Disclosure: If you decide to make a purchase after reading my Bluehost Website Review, I’ll receive a commission at zero cost to you when you buy a Bluehost plan through my affiliate link.
If you’ve never created a website, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by the overabundance of choices out there. Finding the right web host that prioritizes security and performance is a daunting task.
That’s why I recommend Bluehost for both beginners and savvy web owners alike. Bluehost is one of the most popular web host companies out there and has been recommended by WordPress since 2005. They’ve made a name as a beginner-friendly, easy-to-use hosting company with lots of features.
While it’s not exclusive to WordPress sites, Bluehost offers easy installs and WordPress-optimized plans. It’s one of the best web hosting services for businesses that are interested in creating the best web experience for their target audience.
If you’re looking for a new web host, this Bluehost website review explains the major Bluehost features such as speed, performance, storage, and customer support. I’ll also go over the pros, cons, and hosting packages to help you make an informed decision.
What Is Bluehost?
Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth founded Bluehost in 2003. Since then, they’ve continued to innovate new ways to help small businesses and power the web.
Bluehost operates its servers in-house in a facility in Orem, Utah. Servers are powered by HTTP/2, PHP 7, and NGINX+ caching.
Bluehost is currently one of the 20 largest web hosts with 2 million domains hosted on their servers. They employ over 750+ staff dedicated to helping customers enjoy the best web experience at all times.
WordPress hosting is Bluehost’s signature offering. It’s a decade-long partnership powered by in-house, dedicated WordPress experts that provide answers when customers need it.
In 2010, Endurance International Group acquired Bluehost. Matt Heaton stepped down from his role as CEO in 2011 to focus on improving the company’s technical and design structure. In 2013, Bluehost introduced dedicated and VPS server hosting to improve their offering.
A few things that drive Bluehost’s popularity include extensive documentation, affordable pricing, and a reputation for reliability and high performance among WordPress users. Their value-packed hosting plans include free global CDN, unmetered bandwidth, backups, and SSL certificates.
Is Bluehost Good For Beginners?
Bluehost appeals to beginners because it offers all the hosting features you need to take your site live. While most web hosting companies offer complex pricing with complicated features, Bluehost keeps it simple with plans to help you build any type of website.
For qualifying websites (usually those on shared hosting) Bluehost offers migration support. But this doesn’t extend to VPS, reseller, or dedicated server accounts.
Bluehost interface is extremely easy to use and navigate. You have options to install a theme for your WordPress website and start creating content immediately.
The marketplace is a great place to start. Here, you’ll find both free and paid themes to help you get started. The shared WordPress hosting package is great if you’re just starting out and looking to keep costs down. You can upgrade with just a few clicks as your hosting need grows.
Don’t want to hire a web designer? Bluehost offers a drag-and-drop website builder that makes it easy to set up quickly. You can install WordPress with the SimpleScripts option in the cPanel.
Bluehost Email Hosting Review
Email hosting is an essential part of doing business and Bluehost email hosting service is one of the best. The basic plan starts from $2.95 per month and pricing varies based on your requirement. You enjoy Bluehost forward email, unlimited free email, and a Webmail email login that’s easy to use.
They offer a cash refund policy if you decide you don’t like the plan within 30 days after purchase. It connects easily with Gmail so you can collaborate with team members and stay on top of business communications.
Support is on hand 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. They also offer email migration with an instant account setup.
Bluehost SEO Tools Review
Bluehost SEO Tools Start is an SEO service created to help Bluehost users improve their site ranking through a list of recommendations and tasks.
What Are the Benefits of Bluehost SEO Tools Start?
Everything begins in the start section where you’ll get an SEO score of your website. The score is determined by a proprietary algorithm that calculates your website performance alongside several factors. They are weighed differently including the number of visitors, popularity, mobile-friendliness, and more.
You’ll get a personalized marketing analysis and report. It includes a plan of action to help you optimize your website for search engines.
