I mentioned in my WordPress set up guide here that I've recently switched my recommended hosting to Bluehost. I decided to follow that up with this Bluehost Review so that those of you looking for more information can get just that.
For almost a year I recommended Hostgator, despite the fact that they had a few stability issues (I knew they'd be short-term), but I've finally come to the conclusion that despite HG sorting out its problems, Bluehost is still the way to go.
Over the course of this review, you'll find out exactly why.
You can also check out this other Bluehost Review.
Why This Bluehost Review Was A Long Time Coming
I was initially put off by Bluehost because I found their cPanel to contain a few upsells and service offerings that Hostgator didn't make as obvious. However, as I've been installing sites for customers more and more on Bluehost, I've come to the conclusion that it's actually a much more user-friendly (and beginner friendly in particular) interface.
You can sign up, add your domain, and install WordPress on your site in a space of about 10 minutes. That's seriously good.
When you look at the main criteria of good hosting, Bluehost does very well.
What good hosting should have:
- Stability – More than anything else, you want very little downtime. If your site is always down, it's time to move on.
- Speed – Having a slow site is almost as bad as having a site that's always down. Users hate slow sites, and so does Google.
- Fair Pricing – Most people just starting out don't have a huge budget for hosting. Bluehost is one of the most competitively priced out there.
- Support – Unless you know what you're doing, you're going to find that you rely on a strong support team. Again this is where BH excels.
- Ease – Bluehost really does have an easy to use interface and it keeps technical jargon to a minimum (within reason).
So while Bluehost definitely meets the criteria for a great hosting provider, simply meeting that criteria isn't enough for my recommendation. Plenty of good hosts out there also meet the criteria.
What Else Is Great About Bluehost?
Here are some facts I was able to dig up while researching this review:
1. Bluehost supports over 2 million websites worldwide. I'm a big fan of social proof, and 2 million people is a HUGE sign that these guys are doing something right.
2. WordPress has recommend it since 2005. That's almost 10 years at the top. Since I always deal in WordPress sites, it would make sense to follow their recommendations. This fact alone should be enough to make anybody hosting a WP site go to Bluehost right away.
3. 100% US-based. I'm not US based, so I don't really see the need for hosting to be. However, it shows that they are not outsourcing on the cheap and offering low-cost services. You get quality here.
4. Unlimited websites. Every hosting plan comes with unlimited websites. You even get a free domain name coupon when you sign up.
5. Bluehost designs, builds and maintains its own hardware. Like I said, this is a 100% in-house operation.
There are a few other things I like about it as well. For one, you get lots of free coupons and deals when you join:
What Else Matters?
Precisely what you look for in a web-host will differ depending on your needs. You've seen the general criteria I set out above and you may have one or two additional requirements, such as the ability to register domains on a different country server, or you may wish for a dedicated server.
You'll find that Bluehost can cater to 90% of web hosting requirements, and 100% of what the majority of us will need. If you DO have any specific questions you can learn more about Bluehost here, or ask in the comments below and I'll get back to you.
How To Get Started
Let's summarize and take a look at the key factors that make Bluehost my number one recommendation:
1. They've been recommended by WordPress since 2005!
2. They host over 2.5 million websites.
3. All their hardware and service is 100% in-house.
4. They have great stability and wonderful support.
5. They are very competitively priced.
6. They provide excellent “Bang For Buck” value.
In all honesty, there's nothing more important than the above five points, so if they don't convince you to sign up with Bluehost, nothing will.