Did you know that Bluehost is home to more than 2 million websites?
Having such a vast customer base is enough evidence that they are doing something right. Their uptime is reliable, server speeds are good, and their hosting plans pack useful features for beginners and veterans alike.
Bluehost also has helpful 24/7 live chat and phone support, and you can safely give them a try with their 30-day money-back guarantee.
However, there are a few downsides, too, like higher renewal prices and some restrictions on the cheapest plan.
But before we move on to the review, we have great news to share:
Typically, shared hosting plans offered by Bluehost start at $3.95/month. But we arranged a special deal for our readers and got the price down to $2.75/month. So, if by the end of this review you want to sign up with them, then feel free to enjoy this offer. However, rest assured this deal doesn’t make us biased towards Bluehost. We still base all our reviews solely on real data like uptime, speed, and cost.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Bluehost and find out if they can provide the high-quality website hosting service that you need.
General Info & Hosting Overview
|SPEED:||581 ms (Last 12 months, updated October 2020)|
|UPTIME:||99.98% (Last 12 months, updated October 2020)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, and More Than 75+ Open Source Projects|
|FEATURES:||Unmetered bandwidth, Unlimited Websites and Storage*, Free Domain 1st Year, Free SSL Certificate, Spam Experts*, Domain Privacy*, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee|
*Not included in the cheapest plan
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Single WordPress Site for Free|
|PRICING:||Starting at $2.75/mo (renews at $7.99/mo)|
Pros of Using Bluehost Hosting
Bluehost has been around since 2003, so they have plenty of experience to know what makes a hosting service excellent.
Their introductory prices are affordable, customer support is easy to reach and helpful, and you get many useful features to go with your hosting plan. In addition, they provide reliable uptime and fast server speeds.
Let’s take a more detailed look at Bluehost’s strong points.
1. Great Uptime Throughout the Year (99.98%)
Uptime is one of the most critical aspects when choosing a web host – after all, if your site is down, your users can’t access it. So, consistent uptime should be one of your top priorities when looking at hosting services.
After reviewing over 30 web hosts, our benchmark for “good” uptime is 99.93%. So ideally, we don’t want to see anything less than that.
The good news is that Bluehost easily surpasses this benchmark, comfortably keeping our test site live for 99.98% of the time during the last 12 months (November 2019 – October 2020). The total downtime was just an hour for the whole year.
Here’s the breakdown of Bluehost’s average uptime in the past 12 months:
- October 2020: 99.97%
- September 2020: 100%
- August 2020: 99.99%
- July 2020: 99.98%
- June 2020: 100%
- May 2020: 99.90% (scheduled maintenance)
- April 2020: 99.99%
- March 2020: 99.98%
- February 2020: 100%
- January 2020: 100%
- December 2019: 100%
- November 2019: 100%
2. Fast Page Loading Speed (581 ms)
Research conducted by Google found:
“As page load time goes from 1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases 32%.”
This translates to your visitors being 32% more likely to leave your site. And it only gets worse with longer page load times.
Furthermore, Google is more geared towards mobile-first indexing. This means that your site also needs to be optimized for mobile users, or otherwise, you’re losing traffic.
Either way, a slow website almost always means less traffic and, therefore, lower sales numbers. So right after uptime, page loading time is the second most important thing that can make or break your website’s success.
Our test site with Bluehost has offered an average load speed of 581 ms over the past year. While it isn’t competing for the top positions, it isn’t bad either.
Bluehost’s average uptime and load time statistics:
3. Low Introductory Pricing ($2.75/mo)
Bluehost’s default pricing starts at $3.95/month, which is an introductory price from the regular $7.99/month rate.
However, the good news is that we’ve been able to work out a deal with Bluehost for our readers that takes the starting price down even further to $2.75/month.
They are the best cheap host we have seen since we started writing reviews at HostingFacts.
For this price, you get pretty much everything you need for a single website. That includes 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and more. So you’d be getting a pretty good value for the price, plus their consistent uptime and page loading speeds.
Still, the cheapest plan does have a few restrictions that we’re not entirely happy with – but more about this later on.
4. Packed with Security Options and Features
Since Bluehost is one of the “cheapest” options on the market, we are pleased to see that they don’t cut too many corners on critical security options and features.
Already with the cheapest plan, Bluehost provides your site with a free SSL certificate. You also get access to great features like a free CDN (Cloudflare), a one-click WordPress install, multiple CMS integrations, and additional eCommerce plugins.
Higher-tier plans come with the Spam Experts add-on, domain privacy protection, and server backups. Also, you get more advanced security features such as SiteLock, which helps prevent malware attacks. Codeguard is another form of protection, which provides daily backups so you can roll back previous versions of a site, should it get hacked. Postini, from Google, is the final security tool worth noting. It provides spam protection for your email, so anything suspicious is prevented from getting into your inbox.
5. Easy to Use for Beginners
Some of the web hosts we’ve seen can be considered the best only if you’re an advanced user. But, Bluehost is great for beginners, too.
Their customer portal is intuitive and clean (although, we have experienced it being a bit slow at times). And the layout of the cPanel control panel makes Bluehost even easier to use. Beginners can easily install and start WordPress through cPanel. All you need to do is point and click in most cases.
If you don’t want to use WordPress, you can also begin creating a website with a website builder tool (such as Weebly or Drupal). You can then customize a template by just dragging and dropping elements on your page.
Bluehost also has features for advanced users who want to use their code to create their site.
6. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all of their hosting plans.
You can try out the service to see their performance for yourself and ask for a refund if you’re not completely satisfied. We have a few words of caution, though.
According to Bluehost’s terms, here’s what does and doesn’t fall under that guarantee:
- You can only get refunds on the web hosting cost, not any other products like domains or other add-ons.
- Bluehost would deduct $15.99 if you received a free domain name in your plan.
- Bluehost does not refund any requests after 30 days.
It’s not precisely a no-questions-asked policy like we’ve seen from some hosts. So make sure you agree with these points before signing up.
7. 24/7 Customer Support
Bluehost provides 24/7 customer support over live chat, phone, and an email ticketing system. On top of that, they have a vast knowledge base packed with answers to frequent questions and useful information.
We went ahead and tested their live chat option, and the experience was pleasant. Even though there was a warning that the queue was longer than usual, we got through to an agent in less than five minutes.
We got answers to our questions quickly, and the representative was knowledgeable. Sure, some responses felt copy-pasted, but the follow-up questions prompted improvised and helpful answers.
8. One Free WordPress Site Transfer
If you already have a site and want to switch to Bluehost’s hosting plan, then this perk is for you.
Bluehost only recently started offering a free site transfer with all of their plans.
There are a couple of terms to this free service, though. First, the site needs to be a WordPress site. And secondly, you have to request the migration within the first 30 days after signing up with a hosting plan.
All you need to do is contact their customer support team and follow their directions. The migration usually takes around 1-3 business days to complete.
If you don’t have a WordPress website or have more than one then it costs $149.99. This gets you up to 5 website migrations and 20 email account migrations.