Our rating: 4.9 (Excellent). Read our experts’ unbiased Bluehost review before you sign up.
Bluehost: Starting at $3.95/mo
The Best Host for WordPress Beginners
Bluehost is one of the web hosting providers recommended by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. If you have decided that WordPress is the content management system (CMS) you want to use for your website, you can rest assured that Bluehost’s plans will have what you need to serve your website.
Ease of use
- The company is an expert at offering WordPress hosting.
- Offers a variety of WordPress hosting plans, including managed options.
- Hosting plans come with a custom control panel designed for ease-of-use.
- Technical support staff are experts at WordPress.
- Company offers a range of plans that would appeal even to those who have not built their site using WordPress.
- Robust customer support via telephone, email, ticketing system, and live chat.
- Starting prices for shared and WordPress hosting plans are slightly higher than its competitors.
- No reseller hosting.
TL;DR: The best web hosting company for those who are just getting started with WordPress.
In 2003, Provo, UT residents Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth founded Bluehost to offer customers web hosting solutions. Over time, the company has grown to employ over 750 employees that help support over 2 million websites.
As of 2019, Bluehost has been a WordPress partner for over fourteen (14) years. In addition to providing hosting solutions that are fully compatible with the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, Bluehost employs dedicated WordPress experts so that they can provide quality service to their customers.
In 2010, Bluehost was acquired by an internet conglomerate, Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG owns many other well-known companies, such as Constant Contact, Mojo Marketplace, iPage, and HostGator.
There are a lot of web hosting companies in business, and it can be difficult to determine the one that is best for you. So, what does Bluehost offer its customers? Well, with Bluehost, you’ll:
- Be working with a provider recommended by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress
- Hosting that comes with a customized, easy-to-use dashboard and control panel
- Built-in website security
- 24/7 customer support
However, does the company deliver? In this Bluehost review, we will cover everything you need to know about this host so that you can make an informed choice.
Bluehost Hosting Features
The features that come with your hosting plan will vary based on your hosting type, as well as the specific hosting plan you choose. Generally speaking, though, you can expect to receive:
- A free domain name for your first year of service
- Support for secure POP3/IMAP email (if you don’t already have email functionality, Bluehost offers 30-day trials of Office 365 Mailbox). You’ll also have access to three different Bluehost webmail solutions
- Support for parked add-on and parked domains, as well as subdomains
- FTP and SSH access for the purposes of transferring files to and from your web hosting environment
- Support for most of the popular databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL), programming languages (PHP, Python, Ruby/Ruby on Rails, etc), content management systems (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal), and e-commerce suites (Agora, Cube Cart, Zen Cart)
A Caveat Regarding Unmetered Disk Space and Data Transfer
Many of Bluehost’s plans come with unmetered disk space and/or data transfer, which means that the company has made no explicit limitations on your use. However, these resources are not infinite, and Bluehost claims that most customers will have what they need to serve their websites.
If Bluehost determines that you are not fully compliant with the Terms of Service or are using more resources than expected (typically those who are in the top 0.5%), Bluehost may ask that you move to a different hosting option.
Hosting Types Available
While Bluehost emphasizes its WordPress hosting options, the company offers many other types of hosting, including:
- Shared hosting
- Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
- Dedicated servers
Bluehost, however, does not offer cloud or reseller hosting (though the company does partner with Reseller Club for those seeking the latter option).
Hosting for WordPress Users
Users of WordPress seeking a specialized hosting plan can choose between the regular WordPress hosting option and the managed WP Pro hosting option. Those using WooCommerce, the most popular WordPress e-commerce plugin, can choose to supplement their hosting package with a second one just for Woocommerce.
Bluehost WordPress Hosting
Bluehost’s shared WordPress hosting plans are a good option for beginners seeking a specialized option without spending too much. In addition to the resources you need to get your website online, these plans all come with:
- Automatic WordPress installation and updates
- A free SSL certificate to encrypt data transfers between your servers and your visitors to make sure that they cannot be intercepted and read, as well as improve your search engine rankings
- A staging environment that lets you test any changes you make before making them available to the public
- Basic security features, including changing your login credentials from the standard WordPress combination to something you choose
- Free domain name registration (for the first year only)
- Access to free and premium themes that allow you to change the appearance of your WordPress site
When purchasing a WordPress hosting plan from Bluehost, there are three different plans you can choose from.
