When you buy something from Geartek using the retail links in our product reviews and pages, we earn a small affiliate commission.
Europe & UK,
Beginner to intermediate
Average page loading time 424ms
Average uptime (99.99%)
Free Website Transfers, CDN and SSL Certificate
Dedicated IP Address
Best Value Hosting
You need to consider your decision carefully before you commit to a 3-year contract. It is really cheap but you are tied for 3 years in order to get the really cheap rates. Try and switch to a 12-month renewal of their basic plan, and the price shoots up. you would definitely be happy with the service as far as uptime and the level of security features available to implement. Overall, there is no doubt that Bluehost offers great value for money especially if you are a little tech savvy but you need to be certain that you will stay with them for 3 years to qualify for the cheap rates. Most people do and they are quite happy. The 30-day Money back guarantee does give you a certain peace of mind if you change your mind.
User Review( votes)
Bluehost Web Hosting review 2020
Bluehost is currently responsible for hosting more than 2 million websites all over the world and is one of the most popular and least expensive shared hosting services available. WordPress’ official site (WordPress.org) recently re-made their hosting page and listed their 3 favourite hosting providers. Among those are SiteGround, Dreamhost and Bluehost.
Founded in 1996 by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in Provo, Utah, they have a staff of 750 employees working around the clock to ensure the highest quality of service possible.
Their excellent customer support, user-friendly control panel, and free domains are just more reasons why many website beginners choose to host here. However, Bluehost lacks in providing a solid uptime policy which means people won’t be compensated for long downtimes. They also charge you for site migrations, putting them lower on the list for people who want to transfer a website. Below are the most important things you need to know about this popular web hosting company.
Strong uptime of >99.99%
Since their services underwent a major overhaul, Bluehost has improved its uptime so profoundly that it is pretty much near perfect (>99.99%). With only 5 outages in the past 10 months, Bluehost’s remarkable uptime is well over the industry standard of 99.94% and it provides you with extremely low downtimes over a long period of time.
If you run a small business and rely on the internet, downtime can affect sales, revenue, business opportunities, etc. If downtime occurs during a promotion or a holiday season, even more so. So e-commerce entrepreneurs, running one or more websites, will want to do their due diligence on this issue. Bluehost provides you with unparalleled reliability.
Last 10-month’s average uptime. As a whole, it is the best uptime we have seen, period:
- March 2018 average uptime: 100%
- April 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
- May 2018 average uptime: 100%
- June 2018 average uptime: 100%
- July 2018 average uptime: 100%
- August 2018 average uptime: 99.99%
- September 2018 average uptime: 100%
- October 2018 average uptime: 100%
- November 2018 average uptime: 100%
- December 2018 average uptime: 100%
Bottom line, the most reliable hosting provider out there.
Fast Page Loading of 424ms
Since summer 2017, Bluehost has improved their load times by a whopping 300%. That is remarkable.
Our measured server response time was a little bit less impressive at 497ms. This is with their basic shared hosting plan. Cloud hosting would provide much faster speeds. And, Bluehost’s powerful VPS WordPress hosting would definitely lend higher speeds to WordPress websites that we have experienced using hosting on one of their shared servers.
Taking all of the above into consideration, the average load time is only 424ms, Bluehost has managed to rise through the ranks to the 3rd fastest web host. To achieve these improvements, Bluehost invested in upgrading their ‘Bluerock’ server park and it has paid off in a big way. The results have been steady ever since.
Last 10 month’s average loading times:
- March 2018 average speed: 399ms
- April 2018 average speed: 415ms
- May 2018 average speed: 463ms
- June 2018 average speed: 429ms
- July 2018 average speed: 409ms
- August 2018 average speed: 406ms
- September 2018 average speed: 467ms
- October 2018 average speed: 418ms
- November 2018 average speed: 414ms
- December 2018 average speed: 421ms
This makes Bluehost the 5th in speed rankings. That is not bad at all.
Low introductory pricing
Bluehost has kept improving their uptime, loading times and services and in 2018 they have also become one of the most inexpensive web hosts on the market. Although they aren’t the cheapest provider, the improved servers and the lowered price tag makes them an excellent option for even the most budget-conscious webmaster out there.
Their Basic plan is going to be your cheapest option on Bluehost. And, cheap it is. Although their low advertised price is only for your first term, it is still a very good price.
Their unmetered bandwidth means you’ll be covered if you experience a sudden spike in website visitors. Bluehost’s technology monitors your resources and temporarily re-assigns your website to an isolated system if it is using excessive resources. As a result, your website performance won’t suffer when you have an unexpected increase in users.
But this is only adequate for small websites. Larger projects hosted on shared servers with unlimited bandwidth risk a CPU throttle if their websites are using abnormal amounts of this resource. This is caused by a slowing or freezing of your CPU resources. Bluehost may do this so that your over-usage doesn’t affect others on the server. This is why Bluehost has many web host service plans with dedicated bandwidth allowances for larger businesses.
