Bluehost Web Hosting Review – 2016
A continuation of my hosting review series brings us to Bluehost web hosting. Bluehost remains one of the largest online hosting providers with over 2 million registered domains. Does their popularity come as a result of good value, or does the hype fall flat? Find out now in my 2016 Bluehost web hosting review.
Product: Bluehost Web Hosting – Bluehost has been providing web hosting since they launched in 2003.
Overall Ranking: 79 out of 100.
Price: Bluehost web hosting starts as low as $2.95/month for a basic shared hosting plan. Virtual Private Server (VPS) and Dedicated Server (DDS) hosting packages are also available. Price points for these plans fall into leveled tiers and will be discussed in their respective section of this review. Bluehost offers WordPress and Woocommerce hosting which will also be discussed in detail later in this review.
*Note: All plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
Owner: Endurance International Group.
Introduction To Bluehost Web Hosting
It was in Orem, Utah back in December of 2003 when Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth gave Bluehost its beginning. Bluehost has come a long way since its early days. In 2007, a short 5 years later, Bluehost hit the 500,000 mark for registered domains. It took them 1 more year to double that amount which put them past the 1 million mark. By 2010 Bluehost had made an international name for themselves, cumulating in their acquisition by Endurance International Group.
In 2013 Bluehost launched its VPS and DDS hosting services, and later that same year the Endurance International Group went public. In 2014 Bluehost released its Optimized Hosting For WordPress, and just recently came out with Cloudsites in 2015. As you can see, Bluehost has had quite a journey in the last 13 years and now boasts the whole package when it comes to web hosting.
Pros And Cons Of Bluehost Web Hosting
There are obvious benefits to going with such a big name hosting service such as Bluehost. They’ve had plenty of time to develop their service and iron out the problem areas every growing company experiences. Here’s a list of the goods that come along with Bluehost web hosting.
- A Known And Trusted Brand Name – Any hosting company that boasts over 2 million registered domains didn’t get there by providing a poor hosting experience. They’ve delivered on what they’ve promised, time and time again.
- The Complete Array Of Hosting Services – Since their addition of VPS hosting, DDS hosting, and Cloudsites, Bluehost has joined the ranks of those companies that offer a full spectrum of hosting services.
- A 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Although 30 days may not be enough to fairly self evaluate a hosting service, it is enough to determine the level of customer service. First impressions can be a big factor and they often give glimpses of future issues. If you have a bad taste from the outset you can feel safe in the knowledge your money is guaranteed for that first month.
- *Note: The money back guarantee does not apply to the cost of your domain, but you will own all transferable rights to that domain.
- Resource Protection – This one really stands out. Should your site(s) have any sudden increase in usage, Bluehost will temporarily allocate your hosting to an isolated server. This ensures your site will be able to flawlessly handle the spike in usage.
- Easy Scale Options – Scalability is another important feature in my opinion. Why pay for hosting that you have to soon transfer due to inability to provide for your site’s growing needs? Bluehost makes scaling easy with just the click of a button.
- Bluehost Uses Cpanel – Bluehost has taken Cpanel a step further by adding tools that allow you to easily manage your sites, domains, emails, and more from one location.
One initial concern with a company as large as Bluehost is the level of service and quality of support. According to Hostingfacts.com Bluehost doesn’t score very well in either category. Here are some of the major concerns expressed:
- Site Load Speed – According to speed tests performed over a 1 year period, Bluehost servers took much longer to load than their numerous competitors. Not good when visitors are quick to bounce away at any second.
- Customer Support – It was reported that during peak hours it took 43 minutes to get through to support. This is the typical result of having so many customers.
- Unclear Initial Pricing – It’s a little shady how Bluehost advertises such great deals, then things change considerably when you get to checkout. There are a lot of upsells (which you may or may not need), and you must pay for either a 1, 2, or 3 year plan. The good news is that you can secure the low starting price for up to 3 years if you pay upfront.
- Negative Customer Feedback – Hostingfacts.com displays scores of negative remarks from unhappy customers. They mostly revolve around the first 3 points above.
- Paid Training – If you need help with the initial setup of your website Bluehost will charge you $79.99. The training lasts a little under an hour. Most hosting sites would do this for free.
- Paid Migration – If you already have a website and you want to move it over to Bluehost, it will run you $149.99. Again, most hosting companies offer this service for free.
