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Bluehost Hosting Review for 2020: is it the best hosting solution?
As a small business owner setting up an e-commerce storefront, you may have a
software platform is not a hosted service but requires you to offer your own web hosting for your store (such as
WooCommerce). If so, you are probably looking for a suitable and affordable hosting service. In this BlueHost review we will talk about the pros and cons of one of the most popular hosts. This way you will get an idea if Bluehost is the right option for your online store or if you should consider something else.
BlueHost offers hosting plans for websites in different categories such as Shared Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting etc. However, for this review we will only look at a few of their plans that mainly concern
E-commerce store scaling up. For example, we will look at shared hosting for smaller stores, the WooCommerce plan for companies implementing the popular WordPress plug-in along with the different
WordPress hosting plans offered through Bluehost.
Now that you have a general idea of what hosting is for your business, keep reading for more information on how Bluehost can save you money and time when building your e-commerce site. The goal is to create a fast, secure and reliable online store and Bluehost has plans for all of the above.
How good is Bluehost?
Bluehost Review: the prices
Because Bluehost offers a wide range of offers, they separate them into certain plan groups. The most common plans they sell are called shared hosting accounts, which means you share server space with other websites. This is a great starting point for companies that are just starting out, and it is by far the least expensive option. You can see the prices for
shared hosting below
Basic- For $7.99 you receive one website, 50 GB of space, one domain, five parked domains and 25 subdomains. You also get a free SSL to protect transaction information in your online store.
Plus- For $10.99 you receive unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains and spam prevention tools.
Choice Plus- For $14.99 you receive unlimited websites, unlimited space, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains, an SSL certificate, spam tools, domain privacy and site backup.
Pro- For $23.99 you get unlimited websites, unlimited space, unlimited domains, unlimited parked domains, unlimited subdomains, SSL, spam tools, domain privacy, a site backup and a dedicated IP.
Keep in mind that
BluehostThere are almost always promotions going on for the hosting, regardless of the package and type of hosting. So make sure you don’t end up in a particular plan just because the price seems attractive.
Generally the promotion is only for the first year and usually offers a 50% discount for that year. If you don’t appreciate the idea of this rising price system, I recommend that you look for another host. It’s nice to see these discounts, but I’ve always seen it as rather misleading, especially for the average user trying to get started with a website.
In addition to the shared hosting, you may want to look at the more advanced and managed,
WordPress Pro hosting, which enables more visits per month, marketing tools and the ultimate in security. This is the summary:
Build plan- For $29.99 per month, you’ll receive Jetpack Site Analytics, a full marketing center, free premium themes of 100, daily backups, malware detection and domain privacy.
Grow Plan- For $39.99 you get everything from the previous plan, plus Jetpack Premium, WordPress live ticket support, 10GB video compression, Jetpack Ads integration, SEO tools and business review tools.
Scale Plan- For $59.99 per month, you get access to everything in the previous plan, plus Jetpack Pro, unlimited backup and restore, PayPal integration, unlimited video compression, elastic search and live chat support.
All WP Pro subscriptions include great benefits such as an internship environment, no traffic limits and unlimited websites, domains, subdomains and web storage.
The ultimate price option to look at Bluehostincluding support for
. In short, these plans are designed so that WooCommerce is already installed and optimized, and they also have advanced e-commerce security. It makes sense that people who build online stores consider these plans. They are definitely more expensive than the shared plans, but you also get more things specifically dedicated to e-commerce functionality.
For example, you will receive a free SSL, which is usually not included in a shared hosting plan.
Let’s take a look:
Starter- For $13.99 per month, you get support for one online store, 100GB of SSD storage, a store themed installation, free SSL, domain privacy, marketing credits and a free setup call.
Plus- For $17.99 per month, you get unlimited online stores, non-stacked SSD storage, store themed installation, free SSL, domain privacy, marketing credits, a backup tool, and a free setup call.
Pro- For $31.99 per month, you get unlimited online stores, non-stacked SSD storage, storefront themed installation, free SSL, domain privacy, marketing credits, a backup tool, Bluehost SEO tools, and a free setup call.
All e-commerce plans include PPC search credits to boost your advertising efforts, a dedicated IP, unlimited bandwidth, a free domain, automatic installation of WooCommerce and a free SSL certificate to protect your website data.
What Bluehost features can you expect to help with e-commerce?
As you may have noticed in the price section, not all plans are suitable for online shops. I’m sure a smaller shared hosting plan would be fine for a very, very small e-commerce store, but you usually want to grow by that as quickly as possible. I recommend that you take a look at the e-commerce plans of
Bluehost. If it looks like you can complete most tasks (WooCommerce and theme installation), you’d better skip the higher price. However, keep in mind that you will lose a free SSL.
Anyway, here are the best features that especially help with e-commerce.
Bluehost overview: migrations, direct installations and one-click installations
One of the best parts of Bluehost is that in general you don’t need to know much about development or hosting, to be completely done with a
e-commerce hosting plan. The company offers support for migrating an old site to Bluehost and you can choose a plan where tools like WooCommerce and ManageWP are already installed.
Not to mention the fact that if you plan to run your site on WordPress, Bluehost’s backend contains a convenient one click installation button which makes the process only take a few minutes. After the installation you will receive the login details for WordPress and you can be on your way to sell online.
As far as e-commerce stores are concerned, all WooCommerce plans come with the popular plug-in already installed on your host. Although it is not that difficult to install a plug-in, Bluehost will take care of it for you. This is especially useful if you have minimal experience with WordPress to get started with.
There are many other one-click or managed installations from
Bluehost. All you have to do is go to your dashboard to find out what the host can do for you.
