What’s the most important thing to you when you’re looking for a web host for your new blog idea? In today’s topic, I’ll be sharing my experience with the web hosting platform that hosts three of my blogs: Bluehost (review).
When you’re starting a blog, the first thing tech wise is to search for a reliable web hosting platform. A few popular web hosts are Bluehost, Siteground, Hostgator, etc.
Now, this isn’t a comparison review of the different web hosts because if I was being honest with you, I’ve only used Bluehost. It would be unfair and biased to compare Bluehost to something I haven’t used yet.
I’m the type of person who if I’ve used something and it’s reliable, I stick with it. If it gets the job done the way I want it to, I’ll rather not fix it.
I will be reviewing this for you:
- Customer support
- Site speed
Let’s dive in.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from people about Bluehost is that their customer support isn’t fast enough or it’s just “bad.” Because “good” is a very general opinion, I can only share with you my experience of their speed of solving my problems.
And keep in mind that different problems may require a different speed of recovery.
I’ve been using Bluehost for more than two years and I have three blogs hosted on the platform. Fair enough, there were really only a small handful of times where I needed to contact customer support. The most recent time being me having to upgrade my account; I was adding a few new domains.
The first time I really had to get in touch with their CS was when I migrated my blog from WordPress.com to Bluehost/Wordpress.org. Bluehost’s CS tried their best to help me, but because I had to manually switch the DNS record, it took time for their system to recognize the change.
To be honest, it took about 48-72 hours for the change to take place, but from my end, it seemed forever. That was really my worst experience with Bluehost, but most of it was just me being impatient.
The bottom line is, the time it took to resolve the issue wasn’t really a Bluehost problem. It was the nature of my problem.
Now I rarely have issues with Bluehost and I think I’ve contacted their CS at least five times during my 2+ year relationship with ‘em. I’m one of those people who almost never contact CS, but when I do need them, they were helpful, patient, and to-the-point.
I love how they have an online live chat support so I don’t have to wait on the phone. The online chat takes usually before 5-15 minutes for the next available rep.
To be honest, unless you’re going into a launch, I don’t see how you can’t wait 15 minutes for the help. Most of the time, they fix things right away anyway.
During my 2+ year with Bluehost, I’ve only experienced my site down once. And it’s strange because only this blog (not the other two I own) went down for a few hours. And all my blogs are hosted on the same account.
Bluehost is a big name in the web hosting space and they have been around for awhile so I do believe that they’ll fix things asap. That’s why I never worry about things that aren’t within my control; I just know that it’ll get fixed.
Now I hear this one quite often: I switched from Bluehost to Siteground and my site speed loads faster now.
I can’t vouch for that statement because I never made the switch myself. But I can tell you that site speed is one of the factors Google takes into account when ranking your site on their search engine.
The underlying reason behind this is that if your site takes too long to load, it will give your readers a bad experience. And if people get a bad experience, they’ll leave your site before it finishes loading.
Now how do I feel about the speed with Bluehost?
I don’t really care for numbers when it comes to site speed so I never did a comparison between Bluehost and Siteground. Most of the time, I’d admit, I don’t notice the difference between a site that’s hosted on Bluehost vs. Siteground.
But I do notice a huge difference between a site hosted on Bluehost/Siteground vs. WP Engine.
And that would make sense because WP Engine is made for blogs that have huge traffic numbers (at least six figures/month) while Bluehost/Siteground is made for beginners.
For your reference, WP Engine starts at $30/month while Bluehost/Siteground is on the $4/month spectrum.
You can check your page speed insights on this Google webpage:
There are some other factors that go into page speed loading time such as image decompression. Therefore, web hosting is only one factor.
If you sign up with Bluehost, you get a free domain name. A domain name is simply your blog or website URL. For example, my domain name is http://heyjudess.com.
Very straightforward right?
If you’re serious about blogging, you definitely want a real domain name. This is NOT negotiable!
I know I won’t take someone who has a domain like “http://janedoe.wordpress.com” seriously.
I love Bluehost for giving a free domain away when you sign up with them. It’s usually around $11-18 if you buy one from WordPress.com. Domains are relatively cheap, but when they give it away for free, it just makes decision of signing up with them much easier right?
This is bouncing off of the domain we just mentioned. Bluehost has an option where they’ll protect your privacy (i.e., the registrants’ name, address, email, etc) from public eye.
If you don’t want your name and info to be open to the public, you want this info hidden.
I really feel like this is one of those upsell/add ons option at first so it left a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like we should all have the option to prevent the public from seeing our info, just like with every company you do business with. But I guess it works and I always like to protect my privacy.
It’s not expensive (I can’t remember if it’s $11-21), but really I feel like it should come with the package.
Now we are down to the final criteria. It’s also the most important to me. At most, it’s on par with customer support or of equal importance.
If I was paying for web hosting, I would expect it to do what it should do. When it comes to reliability, what I really look for is something that “gets the job done” and is “hassle-free.”
And despite some of the negative things that I hear about Bluehost in favor of Siteground, Bluehost is a reliable option in all the areas that matter to me — at least for now.
I’m not only saying this because I’m an affiliate for Bluehost, but because I can really sign up for Bluehost for a 3-year plan and forget about it. Every year, they send me a reminder that I need to renew my domain name and I’m completely cool with that. It charges the card I have on file and I can move on with my blogging life.
I always take people who complain about Bluehost (or anything for the matter) with a grain of salt. That’s because most people who are chronic complainers and drama queens have the ability to blow anything out of proportion.
Things are never as bad as people say it is and never as good as people say it is either.
I host three blogs on Bluehost and if it wasn’t reliable, I wouldn’t have chosen it three times for every blog. Now after hearing positive reviews about Siteground, I was tempted to try Siteground for one of my blogs at some point.
But at the end of the day, I just wanted to stick with something that already works for me. If it’s not broken, why fix it?
Bluehost might not be the fastest host, but it’s a solid option.