Bluehost Review: Best in Class Hosting

bluehostIf you’re looking for reliable hosting, you’ve got to have Bluehost (www.bluehost.com) on your comparison list.

After hosting more than 2 million websites and almost 15 years in business (that’s a long time) Bluehost offers reliable shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting at an affordable price with the backing of a reputable company.

Here is an quick overview of what they offer:

  • Shared hosting — Starting at just $4.95, Bluehost offer unlimited domains, data transfer, hosting, and emails, which covers just about everything you should be looking for.
  • VPS Hosting — Bluehost’s VPS plans range in price and value, but overall offer you great flexibility.
  • Dedicated Hosting — For ultimate performance, Bluehost offers dedicated servers with all of the features you’d expect. Here is a detailed guide to help you understand if you need VPS or dedicated hosting.

All of Bluehost’s plans come with 24/7 Support and 30 day “anytime guarantee” and overall we’ve been VERY impressed with how Bluehost has upgraded their offering since 2010 when we first reviewed them and all they offered was shared hosting.

If you’re just starting out Bluehost is honestly our favorite beginner host due to their low rates and awesome service.

If you or your business runs WordPress we’ve got a thorough guide on WordPress hosting in which we recommend Bluehost for anyone who is just getting up and running.

UPDATE: Bluehost does offer other solutions besides shared hosting. They’ve expanded their offerings since this initial video.

Detailed Bluehost Review:

On the subject of price, it is possible to spend as little as $4.95 per month for a Bluehost account, which figures in a 36-month agreement.  While this price is not the absolute best price on the market, many of Bluehost’s rivals do not necessarily offer everything that Bluehost does at no cost, and some of Bluehost’s additional features are quite affordable.  Before covering those features, it might be worth spending a few moments going back to square one and seeing just what one can expect for $4.95 per month.

Bluehost’s Value Will Make Customers Feel Anything But Blue

Unlimited disk storage, the ability to host unlimited domains (which do cost extra and will be covered in a moment), unlimited sub-domains, unlimited monthly bandwidth, 2500 e-mail accounts, 1000 FP accounts, 100 MySQL databases, 100 PostgreSQL databases, support for PERL 5 & PHP 5, Python support, Ruby/Ruby on Rails, hotlink protection, WordPress & b2evolution support, Drupal & Joomla! support, integrated help-center tools, an array of e-commerce tools, and a shared-SSL certificate for those that want it as well as the option to buy additional SSL certificates for an additional fee that will be covered in the next paragraph.

These features are just the tip of the iceberg, and Bluehost’s website contains hundreds of features, though some of them may not be all that useful to serious designers and bloggers, such as the WYSIWYG page-creator and its library of included templates.  Not that there is anything wrong with these features, but they are probably best suited to those just starting to explore web hosting in general, and are not necessarily designed to meet the serious needs of those making an investment in their web presence.  In short, if there is a technology out there that can be used by a shared web host, then there is a very good chance that Bluehost offers it.  This is due in large part to their decision to use cPanel, which is extremely flexible.

All Bluehost accounts come with a free domain name registration despite there being no initial setup fee.  This means that consumers are more or less financing the cost of a single domain over the course of any contract, though additional domain names cost an additional $10 per year.  Those looking to host large volumes of domains may find better registration prices with third parties, but only if they deal in high volume.  If additional domain names require additional IP addresses and SSL certificates, Bluehost charges $30 and $40 per year respectively.  This would mean that a person or business owning 10 sites, perhaps blogs they are monetizing, would pay the base fee of $6.95 per month and $700 per year, which comes out to just over $58 per month.  These prices are likely to prove extremely attractive to bloggers and others hoping to monetize a handful of websites.  Considering the $10 domain registration and $70 per year SSL/IP combination, it should be fairly easy to calculate just when the investment in web hosting will pay off.

Customer Service is Great

3 e-mails, 3 calls, and 3 chat sessions at different times of the night and day were placed to Bluehost prior to and during the course of writing this article, and Bluehost always had a very quick response.  Bluehost deserves extra kudos, answers were quick and accurate, which is just what serious web designers want when things go wrong or if they cannot figure something out.   Bluehost has made substantial investments in their datacenter and network infrastructure to ensure that they themselves should never be the cause of such problems despite the lack of any uptime guarantees made on their behalf.  Such investments include a diesel powered backup generator, UPS power backups on the quad-core servers as well as on the network routers, and a direct connection to an OC-48 backbone.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there are cheaper shared web hosts on the market for those that need to do nothing more than put up a single website for their family.  Those looking to monetize their web presence have higher standards, and Bluehost appears to have tailored their offerings around those needs, and have done so at prices that are very competitive.  Their customer service is extremely professional, and as a result it would be hard not to recommend them as a host for anyone who is interested in shared web hosting plans.  Visit Bluehost now to sign up before they come to their sense and start to charge setup fees!

Last Modified: 2014-04-29

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