Bluehost: How Does The Budget Hosting Heavyweight Stack Up For 2020

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Our Verdict: Perfect Host for Beginners

Bluehost are known for their partnership with WordPress, but they offer a variety of plans for all types of websites. 

You can currently get 65% off all plans . BlueHost offers a 100% money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Free domain and SSL certificate
  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • E-commerce plans and convenient marketing services for small businesses

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer reseller hosting plans
  • Regular backups are not guaranteed. Customers are advised to make their own backups

Don’t just take our word for it — over 480 of our users have rated BlueHost and love the easy setup, customer support, and instructional videos.

Is Bluehost the Perfect Host For Your Site?

Looking for something specific? Jump to our most popular sections:

  • Expert Review — read our thorough analysis by hosting specialist, Katie Horne.
  • Best Reviews — see what hundreds of BlueHost customers have to say.
  • Hosting Plans — compare the BlueHost hosting plans and their prices.
  • FAQs — find the answers to the most asked questions about Bluehost !

Bluehost Review

Bluehost is a popular web host, best-known for its beginner-friendly services and WordPress hosting.

But speed, performance, and customer support are king. How do they score on these factors?

In this article, you’ll learn what Bluehost offers and how to determine if they are a good fit for you.

More importantly, we present uptime and performance data collected over many months — plus hundreds of real customer reviews.

Continued after user reviews

BlueHost Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 482 Reviews by BlueHost Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Anish Neupane avatar
Anish Neupane eneb.ooo
Aug 22, 2018

In my sense the first review for bluehost would be with a word ‘easy’. Yes, It is easier for the beginners to work with. It offers quite easy interface and tools to work with.

The speed is also quite good but it lags somewhat when it comes to bigger websites. Now, talking about the downtimes, I actually didn’t experience it anymore than a single time and that was pretty much okay for my site. But just as case with speed, the bigger websites might have problem with this so I would refer them a better one on market.

The pricing is decent for the first subscription but it takes quite high in the renewals. The support is not that appreciable. In times, they are slow to deliver although their FAQ is quite rich.

They also offer with pre-made video tutorials which is of course a plus point. So, overall Bluehost is an average hosting site and is perfect for beginners while the others on market are better for the bigger websites.

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Kashish Kumawat avatar
Kashish Kumawat technewswith.me
May 13, 2017

Hi,
I have been using BlueHost for my WordPress Site for the past two months. Earlier I was using NameCheap hosting and now I feel glad that I switched. Currently, I’m using the Basic Shared Hosting plan.

BlueHost’s shared hosting is not only fast but reliable with good customer support. I am also using the Cloudflare CDN which BlueHost and it has really improved the site’s loading speed.So far, my site has been down only for once and that was just a few days after I switched to BlueHost. However, their customer support was fast in responding to my issue and they got it resolved within half an hour.

Since then, I haven’t faced any issues with my site. Another good thing about BlueHost is their Control Panel. It is easy to use and user-friendly.

Bluehost’s control panel also provides additional services like SEO based services and CloudFlare integration. I’ll definitely upgrade to better plans at Bluehost once my website begins to generate more traffic. For small site owners and bloggers, I’ll definitely recommend BlueHost for their excellent services.

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Stefan Preradovic avatar
Stefan Preradovic wabisabistudios.org
Mar 30, 2019

Been using BlueHost for 2 years already and i had good and bad experiences. Here are 5 pros of BlueHost:
1) good price for quality of hosting,
2) free domain name and ssl certificate,
3) no hidden or unexpected fees,
4) Indeed friendly and determined customer support,
5) easy to use and beginner friendly user interface. Here are cons of using BlueHost:
1) Not consistent page-load speed, sometimes load time can increase by 2 seconds,
2) No common, but long down times,
3) Time that takes customer support to solve minor issue is long.

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Shovon Khan avatar
Shovon Khan emsoul.com
Mar 04, 2018

Worst hosting server now a days. The biggest issue is they are hiding their problems and blaming users themes or codes and all. Their server crashes every now and then and when back my website shows a cached version.

All the work or updates I make goes away. I had to clean my browser cache so many times and also made them clean server cache several times. Then again site goes down and my site returns to old version.

horrible. They don’t even admit they are down which I always check through several website downtime checkers. Do not buy Bluehost Hosting. I have been using and referring bluehost for so many years but now I don’t, stay away from them.

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William Etheridge avatar
William Etheridge accu-techguitarrepair.com
Jul 06, 2018

…So, exactly how much did Bluehost pay you for this review? You also have your hosting cost figures wrong as well. My last renewal was $396.00 for three years (no domain renewals, but unlimited websites) They love WordPress (OK, haven’t tried it in a while, but when I did it was a nightmare), and offer free SSL…

IF…your sight is developed in WordPress. Ten years ago when I started hosting with them they were good, but like all companies that get big, they have no concern for loyalty. If you’re considering Bluehost, I suggest you turn a 180 and run away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

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Sarthak Srivastava avatar
Sarthak Srivastava vijayns.com
Jun 27, 2018

I had used BlueHost for a personal blog that I’ve taken down now but I still believe I’m well versed with its services as I started using it two years ago. To start with, I believe that out of all the hosting services that I’ve ever used, BlueHost has to be the cheapest (effectively) considering the fact that they threw in a domain name as well as a SSL certificate along with my hosting plan. As my WordPress-based website was quite lightweight I went for the cheapest hosting plan.

