In short, Bluehost web hosting is one of our favorite web hosts. When is comes to shared hosting services costing less than $9 per month, they ARE the consensus favorite of the AimShops.com team. Great uptime and awesome service. For WordPress sites, and for customers who are not running enterprise-level web applications, you cannot go wrong with Bluehost.
Bluehost Web Hosting Review : Editor’s Note
I’ve been using Bluehost hosting since 2008, and to give you an idea of HOW much I use them, here’s an idea:
- I personally have 7 hosting accounts with them.
- One account is running 15 WordPress sites, a couple of static HTML sites, and one eCommerce site. For most shared hosting web hosts, that’s too much. Not on Bluehost – the sites run well.
- I have set up over 25 web development clients with Bluehost and have had no complaints. Note – in November, 2011, I migrated one client to Bluehost from IX Web Hosting, and the client was ecstatic on how fast his site ran after the move.
Other developers on the AimShops.com team have been using Bluehost for longer than I have, and are also quite happy with the hosting service. For budget shared hosting, Bluehost is our consensus top pick.
Our Ratings on Bluehost Services:
WordPress Hosting Capabilities…
Beautiful. One click installation of WordPress works great. Very easy to get a new WordPress site up and running. Literally takes minutes. The server supports WordPress very well, and my sites run nice and fast.
Technical and Customer Support…
I’ve found none better. Support is U.S. based, so there’s no language barrier to be challenged with. When I call there is minimal, if any, hold time. The support agents are ALWAYS friendly and helpful. Never have I experienced the “it’s not our problem” response. Even in cases where the problem was mine (I fubared something in my site), they are still helpful and work through it with me.
Website Speed and Performance…
For a low priced shared hosting service, I’ve literally found none better. WordPress sites are fast and dependable. Sure, you can get better performance at other hosting companies, but you’ll be into VPS or Dedicated hosting (read – expensive). If you’re not sure if you need VPS or not, then you probably don’t.
Value for the Money
Bluehost isn’t the cheapest host out there. But in our opinion, the product value is the best out there. The first year will cost you $6.95 per month. Following years will cost you between $5.95 and $9.95 per month depending upon the length of time you sign up for (6 months to 3 years).
Tools, Free Applications, Control Panel Interface, and other Extras.
Bluehost uses cPanel for the user interface. It’s loaded with tools and lots of freebies that you can install on your site (generally with one-click install). Email is easy to set up and manage, and you pretty much have access to anything you need for your site. Easy, icon-based menu system. See below for a list of features.
Bluehost Compared To Other Web Hosts…
Having designed and developed hundreds of websites over the years, our team has had the opportunity (or misfortune) of using many different web hosts. Over the course of 2011, we have tried a number of services new to us just to see how they stacked up against the favorites. IMPORTANT TO NOTE – We are comparing apples to apples. I’m not including VPS hosts, Windows hosts, and enterprise level hosts here.
And without a full review, here’s the short and sweet on my experiences…
- HostGator – They guys are good too. Awesome really. Probably the nearest competitor to Bluehost in terms of speed and performance. I’ve got a handful of accounts here and host about 40 sites with HostGator. But based on our experience, especially with tech support, Bluehost narrowly wins. Read the detailed HostGator web hosting review.
- iPage Hosting – So far no complaints. But they haven’t been put to the test anywhere near how Bluehost has. We have only got a couple of small sites running here, and haven’t had need to work with tech support.
- IX Web Hosting – For a while, these guys were a near favorite. But then suddenly their service took a nose dive. We had handfuls of websites (like 12) go down without notice and it took us almost a week to get them to be brought back up. And when they came back online, the Google PR score was ZERO ON EVERY ONE OF THEM. Tech support is somewhere in Eastern Europe, and while the response is quick, the answers are many times irrelevant or off the mark. When my sites went down, these guys could not/would not tell my why.
- FatCow Hosting – Sloooowwwwwww.
