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You've probably heard of this big fish web host with thousands of new sites every day. If GoDaddy is like Starbucks, Bluehost is like your medium-sized cafe chain with a friendly waiter.
Still, perhaps you’ve come in contact with them through an affiliate link.
It can be hard to tell the difference between good marketing strategies - that successfully spread the word of mouth - and true value for money.
In this Bluehost review, we will go over:
- All key metrics this hosting provider offers
- Their range of tools & features
And explore why millions of users enjoy this hosting company.
- We’ll make comparisons
- Go through tests
- & See the pros & cons of joining this big 🐟 in a big blue hosting ocean.
Reputation & History 🏰
Based in Orem, Utah, Bluehost has been around since 2003.
They've grown since the days they were founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth - now powering over 2 million websites internationally.
The in-house team are all dedicated experts when it comes to WP and hosting.
These guys are on deck to provide setup, troubleshooting, and integrative solutions for your (probably) WordPress-based site.
Although there are notable exceptions, we tend to recommend WordPress for most individuals and businesses.
For this reason, Bluehost’s infrastructure certainly looks strong.
Our Verdict ⚖️
Most Popular High-Performance Host
Overall, following the cool suave crowd can be wise.
And this super popular hosting company offers many advantages that you won't exactly regret... with caveats.
Bluehost Review (UK 🇬🇧)
Most-Popular Kid… Web Host Around. 😛
Let's jump into the deep end, with:
- the idealistic
- as well as the less than optimal
Jump to the FAQ section for fast info - simply on whether this company is for you.
Bluehost Pros and Cons
Such is the Balance of All Things 🤔
These guys score 99.9% throughout the year in our Bluehost UK review.
Which is an impressive figure and a testament to the level of their infrastructure, down to the server sites. No wonder many consider Bluehost to be one of the absolute best UK web hosting services.
Anywhere over 99.95% is Top Dog status - just under 30 mins-worth of your site being down monthly. (This is about the same as 5 hours yearly.)
WordPress.org Recognized Host ✔️
Most sites run on WordPress, and for good reason.
And, despite all of the hosts out there, only three providers come officially recommended by them:
- & of course, Bluehost
Their support team are all trained WordPress experts. Expect a tailored experience from the beginning.
Great App and eCom Features✔️
Loads… Get access to all of the best services:
- Payment & Shopping Basket options
- Domain Managers for Multiple Web Domains
And grab exclusive entry to a Content Delivery Network (CNS).
Just another example - in this case, you can optimize your server, freeing up even more space for those bigger files.
Which means faster loading times.
Unexpected Renewal Rate Hikes ❌
This is a Bluehost UK review, so we’ll focus on the single provider. But they aren’t unique in this, just so you know.
Offering a great introductory price - and then hiking it up, at the end of the contract length - is commonplace, even amongst the big hosts.
It's an unfortunate reality of marketing. The basic plan begins at about £3, then leaps to over double that - leaving you scratching your head sometime in the future.
If budget is a big deal for you and your business, you're better off taking a look at the highest-quality cheap web hosts that are actually cheap.
Unsatisfactory Support ❌
We go into this later in the article. But this track record on Trustpilot does not speak very well for the company.
Should you get into any issues, you might find that a smaller company - with a much more satisfied user-base - less troublesome.
Bluehost Uptime 🟢
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency 💪🏻
On Thanksgiving of last year (this article was written 2020), Costco’s site crashed.
Excellent timing… you might say.
In fact, your website is more likely to go down when traffic is at its highest - which is when you most want to be online.
Costco lost an estimated $11 million in sales during the outage.
16 hours of downtime.
That adds up to almost 1.5 million dollars per hour - down the bog.
Nordstrom Rack is another company who experienced a crash. Needless to say you want to avoid outages, especially when your website is under immense pressure.
Strong uptime is a must-have if you are running a business, or even advertising yourself in some way.
Reliability is, therefore, a key focus in our Bluehost UK review.
If you want to compete with the sites using the best hosts, you will want to get that sorted. But you have no control over the server site.
Your only other option is to choose a company with a good track record of reliable hosting. Fortunately, this is one of Bluehost’s major strengths.
Let's have a quick look at just how good they are, using data captured over a 12-month period, 2018-2019.
Figures represent average uptimes for that month - in “Back to the Future” descending order.
