Hi guys, so recently I was having lunch with a group of friends, and it so happened that Bluehost was mentioned. A lot was said and so I decided to conduct my own research and this is why I’m writing this article to help you make an informed decision. if you have been following our articles you can recall that we have a similar article on the Contabo VPS review. My intention in this article is to share with you answers to questions about the Company you might have, and furthermore, address issues that have not crossed your mind when making a purchasing decision.
What is Bluehost
Bluehost is a web hosting solutions company. The Company is on a mission to empower people to fully utilize the web. According to information on their website they provide comprehensive tools to people at all levels in terms of their understanding of technology. To live up to this the company offers various hosting packages that include shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, Domain names, and many other services.
History of Bluehost
The company was founded in 2003, by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in Provo, Utah. Since then has been several documents and key events which make up the history of the company. As of August 2007, Bluehost had over 500 000 domains registered on Bluehost.com, and by the following year 2008, the number had increased to over 1 million. Two years later in 2010, the company acquired Endurance International Group, which is an IT services company specializing in web hosting. EIG itself was founded in 1997.
In the next decade starting in April 2013 they launched VPS and dedicated Solutions. In that same year, Endurance International Group went public. Furthermore, in the following years 2014 and 2015 they launched some of their most popular products to date which are, Optimised WordPress hosting and Cloudsites respectively.
Reputation and Trust
After history what is more important it reputation. getting the information on the quality of the service from real customers. So now let us consider the reputation and ratings of Bluehost from different platforms. The platforms that I’m going to use are our Trust Pilot and Scamadvisor. I believe these will give us a rather up-to-date perspective of what current and former customers think about this Company.
Scamadvisor Bluehost Review
According to Scamadvisor.com, Bluehost has an overall rating of 3.5, which weighted score calculated from ratings found on Sitejabber, MyWOT, and Scamadviser. Below is a screenshot from Scamadvisor that shows contrasting reviews by two users of the service. One user appears to be satisfied and happy while the other is disgruntled.
Trustpilot Bluehost Reviews
From the insert above we can tell that only 45% of the reviews border from average to excellent whereas the remaining 55% are all negative reviews. On the other hand, under company activity, we can also see that Bluehost responds to negative reviews within 24hours and they had replied to 86% of the negative reviews that they received.
As far as reputation is concerned the company needs to do a lot to start getting more positive reviews which will decrease the negative and improve the ratings. As far as legitimacy is concerned it is clear that Bluehost is a company that exists and thrives to cater to all its customers especially those who might feel neglected. However, this information is not enough to pass judgment or give an honest assessment. To give a thorough analysis we are going to look at the different products, and how they fare in comparison to what is offered on the market. This brings us to the next section of this article.
Services and Products
Bluehost Shared Hosting
The following is a list of Bluehost shared hosting packages:
- Choice Plus
The following table shows the packages offered by Bluehost under shared hosting. it is important to note that the pricing at the time of compiling this table is based on a 12-month billing cycle.
|Basic||$2.95/mo||50GB SSD||No||1 Year|
|Choice Plus||$5.45/mo||Unlimted||$200||1 Year|
The above table is just a summary of the packages that Bluehost offers as part of shared hosting. The $200 marketing credit is available on all packages except the Basic. What they do is match the marketing amount that you spend on your campaigns. For example, if you spend $150.00 they will give you another $150.00 to use. However, this is only applicable to their US and Canada-based customers. The marketing credit is not an advantage to anyone else outside those two countries.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Benefits
In addition to the above, depending on which package you have selected. You will also get to enjoy the following benefits with Bluehost’s shared hosting packages.
- Free Domain for one year
- Office 365 for 30 days
- Free SSL certificate
- Domain Privacy at zero cost
- Free CDN(Content Delivery Network) included.
Bluehost WordPress Hosting
Not many words can be used to try and distinguish the WordPress hosting packaging from the Shared hosting package that Bluehost offers. The only key difference here is that you are getting a completely managed WordPress solution that is optimized for better performance. Other than trying to optimize it and up it on your own if you are to install word press when n using their shared hosting solution. Even the pricing is virtually the same for both packages.
VPS Hosting Plans
In contrast to the above solutions, there is much to be discussed when it comes to their VPS hosting package. The image below is an extract from their website at the date of writing this article which shows the packages, prices, and features.
I would strongly advise against purchasing any of these hosting plans for these reasons.
As we can see from the image above. The only available contract to purchase these VPS hosting plans is 36months which is three years. This means that if you decided to discontinue these plans after the first year you would lose all the money you used to pay for the other two years as we will see later on in the refund policy. Their VPS hosting contract duration is not suitable for students and short-term projects.
When you compare the average price of VPS hosting packages with similar or lower features on a month-to-month basis. It is clear that Bluehost is expensive. For example, Contabo offers VPS hosting with 8GB RAM, and a 200GB SSD for $6.99 per/mo. The standard VPS from Vultr and Digital Ocean is around $6.00. This is all against the $19.99/mo being charged by Bluehost which is four times more than other VPS hosting plans on a month-to-month contract.
