BlueHost vs HostGator

While HostGator will release their stats every month in their newsletter, BlueHost has been very secretive about their "numbers". But recently, Matt Heaton, CEO and president of BlueHost and HostMonster disclose their magic numbers for the first time, so we can now compare both side by side.

So who is bigger? Who is growing faster? Let's find out.


At first let us look at the stats for HostGator collected from their monthly newsletter.

  • November 2009 Stats:
    Email sent: 574,475,391
    Email Received: 1.04 Billion
    Domains Hosted: 2,792,097
    Size of Files hosted: 691 TB
    Monthly Bandwidth: 3,473 TB

  • December 2009 Stats:
    Email sent: 597,454,406
    Email Received: 1.08 Billion
    Domains Hosted: 2,985,686
    Size of Files hosted: 729 TB
    Monthly Bandwidth: 4,401 TB

  • January 2010 Stats:
    Email Sent: 621,352,582
    Email Received: 1.13 Billion
    Domains Hosted: 3,105,228
    Size of Files Hosted: 754 TB
    Monthly Bandwidth: 4,710 TB

Next, let us look at BlueHost "secret numbers" for January 2010 released in Matt Heaton's blog post.

  • Total Domains Hosted: 1.9+ million domains
  • Total Paying Hosting Customers: More than 525,000
  • Total Servers: 850+ (ALWAYS rotating out older servers)
  • Total Sales/Billing/Support Requests Per Day: Approximately 5,000
  • Number of new customers (not domains) added each day (Mon-Fri): 800+
  • Number of new customers (not domains) added each day (Sat, Sun): 500+
  • Number of new domains added each month: 50,000 � 70,000
  • Total Bandwidth Capacity: 20 Gigabits/Second (100% ours, not shared in ANY way)
  • Average Hold Time For Support: 19 seconds
  • Number of Employees: 240+
  • Registrar For Domains: Fastdomain Inc (Sister company that �sells� domains to Bluehost/Hostmonster)
  • Outsourced services: NONE!!!!!!!
  • Revenue: _____ (Some things really do need to be kept private)
  • Profit: _____ (Some things really do need to be kept private)

* BlueHost numbers include HostMonster as both are the same company.

Now we know that in terms of size base on number of domains hosted, HostGator is bigger. HostGator number of domains hosted in January 2010 are 3.1 million while BlueHost are 1.9 million.

BlueHost is growing new domains hosted as much as 50,000 to 70,000 each month. HostGator is able to grow faster at 120,000 to 190,000 per month.

So does that means the winner is HostGator? NOT SO FAST!

The metric that we use for the comparison is the number of domains hosted which is not the best measure. The best measure would be the number of customers. Since a customer can host unlimited domains in their account, a customer that host 100 domains is still 1 customer. Unfortunately, HostGator doesn't disclose this information. BlueHost currently has 525,000 paying customers.

HostGator is a full service web hosting provider offering all kinds of hosting solutions such as shared hosting, windows hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, etc. while BlueHost focus solely on Linux-based shared hosting. So the number of domains hosted are easily distorted for HostGator.

HostGator advertise their products everywhere including the offline world using BIG bill boards, magazines, radio air-time and even human skin!!! BlueHost focus their marketing effort solely online and most of their new customers come from word of mouth of their existing customers.


How Much Money Is BlueHost Making?

This will be very interesting! [It happens that my part time hobby is to analyst businesses]

Matt Heaton didn't disclose their business revenue but due to the simplicity of their business that offer only one product, we can do an accurate estimation!

Since hosting fee are recurring, and assume the average monthly price paid is $6.95, a year would be $83.40. Times the number of paying customers 525,000 will give us a revenue of $44 million a year!

They are able to increase domains by 50,000 to 70,000 each month so it would be like 720,000 a year. That would be around 37% increase a year.

So estimated revenue for BlueHost is $44 million per year and I expect this number will grow more than 30% each year for the next several years!

After I wrote this article, Matt Heaton shot me the following email.

Big problem with your evaluation.  You said BlueHost does 4.4 million in revenue based on $6.95 * 525,000.  That is very incorrect.  $6.95 * 525,000 * 12 is more accurate (12 months in a year).  That is $44.1 million in revenue per year, and actually we do MUCH HIGHER revenue than that each year.

HostGator as of January 2010 had less than 230,000 paying customers.  At that time we had 525,000.  They host more domains because they do reseller hosting, but they don't come close to BlueHost in revenue numbers, paid subscriber numbers, or profit.  Its not even close.  Please update your article to reflect this new information.

Matt Heaton / President

So it looks like I made a very careless mistake (luckily this is not a school exam and analyzing businesses is only a hobby). The number above has been updated from 4.4 million to 44 million.

So who is BIGGER? Matt Heaton indicates that HostGator paying customers is only 230,000, which is less than half of BlueHost. If his information is correct, then BlueHost is twice larger than HostGator. So BlueHost is the winner here!

Even at half of BlueHost, HostGator will still be able to generate 22 million a year! A number that many businesses can only envy of.

I hope these figures give you more confidence on hosting with BlueHost and HostGator as you can see they are serious businesses.

For first time visitor, BlueHost is rated as the #1 host, HostMonster #2 and HostGator #3. All of them are highly recommended. Simply read my hosting reviews to find out more about them.


- BlueHost Review
- HostGator Review
- HostGator Plans Comparison - Compare HostGator shared hosting plans with BlueHost.

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