Introduction

Established in 1996, Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies around. With their official WordPress hosting tag, Bluehost’s website speed is certainly something to shout about, providing 24/7 support via telephone, email, or live chat. Whether you’re a small business, a beginner, or an expert, Bluehost has something for you.

Bluehost has a solid reputation, but we wanted to dig a little deeper, by providing you with our detailed bluehost review, to find out exactly what they can offer customers in the WordPress and shared hosting market, from performance to features, and support to competitive pricing.

Pricing and Key Features

 

As we’ve mentioned, Bluehost are extremely popular in the WordPress hosting market. Bluehost offer 3 simple plans to get started which all include the following features at no extra cost:

24/7 WordPress Support

1-click WordPress Installation

30 day money-back guarantee

Enhanced cPanel

Recommended by WordPress

 

One of our favourite features of Bluehost’s shared & WordPress hosting plans are that they all include a free domain to get you started on your web hosting journey.

First term and regular hosting fees

As with many web hosts, Bluehost offer affordable plans at tempting prices for their first term, which can often be misleading when you’re not entirely sure what this means.

Starting at only $2.95 per month for their basic plan, you’ll be able to host 1 website, 50GB website space, unmetered bandwidth, 5 email accounts, and 100MB storage per account. After the first term this price increases to $7.99 per month which isn’t extremely expensive, but it’s not the cheapest offer we’ve seen from popular web hosts.

If you’re looking for something a little more beafy, Bluehost’s Plus plan starts at $4.95 per month for the first time, with features including unlimited/unmetered websites, website space, bandwidth, sub domains, email accounts, and email storage. On top of that, you’ll receive $200 worth of marketing offers to ensure your website is playing at the top of its game. Unfortunately after the first term their reasonably affordable price increases to $10.99 per month which will likely stretch the budget.

If you’re looking for a web host who offers affordable web hosting, specialising in WordPress hosting for your first term of web hosting, then Bluehost is a great choice. Their customer support is outstanding, their performance is top notch, and their ease of use will likely suit beginners who don’t want the hassle of manually installing WordPress onto their website.

However, there are many other web hosts who offer similar packages at a fraction of the price, especially when it comes to increasing at such a rapid rate after your first term.

Domain Names

All of Bluehost’s shared and WordPress web hosting packages come with a free domain name that you can extend at the end of its registration.

It’s always a nice offer when a web host includes a free domain name; it gives you the flexibility to start a website from the ground up, and knowing that domain name is yours to keep until its renewal of registration gives you a little peace of mind.

Ease of Use

Bluehost really is the king of ease of use, making the process of setting up your website and managing it far more pleasurable than painful, even for beginners. Bluehost customers will have access to their enhanced cPanel which is a simple to use interface whereby you click the icons that are clearly marked and easy to read, and the icons will take you to where you want to go.

In one central location you will have access and be able to manage everything you need, from your websites to email addresses, one-click installs to handy performance features. One of the features that we found really cool was the fact that you could customise your own control panel to how you like it; if you’re often clicking on one particular icon, you can move that to the top so it makes managing your website a lot easier. It’s fair to say that although it’s a simple feature, we haven’t seen this with a lot of web hosting providers, so the experience was very refreshing and pleasing.

Considering the intuitive layout and functionality of their cPanel, Bluehost is certainly a web hosting provider that we would recommend to beginners; the icons make sense, are easily readable, and we had no trouble in navigating our way round our customised enhance cPanel with Bluehost.

Performance and Reliability

Recommended by WordPress themselves, Bluehost is a web hosting provider that we’d expect a lot from in terms of performance and reliability, so we performed some tests over the last six months with various test websites, scenarios, and delved into the real stats so we could share them with you.

Uptime is of course key when it comes to hosting a website, especially if you’re offering a service; you wouldn’t want your customers or potential customers to visit your website and find nothing there, would you? Bluehost’s uptime results were pleasing, with a result of 100% across 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days, meaning that our website was never down – brilliant!

Loading times are another important factor; research shows that people will generally wait up to a maximum of 3 seconds before abandoning a webpage – it might not seem like a long period of time, but whether a user is on their desktop or mobile, they want to access information fast, and if it’s not there, they’ll go somewhere else. Our test website with Bluehost had an average loading time of under 2 seconds making it faster than 85% of other web host tested websites.

Building a Website

 

I suppose you’ve been wondering, as Bluehost is so easy to use, and offers lots of features, how would you get your website built?

Bluehost offer two main options when it comes to website building, both of which continue the theme of simplicity and ease of use:

WordPress

As recommended by WordPress, it wouldn’t make sense for Bluehost not to offer one-click installs for WordPress. Simply, users can navigate to their enhanced cPanel and spot the ‘install WordPress’ button which will install WordPress onto their website.

With WordPress being one of the most popular website builders, you can create professional looking websites within an hour, from a choice of simple one-page websites to full-blown multi-page websites, eCommerce websites, and more.

If you have an idea in mind, you’ll likely be able to execute it with WordPress, with the option of using templates that are fully customisable, you can take an idea and tailor it to your website’s needs in minutes. It’s simple to use, constantly updated, and offers almost unlimited choices when it comes to themes and design.

