Choosing the right web host is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when launching a WordPress site.
It can have a huge impact on your site’s performance and security.
HostGator and Bluehost are two of the most popular hosting providers for WordPress users.
They both offer affordable shared hosting plans tailored for WordPress.
But which one is better?
Should you go with HostGator or Bluehost for your WordPress site?
HostGator and Bluehost have a lot of similarities – they’re both well-known, budget-friendly, shared hosting providers with WordPress-specific features.
However, some key differences might make one a better fit for your particular needs.
In this comprehensive comparison guide, we’ll examine the hosting plans, features, speed, support, security, and pricing between HostGator and Bluehost.
We’ll highlight the pros and cons of each host to help you decide which is the better choice for your WordPress website.
By the end, you’ll have a clear recommendation on whether HostGator or Bluehost is superior for optimizing and securing your WordPress site.
Let’s dive in!
Hosting Plans and Pricing
When it comes to WordPress hosting, both HostGator and Bluehost offer a range of shared hosting plans to fit different needs and budgets.
HostGator’s Shared Plans
HostGator has three tiers of WordPress-optimized shared hosting:
- Hatchling ($2.75/month) – Basic single-site hosting
- Baby ($3.95/month) – Up to 2 sites with more storage
- Business ($5.95/month) – Unlimited sites with advanced features
The Baby and Business plans include tailored WordPress benefits like auto-updates, caching, and free SSL.
All plans offer unmetered bandwidth and one-click WordPress installs.
Bluehost Shared Hosting
Bluehost also has three shared tiers:
- Basic ($2.95/month) – One website with 50GB storage
- Plus ($5.45/month) – Unlimited sites with unlimited storage
- Choice Plus ($5.45/month) – Unlimited sites and domains with professional SEO tools
The Plus and Choice plans have automatic WordPress caching and daily backups.
All Bluehost plans include a free domain, CDN, and standard WordPress features.
Pricing and Contracts
The entry plans start around $2.75-$2.95/month for both hosts. However, Bluehost pricing is based on 12-month terms, while HostGator offers big discounts for signing up for 36 months.
Overall, HostGator’s plans are slightly more affordable, especially if you choose a longer contract term.
They also include more robust WordPress optimizations compared to Bluehost’s more generalized hosting.
Performance and Speed
Speed is a vital factor in selecting a WordPress host.
Slow site performance leads to higher bounce rates and losses in revenue and rankings.
When comparing HostGator vs. Bluehost on performance, there are a few key considerations:
- Uses SwiftServer platform optimized for WordPress performance
- Average page load time under 500ms in independent tests
- Caching and CDN improve site speed
- Leverages Nginx web server technology for fast performance
- Average page load times are around 600ms based on tests
- Also offers free CDN and caching to speed up sites
Page Load Times
Independent monitoring tools like Bitcatcha and ServerBear consistently show HostGator having faster page load times compared to Bluehost.
Here are some sample page load averages:
While both are reasonably fast hosts, HostGator maintains a slight performance edge – especially important for image-heavy sites or those expecting high traffic volumes.
Caching and CDN
Both HostGator and Bluehost include free content delivery network (CDN) and caching to optimize WordPress speed.
But HostGator offers more customizable caching configurations.
If site speed is your top priority, HostGator is the way to go. But Bluehost still provides decent performance for average WordPress sites.
Uptime and Reliability
Having your website down means losing visitors and revenue. So, uptime and reliability are critical for any WordPress host.
Let’s examine how HostGator and Bluehost compare on keeping sites up and running:
- 99.98% uptime over the past year
- Advanced hardware monitoring prevents most downtime
- Rarely experiences major outages
- 99.94% uptime record over the past 12 months
- Has experienced some significant multi-hour outages
- Uses multiple data centers for redundancy
When it comes to uptime, both HostGator and Bluehost are excellent, with stats consistently above 99.9%.
However, Bluehost has seen a few major service interruptions lasting 3-6+ hours in recent years.
HostGator seems to have greater reliability with fewer extended outages.
Here’s a look at their uptime over the past five years:
While both are within the excellent range, HostGator edges out Bluehost slightly on uptime and reliability. But either should keep your site running continuously in most cases.
HostGator may provide slightly more peace of mind for mission-critical sites where uptime is everything.
But both offer excellent infrastructure to minimize downtime.
Since we’re comparing hosts specifically for WordPress sites, their WordPress-specific optimizations are important to consider.
Let’s look at how HostGator and Bluehost optimize and configure their hosting for WordPress:
HostGator WordPress Features
- Plans built for WordPress with tailored resources
- One-click installs, staging sites, auto-updates
- Seamless WordPress migrations and transfers
- Custom WordPress caching configurations
- Pre-configured security rules and .htaccess
Bluehost WordPress Benefits
- Servers optimized for WordPress performance
- Includes standard one-click installs
- Daily WordPress backups built-in
- Basic caching and CDN included
- Generic shared hosting plans
Both HostGator and Bluehost make it easy to install and run WordPress. But HostGator offers more robust optimizations tailored specifically for WordPress sites.
Some key advantages of HostGator for WordPress include pre-configured caching, security hardening, and seamless site migrations.
Bluehost still optimizes servers for WordPress.
But its shared plans are more generalized rather than purpose-built for WordPress like HostGator’s.
HostGator is the preferable choice for those wanting a hosting environment fine-tuned for optimal WordPress performance.
Support and Customer Service
No matter how reliable a host is, you’ll inevitably need technical support at some point.
