Bluehost is a well-known and highly-rated web hosting company. It’s simple, straightforward, and gives users a customizable control panel, which gives users more ability to create and manage a site they like. Users get great speed, versatility, and reliability all for less than $3 a month. It meets the industry uptime standard of 99.9% uptime and has many other features that website novices find appealing. It also has scalability, so it will grow as the website grows.
- One of the largest web hosting companies in the world
- Official WordPress web hosting partner
- Also offers domain registration services
- The pricing is affordable to start
- Uptime is good
- It has lots of storage
- Unlimited websites with unlimited traffic to each
- Renewal prices are light and there are lots of constant upsells
- There is no Service Level Agreement (SLA) guaranteeing a certain amount of uptime
- It only serves the U.S.
- Speed is slower than others, but downtime is fairly limited
Who is Bluehost best for?
Bluehost is the best web hosting option for those whose business is primarily in the United States. Those in other countries will face trouble accessing your site and will encounter slow speeds.
Bluehost serves small businesses who want limitless traffic options and don’t require significant backups. This is why many who use it are news or blog sites where they reach a large number of readers and already have their content backed up elsewhere. It’s not an ideal solution for online stores.
What are the top features?
Bluehost is a large company serving more than two million websites, so it can include many things in its hosting plans, even entry-level plans.
All of its web hosting services include the following:
- Free domain name
- Free website builder
Other services are offered but depend on the plan you choose. The basic shared account includes five email accounts while the other plans have unlimited email accounts.
Higher-tiered Bluehost plans also have features like:
- Spam experts
- Domain Privacy
- Site Backup Pro
- Dedicated IP
- Domain privacy
This hosting company makes it a breeze to manage different domains with its custom domain manager. The manager helps with the overall administration of multiple domains but also assists with domain purchases, transfers, and tracing.
One of Bluehost’s best features is the control panel available in all shared packages. The control panel is like the cPanel control panel because this is the basis for the one designed by Bluehost. Bluehost’s version is enhanced and customized, so it is more intuitive than the cPanel.
Website owners can use the control panel to do anything and everything with their site. This includes setting up and managing emails, domains and paying for services.
Gaining access to the control panel is simple too, especially for those with multiple websites. Bluehost clients get one combination of a username and password to get into all your Bluehost accounts. This combination also gets you into systems for upgrading and scalability, so changes can be made quickly without hassle.
Shared hosting plans also have POP3 and IMAP support, spam protection, and email accounts. The number of email accounts is limited for those in the basic package but is unlimited in other packages.
Additionally, there are thousands of plugins you can use to customize your site for images, forums, calendars, customer payments by text messaging, bookings, and ticket purchases.
Bluehost does incredibly well making the site function for everyone. It does this by including tools on its custom interface that simplify everything regarding website management. This means it is easy to do administrative tasks, manage domains, get to files, and set up email accounts from the dashboard.
Bluehost has specialized software program installations with one click, so it is super convenient for most people.
What hosting types can users expect?
Bluehost has four types of web hosting included in various packages.
- Shared hosting
- VPS (Virtual Private Server)
- Dedicated hosting packages
- WordPress website hosting
There are four packages within the shared hosting option including the basic, plus, choice plus plan, and pro. The biggest differences are in disk space, the number of email accounts, and email storage. It is also worth noting that extra features increase dramatically as you move up the tiers.
The VPS hosting plan is based on Linux and has 2 GB memory, 30 GB SSD storage, 2 CPU cores, and a cap of monthly data transfers of 1 TB.
Most people do incredibly well with a shared plan, especially if they are just starting with a website.
People who need this type of hosting solution want special configurations on their server, such as another language.
Linux is the operating system behind the dedicated server starter plan. It includes 4 GB of RAM, 500 GB SSD Raid storage 4CPU core, and allows for 4 TB data transfer monthly.
Those who aren’t sure if they will eventually need something like VPS or a dedicated server don’t have to make a major decision like that in the beginning. With Bluehost, it’s a seamless transition from a shared account to a VPS or dedicated server. That allows website owners the utmost in scalability.
