Bluehost Web Hosting Review – Is This The Best Web Host?

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screenshot of Bluehost homepage

If you’re looking for a web host, then you have no doubt come across recommendations for Bluehost, one of the most popular hosting companies online.

Since everyone seems to be recommending Bluehost, you may want to know if they’re actually a great place to host your website or if there’s some reason why you should rather not host with them.

After all, they:

  • have cheap hosting plans
  • give you a free domain name when you sign up
  • have a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied

So, in this Bluehost review, I’m going to tell you the good and the bad based on my 10 years of experience hosting websites with them. You’ll know by the end whether you’ll want to host with them or not.

Overview of Bluehost

To give you a little background on the hosting you’re considering, Bluehost started in 2003 which means that they have a lot of experience in the web hosting industry. You should feel safe with them knowing they’ve been around for two decades.

Based in Utah, Bluehost currently hosts over 2 million domains which makes it one of the largest web hosting companies worldwide. They provide shared hosting, WordPress hosting, virtual private servers and dedicated hosting as well as domain registrations.

Along with sister hosts Hostgator, HostMonster and iPage, Bluehost is a subsidiary of a bigger company called Newfold (formerly Endurance International Group), a company which owns dozens and dozens of web hosting companies. Some people may find this information a determining factor in their decision of whether or not to host with Bluehost. I’ll explain why below.

Most people who are looking at going with Bluehost on a recommendation are looking primarily at the shared hosting or the managed WordPress hosting. My review is based on those hosting options.

What Does Bluehost Provide?

Although Bluehost provides dedicated hosting and VPS hosting, most people who try Bluehost for the first time are going for the shared hosting plan.

This shared hosting plan can be used to host WordPress websites on servers that are optimized for WordPress. The folks who run WordPress have actually been recommending Bluehost along with a couple of other hosts as their choice for WordPress hosting for more than a decade.

Bluehost has four plans for shared hosting which starts at $9.99 per month (if you choose the 36 month term) for the most basic plan and goes up to $26.99 per month for the high performance Pro plan. There’s usually always a promotional price for new customers where you can get the Basic plan for as low as $3.95 per month and the Pro plan for $13.95 per month. The promotional prices are only for the first billing term so when you renew, you will pay the normal price.

The most basic plan only lets you host 1 website and offers limited resources so this plan is really only good if you just want to get your website up and don’t expect a lot of traffic.

Most people would go for a plan in between the Basic plan and the Pro plan, one that lets them host unlimited domains and allow for more traffic.

Bluehost pricing plans 2024

The two shared plans in between are the Plus and the Choice Plus plans. The Choice Plus plan at $19.99 per month regular pricing offers double the resources of the Plus plan ($14.99 per month regular pricing), and also includes additional privacy and security features.

If you’re an affiliate marketer or blogger planning to host more than one website, then either the Plus or Choice Plus plan should be considered. They both start at $7.45 per month at the discounted price. To have this discount applied, you would usually have to pay for a 3 year or 36 month term.

Besides shared hosting, Bluehost also sells domain names. As an incentive to sign up for their hosting services, they will give you a free domain for the first year. After that you’ll have to pay the renewal pricing.

If you’re not interested in shared hosting, there are also other hosting products available from Bluehost:

My Personal Experience with Bluehost

When I started affiliate marketing in 2006, my very first experience with web hosting was with Bluehost and I stayed with them until 2016 even though I hosted websites with other hosting companies like Hostgator.

I think I started with their most basic plan which allowed me to have one website and not too long after that, I upgraded to the next plan above the basic plan which would let me host unlimited domain names.

My 10 years with Bluehost was not all good and it was not all bad either. But it didn’t end well and because of that experience, I never recommend their services.

Some of the things I experienced that I didn’t like were:

  • frequent downtime
  • hacked website
  • slow customer service

Some of the things that I liked were things like:

  • access to a well-organized cPanel
  • free marketing credits
  • knowledgeable technical support

Ultimately, I left because I discovered that one of my websites was put offline without any notification and when I contacted customer support they told me that one of my databases was being spammed and I should get rid of it. After getting rid of the database (they didn’t tell me which website it belonged to), I discovered that all my legitimate comments on my websites were deleted and I couldn’t get them back.

