When I decided to self-host my blog, I was confused about what to do and how to do it. The main question was which host to choose.

Several web hosting services are available, all of which have mixed reviews. I went through bloggers' reviews (like this post) and each provider's pricing and feature catalogue—all of which confused me more. Eventually, after a ton of research, I committed to 3 years with BlueHost.

My three-year term with BlueHost is coming to an end and I thought I'd add my review to the mix to help anyone looking to self-host their blog. I'll talk about all the topics and add detail through my thoughts and experiences.

If you're a blogger (or otherwise!) wondering whether to self-host and whether to choose BlueHost, you've come to the right place. By the end of this post, you will know whether to go with BlueHost or not without researching for days like I did.

what is BlueHost used for?

BlueHost is a hosting provider for site owners/builders. It provides you with a package of things that are needed to have a website—domain, storage for your site's files, and site security.

If you want to create a website online, you have 2 choices—go with managed hosting or self-host your site.

  1. Managed hosting is a service that handles everything for you. You can sign up and set up a website in no time. You have control over the content and some control over the theme and plugins (depending on the plan you pay for) but you cannot tinker with every part of the site. The backend (files, databases) is not accessible to you. There may be more restrictions like the plugins you can add or whether you can sign up with an ad provider to make money.
  2. Self-hosting services give you complete control over your site. They're often cheaper (as there's less work for them), can be faster, and you can make and customize your site however you want.

BlueHost is a self-hosting service. They have servers where they host your site but you can choose which features you want (like the amount of security), add any plugins or sign with any ad providers, and you can edit the backend files. If you're not careful, you could break the site too.

BlueHost does the basic maintenance and makes sure that your site is accessible online. The rest is in your hands.

what's the difference between BlueHost and WordPress?

There's often confusion between BlueHost and WordPress because BlueHost claims to work with WordPress. There's also the confusion between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (WordPress makes everything so confusing).

WordPress.com is a managed hosting service. You can choose between different WordPress.com plans according to the features provided but you don't have complete control (although most people don't need it). The WordPress free plan is a popular choice for new bloggers but WordPress shows their ads on the sites. You cannot show ads from providers other than WordAds (WP's ads) even in the paid plans. The good part here is that you only work with WordPress and no other entity.

WordPress.org is basically the entire "code" for running WordPress. It doesn't provide hosting so you can't sign up with only WordPress.org and have a website on the internet. You need a self-hosting service to host the WordPress.org code like BlueHost.

BlueHost is promoted as the best service to work with WordPress.org. You can choose to not use WordPress.org in BlueHost or run WordPress.org with another self-hosting service. This is a recommended pairing by WordPress.org but all the top hosting providers have special WordPress.org-integrated plans.

illustration of a person blogging in a cafe with an open book next to them and a cup of coffee

Now that we know what the services are, let's move on to the BlueHost review.


Pricing is the main consideration for any choice so let's dig into it first.

All of BlueHost's plans are discounted when you're buying for the first time. The discounts are present all year and I believe there are extra discounts during festivals or sales. You can choose to buy for one to three years. Obviously, you save the most if you buy 3 years at the beginning.

During renewal, the pricing is at the regular rate which is significantly higher. This applies to all hosting providers. Make sure to check the regular rate along with the initial rates. It's best to consider long-term when choosing your hosting provider. They may look affordable initially and be expensive later.

As inflation occurs around the world and prices of everything increase, the Bluehost prices increase over time too. The renewal cost that I had seen when I got the plan initially is less than the renewal cost right now. The rate of increase should be the same as other site providers, though. This is something we don't have control over.

Thankfully when the prices do increase, the new rates don't affect existing plans. They only affect during renewal.

For a blogger or site owner with one site, the BlueHost Basic plan is more than enough. As of Jan 2024, the Intro Basic plan is priced at 4.95 USD/month for the 36-month plan. That is roughly 411 INR. It renews at $9.99 (₹830)/month for the 36-month plan.

As you can see, that's a huge increase! Almost 3 times. If you're taking the plan for a smaller duration, the renewal price is higher. They are visible in small striked-off letters under the discounted price. It's easy to miss them.

BlueHost is sneaky because they have lower intro prices for the 12-month plan and higher renewal rates. When you're checking, be careful with what you see.

Compared to the other top hosting providers (SiteGround, Hostinger, DreamHost), BlueHost's intro price is mid-range and its renewal price is slightly lower (for the 36-month plans). Only DreamHost's renewal price is lower than BlueHost's.

If you're in India, you're in luck! BlueHost.in has lower prices than BlueHost.com. Initially, I was disheartened because it looked like all the providers weren't affordable. I didn't realize that the .com and .in sites have different prices.

BlueHost.in prices are in INR and they're much more wallet-friendly.

