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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

It’s not a secret that Bluehost and HostGator are some of the largest and well-known hosting brands in the industry.

In fact, their portfolios have over 2+ million and 8+ million domains, respectively.

Bluehost and HostGator offer all kinds of services, from domain names to hosting services, namely shared hosting, cloud hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), and even dedicated servers.

Both Bluehost and HostGator are owned by Endurance International (EIG)? It might make you think that both hosting services are the same, but they are not.

But how do they compare each other?

In this comparison, we take a look at their shared hosting options for both providers. We also created test websites for Bluehost and HostGator to measure speed and uptime data – both of which play an essential role in our review process.

Table of Contents

1. Reliability and Uptime – Both Are Stable

Bluehost Shared Hosting Uptime  HostGator Shared Hosting Uptime
99.96% (last 12-months) 99.93% (last 12-months)

We’ve reviewed and gathered data from over 40+ hosting providers and found the average uptime benchmark to be around 99.94%. In simple terms, everything above this benchmark is good, and anything below is poor.

If we take the last 12-month data for Bluehost and HostGator, you can see that Bluehost exceeded this benchmark with an average uptime of 99.96%. HostGator is just below the average with 99.93%. Since these figures are quite similar, we can’t declare a clear winner. However, Bluehost gets a slight edge with the better result of the two.

Historically, Bluehost and HostGator haven’t had a great uptime performance until a few years ago when their tech infrastructure had a significant overhaul. This upgrade certainly boosted their reliability and reflects on the data as well.

Let’s take a closer look at the month-to-month breakdown for both providers.

Bluehost Uptime

Bluehost’s average 12-month uptime is 99.96%, with almost four hours of total downtime and 122 outage cases.

Bluehost last 12-month uptime and speed
Bluehost average uptime | See stats
  • January 2021: 100%
  • December 2020: 99.98%
  • November 2020: 100%
  • October 2020: 99.67%
  • September 2020: 100%
  • August 2020: 99.99%
  • July 2020: 99.98%
  • June 2020: 100%
  • May 2020: 99.90% (scheduled maintenance)
  • April 2020: 99.99%
  • March 2020: 99.98%
  • February 2020: 100%

HostGator Uptime

HostGator’s average 12-month uptime is 99.93%, with more than six hours of total downtime and 108 outage cases.

HostGator last 12-month uptime and speed
HostGator average uptime | See stats
  • January 2021: 99.97%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 99.99%
  • October 2020: 99.99%
  • September 2020: 99.50%
  • August 2020: 99.99%
  • July 2020: 99.98%
  • June 2020: 99.99%
  • May 2020: 99.96%
  • April 2020: 99.78%
  • March 2020: 99.99%
  • February 2020: 99.99%

2. Average Load Times – Bluehost Is Faster

Bluehost Shared Hosting Speed HostGator Shared Hosting Speed
Average: 641 ms Average: 857 ms

Fast page speed is essential for keeping visitors on your website. According to research by Google, people are 32% more likely to leave if your web page takes 1-3 seconds to load. It only gets worse the longer they have to wait, so your web page’s speed plays a direct role in retaining traffic.

Again, before Bluehost and HostGator had the infrastructure overhaul some years back, their performance was anything but acceptable. Today, while Bluehost’s average page speed of 641 ms isn’t the best, they still outperform HostGator’s sluggish average of 857 ms.

Bluehost is clearly a winner here, but let’s look at the data more closely.

Bluehost Speed

Bluehost’s performance has dropped in recent months, but the 12-month average is a solid 641 ms.

  • January 2021: 759 ms
  • December 2020: 698 ms
  • November 2020: 665 ms
  • October 2020: 670 ms
  • September 2020: 628 ms
  • August 2020: 724 ms
  • July 2020:689 ms
  • June 2020: 695 ms
  • May 2020: 701 ms
  • April 2020: 626 ms
  • March 2020: 584 ms
  • February 2020: 421 ms

HostGator Speed

Compared with Bluehost, HostGator’s performance has been better in recent months, but the 12-month average is a poor 857 ms. This means that on average, websites hosted with HostGator takes almost one second to load.

Although, the good news is that HostGator has been improving its loading time during the past year as seen below:

  • January 2021: 697 ms
  • December 2020: 701 ms
  • November 2020: 659 ms
  • October 2020: 738 ms
  • September 2020: 836 ms
  • August 2020: 798 ms
  • July 2020: 727 ms
  • June 2020: 704 ms
  • May 2020: 721 ms
  • April 2020: 1,190 ms
  • March 2020: 893 ms
  • February 2020:1,552 ms

3. Pricing and Cost – Similar Pricing

Bluehost Shared Hosting Cheapest Price HostGator Shared Hosting Cheapest Price
$2.75/mo (3 Years), renews to $8.99/mo $2.75/mo (3 Years), renews to $6.95/mo

Both Bluehost and HostGator have the same starting prices, but there are some differences along the way. Namely, pricing for higher-tier plans and hosting renewal fees.

Let’s take a closer look and break down the shared hosting plans of both providers.

Bluehost Plans

Bluehost shared hosting pricing plan August 2020

Bluehost Basic: starting at $2.75/month (three-year contract), renews to $8.99/month

  • The best price is only with our exclusive discount code
  • Single website
  • 50 GB SSD storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
  • 5 email accounts
  • Free domain

Bluehost Plus: starting at $5.45/month (3-year contract), renews to $11.99/month

  • The best price is only with our exclusive discount code
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unmetered storage and bandwidth
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Free domain
  • Email spam protection Spam Experts

Bluehost Choice Plus: starting at $5.45/month (3-year contract), renews to $16.99/month

  • The best price is only with our exclusive discount code
  • Everything in the Bluehost Plus plan
  • Domain privacy and protection
  • Site backups with CodeGuard Basic

Bluehost Pro: starting at $13.95/month (3-year contract), renews to $26.99/month

  • The best price is only with our exclusive discount code
  • Everything in the Bluehost Choice Plus plan
  • Domain privacy and protection
  • Dedicated IP

Bluehost gives you the best prices per month when you opt for the longest commitment period, namely the three-year contract. We advise you to take advantage of the low prices for an extended period because the renewal rates are much higher.

