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Bluehost

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You probably need a website. Whatever type of work you do or computer skills you have, the benefits of a personal website are vast. The number of people making millions of dollars off simple blogs continues to grow each year, and the cost of getting started is negligible. Whether it’s for your business or fun, you really should have a website.

As for getting it done, you can easily go through Blogspot or another free platform. Those hosts offer a low-stress way to get started for those of you who don’t trust your design skills. However, the free sites severely limit what you can do, and the paid sites offer an excellent upgrade for a small monthly fee. When you choose to invest in your website, you greatly increase the odds of monetizing your efforts and recouping whatever money you spend. For these reasons and more, millions of people - including yours truly - put hosting needs in the hands of Bluehost.

You have dozens of choices when it comes to where your website lives, but Bluehost stands out as one of the top hosting solutions companies. From support to versatility, this platform goes above and beyond when it comes to meeting customer needs. Both professional designers and those who have severe technical deficiencies can use and succeed with this service. There are plenty of reasons why this is true, so let’s get into what you need to know about Bluehost.

Where Did Bluehost Come From?

To learn about the early days of Bluehost, you have to dust the cobwebs from your brain and think back to when you got online using a dial-up connection. Founded in 2003, Bluehost started simplifying web design before most people understood what web design was. Over the next few years, word spread and the number of hosted sites shot up to 500,000 by 2007 and doubled to over a million in 2008. Bluehost has always led the pack, from the days before a pack even existed.

Part of the continued dominance of this provider is its partnership with Wordpress. When it comes to design software, Wordpress is consistently the most adaptable for all types of design needs, and the experts at Bluehost have a decade of experience using these tools and teaching other users how to best implement the different components. Bluehost doesn’t just provide a space to build your site, they help deliver the resources to get it done.

In the early 2000s, everyone was fascinated by and wanted to get into the business of selling domains, hoping to take a cut of this new commercial juggernaut. Bluehost found its slice of the pie but didn’t stop there. Every year since its inception, the company has strived to provide a product people need and can readily use. The result has been tangible, as you’ll see when you get your own site up and running.

Who Should Use Bluehost?

There’s no good reason not to have a website. If you run a company, you absolutely need one. If you have a hobby, you’ll get so much more out of it by creating your own blog. If you want to share any type of information with any type of person, an internet link is the best and easiest way to do it.

However, to narrow this field down a little, I believe anyone interested in the financial and promotional benefits of a website will get a huge advantage by going through Bluehost. I’ll give you two reasons why.

1. Marketing

A website offers a certain type of marketing on its own, but it mostly serves as a landing page where you want to direct traffic. How you get customers to travel to your page is a different endeavor and one that Bluehost can definitely assist with. I’ll get into the various tools later, but the interfacing options enable all sorts of outreach and facilitate a user-friendly experience for the people you want to connect with.

2. Connectivity

So much of internet monetization comes through clicks and views. Email blasts are simple and effective, but you need to have activity behind the scenes as well, in the back channels that consumers don’t see. My glorious web team never has a shortage of things to do because we have numerous sites creating a ton of linking and backlinking and everything else that makes a landing page more visible and visited.

A good hosting platform helps facilitate this effort. If you’re new to web building, this stuff will all feel very foreign and confusing. The Bluehost team makes it a little less daunting so you can reap the rewards of networking your site through the endless interwebs.

There’s always the option to pay someone else to handle all of your website dealings. In my experience, I prefer to keep that stuff in house. I don’t have to deal with the design personally, but I know the process and the features my design team is able to employ. This allows me to stay informed and makes it easy for Go Far With Kovar to adapt as quickly as we need to when situations dictate. So, even for those of you with the means to have all web-related things taken off your plate, I think Bluehost might still be the better option.

What Sets Bluehost Apart?

Experience and longevity are the first things that come to mind when distancing Bluehost from its competitors. Beyond that, a long list of features makes this company a top choice for website accommodations.

Range of Plans

Having been at this for a while, the people at Bluehost know that everyone has different website needs and website budgets. That’s why you can dive right into one of four different pricing tiers to get the services you need.

Bluehost Range of Plans

With the Basic platform, you get everything a novice web designer needs to launch a site. The Basic package limits you to one website and 50GB of storage, but that’s typically enough for someone in the early stages. You’ll also get five email addresses and multiple parked and subdomains to help drive traffic to your primary site. Normally $7.99/month, new users can get this package for just $3.95/month for a 3-year commitment.

When you upgrade to Plus, you pay a few dollars more each month while massively expanding your web potential. Instead of one website and a set number of parked domains, you can keep unlimited sites. While you might not think you need more than one website, building new domains becomes pretty addictive and very useful for any entrepreneur. The more domains under your company’s umbrella, the more business you can funnel your way. At $10.99/month ($5.95/month for new users), the cost increase is pretty negligible for what you get.

As you step into the Choice Plus and Pro levels, you get privileges and protections very useful for high-traffic sites. In addition to Spam Experts and domain privacy and protection, Bluehost provides site backup with CodeGuard Basic. These provisions deliver excellent peace of mind, especially for someone with 5+ websites that are constantly evolving and growing. Normally $14.99/month for 36 months, new users can get Choice Plus for the same price as Plus - $5.95/month. For Pro, a new user will pay $13.95 as opposed to $23.99, and this tier includes a dedicated IP address.

