|Bluehost Standout Features|
|Performance||Fast and reliable hosting|
|Average Load Time||Approximately .65 seconds|
|Average Response Time||Approximately 23ms|
|Free Domain||Yes. 1 free domain for the first year|
|SSL||Free SSL certificate from LetsEncrypt.org|
|1-click WordPress||Yes, included with all hosting packages|
|Support||24/7 support via phone, email, or live chat|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Bluehost?
Bluehost is popular for its plethora of hosting options and features that are perfect for most types of websites, but there are some drawbacks with billing, tech support, and more. Take a look at the following advantages and disadvantages of choosing Bluehost as your website’s hosting solution.
Pros of Bluehost
- Lots of hosting options: Bluehost offers all sorts of hosting options including shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers. This means you can find exactly what you need and even upgrade if your site is a success, which is very convenient.
- Simple upgrades: I loved how easy it is to upgrade from one Bluehost hosting package to another. The Bluehost team will migrate your site to a new server so you don’t experience any downtime. If you need this done, you simply open a support ticket, and their team will take care of it from there.
- Free anti-spam solutions: All accounts at Bluehost come with anti-spam tools to help keep your site safer and easier to manage. I found these features easy to configure right from the cPanel, which means you can take steps to avoid spam from the moment you set up your site.
- Integrated Cloudflare support: Cloudflare is a great way to speed up your site’s loading times by using regional facilities to house and load key files for websites. Bluehost includes this great service with all its hosting options.
- Digital security features included: All accounts at Bluehost come with a variety of different digital security tools, including SSL, SiteLock Protection, and options for unique IPs. Most security features are automatically activated for you, but I found it easy to set up and configure the rest to get the results I needed.
- 30-day money-back guarantee: If you are unhappy with the services that Bluehost offers, you can get a full refund with no questions asked. This means you can use their services for a full 30 days without any risk.
- Uptime guarantee: Bluehost is a very reliable service with a guarantee that your site will be up over 99% of the time. The reality is, according to my testing, their systems are up and running smoothly far more than 99% of the time, but having this guarantee in place should give you comfort.
Cons of Bluehost
- No automatic daily backup: The biggest downside to Bluehost that I’ve found is that they do not run automatic daily backups. While they do run backups of all data occasionally, you will need to schedule your backups if you want them to run daily.
- No monthly billing on shared hosting: While the prices for their shared hosting services are very affordable (starting at just $2.95 per month), you have to pay at least a year at a time. It would be nice to allow monthly billing for shared hosting like they do with higher-level hosting packages.
- Long wait times for tech support: Users have reported experiencing longer than normal wait times for tech support, especially during peak hours. While I have not experienced this issue during test calls, it is something to be aware of.
- Fee for migrating from another host: If you already have your website up and running at another hosting company, Bluehost will charge you to migrate it to their servers for you. Of course, you can migrate your site to Bluehost on your own without any fees.
- No Windows hosting: Bluehost only offers Linux-based hosting solutions, so if you prefer Windows, you will need to work with another company. Fortunately, the vast majority of websites run best on Linux servers so this is only going to be an issue for a small number of people.
Bluehost may be the best web host for: Beginning bloggers, large e-commerce websites or even established WordPress users.
Easy to Use, Customized cPanel
All shared packages come with the Bluehost Control Panel, a customized and enhanced version of the popular and easy-to-use cPanel. I found the redesign of cPanel makes it even more intuitive to use.
I was able to use a unified login to access all of my Bluehost accounts with integration and hotlinks to Bluehost’s help features and technical support resources. In cPanel, I was able to access full-featured domain and email management, and easy upgrades and scalability.
Grow your business with dozens of site tools and add-ons included
I found it easy to customize and manage a website with Bluehost. I had the option of using the WordPress content management platform, the Weebly website builder, the goMobi Mobile Web Builder, or uploading files using FTP or File Manager.
Through the control panel, I got one-click access to thousands of add-ons or “apps” in the MOJO Marketplace. These apps include themes (to change the design of your website) and other website builders.
Plugins or apps can be used to extend the functionality of your site.
- Add image galleries
- Create customer forums
- Add a calendar
- Integrate your site with a CRM
- Allow customers to pay by SMS (text message)
- Hotel booking plugin
- Event registration and ticketing
- A pricing table display
- An app to create and sell online courses.
All Bluehost hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can also purchase professional services such as:
- Graphic design of flyers, posters, brands, and more
- Website technical work like PayPal integration, blog setup, adding Google Analytics or a map to your site.
Note: Even if you choose another host that doesn’t offer a one-click connection to the MOJO Marketplace, you can still get access to it by going directly to the MOJO website.
Free site builders
Bluehost’s custom site builder tools made it easy for me to create a website without any programming. All I had to do was drag and drop features to get the site to look the way I wanted. Bluehost also offers site-building templates.
Free domain-specific email addresses
Bluehost integration with Microsoft 365 gives you a professional email address that stems from your domain name and a seamless way to collaborate with your team.
The key features of this email integration include:
- Microsoft Outlook web access: Manage your email from anywhere, at any time on any device via the cloud.
- Automatic Microsoft updates: Worrying about software or application updates is no longer necessary as it’s done automatically.
- Intuitive management dashboard: Your account is managed from a single, user-friendly dashboard, and no multiple logins.
99.99% uptime guarantee
All of the hosting packages at Bluehost come with a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Your hosting servers will be available to serve traffic at least 99.99% of the time, which is above the industry standard of 99.9%.
