Hostinger vs. Bluehost: Is Low-Cost Hosting Worth It?
Bluehost vs Hostinger is a big rivalry in the affordable web hosting niche. They’re like Kobe and Lebron used to be in basketball, or Hamilton and Rosberg in Formula One. The two web hosts basically redefine the meaning of value shared hosting plans, albeit they do so in different ways.
Since the match-up is a really close one, I believe it’s the small differences between the two providers that will make it clear which of them is better for you.
For instance, Hostinger’s entry-level shared hosting plan (Single) is cheaper than Bluehost’s entry-level one (Basic). But resource-wise, Hostinger gives you just 10GB of storage and 100GB of bandwidth, while Bluehost offers five times more storage and unlimited bandwidth.
In what follows, I take a closer look at the most important aspects of Hostinger’s and Bluehost’s services, including performance, pricing, features, security, and customer support.
If you want to build a really simple site with just a couple of pages, Hostinger might be a better deal. At the same time, Bluehost proved to be more beginner-friendly, not to mention the fact that it’s one of the few managed WordPress hosting services officially recommended by the WordPress foundation.
To settle the Hostinger vs Bluehost dispute, I hosted a test website with both for a period of several months. Let’s see how they did.
Performance is what everyone really cares about, so let’s tackle it head on. In the early days of the Internet, when broadband was still a luxury, 8 seconds was considered a fast page loading time.
Now, any website that takes more than 3 seconds to load is unacceptable. It’s not that all the web developers in the world gathered in a room and decided on this (although that’d be funny), but rather that mobile devices and a fast-paced lifestyle have led to significant changes in our expectations.
And so, search engines have adapted their algorithms to cater to our behavior. Google Search, for instance, considers page loading speed and mobile-friendliness to be crucial factors for ranking results. This is to say that, if your page is slow and has no mobile version, it will be ranked lower than your competitor’s.
The problem is that there’s only so much you can do to improve the performance of your site. Well, you could get rid of all the content, but then nobody would want to stare at a blank page. Or maybe they do, marketing is all over the place today.
Beyond a certain point, if the server that hosts your website can’t serve your visitors fast enough, there is nothing you can do to improve loading speeds. Can it get any worse? You bet. How about your website being completely unreachable because of an outage or improperly configured security protocols?
This is where web host performance comes in. You don’t want to lose your hard-earned spot at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), nor do you want to deprive your website from standing out, because something’s not right with the servers.
To test Hostinger vs. Bluehost in this department, I signed up for the cheapest shared plan with both. We’re talking entry-level, basic hosting. The only way it gets more basic than this is free hosting, which is something you may want to consider in certain situations.
As for the website itself, we used a super-simple WordPress site with a couple of pages and the most common functionalities you can think of, like a search bar. Read on for the results or jump over to this article to first learn more about our step-by-step testing and reviewing process.
Full Page Load Time
This is how long it takes to download the entire content of a web page on your visitors’ device. The timer starts the moment someone makes a request for your website or clicks a link to it and it stops when the page is completely loaded. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot going on in the background.
The reason we care about this key metric is because of its association with improved engagement and conversion among visitors. GQ Magazine almost doubled its visitor count, while increasing median time spent on its website by over 30% when it lowered its page loading times to under 2 seconds.
So, how did Bluehost and Hostinger do? Let’s find out.
With the help of GTmetrix, I saw that our Bluehost test website loads in just one second. This result does not benefit from any performance improvements, such as code minification or caching, which makes it an extremely good outcome straight out of the gate.
On the other hand, Hostinger’s performance does not inspire confidence early on. If this simple page takes just over 3 seconds to fully load, I can’t even think of how much you’d have to wait for an average page that has some useful content and a couple of high-resolution photos.
Without getting into a lot of details early on, this can be an indication of the difference between Bluehost’s and Hostinger’s server infrastructure. Just to give you an idea of how other major hosting providers are doing in this area, WordPress.com's score was a bit better than what we got for Hostinger while DreamHost's results were similar to those of main rival Bluehost.
