Bluehost Reviews User & Expert Reviews
Bluehost Reviews User & Expert Reviews: Full List Of Pros & Cons + Speed Test
BlueHost is a veteran of the hosting business. The founder of the company, Matt Heaton, has been working with hosting since 1996. When BlueHost.com was founded in 2003, he already had the necessary experience to turn it into a successful business. From the very beginning, people fell in love with their web hosting services.
However, as the years passed, new things happened. In 2010, surrounded by much speculation, BlueHost left the hands of its initial owner. The company was purchased by Endurance International Group (EIG). This group gained a great negative reputation due to its lack of interest in getting involved in the improvement of services. It has been 7 years since they acquired the company and it has definitely not diminished in popularity. Is the same with its quality? Good,
- Shared Web Hosting
- Hosting in the Cloud (Cloud)
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
- Hosting for Resellers
- Domain Names (Fastdomain resellers)
BlueHost offers a wide variety of types of services – the only notable exception is that it does not have SSL certificates, which you can buy in conjunction with a hosting service. You must buy them from third parties or obtain a free one by setting up a WordPress website. Even so, with such a variety of services, BlueHost tries to be the only stop for all things related to hosting. It is also worth noting that there are some extra features available for BlueHost customers, which make this provider even more interesting. These are some:
Free Domain Name
With each shared hosting plan you purchase, you get a free domain name – for a full year. It’s a bonus that would cost you between $ 10 and $ 20 anywhere else – but BlueHost gives it to you for free.
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world – and there is a great chance that you have plans to use it. If this is correct and you want to make a WordPress website, BlueHost has an extra benefit for you. Each plan you choose will give you an SSL for free. What will provide security to your visitors and help you improve your Google rankings?
Bluehost offers automatic safeguards daily, weekly and monthly – free. If something bad happens to your website, you can easily restore it to its previous state. With BlueHost, you can keep your files safe.
You can see that first and foremost this host tries to attract people who want to use WordPress. Daily backups and SSL in a shared hosting is very attractive. That is why I have decided to review BlueHost using one of these plans, to see exactly if the service is reliable and fast beyond the benefits and extra features offered.
What is included in a BlueHost package?
There are three plans that you can choose.
- Basic – a regular plan that allows you to have 5 domains. It has limited hard disk space and a small email storage.
- Plus – a medium size unlimited plan with anti-spam protection.
- Prime – the largest shared hosting plan available, offers unlimited websites, domain privacy and advanced safeguards with protection against spam.
The following table shows a comparison of these plans and their characteristics:
|Disk space limit||50GB||Not specified||Not specified|
|Bandwidth limit||Without measure||Without measure||Without measure|
|Number of domains allowed||5||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|SSD or HDD disks on servers||HDD||HDD||HDD|
|SSL||Supported, included if you use a WordPress site||Supported, included if you use a WordPress site||Supported, included if you use a WordPress site|
|Anti-DDoS protection||Not available||Not available||Not available|
|Anti-malware protection||Feature paid separately||Feature paid separately||Feature paid separately|
|E-mail accounts||5 (100MB limited per account)||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Website Builder||Included (Weebly)||Included (Weebly)||Included (Weebly)|
|Assisted transfer of websites||$ 149||$ 149||$ 149|
|Money back guarantee||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat, email, phone||24/7 live chat, email, phone||24/7 live chat, email, phone|
|Choice of server location||Do not||Do not||Do not|
|Free automatic safeguards||Yes||Yes||Yes|
In relation to prices, it is common to see that suppliers show the quote as “monthly”. In reality, those costs are usually only available if a multi-year package is chosen and paid in advance. This is what BlueHost prices look like when you add the ‘Plus’ ($ 5.45 per month) to the cart:
As you can see, there is no monthly payment in a BlueHost plan. The shortest plan you can buy is 12 months, there are also 24, 36 and up to 60 months to choose from. It is interesting to see that the 36-month plan is the cheapest, even more than the 60-month plan (the longest one). All those packages are paid in advance. These are the prices you should pay:
|Payment Period / Plan||BASIC||Plus||Prime|
|1 month||Not available||Not available||Not available|
|3 months||Not available||Not available||Not available|
|6 months||Not available||Not available||Not available|
|12 months||$ 59.40||$ 101.40||$ 101.40|
|24 months||$ 94.80||$ 166.80||$ 166.80|
|36 months||$ 106.20||$ 196.20||$ 196.20|
|48 months||Not available||Not available||Not available|
|60 months||$ 177.00||$ 357.00||$ 327.00|
* Prices include VAT.
Bluehost Opinions: First Impressions
It is a problem not to have anti-DDoS protection. Here according to our BlueHost opinions although you can use outsourced services like CloudFlare the fact that they are not included in any package is quite disappointing. Even more so because if you consider that BlueHost is a giant company and can provide this type of service easily in one way or another.
There are not these problems with SSL. You can buy a Comodo PositiveSSL package for $ 3.99 a year and if you build a WordPress website, it is automatically included in your plan, at no cost.
