The Truth About BlueHost

BlueHost Hosting Facts, Host Profile & Hosting Reviews

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Facts - BlueHost

By Mark Shroyer

We researched over 200 web hosts and narrowed it down to the best Web hosts called the "Web Host 'Straight A' HOT List." To qualify for this list we required each web host have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) at the time of our review. BBB ratings indicate how well companies have satisfied their customers and resolved complaints. The BBB rated BlueHost with an A.

But we did even further research.

Next, we emailed BlueHost twice with 40+ tough questions about their shared Web hosting. We wanted to check out their response time and the depth of their answers. Both times were during "off" hours. (i.e., First set of questions were emailed on a week night somewhere between 7 PM to midnight. The other set were emailed on a weekend.)

It took BlueHost 1 hour and 15 minutes to answer our first set of questions and 9 hours and 35 minutes to answer our second set. 24 hours or less for a response is considered quick by industry standards. BlueHost made the cut.

Here are the answers to our questions straight from BlueHost themselves:

  1. Question: How long have you been in business?

    Answer: 1996

  2. Question: What are all the different ways I can contact technical support? (i.e., Email? Support ticket? Help desk? Chat? Phone?)

    Answer: Ticket (which is email), Phone and Live Chat from our website.

  3. Question: Do you offer a simple user-friendly Web site builder for beginners to make creating web pages quicker and easier? (i.e., WYSIWYG online HTML Editor or something similar?)

    Answer: Yes we include several site builders including Concrete 5, Soho Launch, Live site, and trendy site builder.

  4. Question: On average how long should I expect to wait before I get a reply back from technical support on an urgent high priority request?

    Answer: For a ticket, we try to answer it in less than 30 minutes.

  5. Question: Will I share an IP number or will I have my own?

    Answer: By default you will be on a Shared IP address unless you order a Dedicated IP address. Those are $30 a year.

  6. Question: How many sites are currently running on the server I would be on?

    Answer: You can host unlimited sites.

  7. Question: How many sites do you normally put on one shared server?

    Answer: Well there are probably about 500-1400 accounts on a server. It could be a few thousand sites.

  8. Question: How do you decide what constitutes a full server?

    Answer: There are many things that contribute to deciding a server's capacity. We take number of accounts, number of websites, the server's hardware profile, and many other factors into account when determing the maximum for the server. Due to the variability, I won't be able to give you an exact number, but we do take the server's capacity very seriously. We would never overfill a server.

  9. Question: Will I be contacted in advance about routine maintenance?

    Answer: I am sorry we don't always send out a notification. The reason being is that maintenance might come up as a result of an update. I wouldn't want to mislead you to believe that we always send out a notification.

  10. Question: What is your bandwidth, transfer, file or hit limit?

    Answer: We have no hard number limit on bandwith. Our performance target goal for file count on an account is 50K files. The actual limit is 200K files. There is no hard limit on visitors.

  11. Question: Can I have telnet access?

    Answer: No I am sorry you wouldn't.

  12. Question: Is a CGI directory included?

    Answer: Yes there is.

  13. Question: Can I run CGI scripts outside of the CGI directory?

    Answer: Yes you sure can!

  14. Question: Is there a limit to how many scripts I can install?

    Answer: No there is no limit as how many scripts you can install per say.

  15. Question: Do you provide full shell access?

    Answer: It is not enabled by default. To enable SSH do one of the following to send a copy of the account holder's government issued photo ID (i.e. driver's license, passport, etc):

    * Fax - 1-801-765-1992 (make sure to include your main domain name on the document).

    * E-mail - Open a ticket attaching a photo ID. Click Here to open a ticket. Select the Sales option.

    * Upload your ID file to your hosting account and give us a link to the picture file with a ticket opened with above link.

  16. Question: What version of Perl do you use? Does it contain a full set of modules?

    Answer: Perl v5.8.8. Yes it contains a full set of modules.

  17. Question: Do you offer a Web statistics package?

    Answer: We have AWStats and Webalizer you can enable from cpanel>logs>choose stat programs to enable. To view cpanel>logs>AWStats or Webalizer.

  18. Question: Will I have access to the raw statistical log files?

    Answer: Yes you do have access to the raw log via cpanel>logs>raw files. Also you have the option to enable site stats AWStats and Webalizer.

  19. Question: Does the space used by my logs count against my allotted disk space?

    Answer: Yes they do factor in the overall file count.

  20. Question: How much space am I alotted for databases such as MySQL?

    Answer: Total database size should be under 3GB. Total number of tables should be under 1000 tables. A single database cannot be over 2GB

  21. Question: Do you offer Frontpage extensions?

    Answer: Yes we do support Frontpage extension.

  22. Question: Do you offer Secure Socket Layer?

    Answer: Yes we do.

  23. Question: How many email accounts, forwards, and email aliases can I have?

    Answer: You can have unlimited email addresses and forwarders (aliases).

  24. Question: Is sending to opt-in email lists allowed? (i.e., e-newsletters, autoresponders, etc.)

    Answer: Here are our email rules:

    1) No purchased lists. All people you send to MUST have contacted you directly & asked for the information you are sending.