Bluehost also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to test out their service and get a refund if you’re not happy. However, this guarantee doesn’t cover any add-on services or domain names. For example, if you’ve taken a free domain name with Bluehost and decide to cancel within 30 days, they will deduct $15.99 from your refund – but you will still keep the domain name.

Bluehost only offers free site migrations for WordPress sites. This means that if you have an existing website, which is not WordPress based, and want to move it to Bluehost servers, they will charge you $149.99 for it. You are better off figuring out how to migrate your site yourself for this price.

HostGator Plans

HostGator pricing plans

HostGator Hatchling: starting at $2.75/month (3-year contract), renews to $6.95/month

  • The best price with our exclusive discount deal
  • Single website
  • Unmetered bandwidth and storage
  • Free site migration
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Free domain

HostGator Baby: starting at $3.50/month (3-year contract), renews to $9.95/month

  • Everything in the HostGator Hatchling plan
  • Unlimited websites

HostGator Business: starting at $5.25/month (3-year contract), renews to $14.95/month

  • Everything in the HostGator Baby plan
  • Free Positive SSL certificate
  • Dedicated IP
  • Additional SEO tools

Similar to Bluehost, HostGator’s best prices come with the most extended commitment terms. However, like Bluehost, the renewal prices are higher. It’s an industry-standard trick that gets you to lock-in the best price for the short term only to hike up the price afterward dramatically. We suggest considering longer contracts to keep the costs down in the long run.

HostGator also provides you with a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than Bluehost’s 30-days. However, this guarantee only applies to shared or VPS hosting. Also, if you choose a free domain with HostGator and decide to cancel within 45 days, they deduct $17.99 from your refund for a domain registration fee – you still keep the domain.

HostGator also offers free site migrations for WordPress sites, but also for cPanel based sites. This free perk extends to all websites and emails under one cPanel account.

Despite some differences in the pricing structure, we have to call it a draw. Both providers have a similarly cheap domain and hosting price level and specific benefits that the other doesn’t have. However, the abnormality with the term prices by HostGator does raise an eyebrow.

If you need cheaper web hosting, consider reading this review.

4. Support – Great Experience from Both

Both Bluehost and HostGator have 24/7 live chat support and extensive knowledge libraries. Furthermore, they both have a Youtube channel, where you can find solutions to common problems you might face. Check them out here: Bluehost’s Youtube channel and HostGator’s Youtube channel.

When we reached out to both providers’ customer support, we were instantly connected with a support agent. Our questions received prompt answers from both Bluehost and HostGator representatives. They were both friendly and straightforward with their responses.

Overall, it was a top-notch experience on both sides, so we can call it a draw.

Bluehost support live chat example
HostGator support live chat example

5. Features – HostGator Is More “Unlimited”

Both Bluehost and HostGator come with some impressive features and limitless options depending on the plan you choose. It’s still correct to say that you get a lot of value for your money when selecting either of these providers.

However, let’s dive in and list some of the more essential features from both sides.

Bluehost Features

Bluehost gives you access to cPanel, which is a popular tool for managing your site. Besides, you can also use the one-click WordPress installation. However, if you already have a website running, then remember that Bluehost only migrates one WordPress based site for free.

Bluehost also works well with CloudFlare for additional protection against hacks, hotlinks and delivering your content faster for returning visitors. You can set up password-protected directories and add two-factor authentication to your logins.

Some of the other notable features are the spam-protection tool Spam Expert, site backup tool CodeGuard Basic, a free SSL certificate, and additional domain privacy and protection features, depending on the plan you choose.

As a bonus, you also get $100 for Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads. However, this bonus only applies to new accounts and after you spend $25 in both accounts.

HostGator Features

Like Bluehost, HostGator gives you access to cPanel for managing your server and 1-click WordPress installation.

However, they also have a built-in website builder with mobile-responsive design templates and eCommerce functionality. While this is great for people who are just starting out, remember that HostGator also migrates all of the sites under a single cPanel account for free. So, it’s safe to say that HostGator equally benefits both beginners and customers with existing websites.

Other notable features are malware protection, free SSL certificate, daily backups, additional SEO tools, and a dedicated IP with the HostGator Business plan. Furthermore, new accounts with Google AdWords and Bing get up to 100$ each in advertising credits.

When comparing features, we weight more towards HostGator in this category as there are more clear benefits for both new and existing websites.

Conclusion: Bluehost Wins.

Bluehost HostGator
Average Speed 641 ms 857 ms
Average Uptime 99.96% 99.93%
Cheapest Price $2.75/month (3-years) $2.75/month (3-years)
Renewal Cost $8.99/month $6.95/month
Support 24/7 Live Chat and Extensive Knowledge Base 24/7 Live Chat and Extensive Knowledge Base
Features cPanel, CloudFlare, Spam Expert, CodeGuard Basic, free SSL cPanel, in-house website builder, daily backups, dedicated IP, free SSL

Bluehost and HostGator share many similarities and both are some of the best value web hosting services which makes them excellent shared hosting options for beginners and advanced users alike.

Yet, despite multiple draws during our comparison, we give the victory to Bluehost.

This result mainly comes from the superior average page speed, which is one of the two most essential aspects when hosting a website. However, HostGator isn’t that far behind and if they continue improving the speed performance parameter, we might have a different result.

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