Bluehost Review (Updated for 2020)

Bluehost is one of the most well known hosting providers. It was founded over 15 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah. Bluehost primarily provides shared hosting but also offers an array of other hosting services  like: 

Fun fact: Bluehost is owned by a company called Endurance International Group (EIG). It is their flagship brand. EIG has over four million customers worldwide — half of those use Bluehost — which means you won’t have to worry about this provider going out of business anytime soon! 

Pros of Bluehost

Cheap introductory pricing

It’s easy to get started with Bluehost thanks to their cheap introductory pricing, starting at just $2.95/mo when you use our referral link (please click out link before you purchase — you directly support our website!). You can lock in this special pricing for up to three years.

Easy to use backend

Bluehost launched a new user interface in 2018 called Bluerock. This new interface refreshes the old, cluttered cPanel look into a more modern look that we think beginners will find easier to use. This is important for people new to the web, as confusing backends are frankly a turnoff and can scare some away.

Take a look at the aesthetic: 

Bluehost's Blue Rock backend

Recommend by WordPress.org

Only three providers are officially recommended by WordPress.org, the Content Management System (CMS) that powers a third of the web — Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround.

Matt Mullenweg, the guy who founded WordPress, and his team regularly reviews top web hosting companies and only choose a select few for their official recommendation. Speed and infrastructure are certainly a metric they look at, but Bluehost and others also give back to WordPress by helping develop the open source software.

Cons of Bluehost

You’ll pay for site migrations 

For shared hosting customers, Bluehost charges $150 for their professional website migration service. This includes the migration of up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.

If you’re not using shared hosting, you’re out of luck! Bluehost doesn’t offer migration support for higher tier VPS and Dedicated Server plans.

Bluehost’s expensive migration fees are one of the main reasons we only recommend getting started with them. After your initial hosting term, we typically recommend moving to a provider like InMotion who is well known for their fast VPS product and offers free website migrations.

You’ll feel like a number

Bluehost is huge so don’t expect anything close to stellar support. You may get a rep or two who exceed expectations, but more often than not, Bluehost’s support will leave something to be desired. This is okay if you’re working with an experienced web developer, though. Your developer likely will know more than Bluehost’s front-line support team.

We recently contacted Bluehost’s support team via live chat.  We waited on average five minutes between each response. That may be acceptable if the rep provided a comprehensive responsive for each question, but that wasn’t the case. We felt like the rep wasn’t quite sure what they were talking about – throwing around random tech lingo to provide the appearance that they do.

Renewals are high

We recommend getting started with Bluehost to take advantage of their phenomenal intro pricing — as low as $2.95/mo for 36 months! That really is a great deal.

When it comes time to renew your plan, however, expect some sticker shock. Your renewal may be 2x to 3x as much as you initially paid! This is one of the most frustrating aspects of the web hosting industry, unfortunately. Most companies get you in with incredible pricing and then jack up the rates at renewal.

This is all okay, if you go with Bluehost, though. Why? Well, we typically only recommend Bluehost if you’re getting started online. After 2 to 3 years, your business will likely be ready for something more robust – like a Virtual Private Server. When that time comes, we’d recommend heading over to a provider like InMotion Hosting which offers fantastic pricing on their VPS plans, but free migration as well.

Bluehost Plans & Pricing

Bluehost offers all types of hosting plans. It’s refreshing to see a provider investing in innovation — they recently launched Woocommerce plans, for example — instead of relying on the same old plans they’ve been selling for years.

Shared hosting

Four shared hosting plans are offered, each offering unlimited storage and bandwidth with the exception of their Basic Plan (limited to 50GB):

  • Basic – starting at $3.95/mo (renews at 
    • 1 website
    • 20 databases
  • Plus – starting at $4.95/mo
    • Unlimited websites
    • Unlimited databases
  • Choice Plus – starting at $5.95/mo
    • Unlimited websites
    • Unlimited databases
    • Backups included
  • Pro – starting at $9.95/mo
    • Unlimited websites
    • Unlimited databases
    • Backups included
    • Dedicated IP included

Bluehost recommends their Choice Plus plan, and we tend to agree for most customers. Why? It includes backups. They call this CodeGuard Basic which allows you to make manual and automatic backups of your website.

