Bluehost is one of the popular hosting companies recommended by WordPress from 2005 and offers variety of hosting services to site owners. Bluehost shared hosting plan is one of the popular package mostly preferred by bloggers due to the nominal price range. Since bloggers may not afford high hosting cost during the initial phase of site building they tend to choose shared hosting servers from companies like Bluehost. When you are registering with Bluehost for a new hosting account they offer a bundled package including two additional add-on services.
Bluehost Registration Package
Generally, Bluehost offers shared hosting registration package with add-ons. It consists of the following two services (in addition to the basic hosting plan with cPanel access):
- SiteLock Essentials for security
- CodeGuard Backup for website backup and restore
- Bluehost SEO Tools – search optimization tools
You may get confused with these additional add-ons offer that will show higher price. In this article we will discuss whether you need those add-ons or ignore them to go for only the hosting plan.
CodeGuard Site Backup
Bluehost was earlier offering Site Backup Pro with yearly, monthly and daily backup plans. Currently, they changed the service name to CodeGuard with similar functions. It stores the files on the same Bluehost shared server where your live site content is also stored. It costs $2.99 per month when you want to buy it as an additional add-on service and backup databases, emails site files and the whole cPanel on daily basis.
Now that it may look attractive compared with the similar backup services available on market but the fact is really NOT! After using a while we found the following problems with site backup offered with Bluehost shared hosting services:
- The backup file can’t be extracted both in Mac and Windows based PCs with always showing errors like below. This is definitely not an issue with archive utility, but the file is corrupted may be with the long unsupported file names.
- We also noticed the media files though in the backup never get downloaded to local PC.
- In case of any issues on server, the backup files will also get affected since they are also stored on the same server.
- There is no automatic cloud backup or sending files to Dropbox or any other cloud based storages for local using. The only possibility is to manually download the files from cPanel.
In our opinion it is not worth of taking such a risk on site backup files after spending money for this service. We use FTP to download database and site files which is a free and best manual way to download files to local storage.
The second add-on is the SiteLock security to protect your site from vulnerabilities. It helps you to scan for malware and remove them if found. The plan offered with shared hosting pack is called “Basic Protection” which is the lowest level of all premium plans. It has very limited features and you need to upgrade to get additional features.
With the very limited features, we do not see the need of buying SiteLock security along with Bluehost shared hosting plan. If you are using WordPress, there are many security plugins you can use for free or lower than $3.99 per month.
Learn WordPress: Check out 500+ free WordPress tutorials.
Bluehost SEO Tools
Bluehost SEO tools help you to manage website submissions to search engines like Google and Bing. In addition, you can get customized marketing report and a keyword discovery tool. There are hundreds of free and premium services available for this purpose. You can ignore Bluehost package and go for third-party solutions.
Price Without Add-ons
As you can see in the above screenshot, the total price of the hosting including the add-ons package is $285.60. However, after disabling the pre-selected add-ons (basically uncheck all) the final price is $106.20.
That is almost $180 less!!! Most importantly, these add-ons are offered on monthly subscription basis that you need to renew for the same or higher price.
Bluehost shared hosting is definitely a competitive plan for starters having a small site. But we do not recommend going for any of the add-on services like CodeGuard backup and Site Lock security. You can buy these add-ons from the more worthy services available in market. Therefore, ensure to uncheck all these services under “Recommended For You” section and buy only hosting plan. If you do not want to continue Bluehost, learn how to cancel auto renewal in Bluehost to avoid billing.