Creative Commons License photo credit: kevinzim

Bluehost and Hostgator are two of the largest and most popular web hosting companies online and justly so. They offer high quality and very competitively-priced hosting accounts which offer very similar features of which arguably most noticeable is that with both Bluehost and Hostgator you can host unlimited sites.

The benefits for online marketers like you and me is of course that this greatly reduces our costs. Suddenly we can launch a new website for the cost of a domain rather than having to pay for additional web hosting – you just add it onto your existing Bluehost or Hostgator account and you’re up and running.

But because these two hosts are so similar it seems that there are lots of questions floating around about whether you should choose Bluehost or Hostgator. I should say in advance that I have used both companies for years and both offer fantastic hosting at great prices in my opinion. So it’s difficult to go wrong with either one.

However the purpose of this article is to help those people who really can’t decide between Bluehost or Hostgator based on a recent experience I had with Hostgator which will forever affect my opinions.

Indeed while the main topic for this article is about choosing Bluehost or Hostgator in many ways it can be seen as a Hostgator review because the one situation I have had over the last few weeks with Hostgator is enough to help me make up my mind once and for all which of these two web hosts will be getting all my business from now on. Read on for the juicy details of exactly what happened recently…

At the end of February I logged onto one of my websites to find that it looked “wrong”. My WordPress theme was off which made the site look strange and also caused the navigation bar to move down to the bottom of the page. It took me some digging to figure out what was happening but after a while I realized I had been hacked.

The hacker had accessed my Hostgator account and added malware to most of my dozens of websites which not only meant all my themes were messed up but even worse every time anyone visited any of my sites (many of which receive significant traffic) my site would try to infect their computer with a virus. Not cool.

In short I needed to get the situation under control rapidly so I did some research into the solution and realized to my disappointment that the solution was well out of my control. I simply didn’t have the technical ability (or patience) to do what needed to be done so I hired an outsourcer with an impeccable resume to do the work that needed to be done.

He cleaned up all the sites and uploaded the new versions to Hostgator. Problem solved within 48 hours. Except the next day there they were infected again. And so on for two whole weeks while he tried different solutions as my sites slowly slipped from the search engines, I lost a rediculous amount of money and found myself getting ever more frustrated.

In frustration I ended up contacting Hostgator customer support to see if they could offer any advice on how the attacks were continuing. And frankly the “help” could barely be described as that. Poor at best is how I would describe it. Then one night I had a thought – these standard customer support people probably knew less than me about removing malware from a web hosting account. What I needed was to get support from people who knew about malware – and I was sure a huge web host like Bluehost or Hostgator must have people like that on staff.

Some digging and I quickly found the email address for the Hostgator security team who I contacted about the issue.

And in less than two hours Hostgator had identified the problem and eliminated it. Two weeks of expense and frustration dealing with a “professional” freelancer were extinguished in less time than it would take me to watch a movie. Even better the security team at Hostgator did it for free all as part of the service.

I have *never* been as impressed as how quickly and efficiently Hostgator sorted out my problem and that is why when it comes to choosing Bluehost or Hostgator I personally will always go for Hostgator. Quite simply the most important element to take home from my Hostgator review is that my own experiences of being in a really nasty situation with my back against the wall have illustrated to me perfectly how amazing the support at Hostgator can be.

Support that is so good they literally have a customer for life. Bluehost or Hostgator? For me the answer is going to be Hostgator for ever more. If customer service is important to you then while I’m not knocking Bluehost in any way I would strongly encourage you to go for Hostgator.

If you already host your websites with Bluehost or Hostgator please leave your own thoughts and experiences in the comments box below…