Choosing a hosting company is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when you’re creating a website. There are countless options to choose from, some estimates say that there are hundreds of thousands of different hosting companies out there, and they’re not all created equal. It only takes a few minutes for someone to start up a “hosting company”, by renting servers from a bigger host and re-selling them, but there are a lot of issues you can run into if you aren’t dealing with a reputable and established host.
Quick Facts About Bluehost and Hostmonster
In this case, both of these hosting brands are owned by the same parent company, but they aren’t exactly the same. EIG is a large company that owns most of the most popular webhosts out there, but it’s not a matter of just flipping a coin and choosing one or the other. Some of their brands are a lot better than other ones. Frankly, and we can’t verify this, but sometimes it feels like they buy up competitors and just kind of leave them there to die off, or at least, they don’t put as much care into some of their brands as they do with their other ones. Because of that, when you’re buying hosting from an EIG-owned company, it can be kind of hit or miss sometimes.
Both Bluehost and HostMonster are brands that EIG puts a lot of care into protecting, especially Bluehost, who are one of their flagship hosting companies. Bluehost seems to get a lot of resources when it comes to providing great servers, and excellent customer support – but how does Hostmonster stack up? Let’s compare these two options, and ultimately we’ll help you choose the one that will suit you the best.
Bluehost was founded in 2003, and has since grown to remain one of the premiere brands in webhosting, especially for people who are looking for the value and convenience of shared webhosting. Bluehost also offers VPS and Dedicated servers, and a handful of other options, but shared hosting is really their bread and butter. Whether you’re looking to run WordPress on your site, or something different, Bluehost makes it as easy as possible, and their support staff are more than capable of helping with any issues that may arise, but their setup process is so easy and staight forward that it’s super unlikely you’ll need any help at all.
Hostmonster also has a very simple setup process, and have also been around for quite a long time, although they aren’t as well known as Bluehost. Hostmonster was founded in 2005, so they’re only a couple of years younger than Bluehost. They have a variety of hosting plans available as well, excellent support, and they too have a custom control panel designed to make the whole hosting process more intuitive.
With so many similarities, how do you choose which one to use? It comes down to more than just price. First things first, let’s take an overview of the most popular shared hosting packages offered by each of these companies…
Bluehost Hosting Plans
Bluehost’s Plus and Prime packages come with unlimited and unmetered resources, which is pretty common for shared hosting. The way that shared hosting works is that your site, and many other sites, are all stored on the same server, sharing from the same pool of resources. As long as everyone is playing fair, and nobody is hogging too many resources, it’s all good. Once a site starts to get more popular, and uses too many resources from the pool, they’ll be prompted to upgrade to a plan that can better sustain their site.
As such, it’s not truly “unlimited” or “unmetered”, there is a certain point where a site using too many resources will start to have a negative impact on other sites sharing the server. That’s the downside to shared hosting, but the upside is that it’s less expensive than other options by orders of magnitude, and it’s not super common for a site to come along and hog resources, and when it does happen, Bluehost does a good job of making sure it doesn’t negatively impact anyone else, if even for a few moments. They have such a large collection of servers, and they don’t oversell them drastically, so most of the time things are running just fine. This is just a fact of life with any shared hosting plan, because you’re essentially sharing the server with other people, and also sharing the costs.
Bluehost offers up a pretty standard lineup of shared hosting packages, at a very competitive price. There are certainly more powerful shared hosts out there, but you’ll also end up paying a lot more for them. Bluehost hits a perfect balance of value, performance, and price. You pay a little bit more than some of the cheapest options, for much better performance, but you don’t end up spending a fortune for top-tier performance either.
It works out really well for most websites who want more than the bare minimum, but aren’t ready to spend $50 or $100’s per month on hosting. Once your site grows larger, simply upgrade to a VPS, which Bluehost will help with, and you’re all set.
Shared hosting is perfect for new sites, and for people who want a company to help manage their servers. There’s also such a thing as unmanaged hosting, which typically costs less when you factor in the exact specs of the server, however the downside is that you’re stuck setting it all up on your own.
Managed shared hosting, like the plans we’re looking at today, means that the hosting company takes care of installing and setting up each server, maintaining it, backing it up and keeping it safe from hackers and other security concerns. A good hosting company will proactively work to keep everything running smooth for all of their customers to avoid any interruptions in service, and Bluehost has an incredible team of tech wizards working around the clock to do just that.
Hostmonster Hosting Plans
The realities of shared hosting that we talked about in the Bluehost section all apply to Hostmonster, as well. As you can see in the table below, the major differences are that Hostmonster charges more (look at the renewal rate above, not just the initial price), and is more restrictive with their Plus plan than Bluehost’s Plus plan, which offers more storage and room for more websites.
Hostmonster has a lot of the standard features you would expect from a shared hosting company, like a ton of add-ons for eCommerce, free scripts to setup your site whether you want to use WordPress or something else, unlimited email and forwarding, cPanel access, parked domains, and a lot more. Bluehost offers all of these, as well.
Both brands take care to offer redundancy and great up-time, quality equipment, secure backups, and excellent support. They likely use similar training programs for their support teams at both brands, but we can’t verify that without accessing their internal documents. The point is, when you own so many massive hosting companies, you can take the best parts from each one, and roll it out to other brands, so ultimately you’ll have a collection of even stronger hosting companies to choose from.
Things to Consider
One thing to keep in mind with both of these companies is the fact that when your initial term is up, they both renew at a slightly higher price. They offer lower introductory pricing, and you can lock in that lower price for longer by signing up for a longer initial term. That’s why Bluehost has two plans that cost the same initially, even thought one is better – because the better one will eventually renew at a higher price.
Over the years, Hostmonster and Bluehost’s offerings have started to look and more similar, likely because their parent company learns and improves as they go, and after seeing certain things work great at Bluehost, it only makes sense to bring them over to other brands as well.
For example, Bluehost is known for their really simple setup process, and you’ll now find a very similar on-boarding process at Hostmonster. It’s good to see them taking the best parts of their various brands and rolling them out across the board, to have a better service overall.
None the less, Bluehost still offers more resources for a lower price, which is hard to ignore.
These were interesting brands to compare, since they’re both quite similar on paper. We’ve done some other hosting comparisons where the differences were night and day, but when looking at Bluehost vs Hostmonster, the winner isn’t as clear-cut as it usually is. None the less, we’ve chosen one and still believe strongly that it’s the better choice, but quite frankly, you won’t be making a big mistake or anything if you pick the other one, they’re both totally viable options.
Comparing Their Support Options
Bluehost really sets the bar when it comes to tech support for a massive hosting company. There aren’t that many hosts that are as big as Bluehost to compare them to, but one of the perks of dealing with a giant host is that you know there’s always going to be someone there to take your call or answer your live chat, even during an emergency in the middle of the night.
Both Bluehost and Hostmonster offer 24/7 support via chat or telephone.
WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
We’ve talked about how they’re both similar for all intents and purposes, but overall Bluehost edges out Hostmonster to be our top pick. Bluehost’s proprietary platform for shared hosting helps to balance resources in a way that leaves you less susceptible to interruptions, and means you’re less likely to experience any disruptions to your service if there are other sites on the same server abusing it.
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