BlueHost Review 2020: Do Pros & Cons Point to it Being Hype?

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Ante Rados
Ante Rados

BlueHost is one of the many web hosting companies owned by EIG, and it is one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. They offer all types of hosting besides reseller hosting. And, they are a good choice for some types of hosting and a good choice for others. In this BlueHost review, I will guide you through their pros and cons.

There are lots of things you should be careful about when choosing your hosting provider, and this BlueHost review will help you to avoid some of the marketing traps that are quite often befall the industry. For example; BlueHost is praised as one of the cheapest hosting providers out there. However, the cost of BlueHost subscription will triple once the introductory period is over and you have to renew your plan. That is why I used renewal prices in this article.

There are also some good factors you might not notice if you haven’t analyzed lots of hosting providers. One such thing with BlueHost is that you get SSD storage even in the cheapest BlueHost plans. As you can already see, there are things that BlueHost is doing great and things that raise complaints.

All in all, BlueHost is a great hosting provider for beginners; this is especially true while the introductory pricing lasts. They fail to satisfy the needs of big businesses because their dedicated and VPS hosting plans are not versatile enough. I will talk about all their hosting plans in greater detail in this BlueHost review, so read on!

BlueHost review of plans, pricing and more

BlueHost review
BlueHost reviews criteria Overall rating
Shared hosting
5/5
WordPress hosting
5/5
Cloud hosting
4/5
VPS Hosting
4/5
Dedicated hosting
3/5

BlueHost shared hosting

Shared hosting is the type of hosting where you share server resources with other websites hosted on the server. The downside of this is that your website’s performance will depend on server usage by the others. The upside is that it is the most affordable hosting type. Here is the overview of BlueHost shared hosting plans:

Basic: $7.99/month

  • 1 website
  • 5 email accounts
  • 100 MB email storage
  • 50 GB website space
  • 1 domain included
  • 25 subdomains
  • 20 MySQL databases

Plus: $10.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited email storage
  • Unmetered website space
  • Unlimited domains, parked domains, and subdomains
  • Unlimited MySQL domains
  • Spam Experts for 1 domain

Choice Plus: $14.99/month

  • Everything from the Plus plan
  • Spam Experts on
  • Domain privacy and protection
  • Automated backups

Pro: $23.99/month

  • Everything from the Choice Plus plan
  • Dedicated IP
  • Premium SSL certificate
  • Spam Experts for 2 domains
  • CodeGuard basic automated backups

With each of the plans, you will get free domain registration for 1 domain, but that is more or less an industry standard. The main reason you should consider BlueHost over some other providers for shared hosting is the SSD storage. All shared hosting plans come with SSD storage. Websites that use SSD storage load much faster than those that use HDD storage. With most hosting providers, you won’t get SSD storage in any of the shared hosting plans, let alone in the cheapest shared hosting plan.

All plans except the Basic come with 30 days free Office 365 Mailbox. I don’t see this as much of an inducement because, after 30 days, you will have to pay the regular subscription. $100 Microsoft advertising and $100 Google Ads credits are a much better bonus, but you will get access for those only after you spend $25 on a new Microsoft advertising or Google Ads account.

You probably noticed that there are terms unlimited and unmetered in the overview of the plans. However, you should know that there is no such thing as unlimited/unmetered when it comes to hosting. A better term would be “undefined.” Unlimited/unmetered in the BlueHost dictionary means that you can use any amount of data until your usage becomes excessive. And what is excessive isn’t clearly defined either. BlueHost can terminate your account, with or without notice, if you use those resources excessively.

