Starting out in 1996, Bluehost quickly established themselves as one of the biggest web hosting brands out there especially when it comes to WordPress. They have been a recommended web hosting company by WordPress since 2006 and are responsible for powering more than 2 million websites worldwide.
They pride themselves in offering a 24/7 live customer support chat and all plans include enhanced security, regular backups and a free SSL certificate. All of these ensure that your website stays protected. Additionally, Bluehost also offers a free domain for the first year similar to many other hosting companies out there.
At Bluehost, there are a number of hosting options available which include WordPress Hosting, Shared Web Hosting, VPS Hosting, and Dedicated Hosting for those who are looking for more customized hosting solutions.
Bluehost has been the go to web hosting company for many people in the past 5 years. I checked the worldwide trend for the word “Bluehost” and came up with this result:
Expert Bluehost Review
Bluehost is one of the most reputable brands in the world of web hosting so I have benchmarked Bluehost in extreme detail to make sure that I gather the most accurate performance data.
In our detailed review, I will cover all of the features offered by Bluehost in detail while providing extensive data that I have analyzed over time.
Bluehost Shared Hosting
Starting at $2.95/mo, Bluehost shared hosting is an adequate solution for smaller websites and blogs that expect to get around 10,000 visitors. However, only 50 GB of SSD storage is available with the basic shared hosting plan. You can upgrade to pro if you expect a lot of traffic and need features such as unlimited storage and bandwidth.
Bluehost WordPress Hosting
WordPress hosting solutions by Bluehost also start at $2.95/mo and offer automatic WordPress installations and updates. Unlike the shared hosting, $200 in marketing credits are also offered by Bluehost which makes this a good choice for those looking to host their WordPress blog or website.
Bluehost VPS Hosting
With a standard plan starting at $18.99/mo, the VPS hosting offered by Bluehost is a good solution for those who need additional resources which are not offered in the shared hosting plans. VPS hosting offers better performance, especially during traffic spikes.
Bluehost Dedicated Hosting
Starting at $79.99/mo, Bluehost dedicated hosting is the most powerful option you can get. This is good for websites having very high traffic. You also get 3 IP addresses with this plan. For additional resources, you can upgrade to the premium plan.
As a Bluehost affiliate partner, we have referred thousands of people to them, however, we have a fair and strict policy to benchmark and review a web hosting company.
As a part of this comprehensive review, we will discuss in detail the pros and cons of using Bluehost as a hosting provider for your website or blog.
For the purpose of this review, we purchased the cheapest shared hosting plan offered by Bluehost (Basic) to benchmark them. In the case of this review and for all other hosting reviews, we used WordPress as the primary CMS and for the theme, we went with the pre-installed Twenty Fifteen theme.
Bluehost feedback on Twitter
Great for moderate to high traffic
Scalable with on-demand resources
Full root access for additional control
Great for websites with high traffic
For resource-intensive needs
Ultimate security and performance
Bluehost is a bit expensive when compared to some of the other website hosting companies in the market. The reason for this is the technology offered by the company along with the top notch customer support. Here we have gathered the pricing information of different plans offered as part of shared hosting by Bluehost.
BlueHost Web Hosting | WordPress Hosting Pricing
Bluehost offers 4 different plans for shared hosting, each offering different features. These have been discussed in detail inside our Review of Bluehost Web Hosting.
Bluehost is one of the oldest and reliable web hosting companies in the market. They make sure to maintain an uptime of 99.99% which is evident from their performance in the last 20 months. Not only this, they also offer some good load times for both desktop and mobile.
We would recommend Bluehost if you are looking to benefit from an excellent user experience without any compromise on website uptime or performance.
Here we have listed some of the pros of Bluehost that you will be able to enjoy as a customer.
Pricing is a big factor when it comes to picking out a reliable web hosting company. This is even more important if you have a smaller website or blog and simply do not have enough to spend on hosting.
In the case of Bluehost, most of the hosting plans are well within the budget of the average user. For shared web hosting, you can start from as low as $2.95 per month and the number of features you get for that amount means that Bluehost can offer excellent value for your money.
For those who are looking for extra features and more control, there are plenty of other hosting options offered by Bluehost.
2. Reliability with 99.99% Uptime
Uptime cannot be ignored as it tells you about the percentage of time you should expect your website to be down in a month. Longer or unexpected downtimes can affect your website in a negative way, driving away any potential customers or visitors.
