Bluehost is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. Bluehost offers a wide variety of hosting plans for beginners and for medium to large businesses with 24/7 customer support. See the complete Bluehost review by our experts to find out if Bluehost is the right choice for you.
In this comprehensive Bluehost review, we’ll put their promises to test with a rigorous and through analysis using industry standard benchmarking tools.
Following are the areas we’ll look into:
- Speed: How fast will your website load with Bluehost? We will test their speed and server response time to assess that.
- Performance: How does Bluehost perform under traffic spikes? We’ll test that by performing the stress test and see how well it performs under traffic.
- Reliability: Will your website be available 24/7/365 without any downtime?
- Customer Support: Can you count on Bluehost’s customer support when you immediately need help with your website?
- Features: Do they offer all the features that you’ll need to build your website?
- Pricing: Do they have the best pricing in the industry? Are there any Bluehost deals that can save you money?
This is our complete Bluehost review and we’ll be doing an in-depth analysis of Bluehost pros and cons. If you don’t want to read the full review, here is the quick scorecard of Bluehost with our verdict right below it.
|Bluehost Review Summary|
|Average load time||1.48 ms|
|Average response time||1.26 ms|
|Support||Phone / Live Chat / Knowledge base|
|Start with Bluehost|
Bottom line: In our Bluehost review, we found them to be reliable, fast, and affordable with friendly 24/7 customer support.
That’s why we’ve chosen to recommend Bluehost as one of the best WordPress hosting companies.
Now let’s dive into our detailed Bluehost hosting review so that you can decide for yourself.
First, let’s take a look at the company itself.
Bluehost started in 1996 and steadily grew to become one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. It now powers more than 2 million websites from all over the world.
Bluehost has a long-standing relationship with the WordPress community. They are an official WordPress.org recommended web host since 2006.
They pride themselves in their 24/7 customer support, great hosting infrastructure, and support for the free open source software like WordPress.
Pros and Cons of Bluehost
All best web hosting services have their pros and cons. Some you can live with, and some you cannot ignore.
Here are the pros and cons of Bluehost that we learned.
First, let’s take a look at the advantages that make Bluehost the top choice.
- Pricing: Their hosting plans are well within the reach of most users, particularly those who are just starting out.
- Reliability: They power a large number of websites with minimum downtime.
- No hidden charges: There are no hidden fees when signing up for your account.
- Free domain: You get a free domain name for the first year when you signup.
- Free CDN + SSL: For each website, you get a free SSL certificate and free Cloudflare CDN to block malware and improve security.
- Money Back Guarantee: They offer a 30 day money back guarantee on all plans.
As we mentioned earlier, there are always downsides with every hosting company. The following are some disadvantages of choosing Bluehost as your host.
- Higher domain renewal price Their free domain renewal price is higher than average.
- Upselling Addons: They have an aggressive upsell process during signup. But you can easily uncheck SiteLock and all other addons if you don’t need them.
Bluehost Performance Tests
The most important performance metric that you should look for is the speed. It not only affects user experience on your site, but it also affects your WordPress SEO rankings.
Studies show that a 1-second drop in website speed can decrease your conversion rate by 7%. A 3-second delay can cost you 50% of your traffic.
Let’s see how fast your website will load on Bluehost.
Bluehost Speed Test Results
For a faster website, you will need to choose a fast website hosting company. Keeping this in mind, we created a test site to see how fast Bluehost really is.
Our test site was created using WordPress with the default Twenty Twenty theme. We imported dummy content for theme development including images. After that, we used Pingdom to test the website speed.
Here are our test results:
As you can see, our test site loads in less than two seconds. Considering the fact that our website wasn’t using any caching plugins or speed optimization tips, this result is remarkable.
However, the speed test alone isn’t enough because this test site didn’t have large amount of traffic.
To test how Bluehost servers would respond with increased traffic, we used a testing tool called K6 (formerly LoadImpact) to send virtual users (VU) to our test site.
We used it to gradually built up to 100 visitors to see how the server would handle increased requests from multiple connections at once.
Here is a screenshot of our results.
