What is web hosting and why it is important for a website? What we shall check before buying a web hosting contract?
When you’re building a website for the first time, you might not be aware of many technological terms. Web hosting is one of them. Creating a website means creating different files. Since the website is going to be live, these files should be accessible by everyone on the internet. A hosting provider will host the files for you on a specific server. In order for the files to be hosted, you’ll be required to pay a small monthly fee to the hosting provider.
Data-centers is a collection of servers provided by hosting companies. Networking and security equipment, power supplies, air conditioning systems, and other elements make up a server. Websites are accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world. This is because when a company’s server is hosting your files, they’re available to everyone 24/7 throughout the day.
The reason web hosting is so important for a website is because, without any efficient hosting, your website cannot reach an audience effectively. The web host is responsible for so many elements that make up the website and keep it running. From server maintenance, updating and upgrading software and hardware, to troubleshooting errors and running operations smoothly. Your website is not just an interface. It’s a whole operation running on high power.
What to consider in a web host?
Now that you’re aware of the term ‘web hosting’ let’s move on to what an efficient web host looks like. Because of technological advancement, everyone is stepping up their game. There are so many web hosting companies that provide several services. Along with that, there are different hosting types such as WordPress. With so many choices, you don’t want to choose the first one you see.
Choosing a cheap host will affect the quality of your website performance.
- Your security will be compromised. You can install the most powerful plugins and software possible but it doesn’t matter if your host doesn’t give any attention to security. A good web host will not only protect the website from the backend but it will secure the data canter as well.
- You need a solid support team for any possible breakdowns. Your site can go offline for a number of reasons, and if you don’t have any technical skills, then you definitely need help.
- Plunging sales is the number one cause of an offline site. Your host is responsible for maintaining the uptime or ‘online duration’ of the site. Whenever it is offline, you’re losing money, potential customer and goodwill. Having an offline site will do you no good.
- Your search engine rankings matter a lot. It’s directly related to your performance. If your site is loading incredibly slow, then you might need to upgrade to a better host so you can drive traffic in a much better way.
Investing in hosting is a great deal. You don’t want to jump right in without thinking. You need a host that is scalable yet efficient with keeping up with your needs or you might face struggle and loss.
Review of Bluehost
Who offers the best web hosting in 2020? In our eyes, Bluehost does. Out of all the Bluehost reviews out there, this one heavily relies on data, in addition to the user experiences people (including us) had with the company’s performance, customer support, and hosting features.
Numerous hosting packages are offered by Bluehost, which includes dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, and shared hosting. The shared hosting plan offered by Bluehost is ideal for people who run affiliate sites, blogs and personal or profile website. You have a trio of packages to pick from with the shared plan.
Each one of the plans Bluehost provides their customers with includes unmetered bandwidth, five individual email accounts and live 24/7 chat. Much like with other web hosting companies, Bluetooth provides users with a domain at no charge for their initial year. Monthly plans begin at $2.95 and come with backups, an SSL certificate, and enhanced security. All of these features can keep your website or blog safe and protected.
The Advantages of Bluehost
1. 99.99% Uptime All Year Long – Best in the Industry
Uptime is a crucial aspect when it comes to selecting a hosting company. If your website is down, then users won’t be able to access it. As such, regular uptime is a high priority, as far as criteria goes.
After going through many web hosting providers, 99.94% is the benchmark we set for a decent uptime. As high as that may seem, it’s surprisingly slightly under average. Therefore, anything lower than that will be unsatisfactory.
Fortunately, Bluehost has a better uptime than other hosting providers and it has almost 99.99% uptime record in past years.
2. 398 Millisecond “Load” Speed
Last year, Google released a report revealing that most mobile websites lacked speed.
That is an issue for a couple of big reasons. First, the mobile index that Google provides can either hide or elevate your website on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) based on how long it takes to load. Research indicates that slow loading websites go hand-in-hand with poor sales.
The loading time of your website is just as important as uptime, as it can either keep people on your site or cause them to leave it.
Since the end of 2017, we’ve been monitoring Bluehost’s performance with an independent tool called Pingdom. We were satisfied with the specific results we received – loading speeds for the average page came out to 398 milliseconds, which is impressive.
3. Good Security Choices
Bluehost is an affordable option, and we are happy that their low costs aren’t at the expense of important features, such as website security.
Bluehost offers plenty of worthwhile security features by default, which includes an SSL certificate at no extra charge, which comes with every plan.
Also included in every plan is privacy for your domain name, which will prevent others from seeing the private information you entered when signing up. This will stop hackers from seeing personal details of yours and using it for things like phishing schemes or identity theft.
All plans come with SiteLock, a program that was created to stop malware attacks. Sadly, many WordPress sites are susceptible to such attacks. Another way Bluehost keeps your website protected is with CodeGuard, which backs up your site every day. That way, you can revert back to an earlier vision of your website in the event that a hacker gains access to it.
Google’s Postini is also included with every plan. The security tool offers spam protection in your inbox, preventing anything suspicious from being emailed to you.
Overall, these security features are impressive and strong enough to safeguard your website.
4. Several Apps, E-Commerce Features, and Integrations at Your Disposal
In addition to the security features mentioned above, Bluehost also offers you access to many different integrations and apps, allowing you to use many online services.
For instance, domain managers are available if you would prefer to simply buy and manage several domains. You can establish weekly, monthly, or even daily backups to be on the safe side.
