Bluehost Shared Web Hosting Review 2017
In this review, we’ll take a look at Bluehost’s shared WordPress hosting plans. If you’re looking for a more powerful option from Bluehost, we also have a separate review of Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting.
Originally founded in 2003, Bluehost was snapped up by hosting conglomerate Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2010. Nowadays, they’re one of the 20 largest web hosts worldwide and host millions of websites.
Bluehost is often recommended to beginners. And while some may recommend Bluehost for its performance, many people who recommend Bluehost are taking advantage of Bluehost’s industry-leading affiliate commissions. You should definitely keep this in mind when reading any review of Bluehost. It pays to be skeptical.
Keep reading to take a peek at our testing data for Bluehost and learn more about Bluehost’s features!
Overview of Bluehost Shared Hosting Features
Here’s what you can expect when you go with Bluehost shared hosting:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited storage (*50GB limit on cheapest plan)
- Free domain name
- CloudFlare content delivery network
- Automatic backups
- One-click WordPress install
- 24/7 support via phone and chat
Now that you know the features, we’ll take you through the real-world performance.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Performance – Real Testing Data
To get a feel for Bluehost’s shared hosting performance, we set up a test site on their Provo, UT data center and looked at three key metrics:
- Time to First Byte – this is a general measure of how responsive a web server is.
- Average page load time – this is how long, on average, it took our test site to fully load.
- Uptime – this is how much downtime, if any, our test site experienced.
Here’s how Bluehost’s shared plan fared:
For Time to First Byte, Bluehost’s shared server responded in 1.78 seconds. This is by far the slowest time of any host that we measured. It took Bluehost’s shared server longer to respond than it took many hosts to fully load our page. So far, it doesn’t get much worse. Eeesshhhhh.
Let’s see if it gets better for our test’s site average page load time. On average, it took Bluehost’s shared server a sloth-like 3.53 seconds to fully load our site. While not dead last (HostPapa and Webhostingpad were worse), this is nearly twice as long as it took A2 Hosting to load our test site.
For uptime, our test site was available 99.915% of the time. This number is adequate but lower than we’d like to see. Many of the other shared hosts that we tested had 99.95%+ uptime.
Overall, Bluehost’s shared hosting plan performed dismally in our tests. Things are not looking good so far…
Bluehost Data Center Locations
Your data center is the actual physical location where your website is hosted. Because the distance between your readers and your data center can affect your site’s performance, you always want your data center to be as close as possible to your target readers.
Bluehost has data centers around the world, but they don’t publicize these locations. If you sign up through Bluehost.com, your site will likely be hosted at their Provo, UT data center. However, if you sign up through the local version of Bluehost’s site (say, Bluehost India), your site will likely be hosted at an Indian data center.
Bluehost Support and Knowledge Base
Bluehost offers 24/7 support available via phone, live chat, and tickets. We like that you can get a real person on the phone if needed.
For those who prefer self-help, they also offer a detailed knowledge base with a large number of articles on a variety of topics.
Bluehost Plans and Pricing – Shared Hosting
Despite their poor performance, Bluehost’s shared plans at least have the benefit of affordability.
They offer four different tiers of shared hosting.
Their Basic plan supports one website, 50GB of storage, and unlimited bandwidth. Promotional pricing starts at $2.75 per month (billed annually).
Bluehost’s Plus plan ups that to unlimited websites, unlimited storage, and unlimited bandwidth. Promotional pricing starts at $5.45 per month (billed annually).
Their Prime plan offers everything in their Plus plan with the addition of extra backups. It currently also starts at $5.45 per month (billed annually) during the promotional period.
Finally, they also have a Pro plan which adds a dedicated IP address and SSL certificate for $13.95 per month (billed annually).
At current prices, the Prime plan offers the best value for most users.
Should You Choose Bluehost Shared Hosting?
With regards to shared hosting, Bluehost’s performance was horrible. Essentially the only thing going for Bluehost’s shared plans is low prices. They ranked near dead last in Time to First Byte and average page load time. Additionally, Bluehost’s shared hosting uptime was average at best.
If you’re looking for cheap hosting, our recommendation is to skip Bluehost and go with someone like A2 Hosting or SiteGround instead. Both of those options are priced similarly but offer much better performance.
If you’re married to the idea of using Bluehost, their managed plans also offer much better performance, though at a higher price.
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We do not receive any money for positive reviews and all opinions on this page are our own.