Bluehost Review 2018 – Everything You Need To Know (Mar 2018).
What is BlueHost? (Bluehost Review)
For a reason.
BlueHost first began working in 1996 offering shared hosting providers. It was founded by Matt Heaton, who was the CEO from 1996-2011. In 2010, amidst much controversy and speculation, EIG (Endurance International Group) acquired BlueHost. Since 2011, Dan Handy operates as the CEO of the Business.
BlueHost specializes in hosting to this date, but they ‘ve now started offering types of hosting such as VPS, dedicated servers and managed WordPress hosting. BlueHost claims to host more than 2 million sites making them one of the top hosting companies on the grounds of websites volume.
user reviews for Bluehost
PROS & CONS OF USING BLUEHOST
Here I’ll give you the pros and cons of using Bluehost. It’s not all bad news, there are loads of positives but the list of drawbacks is long.
Pros of Bluehost:
Bluehost has a couple of really good things going for them.
REALLY CHEAP HOSTING
ENDORSED BY WORDPRESS
One of the largest hosting platforms, WordPress, recommends Bluehost. It is, of course, a paid endorsement (at least indirectly as Bluehost sponsors lots of the WP conferences), but nonetheless it’s an endorsement.
GENEROUS MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
Contrary to negative reviews, Bluehost is sticking behind their product and service by offering a 30-day full refund policy.
Even after 30 days, you receive a prorated refund of your plan. Since this is a monthly plan, there are no term commitments. You also won’t find pesky penalties or hidden fees.
I’m monitoring the uptime of 5 random websites that are hosted with Bluehost. 4 out of 5 websites have had zero outage, i.e. a 100% uptime, over the last month. 1 out of 5 has had a 99.6% uptime (this would equate to an approx 4h outage during the month).
SECURITY IS A PRIORITY
Bluehost offers good protection for your website. Bluehost has secure shell access (SSH) so web devs and admins can access config files securely. Spam Experts, Apache Spam Assassin, and Spam Hammer are their anti-spam tools of choice.
They offer other security features such as an IP address blacklist, password protected directories, email account and user account filters, and access to manage digital certificates and private keys.
HELPFUL USER SUPPORT PORTAL
Bluehost offers 24/7 technical support. In addition to that, they have a knowledge database where users can check out video tutorials, review supportive documentation, and more.
The knowledge database works well for those who don’t want to wait around for phone or chat support.
A VARIETY OF HOSTING OPTIONS
If you’re looking to stick with just one hosting company as your business grows, Bluehost has an answer for that. They provide four plans, so you don’t have to switch for server upgrades: shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting plans are available.
QUICK START PLAN
You’ll learn how to use all the tools in the account such as a cPanel guided tour, web builder recommendation, theme and plugin installation assistance, page creation tips, email account guidance, and other general advice you may have.
Now many hosting providers offer free training, so some could consider paying for Bluehost’s Quick Start Plan as a bad feature. But if you don’t have time to wait around and need all of this training in one sitting, it could be a plus for you.
As a part of their hosting plan, you get a free domain name for the first year. Also, for those looking to boost their business, Bluehost offers advertising credits on Google’s AdWords, Bing, and other leading sites.
CONS OF USING BLUEHOST
Bluehost got loads of positives, but they do have their drawbacks as well.
♠ CONFUSING PRICING
As cheap as $2.95 may sound, users often do not read the fine print to notice this is an introductory price based on a term of 36 months. You do have options to select 12 or 24-month plans, but they do increase.
For example, you can select the most popular Plus plan at $4.45 for 36 months. However, for 24 months or 12 months, the price increases to $5.45 and $6.45 respectively. There are no three and six-month deals to take at all.
♠ NO AUTOMATIC BACKUPS
While Bluehost does offer backups, the backups are a courtesy so you can’t depend on your data to be backed up daily – so no guarantees here. You must set up and run your own backup via the cPanel and to your own local device.
Site Backup Pro is a paid add-on offered by Bluehost. It creates regular and automated backups of your site.
♠ ‘UNLIMITED’ REALLY MEANS ‘LIMITED’
Bluehost’s Plus, Prime, and Business Pro plans boast of their unlimited number of websites, and “unmetered” storage, email accounts, email storage, and subdomains given to clients.
