Bluehost Review: Is This Web Host the Best Choice for Your Site?
Bluehost is a prevalent name in the hosting world. If you google “best hosting provider,” or “which hosting to use to start a website,” the majority of websites recommend Bluehost.
Most online reviews about Bluehost talk about how fabulous the hosting service is; I’m not saying that it isn’t true, but the positive reviews alone are not enough to make an informed choice.
The hosting company you choose will be the foundation for your website, which is why it is crucial to choose the right service provider and the right plan that fulfills your requirements.
In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about Bluehost, right from its pros and cons to the best Bluehost alternatives, so you can reach a definite conclusion of what suits your business needs. Let’s dive in.
Brief Overview of Bluehost
As of now, Bluehost is the leading hosting provider in the market.
Bluehost began in 1996 as 0catch.com, which was a free hosting company. It was renamed in 2003 as Bluehost and currently hosts over 2 million websites all over the world.
Over the years, it has gained popularity primarily due to its reliability and affordability.
Bluehost has been in partnership with WordPress for over ten years and has a dedicated support team of WordPress experts and an engineering team devoted to WordPress core development.
It is straightforward to use and beginner-friendly; even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body, you can work with Bluehost without any issues.
Besides offering a full range of web hosting services, Bluehost also provides several online marketing options for businesses of various sizes.
What Web Hosting Services Does Bluehost Offer?
Choosing a hosting package that is suitable for your business may seem incredibly intimidating because there so many options available.
In this section, I’ll break down the different types of hosting services provided by Bluehost, the pricing plans available for each service, and who would best benefit from shared hosting.
Shared hosting is one of the most popular packages for people who are just starting out primarily because of its affordability.
The reason why shared hosting is cheap is that it allows multiple users to share a single server that is maintained by the hosting provider. You don’t usually know who or which businesses you are sharing the server’s resources with.
Shared hosting is a cost-effective option if you are just starting out and don’t essentially require advanced configurations and high bandwidth.
Though the low-cost hosting service comes with limited server resources, you can use server space, RAM, storage space, and bandwidth.
Say you’re an eCommerce store that doesn’t potentially have much traffic on a daily basis, but you get a spike in traffic during a New Year’s Eve Sale. Shared hosting does not handle these types of scenarios well.
Additionally, there are other limitations that you must know of before you opt for a shared hosting package.
Drawbacks of shared hosting
- You don’t have a dedicated server; therefore, the load time will be significantly slower.
- When you start getting more traffic, the website may begin performing progressively worse.
- The sites with whom you share your server may pose a risk to your site.
- Lack of customization options.
Breakdown of Shared Hosting pricing plans
The Basic plan starts from $4.95 per month, Plus and Choice Plus is $7.45 per month, and the Pro package is $18.95 per month.
You can always start with the Basic starter package and upgrade to another package once your site grows.
Bluehost offers packages for 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months where the cost progressively decreases.
|12 months||$4.95 per month||$7.45 per month||$7.45 per month||$18.95 per month|
|24 months||$3.95 per month||$6.95 per month||$6.95 per month||$15.95 per month|
|36 months||$2.95 per month||$5.45 per month||$4.95 per month||$13.95 per month|
Who should use Shared Hosting?
Unless you know you are going to get a massive surge in traffic on your website, shared hosting is a great place to start, especially if you don’t have any prior experience with blogging.
Bluehost shared hosting is perfect for you if you are starting a brand new website, have a small business, or are just interested in blogging as a hobby.
As your traffic grows, you can upgrade to advanced packages or switch to a different hosting plan altogether.
2. VPS Hosting
VPS is a Virtual Private Server. A VPS acts like its own isolated server, but it is shared with other virtual servers on the same physical hardware server.
So, what’s the difference between VPS and shared hosting?
Unlike shared hosting, VPS hosting gives you dedicated resources like RAM, CPU, and disk space. While you are still sharing a physical server, you are guaranteed the resources you are paying for. It provides better security, performance, and stability for your website.
It efficiently tackles two downsides of shared hosting.
- You can have significantly more server resources.
- Scaling is fast and easy.
Without paying for an entire dedicated server, you have full control over what happens on that server.
Though there are significant upsides to VPS hosting, it is challenging to manage if you are not a tech geek.
Best features offered by Bluehost’s VPS hosting plans.
- 2-8 GB of RAM
- 2-4 Cores
- 1-2 IPs
- cPanel and Root Access
- 30 GB – 120 GB SSD Storage
- A free domain name for the first year
- Multi-server management & File Management
- Add-On options like SEO Tools, Domain Privacy, SiteLock, and more
Breakdown of VPS Hosting pricing plans
The Standard plan costs $18.99 per month, the Enhanced plan costs $29.99 per month, and the Ultimate VPS plan costs $59.99 per month.
