Bluehost is one of the top 20 web hosting and domain registrar company in the World.
With over 2 million customers, Bluehost remain one of the most mentioned web hosting company today.
They’re also among the top web hosting company recommended by WordPress which, according to a W3tech study, is used by over 32% of all websites on the entire Internet.
Founded in 2003 by Matt Heaton and by 2010, the Endurance International Group bought it and ever since, Bluehost has established itself as a reliable and long-standing force in the industry, offering a wide range of hosting packages, options, and extras to suit all-comers, from first-time website builders with no technical experience, to experienced webmasters seeking advanced capabilities.
As the needs of webmasters have evolved, so too has the Bluehost offering. Their reputation for reliability and quality service has been well earned and that is why they remain a leader in the ultra-competitive web hosting industry.
With Bluehost technology today, you’ll have an easy and smooth time building, customizing, and managing your website whether you’re a newbie who needs a bit of hand-holding or an experienced individual who knows his/her way around the nooks and crannies of website creation and management.
Bluehost Web Host Review: Pros & Cons
There are a lot of Bluehost web host review online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s totally fine but I take a different approach, looking at both the pros and cons of a host.
Bluehost has a lot of great features which website owners will likely be drawn to. But there are also some issues which will definitely cause some potential users to turn away…
Let’s take a look. And unlike other Bluehost web host review s, we are going to look at both the good and the bad.
Pros of Bluehost Web Host
1. 99.99% Uptime
Bluehost was also one of the first hosting providers to advertise their uptime record. While many shared hosting users don’t need to handle heavy internet traffic on a daily basis, they do need to be assured that their website is online at all times.
As we all know, website uptime is a vital element of the web hosting experience. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.
For this testing, I use a website monitoring tool to track my test sites’ uptime over a 7-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings each of my websites and sends me an email if it is unable to contact a site for at least one minute. The data revealed that Bluehost is incredibly stable. In fact, Bluehost didn’t go down once in the one-week period.
Really, claims of 99.9% uptime are all well and good but only the select few can back up their promises with actual data.
Bluehost is proud of their network integrity and list it as one of their key features. No longer do webmasters need to worry about losing business because their site is down.
In fact, downtime is one of the most prevalent reasons why site owners shift from mediocre providers to a company like Bluehost who take their commitment to 99.9% up-time very seriously.
2. 30-Day Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee
Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee, allowing you to take their services for a spin before committing your hard-earned cash.
30 days is more than enough time to determine whether or not Bluehost is the right provider for you.
However, it’s important to note that some terms apply if you want to claim your refund among which are:
- The money back guarantee doesn’t apply to add-on products like domains.
- If you cancel within 30 days but your plan includes a free domain, Bluehost will deduct $15.99 from the total amount of your refund as a domain fee. The company claims that this is to “cover their costs” while ensuring that your chosen domain name isn’t lost.
- It’s important to note that newly registered domains can’t be transferred until a 60 day registration period has passed.
This is normal practice for most web hosts.
3. Ease of Use
For many webmasters, ease-of-use is a huge factor when choosing a host. Unlike many hosting providers, Bluehost offers a behind-the-scenes demo of their control panel, which you can access through their website. This will give you a good idea of what to expect with Bluehost domains and how everything works.
When you give the demo a test drive, you’ll find an easy-to-navigate system that feels intuitive and makes sense whatever your level of experience.
4. Intuitive cPanel
One good unique feature that worth mentioning in this Bluehost web host review is the Easy-to-use, customized cPanel.
Precisely 99.87% of the cPanels implemented by an average hosting company are exactly the same. But Bluehost has made a few nifty little tweaks and upgrades to make their version even simpler for the website newbie to use.
The cPanel interface is just about as simple as web hosting can get. All you’ve got to do is click on the icons and get to work.
Through your control panel, you can get one-click access to thousands of add-ons or “apps” in something called the MOJO Marketplace. These apps include themes (to change the design of your website) and other website builders.
