Bluehost Web Hosting Review

Best Value For Your Websites? We Think So.

Since 2018, we have been a paying client of Bluehost.

That means that over the past year we have been tracking their cheapest quality shared hosting service (both average load time and uptime). 

The Bluehost analysis relies heavily on information as well as the overall experience with its hosting and customer support apps.

In a nutshell, all Bluehost packages offer live chat, unmetered bandwidth, and at least five email accounts for their customers 24/7. Like many other web hosting services, for the first year they do sell their customers a free domain. Their packages start at $2.75/mo, with enhanced security, backups, and SSL certificates. Those help keep your website safe and secure.

Overall, they had a good performance. With its uptime (99.99%) and a short load time of 406ms (0.4 seconds), Bluehost is obviously at the edge.

What We Love About Bluehost…

Best Uptime Of All Web Hosts We Tested.

When choosing a web host, Uptime is one of the most important aspects–after all, if your page is down, the users can not access it. One of your top priorities should therefore be consistently good uptime.

Our benchmark for “healthy” uptime is 99.94 percent after testing 32 web hosts. That might seem pretty high, but it’s slightly lower than average actually. Plug these numbers into a calculator and you’ll see it easily converts into at least 26 minutes of downtime per month or just over five hours in a year.

And hopefully, there’s nothing else we want to see than that.

The good news is that in 2017-2019 Bluehost easily surpasses this benchmark, holding our page safely alive for 99.99% of the time.

Top Ranking Page Load Times.

A Google survey last year found that most websites are too slow when viewed on mobile.

For two major reasons, that’s a concern. Google’s first app index can either elevate the website or cover it in user searches depending on its loading rates, and studies show that sluggish websites almost always result in lower sales.

So, the page loading times of your host is the second most important factor after uptime that can literally make or break the success of your web.

We have been using a third-party tool, Pingdom, to keep track of Bluehost’s results since December 2018. And again, we were pleased with the results— an average 406ms loading page which makes them the fourth fastest site we’ve ever reviewed.

Great Deals On Pricing For New Signups.

In just a moment, we’ll look at Bluehost’s full pricing and plans.

If you were to check out the starting prices, however, you will notice that the lowest advertised price is $3.95/month. That’s a pretty good deal because it was originally supposed to have been reduced from $7.99/month.

You get almost everything you need for a single website for that price. This includes storage of 50 GB of SSD, unmetric bandwidth, free SSL certificate, etc.

So you would get a pretty good price value, plus their reliable uptime and loading page speeds.

The good news is that we have been able to work out a deal for our readers with Bluehost that brings down the starting price to $2.75/month.

This is the lowest online rate we’ve ever seen (and believe us, our team is spending too much time online as it is). So if you’re on the market for a new affordable host, Bluehost is a great option.

Great Security Features. 

Although Bluehost is one of the “cheaper” options on the market, we were pleased to see that they are not cutting too many corners or skimping on critical features such as safety.

By definition, Bluehost offers several good security options, including the free SSL certificate for each plan as previously mentioned.

Both plans also include a security feature for the domain which helps to keep the personal information that you used to sign up for a private domain. It stops hackers from discovering and using these personal details to hand over sensitive information to phishing schemes to trick you or others.

To help prevent malware attacks, which are sadly very common on WordPress sites, SiteLock is included. CodeGuard is another form of protection that also offers regular backups so that if it gets hacked, you can roll back previous versions of a page.

Google’s Postini is the ultimate safety device worthy of note. It provides your email with spam security, stopping something suspicious from getting into your inbox.

All in all, to keep your page safe and sound, this is a pretty decent security kit.

Integrations, Apps, Features, & More!

In addition to the security features included, Bluehost also provides access to a wide range of different apps and integrations to enable you to use the most popular web services.

For example, if you prefer to buy and manage multiple domains through them, they have a domain manager. You can set backups every day, weekly or monthly just in case.

