Bluehost is a web hosting company founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in Provo, Utah. They have a staff of 750 people working around the clock. Being a recommended web host by WordPress.org, they feature 1-Click installations in all their plans.
|WEBSITE SPACE||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|EMAIL STORAGE||100 MB / account||Unlimited||Unlimited|
If there is one name you know in the world of web hosting, Bluehost is probably on the top along with Inmotion and GreenGeeks. It got its start back in 1996, which makes it ancient by web standards, but I like them none the less.
I have published the first version of this review years ago. Bluehost was and still is one of my most recommended web hosts. They have kept reinventing themselves with new features and services.
In this post, I take you behind the scenes and show you features through my account. I will also share a special deal for Hosting Manual visitors only at the bottom of this page (you can get $2.95 pricing instead of the regular $3.95/mo).
By the time you finish reading this review, you will know what to expect from Bluehost and (equally important) what NOT to expect from them.
Beyond question, they have built a solid reputation over the decades, especially where it comes to WordPress hosting.
They are listed as one of the official recommended hosting providers for WordPress blogs and offer an abundance of great tools, bonuses, and resources to WordPress customers.
Ready to find out more? We’re going to delve deep into the details in our Bluehost review. But let’s get started with a few quick facts first.
- Plans appear cheap at first glance, but not all of them are as cheap as they seem. You can get started for as little as $2.95 per month with shared hosting if you snag a deal like this. Otherwise, the Starter plan usually costs $7.99 per month, which is still quite reasonable. But WP plans are pretty expensive, starting at $12.49 monthly.
- Get unmetered bandwidth with all accounts.
- The starter plan comes with 100 email accounts. The Plus and Business Pro plans offer unlimited email accounts.
- Get up to $200 in marketing offer bonuses.
- Enhanced cPanel makes it easy to configure and control your sites (see a demo here).
Decision: Which Level of Service Should You Choose?
Bluehost offers five main types of hosting plans:
- Shared hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- WordPress hosting
- Cloud Sites
If you are looking for something inexpensive and basic, shared hosting is probably what you need. This is what most beginners and small businesses are shopping for. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option, appropriate for large commercial firms that need full control of their resources.
With dedicated hosting, you are essentially renting a physical server. VPS hosting is a middle-ground option where you share a physical server with others, but you have your virtual operating system, so the server functions as if it is physically yours. WordPress hosting is of course what it sounds like—hosting optimized for WordPress customers. Let’s take a look at the plan tiers for each.
- Basic: Beginning at $2.95 per month, this plan jumps up to $7.99 per month at the regular price.
- Plus: This plan is regularly $10.99 per month, now only $5.45.
- Choice Plus: This plan is $14.99 per month, now only $5.45.
- Pro: Normally $23.99, now only $13.95.
These prices are all pretty good. But with this deal, you can make sure you get the best price! At the Basic level, you get one website, 50GB of space, and unmetered bandwidth. You also get one domain, five parked domains, and 25 sub-domains. Additional features include 5 email accounts with 100 MB of storage each.
With the Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro plans, you get unlimited websites and unmetered space and bandwidth, which is awesome. You get unlimited domains and sub-domains.
Email accounts and storage are unlimited, along with $200 in marketing offers. Plus it includes Global CDN and one SpamExperts (over $24 per year in extra benefits).
The highest level plan is Pro. It includes up to $180 in extra annual benefits, including better performance and a dedicated IP, which is important for SEO.
- Standard: $18.99 your first month, up to $29.99 after that
- Enhanced: $29.99 your first month, up to $59.99 after that
- Ultimate: $59.99 your first month, up to $119.99 after that
These prices are in line with typical costs for VPS hosting industry-wide. The speed for the first two plans is 2 CPU cores, up to three and four cores for the top plan. You get 30GB SAN storage at the lowest tier, up to 120GB at the highest level. RAM ranges from 2 GB up to 8 GB. You get 1 TB of bandwidth at the Standard level, up to 3 TB at the Ultimate level. Each tier includes one domain. The Standard tier includes one IP address; you get two with the rest. Every plan is backed by 24/7 support and a money-back guarantee.
- Standard: $79.99 your first month, $119.99 per month after that.
- Enhanced: $99.99 your first month, $159.99 per month after that.
- Premium: $119.99 your first month, $209.99 per month after that.
