When you are ready to start a blog or a website, you first step is finding the right website hosting.
As a beginner, it is important that you get started, but you could take a little time to make sure you are building your blog or website on a solid foundation.
And it seems like you are off to a great start and doing your due diligence.
When you look at the best web hosting, Bluehost is a name that comes up early and often.
Is Bluehost hosting right for you?
Let’s dive into this Bluehost review to help you decide whether this is a good hosting service for your needs.
In this Bluehost review, we’ll discuss a quick overview of the company and then help you understand whether the features and benefits make sense for your website hosting needs.
Bluehost is one of the largest website hosts on the market with plans starting under $3 per month (making it budget-friendly for beginners).
Started in 2003, the company was founded in Utah by Danny Ashworth and Matt Heaton. Endurance International Group (EIG) bought the company in 2010 and Bluehost is now based in Burlington, MA.
Let’s now discuss the features of Bluehost, such as their free site backups, free SSL certificates and unmetered bandwidth.
Bluehost Review: Endorsed By WordPress
WordPress endorses only three website hosts and Bluehost is one of them. Since it’s highly likely that you’ll build your website via WordPress, this is an important factor to consider.
It’s simple to install WordPress as your site-building back office software after setting up your Bluehost hosting package.
The WordPress endorsement and one-click WordPress installation process makes Bluehost a solid choice for beginners.
It also works well if you’re more experienced and need features such as SSH Access, a customizable Linux kernel or FTP.
One-Stop Shop Hosting Services
While Bluehost provides everything you’ll need regarding website hosting, they also give you other website services. Here are some of the services you need to know about:
Hosting services: Bluehost gives you many hosting choices, such as dedicated server, managed WordPress and VPS hosting. Managed hosting includes handling technical details like:
- Optimizing site performance
- Updating the core
- Handling security
- Keeping plugins updated regularly
Website creation: Use the DIY site builder offered by Bluehost to create your site. You can also hire a Bluehost design pro to build it all out for you.
Marketing services: Bluehost provides help with social media marketing, SEO and local business advertising. Hire a marketing professional and benefit from monthly consultations or even get help creating content for your website.
Other important Bluehost features include:
- Tutorials (how-to content for help with marketing, hosting and website management)
- Intuitive & clean cPanel
- Plenty of site tool add-ons
- Great security features
- 99.99% uptime
- Free SSL certificate
- Cloudflare integration
- Excellent site speeds
Shared Hosting Plans From Bluehost
The four most popular shared Bluehost hosting plans are called Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro.
The Basic package provides 50GB of storage and unlimited monthly data transfers. It also includes a free SSL certificate, a free domain name and free domain name transfer. You can host one website with the Basic plan.
The Plus plan adds in unlimited storage, unlimited websites, an anti-spam tool and unlimited email boxes.
You can add in Codeguard Basic and domain privacy when choosing the Choice Plan.
The Pro package allows for a dedicated IP address.
You can learn more and view the plans here.
You can choose a virtual private service (VPS) plan when you need to move away from shared hosting.
VPS allows you to access private server space that’s shared with other users and it’s a more affordable option when compared to dedicated hosting.
Bluehost offers Standard, Enhanced and Ultimate VPS plans:
- Standard: 1 IP Address, 30GB Storage, 1 TB Bandwidth, 2GB RAM
- Enhanced: 2 IP Addresses, 60GB Storage, 2 TB Bandwidth, 4GB RAM
- Ultimate: 2 IP Addresses, 120 GB Storage, 3 TB Bandwidth, 8GB RAM
You can learn more and view the plans here.
Bluehost Dedicated Hosting
- Standard: 500GB Storage, 4 cores (2.3 GHz), 3 IP Addresses, 4GB RAM, 5 TB Bandwidth
- Enhanced: 1TB Storage, 4 cores (2.5 GHz), 4 IP Addresses, 8GB RAM, 10 TB Bandwidth
- Premium: 1TB Storage, 4 cores (3.3 GHz), 5 IP Addresses, 16GB RAM, 15 TB Bandwidth
You can learn more and view the plans here.
Uptime & Performance
While you might hear some complaints online about server outages with Bluehost, it’s interesting to note that the company consistently scores out at a 99.99% average uptime.
