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Stay away from Bluehost if you don't want headache
BlueHost Expert Review
After over 20 years in the business BlueHost has become an industry heavyweight, and its services have made it a WordPress-recommended hosting provider. We found that even starter accounts offered access to a wide range of tools and features that make it simple to set up, maintain and scale one or more websites.
At the same time, a broad selection of advanced features allowed us to create complex backend configurations with ease. BlueHost also impressed us with its uptimes and load times, major factors for smaller businesses that are just starting to build their brand and require reliable hosting.
As usual, we subjected BlueHost to some thorough testing to determine whether its basic and premium products could deliver. Take a look at our findings in our BlueHost review to decide whether it’s right for you.
Pros and Cons
- Experience above average load times and uptimes with little downtime.
- Access free, popular features with even the most basic accounts, including advanced developer tools.
- BlueHost’s low fees range on the lower end of the industry’s spectrum.
- Use simple 1-Click installations of WordPress and Ecommerce solutions to get started quickly.
- Enjoy generous basic features including unlimited bandwidth and nearly unlimited disk storage.
- Easily set up a new WordPress website with a rich array of tools, educational resources, and seamless 3rd-party integrations.
- Beginners benefit from exceptionally intuitive interface and drag-and-drop website builder.
- Customer service can be slow during peak hours.
- Though much faster than the industry standard, BlueHost is not the leader in industry load times.
- They can be insistent about upselling products you may not need during the signup process.
Pricing and Payment Methods
You can choose from several BlueHost packages depending on your hosting needs. Shared hosting starts at a low $2.95 a month, and provides 1 website, unmetered bandwidth and a free SSL certificate – perfect for a small business that’s just getting their website off the ground. The WordPress basic package at $3.95 a month will get you similar features as well as preinstallation of WordPress and a staging environment that lets you confidently test changes before deploying them.
For us, the premium plans pack a punch in terms of value for money. The recommended WordPress upgrade is only $5.95 a month and offers unlimited websites and unmetered SSD storage. The VPS mid-range service, priced at $29.99 a month, includes 60 GB SSD storage and 2 IP addresses. BlueHost’s most expensive plan, the Premium Dedicated Hosting plan, costs $119.99 per month. Though it offers blazing speeds (3 GHz) and Securely Mirrored storage, the service is geared more toward companies that host multiple websites, making it less valuable for SMBs.
We especially appreciated the fact that across plans it was easy to upgrade to a more advanced plan with just a few clicks, an important feature for small business with big aspirations.
Ease of Use
We found BlueHost to be a versatile hosting service, offering different advantages for both beginners and advanced users. The Weebly drag-and-drop website builder is a big plus for users with no experience developing websites, and 1-click integrations for several useful tools make it easier to roll out quickly. Similarly, free SSL certificates and a free domain for one year take the hassle out of website maintenance.
We also wanted to test the platform’s advanced features for developers, and BlueHost was able to satisfy our expectations on that score as well. The broad range of coding languages and support, databases and free website scripts let us easily customize our backend in a few minutes. While we know that beginners don’t necessarily need these features when they start out, the ability to scale easily is an added advantage for SMBs.
Load Times and Reliability
We were a little surprised that BlueHost doesn’t loudly advertise speedy loading times or reliable uptimes. Nevertheless, we tested the service over a period of several months to see how these two factors fared. Overall, BlueHost performed admirably in terms of uptimes, averaging 99.99% with very few service disturbances. BlueHost wasn’t the fastest web hosting platform we’ve used, but it still managed to rank within the top 5 services during our testing period.
Although its price point is on the lower end of the web-hosting spectrum, BlueHost offers a wide range of features with which to customize your website. Bluehost’s most basic WordPress hosting lets you build a 6-page website for free with the Weebly plugin and automatically updates your WordPress version to keep it running safely and securely. Additionally, automatic daily site backups help prevent major website disruptions.
If you have more advanced WordPress needs, the service’s WP Pro account offers an intuitive marketing dashboard through which lets you manage social media, SEO, and more. A WooCommerce integration makes it easy to set up and maintain a secure online store, while the free SSL offered with each plan keeps you customer data secure and encrpyted. They also offer four shopping cart integrations to choose from. We were happy to note that features like spam protection and 24/7 network monitoring contribute to the platform’s robust security.
As always, we’re particularly interested in the more advanced features the service offered, and we were impressed with the amount of customization tools BlueHost provides for developers. Free website scripts offered by the platform include social networking, Drupal and Joomla. Unlimited FTP accounts, as well as an impressive library of CGI and database tools that include MySQL, PHP 5, Ruby, Perl, and Python collections, and more.
For the most part, we were satisfied with the customer support that BlueHost provided. They offer a number of ways to get in touch, including 24/7 live chat, email and phone support, and encourage customers to through social media. That said, communication with agents did not necessarily resolve problems quickly, though all agents we spoke to were friendly and eager to help.
We were happy with the amount and depth of resources they have to guide you through troubleshooting before you escalate to a representative and found that we could often resolve problems on our own with the help of the documentation available.
BlueHost User Reviews
Our BlueHost expert review is based on our technical knowledge, and we use specific metrics to see how companies stack up. To get the full picture, read through our BlueHost user reviews to see what other regular users are saying:
Overall, our BlueHost expert review found that the company’s services meet the needs of both experienced web developers and non-tech customers. Thanks to intuitive interfaces, embedded Weebly drag-and-drop website building and vast amounts of documentation, beginners can set up website quickly and efficiently. At the same time, developers have access to advanced features that empower them to customize the behind-the-scenes and perfect their websites.
Whether you’re looking to host a single website or constructing a multi-website empire, BlueHost is a reliable, fast hosting choice. Features and tools such as daily backups and a myriad of coding customization options make this affordable hosting solution a good choice for customers of different tech levels and comfort.
BlueHost Prices, Plans & Features - 2019
Shared Hosting Plans
VPS Hosting Plans
Dedicated Server Plans
Cloud Hosting Plans
BlueHost Refund & Cancellation Policy
- You may cancel your account anytime and receive a prorated refund.
- Full refund with if you cancel within the first 30 days, with the exception of the below mentioned domain name policy
- The remaining balance will be refunded to the current credit card on file. If you paid via Check or Paypal your funds will be refunded using that method.
- If you received a free domain name from them during your signup and cancel anytime after the first three days, there will be a $14.99 charge for your domain name, which will be your domain name to keep for 1 year