Web Hosting Reviews Driven by Data, Not Dollars

I'm disgusted with fake webhosting "reviews." Since 2014, I've been tracking the results of real-life performance tests for downtime, speed & support at the world's most popular web hosting companies. You'll be shocked by the results...

Bluehost Review and Stats

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's 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

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better.

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!)

Measuring uptime with Pingdom

Bluehost Uptime Test Results

Bluehost performs mediocre in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.93 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 84.93 %. Bluehost's most recent result on Sep 25 was 100.00 percent. 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
2017-09-25100.000 %0 mins0628 ms
2017-09-24100.000 %0 mins0570 ms
2017-09-23100.000 %0 mins0568 ms
2017-09-22100.000 %0 mins0547 ms
2017-09-21100.000 %0 mins0560 ms
2017-09-20100.000 %0 mins0614 ms
2017-09-19100.000 %0 mins0586 ms
2017-09-18100.000 %0 mins0581 ms
2017-09-17100.000 %0 mins0561 ms
2017-09-16100.000 %0 mins0588 ms
2017-09-15100.000 %0 mins0595 ms
2017-09-14100.000 %0 mins0591 ms
2017-09-13100.000 %0 mins0687 ms
2017-09-12100.000 %0 mins0655 ms
2017-09-11100.000 %0 mins0578 ms
2017-09-10100.000 %0 mins0574 ms
2017-09-09100.000 %0 mins0596 ms
2017-09-08100.000 %0 mins0553 ms
2017-09-07100.000 %0 mins0574 ms
2017-09-0699.931 %1 mins1563 ms
2017-09-05100.000 %0 mins0533 ms
2017-09-04100.000 %0 mins0527 ms
2017-09-03100.000 %0 mins0580 ms
2017-09-02100.000 %0 mins0574 ms
2017-09-01100.000 %0 mins0608 ms
2017-08-31100.000 %0 mins0617 ms
2017-08-30100.000 %0 mins0606 ms
2017-08-29100.000 %0 mins0533 ms
2017-08-28100.000 %0 mins0580 ms
2017-08-2799.653 %5 mins1533 ms
2017-08-26100.000 %0 mins0599 ms
2017-08-25100.000 %0 mins0628 ms
2017-08-2499.861 %2 mins1692 ms
2017-08-23100.000 %0 mins0695 ms
2017-08-22100.000 %0 mins0653 ms
2017-08-21100.000 %0 mins0644 ms
2017-08-20100.000 %0 mins0628 ms
2017-08-19100.000 %0 mins0571 ms
2017-08-18100.000 %0 mins0574 ms
2017-08-17100.000 %0 mins0604 ms
2017-08-16100.000 %0 mins0671 ms
2017-08-1599.931 %1 mins1680 ms
2017-08-14100.000 %0 mins0672 ms
2017-08-13100.000 %0 mins0648 ms
2017-08-12100.000 %0 mins0666 ms
2017-08-1199.931 %1 mins1672 ms
2017-08-10100.000 %0 mins0708 ms
2017-08-09100.000 %0 mins0680 ms
2017-08-08100.000 %0 mins0666 ms
2017-08-07100.000 %0 mins0650 ms
2017-08-06100.000 %0 mins0605 ms
2017-08-05100.000 %0 mins0692 ms
2017-08-04100.000 %0 mins0656 ms
2017-08-03100.000 %0 mins0647 ms
2017-08-02100.000 %0 mins0645 ms
2017-08-01100.000 %0 mins0642 ms
2017-07-31100.000 %0 mins0630 ms
2017-07-30100.000 %0 mins0592 ms
2017-07-29100.000 %0 mins0624 ms
2017-07-28100.000 %0 mins0599 ms

Page Speed Test

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better.

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!)

