Our Official BlueHost Review
Welcome to our official review for Bluehost’s hosting services! Bluehost, as you may or may not be aware, is one of the most popular hosting providers in the world.
For years, WordPress has officially recommended Bluehost for people wanting to create a WordPress website of their very own. However, the opinion of Bluehost in internet land began to change in 2013 when it was bought by the Endurance International Group. It’s a big corporation that owns dozens of hosting companies, and the internet argued that what made Bluehost great (customer service, state-of-the-art datacenters) would suffer as a result.
Well, were they right? Our review of BlueHost is based entirely on how BlueHost operates in the current year. We weren’t around to test BlueHost pre-2013, so our assessment is based on how BlueHost operates now: Is its dashboard intuitive to use? Do websites run reliably on their servers? How easy is it to contact customer service? These are the questions we explored in our assessment.
In summary, we found BlueHost to an excellent provider when it comes to uptime and customer service. Their live chat feature can get most of your problems fixed within minutes, and their support tickets are answered on average in under 3 hours. Their server response time was only above average, however.
A Little Background Info on BlueHost:
You can’t talk about web hosting without mentioning the cyberspace titan, Bluehost. Founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in December 2003, the company was hosting over 500,000 websites within four years.
If you fast forward to 2017 you’ll find there are now over 2 million websites resting on this giant’s shoulders. Located in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, the Bluehost datacenter employs over 700 staff members dedicated to ensuring positive growth.
Bluehost wouldn’t have seen this kind of success unless they’ve been doing something right for so long. Not only are they one of the largest web hosting companies in the industry, they are also one of the cheapest. Along with their outstanding prices, their interface is excellent for both beginners and advanced users, and they have a wide variety of hosting plans with a plethora of unique features depending on the pricing tier you choose.
What our BlueHost Tests Revealed:
In preparation for our assessment of Bluehost’s hosting services, we set up three hosting accounts with a dozen live websites to see how Bluehost’s servers would respond. You can see our results below:
Overall, we found that websites on shared hosting platforms had excellent uptime scores, and above-average server response times. We get into the details of each here:
Our Uptime Scores:
We used UptimeRobot on our websites to monitor how often their websites would go down–even if just for a minute. Our results?
Average uptime of 99.84% over a 30-day period.
The results included 12 websites monitored over a 30-day period, with 2 of them gaining a perfect 100% score. As for the periods of downtime, they tended to be in the middle of the night, and lasted less than a minute.
So Bluehost has an uptime score of 99.84% which puts them in the ‘very good’ category, but what does that mean for you? That means that if your website is hosted with Bluehost when a user tries to visit it, it will load 99.84% off the time. It is nearly impossible to guarantee a perfect 100% uptime on a shared hosting plan (in fact many companies that do boast this are rounding up from something like 99.84% to a whole number at 100%), if that is important to your business then you will need a dedicated server or VPS hosting plan and it will be significantly more expensive. For most of us, shared hosting suits our needs just fine and given that the industry standard sits at around 98% uptime, a score of 99.84% is more than respectable.
Our Speed Scores:
The main factor that your web host plays in your website’s speed is the server response time. That’s the average time it takes for the server to respond to a request from a website visitor. For this test, we also used UptimeRobot. We found that average server response time was between 500ms and 1100ms, which is above-average for shared hosting.
Are server response times the most important factor for you? We found that Media Temple scored the fastest out of all the providers we’ve tested.
What Kind of Hosting Does BlueHost Offer?
This is a list of the most popular types of hosting services Bluehost offers:
One of the aspects of Bluehost that customers adore is the fact that they offer such a myriad hosting plans consisting of more features for less money. With an assortment of offerings including Shared, WordPress, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting there is sure to be a package that suits your needs.
Shared Hosting Options:
Their three tiered hosting package consists of Basic, Plus and Prime options. If you’re building a website then this is where you want to start. These three choices offer a powerful, field tested platform from which to launch your blog, business, or promote your product(s).
Feel free to check out our BlueHost Coupon page for discounts on all of BlueHost’s hosting plans.
