Site Ground Vs Bluehost
Hi beautiful people, I hope you are doing well. The month of April marked a year of using paid hosting for my blog. I started out with the Amazon EC2 trial hosting but due to the complexities and my inability to curtail spam visitors trying to hack into my site, I opted for a word press managed hosting package. I couldn’t afford the big boy hosting packages that were fully managed and required in excess of US$200 per year, this was because I had just finished school and I was being paid peanuts while doing the voluntary National youth service corps (NYSC). Also, foreign exchange was hard to source in Nigeria, and our currency was very weak when compared to the US dollars.
Following from the above, I spent a lot of time researching for cheap but reliable shared hosting packages, and I stumbled on Siteground hosting. I read a lot of positive reviews about their hosting package and decided to give them a try. I got a deal at that time for US$3.75 per month for a period of 1 year thereby amounting to US$45. This was perfect, and I thought to myself that the other years would take care of themselves.
Site ground hosting was truly professional, there was almost 100 % uptime apart from one occasion when Cloud Flare (the CDN network I was using at that time) was hacked and my domain was being redirected to a suspicious site. This was not their fault obviously, and they were swift in helping me resolve this problem.
With all the praise I have lavished on Siteground, i am sure you would be wondering why I left Siteground for Bluehost. Well it was mostly due to the environment I was it and how increasingly difficult it became to renew my hosting fees. During the year, a lot happened with our Foreign exchange (“FX”) and Fx policies. After adopting a floating exchange rate policy, the CBN had high hopes of the foreign exchange rate reaching an equilibrium where supply and demand dictates the rate. The major problem although was that CBN was the major supplier of the fx and we had unquantifiable demand and also a lot of backlogs by companies such as the airline and so on looking for ways to convert revenue in naira to service debt, pay for some expenses and repatriate their profit back to the parent company.
Not quite long after the implementation of this policy, the exchange rate was in shambles, the parallel market rate was way higher than the CBN or interbank rate. Banks which previously allowed purchasing of goods or services online through our naira denominated cards suddenly started restricting it heavily. The bank I was using limited all foreign currency transactions to an equivalent of US$100 per month and my site ground renewal fee for the next year was US$120.
What a problem this was for me, how would I be able to renew my hosting and also due to the uncertainty of the fx in Nigeria I was looking for a long term renewal option of between 3 – 5 years, but this would cost me a fortune if I renew the site ground hosting. Another major factor was that I wasn’t new to Site ground, I could not take advantage of their promo offers, and getting a 3 year or 5 year hosting plan would be at the normal cost. After realizing this, the only other option was Bluehost hosting because I had always admired it and I had a friend who uses it for her fairly large blog.
I chose the prime package as I planned on hosting two additional sites. The only problem was that the total cost for 3 years was way above the limit of US$100. I had to call in special favors from my older cousin who was doing her master’s degree in Canada. I sent her the information needed and she helped with the purchase of the hosting package. Surprisingly it was more expensive there as the bonuses that were availed to Nigeria (maybe to encourage them to purchase the hosting) were not made available to Canadians. The total was US$30 higher but my cousin waved the US$30 and told me to pay the initial money I budgeted. In my mind I had already structured the payment, saying that I would pay the first tranche of US$100 with my debit card through paypal, then the next tranche containing the balance the following month through the same paypal. This way I would be able to repay back at a rate slightly higher than the interbank rate.
Unknown to me, the bank I was using, GTbank had already stopped the use of their naira denominated debit card on paypal. Now I had a major problem, I would I pay back the money to my cousin? After days of sleepless nights researching other cheaper options, I had to go with the only options that worked in Nigeria and this was sending the money through western union or money gram. I chose the former and at the end of the day at to pay the parallel market exchange rate I was running away from. The only advantage though is that I do not have to think of hosting expenses for the next three years. My website is light and not packed with multimedia so it should be able to run on Bluehost’s basic package.
I have been using them now for about 15 days and I have had no problem with them. Migrating the website was a little tricky but I managed to pull it off without asking for help. So my major takeaways are that both hosts are awesome, although I prefer the Bluehost when it comes to promo’s for first time buyers as Bluehost gives larger discounts than Siteground.