BlueHost Review: Introduction
No series of hosting reviews would be complete without BlueHost, one of the biggest names on the market. BlueHost is one of those companies that people either hate or love, and you can really see mixed reviews around the web. We will try to stay objective, and give you our BlueHost WordPress Hosting Review. We hope this review will help you decide if it’s the right one for your site.
BlueHost is a veteran in the hosting industry. They started over 15 years ago, in 2003, building their reputation through time, and growing in size exponentially.
Today, they have 2+ million websites on their servers, which makes them one of the biggest hosting companies out there. BlueHost employes over 750 people who are making sure to deliver absolute best to their worldwide customers.
BlueHost plans are cheap, and that’s their main selling point. This is not the cheapest provider, however, considering the price and the amount of features, combined with the reputation of a hosting giant, you get the picture why BlueHost is popular.
What makes them even more appealing is that they are the official hosting company recommended by WordPress. This designation helps their company, and it says a lot about their quality. You can expect your server to be fully optimized for WordPress, especially if you pick one of their dedicated BlueHost WordPress hosting plans, which we will describe later in detail.
It’s worth mentioning that BlueHost embraces open-sources technologies, implementing them into their systems, but also supporting the community with their own work, helping it grow.
However, there’s one minor complaint regarding the company itself – BlueHost is a part of the Endurance International Group. This is a major multinational company that bought many popular hosting providers.
While there’s nothing wrong with that on its own, people tend to like privately owned, and smaller companies more, as they feel they are much closer to the end user.
BlueHost Hosting Features
We will cover each category of hosting in the next section, but first, let’s talk about what they all have in common.
Easy To Use
BlueHost is extremely simple to use, even if you don’t have any technical skills. There are numerous one-click installations for the most popular services (WordPress is there, of course), and their modified version of cPanel is even more clean and simplified than with most other hosts. You will have no trouble getting around the interface.
BlueHost takes care of the security, making sure all the websites they host stay protected.
They protect you from hack attacks. They particularly protect against DDoS attacks, preventing them from suddenly eating the whole bandwidth, and taking down the server. This is especially important on shared plans, as it prevents one hacked site from taking down all others that share the same hardware.
BlueHost also takes care of the WordPress core updates, but, you will have to perform plugin updates yourself.
You will also have multiple anti-spam tools, like Spam Assasin, Spam Hammer, and Spam Experts, and it has hotlink protection. They allow SSH access, as well as IP blacklisting, and filtering through email accounts.
You can also turn on CloudFlare (for free). CloudFlare will not only speed up your website through their CDN, but further protect it, and give you a free SSL.
There are options to password protect folders, use two-factor authentication, and there is token validation, which makes sure you are the one trying to make the changes on the website.
BlueHost takes care of the websites on their servers, making sure they stay up. Although they don’t give an uptime guarantee, you can expect your site to be up well over 99.9% of the time. Numerous tests we have run show that. This is a critical stat, especially for budget provides. You don’t want to compromise website stability trying to save a few dollars each month.
Our tests have average 99.99% uptime with BlueHost. This is right at the top in terms of Hosting uptimes that we have tracked thus far.
For such a great number of sites hosted, it is surprising how fast BlueHost hosting is. The speed can even be seen on their cheaper plans.
We have already mentioned CDN, but the main reason why it works so fast got to be the hardware and the server architecture. The latest equipment from top manufacturers makes sure your site flies.
During our loading time testing we averaged 677ms per load. This is one of the fastest hosts that we’ve tried thus far.
You will continuously get page load times under 500ms. 500ms per load is one of the best in the whole industry, not only among the cheaper hosting options. Kudos to BlueHost for that.
BlueHost supports Google Suite, which will give you a full set of tools to run your business. You will also have CloudFlare, to speed up your site and make it more secure. Additionally, you get access to the MOJO Marketplace that will give you eCommerce options. How many features you get, depends on the hosting type, and the plan you choose. The more money you spend the more features you unlock.
But, as we noted before, BlueHost is the #1 hosting company recommended by WordPress.org, which automatically means it is fully optimized for it, and also for WooCommerce.
BlueHost Shared Plans
Shared servers are great for smaller websites and those of you on a tight budget. You will get decent performance for the paid money, but don’t expect it to be amazing during peak hours.
All BlueHost share plans are on SSD storage, which will give the best performance and stability.
Furthermore, they don’t monitor bandwidth, which is a big plus. However, they have “resource protection” implemented, which isolates potentially attacked sites. Thus preventing them from overloading the server and taking all other sites that share the same hardware down.