Time to First Byte (TTFB)
I didn’t stop here, though. For a better perspective on what’s going on behind the scenes, the sites were also put through Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This is a fast and easy way to obtain a complex rundown of your website’s performance for both mobile and desktop versions. It’s also free, so don’t hesitate to use it on your website anytime you want.
One of the key metrics to look for in these tests is Time To First Byte (TTFB), which is to say how long it takes for the server where your website is hosted to respond when a visitor tries to load your website. This metric is like a canary in a coal mine: if your TTFB is high, it usually means there’s a problem with your web host’s infrastructure.
The culprit could be a number of things, including overcrowded servers, outdated hardware, unoptimized software, limited bandwidth, and so on.
Once more, Hostinger took over 3 seconds to completely load the mobile version of my test website. Even if the First Contentful Paint (FCP) happened at 2.3s, the user cannot interact with your website at this time. They can only sit there and wait until it becomes interactive, which is what Time To Interactive (TTI) is used for.
On paper, it doesn’t look that bad, but remember that this test site barely has any content on it. As you start to add media, functions, and various effects, the loading time will only increase and your hands will likely be tied. Then again, things could be a lot worse as we've seen in our Bluehost vs Wix comparison where the latter achieved an abysmal score of 17 with a similarly barebones website.
Bluehost’s perfect score of 100 dwarfs Hostinger’s lackluster 83. It’s worth mentioning that the load time jumped from 1.0 seconds to 1.5. A slight difference in speed is to be expected when testing a mobile version, but, rest assured, there are things you can do about it if the difference becomes too big.
Load Impact Test
We’re yet to paint a full picture, though. The tests so far have one major caveat – they are a simulation of what happens when one person tries to access your website. In real-life circumstances, this will rarely be the case. So, can you expect the same performance when 10, 100, or 200 visitors try to load your website at the same time? Let’s see.
I ran the load impact test using k6’s platform (one of the best services for load testing in general), and it simulated 200 people viewing the test site.
For the first minute or so, Hostinger’s performance s quite steady. However, there are two worrying trends. The first is that, as several minutes pass, the load times (represented by the green line) are very uneven. The second red flag is the average page load time, which only seems to go up and quickly reaches a full 6 seconds.
On Bluehost’s side, things are much better. The load time is represented by the purple line this time around and, at a glance, it’s a lot more consistent than Hostinger’s. In addition, the overall full-page load time is 4.7 seconds, which makes it a little over 20% faster than Hostinger.
Another noteworthy difference (admittedly harder to see on these graphs) is server response time, or TTFB. For Bluehost, the average was 1 seconds, while Hostinger’s was at 1.9. In terms of performance, the Hostinger vs Bluehost matchup is heavily leaning in favor of the latter.
Bluehost performs consistently well in this test based on our previous comparisons. Aside from a couple of Bluehost alternatives like InMotion and GreenGeeks, the company has performed better than most of its competitors. At least the ones we've tested so far.
So far, it’s not looking that good for Hostinger. But before I issue my verdict on the performance of these two web hosts, there’s one more thing we should look at, and that’s uptime.
Although it doesn’t really make headlines, uptime is important because it basically tells you how much time you can expect your website to be up and running. Servers need regular maintenance and, in some instances, restarting or taking the system offline is a necessary part of the process.
Hostinger has a 99.9% uptime guarantee backed by an advantageous service-level agreement (SLA), while Bluehost promises to offer the best “network and server uptime.” Although I was more skeptical about Bluehost, since the phrasing is quite vague, I took neither for granted.
Over a 6-month period, our tests show that Bluehost’s monthly uptime was a remarkable 99.98%, while Hostinger managed a respectable 99.97%. It might not seem like much, but if you convert it to minutes, you get a better picture of what the 0.01% difference means. Bluehost’s servers were down for an average of 8 minutes every month versus a little over 13 on Hostinger’s end. It’s basically twice as high.
