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 to larger businesses with a 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 complete Bluehost review, we will put their promises to test. These are the areas we will look into:
- Performance: How fast will your website load with Bluehost? We will test their speed and server response time to assess that.
- Reliability: Will your website be available 24/7/365 without any downtime?
- Customer Support: Can you count on their technical support as a customer?
- Features: Do they offer all the features you will 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?
Bottom line: Don’t want to read all the details? Let us give it to you straight. 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 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 recommended hosting company 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 web hosting companies 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 1 year when you signup.
Bluehost is not without some disadvantages that you should be aware of before signing up.
- 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 all the addons if you don’t need them.
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 web 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 default Twenty Seventeen 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. That’s faster than 85% of all tested sites. Considering the fact that our website wasn’t using any caching plugins or speed optimization tips, this result is remarkable.
But this test website didn’t have large amounts of traffic. So the Pingdom test alone isn’t good enough.
To test how Bluehost servers would respond with increased traffic, we used a testing tool called Load Impact to send virtual users (VU) to our site. They 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 blue line is the number of active virtual users on the site, and the green line is the server load time. As you can see the server load remained stable through out 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. 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 include 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, 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, 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: A hosting package 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 server hosting: A dedicated server to for your website, means you will have all the resources of the 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.
Breakdown of Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Plans
Bluehost offers a shared hosting package suitable for starter websites. Their shared plan is available in three 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 storage, 5 email accounts of 100 MB storage for each account. For the first term you’ll pay $2.95 per month. When you renew the account, you’ll have to pay $7.99 per month.
- Plus: The Plus plan includes unlimited websites with unlimited web space and bandwidth. You’ll also get unlimited email accounts. The price for the first term starts from $5.45 per month. When you renew the account, you’ll have to pay $10.99 per month.
- Prime: The Prime plan includes all features of plus plan. You will also get domain privacy and SiteBackup Pro as extras worth over $80/year. Prime also has the same first term price of Plus, $5.45 per month. When renewing, you’ll have to pay $14.99 per month.
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 Support and Customer 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 customer support representatives using live chat or phone. This is really helpful when you need quick help from technical support staff.
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 hosting company by many websites. They offer a wide range of hosting plans 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. Its 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 Bluehost? Click here to select your Bluehost plan.