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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

Did you know that Bluehost is home to more than 2 million websites?

That’s a lot.

Having such a vast customer base is enough evidence that they are doing something right. Their uptime is reliable, server speeds are good, and all of their hosting plans pack useful features for beginners and intermediate alike.

Bluehost 2020 review

Bluehost also has helpful 24/7 live chat and phone support, and you can safely give them a try with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

However, there are a few downsides, too, like higher renewal prices and some restrictions on the cheapest plan.

We base all our reviews solely on real data like uptime, speed, and cost.

So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at Bluehost and find out if they can provide a high-quality website hosting service that you need.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 5.0

SPEED: 641 ms (February 2020 to January 2021)
UPTIME: 99.96% (February 2020 to January 2021)
SUPPORT: 24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base
APPS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, and More Than 75+ Open Source Projects
FEATURES: Unmetered bandwidth, Unlimited Websites and Storage, Free Domain 1st Year, Free SSL Certificate, Spam Experts, Domain Privacy, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, WordPress 1-Click Install
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers
SITE TRANSFER: Single WordPress Site for Free
PRICING: Starting at $2.75/mo (renews at $8.99/mo)

Pros of Using Bluehost Hosting


Bluehost has been around since 2003, so they have plenty of experience to know what makes a hosting service excellent.

Their introductory prices are affordable, customer support is easy to reach and helpful, and you get many useful features to go with your hosting plan. In addition, they provide reliable uptime and fast server speeds.

Let’s take a more detailed look at Bluehost’s strong points.

1. Great Uptime Through 12-Months(99.96%)

Uptime is one of the most critical aspects when choosing a web host – after all, if your site is down, your users can’t access it. So, consistent uptime should be one of your top priorities when looking at hosting services.

After reviewing over 40 web hosts, our benchmark for “good” uptime is 99.93%. So ideally, we don’t want to see anything less than that.

The good news is that Bluehost easily surpasses this benchmark, comfortably keeping our test site live for 99.96% of the time during the last 12 months (February 2020 to January 2021). The total downtime was a bit less than four hours for the whole year.

Bluehost last 12-month uptime and speed
Bluehost average uptime | See stats

Here’s the breakdown of Bluehost’s average uptime in the past 12 months:

  • January 2021: 100%
  • December 2020: 99.98%
  • November 2020: 100%
  • October 2020: 99.67%
  • September 2020: 100%
  • August 2020: 99.99%
  • July 2020: 99.98%
  • June 2020: 100%
  • May 2020: 99.90% (scheduled maintenance)
  • April 2020: 99.99%
  • March 2020: 99.98%
  • February 2020: 100%

2. Fast Page Loading Speed (641 ms)

Research conducted by Google found:

“As page load time goes from 1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases 32%.”

This translates to your visitors being 32% more likely to leave your site. And it only gets worse with longer page load times.

Furthermore, Google is more geared towards mobile-first indexing. This means that your site also needs to be optimized for mobile users, or otherwise, you’re losing traffic.

Either way, a slow website almost always means less traffic and, therefore, lower sales numbers. So right after uptime, page loading time is the second most important thing that can make or break your website’s success.

Our test site with Bluehost has offered an average load speed of 641 ms over the past year. While it isn’t competing for the top positions, it isn’t bad either.

BlueHost Speed Feb 2020 - Jan 2021
Bluehost average speed See stats

3. Low Introductory Pricing ($2.75/mo)

Bluehost’s default pricing starts at $3.95/month, which is an introductory price from the regular $8.99/month rate.

However, the good news is that we’ve been able to work out a deal with Bluehost for our readers that takes the starting price down even further to $2.75/month.

For this price, you get pretty much everything you need for a single website. That includes 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and more. So you’d be getting a pretty good value for the price, plus their consistent uptime and page loading speeds.

Still, the cheapest plan does have a few restrictions that we’re not entirely happy with – but more about this later on.

4. Packed with Security Options and Features

Since Bluehost is one of the “cheapest” options on the market, we are pleased to see that they don’t cut too many corners on critical security options and features.

Already with the cheapest plan, Bluehost provides your site with a free SSL certificate. You also get access to great features like a free CDN (Cloudflare), a one-click WordPress install, multiple CMS integrations, and additional eCommerce plugins.

Higher-tier plans come with the Spam Experts add-on, domain privacy protection, and server backups. Also, you get more advanced security features such as SiteLock, which helps prevent malware attacks. Codeguard is another form of protection, which provides daily backups so you can roll back previous versions of a site, should it get hacked. Postini, from Google, is the final security tool worth noting. It provides spam protection for your email, so anything suspicious is prevented from getting into your inbox.

