Bluehost Reviews

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Bluehost Reviews

Introduction

BlueHost has been hosting millions of domains since 1996. Not only it’s one of the oldest, it is also the most popular WordPress-recommended hosting provider for small and big businesses alike. BlueHost provides the most popular features for a low price, and even gives away free domain name upon purchasing 1-year hosting package.

For small-scale websites, basic features include unlimited domains, emails, bandwidth, and disk space. However, for businesses with advanced hosting needs, such as ecommerce, a dedicated IP address with SSL and a more powerful CPU is available.

BlueHost is relatively expensive, but that’s the price you pay for a brand recognition and assurance.

Server Performance

Average hosting uptime (hostingfacts.com used pingdom)

Bluehost’s average hosting uptime is recorded at staggering 99.98%, which is above and beyond industry’s standards. To give you a perspective, out of 4380 hours, only 1 hour of outage was recorded over the span of 6 months. That’s a pretty much assurance to keep your website up and running.

WebpageTest.org Speed test (TTFB)

On an average, a 3-second drop in your website speed costs you up to 50% of your traffic. Further delay may result in exponential drop in traffic. Sounds scary, right?

The most important metric to measure Server Performance is Speed. More speed means better user experience and higher WordPress SEO rankings.

With essential server upgrades and features, Bluehost makes its way to the top 10 hosting providers in terms of speed.

Bluehost’s average page speed is recorded 522ms, which is fast enough to give users a lightening fast browsing experience. This means you are not going to lose customers or profits should you host your website with Bluehost.

Server Response Time (WP beginner used Bitcatcha , hostingfacts.com used pingdom)

Server Response Time defines how quickly your website’s content loads. This includes plug-ins, embedded videos, images and plain text. We measured Response Time using a highly accurate tool called Bitcatcha. And the results are here:

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Choice of server locations

Blueshost’s servers perform insanely fast in the US, as compared to other locations across the world. If your website is accessed from the US, it will load up to 3x faster than when accessed from other locations.

If majority of your target audience resides in the US, then Bluehost is hands-down the best hosting provider for you.

Resource protection / Security Options

Bluehost’s security tools combat spam, create filters for certain email accounts, provides hot link protection and prevents various common website risks.

There’s much more on offer:

  • Your account will come with a built-in CloudFlare CDN, which caches static content and thus lowers the number of requests your website makes to the servers when accessed by a visitor. This ensures fast page load speed.
  • Bluehost enables you to put a password on your directories to prevent unauthorized access.
  • You can manage private keys and digital certificates, and can also blacklist IP addresses.
  • Your Bluehost account will be fully secured with two-factor authentication and identity verification when contacting customer support.

Load Test (WP beginner used Load Impact )

Load Test is another important metric that determines the server load time when the website receives large amount of traffic. We ran a test using Load Impact tool. For that, we sent up to 100 virtual users to the test site, and the results were astounding.

As the traffic increased up to 100 users, the server load time would remain stable, even when the traffic was at its peak. This clearly means that Bluehost will never let your website down, regardless of traffic.

Hosting Features

Let’s have a look at Bluehost’s hosting features:

Recommended by WordPress.org

Bluehost tops the list of WordPress’ recommendation list, because “it’s scalable and backed by 24/7 support by in-house WordPress experts”, an official statement by WordPress.org.

Newbie-Friendly Web Host / Easy to Use

Bluehost features an easy-to-understand, customizable cPanel that enables you to access and control your websites and emails from one place. You can customize your cPanel according to your needs and create a layout of features which you frequently use.

Backups & Restore

Bluehost takes daily, weekly and monthly backup of your website automatically. You can access your history of backups and can go back in time to restore the version you want, with just one click. It creates short, medium and long-term archives to enable restoration to the exact point of your choice.

