Looking for a reliable web hosting to start your blog?
Well, then look no further.
Today I am reviewing one of the famous and affordable web hosting for a blogger, especially if you’re from India.
Bluehost, it is one of the most popular web hosting solutions company. They offer services such as shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting and WooCommerce hosting. Bluehost was founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in Provo, Utah, and it is now owned by the Endurance International Group.
Recommended by everyone, from WordPress themselves to Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, to John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire.
Bluehost has become synonymous with web hosting and has effectively become the world’s go-to web hosting service!
AN INTRODUCTORY BRIEF of BLUEHOST:
It is one of the 20 largest web hosts, collectively hosting well over 2 million domains. Bluehost’s facilities are world-class. The company operates its servers in-house in their 50,000 square feet Utah facility, employing over 750 people.
Their servers are powered by PHP 7, HTTP/2, and NGINX+ caching. They have their own custom-built 20,000-square-foot data center with enough backup generators to power a city!
Bluehost was one among those studied in the analysis of web-based hosting services in collaborative online learning programs.
Since their founding in 2003, Bluehost has continually innovated new ways to deliver on their mission to empower people, to fully harness the web, by providing comprehensive tools to millions of users throughout the world so anyone, novice or pro, can get on the web and thrive with their web hosting packages.
THEIR UNPARALLELED COMMITMENT TO WORDPRESS:
They proudly state, “We believe in WordPress and our partnership has allowed us to support it for over 10 years. Our in-house team consists of dedicated WordPress experts to provide the best customer support whenever you need answers. We even dedicate engineers on our development staff to full-time WordPress CORE development. No one powers WordPress better or understands it more than we do. Bluehost is constantly driven to be the number one web solution provider.”
Matt Heaton first conceived Bluehost in 1996. However, he first created two other web hosts, 50megs.com and 0catch.com, before finally settling on Bluehost in 2003.
It was in 2010, that Bluehost was acquired by Endurance International Group. In June 2011, company founder Matt Heaton announced on his blog, that he was stepping down as CEO to focus on the company hosting platform’s design and technical structure, while COO Dan Handy took over as CEO.
In January 2015, Endurance International Group appointed Mike Olson as CEO of Bluehost, while Dan Handy moved to enterprise-wide mobile development for small businesses.
Suhaib Zaheer is the current GM/SVP/CEO of Bluehost, since 2017.
Bluehost is now officially located in Burlington, MA.
Alright, now let’s get into their detailed specifications to get a clear idea of how great, average or poor this hosting service appeals to us.
Let’s begin with the edges first…
BLUEHOST INDIA PROS:
CONSISTENTLY DEPENDABLE UPTIME:
What is your top priority when searching for a dependable web host?
For most entrepreneurs /web developers, it is bound to be the uptime. Uptime is undoubtedly the most important aspect when choosing a web host because after all if your site is down, how do your users even access your product/service?
Luckily though, it’s hard to find a hosting provider with better uptime than Bluehost.
Bluehost offers a super-competitive uptime guarantee of 99.98% and is known to post month after month of 100% uptime. If and when the service goes down, it is only for minutes or even seconds.
While there are a few complaints from users about several server outages and a server team that is slow to respond, a great number of Bluehost users claim that the company has a solid server performance, praising their stability and reliability.
And according to whom, Bluehost scores a 99.99% uptime on average and occasionally outdoes itself to deliver a 100% uptime.
The company itself also allows you to cancel your hosting agreements because of downtime without having to pay any cancellation fees.
(However, you should keep a check on the way you are designing your website. A lot of WordPress users end up using too many plugins, which might eventually lead to a server crash.)
The speed of your website is more important today than ever before. Users’ expectations have grown and patience shrunk. If a website loads too slowly, they would rather move on to the next site, than wait a few more seconds. Even if they don’t quit, the slow load would definitely have a bad impression on their overall image of your site.
Furthermore, Google has clearly stated that the speed of a site will affect its ranking in the search results. So in order to keep both your users and Google happy, your site speed needs to be paid due attention to. Hence after uptime, your host’s page loading times are the second most important thing that can literally make or break your site’s success.