Disk space is provided by HDD – but there is a lot of space. It is limited to 50GB if you choose the Basic plan – which would be enough for most users. What is more worrying is the small space dedicated to emails in the Basic plan, only 100MB per square.
Luckily, there are no limitations on bandwidth. It is not measured but it is not unlimited: which means that it will be sufficient for a regular user of the website. But you can be notified or suspended if you use the server irresponsibly.
It is clear what BlueHost is trying to do. The shortest package length you can get is 12 months and can be extended up to 60 (5 years). In the long run, this hosting proves to be quite economical. Beyond the BlueHost opinions, the decision is in your hands. If you want to stay 5 years in the same provider, keeping in mind that it is a Basic plan.
It is worth giving credit to what really works, the prices do not increase much as we shorten the deadlines. In a Basic plan, you will pay $ 2.95 for a 36-month plan and $ 4.95 for a 12-month plan. In a Plus plan, it is $ 5.45 for a 36-month plan and $ 8.45 for a 12-month plan.
Anyway, those are initial prices. When the package expires, you will have to pay the monthly renewal prices. Here are detailed with each package:
|Plan and Package||Basic||Plus||Prime|
|12 months||$ 8.99||$ 12.99||$ 16.99|
|24 months||$ 8.49||$ 11.99||$ 15.99|
|36 months||$ 7.99||$ 10.99||$ 14.99|
This means that the longer the package you choose the smaller will be the renewal prices that you will have to pay. Although they are still much higher than the initials.
BlueHost Customer Service
The company prides itself on its great “24/7 expert support”. However, here according to our BlueHost opinions, it is not expected that a hosting provider says otherwise. In order to know if this is really true, I will have to try it on my own.
Like many of the companies, BlueHost’s first attempt to answer your question is through a Knowledge Base. After trying it, I must say that it is not very bad, however, there are certain answers that are obtained more easily through Google. The design of this Knowledge Base looks exactly like that of HostGator but with different content.
Apart from that, there are three main BlueHost customer service channels that you can use:
- Live Chat
Let’s see how each of these options behaves.
Telephone Service Evaluation
There is a unique international number to call (from the United States), regardless of the location of your IP. I was surprised by the options – instead of being informative and simple, some looked like advertising slogans. In the category of “Sales”, I have been offered options like: “Do you have a great idea and want to have it online? Press 1 “or” We can build your site and increase your traffic if you press 3! “While it’s entertaining, it took me a while to understand what option meant” common questions before the sale. ”
After deciding and choosing my option it took me 2 minutes and I was connected with Zach (or Zack). He was an American boy who did his best to help me. However my question “What is the best service to choose if I intend to send 50GB of files through an FTP server every week and keep at least 300GB of files stored at the same time?” Did not respond properly, even the representative admitted that he would probably need a dedicated server and he was not trained in them. While it was disappointing, it was admirable that the agent admitted to not knowing something instead of trying to sell me an expensive service package. In summary, I can say that the agent was court but did not provide the necessary assistance.
Ticket Service Evaluation
One of the most important things here is the response time. It needs to be fast enough to solve our problems without much delay. However, after evaluating and doing an investigation I have concluded that BlueHost has some problems.
In order to evaluate the response time of your ticket system, I sent two requests.
By the morning of August 17, I did not receive any response. Conversations with BlueHost representatives on the phone revealed to me that their ticketing system is experiencing serious problems and only a few customers are receiving responses. There was no announcement about it on the website or near the ticketing form, which is really disappointing.
Chat Service Evaluation
While reviewing the BlueHost chat service, I observed three main things:
- Waiting Times – no matter how good the chat is, if you have to wait an hour for it, it’s not good.
- Agent Knowledge – if you are looking for help, you need people who are able to provide it.
- Human contact – it is important that the representatives be respectful and familiar.
In order to perform the evaluation fairly, I have set up 10 conversations at different times of the week. This is what I found:
In most of the time, it takes between 2 and 6 minutes for an agent to join the chat. It is a very good time. There have not been long queues. The representatives try to do their best to help – they have enough knowledge for basic things. This is what happened when I wanted to transfer a BlueHost domain and pretend to have no idea how to do it.
The agent stayed with me and allowed me to spend several minutes “working” on the situation. All that was needed was just a change of nameservers and Ardash provided the information without even asking.
It is a common and simple requirement but it is good to know that BlueHost’s customer service can handle them quite well. Other agents handled many other problems of similar difficulty without even perspiring. In relation to human contact, BlueHost agents work impeccably. For example, they have no problem ending the chat after being grateful and do not bother answering stupid questions with hilarious answers. But during conversations, they act naturally and try to help in the best possible way. In summary, after an extended analysis, I can say that the BlueHost chat service is very good. It could be better maybe, but there’s not much to complain about.
First Impressions During and After the Purchase
You can pay with a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express credit card. PayPal is also included as one of the options, so you can use it without problems.
