Bluehost and HostGator Compared
The web hosting company you select can have a big impact on how well your website performs. If your site doesn’t perform well, it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is, how useful your products are, or how well designed your site is. Your users aren’t going to wait around for your site to load, or come back later because your site was temporarily down.
Answering the question of Bluehost vs Hostgator can get rather heated, as Bluehost and HostGator are two of the largest and most recommended shared web hosting providers on the net. With all the positive reviews and feature similarities you may be tempted to choose between them by flipping a coin, but there are real differences between them.
Web Host Performance is More Than Speed
Your web host has a big influence on how quickly your web site loads. But that’s not the only criteria you should consider when selecting a web hosting company. You should look for a hosting company that has an uptime of over 99% to ensure your visitors can access your website, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week from anywhere in the world.
Server location is also an important factor when selecting a web host. If your customers are located halfway across the globe from your web servers, that’s typically going to lead to slower page load times.
Customer support and an easy-to-use control panel can also an important factor in your host selection. If the control panel lacks features or functionality, and if support takes multiple hours or even days to respond to a ticket, delays in troubleshooting or website development can also have a negative impact on your visitor’s user experience on your website.
Both Bluehost and HostGator guarantee 99.9% uptime, however, recent tests that compare Bluehost vs HostGator reveal that HostGator actually delivers on that promise, but Bluehost has 98.9% or lower uptime thanks to frequent outages. That may not seem like much difference, but when you look at actual downtime, one test showed that in one week Bluehost was down for 50 minutes more than HostGator (performed against sites hosted on each platform).
Speedy response time is probably the most important factor you should consider when selecting a web host. Again, HostGator comes out ahead. In recent tests conducted with our website performance tools, a site hosted on HostGator loaded in about 3.48 seconds, while a comparable Bluehost site averaged to 4.02 seconds. This 0.54 second difference in load times may not seem like much, but a half a second matters. Longer wait times translate to decreased customer satisfaction, fewer page views, and lower conversion rates.
Not convinced? See the research on how loading time affects your bottom line.
If you’re unhappy with the results of your website speed test, you’ll need to look at a few potential culprits. Both HostGator and Bluehost offer customer support 24/7/365. They both provide a user-friendly control panel, and security to protect your site from hackers and viruses.
Bluehost’s servers are located in Provo, Utah. HostGator also has servers in Provo, Utah, but they have additional servers located in Houston, Texas.
Recent tests have found that Bluehost is faster when accessed from the East Coast than other parts of the US. This means that HostGator has the edge if your customers are on the West Coast of North America. Both providers had similar times from the Midwest, as to be expected with their centrally located servers.
Bluehost or Hostgator — The Winner
Both Bluehost and HostGator are great shared host options. We would recommend a trial run with each host, then run a series of website speed tests (or setup website monitoring to automate your testing), and compare the response times from various locations against your analytics and customer data to determine which host serves the fastest pages to your target audience.
The Conclusion: Which Host Do We Recommend?
While there are pros and cons to each service, we’ve used Bluehost for many internal projects and hosting applications. We like their speed, team, customer service, and interface UI best, giving Bluehost the edge over HostGator. » Signup for Bluehost here.