Anytime I look at a company as big as Bluehost I always wonder if their size has had an effect on their service. It’s so hard to keep a company top notch with such a huge amount of customers. The biggest concern I have from my point of view is the slower than average site speed. Slow site load time is definitely a problem if it is the norm.
Who Is Most Suited To Bluehost Web Hosting?
Bluehost offers the complete package of hosting services for almost any level of hosting needs. From the small start up to the fully developed website, Bluehost has the solution. Bluehost web hosting fits well for those that don’t mind an annual plan, or the big business.
Bluehost Training And Tools
I’ve already marked the training down in the Cons category. It’s big business that charges money for less than an hour of training. They do offer a youtube channel with some pretty clear training material. You might be better off following the videos and doing the setup yourself.
Bluehost does list a sales number and they have a live chat option for any questions you might have before registration. Paid members will access their tools through Bluehost’s enhanced Cpanel. Follow any link to Bluehost.com from this review and you’ll find an option to test drive their Cpanel. See for yourself exactly how it works.
Bluehost Web Hosting Plans And Features
Plans With Price Points
Bluehost offers different level packages with the types of hosting that they offer. We’ll start with Bluehost’ most basic shared hosting options.
Shared Hosting Plans
Bluehost web hosting offers shared hosting at 3 different price points. This is what’s available:
- Basic Shared Hosting Plan – This plan goes for $2.95/month and is the lowest cost plan. It includes 50 GB of website space and is limited to only 1 website.
- Plus Shared Hosting Plan – Get this one for $3.95/month and add unlimited websites and website space.
- Prime Shared Hosting Plan – Offered for $4.95/month. Comes with unlimited features and a few extra add ons.
WordPress Hosting Plans
Bluehost offers hosting specifically for WordPress websites. It is VPS hosting that comes in four different plan options.
- The Blogger Plan – The basic WordPress hosting plan. It runs $12.49 for the first month and $24.99 thereafter. The Blogger plan is good for up to 100 million monthly visits, offers up to 5 websites, and gives 2 GB of RAM.
- The Professional Plan – The next plan in line hosts up to 10 websites and has a capacity of 300 million monthly visits. It also doubles in space giving 4 GB of RAM. The Professional plan runs for $37.50 the first month and $74.99 after that.
- The Business Plan – Scaling up to this plan will cost $60.00 the first month and $119.00 for all ensuing months. All of the main features double in size from the Professional plan.
- The Enterprise Plan – Topping out with an unlimited amount of monthly visitors and hosting up to 30 websites is Bluehost’ Enterprise plan. It offers 240 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. This one starts at $85.00 and jumps up to $169.99 after the first month.
WordPress With WooCommerce Hosting
Bluehost offers hosting for WordPress websites with Woocommerce already installed. Buy your domain and select this service to get it all going. Here’s the different packages and what they cost.
- The Starter Plan –The Woocommerce basic package. It runs
$13.99$12.95/month and is limited to 100 GB of website space. The Starter Plan comes with Positive SSL security, and $100 in marketing offers.
- The Plus Plan – The middle tiered Woocommerce package offered by Bluehost. It runs
$17.99$15.95/month and comes with unlimited website space. The Plus Plan also comes with Positive SSL security.
- The Pro Plan – The most intensive of the Woocommerce plans. The Pro Plan runs
$31.99$23.95/month and switches to higher security with Comodo SSL.
VPS Hosting Plans
Bluehost web hosting offers Virtual Private Servers to those who want increased power, speed, and flexibility for their websites. Choose from 4 tiers of VPS hosting, or start with the lowest and scale up.
- Standard VPS Hosting – Bluehost’ Standard VPS hosting is marked down from $29.99 to $14.99 per month. Powered with 2 CPU cores, the Standard package offers 30 GB of storage, 2 GB of RAM, and a bandwidth of 1 TB.
- Enhanced VPS Hosting – The Enhanced plan usually goes for $59.99 but is currently marked down to $29.99/month. It is also powered with 2 CPU cores, but jumps up to 60 GB of storage. The Enhanced plan also increases to 4 GB of RAM and a bandwidth of 2 TB.
- Premium VPS Hosting – Moving up to the 3rd level will run $44.99/month, marked down from its normal price of $89.99/month. The Premium plan increases to 3 CPU cores and has a storage limit of 120 GB. The RAM jumps up to 6 GB and the bandwidth to 3 TB.
