Bluehost is one of the world’s largest website hosting companies, serving over 2 million domains from its Utah servers. It started by offering cheap shared hosting for small websites, but over the past decade, it has expanded into providing virtual private servers (VPS) and dedicated servers.
In our Bluehost review, we evaluate whether it could be considered one of the best web hosting services that’s available today.
Plans and pricing
Bluehost has multiple plans, stretching from cheap shared hosting to dedicated servers. These are typically available on annual to triannual terms, with up to 40% off if you’re willing to pay for multiple years at a time. Bluehost also offers significant discounts on your initial term, often up to 75% off, but remember that you’ll revert to the regular rate when it’s time to renew.
Bluehost offers four shared hosting plans, where your website shares server resources, like CPU time and hard disks, with other people’s websites. The cheapest of these plans costs the equivalent of $2.95 a month for the initial term, rising to $9.99 a month on renewal.
There are three VPS (virtual private server) hosting plans. This is where you get your own slice of a server’s resources that isn’t shared with others. It starts at $18.99 a month (rising to $29.99 a month on renewal).
The three dedicated hosting plans start at $79.99 a month (normally $119.99 a month). This is where you get an entire server to yourself.
Bluehost also offers three managed WordPress solutions, where the host takes over some of the day-to-day runnings of a WordPress site for you. The cheapest starts at $9.95 a month (for a three-year term), rising to $19.95 a month afterward. There’s also a WooCommerce online store plan that starts at $12.95 a month (for a three-year term).
Overall, Bluehost’s prices are reasonable and in line with the competition. With so many plans on offer, it may take you a while to narrow down the right Bluehost plan for you.
Bluehost aims to be a one-stop shop for all types of web hosting. Whether you need a cheap web host for a school project, or want to run an online store serving millions of people a day, Bluehost has a plan for you.
Though it’s possible to use virtually any content management system with Bluehost, it offers the most support out of the box for WordPress and WooCommerce websites.
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, and Bluehost is one of only three hosting companies the former has officially recommended. This instills a great deal of confidence in the service.
At Bluehost, you get automatic WordPress updates, custom themes, a free domain for the first year, a free SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate, and a free content delivery network, so your site should load quickly for all users, no matter where they are in the world.
If you plan to sell goods through your Bluehost website, you’ll likely do it by using WooCommerce, the ecommerce plugin for WordPress. The Standard Bluehost WooCommerce plan includes a website and blog, email marketing, website traffic analytics, payment processing, and a store-front theme already installed.
The Premium plan adds support for online bookings and appointment scheduling, advanced product customization, and subscriptions.
Interface and in use
After logging into Bluehost, you’re presented with a simple administration panel that lists your sites, domains, and marketing tools. There’s a wizard that you can use to set up a basic WordPress website with a theme, an “About Me” page, and a contact page.
If this is too much hand-holding, you can click on the Advanced button. This brings you to cPanel, a popular website administration tool with more fine-grained control over files, databases, users, and installed software.
In our performance testing, Bluehost was fast. Bitcatcha’s Server Speed Checker awarded our website an A+ rating, and Dotcom-Tools’ Website Speed Test ranked the average page load times as highly as any host that we’ve tested recently.
Bluehost has excellent support. There’s a useful system alert page and a packed knowledge base, and the search function makes it easy to find the help that you need.
If that’s not enough, there’s 24/7 support via telephone, email, and live chat. We tested the live chat several times, and each time, we received a prompt, knowledgeable reply to our query.
Bluehost is relatively new in the VPS and dedicated server market, and its focus is more on the lower end. If you’re looking for a VPS or dedicated server with extra heft, Hostwinds offers more powerful servers at a better price than Bluehost. Read our full Hostwinds review to find out more.
For a cheaper alternative to Bluehost, consider HostGator. Its plans are as feature-packed as Bluehost’s plans and are cheaper. That said, in our performance testing, HostGator was less consistent than Bluehost and marginally slower overall. You can read our HostGator review to see what we thought of the web host.
Bluehost deserves its reputation as one of the top web hosting companies available today. While certainly not the cheapest web host that you’ll find, its slightly elevated pricing is warranted if you value performance and stability.
Bluehost also deserves praise for its excellent 24/7 customer support available on all plans. It’s a splendid choice for individuals and SMEs alike, particularly if you plan to base your website on WordPress and WooCommerce.