Web Hosting Reviews from Real Customers

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Bluehost Reviews by Users & Experts

Overall Rating:
7.0
Reliability
6.0/10
Pricing
8.0/10
User friendly
8.0/10
Support
7.0/10
Features
6.0/10

BlueHost is a veteran of hosting business. The founder of this company, Matt Heaton, has been working with hosting since 1996. When BlueHost.com was established in 2003, he already had the experience needed to turn it into a successful business. Since the very start, people fell in love with their web hosting services. However, as years went by, new things have happened. In 2010, amidst a lot of speculation, BlueHost left the hands of its initial owner. The company was acquired by the Endurance International Group. This group has got itself somewhat of a negative reputation due to their lack of involvement in the service improvement. It has been over 7 years since they acquired this company and it definitely did not shrink in terms of popularity. Is it the same with its quality? Well, that’s what we will be looking into in this BlueHost review.

BlueHost Services

  • Shared web hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • Domain names (reseller of Fastdomain)

BlueHost offers plenty different types of services – the only notable exception is the lack of SSL certificates, which you can’t buy together with your purchase. You have to buy them from third-party providers or get one free of charge by setting up a WordPress website. And yet, with such a wide array of services, BlueHost try to be the Internet’s one-stop-shop for all things hosting. It is also worth noticing, that there are some extra features, available to all BlueHost customers, that make this provider all the more interesting. Here’s what they are:

Free Domain Name

With every shared hosting plan you purchase, you get a domain name for free – for an entire year. It’s a bonus that would cost $10 or $20 elsewhere – but BlueHost gives that away for free.

WordPress Optimization

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world – and there’s a big chance you plan to use it as well. If that is true and you want to make a WordPress site, BlueHost has an extra perk for you. Every plan you pick will give you free SSL. It provides safety for your visitors and help you to improve your Google rankings.

Daily backups

BlueHost offers daily, weekly and monthly automatic backups – for free. If something bad happens to your website, you can easily restore it to its previous state. With BlueHost, you can keep your files safe.


You can tell that first and foremost this host attempts to cater for the people who want to use WordPress. Daily backups and free SSL in a shared hosting plan is very attractive. This is why I’ve decided to do a BlueHost review using one of these plans exactly – to see whether it provides the clients with quick and reliable hosting on top of the extra features.

What’s included in BlueHost packages?

There are three plans you can pick.

  • Basic – regular plan which allows 5 add-on domains. Has limited hard drive space and a small email storage.
  • Plus – a medium-sized unlimited plan with spam protection.
  • Prime – the biggest shared hosting plan available, offering unlimited websites, domain privacy, advanced backups and spam protection.

The table below shows a comparison of these plans and their features:

Basic Plus Prime
Disk space limit 50GB Unspecified Unspecified
Bandwidth limit Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
How many domains allowed 5 Unlimited Unlimited
SSD or HDD used in servers HDD HDD HDD
SSL Supported, included if you use a WordPress site Supported, included if you use a WordPress site Supported, included if you use a WordPress site
Anti-DDoS protection Not available Not available Not available
Anti-malware protection Comes as a separate paid feature Comes as a separate paid feature Comes as a separate paid feature
Email accounts 5 (100MB per account limit) Unlimited Unlimited
FTP accounts Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Website Builder Included (Weebly) Included (Weebly) Included (Weebly)
Website Templates 50+ 50+ 50+
Assisted Website Transfer $149 $149 $149
cPanel Included Included Included
Auto-installer included Included Included
Auto-installer scripts 70+ 70+ 70+
Money back guarantee 30 days 30 days 30 days
Customer Support 24/7 live chat, email, phone 24/7 live chat, email, phone 24/7 live chat, email, phone
Choice for server location No No No
Free Automated Backups Yes Yes Yes

In terms of prices, it is common to see providers display theirs as “monthly”. In reality, those figures are usually only available by choosing a multiple-year package and paying in advance. This is how BlueHost prices look, when you add the ‘Plus’ ($5.45 a month) in the cart:

As you can see, there is no such thing as a monthly BlueHost plan. The shortest plan you can buy is 12 months, there are also 24, 36 and even 60 months you can choose. It is interesting to see, that it is the 36-month plan that is the cheapest, even cheaper than the longer 60-month period. For all of those packages you have to pay in advance. These are the prices you would have to pay:

Payment Period / Plan Basic Plus Prime
1 month Not available Not available Not available
3 months Not available Not available Not available
6 months Not available Not available Not available
12 months $59.40 $101.40 $101.40
24 months $94.80 $166.80 $166.80
36 months $106.20 $196.20 $196.20
48 months Not available Not available Not available
60 months $177.00 $357.00 $327.00

*The prices include VAT.