The basic plan will be a good option for anyone starting a website for the first time. It will be able to handle projects such as small blogs, portfolios, or other personal websites. In principle, you can start here and then upgrade from your control panel when you need more powerful options. One downside of Bluehost’s web hosting is that you must pay for at least one year at a time. So there is no option to pay month by month. However, given the low cost of most Bluehost hosting, this shouldn’t be a problem for most people.
For higher-demand sites, Bluehost provides business web hosting on their powerful cloud infrastructure. This lets them offer a powerful host package to businesses. Cloud hosting is useful for businesses, including online stores, for multiple reasons.
It allows websites to handle higher traffic and unexpected changes in site visitor volume. Resources are scaled instantly with one click, so you can handle traffic spikes without a problem. Some Bluehost cloud plans also allow for unlimited domain hosting so businesses can host multiple websites.
Cloud-hosted websites will definitely be more reliable. This is because your website data is duplicated and mirrored across three different drives. If one of the drives gets damaged for whatever reason, two copies of your website work together to rebuild it. While this happens, the remaining copy of your website continues running as if nothing has happened. As a result, your website won’t experience outages or reboots when issues arise.
Another benefit of cloud hosting is faster speed. Bluehost’s low-density servers make sure your website will always have the resources it needs to continue running smoothly. Sites run on Bluehost’s shared hosting load in 372ms while those on their cloud plans load in just 151ms. As your business grows and demands more resources, you just ramp up your CPU or RAM from your control panel or upgrade to a higher-level plan.
Cloud hosting includes Varnish caching so that dynamic website content requests can be processed quickly and delivered to your website visitors. Varnish is a remarkable technology that significantly accelerates your site loading speeds.
What does Bluehost “manage” for its business cloud accounts?
The fact these accounts are “fully managed’ means you don’t need to worry about maintaining your hosting environment.
Bluehost will manage:
- Security patches
- Port access
- Maintaining languages
- Response to attacks on servers
- Response to server down incidents.
Good security options
With the increase of cyber-attacks and major data breaches that have been growing over the last few years, finding a web host with sufficient security options is more important than ever. With Bluehost, you can prevent spam with tools like SpamAssassin, Spam Experts, and Spam Hammer. They also support CloudFlare, which helps prevent pesky DDoS attacks that can bring a site down by sending an overwhelming amount of “fake” traffic from different sources.
You can also password protect your directories, create blacklists for IP addresses, and manage digital certificates and private keys right from Bluehost. They also offer hotlink protection (which prevents people from stealing your images and content), IP address blacklists to block problematic individuals, SSH access for secure web sessions, and optional filters that you can use for specific users and email accounts.
Bluehost has also integrated several layers of security to protect you on the account level.
You can enable two-factor authentication within your Bluehost account, and they’ve built the entire site with token account validation. With this system, you can prove your identity when you contact customer support by giving a six-digit code to verify your identity before having to give your password to a customer support agent.
In terms of security, Bluehost comes fully loaded and with plenty of security features that will keep you, your website and your visitors safe.
Many Integrations, Apps, and eCommerce Features
On top of the many security features listed above, Bluehost provides you with an app-rich dashboard that allows you to integrate different services such as Google Apps, CloudFlare and more directly into cPanel.
By integrating Google Apps into the Bluehost platform, you’ll be able to bring all of the perks of Google to your business right from the heart of your hosting account. Cloudflare, on the other hand, is a popular, free CDN service that can boost your site’s speed and help to keep it secure from potential hacks and breaches.
Are you building an online store using the popular WordPress plug-in, WooCommerce? If so, check out Bluehost’s specialized WordPress e-commerce hosting. With this, you get a dedicated IP address and an SSL certificate, so your website is set up to start taking payments securely.
WooCommerce is seamlessly integrated into your WordPress website. In no time, you can launch a beautiful online store without running into technical problems. You’ll also be given at least $100 in marketing offers which you can use to run ads for drawing in customers.
Many of Bluehost plans also include unlimited email hosting as well. This is an essential feature for starting an online store such as on WooCommerce. Bluehost has radically simplified its eCommerce features, allowing customers to seamlessly set up an online store with an endless number of shopping cart options. Simply click “Install” and get down to business.
30-Day Free trial and money back guarantee
Bluehost is simple to use. The cPanel interface is just about as simple as web hosting can be. All you’ve got to do is click on the icons and get to work. But if in doubt after signing up, Bluehost offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
While this guarantee isn’t quite as generous as other competitors, such as Dreamhost and their 97-day money back guarantee, we think 30 days is enough time to assess whether Bluehost is the right fit for you or not
However, it’s important to note that some terms apply if you want to claim your refund:
- If you cancel within 30 days you receive a full refund on your hosting service only. The money-back guarantee does not apply to most add-on products, such as domains, given the unique nature of their costs.