In spite of having an acceptable speed, in 2017, Bluehost made some updates and changes, focusing on increasing its page-load speed. And today, they rank among the top 10 web host providers in terms of speed, offering load times that hover in the low 400s (milliseconds) and sometimes even less.
FREE DOMAIN WITH FREE SSL CERTIFICATE
Bluehost waives off the domain name registration fees when you sign up for a web hosting service. Even if you pick up the most basic package for as low as $2.95, you are entitled to get a free domain (for a year). This obviously comes in pretty handy, when you are just starting a small business with a tight budget.
The best indication of a secure website is an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. SSL certificates let users know that any information they share on your site will be safe, and these certificates are indicated by the padlock icon and the “HTTPS” at the beginning of your domain.
So along with the free domain, you also get a free SSL certificate, which enables encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server, meaning your website will be more trustworthy and secure at no extra charge.
DOMAIN NAME EMAIL ADDRESS
When it comes to building brand awareness and establishing trust and relationships in business, a domain name email address can go a long way.
When you purchase a hosting plan from Bluehost, you get an option to sign up for your own domain name email address. These domain name email plans start at just a few dollars per month and add significant value to your hosting plan.
BLUEHOST INDIA FOR WORDPRESS
Bluehost is a recommended host by WordPress itself, and is currently hosting more than 850,000 WordPress websites!
If you’re worried about WordPress being a little complicated to use, BlueHost is the solution. Its seamless integration with WordPress.org makes hosting your site a piece of cake, saving you time, money and a whole lot of stress!
Learning how to install WordPress with Bluehost is extremely straightforward since it comes with a one-click WordPress set-up to get your site up and running in no time (and effort).
Bluehost has partnered with WooCommerce to provide a complete shopping cart solution to online businesses.
WooCommerce is powered by WordPress which is one of the most trusted and versatile website builders today. And with the collective services of WordPress, WooCommerce, and Bluehost, users have everything they need to build their dream sites.
Especially so because it is equally suitable for novice and experienced webmasters alike. Even a beginner will be at ease building their stores with the straightforward point-and-click interface.
While knowledgeable pros will appreciate having the freedom to edit their sites’ PHP and implement more advanced customizations at the back end.
Another exciting part is, that you get a promotional offer of Google advertising credits with every new Bluehost account. Enabling you to start driving traffic and hopefully get some sales in a matter of hours with your new store! (You can check out a separate Bluehost Woocommerce hosting review in detail here.)
EASY TO USE CPANEL
Most of the cPanels implemented by hosting companies are more or less the same. Though some of these hosts are good only for advanced users.
LiquidWeb, for example, is great if you know what you are doing. But they lack a user-friendly interface for non-technical people. So if you are a beginner, you would have a tough time getting your site live without support.
But Bluehost has made a few nifty little tweaks and upgrades to make their version simple to use for website newbies. And that is their real selling point. They enable complete novices to build great websites in a jiffy. The very layout of Bluehost’s control panel makes it incredibly easy to use, so much so that you just need to point and click in most cases.
It also has features for advanced users, but beginners too can easily install and start WordPress there. Or, they can use the Bluehost website builder tools too (such as Drupal, Weebly, etc.) to start with a template that they can customize by simply dragging and dropping.
As an added bonus, Bluehost users enjoy access to in-depth support via their self-help and how-to resources.
Every Bluehost plan comes with a free SSL certificate, so you don’t have to worry about your visitors getting warned, about your site being insecure. For even advanced security, you can also get a premium SSL certificate for $49.99/year. (This would be a worthy investment for eCommerce sites or others where users will be logging in with a username and password and providing sensitive information like their credit card details.)
Bluehost uses SiteLock to scan your website daily for viruses and malware and also performs 24/7 network monitoring on its company servers.
This company does not reveal information about its data centers, their locations, or their security measures, in order to protect their infrastructure. However, what the Bluehost website does state is, that they have a UPS power backup, diesel generator power backup and 24/7 network monitoring.
If you opt for their dedicated servers, you’ll get what’s known as “RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) Level 1” support. This means that your data is mirrored to multiple disks which effectively increases the reliability and security of your data.
Bluehost’s security features offer three antispam tools – Apache Spam Assassin, Spam Experts, and Spam Hammer, as well as hotlink protection and Secure Shell access. They also offer Cloudflare, which further enhances the performance and security features.