Even though Bluehost is technically the winner in this aspect, Hostinger’s SLA means you can ask for a refund if your website is offline for more than 40 or so minutes.
Knowing you have something to fall back on is great, but your problems won’t be solved by 5% getting a refund of your monthly hosting costs if your website is down for nearly an hour every month. You have no idea what downtime can do to your sales or reputation as a business.
Bluehost vs. Hostinger: Which Has Better Performance?
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the fact that building a professional website will require a lot of media and functionality. The more complex your site, the higher the odds that it will be more difficult to run and slower to load. This is why you have to make sure your web host’s infrastructure is up to the task.
If you’re trying to find out whether Hostinger or Bluehost is faster, our tests show that Bluehost’s servers will likely offer better performance. This was the case both for situations where you have just a couple of visitors, as well as for instances of heavy traffic. Bluehost's reliable performance helped cement its top position on our list of best web hosting providers of 2020.
Our Bluehost-hosted test site loaded much faster and proved to be more stable than the Hostinger one. That said, Hostinger can also be a decent choice for a simple, low-traffic site.
CTA: If your content goes viral, Bluehost’s servers won’t buckle under the pressure. Your website has some room to grow before a hosting upgrade will be necessary, even on shared hosting plans.
Pricing and Value
Hostinger is cheaper than Bluehost across all shared hosting plans, but this doesn’t mean it has better value. After all, there’s no use in paying less for your hosting if it doesn’t give you the resources or features you need.
Bluehost and Hostinger have a similar pricing structure, so you’re offered an attractive price for your initial term. When you have to renew, you’ll have to pay the regular rate, which can be anywhere from 2 to several times more expensive.
The good news is that you can sign up for a long time with either host, and make that renewal a problem for future you.
Bluehost Basic vs. Hostinger Shared Starter
Hostinger’s Single Shared Hosting is a stunning $0.99/month when you sign up, while Bluehost’s Basic is $2.95 (with this special offer). Several dollars might not seem like a difference you should be concerned with, but the truth is that, over a long period of time, you’ll save quite a bit of money with Hostinger. The problem is that the savings are just not worth it.
Both plans can host just one website, include a free SSL certificate, and offer access to 24/7 support through live chat and phone. However, this is where their similarities end.
Bluehost gives you no less than 50GB SSD, 5 email accounts, and unlimited bandwidth. With Hostinger, you get just 10GB, 1 email account, and 100GB bandwidth. Moreover, Bluehost gives you a free domain name for one year if you purchase at least 12 months of Basic, whereas Hostinger doesn’t.
A downside of Bluehost is that none of its shared hosting plans support monthly billing. Hostinger's plans do support it, however, you'll need to pay a lot more for them if you choose that option. You can read more about the company's month-to-month prices in our article covering the best hosting providers that support monthly billing.
What about performance-related tools? Hostinger might seem like a great idea on paper, but Bluehost has the upper hand once again. All of Bluehost’s shared plans come with Cloudflare’s free Content Delivery Network (CDN) built in the dashboard, which means you can activate it with a couple of clicks.
For Cloudflare access on Hostinger, you’ll have to buy the top-tier shared hosting plan. To be fair, Hostinger’s infrastructure runs on the LiteSpeed web server by default, which comes with a series of built-in performance features, like server- and WordPress-caching.
But Bluehost relies on the Apache web server with Nginx configured as a reverse proxy. If properly configured, this setup can be just as powerful as LiteSpeed. The difference is that Hostinger’s solution is proprietary tech, while Bluehost’s is open-source. If the age of the Internet proved something, it’s that open-source is usually a better long-term option.
What’s more, Bluehost has an ace up its sleeve in the shape of Varnish. This is one of the best-in-class caching solutions for the hosting industry, since it can boost website delivery speeds by a minimum factor of 300. Like Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream, there are no words to describe it: you just have to try it for yourself. Varnish doesn’t come cheap, so you’re getting a lot of value due to the fact that Bluehost has it by default.