First Impressions

Features

No anti-DDoS protection is a problem. You can still use third-party services like CloudFlare but the fact they’re not included in any package is slightly disappointing. Even more so, when you consider that BlueHost is a huge company and could easily provide that in one form or another.

There are no such problems with SSL. You can purchase the Comodo PositiveSSL bundle for $39.99/year and if you build a WordPress site, it is automatically included with your plan, free of charge.

Disk space is HDD – but there is plenty of it. It is limited to 50GB if you choose the ‘Basic’ plan – that should be about enough for the majority of the users. More concerning is ‘Basic’ plan’s small amount of space dedicated for email – only 100MB per inbox.

Luckily, there are no set limitations on bandwidth. It is unmetered but not unlimited: which means it’ll be enough to handle regular usage on the website. But you may get notified or even suspended if you use the server irresponsibly.

Prices

It is clear to see what BlueHost is attempting to achieve. The shortest possible package is 12 months long and it goes all the way up to 60 months (5 years). In the long run, the hosting proves to be rather cheap. It is up for you to decide whether you want to get tied up to a provider for 5 years, especially if it’s a limited ‘Basic’ plan.

Credit where it’s due, the prices don’t increase much as the package becomes shorter. In a ‘Basic’ plan, you’d pay $2.95 for a 36-month plan and $4.95 for a 12-month plan. In a ‘Plus’ plan, it’s $5.45 for a 36-month plan and $8.45 for a 12-month plan.

However, those are all starting prices. When the package runs out, you will be prompted to pay monthly renewal prices. Here they are, with each package.

Plan and Package Basic Plus Prime
12 Month Term $8.99 $12.99 $16.99
24 Month Term $8.49 $11.99 $15.99
36 Month Term $7.99 $10.99 $14.99

This means that the longer package you pick, the smaller renewal prices you will have to pay. Yet they are still way higher than the starting ones.

BlueHost Customer Service

The company prides itself on its great ’24/7 expert support’. However, it is not expected for a hosting provider to say otherwise. In order to know whether it is actually true, I had to do the testing myself.

Just like many companies, BlueHost first attempt to answer your question through their Knowledge Base. After testing it out, I can say it is not bad, although some questions were just easier to Google. By design, this Knowledge Base looks almost exactly like the one of HostGator but has different content.

4 views

Apart from that, there are three main channels of BlueHost customer support you can currently use:

  • Live Chat
  • Tickets
  • Phone

Let’s see how each of these options perform.

Phone Service Evaluation

There is one main worldwide number to call to (it’s from the US), no matter your IP location. I’ve been slightly surprised with the options – instead of being informative and simple, some of them sounded like advertising slogans. In the ‘Sales’ category I’ve been offered options, such as: “Have a great idea and want to get it online? Press 1.” or “We can build your site and boost your traffic if you press 3!” While entertaining, it took me a while to understand which option meant “regular pre-sales questions”.

After deciding, and picking my option it took around 2 minutes and I was connected with Zach (or Zack). He was an American guy who did his best to help me. However, my question” “What’s the best service to pick if I plan to send 50GB worth of files through an FTP server every week and keep at least 300GB of files at the same time?” was not answered entirely, with the representative admitting it’s probably a dedicated server and he has no expertise in those. While disappointing, it is still admirable that the agent has admitted to not knowing something as opposed to offering me an expensive service package. Overall, I can say that the agent was courteous but didn’t provide me with the help I needed. Nonetheless, if you like using phone support and don’t have many difficult questions, this might be a pretty good option.

Ticket Service Evaluation

One of the most important things here is the response time. It needs to be quick enough to solve your problems without much delay. However, after testing and further research I’ve concluded that BlueHost experience some problems.

In order to test their ticket support time, I sent two requests.

As of the morning of August 17, I have not received a single reply. Chats with BlueHost representatives on the phone have revealed that the ticket system is experiencing serious problems and barely any customers are receiving replies. There were no such notices on the website or next to the ticket submission form, which is quite disappointing.

