Comparing Shared Hosting Value- HostGator vs. Bluehost

When you come to choose a web host provider you are immediately confronted by a range of different features like the number of domains that you can have or the data storage and bandwidth that is included. There is also quite a variance in the monthly costs that they advertise but, depending upon the sorts of shared hosting packages that they are offering a cheaper monthly account may not offer the same value for money performance and features that another supplier provides for an extra dollar or two. On the surface two top web hosts may seem to offer similar services for widely differing prices and this comparison of HostGator vs. Bluehost services will help you to make the right, informed choice between them.

Shared Hosting Features

HostGator advertises that their shared hosting provides unlimited bandwidth and data storage just as Bluehost does but if you look a little more closely the difference between their services becomes apparent. While Bluehost provides a flat rate service that provides unlimited disk space and bandwidth, it also allows you to have as many domains in one account as you like. HostGator’s most basic, and cheapest package permits only one domain per account. HostGator also provides a toll free number that Bluehost doesn’t have available as a part of their service but does include a secure SSL and a dedicated IP.

Control Panel Functions

Both Bluehost and HostGator use the popular C Panel control panel application for their web account management and the only real difference between them is the single click installation service that they use. HostGator include QuickInstall that gives you instant access to over 70 Open Source scripts to install while Bluehost uses Mojo Marketplace which offers a slightly wider range of features and access to premium themes and proprietary software right from their control panel. HostGator’s C Panel also includes a variety of template based web design applications as an alternative to the usual WordPress or Joomla scripts.

Included Functionality

One of the things that divide web hosts is the range of functionality that they make available. HostGator provide e-mail functionality with an autoresponder included with every account as well as a quick database installer. In comparison, Bluehost provide three alternatives for both of those functions as well as a selection of antispam and analytical tools that is larger than those that HostGator includes as a standard part of their shared hosting packages.

Technical Support and Service

Both web hosts offer 24/7 technical support via either a toll free number, e-mail or live chat services. Bluehost make a point of promoting the fact that their technical support staff are completely in house and work from the same data center in Provo, Utah where they house their state of the art server complex. HostGator, on the other hand, only indicate that the support is available and direct users to try the forums for solutions to their technical issues. Both companies provide automatic backups of your websites and server monitoring that ensures maximum uptime for all of your online properties.

Price Structure

The price of the shared hosting from Bluehost is a simple flat rate that provides all of the features and functionality. In contrast HostGator have a three tiered package structure that provides a basic single domain account for a very low price but adds to the monthly rate as you increase the functionality that you want to access. This means that for a full featured account HostGator is several dollars a month more expensive than Bluehost but for a simple, single site account HostGator provides better value for money.

This shows that there is more to differentiate between webhosts than just the price that they advertise on their home pages. When it comes to the quality of the service and support there is very little to separate the offerings from either Bluehost or HostGator and making the right choice for your website really comes down to how much internet you need to use. For a hobby blogger or even a small online business a Hatchling Plan from HostGator may provide all of the features and functionality that you need. At the same time, if you intend to have more than one domain or want to create a number of databases then the all inclusive flat rate for Bluehost’s services may provide a more flexible option that is more in line with your needs.