When I first started my blog I new nothing about web hosting and why it mattered. It turns out to be the most important factor in a blogs success. What does a web host really do? I thought they only hosted the website and kept it on the internet. The webhost determines how fast your site loads, keeps it on the internet and is in charge of your website security.
When I first started my blog https://digitalintelligence4life.com Ataama was my webhosting company. I wasn’t happy there so I went to Bluehost for a month, then I moved to A2 hosting services. In this post I will talk about the pros and cons I experienced firsthand from Bluehost and A2 hosting.
Pros of Bluehost
- The most reliable at <99.99%
- Great price at $2.95 a month
- Fast 24/7 Support
- Fast load time of 425mbs which is 5th fastest.
- One of the most important thing in blogging is website reliability. If your website is down, you can’t make sales and it affects your search engine rankings. That can be catastrophic to your blog revenue. Bluehost ranks 1st in reliability and website uptime.
- Bluehost is priced very competitively at $2.95 a month. With that you get a free domain which is worth $15. Bluehost at this pricing is one of the cheapest plans out there.
- They have very fast 24/7 live support. This is a great feature because when you get stuck you don’t want to have to wait for a email to fix your problem.
- At 425 mbs they are the 5th fastest hosting company out there right behind #1 A2 hosting. For the price though, this is very fast. One of things Google grades websites on is their site speed. To rank high on their rankings you want a fast page load time.
Another Review was done by hostingfact.com and this is what they found with Bluehost after three years with them:
With an average load time of only 424 ms, Bluehost has managed to pull itself up by the bootstraps and rise through the ranks to the 3rd fastest web host that we’ve ever reviewed.
Surprised by this sudden and unexpected jump in their page load times, I personally reached out to their team and asked how they managed to improve their speeds so drastically.
Their answer was simple, “We wanted to improve our customer experience and decided to invest in upgrading our ‘Bluerock’ server park”
And the results have been steady ever since then.
Cons of Bluehost
- Must pre-pay for 36 months to get the $2.95 price
- Has a lot of upsells including a new paid theme when WordPress offers hundreds of free ones.
- 24/7 technical support is fast but not always knowledgeable. They do have a good tech department, you just have to be transferred to them.
- They charge $150 to migrate a current WordPress blog from another hosting company.
Even with the cons, they have WordPress already installed when you start from day one. It is great in that way for beginners, you can truly start writing in your blog within 10 minutes of joining.
Their Customer Support is FAST but Could be More Knowledgeable
Although Bluehost has seen an astronomical improvement in its customer support response rate in recent months (in fact they have a near-perfect internal customer review score), the quality of their customer support is still lagging behind its contemporaries.
While the customer support team can now handle inquiries with lightning-fast speed, I found that some of the more technical questions eluded support representatives and required multiple inquiries to resolve.
Pros of A2 Hosting Service
- Speed! They are the fastest in the industry at 392 mbs.
- They have great security and do two automatic website backups a week.
- Quick and efficient customer support
- Free site migration of your WordPress blog.
- Green web hosting that has Carbon Neutral servers.
The best thing about A2 is there unmatched site speed. Their “Lite” plan is $9.99 a month and their turbo plan that is 6 times faster is $19.99 a month.
A2 limits the amount of people on their servers which allows them to run faster. They also have server locations all over the world so the information travels faster through shorter distances.
The above paragraph is called a CDN or Content Delivery Network. They have this through Cloudflare which is free. Cloudflare also gives extra security for your site at no extra cost.
A2 Hosting is taking extra precautions to limit the number of people on ‘shared’ hosting servers and implementing additional functionality like caching which stores information in people’s browsers (thereby limiting the number of times they have to go back and request information from your website over and over and over again).
Cons of A2 Hosting
- Less dependable with a up time of 99.91 percent.
- More expensive, their Lite plan introductory rate of $2.85 is only good for the first month, then it increases to $9.99 a month.
- They don’t have 24/7 technical live support
- Restrictions on cheapest plan.
