Okay so you’ve probably seen this, just article after article, after article recommending Bluehost like they’re the holy grail of web hosting. But are they? Is Bluehost is right web hosting for beginners?
Well, I want to revisit Bluehost and see what changed and see if Bluehost is still a good choice to host your website or are there better options available in 2020?
What hasn’t changed much from my opinion is their pricing model. Bluehost is still among the cheaper web hosting providers and their prices are usually always under $3 for starter plan.
To put this into perspective there are companies like Hostinger who offer $1 hosting plans and then there are companies like Siteground that fall in the range of $4. So, Bluehost is nice middle choice off course if you want to take advantage of the lower price you’ll have to buy for a long period of time what I mean by this is that Bluehost prices aren’t actually monthly even though advertised as such you have the choice of buying their plans for one year, two years or three years, the longer the period the lower the cost per month but you will have to pay the full amount upfront. If you’re looking for strictly monthly plans where you pay a small amount each month instead of a large upfront fee.
Bluehost offers 4 shared hosting package, and all packages come with one free domain name, Free SSL Certificate & PHP 7.0 support. Here are the packages:
- Bluehost Basic: Let you host 1 website
- Bluehost Plus: Let you host up to 10 Websites ( Recommended plan)
- Bluehost Choice Plus: Recommended for those who need who.is privacy for domain.
- Bluehost Pro: With Dedicated IP, let you have store unlimited websites with unlimited SSD storage.
Moving on how well does Bluehost actually perform for the money that you’re paying well We’ve set up some performance test that have been running for almost a year now so I have some pretty good data to share.
For this past six months my Bluehost website went offline for 10 hours only in total which isn’t bad. Scoring Bluehost 99.77% uptime but more interestingly you can see that most of this downtime came from starting this year and the server response times jumped up dramatically starting from this year as well.
In my opinion, Bluehost got a big influx of new users considering what’s going on in the world right now but even with the increased pressure they didn’t buckle they kept my website online 99.8% of the time and for cheap plan I can definitely live with 0.2% downtime.
More importantly both the response times and these stability issues seem to be already fixed this shows that they reacted fast and probably added new servers to accommodate all of the new users. That’s why it is best.
And for their loading speed We’ve actually done two tests first We’ve tested an empty WordPress website as a baseline and then We’ve added a lot of design elements like text, pictures, videos basically We’ve simulated an actual website to see how it loads.
WordPress website using just the base optimizations that came with my Bluehost is plan loaded in 2.5 seconds which honestly is on the slower side. I was fully expecting with this number to be below 1 second. But I’ve added the design elements and made my website look like with all of the design elements in place my website loading speed dropped to 3.8 seconds.
In 2020 Bluehost actually fell away behind other companies in little speed because a lot of new technologies emerged and Bluehost choose not to use any of them you can get twice as fast WordPress hosting plans with other providers like Hostinger, Siteground they’ll actually load the exact same website in 2 seconds instead of 4 seconds but what does this mean that Bluehost plans are bad?
No, not at all they’re actually great but for a certain type of user they’re definitely not for everyone
Bluehost gives you a lot for their price that you’re paying and their features specifically tailored to website creating beginners or first timers with all Bluehost plans you get a free domain name this will allow you to register a website name completely free of charge, you’ll also get a free SSL certificate. SSL certificate encrypt your website and give you this lock next to your domain increasing trust from your users.
One of the best beginner features is their one click WordPress Installation software, with just a few click you’ll have website online in around 5 minutes after purchase. Everything is done for you automatically with very little efforts from your side and if this wasn’t enough after your website is live you’ll get a checklist that shows you what you need to work on if you’ve never created a website before, this is great starting point, tackling problems one by one and once you’re done you can add a check mark and move to the next item on the list.
Before We move further, I want to make you aware of popular features of Bluehost:
- Free Domain name
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Host unlimited Websites (Starts from Plus package)
- Unlimited addon domains (Park your domain)
- FTP access
- Shell Access
- One click WordPress installation
In short, Bluehost has everything you will need in a WordPress hosting package.
Not sure how something works? Bluehost gives you the access to a pretty extensive knowledge base to browse and find answers with detailed articles and if isn’t enough you can go their contact page where you’ll be able to get phone or chat support 24/7.
If you’re from the United States you can actually get a free phone consultation from Bluehost about how can you increase the performance of your website, how can you launch advertisements to increase the brand awareness of your brand and how can you increase the traffic to your website.
Overall, Bluehost focuses a lot on having a very good user experience while not having the fastest servers or the best available technology. They help beginners get a grip about what’s important and how to properly manage their website. And, overall they just help you out with business side of things bit just performance side of things.
So you’re probably interested what you get after purchase. So, let’s do a quick Bluehost unboxing and let’s see how everything looks after you purchased one of their plans. Bluehost uses a mixture of Cpanel and its own custom solution here on the side you can see all of the different management tools.
By clicking my sites and going into management if you can launch Google Advertising campaigns or add tour business to Google Maps you can also do basic performance optimization work on the basic security of your website and see what kind of updates your website needs at the moment, while managing simple things like comments are activating, deactivating the coming soon page.
However, if you would click on advanced tab you can access the standard cPanel where all of the features you would normally expect from a web hosting provider hide.
Bluehost uses the standard cPanel and there’s everything you need to manage a successful website, for example, want to create a custom email address that uses your website name? No problem, just head on over to email accounts and create one.
Similarly, you can add automatic responders to your emails and stuff like that. Okay, let’s get to the brass tax are you getting a good deal if you’re choosing Bluehost or should you look elsewhere.
So, in my opinion, if you’re a complete beginners this is your first website and you’re unsure in your web management skills there’s no better company than Bluehost for you at the moment. Sure you’re not gonna get best performance but you’re also not gonna pay the top dollar. For a good price you’ll get decent performance, you’ll get good support and most importantly you’ll get a lot of features that are specifically tailored for beginners.
But if this is not your first website you know what you’re doing Bluehost is actually quite a tough sell because probably you’re not gonna take advantage of any of their beginner tailored features and you just want the best possible performance.
So, you should look at web hosting companies like Siteground for example but they’re gonna be considered more expensive. In my opinion bluehost is the right web hosting for beginners.
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