Bluehost: The World’s Biggest Shared Hosting Brand Reviewed

Bluehost claims to have unbeatable technology, optimized hosting for wordpress, and genuine support. They have been around since 2003 and hosts over 2 million websites worldwide. Their data centers are located in Provo, Utah.

I have purchased a hosting plan on Bluehost and set up a typical web site. I use that example website to run these tests. Learn more about how I test.

Here is the plan information I chose:

Plan NameBasic Shared
Cost$9.99/month
Disk Space50 GB
BandwidthUnlimited
Uptime GuaranteeNone
Money Back Guarantee30 days
NotesSite was ready within minutes after I purchased. Although when I signed up I was under the impression it was a monthly plan, but it was billed annually (at $83.40). They have called and left me several messages to 'verify' my account, but when I call back I'm placed on hold (so I hang up). I'm assuming they're just trying to upsell me, or my account will forever be in 'unverified' status.

On this page: Uptime | Speed | Support | Alternatives

Uptime Test

I use Pingdom to report website uptime. Pingdom is configured to make an HTTP request to the host every minute, and report if it is unreachable. It'll also report an error if the host takes longer than 30 seconds to respond (Yes, that's not actually down, but if your site takes that long to respond it is unusable in my opinion). Pingdom performs this test from at least 3 servers worldwide, and reports a problem if 2/3 servers do no respond. This test is important if you are concerned about the reliability of your web host (this is important!)    

Bluehost Uptime Test Results

Bluehost performs okay in the Web Hosting Uptime: Which Hosting Brands Are Best & Worst? Test, with an average result of 99.94 percent. It's best result was 100.000 % but it has been as bad as 84.931 %. Bluehost most recent result on Nov 19 was 100.000 %. Bluehost had a terrible day back in August that's bringing their average uptime way down. Other than that they're usually pretty reliable.

Let’s see if Bluehost is consistent in its uptime stats:

Recent Raw Results for Bluehost

Date Uptime Downtime Outages Avg Response Time
2018-11-19 100.000% 0 mins 0 544 ms
2018-11-18 100.000% 0 mins 0 549 ms
2018-11-17 100.000% 0 mins 0 538 ms
2018-11-16 100.000% 0 mins 0 550 ms
2018-11-15 100.000% 0 mins 0 560 ms
2018-11-14 100.000% 0 mins 0 564 ms
2018-11-13 100.000% 0 mins 0 541 ms
2018-11-12 100.000% 0 mins 0 1121 ms
2018-11-11 100.000% 0 mins 0 550 ms
2018-11-10 99.000% 1 mins 1 529 ms
2018-11-09 100.000% 0 mins 0 522 ms
2018-11-08 100.000% 0 mins 0 515 ms
2018-11-07 100.000% 0 mins 0 518 ms
2018-11-06 99.000% 7 mins 1 511 ms
2018-11-05 100.000% 0 mins 0 514 ms
2018-11-03 100.000% 0 mins 0 567 ms
2018-11-02 99.000% 4 mins 1 542 ms
2018-11-01 100.000% 0 mins 0 546 ms
2018-10-31 100.000% 0 mins 0 539 ms
2018-10-30 100.000% 0 mins 0 534 ms
2018-10-29 100.000% 0 mins 0 536 ms
2018-10-28 100.000% 0 mins 0 530 ms
2018-10-27 100.000% 0 mins 0 463 ms
2018-10-26 100.000% 0 mins 0 459 ms
2018-10-25 100.000% 0 mins 0 499 ms
2018-10-24 100.000% 0 mins 0 669 ms
2018-10-23 100.000% 0 mins 0 602 ms
2018-10-22 100.000% 0 mins 0 481 ms
2018-10-21 100.000% 0 mins 0 663 ms
2018-10-20 100.000% 0 mins 0 582 ms
2018-10-19 100.000% 0 mins 0 489 ms
2018-10-18 100.000% 0 mins 0 500 ms
2018-10-17 100.000% 0 mins 0 490 ms
2018-10-16 100.000% 0 mins 0 494 ms
2018-10-15 100.000% 0 mins 0 492 ms
2018-10-14 100.000% 0 mins 0 493 ms
2018-10-13 99.861% 2 mins 2 509 ms
2018-10-12 100.000% 0 mins 0 464 ms
2018-10-11 100.000% 0 mins 0 459 ms
2018-10-10 100.000% 0 mins 0 456 ms
2018-10-09 100.000% 0 mins 0 456 ms
2018-10-08 100.000% 0 mins 0 454 ms
2018-10-07 100.000% 0 mins 0 479 ms
2018-10-06 100.000% 0 mins 0 482 ms
2018-10-05 100.000% 0 mins 0 479 ms
2018-10-04 100.000% 0 mins 0 500 ms
2018-10-03 100.000% 0 mins 0 518 ms
2018-10-02 100.000% 0 mins 0 519 ms
2018-10-01 100.000% 0 mins 0 533 ms
2018-09-30 100.000% 0 mins 0 520 ms
2018-09-29 100.000% 0 mins 0 509 ms
2018-09-28 100.000% 0 mins 0 501 ms
2018-09-27 100.000% 0 mins 0 509 ms
2018-09-26 100.000% 0 mins 0 502 ms
2018-09-25 100.000% 0 mins 0 514 ms
2018-09-24 100.000% 0 mins 0 502 ms
2018-09-23 100.000% 0 mins 0 450 ms
2018-09-22 100.000% 0 mins 0 449 ms
2018-09-21 100.000% 0 mins 0 453 ms
2018-09-20 100.000% 0 mins 0 501 ms