The steps for the purchase in BlueHost were compact and simple. I have not had problems with the acceptance of payments, the account was activated within 5 minutes of having sent the payment. I did not even have to contact customer support to help with the activation – which is quite rare and very convenient.
After finishing the purchase, a nice questionnaire was opened before my eyes that asked me if I was an experienced website builder and if I was trying to build the website on my own. First of all, I thought it was an upselling attempt but I was simply trying to find the right tools to make my journey easier.
There were no options for payment periods of less than 12 months. The agent suggested the services of HostGator as an alternative. It would seem unusual because they are competitors. But it’s worth remembering that HostGator and BlueHost are both parts of the EIG group.
After configuring everything and connecting, I was immediately transferred to the cPanel.
It may seem a bit unusual but in fact, it is a regular cPanel with a custom design. Everything was easy to find and the search bar turned out to be quite useful. Everything was intuitive and familiar – if you have used cPanel previously, you will not have problems here.
So far BlueHost has been pretty good. A familiar interface and some interesting features have been evaluated in contrast to quite strange payment options and problems with the support service through tickets. But all this has no greater value than performance evaluation. Support agents can be very friendly but if your website is constantly down and incredibly slow it is not very fun to talk to them. It’s time to review BlueHost’s performance. These are the things that I have been evaluating:
- Host speed during low maintenance
- Host speed with a website created with the BlueHost website builder
- General online server time
- Security assessment of the anti-theft system
The review will be constantly updated to show you the latest results.
IMPORTANT NOTE – No tool is 100% accurate at all times. There are variations in the results that depend on the tools and servers. In order to see the trends, I have done multiple evaluations using the Bitcacha tool that has proven to be one of the most reliable. The average of the results will be published here in this review.
Host Speed During Low Maintenance
A simple HTML website is a good way to test the highest possible speed. It only has a few short lines of code and should supposedly show the best results. That’s why I’ve built this simple website:
And these were BitCacha’s global response times:
Considering that the BlueHost servers are located only in Utah, a state in the western United States, it is not surprising to see that the West Coast shows a better response time. On the other hand, London is a disappointment. Being the only European server evaluated and that did not give good results you can then assume that European visitors will have a few delays. Without taking into account that detail, the rest is a solid performance.
Host Speeds with a BlueHost Website Builder
In the same way as SiteGround, Bluehost uses Weebly as its primary website builder. However, there is a negative part, since you can not place your website in a subdomain. Regardless that’s a very powerful and versatile website builder and it’s good to see that BlueHost includes it. A website on Weebly has been used to see how the BlueHost servers work under greater pressure. I have configured it with a Flash file and many other additions:
These are the speeds:
These two tables tell the full story. All speeds are stable, except for Sydney, Japan, and London. They range from quite respectable to fairly regularly. Apart from that, the speed drops are not great and your website will still maintain decent results. So we can say that the servers of BlueHost and Weebly are optimized together quite well.
Average Online Server Time
NOTE – This part of the review will have constant updates with the latest performance information.
A basic website was set up in WordPress. Then, it was analyzed every minute to control the availability of the host in general. This means both response times such as offline times or falls.
This is what happened:
The response times are what we might call “stable” but they are quite fast. There are no surprises in these times as they all remain around 100-400ms. You can expect some peaks once every few hours, with response times increasing up to 2 seconds. But they are not common enough to be considered a problem.
Online time is not ideal – you can see that there has been a fall on 8 but it has not happened since then. So in general, BlueHost provides decent services with good response times with rare drops.
Evaluation of Anti-Theft Protection
Online security is very important. We put a lot of information online and need to be properly insured to make sure that nobody who is not authorized has access. That is why we must dedicate this part of the BlueHost review to see if this hosting provider cares about security as it should.
There are two parts in this test. In the first, I control if someone can perform a brute-force attack on your password, making many incorrect attempts and eventually getting the correct one. For Bluehost, it has taken me seven incorrect attempts to realize that something was wrong.
It is a simple security measure that blocks the IP address of the user for a certain period of time. By doing this, your host expands the time lapses for retries to completely block the IP to prevent brute force. It is very good to know that they implement it.
For the second evaluation, I tried using the live BlueHost chat to see how they handle the user’s information. I changed my password and changed my IP and talked to some agents. In these conversations, I have tried to obtain the key to the account without providing any proof of identity. This is what happened:
Simple and clear: I have not been able to obtain any information. Each attempt has taken me to a representative asking me to send a copy of my document to his email.
NOTE – when you sign up for a hosting, be sure to use your real name and keep your personal information and payment secure. Change keys regularly and do not use repetitive or simple codes.
The conclusion of the BlueHost Review
BlueHost has been popular for many years. It is now very clear that there is a good reason for this. The Utah company is true to its promises with its quality. Good performance, a responsive panel, and a useful online live chat make a solid choice for many users.
There are many good features worth mentioning, such as the offer of a free SSL for each WordPress website, free daily safeguards as well as a free domain. However, some of its disadvantages have been evident, such as a failed ticketing system, high renovation prices, and an inflexible plan duration.