Through cPanel, you can as well create professional emails. Bluehost allows you to create up to 100 email accounts with its basic plan and unlimited email addresses with the other plans.
5. Good Security Options
With the myriad of cyber attacks and major data breaches that have been proliferating the marketplace, finding a web host with sufficient security options is more important now than ever before.
Luckily, Bluehost offers some great tools to combat and prevent some of the most common attacks and risks.
For example, you can prevent spam with tools like SpamAssassin, Spam Experts, and Spam Hammer. They also support CloudFlare, which helps prevent pesky DDoS attacks that can bring a site down by sending an overwhelming amount of “fake” traffic from different sources.
They also offer hotlink protection (which prevents people from stealing your images and content), IP address blacklists to block problematic individuals, SSH access for secure web sessions, and optional filters that you can use for specific users and email accounts.
You can also password protect your directories, create blacklists for IP addresses, and manage digital certificates and private keys right from Bluehost.
Moreover, they don’t stop there!
Bluehost has also integrated several layers of security to protect you on the account level.
You can enable two-factor authentication with your Bluehost account, and they’ve built the entire site with token account validation.
With token validation, you can prove your identity when you contact customer support by giving a six-digit code to verify your identity before having to give your password to a customer support agent.
All in all, Bluehost comes armed to the teeth with plenty of security features that will keep you, your audience, and your website safe.
6. Many Integrating Apps
In addition to the many security features listed above, Bluehost also comes equipped with an application-rich dashboard that allows you to integrate different services such as Google Apps and the aforementioned CloudFlare directly in the cPanel.
By integrating Google Apps into the Bluehost platform, you’ll be able to bring all of the perks of Google to your business right from the heart of your hosting account.
Cloudflare, on the other hand, is a popular, free CDN service that can boost your site’s speed and help to keep it secure from potential hacks and breaches.
Furthermore, Bluehost has radically simplified its eCommerce features, allowing customers to seamlessly set up an online store with an endless number of shopping cart options. Simply click “Install” and get down to business.
Bluehost also says that you can use MOJO Marketplace to install shopping cart software, manually install software on your own, or hire a developer to install and/or manage it for you.
7. Official’ WordPress.org Recommended Host
The WordPress official site (WordPress.org) re-made their hosting page and listed their 3 favorite hosting providers. Among those are SiteGround, Dreamhost and – you guessed it – Bluehost.
For Bluehost to have been recommended by wordpress.org, then it worth checking out
8. Good Customer Support
Bluehost has a very good customer support reputation. With an extensive and easy-to-understand “self help” section, 24/7 helplines, live chat, email, telephone and support ticket options all available, assistance is very accessible and often pretty good.
The support portal includes a wide range of how-to-guides, video tutorials, FAQs, and articles on a wide array of web hosting topics.
This extensive knowledge base can be used as a reference to solve a wide range of possible issues that users may experience. Therefore, you’ll not even need to take your questions/issues to Bluehost’s customer support staff.
One way to ensure that you get the fastest possible response is to contact the correct Bluehost team from the get-go.
- The Sales team helps those with general inquiries, potential customers, as well as customers new to Bluehost.
- The Technical Support team is who you want to talk to if you have any support-related questions. Please note that there are special numbers and links for those on VPS or dedicated plans, as well as those on WordPress plans.
- The Account Management team handles inquiries related to billing, the terms of service, and account verifications.
In a nutshell, when it comes to web hosting, the best type of customer support is one that’s available 24/7 and covers all support avenues including live chat, support tickets, telephone, and email. This is exactly what you get from Bluehost with the addition of a help desk, forum section, and trained in-house experts manning all customer support avenues.
To test drive their support, you could try out their live chat without signing up for an account, to see how you like the response time and quality.
