Bluehost currently hosts across 2 million websites, and it is one of the most famous, reasonable, shared hosting options available.
For a reason.
Their productive associate program yearly pays out over $5 million. That’s a lot. As a result, all new blogger with a fresh WordPress install suggests them as their go-to option, netting a quick commission per referral.
The vast quantity of glowing, biased references all fails to take one thing into the record: the facts.
But not us.
Let’s see if we can isolate fact from blogging-fiction.
Bluehost claims to be the ‘Best Web Hosting.’
Pros of Bluehost
Each of our in-depth web hosting reviews is based on analysis and data to provide apparent accuracy.
In that vein, Bluehost does have a few good points going for it. It’s affordable. And you can get started relatively quickly.
Here they are in detail.
1. Robust Uptime of 99.98%
Bluehost’s uptime is just about perfect (99.98%), well over industry standard which is around 99.90%. Before last six months. It is only 1 hour of downtime out of 4380 hours that we had previous six months (9 outages in total).They took a big hit in last Midsummer, though. Bluehost declared that they had different DDoS attack towards their servers.
Overall, much solid. Take a look at the results below:
- January average uptime: 100%
- February average uptime: 99.98%
- March average uptime: 99.90%
- April average uptime: 99.99%
- May average uptime: 100%
- June average uptime: 100%
- July average uptime: 100%
- August average uptime: 99.97%
- September average uptime: 99.99%
- October average uptime: 99.97%
- November average uptime: 100%
- December average uptime: 100%
Bluehost: Page Load Rate and Uptime (Last 12 months, full data can be viewed here.)
2. Quick Page Loading (522ms)
Now when we tested their service in early 2016, their speeds were quite slow. In fact, they had an average rate of ~1500ms which was enough to list them in TOP 10 (hence they were ranked about #20, last year).
However, since the start of 2017, Bluehost has developed their page speed a lot. When I reached out to them and asked how they accomplished to get better speed, they just told me that they’re updating their server park (“Bluerock servers”).
It seems high to me.
Just to let you grasp – Google experienced a 20% traffic drop years ago with only a half second delay. And 74% – or almost 3/4ths of your traffic – will jump if pages fail to load within 5 seconds.
Slow page speeds don’t just hurt user practice, but profit margins too. Fortunately with Bluehost – you don’t have to worry about it.
This year’s average load times:
- January average speed: 559ms
- February average speed: 621ms
- March average speed: 562ms
- April average speed: 577ms
- May average speed: 706ms
- June average speed: 499ms
- July average speed: 503ms
- August average speed: 508ms
- September average speed: 521ms
- October average speed: 392ms
- November average speed: 399ms
- December average speed: 397ms
3. Low Initial Pricing ($2.95/mo)
Bluehost is also one of the most reasonable options possible, another reason for its general popularity. It’s not the standard compared with other hosts, but it is a fair price among the various popular options.
Although we aren’t addressing BlueHost in any way, we headed to negotiate a pretty great deal for HostingFacts.com visitors. It’s $0.50 off from the usual price. See it here: Bluehost Discount for $2.95/mo.
4. Good Safety Options
Bluehost’s safety options are good, offering tools that combat some of the most common website hazards.
For example, you can restrict spam with accessories like SpamAssassin, Spam Experts, and Spam Hammer. They recommend CloudFlare, which helps stop pesky DDoS attacks that can take a site down with a terrifying amount of traffic from different sources.
They also offer hotlink protection (preventing people from stealing your images or content), IP address blacklists to block problematic individuals and SSH access to secure web assemblies.
Bluehost allows you to create filters for specific users and email accounts.
You can also defend your directories with a password, create blacklists for IP addresses, and control digital certificates and private keys directly from Bluehost.
When it reaches to your account itself, Bluehost has got you arrived there, too.
You can allow two-factor authentication with your Bluehost account, and they have built the entire site with token account validation.
With token validation, you can verify your identity when you contact customer support by giving a six-digit code to verify your identity before owning to give your password to a customer support agent.
5. Many Alliances and Apps, and eCommerce Features
Bluehost also appears with a dashboard full of applications so that you can combine various services, like Google Apps and the CloudFlare mentioned above, to increase the probabilities of your site.
By uniting Google Apps into the Bluehost platform, you’ll be able to bring all of the perks of Google to your company right from the heart of your hosting account.
Cloudflare, on the other side, is a universal, free CDN service that can raise your site’s speed and help keep it secure. You can access this combination right in cPanel.
It’s easy to set up an online store with Bluehost, and the shopping cart options are limitless. Just install it and go.
Merely choosing Bluehost allows eCommerce sites to obtain a free SSL security certificate, OpenPGP/GPG Encryption, and more right away.
6. ‘Official’ WordPress.org Recommended Host
WordPress official site (WordPress.org) recently re-made their hosting page. On that page, they’ve listed three hosting providers, including SiteGround, Dreamhost, and Bluehost.
If WordPress loves Bluehost, they must be a pretty significant hosting option.
7. Simple to Use
Bluehost is easy to use, even for a beginner.
The cPanel interface is just nearly as simple as web hosting can get. All you have got to do is click on the symbols. Talk regarding easy!
With Bluehost’s flexible interface, you can access all of your websites and email addresses of one place.
Plus, you can customize how you require to lay out the cPanel to fit your specific needs so that you can instantly reach the features you use the most.