The entry-level Basic plan gets you hosting for one website. You’ll have 50 GB of SSD storage and a $200 marketing credit to help you start driving traffic to your site.
The mid-range Plus plan allows you to host an unlimited number of websites and gets you unmetered storage. You’ll get $200 toward marketing, as well as a 30-day trial of one Office 365 mailbox.
The high-end Choice Plus is very similar to the Plus plan, though you also get access to the CodeGuard Basic Backup tool.
WordPress hosting solutions starting at $3.95/month. Get Started.
WP Pro is Bluehost’s premium, managed WordPress hosting service.
All WP Pro plans support unlimited websites, and you can use an unlimited number of domains to point to your account. You will also get unlimited web storage space for your sites, as well as no traffic limits or overage charges.
In addition to hosting on better servers, you’ll get additional features and services to enhance and promote your WordPress site, such as:
- SEO, email marketing, and social media integration tools
- An all-in-one marketing center and dashboard that allows you to control and review SEO, social media integrations, sources of traffic, and more
- Analytics functionality
- Access to hundreds of professional-designed and professionally-built themes
All accounts get a staging environment that allows you to test the changes you make before you make them publicly available.
WP Pro Hosting Plans
Customers who choose to buy a WP Pro package can choose from three different options.
The Basic plan gets you everything mentioned above, as well as a basic subscription to the Jetpack Site Analytics plugin, daily scheduled backups, malware detection and removal, domain privacy protection, and a 30-day trial to one Office 365 mailbox.
The Grow plan builds on the Basic plan, but Bluehost adds in a Jetpack Premium subscription, business review tools for your customers to share their experiences with you, SEO tools, integration with Jetpack Ads, support for video compression, and premium support (that will assist you with troubleshooting and things like design).
The high-end Scale plan gets you everything in the Basic and Grow plans, plus an upgraded Jetpack Pro subscription, unlimited backups and restoration, integration in PayPal to help facilitate sales, unlimited video compression support, premium live chat support.
Managed WordPress hosting starting at $19.95/month. Get Started.
If you are using WooCommerce, the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress, to power your online site, you might consider a supplemental hosting plan to ensure that both your website and your store have the resources they need to perform well. Bluehost offers three different e-commerce plans to its customers:
- Starter: support for one online store with 100 GB of SSD storage, pre-installation of the Storefront theme, an SSL certificate, domain privacy services, a free setup call, and a 30-day trial of Office 365 mailbox
- Plus: everything in the Starter plan, plus support for an unlimited number of stores with unmetered SSD storage and access to CodeGuard Backup Basic
- Pro: everything in the Plus plan, as well as access to Bluehost’s SEO tools
All of Bluehost’s e-commerce plans also come with a free domain name, auto-installation of WooCommerce, a dedicated IP address to protect your site, plus marketing credits.
WooCommerce hosting solutions starting at $6.95/month. Get Started.
General Web Hosting Options
Bluehost places a lot of emphasis on its WordPress hosting options, but the company offers shared and virtual private server (VPS) hosting, as well as dedicated servers, that even non-WordPress users would find compelling.
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans are budget-friendly options that feature everything you need to get your website up. Shared hosting plans feature servers that host many websites, which means that Bluehost can spread the cost of hosting around. Nevertheless, many will still find the performance offered by a shared hosting option acceptable.
As with the WordPress hosting options, those wanting shared hosting have several different plans from which they can choose.
Those just starting out with a single website will be happy with the 50 GB of SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth offered by the Basic plan. The plan also includes a free SSL Certificate and a domain name.
For customers who need a bit more from their hosting package, the Plus plan gets you hosting for an unlimited number of websites, unlimited SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth. You’ll also get a free SSL certificate, use of unlimited domain names, and protection from spam.
The high-end Choice Plus plan, which is the plan Bluehost recommends, gets you everything in the Plus plan, as well as domain privacy protection and CodeGuard Basic Site Backup.
The choices do not stop there. The most expensive option Bluehost offers is the Pro plan, which builds on the Choice Plus plan by adding in hosting on a high performance server, additional spam protection, and a dedicated IP address.
Please note that shared hosting plans do not come with email functionality, though Bluehost offers all of its customers a free 30-day trial of one Office 365 Mailbox.
Shared hosting solutions starting at $3.95/month. Get Started.