Bluehost had pulled my website offline because it was getting a lot of legitimate comments which they mistook for spam.

Should You Use Bluehost?

After the loss of over 1300 comments, I decided to accept the fact that Bluehost was not a very good web host, something I knew all along because they were frequently down and they were an EIG company.

EIG (Endurance International Group, now Newfold) would buy out great web hosting companies (like Bluehost and Hostgator) and then soon after these companies would start deteriorating in all areas (customer support, server resources, etc). Newfold owns so many major hosting companies that if you left one company, you just might end up going to another company that is owned by them which meant you were going to experience the same pains.

The solution is to do your research and go with a company that isn’t a part of Newfold. There are many great web hosting companies that offer a greater quality service all-round that can be used as an alternative to Bluehost and other Newfold companies.

Are there any benefits to using Bluehost?

You could still take advantage of the first-time discount and the free domain name by using Bluehost if you’re just getting started with a website and want a cheap solution where you wouldn’t be using a lot of website resources. After growing your website, you could always move it to a more secure, faster web host with better servers and support.

Bluehost’s cPanel and their new AI-powered WordPress website builder Wondersuite, are easy to use.

4 Reasons to Not Use Bluehost

As I mentioned before, Bluehost isn’t the best web host in the world no matter which marketing influencer recommended it to you.

There are a lot of better web hosts around that you can go with from the beginning. Some of the reasons why I say this?

1. Newfold-owned Web Host

Go with a non-Newfold web host. Newfold buys out web hosting companies and turns them into crap.

Bluehost has been owned by them for a while now and their services when compared to other Newfold hosts are much better but when compared to non-Newfold web hosts, they can definitely do better.

One example of a once great web host in terms of quality service that turned to crap is Hostgator. They used to be one of the top hosts until EIG bought them out and then the customer service seemed like they were not courteous and knowledgeable anymore, wait time on live chat increased drastically and there were more complaints of downtime and slow servers than before.

Though Bluehost is the better of the two, definitely don’t jump from Hostgator to Bluehost if that is your situation because the two web hosts are owned by the same company.

Other Newfold web hosting companies include:

  • Ipage
  • Hostmonster
  • Network Solutions
  • JustHost

Many of the web hosting companies that were acquired by Newfold are now “Powered by Bluehost” or redirect to Bluehost when you visit their old website addresses.

2. Frequent Downtime

When I hosted with Bluehost, I had an alert set up where I would get an email every time one of my websites went down. There were periods where I would get an email almost every day reporting an outage of anywhere from a few minutes to longer stretches of time.

The only reason I never left Bluehost then was because of my fear of migration. I didn’t want to migrate my websites to another website because I didn’t know how and because I feared that I would lose my work.

I managed to migrate to another web host when I had finally had enough because that web host would move my websites without loss of anything and they’d do it for free.

3. Security Risks

This may have been my fault because I hadn’t updated a WordPress plugin or installation or something but I had gotten hacked on one of my websites a long time ago and Bluehost didn’t do anything about it.

I think after reporting it to them, I had to start all over again. However, this was a long time ago and they might have better measures in place to monitor and deal with security breaches. There are plugins like WordFence that could help.

But the reason why this is of concern to me and why I’m mentioning it is because you’re on shared hosting and this could be a problem for anyone sharing a server with you. I say this because the web host that I’m currently using has server-level monitoring for malware, hacking and intrusion, and other security measures in place so much so that you don’t need plugins like WordFence.

Most managed WordPress hosting offer advanced security measures such as monitoring, cleaning and restoring but Bluehost only seems to offer malware scanning on their WordPress plan.

Since leaving Bluehost, they’ve been hacked, along with other EIG-owned web hosts, by the Syrian Electronic Army after claims that Bluehost was hosting websites owned by terrorists. And in 2019, WebsitePlanet magazine uncovered client-side vulnerabilities in some of the biggest hosts online, most notably Bluehost.

4. Bad Customer Service

I’ll never forget how one customer representative made me delete an entire database holding all my comments to one site without telling me what website it belonged to even after I had asked.

One guy had me on live chat awaiting a reply for almost 10 minutes and then told me that he was dealing with another customer when I asked him about it.

It’s as if they don’t really care and this is something I couldn’t deal with.

