BlueHost Web Hosting Review and Its Alternatives

BlueHost Web Hosting Review and Its Alternatives


Introduction

With so many hosting companies popping up almost every year, choosing one for a new website or better performance has gotten quite complicated.

BlueHost, which has existed since 2003 (about 17 years), is one of those companies you hear about a lot, especially when it comes to WordPress Hosting.

Over the years, Bluehost has improved its services & overall performance (servers, customer care, etc.), and it’s something that we’ve been using for a lot of our clients’ websites ranging from company portfolios, blogs to even E-commerce.

In this article, we’re going to share our personal experience using BlueHost Hosting services for about two years now.

We’re going to be focusing majorly on their shared hosting plans (Which we’ve mostly used) and providing as much unbiased information about their service as possible.

Is Bluehost a Good Hosting Company? (Quick summary)

Over two years of hosting several of our clients’ websites on Bluehost, we encountered no significant issues with their services.

Their 24/7 customer services are top-notch and were always there to answer most of the questions we had and implement certain features requiring them.

They are quite knowledgable and have the required experience to manage a WordPress website & Hosting server at the least.

On numerous occasions, they did respond slowly to our complaints & inquires, which is a clear indication that you do not get dedicated support and have to share their support staff with other customers.

We also experienced downtime, but it was barely a minute or two in some months.

Thankfully, we cache all our clients’ websites with Cloudflare (which is integrated into every Bluehost shared plan), so it didn’t affect our traffic as we mostly served static webpages.

Overall, all websites hosting on their servers had decent speed & Loading time but slowed down just a bit when traffic spiked, which should be expected for most shared hosting plans considering the price.

This is just a quick summary of our experience using BlueHost Shared Hosting services, for more in-depth information, keep reading below.

Pros & Cons of Using BlueHost

In this review, we’ll go over all the goods and bad of using Bluehost services based on our personal experience.

Pros of using BlueHost

Good Uptime

Bluehost - Good Uptime

Uptime is the most crucial factor to consider when planning to choose a hosting company for your website. With Bluehost, we experienced excellent uptime with just a few months below the 99.98% uptime they claim on their main website.

Overall, they are a very reliable hosting company when it comes to Uptime, but expect some downtime nonetheless as it was stated on their Network Server Uptime Agreement.

Loading Speed (Dual Quad Processor Performance Servers)

The second most crucial factor to consider after uptime when choosing a hosting company is server speed.

The speed of a hosting company’s servers determines how fast your website will load. It’s not always about optimizing your website for speed, sometimes the server itself needs work.

Thankfully, BlueHost Shared hosting servers are among the fastest right now, especially when hosting WordPress or static websites.

We’ve experienced good loading speeds over the -year period of hosting some of our clients’ websites with Bluehost.

During traffic spikes, we noticed a bit of reduced speed (slight lagging but nothing serious), but that’s to be expected when using a shared hosting plan and receiving high traffic. Overall, their servers can handle a lot even more tha you might think.

Cheap Entry plan

Unlike many hosting companies, BlueHost offers a cheap entry plan under their shared hosting category. We launched a few of our clients’ websites on the Basic plan, which costs just $2.95 per month (only if you pay upfront for three years).

Considering all the features that come with each all their plans, this is a pretty good deal.

Free domain (First year)

Bluehost - Pricing Plan

When purchasing any Bluehost shared hosting plan, you can register a domain for one year completely free (a marketing strategy, I guess).

This helps you save on startup costs and worry less about changing nameservers or other domain-related tasks, just plug and play.

Free SSL Certificate

Bluehost - Security

Unlike some hosting companies, Bluehost supports Let’s Encrypt, which is a free popular SSL provider on all their shared hosting plans.

When you purchase a plan, you get a free SSL certificate attached to your chosen domain name automatically, which is really convenient for non-techy people trying to set up a website.

Unmetered Bandwidth

One cool feature we appreciate about Bluehost shared hosting plans is the unmetered bandwidth. If you don’t know what Web Hosting Bandwidth is, it’s a file transfer currency allocated to your hosting server.

When visitors access your website, it uses bandwidth to serve pages and accept uploads, most web hosting companies will assign a set amount of bandwidth you can use every month i.e., 40gigabytes.

With BlueHost, you get an unmetered bandwidth allocation, which means you can use as much bandwidth as you want (fair usage policy does apply).

This makes it easy to handle a lot of traffic without fear of ever running out of bandwidth.

Built-in Security (Ddos security etc.)

We had no issues with their security capabilities throughout our test on the BlueHost Basic shared hosting plan.

