|Plan in review||Drive||Basic|
|Price before discount||$||$|
|Price (12-mo)||$12.99 / month||$8.99 / month|
|Price (24-mo)||$6.99 / month||$3.95 / month|
|Special Discount||Special signup discount, save 51% - 63% on first bill||Signup Specials - $2.75/mo|
|Promo Code||WHSR / SAVE63||(Link Activate)|
Reliable server, hosting uptime above 99.99%
Well-optimized for best performance
Reasonable renewal rates and signup discount
Anytime money back guarantee
Free websites migration for first time customers
Choice of 4 different server locations
Specialized developer environment (Node.js, python, etc)
Solid server performance - Hosting uptime > 99.95%
Good server speed - TTFB below 500ms
Comprehensive self-help documents and video tutorials
Cheap entry cost for shared hosting
Ease of use - Newbie-friendly control panel
Flexibility – upgrade to VPS and dedicated hosting
Site migration chargeable when you downgrade
Many A2 Hosting speed features cost extra now
A2 Turbo Plan does not support Ruby or Python
Expensive renewal fees - 170% price jump after first term
Unlimited hosting service limited by various server usage policies
Most server upgrades and additional features are costly
No automated backup
Site migration is chargable
|Storage Capacity||Unlimited||50 GB|
|Extra Domain Reg.||$14.95/yr for .com domain; prices vary for different TLDs.||$11.99/yr for registration, $17.99/yr for renewal|
|Private Domain Reg.||$9.95/year||$14.88/year|
|Auto Script Installer||Softaculous||One Click Install (powered by Mojo Market Place)|
|Custom Cron Jobs||Yes||Yes|
|Site Backups||Yes||CodeGuard Basics at $32.95 per domain pear year|
|Free SSL||Let's Encrypt||Let's Encrypt|
|Built-in Site Builder||A2 Website Builder||Weebly Website Builder|
Commentary by WHSR Staff, Timothy Shim
I often feel it is a little unfair to compare most web hosting providers to A2 Hosting since they stand quite far above the competition. This stands out a little further given my slight bias towards EIG-owned sites, which BlueHost is today.
For those who are still unfamiliar with A2 Hosting, the offer a rock-solid combination of powerful performance and flexibility in very competitively priced packages. The performance of sites on their plans regularly clock in at sub-550ms speeds with a good uptime track record.
Speed tests using Bitcatcha
Recent A2 Hosting speed test results.
Recent BlueHost speed test result.
Feature-wise, there are a lot of similarities between A2 Hosting and BlueHost at similar price points. Yet the devil, as they say, is in the details. There are some critical shortcomings in BlueHost plans that unfortunately makes it fall behind in performance compared to A2 Hosting.
The first reason for A2 Hosting’s speed advantage is its Turbo server option which it claims can help sites load pages up to 20x faster. It also has unique customized in-house optimization and lets its users have flexibility in server locations. This can make another big difference, especially for sites that are regional-specific or targeted.
These are major features in an industry that must compete neck to neck on technology points. You might say one has SSD and another has not for example, but there no real way to overcome a tried and tested feature such as custom optimization on Turbo A2 Hosting servers.
Another holy grail in web hosting is making sure your site remains safe and recoverable in case of any disaster. Here it’s worth noting that BlueHost CodeGuard Backups cost $35.88/year. While this might not be a major price to pay for safety, it is still a line item to be added to your overhead.
Truly speaking anything I add on here will be nit-picking but there is also a difference in the kind of script installers that each use. A2 Hosting makes use of the widely-recognized Softaculous script installer while BlueHost uses an installer powered by Mojo Market Place.
While this may not seem like a major difference, users tend to be comfortable with widely used software that’s powerful and easy to use. Say for example the reason so many sites today run WordPress. There’s no real reason why BlueHost should rock the boat for its users here.
With a paltry dollar or so as a difference in sign-up pricing, A2 further pulls ahead with its anytime money-back guarantee and lower renewal prices at the end of contract.
This is not to say that BlueHost is a terrible web hosting service provider, especially since it’s officially still an officially recommended WordPress.org host. However, when it comes to a comparison between these two big names in the business, I can find no option but to recommend A2 Hosting.
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