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Gear & Apps

What is the best hosting service for photographers?

By Pye Jirsa on January 8th 2010

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 Overview

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 Costs Bluehost.com Godaddy.com Bludomain.com
Yearly Hosting Fee $84.00 $60.00 $100.00
Domain Registration Fee Free $10.00 $10.00
Total Cost $84.00 $70.00 $110.00

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.

Feature Overview

See the table below for a quick overview of each Key Feature.

Key Features Bluehost.com Godaddy.com Bludomain.com
Hosting Space Unlimited 10GB 3GB
Monthly Bandwidth Unlimited 300GB Unlimited
Email Accounts 2,500 100 Unlimited
3rd Party Applications Included Included None
Multiple Domain Hosting Yes No No
Streaming Video Yes No No

Hosting SpaceBluehost.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 ApplicationsGodaddy 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).

Conclusion

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.

By: Lin and Jirsa Wedding Photography, Los Angeles and Orange County Wedding Photographers. Also, authors of Lin and Jirsa Blog

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.
About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. serap tunç

    That is useful information…. We offer wedding photography in Turkey http://www.7renkajans.com and will look into this further.

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  2. vps hosting

    Hey, i think photographers should use dedicated service because it is fast and easy to run. checkout here.. https://dedicatedwebserversite.wordpress.com/

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  3. Rudi Heever

    I am using Prophoto on my WordPress website http://www.linrucommercial.com… and blog http://www.linruphotographyblog.com . Both are hosted by Bluehost and the combination of the three works a charm!

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  4. Joseph Prusa

    Good info

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  5. Jarett Mutts

    I have used Hostmonster more than 8 years. I THOUGHT my service was unlimited but recently I learned that there is a max of only 200,000 files I am permitted and to expect sluggish service after 50,000 files are uploaded. Also, my images have a file size limit that I am permitted to upload… suddenly this doesn’t seem so unlimited… but they did offer me a few package upgrades at an additional price.

    So, I am researching Bluehosting and the file maximums. I am also researching setting up my newly acquired server to host myself from my home/office.

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  6. Florencia

    Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.
    Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own
    blog? Any help would be really appreciated!

    A blog regarding technological know-how: earthboundelements.com
    [Florencia]

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  7. Flatout Entertainment

    Photography is an art, technological innovation, and exercise of developing long lasting images by recording mild or other electro-magnetic rays. So in that case your service is much useful for anyone.

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  8. How to Transfer your Hosting to Bluehost

    […] SLR Lounge to Bluehost. If you’re not convinced, we compare them side by side in this SLR Lounge article. We had been happily using Bluehost for various websites; but we never got around to using it for […]

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  9. Install Wordpress with Blue Host

    […] and the features, it is a definite no brainer. Feel free to comment with any questions or concerns! Click here for an article comparing Bluehost, GoDaddy, and […]

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  10. Alex Bones

     Has anyone ever used fatcow for web hosting? ive been thinking about using them since they seem to be a good deal, but havent heard much about them

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  11. Fiona

    This article 18 months old and completely out of date, in my opinion.

    Both Bludomain AND GoDaddy allow you to run multiple sites on the one hosting account…

    I have changed from Bludomain to GoDaddy, for flexibility and hosting features, and I am extremely happy with my choice. 

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    • Payam Jirsa

      Fiona, on July 15th we released a completely new review, which is still featured on the homepage. In the review, our review selects Go Daddy as our new top host. We forgot to make note of it on this article. But, it has been added now. Thanks. 

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  12. JohnV

    Just wanted to give an update for 2011!

    I’ve been with blueshost.com for 9 months now and couldn’t be happier. Glad I moved away from Godaddy. I had a wordpress site that that would take 20-35 seconds to load on Godaddy’s servers and with bluehost servers it takes a second or two.

    Godaddy’s admin backend is atrocious! It’s a mess! Not user friendly! Not intuitive! Hope you get my point!

    Bluehost uses cPanel as it’s admin backend as it’s the web standard and works beautifully and easy to work.

    Best,

    John V.

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  13. Simon Bunting

    I use Bluehost for my photography website and I love it. I really like how it has unlimited bandwidth and a free domain name!

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  14. Chris

    Hi Roberto:

    Thanks for the information on your past experiences. I can definitely see how that would get very frustrating. This article is based on our experiences (as well as the experiences of our extended network of designers, photographers, and programmers) with the hosting service; and we always appreciate additional insight.

