I have been using Bluehost for 9 years but recently transferred all my sites to Cloudways. Bluehost is one of the world-renowned web hosting service providers. However, I assume that you might be wondering how trustworthy and stable it is to use. Here, I have organized my thoughts based on my personal experience over the years.
Comparison between Bluehost and Cloudways
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of people switching from Amazon AWS or Vultr to Cloudways. Cloudways is almost twice as expensive as AWS or Vultr, but it has the advantage of being able to use the server more easily through the management panel compared to AWS.
|Bluehost Shared Hosting
(inc. WordPress Hosting)
|- Affordable and good value for money
- A good option for starting a blog
- Suitable for sites with a low number of visitors
- Risk of slowing down if site optimization is poor (e.g., using heavy themes)
Provides an easy-to-use cPanel
- Limit on the number of site installations
- Free domain for one year (Domain registration fees are non-refundable)
- Free SSL certificate
- Supports up to PHP 8.1/PHP 8.2
- When renewing, the price will significantly increase
|- Higher cost compared to shared hosting
- Good value for money VPS (Virtual Server Hosting) service
- Considerable if the number of visitors increases
- Faster than shared hosting
- May slow down if heavy themes like Avada are used
- Provides server root access
- cPanel/WHM access
- Free SSL certificate
Free domain for one year (Domain registration fees are non-refundable)
- Supports up to PHP 8.2
- Upon renewal, there will be a substantial price increase
|- Suitable for operating multiple sites or large-scale sites
- Fast speeds
- Can use servers from Amazon AWS, Vultr, Linode, etc.
- Costs about twice as much as directly creating a server from AWS, etc.
- Provides its own control panel (※)
- Free SSL certificate
Provides server root access (limited access)
- Flexibly responds to site scale growth
- Supports up to PHP 8.2
- Astra Pro theme free use for 1 year
※ Cloudways' own control panel (Admin Panel) offers limited functions compared to cPanel/WHM but provides necessary features for server management (SSH/SFTP/MySQL access, domain addition, SSL certificate, PHP version change, etc.), making server management easier than using Vultr or Amazon AWS directly. Due to the provision of the management panel, the cost is about twice that of using AWS directly.
※ A similar level product is FastComet, which provides convenience features such as cPanel, 7-day automatic backup/restore.
※ If you sign up for the service by clicking the links included in this article, I can earn a small commission. You can get a discount on Cloudways if you sign up through this link.
Is Bluehost worth using?
About 9 years ago, I started using Bluehost by signing up for shared hosting. Back then, the speed was slow, and there were complaints from visitors.
When I contacted Bluehost, they told me that VPS would be faster, so I switched to VPS.
Since then, Bluehost has undergone many changes. Personally, I feel…
- The speed of shared hosting has improved compared to the past, but if the site is not optimized, it can be slow.
- The price of shared hosting has remained the same as in the past, but the number of installable sites and disk capacity has been limited. Perhaps they concluded that profitability decreased as many sites were installed using the Plus or higher plans.
- With other mega web hosting providers, the initial cost is low, but the cost increases upon renewal. Initially, they offer a discounted price and charge the original price at renewal. Bluehost is no different.
- The web hosting control panel interface has become more sophisticated than before, but after a recent UI upgrade, essential menus like cPanel, Server Management, and Websites are not displaying on my account.
Bluehost Speed Issues
Firstly, regarding speed, if you install a theme like GeneratePress and set up caching, the speed seems to be reasonably good, but if you use themes like Newspaper or Avada or page builders like Elementor, the speed seems to slow down.
It can be considered for blogging, but for a corporate website or operating multiple sites, AWS or Cloudways might be better options.
Limit on the Number of Installable Sites
Also, Bluehost recently revised its plans, significantly reducing the number of sites and disk space offered.
In the past, unlimited site additions were possible with the Plus (now changed to Choice Plus) plan, but now you can operate 3 sites with Choice Plus and the Online Store, and 5 with Pro. In the case of subdomains, Basic previously supported up to 25, but now it is supported only with Choice Plus or higher.
The above rates apply for a 12-month contract, and choosing a 36-month period actually results in higher prices.
Bluehost tends to be cheaper when you contract for a 12-month period rather than a 36-month period. The reason is that the price increases significantly upon renewal once the 12-month period ends, so it's a strategy to attract customers to the 12-month plan.
Increase in Cost at Renewal
At renewal, the original fee is charged, so you may consider transferring to a similar level of hosting like FastComet. FastComet is better value than Bluehost and offers convenience features like automatic backup/restore, and its domestic users have increased in recent years.
There are no cost fluctuations with services like AWS or Cloudways.
Web Hosting Control Panel Interface Upgrade
Recently, Bluehost's web hosting control panel interface has changed.
It seems to have changed much more sophisticated than before. However, essential menus like cPanel, Server Management, Websites are not being displayed in my account.
I contacted Bluehost several times because of this issue, and they said it would be resolved soon, but the problem still has not been fixed.
Because of this, there's almost nothing I can do by logging into the Bluehost homepage. Due to this unresolved issue, I have transferred this site and several others to Cloudways.
When canceling the service, be careful because refunds are not issued if it is after 30 days from the date of subscription.
Customer Support Experience
Bluehost offers customer support through 24/7 live chat. There may be a slight delay in connection, but usually, you can get through. However, if there's a problem affecting all of Bluehost, the surge in inquiries can sometimes prevent connections from being made.
The level of technical understanding of customer support representatives seems to vary. If it is not resolved in one go, you might get a different answer if you try the live chat a few hours later and another representative may resolve it in another way.
Issues related to server problems that frontline representatives cannot solve are passed on to an administrator (Admin). In this case, they inform you that it may take up to 48 hours. Based on my experience, it could actually take several days to get it resolved.
Bluehost's Refund Policy
For new sign-ups, you can get a refund if you request it within 30 days. If you registered a free domain at the time of signup, the domain registration fee will be deducted from your refund. If you paid with PayPal, the refund will be completed on the same day, but if you paid with a credit card, the refund will take a few days.
|Within 30 Days
|Between 3-30 days, you may request a refund on all hosting services for new signups only. We are not able to refund domain registration fees.
|After 30 Days
|Non-refundable, renewals are excluded and are not eligible for a pro-rated refund. Renewals are only refundable within the 15 day prebill window.
If you want a refund, make sure to request it within 30 days. After 30 days, you will be informed that a refund is not possible according to the refund policy.