On renewal, you’ll have to pay $2.99 with Hostinger and $8.99 with Bluehost. Even if Hostinger’s entry-level plan is more affordable, Bluehost’s superior value is clearly worth the extra cost.
Bluehost Plus vs. Hostinger Premium Shared
At $2.59, Hostinger’s Premium Shared plan is cheaper than Bluehost’s Plus, which starts at $4.95/month. You get more features and resources from both, but, once again, the value offer is better with Bluehost.
Hostinger doubles the storage space to 20GB, allows you to host 100 websites and up to 100 email accounts, and gives you unlimited bandwidth. Starting with this plan, you can also benefit from a free domain name for one year if you purchase at least 12 months of hosting.
On the other side, Bluehost now includes unlimited storage and email accounts in addition to unlimited bandwidth and websites.
Hostinger’s 20GB might be sufficient for several decent websites, but it’s definitely not enough for 30, let alone 100. With Bluehost’s Plus, you’ll actually be able to host as many websites as you want since there’s no limit on storage either.
Another noteworthy difference is that Bluehost lets you add as many subdomains as you want, while Hostinger caps them at 100. To be frank, if you’re not a developer, a big business, or someone who manages a large number of sites, this isn’t that big a deal.
As was the case with the Basic plans, Bluehost includes the free version of Cloudflare’s CDN, while Hostinger does not. If your website gets visitors from across the world, the lack of CDN will lead to significant inconsistencies in overall user experience.
What’s more, Bluehost includes spam protection for one domain and it gives you access to $200 worth of marketing credits. Paid advertising isn’t a source of organic traffic growth (like SEO, for example), but it does help create awareness for your website, business, or services.
In terms of renewals, Bluehost will cost you $11.99 per month, while Hostinger will charge you $4.99 (if you sign up for the 4-year plan).
More Power: Bluehost Choice Plus vs. Hostinger Business Shared Pro
In my opinion, this is where Hostinger shines in terms of value shared hosting. For a reasonable $3.99 per month, your account has all the perks of Hostinger’s previous plans, plus a total of 100GB storage space, access to Cloudflare’s CDN, and free daily backups of your site.
If you’re not yet familiar with the way a CDN works, know that it can make a big difference in terms of how fast your website loads for visitors who are really far away from your host’s data center. The bigger the geographic distance between a visitor and your website, the more likely it is that it will take longer to load.
Bluehost’s Choice Plus also has all the benefits of the previous plan, to which it adds free automated backups, and free domain privacy – available for $5.45. In case you’re new to the hosting industry, domain privacy helps keep you safe from identity theft and massive amounts of spam.
If you’d like to know more about the security benefits of domain privacy and a CDN, jump to the Security section. After your initial term, Hostinger’s plan will cost $8.99, while Bluehost’s will be $16.99/month.
High-End Shared Hosting: Bluehost Pro
Bluehost goes the extra mile with its Pro plan, which does not have an equivalent on Hostinger’s end. If your website’s traffic really picks up and you need extra resources to keep it responsive, this is what you should aim for.
Aside from everything listed in the Choice Plus, Pro subscribers are hosted on separate, high-performance servers and each account comes with a dedicated IP. These two upgrades are important, so let’s take a closer look at them.
When Bluehost says optimized CPU resources, what it means is that, aside from a major upgrade in CPU and RAM, your resources are now isolated from those of other users. By comparison, the other shared plans on both Bluehost and Hostinger do not come with isolated resources.
To a certain extent, regular shared hosting puts you at the mercy of other websites hosted on the same servers. If they need more resources to run, there’s nothing you can do to stop them from using the shared pool unless they violate the terms of agreement.
This is the major downside with all shared hosting infrastructures, but it can be a good trade-off if you want to host a website on a budget. And with Bluehost’s Pro plan, you don’t have to worry about it at all.