Page Speed Test

This test is performed by submitting a typical web page served on the host to WebPageTest and recording how long it takes to load. This test web page is 56 KB of HTML, 287 KB of JavaScript, 51 KB of CSS, and 1,128 KB of images (these are typical according to the HTTP Archive). WebPageTest (a 3rd-party, vendor-neutral organization) uses servers located in Virgina and California to measure the page load waterfall in the latest version of Chrome, on a very fast internet connection. The test is ran 5 times each, and the middle (median) result is what is counted from each location. Then the east coast and west coast times are averaged, which should eliminate any bias due to server location. We're interested in first page load, not the repeat/cached view. If you're really interested, I use the 'Load Time' measurement that's returned from WebPageTest for ranking page speed. I still collect other metrics such as TTFB (time to first byte), fully loaded time, and the speed index, in addition to server setting scores which are translated to grades. You can see these detailed values in the "Raw Results." This test is important if your site resembles a typical website and you're concerned about speed (which you should be!)   In September 2014 I updated this test to be more accurate, and you'll notice page speeds were a bit higher before then. The test used to be run only 3 times from one location using a simulated cable internet connection on Internet Explorer 11. The new method provides much more consistent results.

Bluehost Page Speed Test Results

Bluehost performs above average in the Web Hosting Speeds: Which Hosting Brands Are Best & Worst For Your Site? Test, with an average result of 3.02 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost most recent result on Nov 20 was 2.00 s. Bluehost is usually pretty inconsistent with its page speeds - sometimes quicker than other hosts, sometimes slower. Its slowest times are usually when accessed from the east coast. While they do optimize connections and compress images, they fail to set caching properly for repeat views.

Let’s see if Bluehost is consistent in its page speed stats:

Recent Raw Results for Bluehost

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
2018-11-19 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-18 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-17 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-16 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-15 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-14 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-13 Dulles, VA 0.5 0.0s 0.5s 0.0s F F F
2018-11-12 Dulles, VA 0.5 0.0s 0.5s 0.0s F F F
2018-11-11 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-11-10 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-11-09 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-11-08 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-11-07 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.9s A A F
2018-11-06 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.9s A A F
2018-11-05 Dulles, VA 3.8 1.7s 3.9s 2.2s A A F
2018-11-04 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-03 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-11-02 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-11-01 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-31 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-30 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-29 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-28 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-27 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-26 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-25 Dulles, VA 2.9 0.9s 3.0s 1.3s A A F
2018-10-24 Dulles, VA 2.9 0.9s 3.0s 1.3s A A F
2018-10-23 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-22 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-21 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-20 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-19 Dulles, VA 2.5 0.4s 2.6s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-18 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.1s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-17 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-16 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-15 Dulles, VA 2.5 0.5s 2.6s 0.9s A A F
2018-10-14 Dulles, VA 2.5 0.4s 2.5s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-13 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-12 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-11 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-10 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-09 Dulles, VA 2.6 0.5s 2.7s 0.9s A A F
2018-10-08 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-07 Dulles, VA 2.8 0.7s 2.9s 1.2s A A F
2018-10-06 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-05 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.4s 2.5s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-04 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-03 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-10-02 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-10-01 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-09-30 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-09-29 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-09-28 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-09-27 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.2s 2.5s 0.7s A A F
2018-09-26 Dulles, VA 2.8 0.7s 2.8s 1.2s A A F
2018-09-25 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.3s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-09-24 Dulles, VA 2.7 0.6s 2.8s 1.1s A A F
2018-09-23 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.8s A A F
2018-09-22 Dulles, VA 2.3 0.2s 2.4s 0.7s A A F
2018-09-21 Dulles, VA 2.4 0.3s 2.5s 0.8s A A F

Does Bluehost Suck?

