Bluehost powers over 2 million websites. And Bluehost hosting is among the best hosting companies in the world. It does a great job of demystifying the process of building a website for beginners.
Especially if you want to use WordPress. All plans include a free domain for the first year, great uptime (based on real-world data), free CDN, an easy website builder, and a free SSL certificate. All you need is one place. Is it suitable for your next site? Let’s find out.
Bluehost compared to the best web hosting services
After two weeks of rigorous testing, which included signing up, building a website, talking to customer support, and a 30-day uptime and speed test, Bluehost came in at number five on our list of the eight best web hosting providers. Although Bluehost has been outdone by other hosts, it’s still an excellent option and our top pick if you’re looking for a free, easy-to-use WordPress website builder.
If that’s not something you’re interested in, there may be a better option. See our top picks to check out in-depth reviews by a team of researchers who have used the products, our scoring strategy, and which one is the best depending on what you need.
Bluehost: Pros and Cons
Every web hosting service has its drawbacks, even the most exclusive ones. Here’s an in-depth look at Bluehost’s best and bad features.
Great security: Bluehost has one of the best security measures on the market. All of Bluehost’s security features are effective and will help you reduce hours of tweaking your website. It will also give you peace of mind, which is especially essential for absolute beginners.
All Bluehost plans come with resource protection, and CodeGuard Backup Basic can be added for an additional fee of $2.99 per month. CodeGuard will assist you with daily backups and monitoring while notifying you of any changes.
The basic version of this security feature comes with 1GB of storage space, daily backup and monitoring, and three patches per month. However, for more expensive plans like Choice Plus and Pro, you can expect free automatic backups for one year and 24/7 network monitoring.
Extensive and Fast Customer Support: Another excellent feature of Bluehost is its extensive and fast customer support base. Customer support is paramount to any web hosting service, but finding one that has fast and efficient support can be a dime-dozen.
Fortunately, Bluehost offers just that, and most users have said that their customer support is very helpful when immediate support is needed. There’s a good chance you’ll be connected to Bluehost’s Live Chat system within five minutes of waiting.
All of its support bases are available 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about knowing time zones. Bluehost also offers phone and email support, but wait times vary. However, you always have the option to pass the time by browsing their extensive knowledge base support forum for many FAQs, videos, in-depth articles, and support resources on all things web hosting.
Easy to use: Bluehost is not only the most popular web hosting service on the market for its premium features and products but also because it is incredibly easy to use. Ease of use is important to have because web hosting is overwhelming for some, so the setup process need not be difficult either.
Fear not though, because Bluehost has an easy setup process that takes a few minutes to complete, to get your website up and running. With an easy-to-use interface, it will ask you to fill out a form that includes your website goals, what you want to add to your site, and what you want your site’s name and logo to be.
After answering these questions, you can choose a theme of your choice from the Bluehost Marketplace, and it will then automatically install WordPress for your absolute convenience. All you have to worry about is the customization, while Bluehost takes care of the backend and the power of the technology.
High-Performance Servers: Another great thing about Bluehost is that it offers high-performance servers to all users who purchase the Pro plan. Although it is not always ideal for each user to spend more money, we believe that you get what you pay for. For $14.95 per month, you get access to dual quad-processor performance servers that will keep large e-commerce websites running efficiently.
This server is an excellent choice for large websites because Bluehost makes sure there are fewer users per server – with an odd file count of 300,000 – so there are no slowdowns for anyone involved.
However, if you don’t want to pay for these servers, we still think the regular Bluehost servers that come with the other plans are great and work just fine.
Affordable cost: When you select Bluehost, you receive several benefits related to the cost of the service.
The monthly price is relatively low, especially when you commit to a 36-month subscription. You can get a free domain name for the first year if you are a new customer. You don’t have to worry about hidden costs with a Bluehost subscription.
Finally, you receive a 30-day money-back guarantee with Bluehost, so you don’t have to worry about risking the money you spend.
Free integration with Cloudflare CDN
Just like its competitor, Bluehost includes a free Cloudflare CDN in all of its hosting plans. With the basic Cloudflare CDN package in place, your website content will be stored in over 200 data centers globally, so when someone visits your site, they receive your content from a server that is physically closer to them. This will of course increase the speed of your site as the data will reach its destination more quickly.
If you want to make the most of Cloudflare’s CDN service, you can purchase the premium plan. It comes with Rate Limiting (a feature that allows you to shape and block your website traffic based on the number of requests per second), WAF (Web Application Firewall), and Argo Smart Routing (algorithms that determine the fastest available route to transfer your website data to the desired destination).
