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.
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.”
Before we begin, you may be wondering why you should even consider BlueHost as your web host. Well, let me tell you, there are PLENTY of reasons why.
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.
Starting at only £2.30 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.
If you’re looking for something a little more beefy, Bluehost’s Choice Plus plan starts at £4.25 per month for the first term, with features including unlimited/unmetered websites, website space, bandwidth, sub domains, email accounts, and email storage.
On top of that, you’ll receive £150 worth of marketing offers to ensure your website is playing at the top of its game. 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.
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. Features include:
Website management (all your sites in one place)
Email management (setup, edit and delete emails)
One-click installations (100s of apps from Softaculous)
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.
BlueHost Uptime & Performance
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.
Over the last 24 hours, my test site on one of BlueHost’s plans hasn’t had a single moment of downtime. That’s right, ZERO outages, and 100% uptime. This of course pleases me greatly so I managed this over the space of 30 days to see how it fared. Did BlueHost let me down? No! I experienced 100% uptime over 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days – thank you BlueHost!
In terms of response time, my BlueHost site averaged out at 517 ms. This is well below 1 second, and even further below 3 seconds (which is the recommended load speed of a website). Loading times are an important factor; research shows that people will generally wait up to a maximum of 3 seconds before abandoning a webpage.
2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.
(Maile Ohye, from Google)
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.
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:
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 free 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 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.
Let’s take a look at some of BlueHost’s best security features and tools:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
When I used their live chat service, I was connected and responded to within 1 minute (chat started at 11:57 AM, replied by 11:58 AM).
I asked the agent about the best package for my requirements. They took the information I had given them and answered my questions. I liked the fact they didn’t just suggest the most expensive package, they asked questions to gauge exactly what I required.
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.
As well as BlueHost being recommended by WordPress, they’ve impressed me on many levels. I know I’ve already talked quite a lot about BlueHost’s features, pricing, and tools, but I wanted to summarise the BEST parts of BlueHost.
Affordable plans: BlueHost are extremely affordable given what’s on offer. Their basic plan costs just £2.30 per month and that includes 50 GB SSD storage. You’ll also get a FREE domain name and a FREE SSL certificate. Whilst there’s other hosting companies out there offering plans at just 80p per month like Hostinger, BlueHost has the edge in terms of features in my opinion.
Marketing credits: Though this bonus may seem a little strange, it’s a great way of getting your business started. You’ll receive $100 for Microsoft Advertising and $100 for Google Ads when you spend your first $25 on a new Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads account. If you want to make money from your site, this is a great place to start, and it’s FREE credits!
CDN: You have the option to upgrade your hosting plan to include CloudFlare CDN. This is included for free and will automatically enable CloudFlare on your websites without any intervention from you.
Uptime & Performance: You can see from my own tests that BlueHost was extremely good in terms of their uptime (100%), response time, and performance. If you’re looking to host a site and require stability and reliability, BlueHost will serve you that on a giant platter.
Cons of using BlueHost
This is a bit of a tough cookie because BlueHost are pretty darn amazing. However, with most things in life, there’s always going to be some downfalls. I’ve experienced BlueHost from top to bottom, sifting through their documentation, signing up to plans, and speaking to their customer support representatives.
These are a few points that I felt could do with some improvement:
Upselling: Although this isn’t something you can avoid, you can not buy-in to BlueHost’s upselling. However, it’s very frustrating. From signing up to a new hosting plan to contacting support, it always felt like BlueHost were trying to sell me more products.
U.S. only servers: As you may have seen in my live chat with BlueHost, they only offer U.S. servers. Although my response times were good in my test results, it’s disappointing there aren’t any other server options. If you’re looking for a UK server web host then Hostinger is another great option.
Back-up options: The default back-up option is quite limited. Although, it’s great that it’s included for free in the first place. However, I would like to see better options in the future without having to pay for more upgrades.
Yes I do recommend BlueHost. If you’re looking for a solid and reliable web host who is recommended by WordPress, look no further. BlueHost offer great uptime results (100% in my case), good site speeds, and awesome technology on their servers.
In order to get the biggest discount, you’ll need to sign up for BlueHost for a minimum term of 36-months. However, if you’re not happy to commit to such a long period of hosting, you can sign up for 12-months or 24-months.
Yes, if for any reason you aren’t happy with BlueHost’s hosting services you can take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee. It doesn’t include domain names, but if you cancel within the first 30-days, you’ll be entitled to a full refund on your hosting service.
Yes! BlueHost has a fantastic live chat service which is extremely fast to respond and helpful. They also have an extensive knowledgebase if you want to check that out before contacting their support staff.
BlueHost is recommended by WordPress, so I would consider them experts in WordPress hosting. Their shared hosting includes 1-click WordPress installation, as well as a few WordPress benefits. However, BlueHost offer WordPress hosting (different to shared hosting) and WP Pro which is managed WordPress hosting.