For years now I’ve been using shared hosting for a variety of websites, and while I’ve recently jumped on the vps/cloud bandwagon I wanted to compare those two hosts who served me faithfully for quite a few years now.
The plans I will be comparing here are Hostgator’s Baby and Bluehost’s standard plan. Each of these give: ‘unlimited’ storage, bandwidth, databases and domains. A shared ssl certificate and essentials such as ssh and ruby/python.
(Note. Hostgators ‘Hatchling’ plan, while cheaper does not let you have more than one add on domain so it was not chosen for this comparison)
A Brief History: my first ever shared paid host was Hostgator and I stayed with them for about a year. (Baby plan of course). The only reason I ever switched was because I was paying month to month and it was pretty much $10 each month.. and as my sites were not yet making any profit.. That was just crazy talk. When I saw that bluehost was offering 3 years for 4.95 a pop there was no way I could not jump on that deal.
Now over a year later, I am back on Hostgator mainly because I saw a great deal (that rare 50% off coupon I told you about) and jumped on it.
COST: when it comes to pure dollar for dollar value, Bluehost comes out on top. No matter when you register, the price of 4.95 (using this link of course) is pretty hard to beat.
Hostgator’s baby plan is initially 6.36 but, a few times a year (labour day, black Friday etc) it does have a 50 percent coupon.. But it’s usually only for 24 hours and you pretty much need to be on their mailing list to get it on time. Of course I will always be on the lookout and will post any codes I learn about here. Until then you may use this link for 20% off.
PERFORMANCE: In general, they are both pretty snappy overall with Hostgator having a slight edge in the cPanel area (a lighter experience), while Bluehost gives better website performance. How did I test? I used loadimpact as well as a custom written shell benchmark script… If you won’t want to take my word for it.. ill attach the results below.
A small thing to note is that Bluehost saw a degradation in performance after 60k files or so, I never had that manyon hostgator so I wouldn’t know how it would handle it.
SUMAMRY: I did not bother compare features as they are both pretty equal, so are their customer service. Only main difference would be Bluehost has an anytime moneyback guarantee while Hostgator has a 45 day guarantee.
If I had to choose one shared host to stick with until the end of time… I would definitely at this point choose Bluehost… with better price AND performance.. why choose otherwise? plus.. have you seen their datacenter?