There are dozens of web hosting services available but Bluehost stands apart from the crowd in several ways. It offers competitive pricing, impressive WordPress hosting plans and gives you considerable value for your hosting dollar. Here’s everything you need to know to make a well-informed decision as to whether Bluehost offers the best hosting service for your business.
- Value-priced starter plan
- Free domain name
- User-friendly interface
- 24/7 phone and chat support
- One-click WordPress installation
- Free CDN
- Recommended by WordPress.org
- Renewal rates skyrocket
- Lots of upselling
- Limited storage
- Not all plans include daily backups
- No month-to-month plans
- Inconsistent customer service quality
- E-commerce capabilities not available on all plans
Table of Contents
What is Bluehost?
Bluehost is a popular hosting service provider among bloggers, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Forbes Advisor UK includes Bluehost on its list of best web hosting services.
Here are a few highlights of what you can expect with Bluehost:
- Bluehost’s intuitive, user-friendly interface makes it easy for beginners to launch and manage a website.
- With Bluehost, you get several free features including a free SSL certificate, a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) and one free domain name (first year only).
- You can use Bluehost’s Online Store plan to build and manage an online store; more than £354.27* ($450) worth of plugins are included with plan purchase.
- With most Bluehost plans, you can build unlimited websites on a single hosting plan.
- Bluehost is one of only three providers recommended by WordPress.org.
- The Bluehost domain manager simplifies the process of purchasing, transferring, updating and managing all your domains in one location.
This review focuses on Bluehost’s WordPress and shared hosting services. Bluehost also offers virtual private server (VPS) hosting and dedicated hosting services, which are typically more popular among those with advanced website hosting needs.
How Bluehost works
Bluehost shared hosting works the same as other shared hosting services; multiple users share a single server’s computing resources, including bandwidth, file storage and processing power. Since each user receives a portion of the server’s resources rather than having to support full server resources, hosting costs are considerably lower than with dedicated or VPS hosting.
Bluehost maintains the server hardware and software and enacts security protocols to ensure your website is safe and reliable. Users access Bluehost’s intuitive personal dashboards to build and manage their websites.
Before launching a website, you first need to register a domain. If you already have a domain, you can use it with your Bluehost hosting plan. If you need a new domain, Bluehost will give you one for free for the first year with your hosting plan. You’ll need to re-register your domain each year; Bluehost offers auto-renewal, so you’ll never have to worry about your domain expiring.
With Bluehost, most domains cost between £1.55 to £21.83 annually; new .com domains average just £10.13 per year. You can pay an additional fee for domain privacy, which shields your personal information required for domain registration from being accessible to the public.
Is Bluehost right for me?
There are many things you need to consider when selecting a hosting provider: cost, storage, reliability, security and customer support all matter. Our review found that Bluehost is best for certain types of websites and business needs.
Bluehost Is Great For:
- Basic WordPress websites
- New entrepreneurs
- Startups on a tight budget
- Small businesses with modest website resource demands
- DIY website builders with minimal technical skills
Bluehost Is Not Recommended For:
- Content-heavy websites that require considerable storage and processing speed
- Large company websites
- Advanced technical users who require extensive website control and customisations
What sets Bluehost apart
An easy-to-navigate interface that’s beginner-friendly and affordable plans are the primary reasons Bluehost stands out as a service provider. Those on a shoestring budget are especially enthusiastic proponents of Bluehost’s low-cost hosting options, which is a key reason Bluehost made Forbes Advisor’s list of best cheap hosting services.
Bluehost is also popular among WordPress users thanks to its ultra-simple, one-click WordPress installation. The hosting provider is featured on Forbes Advisor’s list of best WordPress hosting services.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current hosting provider, Bluehost offers migration services for WordPress websites. You can migrate one WordPress site for free, a feature not offered by all hosting companies. Free migration services are not included for other website platforms, though you can purchase a premium migration service from Bluehost for migrating up to five websites and 20 email accounts for £118.08* ($149.99).
