Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting Review with User Opinions – 2018
Bluehost is ranked number one WordPress hosting provider by many experienced customers. The company was founded in 1996 and it’s owned by Endurance International Group. They are most probably the number one web hosting company for small to mid-sized companies.
As most of the bigger hosting companies out there, Bluehost offers 24/7 support. The company positioned itself as the web hosting provider for beginner personal websites and small businesses.
Bluehost takes care of more than 2 million websites on their servers and that is mainly because their prices are low and their referral program seems to be paying out.
Website Speed and Server Performance of Bluehost
Bluehost has many critics in terms of speed. Most of the criticism comes from the fact that a lot of users seem to have the same slow experience with Bluehost’s Basic hosting plan.
I believe that the main site of a web hosting company should be the example for the speed of the services they provide.
That’s why I tested Bluehost’s home page and here’s the Time To First Byte (TTFB) result:
The difference seemed a bit suspicious to me, so I decided to test the First Byte again from another tool and here’s what I got:
The tests showed that GoDaddy seems to have a better Time To First Byte in both cases.
Speed is important as every millisecond counts. The higher the page load time, the higher the bounce rate especially when a page needs more than 5 seconds to load.
Of course, this is just math and numbers. Actually the site performance and the user experience with Bluehost aren’t bad. But the significant difference showed in the first test just made me wonder if Time To First Byte is always a good speed testing approach.
No matter the speed test results, I find Bluehost to be a reliable hosting provider with really good price list. Let’s move on to the available hosting plans.
Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting Review with User Opinions – 2018: Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans Pros and Cons Overview
Bluehost offers three types of shared hosting plans:
- Basic Shared Hosting Plan
- Plus Shared Hosting Plan
- Prime Shared Hosting Plan
Of course, the Basic plan is the plan for just one site.
The website space available for this hosting plan is 50 GB which sounds quite generous if compared to the basic shared hosting plan of SiteGround. But there are other hosting providers such as GoDaddy, InMotion and A2 Hosting that offer unlimited disk space.
There’s unlimited disk space with Bluehost and it comes with their Plus and Prime plans.
Bluehost assures that they use very precise statistical techniques in order to determine if an account with unlimited bandwidth or disk space causes any concerns in terms of ‘normal’ disk space usage.
The company qualifies the performance of their shared hosting plans as ‘standard’ which makes me think that the test speed results somehow make sense now.
There’s one included domain name with every single shared plan. And if you register a domain upon sign up, there’s a domain name fee that can’t be refunded.
With a Basic hosting plan, there’s an option for 5 parked domains and 25 subdomains.
With Plus and Prime you can have as many parked domains and subdomains as you want.
The situation is similar with the email accounts. With the Basic plan there’s a maximum of 5 email accounts, 100 MB of storage for each of them. The email accounts and storage are unlimited with the other two shared hosting plans.
SpamExperts’ antispam system is available with Plus and Prime accounts.
No matter the type of account, every customer of Bluehost can check their account’s server status. All you need to do is to use your cPanel username or just your domain name:
Web Site Transfers Are Paid – Fair Enough
While many of the other hosting companies provide site transfers from your old account for free, Bluehost’s marketing strategy is a bit different here.
For Only $149.99 their support gurus will migrate up to 5 websites and 20 email accounts. The migration is offered as seamless and complete. Meaning that all of your websites will be transferred to your Bluehost account with priority no matter the type of site you have. Basically website transfers are offered only for Bluehost’s shared plans. Therefore, if you are on a VPS, Dedicated or on a Reseller account most probably their support will not accept this challenge.
What I liked here is that Bluehost explicitly notifies their customer that there’s a difference between website transfer and domain name transfer. In almost all of the cases these are two completely different services and very often customers would assume that while transferring their site, their domain name will be transferred as well, which is not true:
Pros and Cons of Bluehost Cloud Hosting Plans – an Overview
Cloud plans come in three flavors – Starter, Performance and Business Pro:
Just like the shared hosting plans, the Starter Cloud plan is suitable for just one website. The other two – Performance and Business Pro can host an unlimited number of sites on the account.
There are 100 GB of free disk space on the Starter plan. And of course the other two have unmetered storage space which is really cool if you use your disk space wisely.
Cloud Plans – Pros & Cons
Cloud plans at Bluehost start with 2 GB of RAM for Starter, 4 GB of RAM for Performance and 6 GB of RAM for Business Pro.
The CPU Cores are the following: 2 CPU Cores with Starter, 4 CPU Cores with Performance and 6 CPU Cores with Business Pro.
What I liked with Bluehost’s Cloud plans is that they offer a feature called 1-Click Resource Scaling meaning that depending on your site’s need of additional resources, you can boost your current Cloud plan with a single click.