While signing up, you had to carefully read through a lot of checkboxes because they tried to throw in a lot of extra features I didn’t really need in exchange of money. I think the best part about the hosting for me was the customer service. Which were very helpful and were always happy to help me efficiently and quickly.

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Abby  Brown avatar
Abby Brown thecellguide.com
Dec 28, 2017

Bluehost support is bad. Yes you have live chat but it’s entirely outsourced to third-world countries and they are painfully slow at replying. As well, I upgraded from shared hosting package to cloud hosting and they did something wrong in the transition and my website went down.

I then had to create a ticket and it took 4 days to get an update on the ticket. As well, in terms of page speed, the "Server response time" is always above 1 second, which is way above the Google Page Speed recommended limit of 300ms, and this is with cloud hosting which is supposed to be fast. All in all, if you haven’t chosen yet, don’t choose bluehost.

The only reason I’m still with them right now is because it would be a pain the *** to move all my sites and contact with no downtime or seo hit. Stay away

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Andres  Perez avatar
Andres Perez escuelaleyesbiologicas.com
Dec 08, 2017

In the past it was a good hosting provider, but now it is a shame the low quality of service, the lack of knowledge of the support staff and do not refund your money when you decide to leave. I’ve been trying for weeks to get back more than 500 USD and they do not, it’s a shame and a shame

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Jen Braaksma avatar
Jen Braaksma jenbraaksma.com
Apr 04, 2017

Well, overall I think the service is okay. I am an English teacher and I use Bluehost for my blog about writing. I use their WordPress hosting service and I am satisfied with the service, although there are some flaws.

Pros:
-Easy setup
-Very good uptime (all the time)
-Good speed

Cons:
-Support is not great
-The price is higher than other hosting

During my last semester of teaching I was approached by one of my students who said he could optimize my site and get many more readers quickly, but found some security flaws in the site which should be fixed first. He offered to fix it himself for free, but first I contacted support. They did not do much and claimed the site was in good standing with security.

They have their own "intrusion detection/prevention system" which stops their service from getting hacked, but I found out it doesn’t actually protect my website. I reluctantly let the student fix my site after giving him my account details and he managed to find all kinds of flaws from the inside as well. He fixed most of them within a couple of days, from bad configuration, bad plugins, and hiding my personal email/account.

I’m not very good with this kind of stuff but was astonished by how much the student was able to do that BlueHost was not able to do. The student also showed me that there were much cheaper hosting plans I could have gotten, and sure enough he was right, so I don’t think the value is great for this host. Other than all that, the first setup of the website was really easy, only a few clicks and it was ready. Everything went smoothly and although the site isn’t super fast, it is up 100% of the time (or very close, I don’t know what happens when I’m not on it.)

Overall I give this host somewhere between 3/4 stars.

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Saikat Ghosh avatar
Saikat Ghosh youmash.org
Feb 23, 2017

Bluehost has a very nice list of features, and the best of them being the ‘Unlimited Bandwidth" in a very low cost, cheaper than many others as of the quality of service that Bluehost provides, but what I don’t like about the host is that they have a good customer service but some of their employees keep turning rude at some moments!

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Hosting Types 

Bluehost offers the following hosting types:

  • Shared Web Hosting
  • WordPress Web Hosting
  • WooCommerce Hosting
  • VPS Web Hosting
  • Dedicated Web Hosting
  • Reseller Web Hosting

Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of these options.

Shared Web Hosting

Bluehost’s shared hosting is perfect for beginners.

Shared web hosting is an excellent option if:

  • You’re just getting started with a website
  • Your website does receive tens of thousands of visits a day
  • You want bargain pricing

With shared hosting, you are sharing the resources of a given server with many other websites. This helps keep the cost down, and Bluehost passes the savings on to you.

However, the downside is that you don’t get a significant allocation of resources to support your site. This is why this type of hosting isn’t ideal for more substantial, busier sites.

Three Tiers On Offer

In this video, Bluehost explains why they believe their shared hosting is unique. Among the stated factors are in-house design, maintenance, and development.

With that said, not all small sites are created equal, so Bluehost offers three tiers of shared hosting plans, each providing a different allocation of resources.

Bluehost’s shared hosting plans come with everything you need to get a website online. However, other web hosts offer shared hosting, so how does Bluehost compare? What do they offer that’s different?