Shared hosting is more limited and isn’t as fast as other types of hosting, but there are several features Bluehost offers to help you get more from your plan. First, the company offers resource protection, which identifies websites using excessive resources. These sites are then assigned to isolated systems to help protect your website from their higher levels of usage.
Bluehost also offers its customers easy scalability. If you ever need to upgrade, you can do so easily from the provided Dashboard you use to manage your website.
Finally, Bluehost offers built-in support for CloudFlare’s content delivery network (CDN). CDNs can help improve your website’s performance by caching your site on a network of proxy servers and delivering your content from the server closest to your visitor to minimize the time needed to transfer data.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
Virtual private server (VPS) is like shared hosting, but because Bluehost uses virtualization software that protects your resource allocation, you’ll see better website performance.
Bluehost offers VPS hosting featuring all-SSD drives for growing or large websites that handle higher traffic levels. All VPN plans come with a year of domain name registration, a 30-day money back guarantee, and 24/7 support.
Those new to VPS hosting would find the Standard plan appropriate. It comes with 2 CPU Cores, 30 GB of SSD storage, 2 GB of RAM, 1 TB of bandwidth, and 1 IP address.
The mid-range Enhanced plan comes with a bit more and is ideal for a more established website. You’ll get 2 CPU Cores, 60 GB of SSD storage, 4 GB of RAM, 2 TB of bandwidth, and 2 IP addresses.
For resource-intensive, highly trafficked websites (yet ones not quite ready for a dedicated server), Bluehost offers the Ultimate plan. With this option, you will get 4 CPU Cores, 120 GB of SSD storage, 8 GB of RAM, 3 TB of bandwidth, and 2 IP addresses.
The VPS hosting plans come with robust access control features, which means that you can grant access to various parts of your hosting environment. You can transfer files to your server using the file transfer protocol (FTP).
VPS hosting solutions starting at $19.99/month. Get Started.
If you need more for your VPS hosting plan, Bluehost offers add-ons, such as domain privacy protection (which helps you prevent identity theft, phishing attacks, and spam messages) and SiteLock, which monitors for and automatically resolves security-related issues.
Bluehost bills its dedicated hosting option as being appropriate for “websites that require the ultimate in performance, security, and control.” Dedicated hosting can offer you all of these things because you get a full server to yourself. This server hosts only your website; you will not have to share any of your resources with another website.
The entry-level Standard plan gets you (4) 2.3 GHz cores, 500 GB of mirrored storage, 4 GB of RAM, 5 TB of bandwidth, and 3 IP addresses.
The mid-range Enhanced plan gets you (4) 2.5 GHz cores, 1 TB of mirrored storage, 8 GB of RAM, 10 TB of bandwidth, and 4 IP addresses.
The high-end Premium plan gets you (4) 3.3 GHz cores, 1 TB of mirrored storage, 16 GB of RAM, 15 TB of bandwidth, and 5 IP addresses.
No matter which dedicated hosting plan you pick, you will get:
- Free domain name registration for the first year
- A free SSL certificate
- A 30-day money back guarantee (many competing hosts do not offer money back guarantees for dedicated hosting)
Please note, however, that Bluehost’s dedicated servers are unmanaged options, which means that you will have no limits as to what you can access and control in your web hosting environment. You can make changes to the operating system, the webserver, and more. To help with these tasks, Bluehost offers its dedicated hosting customer an improved cPanel that makes it easy to manage your websites, domains, emails, web hosting resources, and more, all from a single location.
Optional features that are available to dedicated hosting customers include domain privacy, SiteLock Security, and spam protection.
Dedicated hosting solutions only $79.99/month. Get Started.
In addition to offering web hosting services, Bluehost is a domain name registrar as well. Those who purchase a hosting package will receive a free domain name for the first year, but you can also purchase additional domains for use with your website.
All Bluehost domain names come with an easy-to-use interface so you can manage all aspects of your domain name (e.g., changing your DNS records). You’ll also get domain lock, which prevents your domain name from being transferred to another registrar without authorization, and auto-renewal to make sure that your domain doesn’t get lost accidentally if you let your subscription lapse.
Whenever someone purchases a domain name, Bluehost reports the registering of a domain name. This registration includes information like your name and contact details. If you want to keep this information private, consider purchasing domain name privacy protection.
Bluehost does not have its own website builder. However, Bluehost has partnered with Weebly to offer its customers website building functionality. To get to this feature, existing Bluehost customers should log into their Bluehost cPanel account and go to the Site Builders section.