However, their User Agreement, Clause 7 Usage Policies and Definitions, explain otherwise. It’s only unlimited up to a certain level.
Their unlimited plan is comparable to most providers (i.e. Bluehost isn’t the only web host that promises “unlimited” web hosting).
♠ DRACONIAN CPU THROTTLING / PROTECTION
Simply put, if Bluehost thinks your website is taking up too many resources, they might decide to preserve the server resources by freezing your CPU usage.
♠ NO WINDOWS HOSTING
♠ NO UPTIME GUARANTEE
Bluehost does not offer an uptime guarantee. When selecting a hosting provider, you want an uptime of as close to 100% as possible. Bluehost does not give you a guarantee, but their Network/Server Uptime Agreement states that “most issues are resolved in approximately 15 minutes”.
♠ LOAD TIMES ARE SLOW
Bluehost’s load times are not always the fastest either. According to a Kissmetrics study, 47% of consumers believe a site should load in less than 2 seconds. And 40% of consumers will leave the site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
♠ UP-SELLING IS A BUSINESS MODEL
Bluehost up-selling practices are designed to make you purchase them. I.e. there will be annoying popups and alerts appearing. They have up-sells to select before you check out. Also, there are install add-ons you’ll purchase that normally are included with other hosting providers.
♠ SLOW SUPPORT RESPONSE TIMES
Although Bluehost does have 24/7 technical support, they aren’t always easily accessible. The response times can vary from ten minutes up to an hour. The initial response is auto generated in some instances.
♠ EXPENSIVE RENEWAL RATES
Like other hosting companies, Bluehost introductory pricing is to lure customers in. It’s also quite misleading. So, when it’s time for renewal, you’ll be shocked to discover the pricing is almost 90% increased.
♠ SITE MIGRATION IS NOT INCLUDED0
If you’re looking to switch host and leave Bluehost for whatever reason they do offer site migrations, however for a fee.
Bluehost will transfer up to 5 sites and 20 email accounts for the price of $149.99. Comparing this to other web hosting providers, this is a rip-off as most do not charge anything at all for migrating your site.
Now I’ll explain a bit of what you can expect in each of their shared hosting plans. There are four plans: Basic (or their starter plan), Plus, Prime, and Business Pro.
Many reviews do not even mention Bluehost as having four plans; typically they cover just three.
If you only intend to run a small business website or personal website, then you really should not need to go for a more expensive package.
♦ BASIC PLAN
- As it stands now, the Basic Plan is $2.95/month and is ideal for beginners. You’ll have one domain for your one website. This option is popular, especially for bloggers.
- This plan includes up to 50GB of storage, 100 MB of email storage, five email accounts, 25 sub-domains, and a basic site backup.
- Their renewal rate is then at $7.99/month for a 24-month term (instead of the initial 36-month term).
♦ PLUS PLAN
- The Plus Plan is Bluehost’s most popular plan at $4.45/month.
- This plan includes unlimited websites, storage, email accounts, email storage, add-on domains, and subdomains.
- Keep in mind their unlimited terms, though. You also get $24/year in extra’s and Spam Experts on one domain.
- There are marketing offers of up to $200. Their renewal rate is $10.99/month after that.
♦ PRIME PLAN
- This plan has more resource usage and the Prime plan is priced at $6.95/month . This plan isn’t as popular with Bluehost customers because there are better-valued deals out there.
- You’ll get the same features as with the Plus Plan as well as $80/year in extras, domain privacy, and Site Backup Pro. Their renewal pricing is at $14.99/month.
♦ BUSINESS PRO PLAN
- The Business Pro plan cost $13.95 gives you everything the Prime Plan offers, however, with this plan you also have an included dedicated IP, up to 300,000 inodes, and Spam Experts for two domains.
- There is also an SSL certificate, complimentary subscription to their Site Backup Pro service, and other service perks. Their renewal pricing is at $23.99/month.
Out of these four plans, most people find that the Basic Plan suits them best. Most people don’t intend to host multiple websites, so your needs should be met with this plan.
