Media Temple vs. Bluehost – The Price Difference Cannot Be Overlooked
Compared to Bluehost, Media Temple is painfully expensive, and we’re not sure that the extra cost is ever worth it. Yes, Media Temple has an advanced shared hosting platform, but we tested both hosts and performance was similar for small to medium websites. Find out more below.
Bluehost vs Media Temple: a battle between two of the oldest players in the industry. So how do these web hosting giants hold up against each other? Well, it depends.
If you want a host that will manage an entire cloud architecture for you, Media Temple is an excellent contender, but it’ll cost you – a lot. If you don’t have a nearly bottomless budget for hosting, it makes more sense to go with Bluehost. Its shared hosting plans are affordable, and they come with everything you need to get online quickly.
There are pros and cons with both Bluehost and Media Temple, which is why I’ve signed up for both services and rated them according to performance, pricing, ease of use, customer support, and other essential features. Media Temple vs Bluehost was a tight comparison across the board, but a winner did emerge in the end.
Of course, you still have to figure out which of these two web hosting services is best for you. In what follows, I’ll give you all the details you need to know to do just that. Let’s jump right in.
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of decent performance when it comes to web hosting. Yes, the content you publish on your website is essential, but if it doesn’t load quickly, visitors won’t stick around to see it. Today, most users browse using their phones, and a study by Google showed that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, your visitors are 50% more likely to bounce.
This means that you’ll be getting fewer conversions and fewer sales. Plus, Google and other search engines will notice, and they will rank your website lower in SERPs (search engine results pages) due to subpar performance. You don’t want that.
The good news is that a web host with outstanding performance can have a significant positive impact on your bottom line. So, when it comes to Bluehost vs Media Temple, which service is faster and more reliable? I’ve run all the necessary tests so that you don’t have to. We won't go into too much detail regarding our review process here but you can visit this page to learn how we test web hosts in preparation for these types of comparisons.
Bluehost vs. Media Temple: Server Infrastructure
Both Bluehost and Media Temple offer a wide range of web hosting services, from shared hosting to VPS and dedicated servers. However, there are a few noteworthy differences between them when it comes to their respective infrastructures.
For instance, Media Temple has developed a unique cluster of servers called The Grid in order to provide a superior shared hosting environment. The Grid works similarly to public cloud hosting, but on a smaller scale. It uses dozens of servers with high-quality hardware that are networked together with efficiency in mind.
The Grid also includes several performance-boosting extras, such as FastCGI, SSD storage (which is roughly 20 times faster than more traditional HDDs), and a CDN or content delivery network. The CDN distributes a cached version of your website to more than a hundred servers around the world, which can boost performance considerably for visitors in different regions.
Of course, resources are still shared across the Grid, so you can’t expect quite the same level of performance that you would get with a VPS or cloud solution. However, Media Temple does deliver better loading speeds, uptime, and scalability compared to most regular shared hosts.
That said, Bluehost isn’t far behind. For shared hosting, it uses a single, US-based data center, but the latter is equipped with fast SSD storage and Cloudflare CDN. If your website mainly addresses a US audience, you can expect outstanding speeds. But even if you have visitors from around the world, it’s super easy to turn on the CDN and improve your global performance.
But perhaps the main difference between Media Temple and Bluehost is that the two hosts’ infrastructures focus on different needs.
Media Temple excels in managed cloud hosting and uses servers from AWS (Amazon Web Services) to deliver some of the best performance in the industry. The problem with Media Temple’s cloud solutions is that they come with a very steep price, so the service is not feasible for most website owners. Even in terms of shared hosting, Media Temple is almost ten times more expensive than Bluehost. Despite the fact that Bluehost is one of the cheapest web hosting solutions around, there's still a massive difference.
Bluehost is best known for its affordable shared hosting plans, which strike an ideal balance between performance and cost. Bluehost’s infrastructure is perfect for small to medium websites, so if you want to host a business presentation site, small eCommerce store, or personal blog, you can expect the same speeds and reliability that you would get with Media Temple – for a fraction of the cost.
Page Loading Speeds
To settle the dispute between Bluehost vs Media Temple in terms of performance, I signed up for the cheapest shared hosting plan with both services, and created two identical websites. I then ran speed benchmarks over the course of several months, and compiled the results.
