The 8 EASIEST and BEST Managed WordPress Hosting Platforms [Ranked for 2018]

Managed WordPress hosting is not only the easiest way to get your website setup, but it’s also one of the most affordable hosting options when you factor in all of the support you’ll be getting and the fact that there are numerous plans available for any budget, and it’s also the most popular way to create a website, which means there’s no shortage of people out there willing to help you with anything you need.

There are countless, beautiful, very feature-packed WordPress themes out there that allow you to change the style and functions of your site in just a moment, and an endless array of different

WordPress is open-source software with many passionate people working to make it better all the time. WordPress is what is known as a CMS, or a content management system. It is a platform upon which you can create your website, and WordPress takes care of all the heavy lifting, so that all you’ve really got do it is add your text, customize things however you want, and you’re pretty much good to go.

Your WordPress installation is stored on a server owned by a hosting company. Once you’ve decided to use WordPress (it’s the correct choice for the vast majority of people, so good call), you’ll need to choose which type of hosting you want, and then you’ll need to choose a hosting company.

We’re going to be talking about the different types of hosting that you’ll want to consider, and we’ll help you decide exactly which one is the best fit for your website plans.

Let’s start things off by comparing unmanaged vs managed WordPress hosting and going over what differentiates them, and then we’ll recommend some of the absolute best hosting companies for WordPress sites, from all of the different categories of hosting, so that no matter how big or small your site is going to be, you’ll be with a hosting company that you can count on.

Managed WordPress Hosting vs. Unmanaged: Which is Better?

It’s not really a matter of better or worse, because these are two different things, and some people prefer unmanaged, whereas other people appreciate the benefits of managed a lot more. So, let’s just go over what you need to know about each type, and you can decide from there…

Unmanaged Hosting: In other words, “you’re on your own.” You are responsible for administrative tasks on your server, if something goes wrong it’s up to you to find the solution, if software needs to be installed or updated, that’s on you, ensuring there aren’t any security issues, knowing what to do if you get hacked, and optimizing your site’s performance is just scratching the surface of what’s involved with an unmanaged server, even if you’re only using a relatively simple app like WordPress on it.

The hosting company provides you with the raw physical hardware, and it’s up to you to go from there. This is good for people who are really into tech, and computer savvy, and want to have absolute 100% control over every single aspect of their server, and that have experience. If you’re just starting out, there are much, much easier ways to go, which brings us to…

Managed Hosting: With this option, the hosting company will help you out with just about everything, and getting your site setup and keeping it running smoothly is a BREEZE. Hosting companies, at least the good ones, have made the process so simple over the years. It used to be trickier, but now it really couldn’t be easier, especially with some of the top choices down below.

With managed hosting, they’ll help you get WordPress installed (Some of them even offer 1-click or auto-installer wizards for WordPress). Managed hosting plans give you access to tech support, included for free, that you won’t find with unmanaged hosts, who only offer support for hardware related things.

It’s pretty obvious that unmanaged hosting can be great for people who really don’t mind having it turn into a whole project, and who have a history and experience when it comes to managing servers. Managed hosting is for people who aren’t super tech savvy, or are just more interested in working on their website itself rather than toiling away maintaining their server.

Different Types of Servers: Which One Should You Choose?

In the lower price range, we’ve got managed shared hosting and we’ve got unmanaged VPS hosting. An unmanaged VPS is where you’ve got to set everything up yourself and maintain it and you don’t really get any support with anything software related, which is a huge pain if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Shared Hosting (Managed)

Who is it for?: For smaller websites, that aren’t super popular yet. For small business websites, and new sites that are just getting started.

Shared hosting is the best option for the vast majority of websites.

Managed shared hosting means that one server is home to a handful of different websites, you’re sharing the server with other people, and that brings down the price for everyone.

Since one server is plenty powerful enough to power quite a few websites, everyone gets a little slice of the resources, and as long as no sites are hogging too much power from the server, everyone’s sites continue to chug along nicely. Basically, you’re renting out a room in a hotel instead of renting out the entire hotel, since you can only sleep in one bed at a time.

Managed VPS

Who is it for?: For websites that get a fair amount of visitors on a regular basis, typically websites for businesses that are earning money through their website and can invest in the higher price, sites that don’t quite need a fully dedicated server yet…

Now, imagine if that hotel took an entire floor and closed it off for you. You hear about rockstars or athletes renting out an entire floor of a hotel. In website terms, this would be a site that’s getting more popular, it needs to be able to handle more people at once than a single room could, and what we’re described here is called a VPS, or virtual private server.

A VPS is still a smaller piece of a larger server, but it’s more private than shared hosting, as explained by our example of renting a floor in a hotel. We already briefly discussed an unmanged VPS, but there are also managed VPS plans available, and we’ll be featuring some excellent brands.

This is kind of the best of both worlds, you get the lower price like shared hosting, but with the added performance of dedicated hosting, for sites that don’t quite need a dedicated server yet.

Dedicated Servers

Who is it for?: Huge websites that get a LOT of traffic, big media companies, newspapers, magazines, large online stores…

Finally, there’s dedicated servers which are for very popular websites that get a lot of visitors. That would be like renting the entire hotel, every single room on every single floor. A dedicated server means the entire server is dedicated to hosting your website, and you aren’t sharing it with anyone else in any way, shape, or form.

The plus side is that you’ll have access to the full resources of the server, but the downside is that there’s nobody else in the hotel, so to speak, to split the cost with you – you’re stuck footing the whole bill, and some dedicated servers start at hundreds of dollars per month.

Which Managed WordPress Hosting Type Should You Choose?

A lot of companies that offer shared hosting also have options for VPS or dedicated servers, so it can be a lot easier to start out with an affordable shared host, then as your site grows, you can upgrade accordingly. When you’re staying with the same host, it’s really easy to upgrade your hosting plan, or even downgrade it if you bit off more than you could chew initially.

The main advantage of unmanaged hosting is that it usually costs a bit less, since the company doesn’t have to spend as much on support staff. However, most people end up needing some help from support at one time or another, and it’s way less expensive to have managed hosting than it would cost you to actually hire a developer to help troubleshoot your server if you run into some errors.

Hiring a professional to manage your unmanaged server can be quite costly, it’s usually a lot cheaper to just get a managed server, even if you only need to message support every once in a while.

Some of the companies we’re going to be featuring have such good managed plans for WordPress that it’s hard to imagine a beginner using anything else.

Managed hosting is definitely worth the price for people who haven’t spent a lot of time studying and learning how to manage servers. It’s not something you should just dive into and learn as you go, if you have an important website relying on a solid server, because it’s so easy to make a mistake or to overlook some small detail and ends up making your site easy for hackers to take control over.

With managed hosting, you know all the i’s are dotted and all the t’s are crossed.

Here are the BEST Managed WordPress hosts in 2018:

There are new hosting companies popping up everyday, and older ones closing down all the time. The following companies are all very established, and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. With hosting, it’s so easy to setup a reseller account with any of the following companies, and to make it look like someone is running their own host, when in reality they’re just piggy-backing off a bigger host.

That’s fine and everything, but you’re better off just going right to the source and cutting out the middlemen. Here are our absolute favorite costs, in a few different categories, so that you can find an excellent solution no matter what your needs are, even if you still aren’t even really sure exactly what you need from a webhost.

Bluehost

Out of every host featured on this list, Bluehost has the easiest sign-up and setup process that we’ve come across.

You just sign up for your account, and WordPress is waiting for you, already installed and ready for you to start customizing it and adding your content.

We can’t even fathom how it could be any easier, no wonder tons of mom bloggers and business owners use Bluehost for their hosting. It used to take some experience and knowing what to do in order to set it up correctly, but thanks to Bluehost working so closely with WordPress itself and drastically optimizing their servers to run WordPress perfectly, it’s just so simple.

So, if you’re looking for managed shared hosting, and you want to use the WordPress platform to create your site, Bluehost is probabally going to be your best bet. The next two hosts that we’re going to be looking at are similar, with similar offerings, and they’re definitely worth considering as well, as an alternative to Bluehost.

In addition to shared hosting, Bluehost also offers VPS, dedicated servers, and more to choose from. If you’re just starting out, shared is the way to go, because it costs a lot less than a VPS or a dedicated server, and you won’t need all of  the extra resources yet.

Bluehost’s shared hosting comes with the same level of awesome customer support, their team are literally experts at WordPress and will help you with anything you need, and they’re on call 24/7 so you can get the help you need, around the clock, quickly!

Siteground

Siteground is an excellent hosting company – Their plans are in the same ballpark is Bluehost, they have similar offerings, and they excel in many of the same ways.

The big difference is that Siteground gives you a specific amount of resources in their shared plans and tells you exactly how many you can use, whereas Bluehost says “unlimited” with a little * that says your plan is unlimited, as long as you’re not using an excessive amount of resources.

Server resources are used up when people visit your site. Things like bandwidth are finite, there isn’t really a such thing as “unlimited”, especially since you’ll eventually get cut-off if you use too much.

In Bluehost’s defense, you have to really be abusing the server in order to run into any issues, and for the typical user, it may as well be unlimited, for all intents and purposes. None the less, it’s good that Siteground tells you exactly what you’ve got, so for a fast-growing site, you can plan your server needs accordingly and upgrade before you run into any trouble.

At the end of the day, it’s essentially the same, just two different ways of going about it.

Other than that, Siteground has amazing support too, reasonable prices, and some very tempting offers for first-time customers, too.

Hostgator

Hostgator is very similar to Bluehost, and they’re owned by the same company, but there are some minor differences, too. Both are among the very top hosting brands in the world, have been around for a long time, and have great track records considering how many millions of websites are hosting between them.

One trait we recommend using to choose between Hostgator and Bluehost is simply to visit them both, and go with whichever one is currently offering the best discount. It’s  common to see various discounts and promotions from both of these companies, so if one of them has a better promotion listed on their site when you visit them, that’s probably going to be the right choice.

You can also lock in those discounts by signing up for a longer term, and that’s also highly recommended, as long as you plan to have your website online for at least a couple of years.

Knownhost

Knownhost’s managed VPS servers offer strong performance at a very reasonable price, starting at around $30 per month. It’s a step up in terms of performance from shared hosting, and is also managed, meaning you get full access to Knownhost’s excellent customer support who will help you with just about anything you could possibly run into.

How Much Does KnownHost Cost?

Knownhost has very fast response times and their staff really know their stuff. As far as super high quality managed VPS plans go, Knownhost is among the most reasonable priced.

They have a lot of different options to choose from, but all of their servers are great, so find  the one that fits your budget the best. It usually only takes a couple of minutes for them to reply to a support ticket, and they’ve always been very quick to solve any hiccups.

Their overall uptime is among the highest in the industry, and they offer free migrations so you can bring your WordPress site over if you already have one.

If you’re currently with a different WordPress host and you’re unhappy, Knownhost is a great company to migrate over to. In addition to their managed virtual private servers for WordPress, they also have shared WordPress hosting starting at around $6 per month.

WP Engine

WP Engine is an entire hosting company entirely focused on WordPress. While pretty much every host is going to support WordPress, this one takes it a step further. With other options like Bluehost, you can install any other software that you want, if there’s something you would rather use instead of WordPress.

With WP Engine, on the other hand, it’s all about WordPress and nothing else. They have completely optimized their entire platform around WordPress, creating a custom and unique experience. All their staff has to worry about is WordPress, so they’re obsessed with it, and experts.

WP Engine is on the pricier side, they offer shared WordPress hosting starting at $29 per month. You’re also limited in terms of how many visitors your site can have, and it’s not a terribly high amount until you get into their pricier plans.

InMotion Hosting

InMotion is an excellent hosting company. They aren’t as big as Bluehost or Hostgator, but they’ve grown over the years quite a bit due to word of mouth and holding onto happy customers. While  they aren’t quite as well known as some companies on this list, they’re still a gem.

They’re fully capable of handling even the most demanding websites, and they offer very reasonable prices, comprehensive packages, and solid around-the-clock support to help with anything you need.

Their “business hosting” plan is comparable to the shared hosting plans we’ve been looking at, it’s fully managed and comes with unlimited resources (Well, “unlimited” in the sense that we discussed earlier.)

Their Business plan is able to handle WordPress, but for a dollar more per month, you can get their WordPress Hosting package that is further optimized and completely built around WordPress. The difference between that, and the business plan, is that WordPress Hosting is only for WordPress, whereas the business option can run WordPress, or any other platform instead.

In between, you can see their VPS, dedicated, and reseller servers. A reseller hosting plan is good if you have clients that you manage, it allows you to keep track of everything in one place, without having them all on the exact same control panel account. It gives you that degree of separation between your client’s sites, but it’s essentially shared hosting just the same.

Liquidweb

Liquidweb is a high-end VPS company. Their prices start in the $60 ballpark and go up from there. They are a very well established hosting company that has a great reputation, especially for really important projects like eCommerce online stores, business websites, and busy sites that need that premium treatment.

They have recently introduced the first managed hosting platform designed around WooCommerce in particular, which is an add-on for WordPress that makes it very simply to turn your regular WordPress site into a eCommerce powerhouse.

Liquidweb is also priced on the higher end, but it depends on how powerful of a server you too. Generally speaking, when you’re at the point where you need to spend $70 or $100 dollars per month on your site to keep it performing great, you’re going to be earning a lot more than that anyways, so it’s a very worthwhile investment.

Here’s a table that Liquidweb released that helps point out the difference between managed and unmanaged, or as they refer to it as “DIY hosting”.

With 20 years in business, and over 600 employees working for them, Liquidweb is one of the bigger premium hosting brands. They take the phrase “fully managed” very seriously, from this site: “We take on your server administration, including hardware management, network management, operating system and pre-installed software support, proactive security patches and updates, and proactive service monitoring and restoration.”

Vultr

If you’re familiar with Vultr, you might be thinking, “Wait, what are they doing here?” Good point, because Vultr is an unmanaged hosting company. They have servers starting at a few bucks per month for something really barebones and simple, and their servers are easy to scale up.

Using a service called ServerPilot.io, you can add a control panel to an unmanaged server that helps you manage it yourself, so that you don’t have to go into Linux’s command prompt to make changes the hard way.

Going this route means you can save some money, still get solid performance, and essentially outsource to a paid ServerPilot account to use their support.

This is more for people who already know  their way around hosting. It’s not a complex as the full “diy” method, but it’s not nearly as simple as some of the other options we’ve looked at either. It’s for people who want the convenience of managed hosting, but want to be more hands-on with the setup and maintenance process, too.

If how websites work is an interesting hobby for you, this could be a good way to dip your toes in the water a little deeper than shared hosting offers, but if you want to focus on your site itself, and leave the behind-the-scenes stuff to the professionals, you should choose any of the other options on this list instead. None the less, it worth mentioning as an alternative.

Final Thoughts & Overall Top Picks

There you have it, a handful of different hosting companies to choose from, that are all fully managed (except Vultr.)

If you’re setting up a WordPress site, you can’t go wrong with any of the choices on this page. Our overall top pick for beginners is Bluehost because they just make the whole process of creating a site so easy.

Their platform works so well with WordPress, it comes already setup for you, and its a great way to introduce yourself to the world of hosting and creating websites.

For Managed, Shared, WordPress hosting we recommend:

BLUEHOST.

Now, if you need a little more gusto than shared hosting, maybe your site is already established, or you’re going to be using your site for business (Beyond just a simple small business site, in which case shared would still be totally acceptable), then you’ll want to consider stepping up to a VPS, which is a tier above shared hosting in terms of performance, and price.

For a managed VPS, we recommend:

SiteGround or Knowhost.

Siteground is one of the Top VPS Hosting companies out there and Knownhost has recently started offering shared hosting as well, but it’s their VPS’ that made them famous. They’re not the cheapest, and they’re not the most expensive, but they’re putting out some of the very best value in this space. Their servers are great, and they occasionally offer free upgrades to existing customers as they upgrade their offerings for new clients.

3 iPage Alternatives to Look at Before You Buy Web-Hosting in 2019

iPage is a popular and affordable option for hosting your website, but before you sign up for a hosting plan with iPage, we’ve got a few alternatives for you to consider first.

Maybe you’re looking for something more reliable, higher performance, better value? If you’ve never had to host before, we’ve got some good recommendations for you. If you’re currently an iPage customer and you’re just wondering what else is out there, you’re also in the right place.

About iPage

The iPage hosting company was founded over two decades ago, in 1998. They’re among the least expensive shared hosting companies out there, which is okay for sites that aren’t mission-critical and can handle some downtime here and there, if you aren’t doing anything too important with your site then this is one way to save some money. However, if you want really solid hosting, you may want to look at some options that are just a step up from iPage.

For more important websites, we’ve got some iPage alternatives that are in the same ballpark, slightly more expensive, but that also offer a better experience for both yourself as the person creating the website, and for the people who are visiting your website.

Even a slight increase in load times can lead to a large percentage of potential visitors who decide to leave before your site has finished loading. Ultra-budget hosts like iPage can get the job done in the most basic sense of the word, but we want to help you find a hosting company that’s going to be a lot more reliable, faster, and all-around better, without having to spend a lot more.

After we take a look at what iPage has to offer, we’ll be looking at three alternatives that are quite similar, and one more that is an entirely different type of hosting platform altogether that you may want to consider. We’ll cover all of that in a lot more detail…

iPage Hosting Packages

Their speciality is shared, managed webhosting with plans starting at just $1.99 per month. That’s lower than any of the alternatives we’re featuring today, but it is a classic case of getting what you pay for. The extra couple of bucks per month make a big difference in regards to the quality if service you’ll get from other hosts, but none the less, let’s give iPage their fair shake…

One thing  that stands out about iPage is that they have a one size fits all approach to hosting. The price depends on how long you sign up for, but everyone gets the same server. While this definitely simplifies the process, it doesn’t take into account websites that need extra performance, or extra resources, since all sites are put in the same category. If you have a website for your business, and it’s your livelihood, you’re going to want much higher-end hosting than what you get for $2 per month from iPage, and iPage simply doesn’t offer that, making it a non-starter for any website that needs more than the absolute bare minimum.

Another issue is the fine print on their page that mentions pricing, it says “These prices are subject to change and reflect pricing for most plans purchased in US dollars. You may always check Billing Central to get an up-to-date statement of the current amount being billed to User for Services. It is the sole responsibility of all users to periodically review this information in Billing Central.”

This means they can change their price whenever they want, and it’s your fault if you’re not checking often enough to notice an increase. That doesn’t seem very friendly to their customers if you’re going to start charging more you should definitely let someone know beforehand and not blame them for not checking your pricing game often enough. Also, take note that their renewal prices are higher than the introductory prices. Because of that, it’s usually a good idea to lock in a longer time frame for your first order.

Anyways, fine prints aside, we’re not overly impressed with iPage’s one-size-fits-all approach to hosting, it really only makes sense for the lowest tier of website, any better site than that would want to be with a better hosting package.

Why are some hosts cheaper than others?

Sometimes, there are amazing prices and promotions out there, we see them all the time in the world of hosting – but sometimes, a company is so inexpensive that it starts to raise red flags. There are certain fixed costs when it comes to running a webhost, and there are certain corners that cheaper brands will cut. Usually, it means they don’t have as good of a support staff in place, either they’re understaffed or the host saves money by outsourcing and not training their support team thoroughly. Another way to save money as a host is to use older hardware, which isn’t always as stable or reliable.

Finally, another way that very cheap hosts will cut corners is by overselling their servers. They put way too many websites onto each server. It means they make more money without having to spend as much on hardware, but it also means that performance suffers. Things go wrong more often, and when they do, there aren’t as many support staff members around to help you – you could end up waiting a long time.

That’s why we definitely encourage you to find good deals on hosting, and we’re not saying you need to spend a small fortune for hosting your website, but you should avoid the absolute cheapest options in many cases.

Here are the 3 Best iPage Alternatives for 2019:

  • Wix.com
  • Bluehost
  • SiteGround

The first three companies we’re looking at all offer shared hosting, the same style of hosting as iPage, however the difference is that we’ve seen better performance with them. They cost a little bit more, but it’s well worth it. There are different ways to approach hosting, for example offering unlimited vs limited resources, and we’ll explain all of the important details below to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Another plus is that the first three companies we’re about to look at all offer a variety of other types of hosting too so that when your site starts to become more popular, you can easily upgrade to meet  the demands of a growing audience. With iPage, however, they don’t have any better packages for you to upgrade to, so you would be stuck having to switch to a new hose. Moving to a new host can be a bit of a pain, but a lot of hosting companies offer free migrations, so that’s something else to keep in mind.

But first, we’re going to look at an option that’s a bit different. With the other iPage alternatives, they’re offing the same type of service, a shared server where you can install whatever you want… you can use their proprietary site builders, you can use software like Dreamweaver, you can use WordPress, whatever you want. With this next option, however, things work differently…

Wix

Wix is a platform for hosting and building your website where they take care of everything for you. You just sign up, start designing your site, and that’s it. While they do offer a free plan, if  you decide to go with Wix it’s definitely worth paying to upgrade from the free plan because of the necessary features you’ll unlock.

The pros of a platform like Wix is that they make it so easy, their servers are reliable, expertly managed, and great for beginners.

The downside is that you don’t have nearly as much control over your server. With something like Bluehost, Siteground, or even iPage, you have a lot more control to change and customize things as you wish.

This means Wix is more beginner-friendly, but it also means the platform is not as good for people who are more experienced. Also, you’re locked into their platform. For more simple websites, it’s not a bad option, but if you’re making an online magazine or something along those lines, you’ll want to stick with WordPress and one of the following hosting companies. Click Here to Visit Wix!

Bluehost

Bluehost is a similar platform to iPage, except we’ve found them to be better across the board. You pay a little bit more for Bluehost as opposed to iPage, but it’s worth the money. They’re actually owned by the same company, but iPage is one of their lower-tier brands, whereas Bluehost is one of their flagship hosting brands.

Bluehost offers unlimited hosting plans, like iPage, but Bluehost does something that iPage doesn’t do, and that is to offer you various tiers of hosting. With iPage, everyone gets the lowest tier, but with Bluehost, people who need better hosting have that option. Beyond that, when you outgrow shared hosting altogether, it’s easy to upgrade to something more substantial with Bluehost.

As with all unlimited hosting plans, there is actually an invisible limit, put in place to ensure that a few power-users aren’t hogging all of the resources because they refuse to upgrade to a server that would suit them better. It’s a marketing buzzword in the hosting world, and while it’s not truly unlimited, for all intents and purposes it may as well be, because it’s rare for any typical users to ever hit that limit. Click Here to Bluehost Now!

Siteground

Siteground is another alternative to iPage that we recommend very strongly. We find their services to be faster, their support staff to be easier to get a hold, and overall it just feels like your website is in better hands.

With Siteground, you’re not getting an unlimited hosting plan. They take a different approach, which is to give you specific limits rather than invisible limits. It probabally does them a disservice when certain potential customers are shopping around and they see one company offering unlimited, and Siteground with limits and they assume the unlimited is a better deal but that’s not always the case.

The advantage to having limits in place, and knowing exactly what they are, is it helps Siteground better budget for how many servers they’ll need to install and to ensure they always have enough resources to go around without a small handful of users using the majority of the shared pool. Click Here to Visit Siteground!

Final Thoughts & What to do Next

We’re confident that any of these three iPage alternatives will suit you better than an account at iPage, for all of the reasons we’ve outlined. That doesn’t mean that iPage is terrible, especially if you go into it with the knowledge that you’re dealing with a budget brand.

It’s suitable for some people, who have minimal needs and requirements from their website, but we still advise you to go with one of the other options outlined on this page for a much better experience overall.

It’s a better experience in the short-term becasue its a lot easier to get your site up and running, and it’s a better experience in the long-term because you won’t have to deal with all of the numerous issues that arise from lower-quality hosting.

If you’re ready to start building your website, choose one of these hosting companies, go through their sign-up process, and get to work! If it’s your first time, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it is than you expected, and you’ll be impressed with the support these brands offer to help you reach your website goals.

Top Vultr Alternatives For Fast, Affordable, and Reliable Hosting 2019

Vultr is a popular cloud VPS hosting platform that is most noted for their low entry price, making unmanaged VPS hosting a lot more accessible to people who may otherwise not be able to afford to host their websites.

That said, Vultr isn’t perfect for everyone.

Some people have had mixed results with them, noting that other similar hosts sometimes offer a higher tier of performance, even if Vultr’s specs are higher, on paper, it doesn’t always work that way in practice.

It’s great to have a budget option like Vultr, and it opens the doors for a lot of new webmasters, but sometimes you’re looking for something different, something that packs a little more punch…

Also, another reason that people might seek out Vultr alternatives is that they find it difficult to set up their sites using Vultr. Unmanaged hosting isn’t for everyone, and it’s especially not the best choice for beginners.

Why Look for Vultr Alternatives

If you’re just getting started in the wild world of web hosting, it’s probably a good idea to start off with what is known as “shared hosting”, or managed shared hosting, because that means that the hosting company themselves are going to take care of setting up the server for you, and many shared hosts also have incredibly easy solutions for installing WordPress, or whatever other platforms you want to use to manage your site. We recommend WordPress because it’s powerful, easy, and widely supported.

Take a look at these options below because we’re going to feature a few different hosting brands that each offer something unique and different compared to Vultr, and ultimately you can go with the one that will be the best fit for your project and for your needs. We’ll explain why each of these is a viable choice, and how they differ from Vultr in particular.

That’s not to say that Vultr isn’t good, they’re certainly not a bad hosting company, but sometimes you just want something different, regardless of what the reason is, so here are our absolute top picks when you need an alternative to Vultr.

We’ll start off with other unmanaged VPS providers, who offer a similar service to Vultr, and then we’ll feature some shared hosting plans as well, which is definitely where you want to start off if you’re looking for something easy to set up and where you don’t need to learn how to actually manage the server yourself, because these companies take care of all the work for you. You may end up paying a little bit more for managed hosting vs unmanaged, but it can be well worth it in the long run since you’ll save yourself a ton of headaches.

Before we dive into the other options, let’s quickly give a rundown of what Vultr offers, so we have something to compare these other brands to.

Here’s an overview of Vultr’s hosting packages:

The first thing that jumps out here on Vultr’s pricing table is that their prices start at just $2.50, which is among the lowest you’ll find for a decent quality server.

Now, when you compare them to the options below, it’s important to remember that “1 CPU” with one company isn’t necessarily the equivalent to “1 CPU” from another brand. Some companies use newer, faster hardware and other companies use older, slower hardware in order to cut down on costs, and in order to be able to offer lower prices. 1 CPU from one brand could outperform another company’s 2, 3 or 4 CPUs. The same goes for other specs, too.

Since most of these companies are quite competitive, a decent rule of thumb is to compare them based on price, rather than the specs that they list, since it can still vary a lot. Also, the location of the server, the type of website you’re running, how well your theme/site is optimized, and many other factors can have a big impact on performance.

Top 3 Alternatives to Vultr:

  1. Digital Ocean
  2. Bluehost (shared hosting)
  3. Siteground

Here are some alternatives that are similar in the sense that they’re also unmanaged VPS companies like Vultr is, however they aren’t identical. These are the leaders in this space, and anyone of them would make an excellent choice.

Digital Ocean

Digital Ocean is the first brand that comes to mind for many when they think about unmanaged VPS providers. Digital Ocean has grown massively over the years, and while they weren’t the first to offer this type of hosting, they definitely brought it into the mainstream. They’ve tried to bridge the gap between something that’s easy to use like shared hosting, and something that offers more flexibility like a barebones dedicated server.

Digital Ocean certainly isn’t easy to set up if you’re inexperienced, in fact, it’s about the same as Vultr, give or take. Both companies have done a great job of making the registration and server-setup process as easy as you can for this type of hosting, but it’s still not as easy or straightforward as shared hosting. On the plus side, it’s a good geeky weekend project if you’re looking for something like that, however if you simply want to get your website up and running as quickly as possible, you’ll want to go with shared hosting instead.

Here’s an overview of Digital Ocean’s plans:

For simplicity’s sake, let us compare Digital Ocean’s entry-level plan to that of Vultr. Digital Ocean charges 2x the price, for 512MB and 1 CPU, but they offer twice the data transfer compared to Vultr’s most entry-level plan, which can make a big difference. Now, if you compare Digital Ocean’s $5 plan to Vultr’s $5 plan, you’ll see that Vultr offers twice as much RAM. However, just to repeat an important point from earlier, what really makes the difference is the actual hardware they’re using, not just the specs of it.

In either case, both should work out very well for most websites or web applications, however, if you aren’t on a strict budget, you may be slightly better off with Digital Ocean.

Shared Hosting Instead of Unmanaged VPS

The other style of hosting that’s worth considering instead of Vultr or any of the above brands is called ‘shared hosting’ and the major appeal is that it’s considerably easier to set up, especially if you’re new to this whole thing. When you register a shared hosting account, you’re basically ready to go right out of the gates, you don’t have to learn the ins and outs of server setup and maintenance.

Shared hosting is “managed”, which means that the hosting company takes care of just about everything for you, from keeping things up to date, to ensure that security is up to par, and more. With unmanaged VPS like the ones we featured earlier in this article, you’re on your own in many more ways. That doesn’t mean Digital Ocean and Vultr don’t have customer support, it’s just the scope of their support is a lot more limited.

Since it’s not uncommon to run into issues getting unmanaged servers setup, even though most of the companies come with great instructions, we wanted to highlight some much easier options.

If you’re just looking to get a website set up and ready to go with a minimal amount of extra work or tinkering, the following options are going to be your best bet.

BlueHost

BlueHost is a wildly popular hosting company that has a variety of different products available, however, their shared hosting plans are their bread and butter and those are what we’re going to be focusing on today.

Their shared hosting plans vary in price, starting near the entry-level of what we’ve looked at so far, and going up from there, depending on what you need.

Most new websites can get away with the cheapest option, at least to start with, but you’ll want to think about upgrading at some point if your site starts to gain traction.

Let’s go over what BlueHost has to offer, and what sets them apart…

 

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You’ll notice the pricing is a bit different. Since you’re sharing a server with other websites, the servers are much more powerful than the ones offered by the VPS companies we looked at first. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you’ll get better performance from a shared host, because even though you’re on a more powerful server, you’re still sharing it with other sites, rather than having your own RAM, CPU,  and other specs that are allocated specifically to your website.

The absolute best reason to go with BlueHost, especially if you’re newer to this, or even if you just like saving time, is the fact that they make it incredibly simple to get your website up and running, and especially if you’re using WordPress. Once you sign up, you’re pretty much all set, it only takes a few minutes to start working on your site with BlueHost, and the WordPress platform makes it easy to manage your site.

BlueHost works very closely with WordPress and have done an industry-leading job of incorporating their hosting plans with WP, making the two a dream team for hosting all sorts of websites, from blogs to business sites, to sites for sports teams, and anything else you can imagine.

You can get a free domain name with BlueHost, their famous 1-click WordPress installation, and 24/7 access to customer support who can help you with everything you need to get your website up and running, but chances are you don’t need much help since it’s all very straightforward. It’s set up in a way that anyone can do it, you don’t have to be a techie person or some kind of computer programmer, you just have to be someone who wants their very own website!

BlueHost has been around for ages and they’re one of the leaders in the hosting industry, but they aren’t the only company offering this type of service. Let’s take a look at another option.

SiteGround

SiteGround offers similar options and packages to BlueHost, with some small differences. Here’s a quick rundown of SiteGround’s packages…

Siteground hosting specs

One key difference is that SiteGround tells you exactly how many resources you’ve got for your site, for example, the storage space for your website, and your bandwidth. Even though Bluehost offers “unlimited” plans, it’s not actually unlimited, it should be read more like “within reason” because if your site is using an unreasonable amount of resources, you’ll have to upgrade your plan. At least with SiteGround, they tell you what those numbers are.

It’s not something you really have to worry about, most sites aren’t going to come anywhere near using up all of their allotted resources, and by the time your site is, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a higher-end and more expensive hosting plan anyways. That’s why it is not a bad idea to start out with the cheaper ones like StartUp from SiteGround or Basic from BlueHost – you can always upgrade!

SiteGround, like BlueHost, is also very easy to setup. SiteGround also has excellent support staff who are available around the clock and can be contacted in a number of different ways. This is a company that has been around for a long time and proven itself as a mainstay in the world of hosting.

They know what it takes to run websites, from simple and small sites to massive sites that get used all around the world. SiteGround can definitely help you get your site online, and they’re one of the easiest options out there.

Conclusion

We’ve talked about Vultr and what they have to offer, and highlighted four alternative hosting companies that you can check out, but which one is the best? It really depends on what you need and what you’re looking for, and what your level of expertise is. We recommend each of the companies featured on this page, so whichever one catches your eye is probably going to be the best option for you. Beyond that, here are some more things to consider:

What’s your budget?

All of the companies on this page offer affordable entry points, with the ability to upgrade to high-tier plans, so it’s a draw in this category. Shared hosting and unmanaged VPS hosting are both among the most affordable options out there, and they both have the potential to scale up to serve very busy websites. So, whether you’re just getting started, or you already have a popular site that you’re thinking of moving to a new host, you’re covered with any of these options.

Do you know what you’re doing?

If you know your way around server administration, you’ll probably want to go with Digital Ocean or Siteground. They offer a bit more flexibility and customization, but should only be used by more experienced people.

If this is all new you to, on the other hand, we’d recommend going with one of the much easier options like SiteGround or BlueHost, where everything’s pretty much done for you already, so you don’t have to roll up your sleeves when it comes to server stuff – you can skip all of that and start working on your site immediately, instead.

What’s your site for?

If you’re making a small hobby site for yourself, you can get away with the most entry-level plans on this page. If you’re going to be making a site for a business, or anything that’s a little more on the important side, or anything that you expect to be quite popular, it might not be a bad idea to skip ahead to one of the higher-tier plans offered by any of the brands we looked at today. You’ll unlock better performance which is crucial for businesses and other important sites, not to say that your personal hobby site isn’t important!

Shopify vs WordPress – Where to Start Your eCommerce Website in 2019

We’ve compared Shopify to other dedicated eCommerce and site builders in the past, but comparing them to WordPress is a different story. There are some similarities between the two platforms, and some very stark differences.

We’re going to be taking an in-depth look at Shopify and what they have to offer, and how it differs from using WordPress to create your online store or your website/blog.

Either one of these could be the clear winner, it just depends on what you’re aiming for, and what type of website you are looking to create.

Both options are easy to setup, easy to update and manage, and are superior to other options out there.

Before we get into it, it’s worth pointing out that we’re referring specifically to the self-hosted version of WordPress that you can setup with just about any hosting company out there. There’s another closed-off version of WordPress that you can only use if you host it directly with WordPress themselves, but that’s not an option that’s worth exploring, especially if you’re looking to run an online store or a business from your website.

Finally, we’ll end this comparison by recommending a couple of hosting companies that can help you get setup and running on WordPress very easily, if that’s the route you want to take. With Shopify, they host it themselves, so it’s one less thing you need to worry about setting up.

The Differences Between WordPress and Shopify

WordPress is a CMS, which stands for content management system. It’s the backbone of your website, and you can put any number of different themes or templates on top of it. WordPress is open-source software, which means that there is a huge community of people who work together to improve it, to fix issues with it, and to create add-ons and plugins to bring out additional functionality.

Out of the box, WordPress doesn’t have any features built in for online stores. WordPress’s core functionality is for managing a blog, a news site, a small business website, and so on. None the less, there are a number of popular plugins that allow you to open a shop right on your WordPress site. There are shopping carts, storefronts, themes that look beautiful for showcasing your items for sale, ways to track inventory, to accept orders and payments… Essentially, you can turn your WordPress website into a full-fledged online store.

Shopify, on the other hand, was built from the ground up for running an eCommerce shop. You don’t need any additional plugins, and there’s less to setup. On the other hand, Shopify isn’t as good of a platform for running a blog or magazine. Shopify does have a blog feature, but it lacks compared to WordPress, which is the industry leader for big and small bloggers and website owners alike.

So on the one hand, you’ve got WP which is primarily a blogging platform that can also work great as a store, and you’ve got Shopify which is primarily for stores but is also serviceable as a blogging platform.

 One key difference is the price…

WordPress itself is free, you can install it on your webhosting and you’re all set. All of those additional themes and plugins that we mentioned for WordPress will vary in price, but there are free options for nearly anything you could want to add to your site or store.

WooCommerce is a popular platform for turning WordPress into eCommerce, and it has a number of free and paid add-ons. There are small fees here and there depending on which extra plugins or features you want, but overall, setting up your own store through WordPress using a standard webhost is the more affordable option, and you have a greater level of control and ownership over your website. If you want to get it hosted by a different company, you can simply pack up your site and move it to a new host. That’s not so easy with Shopify…

Shopify stores are build using their proprietary platform, and hosted directly by Shopify themselves. This differs from WordPress, where you’re using an open-source platform, and hosting it with any company you’d like.

On the one hand, this is advantageous since Shopify is able to perfectly optimize their servers for their own platform, and it’s also good because there are potentially less things to go wrong. You don’t have to worry about keeping your software up to date, or about being in huge trouble because of plugins that don’t work correctly as new versions of WordPress come out, and so on.

There are pros and cons of both methods, and you’re going to pay a bit more for Shopify, but at the end of the day there are many cases where Shopify will pay for itself in the money it saves you on payment processing fees, and the convenience.

If you’re looking to really roll up your sleeves and learn the ropes of creating and managing a website, WordPress is a good option since it’ll really hold your hand when you pair it up with a strong host (Like the one we’ll feature at the bottom of this page.)

Now, if you would rather go with the platform that’s already built and ready to roll for you, Shopify is the way to go in that case. If you’re definitely going to be running an online store, and you’re more interested in putting  all of your energy towards getting sales and satisfying your customers, and you don’t want to have to worry about actively managing and maintaining the behind-the-scenes stuff on your site, then once again, Shopify is a great choice and that highlights the advantages of their closed-off system.

Choosing a Host for WordPress

If you’re leaning towards trying out WordPress, you’ll need to choose a hosting company. WordPress itself is free, but hosting will cost a few dollars per month, or more as your site grows larger and more popular and has more people visiting it. At that stage, you’ll want to upgrade to a higher-tier hosting plan, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, let’s keep it basic for now.

We’re going to assume that you aren’t an experience web developer, but you’re looking for something relatively easy that you can DIY in an afternoon or two. We recommend going with a webhost for WordPress that has their stuff together, and is fully optimized and integrated with WordPress.

Just about any host will support WordPress, but there are some that take it to another level by offering optimized servers and environments tailored directly to ensuring that WordPress performs as well as possible, and also making sure that it couldn’t be easier for you to get setup.

There was a time when installing WordPress was a bit of a to-do, but these days, some hosting companies have made it so simple  that it’s practically automatic.

There are some more obscure and up-and-coming hosting companies out there, but for now we think you should stick to one of the big and established brands. You don’t want to have to deal with some smaller host shutting down in the middle of the night, or not having anyone on staff to help you when you need it most. There’s a time and a place to use smaller, less-known hosts who are working their butts off to serve their customers, but for your first site? Or your online store? Stick with the big boys for now…

BlueHost offers a variety of plans that are specifically meant for WordPress sites, and come with WP pre-installed so all you’ve got to do is sign up and you’re ready to start working on your website within a matter of moments.

What really puts BlueHost at the top of this list of hosts to use with WordPress though, is the fact that BlueHost is strongly invested in the success of WordPress, and works closely with them. In fact, BlueHost even has full time staff working on the open source WordPress project, just to help improve the internet for everyone.

Since they’re so experience with WordPress, BlueHost’s support staff can help you with a number of different issues. You’re never in this alone, even if you come across a rare bug, let alone simple problems that BlueHost has fixed for their clients countless times. Basically, whatever you need help with, they’ll have  your back, especially when it comes to WordPress.

We haven’t seen a company that lets you get up and running with WordPress as quickly, easily, and affordably as BlueHost’s shared hosting plans. It’s super beginner friendly, but even experienced website owners like it because it just makes the job that much faster. You spend less time messing around filling in settings, and more time jumping right in and working on your new website. The sooner you get the doors open on your little slice of the internet, the sooner people can find you and start placing orders!

The Advantages of Shopify over WordPress

While WordPress is an excellent platform and has a lot going for it, there are some advantages to going with Shopify instead. Here are a few instances where Shopify is the better choice:

  • Your main focus is eCommerce (Selling things on your website): Since this is Shopify’s main focus, and they’re the world’s leading platform designed for helping anybody to start selling online, they make an excellent choice. WordPress requires a bit more tinkering, whereas Shopify is ready to go right from the start.
  • You want to save money on payment processing fees: As we’ll discuss in a moment, Shopify helps you get a better deal on processing payments and on shipping rates, especially with their more expensive plans. If  your store is big enough to warranty the more expensive Shopify plans, then they’re more or less going to pay for themselves just in money that you save everytime somebody orders from you.
  • You want to get right down to business: Even thought WordPress on BlueHost is super simple to setup, Shopify is just one step ahead, since you don’t need to add any extra plugins to get your store setup.
  • You have more than a shoestring budget: Sometimes when you’re starting a new business, in fact quite often, money can be kind of tight. You’re making sacrifices to work on your goals and dreams. If the pricetag of $30 per month for Shopify doesn’t frighten you, it’s overall an easier way to start selling things online. If you’re on a really tighet budget, no worries, the free WordPress options are good too, and you can find hosting from BlueHost starting at just a few bucks per month. You’ll just need to put in a little more work behind the scenes before you can start building your store, that’s all.
  • If you also have a physical store: If you’re also running a brick and mortar store, or doing pop-up shops, flee markets, or any other kind of in-person sales, then Shopify is the CLEAR winner. They have hardware you can use to accept payments from anywhere, and can integrate your online shop with your physical storefront seamlessly.

There are plenty of other reasons that Shopify is an excellent choice, and too many features to cover in this write-up or to list, so just know that Shopify is a complete package, it has everything you could need for the entire process of starting your shop, listing things for sale, getting setup correctly for taxes and all of that sort of stuff, finding customers, receiving orders, fulfilling the orders, labels, shipping, handling customer concerns, and anything in between. You can have sales, setup gift cards and coupons, and a lot more.

It’s worth pointing out that you can do all of that with WordPress, too, it’s just not going to be quite as easy to setup.

Choosing a Shopify Plan

Now that we’ve covered the differences and advantages of both platforms, we need to go over their plans. Both options have a number of plans to choose from, so let’s cut through the noise.

Shopify has 3 main tiers of service, starting at $29 and going up to $299.

For $29, Shopify includes features like the ability to print shipping labels, discount codes, a website and a blog to go along with your store, fraud analysis to avoid being scammed, 24/7 customer support, unlimited products, accounts for up to 2 staff members, no transaction fees using Shopify Payments, and credit card processing rates below 3% + 30c per transaction. You get an SSL certificate for enhanced security, and more. You do, however, miss out on some features that you get in the more advanced plans.

For Shopify’s standard $79 plan, you get everything from the previous option along with the ability to create professional reports to see helpful insights into your business, the ability to setup giftcards for your store, a better credit card processing rate so you keep more of your profit for yourself, and abandoned shopping cart recovery which reminds customers that they have items in their cart if they leave your store before placing their order. You also get upgraded to 5 staff accounts for larger companies.

Finally, for $299, you get all of the above, plus their lowest credit card processing fees, more advanced reports to further help you grow your business and reduce waste, and third-party calculated shipping rates  to ensure you’re always getting the best rates for your customers.

The gamut runs from about $1 per day, to $10 per day. For a busy online store, that’s nothing. It also saves you from having to buy additional hosting for a website/blog, since it’s all integrated together into Shopify.

From inventory management, receiving payments, fulfilling orders… Shopify makes it all as easy as possible, and they have hundreds of thousands of stores running on their platform, so they’re super experienced and they know how to create the best experience for their customers, along with the people ordering from their customer’s stores.

Choosing a BlueHost Plan for WordPress

We recommend starting off with one of BlueHost’s very affordable shared hosting plans. The one you choose will depend on what your plans are. If you plan on simply having one website, then you can get away with the cheapest most basic plan for now, althought you’ll probabally want to upgrade once your store starts to get some traction.

If you want to have a blog or website that’s separate from your store, you’ll want to go with one of the other options from BlueHost that support more than one website per account.

The Prime account comes with some additional features that Basic and Plus don’t, but the biggest thing is just that Plus and Prime support unlimited sites, whereas basic only allows you one. If you only need one, it’s a great way to spend less on hosting.

These plans all come with very cheap introductory rates, and they renew at the normal price, so Prime ends up costing a bit more than Plus does, even thought the intro prices are the same. Because of this, it’s worth signing up for a longer term, since you’ll get the cheapest rate on your initial order, but once that time is up, you’ll go back to the normal price. So, the longer you sign up for, the longer you can lock in these substantial savings.

Final Thoughts and Choosing Between WordPress and Shopify

Just to really put an exclamation point on things…

If you’re running an online shop, and you can afford the $30/mo for Shopify, and you’re more interested in working on promoting and growing  your business instead of tinkering with building a website, then Shopify is the perfect choice.

Running WordPress as the backbone of your online store is a totally viable option, and BlueHost is one of the best hosting companies to launch your first WordPress site with, but none the less – when it comes to strict ease of use, features, and overall performance for online stores – we’ve got to give the nod to Shopify.

Just planning on running a blog, or a small business website, and not selling anything through it? Then WordPress on BlueHost is going to give you better bang for your buck.

You can sign up for Shopify’s free trial, and start working on your site right now to see how truly easy it is. Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, you’ll be surprised how quickly you can get up and running, and ready to start taking your first orders!

GoDaddy vs. Shopify

Today we’ll be looking at GoDaddy vs. Shopify. If this doesn’t look like the typical hosting comparison, that’s because it isn’t. Both platforms have only one thing in common, and that is the fact that they are both great platforms for e-commerce – at least that’s what most reviews will tell you (our investigations revealed some pretty surprising deets).

We’ve extensively tested both platforms out, and we can tell you one thing for sure, one is better than the other. However, our lenses are not yours and you may come to a different decision. What is important, though, is that you’ll find all the data you need to choose your platform here. Let’s get right into it, then.

Overview

GoDaddy, founded way back in 1997 by Bob Parson’s, is not particularly popular for being an e-commerce platform. When you think of GoDaddy, you’re more likely to think of domains and/or hosting than e-commerce (just like us in our GoDaddy Review).

It’s not the same with Shopify, though. Founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake, Shopify is probably the first name that comes to mind when you think about e-commerce. Although there are many other Shopify Alternatives such as BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more.

But we know, from sometimes painful experiences, that reputation usually matters little and all you know can be wrong. GoDaddy has a tool called GoCentral that does most of the e-commerce platform work, and that’s the tool that Shopify will be directly going up against.

shopify vs godaddy gocentral
A template for an online store with GoCentral

Ease Of Use

For newbies and veterans alike, no one wants to spend valuable time fumbling over controls. That’s why it’s essential to know exactly how difficult each platform is to use.

Hosting Interface

GoDaddy makes use of the cPanel control interface while Shopify makes use of a proprietary interface.

Ease of Design

GoCentral is, without a doubt, the best for beginners. Technically, the GoCentral tool is called an ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence), and it can design a whole e-commerce store in about 5-6 minutes. The tool has a lot embedded. While Shopify is certainly not difficult to use, it would be difficult for any e-commerce platform provider to hold a candle to GoCentral. You simply answer a few questions about your business, and a ready to publish website is made available to you.

Of course, this has an unintended disadvantage. GoCentral isn’t quite as flexible, and users with more complex inventory needs will prefer to use Shopify. Why? The drag and drop design makes it easy for you to customize your store and decide how you want it to look. Additionally, Shopify allows you to edit individual code, leaving you the power to come up with whatsoever you can think of. If you want, you could even integrate a proprietary language by Shopify called Liquid HTML.

shopify liquid html
Shopify’s Liquid HTML developer page

On the other hand, GoDaddy’s GoCentral reduces your creative freedom by coming up with an automatic template. If you want to try other platforms with the capacity to build e-commerce stores we recommend to check out our Wix and WordPress (aka WooCommerce) comparisons.

This analysis wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk about price. If you want to create an e-commerce site on GoDaddy, you’ll have to pay extra for GoCentral. However, it is free to use for the first month. With Shopify, the site builder comes free.

Design Language

Both platforms work heavily with templates, but GoDaddy depends more on presets that help to do most of the work. Shopify provides about 60 templates for you to choose from. What’s more? These aren’t just generic templates created by some tired fellow with a name tag in the basement of some office somewhere. These templates are designed by independent designers and they come at a steep price. Costing anywhere between $140 and $180, these templates are not made for everyone. However, you have ten free template options if you don’t have a lot to spend.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, has over one thousand five hundred industry-specific websites, with about nineteen themes for each. Unfortunately, with GoDaddy, once your site is generated, you lose a lot of creative freedom. So, while you have a lot of great choices to choose from, your ability to choose isn’t that amazing.

Mobile Responsiveness

GoDaddy and Shopify wouldn’t be what they are if they do not provide mobile responsive themes. A lot of people are using their smartphones to grey online now, and it would be suicide to create an e-commerce site that isn’t mobile responsive. Thankfully, with these platforms, you have no trouble.

Onboarding

Shopify offers new customers a fourteen days free trial, and ordinarily, that ought to entice most webmasters. That is till you learn that GoDaddy offers double and some more, with a full one-month trial for new customers. What’s more? You do not even need to input your credit card details to get started. That certainly saves you some stress.

Free Domains

GoDaddy comes with a free domain name for all new users, something that isn’t particularly surprising, seeing as GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar on the internet. Shopify offers a free MyShopify.com subdomain, and that’s pretty much it.

GoDaddy vs. Shopify: Performance

When you create an e-commerce store, your end goal is obviously to sell as much as you can. SEO options, e-commerce functionality and so many other features could determine the level of revenue you eventually turn in. Therefore, if you plan on turning in a healthy profit, you really should only go with the platform that you’re confident will put your site out there as quickly and as much as possible.

Well, let’s see how well either host helps you to achieve this goal.

E-commerce Functionality

Generally, GoDaddy isn’t a great e-commerce functionality guy, while Shopify’s suite of features is one of the reasons why 88% of users recommend Shopify. Special features such as fraud analysis, specialized staff accounts, point-of-sale hardware and apps and a whole lot more are things that Shopify brings to the table.

We’ve said that this probably isn’t GoDaddy’s greatest strength, but the host still manages to incorporate some really great tools. For example, the simple web builder interface that GoDaddy offers allows the integration of a PayPal button quite simple to get around to. The real magic happens with upper their plans that allow SEO for platforms such as Yelp and Google my business.

While Shopify allows you to sell directly to social media through what the company calls “Sales Channels” (for example, you can sell your products directly on Facebook without having your customers leave Facebook). Godaddy offers no such features. To avoid any doubt, let’s be clear; you cannot sell directly across multiple social media platforms with GoDaddy. Will that impact your bottom line? It almost certainly will.

Management, Product and Analytics

With GoDaddy and Shopify, you have the support to sell an unlimited number of products. Importantly, perhaps, Shopify and GoDaddy both have abandoned cart recovery support on all plans. To understand just how big a deal this is, some of the biggest e-commerce platforms only have it on higher-tier plans that cost upwards of $75. GoDaddy’s probably more impressive in this aspect, with a reminder that allows you to send emails to customers to remind them to checkout by just clicking a button.

shopify analytics dashboard
Shopify’s Analytics Dashboard, credits to Shopify Help Center

One crucial thing to understand about Shopify is that the process of shopping is extremely streamlined, and there are solutions for almost any conceivable problem. For example, it has partnerships with many top shipping services like UPS, DHL express, Canada Post and UPS which makes the refunds and shipping process a breeze.

SEO Comparison

Everyone knows the importance of SEO, and search engine rankings can easily destroy or lift your business. GoDaddy’s SEO features aren’t the best, and you might even be forgiven if you referred to them as basic. Shopify, for instance, has more built-in features to help with SEO rankings. The platform supports the best SEO practices like customizable title, H1, and meta tags. You also get $100 and credit after spending your first $25 on ads.

For some reason, GoDaddy focuses only on outdated strategies for marketing like “keyword rankings”. While the host might not hurt your marketing strategy, there’s a very high chance that you will get more coverage with Shopify than you would get with GoDaddy.

Security

No matter how small or how big your site is, it can always get hacked. To reduce the chances of this happening, it is important to go with a host that offers robust security infrastructure. The truth is that the bigger your site gets, and the longer you are online for, the higher the chances that your site becomes a target for mischievous characters.

Shopify comes with the basic free SSL certificate— which GoDaddy doesn’t offer. However, you can buy an SSL certificate from GoDaddy for upwards of $49.99 at checkout. To make up for the lack of a free SSL certificate, GoDaddy comes with incorporated malware and blacklisting services. GoDaddy also has a security portfolio that stops brute attacks and DDoS attacks.

To Shopify’s credit, they offer a lot of anti-fraud and customer protection services that are mostly free with all plans. To maintain PCI standards, Shopify has a vulnerability management program for its network, GoDaddy also offers access to Sucuri, an in-house vulnerability identification and reaction program. To be fair we want to recommend Siteground (click to read the full comparison). It also comes with a partnership with Sucuri and has way more free features than GoDaddy regarding security.

Payment Gateway Options

If you accept more payment options, you’ll appeal to a larger audience and will be able to rake in more profit. In fact, this is one of the most important things to look at when choosing an e-commerce platform. Transaction fees, if any, are also important and must be considered before making your choice.

GoDaddy supports three basic payment options and they are PayPal, Square and Stripe. More importantly, though, the platform doesn’t support digital wallet payments. So customers cannot pay using Paytm, Microsoft Wallet, Samsung Pay, Mobikwik, Alipay, American Express, and Apple pay. This cuts you out of a lot of business.

godaddy vs shopify payment options
Shopify’s superior payment gateways to GoDaddy

It even looks worse when you consider that Shopify accepts the basic payment gateways that GoDaddy accepts, and even accepts digital wallet payments as well. The platform even accepts cryptocurrency payments.

Fortunately, GoDaddy has a redeeming quality, and that is the fact that there are no transaction fees imposed on any of the payment gateways that it supports. As you might have guessed, this is more than Shopify can say. With Shopify, you are expected to pay transaction fees on all payment gateways except the payment gateway of Shopify itself called Shopify payments. So with Shopify, you get more inclusion, but you also have to pay more.

Customer Support and Reliability

Creating and maintaining an e-commerce store, keeping an inventory, and selling your goods online is probably not the easiest task in the world, and you will sometimes need help. How great is the help you have access to and how quickly can you get it?

Shopify offers 24/7 support on the phone and live chat channels, and customers also have access to social media and email support. Customers also have access to a forum that helps you with issues that you may have. Shopify never quite leaves you to solve your problems alone, and that is an important guarantee to have.

GoDaddy also has 24/7 support on the phone and live-chat channels. It also has a dedicated twitter account that responds to queries quickly. Users also have access to a knowledge base where they can get needed information. However, we’ve tried out GoDaddy’s customer service before, and it was quite disappointing. While we hope that it wouldn’t be the same with their e-commerce hosting, it is really likely that you won’t be satisfied with the quality of support offered – especially if you have very complex problems. Shopify, on the other hand, has great customer support, and that is something that most reviews seem to agree with. Vox populi Vox dei, it is.

To throw in a little diversification we’d like you to consider Squarespace as an alternative to GoDaddy and Shopify. We’ve made extensive comparison articles in which Squarespace turns out to be a great option too in terms of customer support and reliability as an e-commerce partner.

Shopify vs. GoDaddy: Pricing

We are down to the last metric. No matter how great the value offered by a service, it must be worth its price, except it isn’t quite as attractive. Like we say, even the worst service can be excused if the price is just right.

GoDaddy has only one e-commerce plan which is called, wait for it, the E-commerce plan. Shopify has three basic pricing plans, which are the Basic, Shopify and Advance Shopify plans. There is also a tailored plan called ShopifyPlus, but it is only available by quote.

We feel like we should tell you that at the prices of these services you get many out of the box features that simply work with certain conditions/restrictions. However, if you want something custom made or you can develop an e-commerce website we suggest you buy a hosting service or a VPS. Our recommendation on this goes to Bluehost as the best hosting services provider.

Plans

Shopify’s Basic plan costs $29 per month, while the Advance Shopify and Shopify plans cost $299 and $79 per month, respectively. With the Basic plan, you only pay 2.0% on transaction fees on other platforms, and you pay 1.0% and 0.5% transaction fees on the Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans. GoDaddy’s plan, on the other hand, costs $29.99.

Shopify offers a lot of scalability, while GoDaddy’s plan is on a “go big or go home” basis. Also, the E-commerce plan doesn’t come with nearly enough sales-specific features.

Major Differences

Right before ending this article we wanted to quickly point a few major differences for you:

  • GoDaddy offers a month free trial period for new users, while Shopify only provides a 14 days free period
  • Shopify offers more control over the design process than GoDaddy
  • GoDaddy is way cheaper than Shopify
  • Shopify has more price tiers than GoDaddy, and that results in improved scalability
  • Shopify offers more app integration than GoDaddy

GoDaddy vs. Shopify: Our Pick

To sum this comparison starting a small shop with GoDaddy might be a good pick. But if you want to start small and scale effectively Shopify is no doubt the best option. GoDaddy offers a better starting package for most newbies but Shopify will make you feel like an expert in the field of online stores right from the beginning.

While GoDaddy isn’t terrible, Shopify is miles ahead in customer support, pricing, performance and ease of use. Shopify beats GoDaddy in every category, and that’s why they’ve won this comparison.

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Best OVH Alternatives in 2019

If you’re looking for the best OVH alternatives in 2019 you definitely came to the right place.

Although OVH is a solid hosting provider, its services are not for everybody so it’s worth going over some good alternatives. This article will come in handy if you’re thinking about switching from OVH or are looking for a provider that does things a bit differently. But before we jump into the alternatives let me first give you a quick rundown of OHV, just in case you’re not very familiar with the company.

OVH is a very popular French hosting provider that specializes in cloud computing services. The company offers a wide selection of products, including private cloud servers, dedicated servers, VPS, network solutions, and more. For the most part, OVH’s services are aimed at developers and enterprises. Although their VPS packages are reasonably priced, the rest of their services are quite expensive and not really geared towards the common user.

Luckily, there other are other providers out there that are a lot more affordable and easier to work with. We’ll get into some of the other reasons why people usually look into OVH alternatives a bit later on because we’re excited to present you with 12 companies that will likely make a better fit for you. You can find a quick summary for some of these providers down below along with some of the main reasons why you may want to choose them over OVH.

  • Kamatera – Hands down the best OVH alternative. Amazing performance, support, prices, and a free 30-day trial for new users.
  • Hostwinds – A pretty close second with many services to choose from and great bang for your buck.
  • Vultr – A direct rival to OVH that schools the company in terms of user-friendliness.
  • Bluehost – Very well-rounded hosting provider. Always a safe alternative for inexperienced users.
  • InMotion – A bit expensive Alternative to OVH but justifies its prices by throwing in a lot of great features.
  • A2 Hosting – Very appealing option thanks to its ‘anytime money-back guarantee’ policy.
  • Cloudways – A great OVH alternative that works with a very unique business model.
  • SiteGround – Excellent performance and features but quite expensive.

We wanted to make a varied list so not all our entries will be direct competitors to OVH. While some of these companies are indeed very similar to OVH, others offer slightly different services in addition to cloud hosting. Either way, we believe these companies to be the absolute best OVH alternatives in 2019 and we’re going to give you an in-depth breakdown of each of our picks in order to illustrate that point. With that being said, let’s jump straight into our first pick. Here are the best OVH Alternatives:

1. Kamatera

Kamatera is a respected and well-known competitor that has been providing quality services for over two decades now. Initially established way back in 1995, the company underwent multiple changes over the years in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition and keep up with customer demands. As a result, Kamatera eventually became one of the overall best providers of cloud hosting and a very good alternative to OVH.

Update December 2019: If you want to test out Kamatera’s services without spending a penny now’s your chance. The company is currently offering a free 30-day trial with no strings attached to all users. Kamatera strongly believes in the quality of its services and wants to prove that a single month is all it takes to fall in love with the company and stick around for the long run (they convinced us to place them as the #1 Competitor to OVH but also as the Best DigitalOcean Alternative in less than 30 days). All you need to create a new account is a username and email so make sure you don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

kamatera Homepage

Kamatera can go head to head with the best of them when it comes to performance thanks to its state-of-the-art computing infrastructure. The company uses the latest Intel CPUs and fast SSD drives to power all its servers and guarantees an uptime of 99.95%. Although a lot of companies promise 99.99% or even 100%, realistically speaking no one can maintain those kinds of figures for an extended period of time. 99.95% is actually an accurate estimation of the real uptime you get when using a top provider, so it’s nice to see that Kamatera is very honest and upfront about that.

In terms of location coverage, OVH is doing a bit better but you won’t run into any problems with Kamatera either because the company has 13 data centers placed strategically around the world. Where Kamatera takes a big lead again OVH is in the price department. The entry point for a cloud server sits at just $4 per month and all of its other services – including cloud block storage, private cloud network, cloud load balancer, and cloud firewall – are just as cheap. Moreover, deploying a new server takes less than a minute and the services are overall very easy to use, with customers having the ability to add useful apps like cPanel, WordPress, Magento and many more to their plans.

Incredible Customer Support: Kamatera outshines pretty much all competitors when it comes to customer support. Users can contact company representatives 24/7 via phone, email, ticket or live chat. In addition, the provider also has a very well put together FAQ section and plenty of useful documentation on the official website that tells you everything you need to know about the company and its various services. Based on my personal experience, Kamatera’s support agents are always fast to reply and happy to help you resolve any issues you might be experiencing.

OVHDigitalOceanVultrKamatera
Starting Price$8.95$5$5$4
Live Chat SupportNoNoNoYes
Beginner FriendlyNoNoYesYes
Free TrialNoNoNoYes (read more)
Wordpress One-Click installNoNoYesYes(read more)

Although experienced users may not need to rely on technical assistance too often, it still helps to have reliable support agents at your disposal 24/7, just in case. If you’re a beginner, chances are you will need to contact customer support sooner or later so make sure to choose a provider that offers live support in addition to a ticketing system. Live chat is extremely important for getting help with time-sensitive issues and it’s absolutely essential for users who don’t feel comfortable talking on the phone. Unfortunately, most cloud hosting providers don’t offer live chat but don’t worry because Kamatera has got your back.

Fantastic Server Customization and Flexibility: Kamatera is known as being one of the most flexible providers on the market, and with good reason. The company allows you to pay per month or per hour depending on what works best for you. You can also take advantage of Kamatera’s fantastic scalability to start out small and upgrade gradually as you go. Alternatively, you can also go for lots of resources right off the bat and downgrade later if needed. Regardless of whether you upgrade or downgrade, the process is seamless and you only need to pay for what you use.

As far as the customization is concerned, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better system than the one offered by Kamatera. Here, you can customize everything from the server type and data center location to the operating system and resources. Not just that but you also have loads of options to choose from in every category and you can even include optional services like extended daily backups if you want to add more value to your package.

2. Hostwinds – One of the cheapest VPS Providers

Hostwinds is a great alternative to OBH that often seems to fly under the radar for some reason. Granted, the provider hasn’t been around for as long as some of its peers so maybe that has something to do with it. Regardless, we think Hostwinds is a company that deserves more recognition because it has a lot to offer and it genuinely deserves the number two spot on our list.

Hostwinds as an Alternative to OVH in 2019

So what makes this a good OVH alternative? Well, the first thing you may notice about this company is that it offers a wider range of services than OVH. In addition to cloud hosting, you can also get shared hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated servers along with managed or unmanaged VPS on both Windows and Linux. There are also a few handy optional services you can pair together with your hosting, including email hosting, SSL certificates, and a VPN.

Hostwinds offers a good level of customization, multiple server locations to choose from, instant scalability, enterprise-grade firewalls, and more. Another nice thing about the company is that it allows you to deploy a new cloud server almost instantly and you can pay for it by the hour. The cloud hosting prices are quite a bit lower compared to those of OVH while the shared hosting plans are equally affordable, with basic packages starting at just $3.29 per month.

Award-Winning, Risk-Free Hosting: A lot of hosting companies boast about their award-winning services but Hostwinds is one of the few I’ve seen that actually displays said awards on its website. Among other things, the company received the “Best of the Year” award in 2018 from PCMag and managed to snag second place in 2019. Meanwhile, FindMyHost gave it the Editor’s Choice award while FinancesOnline gave Hostwinds an award for “Great User Experience” back in 2018. Those awards speak volumes for the quality of the company’s services because they all come from reputable publications.

If you don’t pay much attention to things like that and would rather test them for yourself, you can do so without having to worry too much about the money because Hostwinds is cheap and offers a 14-day money-back guarantee to boot. The company also gets full marks for its customer support as it offers 24/7 assistance via email, phone, ticket, and live chat. In addition, you can also find a very in-depth knowledge base on the official website that contains a lot of useful articles and guides.

3. Vultr

Vultr is a very well-known player in the cloud computing world and is generally considered one of the most reliable companies in this particular niche. Despite focusing mainly on high-end cloud hosting, the company is more user-friendly and easier to work with compared to most of its rivals, including OVH. This makes Vultr a good option not just for developers but also for beginners, which generally tend to struggle when first dealing with cloud hosting companies.

