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.
Best for Low Budgets
BlueHost
  • Check
    Low-priced plans
  • Check
    Wide array of features
  • X
    No month-to-month options
  • X
    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

Plan
Starting price (per month)
Features
Learn more

Shared

$2.95

1 free domain, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL

Cloud

$6.95

1 free domain, unlimited websites, free SSL

WordPress

$19.99

1 free domain, 1-click install, free SSL

VPS

$19.99

1 free domain, managed hosting, free SSL

Dedicated

$79.99

1 free domain, full customization, free SSL

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.

Bluehost shared web hosting plans

Pro Heading
Strengths
Pro Bullet Cheap plans
Pro Bullet Quick setup
Con Heading
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Limited features
Con Bullet 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

Plan
Price (per month)
Features
Learn more

Basic

$2.95

1 website, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL

Plus

$5.95

Unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts, free SSL

Choice Plus

$5.95

Unlimited websites, unmetered bandwidth, CodeGuard Basic

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 cloud web hosting plans

Pro Heading
Strengths
Pro Bullet Fast performance
Pro Bullet Increased security
Con Heading
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Limited IP addresses
Con Bullet 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

Plan
Price (per month)
Features
Learn more

Starter

$6.95

1 website, 100 GB storage, 100 email accounts

Performance

$8.95

Unlimited websites, unmetered storage, unlimited email accounts

Business Pro

$15.95

Unlimited websites, unmetered storage, unlimited email accounts

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.
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Bluehost WordPress web hosting plans

Pro Heading
Strengths
Pro Bullet One-click installation
Pro Bullet Expert support
Con Heading
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Costlier plans
Con Bullet 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

Plan
Price (per month)
Features
Learn more

WP Standard

$19.99

100 million visits monthly cap, 30 GB storage, 2 GB RAM

WP Enhanced

$29.99

300 million visits monthly cap, 60 GB storage, 4 GB RAMaccounts

WP Premium

$39.99

600 million visits monthly cap, 120 GB storage, 6 GB RAM

WP Ultimate

$49.99

Unlimited visits monthly cap, 240 GB storage, 8 GB RAM

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 VPS web hosting plans

Pro Heading
Strengths
Pro Bullet Scalable performance
Pro Bullet Managed maintenance
Con Heading
Weaknesses
Con Bullet Pricier plans
Con Bullet 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

Plan
Price (per month)
Features
Learn more

Standard

$19.99

Managed support, 30 GB storage, unlimited bandwidth

Enhanced

$29.99

Managed support, 60 GB storage, unlimited bandwidth

Ultimate

$59.99

Managed support, 120 GB storage, unlimited bandwidth

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 dedicated web hosting plans

Pro Heading
Strengths
Pro Bullet Superior performance
Pro Bullet Increased security
Con Heading
Weaknesses
Con Bullet No Windows servers
Con Bullet 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

Plan
Price (per month)
Features
Learn more

Standard

$79.99

500 GB storage, 4 GB RAM, 4-core/8-thread speed

Enhanced

$99.99

1 TB storage, 8 GB RAM, 4-core/8-thread speed

Premium

$119.99

1 TB storage, 16 GB RAM, 4-core/8-thread speed

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.

Bill Frost
Written by
Bill Frost
Bill Frost has been a writer, editor, journalist, and occasional graphic designer since the grunge-tastic ’90s. His pulse-pounding prose has been featured in Salt Lake City Weekly, Coachella Valley Independent, Wausau City Pages, Des Moines CityView, Tucson Weekly, Las Vegas Weekly, Inlander, OC Weekly, and elsewhere; he’s currently a senior columnist at SLUGMag.com. When not cranking out quips, Bill actualizes beer money as a musician and podcaster. You can reach him at bill@business.org.
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