- Nov 2019: 100%
- Oct 2019: 99.96%
- Sept 2019: 99.99%
- Aug 2019: 99.99%
- Jul 2019: 100%
- Jun 2019: 99.98%
- May 2019: 100%
- Apr 2019: 100%
- Mar 2019: 99.99%
- Feb 2019: 100%
- Jan 2019: 99.96%
- Dec 2018: 100%
These guys easily out do the 99.95% minimum we require, to consider a hosting company reliable at an industry-standard level.
BH are industry-leading - or amongst the few.
If you're wondering why not 100%, there is a certain percentage of entropy that is unavoidable for even the most diligent providers.
Amazon & YouTube are no exception - they just use loads of back-up servers.
Rest safe with Bluehost. This is a very reliable company; they have you covered.
Bluehost Speed 💨
One of the “Top 5” 🎩
It takes the same amount of time to read this sentence as it does to lose a sale.
Sound good? Probably not.
We call this unsettling hyper-relationship - between traffic, conversions, and loading time - the “bounce rate.”
As with all good tests of overall website speed, we looked at 3 pivotal dimensions:
- Loading Times
- Multi Visitor Stress Tests
- Server Response Times
Bluehost are very good with the last criteria, so let’s jump into the first two factors:
Test #1 - Loading Time 🚛
Pingdom tools can be used to test a site's speed.
As with uptime, this is best done over a long period. Once again, we looked at a 12-month period - between August 2018 and November 2019.
- November 2019: 365 ms
- October 2019; 478 ms
- September 2019: 385 ms
- August 2019: 351 ms
- July 2019: 386 ms
- June 2019: 415 ms
- May 2019: 384 ms
- April 2019: 307 ms
- March 2019: 236 ms
- February 2019: 339 ms
You will notice that speeds in 9 out of 11 months are colored green.
This is because Bluehost demonstrated that - not only is it one of the 50% of sites with sub-three-second load times - it is well under .5 seconds.
In fact, in every instance, the average was under 400ms.
Good work, chaps and chapettes.
Test #2 - Multi-Visitor Stress Test 😰
You want to think of this as a test of what will happen when you have a spike in traffic of visitors.
It’s an extra dimension to load time.
LoadImpact was used to figure out what happened when a test website was given 25 virtual users (shared hosting plan).
The results are very promising. This is a fantastic company for high traffic - of course, relevant to the level of your plan.
Bluehost Pricing 💰
Watch Out For Those Hikes 📈
You get pretty good prices with Bluehost.
At the basic plan level, you get a quite impressive selection of addons and features. Not much to argue with.
We haven't covered every plan they have - such as awesome reseller hosting options - so if you don't find yours, hop over to the site.
Bluehost Shared ✌️
There are actually four tiers, but number two and three are so similar that we have decided to skip the third one.
Basic Plan 🍬
- 1 Webite Hosted
- 50 GB SSD Storage
- Free SSL Certificate
- 5 Parked Domains
- 1 Included Domain
Plus Plan 🍭
- Everything in Basic +
- Unlimited Sites/SSD
- Spam Experts
- Unlimited Domains
Pro Plan 🎂
- Everything included in Basic and Plus
- Dedicated IP
- High-Performance Metrics & Analytics
Top Tips ⭐
Our eye is on the Plus Plan. They might have called it the Unlimited Plan, as you get so much from that simple hop up.
This begins at around £4.20 /month - but be wary… All of the plans have another number. After the length of your contract, the price will increase to that figure.
In every single case, the number at least doubles. At least.
Plan... ahead for the future with this in mind. On we go 👉
Bluehost VPS ⛮
Essentially, high-quality VPS hosting offers a virtual single server, delivering especially high performance over typical shared web plans.
However, for the best VPS host, you will need to scale up your budget.
Bluehost has three VPS tiers:
Alternativelly, grab a top free VPS - which has its perks.
Last - Bluehost Dedicated 👰
Turning over large numbers of traffic consistently, through your website?
Then dedicated hosting is recommended for you. The best dedicated hosting solutions offer a whole server all to yourself.
Included is a dedicated maintenance team, responsible for managing your server physically where it is located.
3 dedicated tiers:
Bluehost Support 📲
The main Question Surrounding This Company 🌫️
In truth, there are a number of rather disturbing Bluehost reviews concerning their customer support. From live chat to phones, this may be bad news.
Looking at Trustpilot, you will find 300 + Bluehost reviews ranking the company as overwhelmingly bad for support.
At the time of this article, 84% of users rated them as a bad service.
Still, BH do offer the full-course:
- a knowledge base
- email ticket support
- live chat
- phone support
Knowledge Base 🧠
To quickly find what you're looking for, there is a very helpful “search the help desk” search menu.