I have mentioned how this is one of the most expensive and inflexible VPS hosting contract solutions on the market. Moreover, their features fall short of what can be realistically used by a growing business without the need to constantly update. Just to clearly illustrate this point I will use a table to compare Bluehost Ultimate VPS hosting solution with Contabo’s basic VPS hosting package. I would also recommend you read our review on Contabo if you seriously considering purchasing a virtual private server.
|Package Name||Ultimate||VPS S|
Ultimate vs VPS S Analysis
The above table shows Bluehost best VPS Solution vs Contabo’s basic VPS solution in terms of features and pricing. This table pretty much sums up why I’m totally against any one of our readers buying the VPS solution from Bluehost. For starters, the ultimate package cost 8 times more than the VPS S from Contabo on a 3-year contract which you have to pay upfront vs month-to-month. Furthermore, for a solution that cost 8 times more, you get the same amount of RAM and CPU cores. Moreover, you also get 40GB from the Ultimate package, hence I strongly do not recommend this solution.
However, it is important to point out that all VPS hosting solutions from Bluehost come with a CPanel/WHM to allow the user to manage their servers from that control panel. WHM allows users to host multiple websites on the same VPS. As an alternative, you can learn from this article, How To Easily Create Virtual Host to allow the hosting of more than one website with no additional cost on a Contabo VPS. Even though a control panel such as Cpanel/WHM comes at a cost, in addition to what was explained in the preceding sentence, there is no justification from a price and feature comparison to being for rather than against the Ultimate package from Bluehost.
Other Hosting Packages
Apart from the above 3 mentioned hosting solutions Bluest also offers other products as part of their core business such as Dedicated Hosting, Reseller hosting, an Online Store, and Hosting features. Dedicates Hosting is similar to VPS hosting solution in the way it is structured but in reality, they are more powerful virtual private servers. The reseller hosting solution is for anyone interested in reselling web hosting solutions but all the while riding on the Bluehost infrastructure.
However, one might wonder why hosting features have been added to a product offering by the company, especially when discussing their core products. Here is why firstly, Hosting features are listed on the website, and secondly it makes sense because if you go back to its history some of the company’s most recognizable achievements came from hosting features such as domain name registrations rather than hosting.
Bluehost adds some of these features into their other hosting packages. For instance, $200 marketing credit, cPanel/WHM, and Free Domain name for 1 year. Other features in the same mold include subdomains, parked domains, forwarding domains, and unlimited domain hosting, as far as domains are concerned. On the other hand, there are also features of email hosting like 3 different webmail, POP3/POP3 secure email support, and IMAP/Secure IMAP email support. Furthermore, when it comes to databases MySQL and Postgre. For more of these features, you can CLICK HERE to visit their website.
Support & Resources
With regards to assisting customers, Bluehost has several channels of communication in place, to ensure that customer queries are attended to as soon as possible by their 24/7 support team. For starters, there is a chat feature on their website so that if you have any issues you can send them a message. Secondly, customers can also place a phone call on the following number 888-401-4678 which is listed on their website. Thirdly, they have a knowledge base available so that before you even contact support you might find solutions, related to your problem which will save you a lot of time.
On one hand, they also have three separate emails available that you can use to get in touch with them depending on their needs and the nature of your inquiry. These emails are for media/press, affiliates, and legal related matters. On the other hand, there is no email provided for support-related queries which have nothing to do with the above stated.
What are the Currencies and Payment Methods for Bluehost?
Being an American-based company Bluehost accepts payments predominantly in US dollars. This is according to their website, as it does not show alternative currencies that can be used to pay. As far as payment methods, they accept payments via Paypal and credit cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
What is the Bluehost Refund Policy?
One of the most important things to note is the refund policy in case you find out the service is not what you expected. Bluehost has a 30-day refund policy, which means you can only request for a refund within the first 30 days of your purchase on all hosting services. After the 30 days have elapsed all hosting packages are nonrefundable.
However, there are also other services and solutions that Bluehost has strictly labeled as nonrefundable. For instance, domain name registration is non-refundable. If you also cancel your hosting service within the stipulated 30 days the amount refunded will be less any add-ons that you received when you purchased that package like the domain name fees for 1 year. Furthermore, inquiries can be directed to their support team for clarity. All in all, I would say this is a better deal than most companies that might not otherwise state their policies on refunds.
Do I recommend Bluehost web hosting services, the answer is yes but that is only for their shared hosting and WordPress hosting solutions. When it comes to VPS hosting, I do not recommend Bluehost, the pricing is too high for very little as you have seen from the comparison in the article. The reputation of the is also a factor I will late the readers decide. The ratings are average from the sources presented in my analysis are average, to say the least. On one hand, some users are happy with the company while on the other plenty of customers are dissatisfied.
What is clear from all this is that the companies is serious about addressing negative comments on Trustpilot. However negative comments can also be decreased by offering quality service and quality support. Bluehost is a company that has been around for over a decade. For WordPress and Shared hosting, I would say go with Bluehost.