Vultr Our Second OVH Alternative

Update December 2019: Vultr is now offering a very special promotion for users who want to try out its services. The offer entitles you to $50 worth of free credits if you deposit $10 during this period. In order to take advantage of the generous offer, make sure to follow the promotional link and then make your $10 deposit. Once the deposit goes through, you’ll receive another 50 bucks on the house for a total of $60 that you can spend as you see fit. We look at this promotion as a show of confidence from Vultr who knows that users will stick around after getting a good taste of its services.

The thing about Vultr that likely stands out the most for a lot of people is the low entry point, especially when compared to Vultr’s Cloud Alternatives. The company offers high-performance SSD cloud instances starting at just $2.5 per month (US Data Centers Only, as we discussed in our Vultr Review). The machine you get in return doesn’t shine when it comes to the specs, however, it’s a very good starting point and more than capable of supporting a regular website or blog. Once you’re ready to take things to the next level, you can take advantage of Vultr’s outstanding scalability and upgrade to a different package. Alternatively, you can go directly for one of the high-frequency cloud hosting plans, which start at $6 per month but offer unparalleled performance.

As far as the coverage is concerned, you have 16 locations to choose from in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. OVH offers a few more locations but overall I would consider the coverage to be very good. I can vouch for the performance as well.

Vultr Worldwide Coverage and Reliable Uptime
Vultr Worldwide Coverage

Vultr invests a lot into the architecture in order to maintain maximum uptime and uses SSD drives to ensure the best speeds possible. Something that I think a lot of users will appreciate is the fact that Vultr allows you to download generic files from each of its servers in order to test their speeds. The best part is that you don’t even need to be a registered user to conduct these speed tests.

Surprisingly User-Friendly: I mentioned this before but companies that deal exclusively in cloud hosting tend to be intimidating to new users, and with good reason. With the exception of Kamatera and maybe a couple of other companies, cloud computing providers are not very user-friendly. Vultr is a bit of an exception to that rule. While not as easy to navigate as a shared host, for example, Vultr has an intuitive user interface and offers some nice quality-of-life features that you don’t often get from similar companies.

$ 2.5 /mo$ 3.5 /mo$ 5 /mo$ 10 /mo
$0.004/hr$0.005/hr$0.007/hr$0.015/hr
RAM 512 MBRAM 512 MBRAM 1GBRAM 2GB
Processor 1 CoreProcessor 1 CoreProcessor 1 CoreProcessor 1 Core
Storage 10 GBStorage 10 GBStorage 25 GBStorage 55 GB
Bandwidth 0.5 TBBandwidth 0.5 TBBandwidth 1TBBandwidth 2TB
Get started in 3 minutesGet started in 3 minutesGet started in 3 minutesGet started in 3 minutes
GET $50 FREEGET $50 FREEGET $50 FREEGET $50 FREE

Among other things, Vultr gives you the option of installing a number of very useful one-click apps, including cPanel, WordPress, Plesk, OpenVPN, and even Minecraft if you’re planning to host a game server. The company also has a very extensive selection of operating systems you can use and even allows customers to upload their own operating systems in ISO format. Some of these features are quite surprisingly coming from a cloud computing company, which is one of the main reasons Vultr ranks third on our list of OVH alternatives.

4. Bluehost

Bluehost may seem like an odd choice given our previous picks but there are a number of good reasons for why we chose to include it. While it’s not necessarily a direct competitor to OVH, the company offers excellent services, a good variety of products, and some of the cheapest prices on the market (read our Bluehost Review for more information about all their plans, including Shared Hosting, VPS and Dedicated Servers). Bluehost is a great option for beginners who are looking to sign up with their very first hosting provider.

Bluehost as an Alternative to OVH

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Bluehost is one of the cheapest providers on the market. You can get a basic shared hosting plan for only $2.95 per month or a very good VPS for just $18.99 per month. The company also offers dedicated servers, WordPress hosting, domain registration, an eCommerce platform and more. Basically, this is a one-stop-shop for all your hosting needs where you can find all the tools and products required to build and launch your very first website. You may want to switch to a more specialized provider further down the line, but if you’re just starting out, Bluehost is a very safe option.

The company excels in the ease of use department, which is one of the main reasons why it is chosen year after year as WordPress’ number 1 hosting provider. If you’re looking to build a WordPress site, you’ll find everything you need here, ranging from a quick installer for the platform to one-click themes and plugins, easy to use cPanel, webmail client, WP admin access, and a site migration tool, among other things. When it comes to Ease of Use, there’s no better alternative to Bluehost. The company even offers managed WordPress hosting starting at $19.95, which will allow you to build a professional website with very little effort.

And if you can’t handle things on your own, you can always rely on Bluehost’s award-winning customer support team. Support agents are available 24/7 and can be contacted via phone, ticket, and live chat. Thanks to Bluehost’s worldwide popularity, the company set up different numbers for US and international customers so don’t hesitate to give them a call if you need help regardless of which language you speak.

Professional Services for All Your Needs: Bluehost offers a number of very useful extra services, including the aforementioned site migration tool. The service allows customers to migrate up to 5 websites complete with mailboxes, and the great thing about it is that Bluehost’s team of professionals will help you throughout the whole process. For a certain fee, the company is also willing to help you build an entirely new website from scratch. Bluehost will take care of the design, marketing, optimization, content assistance and anything else you might need in order to launch your new website.

If you can take care of the site building yourself, you might be interested in Bluehost’s SEO services instead. Good SEO practices are essential for any website nowadays but learning the ins and outs of these practices can take a long time. Bluehost can take care of everything for you and is even willing to provide custom content that will improve your search relevance. Finally, the company also helps its users with marketing campaigns and efficient ad placement.

5. InMotion Hosting

InMotion is another OVH alternative that’s perfect for users of all types, not just developers and enterprises. The company deals in everything from shared hosting and VPS to dedicated servers and even offers some interesting custom server solutions for businesses. The prices here are a bit above average, however, you can expect excellent performance and quality services in return. The company also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee so you can easily get a refund if you become dissatisfied with your hosting.

InMotion Hosting Homepage

WordPress hosting starts at $5.99 per month while shared business hosting will set you back $6.49 per month. Meanwhile, you can get a VPS for around $21/mo or pay a little extra if you want your server to be managed. In addition, InMotion also supports domain registrations and has its own website builder, though you could skip that and go with a WordPress site instead. When it comes to comparing Bluehost and InMotion, both are a jack-of-all-trades that offers a little something for everybody.

As far as the custom solutions are concerned, InMotion is happy to help you with pretty much anything. For example, you can have them design a professional website for you or work together with an advisor to put together a complex business server that’s optimized for high performance, load balancing or PCI compliance. If you’re looking for a hands-off approach to hosting, InMotion is one of the best options because the company has more experience than most when it comes to managing servers. Of course, you will need to pay extra if you want the company to do all the leg work.

Great Features and Scalability: Another area where InMotion absolutely shines is in the features department. The company justifies its higher-than-average prices by including a lot of nice freebies with all hosting packages. For instance, if you’re going with a WordPress plan, you can expect a free domain, unlimited email accounts, and a free anti-malware solution. Meanwhile, VPS plans come with marketing tools, a full security suite, a site backup & restore tool, and free marketing credits. Those are just a few examples but you can expect many other great features regardless of which type of hosting plan you choose.

Another reason why many users choose InMotion is because of the scalability potential (we covered this subject in-depth in our InMotion Review). Although the entry price isn’t the cheapest, InMotion offers a lot more upgrade options than many of its competitors. With a lot of hosting companies, you start off dirt cheap and then have to pay through the nose to upgrade to the next tier. That’s not the case here. Every type of hosting has multiple tiers and there’s a relatively small price difference between them. This also applies when switching from one type of hosting to another, such as shared to VPS for example.

6. A2 Hosting

A2 is better known for shared hosting than cloud hosting but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss the company as a potential OVH alternative. Quite the contrary. The provider has a lot to offer for all types of users and has some pretty affordable web hosting solutions. Furthermore, you can expect top-notch performance, with a 99.99% uptime guarantee and Turbo Servers that provide extremely fast load speeds.

A2 Hosting Homepage

If you’re looking for a hosting plan that’s similar to what OVH offers, I recommend checking out the unmanaged VPS packages. Prices start at $5 per month and the servers can be configured to include as many resources and bandwidth as you need. You can also pick the server location and operating system or add a cPanel license, among other things. Alternatively, you could go for the managed version and get plenty of resources right off the bat along with other useful features like an SSL certificate, cPanel, and a free site transfer service. That said, managed VPS starts at $25 per month so it’s significantly more expensive.

If you’re a new user and want to start with shared hosting instead, prices at A2 range between $2.94 and $9.31 per month. The plans are pretty standard but unlike other providers, A2 doesn’t just give you additional features when you upgrade to a new tier, it also grants you extra resources. Managed WordPress solutions are also available starting at $9.78 per month. All plans come with the Turbo option, which is said to make sites up to 20 times faster, along with 1-click staging sites, automated backups, Plesk control panel, Jetpack plugin, and more.

The Best Refund Policy on the Market: If you like companies that have solid refund policies you’re absolutely going to love A2 Hosting. As I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, most providers give you the option of asking for a refund within 30 days of making a purchase. Well, A2 lets you ask for your money back whenever you want. The company has an ‘anytime money-back guarantee’ policy that does exactly what it says, we reviewed this great feature in our A2 Hosting review, we recommend you checking it out before buying so you know what to expect from A2.

It’s worth noting that the policy only applies to hosting plans and can’t be used to get refunds for things like domain registrations or setup fees. Also, the company doesn’t offer refunds for partial months of service while accounts that break the company’s terms of service will not be eligible for any refunds at all. Although there are some stipulations you need to keep in mind, A2’s refund policy is still the best on the market right now.

7. Cloudways

Cloudways is an OVH alternative that works with a very unique business model. While OVH and many of its direct competitors have their own data centers, Cloudways simply uses the infrastructure created by other companies. Because of that, Cloudways is able to provide a wide variety of services and a great deal of flexibility. This system may sound a bit strange but it seems to work well enough that the company is giving a free trial to potential customers who want to check it out for themselves.

Cloudways Homepage

The ultimate goal of the company is to make cloud computing simple for everybody. To that end, Cloudways removes the complexity often associated with traditional providers like OVH while also adding a number of quality-of-life features. The downside is that the hosting plans are priced above average, though they’re not as expensive as you might think. You can get a basic cloud hosting plan for as little as $10 per month and you also have the option of paying by the hour for all the available packages.

Cloudways offers a truly impressive amount of features even with its cheapest packages. Among other things, you get free SSL certificates, a built-in CDN, free site migration, automated backups, staging environments, regular security updates, and dedicated firewalls. You can also add useful applications to your packages like WordPress, cPanel or Magento. Even more importantly, though, you get access to all the features regardless of which plan you choose, though you will need to upgrade to the higher tiers if you want more resources.

Cloud Hosting Providers Assemble: So how is Cloudways able to offer these services without even using its own data centers? Well, the company actually works together with several reputable cloud computing companies, some of which you’re likely familiar with. These partners include DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. Cloudways acts as a middleman of sorts because you’re actually using the servers provided by these partners but are working with the interface and features offered by Cloudways.

This ‘best of both worlds’ approach is very appealing not just for Cloudways but also for the user. Instead of trying to figure out the intricacies of managing a cloud server yourself, you can let Cloudways do all the work while using some of the best cloud infrastructure available. Another advantage is that you have access to incredible location coverage as Cloudways can take advantage of over 60 data centers around the world thanks to its partners.

8. SiteGround

If you’re after performance and ease of use, SiteGround might be the perfect OVH alternatives for you because the company excels in both departments. SiteGround is very reliable and the customer support is as good as it gets, with the customer being able to contact agents 24/7 via phone, ticket or live chat. As far as the prices are concerned, they’re somewhat higher compared to other companies, particularly the cloud hosting plans. Aside from that, though, this is a very solid choice.

SiteGround Homepage
SiteGround Homepage

If you’re looking to start off small, I recommend going for a basic shared hosting plan and working your way up from there. The entry point is $3.95 and you can upgrade a couple of times before having to switch to a different type of hosting. Once you are ready to switch, you can go for WordPress hosting, fully managed enterprise hosting, dedicated hosting and, of course, cloud hosting. The company also has some very good eCommerce-focused plans that also start off at $3.95 per month.

SiteGround throws in a nice set of features with every package so expect a free SSL certificate, free email accounts, site builder, Cloudflare CDN, and unlimited MySQL databases from the get-go. If you’re willing to spend a bit more for a higher tier of hosting you will also get on-demand backups, a free site transfer service, white-label site management, priority support, and more. Despite the fairly high prices, SiteGround is still a worthwhile OVH alternative thanks to its accessibility and the truckload of useful features on offer.

Premium Cloud Hosting: As mentioned previously in our SiteGround review, they also offer cloud hosting, but the packages are a lot more expensive than some users might expect. Namely, the entry point sits at $64 per month while the most expensive plan will set you back no less than $192 per month. Compared to a company like Kamatera, for example, SiteGround is pretty expensive. The good news is that you get a good amount of resources in return and you can expect SiteGround to manage everything for you.

Another big advantage worth noting is that you won’t have to share your hosting environment with anyone here. That may seem like a given but this is actually not the case with all cloud hosting companies. If you’re looking for a completely hands-off experience, you can take advantage of SiteGround’s auto-scaling feature, which automatically adds new resources whenever you need them, such as in the case of unexpected traffic spikes for instance.

9. KnownHost

KnownHost is yet another jack-of-all-trades that tries (and succeeds) to appeal to a very wide market. The company was established back in 2006 and has since expanded to include everything from shared hosting and managed VPS to dedicated servers and cloud services. The company only has a handful of data centers so it’s a bit hard to recommend to everybody. If you live in the US, however, this is definitely a very solid pick.

KnownHost Dashboard

The company offers some very interesting shared hosting packages that immediately sparked my curiosity. Generally speaking, going with a shared hosting plan means that you’re going to need to share your server resources with other users, hence the name. In this case, though, you actually gain exclusive access to the resources that come with your package. Moreover, KnownHost includes cloud storage with all shared packages, which is also pretty unusual.

Basically, you’re getting all the features you would expect from shared hosting but with some of the benefits of a VPS. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider that KnownHost’s shared hosting plans start at only $3.47 per month. Of course, there is a bit of a catch here. You get a pretty small amount of storage by going with the first two tiers of shared hosting, though the third tier does come with unlimited cloud storage. Still, the first two tiers are worth looking into as well.

KVM and VPS Cloud Servers: What makes KnownHost a good OVH alternative is its dedicated cloud servers. The company offers two variants – unmanaged KVM cloud servers and managed VPS servers. KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine and is a type of server that’s suitable for pretty much any type of website. The servers are scalable and you can pair them up with applications like WordPress, Magento or Joomla in order to get the most out of them. However, because this is managed hosting, the prices might not be for everybody, with the cheapest package starting at $50.40 per month.

Meanwhile, the VPS (Virtual Private Network) cloud servers are more specialized and are aimed primarily at developers. The servers are advertised as being customizable but from what I can tell, you can actually only select the operating system and add a couple of optional tools like cPanel and KernelCare. VPS cloud servers start at $9.99 per month, so a lot cheaper compared to the other variant, but this is unmanaged hosting, which means you’ll need to take care of everything yourself.

10. Linode

Just like OVH, Linode is primarily looking to attract developers but also offers a free cPanel and other 1-click apps in an attempt to make things easier for users who aren’t very tech-savvy. Unfortunately, you’ll need to subscribe to the managed service in order to take advantage of the ease of use features and that will cost you $100 per month. Of course, if you are a developer you don’t have to worry about that and can instead go for an unmanaged plan, which would cost you a lot less.

Linode as an Alternative

The entry point at Linode is $5 per month, which is pretty standard for cloud computing companies. Since this is unmanaged hosting, you won’t get any interesting features but you can add various apps and products to your package in order to make it more suitable for your specific needs. For instance, you can add an instant backup tool, node balancers, and extra block or object storage. You can also pick your operating system but keep in mind that Linode doesn’t work with Windows so you would have to settle for Linux instead.

As far as the location coverage is concerned, Linode has 10 data centers around the world, 5 of which are located in North America. Somewhat similar to Vultr, Linode allows users to run speed tests on each of the data centers. In addition, there’s a section of its website that displays the real-time status of the servers. Here you can also find a history of all the server issues that occurred over the past three months. Aside from some minor connectivity issues in a few of the data centers, the servers have been pretty stable as of late, which isn’t all that surprising considering that Linode is known for having great uptime.

Specialized Cloud Hosting: Another thing that enables Linode to stand out from the crowd as a good OVH alternative is its specialized packages. The standard plans mentioned earlier come with a balanced amount of resources and are meant to be an all-purpose solution for most types of workloads. However, they’re not necessarily the best for all situations. That’s why the company also offers machines that have more than the average amount of one particular type of resource like memory, GPU or processing power.

These packages can get a bit pricey but they are extremely efficient for specialized tasks. For example, the $30/mo dedicated CPU plan is perfect for things like data analytics while the $60/mo high memory package is more suitable for tasks that require you to run queries on large volumes of data. Meanwhile, the exorbitantly expensive $1,000/mo GPU-intensive plans are meant for processing highly complex workloads like machine learning, scientific computing, AI or video processing.

11. AWS (LightSail)

AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a very popular option for many big businesses and can easily serve as a competent OVH alternative. The AWS platform features a wide range of products and services, including cloud computing and storage. There are actually two different services that can be used as OVH alternatives in the form of EC2 and LightSail. EC2 is pretty complex and primarily aimed at enterprises so we’re going to focus on LIghtSail instead because this is a solution that can easily be used by anybody.

AWS Homepage

LightSail has an affordable price point of only $3.5 per month and offers both Linux and Windows servers. Unlike other companies, the entry price for a Windows-based server is pretty steep ($8 per month) so I would just stick to the Linux version instead. Needless to say, you don’t have to worry about the location coverage here because Amazon has servers everywhere in the world and the customer support is as solid as it gets.

If you want to add a few more add-ons to your package, there are a handful of nice options to choose from. For $15 per month you can add a managed database but I recommend going for one of the higher tiers because the entry one doesn’t feature data encryption. Additionally, you can also find load balancers, block storage and disk snapshots at reasonable prices.

One Service to Rule Them All: The AWS platform is extremely appealing because it grants you access to dozens of different products and services with a single subscription. Among other things, here you can find developer tools, mobile applications, media services, storage solutions, analytics tools, and so much more. If you’re looking to boost your productivity, you can use many of these products and services in conjunction with LightSail.

Subscribing to AWS comes with many benefits, including quite a few freebies. For example, you can get a free month of LightSail and EC2 along with a variety of other trials, some of which are available for up to one year. There are some caveats to some of these freebies, but overall, AWS is definitely worth looking into even if you’re not particularly interested in LightSail.

12. DigitalOcean

Last but not least we have DigitalOcean, arguably one of the most popular providers of cloud-based services on the market and a direct competitor to OVH. Similar to Linode and a couple of other entries on this list, DigitalOcean mainly targets developers, though the company does try to make its services accessible to everyone. While not as easy to work with as Kamatera, DigitalOcean can still be a good option for some people.

Prices for DO virtual machines start at $5 per month if you don’t mind sharing resources with other users. If you’re looking for a dedicated machine, the cheapest one you can get is $40 per month. However, this is a CPU-optimized server. General-purpose machines will set you back at least $60 per month while the memory-optimized ones start at $90/mo. If you’re going for a memory-optimized server you can pay by the hour. For everything else, you’ll need to settle to monthly payments.

DigitalOcean includes some pretty good services with all packages. Team accounts, firewalls, monitoring tools, DNS management, open-source apps, and API access are just some of the things you can expect here. You can also add additional storage, databases, load balancers, and floating IPs to your plan, in exchange for a certain fee of course. Just like Linode, DigitalOcean has a system status page on its website where you can check the stability of the servers before you sign up.

DigitalOcean Marketplace: One of the most interesting things about DigitalOcean, in my opinion, is the marketplace. The store contains over 100 pre-configured 1-click apps, many of which are available for free. Although a lot of companies offer optional apps like the ones found here, you rarely see a marketplace as well put together as this one. The store even has category filters and a search bar, which makes it very easy to find the app you need.

So what exactly can you find here? For starters, you’ve got the common ones like WordPress, cPanel, Plesk, and Ghost. Then, you’ve got popular developer tools like Selenoid, Dokku and Docker along with frameworks like NodeJS, LAMP, Ruby on Rails, and Django. There are a few other categories as well and if you’re not sure which apps you choose, you can check out DigitalOcean’s staff picks section for some inspiration.

A Few Reasons for Looking Into OVH Alternatives

Although OVH is a good company, it’s definitely not for everybody. Many customers have reported struggling with technical issues in the past and there are more than a few complaints regarding the company’s verification system. In addition, the user interface is far from intuitive and their website is pretty convoluted, to the point where it can become a real hassle to find what you’re looking for. All these factors make OVH a less than ideal option for inexperienced users.

As far as the prices are concerned, there is a huge discrepancy between the main products. While you can get a VPS for as low as $3.49 per month, a private cloud will cost you well over $600 per month. Naturally, certain products will always be more expensive than others, however, some of the packages offered by OVH cost quite a bit more when compared to other companies. Meanwhile, the cheap plans aren’t exactly anything to write home about due to a lack of interesting features.

Having said all that, the main reason why you may want to look into an alternative to OVH has to be customer support. The company’s support staff is notoriously bad at identifying and fixing problems while also taking forever to get the job done. Also worth noting is that there is no live chat option here. That’s pretty unusual for a company as large as this, particularly when you consider that live chat is generally the most popular method of contacting customer support.

OVH Alternatives: Our Conclusion

OVH is not the worst hosting provider we’ve ever seen but there are a few important areas where the company could definitely make some improvements. The customer support, in particular, seems very unreliable and not having a live chat option is always a major drawback. Naturally, your experience with OVH’s staff may differ from ours but after reading a lot of customer reviews about the company, it does seem like this is a widespread problem.

Whether you’re thinking about switching from OVH or simply looking for a good hosting company, you have plenty of options to choose from. Some of the direct competitors like Vultr or Linode are pretty obvious but I wouldn’t dismiss jack-of-all-trades type companies either, such as Hostwinds or InMotion. Ultimately, though, the choice is up to you so make sure to check out all of these companies for yourself before making a decision because it’s always smart to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Shopify vs Big Cartel: What’s the Best Online eCommerce Platform of 2019?

Shopify and Big Cartel were both founded over a decade ago, and the idea of setting up your own online shop has been around for even longer than that, but it still feels like it’s only very recently that a more widespread and mainstream audience has started to recognize how easy, fun, and profitable it can be to run an online store.

image via shopify.com

Even to this day, many people still don’t realize the incredible potential that exists on the internet for a limitless amount of businesses. One of the biggest opportunities exists for independent people who make or sell any number of different types of products.

The internet makes it so easy to reach a ton of people, regardless of what your business is. If you sell handmade earrings, or vintage clothing, or custom hand-stitched leather wallets, or movie memorabilia, or whatever you can imagine – there are people online, every single day, looking to buy stuff. Having a storefront on the internet makes it possible for them to find you, and it’s not hard to setup anymore.

Back in the day, Before it was EASY to create an online store

There was a time when creating an online store was a huge hassle. You’d probably end up needing to hire your own developers, you’d spend a ton of time and a ton of money on getting everything integrated correctly, and another fortune down the road to keep everything up to date.

It was just a big headache if you wanted to run your own store. Of course, there were (and still are) options like eBay, but that’s not really your own store, you were too dependant on the eBay ecosystem, and you don’t have the same potential to grow your own brand. Also, as sites like eBay or Etsy go out of favour, you soon realize you’ve been building your empire on someone else’s land.

Having your own store, that’s branded entirely after your business, rather than just being another little stall in a bigger marketplace, has many advantages. We’ll assume that you already want to create your own online store, and that’s why you’re here, so we won’t go over all of the great reasons for setting up a shop online – we’ll take it for granted that you know that already. We’re going to be focusing, instead, on two of the most popular platforms for creating and launching a store online, which are Shopify and Big Cartel.

Let’s get started with an introduction about each company, some of their main selling points and features, and where they differ from one another. By the end of this page, you’ll have a clear understanding of what both platforms have to offer, and how to decide which one may be a better choice for you. We’ll also go over a third option that many people are finding very viable, which has its own set of advantages over both Shopify and Big Cartel.

About Big Cartel

Founded in 2005 by Matt Wigham when looking for a way to sell band merchandise online, Big Cartel has grown into a major player in this space. First things first, they’ve passed the test of longevity, which is always important.

They’re also very conscious of social issues, for example, they use industry standard wages to give all of their employees in the same role the same salary, so there’s no pay disparity based on things like an employee’s ability to negotiate, their gender, or anything other than the job they’re performing.

In a world where startups are clamouring for that next round of VC money to keep their fancy offices afloat, there’s something fiercely independent about Big Cartel, likely inspired by their closeness to artists and musicians, and makers, and the whole indie DIY world which they grew from.

Their description on Crunchbase reads: “Big Cartel is where artists set up shop. They provide clothing designers, bands, jewellery makers, crafters, and other artists with their own customizable store to sell their stuff online.”

Big Cartel’s Plans

Now, let’s look at the different plans that Big Cartel has to offer. After that, we’ll quickly go over the basics of Shopify, we’ll take a look at their plans, we’ll compare the two, we’ll go over the third option, and you’ll be all set to start creating your online store today.

A nice feature with Big Cartel is the fact that they offer a Free plan. The downside is that you can’t use your own URL/domain name with it, and it’s only limited to 5 products, but it’s still great for people who want to test out the platform just to see if it functions well for them, or for small bands or groups that have a shoestring budget and need to spend as little as possible.

It’s cool of them to have that option. Shopify also offers a free trial, but it’s based on time rather than limiting how many items you can post.

Big Cartel has plans that are more affordable than Shopify, but they’re also more limited. You can only have up to 5 images per product (Which is plenty for things like t-shirts but could feel limiting for certain types of products), and the difference between all of their paid plans is simply the number of items you can list for sale.

Once again, these limits won’t really matter for many types of shops, but if you’re one of the ones that need more items listed for sale or more images, then it’s a deal-breaker.

About Shopify

Shopify operates as a complete eCommerce solution for a ton of different types of businesses that want to sell online.

Shopify is super easy to use, quick to setup, and has a TON of different integrations. They work with a lot of other large startups to create useful integrations that make Shopify easier to use, and more powerful. Even without these additional integrations, there’s a lot going on under the hood here. Shopify really handles the entire process for you or at least gives you the tools to do so.

It’s a complete platform, jam-packed with everything you need to get your online store setup and running effectively as soon as possible.

Shopify’s Plans

Now we’ll look at the plans that Shopify offers.

The big thing that stands out is that Shopify doesn’t differentiate their tiers based on things like how many images you can have, or how many products you can have. They offer unlimited storage for files, and all of their plans allow you to sell an unlimited amount of different items in your shop.

Big Cartel, on the other hand, bases their pricing tiers essentially on how many SKUs, or different items, each plan allows for.

Shopify’s pricing is more based on your bottom line, for example, their higher tier plans can save you money on payment processing and on shipping, so it’s really easy to choose the right Shopify plan simply based on whether or not it makes sense for you financially. Saving money on shipping adds up really quick, and so do lower processing fees, but there’s a big difference between Shopify’s $29 plan and their $299 plan. All you’ve got to do is run the numbers. Start with the basic plan while you’re getting your shop up and running, then when you’re doing enough business that that 0.5% savings in credit card fees or the better shipping rates are enough to cover the costs, it becomes a no-brainer to upgrade.

With Shopify’s retail package, you can easily integrate your retail location with your online store to manage inventory, accept payments, and it really helps to merge things for companies that already exist with a physical storefront and who are looking to take a step forward and sell online as well.

The “Staff accounts” is one aspect that’s different between Shopify’s different plans (which doesn’t revolve around saving you money on fees), and it represents how many unique accounts you can have for different staff members. Having individual staff accounts allows you to set up unique permissions for each one. Staff members could share accounts, too, so it’s not a hard limit, but Shopify recommends giving people their own individual accounts none the less, so if you have a larger team, it’s a good idea to make sure you have an account for each person that will be accessing the backend of your Shopify store.

You can setup restricted areas and permissions, so that not every single staff member is able to access all of your sensitive information, or which items sell the best, or your margins, or whatever else you’d prefer to keep private. This can be a very powerful collaborative tool, which allows you to bring on extra help to improve your store, without having to expose all of the trade secrets you’ve collected from your shop’s analytics and sales info.

The Third Option Besides Big Cartel or Shopify

Now, before we choose our overall favourite, let’s go over a third option, which is self-hosting your own store.

As we said earlier, this used to be a really complex process, but it’s not nearly as tricky to setup as it used to be.

When platforms like Shopify and Big Cartel came out, it was much trickier to open a store. These days, setting up your own web hosting and installing the script to run a store is easier than it’s ever been. You’re still going to have an easier time, overall, with Shopify or Big Cartel, but this third option is great for people who want to save some money and have a little more control over their store, too.

Using a hosting account, and WordPress, you can get everything setup the very same day. We recommend Bluehost because they make it incredibly easy to get WordPress setup. Once that first step is done, you’re ready to start customizing your new website. There’s a big number of “shopping cart” and online store plug-ins for WordPress. Going this third route instead of Shopify or Big Cartel does involve some more elbow grease, but it will save you some money if you’re on a very tight budget, at least initially.

You can get away with using a cheaper shared hosting plan from Bluehost to get started, but if your shop becomes very popular, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher-tier server, and eventually even Shopify’s most expensive plan will be cheaper than a high-end dedicated server, not to mention all the costs of maintaining, having developers on hand, keeping everything secure…

So, Which One is Best Overall?

In high-volume cases, it’s probably a better idea to go with Shopify because they have everything setup and ready to go for you.

If you want absolute control over your store, however, then getting your own hosting account and installing your own software on it might be your best bet. With a WordPress-based site, you can move it to any hosting company you want.

With Shopify and Big Cartel, they manage the software side of things and the hardware side. Having that all in one place, and managed by the company that runs the platform, definitely has its advantages, even if it means you have a little less control. For a lot of people, it’s worth the trade-off, because they want to focus on growing and building their online store, instead of fussing around behind the scenes with server administration stuff.

If you’re on a tight budget, and if you don’t have a lot of different products to sell, and if you don’t need more than 5 pictures of each product, then Big Cartel will likely save you some dough instead of going with Shopify.

If you don’t mind spending a little more in order to get cheaper shipping for your customers, lower payment processing fees, and unlimited items, and overall using a more cohesive and complete platform, Shopify comes out on top.

The best option for one person probably won’t be the same answer for the next person, since everybody has different needs, experience levels, and ambitions for their online stores.

If you still aren’t sure where to start, check out Big Cartel’s free plan, check out Shopify’s free trial, and see what works best. If you’ve setup websites in the past, you should have no problem getting your eCommerce store setup with Bluehost, running WordPress, and a plug-in like WooCommerce.

Sometimes, the best way to choose is just to try them all out, there’s no harm and no risk when you can get free trials.

GoDaddy vs. 1and1

You may be forgiven for treating GoDaddy vs. 1and1 like your typical intercontinental Derby or bowl, but the rivalry goes deeper than that. Both web hosts are well known in their respective regions. GoDaddy, an American hosting provider, is the most popular in America. 1and1 is a German company that provides all the hosting needs of Europe. Both are also popular web hosts planetary-wide.

Both web hosts offer shared hosting, as well as other enterprise hosting services: VPS and dedicated servers.

GoDaddy and 1and1 are also known as the only two 1$ per month hosts. Since they offer so many similar services, it may be hard for a potential user to figure out which to go for. That’s where we come in. We take a closer look at both web hosts, highlight their strengths, and dig out their weaknesses. We can promise that when you are done reading this, you’ll have enough knowledge to make a decision confidently.

1and1 vs. GoDaddy Overview

While the two companies come from different regions, they are both founded by visionaries. Their consistent delivery of top-notch services has won numerous awards for them.

1&1 IONOS, along with Mail.com was previously owned by United Internet. Still, it was recently acquired in 2018 by IONOS, which also merged with Profitbricks, an enterprise cloud solution, with a new focus on European markets. Hence the name 1&1 IONOS.

GoDaddy, although established by Bob Parsons who still controls a majority of the shares, is owned by a private investment company. GoDaddy has a few subsidiaries of its in Media Temple and Host Europe Group.

Popularity Comparison

We could go on and on about how GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS host millions of websites, have thousands of staff members and data centers, as well as several million domains under maintenance but the fact that you and 9 out of 10 people that will be reading this know all these, speaks a lot about their popularity. Although GoDaddy sits atop the American web hosting industry, 1&1 IONOS is the top dog (as top as they get) in Europe. But worldwide? GoDaddy is 1st, 1&1 IONOS is 4th. There’s your response.

Now, let’s leave this petty popularity contest and begin our benchmarking for you to pick the right web hosting solution.

Performance

There are two vital metrics that a web host must pass before it qualifies to even be in consideration for the Laurel of the best host, and they are uptime and speed.

Uptime

As the most important metric, we often take our time to run a meticulous uptime test during 2019. We set up demo websites for both web hosts and tested from the same location over 12 months. Nevertheless, the results were impressive.

MonthGoDaddy1&1 IONOS
January99.98%100%
February99.8%100%
March99.99%99.98%
April100%99.98%
May100%100%
June99.98%99.98%
July99.99%99.97%
August100%99.98%
September99.99%100%
October99.98%99.97%
November99.99%99.99%
December99.98%100%

We recorded an average uptime of 99.988% for GoDaddy, while 1&1 IONOS had an average uptime of 99.987%. If we are not too nitpicky about this, they are pretty much a match in uptime and you are safe with either of them. In line with GoDaddy’s statement that their server has to reset when a new person joins, the uptime at the beginning (for the first few months) was not a perfect hundred, but it improved. 1&1 IONOS, as opposed to GoDaddy, started quite well and both web hosts maintained a consistent uptime throughout. None of them dropping below 99.98%.

Uptime guarantee policy

GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS share a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If your site fails as a result of the web hosts performing below 99.9%, you will receive a credit of a percentage of that month’s hosting price (5% of the fee per 0.1% downtime). We don’t think any customer will be asking either GoDaddy or 1&1 IONOS for a refund since our tests have shown that on average they have uptime above 99.9%.

Speed

Using our test websites we checked the speed of the web hosting services offered by both GoDaddy and 1&1. We decided to focus our efforts on three key areas in order for the results to be as decisive as possible, those areas are response time (TTFB), page load speed and load impact test.

Response Time (TTFB)

MonthGoDaddy1&1 IONOS
October501 ms284 ms
November513 ms258 ms
December509 ms295 ms

We tested both web hosts at different periods for three months, for redundancy, and we got the results above. GoDaddy has a response time slightly above 500ms while 1&1 IONOS consistently performed below 300ms. GoDaddy has an average response time, but series hosted on 1&1 IONOS respond superfast, and that is the kind of cruise we like.

A clear winner here is 1&1 IONOS and please note that this lower response time can lead to a faster first contentful paint (FCP) which can up your SEO game (if you are into that).

Page Load speed

We tested both web hosts from Los Angeles, and we got the following average page speed loads:

  • Godaddy – 586 ms
  • 1&1 IONOS – 497 ms

1&1 IONOS has a slight advantage over GoDaddy of around 90ms faster load for the full page load speed.

Both web hosts may not have a speed on a level of SiteGround or A2 Hosting, but they are far from slow web hosts like Squarespace and Wix.

Load Impact Test

When you want someone to crack, you exert pressure. We want to establish that web hosts are like that too, and the same way people detest those who snitch under pressure is the same way we dislike web hosts that crash at the slightest increase in traffic.

The third speed test consists of sending 10 virtual users at a time to both web hosts. We kept increasing the traffic until we got to 100. The result of both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS’s performance has been charted below:

[Insert a chart showing 1&1 IONOS having a consistent speed with only a single spike and GoDaddy spiking at 50, 70, and 80 users]

Both web hosts are decent under pressure but one holds up more than the other.

As you can see from the chart, 1&1 IONOS started well but the speed suddenly reduced at 60 users. It soon picked up and stabilized even at maximum traffic.

GoDaddy also started quite well, but we noticed a plummet at 50, and again at 70 and 80 users. This is not so bad for a web host, but if you have a small site on which you run social media campaigns and expect concurrent users on it, you should probably go for 1&1 IONOS.

Data centers and server locations

Both web hosts have data centers and servers built with industry-leading hardware all across the world. We did notice that both web hosts have a concentration of data centers in the US. 1&1 IONOS also has data centers outside the US though, seeing as its an european company. The locations of data centers that we could uncover are presented in the chart below.

[Insert a chart showing the locations of the datacenters of both web hosts here.]

Luckily, upon sign up, both web hosts allow you to choose from their numerous data centers. So, don’t worry if your site users are not around you. You can also change your data centers later, another advantage for those that do not yet know the primary locations of their clients.

1&1 IONOS wins this chapter with both response time and site load speed, but GoDaddy is, by no means a slowpoke, 1&1 IONOS is just faster.

Security

We hate to see good things, built with sweat and blood, destroyed. The same way we hate to see your successful website struck with malware or fall into the hands of hackers. Yes, this will mostly be prevented through your actions, but a lot has to do with the web host you use.

GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS provide security for your hosting, of course, but so does hundreds of other web hosts. What makes them different is the extra steps they take to guide you, and whether or not most of their defensive features come for free.

Both web hosts give SSL certificates on their business packages (8$ package on 1&1 IONOS and 12$ on GoDaddy). You have to pay for the feature if you are on the lower-tier plan.

Each provider is offering anti-DDoS protection that prevents attacks on servers and stops malicious third-party users from attacking servers. The higher-tier 1&1 IONOS plans also get SiteLock, a tool that scans for malware and subsequently gets rid of them. Both web hosts also have steps in place to protect you against brute force attacks.

Backup and Restore

Both web hosts create automatic backups but only one allows you to restore for free. 1&1 IONOS creates your site backup every 6 days and you can restore it for free anytime. With GoDaddy, you have to pay for the restoration of your site backup. Backup on request costs extra with both web hosts. If you are the type that takes a risk and likes to backup before your best out of risk, then both web hosts are not particularly cost-effective. Although the 1&1 IONOS 6 days backup can still serve you well, we’ve seen web hosts that do better.

1&1 IONOS wins this round too: both web hosts have your run-of-the-mill security measures. 1&1 IONOS only takes the edge in backup and restore.

Ease of use

When it comes to ease of use, we like to talk about usability more than control, because of one important reason: it has to be convenient for everyone. And convenience does not only lie in a web host being easy to use for a beginner. You want to make life easy for beginners but you don’t want to alienate developers, that’s the essence of usability. It starts with the signing up process.

Set up

The sign-up process and the subsequent set up of your website represents a speedy process for both web hosts. They have also made payment easy with the plethora of options that they have.

Payment MethodGoDaddy1&1 IONOS
Credit / Debit/ Prepaid CardsYESYES
PayPalYESYES
AliPayYESNO
Wire TransferYESNO
SkrillYESNO
AstroPay CardYESNO
Check PaymentsYESNO
Money OrderYESNO

Control Panel and Dashboard

When it comes to the choice of a control panel, cPanel is still the industry standard.

GoDaddy plays a safe game by adopting cPanel back in 2014. They tried to have their in-house panel, but going with the crowd was just easier. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? Maybe, but 1&1 IONOS uses a proprietary control panel but it’s kind of annoying to use.

[Insert GoDaddy’s cPanel interface here]

That’s the custom cPanel that GoDaddy uses, and as you noticed, it’s graphically based. It makes use of icons just like cPanel, but with a few modifications. Newbies do not have to click directories to lead them to a new panel of hidden options and features. Everything is right there in front of you.

[Insert IONO’s proprietary control panel interface here]

With the simplistic look of 1&1 IONOS’s own control panel, things look simple at first and we were excited. But when you actually need to use it, it gets tricky. Sure, it isn’t crowded and it’s text-based instead of icons. But not everything is displayed on the screen. You need to block on options to take you to extra features. So there are hidden features and this could be a bit daunting for beginners or people who are used to cPanel.

Site Builder

1&1 IONOS also has at least 2 site builders. GoDaddy’s website builder is a part of its 3in1 GoCentral platform.

1&1 IONOS has MySites website builder. The turnkey site builder allows you to design stunning sites. You do not require coding skills or Photoshop skills. Using drag and drop tools, you can add modules, add pictures, widgets, videos etc. It allows for changes with the text as well as color and font. It’s all in the design. The website created with the MySites is also responsive. After creation, it automatically fits into any device, including mobile. Considering that the strength of MySites lies in its creation of e-commerce websites, the fact that it is mobile responsive is a delight. You can scan product barcodes, add stocks and remove all on your mobile.

The GoDaddy Website builder that comes with GoCentral is also a joy to use. No coding or editing skills required. Using a WYSIWYG, get your design exactly how you inserted it. GoCentral is nothing but beginners friendly. When we look at its dashboard and site builder, it makes total sense that GoDaddy is referred to as the entry-level web host for any beginners.

Both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS, also support a lot of popular CMS like Drupal and Joomla, Magento, etc. They can be installed in one click, sweet.

1&1 IONOS, in their bid to support e-commerce users, has been proactive in assisting users that want to set up a virtual market by creating a perfectly tailored e-commerce site builder, boldly named E-commerce website builder. Yep, being subtlety is not their strong suit, and why should it be? If you’ve got an ace in this crowded web building industry, flaunt it.

The builder is very similar to the first website builder that we spoke about earlier, and the only difference is that it comes with features peculiar to E-commerce website building like adding of shopping carts, gift cards, and high-performance tracking tools. Most of which GoCentral brings to the table for GoDaddy too. You can also add social media and e-commerce or business widgets from the store.

Overall, for website building, GoDaddy is more comfortable due to its simple interface and website creation. Automatic WordPress installation with 1&1 IONOS is not available through a single click. We cannot be playing peekaboo with WordPress when GoDaddy has a single click installation feature for it.

You’ve seen their designs and templates, but which is more flexible? Which gives you more control? GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS are decent as regards ease of use overall. But only GoDaddy paid maximum attention to making the life of beginners a whole lot easier.

Customization and Design

Both web hosts build easily customizable websites. With 1&1 IONOS, users utilize their award-winning drag-and-drop interface to customize websites. You can also add social media and e-commerce widgets. The interface is not a free service though, and it comes at $4.99 per month.

GoDaddy, on the other hand, is known for its drag-and-drop interface, as well as its WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platform. The GoCentral site builder creates secure URLs and renderable HTML.

With either of them, you can change font and color scheme, personalize texts and typefaces as well as insert pictures and videos. But overall, there is a restriction in customization (unlike website builders-only solutions like Wix and Squarespace) and both web hosts make use of pre-population of templates.

Your text and visual-based website editor, as well as the SEO optimization (questionnaire-based), are optimized for convenience. You do not need coding knowledge or prior experience with visual and graphical software like Picasa or Photoshop. Both web hosts have an easy-to-see toolbar.

App Integrations and support

1&1 IONOS supports apps that help you integrate photo galleries, online scheduling, customer reviews, social media widgets, and maps. Its E-commerce builder easily integrates Amazon, eBay, and Google as well as tons of payment schemes and shipping processes. So little plan, so many features!

Marketplace and one-click installations

The sheer 1&1 IONOS Marketplace feature gives users access to a marketplace where they can buy WordPress themes, professional services, and even purchase new add-ons if they so wish. With GoDaddy, you have access to the MOJO marketplace. Through the marketplace, you can get apps, themes, and plugins installed.

With 1and1’s MySites, you can incorporate Webapps like Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps for route planning.

Marketing, Google Analytics, and SEO rankings

Whatever CMS you want to use SEO with, 1&1 IONOS has video tutorials to show you a step-by-step guide to setting up the SEO of your website. With GoDaddy, well, let’s say your site doesn’t suffer from a lack of marketing. They have an SEO wizard and questionnaire to solve your SEO problems. But your pocket suffers from upsells.

GoDaddy essentially creates SEO problems for you (something that other web hosts don’t have to do) and then offer to sell you the remedy. Not to mention that GoDaddy’s Personal plan is missing SEO features.

1&1 IONOS also has rankingCoach which helps you track your SEO ranking and consequently enables you to improve it. And what’s better? 1&1 IONOS SEO supports many languages with multilingual tools and supports. That’s right, if your customer searches for your product using the German language, you still show on Google.

Suffice it to say, if this comparison was determined by SEO alone, 1&1 IONOS would get some good points in before GoDaddy even realized it’s in the ring. Unlike 1&1 IONOS (which has its mountain of upsells elsewhere, e.g. security), the fact that GoDaddy has to rely on upsells to grant you SEO optimization is, to say the least, somewhat unsavory.

Site Migration, Domains, and Privacy

GoDaddy charges you a whiplash $99 to migrate from another web host to theirs. The alternative is moving it yourself. Do you know what we like to see in a web host? Shock inducing migration costs. That’s how you get people to sign up.

Both web hosts give you a free domain, GoDaddy offers it on an annual plan and provides free WHOIS privacy for it.

The domain included in the 1&1 IONOS package remains free for the life of the contract. There is no price increase upon renewal. The free domain only includes the .com, .biz, .org, .me, .online, .net, .us, .ca, and .info extensions. GoDaddy offers a .com domain with their standard package for $11.99 in the 1st year and $17.99 in the 2nd.

GoDaddy balances control and convenience:  To put it into perspective, setting up a website with GoDaddy’s GoCentral website builder is like signing up for a Facebook or Twitter account. Simple, fast, but limited. We’ll take that over IONO’s frustrating interface.

Customer Support and Reliability

The web hosting industry is like the Wild West. Good and reliable support is hard to find. Let’s see what GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS have to offer.

GoDaddy has the following options for support: Email, help desk, phone / toll-free, forum, live chat, and they are all available 24/7. 1&1 IONOS also has email, help desk Phone / Toll-Free, live chat, and forum, all available 24/7.

First Contact

GoDaddy has 8,000 employees working round-the-clock to satisfy millions of customers. As is the case with every huge web host, we know it will be hard for them to meet the needs of all users effectively, but GoDaddy tries nonetheless. GoDaddy’s WordPress paid plans come with 24/7 support via email, live chat, and VideoPress, and a decent shared hosting support. Live chat is usually the fastest support option, so naturally, it’s what most people would attempt to use. That’s precisely why we tried it out.

It took a while and a few tries (about 4 trials, a total of 40 minutes hold time), but we were able to get through to GoDaddy’s support. We like to know if the guy on the other end was a human and not a bot. So we proceeded to ask technical questions, solutions to problems we didn’t have (but you could have) and the guy that attended to us was very knowledgeable.

We’ve also tried chat support from 1&1 IONOS and were impressed with the response time. We got a reply in under 2 minutes on average. Unfortunately, though, we were not ok with the expertise (or the lack of it thereof) of the 1&1 IONOS reps. We tried asking difficult questions and we were transferred to another agent once the query got too technical. It was like they had a higher up brain box named Albert that should only be disturbed when and only when it is absolutely necessary. The experience was more or less the same as the phone channel too. Although to be fair, though the email response took time (under 24 hours), all of our questions are usually addressed. We guess 1&1 IONOS hasn’t quite breached the intercontinental barrier yet.

Knowledgebase

Both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS have lots of articles and tutorials that answer the most basic questions. GoDaddy has a sleek advantage through their forums and the popular GoDaddy Garage platform.

1&1 IONOS, to round it up, has something different for small businesses, especially startups. They decided to build a startup guide that is essentially a library of articles on how to start a limited liability company and how to create a work schedule using excel. Asides from the initial difficulty of navigating the user interface, 1&1 IONOS actually provides a lot of help for new users.

The customer support of GoDaddy is pretty much the same of what 1&1 IONOS can deliver. There is still a reassuring comfort knowing that it’s a big company that has not neglected the internet toddler. Be it because of the expansive library or the well-rounded army of support or the fact that it has the curiously named but capable GoDaddy garage. GoDaddy does not slack too much, and for a juggernaut web host, that makes all the difference.

Support is a tie: Do we believe GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS are decent? Yes. Do we think one is better than the other? No, not really.

Plans and Pricing

Both GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS, as powerhouses, offer plans for all the types of hosting we can think of; GoDaddy offers shared hosting, VPS, cloud, domains, website builder, web design and emails. 1&1 IONOS provides shared hosting, VPS, cloud, domains, website builder, and dedicated hosting.

Shared Hosting Plans

1&1 IONOS has 3 shared hosting plans, compared to GoDaddy’s 4 plans. 1&1 IONOS has Business, Pro, and Expert. Meanwhile, GoDaddy has Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate, and Maximum plans.

Tier 1 plans

GoDaddy’s Basic plan is the Economy and it comes with 24/7 support infrastructure, one website, 100GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails, and one free domain (with the annual plan). The introductory price is $5.99 which is a promotional offer and the renewal price is $8.99.

1&1 IONOS’s Business Plan costs $1 per month for the first month (you pay original price $8/month upon renewal). It comes with unlimited websites hosted, databases, storage, 50 email accounts, and a free domain.

There isn’t much difference in price, but 1&1 IONOS has the $1 advantage, practically dashing out its plans at the smallest cost. They both offer roughly the same specs, but GoDaddy offers unlimited emails compared to 1&1 IONOS’s 50 emails. We do think it is just a marketing tactic though, how many emails does a single website user really need? Also, we have learned (the hard way) not to trust the unlimited buzzword.

Tier 2 plans

GoDaddy’s medium-range plan is the Deluxe plan. It comes with all the features of the Economy plan and has the added advantage of unlimited websites, storage, and subdomains. It costs $7.99 (however, you have to pay $11.99 to renew).

For a single dollar (for the first 6 months) you get 1&1 IONOS’s Pro Plan ($10/mo renewal). It is good for larger web projects (up to 5 websites) with a free domain and 250GB of storage and SiteLock protection.

Once again, we are skeptical of the term unlimited, a recurring trick word in this comparison. But if they are to be believed, then 1&1 IONOS’s plan is limited compared to GoDaddy’s tier 2 plan.

Tier 3 plans

GoDaddy’s Ultimate plan which can be purchased at $5.99 (The renewal fee is $16.99). It has all the features of the deluxe plan, and in addition, has double the processing power, a free SSL certificate (for a single term) and unlimited databases. So, GoDaddy does offer a free SSL certificate but only on higher-tier plans.

1&1 IONOS’s next plan is the expert plan, and, as the name implies, it is for experts that costs $1 per month for the first 6 months. (fee $14/mo on renewal). Allows 50 websites, has a full security package and 500GB of storage.  It comes with 500 databases and 500 emails.

For the first time, there is a substantial difference in renewal prices, as 1&1 IONOS’s renewal prices take a dive on GoDaddy’s $17.

Tier 4 plans

GoDaddy’s highest Shared hosting plan is the Maximum Plan and it costs $12.99 for an initial purchase and $24.99 upon renewal. It comes with the Ultimate plan features and ×2 the processing power and memory, ×2 maximum site traffic and a free SSL certificate for the full term. 1&1 IONOS has no tier 4 plan.

1&1 IONOS beats GoDaddy at its own game: offering the lowest promotional prices. It provides all of its shared hosting plans at a discounted $1 per month. Although all its plans have caps, we are glad they are honest with it. Unlike GoDaddy (and most other web hosts) that slams “unlimited everything” on all their plans like a trademark, but in reality, it’s what they consider reasonable usage.

Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

GoDaddy, like in the shared hosting aspect, also has four managed WordPress hosting plans. All GoDaddy managed WordPress hosting plans come with:

  • Access to thousands of free themes and plugins.
  • Automatic WordPress Core software and security updates.
  • Free domain with an annual plan.
  • Free daily backups & 1-click restore.
  • Free 24/7 Support.
  • Premium WordPress Hosting Platform.
  • 150+ interactive WordPress walkthroughs and training videos.
  • One-click migration tool.
  • WordPress search engine optimization (SEO) plugin.
  • Stage-before-you-show-environment built-in.
  • Malware removal.
  • Thousands of pre-screened plugins.
  • Free (1) Microsoft Office 365 Email 1st year free (optional).
  • 99.9% uptime promise and money-back guarantee.

Basic Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

GoDaddy’s basic plan, which is appropriately named the Basic Plan, comes with one website, 10 GB SSD worth of space, and maximum traffic of 25,000 visitors per month. The cost of the initial price is $4.99 with a discount price (if 12 mo.) coupon $0.99 /mo. The price for Basic Plan renewal, though, is $9.99 per month. You also get SFTP access and Free domain with an annual plan.

Medium Range Managed WordPress Plan

GoDaddy’s medium-range WordPress hosting plan is the Deluxe plan which comes at an initial cost of $7.99, and $4.49 /month discount/coupon code price. (renewal is $14.99). It allows one website, a maximum of 100k visitors per month, 15GB SSD space, support of free daily backups, malware scans, built-in sign-up forms, and a free domain. With Deluxe, you also get:

  • SSH / SFTP access.
  • Free Domain with an annual plan.
  • One-click staging site.
  • Search engine optimization plugin.

High Range Managed WordPress Hosting Plans

Like Shared Hosting Plans, GoDaddy has two high-level plans and they are the Ultimate and Pro 5+ Plans. The Ultimate plan can be purchased for $9.99 ($19.99) per month and offers 2 websites, 30GB of SSD storage, a free SSL certificate for the first year, a maximum of 400k visitors, and all the features of the extra Deluxe plan. But you also get:

  • SSH / SFTP access
  • Search engine optimized for 2 sites.
  • SSL certificate for one year.
  • Malware scan and removal.

GoDaddy’s highest plan is the Pro 5+ or the Developer plan and it offers 5-50 websites, support of up to 800k monthly visitors, a free SSL certificate per site, 50-200GB of storage and all the other features of the Ultimate plan before it. It costs $27.99 (same as renewal). You also get the pro version of the Features in the ultimate plan.

Website Builder Plan

On a month to month basis, 1&1 IONOS charges $5/month, while GoDaddy charges $20/month, but at a reduced rate of $15/month, If you would sign up for 12 months at a time.

Unlike GoDaddy which only offers its free domain for the first year, 1&1 IONOS is giving an unconditionally free domain for life. Both web hosts give free SSL, but only 1&1 IONOS offers free Wildcard SSL. GoDaddy offers you 5 free email accounts for the first year but 1&1 IONOS offers it for life.

E-commerce Hosting

1&1 IONOS has two types of pricing plans: e-commerce and non-e-commerce.

The e-commerce or “Online plan” has been discussed above, but the three e-commerce plans range from $15-$45/month as seen below:

  • Online Store: $15/month. It allows you to stock up to 5,000 products.
  • Online Store Advanced: $25/month. It allows you to stock up to 10,000 products.
  • Online Store Expert: $45/month. It allows you to stock up to 1,000,000 products.

With each e-commerce plan, the limitation of your integration reduces. E.g with the Online Store plan, you are stuck with Facebook. The Online Store Advanced plan lets you integrate Instagram, and with the Online Store Expert plan, you get the main buffet: Amazon and eBay.

They all come with a free domain and email accounts, social media and business widgets, and a multilingual translator tool. Let’s not mince words; 1&1 IONOS’s e-commerce pricing is a delight.

Cloud Hosting

1&1 IONOS’s plans are as follows:

Cloud Server SizeCPU CoresRAMSSD StoragePrice per hour
XS1512 MB30 GB$0.0069
S11 GB40 GB$0.0111
M22 GB60 GB$0.0222
L24 GB80 GB$0.0333
XL48 GB120 GB$0.0694
XXL816 GB160 GB$0.1389
3XL1224 GB240 GB$0.2222
4XL1632 GB360 GB$0.3333
5XL2448 GB480 GB$0.5

Please keep in mind that prices per hour can result in a maximum amount per month you can pay for each server and all the CPU’s are Intel® Xeon® Processors.

VPS Hosting

GoDaddy has Virtual Private Servers plans which offer ultra-fast SSDs and flexibility with HTTP/2, Ubuntu, IPv6, Nginx, Node.js and more. Lightning-fast servers with root access, blazing-fast networking powered by open APIs through OpenStack. GoDaddy offers 4 Linux and Windows-based server plans: Launch, Enhance, Grow and Expand plans. The company also offers monthly data transfer and unlimited domains. For both web hosts, prices shoot upon renewal.

We will analyze GoDaddy’s VPS plans below side-by-side with a picture of 1&1 IONOS’s plans.

With GoDaddy’s VPS, you can select between 2 different operating systems and, subsequently a preferred OS too. Your choices, should you choose to pick one, are: Linux, CentOS or Windows Server.

Tiers 1 plan

GoDaddy’s equivalent, the Launch VPS plan (For $30.99 a month), comes with 1 CPU core (virtually allocated CPU), 2GB RAM, 40GB storage, unlimited bandwidth. Presently, the plan can be purchased at a discounted price of $13.26 per year, and for $40.99, you can upgrade your storage capacity to 60GB.

Tiers 2 plans

GoDaddy’s Enhanced VPS plan is priced at $20.27 per month and comes with 2 virtually allocated CPU cores, 4GB ram, and 90GB storage unlimited bandwidth. Like the launch plan, the discounted price also applies during renewal.

Tiers 3 plans

GoDaddy’s Grow VPS plan costs $35.87 without discounts, but $23.8 with discounts. The plan comes with 3 virtual CPU cores, 6GB of RAM, and 150GB storage. For $60.99 per month, you can expand your storage to 120GB worth of storage with unlimited bandwidth.

Tiers 4 plans

At a discounted price of $31.2, GoDaddy’s Expand VPS plan offers four virtual CPU cores, 8GB of ram, and 200GB storage. To qualify to pay the discounted amount, you must be paying for an annual plan or multiple years in advance. For $140.99 per month, you can use 240GB worth of RAM with unlimited bandwidth.

Detailed specifications of GoDaddy’s VPS hosting plans

Clauses: GoDaddy’s Windows plans cost around $10 extra per month. The GoDaddy plans promise unlimited bandwidth and a range of 40GB to 250GB of storage, depending on your plan.

Comparing their basic VPS plans, this is what GoDaddy has to offer against 1&1 IONOS:

GoDaddy1&1 IONOS
Starting prices$24.99/mo$5/mo
Disk Space (SSD)40 GB80 GB
Data TransferUnmeteredUnmetered
Hosted DomainsUnlimitedUnlimited
Free DomainNoneNone
CPU2x Intel E5-2620V32vCores
Dedicated IPs11
Control PanelcPanel/WHMVMware
Server locationsUSUS/Germany/Spain

Dedicated Server Hosting

Just like their VPS plan, both 1&1 IONOS and GoDaddy offer Windows and Linux operating system options, and they have different tiers of plans to meet the requirements of customers.

GoDaddy offers five dedicated Windows plans which are about $30 more expensive than its features equivalent Linux plans. GoDaddy’s dedicated hosting plans all have unlimited bandwidth, boasting of dedicated hosting plans which grant root access and provide fast web servers for users. Still, then again, it’s a dedicated server, we expect nothing less.

Meanwhile, with 1&1 IONOS, no set up is charged, billing is per minute, and there seems to be no cap. You also get a bonus of $100 credit in your first month.

Level 1

GoDaddy’s DS-32 plan runs on the Intel Xeon-D 2123IT processor:

This plan will set you back a whopping $78 per month. This is a discounted price of 23% off, and you can only qualify for the discount if you pay for an annual plan or pay for years in advance. The plan comes with  2 x 4 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1), 4C/8T, 3.0 GHz Turbo, 32 GB DDR4 RAM.

1&1 IONOS has 5 plans that can compete in this category. Both SSD and HDD.

L-16 HDD at $0.0972 /hour  = max. $70/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 16 GB DDR4 ECC, 1,000 GB (2 x 1,000 GB SATA), and Software RAID 1 with a free lifetime domain. You also get:

Dedicated IPs: 1

Control Panel: KVM

Server location options: United States, Germany, Spain.

L-16 SSD at $0.1111 /hour  = max. $80/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 16 GB DDR4 ECC, 480 GB (2 x 480 GB SSD), and Software RAID 1

L-32 HDD at $0.1111 /hour  = max. $80/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 1,000 GB (2 x 1,000 GB SATA), and Software RAID 1.

L-32 SSD at $0.1250 /hour  = max. $90/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 v6; 4 cores x 3.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 480 GB (2 x 480 GB SSD), and Software RAID 1

XL-32 HDD at $0.1389 /hour  = max. $100/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 2,000 GB (2 x 2,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

Level 2

GoDaddy’s DS-64 plan runs on the Intel Xeon-E 2136 processor:

With 22% off on plans purchased for more than a year, the plan is priced at $169.99 per month. It comes with 64 GB DDR4 RAM, 2 x 4 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1) and 6C/12T, 4.5 GHz Turbo.

1&1 IONOS has 2 SSD and 1 HDD plans in this category:

XL-32 SSD at $0.1667 /hour  = max. $120/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 32 GB DDR4 ECC, 800 GB (2 x 800 GB SSD), and Hardware RAID 1

XL-64 HDD at $0.1806 /hour  = max. $130/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 64 GB

DDR4 ECC, 2,000 GB (2 x 2,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

XL-64 SSD at $0.2083 /hour  = max. $150/month.

Intel® Xeon® E3-1270 v6; 4 cores x 3.8 GHz, 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 64 GB DDR4 ECC, 800 GB (2 x 800 GB SSD), and Hardware RAID 1.

Level 3

GoDaddy’s DS-128 plan runs on AMD EPYC™ 7351P processor:

Users can save up to 16% when they purchase an annual or multi-year plan at $299.99. You are given 16C/32T cores and thread, 2.9 GHz Turbo speed, 128GB DDR4 RAM, and 2 x 8 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1).

1&1 IONOS has two plans that fall in this category:

XXL-96 HDD at $0.2500 /hour  = max. $180/month.

Intel® Xeon® Silver 4123; 8 cores x 3.0 GHz, 3.2 GHz Turbo Boost, 96 GB DDR4 ECC, 4,000 GB (2 x 4,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

3XL-192 HDD at $0.3333 /hour  = max. $240/month.

Intel® Xeon® Gold 6126; 12 cores x 2.6 GHz, 3.7 GHz Turbo Boost, 192 GB DDR4 ECC, 4,000 GB, (2 x 4,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1

Level 4

GoDaddy’s DS-256 plan runs on AMD EPYC 7351P processor:

This is their highest plan (as high as it gets), and can it be purchased at $399.99. You get 16C/32T cores and threads, 2.9 GHz Turbo speed, 256 GB DDR4 RAM, and 2 x 8 TB HDD Storage (RAID-1).

1&1 IONOS has the 4XL-192 HDD at $0.3889 /hour  = max. $280/month.

Intel® Xeon® Gold 6210U; 20 cores x 2.5 GHz, 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost, 192 GB, DDR4 ECC, 4,000 GB (2 x 4,000 GB SATA), and Hardware RAID 1.

Money-back Guarantee Policy

Both web hosts have the standard 30 days money-back guarantee.

Hidden Charges and Upsells

It’s safe to say that both web hosts participate in the trick introductory prices. 1&1 IONOS upsells you in security while GoDaddy has all its plans punctuated by upsells ditches.

Let us put it this way: 1&1 IONOS definitely has more advanced features in the plans but they are usually capped (e.g. 250gb SSD instead of 1TB HDD). GoDaddy, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many features, but the few they have are often robust and many are unlimited.

1&1 IONOS is cheaper: let it be known that GoDaddy has lost the pricing battle to 1&1 IONOS. While GoDaddy has more “unlimited” offers that could make it’s slightly expensive offers worth it, 1&1 IONOS has enough features to equalize.

Extras of GoDaddy and 1&1 IONOS

GoDaddy has the following icing on its cake:

  • has affiliate programs;
  • offers an integrated domain name and complete security;
  • has Unlimited storage and bandwidth with all its premium plans;
  • besides site building, GoDaddy also offers SEO, online marketing, and design services for additional fees;
  • has a wider range of options in web hosting; WordPress, VPS and dedicated server web hosting options;

GoDaddy has the benefit of convenience and fast site creation speed by anyone with no prior knowledge of site creation.

Let’s see what extras 1&1 IONOS has to offer us:

  • provides several cloud services;
  • makes use of the HTTP/2 protocol;
  • offers the services of two website builders;
  • has a proprietary backend interface separate from cPanel or Plesk;
  • has an online accounting program for invoices;
  • assigns consultants to new users; these consultants are point men that users can turn to for questions, whenever the need arises;

GoDaddy vs. 1&1 IONOS Major Differences

Let’s look at the main differences between both of these Web-hosts.

  • GoDaddy has cPanel, while 1&1 IONOS has a proprietary control panel;
  • 1&1 IONOS sites respond faster than GoDaddy’s;
  • 1&1 IONOS offers free site transfer, GoDaddy doesn’t;
  • GoDaddy edges out 1&1 IONOS in uptime;
  • GoDaddy has a beginner-friendly user interface than 1&1 IONOS;
  • GoDaddy has four shared hosting plans, 1&1 IONOS has only three;

Conclusion

In terms of speed and uptime, 1&1 IONOS is ahead but not by a margin substantial enough to be used as a victory yardstick. Both web hosts have their strengths and shortcomings. They are both guilty of upsells, and they perform sub-par in areas where juggernaut web hosts like them should not drop the ball. But overall, they are above average web hosts (at least better than WordPress.com).

