Bluehost Review by HostingSpecs Team — Updated April 2020
In 1996, there was a group of developers who made a hosting company. Back when the internet still used dial-up, they dreamed of creating a hosting company that could meet increased hosting demands. They knew that these hosting demands were set to grow exponentially over the next few decades.
In 2003, these developers officially turned their hosting company into what we know today as the web host called BlueHost. They are now one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, hosting over 2 million websites, and take in revenue of over 50 million dollars annually.
Bluehost is also one of the few companies that are officially recommended by WordPress. This is a pretty big vote of confidence when you consider that almost half of all websites on the internet are built using WordPress.
In our overall hosting ranking, we have BlueHost as one of the best web hosting services on the market. They are also one of the more economical web hosts for WordPress websites.
In this Bluehost review, we’ll take an in-depth look into the BlueHost company, and explain why we chose BlueHost as one of the best hosting companies. We will also be weighing in on the pros and cons of what they offer in their plans and the price you’ll be paying for their hosting services.
- Benefits of Using BlueHost
- 1. Great Uptime
- 2. Fast Load Speeds
- 3. Cheap Web Hosting
- 4. Website Security
- 5. Good Customer Service
- 6. User-Friendly cPanel
- 7. Ecommerce Availability
- 8. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- 9. Flexible Hosting Plans
- 10. Long Track Record
- Disadvantages of using BlueHost
- BlueHost Pricing — Plans and Features
- Shared Hosting — Bluehost Review
- VPS Hosting — Bluehost Review
- Dedicated Hosting — Bluehost Review
- Shared WordPress Hosting — Bluehost Review
- Do we recommend Bluehost?
Benefits of Using BlueHost
In this Bluehost review, we will be taking a look at what Bluehost has to offer with their hosting plans. We will also be breaking down what features are included in their offers and what to look out for when you’re purchasing hosting from BlueHost.
Here’s why we think you should use BlueHost as your hosting provider.
1. Great Uptime
If you have a website, then it will do little good for your business unless that website is live and able to be accessed by your customers. If your hosting company doesn’t provide excellent uptime, then you’ll find that your website will be down for extended periods, resulting in a loss of business.
When you purchase hosting through BlueHost, you’ll find that they have exceptional uptime and they even guarantee that they’ll provide a 99.9% uptime for their customers.
Now obviously this doesn’t mean that they will provide an uptime that is only 99.9%; This is just a bare minimum guarantee. Essentially, if they fail to deliver the guaranteed uptime, then they’ll refund you for any month where they did not meet their uptime guarantee.
With BlueHost, you won’t have to worry about your website’s uptime. Averaging better than 99.9% uptime, they rival the best hosting companies on the market.
2. Fast Load Speeds
When we wrote this review, we took a look at over 30 other companies to determine which hosting providers were the absolute best. And when it came to the speed of each hosting provider, we’re proud to announce that BlueHost shone brightly.
The average loading speed for the other companies was an average speed of 0.749ms. However, when we checked the hosting speed of BlueHost, we found that they beat the norm with a load speed of 0.427ms — that’s pretty good!
Website speed wasn’t a huge factor a decade ago because many users expected websites to be somewhat slow, and they were used to waiting. With the internet becoming quicker every day, people are becoming more impatient with slow websites. They aren’t likely to wait around if your website takes more than a few seconds to load. The amount of time that it takes for your website to load is also critical when you look at it from an SEO perspective. It’s a well-known fact that slow sites don’t get ranked very highly on search engines, like Bing and Google.
Choosing a web host that consistently provides fast load times and excellent uptime is the first step in delivering a great user experience for your customers.
3. Cheap Web Hosting
Another reason why we love BlueHost Web Hosting is because of their cheap introductory pricing for new customers that are looking for affordable web hosting.
When you purchase hosting from BlueHost, they’ll tell you that their base pricing plan is around $5.99 per month. However, you can get your web hosting for as low as $2.95 per month if you buy into a longer-term plan. This is because BlueHost will reduce the cost of hosting per month if you purchase a longer-term with your initial contract for web hosting.
