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Published author, small business owner and skeptical consumer D. Alan Carter has personally developed over 50 websites. Carter brings this practical experience to bear on his reviews of some of the more popular website hosts... including Bluehost.

Bluehost Review | Company's Home Page

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"Has anyone used Bluehost?"
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Bluehost Review

Below, my take on the popular website hosting service Bluehost Inc. Specifically, pros & cons and my recommendation. Also, Pricing Points, Fast Facts, details from Better Business Bureau reports, and Complaints Summary. --D. Alan Carter

Bluehost Review...
Pros & Cons, Recommendation
About Bluehost...
Pricing Points, Fast Facts, BBB, Complaints

A world-class provider of shared hosting, Bluehost has grown to become one of the 20 largest website hosting companies in the world. Shared hosting is their specialty -- they don't offer dedicated or VPS servers. Together with sister sites HostMonster and FastDomain, the company hosts more than 1.9 million domains.

The Pros

Generous resources with unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
Unlimited add-on, parked and subdomains, FTP accounts and email accounts.
The control panel is cPanel; it's user-friendly and accommodating.
Tech support is there 24/7. It's U.S. based and in-house. Average telephone hold time for tech support is 30 seconds or less.
Free domain name with qualifying plans for a year.
Anytime money-back guarantee.

The Cons

You're responsible for backing up your data on their servers.

"Unlimited" does not necessarily mean unlimited. The company markets their plans with "unlimited disk storage," etc, but the fine print in their Terms of Service spells out that... 1) while they don't set any arbitrary limits or caps on the amount of resources a single subscriber can use, they 2) can and do "place automated safeguards to protect against any one site growing too quickly and adversely impacting the system until Bluehost can evaluate said sites resource needs."

Meaning? If your site goes hog-wild viral and starts eating resources like Godzilla eating Tokyo, they reserve the right to assist you in a move to something more suited to large enterprises -- or terminate your account.

The Wrap Up

Bluehost is one the world's "Top 20" largest website hosts for a couple of good reasons: they've had a laser-like focus on doing one thing well (shared hosting), and they determined early on that customer support was key to success. To that end, they've kept their tech support U.S. based and in-house, something we applaud given the all-to-frequent corporate trend of outsourcing such services overseas to individuals with whom English is a second language.

Larger commercial enterprises or resource-intense sites working with non-typical applications would do well to look for another company that offers dedicated or VPS servers. But if you have the typical website needs of a small business or a home-based business, even one experiencing periods of great popularity and resulting storage demands, you'll likely be very pleased with this service. Given the BBB score of A+, I have no trouble recommending...

Bluehost Inc.

Best of luck,
D. Alan Carter

Pricing Points:
Shared IP Hosting Reseller Hosting
starting at $6.95 starting at $19.95
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Fast Facts:
Company founded in 1996.
Parent company: Endurance International Group, Inc.
Number of domains hosted: over 1.9 million in combination with HostMonster and FastDomain.

The company builds their own servers, housing them in the data center locations totaling over 20,000 square feet.

The company has their own fiber network, providing multiple 10 gigabit fiber connections to locations worldwide.

Mailing Address: Bluehost Inc., 1958 South 950 East
Provo, UT 84606

Learn about Shared Hosting (Wikipedia Article).
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Better Business Bureau:
"A+" on a scale of A+ to F.

Not a BBB Accredited Business.

Link to the company's BBB Business Review.

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Complaints:

The number of complaints filed with the BBB "for a business of this size" was below average, and actually helped raise the company's score.

The company's response to -- and the subsequent resolution of -- those complaints also helped raise Bluehost's BBB score.

As per all top-tier website hosts, complaints posted on Internet forums are plentiful. A good collection can be found at RipoffReport.com.

Not to minimize legitimate complaints, but remember to keep things in context; temper the number of online complaints with the volume of business--in this case, millions of websites hosted.

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