If you’re comparing web hosting and domain service providers, our Bluehost review will show you where Bluehost excels or may fall behind. Though we like Bluehost, there are a lot of great hosting providers out there, and you must find the right tools unique to your website.
As it happens, my website runs courtesy of Bluehost shared hosting, and I am a happy customer.
A few years back, I built my site with Bluehost VPS hosting out of concern for any bandwidth issues that might affect my site’s performance. Due to costs, I continued with shared after my VPS subscription expired, and I have no complaints.
Disclaimer: my site is content-based with mild only graphics. For sites that store customer data, facilitate transactions, incorporate animation, etc., I strongly recommend VPS or dedicated hosting.
For this Bluehost review, I pulled data and research from Bluehost and other leading web hosting companies. I also consulted customer reviews and forums.
Bluehost Review: A summary
As one of the oldest web hosting providers, Bluehost is a favorite among Weebly and WordPress web designers.
From affordable web bundles to nearly immaculate uptime, Bluehost has undoubtedly earned its place among the best in the industry.
That said, the web hosting space is full of some great competitors. Siteground, Inmotion, and A2 Hosting are just a few that boast equal (and at times better) quality and affordability. Still, Bluehost continues to meet its competition with high speeds and convenient, all-in-one bundles.
How much does Bluehost cost?
For web hosting, Bluehost offers plans that start at $7.99/month – after the promotional rate – and go as high as $249.99/month for dedicated hosting with all the “bells and whistles.”
Bluehost has a respectable inventory of domain names for $4.99 and above. If you are looking for a domain and a web host, you can enjoy a free domain name with your Bluehost subscription.
In addition to hosting and domains, Bluehost does everything from digital marketing to full website development.
When choosing Bluehost as your web host, you may also choose from a wide selection of add-ons. These rates vary upon your website’s demands and the features you seek.
- Arguably the best web hosting provider for WordPress and Weebly sites
- Enticing promotional hosting rates as low as $3.95/month
- Option to bundle for more considerable savings
- Excellent uptime (almost perfect uptime)
- Free domain when signing up for hosting
- The member control panel is easy to use
- Free SSL certificate with any hosting plan
- Dozens of auxiliary website services for an additional fee
- Subscription prices increase notably after the promotion expires (but to be honest, this is common among most web hosting providers)
- No free site transfer
- No cloud hosting
- Add-ons costs can add up (scope creep)
- 30-day Microsoft Office free trial auto-renews for steep costs
Bluehost website hosting review
For most individuals and businesses, shared hosting is a respectable choice. But if your site handles transactions, requires a lot of server space, and loads too slowly on a shared plan, you may need to upgrade to either VPS or dedicated hosting.
If you’re nervous about whether or not Bluehost is right for you, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee for all new web hosting customers. You can also research the specifics of each subscription on Bluehost’s cost comparison page here.
Bluehost shared hosting is ideal for blogs and official business websites. If all you want to do is build a respectable web presence for content and search engine optimization, then shared hosting is all you need.
In my opinion, the basic plan is great. It includes all the basics, including adequate storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a complimentary domain name.
Your promotional $3.95/month rate is available if you are willing to sign up for three years. After the end of your first 36 months, your rate increases to $7.99/month.
My only complaint with the Basic plan is that it does not include site backup services. You can add CodeGuard back-ups for an extra $2.99/month. Backup services are an absolute must.
The Plus package is more for web designers/developers. If you want to build multiple websites for yourself or your clients, you should begin with a Plus subscription starting at $5.45 for the first three years.
As with the Basic plan, the Plus membership does not include backup services. Also, rates jump to $10.99/month after the promotion expires.
Bluehost Choice Plus
The Choice Plus plan is the same price as the Plus, at least for the promotional period. After your promotion expires, your rate is $4 more ($14.99/month).
The main advantage is that your Choice Plus comes with CodeGuard backup services at no additional charge. Additionally, your package includes domain privacy, just in case you’re squeamish about the public knowing that you own the domain name.
If you need a dedicated IP for the sites you build, then you need to choose Bluehost Pro. Your promotional rate will be $13.95/month for 36 months, $23.99/month after that.
