BlueHost Pricing Plans Reviewed in 2021:
BlueHost is known for being affordable, offering plans to suit a variety of budgets, but do their plans really work for you? We’re here to find out.
Web hosting can be a bit confusing when you’re presented with multiple pricing plans all claiming to offer awesome features. Different types of hosting will suit different types of websites and individuals, so we’re going to explore the differences to make your life easier.
1. Overview of Pricing Plans
As many other web hosting providers do, BlueHost advertises promotional prices for new customers. These are considered reduced rates for your first term. Once your term has expired, the hosting plan will renew at the regular rate (we’ll look at these rates in more detail later).
The prices that are on BlueHost’s website, and listed below, are based on a 36-month contract. You can either choose to pay on a 12-month basis, 24-month basis, or 36-month basis. Whichever one you decide is considered your term.
The whole point of my reviews is to be as open and honest as possible with you. That’s why I’ll be showing the prices for all terms, as well as their renewal prices. BlueHost isn’t the cheapest web hosting provider, but it does offer some awesome features, and it is recommended by WordPress.
|Type of Hosting||Cheapest Price||Top-end Price|
2. WordPress Hosting
WordPress hosting is designed for customers who have or will have, a WordPress website. All of BlueHost’s WordPress hosting plans include 1-click installation of WordPress, automatic WordPress updates, WordPress staging environment, and a free domain name for 1 year.
|Domain||Free for 1 year||Free for 1 year||Free for 1 year|
|Office 365 Mailbox||✖||Free for 30 days||Free for 30 days|
I mentioned earlier that when your term is over, your plan will renew at the regular rate. Like the promotional prices, BlueHost’s regular rates are cheaper if you sign up for longer. According to BlueHost’s renewal rates page, here are the current figures for 2020:
As you can see, the prices hike up a lot compared to their promotional prices. This is true of many web hosts, which is why the market is so competitive. Lots of web hosts offer free transfers so that when your renewal is due, you can switch to another provider who is cheaper without having to worry about the cost of transferring your website files.
3. Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is ideal for people who are starting on their first website, or who know what resources they need. Shared hosting isn’t as scalable as VPS or dedicated hosting as you are sharing resources and server space with other customers.
All of BlueHost’s shared hosting customers will receive a free SSL certificate, marketing credits, and support add-ons.
|Spam Experts||✖||✔||✔||✔ (x2)|
|Office 365 Mailbox||✖||Free 30 days||Free 30 days||Free 30 days|
|Domain Privacy + Protection||✖||✖||✔||✔|
The renewal rates for shared hosting are the same as WordPress hosting, with the added Pro plan.
When you sign up to BlueHost’s web hosting, you’ll need to pay for the term up front, in full. Although the rates advertised are monthly rates, this is the monthly equivalent. If you’re not happy with your service with BlueHost, you can cancel anytime within the first 30 days for a full refund.
If you cancel your account before the end of the term, you won’t be able to get a refund for your free domain name. £12.47 will be deducted from your overall refund amount as the domain is registered for one year. However, you do get to keep your domain.
4. VPS Hosting
VPS hosting is recommended if you require more power, control, and flexibility over your web hosting. VPS hosting is often more expensive than shared hosting and does have similar features. However, you are sharing much less resources on a server compared to shared hosting.
|cPanel & WHM with Root||✔||✔||✔|
All VPS plans include a free domain for the first year, a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support. On top of these standard features, you’ll get multi-server management, access control and file management.
VPS hosting can be renewed on a monthly basis, 3-monthly, 6-monthly, 12-monthly, 24-monthly, and 36-monthly, offering more flexibility. We’ll discuss which type of hosting is most suited to you later, but I would definitely recommend VPS hosting if you need more control over your hosting server.
5. Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is the beast of all hosting plans. If you want full control over your server with your own resources that aren’t shared by others, you’re essentially renting out a server to yourself. For this reason, dedicated hosting is more expensive than shared or VPS hosting.
|RAID Level 1 Storage (GB)||2 x 500||2 x 1000||2 x 1000|
|cPanel & WHM with Root||✔||✔||✔|
Dedicated hosting customers will have 24/7 access to BlueHost’s “elite” support agents. All servers are unmanaged, so you’re in complete control with full root access and improved cPanel. Dedicated hosting is really only recommended for people who know what they’re doing.
You really start to see the differences with BlueHost’s renewal rates when we get to dedicated hosting. Because the plans are more expensive, so are the regular rates which seem steep compared to other hosting providers.
6. Which BlueHost Plan Should you Choose?
Many people struggle to know which hosting plan is best suited for their website. There’s not really a general rule, but I do have some recommendations if you’re not that experienced in the world of hosting.
