For the past few years, I’ve been using Bluehost for my online projects.
I wanted to get a real feel for their services to provide you with a better comparison. Prior, HostGator was my preferred hosting service. I used both for niche affiliate sites for my personal portfolio and blog.
There are hundreds of Bluehost vs HostGator reviews – they do a great job, but I think they cover a bit too much information for beginners, appealing to word count. Instead, I wanted to give you my thoughts from an affiliate marketer perspective.
What I’d like to cover:
And their application for affiliate marketing.
Honestly, the web hosting industry is homogenized. Their features are very identical meaning there’s no real “bad” choice if you choose one of the main hosting brands.
I much rather see you just start vs getting hung up about the little details.
Alas, you can’t go wrong with a basic overview of the two. Follow along as I talk about the top-end features you’re more likely to care about. I’d like to point out I’m using this Bluehost vs HostGator review to talk about the web hosting features – not all the other stuff they try tacking on.
Web Hosting Prices: Both are Affordable
I won’t get into the higher-end hosting services because I’m guessing 99% of you won’t need them. If it’s a blog or basic site, then it’s like you’ll choose either a shared or WordPress hosting package.
The Bluehost ‘Choice Plus’
The ‘Plus’ shared hosting package is the one you’ll like to use with Bluehost.
This provides the best value for features. Features like:
- Unlimited websites
- Unmetered storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- 1 included domain
- Unlimited email
- Domain privacy
- Site backup tools
- Spam prevention tools
Bluehost’s plus plan starts at $5.95*/mo but requires a 12-month agreement.
The HostGator ‘Business Plan’
The ‘Business Plan’ is the one you’ll likely use with HostGator.
This plan has comparable features and pricing:
- Unlimited domains
- One-click installs
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free SSL
- Free dedicated IP
- Free SEO tools
HostGator’s business plan starts at $5.95/mo* but is available month-to-month at $16.95.
Thoughts and Verdict
These two hosting services were fierce with competition, but it’s blended these days.
The major difference is whether you want to get hosting for a year up-front or pay a la carte.
Bluehost does edge out the pricing, though, with a cheaper 1-year commitment.
Get the ‘Choice Plus’ plan if you know you’re committing to a site.
Else, get the ‘Business Plan’ if you rather test your site building before paying a bit of money.
Worthwhile Features: About the Same
We can’t expect full access to features in the battle for cheap web hosting. What we do expect is some level of control and flexibility, so our site-building isn’t hindered.
Both Bluehost and HostGator provide:
- 1-click installs and site-building tools
- Unlimited domains, storage, email, and support
- 99% uptime (with HostGator taking a small edge)
Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee whereas HostGator offers 45 days. Both hosting services have lightning-quick speeds for their entry-level subscriptions. Plus, each offer upsells for marketing, site building, customer service, and business/enterprise development.
Honestly? You probably wouldn’t tell the difference if you’re only using them to set up sites.
Usability: Depends on Your Technical Prowess
Here’s where it gets technical:
Both hosting services provide backend access, but the latter seems to push people away.
Bluehost has your typical files, databases, email, and the like, and so does HostGator.
But, HostGator is up-front with the technical items which are great if you want instant control of your site-building.
Overall, I think it goes back to my point:
A) Bluehost is perfect for beginners (with options to get to advanced features)
B) HostGator does less hand-holding
The thing I didn’t like about Bluehost
Bluehost assigned a WordPress installation upon sign-up. My intent was to transfer a domain to Bluehost to build a site using a template. Bluehost didn’t recognize the HTML site in the dashboard.
This isn’t a biggie if you set up a new WordPress blog with a domain you bought during checkout. But, it’s somewhat irritating. For that, I’d have to lean toward HostGator because they provide more access to backend features and items.
Perhaps I goofed during the HTML site setup with Bluehost? Correct me if I’m wrong.
Customer Service: You Probably Won’t Need
I can’t say much about Bluehost’s customer service because I haven’t had issues. The same can be said with HostGator. This includes me fiddling with the cPanel and server files (I have access to).
That said – I imagine some of you may need to ask customer service inquiries.
- 24/7 technical support and documentation
- Phone, live chat, and ticketed support
HostGator, in my opinion, has better documentation with hundreds of articles and videos. Yet, Bluehost has a larger CR team meaning it’s easier to reach a live person. If you’re non-technical then I would recommend Bluehost, those technical can appreciate HostGator.
Bluehost versus HostGator: My Verdict and Conclusion
Here’s how I’d break it down:
- Bluehost – A better option for fully committed affiliate marketers
- HostGator – Cheaper options for affiliate marketers experimenting with ideas
I love Bluehost for my long-term projects like authority niche sites. These are sites I see running for 5 – 10 years and likely continue scaling. I want a hosting provider I can trust and handle the traffic load when some of the site’s content go viral – Bluehost does this for me.
I love HostGator for smaller, niche projects. This includes building an Exact Match Domain website. Or, if I want something easy to register an email. Or, making minimal websites for fun. HostGator does it for me because they’re cheap – these are projects I don’t want to fully invest, and I don’t want to spend big.
I’d place Bluehost as the superior choice because of its brand and budget.
Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting providers for good reason. They have tons of customers and that revenue lets them continually improve their services. Sometimes the popular choice is the right choice.
I think it’s best to see every affiliate project as a long-term commitment.
The site you start today could become something big some years later as the topic’s interest grows. Or, sometimes it gets picked up and mentioned by influencers. Other times you swing back around with fresh ideas. It’s good having a reliable hosting service for when you’re 100% ready to commit.
There are no “bad” decisions here, but I do think you’ll get more value out of Bluehost.