The dedicated IP is usually a perk you get when purchasing a Virtual Private Server (VPS). However, the unique architecture behind Bluehost’s Pro plan makes it possible here as well. There are a lot of benefits to having your website hosted on a dedicated IP, including improved security and email sender reputation.
If you want to make the step towards e-commerce, a dedicated IP will also help your business identity, since you’ll be able to process payments through your own platform rather than redirect customers to third-party websites.
As usual, the renewal price ($26.99/month) is higher than the initial one, which is a one-time discount per client.
Which is Cheaper, Bluehost or Hostinger?
When it comes to pricing, the Bluehost vs Hostinger match-up favors Hostinger. However, you have to think of what it is that you’re trading for a slightly smaller price. For example, Bluehost gives you a better bang for your buck with respect to resources and features, while still being quite affordable.
Hostinger can be a great choice in certain scenarios. If you don’t need much, the resources included with each plan could be enough to service one (or a couple) of smaller sites.
In terms of value, Bluehost is the clear winner, as it offers unlimited resources and free CDN early on, both of which give you more peace of mind. Spin up and grow a new website without worrying about bandwidth, how much storage you’re using, or whether you can connect more subdomains.
For an overview of affordable alternatives to Hostinger or Bluehost, you can check out our detailed rundown of the cheapest web hosts.
CTA: Bluehost’s value shared hosting plans are a great choice for hosting beginners with a mind to expand their online presence. Higher-tier plans come with a hefty amount of free marketing credits which you can use to get people to notice you.
Ease of Use
This isn’t the 2000s anymore. There are a variety of Content Management Systems (CMS), WordPress included, that you can use to design, launch, and manage a great website without the help of a web developer. Industry-leading web hosts like Hostinger or Bluehost often go above and beyond to make the entire process easier for beginners.
Bluehost Is A Haven for Complete Beginners
If you know little-to-nothing about websites, hosting, or domains, Bluehost should be your go-to web host. When you log in, you’re greeted by a simple and intuitive dashboard that serves as a command center for all things online.
One of the most helpful and (frankly underrated) features included in Bluehost’s dashboard is the to-do list for launching new websites. It resembles SiteGround’s WordPress Starter tool, but it’s more beginner-oriented.
With Bluehost’s List-to-Launch website tutorial, building your first website is easier than pie. Not as delicious, but definitely easier. You’re guided through each step, from selecting a theme to adding content, and nothing is taken for granted.
You can use the “Marketplace” section for easy access to important services and add-ons, including WordPress plugins, G Suite integration, themes, and more.
The “Advanced” tab takes you to the regular cPanel dashboard where you have a more in-depth overview of the hosting account. For instance, this is where you’ll find the Softaculous Apps installer. You can use it to easily set up your choice of software, add critical functionalities (like image galleries, calendars), change mail clients, and more.
Hostinger’s hPanel Isn’t Far Behind
While Hostinger does not have an easy-to-follow tutorial for building new sites, its hPanel interface isn’t that bad. Unlike Bluehost, which does have the regular cPanel behind its dashboard, Hostinger completely replaced it with its own proprietary solution.
The result is quite impressive. The dashboard is easy and fun to navigate. It has that pressing-buttons-is-satisfying quality to it. Setting up your domain name and a website is still a pretty straightforward process in hPanel, although it won’t hold your hand every step of the way like Bluehost does. You can learn more about the hPanel by checking out our detailed Hostinger review.
Hostinger’s interface does have some advantages to it. For one, it loads a bit faster. It’s not so much that Bluehost makes you wait a long time, but that Hostinger is more responsive and looks more polished.
Moreover, Hostinger has a handy “Order Usage” section where you can see more detailed information on your account’s resource usage. This is a great measurement tool that can help you predict when an upgrade to a better plan might be necessary.
Unfortunately, Hostinger loses some points in terms of one-click installations. Its Auto Installer has a couple dozen options, including the most popular CMSs, but it’s no match for Softaculous’ huge library.
Hostinger vs. Bluehost: Which Is Easier to Use?
