Where to Host Your Website: Bluehost vs. 1and1 vs. Godaddy

June 3, 2010 — 62 Comments

bluehost vs. godaddySince launching my first website in 2006 I’ve been with 1and1.com (affiliate link).  I’ve loved their customer service (not that I’ve needed it much) and have just never had any major issues with them.

But lately I’ve been referring my clients to Bluehost (affiliate link) even though I’m still with 1and1.  If you’re jumping into your first website I’ll try to lay out a few things you should be aware of when signing up for a hosting service.

Domain Price

First of all, it’s very helpful to purchase your domains directly through whichever service hosts your site for you.  As of this writing, the purchase price for domains is about $10 at Bluehost and GoDaddy (affiliate link) while they’re a couple bucks cheaper at 1and1.

Dog Years

The important part here though is usability.  I’ve loved 1and1 for years as I’ve mentioned.  But a few years in the online world is like dog years.  Your teenager is really a senior citizen because technology grows and evolves at a rapid rate.  So my advice today is different than what I did years ago.

The Best Web Hosting

The Lukas Coaching website is custom designed and I manage it through a software program called Dreamweaver.  Years ago that was a great option, especially for someone familiar with website design and layout.  Today, WordPress is the best fit for most of the clients I work with, from the beginning solo-preneur, all the way up to the blog for a multi-million dollar company.

WordPress makes it easy to design and manage your website, even if it’s new to you.  The 5-minute installation is what they’ve become famous for.

1and1 however, does not make it easy.  Almost everything, including software updates, should be be easy with one-click.  But to make that work I had to add this line of code to my .htaccessfile:

AddType x-mapp-php5 .php

That’s not something you’re likely to discover on your own unless you’re familiar with HTML and PHP code.  It was fairly difficult for me to make it work.

Bluehost Makes it Easy

With Bluehost, it’s one click across the board.  You don’t have to add any code to make it work…it just does.  If it wasn’t so much work to port over eight individual websites, I’d probably join you there.

Learn from me though.  If you’re just starting out, Bluehost is a great place to be.

Do you have any suggestions or lessons we can learn from?

Justin Lukasavige

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  • http://www.kevingainey.com Kevin Gainey

    Dreamhost and Bluehost are both great for WordPress hosting and make it super easy. GoDaddy also makes it easy, but you have to deal with all their upselling it can become a pain. Especially if you are just starting out, seeing lots of ads for things you don't know if you need or not can be overwhelming. Plus GoDaddy's support can be hit and miss, in my experience with clients.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I haven't heard much about Dreamhost. Glad to hear it's a good option too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesmarler James Marler

    I wish somebody would evaluate Lunarpages. I get unlimited storage and bandwidth, they have a bunch of different plans, I've never had a problem with the site being down and the price is remarkably comparable. Not that Lunarpages is better than any of these other services, I just don't know. Just sayin'.
    http://www.lunarpages.com

  • http://thebluejeansva.com Marta

    I have the same dilemma deciding between Bluehost and 1and1.com – Bluehost is awesome for setting up a and upgrading WordPress sites (And their customer service is excellent) 1and1 has excellent service as well but they do make WordPress a manual install and upgrade.

    The only issue I may potentially have is the security of Bluehost WordPress databases. I have a client's WordPress sites hacked repeatedly, even with the increased security measures put in place and recommended by Bluehost. Thankfully it wassn't too bad and we were able to catch it early and I do know they are working hard with the issue and have put significant improvements in place as a result. But it is good to be aware of so that you can put in as much security as you can right from the start of your installation. Hmm… think I am seeing a new set of blog posts….

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Tell me when you put those WordPress/Bluehost security blogs up so I can educate myself Marta.

  • http://twitter.com/MeganEBurns Megan Burns

    Thanks for the info. After listening to everyone here and over at 48Days.net, I've decided to relaunch my site on WordPress at BlueHost, when my current hosting expires at GoDaddy in August. (Have NOT been happy with their support) I am a bit concerned about the security issues though as I'm setting up a membership site. Should I be? Also, how easy should it be for me to transfer my domain name from GoDaddy to BlueHost?

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I've never heard of any security problems until Marta brought it up, so I'm not sure. I know a lot of people using Bluehost without any issues. If you're setting up a membership site I have a feeling your plugin will address and handle that.

    Transferring domains can be annoying, but not impossible. You'll likely have a bit of downtime for a short period.

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  • Rick Hair

    This is a perfect example of how this content continues to help long after the initial post. I just found this by searching for godaddy versus bluehost and didn’t even get here from FAA. Good info, I’m going to move my new domain from GoDaddy and host it on Bluehost with WordPress. Thanks

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Wow, that’s cool Rick! Glad you found it helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonCordoba Brandon Cordoba

    Thanks Justin I really appreciate the advice. The thing I’m conserned about is bluehost getting bigger & bigger until it becomes a snail like godaddy.

    I downloaded a cool “Add on” in Firefox called “Firebug” it tells me what’s being loaded on my site & how long it takes. My plugins & code are in the nanoseconds but my Get http://BrandonCordoba.com from server is around 4-8 seconds average!