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  15. Roberto

    Sorry I disagree… They have no respect, sometimes they blocked my account for no reason, and then hours later trying to contact they said it was because a URL Shortening script running in one of my domains that they consider Spam… Wow, why don’t block only that domain? Why don’t even warn me before (or after blocking my account) I discovery trying to access my sites and getting a shallow message posted instead of the content. By the way, read well the contract, they say it is unlimited but they limit the file count…

    Good luck,

    Roberto

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  16. chris

    thanks for the info Aaron… I hope they resolved this issue by now. If anyone has experienced this personally (and recently) please let us know!

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  17. Aaron Moller

    I also use Bluehost, but there’s one caveat for client proofing on your site. Bluehost only allows 50,000 files on your server, even though there’s unlimited space. They will shutter your WHOLE SITE if you go over 50,000 files. APhotoEditor wrote about this a while back: http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2009/05/14/bluehostcom-is-suspending-photographer-accounts/

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  18. Marty Thornley

    Left a similar comment on your post about how to use GoDaddym then I saw this one…

    Don’t use GoDadddy Hosting!

    Go with
    http://dreamhost.com
    http://hostmonster.com
    http://bluehost.com
    http://hostgator.com

    Seriously, run away from GoDaddy, especially if you expect to hire someone to work on your site.

    They are next to impossible to use and will cause HUGE headaches for any WordPress installation. So bad that I refuse to work on anything hosted there. It is worth paying to switch hosts.

    It will you cost you more in the hourly time they spend dealing with GoDaddy then it would to throw away your GoDaddy plan and switch to a better host.

    All the sites I mention above have similar starting points – about $7/month for “unlimited” everything. However…

    ANY of these ‘unlimited’ plans have limits. Read the small print. As @JohnV pointed out, most don’t want you using it for file sharing. They also limit some called ‘inodes’ (basically there is an inode for every file, image, every thing stored on the server and most will limit that). But any of them will handle a site with say 1,000 viewers a day?

    I would also recommend not using BluDomain hosting. Their support is pretty rough and access to your files and settings is limited.

    -Marty

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  19. Jeannie

    I’ve been with Fatcow hosting for almost 10 years. Their service is awesome and completely unlimited. Not to mention they run off green energy. They’re cheep too! it’s like 40-60 a year.

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  20. JohnV

    Just wanted to give an update!

    Moved to BlueHost.com last week as the upload/download times with my Godaddy.com hosted sites just became unbearable. Also I was building a Joomla site via the Godaddy servers and had many slowdowns and freezes during the build… With encouragement from Pye and a Joomla developer I respect I signed-up to bluehost.com and couldn’t be happier. The upload/download speed during web development is incredibly fast, it’s as if I was developing locally on my home computer. Sheesh! I can’t believe I put up with godaddy.com for so long. I think I just got used to the slowness.

    To update the question: “What’s bluehost’s policy on FTP file sharing/storage?”

    I read the fine print. Even though you’ll have unlimited bandwidth and webspace, BlueHost does not allow you to use your server space as a backup or storage area. I’m sure it can be done within limits and not abused and it looks like Pye has no problem with sharing files with clients as he mentioned in the above post. If worst comes to worst I’ll just create a private webpage and link the files for clients to download. Probably easier than clients FTPing anyway. But I don’t think this will be an issue if done respectfully to BlueHost as they seem pretty tolerant.

    Also I got a free domain for life out of the deal.

    Best,

    John

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  21. Pye

    JohnV, currently most our sites reside on Bluehost (the remaining few on Godaddy). We do a lot of FTP file sharing/storage for company files as well as host our own streaming video for wedding slideshows.

    They have never had an issue with this type of usage, which is actually quite heavy usage being that our slideshows, tutorial files, images, and company files are uploaded/downloaded quite a bit.

    However, I am sure if this is taken to extremes, like sharing pirated files or something, I am sure they would take some sort of action against your account.

    Hope this helps.

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  22. JohnV

    Thanks Dmark for the info. Guess to get around that we could make a hidden webpage with download links of the files.. but shouldn’t have to.

    What’s bluehost’s policy on FTP file sharing/storage?

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  23. Dmark

    Not so sure about GoDaddy being the best for photographers..