If you plan to build a WordPress site, I strongly recommend Bluehost’s WordPress hosting. It is shared hosting and mimics the prices above for Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus.
Signing up for Bluehost’s WordPress hosting handles all WordPress setup and includes more selection of free WordPress templates. And as a bonus, you get a $200 marketing credit to promote your website once it is published.
The tricky thing with shared hosting is that several sites share space on the same server. For static websites and blogs, this is not usually a problem.
But if you’re looking to launch a more robust site, you need to know that your site’s performance will not lag should the server become congested. VPS hosting is still shared hosting, but your allotted bandwidth and server space will not be compromised.
Unfortunately, no Bluehost VPS hosting plan includes website backup services, but a CodeGuard subscription is available for an extra $2.99/month.
Bluehost VPS Standard
The Standard plan is respectable and includes 30 GB of SSD storage, 2 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of bandwidth.
Prices start at $18.99/month for a 3-year subscription. In my screenshot below, you’ll notice that you have more options for subscription length. After your promotional rate expires, the subscription increases to $29.99/month.
Bluehost VPS Enhanced
The VPS Enhanced plan effectively doubles your storage, RAM, and bandwidth.
Bluehost’s promotional rate for Enhanced has the most bang for your buck. For either 36 or 24 months, you can enjoy your subscription for $29.99/month before rates rise to the regular price of $59.99/month.
Bluehost VPS Ultimate
The Bluehost VPS Ultimate plan boosts your hosting from 2 cores to 4. You enjoy 120 GB of hard drive space, 8 GB of RAM, and 3 TB of bandwidth.
Promotional rates start at $59.99/month for three years, $119.99/month thereafter.
If you no longer wish to share server space, Bluehost provides dedicated hosting. Here is a breakdown of available hosting plans.
In Bluehost’s dedicated subscriptions, storage upgrades from SSD to mirrored storage. The differences are a bit technical. But for our purposes here, I’ll just say that mirrored storage is more robust, so long as your hosting server has enough RAM – ideally, 2 GB or more.
As with VPS plans, site backup services are available for add-on at $2.99/month.
Bluehost Dedicated Standard
The starter Bluehost dedicated plan is pretty good. With 500 GB of space, 5 TB of bandwidth, 4 GB of RAM, and four 2.3GHz processors, it’s well worth the promotional rate of $79.99/month.
After your promotional rate expires, your hosting costs increase to $119.99/month (if you remain on a 36-month subscription). In my opinion, any dedicated hosting subscription less than $200/month is a good deal, so long as the provider meets performance expectations.
If you’re able to manage your website configuration settings yourself and are not sure you want to commit to 6 years, I recommend that you check out one of the web hosting providers listed below for dedicated or cloud hosting:
- A2 Hosting
Bluehost Dedicated Enhanced
With an Enhanced plan, your four processors upgrade to 2.5GHz. Additionally, you receive 1 TB of storage, 10 TB of bandwidth, and 9 GB of RAM.
Prices begin at $99.99/month for a 3-year subscription and continue at $159.99/month if you renew for another three years.
Bluehost Dedicated Premium
The Dedicated Premium plan is Bluehost’s top subscription. Members enjoy 3.3 GHz processors, 15 TB of bandwidth, and a whopping 16 GB of RAM. I find it odd that Bluehost does not increase storage space with a Premium plan, but 1 TB should be adequate for a grand majority of sites out there.
The 3-year promotional rate is $119.99/month, and you can continue your 36-month subscription at $209.99/month after that.
My peers and I mostly agree that purchasing a domain from Bluehost makes the most sense if you are also adding a hosting membership.
That said, if all you need is a domain name, Bluehost is still competitively priced. I also recommend one of the following domain sellers below:
Bluehost website builder review
If you’re new to creating a website, Bluehost has several free web builder templates (known as scripts). While these scripts are simple to use (and include customer support), I would argue against them.
For a website that will perform well in search engines, I recommend that you take advantage of Bluehost’s free Weebly and WordPress integration services. For beginners, Weebly is more uncomplicated than is WordPress, but WordPress is far more robust since it is both a content management system (great for SEO) and a web builder on steroids.