8. 30-Day Free Trial and Cash Back Guarantee
Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
It isn’t as comprehensive as other competitors, like Dreamhost. They offer a 97-day money back guarantee. But 30-days is better than nothing.
It is an excellent perk if you don’t feel comfortable performing to a host until you’ve had a while to try them out.
They won’t carry you throughout your first 30 days if you remove within that time.
However, some terms apply if you need a refund, other than the fact that you can’t get your cash back once the 30 days have crossed:
- The cash back guarantee doesn’t apply to add-on products like domains.
- If you cancel in 30 days, but your plan includes a free domain, Bluehost will subtract $15.99 from the total cost of your return as a domain fee. The company claims that this is to “cover their costs” while ensuring that your chosen domain name is not misplaced. It’s important to note that afresh registered domains can’t be shifted until a 60 day enrollment period has crossed.
Cons of Bluehost
But let’s examine the facts before passing judgment.
1. Customer Support is not Quite Quick
Shuffling over two million sites cannot be easy. That’s reasonable.
But waiting over 43 minutes to get through to their support team is not right. Also, our experience showed long delays between curt responses (rendering their support almost useless).
Maybe we were just dealing with a weak customer support agent? Who knows…
However one positive is that their YouTube channel does contain tons of helpful tutorial videos. So if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, it’s probably faster to start there if you have an issue.
We had a quick look at it, and it appears legit.
2. Low Price Comes with 36-month Plan
Yes, Bluehost is reasonable.
But just whereby cheap? Well, it depends…
Their super-low initial rate of only $2.95 a month proceeds with a few strings connected. Namely, three years worth.
Only want to begin with 12 months? Your rate jumps up to $3.95 per month.
Only want to begin with 1 or 3 months? You can’t. At this time, only HostGator Cloud allows that.
On another thought, maybe you should take them up on that three-year deal because a 12-month renewal option of their basic plans covers up to $8.99 per month.
3. Site Migrations Are not Free…
Most of the hosting providers we’ve analyzed will happily help you move an existing site from its current location to their service.
After all, it’s a fast procedure to get you to switch businesses and become their loyal customer for the next few years.
But not Bluehost.
They charge a ‘migration fee’ of $149.99 to do something that most provide gratis. And they will not transfer more than five sites and 20 email accounts.
Speaking of extra fees, a simple 45-minute introductory walkthrough of their services will set you back $79.99.
Again, something most hosting providers is all too pleased to provide free because you’re signing up for their service for the long-term.
4. Not Really ‘UNLIMITED’
Many hosting providers boast ‘unlimited’ hosting, which of course, is not the complete truth. Bluehost is no distinct.
A fast tour of the fine print (in the form of their Terms of Service) shows the ugly details. See for yourself if interested (or if you are having trouble falling asleep one night).
The TL;DR variant: do not go over 3GB of database usage or exceed 1,000 databases, or they might terminate your account. With, or even possible without, notice.
BlueHost Pricing, Hosting Programs & Quick Facts
Bluehost provides three shared hosting options to choose from
However please note that advertised pricing below is a low introductory rate for a three-year term. Rates for smaller plans are higher, and you can not get anything less than a year.
Also, the word ‘unlimited’ doesn’t always mean unlimited (as discussed in the last section).
- Basic plan: For 23.95 per month, you get one website max, 50GB storage and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get five email accounts (with the max room of 100MB each).
- Plus plan: $5.45 per month provides ten websites, 150GB storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get 100 email accounts of 500MB each.
- Prime plan: Their most massive plan comes typically at $5.45 per month, providing ‘unlimited’ websites, storage, bandwidth, email account and email storage.
You must pay for three years at once to enjoy the promoted price for their shared hosting plans. It will cost much higher if you choose a shorter span, and the minimum duration you can pay for is one year.
- Free domain? Yup.
- Ease of Signup: Easy two-page sign-up process.
- Payment Systems: Major credit cards and PayPal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: The low initial starting rate for three years minimum (with renewal plans that jump). And that whole, we’ will delete your account if you go above 1,000 database tables or 3GB total database, thing.
- Upsells: Some Upsells… But it’s evident in the web hosting industry, so don’t worry about it.
- Account Activation: Most users enjoy instant activation for most users. If the knowledge is inaccurate or there’s suspicion of fraud, activation might get delayed.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Simple, easy to use control panel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Mojo Marketplace makes app installation quick and easy!
Do We Recommend Bluehost?
Yes, we do.
It’s not the best (we are still preaching HostGator Cloud over Bluehost), but for a simple website/blog, it’s probably the best option.
They’re cheap, and it’s easy to get started. Hence the reason why Robert Manning is suggesting people start their blogs using Bluehost.
Overall, Bluehost is a reliable TOP 5 host, and you shouldn’t go wrong with it.
What’s right about Bluehost?
- Good uptime (99.98%)
- Fast page load time (~552ms)
- Extremely affordable introductory pricing
- Awesome security options
- Tons of integrations, apps, and eCommerce features
- Officially recommended by WordPress
- Very easy to use
- 30-day money back guarantee
What’s terrible regarding Bluehost?
- Customer support could be more significant and more active
- Getting their low price means you have to commit to 36 months
- Site migrations are not truly free
- Database usage is not truly unlimited