If you’ve ever tried to pick hosting services, you must know it requires much time and effort. Response time, uptime, types of web hosting, prices, opportunities for integrations, and support quality are only a few of the main features you need to pay attention to. And we haven’t even started mentioning various technical subtleties that can affect your site performance or email deliverability. But we in Folderly know how to make it simple.
In this review, we are going to dissect a web hosting service that Bluehost offers. What are the company’s advantages? What do users say about Bluehost support? What hosting plans does it suggest, and are the prices any reasonable? Can it be called the best web hosting company? Be sure you will not have a single question without an answer left after reading this Bluehost review.
Main Facts About Bluehost
The hosting provider was founded in 2003 in Utah. Its team achieved the first significant milestone of one million registered domains in 2008. Bluehost powers over two million sites inside and beyond the United States.
Among Bluehost users, you might find large e-stores and delicate personal blogs, solid corporate sites, and resources of small business owners. Because of the high performance, stable customer support, and utilities like free site builder, Bluehost hosting is suitable for newbies who are just starting their journey in digital business. Needless to say, experienced companies also prefer this web hosting provider due to its simplicity, transparent pricing policy, and wide range of hosting services and packages.
The stable performance of Bluehost servers allows site owners to forget about main tech issues and concentrate on commercial outcomes. And with a vast range of available integrated instruments, Bluehost users can freely choose the best email marketing tools and plug any analytical software to their taste.
Now, let’s proceed to a more detailed review of the hosting packages and features to determine whether it deserves to be called one of the best web hosting services.
Giving your site into the arms of a hosting provider is like picking the right school for your kids - the whole future success depends on it. Your blog or online store should be well protected from bullies (read spammers and hackers). It must get good grades and demonstrate excellent performance (read launch pages rapidly and work 24/7). It would also be great if the school had an awesome football team, literature club, pool, and highly professional staff. What does it mean in terms of web hosting providers? A website builder, free domain name, free SSL, dedicated IP address, unmetered bandwidth, and other free or cheap complements.
So, what about Bluehost services? Are they good enough to provide round-the-clock site work? What features will make your Bluehost website flourish and captivate your users? Let’s take a closer look.
Full Integration With WordPress
If you own a WordPress site, addressing Bluehost will be a win-win strategy. The provider is an official WordPress partner. What advantages does it open?
- An automatic installation of the latest version right from the very first day of your paid hosting plan;
- auto-updates to the newest version;
- flawless development and maintenance of a Woocommerce online store;
- free integrated website builder.
WordPress site maintenance and development become a pure pleasure with Bluehost. Its in-house team includes a massive staff of WordPress developers to provide timely updates and support.
One Year of Free Domain
When you acquire web hosting services, saving is the first place for many newbies. That’s why the company gives a free domain for a year for everyone and each Bluehost hosting plan. Most Bluehost reviews outline this feature as one of the most decisive for making up their mind.
Free SSL Certificate
The cheapest hosting package provides users with free SSL for one year. Other Bluehost plans include free SSL certificates for an unlimited period. For many website owners, it’s not a big deal. But most beginners might experience some inconveniences in getting and installing the certificate from scratch. With excellent customer support, everything becomes easy.
Bluehost Integrations With Google WorkSpace
Not many business owners consider a well-thought email marketing strategy when they just launch their site and choose hosting services. So, when it comes to integrating the best cold outreach tools, they simply waste time and resources. Conversely, it’s better to look ahead and take into account what your hosting provider offers.
You can switch on your email marketing and internal communication with Google tools. Bluehost provides a full package of Google applications and allows you to create email addresses on your Gmail-powered domain. Depending on your needs, there are three pricing options: $3, $12, and $18 per month per user.
Simple Control Panel
The lack of a convenient admin panel becomes a stumbling block for users when they choose a hosting provider. Unlike the average Bluehost alternatives, the provider’s cPanel is marked by many clients as very easy to use from the first minutes of setup.
The panel is needed to manage your account settings, switch between accounts, sites or domains, sites and email configuration, domain management, and check billing options and payments. Also, users can apply to Bluehost's customer support via this panel.
Great Privacy and Security Features
Personal data protection refers not only to website owners but also to site users, especially if they are supposed to fill in their personal information on sites. Your personal data, like name and phone number, are automatically assigned to your domain name and are available in the public ICANN domain directory. Some scammers and your personal foes may use this for their purposes. That’s why Bluehost provides domain privacy and masks site owners’ data.
In addition, security measures include different utilities like SiteLock. It gives protection from viruses and malware and regularly monitors the health of your sites.