In addition to going out of its way to ensure the security of your website, Bluehost also allows you the freedom to take whatever security measures you want. You can create IP address blacklists, password-protected directories, manage private keys and digital certificates, create filters for email accounts/users, and so on.
Bluehost includes more than enough security measures to get a standard website off the ground, but if you’re looking to scale your site or sell online, you may want to invest in a few extras. They offer a lot of additional security measures to choose from, but they can add up to get expensive, so choose wisely.
BLUEHOST CLOUDFLARE WITH ADVANCED DDOS PROTECTION
Bluehost protects your site with a cloud-based, always-on DDOS protection, powered by the intelligence harnessed from Cloudflare’s always learning global network. Cloudflare’s layered security approach combines multiple DDOS mitigation capabilities into one service, preventing disruptions caused by bad traffic, while allowing good traffic, keeping websites, applications and APIs always available and performing.
BACKUPS ARE COMPLIMENTARY
Your data is backed up. But the only possible downside to Bluehost’s security is that the company does backups at its own discretion.
Therefore, for full-on security, you must do your own daily backups. In their knowledgebase, they clearly state, “We do offer complimentary backups for our customers. They are created on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. These backups are not guaranteed in any way. We highly recommend all Bluehost customers create and manage their own backups.”
And for this purpose, Bluehost recommends that you use the control panel to access the third-party software tool called Site Backup and set them up to be stored offline. You can also purchase the “Pro” version of Site Backup for a fee.
24/7 CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Bluehost’s knowledgeable in-house, expert team is always on hand to help answer your questions, get you started, and grow your presence online. They offer a 24/7 telephone support, online webchat, and a knowledgebase— that maintains a huge library of articles, FAQs, step by step guides, and video tutorials.
Also in order to ensure that you get the fastest possible response, they have categorized their team for you to choose from.
‘The Sales team’ helps those with general inquiries, potential and new customers.
‘The Technical Support team’ is who you want to talk to if you have any support-related questions.
‘The Account Management team’ handles inquiries related to billing, the terms of service, and account verifications.
(Please note that Bluehost’s normal 24/7 phone support is reduced to 8am to 9pm EDT during the COVID19 crisis.)
Bluehost’s cheapest shared hosting plan starts at Rs.199/- per month, (and renews at Rs.499/- pm). WordPress optimized hosting also starts at the same Rs.199/- pm, while WooCommerce hosting starts at Rs.459/- pm. VPS plans are Rs.1159/- pm to start with, and dedicated plans are Rs.6499/- pm.
All Bluehost plans come with discounts for new customers. In fact, you can save up to a whopping 64% per month with their promotional offers! (Like most other hosting providers, Bluehost offers discounted prices for new customers only. This reduced price lasts for your first term, and then renews at the regular price once the period is over.)
All the above packages mentioned are monthly prices, for a 36-month contract.
Being totally upfront, Bluehost’s prices aren’t the cheapest in the market. However, it definitely does offer great value for money.
MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE – 30 Days
You can cancel your hosting plan within the first 30 days for a full refund. There would be no questions asked.
Their website quotes, “Your satisfaction is our top priority and we’re confident you’ll be pleased with our services. Still, if you try us and decide your account does not sufficiently meet your needs, you can cancel within 30 days for a refund as follows:
If you cancel within 30 days, you’ll receive a full refund on your hosting service only. The money-back-guarantee does not apply to most add-on products, such as domains, given the unique nature of their costs.
If you cancel within 30 days and your plan includes a free domain, there will be a fee to retain that domain. Bluehost will deduct a non-refundable domain fee from your refund, at the regular cost of your domain.
Bluehost does not offer any refunds for cancellations that occur after 30 days.”
OK, so is Bluehost this flawless? Unfortunately, not! Listed below are the disadvantages that come along with their package..
BLUEHOST INDIA CONS
SPEED & UPTIME ARE NOT THE BEST IN THE MARKET
Their speed is fast but not the fastest. Similarly, their uptime is decent but not the best. Well, given its cheap price, these cons can be overlooked.
Although Bluehost is cheap, but not the cheapest. So, if you’re willing to pay some extra bucks then you can always look for other potential hosting options like A2Hosting or Inmotion Hosting, on the basis of performance and loading times.
