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Bluehost Review: Fast, Affordable Hosting for Bloggers

bluehost review

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If you’ve searched for a blog hosting provider, you’ve probably seen tons of bloggers recommending Bluehost as their top choice. As one of the earliest launched web hosting platforms, Bluehost has maintained massive popularity for over two decades.

For the most part, Bluehost lives up to the hype, since it’s one of the most reliable and affordable blog hosting options today. But while Bluehost boasts fast site speed and strong security, it doesn’t always have the best customer service.

Read on in my full Bluehost review to figure out whether this hosting service is right for you and your blog.

Bluehost Review: What Is Bluehost?

Since it was first established in 1996, Bluehost quickly became one of the best overall hosting providers on the web. Today, the hosting service provider employs a 24/7 international staff of over 750 professionals.

Bluehost stands out for its dependable, high-quality service, affordable hosting plans, and user-friendly interface. If you’re an individual blogger or small business looking to build a website on a budget, Bluehost could be a smart choice for you.

In addition to shared hosting plans, Bluehost offers a variety of other products including dedicated hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS,)  ecommerce plans, and WordPress Pro Managed Hosting.

But as a new blogger, you’ll be fine sticking with one of its shared hosting plans, which I’ll describe in more detail below.

Bluehost is great for bloggers, since it integrates seamlessly with WordPress, a leading content platform. In fact, Bluehost has been the top-recommended web host by WordPress since 2005.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive in deeper to see if Bluehost is the right hosting for your blog. Here’s what I’ll cover in this Bluehost review:

Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Plans & Pricing

bluehost review

Bluehost offers four shared hosting plans:

  • BASIC: for those who need to create one website (if you’re starting a single blog, the basic plan is a good choice!)
  • PLUS: for those running multiple sites
  • CHOICE PLUS: for those running multiple sites that need added privacy & security
  • PRO: for those that need more power with optimized web resources

BASIC Shared Hosting

Designed to host one website, the basic plan is popular among bloggers and the budget conscious.

Bluehost’s Basic Plan includes a free domain for one year. When you sign up, you can choose any domain name (as long as it isn’t already taken) for free, meaning it’s easy to get your website up and running right away.

Want to see if a domain name is available? Find out with Bluehost’s easy tool below!

The basic plan also includes a free CDN (content delivery network, or what makes your website load quickly and display in high quality) and a free SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate to protect your website visitors.

Also included in this plan is 50 GB of SSD storage and 24/7 access to customer support.

Bluehost’s Basic Shared Hosting Plan is normally $8.99/month, but you can get it for just $3.95/month when you select a 36-month term.

Click here to sign up for Bluehost and start your blog today!

PLUS Shared Hosting

If you need to host more than one website, consider Bluehost’s Plus Shared Hosting Plan.

Much like the Basic Shared Hosting Plan, the Plus Plan offers a free domain for one year, free CDN, and a free SSL certificate. Additionally, the Plus Plan provides users with a 30-day free trial of Office 365.

The Plus Plan also includes hosting for an unlimited number of websites, as well as unlimited SSD storage.

Bluehost’s PLUS Shared Hosting Plan is normally $11.99/month, but you can get it for $5.95/month when you select a 36 month term.

CHOICE PLUS Shared Hosting

Do you need to host multiple websites with additional privacy and security features? Bluehost’s Choice Plus Shared Hosting Plan has got you covered.

Similar to the Plus Shared Hosting Plan, the Choice Plus Plan provides a free domain for one year, free CDN, free SSL certificate, and 30-day free trial of Office 365.

Additionally, the Choice Plus Plan offers customers free domain privacy and 1 year of free automated backups. The Choice Plus Plan also comes with unlimited SSD storage.

Bluehost’s Pro Choice Plan Shared Hosting Plan is normally $16.99/month, but it costs $6.95/mo when you select a 36-month term.

PRO Shared Hosting

If you’re looking for a web host plan that provides all the features of the Choice Plus Plan with optimized CPU resources, Bluehost’s Pro Shared Hosting Plan provides just that.

With the Pro plan you’ll receive a free domain with privacy for one year, free CDN, free SSL certificate, free automated backups, and 30 day free trial of Office 365.

The Pro plan also includes a free dedicated IP address.

Bluehost’s Pro Plan Shared Hosting Plan is normally $26.99/month or $13.95/mo with a 36 month term.

