Hostinger vs Bluehost (2022) — Find out why Bluehost is the Best Option for You as a Beginner

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Overview: Hostinger vs. Bluehost

Hostinger vs Bluehost is a big rivalry in the affordable web hosting niche. 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.

1. Performance

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 than 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.

Speed Matters, A Lot

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 of 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.

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.

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 the 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.

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GTMetrix speed test run on our Bluehost hosted website

With the help of GTmetrix, I saw that our Bluehost test website fully loads in about two seconds. 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.

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GTMetrix speed test run on our Hostinger hosted website

On the other hand, Hostinger’s performance inspires confidence early on. Our test website managed to fully load in exactly one second. This is a good result for a cheap shared hosting plan.

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.

Grab your Bluehost plan and get a FREE Website Domain!

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.

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Hostinger Single Shared Hosting Plan Tested in PageSpeed Insights

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.

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Bluehost Basic Hosting Plan Tested in PageSpeed Insights

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.

Related Post  WP Engine vs Hostinger (2022) — An In-Depth Comparison

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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.

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Load Impact Test for Hostinger vs. Bluehost

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 second, while Hostinger’s was at 1.9. In terms of performance, the Hostinger vs Bluehost matchup is heavily leaning in favor of the latter.

Uptime

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.

PeriodBluehostHostinger
September99.99%99.99%
August99.98%99.97%
July100%100%
June99.99%99.98%
May100%99.96%
April100%99.98%
202299.99%99.97%

Over a 6-month period, our tests show that Bluehost’s monthly uptime was a remarkable 99.99%, 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 0.02% difference means. Bluehost’s servers were down for an average of 7 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 6% 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 2022.

2. 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

One major advantage of Bluehost is that they accept several international currencies, these are some of them:

  • USD
  • GBP
  • EUR
  • CAD
  • AUD
  • INR

To view prices in your preferred currency, just choose it from the drop-down menu located in the upper right corner of their site.

Grab your Bluehost plan and get a FREE Website Domain!

Bluehost Basic vs. Hostinger Basic Plan

Hostinger’s Single Shared Hosting has a price tag of $2.99/month, while Bluehost’s Basic plan is $3.95 in a 36-month plan or $5.95 for 12 months. As you can see, the price difference is small. And even though it seems like you save some money with Hostinger, the truth 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 an amazing 50GB SSD storage, 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.

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.

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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. Varnish doesn’t come cheap, so you’re getting a lot of value due to the fact that Bluehost has it by default.

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.

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.

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.

Start with Bluehost here and get a Free Website Domain!

3. 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.

With Bluehost’s List-to-Launch website tutorial, building your first website is easier than pie. You’re guided through each step, from selecting a theme to adding content, and nothing is taken for granted.

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Bluehost’s checklist for a successful website launch

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 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.

Grab your Bluehost plan and get a FREE Website Domain!

4. Features

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-around value choice. Its higher price is justified by the additional perks, and it does not lock important features, like the CDN, behind a paywall.

Grab your Bluehost plan and get a FREE Website Domain!

5. Customer Support

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.

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.

Related Post  InterServer Review (2022) — An In-Depth Analysis

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.

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Bluehost’s customer support center

Bluehost’s agents are very polite as well as proficient. In the case that you want to solve any issue on your own, they have detailed guides in the knowledge base (very easy to follow and understand, by the way). Overall, Bluehost’s customer support is definitely amazing.

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.

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The contact options available on Hostinger’s support page

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.

Grab your Bluehost plan and get a FREE Website Domain!

6. Security

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.

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Some of the features available on Cloudflare’s CDN

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 available 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 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 are 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

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 can start on a highly-affordable basic shared hosting plan with either Bluehost or Hostinger and then upgrade to a better one on a strictly need-to basis.

7. Key Differences

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 a little bit bigger, but the value, additional features and unlimited resources you get out of its plans make that couple more dollars worth the investment.
  • 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 quite slow website.
  • 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. Whereas with Bluehost you can renew every 12 months and save a few dollars in the process.
  • 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.

Grab your Bluehost plan and get a FREE Website Domain!

8. Hostinger vs Bluehost: 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.
  • Price: Even if Hostinger’s entry-level plan is more affordable, Bluehost’s superior value is clearly worth the extra cost.
  • 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.
  • Security: Hostinger and Bluehost include free SSLs and basic anti-DDoS protection.
  • Scalability: Even though both hosts give you lots of room to grow if your traffic picks up, Hostinger’s cloud infrastructure is unmanaged, while Bluehost has no equivalent.

With affordable plans, great website performance, and an easy-to-use dashboard, Bluehost has a lot to offer in terms of shared hosting. With more than 2 million customers, they are on top of the best web hosting providers and they keep improving. We encourage you to give them a try and see it for yourself.

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Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.