All types of online businesses need websites that require web hosting. Affiliate bloggers, business owners with products, and well-known people trying to create their own little property for their fans on the Internet all need to have a web hosting company to actually become visible online. Yes, you can try and create a presence on social media and write small posts and ideas on places like Facebook for interested readers to see; however, if you are serious about doing online business, you need to take the plunge and sign up for Web hosting services.
There is a ton of different web hosts out there, and they all claim that they are the best one. In fact, if you read their sales pages, you will be convinced that they are the best one because they all highlight their benefits so well. And since getting started with your online business can be stressful, you may just bite on the first good sales pitch that draws you in.
This BlueHost review will cover one of the more popular hosting companies out there. You will find that many top bloggers have used BlueHost in the beginning of their online careers and many still use it today, which is probably why you may have heard about it already. I have yet to see one blogger who doesn’t recommend it. And, when they recommend it, we know that we are on to something good! It’s obvious that BlueHost does a very good job of balancing features and price, and they offer a wide range of options that can help everyone from beginner to experienced have success online.
What Is BlueHost?
This is an established web hosting service that you can trust. BlueHost started operating in 1996. It was marketed as a web hosting solution for both medium and small businesses. In 2010, BlueHost was bought by the Endurance International Group, which is a group that owns web hosting brands such as HostGator. And, it’s been going strong ever since then with no end in sight. Signing up to BlueHost for your web hosting needs will mean that you don’t have to worry about switching out anytime soon.
BlueHost is one of the most reputable and oldest shared hosting companies available on the Internet. In fact, it is one of the most well-known companies for WordPress hosting, which is what most online businesses use for its user-friendly platform.
BlueHost is most known and used for its shared hosting. However, as your business grows, they can accommodate you with additional types of web hosting services like VPS, managed WordPress hosting and dedicated servers. BlueHost claims that it hosts more than 2 million websites across the world, which would make them one of the top web hosting companies based on the hosted sites volume. But don’t let that scare you away. Most users say that despite the number of sites that they host, they experience very little site downtime.
BlueHost gives you a lot of stuff that you wouldn’t expect from the bargain-priced shared hosting plans. This is one of the reasons why it is rated among the top hosting companies within the industry. As of this BlueHost review, they have more than 700 employees to help everything run smoothly.
BlueHost Prices And Plans
As of this BlueHost review, there are a few different web hosting plans available.
– Starter plan: $5.95 per month
– Performance plan: $8.95 per month
– Business Pro plan: $15.95 per month
The Starter plan is the plan that is suitable for beginners who just want one site. It is a good option to include since not every person has or wants multiple sites to host. But, the price is not much different than the next plan up and you can get much more with the Performance plan.
Their second plan, the Performance plan is the most value for money plan. At $8.95 per month, the plan allows you to web host unlimited number of sites, with no bandwidth or storage limits whatsoever. This hosting plan also comes preloaded with a single copy of BlueHost’s optional SpamExpert anti-spam solutions.
The last plan is the Business Pro plan. The plan costs $15.95. It offers all features of the Plus hosting plan together with the SSL certificate bundled-in, a dedicated IP, complimentary subscriptions of their optional SiteBackupPro services and several other perks.
To sum it up, BlueHost prices their hosting plans pretty reasonably. They are certainly not the cheapest around, but they still offer quality web hosting services.
BlueHost’s Hosting Features
BlueHost offers a wide range of features in the standard control panel, where you can easily manage many different aspects of your account. Below is a list of features that BlueHost offers:
– The cPanel has been integrated with Page Speed Grader, CloudFlare, Google Apps and several other tools.
– A premium anti-spam solution that is built right into the cPanel.
– Free and unlimited email accounts. However, storage of emails is within your own total account storage. There are certain limits concerning the number of emails that you can send within an hour. As a result, if your website is demanding a lot in terms of sending the emails then you should consider using third-party solutions such as MailChimp or AWeber.
– Automatic day-to-day backups on all your stored files and website data.
– Get one free domain when you purchase a shared hosting plan. (It’s only free for one year.)
– 24/7 Phone Support and Live Chat
– The ability to easily upgrade your plan to a dedicated or a VPS server when your site grows bigger without facing the hassles of moving your site.
– Decent levels of customization for the shared hosting plan. This includes Server Side Includes, Secured Shell Access (SSH), and PHP.ini as well as .htaccess modification supports.
– Free drag and drop site builder (although I recommend using WordPress as the backbone for your site!)
– Built-in Content Delivery Network (CDN) support with the CloudFlare integration. The hassle free setup makes sure that all the static resources are loading faster from worldwide CDN network from CloudFlare.
– Unlimited storage and domain hosting.
– Access to shopping carts such as Zen, Cube, and Agora.
– Much more.
