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If you have been looking into starting a website, online business, or blog, then you have probably been wondering, “what is Bluehost and why am I seeing it everywhere?”
I was in that exact position a couple of months ago.
I wanted to start a brand new self-hosted blog and everyone recommended that I start out with Bluehost.
But I had a lot of questions about the platform.
Was it beginner-friendly?
What features will I get?
And most importantly, how much is it going to cost me?
I had to look at at least 10 different websites before I got an answer to all of my beginner questions.
But today, I am putting everything that I learned about Bluehost into this one article for you. So if you are a beginner or you want to switch to hosting with Bluehost and you want to know how the process will go, then this is the article for you.
What is Bluehost used for?
Bluehost is a web hosting company that provides hosting services to over 2 million domains on the internet. It is by far one of the biggest hosting services available and is also one of the top 20 web host providers.
Web hosting is basically like a home for your website.
If you have a domain, you need to have it stored somewhere right?
That is what Bluehost and other web hosting services provide. A home for your domain and website on the internet.
Bluehost will store all of your website data and files on its servers and it is also responsible for putting out your data as soon as someone enters your domain name.
So keeping with the “home” analogy used earlier, Bluehost is responsible for opening the door of your home as soon as a “guest” arrives.
“Guest” is the viewer in this analogy.
Trust me, when I first started out, an analogy like this would have helped me save hours of research.
Who owns Bluehost?
If you are like me, then you want to know who you are getting into business with.
Your website may be your livelihood and it should be put in a secure place.
So before making the purchase with Bluehost, you should know more about the company as well.
It turns out that Bluehost was founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in 2003 and is owned by Endurance International Group.
This company is an IT services company that is specialized in web hosting.
This was very important for me to know before starting out. They have over 18 years of experience and they know what they are doing.
The best part is that they are the official web hosting service that is recommended by WordPress and they are one of the best Shared Hosting providers.
If you own a WordPress website then they guarantee that the integration and migration process will be quick and easy.
What is Self-hosting?
The idea of Self-Hosting and Shared Hosting can be a bit difficult to understand in the beginning.
Self-hosting your website means that you own it, you paid for it, and you are the administrator. This means that you can do whatever you want with it (within reason). All places like Bluehost do is give you the “home” to store it in.
For example, I made a dummy site with WordPress at www.themindedmarketing.wordpress.com.
This is not a self-hosted site. This site is not owned by me and WordPress is the admin so the only control I had over it was the content and layout.
There are no possibilities to use plugins or integrations to make my website what is it today.
If you want to actually grow your site and reputation then you need to have a self-hosted website.
Plus, Google SEO really doesn’t care as much about non-self-hosted websites and it is much harder to show up in search.
What is Shared Hosting?
When it comes to shared hosting, however, it simply means that you share space on a server with other platforms.
Remember my analogy about the home from earlier?
Well, shared hosting is like owning an apartment in an apartment building.
You have your own “apartment” in the building that you pay rent for. And you share the apartment building with other people who also pay rent for their own spaces.
Each space is fully functional on its own.
But the provider (in this case, Bluehost) is responsible for keeping the lights on and the water running.
Shared Hosting is actually the most common type of web hosting and suits almost all online businesses.
Understanding these differences is important for you to be able to see what benefits you can get from using Bluehost.
The number one reason why Bluehost is so popular is because of the fact that it provides a great starter pack full of all the basics you need to start a blog or website.
Each shared hosting plan includes:
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Free SSL certificates
- Free domain registration for the first year
- Unlimited storage (except for the Basic plan)
- One-click WordPress installation
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Email hosting included
- Access to free and premium WordPress themes
- Marketing credits towards ads
- 24/7 customer support
Now let’s talk about these briefly so you can get a better look at them.
Bluehost actually explains this really well:
Bandwidth refers to the rate at which data is allowed to flow between your website and your visitors.-Bluehost
The bigger your bandwidth, the faster your load times are for your viewers.
Bluehost gives you an “unmetered” bandwidth. Meaning you get a fixed amount of bandwidth but you will be able to do as many transfers as you want within that rate.
Free SSL certificates
In order to make sure that your site is safe for not only you but your views, you need an SSL certificate. SSL Certificates enable encrypted connections that authenticate your site’s identity.
This is why some sites have HTTP and others have HTTPS. If you see HTTPS, then that website has a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and is safer for you to use.
Security is also a big factor in Google SEO so without an SSL certificate, it will be harder for you to rank higher.
Free domain registration for the first year
Typically, a registered domain can cost anywhere from $15-$30 per year depending on if it’s a .com, .net, or .org.
With Bluehost, you can get your first year completely for free if you sign up with them.
Unlimited storage (except for the Basic plan)
The Basic plan gives you 50 GB of storage which is a lot.
But any plan after that gives you unlimited SSD storage.
Once your site starts growing, you may quickly run out of space so it is nice to not have to worry about that factor.
One-click WordPress installation
You can have your website integrated with WordPress from the Bluehost Dashboard in a matter of minutes.