This base plan will allow you to host one website with unmetered bandwidth and up to 50GB of website data. This is far more data than most sites will use every month. You’ll probably find that this base plan is more than enough for your needs. However, if you discover that your website needs more resources, then you can easily upgrade your plan.
Their base plan is only $2.95 per month for the initial contract period of 24 months. Then the same plan will renew at $7.99 per month after the initial contract term has expired. In this case, you’ll save far more by purchasing your hosting with a longer-term.
4. Website Security
While Bluehost may be one of the cheapest web hosts, we were happy to see that they care about the safety of their customers. That they do everything they can to ensure that their customers’ websites are secure online.
When you buy hosting from BlueHost, you’ll find that they throw in a lot of extra security options for you to use so that your website is always safe.
All Bluehost plans have an option to add Domain Privacy as an add-on. This shields any personal information, that otherwise would be available on your domain registration, from malicious activities or hackers. If you don’t have domain privacy, you may become the target malicious phishing schemes, designed to solicit your sensitive information.
Each of the hosting plans also come with a free SSL certificate so that your website is always safe and secure from online attacks.
Your plan will also include Sitelock, which is a software used to scan your website for any vulnerability and prevent malware attacks. This is important, as WordPress websites can be somewhat prone to these types of attacks.
They also give you CodeGuard, a tool that is used to backup and store your website. If your website gets hacked, CodeGuard will allow you to restore your site with one click. This is only available in the higher hosting tiers and isn’t automatically included with every hosting plan.
This is pretty good website protection when you consider that these features are all included for free when you purchase BlueHost Hosting.
5. Good Customer Service
If you’ve ever dealt with a poorly educated and staffed hosting support team, you’ll realize how annoying this can be as a customer. With BlueHost, you’ll find that they employ staff members that know what they are talking about and they try to solve your hosting problems as quick as possible.
You can talk to their support staff on a 24/7 basis and easily reach them through phone, live chat, or an email support system. We found that the phone and email support systems were slower than the online chat systems. When we used the online support system, it took about 3 minutes for us to reach a representative that was friendly and ready to help us with our questions.
While there may have been 1-2 minutes delay between each response, this was understandable since the customer service representatives have to troubleshoot any issues in live time.
6. User-Friendly cPanel
BlueHost does an excellent job of making sure that their interface is easy to use and easily navigated so that even beginners can use their platform.
Their enhanced cPanel is simple, and it makes it easy for you to set up and manage your website. Basically, all you need to do is click on the icons, and it will take you where you need to go.
If you’re a beginner in the web space or are not tech-savvy, BlueHost may be a reliable option for you. The cPanel dashboard is very intuitive and user-friendly, and you don’t need advanced web knowledge to be able to set up your website.
You’re able to access anything website-related within your cPanel, and you can even customize your cPanel dashboard layout as you need.
7. Ecommerce Availability
If you’re looking to build an e-commerce website, then you can do so by using the E-commerce features that are provided by BlueHost.
When you use their E-Commerce by WooCommerce plan, then you’ll be unlocking the ability to create and host your online store. You can choose from hundreds of different website themes and choose the best e-commerce website themes for your online store.
You can also schedule a call with the Bluehost staff, and they will guide you through the process of ensuring that your website is set up correctly. This includes having all the right security features in place, so your customers are always safe and secure when they are using your online store.
8. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
When you’re trying to get the best deal on your web hosting, you’ll likely need to purchase hosting on a long term basis. This long term contract can be 12 months or even up to 36 months, depending on the company you’re working with.
The only drawback is that you may later discover some negative aspects of working with your hosting provider. In this case, you may regret buying hosting for such a long period.
BlueHost takes care of this issue by offering refunds for your hosting purchases for up to 30 days after you make a purchase. This will give you time to test BlueHost services and decide whether or not they’re suitable for you to work with on a long term basis.