Bluehost Performance & Site Speed

When it comes to performance and speed, Bluehost excels in both.

According to Bluehost, its site loading speeds average 581 ms, or less than two seconds. This is faster than about 85% of all web hosts’ loading speeds.

In terms of site performance, Bluehost is also at the top of its tier. With a 99.98% uptime guarantee, your site is unlikely to experience downtime.

This is one of the best uptime guarantees on the market, though there are some other hosting providers that offer a similar guarantee (like Hostgator).

Bluehost Customer Support

Although Bluehost offers fast site speeds and strong security, some users complain about slow customer service response times.

Bluehost provides two primary methods of customer support — chat support and phone support. Both are available to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

That said, some bloggers say the customer support is slower and less knowledgable than some other host providers. Bluehost’s phone support agents are mostly located in India.

In order to reach a support specialist you should keep the following information on file to ease the verification process:

  • Account username
  • Domain name
  • Administrator email
  • Password
  • Token Validation
  • Account Pin

Bluehost has an extensive knowledge base application that answers thousands of FAQs, provides guides for setups and configurations, and helps you troubleshoot issues.

How to Sign Up for Bluehost

If you’re ready to purchase Bluehost hosting and get your blog up and running, follow these easy steps to get started. First, head to Bluehost.com and choose your hosting plan.

If you’re a blogger who only needs one site, the basic plan should work for you.

Next up, you can select a domain name for free. Note that you can also use one that you already own.

bluehost review

After this step, you’ll enter some basic personal information and select your term. As with most other hosting providers, you’ll get a lower price if you commit to a longer term.

bluehost review

Next is a section that causes some confusion. Bluehost offers some extra features that can add security to your site. I’d really only recommend adding Domain Privacy and Protection to protect your website.

bluehost review

If you’re okay with spending a little extra, it could also be worth adding Codeguard Basic for automatic backups of your site, but it is possible to add a backup plugin later.

But if you’re looking to keep costs low, I recommend adding Domain Privacy and Protection and excluding the rest.

Finally, you’ll enter your credit card information and hit submit. Voila, you’ve just purchased hosting for your new blog!

bluehost review

Connecting WordPress to Bluehost

Once you’ve purchased hosting, you’ll want to connect your WordPress account to your Bluehost account.

You can easily do this from your Bluehost control panel. This handy guide from Bluehost walks you through the process.

Once you’ve connected WordPress, you can play around with different themes to design your site.

As you do this, I recommend installing and activating an “Under construction” plugin so no one sees your site until you’re ready to go live.

For more on this process, head to my step-by-step guide on how to set up your blog.

Bluehost Review: Other Products

In addition to shared hosting plans, Bluehost offers a variety of upgraded plans for those in need of an online store, Virtual Private Server (VPS), dedicated hosting, or WordPress Pro hosting.

I don’t recommend these products for new bloggers, since the basic shared hosting plan should suit your needs. But if you have specialized needs or are curious about Bluehost’s other offerings, keep reading this Bluehost review for detailed information on each product.

Bluehost’s Online Stores

Powered by the flexible WordPress ecommerce plugin Woocommerce, Bluehost’s online store allows you to manage your online inventory and sales via a dashboard with a variety of plugins and marketing tools. With this plan, you can build and promote your site with the backing of Bluehost’s industry-leading online security.

Bluehost’s Standard Online Store Plan allows users to add an unlimited number of products, enable customer reviews, and create discount codes with the click of a button. They also provide a multitude of payment processing extensions from the most popular processors like PayPal, Stripe, Square, AmazonPay and many more.

Upgrades that can be found on the Bluehost Premium Online Store Plan allow you to enable online bookings, subscriptions, product customization capabilities, plus more.

Bluehosts Standard Online Store Plan is normally $24.95/mo, but you can get it for $15.95/mo when you select a 36-month term.

Bluehost’s Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

If you have a high volume of site traffic on your blog, you might be interested in Bluehost’s Virtual Private Servers (VPS).

With a Bluehost VPS, you can take full control of your websites and allocate your server resources with an easy to setup server, user-friendly operating system, and fully managed services.

Bluehost’s reliable standard VPS comes with 30 GB SSD storage, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB bandwidth, and 1 IP address. You’ll also get a free domain for 1 year, 24/7 support, and a 30-day money back guarantee with your purchase.

