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BlueHost

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Overview

Considered one of the world’s largest web hosting companies, BlueHost came to operation in 2003. It envisioned to provide cheap and reliable solutions in online site presence, a purpose it has so far tackled with much expertise. As of 2018, it powers about 2 million websites spanning from commercial stores to informational websites with 24/7 support to its range of customers. Moreover, it is one of the three accredited hosting agents by WordPress which, as you might be aware, is the world’s largest site building platform.

Who owns BlueHost?

Although the birth of BlueHost was in 1996, the official launch was held in 2003 following a papered partnership of Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth who now became the acknowledged co-founders. As of the year of convergence, Matt Heaton already had the company under his belt and for this, it had already a decent number of clients who revved its initial success.

As of 2018, EIG Mike Olson is the CEO of BlueHost leading over 700 talented people who work as staff both in its physical location and as online agents. Interestingly, BlueHost is a member of Endurance International Group whose members are known for their expertise in web design, hosting, and sale of online marketing tools. Some of the popular partners of this provider include BigRock, HostGator, Constant Contact, and Domain.com. Geographically, BlueHost is based in Wasatch Mountains in Utah where the main offices and data centers reside.

BlueHost Hosting Plans

The first noticeable trait of hosting packages provided by BlueHost is the budget-friendliness irrespective of type of hosting you pick. The firm provides more perks than are normally present in bargain-priced hosting plans. Let’s now explore each type of hosting and what it offers:

Shared Hosting Package

Before we uncover what’s behind the curtains and delve deeper into the details of BlueHost Review, check out the following table that summarizes all the Shared Hosting plans offered by BlueHost. Notice the three packages namely Basic, Plus, and Prime which we will be discussing in the course of our post.

Here are the quick facts on BlueHost hosting packages:

-          The hosting packages are quite cheap allowing you to get started with as little as $2.95 on a monthly basis. But as you can see that’s the discounted price which is only available for first time registrants. Otherwise, Basic Package which is the cheapest goes for $7.99/mo.

-          Unlimited resources are not truly limitless. All web hosting providers in the world have to pay for their bandwidth somehow and thus impose fair usage policy to eliminate the “bad neighbor” effect. However, for an average user, the limit is hard to hit even when using the provider to host video-streaming and image-driven sites. Put otherwise, the unlimited packages will always suffice in majority of the cases.

-          Basic plan provides 50GB of disk space, free domain name which is available as long as your site is hosted on BlueHost, unlimited bandwidth, and free domain name transfer. The resources are ideal when hosting just a single website.

-          The Plus package, which requires $5.45 on discounted price and $10.99 on regular, throws in unlimited disk space, a powerful anti-spam tool for mailing services, and bandwidth enough to host around 10 websites. This one is ideal for commercial stores which are still on their initial growth phases.

-          The most advanced shared hosting package by BlueHost is Prime Plan. With this, you’ll be issued an SSL certificate for all your sites, 2 anti-spam applications, unlimited email accounts, site backup tools, one dedicated IP address, and resources capable of hosting unlimited websites.

Is BlueHost Shared Hosting Package the right plan for me?

Well, this package is a great option for varied site projects ranging from small blogs, personal websites, medium-sized commercial stores, and portfolios. With pricing ranging from Basic, Plus, to Prime plans, any of the shared tiers discussed above will suffice in most cases.

However, it is worth noting that BlueHost charges for the plans on an annual basis as opposed to monthly. Additionally, cancelling the web hosting services could lead to you taking a loss. Unfortunately, the firm doesn’t cover for pro-rata refunds after the 30-day money-back guarantee period is exhausted. If you’re after a web host that offers more flexible packages by letting you subscribe on a monthly basis, HostGator and DreamHost have these billing options.

Lastly, signing up for a higher number of months means you get the cheapest rates. It works using the same concept as buying goods and services in bulk. For instance, if you purchase the plan that lasts for 60-month it will be fairer on your overall budget and will escape the renewals shortcomings such as losing the domain name, jammed traffic, etc.

Cloud Hosting Package

This plan is ideal for websites that high demanding on resources mostly those that are already established. BlueHost provides a potent cloud infrastructure that ensures your online business presence is strong with minimal downtime.