VPS Hosting payment options
|1 month||$29.99 / month||$59.99 / month||$119.99 / month|
|3 months||$29.99 / month||$59.99 / month||$119.99 / month|
|6 months||$29.99 / month||$59.99 / month||$119.99 / month|
|12 months||$23.99 / month||$34.99 / month||$83.99 / month|
|24 months||$24.99 / month||$29.99 / month||$71.99 / month|
|36 months||$18.99 / month||$29.99 / month||$59.99 / month|
Who should use VPS Hosting?
VPS is a more secure and stable solution when compared to shared hosting. If you are experiencing a sudden increase in traffic and shared hosting can no longer handle your website workload, you can switch to VPS hosting.
VPS hosting is an affordable option if you don’t need a dedicated server. When you opt for VPS hosting, you get root access to your server, so it is imperative that you have at least a basic degree of IT administration and troubleshooting skills.
Dedicated Server Hosting is where a physical server is allocated to a single user.
Unlike Shared Hosting, where a server’s resources are distributed amongst several users, dedicated hosting packages ensure that you have exclusive access to every server resource available such as RAM, CPU, and SSD/HDD storage.
Breakdown of Dedicated Server Hosting Pricing plans
Dedicated hosting offers one of the most expensive hosting packages because it comes with extensive benefits.
The Standard plan costs $79.99 per month, the Enhanced plan costs $99.99 per month, and the Premium plan costs $119.99 per month.
Dedicated Server Hosting payment options
|1 month||$149.99 / month||$199.99 / month||$249.99 / month|
|3 months||$139.99 / month||$189.99 / month||$239.99 / month|
|6 months||$129.99 / month||$179.99 / month||$229.99 / month|
|12 months||$99.99 / month||$119.99 / month||$139.99 / month|
|24 months||$89.99 / month||$109.99 / month||$129.99 / month|
|36 months||$79.99 / month||$99.99 / month||$119.99 / month|
Who should use Dedicated Server Hosting?
Typically, Dedicated Server Hosting is excellent for high traffic websites like eCommerce. Users who need unfettered access and control over everything can opt for dedicated hosting.
If security is a major concern for your business, dedicated hosting is a great fit. Though if you have no technical knowledge, you should steer clear of dedicated server hosting plans.
WordPress is the most popular website builder and content management system in the world. Bluehost WordPress Hosting is specially optimized to enhance WordPress performance and security.
The main difference between Bluehost Shared Hosting and Shared WordPress Hosting is that WordPress Hosting is specifically designed keeping the platform in mind.
Bluehost has a WordPress centered support team to guide users to create and manage their WordPress website.
Breakdown of Shared WordPress Hosting Pricing plans
Shared WordPress Hosting is exceptionally affordable, with the Basic plan starting from $2.95 per month, and the Plus and Choice Plus plans cost $5.45 per month.
Who should use Shared WordPress Hosting?
If you are planning to start your own WordPress website, Shared WordPress Hosting packages are very cost-effective. This hosting service is suitable for low-traffic websites, personal websites and blogs, and small businesses.
WordPress comes preinstalled, so it is incredibly straightforward and easy-to-operate for beginners.
Choose this hosting service only if you are sure about using WordPress as your platform; if you want to try out other CMS, this is not the right option for you.
The difference between Shared WordPress Hosting and Managed WordPress Hosting is that Managed WordPress Hosting offers first-rate benefits, advanced configurations, and premium support.
With Managed WordPress Hosting, all the technical aspects like security, speed, WordPress updates, site maintenance, daily backups, website uptime, and scalability are managed by Bluehost.
Best Features of Managed WordPress Hosting.
- All-in-one marketing center and dashboard
- SEO, email marketing, and social media tools
- Optimized performance
- Unlimited websites & domains
- No traffic limits
- Unlimited web storage
Breakdown of Managed WordPress Hosting Pricing plans
The Build plan costs $19.95 per month, the Grow plan costs $29.95 per month, and the Scale plan costs $49.95 per month.
Managed WordPress payment options
|3 months||$27.95 / month||$37.95 / month||$57.95 / month|
|6 months||$26.95 / month||$36.95 / month||$56.95 / month|
|12 months||$24.95 / month||$34.95 / month||$51.95 / month|
|24 months||$22.95 / month||$32.95 / month||$50.95 / month|
|36 months||$19.95 / month||$29.95 / month||$49.95 / month|
Who should use Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress offers high performance, advanced optimizations, custom-built tools, security, and premium support. It is a good investment for small to medium-sized businesses with complex websites and high traffic blogs.
