Bluehost Reviews – Is Bluehost Hosting Best & Cheapest?

Published by Prakash Verma on

Bluehost Reviews – Is Bluehost Hosting Best & Cheapest?

Bluehost Reviews – Is Bluehost the Best & Cheapest Hosting Company? We shall find out the detailed pros and cons of using the Bluehost hosting company. 

I am writing this honest reviews of Bluehost after using it for more than 3 years. I have constantly monitored their shared hosting plan performance for the past three years. I have analyzed the average load time and uptime of Bluehost during these years.

This Bluehost review relies heavily on data, as well as the overall experience with their hosting features and customer support.

In a nutshell, all Bluehost plans offer their customers 24/7 live chat, unmetered bandwidth, and at least 5 email accounts. Similarly to many other web hosting companies, they too offer their users a free domain for the first year. Their plans start from $3.95/mo and include improved security, backups, and SSL certificate. These help to keep your website protected and safe.

Overall, their performance has been good. Bluehost is clearly at the top with its uptime (99.99%) and a fast load time of 406ms (0.4 seconds).

Read all the “Pros” and “Cons” below:

General Info & Hosting Overview


OVERALL RANK: Rated #1 out of 32 web hosts
SPEED: 406ms (December 2017 to March 2019 average)
UPTIME: 99.99% (December 2017 to March 2019 average)
SUPPORT: 24/7 Live Chat
APPS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and some website builders
FEATURES: Unmetered bandwidth and storage, email accounts, free domain 1st year
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, Cloud, VPS and Dedicated Servers
SITE TRANSFER: Not free
PRICING: Starting at $3.95/mo (renews at $7.95/mo)

Bluehost Services

Pros of using Bluehost

1. Best Uptime – 99.99% – Throughout the Year

Uptime is one the most important aspects when choosing a web host – after all, if your site is down, your users can’t access it. So consistently good uptime should be one of your top priorities.

After reviewing 32 web hosts, our benchmark for “good” uptime is 99.94%. That might seem pretty high, but it’s actually even slightly below average. Type those numbers into a calculator and you’ll quickly see it translates into at least 26 minutes of downtime each month or just over five hours over the course of a year.

So ideally, we don’t want to see anything less than that.

The good news is that Bluehost easily surpasses this benchmark, comfortably keeping our site live for 99.99% of the time in 2017-2019. Here’s the monthly breakdown of the past 16-months (with one scheduled maintenance period in October 2018):

  • March 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
  • February 2019 average uptime: 100%
  • January 2019 average uptime: 99.96%
  • December 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • November 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • October 2018 average uptime: 99.91% (scheduled maintenance)
  • September 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • August 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • July 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • June 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • May 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
  • April 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • March 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • February 2018 average uptime: 100%
  • January 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
  • December 2017 average uptime: 100%
Bluehost last 16-month statistics
Bluehost average uptime 2017-2019 

Conclusion? Bluehost is the most reliable web hosting provider according to our uptime study.

2. Load Speed – 406ms

A report from Google last year found that the vast majority of mobile websites are way too slow.

That’s a problem for two major reasons. Google’s mobile-first index can either elevate or hide your site in user searches based on its loading speeds and studies show that slow websites almost always translate into lower sales.

So, after uptime, your host’s page loading times are the second most important thing that can literally make or break your site’s success.

We have been keeping track of Bluehost’s performance since December 2017 using a third-party tool, Pingdom. And once again, we were pleased with the results — an average page loading speed of 406ms which places them as the 4th fastest site we’ve tested.

Bluehost last 16-month detailed statistics
Bluehost average speed 2017-2019 

3. Low Pricing ($3.95/mo)

We’ll look into Bluehost’s full pricing and plans in just a moment.

However, if you were to go check out the starting prices, you’ll notice the lowest advertised price is $3.95/month. That’s a pretty good deal considering they’ve supposedly reduced it already from $7.99/month originally.

For that price, you get pretty much everything you need for a single website. That includes 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and more.

So you’d be getting a pretty good value for the price, plus their consistent uptime and page loading speeds.

This is the lowest rate We’ve seen anywhere online (and trust me, our team spends way too much time online as it is). So it’s a great deal if you’re in the market for a new affordable host.

4. Best Security Options

Even though Bluehost is one of the “cheaper” options on the market, we have been pleased to see that they don’t cut too many corners or skimp on critical features like security.

Bluehost provides a lot of good security options by default, including the free SSL certificate for each plan like we mentioned earlier.

All plans also include a domain privacy feature that will help keep the personal information you used to sign up for a domain private. This prevents hackers from finding and using these personal details for phishing schemes to trick you or others into handing over sensitive information.

SiteLock is included to help prevent malware attacks, which are unfortunately fairly common on WordPress sites. CodeGuard is another form for protection, which also provides daily backups so you can roll back previous versions of a site if it does get hacked.

Postini, from Google, is the final security tool worth noting. It provides spam protection for your email so anything suspicious is prevented from getting in your inbox.

Altogether, this is a pretty decent security package to keep your site safe and sound.

5. Many Apps, and eCommerce Features

Beyond the included security features, Bluehost also provides access to a huge number of different apps and integrations so you can use the most popular services on the web.

For example, they have a domain manager if you’d rather just purchase and manage multiple domains through them. You can set daily, weekly, or monthly backups just in case.

You can install WordPress with a single click (more on that in the next section below). You can also install other popular content management systems (CMS) like Drupal, Joomla, run an e-commerce shop, and more.