Keep in mind that I haven’t been with Bluehost since 2016 but from my research into web hosting companies online, not much seems to have changed with them. They get almost the same complaints as they did back then.

So Why Does Everyone Recommend Bluehost Then?

Well, you can tell that I’m not a fan of Bluehost. However, there are a lot of people that do recommend Bluehost even knowing about some of these things that are wrong with them.

The thing is that most of these advocates do not host their websites with Bluehost.

If you’re just learning about affiliate marketing then you may have an idea why Bluehost is so popular as a choice of recommendation.

Yes. Most of them are affiliates and with Bluehost being one of the most popular web hosts online, it is an easy sell where affiliates make at least $65 whenever someone purchases a web hosting plan.

Obviously, there is nothing wrong with affiliate marketing, recommending a service that people want and collecting a commission for it but why not choose a web host that you know is a high-quality host and not owned by Newfold? There are so many around.

My Final Say About Bluehost (+ Alternatives)

So to sum up my opinion on Bluehost based on my experience and research, I think that there is still a bit of value if you’re just starting out and want to take advantage of the first-time discount and the free domain offer.

Your site wouldn’t need a lot of resources until the traffic starts to kick in.

However, Bluehost, being an Newfold-owned web host isn’t one that I would recommend due to the fact that their customer support can be slow and not so great at times. They’re also frequently down from my experience and reports across the internet.

I have a couple of alternatives that you can try instead. None of them are owned by Newfold and they all have very good overall reviews.

1. WPX Hosting

WPX  Hosting

I’m currently hosting with WPX Hosting since I need managed WordPress hosting and this is one of the best web hosts for that purpose.

My decision to go with WPX was based on a number of factors.

  • Highly respected SEO expert Matthew Woodward recommends WPX as his #1 SEO host
  • Hosting 5 websites at WPX is cheaper than hosting 1 website at WP Engine or Kinsta
  • The first month was only $1

WPX didn’t disappoint as their web hosting really was optimized for WordPress in terms of speed. They had free migration and support was fast and knowledgeable.

Compared to Bluehost, WPX is more expensive starting at $24.99/month for 5 websites. Bluehost usually starts at $2.95/month (promotional pricing), which may be ideal for beginners considering they don’t really need a lot of resources in terms of traffic.

Check out my WPX web hosting review to see more about why I recommend them over Bluehost.

2. Cloudways

Cloudways website

Cloudways is one of the web hosts that I considered using before settling on WPX hosting. They offer cloud hosting for WordPress and other applications.

Though they make it very easy for bloggers and small businesses (like affiliate marketing) to use their service, it is more aimed at developers, digital agencies and ecommerce users.

They offer a free trial to try their cloud hosting and its very easy to get set up. The pricing is pay-as-you-go which means you only pay for the resources that you use.

To get set up, the process is simple:

  1. Choose your application (WordPress, Laravel, etc. )
  2. Choose a server type (Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, Vultr, etc. )
  3. Choose your server size (makes it very easy to scale depending on the resources you need)
  4. Choose a server location

Then you can launch your website and let Cloudways take care of server management tasks since they offer managed hosting.

3. Wealthy Affiliate Hosting

If you’re doing affiliate marketing, then this choice might be more in your lane.

This is where I host some of my websites and they have a lot of features that will help you grow your website. The only con is that it’s not a standalone web host but an addon to an affiliate marketing training platform for members who want to host their websites in one place. So this isn’t for everyone especially if you just need web hosting only.

The great thing about Wealthy Affiliate hosting is that you’ll have access to a huge community learning affiliate marketing. Support at Wealthy Affiliate hosting is fast and they get things fixed quickly. There are also things like server-level spam-blocking, scanning for hacking, intrusion and malware and advanced caching that other managed WordPress hosts do not offer.

You can also take advantage of the Site Rubix suite of tools designed to make hosting and running your website easier to manage.

Check out my review of Wealthy Affiliate here and you can get started with them for free. However, you’ll need to be on a premium plan to take advantage of the web hosting.

There are some other web hosts that offer shared hosting or WordPress web hosting that I’ve heard good things about that I’m definitely going to test. I only want to recommend services that I know I’ll use myself and that will offer value to my readers so I won’t mention them here for now.

What were your initial feelings about Bluehost? Would you host your websites with them?


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