Bluehost vs. FastComet
This matchup is all about location. Bluehost has fantastic loading speeds for the US, Canada, and Western Europe, but if your audience is from India, East Asia, or Australia, FastComet might be a better option. It’s not that FastComet is faster than Bluehost (despite the name), but it has more data centers around the world, so you can choose where you host your site.
Bluehost Vs FastComet? We’ve got you covered. Right off the bat, we have to say that both web hosts are really great choices— and that is why this in-depth and unbiased review is important for you to make your choice.
Both web hosts will be going head to head and we’ll tell you all the important statistics and information you to know to make the right choice. And at the end of this review, we’ll tell you our expert opinion on the better web host. You don’t have to agree with us, but since you’re rational and our verdict will be based on data, it is very likely that you’ll see reason.
Bluehost vs. FastComet: Overview & General Info
If you’re looking for a new web host for your website, Bluehost is one of the names that you must necessarily have heard. In fact, it is very possible that Bluehost is the most popular web host on the planet. Do they justify their popularity with quality? We’ll find out soon enough
The company was founded in 1996, and that makes them something of a dinosaur in the industry. They have over 2 million subscribers— numbers that most web hosts would kill to have. They are also officially recommended by WordPress, which is a big deal by any measure. Bluehost is known for being the beginners’ dream because of its simple to understand customized cPanel user interface, and they offer quite decent performance too.
Compared to Bluehost, FastComet is a smaller company with only 45, 000 customers spread across 83 countries. With headquarters in San Fransisco, FastComet has servers in eight locations like London, Amsterdam, Singapore, Chicago, and Tokyo. The general principle is that the closer you are to a server, the faster the connection. Since FastComet has servers in so many different locations, we expect their average speed to be something. FastComet is also privately owned— in the world of hosting, this is pretty rare. This is because most of the companies in the industry are owned by the big conglomerate EIG.
Basically, this comparison looks like that of an underdog against a pit bull.
But don’t let that let you jump into conclusions. Raw data and unbiased analysis can reveal some pretty interesting facts. Who knows, we might be in for a shock.
Can a relatively unknown web host stand up to a giant of the web hosting industry? We’ll find out soon enough.
There are few vanity metrics— in fact, there is only one vanity metric in this review. And this is it.
While popularity might be a pointer to the value, it is a metric that can easily be manipulated. We’ve reviewed little known web hosts with far more quality than the more popular web hosts, and it isn’t quite a rare occurrence as you might imagine. Regardless, Bluehost blows FastComet out of the water in terms of popularity. With over 2 million customers all over the world, there are very few web hosts capable of holding a candle to Bluehost in terms of popularity (Read more about this in our exclusive Bluehost review).
This deals with the core of what you’re getting when you purchase a web host’s plan. There are two primary ways to measure a web host’s performance and they are speed and uptime. Let’s see how these web hosts perform.
The simple fact is that no one wants to waste a longer time than necessary doing anything. Even a second delay can be vital. If Amazon’s server slowed down by one second, they stand to lose over one hundred and sixty billion dollars per year. This is the same for small businesses. In addition, a fast website has better SEO ranking than a slower one. So if you want to retain visitors on your site, and you want to have greater visibility, you had better pay attention to the speed of your web host.
Google’s optimal speed (TTFB) is 200ms, but the industry average is somewhere around 800ms. Although we cannot blame Google for taking a Utopian outlook towards speed, we have chosen to be more realistic. We created a dummy site to test Bluehost speed and discovered that they don’t think speed is a vanity metric— response time of 461mms is comfortably above the average. While we wouldn’t name Bluehost a speedster, we can’t deny that they’re actually quite fast. We understand that many web hosts who post remarkable initial speeds tend to slow down with an influx of visitors. That wasn’t the story with Bluehost, though. The average speed didn’t experience any drastic change with even up to 100 visitors visiting the site at a time. Given that a lot of web hosts have the problem of providing optimal speed with optimal load-bearing capacity, we were quite impressed.
Before testing FastComet’s speed, we were quite certain that it would be much faster than Bluehost. The signs were there; free Cloudflare CDN, data centers in different parts of the world, an infographic on their website that shows FastComet to have an average speed of 395mms
(here show infographic on FastComet’s website)
and the word “Fast” fixed at the front of the word “comet”. Pro-tip: comets are generally very fast. FastComet is a disappointing exception to that rule, though, as we recorded an astonishingly low response time of 881mms. That is almost double the time it takes for Bluehost to respond. To make it even worse, FastComet gets even slower with higher traffic. A proper comedy of errors, that.
We honestly thought that this would be some sort of contest. It appears that the pit bull is going to drive the underdog out of the ring before it even begins. Bluehost, obviously, is the winner for us.
The primary task of a web host is to keep your website accessible. If a web host can’t be trusted to perform that task regularly, you have no business patronizing them.