To be fair, neither of the two web hosts will make you write code if you want to launch a website. That said, Bluehost is easier to use for complete hosting beginners.
If you’d like to know more about Bluehost’s ease of use, you can check out our expert Bluehost rundown.
CTA: Bluehost’s List-to-Launch simplifies the entire process of creating and launching a website from scratch. Shape your online presence today without outside help or writing one line of code.
As hosting providers with a focus on shared hosting plans, Hostinger and Bluehost have a number of similarities. However, as I’ve mentioned so far, there are some key differences you should keep in mind. For example, while it is slightly more expensive, Bluehost gives you plenty more resources than Hostinger does.
Here’s a more detailed rundown of Bluehost’s main features:
- Unlimited websites, SSD storage, email aliases, bandwidth, and subdomains on most plans,
- Free and auto-renewable SSL certificates,
- Free domain name if you purchase at least 12 months of hosting,
- Free Cloudflare CDN on all plans,
- Hundreds of one-click installations via Softaculous,
- Website launch checklist,
- Spam protection and free marketing credits on most plans,
- Automated backups and domain privacy included on higher-tier plans,
- Office 365 Mailbox (one-month trial).
…while Hostinger gives you:
- Limited number of websites, SSD storage, email accounts, bandwidth, and domains on all accounts,
- Free and auto-renewable SSL certs,
- Free domain name only on Premium and Business plans,
- Free Cloudflare CDN on Business plans,
- Limited number of one-click installs (proprietary Auto Installer),
- Spam protection on WordPress plans,
- Weekly backups on the Premium and daily backups on the Business plan.
When you take a closer look at their features, Bluehost and Hostinger are quite easily set apart. Unfortunately, Hostinger does not pull ahead in many instances, other than, say, protected nameservers or a couple of dashboard functionalities.
With that in mind, Bluehost is the better all-round value choice. Its higher price is justified by the additional perks, and it does not lock important features, like the CDN, behind a paywall.
We’re used to customer support as more of a background concern, but this is not the case for the web hosting industry. My advice is to not hesitate to go for a slightly more expensive service if it means you’re getting the help you need when you need it.
Why? Because involved and knowledgeable support agents can make the difference between your site being down for 5 minutes, rather than 5 hours, or for days on end.
Every hosting company takes pride in its “expert support service”, so I’ve stopped paying attention to self-praise and tested the services myself. It’s like a season of Survivor or a game of Among Us – someone is lying and it’s best that you know sooner than later.
What are we working with here? Both Bluehost and Hostinger offer 24/7 support through phone and live chat on all plans. Aside from this, Hostinger also has a ticketing system, which you don’t get with Bluehost.
The two platforms also built sizeable knowledge bases you can rely on for step-by-step tutorials and more detailed information on almost anything hosting-related.
Bluehost Is Always On
I contacted Bluehost’s support squad over live chat more than a dozen times. I’ve asked them about everything from server infrastructure to resource allotments for specific plans, usage terms, and more.
It never takes more than a couple of minutes to be put in touch with a live person with Bluehost. You give a few details about your problem beforehand and then you can chat with someone helpful.
Although polite, Bluehost’s agents are not always proficient in written English. Sometimes, you might need a follow up (or two) for clarification purposes. When my problems were more complex (like issues with the auto-installer), the answers were also accompanied by links to detailed guides in the knowledge base.
Don’t worry, though: the documentation is written in near-flawless English, so you won’t have any problems with comprehension there. Plus, I was always able to resolve my issues despite any slight miscommunications.
For more details regarding Bluehost's customer support service make sure to check out our comprehensive Bluehost review.
Hostinger Makes You Wait
Support is Hostinger’s Achilles’ heel. While the agents are polite and helpful, getting in touch with someone can take up to several hours. Ouch. The Avengers beat Thanos faster than that.
