Bluehost is a U.S. based web hosting provider, headquartered in Provo, Utah, and hosts over 1.9 million domains. This number includes websites registered with sister companies such as HostMonster, FastDomains, and iPage. Founded by Matt Heaton, it was later acquired by the Endurance International Group.
Since 2003, Bluehost has been serving web customers and improving its own services gradually. It helps that they have been in the business for so long, due to which they have managed to achieve a reputation where webmasters or bloggers can easily rely on them to fulfil most hosting requirements.
FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES OF BLUEHOST
Let’s take a look at some of the key features that have made Bluehost a reliable and quality web hosting service provider.
With CloudFlare, Bluehost offers enhanced security features. CloudFlare is suitable for webmasters that need SSL to ensure better security against DDOS attacks on their website.
It offers hotlink protection along with three anti-spam tools in the form of Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, and Apache Spam Assassin. If this was not enough, it allows users to create and set filters for email accounts and users.
It empowers users with a host of comprehensive security features such as password protection for directories, potential to create IP address blacklists, manage digital certificates and private keys, and SSH (Secure Shell Access) for secure admin access to specific configuration files.
Every webmaster hopes to receive good support from the hosting provider without any delays. It is here that Bluehost proves more beneficial than other hosting providers.
Bluehost’s live chat support is significantly better with a lower wait times for users at different hours of the day. In addition, Bluehost also offers technical support over the phone, email and maintain a detailed knowledge base.
In fact, it is even possible to reach out to experts via a social networking site like Twitter or by simply joining the Bluehost community.
After prior experiences with Bluehost and other hosting support teams, we can confidently say Bluehost impressed us with their quick support via different channels.
PERFORMANCE – SPEED AND UPTIME
A key criterion that often influences the decision to choose a hosting provider is the performance delivered by the website in terms of speed of access, as well as server uptime.
No hosting provider can ever provide 100% uptime as servers are expected to go down, at least for maintenance operations. What matters is how quickly the support team can bring the server back up.
With Bluehost’s claims of 99.99% uptime backed by similar reviews of website owners who have used their hosting plans, this service provider seems to have delivered the most vital feature effectively.
One of our websites hosted on a Bluehost plan for the last 15 months is a testament to the significant uptime on offer. Additionally, CloudFlare functionality offered for every Bluehost account improves the hosted website’s performance even more.
Even with a shared hosting plan where multiple sites are hosted on a single server, the performance is very good. Hence, one can safely say that Bluehost scores full marks in this category.
It offers a very user-friendly control panel that is built as per industry standards. The intuitive UI helps users manage websites on their own very easily. It is possible to manage domains, emails, databases and install important software like WordPress and Joomla, from the control panel itself.
It also offers an effective drag-drop, website builder tool like Weebly. Additionally, the WordPress platform is always a great platform to create a website. From the accompanying Mojo marketplace, users can download other tools and CMS as well.
Although Bluehost takes automatic backups on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, users can backup their website manually as well, and change the automatic backup frequency from the control panel.
WORDPRESS OPTIMISED HOSTING
WordPress.org recommends using Bluehost plans themselves. Bluehost offers optimised or managed WordPress hosting plans with automatic backups and updates.
The best part is that WordPress comes pre-installed, freeing the webmaster from having to install it themselves. WordPress-based hosting is also available for virtual private servers and those related plans are cheaper than regular VPS hosting plans.
EMAIL MARKETING AND ECOMMERCE
Bluehost offers eCommerce applications such as ShopSite and Magento to create online stores and sell products to consumers. Though ShopSite is comparatively easier to operate, Magento offers more flexibility. However if you are looking to build an eCommerce site yourself then something like Shopify might suit your needs better.
Both tools enable users to set up online eCommerce stores through simple drag and drop options. Bluehost even offers a good payment gateway for the eCommerce sites in the form of TransFirst.
Every webmaster requires email-marketing software at some stage for sharing updates about the site or for promotions. So Bluehost offers email marketing tools such as DaDa Mail (paid service available for $34.95 per year) that can be used to send emails to readers who have subscribed through the website’s email subscription link.
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
The provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that first-time Bluehost users can try out their preferred hosting package for a period of 30-days and continue with it only if they like.
They can choose not to continue with Bluehost services within 30 days and get their money back as a refund. This is a great confidence builder by Bluehost and if the user reviews are anything to go by, very few opt out of their services.
The money-back guarantee just helps build trust with users who have never dealt with the Bluehost team before.
VARIOUS HOSTING PLANS AND PRICING
There are several hosting plans available such as, Shared, VPS, Dedicated Server, and Optimised WordPress. Here is a summary of their plans.
With this hosting plan, the starter package begins at $3.49 per month, the plus package starts at $6.95 per month, and the business pro plan starts at $14.95 per month.
The Virtual Private Server hosting plan starts at $14.99 a month for the standard package, $29.99 a month for the enhanced package, and $44.99 a month for the premium package, while the ultimate package starts at $59.99 a month.
The dedicated server plans are available in three different packages: Standard (at $74.99 per month), Enhanced (at $99.99 per month) and Premium (at $124.99 per month).
Optimised WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting plans start at $12.49 per month for the Blogger package with the Professional package available for $37.50 per month, the Business package for $60 per month, and the Enterprise package available for $85 per month
Apart from these benefits, Bluehost offers a free domain, free Adwords credit, and several other features in each package.
No hosting provider can ever be perfect, and the same is true for Bluehost. It is a Linux-based web hosting company and doesn’t offer any opportunities for ASP.NET or Windows hosting.
If a webmaster wishes to get their current hosting account (from any other service provider) transferred to Bluehost, their team can handle the entire transfer process. However, they charge a nominal fee for the service.
We have used the ‘Blogger’ Optimised WordPress Hosting plan from Bluehost and it has been a smooth ride so far. The best part about VPS hosting is its ability to handle massive traffic at such cheap rates. Customer support has been spot on, and overall website performance is better than expected.
So, which hosting provider do you currently use? Have you tried Bluehost yet? What is your opinion about their plans and services? Please, feel free to share your opinion in the comments below and thanks for reading!