With an uptime of 99.99%, we really can’t see how Bluehost can be beaten on account of their uptime. However, they do not have an uptime guarantee, and that was a bummer. Without an uptime guarantee, you can only trust that Bluehost will continue doing a great job in keeping your website reachable. If they don’t do a good job, though, you’d have no means to get compensation. Your hands would be effectively tied. We didn’t like this at all.
On FastComet’s website, you cannot miss an infographic that compares FastComet with popular web hosts and ensures you that FastComet is the best overall.
(here, show the infographic from FastComet’s website)
As a rule, regardless of the speed incident, we do not have a habit of taking too seriously official statistics. We make sure to do our own testing ourselves. FastComet has great uptime, slightly behind Bluehost’s at 99.98%. A lot of web hosts talk about having 99.99% uptime, but only a few even consistently maintain anything near that number. FastComet hasn’t done badly by itself in this department. Unlike Bluehost, FastComet has an uptime guarantee, and that is something that guarantees an edge. “We apply a 10% credit of your monthly fee for each hour of network downtime, up to 100% of your monthly fee for the affected service,” says FastComet’s website.
A web host with a decent uptime and an uptime guarantee is always going to be a tough contender, but a 99.99% uptime isn’t something that can just be wished away. We wish that Bluehost had an uptime guarantee, but even if they don’t, based on the data alone, they have better uptime than FastComet.
Ease of Use
Even advanced users do not like needless complexities— and advanced users do not make up the bulk of website owners. People want an easy to use the website, and very few people (if at all) find any form of satisfaction in spending valuable time figuring out how to make use of a control panel. In essence, everyone wants ease, and the web host that can provide the greatest level of ease is a good one.
Bluehost is, for the lack of a better word, legendary In ease of use, especially for beginners. Bluehost makes use of cPanel, the most common and easiest to use backend interface. However, Bluehost’s cPanel has even undergone more customization to make it really simple for beginners to grasp. Bluehost’s sign up process is also extremely easy. Two pages of forms were all it took to set up an account. If you don’t have a lot of experience with building a website, Bluehost offers Weebly, a third party website builder that allows you to build your website with little or no contact with codes. Installation of apps isn’t a hassle either— Bluehost offers access to the Mojo marketplace where there are over a hundred apps ready for one-click installations. These include apps like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. If you’re into eCommerce, Bluehost has also got you covered with access to 100+ website themes and templates. You also don’t need to worry about whether Bluehost’s servers are compatible with your shopping cart as Bluehost supports over 8 popular eCommerce software. Free SSL certificates and almost $200 of ad money are also some of the things that make it easier for people to use Bluehost.
Bluehost has most of the features that would make the task of running a website easier for anyone— whether veteran or amateur. Not a lot of web hosts can say that.
Like most of the big hosts as HostGator or Bluehost, FastComet has a cPanel user interface. This ensures that most users won’t find themselves lost on their backend. If you choose to host your website with FastComet’s servers, you’ll get 450+ one-click installations, 20+ framework development tools and step by step instructions on creating your website. Additionally, if you choose to move your domain over to FastComet, it is absolutely free (free site migration. Bluehost charges $149.99 for this, but more on that later), and what’s more, you get one year of domain registration free of charge. FastComet also offers a wild array of developer tools for website owners who have the desire and knowledge of using them. Symphony, WP-CLI, bash, Drush, Laravel, and Genesis are just some of the developer tools that FastComet offers. A free SSL certificate, an SEO suite, a free chat client, and $75 worth of ad money ensures that new subscribers have very little to ask for.
This can seem to be a subjective metric, and it might be difficult to come to a conclusion. The truth is that both web hosts are quite simple to use and understand. However, we’ve used both web hosts and we had fewer problems with Bluehost than we had with FastComet. Therefore, for us, Bluehost takes the day.
Bluehost has the standard thirty days money back policy. This isn’t remarkable, as a thirty-day money-back policy reflects the industry average. Most web hosts have at least a thirty days window for refunds and very few don’t have at all. We do not think that 30 days is enough time for users to fully test a web host and see whether they are the one for them. Forty-five days, on the other hand, might just do it. FastComet has a money-back policy that extends to 45 days, and we’re glad for it.
However, Bluehost doesn’t pay refunds on domain names. So a fee of $15.99 will be deducted from your refund. The same applies to FastComet and other Bluehost alternatives.
FastComet vs. Bluehost: Customer Support and Reliability
The best web hosts have quick and personal tech support capable of solving problems and answering questions as quick as possible. Unfortunately, no one has near enough information to undertake a statistics based review of both web hosts. However, we’ll base our judgment on personal experience and reviews from trusted sources.
