Bluehost Web Hosting Review

By

Cosmo

|

Aug 24 - 2014

BlueHost

Web Hosting Review

Bluehostis one of the big boys of the web hosting industry and also one of the oldest. Started in 1996 in Provo, Utah, Bluehost has expanded and thrived into one of the largest web hosting companies in the world today with a1.5% market share.

Shared Hosting Plans

Bluehost offers a complete range of web hosting solutions that includes shared and reseller, VPS and dedicated server hosting.


Bluehost offers two shared hosting plans -standard plan & Pro- plan. The Pro plan has 80% less accounts hosted per server which allows the use of more resources (CPU usage, disk space and bandwidth) for each Pro account.

Features Overview Standard Pro

Disk Space

Unlimited

Unlimited

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Unlimited

Domains Hosted

Unlimited

Unlimited

Parked Domains

Unlimited

Unlimited

Subdomains

Unlimited

Unlimited

Free Domain Name

1 Year

For Life

Free Domain Privacy

X

Dedicated IP

X

SSL Certificate

X

cPanel Control Panel

Hotlink Protection

Hotlinking is when other sites link to your images/ files & steal your bandwidth.

SimpleScripts 1-Click Installer

Easy 1-click installation of over 70 including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal & more.

SpamAssassin

Protects your email from spam by using a variety of network tests to identify spam signatures.

36-Month Term

3 year term

$4.95

monthly

$15.99

monthly

24-Month Term

2 year term

$5.95

monthly

$17.99

monthly

12-Month Term

1 year term

$6.95

monthly

$19.99

monthly

Email Features

Plans Standard Pro

POP3/ POP3 Secure Email Support

IMAP / Secure IMAP Email Support

Webmail Support

Forwarding Email Accounts

Email Autoresponders

E-Commerce Features

Plans Standard Pro

SSL Secure Server

Free Generated Certificate

Open PGP / PGP Encryption

Shopping Carts

Popular ecommerce platforms including osCommerce, Agora, Cube & Zen Cart.

Site Tools

Plans Standard Pro

Website Builder

Free Weebly Drag & Drop Website Builder.

Blogs

WordPress, b2evolution, PixelPost & more

Forums

phpBB, Simple Machines, Gbook & more

Content Management

Drupal, Joomla!, Moodle & more

Photo Galleries

Gallery2, Coppermine, ZenPhoto & more

Poll, Survey & Counter Tools

Site Promotion

Plans Normal Pro

Search Engine Submission

Google AdWords Credits

$100

$100

Facebook Ad Credits

$50

$50

Twitter Ad Credits

$50

$50

Bing & Yahoo! Ad Credits

$50

$50

Extra Add-Ons

Plans Standard Pro

Dedicated IP

Per IP

$39.99

yearly

$39.99

yearly

SSL Certificates

Per certificate

$49.00

yearly

$49.00

yearly

Additional Domain Name

Per domain

$14.99

yearly

$14.99

yearly

Domain Privacy

per domain name

$10.99

yearly

$12.50

yearly

SpamExperts Mail Filtering

per domain name

$2.50

monthly

$2.50

monthly

SoloSEO Jumpstart

SEO tools including site submission, rapid indexing, a DIY SEO program & analysis reports.

$14.99

yearly

$14.99

yearly

SiteBackup Pro

Automatically makes a daily backup copy of your site to protect you from data loss.

$1.67

monthly

$1.67

monthly

SiteLock Basic

Blocks malware & malicious traffic; also scans daily for other harmful threats.

$1.67

monthly

$1.67

monthly

Be sure to keep in mind that once your initial registration term expires, the plan that you've subscribed for will automatically renew at the following regular rates. Automatic renewals are a standard practice of the web hosting industry but may sometimes catch beginners offguard. You can read more about this below in ourautomatic renewal of plans.

Regular Rates Standard Pro

36 Month Term

3 year plan

$9.99

monthly

$24.99

monthly

24 Month Term

2 year plan

$8.99

monthly

$22.99

monthly

12 Month Term

1 year plan

$6.99

monthly

$19.99

monthly

Automatic Renewal of Plans

Do note that under Bluehost'sUser Agreement, it is entitled to make an automatic renewal of a customer's plan as a courtesy upon expiry of his or her initial registered hosting term.


This is a standard web hosting industry practice but one that customers may be unaware of. Bluehost will send customers a notification of this renewal a month before it will automatically renew their plans.


We have reproduced the relevant parts of Bluehost's User Agreement below:


4.   Automatic Renewal of Hosting Account

As a courtesy and not as an obligation (contractual or otherwise), fifteen (15) days prior to the expiration of Subscriber's Hosting Account or Domain(s) Bluehost will automatically renew Subscriber's Hosting Account by charging the applicable fee for the non-promotional rate to Subscriber's current method of payment on file.


6.   Notification of Automatic Renewals

Subscriber will be notified of pricing for EACH successive period (or renewal period) no later than thirty (30) days prior to the payment date of SUCH successive period (or renewal period) for all products and services with a successive or renewal period of twelve (12) months or greater. This notification will be sent to the contact email address on file for the Account.


To disable the automatic renewal of your account, simply notify Bluehost at least 15 days before the account expiration date by sending an email to [email protected].


Cancellation / Refund Policy

All Bluehost plans come with aanytime money back guaranteethat entitle subscribers to the following refund schemes upon cancellation of their accounts :


  • Cancellation within 30 days of registration :full refund.

  • Cancelling anytime after 30 days of registration :prorated refundfor the remainder of the current hosting term.