No matter which Cloudflare CDN package you choose, you’ll get 24/7 customer service
Automated marketing tools
Bluehost has developed an SEO toolkit that simplifies the entire search engine optimization process and helps you improve your search engine rankings. With Bluehost’s SEO tools, you’ll be able to see an overview of your SEO performance and discover issues that are holding back your SEO success. You will also get a list of suggested keywords to strategically target and optimize your web content.
The Bluehost SEO toolkit also includes step-by-step instructions and competitive intelligence (the latter of which shows you how your competitors compare to you when it comes to search engine ranking, link popularity, and social media).
Unfortunately, Bluehost does not offer these tools for free. There are two plans you can choose from Start and Grow. The Startup Plan is created with new websites and businesses in mind and includes 10 keywords, a weekly ranking survey, 2 competitor reports, a step-by-step SEO plan, and monthly progress reports.
On the other hand, the Grow package is perfect for website owners who want to start ranking for more keywords. It comes with 20 keywords, daily rank scanning, 4 competitor reports, proactive alerts, a step-by-step SEO plan, and a priority optimization list.
Another great part of Bluehost’s marketing toolkit is the free Google My Business integration. With a carefully designed GMB profile, your existing and potential customers will be able to connect with you via Google Search and Google Maps by calling, messaging, or leaving feedback.
Last but not least, Bluehost includes a special offer from Google Ads in all of their shared hosting packages. If you reside in the US and are a new advertiser, you will be able to start advertising on the popular search engine with a promotional credit of $150
VPS and dedicated hosting services
Bluehost’s VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting plans are created to provide you with the resources and tools to build high-performance websites. They come with fully dedicated server resources (your Bluehost account will always have a certain amount of storage space, RAM, and CPU you’ve paid for), great raw computational power, and full root access to implement configuration changes in your hosting environment.
Bluehost’s VPS hosting features a simple and intuitive dashboard that allows you to manage your sites and analyze their performance in one place. Additionally, Bluehost does not limit the amount of traffic your VPS-enabled sites get as long as you comply with their acceptable use policy.
Bluehost dedicated hosting provides the ultimate web hosting environment because you don’t share your dedicated server with anyone. This means that your resources are guaranteed and your site’s performance is stable and predictable. If your website is receiving a massive amount of traffic, a fully isolated dedicated server is probably exactly what you need.
Excellent WordPress integration
WordPress itself recommends Bluehost. This comes as no surprise since the US hosting provider allows you to install the famous CMS (Content Management System) on your account in one click.
Apart from that, Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting includes layered caching to improve site speed, automatic scalability to handle traffic surges, advanced website analytics, and centralized social media control. With their managed WordPress hosting plans, Bluehost has made the WordPress platform completely redundant. Additionally, these packages come with a staging environment and scheduled daily backups
WordPress Site Builder
Bluehost’s WordPress website builder allows you to choose from over 300 design templates and quickly and easily create a professional-looking website. There is also an image library with hundreds of pre-loaded images that you can use. The site builder lets you upload your photos, videos, and music without storage restrictions if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Additionally, the WordPress website builder gives you a chance to upload fonts in case your favorites aren’t included in the Bluehost suite. The builder allows you to manage your CSS rules directly via its dashboard.
Security and Privacy Bluehost
When it comes to security and privacy, Bluehost has a lot to offer. Aside from free SSL certificates, Bluehost offers IP blacklists, email filters, password-protected user accounts and directories, SSH (Secure Shell) access that allows secure file transfer, and secure remote login over the Internet.
Bluehost also gives you the chance to improve your site’s security with a variety of add-ons like SiteLock and SpamExperts. SiteLock will protect your website from cyber-attacks with the help of automated malware detection and removal. This app performs daily scans for malware (continuously if you buy the more expensive package) and monitors the Google blacklist. Apart from the limited free plan, there are also 3 paid packages of SiteLock: Essential, Prevent, and Prevent Plus.
SpamExperts is a sophisticated email filter that scans your email inbox for spam, viruses, and other email-related attacks so you can focus on important tasks without having to sift through your inbox for relevant emails. It does this with an accuracy of 99.98% and is designed to avoid false positives. This add-on gets ahead of attacks by continuously improving data collection and analytics. Bluehost includes SpamExperts in all of their shared hosting plans except for the entry-level.
There is no free site migration: now here the negative aspects appear. Currently, Bluehost does not offer free site migration, which can be a problem for users who are moving from a different web hosting service.