Bluehost’s Standard VPS Plan is normally $29.99/mo with a special of $19.99/mo on a 36-month term.

Bluehost’s Dedicated Hosting

Running a large-scale website with a high volume of traffic? With Bluehost’s Dedicated Hosting Plans, you’ll be able to fully scale your online business without slowing down your site or affecting the user-experience.

Bluehost offers three dedicated hosting packages that will ensure your site has the proper performance power and security features to safeguard your business and your customers.

With high uptime rates, fast page loading speeds, and superior site performance, anyone with a flourishing online business should consider Bluehost Dedicated Hosting based on performance and price.

Bluehost’s Standard Dedicated Hosting Plan is normally $119.99/mo with a current discount special available for $79.99/mo when you select a 36 month term.

The standard plan includes 4 cores @ 2.3 GHz, 500 GB (mirrored) storage, 4 GB RAM, 5 TB bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses. You’ll also receive a free domain for 1 year, 24/7 support, and a 30-day money back guarantee with your purchase.

Bluehost’s Fully Managed WordPress Pro Hosting

Those with less experience or time to focus on building or maintaining a site may consider Bluehost’s Full Managed WordPress Pro Hosting Plan.

With this product, you’ll receive WordPress speeds and standards of excellence while being able to maintain everything from one easy to use dashboard.

Popular features of this plan include the all-in-one marketing center, SEO, email marketing, and social media tools. Users are given a plethora of theme options to choose from.

Folks utilizing this plan value the optimized performance and increased site speeds, making the user-experience of your site all the more enjoyable.

These plans also include daily site backups as well as malware detection and removal software.

Bluehost’s Fully Managed WordPress Pro Hosting Plans normally start at $29.99/mo with a current discount special available for $19.99/mo when you select a 36 month term.

Who is Bluehost Best For?

Bluehost is an excellent option for bloggers, photographers, and ecommerce businesses. It is a reliable and user-friendly host with affordable shared hosting plans.

It’s easy to sign up and set up your site, and Bluehost integrates seamlessly with WordPress.

If you’re serious about building a blogging business, it’s worth it to purchase hosting so you own your domain and have greater control over your site.

As mentioned, the basic plan is the way to go for bloggers looking to build a single website. Those with larger scale websites and increased traffic may better benefit from one of Bluehost’s additional products such as a VPS or dedicated hosting.

Who Is Bluehost Not Right For?

If you go with Bluehost, you’ll likely install WordPress (for free) and choose a WordPress theme (free or paid) to design your site. Although these themes are easy to customize, they might require a little bit of a learning curve.

If you’re looking for a simple, drag-and-drop website builder, you might be better off with a website builder and hosting provider, such as Weebly or Wix.

And if you only want to promote your writing or images and aren’t looking to monetize your blog, you could be fine with a free service like Medium or Tumblr.

But if you’re serious about making money off your blog, purchasing a hosting plan and installing WordPress is the way to go. Bluehost is an excellent and popular option, but if you’re looking for even better customer support, you might opt for a hosting provider like Siteground instead.

Bottom Line: Is Bluehost Good or Not? (Pros & Cons)

With high performance ratings and affordable introductory rates, Bluehost packs a punch with its secure user-friendly interface and easy-on-the-pocket prices.

Bluehost also has products suited for everyone from beginning bloggers to established entrepreneurs and enterprises.

To ensure Bluehost is the hosting site for you, assess these pros and cons:

PROS

  • Recommended by WordPress (top recommendation since 2005)
  • Affordable introductory prices for shared hosting, online stores, VPS, dedicated hosting, and Managed WordPress Pro Hosting
  • cPanel interface included with all hosting plans
  • Speedy & reliable service
  • Dependable performance (99.98% uptime guarantee)
  • Top-tier security
  • 24/7 support by phone or chat
  • Site migration available (for a fee)
  • Caters to small businesses
  • All shared hosting includes free domain for 1 year, website builder, email accounts,  SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, and CDN

CONS

  • Customer service is outsourced and can sometimes be slower and less knowledgable than support teams from other hosting providers
  • May try to upsell product upgrades
  • Renewal prices may increase after introductory rates
  • Entry-level plans may not include adequate backup options
  • No cloud hosting

Ready to start your blog with Bluehost? If you’re an individual blogger looking to create a single site, click here to get started with Bluehost’s basic plan for only $3.95 / month.