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How to Choose Hosting for Your Self Hosted Blog

A few years ago I decided that I wanted to get back into blogging. I ended up making a fitness blog and decided that after about a month or so, I wanted to get self hosted, because, well, it’s all the rave right now.

The two major players in the hosting world that I had heard about were Bluehost and Siteground. I heard that Siteground had stellar customer service, but Bluehost was still really good. Both had about the same price for their introductory rates and Bluehost was cheaper after the initial period.

So in trying to have my blog on a budget, I chose Bluehost. How bad could it really be if it’s still one of the two top companies for hosting..?

I made the plunge on a Thursday afternoon, and signed up with Bluehost for hosting.

I should have known right off the bat that things weren’t going to work….

When I was signing up for Bluehost, I couldn’t enter my domain name that I already owned because it told me that the domain was already linked to a deleted  Bluehost account… Great…

A few weeks prior to this, I purchased a domain name through Google Domains because the domain name, Fit Obsessions, wasn’t available through Bluehost.

So I proceeded with the option of choosing a domain name at a later date.

Once I got everything set up, I contacted Customer Service. They said that the request to have the domain assigned to my account was more than General Customer Service could handle and they would place at ticket with the Domain Department. This was on Thursday.

On Friday, I contacted Customer Service again to check the status of my request. Low and behold, no one knew what I was talking about and no such ticket existed. So this new person decided to attempt to assist me.

By the end of the conversation, I had changed my password twice, one on my Bluehost account and once on my Google account (because she wanted the domain password, which I assumed was held by Google and she couldn’t tell me which password it was).

Now that I look back on it, the domain password she was asking for was probably the one for the deleted account that this domain is already linked to. Not sure she understood that I wasn’t that person…….

Either way, I was promised that I would be contacted by e-mail.

Saturday morning I woke up and still hadn’t heard back. I got onto Bluehost Customer Service chat again and had to go through everything again. No one knew anything about what I was talking about and it was like starting over again….

They promised me an e-mail from the Domain Department by the end of day. By this time, I was starting to feel like I was being too nice or something.

On Sunday, I had gotten fed up. I woke up an still had no response from Bluehost.

siteground pricing

Trying Siteground….

Immediately after not seeing any e-mails from Bluehost, I got on chat with Siteground and signed up for a one month plan with a free website transfer. And there was no issue with my domain name! That was win #1!

Their chat person understood what was going on and helped me get everything set up.

Within a few hours, my site was transferred and up and running on Siteground. No problems.

Cancelling Bluehost

After my site was transferred, I got on chat again with Bluehost to cancel, and I ended up with the same person I spoke to on Saturday. They still had no idea what was going on. Didn’t remember anything that we spoke about the previous day and nothing was listed in my account.

I explained everything again and they told me that the Domain Department doesn’t work on the weekends!  Just yesterday (Saturday) you promised me an e-mail from that department!!!!! How can you promise me an e-mail from the Domain Department when they don’t even work on the day you promised me response?!!?!?!?

So I proceeded to cancel my account, but in the process she kept asking me for information that would essentially transfer my domain name to them.

At this point, I was so fed up with them. But my husband reminded me that I was asking for a refund, so I was pleasant to them.

I ended up getting a full refund as I only used their service for 3 days and honestly, couldn’t do anything except build my site.

So after this experience, I would not recommend Bluehost to anyone. And after reading other reviews, it’s split almost down the middle. Some people have no issues and love them (I assume these people don’t have to contact Customer Service).

Other people are like me and couldn’t be paid enough money to go back to them… But i also realize that I had a specific issue that most people won’t run into. But even still the way that they attempted to help me was sub par and not impressive at all.

A New Player- Dream Host

After about a year of being with Siteground, I decided I wanted to make a new blog. A different topic. So I began my search for hosting again. I knew Siteground was good, but it’s pretty pricey, TBH.

I stumbled across a company called DreamHost. I hadn’t heard of them before and for a couple months, kept checking back to see if the site still existed.

Their prices were great- and the best part is that you can do a monthly plan. So if you are looking for a month to month because you don’t want to commit to a full year or more- like me- this was a great option.

dreamhost pricing

Join me in using Dreamhost for your blog

When I first got the blog up and going, I noticed that the blog would go offline for 20 minutes or so a few times a day. But after about a week, this seems to stop. I am not sure what causes this, but this has happened with 2 of the 3 blogs that I have hosted with them. The one that it doesn’t happen to, has a large amount of traffic going there.

Once I started getting some traffic to the site, it stopped going down. I assume it may be part of the set up process.

So far, Dreamhost is my preferred hosting company out of the 3. I have heard of many others, but have never looked into them much further. I recommend that you do your research before you choose a hosting company and choose one that fits YOUR BLOGS needs- not the needs of someone who has been blogging for 10 years and has different needs than a smaller blog.

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