If you are new to WordPress, you don’t need Managed WordPress Hosting; you can start with Shared WordPress Hosting and upgrade to Managed WordPress as your traffic increases.
WooCommerce is a plugin built for WordPress that you can use to create your online store. Over 30% of all online stores run on WooCommerce.
Bluehost’s WooCommerce Hosting is designed to allow users to take full advantage of WooCommerce features and capabilities. This hosting provides the advanced support and functionality required to create an eCommerce website.
Given the requirement of secure management of transactions and customer data, this hosting comes with enhanced security and dedicated service and support.
Breakdown of WooCommerce Hosting Pricing plans
The Standard plan costs $29.95 per month, and the Premium package is $49.95 per month.
Bluehost offers WooCommerce Hosting packages for 1 month, 12 months, and 36 months.
|1 month||$29.95 per month||$49.95 per month|
|24 months||$19.95 per month||$32.95 per month|
|36 months||$15.65 per month||$24.95 per month|
Best Features and Pros of Bluehost
Bluehost hosting plans are packed with features, and even the most basic shared hosting plan manages to cover the essentials.
Here is an overview of Bluehost’s features
- Unlimited disk storage
- Unlimited domain hosting
- Free SSL certificate
- Free drag and drop site builder (new)
- A free domain name for one year
- Cloudflare integration (speeds your site loading)
- Support international domain names
- POP3/POP3 secure email support
- IMAP/Secure IMAP email support
- 3 different webmail solutions
- Forwarding email accounts and unlimited emails
- Unlimited Add-ons domains
- Unlimited Parked domains
- 50 GB of disk space for a WordPress website
- Unlimited Subdomains
- cPanel account control panel
- FTP access
- Web file manager
- Secure shell (SSH) access
- Hotlink protection
- Override .htaccess support
- MySQL database
- LOD files
- Side statistics
- Customizable error pages
- Custom Cron Jobs
- Spam assassin protection
- $200 marketing credit
Pros of Using Bluehost Hosting
1. Excellent Uptime Throughout the Year
Uptime is predominantly the most important metric for a website. It is defined as the amount of time the server hosting is functional.
It is impossible for a server to consistently have a 100% uptime, though Bluehost does come pretty close to perfect with an average uptime of around 99.9%.
Here are the Bluehost Uptime metrics for a test website created by Mamboserver.
They’ve experienced a 99.99% Uptime in the last 30 days. Additionally, it is worth noting that they experienced downtime that lasted no more than 2 minutes. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
Bluehost upholds its uptime threshold even for websites functioning on its shared hosting plans. And even if you do experience network and server-downtime related issues, Bluehost claims to resolve them within approximately 15 minutes.
2. Fast Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is an important criterion that needs to be considered while looking for the best hosting providers.
Most users abandon a site if it doesn’t load within the first 3 seconds. A one-second delay in website speed can result in a decrease in conversion rate by 7%.
Though Bluehost isn’t the fastest host of all time, it does a pretty good job.
The loading speed does depend heavily on the hosting package you’ve chosen. For example, a shared hosting website’s loading speed will be significantly lower than a dedicated hosting website.
Here is the response time for the same Bluehost test website.
The average response time for Bluehost is 215 ms which is significantly lower than most hosting providers.
3. Low Pricing Options
Bluehost is a reliable hosting company with affordable pricing packages.
While most web hosting companies offer discounted introductory pricing options to lure in more customers, you can take advantage of this if you sign up for their long-term subscription duration.
Bluehost’s cheapest introductory package starts at just $2.95 per month.
Let me be honest, Bluehost packages aren’t the cheapest on the market, but it provides excellent value for money.
Bluehost Pricing vs Competitor Pricing
|Provider||Shared Hosting||VPS Hosting||Dedicated Hosting||WordPress Hosting|
While its price is considerably lower compared to other top competitors, Bluehost also offers a lot more features on its basic plans than most of its competitors.
It offers all the basic necessities needed for a website like 50 GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and more. Additionally, even its cheapest plan offers a consistent uptime and high server load speed.
Though the lower level basic plans do come with their own set of restrictions, being able to host your website at around $100 is a good bargain.
4. Packed with Security Options and Features
Bluehost is popular mostly due to its affordability, but that does not mean it slacks when it comes to security. They offer a broad range of security features to ensure that your website is safe from online threats.
- Spam Protection. Bluehost offers spam protection for email addresses associated with your website. There are several powerful anti-spam tools like Apache SpamAssassin, Spam Hammer, Spam Experts, and Postini.
