2016 Bluehost review: Everything you need to know
Overview: Bluehost offers 100% in house services and low cost shared hosting plans for beginner and intermediate website owners.
Basic: $3.49/mo for shared hosting.
Plus: $5.95/mo for shared hosting.
WordPress Blogger: $28.53/mo for WP hosting.
Ideal Customer: Anyone looking for a simple all in one hosting solution will benefit from Bluehost.
Quick Start: While Bluehost works well for advanced users, it’s geared for beginners. This is most apparent with their Quick Start add-on service. For $79.99, you get a 45-minute session on how to set up a website. If you’re a beginner, this is money well spent and a valuable service, because time is money. You’ll get a guided cPanel tour, recommendations on what web builders to use, advice on content tailored to your goals, theme, widget, plugin selection and installation, help on page creation including layouts, text, and images, guidance on email account creation and spam protection, and overall advice on how to succeed online with your new website. If you’re a complete beginner, Quick Start allows you to bypass hours or even days of learning things on your own. You can quickly get up and running in less than 45 minutes. If you are new to website creation and want to avoid a lot of frustration Bluehost’s quick start service can help.
Free Hosting for Nonprofits: Bluehost has partnered with Grassroots.org membership (free), to offer free hosting for nonprofits and charities. Even though it’s free, the hosting plan includes everything that’s standard, from site builders, email, domains, 1-click installers, 24/7 support, unlimited disk storage, unlimited site transfer, FTP access, file manager, MySQL databases, multimedia features, script languages, 24/7 network monitoring, shopping carts, site backups, and much more. Best of all, this is a lifetime of free hosting for nonprofits and charities.
Site Doctor: Like Quick Start, Site Doctor is another add-on service. This is a handy service to have to resolve problems caused by malware, hackers, spam, or viruses. You’ll have Bluehost’s in-house experts handling your account and all hosted websites if there are problems. Site Doctor performs software updates, prepares comprehensive backups ready to be restored, scans for security threats and malicious code, and removes and extracts malware and corrupt files completely. Bluehost offers a 30-day guarantee for a clean site under the Site Doctor service and will promptly address additional issues at no extra cost. If you’re not technically savvy or don’t have the time to deal with compromised websites, Site Doctor should be a welcome relief.
We looked at several online review sites to find out what customers were saying about Bluehost. We found that customers were most satisfied with the features and easy set up.
One happy customer explains: “It takes only 5 mins to setup then you are good to go, it is really easy to transfer or point domains to bluehost as well so a lot of time is saved.”
Another reviewer agrees saying: “After switching alot of hosts, finally joined BlueHost. Everything was easy, in a matter of minutes all of my website is transferred to the new one.”
We also found negative reviews however. We found that Bluehose users were most disappointed with wait times for customer support.
One frustrated reviewer writes: “The customer service, if you can call it that, is horrible. When trying to get ahold of tech support either by phone or by web, the wait time has never been less than 20min for me, and two times yesterday it was over 30 min.”
Another customer warns: “As of the last year or so no longer can I just reach tech support easily with a simple call. Getting tech support is like torture. You have to wait forever to talk to someone.”
We also checked Twitter for Bluehost reviews. One user is happy with the speed and communication from tech support:
— Dai Manuel (@daimanuel) December 23, 2015
Another user is frustrated at frequent downtime:
— Joanna Hennon (@JoannaHennon) December 13, 2015
- Multiple Plans: Bluehost offers multiple plans for shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. They’re priced to meet different needs so you have many options to choose from.
- Good Pricing: Bluehost is a popular choice for low-cost web hosting. They also offer good introductory prices on all levels. Their shared hosting plan starts from $3.49 per month, VPS from $29.99 per month, and dedicated plan from $149.99 per month.
- Business on Tapp: Business on Tapp is a community for small businesses, startups, and other entrepreneurs to share their ideas on marketing, strategy, tools, productivity, and finance. Bluehost is a founding sponsor of this app, which shows a positive commitment to small business owners.
- Optimized Hosting for WordPress: Bluehost has a separate hosting plan for WordPress that’s optimized specifically for this application. This plan is hosted on their VPS platform with custom architecture, so WordPress users can enjoy special attention and fast speed.
- Knowledge Base: Bluehost has an extensive knowledge base that you should consult before submitting a support ticket, because your question is most likely answered already. They have a series of video tutorials to make troubleshooting easier for visual learners.
- No Uptime Guarantee: Bluehost has no published uptime guarantee, but they’ve been in the hosting industry for a long time that inspires some level of confidence. They also claim to monitor their servers 24/7.
- Limitations on Plus Plan: You can expect limitations on the most basic plan, but Bluehost’s Plus Plan has some limitations as well. This is their most popular, mid-tier plan for shared hosting, but you’re not offered unlimited website space or number of websites. Many competing web hosting plans usually offer these on their non-basic plan.
- Complaints on Support: Their support seems to be hit or miss when you look at reviews online.
Bluehost is priced well for personal or small websites that don’t require a ton of space. There seems to be complaints on their level of support, but their extensive knowledge base might somewhat mitigate this problem.
Takeaway: Bluehost is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and popular web hosting companies. They offer multiple plans to accommodate all users, but are geared specifically towards beginners, as proven by their add-on services.