To protect your storage on dedicated server accounts, Bluehost plugs RAID Level 1 mirroring. This technology copies the so-called reflections of your data to other disks.
Speaking of backups, all basic web hosting plans provide up to three backups per month. More expensive packages allow more advanced monitoring and do backups freely. And for an extra $2.99 per month, webmasters can add CodeGuard Backup Basic to any plan and perform backups unlimitedly.
Customizable Login Credentials for Better Protection
For a managed WordPress hosting plan, users can change their credentials for logging in. Thus, your default credentials, including login URL, SFTP username, and Hosting panel URL, may look whatever you like.
Free Domain-Specific Email Addresses
Unlike Google Workspace, which you can add at a charge, there’s an option to add free professional emails right in the CPanel. Just click on the Email Account icon and then pick Create. A convenient menu will quickly guide you. And, yes, these email names will match your domain name.
But there are some drawbacks you might not like.
- This option is available only in a shared hosting package. This type of web hosting means you share servers with dozens or hundreds of other users. If some of them turn out to be spammers or are noticed in hazardous activity, the whole server will be marked by email spam filters as unreliable. In this case, your emails are unlikely to hit inboxes regardless of recipient type.
- The outdated email client provokes a yearning for many modern users who have tried Gmail or Yahoo.
Summing up, it’s obvious that a free domain-specific email name is suitable for internal communication and casual correspondence with partners. So despite its cons, it still might be helpful for some beginners. But under no circumstances should you use this option for cold outreach. You’d better add Google Workspace tools to your basic plan instead.
Google My Business Verification
Once you develop your site and choose web hosting, you will want everybody to learn about your local business. Google My Business remains one of the best traffic sources for sites representing local companies.
By picking WordPress hosting or shared hosting services by Bluehost, you get an instant opportunity to verify your company on Google. No more fuss and confusion; just make some setups in your panel.
Google & Microsoft Ads Credit
Touch context advertising with no risks just after connecting a site to the Bluehost web hosting. The company provides primary $150 one-time credit for the first campaign in Google Ads for shared hosting clients and up to $200 credit for Adwords or Bing for WordPress hosting users. By the way, the advertising options are available right in your panel in the Marketing tools section.
Another great reason to power your WordPress website with Bluehost is the free Jetpack plugin. It is used literally for everything: site migration to a new host, monitoring site changings, automatic backups, etc.
It’s worth mentioning that the Bluehost shared hosting package doesn’t include a default firewall. However, Jetpack security properties can fully cover this need. It protects your WordPress website login page from attacks, performs malware scans automatically, and blocks spam comments.
Still not convincing enough?
- Jetpack provides seamless integration with the most popular social media and email marketing services;
- includes themes, subscription blocks, images, slideshow tools, and many others for your site design;
- boosts site speed with the help of Google AMP technology, image CDN, and included fast video hosting.
That’s why you need to pay attention to Bluehost when choosing WordPress hosting.
Custom Site Builders
A standard site builder for a WordPress website isn’t that impressive since most web hosting services grant this function. But Bluehost went further and developed its own website builder. Use ready-made templates and tune their design whatever you like, or create each section on your own with a super-easy drag-and-drop function. It’s not free, though. If you pick the yearly billing option, the price starts from $2.95/month. But what do you get in return?
- Upload an unlimited number of videos, audios, and pictures;
- use an impressive library of images;
- manage your CSS rules right in the builder if needed;
- combine the site builder with WordPress builder for better customization;
- connect with a customer support team.
Impressive Number of Site Tools and Add-Ons
Besides a classic free website builder for WP, the web hosting provider gives other tools for design. They are Weebly and goMobi.
On your choice, just with one click, you are free to add dozens of other properties (optimized for WordPress and other CMSs):
- create forums for users,
- add a calendar,
- integrate booking plugins for transfers and hotels,
- provide numerous billing options,
- arrange ticket purchasing,
- install different image galleries.
Cloudflare is a technology that caches all your static site content to subsequently reduce the requests to a web hosting provider's servers. It improves site performance because the cached content is displayed through proxy servers located closer to users and not directly from a provider’s servers. Furthermore, it can conceal your main IP address from attacks by proxying traffic to Cloudflare, which is another protection bonus.
Cloudflare is automatically enabled in a shared hosting plan and easily configured through CPanel, in the Domains section. Cloudflare is available for dedicated hosting servers and VPS hosting users upon request.
