Types of web hosting offered
Bluehost provides shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and WordPress hosting. It offers several packages for each and its price is comparable to that of its competitors. Shared hosting is the cheapest, with dedicated servers and sports VPS costing up to $200 per month. These types of hosting differ from shared hosting and WordPress in that the company allocates separate servers to these customers.
Dedicated servers and VPS are best suited for larger businesses that need more storage and bandwidth than shared hosting or WordPress can provide. Moreover, since VPS and dedicated servers are private, the availability is even higher. These types of hosting are generally not needed for standard small business websites. Shared hosting and WordPress are cost-effective options that cover the needs of most small businesses.
Bluehost Pricing and Plans
Bluehost offers shared hosting plans at slightly lower prices than many of its competitors. It offers four shared hosting plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. The Basic plan is $2.95 per month, the Plus plan and Choice Plus plan are each $5.45 per month, and the Pro plan is $13.95 per month.
Keep in mind that these are all promotional prices listed at the time of this review. The web hosting industry is a competitive space and companies often post promotional prices to attract new buyers. Bluehost does, saying the plans are discounted by $7.99, $10.99, $14.99, and $23.99 respectively. Often, promotional web hosting rates are only good for the first year or billing period, then you’ll be charged the original rates upon renewal.
As with almost all business services, the longer you commit to Bluehost, the lower the monthly price. If you’re worried about being hit with a higher rate when you need to renew your contract, be sure to speak with a member of the Bluehost sales team before signing up.
There are also certain conditions for your 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your subscription within the first three days of activation, you have the option of keeping your domain name for a fee of $15.99. If you cancel after three days, you will be charged the $15.99 domain fee.
Bluehost does not charge any additional fees for canceling your service. However, additional services you purchase will not be refunded. Bluehost lists some of these non-refundable add-ons as AppMachine, Site Backup Pro, pay-per-click marketing, cPanel Quickstart, WordPress Quickstart, Site Doctor, website transfer, design services, SEO, SiteLock, and domain privacy.
If you decide to cancel after the first 30 days, you are not entitled to any refund. Bluehost only refunds credit card payments.
Bluehost Web Hosting Features
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans have solid features. Its price stands out, but the relatively low cost does not compromise the services you get. Another plus is the company’s transparency with the feature list of each plan. Instead of searching for information, business owners can get a quick overview of what the business has to offer and decide if the services meet their needs. Many companies we’ve reviewed provide this breakdown.
Storage and Bandwidth: Bluehost provides unlimited storage on its Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro plans. Basic plan holders only have access to 50 GB of SSD storage. Bandwidth is unlimited for all plans. Most hosting companies provide unlimited storage or unlimited bandwidth; however, these terms do not mean that they are infinite. Bluehost uses statistical analysis to set the average parameters each consumer should meet each month. It monitors your usage and contacts you if you use more than the allocated amount. Some web hosting companies even suspend service until usage drops. If you’re concerned about the level of bandwidth and storage you need, it’s a good idea to talk to someone on Bluehost’s sales team.
Security: Compared to other web hosting companies we have reviewed, Bluehost provides limited security measures. It offers site backups, restore, resource protection, and an SSL certificate on each of its plans, but some plans require you to pay extra for security features like SiteLock and CodeGuard. Bluehost doesn’t provide much information about DDoS prevention, firewalls, or other security measures. This is another good topic to discuss with the Bluehost sales team before signing up.
Domain Transfer: Bluehost includes a free domain name with the activation of a shared hosting plan. This means that when you sign up for the service, you won’t be hit with any additional fees to set up your domain name. If you subscribe to other plans, you may not have access to a free domain name.
Reputation and customer service
Bluehost is not an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau. This is concerning, as most companies have at least some sort of BBB score. Its parent company, EIG, has an A- rating but lots of negative reviews. The company also registered nearly 400 complaints. Compared to its competitors, these are negative ratings. Bluehost has mixed positive and negative ratings elsewhere online, so it’s unclear how favorable their customer service is.
Bluehost offers phone support and a live chat window. It also has a unique company blog that provides additional online resources for customers to learn more about web hosting services. Since Bluehost offers desirable web hosting plans, it’s worth testing out their customer support for yourself to see how helpful they are.
The company doesn’t have a good reputation online, doesn’t have BBB accreditation, and has racked up a slew of negative reviews and customer complaints. Additionally, most web hosting companies provide a Service Level Agreement, which details the company’s uptime policy and any credits it gives for downtime or whatever action it will take. to perform its service. There is no SLA available at Bluehost.
Bluehost also has a unique stipulation in its cancellation policy regarding refunds. It advertises a 30-day money-back guarantee, but this is only valid for subscriptions paid for by credit card. Although the majority of online consumers pay by credit card, this is something the company should be open to when users expect to be billed by other means. It also does not provide refunds for add-on features. This policy is pretty standard among web hosting companies, but with Bluehost most of the features needed are add-ons.
Bluehost no longer offers cloud hosting plans to its consumers, instead focusing on its WordPress and shared hosting options for small businesses. While cloud hosting isn’t always the best type of web hosting for small businesses, Bluehost does away with the option entirely. If you are looking for cloud hosting, you will need to find another web hosting provider.