- Number of TLDs available
- Security features
- Simple domain transfer policies
- Customer support
Number of TLDs Available
Bluehost offers up to 500 Top-Level Domains (TLDs), making them competitive among the popular Domain Name Sellers, some who offer over 500 names. In 2014, Bluehost added 60 additional nTLDs like .academy and .agency to their list. These domains cover many categories, including business, culture, education, food, real estate, lifestyle, music & art, travel & leisure, services, technology and shopping.
When buying a domain, Bluehost also offers customers a comprehensive list of privacy and security services. Here is a list of Bluehost's most impressive security features:
- WHOIS Domain Privacy: disguises your personal information on the public WHOIS database, protecting you from possible scammers, identity theft or spam. For this service, Bluehost charges $11.88/year. This price is more expensive than most companies who offer the exact same service but only charge on average $9.99/year. Some companies even offer free WHOIS privacy with the purchase of a new domain, making Bluehost inferior in this regard.
- Dedicated IP (Internet Protocol): is a unique Internet address dedicated exclusively to a single hosting account rather than a sharing one server with several IP addresses. This costs $5.99/month. If you purchase Bluehost's dedicated hosting services, the price for a dedicated IP drops to $2.50/month.
- SSL Certificates: SSL (Secure Socket Layer) creates a more secure connection between your website and server via authentication and the negotiation of an encryption algorithm and cryptographic keys. This costs $49.99/year. As a Bluehost customer, you have to utilize the SSL protocol with your domain, so the Bluehost server needs to have a Private (non-shared) SSL Certificate installed specifically for your domain. This can only be done if your account has a Dedicated IP address.
- SpamExperts Mail Filtering: BlueHost offers advanced filtering algorithms and spam pattern detection to eliminate 99.98% of all inbound, unsolicited bulk email. This saves time, eliminates wasted disk space and protects your hosting service from junk email and email threats. This costs customers $2.99/month for every domain name.
- SiteLock: Automatically scans your website for malware to ensure its not being blocked or spammed. Displaying the SiteLock certificate increases conversion rates on your site and gives your business instant credibility and trust in the eyes of customers. Pricing starts at $23.88/year for each domain.
- Site Backup and Restore: Automatically restores lost files, provides version control and downloads files to a .zip archive. This costs $35.88/year.
Due to the number of security features, Bluehost surpasses some of their competitors. Regarding pricing, Bluehost's WHOIS privacy is more expensive than most companies but they're in the minority for domain registrars that offer Dedicated IPs. Their pricing for SSL, however, is less than some competitors, who can charge at over $150.00 or more.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
When it comes to domain transfer, Bluehost has some limitations. For example, you can only transfer .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us, .info domains. While domain transfer typically takes 5-7 days with most domain registrars, Bluehost transfers can take up to 10 days. Also, if you recently created a domain within 60 days and choose to transfer it somewhere else within that 60 days, you will lose the year you just paid for. To avoid this, you will have to wait until the 60 days is over. The same applies to renewed domains, which have a 45 day waiting period. This can prove to be very inconvenient for domain name buyers-especially if you're a customer renewing your name. Other domain registrars do not hold this policy for renewed names. Domain Transfers only transfer your domain registration, it will not move your website files, emails, or databases. Once a transfer is started you cannot make any changes to your WHOIS database information, no contact changes and no name servers/dns changes. These policies are less convenient and more limiting and time-consuming than many domain name companies.
Bluehost tends to hold domain names hostage in cases of domain expiration.
In the case that a Domain expires, Bluehost will hold the expired Domain for up to 30 days as a courtesy and not as an obligation (contractual or otherwise). 30 days after expiration, the Domain will be placed in Redemption. During the Redemption period the Domain will be inaccessible and unable to be registered elsewhere. In order to bring a Domain out of Redemption, Subscriber must pay a Redemption Fee of $70.00, as well as a Renewal Fee of $15.99 for the current year.
- Registrars in general have a terrible reputation for holding names hostage, making it difficult to switch registrars if you become dissatisfied. Some charge exorbitant fees or create delays to avoid losing business.
- Please investigate if this applies to this company. Write information on anything you can find.
In the area of customer support, Bluehost offers assistance in 4 categories: phone, email, live chat and a support page. Here are the specifics:
Phone Support: Bluehost offers various toll-free numbers for specific types of support available 24/7. While many companies have only one phone number, Bluehost has a main phone number and an international phone number.
In addition to this, they have 24/7 phone numbers for: sales, tech support, account management and professional services. The sales category alone has 9 separate phone numbers, the tech support has 3 numbers while account management (with limited hours) has 6 numbers to choose from and professional services (with limited hours of Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm MT) offers 5 phone numbers in different categories. There is also a special number for Bluehost affiliates.
Email Support: Although Bluehost seems to prefer phone support, they offer several email addresses to contact for feedback, legal inquires and career opportunities.
Live Chat: Bluehost offers a Live Chat feature that allows customers to talk with them in real time in an instant messenger format.
Support Page: BlueHost also has a support page for self-help support with articles, guides, how-tos, instructions, and answers to customers' most frequently asked questions.
Compared to other domain name sellers, Bluehost is competitive with 24/7 phone service. There are some companies that don't offer phone service at all-or they offer limited hours. With more than 15 phone numbers, almost no domain company comes close to offering offer this many phone numbers for customer support.
Bluehost's live chat also shines because several competitors offer "live" chat that only functions as a support ticket form. One possible disadvantage is that does not offer a forum where customers can interact with Bluehost and each other to troubleshoot problems or ask questions, but their body of support service and availability far outweighs this feature.