Bluehost is one of the most recognized names in web hosting. It got its start back in 1996, which makes them one of the oldest web hosting companies around.
In this post, I’ll be covering all aspects of Bluehost’s services, and I will also share a special deal with you to get Bluehost’s introductory hosting plan for only $2.95 a month instead of the regular $3.95/mo).
Bluehost has built a great reputation over the years. especially in the arena of WordPress hosting.
They have the rare privilege of being a recommended hosting provider from WordPress itself and offer specialized understanding in the realm of everything WordPress.
Some things to keep in mind about Bluehost:
- Most plans have a cheap introductory rate for the first year, but go up in price after that. You can get started for as little as $2.95 per month with shared hosting if you use this special offer from Host Monkeys. Otherwise, the Starter plan usually costs $7.99 per month, which is still a good price.
- All accounts enjoy unmetered bandwidth.
- The starter plan includes 100 email accounts. The Plus and Business Pro plans offer unlimited email accounts.
- You can receive up to $200 in marketing credits.
- The familiar enhanced cPanel makes it easy to configure and control your sites (see a demo here).
Which Level of Bluehost Web Hosting Should You Choose?
Bluehost offers five main tiers of hosting plans:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Cloud Sites
Shared hosting is the introductory level of hosting. This is what most beginners and small businesses start with. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option and usually purchased by those who are experienced and need full control of their resources. With dedicated hosting, you are essentially renting a physical server. VPS hosting allows you to share a physical server with others, but still have your own virtual operating system, so the server acts as though it is physically yours. managed WordPress hosting is for those that want the processes of security, speed, WordPress updates, daily backups, website uptime, and scalability taken care of for them. Let’s take a look at the plan tiers for each.
Bluehost Shared Hosting
- Basic: Beginning at $3.49 per month for the first year, this plan jumps up to $7.99 per month at the regular price.
- Plus: This plan is regularly $10.99 per month.
- Prime: This plan is $14.99 per month.
These prices are decent, but with this deal, you can make sure you get the best price!
Bluehost “Basic” shared hosting plan
The Basic plan includes one website, 50GB of space, and unmetered bandwidth. You also get one domain, five parked domains, and 25 sub-domains. Additional features include 5 email accounts with 100 MB of storage each.
Bluehost “Plus” shared hosting plans
With the Plus plan you get unlimited websites and unmetered space and bandwidth, which is great. You still get one domain included, and you can have an unlimited amount of parked domains and sub-domains. This plan also steps up the Email offerings with unlimited accounts and storage. Plus, you’ll receive $200 in marketing offers. On top of all this it includes Global CDN and one SpamExperts.
Bluehost “Prime” shared hosting plans
The Prime plan includes everything in the “Plus” plan but adds domain privacy and SiteBackup Pro. It’s interesting to note that the Plus and Prime plans are the same cost for the first year promotional period. After that, the prices rise to 11.99 and 14.99 respectively.
Bluehost VPS Hosting
- Standard: $19.99 during promotional period, up to $29.99 after that
- Enhanced: $29.99 during promotional period, up to $59.99 after that
- Ultimate: $59.99 during promotional period, up to $119.99 after that
These prices are competitive for VPS hosting industry-wide. The speed for the first two plans is 2 CPU cores, and moving up to four cores for the top plan. You get 30GB SSD storage at the lowest tier, 60 GB with the middle plan, and 120 GB with the top plan. RAM ranges from 2 GB to 4 GB, and all the way up to 8 GB. You get unlimited bandwidth at all levels. Each tier includes one domain, but the top two tiers get two IP addresses instead of one. Each level is backed by 24/7 managed support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Standard: $79.99 for the promotional period, $109.99 per month after that.
- Enhanced: $99.99 for the promotional period, $159.99 per month after that.
- Premium: $119.99 for the promotional period, $209.99 per month after that.
With all tiers, the speed is listed at 4 cores and 8 threads. The Premium and Enhanced plans offer you a TB of storage while the standard plan offers 500 GB (all mirrored). RAM starts at 4 GB for Standard level up to 8 GB for the Enhanced level, and then doubling to 16 GB at the Premium level. You get 5 TB of bandwidth with the Standard plan, 10 TB with the Enhanced plan, and 15 TB with the Premium plan. Every plan includes one domain and you get three IP addresses at the Standard level, four at the Enhanced level, and five at the Premium level. All plans are backed by 24/7 support and a 30 day money-back guarantee.
- Blogger: $12.49 your first month, $24.99 after that
- Professional: $37.50 your first month, $74.99 after that
- Business: $60.00 your first month, $119.99 after that
- Enterprise: $85.00 your first month, $169.99 after that
These plans are quite expensive compared to what some competitors offer (many hosts sell WordPress hosting plans at the same prices as general-purpose shared hosting plans).
WordPress hosting on Bluehost is a big deal, however, and one of the company’s most popular services (with more than a million sites hosted by the company).
Features at the Blogger level include 100 million visits per month, 30 GB of storage, 30 GB of backup space, 2 GB of RAM, and up to five sites. You get one included domain and one IP address. Additional features include enhanced cPanel, SiteLock CDN, and SiteLock Pro for added security.
The top-level Enterprise plan gives you unlimited monthly visits, 240 GB of storage and backup space, 8 GB of RAM and up to 30 sites. You get one included domain and IP address. Along with enhanced cPanel and SiteLock CDN/WAF Pro, you get SiteLock Enterprise and Positive Wildcard SSL.
