Bluehost Web Hosting Review: Is it best web host for your business?


Bluehost’s web hosting services provide a lot of bang for the bucks and primo WordPress plans to please the WP faithful.

bluehost logo
Overall Rating4.5 / 5
Low-priced plans
Wide array of features
No month-to-month options
No Windows servers

Bluehost is best for small businesses in need of web hosting that performs heavy lifting for a (relatively) light price.

Orem, Utah, company Bluehost has been in business since 2003, providing web hosting services for some of the most attractive and stylish people on the internet (at least that’s what you’d gather from a glance at Bluehost.com). It’s a full-service vendor, offering every type of industry-standard web hosting, as well as domain registration, website construction and marketing, and 24/7/365 support.

Bluehost is also one of only three web hosting companies officially recommended by WordPress to accommodate its popular content management system—which could explain why Bluehost’s WordPress plans are a little costlier than most. But everything else Bluehost offers is somewhat reasonably priced, considering the level of performance guaranteed and—according to the owners of 2 million Bluehost-ed websites around the world—usually delivered. It’s also featured as one of Business.org’s best web hosts.

Bluehost is owned by Endurance International Group, which also holds web companies like HostGator, iPage, SiteBuilder, Domain.com, Constant Contact, and others in its corporate stable. On the upside, this means Bluehost has a wide variety of in-house resources to draw upon for the benefit of its customers. But those allergic to brand conglomerates and potential bonus levels of bureaucracy should be aware that Bluehost is very much entrenched in the mass-biz matrix.

Bluehost business web hosting plans

PlanStarting price (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Shared$2.951 free domain, unmetered bandwidth, free SSLView Plans
Cloud$6.951 free domain, unlimited websites, free SSLView Plans
WordPress$19.991 free domain, 1-click install, free SSLView Plans
VPS$19.991 free domain, managed hosting, free SSL View Plans
Dedicated$79.991 free domain, full customization, free SSLView Plans

Data effective 08/08/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Bluehost prices listed reflect three-year contract.

Bluehost’s web hosting plans range in price from a dirt cheap $2.95 a month (the basic shared tier) to a still economical $119.99 a month (the primo dedicated tier), with plenty of options in between—if you’re prepared to lock into a three-year commitment (Bluehost doesn’t do month to month, and prices go up upon eventual renewal).

The 16 plans, which all guarantee 99.9% uptime reliability, also offer a fully loaded menu of features designed to not only keep things simple and unintimidating for website newbies but also provide deeper performance layers to satisfy more demanding developers. You won’t need to be an expert to get a site up and running quickly with Bluehost, and experts won’t be limited by dumbed-down functionality.

Strengths
  • Cheap plans
  • Quick setup
Weaknesses
  • Limited features
  • Limited scalability

With shared web hosting, you share server space with other clients of the host—you’re also sharing costs, which makes this a cheaper option. It’s an easy starter choice for sites not expecting heavy initial traffic, but there are caveats: If another site sharing the server starts drawing a large amount of hits, it’ll affect your site’s performance until usage normalizes. Or if yours is the site that generates the increased traffic, you could be charged overage fees.

Bluehost’s shared plans are inexpensive, if not exactly brimming with features. The $2.95 a month Basic plan gives you a single website, 50 GB of storage space, five email accounts, and scant much else—good for a simple blog, but that’s probably all. The Plus and Choice Plus plans, both specially priced at $5.95 a month (normally $10.99 and $14.99, respectively), offer a few more no-limit features for just slightly more money. Shared plans can get you online quickly and cheaply but, if you’re planning on expanding your web reach and functionality, be prepared to upgrade.

Compare shared web hosting plans

PlanPrice (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Basic$2.951 website, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL View Plans
Plus$5.95Unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts, free SSLView Plans
Choice Plus$5.95Unlimited websites, unmetered bandwidth, CodeGuard Basic View Plans

Data effective 08/08/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Bluehost prices listed reflect three-year contract.

