The MET

Pastel of mother and child by Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926). Mother and Child, 1914. Pastel on wove paper mounted on canvas, 26 5/8 x 22 1/2 in. (67.6 x 57.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.50)

The American portrait and figure artist Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) is best known for imagery drawn from the private sphere of women—sedate moments in the daily lives of privileged individuals as they read, take tea, attend the opera, or care for their young children. But she was also one of the most inventive practitioners of Impressionism in many media, and not least in pastel, a newly popular medium in the late nineteenth century. In Mother and Child (1914), currently on view at The Met in gallery 769, we can see that her goal was not only to render a particular type of subject matter, but also to experiment with avant-garde techniques.

Visit metmuseum.org today.

InMotion Hosting

Inmotion Review

This InMotion Hosting Review was revised and updated on January 12, 2018.

InMotion Hosting is one of the largest independent web hosting companies in the world. They’ve been around since 2001, and have tried to develop a brand around being the “nerd’s choice” that businesses also love.

InMotion Hosting has positioned themselves as the one of the few large, stable hosting companies that is not owned by Endurance International – a holding corporation for many well-known hosting brands (including a few that I use for sites like HostGator, Bluehost and iPage).

You can get 47% discount off InMotion’s plans here…

There are a lot of InMotion Hosting reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews based on anecdotes, complaints, and personal experience. That’s fine but I take a different approach with pros and cons to highlight whether a particular company is a good “fit” given resources, priorities, and experience.

Since 2013, I’ve done several side-projects on InMotion in addition to consulting for clients who run projects on a range of competitor hosting companies. In August 2015, I actually moved ShivarWeb.com to an InMotion VPS server, though several projects remain with other hosting companies such as HostGator and InMotion’s sister brand Web Hosting Hub – both of which have more “unlimited” plans and a support focus on beginner / small sites.

Here’s what I’ve found to be the pros and cons & full InMotion Hosting review based on my experience there and at other providers as a customer & consultant.

Disclosure – I receive referral fees from many companies mentioned in this post. All my opinions and data are from my own experience as a paying customer or consultant to a paying customer.

Pros of InMotion Hosting

No hosting company is perfect. And I’ve always maintained that there is no such thing as a “best” hosting company – it all depends on your goals and preferences.

Aside – In fact, I created a hosting quiz to help match goals/needs with the right hosting company.

That point understood – here are the 6 big advantages that I’ve found with InMotion.

Customer Service & Support

InMotion Hosting puts their customer service front and center in their marketing. They boast about US-based tech support via phone, chat, email, or ticket system.

InMotion Support

Anyone who has ever run a website understands that customer service and support is something that’s easy to overlook and skimp on upfront…but you will always need support at some point, and when you need it…you really need it.

And the tricky thing about all customer service is that it’s hard to judge it as a whole because you never know when you just had a bad rep or when it’s indicative of a company’s culture (i.e., does the company view customer service as a cost or as an investment).

For example back in 2013, my very first chat with an InMotion rep was not encouraging…

inMotion Chat

I’ve also had readers write in with not so pleasant customer service experiences with InMotion Hosting – though the underlying issue ended up being more outside of technical help’s scope than they let on (e.g., bulk hosting adult images for a forum in one case).

How do you judge overall culture without singling out anecdotes?

All my customer service experiences since then with my side-project and with setting up my VPS server have been outstanding – enough to make it the main reason that I switched to InMotion for my VPS server (which has more technical problems than running a shared server, which is what most companies need).

Either way – the whole point is that all these anecdotes are just that – anecdotes. With my other hosting reviews, I’ve tried to look for external indicators for what their internalservice culture was really like.

The two best indicators that I’ve found are an investment in tools & content (ie, are they simple, usable & thorough) and support channel access (ie, are there multiple ways to get your problem solved depending on situation & expertise.

InMotion Hosting performs very well on both those indicators plus a couple extra strengths.

First, InMotion has a ton of resources in their knowledgebase and in their comments. A knowledgebase isn’t uncommon among hosting companies, but what I’ve found useful is how a knowledgebase article kicks off a conversation so that users post their related problems to that thread, and InMotion reps respond within the thread. It makes self-directed troubleshooting a lot easier.

