Bluehost: The most comprehensive review ever written
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*Rating Based on our Experience
There are probably thousands of hosting services out there, yet there’s Bluehost that has arguably been sitting at the top spot in terms of popularity in the web hosting world since quite a few years now.
Born in 1996, Bluehost is also one of the oldest hosting services still around. Of course, that adds to its reliability.
But is that enough to justify the kind of popularity it enjoys? Is there more to it or is there just a lot of hype? Is Bluhost really the hosting service your site needs to make it big in the world of online marketing? If you’re new to hosting your site, you’re probably wondering what is Bluehost and what’s there about it that naturally makes the top choice for the majority of new sites that go live on the internet?
Well, these aren’t questions that can be answered in a couple sentences. And so here we are, with what we think is the most comprehensive, complete Bluehost review ever written. At the end of this review, you will probably know everything about Bluehost you need to know to be able to take a very informed decision about not only whether Blue host is deserving to be your hosting partner or not, but also which type of hosting to go with.
So with that said, here we go…
Which Type of Hosting Service You Need for Your Website?
Hosting isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. The different types of hosting vary greatly from one another, and it’s important to make sure you’re going with the type of service that’s exactly what your site needs.
So without further ado, here’s a detailed look at the different types of hosting services out there while also giving you a clear idea of the type of sites they are ideal for.
The name itself does a pretty good job of explaining what this hosting service is all about. Basically, shared hosting refers to sharing a server with hundreds or even thousands of other sites. In other words, your site will be hosted alongside many other sites.
Of course, the biggest advantage of this service is that it’s a super cheap way of going online. Bluehost shared hosting plans can cost as low as about $4 to $6 per month, and you may not even experience much of a problem if your site isn’t getting a huge amount of traffic yet.
Some of the other advantages include not having to bother with any maintenance or technical tasks and being able to upgrade to the higher plans as soon as your site starts getting enough traffic to justify spending more on its hosting.
On the downsides, there can be performance issues, especially if your site demands a lot of server resources. Another site on the server that’s getting a lot of traffic, too, may affect your site’s loading speed and other important features.
Similarly, if a site on the server ends up having any major issues it may cause all the sites on that particular server to experience a downtime until the issue is taken care of by the hosting company.
Shared hosting is ideal for:
- New sites that aren’t getting a lot of traffic yet
- Small blogs
- Sites that are being used a kind of online brochure
- Established sites that only get a limited amount of traffic every month
VPS refers to Virtual Private Server. Although it’s not “private” in the sense that you get a server of your own (as that’s basically a dedicated server), but that you get a part of the server that you can use the way you want.
VPS is one of the most popular types of hosting service, and preferred by most sites with a lot of traffic but not the budget to go for a dedicated server. It’s a pretty well-balanced option as well, and although it’s basically somewhere between shared hosting and a dedicated server, it offers many great advantages over shared hosting.
Now, as we just said, a VPS hosting means you will still be sharing a physical server with other sites, but the way you share it is very effective and doesn’t feel like sharing at all. This is because there’s something known as hypervisor, which is basically the technology that literally splits the server’s resources into 10 to 20 parts, and dedicates each of the part for a single account.
In other words, when you buy a VPS hosting plan, you get a part of the server that no other site on the server will be able to access. Similarly, unlike shared hosting, you also get a fixed amount of resources that you would be able to have for your own site.
Another significant advantage of VPS hosting over its shared counterpart is that there’s usually no bad neighborhood problem. As each of the site on the server is restricted to their part of the server, anything going wrong with them doesn’t affect the other sites in any way.
Then there’s also the fact that you get a lot more control than you do with a shared hosting plan, getting full admin access and being able to customize and configure things the way you want. You can also easily scale up the resources you’re offered as soon as your site starts needing more of them.
Honestly speaking, there isn’t a lot to talk about with respect to the downsides, except that you don’t get the kind of total control you get with a dedicated server and in some rare cases, some bad server activity can still affect your site.
As far as the pricing is concerned, it’s not as bad as you may think at all. In fact, Bluehost’s standard VPS plan costs just $19.99. This is far more affordable than a dedicated server, which costs several times more.
VPS hosting is ideal for:
- Established sites with a decent amount of traffic
- Sites that expect to start getting a lot of traffic soon
- Sites that can’t risk going down due to a bad neighborhood when using shared hosting
- Site owners who are after more control and the ability to customize and configure things according to their needs and preferences
A dedicating hosting plan is where you get a whole server of your own. You share it with no one else and are allowed to customize it in every way possible.
Of course, a dedicated server is your best bet at avoiding any kind of neighborhood issues, as there’s simply no neighborhood in the first place.
You also get to choose the amount and type of memory, install whichever operating system you want, as well as get to choose everything with respect to the other hardware elements. If you have to update PHP and setu up specialized tools and software, a dedicated hosting plan may turn out to be exactly what you need.
Needless to say, this is as good as it gets if flexibility and complete customization is what you’re after, which is especially the case when working on a specialized software and other such projects. There are a host of other benefits as well; however, not all is perfect with a dedicated hosting plan.
There are a few downsides as well, with one of the biggest ones being the fact that managing a dedicated server requires a lot of technical expertise. Of course, things are a little easier if you go with a managed dedicated server, but even with it there’s a lot of technical stuff that will be responsible to set up and manage.
Don’t even get us started on how things may turn out to be if you end up with a completely unmanaged dedicated hosting. From installing the operating system to setting up the tools needed to run the server as well as taking the necessary security measures, it can be a total disaster for someone with very little technical knowledge.
It isn’t exactly a downside for someone with sufficient technical knowledge, though; as well as perhaps even those that can afford to hire a server admin to set up and manage the server.
However, it may be well worth the effort for some given the amount of control a dedicated server offers. From running a huge amount of applications extremely efficiently to many different tools that serve different purposes, there’s not much you cannot do with a dedicated server.
What’s more, your site also loads surprisingly fast, even if it’s very heavy and hosts a ton of pages. Other important factors like uptime and customer support, too, are never an issue, especially when going with Bluehost dedicated hosting.
This all does come at a price, though. The costs of renting a dedicated server can very well run into hundreds of dollars per month, although with Bluehost you can get one for as cheap as just $79.99 per month.