With each, you will get a free SSL certificate, something store owners will appreciate very much. SSL is used to encrypt all the purchases and credit card information of site users. Let’s Encrypt powers all SSL certificates on shared servers.
BlueHost takes care of the backups for you, and they do it daily, weekly, and monthly. If something out of the ordinary happens, you can always contact them and request them to return the site to the previous state.
There are four BlueHost shared plans (prices are for yearly contracts, there are no monthly options). At the time of this writing here are the plans and prices.
- Basic – $3.95/mo – standard performance, 1 site, 50 GB SSD, 1 domain, 5 parked domains, 25 subdomains
- Plus – $5.95/mo – standard performance, unlimited sites, unlimited SSD, unlimited domains, parked domains and subdomains, $200 marketing credits, Spam protection
- Choice Plus – $5.95/mo – standard performance, unlimited sites, SSD, domains, parked domains and subdomains, $200 marketing credits, Spam Protection, private domain, CodeGuard basic site backups
- Pro – $13.95/mo* – standard performance, unlimited sites, SSD, domains, parked domains and subdomains, $200 marketing credits, Spam protection, CodeGuard Basic site backups, and a dedicated IP address on a private domain
BlueHost WP Pro WordPress Hosting
As the #1 recommended hosting company, you would expect BlueHost to shine on their WordPress hosting plans, which it does.
People are often confused, not knowing the difference between shared and WordPress hosting. You can install WordPress on any shared plan using the one-click install. However, WordPress plans take all that to a whole new level.
First, WP Pro WordPress hosting is managed. This means that your host takes care of the updates for you. Additionally, they take care of all daily maintenance tasks of the whole server, site, and apps. You just focus on your business, and site content, they take care of the rest. For many business owners this is the ideal scenario.
Furthermore, WP Pro is on WordPress optimized hardware, built for speed and performance, and it really shows. Also, the people in charge of the maintenance are WordPress experts, ready to jump in immediately if you’re stuck.
And WP Pro has a whole set of WordPress specific features at your disposal.
- Marketing Center – here you can take care of the SEO, site performance but also social media and emails, all from a single dashboard.
- Analytics – you can use BlueHost analytics to see how your site performs on a day-to-day basis. You can also import data from Google Analytics, if that’s your preferred service.
- Their WP servers are optimized for speed, and although shared, they have a lower server density. A low server density ensures better performance and shorter load times even in peak hours.
- All WP Pro plans have a staging environment. This are allows you to test changes before applying them on the live website. As a developer, this is something I love and know other developers will appreciate.
WP Pro Plans:
All WP Pro plans have unlimited SSD storage, websites, domains, subdomains, and no traffic limits. All come with free SSL and have Spam protections, and CDN enabled.
Here are the plans:
- Build – $19.95/mo – Jetpack Basic, Marketing Tools, 100 Premium Themes, Daily backups, Malware removal, domain privacy
- Grow – $29.95/mo – everything in the Build plan + Jetpack Premium, Business Review Tools, SEO tools, Jetpack ads, video compression (up to 10 GB), live ticket support
- Scale – $49.95/mo – everything in grow + JetPack Pro, unlimited backups and restorations, PayPal, unlimited video compression, advanced website search tools, priority chat support
VPS plans are an excellent option for people who outgrew shared hosting plans and are looking for something more flexible and affordable than dedicated servers. Virtual Private Servers are perfect for that. They are easily scalable, much cheaper than dedicated, and much more powerful than shared plans.
BlueHost guarantees resources. This means you will always get what you paid for, no matter what, thanks to the KVM hypervisor. They also have instant provisioning which means that all the paid resources are available immediately, without any wait.
VPS servers have an enhanced control panel, that lets you scale with ease. You can increase the storage at any time, with additional CPU cores and RAM soon to be added to the upgrades list.
- Standard – $19.99/mo – 2 CPU, 30 GB SSD, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 1 IP, Free SSL
- Enhanced – $29.99/mo – 2 CPU, 60 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, 2 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 2 IPs, Free SSL
- Ultimate – $59.99/mo – 4 CPU, 120 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, 3 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 2 IPs, Free SSL
BlueHost Dedicated Servers
Dedicated servers are for the biggest websites, as they offer the best performance. There is no sharing, nor virtualization, the whole server is just at your site’s disposal. However, that freedom costs the most. I recommend thinking twice before signing up, as this is only for the biggest sites and deepest pockets.
