They deliver what they say they will, with no hidden fees or any added upsells. There are many features they offer that other competitors charge extra, the user interface is very friendly and excellent customer support.Cons
Essentially, their service is composed of shared hosting and any upgrade virtually does not exists. CPU throttling, a technology few other hosting companies provide, may impact negatively in your sites speed.Verdict
From the business owner to the individual who desires full functionality on a small budget, Bluehost provides your complete web hosting solution.
Bluehost Web Hosting Review: Good or Bad?
OK. Let’s leave the answer to the good or bad question more towards the end. The reason for that is I want to run you through some things first before giving you the conclusion, which I sincerely hope that you too, will be part of the decision process.
So what is web hosting and why do you need one?
In laymen terms, web hosting is where you will have your site up and running. Think of it as the home for your content. It is where all your files, images, etc. will be stored, so that when an internet user visits your site, the hosting provider will be the one to serve the information to them.
As far needing one. Let’s just say that if you want to create a website, you need hosting, period. There are free options of course (Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress.com, etc.), and choosing free from paid depends entirely of what you are thinking of doing. Ultimately, having a paid hosting for your site is the way to go, specially if you are thinking of establishing an online business. Free hosting, although good, has the drawback of not being yours. They can take you down anytime they deem necessary, among other things. Something to think about.
Web Hosting Decision Factors
Many will probably go for the easiest route to choose a web hosting provider. The shortcut will most likely be the price. Go for the cheapest one and you are good to go. Really? Is that a wise business decision? Flat out NO. If you go via this route, you seriously run the risk of having to spend more in the long run. Seriously, there is a lot more than “only $2,95” per month. Look at the hidden fees, before hand. Security, backup, bandwidth, disk space, website builders, uptime, etc., are the most common features and services that may cost you extra in many cases. So read the fine lines and make a wise decision. You are entrusting your valuable content and business to someone else. Poor hosting has many side effects, and that goes from securing your data, to user satisfaction to SEO.
BlueHost Web Hosting Highlights
Support – You got a technical glitch with your website and you need help (its down, you got hacked, you need a backup restored, you got malware somewhere, etc.). Whom will you seek for help or advice? Common sense dictates that you should first ask for your hosting company. This is where the all important technical support feedback is your only friend. Bluehost support excels in this and they actually go the extra mile to help you. I had things done by them that it would be imaginable in a normal “support” standpoint and in some cases, may probably cost extra. No fees, and under 24 hours. They have an extensive library of actionable video tutorials and the FAQ section is great.
Ease of Use – Like I mentioned earlier. I have other hosting account, and BlueHost cPanel is the most user friendly in my experience. Need WordPress installed on a new site? No problem, just use the “simple-script software” (similar to Fantastico, only better) and you are done in a matter of minutes. Not convinced, Bluehost has a “demo cPanel” where you can take it for a test drive as much as you want. See how that “command” center works and compare to others.
Bandwidth & Disk Storage – This is one of those items that some other hosting companies fail to be transparent with. Sure they mention it somewhere, but you will need to have Sherlock Holmes DNA to discover where the h**l its hidden. Bluehost has no limitations (within reasonable use) in this category. Note that I mentioned “within reasonable” use. You won’t want to build an “Amazon” like eCommerce site and expect Bluehost to run it for you.
Security – Bluehost is security conscious. Constant alerts are shown when you log in your account and if need be, they do it themselves. They do this because they want to ensure that no one is affected. The recent zero day timthumb vulnerability is one exampl. They sent emails asking everyone to fix the issue and how to do it. I did on almost all my sites but forgot on two of them. Day later, they sent an email saying that they fixed it. This is great. Some companies will charge you for doing these kind of things.
Website Builders – Aside from the most common ones, a new partnership with Weebly, had made the service even better. All Bluehost customers now have access to create websites using Weebly’s features for free. Cool!
Backup Solutions – The one that is included in the service (part of the hosting package) is quite good. They do it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You can go the extra mile and upgrade your service to PRO and have more control over your backups and restore functionalities. How much does it cost? A little over $1 a month. Don’t know about you, but my data is worth that many times over.
And a lot more…
Why am I recommending Bluehost?
Simple. I am giving you right here, over three years of my experience with them, on a silver platter. I have four hosting accounts with different providers and Bluehost has been by far been my “best business partner” ever since. Obviously, not everything is juicy. I had my share of problems (see cons below), but fortunately, not to the extent that I lost a good night’s sleep or having a negative impact on my business.
Remember that cheap can cost you more in the long run. Moving from one host to another is not only time consuming, it can be a disaster, specially if you do not know what you are doing. Just be aware that this is “shared hosting” and not a VPS, CDN, or anything like that.
They provided me with what they said they will. Unlimited hosting for unlimited domains and sub-domains. I am running over 30 websites in one shared-hosting account, five of which are small eCommerce sites. Never had any problems with bandwidth and disk space utilization. Uptime, which Bluehost says is 99,9%, is so, so. The 0,01% is the troubling part (see CPU Throttling below)
They are partners with many free and useful services. Weebly, SiteLock are examples. Their free backup solution works and I have made use of it several times. And oh, they did it for me. Excellent for non-tech savvy people. They also have a PRO backup solution as I mentioned earlier. A small investment that gives you peace of mind. Having adequate backups for your site or sites, is crucial and I can not stress enough on how important this is. Think of it as your “site insurance policy”.
CPU Throttling - According to Bluehost, this is actually good for their customers. There are only but a few web hosting companies that does this. Essentially, your websites loading time is decreased in speed, to ensure that it is always available to users, rather being taken down, like other providers do.
Throttling is triggered when you use up many of their CPU resources. This commonly occurs when you have a big spike in traffic, or when you have so many other things that use make their servers work extra time. These includes, SQL queries, excessive use of plugins (WordPress), etc. In any event, the biggest culprit is traffic spike and SQL queries.
Which is better? Slow or no where to be found? You be the judge, but for me, neither is acceptable. So I had to find a better solution to solving this problem. I made use of CloudFlare’s free CDN service in conjunction with BlueHost and voilÃ¡, all CPU throtlling is gone. Saved time, money and did not risk loosing any data, had I decided to shift to another company that may or may not be better.
Anyway, from the business owner to the individual who desires full
functionality on a small budget, Bluehost provides your complete web hosting
solution. With that said, and overall, I think that Bluehost is an excellent choice. Obviously, you can do all the research you want, and I encourage it. Ultimately, I hope that this review will provide you with some information that can help you make a well informed decision.
Finally, I just wanted you to know that Bluehost is recommended by even WordPress.org themselves. That should be worth something :)
Good luck and to your success.
Visit the official site for Bluehost Web Hosting
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CloudFlare review. Solving the CPU Throttling issue.
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