Out of thousands of web hosting companies online, why would you go for Bluehost? We have taken it upon ourselves to review Bluehost to see how it performs as a server. Let us look at what it has to offer us, along with its pros and cons. Moreover, we have included reviews from different users.
Just to give you a glimpse of what we are talking about. Bluehost hosts more than two million websites. Yes, that is a staggering figure, isn’t it? A host that has such a wide clientele surely means business. It clearly depicts the level of confidence people have in it.
This shows that they have a very reliable service, excellent uptime, and amazing hosting plans. Best of all, not only is it for professionals, but it has ample features to offer beginners too. Before we dive into our Bluehost review, let us see what the hype is all about!
Who Are Bluehost?
Owned by Endurance International Group, Bluehost is a company which provides web-hosting services. It falls in the top 20 largest companies in the world which host websites. This shows how much people trust it and how happy they are with its services. However, this is not the reason for its popularity. Bluehost is the official WordPress host recommended by WordPress itself. Says a lot about it, doesn’t it?
What Services Does Bluehost Offer?
Without doubt, Bluehost offers many services and products to its clients. Although we cannot go over all of them in detail, we have picked the most prominent ones to discuss here.
Shared Hosting Unless you are hosting a large website that needs constant server modifications, a shared hosting plan is the best option for you. For medium and even some large websites, depending on the traffic, it is the go-to plan. In this, you share the resources of the server with other websites. Depending on the plan you go for, it can cost you anywhere between $8.99/month to $25.99/month. The price difference reflects the number of resources you will receive.
Domain Names Even though Bluehost doesn’t provide cheap domain names in comparison to others in the market, you still have the option of buying them from Bluehost. The price starts from $17.99 with a yearly renewal fee, but, if you are looking to buy a cheaper domain name (which is the wise decision here) you should go for some other alternative. Namecheap is one of the best.
WordPress Hosting Bluehost is the official web host recommended by WordPress for hosting its websites. It is fully optimised and comes with many benefits including a staging area. Because of the multiple features being offered, it seems a little expensive when compared to the rest. Best of all, it has everything to protect your website from malicious virus attacks. Bluehost has been voted as one of the best WordPress hosting providers currently available due to its great security, uptime and features offered.
Virtual Private Server It falls somewhere between a shared host and a dedicated server. With a VPS you share the server with other clients, but there is a virtual wall in between. This means that you share a server, but resources are divided amongst all the clients on the particular server. Plans range from $29.99 to $119.99/month
Dedicated Servers Does your website have an immense amount of traffic? Alternatively, do you require a top-performing server for your website? If so, you should go for a dedicated server. This is your personal server. No one else shares anything with you. You are the boss of it. Of course, these plans are the most expensive ones, starting at $124.99/month.
WooCommerce Hosting This is the most popular plug-in of WordPress for e-commerce. With this hosting service, you can easily establish your online e-commerce store and kick start it with the amazing features being offered.
Price and Features of Shared Hosting Plans
Furthermore, Bluehost offers three plans to choose from. Note that these prices are for the first time you take out a plan. When you renew a plan, you will do so at the normal prices. Moreover, you can also upgrade the plan if you find that the original one is not enough for you anymore.
$5.45/ month for the first month
$5.45/ month for the first month
$2.95/ month for the first month
In order to get a better picture of Bluehost stands in terms of the other host providers, let’s look at the pros and cons.
The basic plan offers you a free domain, unlimited monthly data transfers, 50GB of storage along with five-email addresses. As the price increases, you get more and more features, so you can easily choose a plan that meets your requirements.
- Excellent Uptime
- Quick WordPress integration
- Lowest introductory price in the market
- Fast speed of page loading
- Multiple security options
- Easy-to-use interface
- 30 day money-back refund policy
- Excellent customer support all year round
- Free WordPress site transfer
- Recommended by WordPress
- Extremely high rates of renewal
- Cheap plan restrictions
Undoubtedly, uptime is the first thing we look at before even considering a host. Even before considering price, I check the uptime provided by a host. In the case of Bluehost, they have an uptime of 99.98%. If your site goes down, clients will not be able to access your site. Not only will that be a hassle for them, but it can also result in monetary loss for you as well. If the clients are unable to make a purchase, you will be the one who suffers in the end.
