Bluehost Shared Hosting Review (Is It Worth Your Money in 2021?)

  • Speed
  • Performance
  • Reliability
  • Customer Support
  • Features
  • Pricing
4.4/5 Overall Score
  • Average Google’s PageSpeed Insights Score: 43 / 100
  • Average Pingdom’s Website Speed Test Score: 1.146 s
  • Average GTMetrix’s Performance Score: 97,67%
  • Free Domain Name: Yes
  • Free SSL Certificate: Yes
  • Free CDN: Yes
  • 1-Click WordPress Installation: Yes
  • Customer Support: Phone, Live Chat, Knowledge Base
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days
  • Affordable Introductory Pricing
  • Free Domain Name
  • Free CDN
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Good Customer Support
  • Recommended by
  • 1-Click WordPress Installation
  • Higher Domain Renewal Price
  • Upselling and Invasive Marketing

Bluehost is one of the oldest hosting providers that started offering its services in 2003.

Since then, it has become one of the most trusted companies that powers over 2 million websites all over the world and supports thousands more every day.

Bluehost is one of the three hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress itself.

In this comprehensive review, we will put Bluehost’s services to a rigorous test and thorough analysis.

We will take a look at the recommended shared hosting plan to find out whether it’s worth your money.

Bluehost Shared Hosting Plans

Specifically, we will look into these areas:

  • Speed: What is Bluehost’s server response and how fast will your website load?
  • Performance: How does Bluehost performs under heavy traffic loads and spikes?
  • Reliability: Is there any downtime or will your website be available 24/7 throughout the whole year?
  • Customer Support: When you need immediate and professional help, can you count on Bluehost’s customer support?
  • Features: What features does Bluehost offer?
  • Pricing: Can you take advantage of any deals? Is the pricing fair and affordable?
  • Money-Back Guarantee: What if you’re not happy? Will you get your money back?

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links for products I use and love. This means if you click on such a link and take action (like subscribe, or make a purchase), I may receive some coffee money at no extra cost to you. This helps me creating more content free of charge to you. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for your support!

If you don’t have time to study the full review, here is a quick overview of Bluehost’s results:

Average Google’s PageSpeed Insights Score 43 out of 100
Average Pingdom’s Website Speed Test Score 1.146 s
Average GTMetrix’s Performance Score 97,67%
K6 Average Response Time 13 ms
Uptime 99,95%
Free domain Yes, for the first year, renews for $15.99 per year.
Free SSL Yes, via Cloudflare
1-Click WordPress Yes
Customer Support Phone / Live Chat / Knowledge base
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days

Conclusion: Bluehost is a great option if you need quality, affordable and reliable shared hosting backed by one of the oldest and biggest web hosting company.

Now for those who are interested in the full detailed review, let’s jump right in so you can make an informed decision by yourself.

Meet Bluehost

As stated on its website, Bluehost was founded in 2003 by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth with one goal in mind: to create a better hosting company by crafting a custom platform that paired advanced features with a simple, no-nonsense experience.

After only four years, Bluehost managed half a million registered domains and it was acquired by EIG in 2010. In May 2014, it started offering hosting optimized for WordPress.

Today, Bluehost offers complete web solutions designed to meet the needs of a wide range of customers including traditional hosting and cloud-based servers that can easily scale.

As of 2021, Bluehost powers well over 2 million websites all over the world and supports thousands more every day.

Bluehost Speed

Speed is everything because people have short attention span and they won’t wait too long until your website loads. Actually, based on Google’s research, they will leave if you page won’t load under 3 seconds!

That’s why we consider speed and loading times to be the most important factor of good web hosting service and we always test the speed as the very first thing.

To get real-world results, we use real websites, not some default themes with dummy content, like others sometimes do.

To test the speed, we use three industry-standard services:

Unlike others, we also want to give you objective results, so we test not one, but three different WordPress websites:

  • a website without any speed optimizations to see if and how Bluehost optimizes it on its side
  • a website with heavy template and plugins to see how Bluehost copes with harsh conditions
  • a website with light template and optimized media to see if Bluehost is any good for experienced user with SEO in mind

Google’s PageSpeed Insights

Here are results for our three websites with PageSpeed Insights test:

No Speed Optimization

Bluehost Performance with No Optimization

Heavy Template and Plugins

Bluehost Performance with Heavy Template and Plugins

Light Template and Optimized Media

Bluehost Performance with Optimized Website

Google’s PageSpeed Insights test delivered some mixed results:

  • with default website, we got only 56 points, which is not good enough
  • with heavy template, we got 8 points, which is downright tragic
  • with optimized website, we got only 65 points, which is only 9 points more compared to default website

This means that Bluehost doesn’t really deliver pages much fast if they are optimized by the webmaster and that is a bad thing.

With heavy theme and plugins, the result is so bad that we can’t recommend using Bluehost as a hosting provider if heavy template is something you absolutely need.

Average Google’s PageSpeed Insights Score

The math is simple, we take all three scores and calculate the average with is (56+ 8+65) / 3 = 43 out of 100.

That’s frankly way less than we expected, but we did only one test so far, so let’s move to the next one to see whether Bluehost manages to score higher with different test.

Pingdom’s Website Speed Test

Let’s see how Bluehost scored in the second test.