Email Ticket Support 🎟️
This consists of categories:
- Tech Support (no longer available)
Everything is very well organized - even allowing you to submit an attachment. This is a handy option for the busy entrepreneur.
*Please note that you can no longer get general tech support other than by phone or chat.
Bluehost Live Chat 🎙️
Expect to have light delays when dealing with technical support using the Bluehost Live Chat feature.
You get a normal messenger screen with chat bubbles.
They take a little bit of time to respond but you have them on a deck 24/7.
In some of the worst cases, people have reported waiting over an hour to talk to a technical representative.
With big companies, you either get more of a support infrastructure, or it becomes so bloated that the service is unwieldy at times.
Mostly expect to get reasonably timely help with a troubleshooting problem.
Phone Support 🤙
Plenty of entrepreneurs and individuals recommend Bluehost.
Perhaps they had a fantastic experience with the company. In other cases, they had no major tech issues.
So they recommend BH - sometimes, for affiliate earnings.
This may not be the case for you, if you do have troubles with your site, such a sudden deletion of files.
Comment grievances about phone support is the lack of follow-up, often particularly disastrous problems.
You may find that you are told the representative will call you back.
And then be handed a reference number, with a new rep and little continuation… Some users complain about no responses via email too.
Overall, this is a troubling aspect of the company.
It may depend on individual experiences.
Alas, the 84% negative track record does not spell good news.
Bluehost Bonus Features ⭐
Standout Features to Keep an Eye on 👁️
This is where the company really stands out - they may as well take a standing ovation at this stage of the Bluehost review
They're going to focus on 3 bonus advantages to signing up with this company:
- Webmail features
- Security features
- Domain features
Bluehost Webmail 📧
With the help of Microsoft Office 365, Bluehost provides you with powerful tools to power your business - including professional business email:
- Grab 5 email accounts on the basic plan
- Migrate 20 of your email accounts on the same plan
- And with each, customize emails to match your domain
If your domain name is SuperMillionaire.com, grab a customized email address as Dan@Super millionaire.com.
Pretty cool stuff. No Wonder Bluehost is one of the best email hosts around.
Very important that - because you are powered by Microsoft Office 365 - the typical Google apps that you would expect, such as Google Drive, are all available.
In order to get access to the Bluehost webmail, you will need additional hosting, which begins at 2.30 GBP.
Halt! ✋ … Do not forget that this is just the introductory price!
There are three tiers:
Email Essentials 📤
- Emails & Calendars
- Outlook Web Access
- 15 GB Email Storage
Business Plus adds… 📪
- 50 GB email storage
- 1 TB OneDrive
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Office Online (Word, PowerPoint, & Excel)
Business Pro, furthermore, adds... 📮
- Microsoft Office for Desktop!
- Bookings & Invoicing Tools
- Outlook Customer Manager
Bluehost Staging Website 🏗️
Before you publish any changes to your website, you can test it out using staging.
Staging means you'll get a live customizable preview of your latest design without it being visible to your readers or affecting your website in any other way until you decide it's time to do so.
Bluehost Security 👮
Despite Bluehost not being the most expensive hosting company out there, they cut no corners when it comes to security.
Bluehost SSL 🔑
Right off of the bat, every plan gives you a free SSL certificate.
Though this is something we think every great web host should do, many do not - in an effort to claim extra money.
Domain Privacy 😶
But you also get a domain privacy option, to ensure that your personal information remains private when you first sign up.
This is very important for keeping your personal details away from phishing tactics that savvy hackers use.
Malware attacks and cybercrime are very common these days. SiteLock is automatically used on all of your WordPress sites, to protect you against this.
CodeGuard backs up your sites daily, so that you can return to a previous version if you do get hacked.
… But we're not done yet. Postini is another entry from Google, which can prevent your email from being spam-attacked.
Altogether an impressive... host of security features. (We hope you don't get tired of that pun.)
Bluehost Domain 🏝️
If you choose Bluehost (which is a high-quality domain registrar) for both hosting and domain registration, here's what to expect:
With every domain, you get auto-renewal, which protects your domain from slipping into somebody else's hands.
If you want to manually renew, this is possible in the settings at any moment.
Bluehost cPanel 🎛️
You also gain access to the Bluehost control panel, which is a simple-to-use and lets you change your DNS records of course all of your domains quickly.
Of course, you can use WordPress’s if you prefer theirs over the Bluehost cPanel.
We recommend getting familiar with cPanel if you're serious about managing a website as it's one of the most useful tools even though it's been there forever.
