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Chris Wagner

“I have been a paying customer for BlueHost since April 2017.

I am monitoring BlueHost’s shared hosting servers for Uptime and Performance through my website hostingpill-bh.website.

This review of BlueHost is based on actual testing done on their servers.”

Updated: Last month (November 2018) Uptime Score — 100%

One of the well-known and popular hosting brands includes Bluehost, with no doubts about it.

Through this post, I will provide an unbiased review of Bluehost services in terms of different qualitative metrics and would help you understand if Bluehost caters to your business needs.

BlueHost-banner

Bluehost was first launched in 2003 and has invaded the market gradually over a period of time. It caters to over 2 million websites worldwide.

This was founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth and is headquartered in Provo, Utah.

Bluehost provides shared hosting, Cloud hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, WooCommerce hosting and Dedicated hosting.

The average monthly searches for the exact keyword BlueHost, establishes the fact they’re one of the most popular hosting providers.

bluehost searches

That was a brief overview about the company background.

Now, let me get into a detailed review about their hosting services along with their cPanel screenshots.

And as an added bonus, at the end of the article, you will also get 50% off discount code (that saves you $181.44), and step-by-step guide to creating a new website.

So keep reading…

Pros of Bluehost:

I will first provide the pros of using the Bluehost.

Gladly this is a significantly large number of pros for any hosting platform.

1. Speed and Performance:

Let me first provide you details about how fast Bluehost is.

I have done speed test and compared Time To First Byte with Godaddy (full comparison).

Here are the results:

godaddy server speed

 

Vs.

 

bluehost web page performance

As you can see, BlueHost is pretty fast over Godaddy.

In terms of performance, this is again good as compared to several hosting platforms. On an average, it is faster than 93% of websites and has a very good page load time.

bluehost-performance

See BlueHost’s full plans here…

2. Uptime (Overall, pretty solid):

Over 2017 and 2018, Bluehost has provided almost consistent uptime metrics.

A measure of uptime over past 19 months, shows an average performance of almost 99.9%. Similarly, there has been no specific huge downtime around its services.

As mentioned above, I have bought hosting from Bluehost to test their Uptime and Performance. Here’s my website, that’s hosted on Bluehost Servers.

And here’s the latest average uptime stats:

bluehost uptime from Pingdom

Here’s the average Uptime:

  • November 2018 uptime: 100%
  • October 2018 uptime: 99.99%
  • September 2018 uptime: 99.91%
  • August 2018 uptime: 100%
  • July 2018 uptime: 100%
  • June 2018 uptime: 100%
  • May 2018 uptime: 100%
  • April 2018 uptime: 100%
  • March 2018 uptime: 100%
  • February 2018 uptime: 99.98%
  • January 2018 uptime: 99.98%
  • December 2017 uptime: 100%
  • November 2017 uptime: 99.93%
  • October 2017 uptime: 100%
  • September 2017 uptime: 99.85%
  • August 2017 uptime: 99.78%
  • July uptime: 99.96%
  • June 2017 uptime: 99.97%
  • May 2017 uptime: 99.98%
  • April 2017 uptime: 100%

Here’s the average Response Time:

  • November 2018: 450 ms
  • October 2018: 422 ms
  • September 2018: 431 ms
  • August 2018: 437 ms
  • July 2018: 684.59ms
  • June 2018: 742.06ms
  • May 2018: 661.96ms
  • April 2018: 736.27ms
  • March 2018: 779.87ms
  • February 2018: 723.02ms
  • January 2018: 949.19ms
  • December 2017: 881.19ms
  • November 2017: 1576.82ms
  • October 2017: 318.30ms
  • September 2017: 747.03ms
  • August 2017: 540.10ms
  • July 2017: 831.14ms
  • June 2017: 695.06ms
  • May 2017: 735.26ms
  • April 2017: 1013.01ms

The fastest has been for the month of October 2018 with an average response time of about 422 ms.

BlueHost Uptime Score: Last 19 months, detailed data you can see here.

Conclusion? BlueHost is overall good in speed.

3. Pricing and Features:

In terms of pricing, Bluehost shared hosting is definitely affordable and has a very affordable starting price.

The shared hosting contains three plans:

  1. Basic
  2. Plus
  3. Prime

The basic plan starts at $2.95 per month. While the other plans have a pricing of $5.45 per month.

a. Shared Hosting Plans:

The shared hosting service from BlueHost is their most popular product, primarily due to it’s attractive pricing. It starts as low as $2.95 per month, when purchased for 3 years.

