A2 Hosting, Bluehost & Godaddy are 3 top web hosting providers known for their affordable, reliable, easy to use web hosting services. Most of the time people got confused when they have to pick one out of three. In this article we compared all three web hosting providers i.e A2 Hosting vs Bluehost vs Godaddy on various parameters.
Web hosting companies are now dime a dozen in all over the web. Although most of them are resellers some of them have their own technology stack and server infrastructure. However, maintaining the necessary performance and service along with quality in the highly competitive industry is very crucial to maintain a steady growth. Moreover, cheap hosting prices along with higher maintenance costs of the servers often tend to turn hosting companies broke before they can establish their name or service in the market. Whatever companies remain, often tend to skyrocket their sales over a short period to gain millions of customers and compete head on with the already established giants.
With huge number of web hosting companies all fighting over the limited market share, you may sometimes find organizations that have remained at constant growth over a decade. Unlike their popular alternatives, these companies do not engage themselves with marketing methods and instead focus on providing an innovative platform for hosting along with quality service. Due to the lack of marketing and advertising, the organizations have not been able to gain significant market shares but still maintain their dominance by slowly growing their list of dedicated customers over the years.
Therefore, unlike Bluehost and Godaddy who have gained significant market share through their strategic marketing campaigns and consumer oriented plans and competitive pricing, A2 Hosting on the other hand has fallen back in consumer acquisition and is therefore less popular among its competitors. However, it is now rapidly gaining market due to its consistent quality services and also increasing popularity among its consumers. Let’s dive deeper to understand the various features provided by the three popular hosting companies and find the best solutions for your requirements.
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Plans and Pricing
Pricing the products and services in the web hosting industry is quite tough considering the heavy competition among the numerous large and small companies. Moreover, new companies keep on spurring up every now and then to further increase the competition. Therefore, maintaining a pricing strategy to compete with them becomes highly necessary. A2 Hosting, Bluehost and Godaddy provide a variety of services and have therefore priced their products according to their market strategy.
A2 Hosting provides hosting plans starting with the Lite plan priced at $3.92/ month. Along with solid state drives and optimized server infrastructure, the company manages to attract significant number of customers. The next higher plan is named swift and is priced at $4.90/month. It comes with even better infrastructure support along with better features and the ability to maintain high performance applications on top of it. The Turbo is the best and most powerful shared hosting plan with numerous enhanced features like turbo boost optimized servers that are structured to run high performance oriented applications without any server restrictions. Priced at $9.31/month, the plans are quite cheaper than its competition considering the amount of features included in their configuration.
Bluehost comes with strategically priced plans with features that quite complement its wide array of features. Ranging from the cloud sites to the shared hosting and dedicated WordPress websites, the company targets nearly all kinds of customers and therefore has plans for all kinds of users. However, due the numerous features included, the plans are a bit higher than the competition. The shared plans start with starter plan that is priced at $3.95/month. It comes with a 100GB limit for storage along with 100 email address and 1 domain name, 25 sub domains. The next higher plan is the plus plan is priced at $6.95/month. All its parameters including data storage, data transfer, number of domains, no of subdomains, email addresses etc. have no limits and are therefore the best plan in its range. The next higher plan is priced at $14.95/month and is called the Business Pro. It is ideal for all kinds of business related websites including ecommerce websites and other high performance websites. It includes SSL certificates along with domain privacy, dedicated IP address and Pro Backup services to complement its features.
Godaddy also provides some of the best priced plans when it comes to its shared hosting section. Its plans start from $4.99/month called the economy plan and is ideal for beginners who just want a simple static website or blog without any additional or advanced features. The next higher plan is priced at $5.99/month and is called the deluxe plan. Unlike the starter plan, this plan allows some flexibility and there is ideal for some decent web hosting. The highest plan called the Ultimate comes with some additional features along with the Ultimate plan priced at $7.99/month and is therefore ideal for all kinds of hosting purposes.
However, the limits are quite stringent and therefore resource constraints may lead to you to dislike the plans. You can always upgrade to VPS or other higher plans but still the plans perform much worse than its competitors like Bluehost and A2 Hosting.
Features and Add-ons
Hosting companies with less or more customers have structures their plans to entice customers due to the tough market competition and the dropping prices of web hosting plans. The recent shift to cloud hosting along with the introduction of an array of features has let organizations to shift their focus from traditional shared and VPS hosting plans to more flexible cloud hosting plans that allow consumers to expand and contract their resource usage depending on their application requirements. Customers only have to pay for what they use and are therefore more attracted to cloud hosting than traditional shared or VPS hosting.
With optimized server infrastructures like turbo boost and numerous caching services like Cloudflare the hosting plans also come with additional features like SPDY support, unlimited data transfer, data storage, databases and email addresses. The servers also have inbuilt backup storage in the form of snapshots that can be used to restore damaged server configurations at the click of a button. The servers also come with HTTP/2 support to further allow high speed connectivity between the server infrastructures and the client devices. Users can easily build web socket integrations on their web servers to further provide a seamless experience on the client sides of their web applications.
Bluehost with its cloud hosting plans comes with never before seen options and features like instant scaling and resource monitoring which is rarely available in the competing hosting companies. The shared hosting plans also come with numerous features like timely backups, multiserver management and advanced capabilities like SSH access to your server. The servers also come with powerful content delivery networks that can be utilized to further speed up the delivery of static pages. You can also install additional software’s like Railgun to speedup server side caching and maintain necessary speed of delivery in applications regardless of location or device. Additional features like domain privacy and spam protection take the traditional shared servers a step ahead by allowing them to host production ready applications for any purpose.
