The decision to pick the right web hosting platform can be a difficult task, as there are several options readily available such as Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy, Dreamhost, Kinsta, WP Engine, Sitedaddy and many more.
With this many service providers and hosting plans available to choose from, narrowing it down to one can be very stressful and quite confusing.
The first thing to do is consider all the factors and prioritize your requirements to ensure that they are met.
Everything depends on the purpose of the website or blog you are trying to start for which you need a web hosting service.
Most of the options are not cheap, and the ones that are will not offer you everything under the sun.
For example, if you are a photographer looking to start your own photography blog, what you should prioritize is a web hosting service that offers the most storage and bandwidth.
This is because a photography blog would need more space to upload high-resolution images and as such, storage and bandwidth should be major priorities.
Additionally, if you’re just looking to start a website or blog for other reasons speed, performance and server response time should be prioritized as nobody likes to visit a slow website or one that lags.
With all these in mind, and with a clue of what to look for and how best to prioritize important requirements when choosing a web hosting service, we can now dive properly into a detailed comparison of the most sought after features provided by Bluehost, Hostgator and Godaddy.
These are the most important features to look out for when choosing a web hosting company.
1. Pricing Comparison (Bluehost, Hostgator and GoDaddy)
First things first, what is the purpose of the website?
If it is solely meant for the purpose of establishing an online presence with about 6 or 7 static pages then there is little need to worry about the speed.
With that out of the way, the next thing to consider is a web hosting service that is convenient enough for your pocket.
Hostgator and Godaddy both offer an entry level shared hosting plan that is very affordable, however, there is a catch.
The lowest advertised prices are actually only available for new contracts, and not only that, the longer your contract the lower the equivalent monthly fee you would be required to pay.
When the initial contract expires, you would be required to pay a higher rate to renew your plan.
Of course, all of this depends on the length of your renewal contract.
For this reason, it is important to check out the full price before choosing a plan, rather than focusing on the reduced promotional rates.
This would prevent your host from becoming too expensive once your initial contract expires and it is time to renew.
It is important to note that the affordable shared hosting plan provided by Hostgator and Godaddy are designed for small or personal business websites and their usage policies are usually reflective of this.
So while these shared plans on Hostgator and Godaddy come with unlimited storage and bandwidth, the usage is monitored.
What this means is that if you were to exceed what has been set as the reasonable usage level for a small or personal business website, you would be contacted by the hosting service to discuss your situations.
In most cases, you would be required to move to a better resourced and expensive plan.
Hostgator offers three shared hosting plans, all of which include unlimited storage and bandwidth as well as free SSL certificate, free domain, 45-day money back guarantee and 24/7/365 support.
All the shared plans provided by Hostgator have the same performance specifications.
What this means is that you would experience the same website speed and load handling no matter the plan that you choose.
- Hatchling: offer starts from $2.75(can be upgraded to $10.95) a month for one website.
- Baby: offer starts from $3.95(can be upgraded to $11.95) a month for unlimited websites.
- Business: offer starts from $5.95(can be upgraded to $16.95) a month for unlimited websites and access to additional tools
Godaddy offers four shared hosting plans although these plans are not as low priced as the options from Hostgator.
They are still very affordable options for WordPress and non-WordPress websites.
- Economy: offer starts from $5.99(can be upgraded to $8.99) a month for one website with 100Gb of storage and standard performance.
- Deluxe: offer starts from $7.99(can be upgraded to $11.99) a month for unlimited websites with unlimited storage and standard performance.
- Ultimate: offer starts from $12.99(can be upgraded to $15.99) a month for unlimited websites with unlimited storage and 2X processing power.
- Maximum: offer starts from $19.99(can be upgraded to $24.99) a month for unlimited websites with unlimited storage and 2X processing power and speed.
Unlike Hostgator, not all the shared hosting plans provided by Godaddy will provide the same levels of performance.
As indicated above, the shared hosting plans ultimate and maximum have tea processing power and speed.
Some of the features of the shared hosting plan are free SSL certificate, free domain, 30 day money back guarantee and 24/7/365 service.
Bluehost offers a free domain and free SSL certificate as part of their entry level shared hosting plans, and this is priced at $3.95 per month.
Also included is a 30 day money back guarantee and website migration which would enable you to move your website either manually by transferring your files to Bluehost or by web transfer service which costs about $149.99.
Bluehost is considered the best when it comes to storage, as it offers a minimum of 50GB worth of storage.
2. Bluehost Domain Hosting (Compared With Hostgator and GoDaddy)
In recent times, web hosting service providers have begun to offer WordPress web hosting plans.
These plans are usually higher priced but extremely worth paying for especially for WordPress beginners who plan to manage their website on their own.
These WordPress web hosting plans usually come with some WordPress friendly features such as automatic backups and software updates.
Hostgator's entry level WordPress hosting plan makes use of the heavyweight avada theme which increases the load time of the website.
At $5.95 per month, Hostgator offers WordPress cloud hosting which comes with 2.5X speed, advanced security and free site migrations.
The Hostgator WordPress web hosting plans tend to all business sizes with shared VPS, WordPress and dedicated server options although they do not offer an explicit e-commerce plan.
With Hostgator, you are certain of pages loading at an insane speed worldwide without having to configure your caching and CDN.
Due to super charged cloud architecture, low density servers, CDN and multiple caching layers, load times become about 2.5X faster and website content is managed more efficiently.
This enables dynamic content requests to be processed faster.
Godaddy offers about 4 separate WordPress hosting plans with various differing prices.