How To Sign Up And Use BlueHost
As with most online tools to help you get your business up and running, BlueHost makes it as easy as possible to sign up and get started. You could be up and running with the day. Signing up only takes a few minutes. Following is the process.
1. Go to www.Bluehost.com and then click on ‘Get started now’ button. This will take you to a page where you can select the plan you want.
2. Choose the package that is right for you. If you are planning on starting a lot of sites, then choose the Performance option. But, if you just plan on focusing on one site for now, you can choose the starter option and use that hosting plan until you reach your storage space and need to upgrade.
Once you pick your plan, you will be prompted to pick a domain name. Hopefully you already have a domain name in mind. If you don’t, take some time to pick one that represents you and your business so that you don’t have to change your domain name later to better let readers and customers know who you are and what you are about.
Note: The domain name does not have to always end with .com. You can also make use of different endings like .net, .co.uk or even .org. However, .com will be the most recognized and easiest domain name to get ranked and found with.
3. Finish up the registration process. It’s pretty user-friendly. You will see what fields are optional or required. You will also need to choose an appropriate web hosting package. As of this BlueHost review, there were options to sign up for 12 months, 24 months, or 36 months. You only need to sign up for one year if you are starting out. That will give you plenty of time to test out your domain name and see if you can create something successful.
Domain privacy is totally optional. If you don’t want people to know your name, address, and other contact information, then make sure you take advantage of it!
Website essentials are optional as well. It is wise to sign up for the Site Backup Pro, however, WordPress is relatively secure. In case the website that you’re building is very important to you, then I suggest signing up to it.
Once you’ve signed up with BlueHost, you can begin making or building websites using your domain name. It’s very user-friendly. You simply have to log into the control panel and then choose WordPress, Drupal or Joomla as your website’s builder.
Ease Of Use In The Control Panel
After you have signed up for the starter hosting service, you will receive an introductory email that has all the information and links that you need to get started on building your website. The cPanel interface is easy to use and has a clean design. You will be able to log into the applications manager quickly and download WordPress. BlueHost does a good job of showing you what to do to make that happen.
Virtual Private Servers
If you need more power for your website right now, or if you are worried about the future, then you need to know that BlueHost offers VPS (virtual private servers) and it is a great option to consider.
BlueHost offers 4 tiers of the Linux-based VPS hosting that range from the $29.99 per month Standard (2GB of memory, 1TB of data transfers monthly and 30GB of storage) to the $119.99 per month Ultimate (8GB of memory, 4TB of data transfers monthly and 240GB of storage). You can get discounts for the VPS hosting plans if you sign up for one of the longer-term contracts. Unfortunately, BlueHost does not offer the Windows-based VPS.
BlueHost also has several dedicated server configurations. The servers start at $149 per month and they can be also outfitted with the Linux operating system. Furthermore, they have up to 1TB of hard drive storage space, 15TB of data transfer per month and 16GB of RAM (similar specs as HostMonster). These are solid numbers for anyone who needs dedicated servers.
Managed WordPress Web Hosting
If your goal is to create a WordPress-powered site, then BlueHost’s managed WordPress web hosting packages are a great option. They offer automatic plug-in updates and site backups so that you don’t have to worry about losing all of your information as you add plug-ins and do updates on your site.
There are 4 plans in total:
– Blogger plan ($24.99 per month with a 1-year contract)
– Professional plan ($74.99 per month with a 1-year contract)
– Business plan ($119.99 per month with a 1-year contract)
– Enterprise plan ($169.99 per month with a 1-year contract)
Like many other managed WordPress web hosts, BlueHost does not require you to install the CMS because it comes preinstalled. Once you log into WordPress, you can always create posts, galleries and pages as you would do with other self-hosted WordPress websites.
BlueHost caps your website’s traffic depending on your plan. However, the caps are removed when you sign up for an Enterprise plan (as they should be!).
Building Your Site With BlueHost
BlueHost has a wide range of tools for filtering spam, building sites, managing email, managing domains and collecting site statistics. For building a site, you can make use of the WordPress content management platform (highly recommend that!), create a site using Weebly, use the goMobi Mobile Web builders in case you bought the add-on, and even upload several files using File Manager or FTP.
In case you haven’t heard of Weebly, here’s a little insight. Weeby’s drag-and-drop functionalities will let you quickly build a very attractive page that’s complete with contact forms, slideshows, social media links and many more features. Weebly’s free version also gives you the basic functionality (you’re free to create 6 pages and also add custom HTML). However, upgrading to the $8.99 per month Professional plan will offer even more flexibility (password protected pages, custom themes and many more). But again, I recommend WordPress because it is free with your hosting plan and so easy to use!
Email On BlueHost
Email and websites go hand in hand. You need a few email accounts in order to stay in contact with visitors and receive business proposals. BlueHost enables you to create up to one hundred email addresses using its basic plan. Other BlueHost plans enable you to create an unlimited number of email addresses.