The Bluehost’s dedicated hosting plans are ideal for:
- Businesses that are looking to host multiple well-established sites
- Webmasters looking for a server that allows them to set up their own customized security protocols
- Sites that get a huge amount of traffic
- Site owners that want to have complete control over the server as well as fully customize all the technical elements according to their needs
With WordPress getting more and more popular as a web building platform, many hosting companies – including Bluehost – have started offering a hosting service known as managed WordPress hosting.
If you couldn’t already tell, WordPress hosting is a hosting service specifically designed to serve sites that are powered by WordPress. Some of the major advantages of going with a WordPress hosting for a WordPress site is a significantly faster loading time (up to 2.5 times the usual loading speed in many cases), an increased amount of flexibility that allows you to make your site look much better, as well as the ability to handle sudden spikes in your site’s traffic to a certain extent.
Furthermore, if you go with a Bluehost WordPress hosting plan, Bluehost will also ensure that your WordPress installation is up-to-date without you having to update it manually, as well as better protect your site from security threats.
You would also get a much better level of customer service as there will be WordPress experts helping you with any issues you may face when using WordPress as your web building platform.
After all, there’s a reason Bluehost has been crowned as the best hosting for WordPress 2018 by many experts in the internet marketing industry. It’s also an officially recommended hosting service by WordPress itself, a claim not many services can boast of.
The obvious downsides of using a WordPress hosting service is that you wouldn’t be able to switch to any other content management platforms, and would have to keep using WordPress. You also don’t get to have as much technical control as with some of the other types of hosting, but in all fairness you may not even need it given WordPress offers a lot of customization without having to get too technical.
Apart from that, there are a few plugins that you may not be allowed to use by Bluehost if they pose a security threat to the server your site is hosted on.
Bluehost’s WordPress hosting plan is ideal for:
- Sites relying heavily on WordPress as a content management system
- WordPress bloggers
- New site owners
- Small business owners
Cloud hosting is the latest, revolutionary hosting technology that has been getting increasingly popular right from when it was first introduced to the world. Basically, it’s based on the idea of combining multiple servers to form one giant server that can easily and effectively serve a huge number of sites.
This technology also allows the hosting companies to just add more servers as the need and demand for server resources increases, making it easier for them to manage the growing demand without letting the quality of hosting suffer in any way.
Cloud hosting is incredibly effective at handling large traffic spikes, as unlike shared hosting, it can simply utilize any of the other servers when one of them fails to handle the pressure. This prevents your site from shutting down or going offline even when it gets a huge amount of traffic suddenly.
Surprisingly, it also doesn’t cost much higher than shared hosting, so it’s an obvious upgrade option for anyone looking to get to the next level after using a shared hosting service, but without breaking the bank.
Significantly faster loading speed, the ability to scale smoothly in no time and 24/7 customer support are some of the other advantages of cloud hosting, especially when you’re going with Bluehost as your hosting service.
Perhaps the only minor downside of cloud hosting is that you don’t get as much control and customizability with it as you do with dedicated or even VPS hosting.
Bluehost’s cloud hosting plans start from a modest $6.95, and they are a great fit for:
- New sites that want to avoid the hassles associated with shared hosting
- Sites that want to handle sudden traffic peaks better, especially during the sales season
- Business owners that want to offer fast loading times to their visitors
- Any site owner that doesn’t want their site to go offline due to something going wrong with the server their site is hosted on, or even during maintenance
- New, growing online stores
Just like WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting is a hosting service specifically designed for sites powered by WordPress AND using the popular ecommerce plugin, WooCommerce. Just to give you an idea of the popularity of this combination (WordPress and WooCommerce), as many as 35% of all online stores on the web are powered by it.
This speaks volumes about the kind of demand for a hosting service that specifically serves WordPress sites running WooCommerce. And when it comes to that, Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting is hands down one of the best options.
As with this combination you already have the combination of WordPress’ power and WooCommerce’s versatility, the only thing missing is Bluehost’s reliability.
Bluehost makes it incredibly easy for anyone to set up an online store using WordPress and WooCommerce and get selling in a few minutes. There are WordPress experts standing by to help you with any help you may need during setting up your store, or even after starting to run it.
What’s more, Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plans also come with an SSL certificate and a dedicated IP, while starting at just $6.95. This is probably as good as it gets for someone looking to set up an online store using WordPress and WooCommerce but doesn’t want to take the pain to work on the technical aspect of the store to make it secure and offer a smooth experience to their potential customers.
That said, Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plans are for everyone looking to set up an online store in a completely hassle-free, convenient and secure way using arguably the world’s most trusted CMS, WordPress.
Now that you know exactly which of Bluehost’s hosting services you should be going with based on your needs, let’s get to some of the more important factors related to hosting your site, with the first one being uptime.
Uptime is a crucial feature of any hosting service, as if it isn’t good enough the visitors to your website aren’t going to be able to access it. Needless to say, this can cost you a lot of sales or potential loyal readers and so a low uptime is the last thing you would want.
However, the problem with many cheap shared hosting services is that the uptime is often a hit or miss. Sometimes, it may be just good enough, but some other times there may be long instances of downtime that can really harm your site’s growth in more ways than one.
Other than what we mentioned above, long and frequent instances of downtime can lead to hurting your site’s rankings in the search engines, which may really take quite some effort to regain.
That said, you likely wouldn’t have to worry about any of these issues if you go with Bluehost, even if you choose their shared hosting plan. Extensive tests have been made to find out the kind of uptime it offers, and it has turned out to be near 100% in most cases.
This is certainly not very common, especially when it comes to shared hosting, so Blue host certainly seems to be pretty impressive on this front. There have also been customers posting Bluehost reviews saying that they have almost never experienced any downtime, which means that a low uptime is definitely not something you would have to worry about when choosing Blue host for your hosting needs.
Server Response Time (Speed)
We will be particularly talking about the server response time or speed offered by Blue host’s shared hosting service. This is simply because its other hosting services such as VPS and cloud hosting are already incredibly fast. But, there’s also the fact that there are other hosting companies that offer an impressive loading speed when it comes to those services.