FeatureBluehostHostGatorSiteGround
Starting price$2.75$2.75$3.95
Renewal price$7.99$6.95$11.95
Free domain nameYesYesNo
SSD drivesYesNoYes
Storage50 GBUnmetered10 GB
SSL certificate includedYesYesYes
Bandwidth limitationsNoNoNo

WordPress Web Hosting

Bluehost offers two specialty plans aimed towards WordPress users:

  1. “WordPress Hosting,” which includes affordable shared hosting plans
  2. “WP Pro,” which is a managed hosting option for those who want a bit more for their WordPress site.

You might be wondering why Bluehost focuses on and offers so much to WordPress users. The answer is that WordPress is the most commonly used content management system (CMS) in the world.

Beginner-friendly materials are provided by Bluehost. They have numerous video and textual step-by-step guides.

WordPress Shared Hosting

Bluehost’s “WordPress Hosting” plans are shared hosting plans that come with features that would be of interest specifically to WordPress users.

Choose from 3 Plans

Choose from three plans. The option that is best for you depends on how many WordPress sites your hosting, as well as how big your sites are.

These plans are still quite affordable, however, which means they are accessible to most users — even those who are just getting started with a blog or website.

How Are These Different From the Regular Shared Hosting Plans?

WordPress plans differ from the general shared hosting plans in that they

  • Come with WordPress already installed
  • Include a WordPress staging environment so you can create changes and view them before publishing them to your live site
  • Include hundreds of WordPress themes.

You’ll also get some essential managed services, such as automatic updates to the WordPress core.

This Bluehost how-to video shows how easy it is to launch a bare bones WordPress site. You sign up for hosting first. Then use their one-click WordPress launcher.

WP Pro: Managed WordPress Hosting

WP Pro is Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting option. It is geared toward those who are looking for robust, feature-rich plans for their growing websites and blogs.

What is Managed Hosting?

WP Pro is a managed service, which means that Bluehost is responsible for things like updating your WordPress core.

Bluehost further takes care of optimizing the hosting infrastructure to make sure that the WordPress sites using those resources perform well.

Three Plans to Choose From

There are three WP Pro options from which you can choose. The one that is best for you depends on the extra features and functionality you want — basic options include analytics and marketing tools, daily backups, and malware detection and removal.

All WP Pro plans support unlimited sites.

By upgrading, you can get additional tools like SEO aids, e-commerce integrations, and specialty search features for your site.

You also receive all of the resources you need to support your websites, staging environments to test your changes before pushing to production, and no limits on the traffic you can receive.

WooCommerce Hosting

WordPress users who are looking to dabble in the world of online sales have the option of trying out the number one WordPress e-commerce plugin: WooCommerce.

WooCommerce, like WordPress itself, is entirely free of charge.

Video: Bluehost also offers a series of how-to videos on WooCommerce. This is an example. This particular video demonstrates how to add a product to your WooCommerce store.

Bluehost offers three different WooCommerce hosting plans. You could host WooCommerce on a general-purpose shared hosting plan, but Bluehost’s specific plans mean that:

  • WooCommerce comes auto-installed as does its popular Storefront theme
  • You get a dedicated IP address, which protects you from others who might be sharing a server with you
  • You get an environment that facilitates safe and secure online payments

Pro Tip: As your online store grows, you might consider moving all of your e-commerce functionality off of your primary hosting environment into its hosting environment. This helps ensure that both your blog and your store perform well.

VPS Web Hosting

VPS hosting is an excellent option for those who have outgrown shared hosting options and need more powerful hosting or want more control over their hosting environment.

Bluehost’s VPS plans can be provisioned instantly, which means that you can get started with your new environment as soon as you finalize your purchase.

Performance and Security

You’ll be guaranteed your share of resources (RAM, CPU, and disk space), which means that your website is more stable and performant.

VPS hosting is suitable for clients whose applications require advanced security.

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated web hosting is a great option for someone with an extensive website that receives high levels of traffic.

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re not experiencing hundreds of thousands of website visitors a month it’s unlikely that you’ll need this level of hosting service.

With dedicated hosting, you’ll get:

  • The most performant servers
  • The most secure environment for your website
  • The most control over your environment.

Bluehost also offers rapid provisioning, so your server will be ready to use within 24-72 hours after you finalize your purchase.

Reseller Web Hosting

Bluehost doesn’t offer reseller hosting, but the company has partnered with ResellerClub to offer such services.

Hosting Features

In addition to providing you with the appropriate hosting environment for your websites, Bluehost plans come with the following standard features.

Domain Services

Most Bluehost hosting plans come with a free domain name .

Subdomains

Bluehost allows you to create subdomain names for different pages (though the number of subdomains you can create varies based on the plan you have).

bluehost domains
Getting a new domain from Bluehost is straightforward. You simply type in the desired domain name and click “next.” Follow the prompts.

Parked Domains

You’ll also get parked domains, which you can think of as aliases for your website. For example, if your primary domain name is Example.com, you can set Example.net as a parked domain and have it redirect to Example.com.

Like subdomains, the number of parked domains you get depends on the allowances of the plan you’ve purchased.

