I am sure you have seen dozens, if not more, of BlueHost reviews on the Internet. Many of these reviews talk about the same stuffs – BlueHost’s unlimited hosting features, free domain offer, and the 30-day money-back-guarantee.
This is not one of those reviews.
I have been using BlueHost shared hosting service since 2005 (very old BlueHost plan – BlueHost Platinum Pak, server Box508.Bluehost.com). That was before the company were sold to Endurance International Group (EIG), before the company redesigned their website, and way before the company added VPS and dedicated plans into their hosting services.
In this review, you’ll get the inside scoop from a 10+ years BlueHost customers.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
About BlueHost Hosting
- Headquarter: Burlington, Massachusetts, U.S.
- Established: 2003, by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth
- Services: Shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting
- Excellent server performance – average hosting uptime above 99.95%
- Server speed (TTFB below 500ms) meets expectation
- Well recognized brands in hosting industry
- Positive results in WHSR Web Hosting Survey 2013 & 2016
- Comprehensive self-help documents and video tutorials
- Full account daily backup and restoration
- Newbies-friendly – easy to use control center
- Flexibility – upgrade to VPS and dedicated hosting
BlueHost Plans & Pricing
No coupon or promotion code is needed. Just purchase via our promo link (see below) and you’ll get 55% discount from your first BlueHost bill.
BlueHost Discounted Price vs Non-discounted Price
Not all BlueHost prices are the same. As BlueHost’s exclusive partner, we are able to give you the best BlueHost deal. This special discount is applicable to all shared hosting plans – Starter, Plus, and Business Pro.
For easy reference, here’s the before- and after-discount prices (36-month subscription) in comparison.
|BlueHost Shared Plans||Without Discount||With Discount||Savings (in 3 yr)|
Pros of BlueHost Hosting
1- Excellent server performance – average hosting uptime above 99.95%
Besides the two major network outages (reported in August 2013 and December 2013) due to router issues in the EIG-owned data center located at Provo, Utah, BlueHost server has been stable and rarely went down for more than 10 minutes.
On average, our test site hosted at BlueHost is scoring above 99.98% uptime in 2018. Please refer to images below for BlueHost uptime result samples.
* Click image to enlarge.
2- Server speed (TTFB below 500ms) meets expectation
When it comes to server speed, Bluehost performance meets my expectations. With an average Time-To-First-Byte (TTFB) of below 500ms on Webpage Test, Bluehost has enough speed for current web standard.
WebpageTest.org Speed Test
As for Bitcatcha, Bluehost managed to score an overall B rating with U.S. servers achieving 23ms and 64ms response for West Coast and East Coast servers respectively.
Bitcatcha Speed Test
3- Well recognized brands in hosting industry
With over 20 years under their belt, Bluehost has an established track record in the hosting industry and is quite well-known among experienced bloggers and website owners. This is further cemented by the fact that WordPress.org officially recommends them as one of the preferred web hosts for their platform.
Recommended by WordPress.org
BlueHost is on top of WordPress.org’s host recommendation list.
4- Positive results in WHSR Hosting Surveys (2013 & 2016)
We did a survey in December 2013 and asked 35 web experts for their hosting advice. BlueHost came up as the #2 most recommended web host in the survey.
Lori Soard, Paul Crowe, Kevin Muldoon, and Sharon Hurley recommended BlueHost hosting.
BlueHost in WHSR’s 2016 Survey
We did another survey in 2016. This time we interviewed more than 200 respondents.
BlueHost stood out as the #3 most mentioned brands and was rated average (score 2.2) by 13 users.
BlueHost User Feedback (From WHSR’s 2013 Survey)
We asked “If you could recommended only one web host, who would it be?”
Lori Soard – Radio personality, published author, LoriSoard.com
For a first-time blogger, I would recommend BlueHost.
Although this hosting company gets a few mixed reviews, they come recommended by WordPress, which is one of the most popular blogging platforms. The hosting company also offers a WordPress auto-install, which makes getting set up quick and easy for someone without a lot of webdesign experience. Unlimited disk space and bandwidth transfer are also a nice addition. Rates start at $4.95/month (if you pay in advance), so it is also reasonably priced for someone trying things out.
I also like the fact that newbies can get support 24/7 in a variety of ways (online, via telephone or via e-mail).
Kevin Muldoon – Pro-blogger, KevinMuldoon.com
First time bloggers should not use a lot of resources at first.
Due to this, I would recommend a good shared hosting company such as BlueHost. Once their website has started generating more traffic, they can then review their hosting requirements.
Sharon Hurley – Professional web writer, SharonHH.com
I’ve used 5 or 6 web hosting service providers over the last 7 years, including many of the popular shared hosting providers.
The one I keep coming back to is Bluehost, where I currently host more than ten domains. It’s a great host for sites with low to medium traffic and everything you want is easy to set up. I’ve been impressed with their uptime and their tech support department is extremely responsive and helpful if there’s ever an issue.
Michael Hyatt – NY Times Bestseller Author, MichaelHyatt.com
If you use WordPress as I recommend, you will need a hosting service too.
And, BlueHost is the best web host for WordPress.