Flexible Hosting Choices

With Bluehost, you can choose the hosting plan that fits your specific needs and budget. There are 4-level hosting plans, namely:

  • Dedicated
  • VPS
  • Shared
  • Reseller Hosting

If you are just starting out with a website, you can go with shared hosting without having to worry about server upgrades. Here are three types of plans you can choose from:

Basic Plus Prime
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Storage 50 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Email Account 5 Unlimited Unlimited
Free Domain 1 1 1
Addon Domains 0 Unlimited Unlimited
Inodes Limit 50,000* 50,000* 300,000
 Private SSL  – 1
Promo Price
(36-month term)
$2.95/mo $5.45/mo $5.45/mo
Renewal Rate
(24-month term)
$7.99/mo $10.99/mo $14.99/mo

Integrations and Apps, and eCommerce Features

Bluehost enables you to integrate Google Apps, CloudFlare and many more applications to increase the functionality of your site.

With one-time Google Apps integration, you will have everything that Google offers at your fingertips. On the other hand, CloudFlare will improve your site’s speed and security while you make the most of your hosting subscription.

Bluehost also has some ecommerce benefits, including a free SSL security certificate and much more.

Migration Policy

Migration is where Bluehost will charge you more than your expectation. And Migration is not available for dedicated, reseller or VPS server plans. But to your respite, you can use Bluehost Marketplace to purchase third-party migration services for a relatively low price.

Upgrade Policy

If you are using a shared hosting package, you can upgrade to VPS or dedicated plan as your website grows. The prices are quite reasonable.

A quick heads-up: Bluehost offers several third-party services and upgrades, some of which you might never need. Therefore, it is advised to examine each upgrade before making the purchase.

Unlimited Hosting or Not

Bluehost’s unlimited hosting comes with a clause. Put simply, there’s a limit to the ‘Unlimited’ bandwidth and storage space provided by Bluehost to its subscribers.

Accounts with a large number of MySQL tables and files can have an adverse impact on the server performance; as a result, Bluehost may request the user to reduce their database usage to ensure steady server performance. In extreme cases, the user’s account may be terminated by Bluehost, with or without notice.

If you feel that your bandwidth and storage needs might outgrow Bluehost’s so-called unlimited hosting, you can consider upgrading your web host.

SSD storage

The next-generation VPS hosting by Bluehost comes with a more reliable, non-volatile SSD storage. Unlike its counterpart – HDD Storage – SSD storage has no moving part, which means there’s no wearing out or failure; your website’s data is safe and secure.

Moreover, the data is stored directly onto the flash memory, ensuring better performance than HDD.

Support NGINX and HTTP/2?

Bluehost supports NGINX and HTTP/2 to ensure website’s scalability and better security, but to enjoy these perks, you will have to fork out a little extra. If you are using Bluehost’s standard shared hosting plan, you will need to upgrade to the highest performance shared plan to get HTTP/2, customer server cache, SSD storage and NGINX architecture.

Customer Support

Bluehost provides excellent customer support service through live chats and an extensive knowledge-base, which comprise articles and video tutorials – available free of cost. Their live chat support is swift and reliable and doesn’t keep customers waiting.

On the other hand, their articles and video tutorials are really helpful in solving hosting-related issues.

There’s a 24/7 hotline Phone Support available to customers across the globe. If you face any kind of hosting-related problem or need clarification, their telephone support guarantees fast response and accurate solutions.

With ticketed email system, you can drop an email and expect a solution within 24 hours.

It also has a User Forum, where you can read other users’ experience and share your own or start a discussion.

Bluehost is also rated the second best in terms of customer support and fair billing practices. A worthy mention – Easy refunds and no-questions-asked account cancellations!

Pricing Plans

Bluehost offers the following plans:

Shared Hosting $2.95 – $5.45 3 plans
VPS $19.99 – $59.99 4 plans
Dedicated Server $79.99 – $119.99 3 plans
Cloud Hosting $6.95 – $15.95 3 plans

 

What’s more?

  • Free Trial for up to 30 days
  • Renewal Rates are quite affordable
  • Cross- & Up-selling Practices are there, but if you know what you need, you’ll pay only for what you use and nothing more.
  • Money Back Guarantee – in case you are not satisfied with the hosting service during the first month, you get full refund with no questions asked.

Hosting Plans & Features

Bluehost is one of the leading hosting providers, alongside A2Hosting and Hostgator. There are 5 types of plans offered by Bluehost. Let’s have a look at each one of them and understand the differences and similarities among them.

