BlueHost is among the largest and most well-known web hosts in the industry. It was founded in 2003 and was later acquired by EIG (Endurance International Group). BlueHost is among the 20 largest web hosts in the world; with the company currently hosting more than 2 million websites. The company offers a full package of hosting services including shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS, dedicated hosting, specialized hosting, and reseller hosting.
Just as we do for all of our reviews, we set up a WordPress website on the company’s shared hosting plan and analyzed the statistics of the website for a period of 10 months. Here are our findings.
The Pros of bluehost
Cheap Pricing: Although not the cheapest web host in the industry, BlueHost offers very reasonable price to its consumers, ideal for startups/small businesses and new webmasters. BlueHost offers an attractive introductory price of $2.95/month, including a free domain for one year and a free website builder. It is undoubtedly a reasonable price for starter websites; however, there is major drawback regarding the pricing which we will cover in the cons section.
Tight Security: If you ask us one area where BlueHost is the best, we’d say ‘security’. BlueHost has made tremendous efforts to ensure the maximum possible security for the websites of their customers. The company offers a variety of tools; both paid and free, to help their customers prevent themselves from spam, DDoS attacks, and all other types of malicious attacks that may harm their website in any way.
Customer Service: While there are plenty of negative reviews about BlueHost’s customer service, we personally found it to be quite satisfactory. The company’s representative connected with us in about 4 minutes, and answered all of our questions in a clear and friendly manner. Some customers might have experienced problems with the customer service but our experience wasn’t bad at all.
Extra Features: A notable advantage of using BlueHost is that it comes with a large number of applications that you can easily integrate into your website, such as CloudFlare, Google Apps, ecommerce, and many other applications. You can also avail a rich feature set of WordPress applications if you choose to subscribe to their specialized WordPress hosting.
A complete set of hosting solutions: BlueHost offers a wide array of hosting services namely standard shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, managed WordPress hosting, domain registration, SSL certificates, security features and many other add-ons that you can purchase for your website.
Control Panel: Control panel refers to the interface that lets you monitor and control different aspects of your web hosting accounts. Fortunately, BlueHost uses cPanel, the standard control panel in the web hosting industry. It is very easy to understand and navigate around this interface, even for new web masters. You can even customize the layout of your control panel to keep your most used features handy.
The Cons of bluehost
Uptime: Uptime means the amount of time your website remains online. It is a very important factor for the success of your website and the satisfaction of your website’s visitors. Surprisingly, unlike many other webhosts, BlueHost doesn’t make any claims/promises regarding their uptime on their website. Perhaps it’s because their uptime is not as impressive as we were expecting. We recorded BlueHost’s average uptime to be 99.94%, which is slightly below the industry standard. We highly recommend going for a host that offers a guaranteed uptime of at least 99.95%.
Speed: By speed we mean the amount of time it takes for your website to load when someone types in your website’s address in their browser. Uptime and speed are two very important factors to look for in a web host and unfortunately, BlueHost lacks in both of these areas. While we came across some customer reviews who reported both a stellar uptime and speed, in our personal experience we found both of these to be below average. The average loading speed that we recorded is 1040ms, which is much slower than the industry standard of 985ms.
Pricing: While it is true that BlueHost offers an attractive introductory pricing plan, the catch is that you can’t subscribe for a monthly service. To avail their cheapest price, you need to subscribe to a 3 year plan. If you choose to subscribe for a one year plan, the price will go up and if you want to subscribe for a month or two for a test drive, there’s no option for that.
‘Paid’ Training: A major and rather disturbing drawback of BlueHost is that they offer an initial training to new webmasters at a very expensive price. A ‘QuickStart’ 45 minutes training will cost you about $80, a service that the company should have provided free of cost.
Paid Migrations: This is yet another significant con of BlueHost. While many web hosts will happily help you in migration of your website from other service to theirs free of cost, BlueHost charges a massive fee of up to $150 for migrating your website. To be honest, we find this absolutely ridiculous. Moreover, the company can only transfer a maximum of 5 websites for you.
BlueHost has been in business for quite a while and hosts a significant number of websites. The company does offer an attractive introductory plan, tight security, and lots of extra features; however, it is not hard to see that the pros of BlueHost are clearly outweighed by its cons. The company lacks in key areas of uptime and speed, two vital elements for the success of your website. The pricing is only good if you choose to subscribe for at least 3 years, and they charge awfully high fees for training and site migrations. Considering the cheap price, we would have recommended it to new webmasters but it is fairly evident that new webmasters wouldn’t like engaging in a three year plan straight away. All in all, BlueHost is a below average web host which we don’t recommend.
We Recommend Siteground
Weighing both the pros and cons of SiteGround, it can be concluded that SiteGround is one of the best webhosts overall. The most important aspects for a webhost to consider are their uptime, speed, customer support, and security; and SiteGround excels in all of these areas. SiteGround is amongst the most ideal webhosts in the market today.