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BlueHost Reviews

Introduction

Bluehost has grown up side-by-side with the Internet. The company that was to become Bluehost was founded in 1996. Now owned by Endurance International Group, the company hosts more than one million websites.

That said, Bluehost has had more than its share of controversy. The company was accused of censorship prior to being acquired by Endurance International Group. It also was one of the victims of the 2015 Syrian Electronic Army hacking attack. Nonetheless, Bluehost is still one of the biggest hosting companies in the world. Let’s explore why Bluehost is so enduring.

Hosting Plans

Shared hosting is offered in three packages. They all give you unlimited bandwidth.

  • The Starter plan gives you one website,100GB of disk space and 100 email accounts that are limited to 500MB per account.
  • With the Plus plan, you’ll have unlimited websites, disk space, email accounts and storage.
  • Business Pro, like the Plus plan, provides unlimited websites, disk space, email accounts and storage. It also gives you extras like SSL and a dedicated IP.

VPS hosting is available in four packages.

  • Standard gives you 30GB of disk space, 1TB bandwidth, 2GB RAM, 2 CPU cores and one IP address.
  • Enhanced ups the ante with 60GB of disk space, 2TB bandwidth, 4GB RAM, 2 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
  • Premium gives you 120GB of disk space, 3TB bandwidth, 6GB RAM, 3 CPU cores and two IP addresses.
  • Ultimate provides 240GB of disk space, 4TB bandwidth, 8GB RAM, 4 CPU cores and two IP addresses.

Dedicated hosting comes in three packages. They all include 1TB of mirrored disk space.

  • Standard gives you 4×2.5GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 5TB bandwidth and three IP addresses.
  • Enhanced offers 4×2.5GHz CPU, 8GB RAM, 10TB bandwidth and four IP addresses.
  • Premium goes all out, delivering 4×3.3 GHz CPU, 16GB RAM, 15TB bandwidth and five IP addresses.

WordPress hosting is, basically, VPS hosting specialized for WP. Bluehost doesn’t offer reseller hosting.

  • The Blogger package gives you 100 million visits per month, 30GB disk space, 30GB for backup, 2GB RAM, and five WP sites. But it doesn’t include automated backup or an SSL certificate.
  • Professional allocates 300 million visits per month, 60GB disk space, 60GB for backup, 4GB RAM and 10 WP sites. This package includes automated backup, but no SSL certificate.
  • Business allows 600 million visits per month, 120GB disk space and the same amount for backup, 6GB RAM, 20 WP sites. The Business package includes automated backup and an SSL certificate.
  • With Enterprise, you’ll have unlimited visits per month, 240GB disk space. 240GB for backup, 8GB RAM and 30 WP sites. Automated backup and an SSL certificate are included.

Cloud hosting

  • The Starter package gives you 100GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 2GB RAM, 2 CPU, 500MB email storage and one website.
  • Performance has unmetered disk space and bandwidth, 4GB RAM, 4 CPU, unlimited email storage and unlimited websites.
  • Business Pro provides unmetered disk space and bandwidth, 6GB RAM, 6 CPU, unlimited email storage and unlimited websites.

Features

When creating your profile, you’ll be able to do extensive customization of your package. Bluehost gives you general services at the main price—and a ton of add-ons that you must pay for. Features such as a dedicated IP address, mobile website builder and positive SSL certificate are available, but you’ll have to fork over an additional annual fee for them. In the same manner, you’ll pay for your package on an annual basis. Another thing to consider is that a 30-day trial period often isn’t long enough to decide if you want to stay with the hosting provider. As a result, it’s easy to miss the money-back guarantee deadline.

BlueHost account login page

BlueHost Account Portal

When you log in into the account portal, you’ll be greeted with an attractive, easy-to-navigate design. It’s logically structured and user friendly, so you won’t be lost. However, don’t be confused if you get just one login username and password. That’s all you need because everything is located under one roof. Practical? Yes. Safe? The typical safeguards for securing your information are in place.

The five main tabs are “Hosting,” “WordPress tools,” “Domains,” “Addons” and “Account.” It’s unusual to see that WordPress has its own dedicated tab, but let’s be honest, a ton of websites function on it, and you will probably work with it at least once, so why not make it convenient to access? We view it as a small feature that’s big on convenience.This only enables you to access basic features. You’ll can still use the standard WP login, which is also located here, if you want to use more advanced features.

