Bluehost Review: In-Depth Look at Speed and Uptime
What is Bluehost?
Bluehost is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world and an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. Bluehost offers a wide variety of hosting plans for beginners and for medium to large businesses with 24/7 customer support which helps you a lot. See the complete Bluehost review by our experts to find out if Bluehost is the right choice for you.
Our Verdict: 5.0
|SPEED:||688 ms (April 2020 to March 2021)|
|UPTIME:||99.96% (April 2020 to March 2021)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, and More Than 75+ Open Source Projects|
|FEATURES:||Unmetered bandwidth, Unlimited Websites and Storage, Free Domain 1st Year, Free SSL Certificate and CDN, Spam Experts, Domain Privacy, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee,WordPress 1-Click Install|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, and Dedicated Servers|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Single WordPress Site for Free|
|PRICING:||Starting at $2.75/month (renews at $8.99/mo)|
Bluehost started in 1996 and steadily grew to become one of the largest web hosting companies in the world. It now powers more than 2 million websites from all over the world.
They pride themselves in their 24/7 customer support, great hosting infrastructure, and support for the free open source software like WordPress.
Bluehost Review: Pros and Cons of Bluehost
- Great Uptime Through 12-Months (99.96%)
- Fast Page Loading Speed (688 ms)
- Low Introductory Pricing ($2.75/mo)
- Packed with Security Options and Features
- Easy to Use for Beginners
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
- 24/7 Customer Support
- One Free WordPress Site Transfer
- The Official WordPress.org Recommended Host
- Higher Renewal Rates
- Cheapest Plan Restrictions
Bluehost Performance Tests
“As page load time goes from 1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases 32%.”Studies show that a 1-second drop in website speed can decrease your conversion rate by 7%. A 3-second delay can cost you 50% of your traffic.This translates to your visitors being 32% more likely to leave your site. And it only gets worse with longer page load times.
For a faster website, you will need to choose a fast website hosting company. Keeping this in mind, we created a test site to see how fast Bluehost really is.
Our test site with Bluehost has offered an average load speed of 688 ms over the past year. While it isn’t competing for the top positions, it isn’t bad either.
The green line is the number of active virtual users on the site, and the blue line is the server load time. As you can see the server load remained stable throughout the test even at peak traffic.
Uptime Record (Last 1 Year)
Here’s the complete record of Bluehost’s average uptime in the past 1 year:
- March 2021: 99.98%
- February 2021: 99.95%
- January 2021: 99.99%
- December 2020: 99.97%
- November 2020: 99.99%
- October 2020: 99.87%
- September 2020: 99.88%
- August 2020: 99.98%
- July 2020: 99.99%
- June 2020: 99.96%
- May 2020: 99.94% (scheduled maintenance)
- April 2020: 99.97%
Bluehost Hosting Features
Let’s take a look at Bluehost hosting their features.
- Shared: the cheapest and easiest general service
- WooCommerce: the best way to host an online store with WordPress
- VPS: not as expensive as dedicated hosting, and still good for business sites that need to go beyond the basics
- Managed WordPress: even more features for your hosted WordPress site
- Dedicated: the most expensive, but also the most powerful hosting service
Here’s what Bluehost’s shared hosting pricing plans look like:
|Basic Plan||Plus Plan||Choice Plus Plan||Pro Plan|
Renews at $8.99/mo
Renews at $11.99/mo
Renews at $16.99/mo
Renews at $26.99/mo
|Other Features||–||– Spam Experts||– Spam Experts
– Domain Privacy & Protection
– Codeguard Basic
|– 2 Spam Experts
– Domain Privacy & Protection
– Codeguard Basic
– Dedicated IP
Bluehost Shared Hosting Details
Ease of Use
|The registration process is somehow challenging, I find their form not intuitive and designed to trick you into buying expensive extras that you won’t need. Their backend was redesigned in 2019, it’s an easy-to-use cPanel customized version. But I really dislike their constant upsell proposal banners, popups and sneaky links. Once you are used to all these, it’s fine.|
|Bluehost includes a free domain name registration the first year. After that, you’ll have to pay $17.99 per year. Be aware that their Basic plan only allows you to have 1 site (domain name), the other plans offer unlimited sites (domains).|
|With the Basic tier, you are limited to 5 email accounts, unlimited with higher plans. Be warned that you won’t be able to send more than 500 emails per hour – not suitable for sending bulk emails.|
|With the Basic package, you can create up to 20 databases. Unlimited databases with the other plans. There is a generous maximum database size of 5 GB.|
|Using their automatic installer, you can add all sorts of software: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and many more.
