Based in Utah, Bluehost is one of the top providers of shared website hosting. It was founded in 1996 and the very fact that it is still going strong and is placed in most web hosting provider top ten lists means that should be considered if you are looking for hosting.
The first thing a Bluehost review needs to look at is the packages on offer. Actually this is not necessary as Bluehost keep it simple and only offer one package. This is a linux shared hosting package which (at the time of writing) is priced at $6.95 per month and you can sign-up and pay for 12, 24 or 36 months. The prices on the sign-up page are for new customers so on renewal the charge will be $8.95 for 12 months, $7.95 for 24 months and $6.95 for 36 months.
During the first 30 days there is a money back guarantee, which means you can request a full refund, after this you can cancel and get a pro-rata refund at any time.
You can include a domain name in the package free and it continues to be free as long as you stay with Bluehost. If you take up this option you need to be aware that there is a $10 charge against any refund, to cover the cost of the domain name which you will continue to own.
The package includes, bandwidth, storage, domains and email addresses on an “unlimited” basis. It is worth reading the Terms to understand what “unlimited” means.
The package is comprehensive and provides support for every technology most users will need including multimedia and ecommerce features. One click installs are provided for many popular software packages (including WordPress). A site builder is included as is cPanel to help manage everything.
There are a few optional extras which you can pay for including additional domain names, a dedicated IP address, SSL Certificates, Mail Filtering and Domain Privacy.
Bluehost has a reputation for providing a fast reliable service and many people are very happy with it. It does seem though that recently (late 2010) there has been an increase in user comments about downtime.
Support is provided 24/7 by phone, chat and a help desk system. Bluehost reviews from their users are generally favourable reporting that it is easy to make contact with support staff. A few said that support staff could have been more helpful but no company will ever satisfy everybody.
Other Customer Comments
I saw a few negative comments about renewals and sites being taken down but the company seemed to be working within its terms and conditions. It is a good idea to read these to understand what is acceptable what isn't.
Apart from there being no Windows hosting, the only drawback with Bluehost is the lack of any upgrade path if your site was to outgrow shared hosting. If that is a risk you would be better going elsewhere to begin with.
A hosting provider that has been in the business for so long is clearly doing something right and if you are in the market for linux shared hosting the conclusion of this Bluehost review is that Bluehost is a good choice.