Bluehost vs. HostGator (2022)

Written by: Ryan Frankel

Ryan Frankel

Ryan began developing websites in the late '90s and has personally tested just about every web host and cloud platform worth trying on the market today. He leverages his extensive knowledge of hardware, software, and their engineering relationship to inform HostingAdvice readers of the technical implications of their hosting choices. Ryan's subject matter expertise includes, but is not limited to, WordPress, cloud infrastructure management, product UI/UX design, and popular web development languages such as JavaScript and PHP.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits HostingAdvice content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

Updated: September 3, 2020
Alexandra Leslie Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested Bluehost & HostGator — The winner is Bluehost!”

Both Bluehost and HostGator are longtime players in the shared hosting arena; however, they offer virtual and dedicated options as well. These are hosts you can grow your business with because they make scaling from shared to VPS and beyond simple. While they have seemingly similar offerings, you’ll want to compare uptime, site building options, and domain registration features before making your decision. If you’re shopping for more advanced hosting options (VPS or dedicated), look at hardware and operating system options before choosing one of these esteemed providers.

Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Bluehost »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »
Advertiser Disclosure

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Bluehost has long been a favorite of mine in the shared and WordPress hosting spaces. The company adheres to modern standards for hardware, and its customer service resources are now backed by hosting industry titan Endurance International Group (EIG). Bluehost’s shared hosting options will accommodate the vast majority of customers' needs. Independent proprietors, small business owners, and non-developers needn't look beyond the host's shared server (read: cheap hosting) plans. Once your website outgrows the traffic allowances of a shared hosting plan, however, Bluehost excels in the VPS hosting and dedicated server niches, too.

Bluehost has revamped its user experience — beefing up the user-friendliness factor significantly in recent years. Users will find the web host dashboard and overall customer experience to be welcoming. Easily navigate installing popular apps, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Zen Cart, with the familiar cPanel control panel. The domain management panel makes it easy to add on domain services, should you choose to opt for an upgraded plan, where domain privacy and support for unlimited domain names come standard.

If you’re looking for WordPress hosting specifically, whether on a shared, virtual, or dedicated server, you’ve come to the right host. Bluehost is one of the few providers endorsed by the WordPress Core team, ranked among SiteGround and DreamHost. Install the popular blogging platform in a single click via the web hosting control panel, or have the Bluehost pros take care of it for you by leveraging a managed WordPress hosting service.

As previously mentioned, Bluehost also tops the charts in VPS and dedicated server hosting — offering fantastic performance at competitive prices. With two to four cores and guaranteed resources, your virtual or dedicated server will be performant, powerful, and online virtually 24/7. The Bluehost team leverages industry-leading open-source technologies, such as KVM and OpenStack, to eke out as much performance as possible, leaving you with the utmost flexibility and reliability. And in case you're not quite yet sold: Both the VPS and dedicated hosting plan options include instant provisioning because waiting for your server is so 2000s. Read on for more Bluehost reviews as we rate the web hosting company for affordability, reliability, ease of use, as well as the features offered in each hosting product category.

  • Up to unlimited website domain and email hosting
  • 1-click WordPress installs and software updates
  • Support for popular shopping carts with FREE SSL certificate
  • Up to $200 in Microsoft and Google Ad credit available
  • Industry-leading hardware and uptime rates
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
50 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

HostGator has been around for more than a decade and is well-respected for its large number of servers and consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale. HostGator costs slightly more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that echoes the brand's reputation for strong infrastructure and helpful support. HostGator offers decent features in its basic shared hosting offerings, such as unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. Plus, you get the flexibility to add numerous add-ons for privacy, security, and productivity as you see fit. Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is its strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs, as well. Root access, SSH, and support for Ruby, Perl, Python, and other languages is available on all plans. HostGator has nearly limitless options and control available for their servers, with the support and beginner-friendly tools that will appeal to the full range of customers.

  • Familiar and easy-to-use cPanel control panel
  • FREE drag-and-drop custom website builder
  • Unlimited disk space, email, and bandwidth
  • Flexible term lengths with no contract required
  • 62% off your first three years
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#2 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

Bluehost pricing is about as competitive as the industry offers. Sign up for a shared hosting plan for as little as $2.95 per month, and WordPress hosting packages are consistently priced; a VPS plan starts at around $18.99 per month; and the dedicated hosting rates are as little as $79.99 per month. The only way to feasibly sweeten this deal would be a free trial, which, unfortunately, the hosting company does not offer. However, the 30-day money-back guarantee is marketed heavily. The Bluehost customer support team promises complete service satisfaction or a full refund.