Bluehost claims to have 24/7 across different channels. They have a live chat, phone, and email channel. They also have an extensive knowledgebase if you’d much rather solve your problems yourself without the help of a live representative. From our personal experience, Bluehost’s customer support was helpful, friendly and seemed to know exactly what she was doing. That isn’t something you can say for a lot of customer support reps. Bluehost’s Blue flash feature allows you access to WordPress experts to help you with all aspects with setting up your account. Problems, like installing the right plugins and selecting an appropriate theme, are easily solved by expert advice and guidance. What’s more, it comes free with all hosting plans.
Because of their size, perhaps, FastComet is able to deliver fast and personal support the likes of which we’ve rarely encountered. We were particularly impressed with their live chat section. On most web hosts you’ll have to wait for minutes before you are attended to, and even then, replies are slow and seem mechanical. But this isn’t applicable to FastComet. In their live chat section, there’s an image of the person you’re chatting with, and they reach out to you before you even ask a question. What is more, you are replied within seconds.
A while back, when we made use of FastComet’s phone support, we found it to be a matter of chance to get a hold of live rep. Thankfully, they’ve cleaned up their act and now we experience the same personal and helpful support that we experienced on their live chat channel.
Basically, if we were to rate the quality of FastComet’s support, we would give them 99%. They were that good.
While we understand that it may be a bit difficult to compare customer service support, we have to come to a conclusion. Which web host has the best customer service? Bluehost and FastComet impressed us— personally, though, we loved FastComet’s customer support infrastructure. They take this round for us.
We assume that most web hosts have security measures in place to protect their servers. However, first-hand experience has taught us that some are far more effective than others. Asides that, some web hosts are even cheaper to secure than others. For example, a web host that offers free and automatic backups is superior to one that doesn’t.
Bluehost might be one of the cheapest hosting options on the market, but if you looked at their security infrastructure, you wouldn’t notice. Most of the security options they provide are a given by default and this includes free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt. A domain privacy feature that keeps your personal information off public internet logs is also provided for free on all plans. This is important because it stops hackers from using your information in phishing schemes. Bluehost also has Sitelock, which helps protect users against malware attacks.
Bluehost offers the protection of Codeguard which, apart from helping against external attacks, helps provide daily backups so that you can easily restore your site even if it does get hacked. Bluehost also offers Postini, a security tool from Google. This provides spam protection for your email so that you are protected from suspicious-looking emails. All in all, Bluehost has a very sound security infrastructure.
FastComet doesn’t joke with security either. An advanced isolation software through CageFs and Cloud Linux makes sure that if a site I infected, it stays within that site. That is, it is impossible for malware to spread through sites. BitNinja stops DDoS and XSS attacks too. The company also has a Web Application Firewall (WAF) that is optimized for Joomla, Magneto, and WordPress. It blocks about 99% of all unauthorized attempted access to hosted sites. As a last layer of protection, FastComet has a specially dedicated team of software/malware experts working around the clock to ensure that attacks are contained and repelled within the span of a few minutes. Before we forget, FastComet also offers Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates at no extra charge.
Overall, we discovered no major glitches with both web hosts, and it comes down to who impressed us the most. Personally, we feel that Bluehost has a more comprehensive security cover than FastComet, so they win this round.
This is one of the most important metrics to consider when choosing a web host. Many people make the mistake of simply choosing the cheapest plan and then getting on with it. That is nothing but pure pedestrian analysis. The most important thing to consider when analyzing the different pricing modules of web hosts is if the value offered is proportional for the price tag. The second most important thing is to consider how much a particular plan will cost in the long run.
Bluehost has a lot of plans, but we will be considering their shared hosting plans because that’s the most common type of hosting. They have four plans which are Basic, Plus, Choice-plus and the Pro plans.
The Basic plan costs $2.75 (renewal costs $7.99 per month) and comes with
- 1 website
- 50GB of storage
- Unmetered bandwidth
- free SSL certificate
- 1 domain
- 5 parked domains
- 25 subdomains.
The Plus plan costs $5.45 per month (normally $10.99) and comes with these perks and all the other features of the basic plan:
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited subdomains
- Unlimited parked domains
- $200 marketing offer
- Spam experts.
The Choice-plus plan is the same price as the Plus plan but costs $14.99 upon renewal. It comes with all the features of the Plus plan plus Domain Privacy and protection, 1 office 365 mailbox – free 30 days and Codeguard basic site backup. The Pro plan is the Apex shared hosting plan that Bluehost offers. It costs $13.95 per month (normally $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. The resource protection feature means that websites using excessive resources are temporarily relocated to isolated systems. This removes the risk of low performance because of huge traffic.
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 by month payments. This means that you can only pay for more than a month.