5. Easy to Use for Beginners

Some of the web hosts we’ve seen can be considered the best only if you’re an advanced user. But, Bluehost is great for beginners, too.

Their customer portal is intuitive and clean (although, we have experienced it is a bit slow at times). And the layout of the cPanel control panel makes Bluehost even easier to use. Beginners can easily install and start WordPress through cPanel. All you need to do is point and click in most cases.

bluehost cpanel

If you don’t want to use WordPress, you can also begin creating a website with a website builder tool (such as Weebly or Drupal). You can then customize a template by just dragging and dropping elements on your page.

Bluehost also has features for advanced users who want to use their code to create their site.

6. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all of their hosting plans.

You can try out the service to see their performance for yourself and ask for a refund if you’re not completely satisfied. We have a few words of caution, though.

According to Bluehost’s terms, here’s what does and doesn’t fall under that guarantee:

  • You can only get refunds on the web hosting cost, not any other products like domains or other add-ons.
  • Bluehost would deduct $15.99 if you received a free domain name in your plan.
  • Bluehost does not refund any requests after 30 days.

It’s not precisely a no-questions-asked policy like we’ve seen from some hosts. So make sure you agree with these points before signing up.

7. 24/7 Customer Support

Bluehost provides 24/7 customer support over live chat, phone, and an email ticketing system. On top of that, they have a vast knowledge base packed with answers to frequent questions and useful information.

We went ahead and tested their live chat option, and the experience was pleasant.

We got answers to our questions quickly, and the representative was knowledgeable. Sure, some responses felt copy-pasted, but the follow-up questions prompted improvised and helpful answers.

Bluehost Customer Support live chat example

8. One Free WordPress Site Transfer

If you already have a site and want to switch to Bluehost’s hosting plan, then this perk is for you.

Bluehost only recently started offering a free site transfer with all of their plans.

There are a couple of terms to this free service, though. First, the site needs to be a WordPress site. And secondly, you have to request the migration within the first 30 days after signing up with a hosting plan.

All you need to do is contact their customer support team and follow their directions. The migration usually takes around 1-3 business days to complete.

Bluehost single free site transfer terms

If you don’t have a WordPress website or have more than one then it costs $149.99. This gets you up to 5 website migrations and 20 email account migrations.

9. The Official WordPress.org Recommended Host

WordPress is the most widely used website platform on the market – ~47% of the entire Internet is built with WordPress.

It’s safe to say that they have an authoritative word when it comes to hosting solutions. WordPress only officially recommends three hosting partners to use with a WordPress site:

Of course, you can use almost any web hosting provider to create a WordPress site. But the fact that Bluehost is one of the few officially recognized partners is encouraging.

Bluehost official recommendation by WordPress.org

Cons of Using Bluehost Hosting


Bluehost has some great perks going for their hosting service, but there are a couple of hiccups too.

Even though we’re happy to see such low introductory prices, the renewal rates can get a bit steep.

Let’s take a closer look at these downsides.

1. Higher Renewal Rates

The best way to get the lowest possible price for hosting is to prepay for one, two, or even three years upfront. The average monthly price decreases, but you’re also committing hundreds of dollars in advance.

Rest assured, you can use the 30-day money-back guarantee to get a refund if you don’t like their service. However, once the initial plan duration is over, you can expect a steep rise in the rates.

Let’s say you commit to the cheapest plan for three years, which is $2.75/month. After the initial period, the next period’s renewal price starts at $8.99/month with a three-year commitment.

renewal prices for shared hosting plans

In this case, the subsequent period is three times more expensive than the first.

2. Cheapest Plan Restrictions

Bluehost’s cheapest shared hosting plan comes with some heavy restrictions.

You can only have a single website, the storage space is limited and the only security feature you get is a free SSL certificate. So, if you have multiple sites or want more security, you have to go for at least the next pricing tier, which is twice as expensive.

Sadly, such restrictions on the cheapest plan are quite common in the web hosting industry. The companies compete over who can lure the customers in with the lowest price, only to upsell a decent hosting service at a higher price.

