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Bluehost Review 2019 – Is It Reliable For Shared Hosting (Pros and Cons)

One of the very first decisions you have to take before starting a blog or a website is “Which hosting company should you go for?”

bluehost shared hosting review

And it is one of the most crucial ones because you don’t want to start on the wrong foot and end up with a provider that offers no speed, has horrible customer support and getting a refund is even harder.

When I was thinking about blogging, I faced a similar situation and most of the time my mind was preoccupied with questions related to web hosting that I needed answers to.

I can understand if you are in a similar position because once the site is up and running you cannot afford to compromise on the uptime and the performance. Having an unreliable hosting service can impact the relationship that you are trying to build with the visitors.

And you don’t want that.

Now that you are here, the chances are Bluehost is on your watch list of hosting companies and you are looking for some honest feedback and review to make a final decision. That is what you will get.

This article is not a fluff piece and I will be sharing my honest opinion and personal experience on the service.

Bluehost Shared Hosting Review

bluehost review

About Bluehost

Bluehost is one of the oldest and biggest brand names in the web hosting industry. The idea of Bluehost was first conceived in 1996 and was officially launched on December 5th, 2003.

When it comes to shared hosting for WordPress, Bluehost is a recommended hosting provider by WordPress and powers over 2 million websites. Considering the number of companies in the market and the level of competition, it is a huge feat.

Bluehost has been in partnership with WordPress for over 10 years and has a staff of over 750 employees that help provide round the clock support to their customers.

Also, they have a dedicated engineering team for WordPress core development. Their commitment to open source is What helps them design affordable, high performance and secure web hosting solutions.

Bluehost Pros and Cons

Bluehost first started as a shared hosting web hosting company. With time and steady growth diversified into offering various other services such as domains, VPS hosting, Managed WordPress hosting and much more.

With that said, all hosting companies have their own set of pros and cons and so does Bluehost. It is you who has to identify which company and the plan will best fit your requirements and budget so that you get the most value.

Bluehost Pros

1. Very Affordable

When I started my search for web hosting companies, the first thing that caught my attention was their price point which is one of the cheapest in the industry.

The shared hosting plan starts at 3.95$/month which is a nearly 51% discount. If you are just starting, this is an amazing offer from a well-established hosting company.

cheap price bluehost

Most hosting companies these days launch introductory offers, that is the discount is only applicable to the first term. This an introductory offer as well and you can only avail it on the first term.

To make the most out of it you should opt for 2-3 years.

2. Ease of Use

Bluehost has a very easy to use and WordPress centric cPanel. If you are someone who is just starting, let me tell you once you sign up with Bluehost, launching a website is one-click away. They have a very beginner-friendly interface that makes sure technical elements are easy to execute.

There are two ways to install WordPress

  1. You can go through the WordPress installation process when you are setting up your account.
  2. The other way is you can use the one-click install feature.

one click install bluehost

As you can see in the screenshot above when you are in your Bluehost dashboard, you can simply click Create Site button and in the next screen enter the name of your site, tagline and the URL that you want to use for the website.

And let the one-click install feature do the rest of the work for you.

In addition to this, every WordPress site on Bluehost benefit from the latest security and performance features such as

  1. Free SSL
  2. PHP 7
  3. WP Staging
  4. SSD hardware
  5. NGINX + Cache
  6. Free CDN
  7. HTTP/2

Once everything is set up the next thing is site management. Managing multiple websites can be a challenging task even for the more experienced WordPress users. But the new site management dashboard makes the task super easy. Also, you can still access the Cpanel from the dashboard.

3. Incredible Uptime

One of the key factors that define a reliable web hosting company is the uptime. Think about a scenario where you have an online business and the website is frequently down and the consequences are you are losing trust, reputation, and revenue.

And you don’t want that. You want a company that should match the industry standard. In my year of experience with Bluehost, my site has faced a downtime of 4-5 minutes and the reason for the crash was a plugin.

With that said Bluehost is an EIG owned brand and this lowers the expectation.

