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Best Bluehost alternatives: can you get more?


In this article, I am going to share 5 of the best Bluehost alternatives that will be a better fit for you. Additionally, I’ve discussed a few of Bluehost’s weak points that might lead you to search for said alternatives.

For almost 20 years, Bluehost has been the go-to web hosting provider for many. The host comes with pretty inclusive plans; it’s beginner-friendly, and let’s not forget that it’s one of WordPress’s officially recommended hosting solutions.

Nevertheless, while people have been flocking to Bluehost for years, the provider seems to have slept on its laurels and caught a few drawbacks on the way.

Sure, the provider is pretty good at what it does overall, but other players in the field have quite a few things to offer:

  • Lower initial and renewal prices,
  • Improved performance,
  • More elaborate security measures,
  • Simply more power.

If prioritize any of those things, I have prepared a list of the 5 best Bluehost alternatives, that are better than Bluehost in one way or the other. Here’s how they stack up:

Best Bluehost alternatives: ranked

  1. Hostinger – best Bluehost alternative for WordPress hosting
  2. Liquid Web – best Bluehost alternative for large-scale projects
  3. HostGator – best Bluehost alternative for small businesses
  4. DreamHost – best Bluehost alternative for an affordable hosting
  5. InterServer – best Bluehost alternative for cheap monthly billing

By the way, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 are coming! Get ready to score some of the best Black Friday/Cyber Monday web hosting deals this year.

1. Hostinger

Hostinger
FeaturesFree SSL, hPanel, and speed-oriented tools
Uptime100%
Speed511ms
Best forCheap and fast small-to-medium website hosting

Hostinger is living proof that you can do a lot of things for little money. The fees may tempt you to question its reliability. But rest assured that Hostinger’s affordable prices do not stand for low quality. This provider offers well-rounded services and is beginner-friendly.

So what does Hostinger actually include?

  • Hostinger has its own hosting and site management panel called hPanel. In terms of ease of use, it’s quite similar to cPanel used by Bluehost. So no matter your level of experience, you'll be able to navigate it easily.
  • The provider has a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which Bluehost lacks, so you can be sure that your site won’t go out for days.
  • Hostinger offers 4 different server locations to choose from with its shared hosting plans. You can either go with Netherlands, Lithuania, the USA, or Singapore.
  • Additionally, Hostinger is a very performance-oriented provider. It keeps its hardware and software up to date and integrates many advanced features, which make Hostinger able to handle traffic jumps without any trouble.
  • Lastly, the prices are some of the lowest in the market, with shared plans starting at only $1.39/mo.

The point is that Hostinger aligned all the planets so that you can create a fully functional website with little money and less effort.

Hostinger pricing

Hostinger delivers 3 shared hosting plans, as opposed to Bluehost’s 4. The Single shared hosting ($1.39/mo), the Premium package ($2.59/mo), and the Business plan ($4.99/mo).

On the other hand, Bluehost charges $2.95 (Basic), $5.45 (Plus & Choice Plus), and $9.50 (Pro).

Hostinger plans with prices

For an entry-level website, the plans above give you what you need. You get e-mail accounts, decent bandwidth, and good performance, plus a few other benefits like weekly backups and a free SSL certificate.

  • Single ($1.39/mo) – allows connecting 1 website, and includes 1 e-mail account, and bandwidth limited to 100GB. It’s enough for a personal blog.
  • Premium ($2.59/mo) – the difference between this and the first plan is that you receive unlimited bandwidth, databases, and twice the processing power, memory. Suitable for a personal blog with more traffic, portfolio, or for a freelancer.
  • Business ($4.99/mo) – this is Premium plus daily backups and 4 times the processing power and memory. Recommended for a heavier website.

The Premium and Business plans come with a free domain for the first year too.

Lastly, just like Bluehost, Hostinger offers the advertised prices only for the first installment. However, keep in mind, while the renewal rates are quite higher, they're not as steep as with Bluehost.

Best Value

To get the best price for a very well-packed plan, go with Premium. If you’re willing to commit for 4 years, the price will be only $2.59/mo or $124.32 in total.

Hostinger performance

Hostinger doesn’t fail to surprise with its performance results. For this part, I’ve tested the provider’s ability to handle heavy traffic on site.

I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) onto the site to see if Hostinger can handle it. Just a quick note, 50 new continuous users each minute for a month could come up to ~50 000 monthly visits.

And Hostinger handled the full 50 VUs, unlike Bluehost 15 VUs.

Hostinger stress test

Even the cheapest Hostinger’s plan can handle pretty intense traffic without any failed request (red line, which is, thankfully, nowhere to be found) or continuous slowdowns (blue line). At the same time, Bluehost’s can’t.

Also, Hostinger has 4 server locations with its shared hosting plans, whereas Bluehost doesn’t let you choose your server’s location at all.