No hosting company offers 100% uptime. Let’s look at it like this. You will get only 1 hour and 45 minutes of total downtime in the entire year. Yes, that equates to around one second per day. This makes it the second host in the entire world that provides such an amazing uptime. We didn’t just rely on facts with this, we went ahead and checked the breakdown of server uptime over the past twelve months
- November 2019 – 100%
- December 2019 – 100%
- January 2020 – 100%
- February 2020 – 100%
- March 2020 – 99.98%
- April 2020 – 99.99%
- May 2020 – 99.90%(Verified Maintenance)
- June 2020 – 100%
- July 2020 – 100%
- August 2020 – 99.99%
- September 2020 – 100%
- October 2020 – 99.97%
We still went ahead and tested the uptime through software. The software sent a query to the server every 15-minutes. If the server does not respond, the software sent us an email. In a span of 14-days, we did not receive any emails, meaning we did not face any downtime in 14 days. Bluehost is easily the best hosting company as far as uptime is concerned.
Lowest Introductory Price
Every hosting company offers more or less the same features. You have to come up with something out of the box to capture the interest of the clients. A hosting company needs to offer its customers an incentive to attract them. The introductory price is something to consider.
Bluehost’s introductory prices start from as little as $3.95/month compared to the actual price of $7.99/month. Sometimes, if you try, you can get prices for as little as $2.75/month from different websites. Even though the price is slashed down, the features are not reduced. You get 50 GB SSD storage, free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, and much more. Nevertheless, there are some issues we faced in terms of some of the restrictions placed.
Performance and Fast Page Loading Speed
A few seconds doesn’t seem much, does it? It does when you’re talking about page loading speed. Preferably, a web page should load in less than a few microseconds. One second is also quite a lot. It has been noted that if a page loading time creeps up from one second to three seconds, there is a probability that 32% of your customers will leave the webpage.
Wow, that is a huge number just for a second. Things tend to get worse as the time duration increases. Google also focuses on, and ranks, webpages/applications that have a quick loading time, and after all, Google is mobile-first. This means that the website should load easily not only on the PC but on mobile devices too. A slower website translates to lower traffic on your site.
Bluehost’s performance tested in different countries.
After testing Bluehost, we saw that the webpage loaded in an impressive 581ms. Seems quick, doesn’t it? Yet there are many servers which load even quicker. Nevertheless, it is a good figure to start with. The list below shows Bluehost’s average load time over the past 12-months.
- November 2019 – 365ms
- December 2019 – 566ms
- January 2020 – 404ms
- February 2020 – 421ms
- March 2020 – 584ms
- April 2020 – 626ms
- May 2020 – 701ms
- June 2020 – 695ms
- July 2020 – 689ms
- August 2020 – 724ms
- September 2020 – 628ms
- October 2020 – 589ms
Bluehost’s Security Features
We have always seen a trade-off between price and security provided. Many hosting services cut down price and provide less security options to the clients. Therefore, it came as a surprise when we noticed that Bluehost does not do this. It has all the essential security options required to run a site easily and without worry of malware attacks. You get the following security features with Bluehost:
- Free SSL
- Malware Detection
- Automatic updates for security
These are the general security features that are offered in the basic plan and all the other plans. For the high-end plans, more advanced features are offered. These include:
- Domain privacy protection
- Server backups
SiteLock is amazing in protecting your website/app from any malware attacks. On the other hand, Codeguard is another application that helps you keep a daily backup of your website. In this way, if you are unhappy with a new installation or a new plugin, you can always roll back to the previous website you made changes on. Moreover, it is also useful if your site is hacked (Even though there is a slim chance that it would be).
This is not all! One final tool you are provided with is a specialised tool by Google called Postini. This is customised to provide protection to your email against spam. Hence, nothing suspicious can get in your inbox. As you can see, Bluehost provides enough security features for such a low introductory price that surprisingly it is a pleasing option.
Easy To Use Interface
If you notice, most of the web host servers are targeted towards intermediate and advanced users. This makes sense too. After all, it hardly takes a month or two for a beginner to become an expert. On the other hand, the server providers whose target audience is professionals, do not work well for beginners. However, Bluehost has that fine balance. Not only is it an excellent platform for beginners, it is popular amongst professionals too.
With an easy to use custom control panel, things are much easier. The control panel is clear and everything is laid out perfectly. All it takes are a few clicks to get your own website up and running in no time. Just select a point and click on what you want. If you do not want to customize your website, you can opt for a website builder tool. Unlike WordPress, website builder provides you with a set template. Here, you need to just drag and drop elements to make your webpage.
Not only this, it also has different features for advanced users. For people who want to try something different and think out of the box, you can insert codes to make the site. This shows that Bluehost has a little something for everyone. All you need to do is to choose what you want to do and go ahead and do it!