However, speaking from personal experience,  I haven’t faced a problem when it comes to uptime.

bluehost uptime

4. Speed

“Is it going to be fast enough? ” One of the first few things that come to mind when you think or talk about web hosting.

When I was buying hosting, this question was haunting me until I made the purchase and the website was completely set up. For boosting website speed, Bluehost offers built-in caching and Sitelock CDN.

bluehost built in cache

Below is the page speed result for GeekyPlug and I m pretty satisfied with the outcome. The site loads in under 2 seconds which is great.

page speed test pingdom

Also, I would like to add Bluehost shared hosting is not the fastest on the block but is sufficient for beginners. I personally use WP Rocket cache plugin and Cloudflare CDN for helping me with the page speed and you can use them too and notice the difference.

If you are thinking why I m not using the built-in caching the answer is simple, buy any shared hosting plan in the market and will soon notice that built-in caching is not enough. You need a specialized cache plugin to help you with the speed.

And as you grow, you can upgrade to VPS or managed hosting as per your requirement and you will have more resources allocated to your site.

5. Security

“Free SSL certificate included”. This is amongst the first few lines you see when you visit Bluehost.com and they advertise this almost everywhere. This is 100% correct, Bluehost provides free SSL with every plan.

free ssl certificate bluehost

With a single click, you can enable Bluehost SSL certificate

When it comes to security, Bluehost is one of the best in the market and is one of the very few web hosting companies that allow you to access SSH (Secure Shell). This feature allows you to access configuration files securely.

With Bluehost, you get spam protection with the help of Spam Experts, Apache Spam Assasin, and Spam hammer. These tools help protect your email accounts and allow you to easily set filters.

6. Money-back Guarantee

Bluehost has very clear cut money back policy which is mentioned on their homepage.

And it states “If you buy hosting from Bluehost and cancel within 30 days you will get a full refund. However, if you have claimed a free domain, Bluehost will deduct a non-refundable domain fee of $15.99/-.”

This price covers the cost of the domain name and you will retain the ownership of the domain until the end of registration unless you renew it. After 60 days, you can transfer it to other registrars.

It also clearly states Bluehost does not offer any refunds for cancellation after 30 days.

With that said, if you are still thinking about the domain fee, then let me tell you hosting and domain name are 2 separate products and as mentioned before, it is the introductory offer in which Bluehost is providing Free domain name for a year with the hosting of your choice.

It is up to you if you claim it or not. In case you don’t and want to cancel, there will be a full refund. There are no hidden charges.

7. Flexibility and Scalable

As mentioned before Bluehost powers more than 2 million websites and that makes it one of the largest hosting companies. They offer a wide variety of plans and services depending on your needs and budget that allow you to scale up with growth.

Once you have outgrown your initial plan and are looking for an upgrade or a completely different plan you can do it easily.

8. Proven track record

Bluehost has been in the market for about 15 years now and has grown significantly from its start. In a competitive market like web hosting, it is difficult to survive this many years if you are not on point with your service.

This means they are doing something right.

The next big thing is their association with WordPress as a recommended hosting provider. For over 10 years, Bluehost has maintained that spot which is commendable.

bluehost wordpress recommendation

Some of you may think Bluehost sponsors a lot of WordPress related events and that may be the reason behind this. But let me tell you the kind of influence WordPress has on the community, it is next to impossible that they will recommend a mediocre service provider.

9. Customer Support and knowledge base

In all honesty, Bluehost has been in some negative light due to customer support. But they have worked on improving it.

Personally speaking, I haven’t faced many difficulties with their customer support and I rather found them helpful. The problems were resolved quickly and the waiting time was never more than 4-5 minutes. The support team was on point in providing the solution.

Bluehost provides 24 x 7 x 365 days of customer support through various channels such as live chat, telephonic and email.

bluehost customer support

Also, there is a huge library of articles on the site that can answer most of the questions quickly without having to contact the support team.

