There are a prolific number of web hosting companies all competing for your business, which has made having a website more affordable than it has ever been. It also means that customers can shop around to find the package that has all of the features that they are looking for at the price that they want to pay. There is more to finding a good value for your web hosting than just the base monthly fee. No matter how cheap the deal is, make sure that you get the most for your money and look into the features and other details of each offer very closely.
For many people, all of the technical jargon that web hosting companies use to describe their packages can be confusing and novice web masters probably won’t know exactly which features and services that they will want to use before they start. Often cheaper packages have limits on the disk space and bandwidth that comes with the deal and for many users it will be worth a few extra dollars to have a simple, user friendly management and design system behind their website.
We examined a wide variety of web hosting services that are on the market and compared their reliability, service and support, features and price to narrow the field down to the three best packages that are available.
Since their establishment in 1996 BlueHost has built a reputation for being a reliable web hosting service with an excellent technical staff and infrastructure. They offer a single, fully featured shared web hosting package as well as a range of reseller packages at very competitive prices. Because BlueHost’s standard package allows unlimited domains, disk space and bandwidth, users will never need to upgrade their account to accommodate the growth of their websites. Priced at only $3.95 per month, Blue Host’s shared web hosting package is also among the least expensive services available.
For commercial users, BlueHost’s package that includes all of the secure page certificates as well as a choice of shopping cart scripts as well as password protected directories for creating members only areas on their websites all come as standard inclusions in their shared web hosting deal. Other internet marketing tools like e-mail auto-responders are also included, meaning that users won’t have to buy third party software packages in order to set up a fully functional e-commerce website.
There is also a selection of multimedia support features that allow users to set up video or audio streaming on their own website rather than having to use one of the online services with all of the added expense. BlueHost shared web hosting includes a message board feature as well as social networking scripts to take full advantage of all that Web 2.0 offers for creating a dynamic and interactive website. Web hosting accounts at BlueHost are managed using the cPanel account management system which is a very user friendly dashboard based content management system which allows users to install scripts and create databases simply, quickly and easily using a few clicks of the mouse.
It is the quality of service that backs up these features that really makes BlueHost the best value for money shared web hosting service on the market right now. BlueHost has built a data center at Provo, Utah using the latest hardware technology with the best possible server speeds and network connections. This has made BlueHost the most reliable web hosting service with a guaranteed 99.9% uptime that is supported by in-house technical staff. Claims that call wait times of 30 seconds or less assures BlueHost customers that any problems that they do encounter will be handled quickly by people that can actually deal with it. BlueHost is so confident in the quality of their service that they have a 100% anytime money back guarantee.
Other web host packages are offering some of the features that come as standard from BlueHost but at a higher price while most of the less expensive web hosts in BlueHost’s price range charge more for a fully featured account. When the high standard of customer service from BlueHost and the very low price are factored into the question it is obvious that BlueHost is offering the best value for money shared web hosting package.
Coming a close second to BlueHost for value for money web hosting is another long established web hosting service at HostGator. Since beginning in 2002 HostGator has grown to become one of the most popular web hosting providers because of the range of web hosting services that they provide from a very basic shared hosting package right through to Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated servers.
Where HostGator falls short of the value for money that can be had from BlueHost is that their most basic, and so their cheapest deals are limited to a single domain name and doesn’t allow users to park domains. That may be suitable for hobby bloggers or simple family websites but falls well short of the features needed to set up a commercial website. For $3.96 per month for a hatchling plan HostGator is offering a very limited service for the same price that BlueHost’s fully featured package costs. To include features like SSL pages and unlimited domains pushes the price up to $10.36 per month making HostGator one of the more expensive commercial web host services. One advantage of HostGator’s business package is that it comes with a toll free number and a dedicated IP to keep all of the transactions secure on your website.
A positive is that HostGator uses the popular cPanel web host account management system which gives users the maximum amount of control over their websites and allows easy installation of all of the scripts that they will want to use like WordPress or Joomla. While HostGator doesn’t include much variety of choice in its commerce scripts the higher priced packages still come with all of the features necessary to start an online retail site without being forced to buy any extra software.
HostGator only offers a 45 day money back guarantee but their service is backed up by award winning in-house support staff. BlueHost is an environmentally responsible web hosting company and purchases wind energy to offset their server emissions, all of which contributes to their solid second place as a value for money web hosting service.
DreamHost has been in operation for as long as BlueHost and are offering an unlimited web hosting service similar to BlueHost but for over twice the monthly fee. DreamHost is focused more on individual and small business users and project a fun image that is designed to appeal to bloggers and small online retailers. There are VPS and dedicated server packages available but these are priced less competitively than many of the deals being offered by other companies. In order to be more competitive for the commercial website market DreamHost is about to launch cloud services, which could make them more attractive to some users.
Apart from the rather high base price for shared web hosting of $8.95 per month the area where DreamHost falls behind BlueHost and HostGator is in the web host management system that they use. Unlike their competitors that use the industry standard cPanel system that many people are already very familiar with, DreamHost has their own custom management system. While this content management system still allows users to install websites using simple mouse clicks it does not allow them to have full access to the back end of their website in the same way that cPanel allows them to. This may suit the less serious web masters but for commercial users the convenience of using cPanel will make DreamHost’s offering less attractive.
On the positive side DreamHost has a 97 day money back guarantee, over twice that being offered by HostGator but still well short of BlueHost’s. They also claim to provide 100% uptime for your website, although an extra .1% really doesn’t amount to much more than most web hosts are offering now. Because DreamHost is focused on individual users with its shared web hosting package it has optimized its web hosting to use the most popular web design script that is in use at the moment, WordPress. This makes DreamHost the easiest web hosting service to use for bloggers and other users that are familiar with WordPress. Because of this it is still possible to create almost any kind of website that users could want even with DreamHost’s customized content management system. Because there are no e-commerce features included with DreamHost’s standard web hosting package users will have to bring their own shopping cart software and other commercial scripts adding to the already high price o0f this service.
When the features, service and reliability of these web hosting packages are compared BlueHost is a clear leader in all of the areas that we compared. Just on the basis of price alone BlueHost can’t be matched by even its nearest competitors and it looks like it will continue to offer the best value for money web hosting service for some time to come.