Bluehost has been a leader in the world of consumer-tier webhosting for a very long time. They’re highly recommended by WordPress.org, and they make it about as simple as possible to get started with a website for people who aren’t experienced with managing servers or installing web applications.
There are a lot of positive Bluehost reviews out there, but we wanted to point out their strong suits while also making you aware of some of the shortcomings, too. Bluehost isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution, but if you fit the type of person they’re geared towards, they’re one of the best options out there for a variety of reasons.
Who Is Bluehost For?
Bluehost offers a variety of plans and tiers for a lot of different uses and users, but they’re not for everyone. When it comes to people who are beginners, or just looking for something very simple, Bluehost makes the whole process very easy.
Manually installing WordPress or any similar software on a new server involves a certain level of understanding of how servers and hosting work. Bluehost takes care of their with an option to have WordPress automatically installed on your new server.
Bluehost’s support, which we’ll cover more in-depth in a few moments, does an excellent job of responding to all support requests very quickly to help you get over any hurdles you may encounter throughout your time as a customer.
The majority of websites are right at home on Bluehost, but having said that, there are some certain circumstances where we’d recommend looking elsewhere…
Who Should Consider a Different Host?
If you have an established website that’s already super popular, or are setting up a site for something that’s going to be getting a lot of visitors, or for a large business that depends on having their site up 100% of the time at the risk of losing very valuable sales, it’s probably worth it to look for a dedicated server, there are better providers in the high-end of the spectrum for that type of thing. While Bluehost does offer plans for busier websites, their specialty and focus seems to be towards smaller sites and lower-priced options. A dedicated server for that type of site can cost hundreds of dollars a month, and involces a lot of maintenance and upkeep – if you’re just looking for something easy and affordable, then Bluehost is your best bet.
For mission-critical sites, we’d recommend a high-end host that specializes in that type of thing. For personal sites, small businesses, and websites that aren’t going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars if they go down for a few hours, then looking at Bluehost’s shared plans is a great way to get a bargain on hosting while still getting great support and uptime.
While most hosting companies offer a wide range of servers and options, it’s best to stick to the ones that specialize in exactly what your needs are. Some hosts are more experienced with huge sites getting hundreds of thousands of visitors a day, some are more geared towards simple shared hosting. Bluehost is geared towards simple shared hosting plans that are super easy for beginners to setup, so if that’s what you need, let’s go over some more of the details.
The 4 Advantages of Bluehost
Now, with that out of the way, and if you think Bluehost sounds like the right type of host for your site, let’s carry on with this Bluehost review to go over some of their features, their strengths, and some areas where they could stand to improve a little.
4. Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans & Features
We’re going to be focusing primarily on their shared hosting plans for the reasons outlined above, because it’s really where Bluehost shines and is most competitive in the hosting market. Even after you’ve decided that Bluehost is the right option for your project, you’ll still need to choose which plan to go with, and we’re about to help guide you through that. Here’s a table comparing Bluehost’s shared hosting plans:
- ‘Websites’ is how many sites you can have on your account. If you need more than one website, you’ll want to consider the Plus or Prime account. They cost the same initially, but the renewal fee once your initial plan expires is more expensive on the Prime plan due to the additional features it has.
- ‘Website Space’ is how much storage space there is for your site. Things like images, articles, and even WordPress itself all take up space. 50GB is a ton of storage, and unmetered means they won’t bother you about using too much space unless your usage is astronomical, like somebody hosting a site that streams movies.
- ‘Bandwidth’ is similar to a data plan on your cellphone, it’s the amount of files that can be transferred. Unmetered, once again, means that as long as you’re not using a ridiculous amount that far exceeds even the highest-end of normal usage, you don’t have to worry about it.
- ”Performance’ is a vague term in this case, however they’re saying that the lowest cost shared plan won’t have the performance throttled.
- ‘Included domains’ means that a domain name is included with your hosting purchase, for example ‘yourbrand.com’.
- ‘Parked domains’ means you can park additional domains on your account.
- ‘Sub domains’ is, for example, blog.yourbrand.com, or city.yourbrand.com. It comes before the rest of your domain name.