Bluehost SEO tools
Even though the Bluehost SEO Tools kit is only $1.99/month, it doesn’t make much sense if you have a WordPress site. That’s because there are hundreds of free and low-cost WordPress SEO plugins that will do a better job.
Bluehost e-commerce tools
Bluehost integrates with pretty much any reputable shopping cart software platform. This feature allows you to run a decent online store with a shared hosting plan.
Though a bit late to the world of e-commerce, Bluehost provides many streamlined services that make it an excellent option for online vendors. Bluehost offers OpenPGP/GPG Encryption and a vast amount of e-commerce tools through MOJO Marketplace.
Bluehost Blue Sky
If you feel ready to learn WordPress, I recommend a Bluehost Blue Sky membership. It may seem pricey (plans start at $29/month), but getting customized, live tutoring from a WordPress expert will save you enormous costs in the long run.
However, I only recommend that you do this if you have the time and feel that you will enjoy building your own website(s). If you’re on the fence about learning WordPress, you’ll do better to take advantage of free tutorials from WP Beginner.
Bluehost customer service
From personal experience, I can tell you that Bluehost customer support tools are fantastic. Both customer service phone lines and live chat are open 24/7.
Bluehost review and comparison
Picking the right provider that will set your website up for success takes some careful research. In our product comparison, the goal is to help you avoid a “bandwagon” choice.
Our criteria for Bluehost alternatives
When examining the best Bluehost alternatives, we wanted only to include providers that supplied both domain registration and web hosting services. Additionally, we wanted to be sure that any competitors we recommend also provide all you need to launch your site.
Nothing is more obnoxious than having to pull services from multiple brands. Our alternative picks allow you to manage all your domain and hosting products in one place.
Top 3 alternatives to Bluehost
GoDaddy shares veteran status with Bluehost and can effectively manage all aspects of your domain registration and web hosting.
Hosting costs range from $6 to $100+/month, depending upon what kind of hosting you require. GoDaddy is highly-reputed for VPS and dedicated hosting. For dedicated hosting, GoDaddy is one of the cheapest at just under $90/month for the first 24 months (after that, $159.99/month).
- GoDaddy does a lot of things that Bluehost also does well: free domain with hosting, SSL certificate included, WordPress hosting, marketing services, etc.
- For shared and VPS hosting, GoDaddy is slightly more expensive.
- GoDaddy offers a business shared hosting plan that bundles all the small business basics into a subscription of less than $20/month.
- New web hosting customers get a full year free of Microsoft Office 365.
- GoDaddy customer support is not the best.
Siteground provides Bluehost-level shared hosting pricing and includes a domain name with a web hosting subscription.
Unlike Bluehost and GoDaddy, Siteground offers cloud hosting with plans starting at $80/month.
To date, no one creates web service bundles like Siteground. The essential features (included in all plans) include site backup, SSL certificate, plus 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Siteground bundles include more for less.
- Like Bluehost, Siteground customer service is top-notch.
- Siteground tailors its web hosting services for WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce customers.
- Siteground’s dedicated hosting plans are more expensive and begin at $260/month.
If there is any web hosting provider poised to overtake all other competitors, it is A2 Hosting.
A2 Hosting offers domain registration and hosting for all server types: shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated. And not only are subscription costs competitive with Bluehost and Siteground, A2 Hosting renewal costs are among the lowest in the industry.
- You can choose from shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting plans.
- A2 Hosting is famous for its Turbo Servers, ensuring fast websites on even the lowest shared hosting plans.
- There are scores of website integration services, including CRM, LMS, e-commerce, groupware, and more.
- Renewal costs are only moderate rate increases.
- With A2 Hosting, you get free website migration/transfer.
Summing up Bluehost alternatives
At Trickut, we like Bluehost. That said, website hosting, domain registration, and support services are not a “one size fits all” product bundle. You deserve a provider that meets all your web presence demands.
Choosing among any of our top picks here is sure to set your website up for success.
A recap of our Bluehost review
In all, Bluehost is one of the best in the biz. Because they do such a great job with hosting and auxiliary services, it would take a lot for me to make a switch and go elsewhere.
I hope that you’ve gleaned a lot from this Bluehost review, and I wish you good luck on your website launch!