BlueHost Review

Reviewed by: Jerry Low . .
  • Review Updated: Oct 30, 2020
BlueHost
Plan in review: Basic
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Updated: October 30, 2020
Summary
BlueHost is officially recommended by WordPress.org and a popular hosting choice among probloggers. I personally think BlueHost may be the right call for small businesses and individual bloggers who want a cheap and reliable hosting solution..

I am sure you have seen dozens, if not more, of BlueHost reviews on the Internet. Many of these reviews talk about the same stuffs – BlueHost’s unlimited hosting features, free domain offer, and the 30-day money-back guarantee.

This is not one of those reviews.

My Personal Experience with BlueHost

In this review, you’ll get the inside scoop, from server performance stats to user dashboard demo, from a 15 years BlueHost customer.

I have been using BlueHost shared hosting service since 2005. One of my first affiliate sites was hosted on a very old BlueHost plan named “BlueHost Platinum Pak” and I have another BlueHost account signed up in 2020 for a side project. I run speed tests and monitor BlueHost server availablity using self-built tools; and share my first hand experience in using their latest user control panel.

So in case you were considering BlueHost – this should be a good read! Let's dive in without wasting more time.

About BlueHost Hosting

  • Headquarter: Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Established: 2003, by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth
  • Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting

A lot of things has changed since 2005: The company was sold to Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2010, a new design was released at BlueHost.com in 2017 – 2018, new VPS and dedicated hosting plans were added to BlueHost shelf, and signup prices were reduced from $8.95/month (in 2005) to $2.95/month today.

What's in this BlueHost review?

Verdict

 


 

Pros: What I Like about BlueHost Services

1. Excellent server performance: Average hosting uptime above 99.95%

Except for the two major network outages happened in 2013, BlueHost has been very stable for me.

In overall, my sites hosted at BlueHost are staying “up” 99.98% of the time in 2016 – 2019 – They rarely went down for more than 10 minutes.

I track BlueHost uptime using Uptime Robot and a self-built system named HostScore. Images below are the results captured for the past 5 years. For latest results, check out this page where I publish BlueHost latest performance data in beautiful charts.

Recent BlueHost Uptime Records

BlueHost Hosting Uptime (Jan - Feb, 2020)
BlueHost hosting uptime for January and February 2020: 100% (visit actual site here).

Previous Uptime Records

* Click image to enlarge. 

Jul 2018: 100%

Jun 2018: 99.99%

Mar 2018: 99.98%

Mar 2017: 99.99%

Jul 2016: 100%

bluehost uptime 072016

Mar 2016: 100%

bluehost - 201603

Sept, 2015: 100%

bluehost sept uptime - site has not down for 1637 hours

Apr 2015: 100%

BlueHost Uptime Score for the past 30 days (Mar / Apr 2015)

Jan 2015: 99.97%

BlueHost Uptime Score for the past 30 days (Dec 2014 / Jan 2015)

 

2. BlueHost speed meets expectation

When it comes to server speed, BlueHost performance meets my expectations. With an average Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) of below 200ms – 600ms* on Webpage Test, BlueHost is rated as “A” in most WebpageTest.org speed tests.

BlueHost Webpage Test Results

BlueHost speed test from US
BlueHost speed test from United States – TTFB = 190ms. Our test site is hosted in United States – hence latency is the lowest for U.S. test node (review actual test result at Webpage Test).
BlueHost speed test from UK
BlueHost speed test from United Kingdom – TTFB = 612ms. Our test site is hosted in United States – hence latency is higher for test node in U.K. (review actual test result at Webpage Test).

BlueHost Bitcatcha Speed Test Results

Bluehost speed test at bitcatcha
BlueHost took 49 and 34 milliseconds to respond to United States West and East Coast test nodes. Web host rated as “A+” when compared with Bitcatcha's benchmark (see actual test result here).

 

3. Recommended by WordPress.org

With over 20 years under their belt, BlueHost has an established track record in the hosting industry and is quite well-known among experienced bloggers and website owners. This is further cemented by the fact that WordPress.org officially recommends them as one of the preferred web hosts for their platform.

