Bluehost Full Review: Why It's So Popular?
Are you thinking of a host for your online store? Something affordable, probably? Well, Bluehost is one of the best 20 web hosting sites created by Matt Heaton and currently owned by Endurance International Group.
With hosting over two million sites, their mission is “To empower people to harness the web.” The company is well-known for its low prices, excellent customer service, and scalability options that even WordPress recommends it.
Bluehost's Hosting Plans
Bluehost offers different types of hosting depending on the plan you need. These include:
- Shared Hosting: For small-medium businesses looking for more room to grow. We'll get into all the details below.
- VPS Hosting: If you're a small or medium business looking for better options, VPS hosting is what you need. Price range between $18.99-$59.99/month.
- Dedicated Hosting: If you want your own dedicated server, you can do so for $79.99/month with Bluehost.
- Reseller Hosting: If you want to resell a server to third parties, Bluehost gives you the chance to do so. Plans start from $17.99/month.
- WordPress Hosting: If you're looking to host your WordPress website, Bluehost is highly recommended. Plans range between $2.95-$13.95/month.
All these types of hosting are offered by Bluehost, but we're here to focus on their shared hosting plans for small-medium businesses.
Bluehost’s Shared Hosting
If you’re starting a new project, a shared hosting plan is what you need. You’ll be sharing a server, but you’ll own hosting space for a lower price.
Unlike other websites, Bluehost offers an annual shared hosting plan varying from 1-3 years. Bluehost’s shared hosting prices decreases as you subscribe for a longer time. For example, if you want to sign up for website hosting for 36 months, prices range between $8.99 and $26.99.
There are four different shared hosting plans on Bluehost:
|Basic||Plus||Choice Plus (Recommended)||Pro|
|Number of Websites||One||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Max. files amount||200,000||200,000||200,000||300,000|
Number of Allowed Databases
|Max. DB Size||5GB||5GB||5GB||5GB|
|Starting Price (36 Month Plan)||$2.95/month||$5.45/month||$5.45/month||$13.95/month|
|Renewal Price (36 Month Plan)||$8.99/month||$11.99/month||$16.99/month||$26.99/month|
If you are just starting your website, you can choose any plan and later on upgrade to another one.
Despite not including a month-to-month plan, Bluehost offers affordable introductory shared hosting packages and has a lot to offer for the value of money spent. And if you decide to choose a plan, you can easily upgrade to a more advanced plan with a few clicks, which is vital for small businesses.
However, renewal prices are higher; that’s why it’s better to prepay two or three years upfront; the average monthly price decreases, but you’ll be paying in advance. You’ll also get a free domain for the first year and be charged afterward $17.99. Don’t worry! Your money won’t go to waste if you decide to go in a different direction; there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Whether you’re looking to pay using your credit card, PayPal, or check and money, Bluehost gives you an option. Credit cards include Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express; they’re all accepted. All you have to do is fill in your card number, cvv2 code, and expiry date code. On the other hand, PayPal can be used online, but it should be your default payment method for future auto-renewals.
If you don’t want to pay for your plan using a credit card or PayPal, there’s a Check or Money payment option. However, such an offer doesn’t come without conditions:
- Orders must be in U.S funds
- Accepted for hosting terms of 12 months or longer
If this is your first website, you’re probably looking for something easy to use. Bluehost is an adaptable hosting service; using the Weebly drag-and-drop website builder is an extra for users with no experience developing websites. The tools available make it easier for a beginner to build a website. Likewise, the free domain and the SSL certificates for the first year helps in maintaining the website.
If you feel a bit confused or lost, Bluehost offers great customer service support to help you with any problem you face. Don’t feel like contacting anyone? Not a problem! Bluehost has a blog full of articles, step-by-step guidelines, and video tutorials to help you with any problem you face.