Chat Service Evaluation

While doing a BlueHost review of chat service, I looked into the three main things:

  • Wait time – no matter how good the chat is, if you have to wait an hour for it, it’s no good.
  • Knowledge of the agents – if you want help, you need people who are capable of providing it.
  • Human contact – it’s important for the representatives to be respectful and familiar.

In order to do the test fairly, I set up 10 chats in the various times of the week. This is what I found out:

For the majority of the time, it takes between 2 and 6 minutes for an agent to join the chat. This is a pretty good time. There have been no super long queues. The representatives are trying their best to help you – they have enough knowledge for basic things. Here is what happened when I wanted to transfer a domain to BlueHost and pretended to have no clue what is going on.

The agent has kept up with me and allowed me to spend several minutes “working” on the issue. All it took was a simple change of nameservers and Adarsh provided me with them without asking. It’s a common, simple request but it is good to know that BlueHost customer service can handle them fairly well. Other agents handled many other problems of similar difficulty with no sweat. In terms of human contact, BlueHost agents work without bells and whistles. For example, they have no problem ending the chat right after you thank them and don’t bother answering stupid questions with hilarious responses. But during the conversation, they act naturally and try to help you as much as they can. All in all, after an extended analysis, I can say that BlueHost chat service is pretty good. It could be better, perhaps, but there is not much to complain about.

First Impressions During and After the Purchase

You can pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards. PayPal is also included as one of the options, so you can use that as well.

Bluehost purchase steps were tidy and simple. I had no issues with the payment acceptance, the account was activated within 5 minutes of the payment submission. I didn’t even need to contact support for help with activation – which is pretty rare and very convenient.

Upon finalizing the purchase, a nice questionnaire popped up which asked me whether or not I was an experienced website builder & if I intend to build the website myself. At first, I thought it was just an upsell attempt, but it was just trying to direct me to the correct tools and ease my journey.

There was no option for shorter payment period than 12 months. The agent suggested me HostGator services as an alternative. It may sound unusual because they appear to be competitors. But it is worth remembering HostGator and BlueHost are both a part of the Endurance International Group.

After tuning everything up and logging in, I was immediately transferred to cPanel.

It may look slightly unusual but in fact, it’s a regular cPanel with a custom skin. Everything was very easy to find and the search bar turned out to be quite useful. Everything was intuitive and familiar – if you used cPanel earlier, you won’t have a problem here.

Performance Evaluation

So far, BlueHost has been alright. A familiar interface and some interesting features have been weighed down by rather awkward pricing options and ticket support problems. But it comes without saying that the most important test is performance. Support agents may be very pleasant but if your site is constantly down and incredibly slow, it’s not much fun talking to them. It is time to do a BlueHost performance review. These are the things I’ve been testing:

  • Host’s speed during low upkeep
  • Host’s speed with a website created with BlueHost website builder
  • Server’s overall uptime
  • Anti-theft security evaluation

The review will be constantly updated to show you only the latest results.

IMPORTANT NOTICE – no tool is 100% correct all of the time. There are variations in results, which depend on the servers the tools themselves are using. In order to see the tendencies, I have conducted multiple tests using the Bitcacha tool which has proved itself as one of the more reliable ones. The average results are posted here in this review.

Host Speed During Low Upkeep

A simple HTML website is a very good way to test the highest possible speed. It only has a few lines of code and is supposed to deliver the best results. So, I’ve made this simple website:

And these were the BitCacha global response times:

Considering BlueHost servers are only located in Utah, a state in the west of the US, it is no surprise to see the West Coast show the best response times. London, one the other hand, is a disappointment. Being the only European server tested, it didn’t do well, so you can assume that your European visitors are going to have slight delays. Besides that, it’s a solid performance.

Host Speed With BlueHost Website Builder

Just like SiteGround, BlueHost uses Weebly as their primary website builder. However, there is a downside, as you can’t put your website in a subdomain. Apart from that, it’s a very powerful and versatile builder and it is good to see BlueHost including it. Weebly website has been used in order to see how the BlueHost servers work under bigger pressure. I set it up with a Flash file and plenty other additions:

This is how quick it was:

These two tables tell the entire story. All the speeds are rather stable, except for Sydney, Japan and London. They go from pretty reputable to rather average. Regardless of that, the speed drops aren’t huge and your website will still deliver decent results. So you can say that BlueHost servers and Weebly are optimized together rather well.