I had expected Media Temple to do better in this category, so I was surprised to see that Bluehost was more than capable to keep up with its rival. In fact, I noticed close to no differences between them in most tests. Whether on Bluehost or Media Temple, my website loaded just as quickly, even when I bombarded it with dozens of user requests.
As for global performance, both hosts did equally well. It makes sense, if you think about it. The CDN can go a long way to improve performance for visitors from around the world, no matter where your main data center is located.
Now, keep in mind that to test these two web hosting services, I’ve created a pretty average website with a complete landing page, some images, a contact form, and other essential features that most sites will need. If you have (or want to build) a massive website with thousands of HD images such as a large eCommerce store, the results could differ.
In fact, you’ll likely have to upgrade to VPS or cloud hosting, and in this case, Media Temple could provide a better solution. For everything else, though, Bluehost is better and much cheaper.
Both Bluehost and Media Temple offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee on shared hosting, but I wanted to see for myself whether they actually keep up this promise. Following months of testing, I can safely confirm that both hosts meet and even exceed the guarantee.
With Bluehost, I got a nearly perfect uptime record of 99.98%. This percentage is identical to the result we got while comparing Bluehost to Network Solutions, as well as Weebly, which goes to show that the company is very consistent when it comes to uptime. Meanwhile, Media Temple delivered an uptime of 99.99%, a bit better than Bluehost but ultimately not a very significant difference. So, whether you go with one or the other, you can rest assured that your website will stay online.
And if you opt for one of Media Temple’s “DV products” – which include VPS, managed cloud, and dedicated hosting – you even get a 99.99% uptime guarantee backed by an SLA (service level agreement). In other words, if you every experience more than 20 minutes of downtime during the month, you get 20% of the monthly cost of hosting in the form of credits.
Bluehost vs. Media Temple: Which Host Has Better Performance?
To be perfectly honest with you, the answer depends on the type of service that you need. If you’re looking for shared hosting for a regular website, then you can expect the same level of performance from both Bluehost and Media Temple. And since Bluehost is about ten times cheaper than its rival, it makes more sense to go with one of its shared hosting plans.
If, on the other hand, you need a high-performance platform for a massive website, one of Media Temple’s managed cloud solutions will likely be a better option. It’ll cost you, but you’ll get the full power of AWS and none of the headache that comes with managing your own server(s).
Pricing and Value
Pricing is one of the categories that really sets these two hosts apart. Media Temple is more expensive than Bluehost – by a lot. Whether you want shared hosting, managed WordPress, VPS, or a dedicated server, you’ll be paying more for it if you go with Media Temple: up to 10 times more, to be exact. But is it worth it? We’re about to find out.
|Pricing||from $29.99/month||from $30/month|
|Ideal for||Small to Medium Enterprise||Web and Media Websites|
Since most website owners prefer to start with a low-cost plan and upgrade when needed, we’ll take a closer look at what Bluehost and Media Temple have to offer in terms of shared hosting.
Bluehost Basic: The Ideal Plan for Beginners
If you’re building your first website, Bluehost’s Basic shared hosting plan has everything you need to get started. At $2.95 per month (with this special offer), the package is much cheaper than anything you can get from Media Temple. Included are one website, a generous 50GB of SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth.
Most websites take up a maximum of 5GB of storage, complete with WordPress and a few essential plugins. Even if you want to display a lot of media on your site, it’ll be nearly impossible to hit the 50GB limitation. Plus, you get unmetered bandwidth, so you won’t have to immediately upgrade to a better plan if your site becomes popular.
There’s lots of freebies, too. For example, you get a free domain name for one year if you buy at least one year of hosting, up to 5 email addresses, and an SSL certificate. The SSL encrypts all your visitors’ data and connections, and it even helps boost your site’s SEO. Not bad!
Given that the plan has decent resources, you won’t have to upgrade to a more expensive bundle unless your website gets hundreds of visitors per day. It’s a cheap way to get online quickly, and a great solution for beginners who don’t want to compromise on performance. There are a few Bluehost alternatives out there that offer similar packages but Media Temple isn't among them unfortunately.