Bluehost is a high-quality web hosting provider that has been offering hosting solutions since 2003, making it a well-established player in the industry. The company offers in-demand features that website owners want; the type and depth of features available vary by hosting plan.
Storage and bandwidth limits
Bluehost limits storage capacity on all of its plans. The Basic plan comes with 10GB of SSD storage, while the top-tier Pro plan scales to up to 100GB. Bluehost’s storage limits are a bit stingy compared to other hosting service providers.
Bluehost offers unmetered bandwidth, which allows for unlimited data transfer. While there are no restrictions on the amount of data that can be uploaded or downloaded, you are sharing processing capacity with other sites on the same server. This means you could run into slow file upload/download times as a Bluehost shared server has a 150 simultaneous database connection limit.
Extras and inclusions
All plans include a free CDN, one free domain for the first year, resource protection and an SSL certificate. Storage allotments vary by plan tier. Higher-tier plans offer more depth and breadth of features, including e-commerce capabilities, online store analytics and optimised CPU resources that deliver stronger site speed.
Bluehost also features free WordPress website migration and a 30-day money-back guarantee. A free SEO Yoast account is available on every plan except Basic.
Ease of use
Bluehost has built its business by focusing on helping bloggers and small businesses get their websites up and running fast. It’s an easy-to-use platform ideal for beginners and nontechnical do-it-yourselfers who are building simple websites.
As mentioned, Bluehost can automatically install WordPress for you. If you prefer, you can create your website using the free Bluehost Builder (BB). The BB features a drag-and-drop interface and comes with hundreds of themes and simple design tools that help you design a professional online presence.
The user dashboard features an intuitive and attractive design that makes navigation simple. Access your cPanel by clicking on the Advanced tab once you’ve logged in to your Bluehost account.
Bluehost Maestro can make your job easier if you need to manage multiple WordPress sites. Maestro is a proprietary Bluehost tool that helps you organise, categorise and manage multiple WordPress sites from a single dashboard. With Maestro, you can track broken links, stage sites and perform theme, plugin and WordPress core updates. Maestro is free to use.
All Bluehost hosting plans include a free SSL certificate, and all but the Basic plan come with free malware scanning. Beyond that, Bluehost’s security measures are a bit of a mystery; very little about its security standards is included on its website or in the Bluehost Help Center.
Multiple Bluehost support reps stated that Bluehost protects its servers – though they declined to give any details about how they do this. These same reps reported it is up to the developer to code their site and keep it up to date. Most other hosting providers give at least some pertinent security details, such as whether their server sites are ISO certified and how data is encrypted.
Bluehost offers add-on security protection through SiteLock. These add-on plans start at £28.25* ($35.88) to £236.16* ($299.98) per year and renew at £66.04* ($83.88) to £283.32* ($359.88) annually. All SiteLock plans feature malware detection, external scan and Google blocklist monitoring. Higher-tier plans come with daily or continuous scan frequency, malware removal, SMART/Patch, a weekly scan report and advanced firewall security.
Bluehost pricing and plans
Bluehost quotes pricing at a monthly rate, though fees for all terms are paid upfront. Keep this in mind when deciding which plan is best for your needs.
The starting price for Bluehost’s shared hosting plan is £2.30 for 12 months, but then climbs to £8.57 per month – that’s more than triple. This means that in three years’ time, you’ll pay nearly £233 for your Basic plan hosting services.
If you’re certain you want to use Bluehost for hosting your website, you can save money by locking into its £3.86 per month fee for three years. You’ll pay £138.96 total in three years, a savings of over £90.
Bluehost allows you to upgrade your account at any time but does not permit you to cancel service plan commitments outside of its 30-day money-back guarantee timeframe. Hosting plans auto-renew at higher prices. If you decide you want to cancel your plan, make sure you do so before your renewal term takes effect, otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying the high renewal fees.
The Basic Plan
The Basic plan is Bluehost’s lowest-priced offering that starts at £2.30 per month for the first year and renews at £8.57 per month. This plan was designed for bloggers and small websites, as it comes with just 10GB of storage and only lets you host one website.