Bluehost is constantly updating its hardware, including solid-state drives, so there will always be enough bandwidth to accommodate technological changes.
Bluehost has both managed and unmanaged WordPress hosting. The managed WordPress hosting comes in three categories with the first one more like a shared hosting plan. The others are “pro” plans. The benefit of these plans is faster speeds, more security with a free SSL certificate, and an easier time using WordPress.org.
It is good to know that all the managed WordPress hosting plans run on VPS and not a dedicated server.
What’s the performance and reliability like for Bluehost?
No one has ever questioned the performance and reliability of Bluehost. It has well-maintained servers so it doesn’t go down often. Bluehost hosting has been around for a while so it has a solid reputation for performance.
It ranks near the top of web hosts because its performance is optimal. The two to four cores for different plans mean a server, whether it is dedicated or virtual, will be powerful and online 24/7.
Bluehost uses open source technologies to squeeze out every bit of top performance. Two of those technologies include KVM and OpenStack. These also give website owners additional reliability and flexibility. Those with dedicated and VPS include instant provisioning, which means no waiting on a server.
Speed, considered another weak point by those who use Bluehost, is still fast. It had a speed of 650ms with a WordPress site and the basic plan with shared hosting had a 422ms page load speed with a static website.
Those who demand more speed, such as those who own e-commerce sites, may want to go with a pro plan because those come with high-performance servers.
What kind of security features are in place?
Bluehost security ranks high with experts. That is partly due to a two-factor authentication system preventing hackers from getting to your account even if they decode the password.
Bluehost also has add-ons site owners can purchase to add to security. One is SiteLock that prevents hackers from infiltrating, while CodeGuard adds more backup options than comes with the basic account. Malware protection is built-in as well.
While some hosting reviews say Bluehost’s backups are one of its weak points, the company does back up accounts daily, weekly, and monthly. That means you can revert to a previous site if something should happen, so a website owner won’t need to redo site content, design, or development. That saves a lot of time.
What can users expect in terms of customer support?
Bluehost support has increased in recent years, including more ways to access it through the dashboard. It has customer support available 24/7 every day of the year. This includes email support, phone support, or chat support. There is also extensive support for plugins and a knowledge base with tutorials available to all customers who want to research items on their own as opposed to reaching out to the support team.
Does Bluehost have a money-back guarantee?
Those who cancel their hosting plan within the first 30 days will get a full refund on your hosting service only. Add-on products, like domains, are not included in the money-back guarantee. Be aware of the differences between what is part of the hosting service and what are additional add-on purchases.
What happens if I don’t renew my Bluehost domain?
Domains that are not renewed are considered abandoned, which means Bluehost has the right to sell, delete, auction, or dispose of the name. Your domain will be in a holding period 31 days after expiration and may then be purchased by a third party. Prices of abandoned domains tend to go up dramatically when a third party buys them so it’s best to keep them active.
Is the domain name free with Bluehost?
New Bluehost accounts get a free domain name or a free domain transfer for one year. After that, the regular registration renewal rates apply. Renewal rates of domains run the cost of $15.99 per domain to $17.99 per domain annually, depending on the extension you use.
Does Bluehost have live people in their phone support?
Yes, while Bluehost heavily promotes its live chat, it does offer phone support with real people to answer questions. Both are available 24/7 all year to answer questions and help with issues. You can also send in ticket support by email with responses coming quickly. There is also a vast knowledge base where you can research for answers on your own.
Does Bluehost offer monthly billing plans?
Yes and no. Bluehost doesn’t have monthly payment options for shared hosting or managed WordPress hosting. It does have monthly billing for its VPS or dedicated hosting plans. Monthly billing tends to be slightly higher than the average monthly cost if you pay for an annual, two, or three-year plan in advance. Be sure to research all your billing options for your plans.
What’s the overall review of BlueHost?
Bluehost is a good web hosting provider for those who want a cost-effective solution with an easy-to-navigate dashboard. It’s more popular than GoDaddy, HostGator, and DreamHost. Just pay attention to long-term costs after the introductory period ends and keep the extra paid items to a minimum so there are continued savings
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