Bluehost Review: Fun themes
WordPress themes are often needed because most people don’t intend to completely redesign a website. In fact, it doesn’t make any sense, not even for a developer.
Bluehost has some plans that offer free themed installations. For example, the e-commerce price plans offer installations for the popular Storefront theme. That doesn’t save you money (because the theme is free), but it cuts another step in the building process of the online store.
If you want free access to premium themes, the WP Pro hosting package is the right choice. The offerings tend to change, but Bluehost currently gives you 100 premium WordPress themes with the WP Pro plan. This is a great deal as you normally have to pay around $50 for $100 for each theme, and it comes together with a fully managed WordPress site.
Bluehost Review: Ecommerce-Ready Security
If you choose one of the WordPress or WooCommerce subscriptions, you will automatically get access to a specific security plan. In the past it has been like this
SiteLock, which is an advanced security platform for locking site information and protecting data flowing through your site. Some plans (all e-commerce plans) also have SSL certificates, which enable secure connections when customers enter their payment and personal information. This way you can ensure that your customer and company data is protected at all times.
Bluehost Review: assign IP addresses
A special IP address is a good idea for most online stores. The reason for this is that starting online stores are likely to be run on shared servers.
Shared servers contain many other websites, so some of the sites on that server may have all the resources. Of course Bluehost works to solve this, but a special IP address will protect you from these noisy neighbours, because you no longer have to share the same IP address.
This should essentially lead to better performance on your website along with more SEO and a better user experience.
Bluehost Review: Marketing and PPC Credits
Bluehost is known for giving away marketing and pay-per-click credits on almost all hosting plans. This is especially true for e-commerce plans, as many of them have $50 to $200 in marketing credits everywhere.
The PPC credits are meant to send more traffic to your site with ads in search engines. You pay for the ads with your credits and try to promote something like a new product or a new product line.
The marketing credits are also meant to inform you about your business, so you need to check how many marketing credits you receive with each plan.
Bluehost Review: Domain Privacy
Again, it depends on which plan you choose, but you always have the option to pay for domain privacy. The e-commerce plans are fun because they all come with built-in domain ownership.
What exactly does this mean?
When you buy a domain, your personal information is registered online. This information includes things like your name, address and contact details. The reason they have this is for better communication between site owners. However, many people don’t like this because it invites spam.
Bluehost offers to hide this information from other people and spambots. It replaces your information with Bluehost’s contact details. This usually means that Bluehost will notify you if there is a legitimate message about your site. However, most of it is spam, so you remove all of this from your inbox.
Bluehost Review: an improved dashboard for accessing files and handling domains and other items
BluehostCPanel or dashboard stands out as one of the simplest on the market because it is organized in a few tabs for things like domains, subdomains, hosting, files, CDNs and security. If you’ve never used a CPanel before, it may look intimidating, but it doesn’t take long to master it all. Recently, Bluehost has updated its dashboard interface to a nice, modern layout.
Bluehost Review: a CDN
A content delivery network can be integrated
Bluehost. A CDN is one of the easiest ways for you to support the increasing traffic on your e-commerce site. With shared or managed hosting, your site files are stored and served on an individual server.
This means that if your server is in Illinois, someone in India will have a longer waiting time to view your website because the person is far away. A CDN distributes how your site is delivered through a network of servers around the world. This means that your customers are more likely to load your site faster. This should improve your position in search engines.
Bluehost Review: ManageWP integration
ManageWP offers a service for companies that manage multiple WordPress websites. It is difficult to jump from dashboard to dashboard, so this consolidates all WordPress dashboards into one. Most plans on Bluehost do not really offer direct integration anymore, but still have the possibility to integrate a ManageWP account with a WordPress site.
Bluehost Review: automated backups and restores
The last feature that will definitely come in handy for e-commerce sites is backup space. Imagine building your entire site, collecting the sales, and then one day you notice that your site is crashing or that someone is hacking into it. You may lose data, so you need a backup to recover the lost information. Most Bluehost plans have backup space so you can feel comfortable.
Bluehost Review: lightning-fast speed
Speed often depends on a few tactics you take yourself (cleaning files, optimizing images, minimizing plug-ins and using caching plug-ins). It also depends on the amount of traffic you receive. However, Bluehost has the packages needed to keep your site fast at all times. The shared hosting plans have unlimited bandwidth and you can even achieve high performance with the Business Pro Plan. The website space is reasonable and you have several other upgrade options at your disposal if your site traffic is slow.
First of all, some of the plans have networks for delivering content, expanding your reach around the world. They have VPS hosting that delivers two to four CPU cores for ultimate speed. Finally, dedicated hosting goes all the way up to 4 x 3.3 GHz CPU if your site wins traction fast.
Bluehost Review: customer support
Bluehost’s support team is always nice and knowledgeable, and it’s fun because they’re always available. So, if you have a question at 3am, just open a ticket or a chat box to get your answer. The
Self-help tools are there for you to complete your own research, and the company even has a number of forums to chat with other users. Telephone support, chat and email are all offered and you can always send a ticket if you don’t mind waiting 24 hours for a reply.
As for quality support, Bluehost is the best you can find, as its representatives know what they are talking about and they never seem to send you to other people if they can’t figure out the problem. The point is that you can rely on the first person you start talking to.
You can view the BlueHost site at
The screenshot below shows some of the BlueHost dashboard options and features:
Now that you’ve had a chance to understand exactly what Bluehost can do for your e-commerce website, consider visiting the website below to sign up for a subscription. Also feel free to place a line in the comments section below if you have any questions about this BlueHost rating.