The Choice Plus Plan
Introductory pricing for the Choice Plus plan is £4.25 per month for the first year and renews at £15.59 per month. The Choice Plus plan includes 40GB of storage, unlimited websites, daily website backups in the first year, domain privacy, malware scanning and a free Yoast SEO subscription.
The Online Store Plan
The Online Store plan is Bluehost’s only e-commerce-enabled shared hosting plan. For £7.76 per month for the first year – and £19.46 per month upon renewal – you have access to exclusive store themes and store analytics. You can host unlimited products on your online store. Several e-commerce plugins are included in the plan, which allow you to add features such as gift cards, product search, appointment scheduling and create customer accounts.
The Pro Plan
Bluehost’s top-tier shared hosting plan gives you 100GB of storage plus all the features offered in the Choice Plus plan. You also have access to optimised CPU resources, which provide more speed and processing power. Bluehost does not reveal specifics on what to expect in terms of more power but suggests those with moderate to more intense website traffic will benefit from the improved performance delivered by its optimised CPU resources.
Customer service and support
Bluehost offers 24/7 support via phone and chat for all plan levels, which is unusual for hosting providers. The company also hosts an extensive online Resource Center and an active blog.
Our live interactions with Bluehost representatives were inconsistent. Chat was slow to respond and, when we did connect, focused on selling rather than answering the questions we posed. It was unclear whether we were speaking to an actual person or a chatbot. Repeated chat visits on different days at different times yielded the exact same responses, which suggests chat may not be live and/or the support staff is given extremely limited support response parameters.
Telephone support was somewhat slow to respond but was more helpful in answering direct questions. Still, when we probed about details regarding security protocol basics, file upload and download speeds and parameters around optimised CPU resources, the representatives were not particularly forthcoming with details.
We also reviewed hundreds of online reviews from actual Bluehost customers, where we found feedback on Bluehost customer service was mixed. Many said that support agents are helpful and courteous and were able to troubleshoot problems and answer questions effectively. Those who were dissatisfied reported long wait times for support, pushy upselling, excessive website downtime and fatal website errors with inadequate support to resolve the issues.
Additional features worth noting
Bluehost has a few features worthy of a shout-out, though some come with an add-on fee that may or may not be worth paying extra, depending on your specific needs. WordPress migration services, website design services, WP Live hands-on support and an endorsement from WordPress.org are a few features of note.
WordPress migration services
As mentioned above, Bluehost offers free migration services for WordPress websites. The Bluehost Site Migration plugin first creates a backup of your website and then utilises that backup to migrate your website. After the successful transfer of your site, you will then need to link your domain to Bluehost using your domain name system (DNS) settings and terminate your current hosting service.
Website design services
Bluehost offers consultative services for full-service website design, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) services and website migration. Fees vary by solution and level of need; contact Bluehost directly for more information.
Live one-to-one expert support
Building and managing a WordPress website can be difficult, especially for beginners. With Bluehost’s WP Live plans, you can reach out for the assistance you need, when you need it.
There are three levels of WP Live support plans – Basic, Plus and Pro. Fees for annual WP Live plans range from £18.72 to £92.81 per month; month-to-month plans range from £25.74 to £128.68 per month. Support includes account access assistance, website backup assistance, design guidance and content and landing page optimisation.
Endorsed by WordPress.org
WordPress.org named Bluehost as one of only three hosting providers it recommends – the two others being DreamHost and SiteGround.
Bluehost alternatives and how they compare
Bluehost, HostGator, SiteGround and GoDaddy all offer strong uptime guarantees, a free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth and a 30-day money-back guarantee on their starter plans. Bluehost is the only hosting provider among the options presented above that does not offer month-to-month contracts. There are several more differences among Bluehost alternatives.
Bluehost vs. GoDaddy
In the contest between Bluehost vs. GoDaddy, Bluehost offers a marginally lower starting price than GoDaddy’s – £2.30 vs. £2.99. Both require a one-year commitment to receive the introductory price.