12 months intro price12 months renewal price36 months intro price36 months renewal price

Do you see the difference?! If you're in India, use the BlueHost.in plans. Otherwise, you'll have to pay more plus conversion charges. There is extra GST in BlueHost.in but it's still significantly lesser.

I signed up with BlueHost.in soon after finding out about the prices. It is much more affordable than the other options I was considering. SiteGround and LyricalHost were my other top contenders but they were too expensive without enough worthy features.

Note: Hostinger also has a .in domain. If you're considering Hostinger, see the .in instead of the .com.

While considering pricing, think about how much you can afford and whether you'll earn any of it back. If you're planning to monetize your site and are sure that you will get some income, you can go for a pricier plan.

I earned my hosting costs back within a year. If I knew I'd earn money, I would have raised my budget a little. It takes quite a bit of effort to earn, though.

For renewals, you can enable auto-renew or do it manually whenever. BlueHost sends a 60-day and 30-day reminder for domain registration renewals. It does NOT send reminders to renew your hosting plans (I checked. I should have gotten at least one by now).

No matter when you renew, the extension is from the current date of expiry. You don't have to wait until the last day to renew. You can renew even years in advance and it takes the current price.

an illustration drawing of a girl using her laptop


I'll be honest: I didn't explore all of the features provided by BlueHost. As a hobby blogger, I don't need all of them. I will share my experiences with the features I used.

Firstly, BlueHost is so easy. I've heard that other hosting providers are good too but I haven't worked with them. Even without something to compare to, BlueHost was easy.

Signing up, buying a plan, linking my existing WordPress account, and creating a site took minimal time. I set this blog up—including the themes, plugins, and customizations—in THREE days. (Read about my setup process here!) I don't think I stayed on the BlueHost dashboard for more than 10 minutes.

It has a very simple and easy-to-use dashboard. There aren't several options to create confusion. Everything is structured nicely and easy to find.

The integrated WordPress dashboard (not the regular WP dashboard) is really nice. Installing plugins and themes is easy. It lets me know if any plugins have to be updated. Even searching in and replying to comments is easier with it.

BlueHost provides out-of-the-box security options like SSL and domain protection. You can pay for it all together and when you renew, all your subscriptions get renewed.

It is one of the top providers in terms of performance, reliability, and uptime. They don't promise 100% uptime (neither does any other provider) but it is mostly reliable. The speed is pretty good, too.

Unfortunately, when issues occur, they're big ones. In my 1st year with BlueHost, the site went down a few times. Sometimes it showed a screen saying there was a database issue, other times the domain wouldn't respond at all.

In my 2nd year with BlueHost, my site started going down many times. It would go down for only a few minutes at a time but it happened a lot. After a few times, I contacted the support team. They said there's maintenance going on in my server and that it will be fixed soon, that I will be notified when it's done. It didn't happen soon, though.

When my site went down 9 times in a week, I had enough. It had been a month since the issue started. The instability was clearly affecting my revenue and multiple people had messaged me that my site was down at different times.

I contacted the support team again and wanted a clear ETA when it would be fixed. They didn't have one. After complaining for a bit and mentioning that my revenue was hit and that I'll move out of BlueHost, the agent suggested moving my site to a more stable server. I enquired about the downtime (15 minutes) and cost (none) and asked for it to be done.

After my site was moved to a stable server, there were no more issues. For the last year, the site was stable and caused me no issues. I received no reports or alerts of my site being down.

That's the best part about having WordPress/Jetpack integrated. Jetpack alerts you via email and app notification if the site goes down and when it comes back up. I wouldn't have known about the issues soon if it weren't for the alerts.

The only drawback with Jetpack is that it only recognizes if the URL is not responding. If the URL loads with an error screen, it doesn't send alerts. For a while, I checked my site several times a day to ensure there were no issues.

illustration of a person working on a laptop with coffee, books, plant, and airpods scattered around the laptop

As I mentioned before, we have access to the backend files and databases with self-hosting. Not everyone needs it but it's handy if you know what you're doing. Before I installed a plugin for it, I went into the files to set up a permanent redirection.

The cPanel in BlueHost has a ton of features. Other than editing files, you can set up and manage emails, check errors and metrics, use the terminal to execute commands directly in the server, create jobs, and more.

If you know software things (like Linux, PHP, SQL, etc.), there is so much that you can do. If you don't, you can hire a software developer to do all the customizations for you.

I won't lie, as a software developer, I feel like making use of all the options and trying things out. The only reason I'm not giving myself free reign is because I'm afraid I'll break the site. One day when I have time to fix things if anything goes wrong, I'll tinker with the options 😂

BlueHost allows you to create subdomains at no extra cost. For example, I set up newsletter.thewordyhabitat.com. You can display different things in the subdomains in case you want to.

BlueHost has a neat website builder as well. I've seen videos of it but haven't used it myself. It would be helpful for beginners.

