Founded in 2003 by Matt Heaton, Bluehost changed hands and became a part of Endurance International Group in 2011. To date, Bluehost has the distinction of being a web host to more than 1.9 million domains. However, this number includes those registered with its sister concerns like HostMonster, FastDomains, and iPage.
During the time we reviewed Bluehost, we noticed that the company had three different types of hosting services on offer: shared, VPS, and dedicated. With each of these plans, customers have the option to choose different tiers of plans according to their website requirements and budget. In addition to this, Bluehost also provides reseller and dedicated WordPress options, with each of them available in different service levels and pricing plans to be chosen from.
Service types, Plans, and Pricing
Shared hosting is one of the most popular hosting plans offered by Bluehost. With this plan, users can build their websites on a server space that will be shared with other users. For customers who are just starting out, there’s a starter package that comes with 1 website, unlimited bandwidth, and 100GB of website space. While this package can be had for $3.40 a month, you need to select a contract for 3 years with the provider. If you are not comfortable with this then you can also select contracts of shorter duration – $4.95 and $3.95 a month for one and twoyears respectively.
Bluehost also has shared hosting plus plans ready for you. In choosing this plan, you’ll get unlimited web space, websites, and bandwidth. That’s not all, you also stand to get unlimited e-mail accounts, storage, domains, and sub-domains for a mere $5.95 a month upon choosing a 3-year contract with them. If you are interested in having one-year or two-year contracts with them then it will cost you $7.95 and $6.95 a month respectively.
The Business Pro is the final option you have with shared hosting plans. While it has all the features that a basic pro plan has, in addition to those it also includes one dedicated IP, one SSL, site backup pro, and two spam experts. For a three-year contract, this plan will cost you $13.95 a month. However, upon choosing a two-year or one-year contract, you’ll be charged $15.95 and $18.95 a month respectively.
For those users who are looking to tap into cloud technology, Bluehost has virtual private servers on offer. In using these servers, you can easily build and control your websites. Customers interested in VPS plans can select between 4 plans – standard, premium, enhanced, and ultimate.
If you need a lot more power for your website than a shared hosting can provide then you select any of dedicated server plans that Bluehost offers. And for agencies that like to provide web hosting services to others, there are a few reseller plans too!
Setup and Usability
Setting up your account is easy with Bluehost. Before you select a plan, you need to select a domain name with which you’ll get registered with Bluehost. For those wishing to have their existing domain transferred to Bluehost, all details need to be filled in at an appropriate box and click next.
Ideally, it shouldn’t take you any longer than an hour to have a website up and running. Also, to create the perfect website for your business, Bluehost provides plenty of tools that will make the process simpler for you. If you are looking to build your website using HTML, there is infrastructure in place that will let you do FTP transfers smoothly. You can then choose your domain to point towards those files for enabling them to get displayed on the site.
If you don’t like using HTML for building your websites then do not fret. You can choose between WordPress, Concrete 5, SimpleScripts, or Drupal instead.
A variety of features is on offer with Bluehost. The good news is that all the plans provide you unlimited domain hosting and unlimited disk storage. However, you may need to pay extra for domain registration. Furthermore, all Bluehost plans come with unlimited web scripts for Joomla, Drupal, Moodle, polling and surey software, Tikiwiki, and image galleries.
All shared hosting packages come with free e-mail accounts. For example, upon choosing the starter plan, users are able to have 100 e-mail accounts against a username that also comes with 500MB of storage space. However, for those who opt for Business and Pro plans, there are unlimited e-mail accounts to be had to go along with unlimited storage.
And if you are interested in using only WordPress hosting, the Bluehost platforms use VPS to make sure your blogs shine. The different tiers available here are – enterprise, business, professional, and blogger. Interestingly, each of these plans come with a reduced rate and enables you to accommodate unlimited users and visitors per month.
Speed, Uptime, and Downtime
An uptime of 99.9% that Bluehost guarantees is what we experienced when we used the services for a considerable amount of time. We also checked the speed on offer. Though Bluehost provides unlimited bandwidth, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get lightning speed. The average upload and download speeds we got during our tests were 2.3Mbps and 4.9Mbps respectively.
But the best indicator of how good a hosting service is based on the site speed. In this regard, Bluehost doesn’t disappoint you. The WordPress sites, for example, did load up fairly quickly, mostly within a couple of seconds which is quite remarkable.
If you want to enhance the speed of the site further then you can use CDN for which you’ll need to pay more. If you run an e-commerce store or any other site that depends heavily on conversions then this feature may be useful to you.
Irrespective of the hosting services you choose from Bluehost, the one thing you can expect from all of them is added security. Even their shared plans are fully secured. The company takes security protocol quite seriously and makes sure to updated security features at regular intervals.
Bluehost also uses several other ways to keep your site secure. They may not do the scanning all by themselves, however, they offer SiteLock site scanning at a reduced rate of $14.99 a year. The cheapest you’ll end up paying is $9.99 a month upon signing up at SiteLock’s website.
Bluehost has a very good customer support features and services. Users of Bluehost can choose from a variety of options to reach out to their team to have their queries addressed. For example, customers can choose between e-mails, call support, converse with other users through user forums, chat, or browse through their extensive knowledgebase to get their problems solved or gain more knowledge on hosting matters.
To test their support features, particularly chat feature, we sought some clarifications surrounding the implementation of SSL on our web properties. During our time testing them, we observed that their support team was pretty knowledgeable, friendly, and quick. However, we also observed that they were chatting with multiple customers simultaneously. But the given that it took no more than 10 minutes to have queries addressed, the service offered to us was not bad.
Bluehost has come a long way in providing web hosting services and today, a number of website owners are comfortable using their services and recommend it to others. We personally found Bluehost’s services to be on par with the best in the industry and have certainly improved the services they used to provide back in 2014.
Today, Bluehost has a variety of hosting plans to meet just about every need of yours. Though these varieties of hosting plans may not seem any special to an average user, for businesses and pro-bloggers, these plans certainly work perfectly.
WordPress is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular platforms on Bluehost. The good thing here is that all WordPress plans have built-in support. What’s more, the features available in these plans will let you set up your website in a matter of few clicks. Then there’s a tutorial available that will teach you how you can have your blog migrated to their hosting service.
And for those who are always keen on saving on hosting plans, Bluehost coupon works perfectly. However, you need to know that these coupons may work differently for different plans. For example, certain coupons give you a discount on only the first month; however, others may give you discounts for an extended period. Bluehost also has a money-back guarantee in place, just in case you are not satisfied with their services. We recommend this host to everybody interested in bringing their business or blogs online.