Along with Bluehost, GoDaddy offers a free domain in the first year, but Bluehost provides up to five business emails while GoDaddy only gives two. GoDaddy comes with a generous 25GB of storage, compared to Bluehost’s 10GB. Both hosting providers offer multiple customer support options, including chat, phone and an online Resource Center.
SiteGround vs. Bluehost
SiteGround has several features in common with Bluehost, including a one-year commitment for introductory pricing, 10GB of storage and customer support in the form of chat, phone and an online Resource Center.
When you look at SiteGround vs. Bluehost on other features, there are several differences. SiteGround offers month-to-month plans and unlimited business emails. Bluehost only offers annual and multi-year plans and includes just five email addresses on starter plans. SiteGround’s lowest-priced plan starts at £2.99, while Bluehost charges £2.30 for its basic plan.
Bluehost vs. HostGator
The contest between Bluehost vs. HostGator is relatively neck and neck, with HostGator receiving a 4.4 rating out of five stars and Bluehost earning 4.3 stars. HostGator’s starting price is £2.95* ($3.75) per month while Bluehost charges £2.30. A three-year commitment is required to receive HostGator’s lowest price, while Bluehost only requires one year.
Our expert opinion
Bluehost specialises in serving those with modest website needs, including bloggers, startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs. The hosting platform is easy to use for all technical levels, which makes it perfect for beginners.
If your needs are relatively modest, you don’t expect massive traffic for your website and your budget is razor-thin, Bluehost is a solid hosting service provider. Just beware that prices skyrocket after the first year, and you’ll likely be subjected to a fair amount of aggressive upselling as a Bluehost customer.
Is Bluehost right for you or your business?
Bluehost is a great option to consider if you plan to build your website with WordPress and if you know you want to commit to a multi-year web hosting plan. The company has been recommended by WordPress since 2005 and is one of the most integrated services for building WordPress websites.
*Conversions correct as of 3rd August 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is WordPress free with Bluehost?
Bluehost offers WordPress hosting for an introductory price starting at £2.30 to £10.88 per month in your first year. You can also purchase managed WordPress hosting – which features advanced security, analytics and social media integration – starting at £10.88 per month.
Is Bluehost good for beginners?
Yes, Bluehost is intuitive to use and easy to navigate, and it works well for beginners. Bluehost also has an impressive WordPress hosting plan, and many first-time website builders choose to use WordPress because of the number of high-quality themes and versatility of plugins available for WordPress websites.
Can I cancel Bluehost at any time?
You can cancel your plan whenever you want, but after 30 days, you won’t be eligible for a refund.
What is the difference between WordPress hosting and shared hosting?
Shared hosting is the most popular and affordable choice for those building websites that do not have high traffic demands. With a shared plan, multiple websites run by various owners share the same server and bandwidth. WordPress hosting, on the other hand, is specifically designed for sites built with the WordPress CMS. With Bluehost, WordPress is preinstalled for you.
What are the different types of web hosting services?
There are a number of different web hosting services, but the most common are shared, VPS (virtual private server) and dedicated. Shared is the most popular choice as it’s also the most affordable. However, VPS and dedicated hosting offer more site security and enhanced website performance, making them a more popular choice amongst large and well-established websites.
What is web hosting and why do I need it?
Web hosting is a service that allows anyone essentially to rent space on the internet, and websites must have web hosting to be accessible online. Some content management systems (CMS), such as Squarespace and Wix, include web hosting as part of their monthly fee, whereas if you’re building a site on WordPress, you’ll need to purchase web hosting from a web hosting provider, such as MochaHost or IONOS. Learn more about what web hosting is.
How do I choose the best web hosting services?
When choosing the best web hosting services for your business, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors. The most important include your website’s size, traffic and goals. You’ll also want to consider the type of hosting you need – shared, VPS or dedicated hosting. And finally, factors such as which come with the extras you need (e.g., a domain name or business email) and support in your preferred contact method, such as live chat, phone or email, should influence your decision.