WEBHOSTINGPAD VS. BLUEHOST
Review of Features
Below you will find a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of my reviews for both of these companies. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend WebHostingPad over Bluehost, but please take a look for yourself:
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|PRICE||Yes, I’ve been going on about price in this review already, but it is a point of emphasis here. In my experience working with several other hosting companies, I have learned a lot about how hosts can afford to offer such cheap hosting and still offer a good (or even great) service. WebHostingPad does this in two main ways. The first is that they don’t offer outrageous commissions to affiliates who promote their products. I won’t go into too much depth about this here, but if you’re interested in how that works you can read my article on How Affiliate Programs Work.
The second way WebHostingPad saves money for their customers is by offering their basic shared hosting plan as an a la carte type option. Many other hosting companies will offer a bunch of additional features and market them as great tools, thus justifying the higher price. The fact is that most of these additional features won’t be used by 80% of the customers. They are useless to the majority of people who own small personal websites. Instead of adding these on and increasing prices, they offer them as additional features that each customer can pay for individually should they decide that they need the service. In my opinion, this is a much more efficient and cost effective offer.
|Bluehost, as is the standard with Endurance International Group, offers low initial prices when you sign up, but raise the prices on renewals. They are a bit more up front about it, adding a * to the price displayed on their home page, but it’s still a little deceptive.
BlueHost does offer an “any time” money back guarantee, but they will charge you a cancellation fee if you choose to cancel before your renewal date. There are also several additional features that are non-refundable which are outlined in their terms of service.
|FEATURES||As explained above, you aren’t going to get all of the additional features you may get from other hosts, but this won’t take away from your ability to run your website. WebHostingPad offers the same features as most every other shared web host including unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free domain name, 30 day money back guarantee, free website builder, and so on.
WebHostingPad also provides additional features at a cost like SSL certificates, SSH access, an advanced security scan, and more, but these are more suited for advanced web developers and business website owners. These tools are not going to be used by the vast majority of beginner and novice website owners, so why pay for them? They are an optional extra if you decide you need them at a later date, but this is how they save their customers from high prices.
|Like I referenced a bit earlier, BlueHost offers the usual “unlimited” gimmicks that all Endurance Internatonal Group brands do. They say that they have unlimited disk space and bandwidth which simply isn’t possible. Other than that their features are on par with the rest of the industry. They offer a free domain registration for the first year, cPanel, a free site builder, everything you would expect from a shared host.|
|RELIABILITY||You might expect your performance to be lacking because of how inexpensive WebHostingPad is, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. WebHostingPad’s servers are stable and reliable. After a 7 month test my website had a total up time of 99.942%, which is above their 99.9% guarantee. Server response time is fast and my websites loaded quicker than on competitors servers.
This is just a guess, but my assumption as to why the server speed was quicker than other hosting companies is due to the lack of the additional features on every account. Having these features running in the background on every account on a server causes more resources to be used on the back end, which in turn leaves less of those resources to be used on website functionality. Again, just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
|This, unfortunately, is where BlueHost has dropped the ball. As is pretty standard with any EIG takeover, they are more concerned about profit instead of performance. They pack their servers to the brim to maximize every dollar they can. They share a data center with HostMonster and JustHost, so when one of those hosts is down, all 3 are down, which happened a few times in October.|
Their server reliability isn’t the greatest, either. Over the last 30 days alone I’ve had almost 15 hours of total downtime, which clearly isn’t ideal. When asked what the issue was their support was only able to respond with a generic “server issue” response.
|TECH SUPPORT||WebHostingPad’s support team is generally knowledgeable and able to help quickly with easier questions that most beginners would face when starting a new account. The one gripe I have (which is the case with most hosting companies, not just WebHostingPad) is that only level 1 support is available over the phone or through live chat. If you have an issue that needs to be escalated to a higher department then you must submit a ticket. I will say that the response times of the tickets was quick, usually within 1 hour. In any case, the WebHostingPad support staff was able to resolve issues promptly and efficiently.||The BlueHost support is so-so. Not the best, not the worst, much like the rest of their service. For example, the image above of my uptime monitor shows a period of 13 hours of downtime on the 24th. I contacted them to see what was wrong and I was given no information other than there being maintenance being performed on the server. They couldn’t tell me what, why, or for how long. If it were a business website I would be less than thrilled.|
|CONCLUSION||WebHostingPad is a great choice for beginners. It is cheap, easy to use, and reliable. You won’t get some of the features that other hosts include, but these features are not useful for customers who are new to web hosting. It is a great starting point for a new customer and it will get you familiar with how to run a website without being too overbearing.||Bluehost is mediocre. At one point in time they were a great host, but that was years ago and before EIG got their fingerprints all over. There are certainly better options out there, but you could do worse than choosing BlueHost to host your website. They are a big name host so you can rest assured they won’t be going anywhere any time soon.|
These are some choice differences between these two hosts. Note that this is not a complete list of features offered by both companies, but rather the most useful and popular features requested by clients for their websites.
|Introductory Price||$1.99 / mo||$3.95 / mo|
|Renewal Price||$3.49 / mo||$7.99 / mo|