I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, you are trying to start your first website, or maybe you are not happy with your current hosting and are looking at whether you should make a switch.
I’m going to try to help you make an informed decision and decide if Bluehost is for you by going over the pros, cons, and my personal experience in this complete Bluehost review.
Bluehost is a web hosting provider that was founded in 1996 by a chap called Matt Heaton. If you’ve ever looked at hosting your own website, you’ve probably already come across the name.
Bluehost are hugely popular and currently host over 2 million websites. They have enjoyed a 10-year partnership with WordPress as the recommended web host. So, what sets them apart from the rest?
As with all of my reviews, I’m going to go through everything in detail, but here’s Bluehost at a glance:
Bluehost Pros and Cons
- Bluehost has one the most dependable server uptimes with a super-competitive 99.98%. This works out to less than 2 hours downtime per year!
- Fast load time of 405ms (0.4 seconds)
- Effortless WordPress integration. Bluehost will even automatically install the latest and most secure version of WordPress. It couldn’t be easier!
- The price plans are very affordable and are particularly appealing to anyone who is just starting out.
- Once signed up, you get a free domain name for 1 year
- A free email address that is directly linked to your domain is included, regardless of what platform you choose
- The 24/7 support team have always been exceptional, with all of my queries (and there have been a lot) resolved by the first point of contact
- Bluehost are currently offering an extended 60-day money-back guarantee (normally 30-day)
- Most plans include unlimited disk storage, domain hosting, email addresses, and bandwidth
- You get access to Git Version Control, as well as a whole bunch of databases to choose from
- The layout of the cPanel makes it really easy to access features, and offers free anti-spam solutions
- Bluehost do have slightly higher renewal rates than some of their competitors, so the best way to get the lowest price is to pay for a few years upfront
- Site migrations are not free. If you have an existing site that you’re looking to migrate to Bluehost, there’s a one-time fee of $149.99. This however, does cover the migration of up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.
- You will get offered a lot of upsells during the signup process, and it can be easy to get carried away. It’s a little bit like when you go to a tapas bar and see dishes for a couple of bucks, so you keep adding more and more until you need to remortgage the house to pay for everything. Stick to what you need and uncheck the rest.
Which Bluehost Plan Is Right For You?
Bluehost offer a variety of different types of hosting plans for all budgets and sizes.
Shared hosting: the most affordable, this is the perfect way to get started online. Great for blogs, hobbies, and even small business websites with low traffic volume. Four price plans available:
WordPress hosting: WordPress is a free, open-source content management system, allowing you to create beautiful websites with ease – no coding required.
Bluehost has been the number 1 recommended WordPress hosting provider since 2005. This package will automatically install the latest version of WordPress, and keep it up-to-date.
There are ton of themes to choose from, free and premium. Bluehost offer three price plans:
WP Pro: WP Pro servers are built using Solid State Drives (SSD). In addition, the number of users is limited, which means that there is more of the server’s resources available to each user. Both of these enhancements allow for improved site speed.
The dashboard allows you to monitor the performance of your site, and control your SEO, social media, and traffic sources.
eCommerce: WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
Bluehost will automatically install WooCommerce over your WordPress template, making it super easy to set up your online store, whether it’s physical products or digital that you’re selling.
Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce is completely free to use, and as it’s powered by WordPress, you own the data.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting: VPS hosting allows for RAM, CPU, and Disk Space to be dedicated to your account, meaning improved stability and performance of your website.
There is also greater security for your site files as you won’t be sharing the operating system with other users. Choose from three plans:
Dedicated server hosting: Dedicated servers are completely isolated from one another, meaning that you have the highest level of resource allocation, privacy, and control to configure it however you want.
Any changes you make won’t affect another user, and equally your site won’t be affected by the actions of other users. Performance is stable and predictable.
Bluehost Security Features
Bluehost provides a lot of great security options by default, including free SSL certificate and domain privacy for each plan amongst others.
However, if you want to beef up your security, Bluehost has got you covered with a list of upgrades.
Personally, I don’t think some of them are worth forking out your hard-earned money for, so take your time to choose what you really need.
