Search for web hosts on the internet and you’ll come across hundreds and thousands of options. If you are new to web hosting, all of these options might look and sound the same.
While the hosting needs of every website are different, there are a few hosting providers that have been around for a long time and still continue to be a popular choice for beginners and pros alike. One such option is Bluehost.
One of the biggest reasons for the widespread popularity of Bluehost is its budget offerings.
As compared to most top hosting providers on the internet, the hosting plans offered by Bluehost are considerably cheaper.
As a matter of fact, you can get started with as little as $2.95 per month.
More importantly, the budget offerings do not compromise the quality of service in any way.
The hosting performance characteristics of Bluehost are also one of the best in the industry.
So, is Bluehost the best hosting provider? Is it the right choice for your website? Let us try to find answers to these questions in this detailed Bluehost review.
While Bluehost current powers more than 2 million websites on the internet, the beginnings were pretty modest. The idea of launching a web hosting service first came to Matt Heaton in 1996.
He actually launched not one but two hosting providers namely 0Catch and 50megs. After gaining some experience, he along with Danny Ashworth launched Bluehost in Provo, Utah in 2003.
What started with a small office and a few employees in 2003 has now turned into one of the 20 largest hosting providers on the internet.
It’s Utah facility now has more than 700 employees and it shares its in-house 50,000 square feet hosting facility with its sister company HostMonster.
In 2011, Endurance International Group (EIG) acquired Bluehost. EIG is also the name behind some of the other large hosting providers such as HostGator and iPage.
Bluehost’s Claim to Fame?
What are the features that make Bluehost one of the best hosting providers on the internet? Here are a few of them-
- Wide range of hosting services
- Highly affordable plans
- Guaranteed uptime of 99.9%
- Innovative offering such as WP Pro
- 24×7 expert support
- Feature-packed cPanel
- Great security options
- 30-days money back guarantee
- Free domain for 1 year
- Free SSL.
While the Bluehost website claims to offer all of these features, how true is it? Every other hosting provider claims to offer the same but the majority of them fail to deliver.
Fortunately, in the case of Bluehost, most of the uses agree that the hosting provider delivers what it promises. Let us have a detailed look at each of these features to get a better idea of how reliable Bluehost actually is.
Hosting Services Offered by Bluehost
Bluehost offers four different types of hosting services. They are-
If you are just starting with a new website, a shared hosting plan can be the best option. With shared hosting, a single web server is shared by several websites. This makes it the most economical hosting option. Bluehost offers three different shared hosting plans- Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.
The Basic plan costs $2.95 per month and can be used for a single website. It comes with 50GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, single domain, 5 parked domains, and 25 subdomains.
The Plus plan starts at $5.45 per month and can be used for an unlimited number of websites. Unlike the Basic plan, the SSD storage in the Plus plan is unlimited. It also includes unlimited parked domains and subdomains. Moreover, it also comes with $200 marketing offers.
Bluehost is currently offering the Choice Plus plan at $5.45 per month as well. It comes with everything included in the Plus plan but also has domain privacy and CodeGuard Basic for site backup.
If you are running a WordPress website, a hosting service exclusively designed for the platform can help improve the performance of your website. The WordPress hosting plans from Bluehost comes with a host of benefits such as automatic WordPress installation, free email, automatic WordPress updates, and more.
Moreover, Bluehost is also one of the 3 officially recommended hosting providers by WordPress.org. Just like the shared hosting plans, Bluehost offers three different WordPress hosting plans- Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.
The Basic plan costs $2.95 per month and can be used for a single WordPress website. It comes with features such as free SSL certificate, 50GB SSD storage, free domain for 1 year, 5 parked domains, 25 subdomains, and $50 marketing credit.
You pay $5.45 per month for the Plus plan for benefits such as unlimited websites, unmetered SSD storage, unlimited parked domains, and unlimited subdomains. You also get $100 marketing credit with this plan.
The Choice Plus plan also costs $5.45 per month and includes all the benefits of the Plus plan. Additionally, it includes marketing credit of $200 and CodeGuard Basic for site backups.
Bluehost has also recently launched an exclusive WP Pro hosting service with added features such as all-in-one marketing center and dashboard, optimized performance, and a host of tools for SEO, social media, and email marketing.
This service is also available across 3 plans- Build ($19.95 per month), Grow ($29.95 per month), and Scale ($49.94 per month).
All the plans include unlimited websites, unlimited storage, unlimited subdomains, unlimited web storage, and no traffic limits.
With VPS hosting, you get to use dedicated server resources for your website while still being on a server that is used by multiple websites. This enables you to use more resources while still not paying for a pure dedicated server plan.
The virtual private servers of Bluehost are built using SSD storage and technologies like KVM and OpenStack to offer more power, flexibility, and resources. There are three VPS hosting plans from Bluehost- Standard, Enhanced, and Ultimate.
Standard plan costs $18.99 and comes with 2 cores, 30GB SSD storage, 1TB bandwidth, and 2GB RAM. It includes 1 domain name, 1 IP address, free SSL, and 30-days money back guarantee.