WordPress can be installed with a click of your mouse. Other popular CMS (Content Management Systems) can also be installed, including Joomla, Drupal, and several e-commerce options.
Also, Bluehost will give you access to their CDN (Content Delivery Network). You’ll be able to host large files and images on the network (as opposed to your website’s servers), allowing such files to load faster, no matter where your site is accessed from.
5. An Official WordPress Host
WordPress happens to be the most popular website platform available. They have only officially endorsed a few hosting partners, including Dreamhost, SiteGround, and of course, Bluehost.
You can develop a WordPress site with any web host, but the fact that they endorse Bluehost instills a sense of trustworthiness.
A lot of the web hosting providers we have looked at cater to advanced users.
For example, LiquidWeb is terrific as long as you know how to use it. Sadly, their interface isn’t very user-friendly, which can make it hard to use for people who aren’t tech-savvy. Beginners will face challenges getting their website to go live with LiquidWeb.
The control panel that Bluehost provides you with (cPanel) has a user-friendly layout. For the most part, everything you need to access can be done by pointing and clicking.
Advanced users can access features too, but if beginners want to install a WordPress site and get it set up, Bluehost has them covered.
Bluehost also offers website building tools (like Drupal and Weebly). You can personalize your site with drag-and-drop features, or you can use a ready-made template and fill in the blanks.
7. Low Cost Introductory Pricing (under $3 a month)
We will evaluate Bluehost’s plans and pricing in a moment.
Before we do, though, when you look at their starter prices, you will see that the cheapest monthly price is listed as $2.95 per month for 3 years contract. Considering the fact that the price was originally $7.99 a month, which is a very good deal.
For that amount, you will be presented with everything necessary to run a website, including an SSL certificate for free, unmetered bandwidth, 50 gigabytes of SSD storage, and more. You definitely receive your money’s worth, not to mention fast loading speeds for your pages and consistent uptime.
That’s the cheapest amount we have found anywhere on the internet. This is a fantastic deal for those who are looking for an affordable host.
8. 30-Day Guarantee
Finding who offers the best web hosting in 2020 comes down to pricing. Some hosting providers allow you to prepay for services, perhaps for months or even years in advance.
A generous 30-day satisfaction guarantee is included with each one of Bluehost’s plans. This gives you a month to test their services out and get a sense of how they perform. If you are not satisfied, just ask for your money back. There are some things you should know if you do, though.
Based on Bluehost’s terms, here is what their guarantee includes (and doesn’t include):
- Refunds are only available for web host costs. You cannot get a refund on domains and similar add-ons.
- If a domain was included with your plan, a fee of $15.99 will be subtracted from your refund.
- Refunds requested after the 30-day period is over won’t be honored.
Some hosting providers offer guarantees with a lot less fine print. As such, ensure that you are content with these points before you sign up with Bluehost.
9. Customer Service
When it comes to customer service, Bluehost has a comprehensive knowledge base, live chat access, email support through tickets, and phone support, too. We tested out their live chat feature and got connected to a customer service agent in less than 2 minutes.
There was some lagging between replies, but overall, the representative we spoke to was very friendly. Every question we asked him was answered in an easy-to-understand manner. We had a hassle-free experience – something that everyone should expect when it comes to customer service.
The Disadvantages of Bluehost
Bluehost performs quite well, as far as we are concerned. There are a couple of areaswhere costs are quite expensive. Let’s look into them both.
1. Expensive Renewal Rates (Typical in This Industry)
Getting the cheapest price possible for web hosting is achievable by prepaying for your service upfront. The longer you prepay for, the cheaper your hosting package will be.
The monthly rates they charge are just as inexpensive, but keep in mind that prepaying for longer durations (i.e., between one and three years in advance) means you’ll end up spending about $100 or so.
Something else to keep in mind is the expensive renewal rates to be paid after the introductory period comes to an end. In such cases, prepaying for your hosting service three years in advance at a cost of $2.95 per month is a worthwhile deal, as you’resecuring that price for a lengthy duration.
Having said that, at term’s end, rates will revert back to their “regular” prices. That might be $7.99 – $8.99 a month based on which plan you choose and the length of time you prepay for.
2. Expensive Site Migrations
Most web hosting providers will be happy to relocate your current site to their platform for free. This complimentary service that ensures customers start off on the right foot. To keep your customers happy, many web hosts will be happy to waive migration fees.
Sadly, Bluehost doesn’t offer free migrations.
Bluehost will charge you a $149.99 fee (to be paid just once), which includes migrating as many as five sites, relevant database files associated with the site, and 20 different email accounts.
Bluehost claims that the process will be fast and seamless, meaning you won’t undergo any downtime or delays during the transition.
Nonetheless, the need to pay extra for this feature – and pay quite a bit for it, at that – is definitely a negative, in our eyes.
Is Bluehost a Web Host We Recommend?
Yes, it is.
Bluehost’s 99.99% uptime and 398 microsecond loading time means they are faster and more reliable than the competition is. Bluehost’s low monthly rate of $2.95 (when committing to a three-year contract) is unbeatable, especially when you take into consideration all the features that are included. This is particularly true when you contrast what you get against what other web hosts offer and charge. The customer service and beginner-friendly interface are also huge perks. You can contact their customer service agents by phone or live chat, which is very important when you need to get a hold of someone. Their user-friendly platform (cPanel) makes it simple to get a website set up. Bluehost offers users free domains, too, which is hard to say no to. Each one of these outstanding aspects is what makes Bluehost the best web hosting provider of 2020, in our eyes.