FastComet has three shared hosting plans and they are the Fastcloud, Fastcloud Plus, Fastcloud extra plans. Apparently, FastComet gives discounts on initial purchases (as much as 70% off). If we face it, it is the pretty much the standard pricing tactic of the industry to give low initial prices and then jack renewal process up by almost 200%.
The Fastcloud plan costs only about $2.95 per month (with 70% off, the normal price is $9.95 per month). You get free domain registration, one website, 150GB SSD space, unmetered traffic, 2 CPU cores available, 2GB ram, one free website transfer, unlimited parked domains, and unlimited Subdomains.
The Fastcloud plus plan is $5.95 with 60% off (it costs $14.95 normally). It comes with multiple websites, free website transfer, free domain transfer, 25GB SSD space, 3GB ram, and 4 CPU cores.
Fast cloud extra is FastComet’s most expensive plan and it comes at $9.95 with 50% off. The normal price is $19.95 per month. The plan comes with multiple websites, free website transfer, free domain transfer, 35GB SSD space, 6GB ram available, 6 CPU cores available, and three free website transfers. FastComet does offer a monthly payment option— but like we’ve seen many times, there is a string attached. You have to pay a setup fee of $19.95 fo access that option. Seems like money must be made one way or the other.
Both web hosts have a really competitive pricing model, with their highest plans going for $19.95 and $23.99. However, we are a bit concerned that FastComet doesn’t have unlimited disk space. Scratch that, we aren’t just a bit concerned, we are a lot concerned. We understood the 15GB for the lowest plan part, but 35GB for the highest plan? Atrocious, to say the very least. On the other hand, we have to consider that FastComet guarantees free automatic and regular backup with every plan. That’s a service that Bluehost doesn’t guarantee.
This was close, but Bluehost edges it for us. We simply could not ignore the unlimited features that were on offer. Just to be clear, though. Both Web hosts give insane value for the price, and you probably wouldn’t have a dent in your wallet if you went for either.
There are web hosts that have that extra thing that just might tip the scales in their favor. Sometimes it could be that they are very environmentally friendly, or maybe they have a policy of sending treats to customers during holidays. Despite popular opinion, extra features aren’t always good. They can be bad too. The point is, we cannot ignore potential extra features, and we have to dissect them thoroughly too. They could literally make or break a web host.
- Bluehost has a tone of extra features. Let’s start with the good ones
- 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 has CDN access
- Bluehost is an officially recommended web host by WordPress
- Bluehost doesn’t make use of SSD’s for shared hosting servers, and if you know your tech, that might eventually translate into some speed problems.
- Bluehost offers hotlink protection to protect your data
- Bluehost supports the use of PHP PEAR packages, Perl modules, Cron jobs, and Apache handlers.
- Bluehost supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and you can use either phpMyAdmin, Remote MySQL, or phpPgAdmin to manage your databases.
- Bluehost offers the services of website builders like Drupal and Weebly
- Unfortunately, here’s a bad extra— site migrations aren’t free with Bluehost. It is important to note that FastComet offers free site migration on up to three sites on their plans. However, you can pay a one time fee of $149.99 to migrate five websites and up to 20 email accounts.
Let us look at the extras that FastComet has on offer
- FastComet offers up to three free website migrations across all its shared hosting plans. Bluehost doesn’t
- FastComet offers an SEO suite, a free chat client, and $75 worth of ad money with new plans
- FastComet offers free and regular backups— Bluehost doesn’t
- FastComet makes use of SSD drives across all hosting plans. These are much safer and faster than regular hard drives.
- Access to more 150 popular open-source apps
- We don’t know if this is entirely an extra, but FastComet’s terms and conditions contain a spooky paragraph. “We cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information, including prices, product images, specifications, availability, and services. We reserve the right to change or update information and to correct errors, inaccuracies, or omissions at any time without prior notice.” Basically, everything on their website may be wrong. That’s sketchy, to say the least.
Major Differences between Bluehost and FastComet
Just to recap, let’s look at the major differences between these two web hosts
- FastComet offers free site migration, while Bluehost doesn’t
- FastComet offers regular backups, while Bluehost doesn’t guarantee it
- FastComet has a forty-five days refund policy, while Bluehost has a thirty days refund policy
- Bluehost doesn’t have a monthly payment option, while FastComet does. You’d have to pay for it, though.
- Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress, FastComet isn’t.
- FastComet has fewer upsells than Bluehost.
- Bluehost posts better uptime than FastComet and is faster
Bluehost vs. FastComet – Our Pick
This was certainly a tough duel. Both web hosts excelled in some areas, and in some others, there were keen contests of strength. But we have to announce a winner and give our verdict. FastComet impressed us with an almost nonexistent wait time in their chat rooms, and the longer than standard money-back policy. Ultimately, though, Bluehost surprised us and won us over with great performance and great pricing.
Bluehost Vs FastComet? Only one winner, and it isn’t a comet.