Fast Page Load
Instead of spinning disk drives, the Bluehost hosting provider uses solid-state drives for most hosting packages. It allows sites powered by Bluehost to boast of lightning loadings. The top-notch hardware also perfectly complements CDN technologies. It stimulates the loading of large files like images or videos making it quicker.
While other web hosting companies sore your eyes with loud claims of uptime guarantee, Bluehost doesn’t act this way. These guys just humbly do it with no boasting. The uptime of this service is the highest in the industry, and we will discuss it below.
Performance and Response Time Tracking
As we’ve just mentioned solutions that improve Bluehost websites' speed, it's high time to discuss the average performance features of this web hosting service. We are going to take a look at server response time, uptime, page loading time, and Largest Contentful Paint.
Very few web hosting services claim with maximum confidence that their uptime is 99% and more. However, Bluehost does. Whether you paid for dedicated hosting or shared WordPress hosting for a personal blog, you can be sure your resource will be accessible with the minimal interruptions possible. Indeed, the average uptime the users of Bluehost hosting have tracked is 99,8%. When choosing a web hosting company, it is worth paying attention to.
What about response time? Obviously, for the American and Canadian users, this parameter is the highest and reaches 46ms. If you’re in Asia, the response time for your website will be approximately 220ms. But these results refer to loading plain text, so what are figures when we talk about real sites? Users that tracked the SRT say it is between 220 and 360ms, which is still a brilliant result. It means that with this hosting service, a regular time between when someone clicks on your website and your server starts to display the page content to your visitor is less than one second.
Finally, will Bluehost hosting harm your SEO performance? Largest Contentful Paint is a metric that shows the loading time of the ‘heaviest’ visual element. It significantly influences your ranking on Google. The standard value of this parameter is 1,8 seconds for Bluehost sites. So, no adverse effect on your positions on SERP.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
Before switching to another review in search of a Bluehost alternative, weigh all the pros and cons. Despite some minor disadvantages, we think this web hosting provider is worth every penny. So here is the complete list.
- Sublime security features. Bluehost guarantees security and data protection by giving free domain privacy properties like SiteLock against attacks and malware, masked personal data of site owners, regular automatic backups, free SSL certificate, Cloudflare for preventing DDoS, and more.
- Easy-to-use control panel. The intuitive design of the Bluehost CPanel allows even inexperienced users to take the role of an advanced webmaster. It includes everything from website builders and design features to security and Bluehost API settings. As a cherry on top, right in the panel, you can get access to the Bluehost marketplace with all possible add-ons and plugins.
- Fast and multichannel customer support. Bluehost support is one of the strongest suits of the hosting service. Users can address support specialists via different channels and literally any time they need. Proceed to read to know more.
- One year of a free domain. Don’t pay for your domain for a whole year after registration. Instead, you can add some paid plugins.
- Outstanding performance and uptime. Regardless of not giving a solid uptime guarantee, the web hosting provider ensures one of the highest uptimes in the industry.
- Free site migration with lots of conditions. Many competitors allow site owners to migrate to their web hosting for free. This option is vastly popular among WordPress hosting providers. Bluehost also allows first-time users to migrate to one WordPress site for free, but there are numerous conditions. Thus, the site's database must not exceed 40MB, run on at least PHP version 7.0 and 4.7 WordPress version, and the available file size should be under 2GB.
- No monthly billing for VPS hosting plans and dedicated hosting plans. If you choose Bluehost, mind that this cooperation is for long. Monthly billing is available only for basic shared hosting packages and only if you renew your subscription.
- Higher renewal prices. It’s a tricky issue as not many users pay attention to it. But, for instance, if you paid $2,99 for your plan, your next payment will increase. So when submitting to any hosting plan by Bluehost, carefully look through all payment conditions.
Bluehost Cost and Packages
There are six main web hosting plans available:
- simple WordPress hosting;
- managed WordPress hosting (WP Pro);
- shared hosting;
- dedicated hosting;
- VPS hosting;
- package for online stores.
Do you own a WP site? Then this is a perfect match. The package is suitable for small business websites and includes all basic properties. You can make the first purchase for 12 or 36 months. After this term expires, you can renew your package every month, every 6 months, or choose between 1 year, two years, or three years of billing.
Here are the price packages for WordPress hosting service by Bluehost:
- Basic package (10 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL for one year and free CDN, one website connection) starts from $2.75/month;
- Plus package (multiple sites connection, unlimited storage space, unlimited free SSL certificate) costs $4.95/month;
- Choice plus (everything above + free domain privacy + free automated backups for one year + unlimited websites) also for $4.95/month;
- Pro package (everything above + free dedicated IP address) is available for $13.95/month.