InMotion Knowledgebase Support

InMotion Hosting has a ton of unique, in-depth guides within their customer support base. In fact, they rank in Google for a huge range of support queries from general Internet users. Their top-performing organic pages are almost all high ranking support pages – 
InMotion KB
It’s obvious that they put a lot of money behind creating help content.

Second, they have a wide range of support channels that are all highly responsive. They have phone, chat and even Skype front and center everywhere on their site.

InMotion Support Options

For some companies, you basically have to call because email isn’t quick. Or chat will be down so you have to email, etc. InMotion’s support channels (again, that I personally have experienced) all function well and serve the right purpose. I’ve sent in email support tickets that have been solved very fast; and had phone calls returned quickly.

InMotion Support

Additionally, the reps that I’ve talked to seem to actually know what they are talking about, and aren’t just following a trouble-shooting script. That’s allowed me to skip the “yes, I’ve already tried all the basic troubleshooting steps” to discussing the root cause problem. I’ve had readers write in to let me know that InMotion was the only hosting company to get to the actual root problem of their issue (in this particular case, a conflict with their WordPress theme & their running version of PHP).

Over the Christmas break, I had to upgrade a couple accounts to PHP7 – the fastest / current version. Even though the front-line rep couldn’t do the actual installation, he could tell me that the change would require a prerequisite upgrade to my Apache version – which would require a server reboot.

So to make sure the process happened smoothly, he sent my ticket up the chain to a server admin – who smartly scheduled the upgrade for 3am.  Very adept handling of a potentially tricky situation.

Lastly, InMotion has great “onboarding” – which is jargon for the process that new users go through to get up and running. Their email sequence is useful; they customize support articles based on how to plan on using your account (ie, WordPress users get WordPress related emails). The onboarding process proactively solves a lot of would-be support problems.

InMotion Onboarding

Hosting Performance

Customer support, though, is not the point of having a web host.

A web hosting company’s job is to securely store your website files on a server, and serve up those files as quickly as possible to every single one of your visitors whenever they ask for them.

There’s a lot of ways to measure hosting performance – you really get deep into the weeds with server specs, and jargon that honestly isn’t particularly useful to a small business or someone looking to just put up a website. There are also a ton of variables that go into website speed.

One of the best quick metrics to look at for (cheaper-end) hosting is Time to First Byte – or TTFB – or how long does it take the server to respond after it receives a request from a visitor. I look at this because everything else afterwards is highly influenced by how your particular website is configured.

I’ve been running a version of this test for years on all the hosts that I review. InMotion almost always trends very much above average for hosts, which is what you want. If you have a host that has consistently above average TTFB speeds, you can work with all the other website speed factors.

Here’s my most recent TTFB tests with InMotion on an “out of the box” WordPress install on a shared hosting plan with no caching or any configurations.

InMotion Speed Test

For perspective here’s HostGator’s test with the same “out of the box” no configurations.

HostGator Speed Test

And here’s the test for their VPS service with a fully setup WordPress site configured with basic caching –

InMotion-VPS-Speed-Test

Again, for shared hosting accounts this number will bounce around some. TTFB is best viewed as a trend – and is only a starting point when it comes to speed. But InMotion is definitely on the faster end of all shared hosts I’ve worked with. Some of this performance is due to the fact that they use SSD drives for all their servers, instead of the spinning-tape hard drives, which is a bonus for shared/business hosting companies.

According to their sales material, they also don’t overbook their shared servers with websites like many shared hosting companies do. In other words, some hosting companies will fill servers with websites at more than 100% capacity, and just hope that none of them have a traffic spike at the same time. InMotion says that they don’t do that, so even shared servers with some caching will be able to handle traffic spikes if necessary.

As far as reliability goes, they’ve always had a reputation for hitting their 99.9% uptime guarantee. They maintain a status page at status.inmotionhosting.com that reports on their real time network and server status.InMotion Network Status

That said – InMotion Hosting was down and had significant network problems in the first week of May 2017. While this site was never down, one of my smaller sites had a few hours of downtime. Other customers had even more downtime. Their Network Operations team traced it to problems with routing traffic through a device in their West Coast Data Center.

The problem with big downtime events is that, like customer service, you never really know if you are dealing with a true one-off situation that the company will learn from or if it has a root cause in underinvestment and poor planning procedures.

It’s important to note that in just the month after InMotion went down – Amazon’s product pages went down along with all of YouTube – so, yeah, all websites go down. And with every host, the issue is not when they will go down, but how will they respond.