Bluehost Plus vs. Media Temple Deluxe
For a slightly higher monthly fee, Bluehost Plus gives you unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth. It’s a big upgrade from the Basic plan, and a decent option if you want to host several small websites on the same account. The package is pretty cheap, at just $4.95 per month, and it comes with unlimited email, as well as $200 worth of credits for advertising.
Media Temple’s Deluxe plan also has unlimited websites, storage space, and bandwidth, but it costs four times more than Bluehost’s Plus. Up to 100 email addresses are included in the package, but as far as freebies go, that’s about it. If you want an SSL certificate, you have to pay extra. If you want access to a CDN, you have to buy it as an add-on. And if you want a domain name – you’ve guessed it – that will also cost you.
All in all, Media Temple’s Deluxe plan will set you back way more than the baseline $20 per month. Why is the plan so expensive? Well, your website will be hosted on Media Temple’s Grid, which is more reliable than most shared hosting infrastructures. Is it worth the extra cost, though? Not if you ask me.
As you’ve seen already, I’ve tested both Bluehost and Media Temple, and when it comes to shared hosting, they have very similar performance. Given these results, it’s hardly worth paying more for Media Temple – unless you need a premium managed cloud solution.
Bluehost Choice Plus vs. Media Temple Ultimate
The Choice Plus plan is Bluehost’s most advantageous package. It’s just slightly more expensive than Plus – 50 cents, to be precise – but it includes a lot of extra features. You still have unlimited websites, storage, bandwidth, and email, but to this you can add free domain privacy and protection, automatic backups for the first year, and more.
The domain privacy alone is worth the added cost. Most web hosts charge extra for this service, and even with Bluehost’s cheaper plans, you’d have to pay $0.99 per month to get it. Unlike an SSL certificate, domain privacy is not absolutely necessary, but it basically ensures that your information and contact details are removed from the WHOIS database. This can help keep your website safer and deter spam.
Looking for a complete, but affordable web hosting solution? Bluehost’s Choice Plus plan is an excellent option, complete with unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth, as well as all the extra tools you need to safely host your site. Take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to test the plan at no cost.
Meanwhile, Media Temple’s Ultimate plan is 50% more expensive than its Deluxe package but doesn’t come with any additional features. The nice thing with Media Temple is that you know exactly how much CPU and RAM power you get with each plan. In fact, this is the only differentiating factor between the different plans and the only reason why you would ever consider an upgrade.
For example, the Ultimate plan comes with twice the CPU and RAM compared to the Deluxe one. It’s difficult to compare these specs with Bluehost’s Choice Plus because Bluehost doesn’t have such specific restrictions. That said, Media Temple’s Ultimate – which is about six times more expensive than Bluehost’s Choice Plus – might be worth the cost if your website is getting a lot of daily visits.
Bluehost Pro vs. Media Temple Maximum
Bluehost Pro is the plan you would go for if you wanted to host a popular site. It’s double the cost of the Choice Plus package, but it comes with unlimited resources, site backups for the full duration of the first term, additional spam protection, and a dedicated IP. More importantly, the plan comes with superior computing resources to handle more traffic.
All Bluehost Pro accounts are hosted on separate servers with additional resources and fewer neighbors. This guarantees a higher level of performance, so you can count on faster loading speeds even during traffic spikes. The free dedicated IP is a nice bonus that can boost your site’s security and SEO.
At $60 per month, Media Temple’s Maximum plan is about five times more expensive than Bluehost’s Pro. It has double the RAM included in the Ultimate plan, and it’s designed to serve even more concurrent connections, but the price is very steep.
Even premium web hosting services like Liquid Web or WP Engine have cheaper plans, and these hosts have some of the best performing platforms in the industry.
Bluehost vs. Media Temple: Advanced Hosting Solutions
Even if you start with a low-cost shared hosting plan, it doesn’t mean that you’ll stick with it in the long run. Once your website begins to grow, you’ll need more computing resources to handle the additional traffic, but the good news is that both Media Temple and Bluehost have several advanced solutions.