Bluehost’s Cloud plans are one of the best offers in terms of price and technical specifications:
Bluehost WordPress Hosting Plans – Pros and Cons
The company takes WordPress hosting really seriously. They have developed a specific set of fast, simple and secure WordPress hosting plans for this. All of the WordPerss Optimized plans are based on Bluehost’s VPS technology:
There are four WordPress hosting plans – WP Standard, WP Enhanced, WP Premium and WP Ultimate.
- WP Standard is the recommended solution. This plan is able to get up to 100,000,000 monthly visitors – yes, a 100 million! There are 30 GB of free disk space, 2 GB of RAM.
- WP Enhanced goes even further in terms of monthly visits for the plan – 300,000,000 is the limit of visitors for this plan. You get 60 GB of storage which is double compared to WP Standard. The same is with the amount of RAM – it’s 4 GB this time.
- WP Premium promises up to 600,000,000 visits per month, 120 GB of disc space and 6 GB of RAM. It comes with SiteLock Premium security service included, Positive SSL certificates, and SiteLock Content Delivery Network Pro option.
- WP Ultimate is the WordPress plan on steroids – there are no restrictions in terms of monthly visits. 240 GB of storage is the maximum for this account. There are 8 CPU Cores for maximum performance. The plan includes SiteLock CDN Pro, Positive Wildcard SSL certificate and it’s secured by SiteLock Enterprise.
Reliable and Secure WordPress Hosting Plans
The VPS resources are guaranteed with the use of Kernel-based Virtual Machine hypervisor. As these WordPress optimized plans are VPS accounts by nature, the virtual server is never impacted by other users.
Every Optimized Hosting for WordPress plan at Bluehost can be further extended for better performance. For instance, you can add more CPU, RAM and storage:
ManageWP is another cool feature of the WordPress optimized plans. It provides a single content management platform which helps with publishing content to any WordPress site. ManageWP is the ideal tool to manage your WordPress updates, track your sites’ performance with the help of some additional monitoring tools, and even clone any of your websites for your newest project.
WooCommerce Hosting Plans – Pros & Cons
The Bluehost WooCommerce Optimized plans are just another proof that the company takes WordPress seriously.
Most of the hosting providers out there use a marketing trick. They usually sell the same regular shared hosting plans as WordPress optimized.
This is not the case with Bluehost – they offer both WordPress Hosting and WooCommerce Hosting plans that were crafted exclusively for WordPress environment.
The WooCommerce plans have the following details:
These plans are carefully created with the cooperation of WooCommerce. This guarantees that they provide the perfect hosting environment for online stores built with the WooCommerce plugin.
Just like their shared hosting plans, the WooCommerce plans are divided in three categories – Starter, Plus and Pro.
Technically, Starter is the most limited WooCommerce plan with 100 GB of space which, honestly speaking, is quite generous compared to other hosting providers.
The other two plans have unmetered free disk space and bandwidth. These plans come with included marketing offers worth $100 for Starter, $150 for Plus and $300 for the Pro WooCommerce plan. The latter has one domain privacy as a bonus.
Bluehost VPS Hosting Plans – Pros & Cons
The standard managed VPS hosting offered by Bluehost includes the following three plans:
- Both Standard and Enhanced VPS plans have 2 CPU Cores each.
- The Ultimate VPS hosting plan provides 4 CPU Cores.
- In terms of free disk space, Standard has 30 GB and 2 GB of RAM. Enhanced, which is the recommended VPS solution, offers 60 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM. Ultimate provides 128 GB of disk space and 8 GB of RAM.
The regular VPS hosting plans are actually quite similar to the WordPress hosting plans as they use the same open source technologies such as OpenStack and Kernel-based Virtual Machine. This could definitely be considered as just a marketing strategy. However, there are some quite significant differences between the pricing and some of the features offered especially for sites built on WordPress.
Dedicated Hosting Plans – Pros & Cons
The ultimate website performance comes with the right dedicated server.
Bluehost offers three types of dedicated servers:
These are extremely powerful machines that have 4 CPU Cores, mirrored storage up to 1 TB. In terms of RAM, Standard has 4 GB, Enhanced comes with 8 GB and Premium provides 16 GB of RAM:
Bluehost Support Services Review – Pros & Cons
Bluehost provides a very high quality self–help support. Just type the keywords of your issue and you will find the answer if it is a common one:
On the other hand, whenever I contact the live chat I get a relatively fast response even if I get notified that there’s a high load:
For some reason Bluehost decided to discontinue their supportviatickets.
In my opinion, ticket support is still a personal and direct way of helping customers. From my personal experience with other hosting companies, ticket support is used for the most complicated hosting situations.