WooCommerce hosting

Building on their line of Managed WordPress Hosting, Bluehost also has a product dedicated to Woocommerce, the popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress.

  • Starter – starting at $6.95/mo
    • 1 store
    • 100GB storage
  • Plus – starting at $8.95/mo
    • Unlimited stores
    • Unlimited storage
    • Backups included
  • Pro – starting at $12.95/mo
    • Unlimited stores
    • Unlimited storage
    • Backups included
    • SEO tools

Bluehost recommends their Plus plan if you’re signing up for their Woocommerce solutions. We agree, simply because it includes backups – which are essential, especially if you’re running a store online.

WordPress hosting

Bluehost, following the likes of managed providers like WP Engine, recently launched a new product line dedicated to WordPress. All of these plans allow you to host unlimited websites and there’s no storage limit, either.

  • Build – starting at $19.95/mo
    • Jetpack Basic
  • Grow – starting at $29.95/mo
    • Jetpack Premium
    • Expert support via tickets
  • Scale – starting at $49.95/mo
    • Jetpack Pro
    • Expert support via tickets and live chat 

Bluehost’s Grow & Scale plans include their premium expert support offering called Blue Sky. This is the main feature that makes their Managed WordPress different. Since it’s not offered with their Build tier, we’re hesitant to recommend that.

VPS hosting

Bluehost offers a standard assortment of VPS plans. All of them include cPanel running on top of Cent OS, which includes full root access.

  • Standard – starting at $18.99/mo (renews at $29.99/mo)
    • 2 Cores
    • 30 GB SSD Storage
    • 2 GB RAM
    • 1 TB Bandwidth
    • 1 IP Address
  • Enhanced – starting at $29.99/mo (renews at $59.99/mo) 
    • 2 Cores
    • 60 GB SSD Storage
    • 4 GB RAM
    • 2 TB Bandwidth
    • 2 IP Addresses
  • Ultimate – starting at $59.99/mo (renews at $119.99/mo) 
    • 4 Cores
    • 120 GB SSD Storage
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 3 TB Bandwidth
    • 2 IP Addresses

Bluehost recommends their Enhanced VPS. We disagree and recommend the Standard option. It’s affordable (even at renewal), and if you need more than 2 Cores and 4GB of RAM, you’re likely better off going with a provider that actually specializes in advanced hosting setups.

Dedicated Server hosting

Bluehost offers an average line of Dedicated Servers, all offering cPanel and WHM. If you check out their product page, you’ll quickly see that this line isn’t Bluehost’s strong suit. It really lacks information about their server specs, which should make you question going with them if you need this level of hosting. Nevertheless, here is a breakdown of their plans:

  • Standard – starting at $105.69/mo
    • 4 cores @ 2.3 GHz
    • 2x500GB Storage (RAID-1) 
    • 4 GB RAM
    • 5 TB Bandwidth
    • 3 IP Addresses
  • Enhanced – starting at $166.59/mo
    • 4 cores @ 2.5 GHz
    • 2x1TB Storage (RAID-1)
    • 8 GB RAM
    • 10 TB Bandwidth
    • 4 IP Addresses
  • Premium – starting at $238.99/mo
    • 4 cores @ 3.3 GHz
    • 2x1TB Storage (RAID-1)
    • 16 GB RAM
    • 15 TB Bandwidth
    • 5 IP Addresses

Summary & Our Recommendation

Like we’ve alluded to throughout this review, Bluehost is a great option if you’re just getting started. Their shared hosting plans are super affordable for the first term and are easy to use thanks to their attractive “Bluerock” interface.

We recommend going with another provider if you’re looking for advanced hosting, like Managed WordPress or Dedicated Servers. It’s simply not what Bluehost specializes in, and you’ll really find their support lacking because of that.

Bluehost Alternatives

If you’re a beginner and would prefer to go with another hosting provider, we recommend taking a look at the following hosting providers:

  • Dreamhost
  • Siteground
  • A2 Hosting

If you’re a moderate to pro level user, and you’ll appreciate paying a premium for expert level support, we recommend these providers:

  • LiquidWeb
  • InMotion Hosting
  • WP Engine

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