I’ve used various web hosts over the years. SiteGround, Host Gator, WPX hosting and of course Bluehost. Blue Host has now grown and become the number one recommended web host by WordPress.
But how good is this shared web host? That’s what I’m going to share with you in this honest Bluehost review.
Bluehost Review Summary
Adequate for small to medium websites up to 50k pagviews a month. Not ideal for larger websites.
Uptime is 99.99% which is what you should come expect.
Mediocre at best. Their support can not help you with even the most basic of technical questions.
For what you get, the introduction price is good and the standard rate is good. Domain name renewals are too expensive however.
Bluehost: #1 Web Host For WordPress
A good, popular choice for new websites and blogs.
How Good is Bluehost?
Blue Host is an excellent shared web host for new websites and blogs and they should be the #1 recommended web host by WordPress. They have an intuitive and easy to follow on boarding process, 30 day money back guarantee, a beginner friendly interface and good hosting for the price.
The most critical aspects of any web host are the speed and uptime they provide which is what matters most. For Blue Host, I found them to be sufficient for a new website or blog.
They provide the right infrastructure to build up a new website up to 2k visitors per day and around 50-80k pageviews. Upon reaching this size, I would then suggest moving to another web host like WPX Hosting which specalizes in large websites.
Blue Host support however is quite inadequate. Their responses times are quick, they can help answer newbie technical questions with ease, but anything beyond this they are useless (more on this later).
Web Hosting Speed Test
First let’s take a look at their web hosting speed. Most reviews and YouTubers use tools.pingdom.com to review speed but this is an unfair and inaccurate test as it depends on how the website is designed.
If you load up any web page with a ton of images and video of course it’s going to load slowly. Instead, let’s use Bitcatcha to test the actual server response time for Blue Host:
Unlike other reviews, I actually have a shared hosting account with Blue Host and built a website with them. The results from Bitcaptcha were “exceptionally fast.” I found creating a WordPress website with Blue Host to be easy and fast.
Again, I would recommend you start your website or blog with Blue Host. Then upon growing it to 50k page views or more (around 2k visitors per day) move it to a new host that is designed for medium to large websites (like WPX Hosting).
Blue Host Uptime Results
The whole point of a web host is to make your website available 24/7. This is why web hosts exist in the first place as it’s their business to manage servers and provide quality, reliable web hosting for websites and business.
What up-time specifically means is that your website is up and available for access. Blue Host did not disappoint in this regard.
Their up-time overall was 99.99% which is industry standard. No web host can guarantee 100%, but 99.99% is what you should come to expect.
After using Blue Host their up-time per month varied from 99.98% to 100% which averages out to 99.99%.
The reasons a server would be down would be server maintenance, a website or websites on the shared server get a spike in traffic which can cause an over load or worse some major issue with the server itself happens.
Typically though, down time is due to server maintenance and your website is down it’s normally for only a few minutes.
Pricing Plans for Bluehost
Blue Host’s pricing plans are as follows:
- Basic: $7.99 a month. Expensive and can only have 1 website on the account.
- Plus: $10.99 a month.
- Choice Plus: $14.99 a month. This is the one I suggest getting. It’s perfect for growing a medium sized website.
- Pro: $23.99 a month.
Each plan comes with a nice introduction rate that you can lock in for up to 3 years. The basic plan starts at $2.95 while the choice and choice plus start at $5.45 a month. The pro plan’s intro rate is $13.95 a month.
I like Blue Host’s pricing because they provide a nice middle of the road plan unlike SiteGround. SiteGround has plans for either small websites or big websites. At nearly $35 a month for SiteGround’s GoGeek plan compared to Blue Host Pro plan, Blue Host is simply better for medium sized websites.
Free domain name with Blue Host? Not really.
One thing that I find misleading from any web host is the claim of a “free domain” with a hosting account.
Free is never free.
While Blue Host does give you a free domain for the first year to help get you stared, you will be paying an inflated price every year after that.
The current renewal rate for a .com with Blue Host is $17.99 a year. Compare this to Namecheap, my preferred domain name registrar of choice where you can get your domain name for $8.88 a year for up to 9 years in advanced.
I have no idea why anyone would register a domain name through a web host.
Free SSL certificate
SSL certificates are now free (previously you need to pay for an SSL) but they do need to be installed on your domain and renewed every 3 months which is what your web host will do for you.