Bluehost hosting has reputation for affordability and usability, which both web novices and veterans can appreciate. Unlimited website hosting — from domains and email to disk space — is available with almost all plans. Even the most basic Bluehost plan sets users up for success with ample hard disk storage, unmetered bandwidth, and both a free SSL certificate and free domain registration for the first year of hosting service. Optional add-on services, such as automated backups, and complimentary marketing credits for select plan holders sweeten an already attractive hosting bargain. Some common freebies we love seeing include:

  • Free domain name registration (for the first year of service)
  • Free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate (also for the first year)
  • Free website builder (Weebly, an industry favorite)

Due in part to its affordability but mostly the quality of service, most Bluehost reviews will rank the hosting company atop (or near the top of) lists of the best shared, VPS, and/or WordPress hosting services. You'll see similar results from our Bluehost review. We regularly recommend Bluehost hosting products that are geared toward beginners, including shared, WordPress, and WooCommerce hosting customers, where cost and ease of use are top priorities.

Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice of hosting provider with competitive pricing, industry-standard hardware performance, and all the premium add-ons imaginable. The web host's low costs, coupled with its supremacy in the shared hosting arena, make this web host a bang-for-the-buck favorite throughout the hosting community.

  • Cheap shared hosting from a highly reputable provider
  • Ideal for hosting a WordPress website
  • FREE Weebly website builder and Cloudflare CDN
  • Unlimited traffic and 24/7 live chat support
  • Get 63% off today with our Bluehost coupon
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
50 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#4 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. The company offers unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus one-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on its shared hosting plan. HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to its vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. The company's many hosting options make HostGator a great choice for sites on the rise, in need of options for the future. For those just getting started and looking for a good, cheap host, HostGator bundles some nice features that hosting newbies can appreciate. The Hatchling Plan is perfect for users who just want to create one website, while upgrading to the HostGator Baby Plan unlocks unlimited bandwidth, domains, and email inboxes. The web hosting company’s custom website builder comes with more than 4,500 drag-and-drop, mobile-friendly templates to help users launch their website, blog, or ecommerce store, while the familiar HostGator cPanel interface helps customers seamlessly manage domains, email, databases, and one-click software installations. If you are looking for a solid web host, with a ton of flexibility, plenty of power, and great price points, you should consider making HostGator your web host of choice. Be sure to use a HostGator coupon to make sure you score the best deal!

  • Get 70% off by buying 36 months up front
  • Unmetered disk space & bandwidth
  • Unlimited email addresses & free SSL certificate
  • One-click WordPress install & free blog tools
  • Free 1-year domain registration on select plans
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Built on modern technology, with a minimum of four CPU cores per dedicated server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise the company's shared hosting options for having fantastic hardware and a great management console, and the brand's dedicated server offerings are no different.

Designed and maintained in house, Bluehost servers rely on only the latest technologies. The hosting company leverages open-source platforms, such as OpenStack and KVM, to boost flexibility and performance. All dedicated machines boast at least four CPU cores, 1TB of RAID-1 storage, and at least 4GB of available RAM. Each dedicated server is provisioned instantly and can be upgraded at any time with essentially just a few clicks.

Bluehost prides itself on the always-available customer support staff. The experienced support agents work directly with engineers who have their hands on your machine, so to speak. As a former Bluehost customer, I've always found the support technicians to be incredibly responsive and helpful.

  • Instant provisioning for all Bluehost server plans
  • Minimum 3 dedicated IP addresses
  • Modern hardware, built and maintained in house
  • 24/7 expedited support from a dedicated team
  • Sign up to save 33% on your first term
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
500 GB - 1 TB (Mirrored)
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#8 out of 10 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator balances performance, quality web hosting service, and competitive pricing. As one of the few hosts to offer managed support and a Windows-based operating system, HostGator is an excellent fit for those seeking hassle-free ASP.NET support. HostGator boasts a top-of-the-line, fully redundant network and datacenter, which dedicated hosting users should appreciate. The company also offers several dedicated IP addresses per HostGator server hosting account. Finally, HostGator has a fantastic support team and 24/7 customer service available via phone, chat, or email. Combining that HostGator support with plenty of power, HostGator is a very respectable choice for a dedicated server host.

  • Linux or Windows servers available
  • HDD or SSD storage plus unmetered bandwidth
  • Fully redundant network and datacenter
  • SSH access and support for multiple languages
  • Managed or semi-managed solutions
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
512 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name
new or transfer

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#8 out of 10 in VPS Hosting reviews

We love recommending Bluehost for its lifetime customer growth potential, meaning you can start with shared hosting and seamlessly scale to VPS hosting plans and beyond. The price versus performance is pretty unbeatable in the virtual hosting space, and Bluehost's engineering team will kick off the customer relationship by instantly provisioning your server.