BlueHost WordPress hosting

With WordPress hosting, you will also share server resources with other users, but servers will be optimized for hosting WordPress websites. With BlueHost, there are three basic WordPress hosting plans you can choose from:

Basic: $7.99/month

  • 1 website
  • 1 domain included
  • 5 parked domains
  • 25 subdomains

Plus: $10.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited domains, parked domains, and subdomains
  • Spam Experts

Choice Plus: $14.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited domains, parked domains, and subdomains
  • Spam Experts
  • Domain privacy and protection
  • Site Backup

Features in BlueHost’s WordPress plans are the same as those for shared hosting. Recently, BlueHost introduced WordPress Pro, which is quite expensive, but it comes packed with features. Here is what you can expect from the WordPress Pro plans:

Build: $29.99/month

  • Jetpack Site Analytics (Basic)
  • Marketing center
  • 100+ free WordPress themes
  • Daily scheduled backups
  • Malware detection and removal
  • Domain privacy & protection

Grow: $39.99/month

  • All features from the Build plan
  • Jetpack (Premium)
  • Business review tools
  • Bluehost SEO tools
  • Jetpack Ads integration
  • 10 GB video compression
  • Blue Sky ticket support

Scale: $59.99/month

  • Jetpack (Pro)
  • Unlimited backups & restore
  • PayPal integration
  • Unlimited video compression
  • Elastic search
  • Blue Sky chat support

There are lots of features that come with the WordPress Pro plans. With the marketing center, you can monitor the marketing performance of your website. It lets you track your website, social media and blog traffic without leaving the dashboard. The SEO tools you get with WordPress Pro can be added to any BlueHost Plan, but they cost $71.40/year regularly.

Blue Sky is a special WordPress support you get only with WordPress Pro. Although it is nice to have expert support, I think that you should get the same quality of support no matter which product you subscribe to. This is basically like telling people: “Our regular support isn’t really good, you should give us more money if you want good support.”

All in all, you get some excellent features with WordPress Pro, but I believe the plans are overpriced because some features (SEO tools, expert support, marketing center and free WordPress themes) are usually included in normal WordPress plans with most hosting providers.

BlueHost cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is another type of hosting where you share resources with other users. The difference from shared hosting is that your website will be stored on multiple different servers. This way, your website can use resources from servers that aren’t overloaded at the time. Using resources from multiple servers will maximize uptime and optimize the speed of your website. Here is how much you will have to pay for BlueHost’s cloud hosting:

Starter: $10.95/month

  • 1 website
  • 1 domain included
  • 100 GB storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 100 email accounts
  • 500 MB email storage

Performance: $15.95/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • 1 domain included
  • Unmetered storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited email storage

Business Pro: $20.95/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • 1 domain included
  • Unmetered storage
  • 6 GB RAM
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited email storage
  • Dedicated IP
  • Domain privacy
  • CodeGuard Basic site backup & restore

All BlueHost cloud hosting plans come with free SSL and 1 free domain. Unmetered bandwidth (under the same conditions I mentioned in the shared hosting part of the review) is also included in each plan. The Starter plan comes without Spam Experts, with the Performance plan you get access to Spam Experts for 1 domain and with the Business Pro for 2 domains.

BlueHost’s cloud hosting isn’t packed with features. On the other hand, it is very cheap, so it is a good option if the features you see here are good enough for you.

BlueHost VPS hosting

With VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting, you will get access to all resources and full control over a virtual server. There will still be multiple users on the same physical server, but each of the users will get their virtual server. This way, you won’t share any of the resources you subscribed to with other users of the physical server. This type of hosting is best for websites with medium traffic. BlueHost has 3 plans for VPS hosting. They range from $29.99 to $119.99:

Standard: $29.99/month

  • 2 cores – 2.2 GHz
  • 30 GB SSD storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 1 TB bandwidth
  • 1 IP address

Enhanced: $59.99/month

  • 2 cores – 2.2 GHz
  • 60 GB SSD storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • 2 IP address

Ultimate: $119.99/month

  • 4 cores – 2.2 GHz
  • 120 GB SSD storage
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 3 TB bandwidth
  • 2 IP address

With VPS hosting plans, BlueHost is finally clear on what you get in each of the plans. There are no undefined limits to bandwidth and storage. All the plans come with a free domain name for the first year and a free SSL certificate.

The control panel that comes with VPS plans has all the features that come in cPanel for shared plans. You will also get tools for VPS management and WHM control. With this enhanced cPanel, you get root access to your virtual server. Root access gives you full control over the virtual server.

