BlueHost Review

Reviewed by: Jerry Low . .
  • Review Updated: Aug 09, 2021
BlueHost
Plan in review: Basic
Reviewed by: Jerry Low
Rating:
Review Updated: August 09, 2021
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.

Did you know Bluehost host more than 2 million websites on their platform? BlueHost is extremely popular and they are one of the cheapest web hosts in market.

My Experience with BlueHost

In this BlueHost Review, you’ll get the inside scoop – from server performance stats to user dashboard demo – from a 16 years BlueHost customer.

I have been using BlueHost shared hosting service since 2005. I used to host several websites on a very old BlueHost plan named “BlueHost Platinum Pak” and I have another BlueHost hosting account signed up in 2020 for a side project.

I also run speed tests and monitor BlueHost server availability using self-built tools – so I can share their server performance data based on my first hand experience.

So… Let's not waste time and dive in.

About BlueHost, the Company

  • Headquarter: Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S.
  • Established: 2003, by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth
  • Services: Shared, VPS & Dedicated Hosting; Website & Online Store Builder, Professional Website Management Service,
  • Background: Bluehost was sold to Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2010 and EIG is sold to Clearlake Capital for $3 billion in November 2020.

 

What's in this BlueHost review?

 

 


 

Pros: What I Like about BlueHost Services

1. Reliable – Excellent Hosting Uptime

Average Hosting Uptime Above 99.95%

I run a test site (HostScore1.xyz) on BlueHost and track its performance using a self-built system named HostScore. Over the years my test site has been stable and am constantly getting above 99.95% uptime – it rarely went down for more than 10 minutes.

For latest results, check out this page where I publish BlueHost latest performance data in beautiful charts.

BlueHost Uptime Records

bluehost 2021 uptime
BlueHost Uptimg Record for May – July, 2021: 100%, 99.99%, and 100%.
BlueHost Hosting Uptime (Jan - Feb, 2020)
BlueHost hosting uptime for January and February 2020: 100%

 

2. Speed Meets Expectation – Fast Page Loading Speed

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

BlueHost Webpage Test Results

Recent BlueHost Speed Tests
BlueHost speed test from London, United Kingdom – TTFB = 590 ms. Our test site is hosted in United States – hence latency is higher for test node in U.K. (review actual test result).

BlueHost Bitcatcha Test Results

BlueHost took 48 and 59 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. Low Introductory Price ($2.75 per month)

Bluehost offers plans that give new users an excellent soft landing into the world of web hosting. For just $2.75/mo, you get everything necessary for hosting a single website. If you would like to stretch a plan to cover more than a single site, $5.34/mo allows you to host unlimited numbers of them.

These rates are lower than typically available for entry-level hosting, as found in our latest web hosting price study.

bluehost shared hosting pricing
BlueHost's Shared Hosting Plans offer an easy and economical way to get your website connected to the Internet. A basic one site hosting with 50 GB SSD Storage costs $2.75/month if you signup for 3 years (order here).

 

4. 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.

Also read our list of cheap WordPress hosting.

BlueHost - Recommended WordPress Hosting
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).

 

5. Comprehensive Knowledgebase & Self-help 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 Knowledgebase
Demo: There are more than 750 pages in BlueHost user knowledgebase – the support documents are useful for users who wish to go on the “self-help route”.
BlueHost Support Doc
Demo: Extensive user support documents filled with screenshots and clear step-by-step instructions.

 

6. Newbies-friendly: Easy to Use for Beginners

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.

BlueHost User Dashboard Demonstration 

BlueHost User Dashboard
BlueHost User Dashboard. Users get to control everything – register new domain, setup emails, pay hosting bills, install new plugins, manage security features – about their account here. First-timers can use links in the “Helpful Links” section to navigate and move around quickly on BlueHost platform.
BlueHost cPanel
BlueHost Shared Hosting is cPanel supported – to access your cPanel dashboard, go to Advanced > cPanel.
BlueHost Domain Control - Where to find BlueHost DNS
To purchase or manage your domain hosted with BlueHost, go to Domains. Note that you can obtain your BlueHost DNS information on this page (green arrow) – you'll need this information to point your domain to BlueHost servers.
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. Wide Web Hosting & Site Builder Options

If your business or website becomes bigger, BlueHost gives its users plenty of room to grow with the ability to upgrade to different hosting plans or add on services at a reasonable price.