Bluehost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Here’s what Bluehost’s shared hosting pricing plans look like:


Basic Plan Plus Plan Choice Plus Plan Pro Plan
Pricing $2.75/month
Renews at $8.99/mo
$5.45/month
Renews at $11.99/mo
$5.45/month
Renews at $16.99/mo
$13.95/month
Renews at $26.99/mo
Websites 1 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Storage 50GB Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Email Accounts 5 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Other Features • Spam Experts • Spam Experts
• Domain Privacy & Protection
• Codeguard Basic
• 2 Spam Experts
• Domain Privacy & Protection
• Codeguard Basic
• Dedicated IP

Quick Facts

  • Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Website Migration: Free transfer for 1 WordPress website. Other migrations are $149.99 for up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.
  • Free domain? Yes, for the first year. Then renews at $15.99 per year.
  • Ease of Sign-up: Easy and guided sign-up process.
  • Payment Methods: Major credit cards and PayPal.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: No refund on domain names. Renewal rates for both domains and hosting are much higher than the introductory rates.
  • Upsells: Some upsells during sign-up, but nothing too aggressive.
  • Account Activation: Instant activation in most cases. If the information is inaccurate or there’s suspicion of fraud, activation might get delayed.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Easy-to-use cPanel
  • Installation of Apps and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Mojo Marketplace makes app installation quick and easy.

Do We Recommend Bluehost?

Yes, we do.

Bluehost has performed slightly better in the past, but they still provide a reliable service with decent server speeds.

Also, they offer strong security options, a great money-back guarantee, plenty of user-friendly apps, and multiple tiers of hosting packages suitable for different customers. The pricing starts at $2.75/month with our special discount.

Still, Bluehost isn’t perfect, though. The hosting plans’ renewal rates will increase dramatically after the initial signup period, and the cheapest plan has some critical restrictions compared to the next tiers.

But overall, Bluehost delivers decent performance and good value for your money.

Visit www.Bluehost.com


Have you used Bluehost before? Please consider leaving a review below — good or bad — doesn’t really matter as long it’s helpful to our visitors.

76 user reviews for Bluehost

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    nakul v

    5  — November 22, 2020

    service deteriorating

    Been a Bluehost client for over 10 years. Every year for the last 4 years they have more issues with service than the year before. Customer service was prompt earlier, pro-active to solve issues for you; now it’s more about buying this service or buying that. Constant issues with their new website panel which never shows your sites; and security sucks compared to earlier. Bluehost was the best place to host wordpress, It promised a great experience, it was 4 years ago. Malware is becoming a major concern, my sites have been infected and bluehost won’t cooperate to help reinstate with clean backups even though they have them. it’s been 4 days and my sights are still down! Trying to get me to spend $300 dollars per domain to buy sitelock.

    Alfie D

    5  — October 21, 2020

    My experience with Bluehost so far

    I’ve been hosting my two small business websites with Bluehost for over two years now. During this time I’ve had very few issues from the hosting side. Pages have always been up and haven’t had any complaints from my customers about the websites being slow. Don’t have much experience with their support, but the few simple questions I have had have always been answered under 15 minutes.

    I use their Choice plus plan.

    Ryan

    1  — September 17, 2020

    My bluehost experience

    Our company has used Bluehost for several years, and they have been nothing but frustrating. If we didn’t have so many websites and emails hosted with them, we would leave in a blink. Our websites are constantly down, but they tell us it’s because we have too much traffic on our sites. We don’t. The most traffic anyone of our sites gets in a month is maybe 15,000 visits. We have our SSL set to auto renew, but they never auto-renew. Our sites just go down. And when we ask them why, or ask them to fix it, they just send us a link and tell us to fix it. They really are a horrible hosting company. I don’t know why they come as recommended by WordPress (which is why we went with them), but they definitely are not recommended by this long time customer. We are trying to switch hosts asap.


    Response received from Marissa, Bluehost (Responded Oct, 2020):

    Hello Ryan,

    I apologize for such a late response. I also want to apologize for the frustration you have been dealing with in trying to get these issues resolved. I would be more than happy to look into the traffic to the site and the auto SSL problems you have been running into, as well as anything else I can be of help with. Please feel free to reach out to me via socialsupport@bluehost.com and I can take a look. I look forward to hearing from you, thank you!

    Marissa
    Community Manager Bluehost

    Le H

    5  — July 31, 2020

    Good Service

    I was totally inexperienced in making a website, and although I was able to do the content after a lot of trial and error myself, there were 2 occasions when I had to ask Bluehost for help. The first was getting my site active, which I was unable to do myself. The man who helped me worked 45 minutes to get the website active and also to get my SSL working. The second time was when someone had hacked into my website and taken it over. Bluehost got rid of the parasite in under an hour. I’ll stick with them.

