Bluehost Review: Best in Class Hosting

Editor’s Note: Updated Septemeber, 2017
bluehost review
Founded in 2003, Bluehost is a popular hosting provider based in Orem, Utah. They specialize in comprehensive, easy-to-use solutions that get people up and running with a website with as little trouble as possible.

Bluehost currently powers over 2 million websites, with a sizable portion using WordPress as their content management system.

In fact, WordPress and Bluehost have been close partners for more than ten years, and like many providers that offer WordPress-featured services, Bluehost offers one-click WordPress install with many of its hosting packages.

bluehost wordpress review

Bluehost is also a major supporter of open source, which means that their development team is experienced and able to help customers integrate their hosting packages with the free software of their choice. Since 2010, Bluehost has been a member of the Endurance International Group, which owns other brands such as HostGator, iPage, and Constant Contact.

 

Bluehost for Bloggers

Bluehost offers a wide variety of web hosting options, so regardless of whether you’re a single-person small business or one of the most popular bloggers on the internet, Bluehost has something that fits your needs. Such an array of options is especially beneficial for those who are just starting out — you can purchase the basic package that fits your needs now, and as your site grows, you can upgrade your hosting package without going through the hassles of having to switch providers as well.

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Check out Bluehost for your blog today »

WordPress Hosting

WordPress and Bluehost have been partners for over ten years, so naturally, Bluehost offers a WordPress hosting option that’s optimized for those using this particular content management system. These packages (of which there are four you can choose from) are designed to maximize the performance of a site running on WordPress — Bluehost claims that you get VPS-level power.

Additionally, these packages come with access to MOJO Marketplace, where you can find plugins, scripts, and more to enhance your site, as well as WordPress-centric controls to make it easy to manage your site. Finally, you get features such as SiteLock Security, Advanced CDN, and SiteLock WAF, which are features designed to secure your site.

When opting for a WordPress Hosting package, you can choose from four different packages. Each offers a different cap on the allowed number of visits per month, storage, backup space, and RAM. However, all come with one domain, 1 IP address, a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason, and 24/7 support. Managing your server and site are easy since you’ll also get a Bluehost-enhanced cPanel designed to make executing server-related tasks as easy as possible.

As with other Bluehost packages, WordPress hosting can be provisioned almost instantaneously so you can get started the moment you decide to purchase a hosting package.

WooCommerce Hosting

WooCommerce hosting is sister to Bluehost’s WordPress-specific offering. WooCommerce is an ecommerce platform that was designed to integrate seamlessly with sites running on WordPress. WooCommerce is a powerful, mobile-ready, easily scalable, open source solution that can be customized to your needs precisely.

Designed for those who want to get running with an online store, WooCommerce hosting lets you set up your store in just minutes, gets you an SSL certificate and dedicated IP so that your transactions stay safe and encrypted, and offers you 24/7 support so you can get help with any issues you may encounter. You do have three plans to choose from:

  • Starter: Installation of WooCommerce, SSL certificate, dedicated support line, 100 GB storage space, unmetered bandwidth, one dedicated IP, one domain, five email inboxes, and $100 in marketing offers
  • Plus: Installation of WooCommerce, SSL certificate, dedicated support line, unmetered GB storage space, unmetered bandwidth, one dedicated IP, one domain, unlimited number of email inboxes, $150 in marketing offers, and spam protection
  • Pro: Installation of WooCommerce, SSL certificate, dedicated support line, unmetered GB storage space, unmetered bandwidth, one dedicated IP, one domain, unlimited number of email inboxes, $300 in marketing offers, spam protection, site backup services, and domain privacy (so that others can’t get access to your information by looking up your domain registration)

Beyond WordPress & Blogging

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a great way to get started. It is Bluehost’s most popular option, and for just a couple of dollars per month, you have everything you need to get your site online. When purchasing a shared package, you can choose from three options:

  • Basic: Enough for one website, the Basic package gets you 50 GB of storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and five email accounts
  • Plus: The Plus account lets you host an unlimited number of websites under the same domain, and your resource allocations (such as storage space, bandwidth, and email inboxes) aren’t metered or limited
  • Prime: The top-tier shared package and the package recommended by Bluehost, Prime gets you an unlimited number of sites under a single domain, unmetered bandwidth and storage space, and as many email inboxes as you need. The primary difference between the Plus and Prime plans, however, are the extras — with Prime, you get protection against spam email, domain privacy (which means that people can’t get access to your information by looking up your domain registration), and site backup services

For those who need just a bit more, you can opt for the Pro package, which gets you everything in the Prime package plus a dedicated IP address and an SSL certificate (important if you’re planning on handling your customer’s sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and billing information).

To manage your site and hosting, Bluehost offers a custom-branded cPanel, with an enhanced, easy to use interface. If you ever find yourself outgrowing your shared hosting package, you can upgrade to a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hosting package with just one click in your control panel.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

For those who have outgrown a shared hosting package, VPS hosting is the logical next step. With a VPS hosting package, your site will be placed on a server with others, but fully isolated environments ensure that each site gets its allocation of resources with no sharing between sites whatsoever. Bluehost can spin up a VPS server for you almost instantaneously, so you don’t have to wait hours or days to get going with a VPS plan.

Bluehost offers three different VPS plans from which you can choose:

  • Standard: two CPU cores, 30 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth, one domain, one IP address
  • Enhanced: two CPU cores, 60 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth, one domain, two IP addresses
  • Ultimate: four CPU cores, 120 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, unlimited bandwidth, one domain, two IP addresses

Regardless of which package you choose (though Bluehost recommends the Enhanced package), you get a 30-day money back guarantee and 24/7 server management and support if you have any questions or encounter any issues with your site hosting.

Here is a detailed guide to help you understand if you need VPS or dedicated hosting.

Dedicated Hosting

Bluehost’s dedicated hosting packages are for those who need an abundance of resources. They can be spun up almost the instant you order them, and you get the best and the most regarding security, performance, and control. As with shared and VPS hosting, you have three different dedicated hosting options from which you can choose:

  • Standard: 4 cores/8 threads, 500 GB of mirrored storage, 4 GB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 3 IP addresses
  • Enhanced: 4 cores/8 threads, 1 TB of mirrored storage, 8 GB RAM, 10 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 4 IP addresses
  • Premium: 4 cores/8 threads, 1 TB of mirrored storage, 16 GB RAM, 15 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 5 IP addresses

All dedicated hosting plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as 24/7 support access if there are any issues with your server.

Reseller Hosting

Bluehost is focused on shared, VPS, dedicated, and WordPress-optimized hosting solutions, so they do not offer reseller packages. For those interested in reseller hosting, Bluehost recommends ResellerClub. ReSeller Club is a trusted partner of Bluehost that:

  • Offers more than 800 products that you can configure and resell to your customers
  • Allows unlimited package customization with unlimited control panel accounts that are sold under your brand
  • Offers excellent, around-the-clock support if you have any issues with your hosting

ReSeller Club’s offers several different reseller packages from which you can choose. They differ primarily in the allocation of resources you get, but all packages come with a 30-day money back guarantee, 24/7 support, the option to choose where your server is hosted, as well as whether you’re working in a Windows- or Linux-based environment.

Cloud Hosting

WordPress’s cloud hosting option is a great option for those who are seeking reliability. With your data mirrored across three distinct devices, your cloud-hosted site will remain up even if one or two of your devices fail. You can choose from three different cloud hosting packages, each with a different allocation of storage space, bandwidth, RAM, and CPU cores:

  • Starter: One website, 100 GB storage space, unmetered bandwidth, one domain, 2 GB RAM, 2 CPU cores, 100 email accounts
  • Recommended: Unlimited websites, unmetered space, unmetered bandwidth, one domain, 4 GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, unlimited email accounts, spam protection
  • Business Pro: Unlimited websites, unmetered space, unmetered bandwidth, one domain, 6 GB RAM, 6 CPU cores, 100 unlimited accounts, spam protection, dedicated IP address, SSL certificate, domain privacy, and site backup services

All plans come with local caching, one-click resource scaling, and marketing offers to help you grow your site. The cloud hosting option is very similar to the VPS option. However, you’re billed on a monthly basis, and each package comes with automated migration to make it easy for you to get up and running.