Dependability- The one black eye on the record for A2 is they rank poorly for their up time of 99.91%. Over the course of a year, this is only one hour of downtime. For a blog this isn’t a big deal, but for a e-commerce store it could equal lost sales revenue.
A2 is more expensive than Bluehost, but with that you get more speed, security, perfomance and more add on apps included with their base plan. For me I would rather pay a few dollars more to have the peace of mind, knowing that everything is being taken care of.
Restrictions on Cheapest Plan:
If you want the flashy features, you gotta pony up some more dough.
For example, their Lite plan (the cheapest one) has restrictions on the number of websites (1, as opposed to unlimited) or databases (5, as opposed to unlimited) you get.
But it’s worth noting that in our experience, the cheapest plan is still much, much faster than most other web hosts. So you’re probably still OK.
If you want turbo fast speeds, you’ll have to sign up for the turbo plan. The Turbo and Swift plans are similar, but the Turbo server is full-stacked with extra perks.
For example, the Turbo server has PHP API. APC is enabled with the Turbo plan, and the server features a built-in caching engine.
Because of this, the speeds are lightning fast!
APC is enabled by default, and accounts get 256 MB of APC memory.
It’s important to note that if you want to change how PHP is configured on the Turbo Server, you’ll have to use the cPanel rather than the php.ini files.
The Turbo plan compiles .htaccess files to boost speeds, too.
Turbo web hosting servers don’t support Ruby-based or Python-based web applications. This includes Rails and Django.
They don’t have 24/7 support but they do have a email support team that will get back to you usually within an hour has been my experience. They are very knowledgeable about any problem that you have.
Don’t under value technical support when choosing a web host. The reason is that most bloggers aren’t computer experts and we don’t speak code. So when something happens we need it fixed immediately.
My biggest complaint with Bluehost is their customer support. They expect you to know the answer to what is wrong and the vocabulary of how to fix it. Basically, there attitude is “Yeah that’s a problem…you should get that fixed.”
A2 on the other hand will understand what you are telling them isn’t working and they will fix it and tell you when it is done. Then they will ask if there is anything else they can help you with? That is priceless to me, because it saves me hours of time and frustration.
What I recommend:
For the beginner, recommend Bluehost because you get a free domain and WordPress is installed and ready to go. It is very easy to sign up and get up and blogging within minutes. Then if you want to leave after two months you can take the domain with you.
Bluehost– As a new blogger having the “easy button” is very important. Bluehosts user panel is very easy to use and intuitive. They have live chat 24/7 support to help you when you get stuck.
I would recommend waiting to purchase a paid theme until you know how to navigate in WordPress to build it. I would start with the Avant X or the Avant free theme. For this blog I still use the free Avant X theme and am very happy with it.
A2 is the best hosting service for WordPress Blogs
A2 also has WordPress installed one click and you are ready to go. I recommend A2 for the beginner and for the experienced blogger. They have the fastest, most secure servers on the market. They take care of all the details and you can just focus on the blogging.
Below is the different plans for A2 hosting:
Lite plan: This plan starts at $3.92 per month. It supports 1 domain name, 5 subdomains, 5 databases and 25 email accounts.
Swift plan: This plan starts at $4.90 per month. It supports unlimited domain names, databases and email accounts.
Turbo plan: This plan starts at $9.31 per month. It supports unlimited domain names, databases and email accounts. It also comes with HTTP/2 and SPDY support for improved website speed.
Basic plan: For 2.75 per month, you get one website max, 50GB storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get 5 email accounts (with a max storage of 100MB each).
Plus plan: $5.45 per month provides 10 websites, 150GB storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get 100 email accounts of 500MB each.
Prime plan: Their largest plan comes normally at $5.45 per month, providing ‘unlimited’ websites, storage, bandwidth, email account and email storage. (Currently On Sale)
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I hope you enjoyed this article and if you got some value from it… please like, share and leave a comment below. It truly is a great way for one person to make a difference. This is my passion and it is my pleasure to bring you information that can transform your life.
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