    I do agree that your thesis theme does definitely help. Especially the more & more complex the site gets.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    You’ll have that with any service Brandon, so you can’t hide from any of
    them. Rackspace is bigger than all of them I believe, but is also better.
    You’ll pay more of course.

  • Someone

    Whatever…..One click updates and fixes, more often than not, break as much as they fix.

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  • http://teachmetocode.com Charles Max Wood

    Justin- There’s only one concern I have with this post. I *don’t* recommend that people purchase their domain from their hosting company.

    Transferring domains is a headache, even when it’s easy. And, if somehow, another company came in and bought BlueHost and their service became a nightmare, you’re locked in.

    However, if your domain is purchased through a third party (like godaddy.com) then you can spin up a new website at the next BlueHost and then go to your domain registrar and point your domain to the new hosting.

    This way you own your all of your hard work building up your branding through your domain.

  • http://twitter.com/dhartzler10 Dustin Hartzler

    I personally use greengeeks.com for all of my hosting. It’s very similar to Blue host and has the same control panel features; but Green Geeks is a green hosting solution. They purchase 3x the wind energy credits they consume for their servers. They also have some neat other green initiatives, see: https://www.greengeeks.com/going-green/

  • http://teachmetocode.com Charles Max Wood

    Brandon- I have a couple of suggestions.

    1. Get YSlow. It’ll give you suggestions on how you can speed up your site.
    2. Start caching. WordPress has several plugins that allow you to cache your pages. It helps when your server already has the web content in memory.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I had a cache plugin installed but it majorly interfered with the podcast feed. I was getting an error that the XML file was too large. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but I had to get rid of the plugin to solve the problem.

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  • http://BrandonCordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

    Thanks guys great points. YSlow is great I’m @ a “A” now & also google’s “Page Speed” is a great add on for firebug.

    I ended up going with a semi-dedicated server with a brother from Church. It’s his own biz. there are only a dozen people on the server & it’s stout (8 core, 16 gb ram, 1 terabyte fiber optic cable(i think he siad?)). It’s stupid powerful also went with “cloudflare which is a free program that routes the junk users away from your site freeing up power to let the legit users load up ur site faster. Also bumps up security might want to check it out @ http://www.cloudflare.com/

    p.s. how do you get an email whenever someone responses to a blog

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Glad you got that fixed, Brandon.

    To get an email notification, use a plugin like disqus on your blog. You’ll just have to update your notifications in the preferences. You have to do it manually by checking the box on each post if you’re using the out of the box comments.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Interesting, Dustin. I haven’t heard of them before.

  • http://www.meccabooks.com Athar

    Hi Justin, quick question.. I was opening a ecommerce website using Prestashop.com opensource shopping cart. Currently I have iPage.com hosting and was thinking of switching over to a faster and maybe expandable webhost in the future. Bluehost seems like a good choice speed wise.. however I am leaning more toward 1&1 developer package bcz of stuff like .. free SSL.. free 5 domains.. free newsletters etc.. also wanted to know if these services are worth it to go for.. and are they free just for first year or for life… Please let me know. THanks

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    They should be free for the life of the package, Athar. Looks like they’re included. With the exception of some WordPress quirks on 1and1, I love the service there.

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  • Matthew Williams

    Thanks for the info Justin! To the novice all these hosting sites can look the same. At your recommendation I signed up with Bluehost, and followed the affiliate link as another way to say thanks!

  • http://BrandonCordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

    I’ve had mine get high jacked & has it’s been offline 3x already in the last couple of months. I think I am going to go with cloud based hosting. So if 1 server goes down the others will always keep my website up.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    That can’t be a fun experience, Brandon.

  • Dposnersc

    I’m on Bluehost. All the “experts” I know seem to like it.

  • http://twitter.com/rustyfarrell Rusty Farrell

    We have had a lot of success with DreamHost for our WordPress specific sites!

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Glad to hear that I’m not headed down the wrong trail, Rusty. You’re the pro!

  • http://about.me/colinmichael Colin Michael

    I’ve used HostDime and HostGator for years and I love them both. I have full control via cPanel, but super easy software installs via Fantastico when I want it. It takes me about ten minutes to set up a new client with a WordPress web site, and that includes buying and pointing the domain, creating their account under my reseller account, setting up the first email address, and installing WP.

    Because I use several different hosting services (depending on client needs), I use GoDaddy for all of my domain names. Their management interface is outstanding and the changes propagate amazingly fast. They also have a ton of management options. Must-have stuff when you trying to keep tabs on forty or fifty domain names. 

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Great writeup, Colin. Super info here. I hand’t heard of HostDime before.

  • Jim Gift

    This seems to be way over my head. Is it worth getting someone to do this for you?

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    To design your website, yes Jim. To get hosting takes just a few minutes. Sign up for Bluehost at http://coachradio.tv/hosting.

    When you have an account, you have a place for your designer to put the site. Let me know if you need a referral to a great designer.

  • http://wheretigerswill.tumblr.com Will Laohoo

    Thanks, Justin! I’d purchased my domain from GoDaddy (they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse), but I should still be able to host it at Bluehost, right?

