Full Page Load Time
If you plan on purchasing a web hosting plan, one of the first things you should consider is speed. The page load speed of any site is important because it is the only thing that matters to anyone trying to access the site. It matters little if your TTFB is faster than sound. If it doesn’t reflect in your average load time, you will lose visitors.
Importantly, you should also know that sites that have terrible load speed don’t have great SEO ranking. So if you want your site to rank, you definitely should be interested in the load speed of a prospective web host.
Why should you want your page to rank? Market data tells us that sites that rank higher have a better conversion rate. It’s simple. The more people view your site, the more sales you’ll make. If people search for important keywords and your site doesn’t come up, very few people will click on your site. If people don’t click on your site, your conversion rate will be in the gutter.
So if you didn’t care about the page load speed of your site, you should start caring. Who do you think would have a better page load speed between Bluehost and A2 hosting? Let’s find out.
Bluehost Full Page Load Time
Bluehost impressed me with their page load speed. It was among the highest I’d ever seen while testing. The site consistently loaded at no more than 1.1 seconds and sometimes even loaded before the one second mark. That’s a good sign if there ever was one.
A2 Hosting Full Page Load Time
Beforehand, I knew that A2 Hosting had a reputation for lightning speed so I wasn’t surprised when my page loaded in 800ms. Sometimes it went over the second mark, but it never passed 1.1 seconds. All in all, A2 Hosting full page load time was as impressive as impressive can get.
I was satisfied with the full page load time of both hosts. They are pretty much faster than most of their competitors, and your pages will load quickly enough for Google and other search engines to rank you. Since the two hosts gave the best in terms of full page load time, I won’t be making my decision based on this factor.
As you’ll see, there are other important things that will differentiate A2 Hosting and Bluehost in terms of value. However, if you’re focused solely on how quickly your page will load, you should definitely go with A2 Hosting.
Bluehost vs. A2 Hosting; Pricing And Value For Money
Before you purchase a web hosting plan, you first need to outline your needs. While some people find it easier to purchase a plan according to their wallet, it’s better to make such decisions according to what you need your site(s) to do.
Importantly, you should not be scared to start small. If your site grows quicker than you anticipated, you can always scale up to a more accommodating plan.
Right now, I’ll be comparing the plans of Bluehost and A2 Hosting. The cons, pros and everything of each plan will be laid bare and compared to its alternative. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make an educated choice based on the specs and prices of the plans on offer. And if you can’t, I’ll do that for you.
Entry Level Plan; Basic Plan vs. Lite Plan
Bluehost’s basic plan comes with one website, 50GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, one free domain, 5 parked domains and 25 subdomains. The plan costs $2.75 per month.
Compared to the Basic plan, A2 Hosting’s Lite plan comes with one website, unlimited storage and transfer 25, email accounts, free site migration, a free SSL certificate and an anytime money-back guarantee. The Lite plan costs $2.96 per month.
The most important thing in a web hosting plan is the number of sites allowed. And here, the Basic and Lute plans offer the same number of sites. The other important thing is storage space, and here A2 Hosting definitely offers more than Bluehost. When it comes to pricing, Bluehost and A2 Hosting are in the same ballpark, even though the Lite plan costs a few cents more than the Basic plan. Over the span of three years, the difference in price is just over seven dollars.
The question you need to ask yourself is what unlimited storage is worth to you over three year span. Is it worth seven dollars? If it is, then the Lite plan is the best for you. If it isn’t, go with the Basic Plan.
Medium Plan; Plus Plans vs. The Swift Plan
Bluehost has two medium-tier plans called the Plus and Choice Plus plans. The only difference between the two plans is that the Choice Plus plan has Domain Privacy + Protection and Site Backup— Codeguard Basic, while the Plus plan have none of these.
The Plus plans both come with unlimited websites, unlimited storage space, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains, Spam Experts and 1 Office 365 Mailbox that’s free for thirty days. Both plans cost $5.45 for an initial three-year term. However, the Choice Plus plan renews at $14.99 while the Plus plan renews at $10.99
The Swift plan of A2 Hosting comes with unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited email accounts, free site migration, free automatic backups, free SSL certificate, and an anytime money-back guarantee. The plan costs $3.70.
At $3.70 per month, the Swift plan is a great deal cheaper than the Plus plan. If you want extra security features with unlimited sites and storage, then you should purchase the Choice Plus plan. In any case, the ordinary Plus plan looks like the least desirable plan and I really wouldn’t advise you to purchase it.
Top Tier Plan; Pro vs.Turbo plan
The Pro plan of Bluehost comes with unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, 2 spam Experts, Domain Privacy + Protection, Site Backup — Codeguard Basic, a dedicated IP and 1 office 365 mailbox free for 30 days.
That’s definitely a lot. The plan costs $13.95.
The Turbo plan also comes with high specifications. The plan has unlimited websites, unlimited storage, free SSL certificate and automated backups. A2 Hosting also claims that the Turbo plan is 20× faster than any other web hosting plans. And going by what we know, this claim may be true. The plan costs $7.03.
The Pro plan is definitely more expensive than the Turbo plan, but the Pro plan also packs a bit more. It comes with free Domain Privacy, Site Backup and most importantly, a dedicated IP address and it only costs about $13. For me, the Pro plan offers way more value and comes at a more reasonable price. However, if your budget doesn’t cover a hosting plan that expensive, the Turbo plan is a reasonable alternative.
Now, there is one thing you need to know about Bluehost and A2 Hosting. Bluehost doesn’t offer free site migration, while A2 Hosting does. If you want to migrate a site from another platform to Bluehost, your bill will be around $150. Thus, if you plan on migrating from another site, A2 Hosting is the more reasonable option.
The Best Hosting Plan?
Everything, really, depends on you. What will your site need? Are you overly concerned about security? What of backups? What of speed? A2 Hosting and Bluehost have different strengths, but when it comes down to it, each plan they offer (except for the Plus plan of Bluehost perhaps) is great and covers the bases of price and value reasonably.
That’s why you need to decide on each plan with your budget and your needs at the back of your mind. If I were you, I’d take Bluehost’s Choice Plus or Pro plan if I wanted to host more than one site. However, if I only had one site in mind, I’d choose the Lite plan of A2 Hosting. From where I’m sitting, that’s a reasonable choice. However, you can have a different opinion, and that’s okay.
Whatever you do, just don’t go for the Plus plan.