- CloudFare. Bluehost provides support for CloudFare which not only works towards enhancing the page load speeds and improves your site performance but also identifies online threats and stops the attacks before they even get to your website. It intercepts DDoS attacks that could potentially bring down your site.
- SSH or Secure Shell. SSH is included with most Bluehost hosting plans to secure server access to modify and upload your website’s files.
- SiteLock. This security add-on identifies vulnerabilities and secures your website against malicious threats. SiteLock costs $2.99 per month, but if you take your security seriously then this is a small investment to make.
- SSL Certificate. SSL certificate and HTTPS protocol assures your visitors of your trustworthiness and protects your site from phishing scams, data breaches, and many other threats. Bluehost offers a free basic SSL certification with all its hosting packages. The high end hosting plans provide private SSL certificates. Though regardless of your hosting plan, you can always purchase a higher level SSL certificate.
- 2-Factor Authentication. This is an additional security feature that prevents unauthorized access to your account. It enables two forms of identity verification — a password and an authentication code.
- Automated Daily Backups. Though Bluehost’s Account Backup Policy does not instill much confidence, you can use CodeGuard for regular and automatic website backup. Additionally, should your site get hacked, it also allows you to restore your site to a previous version. CodeGuard is free when you sign up, but costs $2.99 per month during renewal.
Bluehost is a hosting provider that focuses on creating an experience that is oriented towards beginners. Even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body, you can easily navigate through this platform.
While it does have packages specifically designed for people with advanced technical knowledge, Bluehost has taken care to create packages for beginners who don’t have a technical background.
It doesn’t matter whether you choose WordPress as your platform or any other content management system offered by Bluehost, the process is exceptionally straightforward even for those who are hosting a website for the first time.
The directions provided will allow you to install WordPress on Bluehost in five minutes or less manually.
Even if you do happen to face any issues while setting up your hosting, Bluehost’s blogs offer in-depth tutorials, guides, video tutorials and more to help you through any issues you face.
6. User-friendly cPanel
I know how overwhelming the features of a cPanel can be to someone just starting, but Bluehost has designed its cPanel so that complete novices can create a website on the platform without much difficulty.
Bluehost’s cPanel has a clean and simple layout, is exceedingly beginner-friendly, and is very easy to customize.
Though you don’t have to know the features offered by Bluehost’s cPanel to build your website, all the technical elements are well-explained.
7. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Bluehost doesn’t offer a free trial, but their 30-day money-back guarantee is promising if you’re on the fence about this service provider.
- The refund only applies to web hosting costs. If you use Bluehost to purchase your domain name or other additional add-ons, those purchases can not be refunded.
- The money-back guarantee is only applicable for the first term, and you need to cancel within 30 days of starting your account to receive a full refund. If you cancel after the 30-day period, you’re not entitled to receive any refunds.
8. Reliable Customer Support
Tech support is one of the most important factors to be considered while choosing any kind of service provider.
A vast majority of web hosts on the market severely lack in the area of customer service, which can be incredibly frustrating.
Bluehost has round the clock service where you have access to 24/7/365 customer support. You can take advantage of their live chat service, give a call, or drop an email to their customer support to get help.
While Bluehost’s customer service has mixed reviews, I personally have had a pleasant experience with their customer support experts in the past. You will always find their customer support team ready to guide you at no cost to you.
Additionally, they have addressed most of the issues their customers face in their support resources, so you wouldn’t require customer support to tackle most issues that you will face.
9. Free site migration for WordPress site
Bluehost offers free WordPress site transfer services with all its plans. All you have to do is fill the form on Bluehost’s website to request the site transfer within the first 30 days after signing up for a hosting plan.
Bluehost promises the site transfer to be completed within 1-3 business days.
10. The Official WordPress.org Recommended Host
WordPress officially recommends Bluehost as one of the best hosting companies for WordPress websites.
While you can opt for any hosting provided on the market to launch your WordPress website, the fact that WordPress recommends Bluehost cements its trustworthiness.
11. Monthly Payment Options
Until recently, except for VPS and Dedicated Server Hosting, Bluehost didn’t offer monthly payment plans.
However, now Bluehost does offer month-to-month payment options, even for its lower-level hosting packages. But it does not provide its promotional pricing for this billing preference.
To take advantage of Bluehost’s promotional pricing, you will have to purchase the 12-month plan or higher.
You can save a lot of money by opting for Bluehost’s 24-month or 36-month hosting plans instead of their monthly payment plans.
Cons of Using Bluehost Hosting
1. Price Increases During Renewal
Bluehost is not alone; hiking the renewal prices is a strategy that businesses in all industries apply.
