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So, you’ve decided to start a blog and self-host it.

 

Congrats!

via GIPHY

 

I’ve had during my time joining Facebook groups and Twitter chats, a big question I’ve been asked often  seems to be;

“What host am I going to invest with?”

 

 

If you’re interested in starting a blog, you can check out my post: The Ultimate Guide to Starting your Blog from Scratch

 

 

Yes, it really is an investment. You’re making the leap and actually putting some money down to start your blog. You’re investing in yourself.  Scary?  Yep it definitely is!

 

But how do you choose what’s right for you? Which one is the best?  Which one is most affordable?  Different bloggers will tell you a whole bunch of different answers when it comes to recommending what host to choose.

So in turn, I’m going to compare the top 3 I’ve found that are neck and neck for the best and should-be recommended.

 

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:

 

 

BlueHost

The host that’s been recommended the most.  (I really enjoyed that this rhymed)

Well, at least a few years ago it was recommended the most.  Lately, I’ve heard so many complaints from bloggers that their site has been down more than once, and for hours at a time!  Also many complaints about the customer service.  I’ve first-hand experienced terrible customer service with BlueHost when I was looking for my own host for this blog.  I had a bunch of questions and normally find it easier to just ask directly to find my answers.

Nope.  Not easy at all.  The person took about 15 minutes in between messages to respond.   And ultimately didn’t answer anything.  I thought that maybe I just pulled the short straw and I should try again. So I tried another chat and as well sent an email with my questions – did not get a response.  At all.  I even tried to message them on Facebook and did not receive an answer for about 4 days.

To say the least: very disappointing.

Here are the basic facts:

  • 1 Website
  • 99.92% up time (however I’ve heard otherwise)
  • 50gb for website space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Regular performance
  • 1 Domain (free for 1 year)
  • 5 Email accounts
    • 100mb per email account
  • 30 Day money back guarantee
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • 24/7 Expedited support
  • 1-Click WordPress install

 

Cost: Starting at $2.95 per month (regular price $7.99)

 

“BlueHost has been absolutely wonderful since starting up my blog. I’ve made a few “oopsies” here and there and they have been very wonderful helping me restore my settings when I can’t access my WordPress dashboard. Their customer service representatives are rock stars and help assist me with anything and everything I need, no matter how difficult the problem. They also provide great deals on hosting prices that are simply unbeatable. I’m very glad I chose them to host my blog, and I will continue to renew my contract with them when it expires!” – Madison Russell @ www.theblondelifestyle.com

 

“BlueHost made starting a blog simple. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to understand the ins and outs of running a website, but BlueHost gave me step by step instructions on what to do, how to do it, and why I should consider it. Their customer service is awesome and really attentive. Best of all, they have some great features that give me privacy (so I don’t get annoying emails/phone calls from spammers) and back up my entire website. My hosting is something that I don’t have to think about – BlueHost takes care of it all.” – Kendall Brittingham @ www.weekendall.com

 

TL;DR – A lot of people recommend BlueHost and seem to be enjoying it in the beginning.

 

Check out BlueHost here


iPage

Ok, so iPage is a little under the radar, but during my search for hosts, an ad came up and I decided to check it out.

What I noticed first of all is that they had the lowest intro price at $1.99 which was great.  Because I’m poor.  They offered the same things BlueHost has plus an extra couple hundred dollars in advertising.  Which I thought was a nice touch.

Like my BlueHost research, I had a bunch of questions and decided to use their chat option.  Consequently I was actually blown away as the person actually replied in under 2 minutes, and made sure my answers were what I was looking for before we disconnected.  I know sometimes I have trouble getting my questions out or describing something clearly, so sometimes I have to ask the same question a couple times in different ways to get the answer I was looking for. I was completely satisfied.