Website Submission to Search Engines
Rather than creating sitemaps and manually submitting your website to search engines for indexing, SEO Tools Start automates this process with the click of a button. Bluehost submits your website to leading search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google.
Website Visitor Detail
This is an awesome feature to help you keep track of site visitors. You can view what time people come to your website, where they’re based and the total number of people visiting your site. It takes some time to start showing this information as you need to accumulate web visitors for this feature to work.
Keyword Discovery Tool
Don’t have the budget for expensive SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush? The Bluehost Discovery SEO Tools allows you to conduct keyword research and get data such as keyword density so you can be found on search engines for profitable keywords.
From this section, you can view the number of keywords your website is currently ranking for on search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo. You can also track the position for each keyword.
This is more on the technical SEO side. You’ll get insight into any technical issues your website may be facing such as missing SSL certificate, slow loading time, and more. Bluehost SEO tools also provide recommendations to fix issues on your site.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king”. Bluehost SEO tools give you suggestions to optimize your content for readers and search engines.
The Bluehost SEO Tools Start costs $1.99 per month and is billed annually at $23.88. You can include this as an add-on on the checkout page when paying for a hosting package.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
Pros of Bluehost
- Easy to use
As a potential customer you may be asking – is Bluehost easy to use? The answer is yes. A great experience begins with the clean and intuitive customer portal.
The cPanel (control panel) is one of the easiest to use. You can customize the control panel according to your needs, and manage your website and email from one central location.
New users can immediately set up WordPress and configure settings to take their website live on the same day. For advanced users with coding experience, you can access features to add code to fit your needs.
Page load speed can make or break a website. It also has a direct impact on the success of your site and business at large.
A Google research found that the probability of bounce rate increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds. Longer wait time leads to higher bounce rates. Search engines translate a high bounce rate as a page without useful content that’s relevant to the user’s search and this affects your search ranking.
In fact, one in four visitors will leave a site that takes longer than four seconds to load. 46% of users won’t return to a slow website and one second of delay reduces customer satisfaction by 16%.
Bluehost speed is one of the best. An analysis by Hosting facts revealed that Bluehost delivered page speeds at 406ms, which is one of the fastest in the industry. With superior speed your website loads quickly and your visitors enjoy a great user experience.
However, if you have a heavy website, consider upgrading to a pro plan such as VPS hosting that offers high-performance servers.
There are over 90,000 attacks on WordPress sites every minute and 40% of website hacks happen because of a vulnerable hosting service. It’s important to choose a web host that provides security essentials such as CDN, monitoring services, and other add-ons.
Security is one area where Bluehost shines. You get several layers of protection including Spam Hammer, Spam Experts, and Apache SpamAssassin. You can configure access to individual files with Secure Shell Access.
To protect your website, Bluehost uses SiteLock to scan your site daily for malware and viruses. They also conduct 24/7 network monitoring on company servers.
Bluehost lets you implement additional security measures to protect your website. You can create password-protected directories, IP address blacklist, manage digital certificates and private keys.
Other security features include a free Cloudflare CDN (great for preventing DDOS attacks on your site), CodeGuard, and a free SSL certificate on all web hosting plans.
Bluehost Uptime Guarantee
Downtime is very expensive. According to Gartner, the average cost of downtime per minute is $5,600. Amazon lost an estimated $150 million from 3-4 hours of downtime in early 2017. Apart from losing money, downtime damages your brand reputation.
It’s crucial to choose a hosting provider that guarantees the highest uptime if you want to avoid costly downtime that ruins your visitor’s experience.
According to Hosting Facts, a good uptime is 99.93%. Your hosting provider shouldn’t offer anything less. To test Bluehost uptime, Hosting Facts did an analysis. They found that Bluehost’s uptime of 99.96% over a 12-month period (April 2020- March 2021) was higher than the industry average. With Bluehost, you don’t have to worry about sudden outages during peak traffic.