Plans:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • WordPress hosting

Shared Hosting

If you are starting out with a basic website and looking for an affordable hosting plan, then shared hosting is the right package for you.

Starting at just $3.49 per month, this plan should keep your website up and running with minimal overheads. However, as your website grows, you can upgrade to a faster, better plan, within the Shared ecosystem.

 

Basic Plus Pro
Pricing Per month $3.49 – $7.99 $10.49 $23.99
No of websites 1 Domain, 5 Parked domains, 25 Sub-domains Unlimited Unlimited
“Storage / Disk Space                “ 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Email Accounts 100 – 500 MB storage each Unlimited Unlimited
Website Builder
Shopping Carts
MySQL databases
FTP Account

 

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting, you will get undivided bandwidth and unlimited possibilities to support and grow your website. If you want full control of your resources, dedicated hosting has got you covered with a dedicated physical server.

Standard Enhanced Premium
Pricing Per month $74.99 your first month, $149.99 per month after that. $99.99 your first month, $199.99 per month after that. $124.99 your first month, $124.99 per month after that.
No of websites 1 Domain and 3 IP Addresses 1 Domain and 4 IP Addresses 1 Domain and 5 IP Addresses
“Storage / Disk Space                “ 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth 5TB 10TB 15TB
Email Accounts
Website Builder
Shopping Carts
MySQL databases
FTP Account

 

VPS Hosting

If dedicated hosting is too expensive for you, and shared hosting doesn’t meet your requirements, then VPS hosting is the middle option to go with. With VPS hosting, you will get a shared physical server but an exclusive virtual operating system, which makes the server to function as if it is a dedicated one.

Standard Enhanced Premium Ultimate
Pricing Per month $14.99 your first month, up to $29.99 after that $29.99 your first month, up to $59.99 after that $44.99 your first month, up to $89.99 after that $59.99 your first month, up to $119.99 after that
No of websites 1 1 1 1
“Storage / Disk Space    “ 30 GB SSD 60 GB SSD 120 GB SSD
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Email Accounts
Website Builder
Shopping Carts
MySQL databases
FTP Account

 

WordPress Hosting

WordPress hosting is designed for one and all. From someone who needs decent storage and functionality to run a basic blogger site to websites with humongous database, WordPress hosting has got all of this covered and everything in between.

All WordPress hosting plans are backed my money-back guarantee, 24/7 support and troubleshoot solutions to all the problems which are unique to WordPress.

Blogger Professional Business Enterprise
Pricing Per month $12.49 your first month, $24.99 after that $37.50 your first month, $74.99 after that $60.00 your first month, $119.99 after that $85.00 your first month, $169.99 after that
No of websites 5 30 1 1
“Storage / Disk Space    “ 30 GB 240 GB 120 GB SSD
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Email Accounts
Website Builder
Shopping Carts
MySQL databases
FTP Account

 

Other Services

Bluehost offers more than just a virtual space to host your website.

With Bluehost, you will get all the support that you need to set up your site on WordPress without getting caught up in technicalities.

Have you purchased a hosting package but don’t have a website ready? Bluehost experts can provide free website design consultation and can also design a responsive website for you.

Bluehost provides an easy-to-use website builder tool which enables you to update and manage your site with drag-and-drop features.

Expert-level Search Engine Optimisation to boost your search rank. Local search engine optimisation services are also available for brick and mortar businesses.

Bluehost experts can provide high-quality content to improve your website’s authority and support SEO endeavours.

Provides a mobile app ‘Business on Tap’ that helps you connect with entrepreneurs like yourself to start discussions and get seasoned advice.

Apart from great packages and additional services, Bluehost provides a clean, user-friendly control panel, which makes everything easy-to-find. All the primary tools that you need to access will be right there in your plain sight.

Bluehost Marketplace

Another great tool is Bluehost Marketplace, which gives you a quick access to thousands of plug-ins, scripts and apps. One click is all you need to integrate them into your website and improve the functionality and possibility of your online business or blog. Through Bluehost Marketplace, you will get:

  • WordPress themes
  • Shipping calculators for online stores
  • Image galleries
  • Discussion forums
  • e-commerce platforms and shopping carts
  • Marketing tools
  • Customer support tools, including live chat
  • Design, development, marketing, advertising and many more professional services.