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Absolutely, Will, though I do believe they include a free domain as long as you’re with them at Bluehost.

  • Luis

    I’ve tried them all and I’m a Bluehost fan since 2008

  • http://www.bagful.net cloud hosting india

    Hello

    This is good

    Thanks

  • http://www.onesolutionfor.me/ Trey Smith

    Thanks for the article Justin. I signed up with Bluehost this week and the entire process was very easy and they were helpful with all of my questions when I called them. Thanks for this post, it helped my decide on where to host my site.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    My pleasure, Trey. I’m looking forward to checking out your website.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mitch.concannon Mitch Concannon

    This has been very helpful Justin.
    Seen as this was posted in 2010 are you still recommending Bluehost or have you since changed to something new. Thanks again

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I do like Bluehost still, Mitch. Go for it.

  • Richardjschneider

    Justin:
    Good info, but still confusing. If I move my website to Bluehost – what do I do with WordPress? Or, do I do everything through WordPress? How do the two inter-relate? In the above article, you say you are recommending Bluehost, yet saying everyone is using WordPress. I’ll have to rebuild my 1and1 website. Where do i do that? Bluehost or WordPress?

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Sorry for the confusion, Richard. Bluehost is just that, a host. WordPress is the file system that your website runs on. It’s the stuff you see. So you’d install WordPress on Bluehost. 
    If you want something professional, you should get away from the 1and1 site builder. I’d check out your website and give a few suggestions, but it’s not linked in your profile. Here’s how to set that up for free.

    http://coachradio.tv/pic

  • http://indriyas.blogspot.in/ 1&1 Injured

    My comparison of GoDaddy Shared vs 1&1 VPS http://bit.ly/yysUNj.  GoDaddy wins hands down.

  • http://mikeruman.com Mike Ruman

    I’ve been with Bluehost for 8 years now, love em.

    I did recently have to put a Joomla site on SiteGround due to the large volume of components and plugins.

    Good stuff. And yeah Godaddy is the best for hosting domains. Google ‘godaddy coupon codes’ before you buy to save a few bucks.
     

  • Danny

    Hi, has anyone got up to date feedback on the issue mentioned here of security for Bluehost/Wordpress?

    Cheers, Danny

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I haven’t heard any issues, Danny.

  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Thank you Justin.  I signed up for Bluehost last week via Cliff Ravenscraft’s recommendation.  Glad to know I chose wisely as I only did a bit of research on it.
    Learning the WordPress stuff is pretty easy at least for what I am doing. Blogging right now.
    Later down the road I will probably purchase the Standard theme, as I am noticing I will find a widget I like, but the theme seems to interfere.  That is for another time though.
    Thank you again.

    K, bye

  • http://twitter.com/NewsNewman Carol Newman

    I used to agree with this but unfortunately Bluehost has gotten too big and their quality has decreased in the process. Much like HostGator, when companies get bought out, they dramatically change as far as security and quality, in my experience. 

    After my headache with Bluehost from all the downtime, I switched my WP sites over to SiteServing. This host is not as well known but they are extremely high quality and very well priced. I’ve had no issues for the months I’ve been hosted. I would be curious to see if you have any opinions of your own on SiteServing. 

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    I haven’t heard of them, Carol. Report back in a few months and let me know what you think.

  • Samela

    SO, I have 3 bluehost domains, but only one is active. I cannot figure out how to get to the other two, and the help video skips the question that seems to determine how to access the domains. I’m so confused. Can you help? Do you need more details?

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Hmm, not sure, Samela. Bluehost has great customer service. Have you tried contacting them? They should be able to clear it up for you within a few minutes.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Not sure what you’re asking, James. What should be on the dashboard?

  • Stuntsforcharity.com

    I’ve use a different hosts for my websites and have found different issues. My most success has come from DomainDash.Co. Cheap and reliable. When I do have something wrong I’ll just call them and they fix whatever the issue was. (even if it was my own doing)

  • Claudia In Taos

    I have a question… I was with Bluehost, but when it came time to renew it was 3 TIMES the cost. So, I moved to 1 and 1. Now my website is perfect on ipads, phones, etc. However on my pc… it flashes and jumps when toggling between pages. Do I have to go back to Bluehost and pay the big bucks or is there a fix?
    My WP site is pretty static with a blog that I add to each month. no sales, animations, etc.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    You could try 1&1 support but that shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Not sure which browsers you checked but if your windows browser is Internet explorer is say the problem is there.

  • Annie

    Is there any other cheaper sites, i can use to host my blog that is really good and does not have the wordpress issue as 1&1 hosting does?

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Bluehost as mentioned above in the article is the best.

  • ludawson

    Justin, if you were just starting a company today, which hosting company would you go with? I already have my domain name and have paid the yearly fee for Word Press. Trying to be efficient and effective in my choices. Need things to be easy and accessible and able to change when needed. I’m pretty techno, not an expert but can usually figure things out. Thanks.

  • http://coachradio.tv/ Justin Lukasavige

    Just like I say in the article, Bluehost is the best way to go. Great customer service, good prices and service as of late.