You have decided it is time to take your business into the digital age and go online. Or you have a great idea for a blog you know will garner a lot of traffic and you need a web site. The ideas are there. The problem now is finding the right web host that is flexible and large enough to handle your growth while still being economical.
Bluehost Web Hosting has earned a reputation for making the hosting process simple for the beginner, while still offering a variety of features and add-ons to please the veteran web master. This is all offered at reasonable prices compared with other web hosting companies. Bluehost Web Hosting offers one basic plan, maintaining the edge on simplicity, at $6.95 per month for a year-long contract or $5.95 for two or more years. One thing to be aware of is that, on checkout, the $9.95 fee box for the Bluehost privacy feature is automatically checked and will have to be unchecked if you are not interested in having an added level of protection for your domain's information.
Once signed up for the company's web hosting service, there is the opportunity to go to a professional-grade plan for $19.95 per month, which offers such high-end features as a dedicated IP address, 10 free Google-powered Postini email filters, an SSL certificate, and three free domain names.
Ease of use is a major selling point for Bluehost Web Hosting. According to the review at Consumer Rankings, the company offers a truly free instant setup when you sign up. It also gives you the opportunity to try out the site's control panel, which the reviewer referred to as "intuitive." The reviewer found it "practically effortless" to install a WordPress blog, for example.
There are multiple tools for building a site. The Bluehost control panel allows access to premium software including Trendy Site Builder for $4.95 per month, and Soholaunch, at about $20 a month per site. Free builders including liveSite and Concrete5 also are available. In general, reviewers were impressed with the free site building tools and applications available in the basic package. These provide both drag-and-drop functions as well as established templates to use to plug in your unique information in a design that is already formatted. The free ecommerce and shopping cart features were given a thumbs up as more than adequate for online businesses.
As for customer support, the company claims a phone and live chat hold time of 30 seconds or under. While some reviewers said it did not quite live up to this standard, help was available in a reasonable time that compared well with other firms. Bluehost has customer support for a number of channels, including email and the social media sites of Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.
Negatives noted by the reviewers of Bluehost Web Hosting typically focused on the lack of a guaranteed up-time. So if your site goes down because of a snafu on their end, there is no provision to compensate you in any way. This could be a major issue for those doing online sales, since it could impact sales volume and overall income. The company also does not offer a catch all email capability to snag email sent to a non-existing address on your domain.