All BlueHost dedicated servers have RAID storage, which means everything is mirrored, ensuring maximal safety of your data, as everything is kept on multiple locations.
Also, dedicated servers have absolute best hardware BlueHost can offer. Everything is custom-built in-house, using only the latest and best optimized hardware, which will show in blazing performance.
Dedicated server plans:
- Standard – $79.99/mo – 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 2.3 GHz, 500 GB (Mirrored) storage, 4 GB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 3 IPs
- Enhanced – $99.99/mo – 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 2.5 GHz, 1 TB (Mirrored) storage, 8 GB RAM, 10 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 3 IPs
- Premium – $119.99/mo – 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 3.3 GHz, 1 TB (Mirrored) storage, 16 GB RAM, 15 TB bandwidth, 1 domain, 6 IPs
Unlike most hosting giants, BlueHost has fast customer service. Here, you will not have to wait half a day just to get in contact with an agent.
You can reach BlueHost support by opening a ticket, through email, phone, or chat, depending on the plan you have. They are willing to offer assistance with any problem and are very knowledgeable.
And, if you like to solve problems on your own, check their knowledgebase and forums, which are packed with information.
It’s great that they also employ WP experts for their WP Pro plans. That means only the best WordPress developers work on maintaining your site. Here, the support is much faster too, and these are the plans that we recommend.
Unfortunately, their support team won’t do free migrations. Not providing free migrations is a considerable negative, especially when most other competitors who offer this service completely free of charge.
BlueHost has a 30-day money-back guarantee. 30-day money-back guarantees are pretty standard in the hosting industry, but nothing special. It’s worth noting that they don’t offer any uptime guarantees. That shouldn’t concern you, considering they have a great history of terrific 99.9%+ uptimes. However, it is always great to have as many guarantees as possible.
Below you can find the key details of BlueHost’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
BlueHost is affordable, but you will have to sign up for an annual plan. So make sure you use that 30 day period to its fullest. My advice is to take time to test all of the features before the guarantee expires. I personally have little doubt that you will like what you see, BlueHost is big but very reliable.
Pros And Cons
- BlueHost provides sound security. BlueHost has one of the best security systems in the hosting industry. When comparing BlueHost to budget providers it stands out from the crowd. You will be protected from spam, DDoS, brute force attacks, and malware. Everything is backed up, and you can restore your site if something malicious does get through.
- BlueHost is recommended by WordPress. Knowing that your WP site is hosted on a WordPress recommended provider is fantastic. There are not many recommendations better than that.
- Great uptime and performance is standard for BlueHost. BlueHost has stable servers that work super fast. You can expect 99.9% uptime or better, with page speeds lower than 500 ms.
- BlueHost offers flexible and affordable plans. BlueHost is affordable, but you get surprisingly a lot for the money paid. All their plans are unique, and each has something to offer no matter what the site size is.
- WP Pro – BlueHost has one of the best WordPress managed hosting packages in the industry. If you want to sit back and relax while the WP experts take care of your site for you, this is the plan you get.
- No monthly plans – prices are per month, only yearly contracts.
- No free migrations – this is a big minus. BlueHost charges for site migrations, which is something not many other companies do.
- Only the standard 30 day money-back guarantee. We’d love to see 45 days or longer offered. For example, InMotion hosting offers a 90 day money-back guarantee.
- Higher renewal prices after your initial term. This is common in the hosting industry, but something to be aware of.
BlueHost Review: My Final Thoughts
Throughout this BlueHost review we have covered many topics. I really hope that you were able to gain some insight into what makes BlueHost unique. I also hope that it helped you in making a decision about which web host to use.
Overall I view BlueHost as one of the most solid options available. Their an industry leader with a solid track record. On top of that, they’re recommended by WordPress. It’s hard to find a more solid hosting provider in their price range. However, there is one hosting company that I personally recommend more.
If you would like to see my complete WordPress Hosting comparison article, I compare nearly 20 different hosts. Here you can see which hosts I recommend slightly more than BlueHost. However, BlueHost is a great option and worth trying. They’re one of the best around. However, I highly recommend checking out my full WordPress hosting comparison if you’re still undecided!
Our final score for BlueHost is 9 out of 10 stars.
Have you tried BlueHost before? Do you think my BlueHost review is completely wrong? I’d love if you shared your own mini BlueHost review below in the comments section! Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I really hope you got something out of it!