Bluehost — Overview
Bluehost is the biggest web hosting company in the world and an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. Bluehost offers a wide variety of hosting plans for beginners and for medium to large businesses with 24/7 customer support.
In this comprehensive Bluehost review, we’ll put their promises to test with a rigorous and thorough analysis using industry-standard benchmarking tools.
Following are the areas we’ll look into:
- Speed: How fast will your website load with Bluehost? We will test their speed and server response time to assess that.
- Performance: How does Bluehost perform under traffic spikes? We’ll test that by performing the stress test and see how well it performs under traffic.
- Reliability: Will your website be available 24/7/365 without any downtime?
- Ease of Use: Is this platform suitable for beginners?
- Security: How safe will your website be with them?
- Customer Support: Can you count on Bluehost’s customer support when you immediately need help with your website?
- Features: Do they offer all the features that you’ll need to build your website?
- Pricing: Do they have the best pricing in the industry? Are there any Bluehost deals that can save you money?
This is our complete Bluehost review and we’ll be doing an in-depth analysis of Bluehost pros and cons. If you don’t want to read the full review, here is the quick scorecard of Bluehost with our verdict right below it.
|Bluehost Review Summary|
|Average load time||1.48 ms|
|Average response time||1.26 ms|
|Support||Phone / Live Chat / Knowledge base|
|Start with Bluehost (Free Website Domain included with this link)|
Bottom line: In our Bluehost review, we found them to be reliable, fast, and affordable with friendly 24/7 customer support.
That’s why we’ve chosen to recommend Bluehost as the best WordPress hosting company.
Now let’s dive into our detailed Bluehost hosting review so that you can decide for yourself.
First, let’s take a look at the company itself.
Bluehost started in 2003 and steadily grew to become the largest web hosting company in the world. It now powers more than 2 million websites from all over the world.
Bluehost has a long-standing relationship with the WordPress community. They are an official WordPress.org recommended hosting company since 2006.
They pride themselves in their 24/7 customer support, great hosting infrastructure, and support for the free open-source software like WordPress.
Pros and Cons of Bluehost
All web hosting services have their pros and cons. Some you can live with, and some you cannot ignore.
Here are the pros and cons of Bluehost that we learned:
First, let’s take a look at the advantages that make Bluehost the top choice.
- Speed: They have an amazing score of 99.96% Uptime and A+ regarding Server Response Time.
- Support: They have one of the fastest response rates on the market.
- Security: They have partnered with SiteLock, a top-level security company for websites.
- Pricing: Their hosting plans are well within the reach of most users, particularly those who are just starting out.
- No hidden charges: There are no hidden fees when signing up for your account.
- Free domain: You get a free domain name for the first year when you signup.
- Free CDN + SSL: You get a free SSL certificate and free Cloudflare CDN with each website.
- Money-Back Guarantee: They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.
As we mentioned earlier, there are always downsides with every hosting company. The following are some disadvantages of choosing Bluehost as your host.
- Payments are only accepted in certain currencies: They only accept payments in the following currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD and INR.
- Upselling Addons: They will add you some upsells by default during the signup process, but you can easily uncheck all the addons if you don’t need them.
1. Bluehost Performance Tests
The most important performance metric that you should look for is speed. It not only affects user experience on your site, but it also affects your ranking on Google’s search results.
Bluehost Server Uptime
Uptime is one of the most critical aspects when choosing a web host – after all, if your site is down, your users can’t access it. So, consistent uptime should be one of your top priorities when looking at hosting services.
After reviewing over 40 web hosts, our benchmark for “good” uptime is 99.93%. So ideally, we don’t want to see anything less than that.
The good news is that Bluehost easily surpasses this benchmark, comfortably keeping our test site live for 99.96% of the time during the last 12 months. The total downtime was a bit less than four hours for the whole year.
