There are so many web hosting companies now that it can be difficult to see what makes an individual web host different from its competitors. One of the most obvious differences between many of the web hosting deals is pricing, but often a cheap deal doesn’t represent the best value, and when you add on all of the features that are needed to run even a simple e-commerce site, the less expensive hosting deals can suddenly become much more expensive.
The most common way that the cheaper web hosts keep their costs down is by selling limited packages that offer less disk space, bandwidth and domains to be hosted. In order to access the other features like secure pages and extra e-mail accounts that most corporate users will want, it is necessary to buy a more expensive, and so less competitively priced web hosting package. In order to be sure that you are getting the best value for money from your web host, we have compared three of the top unlimited web hosting packages that include all of the important features as a standard part of their web hosting deal.
All of these web hosts are established businesses that have a good record for service, and they all offer a single flat rate per month for a fully featured web hosting account. We compared the value for money, user friendliness and reliability of these three web hosts to determine which one offered the best overall web hosting service.
BlueHost has been providing its web hosting services since 1996 and has developed a reputation for being the industry leader. The focus of BlueHost is on the quality customer service that is delivered by professional technical staff utilizing the best available technology. They have a single, all inclusive web hosting package that comes with everything that users will need to create and maintain almost any sort of website. This means that the price that BlueHost advertises for web hosting will be the price that you pay, because there are no expensive upgrades or add-ons needed to access all of the features.
The service from BlueHost stands out from its nearest competitors in several areas that are beyond the standard unlimited bandwidth, disk space, domain names and e-mail accounts. The basic price of $3.95 per month is easily the least expensive package that includes all of the features that BlueHost is offering, but you will need a BlueHost discount code to get this price. Even when compared to many of the cheapest web hosting packages that limit their service, this is cheap.
BlueHost also has a comprehensive selection of reseller web hosting options ranging from 100 GB of disk space at 15 Mbps for just $19.95 per month up to 500 GB at 35 Mbps for $99.95. These reseller accounts come with all of the management software and billing options that are needed to sell space on the web to your own clients, and provide for unlimited domains, databases and unlimited use of the website design and management systems that BlueHost provides for their own shared hosting package.
BlueHost uses the popular and easy to understand cPanel website management tool to access all of the features that are included with every account. This makes it easy to install scripts, create e-mail accounts and add domains to your account. The web design software that is supplied by BlueHost is simple enough so that most people with average computer abilities will be able to build the website that they want, but there are also over fifty scripts that can be installed via cPanel that can be used for that purpose too, allowing users to create the website that is best suited to their needs and experience.
Another area where BlueHost is leading their competition is in the commerce options that come as a standard part of their web hosting package. While many web hosts are including e-commerce features in the basic price of their package, BlueHost easily has the widest variety of choices for fully featured shopping carts and SSL pages, while their competitors are generally offering only a single free option and users will probably have to buy third party e-commerce software to get all of the features that they need.
As with most all inclusive web hosting packages, BlueHost’s standard deal comes with a free domain name for one year and includes $100 of Google credits, so you can begin advertising your website once it is online. The quality of BlueHost’s customer service and technical support also stands out from their nearest competitors, and they guarantee hold times at their service desk will be less than 30 seconds. It is the quality of the entire web hosting package that BlueHost provides that makes them the clear leader and the best value for money service available.
HostMonster has also been in business since 1996 and has a reputation for having a reliable service with the features that most users are looking for in a web hosting package. Like BlueHost, HostMonster offers a single, all inclusive web hosting package which, at $4.95 per month, is only slightly more expensive than BlueHost, but still much cheaper than many of their competitors.
Another aspect of HostMonster’s service that falls behind BlueHost is the lack of a reseller package. While it is still possible to resell the web hosting, managing clients’ accounts isn’t catered for as it is with BlueHost. There is also no mention of VPS or dedicated server packages on their website, making HostMonster unsuitable for larger corporate users. There are less e-commerce features included in HostMonster’s shared web hosting package and while many smaller businesses will have the tools that they need, larger corporate users will have to buy third party software to have all of the commercial features that they need.
There are some very good features included in HostMonster’s shared web hosting package, like the bulletin board that provides an easy means of creating a message forum on your website. There is also software available for creating polls and surveys, as well as social network scripts that make it easy to start engaging with your website’s users right from the start. However, since there is similar software that plugs in to a standard WordPress website, these aren’t as important to most users as they might seem to be. HostMonster also utilizes cPanel to manage its web hosting accounts, which comes complete with all of the latest popular scripts and allows users to install most of them with a few mouse clicks.
All of this adds up to a good quality, reliable web hosting service that will work well for smaller business users but not as well for larger organizations. At the current rock bottom price, HostMonster is easily the second best web hosting service on the market today.
DreamHost began as a small organization with a single server in 1997, and has since grown to be one of the largest and best-known web hosts in the business. Presenting themselves as a fun and alternative web hosting company, DreamHost offer a single shared hosting package that comes with all of the features that you will need for $8.95 per month. This makes their service among the more expensive deals on the web right now, but with their WordPress-optimized web hosting and their custom account control panel, DreamHost has simplified the whole web design process while retaining the flexibility of using the WordPress web design script.
DreamHost also offers VPS packages ranging in price from $15 per month for their smallest, 300 MB package, up to $200 per month for 4000 MB. There are also dedicated server packages from $99 to $249 per month depending upon the CPU quality and storage space that is used. While these prices are reasonable, they are not the most competitive on the web, but DreamHost is about to start supplying cloud services, which may become their corporate focus in the future.
DreamHost has an interesting customer support option in the form of its own Wiki, where users and developers have contributed their solutions to many of the problems that can arise with creating, publishing and maintaining a website. While the focus of DreamHost’s support staff isn’t as technical as those at BlueHost, because the business is owned by its employees, they have a genuine interest in making sure that their customers are satisfied with the service that they are getting.
In the final analysis, only BlueHost offers the complete package of unlimited services with all of the tools that users will need for their website, and is backed up by a proven customer service and technical support team. Both of the others offer portions that are similar to the complete packages from BlueHost, and when the monthly price is factored in, BlueHost is the obvious choice for real value. In addition, the long and positive record of reliability and the state of the art infrastructure at BlueHost are backed up by a full money-back guarantee, so that you can be sure that they will provide the service that you are paying for.