The green line is the number of active virtual users on the site, and the blue line is the server load time. As you can see the server load remained stable throughout the test even at peak traffic.
This test indicates that if you are looking for a really fast website, then Bluehost can be a perfect fit for you.
It is also important to note that we didn’t record any downtime during our testing.
Many hosting companies promise a 99.99% uptime guarantee. We set up an uptime monitoring alert for our test account. See the screenshot below for a detailed look at Bluehost server uptime.
Bluehost Server Response Time
When you are testing a live website using tools like Pingdom, you are basically seeing how everything on your website loads. This includes images too, which take much longer to load than plain text.
In order to get a more accurate server response time, we used another tool called Bitcatcha. It allows you to test server response time without loading any data.
As you can see Bluehost server in the US performed under the fraction of a second. In other locations, the response was a bit higher but still under less than a second.
If your target audience is in the United States, then this would benefit your website. However, if more of your users come from other parts of the world, then you can change your server location.
Bluehost Hosting Plans and Features
Bluehost offers a variety of hosting plans for all budgets and sizes. This includes shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server, cloud hosting, WooCommerce hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and more.
Let’s take a look at Bluehost hosting plans and their features.
- Shared hosting: Shared hosting is the perfect way to start a new website with low traffic volume. In a shared hosting environment, your website shares server resources with other websites.
- Cloud hosting: A more reliable upgrade to the shared hosting plan. It allows you to utilize multiple cloud servers, allowing your website to automatically switch to a different server in case of a hardware failure or high traffic.
- WordPress hosting: Their WordPress plans are designed specifically for WordPress powered websites. It is optimized to run WordPress and can even protect your WordPress site against common threats.
- WooCommerce hosting: WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, it allows you to easily start an online store with WordPress. WooCommerce hosting offers you all the essential features to kick start your eCommerce store.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting: An upgrade to shared WordPress hosting, VPS hosting allows you to virtual dedicated resources in a shared environment.
- Dedicated hosting server: A dedicated hosting server for your website, means you will have all the resources of the dedicated server to yourself. The downside is that you will have to manage the server on your own.
All Bluehost hosting plans allow you to install WordPress with 1-click.
All plans come with an easy-to-use hosting control panel where you can manage your hosting, create databases, etc.
Bluehost has a custom control panel that improves ease of use for beginners. It also uses a customized version of the cPanel hosting dashboard for more advanced options.
Breakdown of Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Plans
Bluehost offers a shared hosting package suitable for starter websites. Their shared plan is available at four different levels.
Let’s take a look at what’s included in each plan.
- Basic: The basic plan only allows you to host one website. It hosts one domain and 25 subdomains, 50GB SSD storage, 5 email accounts of 100 MB disk space for each account. For the first term you’ll pay $2.75 per month. When you renew the account, you’ll have to pay $8.99 per month.
- Plus: The Plus plan includes unlimited websites with unlimited storage space and unmetered bandwidth. You’ll also get unlimited email accounts. The price for the first term starts from $4.95 per month. When you renew the account, you’ll have to pay $11.99 per month.
- Choice Plus: The Choice Plus plan includes all features of plus plan. You will also get free domain privacy, and automated daily backups powered by CodeGuard as extras worth over $80/year. The price for the first term is $5.45 per month. When renewing, you’ll have to pay $16.99 per month.
- Pro The Pro plan starts from $13.95 per month for the first term after that you’ll pay $23.99 per month. It includes all features of above plans + dedicated IP address.
If you are just starting your website, then you can select any of these plans. You can easily upgrade your hosting plan as your website grows.
Bluehost Customer Support and Service
We all need help every now and then. It is really important that you choose a web hosting company that offers help and support when you need it.
Bluehost maintains a huge library of articles, step by step guides, and video tutorials as part of their extensive knowledge base. This is a huge help for beginners and most common issues can be quickly resolved by a simple search.
However, sometimes you may need to talk to an individual to get more help.
Bluehost offers a 24/7 support system where you can talk to their support team representatives using live chat or phone support. This is really helpful when you need quick help from technical support staff and you know they are just one-click away.
One thing that is missing is the ticket based support system. Bluehost recently decided to eliminate ticket-based support to focus on personal approach of live chat and phone-based support.