- Ultimate VPS Hosting – Bluehost’ Ultimate VPS hosting is currently cut from $119.99 to $59.99/month. The Ultimate package will run your site off of 4 CPU cores and gives the fastest site speed available.
Bluehost Dedicated Server Hosting
Those sites with the most pressing usage and therefore most advanced hosting needs turn to dedicated server hosting. Bluehost offers 3 tiered packages for sites with exactly such requirements.
- The Standard Dedicated Server Plan – Bluehost has its standard dedicated servers priced at $74.99 for the first month, then increasing to $149.99/month. The standard plan will run your site off of four 2.5 GHz CPU cores. Bluehost offers a powerful basic package that comes with 4 GB of RAM and a bandwidth of 5 TB.
- The Enhanced Dedicated Server Plan – The middle level of dedicated server hosting goes for $99.99 the first month, then raises to $199.99/month. The enhanced plan doubles the RAM and bandwidth offered in the standard package, but gives no increase in core power.
- The Premium Dedicated Server Plan – The premium plan is the top hosting plan offered by Bluehost web hosting and runs $124.99 for the first month. The price will increase to $249.99 after that period. 4 combined 3.3 GHz CPU cores run your site when you go with the premium dedicated server plan. RAM increases to 16 GB and bandwidth goes up to 15 TB.
Bluehost Special Features
Bluehost web hosting now provides cloud hosting with 3 available plans. Cloud hosting secures copies of your website on three different devices. If the hardware on your main server should fail, one device will keep your site up and running while the other two work to rebuild your server. Cloudsites are said to be safer and faster than shared hosting but do cost a little more.
- The Cloudsite Starter Plan – Cut in price from $9.99 to $5.95/month with limitations of one website and 100 GB of storage space. The starter plan includes 2 available CPU and 2 GB of RAM.
- The Cloudsite Performance Plan – Currently reduced from $13.99 to $8.95/month with no website or storage space limitations. The performance plan includes 4 available CPU and 4 GB of RAM.
- The Cloudsite Business Pro Plan – Slashed from a regular price of $25.99 to $15.95/month with no website or storage limitations. The business pro plan includes 6 available CPU and 6 GB of RAM.
Bluehost Education Hosting Plans
Known as the Education Student Bundle which offers simple solutions to student needs and comes at a flat rate of $4.95/month. It requires your .edu email address to get started and can be used by students and faculty alike. Take a look at some of the features included in the student bundle:
- A Free Domain Name For 1 Year
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- cPanel Control Panel
- Unlimited Disk Storage
- Keep As You Like After Graduation
- Unlimited Domain Hosting
Bluehost support starts at the main website and offers several options. Because of reported wait times, I suggest first using their search bar to find archived solutions to frequently asked questions. Bluehost has a vast database of guides, instructions, articles, and youtube tutorials. Chances are that one of these resources will have the answer you’re looking for.
In the case that your circumstance require direct contact you can use the live chat feature or any of the listed phone numbers which will get you to the right department. Remember that wait times can occur, especially during peak hours.
Bluehost prices are slightly above those of its competitors, but are by no means the highest. As with most name brands you can expect a bit of price inflation that goes along with the trust and experience offered. Dreamhost is another big name in hosting and perhaps another good example of name brand pricing.
Overall Ranking: 79 out of 100.
If you’re going to go with name brand hosting I would suggest an inspection of my Dreamhost review. They are a bit pricier than Bluehost (though maybe not with all the Bluehost add ons) which could be a determining factor. Anyone could understand that. I felt much more confident in my review of Dreamhost and would go with them if a few more dollars a month doesn’t bother you.
For my own sites I don’t use Bluehost, Dreamhost, or any other hosting service. If you’re looking to start a blog or build any kind of website that will involve search engine marketing read my Wealthy Affiliate University Review. I went this route and by doing so consolidated all my costs. I also got the training I needed, an unlimited amount of support, and shared hosting that outperforms many of the name brands. All factors directly responsible for my online success.
Let me know what you thought of my Bluehost web hosting review! Correct me if I’m wrong. Share a positive or negative Bluehost experience. Agree with my assessment or just drop by to say hello. Any overuse of my social buttons or subscription sign up form will be heavily applauded! Thanks for your time.