Setting up email accounts in BlueHost is very easy to do. You do not have to set up an account during the hosting signing up process; instead, you just go to your control panel and click on the email account icon and then create one email at a time.
Speed On BlueHost
Even though BlueHost has a lot of features that make it a good choice for most people, it can really lack in website speed compared to other hosting companies. Essentially, you are looking at a load time of around 1.24s, according to many experts. This is not bad at all, but as you add more content to your blog, you will need to add some cache plugins to your site to help you maintain the speed.
Security On BlueHost
This is a big one! A lot of people are having problems with their site getting hacked or spammed, and you want to make sure that you have the best security features possible to save time and avoid stress. The security features offered by BlueHost will definitely meet your needs.
BlueHost has 3 anti-spam tools – Spam Experts, Spam Hammer and Apache Spam Assassin – as well as the hotlink protection. You can also create filters for users and email accounts, create the IP address blacklists (useful for those spammy sites that take up a lot of your usage on a shared server), password-protect directories, and manage digital certificates and private keys.
And, of course, BlueHost also offers CloudFlare. This enhances security and performance features. In case you want SSL on your website or you’re worried about the distributed denials of the service attacks against your website, then CloudFlare is worth taking into consideration. It is useful for bot protection, spam comments, and improves the overall site performance.
Uptime With BlueHost
There is nothing worse than your site going down on a day when you need it to be up. I’ve had my site go down for hours using another hosting company, and it was on a day that I was promoting a launch. When the site is down, nobody can access your information, which means that you can lose visitors, sign-ups, and revenue for each person who can’t get access.
In short, website uptime is a vital element of any Web hosting experience. If your website goes down, customers or clients will be unable to access your products/services or even find you. BlueHost is incredibly stable. According to BlueHost and to BlueHost reviews from actual customers, BlueHost usually goes down fewer times as compared to other web hosting service providers. That’s a huge bonus!
Customer Service On BlueHost
BlueHost offers 24/7 online Web chat, telephone support, ticket-based systems and a knowledge base. The customer service is always available, but according to many people, they have had to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour to talk to someone. In fact, this seems to be the number one complaint of BlueHost users. This could be because BlueHost hosts so many sites that it is almost guaranteed someone is on the phone when you call. I think this is a part of any service company that is popular, but it can definitely be a drawback when you are in a rush.
All Bluehost’s web hosting packages come with the 30-day money back guarantee. Make sure you read the rules and regulations first. You can cancel within 30 days of purchasing your hosting service, and you will be prorated a refund for the remaining part of your term. The money back guarantee only applies to hosting plans, not to add on products such as domains.
Why Should You Use BlueHost Hosting?
Following are some pros to using the hosting company. Hopefully, this will make it easier to decide whether or not it is for you.
– Price: You can get the web hosting plans with BlueHost as low as $3.95 per month (with a discount), which is affordable for anyone.
– Unlimited Features: With the right hosting plan, BlueHost offers unlimited hosting space, unlimited Domain hosting, unlimited file transfer as well as unlimited email accounts.
– Free add-ons: BlueHost offers free site builder, free instant setup and a free domain name for 1 year.
– 24/7 Support: Whenever you want any help, BlueHost will be there to help you.
– Money-back Guarantee: They offer a 30-day money back guarantee which allows you to try it risk-free.
– Free Bonus: Depending on the plan, you can get up to 200 dollars on all key advertising channels like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Bing.
– Different Types of Web Hosting: They offer four types of hosting plans: VPS hosting, shared hosting, Reseller hosting and Dedicated hosting.
– CPanel: It has a user-friendly cPanel to make it easier for the users to navigate through
– Uptime: BlueHost guarantees a 99.9 uptime.
The Cons Of BlueHost
Of course, there are always some cons with any service.
– Limited CPU Usage: The web host has a limited CPU usage of 10 percent. As a result, if your site uses a lot of CPU, you may need to upgrade or you will get suspended.
– Customer Support: The customer support is known to be pretty slow.
– Higher prices: You can find some lower prices on other hosting companies, but not by much. Although, you do have to pay for the full year of hosting upfront as of this BlueHost review.
Should You Try Out BlueHost?
BlueHost is a web hosting company that has been in the business for a long time. Thanks to the cPanel software, it makes it easy to create a functional, stable and attractive site for your businesses. It also has a wide range of security options. And, the uptime is a major bonus that should have you interested! Because you get a 30-day money back guarantee with hosting, it is worth trying out.
Disclosure: This BlueHost review contains affiliate links, which means that I will earn a commission if you purchase something from BlueHost after clicking on those links. This doesn’t affect my review in any way, and it doesn’t affect you in any way – except for showing your appreciation for this review!