Control Panel

With most hosting sites, you must access your control panel via the account portal. Bluehost saves you a step by integrating the two. Everything is in one place and you will be deprived of one more login. Devastating, we know. However, if you are used to the standard look, you may be taken aback. Their cPanel looks like part of the account portal and the visuals reflect the BlueHost image, rather than the usual retro default cPanel look. But don’t be fooled; all the control panel components are there. Although you may experience a slight learning curve, you will get used to it, especially after you discover that you can hide or view certain elements.

BlueHost Control Panel

Under the “hosting” tab in the account portal is a second tab titled “cpanel.” There you’ll find everything you need—from email settings, file and domain management, statistics and database tools to more advanced features like 404 settings and process managers.

After the login, you can snoop around on your own or you can get help from the Bluehost team. If you choose the latter, you’ll get a lesson and assistance from the educators, but be aware that it will cost $99.99. Also, you‘ll pay $99.99 if you want to transfer your old website. If you want a new, custom design, the cost will be $799.99.

Email

If you want to log in in the webmail client, you can do that from the same place where you log in to the account portal. Just click on the “webmail” tab and import your previously created profile info. However, while creating the email, you’ll need to pass muster with their password strength bar, which is set at 50 on their 0-to-100 scale. That means you’ll need to use at least one uppercase character, one lowercase character, one number and one special character in your password.

During this process, you will also be able to choose which email client you want to work with—or you can do this after the first login. You have three options: Horde, Roundcube and SquirrelMail. You also can select forwarding, auto response, email and spam filtering, and configuring the client(s), so all the basics are covered. However, the lowest price package limits the number of emails to 100, which may be enough for some small- to medium-size businesses.

Creating and setting up your website or blog

When logging in to the user portal/cPanel, you can use your website domain and password, instead of a user name. Although this allows you to directly access one of your multiple domains, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to log out and log in again to access other domains.

For setting up your website, you’ll have at your disposal widely used Weebly and WordPress (which you can import from an already existing WP site). Additionally, AppMachine is available for building a mobile version of your website (no coding required).

However, there is no classic setup wizard, although you can be transferred to help pages if desired. There’s an option for getting help from the staff, but it will cost $99, which is a bit pricey.
Except for Weebly, WordPress and AppMachine, there are no other “all-in-one” tools to help you create your website. Although those are some of the most commonly known and used scripts, some diversity would be welcome. Similarly, there aren’t many options to choose from when it comes to other parts of the website. But that doesn’t mean all of your bases won’t be covered. There are more free and paid add-ons and they have integrated Mojo marketplace, which is loaded with apps and add-ons.

Reliability and uptime

Uptimerobot tests showed that Bluehost isn’t far from its 99.99 percent uptime claim, with 99.69 percent uptime. Although testing indicated one incidence of downtime lasted 26 minutes, which is fairly long time, the majority of downtime occurrences lasted a minute or two.

Although this is not uncommon (normally when restarting or upgrading the server), and the incidents occurred over a period of two to three days, it would be nice to get advance notice. All in all, although this was not a deal breaker, it felt like getting your favorite dish with a little more salt than you’re used to: not bad, but not the best.

BlueHost uptime test

Load Test

We conducted our testing with Load Impact. The website server was located in Provo, Utah. We ran a number of tests on response time to Ashburn, Virginia on the East Coast, so we used that as an average for the loading test. The response was relatively constant, around 0.8 seconds, which is fairly good response time. The best average time, 0.7 seconds, was from Palo Alto, on the West Coast. This might be expected, because the distance to the server is shorter.

BlueHost average Ashburn response time

BlueHost Portland response time—the worst-case scenario

There were some irregularities on several tests and locations. At about 15 to 20 users, load time would spike up and come back down, with the worst response from Portland, when it took almost 5 seconds to load. You can see the similar irregularity in Dublin, which, surprisingly, took almost the same time to load as Portland and Sydney, with an average 1.4 seconds response time. Disregarding these occasional irregularities, Bluehost had relatively stabile loading time globally.

BlueHost Dublin response time

BlueHost Sydney response time

Help and Support

Help and support ran relatively smoothly and when something was wonky, we had plenty of options to choose from. Standard chat and phone assistance are available 24/7 and there are separate numbers for the U.S. and outside the U.S. It was a bit of a cold shower, though, when the email ticket notified us to allow a minimum of 24 hours for a reply. In reality, it didn’t take that long.

The staff tend to “teach” you how to resolve problems, rather than solving them for you. This may not be to everyone’s taste, but it felt more interactive than just waiting on the other side of the line. If you are DIYer, there is interactive guidance that you can browse on your own, or you can type your question in a box and speed up the process.

