Hostinger vs. Bluehost 2022: Why I Wouldn’t Touch Either (Different Reasons)

Hostinger vs bluehost

Want an honest review of Hostinger vs. Bluehost? They’re both crap and only promoted by affiliates who want commissions. Don’t use them if you take your site seriously. There, I said it.

Hostinger encourages employees to write fake reviews, were banned from Facebook Groups for voting for themselves in polls, and pose as customers to trick people into buying their hosting. Aside from how unethical they are, they have many complaints which you’ll find in Facebook Groups. Their TTFB is very slow, support is one of the worst in the industry, and they have a history of outages and security issues. You also have to pay for 3 years upfront to get their advertised price. Don’t fall for the trap. Even if they’re cheap, you pay the price long-term.

Bluehost is only promoted by affiliates but has similar problems as Hostinger. Search “how to start a blog” in Google and most results recommend Bluehost because they pay nice affiliate commissions. But they’re owned by EIG who is infamous for slow servers, bad support, and bandwidth throttling (resulting in 503 errors). They’re “fine” if you’re just starting and are on a budget, but they’re definitely not great. If you’re on a budget, you’re better off with NameHero.

Hostinger Bluehost
Facebook Feedback Poor Poor
Speed + TTFB Slow Slower
Fake Reviews Yes No (Just Affiliates)
Support Very Poor Poor
Security Poor Average
Cache Plugin LiteSpeed Cache None
CDN QUIC.cloud Cloudflare
Dashboard hPanel cPanel
Uptimes Poor Average
Free Migration Yes Yes
Data Centers 7 6
Pricing Cheap With High Renewals Cheap With High Renewals
Winner No (See Alternatives) No (See Alternatives)

 

1. Facebook Feedback – What People Say About Hostinger vs Bluehost

Ahhh, you gotta love Facebook Groups.

One of the only places to get (kind of) unbiased opinions. Just look out for some Facebook Groups like WordPress Speed Up and WP Beginner – both groups are controlled by affiliates and even SiteGround’s community manager. The WP Speed Matters Group is a good place to get truly unbiased feedback. Anyway, here’s the general consensus on Hostinger and Bluehost.

Hostinger poll

Bluehost-managed-wordpress-hosting

 

2. Speed + TTFB – Hostinger And Bluehost Are Both Slow

Hostinger and Bluehost are both slow.

I signed up for Hostinger’s WordPress Premium plan and Bluehost’s Plus Plan (along with several other hosting plans). I installed the same Astra Starter Site with no cache plugin/CDN, then measured results in Pingdom for 1 week. 336 individual tests were done on each website (7 day period at 30 minute check intervals). Hostinger’s median load time was 1800ms while Bluehost’s was 1560ms. Hostinger was 240ms faster than Bluehost, but they were both slow.

Wordpress-hosting-2020-pingdom-test

I also used several other tools to measure their performance like KeyCDN’s performance test, GTmetrix, WebPageTest, and the WP Hosting Performance Check plugin. Here are the results:

Bluehost-vs-hostinger-speed-test-2020

 

3. Fake Reviews – Hostinger Is Unethical

Hostinger has a history of writing fake reviews. Their CEO admitted to it and they were even banned from the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group for voting for themselves in Facebook polls taken on “the best hosting.” Hostinger’s employees would also pose as customers and say “how happy they were” with Hostinger, but they wouldn’t disclose they’re actually an employee.

Arnas feedback
Hostinger CEO admitting to writing fake reviews

Hostinger banned

With that said, I wouldn’t trust Hostinger’s TrustPilot rating. Even though it’s significantly better than Bluehost’s 3.2/5 stars, there’s no doubt Hostinger wrote fake reviews here too.

Hostinger trustpilot reviews

Fake news donald

Bluehost isn’t really unethical, but the amount of “how to start a blog” posts with Bluehost affiliate links is crazy. And yes, they’re recommended by WordPress because they pay to be.