You can expect to pay Bluehost a whopping $149.99 to migrate up to five websites and 20 email accounts. Although this service comes with 24/7 support, full auditing, and uninterrupted migration, it’s still quite expensive for most users—especially when so many other web hosting services transfer your website for free.
What’s also not great is that this migration service doesn’t cover resellers, VPS, or dedicated server accounts, and it doesn’t include domain registrations.
No Guaranteed Uptime: Unlike most web hosting services, Bluehost does not offer an uptime guarantee on any of their plans. This is worrying because downtime can be very detrimental to website owners, as you can lose potential customers if your website suffers from it.
The uptime guarantee gives users peace of mind and shows them that the provider will keep your website running in the most efficient way possible – and is serious about the customer service experience while putting customer needs first.
However, while this may be an issue for some, many users still praise Bluehost for its uptime, regardless of the warranty, as data shows that it has an uptime of 99.99%.
Bluehost pricing and options
Bluehost offers quite a few pricing plans for individual website goals and needs. Let’s break it down to each level.
The great thing about Bluehost is that it has a variety of options at an affordable price. It offers three main business areas, with different pricing plans according to the outlets mentioned. This includes shared hosting, online stores, and WordPress administration.
In addition to these great savings on your hosting services, Bluehost will give you a $19.00 domain registration coupon for the first 12 months of registration.
Bluehost offers quite a few web hosting-related products that will meet the needs of most users. Here’s an in-depth look at some of the different products from Bluehost:
Bluehost and WordPress go hand in hand, and there is no better way to run your own website than with official WordPress hosting. Bluehost designed this specific hosting package to enhance your website, using resources and tools that integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
With maximum compatibility with any WordPress website, this hosting plan will work best for blogs, websites, or online stores. Bluehost offers features like automatic WordPress installation, automatic WordPress updates, and Google My Business verification.
Not only that, but you can choose from a unique selection of themes and templates from the Bluehost Marketplace, specially designed for WordPress. You get complete design freedom with customization features and easy-to-install plugins.
Some other features of WordPress hosting include:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Free domain for a year
- Secure login setup
- 24/7 WordPress hosting support
This hosting package has different pricing plans than Managed WordPress plans. You can get select WordPress hosting under three plans with 36-month terms, including:
- Basic: $2.95 per month
- Plus: $5.45 per month
- Choice Plus: $5.45 per month
Just as we discussed earlier, the shared hosting package is the most popular among Bluehost users because it is the easiest way to get your website up and running at an affordable price.
Simply put, shared hosting allows multiple users to run their websites on a single server. This particular package is best for blogging, hobby, or small business websites.
The best feature of the shared hosting package is that Bluehost manages and monitors the server, so users do not need to worry about server management or platform patches.
Some of the features of the shared hosting package include:
- domain manager
- Resource protection
- SSL certificates
- Google Ads
Small businesses reap most of the benefits of a shared hosting plan because it is more simple and more affordable. Since shared hosting does not guarantee RAM or CPU, small businesses are not affected as much as large companies that need extra space.
Dedicated hosting is an excellent package for large companies that need an increase in storage, power, and control. This package is on the high-end side of web hosting, so it’s focused on performance and security.
Unlike shared hosting, a dedicated hosting server provides the highest level of protection, security, and control to its users. These servers are separate from each other so that each user gets full access to the server without being affected or affecting another user’s experience.
Bluehost’s dedicated hosting, guarantees every user a stable and predictable website performance, with full control and privacy.
This package is best for users with high-traffic websites, as you will need a full combo of RAM and CPU to run your website efficiently – which is exactly what dedicated hosting does.
Some of the supporting features of dedicated hosting include:
- maximum speed
- Rapid provisioning
- RAID storage
- Root access
- Custom support
- storage upgrades
- Free domain for a year
However, Bluehost dedicated hosting is not cheap. It offers three pricing plans, including:
- Standard: $79.99 per month with 500GB storage and 4GB RAM
- Enhanced: $99.99 per month with 1TB of storage and 8GB of RAM
- Premium: $119.99 per month with 1 TB storage and 16 GB RAM
- All rate plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Overall, Bluehost is an excellent choice for beginners because it comes with everything you need to get started with WordPress, from a free domain name and automatic WordPress installation to a free drag-and-drop page builder and detailed step-by-step instructions for every step of the way.
With comprehensive product offerings such as WordPress hosting, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and tiered pricing plans, we think most users will enjoy the Bluehost experience.
The good outweighs the bad, and it’s definitely a web hosting service worth looking into – especially for WordPress users.