Is Cloud Hosting a necessity to your business?

Certainly! Here are the reasons why it is the preferable package for online stores and businesses.

-          Cloud Hosting by BlueHost ensures your websites are capable of handling any level of traffic in case the changes in visitor volume are variable throughout the day. The provider scales the resources dynamically and instantly to hold traffic spikes flexibly. With this, the sites will accommodate any number of visitors comfortably without freezing.

-          Most of the Cloud Plans at BlueHost allow clients to have unlimited domain hosting which encourages hosting of multiple websites.

-          BlueHost cloud infrastructure duplicates data in two other drives which is essential in stances of hardware faults. Through this, websites remain online running smoothly even when the copy of the affected data is being rebuilt in the background.

-          Compared to shared hosting package, sites running on cloud are faster since they have exclusive access to BlueHost’s low-density servers.

-          All BlueHost’s cloud plans support Varnish Caching, a technology that keeps in memory frequently requested content. With this, the loading speed of your website improves significantly enhancing customer experience in the long run. Statistically, the ping of a website hosted on a shared server is 370ms while that on cloud at 150ms.

-          For customers using BlueHost’s cloud plans, they are guaranteed of security patches, multiple language translating tools, and quick fixes to distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks on client and server side. In addition, the company issues free SSL certificates, unmetered storage, and bandwidth, features that you can manage from the control panel.

Cloud Hosting Pricing Plans

There are three pricing plans at BlueHost’s Cloud Hosting service namely:

Starter

Starter Plan, which goes for $6.95 per month, is excellent for budding websites and blogs running on limited resources. For every account, you’ll be able to host a single website and the firm will issue a free domain for the same. The resources available for this plan are 2 CPUs, 2GB RAM, $50 marketing offers, and 100 email accounts. Most importantly, each account will have Varnish Caching, free SSL, and unmetered bandwidth for smooth operation.

Performance

Performance Plan, which starts from $8.95, is the recommended plan by BlueHost and is ideal for mid-level websites with substantial amounts of traffic throughout the day. It allows you to host unlimited number of websites, runs on 4GB RAM, has 4 CPUs to handle tasks, and allows users to manage an unlimited number of email accounts. Moreover, data resides in SSDs as opposed to the disc drives which are susceptible to crashes. Other important features enjoyed by subscribers of the plan include 1-click resource scaling, one spam detection tool, and of course a free SSL protocol to secure the site.

Business Pro

Going at $15.95 per month, Business Pro is the high-end plan for cloud hosting with almost all its features being unlimited. In addition to unlimited SSD storage, bandwidth, and email accounts, subscribers receive one free domain, two spam protection tools, dedicated IP address, CodeGuard tool, and an SSL certificate for all websites hosted on the platform. The sites are powered by 6GB RAM, 6 dedicated CPUs, and a one-click resource scaling tool.

VPS Hosting Package

BlueHost’s virtual private servers run from SSD storages which ensures clients enjoy increased power, flexibility, and control over their websites. The machines run on open source technology from KVM and OpenStack which are quite powerful, reliable and easy to use in hosting. Moreover, the servers are available-on-demand meaning they’re usable the very moment the customer needs them.

VPS accounts also come with multi-server management functionality which allows you to add other hosting services spanning from shared, dedicated, to more virtual private servers. Access to the account is also customizable to control what aspects are reachable by who. In other words, you can create passwords that separately allow for server administration, viewing ownership information, or a master to do it all. File management using this kind of hosting is via FTP which is simple to use when uploading, downloading, or modifying your VPS data. BlueHost supports creation of as many accounts of FTP as you would like to.

VPS Hosting has three Pricing Plans at BlueHost as you’ll find out below:

Standard

This is the cheapest plan requiring a subscription of $19.99 per month down from $29.99 for first time users. The client is allocated 1 Terabyte of bandwidth, 30 GB of SSD storage, 2GB RAM, 1 dedicated IP address and 2 cores of CPU. Additionally, 24/7 support services are available to ensure quick fixes whenever flaws are noted in the system or to address other related problems.