To compete and gain larger market shares, Godaddy also comes with numerous features and add-ons that are commonly found in most web hosting companies. Some of the most common ones found in most web hosting clients are: email address up to 500 or 1000 along with 1 year SSL certificates that could be used for ecommerce hosting. You can also configure your application to always run through https instead of http if you have opted for the ultimate plan. Except for the ultimate plan, none of the other plans come with SSL certificates. You also get premium DNS features along with numerous other standard add-ons like FTP access, SSH access, access to raw logs that allow users to analyse their server performance and website reliability, etc.
Also Read: A Small Orange vs Godaddy vs Bluehost
Performance and Reliability
Server performance is of utmost importance when it comes with hosting applications and websites. Therefore, hosting companies have focussed primarily on delivering high quality hardware architecture along with server resources to attract consumers and the same time fend off competition. Among the three hosting companies, Bluehost and A2 hosting compete consistently at numerous parameters over time to excel. However due to the cloud hosting architecture of Bluehost along with high resource availability lends it a better advantage as compared to the other three hosting companies.
A2 hosting provides world class architecture along with its turbo boost technology that effectively attracts market share. Its uniquely optimized server architecture along with scalability and optimization features make it one of the top performing servers among the three. However, the lower plans don’t perform as well as the Turbo plan as it comes with specially optimized servers while the others don’t.
We tested one website hosted with A2 Hosting. Below is an screenshot of the test results. The server perform really good when we ping it from different locations.
Bluehost on the other hand offers equal performance metrics on all the types of plans even though there are limitations to resource usage in the low priced plans. As all the websites and applications are hosted in similar web servers, all plans perform the same. However, if the user ends up using more resources than he is allocated, he has to upgrade to the next higher plan or reduce their resource consumption.
We tested one website hosted with Bluehost. Below is a screenshot of the test results. The server perform really good, I would say better than A2 Hosting, when we ping it from different locations.
Godaddy puts strict restriction on the resource usage as the servers with limited resources don’t even allow users to use more resources than allocated. The moment the resources get overused, the servers shut down and again take some time to get back up. Otherwise the ram usage exceeds the limits and no additional page requests or data access from the server is possible until the resource request comes down.
We tested one website hosted with Godaddy. Below is an screenshot of the test results. The server perform really good, I would say better than A2 Hosting & Bluehost, when we ping it from different locations.
A2 hosting definitely strikes the chord when it comes to page speed with its numerous enhancements in terms of both server side and client side improvements to caching. Users can also optimize their servers further to increase their server caching through Railgun and though customization of mod_pagespeed. Moreover, the company also allows users to cache their web pages through popular content delivery networks like Cloud Flare etc. With proper customization and configuration of the servers, users can easily build fast serving web pages and applications that make use of the maximum server resources through distributed application deployment and delivery. This level of improvement is hardly found in any other hosting company and therefore A2 hosting is one of the few companies that excel at delivering higher page speeds.
After A2 hosting comes the Bluehost servers that have specially configured cloud caching services along with high scalability that allows users to build and customize their cloud applications as per their requirements. The cloud hosting services take the company a step further by providing the users the necessary customizability to host any type of application. At the last but quite better than more hosting companies stands Godaddy that although has decent servers, doesn’t allow any self-customization to modify server configurations to suit application requirements.
Serve Uptime and Downtime
When it comes to server uptime, Bluehost definitely beast any competition. With more than 99.992% uptime for over a year, the company beat most of its competitors. Although A2 hosting also has a decent uptime rate with 99.96%, it falls back at numerous features like perquisite notifications before servers are taken down, support or any failover measures during server downtime etc. Although Godaddy also lacks these features, its server downtime stands at 99.98% over a year which is definitely better than most of its competitors.
Bluehost due to its highly scalable architecture is efficiently able to deliver the web servers from other geographical locations that have maintained copies of the primary servers. The same technology is used by Godaddy but still they fall short of necessary support during the transition. As A2 hosting lacks the necessary infrastructure to replicate user data across multiple servers at different locations, they are not yet able to deliver low downtime services comparable with Bluehost.
Also Read: Dreamhost Vs Godaddy
User Experience and Customer Service
A2 hosting definitely shines when it comes to customer service and competes head-on with Bluehost and other top hosting companies. It has a specialized support crew which it calls the guru crew who handle all kinds of support related queries. They are technical people who have the server administrators right by their side all the time. You can throw any questions at them to get the best possible solutions. The next best customer service is provided by Bluehost with its highly customer oriented services. All their customers get due attention while customers at Godaddy tend to get sold with new products and services instead of solving their queries.
When it comes to user experience, Bluehost as the best customized UI while Godaddy ranks second with its custom easy to use UI and A2 needs some improvements to its UI to make itself pleasant for beginners.
If you are looking for custom application development on a high performance server that is as powerful as the low cost VPS servers, then you should definitely check out A2 Hosting. They also have the best customer service desk who can quickly help you get started and are always ready to solve your queries. If you want a powerful website with good customer services and high performance, then Bluehost should be your choice. However, if you just want a small website and don’t expect to get a lot of visitors, then Godaddy should be enough for you.