Cons of Bluehost
- Their Customer Support is FAST but Could be More Knowledgeable
While the customer support team can now handle inquiries with lightning-fast speed, I found that some of the more technical questions eluded support representatives and required multiple inquiries to resolve.
- Site Migrations Aren’t Free
Most of the hosting providers we’ve reviewed will happily help you move an existing site from its current location to their service.
After all – it’s a quick procedure to get you to switch companies and become their loyal customer for the next few years.
Unfortunately, Bluehost is not one of those companies.
- Nagging Upsells
Because competition is so fierce between hosting companies and prices so low upsells have become pretty common.
You see upsells everywhere and you get used to them but sometimes they can also be minor annoyances. But with Bluehost it was a little bit frustrating how much it consistently tries to upsell you on additional services. They promote everything from upgrades to add-on services to site back-up and security.
BlueHost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Extras
Bluehost Shared hosting are the most popular options by far and Bluehost offers a wide range of plans designed to support every user, from first-time bloggers to major enterprises. The 3 central plans, however, cater to beginners, regular bloggers, and SMBs respectively. All plans come with a free domain for a year, and unlimited bandwidth. And if you already have a domain name purchased from a different registrar, Bluehost domain transfers are easy to initiate and confirm.
These types of plans are more affordable than dedicated or virtual servers because webmasters split the cost of both the hardware and maintenance.
However, because no one website has exclusive access to the server, loading times may sometimes lag and security can be a bigger concern. However, for most business owners in need of good hosting, Bluehost’s shared plans are a great place to get started.
Bluehost provides three shared hosting options to choose from.
Basic plan: For 3.95 per month, you get one website max, 50GB storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get 5 email accounts (with a max storage of 100MB each).
Plus plan: $5.95 per month provides unlimited websites, storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get unlimited email accounts.
Choice plan: Their largest plan comes normally at $5.95 per month, providing ‘unlimited’ websites, storage, bandwidth, email account and email storage.Others are spam (Currently On Sale)
Others are, high level of security, domain privacy and site backup
You need to pay for three years at once to enjoy the advertised price for their shared hosting plans. It will cost much more if you choose a shorter duration. Please note that the minimum duration you can pay for is 12 months.
BLUEHOST VPS Web Hosting
If you’re interested in server options, Bluehost’s VPS hosting plans might be just what you’re looking for. With Bluehost VPS, you get to enjoy many of the advantages of dedicated servers, but without the high cost that generally accompanies such plans. And when you decide to run your website on a VPS, Bluehost allows you to install nearly any software program on the platform that keeps your website running.
Virtual servers aren’t perfect, though, and since some of the hardware is shared with other users, performance may suffer from time to time.
Notwithstanding, if you need more power, expect high volumes of traffic, or have specific compliance requirements that prevent you from using shared servers, Bluehost’s virtual private server (or VPS) options are worth considering.
Just as shown above, Bluehost offers three tiers of Linux-based VPS hosting, ranging from the $19.99 per month Standard (30GB of solid-state storage, 2GB of memory, and upto 1TB monthly data transfers) to the $59.99 per month Ultimate Plan (120GB of SSD storage, 8GB of memory, and upto 3TB of monthly data transfers).
As with the shared web hosting plans, VPS hosting plans include discounts for longer-term contracts. Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t offer Windows-based VPS
BLUEHOST Dedicated Web Hosting
If you operate a website that receives a high volume of traffic, a shared or VPS server may not provide enough power for you. That’s when you want to consider a Bluehost dedicated server for your hosting needs.
When you choose a server that’s dedicated, Bluehost gives you near complete control over every aspect of the hardware and how it operates.
Dedicated servers are also more responsive than their shared counterparts because all of the system’s resources are committed to keeping just one site running smoothly. If you’ve got a website with complex needs, a dedicated server could solve all of your problems.
Bluehost has many dedicated server configurations, too. The servers start at $79.99 per month and can be outfitted with a Linux operating system and up to 500GB of hard drive space, 4GB of RAM, and 5TB of data transfers per month.