Because of this, I couldn’t use Hostinger’s support as often or as much as I did with Bluehost. When you do get a hold of someone, the reply time is usually a couple of minutes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I can’t tell why this is the case, but if you have an emergency with your website or any of the server-side services associated with it (like email), there’s almost no way to solve it immediately. You can just sit there and hope you’re part of a bigger problem that’s also obvious to the system administrators.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a complex process that there are numerous professionals who make a career of it. Although there is no button (yet) that can turn you into an SEO wizard overnight, some features do help you on your way to an SEO mage… apprentice… candidate.
For example, high-quality, original content is the foundation of SEO, according to Google. Assuming you’re up-to-date with SEO content guidelines, you can do this on your own. Other things you can do to help with your website’s rank in Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is to ensure it loads really fast and use SEO-specific tools to better address the needs of your audience.
In terms of website performance, the Bluehost vs Hostinger duel was decisively won by Bluehost. You can read more about it in the Performance section, if you haven’t already.
Bluehost has an SEO package you can purchase through its marketplace, and it’s included for free on higher tier managed WordPress plans (Grow and Scale, to be specific). If you can afford it, the feature is quite useful, as it gives you various step-by-step improvement tips followed by statistics to see their impact.
Hostinger has its own SEO Toolkit add-on. It’s not mentioned anywhere on the site, but you can see it in your dashboard once you sign up under the “Website” main tab. Like Bluehost’s service, you can expect tips on which keywords suit your site the best, performance reports, traffic estimates, and more.
I’d say both Hostinger and Bluehost can get you on your way towards successful SEO practices. But because of the performance aspect, I’d be more comfortable hosting my site with Bluehost, since loading times are increasingly more important for search engines.
If you don’t know where to start, my advice is to use WordPress to build your site and then rely on some of the most popular SEO add-ons to guide your decisions, i.e. YoastSEO, All in One SEO Pack, and/or Rank Math.
I wouldn’t rely on Hostinger or Bluehost to deliver excellent website security. There are some great features included, but entry-level plans could use some upgrades.
For starters, both hosts offer free SSLs, basic DDoS protection, and 24/7 infrastructure monitoring. Although a great starting point, the setup falls short of addressing all the security needs of a modern website. Here, I’m talking about basic malware and spam protection.
On Bluehost, you can turn on Cloudflare’s CDN and the reasons you should do so include more than just improved worldwide performance. The service provides good protection against more complex DDoS attempts because it filters out a lot of the threats early on.
Hostinger’s infrastructure does have a Web Application Firewall (WAF), which constantly looks for possible threats and filters them out. The problem is that Cloudflare is only available on the Business shared plan.
Backups are another soft spot with the two hosts. Hostinger’s mid-range plan includes automated weekly backups, while Bluehost’s Choice Plus sets you up with automated daily ones.
Another advantage of Bluehost’s Choice Plus is the free domain privacy. If you have domain privacy enabled, your personal contact details, such as phone number, name, address, etc., are replaced with a proxy. This helps reduce the amount of spam and junk mail, but also phishing and identity theft attempts. It’s a great feature if you value your privacy, and you don’t want to be bombarded with unwanted contact attempts.
To be fair, Hostinger does have Cloudflare Protected Nameservers, which is available to anyone who registers a domain with the company. While it doesn’t match the kind of protection you get with domain privacy, the Cloudflare service does reduce hijacking attempts to your domains.
Scalability refers to a host’s ability to accommodate growing sites should traffic really pick up, either organically or in spikes. Hey, you never know when some of your content goes wild and everyone wants to know more about the genius behind it. You better be ready, because Gordon Ramsay is going to do a review of your website, er… cooking.
You can start on a highly-affordable basic shared hosting plan with either Hostinger or Bluehost and then upgrade to a better one on a strictly need-to basis. If you’re having trouble servicing visitors on Bluehost’s Choice Plus plan, a Pro subscription gives you access to your very own resources.
If you exceed Hostinger’s Business Shared environment, you can jump to a managed WordPress plan (if your website is built using WordPress) or a more expensive cloud one. That said, you may want to take a look at our list of best cloud hosting providers before you do that because there are much better options to choose from.
