No matter what your plans are – maybe you want to start a blog to write about your life or make money with affiliate marketing, showcase your freelancer services or promote a product you want to sell – you will have to pick a web hosting company to build your website. If you are new to the whole world of creating websites, you are probably looking for a reliable and reputable hosting plan. Something that is easy to use, yet powerful enough for your needs.
When I started working on websites for clients, we mainly used two of the biggest web hosting companies for beginners out there: Bluehost and A2 Hosting. That is why I want to share my experience with you and explain, which company works best for your needs and which you should choose to successfully run your first web project.
What Makes Them the Best Web Hosting Companies for Beginners?
Both webhosting companies are well established and powerful hosting providers with many features. This is, of course, great for more advanced users, too, who need more than just the basic versions.
However, both of them offer affordable shared hosting plans which include enough features for every newbie to get along with. Since they are so cheap you can’t do much wrong. In case you find out after a couple of months that this is not the right path for you, you haven’t invested too much money in it.
Both also offer an (in my experience) great customer service, which can help you out with any rookie questions or struggles you might have.
Moreover, both web hosting providers are compatible with common Content Management Systems, like WordPress. Especially, if you want to start a blog, this might be your go-to system.
Just in case you want to sell products on your website, there are also free shopping carts and plenty of eCommerce plug-ins available via WordPress. So you don’t have to take care of that yourself and find own solutions.
And before you ask: Of course, you can stay with them even as an advanced “website owner”. In case you need a more extensive plan, i.e. more websites, storage, etc., you can simply upgrade anytime.
Who Are Bluehost and A2 Hosting?
Bluehost is a well-established hosting company that has been around since 1996. It is one of the 20 largest web hosts out there and potentially the most famous one. It is popular for its cheap and flexible pricing plans and is, therefore, the starter web host for many beginners.
A2 Hosting is slightly newer and not as commonly known as Bluehost. I can’t really tell you why it is not as popular (marketing?!) because its uptime and speed performance is truly outstanding. That’s why many professionals use A2 for their advanced needs, too.
Key Facts and Features of both Hosting Companies
I don’t want to dive too deep into technical details here. But let’s have a look at the most important facts and numbers that are of interest to you, even if you are a beginner.
Bluehost was a long time known for its fairly slow service. However, they have made quite a few improvements and now manage to reach a load time of 510 ms. This is indeed a very good result and faster than many other popular web hosting companies out there.
A2 Hosting claims that they are 20 times faster than their competitors. And it’s true. They really manage to achieve an incredible load time. When Hosting Facts tested the speed, A2 averaged 392ms during the test period. That’s like instant page loading. It also makes it the fastest WordPress hosting out there at the moment.
A2 Hosting goes one step further and guarantees its customers an uptime of 99.9% or more. In case your website is not reachable because of any network issues with A2, they will refund 5% of your monthly fee for every hour it wasn’t up.
3. Customer Support
- Live Chat
- Email Support
- Phone Support
- Forum Support
In addition to this, you can also scroll through their knowledge databases and read about topics you are interested in. You will even find video guides that help you through the most important processes.
Since I’m not exactly a techie, I have questions and difficulties all the time (whoops). That’s why I have used both customer services extensively in the past. I have to say that I was very pleased with their support every single time – it was fast, friendly, and competent.
A2 was kind enough to do the entire migration for free from my former hosting company to their server because I had no clue where to start. And Bluehost was very cooperative when I made a mistake and didn’t cancel an old plan on time. They transferred my money back even though they didn’t have to.
However, I have read quite a few negative reviews about customer service, especially with Bluehost.
I have to admit that email inquiries took a bit too long to get answered with both hosts. But when using the live chat function I got support in no time.
So from my personal experience, I was very happy with both customer services.
4. Plans and Costs
Both web hosting companies offer several plans for their shared hosting service. To make it more comparable, let’s look at their basic versions only.
|Price||No monthly options -|
3.95 USD per month for 1 year
|4.90 USD on a monthly basis|
4.41 USD per month for 1 year
3.92 USD per month for 3 years
|Included Domains||1 free domain for 12 months||No included domain|
|Data Storage||50 GB||Unlimited|
|Free SSL Certificate||Included||Included|
|Money Back Guarantee||Within 30 days of Signing up||Anytime|
Just in case that is of any importance to you:
Downsides of Bluehost and A2 Hosting
Ok, I guess this sounded all great so far. But there are disadvantages, too, right? There always are. So let’s see what might be a downside for you:
- As I said, I personally haven’t made any negative experiences but customer reviews repeatedly complain about Bluehost’s customer support.
- Although the speed significantly improved, the shared hosting has still room for improvement.
- Unless you buy a 3-year plan, A2 is more expensive than the average web hosting companies.
- You don’t get a domain name included and therefore have to pay extra for it.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Both Bluehost and A2 Hosting are very reputable and stable hosting providers. They both provide a good range of features and are known for their reliable performance. On top of that, they have extensive systems to keep your site safe and protected.
They also both have easy-to-navigate websites and allow you, to install hundreds of useful applications with one click. On top of that, both use cPanel as control panel, which is particularly easy to use for beginners.
If had HAD to recommend you one, I would probably pick A2 Hosting. Although they are a bit more expensive and you don’t get a domain name included, their uptime and speed are outstanding, so is their customer service.
However, if you can’t or don’t want to spend the extra money at the moment, Bluehost is a fantastic choice, too. You get a great package for your money that includes all you need to start your first website.
If you want to go for Bluehost, be quick! Their Basic plan is currently only 2.95 USD per month! Click here to get straight to the offer!
If you have decided for A2 Hosting, click here to head over to their website now to get the best deal!