The outline here is that Hostinger delivers reliable performance at low prices. It may have a few tricks up its sleeve, but at least its prices and performance are better than Bluehost.

2. Liquid Web

Liquid Web
FeaturesFully managed, security features, and InterWorx control panel
Uptime100%
Speed521ms
Best forLarge projects looking for dedicated resources and powerful servers

If you’re looking for more power for your larger-scale projects, Liquid Web is an excellent premium alternative to Bluehost that offers cloud hosting services. It mainly focuses on VPS, dedicated server, and managed WordPress hosting services and has no shared hosting options. This, overall, makes it a great Bluehost alternative for big projects.

So what can you expect from this provider?

  • One of Liquid Web’s defining characteristics is that it takes security seriously. All plans come with free SSL certificates, daily backups, integrated firewalls, dedicated IPs, DDoS attack protection, and other advanced features for server security.
  • As a fully managed web hosting provider, Liquid Web is very fast and easy to use. The provider keeps its software and hardware up to date, which guarantees fast loading speeds at all times. Additionally, for added ease of use, you can choose 1 out of 3 panels – InterWorx, Plesk, and cPanel/WHM.
  • The provider also offers a 100% uptime guarantee. While absolute 100% is not quite possible due to server maintenance and some other unexpected events, the host takes it upon itself to compensate you for any downtime.

Basically, Liquid Web wants to make sure that your project is 100% live and safe no matter what plan you decide to purchase.

Liquid Web pricing

When it comes to VPS hosting, Liquid Web comes with 4 plans for Linux with prices starting at $15/mo. In comparison, Bluehost offers 3 VPS plans In comparison, Bluehost offers 3 VPS plans at a lower pricing tier of $18.99/mo and $59.99/mo.

Liquid Web managed VPS pricing

Regardless of which plan you choose, all of them include 10TB of bandwidth, monitoring, a firewall, and DDoS protection.

While quite similar, here’s how the resources differ throughout from 2 to 8 vCPU, 40 to 200 GB SSD storage, and 2 to 16 RAM.

Briefly getting back to price, the provider has an introductory discount. This means that after the first installment, the price will get back to the original one, which won't have any increased renewal rates.

Best Value

Depending on your personal needs, you can opt for a plan that offers the best value for you. If you're not quite sure yet how many and what kind of resources you'll need, go with the 2GB RAM plan. By using our link, you can get a great introductory discount.

Liquid Web performance

When it comes to performance, Liquid Web does a very good job. To explore how much traffic can Liquid Web handle, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to my site to roam around for 5 minutes.

And let me tell you, the results were very good. The host handled the full 50 VUs test, which is not a joke as such continuous traffic could result in roughly 50 000 monthly visits. That is much better than Bluehost’s success at 15 VUs.

Liquid Web stress testing

While there were a few jumps in response time (blue line,) the provider crushed this test, no questions asked.

Lastly, if you’re wondering about server locations, know that Liquid Web has servers in the US and EU. To battle latency, choose the server closes to your audience.

The bottom line is that Liquid Web offers fully managed hosting solutions for users who need more in terms of performance and security.

3. HostGator

HostGator
FeaturesFree SSL and free domain
Uptime>99.99%
Speed525ms
Best forSmall-to-medium business websites or larger personal websites

When searching for Bluehost alternatives, you might want to consider HostGator too. While Bluehost and HostGator are highly similar, the latter cuts down on price and increases the ease of use. Affordable and resource-rich plans are what make HostGators such a good rival.

Let’s explore what HostGator has to offer:

  • To make hosting and website management that much easier, the provider uses a mix of native panel and cPanel integration. You can either set up your website through shortcuts to cPanel found in the native panel or go to the cPanel directly.
  • HostGator comes with a free website builder named Gator Builder. While the builder is very intuitive and easy to use, you will be able to create only a 6-page website with it. Keep in mind that the free website will have a small HostGator banner.
  • The provider includes all the necessary tools like a free domain, SSL, and email accounts with all its plans. You can rest assured that no extra expenses will be needed.
  • The provider also comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is slightly longer than the conventional 30-day money-back guarantee.

Basically, HostGator is a good choice, no matter the level of experience. Whether you are a beginner who wants to start a personal blog or an experienced user who wants to create a small business website, HostGator is the one for the job.

HostGator pricing

HostGator provides 3 shared hosting plans, as opposed to Bluehost’s 4. The Hatchling starts at $2.75/mo, the Baby plan at $3.50/mo, and the Business package starts at $5.25/mo.

Shared hosting prices with HostGator

All HostGator’s plans include a free domain and a free SSL. Here’s how they differ:

  • Hatchling ($2.75/mo) – you can host 1 website. Suitable for a personal blog, or portfolio for instance.
  • Baby($3.50/mo) – the difference here is that you can host connect unlimited domains and host unlimited websites.
  • Business ($5.25/mo) – what’s extra here: free upgrade to positive SSL, a free dedicated IP, and free SEO tools. It’s more suitable if you need more in terms of security.
Best Value

If you’re looking for a single website for personal use, consider the Hatchling plan. With a 36 month billing period, it’ll cost you $99 in total. Yet if you’re planning to run more than one site, Baby is the one for you.