My favourite feature is the staging environment within cPanel. A staging environment is basically a private replica of your live website where you can make changes without affecting the live site. When you're ready to reveal the changes, you can push it to the live site. The best part is that it doesn't require any extra payment.

The staging environment was super helpful when I revamped my blog. I didn't want to take my site down for a few days to revamp it as my SEO ranking and revenue would be affected. It was a big change as well because I was switching the design framework along with the theme. It could easily break my site.

When I made the change, it did break my site. Thankfully, I was in the staging environment and could take my time fixing it. When I was done with the changes and everything looked stable, I could smoothly make it live. You can read more about my experience with the staging environment here.

customer support/care

BlueHost has 24/7 support. I haven't called them at odd hours yet to test it but I have been able to get help before and after my work hours. It's helpful to have all-time customer support to address any issues like what I mentioned above.

They're available through chat and calls. I've mostly reached out through chat so that it's easier for me to wait while they check or fix things.

Since I signed up with BlueHost India, the customer support team has been all Indians. They're been very helpful. They're usually super polite and ready to help. Sometimes, an agent isn't knowledgeable about my query but they figure it out and get back to me.

Before I signed up with BlueHost.in, I had a couple of questions that I asked through chat. You don't have to be a paying customer to reach the support team. Talking to them while I was considering options was helpful because it assured me that I'd have good support with BlueHost.

After signing up with BH, I've reached out to support about any site issues. A couple of times, I reached out for help with site setup and they were quick to help me. Once, I tried to do something and it wasn't reflecting. The agent did it for me in a few minutes.

Once, an automatic WordPress version upgrade clashed with a plugin I had and broke my site. Jetpack notified me and I logged in to the dashboard in recovery mode to fix it. Unfortunately, I didn't know which plugin was the issue and didn't want to break it further. I reached out to support and they reverted the WordPress version to get my site back online fast. They advised me to turn off automatic updates just in case and back up my site often.

The support agents were always quick to resolve my issues and I've given high ratings to all of them. I'm not sure how they are in the US or other areas but I'm assuming they should be the same.

The only problem with BlueHost customer support is the time taken to connect to an agent. A few times, I gave up waiting after 15 minutes. They tell you how far you are in the waiting line but it's not easy to gauge the estimated waiting time from that.

All in all, I'd give a big thumbs up for this category. The waiting time is worth it if issues and queries are resolved immediately.

illustration of a person typing on a pink keyboard with a pink mouse kept next to the keyboard

who is BlueHost good for?

BlueHost is great for new bloggers or site owners. They make everything simple and have a great customer team to help.

It is more than enough for bloggers and small businesses. There is a lot of control but we don't need it. We get it all for the same cost. The features provided are good for bloggers. You can focus on your content and not worry about the hosting (most of the time). I haven't explored the other plans so it may be good for big websites too.

BlueHost is especially good for people with software knowledge or people who are hiring developers to build their sites. If you're a business owner with custom needs, built-in themes and options are often not good enough. You can easily hire web developers to work on your site and take advantage of the backend features provided.

summary / TL;DR

If you didn't read all of the information above, I understand you 😂 I tend to get wordy. Here's a summary of the main points:

  • Check both the introduction and renewal prices.
  • If you're in India, go for BlueHost India.
  • BlueHost provides all the necessary features & more.
  • It provides a staging environment.
  • The hosting is mostly reliable.
  • The customer support/care is great.
  • BlueHost is an ideal choice for bloggers, small businesses, and beginners.


Other than a few hiccups, BlueHost has been convenient for me.

  • As a hobby blogger, I'm able to focus on my content and not worry about the hosting.
  • As a computer science student and dreamer, I'm able to tinker with things to provide different things on my blog like the resource library. I have a space to experiment and learn.
  • As someone who earns through the site, I have everything I need to monetize without worry. The hosting is reliable enough and fast enough.
  • As an Indian, I find the BlueHost India prices affordable. If that wasn't an option, I might not have signed up with them.

I had considered moving away from BlueHost (DreamHost was my next choice) but close to the renewal time, I didn't want to spend the time on it. Migration between hosts takes time and effort and can break things. I want to focus on sharing my passions and creating good content.

My blog is a hobby that earns a bit. It's not my main career and I'm not looking to make it one. BlueHost works for my needs. If issues occur, I can easily call up the support team and get it fixed.

The point of a good hosting provider is to provide what's needed and not bother you otherwise. BlueHost does that. So, I renewed with them for another three years.

I highly recommend BlueHost for beginners and/or bloggers looking for self-hosting options.

bluehost review: pricing, support, my experience over 3 years

chat with me!

Are you considering self-hosting your blog/site? What options are you looking at?

If you're currently self-hosting, share your experience with your host in the comments! I'd love to know. Oh and if you have any points to add about BlueHost, do mention it.

photo of Sumedha

Sumedha spends her days reading books, bingeing Kdramas, drawing illustrations, and blogging while listening to Lo-Fi music. Read more ➔

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