    I’ve personally been delivering files(jpegs, images files, etc) via my ftp with GoDaddy for years now. I was recently told/threatened by tech support that this is against Godaddy policy and that it may result in account deletion. That’s apparently all they could even tell me without consulting legal.. long story short, I talked to 4 tech support agents(1 of which was a call back a week later) before I got a clear answer on the subject. Yeah…

    Anyway.. to recap: Although we’re paying for the ftp server, space, and bandwidth, we still aren’t allowed to zip up 2 jpegs, place them on the GoDaddy ftp, and send the link to our clients. That simple, logical and very normal use of the ftp server is in direct violation of their TOS, and will result in account deletion.

    All files placed on the ftp must be published. Using it as a file repository in any way, shape, or form is strictly disallowed.

    Ridiculous.

    -Dmark

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  24. JohnV

    Thanks for getting back to this so quickly.

    Yep you are correct the 25 database driven website limit could be a deal breaker for some. Being a WordPress and Joomla developer this could be an issue but geez it’s $7.00 a month so if I host more than 25 websites/blogs I’d be more than happy to add another account.

    I don’t do a lot video so that’s not an issue for me, but I can see it being so.

    I’ve only used Godaddy’s tech support once and it was OK… nothing spectacular.

    You probably should still update the numbers from the article though.

    With that said… I am looking for new hosting as I miss cPanel and godaddy does not have this. Godaddy has some dang awful GUI backend implementation. Pretty sad in terms of usability.

    Best,

    John V.

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  25. JohnV

    Godaddy.com allows unlimited number of websites on one hosting account for $7.00/month, it has been that way for a long time and not a recent change. I’ve been using godaddy.com for many years….

    I went to godaddy.com to check other info…

    The godaddy.com data you provided in the above article is for the Economy Plan at $5.00/month not the $7.00/month.

    Here’s the $7.00/month plan:

    Hosting Space 150GB
    Monthly Bandwidth 1500GB
    Email Accounts 500
    3rd Party Applications Yes
    Multiple Domain Hosting Yes
    Streaming Video ?

    Hope this helps!

    John V.

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    • admin

      Hey JohnV,

      Thanks for your additional info. Your information is correct for the most part regarding the $7 a month plan. However, there are several notes which still makes Bluehost.com a far better option for hosting, and here they are:

      1) You are right that we used the $5 Godaddy plan in the comparison. However, while Godaddy’s $7 and up hosting packages allow for “unlimited” domains. There is a major restriction, Godaddy limits you to 25 SQL databases, therefore effectively limiting you to 25 database driven websites.

      2) There is no throughput restrictions on the Bluehost accounts. Meaning you can host and stream your own video from your website. As per discussion with Godaddy tech support, you must upgrade to a virtual dedicated server (starting at $30 per month) in order to stream videos.

      3) Bluehost accounts include a free domain name registration for as long as you have the account. So, as long as you are hosting through Bluehost, one of your domain names will always remain free saving you $10 a year.

      4) Application installation through Bluehost.com is much quicker than Godaddy.com. Godaddy will often require you to wait 1 hour or more after installing an application in order to have those server changes take effect.

      5) There is a major difference between quality of tech support between Godaddy and Bluehost. Bluehost tech support is easy to access, friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful. We found virtually the opposite experience with Godaddy.

      This article was written based on personal experience between the two companies. We currently still have several websites hosted on Godaddy, however eventually we will be moving everything over to Bluehost.

      Hope this additional info helps.

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  26. MarieSam

    Just an FYI — right now bluehost has a promotion for $3.95/month!!!

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  27. Ross

    by far bluehost.com and hostgator.com are the most affordable, and have the best turnaround support when needed on the market – mediatemple and wowrack are also very good!

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    • ANDY

      I agree with you, Hostgator has great prices and amazing customer service. You can also use this coupon and get 25% discount on hosting.

      COUPON CODE: hostgator2012discount

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  28. Heather

    I’ve got accounts with several hosting companies and I’ve worked with many more on client accounts. By far my favorite is Bluehost. They are the fastest to set up and their control panel is simple and easy to use. I’ve literally had sites up and running within 5 minutes of signing up.

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  29. Pyeman

    What is the best hosting service for photographers?: As photographers, we have multiple websites,… https://www.slrlounge.com/2010/01/what-is… #photography #tog

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