So after extensive research, you’ve narrowed down your choice to three hosting companies; Bluehost, Godaddy, and Hostgator. The problem is you can’t decide which one is worth your commitment. Which one is the best? If that’s the case, this review is for you.
In this article, we’re going to break down each of these companies, compare them to each other, and see which one comes out the winner. When you’re done reading this review you’ll have all the information you need to pick the best hosting company for your needs and financial situation.
Before we begin, I would like to take a moment for a quick disclaimer. For starters, none of these companies are inherently bad. But when it comes to features and price, there’s one that is a better choice.
Next, when it comes to the hosting companies, we’ll be comparing the shared hosting plans, not the cloud, dedicated, or VPS solutions. First, we’ll compare the prices, and then we’ll move on to the features, and finally wrap it up with a clear winner.
Without further delay, let’s get started.
Hosting Plans Comparison: The Prices
Look, each company uses their own pricing structure with first-time discounts, long term discounts, and whatnot.
To keep it simple, we’ll list the price for 12 months with each of the three companies. Keep in mind, most of these companies will offer better rates for longer periods, such as 24 or 48 months, but we’ll compare the 12 month periods.
- Basic – $59.40 ($4.95/month)
- Plus – $89.40 ($7.45/month)
- Choice Plus – $89.40 ($7.45/month)
- Pro – $227.40 ($18.95/month)
- Economy – $83.88 ($6.99/month)
- Deluxe – $119.88 ($9.99/month)
- Ultimate – $179.88 ($14.99/month)
- Maximum – $275.88 ($22.99/month)
- Hatchling – $71.40 ($5.95/month)
- Baby – $107.41 ($8.95/month)
- Business – $107.41 ($16.99/month, larger initial discount)
What you need to know about these host plans is the first one, the cheapest option, only allows you to host one website. This fact is true across the board. On the other hand, with each company, the second option allows you to host unlimited websites.
Remember Renewal Fees:
You also need to be aware of the renewal fees. Most hosting companies will offer a large discount on long term packages but once the period expires you’ll have to pay the full fee. The renewal fees vary from company to company, so it’s best to research it a bit further.
After looking at this chart, you can probably tell Bluehost has the cheapest plans. So when it comes to price, Bluehost wins a point. At least when it comes to the 12 month period. But Hostgator has cheaper renewal fees.
Below is the refund-window for each company, so you have time to change your mind.
- Bluehost – 30 days.
- Godaddy – 30 days.
- Hostgator – 45 days.
Hostgator gives you 15 more days to change your mind.
There are a lot of features included in these hosting plans. We won’t be discussing them all in this comparison review, but we will be mentioning the most important ones.
When it comes to websites, one of the most important factors is disk space. Nowadays, most hosting companies offer more than enough disk space for a small to medium sized website. Of course, if your website has a lot of high definition content or video footage, you’ll need a lot more space. Anyways, let’s run through our three companies disk space limits:
- Basic – 50 GB
- Plus – Unlimited
- Choice – Unlimited
- Pro – Unlimited
- Economy – 100 GB
- Deluxe – Unlimited
- Ultimate – Unlimited
- Maximum – Unlimited
- Hatchling – Unlimited
- Baby – Unlimited
- Business – Unlimited
So what we can see here is Hostgator is the best choice when it comes to storage space. Even their single-website plan (Hatchling) offers unlimited website storage.
SSDS or HDDS?
But there’s a problem. While Hostgator offers unlimited storage, the hard drives are regular spinning drives (HDDS) and not solid state drives (SSDs).
The same goes for GoDaddy. Out of these three, the only company that uses SSDs is Bluehost. So although Bluehost offers limited disk space (on their Basic Plan) it’s on a SSD drive, which is many times faster than a regular hard drive.
In this case, if storage is all you’re interested in (not speed) then Hostgator is a good choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for the absolute best performance, then you need a hosting company that uses SSD drives, such as Bluehost.
Now you’re probably wondering how Bluehost can offer unlimited storage space when they use SSDs that are much pricier than regular hard drives. The way Bluehost calculates this is they give you enough space for an operation of a normal website. They guarantee that 99.95% of their customers will have enough disk space for their needs.
Although the subject of disk space might seem a bit complicated, what I recommend is always picking the hosting options that includes SSDs. They’re must faster, and the improved performance will benefit you in the long run. So when it comes to storage, I would pick Bluehost because they use SSDs.
Backups are incredibly important. If you make a mistake and break your website, you’ll need something to fall back on.
At the moment, the first two plans in the shared hosting service don’t offer daily backups, while the remaining two do, using a service called CodeGuard basic. On the other hand, Bluehost does offer complimentary backups, but you have to manually download them. They actually recommend users to handle their own backups and store them locally on their computers.
Godaddy, unfortunately, does not offer daily backups on any of their accounts. However, they do offer an additional website security service that will backup your website on a daily basis, along with many other security features.
The problem: it costs an additional monthly fee. Rates usually start from $2.99/month for the annual plans. In short, with Godaddy, the daily backup service is not included for free.