Domain Names

Need a domain name? They’ve got you covered. Bluehost sells domain names, so if you’re looking to hold a particular domain, but you’re not quite ready to spring for a web hosting package, you can do so.

How to Transfer Your Site to Bluehost

If you’re currently hosting your site with another provider, and you want to transfer it to Bluehost, where you’ve purchased a shared hosting plan, you can get migration assistance. For a flat fee, Bluehost will help you transfer up to five websites and twenty email accounts (including all associated files and databases).

Once the migration process is complete, Bluehost will review your site to ensure that everything still works as expected. You’ll also get access to 24/7 support long after your migration is complete so that you can get help whenever necessary.

Once the migration process is complete, Bluehost will review your site to ensure that everything still works as expected. You’ll also get access to 24/7 support long after your migration is complete so that you can get help whenever necessary.

Note that the migration service does not include domain name transfer.

Billing and Pricing

When purchasing a hosting package or a domain name, you’re required to pay upfront for at least a year of service. You can opt for a contract that gets you one, two, or three years of service (domain names must be paid for on an annual basis). Bluehost offers discounts for those who choose an extended contract, so the longer your contract lasts, the less you pay per month for hosting.

bluehost cost

How much cash money can you expect to pay for Bluehost?

When purchasing a hosting package, Bluehost will waive your setup fees, as well as cover your domain registration fees for the first year. During the checkout process, you can add domain privacy protection, site backup and security services, and search engine assistance at additional cost.

All hosting packages, as well as the domain privacy service, come with a 30-day money back guarantee, so if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can a full refund of the fees you’ve paid. Domains, however, are excluded from this guarantee. If you cancel a plan that included a free domain, Bluehost will deduct the cost of the domain from your refund.

At the end of your contract, it will automatically renew (unless you tell Bluehost otherwise). Furthermore, the prices listed on the Bluehost site are introductory prices; when your contract renews, your monthly fees will likely go up, even if you’re receiving a discount due to the length of your contract.

Help and Technical Support

Bluehost’s support resources include an in-depth knowledge base filled with articles, guides, how-to articles, instructions, and answers to the most frequently asked questions. However, if you need personalized assistance, you can do so by opening up a support ticket. You can also contact Bluehost staff via live chat or telephone. All of Bluehost’s hosting plans come with access to support technicians 24/7 so you can get help whenever you need it, even if it’s at 3 AM in the morning.

Uptime/Downtime

Bluehost promises high performance for all of its web hosting packages, but nowhere on the site does Bluehost make any promises as to what uptime they’re willing to guarantee. Our search of the site yields a knowledge base article that claims that Bluehost strives “to offer the best in the industry for Network and Server Uptime.” The company claims that most issues are resolved in approximately 15 minutes, though more extreme issues can take longer. Their caveat further states that such issues can sometimes take hours, if not days to resolve. Beyond this, Bluehost does not offer any additional information (specific or not).

While Bluehost does not guarantee a predetermined level of uptime, they do allow you to leave your hosting agreement early due to server downtown. You can cancel your account without any penalties and receive a pro-rated refund of the unused portion of your contract.

Is Bluehost Right for You?

Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosts around for a reason. They offer reasonably priced, full-featured plans that include everything you need to get up and running with a website in no time. Their custom-branded cPanel, which comes standard with some of their plans, has been customized to be as easy-to-use as possible. They’ve also designed their offerings to seamlessly integrate with WordPress, which is the most popular content management system in use today.

bluehost review

Check out Bluehost for your blog today »

In general, there’s very little to complain about when it comes to Bluehost. The biggest downside to Bluehost might be their lack of uptime guarantee. If your site is one where you cannot afford even the possibility of seeing extended downtime, you’re probably best with a hosting provider that does offer an explicit uptime guarantee.


Image Source: Pixabay | NikolayFrolochkin