What are Web Hosting Services?
By Web Hosting Services we mean a tech infrastructure composed by Software, Servers, Storage, Connectivity and Support Expert Services that enables you to host your website or web service on somebody else’s server.
What is what?
- Servers: Computers that run your website and support software.
- Storage: The equipment that will store your Data.
- Connectivity: The entire internal and external Data telecom infrastructure that enables both the components to communicate amongst themselves as well as with the “outside world”.
- Support Expert Services: A bunch of highly skilled tech “nerds” that will sort out any “issue” with this lot of components (including your website).
Simply put, you’re renting tech real estate.
Much similar to renting an apartment – you’ve got all services included: electricity, maintenance, cleaning, security, infrastructure, etc.
The Hosting Services aren’t only gonna host your website/web service but ensure it’s accessible and online 24/7.
Backups are gonna be done regularly in order to lower the risk of losing your content if an accident happens.
The entire support IT Landscape is secure, up-to-date with the latest releases and should there be any mishap, your provider is gonna solve it with a minimum or no downtime thanks to automated technologies like hot-swap virtual servers, redundant communication gateways, and so on.
Imagine the apartment from the example earlier suffered a nasty incident. Basically everything you had there will automatically be transferred to a space next door and you aren’t even gonna notice the difference when you come back.
The leverage here for you is really value for money. You’re gonna get a full service at a fraction of the price that you would have invested if you had to do everything alone.
What is Bluehost?
Bluehost is a WordPress recommended website hosting service. That’s a big endorsement right there! You can get a 12, 24 or 36-month package ranging from Basic Plan at $2.95 (Bluehost coupon for our readers) up to a full Pro Plan at $19.95 per month.
All packages include a free Domain (your Internet address), a free Site Builder, 24×7 technical support (a pretty solid one too!) and 150$ of ad credit for joining that you can use in Google, Bing, etc.
Another welcome perk is that you are gonna be able to install WordPress with a single click. In short – they are making it easy for you.
Pretty good, right?
On top of it all, every package offers unlimited bandwidth a.k.a. no more «bottlenecks» for your visitors!
The main difference is the size of the hosting space. With Basic you’ve got a limited 50GB that are gonna be enough for one website, one domain, limited parked domains and subdomains and only 100 Mb for email.
Scaling up from Basic means having all of these unlimited, plus adding an AntiSpam Service, assured domain (DNS) Privacy and top of the line redundant Backups.
We’re gonna break it down for you because we’ve had both a standard website and a heavier website that not only hosted huge amounts of content but also managed a much bigger user volume.
Here are the numbers if you wanna go with the pros:
- Page Speed score ranges from 75% to 95%
- Page load time from 1 second down to just 0.55 seconds
- The support team is available 24/7 and you usually get an answer within a few minutes.
Bluehost was launched back in 1996 in Utah, U.S. and later bought by Endurance International Group (EIG). That’s another super good sign, as these guys own over 10 large hosting companies, and are practically one of the largest conglomerates in the niche.
Currently, Bluehost hosts over 2 million websites and relies on a support team of 750 experts.
Bluehost Enabled Resources
So what else can Bluehost do for you besides securely hosting and backing up your data?
They can be fully trusted for things like:
- Password Management – your “house keys” haven’t been copied.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – you will be found by prospects.
- Constant Contact, enabling you to target information towards nominated users.
- Woo Themes (very useful for Ecommerce) – Themes are a key marketing attraction point.
- YP Free Listing services – meaning you will be registered on most used search tools.
- Email manager and G-suite – your entire office “facilities” and tools in one place at “one clik” distance.
- Spam Expert Service – prevents spam attempts from bots towards your blog or website.
- Site Backup Pro – performs a full backup of your website content and enables you to restore it from a given date.
- Site Lock – enables resilience against hacking attempts.
And you really don’t need to be tech-savvy to fully benefit from these resources. It’s a one-click game and if you mess anything up, you’ve got that cool and responsive support team at your side 24/7.
With power comes responsibility and as you know, growth can be a very tricky process. It’s common that when companies like Bluehost evolve, they’re gonna experience service or infrastructure upgrades at the cost of user inconvenience or downtimes.
In 2016 for example there was a massive downtime of 6 hours (ouch!). But, if you draw the line, the uptime over the years has been 99% and that’s quite a crazy compensation, right!
Bluehost is one of the most transparent brands on the market and as a client, you’re gonna be aware of incidents or maintenance initiatives impacting your service. Basically no surprises and a healthy notice times whenever humanly possible.
