Bluehost Review 2020: The Most Popular Hosting + 50% OFF
Bluehost is a web hosting provider that offers a variety of affordable and secure hosting solutions. It is also the most recommended WordPress hosting service. Moreover, it supports WooCommerce integration and lets you build and manage an online store in just a few clicks.
Bluehost delivers on its promise of providing a fast and secure hosting environment for your website. With an average uptime guarantee of 99.98%, it is also extremely reliable. Moreover, the inclusion of other services such as domain registration, email hosting, etc. makes it an all-in-one package for beginners.
Starting at $3.95 per month, Bluehost offers a wide range of pricing plans to suit different budgets. While these plans are affordable, the renewal rates are quite high. Moreover, you have to pay an exorbitant fee of $149.99 for site migration.
Signing up and getting started on Bluehost is like a cakewalk. You can even use it to automatically install WordPress and WooCommerce on your website. It also provides you with a simple and intuitive cPanel dashboard to monitor your website. Even if you’re not well-versed with WordPress, you can use the drag-and-drop Weebly site builder to create your website in a few simple steps.
Bluehost has an excellent tech support team that is always eager to assist you. You can reach out to them using various modes, including live chat and email ticketing. The knowledgebase section is also quite comprehensive. However, the support team takes longer to respond at times.
A website is crucial for establishing your brand’s online presence. In some cases, such as for e-commerce business, your revenue is directly dependent on your website. Even if this is not the case, it can come in handy to display relevant information about your business. It helps you connect with a wide network of potential customers and win their trust.
However, in today’s competitive online world, having a visually stunning website isn’t enough. You must ensure that your website is fast, reliable, and secure. Moreover, it should be capable of handling more visitors eventually as your business grows. You should also ensure that it doesn’t falter in case of a sudden traffic spike.
All these factors that determine your website’s performance ultimately depend on your web hosting provider. If you’ve tried your hands at web design and development, you have likely come across Bluehost. The hosting provider is particularly known for its affordable pricing plans and seamless WordPress integration. In this review of Bluehost, we will take a closer look at all its features and determine if it lives up to its promise.
Before we delve deeper, let us understand what Bluehost is and what exactly does it offer.
What is Bluehost?
Bluehost is a web hosting provider that powers more than 2 million websites across the world. It offers a wide array of hosting plans such as shared, VPS (Virtual Private Server), and dedicated hosting. It is also one of the most highly recommended WordPress hosting providers with the option of a managed WordPress hosting as well. Additionally, it offers WooCommerce hosting to help you build and manage an online store in just a few clicks.
A Brief History
Matt Heaton first conceived Bluehost in 1996. However, it was officially launched in 2003 by Heaton and Danny Ashworth. By 2008, the hosting provider already had one million registered domains and was acquired by Endurance International Group in 2010. It operated its servers in-house at a Utah-based facility and has a dedicated team of more than 750 employees.
Although Bluehost started as a shared hosting service, it introduced VPS and dedicated hosting solutions in 2013. Subsequently, it also released optimized WordPress hosting in 2014. Today, it has grown to become one of the most sought-after WordPress hosting solutions and even provides managed hosting.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Bluehost offers a diverse array of general-purpose as well as WordPress hosting solutions. Moreover, each hosting solution comes with different pricing plans. This helps you select the best plan according to your requirements and budget. While a shared hosting plan is suitable for beginners, dedicated hosting offers various developer-friendly tools for professionals.
Each hosting solution comes with a free domain name (valid for one year) and a free SSL certificate by Let’s Encrypt. You also get at least 50GB of SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth. Depending on your selected plan, you may get access to additional features such as Cloudflare integration, email hosting, and dedicated IPs. Moreover, you can use advanced security features, including SiteLock (to protect your website against malware) and CodeGuard (to keep regular backups).
Bluehost offers a simple and intuitive cPanel interface to manage your website. You can even use the straightforward drag-and-drop website builder to design your website. If you select a WordPress hosting solution, it automatically installs WordPress on your website and gives you access to hundreds of WordPress themes.
The WooCommerce hosting service lets you build and manage an online store using WooCommerce – WordPress’s popular ecommerce plugin. Bluehost also offers myriad other features such including domain registration and spam protection (using Postini by Google). Additionally, you can seek professional consultation from their team for everything, from designing your website to promoting it on search engines.
Apart from being beginner-friendly, Bluehost is extremely fast and reliable with an uptime guarantee of 99.98%. This means you don’t have to worry about unexpected website crashes. The variety of pricing plans ensures that you can upgrade to a better solution as your website grows. This flexibility is particularly useful for new businesses that don’t have a clear idea of their expected website traffic.