No DDoS attacks or unauthorized access, they have a very secure system and excellent Spam Assassin Protection.

As long as you don’t upload something insecure, your website is as good as safe.

Easy To Get started with

Bluehost - Domain Registration

Compared to other hosting companies we’ve tested before, Bluehost seems to have one of the best setup wizards.

It takes care of everything when setting up your hosting account, just a few on-screen questions & data entry and voila.

They also have an easy to use custom Cpanel, the traditional Cpanel (let’s be honest) looks scary for someone new to setting up a website.

BlueHost - Cpanel

Bluehost cares about beginner level customers and makes sure everything is simple to do, and even if you can’t figure it out, they have a 24/7 support team.

Excellent Support & Customer Services

BlueHost - Support

We appreciate the support team over at Bluehost, they answer almost any questions you may have concerning websites and implementing features at a decent response rate.

BlueHost - Support Resources

Apart from a dedicated email ticket support team, Bluehost also has a knowledge base, live chat access to support, and even phone support.

On numerous occasions, they did respond slowly to our complaints & inquires, which is a clear indication that you do not get dedicated support.

Officially Supported By WordPress.org

BlueHost WordPress Web Hosting

We decided to test Bluehost because of their WordPress.org recommendation, and they have servers tailored and optimized for WordPress websites.

The fact that experts over at WordPress.org recommend Bluehost is enough to prove the quality of their overall hosting service.

Not to mention, a support team very knowledgable on WordPress setups & debugging.

30 days money-back trial

BlueHost - Money Back Policies

If you decide to try out any BlueHost hosting plan, they offer a 30-day refund policy for users who are not satisfied with the service they provide.

You can test out all the features we’ve mentioned in this review article for 30 days and still get a refund if you find any issues.

Cons of Using BlueHost

3 Years Purchase Discount only

Bluehost offers a significant discount (about %60 off) on all shared hosting plans visible even from their homepage.

BlueHost - WordPress Web Hosting Review

What they don’t tell you is the three year upfront payment requirement; this is a huge drawback, especially if you can only afford a year or two.

If you’re going for the single-year option, you still get a discount, but it’s more expensive than the three-year offer.

It’s just a marketing strategy to get new customers to commit to using their service for a more extended period.

Costly Renewal pricing

Another major drawback of using Bluehost is the considerable increase in renewal pricing.

After your first plan term expires, you are charged almost double the initial discounted price to renew and continue using their services.

Imagine paying $2.95 per month, and after a year being expected to pay $7.99, and that’s if you renew for another three years upfront, it gets as high as $9 per month on the basic plan when renewed for just one year.

You have to do a lot of cost estimation before using any of BlueHost’s plans because they tend to mess up budgets with their shady renewal policies that are not made clear at their pricing table (a common marketing gimmick a lot of hosting companies use)

No free site migrations

If you have an existing website, don’t expect BlueHost support to migrate them for you for free because it’s not.

Rarely have we encountered Hosting companies that don’t offer free migrations, Not only is Bluehost not supporting free migration, they also charge an expensive fee to do it.

Imagine paying $150 to migrate your website (actually allows five websites & 20 email accounts) to your new hosting company when most hosting companies do it for absolutely free, a big turn off.

Upsell Addons

BlueHost - Upsell Addons

One common occurrence with most hosting companies is offering upsells to milk more money out of you (They often term it as- providing more value).

Certain features that are supposed to be free, like weekly backups, SSL, etc. locked under a subscription paywall.

Bluehost is no different, and right from the payment page, you are offered a bunch of Add-ons which you would expect a top-rated hosting company to provide for absolutely free.

For example, to back up your website regularly, you need a CodeGuard Basic subscription (which costs $2.99 every month) with your BlueHost hosting plan.

BlueHost Hosting Plan

You would need to depend on a third-party service, which is not convenient, especially for non-techies.

Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans Features & Pricing

Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans Features & Pricing

At first, Bluehost pricing might seem straightforward, but it’s not.

There are many things you might not notice, which is why we have broken down every important detail here, so you know exactly what you’re paying for and if it’s something you can afford in the long run.

A few things are shared with all Bluehost shared hosting plans though. For one, all plans come with with a free domain for one year (which renews at twice the price – $17 for .com)

You also get free SSL certificates for all your domains, CDN support (Free Cloudflare plan already integrated), unmetered bandwidth (with fair usage policy), and SSD technology.

Note: Bluehost only allows monthly payments after at least one year of hosting with them. This means that you have to purchase a one year plan (or higher) upfront before you are allowed to pay monthly (with no significant discount attached).