Both web hosts tie in most of our metrics, with either managing to snag only a few categories. The comparison comes down to usability, and that’s where GoDaddy shines. GoDaddy versus 1&1 IONOS? If only by a few steps, GoDaddy takes the crown.

3 Best Adult Web Hosting Companies for Hosting for XXX Websites

When you hear “Adult Web Hosting” you probably think of nudity and sex, and that’s a good chunk of it, but there are plenty of other adult topics that aren’t necessarily suitable for minors to view or read, and topics that, while legal, may still run afoul of the terms and conditions of many popular mainstreaming hosting companies.

If you’re a webcam model looking to secure your place on the internet, or you’re looking to spin up your very own Tube site and go for the moon, the last thing you want to worry about is that lingering possibility of waking up one morning and finding that your site has been shut down for a terms of service violation.

That can end up costing you time, money, and aggravation that far exceeds your monthly hosting bill, so saving a dollar or two isn’t really worth it.

via Iconfinder

There are also plenty of Adult Novelty sites that include some of the biggest websites in the world that generate Millions of dollars a year of profits for their owners. The last thing these web masters want is their adult toy store to get shutdown due to a Host not approving their Products and/or content. Examples include PlugJoy.com, Adam and Eve, KliXXX and ErosLove that sell all sorts of Adult Toys and more have hosting accounts that need 100% up-time for their sales and services.

Now, you may be just fine flying under the radar on any regular host for quite a while, but all it takes is one employee and their own loose interpretation of what’s allowed and what you’re doing to get you shut down, at least temporarily – even sites like Tumblr that showcase adult toys end up hiding Adult oriented content from viewers.

Not only that, but some of your pics or videos could get featured on a popular site, and all of a sudden you’re getting piles of unexpected traffic – that’s when you REALLY need a host that’s got your back!

Here’s the Top Adult Web Hosting Companies of 2018:

3. Exmasters.com

This brand was founded in the early 2000’s, and is still kicking, which is always a good sign. They mostly offer hosting for adult websites and won’t bat at eye at something a little more explicit or risqué.

They have a variety of server types that you can use ranging from Virtual servers, Dedicated servers, and more. They don’t have any steep setup fees, and their virtual plans are surprisingly affordable.

Visit Them Here to Get Started:

https://www.exmasters.com

2. SiteValley.com

SiteValley is a newer player in the game, but they are taking things very seriously, including price, performance, and adult hosting.

They have shared hosting packages that run around $50 per year or less depending on current specials, and they offer un-metered storage, bandwidth, a Free domain, professional support is included, a 30 day money back guarantee if you change your mind, and a 99.9% up-time guarantee.

SiteValley doesn’t ONLY do adult websites, so they have a big enough customer-base to stay afloat without having to rely entirely on that one niche. But they are also very specific about allowing adult websites, which isn’t something you find with every more mainstream host, so they’re a great bridge between standard and adult sites.

While they do offer un-metered resources, that doesn’t mean you can go and run a big tube site where you host tons of videos on their servers. If you do start drawing so many resources that you’re slowing down the shared servers for other customers, you’ll run into issues, but that’s okay because their cheaper plans aren’t really built for that anyways.

This is perfect for membership sites, or as a hub for models to promote their other platforms.

Visit Them Here to Get Started:

https://sitevalley.com

1. ViceTemple.com

Here’s the host that goes in all for adult content. The first thing you see when you visit their homepage are a few sets of cartoon boobs, so you know they mean business. In their own words, they say “
When it comes to sexual preferences, we are very liberal. So whether you are running a dark fetish community, or you are starting a controversial fantasy blog, we will accept you with much pleasure.”

This is the type of host that you can trust your adult content with. To take it a step further, they ignore any incoming copyright claims and their list of banned content is very short: anything with real violence, animals, or minors. Other than that, they say, and they’re all set.

Visit Them Here to Get Started:

vicetemple.com

Final Thoughts

ViceTemple is the newest brand on our list, but they’re also the one that’s going all-in for hosting adult content and making sure to protect their clients. You may be just fine using something like HostGator, but you never know when you could run into troubles or offend a certain staff member or any other number of things that can cause a serious hiccup in your adult business.

It’s better to go with a web host that’s designed for Adult Toys or Content, and used to it, and actively encouraging it on their platform, rather than a host that may or may not simply put up with it.

Top 6 SiteGound Alternatives You Should Not Overlook in 2019

It’s no question that SiteGround is a top pick when it comes to website hosting, their WordPress platform has long since been regarded among the best options available. With prestigious recommendations from sites such as WordPress.org and WPBeginner.com, their growth in the industry has been enormous.

Since opening the doors in 2004, SiteGround has experienced continued success through development, placing heavy emphasis on building a unique yet effective platform. Offering feature-rich, high-quality services at affordable prices, their plans appeal to a large majority in the market for hosting.

Coupled with state of the art hosting infrastructure, cutting edge tools developed in-house and fantastic 24/7 customer support, they check all of the boxes we look for in a quality website host.

While you may be waiting for the “but” to come, the truth of the matter is they are truly exceptional. Still, they are not without their flaws and that is our focus in this article. We will explain the problem with SiteGround, how it may affect you as a website owner and look at what alternatives you can consider instead.

So What is the Problem with SiteGround?

The short answer to this question is CPU Seconds.

To better explain this limitation, each of the SiteGround plans come with a Suitable for X Visits Monthly, where X ranges from 10K and 100K depending on the package. While this may seem like a suggestion since bandwidth is unlimited, it is in fact a hard cap on the total page visits. Each time a PHP page is loaded, this counts towards your maximum executions (CPU Seconds limit) and for high volume websites, they can certainly start to add up quick.

Although this is not necessarily a problem per say, it may be a concern for those expecting considerable traffic. As you begin to approach the specified cap, you will receive an automated e-mail informing you that your service may be suspended. One potential option is to upgrade the plan, however this may come as a shock to those unaware of the situation beforehand.

If the CPU Seconds may pose problems for you at SiteGround, we will look at the best alternatives for website hosting in 2018.

Here are the Best Alternatives to SiteGround:

  • Bluehost
  • Inmotion Hosting
  • A2 Hosting
  • WP Engine
  • Kinsta
  • Flywheel

1. Bluehost

We often shy away from companies owned by the infamous EIG (Endurance International Group), but Bluehost is one of the rare exceptions that manage to do things right. In contrast to the usage limitations we find at SiteGround, Bluehost offers a truly unlimited platform in which to build your website.

For those that prefer a set it and forget it approach, avoiding the hassle of unexpected overages can be the deciding factor when choosing the right company. Bluehost still has the basic fine print to ensure legitimate content is being served, but their Terms of Service are much less invasive to the average webmaster.

Aside from the basics caps on their entry level starter plan, your websites can utilize as much storage, bandwidth and other resources that they need to operate, making it the perfect solution for clients of all sizes.

Getting Started with Bluehost

When you are ready to take the plunge, the setup process just couldn’t be any easier. Their plans, features and support are heavily centered around WordPress, yet their platform has countless options to choose from.

If you are looking to create a store through Shopify, or a PhpBB forum for discussions, they have automated 1-click installers available for every popular solution. Regardless of where your needs lie, the Bluehost control panel has the tools to create exactly what you want with ease.

From the moment you make the purchase, you are taken step by step from start to finish. Just choose the plan that fits your needs, pick out a free domain name for the website and the rest is cake.

Using the industry standard cPanel/WHM control panel, you can do anything from setup a customized e-mail address (such as becky@bestnewcandles.com) to loading WordPress with the click of a button. There is even a Site Builder tool to unleash your creativity, using building blocks to piece together that beautiful website design as per your specifications.

There is no limitation as to what you can accomplish and Bluehost provides the tools to make it possible. Their platform is simple to use, yet feature rich and powerful.

Customer Service and Self-Help Resources

Questions and issues will arise from time to time, it is just part of the overall hosting experience. When that time does come, you can rest easy knowing that Bluehost has you covered. Their team is comprised of more than 700 technical minds, committed to providing the best service in the industry. With a range of WordPress experts and developers on staff, they can assist with problems of any complexity, although their knowledge and support don’t stop there. Familiar with the entire library of software solutions available at Bluehost, their agents can often answer questions or point you in the right direction regardless of the topic.

For less urgent matters or those inclined to learn on their own time, they also provide a massive self-help resources, packed with hundreds of articles on every possible aspect of website hosting.

Whether you are learning the ins and outs of WordPress, setting up an E-Mail address or configuring a MySQL database, they have well written documentation for all of it. If you hit a brick wall and just can’t figure something out, their team is available 24/7 via Phone, Live Chat and the Support Desk to help you along the way.

Bluehost is our top pick because…

  • Setup Process: Their website hosting service is one of the easiest to use, taking less than 5 minutes to bring a new website online. With hundreds of software solutions available as a 1-click install, you can pick your favorite platform and have it running within seconds.
  • WordPress Hosting: The WordPress CMS (Content Management System) currently powers more than 25% of the websites all over the world. As the number one hosting recommendation by WordPress.org, Bluehost offers the most simple, yet powerful environment for customers looking to launch a WordPress website.
  • Free Domain Name: Every website needs a unique name on the internet and Bluehost recognizes this requirement. They include (1) free domain name registration with every website hosting package.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: With a team of more than 700 support personnel, many specializing in certain areas of the hosting industry, you can get assistance with any question or issue. Available 24/7 across multiple channels, you can reach one of their live agents instantly and find the answers that you need.
  • Unlimited Hosting: While certain providers embed limits to cap a website’s monthly usage, Bluehost offers a truly unlimited platform. Aside from the entry level package, your website(s) can utilize as much storage and bandwidth as they require, meaning no maximum page visits.

2. Inmotion Hosting

Inmotion Hosting is an absolute dinosaur of the hosting industry. In business since 1997, they are still one of the largest providers more than 20 years later. Being one of the few remaining companies that are still independently owned, they do things a little different from the competition to set themselves apart.

We can appreciate their unique approach to the business though, not every provider should be cut from the same mold. With more than 70 awards, including CNET’s recommendation as the #1 choice for website hosting, Inmotion Hosting has planted themselves firmly among the best.

While their prices are slightly higher than that of most competitors, they more than justify the costs considering what is included. Not only is their hosting platform completely unlimited (storage, bandwidth and e-mail), this even extends to their lowest cost starter plan as well.

Better yet, compared to the 1 website maximum we are quite familiar with, the entry plan supports 2 sites on the same account. The upgraded tiers obviously incorporate greater incentives, however these are performance boosts rather than resource caps on utilization.

We have looked at Inmotion Hosting before, providing a complete look into what you can expect when hosting with their business. If you are interested in reading more, you can find a full breakdown of their company and services at Inmotion Hosting Review for Fast, Reliable Websites. For those who may have some objection to Bluehost, this is an excellent alternative to check out.

3. A2 Hosting

Started back in 2003, around the same time that SiteGround and Bluehost opened for business, A2 Hosting has been a fairly substantial force in the hosting industry. They never quite established themselves at the top of the pack, yet they are still a driving force in the market.

Investing considerable time and effort over the past few years, they continue to push the quality of their services and are now one of the best options available.

Since our gripe with SiteGround is the usage limitations, A2 Hosting’s uncapped platform is a perfect alternative. Storage space and bandwidth are unlimited across all plans, and outside of several restrictions on the entry level “Lite” package, your websites are free to utilize as many resources as needed.

The more expensive choices include certain performance incentives, most notably their Turbo feature that boosts page speeds by up to 20x. Regardless of the plan you choose though, you won’t suddenly find your website suspended for too many visitors.

We won’t delve into the specifics of A2 Hosting as we have reviewed them previously, however you can find our full length article at here. If you are still on the fence with our other recommendations, definitely check them out and see if they better fit your needs.

They are the closest alternative to SiteGround in terms of performance optimizations, where this may appeal to those looking to squeeze every ounce of speed out of a shared hosting plan.

High-End SiteGround Replacements

While our recommended alternatives offer excellent services, some projects do require more than these low cost hosting solutions can provide. For those looking to find premium tier website platforms, here are a few other options for your consideration.

4. WP Engine

image via wpbeginner.com

WP Engine is one of the Top Competitors & Replacements for Siteground. They have extensive knowledge and server hosting capabilities for not only High Volume sites, but for Small-business and ecommerce based sites.

We highly recommend you check them out before making a decision if you are in the market for a Performance Focused and highly dependable company. WP Engine has outstanding Up-time as well security measures and plugins built-in that come with every hosting package you can purchase.

They take Pride on being the Rolls Royce of WordPress Hosting Companies and we’ve used them in our own test sites and saw extremely high Performance from them.

5. Kinsta

kinsta

Kinsta is another Big Player in the High Performance WordPress Hosting arena – They offer Excellent Customer Service, Fast-Loading WordPress site hosting and many more features that compete with Siteground as an Alternative.

There plans range from $30/month up to $900/month for their Enterprise 2 plan that allows you up to 80 WP Installs and 120GB of Diskspace.

Some notable features of Kinsta are as follows:

  • Free SSL Certificate
  • FREE CDN with Any Package you BUY!.
  • Free Migrations on all Plans ! (other than Starter package)
  • Free Bacukps (retention Periods of 12, 20 & 30 Days depending on Plan!)
  • Staging Area
  • PHP 7 and HHVM Support
  • Site Cloning Features
  • Multisite Support for Hosting packages (except Starter)
  • SSH Access (except for Starter & Pro plan)
  • NGINX, LXD, PHP 7, MariaDB all Hosted on Google Cloud Platform!

Kinsta’s Offerings is looking to shape up to be one of the Best WP Hosting Platforms we’ve ever reviewed! The fact that they are on the cutting edge of Speed and Innovation with their Stack really speaks volumes of their progressiveness in the Hosting field amongst companies who simply don’t care to innovate!

6. Flywheel

Flywheel is another great option for WordPress hosting and alternative for Siteground. They Provide many features that shared hosting companies we listed above don’t offer and have a well rounded offering that competes with WP and Kinsta.

Flywheel features include (but are not limited too):

  • Free Site Migrations
  • Free SSL Certificates for All Packages
  • FREE CDN For Professional Plan ($10/month for Tiny/Personal Plans)
  • Free Staging Site (only applies for Personal & Professional Plans)

Their Pricing Structure is built on 3 Plans:

  • Tiny: $14/month
  • Personal: $28/month
  • Professional: $69/month

SiteGround Alternatives – Our Pick

Launching a new website comes with countless decisions. Which hosting plan? What domain name? How much storage space? Choosing the right hosting provider though is the essential first step above all else.

The best companies will often make the rest of these questions simple, helping you along the way with comprehensive packages, free domain registration and unlimited resources.

We, of course, hold SiteGround in very high esteem, regarded as one of the best providers in the industry. Unfortunately the aforementioned CPU Seconds limit can be a deal breaker for some, especially websites with moderate to high visitor traffic.

In these cases, we instead look to their direct competitors, with the likes of Bluehost, Inmotion Hosting and A2 Hosting providing a truly unlimited hosting platform.

Bluehost is our first pick when it comes to website hosting of any kind, with low cost, high quality services, exceptional 24/7 customer support and a simple to use control panel experience. For those that feel they may be better suited elsewhere, Inmotion Hosting and A2 Hosting are both fantastic alternatives. They each have their own strengths that set them apart, and we expect you will find at least one of these can fulfill your individual list of needs and wants.

If you’re looking for a HIGH-Performance Hosting Platform with No Expense Spared, we Highly Recommend these 3:

  • WP Engine
  • Kinsta
  • Flywheel

Kinsta & WP Engine are the Leaders in the High-Performance WordPress Hosting arena and are continually refining their Offerings, Features, and Security every month to keep up to the latest demands of technology, speed and security!

Do you know of another great alternative to SiteGround that you would like to recommend? Our reviewers would love to hear your feedback and check out other companies that may fit the bill. Let us know and your suggestion may be added to our first list of alternative providers!

Best Hosting for WordPress in 2019 [Definitive Guide]

WordPress is our favorite platform for creating and maintaining a website. Whether you’re making a blog, a website for your school or organization, a small business website to attract new customers, an eCommerce shop to sell your wares around the world, or any other of the countless things you can do with a website, WordPress makes it incredibly easy to put your vision into motion.

Best Hosting for WordPress
Helping you choose the BEST hosting for WordPress…

WordPress is what we call a CMS, or content management system, but it can’t operate all by itself. WordPress needs to be paired up with a web hosting account in order to store your website on the internet where visitors can find it.

You’ll need a hosting account, a domain name (which is available through the webhost you choose), and WordPress itself. Depending on which hosting solution you choose, you’ll either need to install WordPress on your hosting account (referred to as your server), or you can choose an option that comes with WordPress already installed and ready for you to start using.

Types of WordPress Hosting

Some of the hosts we’re going to be taking a look at offer one-click installs for WordPress, others basically come with WordPress pre-installed and ready to go, and some of them require you to setup the server from scratch and are recommended only for power-users.

We’ll help you navigate the waters of choosing the best hosting for WordPress, and we’ll let you in on the pros and cons of the following different types of servers:

Shared WordPress Hosting

This is the most common and practical type of hosting for most websites. It’s very affordable, offers decent performance for most sites, and is perfectly suited for hobby sites, or more static sites that aren’t going to be seeing a ton of visitors all the time.

If you’re looking to create larger, more complex websites or online applications that require more control over your server, you may want to consider some of the other options we’re about to feature, but for the typical new website, shared hosting is the perfect route.

A really nice thing about shared hosting is that it’s managed, meaning you don’t have to setup or configure the server itself, and when things go wrong, the hosting company is responsible for fixing it for you.

With some other options we’re going to go over for hosting your WordPress site, you don’t have the same levels of support, which makes going the shared hosting route even more appealing to beginners.

Here’s Our favorite Shared WordPress hosting companies:

Managed VPS Hosting

Managed VPS hosting gives you the benefits of shared hosting, while adding an extra layer between you and the other sites on your server. You’re still sharing the physical hardware with other sites, but you have your own little blocked-off area, so it’s kind of like if you combined shared hosting and dedicated hosting, and met somewhere in the middle.

It’s a good solution for growing websites because it’s a lot less expensive than renting an entire server all to yourself (dedicated hosting), but it gives some solid middle-ground for people who have outgrown their shared hosting and need something better. Since you have a set amount of resources sectioned-off for your site, you can expect better and more consistent performance.

If you’re running any kind of business site or online store, this is a good place to start, although you can still get away with shared hosting to start out with, if you’re on a tighter budget. Another advantage is full access to customer support who will help you with mostly any issues you run into, whether they’re hardware related or software related.

Here’s Our favorite Managed WordPress VPS hosting companies:

Unmanaged VPS Hosting

This is quite a bit less expensive than managed VPS hosting in most cases, but you lose out on getting help from support staff for most software-related issues. You’re expected to take the bare bones server, and install an operating system, and setup the different programming langues and databases and all that good stuff, from scratch.

There are wizards out there which can help with the process, but it’s still un-advisable to go with unmanaged hosting of any type, unless you’re experienced with running websites and know what you’re getting yourself into.

If you’re just looking to setup something quick and focus on your site itself, this might not be the best option, but if you’re looking for a very affordable way to get access to a more powerful server without spending a lot, this is a good option for the thrifty webmaster out there who isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves.

Here’s Our favorite UnManaged WordPress VPS hosting companies:

Vultr, Digital Ocean, Linode…

Other Types

There’s also dedicated hosting for large and busy websites, reseller hosting for people who are going to be managing several client websites, and more, but we’re going to be focusing on the three main groups above, and discussing the most popular and best hosting companies for each of them.

Best Shared Hosting for WordPress

Our top 4 picks for shared WordPress hosting are:

Bluehost is our top pick because they hit really hit the target for being perfect for beginners, but also great for more experienced WordPress developers.

They offer a variety of hosting plans, but their shared and WordPress hosting packages are what they’re most famous for.

They have a support staff of hundreds of people who are available around the clock, even on holidays, to help you with absolutely anything relating to your account, and keeping your website up and running.

They’ll even help with WordPress related stuff, like if you’re having trouble installing a new plugin, or if something’s just not quite working right.

There are a lot of hosting companies that won’t help with WordPress related issues, or any software issues at all for that matter.

When it comes to WordPress in particular, even WordPress themselves recommend Bluehost as their pick for hosting. When the team that’s responsible for creating WordPress recommends a host, you know you’re on the right track.

Bluehost has worked very closely with WordPress for a long  time, they even have staff members who are also a part of the team that makes WordPress.

Other Great Shared WordPress Hosts

Aside from Bluehost, let’s quickly go over the other options we mentioned, and how they’re similar or different from Bluehost. Even if Bluehost isn’t the best fit for you, surely one of these other popular hosting brands will suit you very well.

Siteground is a similar platform to Bluehost, they also do a lot of great work for their community and for the internet in general, and have a long history of taking great care of their customers.

Siteground’s hosting packages specify how many visitors your site can support each month, which makes it a lot easier for people to choose the correct plan that will suit them best, without over-buying and wasting their money.

Siteground has a handful of shared plans, they’re all great value, it just comes down to what you need. If you just have one site, you can get away with using their smallest plan, if your site isn’t wildly popular yet.

If you get frequent visitors to your site already, you may want to go with their medium or high-end shared hosting plans. You can learn more about their offerings on their website, or by taking a look at our thorough Siteground review.

Hostgator is another good option. They are quite similar to Bluehost, as they’re owned by the same company, but their offerings do differ slightly. It’s pretty much a toss up, so check them both out and see which one appeals to you more.

Both Bluehost and Hostgator are flagship brands for the company that owns them, they’ve been around for a very long time, and they’re both leaders in this space.

WP Engine does things a bit differently. They are a premium option for people that don’t mind spending more each month in order to get a higher level of service and performance.

The nice thing about the other shared hosting brands we’ve featured is that they’re all very affordable. WP Engine’s plans start at $30 per month, but what you’re getting is a hosting platform that’s built from the ground up for WordPress, so it’s optimized very well, and their staff are obsessive over WordPress.

This is a good option for people who want a higher-tier of server than a regular shared server, but don’t mind paying a little closer to the price of a VPS. WP Engine is one of the best WordPress hosts we’ve ever seen, but it does come with a price-tag. For business sites and other very important websites, the $1 per day price tag isn’t a real deterrent when you need the best.

Still, Bluehost remains our top pick for overall value when it comes to shared WordPress hosting.

Best VPS Hosting for WordPress

We’re breaking this category down into two sections. The first one is managed VPS, which is more expensive, but comes with the convenience of having a fully managed server, like shared hosting, where the hosting company provides you with a server that’s all setup and ready to go in terms of having an operating system, having options to easily install WordPress, and so on.

Best Managed VPS for WordPress

If you’re looking for hosting that gives better performance than shared hosting, and don’t mind spending more, or if you need a little more control over the backend of your site, this is a good option.

Virtual private servers are available from hosting companies, but here are our favorites:

These are both excellent options offers solid VPS packages at very fair prices. Perfect for people looking to host multiple websites, to run online stores, or even popular blogs. When your server isn’t holding you back, the internet is your oyster.

Both of these companies have multiple plans available so you can find the one that is the best fit, and they both also offer shared hosting in case you want to start a bit smaller before working  your way up to a VPS. In either case, you can’t go wrong, so if you’re on the fence then make sure you check them both out because one of them is bound to be a great fit, regardless of which direction you end up going on.

The appeal to this type of server is the added performance and having a larger amount of allocated resources so that your website can handle more users, and the added privacy and protection of having a virtual private server, which is your own separate piece of a larger server, as opposed to shared hosting where you’re sharing a larger server but without being partitioned-off to your own section.

This means with a VPS your site will be more reliable, and should perform a lot more consistently, regardless of how popular the other sites on the same server are. With shared hosting, you can run into hiccups and interruptions here and there if there are other popular sites sharing the same server, or if some sites are vulnerable to attackers. It’s not common, but it’s just another reason to consider a VPS.

Now, despite all of the advantages of having a fully managed host for WordPress, some people do apprecaite rolling up their own sleeves and really taking ownership of their server by setting it up themselves, from scratch. If you’re one of those people, let’s take a look at some of our top picks for unmanaged VPS.

Best Unmanaged VPS for WordPress

Finally, the last option we’re looking at today, is unmanaged VPS hosting. It’s noticeably less expensive than a typical VPS, becasue you aren’t getting a whole lot of help and support along the way.

They’ll sell you an empty server, and you’ve got to know how to install an operating system like Linux, and then use Linux to setup the foundation for your site, and all of this happens before you even begin to think about installing WordPress, which is also a more complex process on this type of server compared to the other types we have featured thus far.

If you’re still into the idea of taking the DIY approach to save a few bucks, you’re not alone, so here are some of the most popular choices for this type of webhosting:

Vultr is the most affordable, with plans starting at $2.50 instead of $5 which is more standard for this type of hosting.

Final Thoughts & Taking The Next Step

Now, all that’s left to do is pick a hosting company and get started on your site.

From shared hosting, to managed and unamanged VPS, it really comes down to how technically savvy you are, how interested you are in managing things yourself versus having someone else take care of it for you, and how much you’re looking to spend.

Regardless of which path you go down, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands with all of these hosts.

Don’t wait any longer to get started, sign up for a hosting plan so you can get the ball rolling. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get your website up and running, even if this is your very first time doing it.

It doesn’t have to be a difficult process, especially with Bluehost and their incredibly simple setup process, here’s how you can start a blog in about 5 minutes.

GoDaddy vs Wix: Hosting and Website Builders Comparison

GoDaddy vs Wix becomes a fair play when you look at them as website building platforms in the market. But is that it? Aren’t there more parameters we can judge these two powerhouses with? After all, we’re all eager to learn about how these giant companies compare to one another and which one is the better option for us?

Before the days of Website Builders, creating a website often meant learning how to write HTML code. The whole ordeal was tedious, with many pieces of the puzzle being both complex and time-consuming. While the components of a website have not changed, the process of building one has certainly evolved over time. With the advent of Wix and GoDaddy along with other website building platforms, much of the work has now been entirely automated, giving us a beautiful website in minutes rather than days.

Website Builders offer an all-inclusive interface, providing a bundled collection of tools such as a template library, drag & drop editor and configuration options. These place emphasis on ease of use, consolidating the most important operations into a unified front end. This makes website creation more accessible to the average person, especially those without prior knowledge of coding and design.

Each solution is considerably different though, offering a varied amount of control versus convenience to the end-user. Developing the website from scratch would be an example of 100% control, where business listings on social media would be 100% convenience. The Website Builders found at GoDaddy and Wix fall somewhere in the middle, aiming for a 50/50 balance with an elegant GUI interface to manage and customize pages to your liking.

For the most part, Website Builders accelerate the entire process, automating a great deal of the work for you and launching a customized website in minutes. The emergence of website building platforms along with new-gen hosting and domain services have resulted in the simplification of the process. For instance, you can choose GoDaddy and Dreamhost as your ideal domain-hosting combination. Similarly, if you want easier drag-and-drop-facility, you can choose GoDaddy and Wix.

This can dramatically reduce those headaches that come with doing it yourself, but the trade-off is some level of versatility and control. As each platform is proprietary, your website is locked into their business from the start, meaning you can’t just pack things up and move to a competitor at a later time.

We will take a look at both GoDaddy’s Website Builder and Wix, two of the most notable choices on the market. We will first compare their plans and pricing to see what they have to offer, then check out the user interface, design features, technical features, customer service & support and then pick our favorite of the two!

Plans & Pricing

GoDaddy’s Website Builder and Wix both offer free options to get your feet wet, but they approach this service from two different angles. GoDaddy provides a free 30 day trial for the Personal plan, an entry-level package which renews at $5.99/mo. Wix, on the other hand, offers their website hosting completely free of charge, selling feature upgrades instead. This includes 500MB of storage and bandwidth, plus a sub-domain in the format of https://username.wixsite.com/sitename.

Aside from the free trial based options, both GoDaddy and Wix have a variety of paid tiers available, catering to a wide range of needs. Once you’ve decided which one is a better fit, you can easily upgrade to a more feature rich package at any time.

Planning to open an e-commerce store? GoDaddy offers the Online Store plan at $19.99/mo while Wix offers a comparable eCommerce package at $17/mo. Rather start small with just a simple website or blog? GoDaddy has the Personal plan for $5.99/mo that includes the absolute basics, but Wix has an assortment of similar options such as Connect Domain at $5/mo and the Combo package for $10/mo, advertised specifically for personal use.

If you are looking for cheap, no-frills hosting with a website builder, GoDaddy is probably going to be your best bet based upon what covered in our GoDaddy review. Otherwise, the various tiers at Wix become competitive around the $10 mark, introducing a number of selling points that start to justify the price.

The free and low-cost options at Wix just aren’t worth consideration for any real usage, where they have advertisements prominently displayed on the page.

It’s important to understand however that the plans themselves are generally not all that different, evident from the very minor differences in each tier. With companies that offer Website Builders services, you are paying for the convenience of an all-inclusive, easy to use interface above all else. Both providers emphasize fairly minor selling points on each plan, which are quite negligible differences that probably don’t justify the cost.

GoDaddy puts a lot of emphasis on things like social media integration, marketing tools and so forth which many of GoDaddy’s alternatives don’t. In reality, much of this is already available to you at no additional charge. For example, Google My Business feature they advertise just creates a business listing for you on Google, but this is already a free service you can register at Google My Business.

Wix isn’t much different in this regard, the large majority of their features revolve around A) removing their ads or B) domain services. They throw in ad vouchers (free marketing credits) and several fluff apps on the more expensive packages, but the fine print actually mentions none of this is available on a monthly contract. Unless you need the Online Store, VIP support or just more resources, there really isn’t much incentive to upgrade past the Combo plan, same as we also pointed out in our Bluehost vs Wix comparison.

Winner: Tie

As both GoDaddy and Wix have similar tiered pricing structures with a variety of selling points, there isn’t necessarily one that is better suited in this case. As we mentioned above, GoDaddy is probably a better option for those on a budget since there are no forced advertisements. At the $10 price point and up, Wix starts to become a somewhat better value, where the plans become more or less the same with minimal differences from one to the next.

User Interface

An intuitive interface is the unsung hero of website builders. It is often the difference between an enjoyable site-building experience and pulling out your hair, drowning in a clutter of various unexplained features.

We’re not necessarily looking for a Fisher-Price dashboard, but a natural design with coherent text goes a long way with users. It’s important to find a good balance between simplistic and feature-rich, capable of doing what we need while not feeling overwhelmed by the whole ordeal. That brings us to the interfaces we will use at GoDaddy and Wix.

While the GoDaddy Website Builder does offer one of the more user-friendly interfaces, this actually stems from the restrictive nature of their services. Depending on your personal goals, this can either be a pro or a con, where the lackluster options favor those who desire the absolute least amount of effort necessary. For people who prefer less headache, GoDaddy becomes one of their preferred Wix alternatives straightaway.

To get started, they ask you to fill out two fields, the nature of business and the desired business name. When choosing the type of company you operate, they will automatically assign a related theme for you to work from. This can, of course, be changed to one of any templates at a later time, but rather serves as an introduction to the platform. Nonetheless, it couldn’t be easier to get started and it’s pleasant to see a fully functional website ready to build upon.

As you will notice, however, there isn’t much to it past that point. You have a menu that grants access to edit the theme, pages or settings, but these are just the most basic options. You can tweak a few colors here and there, update text fields and change your site’s metadata, but there isn’t much, if any customization available otherwise.

The Wix interface may look complex next to the likes of GoDaddy, but it’s quite easy to use considering the amount of control they provide. The ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) is a proprietary tool they have developed which generates a website based on user input. After selecting a few options such as your preferred style, features, etc. the system starts working to create a complete page within 30-60 seconds.

After the automated process is finished, you are taken to the Website Builder interface (pictured above). From here, the Basic Editor provides access to change existing elements, drag & drop new objects, and modify each section of the design. They also present an attractive design library that includes dozens of alternative looks. These can be applied with the click of a button, updating the overall aesthetic of your site without changing the content itself.

Winner: Wix

The Wix ADI is an impressive innovation in the Website Builder market, dynamically generating content on the fly based on a user’s preferences. Using this platform, it is possible to create beautiful websites in just minutes, while still maintaining complete control of every single aspect of the page.

GoDaddy has a much more rudimentary take on the process, feeling rather basic and restrictive in comparison. They rely almost entirely on the large template library to match a customer’s exact needs, not providing nearly enough customization choices to modify it further than that.

Design Features

Remember we mentioned how easy it has become to set up a new website? Design features are the entire reason we choose a Website Builder over traditional website hosting, they take care of the difficult part for us. Given access to a library of templates (aka designs) we can use a website builder to customize elements like text, colors, and images.

No two Website Builders are the same though. Each is a proprietary solution with its own unique set of options. GoDaddy and Wix comparison is quite similar to GoDaddy and Squarespace, each of these website builders having considerably different systems in place, most notably when it comes to the template wizard and customization tools.

GoDaddy’s Website Builder includes access to a massive themes library, featuring 22 general categories that include every industry from real estate to education. Each top-level category has dozens of subgroups, with a variety of templates for different sectors of that market. The Home Service section, for example, has everything from interior design to pool cleaning.

The reason they offer so many templates though is because further customization options are quite limited. There are no basic HTML or CSS editors to adjust the styling elements, nor is there a drag & drop editor to create new objects on the page. While there is certainly no shortage of templates to choose from, when it comes to GoDaddy’s Website Builder, what you see is what you get.

When it comes to control vs convenience, their platform comes in around a 30/70 split with emphasis on simplicity above all else. This may appeal to those looking for a brief one and done setup, but those expecting to customize will find themselves wishing for more options.

Wix, on the other hand, offers a similar, albeit more limited template library with a total of 16 categories to choose from. They are not broken down into specific fields the way GoDaddy does, but they are well made and have over 500 unique designs available. While the majority are offered free with any Wix plan, it is worth noting that several do require a certain package to use (such as eCommerce).

Compared to GoDaddy’s significant lack of customization options though, Wix templates act as a foundation that can be modified without limits. Yet when it comes to eCommerce flexibility, even with a magnanimous amount of customization Wix can’t compete with Shopify. That’s the nature of the competition.

When it comes to the control versus convenience balance, their Website Builder heavily favors the former in a 60/40 split. It’s straightforward enough not to stress out the average user, but also comprehensive to the point you won’t feel like something is missing. From the left side navigation, you can change the header menus, drag & drop dozens of pre-made objects or even install apps to create entirely new functionality. On the right, we have a toolbox with useful features to perform actions like rotating, aligning and arranging elements.

Winner: Wix

Despite the immense number of template choices at GoDaddy, the lack of customization tools are definitely a drawback to their service. Wix may not have the sheer selection available, but there is still more than 500 designs that can be used.

Their actual Website Builder is the selling point in this case though because we aren’t just locked into that design, we have full control to change it as needed and achieve the perfect look for our website.

Technical Features

Technical Features are basically the best practices for use in website hosting, ensuring your site complies with the latest standards. This includes topics like metadata, clean URLs, schema markup and other SEO friendly measures to ensure your pages rank well.

Starting with the most essential point of discussion, both GoDaddy and Wix do provide responsive templates. This means the themes are compatible with mobile devices from phones to tablets, something that Google considers an absolute make or break factor in rankings.

They also generate the necessary sitemap.xml and robots.txt files for you, which automatically update as new content is added to the website. These are basically a roadmap for the search engines, helping them to understand what pages to crawl when browsing your domain.

Unfortunately, GoDaddy’s technical features and SEO tools come to an abrupt halt at that point, including only the absolute must-haves and nothing else. With services such as GoDaddy and WordPress.com, you can only set a few things like the website title, meta description, and keywords, but you don’t have much control past that.

In contrast, Wix evidently puts a great deal of effort into their Technical Features. They have substantial resources aimed to educate their customers on SEO and provide an assortment of apps to enhance page rankings. While there are certain areas they could stand to improve, they do recognize the importance of proper SEO techniques and tackle it from several angles.

The app store is what really catapults Wix past the competition in a technical capacity though, where these introduce a wide range of new features and tools. Quite similar to the plugin infrastructure used by WordPress, you can install these directly from their market to your website with the click of a button. Factoring in the third party options like Rabbit SEO, SEO Analytics and Site Booster, the improvements are applied instantly to your site and you can sit back and let the magic happen.

Winner: Wix

Wix pulls out all the stops when it comes to Technical Features, accommodating a wide range of necessary options to ensure optimal website performance. Compared to the limited approach utilized at GoDaddy, they provide a much more robust platform that truly manages to be all-inclusive. The sheer focus GoDaddy has on maintaining ease of use actually neglects to incorporate features we consider an absolute necessity at this late stage of the hosting industry.

Customer Service & Support

Questions or problems will inevitably arise, and we look to the hosting company for assistance when they do. This is often an afterthought when you are comparing plans, pricing and features, but it can quickly make or break your experience when the time comes.

GoDaddy and Wix both seem to favor their phone support, but the availability of their contact methods are considerably different. While Wix actually has two call centers operating out of San Francisco (CA) and Miami (FL), they are only available Monday – Thursday, during the hours of 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM Pacific (PST) time.

Calling the number after business hours gives you a message to visit https://wix.com/contact, a self-service platform with the option to submit a support ticket.

We happened to notice they aren’t exactly forthcoming with their contact details though. The 800 number is difficult to find (in fact we had to Google it) and that contact page we linked above is nowhere to be found on the site. In fact, the Support tab takes visitors to a FAQ page with no visible information on how to reach the company.

In comparison, GoDaddy does provide 24/7 phone support across three departments including sales, technical support and billing questions. The automated menu will connect you to a live agent that can assist with questions or issues regarding their services.

While this is preferable to the limited hours at Wix, phone support is really the only consistent means of contact at GoDaddy. That’s a considerable drawback given Siteground and WP-Engine are excelling in all form of customer support. With GoDaddy, a major problem is that their live chat is often unavailable, there is no contact e-mail and ticket support has since been discontinued, leaving a community forum as the only alternative choice.

Both companies are comparable otherwise, providing quick and helpful assistance where needed. Unfortunately, they often use this opportunity to upsell other products and services. As such, it is necessary to emphasize the reason you contacted them and ignore their attempts to make a sale. On the upside, they both utilize proprietary Website Builders and are intimately familiar with these systems, meaning they can generally resolve matters without too much of a hassle.

Winner: GoDaddy

While these two are quite similar in most aspects, GoDaddy does have easily accessible phone support. This is available 24/7 and listed in numerous places on their website, ensuring you can reach an agent at any time. This distinction is what ultimately sets them apart from Wix, the ability to reach our hosting provider when it’s convenient for us, not during a specific time frame several days a week.

Our Pick between Wix vs Godaddy

When it comes to choosing between GoDaddy Website Builder and Wix, which one offers a better package for website construction?

Our Pick: Wix

GoDaddy Website Builder is the king in terms of simplicity, making the process as straightforward as possible. They heavily favour convenience above control and don’t leave much decision making to the customer. You pick a template, fill in a few text boxes and your website is published for the world to see. From the start, everything is readily available and a couple of bits of input are all it takes to make it your own.

In comparison, Wix strives to maintain a certain level of accessibility, while still providing a feature rich and customization friendly platform. Their templates are a foundation in which to build upon, offering the tools to change every possible aspect as you see fit. Furthermore, their emphasis on SEO and comprehensive app store make this platform a much more robust solution.

At the end of the day, the best choice is ultimately whatever works best for your needs. We can appreciate the WYSIWYG approach at GoDaddy, but they are far too restrictive to be a consideration for many use cases. Wix, on the other hand, has very few drawbacks, offering a much better toolbox with only a minimal sacrifice in regards to convenience.

Top 3 Namecheap Alternatives for Affordable Website Hosting

From a consumer’s perspective, every modern brand is associated with a particular product. McDonald’s is hamburgers, Nike is shoes and Namecheap is of course domain names. These companies often have plenty of other items for sale, but they specialize in one area that identifies them as a business. McDonald’s, for example, sells a filet-o-fish sandwich too, but that’s not something we trust from a burger joint, and the same holds true with Namecheap and website hosting.

Namecheap has been a well-established domain registrar for nearly 18 years, falling just behind their rival GoDaddy. Similar to the competition, they also saw the hosting market as an untapped source of revenue and capitalized in the way they know best, quantity over quality. As one may assume from their name, Namecheap services are provided at absolutely rock bottom prices, more than 3x cheaper than the next lowest cost competitors.

Such drastic savings, of course, has its appeal, but unfortunately, this does not come without sacrifice in other areas of importance. For what they offer and the prices they charge, their shared hosting plans aren’t the worst service in the world. They cater to a specific audience that values cost savings above all else, but customers should remember to temper expectations, quality is not the utmost priority for their business.

For those that value their website presence and expect the most from their host, there are still affordable solutions on the market that offer the best of both worlds. We will take a look at the top 3 alternatives to Namecheap, offering professional hosting services for those on a budget.

The Top Alternatives to NameCheap are:

  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • Siteground

Here’s a quick recap of why each of these hosts is great alternative to NameCheap and some of their feature and capabilities.

1. Bluehost

In a league of their own, Bluehost has the largest market share of customers in the hosting industry. Powering more than 2 million websites worldwide, their plans remain among the cheapest options available while still maintaining exceptional quality and service.

Recommended as the #1 choice for WordPress hosting by WordPress.org, they also have one of the absolute easiest platforms to use, capable of setting up a brand new site with your choice of software in under 5 minutes.

For those interested in a direct comparison between Bluehost and Namecheap, we recently took an in-depth look at these providers side by side. If you would like to read more about their plans, performance and customer support, the article can be found at Namecheap vs Bluehost. Otherwise, we will provide a brief overview of what you can expect from this business and why they are the best alternative to Namecheap for affordable web hosting solutions.

Thanks to various promotions every month, the Bluehost starter plan tends to fluctuate somewhere between $2.75/mo and $3.95/mo, with upgraded packages priced just slightly more expensive. While this doesn’t compare to the mere cents they charge at Namecheap, it’s hard to argue with spending a few bucks per month for one of the best hosting services in existence. To keep things simple, Bluehost really only has two choices before you get started.

You either purchase the Basic plan for a single site, or go Prime for a completely unlimited platform, free to host as many domains and use as much space, bandwidth, and other resources as you need. (As far as we can tell, the Plus plan is basically just a placeholder)

As for the customer support, you have access to 24/7 assistance with literally any question or problem you may encounter. Experts are always available via 800 phone number or Live Chat as soon as you need them, no hassles or hoops to jump through for help.

For those less urgent matters or clients with a desire to learn, they also maintain a vast knowledge base, featuring hundreds of well-written articles covering nearly every subject imaginable. When we compare all that to Namecheap’s lack of phone support, limited live chat and 2+ hour response times, it becomes evident which business prioritizes their customer’s satisfaction.

While these are but a few of the most notable differences between the two companies, there is no shortage of ways in which Bluehost excels. Aside from the cost, these two services are apples and oranges in terms of what they include. To summarize just a few of the other reasons that Bluehost is our top pick…

Bluehost is our Top Pick because:

  • Simplified Hosting Platform: Regardless of your experience level, you can have a website up within minutes at Bluehost. Their platform is powerful, yet designed with ease of use in mind. Whether your plans involve WordPress, Magento or any other popular software solution out there, the process couldn’t be any more simple.
  • Free Domain Name: Despite the plan you choose, they throw in free domain name registration like “yourwebsite.com” to save both time and money. It looks a lot better than a sub-domain and doesn’t hurt keeping everything under the same roof, especially when it comes time to renew.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: When you have questions or issues, the 24/7 customer support is available over both phone and live chat, always there to help should the need arise.

2. HostGator

As another EIG (Endurance International Group) owned business, HostGator has lost some of the esteem they once held within the hosting community. They are however still one of the best providers on the market, with affordable plans, high-quality services, and exceptional customer support. Aside from a few exceptions, they are basically a no-frills choice where what you see is what you get.

“Best Host to Grow With” -HostingAdvice.com
“Best Web Hosting for Business” -WPBeginner.com
“Editor’s Choice” -PCMag.com

If you would like to check out our full review of HostGator services, that article is available at HostGator Review for Affordable, Quality Hosting in 2018. For now, we will take a brief look at what they have to offer in direct contrast with Namecheap, providing some insight into why they are among our top picks for professional hosting on a budget.

HostGator is the definition of a truly unlimited platform, with no restrictions on storage or bandwidth usage for any plan (including the starter Hatching package). This is almost unheard of in the hosting industry and can certainly appeal to those with an excess of large files.

Since there are essentially no resource limitations, the only difference between the first two tiers is the number of domains you can host, with Hatching being limited to one, while the second tier Baby plan makes that unlimited as well. At this point in time, the premier Business plan is priced the same, yet throws in a Free SSL certificate, dedicated IP Address and even VOIP phone service… not bad for just $5.95/mo.

Besides the affordable, feature-rich plans, their entire platform is built with a customer-oriented approach. As with our other picks, HostGator offers award-winning customer service with 24/7 phone and live chat support, any time day or night. Ready to place an order and get started?

They will transfer your existing site free of charge, or walk you through software setup every step of the way. With tools like the 1-click installer, website builder and more, you can start anything from a blog to an e-commerce store within minutes.

We won’t delve into much detail since our review covers them in-depth, but HostGator is a fantastic choice for websites of any size. With cost-effective prices, professional support and a wide array of tools, there just isn’t much else you could want from a hosting provider.

3. Siteground

Siteground is rarely considered as being a budget option, better known for its advanced hosting platform, exceptional customer service and cutting edge technologies. Still, considering they are among the highest-ranked providers on the market, their plans are competitively priced and very reasonable for webmasters with limited finances.

While they don’t offer to host for cents on the dollar, their starter plan costs less per month than a gallon of milk. Since website(s) serve as our virtual presence on the internet, it’s worth spending a few bucks so we can rest easy, knowing our pages are online and accessible 24 hours a day.

Our other suggestions may save you a few extra coins per month, but Siteground is easily the best at what they do and they do it better than anyone.

For those that would like to view our full recap of Siteground and their services, we previously covered them in full at Siteground Review for Shared Web Hosting & Vps Servers. As of now, we will just provide a quick overview of what can be expected and share some insight into their services.

Siteground doesn’t try and compete with unlimited platforms. Instead, they allocate enough resources to serve the intended purpose of each plan, letting the quality of their solutions justify the cost. Starting out at $3.95/mo, the packages vary from the most basic StartUp option, supporting one website with limited traffic, and extending to the full-scale GoGeek plan, intended for high volume, heavy usage websites.

Each tier increases the amount of storage, features, and visitors that they can support. While this varies drastically from both Namecheap and our other recommended alternatives, the real value is in the company itself.

Placing immense focus on building the perfect hosting platform, Siteground has crafted a truly unique solution that inspires confidence. With a team of developers on staff, they have created automated monitoring solutions, sophisticated caching technology, and customized server configurations, capable of achieving speeds that would put most companies to shame.

It is rare to find a provider this dedicated to perfection, much less offering their services at such an affordable rate. Utilizing the latest hardware and software, coupled with advanced tools and features, they have truly managed to set the bar for shared hosting solutions.

These plans certainly won’t appeal to everyone, the resource limitations and visitor caps alone can be a deterrent for those that need more. But webmasters that consider reliability and performance above all else, this is an excellent consideration for shared hosting.

Our Pick for Best Namecheap Alternative

When it comes to website hosting, there is affordable and then there is cheap. The age-old saying “you get what you pay for” is applicable in this case, where any business worth your consideration will place value in their products and charge accordingly. This doesn’t necessarily mean it must be expensive, but undercutting the competition to the point it impacts quality is never a good sign.

Namecheap is a fantastic choice when it comes to domain registration, not so much for website hosting. We can appreciate their desire to branch out, every company with the capacity to do so has tried to tackle the shared hosting market.

Unfortunately, the decision to go full-scale budget services means a considerable trade-off elsewhere, not something that most webmasters want. Unless up-time, performance, and service are an afterthought, your website(s) are better hosted somewhere that has built their reputation on that very product.

That brings us to our alternative recommendations, three companies that offer more for less. For the average person, Bluehost is going to fulfill the most common expectations of any webmaster, regardless of knowledge and experience.

Likewise, HostGator is another fantastic pick that offers a truly unlimited platform across all plans, while still maintaining a low cost and easy to use platform. When raw speed, utmost reliability and cutting edge technology are preferable to higher resource caps, Siteground has the perfect options to meet your needs. Regardless of your preferences though, any of these hosting providers will serve you well without breaking the bank.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost

Choosing a hosting provider is an important decision that should never be rushed. That’s because it’s much easier to carefully consider your options before you commit than to switch providers later after realizing you’ve made a bad decision. You can apply that train of thought to a lot of companies but in this article, we’re going to take a look at the Namecheap vs. Bluehost comparison.

Namecheap and Bluehost are two very popular providers that have excellent reputations so you might be tempted to just pick one at random because they’re both great choices. Well, that would be a mistake in most cases. Even though they both have a lot to offer, one of these companies is overall better than the other when it comes to web hosting and in this article, I’m going to show you why that is.

Bluehost is a better choice for shared, managed and WordPress hosting when compared to Namecheap. While Namecheap offers low initial and renewal pricing, Bluehost’s reliability (uptime), performance, speed, and support is far better than anything Namecheap has to offer.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost Overview

In case you’re not very familiar with these two providers, let me just preface by saying this isn’t a comparison between two wildly different companies. Far from it. Namecheap began as a domain registrar that later started to offer hosting services while Bluehost sort of did the opposite. Nowadays, the two companies offer many of the same products and services so the goal here is to find out which one of them would be the best choice for regular users. With that out of the way, let’s jump straight into it.

In this article, we are going in-depth with the comparison between the two hosts;

Update February 2020: Before you decide to buy make sure to check out this page to take advantage of the on-going 65% discount; available in the month of February 2020 and would be a shame not to take advantage of it, whatever your final decision will be after reading our article, we want our readers to take maximum advantage of the latest promotions (after clicking, the discount will apply automatically at check-out). If this offer changes, or if they start a better one we will immediately update this article to make sure our readers get only the best prices.

Namecheap Vs Bluehost

Main Differences

Namecheap has more complex, higher-priced hosting plans. However, if you’re looking to step away from a basic hosting plan, then Bluehost is a better choice in our opinion. With Bluehost, you can get support and premium extras at lower prices than any other web hosting provider.

While Bluehost is well known for its cheap hosting, they also provide other features and domain services. Namecheap, on the other hand, is best known for its affordable domain prices.

  • Bluehost offers a money-back guarantee of 30 days, while Namecheap a shorter period of 14-30 days.
  • Bluehost is incredibly simple to use for the average user, whereas Namecheap has better pricing, but strives for ease-of-use.
  • Namecheap offers free Let’s Encrypt SSL that makes it simpler to go HTTPS rather than Bluehost certificates.

As mentioned above, Bluehost really trusts their service and their support and they believe that they are the perfect fit for your website, that’s why we encourage you to read more about their 30-days money-back guarantee policy and check out what they offer here; At the end of the day, it’s a risk-free trial.

Namecheap Ease of Use vs. Bluehost Beginner Friendliness

If you’re new to hosting, you’ll probably want to go with a provider that makes things as easy and intuitive as possible. After all, you need to spend the majority of your time building and filling your website with content, not fumbling around trying to figure out your provider’s user interface. Luckily, both Namecheap and Bluehost are very good candidates for people who value simplicity and ease of use.

Regardless of whether you sign up with Bluehost or Namecheap, you will be able to manage pretty much everything related to your account or websites from the cPanel. Both Namecheap and Bluehost offer clutter-free and visually appealing cPanels, however, Namecheap’s panel is a bit more difficult to locate if you don’t know where to look. Same goes for the mailbox. I have to say that I like Bluehost’s system better as you can easily log in to either the cPanel or the mailbox from the same portal.

The cPanel is very helpful but you can make your life even easier by also using a good CMS (Content Management System) in conjunction with your hosting provider. There are a few solid options you can go for but unless you’re running an online store, I recommend sticking with good old WordPress. If you are looking to create an eCommerce platform, Magento would probably be your best bet.

Besides this, Bluehost takes things one step ahead of Namecheap by offering dedicated support for beginners, a support that will help you installing your theme, installing plugins and launching your website for free. Feel free to read more about this here (Not to mention their 1-click WordPress install that allows you to have a website live in 5 minutes after buying the host).

NamecheapBluehost
Domain$8.88Free
1-click InstallYesYes
Dedicated Support for BeginnersNoYes (read more)
Starting Price$2.88 $2.95
February PromoGET 50% OFFGET 65% OFF

You can use these content management systems, along with many others, with either Bluehost or Namecheap. However, WordPress itself recommends Bluehost as its number 1 choice so that’s definitely something to consider.

Bluehost vs. Namecheap: Prices & Plans

Buying a web hosting plan tends to be a long-term investment so it helps to carefully consider the price before signing up with a provider. If you’re worried about the price, I recommend going for a shared hosting plan as this is by far the cheapest option available. And, as it happens, Bluehost and Namecheap have some of the best offers on shared hosting right now so you’re getting a good deal regardless of which option you choose. (If you sign up via their promotional page, you’ll get 65% off as mentioned above, this offer is available right now on February 2020, we’ll update the article as soon as this changes or if they offer a better promotion).

Namecheap’s basic plan will only set you back $0.82 per month, which is an absolute steal. Meanwhile, the most expensive shared hosting package will set you back $3.88 per month, so you can easily go for the final tier right off the bat given the low cost. That said, these extremely low prices are only available for the first year. After that, you can expect to pay between $2.88 and $7.88 per month moving forward, which is still a very good price.

StellarStellar PlusStellar Business
Allowed Webistes:3UnlimitedUlimited
Storage20 GB SSDUnmetered SSD50 GB SSD
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYes
Free Domain.online.online.online
Backups2 / WeekAutoBackup ToolAutoBackup Tool
Money Back Guarantee30 days30 days30 days
Price$2.88$4.88$7.88

Signing up with Bluehost will cost you between $2.95 and $13.95 per month depending on which plan you choose. As mentioned earlier, two of the shared hosting plans – Plus and Choice Plus – cost the same for the first term. Namely, $5.45 per month. The benefit of going for Choice Plus right away is that your first term can be as long as three years at Bluehost so you won’t have to worry about the renewal cost, which is more expensive for Choice Plus, anytime soon.

BasicPlusChoice PlusPro
Websites AllowedOneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD Storage50 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYesYes
Free DomainYesYesYesYes
BackupNoNoCodeGuard BasicCodeGuard Basic
Domain PrivacyNoNoYesYes
Spam PreventionNoSpam ExpertsSpam Experts2x Spam Experts
Pricing$2.95/mo$5.45/mo$5.45/mo$13.95/mo

Please note that the above prices are calculated with the on-going 65% Discount from BlueHost; Once they’ll put an end to the promo, future customers will get higher prices.

Bluehost is only 9 cents more expensive when compared to Namecheap

As you might expect from a company called Namecheap, its prices are among the cheapest out there. Bluehost is actually considered a very affordable option compared to most other providers but it’s pretty difficult to beat Namecheap in the price department. However, I wouldn’t rule out Bluehost at this stage because I feel like the price is justified considering how much the company has to offer in other areas. But let’s take a look at some of the standout features these companies include with their shared hosting packages because there are a few interesting differences.

Is Bluehost better than Namecheap?

Both companies offer unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificates, and a free domain name for the first year. You can also expect support for an unlimited number of websites with most of the packages. The only exceptions are the cheapest plans offered by each company – Bluehost has support for 1 website while Namecheap can support up to three. Bluehost also includes unlimited SSD storage with every package except the cheapest one, which only comes with 50 GB. In the case of Namecheap, the storage situation is a bit strange. You get 20 GB with the first tier, unlimited storage with the middle tier, and then just 50 GB with the most expensive one.

Namecheap Stellar PlanBluehost Basic Plan
Free Domain:.online.com
Free SSL:YesYes
SSD Storage:20 GB50 GB
Free Backups:YesYes
Our Rating:3.5 / 54.5 / 5
Price:$2.88$2.95
GET 50% OFF GET 65% OFF

There aren’t many differences between Namecheap’s plans aside from the ones I just covered. The only other one worth mentioning is that the two most expensive packages also include a website backup tool while the cheapest one doesn’t. In the case of Bluehost, you get a couple of additional features at every new tier. Once you upgrade to the second package you get a free month of Office 365 mailbox along with a spam expert to help you manage it. The third tier also comes with domain privacy and a site backup tool while the final tier includes all of the above along with a dedicated IP and an additional spam expert.

Before we move on to the next section there are a couple of other things I wanted to mention about each of the two companies. Bluehost only works with yearly payments in the case of shared hosting so you won’t be able to pay on a monthly basis. However, you can pay for several years in advance and get better discounts in the process. The thing I wanted to mention about Namecheap is that all the prices discussed earlier at targeted at US customers. If you live in Europe and want to pick the company’s UK-based data center in order to get better performance, it will cost you an extra $1 per month regardless of which tier you choose.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost in terms of SEO

Knowing a little bit about how SEO (Search Engine Optimization) works will help you grow your website a lot faster. Many experienced webmasters can optimize their content without having to rely on third-party tools but having a bit of help regardless certainly doesn’t hurt. So can you expect any sort of help in this area from Bluehost or Namecheap? Yes, but it’s more of a help-yourself type of situation.

The best way of making sure that your content optimization is up to par is by building your website using WordPress and installing a free SEO plugin. I recommend going with Yoast and maybe upgrading it at a later time if you want to take advantage of all its features. Both Bluehost and Namecheap offer 1-click installs for WordPress so you can set everything up in no time (Update: Bluehost also offers some extra SEO tools no matter what CMS you chose, read more about this on their website here).

namecheap SEO vs Bluehost SEO
Bluehost SEO vs Namecheap

If you don’t want to work with WordPress, you can get SEO tools directly from Bluehost. They’re not free but they only cost $2 per month and you can add them to any of the hosting packages offered by the company. Namecheap doesn’t offer any SEO tools, paid or otherwise. I’d still go with WordPress + Yoast myself but if you’re not into that combo, Bluehost’s own SEO tools are your best bet as far as these two companies are concerned.

Additional Hosting Plans

Shared hosting tends to be very cheap and that makes it a great option for small and medium-sized websites. If your website starts to attract more and more visitors, however, you’ll soon find that shared hosting will only get you so far before you site crashes due to a large amount of traffic. Luckily, there are other types of hosting plans you can get that will prevent that from happening.

WordPress Hosting

This first option is pretty much exactly what you would expect – a type of hosting specifically designed for WordPress users. Plans like these come with automatic installers for WordPress so you don’t even have to worry about the setup because the provider will take care of everything for you. Some providers also offer premium themes, plugins or other nice features in order to sweeten the deal.

Bluehost WordPress Hosting
Bluehost WordPress Hosting

Bluehost offers three unmanaged WordPress packages that are almost identical to its shared hosting plans both in terms of price and features. However, there is no fourth tier here and you get $200 worth of marketing credit along with features like automatic WordPress updates and WordPress staging environment with every package.

The company also offers managed WordPress hosting that starts at $19.95 per month. Quite a bit more expensive but you do get a lot of advanced features in return. A few of the highlights include Jetpack Premium, Jetpack Ads integration, marketing center, SEO tools, business review tools, PayPal integration, unlimited video compression, daily backups, unlimited storage, and more.

Namecheap WordPressBluehost WordPress
Number of websites11
Free SSLYesYes
SSD Storage10 GB50 GB
Free DomainNoYes
Marketing CreditN/A$200
Price$3.88$2.95
February PromoGET 23% OFFGET 65% OFF

Namecheap only offers managed WordPress hosting but doesn’t include a whole lot of interesting features with any of its plans, at least not when compared to other hosts such as HostGator and Bluehost. There are three tiers to choose from and the only real difference between them is that you get more storage if you pay extra. At most, you can get up to 100 GB of storage, which is not bad, however, Bluehost includes unlimited storage with all of its managed plans. Having said all that, the main appeal of Namecheap’s packages is once again the price. Signing up with Namecheap will only set you back between $3.88 and $11.88 per month depending on which plan you choose.

VPS Hosting

Subscribing to a VPS hosting plan will give you access to your own virtual private machine that you won’t have to share with anyone. If you’re worried about performance and reliability, you should definitely consider upgrading to a VPS if your site starts slowing down. Of, even better, do it before that happens to continue ensuring a smooth browsing experience for your audience.

Bluehost VPS Hosting compared to Namecheap
Bluehost VPS Hosting compared to Namecheap

Bluehost has three VPS plans on offer, with the cheapest one starting at $19 per month. The scalability here is pretty straightforward. The second tier costs almost twice as much and gets you a machine that’s almost twice as powerful as the previous one. Likewise, the price for the third tier is twice as much as the previous one and the machine is twice as powerful. Regardless of which plan you choose, you also get a lot of nice features along with the ability to add additional resources further down the line should you need them.

Prices at Namecheap start at $11.88 per month and there is only one other package after that, which is priced at $19.88 per month. Unlike a lot of other hosting providers, Namecheap offers fixed-price renewals so there’s no need to worry about having to pay extra after your first term expires. The two machines are more or less similar to what you would get with Bluehost’s Standard and Ultimate packages but quite a bit cheaper.

Namecheap VPSBluehost VPS
Free Domain.online.com
CPU2 Cores2 Cores
Storage40 GB SSD30 GB SSD
RAM2 GB2 GB
Bandwidth 1 TB 1 TB
Price$11.88$18.99
Hidden FeesYESNo
Deember PromoGET 20% OFFGET 40% OFF

In spite of the bargain prices, however, I’m not a big fan of Namecheap’s Server Management system. The company offers three levels of management – Free, Basic ($10/mo) and Complete ($25). In order to get access to many of the advanced features, you’ll need to subscribe to the Basic or Complete plans. Moreover, Free users need to pay $10 each time they want to restore their server while both Free and Basic users have to pay an hourly fee for core software changes and server failure fixes. Depending on how many issues you encounter, it’s entirely possible to actually end up paying more per month than what Bluehost charges.

Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server is fairly identical to a virtual private server in the sense that you pay for a machine that you don’t have to share with anyone. However, dedicated servers run on much more powerful machines which means you’ll pretty much never have to worry about things slowing down regardless of how much traffic you’re getting.

Prices at Namecheap start at $72.88 per month and can reach up to $203.88 per month. The company doesn’t work with the standard tiered model when it comes to dedicated servers. Instead, Namecheap offers a few dozen different machines with varying specifications. The benefit of this system is that you can generally find a server that has the exact specs you need. The bad news is that Namecheap only has a handful of each type of server in stock, so the machine you want may not always be available. Sadly, the Server Management system is present here as well and the paid plans cost even more.

Bluehost works with a more traditional three-tier system that’s similar to the one I’ve covered in the VPS section. Prices range between $79.99 and $119.99 per month and you can expect the same wide range of features you would get by buying a VPS. The machines offered by Bluehost are a bit more expensive than those of Namecheap if you were to only take the specs into consideration. However, the fact that 24/7 technical support and almost all features (with a couple of exceptions like domain privacy and SiteLock) are included for free adds a huge amount of value. Instead of paying for bits and pieces, you pay a flat rate for the whole package.

Namecheap Key Features vs. Bluehost Extras

A lot of people choose a hosting provider based solely on which company offers better prices, which is understandable. However, I recommend always checking out the features before you make a final decision. That way, you can make sure that you’re actually getting good value for your money. The features I’m going to cover in this next section are pretty essential so don’t ignore them.

Domain Registration

Despite offering some pretty decent hosting packages, Namecheap is primarily known as a domain registrar. The company is right up there with the likes of GoDaddy in terms of popularity and offers unbeatable prices for registrations. You can get a domain name from Namecheap for just $8.88 for the first year and then renew it for $12.98 per year. You also have the option of getting a personal domain for $8.99/year and there are plenty of great filtering options that will allow you to find the perfect name and extension for your website. Namecheap offers a free domain for 1-year and free privacy protection with all its hosting plans.

Bluehost Domain Registration
Bluehost Domain Registration

Bluehost’s bread and butter is web hosting but the company offers domain registrations as well. Domains here cost $11.99 for the first year and then $17.99 per year upon renewal. Domain privacy usually costs $11.88/year at Bluehost, however, there are certain hosting packages where it is included for free. Just like Namecheap, Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year with all its hosting plans. For stand-alone Domains, Namecheap is for sure the better Alternative to Bluehost, but this only if you are not interested in hosting at all.

Namecheap DomainsBluehost Domains
Free Domain.online.com
Extra .com Domains$8.88$11.99
February PromoGET 20% OFFGET 30% OFF

Website Builder

Namecheap has a sleek website builder that comes with a drag-and-drop interface and over 200 templates to choose from. The builder is available in dozens of different languages, features a responsive design, and comes with social media integration, among other things. The builder also includes presets for various niches like business, entertainment or technology. Namecheap’s website builder is free to use, however, it only supports shared hosting plans. If you go for a different type of hosting, you’ll need to build your site using a different platform, such as WordPress for example.

Bluehost doesn’t have its own website builder but it doesn’t really need one anyway if you ask me. Bluehost has fantastic WordPress integration so you can just use the CMS as your site builder. WordPress comes with a huge amount of amazing templates that can be customized to your heart’s content. If you want to tweak things further, you can use a plugin like Visual Composer to make everything look exactly like you want. Bluehost also offers integration with the Weebly site builder but I would just stick with WordPress instead because you only get the basic version of Weebly for free.