It’s only with a shared hosting service that things can often get ugly with respect to the page loading speed. And unsurprisingly, most customers go with shared hosting due to the highly affordable pricing. Also, research shows that 26.4% of the web uses WordPress as their go to platform and if you are one of them then you may want to have a look on my guide on how to greatly increase your site's speed.
Now, before we get into how exactly Bluehost.com’s service fares on this front, let us tell you why the speed or server response time is arguably the most important factor here.
The thing is, a slow loading speed may result in a host of issues for you, including frustrated visitors and potential customers that just wouldn’t bother waiting for 5 to 10 seconds as there will be your competitors’ sites loading up in less than a couple seconds.
Secondly, search engines like Google put a lot of emphasis on your site’s loading speed, as they believe it’s a crucial part of the overall user experience your site offers. This is obviously very true, as having to wait for more than a few seconds every time a user clicks on something on your site is certainly not going to leave a good impression in their mind about your business or service, no matter how impressive it really is.
What this means is that if your site isn’t loading very quickly, Google may not allow it to rank very high in its search engine, even if you have the best quality content and everything else about your site is great. This may in turn result in your business’ growth ending up suffering big time, especially if your site primarily relies on organic traffic from the search engines.
Another issue with using a shared hosting service with a poor server response time is that you may have to think twice before including a lot of images or videos in your posts, or making your content media-rich in general. This is because doing so would further slow down your site, which is the last thing you would want when the page loading speed of your site is already too slow.
The reason we just gave you a detailed overview of the issues associated with a slow server response time is that you would be surprised how many shared hosting services there are out there offering an annoyingly slow page loading speed. And this is precisely why we think Bluhost’s shared hosting service stands out like a diamond among pearls.
There have been many tests made to get a very accurate idea of Blue hosting’s server response time, and based on their results it looks like Bluehost totally blows away their competition on this front.
In some cases, the page loading speed turned out to be as fast as under half a second. Now, if you have used a shared hosting service in the past, you know that it’s beyond impressive for a budget shared host.
Even the results of some of the other tests made in a slightly different way were very positive with the average server response time being just around 3/4th of a second. Again, with some of the other shared hosting services that cost pretty much the same as Blue hosting – if not higher – struggling to offer a page loading speed of anything less than 2 to 3 seconds, Bluehost totally turns out to be a clear winner here.
In fact, there was also a test made to find out how Bluehost’s shared hosting service responds to sites that demand a much higher amount of server resources. This was done by putting up high-resolution images on the test site, along with some dummy content.
To everyone’s surprise, the server response time even for this site demanding a lot more of the server’s resources turned out to be just around the 1.25 seconds mark. What’s more, the test was further continued to also find out what happens to this otherwise remarkable page loading speed when the site starts getting a decent amount of traffic.
And to do this, a lot of virtual users were sent to the site. However, Bluehosting’s shared hosting service didn’t have a problem handling that just as well without letting the speed being affected whatsoever. The site’s loading time remained surprisingly stable all throughout the test, even when there were many virtual users crowding the site at the same time.
Finally, pretty much every site used for testing the speed of Blu host’s shared hosting service ended up being faster than 85 percent to 94 percent of all testes sites. Now, this is saying something, given that many of the tested sites may be using other significantly more expensive types of hosting service, such as VPS hosting, cloud hosting or even dedicated server hosting.
So with that said, we can safely conclude that Bluehost is one of the fastest shared hosting service out there. It’s not that there may not be any other shared hosting service faster than Bluehost, but at the kind of super cheap prices that Bluehost offers, you would definitely be hard-pressed to find anything comparable to it, let alone better than it.
In this section we will be making some detailed pricing comparisons and analyzing how cheap or expensive Bluehost’s hosting plans really are. Of course, pricing is one of the most important factors for customers looking to buy a hosting service, and for obvious reasons.
Hosting costs can really add up pretty quickly as you’re charged monthly; so even if it may not seem much for the first month you may very well be looking at hundreds of dollars in hosting costs a few months down the line.
However, this is also the reason Bluehost ranks right at the top in terms of popularity, as it’s one of the most inexpensive hosting services on the market. What’s more impressive about the affordable pricing of Bluehost’s services is that it doesn’t come with a big compromise on the quality of service, which is something worryingly common with many budget hosting services.
With that said, let us first discuss the pricing of Bluehost’s shared hosting plans, as they are likely what most people reading this are looking to buy. However, you might want to note that we will not just be mentioning the prices and share our opinion on whether they are expensive or cheap, but we will actually also be comparing them against the pricing of Bluehost’s most popular competitors, so that you can get a pretty clear idea of how Bluehost has priced its hosting plans.
Bluehost has three different shared hosting plans: Basic, Plus and Prime. The Basic plan is priced surprisingly affordably at just $3.95, though you have to buy it for a period of 36 months to get that price.
It offers website space of 50 GB, which should be more than enough for any small to medium site. You’re only allowed to host one domain on the Basic plan, which is a bit obvious given the super cheap pricing.
Something surprising about the Basic plan, however, is that it comes with “unmetered” bandwidth, meaning that there are going to be no limitations on it. You can use as much of the server’s bandwidth as you want (with some restrictions that are never going to be a problem for a normal user), and your site still wouldn’t have any issue, or shut down as might be the case with some other hosts in this price range.
As for sub domains, you can host 25 of them. However, this isn’t really a very useful metric as not many sites use sub domains.
One of the more important factors, though, is the email accounts included with the hosting plan, which, in this case, are 5. As for the email storage, you get 100 MB per account; again, sufficient for most people with general use.
Finally, something that makes the already cheap Basic plan even cheaper is that you also get a FREE domain with it. For a hosting plan that costs as low as under $4 per month, a free domain is quite an add-on.
Coming to the Plus plan, we wouldn’t hesitate to say that it’s likely the most value-for-money hosting plan you will ever be able to find.
For just $5.95 per month (if you pay for 36 months together), you get to host as many websites as you want. Yes, we really mean being able to host UNLIMITED websites for as less as under $6 per month.
Both the website space and bandwidth are unmetered with the Plus plan, meaning there are no limitations on either of them. You get one free domain with the Plus plan as well, with the ability to host as many subdomains as you want.
There are no restrictions on the number and storage of email accounts, either. What’s more, you also have a spam expert standing by to help you against any spam attacks to your website.
Apart from these, you also get marketing offers worth $200 from www.Bluehost.com.
