Web hosting is an important aspect of web development that a lot of people don’t really take the time to think about.  Having a reliable host that is secure, reliable, customer oriented, and has competitive pricing are all key attributes I look for when choosing a hosting service.  In the past, I’ve worked with Go Daddy, Network Solutions, various dirt cheap hosting providers and premium local hosting providers, but the one I like most is Blue Host.

One of the things that make Blue Host standout is their knowledgeable and 24/7 customer service.  You can be assured that when you call in, you won’t be put on hold (I’ve never had this happen to me nor to anyone I know) and can get a rep on the phone in less than 30 seconds.  I never tried emailing my questions, so I can’t really vouch for their email support, but if it’s anything like the phone support, it should be pretty good.  Since I know my way around setting up domains and hosting, my questions tend to be more technical than a non-IT person, and yet their reps handle them pretty well.  I also like that I’m often greeted personally and the process to resolve my solutions seems to be more customized and personal than just someone reading from a generic script.  Nothing is worst than going through 5 minutes listening to questions like…

“Did you turn your computer on?”

“Please double click on your internet browser such as Internet Explorer”

Those examples are a bit exaggerated, but you get what I’m saying.  Although the call center is located in Colorado, you can rely on them 24/7.  That’s a huge bonus since you never know when the next fire will occur especially when you have non-technical clients trying to do technical things.

In addition, part of my research involves looking into the hosting company’s history to see how long they have been in business and if there are any negative news regarding the company such as shortages, security vulnerabilities, and financial issues.  I’m happy to report that I didn’t find anything that would raise an alarm with BlueHost.  BlueHost isn’t a start-up web hosting company that could be gone tomorrow (taking your website with them), in fact they’ve been around since the 90’s (when the internet started booming).  There were some vulnerability issues back when it first started, but they have been top notch since then, which I couldn’t vouch for with a lot of the other hosting I’ve looked at.

One of the great things I like about them is that they are WordPress friendly.  If you use Shopp for your e-Commerce platform, Blue Host is a reliable and compatible hosting provider as you can see here.  This is especially important for those who do most of their development using PHP on the WordPress CMS platform.  I’ve also had no issues using Backup Buddy, which I’ve experienced issues with in other hosting environments.  On a side-note, I know that OpenCart works and installs well within Blue Host.  So for all of you who are interested in using this new and very strong contender in the open-source e-commerce platform community, rest assure that OpenCart works very well on BlueHost’s server and hosting configurations.

I also find their C-Panel very easy to use and intuitive, although that might not be saying much as most C-Panels are pretty straightforward.  (However I’ve had my fair share of poorly designed and difficult to use C-Panels)  For those who don’t already know, C-Panel is the dashboard you go to make changes regarding FTP, sub-domains, databases, emails, and all that other fun stuff hosting companies give you when you purchase a hosting plan.

Two perks that you get with BlueHost that I have not seen anywhere else as well as people who sign-up to BlueHost don’t even take advantage of is the $75 Google Adwords and $25 Bing/Yahoo! pay-per-click credit.  That’s essentially $100 worth of free advertisement right there!  Another perk you get, although Go Daddy offers the same thing, is that you get 1 year domain that goes a long with the 1 year purchase for free, however Blue Host is slightly a bit cheaper  ($0.05/month cheaper).

So in-case you are interested, here’s the link to Blue Host, click here.

Happy Thanksgiving!