Bluehost’s VPS offerings boast several benefits compared to standard shared hosting and other VPS providers. The first is speed; Bluehost offers your choice of two or four cores and 4GB to 16GB of RAM with guaranteed resources, so you have the power you need when you need it. The second perk is security; Bluehost offers redundant storage and optional SiteLock protection to secure your data.

For those new to VPS hosting who may not know exactly what is needed, Bluehost makes it incredibly easy and seamless to switch between plans to find the perfect package for you. The company's enhanced cPanel interface enables users to instantly adjust computing resources. If you have questions or need some advice, Bluehost's wonderful support staff is standing by to assist 24/7.

  • Seamless migration from any Bluehost shared hosting plan
  • Robust VPS with 2-4 cores and 2-8GB of RAM
  • Ample RAID-1 storage and tons of bandwidth
  • Each plan gets at least 3 dedicated IP addresses
  • cPanel and WHM with root access
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
30 GB SSD - 120 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for its shared web hosting options. The company's VPS hosting solution, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those who are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared plan. Starting at low price points and boasting tons of support, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IP addresses and a bunch of storage, and recently expanded CPU and RAM offerings lend a ton of computing power. If you're not sure a VPS hosting package is a good fit, take a look at the revamped HostGator cloud offerings, which offer additional scalability and redundancy at remarkable price points. For those managing multiple hosting accounts, be sure to consider a HostGator reseller hosting plan, as well. HostGator’s strongest point comes from its state-of-the-art datacenter. Featuring a fully redundant network with no single point of failure and multiple bandwidth providers, uptime should almost never be a concern. Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts. The company has more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.

  • Full root access with fully or semi-managed options
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of security
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • RAID-10 storage for data protection
  • Get up to 75% off when you sign up
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
120 GB - 240 GB
Domain Name
New or Transfer

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#1 out of 9 in WordPress Hosting reviews

Bluehost's WordPress hosting packages are aimed at first-time site owners and personal bloggers. These services come at a premium compared to the standard Bluehost web hosting (basic shared hosting) plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost.

The shared WordPress hosting plans are arguably the most popular. Equipped with the web's famous MOJO Marketplace, enjoy single-click installations of popular apps and tools, including WordPress. Bluehost is on a short list of providers officially endorsed by the experts at WordPress.org, so, when faced with WordPress-specific issues, you can reach out to the customer support team with confidence.

Bluehost's managed WordPress hosting service is based on the hosting company's VPS offering. Though not as customizable as others, this managed hosting service focuses on simplicity and speed. The account management interface is easy to navigate, and the instant provisioning allows for speedy setup. Integrated features, such as the MOJO Marketplace and ManageWP, are nice touches as well.

Though simple by design, Bluehost doesn't skimp on WordPress fan favorites:

  • Automatic WordPress installation and updates
  • Customizable themes for WordPress in the Bluehost Marketplace
  • Global content delivery network (CDN) powered by Cloudflare

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long been one of the foremost shared hosts on the planet, and the hosting company now powers more than 2 million websites. With an experienced team, competitive pricing, and always-there support, Bluehost is an industry veteran when it comes WordPress hosting.

  • Recommended by WordPress.org since 2005
  • Automatic WordPress updates and initial install
  • FREE WordPress themes in the Bluehost Marketplace
  • 24/7 support via live chat, phone, and email
  • Get exclusive discounts on WordPress plans
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
50 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#6 out of 9 in WordPress Hosting reviews

HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already clean and intuitive HostGator cPanel dashboard, wherein users can find a myriad of free apps and scripts to install, including WordPress. You could quite realistically have a WP-powered site up and running in as little as an afternoon. As is the case with many of our favorite shared WordPress hosting providers, including sister company Bluehost, HostGator offers unlimited emails, databases, disk storage, and bandwidth. The one downfall is the lack of the popular free domain perk, but domain names are easy to obtain for around $10 to $15 bucks with any registrar. You can also select, register, and pay for a domain directly from the HostGator signup page. If you're serious about your WordPress hosting, we recommend HostGator's new(er) managed WordPress platform, which is optimized for performance with cloud resources, multiple layers of caching tools, and a complimentary CDN. Managed WordPress plan subscribers enjoy up to 2.5x faster page load speeds for their HostGator website or blog. If you're running a business WordPress site, this is an excellent investment. Once your site is designed and ready for promotion, HostGator helps you kickstart your online marketing efforts with $100 in paid advertising credits. Attract blog readers, potential clients, or online shoppers browsing Google search results. We wish you the best of luck in your blog or online business hosting endeavors. WordPress is a known favorite in the space, and HostGator has established itself as a trusted partner well worthy of your consideration.