BlueHost is on top of WordPress.org's host recommendation list. Their official statement on BlueHost hosting: ” Easily scalable and backed by legendary 24/7 support by in-house WordPress experts.” (source)

 

4. Popular among bloggers and marketers

We did a number of surveys with hosting users in the past and BlueHost is always one of the top recommendations from bloggers and marketers. Writers, marketers, and probloggers like Lori Soard, Paul Crowe, Kevin Muldoon, and Sharon Hurley recommended BlueHost hosting.

web hosting votes
Survey (2013) – 5 out of 35 bloggers answered “BlueHost” if they could only recommend only one web host for the bloggers.
We did another surveys with more than 200 respondents. BlueHost stood out as the #3 most mentioned brands. The hosting company scored an average rating of 2.2 out of 3 – which is above avreage.

BlueHost User Feedback (From WHSR's Survey)

We asked, “If you could recommend only one web host, who would it be?”

Lori Soard – Radio personality, published author, LoriSoard.com

For a first-time blogger, I would recommend BlueHost.Lori Soard

Although this hosting company gets a few mixed reviews, they come recommended by WordPress, which is one of the most popular blogging platforms. The hosting company also offers a WordPress auto-install, which makes getting set up quick and easy for someone without a lot of webdesign experience. Unlimited disk space and bandwidth transfer are also a nice addition. Rates start at $4.95/month (if you pay in advance), so it is also reasonably priced for someone trying things out.

I also like the fact that newbies can get support 24/7 in a variety of ways (online, via telephone or via e-mail).

Kevin Muldoon – Pro-blogger, KevinMuldoon.com

Kevin Muldoon

First time bloggers should not use a lot of resources at first.

Due to this, I would recommend a good shared hosting company such as BlueHost. Once their website has started generating more traffic, they can then review their hosting requirements.

Sharon Hurley – Professional web writer,  SharonHH.com

Sharon HH

I've used 5 or 6 web hosting service providers over the last 7 years, including many of the popular shared hosting providers.

The one I keep coming back to is BlueHost, where I currently host more than ten domains. It's a great host for sites with low to medium traffic and everything you want is easy to set up. I've been impressed with their uptime and their tech support department is extremely responsive and helpful if there's ever an issue.

Michael Hyatt – NY Times Bestseller Author, MichaelHyatt.com

Michael

If you use WordPress as I recommend, you will need a hosting service too.

And, BlueHost is the best web host for WordPress.

 

Lisa – Web Developer, Website Hosting Rating

I have rated Bluehost 4 out of 5. Bluehost is an all-round and good web host for beginners and WordPress users. Your site on BlueHost will benefit from the latest security and performance features.

[…] BlueHost is cheap (really cheap), have a solid uptime track-record and is very easy to get started with(especially for beginners and for WordPress sites).

 

5. Comprehensive self-help documents and video tutorials

Since there are a lot of tutorials and self-documents available online, this makes BlueHost a lot easier to learn and use if you’re a beginner. I was able to solve several simple issues by just reading their articles or watching the video tutorials in the past.

BlueHost tutorials on YouTube.

 

6. Newbies-friendly: Easy to use control panel and helpful emails

The overall on-boarding experience with BlueHost was great. My account was activated instantly and I get helpful starter guide via emails everyday for the next 5 days after signup.

The Bluehost control panel is organized and easily navigable, easy for both beginners and veteran website owners alike. The latter still might get a bit disoriented though since the layout differs slightly from the popular cPanel interface. Still, the way it was designed offers a smooth user experience.

This is what BlueHost customer dashboard looks like:

BlueHost control panel
BlueHost user dashboard – users get to register new domain, setup emails, install software, and manage security features in one place.
BlueHost control panel
The usual cPanel menu screen falls under “advanced” in BlueHost user dashboard – which feels rather awkward to me in the beginning.
BlueHost welcome email
BlueHost welcome emails come with both useful guide and various upsell messages. Personally I find these emails useful – especially if you are hosting a website for the first time.

 

7. Plenty of room to grow

If your site becomes bigger, BlueHost gives its users plenty of room to grow with the ability to upgrade to different hosting plans at a reasonable price. You get to upgrade your shared hosting plans to VPS and dedicated hosting.

See plan details in the following table.

FeaturesSharedVPSDedicated
StorageUnlimited60 GB1 TB (Mirrored)
RAMShared4 GB8 GB
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimited10 TB
IP Addresses24
Support24/724/724/7
Signup (36-mo)$5.45/mo$29.99/mo$99.99/mo
Renewal Rate$14.99/mo$59.99/mo$159.99/mo

 

 


 

Cons: The Not-so-good about BlueHost Hosting

1. Price increases during renewal

BlueHost renewal price
The fine print behind BlueHost offers.