Most Bluehost reviews also praise its impeccable technical support team that works round-the-clock to resolve your issues and queries. You can easily reach out to them using the live chat feature on your dashboard. Additionally, you can contact them via email and telephone. Bluehost also has a comprehensive and insightful knowledge base.
Bluehost offers a variety of pricing models for each hosting solution. Shared hosting starts at $3.95 per month (renewable at $7.99 per month after the first year) and goes up to $13.95 per month (for the first year). WP Pro, the managed WordPress hosting service starts at $19.95 per month (for the first year). The most expensive plan is the dedicated hosting solution, which starts at $79.99 per month and renews at $119.99 after the first year.
This versatility of pricing makes Bluehost suitable for beginners as well as experienced developers. The affordable introductory pricing is ideal for those who are building a new website or an eCommerce website. While Bluehost doesn’t offer a free trial, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, the money-back policy is subject to a few conditions (we’ll cover these in the subsequent sections).
Before we start discussing the features of Bluehost, let’s take a quick look at its pros and cons:
Things to Consider Before Buying a Web Hosting Solution
The choice of hosting provider makes all the difference between a great website and a mediocre or sloppy one. Speed, security, and scalability are some of the most crucial factors that you should take into account. Additionally, you should also consider how reliable the hosting provider is. There is no point in having a fast and well-designed website if it is prone to frequent crashes and shutdowns.
If you’re a beginner in the world of web development, your needs will likely change with time. As your website grows, you may want more storage capacity and bandwidth. Depending on the type of your website, you may also want to add advanced security features to protect users’ data. Moreover, your website should be able to handle sudden traffic spikes resulting from improved search engine rankings and promotional campaigns.
Bluehost offers a variety of flexible hosting solutions that give your website an adequate room to grow. You can start with a basic plan and upgrade to a more advanced one as your website gets more visitors. The simple website builder and WordPress integration make it ideal when you’re building your website from scratch. It is also suitable for content creators who want to start a new blog.
However, if you already have a functioning website, Bluehost may not be the best choice. This is because the hosting provider charges a one-time fee of $149.99 for website migration. Even though it includes up to 5 websites, 20 email accounts, and other database files, it doesn’t justify the high migration fee. In such a scenario, you might be better off using other web hosting solutions that offer free migration.
Let us now dig deeper and evaluate the various features of Bluehost to determine if it is worth the hype.
Features & Benefits
I’ve already mentioned that Bluehost offers different types of hosting solutions across various price ranges. In the following sections, we will take a closer look at each of these plans and determine who it is best suited for. We will also analyze whether these features are as useful as claimed by most Bluehost reviews available online.
1. Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting implies multiple websites share the resources of a single server or a group of secured servers. This makes it the most affordable hosting solution because you aren’t occupying all the resources of a server. It is ideal for small websites and blogs that receive only a handful of visitors every day and don’t use too many large media files.
Bluehost offers a managed shared hosting solution with one or more free domains, an SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. While the basic plan offers 50GB of SSD storage, others offer unlimited storage and allow multiple websites. The Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro plan also offer additional security features and Microsoft Office 365 integration (for the first 30 days).
Bluehost offers four different pricing plans for shared web hosting. Prices start at $3.95 per month and go up to $13.95 per month. These rates are only valid for the first year, after which you have to renew your subscription. I find the renewal rates to be higher than that of other hosting providers.
Another important feature of shared hosting on Bluehost is that it uses CPU Protection. If a particular website uses excessive server resources, Bluehost temporarily re-assigns it to an isolated system. It ensures that other websites using the same server don’t experience any delay or shutdowns. This makes shared hosting on Bluehost extremely reliable.
It is also worth mentioning that Bluehost’s shared hosting plans are fully managed. This means you don’t have to worry about monitoring the server and resolving any issues. These tasks are managed by Bluehost while you can focus on making your website more user-friendly and powerful. It is also useful for novices who aren’t familiar with controlling web servers.
2. VPS Hosting
Virtual Private Server hosting is a hosting solution in which your website is guaranteed a fixed amount of resources such as RAM, CPU, and storage. It is done by splitting the server resources among all the websites on that server. The biggest advantage of VPS hosting is that your website’s resources aren’t affected by the demands of other websites on the same server. Moreover, it gives your website increased stability and protects it from cyberattacks.
Bluehost offers fast, reliable, and secure VPS hosting under three different pricing plans. It is suitable for web developers who require more resources but don’t have the budget for dedicated hosting. Moreover, as your business grows, your website might start receiving increased traffic. This is when you should contemplate switching to VPS hosting because the limited resources of shared hosting may no longer suffice.
