Bluehost is owned by EIG, which controls 6% of total websites in the world. They are one of the most marketed web hosts in the world. In fact, if you Google about the best web hosting, the top 5 searches result will claim Bluehost as the best host including a highly authoritative review site such as CNET and Techradar.
Are they really best or do they rank number one as a result of their high payout to the affiliates?
As a matter of fact, Bluehost offers a very high commission of around $150 sale to anyone that brings a sale to them. However, there are web hosting like WP Engine that offer more than $200/sale. So why don’t affiliate put WP Engine in the top instead of Bluehost? It’s because Bluehost converts better as a result of their cheap introductory price of just $2.95/mo compared to WP Engine’s $30/mo. Not a lot of hosting companies offer $150/sale for a hosting package of just $2.95/mo which equates to just $30-40/year. Also, these above-mentioned review sites give no real reason or tests to match their claim.
I have years of testing web hosting in this blog and for my clients, Bluehost never has been a recommended host in this blog due to various reasons that you will find in this below review.
For this price category, we found HostGator as a better hosting from our tests. You can check out our Bluehost Vs HostGator comparison to know why.
We have compared Bluehost based on the following 10 most important aspects of a web host.
- Ease Of Use
- Client satisfaction
- The Verdict
Average Speed – Ranked #5 in speed
Every website owners want to deliver great user experience to anyone visiting their website. As a reason, you can’t afford to overlook the importance of website speed.
On this blog, we test the hosting speed of top web hosting every year using various tools. Bluehost ranks 5th in our test for speed. They are not great, and falls in the category of hosting that is feature-rich and not really known for its speed.
How do we test the speed?
First of all, we use paid hosting accounts with almost every hosting company. This lets us create a benchmark and provides a great way to compare how each hosting companies fare against its competitor.
After creating an account, we uploaded exactly the same website theme and content on all the hosting accounts. Then, we used a tool called Uptrend to measure their website from exactly the same location. Using the same location is important as the amount of distance between your web hosting server and browser plays a crucial role in website loading time.
Here’s how fast Bluehost loaded.
Bluehost falls in the affordable web hosting category that is aimed at small businesses, their VPS and Dedicated hosting plans are not that popular. So, we compared it with hosting companies such as SiteGround and HostGator, which offers hosting to the same audience for a similar price.
Here’s how fast HostGator loaded
Here’s how fast SiteGround loaded
As you can see, both HostGator and SiteGround loads faster than Bluehost by around 1-2 seconds. However, Bluehost loaded faster than less popular hosts like iPage and DreamHost.
We did another test, which measures the quality of servers used by both hosting companies. This is done by seeing how well a hosting server responds when put to high stress by sending 100’s of concurrent traffic to the test website hosted at both these hosting companies.
Here’s how the Bluehost server handled this pressure.
We compared it with SiteGround and here’s the result.
Bluehost’s result was impressive and was better than when I tested them last time in 2018. There is a sign of improvement. They had an impressive speed up to 50 concurrent visits. After that, the server couldn’t handle the load. The result is not that good when you compare it with a company like SiteGround. SiteGround was pretty consistent until 100 visitors, they were able to handle pressure better than Bluehost. However, Bluehost’s handling of 50 concurrent visits is a good benchmark and it will be enough for a small scale website with a few hundred visits every day.
Also, check out our SiteGround Vs Bluehost comparison, that goes in detail about which hosting should you choose for hosting your websites.
Are they Affordable?
Bluehost lets you build a website for just $2.95/mo. Isn’t that affordable? They offer one of the most competitive prices in the entire hosting industries considering all the features that you get with their hosting.
Each of their hosting plans come with free domain registration for one year, which can save you around $12 in the first year. Additionally, they offer WordPress, staging websites, backups, Google $100 Ads credit all for free.
Here’s what each Bluehost plan has to offer.
|Plan Name||Bluehost Basic||Plus||Choice Plus|
|Number of Websites Allowed||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Free Domain Name||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|30-Day Money-Back Guarantee||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Server Location||Not Disclosed||Not Disclosed||Not Disclosed|
|Free Site Backup||No||No||Everyday|
|Backup On Demand||No||No||No|
|Free Site Transfer||No||No||No|
|In-Built Caching System||No||No||No|
|SFTP And SSH||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Support Channel||Live Chat/ Phone and Email||Live Chat/ Phone and Email||Live Chat/ Phone and Email|
|Check Bluehost Price||Check Bluehost Price||Check Bluehost Price|
All the above plans offer the same performance, each plan differs only by the amount of resources allocated to your website. If your website is large and popular, go with the highest plan. Check out our post on different types of web hosting plans, which will help you pick the right plan.
Cons of Bluehost pricing
- Bluehost renews at 2x the initial price, so choosing a higher plan cycle of 3 years is recommended.
- No trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- No monthly payments. Payment plans are for 1, 2 or 3 years.
Bluehost is the most popular web host in the world.
Bluehost is easily the most popular web host. There are companies like GoDaddy, which is more popular, but they are popular for domain registration than for web hosting.
For instance, if you Google for the best web hosting, almost 8 out of 10 websites will show Bluehost as the best choice, including top review sites such as CNET and Techradar.
Why are they popular?