- If you cancel within 30 days and your plan includes a free domain, Bluehost will deduct a non-refundable domain fee of 15.99 from your refund. This not only covers our costs but ensures that you won’t lose your domain name. You may transfer it to another registrar or simply point it elsewhere at your convenience. Please note newly registered domains cannot be transferred to another registrar during the first 60 days of the registration period. You retain ownership of your domain until the end of its registration period unless you renew it.
- Bluehost does not offer any refunds for cancellations that occur after 30 days.
Things Bluehost could improve on
Their Customer Support is fast but could be more knowledgeable
Although Bluehost has improved massively over the last couple of years both in technical knowledge and response rate, the quality of their customer support is still lagging behind its competitors.
Something worth mentioning is that their YouTube channel does contain a lot of helpful and easy to digest tutorial videos. You can probably resolve 90% of your potential problems by yourself and learn something along the way.
While the customer support team can now handle inquiries with lightning-fast speed, we found that some of the more technical questions eluded support representatives and required multiple inquiries to resolve. There is room for improvement but don’t be put off by this. They have improved a lot in recent times and if you are a little savvy and technical, you shouldn’t ever encounter any issues. We are certain they will continue to improve as time goes by.
$2.75/mo price only comes with a 36-month plan (but $4.95/pm is still cheap)
Bluehost is cheap. But just how cheap? Well, it depends… Their super-low introductory rate of only $2.75 a month comes with a few strings attached. Namely, it requires a three-year commitment. If you only want 12 months of service, your rate jumps up to $4.95 per month. This can be really annoying
We would recommend biting the bullet and taking them up on their 3-year introductory offer because their basic 12-month renewal price jumps up to $8.99 a month and we don’t think it represents good value for money when you have so many other competitors.
Site migrations aren’t free…
Most of the hosting providers we review will help you move your existing site into their service. You would imagine Bluehost to do this for you as it is a quick procedure. Unfortunately, Bluehost is not one of those companies.
They charge a ‘migration fee’ of $149.99 to do something that most provide gratis. And they will not transfer more than 5 sites and 20 email accounts. Speaking of extra fees, a simple 45-minute introductory walkthrough of their services will set you back with $79.99.
This is something that most hosting providers are all too happy to provide complimentary because you’re signing up for their service for the long-term so unless you are technically savvy (in all fairness you don’t need much, there are plugins that do this for you rather easily and completely free) you are stuck.
BlueHost pricing, hosting plans & quick facts
Bluehost provides three shared hosting options to choose from. Please note that advertised pricing below is a low introductory rate for a three-year term. Rates for shorter plans cost more and you can’t get anything with less than 12 months.
Also, the word ‘unlimited’ doesn’t always mean unlimited.
- Basic plan: Provides one website max, 50GB storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get 5 email accounts (with max storage of 100MB each).
- Plus plan: Provides 10 websites, 150GB storage, and ‘unlimited’ bandwidth. You also get 100 email accounts of 500MB each.
- Prime plan: Providing ‘unlimited’ websites, storage, bandwidth, email account and email storage. (Currently On Sale)
You need to pay for three years at once to enjoy the advertised price for their shared hosting plans. It will cost much more if you choose a shorter duration. Please note that the minimum duration you can pay for is 12 months.
- Free domain? Yes.
- Ease of Sign-up: Easy two-page sign-up process.
- Payment Methods: Major credit cards and PayPal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: The low introductory starting rate for three years minimum (with renewal plans that jump). And that whole, “We’ll delete your account if you go over 1,000 database tables or 3GB total database”.
- Upsells: Some Upsells. But it’s common in the web hosting industry, so don’t worry about it.
- 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 CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Mojo Marketplace makes app installation quick and easy.
Do we recommend Bluehost?
Yes, we do. Bluehost should be on your shortlist if you have a WordPress site. They are one of only 3 web hosting companies officially recommended by WordPress.org. That recommendation is because they provide an optimal environment for WordPress, versus the minimum requirements at the majority of hosts. And it’s because of their savvy in-house technical support team of WordPress specialists.
Consumers have become more demanding than ever. Even one second of delay in loading can cause you to lose readers and, if you’re in e-commerce, hit your bottom line in significant ways. For that reason, it’s worth a few extra bucks to go with a host that has a robust infrastructure that’s delivered proven speeds that meet Google’s highest standards.
It boats the best in uptime and reliability (next to HostGator Cloud) and the speed isn’t bad either. How would we quickly fair them against their competitors?
- Speed – top 5
- Uptime – top 1
To see more web hosting options, visit our best web hosting companies of 2020