Bluehost CodeGuard creates daily backups of your site, and more importantly it saves each as a separate version. If something goes really wrong with your site, you can turn back time and go back to a previous version. Anyone who’s ever used a version control system like GitHub already knows the immense value in this.
There are four plans:
- Basic ($2.99 / month) covers up to 5 websites, offers 1GB of storage, and up to 3 restores a month
- Professional ($5.99 / month) covers up to 10 sites, 5GB of storage, and allows for on-demand backups and unlimited restores
- Premium ($9.99 / month) covers up to 25 sites and the storage is bumped up to 10GB. As with the Pro package, this allows for on-demand backups and unlimited restores
- Enterprise ($23.95 / month) covers a whopping 100 websites! 25GB of storage is yours, along with on-demand backups and unlimited restores
All of these give the option to be paid monthly or annually, where you will receive a small discount.
SiteLock is a platform that prevents and repairs issues with hacking, malware, etc. There are three plans to choose from, all of which offer External Scan, Google blacklist monitoring, File-level scanning, Sitelock Security Seal, and Automatic malware removal.
- Essential ($5.99 / month) scans daily and offers a 12-hour response time.
- Prevent ($14.99 for first month, $19.99 / month after) also provides Database Scanning, Automated bot blocking, Image Optimization, Global CDN/WAF: Advanced, Dynamics Content Caching, DDoS protection, daily scanning, and a 6-hour response.
- PreventPlus ($24.99 for first month, $29.99 / month after) provides everything listed above, but also PCI Compliance Reporting, Application Patching, continuous scanning, and a 4-hour response time.
SiteLock 911 ($199.00 / one-time fee) will scan and remove malware from your site should it become compromised or infected.
SSL Certificates Bluehost already offer free SSL certificates to all assigned and parked domains, but you can upgrade this to include subdomains if you wish. Four price plans ranging from $4.17 / month to $24.92 / month.
Domain Privacy + Protection ($1.24 / month) prevents the resale of your personal info and reduces the amount of junk mail you’ll get.
Dedicated IP ($5.99 / month) will allow you to run more software on your server, perform better in search engines, open non-standard ports, view your site by IP, and avoid negative action taken against shared IP users should someone on the same server get blocked.
SpamExperts ($2.99 / month) reduces spam and will quarantine potentially malicious mail before they reach your inbox
Bluehost offer a no questions asked, 30-day money back guarantee (currently 60-day for the whole of April) which applies to your hosting plan.
It’s worth noting that it won’t cover any domains or add-ons you buy. The T&Cs are standard and you won’t find any hidden fees or penalties for ending your term early.
Ease Of Use
Bluehost makes it really easy to set up your website and manage it – whether you’re installing WordPress with one click or setting up your email. The layout is sleek and the recently improved dashboard allows you to manage everything in one central location.
I’ve read that Bluehost receives mixed reviews for their customer service. Whether these are legit, and I’ve just lucked out, who knows? I guess when you’re dealing with people there’s always a lot of subjectivity.
One of the reasons I’ve used Bluehost for so many years is the fact that I have always received excellent customer service. Every issue has been resolved quickly and by the first point of contact – usually over instant messaging.
Please bear in mind though that I have heard some customers say that they were not able to get the help needed even after several phone calls.
Who Is Bluehost For?
Being one of the most established web hosts, Bluehost is reliable with a strong reputation. Whether you’re launching your first site on a tight budget, or you’re the owner of a large company, I believe there are plans and features for you all.
If you own a WordPress site, Bluehost are the logical choice. Aside from the aforementioned partnership, users have access to more features and a dedicated team of WordPress experts.
If you own an eCommerce store, Bluehost may not be your first choice, but they’re affordable, offer a ton of great features to help your online store, and will give you $200 in advertising credits.
So, here’s the million-dollar question; do I recommend Bluehost.
Yes, I do. I’ve used them for a few years now and have no plans to change that.
Bluehost have always ranked among the top for loading times and uptime. In addition to one of the lowest rates in the industry, they offer strong security, a huge number of amazing features and add-ons, and the 30-day money-back guarantee.
Each provider has their own list of pros and cons, but if you’re looking for affordability, scalability, and reliability, give Bluehost a try. Whatever you need, Bluehost can deliver.