Bluehost Shared Hosting Review
- Best For: Shared hosting
- Uptime: 99%
- Site Loading Speed: 1.14 seconds
- Customer Support Response Time: 1 minute 51 seconds
- Starting Price: $2.95 per month
Bluehost is one of the most reputable web hosting companies on the web. Their Internet-wide promotions and expert recommendations make the company hard to miss.
If you were to browse for web hosting reviews, Bluehost will usually come out on top on most review websites. But, Bluehost is not just about popularity either. The company has been providing web hosting services since 2002 and currently serves over 2 million websites around the world.
Why is it so popular? Bluehost offers a set of decent shared hosting plans at affordable prices starting at just $2.95 (special offer).
We wanted to see if their hosting is just as good as people say it is. So, we signed up for a Bluehost account, setup a demo website, and did a bunch of tests.
Want to know the results? Then keep reading.
What Makes Bluehost Special?
Bluehost hosting plans don’t come with lots of fancy features. But, the services they offer make sure to give you everything you need to setup a website without any complications.
In addition to affordable pricing plans, Bluehost also gives you a free domain name when you purchase hosting. You can also easily setup WordPress with its 1-click installation feature. And, customer support is also available all day long to help you keep your website up and running at all times.
Our various tests also showed that Bluehost servers are faster than most other hosting platforms and offered effective technical support services.
Best Features Of Bluehost Hosting
What do you get when you signup for a Bluehost account? Let’s take a closer look at the main benefits Bluehost offer to its customers.
#1 Beginner-Friendly User Interface
One of the best features of Bluehost is its user-friendly account dashboard. This dashboard is where you can manage your account, make billing payments, and do much more.
Bluehost account dashboard features a colorful and a quite beginner-friendly user interface. It even allows you to easily access CPanel from the same dashboard to manage your website.
#2 Free Daily Backups
With each shared hosting plan, Bluehost promises to keep your website automatically backed up. Bluehost will create daily, weekly, and monthly backups to make sure you have a recovery option in case something goes wrong with your site.
#3 24/7 Customer Support
Even though it’s not the most responsive customer support service, Bluehost has their support team available to you 24/7 to make sure you get your questions answered no matter what time it is.
#4 Support For CDN
Bluehost also comes with built-in support for CloudFlare, a free content delivery network (CDN). Which means you can easily enable a CDN for your website without having to worry about coding or any complications.
#5 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
You can try out Bluehost hosting risk-free, thanks to its 30-day money back guarantee. You can ask for your money back at any time to get a full refund if you’re not satisfied with their service.
Enough Server Resources For Hosting Websites
It’s important that you learn about what kind of server resources you get with your hosting plan. So, we asked Bluehost about this.
Bluehost servers get powered by 2.4GHz 16-Core AMD Opteron processors. Unfortunately, the servers are not SSD powered. You get 50GB of hosting space with the basic plan and unlimited hosting with all the other plans.
The customer support team also failed to provide us an answer regarding RAM allowance for each hosting plan. Apparently, they “take care of server resources” to allow the optimum amount of RAM for each website.
This means the servers will be able to maintain your website during traffic spikes. But, if your traffic grows larger, you will eventually have to switch to a bigger hosting plan.
Beginner-Friendly Account Dashboard
The Bluehost account dashboard is the one thing we loved the most about the platform. This has been designed to let even a 10-year-old to be able to setup a website without any prior experience.
You can easily manage your website by accessing the CPanel, manage your domains and emails, add additional services to your account, and make payments for your account, all from the same dashboard.
Website Performance Tests Results
We created a demo website on Bluehost and tested the site using 3 different online tools, which tested the performance of web pages, website loading speeds, and see how well a site performs when a bunch of visitors comes to the site at once.
Google PageSpeed Insights – 0.33 s
Google PageSpeed Insights gave our demo website an 87/100 rating. And pointed out that our server response time could be better. The tool recorded server response time at 0.33 seconds.
Pingdom Website Speed Test – 1.14 s
We tested website speed from 2 different locations using Pingdom Speed Test tool. The fastest load time came from Dallas, Texas at 1.14 seconds.
