Hosting Comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost vs. WP Engine

Hosting Comparison
Choosing a web host can be daunting, especially when there are so many options out there. But if you're just starting out and your site's traffic is a while away from needing the resources of a high-end web host, you have the perfect opportunity to save big by going with one of the more budget-friendly hosting providers. There are thousands of hosts out there claiming to be the best, but how do you decide? Here we'll take three of them for a spin and see which one suits you best!

1. Bluehost vs. DreamHost vs. WP Engine

There are a lot of hosting companies out there. If you’re trying to choose which one to go with, it can be a little overwhelming. So which one is the best? Well, that depends on your needs. Like most things in life, it’s a trade-off. If you want a brand-name web host, go with Algonquin Web Hosting. You can get an amazing domain, some very powerful servers, the best web management tools, and all of the perks that come alongside the best web hosts. There are no embarrassing website downtime stories, absolutely no compatibility issues and they pay you a fair amount, too.

From an FPS perspective, Algonquin Web Hosting is a solid choice. They have a dedicated network of servers with dedicated internet connections to maximize your connection just like a DDoS attack would. That means you can get a super smooth uptime and faster page loads. Additionally, they have SSL certificate technology for added security just in case you get naughty with your romantic partners.

Where do I get hosting support? Hosting support from hosts comes in the form of emails, phone, chat, and even web experts in-person. When choosing a hosting company, you’ll want to make sure they have the best support staff. Again, this is imperative. Not only will you be emailing their support team and looking for assistance on your site, but you’ll also be looking for assistance with your website’s codebase, plugins, and themes. This might not be the first priority for you, but it will save the remainder of your workday a lot of time!

What if my site is using more than 1 backend? This is a very common scenario. It might be obvious right away, but a huge percentage of people might be overly reliant on their CMS or an app. This might result in your site’s code-breaking at runtime and won’t allow it to show up on the front end. It can also result in a lack of SEO and voting engine optimization, which leads to an inferior user experience.

2. Which pricing plan is right for you?

Pricing can be one of the most difficult things about business. It’s something that you have to get right the first time because you can’t change it later. There are two main pricing strategies used by most businesses: cost-based pricing and value-based pricing. With cost-based pricing, you base your prices on your production costs. Then you increase your prices whenever you go over your production costs. But what if your production costs come to you as a gift, rather than as an expense? Then you’ll only be able to charge what your income is. Is this the best way to run your business? No! With value-based pricing, you base your prices on your income. Then you increase your prices whenever you’re able to charge more for your services because these extra fees are exactly what your business produces. Using value-based pricing ensures that your business can always charge more and still give you the best ROI. It ensures that your business won't go out of business because you can no longer get more work out of the same resources because they cost more. This is exactly the right strategy to use when deciding whether or not to go for a budget-friendly Host.

Mobile-First IndexingBy now, everyone is aware of the importance of serving mobile users well. Google has been talking about supporting mobile-first indexing for a while, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some sites that still have not given desktop users the best opportunity to see their content. And there will always be sites that won’t be consumer-centric enough for the desktop users but will opt to incorporate mobile pages because they think that it lends more relevance to the mobile users. So, before you decide on picking a web host based only on the fact that it can support mobile-first indexing, it goes without saying that the bigger the size is, the better this solution will be for it. If you have a fairly big site, it probably is nowhere possible to mobile-first index the full site.

3. Which features are most important to you?

You should always think about what's most important to you when selecting a new product or service to use. For example, if you're looking for a new phone, you should think about what features are most important to you. Do you want always-on LTE, or maybe just call-forwarding? A web hosting provider is no different — you want the highest-quality hosting, but you also don’t want to overspend for poor speed or a banal design.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at what features are most important to you when choosing a web hosting provider.

1. What can you offer your customers? 2. How easily can you customize their website? 3. How easy is it to set up a backup and some basic security?

The first feature is often overlooked when choosing a host, but this is a critical aspect of the host and its business model. If you can offer your customers a free tier — a lower cost than before — but provide subpar performance and bandwidth, chances are customers won’t stay on your platform long enough to make up for it. A high-quality web host makes it easy for customers to set up their site with basic features and is a great resource when it comes to troubleshooting issues users might have.

Another instance of what you can offer your customers is customization. Many web hosts will have the ability to host a homepage for you or create custom pages for you that come with their own ads and redirects. It’s an awesome feature, one that still exists today, but you can only do so much unless you’re serving millions of visitors from thousands of different platforms monthly. It's impossible to keep up with every single request from each and every account, and the more you customize your site, the harder it is to keep up with all of them.

4. Features and pricing are important, but what about customer service?

It’s important to have a great product or service, but customer service is what will make your customers loyal. A great customer service experience can turn a one-time customer into a loyal one. You want customers to feel like they’re part of the family and that you are there for them if they have any questions or concerns.

HostGator is one of the most well-known hosting companies on the internet. They have dealt with celebrities, startups, and many other web celebrities over the years. They provide excellent service and have a large customer base who looks to join their community. HostGator hosts a friendly online community that is ready to help with any questions that you may have. They even host a chat room dedicated to answering any questions you have about anything you see on their online platform. Their customer service makes contacting them just like a phone call would be. Everyone is treated equally, and they have even been known to respond to support tickets the same day they are received. Not only are they great about responding quickly, but they are also quick to offer refunds or credits to their customers as needed. Most of their customers feel like they got their money’s worth when dealing with their company.

No Frills is another successful web host that has both its customers and staff on board. The company provides outstanding service to the people who have a true need for hosting and are willing to pay a premium for it. Many of its customers want to start a blog to showcase their accomplishments or share their ideas with the world. Once the blog is live they begin receiving more traffic from their site visitors. This is reflected in their amazing statistics and customer service. Their plans can be configured for a variety of different languages and sizes, Grids and layouts for both print- and online-friendly websites are available and their customer service is top-notch.

5. Bluehost vs DreamHost vs WP Engine: The verdict!

Bluehost and DreamHost are very similar in terms of pricing, features, and support. Both hosting providers offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth, one-click WordPress installs, and 24/7 support via chat and phone. However, DreamHost does not offer free SSL certificates, caching, or included domain names, while Bluehost offers all of these. Both companies pride themselves on their uptime status, with BlueHost having an exceptional 0.0000% uptime rate as of 2018, with DreamHost faring slightly better with a relatively new 2014 0.01% uptime rate. These are stats that are hard to beat!

Both companies can be very friendly towards WordPress installations. Bluehost offers its own site builder, as well as an extensive plugin library for marketers, while DreamHost offers a plethora of installed plugins on its platform to help make your writing and blogging experience that much more effective!

But, despite their massive user base, both hosting services have their downsides. Namely, that they don’t make it as easy as WordPress to set up a new site. Both companies have their own custom-made installers, and quite a few are annoying and strange. I learned this the hard way with my site hosted on Dreamhost. I was a very happy camper once I allowed them to install the Dream views.

Also, if your WordPress site is large, you may find that your hosting bill is actually quite high once you factor in the costs of your web host. I mean, you’ll only be spending as much as you would on your hosting fees if you were actually using it at full capacity for your site, but it will still add up. This is more of a concern for larger sites with a lot of traffic or for which you don’t mind having your site run through a server to host rather than a home server in your apartment.

As a general rule of thumb, my advice is to go with Bluehost if you’re just starting out or if your traffic is still growing and you’d like low traffic bills.


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