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.
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
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%
Mar 2016: 100%
Sept, 2015: 100%
Apr 2015: 100%
Jan 2015: 99.97%
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 Bitcatcha Speed Test Results
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.
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.
BlueHost User Feedback (From WHSR's Survey)
We asked, “If you could recommend only one web host, who would it be?”
For a first-time blogger, I would recommend BlueHost.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
1 TB (Mirrored)
Cons: The Not-so-good about BlueHost Hosting
1. Price increases during renewal
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.
2. BlueHost unlimited hosting is limited by various usage policies
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.
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.
Free Auto SSL
* Official ToS indicates that in most cases actions will not be taken until Basic and Plus users exceed 200,000 inodes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Here's the quick recap on the pros and cons of BlueHost:
(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.
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