Some people may think Bluehost sucks. Here are some real benchmarks to show you Bluehost‘s speed, reliability, and support – so you can see if they really do suck.

Is Bluehost slow?

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better.  Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

HostAverageBestWorst
HostGator: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Uptime & Hosting Speed?2.80 s2.00 s15.02 sTest Results
StableHost2.89 s0.00 s12.29 sTest Results
GoDaddy2.91 s0.31 s37.97 sTest Results
Bluehost3.02 s0.00 s9.17 sTest Results
DreamHost: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Hosting Speed & Uptime?3.04 s0.00 s21.25 sTest Results
MDDHosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?3.06 s2.00 s74.96 sTest Results
InMotion Hosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?3.13 s0.00 s14.12 sTest Results
Namecheap: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?3.14 s2.00 s72.71 sTest Results
Site5: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?3.26 s0.25 s46.29 sTest Results
Yahoo Small Business: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?4.00 s2.00 s60.96 sTest Results

Bluehost performs above average in the Web Hosting Speeds: Which Hosting Brands Are Best & Worst For Your Site? Test, with an average result of 3.02 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost most recent result on Nov 20 was 2.00 s. Bluehost is usually pretty inconsistent with its page speeds - sometimes quicker than other hosts, sometimes slower. Its slowest times are usually when accessed from the east coast. While they do optimize connections and compress images, they fail to set caching properly for repeat views.

Let’s take a look at some of the times that Bluehost had some poor page speed performance:

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
None found!

Is Bluehost unreliable?

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

HostAverageBestWorst
HostGator: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Uptime & Hosting Speed?99.970 %100.000 %97.500 %Test Results
GoDaddy99.970 %100.000 %94.720 %Test Results
Bluehost99.940 %100.000 %84.930 %Test Results
Namecheap: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?99.940 %100.000 %92.000 %Test Results
StableHost99.920 %100.000 %73.000 %Test Results
MDDHosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?99.870 %100.000 %64.580 %Test Results
Yahoo Small Business: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?99.850 %100.000 %82.780 %Test Results
Site5: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?99.820 %100.000 %50.690 %Test Results
InMotion Hosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?99.590 %100.000 %0.000 %Test Results
DreamHost: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Hosting Speed & Uptime?84.400 %100.000 %0.000 %Test Results

Bluehost performs okay in the Web Hosting Uptime: Which Hosting Brands Are Best & Worst? Test, with an average result of 99.94 percent. It's best result was 100.000 % but it has been as bad as 84.931 %. Bluehost most recent result on Nov 19 was 100.000 %. Bluehost had a terrible day back in August that's bringing their average uptime way down. Other than that they're usually pretty reliable.

Let’s take a look at some of the times that Bluehost had some poor uptime performance

Date Uptime Downtime Outages Avg Response Time
2018-11-10 99.000% 1 mins 1 529 ms
2018-11-06 99.000% 7 mins 1 511 ms
2018-11-02 99.000% 4 mins 1 542 ms
2018-10-13 99.861% 2 mins 2 509 ms

Does Bluehost have poor customer service?

This test measures how quickly the host’s support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

HostAverageBestWorst
MDDHosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?0.11 h0.10 h0.20 hTest Results
GoDaddy0.12 h0.10 h0.30 hTest Results
Site5: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?0.28 h0.10 h0.80 hTest Results
StableHost0.37 h0.10 h1.70 hTest Results
InMotion Hosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?0.94 h0.20 h2.30 hTest Results
Namecheap: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?2.20 h0.10 h6.00 hTest Results
DreamHost: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Hosting Speed & Uptime?2.79 h0.20 h11.00 hTest Results
Bluehost34.67 h0.10 h168.00 hTest Results
Yahoo Small Business: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?50.89 h16.00 h124.00 hTest Results
HostGator: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Uptime & Hosting Speed?53.40 h0.30 h168.00 hTest Results

Bluehost performs miserably in the Web Hosting Support Response Time: Which Hosts Are Best & Worst? Test, with an average result of 34.67 hours. It's best result was 0.10 h but it has been as bad as 168.00 h. Bluehost most recent result on Mar 22 was 168.00 h. Bluehost is pretty inconsistent in its response times. I've seen instances where they get back to you in minutes, and other times I've had to wait days.