Either way, both hosting providers offer decent scalability and you won’t have to migrate somewhere else as your website grows. In fact, in many instances, you won’t even need to upgrade to a superior plan, as the servers can handle a bit of a load, especially if it’s only temporary.
For business-critical applications or websites, you’re better off with a VPS or dedicated option from Bluehost, while Hostinger gives you a choice between VPS and cloud. Hostinger has a slight advantage in this area, as its cloud infrastructure is fully managed, whereas neither the VPS, nor the dedicated servers on Bluehost are.
Hostinger vs Bluehost may seem like an easy competition on paper, but there are a lot of differences between the two services. It can be easy to get lost in all the technical details, so here are the main differences between the two hosts:
- Performance Under Load. Bluehost’s performance during our stress tests was excellent. Even though page loading speeds increased, the performance output from the basic plan when we ran a simulation of 200 simultaneous visitors was more than decent.
- Pricing. Bluehost’s prices may be bigger, but the value you get out of its plans is exponentially increased. The additional features and the unlimited resources are not worth trading for a couple of dollars.
- Helpful Support. Bluehost’s live chat channel is responsive and always-there. If there’s something you need help with, you can get in touch with a support representative in minutes and be on your way to a solution.
- Hostinger’s page loading speeds were 20% slower than Bluehost’s when faced with the same heavy usage. Combine this with the slower baseline performance and you’ve got yourself a turtle-fast website. Cute, but slow.
- Hostinger’s prices are visibly smaller than Bluehost’s, both for the initial term and on renewal. The problem is that you have to commit to extremely long contract periods, like three or four years, to benefit from them.
- Hostinger’s live chat support is disappointing. You can sometimes wait for hours until someone gets in touch and, even then, responses can take several minutes to come through.
Bluehost vs. Hostinger: Our Pick
Bluehost comes out on top in most of our categories. The hosting service really shows up in the areas that matter the most, and its plans are more value-packed than most of the competition’s. Hostinger does have lower prices, but if you can afford it, my advice is, go with Bluehost:
- Performance: Bluehost was much faster than Hostinger in terms of full-page load times and it also held up better to the load impact test.
- Pricing and Value: Bluehost is definitely more expensive than Hostinger, both for the initial term, as well as on renewals. However, Hostinger’s value is inferior to Bluehost’s.
- Ease of Use: Both are fairly easy to use, but beginners are more likely to find their way with Bluehost, whose dashboard is more intuitive and straightforward.
- Features: Bluehost’s plans have more features and resources than Hostinger’s equivalents.
- Customer support: Hostinger really stretches the definition of live chat help, while Bluehost is easy to get in touch with at all times.
- SEO: Neither of the two web hosts has free SEO features on their shared plans, but Bluehost does include its toolkit in managed WordPress plans.
- Security: Hostinger and Bluehost include free SSLs and basic anti-DDoS protection. If you want the benefit of automatic backups, you’ll have to upgrade to a better plan.
- Scalability: Even though both hosts give you lots of room to grow if your traffic picks up, Hostinger’s cloud infrastructure is managed, while Bluehost has no equivalent.
Hostinger is a one-trick pony – its prices are what truly set it apart from the competition. Bluehost, on the other hand, ensures that its platform addresses the needs of a wider audience, and that a support agent is on stand-by should you need one.
If you enjoyed our Bluehost vs Hostinger breakdown make sure to visit our comparisons hub for more articles like this one. Alternatively, you can check our our reviews hub for a more detailed look at companies like Bluehost, Hostinger, DreamHost, HostGator, SiteGround, and many others.
With affordable plans, great website performance, and an easy-to-use dashboard, Bluehost has a lot to offer in terms of shared hosting. If you’re not satisfied with your service, you can always apply for a refund within 30 days of purchase and get all your money back. Which means you can test any of their hosting plans for free.