Databases

Namecheap offers 50 MySQL databases with its basic shared hosting plan and unlimited databases with all the other packages. Meanwhile, Bluehost includes unlimited MySQL databases with all its hosting plans. You can create, delete, and manage databases directly from the cPanel with both Namecheap and Bluehost and each company has detailed tutorials on how to do it.

Domain Emails

Bluehost offers free webmail along with access to the Microsoft Office 365 mailbox and spam experts with certain hosting plans. You can get a free month of Office 365 with most hosting plans and then continue to use it by paying a monthly fee. Bluehost doesn’t impose a limit on how many email accounts you can create.

Bluehost Domain Email Login
Bluehost Domain Email Login

Namecheap also has free webmail as well as private email hosting, which costs anywhere between $9.88 and $49.88 per year depending on plan. If you want to just stick with the webmail instead, you can create up to 30 email accounts with the basic shared hosting plan and an unlimited number of accounts with the other packages.

Backups

Both Bluehost and Namecheap offer very reliable website backup tools. Bluehost customers can benefit from automatic backups courtesy of CodeGuard Basic, which is included for free with the pricier hosting plans and available as an optional paid service ($3/mo) with the others. Namecheap also offers a free automatic backup tool with the more expensive plans but users who go for the cheapest package can also benefit from free bi-weekly backups. Bluehost and Namecheap also allow you to manually back up your data.

eCommerce

Namecheap doesn’t have a dedicated eCommerce platform but it does include a few basic features that will help you manage an online store. If you want to create a solid store, though, you’ll need to look somewhere else. The company recommends going for a WordPress hosting plan and installing a plugin like WooCommerce to kick start your store. Alternatively, you can register a domain with Namecheap and connect it to an eCommerce platform something like Shopify. Either way, you won’t be able to get much direct help from Namecheap regardless.

Bluehost also recommends going the WordPress + WooCommerce route, however, the company also offers its own eCommerce hosting plans. These plans are based on the WordPress packages and will cost you anywhere between $6.95 and $12.95 per month. In return, the company makes things very simple by providing you with a site that has WooCommerce and a storefront theme installed right off the bat. You also get most of the other features found in the regular hosting packages, including free SSL certificate, domain name, domain privacy, dedicated IP, and more.

Money-Back Guarantee

Bluehost and Namecheap both have a 30-day money-back guarantee refund policy so you can’t go wrong with any of these guys.

Bluehost Money-Back Guarantee Policy
Bluehost Money-Back Guarantee Policy

Namecheap Reliability vs. Bluehost Performance

In this day and age, we tend to expect websites to load nearly instantly and always be up whenever we want to visit them. Considering how far technology has come, I think those expectations are pretty reasonable for the most part. The major hosting providers are well aware of user expectations and are doing their best to offer services that are as reliable and consistent as humanly possible. But which of our two contestants is the best in this area? Let’s find out.

Speed

Page loading speed was a bit of a problem for Namecheap before 2018 but nowadays the company is doing pretty well in that department. On average, you can expect speeds of around 625 ms at the moment. There are periods where you will consistently see speeds of under 500 ms but other times they can reach close to 1 second. 625 ms isn’t an amazing result but it’s not horrible either so I’d say the speeds at Namecheap are overall pretty average.

In the case of Bluehost, you’re looking at a much better situation. The company’s average page loading speeds tend to hover at around 406 ms most of the time. As with most companies, you do get some fluctuations here and there but overall the company has been very consistent with its speeds in 2019. With an average speed of 406 ms, Bluehost is currently one of the fastest providers on the market.

Uptime

Namecheap boldly claims to offer a 100% uptime guarantee with all its hosting plans, however, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The real uptime sits at around 99.92% in 2019, which is still a pretty good result. It’s not really 100% but frankly speaking, there isn’t a company out there that doesn’t experience occasional downtime so Namecheap should probably dial back a bit on its uptime guarantee.

Bluehost performs better than Namecheap in this department and offers a more realistic uptime guarantee. The company promises 99.99% uptime guarantee and its actual uptime does happen to sit at 99.99% on average at the moment. That hasn’t always been the case but Bluehost has gradually been improving its infrastructure over the years to the point where that guarantee can be now taken at face value.

Customer Support

Customer support is one of those things that people don’t think about too much until something goes wrong. I know this because I used to do the same thing before I learned my lesson. That’s why I wholeheartedly recommend you check out the support options before signing up with any provider in order to avoid unpleasant surprises further down the road.

Namecheap’s customer support isn’t anything to write home about. The company provides 24/7 support via live chat and offers a ticket system but doesn’t have any phone support. Purchasing one of the more expensive hosting plans will get you priority support but you’ll still need to pay for certain services, as mentioned earlier in this article. Even worse, you’ll have to pay by the hour, which is not exactly a customer-friendly system in my opinion.

Bluehost, on the other hand, has a very good customer support system in place. You can contact support agents 24/7 via live chat, ticket or phone, which is a big plus for customers who require urgent assistance. The company also has a team of professional agents that specialize exclusively on WordPress support. Bluehost support agents are renowned for being extremely responsible and knowledgeable so you can usually expect your issue to be resolved in no time.

Scalability

Nobody wants to pay top dollar when they’re creating their first website so it helps if you can start off cheap and work your way up from there. The cheapest plans won’t be able to handle a lot of traffic but that’s not really a big concern because you’re unlikely to get a lot of visitors right off the bat anyway. Once the traffic starts flowing at a constant rate, it’s great to be able to upgrade to a better hosting plan and then gradually repeat the process when you reach certain thresholds.

You can expect very cheap entry prices from both Bluehost and Namecheap if you’re signing up for a shared hosting plan. Upgrading to the next tier will only set you back a few extra bucks at every step with Namecheap, however, there are only three tiers to choose from and then you’ll need to start thinking about upgrading to a VPS.

Meanwhile, Bluehost scales a bit better because there are four tiers, two of which are priced the same for the first term so you can actually get a nice upgrade at no extra cost. The only caveat is that there is a more significant difference between the final two tiers. Still, it’s nice to be able to scale up one additional level in my opinion despite that little price bump at the end.

Another thing to consider is that Bluehost has three tiers of VPS hosting (read more about their VPS plans in our extensive Bluehost review) while Namecheap only has two. Once again, Bluehost makes it a bit easier to take things step-by-step and upgrade gradually before having to switch to a completely new type of hosting.

Namecheap vs. Bluehost – Our Pick

Namecheap is remarkably good jack-of-all-trades considering that the company is primarily known as a domain registrar. The prices here are some of the cheapest on the market and you can expect pretty good value in return for your money. That said, certain types of hosting like VPS and dedicated can end up costing you more than you bargained for due to how the company’s Management system works.

Bluehost is a more straightforward provider where you can tell right off the bat what you’re getting yourself into. There are a handful of paid optional services but they only cost between $1 and $3 per month so you don’t have to worry about paying a premium for anything extra that’s not advertised up front. Bluehost’s hosting packages are more expensive compared to those of Namecheap but you generally get more value in return.

Where Namecheap really falls flat is in the customer support department. Having to pay extra for technical assistance with certain types of hosting is a real bummer. The fact that the company doesn’t have a phone number you can call them at doesn’t help either. Bluehost, on the other hand, offers stellar support that you can always rely on and can be contacted via all the usual channels.

At the end of the day, I would recommend Bluehost over Namecheap to most people. Unless you’re just considering the price and nothing else, Bluehost is a better alternative that offers excellent bang for the buck, impressive performance, and world-renowned customer support. Namecheap is great if you want to register a domain and get a shared hosting plan at a bargain price but its downsides make it an overall worse when compared to Bluehost.

Best Weebly Alternatives for Building Professional Websites or Blogs

Weebly is a fairly popular platform for building websites. They were founded in 2006 and weren’t taken very seriously at first, it was known as a place where people could easily put up quick websites for spamming or self-promotion, but in recent years Weebly has taken steps to become more of a professional platform, introducing paid plans and special packages for businesses, but even still – if you’re looking to launch a website, we’re simply not convinced that Weebly is going to be your best option. They’re decent, but we think you can do better…

Let’s go over some of the issues we have with Weebly (and some of the other Weebly alternatives out there), and then we’ll point you towards a few excellent alternatives, including a much better method for creating your website and getting it online, that addresses all of our complaints about Weebly.

Don’t worry, we’ve got the perfect solution for you if you’re looking to create a stunning website for a blog, for a team, for a business, for anything! If you want to start a website or run an online store, or anything else you could possibly imagine – it’s all possible, and it’s all a lot easier than you think.

Why Do People Use Weebly?

The appeal of Weebly is that it’s supposedly very easy to get setup, and that’s true, their site builder is relatively simple. However, it also lacks a lot of important features and puts you in an awkward position since you end up tied-in to Weebly’s closed-off ecosystem.

If Weebly disappears or changes drastically and you don’t want to use them anymore, you’re pretty much out of luck as far as transferring your current site elsewhere. You’ll have to rebuild, and that’s a real pain. Wouldn’t it be better to just do it right the first time?

In their defense, they do have an export feature which is a big plus if you want to move your site somewhere else, but the big downside is that you’ll get the files for your site, but you won’t have Weebly’s site editor anymore, so if you want to add on to your site or edit it at all, you’ll need to dig into the code. Still, it’s a lot better than nothing, so they do get points for that.

Weebly’s Pricing & Features

Let’s take a quick look at the pricing and the features that Weebly offers. We’ll spend a few moments going over what they have to offer, what it all means, and what you even need to start a site, then we’ll offer up some better alternatives to get you heading in the right direction. The following pricing table is for their website plans, if you want to run an online store is costs upwards of $38.00 per month.

Weebly’s cheapest plan is Free, but it’s not even worth considering if you’re taking your site seriously at all. You don’t get to use your own domain name, instead people will have to type YourSiteName.Weebly.Com instead of just YourSiteName.com. It’s not good for anyone who wants to be taken even remotely professional, and there are much better options out there.

It’s the worst package that Weebly offers, and it lacks many other key features, and should just be avoided altogether. A huge issue with the free plan is that you’re forced to display ads for Weebly, so that they can make money off of hard work you put into creating and promoting your website. You can’t really blame them, since this package is free, but still – it’s just another reason to avoid it.

Their Starter pack is a little bit better. On the plus side, it offers additional stats about your site, but that’s usually not something you need to pay for anyways. Other than that, it comes with a free domain name, well “free”, since you’re paying extra for this package.

Here are some of the Top Alternatives to Weebly:

  1. Wix
  2. Bluehost
  3. HostGator

These services will suit you better, whether you’re looking to make a regular website, a blog, a magazine, an online shop, or anything else.

1. Wix

Wix and Weebly offer fairly similar plans and services on the surface, but Wix is notably less expensive, so that’s always a big plus. Small businesses need to save money wherever they can, especially on recurring monthly charges, and especially when they’re just getting started.

Wix comes with a lot more options as far as templates are concerned, which is another nice plus. The templates from Wix that you can start out with feel more polished and put-together. While you can customize your site with any site builder, it’s nice to not have as much work to do with Wix, it just looks nicer out of the box.

Just one of hundreds of possible templates at Wix.

To compare their site builders, Wix lets you drag and drop content wherever you want, so you have a ton of control, and it’s really easy to make edits and changes to just about anything.

Weebly has pre-determined areas where you can add content, so you’ve got a bit less control. Weebly allows you to go behind the scenes to access the code of the templates and make changes, if you’re able to code, but chances are that if you’re able to code, you wouldn’t be using one of these site builders as they’re more geared towards beginners looking for the easiest approach.

2. Bluehost

When it comes to easy to setup, Bluehost has the market cornered. Their WordPress installer is so simple that it practically installs itself, compared to back in the day when you’d have to set it up manually.

Bluehost has made it so simple that it’s a very viable option compared to services like Weebly. There used to be more of a gap, where something like Weebly was a great solution for people who wanted simple, but nowadays there’s a strong argument to go with something like Bluehost, running WordPress, because it’s just as easy and gives you infinitely more options in terms of customization, expandability, and overall control and ownership over your website.

WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system, in other words a platform that allows you to quickly and easily launch your website, and also to add new content or edit your site with ease. Adding new blog posts, articles, product pages, announcements, or anything else to your website is easier than sending an email. Really!

Bluehost works very closely with WordPress to help with development and compatibility, which is why this particular content management system works so flawlessly with their hosting plans. Their plans start at just a few dollars a month, and you don’t have to pay extra to remove ads or to run a shop or anything like that. Since it’s your site, on your own hosting plan, you’re in charge. Using WordPress is a lot less restrictive than Weebly. It’s just a smarter long-term plan for your website.

It’s also easier to upgrade when your site starts getting more popular. Bluehost will help you with upgrades to your hosting plan, so you can handle as many visitors and customers as the internet can send you!

Bluehost has all of the essential features that you need and offers some of the lowest prices on this list. Their support staff are excellent, they have a team of hundreds of people waiting around the clock to help you, every single day of the year. They’re one of the larger hosting companies and are able to offer services at scale so that you get great value, for a surprisingly low price.

If Bluehost isn’t your cup of tea for whatever reason, another hugely popular hosting brand that’s similar to Bluehost in all the right ways, is called Hostgator.

3. Hostgator

Another option if you want to go with WordPress or any other platform, where you host it on your own server, is Hostgator. Most of the pros of Bluehost also apply to Hostgator, they’re not incredibly different, they just offer some slightly different plans, and you should go with whichever one currently offers the best prices for the packages that meet your needs.

Sometimes, Bluehost will have a big promotion that puts them in the lead, but often you’ll find some great deals at Hostgator which makes them hard to skip.

Hostgator has some hosting plans geared specifically towards WordPress. They cost a tiny bit more than Hostgator’s normal plans, but they’re definitely worth it if you plan on using your site for business, for an online store, etc. It’s still among the most affordable plans on this list.

Final Thoughts and Considerations

There you have it, a handful of Weebly Alternatives for when you’re looking for something better.

If you were going to use Weebly, we recommend going with Wix instead if this is the type of platform you’re looking to use for creating your website. Wix is our favorite alternative to Weebly because it’s less expensive, offers nicer designs, and gives you more creative control. Neither of them are absolutely perfect platforms, but head to head, we’ve got to give it to Wix.

If you want more control and ownership over your site, it’s a good idea to go with a self-hosted site builder like WordPress. Self-hosted just means that you rent a hosting account from a site like Bluehost or Hostgator, it doesn’t mean you have to actually do any of the behind the scenes hosting stuff yourself. They take care of managing the servers and everything, you don’t have to do any of that, so it’s super beginner-friendly. It’s easier than you think, and in the long run, you’ll be glad you went with one of these options.

3 Blogger Alternatives for Starting a Blog that are Much Better

There are certain sites that occupy a space in the internet’s past, they used to be big and popular and they’re still around, but they just aren’t as important as they used to be.

MySpace comes to mind, Napster, and plenty of others. Blogger isn’t at that point yet, but it is safe to say that the Blogger platform’s best days are behind it.

Blogger just isn’t nearly as good as having your own website on your own hosting account, for so many reasons.

We’ll go over some of the advantages and downsides to using Blogger, and why it’s just not a good choice anymore.

Finally, we’ll recommend some much better Blogger alternatives that are just as easy to use, very affordable, and that gives you complete control over your website. Whether you’re a business, or just somebody looking to write a blog for fun and maybe to make a few bucks here and there, we definitely don’t think you should use Blogger, and here’s why.

Why Do People Still Use Blogger?

That’s a good question, and you’ll probably be wondering the same thing after reading through some of the problems with the Blogger platform. Why on Earth would anybody use Blogger when there is so much wrong with it?

Now, before we tear into them too badly, keep in mind that Blogger has been around for AGES, and at one point in time, it WAS a LOT harder to setup your own website from scratch, you actually needed a few technical abilities. In a day and age where not anybody could easily setup a WordPress blog, for example, it made a lot of sense to have a super-easy platform like Blogger, and part of how they manage support on a platform like that is simply to give you the absolute minimum of options, so that there’s not really any moving parts.

When you used to have to hire somebody or bug your genius nephew to get your site up and running, and you just wanted to make a simple blog and had no plans of using it for business or even to make some side-cash, then sure, Blogger made sense. But these days, it’s NOT hard to setup a site from scratch, it’s easy, you can do it in less time than it takes to read the rest of this page, honestly! We’ll cover that in just a second…

So, you’ve got to look at Blogger in the context of 1999, when it was founded. Back then, it made sense to use it.

Today? Almost 2 decades later? No way, there are so many better alternatives out there that you should be using instead.

The Problems with Blogger.com

Writing a blog is a great experience, the creative process can be very rewarding, and many bloggers even earn a nice income on the side once their blogs start to gain traction and followers.

If you’re using Blogger, you are going to be VERY limited in what types of advertising you can display on your site. You have to display AdSense, because it’s run by Google, who also run Blogger. You’re very stuck.

When you use one of the alternatives we’ve listed below, you have complete control over your site and you can have AdSense ads, but you can also have any other types of advertisements, and you can even have AdSense and other ads at the same time. Even if you don’t want to display ads on your site at all, you still have to answer to Blogger’s terms of service, and you risk them deciding to take your site down at any time – and you don’t have any recourse.

You don’t own your site, Blogger does. You can’t go in the back-end and make any edits to code, you can’t optimize it for better performance, you can’t scale up your hosting plan as  your blog gets more popular, there’s just such a huge list of things you can’t do with Blogger that are essential to starting, maintaining, and growing a successful blog or website.

Having a domain name like “YourWebsite.blogger.com” just looks unprofessional, your blog simply won’t be taken seriously unless you have your own site. By using Blogger, you’re going to seriously limit the ceiling of success for your blog.

The plus side of Blogger is that it’s easy to setup and get started, but there’s just so little customization, zero control, and really no reason to use Blogger if you’re at all serious about your website project.

But don’t worry – we’ve got alternatives for you, and they address all of the issues we have with Blogger.

Here are the Top Blogger Alternatives in 2019:

Right now, these are the very best options if you want to start a blog. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to start a site for your business, a blog just for fun, or something in between, here are your best options.

1. Bluehost

Bluehost is our top pick because…

  • It’s just as easy to setup as Blogger. This hasn’t always been the case, but Bluehost’s WordPress setup process couldn’t be any easier. They’ve perfected it.
  • WordPress is a much better platform than Blogger, and Bluehost is an expert at hosting sites built using WordPress.
  • You can control exactly which advertisements show up on your site. You can use AdSense, but you can also use competitors of AdSense, to ensure you’re getting paid as much as possible.
  • It only takes about 5 minutes to get your site setup, the whole process couldn’t be easier.
  • Bluehost will throw in a free domain name like “YourSite.com”, which is much more professional and easier to remember than having an ugly URL like “yoursite.blogspot.com”.

Bluehost has quality hosting options available, and you can install any software you want on top of that hosting plan. To compare that to Blogger, you’re stuck using the Blogger platform and you can’t use anything else.

But with Bluehost, you can go with WordPress (recommended!), but you can also go with any number of other options, for example, you can setup an eCommerce store, a message board, or whatever you want. It’s your site.

Bluehost’s staff are pros when it comes to WordPress, in fact, some of them even work on the development of WordPress itself.

Bluehost has been supporting the open-source community for a long time, and have helped make WordPress such a popular and powerful choice for bloggers.

We’ve already done a much more in-depth review of Bluehost so we don’t want to be too redundant, check out our Bluehost review or just go directly to their site to learn more.

2. SiteGround

SiteGround is another option that’s not all that much different than Bluehost, and also makes a very suitable choice for anyone who is looking for something better than Blogger.

Most of the pros we mentioned for Bluehost pretty much also apply to SiteGround across the board, they’re just a great hosting company that has been around for a long time. SiteGround also makes it super easy to get your new site up and rolling, maybe just a sliver less easy than Bluehost, but still – we promise you can figure it out, there’s step-by-step wizard that guides you through everything and if you do run into any little snags at all, just hit up their support staff who work around the clock.

Most hosts have special apps in their control panels these days that make it really easy to install and setup WordPress and a number of other scripts for managing your site.

Not as Limitless as You’d Expect

SiteGround is what we refer to as “limited” hosting, as opposed to “unlimited”. Bluehost is an example of an unlimited host. It basically comes down to how they decide to market their servers. With Unlimited hosting as you get from Bluehost, their plans specify that you get unlimited resources, but there is a fine print. Basically, if your site uses way more than its fair share, they’ll tell you that you need to upgrade, so there is technically a limit. But in order to reach the limit, you would need either a ridiculously popular site, or to be doing shady things on your site like hosting illegal torrents or streaming movies. If you just plan on using your site regularly, you won’t run into any problems as far as the limits go.

With SiteGround, they tell you exactly how many resources you’ll have partitioned off for your share of the server that your website is stored on. When you rent a server from SiteGround, you have a pretty good idea how many visitors it can accommodate each month, at least after the first couple of months, and then you can adjust your hosting plan accordingly.

The nice thing about this is that you don’t end up paying any extra money for resources that you don’t need, and sometimes it means you can scale down to a more affordable plan. Mind you, with an unlimited host, you don’t need to think about it – you can start with a cheaper plan right off the bat.

If you want to read more about SiteGround in-depth,  make sure to take a look at our SiteGround review, or you can head to their homepage right now to learn more and get started…

3. A2 Hosting

We won’t go too in-depth into A2 Hosting right now, but you can check out our review of them to learn more in detail. Once again, they’re a solid brand offering excellent value for great shared hosting. They fall into the Unlimited category as described above and are definitely worth checking out. A2 Hosting has been around for a long time and is very low priced.

They’re right up there in the same conversation as brands like SiteGround and Bluehost, so if you don’t want either of those first options for whatever reason, definitely take a look at A2 Hosting and see how they fit your needs. Everything we’ve mentioned about easily setting up your sites applies to A2 Hosting, even thought Bluehost is still the easiest overall.

Final Considerations and Our Pick

If you’re at all serious about your new website, blog, online store, whatever it is that you’re planning to make… then it’s definitely worth spending a few dollars a month on hosting. Granted, Blogger is free, but it’s one of those cases where “you get what you pay for”, so in that case, you don’t really get much that’s going to help you succeed in your online ventures.

There was a time when Blogger made sense for a simple site, but the hosting industry has changed A LOT in the past couple of decades, and it has NEVER been easier to get your website setup on a real web host.

Our Pick:
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The difference between Blogger and these alternatives is kind of like the difference between those plastic kitchen play-sets that kids have, and a full kitchen at a popular restaurant. Sure, you’ll find a stove, an oven, some utensils, pots, and pans in both of them, but only one of them is going to be able to handle actually cooking a meal.

When it comes to quality, performance, professionalism, and potential… all signs point away from Blogger, and towards Bluehost, SiteGround, and A2 Hosting, with Bluehost being our overall favorite.

Best Web Hosting for Small Business Success

Having a Facebook page or a Twitter account isn’t enough, your small business NEEDS a website.

Social media can be great for keeping in touch with your customers, but a website provides the ultimate hub where customers, and potential customers, can find you on the internet.

You can display all of the most important information, from how to get in touch, to your business hours, or whatever you want. And you have complete control over your website. It’s still a good idea to have social media, and you’ll link to it from your site, but having a website is one of the best investment that any business can make, large or small. Even if it’s just a phone number, or an address, and some very basic info – it’s infinitely better than nothing.

If you’ve ever been quoted a high price for designing your site, don’t worry. No matter who you are, it’s actually something you can do all by yourself, you don’t need to hire anybody.

We’ve got a handful of hosting companies that make the whole process incredibly simple, it only takes a matter of minutes to get your account setup and to start working on your site. There are setup wizards, and tools that make it super easy to customize everything about your site.

Using pre-made themes and templates, you can make sure that your site looks incredible, functions perfectly, and if you do end up needing help along the way – all of these hosting plans comes with top-tier tech support that’ll have your back every step of the way.

Now, if you plan on doing a lot with your small business site, like posting frequent updates, or even running an online store where you can sell things, any one of the following options will work great for you. From small simple sites, to sprawling eCommerce empires, we’ve got you covered, so check out our recommendations.

What do you NEED from a small Business Hosting plan?

In our opinion, there are a few traits and features that every small business hosting plan needs to have in order to unlock the full benefits of having a site.

  • It needs to be easy to update and manage, so that you can easily add new information to your site without having to hire someone to make edits.
  • It needs to be affordable. Small businesses need to be careful about not spending money frivolously, so all of these options are budget-friendly.
  • You need total control over your site, the ability to change hosts if you want, and to not be stuck relying on a platform like Squarespace, or Facebook, or anything else. Own your site!
  • The support staff needs to be AMAZING. Eventually, you’ll run into some type of issue with your hosting, or you might need a little help getting something setup, and we want you to have 24/7 access to a team of support experts who can fix anything and help you out with anything you need, period!
  • Not location Specific – Businesses are located around the World (UK, Australia, Europe, Canada, USA, etc). You want a host that is not tied down to your Location and serve everyone who is possibly looking at your business.

The following small business hosting companies fit the bill to a T. Each one of these is a great choice, so choose the one that suits your website’s unique needs the best. We’ll explain who should use each option, but if you’re really not sure, and you’re just starting out with making your very first website, we recommend going with our first option, the company we’re about to feature called Bluehost.

#1 Pick Overall for Small Business Hosting in 2019: Bluehost

This is the best option for most small businesses, but there are a few exceptions. If your site is really popular, gets a lot of visitors (or you expect it to), you might to keep reading because we’re also going to feature some higher-end (and more expensive) hosting options. But generally speaking, if you’re just starting out, Bluehost will be your best bet.

Bluehost has a special dashboard and set of features on the backend that make it super-simple to get your site launched, you can have it all up and running 100% in the better part of an afternoon.

It only takes a few minutes to create your hosting account, and you can get WordPress to come automatically pre-installed, so all you’ve got to do is answer a few questions and then start adding content. WordPress makes it very easy to manage your site, and Bluehost makes it very easy to use WordPress.

Why WordPress?

We recommend building your business site using the WordPress platform, hosted with Bluehost, because WordPress is the industry standard that has opened the doors for regular people, with no web development experience, to create their own sites. Not only that, but it’s easy to keep WordPress up to date, and it’s even easier to edit your site, to update product formation, to change your hours, and whatever else you could possibly want to edit or update on your website.

There’s a reason the vast majority of new websites use WordPress. WordPress can be installed on just about any host, so regardless of which company you go with for your small  business website needs, you should use WordPress as your CMS (content management system.)

Why Bluehost?

Bluehost offers affordable pricing, but at a price range where they can still afford to pay for great quality servers, excellent support staff, and a high-tier infrastructure. Some hosting companies are so cheap that you really just can’t rely on them in the long-term, but Bluehost has been around for long enough that you know they’re not going to just up and disappear overnight, which is an unfortunate thing we see frequently with cheap hosts, once they realize they aren’t charging enough to make a profit or to even hire great support staff.

Many hosting companies are similar to one another in the grand scheme of things, and the major difference is when it comes to how good their support staff is.

Sometimes, you’ll find a hosting company that can help you with all of the basics, but they aren’t willing to help much when it comes to anything beyond their hardware.

For instance, if you run into an issue with WordPress, some of those lower-tier brands might just tell you that you need to hire a developer because they don’t support software.

Bluehost isn’t one of those companies, Bluehost actually works super closely with the development of WordPress itself, as a contribution to the open-source community.

Whether you run into issues with your hardware, or with software like WordPress, Bluehost has hundreds upon hundreds of well-trained tech support experts who can help you get things running again, around the clock. If your site goes down in the middle of the night, you’ll have somebody helping you right away.

The fact of the matter is that if you have a website and hosting, you’re going to need some help and support eventually, but having a reliable hosting company like Bluehost definitely helps decrease the frequency. You don’t have to be familiar with servers, web hosting, management, or any technical stuff when you use Bluehost. From the moment you start to registration process, to a few minutes later when your site is setup and ready to go, they’ll really hold y our hand through the whole process.

Bluehost’s platform is designed for regular people who want to setup websites. They even have an option where you can tell them it’s a site for business, and their special WordPress configuration process will adjust the settings it shows you accordingly. They really couldn’t have made it any easier, so that’s why we strongly recommend Bluehost for so many different types of websites, experience levels, and businesses.

Bluehost’s business hosting is a great choice, but you don’t even need to get the business-tier account, you can use any of their hosting packages for a business site, and as soon as you outgrow it, it’s simple to upgrade.

A Review of Small Business Hosting Requirements

There are certain features and considerations that you’ll want from a hosting plan if its specifically for a business, that might not matter for a typical personal blog or website.

SSL is an important feature, which you can get with Bluehost and a variety of other hosts. With Bluehost’s Pro-level account, which starts around $14/mo, SSL is included and they’ll help you get it setup. SSL means your URL will display as “https://YourSite.com”, notice the extra S in https? That means your site is going to be more secure, and it’s absolutely crucial if you plan on selling things on your site, accepting payments, and even for basic communications with your customers.

Also included is domain privacy. In some cases, you might not be concerned about hiding the address and personal information of the person who registered the domain name, but if you’re concerned with business rivals and competitors snooping around, it’s not a bad idea to enable privacy, and with Bluehost’s Pro plan, it’s included in the monthly cost which is nice.

It also comes with Site Backup Pro, which helps drastically with the backup process so that if things do go south unexpectedly, you’re covered with a full backup of your site, and once again, Bluehost will help you through the whole process.

You also get hundreds of dollars in free marketing credits, which you can use to advertise your business on some of the leading advertising networks on the internet. This is just as valuable as cold hard cash, because you can setup very targeted advertising campaigns to bring potential customers from your city (or any city), right to your website. This gives you a huge head start, and is a massive value-add for you to take advantage of.

Unlimited email storage is another important feature, and all of Bluehost’s shared hosting plans include unlimited email, so that you don’t end up losing out on emails from customers if you forget to clear your inbox. Bluehost’s smallest plan includes 100mb of email storage, so we recommend doing with any of their plans above that, especially Pro, for unlimited storage.

For  these reasons, we recommend going with at least the PLUS or PRIME plans from Bluehost, but ideally go with PRO.

What if Shared Hosting Isn’t Enough?

So far, we’ve been talking about shared hosting plans for your business.

For most sites, that will give you enough performance and resources to get by, but if your site is going to be getting a ton of visitors, you’ll want to consider upgrading to something more powerful.

The reason we recommend that most sites can get by on shared hosting is because if your site is mostly static, with some blog posts, some information about your business, the occasional update about promotions and sales, and it’s not getting flooded with visitors around the clock, you  can save some cash by going with shared hosting.

However, if you’re running an e-commerce store, spending a lot of money on advertisements, and you have visitors on your site constantly, then upgrading to a VPS is a good idea.

What’s the Difference Between Shared Hosting, VPS, or Dedicated Servers for Business?

Shared hosting is the least expensive option, VPS is somewhere in the middle, and Dedicated Servers are the most expensive option. For the vast majority of new sites, shared hosting is the way to go.

If your entire business is based on the website itself (For example, if you run an online store as opposed to simply needing the website to display information about your business), then it’s not a bad idea to step up to a VPS instead of shared hosting, but even still, if your site is giong to have 5, 10, 20 visitors at a time, shared hosting should be plenty. It’s when you start getting into 50, 100, 200 visitors at any given moment that it’s time to think about upgrading.

Unless you pay a lot extra for a managed VPS, it also means you’re responsible for managing the server, keeping things up to, protecting the security of your site and of your customers, and a lot more.

For those reasons, shared is usually the best option since it’s fully managed, easy to upgrade as needed, and provides a great value for the typical business’ online presence. Once again, for high-demand websites, like if your entire business revolves around the site, consider either a high-tier shared plan like Bluehost’s PRO option, or taking the leap towards a VPS. Here are some of our favorite VPS options out there.

Other Recommended Business Hosting Options in 2019:

Bluehost is still our top pick for most small businesses, unless you need a VPS or a Dedicated Server, but Bluehost isn’t the only great shared hosting company out there that has numerous features for business clients, here are a few others that we’ve had very positive experiences with.

They’re all very easy to recommend, since they’re excellent companies to host your websites with, but if you’re looking for a slightly different flavor, here are some other hosts to check out…

#2) SiteGround

SiteGround been around for a long  time, and offer an excellent collection of products and services to choose from.

They always score pretty good on performance tests, their pricing is very fair and their plans are all very transparent, you know exactly what to expect and what you’re going to get in terms of server resources.

#3) InMotion Hosting

InMotion is a very underrated hosting company who deserve a lot more attention, they have excellent support staff, and have a very nice business hosting package with useful features like unlimited emails, unmetered resources, and the ability to host multiple websites per account.

Their business servers are priced very competitively, and come with SSD drives which can be up to 20x faster than standard spinning hard-drives. They, too, have a fairly easy setup process, although its not quite as streamlined as Bluehost offers.

Between all of the options mentioned on this page, you’re all set to go and find some hosting for your business. Pick any of these choices, you’re in good hands with any of them, so go with whichever suits you the best.

They’re all very helpful, have solid hardware, great staff who will help in so many different ways, and it won’t be much longer until you can sit back, look at your newly launched site, and take pride in what you’ve put together… and then, you can get back to work on your business, of course.

The less time that you have to spend on your site, the more time you can spend working on what you’re actually an expert at. Thanks to Bluehost and the other options on this list (With some help from WordPress, of course…) you can put up a site that’ll make it look like it was made by a pro.

Top 10 Squarespace Alternatives

Squarespace is one of the most popular website builders around and it’s pretty easy to see why. The platform comes with some of the most beautiful templates out there, allowing even completely inexperienced users to create a professional-looking website.

The builder’s intuitive drag-and-drop functionality coupled with the wide range of creative tools makes it an excellent choice for artists, musicians, photographers or anyone else who wants to create a website that catches the eye and captures the imagination of visitors. But even though Squarespace has a lot to offer, the platform is certainly not without its drawbacks. The high prices make it difficult to recommend for users on a budget while the templates, while great looking, aren’t really suitable for all types of websites. In other words, Squarespace isn’t the best choice for everyone.

With that in mind, we decided to test some of the other platforms out there and use the information we gathered to create a comprehensive list of Squarespace alternatives. Many of the companies on this list are just as specialized as Squarespace while others are a bit different and try to appeal to a wider audience. Here’s a quick look at what we believe to be the best Squarespace alternatives of 2020:

  • Wix – The best Squarespace alternative in terms of price, design flexibility, and ease of use.
  • Weebly – A very close second pick that stands out thanks to its massive app marketplace.
  • Shopify – The best builder on this list for eCommerce-focused websites.
  • WordPress – More complex than Squarespace but also a lot more flexible.
  • Jimdo – A very good choice for multilingual sites that offers a neat logo creator.
  • SiteGround – Combines the benefits of WordPress and all-in-one builders like Squarespace.
  • Bluehost – Very popular hosting provider that integrates well with Weebly and WordPress.
  • iPage – Surprisingly robust site builder with plenty of interesting features.
  • Webnode – Missing some key features but otherwise a decent option.
  • HostGator – Good for small businesses and stores that sell physical goods.

We took a lot of factors into consideration while compiling this list, including price, features, ease of use, customer support, and more. This list is primarily meant to help the average user so we tried to stick to alternatives that are fairly accessible. But don’t worry if you’re an experienced webmaster because we also have a few picks that you’re definitely going to love.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at each of the platforms on our list so you can get a better idea of what they offer. Here’s our overview of the top 10 best Squarespace alternatives of 2020:

1. Wix

Wix is one of the most user-friendly website builders on the market right now. The platform is an excellent Squarespace alternative for anyone who wants to create a new website quickly and easily. Not to mention cheaply. If you’re thinking about switching from Squarespace, you’ll find the transition to Wix to be very smooth because the two platforms share a lot of similarities.

Wix Homepage
Wix Homepage

Wix brings to the table a very flexible drag-and-drop editor that comes with very few limitations. There are no sections or blocks to worry about so you are free to place elements virtually anywhere on a page and customize them as you see fit. There’s also a fully-featured “Dev Mode” that gives experienced users complete control over the backend along with an artificial design intelligence (ADI) system that acts as a guiding hand for newcomers. That combination makes Wix the perfect Squarespace alternative for newbies and veterans alike.

Another important reason why you may want to choose Wix over Squarespace is the price. Similar to a few of the other companies on this list, Wix offers a free plan that you can use for as long as you want. The plan comes with certain restrictions but is still very useful for those who want to build a small website or blog without having to spend a penny. As far as the paid prices are concerned, Wix’s cheapest package will only set you back $4.50, which is almost three times less than what Squarespace charges.

Hundreds of Templates to Choose From

Very few site builders can give Squarespace a run for its money when it comes to beautifully-designed templates. Wix is one of them. Not only are Wix’s templates very close in terms of quality to those offered by Squarespace but the company also offers a lot more of them. All in all, you’ve got over 500 templates to choose from and the best part is that none of them are locked behind a paywall. You’ll get full access to the entire template library even with the free tier. A lot of companies go either for quality or quantity when it comes to templates but Wix manages to offer both.

Wix absolutely dwarfs Squarespace and many of its other competitors when it comes to apps and widgets. Apps like Site Booster and Visitor Analytics are included by default with certain plans but you can get many more by accessing the Wix App Market. The market contains more than 200 apps, many of which are available for free. Among other things, these apps allow you to integrate your site with PayPal, AdSense or Amazon, improve your SEO, stream music, display social media feeds, and more.

Wix is a very well-rounded site builder that tries (and succeeds) to appeal to a much wider audience than Squarespace. One of the main reasons why Wix is our number one pick is because this is a risk-free builder that doesn’t come with many drawbacks. It’s also one of the easiest to use platforms of its kind and it offers a free tier so there are many reasons to check it out.

2. Weebly

Weebly is another very popular Squarespace alternative with plenty to offer. In our recent Squarespace vs. Weebly comparison, we found the two platforms to be extremely closely matched, with Weebly winning by just a hair in most categories. If you’re not a big fan of our first pick we strongly recommend checking out Weebly because it might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Weebly Homepage
Weebly Homepage

Weebly has a very streamlined editor that does its best not to overwhelm users. There are quite a few elements to play around with but there are no hidden options to worry about and the editing process is overall very intuitive. Just like Squarespace, Weebly comes with drag-and-drop functionality and allows custom edits via HTML or CSS code injection. The template selection is a bit less impressive when compared to that of Squarespace but you still have a good amount of designs to choose from. And, of course, plenty of options that allow you to customize the templates as you see fit.

Price-wise, Weebly is a lot more similar to Wix than it is to Squarespace. Namely, there’s a free plan that comes with non-removable ads and a very limited amount of storage, as well as a cheap premium package priced at only $5 per month. The more expensive plans were designed with online stores in mind and offer many of the same features you’ll find with Squarespace’s own eCommerce plans. Weebly is slightly better than Squarespace for online stores, but there are other platforms on this list that are far superior to both in this department.

Apps Galore

At first glance, it may seem like Weebly doesn’t give you as much to work with as Squarespace but that’s definitely not the case. The company has a massive marketplace consisting of over 350 apps that you can use to enhance your sites with a tremendous amount of additional functionality. There’s an app for just about everything here and, just like Wix, most of the apps offered by Weebly are completely free. The company uses a simple but effective sorting system for its app center and there’s also a search function to make it even easier to find the exact app you’re looking for.

One of the most important features offered by Weebly, and one that’s severely missing from Squarespace, is the ability to create manual backups of your site. Sure, most site builders will automatically back up your site at regular intervals, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to also have the option to manually back up your content whenever you want. Moreover, Weebly’s backup feature is easily accessible from the admin panel so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it quickly.

Weebly is another cheap Squarespace alternative that’s just as easy to use as Wix and comes with an even more impressive app marketplace. Weebly can be used to build pretty much any type of website but it‘s especially useful for bloggers and small to medium-sized businesses. The platform may not be as stylish as Squarespace but it’s far superior in terms of functionality, provided you put the app center to good use.

3. Shopify

Shopify is a specialized website builder designed exclusively for online stores. The platform is often referred to as the king of eCommerce and with good reason. Shopify is a great Squarespace alternative for physical stores that want to expand their presence into the digital realm or for users to want to build a serious (and sizeable) eCommerce business from scratch.

Shopify Homepage
Shopify Homepage

Shopify can feel somewhat intimidating to users switching from Squarespace because the platform is a bit more complex than your regular site builder. Luckily, the editor itself isn’t that much more difficult to use thanks to its drag-and-drop functionality. Users who don’t want to take the time to learn all of Shopify’s little intricacies don’t have to because the platform gives you access to a very solid pre-configured storefront. This storefront gives you a basic structure that you can then build upon by playing around with the available themes, customizing some of the elements and, of course, adding your own products.

Shopify is one of the more expensive Squarespace alternatives on this list but that’s to be expected from a specialized eCommerce platform that excels at what it does. The entry price of $29/mo isn’t actually that bad for an eCommerce-specific builder considering what you get in return, but the cost can reach up to $299 if you go for the most expensive plans. Moreover, Shopify also sells premium themes and apps so the monthly investment can potentially get even higher than that. Having said that, Shopify does offer an interesting option for users on a budget in the form of the $9/mo Shopify Lite plan. This plan doesn’t allow you to build an online store by itself but is more like an add-on that you can use to transform an existing website into an online store.

Incredible eCommerce Tools and Features

Very few Squarespace alternatives can hold a candle to Shopify when it comes to eCommerce features and tools. You can use the platform to sell physical and digital goods and services pretty much anywhere in the world. In addition, Shopify supports more than 100 types of payment gateways whereas Squarespace only supports PayPal and Stripe. The only downside is that customers are required to use Shopify’s own payment gateway if they want to avoid transaction fees. While some plans give you more features than others, you can ship products worldwide using major carriers like DHL or UPS even with the cheapest package. Meanwhile, Squarespace doesn’t unlock that feature unless you subscribe to its most expensive plan.

As far as marketing tools are concerned, the sky’s the limit in the case of Shopify. The platform lets you sell products and services directly on 10 different social media platforms (as opposed to Squarespace’s one platform) and offers plenty of apps that allow you to reach an even wider audience. Shopify also includes a tool that can be used to launch powerful email campaigns targeted at potential customers. And if you have really big plans for your eCommerce platform, you can integrate your site with huge marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.

Despite being a fairly expensive builder, Shopify is miles ahead of Squarespace in terms of eCommerce. If you’re thinking about opening an online store, we recommend not bothering with all-purpose builders like Squarespace because you’ll get a lot more out of a specialized platform like Shopify, albeit at a higher cost. If eCommerce isn’t a priority for you, on the other hand, you should check out some of the other alternatives on this list.

4. WordPress

WordPress powers around 35% of all websites on the internet so this is a pretty obvious choice. The great thing about WordPress is that it gives you two platforms to choose from. One of them is a SaaS (Software as a Service) while the other is a CMS (Content Management System). Both of them are good Squarespace alternatives but each has its own pros and cons.

WordPress Homepage
WordPress Homepage

WordPress can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around at first, but the platform offers a great deal of flexibility. The page editor is block-based and quite similar in many ways to the one used by Squarespace. In addition, there’s also a second editor that lets you make changes to your site as a whole. WordPress is actually not that complicated in its base form but things get a lot more complex once you switch to a new theme and begin installing plugins. The good news is that you can find guides and tutorials on all things related to WordPress so learning how to use the platform can be quite easy if you’re willing to do a bit of research.

One of the most appealing things about WordPress is its accessibility. The CMS is an open-source platform that you use without ever having to spend a penny. Sure, there are plenty of premium themes and plugins you can buy but you can just as easily find free versions of both. The only real financial concern to consider is the hosting, which you’ll have to purchase separately. Alternatively, you can opt for the more restrictive WordPress SaaS that acts like an all-in-one package complete with web hosting, just like Squarespace. The paid plans start at only $4 per month and there’s also an ad-supported free tier you can try.

Unlimited Customization

WordPress may have been primarily aimed at bloggers at launch but nowadays the platform can be used to build virtually any type of website. You do need to invest a lot of time and effort in order to create something truly unique but the results are well worth it. Thanks to the myriad of plugins available for the platform, users can enhance their websites with any number of interesting features with just a few clicks. Moreover, some of the best themes come with built-in tools that streamline the customization process so you don’t necessarily have to be a tech wiz to create a great looking WordPress website.

If you are a tech-savvy user, however, the possibilities are pretty much endless. Thanks to the fact that this is an open-source platform, you have full access to all the code and can modify every piece of it to your liking. WordPress supports several scripting languages, including HTML, CSS, and PHP. The WordPress SaaS doesn’t give you quite as much freedom as the CMS, however, you can still expect it to have more functionality and customization potential than Squarespace.

WordPress is the quintessential website builder that’s very easy to recommend to newcomers and veterans alike. We didn’t put it higher up on our list because it’s definitely less user-friendly and more difficult to work with than Squarespace. If you can get past the relatively steep learning curve, however, you’ll quickly realize that there’s a very good reason why WordPress is by far the most popular site builder around. As a side note, we recommend trying to learn how to use the CMS because the WordPress SaaS has a lot of drawbacks.

5. Jimdo

Jimdo is not quite as big as Squarespace but the company definitely has a lot to offer. The platform is perhaps best known for supporting a wide variety of different languages, which makes it a good choice for non-English speaking users. In addition, Jimdo has a free tier and a few neat features that make it perfect for mobile-focused websites.

Jimdo Homepage
Jimdo Homepage

Jimdo is a very easy to use Squarespace alternative that comes with a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) site editor complete with drag-and-drop functionality. This allows you to see all the changes you make before updating or previewing your website. One fairly important drawback is that Jimdo’s templates are not as flexible as those offered by Squarespace. This is likely due to the fact that all Jimdo websites are mobile responsive and being able to move elements anywhere on a page might interfere with that feature.

The free plan offered by Jimdo is similar to those you can find at Wix or Weebly. Namely, you’ll have to deal with ads and settle for a .jimdosite.com domain in exchange for building a site for free. As far as premium plans are concerned, there are three to choose from ranging in price from $9 to $39 per month. The entry price is quite a bit higher compared to some of the other builders on this list but still cheaper than Squarespace.

Quick Logo Creator

One of the most interesting tools offered by Jimdo is a logo creator. The logo you can make using this tool won’t be as flashy as those created by designers, however, they will look nice enough for most websites. Much like the site builder, the logo creator is extremely easy to use and the resulting logos do a pretty decent job at making your site look more professional. Plus, the tool is free and you can use the logos even on sites that aren’t hosted by Jimdo.

All in all, Jimdo is a very easy to recommend Squarespace alternative thanks to its multilingual support and simple site editor. Not to mention the fact that the site builder is mobile-friendly and has a free version. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it over something like Wix or Weebly, but if those platforms aren’t your cup of tea, Jimdo might be the builder you’ve been looking for.

6. SiteGround

SiteGround is a very solid hosting provider known for offering good performance and lots of features at a very affordable price. The hosting provider doesn’t have an in-house builder but allows you to integrate your site with Weebly or WordPress. SiteGround is a great Squarespace alternative for users who value performance and functionality above all else.

SiteGround Homepage
SiteGround Homepage

The amount of useful features you get with a SiteGround plan is quite impressive. Among other things, you can expect to be able to benefit from daily backups, email accounts, SSL certificate, unlimited MySQL databases, and a free Cloudflare CDN account. Even more impressive is the fact that you get all these features (most of which are not offered by Squarespace) even with the most basic shared hosting plan. If you’re willing to spend a couple of extra bucks per month, you also benefit from a wide selection of advanced features like WordPress staging sites, white-label site management, SuperCacher, free site transfer service, and more.

It may seem like all those advanced features would cost quite a bit but that’s not really the case. SiteGround’s prices for shared hosting plans are pretty standard and range between $3.95 and $11.95 per month. By comparison, Squarespace’s cheapest package costs $12/mo so there’s clearly a big price difference here. With SiteGround you do have to manage more things, however, it’s not as difficult as you may think because the provider includes an intuitive and easy to use cPanel. And if you choose to pair the provider with Weebly, you also get a very user-friendly site builder.

Just as Easy to Use as Squarespace

SiteGround offers multiple types of hosting to choose from. Newcomers tend to go for a shared hosting plan but you can just as easily grab a dedicated or cloud hosting package if you can afford it. In addition, you can also find managed WordPress hosting and managed WooCommerce hosting plans. If you’re switching from Squarespace, we recommend going with a managed WordPress hosting plan because it comes with an easy one-click installer for the CMS.

Not just that but this plan also includes a tool known as WordPress Starter, which allows you to choose the design and features of your future site. The tool then automatically installs the relevant template and plugins while also taking care of the customization, giving you access to a brand new and fully-functional WordPress site in just a few minutes. In other words, SiteGround offers the same level of accessibility as Squarespace via the WordPress Starter tool. And, of course, the functionality and customization potential you get from WordPress itself are far superior.

7. Bluehost

Bluehost continues to be one of the most popular hosting providers on the market even in 2020. The company doesn’t have its own website builder but it does provide good integration with Weebly. But if you’re already somewhat experienced when it comes to site building, we recommend pairing Bluehost with WordPress instead because the two make a great team.

Bluehost Homepage
Bluehost Homepage

Since Bluehost isn’t really a site builder, it may seem strange to have it on this list as a Squarespace alternative, however, there’s a good reason why we chose to do that. For one, Bluehost offers significantly better performance than Squarespace, particularly if you go with a VPS or dedicated hosting plan. Furthermore, you get access to several important features that are not available with Squarespace, including MySQL databases, mailboxes, a manual backup system, better SEO tools, and much more. The only downside is that you’ll have to work with two platforms (Bluehost and a site builder) instead of just one.

Choosing a hosting provider like Bluehost over a regular website builder also makes a lot of sense in terms of pricing. Bluehost packages start at only $3.95 per month and reach only as high as $13.95 per month if you stick to shared hosting. Naturally, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of the website builder but the math on that is actually pretty easy since you can just integrate with WordPress for free. As mentioned, Bluehost also integrates with Weebly but the caveat is that it’s only the basic version of the builder, which comes with quite a few restrictions. You can upgrade to a better Weebly plan while still being hosted by Bluehost but going with WordPress would be a cheaper option.

Award-Winning Customer Support

Squarespace’s customer support is pretty good, particularly its help center, but the company doesn’t offer phone support while its live chat isn’t available 24/7. Bluehost, on the other hand, does have 24/7 support across all channels, including phone and even offers a special number for international (non-US) customers. Bluehost has its own comprehensive knowledge base you can browse for additional information on the platform along with plenty of tutorials and video guides.

The main reason why we put Bluehost (and a few of our other picks) lower on the list is that creating a website via a hosting provider involves a couple of extra steps. Meanwhile, Squarespace is an all-in-one-platform so you don’t have to worry about the hosting part. If you’re willing to undergo the extra steps, however, you’ll find Bluehost to be a very solid and much cheaper alternative to Squarespace, particularly when combined with the WordPress CMS.

8. iPage

iPage is another company primarily known for its hosting services but what a lot of users may not know is that the provider also has its own website builder. In addition, the company offers a 1-click installer for WordPress and supports many other content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.

iPage Homepage
iPage Homepage

iPage launched its website builder back in 2017 with the aim of giving users all the tools they need to create a professional-looking site. The builder is easy to use, mobile-friendly and comes with over 100 customizable templates. Unlike some of the other companies on this list, iPage allows users to switch templates or reset them to their default settings at any time without losing content. This gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with your site without having to worry about breaking something. Likewise, there is a Revision History feature that you can use to revert to a previous automatically-saved version of the site in case you made a mistake but don’t want to start all over again.

The basic version of the site builder is available for free but there a couple of little caveats. First, you’ll need to purchase a hosting plan in order to use it. Shared hosting plans at iPage start at only $1.99 per month (first term) so you’re looking at a very small investment. However, the other caveat is that the basic version of the builder can’t be used to create sites with more than 6 pages. If you want to remove the page limit and unlock various other features, you can upgrade to the Professional or Business versions of the builder, which cost $6.99/mo and $15.99/mo, respectively. When you also factor in the hosting costs you’re looking at a maximum total price that’s similar to the one Squarespace charges for its own Business tier, but with a lot more features and functionality.

Lots of Great Features

iPage’s hosting plans are known for their great features and the website builder is no different. Some of the highlights include built-in SEO tools, Google Analytics integration, PayPal integration, and eCommerce functionality if you opt for the Business package. You can also expect a domain name, email accounts, SSL certificate, unlimited MySQL databases, and much more. The eCommerce features are pretty basic but you can definitely create a fully-functional, albeit small, online store using iPage’s website builder.

iPage may not be a traditional Squarespace alternative and that’s exactly why we chose to include it on our list. The platform isn’t all that cheaper than Squarespace when you factor in the costs of hosting but you get a lot of good value in return. In addition, the performance is quite a bit better as well and you get valuable features that are not available at Squarespace. Ultimately, we don’t think iPage is the best alternative for everybody but some users will certainly love it.

9. Webnode

Webnode is another Squarespace alternative that many users tend to overlook while searching for a website builder. That’s probably because Webnode launched in 2009 while Squarespace has been around since 2003 so there’s a bit of an age difference between the two. But you should definitely give Webnode a chance even if it doesn’t have quite as much experience as Squarespace.

Webnode Homepage
Webnode Homepage

Similar to Jimdo, Webnode is a great choice for small businesses and multilingual sites. The platform comes with a section-based site editor that’s remarkably similar to Squarespace in terms of functionality. Some of the features are pretty lackluster, especially those related to blogging, but for the most part, you’ll find all the elements and tools you would expect from an all-purpose site builder like this. The quality of the templates is very solid and you have almost 100 of them to choose from, which is about the same as what you would find at Squarespace.

Webnode offers a free plan for users who want to experiment with the platform along with a couple of very cheap premium packages priced at $3.95 and $5.95, respectively. Unfortunately, certain key features like the ability to remove ads aren’t unlocked until the $11.95 tier. That’s a bit of a shame because that puts Webnode’s Standard plan on par with Squarespace’s basic plan in terms of pricing. Allowing users to remove ads starting with the $5.95 tier would have swayed more users away from the competition. On the bright side, Webnode includes free email accounts starting with the second paid plan, which is a feature that Squarespace doesn’t include for free at all, except as a limited trial.

Still Missing Some Key Features

Even though Webnode is a good Squarespace alternative in some respects, there’s still plenty of room for improvement in certain areas. The blogging features and very basic, with the platform currently being unable to support comments and tags. There’s also no proper social media integration and the eCommerce functionality is not very robust at the moment. Webnode doesn’t have an app marketplace either so it’s pretty much impossible to compensate for the missing features with third-party plugins or extensions.

Webnode remains a very good Squarespace alternative for certain types of websites but we can’t really recommend it for blogs or online stores, for obvious reasons. Unlike Squarespace, Webnode features a fully-functional backup & restore tool and allows users to set up email accounts for free. And, of course, you can use the platform without spending a penny if you don’t mind the ads. There are clearly pros and cons to Webnode but this is ultimately a risk-free option so there’s nothing to lose by checking it out.

10. HostGator

HostGator is a popular hosting provider that also offers a very interesting website builder. Known simply as Gator, the builder is very reminiscent of Wix in many ways, though it doesn’t come with nearly as many features. Still, Gator is very easy to use and a lot cheaper than Squarespace, which is why we decided to include it on this list.

HostGator Homepage
HostGator Homepage

Gator is a straightforward builder that comes with drag-and-drop functionality and tons of customizable templates. The templates aren’t quite as nice as those offered by Squarespace but they are very good in their own right. Plus, Gator allows for more customization so you can definitely create a great looking website using this builder. Although there’s no full-fledged backup system, Gator does include a very useful Site History feature, which is very similar to the one offered by Wix. This feature allows users to revert their site to a previous version in the event that something goes wrong with the current one.

Purchasing a Gator plan will only set you back between $3.84 and $9.22 per month, depending on which package you choose. There isn’t a huge difference between the first two plans in terms of features while the third one’s main appeal is the eCommerce functionality. Similar to Squarespace, Gator includes a number of freebies like web hosting, domain name, SSL certificate, a website analytics tool, and more. There aren’t that many interesting features to look forward to but that’s to be expected given the very low asking price. In addition, Gator has very good 24/7 customer support via email, phone, and live chat.

A Constantly Evolving Site Builder

HostGator’s site builder is a fairly recent addition to its roster of products and services. As such, the builder is still a work in progress and currently missing quite a few important features. Similar to Webnode, Gator isn’t a very good choice for blogging or online stores. Blog owners don’t have a way to schedule posts or add a native commenting system, though the builder does allow Facebook comments. Meanwhile, Gator comes with very limited eCommerce functionality that only allows you to sell physical goods.

Do we still recommend Gator as a Squarespace alternative in spite of its drawbacks? Absolutely, but only to certain types of users. The builder is very good for business websites and can also support online stores that only sell physical products. It’s certainly not the ideal Squarespace alternative but it’s much simpler to use and won’t cost you nearly as much. If the price if your biggest worry, you can get an even better deal by signing up for a HostGator hosting plan (starting only at $2.75/mo) and building your website with a third-party CMS like WordPress.

A Few Reasons for Looking Into Squarespace Alternatives

One of the main reasons for looking into alternatives is the price. Squarespace is one of the most expensive site builders out there and, unlike direct competitors like Wix and Weebly, doesn’t offer a free plan. There is a free 14-day trial that lets you test the platform but that’s about it. Although you do get good value for your money with Squarespace, we think the entry point of $12 per month is a bit too high.

Another thing to consider is the fact that Squarespace is one of the most complex all-purpose builders on the market, even though it may not seem like it at first glance. The builder’s minimalistic approach is a bit misleading because there are many hidden buttons and options that are not noticeable at first. Granted, using Squarespace is still simpler when compared to open-source platforms like WordPress but some of the alternatives on this list are a lot more user-friendly.

Squarespace isn’t winning any awards when it comes to performance either. That’s likely due to the fact that most of its templates rely heavily on high-resolution images, which tend to affect page loading speeds. You can, of course, customize templates and completely remove some of the image blocks but even with fewer images, Squarespace still tends to be slower than many of its competitors.

The last factor we wanted to mention is the lack of certain important features, especially a proper backup system. While most users can live without having access to databases or free email accounts, not having a backup system is a serious oversight in our opinion. Squarespace makes automatic backups of all sites but there’s no actual restore function. The automatic backups are there as a contingency plan, just in case, Squarespace needs to restore sites after a serious server issue. The responsibility of backing up site content lies entirely on the user, which isn’t the case with most other builders.

Final Thoughts

Even though we focused a lot on the drawbacks of Squarespace in this article, we do want to stress that we actually love the platform. However, Squarespace clearly isn’t perfect and there are plenty of companies out there that surpass it in certain areas. We tried to add a bit of variety to the list and not make it strictly about regular site builders because there’s more than one way to create a website and some websites require specialized platforms.

If you want to make the transition from Squarespace to a similar site builder as seamless as possible, your best bet is to go with Wix or Weebly. WordPress is another good option that gives you great flexibility but requires more time and effort to learn. Meanwhile, Shopify is by far the best choice for eCommerce out of all the companies on our list.

The companies on the bottom half of our list are not to be overlooked either. Pairing a hosting provider like Bluehost and SiteGround with a third-party website builder can yield very good results and tends to be cheaper. These types of platforms are also a lot better in terms of performance and features. Alternatively, you can always use the website builders offered by hosting providers like iPage and HostGator to try and get the best of both worlds.

Winner – Each of the companies on this list has something interesting to offer but we think Wix is the overall best Squarespace alternative currently available. Wix is an easier to use platform that comes with tons of useful apps and templates that are very close in terms of quality to those offered Squarespace. Perhaps even more important, the builder has a free plan and many premium packages that are much cheaper than Squarespace’s plans.

Best Cheap Web Hosting Reviews for Launching Websites EASILY

We’ve put together this resource for people who are looking to save a few bucks on their hosting. If you don’t really care how the sausage is made, and you just want to see our top picks, we’ll start with that.

If you want more information about what makes one company the best cheap hosting, or why you should certain other companies, you can keep reading… But we know most people are in a hurry, so here’s a quick rundown of our favorite choices for budget-friendly hosting that still packs a punch:

Cheapest Web Hosting Companies of 2018:

1. Bluehost.com

This is our top overall choice, we’ll cover it more detail later on this page, but here’s a list of the major reasons:

  • You get a lot of performance for a very reasonable price.
  • The easiest setup process we’ve ever seen, it only takes a few minutes until you’re up and running completely.
  • Their staff is out-of-this-world knowledgeable and helpful.
  • They’re the BEST hosting company for running WordPress, they basically make it all automatic and their servers are very well optimized for WP.
  • They are endorsed as the top hosting option by WordPress.org.
  • Tons of free add-ons to make your site even better.

Get Started with Bluehost Today for only $2.95/month!


2. SiteGround

SiteGround is another excellent hosting company who we have featured in-depth in the past, they’re a strong contender but didn’t quite edge-out Bluehost in this case. Here’s why we love SiteGround:

  • You know exactly how many resources you’re getting, and can very easily upgrade as needed. This helps to make sure you aren’t over-paying for extra resources that you don’t even need.
  • Performance is great, you won’t run into users who are abusing the service and hogging all the resources on a shared server.
  • Their staff are very talented and responsive, they have very quick support ticket times.
  • They offer one-click installations for a number of different apps and content management systems including WordPress.

3. InMotion Hosting

We recommend InMotion for higher-end servers, like VPS or Dedicated. It’s going to cost a lot more, so these are only for websites that are very popular and get a lot of visitors. You can always upgrade down the road if you want to start with a cheaper option for now.


4. Vultr

This is a different type of server. They’re one of our favorite Digital Ocean alternatives for people who are looking for a cheap option, and have a lot of experience with Linux and running web servers. Click here to experience Vultr.


Especially if you’re new to setting up a website, or even if you’ve bought hosting in the past but want something easy and cheap, we recommend sticking to either of the first two choices. 3 and 4 are more suited towards power-users.

Buyer’s Guide 2019 – An In-Depth Look

Cheap Hosting Buyer's Guide

If you want a website, you’re going to need webhosting. Searching through hosting reviews can be tiresome, and sometimes you already have a pretty good idea what you’re looking for and want to cut right to the chase. If this is you, then you’re in the right place, because we’re going to take a rapid-fire look at the best cheap web hosting options out there.

There’s no shortage of cheap hosts to choose from, but you need to consider more than just the price before making your decision. The cheapest hosts out there are far from the best, and frankly many of them are not even worth considering since they’re so low quality, have such bad reliability scores, terrible support staff… just companies you want to avoid altogether. Thankfully, you don’t have to learn that the hard way, because we’ve filtered out any cheap hosts that aren’t providing great quality and value for the money.

Factors to Consider

All of the hosts we’re about to feature have all been vetted, and they meet our important criteria, which is as follows:

  • Must be CHEAP! We’re looking for hosting companies that are very affordable, but without cutting corners.
  • Must be RELIABLE! Even cheap hosts should still have almost 100% uptime. Sure, thinks can go wrong with any host, even the most expensive ones, but all of the hosting companies on this list have excellent reliability, and uptime.
  • Must have EXPERT STAFF! In order for a hosting company to make this list, they need to have an excellent team of support staff, very short wait times when you need help, and a great reputation for taking care of their customers.
  • Must be FAST! These cheap hosting options aren’t going to be the highest performance servers in the world, but we’re still only considering companies that offer solid performance, and don’t oversell their servers.

We’ve spent years trying out countless hosting companies, and sharing our results here on this site. We’ve compiled all of our experiences with these the various companies out there, cherry-picked the very best options, and put them all together in one place, right here. Before we start naming names, let’s go over some of the basics that you need to know about the hosts of hosting.

How Much Does Web-hosting Cost?

The price of hosting is going to depend on which type of plan you choose, and how many resources you need for your site. Less expensive hosting packages are typically setup in a way where you’re sharing one server with a handful of other people, splitting the costs (But only you can access the backend of your site, nobody else has access, just as you don’t have access to their sites, everything is split off and separate, even thought the websites are running on the same hardware.)

For more popular sites, people will often rent an entire server to themselves, meaning they’re paying the entire price, instead of splitting it. This is where it starts to get quite expensive, and it’s far more than most people ever need, let alone beginners.

For a new website, there are a handful of costs, in addition to the hosting.

We’ll be featuring shared hosting today, which is the type of hosting that we just described, where multiple users share one server. It’s the most cost-effective way to get started, and a lot more newbie-friendly than other types of hosting that aren’t managed. Managed hosting means that the webhosting company will help you get things setup, and will help troubleshoot and fix any problems you may run into. Unmanaged hosting is for people who really know their way around already, and would rather save a bit of money and fix things completely on their own, which also includes keeping an eye on security for their site and keeping all of their software up to date. With these shared hosting plans, you don’t have to worry about any of that, because they’re managed and it’s the web hosting company that will take care of it all for you.

How Much You Really Need to Spend

The cost for shared hosting can vary quite a bit, but we recommend avoiding anything that sounds too good to be true. $5-$15 per month is a good price range for a rock-solid shared host like our top choices that we’re featuring on this page. Many hosting companies will give you a discount on your first term, whether you sign up to pay month-to-month, or year-to-year, so it’s usually a good idea to go for at least a year so that you can lock in that lower price. This gives customers a lower-cost way to try out them out, and they’re so confidant that people will want to remain with them, that they’re willing to risk losing a bit of money upfront. As a customer, just remember, after your initial term, if you choose to renew and keep your website going, you may end up paying a little bit more. By that time, your site will be established, you’ll probabally be making some money with it if that’s the goal, and the extra hosting cost will be nothing but a small drop in the bucket.