Enhanced

This is the mid-level plan and is the most recommended for majority of the users. Its pricing starts at $29.99 per month promising 2 cores of CPU, 2 Terabytes of bandwidth, 4GB RAM, and one free domain with two dedicated IP addresses. For storage, you’ll have a maximum storage of 60 GB which is quite sufficient for systems running on Virtual Private Servers. Additionally, the company issues a 30-day money-back guarantee in case the customer wishes to cancel the services.

Ultimate

When the environment provided on the Enhanced Plan is too small to meet your needs, Ultimate plan is your next best choice. It comes with 120GB of storage space, 3TB bandwidth, 8GB RAM, 2 IP addresses, 4 cores of CPU all for $59.99. Most importantly, all the resources allocated are available irrespective of the activities of other users on the server.  

Dedicated Hosting

This is the package to pick when you want ultimate control over your website’s performance and security. Most of the features included in its three pricing plans are almost similar to those of VPS hosting but now with addition of advanced perks spanning from smart backups, use of RAID storage, to site-lock CDN capabilities. Importantly, your website’s domain is shielded from identity theft and phishing by keeping personal information secure from the public. Did you also know that advanced users can have unfettered access over the systems running in their accounts? Well, this allows them to house everything in an unmanaged dedicated server hosting environment thereby enhancing privacy in the process.

The pricing plans offered in dedicated hosting include:

Standard

Here, buyers of the service, which costs $79.99 per month are allocated a CPU with 4 cores and running at a maximum speed of 2.3GHZ. Storage is provided in a 500GB disc drive with a mirrored storage that acts as a failover in cases of system crash. The total bandwidth available to subscribers of this plan is 5TB with 3 dedicated IP addresses to serve the account. The memory is also decent standing at 4GB.

Enhanced

It costs $99.99 and offers 4 CPU cores each running at 2.5GHZ and supporting virtualization of up to 8 threads. The disc space allocated stands at 1TB with a RAM of 8GB to support the network infrastructure capable of routing 10TB bandwidth. The accounts also enjoy 4 dedicated IP addresses and a free domain name by BlueHost.

Premium

This is the costliest plan in BlueHost boasting powerful system resources and the most bandwidth. The accounts in this category enjoy an allocation of 4-core CPU running at 3.3GHZ, 1TB with a mirrored storage, 16GB RAM, 5 dedicated IP addresses, and a free SSL certificate to secure websites hosted in it.

WordPress Hosting

As aforementioned, BlueHost is an endorsed hosting provider by WordPress. It provides four pricing plans namely Blogger, Professional, Business, and Enterprise.

Blogger

Blogger Plan is the cheapest plan starting its charges at $12.49 for the first month, and $24.99 from the second onwards. At this level, clients are allocated 30GB disk space, 2GB RAM, and a bandwidth capable of holding 100 million visits per month. The maximum number of websites you can run is five with one domain and IP address.

-          Professional plan costs $37.50 on the first month and $74.99 on proceeding months.

-          Business plan charges $60 on initial month and $119.99 onwards.

-          Enterprise plan is the costliest beginning its rates at $85 and $169.99 on second month onwards. Resources allocated to these accounts include 240GB of storage space, 8GB RAM, capacity to run over 30 sites, and unlimited monthly visits. Additionally, an enhanced cPanel is provided, SiteLock CDN, and Positive Wildcard SSL.

Compared to other web host providers, BlueHost’s rates are quite costly as competitors tend to sell WordPress Hosting plans alongside those provided in shared hosting.

Webhosting Plans
Shared Hosting
Plan Name Disk Space Bandwidth Currency Admin panel OS Websites Scripting Email-Transport Database SSH Databackups Free Domain 1-Click Installer Websites Builder Location Price
Pro - - USD cPanel Unlimited PHP - - $ 13.95
Choice Plus - - USD cPanel Unlimited PHP - - $ 5.95
Plus - - USD cPanel Unlimited PHP - - $ 5.95
Basic 50GB - USD cPanel 1 PHP - - $ 3.95

VSP Hosting
Plan Name Disk Space Bandwidth Admin panel OS Cores RAM Core Speed Backups Managed Location Price
Ultimate 120GB 3000GB cPanel 4 8GB - $ 59.99
Enhanced 60GB 2000GB cPanel 2 4GB - $ 29.99
Standard 30GB 1000GB cPanel 2 2GB - $ 18.99

