I know Bluehost for almost 7 years. I started out hosting my blogs their, then became a reseller and hosted my clients' websites. I can truly say that this is the best company for a small business
- Unlimited Bandwith
- 99.9% Uptime
- Automatic migration
- Website Builder not included in hosting price
Bluehost powers over two million websites worldwide and is one of only three hosting providers that’s officially endorsed by WordPress as a hosting provider due to its hassle-free installation of WordPress on all of its accounts. While Bluehost is best known for its WordPress hosting plans, it also offers shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and reseller hosting plans too.
Whether or not Bluehost is a solid hosting provider depends on who you ask. There are hundreds of Bluehost reviews out there, all with different things to say when it comes to the quality of its features and plans. If you’re considering using Bluehost as a hosting provider, our web hosting experts have spent the last few weeks testing a variety of Bluehost’s plans to see if WordPress’s preferred provider has enough on offer to satisfy your hosting needs. Keep reading for our full Bluehost review.
Bluehost From A Birds Eye View
99.99% (in avg)
|Hosting Solutions||Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, WordPress Specialized Hosting|
|Support||24/7 Call center and chat + detailed documentation|
|Pricing||Starting from $2.75|
|Special Features||Free domain for 1 year, Free SSL certificate, 1-click website install|
|Bandwidth||Unmetered (not unlimited but High enough for most people)|
$100 for Microsoft Advertising and $100 for Google Ads(for new ad accounts only)
|Wordpress Tools||1-click WordPress install|
If you’re looking to host a small or medium website with fairly limited web demands, we think Bluehost is an excellent choice, but we did find it falls short on many key features that large hosting providers can offer, especially as Bluehost offers no cloud hosting plans – something that many other Bluehost reviews agree with.
That said, Bluehost still has plenty of features to satisfy most individuals, webmasters, and digital web agencies and there’s a lot included in its basic plans. To help you get a better idea of what’s available across all of Bluehost’s plans, our web hosting experts have examined its key features, from usability and security features to overall performance and customer support.
Setting up your Bluehost website is easy thanks to a user-friendly interface with a nice, clean design that makes it a breeze to navigate. There are a clear page structure and a detailed breakdown of the differences between each Bluehost hosting plan, so you won’t be baffled by any confusing jargon from the start.
This makes choosing your plan easy, and once you’ve done that, you’ll be slowly guided into Bluehost’s sign-up process. As most people use Bluehost for its WordPress hosting plans, we decided to create a new website from scratch, following Bluehost’s instructions to see how simple their set-up is. After logging into your account and entering the details for your website, you’ll be able to choose a theme before you’re redirected to Bluehost’s dashboard. Something we did want to point out is to be careful to check what extra services are checked before you fully agree to your plan. As other Bluehost reviews point out, the hosting provider sets a lot of pricy extras to default, that many basic websites won’t require. We switched off SiteLock security and the office 365 mailbox, as the latter becomes a paid feature after a 30-day trial.
Bluehost’s dashboard is really well designed and as Bluehost uses cPanel, many of the tools you’ll need to upgrade and make edits to your website are easily discoverable. cPanel also lets you install a massive selection of plug-ins and CMS at the simple click of a button thanks to its one-click installer. While the upselling was off-putting, the overall experience with Bluehost was stress-free – just as any website manager and hosting provider should be!
It doesn’t matter how good your website looks if it takes ages to load or generally isn’t responsive enough to run properly. Our WordPress website was created using a default theme which we then populated with some video content (nothing too long), a few images, and a couple of paragraphs of text. We then used Sucuri Load Time Tester to check the loading speed and performance of our site.
One of the first things we learned was that Bluehost doesn’t disclose the location of its servers, something most other hosting providers are upfront about. That said, our loading times showed the best results in Montreal, Canada, London, and Germany, with an average total connection time of 0.8 seconds. Strangely, times were worse in American cities, where they averaged over one second. Be sure to think about where your audience will be visiting your website. If you’re expecting a lot of site visitors from America, they may have slower loading times, although it won’t be anything too noticeable.
We also wanted to check how well Bluehost’s sites are optimized and used GTMetrix to pull a performance report. The results were pretty impressive. Bluehost has a handy plugin that takes care of caches to ensure sites load as fast as possible and we didn’t experience any downtime during any of our tests with Bluehost. We did find one thing really surprising about Bluehost, though. It doesn’t have an uptime commitment. We searched all over the Bluehost website and just couldn’t find it. We found this especially strange as every major hosting provider operates with an uptime guarantee but Bluehost makes no promises in this area, despite the fact we didn’t encounter any issues!
Bluehost offers enough security features to make us believe its promise of taking its users' security seriously. Users get three layers of anti-spam protection in the form of Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, and Apache Spam Assassin. Bluehost lets you set up filters for your inbox, too, and all of your directories are password protected. Speaking of passwords, all Bluehost accounts support SSO meaning you can link your Google and Bluehost accounts to sign-in, and the more security-conscious of you will be pleased to hear that two-factor authentication can easily be activated – just make sure you have your phone nearby once you’ve set it up!
If for any reason you need to block access to your website, you can use Bluehost’s IP blocking feature to blacklist certain IPs. There’s another fantastic security feature called Secure Shell (SSH) access, which lets you access configuration files individually and securely.