Scalability

Chances are, especially if you’re new to this, your starting block will be the Basic package. That will get you off the ground, help you learn how to make a website and use Wordpress, and maybe even get you an email list with a few subscribers. As soon as you feel like you’ve outgrown the features at the Basic level and you need more, an upgrade comes with just a few clicks. You can expand or dial back your services as needed.

99.99% Uptime

While we focus on the bells and whistles, the most important function of a hosting platform is keeping your site live. Some servers grow too quickly or don’t have steady enough support to keep everyone up and running. Bluehost knows that unlimited websites don’t matter at all if visitors are getting “website not available” error messages. The company is nearly flawless when it comes to continual performance, which is no small task considering how many people use the shared hosting platform.

Steady Support

No matter the hour of the day, live chat support stands at the ready. Whether you have a design question or find an internal issue that deserves the attention of tech support, you can communicate with someone quickly to have those issues addressed.

On top of the online chat, you can actually get someone on the phone at Bluehost. I bent many an ear of this support staff when I was first getting sites off the ground, and the team was always knowledgeable and helpful. Talking to people comes at a premium these days, making this service extremely welcome for most Bluehost customers.

SSL Certificates

If you haven’t heard of an SSL certificate before, it’s the thing that makes sure you don’t immediately lose your identity in the vast ether of the internet. Bluehost provides a certificate for each site, ensuring encrypted transactions and earning the trust of your visitors and customers. You can get fancier protections as you level up from Basic to Pro, but everyone with a Bluehost account gets an SSL certificate and the comfort of knowing they’re protected.

Builders for Hire

If after countless YouTube tutorials and live chats with patient BlueHost technicians you still don’t have the foggiest idea of how to build your site, design experts are available to help. Should you end up too busy with day-to-day business to handle website upkeep, you can fully delegate to people with the experience to get the job done right. This might not be why you sign up with Bluehost initially, but it’s an appealing option to have.

You can also select a la cart services, including SEO, pay-per-click, and website migration. Depending on your existing skillset, Bluehost experts can offer aid to fill in the gaps and give you a well-rounded website. Cost varies based on the services needed, but it’s nice to know these options exist.

VPS Hosting

Bluehost keeps pricing down by offering a shared hosting platform. The majority of you won’t have reason to think twice about this and you’ll enjoy the extra money in your wallets. Should you expect lots of visitors and activity on your site, a shared platform can leave you wanting, which is why the option to go with a Virtual Private Server (VPS) exists. This option mostly appeals to advanced designers and people with established businesses.

How Do You Get Started?

If you’re ready to get that website up and running, Bluehost can get you set up in no time. To start, head to the site and check to see if the domain name you want is available. Take your time with this and give it some real thought. You can always get a new domain later, but you’ll want to consider your options and choose something searchable and true to your brand.

With that out of the way, you start rolling through the ordinary procedures at Bluehost:

● Select your package from the four options listed below. If you have any questions or doubts, go with Basic.

● Plug your domain name into the “new domain” box. If you already have a domain that you need transferred, there’s an option for that.

● Fill in the standard information that’s required anytime you sign up for anything online.

● Select any extra features you might want and then provide your payment information.

At this point you’re ready to go. The next step will be installing Wordpress, and Bluehost makes that process a cinch. You’ll have a lot of opportunities to go back and change settings, reconfigure your theme and layout, etc. Start by following the prompts and getting as creative or keeping things as simple as you please. Just like that, you have a website.

What’s the Catch?

Web design has a very subjective quality to it. What looks right or seems easy to one person feels like an absolute disaster to the next. You’ll hear arguments on both sides of the features provided by Bluehost; here are a few of the negative reviews.

Longer Terms

To get the best price, you have to sign up for a three-year contract. This creates a problem if you want to take your business elsewhere or you decide right away that you don’t want to have a website. However, the rate is very affordable and most people want to keep their sites alive for the foreseeable future. Other sites offer month-to-month billing, so if that seems truly important you should shop around a little.

Paid Migration

You can find a lot of hosting sites that will bring your existing website to their platform for free. With Bluehost, you have to pay for this service which puts you in the hole right away. They transfer quickly and effectively, but not without ringing up your credit card first.

Increased Renewal Rates

After you take advantage of that ultra-low introductory price, you’ll never see such savings again. As with most services that lure people with excellent bargains initially, the cost to renew your site(s) goes up after the end of your first commitment. There’s nothing particularly sneaky about it, but you should certainly be made aware.

Why Not?

If you consider yourself wildly tech-savvy, you might have a different host that better meets your particular needs. For anyone just getting started, and most anyone else who wants to use Wordpress, it’s hard to find an easier or more effective hosting solution. Starting with the basics and carrying through the hands-on help you can get for your toughest questions, Bluehost provides accessible and affordable service to designers and bloggers of all levels.

I said it at the beginning and I’ll say it again: you need a website. Check out Bluehost and see how quickly you can get yours up and running.

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