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Bluehost review

Feature-packed web hosting for demanding users

Our Verdict

Bluehost’s web hosting products may seem expensive until you consider all of the extras the company provides. Extensive support and a knowledgebase filled with helpful articles are just another reason to give this web host a try.

For

  • Excellent knowledgebase and guides
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • 1 click WordPress installation

Against

  • Pricing can be misleading
  • Expensive compared to the competition
  • No monthly payment option

Bluehost is a popular web hosting provider that was founded in Provo, Utah in 2003 by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth.

Today the company provides comprehensive tools to millions of users worldwide and its web hosting services power over two million websites.

Since 2010, Bluehost has been a part of the Endurance International Group which is also behind a lot of big names in the web hosting business including Domain.com, iPage, HostGator, SiteBuilder.com and more.

So let’s take a closer look at the company’s plans, features and support options to see if Bluehost is the right web host for your website.

Click here to go directly to the Bluehost website 

Pricing

Bluehost has a wide variety of web hosting plans to choose from including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting and even ecommerce hosting powered by WooCommerce. In this review though, we’ll be looking at its shared hosting packages as these will likely appeal to both new and experienced users.

Bluehost offers four different shared hosting plans depending on the needs of your website. The ‘Basic’ plan includes one website, 50 GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate and one domain for just $2.95 per month. This plan is geared towards beginners just getting started with their first website and as such its features are limited compared to the higher tier plans.

Next up we have the ‘Plus’ plan for $5.45 per month that gives you unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth and unlimited domains.

Bluehost’s ‘Choice Plus’ plan includes all the ‘Plus’ plan has to offer along with domain privacy and extended backup functionality.

Finally we have the ‘Pro’ plan that includes everything the “Choice Plus’ plan does as well as dedicated IP and two spam experts.

If these prices seem a bit low, it is because the prices shown on Bluehost’s site are what you would pay monthly if you decide to sign up for a three-year plan.

(Image credit: Future)

Signing up

Once you’ve picked out a plan, Bluehost’s signup process begins with the company asking you to choose a domain. You can enter a new one or use one that you already have and there is also an option to transfer your existing domain to Bluehost but it’s not required as the company gives you the option to update your name servers later.

You’re then asked to enter your personal details including your name, physical address, email address and phone number.

From there you finally arrive at the package information section where you’ll be able to see how much your plan will cost. Remember earlier when we said that the low monthly prices you see on Bluehost’s site require you to signup for a three-year plan? You can easily fix this by choosing a 12-month plan and clearing a couple of checkboxes.

The ‘Pay by credit card option’ is selected by default but there is actually a ‘More payment options’ section that will let you pay using PayPal.

Creating a site 

To help you get started creating your website, Bluehost provides you with a simple Weebly-based website builder which is more than some other web hosts offer with a basic account.

You can also opt for automated setup for WordPress and other popular apps. This feature is powered by a Mojo Marketplace system and you’re asked to provide a few details and then your app is installed.

If you’re familiar with WordPress and want to use its platform to create your site, Bluehost also offers a one click install and the company is even listed as the top web host on WordPress’ own site.

While other web hosting services focus on either being easy-to-use or on being powerful, Bluehost manages to do both which helps make it a great choice for beginners and experienced users alike.

(Image credit: Future)

Performance

When evaluating a web host’s performance, we first like to take a look at the support options on hand as even the most experienced users will likely run into some difficulties getting their sites up and running. Bluehost’s support begins with an extensive knowledgebase filled with tutorials on WordPress, email, domains, your account and the control panel to help you with any problems you might encounter.

The company also has a regularly updated blog with articles on a variety of topics including online marketing, web hosting, WordPress and of course, news about the company itself.

If you can’t find the help you need on either its knowledgebase or blog, Bluehost also provides live chat for more pressing issues. We tested the company’s live chat out for ourselves by asking a question and we were connected with an agent in less than a minute. Bluehost also offers 24/7 support over the phone but live chat is still a welcome addition.

Finally we did some performance tests on our site by running Bitcatacha on Bluehost. Response time from the US was excellent and we would expect no less from a US-based site. Ping times from the US and Europe were more than acceptable but we did notice some slowdowns when connecting from locations far from the US such as Singapore and Sao Paulo. Overall though, Bluehost performed well during all of our tests.

Verdict and Conclusion

Bluehost’s prices are a bit on the higher side when compared to other web hosting providers but the company does offer a wide range of services and excellent customer support. Pricing lacks transparency, which could be a potential turnoff for new customers, but Bluehost makes up for its confusing pricing with its powerful site management and loads of extra features.