Server Overall Uptime

Check out the current status and uptime of BlueHost!

NOTE – This part of the review will get constant updates with the latest performance information.

A basic WordPress website was set up. Then, it was tracked once every minute to check the host’s overall availability. That means both response times and downtimes.

This is what transpired:

The response times are not what you would call “stable” but they are really quick. There is no set response time you can be expecting, with the majority of the results going around 100-400ms. You can also expect spikes once every few hours, with the response times increasing to nearly 2 seconds. But they are not common enough to consider them a problem.

Uptime is not ideal – you can see there has been a downtime on the 8th but it hasn’t happened again since then. So generally, BlueHost provide decent services with good response times and rare downtimes.

Anti-Theft Protection Evaluation

Online security is very important. We put a lot of information online and it needs to be secured properly to make sure no one unauthorized can get to it. This is why we must dedicate this part of the BlueHost review to see whether this hosting provider cares about your security as much as it should. There are two main parts in this test. In the first one, I checked whether someone can brute-force your password, typing plenty of incorrect attempts and eventually getting the right one. For BlueHost, it took only seven incorrect attempts to think something fishy may be going on.

It’s a simple security measure which locks out the IP address of the user for a certain amount of time. By doing this, your host may considerably slow down or even completely stop the brute-force process. It is good to know it is being done.

For the second evaluation, I tried to use BlueHost live chat to see how they handle sensitive user information. I’ve changed my password, then changed my IP and talked with a few agents. In those chats, I tried to get the password of the account without providing any proof of identity. Here’s how it went:

Plain and simple: I was not allowed to get any information. Every single attempt led to the representative asking me to send a copy of my ID to their email.

NOTE – when registering for hosting, make sure to use your real name and keep your personal/payment information secure. Regularly change passwords and don’t use simple or repeating codes. 

BlueHost Review – Conclusion

BlueHost has been very popular for many years. It is now very clear there’s a good reason for that. The Utah company matches its promises with its quality. Good performance, a responsive panel and a helpful live chat make it a solid option for many users.

There are numerous good features that are worth mentioning, such as free SSL for every WordPress website, free daily backups and a free domain. However, some of its shortcomings have to be noted as well, such as a lackluster ticket system, high renewal prices and a non-flexible plan duration.

Pros

  • Daily backups provide with security.
  • Free SSL for any plan if you use WordPress - good for eCommerce.
  • Free domain name for 12 months with any plan.

Cons

  • High renewal prices - they increase more than double.
  • Lackluster ticket support system.
  • Shortest available plan is 12 months.

Leave a review

    • Chuck Carmaicel
    • 2017-October-25th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I used this platform for several months. I personally believe that it is disqualified by the number of available functions. Beginners may have trouble finding themselves. The second issue is the 36-month plan. And if someone needs a hosing just for a year? Then he has to pay more. I personally use GetLark. Very simple client panel, cheap hosting packages (only $5 for one month, the more months the cheaper). Additionally, the hosting is free of charge for 3 months.

    • Alberto Rivero
    • 2017-October-16th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    honestly a fan of how this host does the basic things. I’ve never been a big nerd on this stuff so hey…

    • PhilTale
    • 2017-October-4th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I love this host – perfect for WP stuff and i mean – we’re all using that ,aren’t we?

    • CC
    • 2017-September-2nd
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    impossible answer to an impossible question: is this host good? in short, yeah, sure. but can you give money to a corporation which singlehandedly ruined the business and then still sleep at night? hope not. i’ve been putting this off for far too long but it’s time to switch hosts. so can i recommend bluehost to you? sure. if you can sleep at night after that, of course? do your own sanity a favour, fellas.

    • wanderlust
    • 2017-August-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    The way I see it, BlueHost has been the gold standard of hosting since whenever. I like that it has a serious fanbase. It has new people. It won’t be closed anytime soon. Basically it’s ideal if you like the price. Probably (and I mean “probably”) there are companies better but this is “no thrills” hosting and for that, I admire it.