Other (Optional) Costs of Starting a Website

In addition to the hosting cost, you’ll need to pay for a domain name, too. Some hosting companies, like our overall top pick for best cheap hosting provider, Bluehost, will throw in a domain name for free which is always nice, and saves you a good $10-$15 dollars.

You may also need a premium theme unless you want to design your site from scratch. WordPress is the best way to get started, and they have a ton of premium themes availaible, but they also have a huge collection of free themes that you can browse through. The same goes for plugins. There are WordPress plugins to help with everything from speeding up your site’s performance, to adding additional security layers, and everything in between – and there are free and paid versions for just about anything  you can imagine. There are many option costs, but the bare minimum that you’ll need to spend is a few bucks a month for hosting, and a few bucks a year for your domain name (Unless you get your hosting from a company like Bluehost, who don’t charge their hosting customers extra for domains.)

Overall Winner: Bluehost

Our absolute top pick for super high-value shared hosting is a company called Bluehost. They’ve been an industry leader forever, and they make it easy as possible to get started.

It literally takes only a few minutes to get started with Bluehost, you can choose an account  that comes pre-installed with WordPress so all you’ve got to do is pick a name for your site, pick a theme, and you’re ready to go.

Bluehost isn’t the cheapest option, but they’re our favorite when it comes to matching massive value with a low price. They charge enough that you know their business model is sustainable, and that they can afford to hire amazing support staff and server technicians, and to invest in leading-edge quality hardware, but not so high that you’re paying a ridiculous amount. They’re able to do it thanks to the power of scaling, since they’re such a huge hosting company with so many clients that  they’ve earned over the years, so that brings down their average operating costs, and means they can offer you a very strong service, at a very low price.

Free Hosting?

Bluehost is out BEST overall, but what if you’re looking for the Cheapest or even a Free Host? Once again, in case you missed our warning earlier, we need to caution you against any of  the SUPER cheap options. There are companies who offer shared hosting for a penny per month, or a dollar per month, or some other insanely cheap amount. You need to avoid these altogether, it’s absolutely NOT worth the money you’ll save.

Often, these are fly-by-night companies who are scrambling to build up a big client case, but once they realize how tough it can be to start a hosting company, they often just disappear, leaving you high and dry, hoping that you remembered to save a backup of your site to your own computer, since they’ve shut down and disappeared with no warning.

It sounds horrible, and it is! But it happens all the time when you choose unproven hosting companies with too-good-to-be-true prices.

We would NEVER recommend one of those companies, and we can’t even list them because they come and go so often. So, stick to the options we’ve outlined on this page, and you’ll be all set.

Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated servers are usually pretty high-end, therefor also a lot pricier than anything else we’ve been featuring here today. They also offer some of the best performance, so for super popular sites, it starts to make a lot of sense.

Now, most sites aren’t that big, and most will never get big enough to need a supepr high-end dedicated server, but none the less, if you do, definitely check out InMotion’s offerings. They start at about $100 per month, and can handle just about anything you’ll be able to throw at them.

Unlimited Shared Hosting

Certain shared hosts, for instance Siteground, put a hard-limit on the amount of resources you can use before having to upgrade your site. This is good in the sense that it allows you to know exactly what your cut-offs are, and exactly how many visitors your site can handle in a month at  your current plan. The downside is that you could experience downtime if you unexpectedly hit those limits.

Alternatively, there are “unlimited” plans, but they’re not necessarily truly unlimited. They’re basically unlimited, unless you start hogging so many resources that it hurts the performances of other sites on the server. Some people prefer to have unlimited because they know they aren’t going to be abusing the server or doing anything sketchy, so they don’t have to worry about the limits.

This is the type of hosting that Bluehost offers, and they’re our number 1 overall pick, and so they’re also our top choice in this particular category of hosting.

Limited Shared Hosting

Siteground is an excellent shared hosting company, we would place them only a sliver behind Bluehost overall, so if you’re on the fence, they’re definitely worth checking out. The main difference is that they offer limited shared hosting, rather than unlimited.

Once again, even unlimited it only unlimited up to a certain point, so it’s kind of a misnomer, but what they mean is “unlimited, under regular usage”, which gives them a way out if people are hosting torrent sites or streaming tons of videos on their website and using up an insane amount of bandwidth or other server resources.

International Hosting (UK, Australia, India…)

best international hosting around the world

If the majority of your visitors are going to come from a country other than the United States, you may want to consider choosing a hosting company that is based in your home country. It can help a bit, it’s not necessarily going to make a HUGE difference, especially if you use a service like Cloudflare that has servers all around the world to help speed up your site, but none the less, we wanted to include some options here.

  • India: HostSoch offers reliable hosting based in India, so if your website visitors are primarily based in India, then this company is worth considering.
  • Australia: For Australians, choosing a local host can be very important, since it can otherwise take quite a while for your website to load, if the data has to travel back and forth across oceans. Check out VentraIP, they offer a great service for hosting in Australia.
  • Canada: HostUpon is a great choice for Canadians, but if a fair chunk of your visitors are Americans, you may want to consider going with a US-based host instead.
  • United Kingdom: UK2.net is a decent option for hosting with a UK-based company. We don’t have as much experience with UK hosts, so you may need to do a little more research if you’re in the United Kingdom.

VPS Hosting (Unmanaged)

Unmanaged hosting isn’t really what we’re focusing on for this article, but we can still point you in the right direction. The pros of unmanaged hosting is that you have a bit more control overall, and they generally cost less. The cons, however, more than offset the pros because the reason they cost less is because you don’t really get any help or support with setting up or maintaining your site.

None the less, Digital Ocean is a great option for unmanaged hosting if you’re feeling brave and want to spend the next few weeks learning the basics of managing your server.

Vultr offers a similar service to Digital Ocean, and has plans starting at about half the price, so they’re our pick for BEST cheap unmanaged hosting.

Managed VPS

The difference between this category and the previous one is that you get the advantages of a VPS server, without having to handle everything yourself, because you’ll also get the support of a managed server. You do pay a noticeable amount more for this, but many people find it worthwhile because they would rather work on growing their business, instead of working on their website’s server.

InMotion Hosting offers an excellent VPS for the money, it’s not the cheapest but the overall value is great. Knownhost is another provider that offers great support, and great servers, for surprisingly low prices.

WordPress Hosting

We’ve already talked about this a bit earlier, but in case you missed it, we’ve got to go with Bluehost once again. Their pre-installed cheap WordPress hosting is a crazy value, not just because of the price, but because of how much time it’ll save you.

No matter what value you place on your time, you’ll be so pleased with how quick and easy it is to get setup and running with Bluehost, even if this is your very first time ever creating a website.

Email Hosting

Email hosting is included with just about every hosting company, and it allows you to have email addresses that finish with @yourdomain.com. Using the built-in options is what most people will do, but some folks prefer to have a separate hosting company for their websites and for their email.

Zoho is a free option, and you can set it up with a bit of tinkering. Same goes for a service called Google Apps, but it’s going to cost you a few bucks a month.

Email hosting is included with InMotion Hosting, Bluehost, Digital Ocean, and any other company we’ve recommended on this list.

Bluehost vs. iPage Comparison 2019

Bluehost is often the default choice of those who are looking for a cheap and reliable hosting provider. That’s not exactly surprising given how much time and effort Bluehost invests into advertising in order to make itself as popular as possible. And it definitely works. Even people who aren’t very familiar with hosting providers know about Bluehost. But are the company’s services really as good as they seem at first glance? That’s exactly what we want to find out by comparing Bluehost with iPage.

Why iPage? Despite having been around longer than Bluehost, iPage is a fairly low-key provider. Sure, you may see an ad for iPage every once in a while but, for the most part, the company relies on its services to do the talking and doesn’t seem to invest as much into advertising. Moreover, iPage’s services are similar enough to those of Bluehost that we can draw a fair comparison between the two companies.

In case you’re trying to decide between these two providers, this comparison will help you figure out which of them would be the best choice for your particular needs. In order to make the comparison as detailed as possible, we’re going to look at a wide variety of aspects, including ease of use, pricing, hosting plans, customer support, and more. All of these factors will be taken into account when putting together our final verdict. With that out of the way, let’s start with something that might be of great interest to those of you who are new to web hosting.

Bluehost vs iPage for Ease of Use

Nowadays, most hosting companies streamline their services in order to make them more accessible to newcomers. That’s definitely the case here as well. If you’re looking for a company that’s easy to work with, you can’t really go wrong with either Bluehost or iPage. However, I do have to say that Bluehost outshines iPage just a little in this particular area.

Bluehost features a very traditional and straightforward cPanel that’s ideal not just for new users but also for those who are thinking about switching from a different provider. That’s because a lot of hosting companies use a very similar cPanel, so you’ll know exactly what to expect here. Another nice thing about Bluehost is that the company offers a shared portal for the cPanel and webmail client.

iPage has its own control panel but it’s a bit different compared to the traditional one you might be familiar with. The company created its own custom control panel known as vDeck, which to be honest is a bit less user-friendly and not quite as aesthetically pleasing as the regular cPanel. The vDeck isn’t bad or anything but it feels like an unnecessary alternative to the cPanel we all know and love.

Since we’re talking about ease of use, I think it’s worth mentioning a couple of things about WordPress. If you want to make things easier for yourself, you can build your website using the popular CMS, which works well alongside both Bluehost and iPage. Regardless of which company you decide to go with, you will be able to use a 1-click WordPress installer that will help you set everything up in just a few minutes. Bluehost does have better integration with the CMS but iPage can also host your WordPress website without any issues.

Ease of Use – We have to give Bluehost a slight edge in this department as the company uses a straightforward cPanel while iPage offers a custom control panel that some many find a bit convoluted.

Scalability

Hosting providers that offer highly scalable services are always extremely sought after. That’s because a good portion of users prefers not to spend too much money on web hosting right off the bat. This is especially true for those with small websites and blogs that don’t generate much revenue. If your site isn’t getting a lot of traffic it’s probably not worth investing in an expensive hosting package. Instead, you should go with a cheap plan and gradually scale up to the more expensive tiers once your site reaches a certain number of monthly visitors and, ideally, starts generating good revenue.

As we also highlighted in our Bluehost Review, scalability is one of Bluehost’s strong suits. You can expect a low entry point for shared hosting and plenty of opportunities to upgrade once you need to. There are four Shared hosting plans to choose from and a few other types of hosting to boot. That’s not the case with iPage because the company only offers one shared hosting package. Granted, this is a one-size-fits-all hosting plan that can be customized with a variety of add-ons. Many of these add-ons are pretty expensive, though, so it’s a bit hard to recommend iPage’s customizable package over Bluehost’s tiered structure.

If you’re looking to build a WordPress-based website, Bluehost is definitely the best choice here. The company offers cheap WordPress hosting along with a few more expensive managed WordPress Pro packages. Meanwhile, iPage only has two WordPress plans available and there are no managed versions.

If you’re looking for something more advanced, it’s worth noting that Bluehost and iPage also offer VPS and dedicated hosting plans. Both companies make a smooth transition between the final tier of shared hosting and the cheapest VPS package so expect to only pay a little extra when you upgrade. The situation looks a bit different when it comes to dedicated servers. At Bluehost, you only need to pay an extra $20 per month to upgrade from the most expensive VPS plan to the cheapest dedicated package. At iPage, the difference is $40/mo in the exact same scenario.

Scalability – It’s easy to see that Bluehost designed its services with scalability in mind as the price difference between the various packages and hosting types on offer is always fairly small. At iPage, the difference is a bit bigger and there’s essentially no scalability when it comes to shared hosting.

Prices & Plans

If you’ve been paying attention to the previous section you already know why you should carefully consider the price before signing up with a hosting provider. And, more importantly, why you should start off small instead of going for an expensive package from the get-go. Naturally, there are situations when you do want a plan that costs a lot but comes with many advanced features and support for a huge number of visitors. However, that generally only applies if you’re transferring an already established and popular website. If you’re just starting out, there’s no reason not to go for a cheap hosting plan and upgrade only when it’s absolutely necessary.

If the price is your main concern, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to break the bank when signing up with either of these two companies. Bluehost’s cheapest shared hosting plan (Basic) will only set you back $2.95 per month while the most expensive one (Pro) will cost you $13.95 per month. As mentioned, Bluehost is very scalable so expect to only pay a couple of bucks more per month if you decide to upgrade from Basic to the second or third tier. The price difference between the third and final tiers is a bit more significant so my advice is to just skip that and go for a VPS when it’s time to take your hosting to the next level.

[Insert Bluehost shared hosting plans]

iPage offers a single shared hosting plan, which will only set you back $1.99 per month. Right off the bat, this seems like a better value proposition compared to Bluehost’s Basic shared hosting plan, however, there is a little caveat. Some of the features that are available for free at Bluehost need to be purchased at iPage. These are the add-ons I mentioned earlier. For example, you can enhance your iPage package with a website security suite or add domain privacy. Some of these add-ons are quite cheap but others, such as the advanced website builder or the all-in-one WordPress optimization package, will cost you anywhere between $3 and $11 per month.

[Insert iPage shared hosting plan]

The entry points at Bluehost and iPage are pretty standard as most providers generally charge between $2 and $3 per month for their shared hosting services. iPage is cheaper but can potentially get a lot more expensive if you choose to include a bunch of add-ons with your package, some of which are pretty essential if you ask me. At the very least, you’ll want to add domain privacy and the site backup & restore add-ons. Bluehost has its own optional services you can add to your package but they are very cheap compared to some of the add-ons offered by iPage.

Add-ons aside, you can expect unmetered bandwidth, a free domain name for 1 year, a free SSL certificate, a basic website builder and a 30-day money-back guarantee regardless of which company you choose to side with. If you go with iPage, you also benefit from free email addresses and support for an unlimited number of websites. Bluehost also lets you create domain email addresses but you’ll need to pick at least the second shared hosting tier if you want support for more than one website. If you’re looking for professional email solutions, both providers offer business suits for an extra fee, though Bluehost does include a free 30-day trial with most of its hosting plans.

As far as the differences between Bluehost’s various shared hosting tiers are concerned, there are a few important ones you’ll need to be aware of. Unlimited storage is included with all plans except the cheapest one. The second tier also grants you access to spam experts and the aforementioned professional mailbox trial. Meanwhile, the third tier also comes with free domain privacy and a site backup tool. These two features are available as paid services with the first two tiers. Finally, the last tier includes all of those features along with a dedicated IP and a significant boost in server performance.

Prices – It’s a bit hard to declare a winner in this category given that our two competitors use fairly different business models. iPage does seem cheaper at first glance but may cost you more than Bluehost because of the add-on system. Overall, though, Bluehost does seem to offer a better bang for your buck.

Who’s best for SEO?

These days it’s almost mandatory to be familiar with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at least to some extent if you want to attract new visitors to your website. Optimizing all your content for search engines like Google can be a bit of a hassle but it’s something that you’ll need to learn how to do if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Don’t worry, though, because certain providers offer tools that can help you out with that. One such provider is Bluehost.

Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t offer these tools for free with its shared hosting plans but they are available as an optional service that only costs $2 per month. In addition, you can get Bluehost SEO tools for free by subscribing to the second or third tiers of managed WordPress Pro hosting. These packages are quite a bit more expensive compared to the shared plans but they include a lot more features, with the SEO tools being just a nice little bonus.

Speaking of WordPress, you can get plenty of great SEO plugins for the CMS without spending a dime. The easiest way of getting your hands on SEO tools is to simply build a WordPress website and download a plugin like Yoast, which is available in both free and premium variants. As you already know, Bluehost has better WordPress integration and is, in fact, the company’s number 1 provider of choice. If you decide to go with one of Bluehost’s WordPress Pro plans, you will also get access to the premium version of JetPack, which is another must-have plugin.

Of course, you can also build a WordPress website hosted by iPage without any issues. The company has its own WordPress plans along with an all-in-one WordPress optimization add-on for the shared hosting packages. The add-on comes with plenty of themes and plugins, automatic malware detection, WordPress expert support, and more. The drawback is that the add-on will set you back an additional $3 per month on top of what you’re paying for the actual hosting, additional price that other companies such as HostGator or Bluehost don’t charge when we compare them to iPage.

SEO – Considering that iPage doesn’t offer any SEO tools of its own, Bluehost wins in this category by default. Bluehost also has better support for WordPress, which can grant you access to powerful SEO plugins for free.

Additional Hosting Plans

If you’re just starting out and have a small website you’ll probably be looking into a cheap shared hosting plan, which is a very good choice. However, once your site gets to a certain point you’ll want to upgrade to a more expensive package before eventually switching to a new type of hosting altogether. That’s because you’re going to need more resources than a shared plan can offer in order to support all the extra traffic.

WordPress Hosting

Anyone looking to build a site using WordPress should definitely get one of these hosting plans. As you might expect, WordPress hosting packages come with features specifically designed for the popular CMS. Providers that offer these types of plans tend to optimize them by including 1-click installers for WordPress, themes, plugins, WordPress staging environments, and more.

Bluehost actually offers two types of WordPress hosting packages – managed and unmanaged. The unmanaged plans are very similar to Bluehost’s shared variants and even cost the same. So what’s the difference? Well, there are only three tiers to choose from here and each package includes $200 worth of marketing credit. In addition, these plans come with a WordPress staging environment, automatic WordPress installation, and automatic WordPress updates, among other things.

As far as the managed version is concerned, this type of WordPress hosting comes with many advanced features that will make your life a lot easier. Some of the highlights include daily scheduled backups, malware detection and removal, domain privacy, SEO tools, ads integration, marketing center, unlimited video compression, expert support, and more. You can also expect to benefit from unlimited web storage, no traffic limits, spam protection, and support for an unlimited number of domains and subdomains.

iPage only offers two WordPress packages, which are priced at $3.75 and $6.95 per month, respectively. Both of these plans include a free 1-year domain registration, unlimited storage and bandwidth, a customized control panel, and a handful of pre-installed themes and plugins. The more expensive tier also features SiteLock professional security, an automatic malware removal tool, and WordPress expert support.

VPS Hosting

Shared hosting comes with a number of drawbacks and isn’t an ideal choice for those who are worried about performance. Going for a VPS (Virtual Private Machine) instead will pretty much guarantee better uptime and page loading speeds as you won’t have to share your server with anyone else. VPS plans are more expensive but offer great value for your money.

Bluehost has three tiers of VPS hosting – Standard, Enhanced, and Ultimate. The cheapest tier will set you back $18.99 per month and grants access to a dual-core machine with 30 GB of SSD storage, and 2 GB of RAM. The other two packages give access to much more powerful servers but, of course, you’ll need to pay quite a bit more for them. Regardless of which package you choose, you can expect to have root access, an advanced control panel, instant provisioning, and the ability to add additional resources on the fly, among other things.

Similar to Bluehost, iPage offers three tiers of VPS hosting of its own – Basic, Business, and Optimum. Prices here start at $19.99 per month, so only $1 more than what Bluehost charges. The basic machine comes with more storage (40 GB) but only 1 GB of RAM and a single-core CPU. The other two servers are also comparable to the Bluehost equivalents but cost significantly more, so they’re pretty hard to recommend. In terms of features, there’s nothing really to write home about here with the exception of the free 1-year domain registration.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is fairly similar to VPS but you can expect even more resources to work with and, of course, a server that you have exclusive access to. Renting such a server isn’t cheap so I wouldn’t recommend going for a dedicated hosting plan unless you can afford it. If you can, you’ll never have to worry about performance again because this is the ultimate hosting solution.

Bluehost has remarkably low prices for dedicated servers compared to most of its competitors. The cheapest tier costs $79.99 per month and gives access to a quad-core virtual machine complete with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB of storage. On the high end of things, you can pay $119 per month for a server with a faster CPU, double the amount of storage, and four times the amount of RAM. The additional features are nearly identical to the ones I’ve mentioned in the VPS section so you already know what to expect here.

iPage also offers three types of dedicated servers, which are once again more expensive than the Bluehost equivalents. The price difference is even more significant in this case, with iPage’s cheapest dedicated server costing as much as Bluehost’s most expensive one. Namely, $119 per month. The specs are also a bit weaker and there are no other standout features with the exception of the free 1-year domain registration.

Additional Hosting Plans – Bluehost and iPage both have a large variety of hosting plans to choose from, including VPS, dedicated servers, and WordPress hosting. Regardless of which type we’ve looked at, Bluehost always seems to offer a better bang for the buck.

Key Features

The price is the deciding factor for many people when it comes to choosing a hosting provider. However, that’s often the last thing you need to worry about, especially in the case of shared hosting. Shared hosting is almost always cheap and there are no major price differences between one provider and the next. In order to remain competitive, companies try to attract customers by including appealing features and tools with their plans. In this section, we’re going to cover some of the most common ones and take a look at what Bluehost and iPage have to offer in this department.

Domain Registration

You can register a new domain at Bluehost for $11.99 for the first year. The renewal cost is $17.99 per year and you’ll need to pay an extra $11.88/year if you also want to add domain privacy. If you sign up for a Bluehost hosting plan, you will benefit from a free 1-year domain registration and you can also get free domain protection with certain packages.

Domain registrations at iPage are a bit cheaper and will only set you back $10.99 per year along with another $9.99/year if you choose to add domain privacy. iPage doesn’t charge extra for renewals so you don’t have to worry about paying more than the standard price after the first year. iPage also offers free domains when you sign up for a hosting plan, however, domain privacy is not included with any of the packages. Overall iPage is offering a good deal on domains, not trying to overcharge in any way, that’s why they deserve their place as one of the top Bluehost Alternatives.

Website Builder

Bluehost is an avid supporter of WordPress and, as such, recommends the CMS to all its customers. That said, the company does include a different website builder with its hosting plans. The builder in question is known as Weebly and comes with a few neat features, though nothing to write home about. Moreover, you only get access to the free version of Weebly so you’ll need to upgrade it if you want to take advantage of all its features. Personally, I would recommend just sticking with WordPress instead because you’ll get more out of it without having to spend a penny.

iPage has pretty good support for WordPress as well but the company also put a good amount of effort into creating its own website builder. The basic version of the builder is included for free when you purchase a hosting plan. In addition, there are two paid versions that will set you back $6.99 or $15.99 per month depending on which one you choose. As you might expect, these versions come with plenty of features that are not available in the free version. A few noteworthy examples include Google Analytics integration, support for embedding HD videos, and integrated site stats.

Databases

Bluehost and iPage are evenly matched in this department as both companies offered unlimited MySQL databases with all their hosting plans. You can create and manage your databases directly from the cPanel or vDeck, respectively.

Domain Emails

Domain emails and webmail access are available for free at Bluehost and iPage. If you’re looking for something a bit more professional, however, you can pay a couple of bucks extra per month to unlock access to professional business suites. Bluehost works with Microsoft Office 365 while iPage works with Google’s G Suite. Bluehost offers a free 1-month trial for the Office 365 suite with most of its plans. iPage doesn’t have a similar offer at the time of this writing.

Backups

Bluehost offers automatic website backups via a tool known as CodeGuard. The tool is available for free if you sign up for one of the more expensive hosting plans. You can also add the tool to any of the other plans by paying $3 per month. iPage has its own backup tool, which isn’t included for free with any of its hosting plans but only costs $1 per month if you want to add it to your package as an optional service.

eCommerce

Bluehost has three special plans on offer designed to support customers who want to build their own eCommerce platform. The plans cost between $6.95 and $12.95 per month and are based on the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress. These packages include some neat features but are, for the most part, identical to the regular shared and WordPress hosting plans. If you don’t need help setting up an online store, you could just build a WordPress website on one of the regular hosting plans and install WooCommerce on top.

If you go with iPage, you can unlock eCommerce functionality by opting for the third tier of the company’s website builder, which costs $15.99 per month. This will unlock a number of additional features for the builder that are specifically designed with eCommerce in mind. A few examples include inventory management, coupon codes, shopping cart, and the ability to choose between several different payment processors.

Money-Back Guarantee

Both Bluehost and iPage offer a standard refund policy that guarantees you can get your money back within 30 days in case you are dissatisfied with their services.

Key Features – Bluehost and iPage are surprisingly evenly matched when it comes to key features. iPage has a better deal on domain registration but Bluehost is a more appealing option for eCommerce. Everything else is either even or only slightly in favor of one of our competitors.

Bluehost vs iPage: Performance and Reliability

A cheap hosting plan with lots of great features won’t get you very far if your site is constantly experiencing downtime or slow loading speeds. That’s why it’s very important not to ignore these aspects when choosing your hosting provider. Now, most companies don’t do a great job at disclosing information related to the speed and performance of their services or if they do, it’s usually very biased. However, we did our own research on Bluehost and iPage and we’re eager to share our findings with you down below.

Speed

Bluehost prides itself on being one of the fastest hosting providers around, which is frankly a bit of an exaggeration. That said, the company does not disappoint when it comes to page loading speeds. On average, you can expect speeds that range between 406 and 689 ms depending on your location, whether the site uses shared or dedicated hosting, and a few other factors. Anything under 1 second is generally considered good so it’s safe to say that Bluehost is doing alright in this particular area.

As far as iPage is concerned, the results are a bit more inconsistent. The speeds you can expect from the company tend to fall anywhere between 1.44 and 2.6 seconds. Those results are pretty bad when compared to most of the other big hosting providers. Again, anything under 1 second is considered good so by that metric, iPage’s loading speeds would be seen as average if not outright bad depending on who you ask.

Uptime

Uptime is just as important as speed and essentially represents the amount of time a site is up and running. Ideally, you would want your site to be accessible 24/7 but the reality is that every website experiences downtime every now and again. That’s why most providers don’t guarantee 100% uptime, instead sticking to a more realistic 99% or even 99.99%. That’s still a pretty bold claim but one that certain companies are indeed able to stick to.

In the case of Bluehost, the 99.99% uptime guarantee is actually pretty accurate. The company very rarely experiences periods of downtime and when it does, they don’t last for very long. iPage is very close to being able to fulfill its 99.99% uptime guarantee as well but our research concluded that the actual uptime is closer to 99.97%. Still very good, mind you, but that does make iPage just a bit less reliable than Bluehost.

Performance and Reliability – The two providers are very close when it comes to uptime but Bluehost clearly has the superior page loading speeds.

Customer Support

Nobody likes to contact customer support for assistance but sometimes you simply have to. When that happens, it helps to have an experienced team of support agents on the other end that can give you a hand at a moment’s notice. If you’re lucky, you’ll never need to contact customer support because your site will always run smooth as butter. But just to be on the safe side, I recommend signing up with a provider that has multiple support channels to choose from and a reliable staff that’s always ready to assist you. You know when you might need the help.

Bluehost prides itself on having one of the best customer support teams in the industry. Support agents can be contacted 24/7 via ticket, live chat, and even phone. The only thing that’s missing here is email support. iPage is in a similar situation, with live chat, phone and ticket system all being readily available but no email support. iPage is known for being a bit slow when it comes to live chat so if that’s your preferred method of contacting support, you’re better off sticking with Bluehost.

Customer Support – Bluehost and iPage offer the same customer support channels but Bluehost’s agents are known for generally being more knowledgeable and faster to respond.

Bluehost vs iPage: An Obvious Winner

Looking back at everything we’ve covered in this article, it should be pretty obvious why Bluehost outshines iPage in virtually every department. The company offers a great bang for the buck, an award-winning support team, reliable performance, and plenty of hosting packages to choose from. Bluehost’s hosting plans also scale very well and the service is very beginner-friendly, which is always a major benefit.

That’s not to say that iPage doesn’t have anything to offer. On the contrary. The company actually has a very appealing all-in-one shared hosting package that’s incredibly cheap. The lack of variety might be seen as a drawback by some people but others will probably enjoy the simplicity that comes with having a single hosting plan that can be customized with a variety of add-ons.

When it comes to some of the other types of hosting, iPage can hold its own pretty well against Bluehost or any other provider. The only thing that holds the company back in this area is the price point. Many of the packages offered by iPage cost more but offer less than what competitors like Bluehost are able to deliver. iPage would be pretty easy to recommend if it was to lower the prices on some of its plans and improve the speed of its services.

As it stands, though, Bluehost is the clear winner of this competition. The company could make its services even more appealing by adding monthly billing cycles, email support, and a better in-house website builder. However, even without those things, it’s easy to see why Bluehost is the better option here and why it’s currently the most popular web hosting provider on the market.

Overall – Although iPage can be a good fit for some users, Bluehost is definitely the best choice for most people. The company outshines iPage in every department and overall offers better value for a similar price in the case of shared hosting, and a much lower price in the case of VPS and dedicated hosting.

Bluehost vs. HostMonster

Today we’ll be looking at Bluehost vs. Hostmonster. If you’re here, you are probably interested in seeing which hosting company comes out the best. That means that you’ve narrowed your choices down to HostMonster and Bluehost. We are going to embark on an in-depth, totally unbiased review of both hosts. Hopefully, at the end of it all, we are able to help you make the right decision.

Bluehost vs. HostMonster: A Complete Overview

There’s no easy, or rather objective, way to put this; the truth is that Bluehost is a massive, massive name in Web-hosting. If you are someone easily carried away by big names, just purchase a Bluehost plan already. They don’t just have a big name, though. As one of the three officially recommended hosting services by WordPress, Bluehost has over two million websites hosted on its servers (as we mentioned in our Bluehost Review).

Big numbers, right? In addition to that, Bluehost has a wide variety of plans so there is plenty of room to scale, and they also offer some of the most competitive prices in the market. Bluehost’s prices are so low that they’ve earned the right to be called a cheap hosting company, and for a cheap service, Bluehost has really good performance. But do all these make Bluehost better than HostMonster?

Founded in 1996, HostMonster is around the same age as Bluehost and is one of the oldest Bluehost Alternatives on the market. For the most part, HostMonster offers most of the services that Bluehost does. HostMonster’s selling point is almost the same with Bluehost too – plans are really cheap, there are a lot of deals to choose from, and the service is kept simple via a cPanel backend.

However, there seems to be a consensus that HostMonster’s time has passed and the quality of service provided by them is on a decline since the company was acquired in 2015 by EIG – at least this is what we found out during our preliminary investigations, despite the fact that EIG also owns some “better rated” hosts such as HostGator and Bluehost.

BluehostHostMonster
Founded in19961996
BBB RatingA+A-
HeadquartersUtahUtah
FounderMatt HeatonUnknown
Starting Price$2.95$4.95

Popularity Comparison

When it comes to popularity, there is a very short list of hosting companies more popular than Bluehost. HostMonster isn’t on that list.

But does it matter? Not really. Like we said earlier, what people believe isn’t always the truth. HostMonster could end up performing better than Bluehost in this comparison.

Performance

Performance is important when choosing the perfect hosting service for your website. After all, no one wants a slow, unresponsive and lethargic hosting server. Users want their websites to always be accessible and they want it to always be accessible quickly. So we are going to measure both Bluehost and HostMonster performances using speed and uptime as criteria.

Speed

Speed is a very important metric, no matter what kind of website is being hosted. Google has shown that sluggish websites usually have low traffic and even lower conversion rates. In fact, if your site loads any slower than 2-3 seconds, you will start losing visitors.

There is only one way to measure a host’s speed. That way involves buying a plan, setting it up with a dummy website and using a tool like Pingdom to test the speed. Was that what we did? No, not exactly. We didn’t use Pingdom to measure the website’s speed once – we used it several times and calculated the average speed over our testing period.

Bluehost Speed Tests

Averaging 461ms TTFB (Time to the first Byte), Bluehost is pretty fast. At least faster than most of our tested sites. Bluehost will win no speed awards or enter any top list regarding speed. However, users aren’t likely to have any complaints regarding their page load time. To further test the authenticity of this result, we sent 100 virtual users to our dummy site to test Bluehost’s speed under traffic. Speed levels remained fairly stable, so users won’t have to worry about speed levels dropping due to an increase in visitors.

Too often, we just measure speed and forget to look at the tech involved. Bluehost makes use of Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network) which speeds up the loading time of websites. CDN works by keeping caches of websites at datacenters around the globe so that when a visitor clicks on the web site’s URL, the network finds the location of the visitor and the content is delivered from the closest database to the visitor.

HostMonster Speed Tests

Next up, is HostMonster. Using the same methods used to measure Bluehost’s speed, we went to work on HostMonster’s servers and were, to put it mildly, disappointed. At an average TTFB of 950ms, HostMonster is decidedly below average. An average response time of almost one second is poor by any standards. But there is some consolation for HostMonster though – as unlikely as it might be, we’ve seen worse.

The fact that HostMonster uses SSDs makes this performance even more shocking.

Bluehost SpeedHostMonster Speed
TTFB461ms950ms
CDN InlcudedIncludedIncluded
Starting Storage50 GB50 GB
SSDYesYes
Starting Price$2.95$4.95

Uptime

It is important that your website is accessible quickly, and it is equally important that it is accessible. It goes without saying that a poor uptime affects conversion rates and traffic pretty steeply –  people cannot visit a site that isn’t up.

We tested Bluehost’s Uptime

Throughout our testing period, Bluehost maintained an uptime of 99.99% which is about as close to perfect as anyone can get. What conclusion can we get from this? Bluehost is extremely reliable. However, this score isn’t without blemish. Bluehost doesn’t have one thing that most other services have, and that’s an uptime guarantee. While it doesn’t look like users may have problems with Bluehost’s uptime today, the story can quite easily change. And when it does, users would want a compensation policy for poor uptime. Bluehost doesn’t offer this.

We tested HostMonster’s Uptime

HostMonster performed marginally better with regards to uptime. We measured uptime of 99.96% during our testing period. This isn’t really great and would result in tangible downtime during the course of the year, but it isn’t quite terrible either. In fact, we use the words “thoroughly average” to describe it, and for a hosting service that has below-average speed, an average uptime is something of a step up. But that is where the positives end for HostMonster. There is no uptime guarantee as well so this means that users have to deal with tangible downtime and also have no way of addressing it.

Bluehost UptimeHostMonster Uptime
Last 7 Days100%99.95%
Last 30 Days99.98%99.98%
2019 Uptime99.99%99.97%
2018 Uptime99.99%99.96%
Uptime GuaranteeNoNo
Starting Price$2.95$4.95

Ease of Use for Bluehost compared to HostMonster

Whether advanced or not, users are generally averse to complicated backends. Simplicity, while simple, can be a difficult task to accomplish when designing a hosting backend. Let’s see how HostMonster and Bluehost fare in this regard.

Bluehost Ease of Use Overview

Bluehost makes use of cPanel, which is a good sign. cPanel is the most popular user interface for Web-hosting and it is quite easy to use and understand. The most important thing about cPanel, though, is that a lot of hosting providers make use of it, so it is easier for users switching from other companies to understand the new backend.

Bluehost’s cPanel has been heavily customized by the Bluehost team to be even easier to use. It also has some exciting features like My Sites, that allows you to manage all your websites via the same account you’re logged into; Marketplace where you can find new add-ons, WordPress themes, and professional services if you’re looking to purchase them.

You can also access your domain manager from the Domains tab, a feature that allows you to monitor the registration status of your domains, discover and register new domains, set up redirection, and update information. Users can find all the advanced settings they want under the advanced section. Bluehost also automatically updates the WordPress core software so that users have one less thing to worry about.

Bluehost has a drag and drop functionality – which means that most tasks can be accomplished without the user having to write a single line of code. Bluehost doesn’t have a proprietary website builder, but users interested in building their own website can make use of Weebly, a third-party website builder provided by Bluehost. One-click installs and WordPress installer is easily accessible from the dashboard so setting up should be a breeze. Generally, we found it easy to control our website from Bluehost’s backend and that is the important thing, ease. It was very easy for us.

Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t offer free site migrations. Users will have to pay a one time fee of $149.99 (this enables the migration of up to five websites, 20 email accounts and database files) to migrate their sites.

Let’s compare our experience with HostMonster’s

First off, the sign-up process was a breeze. We only to go through one page before we had our account up and ready.

Like Bluehost, HostMonster offers cPanel support, and like Bluehost’s cPanel, the interface has been customized heavily. Upon logging in, users are greeted with a clean, simple and uncluttered space to work with. You are able to see the sites you’re controlling, get themes and add-ons from the marketplace, manage and check emails and so on.

HostMonster’s dashboard is very user-friendly and it makes it really easy for beginners and advanced users alike to complete their tasks. To make life easier for their customers, HostMonster offers free domain names even with the most basic plan. However, it is only free for the first term as subsequent renewals will have to be paid by the user.

After set up, HostMonster provides users with some quick options to get their website up and running in no time. Some of these options include free DIY site builders, a one-click WordPress installation package that is easily accessible from the backend and instant account setup. HostMonster also provides access to several site scripts via the popular Mojo marketplace – just like Bluehost.

Unfortunately, like Bluehost, HostMonster doesn’t offer free site migration either. In fact, HostMonster’s paid migration service is very similar to that of Bluehost’s; you can only migrate 5 websites, 20 email accounts and five databases per payment. We are sure you’ve read that somewhere. And guess what? It costs exactly $149.99.

Bluehost Ease of UseHostMonster Ease of Use
Free DomainYesYes
Dedicated Support for BeginnersYesNo
DashboardcPanelcPanel
Website BuilderWeeblyWeebly
One-click InstallsYesYes
Site Migration$149.99$149.99
Starting Price$2.95$4.95

Money-Back Guarantee Policy

You liked what you read on the internet. You paid for the Web-hosting plan. And then you discovered that you’ve been lied to, bamboozled, and swindled. The performance isn’t at the level you expected, you’d find better customer service at a county jail, and the interface is more confusing than… something really confusing. You get the picture now, don’t you? So what happens then? Can you ask for a refund? Is there a time frame? Are there terms and conditions connected to asking for a refund?

Bluehost Refund Policy

With Bluehost, it is pretty simple. If you buy a shared hosting plan, you have the grace to test run the plan for a month. If you aren’t sure, you can request a refund within the first thirty days of your plan. Pretty sleek, right? But is thirty days enough time to really be sure of your choice of Web-host? The answer is relative, of course, but seeing as other services offer up to 97-days money-back guarantee period, we think Bluehost could do better.

Terms and conditions apply too. According to them, you only get refunds on your hosting cost and not other products like domains and add-ons. Also, a $11.99 fee will be deducted from the refund if you’ve received a free domain name.

How does this compare to HostMonster’s policy?

Like Bluehost, HostMonster offers a 30-day money-back guarantee period. The same conditions that apply with Bluehost apply to HostMonster too; things like add-ons and free domain names aren’t included in the refund package.

Bluehost Money BackHostMonster Money Back
Period30-days30-days
Domains$11.99 Non-refundable$11.99 Non-refundable
Add-onsNon-refundableNon-refundable

HostMonster vs. Bluehost: Customer Support and Reliability

When choosing a hosting provider, there are three things that should absolutely not be ignored and they are Performance, Pricing structure, and Customer support. Even the most advanced users often have the need to ask for help, talk less of beginners. And when this time comes, it is important to be comforted in the fact that the tech support of your Web-hosting service is available and able to solve your problems.

Therefore we will be measuring customer support from two important angles: availability and ability. How easy is it to get hands-on a live rep, and are live reps able to solve problems quickly and efficiently? Let’s find out.

Bluehost’s Customer Support

Bluehost has a lot of channels for contacting live reps and they are available on all hosting plans. They offer live chat, phone, email tickets, and knowledgebase support 24/7 so users have a lot of options in resolving issues. In order to see how available Bluehost’s live reps are, we decided to attempt to solve a technical problem via their live chat support.

We tried connecting to a live rep several times and we were grateful to be connected to one in five minutes or less. Putting into consideration the fact that Bluehost is pretty much one of the largest hosting service providers in the world, an average wait time of five minutes is really impressive.

For the most part, the reps that we spoke to were knowledgeable and looked like they knew exactly what they were doing. However certain questions got them stumped and we were forced to wait for several minutes to get an answer. In our opinion, Bluehost’s customer support can probably help out if you run into some minor issue, but with the bigger problems you’re gonna have a less than ideal experience.

Bluehost has a special WordPress customer service channel called Blue flash. It is free for all users and is only available on the phone channel. Customers can call and request to begin their Blue flash call and would instantly be connected to WordPress experts to walk them through absolutely any problems they might have.

HostMonster’s Customer Support

HostMonster offers the same channels as Bluehost, and when we tried their customer service, we got almost the same feeling as with Bluehost. However, wait times in between replies were a bit longer than wait times with Bluehost.

This brought us to the conclusion that is possible that HostMonster customer reps are attending to multiple customers at once, or worse, they have to consult some handbook or literature to answer the simplest questions. Whichever it is, it doesn’t look good. Additionally, before having access to customer service options, users will have to go through a long verification process (although this is a really good security measure).

We think that most people would rather just Google their problems than ask HostMonster for a solution.

Bluehost SupportHostMonster Support
Chat Support4.5 / 54 / 5
Phone Support4.5 / 54.5 / 5
Knowledgebase4 / 53.5 / 5
Dedicated Support for BeginnersYesNo
Starting Price$2.95$4.95

Security

For most people, their website is an integral part of their business. It follows that it is important for websites to be secure from the actions of mischievous people on the internet. While users can take their own precautions, most of the work rests with the security of the entire hosting infrastructure. And building and maintaining that infrastructure is the job of the hosting companies.

Bluehost Security Features

Bluehost has great security options, even though you might have to pay extra for some of them. SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt come free with every plan, while Domain Privacy only with top tier plans, a feature that hides the personal information of the Website owners from hackers.

Bluehost also has Sitelock, a security feature that scans for malware, and prevents attacks. Asides that, Bluehost makes use of Codeguard. Codeguard’s job is to provide daily backups ready for one-click restoration in the unlikely scenario that your website is tampered with by external attacks.

There’s also a Google tool called Postini which provides spam protection for your emails. Postini safeguards your email by making sure that spam emails and suspicious-looking mail don’t find their way into your inbox.

Bluehost has OpenPGP/GPG support so that users can send and receive files securely. There is also support for single sign-on so that users don’t have to make use of the insecure passwords that they might have used elsewhere. There is also support for two-factor authentication.

Bluehost believes that half of the responsibility of security lies with users, and users have to secure things on their end to ensure comprehensive security. Bluehost makes it easier to do your part by providing you with a checklist of all the things you need to secure your website from your end. Your website is protected from hacks by an isolation technology that isolates accounts on the same server. This a type of risk mitigation as it helps to preserve website performance.

HostMonster Security Features

Like Bluehost, HostMonster doesn’t offer guaranteed backups. Backups might be done, by they are done at entirely the discretion of HostMonster (and presumably the IT guy in charge of your server). They aren’t mirrored backups either, as HostMonster only keeps one copy of your site in their files. HostMonster also deletes backups older than 30 days.

The smart option, if you were to purchase a HostMonster plan, would be to add site backup pro at check-out. This allows you to perform daily backups yourself and makes it easier for you to perform restores to your website from any point in history. This will cost you about $1.99 per month, though.

It isn’t all doom and gloom though, as HostMonster has a few security features like Hotlink Protection, SSH Access, free SSL certificates, and Spam Assassin Protection.

HostMonster also has a “site doctor” feature (you have to pay to get access to it), that helps to remove viruses. It gets interesting. This service has a Money-back policy – if your problem can’t be fixed, you get your money back. There is also protection against DDoS attacks, BitNinja support, and ModSecurity.

Users also get access to a free version of Sitelock, a feature that works like a Pseudo-antivirus for your website. Users are free to upgrade their version of Sitelock or purchase more backups through Codeguard.

All in all, HostMonster isn’t seriously lacking in the security department.

Bluehost SecurityHostMonster Security
Free SSLYesYes
WHOIS Privacy$14.88$14.88
Sitelock$23.88$23.88
Starting Price$2.95$4.95

HostMonster vs. Bluehost Plans & Pricing

When you want to purchase something, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is the price. How much does the service cost? Can I afford it? Is it worth the price I am paying for it? These are probably the questions you’d want to be answered. The good news is that we can answer two out of those questions for you right now.

Bluehost Plans

Bluehost has a lot of plans (VPS, dedicated hosting, WP pro, etc), but we will be considering their shared hosting plans alone because that’s the most common type of hosting plan. They have four shared hosting plans which are the Basic, Plus, Choice-plus and the Pro plans.

Bluehost BasicBluehost PlusBluehost Choice PlusBluehost Pro
Websites AllowedOneUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD Storage50GBUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
SSL CertificateFreeFreeFreeFree
Free DomainYesYesYesYes
Whois Privacy$14.88$14.88FreeFree
Professional Email$2.99Free 30-daysFree 30-daysFree 30-days
Spam PreventionNoneSpam ExpertsSpam Experts2x Spam Experts
Marketing Credits$200 Free$200 Free$200 Free$200 Free
Site BackupManualManualCodeGuardCodeGuard
Dedicated IPNoNoNoYes
Enhanced PerformanceNoNoNoYes
Old Price$7.99$10.99$14.99$23.99
Discounted Price$2.95$5.45$5.45$13.95

The Pro plan is the most expensive shared hosting plan that Bluehost offers. It costs $13.95 per month (renewal is $23.99 per month) and comes with all the features of the Choice-Plus plan with a dedicated IP address and high performance. According to Bluehost, high performance means that Pro servers allow for 300,000 file count and are deployed with fewer users per server than standard shared servers, allowing for greater compute resource availability per user.

All Bluehost shared hosting plans come with a domain manager, resource protection, and scalability. Bluehost’s resource protection feature means that websites using too many resources are temporarily relocated to isolated systems.

There is one snag, though. And depending on your hosting needs, it can turn out to be a very big one. Bluehost doesn’t offer monthly payments. And if you want to get a great deal, you might have to pay for more than a year at once. It is also important to note that Bluehost’s introductory prices are just that – introductory prices. After your first payment, the price gets more expensive. So, you are forced to pay for at least three years in advance to make the best use of their really low prices.

HostMonster Plans

HostMonster has a host of plans too (VPS, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting) but we’ll look at their shared hosting plans alone. HostMonster has three shared hosting plans and they are the Basic, Plus and Prime plans. Like with Bluehost, HostMonster is constantly running discounts on their introductory process so they are always considerably lower than renewal prices.

HostMonster BasicHostMonster PlusHostMonster Choice PlusHostMonster Pro
Websites110UnlimitedUnlimited
PerformanceStandardStandardStandardHigh
Email Accounts5UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Email Storage100MBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Website Space50 GBUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Max File Count200.000200.000200.000300.000
SubDomains2550UnlimitedUnlimited
One Free Domain PrivacyNoNoYesYes
Free Dedicated IPNoNoNoYes
Free SSL CertificateIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Premium SSL CertificateNoNoNoPositive SSL
MySQL Databases20UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Old Price$9.49$12.49$14.99$25.49
Discounted Price$4.95$6.95$6.95$14.95

HostMonster’s prices are low, but are they low enough to allow us to choose HostMonster over Bluehost? No, not really. In fact, plan to plan, Bluehost’s plans actually pack more quality – and are cheaper too.

Extra Features

There are so many aspects of web hosting. So many that we might not have been able to cover some of the less important features that both HostMonster and Bluehost have to offer.

Bluehost Extras

  • To manage your domains through them, Bluehost has a proprietary domain manager;
  • One-click installations for over 100+ apps from MOJO;
  • It has CDN access;
  • Offers hotlink protection to protect your data;
  • Supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and you can use either phpMyAdmin, Remote MySQL, or phpPgAdmin to manage your databases;
  • Bluehost is one of the three officially recommended Web-hosts by WordPress;
  • Bluehost supports the use of PHP PEAR packages, Perl modules, Cron jobs, and Apache handlers;
  • It offers the services of website builders like Weebly.

HostMonster Extras

  • There is a user forum where interested customers can ask for advice and interact with a community of HostMonster users;
  • It has a pay-per-click marketing service available;
  • Offers an SEO report that tells you exactly how well your website is doing on search engines;
  • Supports lots of e-commerce features and they include Zen Cart, Video streaming services, Audio streaming, SSL Secure Server, oS Commerce, and Custom MIME services;
  • HostMonster is a partner with FileZilla. FileZilla is a very useful file transfer application and comes really handy when you need to move your files;
  • Supports Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, and Flash Shockwave;
  • HostMonster has CDN support;
  • It has access to the MOJO marketplace.

Major Differences between HostMonster and Bluehost

Just to recap, let’s look at the major difference between Bluehost vs. HostMonster:

  • Bluehost performs better than HostMonster in all ramifications;
  • Bluehost’s plans are cheaper than HostMonster’s;
  • Bluehost has a managed WordPress hosting plan called WP pro, HostMonster doesn’t;
  • Bluehost has better customer support than HostMonster.

Bluehost vs. HostMonster: Our Pick

Bluehost vs. InMotion

Today, we’ll be looking at InMotion vs. Bluehost. Which one of these hosting providers is the best? We don’t know, but we are willing to find out. So what do we know? We know that both InMotion and Bluehost have a certain reputation among users.

Bluehost is partly popular because of its partnership with WordPress (they are one of the three recommended hosting companies by WordPress).

InMotion Hosting, on the other hand, stands out with a wide variety of plans, great support and a tiny rare something called independence. On the surface, both Bluehost and InMotion are more or less evenly matched. Both are sufficiently popular, both have great and bad reviews on the internet, and both are more than decent hosting companies.

But you wouldn’t be here if you wanted to know about a decent hosting company. You’re here because you want to make the best choice. And we are here to help you.

Bluehost vs. InMotion Hosting Overview

The founders of Bluehost are Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth and the company was founded in Provo Utah. Founded in 1996, Bluehost is quite an old company (even when compared to giants such as HostGator). At least by web standards. The internet revolution didn’t properly kick off until at least the late 2010s. With a staff of over 750 people working around the clock and over two million hosted websites, there are not many hosting companies doing as well business-wise as Bluehost. The fact that they are the number one hosting provider recommended by WordPress must also mean something.

Decent performance and great ease of use are some of the things that Bluehost tries to stand out for. We’ll see shortly if they are as outstanding as they seem on the surface. Besides Bluehost, only two other hosts are recommended by WordPress, the second-best option being Siteground (feel free to check our Bluehost vs. Siteground comparison) and Dreamhost (We also have an in-depth comparison between Bluehost and Dreamhost).

InMotion was born roughly five years after the birth of Bluehost. That doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty old too. The company began operations in 2001 and hasn’t looked back since then. Hosting over 300,000 websites on their servers, InMotion is also doing great numbers.

InMotion is one of those few providers that are so “snobbishly” high tech, and it is little wonder that several thousand websites have chosen their servers as home. Another thing that stands InMotion out from the rest probably has little to do with their actual hosting performance and has all to do with their ownership. InMotion is one of the few hosting companies left that isn’t owned by EIG, so they are independent, in that sense.

Performance

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of hosting. Performance. How quick are their servers and how reliable are they? These two important variables will be measured with loading speed and uptime. It goes without saying that one of the things that makes a hosting provider great is speed and reliability.

Bluehost Uptime vs. InMotion Uptime

BluehostInMotion
January 202099.95%99.8%
December 201999.9%99.9%
November 201999.9%99.85%
201999.97%99.95%
201899.89%99.95%
Starting from$2.95$3.99

Bluehost Uptime

To check out Bluehost’s uptime, we purchased a basic Bluehost shared hosting plan when we wrote our Bluehost Review. Over the course of our testing period, we recorded an uptime of 99.99%. In an industry saturated with DDoS attacks and failing or subpar infrastructure, it is comforting to have a hosting service that can provide a negligible level of downtime each year.

This means that business or traffic won’t be lost as a result of your website being down because of failing servers – at least 99.99% of the time. That is as much as any shared hosting can provide over a long enough period of time.

Unfortunately, in spite of a great uptime, Bluehost fails to deliver in one critical sector. Bluehost doesn’t have an uptime guarantee like most of its alternatives. This means that if Bluehost stops doing a great job regarding uptime, there is pretty little you can do about it. Of course, you can place a call to their customer support system anytime in hopes of getting your problems fixed.

InMotion Uptime

Using the same methods, we also measured InMotion’s Uptime when we did the research for our comprehensive InMotion Review. 99.95% might seem like a great percentage on a lot of things and it would be difficult to say bad things about such a high percentage. But that is exactly what we are going to say.

Over the course of a year, downtime minutes add up and having a hosting provider that keeps your website up 99.95% of the time can affect conversion rates in a big way. Additionally, unlike with many other hosting services, you cannot check for yourself the uptime of your site via service logs. You have to phone the technical support of InMotion to actually confirm whether your site experienced downtime or not. However, unlike with Bluehost, there’s a path of redress.

InMotion provides one of the best uptime guarantees that we’ve seen. Which is kind of ironic because of the kind of uptime that we recorded. In any case, if you’re on the Pro Plan or higher and you get an uptime lower than 99.99%, you get one free month of service. Amazing, right? Well, not entirely. Terms and conditions apply; downtime experienced because of external attacks or maintenance do not count.

Speed Comparison

We are in a digital world, and people want to get things done faster than ever – and more than ever, they have the ability to do so. 40% of online shoppers won’t make use of a site that consistently has speed problems.

Both Bluehost and InMotion don’t have a good reputation when it comes to speed, but that doesn’t mean that we should give them a free pass, does it?

Bluehost Speed Tests

We monitored Bluehost’s speed for a while and measured an average response speed of 461ms. Bluehost, in the US, is much faster than that, even comparable to WP Engine (one of the fastest all-around hosts). The only reason their average went this high is that we took response speeds from other locations into consideration. Like we said earlier, Bluehost probably wouldn’t make a top ten list of the fastest hosting providers available, but the good news is that the hosting service would probably make the top twenty. While not especially remarkable, an overall TTFB of 461mms is comfortably above average.

InMotion Speed Tests

InMotion recently developed a technology called Max Speed Zones™ that is, in theory, supposed to deliver the same loading speed across the world.

We measured InMotion’s response time and arrived at an average figure of 781mms. Maybe this is because InMotion only has datacenters in the US?

While InMotion’s speed isn’t the worst on the market, it is decidedly stuck in the average zone. The loading speed of almost two seconds makes things even worse for InMotion. Thankfully, InMotion doesn’t get much worse under a lot of traffic, so that’s one positive to take from all this. This is important because there are a lot of providers who clock great speeds, but once under load, things tend to find a way to go sideways.

Bluehost or InMotion for Ease of Use?

Not all hosting providers have the same level of usability, and some are easier to use than others. Users don’t want to waste time figuring out the backend of a hosting provider, and many would rather just opt for a hosting service that is easy to understand.

Bluehost Ease of use

Bluehost is really easy to use. They have a user-friendly panel that is based on cPanel but has been customized to be even more user-friendly than the traditional cPanel interface. The layout is very easy to understand, and you just need to drag and drop to accomplish most tasks. Bluehost’s cPanel also has some novel features like:

  • My Sites, a feature that allows you manage your websites via the account you’ve logged into.
  • A marketplace where you can find new add-ons, WordPress themes, and professional services if you’re looking to purchase them.
  • You can also access your domain manager from Domains, a feature that allows you to monitor the registration status of your domains, discover and register new domains, set up redirection, and update information.

Under an advanced section, the more complex commands are hidden but still available through a click of a mouse. It is very easy to install and start-up WordPress too. People who are not interested in creating a WordPress website can call on the services of Weebly (this is a third-party Bluehost website builder tool that makes Bluehost comparable to Wix for Ease of Use) to start with an easily customizable template.

Bluehost and WordPress users have something like an assistance highway prepared for them. Immediately after onboarding, Bluehost guides WordPress users through every part of building their own websites. This feature includes WordPress installation, and you’re even advised on what sort of plugins to add to your site. In addition to this, Bluehost offers free domain names and SSL certificates with their shared hosting plans so beginners have fewer things to worry about.

Sign up steps? Pretty easy too, with a simple two-page sign-up process. However, Bluehost doesn’t offer free site migrations. To migrate your website from another provider to Bluehost, you will be required to pay a one time fee of $149.99 that allows you to migrate up to five websites and 20 email accounts and other database files that may be needed.

BluehostInMotion
PanelCustomised cPanelcPanel
Site Migration$149.99Free
One-click installYesYes
Website builderWeeblyBoldridge
Test areaNoYes
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSLOne-click instalOne-click instal
Starting from$2.95$3.99

InMotion Ease of use

InMotion makes use of the Boldridge website builder which is really easy to navigate through. It also has an innovative staging area. A staging area is somewhere you can see the changes you have made on your website before going live. That way, you don’t affect a change that you wouldn’t like on your website. The website builder also brings drag and drop functionality to the CMS. What this means is that you can create and update your website without having to deal with coding – or have any knowledge of it whatsoever.

This doesn’t stop you from exploring WordPress to its fullest extent, though. Users can still reach thousands of WordPress plugins. InMotion also supports around 310 applications and over 200 templates. If this process sounds too tedious for you, you can contact InMotion directly and get your website built for you in two business days. Although the service isn’t free, it certainly wouldn’t cost you a fortune.

Like Bluehost, InMotion makes use of cPanel but with some serious customization done on it. They added new and helpful features like the Softaculous installer that gives you an easy route to installing as many as 400 apps. This includes content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, Magneto, and WordPress. Cron jobs, a unique feature of InMotion’s cPanel, allows a user to create scripts that can perform repetitive work. This feature is probably of better use to web developers.

Users of InMotion also have access to multiple databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL. They also have the opportunity to manage site files via a command line. So basically, InMotion’s cPanel isn’t just optimized for beginners. It also has a lot of advanced features for users with more programming knowledge. InMotion provides free site migration but it takes about 1-4 days – however, if you want your migration to be at the top of the queue, you can pay for a premium one.

Money-back Policy

Making use of a hosting provider can be discouraging if, after migrating to its services, some flaws are discovered. Is the money refundable? Most hosting providers have a policy regarding this.

Bluehost Money-back Policy

Bluehost provides for a 30-days money-back guarantee policy. This means if payment is made for an annual plan, a maximum of 30-days is given to decide if you want to continue using Bluehost services. If you find the services unsatisfactory after 30-days a refund will be granted under three conditions:

  • The first is that you can only get refunds on the web hosting cost, not on other domain products or add-ons.
  • Secondly, if the cancellation is made after 30-days, the initial cost will not be refunded.
  • Thirdly, since the domains given by Bluehost is not free, a fee of $15.99 will be deducted if a free domain name is received.

It is important to be familiar with these conditions before signing up with Bluehost.

InMotion Money-back Policy

InMotion Hosting has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are purchasing a VPS, dedicated or a reseller hosting package on a monthly basis then a refund is assured within your first 30-days. However, if you purchase a shared business hosting plan, a 90-days full refund is guaranteed. This gives enough time to explore InMotion’s services without any risk.

This service provided by InMotion hosting shows that they have a level of confidence in their services.

InMotion Hosting vs. Bluehost for Customer Support and Reliability

Even the most seasoned website developers need help sometimes. So the customer support efficiency of a hosting provider is a good way to measure the quality of the service. Because, frankly, when things go wrong, who you gonna call?

Bluehost’s Customer Support

Bluehost offers basically everything regarding customer support from 24/7 live chat/phone support to a very up to date knowledge base. But the availability of these different channels doesn’t mean much if it is difficult to get a hold of a live rep, or if the help provided isn’t of high quality. So we tried out their live chat channel, and we had a negligible wait time. It was about 3-5 minutes each time we connected. The reps that we spoke to were knowledgeable, although it was clear that they weren’t exactly technical experts. The delay time between questions that do not need cross-checking made that obvious to us.

Bluehost divides its customer support into three departments, which we think is quite efficient. The Sales team takes care of complaints/questions about general inquiries which are mostly from potential customers or people new to Bluehost. The Technical support team takes care of support related questions while the Account management team deals with questions concerning billing, terms and conditions and account verifications.

InMotion’s Customer Support

Because our opinion is hardly enough, in addition to trying out InMotion’s customer service for ourselves, we went online to read trusted reviews. To avoid exaggerating, let’s just say we liked what we read. Like Bluehost, InMotion provides the important customer support channels and some more: knowledgebase for self-support, ticket service (Bluehost doesn’t have this), live chat and phone service.

All new InMotion users get a free one-time 25-minute consultation session with an InMotion representative. This representative gets you started on your hosting plan, thereby limiting that feeling of confusion that one often gets after switching to a new provider.

There is also premium support for those with more expensive plans. InMotion’s knowledgebase is useful because there is a community forum where you can post questions and they will be answered by other users or, if you’re lucky, by InMotion employees who periodically go through the message board.

InMotion’s wait time is shorter than Bluehost’s. Wait time rarely exceeded one minute and we were attended to by representatives who knew everything themselves. Unlike with Bluehost, representatives answered our questions quickly. However, for people very concerned with the aesthetics of things, we don’t think InMotion’s platform would be satisfactory. For a company that boasts of high-tech gear, InMotion’s live chat platform is terribly outdated.

BluehostInMotion
Support 24/7YesYes
ChatYesYes
Ticket systemNoYes
PhoneYesYes
Time to wait3-5 minutes1-2 minutes
KnowledgeGoodVery Good
Response timeMediumFast
Starting from$2.95$3.99

Security Comparison

It is the general assumption that most hosting providers have adequate security measures put in place for easy access and usage for customers. It is, however, a fact some are more effective than others which makes security infrastructure an important tool of consideration in choosing a satisfactory provider.

Bluehost’s security

Bluehost has put effective measures into providing good security mostly by default which includes a free SSL certificate from Let’s encrypt, and a domain privacy feature that keeps the private information used in signing up for domain private. This feature helps to prevent hackers from obtaining and using customer’s private and sensitive information for mischievous attacks.

Bluehost offers the added security feature of Codeguard for the provision of backups and protection from any form of external attack in cases where the site is hacked to enable its easy restoration. A security tool from Google called Postini is featured in Bluehost security for email spam protection.

InMotions’s security

InMotion host, on the other hand, has its own security feature that helps with safeguarding websites from unforeseen attacks. InMotion host provides for some features like free SSL through cPanel which is signed by Comodo, one of the most trusted SSL brands in the industry. The convenience in activating the free SSL cannot be overstated – new users are spared the struggle of getting their own SSL certificate. Hack protection is put in place using Patchman, an internal tool that searches vulnerabilities on websites and fixes it before any sort of hack occurs.

InMotion host helps in relieving the stress of manually backing up data by providing security features such as free automatic backups. InMotion hosting has DDoS protection provided by Corero, one of the leading brands in cybersecurity and has been built into infrastructure to inspect traffic and block attacks by protecting sites without interruption in traffic.

BluehostInMotion
Free SSLYesYes
Domain privacyFree or $11.88/year12.99
BackupNo or CodeguardFree and automatic
DDoS protectionCustomCorero
Anti-spam E-mailPostiniCustom
Anti-malwareCustomCustom
Vulnerabilities scannerNoPatchman
Starting from$2.95$3.99

Plans & Pricing

One of the most, or if not the most, important things that people consider when purchasing anything is the price. Why should it be any different with a hosting plan? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that cheaper is always better – but that is rarely ever true. Of course, no one wants a hole in their pocket, but the fact that remains that you have to pay for value. The difference, then, is in the value offered for the price. Dollar to dollar, which deal holds more value?

Bluehost Pricing

Bluehost has a lot of plans, but we are going to be particularly looking at the shared hosting plans they offer. Why their shared hosting plans? Because most websites on the internet are hosted on shared servers, and most people are going to buy a shared hosting plan, anyway. And the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Bluehost has four shared hosting plans. which is good news for people who are looking to scale or grow. Most of the hosting companies offer only three shared hosting plans. We are glad to see this sort of nuanced approach to pricing structure.

The first plan is the Basic plan which goes for $2.95 (although discounts can push the price down as low as $2.75. The renewal price is $7.99).

The second plan, which is the Plus plan costs $5.45 initially, and $10.99 for renewal. It comes with all the features of the basic plan plus unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate, unlimited domains, unlimited parked and sub-domains, and standard performance.

The third plan is the Choice plus plan and it costs $5.45 initially but $14.99 upon renewal. It comes with all the features of the Plus plan but with Codeguard – Basic and domain privacy.

Bluehost’s highest shared hosting plan is the Pro plan. It’s also the most expensive too at $13.95 and $23.99 for renewal. It comes with all the features of the Choice-Plus plan and what Bluehost calls high performance. We presume this means a higher capacity for visitors and better speed. In any case, it represents a very unjustifiable hike in price. The deal that we would recommend is the Choice-plus plan. It has almost everything you would want in a shared hosting plan, and it doesn’t cost a lot if you pay for an annual plan or even a better deal on the three years plan paid in advance.

Bluehost’s deals, if one doesn’t renewal prices into account, sound a bit too good to be true. That’s why we have to look at their renewal fees. In addition to that, the fact that you only qualify for those sweet discount prices if you pay for an annual plan makes us a bit wary. But the value provided for these plans, most of them unlimited, cheers us up. In terms of getting great deals/best prices, it hardly gets better than Bluehost’s shared hosting plans.

InMotion Hosting Pricing

InMotion has three basic shared hosting plans which are the Launch, Power, and Pro plans. The Launch plan costs $3.99. Some of the features of this plan include a free domain, two websites, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, free SSL certificate, and unlimited email. The Launch plan has the same renewal price with Bluehost’s basic plan but packs better value. To be fair to Bluehost, though, the Basic plan has a way lower initial price than the Launch plan.