Bluehost offers a promotional price during the initial term plan, which is jam-packed with discounted prices. When you renew your plan, the rates go back to the regular prices.
When you sign up for Bluehost, some of their add-ons have discounted pricing, and some don’t. These add-ons will hike up the renewal price of your plan.
Renewal Prices for Bluehost Web Hosting.
|Hosting Type||Renewal Price|
|Shared hosting||$8.99 to $26.99 per month (36-month term.)|
|Shared WordPress hosting||$8.99 to $16.99 per month|
|WooCommerce hosting||$24.95 to $39.95 per month (36-month term.)|
|VPS hosting||$29.99 to $119.99 per month|
|Managed WordPress hosting||$29.99 to $59.99 per month|
|Dedicated hosting||$119.99 to $209.99 per month|
2. No Uptime Guarantee
When a hosting provider has an uptime guarantee, it means that you are entitled to a refund if your site is down for more than their promised terms.
Though Bluehost assures a 99.9% Uptime delivery (and it does have a fantastic uptime record), it does not offer any uptime guarantee.
3. Unlimited Hosting is Limited
Bluehost’s Shared Hosting plans offer unlimited websites and storage for just $5.45 per month. On the flip side, you get 1 TB storage, 16 GB RAM, and 15 TB bandwidth when you purchase Bluehost’s Premium Dedicated Server Hosting Plan that costs $119.99 per month.
When a hosting plan that costs $5.45 per month offers unlimited hosting, why does a plan that costs $119.99 per month have limited storage and bandwidth?
The thing is, the “unlimited” hosting features come with their terms and conditions.
Bluehost oversells its features as a marketing strategy, and if you are a beginner who doesn’t know the right place to look, you may fall for this.
When your website crosses these limited restrictions, Bluehost will either ask you to reduce the usage or pay additional charges. While these features are more than enough for most websites, it is essential to know about Bluehost’s terms.
4. Site transfer is not free
There are two ways you can migrate your website to Bluehost. The first way is to do it yourself; the other is to pay Bluehost to do it for you.
Bluehost only provides free site transfer services for one WordPress website as long as you request the site transfer within the first 30 days after signing up for a hosting plan.
For all other migration scenarios, Bluehost offers an end to end migration service for $149.99, where they move your site to their servers for you.
This cost covers up to five websites and 20 email accounts, including all associated files and databases.
Once migrated, you can thoroughly review your websites to verify that all is functioning as expected. Should you face any issues, you can contact Bluehost’s customer service experts for help.
There are a few terms and conditions for Bluehost’s migration service.
- It is not available for Reseller, VPS, or Dedicated Server accounts.
- This service does not include transferring of domain name registrations. You will have to use Bluehost’s Domain Name Transfer Utility to transfer your domain to your Bluehost account.
5. Restrictions on Lower-level Hosting Plans
While Bluehost offers exceptionally affordable hosting packages, its cheapest hosting plans come with its own set of limitations.
You get one website, limited storage for emails, and around 50GB for site space, limited packed domains and sub-domains, and no automated backup features.
Bluehost basic hosting plans offer no site security except for a free SSL certificate. With Shared Hosting accounts, you can’t upload more than 200,000 files.
They provide a standard performance where the server typically supports 12,000-16,000 visitors per day. You will have to upgrade to a better plan for higher performance.
Bluehost Pricing, Hosting Plans, and Quick Facts
|Website Space||50 GB||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|One Free Domain Registration||Included||Included||Included||Included|
|SpamExperts||No||1 Domain||1 Domain||2 Domain|
|Automated Back-up||No||No||Included||CodeGuard Basic|
|Storage||30 GB||60 GB||120 GB|
|Bandwidth||1 TB||2 TB||2 TB|
|RAM||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Monthly Network Bandwidth||1 TB||2 TB||3 TB|
|Dedicated IP address||1||2||2|
|Site Protection||SiteLock Fix Included||SiteLock Fix Included||SiteLock Fix Included|
|Back-up||CodeGuard Basic||CodeGuard Basic||CodeGuard Pro|
|Storage||500 GB||1 TB||1 TB|
|Bandwidth||5 TB||10 TB||15 TB|
|RAM||4 GB||8 GB||16 GB|
|Network Bandwidth||5 TB||10 TB||15 TB|
|CodeGuard Backup Basic||Free for the 1st Year||Included|
|Max File Count||200,000||300,000|
|FREE Included Domains||1||1|
Bluehost SSL Certificate pricing
|Premium SSL Certificates||Pricing|
|Positive SSL||$49.99 per year|
|Comodo SSL||$79.99 per year|
|Positive Wildcard SSL||$149.99 per year|
|Comodo Wildcard SSL||$299.99 per year|
More Information on other hosting add-ons renewal pricing.