Managing an Unlimited Number of Domains

If you want to manage an unlimited number of domain names — including parked domains and subdomains — you can do so with the Plus and Choice Plus plans. Both of these are shared hosting plans.).


web hosting coupon

Looking for the right host?
Bluehost plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Our readers can currently save 65% on Bluehost with this discount link .


Domain Manager Tool

All Bluehost customers get access to the company’s domain management tool, which allows you to control your domain and do the following from one interface:

  • Purchase
  • Track
  • Update
  • Manage
  • Transfer.

One of Bluehost’s top characteristics is ease-of-use. This is appealing to not only beginners but also small businesses. In this video, the owner of Mandate Press shares his experience with Bluehost .

Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Bluehost provides the Cloudflare CDN, which speeds the loading time of your site.

Content delivery networks keep a cache of your site at datacenters around the globe. When a visitor clicks on your URL, the network can detect their location and “serve” your website to them from the network node that’s geographically closest to them.

Page speed (load time) is a critical factor. Sluggish speeds can drive impatient visitors away. And they have been shown, by Google’s research and others’, to directly impact conversions and sales.

bluehost speed

Control Panel

To manage your web hosting environment and website, Bluehost offers its customers a customized variant of the cPanel control panel.

The Bluehost team has tweaked the cPanel to make it easier for its customers to use.

bluehost control panel
The Bluehost WordPress dashboard is simple and quite enjoyable to use.

Your Bluehost control panel is divided into the following sections:

  • My Sites: Under My Sites, you can manage the websites that you’re hosting with the account you’re logged in to. You can also create a new site. If you’re hosting a WordPress site, this is one way for you to get to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Marketplace: If you need to add features and functionality to your site, or you’re looking to hire help, the Marketplace is where you’d go. You’ll find new add-ons, options to purchase professional services,  and themes for your WordPress site, and more.
  • Email & Office: If you purchased any productivity tools, you could access them here. You can get cloud-based word processing, spreadsheet tools, and email clients from Microsoft (Office 365) or Google (G Suite), or you can get basic email services that utilize your website’s domain name.
  • Domains: Access your domain manager, where you can monitor the registration status of your domains (and get notifications if any are about to expire), find and register new domain names, see a list of domain names you own and view a summary of the domains and their affiliated name servers. You can also update which domain name is assigned to which site, set up redirection, transfer domains, and manage your subdomains.
  • Advanced: The Advanced section hides the more complex features associated with your web hosting. This is where you’ll find all your file and database management options, as well as email settings. You’ll also come here if you want to manage your security or see metrics regarding your resource use and site traffic.
bluehost sitelock
This is the Bluehost marketplace. This is where you can get pre-built website themes,
add-ons, professional services (like advertising and marketing), domains, plugins,
and one-click installs.

Account Security

Bluehost has taken several steps to make sure that only those who should access your Bluehost account can do so.

  • Bluehost offers single sign-on, so you don’t have to reuse the same insecure password you use elsewhere
  • Two-factor authentication is available
  • You can choose to validate your identity with a custom token you generate whenever you sign in.

Additionally, Bluehost supports the use of OpenPGP/GPG encryption so you can send and receive files securely.

Security: SSL Certificates, SiteLock, and More

Bluehost offers SSL certificates and malware protection. They also update the WordPress core software so you don’t have to.

But do note: Website owners are responsible for securing some things on their end. Bluehost makes this easy with their online checklist.

Protection Against Hacks

Shared hosting: Bluehost deploys an isolation tactic to websites that suddenly start using massive resources. This is a risk mitigation strategy and it helps to preserve the performance of your website on a shared server.

What WordPress users need to know: Bluehost automatically updates the WordPress core software, a benefit for all customers hosting WordPress sites with them.

WordPress and its plugins are worth keeping an eye on and updating.

However, as is expected, updating WordPress plugins is your responsibility as a site owner. Failure to keep these up-to-date will make your site vulnerable to hacks.

When it’s time for you to update a plugin, you’ll be alerted, via messages in your WordPress dashboard. You can’t miss these: you’ll see them immediately after you log in.

Bluehost provides easy-to-understand how-to videos for beginners, like this one on website security. The web host continually adds new tutorial videos to its YouTube channel. Compared to other web hosts, Bluehost has one of the largest selections of videos available.

SiteLock by Bluehost

Bluehost offers SiteLock as an add-on: This is a third-party product that serves as a firewall and malware scanner. It also has the ability to remove malware from your site.

Since protection against hacks is a shared responsibility between the host and the site owner, Bluehost has provided a detailed checklist of what you should be doing to secure your site.

Bluehost does not offer any assistance with restoring your site in the event that your site gets hacked, so it’s best to prevent such problems from occurring in the first place.

Pro Tip: Beginner WordPress users will want to check out the WP Live service available via the control panel. This paid service can assist you with any site problems including security. You pay a monthly fee and can cancel at any time.

