Bluehost and 1&1 Hosting are both popular options for web hosting, and you will frequently see both of them recommended. However, they aren’t both equal; one of them is considerably better than the other in our opinion. If you want to cut right to the chase, scroll to the end of the page to see our recommendation, otherwise, let’s go over some details. We’ll start by introducing both hosting companies and looking at the plans they offer. Then we’ll talk about their reputations a bit, and how competent their customer support staff are when you need help with an issue.
Bluehost: The Basics
Bluehost was founded in 2003 and is one of the most popular shared hosting companies out there. They host countless sites for so many different businesses and individuals. One of the reasons people like Bluehost is because they work very closely with WordPress to make it super-simple to host a site on Bluehost with WordPress. WordPress.org recommends them as one of the top hosts to use, and even if you don’t plan on building a website using WordPress, Bluehost is still a great choice.
They’re very dedicated to customer service and also being a great company to work for, so their employees are well-trained and extremely kind and helpful.
Their primary offering is a variety of shared hosting plans, as seen in the image below. Shared hosting offers an affordable option for websites that aren’t extremely high-traffic. It serves as a high starting point for most sites, and when you outgrow the shared hosting plan, you can upgrade to a higher-tier plan with Bluehost.
These plans are excellent for beginners or intermediate webmasters, Bluehost makes the whole process so easy, especially if you’re going to use WordPress for your site.
1&1: The Basics
One thing you’ll notice right off the bat is that 1and1 offers lower prices for the initial term and then higher renewal fees. That is pretty standard for hosting companies that provide discounts upfront. You’ll notice that very similar to Bluehost, 1and1 also offers ‘Unlimited’ for just about every category, except for with their cheapest package. We always like to point out that there’s no such thing as “unlimited” when it comes to hosting. There’s still a specific limit, at which point they’ll get in touch with you to let you know that you’re using too many resources.
The other downside to these unlimited plans, other than the secret limit that you might hit one day, is that the cheaper they’re selling packages for, the more accounts get hosted on each server. That is how individual hosting companies manage to keep their prices so low.
Even if all the specs match, or it’s all unlimited, there are concrete limits to how many people can be sharing a shared server, and some hosts are going to try to pack in more people than other hosts are.
Now, to set you at ease, generally speaking, it’s infrequent to hit those limits on “unlimited” plans unless you’re hosting a movie streaming site or something like that, and with a typical website, it’s unlikely ever to come close to them.
Comparing the entry-level plans for both hosts, 1and1 is the better deal on paper, assuming all things were equal, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Now, looking beyond the most entry-level plan, you’ll notice that Bluehost is offering up a more substantial discount off the full regular price. Both companies have a $15/mo plan at the high-end of their shared hosting plans, but Bluehost’s is going to cost you a pretty penny less when you first sign-up since the initial fees are a lot less. 1and1 is cheaper when looking at the two lowest plans, and Bluehost excels in the higher-tier package, so it depends what you’re looking for.
What some people will do is lock-in Bluehost’s fantastic deal on their Prime plan, getting the high-end package for only $5.95 per month. Then after their initial billing term is done, they’ll send Bluehost a message, and it just takes a second to switch to a cheaper plan, so you can get the benefits of the more expensive plan to start with, and then the money-saving of a more affordable plan when it’s time to renew. Best of both worlds, and you maximise your value and savings!
Other Features to Keep in Mind
Here’s a breakdown of some of the specs and features offered by both, or one or the other, of these companies:
- Bluehost and WordPress fit together perfectly;
- Their easy website setup wizard makes it a BREEZE. You’re done before you’ve even realised you’ve started;
- A 30-day money-back guarantee policy;
- Over $150 in advertising credits;
- 24/7 support via live chat, telephone, and email;
- SSL certificates and Site Backup Pro available;
- They offer a service to help design, build, and promote your site;
- They’re a top-rated host, so you can find tons of support online for any common issues that may arise.
- Reasonable prices for entry-level plans;
- Their plans include a 1&1 SSL certificate;
- Their programs include a domain name for free for the first year;
- Their higher-end plan has a CDN;
- They offer basic backup options included;
- Their plans come with $100 in Bing advertising credits;
- 24/7 support via telephone and email.
Comparing their Customer Support
Before we dig any deeper, let’s just point out in the image above showing the various 1and1 plans, there’s a banner next to “24/7 Service” that says “Only at 1&1”, it goes without saying but obviously they aren’t the only host to offer 24/7 service, so this feels misleading. For instance, how can 24/7 Service only exist at 1&1, when we know for a fact that Bluehost, and many other companies, also have it?
In any case, it is a great thing that you can reach both of these companies at any moment, around the clock. To 1and1.com’s credit, they do prominently display their phone number for support at the top of their site; there are some companies where you have to dig to find it if they even offer phone support at all.
In addition to telephone customer service, 1&1 also an online resource centre to help with common problems and email support. They have a Live Chat system too; however, it’s only available for Sales, not for Support.
One of the significant factors that differentiate hosting companies is the quality and level of support they provide.
Bluehost offers live chat, telephone support, and you can email them, too. Having a live chat is very useful, sometimes it’s just easier to explain something in written words. If you prefer to talk, they have a handful of different support numbers that you can call, to ensure that you’re speaking directly to somebody who can answer your questions.
Picking a Winner
Once again, Bluehost takes the crown as our top pick. Their support is excellent, their prices on their best-shared hosting plans are much more affordable, and they make it SO easy to work with WordPress and other website building apps that it feels like a no-brainer. There are some amazing hosts out there, some mediocre ones, and some that you should avoid.
Bluehost falls into the category of an amazing host when you weigh all of the criteria including price, value, ease of use, how long they’ve been in business for, how many satisfied customers, and other essential things to consider.