Bluehost Web Hosting

Our Take

A solid, affordable web host with 15 years’ experience and a focus on customer service that’s second to none. In our opinion, Bluehost should be on your shortlist of web hosts to consider for your next web site.

Bluehost Website Hosting Overview

Bluehost provides simple, easy-to-use tools for building websites.  In business since 1996, they provide hosting to individuals as well as businesses of all sizes.  Bluehost boasts a 100% U.S. support staff, available 24/7 and all housed on-site at their headquarters in Utah. Additionally, they have their own datacenter, build their own servers, have their own nationwide fiber network, and have their own custom Linux kernel. They feature unlimited domain hosting, unlimited hosting space, unlimited file transfer and unlimited e-mail accounts, a free site builder containing templates and a 99.9% network uptime guarantee.

Bluehost

Bluehost Tech Support

Bluehost makes it easy to get support. Their response time is fast, and they’re courteous. Their online support center is easy to find, and it’s clear that they want to provide their customers with any help they need.  They provide a variety of ways to contact support.  Customers can open a support ticket, send an email, chat live with a support representative, make a phone call, and even send a letter via the postal service.

From Twitter: “I would just like to profess my love for Bluehost. Best customer service I’ve ever experienced from a hosting company!” – @paigepauli

Type of Hosting

Bluehost offers shared hosting plans only. In a shared web hosting service, many websites reside on a single web server. This is an economical alternative to dedicated hosting or managed hosting, where a client leases an entire server.

Backup Procedures

Bluehost does not offer backup services on its servers. This is one of Bluehost’s major drawbacks compared to its competitors, many of whom offer nightly backups free of charge.  From its Terms of Service:

“For its own operational efficiencies and purposes, Bluehost.com from time to time backs up data on its servers, but is under no obligation or duty to Subscriber to do so under these Terms. IT IS SOLELY SUBSCRIBER’S DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO BACKUP SUBSCRIBER’S FILES AND DATA ON BLUEHOST.COM SERVERS, AND under no circumstance will Bluehost.com be liable to anyone FOR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND under any legal theory for loss of Subscriber FILES AND/or data on any Bluehost.com server. Bluehost.com will not attempt to back up accounts that exceed 50,000 files or 30 Gigs of space for any reason.”

Software

Bluehost web hosting features SimpleScripts, which supports one-click installation  and upgrade of many common web software packages, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Moodle, Zen Cart, phpBB, RoundCube, and others.

Traffic

Bluehost hosting features “unlimited bandwidth.” Note that “unlimited bandwidth” doesn’t mean you have an infinite amount of bandwidth; it simply means that you’ll never be charged extra for the amount of bandwidth that you use. More visitors and larger file size mean you’ll use more bandwidth.  Bluehost adequately anticipates and recognizes their growth and they realized that with expansion, comes a need for more bandwidth. And when they need to, they add more bandwidth, even when the changes result in increased operating costs.  They respond well to their customers’ needs for more bandwidth.

Bluehost Reliability & Uptime

Bluehost has a 99.9% network uptime guarantee.

Space

Bluehost offers unlimited storage with all hosting contracts.  This does not include online backup or file archiving; Bluehost is strictly for websites and the website materials.

Caching Options

For customers running WordPress, Bluehost recommends using the WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache plugin. These plugins generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog, resulting in much faster page load time, and greater site capacity due to decreased load on the webserver.

Statistics/Logging

Bluehost supports AwStats and Webalizer analytics packages.

Bluehost Hosting Price and Coupons

The Bluehost web hosting plan is $6.95 per month for a 3-year commitment (although they often advertise this at $4.95 per month), $7.95 per month for a 2-year commitment and $8.95 per month for a 1-year commitment. All hosting accounts must be paid in full at sign up. All hosting accounts include unlimited hosting space, unlimited file transfer, unlimited domains, 2,500 Email Accounts (Bluehost Webmail) and a free domain with signup. We used the discount coupon code “FIRSTFREE” to get our first month of web hosting free.

Upgrade Path

Bluehost prefers appears to prefer simplicity and only offers one plan. They do have individual services within your existing plan that you can upgrade as needed, for an additional cost such as additional domain names, dedicated IP, SSL Certificates, postini mail filtering and privacy.

Green/Energy Features

We are not aware of any Green or Energy conscious initiatives implemented by Bluehost at this time.

Bluehost Quality

After a rough patch from 2005-2007, customer reviews relating to quality, bandwidth, reliability , and customer support have generally been favorable.  Bluehost is one of the most customer focused web hosts around. They respond to bandwidth needs as well as individual customer support issues, and they provide a very good product for the money. 

Email

Bluehost supports both POP and IMAP email standards, meaning you can get email using email clients that support one of these standards, such as Outlook, Apple Mail, or Entourage.

With Bluehost’s webmail pages, you can send and receive email from any Web browser. This is helpful if you’re checking your email from a library, Internet cafe, or friend’s computer.

Domains and Domain Privacy

Bluehost offers WHOIS privacy for domain names registered with them for $9.95 per year. This means they publish their own post office box, own phone number, and a specially formatted email address – rather than exposing your own contact information.

Subdomains

Bluehost offers unlimited subdomains, enabling you to use different host names in the web browser address bar.

Transferring Webhosting From Other Hosts

Bluehost does not offer free transfer of your website from your old host. However, they do provide detailed instructions about how to do it yourself.

User-friendliness

Bluehost customers enjoy the convenience of cPanel, an easy-to-use-interface for maintaining files, email accounts, backups, and more.  Bluehost also support SimpleScripts, which enables customers to install and upgrade many popular web applications with a single click.

Blue Host Guarantee

Bluehost provides a 30-day money back guarantee for new hosting account registrations, with the exception of certain non-refundable fees (e.g. SSL certificates, domain privacy, domain names and check refunds of $10.00 or less due to processing fees).

Cancellation Policy

Subscribers of Bluehost services may cancel at any time, before or after automatic account renewal, and, with the exception of any nonrefundable fees receive a pro-rated refund for all other fees paid, less $10 per “Free Domain Name.”