Measuring page speed with WebPageTest.org


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 Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.12 seconds. Its best run was 0.30 s, but has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost's most recent result on Sep 26 was 3.10 seconds. 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
2017-09-26Dulles, VA3.8s0.4s3.9s1.8sAAF
2017-09-26San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-09-24Dulles, VA3.9s1.0s4.1s1.8sAAF
2017-09-24San Jose, CA2.6s0.5s2.7s1.8sAAF
2017-09-23Dulles, VA3.9s1.0s4.1s1.9sAAF
2017-09-23San Jose, CA2.8s0.3s2.8s1.8sAAF
2017-09-22Dulles, VA4.1s0.8s4.3s1.9sAAF
2017-09-22San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.4s1.6sAAF
2017-09-20Dulles, VA4.2s0.4s4.4s1.8sAAF
2017-09-20San Jose, CA2.9s0.3s2.9s1.6sAAF
2017-09-19Dulles, VA3.7s0.5s3.8s1.2sAAF
2017-09-19San Jose, CA2.3s0.3s2.4s1.3sAAF
2017-09-18Dulles, VA3.8s0.4s4.0s1.6sAAF
2017-09-18San Jose, CA2.3s0.3s2.4s1.3sAAF
2017-09-17Dulles, VA3.7s0.8s3.9s1.7sAAF
2017-09-17San Jose, CA2.6s0.6s2.7s1.8sAAF
2017-09-16Dulles, VA3.7s0.6s3.9s1.5sAAF
2017-09-16San Jose, CA2.8s0.5s2.9s1.4sAAF
2017-09-15Dulles, VA4.9s0.4s5.1s2.0sAAF
2017-09-15San Jose, CA2.7s0.3s2.8s1.3sAAF
2017-09-14Dulles, VA3.7s0.5s3.9s1.5sAAF
2017-09-14San Jose, CA2.6s0.5s2.6s1.7sAAF
2017-09-13Dulles, VA3.3s0.4s3.5s1.1sAAF
2017-09-13San Jose, CA2.7s0.3s2.7s1.6sAAF
2017-09-12Dulles, VA4.2s0.4s4.3s1.2sAAF
2017-09-12San Jose, CA3.0s0.3s3.1s1.2sAAF
2017-09-11Dulles, VA4.3s0.7s4.4s1.5sAAF
2017-09-11San Jose, CA2.9s0.5s2.9s1.8sAAF
2017-09-10Dulles, VA5.0s0.4s5.7s1.7sAAF
2017-09-10San Jose, CA2.9s0.6s3.0s1.5sAAF
2017-09-09Dulles, VA3.8s0.4s3.9s1.2sAAF
2017-09-09San Jose, CA2.5s0.5s2.6s1.7sAAF
2017-09-08Dulles, VA3.3s0.4s3.4s1.5sAAF
2017-09-08San Jose, CA2.9s0.3s2.9s1.4sAAF
2017-09-07Dulles, VA3.5s0.4s4.0s1.2sAAF
2017-09-07San Jose, CA2.8s0.3s2.9s1.5sAAF
2017-09-06Dulles, VA4.3s0.9s5.0s1.9sAAF
2017-09-06San Jose, CA2.3s0.3s2.3s1.3sAAF
2017-09-05Dulles, VA2.9s0.5s3.1s1.3sAAF
2017-09-05San Jose, CA2.4s0.3s2.5s1.3sAAF
2017-09-04Dulles, VA5.2s0.4s5.7s2.1sAAF
2017-09-04San Jose, CA2.6s0.3s2.7s1.4sAAF
2017-09-03Dulles, VA4.1s0.4s4.2s1.2sAAF
2017-09-03San Jose, CA2.6s0.3s2.6s1.1sAAF
2017-09-02Dulles, VA3.0s0.4s3.1s1.5sAAF
2017-09-02San Jose, CA2.3s0.3s2.4s1.5sAAF
2017-09-01Dulles, VA5.3s1.0s5.4s2.3sAAF
2017-09-01San Jose, CA2.7s0.6s2.8s1.7sAAF
2017-08-31Dulles, VA3.6s0.3s3.7s2.1sAAF
2017-08-31San Jose, CA2.4s0.4s2.5s1.6sAAF
2017-08-30Dulles, VA3.6s0.3s3.7s1.2sAAF
2017-08-30San Jose, CA2.6s0.6s2.8s1.5sAAF
2017-08-29Dulles, VA3.5s0.6s3.6s1.5sAAF
2017-08-29San Jose, CA2.3s0.3s2.4s1.2sAAF
2017-08-28Dulles, VA3.4s0.4s3.5s1.4sAAF
2017-08-28San Jose, CA2.6s0.6s2.7s1.7sAAF
2017-08-27Dulles, VA4.2s0.5s4.5s1.6sAAF
2017-08-27San Jose, CA2.8s0.5s2.8s1.6sAAF
2017-08-26Dulles, VA3.6s1.1s3.7s1.9sAAF
2017-08-26San Jose, CA2.3s0.3s2.4s1.4sAAF

