Bluehost was founded in 2003 and has been a stalwart in the blog scene for many years as one of WordPress' official recommendations. Bluehost is owned by EIG (along with Hostgator, Site5 and Arvixe)
For our Bluehost review we signed up for Bluehost's Basic Plan which is their most popular plan with WordPress users, and is one of just four hosts offering new account plans at <$3/mth which is an amazing deal and one of the reasons Bluehost is on our short list of top #3 host recommendations.
Bluehost Provisioning and Installation
One of the reasons Bluehost have been a long time favorite in WordPress community is that they make it very easy to signup. Provisioning is instant 24/7 and they have partnered with Mojo Marketplace to make installation generally painless. Though we do agree with other reviewers that Mojo can be confusing compared to the usual Cpanel installers.
Bluehost Systems and Support
One of the benefits of working with a big provider like Bluehost (EIG) is that they offer comprehensive support, including 24/7 chat and phone support. Phone support is the exception rather than the rule so this will be a real draw for some people.
Bluehost Load Impact Test Results
Bluehost's performance our most recent load impact test was again very strong, and most importantly reflects a very consistent performance over the last 6 months. The average user load time remained <1 second for most of the test right up to 100 concurrent users. Bluehost was in the top performing group, and while they did not have the fastest average Load Impact test time I don't think you could tell the different between the top 6 performers anyway, so from a practical point of view it is pretty even. No server request failures were recorded.
Bluehost Page Speed & Uptime
|West Coast Load Time||0.682s|
|East Coast Load Time||0.624s|
|Average Page Load Time||0.653s|
So not only did Bluehost do well in our load testing, they also scored the best equal YSlow grade at 88 for an out of the box installation of WordPress.
Bluehost are the fastest WordPress hosting as measured by Pingdom average home page load time. Along with A2 Hosting, Arvixe and Siteground they are the only host in our test to score an average home page load time below 1 second in the Pingdom test. Also noteworthy, Pingdom has reported 100% uptime for our Bluehost test site in the last 30 days. There is no denying that Bluehost's server infrastructure has benefited from ongoing investment and it is paying off.
Bluehost is owned by the Endurance International Group, which also owns Hostgator, Site5 and Arvixe, among others. Bluehost has been around since 1996, which makes it one of the grizzled old-timers in this business, and claims to host over 2 million sites.
Along with 24/7 support (from “U.S.-based trained, in-house experts”), they offer a money-back guarantee, saying there are no hidden fees, gimmicks or locked-in contracts. The company designs and maintains their own servers in-house and develop their own software.
Prices are on the low end for complete hosting offerings. They offered shared (or “virtual”) hosting, popular among companies looking for less expensive reliable hosting options, where your site shares partitioned space on a server with other sites. Bluehost also offers dedicated server hosting, and the obligatory hosting package for the fantastically popular WordPress.
They offer VPS, or Virtual Private Server hosting. This is kind of like a cross between shared and dedicated servers, good for high-traffic sites, or sites with quite specific server requirements, who want a somewhat less expensive option than full-blown dedicated server hosting but specialized server requirements that simple shared hosting usually can’t offer.
What’s the email situation?
Bluehost allows users to create and manage unlimited email accounts. Features include forwarding rules and account filters, Secure POP3 and IMAP support, third-party client compatibility, spam protection, and unique user account controls.
How often does Bluehost backup my site?
They automatically create daily, weekly, and monthly backups of your entire account. You can restore your complete data with the click of a mouse, or use the optional PRO backup service to restore specific files and databases.
I suppose they offer cPanel, like everyone else does?
They do, but with a difference. While it’s built on cPanel, they designed an enhanced interface with additional tools that make it easier to manage your websites, domains, emails, files, and more, all from one central location.
I know it’s shared hosting, but is my site protected from other sites’ excess usage?
Yes, that’s a specific thing with them: Their technology identifies websites using excessive resources and temporarily re-assigns them to isolated systems. This defends your website performance and mitigates the risk normally associated with shared servers.
How about their VPS hosting?
Their VPS solutions are built on cloud technology, using their enhanced cPanel environment with full root access to CentOS. With a KVM hypervisor virtualization, the resources you purchase are guaranteed to always be available.
Is scaling up a pain?
Not really. They’re set up so you can start with what you need and move to more powerful options as your website grows. The custom technology makes it fairly easy to upgrade your account to VPS or dedicated servers.
What are the sign-up and payment procedures?
All Hosting accounts are paid for upfront and in full at sign up. All Setup fees are non-refundable. All accounts canceled in the first 30 Days of service qualify for a full refund at the monthly rate — some qualifications apply, check the site for further details.
How about canceling? How does that work?
When canceling your Bluehost account prior to your account’s end of term, or down grading your account to a term for less than a year, you forfeit the Domain Registration coupon and Bluehost deducts $15.99 from your final refund amount to cover their costs for registering your new domain on your behalf for one year. Subject to the terms of your domain registration agreement, you will retain ownership of your domain until the end of its registration period.
What are the addons and about how much do they cost?
To give you an idea, here are some of the most popular options and sample prices:
- Additional Domain Names: $15.99 per year of registration
- Dedicated IP: $3.99 per month
- SSL Certificates: $59.88 per year
- SpamExperts Mail Filtering: $2.99 a month per domain name
- Privacy: $11.88 Domain Privacy per domain per year
- SiteLock: Starting at $23.88 per domain per year
- Site Backup and Restore Pro: $23.88 per year