From $3.95/ month
Bluehost was first launched in 1996 by Matt Heaton when he found out that web hosting services weren't performing as well as consumers would like.
Today, it is one of the 20 largest web hosts with over 1.9 million domains. In addition, Bluehost is the number one recommended web hosting service by WordPress.org with every account featuring 1-click WordPress installation.
Its servers are housed in a 50,000 square-foot building in Provo, Utah. In 2010, the company was acquired by Endurance International Group. Along with Hostgator and A2Hosting, Bluehost is probably one of the world's most well-known hosting services. Here, we will lay out a thorough review of the service. This will include both pros and cons to help you make a more informed decision when selecting a web hosting service.
Bluehost Hosting Options
Bluehost is in the business of keeping their customers happy. So, they offer five hosting plans:
- VPS hosting
- Shared hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Cloud sites
- Dedicated hosting
Most small businesses and novices opt for the shared hosting option. In contrast, Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option--often used by large enterprises who want complete control of their resources. Dedicated hosting means you are renting a physical server.
VPS hosting is shared hosting with a virtual operating system. And, WordPress hosting is for WordPress customers. All of the plans come with a money-back guarantee and 24/7 customer service. You also get regular backups and plug-in updates.
Affordable introductory pricing
One of the reasons why Bluehost is so widely used is because it is one of the most budget-friendly services currently on the market.
While not the cheapest, you really can't complain about the price at around $5.99 per month with a one-year contract--this is for the Starter shared hosting package. Moreover, it includes a free domain name, free domain name transfer, 100GB of storage, unlimited monthly data transfers and the option to host a single website.
The Plus package is around $9.99 per month with a one-year contract. The Plus package also comes with an anti-spam tool, websites, mailboxes and unlimited storage. To get the Business Pro package, you would pay $19.99 per month with a one-year contract. It comes with all of the features for the other plans plus an SSL certificate, site backup, a dedicated IP address and two anti-spam applications. All accounts offer unmetered bandwidth.
Furthermore, the Plus and Business Pro plan come with unlimited email accounts. You have many options here.
Virtual private servers
One thing about web traffic is it fluctuates. With a very crowded Internet, your site needs to have the ability to scale for high volumes of traffic. So, it is a pro for Bluehost to offer the option of Linux-based VPS hosting.
They range from the Standard (30GB of storage, 2GB of memory and 1TB of monthly transfers) for $29.99 per month to the Ultimate at (240GB for storage, 8GB of memory and 4TB of monthly transfers) for $119.99 per month. Plus, you can qualify for discounts with longer-term contracts.
The web is overwhelmed with risks and cyber threats. You want to know that your web hosting service provides all the tools you need to keep your site safe. With Bluehost, you can feel relatively secure.
To Illustrate, you have access to tools such as Spam Hammer, Spam Expert and SpamAssassin. Bluehost also supports CloudFlare, which helps to combat the annoying DDoS attacks that can bring your site down with a flood of traffic from varying sources.
Furthermore, you get hot link protection to stop visitors from stealing your content and images. Not to mention you have SSH access to secure your web sessions, as well as IP address blacklists. All of your directories are password-protected.
BlueHost Site Builder
Bluehost gives you a wide range of options for site building. You can also manage your site's statistics. Conveniently, you can build a website through the WordPress content management platform with Weebly--which is considered a high-quality website builder. You can also upload files using FTP or with the goMobi Mobile Web builder through the add-on.
What makes Weebly so user-friendly is its drag-and-drop functionality. The free version offers a basic functionality with six pages and the option to use custom HTML.
On the other hand, if you purchase the $8.99 per month Professional version, you have access to custom themes, password protected pages and more. If Weebly is not your cup of tea, you can download other site builders through the Mojo Marketplace.
Some say your website is only worth it if it loads fast. In our mobile-first world, visitors will not wait more than two seconds. This is why the load times are listed under the pros section. Bluehost's servers are pretty fast at under 300ms.
Even at the entry-level price point, this is a much better speed than expected. Given that Bluehost was once accused of overcrowding their servicers, an initial server response time of around <300 ms is quite good.
If you feel the need for speed, and want a budget-friendly option--then, Bluehost is the right choice. I know that I won't wait more than three seconds for a site to load before I bounce. You can be assured this is the majority train of thought. Sites can no longer afford to be slow--this is 2017, not 1997.
You can conveniently set up your eCommerce site with Bluehost since the service features a swath of shopping carts such as:
- OS Commerce
To build trust with your customers, you also get SSL security for your transactions and OpenPGP/GPG Encryption. As a mature provider, Bluehost also offers unlimited bandwidth. When just starting out, you will receive $200 in free marketing credits which you can use for advertising via Facebook, Twitter, Google or Bing.
If you prefer, you can use an email marketing tool such as DaDa mail for $34.95 per year. The application lets you send email-based newsletters to a subscriber list. You can also get other applications such as the TransFirst payment gateway.
Then, there is Magento which lets you drag and drop website elements. Magento is also known for its flexibility. Yet, there's more: Bluehost supports PostgreSQL and MySQL. As a result, you are not locked in to installing software that only runs on MySQL.
Since most of us like to try before we buy, Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Of course, you need to ensure you cancel within the first 30 days to get your full refund. If you cancel after the 30-day time period, you get a prorated refund for the term you stopped using. If you want to know about domain fees, they are not refundable.
Prospects will not return if your site is down. Uptime is a crucial aspect of choosing a web hosting service. You want your site to be up so that customers can find and access your services. Bluehost is known for both reliability and stability. It has an average of 99.94 percent. You should not have any issues with uptime.
Transferring your website to BlueHost
You can migrate up to five websites and 20 email addresses for an additional $149.99--this is on top of the hosting plan you select. Although this service is only offered under the shared hosting plan. Still, other hosting service providers offer migration for free.
Bluehost offers 24/7 online Web chat and telephone support. They also offer video tutorials, guides and more. Managing around two million sites can be a lot. So, be wary of calling during peak hours--as wait times can go beyond 30 minutes. That type of wait time is not good for any business.
On other days, you might get quicker responses through the Web chat. It just depends on when you contact customer service. You can also visit their YouTube channel for a bevy of useful tutorials. If you're willing to learn, you might not need to call customer service.
If you want an introductory walk-through of their services, it will cost you $79.99 The walk-through is also only 45 minutes. Some of Bluehost's competitors offer this service for free, provided you sign up for a long-term plan. It seems Bluehost would do the same, but apparently not.
BlueHost Review Conclusion
Certainly, there are a few cons with any Web hosting service, but it really boils down to which factors are most important to you. For over a decade, Bluehost has been one of the most widely respected Web hosts on the market. The features are highly stable, and the user experience is quite good.
In addition, the hosting plans are budget-friendly which can partially explain the high number of users. It is reliable, and has a strong reputation. Plus, it services both large and small businesses with unlimited disk storage and bandwidth. Not to mention, you can't beat the security features.
There you have it, our detailed review of Bluehost. What are some of your favorite Web hosting services? Share your experiences with us in the comment section below!
- Reasonable price
- Plenty of hosting options
- Good security
- One-click WordPress installation
- FREE Domain
- Support could be better
- Quick-start training is expensive
- Only for WordPress (not necessarily a bad thing)
- Paid site migration