    Neal

    1  — June 21, 2020

    Epic Fail

    I have been a long time user of Godaddy, have certainly had my fair share of problems with them! My last 3 new clients all had/wanted bluehost. I have heard “Bluehost is the best hosting for wordpress sites”. I have experienced nothing but problems with all three bluehost accounts. One account… was throttled because of excessive cpu usage, yet you can’t view or watch your usage in the cPanel, they removed it! Last issue was today. New account, new hosting plan. 1)WP install did not match the PHP version on the hosting plan. 2) wp dashboard links took 20-40 secs to load followed by connection closed errors. Complete uninstall and restall of wp same issues. spent 2 hour on chat only to end in tickets being made and told that it can take 42-72 hours to hear a response. Brand new account, no plugins installed, no images uploaded, not a single page created… and yet WP Dashboard won’t work correctly. Sure I have problems with Godaddy, and frankly would not refer anyone to them…and sure the hell won’t be referring anyone to bluehost.


    Response received from Marissa, Bluehost (Responded June, 2020):

    Hi Neal,

    I am very sorry to hear this has been your experience with Bluehost so far. If you wouldn't mind emailing into socialsupport@bluehost.com I would be more than happy to take a look into this for you and get it resolved as quickly as possible. Thank you!

    Marissa
    Community Manager Bluehost

    James P

    3  — May 7, 2020

    Got locked out my account

    Having used Bluehost, I came to learn a year later that my account was intercepted and hacked, and Bluehost refused to give me access back to my bank account. They wanted proof that I couldn’t possibly provide to confirm I owned the account.

    Since then, I set up my own reseller hosting company and haven’t had a problem since. I guess the issue with Bluehost is that they’re very hard to get support from when you genuinely need help.

    I don’t have anything negative to say about Bluehost besides that, and I did manage to backup my website in the end and host it elsewhere; but the stress cause and the way the issue was dealt with didn’t impress me.

    Cesar

    2  — May 1, 2020

    Way too many bugs

    I am a new client been with them for 3 weeks now, so far here are my findings:

    MY SITE the dashboard feature that lets you manage your websites. Rarely works it is down 80% of the time.

    SSL: You can simply create or migrate your site and add SSL yourself like most other hosting companies. I.E. Godaddy. You have to contact support, and their chat support is a hit and miss. 50% of the time they know how to help you. the other 50% they are clueless.

    CHAT SUPPORT: Is a job. They are incapable of reading the client message before asking questions. They are not well trained and, for the most part clueless.

    I would not in good faith recommend them. They are a work in progress.


    Response received from Marissa, Bluehost (Responded May, 2020):

    Hi Cesar,

    We are sad to hear you are having issues with our support. If you would like to send an email to socialsupport@bluehost.com with the domain name we would be more than happy to take a look into this for you. If you have any more questions please feel free to reach out, thank you!

    Marissa
    Community Manager at Bluehost

    adnan a

    3  — April 9, 2020

    Great for small and medium sites

    I worked for many years with hosting a BlueHost, I did not find better ones than the price and speed of the servers, although they are joint hosting, but unfortunately they do not have servers outside the United States and many services such as encrypting the SSL site are not available free of charge for countries like Iraq. I do not know why.

    Karen

    5  — March 7, 2020

    Great Hosting Site

    Great hosting site with excellent prices. I have been using Bluehost for approximately 2 years now and have had a great experience with using WordPress and associated plugins and themes. I am building three websites and if I have had any questions, they have been there to help and resolve the issue. You are always made aware of updates to plugins and they notify you of new and upcoming changes before they happen. I have been very pleased with all aspects of their hosting services.

    Hari S

    5  — February 15, 2020

    Excellent Uptime

    I am using the Choice plus plan of Bluehost shared hosting since Aug 2018. My website never went down so far.

    Moreover, pricing is cheap. One drawback is that website speed is not fast. But I can understand that shared hosting has its limitations. Overall, I am happy with this web host.

    Carter

    3  — January 21, 2020

    Disappointing

    Bluehost has been very disappointing. I used them as my first hosting provider and was very disappointed. First off, the TTFB time (time until the server responds) averages between 0.8 and 1.2 seconds. This is too long compared to other hosting options. I have had issues with their DNS and other simple account features. The UI is almost too simple. It makes it hard sometimes to find a specific thing. On the upside, I have reached out to Bluehost support and they have always been friendly and helpful. So if it wasn’t for their support, this review would be one star.