Bluehost is one of the top providers of quality shared hosting, however, the company also has premium plans for WordPress websites and WooCommerce stores. And if you need even more power, you can opt for a Bluehost VPS or dedicated server. The downside is that both of the latter are self-managed, so you’ll need a bit of experience in systems administration to operate them. Or, you’ll have to hire help.
On the other hand, VPS and cloud hosting is where Media Temple truly shines. Its managed AWS plans, for example, are built on top of one of the fastest cloud infrastructures worldwide. Everything is managed for you by the Media Temple team, so you can focus entirely on your core businesses.
There’s only one downside to Media Temple’s AWS plans, and that is the cost. You can opt for one of the managed VPS alternatives, but even these are significantly more expensive that what Bluehost has to offer. Overall, Media Temple’s cloud and VPS solutions come with a powerful infrastructure for one or several high-traffic websites, but their pricing is prohibitive for most users.
Which Is Cheaper, Bluehost or Media Temple?
There’s really no doubt about it: Bluehost is cheaper than Media Temple by far. Especially when you factor in essential add-ons like SSL certificates and a CDN, Media Temple can get very expensive quickly. With Bluehost, you get everything you need to safely host your website included in each plan.
Media Temple has the advantage when it comes to cloud hosting, simply because Bluehost doesn’t offer any cloud options. Even so, Media Temple is still too pricey for my taste, especially when there are cheaper managed cloud solutions out there.
Ease of Use
To test Bluehost and Media Temple, I had to build an actual website on both platforms. In the process, I was able to rank the two services based on ease of use. It was a close matchup, but I felt that Bluehost had more tools for beginners. Let’s take a closer look.
Both Bluehost and Media Temple include the cPanel control panel on all plans, so you don’t have to know any code in order to set up a CMS (content management system) or website. In addition, both hosts have a one-click installer for popular CMS like WordPress, which made it super easy to get started.
So far, so good, but once I installed WordPress, Media Temple gave me no additional tools to help me build my website. There’s customer support, sure, but its scope is limited to hosting and platform-specific issues. So, I was basically left to my own devices in terms of setting up, creating, and launching my website.
With Bluehost, I got a bit more help in the process. Bluehost has a neat to-do list that you can follow when you’re building your first website. From setting up the domain to installing WordPress, finding the right plugins, and evaluating SEO, this checklist ensured that I got everything done in a timely manner.
A website builder isn’t included with either Bluehost or Media Temple, but if you’re using WordPress, you can download one yourself. To give you just a couple of examples, Elementor and BoldGrid are both drag-and-drop tools that you can use to quickly create a professional WordPress site. They’re both super easy to install using the WordPress interface, and they’re both free. In addition, Bluehost also supports Weebly, a different website builder that's also very easy to use.
Overall, I’d say that it’s fairly easy to create and launch a website with either Media Temple or Bluehost. The cPanel dashboard is similar with both hosts, and the one-click installer lets you set up your favorite CMS within minutes. The advantage with Bluehost is that you also have a step-by-step guide to getting your website up, which I believe can be super useful for any beginner.
When it comes to extra features, there’s one big difference between Bluehost and Media Temple. With Bluehost, most of these tools are included for free, whereas with Media Temple, you have to buy them as add-ons. Both hosts have a lot to offer in this respect, but one of them is budget-friendly, while the other can end up costing a small fortune.
That said, these are some of the most important features that you can expect with Bluehost:
- A free domain for the first year of hosting,
- Domain privacy and protection (on the top-tier plan),
- Unlimited websites (on most plans),
- Free SSL certificates,
- Marketing credits worth $200 to help you promote your business, store, or blog,
- Spam protection for your email,
- Automatic website backups for the first year of hosting (on most plans),
- The cPanel control panel with Softaculous (a one-click installer for hundreds of scripts like WordPress),
- A step-by-step checklist to building and launching your first website,
- Integrated Cloudflare CDN for improved performance.
Many of the same features are also available with Media Temple, but unfortunately, they’ll cost you. These are some of the add-ons that you can buy with shared hosting:
- Top-level domains,
- Unlimited websites (included in all plans),
- Expert website transfers (for those who already have a site and want to migrate to Media Temple),
- Premium SSL certificates,
- Integrated email from G Suite,
- Advanced tech support,
- Access to a premium CDN,
- Expert advice to help you choose the best web hosting plan for your website and business.