How to start a blog bluehost affiliates

 

4. Support – Hostinger Is Worse (But Neither Are Good)

Cheap hosting usually doesn’t come with good support.

Both Hostinger and Bluehost have long wait times, but Hostinger’s support is arguably worse and borderline incompetent. You’re not getting great support with either hosts so even if your website goes down for any reason at all, you could be waiting hours or even days to get it fixed.

Hostinger support review
Hostinger support review
Bluehost support bad
Bluehost support review

 

5. Security – Hostinger Data Breaches Impact 14M Customers

Bluehost was hacked by a hacker group in 2015 for hosting terrorist websites, but that was long ago in 2015.

Hostinger had a data breach more recently in 2019 involving their database which included more than 14 million customer usernames, passwords, and other data. I would call either host “secure” and always recommend following your own security checklist to protect your website. Using strong passwords, latest PHP versions, and the limit login attempts plugin is a good start.

Hostinger security breach 1Wordpress security checklist 1

 

6. Cache Plugin – Use LiteSpeed Cache With Hostinger

Hostinger uses LiteSpeed servers (a newer, faster type of server).

This means you can use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin which is arguably faster than WP Rocket with server-level caching and great reviews on WordPress. It’s also free, which means there’s no need to buy paid cache plugins on Hostinger (see recommended LiteSpeed Cache settings).

Litespeed cache plugin

Bluehost doesn’t have a cache plugin (and they don’t support LiteSpeed) so you would either need to use a free cache plugin which isn’t recommended since most haven’t been updated for core web vitals. If you want the best results, you would need to buy something like WP Rocket or FlyingPress. (which is an extra cost). Hostinger wins this category since LiteSpeed is better.

 

7. CDN – QUIC.cloud (Hostiner) vs. Cloudflare (Bluehost)

Since Hostinger supports LiteSpeed Cache, you’d want to use QUIC.cloud CDN which is a CDN built specifically to work on top of LiteSpeed.

Bluehost partnered with Cloudflare as their CDN provider, but if you check CDN speed comparisons on cdnperf.com, Cloudflare usually doesn’t have the fastest speeds. You may be better off using something like BunnyCDN (what I use). I don’t recommend RocketCDN which uses StackPath’s data centers and has been unreliable with mediocre performance and uptimes.

Fastest cdn - cdn perf

 

8. Dashboard – Hostinger hPanel vs Bluehost cPanel

Hostiner uses their own hPanel while Bluehost uses standard cPanel.

The differences are minor, but you’re better off on cPanel especially since hPanel can be slow. Since cPanel increased their prices, many hosting companies were quick to build their own custom dashboard. Props to Bluehost for sticking it out since many custom dashboards suck.

Hostinger hpanel review

 

9. Uptimes – Hostinger Has Worse Uptimes Than Bluehost

Hostinger’s uptime.com profile has many  reports of downtimes. And if they can’t even keep their own website up, you think they can keep up yours? I also like to search Twitter for things like “Hostinger down” and view how many people are complaining about downtimes. It’s a lot!

Hostinger uptimes

Hostinger down

Bluehost had zero complaints about their website’s downtime in 2021, but they had a major outage in the past.  But currently, Bluehost’s uptimes are much more reliable than Hostinger’s.

Bluehost uptime status

 

10. Free Migration – Both Offer A Free Migration

Hostinger offers a free migration and Bluehost does too. However, Hostinger buries this in a post while most hosts (like Bluehost) clearly offer a free migration by creating a dedicated page.

Bluehost free wordpress migration

 

11. Data Centers – Make Sure They’re Close To Your Visitors

Hostinger has 7 data centers while Bluehost has 6.

Hostinger Data Centers Bluehost Data Ceters
UK Provo, Utah (US)
US Houston, Texas (US)
Brazil Mumbai (IND)
Netherlands London, UK (EU)
Singapore Hong Kong (CN)
Indonesia Shanghai, Mainland (CN)
Lithuania

Choose a data center close to visitors – using a data center close to your visitors has a big impact on TTFB as you can see in KeyCDN’s performance test. You may need to contact their support to switch data centers so it’s closest to your visitors if you want the best TTFB results.