Bear in mind that their WordPress installer will add some plugins you most likely won’t want, make sure you delete them after the installation.
|The Basic shared plan comes with 50 GB of web space, not bad at all. The other plans don’t meter the storage. However, the maximum amount of files allowed is 200,000 (300,000 files for the Pro plan).|
Monthy Data Transfer Limit
FTP Accounts and Secure FTP
|Create as many FTP accounts as you wish. However, be aware that SFTP (secure) is only allowed with the main FTP account.|
|They only seem to have data centers in the US. This may not be ideal for clients outside North America – your site could load very slow outside the US and Canada.|
|Bluehost offers a couple of extra paid add-ons to enhance security. For example, SiteLock prevents hacker attacks and CodeGuard gives you more backup options. I liked the fact that they have an optional two-factor authentication system, even if a hacker breaks your password, they won’t gain automatic access to your Bluehost account.|
|In my experience, Bluehost’s speed isn’t terrible, but it’s not the best either. Difficult to understand their lowish performance as they are quite expensive – more about this below.|
|In our tests, Bluehost showed solid uptime results, it wasn’t the best one though. This is important to offer solid user experiences and SEO.|
|‘As a courtesy’, Bluehost creates monthly, weekly and daily backups that you’ll be able to download and restore. So yes, only 3 backups and they can’t assure you they’ll have them – other providers offer over 20 backups to choose from.
If you want extra backup options (e.g. on-demand backups), you can purchase their pricey backup add-on.
|Bluehost don’t offer a CDN themselves, however, CloudFlare is pre-integrated so you can easily enable it – I would suggest you do.|
|It’s possible to use PHP 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4. Databases run on MySQL 5.6. Other programming languages like Perl or Ruby on Rails are also allowed.|
Refunds and Guarantees
|There is a 30-day money-back policy, no questions asked. Unlike top hosting providers, they don’t seem to offer any uptime guarantees.|
Assistance and Support
|You can contact support via live chat and phone. The support agents were nice and helpful, I wish they had an easier way to verify the account owners.|
|Although Bluehost’s performance is acceptable and their system OKish, I think they are a bit overpriced. But for me, their support is a clear no-go if you think you’ll need their help often. Overall Rating is 4/5|
- Money-Back: 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Website Migration: Free transfer for 1 WordPress website. Other migrations are $149.99 for up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts.
- Free domain? Yes, for the first year. Then renews at $15.99 per year.
- Ease of Sign-up: Easy and guided sign-up process.
- Payment Methods: Major credit cards and PayPal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: No refund on domain names. Renewal rates for both domains and hosting are much higher than the introductory rates.
- Upsells: Some upsells during sign-up, but nothing too aggressive.
- Account Activation: Instant activation in most cases. If the information is inaccurate or there’s suspicion of fraud, activation might get delayed.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Easy-to-use cPanel
- Installation of Apps and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Mojo Marketplace makes app installation quick and easy.
Bluehost Review: Conclusion
After reading this review, you might be wondering if Bluehost is the right choice for your website?
Bluehost has performed slightly better in the past, but they still provide a reliable service with decent server speeds.
Also, they offer strong security options, a great money-back guarantee, plenty of user-friendly apps, and multiple tiers of hosting packages suitable for different customers. The pricing starts at $2.75/month with our special discount.
Ready to start your website with Bluehost? Click here to select your Bluehost plan.