This puts Bluehost right at the same uptime as most other top website hosting companies. They provide an agreement that allows you to cancel hosting without cancellation fees if you’re ever unhappy with your site’s uptime.
Website Loading Speed
While Bluehost doesn’t typically rate out at the fastest page loading time when compared to some other hosts, it still provides you top-notch performance in this area.
Use Cloudflare’s integration with Bluehost to keep your page loading times fast. Cloudflare is a CDN (content delivery network). A CDN is a server network that stores your website’s cached pages.
Your visitors obtain a faster website loading time because your Cloudflare integration serves up content from the CDN point closest to each visitor. The result is a reduction in how much time it takes for data to travel from the server to your visitor’s browser.
Backups & Security
SiteLock is used by Bluehost for daily scans of your website. These scans look for malware or viruses that could potentially affect your site’s performance.
These scans are done for free. However, it’s still a good practice to perform your own backups in order to know for certain that your site can get restored, if needed.
Your Bluehost cPanel gives you a tool called Site Backup. This third-party resource lets you easily create backups and store them safely offline for possible future use.
If you decide to use one of Bluehost’s dedicated server plans, then you have access to what they call “RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) Level 1”. This support feature mirrors your site data onto multiple disks and increases overall website security.
Other security options include:
- Password-protected directories
- IP address blacklists
- Email account filters
- Digital certificates
- Private key management tools
SSL Certificate Features
I’ve mentioned that your Bluehost plan comes with a free SSL certificate and you might wonder whether this is an important feature.
SSL is an encryption protocol. It stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s a technology that makes the process of sending and receiving information secure from unauthorized parties reading or intercepting site data.
This is especially important on pages such as payment pages, online forms or login screens and helps protect sensitive data such as:
- Credit card information
These certificates can be installed on web servers and/or specific web pages. Your SSL certificate basically binds the hostname, server name and domain name together and provides a more secure connection.
Do You Need An SSL Certificate?
Not only is an SSL certificate needed for site security, but it’s also a part of Google’s SEO algorithm. You’ll hurt your site’s ranking ability if it’s not protected by SSL technology.
Here’s a rundown of the benefits:
- Keep your website and its data secure (and automatically complying with any online regulations requiring an SSL certificate)
- Improve SEO results
- Improve visitor trust in your website (which leads to more leads and sales for your business)
Take advantage of the free SSL certificate provided by Bluehost. It saves you money and effort required to obtain and install this technology onto your website.
Bluehost Support & Help
You need 24/7/365 customer support as a site owner. This is exactly what you get with your Bluehost hosting plan. They provide the following types of support:
- Support tickets
- Live chat
- Email support
- Phone support
Trained website experts are at your disposal when you have general hosting questions or need technical site assistance.
Bluehost also offers a support portal that allows you to browse FAQs, how-to guides, articles and video tutorials for answers to questions. If you’re more of a “do-it-yourself” type person, then you’ll enjoy using this knowledge base to solve your problems or tech issues.
Money-Back Guarantee Is Available
Know that you have the backing of Bluehost’s 30-day straightforward money-back guarantee as you get your hosting package set up.
You’ll receive 100% of your money back if cancelling within the 30-day time period. Of course, you’ll only get a prorated amount back if you cancel after this period.
Keep in mind that the guarantee only applies to your hosting fees. It doesn’t apply to expenses for your domain name or any add-on products.
This means that you’ll get charged for the free domain that comes with your hosting plan if you cancel the hosting package early. The good news is that you own the domain name and can use it elsewhere.
Add-on & Extra Product Options
Bluehost offers a few add-on products that are worthy of your consideration.
One is their credit of $150 that you can use toward Bing, Yahoo or Google Adwords advertising costs. This can help boost your traffic at the very beginning of your website-building journey as you’re waiting for your SEO work to start paying off.
They offer a free drag-and-drop website builder, as well as a free domain name transfer or registration option. You can select from 15 different domain extensions, such as .com, .net, .info, .org or .us.
You can upgrade to an improved plan mid-contract for free. Some hosting companies make you pay the difference between the two plans.
It’s interesting to note inside the Bluehost review that the company provides some security and management features that other hosts do not offer. Features such as CDN services, shared SSL and anti-spam filter come standard with your Bluehost plan.
In summary, Bluehost is a budget-friendly web host that provides your business a simple way to get your website started, along with quality security features and reliable servers.