I just had a client ask me for an evaluation of Earthlink as a web host, after I’d recommended he switch to Bluehost. I thought it might be useful information to share. Now, I have to admit that
I love Bluehost. I’ve been a customer and an affiliate for five years. So, this “review” is a tad biased but I think you’ll find there are at least some objective criteria!
Earthlink’s main business is an Internet Service Provider, not a web host. In looking at their website, I see some “red flags”:
Earthlink doesn’t have a “comparison table” showing features for their hosting plans, like many other hosts do. So, it’s hard for me to tell if they have all the same services as the other big major web hosts. However, they do list some of their features here. Compare to Bluehost features.
Earthlink charges $9.97 / month for hosting, but this is an introductory price. After 3 months the the price goes up to $19.95 / month, which is higher than what I’m used to seeing. Bluehost currently charges $4.95 – $6.95 / month, and that rate stays consistent.
Earthlink includes a free domain name registration for 1 year, but charges a fee thereafter. Bluehost includes a free domain name indefinitely with a hosting acccount.
The going rate for a new domain name, should you need to purchase one, should be no more than $12 per year. New domain name registrations with Earthlink cost $20 / year. New domain name registrations with Bluehost cost $11.99 / year.
Earthlink’s hosting account space limit is 200G. This is generous; However, you could run up against that limit after a couple years, especially if you’re displaying a photo gallery or hosting videos. Bluehost has NO space limit on web hosting accounts.
This comparison is less objective than the others, but…. In my experience, Earthlink customer support has been less than easy to deal with and, on at least one occasion, has been downright evasive when I was asking questions about pricing on behalf of a client. My family’s ISP was switched from Earthlink to Comcast several years ago, for that reason among others.
Bluehost Customer Service is stellar!