According to the BlueHost terms, here’s what will be refunded and what will not be refunded:
- You will receive a refund on the amount of money that you paid for hosting costs, not including add-ons which you purchased.
- Your refund will be deducted $15.99 if you were given a free domain name by BlueHost because you will still keep the domain name.
- If your refund request is filed after 30 days, then it will not be accepted.
You should be aware of these terms, and okay with them before proceeding with BlueHost web hosting services. If these terms do not seem acceptable to you, then you shouldn’t proceed with purchasing web hosting from BlueHost.
9. Flexible Hosting Plans
One of the reasons why we love Bluehost is the scalability of their hosting plans. You can simply upgrade your hosting plan if you require more server resources.
This type of flexibility is an excellent benefit to have from any hosting provider. It allows you to save money on your hosting when you don’t need a large hosting plan, and allows you the flexibility to upgrade your hosting as your website grows.
10. Long Track Record
If you’ve been in the hosting business for almost two decades, then you must be doing a lot of things well. Bluehost has been running officially since 2003, which is a long time when you think about how many years of service they have provided.
When you work with Bluehost, you’ll be joining 2 million other customers who are happy with Bluehost as their web hosting provider. You can depend on their track record as a strong signal that they provide high-quality web hosting.
Disadvantages of using BlueHost
Now that we have taken a look at the benefits of using Bluehost, it’s time for us to look at a few of the downfalls that you may experience with Bluehost.
I’ll be the first to say that there isn’t a perfect web host on the internet. You must choose the best web host for your needs while factoring in everything you’ve learned about various hosting companies.
We love Bluehost, and we have used them since 2016, but we did go over their fine print and looked into any areas that may cause some issues in the long run.
In this section, we will look at some of the disadvantages of working with Bluehost as a web host provider. Here’s what we found:
1. Renewal Rates
One of the most significant drawbacks of working with Bluehost is their renewal rates. They offer above-average pricing up-front if you purchase a 36-month hosting plan. However, after the initial contract expires (36 months later), you will be paying the regular rates.
This isn’t necessarily a solid reason to not use BlueHost, but it is something that you should be aware of before buying your hosting through Bluehost.
Take a look at their regular rates and realize that this is what you will be paying three years down the road once your contract has expired.
2. Unlimited Hosting has a Limit
When you take a look at BlueHost’s shared hosting plan, you’ll see that they boast “unlimited” resources. While your server resources may be unlimited, your website speed will experience a hit when using shared hosting.
If you think that you can host a massive website on a hosting plan for under $5, you’re only fooling yourself. You’ll find your website becoming increasingly slower, and even failing to load website resources. If you have a large site, then you’ll sacrifice speed to host on their base plans, and this isn’t something that you want to do.
3. No Free Website Migrations
This is a colossal mistake by Bluehost because many web hosting companies provide website migration for free. This means that Bluehost has put themselves behind the competition for a feature that they could easily provide as a service for new customers.
If you want to become a customer with Bluehost, and you already have a website that you wish to migrate over, then you’ll need to pay $149.99. Their migration service is valid for up to 5 sites.
A team of certified experts handles the migration, and it’s a very smooth and straightforward process for the customer. However, this feature is offered for free by many other hosting companies that would also love your business.
BlueHost Pricing — Plans and Features
If you’ve looked at Bluehost pricing plans, you’ve likely noticed that they offer several hosting tiers and that there’s a significant price difference between these plans.
BlueHost has four tiers of hosting, and each of these tiers is broken down into packages with different features and pricing. Here are the four hosting tiers offered by BlueHost:
We will take a closer look at each of these hosting tiers, and break down these hosting services. This will help you understand what’s included in these hosting plans and who will benefit from buying them.
Shared Hosting — Bluehost Review
Shared Hosting is a web hosting server where all the resources within the hosting server are shared among all the websites being hosted on that particular server.
This can sometimes cause problems with larger websites because their website doesn’t receive adequate resources to meet the demands of higher website traffic. While Shared Hosting is cheaper, you won’t be guaranteed any amount of server resources. You will also need to share server resources with all of the other websites on the server.