Although this has been the norms for cheap hosting deals, it's worth noting that BlueHost charges a high price when it comes to renewing your plans.

The basic plan alone jumps up from $2.95/mo to $7.99/mo when you renew, which is a 170%(!) increase in price.

BlueHost PlansSignup (36-mo)RenewalIncrease
Basic$2.95/mo$7.99/mo170%
Plus$5.45/mo$10.99/mo102%
Choice Plus$5.45/mo$14.99/mo175%
Pro$13.95/mo$23.99/mo72%

 

2. BlueHost unlimited hosting is limited by various usage policies

Another downside is that their unlimited hosting is not actually “unlimited”.

Reading up on their policies, you’ll realize that there are certain caveats to their unlimited hosting, such as the fact they do not provide unlimited space for online storage. All this ends up making their “unlimited hosting” quite limited.

BlueHost unlimited hosting are limited by server processing time, memory, and inodes.
BlueHost's unlimited hosting has strict limitations on database usage.

 

3. U.S.-based data centers only

Unfortunately, Bluehost only operates servers in US-based data centers. While this may be good for sites targeting traffic in that region, it unfortunately puts others at a disadvantage. This is particularly so for sites expecting Asia-region traffic as that zone is literally across the globe.

 


 

Pricing: How Much Does BlueHost Cost?

Shared Hosting Plans

BlueHost shared hosting comes in four flavor: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. The key features and prices of each plan are shown in the table below.

Note that BlueHost Plus and Choice Plus have the same signup price ($5.45/mo) but they renew at a very different rate ($10.99/mo vs $14.99/mo). If you are unsure, start with a lower plan (Plus) and upgrade later if necessary.

FeaturesBasicPlusChoicePlusPro
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage50 GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Email Account5UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Free Domain1111
Automated BackupsIncludedCodeGuard Basic
Inodes Limit50,000*50,000*300,000300,000
Free Auto SSL  
Promo Price
(36-month term)
$2.95/mo$5.45/mo$5.45/mo$13.95/mo
Renewal Rate
(36-month term)
$7.99/mo$10.99/mo$14.99/mo$23.99/mo

 

* Official ToS indicates that in most cases actions will not be taken until Basic and Plus users exceed 200,000 inodes.

 

 

VPS Hosting Plans

BlueHost VPS plans cost $18.99/mo, $29.99/mo, and $59.99/mo. Overall features and pricing of BlueHost VPS hosting are up to market standards. Their prices are not cheap compared to other similar VPS hosting providers, but they are not expensive either.

Server specifications and key features as below.

FeaturesStandardEnhancedUltimate
CPU Core224
RAM2 GB4 GB8 GB
Disk Space30 GB60 GB120 GB
Bandwidth1 TB2 TB3 TB
IP Address122
Price$18.99/mo$29.99/mo$59.99/mo

 

 

 


 

BlueHost Comparison: How BlueHost Stack Up with Others?

1. BlueHost vs Hostgator

In their basic offerings, BlueHost and HostGator offer some very similar profiles. Both are also big-name service providers and offer similar levels of performance when it comes to more basic sites and are owned by EIG.

FeaturesBlueHostHostgator
Plan in ReviewBasicHatchling
Websites11
Storage50 GBUnlimited
Free Domain
Free SSL
Free email account5Unlimited
Free website transfer
Money-Back Guarantee30 Days45 Days
Signup Price (36-mo subscription)$2.95/mo$2.08/mo
Renewal Price$7.99/mo$6.95/mo
Order / Learn MoreBluehost.comHostgator.com

 

 Learn more

 

2. BlueHost vs InMotion Hosting

With neck and neck pricing, Bluehost gives InMotion a run for its money where their entry level pans are concerned. However, the latter comes with better features and an extended money-back guarantee of up to 90 days.

FeaturesBlueHostInMotion Hosting
Plan in ReviewBasicLaunch
Websites12
Storage50 GBUnlimited
Free Domain
Free SSL
Server locationsNo ChoiceUnited States
Free website transfer
Money-Back Guarantee30 Days90 Days
Signup Price (24-mo subscription)$3.95/mo$3.99/mo
Renewal Price$7.99/mo$7.99/mo
Order / Learn MoreBluehost.comInmotionHosting.com

 

 Learn more

 


 

More about BlueHost

Frequent Asked Questions

Is BlueHost CodeGuard worth it?