Strengths
  • Fast performance
  • Increased security
Weaknesses
  • Limited IP addresses
  • Limited domain privacy

Cloud hosting spreads the digital footprint of your website across a network of servers, rather than relying on one source, creating a system of redundancies that increase uptime and speed. In simpler terms, it’s Netflix streaming versus a Netflix singular DVD delivery—have you returned that copy of Mamma Mia yet? Since your data is mirrored across a network, cloud hosting is also more secure, and more scalable to quickly accommodate unforeseen traffic spikes.

Bluehost’s cloud hosting plans aren’t much more expensive than its shared plans, starting with the appropriately named Starter tier, which includes one website and 100 GB of storage space for $6.95 a month. For two dollars more, the Performance plan offers unlimited websites and unlimited storage and bandwidth, in addition to unlimited email accounts and $200 in marketing offers. Jumping up to $15.95 a month, the Business Pro plan adds a little more RAM and CPU capacity, as well as CodeGuard Basic security. Overall, Bluehost’s cloud hosting plans are among the cheapest available on the market.

Compare cloud web hosting plans

PlanPrice (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Starter$6.951 website, 100 GB storage, 100 email accountsView Plans
Performance$8.95Unlimited websites, unmetered storage, unlimited email accountsView Plans
Business Pro $15.95Unlimited websites, unmetered storage, unlimited email accountsView Plans

Data effective 08/08/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Bluehost prices listed reflect three-year contract.

Strengths
  • One-click installation
  • Expert support
Weaknesses
  • Costlier plans
  • Limited IP addresses

If you’re already a devotee of the ubiquitous WordPress CMS (content management system), Bluehost is an obvious choice. It’s one of only three web hosting companies recommended by WordPress itself, and Bluehost keeps full-time WordPress Core developers on staff to back up its expertise with the platform—at a slightly higher price than most other WordPress hosting services, that is. But with a bottomless well of available themes and plug-ins, as well as managed support and simple installation, Bluehost earns its price tag.

Bluehost’s “Optimized WordPress Hosting” service runs on its managed virtual private servers (VPS), and the pricing reflects it. At $19.99 a month, the WP Standard plan “limits” you to 100 million monthly visits—generous for a new small-biz website. WP Enhanced, at $29.99 a month, raises that ceiling to 300 million monthly visits. WP Premium, at $39.99 a month, ups it to 600 million. Bluehost’s Cadillac WordPress plan, WP Ultimate, does away with the visitor cap altogether for $49.99 a month. Each plan includes one domain, one IP address, an SSL certificate, and SiteLock security features.

Compare WordPress web hosting plans

PlanPrice (per month)FeaturesLearn more
WP Standard$19.99100 million visits monthly cap, 30 GB storage, 2 GB RAMView Plans
WP Enhanced$29.99300 million visits monthly cap, 60 GB storage, 4 GB RAMaccountsView Plans
WP Premium$39.99600 million visits monthly cap, 120 GB storage, 6 GB RAMView Plans
WP Ultimate$49.99Unlimited visits monthly cap, 240 GB storage, 8 GB RAMView Plans

Data effective 08/08/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Bluehost prices listed reflect three-year contract.

Strengths
  • Scalable performance
  • Managed maintenance
Weaknesses
  • Pricier plans
  • Limited domains

VPS (virtual private server) hosting mimics a dedicated server within a segregated shared server, with its own operating system, storage, RAM, and data transfers for more static and isolated site efficiency. VPS hosting provides most of the benefits of a dedicated server, but since it’s technically using a shared server, the prices are lower. If you’re at an in-between point with your online business and currently accommodating higher volumes of site traffic, but not yet in Amazon territory, VPS is a solid option.