If Interested you can also read the review of A2Hosting
Their default backup solution is fairly limited. Plus, they don’t guarantee them and recommend you to do your own daily back-ups. Or get their paid services to solve this hassle.
NO FREE SITE MIGRATION:
Unlike most of their competitors, they would not migrate your site for free. In fact, dedicated IP addresses and website transfer fees on shared hosting plans are overly expensive! Which is a bummer since a lot of other hosting services offer at least one site migration, even with their cheapest plans, for absolutely free.
HIGH RENEWAL RATES AND LONG COMMITMENT PERIODS:
The cost of renewal rates on the Basic and Prime plans are over twice the introductory discounted price. Also, in order to avail the lowest prices, you need to commit for a long period of 3 years (36 months) in a go.
Having done with the cons lets now look into what plans we have to consider…
BLUEHOST INDIA PLANS & PRICING: A Quick Look
Before we begin, please note that all the prices mentioned below are in USD and for a month’s time (per month/pm).
Each of their plans comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee along with promotional offers/discounts for new customers.
Bluehost’s shared hosting, which is the most common and cheapest, costs Rs.199 to begin with, and Rs.499/- at renewal. So if you happen to be on a tight budget and need just basic hosting for a single site, shared hosting is your best bet. Though a very limited kind of hosting, it is extremely affordable and works fine for up to a basic level, such as personal, hobby, and brochure sites.
For a WordPress site I recommend their WordPress Hosting; check out below.
You get four shared hosting plans to choose from, each providing different levels of performance and features. The more you pay the more advanced features you get.
Visit Bluehost for further details on the shared hosting plans.
WORDPRESS (SHARED & MANAGED) HOSTING
WordPress has been recommending Bluehost to its users since 2005, describing it as “the ultimate WordPress platform” – and it is easy to see why. An incredible amount of features are packed into its plans, to help you build and grow your WordPress site efficiently.
Visit Bluehost for further details on the shared WordPress hosting plans here.
Bluehost has three managed WordPress plans too, ranging from Rs.199/- to Rs.299/- as discounted starter prices. These plans are best for WordPress users aspiring to go pro.
Visit Bluehost for further details on the managed WordPress hosting plans.
For those who are selling stuff online Bluehost has three WooCommerce hosting plans too. And you won’t have to splash out your hard-earned money either, with their affordable prices ranging from Rs.459/- to Rs.759/- (with the initial discounts).
Visit Bluehost for further details on the WooCommerce hosting plans.
VPS hosting is the next step up in both features and price – yes, it costs more, but also comes with better security, speed, and performance. If you have a regular website, this is usually the best type of hosting, that combines sensible prices with solid features.
Visit Bluehost for further details on the VPS hosting plans.
Dedicated hosting is the big (or biggest) hitter of the hosting world. It is designed for sites that need the ultimate of everything – speed, performance, control, security, and technical features. There is no compromise here! Meant for massive sites with tons of traffic, even with a discount, the prices start at Rs.6499/-, while at renewal the regular prices begin with Rs.8495. This is definitely a big hosting for big websites with big budgets!
Visit Bluehost for further details on the dedicated hosting plans.
It is understood that choosing a hosting provider for your blog is tough, not because there aren’t enough hosting providers out there, but because there are too many!
Now that you have a thorough knowledge of all the advantages, disadvantages, plans, features and pricing, (along with your unique needs and expectations) you are at the best position to judge if Bluehost is the best fit for you.
There is no denying that Bluehost is a strong contender in the market full of hosting providers. In fact, it is one of my top 3 recommendations to start a WordPress blog.
Its easy-to-use interface and affordable introductory prices, make it worth trying out. Especially so, if you are someone who has just started and would appreciate a stress-free, simplistic environment that doesn’t look too intimidating for a beginner.
Bluehost is also much recommended since it offers a complete starter package for newbies – a cheap discounted plan, an easy Cpanel, WordPress integrated one-click installation set up, an extensive knowledgebase, great 24/7 customer support, free domain, free SSL certificate and domain name email service.
But if you happen to be more advanced and are more concerned about getting nothing short of the best possible speed and performance in the market, you might as well want to check out your other options.