Bluehost Hosting Review

 
Bluehost is one of the Endurance International Group brands, along with HostGator, iPage, and FatCow, among others. They offer a full range of hosting plans including shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting as well as a WordPress-optimized VPS package. Further, they work for non-profits and educational institutions to make hosting even more affordable.

Prices starting at $3.95/Month

Shared hosting

Bluehost offers three shared hosting plans, priced competitively at $5.99, $9.99, and $19.99 respectively. All of their shared hosting plans come with enhanced cPanel, backup, email, and CloudFlare CDN. All of their shared servers run on a standard LAMP hosting structure running CentOS 6. Like a lot of hosting companies, Bluehost has a lot of unlimited listed in their plans. This isn’t actually unlimited, but is rather restricted in their terms of service for what they feel is reasonable. Fortunately, this is the normal usage for 99% of their customers, making it essentially unlimited.

Starter: $5.99

Bluehost’s Starter plan is enough to get you out the door and online quickly and effectively. It includes:

  • 1 website, 1 domain, 5 parked domains, and 25sub domains
  • 100 email accounts
  • 100GB website space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 20 databases
  • 1,000 database tables
  • Site backups
  • $50 in ad credits

Plus: $9.99

The Plus plan is essentially the same, except with more unlimited options and a couple extra add-ons:

  • SpamExperts protection
  • Unlimited email accounts, website space, subdomains, and MySQL databases
  • Global CDN
  • $200 in ad credits

Pro: $19.99

Their Pro plan is obviously more of the same again, but each Pro server has 80% less accounts on it, so you are allocated far more resources. The Pro plan includes:

  • Free SSL certificate ($4.99 per month)
  • Free Dedicated IP address ($3.99 per month)
  • Free One free domain privacy ($0.99 per month)
  • An extra domain
  • Free domain registration for life ($14.99 per year)
  • 3,000 database tables (vs 1,000 in the cheaper plans)
  • Free Site Backup Pro ($1.99 per month)

VPS and dedicated hosting

Bluehost, in addition to their shared hosting options, also offers both VPS and dedicated hosting packages for those looking for a little more power.

VPS

Their VPS packages start at $29.99 and go all the way up to $119.99 for the enterprise package. All their VPS come with a 30 day money back guarantee, cPanel and WHM access with root access, as well as CloudFlare CDN caching.

Like their shared packages, Bluehost runs their VPS on CentOS 6 with Apache by default. However, they do provide their users with root access, although they do not have support help for any other Linux distributions. That said, Bluehost is one of the only companies who allow different Linux distributions

Their VPS plans start with 2 CPU cores (2.2Ghz), 30GB SAN, storage, 2GB RAM, 1TB bandwidth, and subsequently increase progressively up to quad 2.2 Ghz CPU cores with 8GB RAM, 240GB storage, 4TB bandwidth, and 2 dedicated IP addresses.

Dedicated hosting

Bluehost’s dedicated packages start at $149.99 and move all the way up to their top tier at $249.99 per month offer. For $149.99 you get dual CPU cores (2.3Ghz), 4 CPU threads, 3MB cache, 4GB RAM and 1000GB RAID storage, 5TB bandwidth, and root access. Their top tier options uses quad 3.3Ghz cores, 8 CPU threads, 8MB cache, 16GB RAM, 2000GB RAID storage, and 15TB bandwidth.

Bluehost has both managed and unmanaged options available, although their managed options do require you to run CentOS. Each dedicated server runs OpenStack for maximum flexibility within the dedicated server environment. Bluehost lets you add on VPS and shared servers to your own dedicated one if you need to, all while being managed from within one interface. This makes even a dedicated server extremely scalable.

Linux: CentOS 6.

Like most other hosting companies, Bluehost is a LAMP host running CentOS 6. While this isn’t the most up-to-date version, it’s certainly up to date enough to be considered industry standard. And like most other LAMP hosts, they use CentOS because of its low cost (its open source) and its stability. These two things make it the favoured option for shared hosts.

Bluehost will default to this setup on their VPS and dedicated hosting options as well, but they do actually give their customers for both these products access to the root and allow them to change to whatever other Linux distribution they need. Popular alternatives to CentOS 6 include:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Ubuntu
  • Arch
  • Debian

But before you switch, ensure that you’re capable of complete server management – Bluehost doesn’t have any support for any distributions other than CentOS.

Conclusion

Bluehost sharing hosting is a pretty stock-standard offering. Nice features include their caching options and the number of add-ons for the top tier plan, but the core features and functionality are more or less identical to other options. However, Bluehost is one of the only hosting companies who lets you change your Linux distribution at the VPS level, which if you do require a non-CentOS one makes them an incredibly affordable option (the alternative is getting  dedicated server most places).

Prices starting at $3.95/Month

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