Essentially, our Bluehost review is technically a review of WordPress.org’s Bluehost review. For better hosting plans alternatives look at our WordPress hosting plans comparison article. WordPress hosting plans is a tricky business and finding an impartial Bluehost review is even more difficult. I’ve never been employed at a web host but I do have a lot of background working with systems that need to be online and available all the time. I’ve talked about WordPress hosting plans reviews at length before, and I want to bring that same topic up again, but this time in a very specific context. This is actually tough for me to write because I know people personally who work at Bluehost and this no fault of theirs.
Many great techs and developers have no control over business decisions that have been hurting Bluehost’s reputation. They do their best to provide a great service, but they’re playing against a stacked deck and their service, performance, and uptime have tanked over the last year. Things have gotten so bad that WPMU just awarded Bluehost with a wooden spoon for being the bottom feeder in an unbiased review of 5 different web hosts. Now I don’t know about you, but winning a wooden spoon doesn’t sound like a very awesome prize for a company that should be leading in a high tech industry.
Maybe a Blendtec would be a better modern-day kitchen-inspired prize? Unfortunately our experience with Bluehost over the past 6-9 months has been similar to what was represented in the WPMU post. Slower servers, poor technical support, and more frequent outages have become the norm, and not the exception. Granted, this hosting plans recommendations page hasn’t changed in years, but that’s all the more reason to take time and carefully review who’s listed there. That’s what ended up happening with the theme and plugin marketplaces, right? We’ve dealt with more hosts than you can imagine; in our opinion, the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world.
So what’s WordPress.org’s motivation to continue to endorse Bluehost without at least providing users with a frank review of their services? Is it the good affiliate program that helps support the operation of the site and the community? Is it Bluehost’s frequent high-level sponsorship of WordCamps? Or is it simply a gentleman’s handshake that continues to stand? It’s probably a combination of all three. I honestly have no problem with WordPress listing a host on the .org site with an affiliate link. It takes money to power an open source community like this one. Probably way more than I even know. The bigger issue to me is that they outright say that Bluehost is the "best and brightest of the hosting plans world" and unfortunately that’s no longer the case.
I hope Bluehost does get things figured out, but until then, the WordPress foundation should probably ease off on the leg humping. I’d honestly much rather see companies pay for space on the .org site than have new users getting bad recommendations. 25,000 a month, everyone would know that was the situation and would be on their own for research. It would be transparent and people would know that "Daddy D’s Wacky WordPress hosting plans" just had deep pockets, didn’t necessarily provide the best service. What do YOU think? Should they at least provide an honest Bluehost review or some kind of real-life customer feedback? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
They give you more features than Bluehost. The only place where they may fall short is pricing, but in that case, it’s kind of you get what you pay for. So even though if you are paying a little bit more, you are getting more features and better technology. On the other hand, Bluehost have a variation of pricing and plans for the flexibility of users. Bluehost wins the battle of pricing if you are just starting out business while on the other side SiteGround has additional features that come along with the price tag. SiteGround takes the cake with outstanding performance and responsive support. But if you are looking for loads of website storage at lower prices then Bluehost is unbeatable. So the decision is up to you? What are you looking for and what are your needs? We have outlined all the pros and cons of both the hosting plans service providers so that it is easier for you to now make your decision.
Without a discount at signup - Bluehost is slightly more expensive than other hosts per feature or overall. That’s not a good or bad thing - but something to consider if you are budget shopping. Bluehost plans are structured so that they seem understandable, but I honestly don’t like the phrasing that they used around their plan structure. If I give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure they’re trying to make it less daunting for beginners and people doing a starter website to evaluate plans. That said - for someone who does care about the features and the specifics, their plan structure and pitches are very vague and marketing-speak heavy.
For example, I have no idea what a SpamExpert is. And without digging, I have no idea the difference between standard performance and high performance. WordPress hosting plans. And yet their shared hosting plans is also the easiest way to run WordPress, plus the WooCommerce hosting plans (which should need more resources) is cheaper than Managed WordPress hosting plans. If that’s a confusing paragraph, that’s because the plans are confusing to me. I feel like I have a hard enough time comparing apples and oranges between hosting plans companies. Bluehost has confusing competing products with no way to compare apples to apples within their own plans.
If you know what you need, then Bluehost probably has it, but it’s a little frustrating and creates a little bit of buyer’s remorse. There are so many overlapping competing products that all have the same marketing speak. Buying hosting plans can be daunting & confusing - anything that makes it more so is a disadvantage in my book. For some customers, these cross sells are very useful and handy, but for others like me they are a little annoying. As of now Bluehost does not automatically install a bunch of plugins on your WordPress quick install like HostGator does, and I hope they don’t start that anytime soon. But even now, the upsells and cross-sells are a disadvantage for me. Bluehost does a few other things okay but not as good as direct competitors. For example they do backups, which is great.
But they don’t do daily backups like some competitors. They have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is great. But it’s not as good as Dreamhost’s or InMotion’s 90-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, Bluehost has a good clean "everyone" brand, but they don’t really have a single market segment that they focus their products around. They’re great for a starter website or for someone who wants me on a straightforward simple brand name reseller hosting. But since they’re for everyone, sometimes they also aren’t for anyone. They are cheap, but aren’t the cheapest. They have good performance, but don’t have the highest performance.
They have good advanced tools but are not the developers’ favorite. They have WordPress-specific products, but not like managed WordPress hosting plans. They are just a solid, name brand host. In a crowded market, that is an (ironic) disadvantage to me. Out of the most well-known web hosts that I’ve used as a customer or consultant, here’s how Bluehost compares directly to each. Or skip to the conclusion. I wrote a post on Bluehost vs. Bluehost and HostGator are different brands owned by the same parent company (like Coke and Sprite). They are also pretty direct competitors. However, there are a few key differences.