    • Ryanello
    • 2017-August-25th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Good builder, good panel, good speeds, everything is good. I call bollocks on the price complaints – it’s just as good as anyone could be. A solid option, always been, just don’t pick anything bigger than shared! I have used Blue as a shared provider since 2010 and a jump to VPS there was a mistake. Shared though? Perfect.

    • ffs
    • 2017-August-21st
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    is it just me, or is this the only reputable EIG host? after ehost closed, i dont think i can trust them anymore but eh, bluehost isn’t half bad?

    • L.G.
    • 2017-August-20th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    having used bluehost for some time and now looking for a new host, I agree with almost every point in the review. the renewal prices are bananas, it’s not worth staying for long, especially with the providers fighting for your money 🙂 🙂 :). only thing that hinders me is that WordPress+SSL thing. a free certificate is just as good as that one and if you do serious ecommerce, you wouldn’t want a shared hosting plan anyway. the support, yeah, it isn’t good but it sure as hell isn’t the worst. overall, i thought it was good but it seriously needs to lower the prices to keep its customers

      • all the best
      • 2017-September-4th
      Reply

      how much do you expect to pay for what you’re getting? no, seriously? it’s good. No problem imho

    • Maggie Clark
    • 2017-August-15th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    The most lovely provider I’ve encountered. Simple, awesome, and the technical support is super helpful!!!! Honestly so thankful for what they’ve done to help me

    • Alexis Jones
    • 2017-July-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    May be slightly wonky at times but nice regardless. Still considering whether to switch or not. Well…It’s third best in the world, as I see.

    • JAred
    • 2017-July-28th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Been looking for a WordPress machine for weeks now and this name kept popping up. Used your link to finally buy it and i think it’s good. Basically, I am not an “enthusiast” or whatever you would call it. I just want my stuff to work and it just does here. Can’t fault it. Was very simple to setup, simple to use, price is good enough.

    • Jack
    • 2017-July-17th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Bluehost have the best cheapest plan around! 50GB, 5 domains and free SSL with WP!

    • Rodrigo G.
    • 2017-June-30th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Sometimes it goes down but it’s not very common. Had a problem once when the website was down for an hour and I was unable to get a chat…Other than that it’s very good, features are great, my WordPress website is awesome. But still, not without a problem.

    • Ryan.
    • 2017-June-9th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    What is it with free SSL only with WordPress? Is BlueHost a WordPress product?

      • wanderlust
      • 2017-August-30th
      Reply

      Nooooope. Probably just struck a deal.

    • David P.
    • 2017-May-20th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    I have had some experience with them earlier. Thought they were mucky and weird, the support was simply rude and took two eternities to login in the first place. Godawful in that but i guess its personal experience and it’s different for everyone

      • WDF
      • 2017-June-3rd
      Reply

      SAME lol. i always felt like I was waiting in a super market line no matter what. big waiting times for everrything and stuff like that. No idea what the reviews are talking about sometimes ?

    • PalermoBoy
    • 2017-April-17th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Honestly a good host. I know it’s totally “in” to hate on BlueHost but i’m glad this review did not. I mean I am slightly mad they do every in lowercaps but, ummmm, I think it’s just me.

    • Robert O'Brien
    • 2017-April-2nd
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    you that one girl which isn’t even that great, but you used to love her and she is still The One for you? same with me and BlueHost. It slows down – often. It’s expensive – quite. But I still love it. I am an idiot.

    • Bug?
    • 2017-March-20th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    5 year plans is weird. I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I’LL DO NEXT WEEK. AND IT’S 300 BUCKS. Also – why is Plus cheaper than Prime when buying it for 5 years? Is it a mistake?

    • Laura
    • 2017-March-7th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Definitely taking it for WordPress. Keep seeing it’s perfect for that and the price looks good enough

    • jhfbji
    • 2017-February-17th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    So weird seeing them ahead of Hostgator. But then again, i read the Hostgator review and i understand the sentiment.

      • har
      • 2017-March-24th
      Reply

      u could put an actual gator to run a datacenter and it wuld be better than hostgator

    • Sean
    • 2017-January-24th
    Reply
    Reliability Pricing User friendly Support Features

    Been using BlueHost for years now and I haven’t noticed no noticeable dip in quality which you could pin on EIG. Perhaps it COULD be that new clients are getting worse servers but for what i know, it’s good. Although I wouldn’t recommend uploading bigger files to the server.