Bluehost Pro – Awesome Value
Bluehost has been a longtime host for my sites (since 2008) and I’ve always been impressed with their service. Their shared hosting service runs $6.99 / month and comes with everything you need to get a site up and running. It includes unlimited Domain Hosting, unlimited hosting space, unlimited data transfer, unlimited email accounts, a free domain name, secure shell, FTP, $100 Google Adwords vouchers, and 24/7 phone, chat and email support. Finding reliable web host reviews can be a nightmare as they are mostly paid reviews. For full disclosure I AM an affiliate (as anyone can be) but like I said above I’ve been a longtime user of Bluehost as well. Having said that Bluehost is featured on Alreadyhosting.com, WebHost4Life.com, and many others. My personal experience has been that it’s an excellent cheap web hosting provider for personal sites, blogs, and small business sites.
Bluehost Pro vs VPS
The typical Bluehost package is a SHARED hosting environment. Between 2008 and 2011 this was working out just fine for me but as I started posting more, tweaking my site for SEO, and redesigning it I started noticing the site slowing down. After poking around in my Bluehost CPanel I could see that I was taxing the CPU via the CPU throttling graph. I also checked for Slow MySQL Queries and had a few of those as well. So I decided that it was time to upgrade.
If you really need more flexibility than shared hosting, but the price tag of a dedicated server isn’t in your ballpark then a VPS (Virtual Private Server) can be a great option. With a VPS you get root-level access which allows you to install and delete software, set permissions, create accounts and really customize your server environment. Because it’s still shared hardware you don’t have to worry about physical server maintenance and security as it’s managed by the VPS host.
In addition to their cheap web hosting for $6.95, Bluehost also offers a “Bluehost Pro” account. The Bluehost Pro account offers these additional features above the standard shared account:
- 5 GB Total MySQL Databases (up from 3 GB)
- 5 GB Single Database Size (up from 2 GB)
- 3000 Database Tables (up from 1000)
- 15 Mb/s Bandwidth (up from 8 Mb/s)
- 2000 Max Emails/Hour (up from 750)
- More CPU time and server memory
My experience with Bluehost Pro
I made the migration to Bluehost Pro during August 2011. At that time I picked a performance optimized theme and started tweaking my site with caching and optimizing it for SEO. Since migrating Bluehost has also partnered with CloudFlare. Cloudflare is a CDN like service; on average, websites using CloudFlare have 65% fewer requests and use 60% less bandwidth. I was already familiar with CloudFlare when they implemented it but it’s a very welcome addition that anyone can take see the benefits of with simple integration. So how well is Bluehost Pro working for me? I’ll let my latest screenshot from GTMetrix speak for me:
Page load times will of course vary but 0.72s is pretty speedy if you ask me. In addition to performance, moving off of the shared server had SEO benefits as well. My shared host was bundled in with thousands of sites, some of which were adult oriented. You can take a SEO penalty for being on servers with adult content, moving to Bluehost Pro server put me on a box with less other sites running AND gives me a dedicated IP… an IP that only my site(s) run on. The best part is that since moving to Bluehost Pro, I haven’t seen CPU throttling and my site has been super snappy.
BestWebHosting recently compared Bluehost Pro to two VPS solutions. I recommend checking out their article as they break down the differences not only in cost and features but also in price (and show that Bluehost Pro is far and away the best value. If you look at the image above from their article you can see that loading times for WordPress sites was BETTER on Bluehost Pro than it was on cheap VPS hosts.
My year with Bluehost Pro
Looking back I moved to Bluehost Pro just over one year ago. As you can see in the screenshots in my article from last year I was, at extreme times, seeing 55s load times. Since moving to Bluehost Pro my page load times have dropped to the subsecond to a few seconds at most. As I said before the transition to Bluehost Pro was done entirely by the host; it was quick and painless and my site is all the better for it. The only downside I could find when looking into the Bluehost Pro package is that they don’t do a very good job of SELLING it. The forums aren’t much help and their on-page information isn’t clear. Having said that, as you can see from above my experience with the Bluehost Pro package has been wonderful. You simply can’t find a better solution for $20/month. If you’ve been on the fence I hope this has helped you make up your mind to upgrade. If you’re still on the fence or don’t need the extra horsepower but need a cheap host, Bluehost shared hosting is a great value and I recommend it as well.
Unlike bulk referral/review sites I actually USE Bluehost Pro to host my site. If you’ve found this article to be helpful and do signup through Bluehost I can get a referral bonus and would very much appreciate signing up via my referral link.