How to Build a Blog or Website with Bluehost?
First things first!
Did you know you will be able to build your website with the support of Bluehost in under 10 minutes?
Here’s how the magic happens:
- Access Bluehost and check if the domain you want is available (meaning the web address for your website).
- Set a password and define what package you want and for how many months. Explore the Control Panel and pick the resources you’re gonna need for your website. There’s a ton of resources to choose from: partners, databases, coding (ex.: PHP),platforms(ex: WordPress); email services; logs; files; security, etc.. If you are fine-tuning a blog, this is where you’re gonna spend the most time, otherwise, you’re gonna stop the clock under 10 minutes.
- One-touch options. If you just go ahead and choose WordPress from the dashboard, you’ll immediately be able to setup a pre-configured blog theme. Easy-peasy.
- Start posting!
What If My Website Outgrows Bluehost?
Yes, it’s possible that you grow to a level that Bluehost can’t match. Imagine 15,000 page views per hour or TBs of content! When this day comes — and we’re crossing fingers for you, bro! –, it’s gonna be time to move on.
This will also mean moving on from paying under 300$/year for unlimited websites to paying 300$ / year for each high-demand website you’re gonna host.
Bluehost Review and Benchmark Results
There are literally hundreds of web hosting services around the globe, and a lot are gonna claim they are the real experts on WordPress and what not.
Bluehost is a low-cost service that offers tailor-made solutions and to help you compare and make your math, I picked the 6 top competitors and benchmarked them against each other (poor results are not shown).
|1st – $400
|$2.95 / 36 months
|$3.99 / 36 months
|$5.95 / 36 months
|$7.26 / 24 months
|2nd – $320
|$5.95 / 36 months
|3rd – $305
|$7.95 / 24 months
|$4.90 / 24 months
What do all of these characteristics mean?
Let’s take them one by one:
Critical if you wanna win in today’s attention economy. If your website takes longer than 2,5 seconds to load – you’re done. Abandon rates are gonna affect your SEO rankings and it’s a downward spiral from then on.
Several factors contribute to slow speed, and your web hosting service plays a major role.
The score you see here measures a standard 5-page WordPress website with images and various size headers tested in the morning, afternoon and late night for an average Load Speed assessment with around 100 simultaneous virtual users.
Customer support responsiveness and quality are vital, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy.
The score was obtained by submitting 10 tickets per host in the same circumstances as the previous indicator – morning, afternoon and late night.
The two KPIs here are response time and expertise.
Uptime means the minutes per day in which the service is available online, making your website also available.
The assessment was done with an automated log bot constantly pinging the service for a period of 15 consecutive days.
The optimal scenario would be to run the bot for an entire year, but then I wouldn’t be able to tell you all of this so soon!
Hosting companies often use different types of servers to manage their clients:
- Shared servers are used to host several different clients, and if one has a problem it may affect others.
- Virtual servers mean that a physical server has several virtual servers inside, each allocated to a different client. An issue with the physical server is the risk you’ve gotta take into account.
- Dedicated servers are probably the best and most expensive option – mean there’s one physical machine per client.
Now the herein presented average price pertains the best combination of effective price versus required minimum contract time.
It’s important that you choose a provider that has both a community of users with whom to share and gather knowledge and hints, as well as articles and publications (like a YouTube channel) you may resort to.
So, the benchmark here is both the number of subscribers, active users or members as well as how diverse and complete the content is, including their help articles.
There are literally hundreds of available features that will support you in creating and managing your website and most hosting providers will enable a considerable amount of these tools per “topic” (security, creation, content management, coding, other…).
The main features for you, in my opinion, may be listed as:
- Domains/Subdomains – you can have many main addresses or sub-addresses.
- Mailing lists management – forward precisely what you want to whom you want without having to do it one by one.
- Email accounts – a company needs several “communication” addresses.
- Instant Installs – if you wish to have a new feature or functionality, just choose it and that’s it.
- Site Backup – all of your information will always be there.
- Forum Tools – wanna meet or speak? No problem!
Alike the “features department” most web hosting companies will throw in freebies in the form of tools or accessory services like Free Domains, Advertising Credit, SSL, Plugins, and more.
These can help you promote your website or make it more flexible and interactive.
Usually, these freebies are made available to you from the sign-in onwards and the score mirrors the effective monetary value of offered products and services.