Dedicated Hosting
Plan Name Disk Space Bandwidth Admin panel OS Core RAM Core Speed IPs SSH Backups Managed CPU Guarantee Location Price
Premium 1000GB 15000GB cPanel 4 16GB 3.3GHz 5 4 Cores, 8 Threads $ 119.99
Enhanced 1000GB 10000GB cPanel 4 8GB 2.5GHz 4 4 Cores, 8 Threads $ 99.99
Standard 500GB 5000GB cPanel 1 4GB 2.3GHz 3 4 Cores, 8 Threads $ 79.99

Bluehost Features

Performance and Speed

Having discussed the packages available in BlueHost, it is safe to start off by saying performance and speed will be relative to the plan you pick. Nonetheless, there are very few complaints to the company in regards to server outages, downtimes, and other factors that affect performance of a web host. On average, BlueHost has a 99% uptime and compensates losses incurred from an outage within the first 30-days of subscribing to any plan. Additionally, you’ll pay no cancellation fees in case you terminate the hosting contract citing downtime of the servers. Also, the pro-rated refund will cover any outstanding amounts of the unused hosting term.

Since users of shared hosting package are the most affected by downtimes and complete outages, BlueHost has implemented various measures to ensure performance of sites using this remain unaffected. The first is to identify a website that becomes extraordinarily popular which in turn threatens the resources allocated to it. Then it caps the resources on use to obligate it to adhere to the fair usage policy of the plan the website is on. Additionally, the firm encourages moving portions of popular content to a dedicated host. Mostly these are sites using flash servers or running online games that are heavy on resources.

Another measure BlueHost uses in improving speed and performance is providing CloudFlare, which is a potent Content Delivery Network, to all customers for free. It can be activated by login into BlueHost Control Panel, locating Domains menu, and turning it on manually from there. The provider also supports SiteLock CDN which typically relays content to your visitors using the server closest to them. This fixes latency by reducing the rate of bounces, conversions, and ultimately increasing web views.

If you’ve noticed, all the pricing plans irrespective of type of hosting they are created to use feature a 24-hour support system. Through it, jammed servers can quickly be identified and fixed within 15 minutes of identification. Moreover, when maintenance procedures are upcoming, customers are notified via email to expect downtime at particular times.

Security

All the packages that BlueHost sells include at least one security feature ranging from SSL certificates, backups, protection against DDOS, and provision of automatic or manual patches on security flaws.  Let’s now explore each security feature at BlueHost:

-          SSL certificates

These are digital encryption keys issued to a web server by a Certificate Authority to implement a secure session between the client and the server. All the accounts created on BlueHost receive a free SSL certificate to ensure content is relayed via a secure tunnel on the internet. The certificate expires after about a year of use but renews automatically as long the hosting fee is duly paid.

-          Anti-spam protection

BlueHost provides three tool to block spamming attempts namely Spam Experts, Apache Spam Assassin, and Spam Hammer. The tools also protect against access to your mailing directories by providing a password setup functionality for each.

-          CloudFlare integration

We’ve mentioned CloudFlare before but in addition to speeding up loading of your webpages, it thwarts DDOS attacks. Essentially, these attacks work by flooding the server housing your website with thousands of data requests. This, in turn, exhausts the resources allocated to your account making the site inaccessible. With CloudFlare, the requests to the web server are monitored and suspicious ones filtered to free up resources dynamically.

-          Backups

Although not all hosting packages at BlueHost come with plans supporting backups, those that do are quite reliable and easy to use. For example, all the systems and websites using dedicated hosting receive automatic mirroring of data. In case of a breakdown, no data will be lost and the public facing services will continue running normally using the data housed in the backup drives.

-          Automatic patches

Whenever a security flaw is identified, the technical team is quick to provide patches that install automatically or manually. This is especially important when using WordPress Hosting and its site builders which are highly targeted by unscrupulous individuals and groups.

Control Panel

BlueHost boasts its own customized control panel built from the ground up borrowing cool features from the popular cPanel in its redesign. For starters, the control panel is where you manage functionalities of the website spanning from domain name management, email configuration, billing, hosting type, and accounts.