You will get a 30-day money-back guarantee when you go for Bluehost. This means that you have solid 30-days to use and see how the server works for you. After all, everyone has something different in mind. At the end, if something does not click, you can always ask for your entire money back without any hassle.
Unlike other hosts, things are not that transparent. Yes, it is not a no-questions-asked, customer-is-always-right policy. There are a few things you need to look out for that are not covered in this policy. These are as follows:
- No request will be catered for after the time duration of 30 days
- You will get a deduction of $15.99. This will happen only if you were given a free domain with your package
- There is no refund on added features like add-ons and domain names. The refund is applicable ONLY for the web hosting services you opt for.
Therefore, you need to read and understand the policy before you opt for it. People have often complained about being misguided only to find out that they did not read the policy in detail. We always advise you read all the terms and conditions before going ahead and making a purchase.
Personally, I find good customer support experience crucial in a web host. Bluehost has many methods through which you can talk to customer support. These are:
- Live chat
- Email ticketing system
- Knowledge base
We tried the knowledge base to find that most of the topics we could think of, and problems that we came up with, were already covered. We did not even need to contact customer support for them. Furthermore, we went ahead and tried their live chat option. Even though there was a warning about a delay in the customer representative being available because of a long queue, we did not have to wait long. In fact, we hardly had to wait five minutes in the peak hours to receive assistance. Impressive!
Secondly, the customer support representative was very pleasant and helpful. Not only did he answer our questions quickly, we were very satisfied and understood what he has to tell us. Their customer support team is very knowledgeable. One thing that stood out to me was that the responses looked copy and pasted. However, I am prepared to give them the benefit of doubt on this as most people ask the same basic questions. The follow-up answers were quite detailed and precise.
One WordPress Site Transfer for Free
Sometimes you may consider switching hosts. Maybe your previous host was not performing well enough or perhaps you just wanted to opt for a better option. If you are thinking of bringing your website over to Bluehost, this will surely excite you. You get to bring ONE website over free.
There are some conditions though. First of all, it must be a WordPress website as no other website will be entertained in this offer. Secondly, you have to put forth a request for migration within the first 30-days. After this time, such a request will not be entertained. If your website meets both the criteria’s, you need to put a request forward to the customer support team. It will only take between one and three days for the entire process to go through. Be sure to check if you and your profile meet the criteria set forth by Bluehost. Only then will you be able to avail yourself of this offer.
Recommended by WordPress
This seals the deal for us. Did you know that more than 45% of the internet is built on WordPress? That is some number!. In addition, the companies that provide servers for WordPress are in the thousands. Out of these, WordPress itself recommends Bluehost along with two other server hosts. Therefore, the authorities have spoken. It is one of the three officially recognised partners.
Cons of Bluehost
- Higher Cost of Renewal
Even though the introductory price is one of the lowest offered in the market, the cost of renewal is quite high. The best you can do to avoid it is to pay upfront for a couple of years. In this way, the average cost decreases a little. On the downside, your money is tied in for a couple of years and you cannot migrate to another server. The renewal fees is almost triple the fee that you had in the beginning.
- Restrictions on the Cheapest Plans
If your aim is to go for a cheap plan, you need to beware. Usually, what we do is go for the cheapest option available, but when we go for the cheapest plan on Bluehost, there are so many restrictions we have to face. The only security we get is a free SSL certificate, the storage is very restricted and there is not much you can do with it.
Is Bluehost Recommended?
Now, the questions arises if we recommend Bluehost or not? Well, the answer is definitely yes. What is there not to like? It has excellent uptime, a range of hosting packages at different prices, 30-day money-back guarantee, low start-up cost and so much more. The final verdict is that it is a good host providing outstanding value for money. The performance is also good and it is customised for WordPress hosting. Therefore, while talking about WordPress only, it should be your go-to host.
Le H: When I started out I was very inexperienced in the web-hosting field. There were two instances when I had to contact customer care. On both these instances, I was attended to and it took almost 45-minutes to overcome the first problem. On the second occasion, my site was hacked. Bluehost was helpful enough to get rid of the virus in no time.
Adnan A: I have been using Bluehost for a while. Even though I am happy with the services being offered, the lack of servers outside USA poses a hassle. Moreover, many features like SSL site are offered but at an extra cost.
BlueHost Review – Verdict
BlueHost is possibly one of the top web hosting services if you’re wanting an easy setup and a quick website up and running. It uses cPanel instead of Plesk, which is often the case. It also has plenty of features and is more often than not fast, reliable up-timed servers and definitely a budget friendly host.