The Enhanced plan costs $29.99 and offers 60GB SSD storage, 2TB bandwidth, and 4GB RAM with 2 IP addresses. All the other features of Standard plan are included in the Enhanced plan too.
The Ultimate plan starts at $59.99 and you get 4 cores, 120GB SSD storage, 3TB bandwidth, and 8GB RAM. It comes with 1 domain, 2 IP addresses, and other features like free SSL and money back guarantee.
As the name suggests, dedicated hosting provides your website access to a dedicated server. All the resources of the server are just used by your website.
Bluehost builds custom servers in-house with the best of technologies to offer fast and reliable performance.
It offers three dedicated hosting plans- Standard, Enhanced, and Premium.
The Standard plan costs $79.99 and comes with 4 cores and 8 threads CPU. You get 2.3GHz speed, 500GB mirrored storage, 4GB RAM, 5TB bandwidth, 1 domain, and 3 IP addresses. The 30-days money back guarantee, free SSL and 24×7 support are available in all the three dedicated hosting plans.
For the Enhanced plan, you’ll have to pay $99.99 per month. It offers 4 cores and 8 threads CPU, 2.5GHz speed, 1TB mirrored storage, 8GB RAM, and 10TB bandwidth. This plan also comes with a single domain but 4 IP addresses.
If you want the best of dedicated hosting from Bluehost, you can go ahead with the Premium plan which costs $119.99 per month. While the CPU remains the same as the other two plans, you get 1TB mirrored storage, 16GB RAM, 15TB bandwidth, 1 domain name, and 5 IP addresses.
Bluehost Uptime and Page Load Times
While Bluehost has been around for a long time, its uptime and page load times weren’t really very impressive until the summer of 2017 when the services went through a major overhaul.
The uptime and page load times have improved significantly since then and they are now one of the best in the industry.
Bluehost claims to offer a guaranteed uptime of 99.9% and most reviews and tests on the internet agree with this claim.
Talking about the page load times, Bluehost manages to maintain an average of 424ms as per most recent evaluations.
While this is not the fastest, it definitely is one of the top five fastest page load times offered by hosting providers.
Bluehost Customer Support
As your website abundantly relies on hosting, you’ll definitely need customer support every now and then.
Bluehost is well-known for its support and customer service. It offers 24×7 customer support through phone and chat.
This ensures that you will always have an expert to talk to in case of any queries related to hosting.
However, while most users have agreed that the customer support is pretty fast, some of the people have mentioned that their support executives could be more knowledgeable.
There have been a few instances where some users found it difficult to get straightforward answers from the representatives, especially with regards to technical questions.
Bluehost also has an extensive library of helpful articles, video tutorials, step-by-step guides and more. Answers to most of the basic queries can be easily found with a simple search.
Bluehost’s Customized cPanel
Just like most top hosting providers, Bluehost also uses the popular cPanel. It is through this cPanel that users can manage their hosting account.
Bluehost has significantly customized the cPanel to make it more convenient and user-friendly.
It also offers a lot of app integrations to help users easily install popular scripts such as Drupal, Magento, WordPress, and Joomla.
Apart from this, even Google Apps are integrated right into the cPanel dashboard. As CloudFlare integration is also available, you can also easily set up CDN.
Moreover, you can also customize the cPanel layout in order to eliminate the clutter and only keep the things that you’ll need.
In this age where data breaches and cyber attacks are so common, it is very important to pick hosting providers that lay a major emphasis on website security.
Fortunately, Bluehost understands this fact and offers several great tools for preventing and combating most of the common risks and attacks.
For instance, it offers tools such as Spam Hammer, Spam Experts, and SpamAssassin for preventing spam.
It also supports CloudFlare which is one of the best ways to prevent DDoS attacks.
Some of the other important security features include hotlink protection, IP address blacklisting, password protection for directories, 2FA, and more.
Pros and Cons of Bluehost
Based on the information above and after going through hundreds of user reviews, these are some of the most important pros and cons of Bluehost-
- Hosting services and plans to suit every website need
- Highly affordable
- Impressive uptime and page load speed
- Great security features
- Several integrations, e-commerce features, and apps
- 30-day free trial
- Free domain for 1 year
- Some users have mentioned that their support team could be more knowledgeable
- Site migration is not free
- Automatic backups only available with expensive plans
- Domain renewal price is high after the first free year
- Heavy upselling of add-ons during the signup process
Should You Go Ahead with Bluehost?
Based on this detailed review, there is no denying the fact that Bluehost is indeed one of the best hosting providers on the internet.
It offers almost everything that it promises on its website and is consistently improving to offer better services to the customers.
It excels in almost all the departments that a website owner takes into consideration when selecting a hosting provider.
Bluehost offers a number of different hosting services, multiple affordable plans, enhanced security, 24×7 customer support, user-friendly cPanel, and much more to help you build and take your website to the next level.
Rest assured that if you select Bluehost, you are sure to experience the best of hosting services in an economical and user-friendly manner.