SSL certificates are a requirement if you want to have secure communication between the servers hosting your website and your visitors. Furthermore, search engines take into account whether a site is secure or not when ranking results, so securing your site improves your rankings.
Bluehost has partnered with Let’s Encrypt to offer all Bluehost customers a free shared SSL certificate. Nevertheless, you will need to install and activate the SSL certificate yourself.
If you want additional SSL certificates or SSL certificates that offer additional protection, you can purchase these on your own or from Comodo via your Bluehost Control Panel.
Bluehost Customer Service and Technical Support
Bluehost boasts that they offer expert 24/7 support, but what does that mean exactly? Well, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, you can reach out to the Bluehost team 24/7 via email, ticketing system, telephone or Live Chat.
Bluehost also maintains a presence on the following social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Self-Help Resources/Knowledge Base
Bluehost maintains a vast repository filled with informative articles, how-to guides, and answers to frequently asked questions. The content is organized by type and subject area (e.g., there’s an Education Resources area that features full-length articles about the benefits of a professionally-branded email address, choosing an email application or email client, and more).
Alternatively, you can use the provided search bar to look for the answer to your questions.
Bluehost Pricing and Payment
Like many other web hosting providers, the price you pay for your hosting package varies based on several factors.
First, you should know that the prices Bluehost displays are their introductory hosting rates for your initial term. Afterward, your plan will renew at the regular rate (which will almost certainly be higher than what you paid initially).
Next, the rate you get depends on the length of your contract with Bluehost (yes, even the introductory rate). Bluehost offers contracts lasting 12, 24, or 36 months. Those who opt for a longer contract will pay more upfront, but their monthly hosting costs will be lower on average.
Please note that Bluehost does offer shorter terms (e.g., monthly billing or 3- to 6-month contracts on their premium hosting types).
You can pay for your Bluehost subscriptions using any of the major credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa) or PayPal, as well as US checks, money orders (denominated in US dollars only), and purchase orders.
If you opt to pay for your services via check or money order, you must agree to a hosting term that is at least 12 months long. Bluehost will generate an invoice for you before you pay (they cannot accept partial payments).
Refunds and Money Back Guarantees
For most plans, you will get a 30-day hosting money back guarantee. This means that if you cancel within the first 30 days, you will get a full refund on your hosting service only. Bluehost excludes most add-on products, including domain names, from this guarantee.
Furthermore, if you cancel a hosting package that came with a free domain name, Bluehost will deduct a non-refundable domain fee of $15.99 from your refund. You do, however, retain control of your domain name and you are free to transfer it to another registrar at your convenience. Please note newly-registered domains have a sixty-day waiting period before they can be transferred elsewhere.
After the 30-day period, Bluehost does not offer any refunds for cancellations that occur.
Bluehost User Reviews
In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about working with Bluehost. However, don’t take our word for it — we recommend seeking out reviews written by actual customers to gain additional perspective.
Submit your review
I've been with Bluehost for about 2 years. First with shared hosting and later with VPS. Until the beginning of this year, everything was well. no downtime, no problem.
Can't be better. speed, performance, uptime ans customer support all are awesome. I highly recommend them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Bluehost is a reputable company offering inclusive web hosting options that we think many users will find more than satisfactory.
You can pay for Bluehost web hosting plans with credit cards (American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa), instant pay from PayPal, US checks, money orders denominated in US dollars, and purchase orders.
Whether you get free backups depends on the plan you choose. For example, the shared hosting plan doesn’t come with free backup assistance, though the higher-end plans come up with additional backup-related tools. The WP Pro plans, however, come with scheduled, automatic backups.
Though Bluehost offers a variety of web hosting options, the company emphasizes its support for the WordPress ecosystem, so you will find Bluehost to be a good choice if you are using the WordPress CMS.
The number of applications and websites Bluehost lets you host on a single account varies. Entry-level packages tend to limit you to one site, but many of the more premium hosting plans allow you to host an unlimited number of applications and websites.
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Bluehost Review: Wrapping Up
Bluehost is a prominent partner of Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. As such, many of their offerings are catered toward users of the most popular content management system (CMS) today. Such plans include WordPress-centric performance optimizations, free themes, and more. Nevertheless, users not relying on the WordPress ecosystem may still find hosting options that appeal to them. WordPress offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans at reasonable prices that are backed by 24/7 support.
Ready to get started? Head to WordPress to sign up for a new hosting account today!
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