For hosting server – you get to upgrade your shared hosting plans to VPS and Dedicated Hosting. For users who want a simple website – BlueHost also offers am A.I. powered Website Builder that allows you to build websites from quick-start templates.

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.

BlueHost VPS Hosting
BlueHost VPS Hosting starts at $8.99/mo and goes all the way up to $59.99/mo.
BlueHost Website Builder
BlueHost Website Builder comes with pre-built templates, custom fonts, built-in stock image library – which allows you to build a website with no coding knowledge.

 

BlueHost's Blue Sky
When it comes to business customers, Bluehost has additional services available – named “BlueSky” that can prove cost-effective. These come in at three levels – Costing $24/mo – $119/mo, 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 (learn more).

 

Cons: The Not-so-good about BlueHost Hosting

1. Unlimited Hosting 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.

 

2. Charges on Site Migration Assistance

If you sign up for new accounts, most web hosting companies tend to offer free site migration services – at least for one website. Sadly Bluehost doesn’t, and if you want them to move a website for you, it’ll cost $149 – not cheap at all.

bluehost migration
To initiate BlueHost assisted migration service, go to Marketplace > Site Migration. This is an addon service and cost $149.99 for every site migration.

 

3. No Automated Daily Backup

With reliability being such a vital aspect of running a website, it’s unfortunate that you need to make your backups at Bluehost. While you can do this easily with a plugin (if you’re using WordPress), it would have been a good value-add feature that is a norm with many other hosts.

 

 


 

How Much Does BlueHost Cost?

BlueHost Shared Hosting Plans & Pricing

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.

FeaturesBasicPlusChoice PlusPro
Websites1UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Email Accounts5UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Email Storage100MBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Website Space50 GBUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Max File Count200,000200,000200,000300,000
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
One Free Domain RegistrationIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
SubDomains25UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
One Free Domain PrivacyNoNoYesYes
Free Dedicated IPNoNoNoYes
Free SSL CertificateAuto SSLAuto SSLAuto SSLAuto SSL
Premium SSL CertificateNoNoNoPositive SSL
MySQL Databases20Unlimited*Unlimited*Unlimited*
Max Database Usage10 GB10 GB10 GB10 GB
Signup (/month)$2.75$5.45$5.45$13.95
Renewal (/month)$8.99$11.99$16.99$26.99

BlueHost Plus and Choice Plus have the same signup price ($5.45/mo) but they renew at a very different rate ($11.99/mo vs $16.99/mo). If you are unsure, start with a lower plan (Plus) and upgrade later if necessary.

Also – 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 $2.75/mo to $8.99/mo when you renew, which is a 170%(!) increase in price.

 

 

BlueHost VPS Hosting Plans & Pricing

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.

FeaturesStandardEnhancedPremiumUltimate
CPU (Cores)DualDualTripleQuad
CPU (Ghz)2.22.22.22.2
RAM (GB)2468
RAM (ECC)YesYesYesYes
RAM (Mhz)1600160016001600
SSD SAN Storage30 GB60 GB90 GB120 GB
Monthly Network Bandwidth1 TB2 TB2 TB3 TB
Free Domains1111
cPanel & WHM with RootYesYesYesYes
Dedicated IP1222
Free SSLYesYesYesYes
Renewal Price$29.99$59.99$89.99$119.99

 

 

BlueHost FAQs

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.

Is BlueHost Really that Popular?

We have done number of hosting surveys with our readers in the past. BlueHost is always one of the top recommended web hosts among bloggers and Internet 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

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.

 

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. Pro – BlueHost's highest performance shared hosting plan, costs $13.95/mo on signup ($26.99/mo on renewal). Managed WordPress Hosting, now with a new dashboard and integrated marketplace, costs $9.95/mo (and $19.95/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 best 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.
  • Hostinger – Most affordable shared hosting in market; Hostinger shared hosting plan comes with ultra low price tag and innovative features.
  • InMotion Hosting – Neck-to-neck pricing with BlueHost, InMotion comes with slightly better features and an extended money back guarantee of up to 90 days.

 

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.