SSL Certificates

SSL certificates serve two primary purposes:

  • They protect your visitors, as well as the data they transmit to you (and vice versa)
  • The prove that your site is legitimate, helping foster customer trust and improving your search engine rankings slightly (search engines prioritize sites that are secure).

All Bluehost customers get a free SSL certificate from a company called Let’s Encrypt. You’ll need to install and activate your certificate yourself.

For those new to web hosting, Bluehost provides a simple overview of how SSL certificates work.
Private SSL for E-Commerce

If you want your site to be even more secure, you can purchase and use a private SSL certificate.

Note: The use of the private SSL certificate requires the purchase of a dedicated IP address from Bluehost. The two work together.

A Variety of Additional Options to Choose From

Bluehost can help you with the purchase of additional SSL certificates.

The cost of additional certificates varies based on how many domains, subdomains, and parked domains you want to secure with a single certificate.

Site Migrations

One downside with choosing Bluehost is that they do not provide free website migrations like many other hosts.

They do, however, provide a paid site migration service. It covers up to 5 websites and 20 email addresses. The price is fairly high, however: $149.99.

Since Bluehost uses cPanel, it shouldn’t be too hard to transfer your own sites.

Infrastructure and Datacenters

Unfortunately, it is next to impossible to find any information about Bluehost’s datacenters. This includes where they are and how they are secured.

The only thing that Bluehost says about its servers is that everything is managed in-house. They also seem to have a primary datacenter in Provo, UT.

E-Commerce Features and Functionality

Bluehost offers WooCommerce plans for those interested in selling online. You can pick from 3 plans. These come with a WooCommerce store packaged with the plan.

If you’re not a WordPress user, you might consider options like:

PCI Compliance With Bluehost

Bluehost supports PCI compliance, but it is not PCI compliant. Unlike other all-in-one e-commerce platforms (such as Shopify or BigCommerce) that handle everything associated with your online store, including infrastructure and hosting, Bluehost isn’t set up to meet PCI-DSS standards.

Most of Bluehost’s options can be configured to be PCI compliant. You may be responsible for some of these tasks, but the technical team can assist.

Bluehost does provide secure payment gateways for its WooCommerce stores.

Marketing Services

In addition to providing you with the services and infrastructure you need to get your website online, Bluehost offers professional marketing services to help drive visitors to your site.

Bluehost offers full-service digital marketing services. The company can help you with:

  • Search engine optimization, including the insertion keywords and the appropriate use of title tags and meta descriptions
  • Managing local listings to make sure that you can be found by those around you
  • Monthly content marketing, where Bluehost writers will write articles and create content to support organic increases in your search engine rankings.

Bluehost’s marketing services are fairly basic, but if you need help (maybe you’re too busy to tackle even one more project or you are wholly unfamiliar with the digital marketing landscape), these services might be a good option for you.

DIY for the Budget-Minded

Nevertheless, Bluehost doesn’t offer anything that you couldn’t learn to do on your own, so you can certainly go the DIY route and save yourself some money.

Alternative Hosts that Offer Marketing

  • GoDaddy offers more marketing and business services and tools than Bluehost.
  • 1&1 IONOS is another budget host that offers a decent variety of marketing services.

Weebly Site Builder

Bluehost has partnered with Weebly to provide users with an easy-to-use website builder. Since Bluehost offers a 30-day free trial, you can sign up to try out the site builder.

It features a drag-and-drop interface which makes it easy for someone with no experience to create their own website. You’ll get a selection of pre-designed websites to choose from. Then you swap out the images and text with your own content.

All the designs are “responsive” — which means they’re designed to adapt to and look good on any screen size, including mobile phone screens.

This is the first of a series of Weebly tutorials offered by Bluehost on their YouTube channel. Bluehost has one of the largest YouTube channels among web hosts.

You can access the Weebly site builder from the Site Builders section of your cPanel.

If you’re trying to decide between building your site with Weebly or WordPress, here’s how the two compare:

WeeblyWordPress
Product TypeWebsite BuilderCMS
Blogging FunctionalityYesYes
Templates/Themes AvailableYesYes
Add-onsYes (Widgets)Yes (Plugins)
CostFree; can upgradeFree
Ease of UseEaseAverage

In short, Weebly is easier to use, but WordPress is more powerful and can be used in many different ways.

Email Accounts and Email Hosting

The company’s hosting plans include basic web-based email services. You can create up to 5 accounts with the Basic plan. The other accounts come with as many accounts as you like — up to the limit specified in your contract.

You have the ability to specify the parameters of each account (i.e., you might want one account to have access to more storage than the other accounts).

This is a sample Bluehost video tutorial on email. It’s clear and easy to understand.

Bluehost’s email services support both the POP and IMAP protocols, so you should be able to use the email client of your choice without any hassle.

SpamAssassin

To help protect you from spam, all Bluehost accounts come with SpamAssassin. SpamAssassin reviews all incoming messages to identify content that indicates the message is likely to be spam.