The cheapest web hosting that you can purchase from BlueHost can be found in their shared hosting tier. If you have a website that doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles when it comes to hosting, then the shared hosting packages are what you’ll want.
The Bluehost shared hosting plan currently has four tiers:
- Basic Plan – As low as $3.95 /mo
- Plus Plan – As low as $5.95/mo
- Choice Plus Plan – As low as $5.95 /mo
- Pro Plan – As low as $13.95 /mo
The shared hosting plans by Bluehost are some of the cheapest web hosting plans that we have been able to find while still providing high-quality web hosting. If you need affordable web hosting, then Bluehost is one of the best options.
Who will benefit from BlueHost’s Shared Hosting?
One of the most popular types of website hosting is their shared hosting plan. This is because shared hosting is cheap, and it’s also quite simple. And honestly, many websites don’t need much more from a hosting company than their basic shared hosting plans.
Shared hosting isn’t the fastest web hosting that you can purchase; Not by a long shot. This is because many different websites are sharing the web hosting server, and this can cause your website to be slightly slower.
If your website has under 10,000 visitors per month, I would recommend the shared hosting plans because they provide enough resources to meet your needs.
If your website is getting around 10k visitors (or more) every month, then I would recommend that you upgrade your hosting to the highest tier of shared hosting. Or better yet, switch to the VPS Hosting plan.
VPS Hosting — Bluehost Review
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) shares a web server with other websites, but in this case, a certain amount of server resources are explicitly reserved for your website.
With traditional shared hosting, you aren’t given any guarantees for the amount of data that you can use in a month. When using shared hosting, you’ll find that a slow website can use up a large portion of a server’s resources, negatively impacting the speed and performance of any other websites on that server.
When you use Virtual Private Servers to host your website, you’ll still share a server with many other websites. The only difference is that your site has an allotted amount of server resources, and other websites cannot negatively impact your website’s performance.
This will mean that your website will always have enough resources to function correctly, and you’ll also benefit from the lowered cost of a VPS.
BlueHost offers Virtual Private Server Hosting to their customers, and they have three different hosting plans that you can choose from to host your website.
These BlueHost VPS Hosting plans are:
- Standard Plan – As low as $18.99 /mo
- Enhanced Plan – As low as $29.99 /mo
- Ultimate Plan – As low as $59.99 /mo
These virtual private hosting plans are priced competitively with the hosting industry, and you’ll find that these plans include a lot more features than other hosting companies will give you.
Who will Benefit from BlueHost’s VPS Hosting?
If you’re thinking about purchasing the Virtual Private Server hosting from BlueHost, I would recommend first trying the highest tier of shared hosting.
Virtual Private Server hosting is far more expensive than shared hosting. If a higher tier of shared hosting is enough for your website, then it will save you a lot more money to go with shared hosting. Even the most expensive shared hosting plan is cheaper every month than the most affordable VPS hosting plan that BlueHost offers.
If your website is attracting significant amounts of traffic (50,000 views or more per month), then you should upgrade to VPS hosting. If your site is medium-sized to quite large, then you may benefit from using VPS hosting.
Once you’re on the base plan for VPS hosting, then you’ll need way more traffic before you’d need to upgrade your hosting to the next plan that BlueHost offers. My suggestion is to go slowly and only buy better hosting when you’re sure that you need it.
Dedicated Hosting — Bluehost Review
Dedicated web hosting is a relatively simple concept to explain. Basically, you’re renting an entire web hosting server, and this hosting server is dedicated to just your website. This means that your website will get all of the resources that the server can provide and you will have higher hosting speeds and more data.
When you’re on a shared hosting plan, you’re also sharing the costs of the server with other website owners that are also using the same hosting server. However, when you use a dedicated hosting server, you’ll be responsible for the entire cost of the server.
The extra costs also come with the ability to customize the server to your preferences, and you’ll never get better website security than with dedicated web hosting.