Bluehost BasicInMotion Launch
Websites12
SSD Storage50GBUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimited
SSL CertificateYes(free)Yes(Free)
PerformanceStandardStandard
Domain included1 (included)Yes(Free)
Anti SpamNoYes(Free)
Domain Privacy11.88$12.99
SitebackupNoDaily (free)
Dedicated IPNo$4.00/month
Starting from$2.95$3.99

InMotion’s second plan is the Power plan and it comes with six websites, free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited email, and a free SSL certificate. This plan costs $9.99 per month (although you can pay $8.49 if you are paying for a two-year plan). Compared to the Choice-plus and Plus plan, the Power plan comes second. The fact that Bluehost second-tier plans have unlimited websites while InMotion’s doesn’t, is perhaps the most deciding factor. However, InMotion can be comforted in the fact that their plan costs less.

Bluehost PlusBluehost Choice PlusInMotion Power
WebsitesUnlimitedUnlimited6
SSD StorageUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSL CertificateYes(free)Yes(free)Yes(Free)
PerformanceStandardStandard2xPerformance
Domain includedUnlimitedUnlimitedYes(Free)
Anti Spam11Yes(Free)
Domain Privacy11.88Free$12.99
SitebackupNoCodeguard basicDaily (free)
Dedicated IPNoNo$4.00/month
Starting from$5.45$5.45$5.99

InMotion’s most expensive plan is the Pro plan. It costs $15.99 ($18.99 for a single month, $15.80 for six months, and $14.19 for one year) and comes with a free domain, unlimited websites, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email, and 4× the power and capacity of the Launch plan. Strictly speaking in terms. of value, Bluehost’s most expensive plan packs more quality than InMotion’s Pro plan. However, the distance in price is too high to be negligible, and in terms of value per dollar, InMotion’s plan is better.

Bluehost ProInMotion Pro
WebsitesUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD StorageUnlimitedUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimited
SSL CertificateYes(free)Yes(Free)
PerformanceHigh4xPerformance
Domain includedUnlimitedYes(Free)
Anti Spam2Yes(Free)
Domain PrivacyFree$12.99
SitebackupCodeguard basicDaily (free)
Dedicated IPYes(free)$4.00/month
Starting from$13.95$13.99

Extra Features

Unfortunately, all the aspects of hosting cannot be covered under dedicated categories. Some hosting providers have features that simply cannot be categorized, and in the same vein, they have cons that cannot be categorized.

Bluehost Extras:

  • Bluehost has a special customer support feature called Blue flash. Ran by WordPress experts, It is for WordPress users who need help with plugins, themes, and templates.
  • In case you need to manage your domains through them, Bluehost has a domain manager.
  • One-click installations for over 100+ apps from MOJO.
  • Bluehost supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and you can use either phpMyAdmin, Remote MySQL, or phpPgAdmin to manage your databases.
  • Bluehost has CDN access.
  • Bluehost is an officially recommended web host by WordPress.
  • Bluehost supports the use of PHP PEAR packages, Perl modules, Cron jobs, and Apache handlers.
  • Bluehost offers the services of website builders like Weebly.
  • Bluehost offers hotlink protection to protect your data.
  • $200 Marketing Offers.
  • Automatic WordPress Plugin and Theme Updates.

InMotion Extras:

  • A SmartWall threat defense solution that is a product of InMotion’s partnership with Corero. This system is put in place mainly to stop DDoS attacks. The tool identifies, mitigates, and eliminates DDoS threats in real-time.
  • InMotion provides free site migration.
  • BoldGrid staging area allows you to see first hand the effects of the changes that you might want to make to your website. This ensures that users make little or no mistakes.
  • InMotion provides new users with free site migration.
  • Users get a specifically tailored NGINX server optimized for WordPress performance.
  • InMotion provides its own catching tool to enhance WordPress performance.
  • InMotion is one of the few hosting companies that has invested heavily in eco-friendly and ever-green datacenters. Their Datacenter in Los Angeles is one of the world’s earliest green datacenters.
  • InMotion has a proprietary technology called MaxSpeed Zone. It is only available to VPS and business class users. It allows you to choose the datacenter to use manually.
  • InMotion makes use of SSD drives.
  • $75 – $100 Google Adwords Credit.

Major Differences between InMotion Hosting and Bluehost

Just to recap, let’s look at the major differences between these two providers.

  • InMotion has free site migration, while Bluehost doesn’t.
  • InMotion has a 90-day Money-back guarantee while Bluehost’s is 30-days.
  • InMotion provides free private SSL certificate while Bluehost doesn’t.
  • Bluehost is recommended by WordPress, while InMotion isn’t.
  • Bluehost has guided WordPress creation protocol, while InMotion doesn’t.

Bluehost vs InMotion Hosting: Our Pick

This was a close one as both hosting providers acquainted themselves well. In fact, we could be bold enough to say that the final verdict could have gone either way. According to our findings and the data we have, though, Bluehost has better performance, security, and pricing than InMotion. InMotion isn’t bad either, having better customer support and money-back guarantee than Bluehost.

 

SiteGround vs. HostGator

Today, we’ll be looking at SiteGround vs. HostGator, two of the biggest names in hosting. If you’re considering picking one of these hosts and you don’t know the one that’ll do it for you, this is exactly the article you need to read. Both hosts will be going head to head on some of the most important aspects of hosting to us: security, performance, customer support, pricing, and even money-back guarantees. We’ll see what each host has to offer in each section and we’ll declare a winner. At the end of everything, we’ll give our expert verdict. And how is our verdict of the expert variety, you might want to ask? Well, we’ve bought plans from both hosts, used them and tested performance. So we are probably some of the most qualified people to give a verdict on the better host.

Siteground vs. HostGator: A Complete Overview

HostGator is one of the earliest Web-hosts on the internet, founded in 2002. SiteGround isn’t a newbie either, founded by university friends way back in 2004. Both hosts offer roughly the same kind of services, from VPS hosting to dedicated server hosting and, last but certainly not the least, Shared hosting. While SiteGround is an independent as independent can be, HostGator cannot boast of such laurels. A while ago, HostGator was acquired by Endurance International Group, a company that owns almost half of the Web-hosts on the internet.

Boasting of over 1.8 million websites on their servers, SiteGround is one of the biggest Web-hosts we’ve ever had to review. SiteGround also has one thing that only two hosts have; an official recommendation from WordPress. And that counts for something. HostGator is quite popular too, hosting around 10 million websites on its servers according to reports. These hosts don’t only have a huge gap in the number of websites hosted, they also have a significant gap in geography too, with HostGator situated mainly in Provo, Utah. SiteGround, on the other hand, is located mainly across the pond in faraway Bulgaria.

Known for competitive pricing and extraordinary value, HostGator perhaps embodies what critics refer to as quantity over quality. While SiteGround, not one to be the poster host for cheap prices, has great performance and even greater customer support. But in between the great strengths of both hosts, there are a lot of grey areas still very much up for grabs.

So let’s get on with it then.

Popularity Comparison

There aren’t a lot of hosts more popular than HostGator. In fact, there’s a list and there are only like three names in it. We checked and double-checked and we simply couldn’t find SiteGround on that list. But why does it matter? Why should it matter which host is more popular than the other?

Well, the answer is stupefyingly simple. The fact is that it doesn’t matter. Not in the least. At all. So why are we even talking about it, then? Simple. A lot of people fall into the trap of thinking that popularity equals quality, and that could be no farther from the truth. Popularity is oftentimes as a result of great marketing, not great hosting.

Many of the most popular hosts we’ve reviewed have lost in the face of less popular but more efficient hosts. The experience has been enlightening, to say the least.

If, as we say, popularity doesn’t matter, what matters then?

The answer to that is also really simple.

Performance

When you buy a hosting plan, we assume that you do not do it because you don’t have better things to do with your money. You do it, instead, because you want some service rendered. For instance, you want your website to be accessible on the world wide web, and you want it to be quickly accessible too. While all hosts perform these basic tasks to an extent, the level of efficiency differs. Let’s see how efficient these hosts turn out to be.

Speed

Time is money and in a world driven by rapid internet speed, nobody wants to waste time on a website with slow servers, especially as there are probably similar websites that load faster and quicker. In fact, 40% of internet users claim that they would stop visiting a site that loads slowly. That goes to show how important it is to have your website hosted on a fast server.

To test the speed of both hosts, we did the only reasonable thing; we bought Webhosting plans from both of them and proceeded to set up dummy websites to test for speed. And how well did that go? Testing.

TTFB (Time to First Byte)

We first looked at response time, that is the Time to First Byte, and we were actually impressed with SiteGround’s speed. 421ms on an average is quite above average, and SiteGround has proven to be faster than many of the hosts that we’ve reviewed. HostGator, on the other hand, didn’t have such sterling results. While an average response time of 765ms isn’t the worst thing in the world, it isn’t also among the best. In fact, it is properly average, and for such a popular host, it’s rather disappointing. But what can we say? It is what it is.

Full Load Speed

The full load speed for HostGator was even slower, with our dummy website taking more than a second to load, even in locations within America and Europe. SiteGround as expected, posted much faster full page load speed than HostGator. Not satisfied with this, we decided to use Load Impact to send multiple visitors to our sites to see how both sites respond to traffic spikes. As expected (at this point, we were expecting absolutely nothing from HostGator, and in some ways, we were still disappointed), HostGator slowed down even more under an influx of users. SiteGround didn’t replicate this though, with speed remaining fairly stable throughout our testing period.

VERDICT; If this first round is any indication of how the remaining rounds will go, you really should purchase a SiteGround plan and leave the rest of this article alone. Jokes apart, this wasn’t even close to a contest. When it comes to speed, SiteGround is in a totally different league from HostGator. However, we’ve done enough of these comparisons to know that the first act doesn’t always determine the last scene. SiteGround wins this round, but this is far from over.

Uptime

The importance of this metric is easy to see. You want your website to be reachable all the time – unfortunately, especially with Shared hosting servers, that is impossible. So you want the closest thing – you want your site to be reachable an overwhelming majority of the time. Let’s see how close these hosts get to 100%

We set up our accounts and ran tests continuously on our sites for over three months to get an idea of the uptime situation of both hosts. SiteGround continued to impress with a 99.99% uptime, and HostGator also redeemed some of its image with an equal 99.99% uptime. Not bad at all.

That’s not where it ends, though. Uptime is not always a stable thing, and even the host with the best uptime can suffer from hours of downtime at almost a moment’s notice. That’s why we always try to check whether a host has an uptime guarantee in place to protect users and offer some compensation in case uptime gets really bad.

Uptime Guarantees for Siteground and Hostgator

Both hosts have uptime guarantees.  HostGator has a 99.9% uptime guarantee which means that for every 1% of uptime lost after 99.9%, users are entitled to a month of credit. However, there are some limitations to this policy. For one, when calculating uptime, scheduled maintenance, and emergency maintenance does not count. In any case, HostGator has great uptime and an uptime guarantee – that’s more than many hosts can boast of, so they score high marks in our books. SiteGround also has an uptime guarantee that states that for every 1% of uptime below 99.9%, users will be entitled to a month of free hosting. SiteGround, like HostGator, also has some limitations as to what can be calculated as downtime. For example, scheduled maintenance and emergency maintenance cannot be considered when calculating uptime.

VERDICT; Both hosts have uptime and uptime guarantees that are eerily similar. We searched and searched, and it was almost practically impossible to find something to separate them. So we’ve had to settle, reluctantly, for a draw. This round has no winner because both hosts have exemplary uptime.

Ease of Use for Siteground compared to HostGator

Some hosts are easier to use than others. Some provide better interfaces and more options for free than others, and some simply give fewer headaches than others. Of courses, since no one wants to use a host that makes the task of administration more difficult than it should be, it’s reasonable to go for the host that is easier to use.

User Interface

For the question of an interface, only two answers will suffice for us; cPanel or Plesk. Of course, a host can have a custom interface, but that would be tantamount to reinventing the wheel, something that we give no marks for. Both of our hosts make use of the cPanel interface, something that is admirable but not really surprising. After all, cPanel wouldn’t be the most popular hosting interface if most hosts didn’t make use of it. However, HostGator makes use of cPanel on only their Shared hosting plans. All other plans make use of Plesk, which is a cleaner and less cluttered interface according to some webmasters.

True to cPanel fashion, the interface for control was easy to understand and if you’ve had any experience at all with cPanel, you’d find it easy to make use of both hosting interfaces.

Sign-up process

The sign-up process for SiteGround was relatively easy. However, we had some problems with signing up with HostGator. And when we mean some problems, we mean one. And when we mean one, we mean it took over half an hour for our payment to be confirmed. While this is unlikely to be a sticking point, it’s something that you should probably keep in mind.

App integration, installations, and Marketplaces

HostGator provides access to the MOJO marketplace where users can purchase any number of things from apps to plug-ins, and even professional services. Asides this, users have one-click installation support so that they can easily get their favorite apps online and functioning. Roughly the same kind of support is obtainable with SiteGround; there is also access to the MOJO marketplace, and a lot of different types of content management systems (CMS) are available for installation. SiteGround also has the Softaculous app installer, a tool that allows users to easily install up to fifty apps for free with only a few clicks. If you’d rather not go that route, you can always use SiteGround’s proprietary wizard installer to easily install WordPress with one click.

Free Site Migrations

In our opinion, all hosts should offer at least a single site migration. I mean, what says “We are happy to have you” than helping a new customer move over their things from their former host? Unfortunately, only a surprising number of hosts ask for our opinion regarding site migration policy (the number is 0, so yes, surprising).

For Shared hosting plans, HostGator offers one free site migration. On other plans, like the Reseller and VPS plans, free migrations are as many as a hundred and fifty (and even more). However, the request for a site transfer must be made within the first thirty days of signing up and is only available for new customers. One more thing is that the sites are transferred on an as-is basis. This means that all configurations and settings must be completed before a free site migration can be requested, as URL changes and additional configurations are not free services. SiteGround isn’t as liberal as HostGator when it comes to free site migrations though. Although SiteGround offers free site migrations, the offer is only available om select plans. For example, SiteGround’s StartUp plan doesn’t have free site migration enabled.

Free domains

Still, in the spirit of free stuff, let’s see if either host offers free domain registration. SiteGround doesn’t believe in free domains and subsequently doesn’t offer it. HostGator, on the other hand, offers free domain registration with all Cloud, Shared and Optimized WordPress hosting plans. Free domain registration will save new users some money in the short term.

Staging environments

Staging environments are great for applying changes to a copy version of your website and testing the changes you’ve made without affecting the live version of your website. SiteGround has staging environments enabled on select plans, while HostGator doesn’t support hosting environments out the gate. However, you can create one through WordPress by using a plug-in called WP staging, or if you have the technical know-how and you’re interested in deeper coding experiments, you can create one on a subdomain.

VERDICT: Like the section on uptime, this was a pretty tight section as well. In our opinion, since we made use of both hosts, we would say that we found navigation to be easy and we actually encountered little or no problems. There is one thing that does separate both hosts though, and that’s the fact that one offers freed domains and the other doesn’t. A free domain, no doubt, makes the task of hosting even easier for new users. That’s why HostGator wins this round for us— but it really could have gone either way, it’s that close.

Money-Back Guarantee Policy

A longer money-back guarantee reduces the risks associated with getting involved with a web host. If a host provides a long enough guarantee, you’d have more confidence to purchase the product, knowing that if it turns out to be a dud, you can easily return it and get your money back. Cool, right? SiteGround provides the absolute minimum money-back guarantee, which is thirty days. HostGator does better by adding two weeks and a day to SiteGround’s money-back guarantee, offering a longer guarantee of forty-five days.

VERDICT: While both hosts do not provide guarantees that we would consider great because we’ve seen hosts offer up to 60 days money-back guarantees, HostGator does significantly better than SiteGround. HostGator has a strong lead right now, who would have thought this would be the result after the first round?

HostGator vs. Siteground: Customer Support and Reliability

No matter how great or adept you are at hosting, you will, more likely than not, come across a problem that you will not be able to solve on your own. When that day comes, you’ll need the services of competent customer support and not one that is of little or no help.

Most hosts offer three basic customer support channels and they are the phone, live chat support and ticketing support. SiteGround and HostGator aren’t exceptions as they both offer the same channels of contacting live support.

First contact

We tried contacting SiteGround’s live chat support first, and to be honest we didn’t know to expect. On one hand, we knew that large corporations do not usually have the best support because of the number of customers they have to attend to. On the other hand, we had heard some really spectacular things about SiteGround’s customer support.

First off, we experienced little to no wait time. That is, we were immediately connected to a customer live rep without waiting for even a minute. That’s more than can be said for an overwhelming majority of the hosts we’ve reviewed. The live chat platform was also very attractive, and SiteGround added an extra human touch. For example, once you connect with a live rep, a complete bio page where you can see their picture, name, and even their hobbies comes up. This makes relating with the rep easier, and the hosts that we spoke to were actually quite knowledgeable in their own right. Technical questions that we thought would give even some of the best minds a hard time were answered quickly and effectively. The same was obtainable with the phone and even ticketing channels. SiteGround’s customer support is helpful and effective— in fact, we have rarely reviewed hosts that come near, and we’ve never reviewed a host with customer support quite as good.

Connecting with HostGator’s customer support wasn’t as smooth, though. First off, the wait time was probably the most erratic we’ve ever had to experience. While we connected to a live rep under five minutes most times, on a few occasions we had to wait for more than thirty minutes. Whether this is a network or software problem remains to be seen. Asides the discomfort of having to wait for a long while, how did the rest of our experience pan out? Well, it wasn’t all bad, and it definitely wasn’t all good either. The reps we spoke to were friendly enough, but they rarely had definite answers to our questions. Questions concerning PHP versions and database configurations were too often left unanswered, and we were often directed to literature. Phone support wasn’t any better as wait time remained erratic and answers to complex questions were hardly forthcoming. Thankfully, the ticketing support was far better than both and our problems and questions were usually attended to in detail. However, If you have basic problems like WordPress setup or plug-in updates, HostGator’s customer support should be able to walk you through them. When it comes to more complex problems, though, things get a bit trickier.

Knowledge bases

Both hosts maintain really great knowledge bases choke-full with articles and tutorials on many of the basic things you need to know about hosting. In fact, in our opinion, users should try to solve problems by consulting a knowledge base before attempting to talk to customer support. It, in the end, adds more knowledge to the user.

VERDICT; This was quite simple for us, as the difference in quality was too big to ignore. SiteGround is probably the number one host in customer support out there, and HostGator would hardly crack a top ten list. The winner was clear from the beginning, and SiteGround takes the ground for this one.

Security

The internet is, if you are not careful, a very dangerous place. Malware abounds aplenty, and there are hackers lurking in every corner trying to take control of your information and site. The best hosts provide great security support for your server and your site while providing daily backups in case your information does get endangered. Of course,  an extra plus is if these features are provided for free or at little or no cost at all.

Backup policy

If your site gets hacked and/or your files get corrupted, it’s always useful to have a backup handy— even if that doesn’t happen, it’s good practice to always back up your files. HostGator, for one, runs backups on all shared hosting servers once a week on a random day. The backups are also overwritten, so only the most recent backups are available for users to use. While this service is free, it is not guaranteed. That is, HostGator offers it on a courtesy basis. If peradventure, a week goes by and a backup isn’t made, HostGator hasn’t broken any contract because backups weren’t promised in the first place. If you’d like to have a restore done on your site, you’ll have to contact live support. You should note, however, that a single restore costs $25.

If you’d prefer to have a more comprehensive backup option, HostGator does provide Codeguard, an automatic backup tool. Codeguard isn’t free and could cost as little (or as much as, in any case) $32.95 per year and costs as much as $239.95 per year.

SiteGround provides daily backups and restores on all plans and they are provided at no extra cost. Backups of Shared and Cloud hosting plans are kept for a period of up to thirty and seven days accordingly. If you have the SiteGround backup service enabled on your account, you can easily restore backups yourself from cPanel at no extra charge.

While it’s great for hosts to provide backups, we’ve discovered that the best thing is to create your backups yourself and keep them in secured locations.

SSL certificates

Thanks to the great work of Let’s Encrypt, hosts are now able to offer free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates on all hosting plans. Unfortunately, not all hosts make use of this opportunity. Thankfully, though, both HostGator and SiteGround offer SSL certificates on all plans.

Firewall protection

Every server needs a firewall, and SiteGround has that covered with ModSecurity, an open-source web application firewall. In addition to this, SiteGround makes sure that security rules are updated every week in order to protect users from common malware and attacks. HostGator’s answer is an extensive customer firewall rule and large mod security rule that protect servers from attacks. In case of heavy flooding, HostGator has network level flood protection.

Site security

HostGator offers access to SiteLock security scan, a third party service that a lot of other hosts, like Bluehost for example, make use of. Sitelock isn’t free, and like Codeguard, comes in different plans. For most shared hosting plans, the basic plan that goes for $1.24 per month should be enough coverage. SiteLock is quite effective at scanning for malware, preventing blacklisting and increasing sales. SiteGround, on the other hand, offers a proprietary security application called the SG scanner. The SG scanner is powered by a security firm, Sucuri, and is an early warning system or malware detection application that helps to prevent attacks on your website. It also helps to cross-check your website to check if you’ve been blacklisted by authoritative security-based sites. If your site has been blacklisted, you’ll receive a notification via email, so that you can take appropriate action. While we wouldn’t advise users to purchase the SG scanner on basic plans, it is an interesting additional security measure that does have its own uses. The SG scanner costs $19.80 per year ($1.65 monthly).

For the most part, SiteLock and SiteGround’s SG scanner provides much of the same service.

Other security features.

If you’d like to restrict access to certain IP addresses or a range of IP addresses, SiteGround and HostGator have an IP deny tool. SiteGround has servers always set to the latest PHP version with the most recent security fixes. The host also has IDS/IPS systems which block malicious bots and attacks.

VERDICT; While both hosts offer comprehensive security cover, a lot of it isn’t free. It’s even worse for HostGator, with the host not even providing restores for free. SiteGround has more attractive security policies, and they offer more for free than HostGator. SiteGround wins this one for us.

Plans & Pricing

Before purchasing something, you’d either be a billionaire or a proper oddball not to check the price tag and consider whether the price tallies with what you can afford. It is the same with purchasing an hosting package. However, today,we won’t only be looking at affordability. We’ll also be looking at the quality offered and the price quoted. This is because we believe that the cheaper deal isn’t necessarily the best deal— and we are looking for the best deal.

For a proper and concise comparison, we’ll only be looking at the Shared and WordPress hosting plans of both hosts.

Shared Hosting Plans.

SiteGround offers three levels of Shared hosting plans and they are the StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek plans. HostGator also offers three levels of Shared hosting plans which are the Hatchling Plan, the Baby Plan, and the Business plan.

Basic plans

SiteGround’s StartUp plan comes with one website, 10GB of space, unlimited bandwidth, free Cloudflare CDN, free SSL certificate, free daily backups, and unlimited emails. The plan costs $3.95 per month on initial purchase and renews at $11.95 per month. The  Hatchling plan comes with a single domain, one-click installations, unlimited disk space, unlimited email accounts, unmetered bandwidth and subdomains,  and a free SSL certificate all at a  price of $2.75 per month. However, this price is only available if you’re paying 36 months in advance. If you’re paying for lower, you have to pay the regular price which is $10.95.

With unlimited email accounts, disk space, unmetered bandwidth and subdomains on the basic plan, it appears that HostGator is interested in offering a lot for a lot less. SiteGround takes a more measured approach, though, offering only minimal features on its basic plan.

Medium range plan

The medium-range plans of both hosts are the GrowBig and the Baby plans. The GrowBig plan comes with all the features of the StartUp plan plus unlimited websites, free SSL wildcard for one year, 20GB space, all 3 levels of the super cacher, staging environments for WordPress and Joomla, 30 backup copies and free restore. The plan costs $5.95 per month for new customers while renewal costs $19.95 per month. For some reason, the price of this plan jumps from $5.95 per month to $19.95 per month. Pricey. The Baby plan comes with unlimited domains, and a free domain plus all the features of the Hatchling plan. It costs a promotional price of $3.95 per month but the same conditions as the Hatchling plan applies and the normal price per month is $11.95. Renewals cost $9.95, as well.

Once again, HostGator’s plan is totally tearing into SiteGround’s plan, offering way more at a cheaper price.

Top plan

SiteGround’s most expensive plan is the GoGeek plan and it comes with all the features of the GrowBig plan plus unlimited websites, 30GB space with a traffic capacity of 100,000 per month, priority support, one-click Git repo creation, and PCI compliance.  It costs about $11.95 for the initial purchase and $34.95 for renewal. Here again, we see the steep price hike that SiteGround has gotten quite a reputation for. HostGator’s most expensive plan is the Business plan and it comes with all the features of the Baby plus a free dedicated IP and free SEO tools. The plan costs $5.95 per month, but renewal costs $14.95 per month.

WordPress Plans

HostGator has three WordPress hosting plans which are the Starter, Standard, and Business plans. SiteGround has a WordPress hosting plan structure as well, but asides the fact that it is optimised for WordPress, has WordPress essential features like free WordPress migrator, WordPress auto-updates, and WordPress CLI and SSH, and comes with WordPress pre-installed, it has pretty much the same structure with the regular Shared hosting plans. When we mean the structures are similar, we mean they basically go by the same name and have the same price and the same specifications.

In that case, we’ll only be looking at HostGator’s shared hosting plans. The basic plan is the Starter plan and it comes with 1GB backup, free SSL certificate, a free domain, one site and a capacity for 100k visits per month. The plan costs $5.95 per month and renews at $9.95 per month. The next plan is the Standard plan which has the capacity for 2 sites, 200 thousand visits per month, 2GB of backup, a free domain and free SSL certificate. The plan costs $7.95 per month and renews at $15.95 per month. The most expensive plan is the Business plan and it comes with three sites, 500k visits per month, 3GB of backup, a free domain and a free SSL certificate. The plan costs $9.95 per month and costs $22.95 for renewal.

VERDICT; We think that SiteGround’s regular shared hosting plans are too expensive, and if you are running a basic site that won’t use up too many resources you should probably go with HostGator. However, it isn’t the same as the WordPress hosting plans. With inferior performance stats and mediocre value for money with very limited specs, HostGator fails to be the prudent option. So, if you want a regular Shared hosting plan, you should go with HostGator. If you’d want a WordPress hosting plan, you should probably go with SiteGround.

And yes, that means we’ve got ourselves a draw.

Extra Features

Let’s see what extra features these hosts have Perhaps we’ll find something that’ll tip the scales?

SiteGround has the following extra features:

  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • SiteGround is optimized for WordPress and Joomla
  • One-click staging servers
  • SiteGround has reseller hosting options
  • Unfortunately, SiteGround doesn’t offer a free domain name.
  • SiteGround supports Weebly website builder
  • A free WordPress Migration Plugin.
  • SiteGround offers SSH access with all their plans

HostGator also has some juicy features, and some of them are:

  • Better performance with Opteron 6000 series CPU combined with DDR3 ECC RAM
  • Support of multiple languages including Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, and Perl.
  • HostGator has only one database— MySQL
  • Unlimited FTP and email accounts.
  • $100 in free advertising credits
  • Access to Google analytics and Mojo marketplace.

VERDICT; Both hosts have something extra, but nothing really stands out for us. This is a draw as well.

Major Differences between HostGator and Siteground

To round off, let’s look at the major differences between both hosts.

  • HostGator offers a free domain, while SiteGround doesn’t
  • HostGator has a much slower server speed than SiteGround
  • HostGator has a forty-five-day money-back guarantee, while SiteGround has a thirty-day money-back guarantee
  • SiteGround’s security is better than HostGator’s.
  • SiteGround has a better customer support structure than HostGator

Siteground vs. HostGator: Our Pick

SiteGround took wins in the Performance and Customer support section while salvaging a draw from the jaws of defeat in the Pricing section. A win in the security section sealed this duel for us. SiteGround takes this one, and it is hardly a contest.

SiteGround vs. HostGator? SiteGround for sure.

SiteGround vs InMotion – Full Comparison for WordPress Hosting 2019

One of the more popular debates between hosting companies, SiteGround vs. Inmotion is going to be quite a balanced debate.

Going back a few years, website hosting was but a niche market with select few options to choose from. You would rent storage space and bandwidth from a business, which would, in turn, serve your files on the internet. As we have now reached the pinnacle of the digital age, everyone from store owners to soccer moms are operating their websites and blogs. The massive demand and fierce competition have brought prices to an all-time low, but how do we choose one when they promise us everything for nothing?

As two of the very few independently owned hosting providers remaining, SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are an increasingly rare breed. While EIG (Endurance International Group) continues to buy up their competitors and flood the industry with mediocrity, these two companies have remained autonomous and strive for the highest quality.

BlueHost and HostGator are an excellent example of providers that took a hit after being purchased by EIG, although BlueHost does have a slight edge and less unsatisfied customers.

In many regards, InMotion Hosting vs. SiteGround looks quite similar, and their differences are trivial. WordPress is, however, a resource-intensive application, benefiting greatly from system tweaks and configuration changes, areas that one provider can considerably outshine the other. We will consider InMotion vs. SiteGround, comparing their plans, performance, and support options for those in search of WordPress hosting.

Who are SiteGround and InMotion?

As we have seen with many great startups over the years, SiteGround was established by several close college friends, working from the dorm rooms of their university. In business since 2004, they have since grown the company into one of the largest hosting providers on the market. They currently operate on a large number of domains, offer cutting edge hosting services and are ranked by WordPress.org as a premier choice for WordPress based websites. There are, of course, many alternatives to SiteGround, but we doubt that any of them will bring anything extra to the table when it comes to shared hosting.

siteground introduction

Their hosting platform is built on superior performance, advanced security practices, and the latest technologies. They pride themselves on exceptional customer service and craft every solution with the utmost thought and care. As a company, they have tailored every aspect of their business to serve customers that demand the absolute best, and although they might not stand comparison to other premium hosting providers that offer higher-end solutions, as you can see our SiteGround vs. WpEngine review, they are one of the best budget choices out there.

Formed in 2001, InMotion Hosting is one of the longest standing hosting providers in existence. They consider themselves as being the “nerds’” preferred choice, but heavily orient their services towards small business owners, especially those expecting continued growth over time. With over 70 awards and ranked as CNET’s number one choice for 15 years in a row, InMotion Hosting remains among at the top of the list for those in search of quality website hosting and customer support.

inmotion introduction

You can click here for their vast range of plans and services that cater to nearly every potential demand, from the server hosting to website design, and chances are they will have you covered. With agents ready to help every step of the way, their customers are in good hands.

One of the best parts of both Siteground and InMotion Hosting is the fact that they run independently, which is a good thing most of the times, simply because they need to cater not only for the customers’ needs but to theirs as well.

SiteGround Hosting Plans

siteground wordpress hosting plans

SiteGround offers three tiers of website hosting plans, placing heavy emphasis on their WordPress tools and features. The introductory “StartUp” package is geared towards those with a single website, where the more expensive “GrowBig” and “GoGeek” options cater to those in need of additional resources. Each plan has been tailored to meet the requirements of a different clientele, with clearly defined package names and subtext to illustrate who they are intended for. Additionally, they offer other services and promotional offers, which you can check out on their website by clicking here.

StartUp Plan: Built for those with limited needs, the StartUp Plan is just $3.95/mo and capable of hosting a single WordPress website. Otherwise, the only notable limitation is the disk space included, capped at a modest 10GB of SSD storage capacity. The Essential Features offer a 1-click WP installer, automatic updater, and site transfers. For those that need it, WP-CLI access and 24/7 WordPress experts are available as well.

Integrated within their cPanel/WHM Control Panel, they also provide free SSL Certificates and HTTP/2, Cloudflare CDN, SSH Access, and more. Resources such as transfer bandwidth, e-mail addresses, and MySQL databases are unlimited, and backups are performed daily.

GrowBig Plan: As the mid-tier choice, the GrowBig plan is $5.95/mo and designed for those with increasing needs. It supports hosting multiple websites, twice the storage space at 20GB and up to 25,000 visitors per month. In addition to the Essential Features included with all plans, they also include Premium Features which offers priority technical support, advanced backup options and SuperCacher, their custom-built caching solution for enhanced WordPress performance.

siteground supercacher

GoGeek Plan: As the developer-oriented package and top of the pack, the GoGeek Plan is available at $11.95/mo and caters to the demands of larger organizations. While the extra 10GB of storage space (30GB total) is welcome, the primary selling point is the Geeky Advanced Features. These include 1-click WordPress Staging, GIT integration, and PCI Complaint servers for secure payment processing. To improve performance, they also place GoGeek websites on lower population nodes, ensuring that adequate resources are available to meet higher demands. While these certainly aren’t necessary for the average website customer, they do provide a stable platform for business purposes.

As a non-EIG company, it has undoubtedly maintained a high standard on its services, and SiteGround vs. a2 Hosting is another example of how nicely it stacks against other independent companies.

InMotion Hosting Plans

inmotion pricing

Separating their plans into Business and WordPress subcategories, InMotion Hosting offers a wide range of options to choose from. While their packages in both categories are capable of serving WordPress websites, business hosting lacks significant optimizations, and performance may suffer when compared to other choices. As such, we will instead focus our attention on the WordPress centered plans available, where they utilize server configurations built with software compatibility in mind. If technicalities aren’t the only area that interests you, you can also go ahead and have a look at InMotion’s Hosting reviews.

WP-1000S: Serving as the starter package, WP-1000S is $6.99/mo and aimed at those with a small WordPress blog. Despite being limited to hosting one website, they provide a generous share of 40GB SSD storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and even include a free domain name. WordPress also comes pre-installed along with many additional tools and features such as automated updates, backups, and site transfers. The most notable aspect, however, is their heavy reliance on the BoldGrid plugin, where this provides a drag and drop website builder, staging environment and more.

WP-2000S: For those with high needs, the WP-2000S package is $10.99/mo and designed for small businesses. As the middle tier plan, the limitation of 2 websites maximum is somewhat unusual. However, they do provide a rather significant 80GB SSD storage space. Otherwise, the most notable difference from the entry-level plan is the Premium Themes and Plugins subscription, advertised as a $60/year value.

WP-3000S: With an emphasis on increased resource allocations, the WP-3000S package offers little else for the $14.99/mo price tag. The maximum website limit has been upped to a total of 3 and 120GB SSD storage space is substantial. However, these are the only areas in which the plan separates itself from the lower-cost tiers.

Their hosting plans might be pricier than the likes of BlueHost vs. HostMonster, but quality-wise, it outshines both, and the small added cost can bring much value in the long run.

Who Has The Best Customer Service?

Customer service is one of the most overlooked topics when comparing hosting providers, yet this can make or break your experience when it matters most. After all, contacting your hosting provider is not a matter of if, but rather when it will happen.

Website hosting is an imperfect system, and even the best in the business encounter occasional problems. Those that can communicate issues, minimize client impact, and help resolve matters quickly are the ones that establish themselves at the top of the pack. As customers, we look for a company that hires trained professionals, capable of providing 24/7 assistance and servicing multiple support channels.

SiteGround Customer Support

Prominently displayed at the top of their website, SiteGround offers a toll-free 800 number, live chat, and support ticket options. With more than 400 employees on hand, they actively maintain all customer service departments 24/7, ready to assist should the need arise. If you don’t require immediate help, they guarantee a ticket reply within 10 minutes for the less urgent matters as well.

When it comes to more specific questions, such as in-depth requests involving WordPress, they have a wide range of software experts stationed across all channels to better serve you. Willing to help with everything from plugins to scripts and templates, their support services encompass far more than the traditional provider.

Setting their technical proficiency aside, SiteGround is also pushing the human aspect of digital communication. As part of this effort, each representative has an employee profile in the support center, showing you their picture, technical background, and even personal interests. Putting a face to the name makes for far more pleasant user experience, while subsequently reminding us that they are people too. They boast a nearly 100% satisfaction rate, and we don’t doubt it, they go above and beyond when it comes to their customers. Therefore, SiteGround’s reviews are overwhelmingly positive and should help you conclude.

InMotion Hosting Customer Support

With even more options to choose from, InMotion Hosting has the same standard channels for live assistance such as phone and chat, but also introduce Skype support into the mix as well. For less urgent matters or lengthy discussions, they offer both ticket and e-mail based guidance. To top it off, they have even built a reliable community-based support platform where clients can help one another with any questions or concerns. If you are, however more inclined to learn or troubleshoot problems yourself, their massive repository of tutorials and FAQ are an excellent learning resource for those so willing.

inmotion support

As for their support department, they have over 400 employees staffed across two offices in Colorado and Virginia (US). They are quick and courteous across all support lines, meaning you can reach a live person within seconds, any time day or night. InMotion Hosting places great emphasis on their free premier support and aims for the highest standards in the industry. This is what has made many customers choose them, and comparing customer reviews from hosting platforms such as HostGator that did not pay enough attention to what their clients need is an excellent indicator for why that happens.

InMotion vs. SiteGround: The Better Choice

The one area where SiteGround comes out as the clear winner is the exclusive focus on WordPress hosting. Thanks to their team of in-house developers and emphasis on superior performance, they have built a cutting edge platform capable of the best results in the industry. These custom-tailored solutions, making use of impressive features like SuperCacher, are what set them apart from the otherwise very close competition, not only in this case but in the SiteGround vs. DreamHost debate as well.

We haven’t covered any web building features when it comes to SiteGround vs. InMotion does not include any web building features even though they offer them because the main topic is shared hosting plans. However, both of companies, as well as others on the market that specialize in this area, and if this is what you’re looking for, check out this GoDaddy vs. WIX comparison for some more details.

SiteGround vs. InMotion Hosting doesn’t have a definitive winner, because both are fantastic companies and you can’t go wrong with either choice. They have excellent customer service departments, blazing fast servers for WordPress hosting, and competitively priced plans to fit your budget. While minimal differences may favor one business over the other, they both tick all of the essential boxes we look for in a hosting provider.

Bluehost Review

Today we’ll be talking about Bluehost, an extremely popular company that provides, you know it, hosting services. Why do we say Bluehost is popular? Is it because the company has over two million websites hosted on its servers, or because it is one of the only three hosts officially recommended by WordPress? In fact, that second reason may seem properly trivial to you. Boohoo, WordPress recommends Bluehost— and so what?

However, when you consider that WordPress powers more than half of the internet, things become a bit clearer. But that isn’t the important question though, is it? Yes, Bluehost is popular, but exactly how good is the service provided? We know that popularity doesn’t always mean quality – it most often just means great marketing.

The most important question now is this; is Bluehost just hype and no quality, or do they walk the walk and talk the talk?

Keep reading to find out.

Before you continue, though, fair warning; this isn’t the average Bluehost review. This is a thorough and in-depth analysis of Bluehost. In fact, if we were so inclined, we would call this review dissertation worthy. But we aren’t given to such vain thoughts, so we’ll just call this the most complete Bluehost review on the internet.

Brief History of Bluehost

First, let’s talk about the origins of Bluehost. It is vital to understand the history of a thing in order to put things into proper context, and that’s what this section is for.

In the year 1996, when people believed (quite correctly, we think) that the world would go up in flames in three years, a group of tech heads got together and decided that they were not very interested in letting that happen before they founded their company. They tried their hands at building a hosting company, and in 2003 they had the perfect structure and name. They had created Bluehost.

Within a decade, Bluehost grew from a little startup in Provo, Utah to a tech giant employing more than 750 people and responsible for over two million websites. Those years of miraculous and unprecedented growth also saw Bluehost catch the attention of Internet conglomerate, Endurance International Group. EIG purchased Bluehost in 2010 and opened another chapter of massive, disruptive growth in the history of the company. If the name EIG sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve heard of them before. Besides Bluehost, they also own other big names in the hosting industry like HostGator (even if both of them are owned by EIG, there are some differences between them, if you are interested to find more about that make sure to also read our Bluehost vs. HostGator comparison)

It seems everyone recommends Bluehost – from WordPress, a content management system (if you don’t know yet the differences between Hosting and CMS make sure to check out our Bluehost vs. WordPress Comparison before taking any kind of decision!) that powers over half of the internet, to Mike from the Starbucks down the road.

The problem (or is it a problem? It depends on what you think is fair in a free market economy, we think), is that Bluehost has become so popular that they can afford to offer great quality for outrageously low prices. That is one of the main reasons why people continue to choose Bluehost over and over again – a lot of value is offered for ridiculously low prices. It doesn’t take an Einstein to see how this side of Bluehost makes it easy to blow other smaller hosts out of the market. Even hosts like Namecheap who have made a name out of cheap prices sometimes struggle to beat Bluehost’s prices. We have a full review of Bluehost vs. Namecheap if you want a complete analysis of how Bluehost compares to one of the cheapest hosts on earth (Spoiler alert: Bluehost easily wins this competition, we’ll stick to Namecheap just when it comes for cheap domain names for now).

Let’s see exactly what services Bluehost offers and the features of those plans, shall we?

Bluehost Hosting Plans Overview

True to its nature as a multipurpose-you-can-actually-get-anything-you-want-from-me-guy, Bluehost offers a wide variety of hosting plans. These include the popular Shared hosting plans, Cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, Dedicated hosting, VPS hosting and WooCommerce hosting. If you’re conversant with hosting, you probably know what these packages mean, but if you’re not, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to briefly break down what these hosting packages are.

Shared Hosting: Shared hosting plans are the most common hosting plans on the internet. Why? Because they are perfect for small businesses/blogs that don’t have the financial strength or even need to control an entire server. As the name implies, a shared hosting plan means that users share a single server with other users. It’s called shared hosting because the servers are shared. Get it? That’s what I love to call clever naming.

WordPress Hosting: Another piece of very clever naming here as well. Like the name so blissfully implies, WordPress hosting is a hosting environment specially optimized for WordPress powered websites. So basically, if you want your WordPress site to run better, you should probably get a WordPress hosting plan.

VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting: “VPS” had us in the first half, not going to lie. VPS hosting is basically a fancy improvement on Shared hosting servers. So what were we saying? Ah, yes. The only difference between a Shared hosting plan and a VPS hosting plan is that you’re allowed to host your website on a virtual private server (applause rings in the distance as Captain obvious strikes again).

Dedicated Server Hosting: As the name implies, this means that instead of sharing a server (whether cloud or real), you have a server that is dedicated to only serving the needs of your account. The downside to this, though, is that you’ll have to manage your server yourself.

WooCommerce Hosting: This is a bit more tricky. WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce plug-in for WordPress and with WooCommerce you can quickly and easily get your store online. WooCommerce is a service that is optimized for maintaining an online store – so if you need to open an online store, you really should consider a WooCommerce plan.

Domain Names: Why exactly is this here? It doesn’t even look like the others! Yet, it is a service that Bluehost offers. While the company itself doesn’t claim to register domains, yet, you can buy domains from Bluehost starting from $17.99.

As a side note, all plans come with cPanel and one-click installations for popular apps + Free Domain.

In-Depth Breakdown of each Hosting Plan

We’ve listed a brief summary of the plans that Bluehost offers. Let’s go into the total breakdown of these plans.

1. Bluehost Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is perfect for people who do not have a lot of money to splash on their website and people who do not get a lot of traffic. If you fit these requirements, then a shared hosting plan is the best for you. Like we said earlier, a shared hosting plan means that you’re sharing a single server’s resources with a lot of other people. That means that you and other people will be covering the cost of renting that server, and that would bring the price you have to pay down. Obviously, the only downside would then be that your site wouldn’t have access to a lot of resources— keep in mind, though, that if your site doesn’t get a lot of traffic it’s unlikely that’ll you even need a server’s complete resources in the first place.

While that is true, Bluehost makes the choice even easier for users by providing four tiers of shared hosting. This means that you can choose the level of a server’s resources that you want to be allocated to you. Bluehost’s four tiers are the Basic, Plus, Choice-Plus, and Pro plans. Most hosts only offer three tiers of shared hosting plans, and that’s a shame because four tiers allow for a better level of scalability. In fact, only Squarespace immediately comes to mind as a host that also offers four shared hosting plans. On the other end of the spectrum, iPage actually offers only one tier of shared hosting plans. If you want to find out other ways that hosts generally deviate from the well-beaten path, you can read our Bluehost vs. iPage comparison.

Now, before we go into pricing, the thing to note is that initial pricing is kinda wiggly. That means it is subject to changes every now and then. This is because Bluehost runs a lot of programs and specials throughout the year— and most times, if you search diligently enough, you’ll find a discount of around 30-35%. The renewal price is what is constant and is what you should focus on if you’re planning on anything long term.

Shared Hosting Pricing in November 2019:

  • The basic plan costs $2.95 today and is the perfect plan for small websites with only a few hundred visitors per month. This plan comes with a single website, 50GB of storage, 25 sub-domains, 100 MB of email storage, five email accounts, and a basic site backup (courtesy, not guaranteed). Renewal for this plan costs $7.99 per month. However, you should probably note that you’re only entitled to the $2.95 price if you pay 36 months in advance. The renewal of the initial payment doesn’t cover 36 months, though, as the option is only for 24 months.
  • The next plan is the Plus plan and it costs, at present, $5.45 per month. This plan comes with unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, unlimited sub-domains, Spam Experts, and 1 office 365 mailbox, free for thirty days. The renewal fee for this plan is $10.99.
  • The third plan that Bluehost offers, which is also the plan that they recommend for medium-sized businesses/websites with average or slightly below average traffic, is the Choice-Plus plan. The initial price for this plan, as of today, is $5.45 per month. It comes with all the features of the Plus plan, plus (sorry, we had to) Domain privacy, and Codeguard basic site backup. Codeguard is the add-on that Bluehost uses to carry out guaranteed backups for customers while Domain privacy is a security tool that keeps the private information of domain owners off public WHOIS hosting lists.
  • The final plan, which is for much bigger businesses or websites that are too big for the Choice-Plus plan but are still too small for VPS hosting, is the Pro plan and it costs $13.95 per month. Of course, that is initial pricing if you’re paying for three years in advance. Upon renewal, you are charged a fee of $13.95 per month. It comes with all the features of the Choice-Plus plan plus two Spam experts and a dedicated IP.  Additionally, the Pro plan has “high performance”. According to Bluehost, this means that Pro plans are allocated more resources per server than other shared hosting customers. It’s a great plan if you have the money to spend, otherwise, we’d advise you to take the Choice-Plus option.

2. Bluehost WordPress Hosting

Why, you might be wondering, does Bluehost have a plan especially for WordPress? The answer is simple really. A normal shared hosting plan is like a blank canvas where users can build anything they want on – unfortunately, that is something a lot of people don’t really fancy. For this set of people, Bluehost offers the WordPress hosting and WP PRO plans. The WordPress hosting plan is just like the shared hosting plans but optimized for WordPress. The WP PRO plan, though, is a managed system for those who want a bit more ease in managing their website.

The obvious question then would be what makes WordPress hosting plans different from regular hosting plans? There are three things that make WordPress hosting plans stand out from the regular shared hosting lineup. The first is that WordPress comes installed. The second is that the plans come with a WordPress staging environment where users can make changes to their sites and test run the effects before going live with these changes. Another difference is that you have access to a lot of WordPress theme choices – choices that users of Shared hosting plans may not have access to.

Bluehost offers three WordPress hosting plans and they are the Basic, Plus and Choice-Plus plans.

WordPress Hosting Pricing in November 2019:

  • It appears that Bluehost doesn’t think it especially clever to switch up the names of their Shared hosting packages. The Basic plan costs $2.75 per month and comes with One website, a free SSL certificate, 50 GB of storage, a free domain for a year, 5 parked domains, 25 subdomains and $200 marketing credit. Renewal of the plan costs $7.99. This package is best for beginners who are just starting out and haven’t started to command a lot of traffic yet. Of course, you should only consider this plan if you’re going to build a WordPress account.
  • The next plan is the Plus plan which costs $5.45 for an initial purchase. The plan comes with unlimited websites, free SSL certificates, unmetered SSD storage, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains. As usual, the renewal price jumps almost a hundred percent to $10.99. This plan is suitable for sites experiencing a little more traffics than that of beginners.
  • The apex plan under the WordPress hosting package by Bluehost is the Choice-Plus plan and it costs, for initial payment at least, the same price as the Plus plan which is $5.45. Renewal prices aren’t the same though, as the Choice-Plus commands $14.99. The plan comes with all the features of the Plus plan plus Codeguard basic for backups. If you think that these terms look familiar, that is probably because they do. Bluehost offers roughly the same package as the Shared hosting pricing structure, except of course, for the last Pro option. Like we’ve said before, the basic difference between Shared hosting plans and WordPress hosting plans is that WordPress comes pre-installed. If you have no problems performing a one-click installation of WordPress yourself on a regular shared hosting plan, we see no reason why you should opt for a WordPress hosting plan. However, it matters little either way— the differences in prices and structure are almost negligible.

You should probably consider the fact that Bluehost is an officially recommended host by WordPress, so WordPress hosting should be extra good. If you are interested in other officially recommended WordPress hosts, you can check out our Bluehost vs. Dreamhost comparison.

3. Bluehost WP PRO

WP Pro is just like WordPress hosting, but it is a managed platform. A managed platform means that most of the technical stuff about your website is managed by Bluehost. Bluehost also takes care of things like optimizing the hosting infrastructure. This ensures that your platform makes use of the resources that are allocated to it.

Bluehost has three WP Pro hosting plans that you can choose from. Since one of the most important features of managed hosting is the extra functionalities that the plans come with, your choice should depend mostly on the level of extra functions that you need to be added to your site. Importantly, all WP Pro plans support unlimited websites, unlimited domains, unlimited storage, unlimited subdomains, a staging environment, and zero traffic limits. Generally, WP Pro plans are much more expensive than Shared hosting or WordPress hosting plans.

WP PRO Hosting Pricing in November 2019:

  • The first WP Pro plan is the Build plan which costs $19.95 on the initial purchase. As the name implies, the build plan is mainly for people looking to build a professional WordPress website. The plan comes with jetpack site analytics, a marketing center, 100+ free WordPress themes, daily backups, malware detection and removal, domain privacy + protection, and 1 office 365 mailbox free for thirty days. The plan costs $29.99 for renewal.
  • The second plan is the Grow plan which costs $29.95 per month for new customers paying three years in advance. After that period, though, the renewal costs $39.99. The plan comes with everything in the build plan plus Jetpack premium, business review tools, Bluehost’s SEO tools, jetpack Ads integration, 10GB video compression, Blue Sky Ticket support, and 1 office mailbox free for thirty days. If you’re looking to build an audience for your WordPress website, this plan gives you all you need to maximize your traffic.
  • The third and the final plan that Bluehost offers under WP Pro is the Scale plan. This plan is perfect an e-commerce WordPress website. It is a bit pricey, though, at $49.95 per month for new customers paying at least three years in advance. It comes with Jetpack pro included, unlimited backups and restores, PayPal integration, Unlimited video integration, Elastic search, and Blue Sky chat support.

4. Bluehost WooCommerce Hosting

If you want a plan optimized for e-commerce, you can choose to go with the WooCommerce hosting option that Bluehost provides. WooCommerce is basically a WordPress e-commerce plug-in, and like WordPress, the platform itself is entirely free.

Bluehost offers the standard three tiers of plans with the Woo Commerce hosting platform. Of course, you can have Woo Commerce on a normal shared hosting plan, but using Bluehost’s optimized WooCommerce hosting plan has a number of advantages. For example, WooCommerce and it’s popular storefront theme comes pre-installed. You also get a dedicated IP address that protects your site from others who might be sharing your server and lastly you get an environment that is optimized for facilitating quick and safe online payments.

There are three tiers of WooCommerce hosting offered by Bluehost and they are the Starter, Plus, and Pro plans. All plans come with a free domain, WooCommerce auto-install, free SSL certificates, unmetered bandwidth, dedicated IP address, and $100 marketing credits.

WooCommerce Hosting Pricing in November 2019:

  • The Starter plan costs an initial price of $6.95. It jumps to $13.99 for renewal, though. The plan comes with 1 online store, 100GB of storage, domain privacy + protection, free setup call, and 1 office 365 mailbox free for the first theory days.
  • The second plan is the Plus plan and the price of initial three-year purchase is $8.95 per month. It normally costs $17.99 (renewal price). The plan comes with unlimited online stores, unlimited SSD storage, Storefront theme installed, Codeguard backup basic and all the other features of the Starter plan. This plan is perfect for people who have already attracted a sizable level of traffic to their site and are looking to leverage their traffic already.
  • The apex plan under the WooCommerce hosting platform is the Pro plan, and as the name implies, it is for Pros (probably. We think). The plan costs $12.95 per month for new customers who are paying three years in advance and costs $31.99 for renewal of the plan. Quite a leap there, isn’t it? The plan comes with all the features of the Plus plan plus Bluehost’s SEO tools start. Personally, we don’t think the addition of just one feature warrants the difference in the price of the Plus and Pro plan. We’d recommend the Plus plan rather than the Pro plan.

Before we move on, we have a tip for you. As your online store grows and gets more traffic, you should try moving all of your e-commerce functionality off of your primary hosting environment into its hosting environment. This ensures that your blog and your store perform optimally despite higher traffic levels.

5. Bluehost VPS Hosting

Before considering purchasing a VPS hosting plan, you should be satisfied that your site has outgrown the resources of a shared hosting plan. If not, purchasing a VPS hosting plan would be like dumping a 10-year old into a Shaquille O’Neal suit – it might cover all the proper parts, but the child would just look ridiculous.

After making sure that your site has outgrown a shared hosting platform, then you can decide to purchase a VPS plan. VPS plans are basically upgrades on shared hosting plans. With VPS, you get more control over your hosting environment and you get more resources to power your website. A VPS plan is still hosted on a shared server, however, the only difference is that this time you get a guaranteed share of resources (RAM, CPU, and disk that are dedicated to your website alone). This ensures better performance and stability for your site. One of the most important advantages of VPS hosting is the high level of security that the plan affords. If you have a site in need of advanced security features, VPS hosting is probably your surest plug. All Bluehost’s VPS plans come with a free domain name for the first year, a thirty-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer support.

Bluehost has three VPS hosting plans and they are the Standard, Enhanced and Ultimate plans.

VPS Hosting Pricing in November 2019:

  • The Standard plan costs $18.99 for an initial purchase while renewal costs $29.99. The plan comes with 2 cores, 30GB storage, 2GB ram, 1 terabyte of bandwidth, and one dedicated IP address.
  • The next plan and the one that we would recommend is the Enhanced plan. It costs $29.99 per month for new customers purchasing a 36-month plan in advance. The plan comes with two cores, 60GB SSD storage, 4GB ram, 2 terabyte of bandwidth and two IP addresses.
  • The Ultimate plan is a bit more pricey, going for an initial cost of $59.99 per month. Renewal is higher still, going for $119.99. The plan comes with 4 cores, 20GB SSD storage, 8 GB ram, 3 terabytes of ram and 2 IP addresses.

6. Bluehost Dedicated Server Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is for people who have thousands of visitors per day. So if you have an extensive website and you receive insane levels of traffic, then a dedicated server is probably the one for you. And when we mean insane levels of traffic, we mean up to several hundred thousand visitors per month. So what do you get with dedicated servers? Number one, you’ll get the most secure environment since you’ll be the only one using a particular server. You’ll also get high levels of performance since your server’s resources are only used to service your website. In addition to all that, you’ll enjoy having an insane level of control over your server environment. In fact, specialized hosts like Rackspace (we have an article comparing Bluehost vs Rackspace, and you can read it if you like).

Ordinarily, it takes a while for most Web-hosts to provide a dedicated server after purchasing a plan, but since Bluehost offers rapid provisioning, your website is usually ready to use 24-72 hours after your purchase. Talk about quick and efficient. All Bluehost’s dedicated server plans come with a free domain name for the first year, 30-days money-back guarantee and a free SSL certificate.

Bluehost offers three levels of dedicated hosting plans. They are the Standard, Enhanced, and Premium plans.

Dedicated Server Hosting Pricing in November 2019:

  • The Standard plan costs about $79.99 for initial payment while renewal costs $119.99. The plan comes with 4 cores @ 2.3 GHz, 590 GB (mirrored) storage, 4 GB ram, 5 Terabyte of Bandwidth and 3 IP addresses.
  • If you’re going to get a dedicated server hosting plan, we’d recommend the more expensive Enhanced plan. The initial price is $99.99 and renewal costs $159.99. The plan comes with four cores @ 2.5 GHz, 1 Terabyte of mirrored storage, 8 GB of Ram, 10 terabytes of bandwidth, and 4 IP addresses.
  • The most expensive plan that Bluehost offers is the Premium plan which goes for an initial price of $119.99 per month. Renewal for this plan costs $209.99 per month. It comes with four cores at 3.3 GHz, 1 TB of mirrored storage, 16 GB ram, 15 TB of bandwidth, and five IP addresses.

Unfortunately, this tier of Bluehost’s hosting has experienced little growth in recent years. This is probably not unconnected to the fact that most huge businesses would now rather make use of AWS than Bluehost. Why is this so? Well, you can browse through our Bluehost vs. AWS comparison to find out more.

7. Bluehost Domains

Almost all Bluehost’s plans come with a free domain (in fact, we are yet to review a plan that doesn’t come with a complimentary domain paid for the first year).

With Bluehost, you can create Subdomains for different pages that you have. However, the number of subdomains that you can create is usually limited by the plan that you have purchased. Users also have access to Parked domains. Parked domains are somewhat like aliases for your website. They are domains that redirect traffic to your normal site. For example, if your website is Website.com, you can have Website.site as a Parked domain— that is, if people go to Website.site, it automatically redirects to Website.com. The number of parked domains you can have is also usually limited by the kind of plan that you have purchased.

Bluehost has a number of plans (Plus and Choice-Plus plans, for example) that allow users to operate unlimited domains. You can manage your domains using a domain manager tool that Bluehost provides. One good thing about the tool is that all Bluehost customers can access it, and it is free of charge. With this Domain manager tool, you can update, buy, track, transfer and manage your domains easily.

You can either get a domain through Bluehost or use more traditional means and buy one through Google Domains. Luckily, we have just the right comparison article to teach you how to make the best choice.

8. Bluehost Reseller Hosting Plans

If you want reseller hosting plans, you’ll have to look into another Web-host. Reseller hosting is one of the very few hosting services that Bluehost doesn’t offer.

Bluehost Shared Hosting Plan Comparison

So… we are going to be a bit biased here. How do we mean? We are going to compare only Bluehost’s shared hosting plans, not their other packages. Oh, the horror, the absolute unfairness of it all! Why ever would we do something so despicable? Little one, it’s simple calculus. The universe is finite, it’s resources finite; If life is left unchecked, life will cease to…

Okay, let’s be straight. Most people get shared hosting plans. In fact, if you’re reading this and want to purchase a hosting plan, there’s a 96.57% chance that you would want to purchase a Shared hosting plan. Don’t ask me how I came up with that statistic – ask Matt from accounting. He’s the one in charge of all that stuff.

Okay, where were we? Yes.

  • Bluehost Basic vs. Plus plan

The basic plan is Bluehost’s cheapest plan, so as you would expect of a cheap plan, it comes with the least resources. I mean, a single website, 50 GB of storage and 25 subdomains aren’t exactly mind-blowing stats. The Plus plan, on the other hand, is a step up from the basic nature of the basic plan. Through to its name, the Plus plan has a few pluses like unlimited websites and unlimited storage.

So when it comes down to the Basic vs. Plus, which one should you go for? The plan you should choose comes down to the services that you need. If you plan on running a few websites (read as more than one), you should probably get a Plus plan rather than a Basic one. On the other hand, if you have only one website to run, the basic plan fits you perfectly.

  • Bluehost Plus vs. Choice-Plus plan

For the most part, both of these plans have the same specifications. In fact, to show that they are almost the same, they cost the same in the short term. The only difference is the level of security in the Choice-Plus plan. With the Choice-Plus plan, you get free Domain privacy and Codeguard basic, a backup tool. If you understand the internet as we do, you’ll have a healthy fear of hackers and malware, and you’ll also understand the need for backing up everything you can possibly backup. If you are considering choosing between these two plans, you’re seriously better off taking the Choice-Plus plan.

Or you could choose to live dangerously. It is totally up to you.

  • Bluehost Choice-Plus vs. Pro plan

The number one difference between the Choice-Plus and Pro plan is that websites on the Pro plan are hosted on high-performance servers. This means that more resources are allocated to your account. High-performance servers have 80% fewer accounts per server than regular hosting plans, so that means more resources (ram, CPU, disk usage, etc) for your site. Basically, with the Pro plan, you’re getting better speed, more power, and generally improved performance.

The Pro plan also comes with a dedicated IP address and a private SSL certificate – the fancy one, not the free one by Let’s Encrypt (sorry Let’s Encrypt).  Bottom line is, you should only consider a Pro plan if you’re convinced that you absolutely need a high-performance server because of the volume of the traffic that your website commands. You should also consider getting a Pro plan if you’d like a private SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address. If you’re not particularly interested in the above features, you should probably stick with the Choice-Plus plan.

The Best Plan for Your Needs

Now that you know all the features of the shared hosting plans that Bluehost offers, it’s time to make your choice. Which plan, exactly, is the best for you? There is no absolute best plan, and the best plan for you depends on what features you’d like. But we are going to give our own advice, based on the years of hosting experience that we’ve had.

If you are a beginner without a lot of visitors, and you just want to set up a single website, the Basic plan has all the features that you need. If you want to run multiple websites or a WordPress site, I would recommend the Plus plan. If you want to run multiple websites and would like extra security features and Spam protection, you should probably go for the Choice-Plus plan. If you want to run an e-commerce site and would want a dedicated IP address and a private SSL certificate, you should probably go with the Pro plan.

Is Bluehost Beginner Friendly?

Okay, we planned on writing a long flowery introduction to this section, but we canned that idea. Why? It’s too much effort if we are being honest. Basically, this section is about using Bluehost. Is it a great experience or is it an experience that makes you want to pull your hair out and pray for a generous henchman to relieve you of your head? We’ll find out soon enough.

Bluehost Custom cPanel

First off, how do you manage your account? The ideal answer to that question should be cPanel (or Plesk at least), for a plethora of reasons. cPanel is easy to use, and most hosts make use of cPanel. That means people migrating from other hosts won’t have a problem with the user interface. So what is Bluehost’s answer? cPanel, but a heavily customized variant that makes it even easier for beginners to find their way around major controls. Bluehost’s cPanel is divided into 5 sections. They are the advanced (which means exactly what you think it means), MySites, Marketplace, Email and Office, and Domains sections.

  • The MySites feature allows you to access and manage the websites connected to the account that you’re logged in with. You can also create a new website with this feature. It is also a way to get to your WordPress Admin dashboard if you are hosting a WordPress website.
  • The Marketplace, like the name implies, is a market place for new functionalities, add-ons, plug-ins and other things like that. If you’re interested in adding additional features or even hiring professional services, the marketplace is the place to go.
  • If you have purchased productivity tools, you can access them under the Email and office feature. This feature gives you access to basic email services, or if you’re in need of more advanced services, you can get spreadsheet tools, cloud-based word processing, and Google (G Suite). You can also access email clients from Microsoft (Office 365).
  • The Domain feature allows you to access the domain manager. Here you can monitor the registration status of your domains, find and register new domains. You can also update which domain name is registered to which site, set up redirection, transfer domains and even manage your subdomains.
  • The Advanced Section means exactly what you would expect it to mean. Here you have the advanced options like database choices that beginners should have no business with. You can also manage your email settings and view useful metrics regarding resource use and site traffic.

Bluehost’s user panel is actually quite easy to use, and we didn’t have any problems accomplishing basic or even complex tasks. Now that we’re done with that, let’s move on to other nuanced aspects of the Bluehost user experience.

One-Click Installs

For one, Bluehost offers one-click installations for WordPress. Installing WordPress used to be really annoying, not talk to of complex and slow. But today, most hosts offer one-click installations which means that you can get your WordPress site online faster than before. If you’re using a WordPress plan, it’s even better because WordPress comes pre-installed. You do not even have to enter the cPanel. Updating your WordPress core is also easy, as you only need to click on an update icon (perhaps we should call that one-click updates too?), and if you’re using a Bluehost WordPress plan, Bluehost takes care of updates for you as well.

To-Do List for New Websites

Bluehost also has a cool feature that makes the work of managing a  website easier, especially for beginners. Too many hosts leave you alone to manage your business once you’ve done the basics, like installing WordPress and connecting your domain. Not Bluehost, though. You get a detailed To-Do list for every new website. So you’ll get a list of what to do to get your website online, and you’ll find detailed steps to accomplish these tasks. After setting up your account, your Bluehost dashboard will display the list and you can cross actions off the list after accomplishing them. It’s like getting a tutorial session before getting into the nitty-gritty of playing a battlefield game, or any game at all, for that matter. Steps, like designing your page, configuring backups, SEO configurations and Optimizations and all of that, can skip the mind of even more experienced users. It’s really thoughtful of Bluehost to provide a nice checklist. We guarantee that if you’re managing a site for the first time, you’ll find Bluehost’s help to be of inestimable value.

All the other things like managing account details, purchases, payment methods and all of that are also pretty easy to get too.