Domain Lock 🤖
Finally, protect your domain against any unauthorized transfers with their Domain Lock - keeping it secure for you, for as long as you need.
The price you pay depends on the extension that you want. And if the domain is featured as a particularly popular name.
No Pre-Existing Purchases? 😕
The one limitation is that they do not seem to have access to domains that are already in use and which are up for sale by the current owners.
You may need to go to a speciality domain service for that - if there is a particular URL already in use but for sale that you want to buy.
You Guessed It… Flash-Round Time. 📸
We are approaching the finishing stretch of this Bluehost UK review.
Here, we condense data down into a sound bite that you can use to make a decision.
Is Bluehost CodeGuard Worth It? 🤲
In one word: Yes.
In two words: Hell yes.
Cybersecurity culture is increasingly crucial in a world where cyberattacks are super-advanced and threaten millions of regular internet users.
CodeGuard is a global leader in disaster recovery, backup, and website maintenance. This business solution reverses destruction caused by cyberattacks.
As well as your own mismanagement errors.
This is one of the fastest, most automated & reliable solutions out there, with a giant database that is used to give you malware remediation, through cloud-based solutions.
You get 99.9999% accuracy.
All changes are automatic and you have the option to bring your website back to previous versions.
Better to be safe than sorry:
- 256-bit AES encryption standard for your file-protection benefit
- Email backups through APIs
- Compatible with every web host
- Easy-to-use migration services
- Staging sites, to test new website versions before publishing
- Automatic WP update plugins, to reverse updates if they fail or cause errors
Is Bluehost Good for Beginners? 👶
This is an ideal company for beginner bloggers and people new to website creation.
The navigational instruments are easy to use. You can very quickly install a WordPress blog theme and fill in the blanks.
You will notice many tutorial videos on YouTube featuring entrepreneurs, from authors to musicians. All instructing others in the field - on how easy it is to create an astonishingly professional site.
Much of this has to do with the integration with WordPress. If you get a good theme package, it really is a case of paint-by-numbers.
Over time, customize your website more and more to suit the image and branding you specifically want for your business or yourself.
Is Bluehost Good for Small Business? 🌱
As implied above, Bluehost is very well-suited to small businesses.
This is because of how easy it is to get started, and how intuitive it is to create a website from scratch.
There are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube.
These cover everything to do with setting up all of the technical aspects of your website, so that the URL speaks to the email and speaks to the web host.
Once you get past that initial technical bump, you want the actual website creation.
For this aspect, there is plenty of information out there too. BH is so well-known that there is so much in the way of succinct informational guides. This is one reason why we recommend a great WordPress host paired with WP.
Do I Own My Domain Name With Bluehost? 🧐
Yes, it is completely owned by you.
The moment that you purchase a domain name, all rights are contractually transferred to you personally. Bluehost is simply working as a broker, similar to how a bank can store money that is yours.
Maybe you saw the catch here - if the company were to go bankrupt tomorrow, continuing to have rights to your domain could be a problem for you.
Because this is such a reputable company, it is not a problem that we need to worry about. So, you can rest safe that your domain will remain under your license from the moment that you purchase it.
Is WordPress Free on Bluehost? 🆓
The short answer is no.
Well, not if you want both hosting performance and an excellent website.
Truth is, these are two businesses with a fair amount of friendly competition. WordPress is a very well-known content management system (CMS for short). They also do a little bit of web hosting on the side.
We recommend that you have Bluehost hosting and WordPress as solely the CMS.
You can install WordPress for free with one click. This means that you now have your website hosted with Bluehost. But you will do the building on the WordPress CMS.
Don't bother signing up for one of WordPress’s plans, unless you’re going for the free one. If you want a higher level of performance & value-for-money, there is no beating Bluehost's introductory offers.
One Possible Major Issue, Tons of Overall Great Benefits
Bluehost really shines when it comes to what you would expect of a top-10 web hosting company.
The basic plan offers great protection:
- A fantastic security infrastructure
- Restore your site to a previous version, if needed
- Get the highest level of encryption & defense against cyberattacks
The intro prices are fantastic. Keep in mind that this pumps up at the end of your chosen term - sometimes more than doubling.
And the performance is top-of-the-range - with excellent uptime & overall speeds, making this a great choice for individuals & businesses.
You'll find the full selection of hosting types, catering to businesses, small-to-large.
The one major asterix is the possible negligent customer support... Also, having a high-utility website builder included with the hosting package wouldn't hurt.
By no means is this a universal experience, so perhaps take some of those Bluehost reviews with a pinch of salt.
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