Compared to my experiences with GoDaddy’s outages and HostGator’s outages years ago – InMotion was alright. Their support was flooded, and the exact cause took a while to find out, so there are plenty of justifiably angry customers.

Given the fact that their customer service in general is a huge advantage, and I’ve had a fine experience with them – I don’t consider the most recent downtime a reason to move this site. It is a reminder, though, that whatever host you use – you have to prioritize redundancies and backups.

Control Panel & Usability

For hosting companies, there’s a fine line to walk with creating a backend that isn’t daunting to first time users while still offering a flexible setup for once your customers have gotten their bearings and want to tweak things a bit.

To me, the best solution is to use cPanel as a backend and Softaculous with one-click install. It’s common; it’s open-source (so there are tutorials everywhere), and it’s pretty basic – but in a good way.

Here’s what the traditional cPanel backend looks like…

InMotion Hosting cPanel

Again, very basic – but once you get used to it, cPanel (along with all the languages and apps they have) offers all the flexibility you’ll need.

The one thing that InMotion does differently though – and this is a recent change – is that they put cPanel access directly on your account management dashboard. This means that you don’t have a separate login for billing/domains and your cPanel. They also place the one-click installer within your account dashboard.

You have a single login on InMotionHosting.com where you can just click over for cPanel.

InMotion Backend

They also run the most recent version of cPanel which is not only cleaner and more accessible, but also has free integrated Comodo SSLs (ie, a brand name SSL).

InMotion cPanel

And another issue that comes with the single Account Management Panel is that they have a lot of in-house upgrade options. If your site ever gets big enough that you need a developer oriented solution like Managed Hosting, Virtual Private Server, or even a Dedicated Server – InMotion Hosting has all those options in-house, so you can upgrade fairly seamlessly.

Guarantees & Freebies

InMotion Hosting has a 90 day money-back guarantee. Industry standard is 30 or maybe 45 day money back guarantee. The guarantee is especially reassuring if you are pre-paying for an entire year to get better pricing.

or As of July 2017, InMotion has rolled out free Comodo SSL certificates. They are fully integrated into their cPanel setup and make going HTTPS much more accessible.

And either way, you get plenty of freebies with your account (e.g., Google Ads, Free Site Transfer, Google Apps Integration, BoldGrid Website Builder, etc)

Free Data Backups

Frequent data backups are a huge deal for shared hosting providers. Servers go down (see section above), you accidentally hit the delete button (speaking from experience there), or random stuff just inevitably happens – and you need a backup.

InMotion does backups, like most all hosting companies.

Where they do better though, is that those backups are freeif you ever need it. For example, in comparison, HostGator does automated backups for free every week, but charges $19 to retrieve the backup. Some competitors charge a separate fee for backups entirely.

Many hosting companies also put low limits on data backups. If you have an image-heavy website, you may quickly find yourself with no emergency backup. InMotion has generous backup limits to give your data and extra safety net.

Aside – you should be doing your own backups, and should never solely rely on your hosting company for backups. But certainly look for them to have an emergency backup.

Independence & Community Support

I don’t think a companies’ size or form predetermines what quality product / service that company produces. Often times, a large company has resources that a small company cannot do. On the flip side, even with the right processes a large company can create unneeded distance from its actual customers.

The open secret in the hosting industry is that the Endurance, GoDaddy, and Network Solutions corporations own nearly every brand that you’ll come across. InMotion Hosting is one of the few independent companies in the hosting industry.

Additionally, InMotion is one of the few independent companies with significant size (the other one being SiteGround). With this position, InMotion takes advantage of having the resources to compete on competitive features (like custom built drag and drop builders) while still aligning their company according to their mission and values rather than Wall Street’s demands for growth.

I know that InMotion certainly tries to make a profit above all else – but I think that what a company does with their sponsorship money can say a lot about their internal culture. For example, I’ve mentioned separately about how GoDaddy’s advertising is problematic. But it’s also true on the flip-side – a company that supports excellent industry and community initiatives can indicate a positive internal culture.

InMotion is a large sponsor of WordCamps and open-source software core development. They sponsor Joomla camps. They also do environmental initiatives. All of these are indicative of both smart marketing and meaningful company culture.

Either way, many customers are shopping for a non-big big brand owned hosting company. InMotion is independent while still being big enough to provide competitive features.