Managed WordPress Plan
This plan is tailored specifically for advanced WP site owners and includes a huge range of marketing instruments. It is also a must if you own several commercial websites. The plan comes in three variations.
- Build: a package with analytics tools, a marketing center, 100+ site themes, daily scheduled backups, domain privacy, and malware protection. Starting at $19.95/month.
- Grow: in addition to Build features, you get 10GB of video compression, advanced SEO tools, business review tools, and premium ticket support. The price is $29.95/month.
- Scale: consists of everything above + premium chat support, ElasticSearch module, unlimited backups, PayPal integration, and unlimited video compression. Starting at $49.95.
Actually, it is the same as WordPress hosting. It has identical features and pricing options. It is great for both WP and sites powered by other CMSs. It is a good basic plan for small-sized web resources like blogs or forums.
Big sites with complex functionality and high traffic require dedicated hosting, so they get separate dedicated servers. By picking such a type of host in Bluehost company, you also get an option of multi-server management - you can add numerous other sites and hosting plans to your account. Types of packages are:
- Standard: comes with three dedicated IPs, 4 GB RAM, 2.3 GHz and 4 Threads CPU, 2 x 500 GB storage with RAID level 1, and 5 TB network bandwidth. The cost - $79.99/month.
- Enhanced: costs $99.99/month and provides 2.5 GHz and 8 Threads CPU, 8 GB RAM, 2 x 1000 GB Storage, 10 TB network bandwidth, and four dedicated IPs.
- Premium: 3.4 GHz and 8 Threads CPU, 16 GB RAM, 2 x 1000 GB Storage, 15 TB network bandwidth, five dedicated IPs. The price is $119.99/month.
A virtual private server suits ideally to host an unlimited number of sites and domains. This is a great option for app developers and designers who wish to create more.
- Standard: for $19.99/month you get 30 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, fully functioning CPanel, 1 IP Address.
- Enhanced: great package with 60 GB SSD storage, 4 GB RAM, 2 TB bandwidth, CPanel, and 2 IP Addresses. Starting from $29.99/month.
- Ultimate: for big projects that require at least 120 GB SSD storage, 8 GB RAM, 3 TB bandwidth, CPanel, and 2 IP Addresses. For $59.99/month.
Online Store Plan (WooCommerce Hosting)
This plan is full-packed with necessary marketing instruments powered by WooCommerce. Future online stores are easily configured and are ready to sell almost immediately. The hosting options are:
- Standard for $12.95/month: plugins for customizable user reviews, blogs, email marketing, discount codes, an unlimited number of products, CodeGuard backup basic for one year, and tools for analytics.
- Premium costs $24.95/month: consists of everything above, with options for online bookings & appointment scheduling, subscriptions, customizable products, and free domain privacy.
So, we’ve mentioned in the Pros & Cons section there are some unpleasant surprises about package cost. Please note that when you renew your hosting plan, prices increase. The good news is that more billing opportunities become available afterward.
Bluehost provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. Canceling an account and getting a refund is possible for new users within the first 30 days after the initial purchase. For most add-ons, moneyback is impossible, so we recommend holding your horses by buying them before you try basic services and decide what you really need.
When picking the best web hosting services, you should not miss the quality of customer support. So, what does Bluehost offer?
All users are free to ask their questions 24/7 with the help of live chat, emails, support tickets, and calls (use telephone number 888-401-4678). It’s 100% off charge. There are minor drawbacks, however. Some reviews say that answers aren’t as fast as expected. Still, the quality of assist is pretty high.
Bluehost offers paid premium support package called Blue Sky for those who prefer impeccable service in all manifestations. With this service, you receive the professional help of highly skilled company experts. You won’t need to spend hours to find a piece of information. More details on premium support can be available by this number: 844-815-8968.
But if you want to become an expert yourself, a vast knowledge base and fascinating blog are at your disposal. Prepare your site for a long journey with simple installation instructions and set up emails easily - the knowledge base is comprehensive and easy to navigate.
Bluehost hosting service is a perfect choice for any company. If you own a WordPress website, set all doubts aside and get the maximum of this offer. At your disposal are professional marketing services, a wide range of great hosting packages with good terms, excellent support, and one of the industry's highest uptimes and performance features.
Yes, there are some drawbacks, like a twisted pricing policy and no free site migration. But you can be 100% sure of the reliability of the service. Small business websites and complex online stores will be available and secure to use for anyone on the web. More than 2 million users call Bluehost the best web hosting, as its advantages definitely outweigh the cons.