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They clearly have the financial wherewithal to invest millions in marketing. That’s most likely why there are so many (overly) good Bluehost reviews online.
I reviewed a few of the reviews, and most of them praise their fantastic service (really? ), low prices, and scalability possibilities. However, there is very little mention of their genuine shortcomings in those assessments.
Bluehost is even recommended by WordPress.
Is this, however, evidence that Bluehost is a dependable service and a good fit for your project?
Let’s take a look under the hood of Bluehost and put their (shared) hosting to the test.
What Services Does Bluehost Provide?
This hosting company situated in the United States offers a wide range of hosting services, from domain names to dedicated servers.
Let me quickly go over their extensive library.
Domain names: You can buy domain names straight from Bluehost, despite the fact that they are not the cheapest domain name registrar. At renewal, they start at $17.99 per year. Namecheap is a personal favorite of mine for domain names because it is less expensive and easier to operate.
Shared hosting: Unless you’re in charge of a major project or need to tinker with the settings of your server, a shared hosting plan is a way to go. Consider it as sharing an apartment: you’ll share a server (flat), but you’ll have your own hosting area (room) – it’ll be less expensive, but it’ll be noisy. Bluehost‘s shared hosting plans range from $8.99 to $25.99 per month.
WordPress hosting: Bluehost offers WordPress-specific hosting. It’s designed for WordPress sites and includes features like a staging area. It’s a touch pricy, starting at $29.99 a month, which is more than SiteGround.
VPS (Virtual Private Server): A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a combination of shared and dedicated hosting (read below). You’ll share a server with other clients, but your projects and theirs will be separated by a (virtual) wall. This type of hosting is appropriate for people that need custom server configurations (e.g., for a website). using a particular programming language). VPS hosting plans from Bluehost start at $29.99 per month and go up to $119.99 per month. Dedicated servers are appropriate for websites that receive a lot of traffic and/or require a high-performance server. Consider it as if you had your own home, complete with no annoying neighbors or roommates. The cost of dedicated hosting starts at $124.99 per month.
Bluehost‘s most essential hosting-related products are listed below. I was astonished to see that they do not offer cloud hosting.
What Does Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Plan Include?
The first thing you’ll notice about Bluehost‘s costs is that they provide massive discounts for the first year. Keep taking mind that renewal fees are substantially greater, which may deter you. I’ve listed both costs below so you can compare them and make your decision.
You may generate and restore your own backups with this integrated solution.
The Basic plan is excellent if you simply need one website and 50 GB of storage is plenty for your project.
You can have as many websites as you want with the Plus plan, and storage is unlimited. It also includes an unlimited number of email addresses.
You’ll get the Plus features, as well as free domain privacy and greater backup choices if you choose the Choice Plus bundle.
The Pro tier is for individuals who want to get the most out of their computers. The maximum number of files you can host with this plan jumps from 200,000 to 300,000.
Please see our guide for additional information on Bluehost‘s offerings and pricing.
Pros and Cons of Bluehost
Let me quickly summarize the main benefits and drawbacks of Bluehost shared hosting, in my opinion:
When Is It Appropriate to Use Bluehost Hosting?
If you’re looking to host a small-medium project (for example, a bakery website) that won’t get a lot of traffic, Bluehost is an excellent choice.
But, to be honest, I believe that similar solutions are available at a lower cost.
When Should You Avoid Using Bluehost?
If you’re in charge of a project that relies on your website and you require the best performance, Bluehost isn’t for you. If you own an eCommerce, are a successful blogger, or provide Software as a Service, look for alternatives.
Bluehost shared hosting is also not for individuals who require advanced hosting capabilities such as staging zones or Git repositories.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Details
Performance Tests on Bluehost
Is Bluehost a sluggish hosting service? Is their uptime satisfactory?
I’ve been actively monitoring Bluehost’s speed and uptime for months in order to be able to answer all of these questions. Let me show you what I discovered.
Details about Bluehost Shared Hosting
The registration process is somewhat difficult; I believe their form to be unintuitive and geared to persuade you to purchase unnecessary things. In 2019, they revamped their backend, which is now an easy-to-use cPanel customized version. However, I despise their continuous upsell advertisements, popups, and hidden links. It’s fine once you’ve gotten used to everything.
Domain names are unique identifiers for websites.
For the first year, Bluehost provides a free domain name registration. You’ll have to pay $17.99 every year after that. You should be aware that their Basic plan only allows you to have one site (domain name), whereas the other plans allow you to have an infinite number of sites (domains).
You can only have 5 email accounts on the Basic tier, but you can have as many as you like on the higher tiers. You won’t be able to send more than 500 emails every hour, so this isn’t ideal for mass emailing.
You can build up to 20 databases using the Basic package. With the other options, you can have an unlimited number of databases. The maximum database size is generously set at 5 GB.
You may install many kinds of software with their automatic installer, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, and many others.
Keep in mind that their WordPress installer will likely install several plugins you don’t want; make careful to remove them when the installation is complete.