All refunds exclude certain non-refundable fees like domain registration, setup fees and non web hosting services. You can check out other non-refundable fees under section 4.1 of Bluehost'sUser Agreement here.


Uptime

Bluehost does not offer a explicit uptime guarantee with any of its plans which is peculiar for such a large web hosting provider.


The only reference to any of Bluehost’s uptime statistics can be found in one of itshelpdesk articlesthat seem to indicate the presence of a server uptime agreement. The relevant parts have been reproduced below:


Network / Server Uptime Agreement

We at Bluehost strive to offer the best in the industry for Network and Server uptime. Like all shared hosting companies from time to time, we experience downtime.


Server and Network uptime are dependent on a variety of issues, ranging from the activity by our clients, traffic to other sites, hardware failure, to issues like hard-drive failure and file corruption. Most issues are resolved in approximately 15 minutes. However, on extreme issues, it may take more than 15 minutes to resolve.


In these extremely rare circumstances, the server may require additional time to resolve the issue. This can take several hours and in very rare cases as much as a day to get your server back up and running.


There has also been a number of prolongednetwork outagesreported this year at Bluehost's Provo data centers.


An independent third-party uptime monitoring website records Bluehost's uptime at99.9%since 2005.


Culture and management

Although the uptime and data center outage issues are a source of uncertainty, Bluehost does its best to provide solid customer support. We found a blogpostingby Matt Eaton, Bluehost’s CEO back in 2005 which describes his ponderings on customer service :


Matt: It's all about the service…


If there's one thing I have learned since starting Bluehost, it’s that customer service is EVERYTHING! Although it is simple to understand, it is very difficult to implement perfectly. We can never satisfy everyone, but we do our best to exceed expectations.


It is expensive to give proper customer service, and so I know most web hosting companies won’t compete with us. Its simple really. If I wouldn’t like it myself then I don’t make our customers go through it either. When I have to call into the company I wait just like any other customer. I want to see how long I am on hold. If it exceeds 120 seconds then we failed and its time to hire more support engineers.


Last Monday we took over 1100 phone calls! That is a LOT! Our average hold time that day was less than 90 seconds. We aren’t perfect, but we are getting there.


At first my attitude was that I would rather the company make a lot less $$ now, so that we can compete effectively in the long run as far as customer service is concerned. Now I KNOW the reason we are successful is because of customer service! 


You can count on us getting better and better. I am entirely focused on making Bluehost the premiere hosting company for features and service. Please stick with us on this journey. I want you to keep being “pleasantly surprised”.


Although the post is already a little dated, it provides a candid peek into the mind of Bluehost's CEO on how he ran and built up the company.


BlueHost was acquired by Endurance International Group (EIG) in 2010, a technology investment company which also owns a number of other web hosts including HostMonster, JustHost and HostGator. There had been concerns about the acquisition but Brent Oxley, founder of HostGator had this to say :


Brent: When I first heard about EIG purchasing Bluehost in November 2010, I was extremely ecstatic. The first thoughts that came to mind were that EIG was going to destroy the company, resulting in one of our biggest competitors going the way of the dodo. However, rather than plunder and pillage, they've hired and flourished.


Bluehost was at 280 employees when the sale closed and they have 450 today. Their management team has stayed the same and the culture has stayed the same. Now, the Bluehost culture, employees, and philosophy have taken hold to become the new status quo of EIG.

Source


Plan Features & Add-Ons

Bluehost offers numerous value added services on top of their web hosting plans that provide many benefits and conveniences. Click on the links below to find out more.

Green Hosting

Bluehost does not have any explicit green hosting initiatives. However, we did come across an interview with James Grierso, VP of Business Development at Bluehost’s position on green hosting:


While green web hosting can be viewed more as a marketing strategy than an ecological effort, why Bluehost and HostMonster haven’t got down this path yet ?

James:  Our owner believes that purchasing carbon credits to offset power consumption is not true to the spirit of going green. If you look into all of the “green” hosting platforms out there they are all purchasing credits. We believe in making real world changes to help reduce our consumption. Our new resource protection software actually reduces our power consumption by 8-10% per server.


That is a real difference in power consumption. We also pipe in cold outside air for 6 months of the year into our data centers which reduces the amount of power needed for cooling. During the winter months, we use the hot air returns from the servers to heat our building rather than use power and gas to heat our offices.

Thewebhosinghero


Special offers

Bluehost periodically offers discounts on its web hosting plans. Do check out ourBluehost Promotionspage for the latest available promotions.


Conclusion

Bluehostis one of the largest web hosting companies today and offers a comprehensive range of web hosting solutions that are fairly priced.


Although bogged by a number of recent power outages, it remains a good web hosting choice that is able to cater all types of websites. It also offers a nice anytime money-back guarantee on all of its plans.



In a

nutshell

* For web hosting company in general and not to specific plans.

Pros

1.

Big Web Hosting Provider

Bluehost is one of the biggest web hosts today and has or uses state of the art equipment and technology.

2.

Robust Plans At Affordable Prices

Bluehost offers a complete range of robust web hosting solutions from shared to dedicated server hosting at affordable prices.

3.

Long Refund Periods

Bluehost offers an anytime money back guarantee that entitles customers to a full refund upon cancellation of an account within 30 days and a prorated refund after.

Cons

1.

No Uptime Guarantee

Bluehost does not provide any uptime guarantees or offers refunds for excessive downtime experienced.

Blue Host

Shared Hosting Plans



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WebHostingTrivia

Worldwide, the digital warehouses i.e data centers use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants.

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