BlueHost chat support

BlueHost chat support

Pricing

Shared hosting

Shared hosting has an introductory discount offer, although it’s not clear how long this discount lasts. Current prices for shared hosting with the discount are:

Starter $3.95 per month
Plus $4.45 per month
Business Pro $6.95 per month

Please note: VPS, Dedicated and WordPress hosting packages have a reduced rate that lasts one month only.

VPS hosting

Standard $29.99 ($14.99 first month)
Enhanced $59.99 ($29.99 first month)
Premium $89.99 ($44.99 first month)
Ultimate $119.99 ($59.99 first month)

Dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting packages have a reduced rate for the first month only.

Standard $149.99 ($74.99 first month)
Enhance $199.99 ($99.99 first month)
Premium $249.99 ($124.99 first month)

WordPress hosting

Blogger $24.99 ($12.49 first month)
Professional $74.99 ($37.50 first month)
Business $119.99 ($60.00 first month)
Enterprise $169.99 ($85.00 first month)

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting, like shared hosting, has undefined introductory discount. Current prices for shared hosting with the discount are:

Starter package $5.95
Performance $8.95
Business Pro $15.95

Bluehost—at a glance

Pros

  • customizable cPanel
  • good uptime
  • consistently great response time
  • specialized WordPress hosting

Cons

  • costly additional features
  • missing the classic “setup helping wizard”
  • lack of website builders options
  • unclear discount duration for shared and cloud hosting

Conclusion

Bluehost has a service that at first glance seems too good to be true. While it shows some cracks in the perfect exterior and a few limitations, there were no real deal breakers. Loading times were relatively fast and stable, the integration of cPanel and account portal worked beautifully and the help staff was very accommodating. However, not everyone likes the educational approach to fixing the problem, some people like to stay out of it.

Downsides? It took an entire day to get an email help-ticket response. Uptime isn’t really 99.99 percent, as advertised. The visuals take some time to adjust to. And Bluehost lacks a classic setup wizard. Although there are a lot of discounts, most last for just one month—and you have to pay up front for the whole year. Also, most people have a love-hate relationship with Mojo marketplace, so if you are short on money and aren’t too demanding, Bluehost might be place for you. Otherwise, you‘ll either have to open the wallet wider or seek hosting somewhere else.

 

21 thoughts on “BlueHost

  1. I’ve been a Bluehost customer for the past 3 years at the Plus web hosting level. I build WordPress powered websites and simple HTML/CSS/JavaScript sites. In that time I have never seen service go down long enough for me to notice it (so as far as I know, it never has!). Bluehost offers a lot of great baked-in features such as: CloudFlare integration, easy one-click installs for a wide range of common apps such as WordPress and Drupal via MojoMarketplace (previously known as SimpleScripts), easy creation of email accounts with help configuring you email client, easy setup of FTP accounts with help configuring your FTP client, easy setup of databases, a web-based file manager if you don’t want to use an FTP client, phpMyAdmin to manage your databases, and countless other features I haven’t used yet.

    I’ve only been in touch with Bluehost customer service once, and that was to ask a really obscure question about PHP security for an article I was writing. I half expected them to brush me off since the question wasn’t really relevant to anything they were doing for me, but they didn’t. It took 2 or 3 minutes (which was totally ok based on how obscure my question was) and then came back with an intelligent answer and explanation. I was pleased.

    I did not shop around when I originally bought hosting from Bluehost, and a couple of times I’ve thought to myself: “I really should check out some other hosting providers”. However, every time I do I come away unconvinced that there’s anyone else that offers a better setup for my hosting needs at a better price.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  2. I am Web Developer and Search Engine Optimization expert, I also provide my client with turnkey solutions developing their sites, making them live online and performing SEO for top level rankings. It is very important for me that my developed sites not only perform well but also are fully SEO optimized. If a site is not hosted on a good server it can cause you many troubles. For me uptime is very important and site’s performance should be best possible. I have tried many hosting companies and when I came across BlueHost I did not search further. I found BlueHost very promising and solid hosting server, features offered by Blue Host are equally good and reliable. They have a friend 24/7 support which is a major plus, whenever I had any issue I always find them ready to solve. I am very satisfied with the services.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  3. I’ve been a Blue Host user for past 6 months and had a very nice experience through.

    Previously I’ve been using WordPress.com hosting when a friend recommended me to migrate to BlueHost to enjoy more freedom and ultimate features.

