Bluehost Review: This Is What Professionals Do


OVERVIEW

Getting started on building your first business website may be daunting. Sure, you’ll just communicate along with your customers via Facebook or another social media platform, but if you’re serious about doing business online, you will need to take the plunge and register for a top-notch web hosting service.

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Bluehost does an honest job of balancing price and features for businesses that require a touch of hand-holding, while also offering many options to experienced administrators. Still, Bluehost lacks Windows-based servers and therefore the month-to-month pricing we prefer to see on shared plans.

Shared Web Hosting
Shared web hosting is nice for people that want a web presence and do not expect a high traffic volume. The upside? It’s cheap web hosting. The downside? Your website shares server resources with other sites, so your site’s performance are often affected if one among its server mates experiences a traffic surge.

As mentioned above, Bluehost doesn’t offer month-to-month shared web hosting options. Instead, it requires you to register for an annual plan. If you register for a two-year or three-year plan, you get discounts. If you plan to staying put for 3 years, the service’s $3.95 per month rate is attractive. those that don’t need lengthy commitments will probably prefer HostGator’s month-to-month options.

Note: Bluehost—like many other web hosting services—has introductory prices that are discounted from its normal hosting cost. Our reviews don’t consider those deeply discounted fees, which are designed to urge you within the door. Instead, we list truth price that kicks in when the introductory period concludes.

The Basic shared hosting package (from $7.99 per month with a one-year contract) includes a free domain name that you simply can keep as long as you utilize Bluehost, free domain name transfer, 50GB of storage, unlimited monthly data transfers, and just five email addresses. The Plus package (starting at $10.99 per month with a one-year contract) adds an antispam tool, also as unlimited storage and mailboxes.

the selection Plus package (starting at $14.99 per month with a one-year contract) comes with domain privacy in order that you’ll mask your physical location for enhanced security. the professional plan (starting at $23.99 per month with a one-year contract) has all of Choice Plus’ features, plus adds a free, dedicated IP address.

HostGator, our Editors’ Choice for shared hosting, gives small- and medium-sized businesses room to expand their web presences. The Linux- or Windows-based Hatchling plan (starting at $10.95 per month) offers unlimited disc space , monthly data transfers, and email addresses, plus support for one domain and third-party applications, like content management systems and e-commerce platforms.

HostGator’s Baby plan (starting at $11.95 per month) builds on the Hatchling offering by adding unlimited domains. The top-tier Business plan (starting at $16.95 per month) includes highly specialized options, like a free toll-free telephone number and a private SSL certificate. HostGator features a well-rounded shared web hosting package.

VPS Web Hosting
If you would like more power, expect high traffic volumes, or have specific compliance requirements that prevent you from using shared servers, Bluehost’s virtual private server (or VPS) options are worth considering.

It’s like shared hosting therein your site shares server resources with other sites, but there are two big differences: VPS hosting has far fewer sites on a server, and therefore the provider guarantees you a specific amount of server resources. A VPS-hosted site can take a Reddit hit and keep it up ticking.

Bluehost offers three tiers of Linux-based VPS hosting, starting from the $29.99 per month Standard (30GB of solid-state storage, 2GB of memory, and unlimited monthly data transfers) to the $119.99 per month Ultimate (120GB of SSD storage, 8GB of memory, and unlimited monthly data transfers).

like the shared web hosting plans, VPS hosting plans include discounts for longer-term contracts. Unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t offer Windows-based VPS.

Those are attractive plans, but Hostwinds—the Editors’ Choice for VPS hosting—beats out Bluehost with packages that include 18.5GB of RAM, unlimited email, unlimited monthly data transfers, and Linux- or Windows-based server options.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a Windows server option. If you propose to create (or migrate) a site built on an ASP.NET framework, you’ll appreciate Hostwinds‘ Windows-based VPS offerings.

Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting may be a powerful sort of web hosting that provides your site full server resources. If you expect huge traffic numbers, dedicated hosting is that the only way your site will handle the Internet’s rigors. Bluehost has many dedicated server configurations, too.

The servers start at $109 per month and may be outfitted with a Linux OS and up to 1TB of hard drive space, 16GB of RAM, and 15TB of data transfers per month—the same specs as HostMonster.

Those are solid numbers, but AccuWeb—the PCMag Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting—one-ups Bluehost with a choice of Linux or Windows operating systems. That Windows server option is vital for those that build their sites using Microsoft’s sitebuilding tools.

WordPress Web Hosting
WordPress is that the content management system that powers an honest portion of web sites on the online . it is easy to use, and features a thriving theme and plug-in ecosystem for expanding your site’s functionality. If you are looking to make a WordPress-powered website, consider Bluehost’s three Linux-based packages: Basic, Plus, and choice Plus.

Basic (starting at $7.99 per month) allows you to host one website, and includes 50GB of SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, and a free domain for a year. Next up the ladder is that the Plus plan (from $10.99 per month), which has unlimited site hosting and unlimited SSD storage. The top-tier Choice Plus plan (starting at $14.99 per month) tosses in CodeGuard Basic backup software.

Recently, Bluehost introduced a brand new WordPress hosting category: WordPress Pro. Available in three tiers, WordPress Pro may be a managed WordPress offering that provides your site’s back end the white-glove treatment, and includes SEO, social media, and email marketing tools.

WordPress Pro’s three plans (Build, Grow, and Scale) all boast unlimited site hosting, monthly data transfers, domains, subdomains, and storage. WordPress Pro accounts also come with staging areas to test sites before they are going live to the online . Build, Grow, and Scale start at $29.99 per month, $39.99 per month, and $59.99 per month, respectively.

The Build plan comes with 100 free WordPress themes, daily scheduled backups, malware detection and removal, and domain privacy protection. The Grow plan uses the Build plan as a foundation and adds SEO tools, 10GB of video compression, and live ticket support.

Scales tops all WordPress Pro plans by adding live chat support, unlimited video compression, PayPal integration, and unlimited backups and restore.

Bluehost doesn’t require you to install the content management system, because it comes preinstalled. Once you’re logged into WordPress, you’ll create posts, pages, and galleries as you’d with the other self-hosted WordPress site.

Bluehost’s WordPress plans are quite good, but the Linux-based A2 remains the PCMag Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting. A2 offers four excellent WordPress hosting tiers, starting at $7.99 per month, offers unlimited storage and monthly data transfers across the board. The plans top out with the $24.46 per month Managed package that has unlimited databases and websites. you also get a free SSL certificate with all plans, too.

For more on the fantastically popular content management system, you must read the way to get started With WordPress. Reseller Hosting
If you are looking to induce into the web hosting business, but you do not want to deal with infrastructure matters, inspect Bluehost’s reseller hosting packages. The four plans, starting at $18.99 per month, boast unlimited email, website hosting, and cPanel creation across the board.

The servers are of the Linux variety, but Bluehost doesn’t supply them with unlimited storge and monthly data transfers at each tier, because the Editors’ Choice Hostwind does with its offerings. On the upside, Bluehost allows you to apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it also supplies 24/7 tech support.

 Cloud Hosting
With cloud hosting, the resources that your site must operate are shared across multiple servers. The benefits? you’ll scale resources in real time, as your site isn’t limited to physical server constraints.

Bluehost, unlike many other web hosts PCMag reviews, doesn’t offer cloud hosting. If you would like to explore cloud hosting, I suggest finding out DreamHost or 1&1 Ionos. the previous is that the Editors’ Choice for normal cloud hosting, while the latter is that the Editors’ Choice for enterprise-level cloud hosting.

Site Creation
Bluehost features a lot of tools for building sites, filtering spam, managing email, collecting site statistics, and managing domains. For building a web site, you’ll use the WordPress content management platform or Weebly (an excellent website-builder), upload files using FTP or File Manager, or use the goMobi Mobile Web builder if you purchased the add-on.

