BlueHost vs. HostGator is really an apples and oranges comparison in web hosting. BlueHost offers a shared web hosting product with a “business” upgrade and a reseller program. HostGator offers a few shared plans, reseller, vps, and dedicated server packages. However, there are a number of similarities which we’ll cover first in our HostGator versus BlueHost matchup.
BlueHost – $3.95
HostGator – $3.96
BlueHost vs. HostGator Similarities:
Both HostGator and BlueHost offer web hosting that is based on the cPanel web hosting control panel which comes with unlimited disk space, bandwidth (file transfer), subdomains, ftp accounts, and email accounts. They also both offer a web builder, file manager, and a simple one click installer for web apps such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and more! These hosts are also based on the same simple architecture which is Linux based servers which run the Apache web server, PHP, MySQL or more commonly known as LAMP.
Furthermore, the similarities include all the common features of cPanel (these come standard with the install of cPanel control panel on the server). For email features this includes Horde, SquirrelMail, RoundCube as well as all the other features such as autoresponders and mail forwarding. As for the programming languages such as CGI, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Python, and many more! Both HostGator and BlueHost include the website stats of AWstats, Webalizer, Raw Logs, and other types of logs.
Now that we’ve covered the similarities in BlueHost vs. HostGator, we’ll also try to cover the differences of HostGator vs. BlueHost. We’ll go over some of them one by one in just a moment, but first we’ll cover a point that needs to be addressed for those that are simply concerned with features and cost. This starts with a question that you’ll need to ask yourself. What are my web hosting provider needs?
What are my Hosting Needs?
This is probably the most important question when you’re evaluating a host. Many web hosting services will try to oversell you what you really don’t need and they will keep charging your card for services that you’re just not using and you don’t want. If you’re currently on a shared hosting plan and it’s loading fast with little downtime – you can probably stick with the shared hosting plan type that you’re on so you can look for similar types of hosting packages. However, if you’re on shared hosting currently and your website is loading slow, your site has been disabled by the host, or you are doing large file transfers – you should consider VPS web hosting. VPS gives you a certain number of resources on a server and costs usually start at about 2-3 times shared hosting because they limit the number of customers on a server more. Next is the jump from VPS to dedicated hosting or servers. There are a couple of ways that you can tell if you’ve outgrown VPS. First, if the host says your usage is exceeding the limits or you’re getting disabled for certain file transfers – go to dedicated. Second, if your secondary (non-essential) services such as email (SMTP) start to fail – you should get a dedicated server. Third, if you’re doing large scale apps, game servers, large file transfers, and you experience large spikes in resource needs – you are a great candidate for dedicated server hosting.
BlueHost vs. HostGator Differences
- How many sites you host will decide what your cost is with HostGator vs. BlueHost. If you host more than 1 domain you will be using their mid-size package which starts at $6.36. With BlueHost – you get to host unlimited on the base level plan which you can get as low as $3.95. If you only need one domain then either will work at the same price of about $3.95.
- SimpleScripts vs. Fantastico installer – BlueHost uses a proprietary one click installer called SimpleScripts while HostGator uses an installer that is geared towards cPanel called Fantastico. Truth be told…I prefer the SimpleScripts. It’s easier…and the name says it all…it’s simple! I’ve used both other the years and no installer is easier than the one offered by BlueHost (and it’s sister brands). SimpleScripts is now being carried over to hosts such as iPower, JustHost, Globat, iPage, HostMonster, FastDomain, FatCow, and many more brands (all owned by Endurance International).
- Resource needs with BlueHost vs. HostGator – BlueHost offers a different kind of web hosting. Each user is maxed out on how much of the server resources they can use. This is accomplished by a new proprietary system they have developed called CPU throttling which is done by rewriting the Linux kernel. There is no other host currently that offers this (aside from HostMonster and FastDomain which are sister brands of BlueHost). Each user can only use so much so if your website spikes and gets more traffic – your visitors have to wait for pages to load because the processes on the server get pushed to back of the line while the other websites on the server are given equal share. This is not to be confused with VPS. VPS only limits RAM and disk storage space. With BlueHost this helps prevent abusive users and protects the standard shared hosting users from downtime due to runaway scripts that take too much system resource processing. BlueHost offers more CPU usage for a fee so if you are having slow load times you might want to buy more CPU share.
- BlueHost vs. Hostgator Options – HostGator has more options for various needs such as the VPS and dedicated server options. This can be both a good and a bad thing. On the good side if you outgrow your current service and need to go to the next level – your data is at one company and you can upgrade and they can assist you. This can also be a non-issue since you can backup your cPanel site and restore that to another cPanel server at any other web hosting provider. On the negative site – support can be an issue at companies like this. Personally, I prefer a company that either does just shared or just dedicated for support. That way – any tech you get for any issue can tackle it. They are specialists.
Conclusion of our HostGator vs. BlueHost comparison:
I’ve personally been in the web business for over 10 years and seen a lot of hosts come and go with many hosts/registrars come and go. I’ve had servers shut down when a host went out of business as well as a domain registrar give no notice before shutting down. I believe in both of these hosts and think they both offer a solid solution. If you need a shared host…I’ve experienced none better than BlueHost. They have a solid support team – not perfect, but very solid and helpful. If you need a VPS host or a dedicated server I would go with HostGator. HostGator has been in the business a long time as well and they have a good track record.
Shared Winner = BlueHost
VPS/Dedicated Winner = HostGator