A staple of the hosting market for the past 20-something years, Bluehost still provides affordable website hosting solutions. Are they any good? Short answer—it’s complicated. You can find the long answer in my full review.
In this post, I’ll guide you through the signup process, with screenshots and explanations for every step. Is it difficult? Well, one part was, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s begin.
Creating a New Account
My objective was to sign up to the basic WordPress plan and to do it quickly. From the main navigation bar, I hovered over WordPress and clicked on WordPress Hosting. The WordPress hosting page appeared before me:
Scrolling down, you’ll see a choice of three plans: Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus. Feature lists are short and easy to compare.
I selected the Basic plan. Why? Because if the basic plan isn’t enough for a basic site, it’s a host I just can’t recommend.
I was immediately transferred to the beginning of the signup process. I entered the domain name I purchased from a separate vendor and clicked Next.
Then I had to fill out my personal details. There’s an option to sign in with Google instead, but I don’t like sharing my account when it isn’t necessary. It’s a good practice to adopt if you want to maintain a certain degree of privacy.
Scrolling down from the personal details, it was time to check the included services. By default, the 36-month subscription was selected. The longer your plan term, the better the price. I selected the 12-month plan.
BlueHost added some extra services I never asked for: “SiteLock Security” and “Codeguard Basic.” Adding them will make your bottom line much more expensive, and you can always add them later, if need be.
The Office 365 Mailbox tempts you to check it, and it’s FREE! Nope. Not after 30 days it isn’t. Also, these “Package Extras” will not be reimbursed if you choose to use your money-back guarantee.
I unchecked all boxes and proceeded with the next step.
Success! I was welcomed to Bluehost. But wait, I needed to set a password? Who sets a password only after payment has been made? Confused, I clicked on.
Well, I chose a password to be done with it. A strong one, too. Then, I clicked on Create Account.
Error. Why was there an error trying to set my new password? Actually, what was my current password?
I’ll be honest, this was not a good way to start a long-lasting hosting relationship. The screen also offers no way of contacting support. I was left to figure this out myself, and I entered the password again.
Again, I got the error. Third time’s a charm? I entered a new password and received the same error.
Feeling something was amiss, I opened up another tab of Bluehost, and clicked Login up top. I entered my domain name and the last password I tried setting, and…
Voilà! I was in. This is where the website building starts.
Now, why did this error even show? Obviously, my password was set.
Honestly, I have no idea. If you read my full review, you’ll see that from here, the story only gets more complicated—and support was not exactly by my side.
It’s a Rocky Upsell Road, with a Bug to Top It Off
How do I sum up this signup process? Up until the very end, it was easy. The whole thing took seven minutes, the account was activated immediately after I finished, and my website was ready to use.
Still, I can’t say I’m happy with it. Two reasons:
First of all, the upsells. This is a wake-up call to all web hosts out there: when you try to upsell your customers, and especially when you preselect add-ons for them, you immediately seem less trustworthy.
You wouldn’t trust a supermarket that goes behind your back, putting extra groceries in your cart. This isn’t any different.
Second, that error at the end. A signup process should have zero errors. None. This is when you want to feel that you’re going to be in good hands. In the end, my account password was set, but it did nothing to earn my trust.
So there you have it! I would advise you to read about some other hosts, like Hostinger, and see for yourself how much better things can be.