You've probably heard of Bluehost: it's one of the most popular web hosting services around — it powers over 2 million websites on the internet — and for good reason. What's more, it was the first host to be officially recommended by the makers of WordPress.
Read on to find out if Bluehost is right for you.
Bluehost was founded by Matt Heaton in 2003 and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2010, the company was purchased by Endurance International Group, which owns dozens of smaller hosting companies including iPage, FatCow, and HostGator.
Bluehost's service and speed do not seem to have been impacted by the purchase, and they remain one of the most popular hosting options on the market. Bluehost offers a broad range of hosting plans, including affordable shared, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting.
In addition to being inexpensive and easy to use, Bluehost integrates well with WordPress, one of the most popular content management systems in the world today. It is one of only 3 WordPress-recommended hosts.
- 1 Shared Hosting Plans
- 2 Advanced Hosting
- 3 Contracts
- 4 Where are Bluehost Datacenters Located?
- 5 Bluehost Performance
- 6 Is SiteGround Better Than Bluehost?
- 7 Other Hosting Providers
Pros and Cons
- WordPress friendly hosting
- Free SSL certificate
- Good uptime and speed
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No Windows hosting option
- Hosting renewal rates are pretty high
- No reseller hosting
Bluehost Hosting Plans
Bluehost offers several types of hosting plans ranging from shared up to dedicated hosting. This lets you choose the right plan for your needs, and allows you to scale up easily if you start with a lower-end plan.
Shared hosting plans are best for most websites. They're inexpensive options — sufficient to support your website under most circumstances. You get the hosting you need, a custom domain name, and email as part of the package.
Bluehost's shared hosting plan features vary by the package you choose. The Basic plan, which is the most affordable option, limits the number of sites, domains, storage, and bandwidth you have access to.
However, all other shared hosting packages include:
- Hosting for an unlimited number of sites (Plus and up)
- Automatic daily backups
- Unlimited SSD storage (Plus plan and up)
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- Free SSL Certificate
- Unlimited Domains (Plus plan and up)
- Unlimited Parked Domains (Plus plan and up)
- Marketing Offers (usually credits for Google Adwords, etc).
Other advanced features that come with Bluehost's shared plans include multi-server management, multiple accounts, access control, and the use of a Content Delivery Network.
Bluehost users can manage their website using Enhanced cPanel, a Bluehost-modified version of the cPanel system. The Enhanced cPanel includes additional tools that make it easier and more intuitive for you to manage your websites, domains, emails, files, and more.
When choosing a shared hosting plan, you can choose from four different options.
The entry-level option includes support for one website. You'll also get 50 GB of disk space for your web site's files, a domain name, and five email accounts, each of which can store up to 100 MB. There are no bandwidth limits and no restrictions on the number of people who can visit your website.
If you opt for one of the more expensive plans instead, you will be able to host an unlimited number of websites and receive unlimited disk storage space, bandwidth, email accounts, and storage. You'll get a custom domain name, and if you purchase the premium option, you'll also get daily site backup services.
Bluehost's Pro plan allows you to get shared hosting on a high-performance server. You'll also receive a dedicated IP address.
These options are not necessary when you're first getting started, but they may be something to look into as your site grows. Sound good? Visit Bluehost now.
Bluehost also offers optional add-ons, such as website security tools and spam filtering services. Premium subscribers get some of these options, but if you have a lower-tiered package, you can add these features to your purchase.
- Multi-server management
- Customizable account access controls
- Cloudflare CDN
- Unique IPs to keep your account secure
- Domain Privacy
- Spam Protection, powered by Google
- CodeGuard, which automates daily backups
- SiteLock, to defend your site against malware and other vulnerabilities.
If you find your project is outgrowing your shared hosting plan, you may need to upgrade to a plan that supports larger sites and higher levels of traffic. Thankfully, Bluehost offers such plans, meaning you can upgrade without moving to a different host.
Depending on the type of plan you have in mind, you might be able to do so with just a few clicks in your control panel — you may not even have to speak with someone at Bluehost.
Bluehost offers two kinds of WordPress hosting: regular and managed.
The regular plans are basically just normal shared plans. The main difference is that these plans come with WordPress pre-installed. Plus Bluehost will auto-install updates.
The managed WordPress plans are considerably more expensive. But they are hosted on special servers for maximum stability and speed. They are aimed at people who run professional WordPress websites.
The plans compete with hosts like WP Engine but the cost is significantly less.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform for WordPress, and this particular type of hosting is designed with online stores in mind.
In particular, you'll get additional security features that ensure that your site complies with laws protecting consumers from fraud and unauthorized access to personal information, such as credit card numbers and billing addresses.
WooCommerce is a good choice for e-commerce. And this plan makes getting started easy.
Bluehost offers VPS plans, which are appropriate for larger websites. These plans are fully managed, which means that Bluehost is responsible for everything related to server system administration.
There are three different plans from which you can choose, and the plans differ primarily in terms of resources: CPU cores, memory, storage, bandwidth.
Bluehost's VPS plans are inexpensive by industry standards — starting as low as $18.99 per month.
If you want your own server with complete control over performance, security, and everything else, a dedicated server is the best option.
