If you plan to have a go at the endless possibilities offered by online businesses, you must start your entrepreneurial journey by making the right business decisions — ones that would make your efforts more rewarding. So you must start the process by narrowing down the best web hosting. This is usually the biggest roadblock and to steer clear this one, and all other issues that come with making the wrong choice, we’ve put together some very useful information for you. So let’s begin by analyzing the services offered by 3 well-known web hosting companies — Bluehost, Dreamhost, and Siteground.
Features and Unique Value Propositions
Bluehost is headquartered in Idaho and is one of the most popular web hosting company that offers an assortment of freebies. Likewise, Dreamhost is based out of Los Angeles and offers the best pricing, especially when it comes to shared hosting. While Bluehost and Dreamhost are US-based companies that were started by Pros, Siteground is a Bulgarian company that was started by a bunch of friends who studied together at the university.
However, we must admit that on many fronts, Siteground is more professional and does far better than any other web hosting company across the globe. Also, Dreamhost has the best money-back policy, while Siteground is undoubtedly the fastest. Well, if your head’s spinning and you simply cannot pick one, then don’t worry. By the time you are through with this article, you would know all that you should, in order to make the right choice.
|Shared Hosting Price (1 Year)||$5.95 to $14.95||$3.95 to $6.95||$3.95 to $11.95||Dreamhost|
|VPS/Cloud Price (1 Year)||$24.99 to $83.99||$13.75 to $110.00||$72 to $144||Dreamhost|
|Dedicated Hosting (1 Year)||$99.99 to $139.99||$149 to $279||NA||Bluehost|
Speed and Performance
When it comes to speed, there’s none that can beat Siteground, simply because the company focuses on strategic allocation of its server’s resources. Siteground has its data centers spread across Europe, US, and Asia. The company focuses on allocating the right resources to deliver maximum customer satisfaction.
Not much is known about Bluehost’s data centers, but the company’s shared hosting seems to be its weakest vertical when it comes to customer satisfaction. Most of its customers complain that the speed and performance of their website decline with time and that the issue is seldom resolved. Looks like a case of overburdened servers. Dreamhost doesn’t promise the moon, but when it comes to speed, it’s slightly behind Siteground.
Shared Web Hosting
Bluehost’s shared web hosting is offered through 4 plans, and each of these plans offer a certain set of benefits. Bluehost’s Basic Plan starts at $3.95, but lets you host just one website. However, it does offer much more storage (50 GB) than most website hosting companies do, with an entry-level plan. This is in addition to other freebies like SSL certificate and unmetered bandwidth. Another web hosting company, Siteground also offers a similar entry-level plan at $3.95 per month, but with a capping of 10,000 monthly visitors.
However, Bluehost and Siteground charge a lot more than other web hosting companies. In fact, Dreamhost offers the best deal when it comes to an entry-level shared hosting plan, which is priced at $2.59 per month. So, we’d like to conclude that Dreamhost offers the best entry-level shared hosting plan.
Let us now analyze the mid-level plans, which include Bluehost’s Plus and the Choice Plus plans, which are priced at $5.85 and $5.95 respectively. However, we recommend that you pay an extra dime and choose the latter. That’s because the Choice Plus plan includes additional features like free backups and domain privacy to keep your information safe.
Dreamhost’s Shared Unlimited plan, also priced at $5.95 offers similar features including domain privacy. However, Siteground’s GrowBig Plan which is again priced at $5.95 per month does not offer as many features. So, if you need more storage and free domain privacy, consider Bluehost. However, if you are hoping for better speed and domain privacy without paying too much, then consider Dreamhost.
Let us now evaluate the feasibility of premier shared hosting plans, which is ideal for websites with 100,000 or more monthly visitors. This includes Bluehost’s Pro Plan priced at $ 9.95 per month, and this plan offers some amazing features like unlimited storage, which is essential when you host multiple websites. However, Sitehost’s GoGeek plan available for $11.95 per month, restricts you to 30 GB space only. So, Bluehost’s Pro Plan is the best pick under this category.