Aside from the possibility of hosting multiple websites on the same account, very few features are included in Media Temple’s shared hosting plans for free. You have to keep this in mind when you plan your budget, because many of these tools – such as the SSL certificates, for example – are absolutely essential.
As far as features are concerned, Bluehost is the clear winner. Even its entry-level plan covers everything you need in order to set up, build, and host a website – without any hidden fees. You have to pay extra if you want advanced security (more about this in the Security section), but this is also the case with Media Temple or most of the other hosting providers we've compared over the years. Not to mention that Media Temple's plans are significantly more expensive than what Bluehost has to offer.
Both Bluehost and Media Temple have 24/7 customer support through live chat and phone. In addition, Media Temple gives you the option to get in touch through tickets, although it can take several hours to get a reply this way.
To properly compare the two hosts, I’ve tested the live chat feature several times while building my website. After all, most web hosts claim to have award-winning support, so there’s no way to know whether the tech team is actually effective unless you try it yourself. Having done just that, I’m happy to report that both hosts did very well in this category.
Generally speaking, it took under a minute for an agent to get back to me, and once they did, they were able to provide the information I needed in little to no time. I had a few issues with Media Temple because the live chat option wasn’t always available, but even then, I was able to submit a ticket and get help. Overall, chatting with representatives from both hosts was a positive experience.
It’s also worth noting that both Bluehost and Media Temple have add-ons for advanced customer support. With Bluehost, this is referred to as Blue Sky support, and it includes expert assistance for installing and managing WordPress. It’ll cost you extra, but if you have the budget for it and you need help with your website, it’s a decent upgrade.
On the other hand, Media Temple’s premium support comes with immediate access to the company’s most experienced experts. Also included are 24/7 monitoring for your website, help with setting up your CMS of choice, website security, and server optimizations. It’s a more complete package than Bluehost’s Blue Sky support, but as you’d expect, it’s also a lot more expensive.
Are you building your first website? Bluehost’s customer support is available 24/7, and the agents will help you with most hosting-related issues. Even though I opted for the cheapest plan, I was able to get assistance with my WordPress installation and website setup.
Search Engine Optimization
I have great news and not so great news for this category, so let’s start with the positive. One of the most important things you have to do in order to improve your website’s SEO is to make sure that it loads quickly. Part of this has to do with how you optimize your site and media, but your web host also plays a crucial role. If you’re using a slow hosting service, your SEO will suffer.
The good news is that both Bluehost and Media Temple have you covered when it comes to performance. As long as you choose a type of hosting that is suitable for your website and traffic, you don’t have to worry about loading speeds or uptime. Your website will load quickly in most regions around the world, and search engines will appreciate you for it.
That said, neither Bluehost, nor Media Temple include any SEO tools in their plans, so you’ll have to take care of most optimizations on your own. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, though. If you’re using WordPress, for example, there are dozens of popular SEO plugins out there that can help you get started.
Even if you prefer a different CMS, you’ll find free SEO tools that you can download and use for your site. You just have to do most of the work yourself, and you have to be willing to learn a bit about SEO in the process. That is, if you don’t want to spend extra money on an expert.
This is another category where both Bluehost and Media Temple could do better. It’s not that the two hosts don’t have any security features – they do. The problem is that they will make you pay extra for these absolutely essential tools. This is especially the case with Media Temple since you don’t even get a free SSL certificate with its shared hosting plans. If you want any kind of security, you have to buy it.
Bluehost does give you an SSL certificate for free, even on the entry-level plan. Plus, your website is monitored 24/7 for any suspicious activity, and you get DDoS protection by default. However, if you want a malware scanning and removal tool, you have to pay extra for the SiteLock Essential add-on.
Automatic backups are free for the first year on most plans, but they’ll cost you after that, unless you upgrade to the Pro plan (or any of the managed WordPress plans). You can create your own backups for free, of course, but you can’t expect either of these hosts to take care of this task for you.
Media Temple also has a security add-on that you can buy to keep your website malware-free. However, it’s considerably more expensive than Bluehost’s SiteLock Essential, and it’ll greatly increase your overall cost for hosting.