|30-day money-back guarantee||Refund policy applies only to hosting, not for additional add-ons.|
|Site Migration||Free 1 WordPress site Migration. $149 for other migrations with up to 5 websites and 20 email addresses.|
|Domain Registration||Free for the first year. Renewal rate of $15.99 per year.|
|Plan Upgradation||No charges if you update your plan mid-contract.|
|cPanel||Easy-to-use and simple user interface.|
|WordPress Installation||Extremely straightforward.|
|Email address||Up to 5 email accounts with Bluehost's basic planUnlimited email addresses with the other plans.|
|Office 365||30-day free trial for most plans.|
|Blue Sky||Live WordPress support starts at $29.00 per month.|
|Programming languages||Bluehost supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, PHP, CGI, PERL, PYTHON, and Ruby On Rails.|
|Professional Marketing Services||You can request a free consultation based on the service you are interested in.|
How to Sign Up with Bluehost
1. Visit Bluehost.com
The first step is to go to Bluehost’s homepage and click on Get Started.
2. Choose a hosting plan
By default, Bluehost redirects you to its shared hosting plans.
Should you wish, you can choose from the other types of hosting provided by Bluehost on its homepage.
Bluehost offers six different types of web hosting.
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Managed WordPress Hosting
- Shared WordPress Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Ecommerce Hosting
After you decide on the hosting, you have the option to choose from a bunch of different pricing plans.
Within Shared Hosting, you can choose between four different plans, Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro.
If you are a beginner, I recommend that you start with the Choice Plus Shared Hosting plan. This is because it is priced the same as the Plus plan and offers many more features.
However, if you only plan to host a single website, you can go with the Basic Shared Hosting Plan. You can always upgrade your plan later if you need to.
3. Enter your domain name
The next step after choosing your plan is registering your domain name.
You have two options. You can either register a new domain name or enter your existing domain name.
Bluehost will provide alternative suggestions with different domain extensions if the domain name you entered isn’t available.
Your domain extension doesn’t necessarily have to be a .com; you can choose a different extension from the dropdown menu. However, most users enter the .com domain as default when they search for a website. Therefore, I would recommend that you stick to .com.
If you haven’t decided on your domain name, you can skip this step and register your domain name later.
4. Fill in your Personal Information
In this step, you need to enter your first name, last name, business name, country, street address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address.
It is optional to enter your Business Name. Note that Bluehost will send your receipt to the email address you enter.
5. Select the Bluehost account package information
Next, you have to choose your Bluehost plan billing preference.
To take advantage of Bluehost’s promotional pricing, you have to choose between 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months of the subscription duration.
Bluehost offers promotional prices when you first sign up, and all hosting plans go back to their regular pricing during renewal. I would recommend you choose the 12-month or 36-month account plan to make the most of their offer.
Additionally, Bluehost also offers a Free SSL certificate when you sign up.
6. Select optional Bluehost package extras (add-ons)
- Domain Privacy + Protection This add-on costs $0.99 per month. This add-on protects your personal information from being accessible to the public. I recommend this Bluehost add-on if you want to keep your website information private.
- SiteLock Security – Essential. This add-on costs $2.99 per month. I would recommend getting this ad-on if security is a significant concern for your website.
- CodeGuard Basic. This is a free add-on that provides automated backups. If something happens to your website, CodeGuard Basic allows you to restore your site to a previous version.
- Bluehost SEO Tools Start. This add-on costs $2.99 per month. It analyzes your website and helps you with search engine visibility. I don’t recommend this add-on as there are various other tools you can choose that are specifically designed for Search Engine Optimization.
- Office 365 Mailbox. Bluehost offers a 30-day free trial for Office 365 Mailbox for some of its hosting plans. It is an email add-on powered by Microsoft and is not required as you can create custom emails from Bluehost’s cPanel.
7. Fill out the payment information
You can make your payment via Credit Card or PayPal. Click on More Payment Options to use PayPal as your mode of payment.
8. Click on the Submit option to complete the process
But before you submit, do read the Auto-Renewal Terms.
- Your hosting package price will go back to the regular rate during renewal.
- Bluehost’s 30-day money-back guarantee only applies to the hosting and domain privacy and not to additional add-ons like domain name and SiteLock security.
- Bluehost will automatically renew your subscription unless you edit your account renewal options.
Now you can click on the Submit option and create a new password for your Bluehost account to complete the sign-up process.