If you’re looking to purchase dedicated hosting from BlueHost, you’ll find that they offer three different hosting plans for dedicated web hosting.
Here are BlueHost’s dedicated hosting plans:
- Standard Plan – As low as $79.99 /mo
- Enhanced Plan – As low as $99.99 /mo
- Premium Plan – As low as $119.99 /mo
Keep in mind that there are fewer websites that will require a dedicated web host. You should always try to max out your VPS plan before upgrading to dedicated hosting so that you don’t waste any of your hosting resources.
Who will Benefit from Bluehost’s Dedicated Hosting?
If you’re using BlueHost’s VPS hosting and find that it isn’t enough, you may want to consider purchasing a dedicated server from BlueHost.
If you have an excessive amount of traffic (generally speaking, over 500,000 viewers) every month, then you may want to consider purchasing a dedicated server for your website. This will give you more than enough room to host your website and allow millions of viewers to be able to see your site.
Another reason why you may want a dedicated web server is because of the security factor that a dedicated server can bring to the table. When you share a web host, any website can infect the other sites on the same server. Even though you may have excellent security features, you may still be at risk.
When using a dedicated web server, hackers will need to hack your website to be able to access any data. This is because your website is the only website that is being hosted on that web server. This adds a little extra peace of mind, knowing that your website is not being put at risk by other websites on your server.
Shared WordPress Hosting — Bluehost Review
If you want to host a WordPress Website on Bluehost, you should start by using the Share Hosting Plans which we have already taken a look at. Once your web hosting has been set up, you’ll have access to a lot of different WordPress features which you can use to build your website.
Bluehost’s WordPress hosting services come in three different price plans:
- Basic Plan – Starting at $3.95 /mo
- Choice Plan – Starting at $5.95 /mo
- Choice Plus Plan – Starting at $5.95 /mo
No matter which hosting plan you use for WordPress hosting, you can expect these features to be included with all of the hosting plans.
Automatic WordPress Installation – When you create a BlueHost account after purchasing your WordPress hosting, your account will automatically have the latest version of WordPress installed. This will allow you to begin setting up your website with WordPress quickly.
Hundreds of WordPress Themes – From the moment you purchase your WordPress hosting through Bluehost, you’ll have access to hundreds of different WordPress themes for your site.
These themes include free website themes, as well as premium themes. Regardless, they are all created professionally, so when your website is launched, you’ll have a professional-looking website.
Automatic WordPress Updates – BlueHost helps keep your WordPress website secure by automatically updating your WordPress core to the most recent version. This will ensure that you always have the latest and best, in terms of web security.
WordPress Staging – BlueHost offers a nice feature that they call WordPress Staging Environments. These will allow you to make and preview any changes to your website before deploying the changes to your live site. This is a handy feature and will save you a lot of time when you’re building your website.
Who will Benefit from Bluehost’s WordPress Hosting?
Anyone who wants to host a website online and not worry about having to hire a professional developer should consider using WordPress, and Bluehost as their hosting provider.
If you use a WordPress website, then you will benefit from using the WordPress hosting presented by BlueHost. If your website stays under 50,000 viewers per month, then you won’t need to worry about upgrading your hosting plan.
WordPress websites are far easier to build and manage than custom-developed sites. If you have a massive WordPress website, then you can still host your website through BlueHost, but you may need to upgrade your hosting to a Virtual Private Server (VPS).
And now for the gist of our Bluehost review…
Do we recommend Bluehost?
Yes, we recommend Bluehost to anyone who needs a reliable web hosting provider. Bluehost has proved themselves over many years of service and offers some of the best web hosting speeds in the industry at a price which is competitive with industry standards.
They have very affordable plans, and they offer extra features at no additional cost to their customers. And with the wide variety of plans to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a hosting plan that perfectly fits your website’s needs.
Also, when you look at Bluehost from a performance aspect, you’ll find they offer high-quality web hosting. This is likely why WordPress has officially recommended them as the best WordPress hosting provider.