    I subscribed to basic shared hosting plan and got a free domain name on joining as well. The built-in site builder and WordPress installation support really helped me to set up my website and migrate from wordpress.com to Bluehost. While migrating, I faced a little trouble but thanks to Support team they solved it in no time.

    I get full administration control to my website via cPanel which I had never experienced before. The automatic backup feature makes me feel more protected against accidental data loss. Moreover, I can create unlimited business email IDs for me and team members and, I get all of these features for almost 3 dollars a month only. Uptime is really good; my site is always online, and the speed is awesome. I would highly recommend Blue Host for all of your online projects.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  4. I just had my first experience with Blue Host tech support (with Jason) and all I can say is that I am blown away by the quality of the service I received. First, since I had purchased Blue Host services back in November, I needed to update my password and he talked me through that. Then I discovered that I needed to change the nameservers at Go Daddy where I had registered my URL to the Blue Host nameserver info. Together we tried to find out how to do that in my Go Daddy account. Although the Go Daddy system was confusing on that, he gave me their phone number and told me what info I would have to fill in to make the change. Throughout our time together, Jason was very thorough, patient and helpful. If you read the review I just did on Go Daddy, you will see that the guy from that tech support was rude and condescending. I AM SO GLAD I PICKED BLUE HOST instead of Go Daddy for my web hosting. Thank you Jason from Blue Host – I look forward to future positive tech support Blue Host.
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  5. I have been with BlueHost for just over a week now and what a massive difference to my previous host, 1and Internet, who had terrible support and poor server uptime / response times. I have no real complaints about BlueHost, I find tech supt to be friendly and knowledgeable, answered my questions professionally and in a timely manner. This is the first time I have used a cPanel host so had to learn about the quirks of the control panel system, such as having to create a subdomain for any new domains added. And I would have liked to be able to use a catchall Email address for my domains, but I can live without that. Overall, response times are quick, sub 250ms and I have experienced no downtime as yet, if you actually read the TOS, it’s not unlimited; maximum files allowed is 200,000 and databases can not be larger than 2GB in a single DB and no-more than 3GB across all databases, which for my needs is more than sufficient. Overall I would recommend BlueHost for most people!
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  6. I’ve used Bluehost for over a decade, and I still have my clients sign on with them if I have a say. I don’t know the company the wretched reviews are talking about. I’m in the middle of unraveling the kind of mess I used to experience before Bluehost at this very moment, dummy companies, no support, unknown registrar, the works. These are problems I haven’t had with BH. Yes, I have experienced an instance of downtime; yes, little charges for this and that have crept in; yes, I have occasionally experienced a not-so-sparkling tech support guy. But these are the kind of minor irritants one should expect doing business for years, certainly nowhere near enough to get me and my clients off BH and onto some unknown host. Overall I have found Bluehost to be responsive, eager to solve problems (not just for me, but for non-techie clients), knowledgeable, secure, fair and dependable. Perfect, no — excellent, yes.
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  7. Globally, I was very satisfied with Bluehost.

    Support: So far, I have not seen such a great customer support. People on lie support were very helpful even though I’m a beginner, and they gave me basic advice on what I should accomplish even when I decided to change host (reasons later).

    Uptime and speed: I did not notice any issue with this aspect of hosting. My website isn’t a behemoth, though, so I can’t testify so much on that part.

    Value: As a renewing customer, I was a bit disappointed by the price they offered me for a 3 years hosting. I was seeing better offers elsewhere (and even for Bluehost NEW customers) so I decided to leave. The customer support did try to find a way to keep me, but it was not enough.

    Globally, if you’re ok with the price, go all in. They’re great!
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  8. I have been hosting with bluehost for past 6 years and I had no problems with them at all, their custom service is superb.
    Though I feel that their waiting time is something which should be reduced for chat duration.

    In terms of uptime, I have rarely seen my website go down and that is one of the best part of hosting with bluehost.
    I never faced any difficulties with backup of data, I feel bluehost is really good because once i made some changes which completely ruined my website but support gave the backup and I was able to restore my website in minutes. That became one of the reasons why i never switched from bluehost.

    The pricing is appropriate, I use a tri-annual plan for my hosting and it works out pretty well which gives me decent saving on my pricing, i only go for long terms plans because I know that I am at the right place.