WordPress Shared and Managed Hosting
With over seventy-five million websites using WordPress, web hosting companies have come up with a wide range of innovative solutions. Most companies offer shared WordPress hosting, fully managed WordPress hosting, and WooCommerce hosting plans. So irrespective of how much traffic your site generates or the nature of your business, these web hosting companies have a plan for you.
All the shared WordPress hosting plans offered by Bluehost and Dreamhost come with a free domain, SSL certificate and other freebies. For a single website hosting plan, you can choose between Bluehost’s Basic Plan and Dreamhost’s Shared Starter plan. However, to host multiples websites, the battle is between Bluehost’s Plus or Choice Plus plans, or Dreamhost’s Shared Unlimited Plan. (read our review – Bluehost Shared WordPress Hosting Review)
To help you pick the right plan, here’s a quick comparison between Bluehost and Dreamhost, based on an annual subscription. Bluehost’s Basic Plan is priced at $5.95 per month, while Dreamhost’s Shared Starter is priced at $3.95 only. We also found Dreamhost to be the best bet for those who wish to host more than one website. After all, the Shared Unlimited Plan costs $6.95 per month as against Bluehost’s Plus and Choice Plus plans, which are priced at $7.95 per month. SiteGround does not offer shared WordPress hosting, and sticks to offering Managed WordPress plans only, so more on that later.
If you aren’t a tech geek, you can consider investing in a Managed WordPress hosting plan. By doing so, you would be automating most of the technical aspects of your WordPress website such as installation, updates, backups, caching and a lot more. All the managed WordPress hosting plans offered by Bluehost, Dreamhost and Siteground come with the various versions of Jetpack, and other useful freebies like marketing tools, business review tools, video compression, domain privacy and a ton of other useful features. However, these are comparatively more expensive, and for an annual subscription, Bluehost’s managed WordPress plans cost between $24.95 and $51.95 per month, while Dreamhost charges between $16.95 and $71.95.
For those who wish to host e-commerce websites through WordPress, WooCommerce is the go-to solution. Therefore, Bluehost offers WooCommerce WordPress hosting at reasonable prices starting from just $14.95 per month, for a 12-month subscription. However, Dreamhost offers its annual plan at $16.95 per month but offers much more than Bluehost does. Dreamhost provides pre-installed SSL certificate, in addition to Jetpack and its various versions (depending on the plan you choose) and daily backups with all its WooCommerce plans.
Siteground also offers 3 WooCommerce hosting plans — Startup Plan, GrowBig Plan, and GoGeek Plan. Let us dig into each one of these plans, and analyze their prices on an annual basis. The Startup Plan costs $3.95 per month and lets you host a single e-commerce website and is ideal for those who wish to start an e-commerce website and have lesser than 10,000 monthly visitors. The GrowBig Plan costs $5.95 per month and limits the monthly traffic to 25,000 monthly visitors. Finally, the GoGeek hosting plan costs $11.95 per month and can handle up to 100,000 monthly visits. Although Dreamhost is the most expensive one, but we still consider it to be the best because of its flexibility and other advanced features.
Money-Back and Refund Policy
Before you put your hard-earned money in a web hosting plan, you need to be sure that it drives value. However, when it comes to web hosting, you need first-hand experience, which is possible only after you use the service. So, it’s imperative that the web hosting company offers a favorable money-back guarantee.
This is where Dreamhost wins the race by offering a 97-day money-back guarantee, which is awesome. However, if you chose Bluehost, then you’d get a 30-day trial period, and even if your refund is approved, there’s going to a steep deduction. Siteground offers 15-day money-back guarantee on its cloud hosting plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all other plans. So, needless to say, the crown goes to Dreamhost.
Our Verdict and Suggestion
As we have pointed out, there’s a winner in every category so depending on the project size and overall feasibility, you need to make a rational choice. For shared hosting, we recommend that you consider web hosting plans that let you host several websites and the Rockstar in that category is Dreamhost’s Shared Unlimited Plan. That lets you expand your business in the near future, just in case you have yet another brilliant idea.