The fear of downtime is the biggest worry when migrating your website. Thankfully, Bluehost offers an intuitive cPanel dashboard plus a general guide that makes the process easy for beginners.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, Bluehost handles the process of moving your site to their servers for $149.99. The fee covers 20 email accounts and five websites.
Bluehost guarantees uptime during the process and access to support when it’s completed. However, this service is only available to users on a shared hosting plan.
For Reseller, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting plans, you need a more robust solution. I’ll recommend using a specialist such as Jonathan Santini. He’s got experience onboarding larger brands like Estee Lauder and can help make the migration process seamless.
You may be eligible for a free website migration if your site runs on WordPress.org.
A few things to note about the free WordPress site migration include:
- The free migration is only valid for one WordPress site
- The request must be initiated within 30 days of signing up to Bluehost
- It doesn’t cover email or domain names
- Additional sites will be migrated under a paid website transfer
Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all customers irrespective of plans. You can try the service and ask for a refund if you’re not satisfied.
All you need to do is cancel within 30 days of purchasing your hosting plan to receive a full refund. Note that the guarantee doesn’t include add-on products like CodeGuard and only covers hosting plans.
Also, you get a free domain with Bluehost, but you’ll be charged for the domain name if you cancel the hosting. However, you’ll still own the domain name and can use it as you please.
24/7 Customer Support
When you need help solving an issue, Bluehost offers 24/7 support that’s available via live chat and telephone. You can also use the knowledge base to get answers to questions you may have.
PCMag tested Bluehost support by calling on a weekday morning. They asked about the differences between WP Pro and WordPress and got quick answers they were satisfied with.
Another user put Bluehost support to the test and was immediately paired with support staff. The entire chat lasted 3 minutes.
- Renewal prices are always more expensive than what you paid for in the first year. The best way to get competitive prices is to prepay for two to three years upfront.
- Only US servers hosted in Provo, Utah. You may have slower speeds if your audience is in Asia or locations outside North America.
- Similar to other hosting companies, unlimited is actually limited. Limitations include 2GB per MySQL database size limit and 1,000 database tables limit.
Bluehost Plans and Pricing
If you’ve made it this far in my Bluehost website review, then you’re probably ready to pull out your credit card and make a purchase.
Irrespective of the plan you choose, all Bluehost plans include:
- Domain manager to easily purchase, update and manage domains
- SSL certificate to protect personal information
- Resource protection to ensure your website performance is unaffected
- $100 Google Ads credit towards your first ad campaign
- Get found faster with Google My Business listing
Let’s dig deeper into each Bluehost package:
Bluehost Shared Hosting
- $4.95 – $18.95 per month on a one-year plan
- $3.95 – $15.95 per month on a two-year plan
- $2.95 – $13.95 per month on a three-year plan
There’s a lot on offer even with the basic package. You enjoy 50GB of SSD storage, custom themes, free CDN, and free domain.
Add-ons increase as you move up to the Choice Plus plan where you enjoy free Office 365 for 30 days, unlimited domains, and unlimited storage space with free automated backup. The Bluehost Pro Plan includes everything in the Choice Plus plan, optimized CPU resources, and a free dedicated IP address.
Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting
- Build – $19.95 per month
- Grow – $29.95 per month
- Scale – $49.95 per month
If you have a mid-sized to large WordPress site, Bluehost can help you do the heavy lifting on the Managed WordPress Hosting plan.
Features in the Build plan include:
- 30-day access to Microsoft 365 Mailbox
- Free WordPress themes
- Malware detection and removal
- Marketing center
- Basic Jetpack site analytics
- Domain privacy and protection
Add-ons in the Grow plans include 10 GB video compression, business review tool, and Jetpack premium. Meanwhile, the Scale plan includes everything in Grow plus PayPal integration, unlimited backups, and unlimited video compression.