10. Freebies

When you sign up with Bluehost you get some freebies as a part of your plan. Here are a few things you get

  1. Free SSL certificate
  2. A free domain name for a year
  3. Marketing credits.

bluehost freebies

11. Affiliate Program

Bluehost has one of the best and high paying affiliate programs. Anyone can join the affiliate program and there are no prerequisites. It is the best fit for anyone who is just starting and wants to monetize.

They pay 65$ for each qualified signup and you can earn up to 120$ per sale. Bluehost has paid over 5 million in commissions last year alone.

bluehost affiliate program

Bluehost Cons

1. Pricing and Renewal

Like most hosting companies, when you buy hosting for 12 or 24 months you cannot avail the full discount. You can only enjoy the full discount when you purchase hosting for 36 months.

But let me tell you this is not a huge drawback, every hosting company that offers such discounts have similar policies with regards to this.

Also, if you are thinking about the long term, this price is a steal.

When we talk about renewals, you will experience a price jump. The prices that you initially buy at are introductory offers and it is mentioned on the Bluehost website as well.

introductory price bluehost

Web hosting space is very competitive, every company offers initial discounts to drive sales and renewals are higher. This isn’t something which is uncommon, but you must know everything before making the purchase.

2. Unlimited hosting is not really unlimited

Often you will notice hosting companies advertising about their unlimited shared hosting plans, but when in reality it is not. Bluehost also has plans that offer unlimited hosting.

If you are thinking, why are they using the word “Unlimited”.

The word unlimited is used because there is no fixed cap on the amount of resource consumption. This means there is no defined limit on the amount of resources/ disk space you can use.

If you are new to the online business world, these plans are sufficient for you. In my first year of blogging, I have only used 794.20 MB of total space.

Now, when your site starts to scale and use resources beyond a certain limit, then you will face issues such as lack in site speed and performance. And to solve this problem you will have to upgrade.

3. Bluehost Backup Policy

First things first, Bluehost does not offer redundant or mirrored backups. However, they do offer backups as a courtesy.

This means backup is not guaranteed. You are required to run periodic backups and store them offsite on your local system.

Another thing about Bluehost backups is, they are kept for 30 days only. Backups older than 30 days are overwritten by a newer backup.

If you are looking for a solution to this problem, Bluehost offers a premium addon “Site Backup Pro” that helps create a regular backup of your website.

But we tackle this problem differently, we use a WordPress plugin called UpdraftPlus. This plugin helps take the backup of our site daily and makes the backup/restore task so much easier.

4. No Windows Hosting

Bluehost only provides Linux based web hosting. This means if you are someone looking for windows hosting, it is a problem.

However, this is not a huge issue but worth mentioning. When it comes to web hosting Linux is the most used operating system.

5. Sitelock CDN

You will not find this point anywhere. This is a purely personal experience.

Earlier Bluehost was offering Cloudflare integration with the hosting plans. At the time I purchased and still today they are no longer proving Cloudflare CDN and have moved to Sitelock CDN.

After I was done setting up the account and the website, I went ahead and activated the free SSL and the next thing on the agenda was implementing the Sitelock CDN.

But the problem I was facing was when I activated the CDN, the free SSL would stop working. In the beginning, I was confused by all this and later contacted the customer service where the support representative told me “Free SSL will not work with Sitelock CDN and the free Sitelock plan does not provide SSL”.

To be honest, it did improve the speed, but for me, security is also on the priority list.

The only thing I didn’t like about all this was why offer a service that conflicts with the other.

With that said, I was able to find a workaround for this problem which was using Cloudflare CDN which is free and offers an SSL certificate and for the caching purpose using WP Rocket. I highly recommend using both of these.

6. No free site migration

Yes, you heard it correctly, they do not offer free site migration. Most hosting companies provide this service for free.

If you are looking to take help from Bluehost in the migration process, you will have to pay $149.99 which is quite expensive.

bluehost site migration

In this price, you can migrate up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts. The process is completely handled by experts and it will be an uninterrupted transition.