- ‘Email accounts’ is how many different email inboxes are included with your shared hosting plan from Bluehost.
- ‘Email storage’ is calculated separately from your website storage, and is used specifically to store emails that haven’t been deleted yet.
- ‘Marketing offers’ refers to advertising credits you can use to promote your new website on some of the internet’s most popular sites.
- ‘Spam experts’ will help to project your website from being the target of spammers.
- ‘Domain privacy’ obscures your name, home address, and email from being publicly associated with your domain name, and is a very good idea to use for privacy reasons, and even simply to prevent junk mail.
- ‘SiteBackup Pro’ is a more advanced and thorough way to back up your website, and helps make the process a lot more “set it and forget it”.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting means that your website is on the same server as other websites. The sites are still totally separate, but think of it as living in an apartment building instead of having your own plot of land out in the country. You might have some noisy neighbors, and the plumbing might be clogged every now and then, but compared to having your own dedicated server, a shared server can cost upwards of 100x less each and every month.
It’s not better than having a private server, but it’s definitely the standard for most websites and definitely good enough for most websites, and it’s the best option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money or to have to deal with the issues that arise from managing your own server.
3. Bluehost Speed and Performance
It’s worth pointing out a few things when it comes to speed and performance. Wherever you’re hosting your site, if it’s on a shared server, it’s probabally not going to be as fast as a perfectly configured dedicated server, or a virtual private server, or other options that cost a lot more. Having said that, it’s possible to get your shared serving loading quite decently, by using caching plugins if you’re running WordPress, and a variety of other optimizations. Making sure you choose a non-bloated theme, and that your images are optimized, will also help speed things up. With some simple optimizations, you can get a shared server loading in a totally reasonable amount of time.
Average download and upload speed:
Here’s a speedtest taken of a Bluehost site by WPbeginner, via tools.pingdom.com:
Down.com tracks downtime for various hosting companies, and the only downtime they’ve shown in the last few months for their Bluehost test site is just 1 minute in total.
Everything above and below this image was 100% uptime, and the response time is roughly half a second, give or take, depending on the day.
These tests shouldn’t be treated like gospel because they can vary depending on a number of variables. Tests that use averages over a period of time are more useful, but what really matters most is how fast your server ends up being. If you aren’t happy with your site’s performance, you can reach out to Bluehost’s support staff and they’ll do everything they can to fix the issue.
2. Customer Service Support Quality
Bluehost has over 750 people working around the clock to ensure everything is running smoothly. Hardware fails, it happens to every host, but having a big team who knows what they’re doing can be the difference between a minor inconvenience and a travesty.
Some hosts we’ve reviewed in the past have different tiers of support depending on what plan you’re on. In other words, people on the less expensive plans would only be able to use live chat, or would have their support access limited in other ways. One thing we really appreciate about Bluehost is that even their most affordable plans come with a variety of options for support.
Their support phone numbers are divided up into a bunch of different categories, so that you can get through to the appropriate department right away without having to try to navigate through the phone menus. They also have live chat if you prefer that to getting support over the phone.
Their support staff is very helpful and fast, you can reach out around the clock, any day of the year, and someone will be able to help shortly. More often than not, the first person you connect with will be able to
1. Additional Information To Know Before Ordering
Beyond their hosting offerings, Bluehost deserves some credit for the work they do for the WordPress community in general. They have two full-time engineers working on the WordPress Core, which isn’t something that benefits Bluehost alone, but actually benefits everyone who uses WordPress in general, regardless of which host they’re with.
Bluehost was founded in 2003, and is still going strong, which is always a good sign in a world where countless hosting companies are coming and going on a regular basis. By 2007, they had registered over half a million domains, and by 2008 that number had doubled. In 2013, Bluehost started offering VPS and dedicated servers, until then they offer only simple shared hosting plans.
The Last Word:
Bluehost is a solid choice to help you setup, build, and host your website. Their staff is fanatical about making sure the experience is great. They’ve done this millions of times, they’ve ironed all the kinks out of the process, and they can help you with anything else that may arise.
This is an established company that is going to be around for a long time, they’re a leader in the world of hosting, and they come recommended by WordPress themselves as a great place to host your website.
- Rated 4.5 stars
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