When you can’t find a solution, you can resort to another way to contact an agent that will support you through live chat, email, or even phone support. They even encourage customers to contact them on social media. However, they don’t have a ticket-based support system, which is essential for issues that cannot be solved over live chat or phone.
You’re probably wondering if Bluehost is secure? To answer your question, the best indication is the inclusion of SSL certificates to ensure the information shared on your site is safe and encrypted. The good news is every shared hosting plan on Bluehost comes with a free SSL certificate.
Is there anything else to protect your site?
Yes! Bluehost offers other security features to ensure the safety of your websites, such as:
With email services, you get spam assassin protection that identifies spam mails. As a safety precaution, Bluehost offers it for free with their plans.
To avoid hotlinking from other websites, Bluehost has a Hotlink Protection security feature. There's no need to worry about anyone linking to your files and pictures.
You don't have to worry about losing your data; there are daily automatic site backups with Bluehost that help prevent major website disruptions.
Did I forget to mention they include a free CDN? Yes, that’s right, you get the chance to access free CDN after Bluehost partnered with Cloudflare recently.
All of these features make it one of the safest web hosting services. However, it is recommended for e-commerce sites to invest in extra security like the SSL premium certificate, which is only for $49.99/year. This is important for sites selling online as users might be adding personal information (credit card details); therefore, it’s essential to keep their data secure and encrypted.
Load Times, Reliability, and Features
Uptime & Speed
Despite hosting many websites, Bluehost has an uptime of 99.98%, with a total downtime of only one hour a year, making it one of the fastest services. This means you'll get a higher SEO ranking without putting in any effort.
Bluehost plans come with a lot of beneficial features that will blow your mind. You get unlimited emails, unlimited SSD storage, and unlimited bandwidth, depending on the plan you choose.
If you want to migrate your website, Bluehost does that free of charge. They even offer assistance if needed while migrating all your files.
For Advanced Users
Bluehost offers several customization tools for developers. In addition, free website scripts provided by the platform include social networking, Drupal, and Joomla.
Other features for advanced users include:
- Different programming languages:
- Ruby on Rails
Not to mention the MySQL database and FTP accounts & access. Not to mention the Secure Shell (SSH) Access for developers to safely shared data.
There are plenty of E-Commerce tools that can be bought on Bluehost to enhance your marketing. Some of the marketing tools you might need can be DaDa Mail, which costs $34.95/year and lets you send emails to your subscriber list. If you’re an online store, you might also need an application to accept payments.
Bluehost Website Building
You can use plenty of website builders to organize your websites on Bluehost, such as WordPress or Weebly. Using the drag-and-drop function can let you build a page with whatever content you might need. The free Weebly version allows you to add custom HTML and build up to six pages, but you can upgrade for the professional building for $8.99/month, which offers more services.
Custom Error Pages
To make your website look more professional, you can customize error pages. Bluehost has a step-by-step guide that tells you how to customize it from the cPanel in their knowledge base.
The best part about using Bluehost is there are a number of data centers worldwide, whether you're looking in North America, Europe, or the Far East, for everyone to use.
The downside of working with Bluehost is their constant upsell pitches, especially during the sign-up process. Luckily, you can easily uncheck any add-on if you don’t need it.
Especially if you choose the basic plan, which comes with some heavy restrictions, you will have to buy anything extra, like more security, or have multiple websites you’ll have to go for at least the next pricing tier, which is twice as expensive. Unfortunately, these restrictions are standard on the cheapest plans of any web hosting site used.
If you’re not sure Bluehost is the right decision for you, remember that it is highly recommended and ranked the #1 company by many. Over the years, it has hosted over two million sites and downloaded various products to improve its service. After all, you can try it for the first 30-days and get your money back if you don’t like it.
Like any other website, it has its pros and cons, so if you’re looking for unlimited bandwidth with high speed and a drag-and-drop builder, Go for it! After all, there’s a solution to every problem, and money value is seen in the features offered in every package!
What are you waiting for? Go for it!