As photographers, we have multiple websites, portfolios and blogs that show off our work and capture leads.
And while we may be experts at photography, we may not be as knowledgeable at finding the correct hosting solutions for our websites. While there are many different hosting companies out there, three commonly used amongst photographers are Bluehost.com, Godaddy and Bludomain.com. This article will discuss the costs and benefits of each solution. For those of you that simply want to know if there is a clear cut winner the answer is a strong “YES.” Bluehost.com is the best hosting solution, period. However, you will need to read on to find out why!
Pricing is probably one of the largest components in comparing hosting solutions, thus it is the first item that we are going to compare between the three hosts.
|Yearly Hosting Fee||$84.00||$60.00||$100.00|
|Domain Registration Fee||Free||$10.00||$10.00|
In comparing yearly hosting costs, Bluehost.com and Godaddy remain quite competitive while Bludomain is quite a bit more expensive. While this difference isn’t huge when spread throughout the year, per month you are looking at roughly $7 with Bluehost.com, $6 with Godaddy and $9 with Bludomain.
It is important to note that Bluehost.com hosting packages include free domain name registration for a single domain for as long as you own the hosting account. Both Godaddy and Bludomain will require you to renew the domain each year.
See the table below for a quick overview of each Key Feature.
|3rd Party Applications||Included||Included||None|
|Multiple Domain Hosting||Yes||No||No|
Hosting Space – Bluehost.com is the only solution among the three companies that offers you unlimited hosting space for your website. While 10GB and 3GB of space respectively are by far enough to store a website, you will run out of space if you try to host large files on your server. What types of files might you want to host on your server? Well, you may want to allow clients to download their images from your site, or perhaps you wish to stream online videos, or just have a temporary spot online for storing a large file. Having unlimited hosting space with Bluehost.com will allow you to host anything you wish on your site without having to worry about space.
Monthly Bandwidth – Given the fact that we photographers have very bandwidth intensive sites, you will want to find a hosting solution that has quite a bit of monthly bandwidth. 300GB is definitely enough for most new photographers, however you will begin to eat through this fairly quickly when you start to grow. Below is a rough idea of how quickly your bandwidth can go.
The Lin and Jirsa Blog (which is by no means as big as those like Jasmine Star, Jessica Claire, Mike Colon, etc) receives approximately 17,000 page views a month (as of the time this article was written). Each page of the blog loads on average 2MB worth of content. 2MB worth of content is simply the amount of standard information loaded from landing on any blog page. This means that we are using 34GB worth of bandwidth on basic browsing alone. However, this is not including streaming slideshows/videos. Each slideshow and streaming video is roughly 25MB worth of bandwidth. So if 3,000 viewers a month watch a single streaming video, we have now used another 75GB worth of bandwidth. So, you get the idea. While 300GB will be enough for now, if you expand your business, you will eventually need to upgrade.
Email Accounts – To be honest, you will probably never even use 100 email accounts, let alone 2,500. So while there is a difference here, it won’t be a difference that will matter to most of us. However, there are some advanced features that are included with Bluehost.com email accounts that you won’t find with Godaddy or Bludomain. These include: forwarding, auto-responder, and 3 web based email solutions to view your email accounts.
3rd Party Applications – Godaddy and Bluehost.com include most popular 3rd party website applications that are available for push button installation. These 3rd party applications include blogging platforms like WordPress, PHP frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Cake, and much more. These software packs allow you to get more into advanced web functionality without necessarily having to know all the nitty gritty details on your own.
We recommend that all photographers use WordPress as their blog platform for its abilities to manage posts, customize appearance and optimize for search engines. So having a Bluehost.com or Godaddy hosting solution will make the WordPress installation quite simple and straight forward. We even have tutorials for installing and customizing your WordPress blog (click here to view these tutorials).
Bludomain hosting is not intended to host anything other than your Bludomain template portfolio site. Thus, you will need separate hosting to contain your blog and or other websites.
Multiple Domain Hosting – First, what is multiple domain hosting? Multiple domain hosting means that you can have multiple websites all running off the same hosting account. Yes, that means that if you have a blog, a website, a portfolio site, a learning site, etc all of them can be hosted on one single Bluehost.com account rather than having to sign up a new hosting account for each domain. This feature is only available with Bluehost.com and is by far one of the biggest perks and incentives to have a Bluehost.com account. If you have 10 websites, you can host them all through a single Bluehost.com hosting account for only $7 a month rather than $60 a month with Godaddy or $90 a month with Bludomain. Yeah, it’s that awesome.
Streaming Video and Bandwidth Throughput – While Bludomain reports unlimited bandwidth, and Godaddy reports 300GB of bandwidth on their base account, you need to be concerned with bandwidth throughput. This means that even though bandwidth is unlimited per month, they only allow a certain speed of download at any one time. Thus preventing you from being able to stream video and slideshows through your own site. Bluehost.com is the only host among the three that won’t restrict throughput, allowing you to stream anything you wish from your site with their basic account.
Since Bludomain hosting is intended solely for your portfolio site, you won’t be able to use the site for much else. And while Godaddy does allow you to add bandwidth allowing for streaming video, you will need to upgrade to a $30 a month account to do so (for each domain).
By now it should be clear why we support Bluehost.com hosting solutions so heavily. We pay only $7 a month for a single Bluehost.com account that hosts each and every one of our domains, allows for unlimited bandwidth and storage space along with online video and slideshow streaming. For the price and the features, it is a definite no brainer.
I hope you enjoyed this article, if so, please share the love and feel free to comment and add additional insight below! We would love to see links to your slideshows.