Literally, all I had to do was click a button and it was done.
Automatic WordPress updates
Bluehost will automatically update WordPress for you (if you let it of course) to keep your site maintained.
You can disable or enable this feature in the dashboard.
Email hosting included
Having a nice personalized email address will make the world of difference once you get bigger and start dealing with managers, companies, sponsorships, and plenty of other things.
Bluehost allows you to set everything up will email hosting right from their dashboard.
Access to free and premium WordPress themes
Believe it or not, one of the things that most new website owners spend their most time on is finding the right theme.
I spent DAYS trying to decide which one I wanted.
That is because I had so many options!
Bluehost gives you access to all the WordPress themes; paid and free. So the possibilities are endless.
Marketing credits towards ads
If you live in the US and have a Google Ads account, you will get $150-$200 in nads credits that you can use to promote your website.
This is a great boost if you have a new website and can help you get some initial views and grow your email list.
24/7 customer support
Last but not least, you get great customer support!
I am someone who loves to figure things out themselves but every now and then, things get too complicated.
Not only do you have a full Knowledge Base with articles and walkthroughs that you can follow to set things up.
But you also have 24/7 chat and phone support for more urgent needs.
Choosing a Bluehost Hosting plan
Now that you know what features you can get with Bluehost, you are probably wondering which plan is best for your website?
Let’s take a look at some of the different hosting plans that Bluehost gives you.
We talked a little about this earlier in this post but shared hosting is where you share space on a server with other websites.
This is one of the most popular hosting plans from Bluehost and the reason why a lot of people gravitate to it.
Having dedicated hosting means that you are fully in control of the website and the server. All of the resources are completely yours to take care of and to use.
This is a more complex system and requires a lot more knowledge than shared hosting as you will have to manage the server on your own.
However, you also have full control of everything.
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting combines both shared and dedicated hosting by giving you an independent part of a physical server.
Combining it in this way makes the process a lot cheaper than just getting dedicated hosting.
This is usually a good option once your site outgrows the shared hosting server.
This is specifically for hosting WordPress-powered websites.
All of the optimizations and integrations are specifically tailored for the WordPress platform.
It even comes with the ability to protect your site against the most common threats.
Instead of hosting your website on a server, you may choose to host on a cloud instead.
This allows you to use several cloud servers and automatically switch clouds if ht hardware fails or there is too much traffic.
If you have an eCommerce site on WordPress then you already know that WooCommerce is the most popular eCom plugin for WordPress.
This plugin allows you to start an online store easily and will give you the tools to jumpstart the process.
Bluehost Hosting Pricing
Now that you know what plans Bluehost provides, time to find out how much they cost.
**VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE: all of the prices in the following tables can be significantly lower. If you purchase your plan now, you can get any of these hosting plans for 60% off.
Bluehost Shared Hosting Pricing
Bluehost VPS Hosting Pricing
Bluehost Dedicated Hosting Pricing
Bluehost Manages WordPress Hosting Pricing
|Intro 3 Month Price
|Intro 6 Month Price
|Intro 12 Month Price
|Intro 24 Month Price
|Intro 36 Month Price
How to start using Bluehost: Step-by-Step Guide
I know from first-hand experience that the setup process can be a bit intimidating.
Especially if you have never done something like this before.
So I am going to walk you through it so that you get everything you need (and save some money in the process).
Step 1: Choose a Hosting Plan.
Now that you have gotten a full run-down of all the important information you need to make your decision, it’s time to chose your plan.
If you click here, you will be taken to the Bluehost page with a 60% discount.
Click on “Get Started” and take a good look at the plans and the prices.
If you followed step one, then you should see that there is a discount on all of the hosting plans.
Once you select the one that you want, you can continue to the next step.
Step 2: Select Your Domain Name.
Here you can set up your domain.
You can either choose to create a new domain or use a domain that you already own.
If you have not decided yet which domain to use, then you can do this later.
I highly recommend that you chose your domain as soon as you are sure of what you want. You’ll be surprised how fast domain names can get taken.
Step 3: Create Your Bluehost Account.
Now you are on the signup page.
Make sure you put in all of your information correctly.
Your email address has to be active because you will be sent all of your billing information and account activation email to that address.
Your account will not be activated without this step.
If you want to make it easier, you can sign in with a Google account.
Step 4: Save Money!
If you followed step 1, then you have already gotten a good deal.
BUT be careful of the upsells.
Make sure you only chose the package extras that you feel are necessary for you and your website.
If you do not need it, make sure you uncheck it because otherwise, you will be billed for it.
Step 5: Start Building and Optimizing your Website!
You now have a hosted website that you can fully customize to your liking.
You can head over to “My Sites” or Log into WordPress.
From there, you will come to the Bluehost Dashboard.
Here you can start customizing your webpage, themes, and everything else you need to kick start your blog.
Are WordPress and Bluehost the same thing?
A common mistake that beginners make is thinking that Bluehost and WordPress are the same things.
Even if they share some common functions, they are actually quite different.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) where you can publish content. They also happen to have their own hosting plans via wordpress.com.
