February 19

The ultimate list of the 4 best Bluehost alternatives

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You’re probably looking at some way to get out of Bluehost.

We know that feeling.

When your host has tied you down to a long contract by offering a steep discount initially, and then suddenly jacks up the price the next time you have to renew.

Here are some better alternatives.

We personally have tried (and paid!) for all of them.

The host Pros Cons Who we recommend it to
Siteground Easy to start with a DNS editor, custom email client, through Siteground
Siteground starts at $2.99 per month per website.
Loading speed to access your WordPress panel could be almost 5s once you increase past 15 pages, or have about 3000 monthly visitors.
Not good for scaling. We personally used the highest tier plan and still found our loading speed horribly slow.
We don’t recommend it at all.
WPX Customer support is fantastic, with 24/7, near instant replies.
They also offer to migrate over your site for free.
Price starts at $20.83 per month for 5 sites!
You might not get the fastest speeds compared to others like Chemicloud. We recommend it if you’re someone who needs considerable hand holding and you’re starting your first site, or migrating over your site from another host. WPX will do it for you when you give them your log-in details.
Rocket.net Customer support is great
It is hands down the fastest WordPress hosting I’ve tried
Starts at $25 per month, for one website, compared to $4 per month for the likes of WPX We consider moving it to Rocket.net if you have the money to spare, and if you’re a site with considerable traffic above 5000 per month.
Chemicloud Use their WordPress Turbo Plan at $215.64 for 3 years. This has been recommended by the likes of Online Media Masters, which provides unbiased reviews. I personally have not tried it.   I recommend this if you only have one site to make.

Hosts are like houses – easy to start, but not easy to maintain

By all accounts, hosts are pretty easy to set up.

It’s a bit like choosing a place to stay.

It’s where your virtual home will be for the next few years. And so whilst it’s easy to start, you want to also make sure that its easily scalable.

A diagram to help you understand what hosting looks like
A diagram to help you understand what hosting looks like

Especially when your site is growing faster than you expected.

The problem is that whilst it’s easy to start, there’s a high barrier to switching. It is a lot of trouble to switch, because you have to redo things like the DNS records.

But if you don’t switch, and find your site scaling in traffic, you might easily find your site slowed down massively.

Siteground: Most beginner-friendly, but slow once you have more than 5k visitors

We were paying for the GoGeek plan, but getting really shit speeds. Like each page would take 5s to load, minimally.
We were paying for the GoGeek plan, but getting really shit speeds. Like each page would take 5s to load, minimally.

When I made my first ever custom domain website as a starry eyed 24 year old in April 2020, I hosted it on Siteground because it seemed to be the one everyone recommended.

Little did I know how slow it was, once your site started getting wider spread adoption.

You need to know one thing.

Siteground is great for beginners, but once you start having some degree of success with your site with more than 3000 visitors per month, you will see your site start slowing massively.

That said, if you’re starting out, Siteground is perfect.

We love it because of its easy to understand interface. And because it’s so widely used, you have a lot of articles online that explain how you should use it.

The 4 things you would need:

  1. A domain registrar
  2. A DNS records editor
  3. A host
  4. A custom email domain provider

For all of these, Siteground offers a solution.

But just don’t expect it to be the most value for money (in terms of site speed per dollar spent).

If you want to spend lots of time waiting for your WordPress admin panel to load, by all means – use Siteground.

If not, there are better options.

For example, in our first site, Save The Social Worker, we found that once we hit past 3000 visitors a month, we were waiting an average of 5s just to get the page to load. It was a real waste of time and something we didn’t think was that ideal for time pressed visitors.

WPX

We got WPX on the recommendation of Thrive Themes founder Shane Melaugh.

I’m not sure if he still recommends it, but it is definitely faster, compared to Siteground.

It reports that it’s the fastest WordPress host, but I don’t think it is, especially after I started using Rocket.net.

Today, as an agency, we use it for all our clients. Primarily because we find that it’s pretty good on its customer service, with the customer support often replying instantly.

They have done something great there.

We also like that they offer you free migrations. Just give them your login details for the other host you’re on, and they will quickly migrate you.

The only thing we don’t like is that every time we log into WP Admin, there’s a captcha that requires us to identify shapes and pictures. We find it a waste of time.

And that’s where something more high tech like Rocket might work, if you can afford to pay a little more.

But we’ve also come to see that they are not necessarily the most value for money. You might be paying more because of the consistent, round the clock 24/7 customer support they have.

This is probably the pricing you’re looking at.
This is probably the pricing you’re looking at.

For example, when we compared our Save The Social Worker site to Live Young and Well, our media site, we realised that the one on Rocket.net loaded much, much faster compared to what we had on WPX. Granted, we were paying more. But we didn’t expect it to be almost twice as fast, compared to WPX.

Rocket.net

Rocket is a little steeper to pay for. But it’s worth paying for.

For one, they put it on an Enterprise CDN with Cloudflare, which automatically detects the security of the network you’re on.

Don’t ask me how they do it, but there wasn’t any strange, stupid captchas that I had to solve.

But because of the pure speed they inject into the site, we saw a massive increase in the number of times Google was showing our pages (measured through the number of impressions).

We ported over to Rocket.net from Siteground in December 2022, and saw the impressions immediately increase by 5 times.

You’re right.

5!

Of course, if you compare the cost of Rocket.net to the rest, it’s not as cheap.

But we find it worth it, because we wanted our readers to have a faster reading experience.

Choose the in between option

I would personally recommend that you use Chemicloud.

It is the best in between option, especially when you’re just having one website.

 


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