BlueHost dedicated hosting

Dedicated hosting is the most expensive type of hosting. With dedicated hosting, you get a whole physical server for yourself. You should consider this type of hosting only if you own a big business.

Standard: $79.99/month

  • 4 cores – 2.3 GHz
  • 500 GB storage
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 5 TB bandwidth
  • 3 IP address

Enhanced: $99.99/month

  • 4 cores – 2.5 GHz
  • 1 TB storage
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 10 TB bandwidth
  • 4 IP address

Premium: $119.99/month

  • 4 cores – 3.3 GHz
  • 1 TB storage
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 15 TB bandwidth
  • 5 IP address

When we take a look at BlueHost’s dedicated server offers, it becomes clear that BlueHost is focused on small businesses. Hosting providers that target bigger businesses usually let you customize the hardware your server will have. With BlueHost, you get to choose between three different servers, so if you are going to subscribe for dedicated hosting, I recommend that you try to find a hosting provider that specializes in big businesses.

BlueHost domain registration

BlueHost is not only a hosting provider; it is also a domain registrar. BlueHost’s prices for domain registration are average. Here is the pricing for some of the most popular domain names so you can compare them with other registrars:

  • .com: $11.99/year
  • .net: $12.99/year
  • .org: $8.99/year
  • .site: $2.99/year
  • .online: $4.99/year
  • .us: $8.99/year

BlueHost website builder review

BlueHost doesn’t have a website builder. Don’t worry; you won’t be left without access to a website builder. BlueHost allows you to easily add Weebly – one of the most popular website builders out there.

Weebly is a drag and drop builder that uses a grid system. This means that you can’t drag and drop things with complete freedom. Instead, every element you place will snap to a grid and auto-align with other elements. The disadvantage of the grid system is that you don’t have complete freedom, but the advantage is you will spend less time aligning and resizing elements. Besides, your website will look slick even if you don’t have any talent for design.

Although BlueHost doesn’t have a website builder, you will be completely satisfied. With the option to add Weebly easily, there is no need for a website builder of their own.

BlueHost speed, uptime & reliability

BlueHost has decent speed and one of the best uptimes out of all the hosting providers. Here is the data for BlueHost’s uptime and average response time over the last 12 months based on Pingdom’s data:

April 2020

Uptime 99.99%
Response time: 626 ms

March 2020

Uptime 99.98%
Response time: 584 ms

February 2020

Uptime 100%
Response time: 421 ms

January 2020

Uptime 100%
Response time: 404 ms

December 2019

Uptime: 100%
Response time: 566 ms

November 2019

Uptime 100%
Response time: 365 ms

October 2019

Uptime 99.96%
Response time: 478 ms

September 2019

Uptime 99.99%
Response time: 385 ms

August 2019

Uptime 99.99%
Response time: 351 ms

July 2019

Uptime 100%
Response time: 386 ms

June 2019

Uptime 99.98%
Response time: 415 ms

May 2019

Uptime 100%
Response time: 384 ms

BlueHost disk space & server storage

An excellent thing about BlueHost is the SSD storage that is included in even the cheapest BlueHost plans. Compared to HDD storage, data loads faster from SSD storage. This improves your website’s performance.

The bad thing about BlueHost storage is the false marketing of unlimited storage for some of the plans. Terms and conditions clearly state: “You should not utilize more resources than should be the case in the normal operation of a personal or small business website.” I don’t like it when hosting providers to this.

Limitations to bandwidth and storage are normal and expected, but I also expect the hosting providers to give me clear information about those limits. If I am paying for a service, I want to know what I am getting in that service. Unfortunately, most hosting providers use this marketing trick to lure in inexperienced people who are new to hosting.

If you ignore the hidden limits, BlueHost is actually quite generous with storage in plans that have clear limits set.