Then there’s the Prime plan, the one that is the “most recommended” one from Blue host.com. Surprisingly, it’s priced the same as the Plus plan, at $5.95 per month. The only difference between the two with respect to the pricing is that the Prime plan is going to cost you more in renewals.
However, if you do end up going with buying any of these plans for the most recommended period of 36 months, you wouldn’t have to worry about it for at least 3 years.
As for the features of the Prime plan, you get everything that you do with the Plus plan, but in addition to that, you also get free domain privacy for one domain as well as the SiteBackup Pro.
However, apart from these, there’s also a “Go PRO” plan, which offers some cool features and add-ons besides everything that you get with the normal plan. It’s priced at $13.95 per month, but for the right type of sites, it may be well worth it.
And that’s because it promises a much better level of performance than what you get with the normal plan, as well as a dedicated IP, an SSL certificate and more.
Talking about who should go for which of their plans, the Basic plan is going to be perfect for beginners or very new sites that are not sure about their growth prospects. However, if you’re a business with more than one domains that get a decent amount of traffic, the Prime plan may turn out to be your best bet.
But if there are some running an online store or an established site that consistently boasts high traffic figures, the Pro plan may be worth considering.
VPS Hosting Plans
Let us now quickly also go over the pricing of the other hosting services offered by Bluehost, and first up is the VPS hosting service.
Now, when it comes to VPS hosting, you’re supposed to get the best of both worlds – a great performance, flexibility and customizability as well as affordability (especially when compared to dedicated server hosting). And the VPS hosting plans at Bluehostcom certainly don’t disappoint as they really do offer this combination that VPS hosting services are known for.
The standard or most basic VPS hosting plan at Bluehost is priced at $19.99 per month, although just as with the shared hosting plans, you do have to buy for 36 months to get it at that price. If you’re buying for just 12 months, the price is going to be $24.99 for you.
However, the standard VPS plan definitely seems to offer more than what most websites may ever need in terms of resources. Unlimited bandwidth, 2 Cores, 30 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, one dedicated IP address and a 24/7 customer support mean that if you’re hosting a small but established website, the standard VPS plan would certainly have you covered.
These are actually some serious specs for something that costs as less as about $20 per month. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you only get 1 GB RAM with the other features being less impressive as well with other hosting companies for the same price.
The standard VPS hosting plan at Blue Host com is probably as cost-effective as it gets, especially given that it too includes a free domain.
However, if you’re a webmaster with a website that gets a huge amount of traffic every month, the kind of traffic that most hosting services can’t handle, you may be interested in Bluehost,com’s Enhanced VPS hosting plan, priced at $29.99 per month.
While it too has 2 Cores like the standard plan, it’s really “enhanced” when it comes to all the other features. The SSD storage is an impressive 60 GB, with the RAM being a solid 4 GB too. You also get 2 dedicated IP address instead of just 1 with the standard plan.
And then comes the Ultimate VPS hosting plan that’s offered by Bluehsot at $59.99 per month. It might seem a lot, but it really isn’t when you take into consideration the kind of power it comes with.
With 4 Cores, 120 GB SSD storage and an 8 GB RAM, there’s not much the Ultimate VPS hosting plan can’t handle. Have a website that gets flooded with visitors that spend a lot of time on the site? With Ultimate VPS hosting plan, it isn’t going to be a problem at all. Are there sudden spikes in your traffic due to promotional campaigns that result in thousands of users frequenting your site at the same time? The “Ultimate” can handle that as well.
Finally, if you have any kind of hesitation going for any of these VPS hosting plans being offered by BlueHost.ocm, then let us tell you that there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee with each plan, meaning that you can get your hosting subscription canceled and all your money refunded if you don’t like the service. However, you won’t get a refund for any add-on services that you may have bought along with the hosting plan.
Dedicated Hosting Plans
Next up we have dedicated hosting plans. Not many may be interested in them as they are only for the ones that have made it to the next level of internet marketing and are now running one or more site that gets an insane amount of traffic or working on web-based projects that require a lot of control and flexibility with respect to their server.
Now, while dedicated hosting plans can easily run well into a couple hundred dollars or more, Bluehosy being a budget hosting service has its standard dedicated hosting plan priced at just $79.99 (if you buy for 36 months; the price is $99.99 if you buy only for 12 months).
It comes with 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 500 GB storage, 4 GB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth and 3 IP addresses. However, Bleuhost is currently running an offer that allows anyone on a standard dedicated hosting plan to upgrade to a server with much better features, including 4 x 2.5 GHz CPU and 1 TB storage without having to pay anything over what they paid for the standard plan (which is, in this case, $79.99 per month if they bought for 36 months).
If you’re looking for something more powerful, the Enhance dedicated hosting plan that Bluehots offers for $99.99 per month may be right up your alley. While it offers the same in terms of the speed as the Standard plan, it comes with twice as much storage (1 TB), bandwidth (10 TB) and RAM (8 GB). You also get 4 IP addresses as against 3 with the Standard plan.
However, if you’re looking for a beast that wouldn’t shy away from serving any kind of project, no matter how resource-hungry it may be, then the Premium dedicated hosting plan is precisely what you’re looking for. Buehost priced it at $119.99 per month but, if you do work on projects that require a super powerful server, it’s going to be worth every penny.
With 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 1 TB storage, 15 TB bandwidth and a mammoth 16 GB RAM, it’s probably as good as it gets without shelling out well over a couple hundred dollars a month. You also get as many as 5 IP addresses, and of course there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 with all the plans.
WordPress Hosting Plans
As mentioned earlier, if your site heavily relies on WordPress as a content management platform, then B;uehost’s WordPress hosting plans are going to be a great fit for your site. They are going to make it load faster, sport a better overall design and offer a lot more that makes it easier for you to manage your site.
Bluehost offers 4 different plans under their WordPress hosting service. The first and the most basic one is the WP Standard hosting plan, but for most website owners, it’s going to be more than enough.
This is because this plan is capable of handling as many as 100 million monthly visits, which is a staggering number for a hosting service that costs a mere $19.99 per month (again, remember you need to pay for 36 months in order to get this heavily discounted price).