Features
Basic
Plus
Prime
Space 50 GB Unmetered Unmetered
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Panel cPanel cPanel cPanel
Number of Sites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Regular Price $7.99/mo $10.99/mo $14.99/mo
Discounted Price $2.95/mo $5.45/mo $5.45/mo
More Details More Details More Details

It’s not just the pricing alone, but the plans also cater to a list of added features. Each plan accommodates a sufficiently large number of features.

With the Basic plan, you get access to the cPanel, 5 email accounts, unmetered bandwidth, SSL protection. Along with 1 domain, it supports 5 parked domains, 25 subdomains.

Moving to the Plus plan, you get all the features which are part of the basic plan and additionally can enjoy unlimited email accounts, Spam Experts, and SSL. Along with 1 domain, you get an unlimited parked domain and unlimited subdomains.

The Prime plan which offers a similar starting price as Plus plan has some added features over the Plus plan. This also includes Spam Experts, Domain Privacy, SSL and CodeGuard Basic. This also supports unlimited parked domain and unlimited subdomains.

The plans can cater to all forms of websites starting from small to large sized websites.

Additionally, it also has an enhanced plan which is called as the Go Pro plan starting at $13.95 per month.

This includes additional security-enhanced features along with high-security performance.

b. VPS Hosting Plans:

If you need more capacity, they have a VPS offering which starts at $18.99 per month when purchased for 12 months. This includes 2 CPU cores with 30 GB of SAN storage and 2 GB of RAM.

Features
Standard
Enhanced
Ultimate
Cores 2 Cores 2 Cores 4 Cores
SSD Storage 30 GB SSD 60 GB SSD 120 GB SSD
RAM 2 GB 4 GB 8 GB
Bandwidth 1 TB 2 TB 3 TB
Included Domains 1 1 1
IP Addresses 1 2 2
Price $18.99/mo $29.99/mo $59.99/mo
More Details More Details More Details

c. Dedicated Hosting Plans:

If you’re looking to host your website on your own dedicated server, BlueHost has offerings that start at $79.99 per month when purchased for 12 months. This includes four 2.5 GHz CPUs with a mirrored storage of 1TB and 4 GB of RAM.

Features
Standard
Enhanced
Premium
Speed 4 Cores, 8 Threads 4 Cores, 8 Threads 4 Cores, 8 Threads
Storage 500GB 1TB 1TB
RAM 4GB 8GB 16GB
Bandwidth 5TB 10TB 15TB
Included Domains 1 1 1
IP Addresses 3 4 5
Price $79.99/mo $99.99/mo $119.99/mo
More Details More Details More Details

BlueHost implements their VPS and dedicated hosting solutions using open source technologies such as OpenStack and KVM.

d. Cloud Hosting Plans:

BlueHost’s recently launched cloud hosting service (also known as Cloud Sites) allows you to host your website on the cloud.

Features
Starter
Performance
Business Pro
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Storage 100GB Unmetered Unmetered
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Free Domain 1 1 1
RAM 2 GB 4 GB 6 GB
Email Accounts 100 Unlimited Unlimited
Price $6.95/mo $8.95/mo $15.95/mo
More Details More Details More Details

Cloud Sites automatically replicates your website across three devices, thereby eliminating the risk of downtime. Multiple copies of your website also means faster response time for the user.

Cloud Sites also allows you to increase your CPU and RAM allocation as your website starts getting more traffic.

A Free Domain is included when purchasing any hosting service from BlueHost

Server Locations: Provo

Don’t forget to use these coupon codes to get discount from BlueHost hosting plans.

4. Security and Reliability:

Another important aspect of any hosting platform is its support for security and providing reliable services. Bluehost has well-defined security features to prevent majorly occurring security attacks.

It supports SSL certificates to safeguard sensitive information flowing through your website. At the same time, it supports advanced capabilities such as Secure Shell (SSH) access, Server-side includes (SSI), log file access with web-based managers for files, databases, and email.

With Bluehost, Cloudflare is built directly into the account to enable advanced content delivery network and improve the performance of your website.

Other security options supported are Domain privacy to prevent identity theft, spam and any kind of phishing attacks.

It also supports spam protection with Postini filters which are powered by Google.

With this, you can easily remove unwanted and potentially harmful content instantaneously.

As far as security in terms of spam is concerned, Bluehost provides several options.
bluehost spam protection
The Plus and Prime plan include SpamExpert, which can secure emails from spam and provide protection against virus and ensure spam filtering.

bluehost-spam_experts

Bluehost also supports Spam Hammer which can graylist and limit the number of spams received by users. The cPanel supports enabling or disabling of Spam Hammer.