Lisa – Web Developer, Website Hosting Rating
I have rated Bluehost 4 out of 5. Bluehost is an all-round and good web host for beginners and WordPress users. Your site on Bluehost will benefit from the latest security and performance features.
[…] Bluehost is cheap (really cheap), have a solid uptime track-record and is very easy to get started with(especially for beginners and for WordPress sites).
5- Comprehensive self-help documents and video tutorials
Since there are a lot of tutorials and self-documents available online, this makes BlueHost a lot easier to learn and use if you’re a beginner.
I was able to solve several simple issues by just reading their articles or watching the video tutorials in the past.
6- Full account daily backup and restoration
Bluehost offers daily backup and full restorations on their hosting plans, which is great as having a backup of your website on a daily basis is absolutely important.
If your website goes down or if you need to revert to an older state, you can easily restore it by requesting it via their live chats.
7- Newbies-friendly – easy to use control center
The overall onboarding experience at BlueHost was smooth.
And I like how BlueHost custom-designed dashboard works.
8- Plenty of room to grow
If your site becomes bigger, BlueHost gives its users plenty of room to grow with the ability to upgrade to different hosting plans at a reasonable price. You get to upgrade your shared hosting plans to VPS and dedicated hosting.
See plan details in the following table.
|Shared – Prime||VPS – Enhanced||Dedicated – Enhanced|
|Storage||Unlimited||60 GB||1 TB (Mirrored)|
|RAM||Shared||4 GB||8 GB Available|
Cons of BlueHost Hosting
1- Price increases during renewal
BlueHost charges a high price when it comes to renewing your plans.
The basic plan alone jumps up from $2.95/mo to $7.99/mo when you renew, which is a 170%(!) increase in price.
2- Unlimited hosting is limited by various usage policies
Another downside is that their unlimited hosting is not actually “unlimited”.
Reading up on their policies, you’ll realize that there are certain caveats to their unlimited hosting, such as the fact they do not provide unlimited space for online storage. All this ends up making their “unlimited hosting” quite limited.
BlueHost unlimited hosting are limited by server processing time, memory, and inodes.
Limitations in BlueHost database usage.
3- Most server upgrades and additional features are costly
Bluehost supplies every user with all the basic functionalities that they need to host their website on all of their hosting plans. However, if you want to have server upgrades or add more features to your website, it’s going to cost you.
While Bluehost does offer great overall hosting plans, the fact that upgrading servers and adding features can be quite costly, is a huge downside for the hosting company.
Pricing: How Much is BlueHost Hosting?
BlueHost Shared Hosting Prices
BlueHost shared hosting comes in three flavor: Basic, Plus, and Prime. Key features and prices of each plan are shown in table below.
Note that BlueHost Plus and Prime have the same signup price ($5.45/mo) but they renew at a very different rates ($10.99/mo vs $14.99/mo). If you are unsure, start with a lower plan (Plus) and upgrade later if necessary.
* Official ToS indicates that in most cases actions will not be taken until Basic and Plus users exceeds 200,000 inodes.
BlueHost VPS Hosting Prices
BlueHost VPS plans cost $19.99/mo, $29.99/mo, and $59.99/mo. Overall features and pricing of BlueHost VPS hosting are up to market standards. Their prices are not cheap compare to other similar VPS providers; but they are not expensive either.
Server specifications and key features as below.
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Disk Space||30 GB||60 GB||120 GB|
Verdict: BlueHost is recommended for…
Given the fact that you are only paying ~$5/mo on signup, BlueHost shared hosting services are considered okay.
The web host scored 52 in our 80-point rating system and rated as a 4-star host.
For that, I think BlueHost is an excellent choice for small businesses and website owners who are looking for a budget hosting solution.
It’s worth noting that BlueHost offers tons of latest security and performance features – NGINX architecture, custom server cache, HTTP/2, SSD storage, etc. However, these features are only available for those who are willing to pay extra. GoPro, BlueHost’s highest performance shared hosting plan, costs $13.95/mo on signup ($23.99/mo on renewal). WordPress Hosting (which is officially recommended by WordPress.org), now with a new dashboard and integrated marketplace, costs $19.99/mo (and $39.99/mo on renewal).
Here are some BlueHost alternatives you might be interested in.
- A2 Hosting – Solid server performance, both shared and VPS hosting plans are similarly priced as BlueHost.
- InMotion Hosting – This is where I host this site (WHSR); competitive VPS hosting plans.
- Hostinger – One of the best cheap hosting services in 2018; shared hosting plan comes with cheap price tag and innovative features.
- SiteGround – Slightly expensive but you get what you paid for; premium hosting services with top class live chat support.
- Hostgator Cloud – Hostgator is owned by the same owner of BlueHost, EIG; their Cloud Plans can be a good alternative to BlueHost VPS.
For more details or to order BlueHost, visit (link opens in new window): http://www.bluehost.com
(P/S: The links above are affiliate links – if you purchase via this link, it will credit me as your referrer. This is how I keep this site alive for 8 years and add more free hosting reviews based on real test account – your support is highly appreciated. Buying via my link doesn’t cost you more – in fact, I can guarantee that you’ll get the lowest possible price for BlueHost hosting. )