Bluehost is a very well known company stablished in 1996 with more than 20,000 new customers each month and it hosts more than 1 million domains already. Bluehost is one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and it appears on the recommended hosting solution with the largest CMS in the world (WordPress) along with Hostgator and DreamHost. Here’s my Bluehost Review.
Bluehost Review – Offices / data center
Bluehost is a dedicated company that focus on providing solutions for small and medium sized companies, business and individuals. Bluehost has its own data center using some good technology and technicians behind everything with a custom linux kernel. They really focus on the client and have great support.
Just have a look at their video showing the 50,000 square foot office/data center and the technology behind it:
Basically, they have experts selecting the best hardware components to get the best/fastest setup without compromises. This video was one of the things (along with some recommendations) that made me move many of my websites from Hostgator to Bluehost. Being a tech savvy person and a hardware lover, I easily notice when someone knows about hardware and setups. Aside from that, I have had some slow connections with Hostgator in the past (probably because I shared a hosting server with people getting tons of traffic). Most of my niche sites are now in Bluehost while my big authority sites are in a dedicated server.
The difference between Bluehost and others mainly comes with their focus on small and medium business. While there are a lot of solutions that offer shared plans, VPS and dedicated servers including reseller plans and everything. Many of them are well known for being good at one thing, and being bad at the rest. So if they offer good dedicated solutions, the shared/VPS plans are normally expensive or not as good and viceversa. Hence, Bluehost only focus on small/medium plans with shared solutions giving excellent service and support, although they started offering dedicated solutions a few years ago.
Now don’t get me wrong here. One of the most common questions is how do I know if I need a dedicated, VPS or shared plan?
The answer can change between hosting providers, but if your website isn’t receiving more than 5 to 10 thousand visits per day, the shared plan should be more than enough. I know some big enterprises that don’t pass this limit and they’re happy with Bluehost shared solution. I’ve also seen other big and dump enterprises having much more traffic than that, but not willing to pay for a VPS or a dedicated server… resulting into an always falling down website. Google hates that. I hate that. Everyone does.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a great solution to start your website and grow it for the first years, Bluehost is probably my best recommendation, and then Hostgator. Specially if you’re using WordPress. You don’t have to worry about slow downs or down times even with a lot of traffic. They don’t usually talk about server uptime (many companies do, and they fail miserably), but they have a refund policy in case of server outages and diesel generator backup powers in case of being needed. Their uptime is close to 100%, but not perfect. They always send you a message if something is (or is going to be) wrong. I’ll always appreciate that.
Bluehost Review – Tech Support
Bluehost has a great tech support and they boast a call waiting of 30 seconds or less (I have my doubts), but honestly, I have never had to call them because never had any failures after 2 years of using them. Most of the errors I have had in the past are just WordPress or plugins errors which can be easily solved via FTP. Their solution is really oriented to WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and some other CMSs.
Only a few times i had to submit a support ticket to get some questions (not problems) solved, and they always got back to me in a matter of minutes.
Bluehost Review – Installation
Bluehost offers their own linux kernel with all the basic installation services, including cPanel, which allows you to setup SSL, MySQL, PHP and more without any problems and it’s got many scripts to do 1-click installations (e.g. WordPress) so that you don’t need to upload files and create your databases manually. if you’re looking forward to start your new website and you’re not a tech savvy person, nothing can beat 1-click installs!
Here are some of the scripts they include:
And here’s a quick look at the cPanel (click to enlarge):
Webmail services are included and you can setup everything to work on your Outlook, GMail or even in your smartphone without any problems in a few minutes.
Another great thing is that Bluehost offers a free domain (usually you would pay $10 or so at GoDaddy) and a free website builder with different templates. Great for a kick-ass start.
Bluehost Review – Performance
The performance on bluehost is really good. Response times are usually better than my Hostgator shared plan, and load times are faster in every website. As far as that goes, it’s a great option, specially if you pair it with a CDN service. However, don’t expect dedicated server speeds. That’s just not going to happen in any shared solution offer.
Bluehost Review – Prices
Bluehost prices are just a bit higher than Hostgator, starting at $6 per month, but you can use this special discount to start at $4.95. Try using coupon codes and you’ll be set on a great price with great performance. The reseller account starts at $19.95 per month and it’s good enough to host at least 100 websites with low-mid traffic for your clients, so that’s another great solution. Keep in mind that sometimes you just pay $5 or more for a starbucks coffee which only lasts a few minutes. You can always get cheaper hosting solutions $1 or so, but nobody recommends them unless you don’t care about stability or security.
So, to wrap things up let’s check the pros and cons of Bluehost.