Web hosting is a personal choice. It totally depends on your budget and what type of site you are going to launch. In this post I am going to share my experience with Bluehost in recent years.
As a web developer I have to spent countless hours in moving sites, creating new one and speeding up the existing sites for my clients. Often my clients want my suggestions on which hosting they should buy.
This is a tricky question and confusing you know! If you are the developer then you won’t like to get blamed after client purchases on your suggestion.
I have to be very precise on suggesting web host to my client. I often ask them these questions:
01. What is your budget.
02. How much traffic you assume your sites going to have. (Most of the time they are not sure about it and I need to guess it depending on their niche.)
Mostly with these two questions I get the idea what they need to buy. Those who do not have the problem with their budget, I suggest them to get cloud hosting or dedicated hosting.
But, when it comes to find an affordable hosting in budget, I need to suggest them a shared server. The problem with shared hosting is, they do not always provide the advertised features always.
Like as, sometime your site will get slow or the server resources will be limited for you by the host. Then there is up-time issues.
As a developer I need to connect with FTP fast and need the SSH support. Unless you are on a good host and spending a good amount, you can’t make sure all of them are together.
On these points when you are on a budget Bluehost comes to the scenario.
This hosting is started on 1996 by Matt Heaton, who was the CEO till 2011. Mike Olson is the recent CEO of Bluehost and it is also acquired by the EIG (Endurance International Group). Same company owns the Justhost, Hostmonster, Hostgator etc. and also some other small web hostings.
in 2009 along with some other hosting companies they introduced the CPU throttling. CPU throttling is when one site is eating up most of the server resources the system will block it and limits the sites server usage. Practically it’s like jailing your site. This helps the shared server environment to protect the other sites hosted there.
For some people it was good and some do not like it. Though, this is how most of the hosting company operates now when you buy a shared hosting. The server resources are shared there and for one site/customer they do not like to hamper other sites/customers.
How’s the hosting to date?
Right now Bluehost is one of the major player in hosting industry. It is hosting more than 2 million websites now. I have seen many famous blogger and large company website is hosted under their banner.
Very recently they started offering their cloud hosting services beside the dedicated and VPS hosting. Cloud hosting is now state of the art technology. Your website is copied to several location. So, if one server goes down it can be served to visitors from another location. This increases the security and site speed.
Things I like about Bluehost
I am breaking the points one by one why you can choose bluehost and when you shouldn’t.
You can compare the price with other shared hosting and win, bluehost has the perfect price. There normal shared hosting starts from $3.49 per month and cloud hosting is $5.95 per month.
They always do some banner changes and promotion on the price, but this is the price I see most of the time. I guess those are for publicity stunts. You do not need any special discount code to get this price.
In terms of price it’s a win win situation for the customer, compared to other hosting company owned by the EIG, only just host has a lower starting offer than this.
Speed and Uptime
This is the vital thing for most customers. If your site is down for long and most of the time stays slow, you are going to loose business. I am happy with bluehost on this case. The site I have hosted there, their speed is good and also I get very few site down notification.
In a week I only get 2-3 notification from up-time monitor that my site was down. Now, one thing to be noted here, up-time monitors check sites from different location on an interval of 30 mins. When any pings get missed they sent you a notice that the site was down. The length of time is very small and most of the time I do not notice it except the up-time notification.
So, even after the notifications, I do not see any massive drop in traffic or faced any day wide downtime. If you are very concern about this or have a service that needs more reliable 24/7 monitoring try to get the cloud hosting.
The speed of the server also depends on what software you are using to make your website. I am a WordPress lover and most of my site’s are on WordPress. Bluehost is optimized for WordPress installation and I see no problem causing for the server.
The FTP download speed is also good, though I love to use the SSH more.
I have a Justhost shared unlimited account and I am not happy with the up-time and speed there. Most of the time using FTP is a pain. That is why I also do not like the godaddy hosting.
Shared Hosting General Features
For small and mid size business, Bluhost’s shared hosting is good enough. Starting from the price of $3.49/month there are options for you to upgrade. You have the option to get a free domain with selected hosting packages and some advertising credits. Though the advertising credits can only be used by USA or Canadian customers.
Major concern for all of us. I regularly take backup of my sites and I am not dependent on host’s backup. I sent a backup to my Google drive account and download another one weekly on my PC. So, if the host ever fails to backup the site for any occurrence like hacked or data loss I can use my own.
Bluehost was hacked by Syrian Electronic Army in March 2015. I am not affected though. The same happened to other EIG owned hosting services. Except this event I did not face any other hacking or security flaw of my site. I keep my software and plugins regularly updated.
This is where I found Bluehost a little down. The average problem solving or talking to an agent is 30 mins. Previously I loved the Hostgator hosting for their support, but in time they have also developed the same issue.
For support, I still love the Namecheap hosting. Quick, to the point and solves as fast as possible.
With Bluehost you need to wait a bit longer for that. Drop a ticket instead of live support, it will be faster. If you are already a Bluehost customer can you let us know about your experience?
One thing you will be happy is about their knowledge base. They have huge documentation for the customers for general problem solving and
The Dashboard Features
Bluehost’s dashboard is not the stock cPanel. They have their custom made cPanel and it’s well organized. Mostly, the Hostmonster, bluehost and Justhost has the same kind of cPanel.
It’s feature rich and have categorized the softwares and services nicely. From the Panel you can mange billing, register domain and other site addons.
Comparing the Bluehost and Namecheap panel – I would love the Namecheap one. This is nothing but my love for stock cPanel view. Both of them works just great. In the following video I have shown you the general view of a shared account.
The pros for Bluehost are as follows:-
01. Price is good.
02. Speed is better than many hosts.
03. Free Domain and advertising credits.
04. Anytime money back guaranty on pro-rated basis.
The Cons for Bluehost are as follows:-
01. Live support is slower than it should be.
02. The renewal price is not same as the introductory price. You need to pay for the longer time to get the most benefits of your money or switch to a new host.
I am at the end of my overall review. To let you know – some of the links here are my affiliate links to Bluehost and I get credited if you buy through them. They will open in a new window and will not install any software on your PC.
let me know your experiences about Bluehost. I would love to hear those.
Overall a good affordable hosting for any starter company. Except the slow live support all other things are good.