While Bluehost is an excellent web hosting service, it is worth weighing your options instead of jumping headfirst and committing yourself to a hosting provider.
Here is a list of the five best alternatives to Bluehost that are great for a wide range of aspects.
Best Bluehost alternative in terms of responsiveness, performance, and additional features.
SiteGround has been around since 2004 and has consistently delivered one of the best hosting solutions.
SiteGround is another hosting provider directly recommended by WordPress. It offers 99.99% uptime and has reliable customer service.
Additional features offered by SiteGround.
- Automated Backups. SiteGround offers automatic backups, even with its shared hosting packages.
- Free Site Migration. With SiteGround, you can transfer multiple WordPress sites at no extra cost to you.
However, SiteGroud is not as affordable as Bluehost.
SiteGround’s cheapest hosting package costs $6.99 per month, whereas Bluehost’s cheapest plan costs $2.95 per month. Note that this is the difference in their promotional pricing; SiteGround hikes its price much more during renewal.
Best Bluehost alternative for businesses looking for cost-effective packages and scalability.
HostGator is one of the oldest and most popular hosting providers in the market.
Its Dashboard is straightforward and easy to manage. Like Bluehost, its promotional pricing is extremely affordable, especially if you purchase HostGator’s three-year hosting package.
Additional features offered by HostGator.
- 45-day Money-back Guarantee. If you cancel within 45 days of signing up with HostGator, you get a full refund for your hosting.
- Free Site Transfer. Depending on your hosting plan, HostGator offers a limited number of free site transfers within 30 days of signing up.
Unlike Bluehost, HostGator does not offer an explicit plan for eCommerce.
3. A2 Hosting
Best Bluehost alternative for small businesses that require fast-loading websites.
A2 Hosting was established back in 2001 and has developed a reputation for its high loading speed.
A2 Hosting guarantees a 99.9% uptime even for its lower-level hosting plans. Its cheapest plan starts at $2.99 per month and renews at $8.99 per month.
Additional features offered by A2 Hosting.
- Hosting Options. A2 Hosting offers both Managed VPS and Unmanaged VPS Hosting packages, catering to customers with zero technical background and advanced developers.
- Uptime Commitment. For every hour that your website drops below A2 Hosting’s Uptime Guarantee, you will receive 5% of the month’s paid fee worth of service credits.
- Anytime Money-back Guarantee. A2 Hosting offers a full refund if you cancel your subscription within 30 days and a pro-rated refund for unused services if you cancel after 30-days.
- Multiple Datacenters to choose from. A2 Hosting allows you to select your preferred data center.
Compared to A2 Hosting, Bluehost provides a much more affordable service, especially for beginners.
Best Bluehost alternative for eCommerce and high-traffic websites.
1&1 IONOS is a hosting provider with web hosting packages designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Its cheapest hosting plan starts as low as $1 per month.
Additional features offered by 1&1 IONOS Hosting.
- Uptime Guarantee. IONOS provides an uptime guarantee of 99.99%. Their terms state that if you demonstrate that IONOS has failed to maintain the Uptime threshold, you will be compensated.
While IONOS does have a step-by-step guide for manual WordPress site migration, it does not provide a free site migration service.
Compared to IONOS, Bluehost offers a better user interface and website builder.
IONOS’s strength lies within its eCommerce website builder plan that combines shared hosting with Prestashop.
Best Bluehost alternative for enterprise and business solutions with tech-heavy websites.
While Bluehost is geared towards personal blogs/websites, InMotion is much more suitable for businesses.
Additional features offered by InMotion Hosting.
- Uptime Guarantee. InMotion Hosting guarantees 99.9% uptime, and if the uptime drops, you will receive one month’s worth of credits into your account.
- 90-day Money-back Guarantee. InMotion offers a 90-day money-back guarantee for its shared hosting plans – no questions asked.
InMotion’s cheapest plan costs $2.49 per month; however, you can only take advantage of this promotional pricing if you opt for a 3-year subscription duration.
Bluehost Reviews FAQ
Bluehost is a highly reputed hosting service provider and has been one of the most popular choices in the market for a long time. It is powering over 2 million websites worldwide.
Its cheapest hosting plans cost considerably lower than its top competitors. Additionally, even with such low cost, Bluehost does not hold back on its security.
It also offers a lot more features on its basic plans than most of its competitors. No matter which hosting plan you sign up for, Bluehost provides a free domain name and SSL certificate for a year.
It is extremely easy to sign up and get your website going with Bluehost. With a few clicks, you can have your WordPress website set up within minutes.
Its servers provide high performance; hence you will rarely encounter a slow loading website.