BlueHost reseller hosting

BlueHost doesn’t offer reseller hosting, but they recommend ResellerClub for reseller hosting. BlueHost customers can get a promo code for 35% off on ResellerClub plans. Although this is BlueHost review, I will give you a short overview of ResellerClub, because BlueHost customers are eligible for a discount on ResellerClub services:

R1: $18.99/month

  • Unlimited websites
  • 40 GB storage
  • 800 GB bandwidth
  • Unlimited cPanel accounts

R2: $20.99/month

  • 50 GB storage
  • 1 TB bandwidth
  • Free WHMCS

R3: $27.99/month

  • 100 GB storage
  • 2 TB bandwidth
  • Free WHMCS

R4: $42.49/month

  • 200 GB storage
  • 4 TB bandwidth
  • Free WHMCS

All ResellerClub plans come with free SSL certificates, unlimited email accounts, and unlimited cPanel accounts. If you want to buy a dedicated IP, you can get it for $3.99.

Is BlueHost Hosting Good?

BlueHost is a good hosting provider for small businesses and individuals. They offer SSD storage even in their cheapest plans and low introductory pricing. The renewal prices (the prices I used in this article) are much steeper, and their plans for bigger businesses aren’t as good as their shared, WordPress and cloud plans, so it is best to switch to another hosting provider when your business grows.

BlueHost pros and cons

These are the most important advantages and disadvantages of BlueHost:

Pros

Cons

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • SSD storage
  • Low introductory pricing
  • Excellent uptime

BlueHost complaints and praise

The main BlueHost complaints seem to revolve around a huge growth in prices after the introductory period is over and the hidden limits to storage and bandwidth. The main BlueHost praise comes from the low introductory prices and SSD storage that is included even in their cheapest plans.

Our BlueHost reviews conclusion

If you are a blogger that is just starting out or the owner of a small business, BlueHost is an excellent option for you. My recommendation is to use BlueHost as long as introductory pricing lasts and switch to a hosting provider that is either cheaper or offers more features once the introductory term is over.

Although BlueHost pros and cons can be noticed in each of their plans, their shared and WordPress plans have the most pros, while their dedicated hosting plans are the most lacking of the bunch.

Our BlueHost review rating out of 5

BlueHost is an excellent hosting provider for beginners. The Shared and WordPress hosting plans they are offering are top-notch. However, their plans for more expensive types of hosting are somewhat lacking. There is also a huge difference in initial and renewal prices, which lowers their score. When we look at all the factors that are involved, they are a good enough hosting provider to get four stars in our review.

Reviewer rating
4/5

BlueHost hosting review FAQ

BlueHost is a good web host for beginners. It has excellent plans for shared, WordPress and cloud hosting. The interface is easy to use, the speed is decent, and uptime is excellent. The plans are also very cheap during the introductory period. However, BlueHost doesn’t scale well, so once your business grows, you should consider choosing a different hosting provider.
BlueHost is very cheap, only if you look at the introductory prices. The introductory prices will last until your first subscription expires. You can subscribe for 12, 24 or 36 months. After that period, BlueHost becomes much more expensive. Depending on the plan you are subscribed to, renewal price can go up to three times the introductory price.
BlueHost doesn’t use contracts, so you can cancel your account at any time. You will get a full refund if you cancel the account within 30 days of signing up. For any cancelation after the 30-day period is over, you will also be refunded, but not in the full amount you paid.
There is no option for monthly payments when signing up for BlueHost. New users can choose between paying for one, two or three years upfront. However, when your first subscription expires, you can renew your plan on a monthly basis.
The default setting for all BlueHost accounts and services is to automatically renew. If you prefer to manually renew BlueHost services, you can easily change that setting in the BlueHost cPanel account. When you switch off automatic renewal, you can select to receive hosting renewal email reminders.
BlueHost is excellent for beginners. It has a simple registration process, the cPanel is easy to use and navigate, and there are excellent low tier plans. If you get stuck, the support is available 24/7, and introductory prices are one of the most affordable hosting prices out there.
BlueHost Plus is BlueHost’s best buy plan. Their basic plan costs $7.99/month, and it is limited to 5 email accounts, 1 website, 1 domain and 25 subdomains. The Plus plan costs $10.99/month and gives you access to unlimited email accounts, websites, domains, and subdomains. If automated backups are a very important feature for you, you should consider the Choice Plus plan that comes at $14.99/month.
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