Let’s take a look at some of the times that Bluehost had some poor support response performance:

Date Support Ticket Submitted Support Ticket Resolved Response Time
2016-03-22 Mar 10, 4:18pm Over 7 days 168.0 hours
2014-11-28 Nov 28, 4:31pm Dec 1, 1:02pm 68.4 hours
2014-10-26 Oct 26, 10:53am Oct 28, 12:41pm 49.0 hours
2014-08-09 Aug 9, 2:41pm Aug 10, 8:20am 17.7 hours

Still think Bluehost sucks?

I’ve presented you with lots of data that will show you whether or not Bluehost sucks. So, what do you think? Are they reliable, fast, and helpful? If not, consider these Bluehost alternatives.

Support Response Test

I personally contact each host's support department with a new question/concern and measure how long it takes for them to get back to me. This test is important for every host - it's imperative your web host is able to quickly address your concerns in a timely manner, even if you're an expert webmaster. Who wants to deal with a host that has poor customer service? Tech is hard, and tech support is critical!  

Bluehost Support Response Test Results

Bluehost performs miserably in the Web Hosting Support Response Time: Which Hosts Are Best & Worst? Test, with an average result of 34.67 hours. It's best result was 0.10 h but it has been as bad as 168.00 h. Bluehost most recent result on Mar 22 was 168.00 h. Bluehost is pretty inconsistent in its response times. I've seen instances where they get back to you in minutes, and other times I've had to wait days.

Let’s see if Bluehost is consistent in its support response stats:

Recent Raw Results for Bluehost

Date Support Ticket Submitted Support Ticket Resolved Response Time
2016-03-22 Mar 10, 4:18pm Over 7 days 168.0 hours
2015-02-24 Feb 24, 3:25am Feb 24, 3:38am 0.2 hours
2015-01-27 Jan 27, 5:49am Jan 27, 11:42am 5.9 hours
2014-12-20 Dec 20, 2:48pm Dec 20, 2:57pm 0.2 hours
2014-11-28 Nov 28, 4:31pm Dec 1, 1:02pm 68.4 hours
2014-10-26 Oct 26, 10:53am Oct 28, 12:41pm 49.0 hours
2014-09-06 Sept 6, 6:44pm Sept 6, 6:46pm 0.1 hours
2014-08-09 Aug 9, 2:41pm Aug 10, 8:20am 17.7 hours
2014-07-12 July 13, 2:01pm July 13, 4:30pm 2.5 hours

Bluehost Alternatives: Better speed, reliability, and support

Are you having problems with Bluehost? It’s not uncommon to want to change to a better host if your current host has issues with being slow, down, or unsupportive. Let’s see if we can find a Bluehost competitor that has better uptime, faster load times, and speedier support.

Hosts faster than Bluehost

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better. Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

If Bluehost is having page speed problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

HostAverageBestWorst
HostGator: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Uptime & Hosting Speed?2.80 s2.00 s15.02 sTest Results
StableHost2.89 s0.00 s12.29 sTest Results
GoDaddy2.91 s0.31 s37.97 sTest Results
Bluehost3.02 s0.00 s9.17 sTest Results

Hosts more reliable than Bluehost

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

If Bluehost is having uptime problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

HostAverageBestWorst
HostGator: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Uptime & Hosting Speed?99.970 %100.000 %97.500 %Test Results
GoDaddy99.970 %100.000 %94.720 %Test Results
Bluehost99.940 %100.000 %84.930 %Test Results

Hosts more helpful than Bluehost

This test measures how quickly the host’s support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

If Bluehost is having support response problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

HostAverageBestWorst
MDDHosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?0.11 h0.10 h0.20 hTest Results
GoDaddy0.12 h0.10 h0.30 hTest Results
Site5: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?0.28 h0.10 h0.80 hTest Results
StableHost0.37 h0.10 h1.70 hTest Results
InMotion Hosting: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?0.94 h0.20 h2.30 hTest Results
Namecheap: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Hosting Speed & Uptime?2.20 h0.10 h6.00 hTest Results
DreamHost: How Good (Or Bad!) Is Their Hosting Speed & Uptime?2.79 h0.20 h11.00 hTest Results
Bluehost34.67 h0.10 h168.00 hTest Results

Bluehost vs Other Hosts