It is available to all customers free of charge — you simply have to enable SpamAssassin in your control panel.

Business Email

If you want enterprise-grade email services, Bluehost has partnered with Microsoft Office 365 to offer you a basic package supporting email and calendar functionality for all but their lowest-level plan.

It includes 15 GB of storage for your email, as well as Outlook Web Access.

This feature is available for 30 days; after that, you have to purchase it.

Features for Developers

Bluehost’s developer tools and related interfaces are clean and easy-to-use.

bluehost developers cpanel
The custom Bluehost panel gives devs easy access to advanced tools.

File Management

In addition to distinct tools for file and image management, you’ll get support for various types of FTP connections (including anonymous ones).

bluehost file manager
The file manager has a clean layout.

Databases

Bluehost offers support for both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. To manage your databases, you can use the provided wizards, or you can opt for phpMyAdmin, Remote MySQL, or phpPgAdmin.

bluehost postgresql
The Bluehost PostgreSQL wizard.

Email

You can do more than just set up email accounts and change the amount of storage allocated to each account.

You can set up autoresponders, forwarders, and filters. You can manage mailing lists, take advantage of the calendars and contacts feature, and tackle spam.

Security

The security area allows you to set up SSH access to your account, set up hotlink protection, block IP addresses, and install SSL certificates.

Other Software and Advanced Features

Your Bluehost account also supports the use of:

  • PHP PEAR packages
  • Perl modules
  • Cron jobs
  • Apache handlers.

You don’t have full root access to your environment (unless you have a VPS or dedicated hosting package), but you still have quite a bit of control over your server even at the shared hosting level.

No Windows Hosting . . . Except in India

One thing that is conspicuously missing, however, is Windows hosting. Bluehost operates Linux servers exclusively.

Interestingly though, Bluehost India offers Linux and Windows.

Customer Service and Technical Support


Bluehost offers 24/7 technical support.

The support team can be reached via telephone, live chat, or support ticketing center.

If you prefer to begin with self-help resources, Bluehost maintains a robust knowledgebase.

Self-Help Support

In addition to the usual how-to articles, you’ll find education resources on topics like email and login management.

You’ll also find in some places video tutorials that walk you through tasks like how to install WordPress. These tend to be fairly simplistic, though they are certainly a good place to start if you’re new to web hosting.

If you want to see the full suite of Bluehost-created videos, you can take a look at the company’s YouTube channel.

Uptime, Speed, and Performance

Bluehost mentions that it offers reliable hosting, but the company does not offer specifics, nor an uptime guarantee.

However, we’ve been monitoring Bluehost’s uptime performance over the past few years, and here’s what we see:

  • In the past year, average uptime was 99.97%
  • The average response time was 422 ms.

Note, however, that we changed our testing parameters in January of 2020 so that all our demo sites use a standardized WordPress install. Since that time, most hosts have seen their website speeds increase.

Bluehost was no different. Its page load times increased by roughly 300 ms — still a reasonable time. It’s uptime has not changed at all.

bluehost uptime
Bluehost uptime for the previous 6 months, as measured by Pingdom.

Overall, we are pleased with what we’ve seen from Bluehost. However, we’re not under the illusion that there won’t ever be problems with its hosting.

bluehost server response times
Data from January 2019, a typical month, shows the average response time of 438 milliseconds.

Troubleshooting Times

If there are issues, Bluehost claims that it can fix things within 15 minutes, though there are some cases where it might take longer to troubleshoot.

Bluehost won’t compensate you for any downtime, but they will allow you to cancel your subscription and receive a pro-rated refund for any time that you don’t use.

bluehost global server response
The map depicts the average server response time for the month of January 2019, a typical result for Bluehost. (Note: The darker the shade of green, the faster the response times.)

Affiliate Program

If you’re interested in partnering with Bluehost, consider joining its Affiliate Team. If you refer someone to Bluehost and they sign up, you will earn $65.


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Conclusion

Bluehost is a budget-friendly provider of web hosting services that will meet the needs of many.

However, the company’s WordPress offerings are especially notable, so those using this CMS should definitely look into Bluehost.

Most Popular BlueHost Hosting Plans

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30GB Unlimited $19.99 / mo Visit Host Now
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60GB 2TB $29.99 / mo Visit Host Now
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120GB 3TB $44.99 / mo Visit Host Now
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60GB Unlimited $59.87 / mo Visit Host Now
Dedicated Standard
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500GB 5TB $79.99 / mo Visit Host Now
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1TB 10TB $99.99 / mo Visit Host Now
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120GB Unlimited $114.99 / mo Visit Host Now
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1TB 15TB $119.99 / mo Visit Host Now
More Plans +

BlueHost Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Bluehost a good hosting company?

    Bluehost is one of the biggest and most established web hosts in the industry. They provide hosting with solid performance and stability. And they offer very competitive prices with lots of options to grow as your web hosting needs change. But Bluehost isn’t for everyone and only you can say if they are right for your specific needs.

  • How much does Bluehost cost?