LoadImpact Performance Test – 420 ms
We also used LoadImpact to test server response times with virtual users to see how the server would perform handling a small amount of traffic.
The test delivered 25 virtual users to the website within a 5-minute timeframe.
You can see the server response time in Green as VU Load Time. Bluehost servers were fast enough to provide an average load time of around 420 milliseconds during this user load test.
Note: These tests were performed using the default WordPress settings and without any caching plugins or a CDN.
Fast And Effective Customer Support
When it comes to hosting a website, you should expect to encounter a few small problems along the way. Like server down times, setting up domains or emails, and, who knows, you might even accidentally break your website.
That’s why it’s important to find a web host with a quick and responsive customer support service. We put Bluehost’s customer support to the test in 2 different ways.
#1 Pre-Sales Inquiry – 4 Minutes 15 Seconds
For the first customer support test, we reached out to the pre-sales support team via Live Chat. Usually, on most platforms, pre-sales support offer the fastest support in order to impress the potential customers. But, Bluehost failed at that by taking over 4 minutes to say “Hi”.
And then, when we asked about server details, the support team member failed to provide an answer. Obviously because of the lack of knowledge about the details of their own hosting plans.
After we asked about it again, the support team kept us waiting for over 8 minutes before providing an answer.
The popularity of the platform could be the problem here. These support team members are probably handling dozens of customers at once.
#2 Technical Support Inquiry – 1 minute 51 seconds
We did the second test after signing up with Bluehost and reached out to the technical support team as an existing customer to ask if they could help setup SSL for our website. A tough request.
This time, the response time was and also effective.
In fact, they even offered to setup SSL on our website for us without our asking.
Overall, Bluehost tech support is much better than pre-sales support and provided us with effective solutions to our problem.
Bluehost Pricing Plans
Bluehost offers 4 main pricing plans.
Basic Plan – $2.95 per month
The Basic plan offers 50GB of hosting space with unmetered bandwidth, 25 subdomains, and 5 email accounts and it lets you setup a single website.
It’s $3.45 per month for the first term and then it’s $7.99 per month
Plus Plan – $5.45 per month
The Plus plan offers unlimited hosting space with unmetered bandwidth, unlimited subdomains, and unlimited email accounts and it also lets you setup unlimited websites.
It’s $5.45 per month for the first term and then it’s $10.99 per month
Prime Plan – $5.45 per month
The Prime plan offers the same features of the Plus plan with the additional services of SpamExperts and SiteBackup Pro.
It’s $5.95 per month for the first term and then it’s $14.99 per month
Pro Plan – $13.95 per month
If you’d like to add an SSL certificate to your website to go from HTTP to HTTPS, get a dedicated IP, and receive other advanced features like malware detection, spam protection, and domain privacy, you can opt-in for the Pro plan. It also includes unlimited hosting space and bandwidth as well.
It’s $13.95 per month for the first term and then it’s $23.99 per month
Note: Bluehost requires that you purchase 12 months of hosting or more in advance. You can’t buy month-to-month hosting from Bluehost.
Pros and Cons
Let’s break down the pros and cons of Bluehost.
Benefits Of Using Bluehost
- Unlimited hosting
- Beginner-friendly account management
- Free domain name
- Free backups
- Enhanced CPanel for easy website management
- Built-in support for CDN
- Fast and effective customer support
Downsides Of Using Bluehost
- No month-to-month payment
- No SSD support for shared hosting
- Must setup SSL manually (or via customer support)
- Site migration costs $150
Should You Use Bluehost?
When compared with some of the other platforms, Bluehost lacks the special features that hook new users. For example, SiteGround offers incredibly friendly customer support, free SSL and SSDs for websites, Super Caching for WordPress, and so much more for about the same price of Bluehost shared plans.
Having said that, if you don’t mind losing a few special features and just looking to host a simple website, Bluehost is a good choice. Bluehost offers fast and effective tech support, unlimited resources, and reliable hosting for keeping a website live 24/7.
Just keep in mind, there are better choices out there (hint: Siteground).