If you do find yourself growing (or if you intend to host multiple websites), then the Prime or Pro Plan would be your best bet if you want to stick with Bluehost.
payment options does Bluehost offer
In terms of payment Bluehost accepts all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American express, and Discover), PayPal payments, purchase orders, checks (only US residents can pay this way), and money orders (only in US dollars).
- Credit Cards: Credit card payment is the default payment option when you create your account. You simply have to fill in your standard card information (expiration date, cardholder’s name, etc.) and it will be saved for future payments.
- PayPal: PayPal is one of the accepted payment options for Bluehost. But, only instant payments are accepted. This means you have to have a bank account or credit card linked to your PayPal account for it to be an accepted form of payment. Once you set PayPal as your main payment method, all auto-renewals will be taken from your PayPal account.
- Money orders or Checks: Money orders and checks are accepted, but only in US money. The hosting term must also be for 12 months or longer. An invoice will need to be created before you send a check or money order, this is to ensure that the amount paid is correct. Services that require monthly renewal cannot be paid by check or money order; they require an active credit card or PayPal account. Checks and money orders can be sent to the following address:
- Bluehost, Inc.
560 Timpanogos Pkwy.
Orem, UT 84097
Bluehost also accepts purchase orders, which can be paid by check or money order. But, once you pay with a purchase order, you must always pay using purchase orders or create a new account.
How can I cancel my Bluehost plan?
Bluehost allows you to cancel your account at any time for a partial refund. Before refunding, make sure you know:
- The last 4 digits of your Bluehost password
- The email address listed on your Bluehost profile is still in use.
Once you have your password and have confirmed that the email listed on your profile is still in use, call the Bluehost renewals department at: 844-853-6296. The department will send you an email with a link that will take you to your control panel, where you will be asked to confirm the following:
- That you have backed up all important data, including important files,
- emails, and databases
- That you understand that cancelling your account will delete all websites and files for every domain linked to your account
- Confirm your renewal settings for domain names and domain add-ons
- Confirm your personal information.
- Confirm your reason for leaving.
After that is done, hit “confirm” and you will be informed if the cancellation attempt was successful or not. Any refunds will be issued by credit card or PayPal.
How do I transfer a domain name to (or from) Bluehost?
Here’s how you transfer a domain name to Bluehost.
- Login to your domain’s control panel (where your domain is currently registered e.g. GoDaddy, Namecheap).
- Point the nameservers to Bluehost (using: ns1.bluehost.com and ns2.bluehost.com).
- Unlock the domain and turn off privacy (if enabled).
- Acquire your EPP code (also called auth code or transfer key).
- Visit the Domain Manager tab in your Bluehost control panel. Select “Transfer a new domain to your account” and follow the steps provided.
- Here’s a video showing you all the steps.
What are Bluehost name servers?
Nameservers are specialized servers that handle requests from computers about the exact location of a domain name’s services. In laymen’s terms, think of it like a phone book. Before calling someone, you would take them time to look up their number in a phone book if you weren’t sure. That’s the logic used with nameservers.
- Bluehost default nameservers are:
- ns1.bluehost.com (IP address 22.214.171.124)
- ns2.bluehost.com (IP address 126.96.36.199)
What is my Bluehost cPanel login?You’ll find the cPanel login details in the “welcome email” you got when you first signed up. When you have setup the nameservers (i.e. pointed your domain name to Bluehost servers) you can login to your controlpanel by typing this URL into your web browser: http://example.com/cpanel/. If you prefer secure logging, then the login URL is: https://example.com/securecontrolpanel. (FYI replace “example.com” with your actual domain name).
DO I RECOMMEND BLUEHOST?
I think yes you should definitely go and sign up with Bluehost if you are going to start a personal blogor a small business website.
Also their generous 30-day money back guarantee lets you “try before you buy” and extras such as a free domain name are are solid features worth considering.
One, if you have a website that will get high traffic (such as a commercial or ecommerce site). Then I suggest that you don’t deal with Bluehost at all.
Secondly, if you need to get hold of someone in support, waiting for upward times of 10 minutes or longer in crucial situations is not worth the cheap pricing. But you do get what you pay for.
Thirdly, it’s a let down that website migrations and automatic backups only come as paid upgrades. I know these are straightforward things you can do yourself but it should be included. Again, you get what you pay for.