    2) The list must be double opt in.

    3) You must have an automated opt out link.

    4) Any addresses that send a bounceback must be removed from the list.

  25. Question: How many emails can I send out per hour and day?

    Answer: The default email per is 150 email per hour. You can request to be raised to the maximum of 750 email per hour. No extra charge.

  26. Question: Is your package upgradable and what should I expect if I ever need to upgrade to a larger package?

    Answer: We only have the one package. We do not have different tiers or levels of service.

  27. Question: Do you have a money-back guarantee?

    Answer: Yes, anytime. If you cancel in the first 30 days it should be a full refund less the domain if canceled after 3 days. Day 4 the domain is officially registered, so you would be refunded the hosting minus the $10 for the domain.

  28. Question: What are your billing and cancellation policies?

    Answer: See 3. "CANCELLATION OF SERVICES - REFUND POLICY" under our terms of service at our web site. This explains our cancel and refund policy.

  29. Question: What is your acceptable usage policy in a nutshell?

    Answer: See 07."UNLIMITED" USAGE POLICIES AND DEFINITIONS under our terms of service at our web site.

    01.What "Unlimited" means
    This describes it best:

    "Bluehost.com does not set an arbitrary limit or cap on the amount of resources a single Subscriber can use. In good faith and subject to these Terms, Bluehost.com makes every commercially reasonable effort to provide its Subscribers with all the storage and bandwidth resources needed to power their web sites successfully, as long as the Subscriber's use of the service complies with these Terms. By not setting limits on key resources, we are able to provide simple, consistent pricing to our Subscribers as they grow their websites. As a result, a typical website may experience periods of great popularity and resulting increased storage without experiencing any associated increase in hosting charges."

  30. Question: Are there any penalties or fees for exceeding basic allocations and what should I expect if it accidentally happens? (i.e., Going over my bandwidth, etc.?)

    Answer: There are no fees associated with exceeding limits. If you reach the file count limit you will be notified by our Terms of Service Department to reduce the number of files. Our cpu limit is 7% of cpu. If you exceed the cpu limit, the site will remain up, but the site will be throttled. Throttling means their account would be moved to a single cpu core, instead of sharing from the cpu pool of 16 cores. This allows the customerís site to remain up without affecting other sites on the server.

    If user is causing a serious performance issue on the server they have the potential of being suspended until they resolve the issue that is harming the server.

  31. Question: Can I set up a free trial period?

    Answer: Billing is due upon sign up. You do have a 30 day full money back guarantee. No cancel fee. No contract. If you canceled early you would be refunded for any unused time.

  32. Question: How soon can I expect to obtain access to my Web site after I submit my order?

    Answer: Literally with in a few minutes.

  33. Question: Do you impose file size upload limits and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: We do not.

  34. Question: Do you impose any limits to how many files can be stored in a single sub-directory and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: It is not recommended to have more then 2500 files in a single directory just for the sake of your FTP client as it may make it time out.

  35. Question: Do you impose a size-load limit that a directory can have and, if so, what is it? (i.e., 100 MB worth of files per directory)

    Answer: No

  36. Question: Do you have any CPU, RAM, or Inode limits that I need to know about and stay under and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: We have a 200,000 inod limit (file/item). You can utilize up to 7% of a 16 core cpu. Which is an immense amount of power.

  37. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous HTTP connections there can be and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: There are no preset limitations

  38. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous PHP connections there can be and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: There is not.

  39. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous database connections there can be (i.e., MySQL, etc.) and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: It is 20.

  40. Question: Is there a limit to how many simultaneous FTP connections there can be and, if so, what are they?

    Answer: It is 8

  41. Question: Do you offer IMAP and, if so, is there any limits to how many IMAP connections I can have and what are they?

    Answer: There is no limit

  42. Question: What should I typically expect to happen if any of the limits above accidentally went over their limit? (i.e., Would my visitors see a message saying "account temporarily suspended" or what should I expect? Please elaborate.)

    Answer: No you would be throttled, nothing would be shut down you would just be jailed (limited) to a single core until your abuse stopped.

  43. Question: Do you offer ffmpeg for video conversion and video sharing? If so, are there any limitations and what are they?

    Answer: No that is not meant for shared hosting.

  44. Question: Do you host adult content or web sites?

    Answer: No.

  45. Question: How can I ensure your network and my (shared) IP address you give me won't get blocked or blacklisted as spam by ISP companies when I send and receive emails through your server?

    Answer: You can enable a service called sitelock.

  46. Question: Do you automatically make back up copies of all my files and, if so, how often, and is there any limits?

    Answer: We do make backups, WE do not guarantee to have a backup or the content of them. We should not be your only source of backup.

  47. Question: What is the typical procedure you recommend that I take (other than companies like PayPal) if I want to accept credit cards from my web site, and what do I need to know to make it happen and how much extra will it all cost?

    Answer: That is not something that we assist with. We have links to 3rd party merchant providers that you can work with.

  48. Question: How long will you give me to retrieve all my files if, for any reason, either one of us decides to terminate our service with each other?

    Answer: You would always be given 15 days.

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