Who to use as a web host is a hard question. I agonize over it constantly. I have tried most of the hosting companies out there, large and small. Since the number of times this question gets asked is increasing, I decided to conduct full scaleresearch, send out a survey, and come up with a final answer. Well, that answer is BlueHost. Let me say that again, once and for all, I recommend BlueHost for hosting.
If you do a little bit of research, you will find that some of my sites and blogs are still using Godaddy.com and that they are a bit less expensive than BlueHost. I have been using them for several years now and have been fairly happy with them – for the most part. Unfortunately as my sites have gotten a bit more successful, and I have had to work with them on a near daily basis the GoDaddy flaw has appeared – they are slow. Both in turn-around time when I have had a support request and in response time for web pages, GoDaddy is just slow. At times my websites have become so slow that they essentially time out, become unresponsive, and people report to me that a site is down. That is something that just can’t happen. Period. And don’t even get me started about the pushy nature of their add-on sales when you are simply trying to buy something.
In the survey I sent out to web experts and friends on Twitter, many reported having the same problems with GoDaddy. The individual recommendations varied, but in the negative category there were many similarities. After culling through those, looking at response times, prices, ease of use and every other bit of data and opinion I could find the choice came down to BlueHost, HostGator and DreamHost. Before you say, “what about x?!”, be sure that I looked at tons of hosts. I concentrated on hosts for small to medium business sites, not personal sites, and not major enterprise sites. I was looking for hosts that provide for tools such as WordPress or Drupal as well as custom programming and databases.
For $6.95 per month, BlueHost provides unlimited storage, bandwidth and SQL databases. Now, is unlimited really unlimited? Of course not. You can read what BlueHost has to say about unlimited hosting on their site. That is fine with me. Just as the all-you-can-eat restaurants place a limit on the food at some time, so do hosts. The important thing is that they provide you with an upgrade path if you do exceed that limit. If you are so popular that your site exceeds the “unlimited” limits, then you move up to their virtual private servers for only $15 per month more.
As my hosting contracts expire with other companies I will be moving all of my sites over to BlueHost. But, I will also be watching to make sure they don’t lose their top spot. If their support fails, their speeds slow, or their ethics falter, I will be the first to let you know and we will start the recommendation process again.