Bluehost Hosting Plans and Features

Bluehost hosting offers a wide variety of plans depending on your requirements and budget. They offer Shared, VPS, Managed, Cloud and Dedicated hosting solutions.

Here we will be briefly covering each of these plans and features.

1. Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is one of the most popular products of Bluehost. In this hosting plan, your website shares server resources with other websites.

If you are creating a new website and are not expecting a lot of traffic in the beginning, this is the best option for you. Shared hosting has 3 plans.

The Basic plan is priced at 3.95$/ mo, Plus at 5.85$/ mo, Choice plus at 5.95$/ mo and Pro at 13.95$/mo. Every plan includes a free domain name for 1 year, a free SSL certificate and 30 days money-back guarantee.

2. VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is an upgrade from shared hosting. VPS stands for Virtual private server. It uses virtualization technology to mimic the dedicated hosting environment.

In simple words, VPS is a server within a server. You will be sharing the space with the other users but the resources are not shared.

The next question is

When will you need VPS hosting?

If you are just starting, the shared hosting plans are enough for you. But once you start receiving a decent amount of traffic and you notice the website starting to slow down, often you are facing downtime and security related issues, then you must upgrade.

Bluehost currently offers 3 VPS hosting plans

 Standard at $18.99/ mo

  • 2 cores
  • 30 GB SSD storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1 TB bandwidth
  • 1 IP address
 Enhanced at $29.99/mo

  • 2 Cores
  • 60 GB SSD storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 2 IP address
 Ultimate at $59.99/mo

  • 4 Cores
  • 60 GB SSD storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 2 IP addresses

All plans include

  1. Free domain name for a year
  2. 30 Days money back guarantee
  3. 24/7 Support

3. WordPress Managed hosting (Bluehost WP Pro)

WP Pro is a fully managed hosting environment that lets you focus on what you do best and building websites, creating content and running your online business. And the rest of the technical aspects are managed by the host which in this case is Bluehost.

It is best for people who either do not have much time or are not very comfortable with the technical aspects of running the website.

There are current 3 plans offered by Bluehost

 Build at $19.95/ mo

  • Jetpack site analytics
  • Marketing center to monitor performance
  • 100+ free WordPress theme
  • Daily scheduled backups
  • Malware detection and removal
  • Domain Privacy protection
 Grow at $29.95/mo

  • All the features from Build Plan
  • Jetpack Premium
  • Business review tools
  • Bluehost SEO tools
  • Jetpack ad integration
  • 10 GB video compression
  • Bluesky ticket support (hands-on assistance from WordPress experts 24/7)
 Scale at $49.95/mo

  • Everything in Grow plan
  • Jetpack Pro
  • Unlimited backups and restore
  • Paypal integration
  • Unlimited video compression
  • Elastic search
  • Bluesky chat support

All plans include

  • A free domain name for a year
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited domains
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Staging environment
  • No traffic limit
  • Free SSL
  • Instant WordPress install
  • Spam protection
  • CDN enabled
  • SSD disk space
  • WP auto-updates
  • 24/7 support
  • 30 days money-back guarantee

4. Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting is the one in which you have a dedicated server for your server. In other words, you are renting a complete server and you have all the resources to yourself and you don’t have to share anything.

This hosting is required by someone that owns a very large website with a high amount of traffic and needs a very high level of security.

Bluehost offers 3 dedicated hosting plans namely

Standard at $79.99/ mo

  • 4 Cores @ 2.3 Ghz
  • 500 GB mirror storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 5 TB bandwidth
  • 3 IP addresses
Enhanced at $99.99/mo

  • 4 Cores @ 2.5 Ghz
  • 1 TB mirrored storage
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 10 TB bandwidth
  • 4 IP addresses
Ultimate at $119.99/mo

  • 4 Cores @ 3.3 Ghz
  • 1 TB mirrored storage
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 15 TB bandwidth
  • 5 IP addresses

Other Features included in plan

  • A free domain name for a year
  • Free SSL certificate
  • 30 Days money back guarantee
  • RAID storage
  • Extreme Speed
  • Storage Upgrades
  • Root Access
  • Dedicated Support

Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans

When it comes to shared hosting Bluehost has 4 plans

1. Basic

This is the entry level plan from Bluehost and is the cheapest. This plan is priced at 3.95$ for the first term and if best for beginners

Features of Bluehost Basic Shared hosting plan

  1. You can use it for single website only.
  2. 50 GB SSD storage
  3. Free SSL certificate
  4. 1 Free domain name for a year
  5. 5 Parked domains
  6. 25 subdomains
  7. Unlimited Bandwidth

2. Plus

This is the most popular plan and I m using it as well. Plus plan is priced at $5.85/mo for the first term.

Features of Bluehost Plus plan

  1. You can host unlimited websites
  2. Unlimited SSD storage and Bandwidth
  3. Free SSL certificate
  4. Unlimited domains
  5. Unlimited Parked domains
  6. Unlimited subdomains
  7. Spam Experts

3. Choice Plus

The next plan in the Bluehost shared hosting environment is the Choice plus which is priced at $5.95/mo for the first term. Don’t be confused between the Plus and Choice Plus plans as the initial pricing is almost the same but the features are different.

Features of Bluehost Choice Plus plan

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited SSD storage
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL
  • Free domain name for a year
  • Unlimited domains
  • Unlimited Parked domains and subdomains
  • Spam Experts
  • Domain Privacy
  • Site backup via Codeguard basic

4. Pro Plan

The last plan in the Bluehost shared hosting category is the Pro plan and the price is $13.95/mo. Again, do not confuse this with WP Pro as WP Pro is the managed hosting solutions by Bluehost and have different price and features.

Features of Bluehost Pro plan

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited SSD storage
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL
  • Free domain name for a year
  • Unlimited domains
  • Unlimited Parked domains and subdomains
  • 2 Spam Experts
  • Domain Privacy
  • Site backup via CodeGuard basic
  • Dedicated IP

If you are just starting your blog or website pick any of these based on your requirements and later upgrade when required.

Is Bluehost Shared Hosting the Right Choice for Beginners

The simple answer yes. Like we have discussed above, Bluehost has been in the market for over 15 years and on the WordPress recommended list for over 10 years. This means they are certainly doing something right.

The second thing is I have been using Bluehost hosting myself and the experience has been good so far and that means I won’t be changing hosts anytime soon.

The next thing is the plans are available at pocket-friendly prices. Some of you may think if it’s cheap then it’s not that good. Then let me tell you every hosting company has its pros and cons. If you are facing problems Bluehost offers 24/7 expert customer support with every plan. If you are still not satisfied then you also have the 30 days money-back guarantee. But I don’t think so you will need that after signing up.

The last reason why I recommend it Bluehost for beginners is that it has a very simple and beginner-friendly interface/ dashboard and the website can be set up in no time.

With that said, I think I have given you enough reasons to sign up with Bluehost.

You may like to check thisBluehost Black Friday and Cyber Sunday discount

I hope you find this article helpful. If you have any questions related to this feel free to contact us via the comment section. Also, don’t forget to share this review with your friends on social media to stay up to date with our content follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter.

Review overview

Price 9.5
Speed 8
Security 8
Features 9
Customer Service 8
Ease of Use 10

Summary

8.8 GeekyPlug Score Is Bluehost reliable? Do I recommend it? The simple answer to all your questions is yes. Hosting over 2 million websites, Bluehost is a well established hosting company. They offer plans that are affordable and are backed up by the 24/7 customer support if in case you face any problem. The setup process is very easy even for a non-technical person. Also, I m personally using Bluehost for over a year now and have faced no difficulty.

GeekyPlug
Tags : Hosting
Jasmeet Singh

The author Jasmeet Singh

Jasmeet Singh is the Blogging El Jefe at GeekyPlug. Started his career as a BPO employee and now is a full-time blogger and writes how-to guides and his personal experiences related to blogging. In his spare time, he likes to read books, listen to podcasts and play video games.

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