As one of the WordPress.org recommended hosts, I think that BlueHost (https://www.bluehost.com/) has a great reputation on many fronts since they were first introduced in the early 2000s. Their services have been touted by many reviewers calling attention to their great plan features such as a free domain offer and the like. Unfortunately, that was (mostly) before they were taken over by Endurance International Group.
HostGator (https://www.hostgator.com/) on the other hand has had just as great a run for its money and for just as long. They started out in the early 2000s but eventually got bought over by – you guessed it – Endurance International Group in 2012.
There is a Winner in Performance
Between these two hosts, technical performance isn’t really an issue.
We have seen HostGator clock up some extremely reliable and fast server performance and in fact it continues to do so. Tests have shown it to hold to a remarkable 99.99% uptime on occasion.
What makes them doubly impressive is the server response time form their US-based servers, which ring the bell at less than 50ms. This figure is extremely rare to see, and I am pretty sure has won them their fair share of groupies.
Hostgator Speed Test Sample
Yet BlueHost isn’t really a slouch in the speed and reliability department either since it manages an excellent above-99.85% uptime. Speeds were also good (albeit nowhere near HostGator) and it managed to meet a sub-500ms bar.
Although both HostGator and BlueHost gained positive results in past WHSR surveys, it should be noted that most of the time users preferred HostGator. I wonder if it has anything to do with that cute gator mascot of theirs.
Bluehost on the other hand did gain high marks from users for its newbie-friendly features such as the easy to navigate control panel. They also have a very easy growth path and allow their users to scale up plans at reasonable prices – including for VPS and dedicated hosting.
It also offers a lot in the way of security, but I am tending to discount this in the comparison simply because it is also attempting to charge top dollar for those extras – such as NGINX architecture, custom server cache, HTTP/2, SSD storage and so on.
Is there a Down Side?
Both hosts come with comprehensive support documentation which is a very good thing since they are both EIG companies now. HostGator fox example has been plagued by long waits for support in their live chat services and I expect that things won’t really recover in that area.
When it comes to renewal time for hosting plans – that is where both of thee hosts will hit you below the belt. Unfortunately, this seems to be an industry norm and there is no real way of walking out of this one unless you’re willing to move your website every two years or so.
Cheapest BlueHost plan is priced at $2.95/mo during signup but renew at $7.99/mo. Hostgator, on the other hand, charge $2.75/mo on first term and $6.95/mo during renewal.
Verdict: The Winner is HostGator!
If I’m forced to make a choice between these two web hosts, I would have to go with HostGator for their edge in technical performance. Also, because I like gators.
Jokes aside, even as I am suggesting HostGator as a preferred host in this comparison, I do feel that either one of these companies offer newbies and small site owners the opportunity for a reasonable buy in to their first web hosting experience.
They both offer good performance and are part of the mainstream crown, which, means that there really isn’t any way you can go wrong by choosing either.
Self-plug: Check out this hosting comparison tool we made at WHSR.
Use it to compare through a wide list of hosting companies and compare up to three hosting companies at once.
Things to like about Hostgator
- Solid hosting performance – Uptime always above 99.95%
- Fast server – TTFB < 50ms for U.S. sites
- Free site migration for new customers
- Full account daily backup and restoration
*Disclosure: I am affiliated to both Hostgator and BlueHost. I receive referral fees (at no cost to you) from the companies if you make a purchase via the links shared in this post.