Apart from domain registration, SSD storage, and an SSL certificate, Bluehost also offers instant provisioning. This means your VPS server becomes active within seconds of signing up. Moreover, Bluehost lets you add additional storage and even more servers on the go from your cPanel. The cPanel is quite user-friendly and provides you with all the tools necessary to manage your VPS server. It also offers Root Access using which you can get complete control of your server.
VPS hosting on Bluehost starts at $18.99 per month and goes up to $59.99 per month (for the first year). You can choose from three different plans, namely: Standard, Enhanced, and Ultimate. As with shared hosting, the renewal rates are quite high.
3. Dedicated Hosting
As the name suggests, this type of hosting allocated a dedicated server for your website. The obvious advantages include increased speed and improved performance. Since your server resources aren’t used by other websites, it becomes more secure and stable. You also get complete control of the server and can configure it according to your requirements.
Bluehost offers dedicated hosting under three different pricing plans. I find it suitable for resource-intensive websites such as online stores. It is also ideal for businesses that use their websites for revenue generation and expect heavy traffic. However, it comes at a higher price and, therefore, isn’t the best choice for beginners.
Apart from the standard features, Bluehost’s dedicated hosting service offers a plethora of developer-friendly tools. You get complete access to the server and can customize its configuration. Moreover, you can get started within 24 to 72 hours of signing up on Bluehost. You also get a dedicated support team to resolve any issues you might be facing.
You can choose from three different pricing plans starting at $79.99 per month and going up to $119.99 per month. Needless to say, dedicated hosting is expensive, and you should only opt for it if your website demands it. Moreover, you should have sufficient experience in web development so that you can leverage all the advanced features to their fullest.
4. Shared WordPress Hosting
Apart from the general-purpose hosting solutions, Bluehost also offers a highly secure and reliable WordPress hosting service. This means as soon as you select your plan, you can host your website on WordPress. It automatically installs the latest version of WordPress on your website and lets you use the website builder tool. This is what sets it apart from other hosting providers.
It is also worth mentioning that Bluehost regularly updates the core WordPress software. This means you can focus on growing your website and making it more attractive without worrying about the latest WordPress updates. However, Bluehost doesn’t update any additional WordPress plugins that you may have installed on your website. This task will have to be carried out manually.
The feature-rich WordPress hosting service makes Bluehost a great choice for bloggers. It is also useful for business owners who don’t have any prior experience in web programming. You can simply select a suitable hosting plan and get access to hundreds of WordPress themes. Once you choose the website theme, you can customize individual elements just as you would do on a regular WordPress website.
Shared WordPress hosting on Bluehost is available under three pricing models starting at $3.95 per month (for the first year). The affordable price point makes it a great choice for beginners with a limited budget. It was particularly useful for me when I’d just started blogging and didn’t want to spend much on hosting.
5. Managed WordPress Hosting (WP Pro)
WP Pro is Bluehost’s fully managed WordPress hosting service. This means you don’t have to worry about things like monitoring the server or installing WordPress updates. These tasks are carried out by Bluehost’s tech support team while you continue to enhance your website. Prices for WP Pro start at $19.95 per month and go up to $49.95 per month (for the first year).
The most distinguishing feature of WP Pro is that it uses advanced technology to improve speed and performance. Moreover, it provides you with a simple yet extremely insightful dashboard. Apart from managing your website, you can use the dashboard to monitor various analytics, as well as the performance of your marketing campaigns. It offers many useful tools for social media integration, SEO, and email marketing.
I find WP Pro to be most suitable for bloggers and other content creators. It gives you the power to create, publish, promote, and monitor your content from the same platform. You can create a professional blog or website without worrying about factors like security and reliability. The affordability makes WP Pro an even more powerful hosting service.
6. WooCommerce Hosting
This hosting plan is designed specifically for e-commerce businesses. It combines the reliability of Bluehost with the versatility of WordPress and lets you build an online store in just a few clicks. When you select your hosting plan, Bluehost automatically installs and configures WooCommerce. Thereafter, you can customize the storefront design and start building your inventory.
The biggest advantage of WooCommerce hosting is that it saves you the hassle of manually configuring the plugin. Bluehost also provides you with a secure payment gateway as well as an SSL certificate and dedicated IP for enhanced security. You also get access to a user-friendly dashboard. You can use it to add or remove products, track sales, manage payments, and monitor the performance of your online store.
WooCommerce hosting on Bluehost is quite affordable, starting at $6.95 per month and goes up to $12.99 per month. All plans come with a free SSL certificate and domain (valid for one year). You can also install a premium SSL certificate for advanced security.