Bluehost VPS Hosting
- Standard – $18.99 per month
- Enhanced – $29.99 per month
- Ultimate – $59.99 per month
If you need more CPU and server resources than a shared hosting plan offers, then VPS hosting is the right option for you.
VPS means Virtual Private Server. It is a popular hosting option that uses virtualization technology to provide websites with the resources of a dedicated server. While websites on a VPS are share one server, it is partitioned into smaller private units where each website enjoys its own IP, database, and similar resources you would find on a dedicated server.
Top features of Bluehost VPS hosting include:
- Multi-server management to manage everything in one place
- Manage access control to specific aspects of your account
- Create as many FTP accounts as you need to modify, upload or download files.
The standard plan includes the following features:
- 2 GB RAM
- 2 Cores
- 30 GB SSD Storage
- 1 IP address
- 1 TB Bandwidth
Bluehost Dedicated Hosting
- Standard – $79.99
- Enhanced – $99.99
- Premium – $119.99
Dedicated hosting is a hosting plan where a single user leases an entire server and all its resources. You can optimize the server to your specific requirements including security and performance. The hosting company provides the environment, physical server, technical support, and associated services.
Dedicated hosting is ideal for large organizations and WordPress websites that enjoy heavy traffic. A dedicated server is faster, more secure, and gives you all the control you need to personalize everything from Apache to the operating system.
The standard dedicated hosting plan on Bluehost includes:
- 4GB RAM
- 4 cores at 2.3 GHz (extremely fast for any server load)
- 3 dedicated IP addresses
- 5 TB Bandwidth
Bluehost WooCommerce Hosting
Standard: $12.95 – $29.95 per month
Premium: $24.95 – $49.95 per month
If you run an eCommerce store with WordPress, Bluehost offers a special plan to help you sell online at an affordable price. The standard plan gives you the basic tools to run an online store such as store-front theme, product reviews, one-click payment processing, discount codes, and manual order creation.
The premium option is well-rounded and offers additional options such as online booking, tax management, and subscriptions.
Bluehost will help you set up your online store, customize features, add products and utilize plug-ins.
Bluehost User Reviews
Best Choice – Sheena C
I like the fast response from live chat. As a new website owner, I was completely confused about what I should do first and what should happen next, but Bluehost has a step-by-step guide on how to get your website up and functioning. The layout also makes it easy to use and navigate.
Bluehost WordPress Hosting keeps it simple when it comes to hosting and managing our WordPress websites. We get far greater metrics that are connected to the performance of our sites. We also have an optimized hosting environment that not only loads pages more quickly than standard hosting accounts but can perform updates without having to jump through as many hoops.
Sharon Henry – Bluehost support is an actual human being
Bluehost support is actual HUMAN BEINGS. My site went down hard. I had screwed up the DNS while trying to add Google workspace email. I looked up Bluehost support, expecting to get a bot or a link to an endless list of FAQs to search through, but I got Rica! A real live person who no doubt heard the panic in my voice and stayed on the phone – a long time – until the site was up again. My site is my business. Having it crash and not knowing how to fix it was a nightmare. Thanks, Rica and Bluehost for having 24/7 human support. You saved the day!
Layne Perelli – Excellent tech support
I just wanted to let MacKenzie’s manager know I received excellent tech support from her on March 27th. She is extremely knowledgeable and eager to help. Mackenzie cleared up a number of difficult problems for me and was very pleasant to work with. She went above and beyond to provide additional advice to improve my site. Made me glad to be a BlueHost customer! When you are looking for an online provider, consider the tech support you will receive. You can’t top Bluehost.
Bluehost Website Review: Is Bluehost Any Good?
If you’re a WordPress user, you can’t go wrong with Bluehost because they’re officially recommended by WordPress.org. I also love how Bluehost scales with your business needs. Beginners with a small website can start with the shared hosting plan and upgrade to larger plans as your website hosting need grows.