Added with this, Bluehost can optionally support SiteLock to defend websites and protect from malware attacks.

CodeGuard is used to take daily secure backups which can be restored at any point in time in situations of disaster recovery.

5. Third party apps and cPanel support:

Bluehost has an enhanced cPanel support which is designed with easy access to additional tools. Using the cPanel, it is extremely simple to manage your websites, domains, emails and more from a central location.

Bluehost allows users to first test drive the cPanel features before committing to any specific plan. It has an application-rich dashboard which allows you to integrate with various services.

From here one can use services such as Google Apps.

bluehost hosting cPanel
bluehost cPanel 2

Additionally, the easy to use cPanel allows one-click installations which are integrated with MOJO Marketplace.

You can also customize the cPanel layout based on your usage. The cPanel is simple to use for even novice users.

6. WordPress Recommended hosting:

Bluehost supports the one-click installation of WordPress, similar to several other hosting platforms available in the market.

installing wordpress2

But there is more to this offering since WordPress also officially recommends Bluehost hosting platform.

What could be more appealing than the world’s largest CMS- WordPress providing an official recommendation for Bluehost.

To add to Bluehost’s credit, WordPress lists them down as the first best hosting option.


Related: How to Build a WordPress Blog from Scratch! (5 SUPER Easy Steps)


7. 30-Day money back guarantee:

With all this, Bluehost also provides a 30-day money back guarantee. This helps a lot in case you are checking the feasibility of using Bluehost solutions for your website hosting.

bluehost_money-back-guarantee

The money back is only for the hosting service and does not include add-on products which are purchased separately.

Similarly, in case the plan includes a free domain, then Bluehost deducts a non-refundable domain fee of $15.99.

Cons of Bluehost:

1. Expensive short-term plans and renewals:

The plans are cheap and affordable at $2.95 for a period of 36 months. However, the same plan for 12 months is $4.95 per month. Choosing a shorter duration plan gets expensive.

bluehost_12_months_plan

At the same time, the renewals are $7.99 per month for the basic plan. The locking period for the hosting plans is longer as well as the renewals are priced higher.

2. Customer Support:

The customer support consists of live chat option along with other options such as the toll-free number and email.

While the live chat option is easiest to reach their customer support, the only problem here is the unusual wait time of about 15 minutes.

BlueHost-Customer-Support

As compared to several other hosting platforms, Bluehost live chat option has a longer wait time before you could get connected to a support person.

However, at the same time, I would also like to mention that the customer support is efficient to provide relevant answers to queries.

Update: We recently had a chat with Customer Support on 7th Nov 2018. And to our pleasant surprise, it didn’t take too long for them to respond. So, it looks like they have improved their response time.

3. Add-on services:

Few services such as site migration, domain privacy are charged separately. Other essential security features such as SiteLock, Codeguard Basic are not part of the basic plan. This requires you to pay for these add-on services separately.

The site migration charge is $149.99. This is something that most hosting platforms choose to provide free support for. The site migration also has few restrictions in terms of the number of site transfers allowed.

What happy customers are talking about Bluehost:

Thank you @bluehost for fantastic support this morning when my website seemed to have completely vanished. Panic over.Lorna Prescott @dosticen

Thank you @bluehost for fantastic support this morning when my website seemed to have completely vanished. Panic over.

ZainabZainab Zaheer @zmeetsworld

Grateful for SPECTACULAR customer service when calling #Bluehost @bluehost – thank you Shane!

vickyVicky Lashenko @VickyLashenko

Thank you @bluehost for fantastic support this morning when my website seemed to have completely vanished. Panic over.

JoannaJoanna Jodko @joannajodko

Last night after a very long wait I got to talk with a knowledgeable gentleman at #bluehost, Craig, who was an amazing help.Thank you

Do I Recommend Bluehost?

Yes, I do.

To summarize this BlueHost review, I can say that BlueHost is a good hosting provider to start with. The low starting price and the 30-day money back guarantee make it an option worth considering.

Being officially recommended by WordPress also makes it a reliable choice. If you’re looking to host your website on the cloud, BlueHost’s Cloud Sites is a cheap option when compared with other offerings in the industry.

If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable hosting solution, BlueHost could be your best option. But also keep in mind that the low price comes with a service contract.

If you’re hosting your personal blog or may be a small business BlueHost is certainly a recommended choice.

As I promised, here’s the Exclusive Bluehost discount: click here (you can get hosting at $2.95 pricing instead of the regular $7.95/mo.)

Summary
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