Integrations and Add-Ons
One of the most useful add-ons that Bluehost can offer is CloudFlare, which not only protects your site from malware and DDoS attacks but also optimizes your website to speed it up. With Bluehost, you’ll have an easy time building, customizing, and updating your website with a variety of different tools and apps. You can get one-click access to thousands of different add-ons directly through the MOJO Marketplace, all of which can be used to extend the functionality of your Bluehost website, as well as make design changes.
Add-ons allow you to create customer forums, integrate your site with a CRM, enable an option that allows customers to pay by text message, apps to sell online courses, special e-commerce functions, and set-up PayPal integration. Speaking of e-commerce, BlueHost websites have fantastic support for WooCommerce, an open-source and completely customizable e-commerce platform. In a toss-up between WooCommerce and Shopify, we’d recommend WooCommerce for its simplicity to install and customize websites so easily.
There are a lot of mixed Bluehost reviews when it comes to customer service, and while we didn’t experience any major issues, we did find it rather hilarious that Bluehost sells what is essentially customer service as paid ‘Professional Services’ packages. We understand that setting up a WordPress website might be difficult for some people, but charging upwards of $25 per month for on-demand ticket support and WordPress advice is pretty cheeky, in our opinion. On-demand ticket and chat support should never be add-ons you need to pay for; they should be provided free of charge as part of great customer service.
If we put our qualms with Bluehost’s ‘Blue Sky’ plans aside for a moment, we honestly didn’t get the service we were expecting from their customer service agents. We found a lot of them to be rather unknowledgeable and while they were able to redirect us to other areas of the website for information, none of them were able to provide answers to basic questions on how to upgrade the performance of our website. These are questions that most other hosting providers are willing to answer, so it’s a shame that Bluehost wasn’t able to help us here. But we guess it makes sense if Bluehost is trying to sell its Blue Sky plans, which are essentially just paid-for customer service plans.
Types of Hosting
Bluehost may have built solid reviews for itself thanks to its excellent WordPress hosting plans, but it has plenty of other hosting plans to choose from. Bluehost offers six types of hosting, with multiple plans and pricing for each type of hosting. There are cheap shared hosting plans for smaller websites, optimized WordPress hosting for busy bloggers, WooCommerce hosting for e-commerce sites and a long list of VPS, Managed WordPress hosting and Dedicated hosting plans for larger sites.
Plans and Pricing
The amount you’ll pay for your Bluehost plan depends on the amount of bandwidth and storage space that you’ve chosen. Let’s take a look at what’s available.
Bluehost has four shared hosting plans to choose from, with the cheapest Basic plan starting at $2.95 per month. For this, you’ll get one website with 50GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, one domain, five parked domains, and up to 25 subdomains.
For $5.95 per month, Bluehost’s Plus plan covers an unlimited number of websites and provides unlimited SSD storage. Bluehost’s Choice Plus plan ($6.95 per month) and Pro plan ($13.95 per month) offer far greater performance than the Plus and Basic plans, and also include additional features such as deadly site backups, dedicated IPs and domain privacy and protection.
Bluehost may be recommended by WordPress, but its WordPress plans are nothing more than its shared hosting plans with the name WordPress attached to the beginning of them. All of the WordPress hosting plans that Bluehost offers to follow the same pricing structure and benefits as the shared hosting plans we’ve featured above, although there’s no Pro plan, which means the most you’ll spend for your shared hosting (sorry, WordPress hosting plan) is $6.95 per month.
Bluehost’s virtual private servers are built from the ground up using SSD storage. Perfect for busier websites that need increased power and flexibility, there are three main VPS plans to choose from.
Bluehost’s Standard plan includes two cores, 30GB SSD storage, 2GB RAM, 1TB bandwidth, and one IP address for $19.99 per month.
The Enhanced plan includes the same two cores but has 60GB SSD storage, 4GB RAM, 2TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses for $29.99 per month.
Finally, Bluehost’s Ultimate plan is for the big boys, powered by four cores with 120GB SSD storage, 8GB RAM, 3TB bandwidth, and two IP addresses for $59.99 per month.
For websites that require the ultimate in performance, security, and control, Bluehost has three dedicated hosting plans available.
Bluehost’s Standard dedicated hosting plan costs $79.99 per month and has four 2.3GHz cores, 500GB mirrored storage, 4GB RAM, 5TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses.
The Enhanced dedicated hosting plan offers four 2.5GHz cores, 1TB mirrored storage, 8GB RAM, 10TB bandwidth, and 4 IP addresses for $99.99 per month.
Then there’s Bluehost’s Premium dedicated hosting plan, with four 3.3GHz cores, the same amount of storage, 16GB RAM, 15TB bandwidth, and 5 IP addresses for $119.99 per month.
While Bluehost has picked up a lot of praise for its WordPress hosting plans, if we’re being completely honest, we didn’t think the plans were any better than what’s available from most other hosting providers. The WooCommerce functionality is great for anyone looking to start an e-commerce website, but the more time we spent with Bluehost, the more questions we had. Why is there no uptime guarantee? Why is Bluehost selling customer service packages as paid plans?
Don’t get us wrong: Bluehost is a decent hosting provider, but there isn’t enough here to make it stand out amongst a very busy hosting crowd, especially when many of the plans and features that Bluehost offers are available at a cheaper cost elsewhere.