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.

Bluehost performs above average in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.12 seconds. Its best run was 0.30 s, but has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost's most recent result on Sep 26 was 3.10 seconds. 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
2017-09-22Dulles, VA4.1s0.8s4.3s1.9sAAF
2017-09-20Dulles, VA4.2s0.4s4.4s1.8sAAF
2017-09-15Dulles, VA4.9s0.4s5.1s2.0sAAF
2017-09-12Dulles, VA4.2s0.4s4.3s1.2sAAF
2017-09-11Dulles, VA4.3s0.7s4.4s1.5sAAF
2017-09-10Dulles, VA5.0s0.4s5.7s1.7sAAF
2017-09-06Dulles, VA4.3s0.9s5.0s1.9sAAF
2017-09-04Dulles, VA5.2s0.4s5.7s2.1sAAF
2017-09-03Dulles, VA4.1s0.4s4.2s1.2sAAF
2017-09-01Dulles, VA5.3s1.0s5.4s2.3sAAF
2017-08-27Dulles, VA4.2s0.5s4.5s1.6sAAF

Is Bluehost unreliable?

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

Bluehost performs okay in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.93 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 84.93 %. Bluehost's most recent result on Sep 25 was 100.00 percent. 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
2017-08-2799.653 %5 mins1533 ms
2017-08-2499.861 %2 mins1692 ms

Does Bluehost's 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.

Bluehost performs under par in the Support Response test, with an average result of 34.7 hours. Its best run was 0.1 h, but has been as bad as 168.0 h. Bluehost's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 168.0 hours. 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
2016-03-22Mar 10, 4:18pmOver 7 days168.0 hours
2014-11-28Nov 28, 4:31pmDec 1, 1:02pm68.4 hours
2014-10-26Oct 26, 10:53amOct 28, 12:41pm49.0 hours
2014-08-09Aug 9, 2:41pmAug 10, 8:20am17.7 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

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better.

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!

Measuring a host's support response speed

Bluehost Support Response Test Results

Bluehost performs under par in the Support Response test, with an average result of 34.7 hours. Its best run was 0.1 h, but has been as bad as 168.0 h. Bluehost's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 168.0 hours. 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
2016-03-22Mar 10, 4:18pmOver 7 days168.0 hours
2015-02-24Feb 24, 3:25amFeb 24, 3:38am0.2 hours
2015-01-27Jan 27, 5:49amJan 27, 11:42am5.9 hours
2014-12-20Dec 20, 2:48pmDec 20, 2:57pm0.2 hours
2014-11-28Nov 28, 4:31pmDec 1, 1:02pm68.4 hours
2014-10-26Oct 26, 10:53amOct 28, 12:41pm49.0 hours
2014-09-06Sept 6, 6:44pmSept 6, 6:46pm0.1 hours
2014-08-09Aug 9, 2:41pmAug 10, 8:20am17.7 hours
2014-07-12July 13, 2:01pmJuly 13, 4:30pm2.5 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:

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:

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:

Bluehost Versus Other Hosts

If you're trying to decide between Bluehost and another host, here's are some specific comparisons that will show you the differences in detail:

FTC Disclaimer

Yes, I do use affiliate links on this site to help cover the cost of testing and $1000+ per year in server charges. Results are 100% unbiased and never skewed to favor a higher commission. Thanks for understanding :)

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