Plus, Bluehost will even include access to a Content Delivery Network (CDN). These host your images and large files, taking that work off your servers, to deliver them faster to users around the world and keep your site quick at the same time.

6. Recommended Hosting from WordPress

WordPress is the most widely used website platform on the market.

And they only “officially” recommend three hosting partners to use with a WordPress site:

  • Bluehost
  • Dreamhost
  • SiteGround

Of course, you can use almost any web hosting provider to create a WordPress site. But the fact that Bluehost is one of the few officially recognized partners is encouraging.

WP.org recommends Bluehost
WordPress.org recommends Bluehost

7. Beginners Friendly

Some of the web hosts we’ve seen are best only for advanced users.

LiquidWeb, for example, is great if you know what you’re doing. But they lack a user-friendly interface for non-technical people. So if you’re a beginner, you’d have a tough time getting a site live.

The layout of Bluehost’s control panel (cPanel) makes it easy to use. You just need to point and click in most cases.

It also has features for advanced users, but beginners too can easily install and start-up WordPress.

Or, they can use the Bluehost website builder tools(such as Weebly or Drupal) to start with a template that you can customize by just dragging-and-dropping features.

Bluehost cPanel
Bluehost easy to use cPanel

8. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Getting the best deal on web hosting usually means prepaying for a few months, a year or several years at a time.

Bluehost is no different — more on that below. But they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on their plans.

You can try out the service to gauge their performance for yourself, and then still ask for a refund if you’re not completely satisfied. We have a few words of caution, though.

According to their terms, here’s what does and doesn’t fall under that guarantee:

  • You can only get refunds on the web hosting cost, not any other products like domains or other add-ons.
  • A $15.99 fee will be deducted if you received a free domain name in your plan.
  • Any requests after 30 days will not be refunded.

It’s not exactly a no-questions-asked policy like we’ve seen from some hosts. So make sure you’re OK with those points before signing up.

9. Customer Support

Bluehost offers everything from a knowledge base, to live chat, email ticket support, and even phone support. We tried out the live chat and Vinutha from Bluehost connected within two minutes.

There were slight delays between each reply, but overall, Vinutha was extremely friendly and offered direct answers to each question. It was a painless experience, which is exactly what you want out of a host’s customer support.

Bluehost Support

Bluehost customer service live chat
We had a chat with Bluehost Live Chat representative

Cons of Using Bluehost

Bluehost performs pretty well across the board. There are two big areas, however, where the costs get a little steep. Let’s dive deeper into each one.

1. Higher Renewal Rates (Common in the Web Hosting Industry)

The best way to get the lowest possible price for hosting is to prepay for one, two, or even three years upfront.

Bluehost Three Year Pricing
Bluehost detailed pricing

On the one hand, the monthly price is low, but on the other hand, prepaying for a longer period of time (between 12–36 months) means that you’re not just committing to a few dollars, but around a hundred dollars.

Another thing to consider is the higher renewal rates after your introductory period expires. In this case, prepaying for a full three years at $3.95 is a good deal because you’re locking in that low rate for as long as possible.

However, at the end of that term, the rates will jump back up to their “Normal” rates. These range from $7.99 – $8.99/month on the most basic shared plan depending on how long you prepay.

Bluehost renewal pricing
Bluehost renewal pricing

2. Site Migrations Are Not Free

Most web hosts we’ve reviewed will move your existing website over to their service for free. They see it as a friendly service that helps make new customers happy, so they’ll wave any fees.

Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t do free migrations.

They have a one-time fee of $149.99 that includes the migration of up to five websites, 20 email accounts, and any other database files for these sites.

They claim it’ll be quick and seamless, so you won’t experience any delays or downtime.

However, the fact that you have to pay for it, and pay so much, is a big “Con” to consider.

Bluehost website transfer
Bluehost website transfer cost
Bluehost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Bluehost’s Basic plan will cost you $3.95/mo

The Plus plan increases to $5.95/mo — the same price as the Choice Plus option for unlimited websites, SSD storage, and bandwidth. They also allow you to manage unlimited domains, parked domains, and subdomains on these plans, too.

The Choice Plus plan starts at $5.95/month with all of these features and high performance from their servers.

In addition, Bluehost has all major web hosting types, including VPS, cloud, and dedicated data centers.

Bluehost Pricings & Plans
  • Free domain? Yes for 1st year, then renews at $15.99.
  • Ease of Sign-up: Easy two-page sign-up process.
  • Payment Methods: Major credit cards and PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: No refund on any domain names. Renewal rates for both domains and hosting increase.
  • Upsells: Some Upsells. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence in the web hosting industry and happens with a lot of different big-name hosting companies.
  • Account Activation: Most users enjoy instant activation. If the information is inaccurate or there’s suspicion of fraud, activation might get delayed.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Simple and easy-to-use control panel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Mojo Marketplace makes app installation quick and easy.
Do I recommend Bluehost?

Yes, I do.

Bluehost has ranked at or near the top for both uptime and loading times for more than a year.

In addition, they offer strong security support, a money-back guarantee, and plenty of user-friendly apps, all for one of the lowest rates in the industry ($3.95/month).

They’re not perfect, though. Renewal rates will increase after the introductory pricing ends. Also they charge extra for site migrations, which other hosts throw in for free.

But overall, Bluehost delivers strong performance and good value.

Visit www.Bluehost.com

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