They offer one of the best affiliate networks in the hosting industry. That is, they offer a commission of $125-150/sale, which is one of the highest commission offered by any web hosting. There are hostings like WP Engine and FLYWHEEL, which offer $200/sale, however, those hostings don’t convert as well as Bluehost due to their higher price.
According to Google trends, Bluehost is way popular than SiteGround or HostGator.
Bluehost is very reliable with an average uptime above 99.99%
Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running. Less uptime can result in bad user experience and loss in revenue.
Bluehost uptime is very high thanks to its data center in Utah, which provides power backups using UPS and diesel generators. We track uptime of 10 best web hosting using a tool called Host-tracker. Here’s the uptime report of Bluehost for the last 6 months.
As you can see, their uptime is 99.99%, which is the industry-standard uptime. They are on equal footings to HostGator and SiteGround when it comes to uptime.
On a popular survey conducted at CodeinWP, people were asked to vote for the most important aspects of web hosting. Support was the most chosen with 17% of respondents voting for the support over other aspects such as speed, uptime, ease of use and Interface.
Bluehost provides 24/7 Live Chat and Phone support. It’s fast and is available most of the time. We tested their support by actually contacting them.
This is what we observed.
- One good thing about support is unlike some other hosting, the time after authentication to actually connecting with a representative is very fast as you can see below.
- They outsource their support to different countries, who don’t have much knowledge about Bluehost as a company and how it works. When you compare it with a company like SiteGround, their support is well trained and based in their home office in Bulgaria.
- They transfer our chat to a ticketing system even for simple issues, which takes 24-48 hours for the case to be solved.
- Even though they have support 24/7, their efficiency is a big issue. It takes hours and multiple attempts to solve simple problems.
- They don’t have a ticketing system. They just communicate through email if the issue is escalated to senior technicians(which happens pretty much every time).
Bluehost uses cPanel, which is the most used control panel. cPanel is used by almost all top hosting companies barring exceptions such as SiteGround and DreamHost. cPanel makes it easier for you to install WordPress, check disk space, bandwidth usage, create backups, redirection, all within just 1-2 clicks from the main interface. We found the Bluehost interface to be simple, stylish and fast.
Bluehost cPanel: Try Demo
Is Bluehost easy to use?
Setting up a website has never been easier. Nowadays, anyone can build a website with just a laptop and internet. This is helped by various tools provided by web hosting companies.
Bluehost’s website builder helps us in building a simple website through WordPress in just 1-2 hours once you make a purchase. Additionally, they offer features such as staging sites, which will help us test our website design and content in a separate subdomain without affecting your live site. Once you are okay with the changes, you can push the staging copy to live.
One bad thing about Bluehost is they charge $149 for the transfer of your website from the last host to Bluehost, almost all the top hosting companies provide this feature for free.
Is Bluehost good at preventing hacks and any other attacks?
Bluehost relies on third-party providers like Cloudflare for protecting your website from hacks, DDOS attacks, and malware. Even though Cloudflare is considered very highly for its ability to secure your website from any external attacks, we still feel Bluehost should setup some internal system to prevent these attacks. Hosting companies like SiteGround and HostGator has an internal system to stop these attacks in addition to the external providers.
However, there were only 2 reported attacks on Bluehost in their entire 24 years of providing web hosting service.
In March 2015, Bluehost was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army. Also hacked were Justhost, Hostgator, Hostmonsterand Fastdomain, all owned by Endurance International Group. SEA claimed that these services were hosting terrorist websites. SEA posted screenshots of the attack on Twitter.
Other than this one incident, Bluehost can be considered a safe web hosting for your website.
Are they scalable?
Do you have a website that gets high traffic during certain days or certain times of the day? If so, then you need a hosting that will be able to scale their resources up or down based on the requirements. This can provide a great user experience and save the cost of web hosting in the long run as you will request resources only when you need it.
Is Bluehost scalable?
Bluehost is not known for their scalability feature, choose Bluehost if you are certain what resources your site will need in a month. If there is some sudden requirement for resources, you will need to contact their support and ask them to change to a higher plan based on your requirement, this process might take days depending on the size of your site. But there are hosting like Kinsta which will automatically scale up or down based on your site demand at any point in time. With Kinsta, you don’t need to worry if one of your posts becomes popular and starts receiving tons of visitors suddenly.
So, I would suggest choosing a host like Kinsta if you are looking for a scalable hosting.
Should you host with Bluehost?
Bluehost is a hosting company that specializes in providing small websites an affordable hosting service with so many beginner-friendly features. They have issues with performance when it comes to higher plans and websites with higher traffic. I wouldn’t recommend Bluehost for a very big website with high-performance needs.
Even for small websites, their competitors like HostGator and SiteGround does a better job in performance. You can read more about that in my SiteGround Vs Bluehost and HostGator Vs Bluehost comparison.
Bluehost problem is not their shared hosting, once your website outgrows and become popular, Bluehost performance issue starts to arise, they are not good a handling high traffic website. Their shared hosting plan doesn’t meet the performance standard of their shared hosting, therefore people are forced to switch, switching can be a real headache if its a large website.
To sum it up, you should read those above comparisons and choose between SiteGround and HostGator over Bluehost.