  • Managed WordPress hosting on shared servers
  • WordPress is preinstalled on all plans
  • Unlimited email addresses hosted at your domain
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee for your blog
  • $150 in Google Ads spend match credit
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

With Bluehost, new site owners have the drag-and-drop simplicity of the Weebly website builder and goMobi mobile site builder at their fingertips. This makes launching a new online brand, store, or personal site from scratch relatively painless. Sure, site building has its headaches for newbies, but the Bluehost team is ready and willing to assist you every step of the way. To help prime your site launch for success, Bluehost offers a plethora of unlimited freebies:

  • Free domain hosting (unlimited domains on select plans)
  • Free email hosting (unlimited by default)
  • Unlimited storage on most plans
  • Unlimited bandwidth (i.e., site traffic)

These freebies, coupled with several options for site building services, is everything a new website owner needs to get started, and the cost is hard to beat. If WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) isn’t for you, perhaps a CMS (content management system) option sounds appealing.

Choose from the most popular content management and blogging software, including Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, and download and install the application(s) with a single click. Some Bluehost hosting plan options have even been customized to cater to WordPress — and Bluehost is one of three hosts officially endorsed by the WordPress Core developers. For quick, cheap, and easy website building — backed by one of the web’s most reliable web hosts — you can’t go wrong in choosing Bluehost.

  • FREE Bluehost website builder (powered by Weebly)
  • Easy integration with WordPress and other CMS platforms
  • Expert support available 24/7 via live chat, phone, and email
  • Get exposure with up to $200 in advertising credits
  • Optional professional services to help design, build, and market your site
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB SSD - unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#3 out of 10 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

Setting itself apart from the scores of competitors that rely on white-labeled website builder solutions, HostGator spent the time to painstakingly craft its own platform. Gator provides a frustration-free experience that pairs the simplicity of drag-and-drop design with the company’s powerful and respected web hosting services. Signing up is a breeze, and HostGator gives customers an option to add a suite of social media marketing tools. Users are quickly ushered into a gallery of more than 200 modern, mobile-responsive, and visually impressive templates that can be sorted by categories like beauty and fashion, music and entertainment, real estate, business consultant, portfolios, and others. Gator covers blogs and ecommerce stores, even coming with a free domain name and SSL certificate. Once you choose your basic look, Gator ushers you through a 15-second tour to show you the basic features of the editor — and it’s all you need. Clicking on any element opens a menu that gives you options to change styles, whether it’s a section’s complete design or something simple like font or color. We especially appreciate how Gator’s drag-and-drop interface gives users pixel-perfect control while still suggesting guides and grids for appropriate spacing. Throughout the customization and design phase, users can seamlessly switch between desktop and mobile views to understand how your site will appear to all visitors. Adding a blog or ecommerce store takes just a click. We wish Gator would suggest a select few designs that matched the current site’s template instead of the dozen or so options that reflect a wide range of categories, but we were impressed that the in-depth previews covered both the blog page and individual posts, for instance. All in all, HostGator can be incredibly proud of its proprietary site builder — and customers can sit back and enjoy the confidence in having such a well-rounded tool at their design disposal.

  • Drag-and-drop design with the Gator™ site builder
  • Hundreds of mobile-friendly templates
  • FREE hosting, domain name, and SSL certificate
  • Easily add a blog, store, and social media
  • Analytics portal helps gauge site performance
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)
Advertiser Disclosure

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Bluehost vs. HostGator - Our Conclusion

Alexandra Leslie Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested Bluehost & HostGator — The winner is Bluehost!”

We’re longtime Bluehost and HostGator fans here at HostingAdvice.com. Several of our team members have used each of these hosts in past jobs and on personal side projects. They have a reputation in this industry — one you can trust. Hopefully, this head-to-head matchup helps you determine which of these two fine hosting candidates is the best fit for your new web project!

Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Bluehost »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »

About The Author

Ryan Frankel has been a professional in the tech industry for more than 20 years and has been developing websites for more than 25. With his background in integrated circuit design and digital signal processing, he has a fundamental understanding of hardware systems and the software that runs them. Ryan now sits as the CTO of Digital Brands Inc. and manages all of the server infrastructure of their websites, as well as their development team. In addition, Ryan has a passion for guitars, good coffee, and puppies.
Alexandra Leslie