With the Standard plan or Enhanced plan, you get a 4 x 2.5GHz CPU. The Premium plan offers you a 4 x 3.3GHz CPU. Storage is ranging from 500GB to 1 TB (mirrored), and RAM starts at 4 GB at the Standard level, ranging up to 16 GB at the Premium tier. You get 5 TB of bandwidth at the Standard tier, 10 TB at the Enhanced tier, and 15 TB at Premium. One domain is included with every plan. You get three IP addresses at Standard, four at Enhanced, and five at Premium. All plans are backed by 24/7 service and a money-back guarantee.
- Basic: Starts at $2.95 with a 36 months subscription
- Plus: Starts at $5.45/mo with a 36 months subscription
- Choice Plus: Starts at $5.45/mo with a 36 months subscription
These plans look the same as their shared hosting plans, and they cost the same.
However, at the end of 2018 Bluehost introduced a new category: WordPress Pro.
These plans are quite expensive compared to their simple WordPress hosting and what some competitors offer (many hosts sell WordPress hosting plans at the same prices as general-purpose shared hosting plans).
WordPress Pro at Bluehost is a big deal, however, and one of the company’s most popular services (with more than a million sites hosted by the company).
The Pro plans are running on high-performance VPS and offer improved site speed.
Features at the Build level include Basic Jetpack Site Analytics, Marketing Center, 100 Free Premium Themes, daily backups, and Malware detection and removal for added security.
The Grow plan is a step up with Jetpack Pro. The Business review tools let your visitors leave positive Yelp, Google, Yahoo, or Bing reviews for your business directly from your site. The SEO tools give you real-time optimization tips on how to increase your search engine rankings. It’s integrated into the Marketing Center where you can see stats on how you are doing in major search engines.
The top-level Scale plan gives you Paypal integration and Elastic Search.
It’s worth noting that you get live support with Grow and Scale. It gives you hands-on assistance with design, functionality, or general questions from real WordPress experts 24/7.
All plans come with Positive Wildcard SSL, and 24/7 service and a money-back guarantee back them. These plans also include automatic plug-in updates and regular backups and a staging environment that allows you to build and test your WordPress website before publishing it.
A feature that probably not many use is the unlimited video compression. You can upload your videos without optimizing them for the web. Bluehost takes care of it. I have not used Bluehost for streaming and I couldn’t find a review of it either, but support told me they have no restrictions on how many videos can you stream.
These are all excellent features, but still, you may be asking, “Why would I pay this much for WordPress hosting?” Bluehost plays a very active role in the WordPress community and has a core staff of developers. That means that Bluehost can offer first-class customer support and troubleshoot even complex problems which are unique to WP.
This is not to say Bluehost is your only or best option. Hosts like Siteground can easily compete, and at a lower cost.
Free Expert WordPress Migration
Sometimes the only obstacle of moving your website to a better host is the hassle of the migration. I have done it a ton of times. Still, I wouldn’t say I like it much. Luckily Bluehost can take care of that for you if you have a WordPress website. Once you sign up with any of their plans, this service is available for you free of charge.
Here is a more detailed description with everything you need to know about the FREE migration service.
Bluehost has developed a WordPress plugin that guides you through the final steps. Once done, you should see a screen like this:
You will get a link to your new site to check if everything is working correctly. If all is fine, you will need to update your DNS settings with your registrar and you are done.
Blue Flash Launch Support
New to both Bluehost and WordPress? Bluehost makes it a breeze to get started with a special feature called Blue Flash Launch Support. This service is included entirely free of charge with your hosting package. It takes the form of a professional consultation over the phone with a WordPress expert.
With Blue Flash Launch Support, you can enjoy a guided tour of the dashboard so that you can identify all the features and options you can use for posting at a glance. You’ll have a chance to get answers to your questions during this orientation phase. As WordPress can be daunting to first-time users, this is a big timesaver, and makes the process of getting off the ground a lot more accessible.
During your call, you will get quickly set up with your account, and will have a chance to pick a theme which is suited to the style and purpose of your site. The options which are shown to you will already be vetted in advance according to your requirements.
The specialists with Blue Flash Launch Support will even suggest appropriate plugins to you. That way you can take advantage of everything that WordPress has to offer for your needs.
The Blue Flash team is available around the clock every day of the week. That means that no matter where you are located, you can get up and running rapidly with WordPress and get right to working on your website.
If you require more assistance with WordPress after you are done using this free service, you have the option of signing up for WP Live support for $99 a month.