    Robert H

    4  — December 22, 2019

    Good website performance

    I have had my website with Bluehost for about seven months now and had only minimal problems so far. When I tried to use my free SSL certificate, there was a problem so I couldn’t use it. So, I used the live chat to contact the support, who was able to solve the problem in a few minutes. After that, everything went smoothly for a few months.

    After I published more and more content on my website, I was still able to easily achieve a loading time of about 1-2 seconds with the standard performance.

    However, I had minor failures this and last month so that I could not reach my website, and I could not log into my WordPress account either. But that only lasted for a few minutes. That being said, I’m happy with Bluehost and its performance, so I don’t want to switch to another hosting provider until now.

    Bradley R

    2  — December 22, 2018

    Shady webhosting practices

    My site has been under daily attack from every port scanner around the world. When I first reached out to bluehost they tried to refer me to a sitesecure monthly service. Maybe this is common among all hosting platforms. But, to me it seems shady. I refuse to pay an additional monthly service. They should secure their customers host account. So I took matters into my own hands and learned about .htacess. My .htacess is now the size of a novella, but it feels like I’m just plugging holes.

    Enrique s

    2  — December 14, 2018

    2018 the year bluehost went down the drain

    Ever since bluehost stopped providing the free comodo ssl certificate, I’ve been experiencing constant issues with expired certificates, but the real downer is the customer support has been awful, I have to contact their support 3 or 5 times everytime this issue presents itself. And after almost a year of having this same issue every two or three months i still do not have a long lasting solution and it seems that every day their customer support gets worse.

    Philip

    1  — November 28, 2018

    Won’t acknowledge downtime

    UptimeRobot indicated my site went down six times in a few hours. I contacted Bluehost support and their response was that

    “Since it is the third party tool which is showing the server logs , we will not be able to completely relay on that, even if website loads slow it would monitor and consider the website is down for few mins.”

    I explained that tools like Uptime Monitor are there to prevent humans from having to sit in front of their monitors 24/7 to ensure the website doesn’t have problems. I then asked “Just to clarify, before BlueHost will investigate further, I will need to actually see an error message that indicates my site is down. Is this correct?”

    To which their support replied “Yes, you are correct.”

    Cait

    4  — October 11, 2018

    Good For Hosting but Don’t Add Additional Services

    I have been using Bluehost for years now with little complaint. This past year I tried adding SiteLock security through Bluehost. What a nightmare! It automatically auto-renews and there is no way to cancel it through the user portal. You have to call someone. I did that and the next day got charged AGAIN due to a “bug” and they had to manually remove the software from my site. I was also out hundreds of dollars for over a week while the reimbursement was processed. The only compensation I got was a single month of free hosting. If you’re looking to host with Bluehost I think it’s great, but I would caution against going through them for additional services.

    Jake M

    4  — August 20, 2018

    Good But Too Complicated

    I have used Bluehost for a while for one of my clients and found out that it’s very good in terms of services and customer support but when it comes to new users without technical knowledge using their panel its difficult at once to use it. As per my experience for me, it felt a little bit complicated but the service and customer support is great.

    Terri S

    5  — June 4, 2018

    Great service / Good for beginners

    I was completely new to having a website. The pricing is fair and relatively inexpensive. Whenever I have questions, I’m able to get answers through their web chat or by calling. I was able to build a basic website using the available free options through Bluehost. Their auto-renew is easy to manage. It’s been relatively pain-free. I like the service and options.

    Todd

    5  — April 5, 2018

    Great Hosting / Little Hassle

    I migrated over to BlueHost after I found that my previous hosting company was blocking my client’s emails as Spam without notifying either party. BlueHost had been recommended by a colleague and the process to migrate my URL was fairly painless. Unfortunately, the platform that I had built my site on previously was not supported, and I had to rebuild from scratch. (this I don’t consider a negative, just a factor of doing business) I tried a WordPress site, but found the format too constricting. I eventually used an HTML based product and I was easily able to upload those files and create my website. I wholly recommend BlueHost as web hosting provider.

    Monika S

    5  — April 5, 2018

    Excellent Service

    Great hosting. Excellent prices. I have never had any trouble with the hosting. Anything I need to update, I am told in advance. The customer service is great. Waiting period is not very long. Help is there at your service 24/7. When needed, the blue host reps have walked me through the steps and resolved the issue at hand. Fast, efficient and there for you.