A lot of my recommendations take into account how much traffic your site is expected to receive, how much storage you need if you need scalability to grow, or whether you run an online store.
Below is an outline of each type of hosting along with which hosting is most suited to specific needs.
|Best For||Not Recommended For||Price From|
|WordPress Hosting||✔ New WordPress websites or beginners
✔ Personal or blog websites
✔ WordPress specific support
✔ Suitable for those on a tight budget
|✖ Non-WordPress websites
✖ Large websites with eCommerce requirements
✖ Websites with a lot of traffic
|Shared Hosting||✔ Small or new websites
✔ Suitable for beginners
✔ Affordable and low-cost hosting
✔ Low-traffic websites
|✖ Large websites or eCommerce websites
✖ Websites with lots of traffic
✖ Websites that can’t afford any downtime
|VPS Hosting||✔ Small to medium sized websites
✔ More features and security
✔ Greater control and flexibility
✔ Great if you want to scale your website as it grows
|✖ WordPress websites
✖ People on a tight budget
|Dedicated Hosting||✔ High-traffic websites
✔ Large websites and online stores
✔ People who want complete control
✔ Enhanced security
|✖ Small websites
✖ Low-traffic websites
✖People on a tight budget
✖ Beginners or people with no technical experience
7. BlueHost Vs Competitors
BlueHost is a popular host for good reason. However, there are other hosts out there who are also great, as you can see from our best web hosting services in 2020.
I’ve signed up for the big names in the industry, reviewing each host individually. I’ve taken into account their features, uptime and performance, customer support, and lots more. BlueHost has been ranked #2 under the best web hosting category.
My top 5 web hosts are:
Let’s find out how BlueHost’s pricing stacked up against the competition. The table below will cover the hosting types I’ve mentioned in this article, as well as their lowest price available.
|WordPress Hosting||Shared Hosting||VPS Hosting||Dedicated Hosting|
BlueHost isn’t the cheapest provider on the market but it’s no means the most expensive either. It’s pretty middle of the road in my opinion. However, their plans do offer a lot of features like a free domain and SSL certificate that some other providers don’t offer.
8. BlueHost Hidden Costs
After choosing your pricing plan, you’ll be taken to BlueHost’s checkout page. There’s a number of options here for you to select, like your contract length, as well as personal and payment details. Before proceeding to payment I highly recommend double checking everything beforehand.
Web hosts have a tendency to add optional extras to your package, hoping you won’t notice, thus ending up with you spending more money. A lot of these boxes are automatically ticked for you, so it’s important to read everything carefully.
Saying that there may be extras that you do want to include, but it’s best to be aware of what they are.
For example, if I select the shared hosting plan at £2.30 per month, over a 36-month term, I’d expect this to total £82.80. My actual total when checking out amounted to £195.57. Quite a difference isn’t it? That’s because the following extras were automatically added on for me:
- Domain Privacy + Protection: £0.77 per month
- CodeGuard Basic: £2.33 per month
- SiteLock Security Essential: £1.62 per month
Whilst these extras may be things you want to include, it can be a bit of a shock to see the total balance when you’re not expecting it.
If you’re happy to sign up for a 36-month term, you can leave the package information how it is. However, if you wish to sign up for a shorter term like 12 months or 24 months, you’ll need to change this in the dropdown.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s cheaper to sign up for longer with BlueHost and most other hosting providers. The monthly prices are as follows:
- Basic 12-month price – £3.86/mo
- Basic 24-month price – £3.08/mo
- Basic 36-month price – £2.30/mo
9. BlueHost Pricing Conclusion
BlueHost is recommended by WordPress and offers a wide range of web hosting plans including WordPress hosting, shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. Whilst BlueHost isn’t the cheapest web host on the market, it’s not the most expensive either.
Let’s take a quick recap of BlueHost’s promotional prices and their renewal rates:
|Promotional Price||Renewal Price|
Each type of hosting offers a variety of pricing plans, as well as optional extras and add ons. We talked about being aware of your final price before proceeding to payment, as hosts (especially BlueHost) do like to automatically include extras for you.
Promotional prices are designed to entice customers. They’re often a lot cheaper than the renewal rates, so it’s important to be aware of the regular rates of hosting. Similarly, if you sign up to BlueHost for a longer term like 36-months, you’re going to get a better deal.
I’d recommend assessing each plan individually and deciding which one fits your website needs the most. If you’re starting on a new or small website, then I recommend shared web hosting. If you have a WordPress website with low traffic, WordPress hosting should suit you down to the ground. For people who want more control of their hosting, or even complete control, it’s worth thinking about VPS or dedicated hosting if you can afford it.