They also have 24/7 customer support that is available through live chat, phone calls, and email.
Bluehost is ideal for beginners because of its easy-to-use cPanel and budget-friendliness.
Bluehost’s Dashboard has a simple user interface. You don’t have to stumble through the process of learning about all the technical elements. Bluehost has detailed guides available so you can learn about all its different features.
It also has an exclusive section dedicated to your WordPress sites.
If you are a beginner, I recommended that you start with Bluehost’s Shared Hosting.
It delivers excellent performance at a very reasonable price. If your website workload overgrows your current hosting plan, you can upgrade your plan mid-contract at no additional charges.
While not all Bluehost hosting packages are cheap, its shared hosting plans are incredibly cost-effective.
The reason why Bluehost provides its service at such an affordable rate is that with shared hosting, multiple websites are hosted on the same server. This means that all the websites on the server share the server space.
These websites also share the server’s resources. With its CPU Protection policy, Bluehost keeps track of every user on the shared server, ensuring that they get their fair share of server resources.
Sell Ad Space. One of the most common ways that bloggers make money from their site is with ads. Advertisers who want to promote their products create and pay for these ads. Google Adsense and Media.net are the biggest names in the market at the moment.
Affiliate Marketing You can promote a product or service online and earn a commission from every sale. Most bloggers make a large section of their revenue from affiliate marketing.
Online Courses. Creating and selling online courses is an excellent way of making a significant amount of money in a short period. Teachable and Thinkific are one of the best online course platforms.
Offer Services. You can provide services directly related to your blog’s niche, for example, pet grooming services if you own a pet blog. You can also offer freelance services like content writing or web designing.
Consulting Establish yourself as an expert in your niche and provide consulting services to people willing to pay for your services.
Product reviews. You can get in touch with businesses related to your niche and offer to review their products for a fee.
Webinars You can use webinars to generate leads for your business and promote your online courses. I recommend using Demio or WebinarJam for hosting your webinars.
Dropship products Dropshipping is an excellent way to earn a decent passive income. You can use the dropshipping model to sell products without dealing with the shipping and inventory.
Yes, you do. When you register a domain name with Bluehost, you have the choice to keep your domain even after you cancel your subscription.
This is because even if you cancel your subscription within 30 days, Bluehost’s money-back guarantee doesn’t include a refund for your domain name. This means that you can retain your domain name even after you revoke your Bluehost subscription.
Yes, you can cancel your Bluehost subscription at any time for the duration of the contract.
However, should you wish to get a full refund, you will have to cancel your subscription within 30 days of signing up.
It is important to note that the refund only applies to your hosting; Bluehost will not refund additional costs like your domain name and other add-ons.
Bluehost’s Account Cancellation Policy states that
– If the mode of payment is PayPal, the refund can take up to 24 hours of account cancellation.
– If the mode of payment is Credit Card, then the refund will be processed within ten days, depending on the card issuer.
If you are a beginner, Shared Hosting Choice Plus is the best Bluehost plan for you. It currently costs $4.95 per month (36-month term), the same as Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Plus plan but has added privacy and security features.
If you require hosting for a single website, I recommend Bluehost’s Shared Hosting Basic plan.
Shared Hosting is the best option for personal blogs or websites, portfolio websites, or small businesses that just require an online presence.
According to your storage and security requirements, you can choose the Basic plan or the Choice Plus plan.
There are three ways you can migrate your website to Bluehost.
1. If your website is built on WordPress, Bluehost offers free site migration for 1 WordPress website. The only catch is that you have to request the site transfer within 30 days of signing up.
2. You can follow Bluehost’s guide and migrate your site by yourself.
3. You can pay Bluehost $149.99, and they will migrate your site for you. This cost covers up to five websites and 20 email accounts, including all associated files and databases.
Bluehost Reviews: Should You Buy It?
While many Bluehost reviews praise the hosting provider because of Bluehost’s affiliate program, we have presented the facts as they are to ensure that you make an informed decision.
You now understand everything that Bluehost offers and doesn’t offer, the pros and cons of getting a Bluehost subscription and the best Bluehost alternatives depending on what you are looking for in your hosting provider.
All things considered, I recommend Bluehost because there is a reason it has been in business for the past 20 years with a solid reputation.
They provide 24/7 customer support and a free SSL certificate and domain registration for one year when you sign up.
Depending on your requirements, Bluehost offers a wide range of hosting plans at a very affordable price. If you are just starting out, look no further than Bluehost’s Shared Hosting plans.
And after everything you’ve learned, if you are still skeptical about Bluehost, you should keep in mind that Bluehost has a ‘no questions asked’ 30-day money-back guarantee.