By reviewing and looking at BlueHost.com’s website, it’s easy to see that this company will be around. They put together a serious, professional web-hosting service with all the right stuff. The site’s design works well, as the features are laid-out & easy on the eyes. I even found their contact-information easily, which was a plus for user-related questions or problems. BlueHost has tons of awards from the online industry validating their hosting services. There’s a demo of their control panel, for beginners to learn how cPanel works. They built their control panel to be easily used. The demos on how cPanel works are geared for beginners & advanced users. (nicely done)

Featured Components and Pricing

The Components this company has within, are pretty straight-forward (& nothing’s missing). All the expected features are there & easy to find & work-with:

* cPanel / including DEMOS * multiple database support * FTP * Email Something unique I found was BlueHost’s package featuring unlimited disk-space, and unlimited band-width.

There is a limited number of databases (50 each for MySQL and Postgre) and they’re giving more FTP and email accounts than anyone could ever use (1,000 and 2500, respectively). They’re giving unlimited numbers of addon domains, parked domains, and sub-domains as well. The prices are different & depends on how long you sign up for:

* 3 Months: $9.95/month + a $30.00 Setup fee. *The Domain isn’t included. ($10.00 if purchased from BlueHost)

* 6 Months: $8.95/month + a $30.00 Setup fee. *The Domain isn’t included. ($10.00 if purchased from BlueHost)

* 12 Months: $7.95/month **Good Deal (no setup fee, free domain included) * 24 Months: $6.95/month ***Best Deal (no setup fee, free domain included)

I don’t like and usually don’t get the most minimum three month contract offers and it is not easy to find this option on their site. You have to click around to find it (it’s actually in the second step in their order process) It takes a little effort to find the prices and they are very competitive for long-term usage.

BlueHost’s Terms of Service

BlueHost has a very straight-forward Terms of Service agreement, with little legal jargon. It’s a bullet point page with the major points listed in an easily-read formation. The one shady-point that I saw stated that “All activities may be monitored, recorded, and examined by any authorized person, including law enforcement.” The lesser semi-shady point I found states “Any violation found or fraudulent activity that system personnel deem inappropriate may have your account immediately terminated without notice and any recorded evidence reported to authorized persons.” To be fair to this hosting company, the points are actually quite clear, and not hidden inside of a 10 page agreement. *easy to find*

cPanel / Control Panel

The cPanel is standard and with 2 clicks you can go to the control panel. You have the SQL, your sub-domains, & your email-accounts, featured in the cPanel. There are also a few nice additions that include a domain manager, a site-builder, and the option to manage your account right within. Basically, you can log into their billing-dept. It’s a convenient feature.

The cPanel was very quick and it performed everything it was supposed to do. BlueHost has Fantastico, & from the way it looked, it was the latest version with all of the scripts.

Script Installation

BlueHost allows us to add-on domains, like most other cPanels. I set-up a few add-on domains, and everything seemed to work well, and without any problems.It doesn’t allow SSH/Shell Access by default, but they said they will enable shell access for your account if you fax a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or other ID to them. I installed a few basic scripts (a blog, a CMS, a forum) & didn’t have any problems. Their Speed was about average, and BlueHost seems to be keeping-up with all of the latest software updates.

Support Services

The support service is very good. When I called the support department’s toll-free number, I was talking to someone within 30 seconds after dialing. I asked some basic questions: Do you support mod_rewrite (Yes), do you support mod_security (didn’t know, but checked), and do you keep your Fantastico up-to-date with the latest versions (Yes) The customer-rep was nice, and seemed to know what he was talking about. He wasn’t reading from a teleprompter. (There wasn’t any delay in his answers)

I asked some other questions about some complicated issues that any webmaster can run into. I had to hold for a minute or two and spoke to a different representative. (They have more than one tech on duty, & that’s a great plus to get answers quickly) When I asked if they support PHP5 (they said they have two servers that do, and can move accounts if needed (or) desired. I also asked if they would support Ruby on Rails (No), and if I should use ‘localhost’ as my host name with the script I was trying to install (Yes). I reworded my questions to test the the email-support system. It only took 22 minutes to receive their answer. It was impressive, because it was already late in the afternoon, approaching closing-time for most people.

After performing my review, I’ve found BlueHost to be a solid web host service. This company has their act together and deserves their listing as a top quality web host. Their impressive functionality and solid support-staff make this company an easy choice for beginners & advanced users alike. In all, very user-friendly & a solid experience.

The Good: Good control panel functions: (cPanel) has a few nice extras. There’s plenty of space and bandwidth, good customer-support, & fair pricing.

The Bad: a few Semi-shady points in the TOS (nothing too sinister, & clearly outlined) Their 3 month minimum contract price is kind of hard to find, but its there.

Jacqueline Gharibian is the author. . She has done an extensive research and review about BlueHost web hosting. To read more reviews about other web hosting companies and also other products, please visit her site at ReviewTheWeb.

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