The Basic plan gets you one website and a free domain name you can use for as long as you are a customer with Bluehost. Also included is 50GB of website space, five email accounts with 100MB email storage, five parked domains, twenty-five subdomains and a free domain transfer if required—all in all, this gets you everything you need to host a single website.
The Plus plan adds unlimited websites and storage. It also comes with $200 of marketing offers and a security protocol known as SpamExperts. Finally, the Prime plan gives you everything in the Plus package, adding SiteBackup Pro and Domain Privacy.
If you want to go further you may do so by choosing the Go Pro package. This will give you all of the above plus a Dedicated IP and SSL Certificate.
VPS Hosting Options:
If you’re looking for Next-Gen VPS hosting then you’ll be happy to hear that Bluehost builds their Virtual Private Servers on cloud technology, giving you more power and control over your website.
While there are four levels of VPS plans through Bluehost, the most popular is the Enhanced plan. The Enhanced package gives you two CPU Cores, 60GB SAN Storage, 4GB of RAM, 2TB of bandwidth, 1 domain, 2 IP addresses, a money back guarantee and 24/7 customer support. The other VPS packages get you more or less space and memory at different price points.
Cloud, Dedicated, and WordPress Hosting:
Faster, simpler, bigger and safer are four choice words used to describe Bluehost’s Cloud hosting service. While there are three choices to examine, the most popular is the Performance plan. Signing up for this package grants you unlimited websites and storage, 4GB of RAM, $200 in marketing offers, Local Caching, 1-Click Rescaling and SpamExperts.
Their Dedicated hosting plan is for those who want the ultimate in website performance and security. The Standard package starts you off with a speed of 4 Cores and 8 Threads, 1TB of storage, 4GB of RAM, 5TB of Bandwidth, 1 domain, and 3 IP addresses.
If you’re a WordPress user then you’ll love the fact that Bluehost offers you everything you need to make your WordPress website secure, fast and user friendly. Their WP Standard plan is their most popular, starting you off with 100 million visits per month, 30GB Storage, 30GB backup, 2 GB RAM, 1 domain, enhanced cpanel, and SiteLock Pro.
If you’re going to be running a business or blog, email will be paramount to your success. Luckily, Bluehost has you covered. With the company’s most basic plan, you’re given an allowance of five emails with 100GB of email storage per account. If you want to move up to a more expensive package, you’ll be allotted unlimited email addresses.
Another thing to keep in mind is the email managing and statistics tools Bluehost has available, enabling you to read, send, and organize your email effectively as well as take an in depth look at your target demographic.
Furthermore, there are even more advanced features such as forwarding rules and account filters, Secure POP3 and IMAP support, third-party client compatibility, spam protection, and other unique user controls.
Security and Other Included Freebies:
Bluehost takes advantage of the ever-popular SiteLock, scanning your website on a regular basis to ensure no viruses or malware can sneak through any cracks. If you’re running company servers, SiteLock will also provide 24/7 monitoring.
In the event of power failure, Bluehost has backup generators to guarantee there are no interruptions in security or site backups. You may also choose to build your site using their cloud service, where it will be automatically stored on up to three devices.
Going even further, Bluehost grants you with the benefit of creating IP address blacklists, password protected directories, digital certificates, email filters and much more.
In spite of all of these wonderful features, Bluehost does not do daily backups of their customer websites, so you will be left with that responsibility.
Bluehost offers 24/7 telephone support for all of their customers, and depending on your enquiry, there are different phone numbers (both national and international) you will need to call. They also offer online chat, a ticket based system, and a knowledgebase. The wait times for responses are within reason, and most customers seem satisfied with their technical difficulties being resolved.
If you are not satisfied with their service they offer a 30-day money back guarantee, which is pretty standard for almost every web hosting company. The guarantee only covers hosting plans, and does not include add-in features or additional domains.
Bluehost offers a lot of the same features and included perks that other shared hosting providers do. I would say they do some things better than other companies, and other hosts do some things better than they do. What it will come down to is what your needs are as a company. If you need a lot of email accounts for example, you may want to go with somebody who offers unlimited ones with their shared hosting plans. The bottom line is that Bluehost will most likely be more than adequate for your needs, and if you find out they are not you don’t have to put up a lot of money to try them out and you have 30 days to redeem it if necessary.