Bluehost vs Hostgator

by | May 20, 2016 | Web Hosting

The only way to survive in modern society as a business owner or freelancer, is to have and maintain a strong web presence. Have you ever heard of a company, but found only Yelp or Google reviews, but no actual website? And then when you found that there was no website, did you move on to to the next top site? If you don’t have a website, it’s as if you aren’t a real company. Two top companies to consider for your web hosting needs are Bluehost and Hostgator, arguably two of the top web hosts out there. So, which should you pick?

Bluehost

Pricing

Bluehost requires at least a 12 month commitment for its services. Bluehost boasts a low introductory rates starting at $3.95 per month. This special $3.95 introductory offer also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. The $3.95 per month plan, however, is exclusively for a Basic 36 Month commitment to Bluehost and must be paid in one lump sum of $142.20. The Basic 12 Month commitment is only $5.95 per month, with a grand total due of $71.40. Neither of these figures factors in add-ons like security and backups. Factoring these costs in, the 36 Month Plan total is $321.48, and the 12 Month Plan total is $178.92.

Customer Support

Bluehost appears to have a great customer service center. Bluehost offers free, 24/7 customer service on everything and anything: from new hosting customer planning, traffic generation, website design, and web security and sales solutions. And each department has a specific number, so fewer annoying “please hold while I transfer you” as you go through twenty different sales representatives like at other companies.

Server Response Time and Speed Test

Bluehost’s slowest response time was 2.6 seconds, with its quickest response time being 915.53 milliseconds. It also seemed that the more people using a site, the greater the response time. On average, Bluehost took 1.3 seconds to load a page.

Features

There are a number of great features for designing your website which you will need. Bluehost has many great features: cPanel (easily manage and transfer files), databases where your entire site is stored, file transfer protocols (FTPs) which allow you to transfer files to or from your website, and cron jobs (think “cronie”, is essentially schedules and performs routine tasks at set times).

Downtime/Uptime

Bluehost has no uptime guarantees. In a seven day period, Bluehost experienced 36 outages and was only “up” for 98.98% of the time. Over the course of four days, Bluehost experienced multiple downtimes on three of those days.

Hostgator

Pricing

Prices from Hostgator start with a “Hatchling Plan” at $3.95 per month. Hostgator does not necessarily require a year-long commitment like Bluehost does. Hostgator allows for a month-to-month commitment. That being said however, the $3.95 rate is only available if you commit to a 36 month plan. Otherwise, just a month-to-month plan is $8.76 per month. The longer plan you sign up for, the greater your savings will be.

Customer Service

Hostgator offers 24/7/365 customer service via phone, chat, and email. Hostgator also has 24/7/365 server monitoring to make sure your site always has full support. Additionally, they have a section of their website dedicated to more than 500 training videos to help you with developing your website.

Server Response Time and Speed Test

Hostgator’s slowest response time was 3.2 seconds, with its quickest response time being 258.07 milliseconds. It also seemed that Hostgator’s response times remained speedy and steady, despite heavy usage of a site. Hostgator consistently loaded pages in under 1 second (vs Bluehost’s 1.3 seconds).

Features

There are a number of great features which you will need for designing your website. Hostgator has many great features: cPanel ( allows your to easily manage and transfer files), databases where your entire site is securely stored, file transfer protocols (FTPs) which allow you to transfer files to or from your website, and cron jobs (think “cronie”, does tasks for you, is essentially schedules and performs routine tasks at set times).

Downtime/Uptime

In a seven day test trial period, Hostgator experienced only two outages, and was “up” for 99.99% of the time. In fact, Hostgator guarantees that your site will be up for 99.99% of the time.

Conclusion

While these two different hosts offer many of the same great benefits and features, there are a few differences. Hostgator certainly offers the most flexibility with a month-to-month payment plan option. Bluehost only offers long-term commitment options. Hostgator would be great especially if you are a small business owner or an occasional freelancer or developer, or want the website for other personal uses. Bluehost also has many of these great features. The only real way to pick the winner is based on downtime/uptime. Hostgator consistently performed better with fewer downtimes and an uptime guarantee.