Not just for WordPress
While I suggest starting a blog or website with Blue Host and then moving on to a host like WPX Hosting as your website grows, WPX Hosting is only for WordPress powered websites.
What if you want to use a different script with your Blue Host account? Well you can.
Blue Host through CPanel provides your standard app and script integration. You can install Joomla, Drupal or run specific e-commerce software on your hosting account with ease.
They also allow you to setup a CDN through Cloudflare integration. A CDN stands for “content delivery network” and allows your website to load more quickly for a global audience by hosting your content and images through a network of servers.
Overall, while Blue Host is closely associated with WordPress they are still a web host and can support websites that want to use something other than WordPress.
Bluehost is Designed For Beginners
One thing I quite liked about Blue Host was the entire on-boarding process for creating a WordPress powered website. After you submit payment you’re giving a helpful walk through in creating your blog.
Their support is also quite helpful in this regard for being able to answer various newbie questions when it comes to creating a website with WordPress.
In addition to an easy to use, easy to navigate dashboard, they do give you access to full CPanel as well. So more seasoned users can have more control over their hosting account.
30 day money back guarantee
Blue Host offers a straight forward 30 day money back guarantee. You can try their hosting for up to 30 days. If you’re not happy for whatever reason you can get your money back. There are some things to note:
- You must request a refund in the first 30 days. After this initial period, your refund will be pro-rated for what you use.
- If you decided to get a “free” domain name, $17.99 will be deducted from your refund.
Bluehost Support is Mediocre
I added a domain to my hosting account, this is known as an addon domain. It must be a sub domain of the primary domain on the account for CPanel reasons.
So I added a website called the chemistryofattraction.com and the sub domain for CPanel for this website was coa.davidutke.com (the primary domain on my account).
No problem, except that Blue Host it did not redirect coa.davidutke.com to chemistryofattraction.com. That means users were able to visit both the domain and the sub domain and get the same exact website.
This is duplicate content and can seriously hurt your performance in the search engines. When I contacted support asking them to make coa.davidutke.com not available they had no idea what I was going on about.
Asking run around questions for 20 minutes and not actually solving the issue I ended up leaving the chat and having to solve it myself (which I know how to do, but I wanted to test Blue Host and they utterly failed).
Within your hosting account you simply need to setup a redirect:
- Navigate over to “domains’ within your Blue Host account.
- Click on “redirects.”
- Redirect your subdomain for your addon domain to the addon domain.
- Redirect with or without www and make it a wild card redirect.
Visitors who visit your subdomain for your addon account will now be redirected to your addon domain.
While it’s nice that Blue Host offers 24/7 support via email, chat and phone if they are not actually able to solve your problem it’s not much of a benefit.
Overall I was quite disappointed with their performance in this regard as my issue was a setup failure on their end.
Website Migrations are Not Free
One last thing to note is that website migrations are not free with Blue Host. They charge $149 to move a website from another web host over to Blue Host. By contrast, WPX Hosting offers free site migration.
A lot of web hosts offer free migration because it’s a way to attract new customers but Blue Host is more geared for new users than established website so this is not a huge issue in all honesty.
Blue Host is designed to be a starter web host; but if you are with another web host like Host Gator and want to move over to Blue Host, it’s going to be an expensive move.
Bluehost Review Conclusion
So do I recommend going with Blue Host for your new website or blog? Yes, without hesitation.
Unlike SiteGround which provides hosting plans for websites that are either for 25k visitors a month or 100k visitors a month (and they cost quite a bit more), Blue Host’s choice plus plan is that perfect in the middle plan to allow your website to grow.
No web hosting provider is perfect, but Blue Host is a good choice for new websites and blogs. Their choice plus plan is an ideal plan for websites because it provides enough resources to allow your website to grow to around 2000 visitors, or around 60,000 page views a month.
Once you get your website to this size, I do suggest moving on from Blue Host. But as a starter host, they are perfect for building the foundation of a profitable blog.
With your hosting account, you get good hosting that is fast and a free SSL certificate. If you’re new to creating websites and blogs, you can feel comfortable going with the #1 recommended web host from WordPress.
They are #1 for a reason. They are perfect for new users looking to create a website with WordPress.
The #1 recommended web host from WordPress.