No Speed Optimization

Bluehost Load Time with No Optimization

Heavy Template and Plugins

Bluehost Load Time with Heavy Template and Plugins

Light Template and Optimized Media

Bluehost Load Time with Optimized Website

Pingdom’s Website Speed Test showed some impressive results:

  • with default website, we got 877 ms load time, which is very good and much faster than the threshold of 3 seconds
  • with heavy template, we still got 1.82 s load time, not that impressive, but still acceptable and below 3 seconds
  • with optimized website, we had great results of 741 ms, that’s pretty amazing

This test demonstrates that Bluehost offers very capable shared hosting plan that can deliver even quite heavy website with almost 100 requests well under 3 seconds.

This alone means that speed should not be a problem in any scenario. If you take some time and optimize your resources, you can get even under 1 second load time, which is very impressive.

Average Pingdom’s Website Speed Test Score

Let’s calculate the average load time which is (877+1820 +741) / 3 = 1146 or 1.146 second. Again, this is very good and I didn’t expect such an impressive result after the first test.

This only proves that more tests in more than one use case delivers more objective results and gives your broader perspective.


Finally, this is the last speed test we want to perform on all of our three websites hosted with Bluehost.

No Speed Optimization

Bluehost Performance with No Optimization

Heavy Template and Plugins

Bluehost Performance with Heavy Template and Plugins

Light Template and Optimized Media

Bluehost Performance with Optimized Website

GTMetrix shows a different perspective altogether. All three websites performed very well and heavy template website was only 6% worse than website with no optimization.

Average GTMetrix’s Performance Score

The average GTMetrix performance is (100+94+99) / 3 = 97,67%. This is very good result that again demonstrates the Bluehost’s Shared Hosting is a capable option.

Bluehost Performance

Speed is one thing, but once your website grows and gets more popular, it’s important to know how it performs under heavy loads with peak traffic.

To test how well Bluehost servers perform with increased traffic, we send to our website with heavy theme 1.000 virtual users.

To simulate a real-life scenario, we gradually build up virtual traffic from 0 to 1.000 users and measured how Bluehost handles ever-increasing number of requests from multiple connections at the same time.

Bluehost K6 Performance

As you can see at the image above, we ran the test for 15 minutes with these results:

  • Total Requests Made: 444.942
  • Peak Requests per Second: 981
  • HTTP Failures: 0
  • Average Response Time: 13 ms

As number of virtual users grew from 18 to 1.000, Bluehost managed to keep the response time steady around 13 ms which is impressive results.

Bluehost Reliability

Bluehost Response Time

When it comes to uptime, Bluehost did pretty well too with only 4 hours and 46 minutes of downtime for the whole year of testing. This means only 191 outages with 99.95% uptime.

Bluehost Customer Support

Bluehost is known for its multiple ways of 24/7 customer support:

  • live chat
  • phone
  • email ticketing system

They also maintain a knowledge base with useful information, tutorials and answers to the most frequent questions and scenarios.

We tested both email tickets and live chat with pleasant experience. Bluehost employs knowledgeable stuff and we got our questions answered quickly and correctly.

As expected, some responses were pre-made and pasted, but that’s reasonable for general questions. When we followed up, we got helpful answers.


Even though Bluehost’s Shared Hosting is one of the most affordable hosting option available, they didn’t cut on privacy and security features.

Here’s all you get with our tested Choice Plus plan:

  • Standard CPU Performance built for low-to-moderate traffic websites
  • Unmetered Website Space on high-speed SSD
  • 200.000 Files
  • Unmetered Bandwidth without additional overage charges
  • Unlimited MySQL Databases to store important website files and visitor information
  • $200 Google Ads/Bing Credits for US and Canada residents
  • Spam Experts for 1 domain
  • Free Domain for 1 year
  • Unlimited Primary Domains, Parked Domains and SubDomains
  • Automated Backups for the first year
  • Drag and Drop Website Builder with smart WordPress templates
  • Free SSL Certificate
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • One-Click WordPress Installation


Bluehost has quite affordable shared hosting plans, but you need to notice two things:

  • introductory prices are much lower than regular prices
  • you need to commit for either 12 or 36 months

This might be putting off for some people because after first 12 months, prices will rise quite a lot.

Bluehost Shared Hosting Pricing

As an example, the Basic plan will cost you $2.65 per month if you commit for a year. After that first year, you’ll have to pay $9.99 which is much more.

It even worse with Plus plan and 3-year commitment. In such case, you’ll pay $7.45 per month for the first 3 years and then the plan will auto-renew for a whopping $11.99 per month.

Remember that we are still talking about shared hosting here, but $11.99 will almost get you to the realm of managed WordPress hosting.

And with Choice Plus plan and $16.99, you’ll pay more than you would pay for Flywheel’s Tiny plan with dedicated resources. That’s a lot to swallow.

Money-Back Guarantee

Bluehost offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, but it’s not that straightforward.

If you’re not completely satisfied, you can ask for a refund, but there’s no form or button, so you need to reach out the old-fashioned way by email.

Based on Bluehost’s terms, there’s no guarantee on domains or other add-ons, just web hosting.

The most off-putting part is that if you received a free domain with your plan, Bluehost would deduct $15.99 in case you’ll request a refund. That’s frankly unheard of, especially if you consider the cost of domain with registrars like Porkbun.

Can We Recommend Bluehost?

Yes, we can and we do. Its shared hosting plans are fast, affordable, quick to set tup and easy to use.

However, you need to understand that renewal rates are pretty high and it will dramatically increase the overall cost after introductory signup period. In some cases, managed WordPress hosting will cost you almost the same.

Overall, Bluehost offers a decent performance and pretty good value for money.