Cons of InMotion Hosting

No hosting company is perfect or “the best” – you’ll find plenty of InMotion Hosting complaints (and raves) around the web. Some are justified (ie, see the section on downtime above) and some are not justified (ie, they are hiccups that you’ll find at every host). Here are some big-picture cons / disadvantages that I’ve found with InMotion Hosting.

Price Point

If you find a hosting company that fits your goals, I’m not a huge fan of counting pennies – but paying the right price for the features you get is still important, especially if you are just starting out and on a budget.

InMotion Hosting has several very affordable plans, but they have limitations which I’ll cover in the “Limitations” section. For unlimited plans comparable to other shared hosting providers, their price point is a bit higher than other shared hosting providers.

They are still a good deal overall, and are very affordable. However, they are more expensive based on an equal comparison of account features than competitors to call their pricing out as a con. In fact, they have a separate brand called Web Hosting Hub that focuses on “unlimited plans” at a slightly cheaper rate.

Side note – to get 47% off discount, click through to this InMotion plans page to bring the price point down a bit.

InMotion Hosting Pricing Structure

The other note/con about pricing is that you have to sign up for a full year – and the discount is only available for up to a 2 year lockin. Again, they do a money-back guarantee, but if you’re not sure about how long your project will be in place, InMotion can be a bit pricey for websites just starting out.

InMotion Tiers

Additionally, beyond the 90-day money-back guarantee, there is no pro-rated refund. Pre-paying for a full year is not a bad thing or out of the norm. But if you are unsure about your project length, monthly plans such as those offered by HostGator can be worthwhile.

Database / Website Limitations

Before I dive into what exactly this con is about – I’ll define a couple terms.

As a general rule, a database is what stores the information that powers your website (so 1 install of WordPress runs off 1 database as a general rule). So, the number of databases allowed represents the number of distinct websites you can run on your server.

The number of websites/domains generally refers to the number of domains that can be routed to your server. Websites/domains is different than databases since you can have a lot of different websites on 1 domain. For example, a web designer might have client1.domain.com, client2.domain.com, and domain.com – this would be 1 domain, but would run off 3 different databases.

So, long point short – InMotion really limits the number of websites and databases that you can run on your account – even at their top price point.

I understand why they do this. It’s a way to provides better network performance and provide smarter investment in shared servers. It filters the people who want to think “unlimited” means “unlimited even beyond what the shared server can handle” rather than “no caps on your account on your shared server.”

If you know exactly what you are using your account for (such as 2 websites, and nothing else) – and don’t plan on expanding beyond that – then this con is a bit moot.

It is a limitation that you should be aware of when comparing providers and pricing – and when thinking about what your plans are for your account (if you are concerned with this – you should also check out my InMotion vs. HostGator post).

The trouble mainly comes with hard caps on a number of items rather than on resource usage. For example, my 6 sandbox/dev sites could technically use nearly zero resources rather than someone’s 1 image and script heavy site. On InMotion, I wouldn’t be able to have those 6 dev sites without a Pro plan. Meanwhile, the person with 1 site and heavy resource usage would still get frustrated when he got dinged for using too many resources even though he’s still under the cap.

Either way, this con is a consideration for how you plan on using your server and what your needs/priorities are.

Aside – it’s also another reason they run Web Hosting Hub as a separate brand. They do offer “unlimited / unmetered” plans via Web Hosting Hub.

Broad Product Focus

This disadvantage is a bit ironic since InMotion Hosting does not provide Windows Hosting and their broad compatibility for a range of websites is a huge advantage.

The point here is that InMotion Hosting strives to be a solid overall hosting company for all sorts of business use cases. They maintain expertise & server compatibility across a wide range of code languages and server specs. They do WordPress hosting well, but they aren’t a strict “WordPress-focused” host. Same with Joomla. Same with Drupal. Same with Ruby and every other website option.

They even recently rolled out a new unmanaged VPS product for sysadmins and developers.

That is a good thing, but it also means that InMotion is usually an early adopter rather than a first adopter for new hosting features. For example, it took them a few months to enable PHP7 “out of the box” since it was still so new that it was not compatible with many platforms. But WordPress software encourages PHP7 over PHP5.6 – so if you had purchase with InMotion Hosting, you’ll have to check that box rather than trust that it’s enabled by default as it might be with WordPress-focused competitors.