Both the storage and backup are going to be 30 GB each, supported by 2 GB RAM. There are also plenty of other features like enhanced cPanel, SiteLock CDN, SiteLock Pro, free SSL certificate and a dedicated IP address.
If you have made it big as an internet business, however, and getting more than 100 million visitors per month, you may have to check out the WP Enhanced plan, that can handle 300 million visits per month.
The WP Enhanced would cost you $29.99 per month but it’s twice as powerful as the WP Standard, with its storage capacity, backup and RAM being 60 GB, 60 GB and 4 GB respectively. You get just one IP address with the WP Enhanced, too, but you’re also offered the WAF Pro alongside SiteLock CDN, which is something not available with the WP Standard.
Next up is the WP Premium plan with a price tag of $39.99 per month. With 120 GB storage, 120 GB backup capacity, 6 GB RAM and SiteLock CDN/WAF Pro option, we are not surprised that it can serve 600 million visitors to your website per month.
Another couple feature improvement over the previous two plans we reviewed is that it includes a Positive SSL certificate instead of the usual one, which is a nice little add-on feature as well. Similarly, you would get the SiteLock Premium instead of SiteLock Pro with the WP Premium plan.
Finally, if you have made it real big with your WordPress site, then Blehost has for you the WP Ultimate plan, that has no limitations as far as the amount of traffic it can handle. Now, that’s certainly quite impressive, given that it doesn’t cost like hundreds of dollars per month, but rather just $49.99 per month if you go with the 36 months plan and $69.99 per month if you only buy for a period of 12 months.
The server is as powerful as it probably gets, thanks to the 240 GB storage and 240 GB backup, as well as 8 GB RAM, the SiteLock Enterprise security feature and a Positive Wildcard SSL certificate.
All the WP hosting plans allow you to register a free domain, get a full refund for the hosting plan cost if you’re not satisfied with the service, as well as be able to get help from the customer support team round the clock.
Alright, so now we have something that has been the latest buzz in the hosting world. You get the best in terms of technology, security and speed, without the technical issues and hefty costs associated with the likes of VPS and dedicated hosting.
While cloud hosting, too, can be a bit expensive at some of the other hosting companies, Bluehost has priced it surprisingly affordably as well, living up to its title of one of the best budget hosting providers.
The Starter cloud hosting plan of Blurhost costs as less as just $6.95 if you go for the longest plan of 36 months, and $10.95 per month if you stick to the annual plan. While it only allows you to host one website, it makes sure it never experiences any kind of issues even if it gets a lot of traffic or is very resource heavy than an average website.
This is because it boasts a storage space of 100 GB and a RAM of 2 GB, with unlimited bandwidth and 2 CPUs. If you’re just a small but growing site, your site may never experience any kind of outages even with the Starter cloud hosting plan at Bluehost.
Some of the other useful features include 100 email accounts that can be accessed at webmail.bluehost.com, 50 GB of email storage and $50 in marketing offers.
If you’re a business with more than one sites that are in their growth phase, though, the Performance plan is what is going to be a much better fit for you.
It can host unlimited websites, which isn’t something you would expect with a cloud hosting service costing just $8.95 to $15.95 (depending on the time period you choose for the plan). You get unlimited storage space and bandwidth, with a RAM of 4 GB and 4 CPUs to make sure your site never goes offline even for a few seconds.
If you’re looking to do some large-scale email marketing campaigns, you would be pleased to know that you get unlimited email accounts and storage, besides $200 in marketing offers. You would also have a spam expert assisting you with anything related to fighting spam.
The biggest cloud hosting plan at Bluehost is the “Business Pro” plan. You would be getting unmetered storage space and bandwidth, 6 GB of RAM and as many as 6 CPUs. Of course, you can host as many websites as you want on this plan.
Just like the Performance plan, you also get unlimited email accounts and storage, and 2 spam experts. And this is all for just $15.95 per month ($20.95 per month if you only pay for 12 months).
For any business operating multiple sites with a greater requirement of security and a faster loading time, the Business Pro plan is going to fit the bill perfectly.
Specially designed for WordPress stores running the WooCommerce plugin, Bluehost’s WooCommerce hosting plans are probably as affordable as they get.
The first two of the three plans come with a Positive SSL certificate, while the third one offers a Comodo SSL certificate.
Running your online store gets a lot less challenging with one of Bluehost’s WooCommerce plans, so if you’re someone that doesn’t have a lot of experience running an online store based on WordPress and WooCommerce, it may totally turn out to be exactly what you need.
This is especially true with dedicated support from WordPress experts, as well as the WooCommerce coming preinstalled with the hosting plan, which can otherwise be quite a hassle to install.
The Starter WooCommerce hosting plan at Bluehost costs $6.95 (for the 36 months plan), and offers website space of 100 GB, unmetered bandwidth, 1 dedicated IP, 1 free domain, 5 email accounts with 100 MB of storage per account as well as $100 worth of marketing offers.
The Plus WooCommerce plan is priced at $8.95 per month, and comes with everything that the Starter plan does, but with both the bandwidth and website space being unmetered, as well as unlimited email accounts and storage, and even unlimited sub domains.
There’s also one spam expert and marketing offers that may help you save $150.
If you’re running a successful WooCommerce store already and looking for a WooCommerce hosting plan that will effectively handle the growing traffic your site has been getting lately, look no further than Bluehost’s Pro WooCommerce hosting plan that would set you back just $12.95 per month.
It would come with a Comodo SSL certificate, with everything else being the same as the Plus plan. However, there would be some additional features as well, such as the SiteBackup Pro, free privacy for one domain, 2 spam experts as well as $300 in marketing offers.
Pricing Comparison: Bluehost vs. Other Popular Hosting Providers
Now that you’re aware of everything related to the pricing of the hosting plans being offered by Bluehos, let’s see how the service stacks up against some of its popular competitors.
Bluehost vs. Hostgator
Talking about competitors, it’s hard to not think of a Bluehost vs. Hostgator comparison. However, it’s an interesting comparison because both these hosting companies belong to the same group, which is EIG or Endurance International Group.
As Hostgator, too, is one of the most popular shared hosting services on the market, we think this is a comparison many would be interested in.