7. Domain Registration
Apart from web hosting, Bluehost offers domain registration services. While one or more free domains are included in your hosting plan, you can also register other domains. Moreover, most of the hosting plans include a few subdomains and parked domains as well. The biggest advantage of this feature is that you can manage your domain and hosting from the same platform.
Bluehost uses a wide range of tools to ensure that your website remains secure, even when you select a shared hosting plan. While all plans come with a free SSL certificate, some of them also include SiteLock to safeguard your website against malware. Some plans also include Postini, which removes harmful and unwanted emails from your inbox. The inclusion of these features saves beginners the hassle of manually securing their website.
9. Professional Services
Bluehost has a team of industry experts who can handhold you at every step of building your website. From site migration to search engine optimization – you can seek professional help whenever you get stuck. This takes the load off your shoulders and lets you focus on what you do best – create good content for your website.
These services, however, come at a cost. For instance, website migration on Bluehost will cost you $149.99, which includes 5 websites and 20 email accounts. This is quite expensive, considering that most hosting providers offer free migration.
10. Website Builder
Bluehost provides you with a drag-and-drop site builder by Weebly. Thus, even when you aren’t well-versed with WordPress, you can create a professional website in just a few clicks. This is particularly useful for those who are new to the world of web programming.
11. Technical Support
Even the most advanced hosting solution is of no use unless you have someone to handhold you through the process. This is even more crucial when you’re a beginner. Fortunately, Bluehost has a responsive and helpful tech support team. You can reach out to them using the live chat feature on your dashboard as well as via email and telephone.
Unlike other platforms, Bluehost’s live chat option doesn’t greet you with standard automated responses. Instead, the replies are customized according to your query. If you face any issues, you can also visit the knowledge base section. It is quite comprehensive and offers some insightful details about using Bluehost.
I found the knowledge base quite useful when I had just started using Bluehost. It helped me navigate the dashboard, explore its features, and get the hang of it. However, a few Bluehost users have complained about delayed responses over chat and email.
I’ve already discussed the different pricing plans for each hosting solution in the previous sections. The biggest benefit of having such diverse pricing models is that you will find something to suit your budget and needs. While beginners will likely opt for the pocket-friendly basic plans, experienced developers can take the plunge and select a pricey dedicated hosting plan.
Moreover, all the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Even if you aren’t sure about whether Bluehost is the right choice for you, you can give it a try. If you aren’t satisfied within the first 30 days, you can ask for a refund.
The only catch is that Bluehost’s money-back policy is slightly ambiguous. For instance, it is only applicable to the hosting plan. If you purchased any add-ons such as domain registration or advanced security tools with your hosting plan, you won’t get a refund for those. Moreover, if your plan includes a free domain, Bluehost will deduct $15.99 from your refund as part of the domain fee.
It is recommended that you evaluate all the features of your hosting plan before purchasing it. Let’s find out what real-life Bluehost users have to say about the hosting company.
Don't listen to us. Take it from others
A web hosting service is only as good as the feedback from its real-life users. I did some digging around on the internet to find out what people have to say about Bluehost. While the overall response is positive, some users raised questions about the high renewal rates and sometimes slow tech support.
Let’s take a look:
Now that you have a better idea of what Bluehost offers, you might be willing to take the plunge and give it a try. However, it is crucial to carefully weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision.
Is Bluehost the Right Choice for You?
So far, we have taken a look at the key features of Bluehost. It provides a variety of fast, secure, and reliable hosting solutions. However, there are a few glitches, such as the high renewal fees and convoluted money-back policy. It is time for us to find out if the pros trump the cons.
Advantages of Bluehost
Bluehost’s biggest strength lies in its diverse hosting solutions across different price ranges. While the shared hosting solution is suitable for simple websites, content creators can benefit from WordPress hosting. Likewise, you can use the WooCommerce hosting solution to quickly build and manage an online store.
Even within each hosting solution, you’ll find a variety of pricing models. This gives you the opportunity to select the best plan according to your budget. You can always upgrade to a better plan as your website starts getting more traffic. Moreover, most of the basic plans are quite affordable, starting at just $3.95 per month. This makes Bluehost suitable for beginners.
It is also worth mentioning that Bluehost acts as an all-in-one platform that takes care of all your website needs. From domain registration and website security to web and email hosting – Bluehost offers everything. The ability to manage all these functions from one platform is an added advantage.
