BlueHost Review

Founded in 1996, BlueHost is one of the internet’s oldest website hosting providers still doing business today. The simple fact that BlueHost has managed to endure such a saturated and competitive market of web hosting options should speak volumes about their service, especially considering the relatively short half-life of a typical hosting provider.

But what is it that makes BlueHost unique, and what can we learn from a 17 year industry record.

Main Features

A popular trend among web hosts during the past decade has been to turn towards one size fits all approaches to hosting plans. While these plans are economical for the companies that offer them, they are usually subpar solutions for those who are paying or the hosting unless their services options coincidentally match up to the specific needs of the customer.

While BlueHost also follows the one size fits all trend, it is possible to have your cake and eat it too with BlueHost thanks to their absurdly affordable and broadly comprehensive hosting options.

Another common problem with a one size fits all approach to hosting is that it either excludes features that you need or includes features you do not, often resulting in customers having to pay for services that they simply do not need. But rather than trying to nickel and dime customers by charging for every extra service, BlueHost offers virtually everything you need with their most basic hosting plans.

This includes basic things like unlimited domain hosting, space, file transfer, e-mail accounts, and domains. It also includes more advanced features including support for SSL, FTP, CFI, Ruby, Perl, PHP, MySQL databases, CGI-BIN, PHP 5, Python, Ruby, Javascript, Flash, Shockwave, Simplescripts, Drupal, Joomla, Moodle, and most major e-commerce platforms.

Infrastructure

The only way to describe BlueHost’s network infrastructure is top shelf. From modern Linux datacenters to fully redundant data backups on mirrored HHDs, BlueHost has the all the amenities required to assure that your website will not suffer from any unnecessary service interruptions. And in the case of emergency, these amenities also include diesel powered backup generators supporting a 2 Gb/s connection.

The BlueHost’s primary datacenter resides on a 50,000 square foot campus with two additional datacenters at secondary locations. Having three separate localities for hosting helps BlueHost drive down the cost of service while increasing the reliability of ISP connections.

Consequently, BlueHost offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee that protects you from everything apart from routine upgrades and scheduled maintenance.

Plans and Pricing

BlueHost’s hosting can be neatly divided into two categories, dedicated and shared. The shared hosting option begins at $6.95 per month and includes all the services outlined above. This price can be dropped as low as $4.95 per month — provided you are willing to sign up for three years of hosting.

Upgrading to the Pro Power Package for $19.95 per month includes an increase in CPU, RAM, professional Site Backup, one dedicated IP address, SSL certificate, and 10 Postini anti-spam accounts. You can also purchase site lock domain security and domain whois privacy for an optional one time nominal fee.

As for dedicated hosting plans, these range from $149.99 to $249.99 per month depending on which plan you choose, standard, enhanced, or premium.

The standard dedicated server option includes an impressive 2.3 GHZ dual core Intel Xeon processor, 4 GB RAM, 1 TB of HHD storage, 5 TB/month of bandwidth, and three dedicated IPs.

The premium server extends this power to a 3.3 GHz quad core processor, 16 GB of ram, 2TB of storage, 15 TB of bandwidth, and 5 dedicated IPs. If this is not enough storage for you, storage upgrades are available for a few extra dollars.

Customer Service

BlueHost’s support includes an online help center, e-mail support, live chat, and toll free international phone calls.

The BlueHost website also includes a real time display for indicating the current length of the e-mail response queue alongside a promise to try and respond to issues within 24 hours.

While live chat is usually one of the most underwhelming features of any web host, BlueHost’s live chat feature is far more robust than one would expect, offering 24/7 support.

Essentially, it does not matter where you live or what time of day it is, if you have a problem BlueHost is there for you.

Final Thoughts

Offering some of the most competitive pricing that you will find anywhere and the worldwide customer support, BlueHost is ideal for small businesses, personal sites, blogs, or any other site that receives fewer than a few thousand hits per day.

For big businesses that need fully managed servers and have to cope with hundreds of thousands of hits, BlueHost might not be right option for you because it lacks unlimited hosting, has comparably limited CPU resources, and offers no VPS hosting options.

However, thanks to their anytime money back guarantee, anyone can try BlueHost at no risk.

BlueHost

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