Along with their multitude of plugins, you’ll honestly be spoiled for choice with building your website with WordPress. And the great thing is, WordPress isn’t just for beginners, it comes with a Content Management System (CMS) so you can easily expand your website and delegate tasks across your company’s team.

Weebly

Weebly Site Builder is another great feature offered by Bluehost, aimed at improving ease of use and service quality to their customers.

All Bluehost customers are entitled to Weebly’s basic edition of their website builder, which is free, supporting up to 6 web pages, YouTube and Adobe Flash support, and basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). However, if you’re looking for some more advanced features, you can opt for the Pro version which allows you to build unlimited webpages, comes with more security features, and allows further customisation of website templates and themes.

Security Features

Security is a main player in the web hosting industry, and without it, you could be facing many problems with your website. So, ensuring you host your website with a web hosting provider that keeps your website secure, should be number one on your priority list.

Anti-Spam Protection

Bluehost’s web hosting packages come with three layers of anti-spam protection, namely Spam Expert, Spam Hammer, and Apache Spam Assassin. These features not only cover your website, but also your emails too; setting up filters is easy to do and hassle free, so you’ll be comfortable knowing you’re protected.

IP Blocking

It can be quite common for website owners to want to block certain IP addresses from accessing their website or websites. Having the ability to blacklist IP addresses is essential to protect your website from unwanted visitors, including hackers.

CloudFlare

CloudFlare is used to speed up and protect millions of websites, increasing performance, security, reliability, and insight. As with many other of Bluehost’s features, setting up CloudFlare is really easy to do and is a great feature to prevent DDOS attacks.

eCommerce

Although not its main selling point when it comes to features with Bluehost, they do offer many different and great options for eCommerce customers, including a range of shopping carts and security options.

With its one-click WordPress install, it’s also really easy to install WooCommerce, which is a WordPress feature, but certainly one worth mentioning if you’re considering an eCommerce website.

Security

When it comes to eCommerce, security should definitely be top of your list when you’re considering which web host to use for your eCommerce website.

As we mentioned before, eCommerce isn’t Bluehost’s main features, but they do offer SSL security for your customers’ transactions, including OpenPGP/GPG Encryption.

Marketing Credits

Included in the medium and top level WordPress and shared web hosting plans, Bluehost kindly offer their customers $200 in free marketing credits, which can be a great help to business owners who are just getting started.

You’re free to use the credits to promote your business via Google, Facebook, Bing, and Twitter, with further information available through Bluehost as to how to do this.

Shopping Carts

With Bluehost’s enhanced cPanel, you’ll have access to some of the popular shopping carts used for eCommerce websites, including, ZenCart, Cube, OS Commerce, and Agora. These are easy to install and there are many guides available across the internet to show you how to setup your online store, hassle free.

Customer Support

Customer service is always a big talking point, especially with web hosting companies. There’s such diversity in the market, especially when more and more affordable or cheap web hosting companies offer their services, it’s easy to question whether the service is going to be of a high standard or not.

There are slightly mixed reviews across the internet when it comes to Bluehost’s customer service, however, our own personal experience with them was nothing less than great. They answered our questions, generally and technically, and didn’t ever make us feel like we were still left in the dark about anything.

With the options to contact Bluehost via live chat, telephone, and email, it felt like there was always someone available at Bluehost to help. Their knowledgebase is expansive, as well as their YouTube guides which we found really handy; sometimes following another person’s instructions, and being able to physically see them, can make life so much easier.

Our only real gripe with Bluehost’s customer support was their upselling; we understand that companies need to make money, but once you’re a customer you don’t expect your web host to try and sell your more products every time you speak to them.

Final Verdict

Often ranked #1 by many websites, Bluehost, for us, truly lived up to its name and reputation. Their web hosting plans for shared hosting and WordPress hosting may not be the cheapest, however, they do offer some great features, as well as simplicity and ease of use when it comes to managing your website.

If you’re just starting your website, hosting your website with Bluehost for your first term can be affordable, easy to use, and can certainly get you on your feet, however, as your website or business grows, we’d recommend upgrading your web hosting plan accordingly and researching the best offers available at the time.

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BlueHost Review

Price:£5.50 £2.25 p/m with discount
Website:www.bluehost.com

Score:

Price: 85/100
Ease of Use: 90/100
Reliability: 90/100
Customer Service: 85/100

Key Features

BANDWIDTHUNLIMITED
STORAGEUNLIMITED
DOMAIN NAMEFREE
MySQLUNLIMITED
FTPUNLIMITED
DASHBOARDVDECK

Pros

  • Unlimited Storage / Bandwidth
  • Free Domain Name
  • Excellent Customer Support

Cons

  • Expensive Regular Hosting Fees
  • Limited options for upgrading
  • No Marketing / Advertising Credits

Website Building Tools

WORDPRESS:YES
JOOMLA:YES
DRUPAL:YES
MAGENTO:YES
PRETASHOP:YES
PHPBB:YES
DRAG & DROP:YES
TEMPLATES:100+
BLOG WIZARD:YES
MOODLE:YES

Uptime Performance

  • Uptime level as a % over the last six months

Email Features

DOMAIN-BASED EMAIL:FREE
POP3/IMAP:UNLIMITED
WEBMAIL:YES
FORWARDING:YES
AUTORESPONDERS:YES
SPAM FILTERS:YES
VIRUS CHECKING:YES

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