Hostgator doesn’t do daily backups on their shared hosting accounts, instead they’re weekly backups, at random days of the week. They also offer the option to buy CodeGuard for daily automatic website backups. Hostgator also charges to restore a backup.
Choosing a winner from this category is difficult. I feel like each company offers decent backup options. On the other hand, two of Bluehost’s shared hosting accounts include a daily backup service. Meanwhile, none of the other companies include daily backups for free, on all of their plans. So I think Bluehost comes out on top here.
Is it easy to get in touch with customer support? Are problems solved in a timely fashion or do you have to wait days? Let’s see how these companies deal with customer support.
Interestingly enough, all of these three companies offer the same customer support channels. They have a phone hotline, live-chat serve, and a ticket submission system. So it’s hard to say which one is the winner here, since they all have great customer support.
Couple of things to remember. Luehost offers 24/7 live chat, and an agent is always ready to help out. Godaddy’s live-chat is not 24/7 but subject to business hours. Like Bluehost, Hostgator also offers a 24/7 live chat service.
Overall, I think Bluehost’s customer support is slightly more efficient than the other companies, although they all have the same channels.
Uptime & Performance:
Look, accidents happen, and hardware can randomly fail. It happens, but you’ll want to go with a company that fixes these issues as quickly as possible. The less time your website is down, the better. Server uptime isn’t the absolute best way to compare hosting companies because it can decrease randomly based on hardware failures or maintenance.
The good news here is that all of the companies guarantee a near 100% uptime. Let’s run through their promises. Bluehost promises 99.9% uptime, Godaddy promises 99.97%, and Hostgator also guarantees 99.99% uptime. Of course, it’s best to take these guarantees with a grain of salt.
What About Performance?
When it comes to hosting companies, website performance is arguably the most important factor to consider. Once again, each of these companies offer decent performance. What it comes down to is a difference in milliseconds.
The problem is there are so many factors that can affect website performance. Keep in mind, the shared hosting plans share resources with other users. If you want all the resources to yourself, then you’ll need to go with a dedicated hosting plan.
- The Type of Hard Drives (SSD, HDDs)
- Cache Service
- Cloud Hosting
- Datacenter Location
- CPU Speed
- And many others.
It’s also important to keep in mind the more expensive plans, such as Business, will provide users with more server resources. Another thing to keep in mind is each company uses their own technologies, hardware, and systems.
In short, comparing all the factors of each hosting company that is somewhat related to performance is almost impossible. Nevertheless, we’ll run through the major performance-features.
If your server is across the planet, it will take a toll on load times. Here’s the list of datacenter locations from our three hosting companies:
- Bluehost – Utah
- Godaddy – Arizona, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ashburn, Virgina, Amsterdam, and Singapore
- Hostgator – Utah, Texas.
Godaddy, has a lot more data centers across the globe, so it wins in this section. Some hosting companies, such as Siteground, let users choose their preferred datacenter, which is an excellent feature in my opinion.
Based on our research and tests, it seems like Bluehost and Godaddy are the faster companies. Godaddy lags behind quite a bit, with an average of 900 ms load time for various websites.
In comparison, Bluehost’s is around 400ms, and Godaddy is around 500ms. Once again, the load speed is location dependant, but it should give you a general idea of what you should expect. It’s also important to note you can manually improve website performance through optimizations and what not. Overall, in my opinion, Bluehost wins here, though Godaddy is right behind.
Wrapping it Up:
We covered a lot of topics in this comparison review, that’s for sure. If you’re still unsure which company is best, I’ll summarize the key points for you here.
When it comes to price, Bluehost has the cheapest plans, but Hostgator has cheaper renewal fees. On that note, most of these companies offer seasonal promotions, so there’s always a chance to get a good shared hosting plan for a reasonable price.
Although Bluehost limits disk space (on Basic accounts) they use SSDs, meanwhile the other two companies offer unlimited disk space on regular HDDs. When it comes to hard drive performance, Bluehost wins.
Based on our network tests, it looks Bluehost’s load time is significantly faster than Hostgator and only a tiny bit faster than Godaddy. I wouldn’t say Bluehost is the fastest hosting company out there, but it’s definitely in the top five spots.
As you can tell, Bluehost took the spot in most of our comparisons. I feel like it’s the better hosting company overall. Once again, neither of these companies are bad, per se, but in my opinion (and based on my research and tests) Bluehost is the winner here. So if you’re struggling to decide which of these three companies to pick, I recommend Bluehost.
Of course, Bluehost isn’t perfect. It only has one data center, and the prices are a bit high, especially the regular prices. But you can get great 24 – 48 month deals. When compared to Godaddy and Hostgator, Bluehost is the clear winner.
Thanks for taking the time to read this comparison review. Hopefully now you know more about these three hosting companies and you can make the right choice. If you do go with Bluehost, make sure you understand their renewal fees, otherwise it might come as a shock. Got any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!