Bluehost has add-on services they offer when you are signing up for a new account.
I’ve been regularly asked about my opinion on these services, so I thought I would outline what exactly they are and what I personally would suggest.
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Here is the page I’m discussing:
More specifically, this is the area that causes confusion:
Account Plan: This is where you can sign up for your hosting based on how many months you will prepay. Bluehost offers discounts if you are able to pay more than one year in advance, which is a pretty cool benefit. Even better, they offer an “anytime money back guarantee.” This means if you sign up for 24 months, but cancel after 15 months, they will refund you the difference. I think they make adjustments for the price you would have paid plus the domain registration, but you are able recover the majority of your prepaid fee if you decide to move your site elsewhere.
>>My recommendation: Although saving money is great, paying $60-$72 in advance to save $12 is almost not worth it. Since you will probably want to reevaluate your situation in a year anyway, I would only pay for 12 months of service.
SiteLock Doman Security: This service apparently verifies your email address, phone, and address. If you are not selling something or offering a service on your site, I can’t see why this would be necessary. Even if you are, there are many better services for showing your credibility.
>>My recommendation: Do not purchase.
Site Backup Pro: This service offers to provide site backups and restore your site automatically. It offers a one-click restore and the ability to download a compressed file of your website resources. I haven’t used this service, but do strongly recommend a backup option. There are some good plugins that allow you to automatically backup your site and send it to another secure storage (email, dropbox, amazon, etc.) and that is what I have used. It’s also possible to backup your site for free manually (see WordPress Backups). I’d guess there is nothing wrong with this service, but I usually like to have my backups going somewhere else to make sure they are safe.
>>My recommendation: I could go either way on this service. It is tempting since it is only $12.99 a year. However, I would probably pickup a plugin (BackupBuddy is the best) or set scheduled reminders to yourself so that you actually back your site up.
Search Engine Jumpstart: The vague description suggests that this service will get you on google, yahoo, and bing right away. However, you’re going to get many of those capabilities just by installing wordpress. I cannot see how it is worth $14.99, much less paying that amount as an annual fee.
>>My recommendation: Do not purchase.
Domain Whois Privacy: Whenever you register a website, your information is added to a public database that keeps the registered user information (contact name, address, email address, etc.) for all websites. Domain privacy places the privacy company’s information out there instead of yours. I use domain privacy, but it’s hard to suggest it really gives me that much more privacy.
Here’s an example of a domain not using domain privacy – Google Whois
Here’s an example of minimalistbaker.com registration records (we use domain privacy) – Minimalist Baker Whois
The biggest reason I like domain privacy is that it does help limit spam and junk mail. Note, however, this does not keep people from contacting you or connecting with you if you place your information on your website itself. It’s merely protecting these public records from having your information.
>>My recommendation: I’d purchase this service.
Hope this helps clear some of the confusion! More questions? Drop them below!