You’re at the stage of deciding on your hosting provider, and your still not sure so you start looking for some consumer reviews.
This is not the normal hosting review you find with * (star) ratings comparing different hosts, as I can’t really compare it with other hosts that I don’t use.
Bluehost Is a North American based hosting company, but you can use them to host your websites regardless of where you are located.
I use Bluehost for several WordPress sites that are targeted at a Worldwide audience. For UK targeted sites I use 1&1-UK .
Why I use Bluehost
I have been using Bluehost for around 10 years, and the reason I chose Bluehost was:
- It supported multiple domain names and I wanted to host more than one site.
- Includes a free .com Domain Name.
- Uses Cpanel control panel – industry standard
- I wanted to use WordPress and Bluehost offers simple WordPress Install via fantastico scripts (now simple scripts is used), but more importantly for me was that it also supported up to 100 MySQL databases. Not that I will ever need that many but it’s nice to have too many than not enough.
- In addition it supported Moodle and various bulletin board applications that I was thinking about using,again using simple script installs.
My first Bluehost site was a move from 1and1 UK to Bluehost which went very smoothly.
I did need to talk to Bluehost support before the move, and was very happy with the support I received.
Bluehost supports multiple website hosting on a single shared hosting account, and I did find the multiple domain name support a little strange to set up, and not as straight forward as on 1and1, but after reading the instructions I got there.
Bluehost probably offers all of the services that you will ever need, and seem to stay up to date with new developments e.g. they now support ROR (Ruby on Rails).
They are also one of the WordPress recommended hosting providers, and have a auto update script that keeps any WordPress site automatically up to date.
You can see a full up to date list on their Web Site so I won’t repeat it here.
Like most web hosting providers they also provide basic email services that are ideal for small businesses.
Email access is via POP3,IMAP4 and Webmail, and email accounts are very easy to setup.
BlueHost Hosting Packages
Bluehost only used to offer a single shared web hosting package which is the type I use, and most personal and small business websites will use.
However recently (late 2013) they have started to offer Virtual servers, dedicated server and Managed WordPress packages.
Virtual and dedicated server packages are for organisations that want to manage the server, and require very high performance websites.
If you are thinking of an e-commerce website or have a WordPress blog/site with a very high visitor rate then these type of packages will be of interest.
They do require a very high level of technical ability to set up and manage, and are usually managed by a web master.
Bluehost now offers three shared hosting packages.
Most small business website will use the basic or plus package.
All of the packages support WordPress.
There are also specialized WordPress packages but they aren’t really for small businesses, but for high performance blogs with 100 of thousands of visitors.
If you find yourself on the wrong package you can always change the package at a later date.
Not really my choice of words but it seems to be a common term when running something down, and it probably does for some but so do others.
I did a little searching on Yahoo for “hostname+sucks” and besides getting some rather strange results when I made a few typos here is what I got.
- “Bluehost sucks”- No of sites 893
- “ipower sucks” – No of sites 358
- “anhosting sucks”- No of sites 28
- “1and1 sucks”- No of sites 1100
So you can see they all have their detractors and the bigger you are the more you have- No surprise there- poor old Microsoft (over 200,000)-
Common Questions and Answers
Question -Can I run WordPress on the basic shared hosting package?
Answer – Yes – It supports PHP and has a MYSQL database.
Question – Can I run a shop using the basic shared hosting package?
Answer- Yes you can use WordPress and a ecommerce plugin to run a small online shop.
Question – The basic shared hosting package? has only has 50GB web space is it enough?
Answer – For most sites it is 49GB too much space. So unless you are serving large video files from your site then it is more than enough.
Question – What if I find that this package isn’t the right one for me.?
Answer -You can simply upgrade to a higher spec shared hosting package without needing to do a reinstall.
Question – I’m running a business website don’t I need my own server?
Answer – Usually no. Dedicated servers or virtual server are for websites that run processor intensive software and/or receive thousands of visitors per hour.
Question– What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Answer- Because of the popularity of WordPress this is a very popular feature offered by many hosting providers. Generally the hosting provider provides security and core updates automatically and may offer support and other services. Again there tends to be packages with different levels of management. They are more costly than standard shared hosting.
Question– Should I opt for WordPress managed hosting as I will be running WordPress?
Answer –Not really -I find the managed hosting expensive and I run several WordPress website on Bluehost using the shared hosting package.
Question -What is a content delivery network (CDN)
Answer – A content delivery network (CDN) uses a a system of servers in different geographic locations that deliver web content to the user from a local server. This makes for faster access.
It is mainly used for large popular websites e.g. BBC,CNN
You will no doubt find many positive and negative Bluehost comments on the net, but that can probably be said for any hosting provider.
Personally I’ve found Bluehost to be reliable,reasonably priced and offers all the web services you will probably need at no extra cost.
In my opinion if you are running a small business or personal website then the shared hosting plus package is more than adequate for the job.
I use Bluehost for all my non UK focused websites, and I have experienced no problems with the sites that I am aware of.
Here is the Blue Host Site