Similar to the VPS plans, Bluehost offers three different dedicated servers available from which you can choose. Each differs in the number of resources you get.
While you're responsible for almost everything relating to your server, you can reach out to the Bluehost team 24/7 for assistance.
Does Bluehost Offer Reseller Hosting?
Currently, Bluehost doesn't offer a reseller hosting option, so if this is what you're looking to build, Bluehost recommends that you look into their partner platform, ResellerClub.
The price you pay for your web hosting package varies based on the type of plan you choose.
Regardless, Bluehost asks that you pay upfront for 12, 24, or 36 months of service. The longer your contract, the greater your discount, so those paying up front for 36 months of service pay the lowest amount each month.
Terms, and Conditions
If you're not certain that Bluehost is the right option for you, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. If you decide to cancel your subscription within 30 days of purchase, you can receive a full refund, less the cost of your domain name.
Bluehost allows users to access a wide range of products and services. As with all companies, there are terms and conditions involved. Here are some important stats to bear in mind if you decide to sign up:
- Bandwidth Allowance: Unlimited
- Money-back guarantee: 30 Days
- Pricing starts at $2.75 per month.
If you're not ready to start your website, but you want to hold on to the domain name of your choice, Bluehost sells domain names independent of web hosting packages.
All hosting packages come with a free domain name, as well. However, if you cancel, the cost of the domain will be deducted from your refund (but you will keep the domain name).
Security and Performance
Bluehost offers several security features, though some vary by package. All hosting packages include a free SSL certificate, which is important to both users and search engines.
Other Bluehost security features include:
- Single sign-on, which lets customers sign in using their Google account
- Two-factor authentication, to prevent others from accessing your account
- Secure Shell (SSH) access
- Spam Assassin protection.
Do You Need SiteLock with Bluehost?
Customers can choose to add on SiteLock, a program which performs vulnerability scans, spam monitoring, blacklist monitoring, and more. While sites are not required to use SiteLock, it is a good idea for most sites, especially e-commerce sites.
Where are Bluehost Datacenters Located?
Bluehost does not say where their datacenters are located. According to support, they are in the United States. Customers are not able to choose their own datacenters.
A web hosts' performance is normally determined by its server stability (uptime) and speed (page load time). A site that is constantly down or one that takes too long to load is no good, no matter what other features the host might offer.
Bluehost offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is standard in the industry. But, research points to an average uptime of around 99.98 in the last few months, which is good. They also promise to do their best to resolve most server issues in 15 minutes or less.
Is Bluehost Fast?
Bluehost's page load speeds have generally been less than 500 ms, which is generally considered good. You typically won't get better speeds at Bluehost prices. If you need exceptional speed, you will need to go with a performance-oriented host, which will cost a lot more.
Bluehost maintains a robust series of self-help articles that are easily searchable. You can also read through its curated guides or view its video tutorials. Their knowledgebase is split by topic, so you can choose to view articles just about WordPress or email, for example.
However, if you'd prefer to speak to somebody at Bluehost, you can get in touch 24/7 via its website, initiating a live chat, or by calling the company's support telephone lines. We tested the live chat and were able to quickly get answers to our questions.
Bluehost vs SiteGround
SiteGround offers similar hosting packages, including affordable shared, reseller, and WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and dedicated servers. Both hosts are recommended by WordPress, however, there are a few areas where SiteGround shines, including technology, speed, and security.
SiteGround offers several newer technologies, including PHP 7.3 and QUIC speed technology, which speed up site load times. They also use an AI system that helps block bots and protects against DDOS attacks and brute force attacks.
As a result, SiteGround offers their customers slightly faster load times and better uptime. You can also choose your datacenter, which is not a feature available through Bluehost. SiteGround also offers actual reseller packages, which Bluehost does not.
Is SiteGround Better Than Bluehost?
Based on our experience, SiteGround is a marginally better host. However, it is also a notably more expensive one — whether looking at introductory or renewal prices.
The choice between Bluehost and SiteGround will really come down to your preferences. They are both excellent hosts.
Other Hosting Providers
There are other hosts that are comparable to Bluehost. GoDaddy offers slightly cheaper hosting packages as well as Windows hosting. HostGator offers a robust WYSIWYG website builder tool and a long money-back guarantee. WP Engine offers a higher uptime and speed over Bluehost, and better WordPress support — but at significantly higher prices.
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Is Bluehost Right for Me?
Bluehost is a well-known provider of web hosting services and offers a wide variety of plans to meet your needs. Regardless of whether you want to start small or whether you're interested in a dedicated server for your large, highly-trafficked website, Bluehost has an option for you.
If you're just getting started, you can't go wrong with one of Bluehost's shared plans. These plans are full-featured offerings at a great price, and if you ever need help, there are tons of self-help resources, as well as a customer service team available 24/7.
Furthermore, the team at Bluehost has attempted to make server management, which is something that can potentially be daunting to those setting up a website for the first time, easier with its Enhanced cPanel.
If this sounds good, visit Bluehost now.
Your Bluehost Review
Are you a former or current Bluehost customer? Following your experience, would you recommend them to your nearest and dearest? How do they perform in terms of speed, features, and customer service? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below and let us know what you think.
Contributing writer: Danielle Antosz. Contributing editor: Frank Moraes.