With a single click, you can install WordPress (more about that in the next section below). Other popular content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal, Joomla, run an e-commerce shop and more can also be installed.

In addition, Bluehost will also include connections to a Content Delivery Network (CDN). These host your images and large files, removing the work from your servers, delivering them faster to users around the world and at the same time keeping your site fast.

Official WordPress.org Recommendation.

WordPress is the website platform most commonly used on the internet.

And they “officially” recommend only a small handful of  hosting partners to use with a WordPress site: Bluehost, Dreamhost, SiteGround

Obviously, you can use almost any web hosting service to create a WordPress site. But it is good to see that Bluehost is one of the few officially recognized partners.

Beginner Friendly Interface.

Some of the web hosts that we saw are best for advanced users only.

The control panel (cPanel) layout of Bluehost makes it easy to use. In most instances, you just have to point and click.

It also has advanced user features, but WordPress can also be easily installed and started by beginners.

Alternatively, they can start with a template that you can customize by simply dragging-and-dropping features using the Bluehost website builder software (such as Weebly alternatively Drupal).

30 Day Guarantee.

Getting the best deal on web hosting is usually prepaid for a couple of months, a year or years at a time.

Bluehost isn’t the other way around — more about that below. But on their plans they give a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can try the service for yourself to gage their quality, and then ask for a refund if you’re not completely satisfied. But we’ve got a few words of caution.

According to their words, this is what is and is not protected by this guarantee: you can only get refunds on the price of web hosting, not any other services like domains or other add-ons.

Unless you received a free domain name in your contract, a $15.99 charge will be deducted.

Any payments will not be reimbursed until 30 days.

It is not necessarily a rule that has been questioned for no-questions, as we have seen from certain hosts. Until signing up, make sure you’re OK with those points.

Great Customer Support.

Bluehost offers everything from a knowledge base to live chat, email ticket support, and even phone support. We tried the live chat from Bluehost and linked Craig in two minutes.

There were minor delays between each response, but overall, Craig was extremely friendly and answered every question directly. It was a painless drive that’s just what you want from a host’s customer support.

What Bugs Us About Bluehost Hosting…

Bluehost is doing quite well across the board. Nonetheless, there are two large areas where the prices get very steep. Let’s dive into each one more deeply.

Migration Isn’t Free.

Most of the web hosts we checked would switch your current website to their platform free of charge. They see it as a friendly service that helps bring happiness to new customers, so they wave any fees.

Bluehost does not, unfortunately, do free migrations.

We have a one-time $149.99 charge that covers up to five websites conversion, 20 email accounts, and any other server files for these pages.

We say it’s going to be quick and smooth so you won’t encounter any delays or downtime.

But, it’s a major “Con” to know that you have to pay for it, and charge so much.

Expensive Renewals

The best way to get the lowest possible hosting rate is to pay one, two, or even three years in advance in advance.

On the one hand, the monthly price is low, but on the other hand, prepaid for a longer period of time (between 12-36 months) means you’re not just committing to a couple of dollars, but over a hundred dollars.

The higher retention rates after the introductory period ends are another thing to consider. In this scenario, prepaid at $2.95 for a full three years is a good deal because for as long as possible you’re locking in that low rate.

Nonetheless, the rates will jump back to their “ordinary” levels at the end of that word. Prices vary from $7.99 to $8.99/month on the most simple shared plan depending on how much you are paying in advance.

Do We Recommend Bluehost Hosting?

Absolutely.

For more than a year, Bluehost has been ranked at or near the top for both uptime and load times.

They also offer strong security support, a money-back guarantee, and lots of user-friendly apps, all for one of the industry’s lowest rates ($2.75/month).

Nevertheless, they are not flawless. Renewal rates will rise after the end of introductory rates. They also charge extra for site migrations, which are thrown in for free by other hosts.

Yet overall, Bluehost delivers good quality and strong performance.