Here’s the breakdown of Bluehost’s average uptime in the past 12 months:
- September-2022: 100%
- August-2022: 99.98%
- July-2022: 100%
- June-2022: 99.67%
- May-2022: 100%
- April-2022: 99.99%
- March-2022: 99.98%
- February-2022: 100%
- January-2022: 99.90% (scheduled maintenance)
- December-2021: 99.99%
- November-2021: 99.98%
- October-2021: 100%
Server Response Time
When you are testing a live website using tools like Pingdom, you are basically seeing how everything on your website loads. This includes images too, which take much longer to load than plain text.
In order to get a more accurate server response time, we used another tool called Bitcatcha. It allows you to test server response time without loading any data.
As you can see Bluehost server in the US performed under a fraction of a second. In other locations, the response was a bit higher but still under less than a second.
If your target audience is in the United States, then this would benefit your website. However, if more of your users come from other parts of the world, then you can change your server location.
2. Easy to Use for Beginners
Some of the web hosts we’ve seen can be considered the best only if you’re an advanced user, but Bluehost is perfect for beginners.
Their customer portal is intuitive and clean (although, we have experienced it is a bit slow at times). And the layout of the cPanel control panel makes Bluehost even easier to use. Beginners can easily install and start WordPress through cPanel. All you need to do is point and click in most cases.
In addition to that, you can then customize a template by just dragging and dropping elements on your page.
Bluehost also has features for advanced users who want to use their code to create their site.
3. Packed with Security Options and Features
Since Bluehost is one of the “cheapest” options on the market, we are pleased to see that they don’t cut corners on critical security options and features.
Already with the cheapest plan, Bluehost provides your site with a free SSL certificate. You also get access to great features like a free CDN (Cloudflare), a one-click WordPress install, multiple CMS integrations, and additional eCommerce plugins.
Higher-tier plans come with the Spam Experts add-on, domain privacy protection, and server backups. Also, you get more advanced security features such as SiteLock, which helps prevent malware attacks. Codeguard is another form of protection, which provides daily backups so you can roll back previous versions of a site if required. Postini, from Google, is their final security tool. It provides spam protection for your email, so anything suspicious is prevented from getting into your inbox.
4. Customer Support Available for You 24/7
Bluehost provides 24/7 customer support over live chat, phone, and an email ticketing system. On top of that, they have a vast knowledge base packed with answers to frequent questions and useful information.
We went ahead and tested their live chat option, and the experience was pleasant.
We got answers to our questions quickly, and the representative was knowledgeable.
One Free WordPress Site Transfer
If you already have a site and want to switch to Bluehost’s hosting plan, then this perk is for you.
Bluehost recently started offering a free site transfer with all of their plans.
There are a couple of terms to this free service, though. First, the site needs to be a WordPress site. And secondly, you have to request the migration within the first 30 days after signing up with a hosting plan.
All you need to do is contact their customer support team and follow their directions. The migration usually takes around 1-3 business days to complete.
Bluehost: A Recommended Host by WordPress.org
WordPress is the most widely used website platform on the market – ~47% of the entire Internet is built with WordPress.
It’s safe to say that they have an authoritative word when it comes to hosting solutions. WordPress only officially recommends three hosting partners to use with a WordPress site:
Of course, you can use almost any web hosting provider to create a WordPress site. But the fact that Bluehost is one of the few officially recognized partners is encouraging.
5. Bluehost Hosting Plans and Features
Bluehost offers a variety of hosting plans for all budgets and sizes. This includes shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server, cloud hosting, WooCommerce hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and more.
Let’s take a look at Bluehost hosting plans and their features.
- Shared hosting: Shared hosting is the perfect way to start a new website with low traffic volume. In a shared hosting environment, your website shares server resources with other websites.
- Cloud hosting: A more reliable upgrade to the shared hosting plan. It allows you to utilize multiple cloud servers, allowing your website to automatically switch to a different server in case of a hardware failure or high traffic.
- WordPress hosting: A hosting package designed specifically for WordPress-powered websites. It is optimized to run WordPress and can even protect your WordPress site against common threats.