The Basic shared plan includes 50 GB of web space, which isn’t awful. The storage is not metered in the other plans. However, the maximum number of files that can be uploaded is 200,000. (300,000 files for the Pro plan).
Data Transfer Capacity Per Month
It is not metered.
Secure FTP and FTP Accounts
You are free to create as many FTP accounts as you want. However, only the main FTP account is permitted to use SFTP (secure).
Location of the Server
They appear to exclusively have data centers in the United States. This may not be appropriate for customers outside of North America, as your site may load quite slowly outside of the United States and Canada.
Features of Security
Bluehost provides a couple of extra premium security add-ons. SiteLock, for example, protects against hacker attacks, while CodeGuard expands your backup alternatives. I liked that they provide an optional two-factor authentication mechanism, which means that even if a hacker cracks your password, they won’t be able to access your Bluehost account automatically.
Bluehost‘s speed isn’t horrible, but it’s also not the finest, in my opinion. It’s difficult to understand their poor performance because they’re so pricey – more on that later.
Bluehost had solid uptime results in our tests, but it wasn’t the best. This is critical in order to provide excellent user experiences and SE.
Bluehost makes monthly, weekly, and daily backups that you can download and restore as a courtesy. Yes, only three backups, and they can’t guarantee you’ll get the other companies to give over 20 backup options.
You can purchase their costly backup add-on if you want more backup options (for example, on-demand backups).
Although Bluehost does not provide a CDN, CloudFlare is pre-integrated and you can easily enable it – which I recommend.
Features of the Server
PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4 are all supported. MySQL 5.6 is used to run the databases. Perl or Ruby on Rails are examples of other programming languages that are permitted.
Guarantees and Refunds
There is a 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. They don’t appear to offer any uptime guarantees, unlike top hosting services.
Support and Assistance
Support is available by live chat and phone. The customer service representatives were pleasant and helpful; nevertheless, I wish they had an easier way to verify account owners.
Bluehost‘s performance is acceptable, and their system is adequate, however, I believe they are pricey. However, if you believe you’ll need their help frequently, their support is a clear no-go for me.
Speed Test on Bluehost
I don’t have to explain to you how crucial speed is for offering the best user experience and optimizing search engine rankings as a website owner.
Bluehost‘s speed was compared to that of the most popular (shared hosting) competitors. To test their loading times, I utilized GTmetrix, Pingdom, and Webpagetest.
Let me summarize the findings.
These tests were conducted over nearly two months under the same conditions (e.g., identical page and content).
As you can see, when it comes to speed, Bluehost isn’t the best in the business. In our tests, several providers outperformed them. SiteGround and DreamHost, in my experience, are good-performing providers if speed is a concern.
Is Bluehost’s Uptime Sufficient?
Your hosting provider, believe it or not, will almost certainly not have a 100 percent uptime. Your site will be down for (hopefully) brief periods of time due to technical reasons (e.g. server maintenance).
Your visitors and search engines will be unable to access your site if you have a low uptime. Your target uptime should be greater than 99.95 percent.
I use StatusCake to track uptime because it scans each website every 5 minutes.
As you can see, Bluehost maintains a high level of uptime. Bluehost‘s performance has been excellent in this regard. However, keep in mind that while they don’t guarantee uptime, other hosting companies may reimburse you (for example, with a free month) if their global uptime falls below specific thresholds (usually 99.9 percent ).
Is Bluehost a Recommendable Hosting Provider?
As you can see from the tests above, their speed wasn’t great. However, their uptime numbers impressed me, as they were comparable to top providers like SiteGround and DreamHost (compare it with Bluehost).
Their (first-year) pricing is quite low, however, keep in mind that renewal prices skyrocket.
Alternatives to Bluehost
Okay, if you go with Bluehost, your site will most likely be fine, at least if your visitors are mostly from North America.
However, it is not the most affordable choice available, and I believe that for the same money, you might have better-performing providers with more advanced features (e.g. backup or staging areas).
A2 Hosting or DreamHost are two solid options if you want a balanced hosting solution (cheap price and strong performance). They are a little less expensive than Bluehost and function equally or better.
SiteGround, InMotion, and (once again) DreamHost provide the finest assistance in my experience.
SiteGround, A2 Hosting, GreenGeeks, and DreamHost are without a doubt the top (cheap) performance providers. SiteGround, in my perspective, has a couple of key features that make it significantly better (e.g. more backup options).
All of these services will allow you to run WordPress. SiteGround, on the other hand, provides the best framework for empowering WordPress site owners (e.g. built-in caching plugin and speed optimization options).
Updates should be reviewed.
General and performance update on October 23, 2020
Updated on June 2, 2020: A video review has been included.
New dashboard as of September 5th, 2019.
First review on the 27th of June, 2019.
Please be aware that this review contains affiliate links. If you buy something from one of the companies listed in this text, we are paid a commission. This has no bearing on our evaluations, and we will never hesitate to point out flaws in a product.
> However, if you insist on using Bluehost, keep in mind that you can do so for free for 30 days.