You can use WordPress for content publication and hosting if you so chose.
Bluehost, on the other hand, is a hosting provider.
You are only able to house and store your website there. But you are not able to actually publish any content on Bluehost.
You need a CMS platform like WordPress to integrate with.
Without this, Bluehost is just like an empty storage room.
How to install WordPress on Bluehost
You can easily install WordPress on your Bluehost dashboard and integrate your website with just one click.
It was the easiest process in the world which is why so many beginners rave about Bluehost.
The whole site was set up with one click, ready for me to customize.
Important Bluehost Integrations and Functions
There are some important integrations and functions that you may need to know when using Bluehost.
These are mostly if you have a domain or hosting outside of Bluehost already but some of them are also important to know before you start with Bluehost.
How to Transfer a Domain to Bluehost
The process of transferring domains to Bluehost can be summed up into 6 steps. However, keep in mind that each registrar is different and may have a special set of rules.
Always follow the steps that your hosting provider recommends.
Here are some general guidelines for transferring your domain to Bluehost:
- Login to your manager tool in your current registrar dashboard.
- Make sure you update your contact information if needed. You will be getting information during and after the transfer process from Bluhost.
- During the transfer, you will need to turn the privacy options off in order to complete the transfer. Once this is done, you may then turn on privacy again.
- Update the nameservers in the Bluehost Dashboard. You can find the Bluehost nameserver here.
- Make sure that your domain in unlocked.
- Get your transfer authorization code from your registrar and use it to log into your new Bluehost dashboard.
This is another process that may seem very intimidating but if you follow the guidelines and steps correctly, you will have no issue.
How to Install SSL Certificate on Bluehost
As stated earlier, having an SSL certificate is essential.
Google has made it very clear that they want to make the internet as safe as possible and SSL certificates and HTTPS is one way of doing just that.
Bluehost allows you to get a free SSL certificate it’s hosting but you may want to get a higher security certificate once your site starts to grow exponentially.
You can add an SSL certificate using a third-party provider or you can upgrade through the Bluehost Marketplace.
Bluehost is can also keep your certificate up to date with AutoSSL.
How to Change Primary Domain on Bluehost
If you have another domain that you own that you want to become your primary domain, Bluehost can help you with this as well.
You can contact Bluehost Support and they will do the transfer for you. Make sure you have this information ready:
- What your Primary Domain Name is currently.
- What your new Domain Name is going to be.
- The last 4 characters of your cPanel Password
- A written confirmation that you know what doing this change entails (risks and possible changes in domain authority). As well as a statement that you have backed up your files and database.
The first thing you want to keep in mind is that you should always back up your site when you are doing major changes like this.
If you feel comfortable changing your primary domain by yourself, then Bluehost a full walkthrough that you can follow here.
It is VERY important that you follow the exact advice. If you have any questions, you should reach out to their support team as soon as you can.
How to Cancel Your Bluehost Account.
It may happen that you used Bluehost for a while and decide to cancel or migrate to another platform.
If you cancel your hosting plan within 30 days of purchasing it, you can get a full refund. Your domain, on the other hand, can not be canceled if it has already been registered.
However, if you want to cancel your plan before it is renewed, then you can do that on your cPanel in the Bluehost dashboard.
Simple go to your Account, navigate to Products, click on the Renew button, and choose Do Not Renew.
Once you do this, your plan will automatically cancel after your renewal date has passed.
Bluehost Pros and Cons:
To help you get a good clear idea of the advantages and disadvantages of using Bluehost, let’s take a look at the pros and cons:
Great things about Bluehost
- The free SSL Certificate makes the top of the list as it plays a huge factore in SEO with Google.
- You get your domain name for free for a whole year.
- Integration with major platforms like CloudFlare, Ezoic, and WordPress are super easy.
- The eCommerce integrations are good.
- You get a lot or free website scripts for things like social networks, email lists, and blog support.
- You get a large selection of databases including (but not limited to) MySQL, PHP, and Python.
- With most plans, you get unlimited disk storage,bandwidth, domain hosting, and email adresses.
Somethings that Bluehost could do better:
- Bluehost does try to upsell you quite often which can be a little annoying.The offers are actually good but most are just unneccessary for a beginner website.
- The WordPress plan is a bit expensive. It is considered to be top notch and even recommended by WordPress themselves but the pricing is still a bit heavy.
- Some complaints about the site speed being slow when first starting out has been found online. These usually are due to themes and theme builders but it is still something to think about.
Final Thoughts: My Experience With Bluehost
I have always wanted to host my site on Bluehost.
I knew that it was the right platform for me and I wasn’t wrong.
Everything from the setup to the DNS change that I did recently (because I joined Ezoic) was easy and quick and had no negative effect on my website.
I know you may see a lot of people talking about Bluehost and think it is just a lot of hype.
But Bluehost is just as good as everyone says they are.
It is amazingly beginner-friendly, the control panel is easy to use,
If you choose to go with Bluehost, you will not regret it.