Weebly’s drag-and-drop functionality let me quickly build a pretty page complete with slideshows, contact forms, social media links, and more. Weebly’s free version gives you basic functionality (you can create six pages and add custom HTML), but upgrading to the $8.99 per month Professional tier offers even more flexibility (custom themes, password protected pages, and more). investigate the PCMag Weebly review for a deeper dive.

You can also visit the Mojo Marketplace to download other content-management systems or site builders. It’s a completely separate interface, but if you would like to expand your site’s capabilities, the marketplace may be a good place to start out . Using Bluehost’s Mojo Marketplace may be a almost like running sister-site iPage’s marketplace.

E-Commerce
You can grab email-marketing tools like DaDa Mail (starting at $34.95 per year), software that allows you to send email-based newsletters to a subscriber list. For a web store or the power to simply accept payments, you’ll get e-commerce applications like Magento, ShopSite (for shopping cart software), and TransFirst payment gateway.

With Magento, i used to be ready to create a beautiful store by dragging and dropping website elements. Magento has more flexibility than ShopSite, but if you are not trying to find an elaborate online storefront, ShopSite’s simpler interface may get you up and running faster. for little businesses, that point saved could also be worthwhile .

I also just like the proven fact that Bluehost supports PostgreSQL along side the more popular MySQL. this means I’m not limited to installing software that runs only with MySQL.

Security Features
Bluehost’s security measures are pleasantly surprising. It offers three antispam tools—Apache Spam Assassin, Spam Experts, and Spam Hammer—as well as hotlink protection. you’ll also create filters for email accounts and users, password-protect directories, create IP address blacklists, and manage private keys and digital certificates.

I’m always pleased to check secure shell (SSH) access, because it means administrators have a secure way of accessing specific configuration files.

I’m impressed that Bluehost offers CloudFlare, which enhances performance and security measures . If you would like SSL on your site, otherwise you are worried about distributed denial of service attacks against your site, CloudFlare is worth considering.

Good Uptime
Website uptime may be a vital element of the web hosting experience. If your site goes down, clients or customers are going to be unable to find you or access your products or services.

For this testing, i take advantage of a web site monitoring tool to track my test sites’ uptime over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings each of my websites and sends me an email if it’s unable to contact a site for a minimum of one minute. the info revealed that Bluehost is extremely stable. In fact, Bluehost briefly went down one time within the two-week period. you’ll calculate Bluehost to be a dependable web host.

Customer Service
Bluehost offers 24/7 telephone support, online web chat, a ticket-based system, and a knowledgebase—another way Bluehost is similar to HostMonster.

I tested Bluehost’s web chat on a weekday afternoon to ask about the differences between regular Web hosting and optimized WordPress hosting. The rep quickly fielded my question. He stated that optimized WordPress web hosting has automated site backups and is meant for highly trafficked WordPress sites. i’m satisfied along with his response.

I called the phone support system the next morning to ask a representative about the way to import my WordPress.com setup into Bluehost. an individual came to my assistance in only a couple of seconds, and therefore the representative walked me through the steps. That’s another win for Bluehost support.

Bluehost’s hosting packages go along with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is standard fare within the web hosting space. That said, DreamHost bests it with a powerful 97-day a refund guarantee.

FINAL FINDING

Bluehost is a respectable and highly stable web host that makes setting up a web site a breeze. The features and therefore the user experience are almost like stablemate HostMonster’s, and therefore the only reason i might suggest picking Bluehost over HostMonster is due to the former’s array of security options.

If you’re trying to find a web host that’s easy to get created and running, however, you get much more for your money from DreamHost or HostGator, two Editors’ Choice award-winning services, both of which are feature rich and easy to use.

For more on getting started online, read our recommendations on the way to create a web site. you would possibly also want to see out our story on the way to register a domain name for your website.



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