    Bluehost offers shared hosting plans for as little as $2.75 per month with a renewal price of $7.99 after your contract runs out (which can be as long as 3 years). They offer VPS hosting for as little as $18.99 per month, dedicated hosting from $79.99, and managed WordPress hosting for $19.95.

  • Does Bluehost provide SSL certificates for HTTPS?

    All Bluehost customers get a free SSL certificate from a company called Let’s Encrypt. You’ll need to install and activate your certificate yourself. If you want your site to be even more secure, you can upgrade to a dedicated IP address and use a private SSL certificate.

  • What control panel does BlueHost provide?

    BlueHost offers cPanel on all of its plans. On shared plans, this allows you to manage multiple domains (assuming your plan supports them) from a single control panel. On VPS and dedicated hosting plans, it offers an enhanced version of cPanel so you can manage the server alongside your normal cPanel settings.

  • Does BlueHost offer a money-back guarantee?

    Yes. You can cancel your new Bluehost account within 30 days and receive a full refund. After 30 days, you can still cancel at any time for any reason and receive a prorated refund for the rest of your term. The refund applies to hosting only, not add-ons like domain registrations. When funds are returned, they will be credited to the payment method that was used originally.

  • Will BlueHost back-up my website automatically?

    Yes. Bluehost creates daily, weekly, and monthly back-ups. These are not guaranteed, however, and Bluehost recommends that you create your own back-ups through cPanel. You can do this using Site Backup Pro, which is included on all plans. SiteBackup Pro offers automated daily, weekly, and monthly backups. There is a paid version of the tool, which offers more features, including the ability to download individual files, folders, or tables.

  • Can I exceed limits with unmetered bandwidth?

    Hosting companies that offer unmetered resources will still place some kind of limit on these. According to Bluehost, 99.95% of their customers will have more than enough bandwidth to meet their needs. As long as you are within the normal operation of a website, you shouldn’t come close to their bandwidth limits. Bluehost determines normal bandwidth usage according to their customer’s regular use.

  • What is Bluehost India?

    Bluehost India is the company’s arm offering hosting services to those in India and surrounding areas. If your audience is in Asia, you can get faster speeds by choosing Bluehost’s Indian servers. The two Bluehost divisions offer slightly different product line-ups; for example, Bluehost India offers Windows hosting.

  • Is it easy to use Bluehost with a domain name I already own?

    Bluehost supports the use of your existing domain names on their hosting plans. You will have to conduct a few slightly technical steps to redirect your domain to the new server. Then, hosts and internet service providers begin the process of updating their records. This will take about 4 to 48 hours.

  • Does Bluehost include domain privacy?

    Bluehost offers domain privacy to hide your personal information from the WHOIS database, which includes information on who owns a given domain. You can add this to your account from the marketplace in your control panel. It will cost you extra, but the amount is small.

  • Can I keep Bluehost’s free domain name if I choose to host elsewhere?

    Bluehost states that no matter what status your hosting service is, you will retain ownership of your free domain. So, if your hosting runs out and you want to host with another company, they allow you to transfer it or point it somewhere else. Note, however, that if you ask for a refund, you will still be charged for the first year of domain registration.

  • How much does Bluehost cost per year?

    It depends on which plan you choose. Bluehost hosting plan prices start at $2.75 per month, or $33 per year. Be aware that Bluehost offers “starting” or “promotional” prices that last for the length of the initial contract term only (up to 3 years). When your plan renews the monthly rate will be higher — starting at $7.99 per month.

  • Do you need Bluehost for WordPress?

    No. You can host your WordPress site on Bluehost, but many other web hosts are capable of doing so as well. Bluehost was the first official host recommended by WordPress.org. Since that time, SiteGround and DreamHost have both become official hosts. There are also hosts that specialize in WordPress like WP Engine and Kinsta.

  • What payment methods does BlueHost accept?

    You can pay for your hosting with credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) or PayPal. You can pay by check or money-order as well. Bluehost can also take purchase orders. There are some restrictions on these payment methods, however.

  • How many email addresses does Bluehost provide?

    The cheapest shared hosting account (Basic) comes with 5 email addresses and a total of 100 MB of email storage. The other accounts allow you to create as many email addresses as you want — within the constraints of your plan’s resources. All plans limit the amount of email you can send to 500 messages per hour.

  • How do I contact BlueHost support?

    BlueHost offers tech support 24/7. You can contact the support team via live chat, email ticket, or telephone. They also feature a knowledgebase where you can get information about common questions. Bluehost offers specialized WordPress support as an add-on, Blue Sky, which starts at $29 per month.

  • What programming languages does Bluehost support?

    BlueHost supports the tools that you’ll commonly find on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) environment, including Python, Perl5, CGI, and Ruby on Rails. It does not support Windows technologies, like ASP or ColdFusion, as it does not offer Windows hosting packages.

  • Does BlueHost offer Windows hosting?

