Established in 1996, hosting millions of website all over the world, BlueHost is one of the largest business hosting provider. The company offers a wide range of hosting plans: shared hosting, virtual servers, dedicated servers, reseller hosting and the most popular wordpress optimized hosting. BlueHost has been the official hosting partner of WordPress.org since 2005.
I’m actually a customer of BlueHost for more than five years. Having such a long history with BlueHost, I decided to share my experience with those who may want to purchase a hosting plan at the company and want to learn more before signing up. In this Bluehost review I will talk about pros and cons of the company will show you couple of tricks on how to start your website quickly or how to transfer it over to BlueHost.
Main features of BlueHost shared hosting plans
BlueHost offers three shared hosting plans, the started plan allowing you to host one website and park 5 domain names, the plus plan comes with no limitation in hosted websites, web space, storage and email accounts, and includes a $200 free marketing credit that you can claim after signup. The business pro plan comes with the same features as the plus plan, with the addition of 1 dedicated IP, one free domain privacy, SiteBackup Pro and offers higher performance. All three plans include one free domain name.
While the plus plan is the most popular, and offers the best value for money, and I myself use this plan, in the following I will be focusing mostly on reviewing this plan.
Does BlueHost offer an easy to use hosting plan?
BlueHost’s servers are powered with cPanel. The cPanel control panel is one of the most popular hosting control panels available. You can visit the following link to see how the control panel at BlueHost actually looks: https://my.bluehost.com/cgi/home.
The control panel allows you to easily manage your domain names, add email addresses, backup your website using the SiteBakcup Pro tool, upload and download files via the FileManager or create FTP account if you want to use an FTP client.
Building a simple website with BlueHost
If you want something quick and simple and don’t want to spend too much time and money for building your website, you can use Weebly.
Weebly is a website building software that was designed for users who are looking to create a simple website without the need knowledge of any programming language or web design. Weebly makes it easy to assemble a website in just few minutes, create a slideshow, add an image gallery, add Google maps, a contact form, few pages, etc.
Weebly includes hundreds of professional designed templates, which are using latest web technologies and are responsive. So your website will look good on desktop as well on tablets and smart phones.
Transferring your website to BlueHost server
The company offer migration service for up to 5 websites and 20 email addresses, however this service will cost you an extra $99.99 on top of the hosting plan you purchase. They only offer this service for shared hosting.
If you are in a hurry, and don’t have anyone to help you out, or you have no clue how to transfer your website and emails from your old hosting provider to BlueHost, the migration service may be good for you. But if you ask me, the $99.99 is a bit overpriced, compared to other hosting providers who offer this service for free.
Is BlueHost good for domain registration?
If you are getting a new hosting plan, you should deffinetly benefit of the free domain name offered by BlueHost. However registering and keeping all your domains with BlueHost is not the best option.
Will you lose your domains if you keep them with BlueHost? No! It is not the case! But if you are going to register more than 10 domains, it is cheaper to choose a domain register instead.
Personally, I like to keep my domain name separate from my web hosting plans and like to spread them over multiple registrars. I don’t like to keep all my eggs in one basket.
Building an online shop with BlueHost
At BlueHost you have a lot of options to create your e-commerce website. The one-click installer tool enables you to deploy your online shop in few minutes having the option to choose from the following shopping carts: ShopSite, AgoraCart, CubeCart, Magento, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, seotoaster, TomatoCart, Zen Cart.
If you would like to use VirtueMart or WooCommerce to create your e-commerce site, this option is also available. You can also install Joomla and WordPress using the one-click app installer.
Is BlueHost good choice for WordPress websites?
The short answer is: absolutely yes! BlueHost has been the official web hosting partner of WordPress.org since 2005.
The good news about BlueHost is that, beside the standard shared hosting plan, they also offer WordPress optimized hosting. This means, that the server where your WordPress site is going to be hosted is designed and optimized to run WordPress at full capacity. The WordPress hosting plan however will cost extra, but until your website does not receive a huge amount of daily traffic, the shared hosting plan will do the job.
As mentioned above, you can install WordPress automatically, using the Mojomarketplace script installer application.
Can I host my Joomla website at BlueHost?
Although BlueHost offer optimized hosting for WordPress, they don’t have any plan that is especially dedicated to Joomla. If you are looking to host your Joomla website with the company, you have the option to do so. Their script installer tool allows you to install Joomla 2.5 or 3.x version quickly and easily.
You should keep in mind that Joomla uses more resources than WordPress, so if your website will receive more than 500 visitors a day, you should consider choosing a VPS plan instead shared.
Is Drupal performing well on BlueHost shared plan?
Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 can be installed easily using the Mojomarketplace tool. For a simple Drupal website BlueHost might be good, however if you are planning to develop a complex web application based on this software you should opt for a virtual server.
BlueHost 30 day money back policy revealed
The really good thing about BlueHost’s money back is that they offer a prorated refund. That means, if you cancel your hosting account after 30 days you will get a refund for the remaining period.
You should keep in mind that the 30 day money back is only offered for the hosting service. Additional services and domain name fees are deducted from the amount you actually paid.
Payment options accepted by BlueHost
At BlueHost you have two options to pay for your purchase: credit card and paypal. The payment is processed in a secured and encrypted environment, so you don’t have to worry about your details. Unfortunate wire transfer is not possible at this moment, which is shame.
BlueHost plan renewal and coupon code
If you sign up to BlueHost, using the link bellow, you will benefit of up to 75% discount, for the shared hosting plans, without the need of using any coupon code.
Unfortunate, for renewals there is no coupon code available (as far as I know). You can still get a discount if you renew your shared plan for the longest period (currently 36 months). This way you will get the lowest possible renewal discount.
Upgrading your BlueHost shared plan to VPS or Dedicated hosting
When starting your first website a shared hosting plan is more than enough to establish an online presence for your business. However, as your site grows and your business expands, you offer more services or products on your site, or your site is getting more and more visitors, a shared plan will not be able to handle it anymore. You will need to consider upgrading to a virtual server. With BlueHost, is easy to upgrade your account: from the control panel, you can easily upgrade your hosting plan to a business shared, vps or dedicated.
Common BlueHost Complains and other BlueHost Reviews
If you do some research online about BlueHost, you will find people who will recommend the company but you will also find customers who complain about their service.
Recently I have read a post on WordPress support forum, where a customer was asking for help to find another web hosting service for his blog. He was complaining about the rude attitude of a support person. This can happen at any web hosting company. You can find bad employees all over the place, but that does not mean that the company sucks.
BlueHost is a well-established company, doing business for almost twenty years. How could a company survive for such a long period if they would be as bad as some customers say.
Many hosting comparison sites such as pcmag, WhoisHostingThis, TopTenReviews and CNET have been recommending BlueHost.
Wrapping up my BlueHost review
Would I recommend BlueHost to my friends? In fact I recommend BlueHost to all my friends and customers who are building their website with WordPress. My recommendation is to purchase the plus plan, because this has way more extra features than the starter account. So if you are building a WordPress blog or setting up a website for your company using WordPress, you can be sure that with Bluehost you will not fail.