All in all, Bluehost is one of the easiest hosts we’ve reviewed. In fact, some people might say Bluehost is the easiest host to use.

Other Bluehost “Features”:

Under this section we’ll be looking at the features of Bluehost and how exciting or terrifyingly dull they are.

(HINT; Having dull features aren’t a good thing)

30 Days Money-Back Guarantee

Hosting is service-based, and when you purchase a service, it’s possible that you don’t get exactly what you expected. A money-back guarantee ensures that you aren’t stuck with a bad sell for long. Generally, we’d prefer long money-back guarantees, but most hosts offer a thirty-day money-back guarantee, which isn’t very long to us. Unfortunately, Bluehost also follows this trend. While some other reviews would call this “generous”, we wouldn’t. It’s the standard money-back guarantee that most hosts offers and we get the feeling that Bluehost only offers thirty days because it literally isn’t possible to offer lower. There are other hosts who offer far longer and more exciting money-back guarantees. Besides Bluehost, a good example is Inmotion hosting, with a great ninety day money-back guarantee or an “anytime” money-back guarantee like Justhost offers.

However, we can find solace in the fact that the money-back guarantee is of the “no questions” asked variant so you do indeed get your money back. However, there are some conditions. For example, if you’ve received a free service, like a domain name, about $15 will be deducted from your refund. You get to keep the domain name, though, so that’s good news.

Not quite the exciting feature, that.

Site Migration

Not a lot of hosts offer free site migration. Why that is so, is something we fear we’d never truly be able to fully grasp. I mean, if we owned a web hosting service, we would be interested in encouraging websites to leave their hosts and come over to our side of the garden where the grass is undoubtedly greener. We surely wouldn’t charge them a one time fee of $149.99 for the migration of five websites and twenty emails.

So you can imagine our surprise when we discovered that that is exactly what Bluehost does. Perhaps that might be one of the reasons we do not, in fact, own a hosting service. Bottom line, Bluehost doesn’t offer free site migrations. Would we be interested in paying $149.99 to move our website over to another host? Would we be interested in moving our website ourselves manually over to another host especially when many other hosts offer to do it for us for free?

Of course not, what is this, the clown republic?

Email services

Regardless of the kind of site(s) that you run, you’d eventually have to use the email services offered by Bluehost.

Bluehost allows you to create up to a hundred emails with its basic plan, and you can even create unlimited email addresses with other higher-tier plans. For those who want more powerful features, Bluehost has partnered with Microsoft office 365 to provide users with basic package supporting email and calendar functionality as well. Bluehost also has a tool called Spam Assassin that comes with all plans. This shouldn’t be confused with Spam Experts, another spam protection tool that Bluehost provides. In any case, Bluehost makes sure that you don’t have to deal with spam in your email inbox.

Marketing Services

Beginners need this more than anything. People won’t just come to your site because some angel dropped your domain name in the browser or their dreams— marketing is needed to drive traffic to your site. To aid marketing, Bluehost actually offers full-service digital marketing services. This means that Bluehost can help you with monthly content marketing— which means Bluehost will get writers to create content that will lead to higher SEO ranking for your site. Bluehost can also help manage local listings to make sure that your website is easily found by people in your locale. Of course, marketing isn’t complete without search engine optimization and the insertion of relevant keywords into content. Bluehost can help with that and also help come up with appropriate title tags and meta description.

All of these services are actually things that you can learn if you had the time and willingness to, so you could actually learn how to market your website yourself and get on with it without Bluehost’s help.

What Bluehost offers you that that is of true significance, at least to us, is the $200 in free and credits (Google, Bing and Twitter). It is a lot of money in ads, and if you know how to play your cards right, it might give you a steady flow of visitors.

App Integrations

Despite the fact that Bluehost thinks very highly of its special connection to WordPress (Bluehost, like we are always reminded, is one of only three hosts recommended by WordPress), the host offers support for integration of numerous other apps. You can install a host of other apps like Joomla, Drupal and Magneto from the marketplace easily. To make things even easier for you, Bluehost offers CDN access. This means that your site will load faster as content will be delivered to visitors quicker than before.

Asides the fact that you can easily install most apps, Bluehost also offers Google Apps integration that is built into cPanel. This allows interested users to use Google suit or Google drive cloud storage. Like we’ve said earlier, you also get a free SSL certificate with all plans.

Site Builder

If you want to build your website from scratch, Bluehost offers free access to the Weebly website builder. Like most website builders today, Weebly has drag and drop functionality. This means that even beginners who heard about website development an hour ago can create a website within a relatively short period. Weebly provides a collection of pre-designed websites for you to choose from, after choosing you can swap out the content and images with your own content and images. Weebly’s designs are responsive— this means that they are designed to adapt to any screen size, whether mobile, tab or PC. Weebly can be accessed through the site builders section of your cPanel.

The obvious question, of course, is which site builder to use in building your website. While the more popular choice is WordPress, Weebly is actually easier to use. Weebly and WordPress aren’t the only site builders that exist, though. A lot of people make use of Wix, and if you’d like to see our Bluehost vs. Wix article, all you need to do is click.

Troubleshooting

If there are problems with your site, Bluehost claims that it can be fixed in fifteen minutes. However, they are reports saying that Bluehost takes longer than fifteen minutes to fix. We should also probably add that Bluehost isn’t in the business of giving compensation for downtime, so that’s one downtime for you to consider.

Inbuilt Caching

Bluehost has an inbuilt caching feature so you don’t need to use third-party caching features. It doesn’t end there— you can also configure the level of caching depending on the kind of website that you have.

Backups

A lot of people don’t really care about the backup policy of prospective Web-hosts. However, speaking from experience, it is something you should really care about. The ideal is automated daily backups, but since very few hosts offer that for free, we’ll make do with less.

Bluehost offers daily backups on all plans, however, this is offered on a courtesy basis. What that means is that backups aren’t guaranteed, so you should either use a backup tool like Codeguard (which Bluehost offers as an add-on) or find other ways to backup your site.

Bluehost’s Performance Reviewed

One of the most things to consider when reviewing a host is the level of performance that the infrastructure provides. There are two main metrics that you need to consider, and they are speed and uptime. While some people think that uptime is the more important metric, we think that both are equally as important. For example, studies have revealed that even as much as a second drop in average page load speed can decrease the coversion rate by 7%. A three-second delay can cost you as much as half of your conversion rate. So, speed, as well as uptime, is very important to your website.

Before we go into the raw data of speed and uptime statistics, it is important to look at the infrastructure put in place by Bluehost to achieve whatever performance stats we record. Why are the infrastructures in place important? Statistics are fickle and subject to change, good day infrastructure, though, isn’t.

In our opinion, the best performing host is WP Engine. Will Bluehost surpass the stats of WP Engine?

Infrastructure

As a rule, Bluehost doesn’t publish a lot of information about their data centres, or particular security measures put in place. From what we were able to glean from sparse information on the internet and from the information we got from speaking to Bluehost representatives, it appears that Bluehost has a data centre in Provo, Utah. We were not able to get much more than that. We also stumbled upon a video of Bluehost claiming that servers aren’t bought from third-party retailers, but are actually built in-house from carefully chosen components. We spoke to a live rep about this, and it appears that Bluehost does indeed build their own servers. Bluehost has CDN access, so users ideally should not be worried about a lack of global data centres (that is if Bluehost doesn’t have global data centres). Cloudflare has a network of global data centres and users can rely on that network instead. Asides this, we were able to find additional information about Bluehost’s data centres. Apparently, they have UPS power backup, diesel generator backup and 24/7 network monitoring— all pretty basic features that most hosts have.

Speed

To make sure that our speed stats are correct and accurate records of Bluehost’s speed, we purchased a shared hosting plan and set it up with our testing tools. Over our monitoring period, we recorded an average speed of 461ms. (response speeds are much lower within the US and Europe, however, we took global locations into consideration before reaching our average score). But response time isn’t the only indication of speed, so we checked out average load speed as well. Over our monitoring period, we calculated an average page load speed of 1258ms, which is higher than most of the hosts that we’ve reviewed. In fact, if we were to make a list, Bluehost would certainly make the top half. Of course, the top spot would be held by A2 hosting, and if you’d like to see how Bluehost and A2 hosting stack up in our rankings, you only have to click.

It isn’t enough to know speed performance when traffic is low, though. Since you would hope that your site always drives healthy traffic, we decided to test Bluehost’s speed stability under a traffic spike.

To accomplish this, we used a tool called Load Impact to see how well our site would perform during traffic spikes. We sent about 100 virtual users to our site, and we were pleased to see that the speed we recorded remained stable. What does this mean for the user? It’s unlikely that Bluehost’s speed would make you lose visitors— the servers are fast, and speed remains stable even during traffic spikes.

Uptime

Uptime measures how long your site is actually up and reachable. This is important because, well, keeping a site online is the primary function of a host, and you would want to know to what extent a host performs this task. First off, it is virtually impossible to have a 100% uptime, especially when you are monitoring over a sufficiently long period.

We should, however, pay attention to how close a host gets to 100%. Bluehost performs extraordinarily with regards to uptime, posting an uptime of 99.99% over our monitoring period. That is probably the highest uptime that any host can offer, so there are no problems there either.

CDN

Simply put, Cloudflare (CDN) is a content delivery system that stores caches of your website on a network of servers around the world. If a visitor tries to access your website, instead of the content coming from your host’s server directly, it comes from the CDN point closest to them. Thus, the amount of time that it takes for a page to load is cut short.

Let’s have a short example. If you’re visiting a website hosted on Bluehost’s server at Utah, and you’re in Bangladesh, it doesn’t take too many brain cells to know that page load speed wouldn’t be the best. What CDN does is that, instead of getting content from Utah, you get it from the closest CDN point to you— somewhere like, let’s say Mumbai.

Since Bluehost offers CDN, you have the option of enabling it and enjoying even better response times and page load speeds. To make use of Cloudflare CDN, all you need to do is to enable CDN integration in your cPanel and provide your credentials to Bluehost, then you’re good to go.

Bluehost’s Security

We don’t have a lot of information on Bluehost’s security infrastructure, but we do know that Bluehost offers some great security options by default. For example, Bluehost offers free SSL certificates on all plans. Users also have several security options like Domain privacy (a tool that allows users to keep their private information off public WHOIS listing), Spam Assassin and Spam Experts (both anti-spam tools for email accounts), Sitelock (a tool that scans for malware) and Codeguard (a site backup tool).

All Bluehost directories are password protected and Bluehost gives you the option to blacklist IP addresses if you want to block access to your site. Bluehost also has secure shell (SSH) access, which allows you to configure files individually and securely. In addition to all this, Bluehost also offers single-click integration with Cloudflare. How does this affect security, you might be wondering. The answer is that Cloudflare has security features that are particularly efficient at preventing DDOS attacks. Last but not least Bluehost also offers two-factor authentication.

SSL Certificates

So let’s take a little detour. If you don’t know a lot about web hosting, it’s very likely that you don’t know what an SSL certificate is either. So before we continue our review, we are going to break it down.

SSL certificates are basically an encryption protocol and it stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s basically a guideline or a series of instructions that your web browser and your server must follow when exchanging information. The main job of SSL certificates is to ensure that the information being exchanged cannot be intercepted by third parties.

Bluehost’s Support

The quality of customer support of a host is extremely important, especially big you’re purchasing a plan that gives you access to complex controls. It is easy to run into situations that you don’t quite understand, and at that moment it is vital that you have access to customer support that is quick and knowledgeable.

Bluehost has great customer support options, and the first is the Knowledgebase. Bluehost’s knowledge base is actually well arranged according to FAQs, Domains, WordPress, Email, Control Panel, and a whole lot more. Clicking in any of these categories shows you a lot of articles that deal with the most basic and many complex issues that you might face in the course of your role as a web admin. There are also video tutorials too if you’re someone who is visually inclined. Ideally, Bluehost’s knowledgebase should solve most problems that you might have while hosting. There is also a search feature that isn’t half bad at finding helpful articles that might get you out of present quagmires.

However, if you would like hands-on support, Bluehost has three channels where you can get the help of a live representative and these are the ticketing phone and live-chat channels. These channels are available 24/7, so users can get help at any time.

We tried to connect to a live rep repeatedly several times during the day, and we experienced about 5 minutes of wait time on average. This isn’t that bad for a big company like Bluehost. In fact, we steadily experience worse with other hosts. Many of the live reps that we spoke to sounded knowledgeable enough and answered our questions immediately.

Bluehost’s customer support doesn’t come close to the best we’ve reviewed, which is SiteGround’s. If you want, you can compare Siteground vs. Bluehost and see if you’d rather have SiteGround.

Canceling your Bluehost Account

After testing Bluehost, we no longer had any use for the hosting environment so it was time to do the ole cancel-and-dazzle. The process was quick and painless, we had no need to explain ourselves to anyone and our site went down with no problems. All we had to do was to contact support via live chat, provide authentication and confirm that we actually wanted our site closed down. It was as easy as taking candy from a baby – or taking a site from a host, at any rate.

PCI Compliance

Bluehost supports PCI compliance but we wouldn’t describe Bluehost as PCI compliant. Confusing? Stay with us. There are platforms like Shopify that are optimised to meet PCI-DSS, however, most of these platforms are primarily e-commerce platforms. Since Bluehost is not like that, users will have to configure Bluehost’s options to be PCI compliant.

As a side note, Bluehost provides secure payment gateways for its WooCommerce stores.

Bluehost Pros Recap

Just in case you didn’t get it because we didn’t S-P-E-L-L it out, here are Bluehost’s pros.

For every new purchase, you get a new a free domain name included.

  • You have access to tons of apps (scripts) like Drupal, Magneto, Joomla, etc through the marketplace feature.
  • Free SSL certificate from Let’s encrypt on basic plans. Higher-tier plans come with more advanced SSL certificates, also free of charge.
  • Bluehost is by no means a speed demon A2 hosting (for more information read our in-depth Bluehost vs. A2 hosting comparison), but it does hold it’s own against major players. With Cloudflare CDN, it’s bound to even be faster.
  • Users have access to numerous databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, PHP, Python, CGI-BIN and so many more.
  • You have access to great security options like Sitelock, Spam Assassin, Spam Experts, Codeguard etc
  • Most plans come with unlimited everything— from disk space to bandwidth to domains.

Bluehost Cons Recap

Did you really think we’d have a Pros section without a cons option? No, did you really? Kill that thought.

  • Customer support isn’t top-notch and an average wait time of five minutes isn’t the best
  • No free site migrations.
  • Bluehost doesn’t have Windows-based servers, only Linux servers are available.
  • Backups aren’t of the guaranteed variety.

FAQs

  • Who owns Bluehost?

Bluehost is owned by Endurance International Group and was bought by the company in 2010. EIG also owns other hosting companies like HostGator.

  • What language is support provided in?

Bluehost customer support only speaks English and there are three channels of contacting them; the phone, live chat and ticketing channels.

  • Where are Bluehost’s data centers located in?

Bluehost tries to keep this hush, so we don’t know. We do know that Bluehost supports Cloudflare CDN integration and has data centres in Provo, Utah.

We seriously thought you’d never ask. A2 Hosting, GoDaddy, HostMonster, WP Engine, and SiteGround are some of the hosts that you can check out. Or, for a more comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of your options, you can read about Bluehost’s alternatives.

  • Does Bluehost have a managed hosting plan?

Yes. If you’d rather not be disturbed with the technical jargons of hosting, you can buy a WP Pro plan.

  • Does Bluehost register domain names?

No, not particularly. Bluehost isn’t a domain registrar. However, you can buy domains via your Bluehost admin dashboard.

Conclusion on our Bluehost Review

Choosing the right host for your website is a serious business, as a wrong choice can haunt your dreams, hurt your business and put a hole in your pocket. In order not to have such uncomfortable things happen to you, it is important to properly research a prospective web host. And we believe that’s what we’ve done.

In the final analysis, though, would we recommend Bluehost? Of course. Although they do have some cons, chief of them being no free site migrations, Bluehost is actually one of the top performers in the hosting business. The fact that they also offer great prices doesn’t hurt either.

To round it up, Bluehost doesn’t cut the figure of a problematic host, so we don’t think you’ll regret purchasing a plan.

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy

GoDaddy vs. SiteGround is certainly one of our most important duels yet, and it’s billed to be one of the most revealing. GoDaddy is the biggest domain registrar on the internet, while SiteGround has the honor of being one of the only three hosts recommended by WordPress, so both hosts have really great things going for them. Both hosts offer roughly the same sort of service, with VPS, Dedicated Server Hosting and Shared hosting some of the services common to both hosts. So how will we decide a winner?

We’ll be checking out security, customer support infrastructure structure, refund policies (if any), security, pricing, and a whole lot more. We’ll see which host comes out on top after each section, and we’ll declare a winner. And how will we do this? Easy! You see,  we’ve bought and used hosting packages from both hosts, so we are in the perfect place to compare the major issues of both hosts (and yes, they do have some really major issues). I mean, if we were proud we would call our opinion that of an expert – but we aren’t, so we won’t. 

In the end, after comparing all these different factors, we’ll decide the best host for you. What’s better, still? You don’t have to take our word for it. You can go through the data yourself and come to your own conclusions.

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy Overview

GoDaddy is one of the biggest names in web hosting, and that name has come with some controversy too. Despite the controversies, though, GoDaddy has managed to be the biggest domain registrar on the internet with over nine thousand employees at the last count. While SiteGround is also big in its own right, it’s over 1.8 million websites do not quite compare to GoDaddy’s 10 million websites. SiteGround has one thing that GoDaddy doesn’t have though, and that’s a stamp of approval from WordPress. Only three hosts are officially recommended by WordPress, and SiteGround is one of those hosts

Founded in 1997 by Bob Parsons in Baltimore, Maryland, GoDaddy is pretty much one of the oldest web hosting companies around. SiteGround, founded in 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria, is about seven years younger and was founded far away across the Atlantic.

GoDaddy and SiteGround offer roughly the same types of services with the exception of domain registration services. SiteGround does not dabble in registering domains. However, you can still purchase a domain through SiteGround (yeah, we know it’s proper weird). Most other services like VPS, Shared, and Dedicated Server hosting are offered by the two hosts, though.

Both SiteGround and GoDaddy have managed to garner a sort of reputation among webmasters in general. GoDaddy, for one, offers a lot of unlimited specs at very low prices, especially when it comes to Shared and WordPress hosting. SiteGround, on the other hand, is more of a quality over quantity kinda guy, offering limited specs but with outstanding performance, at least that’s what most reviews seem to think.

For the most part, both hosts are pretty much really successful in their own way. But you don’t want to know that, you want to know the best host for you.  So let’s get down to it.

Popularity

Let’s face it. It’s easier to go with the crowd and walk the beaten path than to go against the crowd and walk the unbeaten part. So it’s easy for many users to want to go with the most popular hosts. If you’re someone like that, then GoDaddy is the better SiteGround Alternative for your website. We’ve not reviewed a host more popular than GoDaddy besides Bluehost, and it’s unlikely that we ever will.

But should that matter? Popularity, for the most part, isn’t proof of great hosting, it’s proof of a great marketing department. So while GoDaddy does have better marketing tactics, that doesn’t mean they offer the best hosting overall.

How do we, then, decide the best host? Easy.

Performance Comparison

We’ll be measuring hosting performance with two important metrics; speed and uptime.

Uptime

It’s virtually impossible to have a hundred percent uptime over a sufficiently long period, but the best hosts always manage to have something close to the mark. As we said earlier, we bought hosting plans from both SiteGround and GoDaddy, created our dummy account, and fired it up. We then started to test for uptime over a three month period. Let’s see what we recorded.

SiteGroundGoDaddy
August100%100%
September100%100%
October99.99%99.97%

Our tests show us that both hosts have great uptime, with SiteGround coming in with an average uptime of 99.99% and GoDaddy coming in with the same result as well.

Uptime guarantee

When deciding how great a host’s uptime is, we don’t like to look at uptime statistics alone as they are quite fickle. Hosts can get bogged down by viruses in the twinkle of an eye, and that could result in hours of downtime. An uptime guarantee, though, ensures that users get something back regardless.

Both SiteGround and GoDaddy offer uptime guarantees. SiteGround has an uptime guarantee of 99.9% on an annual basis. That means if uptime goes below 99.9%, users will be eligible for some compensation. The agreement states that for uptime below 99.9% but above 99%, users will be entitled to a month of free hosting. For every 1% of hosting below 99%, customers are also entitled to a free month of hosting. GoDaddy’s uptime guarantee is more of the same, with the host offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee. For uptime below 99.9%, GoDaddy offers 5% credit off your monthly hosting fee. It’s not that straight forward, though. Let’s see exactly what the service agreement states;

“We offer a Service uptime guarantee of 99.9% (Service Uptime Guarantee) of available time per month. If we fail to maintain this Service Uptime Guarantee in a particular month (as solely determined by us), you may contact us and request a credit of 5% of your monthly hosting fee for that month” (For more about their Uptime Guarantee Policy check out the specific section in our GoDaddy Review).

So, not only is the compensation you are entitled to a mere 5% off your monthly hosting fee for that month, only GoDaddy has the power to decide if your claim of downtime is legit. That comes with obvious problems, of course. This contrasts heavily with SiteGround’s policy that offers more compensation and is more transparent.

CDN

Content Delivery Systems are used by hosts to increase speed, and with this installed, content can be delivered to URL quicker and faster. SiteGround makes use of a free CDN (Cloudflare) system for all hosting plans. GoDaddy also offers CDN support, but you’ll have to set it up and activate it yourself. SiteGround’s free CDN is a huge advantage and it makes it be a worthy GoDaddy alternative.

Speed

Some think that speed is a vanity statistic, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Studies have found that faster sites tend to retain more visitors than slower ones. In fact, 40% of internet users claim that they would not revisit a site that has speed problems.

Testing for Speed

We already had our sites set up on GoDaddy’s and SiteGround’s servers, so we started testing for average speed. We first tested for TTFB, that is time to the first byte. You could also call it average response time too. Here’s a snapshot of how our results looked like.

SiteGroundGoDaddy
New York64ms102ms
Sydney241ms300ms
London70ms92ms
Singapore389ms400ms
Vancouver300ms392ms
New Delhi813ms1.2 sec
Ottawa413ms391ms
Berlin291ms297ms
Amsterdam400ms600ms
Bangladesh895ms1.5 sec

Clearly, our tests tell us one thing; SiteGround is consistently faster than GoDaddy, and this isn’t the full result, as we ran tests consistently over a long testing period. In the end, SiteGround had an average response time of 421ms over our testing period, while GoDaddy came in with an average speed of 510ms. In an industry saturated with hosts posting around 800ms response time on average, this isn’t quite bad.

Full-page Load Speed

We also tried to get a number for average page load speed, and we were impressed to calculate an average page load speed of 781ms for our dummy account on SiteGround’s servers. GoDaddy’s average page load speed was slower still, averaging over a second at 1.2s.

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy for Ease of use & Beginner Friendliness

No one, at least that we know of, wants to spend valuable time fumbling over the controls of a hosting interface, trying to figure out what and what not to do. In addition, most people prefer hosts that actually make the job of hosting easier through more access, more freebies and all that kind of stuff. On that note, let’s see exactly how easy it is to use both these hosts.

User Interface

For us, when it comes to the question of user interfaces, there are only two viable answers; cPanel or Plesk. They are both easy to use and they are both standard interfaces used by most hosts. Anything other than that is tantamount to reinventing the wheel. SiteGround and GoDaddy make use of cPanel, so that’s full marks for them. cPanel is great because, for one, it is user-friendly, and if you’re migrating from a host that had the cPanel interface installed, it would be easier for you to get acclimatized.

However, cPanel is only available for GoDaddy’s Linux based hosting plans. If you want to opt for Windows hosting, you get Parallel Plesk as your control panel.

Sign up process.

Purchasing a plan from both hosts was quite easy, as we didn’t have any problems. One thing that we noticed, though, was that at checkout, both hosts did try to sell a lot of services that we didn’t necessarily need. This is usual with all hosts, though, so we weren’t particularly bothered.

App Integration, Installations and Marketplace

Both SiteGround and GoDaddy support most Content Management System apps, especially WordPress. SiteGround, as we’ve mentioned, is an officially recommended host by WordPress so that tells you how great SiteGround is for WordPress users. For GoDaddy, one-click installation is available for WordPress, so even Shared hosting users can make the transition as easy as possible. With SiteGround, you can easily install WordPress and a number of apps using the Softaculous tool. For even greener users, WordPress can be installed with one step using SiteGround’s proprietary software installation wizard. Users of both hosts also have access to a market place where a number of services, apps and plug-ins can be purchased easily.

Free Site Migration

It baffles us how this remains a thing. But unfortunately, it is what it is, and there are many hosts who do not offer free site migrations. SiteGround, for one, does offer free site migrations, but only on certain plans. Users who purchase the StartUp plan (the lowest Shared hosting plan), are not eligible for free site migration. If you think that’s not fair, wait till you read about GoDaddy’s free site migration policy. GoDaddy doesn’t offer free migration and charges 99.99% per site for migrating your site. So, if you do not know how to migrate your site yourself (a task that is pretty technical if you don’t really know what you’re doing), then you’ll have to fork out almost a hundred dollars to have access to the service. That’s a policy that makes SiteGround’s policy look like a free candy delivery scheme.

Free domains

A lot of hosts offer free domains with each plan. It makes setting up a website far easier than it would have been otherwise, and it’s something that we think all hosts should offer. That, however, isn’t an opinion that SiteGround shares. The host doesn’t do domains at all, and that’s that about that. GoDaddy, on the other hand, does offer free domains for new customers who purchase annual web hosting plans.

Website builder

Most other hosts use third party site builders like Weebly and Wix, but GoDaddy doesn’t. Instead, GoDaddy has a proprietary tool called GoCentral. So if you want to build your site yourself, you can use GoCentral. SiteGround doesn’t have a proprietary tool, but users can make use of the Weebly website builder at no extra costs.

We used both SiteGround’s Weebly site builder and the GoCentral tool, and we were able to notice a few things. Weebly, for one, isn’t as flexible or as sophisticated as we would have liked, but it is perfect for beginners. What stood Weebly out for us, was the clear interface. GoCentral isn’t free, but it is free to start— that is, you get a month’s free trial. If you only want to run one or two sites, that should ideally be enough for you. However, if you are continuously engaging in projects, you might have to subscribe to it for a longer period. With over three hundred themes and templates, GoCentral is a drag and drop site editor that has something for everyone.

Basically, both website builders are very easy to use, but we’re would go with SiteGround’s Weebly because it is free to use, and not just free to start.

Staging environments

For people who are not quite sure of themselves, it’s better to have a staging environment that enables them test out complex changes to their website structure. More advanced users can create one through WordPress by using a plug-in called WP staging or can create one on a subdomain, but new users do not have that luxury. That’s why it’s better to go with a host that supports a special staging environment. SiteGround offers a staging environment on select plans, while GoDaddy offers a staging environment on all managed WordPress hosting plans except the Basic plan.

EASE OF USE WINNER SITEGROUND; At the end, we feel that this verdict really just boils down to preference. On the one hand, SiteGround offers at least free site migrations on select plans, while GoDaddy offers the same service at a price of $99 per site. While on the other hand, GoDaddy offers free domain registration for most plans, while SiteGround doesn’t offer any free domain registration services. However, we feel it’s better to have a free site migration policy, so SiteGround takes this round for us.

Money-Back Guarantee Policy

Long money-back guarantees are great cause they come with less risk. If you don’t like a plan, you can easily request for a refund. Here’s somewhere SiteGround is uncharacteristically basic, offering only a thirty days money-back guarantee, which is the industry standard. For cloud hosting plans, SiteGround offers only a fifteen-day money-back guarantee. GoDaddy also offers the same thirty days money-back guarantee. For plans less than annual plans, GoDaddy offers a 48 hour refund period.

Money-back guarantee; Draw

Both hosts offer the same level of money-back guarantees, so it was hard to decide a winner. While it would have been easier to just pick one winner, we don’t think that would have been particularly honest, so we didn’t.

Customer Support and Reliability

Great customer support is a blessing, while terrible customer support is a headache of biblical proportions. If you ever get into a tight fix, like it’s almost certain that you will, you will need great customer support to help you get back on track. If your host’s customer support isn’t great, well, long may the tight fix reign.

Checking out live support

SiteGround and GoDaddy offer the same channels of contacting customer support with phone, live chat and ticketing support channels.

We use two important metrics to measure the quality of a host’s customer support, and those important metrics are length of average wait time (the time it takes to contact a live support) and the quality of support i.e the proficiency of the live reps we speak to in solving our problems and answering our questions.

Live Chat Support test

We first tested live Chat support of both hosts and SiteGround’s wait time was seriously impressive. Most times we connected to a live rep within a minute, or two at most. In fact, our average wait time was about 55 seconds. It was almost nonexistent. This wasn’t the same with GoDaddy, though, as we had to consistently wait over five minutes to get connected to a live rep. At a point, we even had to wait for over half an hour to speak to a live rep, something that didn’t go down especially well with us. Even though we don’t expect great customer support from large companies like GoDaddy, there is no excuse for putting a customer on hold for over thirty minutes.

SiteGround’s live support— or the live support reps that we spoke to, were friendly and were quite knowledgeable. The questions that we asked them, many requiring above average hosting knowledge, were answered immediately and with even additional information. Asides that, SiteGround’s live chat feature is so advanced that once you connect to a live rep, you immediately have access to a live bio page that shows you a picture and the name of the rep that you’re speaking to, their hobbies and even a short introductory paragraph from them. It made the experience better and more comfortable for us. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the same experience that we had with GoDaddy. While a few of the reps we spoke to answered our questions easily, an overwhelming majority struggled with the more complex questions. It wasn’t all bad, though, all hosts we spoke to were cordial and friendly enough. However, we do doubt that they would be much help if you ran into a serious problem or needed an explanation on very complex/technical issues. On the other hand, we were more confident in SiteGround’s customer support service than we were satisfied with GoDaddy’s customer service.

The phone support of GoDaddy was much better than the live support in terms of wait time, but it was still more of the same regarding quality. SiteGround maintained the short wait time and the quality that was on display in their handling of live chat support.

Knowledge Base

Both hosts maintain a great knowledge base library where most users can find articles and tutorials on solving basic issues and setting up their account. To a large extent, we found the knowledge bases of both hosts to be sufficient for solving minor issues and setting up accounts.

Website Security

Of courses, you want your files and the information on your site to be safe. While most hosts offer general firewall protection, their policies towards other safety tools like spam protection, backups, and site security defer greatly. The best hosts offer more safety protection for less, while other hosts see safety features as an opportunity to drain more dollars from the pockets of users.

Backup Policy

No matter what you’re doing, as long as it’s on a computer, it’s important to have backup files. SiteGround offers a free limited daily backup and restore service of thirty days for Shared hosting plans and seven days for Cloud hosting plans. GoDaddy has monthly backups included in the free Backup tool, while Weekly and Daily backups are included in the premium backup tool that is absolutely free for GoDaddy hosted websites.

SSL Certificates

SiteGround provides SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt for free on all plans, while GoDaddy does not. You can purchase an SSL certificate starting from around $48 per year from GoDaddy though.

Firewall protection

GoDaddy, in 2017, acquired a Web Application Firewall that, in theory, should be able to offer blanket protection for sites hosted on its servers. SiteGround has something like that too, with ModSecurity, an open-source web application firewall.

The technology, bought by GoDaddy and developed by Sucuri, is supposed to protect against cross-site scripting and SQL injection techniques. However just months after being acquired by GoDaddy, Touseef Gul (a website application firewall tester) was able to bypass the firewall and gain access to databases through the use of a rather simple SQL injection string. That doesn’t fill us with a lot of confidence in GoDaddy’s firewall.

Site Security Features

SiteGround offers access to the SG scanner, a security feature provided by Sucuri. The SG scanner helps to detect malware and prevent attacks on your site. It also helps to check if your site has been blacklisted by other sites, and notifies you via email. The service is not free though and costs about $19.80 per year ($1.65 monthly). GoDaddy has a special Website Security feature that goes for £3.99 (this excludes VAT for users in the UK) which performs most of the tasks that SiteGround’s SG scanner performs.

Security winner SiteGround; On a whole, we were more impressed by SiteGround and the services offered for free than we were with GoDaddy. In addition, the fact that v GoDaddy’s firewall protection was breached was a source of concern for us, as that leads to a high risk of data theft.

Plans & Pricing

Of course, the price of a service is important. Equally as important is the service rendered at the price given. We are always on the lookout for the best deals, not just the cheapest, so we’ll be taking note of not just the price but the specs offered at that price to reach our verdict.

We’ll be comparing two sets of plans which are the Shared hosting and Managed WordPress hosting of both hosts. Why? Well, let’s face it, an overwhelming majority of the sites on the internet are hosted on Shared hosting or Managed WordPress servers.

Shared Hosting Comparison

GoDaddy has four Shared hosting server tiers. They are the Economy, Deluxe, Ultimate and the Maximum plans. SiteGround, on the other hand, has three tiers of Shared hosting server tiers and they are the StartUp, GrowBig and GoGeek plans.

Basic Shared hosting tiers

GoDaddy’s cheapest Shared hosting plan is the Economy plan and it costs $2.99. The plan comes with 24/7 support infrastructure, one website, 100GB of storage, unlimited bandwidth, free emails, and one free domain. This offer sounds real nice, till you discover that $2.99 is a promotional offer and the renewal price actually looks something like $7.99— more than a hundred per cent price hike. SiteGround’s cheapest Shared hosting plan is the StartUp plan and it costs about $3.95 (renews at $11.95) and comes with one website, 10GB of space, unlimited bandwidth, free Cloudflare CDN, free SSL certificate, free daily backups, and unlimited emails.

The number of websites is the same, but GoDaddy offers ten times more storage than SiteGround, something that you should take note if your site is going to be image and video heavy. It is unlikely that you’ll exhaust your ten gigabytes of space for with one website, but a hundred gig of space is a great thing to have. The fact that GoDaddy costs even less must also mean something.

Medium Range plans

GoDaddy’s medium-range plan is the Deluxe plan and it comes with all the features of the Economy plan and has the added advantage of unlimited websites, storage, and subdomains. It costs $4.99 (however, you have to pay $10.99 to renew). SiteGround’s medium-range plan is the GrowBig plan and it comes with all the features of the StartUp plan plus unlimited websites, free SSL wildcard for one year, 20GB space, all 3 levels of the super cacher, staging environments for WordPress and Joomla, 30 backup copies and free restore. The plan costs $5.95 per month for new customers while renewal costs $19.95 per month. A price hike from $5.95 to $19.5 represents one of the steepest price hikes we’ve ever seen. Isn’t this sort of overdoing it?

GoDaddy’s plan maxes out, with unlimited specs of all the important features. At $4.99 it is really great value for money, and even if you put the $10.99 renewal price into consideration, it’s still not too bad. SiteGround’s specs do increase with the second plan, but even with increased specs, it doesn’t try to hold a candle up to GoDaddy’s Deluxe plan. However, the argument could be made that SiteGround has something that GoDaddy doesn’t have, which is free SSL and staging environments for WordPress and Joomla— but that argument doesn’t stand when you figure out that the GrowBig plan costs almost two times the price of the Deluxe plan.

High Range Plan

Since GoDaddy has two high range plans, we’ll be comparing them both to SiteGround’s high range plan. GoDaddy’s second most expensive plan is the Ultimate which can be purchased at $5.99 (The renewal fee is $16.99). It has all the features of the deluxe plan, and in addition, has double the processing power, a free SSL certificate (for a single term) and unlimited databases. So, GoDaddy offers a free SSL certificate at last. You do love to see it. SiteGround’s most expensive Shared hosting plan is the GoGeek plan and it comes with all the features of the GrowBig plan plus unlimited websites, 30GB space with a traffic capacity of 100,000 per month, priority support, one-click Git repo creation, and PCI compliance.  It costs about $11.95 for the initial purchase and $34.95 for renewal. A price hike of $11.95 is significant no matter how you look at it.

The maximum plan, which is the most expensive shared hosting plan that GoDaddy has to offer is $12.99 for an initial purchase and $24.99 upon renewal. It comes with the Ultimate plan features and ×2 the processing power and memory, ×2 maximum site traffic and a free SSL certificate for the full term.

Well, it does appear with even all the specs maxed out, GoDaddy costs less than SiteGround— and considerably less too. If you’re not someone predisposed to spending a lot of money, you should probably go with GoDaddy on account of price.

Managed WordPress hosting

Managed WordPress hosting plans are usually more expensive as they take more effort from the host. SiteGround Managed WordPress hosting package isn’t very different from their Shared hosting packages. In fact, the only discernible difference that we could notice was the base features of the plans which include WordPress optimization and pre-installed WordPress application. GoDaddy, on the other hand, has a whole different Managed WordPress scheme so we’ll be talking about that instead.

Basic Managed WordPress Hosting Plan

All of GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting plans include:

  • A free domain (when you sign up for an annual plan)
  • Free daily backups (these aren’t offered on their shared hosting plans)
  • Malware scans
  • Sign up forms that are built-in for capturing client data.

GoDaddy’s Basic managed WordPress hosting plan is called the Basic plan and it comes with one website, 10gb worth of space, and maximum traffic of 25,000 visitors per month. The cost of the initial price is $4.99. The price for Basic plan renewal, though, is $9.99 per month. Which, as I said, is a bit more pricey than the normal basic Economy plan. In fact, the renewal price comes quite to close to SiteGround’s renewal price of $11.95. SiteGround’s plan is basically the Shared hosting StartUp plan but with essential WordPress features like free WordPress migration and free WordPress install. Also, it has a capacity of supporting about 10,000 visitors per month.

The initial price of SiteGround’s plan is lesser than that of GoDaddy’s, so if you want higher performance (as we’ve proven that SiteGround has) you might be tempted to go with SiteGround. However, you should also note that GoDaddy’s plan has a maximum visitors count of twenty-five thousand, while SiteGround’s is a mere ten thousand.

Medium Range WordPress hosting Plan

GoDaddy’s medium-range hosting plan is the Deluxe plan, which comes at an initial cost of $7.99. It comes with one website, maximum of 100k visitors per month, 15GB of space, support of free daily backups, malware scans, built-in sign-up forms, and a free domain. However, the renewal fee is $14.99. SiteGround’s medium-range WordPress hosting is the same as the GoGeek Shared hosting plan and supports monthly visits up to 25000 per month and costs $19.95 to renew.

Once again, GoDaddy is showing that maxing out specs isn’t a problem, and with a hundred thousand visitors per month and free daily backups, GoDaddy’s plan is more attractive than SiteGround’s. It costs less too. However, SiteGround’s plan comes with unlimited websites, and that’s about the most important thing to take note of.

High Range WordPress Hosting Plan

GoDaddy has two high-level managed WordPress hosting plans and they are the Pro 5+ and Ultimate plans. The ultimate plan can be purchased for $9.99 per month and offers 2 websites, 30GB of storage, a free SSL certificate for the first year, a maximum of 400k visitors, and all the features of the Deluxe plan. The cost of renewal stands at $19.99. The next plan is the Pro 5+  plan and it offers 5-50 websites, support of up to 800k monthly visitors, a free SSL certificate per site, 50-200GB of storage and all the other features of the Ultimate plan before it. The renewal price of $27.99 is the same as the price of the initial purchase. SiteGround’s highest plan offers a capacity of 100 thousand visitors per month, something that the Pro 5+ and Ultimate plans exceed by a lot and when we say a lot means a lot. However, neither host offers unlimited websites, so it’s a bit of which spec is more important to you. Capacity or website count?

Pricing winner GoDaddy; This is a section that SiteGround was always destined to lose. In fact, there are only a few hosts who can offer what GoDaddy offers at the price that it is offered.

Extra features

Let’s look at the major features that both hosts offer and see if there’s anything extraordinary.

SiteGround has the following extra features:

  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • SiteGround is optimized for WordPress and Joomla
  • One-click staging servers
  • SiteGround has reseller hosting options
  • Unfortunately, SiteGround doesn’t offer a free domain name.
  • SiteGround supports Weebly website builder
  • A free WordPress Migration Plugin.
  • SiteGround offers SSH access with all their plans

GoDaddy has the following extra features:

  • GoDaddy offers a free domain name for the first term for every created website.
  • An extensive knowledgebase ensures that you do not have a lot of reasons to contact live support.
  • All hosting plans have access to a free website builder.
  • Access to over 125 apps with one-click installs. This includes the more popular applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
  • GoDaddy helps new websites to get their name out on the big worldwide web through $100 worth ad credits for every $25 spent. The credits also include $50 in Bing and Facebook ads.
  • GoDaddy also offers managed WordPress hosting.
  • GoDaddy has a reward and referral program called Pro rewards that lets you buy upgrades or pay for websites with reward points.
  • People with a Deluxe hosting plan or higher have access to the one-click website staging tool. This ensures that you experience zero downtime while updating your website. This tool makes sure that your website is still online while you’re working and a copy. It also allows you to see first hand the results of your updates and correct your mistakes, if any, before going live.
  • GoDaddy Pro is an extra feature provided by GoDaddy that allows resellers or people with multiple products to manage their accounts from a single dashboard. This means that you can control all your products with GoDaddy including domains multiple websites via one central panel. You are also allowed to clone your websites, get real-time analytics, perform migrations, and set automatic backups as you deem fit. Users can also manage online stores and/or websites, and make purchases on behalf of others with GoDaddy’s pro client.

Features winner — A DRAW; Both hosts boast of decent features, but none were particularly eye-catching. It’s a draw for us.

Major differences between GoDaddy and Siteground

  • GoDaddy offers a free domain on each web hosting plan, SiteGround doesn’t.
  • SiteGround has an overall better performance than GoDaddy.
  • SiteGround’s customer support is better than GoDaddy’s by about several miles.
  • GoDaddy is cheaper than SiteGround by a lot. A whole lot.
  • SiteGround offers free site Migration on select plans, while GoDaddy doesn’t
  • SiteGround offers free SSL certificates on all plans, while GoDaddy isn’t into such Santa Claus-y shenanigans.

SiteGround vs. GoDaddy: Our Pick

From the moment we began, SiteGround always looked like the winner, winning our Performance, Customer Support and Security sections by a mile or two. Of course, GoDaddy, the patriarchal figure in motion, did try to manage a strong fight back with a strong showing at the pricing section, but that plan wasn’t successful as SiteGround comes out our overall winner.

So, the question GoDaddy vs. SiteGround has only one answer— and it’s SiteGround.

Bluehost vs. HostGator

The rivalry between Bluehost and HostGator is akin to an old-fashioned restaurant showdown. Both of them are neck-to-neck in a race to offer clients more affordable and enticing shared hosting than the other. While Bluehost is a leading participant in the open-source community, HostGator has the allure of a prodigy U.S. company in the eyes of North American consumers.

I’m not one to be easily swayed by advertising, nor by affiliates trying to make a sale, and you shouldn’t be either. The best way to decide between two services is to compare performance metrics on both ends and then carefully evaluate whether Bluehost or HostGator is more likely to offer a web host solution that fits your needs.

You might not think customer support, security, or pricing to be that important at this point, but I assure you, either of these can make or break your web page.

Instead of making a rash decision you might regret later on, your time is better spent choosing the right service from the get-go. Some might say that Bluehost vs. HostGator is a false dichotomy or that the two hosting companies are like two peas in a pod, but the resources behind each brand are independent and unique. Hence, the value you get from their offers is also different.

HostGator vs. Bluehost Historic Comparison

HostGator began as a dorm-room company in 2002, while BlueHost officially came to be in 2003. Unlike its competitor, Bluehost’s founder had been running a free web hosting service – 0catch.com – ever since 1996. In 2003, the company transitioned to a paid model and became Bluehost. This previous experience gave them an upper hand in terms of providing web services to individuals and businesses alike.

Bluehost quickly rose to popularity as one of the first web hosts to offer its users 1-click WordPress installs. Their initiative has since become an industry standard that helps millions of non-specialized users get online in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, HostGator’s first years were marked by investments in the development of its global network of servers. Their resourcefulness also paid off, as they had acquired over 400,000 customers by 2011.

Although Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting services in the world and, although they had a considerable head start on HostGator, the two are pretty much evenly matched at this point. HostGator’s dedication to fulfilling the needs of businesses brought a lot of momentum to their growth. Eventually, both companies would end up being acquired by larger business conglomerates. Despite this, they maintain their proprietary models and services to this day.

Bluehost vs. Hostgator for Critical Performance Indicators

Saying “critical performance indicators” when referring to a web host is a bit of a tautology – one that is often necessary, nonetheless. Web performance metrics, such as uptime or full page load time, reflect how well your website is behaving and they are critical by definition.

HostGator and Bluehost are separated by a considerable performance gap, which is why you need to be careful when you choose between them. You don’t want to commit to an attractive three-year deal that strands you with an unresponsive site.

If you decide on a hosting provider that doesn’t match your needs, you’ll end up losing valuable time and financial resources that could be better spent on growing your business.

In what follows, I’ll go through each of the kernel performance indicators you need to consider before you decide between Bluehost and HostGator.

Uptime Comparison

By far, one of the more debated aspects of web host services is their uptime. Since your web page will be stored on a physical machine, it is essential to know whether you might experience downtime due to Bluehost or HostGator server issues. While your service is interrupted, people won’t be able to access your website, which can cause significant dissatisfaction if you’re selling a web-based service or running an e-commerce business.

Most users will take your responsiveness and uptime as a sign of your standards, even if the circumstances are often completely out of your reach. An easy way to remember the importance of uptime is to look at it as the percentage of time your business will be up and running, generating value and profit for you and your stakeholders.

BluehostHostGator
January 2020100%99.95%
December 201999.98%99.98%
November 2019100%99.98%
Full Year 201999.99%99.97%
Full Year 202099.99%99.97%
Uptime GuaranteeNone99.9%

In the past year, Bluehost’s shared plans have delivered much better uptime than HostGator’s equivalent. Whenever Bluehost had an outage, back-up systems kicked in almost instantaneously, so that any downtime never lasted for more than a few moments.

Uptime Guarantee

Although we’ve yet to see a company that can guarantee 100% uptime, cloud-based technology has taken this aspect to the next level. Over a long enough period of time, HostGator and Bluehost have had their share of outages. The good news is that, in the past several years, they’ve worked assiduously to upgrade the hardware infrastructure.

On the one hand, you might be inclined to rule HostGator vs. Bluehost in favor of the former. HostGator sweetens the pot with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. If they fail to abide by the standard, this makes you eligible to a compensation (which is usually a free month of services) that is incredibly easy to obtain when all conditions are met. Should you experience more than 44 minutes of downtime in a 30-day month, you may qualify.

On the other hand, despite the fact that Bluehost has no guarantee to fall back on, they’ve been able to consistently provide better uptime than HostGator. In fact, my monitoring has shown that, in the past year or so, they delivered 99.99% uptime for their clients. That’s way above the industry benchmark of 99.94%. Throughout 2019, the average downtime of HostGator was 14 minutes per month, whereas Bluehost achieved an impressive 5 or less minutes of downtime every 30 days. That’s almost a 3-fold uptime advantage in favor of Bluehost!

Even if we have no guarantee on Bluehost’s side. I feel much safer going with a service that’s known to uphold one of the highest standards available. If uptime is important for your business, I am more inclined to go with Bluehost, rather than HostGator.

Time to First Byte (TTFB)

After uptime, time to first byte (or TTFB) is another key metric you should take into consideration when deciding between HostGator and Bluehost. Several variables go into calculating this metric, which essentially boils down to how long it takes until the server sends your website’s details to a potential client who is trying to access it. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Of course, there is a chance that your page might be improperly configured and this is what’s causing it to be slow to load or downright unresponsive. In these instances, it doesn’t matter whether you’re on HostGator, BlueHost, or any other hosting service. Barring situations where websites are improperly built, it’s the machine hosting your site that determines TTFB.

Comparing Bluehost and HostGator from the viewpoint of 14 different locations all over the world, Bluehost’s state-of-the-art hardware guarantees much better response times. For example, in case you have a visitor from London, your website will load 1 full second faster if your service is provided by Bluehost rather than HostGator. The situation is similar for other locations, such as Paris (0.7 seconds vs. 1.5 seconds), Toronto (0.4s vs. 1.4), or Bangalore (0.9s vs. 1.7s).

LocationBluehostHostGator
New York512 ms1.6 s
Toronto528 ms1.4 s
London670 ms1.6 s
Sydney903 ms1.3 s
Paris762 ms1.5 s
Frankfurt761 ms1.6 s
Amsterdam707 ms1.6 s
Bangalore982 ms1.7 s

Load Impact Test Comparison

If your business provides a web-based application or you run an e-commerce platform, you need to be absolutely certain that your Bluehost or HostGator plan has the necessary resources to handle peak traffic times. From personal experience, I’ve witnessed many storefronts go down during the holidays or, worse yet, for Black Friday. Since high-load times tend to be extremely profitable, you don’t want to be closed for business in these timeframes.

A simple load impact test can offer all the information you need in order to determine whether your web host will keep your page running through intense traffic. Basically, this is a real-time testing wherein 100 virtual users interact with your page over 5 minutes or so. When I put a HostGator or Bluehost server through this stress test, I expect them to hold their ground.

On average, the Bluehost infrastructure provides more stability. Whether I had 1, 50, or 100 virtual users, the server response time held steady at around 280 milliseconds.

Bluehost Load Impact Test
Bluehost Load Impact Test

HostGator’s load impact test results weren’t as promising. Despite an excellent response time for under 50 users, when the number of requests exceeded that amount, their server time jumped all the way to 430.

HostGator Load Impact Test
HostGator Load Impact Test

That’s nearly 50% slower than Bluehost’s under the same conditions! In other words, enough traffic will eventually lead to an unresponsive website when you use HostGator.

Full Page Load Time

Last, but definitely not least, full page load time should factor in your HostGator vs. Bluehost comparison. This is the time it takes for your website to completely load its resources from the instant a client tries to access it. If your page has a lot of information sent through, it doesn’t matter that your TTFB is lightning fast because the plugins that need to be ran and/or files that must be downloaded will increase the total page load time.

Ideally, you want this indicator to be microscopic. It’s not just your clients that will notice, but also the algorithms behind the most popular search engines, such as Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo. When ranking pages, all of them prioritize websites that load faster, so if you want your page to rank high for user searches, you need to keep total page load as small as possible.

Market data indicates that faster websites see better conversion rates, as well as smaller bounce rates, which refers to the number of users that keep viewing your page, rather than bouncing back to the search engine. There’s just no denying the fact that a quick-to-load website is ranked higher, will be viewed by more people, and generate more sales, while the opposite is the case for sluggish pages. So, will Bluehost also win the battle for total page load time against HostGator?

Bluehost Full Page Load Time
Bluehost Full Page Load Time

When I tested Bluehost’s page load time, the results were impressive. The site loaded in 1.2 seconds, which is a small enough timeframe to prevent users from even thinking about it.

HostGator Full Page Load Time
HostGator Full Page Load Time

Alternatively, HostGator’s page load speed amounted to 3.3 seconds. Nearly 3 times slower! Your page would not stand a chance against an optimized website from either of your competitors and will be ranked much lower than them.

There is no competition between Bluehost and HostGator in terms of fully loaded time. Bluehost guarantees a responsive website that will rank higher in searches, bring in more clients, make more sales, and reduce bounce rates.

Bluehost vs. HostGator: Pricing and Value for Money

Before jumping to purchases, it’s best that you first outline your web host needs as clearly as possible. This, alongside detailed information on both services, will help you decide on Bluehost or HostGator. Even if you can afford a more expensive plan, I advise you to choose one based on your current needs. Over long enough periods of time, costs will accumulate.

Should the traffic increase to a point where you’ve reached the capacity of the resources allotted to you, you’ll be able to scale your page to a subscription that keeps up with you. It’s like building a restaurant in a new neighborhood. You can start with a food truck and, if the business is booming, expand it into something more accommodating for your needs.

The most cost-effective way to publish a webpage is through shared hosting. In what follows, I’ll go through each of the three shared plans on HostGator and Bluehost so as to make it obvious what you get with each of them.

Entry Level Plan: Bluehost Basic vs HostGator Hatchling

Bluehost is known in the international blogosphere as the fastest, most affordable way to make a personal page for yourself, while HostGator is traditionally known as a B2B solution. Lately, both services have varied their offer so as to make it more inclusive to all clients – individuals, SMEs, and multinationals.

What I like about Bluehost is that they tailor-make their plans to help users get online in a fast, reliable manner. They’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years and they’re extremely good at it.

On the Bluehost Basic, you get much more than you need for your first web page, namely a free domain and one website, a whopping 50 GB of SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, and no less than 5 e-mail accounts.

The HostGator Hatchling also offers everything you get with Bluehost, only that their package is a bit cheaper. This is not always to your advantage, though, as I’ve clearly shown in the performance aspect of the comparison.

Bluehost BasicHostGator Hatchling
Websites AllowedOneOne
SSD Storage50GBUnmetered
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
SSL CertificateFreeFree
Free DomainYesYes
Website Transfer$149Free
Professional Email$2.99Free
Marketing Credits$200 Free$200 Free
Uptime GuaranteeNone99.9%
Money-Back Policy30-days45-days
Website BuilderWeeblyCustom Builder
Old Price$7.99$6.95
Discounted Price$2.95$2.75

Middle-Level Plan: Bluehost Plus/Choice Plus vs. HostGator Baby

This is where it starts to get tricky, as both HostGator and Bluehost know that they are pitching their offers to businesses. For just a couple of extra dollars a month compared to the basic plan, they’re sweetening the pot considerably. However, it only makes sense to upgrade to mid-level subscriptions when you need more websites, as well as more resources to run them.

Agile enterprises such as new shops, real-estate companies, or servicing teams can greatly benefit from this set-up. I tend to think of these as enhanced beginner offers. Bluehost has two options on this level, while HostGator has one.

For the price of a Venti Mocha (give or take a dollar or two depending on your location), you can get unlimited storage and bandwidth, as well as host an infinite number of websites with Bluehost’s Plus or Choice Plus. Since I’m discussing boundless resources, you can also have as many subdomains, parked domains, and e-mails as your heart desires. As is the case with the basic plan, you also benefit from a free SSL certificate.

HostGator’s Baby Plan is roughly on par with the resources you get from Bluehost, such as unlimited bandwidth and multiple websites. The difference, however, is that Bluehost’s Choice Plus includes automatic daily backups for your pages, as well as Domain Privacy, while HostGator doesn’t. You can set up a daily back-up manually, provided that you know how, while the Domain Privacy will cost you an extra $15 or so.

If you lose two or three days’ worth of work on your website, Bluehost’s daily back-ups have you covered. During peak load times, this can make the difference between outstanding profits and marginally good ones. All in all, HostGator Baby may have a lower base cost than Bluehost’s Plus or Choice Plus, but the additional costs you incur along the way with HostGator make the difference negligible. Furthermore, the clearly superior performance of Bluehost’s servers tips the scales definitively in its favor.

Bluehost PlusBluehost Choice PlusHostGator Hatchling
Websites AllowedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD StorageUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
SSL CertificateFreeFreeFree
Free DomainYesYesYes
Whois Privacy$14.88Free$14.95
Website Transfer$149$149Free
Professional EmailFree 30-daysFree 30-daysFree
Spam PreventionSpam ExpertsSpam ExpertsSpam Assasin
Marketing Credits$200 Free$200 Free$200 Free
Uptime GuaranteeNoneNone99.90%
Money-Back Policy30-days30-days45-days
Website BuilderWeeblyWeeblyCustom Builder
Site BackupManualCodeGuardManual
Old Price$10.99$14.99$9.95
Discounted Price$5.45$5.45$3.95

Top Level Plan: Bluehost Pro vs. HostGator Business

The higher tier shared hosting options, Bluehost’s Pro and HostGator’s Business, are best used by small and medium enterprises. One feature that stands out for both offers is the dedicated IP address that allows you to better manage your increased resources. A dedicated IP guarantees your website is the only one using a specific address, despite the fact that you’re on a shared machine. Other benefits include the ability to access your website via file transfer protocol, view it using the IP alone, and being able to set up better security.

For Bluehost Pro, unlimited resources are the standard, whether you’re looking at the number of websites, bandwidth, or storage. The company throws in free Domain Privacy, but also daily back-ups with the help of CodeGuard, one of the fastest, most reliable backup services for websites. You benefit from some of the most advanced and reliable cybersecurity protection from Cloudflare to boot.

HostGator’s Business also offers a similar access to unmetered server resources, but they will charge a fee if you want Domain Privacy. More importantly, you’ll have to manually install and manage a daily back-up service, which is not as easy or free as it sounds. Both of these will add to your total web hosting costs quite a bit. By my calculations, at least $50 (sometimes more) will be added per year, so you should be mindful of the extra costs when making a decision.

Bluehost ProHostGator Business
Websites AllowedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD StorageUnmeteredUnmetered
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
SSL CertificateFreeFree
Positive SSLNoFree Upgrade
Free DomainYesYes
Whois PrivacyFree$14.95
Website Transfer$149Free
Professional EmailFree 30-daysFree
Spam Prevention2x Spam ExpertsSpam Assasin
Marketing Credits$200 Free$200 Free
Uptime GuaranteeNone99.90%
Money-Back Policy30-days45-days
Website BuilderWeeblyCustom Builder
Site BackupCodeGuardManual
Dedicated IPYesYes
Enhanced PerformanceYesYes
Old Price$23.99$14.95
Discounted Price$13.95$5.95

The Perfect Hosting Plan for Your Needs

If I’d have to issue a verdict on HostGator vs. Bluehost purely in terms of pricing, HostGator has the upper-hand on the lowest entry-level plan. However, as your need for better web hosting resources increases, your costs with HostGator escalate as well – and not all of your expenses will be visible in their monthly price. As I’ve mentioned in the breakdown of each company’s shared plans, daily back-ups and domain privacy will set you back quite a bit.

More importantly, when the difference between prices is marginal, my advice is to decide on Bluehost or HostGator based on the value you get from each service. For me, the web performance indicators speak for themselves – there’s no way I would trade a page that loads nearly three times faster for a couple of extra dollars a month. The actual value you get with Bluehost is too much to pass upon.

Customer Support Comparison

Customer support is the same irrespective of the web hosting plan you decide on, but it is important to also assess whether you’ll get the help you need when you need it. Both HostGator and Bluehost claim that they have 24/7/365 availability. While that says something about their commitment to customer service, it doesn’t tell me whether I will get to talk with people who can actually help me solve my web hosting issues.

First and foremost, you can access a decent knowledge base for both Bluehost and HostGator. So, if you’re like me and you don’t mind getting things done yourself (because it’s usually faster, cheaper, and overall better when possible), you’ll be able to do this with either company. Each features forums with active users where you can interact with others and support staff who might be able to give you a straightforward solution.

Unfortunately, HostGator’s customer service seems to have its fair share of problems. If you don’t have SSH access on your plan, you can run into a host of issues with the support that will make you wish you could just solve your problem on your own. A simple request like changing the default domain can turn into a support conversation that lasts for more than a week before you’re told that it’s not possible. Other customers have experienced similarly difficult and sometimes worse experiences with unhelpful support staff.

While it’s possible to e-mail, live chat, ticket, and call Bluehost or HostGator’s customer service departments, Bluehost seems to have the upper hand in terms of dealing with clients in a helpful and expedited manner. Whenever I had an inquiry or problem, the representatives were accommodating, present, and easy to talk to.

Security Comparison

One of the most frequent and costly mistakes people make when selecting a web host is that they don’t pay attention to the security features of the company they’re working with. I cannot understate how much this aspect will affect your business since many outages are actually created by security breaches. With the shared hosting plans offered by HostGator and Bluehost, your page can even experience downtime as a result of other websites on the same server being overloaded.

Compromised security can also lead to lost data and privacy breaches. If you’re a company that holds private customer information, you are legally responsible to ensure that their details cannot be accessed by anyone else or you might be liable for damages.

From this perspective, I’m much more comfortable with Bluehost’s daily back-ups (available with their Choice Plus and upwards), as they’re more reliable and affordable than HostGator’s weekly back-ups. If something goes wrong with your HostGator page, for instance, you will be charged extra for restoring it to a previous version.

In what concerns firewalls and software security, the two walk completely different paths. HostGator opted for in-house firewalls that keep their servers safe from DDoS attacks and other similar breaches, while Bluehost relies on Cloudflare for the security of their web infrastructure. Cloudflare is a reputed name in the web security niche, having safeguarded countless websites against suspicious activity.

Cloudflare is a publicly-traded company with over 10 years of experience in security as a service, so I’m more than inclined to trust them with protecting my websites against cyber-attacks. When it comes to web protection, having your information filtered through an intermediary (such as they are) makes it easier to detect denial-of-service attempts, malicious traffic, bot traffic, and more.

BluehostHostGator
Free SSLYesYes
Domain privacyFree or $11.88/year14.95
BackupNo or CodeguardCodeGuard
DDoS protectionCustomSiteGuard
Anti-spam E-mailPostiniSpamAssassin
Anti-malwareCustomSiteGuard
Vulnerabilities scannerNoSiteGuard
SSH accessYesYes
Starting from$2.95$2.75

Money-Back Guarantee Policy

More often than not, you won’t be using money-back guarantees. However, it’s best to know that the option exists. Sometimes, things can really take a turn for the worse and you might want to get out without committing too much to a service. HostGator does have a 45-day guarantee for all its subscriptions, but you will be reimbursed only for the monthly cost of the plan. If you purchased a domain name or any other additional options, you won’t be compensated for their value.

Bluehost’s money-back guarantee is identical to that of HostGator, with the difference that you have to issue the refund within 30 days or less. To be fair, if you do want to cancel your plan with either Bluehost or HostGator, you’ll know way before either of these timeframes expire.

HostGator vs. Bluehost – Our Pick

When you strip HostGator and Bluehost of their marketing, you’re left with two web hosting services that are quite similar to one another. To distinguish between them, I’ve compared some of the finer details of their offers, as well as important web page performance indicators. This is where the history of each company plays a role. Although they were privy to great success early on, Bluehost and HostGator took slightly different roads to the summit.

Even if HostGator will save you a couple of dollars every month, I argue that the value you lose by not going with Bluehost is significantly steeper and certainly not worth the deal.

Companies fork out thousands of dollars on a daily basis to keep their web pages optimized and responsive, but many of these costs can be avoided if you choose the right web host from the very beginning.

While you can get online for a bargain with either of these two services, the fact that Bluehost includes automatic daily back-ups, free domain privacy, and Cloudfire-level security with their higher plans makes me feel much more comfortable growing a business or a personal page with the help of their subscriptions. Add to this the fact that Bluehost plans offer considerably better performance and you have the reason why I would choose them over HostGator any day.

DreamHost Review for Award-Winning Web Hosting

DreamHost has been around since all the way back in 1996. Just for some context, other popular hosting companies like Bluehost, Hostgator, and SiteGround were founded in 2003, 2002, and 2004. DreamHost was founded by a group of undergraduate students, and has grown to become one of the top hosting brands in the business for decades. In this DreamHost review we’re going to go over all of the basics that you need to know before signing up for an account from them, along with a bunch of other things you might not have thought of yet.

Since they’ve been around so long, they’ve put together quite a huge userbase. They have nearly half a million active customers, and over a million sites hosting on their platform. That’s staggering. They’ve won many awards over the years, and not all just back in the 1990’s or anything either, they’re still regarded as one of the best big-volume hosting companies out there. They’re not perfect, but they’re also definitely on the more affordable side of things, making them an excellent choice for many different types of sites and projects.

If you need to get a website online, whether it’s for a small business, a club, a personal blog, or what ever else you can dream up – DreamHost can handle it. From affordable shared hosting plans, to more high-end hosting options you can grow into down the road, let’s take a look at their current offerings…

DreamHost Hosting Plans

DreamHost has WordPress-specific plans, and then they also have shared plans that you can use to host WordPress, just without the same optimizations or backend. Either will work perfectly fine for running WordPress, but the plans that are specifically geared towards WordPress are a better option if you plan on building your site with WP. Here’s an overview of the WordPress hosting at DreamHost.

The DreamPress plan is a more complete package, it includes things like additional security and caching to help your site load faster, and it has them at the server-level as opposed to having to do it using WordPress plugins. This means you don’t have to install as many plugins, which means your site will also benefit from speed and security boosts, not only because of the security features and caching, but also because you don’t need additional plugins running for those features, which you would normally have to add separately. It’s a beefier server that’ll have your site running more smoothly, even if a lot of people are trying to load your site at the same time.

Need something more powerful? DreamHost also offers some very affordable VPS (virtual private servers), which is a step-up from shared hosting, and a step-down from dedicated servers (which they also offer).

Their VPS servers are managed, meaning their support staff will help you set it up and keep it running with all of the latest software, updates, and patches, and they’ll also be in your corner if you run into any obstacles.

As for features, DreamHost frankly has everything you would expect from a solid hosting company, they’re in line with all of their top competitors,

5 Reasons Why DreamHost is Great in 2019

There are a lot of reasons to like DreamHost that we’ll highlight in this hosting review, but here are some of the most important ones!

