Bluehost is one of the most popular web hosting service providers out there with over two million websites hosted on their platform. The company was founded in 2003 in Utah. They currently have a workforce of over 750 people and are backed by the Endurance International Group since 2010.
One can easily infer that the company is an industry big player with a high market share and years of industry experience. So you can count on them to be reliable.
Here’s our July 2021 quick review of Bluehost.
- Superb Uptime
- Fast page load speed
- 30-day money-back guarantee for web hosting products
- Low introductory price, but higher renewal rates
- Free domain for the first year, but no money-back guarantee for free domains
- Free transfer for 1 WordPress website, but $149.99 to transfer up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.
- Intuitive and easy to use platform with cPanel
- Top Recommended hosting by WordPress
Bluehost is one of the top web hosting service providers recommended by WordPress. WordPress is a popular CMS software used by almost half of active websites on the internet.
They recommend only 3 web hosting platforms for their software and Bluehost happens to be one of them. This accreditation is a seal of approval that Bluehost is a reputable web hosting service provider.
Bluehost offers high-quality website hosting plans with excellent uptime, fast server-speed, and decent load time. In addition, their service also comes with lots of perks for newbies and professionals – features such as intuitive dashboards, 24/7 live chat and phone support, no extraneous hidden charges, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and more.
Just like any other web hosting providers out there, it is essential to highlight some minor drawbacks – which are honestly industry-wide issues. Bluehost comes with higher renewal rates and their starter plans come with significant limitations.
Considering comparative data, real user feedback, and industry business practice, our research confirms Bluehost to be one of the best hosting providers in the web hosting market. You can trust Bluehost to give you value for your money and millions of people who have chosen Bluehost as their web hosting provider.
Bluehost comes with (99.98%) uptime, fast page loading speed, low initial price loaded with a lot of web hosting features.
1. Superb Uptime (99.98%)
The first key metric to determine the quality of any web hosting is the server uptime. If the server is down or unstable, web visitors will not be able to access your website. This is why server uptime is very important when making decisions about choosing a web hosting provider.
I learned this the hard way ten years ago when I was looking for a dirt-cheap foreign web hosting. I found one somewhere in Asia with the help of a friend. It was so cheap I bought a 3-year shared hosting plan equivalent to Godaddy’s 3-month starter plan price back then.
They had everything I needed and I was super excited. I had cPanel, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited websites, and much more – well, so they said.
Unfortunately, the excitement didn’t last long as the uptime was terrible. I migrated 3 months later.
Many web hosting providers advertise 99.9% uptime but in reality, this is an industry wide ad gimmick. 99.90% uptime can be a disaster for your website.
Industry-standard for a good server uptime ranges from 99.93% and above. You may have a bad experience with 99.90% server uptime. As a novice, you may fall for this and end with a bad web hosting service.
Bluehost comes with a 99.98% server uptime. This is means your website may only be down for an hour or two within a year (typically for maintenance) indicating Bluehost is a reliable web hosting when service it comes to server uptime.
2. Fast Page Load Time
The page load speed is the second most important factor to consider when choosing a web hosting provider. No one likes a slow website. Web pages with higher load time tend to have a higher bounce rate which negatively affects your website’s conversion rate.
Page load time is the average time it takes a web page to fully display on your screen. It starts from when you click or type a web address or submit a web form (initiation) to when the page fully loads (completion). It’s really important because according to studies, a 1-second drop can cause a 7% bounce rate. A 3% drop can cause up to 32% bounce rate.
Testing a Bluehost page load time with Bitcatcha, the server response time is under 90ms from both US East and West region. Accessing from other continents showed that the response time ticked up to 500ms.
However, these response times are still under 1 second. This implies that if you intend to target visitors based in North America, Bluehost is a great choice. Else, you may have to change your server location to better serve people living in other parts of the world. This may not be a significant issue depending on what kind of website you have.
3. Low Starter Price
Bluehost’s initial offering for shared hosting starts as low as $2.65/month. This package is suitable for you if you need to host only one website.
You get to enjoy Bluehost features such as 50GB SSD storage, access to custom themes with free CDN provided by Cloudflare, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate, and a free domain for the first year. If you ask me, in addition to the fast page load time and server uptime, this is a good value for your money.
However, please be aware Bluehost employs some industry-wide marketing practices you need to be aware of before you take the plunge. Read on to learn more about these terms and conditions of usage in the cons section.
4. Maximum Security and Features
From basic to pro plans and from shared hosting to VPS hosting, Bluehost offers adequate protection for your websites. Your website security is an essential factor to consider when choosing a web host. A secured website will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your website.