- SuperGreen Hosting – Slooowwww. Lots of downtime. Horrible customer service. At times it took 2 – 3 days to hear back when server outages were reported. We cancelled our account within a few weeks of opening it and could not get a full refund.
- GoDaddy.com – We find that database-driven websites (like WordPress) are kind of slow here. Server is not very permissive with configuring WordPress apps at times. Too tightly controlled and we find that things (like email contact forms) are squirrely.
Bluehost Web Hosting Overview
BlueHost.com has been offering web hosting for over 15 years. Among the features offered by the service are:
- Unlimited disk space and domain hosting
- A free domain name for one year
- Free drag and drop site builder
- Free website building tools
- 4,500 free website templates
- SimpleScripts 1-click installs
- Free scripts
- Unlimited POP3/Secure POP3or IMAP/Secure IMAP email accounts
- 24/7 network monitoring
- 99.9 percent network uptime guarantee
One of the best things about Blue Host is their resource protection, which serves to protect all of its customers. Resource protection enables the company to resolve issues with shared servers so that its customers aren’t affected by other users that are having issues. Their unique system protects against abusive users who may use up too many resources on a shared server. Resource protection mimics many of the features provided by a virtual private server or dedicated server at the price you would expect from shared hosting.
Choice of Bluehost Hosting Packages
Bluehost offers two hosting packages…
- Standard Hosting Package: Priced at $6.95 per month, this is the most popular package. All of my accounts are the standard package. Everything in this Bluehost web hosting review is based on this standard package.
Click here to read the detailed features of this hosting package.
- Pro Package: Designed for sites with high traffic, or sites that use a lot of server resources. The price is $19.95 per month, but the service is comparable to a VPS package that runs anywhere from $50 per month and up at other hosting companies. The Pro Package includes all of the standard hosting package features plus the following:
Pro Features Standard Features Monthly Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Disk Space Unlimited Unlimited More CPU, Memory and Resources – SiteBackup Pro – Free Dedicated IP Address – Free SSL Certificate – Free Domain Name Free Domain Privacy – Free Postini Anti-Spam Accounts 10 –
We searched other websites for ratings and rankings on Bluehost Hosting. Overall, we came up with the following rating for Bluehost based on other users (and I’m sure a few competitors : -).
Number of Reviews:
Overall Rating 4/5 Stars:
Highlights and Lowlights Summary From The Reviews…
There were a lot of compliments on the following:
- Most users who had to contact customer service appreciate that the technicians are U.S.-based and speak good English, unlike the customer service centers with many other web hosting services.
- Some web hosting services only allow for the use of POP3 email accounts, but Blue Host also allows the use of IMAP accounts.
- Great uptime.
- Lots of features for the price.
- Excellent tech support.
A common complaint was:
- One of the biggest problems users of Blue Host have is that they offer unlimited disk space but don’t seem to honor that offer.
Authors Note: I can clear this up by saying that Bluehost does offer unlimited disk space, but they don’t offer unlimited resource usage. If a website were left to use unlimited resources (like CPU power, RAM, etc), then that would negatively effect all other websites using that same server. This is part of the Resource Protection mentioned above. Pretty much ALL decent shared web hosts are going to have something like this in affect – it’s not just Bluehost.
The reviews on Blue Host indicate that the service is generally quite reliable. The fact that their customer service office is located in the U.S. means that there is no language barrier when English speakers call into customer service. Many other web hosting companies have moved their customer service offices to other countries.
Most of the issues mentioned in the online reviews of Blue Host seem to be isolated incidents without any major recurring themes. The company’s resource protection is fairly unique in the industry and helps to solve some of the problems of sharing a server with problem websites. As with any kind of service, it also pays to stay on top of billing. The site does renew automatically, which helps keep the customer’s website up and avoid downtime. However, this also means that you should check the account that it’s linked to before it’s time to renew.
I hope this article helped you. If it did, and if you choose to use Bluehost, please click on the link below. By doing so, we will make a few bucks for a referral, which will help our team continue to provide useful WordPress reviews.
And it won’t cost you anything extra.