- Basic: offer starts from £2.99 per month (£6.99 per month when you renew)
- Deluxe: offer starts from £4.99 per month (£9.99 per month when you renew). This plan offers an integrated SEO wizard bound to attract more visitors to the website
- Ultimate: offer starts from £6.99 per month (£13.99 per month when you renew). The plan includes online marketing with more storage and security
- E-commerce: offer starts from £11.99 per month(£19.99 per month when you renew). This plan gets you a full featured online store with a fast setup.
Bluehost's WordPress hosting plan is the cheapest of the bunch and priced at just $3.95 per month, it offers an impressive 50GB worth of storage.
Bluehost also offers a second WordPress hosting plan, this one for users who wish to host multiple WordPress websites.
Called the Bluehost Choice Plus WordPress Hosting, it is much more suitable for hosting multiple WordPress websites and costs just about $5.95 per month.
Bluehost's WordPress basic hosting plan comes with a host of features.
Free SSL certificate, a WordPress custom designed control panel and a Cloudflare CDN which is built directly into your account for free without any coding.
Bluehost offers a range of hosting plans from small business to enterprise level starting with shared hosting and WordPress hosting for newcomers.
3. Speed and Uptime (Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy)
It is common knowledge that speed and uptime are the cornerstones to any web hosting service provider's core features.
This is because having a fast loading website that is up online at all times are two of the most important if not the most important things you want from a good web hosting service provider.
Bluehost domain hosting offers the fastest speed range out of the three of them.
Its shared hosting plans come with something called solid state drives (SSD), and enterprise-level SSD database storage is what powers the server infrastructure.
All Bluehost servers operate at tier 3 certification which is just a level below the highest tier 4.
What this means, in essence, is that you can expect superior uptime and redundancy capabilities.
Uptime is estimated to be around 99.982% with an average downtime of around 1.6 hours per year.
Bluehost's infrastructure contains quad processor servers and a content delivery network (CDN).
The content delivery network (CDN) offered by Bluehost is powered by Cloudflare which means the website's traffic is routed through a global network that is optimized for fast content delivery.
Hostgator's shared hosting plans on the other hand do not come with solid state drives (SSD) although MySQL databases are stored on the SSD hard drives.
Hostgator makes use of several tier 4 located in Utah and Texas.
These facilities are strategically utilized to provide the flexibility, performance, quality and reliability a business requires. Hostgator's uptime is estimated at around 99.9%.
4. Security (Bluehost vs Hostgator vs GoDaddy)
Security is very important and it is imperative that you utilize a web hosting platform that has the tools and preventive measures in place to protect your website from hacking, spamming, injection with malware or complete hijacking.
Bluehost, on its higher shared plan, provides CodeGuard Basic, a tool that provides automatic backup.
These backups can be scheduled to take place daily, weekly, monthly or yearly depending on how you set it.
All the sharing plans on Bluehost allow you to create your personal backup.
Bluehost's SiteLock add-on includes malware scan but only as a paid upgrade. It includes
- Basic Spam Monitoring: Routine checks are performed to make sure the website is free of spam
- Blacklist Monitoring: This feature avoids quarantining by Google.
- Basic Malware Monitoring: Routine checks are performed to make sure the website is free of spam
Another thing to note is that DDOS protection is built into Bluehost’s infrastructure.
Hostgator also allows users to create daily, weekly, monthly or yearly backups.
These backups can either be automatic or manual depending on your preference. CodeGuard is a paid upgrade that creates daily automated website backups for all web files and databases with a 1-click restore.
Just like Bluehost, Hostgator also partners with SiteLock to provide powerful, effective and reliable malware scans.
There is a feature called the HackAlert monitoring service which checks your website daily and immediately notifies you if the website has been hacked or injected with malicious code.
Hostgator also protects against DDOS attacks by implementing an extensive custom firewall ruleset that protects its servers from various forms of attack.
5. Technical Overview (Bluehost vs Hostgator vs GoDaddy)
We have so far covered the various pricing, main features, performance and shared hosting plans of Bluehost, Hostgator and Godaddy. Now let’s take a look at some technical details that might be of interest to you.
WordPress users are provided with an in-house endurance cache service which has three levels of caching.
This feature is exclusive to WordPress users utilizing Hostgator as a web host.
Site caching is managed through WordPress dashboard via an in house plugin.
GoDaddy does not provide access to a caching tool and recommends the use of a third party plugin.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
All of Bluehost, Hostgator and GoDaddy support integration with free and paid third party CDNs.
Additionally, you can pay for and utilize GoDaddy's CDN service of the Hostgator Sitelock paid add-on..
With Bluehost and Hostgator you can choose from a range of PHP versions between 7.0 and 7.4 through a web interface with both hosts.
GoDaddy however only supports version 5.6
With Hostgator, you can quickly apply a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, purchase a premium certificate or just import your own.
However, the process of applying for a free SSL certificate is a bit more complicated but it is still possible to either purchase one from the web host or import your own certificate from somewhere else.
Uptime Checks and Guarantee
All of Bluehost, Hostgator and GoDaddy monitor their servers for downtime but not individual customer websites.
GoDaddy and Hostgator both guarantee a service uptime of 99.99% which permits about 8 hours 45 minutes of downtime every year.
If by chance uptime falls below 99.99%, you will receive one month of credit for that account.
Data Centre Locations
GoDaddy has servers all across Europe, North America and Asia which they can use to host your website.
Hostgator websites which are shared plans on the other hand are hosted in their data centres in Texas, South Central USA or Utah and Western USA.