Bluehost ttfb keycdn

 

12. Pricing – Cheap Intros With Higher Renewals

With Hostinger, you have to sign up for 4 years to get their cheapest advertised price, then it renews at a higher price. With Bluehost, you can sign up for 1 year for the cheap price (or 3 years at a somewhat discounted price), then it also renews at a higher price. Bluehost’s renewals are about 2.5x the regular price while Hostinger’s are almost 4x the regular price.

While you’re getting cheap hosting upfront, it gets expensive once your renewal period kicks in.

Hostinger Plan Intro Price Renewal Price
Single WordPress $1.99/month $9.99/month
WordPress Starter $3.99/month $14.99/month
Business WordPress $6.99/month $16.99/month
WordPress Pro $11.59/month $29.00/month
Cloud Startup $9.99/month $29.99/month
Cloud Professional $18.99/month $58.99/month
Cloud Enterprise $69.99/month $99.00/month
Bluehost Plan Intro Price Renewal Price
Basic $3.95/month $7.99/month
Plus $5.95/month $10.99/month
Choice Plus $6.95/month $14.99/month
WP Pro Build $19.95/month $29.99/month
WP Pro Grow $29.95/month $39.99/month
WP Pro Scale $49.95/month $59.99/month
eCommerce Starter $6.95/month $13.99/month
eCommerce Plus $8.95/month $17.99/month
eCommerce Pro $12.95/month $31.99/month
VPS Standard $19.99/month $29.99/month
VPS Enhanced $29.99/month $59.99/month
VPS Ultimate $59.99/month $119.99/month
Dedicated Standard $79.99/month $119.99/month
Dedicated Enhanced $99.99/month $159.99/month
Dedicated Premium $119.99/month $209.99/month

 

13. Winner Of Hostinger vs Bluehost? Neither!

Serious websites/blogs should not use Hostinger or Bluehost. You’re better off on Cloudways or NameHero who are much faster with better support, uptimes, and also have similar pricing.

Cloudways – their Vultr High Frequency plan is very popular in Facebook Groups, at least the ones not moderated by SiteGround. I use it and you can check my TTFB. It’s a little more “techie” only because it requires an extra step to launch a server and they use a custom dashboard. Otherwise, it’s easy to get used to, is monthly pricing with no high renewals, and includes a 3-day trial with a free migration. Cons are email hosting costs $1/email/month, no file manager, and I don’t recommend their Breeze plugin or CDN (StackPath) so you would need to use something like WP Rocket/FlyingPress and Cloudflare/BunnyCDN. They were also voted the #1 host in numerous Facebook polls.

Siteground to cloudways shoutout

Siteground to cloudways happy customer

Left siteground to cloudways

Siteground alternative 2021

Cloudways vs siteground migration (2)

Siteground alternative 2020

Cloudways vs siteground migration

Cloudways vultr high frequency discount
Use the Cloudways coupons page to get 30% off 3 months

NameHero – more beginner-friendly than Cloudways with cPanel, cheap prices, outstanding support, and great feedback in Facebook Groups. They use LiteSpeed servers which are faster than Apache and traditional hosting. Which also means you can use the free LiteSped Cache plugin + QUIC.cloud CDN. These use server-level caching and is faster than WP Rocket’s file-based caching with HTTP/3. Their CEO (Ryan) is a genuinely helpful guy if you watch his YouTube videos. I usually suggest their Turbo Cloud plan which has 3GB RAM + NVMe. Also includes a free migration.

Namehero vs siteground feedback

Namehero to siteground move

Siteground to namehero

I hope this comparison was helpful! Feel free to leave a comment with any questions. I try to stay honest and not recommend bad hosting companies, so I hope you make the right decision.

Cheers,
Tom

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