InMotion Hosting is only now coming out with a unique WordPress Hosting plan.*

*Aside – in fairness to InMotion and competitors who also don’t have a “WordPress Hosting” plan – it’s a *very* confusing term that often guides customers into paying more for the same web hosting they would have otherwise bought. Web hosting with a “WordPress trained support” is not worth paying more for. WordPress runs fine on shared, Linux hosting. There are good reasons to choose a custom WordPress hosting plan, but it should be different and truly customized to make it worth the extra money.

The short version here is that InMotion makes an inherent tradeoff to be a solid web hosting company since that means it cannot be a boutique / specialist hosting company. While InMotion has specialist products, it’s something to be aware of if your project has specific requirements (ie, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc).

Conclusion

That’s the extent of my InMotion Hosting review. They are a solid, well-respected web hosting company. I’ve switched to them for this specific website and love it.

I think they are the best fit for someone who is only looking to host a couple websites on their account, and is willing to pay a bit of a premium for great support and performance. You can check out InMotion Hosting here.

Bluehost

Bluehost Review
Bluehost is a web hosting company founded by Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth in Provo, Utah. They have a staff of 750 people working around the clock. Being the #1 recommended hosting by WordPress.org, they feature 1-Click installations in all their plans.

Comparison: Features and Pricing

BASIC PLUS PRIME
WEBSITES 1 Unlimited Unlimited
WEBSITE SPACE 50 GB Unlimited Unlimited
INCLUDED DOMAINS 1 1 1
EMAIL ACCOUNTS 5 Unlimited Unlimited
EMAIL STORAGE 100 MB / account Unlimited Unlimited
REGULAR PRICE $7.99/mo $10.99/mo $14.99/mo
DISCOUNTED PRICE $2.95/mo $5.95/mo $5.95/mo

If there is one name you know in the world of web hosting, Bluehost is probably on the top along with Hostgator and A2Hosting. It got its start back in 1996, which makes it ancient by web standards, but I like them none the less.

In this post, I take you behind the scenes and show you features through my account. I will also share a special deal for Hosting Manual visitors only at the bottom of this page (you can get $2.95 pricing instead of the regular $3.95/mo).

Here’s what the customer dashboard looks like:

Bluehost My Products

Bluehost My Products

By the time you finish reading this review, you will know what to expect from Bluehost and (equally important) what NOT to expect from them.

Beyond question, they have built a solid reputation over the decades, especially where it comes to WordPress hosting.

They are listed as one of the official recommended hosting providers for WordPress blogs and offer an abundance of great tools, bonuses, and resources to WordPress customers.

Ready to find out more? We’re going to delve deep into the details in our Bluehost review. But let’s get started with a few quick facts first.

  • Plans appear cheap at first glance, but not all of them are as cheap as they seem. You can get started for as little as $2.95 per month with shared hosting if you snag a deal like this. Otherwise, the Starter plan usually costs $7.99 per month, which is still quite reasonable. But WP plans are pretty expensive, starting at $12.49 monthly.
  • Get unmetered bandwidth with all accounts.
  • The starter plan comes with 100 email accounts. The Plus and Business Pro plans offer unlimited email accounts.
  • Get up to $200 in marketing offer bonuses.
  • Enhanced cPanel makes it easy to configure and control your sites.

Decision: Which Level of Service Should You Choose?

Bluehost Types of Web Hosting

Bluehost offers five main types of hosting plans:

  • Shared hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated hosting
  • WordPress hosting
  • Cloud Sites

If you are looking for something inexpensive and basic, shared hosting is probably what you need. This is what most beginners and small businesses are shopping for. Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option, appropriate for large commercial firms that need full control of their resources.

With dedicated hosting, you are essentially renting a physical server. VPS hosting is a middle-ground option where you share a physical server with others, but you have your virtual operating system, so the server functions as if it is physically yours. WordPress hosting is of course what it sounds like—hosting optimized for WordPress customers. Let’s take a look at the plan tiers for each.

Shared Hosting

  • Starter: Beginning at $3.49 per month, this plan jumps up to $7.99 per month at the regular price.
  • Plus: This plan is regularly $10.49 per month.
  • Business Pro: This plan is $23.99 per month.

These prices are all pretty good. But with this deal, you can make sure you get the best price! At the Starter level, you get one website, 100GB of space, and unmetered bandwidth. You also get one domain, five parked domains, and 25 sub-domains. Additional features include 100 email accounts with 500 MB of storage each and $50 in marketing offers.