For Bluehost, we gathered data from the past 20 months to give you a better idea of the actual Uptime offered by the company. We discovered that Bluehost really does provide 99.99% Uptime which is excellent.
Check out the Uptime breakdown for the last 20 months below,
3. Good Time to First Byte – TTFB (625.25ms)
TTFB stands for time to first byte, essentially used to represent the time it takes for the first byte to be received by a browser.
By using data from KeyCDN, we were able to collect some data which also made it possible to figure out how well the different Bluehost servers are performing in other parts of the world. A TTFB of 625.25ms is quite good, in fact it is better than some of the other hosts out there.
Listed below is the breakdown of TTFB of Bluehost servers from other parts of the world.
4. Speed Index for Desktop
Speed index for desktop essentially means the time it takes for content to show up on the computer screen, which is when a user will consider the website page as loaded.
Since this value can vary depending on a number of things, to figure it out correctly, we did a number of tests and then calculated an average figure. This came out to be < 4s which is considered as fast. This means that Bluehost is in the green for desktop Speed Index.
5. Speed Index Mobile
Website performance on mobile has become very important ever since Google launched the Mobile First Index. Similar to the desktop index, it helps determine how long it takes for your website to visually show up on a mobile device.
Keeping this in mind, we decided to evaluate Bluehost’s mobile performance separately from desktop. This was done on 4g/LTE and 3g mobile devices.
Some of the tests that we ran and the results can be checked out below,
6. Excellent Customer Support
Customer support is very important when it comes to any business but it plays an even bigger role in the world of web hosting. Numerous technical issues can come up so it is important that the hosting company you go with is offering excellent customer support.
Luckily, in the case of Bluehost, there is a team technical expert available 24/7 for any issues or queries that you might have. This is better and an improvement over some of the other hosts who do not focus as much on customer support.
Ticket responses are also very quick and any queries are answered within a few minutes. To test this, we generated some tickets and then considered the time it took for the company to respond to those tickets. You can check those out here,
7. Free SSL Certificate and More Security Options
While the most basic hosting plan offered by Bluehost is quite affordable, it is good to see that the company does not skip any of the crucial security features. One of these is a free SSL certificate which is included with each hosting plan that is offered.
A domain privacy feature is also offered by default so that your personal information is safe and secure. This will prevent any spammers from accessing your details and then using them for spam or phishing attempts.
Some other security tools offered include SiteLock which helps prevent any malware attacks on your website and CodeGuard which helps in making regular backups so that you can always revert to an older version if something goes wrong.
In summary, Bluehost offers quite a decent security package which should keep everything secure and safe.
8. Plenty of Apps and Integrations
Other than the many security options, Bluehost also offers a decent collection of apps so that you can use some of the other popular services out there.
WordPress can be installed easily in a single click and other CMS (content management system) like Joomla or Drupal are also available.
A domain manager is available for those who wish to purchase multiple domains through Bluehost and then manage them. Backups for multiple websites can be configured which can be set to run daily or weekly, depending on your need and preference.
A CDN (content delivery network) is also available which can be used to speed up website loading times if you have visitors spread across the world.
9. Money Back Guarantee for 30 Days
Bluehost follows a 30 day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the services offered by the company. This is important because most people pay for a year or more in advance when purchasing hosting and if you are ultimately not satisfied with the service, then you feel stuck.
However, unlike some other hosting companies out there, Bluehost does not exactly offer a no questions asked policy. There are a few points that should be kept in mind before asking for a refund. First, the refund will only be applicable on the web hosting cost and not on any additional products you might have purchased such as a domain. If you received a free domain with your hosting plan, then the company will deduct $15.99 from your refund total. Finally, no refund requests after a 30 day time period will be entertained.
1. High Renewal Price
Bluehost, like many other web hosting companies out there engages in the practice of demanding a higher renewal rate than what you initially paid.
One way to pay less for a hosting service is by prepaying for one or multiple years upfront, however, this also means that you will have to commit around a hundred dollars or more.
If you avail the introductory price for the Basic plan in Shared Hosting, you will pay $2.95/mo but when renewing, Bluehost will charge you $7.99/mo for the same plan. The same goes for all of the other plans offered by the company so it is important to carefully look at the renewal price before commiting to a plan.
The comparison of introductory prices and renewal prices for Shared Hosting plans can be checked out in the table below,