BlueHost Review

BlueHost Review
Plan in review: Basic
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Last Updated: May 08, 2018
Summary
BlueHost is recommended by WordPress.org and a popular hosting choice since early 2000. We think BlueHost may be the right call for the small businesses and individual bloggers who want a budget 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.

I have been using BlueHost shared hosting service since 2005 (very old BlueHost plan – BlueHost Platinum Pak, server Box508.Bluehost.com). That was before the company were sold to Endurance International Group (EIG), before the company redesigned their website, and way before the company added VPS and dedicated plans into their hosting services.

In this review, you’ll get the inside scoop from a 10+ years BlueHost customers.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

About BlueHost Hosting

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

 


 

What’s in this BlueHost review?

BlueHost Plans & Pricing

Verdict

 


 

Discount: BlueHost Shared Hosting at $2.95/mo

No coupon or promotion code is needed. Just purchase via our promo link (see below) and you’ll get 55% discount from your first BlueHost bill.

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

BlueHost Discounted Price vs Non-discounted Price

Not all BlueHost prices are the same. As BlueHost’s exclusive partner, we are able to give you the best BlueHost deal. This special discount is applicable to all shared hosting plans – Starter, Plus, and Business Pro.

For easy reference, here’s the before- and after-discount prices (36-month subscription) in comparison.

BlueHost Shared Plans Without Discount With Discount Savings (in 3 yr)
Basic $7.99/mo $2.95/mo $181.44
Plus $10.99/mo $5.45/mo $199.44
Prime $14.99/mo $5.45/mo $343.44

 

 Get this exclusive BlueHost discount, click here

 

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Pros of BlueHost Hosting

1- Excellent server performance – average hosting uptime above 99.95%

Besides the two major network outages (reported in August 2013 and December 2013) due to router issues in the EIG-owned data center located at Provo, Utah, BlueHost server has been stable and rarely went down for more than 10 minutes.  recorded downtime at BlueHost was less than 10 minutes most o Test site hosted on BlueHost has not go down for more than 1637+ hours ).

BlueHost uptime (March 2018): 99.98%

Previous records

* Click image to enlarge. 

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)

Aug 2014: 99.98%

BlueHost Uptime Record for the past 30 days (August 2014)

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2- Server speed (TTFB below 500ms) meets expectation

When it comes to server speed, Bluehost performance meets my expectations. With an average Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) of below 500ms on Webpage Test, Bluehost has enough speed for current web standard.

 WebpageTest.org Speed Test 

Speed test on Jan 29th, 2018: Test site returned first response in 488ms.

 

As for Bitcatcha, Bluehost managed to score an overall B rating with U.S. servers achieving 23ms and 64ms response for West Coast and East Coast servers respectively.

Bitcatcha Speed Test

March 2017: B+. Longer load time for request from US (w) and (E); but better result in general when compared to previous test.
bluehost feb 2016 speed
February 2016: B. BlueHost took 23 and 26 milliseconds to respond to United States West and East Coast test servers. Web host rated as “B” when compared with Bitcatcha’s benchmark.

 

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3- Well recognized brands in hosting industry

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.

Recommended by WordPress.org

BlueHost is on top of WordPress.org’s host recommendation list.

WordPress.org’s official statement: ” Easily scalable and backed by legendary 24/7 support by in-house WordPress experts.” (source)

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4- Positive results in WHSR Hosting Surveys (2013 & 2016)

We did a survey in December 2013 and asked 35 web experts for their hosting advice. BlueHost came up as the #2 most recommended web host in the survey.

Lori Soard, Paul Crowe, Kevin Muldoon, and Sharon Hurley recommended BlueHost hosting.

web hosting votes
16 web hosting brands were mentioned in this survey.

BlueHost in WHSR’s 2016 Survey

We did another survey in 2016. This time we interviewed more than 200 respondents.

BlueHost stood out as the #3 most mentioned brands and was rated average (score 2.2) by 13 users.

Numbers of web hosting brands mentioned in the survey.

BlueHost User Feedback (From WHSR’s 2013 Survey)

We asked “If you could recommended 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).

 

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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.

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6- Full account daily backup and restoration

Bluehost offers daily backup and full restorations on their hosting plans, which is great as having a backup of your website on a daily basis is absolutely important.

If your website goes down or if you need to revert to an older state, you can easily restore it by requesting it via their live chats.

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7- Newbies-friendly – easy to use control center

The overall onboarding experience at BlueHost was smooth.

And I like how BlueHost custom-designed dashboard works.

All frequent use apps and features are grouped into “website” section at BlueHost dashboard.

 

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8- 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.

Shared – Prime VPS – Enhanced Dedicated – Enhanced
Storage Unlimited 60 GB 1 TB (Mirrored)
RAM Shared 4 GB 8 GB Available
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited 10 TB
IP Addresses 2 4
Support 24/7 24/7 24/7
Signup (36-mo) $5.95/mo $29.99/mo $99.99/mo
Renewal Rate $14.99/mo $59.99/mo $159.99/mo

 

 

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Cons of BlueHost Hosting

1- Price increases during renewal

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 Plans
Signup (36-mo)
Renewal
Increase
Basic
$2.95/mo
$7.99/mo
170%
Plus
$5.95/mo
$10.99/mo
84%
Prime
$5.95/mo
$14.99/mo
151%

 

 

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2- 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.

What Bluehost’s “Unlimited” means.

Limitations in BlueHost database usage.

Bluehost unlimited hosting space.

 

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3- Most server upgrades and additional features are costly

Bluehost supplies every user with all the basic functionalities that they need to host their website on all of their hosting plans. However, if you want to have server upgrades or add more features to your website, it’s going to cost you.

While Bluehost does offer great overall hosting plans, the fact that upgrading servers and adding features can be quite costly, is a huge downside for the hosting company.

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Pricing: How Much is BlueHost Hosting?

Shared hosting plans

Basic Plus Prime
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited
Storage 50 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Email Account 5 Unlimited Unlimited
Free Domain 1 1 1
Addon Domains 0 Unlimited Unlimited
Inodes Limit 50,000* 50,000* 300,000
 Private SSL  – 1
Promo Price
(36-month term)
$2.95/mo $5.45/mo $5.45/mo
Renewal Rate
(24-month term)
$7.99/mo $10.99/mo $14.99/mo

 

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

 

VPS hosting plans and details

Features Standard Enhanced Ultimate
CPU Core 2 2 4
RAM 2 GB 4 GB 8 GB
Disk Space 30 GB 60 GB 120 GB
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
IP Address 1 2 2
Price $19.99/mo $29.99/mo $59.99/mo

 

 

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Verdict: BlueHost – A Pay for Performance Host

Given the fact that you are only paying ~$5/mo on signup, BlueHost shared hosting services are considered okay. The web host scored 52 in our 80-point rating system.

It’s also 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 ($39.99/mo on renewal).

BlueHost is recommended for…

Definitely for the small businesses and newbie bloggers/website owners who want a budget solution for their hosting needs. If you want VPS hosting, I recommend checking out SiteGround or Hostgator as they offer better performance with overall price that is cheaper.

Quick Recap


For more details or to order BlueHost, visit (link opens in new window): http://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 8 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. )