Bluehost Control Panel

With the Plus or Business Pro plans, you get unlimited websites and unmetered space and bandwidth, which is awesome. You get one domain included, and you can have unlimited parked domains and sub-domains.

Email accounts and storage are unlimited, along with $200 in marketing offers. Plus it includes Global CDN and one SpamExperts (over $24 per year in extra benefits).

The Business Pro plan includes up to $180 in extra annual benefits, including two SpamExperts, one SSL, one dedicated IP address, domain privacy, enhanced performance, and SiteBackup Pro.

VPS Hosting

  • Standard: $14.99 your first month, up to $29.99 after that
  • Enhanced: $29.99 your first month, up to $59.99 after that
  • Premium: $44.99 your first month, up to $89.99 after that
  • Ultimate: $59.99 your first month, up to $119.99 after that

These prices are in line with typical costs for VPS hosting industry-wide. The speed for the first two plans is 2 CPU cores, up to three and four cores for the top two plans. You get 30GB SAN storage at the lowest tier, up to 240GB at the highest level. RAM ranges from 2 GB up to 8 GB. You get 1 TB of bandwidth at the Standard level, up to 4 TB at the Ultimate level. Each tier includes one domain. The Standard tier includes one IP address; you get two with the rest. Every plan is backed by 24/7 support and a money-back guarantee.

Dedicated Hosting

  • Standard: $74.99 your first month, $149.99 per month after that.
  • Enhanced: $99.99 your first month, $199.99 per month after that.
  • Premium: $124.99 your first month, $124.99 per month after that.

With the Standard plan or Enhanced plan, you get a 4 x 2.5GHz CPU. The Premium plan offers you a 4 x 3.3GHz CPU. Storage is 1 TB (mirrored), and RAM starts at 4 GB at the Standard level, ranging up to 16 GB at the Premium tier. You get 5 TB of bandwidth at the Standard tier, 10 TB at the Enhanced tier, and 15 TB at Premium. One domain is included with every plan. You get three IP addresses at Standard, four at Enhanced, and five at Premium. All plans are backed by 24/7 service and a money-back guarantee.

WordPress Hosting

  • Blogger: $12.49 your first month, $24.99 after that
  • Professional: $37.50 your first month, $74.99 after that
  • Business: $60.00 your first month, $119.99 after that
  • Enterprise: $85.00 your first month, $169.99 after that

These plans are quite expensive compared to what some competitors offer (many hosts sell WordPress hosting plans at the same prices as general-purpose shared hosting plans).

WordPress hosting on Bluehost is a big deal, however, and one of the company’s most popular services (with more than a million sites hosted by the company).

Features at the Blogger level include 100 million visits per month, 30 GB of storage, 30 GB of backup space, 2 GB of RAM, and up to five sites. You get one included domain and one IP address. Additional features include enhanced cPanel, SiteLock CDN, and SiteLock Pro for added security.

The top-level Enterprise plan gives you unlimited monthly visits, 240 GB of storage and backup space, 8 GB of RAM and up to 30 sites. You get one included domain and IP address. Along with enhanced cPanel and SiteLock CDN/WAF Pro, you get SiteLock Enterprise and Positive Wildcard SSL.

All plans are backed by 24/7 service and a money-back guarantee. These plans also include automatic plug-in updates and regular backups.

These are all excellent features, but still, you may be asking, “Why would I pay this much for WordPress hosting?” Bluehost plays a very active role in the WordPress community and has a core staff of developers. That means that Bluehost can offer first-class customer support and troubleshoot even complex problems which are unique to WP.

This is not to say Bluehost is your only or best option. However – hosts like Inmotion Hosting can easily compete, and at a lower cost.

eCommerce Features

It is easy to set up an online store with Bluehost, which offers many different shopping carts: Zen, Cube, Agora, and OS Commerce. You get SSL security for your transactions, a certificate generated for free, and OpenPGP/GPG Encryption.

The fact that you get unlimited storage space starting at the Plus level with shared hosting means you are ready to go adding as many products as you want to your shop. Unmetered bandwidth means your costs are steady and predictable even if you have months where you get lots of traffic (maybe over the holidays, or as your business is growing).

