Founded in 2003, Bluehost is a globally-recognized name that is owned by Endurance International Group. Other brands falling under Endurance’s umbrella include iPage, HostMonster, and FastDomain. Collectively, Endurance hosts millions of websites worldwide.
Since 2005, Bluehost has been officially recommended by WordPress, an accolade given only to the very best web hosts, so you should expect to see plenty of good things.
Does Bluehost live up to this recommendation by WordPress, though?
Is Bluehost a high-quality service that is reliable and recommended not only for WordPress hosting, but shared hosting too?
Let’s take a look under the hood at some of the things we love about Bluehost (and some of the things we don’t) to answer these questions.
What We Love About Bluehost
There’s a lot to love about Bluehost and although we could drone on and on endlessly, we have narrowed it down to 6 main “pros”.
Perfect Pricing Structures for New Websites and Start-Ups
One of the key considerations when choosing a hosting provider is the amount of money you need to hand over to get a reliable and suitable service. Bluehost was once considered an expensive hosting provider, however, they have since changed that and now are among the cheapest available.
While Bluehost is by far not the cheapest web host, they offer great value for money. The adage “you get what you pay for” applies to web hosting just as much as anything and if you pay bottom-dollar, nine times out of ten you’re going to get a service that matches.
With their pricing structure, Bluehost has managed to provide an unbeatable level of service and performance while not breaking the banks of their customers.
For a measly $2.95 per month on their “basic” plan, you get enough to space run a brand-new website—whether it’s a company website, eCommerce store, or personal blog—and scale it up. With 50 GB of disk space, you won’t need to worry about running out of room for all your website’s content (and plugins if you are on WordPress.)
What’s more, you get to benefit from the same service level that all other customers do, too. This means a feature-rich service that is easy to use, unbeatable uptime, and blazing-fast Bluehost server-side speeds that let your website perform at its optimum.
If you are after true value for money, we recommend subscribing to their “plus” plan, however.
Unbeatable Uptime Statistics
Downtime is bad for your website for obvious reasons.
Unsurprisingly, hosting companies recognize this and do all they can to prevent them. To this extent, the industry standard for uptime is a staggering 99.94%. While most serious hosting companies never experience any extensive periods of downtime, there are plenty of low-rate hosts that will have uptime as low as 80-90%.
You may be thinking that uptime of 90% sounds good on the face of it, however, the numbers tell a different story. There are 365 days in a year:
- 99.9% uptime means uptime of 364.96 days;
- 99.4% uptime means uptime of 364.80 days;
- 95% uptime means uptime of 346.8 days;
- 90% uptime means uptime of 328.5 days;
- 80% uptime means uptime of 292 days;
And so on, so forth.
If a hosting provider only has uptime of 95%, that means, on average, your website will experience nearly 20 days’ (3 weeks!) of downtime throughout a calendar year.
This can have serious repercussions for your website for obvious reasons. If your website is regularly down, you will lose visitors and thus lose money.
We are pleased to report that, over the last 12 months, Bluehost has uptime statistics of 99.98%
Bluehost and WordPress Make a Perfect Pairing
Seriously—Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress.
When the world’s largest CMS is personally recommending a hosting provider, this is probably a good thing and you should pay attention.
Out of the three hosting providers that WordPress recommends, Bluehost is given the top spot:
The Bluehost WordPress plans are a little different to their regular shared hosting plans in terms of features (e.g. you get $50 marketing credit on the Basic WordPress plan whereas you don’t get any on the Basic Shared Hosting plan.)
Again, it is the mid-tier “Plus” plan that has the best value for money.
All these plans come tailor-made for WordPress deployment and a one-click installation takes care of all the boring technical stuff. If you need any help, Bluehost has a team of WordPress specialists on-hand to provide assistance.
Simple and Intuitive User Interface
Unlike some other hosting providers (1&1, for example), Bluehost has put a lot of effort into creating a simple administrative and cPanel interface that makes handling the technical aspects of your site(s) a breeze.
Their admin panel looks like this:
In fact, we would argue that it is as simple as cPanel gets. If you have ever seen the regular cPanel interface, you will know what we mean:
But Bluehost has gone to great lengths to re-design it and make it easier to use:
Endless Integration Options and Tools
The Bluehost dashboard allows you to easily integrate several different services, apps, and plugins. Google Apps and Google Analytics, Cloudflare, and specialist e-commerce apps can be installed in a matter of seconds and provide additional functionality for your site.
The Google Apps suite, for example, will bring all the perks associated with Google to the heart of your website. Google My Business, Analytics, and other tools are very useful for tracking growth, establishing your presence online, and boosting SEO. On the other hand, Cloudflare is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that helps to make your site faster, keep it online during periods of downtime, and stay secure.
30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
If you’re a commitment-phobe, Bluehost has you covered. All their plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee attached to them, meaning you can get your money back if you aren’t satisfied with their services.
This gives you 30 full days to take Bluehost for a spin and decide whether it’s the right solution for your website.
It is important to note, however, that the money-back guarantee only applies to their hosting plans and not to add-ons such as domain registration.
There Is Some Room for Improvement
Site Migration Isn’t Free
If you are starting a brand-new website and don’t need to transfer anything from an existing host to Bluehost, this isn’t something you need to worry about.
In the interests of transparency, though, and our commitment to always help our readers make the best decision possible, we need to mention the fact that Bluehost doesn’t offer complimentary site migration like other providers—SiteGround and 1&1, for example—do.
Migrating a website from one host to another, in this case Bluehost, is a relatively quick and simple task in most cases.
Unfortunately, Bluehost charges $149.99.
We can see why they are doing this, though, given that they are mostly known for their WordPress hosting. Transferring WordPress sites is a lot more technically involved than simply dragging and dropping files, and it is something that needs to be done right with due care and attention.
Still, though, lots of other WordPress hosting providers offer this service for free. While we appreciate that Bluehost’s WordPress team is the best in the industry, it would be nice to see this offered for free… especially since most new customers sign up for multiple years.
If you are transferring a big WordPress site, it is absolutely worth paying for. Bluehost is a hosting provider at the top of their game with the industry’s best WordPress experts… again, we refer to the adage “you get what you pay for”!
Their Cheap Pricing Has a Catch
Although you can get plans starting from $2.95 a month, there is a catch. This $2.95 per month rate is only for purchases of three years or more. If you subscribe for two years, it becomes $3.95 per month and if you subscribe for one year, it becomes $4.95 per month.
- 12 months at $4.95, $59.40 in total
- 24 months at $3.95, $94.80 in total
- 36 months at $2.95, $106.20 in total
Don’t get us wrong—this is still a great price even at $4.95 per month for what you are getting, however, you may as well sign up for three years. Bluehost is a leading hosting service and for less than 50% extra on top, you get two extra years.
Remember, your money is safe for 30 days thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee so you can always request a refund if you are dissatisfied.
This isn’t really a huge “con” but it was worth bringing to your attention.
Bluehost Summed Up
That was a lot of information! If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, here are the important parts:
- 3 great options for both Shared and WordPress hosting starting at $2.95/month;
- Free domain included with all plans;
- Very easy to sign-up and get going with all plans;
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all these plans;
- A variety of payment methods, PayPal included;
- 99.98% uptime in the last 12 months;
- Officially recommended by WordPress.org;
- Lots of additional integrations;
- User-friendly cPanel, fantastic for beginners; and
- Professional customer support, including WordPress experts.
Do we recommend Bluehost?
Absolutely! They are simply at the top of their game.