    No. Bluehost only offers Linux hosting packages. This is true even of their VPS and dedicated server plans, which come with CentOS, which cannot be changed. It is possible to get Windows hosting through Bluehost India. However, if you require Windows hosting, you are better off going with a different host like HostGator.

  • Does BlueHost offer VPS hosting?

    Yes, BlueHost offers three different VPS hosting packages starting at $18.99 per month ($29.99 at renewal). The plans range in terms of resources provided, starting with 2 CPU cores, 30 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, and one dedicated IP address.

  • Does BlueHost offer a reseller hosting plan?

    No. BlueHost has discontinued all of its reseller hosting plans. They do, however, partner with ResellerClub. (This is true of Bluehost India as well.) The price is the same if you purchase through Bluehost or ResellerClub. Bluehost does, however, offer a generous affiliate program if you are interested in doing business with them.

  • Is bandwidth and storage unlimited on Bluehost’s shared hosting plans?

    Bluehost offers unmetered bandwidth on all of its shared hosting plans. They offer unmetered SSD storage on all of their shared plans except for the Basic Plan, which is limited to 50 GB. (Note that this should be plenty of storage for almost all websites.)

    There are limitations to your resource usage, however. You can’t host a file download site or stream videos using a shared hosting plan. These would surely put you over Bluehost’s normal resource usage guidelines.

  • Will Bluehost help me to transfer my website?

    Website migration is not included with host plans. They do, however, provide information in their knowledgebase on how to do it. If you are already using cPanel, it isn’t too difficult to do it yourself. Bluehost does offer a service for $149.99 where they will transfer up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts for you.

    BlueHost does not offer site transfer services for VPS or dedicated server plans.

  • Does BlueHost offer a CDN?

    Yes. A basic version of Cloudflare is provided with shared hosting plans. You need to enable it in cPanel for each domain or subdomain. The basic version provided by Bluehost is not compatible with SSL-enabled domains, however. If you prefer, you can set up the service on the Cloudflare website and benefit from more advanced features.

    Note that you will need to change your name servers yourself if you sign up on the Cloudflare website. If you sign up for the basic version through your BlueHost cPanel, the name server change will be completed for you.

  • Does BlueHost offer an uptime guarantee?

    No. BlueHost does not have an uptime guarantee, and it does not publish any uptime targets on its website. However, our tests indicate that Bluehost’s servers are very stable. For 2019, their uptime was 99.97% — excellent. If you do experience uptime problems, you can move to a different host and get a prorated refund.

  • Where is Bluehost’s datacenter?

    Bluehost owns and manages its own datacenter in Provo, Utah. They build all their own servers and install their own proprietary Linux kernel. They also feature their own system administrators and developers to constantly maintain and upgrade their existing infrastructure.

  • Does Bluehost support Magento?

    While there’s nothing to stop you installing Magento on a BlueHost server, the host does not provide specific Magento optimized plans. Additionally, it does not offer specific help with migrating Magento sites from another host and offers no specific Magento technical support.

  • Which version of Linux is used on dedicated server plans?

    BlueHost uses CentOS on VPS and dedicated servers. CentOS is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is an excellent platform for a web server. If you want a different distribution, however, you will have to get a different host because Bluehost does not allow the operating system to be changed.

Katie Horne

About Katie Horne

Katie is a C# developer who became a technical writer. She is a lifelong bookworm and all-around nerd with a soft spot for gimmicks and packaging. She judges books by the cover, and she's not sorry about it. In her spare time, she likes to swim, knit, and do the New York Times Crossword Puzzle.

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Richard

September 4, 2019

Before considering BlueHost, know they are pretty much a WordPress shop. If you are a wanna-be site designer or content with WordPress’s limitations and unappealing look, BlueHost may be an option. BlueHost’s tech support used to be really great, now they all but refuse to help ANYONE with ANY issue on a site created with a real web design software, such as Dreamweaver: they no longer have anything to do with “coded” web sites. My site stopped working after a couple weeks, and they will no longer every TRY to figure out what the problem might be. It is unlikely my “coded” site had anything to do with my URL to stop working under BlueHost, particularly given my sites had been running, without any code changes from me, for years. BlueHost’s support is kinda like the third-rate we have to endure from those guys with poor English language and / or computer skills nearly always at the other end of a tech support line, ya know, the guys who want you to remotely access your computer, look at the error log, and then want a fee to resolve a phantom issue — or suggest that you just reinstall Windows: if it is not in their script of responses, you are SOL because the tech support issue was never resolved. BlueHost’s young support(?) staff have none-to-minimally basic HTML design knowledge. Because I have never really used WordPress (but have taken a look at it a few times), I do not know if BlueHost staff would know stuff outside a scripted book of responses. If you are a real web site designer or use real web design software, do not waste time with BlueHost. After over 18 years with BlueHost, it is time to move to a more capable web host company. WordPress, but for blogging, w/could never meet my web site design goals. If ya wanna build great sites, learn how to use real web design software. There is a reason why WordPress is free…

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