However, some users may still miss the ticket-based support system which is particularly good if your issue cannot be resolved in one live chat or phone session.
Conclusion: Is Bluehost the Right Choice for You?
After reading this review, you might be wondering if Bluehost is the right choice for your website?
Bluehost is often ranked #1 web hosting provider by many websites. They offer a wide range of hosting options with tons of features that help you easily build your website.
All their hosting plans include expert 24/7 customer support from knowledgeable staff.
Most importantly, they offer affordable starter plans that fit any budget requirement.
If you are just starting out, then you cannot go wrong signing up for a Bluehost shared hosting plan. It’s easy on your pocket and comes with all the right tools. As your site grows you can easily upgrade your hosting plan accordingly.
Ready to start your website with Bluehost? Click here to select your Bluehost plan.
WPBeginner users get an exclusive 60% off discount and a free domain with our Bluehost coupon code.
All you have to do is click on this link to purchase. The discount will be applied automatically.
FAQs About Bluehost hosting
In this detailed Bluehost review we have tried to cover all the aspects of their hosting services. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Bluehost that we hear from our users.
1. Can I make an online store using WooCommerce on Bluehost?
Yes, you can. In fact, Bluehost is one of the best WooCommerce hosting service provider. Their starter plan is perfect to start an online store.
However, keep in mind that you’ll need to upgrade as your store starts getting more traffic. Hopefully, by that time you’ll be making enough money to justify the upgrade costs.
2. Is Bluehost good for beginners?
Yes. Bluehost is the most beginner-friendly WordPress hosting company on the market. They automatically install WordPress for you when you sign up. They also have an easy to use control panel which allows you to manage your hosting account by yourself.
There is plenty of help available with detailed guides, video tutorials, and articles. You also have 24/7 access to their expert support via live chat and phone.
3. Can Bluehost handle high traffic?
Their shared hosting plans are suitable for starter websites and small businesses. In our stress test, their shared hosting plan was able to handle 100 virtual users without any slowdown.
These plans can handle reasonable and sudden traffic spikes. However, they are still quite limited in server resources. If you are expecting high traffic then you’ll need to upgrade your hosting plan.
4. Why use Bluehost for WordPress?
Bluehost is one of the largest hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider. They have been supporting the WordPress community for a very long time and know WordPress very well.
Their platform is highly optimized for WordPress websites and engineered to run WordPress at peak performance. They also have WordPress engineers in their team so you know your website is in safe hands.
5. Do I need a credit card to sign up with Bluehost?
Bluehost accepts credit cards but you can choose to show more payment options during checkout and select PayPal as your payment method if you wish.
6. Is Bluehost better than GoDaddy?
Bluehost is better than GoDaddy because we believe Bluehost support is better. Their My Sites dashboard and overall onboarding experience is a lot more beginner friendly. Not to mention, Bluehost offers better pricing for small businesses.
7. How does Bluehost compare with SiteGround and HostGator?
When comparing Bluehost with SiteGround and HostGator, there are several pros and cons you should be aware of.
Bluehost offers more value for the price when compared to SiteGround. Their plans start at $2.75 per month and includes a free domain, whereas SiteGround plans start at $4.99 and does not include any free domain.
On the other hand, SiteGround platform comes with better speed and security features. For more details, see our comparison of Bluehost vs SiteGround vs WP Engine.
In terms of Bluehost vs HostGator, they’re pretty similar when it comes to hosting CPU resources, functionality, site migration tools, pricing, and more. Bluehost is also more comparable with shared hosting providers like Inmotion hosting or Dreamhost. We find Bluehost user experience to be slightly better as they’ve invested heavily in their WordPress website builder platform.
8. Where are Bluehost servers located?
Bluehost operates its own in-house data center located in Utah, US. It is a massive 50,000 square feet facility that serves as their primary data center.
9. What Bluehost plan should I get?
If you are just starting out a brand new website, blog, or online store, then we recommend starting with their basic plan. It is good enough for a starter website and you can always upgrade later.
Ready to start your website with Bluehost? Click here to select your Bluehost plan.