Comparison: Shared Hosting Plans
That said, as far as the pricing is concerned, there’s barely any difference at all. The “Hatchling” shared hosting plan at Hostgator costs $3.95 per month if you pay for 36 months when buying, which is the same as what Bluehost charges you.
The same goes for the Baby and Business plan, as they are priced $5.95 per month each, the same as Bluehost’s Plus and Prime plans. Though the renewal costs may be a tad bit higher with the latter.
However, if you’re paying for 36 months to get the cost advantage, you wouldn’t have to worry about the slightly higher renewal costs until at least 3 years from the time you buy, which is more than enough time for your business to flourish and be able to afford more expensive and a higher quality hosting service.
That said, the prices being almost the same doesn’t mean that both are equally good options. Although Hostgator isn’t a bad option by any means, especially for beginners, Blue host does seem to be having an edge over it when we consider the overall performance.
Blue host also offers a much better level of security, with automatic website backups, malware protection tools, and a hassle-free installation of an SSL certificate.
On the other hand, Hostgator offers free site migration service, against Bluehost’s additional charges of $149.99 (you can just do it for free yourself, though), as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee period.
But unless you’re not buying hosting for your site for the first time and migrating the hosting from another provider, this is going to be something irrelevant to you.
Comparison: VPS Hosting Plans
As for the VPS hosting plans, however, Hostgator doesn’t seem to be coming anywhere close to Bluehost in terms of performance. This is simply because while Bluehost offers SSD storage, Hostgator does not.
The standard and value plans at both the providers cost pretty much the same at about $20 and $30 per month respectively, but the “premium” plan at Hostgator is priced much cheaper at $39.95 per month.
However, it wouldn’t be wise to compromise on the performance for the minor price benefit, as Hostgator offers very limited bandwidth with all its plan compared to Bluehost’s unmetered bandwidth.
Comparison: Dedicated Hosting Plans
Hostgator is going to be a more expensive option if dedicated hosting is what you’re after; its most basic dedicated hosting plan comes in at $79 per month, which is almost the same as Bluehost’s $79.99 per month plan, but it’s a lot more limited in terms of its features and overall performance.
Some of the better dedicated hosting plans at Hostgator are priced at $109, $139 and $149 per month, making the Bluehost a much more affordable option with its $99.99 and $119.99 per month plans.
You would probably also find it easier to manage a Bluehost dedicated hosting server than the Hostgator’s dedicated hosting servers, thanks to the former being a little more beginner-friendly.
Comparison: WordPress Hosting Plans
Bluehost is hands down a much better option here, with WordPress officially recommending it as its hosting partner. Hostgator, on the other hand, doesn’t have any such recommendations to its name.
The pricing is significantly cheaper with the latter, though; but even with Hostgator’s most premium plan only allowing up to 500k monthly visits as against the 100 million monthly visitors capacity offered by Bluehost’s most basic WordPress hosting plan, you would be comparing apples to oranges here if you only go by the pricing.
Comparison: Cloud Hosting Plans
Again, Hostgator may seem to have a bit of a cost advantage here too, but when you look at all the features and specifications of the server you get to host your site on, the price difference would seem very insignificant.
Our recommendation: It’s not worth compromising big time on the performance for a small cost advantage.
Finally, Hostgator doesn’t offer WooCommerce hosting so Bluehost is your only, but a pretty good option here.
Bluehost vs. Hostgator: Final Verdict
If you’re a very small site but limited growth plans and potential, and only care about the affordability, then Hostgator’s hosting plans may appeal to you. However, if you’re looking for a great balance of affordability and superior performance, then Bluehost manages to easily beat Hostgator in many aspects.
Some More Quick Comparisons
With there being multiple competitors people like to compare Bluehost against before making their decision, we would also quickly walk you through some of the other more popular comparisons and our thoughts on who may turn out to be a better option.
Bluehost vs. GoDaddy
Again, if you directly compare the hosting plans offered by both these companies, it would be a very unfair comparison. While GoDaddy’s basic plans may seem a lot more affordable, they may not be fit for any site getting a decent amount of traffic.
However, even if your site is fairly new and not getting a lot of traffic, one of GoDaddy’s dirt cheap shared hosting plans may seem very tempting; but remember that once your site grows enough it will be a hassle to migrate the hosting to a better provider without causing quite a downtime.
This is the reason GoDaddy has a poor reputation in the hosting space, while Bluehost enjoys the trust of thousands of customers.
Bluehost vs. SiteGround
SiteGround isn’t as popular as Bluehost, but it’s one of the only competitors that really manages puts up a fight. This is especially because the shared hosting plans at SiteGround are priced almost the same as Bluehost’s shared hosting plans.
SiteGround’s biggest plan, however, is priced at $11.95 per month, much higher than Bluehost’s $5.95 per month.
That being said, SiteGround may be a decent option for many that are looking for high-quality shared hosting solution, especially those with a good bit of technical knowledge. We are saying this despite SiteGroud being more expensive, especially for large websites with a lot of traffic.
However, if you’re not very familiar with server technology and wouldn’t like to risk messing anything up, then Bluehost would serve you well with its extremely beginner-friendly service. In fact, even people searching for things like “How to use Bluehost” get used to its extremely easy-to-use interface in no time.
Another benefit of going with Bluehost over SiteGround is that the former offers a lot more in website space than the latter, although SiteGround boasts SSD technology and plenty of other features.
That said, SiteGround manages to give Bluehost a bit of a run for its money only if you would like to get your hands dirty with some technical stuff and are willing to spend more for some advanced features. However, for any other type of hosting like cloud hosting, Bluehost offers far better pricing than SiteGround and is clearly the more preferred option for anyone that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on hosting their site.
For example, SiteGround’s starter cloud hosting plan costs a staggering $80 per month, while Bluehost prices its starter cloud hosting plan at a measly $6.95 per month. The reason this difference doesn’t make any sense is that there’s not a lot of difference between both these hosting plans, apart from the fact that SiteGround is based on SSD technology so you can expect it to be a bit more reliability.
However, even that would come with some compromise on the performance, as SiteGround is a lot more limited with its features than Bluehost, who is rather generous with it.
Long-Term Plan Commitment
Ok, so we have now not only broken down Bluehost’s pricing and analyzed it thoroughly, but also compared it with the pricing of some of its biggest competitors. It doesn’t look like there’s any hosting provider that can offer what Bluehost does, especially at a price not far higher than Bluehost’s ridiculously low prices.
