Bluehost Review.

Multiple racks of servers.
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When it comes to choosing a web hosting provider the options are nearly limitless. The first decision once has to make is what platform one’s website will run on. If one is using plain static HTML, which almost no one does completely anymore, then even this doesn’t really matter…but if you are in the 99% who will be using more than HTML, it is important to consider whether one wants a Windows or Linux host. When it comes to Linux options one of my favorites for the past several years has been Bluehost.

I’ve written about Bluehost in the past, but I figure its time to give an update on how I think things are going. This time I’m going to start out with the bad and then move on to the good.

The Bad:

  • SLOW: This is very subjective, but I feel that my sites have been running significantly slower of late. Sometimes it can take 5-10 seconds for a page to load, and I’m on a 10 Mbps Verizon Fios connection with a fairly powerful machine! This is in part due to CPU throttling – an intelligent mechanism Bluehost invented that ensures that no one site on a shared host can utilize all the bandwidth thus slowing other sites down…but even when my account isn’t being penalized with CPU throttling (and it is, fairly frequently), it still seems to oftentimes move at slow speeds. Let me add the caveat that I do run a fair number of sites off my single hosting account – and that I expect for the average single website (or even two or three websites), Bluehost will continue to be a speedy option…but for us “power users” I’m wondering if Bluehost’s abilities are diminishing?
  • OPTIONS: Bluehost allows you to do almost anything with your default account, but when it comes to adding on additional options – its really lacking in a few key areas. Sure, you can buy additional domains, get premium spam protection, and get a static IP address – but what about the most basic – extra CPU and memory share? For folks like myself who apparently are pushing the bounds of whatever share Bluehost is giving us on a shared host, we sure could use a way to buy extra “slices” of CPU share. Bluehost does offer a Pro package now which includes, amongst other things, “increased CPU and memory” – unfortunately, Bluehost doesn’t tell us how much CPU/memory (10%? 20%? 100%? 300%?) and the price at $19.95/mo. is a pretty steep step up from the base price of $6.95/mo. (yes, there are other features, but quite honestly I don’t care about free ssl certificates, domain privacy protection, or postini email filtering!).
  • PRICING: The base product is nice and cheap, but they tag you decently on additional domain names. Each additional domain name costs $10/yr. – but I’ve got perhaps twenty domains – and it begins to add up. It’d be nice to see some decreases in pricing as number of domains purchased increases.

The Good:

  • PRICING: The base product for $6.95/mo. has a ton of features built into it and will be more than adequate for most folks.
  • RELIABILITY: As long as you don’t push the CPU share restrictions, Bluehostseems to be an extremely reliable host (again, from my personal experiences).
  • SIMPLE SCRIPTS: SimpleScripts is beautiful! It allows anyone to get a site up and running in minutes. SimpleScripts automatically deploys any of a large number of applications to your website in minutes at your request. Examples include WordPress, SugarCRM, Drupal, Moodle, SMF and phpBB, Coppermine, and MediaWiki along with dozens more.
  • LIMITS: The base package includes some pretty significant features as I mentioned above – just a few that are really worth highlighting – unlimited monthly bandwidth, unlimited storage, and 100 MySQL databases. This is really sweet!

Overall Conclusion:

If you are running a single site or a few sites – go get Bluehost. If you are a power user running a half-dozen or more sites…you may need to look elsewhere. I’m hoping Matt Heaton and company will add at least the ability to purchase additional CPU/memory shares soon…b/c I’m currently in the market for a new host for this power user…and considering options like AWS…though I’d prefer to stick with Bluehost due to ease of use and flat storage/bandwidth handling which makes pricing significantly simpler.

7 Replies to “Bluehost Review.”

  1. Nice, 100 MySQL databases – I really like that. InMotion Hosting only gives me 2 🙁 Anyways, good article. I’ve also considered getting an account with AWS (free for one year to new subscribers and then they charge according to what you use) but can’t really justify it.

  2. Thanks for sharing that. I came here because one of my posts was automatically associated to your article.

    It is interesting to hear this about BlueHost. I had considered moving to it. It seemed that it and HostGator were the best two that people had experience with. Do you plan to link to more reviews of self-hosted WordPress hosts?

    1. At this juncture I don’t plan on reviewing any others – unless I try others…which I may do, but it’ll be a process over time. Bluehost continues to be fine for single or several sites, it just appears to be an issue when you start running a lot of sites off a single account.

  3. hey davemackey,

    Good review indeed ^^

    I have a question about to find or recommend a webhotel for adv users, my situation is all my 7 domais is at Servage right now and there mysql’s is very slow.

    Will bluehost be better or ?

    Eny ideas ?

    Kind regards
    Phillip

    1. Phillip – I’ve never used Servage, so I’m not able to comment on their performance compared to Bluehost. Do you have all seven of your sites in the same account at Servage? Are they all MySQL back-end sites and do they have caching (e.g. generate static pages instead of going to db for each request)? I’m currently looking into a few “cloud hosts” which offer pay-as-you-grow additional capacity…but haven’t found one to settle on yet…I’ve also used Slicehost in the past and been very happy with their services – but there you are looking at a real VPS – which means you have to do a lot more of the setup work to get everything installed and configured.

      1. davemackey, I have all my sites on the same account, and I use joomla for all of them CMS, and it takes 5 sec for them to load.

        And thx for the reply 🙂

        Kind regards
        Phillip

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