While BlueHost control panel borrows most of its features from cPanel, it is remarkably more intuitive and easier to use. It provides a unified login criterion which simply allows clients to access all BlueHost accounts using a single username and password. The dashboard has also hotlinks and technical support resources on every item to facilitate adequate help when needed. You can also renew, register, transfer, and host domains easily irrespective of the number at hand up for the task.

Support

BlueHost has three major support staff teams namely Sales, Technical Support, and Account Management. They issue supportive help via live chats, FAQ pages, articles, and how to guides. The help pages and staff are up 24/7 and serve assistance content in a number of languages for easy communication. For specific issues, consider using the ticket system which obligates BlueHost to allocate an expert in the field to answer to you. Interestingly, the team also consists of in-house WordPress gurus who are ready to resolve inquiries related to the platform.

A subject you need clarifications on can be sought by typing in its keyword and then reading through the list of instructions, answers, and guides the support database gives. If everything else fails, phone calls can be made to interact directly with customer service on a one-to-one conversation.

Money Back Guarantee

Almost all BlueHost hosting packages arrive with a 30-day money-back guarantee. But it helps reading through the terms and conditions to familiarize with the requirements to qualify for the refund. Anyway, we are here to help so below is a breakdown of instances where the reimbursement works:

-          If within 30 days of creating an account you decide to terminate the hosting contract, you qualify for 100% refund. However, any termination after the period makes the client eligible for receipt of a pro-rata rate mostly on the portion of term subscribed.

-          Where the account has no penalties or extra costs pending when you decide to cancel the plan. In other words, your account must have no history of abusing resources while under the paid hosting period.

Note that domain fees and amounts spent on acquiring add-in products are not refundable at BlueHost.  Domain fees arise when you register a domain with the provider and pay admin costs to lock it down for the term you plan on using it. Even after deactivating an account on BlueHost, the domain name will remain functional as long as its renewal fees are duly paid.

Luckily, this web host provider charges no penalty fees in respect to ending the term early. As in, there are no term commitments whatsoever.

Extras

-          Email creation & management

Irrespective of the purpose of your website, the email platform will eventually come handy. BlueHost’s cheapest plan allows creation of over 100 email accounts while higher ones support unlimited number of these. In addition, the host provides a platform to manage the mails and add statistics collection tools which replace the need to hire the services of a CDN provider. When the stock feature does not suffice your needs, you can buy third party content management systems to customize your account accordingly.

-          SEO tools

BlueHost provides a plethora of search engine optimization tools to build your content to reach target audience. You can get real time statistics on the rank of your site on top engines including Yahoo, Google, and Bing.

-          Site building

You don’t have to use the BlueHost’s default site building tool as it now supports drop and drag functionality. With this, you can transfer a locally programmed website from your favorite builder into BlueHost with much ease.

-          Others

BlueHost doesn’t impose any extra charges for upgrading to better packages before the contract term expires. BlueHost charges price for that particular plan from existing surplus on the account that’s upgrading.

Most security features which are offered in advanced packages by other web hosting companies come for free at BlueHost. These include shared SSL, anti-spam filter, and CDN services. You’ll find them in almost any plan.

Bluehost Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s always advisable to exercise due diligence when picking any hosting provider by ensuring you pick that which suits your individual needs wholly. Here are the strengths and weaknesses we identified on BlueHost that we’d love to share:

Strengths

-          BlueHost powers over 2 million websites and systems worldwide placing it on the same league as many other popular web hosting providers.

-          Its web hosting options cut across all types needed in the 21st century online setup. Whether you need shared, dedicated, cloud, or WordPress hosting, BlueHost provides.

-          Cheap and sometimes free anti-spam protections integrated in the custom control panel for quick discard of junk emails.

-          Allows quick upgrade or downgrade of package plan without the need to move the website from its original directory.

-          Issues free CloudFlare integration to all users for free. With this CDN, anyone can optimize speed and secure their websites from external attacks at no extra fee.

-          BlueHost guarantees 99% online presence throughout the year which improves credibility and reliance of website by its users.

-          The firm provides advanced features spanning from SiteLock protection, Secure Socket Layer certification, and dedicated IPs in basic and high-end accounts.

