BlueHost Hosting Review

 
BlueHost was founded in 2003 and today has grown to over 700 employees based out of Utah. Their entirely built on open source technology, and according to their owners Endurance International Group, they’re “perfect for those who are technologically inclined.” They design and maintain all their own servers.

Like most of their hosting competitors, BlueHost has solutions for everyone, from inexpensive shared hosting all the way up to VSP, dedicated, and reseller packages.

Prices starting at $3.95/Month

Shared hosting

BlueHost splits their shared hosting options into three tiers, called Starter, Plus, and Business Pro. These plans start at $3.95 per month for the first month, then jumps to $5.99 per month for a 36 month agreement.

The Shared (least expensive) plan gets you 100GB of website space, domains, parked domains, and sub domains for proper canonical redirects, and plenty of emails accounts and your basic value adds like $50 in marketing dollars. The Shared plan also includes 25 MySQL databases, and 1,000 database tables, and CloudFlare CDN. They also sell add-ons like:

  • SSL certificates
  • Domain privacy
  • Spam protection
  • Better site backups (they do theirs daily, weekly, and monthly) where you can actually recover or download specific files or entire mySQL databases.
  • Sitelock, a system to keep your files secure before anything gets in

Finally, the Shared plan also includes unlimited bandwidth, although it actually says in the T&Cs that BlueHost can restrict your bandwidth if they feel that you’re using more than a small website or small business ought to use.

Their Plus plan is much the same, although with more unlimited offerings, including email, storage, domain hosting and sub domains, and MySQL databases.

Their Business Pro plan is their top of the line shared hosting plan and it’s pretty great. They include their site backup, SSL certificates, 3,000 database tables, and better spam protection. But most importantly, their Pro packages run on servers with 80% less accounts of them, so each account has tremendously more processing power like CPU usage, disk usage, and bandwidth. If you want your site to run amazingly smooth, then the Pro package might be worth checking out.

Customer service

In addition to BlueHost’s tickets, 24/7 chat, and variety of other customer support options (which they have excellent reviews for) they offer a range of services as well.

First, they offer a migration service for $99.99, within covers 5 websites and 20 email accounts. This service is prioritized over other server work, so your website is transferred quickly and effectively.

Second, they offer a 1-on-1 training program covering cPanel basics, website builder recommendations, themes, site builders, page layout – basically everything you’re going to need to get started with a website.

Finally, they offer a site doctor service, in case your website get hacked or runs into any security troubles. They’ll scan everything, deal with any malware, update any software, backup everything and keep everything in tip top shape for 30 days with a money back guarantee.

VPS, dedicated, and reseller options

Of course, the BlueHost shared option is really only one side to their hosting services. Their VPS really emphasises scalability, driving home the point that their VPS service keeps the same cPanel interface (which they’ve built) as shared hosting, so that novice users are still comfortable. They’re quick to point out though that that they have enough control for even the most persnickety of webmasters. VPS starts at $14.99 for 2 CPU cores, 30BG SAN storage, 2GB RAM, and goes up in price and offering from there. All of their VPS hosting plans come with a money back guarantee.

For dedicated hosting, BlueHost starts at $74.99 for the first month, then increases to $149.99. But they still have their money back guarantee. Their dedicated servers start by offering 2.5GHz, 1TB mirrored storage, 4BG RAM, 5TB bandwidth.

MySQL

While BlueHost has lots of areas where they excel, their MySQL offering is fairly run-of-the-mill. They offer MySQL 5.5 and ProGreSQL 8 with phpMyAdmin. They don’t have unlimited databases for most of their plans.

However, BlueHost do offer over 82 articles for MySQL troubleshooting for things like setting a password and how to access your MySQL database from Dreamweaver, and they do monitor their database and content separately, though both are on the same disk. Finally BlueHost use a global caching system that caches common database queries so that your site runs faster and smoother no matter where your users are in the world.

Technical details

  • PHP 5.4
  • Perl 5.10
  • Python 2.6.6
  • Ruby and Ruby on Rails
  • CentOS, Linux Kernel, and Apache Web Server
  • Enterprise level SSD database storage
  • 16-core AMD Opteron
  • DDR3-1600 ECC/REG SDRAM

Conclusion

BlueHost, with their range of packages and excellent scalability options via VPS and add-ons, are fantastic for those companies and webmasters who might be struggling to find exactly what they’re looking for elsewhere. However, their MySQL offering, while it will absolutely do the job for almost everyone, if you do want premium security and service, other providers might be more your speed.

Prices starting at $3.95/Month

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