However, you only get the best of Bluehost’s pricing if you go with their 36-month plans. The prices are significantly higher if you only buy a plan for a period of, say, 12 months.
This is because Bluehost values and rewards loyalty. Also, rewarding long-term customers with better pricing helps the company offer a more reliable hosting option, and also constantly keep improving its services.
For instance, Bluehost’s most basic shared hosting plan costs just $3.95 if you buy it for a period of 36 months. However, you would have to shell out $5.45 per month if you only buy it for 12 months.
The same goes for every hosting plan Blue host offers, regardless of whether it’s a shared hosting plan, a cloud hosting plan or even a dedicated hosting one. Again, just to make it clear, Bluehost’s standard dedicated hosting plan is priced at $79.99 per month for customers paying for a period of 36 months together.
But the same plan costs $99.99 per month if you choose to only pay for 12 months initially; and as high as $129.99 per month if you only end up buying it for a period of 6 months.
Now, something we would like to bring to your notice is that the long-term commitment that we are discussing here isn’t just about getting a lower price, but it’s also about not having to pay significantly higher renewal costs.
This is because the prices you’re offered as a new customer are one-time prices only, and the regular prices that you will have to pay as renewal cost tend to be a lot higher. Hence, by going for a long-term plan, you get the most out of the first-time new-customer offer, and get to enjoy a superior quality service for a very cheap price for a considerably long period of 36 months or 3 years.
Again, to explain what we are really talking about here, the most basic shared hosting plan that’s priced at just $3.95 with a 36-month commitment is actually priced at $7.99 for customers that aren’t doing business with Bluehost for the first time.
Even the 12-month plan that sets you back $5.45 per month has $8.99 per month as its regular price. Of course, all the other hosting plans have a significantly higher price as their regular price, which means that the best way to save a lot of money is to simply go with a 36-month plan.
Despite being an extremely budget hosting service, Bluehost’s hosting plans come with a surprisingly long list of security features. Of course, someone buying one of the more premium hosting services like, say, a cloud hosting plan, is going to have their site much better secured than a site on a shared hosting plan.
That doesn’t mean the shared hosting plans aren’t secure enough. They too offer a decent bit of security and assistance for their incredibly low prices.
One of the premium security features Bluehost offers include SiteLock, a security feature that protects your site against a variety of threats, including, but not limited to, spam and malware. Furthermore, it also improves your site’s trustworthiness in the eyes of your visitors.
It does this by verifying your important credentials such as your email, phone number and address. Similarly, simply having a SiteLock certificate on your site improves conversions quite a bit as makes visitors trust your site and they don’t hesitate to buy from it.
Then there’s the Site Backup Pro feature, which can really come in handy when something messes up big time and you end up losing all the data stored on your site or hosting account.
There’s a “Spam Experts” feature too which is something that’s getting increasingly useful with the growing number of spam attacks on the internet. You also get free domain privacy with many of the plans, but with the shared hosting ones you have to pay $0.99 to get it.
This feature basically protects your private information from spammers who would send tens of emails to you selling their services.
The cloud hosting plans boast a feature known as data mirroring, which creates three mirrors of your site in order to prevent it from going offline even if something happens to one or two of the copies of your site.
The WordPress hosting plans are designed with WordPress vulnerabilities in mind and are hence automatically updated to prevent hackers from damaging your site in any way.
Apart from these premium security features, there are some basic ones as well including:
- Very response and secure password reset page
- Ability to link your Google and Bluehost account and sign in using Google login
- Two-factor authentication
- Account validation that allows you to get the help and assistance you need without having to share any information that may lead to security issues
- Constantly updating security features
Blue Host Customer Support
In case you’re new to the world of hosting, let us tell you that the customer support is believed to be an incredibly important aspect of any hosting service. You need it more often than you may think, but many of the shared hosting services have a terrible customer support where you don’t hear from them for days after seeking help with an issue.
However, Bluehost’s customer support is far from being like that, with customers getting 24/7 support with many plans. You can also always just use the chat option to chat with a customer service representative and resolve your issue immediately.
There’s also the Bluehost customer service number that you can call when you’re facing a more important issue like your site being hacked or some kind of billing issue.
All said and done, you may still have to keep in mind that Bluehost is a budget hosting service. And by the standard of a cheap shared hosting service, the customer service is really good (although it’s much better with some of the more premium plans).
However, you can’t expect them to get back to you in a few minutes like some people do after paying something between $3.95 to less than $10 a month.
Other Important Features
As this is going to be the most comprehensive Bluehost review 2018, we will be leaving no aspect of its hosting services unaddressed. With that said, here’s a look at some of the other important features of Bluehost.com’s hosting services.
CloudFlare is a feature that you get for free with all Bluehost plans, including even the shared ones. It’s basically something that works as a proxy that helps lower the number of requests your site sends to the server.
It’s a great feature if you want to improve your site’s overall performance and its page loading speed. It has also turned out to be a very useful feature at protecting your site against various kinds of threats and bot attacks.
Apart from that, CloudFlare also helps against spam and other kind of web infections, offer an offline browsing version of your site to your visitors when your site is down, as well as let you access useful stats and lower the resources needed to run your site effectively.
Everyone that buys a shared hosting plan at Bluhost can easily integrate CloudFlare via your “my control panel” option. All you need to do is go to the control panel, and click on the CloudFlare icon that’s listed under the “Domains” section.
You then need to click on “Next” and create a free CloudFlare account. The final step would be to click on “Activate,” and doing so would integrate CloudFlare with your site.
SSL, which is less commonly known as Secure Socket Layer protocol, is a technology that enables secure communication between the computers of your visitors and the server your site is hosted on. It’s a new technology but has been growing increasingly popular as soon as it was introduced to the web world.
There have also been reports that Google favors sites with an SSL certificate in their search results, and of course, visitors too are more likely to trust and buy from a site with an SSL certificate. After installing an SSL certificate, a site would go from using the structure http://exampledomain.com to https://exampledomain.com.
Blue hosting offers free SSL integration to all their customers buying a shared hosting plan. However, as an SSL certificate requires a dedicated IP, you will have to buy it if you want to use the free SSL certificate included with your hosting plan.