Bluehost Basic Shared Hosting Plan

With Bluehost’s Basic entry plan, you can host just a single website with the same benefits as the next tier plan.

It comes with 50GB SSD Storage allocation, a free SSL certificate, 25 subdomains, and standard performance assured.

This plan is tailored for medium traffic websites with minimal dynamic functionality, something more like static websites or limited user’s management systems.

How much Does Bluehost Basic Shared Hosting Plan cost?

To make things more straightforward, here’s a table of BlueHost’s Basic hosting plan pricing based on the term.

Plan terms First Purchase Renewal Cost
12 Months (1 Year) $59.4 $107.88
24 months (2 Years) $94.8 $203.76
36 months (3 Years) $106.2 $287.64

There’s something you need to understand about this pricing; you only get the discounted renewal cost if you’re paying for a longer-term.

So if your 3-year plan expires, to get the discounted renewal cost of $287.64, you have to pay for another three years if you pay for one year; it cost $107.88, which in 3 years would cost $323.64 ($36 more): no long term upfront payment, no discounts bonus.

Bluehost Plus & Choice Plus Shared Hosting Plan

The Bluehost Plus & Choice Plus shared hosting plans essentially offer the same features and cost the same, the only difference is the free Codeguard Basic plan and Domain Privacy + Protection that comes with the Choice Plus plan.

With either Bluehost Plus plans, you can host an unlimited number of domains; they’re more like an upgraded version of the entry plan with fewer limitations.

They both come with Unlimited SSD Storage allocation, unlimited subdomains, unlimited parked domains, Spam experts, free 30 days access to 1 Microsoft 365 Mailbox, and standard performance assured.

These plans are tailored for hosting many websites (static websites like company portfolios to simple management systems), they can accommodate a lot of load with the unlimited resources available.

Note that Bluehost has a fair usage policy, which can limit what & how you can use these plans.

How much Does Bluehost Plus & Choice Plus Shared Hosting Plan cost?

To make things easier, here’s a table of BlueHost’s Plus & Choice Plus hosting plan pricing based on the term.

Plan terms First Purchase Renewal Cost
12 Months (1 Year) $89.4 $203.88
24 months (2 Years) $166.8 $383.76
36 months (3 Years) $196.2 $539.64

Bluehost Pro Shared Hosting Plan

The highest tiered plan under the shared hosting category Bluehost offers is the Pro plan, which is more straightforward.

This is the only Bluehost shared hosting plan with High Performance assured. Apart from that, you also get a dedicated IP address suitable for a business identity and allows you to access your websites more efficiently.

Apart from that, it’s pretty much the same as the Choice Plus plan.

How much Does Bluehost Pro Shared Hosting Plan cost?

To make things more straightforward, here’s a table of BlueHost’s Pro hosting plan pricing based on the term.

Plan terms First Purchase Renewal Cost
12 Months (1 Year) $227.4 $311.88
24 months (2 Years) $382.8 $599.76
36 months (3 Years) $502.2 $863.64

Shared WordPress Hosting

BlueHost - Pricing Plans with Features

Bluehost also has a separate page for WordPress hosting, which might seem different from the regular shared hosting plans, but it isn’t.

It’s just a marketing strategy; whether you order from the regular shared hosting page or here, you get the same thing (pricing & features).

Bluehost Review: Do We Recommend It?

Yes, we’ve tested it not just for ourselves but also for our clients, and compared to a lot of hosting companies out there, Bluehost is pure gold.

Though their pricing is a bit sketchy, it is worth considering and measures up to the quality of service you’re getting.

We recommend Bluehost for more of WordPress website hosting than custom websites though because their servers are configured to make WordPress work correctly, and it’s quite popular in the WordPress community (even the data for this review article is mostly based on WordPress sites & a few static ones)

BlueHost Alternatives

SiteGround is a pretty solid alternative you could check out; they have similar pricing and hosting features compared to Bluehost.

Just that we prefer Siteground for their top-notch support and stable uptime (99.99% uptime guaranteed), they also provide free migrations, which is something Bluehost charges for.

DreamHost is another decent Bluehost alternative you could check out; they have one of the best Managed WordPress hosting services and are also recommended by WordPress.org.

Managed Hosting Plans

They do cost a lot more, though, but perform way better than BlueHost shared hosting plans.

Conclusion

In this article, we have shared based on our personal experience, the performance, and what to expect from BlueHost if you decide to opt-in to using their hosting services.

We also went through all the Pros and Cons that we noticed while using their shared hosting packages and overall support; we hope you’ve found this article useful.

If you have a question about Bluehost hosting or would like to share your review, do not hesitate to do that below via the comment box.

Happy hosting.

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