Here are the basic facts:

  • FREE domain name
  • 99.99% up-time
  • Great packages for first-timers
  • 24/7 US-based support
  • 3 site builders to get your site up without programming
  • Business verification
  • Malware scanning
  • Highly secure data center
  • Network scanning
  • $100 Google Adwords offer
  • $100 Bing credit
  • Free YP.com listing
  • Site Analytics Suite
  • 24/7 phone, email, & chat help
  • Online Knowledge base
  • Video tutorials and online help
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Free domain name (1 year)
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • Free website transfer (via FTP)
  • 1-Click WordPress install

 

Cost: Starting at $1.99 per month (regular price $7.99)

 

“The main reason I’ve been really happy with iPage, it is really easy to use. I am a novice and don’t have any coding experience, but I was able to easily create a website that I’m proud of.  iPage has excellent customer service and resources. I received helpful “getting started “e-mails and their chat feature was really easy to use! I’ve only been blogging for five and half months, but I’m so glad I decided to use iPage for my domain, hosting and building my blog.” – Amy  @ discoveringwhimsy.com

 

TL;DR – iPage is fairly cheap to start with and includes a bunch of extra stuff for advertising and more email addresses than BlueHost

 

Check out iPage here


SiteGround

SiteGround is a little more known in the blogging community.  They have great speed, great up-time, and as well, great customer service.  Most of all you’ll notice that are just a few dollars more than BlueHost and iPage.

My experience with the customer service was actually not bad at all.  Similar to my experience with iPage, the agent was quick to reply, and make sure my questions were answered fully.

 

Here are the basic facts:

  • Free Website Builder
  • cPanel & SSH Access
  • Free Setup & Transfer
  • 24/7 Technical Support
  • SSD Storage
  • Free Daily Backup
  • 30 Days Money Back
  • Unlimited Emails & DBs
  • HTTP/2 Enabled Servers
  • Free Let’s Encrypt SSLs
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • 30 money back guarantee
  • 10-30 gb disc space
  • domain new or transfer
  • 24/7 support chat
  • Cloudflare CDN
  • 99.98% Uptime
  • Free website migration
  • 1-Click WordPress install

Cost: Starting at $3.95 per month (regular price $9.95)

 

“As a new blogger I was lost and confused on where to start. Deciding to go with a self-hosted site, I picked SiteGround. It has been super easy to use and was such a great price not wanting to put to much into a start up.” – Lindsey @ www.crazymommielife.com

“SiteGround have been great for me. Their customer service is second to none especially as a digital nomad where I move countries all the time. Previous servers had phone numbers in certain countries which of course are not possible to call abroad or are very expensive. SiteGround has a live chat feature and I was able to purchase and transfer all my information over using siteGround without any hassle. They did it all for me. If I ever have an issue I jump on the live chat and have it sorted in minutes. Means you don’t have to spend forever on hold too.” – Deasha @ www.travelnfitness.com

“I just started using SiteGround this month and I love it! Their support team is amazing and always super quick to help me with my many questions and issues. Their website is easy to navigate, and it is not overly crowded with random things a new blogger or non-tech savvy person would find confusing. Plus, their prices are super affordable. I love them!” – Caitlyn Stone @ www.collegewithcaitlyn.com

 

TL;DR – SiteGround has outstanding reviews for speed, reliability, and customer service.  Just a few more dollars than BlueHost.

 

Check out SiteGround here


(was all the above very overwhelming? yep, for me too!)

 

The Overall winners:

Cost: iPage – $1.99 / month

Extras: iPage & SiteGround

Customer Service: iPage & SiteGround

Up time: iPage @ 99.99%

 

Conclusion: Only you will know what host is best for you.

How much will/can you spend on hosting?  Have you had a good experience when reaching out to the hosts?

When I first started, I did so much research and eventually decided that iPage was the best for me, however a big part of that was the cost was much lower than other sites, and also had so many freebies! I’ve seen many bloggers happy with BlueHost, and many bloggers happy with SiteGround!  I’ve also met some bloggers that have changed hosts a few times in their career – iPage and SiteGround make this easy.

 

Good luck! And let’s get to work!

via GIPHY

 

 

What factors play a big role in your choice of host?  Do you have a different preference?


Related:

How to easily start your WordPress blog with iPage in 10 minutes  – this guide will also suffice for BlueHost and SiteGround

The Ultimate Guide to Starting your Blog from Scratch

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