If you’re on the hunt for a new web hosting service, Bluehost is definitely a top option to consider. This platform powers more than 2 million sites across the globe.
All web hosting services are not created equally.
I see so many new webmasters make the mistake of just going with the cheapest web host or the web hosting site that appears first in their Google search results.
For something as important as web hosting, you can’t rush this decision. It’s crucial that you take the time to weigh your options in order to find the best web hosting plan for your needs.
That’s what inspired me to write this guide. Since so many of you will likely come across Bluehost during your search, I wanted to give you as much information about this web hosting service as possible.
I’ll explain all of their hosting plans, pricing, and discuss the best parts about using Bluehost. I’ll even tell you about a couple of cons associated with Bluehost, just to make sure you have all the facts before you sign up.
Bluehost Web Hosting Plans
Not every website has the same web hosting needs. Bluehost knows this and has three different types of web hosting options for you to choose from.
- VPS (virtual private server)
- Dedicated server
Choosing which kind of web hosting plan to go with will vary based on how much you want to pay, your expected site traffic, and the type of website you have. Below I will give you a more detailed description of the differences between these hosting options.
If you have a new website and you’re on a tight budget, shared hosting might be your best option. Bluehost offers four different pricing plans for its shared hosting services.
- Basic — $3.95 per month
- Plus — $5.95 per month
- Choice Plus — $5.95 per month
- Pro — $13.95 per month
I know what some of you are thinking. If Plus and Choice Plus are priced the same, wouldn’t you automatically go with Choice Plus?
All Bluehost plans go up in price once you renew. The advertised prices above are just the introductory rates. It’s worth noting that Plus renews at $10.99 per month, while Choice Plus renews at $14.99 per month.
Bluehost has managed shared hosting platforms, meaning you won’t have to worry about managing servers or anything like that.
VPS hosting from Bluehost is the middle-tier option of the three plans. There are three pricing options for a Bluehost virtual private server.
- Standard — $19.99 per month
- Enhanced — $29.99 per month
- Ultimate — $59.99 per month
The biggest differences in these plans are the cores, SSD storage, RAM, bandwidth, and IP addresses.
With the Standard plan, you’ll get 1 core, 30 GB of SSD storage, 2 GB of RAM, 1 TB of bandwidth, and 1 IP address. Cores, SSD storage, and RAM double at each tier for the Enhanced and Ultimate packages.
Using Bluehost for a VPS gives you dedicated server resources. You’ll be able to use your RAM, CPU, and disk space, no matter what other users on the same server are doing. VPS hosting also has increased security, since you won’t be sharing an operating system with any other Bluehost users.
Picking a dedicated server plan from Bluehost means you’ll be taking advantage of their top of the line services. These plans are made for those of you who are tech-savvy and want complete control over your server.
- Standard — $79.99 per month
- Enhanced — $99.99 per month
- Premium — $119.99 per month
As you can see, top-tier plans come at higher price points. With VPS hosting, you’re maxed out at 120 GB of SSD storage, 8 GB of RAM, 3 TB of bandwidth, and 2 IP addresses. But dedicated servers from Bluehost go all the way up to 1 TB of storage, 16 GB of RAM, 15 TB of bandwidth, and 5 IP addresses.
These plans will probably exceed the needs and uses for what most of you are looking for. But with that said, as your website grows and your traffic scales, you might want to consider a dedicated server in the future.
Benefits of Bluehost for web hosting
Now that you have a better understanding of the plans offered by Bluehost, it’s time for us to discuss what makes Bluehost a great choice for web hosting.
Low pricing options
If you have a brand new website, you don’t need to be spending thousands of dollars per year on web hosting. With Bluehost, you won’t have too.
As you’ve already seen, the introductory rates for Bluehost shared web hosting starts at just $3.95 per month. Being able to host your site for less than $50 is a great deal.
All Bluehost shared hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate and free marketing credits. When you factor in the storage and bandwidth you’re getting, that’s a fairly decent value for the price.
Overall, this is one of the lowest prices you’ll see for a legitimate web host.
Even though Bluehost has some inexpensive pricing options compared to other web hosts on the market today, it doesn’t mean that they’re inferior when it comes to crucial security features.
I’ve already mentioned that an SSL certificate comes standard, regardless of which plan you choose.
Furthermore, their plans have a feature to hide the personal information that you used when signing up for a private domain. Lots of times hackers will target this information from website owners.