However, be careful. Some sites claim to have discounts for web hosting services but once you claim it, it might turn out that using it completely depends heavily on accessory services or commitments.
This is a highly competitive business, where companies must constantly be up to market standards in terms of Tech and Service, otherwise they are gonna find it hard to retain or attract clients. This sets loose a cloud of continuous promotions and perks promised to members and prospects alike.
It is not easy to define a clear winner, because some indicators, are a no-brainer (like Load speed) but others are subjective – Customer Support response time, for example, does not necessarily mean you’re gonna have your problem solved in the shortest amount of time.
If it’s up to me, the top 3 KPIs would be:
- Value: what you get out of what you pay.
- Availability: the combination of Uptime + Load speed gives you an idea if visitors will reach your website at any time in an effective manner.
- User friendliness: the resources (freebies and features) and how easy it is to use them (one-click).
So, based on the effective value for money you get out of all these companies’ services, Bluehost ranks the highest (if even by a small margin) and delivers the best overall package.
Why the Hype Over WordPress?
WordPress is a free platform that evolved from merely a log management tool to the number one Content Management System for developing and maintaining websites.
It’s an open source platform, where you can easily create a tailor-made website and thanks to the gigantic community around the project – find awesome tested and proven code that’s gonna enhance your online presence. No need to do the coding or testing all alone – you can literally forget ending-up with poor code altogether.
You get a pre-developed code and themes that generate basic, functional and appealing websites, and you can later build-up on that with tons of addons to help you standout from the crowd.
It’s a simple to install and run system with a user-friendly admin interface and dozens of available certified plug-ins. Say you need video chatting – you have one-click plugins out there. How about e-commerce? Check previous answer. The list goes on.
WordPress is a dope CMS that can be used absolutely for free.
To make your life easier, Bluehost allows you to install WordPress as well as a set of tools supporting additional functionalities and all of this is gonna run on a Secure and Resilient highly responsive environment.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
Time to evaluate the pluses and minuses of Bluehost against these of the competition
- Highly competitive price (cost versus benefit).
- Fast self-owned server farm. The tech processing and hosting IT landscape is an in-house state-of-the-art masterpiece, not sub-rented to other players.
- 1-click installs. A user-friendly platform that enables you to have resources installed and running with a single click.
- No dedicated server plans. You will always have your website running on a platform shared with other clients. This basically means you can’t run highly demanding web services, like, say Alibaba.
- Tech support response times are not immediate but still rank high given the price per month.
What About the Haters?
Yeah, many people criticize Bluehost. After all, as the old saying goes, you can’t make everybody happy – you’re not pizza!
And even if you were, there will still be someone who – heavy breathing – won’t like pizza.
Like at all.
This world is crazy.
But anyway, let’s move on with some of the most popular thumbs down that Bluehost receives. You decide for yourself which (if any) are a deal-breaker:
- Referral policy: the company’s got a sales and marketing policy of paying commissions for referrals. IMHO, that’s quite the universal way to grow your business, so I wouldn’t view it as a negative. Feel free to change my mind, tho.
- Unmet expectations: there are always gonna be those who are disappointed. And while every service on the planet can always improve, it is true that many people overload their hosting packages with parallel resources, which creates extra cargo, which causes collateral issues… you can see where I’m going with this, right?
- The old days were better: a particular group of critics is vocal about how much better it was when Bluehost was an independent garage company and not the corporate structure we know today. Yeah, a corporation might not be flexible, but it does offer synergies that other – smaller providers – can simply never give. There are upsides and downsides to both formats and there’s a spot for everybody under the sun so our advice is simple – chill and choose.
- Glitches: nobody is immune to the occasional downtime. If it happens every week, it’s a valid reason for concern. If, however, your blog was down for 10 minutes 6 months ago, you might wanna reconsider your crankiness. Be realistic and evaluate the impact on your users.
My experience with Bluehost is that the guys are one of the few services out there, which enables a super reliable and well-supported product at a very low price.
You reached the final and sweetest part of this article. So far you‘ve got enough facts to be convinced that Bluehost is among the best one-click installation hosting services.
Now, if you’re planning to start a WordPress-based website, we’ve got the best news for you:
Bluehost is giving an epic 65% discount exclusively for Mobidea Academy readers.
Yeah you read that correctly – all you need to do is sign up through our Bluehost discount coupon to enjoy all the perks of a hassle-free WordPress setup at 65% off the price.
Go for it!