Not many hosting companies can say they have the same experience and history as Bluehost, as they have been among the pioneers of the web hosting industry for over a decade now. Operating from Utah, USA, since 1996, it is one of the most reliable and credible names when it comes to flexible and high standard hosting packages. The company, along with its subsidiaries, is a part of The Endurance Group, and has been leading the hosting industry for almost two decades.
Backend Features – Everything you need!
With a Bluehost web hosting account, you get a comprehensive range of backend features to start and manage your websites. Along with a standard Linux based Cpanel, you get other applications such as shell, SSL, Postgre SQL, Ruby on Rails, MySQL and scripting capabilities. One of the most useful features of Bluehost is the SimpleScripts. With SimpleScripts, you get to install all the major scripts and applications without any hassle at a single click. With this feature, you can easily set up your own website using applications like WordPress, blog themes and other useful scripts.
In addition to that, you get a whole range of ecommerce shopping carts to get you ready for online selling through your website. And to ensure that your transactions remain safe you also get an SSL Secure Server, generated certificate, password protected directories and OpenPGP/GPG encryption. All of this for no additional charges!
A Friendly Interface – Adding to the experience
One of the most appealing aspects of Bluehost service is its user friendly interface which makes it very convenient for even non-technical users to make full use of their hosting plan. As a Bluehost customer, you will get all the necessary features of your account on a single page once you sign in. This also includes various account management options such as admin rights, changing password, transferring domain names and other necessary options required for an account manager. You don’t need to search for them separately. On the top bar menu, you have links to other sections of your account like domain management, account upgrades, site builders, billing details and other options.
Customer Support – The Best in the Business
Just in case you don’t manage to find any option that you’re looking for, you can always refer to the help section of Bluehost where you can either approach the support staff or make use of the comprehensive knowledgebase developed specifically for registered users. The knowledgebase is not only useful in searching and learning about certain hosting features, but also has sufficient data and articles to answer most of your day to day queries related to your hosting account.
Customer support is certainly one aspect of Bluehost services that almost no other web hosting company can match. Based in Utah, USA, Bluehost employs a 100% American support staff that is available round the clock at a distance of either a phone call or an email. They can also be instantly contacted on live chat where representatives from every department are available to help you. Having personally approached their support staff through each of these channels, I can safely say that they have some of the most professional and knowledgeable people in their support departments who are always there when you need them. Their response timings are also the fastest in the industry with an average call waiting time of 30 seconds.
No wonder there are many businesses that prefer using Bluehost just because of their excellent support mechanisms.
Uptime & Reliability
Having personally used Bluehost services for a while I can safely say that they are one of the most reliable web hosting companies around. They claim to provide an average monthly uptime of 99.9% and I have seen this to be true over a sustained period of time using third party services like Pingdom to track my website uptime. Here’s a snapshot of a monthly uptime report.
It is quite evident from the snapshot as well that there have been only 5 instances of downtime in the whole month which is quite acceptable. What makes it even better is the duration of these downtimes which, in the worst of times, is only up to 15 min while the average downtime in these 5 instances is around 5 min.
In addition to these reliable services, you can always approach the support staff of Bluehost just in case your website goes down at a critical time of the day. The support staff, as mentioned earlier, is highly professional and usually comes up with a solution in quick time. However, there are times when certain websites experience more instances of downtime than usual. But this is quite rare.
Solid Infrastructure – Servers & Datacenters
Behind all these world class services, is a high-tech infrastructure based that ensures reliable and continuous services to websites across the globe. With its datacenter located in Utah, United States, Bluehost build its own servers and custom Linux kernel. Its own fiber network spans worldwide.
Hosting Plans – Shared or Proprietary
Bluehost offers two distinct hosting plans to address the needs of different businesses. The standard accounts belong to the shared hosting plan, which has been covered in this review as well. The shared accounts obviously have certain limitations and can face downtimes because of other accounts sharing the server.
However, larger websites and businesses, for which unexpected downtimes can be lethal, may opt for a separate Proprietary plan as well that focuses on efficient usage of memory, disk I/O operations and CPU. It also includes much more cost effective open source software with VPS server capabilities.
Hosting Features & Pricing
With a Bluehost account you can enjoy hosting unlimited domains and Add-on domains. Add-on domains are separate domains that use the same account space but can be made to appear as completely separate websites. You would also get a free domain registration upon purchase of a Bluehost webhosting account. However, you will need to pay for its renewal. You would also have the luxury of creating unlimited email addresses on all your domain names. These emails accounts can also be easily configured on most smart phones to allow on the go communication.
Bluehost also claims to offer unlimited web hosting space, which is true in a way. In reality all hosting services have a file limit. But they are usually so large, that these numbers become irrelevant after a certain range as even the most advanced users rarely reach them. To be precise, Bluehost offers a file space of 200,000. Just to give you a little perspective, Hostgator offers 250,000. So they are right to call it unlimited space.
These features and services, along with many others, can be purchased in a 3 year contract that will cost you $4.95/month. However, there are certain features, like domain privacy etc. that you need to pay for separately.
BlueHost Review Summary
With over 20,000 new customers every month and an amazing customer based of millions of customers, BlueHost will continue to dominate as one of the top web hosting companies. Anyone can sign up for their own professional web hosting account for as low as $6.95 a month and will also be setup with their own domain name and full access to everything previously mentioned in our review.