  1. They offer an incredible 97 day money-back guarantee on their shared hosting plans which is the longest we’ve seen. It gives you more than enough time to try it out and make sure it’s a good fit for you. This shows that they really trust the service they’re offering up, and we’re always in favor of anything that benefits the customer!
  2. They’ve been around the block more than a few times when it comes to hosting websites. They’ve been there, done that, and are seasoned veterans. This isn’t some company that’s just going to up and disappear overnight, you can count on DreamHost sticking around and continuing to keep your little corner of the internet in great shape.
  3. DreamHost has plans for a variety of budgets, and they’re all great value. From bargain options, to higher-end hosts once your site has gotten big and popular, your plan can grow along with your project.
  4. Their average up-time is nearly 100%.
  5. Their support staff are very experienced and knowledgeable, and really easy to get in touch with when you need help.

How Is Their Support?

DreamHost’s support is easy to get in touch with, as we mentioned, because you can contact them in a number of different ways. One thing about having a host that’s been around for this long, is they’ve had plenty of years to really perfect the workflow, the training process, and support documentation for all of their customer service and technical support staff members, and it shows.

All of their support staff is based in-house, which is always a good thing because they’re more familiar with the service, and generally in-house support staff are also a lot more dedicated.

Their customer support is handled through your control panel, so when you get in touch they’ll already have some of the basic info so they can start resolving your issues ASAP.

Final Verdict: Very Strong Host With a Proven Track Record

DreamHost has been around for ages, and they’re still going strong. With an emphasis on taking care of their customers with fast support, and running even faster servers, they make a strong choice for anyone who doesn’t want to drop a ton of cash but still wants solid, reliable, and fast webhosting for their blogs, businesses, shops, and more.

A2 Hosting Review for Cheap, Simple, and Reliable Websites

There are certain truths in the world of hosting that you just can’t escape. One of them is the fact that for top of the line servers, you need to dish out a lot of dough, but simple shared hosting is good enough for the vast majority of websites. With inexpensive hosting packages, you’re not going to be getting the most cutting-edge performance or hardware, but you’re going to be getting something at a super reasonable price that performs well enough. However, there’s more to the equation than just that.

Even with the same hardware, there’s more than can be done to squeeze better performance out of it depending on how much effort the host is willing to put into it essentially, and that’s where A2 Hosting comes in. They’re on the less-expensive, more affordable side of the spectrum for people who want great value, but they’re all about optimization so they’ve gone the extra mile to optimize all of their hardware and software configurations to ensure their customers are getting the most out of their servers, even without breaking the bank.

Introduction to A2 Hosting

This company has been around since 2003, which is a very long time in the world of hosting brands. Their plan from the start was to be the hosting company that puts a priority on fast, speedy sites and also makes things as easy as possible for developers, the people who build websites, and they’ve stuck to that plan like glue over the years. You don’t have to be an experienced web developer in order to use A2 hosting, though, they’ve made the whole process, from sign-up to launching your site, as smooth and simple as can be. In addition, they have support docs that you can refer to if you need any extra help, and of course their team of support staff whom we’ll be discussing in a few moments.

Another nice thing is that A2 Hosting is carbon neutral, and they have ‘green’ policies around the office and they are supporters of CarbonFund.org. Being based in Ann Arbor, known as “Tree Town”, really inspires them to do whatever they can to help nature and the environment. In fact, even their name A2 is a tribute to Ann Arbor.

In 2014 they launched their super optimized Turbo Servers upgrade which boast loading times of up to 20x faster than similar-priced WordPress hosting options. Does that mean your site is always going to load 20x fast? No. But does it help speed things up? Yep! Their Turbo plan is definitely worth considering, or at least testing out, to see if it makes a big impact for your site in particular. Some sites will benefit a lot more than others, and the best way to find out just how much faster is to try. You’ve got nothing to lose, so it’s worth seeing! Even if it’s not a 20x improvement, any speed boost at all is very worth it, and will end up paying for itself time and time again because when sites load faster, everybody wins. Imagine an online store where it takes 2 seconds to load a page instead of pages loading instantly, that’s obviously going to have a negative influence on the shopping experience, which will be reflected in sales. So, we if you have a store or any other type of site that makes money, we strongly recommend trying the Turbo shared hosting plan, even though it costs a bit more than the other options from A2.

That was a few years ago, let’s take a look at what A2 Hosting is offering today, who it is useful for, and who might want to look elsewhere instead.

5 Best Things about A2 Hosting in 2019

At the end of the day, a lot of shared hosts are fairly similar, the ones at the top of the hill at least. There are a handful of more popular, more highly-reviewed, and more notable hosting brands out there, and A2 is among them.

They may differ a bit here and there among the top options, but sometimes there are certain features that really stand out and make them one of them a better choice than their competitors. We want to highlight some of the best aspects of A2 Hosting and to really highlight the ways that they shine. They’re not perfect, remember, these are low-cost options so you aren’t always going to have the most blistering-fast hardware, but A2 Hosting makes up for that with excellent optimization, and 4 other traits we’re about to mention…

  1. Optimization: This is easily one of the very best reasons to get A2, because your site will run nice and fast thanks to their Turbo Servers which you get even with their lowest cost options. They have a Railgun Optimizer and other stuff on the backend that’ll help your site run smoothly, including a ton of redundancy, massive amounts of ram on board, tons of processor cores, and software to make everything load faster. They don’t hold back when it comes to optimizing their servers to really fly. Sometimes, shared hosting can run about as fast as a snail since they have their servers so bogged down with too many users, but A2 doesn’t seem to oversell, which means they have enough server power to handle the amount of customers they have – even when things get busy, and they keep everything running smooth. Solid state drives also make a huge difference to help your sites read and load more quickly for your visitors.
  2. Tons of options & the ability to grow: With a full suite of hosting options, you can start small when your site is new and you can upgrade your server as your site grows and becomes more popular, requiring more resources. It’s easy to scale up with A2, which is a huge plus! Some people start off by over-paying for a bigger server because they don’t want to go through the hassle of upgrading down the road, but that’s not an issue here, and most sites aren’t getting a ton of visitors in their first weeks or months, so we encourage you to start smaller and then A2’s staff can help you upgrade when its time for something more. It’s free to upgrade to a bigger plan, and you can even downgrade down the road if you decide to (There is a small migration fee for downgrading, but it’s free to upgrade – just pay the difference.)
  3. Price: Their server packages are all very affordable, which we would expect from any leading shared hosting company, but furthermore even their VPS and Dedicated options offer GREAT value, which isn’t as common among their peers. You’ll save money if you sign up for a longer-term plan, but you can also go month to month as well. The thing is, once you find a great host, you’ll want to stay there forever, so it’s not a bad idea to lock in longer for a better price.
  4. Stellar support: They’ve got experts working around the clock in order to help you out with any issues that may arise, even though it’s unlikely for anything to go wrong server-wise, they’re also there to help you out with support when you need it.
  5. Security: This is an extension of their support staff, they work relentlessly to try to catch any security issues or problems before they have an impact. They’re on top of patches and upgrades, and closely monitoring their systems around the clock witha stellar team of webhosting and server admin professionals.

Beyond this, there are some other features and benefits to signing up with A2, here’s a quick rundown of some of the more advanced stuff. If you’re not the most tech-savvy or experienced with hosting, you honestly don’t need to think twice about any of this, so don’t let yourself get overwhelmed or too caught up in what it all means, none of it is stuff you’ll have to actively deal with it, it’ll mostly go on behind the scenes and simply make your site better overall.

A2 Hosting is, as we mentioned, very dev-friendly. They haev a lot of pre-loaded software to choose from, and support for all of the most important languages, not to mention SSL along with free SSL options. Your account will have HackScan protection, KernelCare, defense against brute force attacks, a dual firewall, and a lot of other steps taken to enforce security.

A2 Hosting Packages

Here’s an overview of the different plans you can get from A2, along with a breakdown of which plan is suited for which types of websites.

  • Shared Hosting: This is great for smaller blogs and websites, company pages, portfolios, resumes, and other things like that. It works for businesses, but if your site is giong to be getting a ton of traffic, you’ll want to consider a VPS or a dedicated hosting plan.
  • Reseller Hosting: If you run a webdesign company or multiple websites for clients or yourself, a reseller hosting account can be a great way to make it a lot easier to organize and keep track of everything, and to save some money in the process. It allows you to setup unique cPanels for each client, rather than having it all under one single account, and you can even bill them directly and earn money for yourself with this plan.
  • VPS Hosting: This is a step up from shared hosting, it gives you a more private environment. It’s still shared hardware, but it’s different from typical shared hosting, it basically simulates a dedicated server with the cost-savings of sharing hardware. This is more for advanced users if you go with the unmanaged options starting at $5 per month, managed VPS hosting costs somewhere in between the prices of shared and dedicated hosting.
  • Dedicated Hosting: This is the top of the line choice for large, popular websites. A dedicated host has the most power and resources, and you don’t have to share your hardware with anybody else.

For most sites, shared hosting is good enough, and you can always upgrade and climb the ladder towards dedicated as your site grows and requires more.

A2 has optimized their servers for all of the most popular scripts, from Drupal, Joomla, or WordPress when it comes to content management systems, or things like OpenCart and Magento for eCommerce. This optimization means you’ll get the most bang for your buck, and your server will perform a lot better than it would without any such optimizations.

Support at A2 Hosting

They have 24/7 support, which is basically mandatory at this point… what good is support if you can’t get in touch with them when you need them most?

Around the clock support is something you should always look for in a host. Beyond that, you need the support staff to be very knowledgeable and able to help with any issues that may arise, and A2 is perfectly capable of that. They’ve won numerous awards over the years for their customer service and support, along with many other aspects of their business.

You can phone them for support toll-free, and they have a variety of numbers listed on their site so that you can get directly in touch with the correct department which makes things easier.

Whether you prefer support tickets, phone calls, live chat, or email – there’s a lot of ways to get in touch with them for a very fast response.

They have an extensive support area on their site, between numerous ways to get in touch, and their own guides for those who prefer to DIY rather than reaching out for support right away, it’s all there. It’s a great way to learn more about starting a site, especially knowing that they’ve got your back should you run into any hiccups.

Final Verdict: Great Value Hosting with High Speeds

Do we recommend going with A2 for shared hosting?

Yes!

A2 Hosting is a reasonably priced option for all of their hosting plans, they’re very competitive compared to any other hosts that are similar.

Mixed in with great support, very well optimized servers, every feature you could ever need or the ability to add it, and a slew of extra stuff, they’re definitely a good choice.

What is the Difference Between HTTP & HTTPS?

Have you ever noticed that some websites have an address that starts with HTTP://, while others start with HTTPS://? This page is all about explaining the basics of HTTP, how it works, and what that extra S means. We’ll cover why it’s important for consumers and people visiting websites, and also for the people that own and operate websites, too.

HTTP Explained

HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol.

It’s the protocol that is used by the world wide web to transmit information all around the world, from our computers, on our phones, and has been in use since all the way back in 1990.

It’s how servers and browsers communicate to one another. Don’t confuse it with HTML, which stands for HyperText Markup Language, which is the actual (most basic) coding language that defines how a website will look and act once you arrive there, because it’s the HTTP that helps you get to the website in the first place.

Your webbrowser, on the basic level, is essentially an HTTP client. You have an email client for handling email, you may use a dedicated client for reading RSS feeds or even newsgroups back in the day, and along that same path of functionality is the web browser and HTTP. It’s not something we ever really have to think about on a day to day basis, but it’s something most of us use dozens, or even hundreds of times a day. When you open a browser, click a link, or type in a URL… you’re taking advantage of the HTTP to connect you to the websites you want to see.

So, what does it mean when there’s that extra S at the end?

The major problem with HTTP is that it’s not encrypted, and not secure. This was fine for simple things like browsing the web and looking up sports scores or whatever, but when we started using the internet frequently for more important things like private chats and messages, or doing on-line banking, or any type of online shopping, obviously we started dealing with more sensitive data and needed a way to make it much more safe and secure, even for people who aren’t security experts and aren’t going to take extra steps to protect themselves or their data. If it’s any extra steps, there’s a lot of users who aren’t going to do it. The internet needed a way for website owners to make extra security and protection automatic for their visitors…

That little S in HTTPS actually stands for “secure“, it’s an encrypted version of the protocol ensuring that bad actors can’t pick up on data that’s transmitted over secure websites.

This makes it safer to do online banking, and all of the rest of the things we do online, since the data isn’t just floating around out there in the open, it’s encrypted and secure. You should be very weary of sites that require memberships, payments, or any sensitive or private information that aren’t using HTTPS.

The Importance of HTTPS and the Difference Between HTTP

As a consumer, it’s definitely something to look for. It inspires trust, it’s more safe and secure, and once again – you want to see it when you’re trusting a site with any kind of private or sensitive information whatsoever.

What about for webmasters and people who run their own websites?

Recently, Google announced that they were going to be favoring websites using HTTPS in their search engine, which sent many people scrambling to switch their sites over. It’s a bit of a to-do, but generally speaking it’s not a bad idea. It requires a site to have an SSL certificate, and those can be obtained anywhere from free, or for a few bucks a month, or for hundreds of dollars – just depending on a number of factors.

These days, it’s really the bare minimum level of protection that websites should afford their visitors. It’s not just for eCommerce stores or banks anymore, it’s becoming more and more common among all types of sites, even strictly informational sites that aren’t collecting any information from the visitor whatsoever.

Moving forward, most websites will be using HTTPS in favor of HTTP, and we can only imagine that another protocol will eventually come along that will be even more secure. Website owners who take the  time and effort to enact HTTPS are more likely to be more successful in a variety of metrics, according to various studies and surveys, including one in which the vast majority of shoppers would even abandon a purchase from a website that used HTTP instead of HTTPS.

If you’re a developer or a webmaster, you might not imagine that the average person is all that savvy about the difference between HTTP and HTTPS, but they don’t have to be because web browsers are more and more commonly adding warnings…

Have you ever had a security warning from a browser when you were on an insecure site? The most common and popular browsers will prominently let visitors know when a site/page is SECURE, and in turn they’ll also display messages warning against sites that aren’t secure. Could you imagine getting a message saying a site is NOT secure, and still following through with a purchase, let alone feeling comfortable browsing around at all?

For a variety of reasons, it’s strongly recommended to use HTTPS for any new projects you’re starting out, and it’s also not a bad idea to switch over older websites, too. It’s not just a matter of trying to “future-proof” your site, but also “now-proofing” it, too.

Customers and visitors want to see it, search engines want to see it, browsers want to see it, and website owners also stand to benefit, perhaps the most, from having a secure site – so it’s really a no-brainer that we’re going to see HTTPS being implemented at an increasing rate.

How to Setup a Minecraft Server on Windows, Mac or Linux

You have probably heard a lot about Minecraft over the past several years. Having sold more than 120 million copies worldwide, it is the second most popular video game ever made… only falling short of Tetris in terms of total sales (yes, the game made in 1984). Reminiscent of the Lego blocks we cherished as kids, Minecraft has introduced that same premise as a digital platform for mobile, console and desktop computers.

Categorized as a sandbox game, a player’s creativity is often the only limit as to what is possible. Gamers are encouraged to collect, craft and build a virtual world as they see fit, either as a solo campaign or with friends in a multiplayer environment. For those looking to play online, Minecraft Realms is one such option, renting an official server direct from the game developers. Since Realms lacks much in the way of customization, many turn to third-party hosting providers such as Shockbyte, who provide feature-rich server hosting packages. You can learn more about these providers and check out the others by visiting the top Minecraft server hosting article where you’ll find a full guide that helps you choose the right host for you.

If you are however looking for the full experience, hosting your own Minecraft server for family and friends, we’re going to show you exactly how to get started. For those hosting on a personal Windows or Mac computer, we will cover the brief setup on a local machine. Otherwise, we will look at the steps using Linux as well, for those who prefer hosting a server remotely (such as a VPS).

A Couple Things to Note…

Minecraft servers can run on just about any computer built in the last 10 years. You can host it on your personal PC or an old laptop sitting in the closet. There are however a few things to consider first to save yourself headaches in the future.

  • Memory: Minecraft servers are heavily dependent on the system memory (RAM) above all else. While 256 MB is sufficient to start a server, a minimum of 1 GB is recommended for optimal performance. Most recent computers include 4 GB or more, but older systems should be checked to ensure sufficient resources.
  • Network: Use a wired internet connection for the hosting machine if possible. WIFI can be unreliable and may impact the connection quality of players at times, where an Ethernet cable will offer more consistent pings and minimize lag.
  • Software: The server is only accessible to players as long as the software is running. In order to keep it online 24/7, you may prefer to host somewhere other than your primary PC, especially if it is the same computer used to run the Minecraft game.

Assuming these don’t pose any concerns, we are ready to get started setting up the Minecraft server software. Depending on which operating system you plan to use, scroll to the appropriate section and we will pick up the instructions from there!

Make a Minecraft Server on Windows PC

With almost 90% of computers running on the Windows operating system, we will look at the steps for PC based hosting first. Although the process is relatively straight forward, there are several points that we must be aware of. If this is your first time setting up a Minecraft server, make sure to follow the steps closely to avoid running into unexpected problems.

1) Download the Minecraft Server Software

We first need to grab the latest version of the Minecraft server software. Available on the Minecraft website, this is a free Java applet (jar) file that will run the server from your computer. This acts much like an installer, where it will create all necessary files when ran for the first time.

Once you have downloaded the file, create a folder where you would like to store the server data. In our case, we will make the directory “E:\MinecraftServer” and place the JAR file there. Don’t run it yet, just set it aside for now and we will circle back to it in a moment.

Minecraft Server Download

2) Get the Latest Version of Java

Since Minecraft is built on Java, it is necessary to have the latest version of Java installed on the host machine. Most Windows computers will already have this loaded, but it is a good idea to make sure it is there and up to date as well. Check the latest version available at Java.com and then use one of the following methods to see what you have.

A) Go to Control Panel -> Java, then find the current version using the “About” button on screen. This will open a dialog box that contains the current Java version (8) and update revision (151) on your machine.

B) Open a Command Prompt by pressing Windows Key+R then typing “cmd” in the box. Once the prompt is open, type “java -version” and the version should be displayed.

If your version is out of date or you don’t have Java installed, go ahead and grab the latest release from their website. This will need to be completed before moving forward, otherwise the Minecraft software will fail to load as expected.

Java Download

3) Accept the EULA License Agreement

Open the folder we created back in step 1, where the downloaded server JAR file is located. Double click this to launch the server, then wait a few seconds while it generates the various configuration files needed to run.

Once it has finished, we should have a new text file called “eula.txt” in our folder. Open this in your preferred text editor, find the line that says eula=false and change it to eula=true. This accepts the Mojang End User License Agreement, which in turn allows you to run a Minecraft server. These are essentially terms you agree to uphold, such as not profiting from their software or distributing the game without consent.

4) Launch the Minecraft Server

After the EULA has been accepted, we can just double click the server JAR file once again to bring it online. This will open a basic GUI showing server stats, connected players and console logs. There is also a chat box under the console, allowing you to send messages and commands to the server without being connected.

While this works to get started, we still need to set how much memory the server is allowed to use. Close the window out and create a new batch (BAT) file in our folder, such as server.bat. Open this using a text editor and insert the following line of text…

java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

  • Make sure to replace the value minecraft_server.jar with the name of the server file you downloaded, which will look something like “minecraft_server.1.12.2.jar”.
  • The example allocates up to 1 GB (or 1024 MB) of memory to the server but change the numbers after -Xmx and -Xms to adjust as desired.
  • Setting nogui at the end will launch the server in a console window, but you can delete this text to keep the basic management GUI available.

Save the changes and then double click the BAT file to launch your server. If everything has been configured correctly, it will launch the JAR file you specified, allocate a max amount of system memory and start your server in a console or GUI window.

Make a Minecraft Server on your Apple Mac OSX

With Apple OSX products always on the rise, Mac is now being used more than ever before. They are entirely capable of hosting Minecraft servers and you may even have an extra one laying around, perfect to convert into a hosting machine. We will take a look at how to get a server up and running in just a few quick steps.

1) Download the Minecraft Server Software

To get started, we first need to grab the server files from the Minecraft website. Using the Safari browser, navigate to Minecraft: Java Edtion page and download the software from the link provided. This is a single Java (jar) file that works as an installer, building a complete server system on the first launch.

Choose a location to store your server data and create a new folder there. We will use the desktop in this case, making a directory called “MinecraftServer”. Drop the newly downloaded file into this folder and leave it for now. We will take care of a few other things first before we launch it.

Minecraft Server Download

2) Get the Latest Version of Java

The latest versions of MacOS will already have Java installed by default, but it is a good idea to check and make sure it is loaded. Older Macs may not have it, where we will need to install the legacy version if that is the case. To check and see if you have it installed…

  • Click the Apple icon in the top left of the screen
  • Go to System Preferences
  • Click the Java icon to access the Java Control Panel

From here, you can click the “About” button under the “General” tab, bringing up information about the currently installed version. If Java is not listed under System Preferences, your machine does not have it installed. If this is the case, download the legacy Java software from Apple’s website and run it before moving forward.

Java (Legacy) Download

3) Prepare the Minecraft Server

As we are now ready to launch the server, navigate to the folder you created when we first downloaded the software. Open the TextEdit application and go to the Format menu -> Make Plain Text. Paste the following text into the file and save it as “start.command” in our server folder.

#!/bin/bash
cd "$(dirname "$0")"
exec java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar minecraft_server.jar
  • Rename the value of minecraft_server.jar to match the name of the server file we downloaded. This will look similar to “minecraft_server.1.12.2.jar” but the version numbers may be different.
  • The -Xms1G and -Xmx1G assign 1 GB of maximum memory to the server when it is started. You can change this value to allocate more or less RAM as needed simply by changing the numerical values. For example, -Xms2G and -Xmx2G will give the server 2GB of maximum memory instead.

Save the changes when you are finished and make sure the “start.command” file is now in our folder. To grant ourselves permission to use it, open the Terminal application (located in Utilities) and type chmod a+x with a space at the end. Drag and drop the “start.command” file into the Terminal window, then press Enter to apply the changes.

4) Start the Minecraft Server

Double click the start.command we created in the previous step, where this will open a terminal window and launch the server. The initial run will cause errors but it will generate several files we need.

Close the terminal window and find the new eula.txt file in our server folder. Open this file in the text editor and locate the last line that says eula=false, then change the value to eula=true. This will accept the Mojang End User License Agreement and permit you to run an instance of Minecraft server software. Save your changes to the file and close it.

Double click the start.command file once again, where this should successfully launch the server GUI and bring it online. During the initial run, it may take several minutes as it generates your world, which you can observe via the console on the right hand side. Once complete, your server is running and ready for player connections!

Note: You many need to monitor lag and speed issues with a 3rd Party program on OSX if you start having choppy gameplay – Here’s a good Reddit thread that talks more bandwidth issues.

Make a Minecraft Server on Linux VPS

For those less inclined to host a Minecraft server at home, a cheap Linux based VPS is the perfect alternative. These have the added benefit of using server grade hardware, better network security and are of course always online. Unless you are hosting locally (i.e. for other users on your network), home servers will require extra ports be opened to the internet, which has inherent security concerns. This is often one of the most enticing perks of using a third party company to facilitate your server needs.

While there are plenty of options, we can definitely recommend Digital Ocean as a great choice for VPS. They have top notch performance, competitive prices and their system is a breeze to use. You just deposit a minimum of $5.00, click through a few settings and your Droplet (their term for server) is created almost instantly.

For these steps, we will be using Ubuntu 16.04 (x64) and assume you are connected via SSH. If you are new to Linux, you can use this Initial Server Setup Guide with Ubuntu 16.04 to get started.

1) Create the Server Directory

Before we grab the software, we first need to create a directory that will house all of the server files. For our example, we will proceed with the current path and name the folder “MinecraftServer”, then make that the current directory.

mkdir MinecraftServer
cd MinecraftServer

2) Download the Minecraft Server Software

Within our MinecraftServer folder, we can go ahead and grab the latest software from their website. Using the wget command, we will download the JAR into the folder we just created. Double check the Minecraft Download Page to ensure this is the latest version and update the URL if needed.

wget -O minecraft_server.jar https://s3.amazonaws.com/Minecraft.Download/versions/1.12.2/minecraft_server.1.12.2.jar
chmod +x minecraft_server.jar

Before we continue, we will also install the latest Java and Screen software as well. As Minecraft is written in Java, we must ensure we have the newest version available. We will use the open source implementation of Java 8, which is now required as of Minecraft 1.12. While Screen is an optional package, it will keep the server running after we have disconnected from the SSH session.

apt-get install openjdk-8-jre-headless screen

3) Launch the Minecraft Server

With Java 8 installed and the Minecraft software ready, we can prepare to launch our server. As a final step, use the following command to generate a eula.txt file in the MinecraftServer folder, with the contents “eula=true” set. The server will fail to start if this is not configured, where doing so confirms acceptance of the Mojang End User License Agreement.

echo “eula=true” > eula.txt

That’s it! We can now go ahead and launch the server with a couple basic parameters. If you installed Screen during step 2, we can start the server instance inside of it, keeping it online and running after we have disconnected from the session. Otherwise, just omit the first line and skip directly to the Java launch parameters.

screen
java -Xmx1024M -Xms1024M -jar minecraft_server.jar nogui

The Xms and Xmx flags set the amount of RAM that the Minecraft server is allowed to use. Make sure not to assign all of the system memory to your server, usually a minimum of 512 MB is still required for the operating system to function as well. As such, we can probably assign 1024 MB (or 1 GB) to our server if the VPS has 1.5GB, although this may vary in some cases.

Resources for Minecraft Server Hosting

Minecraft servers are easy enough to setup, yet there are infinite customization options that you can use to build the perfect virtual world. Once your server has been created, you can check out some of these other resources to learn commands, install mods and upload extra content. The list is ordered in terms of importance and complexity, where we suggest starting at the top and working through them at your own pace.

How to Modify the ‘server.properties’ Configuration File
How to Manage and Maintain a Minecraft Server
The MCMyAdmin Control Panel
How to Install Craft Bukkit on a Minecraft Server
How to Install Forge Mod on a Minecraft Server

What is a Dedicated Server? And Which One Is The Best For Hosting Your Site?

There are a number of different types of servers for hosting your website. They can cost anywhere from a few bucks a month, into the hundreds, and even the thousands. Choosing the correct type of server depends on what you’re going to be using it for. On this page, we’re going to answer the common question “What is a dedicated server?” along with offering some advice on who needs a dedicated server, or who can get away with something less.

What is a Dedicated Server Best For?

A dedicated server costs more than the other common options, but it also runs circles around them in terms of performance.

Because of that, dedicated servers are best for websites that are very important, when everything needs to be running at peak performance. This is for websites that get a lot of visitors and require the full usage of the server’s hardware, without sharing it with any other sites.

What is dedicated server?

Common Types of Web Servers

There are three common classes of webhosting available to consumers and businesses.

Shared Hosting: This is the most entry-level option out there. Many different websites owned by a bunch of different people are all stored on the same server. The advantage is that it’s usually the least expensive option out there. The downsides are that shared hosting can be slower, and other people’s sites being poorly optimized or just getting a lot of visitors can hog enough resources that your site starts to perform slower.

Some shared hosting companies do a good job of not loading up their servers with too many different options, but it’s also pretty common to ‘oversell’, which further hurts performance.

Shared hosting is good for smaller projects, for saving some money, and personal/hobby sites that aren’t going to be getting a ton of visitors, nor selling anything or conducting business.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS): This is kind of like a hybrid between a dedicated server and a shared server. Virtual private servers allow each user to have their own instance of an operating system running, they’re granted a higher level of access and control, and they are functionally similar to a dedicated server, however they do have some of the same drawbacks as shared hosting.

While your own server instance running your operating system and whichever you’d like is essentially on its own like a dedicated server, it’s still sharing the same hardware with other sites, so their performance can also have an impact on your site’s performance. By partitioning a single server into multiple VPS, hosting companies are able to charge a lot less money than they would charge for a dedicated server.

This is a good option for websites that are busier, and where performance is more critical, like online stores or sites doing any kind of business. A typical VPS will be able to handle more visitors than a typical shared server could. It’s a good stepping stone for sites that require more than shared can offer, but can’t quite justify the cost of a dedi just yet.

Dedicated Servers: Finally, we arrive at the dedicated server, or dedi for short. This is the highest-end option you can find from most standard hosting companies, and can cost anywhere from $90-$100 on the lower end, or into the hundreds per month, or more, for higher-end servers.

This is a single server that hosts your website, and your website alone, rather than sharing said server with a number of random other websites. Since you aren’t sharing that hardware with anyone else, it’s easier to plan ahead and scale as your site grows, since you’ll have a really good idea what your resource requirements are, and you’ll know exactly what your box can handle.

How to Choose a Dedicated Server

First things first, you want to make sure that the dedicated server plans you’re looking at can meet the requirements of your site. If you’re upgrading from a VPS, you’ll have a pretty good idea how many resources you’ll need, at least as a starting point. Keep in mind that there are other factors that will impact your server’s performance beyond the specs, such as where it’s located, the age of the hardware, how it’s configured and optimized, what software it’s running, and so on.

It’s good to stick with companies that are known for providing solid, high-end hosting packages when you’re buying a dedicated server.

InMotion Hosting has a variety of dedicated servers, starting around $100, and they often have some really solid promotions going on where you can get extra resources. This is a highly-recommended hosting company, we’ve featured their shared hosting plans in the past as well. You’ll get a server with an Intel® Xeon® E3-1230 or better, a big stack of IP addresses, tons of data transfer, backup drives, RAID, and a ton more.

LiquidWeb is another excellent place to get a higher-end dedicated server. LiquidWeb is known for their incredible support staff, and robust line-up of hardware. They also offer additional bundles which include a control panel of your choice, offsite backups, ServerSecure PLUS, and a ton more. Either LiquidWeb or InMotion would make a GREAT choice for anyone who needs a dedicated server.

InMotion Hosting Review for Fast, Reliable Websites

InMotion Hosting has been around since 2001, which is a lot earlier than most people realize. They’re not always the first hosting brand that comes to mind for the average consumer, who are likely more familiar with brands like Hostgator, GoDaddy, and Bluehost – but InMotion Hosting have been quietly providing excellent service for a very long time.

They’ve grown organically, through a ton of word-of-mouth and referrals, rather than spending a fortune on advertising and trying to compete with companies that would sacrifice quality in order to advertise more. InMotion Hosting is one of the best kept secrets for people who are looking for something that’s a step higher than many of their competitors. Don’t get the wrong idea, they’re a big company and very well-established in this space, they’re just not quite as well known to the average person, however they’re very well-known among industry professionals.

In this InMotion review, we’re going to be taking a look at what sets them apart, the areas in which they excel, which types of sites SHOULD use them, and which types might be better served to look elsewhere. All in all, spoiler alert, this is an excellent hosting company with a lot of strong offerings for a variety of different sites of all sizes, but we want to dig in a little deeper than that. If you’re looking for more in-depth technical information, you’ll find it here, but if you’re also looking for a more surface level look just to get the basics, we’ve also got you covered… So, without further adieu, let’s jump right into it!

InMotion Hosting Review for 2019: Are They Still One of the Best?

InMotion Hosting Review

InMotion has remained very consistent over the years, and it’s always impressive when a hosting company can last this long in such a competitive and cut-throat industry.

We’ve seen so many companies come and go, but InMotion has managed to stick around, without having to sacrifice quality or service – in fact – they’ve been getting better over the years.

In addition to everything you’d expect from a great hosting company, InMotion takes it a step further with their strong commitment and contributions to open source software, and investing in the latest technology in order to provide the best possible service, even when it means they’ll make a little less profit in the short term.

They also invest in having great customer service, which we’ll cover in much more depth near the end of the page before giving our final recommendations.

Dedicated to their Customers

Their dedication to their customers, and to the well-being of the Internet in general, hasn’t gone unrecognized. They’ve been a top-rated hosting option by CNET for well over a decade, they have an A+ rating by the BBB, and they have tons and tons of positive reactions from just about everyone who gives them a try.

No company is perfect, but what really sets the best ones apart is how they handle issues as they arise, and in the world of hosting one thing you can count on is that issues will arise, but when they do – you want to have your website with a host that is equipped to handle anything.

Let’s start by breaking down some of InMotion’s most popular offerings, we’ll look at the pros and cons of their current hosting packages, and help you choose the one that’s the best fit for your needs so that you aren’t spending extra money on features that you don’t need.

InMotion Hosting Packages:

InMotion has a whole slew of offerings for any size site, starting with their Business Hosting and WordPress-specific hosting plans for under $10 per month, to their VPS and reseller packages for under $20, all the way up to dedicated servers starting at $100 per month for very busy, high-demand websites.

For Smaller/New Websites:

Their Business plans are their entry-level options, and they’re not just for businesses – they’re also a very affordable hosting option for personal sites, for clubs and organizations, for portfolios, and anything else that doesn’t need an incredible amount of resources.

Their most entry-level business plan, called Launch, comes with support for 2 websites which is nice since most entry plans we’ve seen with other hosts only allow for 1. It goes up from there, to their Power and Pro plans which offer support for 6, or unlimited, websites respectively. Performance increases as you work your way up to Pro, as well, along with a higher-tier of support access.

If you aren’t really sure which one you need, you can always start with the cheaper one and upgrade as needed. Upgrading is super easy, so you can grow your hosting plan as your site grows without having to worry about over-spending at the start.

This initial tier is a great starting point for most websites, unless you have plans to have thousands and thousands of visitors right out of the gates.

For Larger Websites/Advanced Users:

If you have a bigger site that you’re moving over, or a project that you’re going to invest a lot in promoting right from the get-go, you’ll probabally want to invest some of that budget into a higher-tier hosting plan, too.

From VPS to dedicated servers, InMotion has you covered. You can even upgrade to one of these options down the road once you’ve outgrown their more entry plans – it’s a breeze!

Here’s a rundown of their VPS and dedicated server offerings:

This is a great line-up of offerings, they give you ample storage and bandwidth, more than average, and a solid amount of ram.

All together, these specs mean your site is going to perform very well under medium traffic loads (Hundreds of visitors at a time, maybe pushing into the 1000’s with good optimization, into the tens of thousands on a daily basis.)

The amounts of additional IP addresses that you get are also above average, it means you can host extra sites on their own IP addresses rather than having all of your websites tied together. It’s good for people who don’t want their competitors to see every little thing that they’re up to, it can help add a layer of privacy and security.

A VPS server is perfect for customers who want to keep a managed hosting environment (Which essentially means they’ll take care of all the technical stuff for you), but InMotion also has a non-managed VPS offering that’s more along the lines of what you’d see from Digital Ocean or one of the many Digital Ocean alternatives out there.

We’ve seen many hosting companies that specialize in shared hosting, and they usually include some type of VPS offering just for the sake of rounding out their packages, but their VPS is usually on the weaker side, or quite expensive.

In the case of InMotion, however, their offerings across the board all feel like very viable options, there’s no “filler” here like we’ve seen with some competitors.

If you need a dedicated server, you’ll find a great one from InMotion. If you need a VPS or shared hosting, you’ll find some great offerings. It’s nice to see them with a full line up of services that are all very viable and strong choices.

Here’s a look at the dedicated servers they have:

Dedicated servers are for SERIOUS websites, when you’re getting slammed with tons of visitors all day long and need your own environment for your site.

They can handle massive bursts of traffic without breaking a sweat, but you’re also going to have to pony up some extra cash each month, so it’s really only viable for profitable websites that get a lot of traffic. Otherwise, we recommend sticking to a VPS for businesses, or even one of InMotion’s very reliable shared hosting options (The ones under their Business category, or the plans that are crafted specifically for WordPress – either will do great for smaller sites.)

Additional features:

  • InMotion also has a handful of features that are available in all of their Business plans, such as free domain names, free SSD drives to make your site a lot faster, a 90-Day guarantee which is almost unheard of in this industry, FREE backups (Most other hosts charge extra for this, so keep that in mind if you’re comparing InMotion to something a bit cheaper – backups are ESSENTIAL.)
  • Also, you’ll get access to a “1-click installer”, which makes it much, much easier to setup your site – whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned vet, it’ll save you time and energy so you can start focusing on growing your audience and promoting your site, rather than fussing around with behind the scenes stuff.
  • You can choose your data center based on which one is closest to most of your visitors.
  • Their plans come with secure IMAP email accounts, support for all of the coding languages for those of you who want to built your site from scratch instead of using something like WordPress, SSH access for advanced users, Google Apps integration, and a lot more.
  • Their hosting plans come from free SSL, something that starts at around $60 if you’re using GoDaddy, so that’s another significant cost-saving measure that’s not readily apparent if you just look at the advertised prices.
  • You’ll get up to $250 in advertising credits, too, which you can use to get your site site off the ground and in front of the eyes of potential customers right out of the gate, without having to wait for the search engines to start sending visitors your way.

How Good Is Their Support Staff?

After being in business for nearly two decades, InMotion has seen it all by now, and they’ve taken that experience to refine their support experience.

They offer some things we don’t see very often, like the ability to contact them via Skype, which can be really handy when you’re on the go and you get a notification that your site is down but you only have a mobile device to work from. Granted, that’s kind of cool, but it’s not a make-or-break feature of support staff, but it’s a little extra gravy on top.

Beyond that, let’s really dig into the different ways you can get in touch with them when you have questions or when you need help with just about anything.

That’s the beauty of fully managed servers – it’s like having your own little IT department to just completely handle nearly anything to do with your website, even software related stuff, they’re often able to help.

Their support center has a massive database of information so you can look things up for yourself, if you’d prefer, including tons of tutorials for just about everything.

If you’d rather just get some help with it instead of DIY, no worries, you can do that too.

Setting up a website can feel overwhelming when you’re doing it for the first time, and InMotion seems to understand that perfectly, and never bats at eye at giving you help – even with the most basic of setup issues. Some hosts make the process downright difficult, InMotion makes it easily enough that ANYONE can do it.

Also, they have a community section where you can get advice from other users, too.

They offer support via email, through a helpdesk with a ticket system, via live chat, and over the telephone. We always like to see a lot of options, it can be annoying when your only option is to pick up the phone when you just have a quick question, so we have to commend InMotion for having a variety of ways to get in touch.

FINAL VERDICT: One of the BEST We’ve Seen!

Overall, InMotion is a SUPER easy company for us to give a glowing recommendation to, because they simply do things great across the board.

While they offer unlimited plans, which we’ve criticized in the past since they’re never truly “unlimited”, it’s still a pretty standard thing for lower-cost hosting options.

Their VPS plans and above let you know exactly how many resources you have at your disposal, and we’ve found that they don’t oversell their shared servers at all, so the ‘unlimited’ marketing buzzword is much less of a concern in this case than with some other companies we’ve tested out. As long as it’s reliable and performing great, we really can’t complain too much… And it is, and that’s why we give InMotion hosting a STRONG recommendation!

What is VPS Hosting & How To Choose the BEST One

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and it’s a very versatile option when it comes to hosting a website. On this page, we’re going to go over a few different popular types of servers, and explain some things like what is VPS good for, which types of sites can benefit from this kind of hosting plan, and more. Finally, we’ll recommend the best VPS hosts based on our extensive tests and research.

What is VPS Hosting (Virtual Private Server)?

Think of a VPS as kind of like a server within another server. As a matter of fact, a VPS is actually a collection of servers inside another, larger server.

One of the easier ways to explain what it is, is to explain the other types of hosting that are out there. By understanding shared hosting and dedicated hosting, VPS becomes a lot clearer. So, real quick…

  • Shared hosting is when you have a bunch of websites on the same server, not unlike a VPS. The main difference, however, is that with shared hosting, every site is running on the same operating system instance, whereas with a VPS, every server has its own separate little pocket where you can install whatever operating system and software you’d like.
  • A dedicated server, on the other hand, is a server that isn’t shared with anyone else. As the name suggests, it’s all yours. You can install whatever operating system you want, whatever programs you want, and you have total control.
  • With shared, you have a lot less control, in particular for security reasons. With so many users sharing one server, you can’t give anybody full root access otherwise they could access everything else on the server.
  • A virtual server works the same as a dedicated server for all intents and purposes, on the surface, however the main difference comes in the hardware.
  • Shared hosts share hardware with other sites, and so do VPS. With a VPS, you’ll be one of numerous sites sharing the same physical server, but it’s virtually divided up.
  • Think of it this way, shared hosting has each account drawing from a big pool of resources, all kind of mixed together in a chaotic mess. If one site is abusing their resources, you’ll end up suffering with a reduction in available resources, or even see the server going down.
  • VPS Hosting still has multiple accounts on one server, but things are partitioned off in a way that you’re not as susceptible to having to worry about the drawbacks of shared hosting. You’ll get better performance, at a premium price.
  • With a dedicated server, you are literally the only site on the server, all of the resources are all yours. You’re not sharing hardware at all.
  • Dedicated servers are overkill for most sites, the average website doesn’t need anywhere near this type of performance. VPS is a perfect fit for any site that is even somewhat popular or used for business.

At the end of the day, it’s about choosing the one that fits your site the best. Also, don’t get VPS confused with VPN! A virtual private NETWORK is different than a virtual private SERVER. A VPN is useful for getting around internet restrictions, it allows you to funnel your connection from where you are actually located, to make it seem like you’re somewhere else.

It’s useful for privacy, for getting around geographical restrictions, and more. A VPN, as you know by now, is a place that you can store your website on the internet.

How Does it Work?

Now that we’ve compared what a VPS is to the other popular types of servers that are available, let’s talk a little more about how a VPS actually works. VPS servers (It’s common to refer to them like  this, even thought it’s kind of like saying ‘ATM machine’) are perhaps the best value out there when you measure performance to cost. Of course, they’re not all created equal.

There are some providers with great reputations and incredible offerings, and there are others that aren’t so great. We’ll help you pick out the best ones before the end of this page, but for now, here’s how they work…

Through the compartmentalization of a larger server, and dedicated resources for each compartment, virtual private servers can safety give users root access, which opens up a whole new world of optimization, performance, and functionality. Since webmasters are given Root access to the VPS Server, they can typically administrator the server via connecting to it with a an FTP, SFTP, SSH or SCP client software – as Many of these VPS servers come pre-installed with an Secure file transfer Service, which makes it safer to access and transfer files.

The isolated hosting environment of a VPS has a ton of advantages over shared hosting, namely security, performance, and functionality. It has the same benefits afforded by a dedicated server, without the higher cost. Having said that, there are some advantages of a dedicated server, too, in particular when it comes to performance and the ability to handle a heavy load of users at any given time.

What is the Best VPS?

First things first, before we reveal our favorite VPS providers out there that have the best plans, the best service, and are the best choices – let’s quickly compare to types of VPS.

Managed: This means that the server is fired up with software on it already, you’ll have your operating system installed and you’ll be ready to roll right out of the gates. Also, when its time to update things or when there are crucial security patches to install, the hosting company is going to handle that for you. They’re going to handle pretty much everything, including helping with software that you’ve installed on your server, like WordPress.

With a managed VPS, all you really have to focus on is growing your website, the hosting company’s support staff will take care of everything else for you. For a price. Managed hosting universally costs more than unmanaged, but it’s an important option to consider if you aren’t super tech-savvy or if you’re not already experience with server management.

There are a lot of things that go wrong, and they might not always be obvious until it’s too late, which is why we strongly recommend most users opt for the managed option.

Unmanaged: Having said that, an unmanaged VPS can be an excellent choice for people who know their way around server setup and administration. It costs quite a bit less than a managed VPS, and in many cases it’s even less expensive than shared hosting. But you do have to sacrifice all of that help and support.

You’re pretty much on your own, the hosting company will provide the bare-bones server, it’s your job to install the operating system, to install any crucial updates, to ensure everything is secure and optimized, and so on.

Digital Ocean is one of the most popular providers of unmanaged hosting, but here’s our list of Digital Ocean alternatives to check out the VERY BEST unmanaged VPS servers.

Other Things to Know

In a lot of cases, you get what you pay for. When companies charge surprisingly low prices, it’s often because they’re cutting corners in some area or another. That’s not always a bad thing, especially if you can live without whatever they’ve scaled back on.

Perhaps they offer a lot less storage, but you don’t need much, for instance. In many cases, the higher priced managed VPS servers offer a much higher level of customer support, the lower-cost ones are able to offer those prices because their support departments are understaffed and under-trained.

With most hosts, it’s easy to start off with an affordable shared server and then work your way up to VPS and finally to a dedicated server as your site becomes more popular. If you’re going to be conducting business from your site, or if the site is going to get a fair amount of visitors from the get-go, we recommend just starting out with a VPS to save yourself some hassle, and not have to worry about your site going down from too many visitors right as you’re starting to pick up steam.

Many hosting companies run similar software on the back-end, so it’s really easy to find tons of guides to help if you run into trouble. Most brands also have their own help sections packed with information.

Hopefully this has helped clear up your questions, and shine some light on this type of server.

What Is a Host for Websites? And How To Choose The BEST One

If you’re new to web hosting or making websites in general, you might be wondering: “What is a host?

You’ve got to know what you’re dealing with before you can move forward with your plans of taking over the internet with your incredibly new website.

There are a few different moving parts when it comes to setting up and managing your website, and it’s a lot easier once you can visualize what these different parts actually do.

So, this page is going to answer the question of what is a web host, a server, a domain registrar, and how they all work together to keep your website online.

What is Hosting? Let’s Put The Puzzle Together…

The first piece of the puzzle is your domain name, and that’s what people type into their browser when they want to visit your website, but it’s not actually the same as your website/host. Think of it like an address. The address to your home tells people where they can find your home, but it’s not actually your physical home, it’s just a representation of where that home is located. The domain name is similar.

When someone types in your domain name (For example, MamboServer.com), they’re directed to your server’s IP address. Typing in a domain name is a lot easier than typing in a long IP address.

The domain name points to the location of your hosting, where the files are actually stored. There are giant warehouses filled with servers, and those servers are rented out to customers like you, by hosting companies. The amount of power and resources you’ll get from those servers depends on which hosting package you choose, which is decided by how large and popular your website is. For smaller sites, you can use less expensive hosting. For big sites, you’ll need more resources, and thus you’ll need more expensive hosting.

Essentially, the question “What is a host?” can be answered as follows: It’s where your website is stored.

The Hosting Piece of the Puzzle: What IS a Host?

A hosting company rents you a slab of their servers, which is where your website is physically stored, and then your domain name is linked to that hosting location so that when people type in your website’s address, they’ll end up on your site.

There are many different hosting companies and brands out there, and they offer a variety of different types of servers for you to rent from them. Choosing the right one is very important.

Some hosting companies have plans that are dead-simple to setup, even if you’ve never done it before. These are the types of hosting companies that we often recommend to beginners. If you decide to go down the rabbit hole and really learn the ropes of hosting beyond what’s necessary to operate a site, you can definitely try out some other options that are more complex, but just starting out? We’re much rather see you start with something simple instead of biting off a lot more than you can chew. Not that you couldn’t learn and do it, but for your first site, it just makes a lot more sense to learn something that’s much easier rather than something more complex.

Other hosts are geared towards more experienced people who have spent a lot of time studying how to manage servers on their own, which is awesome and there are benefits to that too, but once again, just for starting out, it’s kind of overkill to learn how to manage your own server from scratch instead of getting one that’s already setup and ready to go.

Choosing a Host: Which one is the BEST?

For people who are starting out, we strongly recommend going with Managed Hosting, which means  that the hosting company is going to help you through the whole process, and they’re going to manage your server for you which includes routine tasks like keeping the software on the server up to date, and takin steps to prevent any malicious attacks.

Bluehost is one hosting company, in particular, that is geared towards people who have never launched a website before. They’ll help you with the entire process from start to finish, and their staff are also super helpful along the way. They have setup wizards that make it a breeze, tons of documentation, and once again, a staff of experts who are there to help you with everything you could possibly imagine. We have reviewed them in-depth and determined that they’re the absolute best option for anyone who is just starting out, but also super convenient and flexible for larger websites and more experienced users.

We’ve very recently tested out the Bluehost onboarding process, from landing on their homepage to processing your order to having your site up and running, and they’ve got the easier system out there. It couldn’t be any more straight forward to start from scratch, to having your site online. It only takes a matter of minutes, and Bluehost has a whole custom process based on years and years of being in the industry, they’ve taken out any of the more confusing aspects of setting up hosting and just simplified everything so it couldn’t be easier.

Bluehost isn’t the only option, there are plenty of great shared hosts out there. Bluehost, however, is the most highly recommended host by WordPress.org, the leading platform/software for creating websites, so they’re clearly doing something right.

Bluehost even pays some of their staff to actively work on the WordPress open-source project, to make it better, and to ensure that it meshes with Bluehost perfectly. Managed shared hosting is a great place to start for most sites, however if your site is going to be busier right out of the gate, you might want to consider a Managed VPS instead. If you’re not really sure what you need, check out the basic plans from Bluehost as a starting point, and as your site grows and you need more resources, they’ll be able to help you upgrade on the fly as needed.

WP Engine vs. Bluehost

Today, we are going to be looking at Bluehost vs. WP Engine. As usual, these two hosting providers will be going head to head on different aspects, and in the end, we get to see a winner. This is going to be an in-depth and unbiased comparison between WP Engine vs. Bluehost and we are going to see exactly what makes them special – and exactly why one should be chosen over the other.

Update February 2020:  There’s a promo going on right now, check out this discount page, and get the special promotional price of $2.95/month! At the moment this is the best discount you can find, make sure to take advantage of it before registering!

Bluehost vs. WP Engine: A Complete Overview

Do you think that it’s a big deal for a content management system that powers over 30% of the internet to recommend a particular hosting company? We do. That’s why we are going to start with that – Bluehost is one of the three officially recommended hosting providers by WordPress. What does this tell us? You’d probably be better served if you hosted your WordPress site with Bluehost.

This doesn’t tell the whole story, though. Founded in Utah by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth, the company started operations in 1996 and has grown to be one of the biggest names in the hosting industry today. Bluehost has a variety of plans from shared hosting, WordPress, to VPS and dedicated hosting services. Soon enough, as is becoming the trend in hosting today, Bluehost was acquired by EIG, a firm that owns most of the hosting companies.

Unlike Bluehost, WP Engine doesn’t offer a wide range of services. It is a specialized WordPress hosting provider that only offers the option for managed hosting. This means that WP Engine only offers WordPress hosting – no other content management system can be set up on WP Engine servers. WP Engine’s major selling point is convenience. People who buy WP Engine’s hosting plans don’t need to worry about installs, updates, security patches or Plugins.

Popularity Comparison

As we also stated over and over in our Bluehost Review, this is hardly a contest. There are only a few providers more popular than Bluehost and WP Engine isn’t one of those. Not that it matters in any case, many times popularity just means a huge marketing budget, not a great performance.

Performance

When you purchase a shared hosting plan, you must have some basic expectations. At the top of the list must be great uptime and great speed. Your website must be accessible and it must be accessible quickly. So how do Bluehost and WP Engine measure in terms of speed and uptime? (Check out the WP Engine Review for more in-depth stats about WP Engine Performance over the past year).

Bluehost Speed Tests

We purchased a basic Bluehost plan and went to work on determining the average speed of the hosting giant. We were mildly surprised by an average speed of 461ms. This is surprising because most of the narrative surrounding Bluehost has always pointed to sluggish speed. The narrative is that Bluehost is a cheap option with great features but less than average performance. Clearly, this isn’t true, at least in terms of speed.

However good Bluehost’s speed is, though, it isn’t quite at an elite level. Google says that response time should be at most 200ms for maximum performance, and Bluehost was rarely able to give us that. The problem, perhaps, is with Google, as we’ve tested a lot of shared hosting providers and very few were able to average less than 200ms. We also sent about 100 virtual users to the site and the speed remained stable. So Bluehost has comfortably above-average speed and can handle traffic well.

WP Engine Speed Tests

WP Engine has CDN enabled on all their plans and has up to nine data centers in London, South Carolina, Sydney, Belgium, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We also purchased a WP Engine plan to run speed tests, although we had run some tests on them a while ago when we awarded them the #1 Bluehost Alternative spot, we wanted to be sure that nothing has changed since then.

From WP Engine’s admin portal, you can run performance tests to check out exactly how your website is doing in terms of load speed and response time. We measured an average TTFB (response time) of 291ms. This is better than almost all of the providers that we’ve tested. The average full page load speed blew us away too, coming in at 478ms. So, 99 out of 100 times, your website is fully available in less than half a second.

Uptime

What is the main job of a hosting provider? To keep the website up and running. So let’s check out the uptime of both Bluehost and WP Engine and see how they measure in relation to each other.

We tested Bluehost’s Uptime

Throughout our testing period, Bluehost showed no signs of slowing down. An uptime of 99.99% is probably the highest that a company can promise – and very few actually deliver on that promise. But here is where Bluehost shocked us. We recorded a 99.99% uptime, further shattering the narrative that Bluehost doesn’t offer great performance. However, unlike most shared hosting companies in the market, Bluehost doesn’t offer an uptime guarantee. This means that if uptime were to suffer, users can only complain, there is no path of redress or compensation. If Bluehost continues providing great uptime, though, we don’t see why this should be a problem.

We tested WP Engine’s Uptime

WP Engine also provided top-notch uptime through our testing period. 99.99% isn’t so easy to achieve, but both of these giants are showing us that it can be done. An uptime of 99.99% means about only 4 minutes of downtime per month and 48 minutes of downtime per year. Is that negligible? We would hope so, yes. WP Engine does one thing better than Bluehost, though.

The provider has a 99.95% uptime guarantee, which isn’t very much as most hosting providers tag theirs at 99.99% but it is better than nothing. What this means is that if you notice that WP Engine’s uptime has gone below 99.95%, there’s a path of redress and you’re eligible for some compensation. However, you have to be certain that the downtime experienced was not as a result of scheduled or emergency maintenance or major events.

BluehostWP Engine
January 2020100%99.99%
December 201999.98%99.99%
November 201999.99%100%
201999.98%99.97%
201899.97%99.95%
Uptime guaranteeNo99.95%
Starting from$2.95$25.00

Ease of Use for Bluehost compared to WP Engine

Very few people would want to make use of a hosting service with a complicated backend or user interface. Even advanced users sometimes want to get things done as quickly as possible without needless tinkering with codes.

Bluehost Ease of use

Bluehost makes use of cPanel, the generic and most popular hosting interface. It isn’t just cPanel, though, as Bluehost has customized its features to allow for even easier manoeuvering by users. Everything you will need to get started, such as one-click installs are readily available on the dashboard. Popular content management systems like Drupal and Joomla can also be installed with one click.

If you’re new to the world of hosting, Bluehost has got you covered with Weebly, a website builder that has a drag and drop functionality that will help you get your site up in no time at all. Everything you need to set up and manage your account is located in one place, so it is unlikely that newbies will get “lost” on different pages.

Bluehost’s added features include:

  • My sites – a feature that allows users to control multiple websites with one account;
  • Marketplace – a feature that allows users to buy professional services, add features and functionality to websites, buy new add-ons and themes, etc;
  • Email and Office – a tool that allows you to access any productivity tools bought and access cloud-based word processing, email clients from Microsoft or Google, and spreadsheet tools.
  • Bluehost also offers free SSL certificates and domain names on basic plans so that new users have fewer upsells to pay for.

WP Engine Ease of use

WP Engine does not use cPanel as other big hosts such as Hostgator or Bluehost do. While WP Engine’s proprietary user interface is intuitive and easy to use in its own right, it may take some time getting used to it. WP Engine’s User portal displays the number of storage, visitors and bandwidth that has been used. Ideally, this sounds like a good thing until you remember the fact that WP Engine’s plans have no “unlimited” options like most other hosting companies.

As far as we could see, that was the only problem we could find with WP Engine’s backend. The frontend had more issues for us, though. First of all, we found it difficult to navigate. As most providers do, we were bombarded with a lot of features, but it doesn’t mean very much if users cannot understand all the information being given.

To make the job of users easier, WP Engine automatically upgrades WordPress when minor patches are released. When major updates are released, WP Engine tests the update to make sure they are safe before recommending them to users. Users interested in upgrading their WordPress application with major updates have the option of getting help from experts provided by WP Engine. This ensures that the process is quick and efficient.

All plans are provided with a staging area. In this area, users can test run changes made to their websites without actually making those changes on the live version. In addition, it allows a seamless update resulting in no downtime. Users of WP Engine do not have to worry about plugins, updates, installs and all of that – all that is needed to get their WordPress account online is a one-click installation.

WP Engine has a tool called “Application Performance”. This tool provides code-level visibility to assist developers in troubleshooting faster, optimizing WordPress experiences, and increasing development agility. The main function of this tool is to give the IT team the visibility needed to build and maintain a great WordPress digital experience. WP Engine offers the Genesis Framework and access to more than 35+ premium themes. In contrast, Bluehost only offers access to eight themes.

WP Engine doesn’t offer domain registration or email hosting. To have access to those services you’d have to purchase them from another provider.

For some reason – the official narrative is that “alien plugins” can cause problems with WP Engine’s infrastructure, WP Engine has a compiled list of disallowed plugins. Some of the most popular disallowed plugins are:

  • EWWW Image Optimizer
  • Related Posts plugins like YARPP and Similar Posts
  • Broken Link Checker
  • Backups plugins like WP DB Backup and BackupWordPress
  • Caching Plugins like Super Cache and W3 Total Cache.

Money-Back Guarantee Policy

After choosing a web host, signing up for a plan, it is possible to have a change of heart. It is possible to look at the quality of the service provided and think that you would be better served with a different company. What happens then?

Will your money be refunded? And how long is the period where refund requests can be made?

Bluehost Refund Policy

Bluehost has a 30-days money-back guarantee policy. If payment is made for a plan, a maximum of thirty days is allowed to explore Bluehost services and decide if you are interested in sticking with them. If refund requests are made, the request will be made honored under three conditions:

  • Firstly, any request for cancellation made after thirty days will not be honored.
  • Secondly, refunds can only be made on hosting costs, not on other domain products.
  • The last condition is that a fee of $15.99 is deducted if a free domain name has been received. Before signing up for Bluehost services, it is important to be aware of these conditions.

WP Engine Refund Policy

WP Engine has a 60- days money-back guarantee on its scale, growth and startup plans. This means the sign up for WP Engine is risk-free and if the services offered are found to be unsatisfactory, full refunds are guaranteed as long as they are made within the period of the first sixty days.

Bluehost vs WP Engine: Customer Support and Reliability

One of the most important aspects of a company is the quality of customer support that they have. Are customer service reps responsive? Are they knowledgeable? Does it take forever to get a hold of them? How effective, overall, is their customer service infrastructure?

Bluehost Customer Support

Bluehost offers a knowledge base, live chat support, ticketing system, and phone support. All these are reportedly available 24/7, so they’ve got the basics right. We tried out their live chat support and endured varying degrees of wait time – never more than seven minutes though. Could this be better? Yes, but it isn’t exactly terrible and a maximum of seven minutes isn’t an age of wait time to endure. The reps we got a hold on were friendly, willing to help and knowledgeable. However, we couldn’t help but notice that some of our more technical questions were not replied quickly.

Bluehost has a special customer care feature called Blue flash. This feature is made especially for WordPress users and it comes free with all plans. According to Bluehost, “Blue flash is powered by a team of WordPress experts specifically trained to assist with everything from getting started with WordPress and installing plugins to account navigation and initial set up questions”. Sounds great, right? We think so too. Users can simply contact Bluehost’s 24/7 support team at 844-741-1192 and ask to begin their Bluehost Flash call. Regardless, Bluehost’s customer support structure is sound and would solve most customer’s problems satisfactorily.

WP Engine Customer Support

WP Engine, like Bluehost, is known for its exceptional customer support. Generally, we’ve discovered that smaller hosting services usually have superior customer support. This makes us appreciate the nature of Bluehost’s customer support even better because it’s such a big company.

WP Engine has over 200 service experts on hand to handle customer questions. Customers have the choice of round the clock live chat support, 24/7 phone support (on select plans), a dedicated billing support section for addressing questions regarding accounts, and a knowledge base that is filled with tutorials and articles on how to handle common problems.

However, there is a tiny problem with WP Engine’s phone support – it is only offered to customers on plans higher than the Startup plan. To us, this sounds kind of weird because users who buy the Startup plan are most likely inexperienced users who need support more than any other demographic.

WP Engine provides one-on-one support – at least that’s what they claim.

We tried the live chat channel and connected to a live rep in less than three minutes so we didn’t have to wait long. That’s a good sign. The representatives that we spoke to were friendly and knowledgeable – exactly what you would expect from efficient customer support.

Security

Not only do you trust your hosting provider to keep your site up and easily accessible, but you also trust them to keep your website secure. That is why the security measures taken with any basic plan is important.

Bluehost Security Features

Bluehost provides a lot of security features by default such as SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt and a domain privacy feature that hides private information from public WHOIS listing. This stops hackers from using personal information of users. Bluehost also has Sitelock that helps to prevent malware attacks.

Bluehost also has Codeguard, a form of protection that provides daily backups (Bluehost doesn’t do it itself, and not all shared hosting plans have Codeguard installed) of your files in case your website gets hacked. Bluehost also has Postini from Google, a tool that provides spam protection for your email so that you are protected from suspicious-looking emails.

You can also protect your account from being hacked into with Bluehost’s two-factor authentication with a six-digit code. However, most of Bluehost’s high-end security features like Sitelock and Codeguard only come with higher-tier plans, not basic ones.

Bluehost believes that website security is a shared responsibility (and we agree), and in line with this thinking, customers are provided with a checklist of things they ought to be doing to protect their websites.

It is to be noted that Bluehost doesn’t guarantee backups – although your website may be backed up occasionally as a courtesy if you do not have a Codeguard installed plan. What this means, basically, is if you’re on a cheaper plan, Bluehost may do you the favor of backing up your website, but they are under absolutely no obligation to do so. Bluehost also doesn’t offer any assistance with site restoration if your site gets hacked.

WP Engine Security Features

WP Engine offers customers a number of high-end security features to equip their website with. The first is something that Bluehost doesn’t offer, at least not directly, and it is free automatic updates. WP Engine carries out daily backups and has a one-click restore option in case anything happens to your website. Like Bluehost, WP Engine also offers free SSL certificates from let’s Encrypt on all their plans.

Automated patching and updates are also offered. The core of WordPress is automatically patched so you don’t have to worry about being exposed to vulnerabilities. For example, IP addresses that are known to belong to hackers or spammers are automatically blocked from accessing your site.

WP Engine developers keep a close eye on plugins (they’ve even had some disallowed entirely because they’ve proven to be unsafe) so that users are safe from plugins that may expose them to trouble from mischievous characters. Web application attacks are dealt with almost instantaneously before they affect the core of their customers’ websites.

WP Engine also has protection against DDoS attacks, brute force attacks, and JavaScript/SQL-injection attacks. And if by chance your WordPress site is hacked, WP Engine fixes it at absolutely no charge. Which should be a big deal, but is something we think is the bare minimum.

If your hosting provider cannot protect your website, the least it can do is to fix your account after the damage has been done.

BluehostWP Engine
SSLYesYes
Domain Privacy$11.88No
BackupCodeguardDaily Backups
E-mail spam protectionSpamExpertsNo E-mail
two-factor authenticationYesYes
Anti-malwareSitelockCustom
PriceFrom $2.95From $25.00

Bluehost and WP Engine: Plans & Pricing

To be honest, price is what most people look at before choosing a shared hosting plan. This is because, while there are genuinely terrible hosting providers out there, most of the companies in the business actually offer quite decent services. So the price is what differentiates most providers one from the other – at least to most people. That sort of thinking, though, would mean missing out on objectively superior deals. This is because the truth is that some shared hosting services offer more value for less and others less value for more. Take it from us; there is always a better deal. Nine out of ten times at least.

Bluehost Plans & Pricing

In the spirit of looking for the better deal let’s take a look at two of Bluehost’s categories of plans – their shared hosting plans and their WordPress Pro plans.

Bluehost has four shared hosting plans and they are Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro plans.

Let’s look at what the quality that their lowest tier plan, the basic plan, packs.

Low-End Plans

The basic plan costs $2.95 (or lower because of different discounts running throughout the year) per month and has the following features:

  • 1 website
  • 50GB of storage
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 1 domain
  • 5 parked domains
  • 25 subdomains

The next plan on the ladder is the Plus plan which costs $5.45 per month. (It normally costs $10.99). The plan comes with all the features of the basic plan plus the following:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited domains
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Unlimited parked domains
  • $200 marketing offer
  • Spam experts.

At $5.45 per month, this plan packs some real power.

Medium Plan

The next plan is the Choice-plus plan. The plan costs the same as the Plus plan (although renewal is pegged at $10.99). It has all the features of the Plus plan and comes with the following extras:

  • Site backup- Codeguard basic

It looks like Codeguard basic is a huge upgrade. We don’t understand why we have to pay so much for “guaranteed” backups – a service that WP Engine offers for free, though.

High-End Plan

The most expensive shared hosting plan is the Pro plan. An initial subscription costs $13.95 per month (renewal fees start from $23.99 per month) and it has all the features of the Choice-plus Plan plus high performance. We presume that this means better speed and the capacity to support a higher number of visitors.

There’s one more thing. We aren’t entirely sure whether this is a good or bad thing but we are sure that it is something that prospective customers of Bluehost ought to know. The initial prices that are so sweet and so low are only available for those who intend to buy annual (at least three years) plans. In addition to this, there are no plans shorter than twelve months available so if you want to