customer Support: BlueHost VS HostGator
It’s very easy in the digital world to lose focus on customer support. However, now more than ever, customer support can often be key to choosing a product or service. It’s especially important when you’re dealing with web hosting. If you’ve never hosted a website before, things can be pretty confusing! And even if you have, you want to feel reassured that someone is there to answer queries when you have them.
BlueHost offers a lot of ways that you can contact them; telephone, live chat, email, and support tickets. Their customer support runs on a 24/7/365 basis, meaning someone will always be there if you have any issues or queries. I’ve always had a pleasant experience with BlueHost’s customer support, and am really struggling to find any reasons to complain.
I tested out BlueHost’s live chat service to provide you guys with some actual tangible data. When I started my live chat session, I was connected with an agent in less than a few seconds. The agent was able to answer my query efficiently and quickly, resolving my request in less than 60 seconds!
Similar to BlueHost, HostGator also offer 24/7/365 customer support via live chat, ticket, telephone, and fax. I’ve had a few encounters with HostGator’s customer support which has been a bit of a mixed bag. So, I thought it was pertinent to try their live chat at the same time as I did with BlueHost. This would present the fairest results and be a great way to decide who would be the winner in this domain.
It took slightly longer to connect to an agent, but I was still responded to within a matter of 30 seconds, so certainly nothing to grumble about! The advisor was helpful and enthusiastic and answered my query very quickly.
Winner:BlueHost & HostGator
Ease of Use: BlueHost VS HostGator
Web hosting doesn’t have to be complicated; from a host’s website to their control panel, things should be easy to navigate. Most web hosts use a universal control panel where you can manage your hosting, domains, etc. such as cPanel. Others have decided to move away from the popular choice and skin their own control panel.
BlueHost made the decision to use their own control panel, and I think they’ve done a great job! The UI is intuitive and easy to use, which is a great start for those who may have never used a control panel before. BlueHost, much like cPanel, allow easy integration with the likes of WordPress and other one-click installs and CMS platforms.
From experience web host users to beginners alike, I think BlueHost’s control panel is very simple to get your head around.
HostGator uses the popular cPanel for their user’s account management. cPanel has a lot of support and features because it’s been around for a long time. Yes, it has it’s niggles like any system, but it’s pretty faultless for basic needs. HostGator’s cPanel has some really useful features, including site statistics and easy access to the marketplace where you can expand upon your website’s features in a few clicks.
Winner:BlueHost & HostGator
Features, Plans & Pricing: BlueHost VS HostGator
Although price isn’t everything, it’s an important factor to consider when choosing a web host. Dependent on what your web hosting needs are, budget could be a deciding point for you. I’ve taken a look at both web host’s shared hosting plans, the features included, and the overall cost to weigh up the best host in this category.
BlueHost’s shared hosting plans start from $3.95 per month. With this price, you’ll get 1 website, 50GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, 1 domain and 5 email accounts. Other web hosts do offer slightly more for the price, but when you think about what you actually need, you probably wouldn’t want much more than BlueHost offers.
HostGator’s plans start from $2.75 per month, which is a little cheaper than BlueHost. For the price, you’ll get a domain included, unlimited disk space and bandwidth, free SSL, $100 marketing credits, and unlimited email accounts. Although you may not require all these features on their Hatchling plan, it’s nice that they’re included! For the price, you really can’t moan at HostGator’s plans; there’s a lot included to get you started.
This has been a really difficult comparison, because both hosts are great. They both offer similar features, but if I had to choose between them, I’d say BlueHost tip the scales just slightly. BlueHost’s performance outweighs HostGator’s in response times by a couple of seconds. Although that may not seem like much, when it comes to visitors accessing content on your website, it really is.
BlueHost offer outstanding customer service, affordable pricing plans, and lots of features to please and cater to a wide range of users. My test website with BlueHost has experienced very little downtime over the space of a year, and their response times and overally performance have been extremely consistent.