All plans are backed by 24/7 service and a money-back guarantee. These plans also include automatic plug-in updates and regular backups.
These are all excellent features, but still, you may be asking, “Why would I pay this much for WordPress hosting?” Bluehost plays a very active role in the WordPress community and has a core staff of developers. That means that Bluehost can offer first-class customer support and troubleshoot even complex problems which are unique to WP.
This is not to say Bluehost is your only or best option. However – hosts like Inmotion Hosting can easily compete, and at a lower cost.
It is easy to set up an online store with Bluehost, which offers many different shopping carts: Zen, Cube, Agora, and OS Commerce. You get SSL security for your transactions, a certificate generated for free, and OpenPGP/GPG Encryption.
Unlimited bandwidth sounds good but I’m pretty sure they would limit your account according to their fair use policy if your website had consistently outstanding traffic. There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. Bluehost has to pay for the bandwidth you are using. This applies to all web hosts. I suggest you read my post about bandwidth and disk space.
The $200 in free marketing credits is also a big help if you are a store owner. You can use these to promote your business through Google, Facebook, Bing, and Twitter.
All of that having been said, Bluehost is not particularly known for eCommerce, and some sites make it easier and faster to set up a shop. But Bluehost is an economical choice, and you will get access to a ton of great features to help you sell online.
Security is an area where Bluehost excels. You get three layers of anti-spam protection in the form of Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, and Apache Spam Assassin. You get protection for your inbox as well; it is easy to set up filters. Your directories are all password-protected.
If you need to block access to your site, you have the option to blacklist IP addresses. Another top-notch feature is secure shell (SSH) access. This allows you to access configuration files individually and securely.
Bluehost also offers single-click integration with CloudFlare, which provides even more excellent security features and speeds up your site! CloudFlare is particularly good for thwarting DDOS attacks.
You also get a lot of options to upgrade:
Bluehost covers its plans with a 30-day money back guarantee. That means if you cancel within the first 30 days, you will get a full refund. If you choose to cancel after that, you won’t get a prorated refund for the period of your hosting term which you have not used. Domain fees are not refundable.
Bluehost makes it a breeze to set up your website and manage it. The enhanced cPanel interface is as easy to use as it gets—you just click on the icons to get to where you need to go.
You can take care of everything with your websites and email addresses in one central location. You can customize the layout of the control panel to your needs. That way you can get quick access to your favorite features.
Here is an area where Bluehost gets mixed reviews. Many customers report positive experiences with fast, helpful, friendly customer service agents. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of clients who say that they were unable to get the help they needed even with numerous phone calls.
Another problem with Bluehost is excessive upselling. This is a company that loves to try to sell you on add-ons and upgrades, and there are a lot of areas where you flat-out need add-ons for full functionality. That is a problem if you are on a tight budget.
Who is Bluehost Best For?
- Customers who are looking for a reliable web host with a strong reputation. Bluehost is one of the oldest names in the business and has established trust.
- WordPress customers who can pay extra to get access to more features and a dedicated support team of WP experts.
- Owners of both large and small businesses. Bluehost is fine if you are on a budget and just want general-purpose shared hosting. Just watch out for the upselling.
Pros of Bluehost:
- Most plans include unlimited disk storage, domain hosting, email addresses, and bandwidth.
- You get a free domain name for a year included with your purchase.
- The enhanced cPanel is really easy to use and offers fast access to features.
- The security features on Bluehost are flat-out excellent.
- Numerous databases are available, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, CGI-BIN, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby on Rails, and much more.
- Tons of free website scripts are available, including social networking scripts, blog support, mailing lists, message forums, Joomla and Drupal and Tikiwiki.
- eCommerce features are good with multiple shopping carts available and SSL security.
- Most customers report that Bluehost is fast. Integrate with CloudFlare, and you’ll get even better performance.
- If you can afford it, the WordPress hosting on Bluehost is considered to be top-notch.
Cons of Bluehost:
- While there are many useful add-ons available, unfortunately, you need to install many of them to get the full functionality you need.
- The customer service team gets mixed reviews.
- Bluehost loves to try to up-sell its customers, which can get to be annoying if you are on a tight budget.
- The WordPress plans, while very nice regarding features, are also very expensive compared to plans offered by many competitors. Inmotion, for example, has an excellent plan starting at just $2.95 monthly. That’s less than half of the starting price for the lowest tier WP plan offered by Bluehost.
There are plenty of exciting features and extras included at every price point, and the diversity of plans provides a lot of flexibility for every budget. Whatever your needs, Bluehost delivers regarding its packages.
Despite some negative feedback, the majority of customers are quite happy with Bluehost’s services. There is a reason that this company has such a strong reputation over 20 years of online business!
In summation, Bluehost is literally one of the top few that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. If you’re looking for a web host with a rock-solid reputation, then look no further than Bluehost. With cheap and scalable plans you can customize your solution, and in just a couple of moments, you’ll be up and running.
Bluehost is an absolute knockout of a web hosting provider – if you can grab the occasional sale (right now 50% Off), it’s an absolute no-brainer!
Pros & Cons
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
Enterprise class server hardware (Intel Xeon E5 Dual Hex Core processors, SSD storage in RAID 10 arrays)
Servers in two US-based data centers (TX and MI)
Free daily backups
Softaculous script installer included
Weebly Website Builder with drag-and-drop
Pop3, IMAP, and webmail access included
24/7/365 Expert Support with full 90 day money back guarantee
Limited storage and bandwidth
No tools to assist creating mobile sites
Many complaints of outages
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
99.9% Uptime Guarantee