SSL certificates are essential to website security and SEO. Bluehost includes them for free, even on the entry-level plan.
Some web hosts focus entirely on shared hosting services, which can become problematic if your website grows quickly. Depending on how large your site is, it can take a great deal of effort (and money) to transfer it to a better host, so you’re better off choosing a provider with good scalability from the get-go.
Fortunately, both Bluehost and Media Temple do very well in this category. Even if you start with their cheapest shared hosting plan, you’ll have the option to easily upgrade to a better package or to a different type of hosting altogether. That said, there are a few differences between them.
With Bluehost, your options include managed WordPress hosting, as well as VPS and dedicated servers. However, the latter two solutions are self-managed, so you might find it difficult to transition to them without the help of an expert.
With Media Temple, you won’t have this issue. Its best solutions are cloud-based, and they are built on AWS data centers to deliver top-notch performance. You don’t have to worry about server admin tasks, either, because these plans are fully managed. You can also add as many resources as you need to your plan, and it’s just as easy to remove them if you find that your website doesn’t need as much CPU or RAM to function properly.
There is a downside, though, because Media Temple’s AWS plans are very expensive. For most websites (and so long as you don’t get more than a few thousand visitors per day), Bluehost’s managed WordPress plans are far more suitable, and a lot cheaper.
There’s a lot of information to digest when it comes to this Bluehost vs Media Temple comparison. But remember, finding the best web host is all about your specific needs. So, now that we’ve taken a closer look at every detail of the matchup, it’s time to summarize our findings into a few major differences that can ultimately help you decide:
- Budget. Media Temple is up to ten times more expensive than Bluehost. If this is your first website and you just need an affordable shared hosting provider to get online quickly, Bluehost makes more sense. If, on the other hand, you need someone to manage your cloud architecture for you, Media Temple could be worth the cost, but even so, there are cheaper premium hosts out there, and their plans pack more value for your money.
- Shared vs Cloud Hosting. Bluehost is the perfect choice for shared hosting. It’s cheap, fast, and packed with user-friendly tools that can help you launch your website quickly. That said, Bluehost doesn’t have any cloud hosting solutions, so you’ll have to turn to Media Temple (or a different cloud host) if this is the type of service you’re after.
- Features for Beginners. Media Temple focuses primarily on medium to large enterprises, whereas Bluehost is most suitable for regular website owners and beginners.
Overall, Bluehost is a better option for most users, and it’s far more budget-friendly. But if you’re not yet sure whether Bluehost is right for you, you can read more about its plans, features, and customer support in our expert Bluehost review.
Bluehost vs. Media Temple: Our Pick
Here’s the way I see things: Media Temple is a decent web host with a long-standing record for reliability, but it’s just too expensive for most website owners. Bluehost, on the other hand, is more affordable, has similar performance, and gives you more features on every plan. If I’m being honest, Bluehost is the clear winner here:
- Performance: I signed up for the cheapest shared hosting plan with both services and got similar results in terms of website loading speeds and uptime. I had to pay ten times more for Media Temple, though.
- Pricing and Value: Especially when it comes to shared hosting, Bluehost’s prices are far more advantageous.
- Ease of Use: Both hosts are pretty simple to navigate, but Bluehost has more tools for beginners.
- Features: Bluehost gives you more features for free, whereas Media Temple makes you pay for pretty much everything.
- Customer Support: I had a decent experience using both live chat services. The support agents were usually prompt and helpful.
- Search Engine Optimizations: You can count on Media Temple and Bluehost to deliver excellent speeds for your website, but that’s about it. You’ll have to make all other optimizations yourself.
- Security: Both hosts make you pay extra for proper website security, but at least Bluehost gives you a free SSL certificate, which is more than I can say for Media Temple.
- Scalability: Whether you opt for Media Temple or Bluehost, there’s plenty of room for your website to grow.
Don’t get me wrong: Media Temple is still a good option for managed AWS solutions, but if you just want a regular website (and most users do), Bluehost is a better, more affordable choice.
It was a tough choice, but at the end of the day, Bluehost has better prices, features, and security. You can also expect outstanding performance for visitors from around the world, and the 30-days money-back guarantee lets you test the service without taking any risks.