In my testing, Bluehost servers had an average uptime of 99.854% over the past 30 days.
Technology to support fast page load times
Bluehost offers a variety of great technologies to boost the speed at which your site will load. Many hosting packages, for example, are equipped with solid state drives with much faster response times than traditional spinning disk drives. Included with your hosting is a CDN service that helps speed up the loading of images, videos, and other large files.
Free Cloudflare integration to speed up your site
Your sites will be automatically configured to use the Cloudflare system, designed to take key files from your website and distribute them across various data centers. When someone tries to load your site, they will pull the largest files from a geographically-close server, so it will load more quickly.
Free SSL certificate
All hosting packages at Bluehost come with a free shared SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt SSL that will provide your site with significant security. It also ensures your site is following best practices regarding security, which Google confirms is important for proper SEO.
Advanced security options
Bluehost offers all the standard hosting security features found at all good hosting providers. This includes things like powerful firewalls to prevent unauthorized traffic to your site, monitored internet connectivity, and more. In addition to ensuring the security of your website, Bluehost allows you to take any needed security measures.
For example, as I tested Bluehost, I was able to create:
- IP address blacklists
- Password-protected directories
- Manage private keys and digital certificates
- Filters for email accounts and users
The only possible downside to Bluehost’s security is that the company does backups at its own discretion, so you must do daily backups for full security.
Alternatively, you can pay for one of its premium (and automated) backup services like CodeGuard or JetPack Premium.
Uptime and reliability
According to our tests, Bluehost servers had an average uptime of 99.854% over the past 30 days, which is quite impressive. Its all-time uptime is over 99.94%.
If you host your site on Bluehost, count on it being up and running virtually all the time.
Site response times
The speed at which a site loads has more to do with how the site is made than the actual servers. Bluehost’s servers definitely offer great response times though. It also does not oversell its shared hosting servers, a cost-savings strategy that some low-quality hosting companies engage in.
In addition to great servers, Bluehost offers CloudFlair services with many of its hosting packages, further speeding things up.
My testing shows that Bluehost has an average response time of 1884 ms, which means your site will load very quickly. This is just the speed at which Bluehost’s servers will reply to a web request. Your specific site’s load times will also depend significantly on how you make your site.
Optimized WordPress tools
Bluehost also helps its customers by providing a variety of WordPress site-building tools. Customers who use these tools can be confident that their sites are properly made and configured so that they will be up and stable and that they will load quickly at all times.
Even shared hosting packages come with a free SSL certificate.
Protecting your data
If you opt for its dedicated servers, you’ll get what’s known as “RAID Level 1” support, meaning your data is mirrored to multiple disks. This increases the reliability and security of your data. (RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks.)
When it comes to web hosting, the best type of customer support is available 24/7 and covers all support avenues including live chat, support tickets, telephone, and email. This is exactly what you get from Bluehost with the addition of a help desk and trained in-house experts manning all customer support avenues.
While overall Bluehost’s support seems good, I experienced a delay in live chat responses. But once I got a technical support representative, my problem was resolved quickly. Bluehost live chat is available even if you aren’t yet a customer, so you can go through a quick test drive to see if you like the level of support offered.
The following are just some of the recent product improvements rolled out by Bluehost:
- Partnering with Yoast: Bluehost’s parent company, Newfold Digital, has acquired Yoast, a leading SEO WordPress plugin. It will be easier than ever for Bluehost customers to take advantage of the powerful SEO features offered by Yoast.
- New website design tools: Bluehost has recently launched its own website builder suite to help customers create unique pages that look and function well. This WordPress-focused tool can be used to make almost any type of site.
- New WordPress migration plugin: Migrate your WordPress site from one hosting company to Bluehost quickly and for free thanks to the new plugin.
- Maestro to manage multiple sites: It can be difficult to keep multiple sites updated and working properly, so Bluehost recently added a tool called Maestro, allowing you to more easily manage multiple WordPress websites.
- Premium themes marketplace: Choose from hundreds of different WordPress themes to give your site a premium look at an affordable price.
Compare Bluehost Alternatives
Bluehost is pretty close to being the perfect web host, but alternatives like SiteGround, GreenGeeks, and HostGator may be a better fit for your needs. We looked closely at each company, spent time using their services, and researched each one for hours. Our research provides objective information about each company so you can find the best one for you.
See how Bluehost compares to other top-tier hosting companies the team here at Digital.com recommends:
Frequently Asked Questions About Bluehost
Who owns Bluehost?
What are the Bluehost nameservers?
Where are the Bluehost servers located?
What are the best alternatives to Bluehost?
What is Bluehost’s cheapest hosting plan?
Can you register domain names with Bluehost?
Can you automatically install WordPress with Bluehost?
How I Rated Bluehost
Our rating system takes a comprehensive approach to the services that are provided. I looked at all the different services offered and determined how well Bluehost does compared to other services. This was done both with direct testing as well as running tests through third-party services to ensure we got the most accurate results possible.
While I evaluated every aspect of the hosting services from Bluehost, I did weigh certain factors heavier than others. The most important factors include the speed and response times of the hosting, the reliability of the services, the quality of customer service, and the diversity of hosting options offered.
Looking at the hosting offered by Bluehost as a whole, it was easy to give this company a full 5/5. It has been providing exceptional hosting services at affordable prices for many years, and I’m confident it will continue to be a top-tier hosting company long into the future.