Bluehost’s VPS hosting plans come in three flavors: Standard, at $19.99 a month; Enhanced, at $29.99 a month; and Ultimate, at $59.99 a month. The only real difference between the tiers is the amount of storage, RAM, and IP addresses included, and the VPS hosting plans are managed, meaning that Bluehost takes care of any needed maintenance and upgrades, and users are provided root access to the server.

Bluehost VPS web hosting plans

PlanPrice (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Standard$19.99Managed support, 30 GB storage, unlimited bandwidthView Plans
Enhanced$29.99Managed support, 60 GB storage, unlimited bandwidthView Plans
Ultimate$59.99Managed support, 120 GB storage, unlimited bandwidthView Plans

Data effective 08/08/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Bluehost prices listed reflect three-year contract.

Strengths
  • Superior performance
  • Increased security
Weaknesses
  • No Windows servers
  • Limited domains

If you want all of the control, computing power, and privacy possible for your site, a dedicated web hosting service is the way to go. As the name implies, you get a server (which is designed, built, and maintained by Bluehost) that’s appointed to your account only, which will operate unaffected by the usage of any other clients. Dedicated web hosting is the most stable, secure, and robust site service money can buy—and as you’d expect, it demands some serious cash.

Bluehost’s dedicated web hosting plans are designed to handle heavy traffic and usage, beginning with the Standard plan at $79.99 a month, moving up to the Enhanced plan at $99.99 a month, and topping out with the Premium plan at $119.99 a month. The speed and storage stats are impressive across the board, though each plan includes only a single domain—at least they throw in multiple IP addresses (three for Standard, four for Enhanced, and five for Ultimate).

Bluehost dedicated web hosting plans

PlanPrice (per month)FeaturesLearn more
Standard$79.99500 GB storage, 4 GB RAM, 4-core/8-thread speedView Plans
Enhanced$99.991 TB storage, 8 GB RAM, 4-core/8-thread speedView Plans
Premium$119.991 TB storage, 16 GB RAM, 4-core/8-thread speedView Plans

Data effective 08/08/18. At publishing time, pricing and features are current but are subject to change. Bluehost prices listed reflect three-year contract.

Standard Bluehost features summary

Web hosting

  • cPanel control panel (with site stats, error logs, shopping carts, blog platforms, forums, counters, custom error pages, web-based file manager, redirect URL, etc.)
  • Unmetered bandwidth, subdomains, FTP accounts, and email accounts (most plans)
  • SSL certificate
  • Drupal, Joomla, and Weebly website builders
  • Add-on domains, subdomains, and parked domains
  • FTP access
  • Spam Assassin protection
  • Courtesy backups

Domain registration

  • Options to purchase, transfer, or manage domain names directly through Bluehost
  • Auto-renewal, domain locking, and domain privacy protection
  • Various domain extensions (.com, .club, .co, .space, .us, .website, .org, .net, .me, .biz, .info, .host, .online, .site, .tech., and hundreds of others) available upon search

Email

  • Unlimited POP3 email accounts (most plans)
  • Roundcube, Horde, and SquirrelMail webmail options
  • Auto-response, mail forwarding, and email aliasing

E-commerce

  • SSL secure server
  • OS Commerce, Agora, Cube Cart, and Zen Cart shopping carts
  • Password-protected directories
  • OpenPGP/GPG encryption

Customer support and guarantees

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • 24/7/365 phone, live chat, and email ticketing system support
  • System status updates
  • Online knowledge base with walk-through articles and videos
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

The takeaway

Bluehost offers solid and speedy web hosting that’s loaded with features and options—even more so if you’re a WordPress fan willing to pay a bit more for WP functionality and built-in expertise. With the exception of its shared plans, any of Bluehost’s hosting packages could be scaled up quickly to handle burgeoning business and traffic growth for less money than its nearest competitors. Web novices will appreciate Bluehost’s simplicity of operation, and more experienced developers won’t be frustrated by a lack of deeper-dive features. Overall, Bluehost’s bang-for-your-buck quotient is loud.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.