Moreover, Bluehost uses a customized variant of cPanel to provide you with a user-friendly dashboard. This is extremely helpful for newcomers. WordPress and WooCommerce integration make it even easier for you to build stunning websites. The helpful tech support team also works round-the-clock to monitor your servers and resolve your queries.
Disadvantages of Bluehost
One of the biggest drawbacks of Bluehost is the high migration fee. If you have already built a website on another hosting environment, you have to pay $149.99 to get it migrated. Even though you get professional help throughout the process, it doesn’t justify the exorbitant pricing.
Moreover, the pocket-friendly hosting plans are only valid for the first year. After that, you have to renew your subscription at the standard rates. These renewal rates are quite high compared to other hosting providers. It can be particularly alarming for business owners who just want a website to showcase company information.
The convoluted money-back policy of Bluehost doesn’t sit right with its overall beginner-friendliness. Hidden charges, such as domain fees, are deducted from your refund. Therefore, you must be absolutely sure about selecting a particular hosting plan and any add-ons.
Bluehost vs The Competition
• Bluehost vs SiteGround
One of the closest competitors to Bluehost is SiteGround, another hosting service that offers great hosting at affordable prices. With that said, Siteground’s cheap pricing only applies to your first bill, and the price goes up drastically when renewed. For example, SiteGround’s StartUp plan starts out at just $3.95, but goes up to $11.95 when renewed.
While this makes Bluehost the clear winner in terms of pricing, we do think the added cost is justified if you’re looking for better support and security. SiteGround also consistently outperforms Bluehost, though not by a huge margin. If SiteGround sounds like an intriguing option for you, check out our full review on SiteGround here.
• Bluehost vs WPX
WPX is far more expensive than Bluehost, with their cheapest plan starting at $20 a month, which is approximately 5 times more expensive than Bluehost. While this puts WPX in a different price bracket than Bluehost, some of the features you get with WPX might bridge the gap closer than you’d think.
For starters, WPX offers a complimentary migration service, while Bluehost charges $149.99 for the same service. If you see yourself using migration services often, especially if you operate a lot of websites, this service alone makes WPX the better option for hosting.
Moreover, WPX is also noticeably faster than Bluehost, providing indisputably faster loading speeds than Bluehost. You’re also getting far better customer support from WPX, which is an added bonus for the price you pay.
Overall, we think WPX is a great value if you can have a bigger budget to work with. Check out our review on WPX here to learn more.
• Bluehost vs Kinsta
Kinsta is yet another premium option in the hosting space that might not be a direct competitor to Bluehost, but might be a viable option if you see yourself scaling your site down the line. Kinsta’s plan starts at $30, which might sound a lot until you find out that they offer a myriad of features in that price.
Among the features you’ll be getting are free backups, migration services, superior customer support, and the use of hardware firewalls and premium DNS for added security. Not to mention, Kinsta is also consistently faster than Bluehost in terms of page loading times, especially if you have a resource heavy website. Learn more about Kinsta in our full review here.
If you have already built a website using a different hosting provider, Bluehost may not be the ideal choice for you. Even if Bluehost’s pricing plans are cheaper than your current hosting company, you have to pay a hefty site migration fee. There are other hosting providers in the market that let you migrate your website for free.
However, if you want to build a website from scratch, Bluehost offers a variety of affordable, fast, secure, and reliable hosting plans. It can be especially useful when you want to launch a new WordPress blog or build an online store. The platform is simple and easy to use, making it ideal for beginners.
In today’s day and age, selecting the right hosting provider can be a herculean task. The sheer variety can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. However, the choice of hosting provider impacts different aspects of your website, such as speed, performance, security, etc. Bluehost offers a strategic assortment of hosting solutions across different price ranges.
From VPS and dedicated hosting to shared WordPress and WooCommerce hosting – Bluehost helps you find the right hosting service for your website. Impressive tech support, affordable pricing, and ease of use make it a highly sought-after hosting company. If you have launched a new business and want to build your website from scratch, Bluehost is just the right fit.
Are you looking for the best hosting solution for your website? Click here to sign-up on Bluehost and save 50% per month. If you don’t like the hosting, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee too.
DISCLOSURE: The HUSTLR goal is to help readers navigate around the digital economy by learning digital skills to achieve their life goals. This blog post may contain affiliate link(s) and any purchase(s) made through such links will result in a small commission to HUSTLR (at no cost to you). However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair in order to help you make the best choice.
Richa describes herself as an avid dreamer and a curious soul! She is a certified Content & Search Marketing Specialist from Digital Marketer, USA. With an experience of 5+ years as a content marketer and researcher, she is in love with Digital Breakthroughs, Content Marketing, Startup Strategies and so much more.