Bluehost has features to prevent malware attacks, as well as tools used for automatic daily backups. You’ll also get a security tool that offers spam protection for the email address associated with your website.
Again, this is all a great value considering how much these plans go for.
Top loading speeds
Page loading speed is something that always needs to be taken into consideration when you’re shopping around for the best website host.
If your site takes too long to load, it’s going to kill your engagement metrics. People will abandon your site, and you won’t be able to drive conversions. It’s as simple as that.
So let’s take a look the response time for a Bluehost test website.
The average response time for Bluehost so far in 2019 is 352 ms. To put that into perspective, refer to my SiteGround web hosting review. SiteGround’s average response time over the same period of time was 662 ms, which is still fast.
Bluehost nearly cuts that time in half.
Easy to use
You don’t need to be a tech expert to host your website with Bluehost. Nearly anyone, regardless of their experience level, can find a beginner hosting plan from this platform.
That’s definitely not the case with all web hosting providers on the market today. There are plenty of web hosts out there that are specifically designed for advanced webmasters.
Whether you’re using WordPress or taking advantage of the Bluehost website builder, everything will be pretty straightforward and easy to follow.
Even though Bluehost is easy to figure out, you may still find yourself in a situation where you need some help or guidance.
In most cases, you should able to find an answer through their knowledge base page. This is essentially a support center that has how-to guides, tutorials, and articles with instructions for troubleshooting and FAQ. Simply search what you’re looking for, and there will likely be a resource to help you out.
Furthermore, Bluehost has 24/7 phone support, which is great for those of you who like to be talked through problems.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably just take advantage of their live chat agents. It’s a fast and easy way to get an answer without having to leave their website.
Bluehost ranked second on the list with a 99.991% average uptime for the year. That percentage is identical to MidPhase, which ranked first on the list.
Furthermore, you can see that Bluehost only had seven total outages on the year, which was the lowest for all hosts in the top five, including the top-ranking provider on the list.
It really doesn’t get much better than that. So if you host your website with Bluehost, you can rest assured knowing that your site isn’t going to have much downtime throughout the year.
Like most web hosting services, you won’t get a free trial to try them out. But with that said, Bluehost does offer a 30-day money-back promise.
So if you’re on the fence about using Bluehost, it’s comforting to know that you’ll get refunded if you’re not ultimately satisfied in the first month.
But with that said, it’s worth noting that the refund only applies to web hosting costs. So if you use Bluehost for a domain name or other add-ons, those purchases are final.
If you’re using WordPress hosting, Bluehost is definitely a top option for you to consider. That’s because this web host is just one of the three “official” recommended choices from the WordPress website.
With that said, you can still use nearly any other web hosting service on the market to create your WordPress website. But it’s definitely a positive sign that Bluehost is recognized as a WordPress partner.
While Bluehost has its fair share of positive characteristics, it’s still not perfect. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention some of the shortcomings of this web host.
High renewal rates
I briefly mentioned this before when we were discussing the different plans and pricing options. Like many other web hosting services, Bluehost jacks up the prices once you renew your subscription.
Depending on your plan, the monthly rate will change as follows:
- $3.95 to $7.99
- $5.95 to $10.99
- $5.95 to $14.99
- $13.95 to $23.99
- $19.99 to $29.99
- $29.99 to $59.99
- $59.99 to $119.99
- $79.99 to $119.99
- $99.99 to $159.99
- $119.99 to $209.99
As you can see from this list, in some instances the price more than doubles. So it’s in your best interest to commit to a longer term plan if you want to get the best rate for the longest amount of time.
Bluehost offers plans for 12, 24, or 36 months. So if you know that you’re ready to commit to this web host, I’d recommend going with a three-year contract when you first sign up. It will save you money down the road.
Costly site migrations
It seems like the majority of web hosting services out there will migrate your current website to their service at no cost. This is a major selling point for new customers.
However, Bluehost does not offer free website migrations.
For $149.99 they’ll migrate up to five websites and 20 email accounts. This gets handled by experts at Bluehost, so you won’t have to do any heavy lifting.
But with that said, you do have to pay for it, which can be a turn-off for those of you with an existing site.
Simply put, I definitely recommend Bluehost as a web hosting provider. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular services on the market today.
Bluehost has exceptionally fast loading times as well as one of the highest uptime rates we’ve seen in the last year.
They offer different hosting types, plans, and options to meet the needs of any website. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a plan from Bluehost that is suitable for your web hosting needs.