Refund & Cancellation Policy

Bluehost allows you to cancel your account anytime and get a prorated refund

In case you cancel your account within the first 30 days of the subscription, you will get a full refund.

The balance will be refunded using the same method which was used at the time of payment, be it credit card, check or PayPal.

Cancellation on free domain name provided by Bluehost will cost you $14.99 should you cancel your account after the first 3 days. However, you’ll get to keep your domain for 1 year.

FAQs

Q1: Can I get Windows hosting from Bluehost?

Ans: No. Bluehost provides hosting packages for Linux only.

Q2: Does Bluehost offer unlimited space and bandwidth on shared hosting plans?

Ans: Bluehost’s unmetered space and bandwidth enable you to store and transfer unlimited data, but at the same time, it requires you to stick to its ‘Fair Use’ policy.

This is to say that shared hosting and media-heavy websites can never go down well together. Majority of media-heavy websites hosted on a shared plan is reported to load slow and reduced uptime.

If your bandwidth and storage usage goes beyond your allocated hosting, you may be asked to either upgrade to dedicated hosting or reduce your usage.

Q3: Do I have to pay any Site Transfer fee when switching over to Bluehost?

Yes. Bluehost will charge you an additional fee for transferring your website(s). You are allowed to transfer up to 5 websites, along with 20 email accounts.

Site transfer is available only on shared hosting plan. Users with dedicated, cloud or VPS server hosting cannot transfer their site over to Bluehost.

Q4: Does Bluehost offer an SSL certificate?

Ans: Yes. When you set up your account on Bluehost, you can buy SSL certificate, or maybe later, through your cPanel.

Q5: Can I host my Magento website on Bluehost?

Ans: Although you can install your Magento website on a Bluehost server, there are no specific plans, optimized features and customer support for the platform.

Q6: Does Bluehost take back up automatically?

Ans. Yes. Bluehost has SiteBackup Pro included in every plan, to automate monthly, weekly and daily back-ups. However, you can go for the paid version of this tool, which enables you to download folder, tables and files individually.

Q7: How many email addresses do I get with Bluehost?

Ans: Bluehost offers unlimited email addresses on all hosting plans except for the cheapest shared hosting, which comes with only 5 emails.

Q8: Will I get CDN with Bluehost plans?

Ans: Bluehost offers a basic version of CloudFare with all shared hosting plans. If you are using SSL-enabled domain, you will need to upgrade to a higher version.

Q9: Does Bluehost’s all packages come with a Money-back guarantee?

Ans: Bluehost stands behind its services. If you are not satisfied with their hosting plans or services for any reason whatsoever, you will get your money back should you cancel your account within first 30 days.

Q10: Is there any reseller hosting plan in Bluehost’s catalog?

Ans: Bluehost no longer provides reseller hosting plans.

Q11: How many programming languages does Bluehost support?

And: Bluehost supports a full suite of programming languages that run on Linux. However, Window technologies, such as ColdFusion or ASP are not supported by Bluehost.

Q12: How can I contact Bluehost Support?

Ans: Bluehost’s 24/7 tech support can be reached by live chat, telephone or ticket. While there’s a telephone line for general questions, Bluehost offers an exclusive tech support helpline to VPS, WordPress and Dedicated hosting customers.

Positives
  • Outstanding uptime (99.98%)
  • Fast page load speed (~552ms)
  • Affordable introductory price
  • Great security options
  • Hundreds of apps, integrations and eCommerce features
  • WordPress-recommended hosting provider
  • Extremely simple to use
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Negatives
  • Customer support not satisfactory; could have been faster and more responsive
  • Requires you to take 36 months of subscription to take advantage of their cheap price
  • Site migration charges may apply
  • Technically, 'Unlimited' database usage is not unlimited
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Bottom Line

Bluehost is highly recommended for businesses that are just starting out with a basic website or blog. Considering the uptime and fast page load speed, you can never go wrong with it.

Bluehost comes at an affordable introductory price, with advanced security and a myriad of apps and ecommerce features. Moreover, Bluehost is a WordPress-recommended hosting provider.

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