BlueHost has been one of the undisputed pinnacles of the web hosting industry ever since their founding in 1996, serving millions of happy customers worldwide and continuously accruing countless 5-star reviews from them. Their offering includes but is not limited to: shared hosting, virtual servers, dedicated servers and reseller hosting. Owing to the relatively recent WordPress-based websites trend, they have also successfully managed to tackle with WordPress-optimized hosting, being a proud official hosting partner of WordPress since 2005.
Having been a happy customer of theirs for the past five years at least, it’s only fit to write a comprehensive and insightful review covering the pros and cons of this company and whether the former outweighs the latter for you, so bear with me while I’m describing one of the best hosting companies I have ever invested my money into.
- 1 BlueHost Hosting Plans
- 2 How to Build a Simple Website with BlueHost
- 3 Transferring Your Website to BlueHost
- 4 Domain Registration
- 5 BlueHost and WordPress
- 6 BlueHost and E-Commerce
- 7 BlueHost and Joomla
- 8 Money-Back Policy
- 9 BlueHost Payment Methods
- 10 Upgrading to VPS or Dedicated Hosting – Is It Easy?
- 11 Conclusion: Should You Go With BlueHost?
In the first part of my review, I would like to extend the aforementioned hosting plans. There are three of them as follows:
BlueHost Hosting Plans
- The starting plan – This plan, being the most basic one of the three, only allows you to host one website, park 5 domains and 25 subdomains at a time, and also offers you only 50 GB worth of website space. It also only costs $2.95 per month, which should not be too much a financial burden, especially for start-up projects;
- The plus plan – If the previously-mentioned plan had a lot of restrictions with regard to the allocated space especially, this plan may fill your needs a lot better. You can host unlimited websites, park unlimited domains and subdomains and you also have unlimited allocated website space.
- The prime plan – Similarly to the plus plan, this plan offers pretty much the same facilities, with the exception of the Domain Privacy, SpamExperts and SiteBackup Pro options which can be handed to you for only an extra $2. For this price, it’s a steal!
How to Build a Simple Website with BlueHost
We all know how easy creating WordPress-based websites is, but it might however prove to be a little bit too technical for the needs of many. As such, BlueHost have got your back in that they provide you with an even simpler way of creating a presentation website, which is Weebly.
Weebly is a website building platform which has been around for quite some time already, being one of the first in this industry to provide a minimalistic yet enticing way of building your website. The main advantages of creating with the integrated Weebly platform on BlueHost are: ease-of-use, user-friendliness, versatility, a plethora of tools along with many other. Conversely, the main disadvantage of opting for Weebly is that your website will probably look a bit simpler than most of you would expect, as it only allows you to create a slideshow, add image galleries, a contact form and a few hundred design templates, and implement Google Maps. If you only need that much, Weebly is a better choice than WordPress, undoubtedly.
Transferring Your Website to BlueHost
BlueHost make it very easy for you to transfer your website over to their servers at an extra cost of $99.99 (regardless of the plan you opt for). If you cannot afford this cost, you ought to look elsewhere as there’s no workaround to it if you need to transfer your data over.
If you’re in a hurry and cannot afford to look at other providers, then paying this price would probably be the right choice.
However, if the previous does not apply to you, then you might as well just consider another host since many offer this service for free, so the $99.99 fee is not justified.
Not much to say here, expect for the fact that the first domain name registration is on them, which is an industry standard. However, if you want to register more than, say, 10 domains with them, I’d personally suggest you look at another domain registrar instead, as you’ll end up saving more money.
Or, if you wish, spread them over multiple domain registrars. You never know what happens so it’s best to keep your domain names secure. Every cent matters!
BlueHost and WordPress
Is BlueHost any good with WordPress? The short answer is: yes, it is.
The long answer is that, aside from the fact they have been an official WordPress.org partner since 2005, they also allow you to subscribe to what they call “WordPress Hosting” plans. If you are not sure what this means, this kind of plan helps you conceive, design and publish your WordPress website effortlessly, all the while ensuring that managing it does not present any problem.
In case you’re wondering, yes, this plan is a tad more expensive than your traditional shared hosting plans, but unless you need to host tens of thousands of daily visitors per month, shared hosting will do just fine, so there’s no need to rush with upgrading.
BlueHost and E-Commerce
Great news for our entrepreneur readers! BlueHost provide a wide array of CMS’s specifically tailored around your e-commerce needs. Namely, you can choose anything ranging from ShopSite, AgoraCart, Magento, OpenCart, OSCommerce, PrestaShop, TomatoCart to ZenCart and SEOToaster.
In what concerns WooCommerce, it is not a standalone CMS, but integrated within WordPress, so you must first install WordPress to benefit from the features of WooCommerce.
BlueHost and Joomla
BlueHost do not have a special plan dedicated to hosting Joomla-based websites the same way that they have for WordPress, for example, but you can still install it via the control panel they provide with any hosting plan.
Do bear in mind that Joomla uses far more resources than WordPress, so it’d be highly commendable to opt for a VPS plan if your website accrues more than 500 unique visitors per day. You’ve been warned!
BlueHost offer the industry-standard 30-day money back guarantee, which is quite disappointing considering that some hosts have extended the period to a whopping 90 days.
On the other hand, this money-back guarantee only applies to hosting plans, not other service expenses or bonuses you got at registration such as free domain name registration. These will be deducted accordingly from the total refund amount you receive.
BlueHost Payment Methods
Fortunately for all the freelancers out there, you can purchase any plan via PayPal and Credit Card. Unfortunately for those who would rather pay via wire transfer, well, they do not appear to be accepting it, but stay tuned, as they claim they are currently striving to implement additional payment methods.
Upgrading to VPS or Dedicated Hosting – Is It Easy?
There’s no point in subscribing to VPS or Dedicated Hosting if your website does not necessarily demand the extra features. Telling your friends/parents/siblings/relatives/whoever that you have a website online does not require hundreds of dollars per month. There’s no “being cool” in the web hosting business, heed my warning.
However, if your website eventually grows and see that the allotted resources cannot keep up with the pace, you ought to upgrade to VPS, then to Dedicated Hosting (if by chance you happen to host tens of thousands of unique visitors per day).
Also, one thing that I really liked about BlueHost is that, contrary to other web hosting providers out there, you can easily upgrade to another hosting plan from the comfort of your control panel without resorting to the customer support. Nice!
I’ve read hundreds of positive reviews about BlueHost till now and only a few negative ones. One negative review I read stuck to my memory in that it briefly described how rudely a customer representative talked to him. All other reviews mostly concerned the same thing.
Now, I’d personally advise you against believing everything you read on the Internet, especially in what concerns a few “bad impressions”. If there are hundreds of positive reviews and only two or three negative ones, it’s pretty clear what kind of company we’re talking about here. Even if the respective customer rep was indeed rude, it wouldn’t say much about the company at all. As far as I could understand, BlueHost outsource their customer support tasks abroad, so it’s very likely for you to encounter the occasional “bad seeds”.
They’ve also been in business for a little over 20 years, which to me says a lot. They could have not possibly passed the test of time if they had not been professional throughout.
Conclusion: Should You Go With BlueHost?
Would I personally recommend BlueHost to others? Definitely! Everything from their Shared, WordPress, VPS and Dedicated plans is stellar and very likely to cater to your needs. Make sure you start off easily and subscribe to a Shared plan if you are a newbie. For anyone else, you might as well just start off with VPS, as you’re already accustomed with the disadvantages of cohabiting with Shared Server tenants. Best of luck to all of you!