Bluehost is a relatively new webhost offering an enticing cPanel-powered professional package at only $5.95 per month. This is not some barebones entry-level package. For $5.95, Bluehost promises a free domain and unlimited domain hosting, storage space, bandwidth and email accounts. Clients also get statistics and analytics, a secure shell, SSL, FTP, CGI, Perl, PHP, Ruby (RoR), MySQL, Site Builder with a wide array of templates and much more. Bluehost has a stellar uptime track record, and they stand behind it with a 99.9% network uptime guarantee. They also have an anytime money-back guarantee, which allows you to take advantage of their most aggressive pricing structures with confidence. There was a little doubt that I had to take this host out for a spin.
Value for Money
To get the $5.95/month rate, you have to commit to 24 or 36 months. At a 12-month commitment, the lowest they offer, the rate is $6.95/month. As mentioned above, Bluehost offers an anytime money-back guarantee. They also include one free domain registration, and the caveat here is that if you opt out earlier than 12 months, they’ll reimburse you minus the cost of the domain registration. Other than that, the opt-out process is straightforward, and they don’t try to nickel and dime you with surcharges and whatnot. Bluehost also offers SiteLock domain security at $12.95/year, Site Backup Pro at $12.95/year and domain privacy at $9.95/year. An upgrade to the $19.95/month Pro package gets you a dedicated server, more resources, such as memory and CPU power, a dedicated IP, an SSL certificate and then Postini anti-spam accounts. They also provide seamless upgrade from the lower-tier package.
Performance & Reliability
Bluehost does a great job of assuaging concerns over them being a new host by offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is as good as you’re going to get. So far, they’ve had no problems living up to that promise, and while I was testing the service for this review, I didn’t experience any trouble at all. Of course, it’s nice to know that if trouble does happen, they’ll reimburse you the prorated amount. A prorate portion of $5.95 may not seem like much, but it is a considerable amount of money from their perspective, and the guarantee proves their commitment to reliability.
When I signed up with Bluehost, I first spent some time talking to a support rep through their chat system. I’ve been through countless of these intro chat sessions. They typically do more harm than good, but Bluehost impressed me with their casual and very frank yet thorough approach. After I had signed up, I contacted support again and asked them a series of questions, starting simple and finishing with a complex one. This time I got a different agent, but the results were similarly impressive. In addition, Bluehost boasts an impressive helpdesk that includes forums, a searchable database, video tutorials, beginner’s guides, a ticket system, a server status checker and a lot more.
• Postal Mail
• Live Chat
• Support Ticket System
• Community-powered forum
• Searchable knowledgebase with video
As you can see – there are more ways to get in contact with BlueHost than with the average provider.
Ease of use
With BlueHost you’ll get an easy to use cPanel. Never used cPanel before? Don’t worry – it’s all very easy to find and understand. BlueHost gets a golden star from me in regards to user-friendliness.
• The helpdesk, which is one of the most thorough and sophisticated we’ve reviewed.
• Their direct approach to client communication, which is a breath of fresh air.
• The price, the reliability, the feature set and best of all, the anytime money-back guarantee.
Important to know
• You’ll pay for the domain registration if you opt out early depending on the "going rate".
Bluehost is one of the most impressive webhosts that I’ve
reviewed in quite some time, and it is perfect for the
individual or small site and even the business website that
won’t ever require a dedicated server and IP and some of
the other features in their Pro package.In the support section, I gushed a bit about Bluehost’s
refreshing approaching to customer service and support.
Every time I’ve talked to them, they’ve continued to be
direct and honest with me, and that has won me over. I plan
to continue being a Bluehost client for the foreseeable