Let’s see how HostGator and Bluehost compare when it comes to customer service for WordPress users:
- 24/7 live chat, phone, email support
- Extensive knowledge base and community forum
- Technical staff seems very knowledgeable
- Quick response times, particularly via live chat
- Also offers 24/7 support via all channels
- Knowledgebase not as extensive as HostGator’s
- Mixed reviews on responsiveness and competence
- Phone support has longer hold times
Both HostGator and Bluehost offer 24/7 customer service through multiple channels like phone, live chat, email, and tickets.
However, based on customer reviews, HostGator provides more knowledgeable, responsive support than Bluehost.
HostGator’s large knowledge base and active community forums also give customers more self-help resources for troubleshooting WordPress issues.
While Bluehost support covers the basics, HostGator seems superior – especially for complex WordPress questions.
Security and Protection
Security is crucial for any website, but WordPress sites are common targets for hackers. Let’s see how HostGator and Bluehost help keep your site secure:
- Free SSL certificate included
- Automatic malware detection and removal
- Custom firewall rules and login limiting
- Free regular backups and instant restores
- Optional SiteLock starting at $5.99/month
- Also includes a free SSL certificate
- Daily automated malware scans
- Preventative security protections
- SiteLock web application firewall required at $2.99/month
HostGator and Bluehost offer the essentials like SSL, malware scanning, and firewalls.
However, HostGator includes more robust security protections built-in – like advanced login limiting, instant backups, and restores.
Bluehost requires adding on SiteLock for extra malware and firewall protection starting at $2.99/month.
For better default security, HostGator is the preferred choice. But Bluehost can match it with SiteLock added on.
Ultimately, HostGator takes more advanced precautions to keep WordPress sites secure out of the box.
Domains and Extras
In addition to hosting, there are some other factors around domains and bonus features to consider between HostGator and Bluehost.
- Both allow registering domains during signup
- HostGator provides one free domain for the first year
- Bluehost often bundles domains for free on annual plans
- HostGator includes $100 Google Ad credit
- Bluehost bundles extras like Mojo Marketplace access
- Both integrate with cPanel for account management
HostGator and Bluehost make it convenient to purchase a domain during initial hosting signup. Pricing is pretty comparable between the two.
For extras beyond hosting, Bluehost includes more bonuses like website builder tools, SEO tools, and e-commerce integrations.
But HostGator provides $100 in Google AdWords credit for new accounts – helpful for jumpstarting paid marketing efforts.
There’s no clear winner here – just some modest bonuses to consider when comparing overall value.
Based on this comprehensive comparison, here is an overview of when HostGator or Bluehost may be better for your WordPress hosting needs:
HostGator is ideal if you want:
- Faster page load times out of the box
- Maximum uptime and reliability
- WordPress-specific optimizations
- Responsive customer support
- Built-in premium security protections
In particular, the performance and security make HostGator stand out for WordPress sites.
Bluehost may be better if you:
- Want a wider range of included extras
- Plan to use their integrated e-commerce and marketing tools
- Are you okay with more generalized WordPress features
- Don’t require the highest speeds or uptime
Bluehost offers a more bundled experience, but HostGator excels in WordPress hosting.
HostGator is the superior hosting choice for most WordPress users, thanks to faster performance, security, and more tailored WordPress features at competitive prices.
However, Bluehost remains a solid option if you want to take advantage of their integrated e-commerce and marketing capabilities.
Hopefully, this detailed comparison has provided all the key considerations to pick the best WordPress host. Let us know if you have any other questions!
Deciding between HostGator and Bluehost for your WordPress hosting needs ultimately comes down to a few key factors:
Performance – HostGator is faster out of the box, ideal for sites needing maximum speed.
Uptime – Both have excellent uptime, but HostGator edges out Bluehost slightly in reliability.
WordPress Features – HostGator offers more extensive WordPress-specific optimizations.
Support – HostGator support receives better reviews for responsiveness and competence.
Security – HostGator includes more built-in security protections for WordPress.
Extras – Bluehost bundles a wider range of marketing and ecommerce extras.
We recommend HostGator’s optimized speed, uptime, security, and support for most WordPress users. But Bluehost can be a good option if you want to take advantage of their integrated e-commerce and marketing tools.
We hope this comprehensive HostGator versus Bluehost comparison has covered all the key details to choose the best WordPress hosting provider for your website and needs! Let us know if you have any other questions.
What is the difference between shared hosting on HostGator vs. Bluehost?
- HostGator plans are optimized for WordPress, while Bluehost is more generalized shared hosting. But both use shared server resources.
Is HostGator faster than Bluehost?
- Yes, independent tests show HostGator having consistently faster page load times compared to Bluehost.
Does HostGator offer one-click WordPress installation?
- Yes, HostGator provides easy one-click installs for WordPress through Softaculous, just like Bluehost.
Which has better uptime, HostGator or Bluehost?
- They have very similar outstanding uptime records, around 99.9% for both. But HostGator seems to have slightly higher reliability.
What extras do you get with Bluehost vs HostGator?
- Bluehost includes more bundled services like Mojo Marketplace access and SEO tools. HostGator focuses more on WordPress benefits.
Is HostGator better for WordPress than Bluehost?
- Yes, HostGator offers more robust WordPress optimizations like caching, security, and speed out of the box. It’s the better specialized WordPress host.
What is the best plan for WordPress on HostGator?
- The Baby plan is a good middle-ground with features tailored for WordPress. The Business plan allows unlimited sites.