CodeGuard is included with BlueHost Choice Plus and above shared plans. If you're on a more basic plan, it isn't really necessary to pay extra for CodeGuard unless you're considering running an eCommerce site or otherwise processing payments.

Does BlueHost use SSD?

Yes BlueHost use SSD storage on all plans.

Why is BlueHost so cheap?

Starting from $2.95/mo for shared hosting, BlueHost is certainly one of the more budget-oriented hosts around. However, that is an introductory price and upon renewal increases to $7.99/mo.

Is BlueHost good for UK?

BlueHost only operates servers in its own Utah facility which is sub-optimal for those targeting UK-based traffic. However, it generally does have a decent server performance overall.

Which BlueHost plan is best?

For starters, BlueHost's Basic plan offers a good step into the world of web hosting with a low cost of entry and decent features. If you require more resources they also have VPS or Dedicated hosting plans.

Can you cancel BlueHost at any time?

BlueHost offers a 30-day moeny-back guarantee during which cancellations can get full refunds. Beyond that, plans can be cancelled without a refund at any time.

 

More than Hosting: BlueSky and Full Service

When it comes to business customers, Bluehost has additional services available that can prove cost-effective. These come in at two levels. You can either opt for full service or professional level support. Each of these options can serve your needs depending on what situation you are at in your business.

For businesses that are finding a web presence increasingly vital but don’t want to deal with onboarding a full-time team to handle it, full service is an interesting option. It also has options that go far beyond what just a development team can do.

From conceptualization to launch and ongoing operations, full service from Bluehost offers roughly the equivalent of an entire department boasting development, design, content, and digital marketing (including SEO). If you take on the headcount for these services in-house, you’ll be looking at a hefty fixed overhead increase.

If you already have an existing site, you can still opt for full service and have their team consult on your existing site pre- and post-migration. This way, your business can retain the key elements of your existing digital presence and migrate it with enhancements.

BlueHost Bluesky Plans and Pricings
BlueHost Bluesky costs $29.00/month and above. Users get expert WordPress support when they add this plan to their original hosting package.

 


 

Verdict: BlueHost is Recommended for…

Given the fact that you are only paying ~$5/mo on signup, BlueHost shared hosting services are considered above average.

The web host scored 58 in our 80-point rating system and rated as a 4.5-star host.

For that, I think BlueHost is an excellent choice for small businesses and website owners who are looking for a budget hosting solution.

It's worth noting that BlueHost offers tons of latest security and performance features – NGINX architecture, custom server cache, HTTP/2, SSD storage, etc. However, these features are only available for those who are willing to pay extra. GoPro, BlueHost's highest performance shared hosting plan, costs $13.95/mo on signup ($23.99/mo on renewal). WordPress Hosting, now with a new dashboard and integrated marketplace, costs $19.99/mo (and $39.99/mo on renewal).

Quick Recap

Here's the quick recap on the pros and cons of BlueHost:

 

Alternatives: Providers like BlueHost

If you feel BlueHost is not right for your website, here are some alternatives to consider. You are also recommended to check out my list of hosting reviews here.

  • A2 Hosting – Solid server performance, both shared and VPS hosting plans are similarly priced as BlueHost.
  • GreenGeeks – 300% eco-friendly hosting, suitable for users looking for budget shared hosting solution.
  • InMotion Hosting – This is where I host this site (WHSR); competitive VPS hosting plans.
  • Hostinger – One of the best cheap hosting services in 2018; shared hosting plan comes with cheap price tag and innovative features.
  • SiteGround – Slightly expensive but you get what you paid for; premium hosting services with top class live chat support.

Compare BlueHost with Others

 


 

BlueHost at Discounted Rate

BlueHost offers special introductory rate for all new users. If you make a purchase via our promo link below, you'll get up to 63% discount from your first bill.

This special discount is applicable to all shared hosting plans – Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro.

BlueHost Basic starts at $2.95/mo, Plus $5.45/mo, Choice Plus $5.45/mo and Pro $13.95/mo (36-month subscription).

Click: https://www.bluehost.com

 

(P/S: The links above are affiliate links – if you purchase via this link, it will credit me as your referrer. This is how I keep this site alive for 9 years and add more free hosting reviews based on real test account – your support is highly appreciated. Buying via my link doesn’t cost you more – in fact, I can guarantee that you’ll get the lowest possible price for BlueHost hosting. )

About Jerry Low

Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.