    It is always satisfying to be hosting my website at bluehost, I will say go without any hesitation.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  9. I have nothing but great thing to say about Bluehost. Moved my website from a terrible provider after being a long-time customer of theirs. I had a few technical things to resolve in moving / re-building my website on Bluehost. The support I received was stellar – fast, courteous, professional and accurate. My website on Bluehost never ran as well / fast or problem free on my previous provider. I researched many providers prior to picking Bluehost and have discovered after moving that I made the right choice !
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  10. I have more than one account on Bluehost – one for a charitable organization, one for my personal site. Both have been easy to manage and update. The price is reasonable given all the things I get, and I like having access to all the options on cPanel. The BH customer service has been helpful on three fronts: 1. online video tutorials 2. responsive community/discussion board 3. online “live” chat with a real person. In the latter instance, I was using iWeb to create a custom site instead of using one of the included template providers or WP. I was having trouble uploading the site correctly from within the iWeb program. I was able to talk to a support person in less than a minute, he was able to diagnose my error, then stayed with me until the site went live. I know some have expressed problems, but my experience has been nothing but positive and I’m in the process of transferring another domain to their hosting service. So far so good.
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  11. Big shout out to @bluehost for their helpful customer service and excellent web hosting service
    Source: Twitter.com

  12. I am almost computer illiterate but needed to build a website for my wife who is a writer. We couldn’t afford to hire a pro so I surfed the web and came across Bluehost. From the first phone call it became apparent that I could accomplish this task with their tech support. I called 4-5 times a day, asking the most basic questions, and never once was treated like a dummy. The support people were friendly, patient, helpful, and effective. I was advised to use Weebly for my site builder because it was the most user friendly. Great suggestion! It took me 4 days to create 4 pages–not your “create a website in 20 minutes” speed, of course, but pretty fast for an old coot like me. In short, the site is up, looks great, and I would highly recommend Bluehost/Weebly for anyone with similar needs. And, at $3.95 a month, the price is certainly right!
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  13. Bluehost is one of the most reliable hosts out there when it comes to features. It’s attractive features include a free domain name, cheap pricing, incredibly high uptime (~99.5%), and one-click install for WordPress. For most purposes, a website built on WordPress and hosted on BlueHost is all you need. Sites load faster in comparison to when you host them on HostGator.
    Source: Webhostinggeeks.com

  14. BlueHost is what I call an amazing website host. With a low fee, a great uptime, and the features of the major hosting . BlueHost will put you on a shared server but having a OS-48 BackBone server an almost amazing uptime, and a less amount of users on every shared server you will forget your on a shared server after purchasing your account.

    Support Wise, BlueHost has one of the biggest and fastest customer support times in the industry with their sister site HostMonster. For live support time I usually do not have to wait more than 5 minutes. they are no doubt no 1 on the hosting test for myself. Problems are fixed within 24 hours and they usually have an answer for everything.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  15. I have been using for Bluehost hosting from the last 4 Months and I just faced only 1 issue till now which gets solved by the support team in 1 hour .Uptime was Good.It is a Good option for starters as it is low price and offers free domain. Good value for the price and good support till now.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  16. I’ve been a BlueHost subscriber for the past 3 years and have had an excellent experience through them. When I first subscribed it was a matter of pricing->feature value, but the cPanel experience was weak and the upgrade process was hit and miss. Over the past three years BlueHost has resolved any issues I had with them. They’re cPanel is greatly improved, they’re feature set is much broader with few limitations, and with their new reseller account options I can host clients without any of the problems I used to run in to.

    BlueHost’s cPanel in particular is where the best value comes. When I started my subscription with them I was less than savvy about many things relating to hosting or marketing or anything else that would otherwise lead to solid web presence. There are many included tools and promotions that BlueHost provides with the subscription that put me on the right track and led to more opportunities as I matured. Technical expertise is not a requirement as BlueHost has most of those tools available to you, but there is still enough flexibility for more savvy developers to get their hands dirty. The only one quorum I have is a lack of root level access, but that isn’t a dealbreaker for myself personally.

    Overall I’d consider BlueHost as one of my favorite webhosts. There are others I’ve tried, but BlueHost has been the most reliable and their customer service team has always been quick and knowledgeable. For those who want a simple but reliable experience then BlueHost is the way to go; those who want complete control over their experience may not like how BlueHost does things.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

  17. I carefully reviewed all of the options that were available. I knew I wanted to use Word Press, but who to host it was a huge question in my mind. This was the best decision I could have made. Blue Host has been easy to use, quick to load, plenty of support available.
    Source: Whoishostingthis.com

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