BlueHost Review

Website: |  Shared, VPS, Dedicated, and Reseller Hosting

BlueHost used to be the “poster-boy” in shared hosting industry. Back in the 2005-ish, BlueHost is the go-to host when you need a quick, reliable, and cheap hosting solution. But it has been more than 10 years and BlueHost is a completely different company right now. Can you still trust BlueHost with your website? Here’s what you need to know about using BlueHost for your website hosting.

BlueHost, the Company

Bluehost is a Utah-based hosting organization that has quite a few years under its belt, having been founded in 2003. Built on open source technology, this hosting organization is today one of the world’s largest providers of cloud-based online solutions.

Though initially founded in 2003, the company has undergone numerous changes, particularly in recent years. In 2010, the company sold to Endurance International Group. Following the transition, the company founder, Matt Heaton, left the organization in 2011.

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BlueHost Web Hosting Plans

Changes aside, Bluehost continues to offer a series of hosting environments and capabilities, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and reseller hosting.

Shared hosting solutions start at just $4.95 per month, while VPS and dedicated hosting plans start at $29.99 per month and $149.99 per month, respectively. Setting Bluehost apart from many other hosting companies is the surprising simplicity of its hosting plans. For example, rather than offering three to five tiers of service in the shared hosting department, Bluehost offers just two models: an unlimited plan ($4.95 per month) or a Pro plan ($19.99 per month). Of course you can always scale the servers to that base unlimited plan for a fee, but nonetheless – it’s refreshingly simple.

Core Features

  Shared Hosting

BlueHost offers a powerful hosting solution at a very affordable price. The starting price, as mentioned, goes as low as $4.95/mo. Pro Shared Hosting Plan, on the other hand, costs $19.99/mo. Here are a little more details on BlueHost shared hosting features.

  • Unlimited disk space, data transfer, and domain names
  • User friendly control panel – cPanel
  • Automated site backups + $200 in free offers
  • Premium site builder with 4,500 web templates
  • SimpleScripts – Easy 1-click software installation
  • Free 24/7/365 in-house technical support
  • Pro Plan offers 5x better server performance plus free dedicated IP and SSL certificate
  • 30 days full refund trial plus no lock-in anytime money back guarantee
  • Price starts at $4.95/mo

VPS Hosting

There are four different levels of VPS hosting with progressive amounts of CPU, RAM, disk space, dedicated IP addresses, and bandwidth available – Standard, Enhanced, Premium, and Ultimate. Price (for first month) starts at $14.99/mo and goes all the way on up to $59.99/mo. Some key features are:

  • Server specs start at 30 GB SAN storage and 2 GB RAM
  • Free one IP addresses and domain name
  • cPanel control with full server control (root access to CentOS)
  • Free 24/7/365 US-based customer support
  • Premium site builder with 4,500 web templates
  • SimpleScripts – Easy 1-click software installation
  • Free 24/7/365 in-house technical support
  • 30 days full refund trial plus no lock-in anytime money back guarantee
  • Standard VPS Plan starts at $14.99/mo for the first month, $29.99/mo thereafter.

Dedicated Hosting

For the ultimate in web hosting, an account on a dedicated server is also available at BlueHost. There are three major dedicated hosting plans at BlueHost – Standard, Enhanced, and Premium – each with different levels of server specifications you can purchase with the main difference being the amount of memory allocated to each.

  • Server specs start at 2 x 2.0 GHz CPU with 4 GB RAM
  • Standard Plan – 500 GB storage and 5 TB data transfer capacity
  • Standard Plan – Free 3 dedicated IPs (4 and 5 for Enhanced and Premium respectively)
  • Free 24/7/365 US-based customer support
  • Instant provisioning – get started with your dedicated hosting instantly 
  • Storage upgrade on the fly (via cPanel)
  • 30 days full refund trial plus no lock-in anytime money back guarantee
  • Standard Dedicated Hosting Plan starts at $74.99/mo first month, $149.99/mo thereafter.

More on BlueHost Anytime Money Back Guarantee

Do You Know…

BlueHost is one of the first web hosting companies to implement Anytime Money Back Guarantee? Endurance International Group maintained this business practice when they took over BlueHost in 2010.

Here’s what happens when you decide to cancel your hosting account with BlueHost after the 30 days full refund trial period – you’ll receive a prorated refund for the remainder of your current hosting term minus domain registration fees (If you register a domain through Bluehost, there is a non-refundable domain fee) as well as other add-on services (such as SSL certificates and extra dedicated IP). Many web hosts advertise big discounts as a means of winning new customers and locking them into multi-year contracts – not in the case of BlueHost apparently. 

What’s good about this?

A no lock-in contract ensures you’re not stuck with a web host that isn’t right for you. Plus, under this circumstances, BlueHost will have to work very hard to keep all their customers happy (to minimize refunds).

Editor’s Review on BlueHost Hosting

As with any hosting solution, there are always positives and negatives – Bluehost is no exception.

The Good

  • Proven – Bluehost is an established hosting organization that has been around for nearly two decades thanks to a solid user base
  • Flexible – There are numerous hosting solutions to fit every organization’s needs. The shared, VPS, dedicated, and reseller hosting solutions come at competitive prices.
  • Guaranteed Resources – Bluehost guarantees server resources for hosting in its dedicated hosting environments… many hosting organizations do not offer this guarantee
  • Satisfaction Guarantee – The organization offers an Anytime Money Back guarantee for shared, VPS, dedicated hosting; if you are not satisfied, you always have an exit and return of your funds

The Not-so-Good

  • CPU throttles – Some Bluehost clients have complained about their shared hosting accounts being throttled, causing very slow load times for their sites. More specifically, the users complained that the throttles were unwarranted and without cause
  • Not Unlimited Hosting – Though there are “unlimited hosting” plans, these plans are only unlimited until you overuse their CPU… at which point there are definitely limitations

More Resources / Other BlueHost Review

Verdict: Is BlueHost A Go?

All in all, Bluehost definitely offers some solid value – particularly for users looking for a hosting solution that allows them to follow the popular choice and stick with the crowd. Personally, we recommend this hosting provider most to newbies and startups looking for an initial hosting solution, rather than organizations looking to expand on an existing solution or who have hosting and programming experts on staff.

There are lots of changes coming to Bluehost in 2013 and 2014, including a brand new website and several new and upcoming hosting offerings – particularly in the VPS and dedicated hosting arenas.

Bluehost is certainly worth a closer look, offering quality hosting solutions with great guarantees and from an organization with proven longevity. In a word, our verdict is a “two thumbs up” for Bluehost.

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