Installing a shared SSL certificate is a very simple process, and you can do it using your control panel as described here.
Free Domain Name
Something we find really amazing about Bluehosting is that it doesn’t leave any stone unturned to be the most pocket-friendly hosting service out there. Despite offering fairly good performance and a pretty fast loading speed even with its super affordably priced shared hosting plans, Bluhost also offers a FREE domain name with every hosting plan, including even the most basic one that costs just $3.95 per month.
You can register your free domain as soon as you select your hosting plan. You can obviously also choose not to get a free domain and use the one that you may already be owning.
If you’re someone new to domain name registration, you need not worry at all as the Bluehost domain search feature makes it stupidly easy to select your desired (available) domain name and complete the payment process to buy the hosting plan and get the free domain with it.
There aren’t many shared hosting services out there that would offer you a very customized cPanel, let alone a lot of add-ons like many useful apps that you can easily integrate with your domain or hosting account.
All hosting plans at www.Bluehost.com, however, come with a customized cPanel allowing you to install and integrate a ton of useful apps for your site. Similarly, all the popular scripts out there such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and many more are available as well, and can be installed in just a few clicks. Talk about being a budget-friendly AND beginner-friendly hosting service!
Apart from that, you also get to integrate the all popular Google apps with your hosting account and use them directly from your hosting account.
You would be surprised if you really compare a few different popular shared hosting services with what Bluehost offers in terms of features. For a shared hosting service with its premium plan priced as cheap as less than $6 per month, you wouldn’t expect a rather “luxury” feature like regular backups.
However, Blue host.com magically manages to offer that as well; and not just regular backups, but daily AUTOMATIC backups. Yes, that’s right, you don’t even have to move a finger to create a backup for your site; Blue host does it all for you.
You may have to purchase their Site Backup Pro add-on if you buy either of the Basic or Plus plan, but you get it for free with the Prime plan that costs just $5.95 per month.
Recovering your files in case you lose them would be a very smooth process with just three simple steps involved.
Ease of Use
It goes without saying that a shared hosting service needs to be very beginner-friendly. It needs to offer the kind of ease of use that allows even people new to setting up a website to set up the hosting and get their site running quickly and easily.
This actually seems to be a bit of an issue even with some of the better shared hosting services out there. Although the quality of their service may not be bad, it can be a disaster to set up hosting with them and get the site up and running.
And this is the reason Bluehost enjoys the kind of popularity that it does. You don’t need to have any technical knowledge to be able to set up your hosting account as soon as you buy a hosting plan with Bluhost.
You would be able to do most things with just a few clicks, be it installing CloudFlare, an SSL certificate, or even just upgrading your plan.
This is something that may turn out to be a bit disappointing for someone looking to migrate their site from their existing hosting provider to Bluehost. If you can migrate your site to them yourself, then you aren’t going to be charged anything over what you need to pay for the plan you choose.
However, if you decide to use their site migration service, you would have to shell out $149.99, and an expert at Blue hosting will migrate up to 5 sites and 20 email accounts for you and make sure they work correctly on the new hosting account.
If you’re buying a hosting plan for your domain for the first time, though, this isn’t going to be a problem for you. For those that want to migrate but don’t want to pay the high charges, they can simply head over to YouTube or read articles that explain how to migrate a site in a step-by-step way.
The reason the refund policy is something important to take into consideration when buying a hosting service is that too many of them are offering a very poor quality of service and do not have any policy of refunding unsatisfied customers.
The ones that do, however, show that they are reliable and confident in the quality of their services. This is what the case is with Bluehost, as it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
So if you have any major problems with using their service and decide that you don’t want to continue with them within 30 days of making the payment, you can just cancel the service and get a full refund for your hosting costs.
That said, you will not be refunded for any of the add-on services you purchase, such as a domain or a dynamic IP address.
Pros and Cons
So we are about to wrap up what we think is the most detailed Bluehost review ever written. However, we wouldn’t be doing that before taking a quick look at the pros and cons that we have discussed in great detail above.
- Highly affordable prices
- Other services like cloud hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting being priced much cheaper than many other competitors
- Surprisingly good performance for a cheap shared hosting service
- Fairly fast loading speed, with the average being 1.25 seconds or lower in most cases
- Great uptime with hardly any major instances of a downtime
- Ability to effectively handle many visitors frequenting the hosted site at the same time
- Good customer support with 24/7 chat support
- Plenty of security features that you would be too lucky to have at anything under $10 per month
- Lots of other great features like app integrations, free CloudFlare and SSL certificate and many more
- Extremely beginner-friendly and easy to set up and manage
- Very interactive cPanel with a lot of customization available
- Being allowed to set up as many email accounts as you want, for free
- Daily backups with the Prime plan without having to manually create the backups
- Can easily be upgraded to higher-tier plans as your site grows
- 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to test the service for a full 30 days before deciding whether you want to continue with it or not
- The prices are not as cheap if you’re only looking to buy for 12 months
- The support isn’t as fast as with some of the more “premium” hosts out there, but it works pretty well for small business owners and customers that aren’t into a lot of advanced technical stuff
- The renewal costs are significantly higher than what you’re charged when buying for the first time, which again makes the 36-month plans the most preferred option
- Site migrations cost a hefty $149.99 for up to 5 sites if you want Bluehost to take care of them for you instead of doing it yourself
- A lot of upsells that you can just choose not to buy but can be a bit annoying all the same
Our Final Verdict
While Bluehost isn’t perfect in all departments, it’s likely the best you can get as an extremely cheap, budget hosting solution. Most of its competitors charge way more for pretty much the same service that Bluehost offers, and the ones that have priced their services as competitively as Bluehost fail to put up with its quality and performance.
The Bluehost reviews 2018 have already started coming in and they probably talk about some of the improvements that have been made to make Bluehost an even better hosting service. The fact that Bluehost arguably continues to be the most popular shared hosting service on the market doesn’t come off as surprising given that it hardly seems to have any real competitors.
Some people may have landed on this review while searching for questions like “Is Bluehost good?” Well, we hope you really got your answer.
Bluehost isn’t just good, it’s probably the best you can get unless you’re willing to spend over $10 per month on a fairly basic shared hosting plan.