Bluehost vs. HostGator: A Comparison

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A web host provides a place for all your website files to live. When a user wants to access the information on your site, they type your domain address into their browser, directing them to your web host’s server. The server then sends your website’s files back to the user’s browser.

All websites need a web host, regardless of their type or content.

Two of the largest and most popular web hosts globally are Bluehost and HostGator. Website creators everywhere often consider these hosts when building a site. While both hosts offer unique advantages, they each have set their niche in different markets.

Read on for an overview of Bluehost vs. HostGator. Then subscribe to Revenue Weekly for more digital marketing tips!

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How does web hosting work?

While some companies make the user experience more manageable by offering free domains, web hosting services, and site-building tools in one package, it’s still beneficial to know all the essential website-building elements.

Even though the primary function of a web host is storing your site’s files, some of the determining factors that set them apart are the levels of security and support they provide. While it’s certainly possible to have your files situated on a local computer or server, most of the world’s sites use cloud-based, third-party providers. 

Without the proper maintenance and a large enough capacity, websites may behave erratically on some of these servers. These disruptions create inconveniences for your site’s visitors, in turn depriving your audience of information and impacting your company’s productivity. These factors set elite web hosts apart from others.

While it is possible to self-host your website, it requires building a web server from scratch, including the software, hardware, and infrastructure. In addition, there’s a significant amount of maintenance that comes along with operating the server. These areas are where the larger hosts have their advantages.

Web hosting services typically differ by their specific servers. Server types range from shared and dedicated hosting or private-server hosting to managed and cloud-based hosting. Both Bluehost and HostGator provide a wide range of shared and dedicated hosting services to fit a site’s specific needs.

How to select the best hosting provider

When building a website for the first time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when choosing a host from a broad range of selections. Once you understand some of the basics of web hosting, you can research what sets some hosts apart from others. Reading reviews and consulting with those who operate sites similar to yours can often provide the most valuable feedback.

Security and stability are often the two primary factors for choosing websites, although a website’s needs depend on multiple factors like size, type of content, and budget. Some sites offer packages based on how much storage you require. Other sites offer various add-ons like sub-domains and email accounts to make their packages look more attractive.

When considering the options, it’s vital to compare the security, costs, and functionality of several different hosts. Choosing a shared cloud-based or a virtual private server (VPS) is often the best route to take if you’re smaller and do not anticipate much growth. Otherwise, it may be wise to start with a mid-range service provider rather than a budget host that charges just a few dollars per month.

Bluehost vs. HostGator — which one is better?

Many people don’t realize that a company called Endurance International Group (EIG) owns Bluehost and HostGator, in addition to several other hosting services. While both Bluehost and HostGator are blazing fast, use cPanel dashboards, and provide the highest security levels, there are some apparent differences.

Although neither company gears itself toward a particular business niche, BlueHost has become highly popular with beginners because of its partnership with WordPress, one of the most popular site-building platforms in the world. On the other hand, HostGator is a popular choice for scalable businesses, as they offer much more competitive pricing for smaller companies that are likely to expand.

To even out the advantage of Bluehost’s partnership with WordPress, HostGator offers to migrate a WordPress website to their servers for free, which represents significant savings over any other competitor. While Bluehost might be slightly faster and provide a bit more security, HostGator makes up for it by furnishing free domains and SSL certificates in many of their plans.

Features of Bluehost and HostGator

Here’s a look at how both hosts stack up head-to-head:

Ease of use

While the seasoned webmaster might not notice any differences, HostGator has the advantage of a more straightforward operating platform. The HostGator proprietary site building tool is the easiest to use and features hundreds of site templates with pre-built sections.

WordPress hosting

While WordPress endorses BlueHost and HostGator, Bluehost offers a much lower subscription rate to WordPress users, probably because of their partnership. BlueHost wins here because they provide a more comprehensive range of hosting plans, offering shared hosting for novices and high-end pro hosting for growing businesses.

Speed and uptime

HostGator uses multiple Tier 4 centers in Utah and Texas. On the other hand, BlueHost doesn’t reveal the location of its servers, although they do divulge they’re Tier 3. HostGator wins this category hands-down, mainly because they promise at least 99.9% uptime while Bluehost guarantees nothing.

Security

Bluehost is world-renowned for its security levels. Many of its plans feature built-in DDoS protection, a subscription to CodeGuard Basic, and malware scanning through SiteLock.

Customer service

While both hosts offer several options for getting the help you need, Bluehost provides dedicated support personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in the areas of account management, sales, and technical support.

Which platform is better?

Both hosts have established themselves as leaders in specific market niches. Both sites can provide quality customer service, decent uptime, and reliable security. Still, Bluehost may be the clear winner for WordPress users, while HostGator takes the cake for growing businesses needing Microsoft-based servers.

Want to learn more?

At WebFX, we have more than 25 years of experience providing our clients with elite website management, web design, and other digital solutions. You can subscribe to our email newsletters to get the most insightful digital marketing tips delivered to your inbox. If you’d like to speak with a member of our team about the services we provide, call us at 888-601-5359 or contact us online today!

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