BlueHost: Well-Established, Simple Hosting
BlueHost is one in a group of four hosts all run by the same person (others in the group are HostMonster, JustHost, and FastDomain). BlueHost, the original host established in 1996, is one of the oldest; with over 1 million domains managed, it’s also one of the most popular. But the other services in the group pretty much provide the same features, so just pick the one with the best pricing for you, and realize that you’re tapping into the same resources and brains on the back end. Comparatively, BlueHost is the most expensive, but it has the best name recognition. The company knows what features are most popular, and they offer a low price for those features. The basics are provided – unlimited domains, emails, bandwidth, and disk space – and BlueHost throws in the free domain name when you purchase a year of hosting. For users who want the capability to handle mega-bandwidth, like businesses with robust e-commerce needs, there is a more expensive pro-level plan with SSL, a dedicated IP address, and a stronger CPU.
Uptime & Reliability
Bluehost doesn’t promise a specific number in terms of uptime percentages, but they claim to be the best in the business. Our tests show 99.9% uptime for BlueHost.com. Users can boost security with SSL and SSH encryption, their servers utilize 10 GB connections, they have a UPS power backup system, and a super-strong server. Still, there’s a plethora of former customers out there who gripe about the slow load time.
Oodles of Features
|Disk Space||You are allowed unlimited disk space with all BlueHost accounts.|
|Website Builder||Bluehost includes a slim version of website builder Weebly, which allows you to build a six page website for free, then you can pay to create more than that. Also, Wwith a single click you can install simple script applications that build sites like WordPress.|
|Email Accounts||You are allowed unlimited email accounts with all BlueHost accounts, plus POP, IMAP, and a trio of webmail options. |
|Shopping Carts||BlueHost gives you the option of choosing between OS Commerce Shopping Cart, Agora, Cube Cart, or Zen Cart.t|
|Stats||BlueHost gives you the option of choosing betwee Awstats and Webalizer to keep an eye on your website traffic.|
|MySQL databases||You get MySQL 5 databases with all BlueHost accounts.t|
|FTP Account||You are allowed unlimited FTP accounts and access with all BlueHost accounts.|
|Multiple Domains||You are allowed unlimited domain hosting with all BlueHost accounts.|
Unhappy Former Customers
On paper, Bluehost has everything you could want in terms of support – live 24/7 chat, phone support, a ticketed email system, and a user forum – but looking at online forums, there are a lot of angry and disappointed voices, and the masses usually aren’t wrong. The video tutorial library was pretty weak.
Standard Pricing, No Moneyback Guarantee
BlueHost’s basic package price is average, but what really stands out is the lack of a money-back guarantee. This is especially bad when you consider the big price break comes with a three year contract: if you sign up for the long-term and suddenly find that your site is down regularly, there’s no way to switch hosts or to get your money back. If you have major bandwidth needs, the pro-level plan isn’t really competitively priced. This is really a better web host for individuals and companies that never anticipate growing past a certain level.
cPanel Crowded with Promos
BlueHost uses cPanel, a familiar interface and the gold standard in control panels. However, BlueHost has so many add-on services available through promotions that they take up too much space in the cPanel, obscure what’s obviously necessary—all in an atempt to get you to shell out more money.
BlueHost doesn’t cater to any one group in particular: newbies might not get the support they need and may be confused by the crowding from promos. Advanced users might be disappointed with the weak CPU strength and miss some features they need. For the most part, BlueHost does what it says it will; it’s just not boasting of anything too exciting. Pros
- Low cost packages
- Single-click installation of e-commerce solutions
- Single-click installation of WordPress
- Unlimited basics (domains, email addresses, bandwidth, disk space)
- US-based live phone and chat support, plus email tickets
- Free domain with purchase of one year of hosting
- Base price missing lots of good features
- Mediocre customer support
- Issues with email service
- Issues with slow load time