If you opt for their dedicated servers, you’ll get what’s known as “RAID Level 1” support. This means that your data is mirrored to multiple disks. This increases the reliability and security of your data. (RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks.)
BLUEHOST WordPress Web Hosting
If you’re looking to create a WordPress-powered website, Bluehost is definitely a web hosting company to give consideration.
Bluehost has been one of the official WordPress hosting site for quite some time now and offer some pretty specialized options for the platform these days and include all round support for the WordPress site management.
Bluehost doesn’t require you to install the content management system, as it comes preinstalled. Once you’re logged into WordPress, you can create posts, pages, and galleries as you would with any other self-hosted WordPress site.
Bluehost caps your site’s traffic based on the number of visitors, but the caps are removed if you sign up for the high-end plans.
They have two major WordPress hosting package, the shared and managed/pro packages.
Their Shared WordPress hosting comes with automatic worpress install and updates, free SSL certificate, free domain, themes, site builder and a host of other features.
The Shared price is quite relatively cheap and features on offer is also impressive
Their managed WordPress hosting packages range from $19.95 to $49.95 per month depending on traffic and number of sites hosted.
Bluehost offer server setups specifically optimized for WordPress with NGINX and custom PHP-FPM configurations under the hood.
Security is also stressed with Sitelock Security and advanced CDN options in place.
Note: Bluehost also lets you set up non-managed WordPress sites. When you click the control panel’s WordPress icon, you’re taken to the Mojo Marketplace, from which you can install the WordPress app.
BLUEHOST Cloud Hosting
As one of the most versatile and dynamic types of hosting options on the market, cloud hosting is very popular among new business owners. And with Bluehost, cloud hosting is provided through a partnership with CloudFlare, a company that delivers content via a network of servers that adjust to handle the ebbs and flows of your website’s traffic.
Cloud hosting is more affordable than dedicated options, and in some cases can provide increased uptime. Webmasters on these types of servers, however, also have less control over the specific hardware and software that powers their site, meaning that cloud hosting might not be the best option for everyone.
The $6.95 per month Starter plan comes with 2GB RAM, 100GB of storage, two CPU cores, one domain, and unlimited monthly data.
From there, the $8.95 per month Recommended plan adds unlimited domains, unlimited storage, and ups the cores to four and the RAM to 4GB.
At the top of the offerings is the $15.95 per month Business Pro tier that boosts the CPU cores to six and RAM to 6GB.
Bluehost’s cloud hosting also offers mirrored data. Therefore, your website remains up and running even in the event of hardware issues at the company.
Bluehost Extras And Add-ons
Bluehost has several extras. These include:
- $150 worth of credits that you can use for Google Adwords, or Bing/Yahoo advertising.
- Free domain name registration or transfer. This offer stands even when you are using international domain names.
- Free new drag-and-drop site builder.
- No charges when it comes to upgrading to a better plan mid-contract. (With other host companies, you’ll normally have to pay the difference between the current plan and the new one you want to upgrade to.)
- A few security and management features such as anti-spam filter, shared SSL, and CDN services which are rare to most hosting companies come standard with Bluehost
With good customer support, a blissfully simple cPanel, a great range of options to suit users of all stripes, and very cost-competitive options, Bluehost is a really strong competitor in the field of web hosting and a great choice for most users.
Bluehost makes it easy and quick to get a website up and running, has an easy-to-use free site builder that’s ideal for beginners, features a wide array of great features, is generally fast, has reliable servers, and has some pleasantly surprising security features for a budget-friendly web host.
If you are considering going international with your web host, then Bluehost is a good choice. It also has a rock-solid reputation in the shared and WordPress hosting communities, and they’ve been a long-time favorite host of mine and many alike.
With well-maintained servers, competitive pricing, and excellent support, Bluehost is hardly a pick you’ll regret.
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