Bluehost is a popular web hosting provider that was founded in Provo, Utah in 2003 by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth, and is one of our top recommendations for the best web hosting service.
The company provides comprehensive tools to millions of users worldwide and its web hosting services power over two million websites.
Since 2010, Bluehost has been a part of the Endurance International Group which is behind a lot of big names in the web hosting business including Domain.com, iPage, HostGator, SiteBuilder.com and more.
So let’s take a closer look at the company’s plans, features and support to see if this web host is a good choice for your website.
Cost and what's covered
Bluehost offers a wide variety of plans including ones for shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting and even ecommerce hosting powered by WooCommerce. However, in this review we’ll be looking at the company’s shared hosting packages, which are a great place to start for beginners and provide a good overall view of the services on hand.
Bluehost offers four different shared hosting plans depending on the needs of your website. The ‘Basic’ plan includes one website, 50GB of SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate and one domain for just $2.95 (about £2.50) per month. This plan is geared towards beginners just getting started with their first website and as such its features are limited compared to the higher tier plans.
Next up we have the ‘Plus’ plan for $5.45 (about £5) per month that gives you unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth and unlimited domains.
Bluehost’s ‘Choice Plus’ plan includes all the ‘Plus’ plan has to offer, along with domain privacy and extended backup functionality.
Finally we have the ‘Pro’ plan that includes everything the “Choice Plus’ plan does as well as dedicated IP and two spam experts.
While Bluehost’s prices seem quite low, do keep in mind that the prices shown on the site are for what you would pay monthly if you signed up for a three-year plan.
Bluehost’s signup process starts with the company asking you to choose a domain. You can enter a new one if it’s available or use an existing domain that you already have. There’s even an option to transfer the domain to Bluehost but it’s not required as you can easily update your name servers later.
To create an account, you need to provide the usual details including your name, address, email address and phone number.
Next you’re taken to the package information section where you can see the prices for the plan you’ve chosen as well as its features and extras. Remember how we mentioned earlier that the low monthly prices shown on Bluehost’s page require you to sign up for a three-year plan? Users that are unsure about signing up for a three-year plan can instead opt for the 12-month contract which costs $71.40 (about £55) for the year or $5.95 (about £5) monthly.
Another important thing to note is that the ‘Pay by credit card’ option is ticked by default but there is actually a ‘More payment options’ section where you can pay with PayPal if you prefer.
Creating a site
Bluehost provides you with a simple Weebly-based website builder to help you get started creating a website, which is more than some other web hosting services give you with their basic plans.
You can also choose to have WordPress and other popular apps setup for you automatically. This feature is powered by a Mojo Marketplace system which works in a similar way to other hosts where you’re asked to provide a few details and then your app is installed.
If you’re familiar with WordPress and want to use its platform to create your site, Bluehost also offers a one-click install and the company is even listed as the top web host on WordPress’s own site.
While other web hosting services either focus on being easy-to-use or on being powerful, Bluehost manages to do both which makes it a great choice for experienced users and beginners alike.
When reviewing a web hosting service, we like to start by first taking a look at the support options on hand as users will more than likely run into some issues along the way. Bluehost’s support begins with an extensive knowledgebase with tutorials on WordPress, email, domains, your account and the control panel to help you with any difficulties you might have getting your site setup.
The company also has a regularly updated blog with articles on a variety of topics including online marketing, web hosting, WordPress and of course, news about the company itself.
If you can’t find the help you need in either Bluehost’s knowledgebase or blog, live chat is also available. We tested the company’s live chat out for ourselves by asking a question and we were connected with an agent in less than a minute. Bluehost does offer 24/7 customer support over the phone but live chat is a welcome feature for dealing with pressing issues quickly.
Finally we did some performance tests on our site by running Bitcatacha on Bluehost. Response time from the US was excellent and we would expect no less from a US-based site. Ping times from the US and Europe were more than acceptable but we did notice some slowdowns when connecting from locations far from the US such as Singapore and Sao Paulo. Overall though, Bluehost performed well during all of our tests.