-          When dissatisfied with hosting services, a money-back guarantee exists for all plans. The firm does not obligate you to answer any question prompting early exit.

-          BlueHost is one the three official accredited web hosting companies by WordPress thus an optimal environment to host WordPress based sites.

Weaknesses

-          There are numerous complaints regarding the tech support team taking longer to respond to questions. Also, a few customers have raised concerns on lack of a closer attention to individual problems.

-          BlueHost advertises monthly plans but requires subscription of each on an annual basis which might inconvenience rookies yet to familiarize with web hosting services.

-          Charges a transfer fee for migration of a site from another hosting company into BlueHost. This service is offered for free by most firms.

-          The data centers in BlueHost’s physical base run Linux servers which might be limiting to customers using tools, systems, and services dependent on other operating environments.

-          Backups in some hosting plans is completely manual and liable to data loss when frequent schedules are absent.

Bluehost FAQs

In this section, we’ve gathered the questions frequently raised on identity, plans, services, and performance of BlueHost. We answer them as honestly as possible below:

-          Who owns BlueHost?

BlueHost is part of Endurance International Group (EIG) which is under the direct supervision of CEO Mike Olson. Other companies that are part of the group include HostGator, iPage, A Small Orange, Arxive, and Dotster.

-          What are the official nameservers of BlueHost?

BlueHost uses these two nameservers to manage domains: ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com. Their permanent IP addresses are 74.220.195.31 and 69.89.16.4 respectively.

-          Where are BlueHost servers located in the world?

The data centers and servers of BlueHost reside in two locations namely Houston in Provo in Utah and Houston in Texas.

-          Which package should I pick on BlueHost?

The package to pick will pretty much depend on your exact hosting needs. If you’re only getting started and creating your very first website that uses minimal resources for its task, shared hosting plans are ideal. When your website or online service is already established and popular, cloud and dedicated hosting are great options. When using WordPress services, BlueHost WordPress Hosting will offer the best experience and quick upgrades to address bugs and loopholes.

-          Which BlueHost alternatives should I consider?

Although BlueHost has a great reputation and offers reliable hosting services, the following alternatives surpass or match up to its standards:  GreenGeeks, InMotion Hosting, SiteGround, and HostGator.

-          Is it possible to register a domain name without hosting a website on BlueHost?

Yes, it is. On creating an account, you are allowed to buy domains through BlueHost and register them. They also offer Domain Whois privacy for a year with issuance of a free domain name for every hosting plan purchased.

-          What is the cheapest hosting plan at BlueHost?

The amount is dependent on whether you joined directly via BlueHost website or an affiliate link. The cheapest on their site is the Basic Plan for Shared Web Hosting package which goes at $2.95 for the first month and $7.99 from the second onwards.

-          How much traffic can BlueHost handle?

Each hosting package has a unique capacity to how much traffic it can handle over a specified amount of time. Either way, even the sites using the cheapest plan can handle a substantial amount of traffic. Interestingly, when they begin exhausting the resources allocated to them, BlueHost asks clients to upgrade to a higher plan.

-          Can I pay for hosting on BlueHost on a monthly basis at BlueHost?

Yes, if using higher plans on dedicated and VPS Hosting. Shared Hosting, which is the most popular at BlueHost, doesn’t offer a monthly payment option. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that long term plans have remarkably favorable discounts and you’ll spend less when using them.

-          Is it possible to create subdomains with BlueHost?

Sure, you can. Just login into your account and visit the cPanel to create the subdomain. 

-          Is BlueHost ideal for ecommerce websites?

Yes, BlueHost with its Cloud Hosting plans is ideal for ecommerce websites. Its WooCommerce hosting plan, for instance, arrives with all the tools and components needed to set up an online store.

-          When should I upgrade my BlueHost hosting plan?

Upgrade your BlueHost plan when the account resources such as the RAM, bandwidth, and storage space begin getting depleted due to heavy traffic. Even then, the company will automatically ask you to upgrade your hosting plan when it detects an upsurge in normal traffic.

-          Does BlueHost support automatic installation of WordPress?

Yes, WordPress is a one-click installation on MOJO marketplace in BlueHost. In addition, you can quickly install other helpful web apps such as Magento, Joomla, PrestaShop, and Drupal.