- WooCommerce hosting: WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, it allows you to easily start an online store with WordPress. WooCommerce hosting offers you all the essential features to kick start your eCommerce store.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting: An upgrade to shared WordPress hosting, VPS hosting allows you to virtual dedicated resources in a shared environment.
- Dedicated server hosting: A dedicated server to for your website, means you will have all the resources of the server to yourself. The downside is that you will have to manage the server on your own.
All Bluehost hosting plans allow you to install WordPress with 1-click.
All plans come with an easy-to-use hosting control panel where you can manage your hosting, create databases, etc.
Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Plans & Pricing
Bluehost offers a shared hosting package suitable for starter websites. Their shared plan is available at four different levels.
Let’s take a look at what’s included in each plan.
- Basic: The basic plan only allows you to host one website. It hosts one domain and 25 subdomains, 50GB SSD storage, 5 email accounts of 100 MB storage for each account. For the first term you’ll pay $2.75 per month. When you renew the account, you’ll have to pay $8.99 per month.
- Plus: The Plus plan includes unlimited websites with unlimited web space and bandwidth. You’ll also get unlimited email accounts. The price for the first term starts from $4.95 per month. When you renew the account, you’ll have to pay $11.99 per month.
- Choice Plus: The Choice Plus plan includes all features of plus plan. You will also get free domain privacy, and automated daily backups powered by CodeGuard as extras worth over $80/year. The price for the first term is $5.45 per month. When renewing, you’ll have to pay $16.99 per month.
- Pro: The Pro plan starts from $13.95 per month for the first term after that you’ll pay $23.99 per month. It includes all features of above plans + dedicated IP address.
If you are just starting your website, then you can select any of these plans. You can easily upgrade your hosting plan as your website grows.
Special Discount for Our Readers
Bluehost’s default pricing starts at $3.95/month, which is an introductory price from the regular $8.99/month rate.
However, the good news is that we’ve been able to work out a deal with Bluehost for our readers that takes the starting price down even further to $2.95/month.
For this price, you get pretty much everything you need for your website. That includes 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and more. So you’d be getting a pretty good value for the price, plus their consistent uptime and page loading speeds.
Quick Facts about their Pricing and Hosting Plans
Here’s what Bluehost’s shared hosting pricing plans look like:
- Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Website Migration: Free transfer for 1 WordPress website.
- Free domain? Yes, they provide you a free domain at signup.
- Ease of Sign-up: Easy and guided sign-up process.
- Payment Methods: Major credit cards and PayPal.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Easy-to-use cPanel
- Installation of Apps and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Mojo Marketplace makes app installation quick and easy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bluehost:
Can I make an online store using WooCommerce on Bluehost?
Yes, you can. In fact, Bluehost is one of the best WooCommerce hosting service provider. Their starter plan is perfect to start an online store.
However, keep in mind that you’ll need to upgrade as your store starts getting more traffic. Hopefully, by that time you’ll be making enough money to justify the upgrade costs.
Is Bluehost good for beginners?
Yes. Bluehost is the most beginner-friendly WordPress hosting company on the market. They automatically install WordPress for you when you sign up. They also have an easy-to-use control panel which allows you to manage your hosting account by yourself.
There is plenty of help available with detailed guides, video tutorials, and articles. You also have 24/7 access to their expert support via live chat and phone.
Why use Bluehost for WordPress?
Bluehost is the largest hosting company in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider. They have been supporting the WordPress community for a very long time and know WordPress very well.
Their platform is highly optimized for WordPress websites and engineered to run WordPress at peak performance. They also have WordPress engineers in their team so you know your website is in safe hands.
What Bluehost plan should I get?
If you are just starting out a brand new website, blog, or online store, then we recommend starting with their basic plan. It is good enough for a starter website and you can always upgrade later.
Bluehost Review Summary:
All their hosting plans include expert 24/7 customer support from knowledgeable staff.
Most importantly, they offer affordable starter plans that fit any budget requirement.
To be fair, signing up for a Bluehost shared hosting plan is the best thing that you can do today. It’s easy on your pocket and comes with all the right tools. As your site grows you can easily upgrade your hosting plan accordingly.
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