Bluehost security includes:
- Free SSL certificates: Encrypts your connections to keep your personal information, financial transactions, and other sensitive information safe from cyber-criminals
- Resource Protection & Optimized CPU resources: Keeps your website performance protected and unaffected
- Free CDN: Bluehost partners with Cloudflare to deliver Cloudflare CDN features for free such as caching, spam protection, and enterprise-level speed optimization for all other plans
- WordPress: Enjoy easy WordPress installation with a one-click install
- Free Domain Privacy: Available for higher-tiered plans
- Free Automated Backup: Also available for higher-tiered plans. Keep daily backups of your website with CodeGuard
Also available are advanced security add-ons such as SiteLock for malware protection, Spam Experts for spam protection, Postini for email spam protection.
5. Intuitive Platform and Ease of Use
Bluehost offers a platform that’s intuitive and easy to use. The platform is so straight-forward, I prefer to log in to my WordPress via their platform rather than using our website admin page. Their platform allows you to perform several tasks such as:
- Manage Your Websites – Login to WordPress, manage Google ads, manage Google My Business, manage users, manage backups, manage performance and do so much more
- Access Marketplace – Buy add-ons, plugins, and themes; upgrade your hosting, get deals, and much more.
- Manage Emails – Configure and manage Microsoft 365 and GSuite
- Manage Domains – Configure, register, assign, redirect, transfer and manage domains
- Access cPanel – Manage database, FTP, SSH, files, and more
You can configure domains, create WordPress sites with simple wizards, and create your website from the scratch with your codes or with page builders. All these and so much more can be done with ease on their platform. Have in mind, you may experience some minor scoffs like:
- Configuring your Cloudflare CDN may take forever
- A little slow response when performing some tasks
- Getting disabled due to excessive login failures error message when your cookie expires and having to wait for 5 minutes before you can log back in.
These minor issues do not have significant impact on their service delivery.
6. 24/7 Customer Support
Bluehost provides round the clock customer support via live chat, phone, and email. In addition, they have a knowledge base articles to help users answer common questions and fix common problems.
Bluehost has a rapidly growing customer base, you may experience a few delays with their customer service support. We tested their live chat support and the response was not the fastest but decent. The representative we got on the chat was able to answer our basic questions.
7. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Bluehost’s 30-day money-back guarantee helps you safely try their service for free. This guarantee is available on all their hosting plans. It gives you an opportunity to verify the pros and cons stated on our website.
You have enough time to analyze their performance and features without having buyer’s remorse. You can simply ask for your money back within 30 days if you’re not satisfied with their service.
However, bear in mind you can only get refunds on web hosting products only. So for instance, if you got a free domain name, $15.99 will be deducted from your refund.
8. Free WordPress Migration for one website
Typically this service costs about $150 if your website is not WordPress or if you have 2-5 WordPress sites and up to 20 email accounts. Please bear in mind, if you qualify for this free service you need to request this service within the first 30 days of hosting with Bluehost. Simply reach out to their customer support and follow their guidelines.
Hosting with Bluehost comes with a lot of good benefits. However, there are some noteworthy drawbacks to using their web hosting service.
1. Higher Web Hosting Renewal Rates
It’s a common practice in the web hosting industry for companies to offer low introductory prices to attract customers. After the low introductory price expires, the renewal rates can be very much higher – up to 3 times the introductory price. This pricing model is often used by many other web hosting service providers.
For instance, to subscribe to a basic plan for a 3-year term costs $2.65 per month as of the time of writing this article. However, to renew your plan costs $8.99 – more than 3 times the introductory price.
The best way to get around this pricing model is to prepay for 1-3 years ahead to get the lowest price possible before you start paying the higher renewal rates. If you happen not to like the service within 30 days, simply get your money back.
2. Up-selling & Restrictions on Low-Tier Plans
Up-selling is a common practice in the web hosting industry. The cheapest plan on Bluehost comes with some restrictions. You can only have a single website. If you want to add another website, you’d have to change your hosting plan and also pay a regular rate for the new plan. This cost skyrockets instantly.
We highly recommend Bluehost web hosting.
They are a market leader in the web hosting industry. They offer a reliable web hosting service with a superb uptime rate and fast page load speed. In addition, their platforms offer great features such as a 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 customer support, very low introductory price, high security all packed in an intuitive platform.
They are not without their drawbacks – the higher renewal rates, up-selling, and limitations with their low-tier plans. We believe Bluehost can do better in this regard.
Are you a blogger, small business owner, or agency? Are you anticipating millions of traffic or hundreds of traffic every month? Or you’re just looking for reliable hosting with good value for money and hope to scale up your hosting needs some time in the future, we highly recommend Bluehost!
Still not sure about Bluehost, check out reviews for similar hosting providers.