The $200 in free marketing credits is also a big help if you are a store owner. You can use these to promote your business through Google, Facebook, Bing, and Twitter.

All of that having been said, Bluehost is not particularly known for eCommerce, and some sites make it easier and faster to set up a shop. But Bluehost is an economical choice, and you will get access to a ton of great features to help you sell online.

Security Features

Security is an area where Bluehost excels. You get three layers of anti-spam protection in the form of Spam Experts, Spam Hammer, and Apache Spam Assassin. You get protection for your inbox as well; it is easy to set up filters. Your directories are all password-protected.

If you need to block access to your site, you have the option to blacklist IP addresses. Another top-notch feature is secure shell (SSH) access. This allows you to access configuration files individually and securely.

Bluehost also offers single-click integration with CloudFlare, which provides even more excellent security features and speeds up your site! CloudFlare is particularly good for thwarting DDOS attacks.

You also get a lot of options to upgrade:

Bluehost Security

Refund Policy

Bluehost covers its plans with a 30-day money back guarantee. That means if you cancel within the first 30 days, you will get a full refund. If you choose to cancel after that, you won’t get a prorated refund for the period of your hosting term which you have not used. Domain fees are not refundable.

Ease-of-Use

Bluehost makes it a breeze to set up your website and manage it. The enhanced cPanel interface is as easy to use as it gets—you just click on the icons to get to where you need to go.

Bluehost cPanel

You can take care of everything with your websites and email addresses in one central location. You can customize the layout of the control panel to your needs. That way you can get quick access to your favorite features.

Customer Service

Here is an area where Bluehost gets mixed reviews. Many customers report positive experiences with fast, helpful, friendly customer service agents. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of clients who say that they were unable to get the help they needed even with numerous phone calls.

Another problem with Bluehost is excessive upselling. This is a company that loves to try to sell you on add-ons and upgrades, and there are a lot of areas where you flat-out need add-ons for full functionality. That is a problem if you are on a tight budget.

Who is Bluehost Best For?

  • Customers who are looking for a reliable web host with a strong reputation. Bluehost is one of the oldest names in the business and has established trust.
  • WordPress customers who can pay extra to get access to more features and a dedicated support team of WP experts.
  • Owners of both large and small businesses. Bluehost is fine if you are on a budget and just want general-purpose shared hosting. Just watch out for the upselling.

Pros of Bluehost:

  • Most plans include unlimited disk storage, domain hosting, email addresses, and bandwidth.
  • You get a free domain name for a year included with your purchase.
  • The enhanced cPanel is really easy to use and offers fast access to features.
  • The security features on Bluehost are flat-out excellent.
  • Numerous databases are available, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, CGI-BIN, PHP, Python, Perl, Ruby on Rails, and much more.
  • Tons of free website scripts are available, including social networking scripts, blog support, mailing lists, message forums, Joomla and Drupal and Tikiwiki.
  • eCommerce features are good with multiple shopping carts available and SSL security.
  • Most customers report that Bluehost is fast. Integrate with CloudFlare, and you’ll get even better performance.
  • If you can afford it, the WordPress hosting on Bluehost is considered to be top-notch.

Cons of Bluehost:

  • While there are many useful add-ons available, unfortunately, you need to install many of them to get the full functionality you need.
  • The customer service team gets mixed reviews.
  • Bluehost loves to try to up-sell its customers, which can get to be annoying if you are on a tight budget.
  • The WordPress plans, while very nice regarding features, are also very expensive compared to plans offered by many competitors. Inmotion, for example, has an excellent plan starting at just $2.95 monthly. That’s less than half of the starting price for the lowest tier WP plan offered by Bluehost.

Conclusion

There are plenty of exciting features and extras included at every price point, and the diversity of plans provides a lot of flexibility for every budget. Whatever your needs, Bluehost delivers regarding its packages.

Despite some negative feedback, the majority of customers are quite happy with Bluehost’s services. There is a reason that this company has such a strong reputation over 20 years of online business!

In summation, Bluehost is literally one of the top few that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. If you’re looking for a web host with a rock-solid reputation, then look no further than Bluehost. With cheap and scalable plans you can customize your solution, and in just a couple of moments, you’ll be up and running.

Bluehost is an absolute knockout of a web hosting provider – if you can grab the occasional sale (right now 50% Off), it’s an absolute no-brainer!

Get Bluehost Now.