HostGator performance

HostGator’s performance, without a doubt, was of the highest standards. To test its capabilities in performing under a lot of stress, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) onto the site.

50 VUs is pretty intense traffic that could overwhelm the server entirely. If 50 new visitors appeared on your site every minute for a month, you would have around 50 000 monthly visitors on your hands. Yeah, a lot.

But HostGator had no problems in handling such traffic it passed the full 50 VUs test successfully. This is much more intense than Bluehost’s 15 VUs.

HostGator stress test results

The response time (blue line) remained highly stable, with no signs of failure to be seen. Truly a powerful provider.

However, I must note that the host only has its data centers in the US, which is similarly limiting as Bluehost with its US-exclusive server locations.

In all seriousness, HostGator may fall under the same category as Bluehost, but it manages to bring more to the table in terms of performance. The plans are affordable and inclusive, and its website builder is a bit more potent.

4. DreamHost

DreamHost
FeaturesFree SSL, domain, native control panel
Uptime>99.99%
Speed231ms
Best forWordPress-focused business websites or blogs

DreamHost is a pretty straightforward alternative to Bluehost. The provider is highly WordPress-oriented and offers only 2 shared hosting plans, which are very affordable. Additionally, the provider puts ease of use at the forefront of its services with its native user management panel.

Here are the main features that make DreamHost a good Bluehost alternative:

  • DreamHost comes with its own custom control panel, and the user interface is very easy to use. You will be able to navigate it without getting lost, which is a plus for beginners. Managing all essential aspects of your website takes just a few minutes.
  • To make website creation that much easier, DreamHost includes a free WordPress-focused website builder. What this means is that the DreamHost’s builder is integrated as a plugin in your WordPress website.
  • While it’s pretty rare to have a 100% uptime guarantee for shared hosting plans, DreamHost offers exactly that. So while this is a little ambitious, you can be sure that your site will remain live longer than the average shared hosting website.
  • Lastly, compared to Bluehost’s pricing, DreamHost offers good monthly prices regardless of the billing period’s length. Starter plan retails for $4.95 with monthly billing, $2.95/mo with an annual, and $2.59/mo with a 3-year billing option.

Basically, DreamHost is affordable, reliable, easy to use, and it seems to have a solution for virtually everyone.

DreamHost pricing

DreamHost offers only 2 shared hosting plans. You have the Shared Starter ($2.59/mo) and Shared Unlimited ($3.95/mo). Bluehost has 4 plans and noticeably less reasonable prices.

DreamHost shared hosting plans

Both plans come with a free domain and its privacy, unlimited traffic, and a pre-installed WordPress. Not to mention that you can use a WP website builder, enjoy fast SSD storage, and a free SSL certificate. However, there are a few differences between the two.

  • Starter ($2.59/mo) – allows connecting only 1 website and if you want an e-mail account, you have to pay $1.67/month for it. But it’s ideal if you want a simple personal website.
  • Unlimited ($3.95/mo) – allows connecting unlimited websites, and includes a free e-mail account. You can use this plan to create a small business website.
Best Value

To secure the best value for money, give Unlimited a look. With a 3 year subscription, this plan will round up to only $142.20 in total.

DreamHost performance

Just like many other Bluehost alternatives on this list, DreamHost’s ability to perform under the stress was just as impressive. I’ve examined the provider’s limits by sending 50 Virtual Users (VUs) onto the site.

Being able to handle 50 VUs is a pretty good achievement as such traffic could easily crash the server and leave your site to sink. Well, that’s not the case with DreamHost. The host handled 50 VUs with no signs of struggle. Clearly, that’s not the limit here.

DreamHost stress test

The response time (blue line) did have a few jumps, but overall it had little impact on the performance as a whole. Much better results than with Bluehost.

And if it weren’t enough, DreamHost actually offers a 100% uptime guarantee. Plus, for each hour of downtime, DreamHost credits 1 day of hosting.

Lastly, I should point out that the provider does have data centers in the US alone. This means that the best performance results can be expected in North America too.

Overall, DreamHost is a reliable and affordable web hosting platform that offers inclusive plans, good prices, and simplicity above all. In my opinion, it’s a good alternative to Bluehost.

5. InterServer

InterServer
FeaturesFree SSL and cPanel
Uptime99.99%
Speed662ms
Best forSmaller sites looking for a month-to-month billing

InterServer is not a provider that you hear about a lot, but it offers well-rounded services at competitive prices. You can opt for shared, VPS, or private server hosting. With its ease of use and many resources, InterServer is suitable for both beginners and experienced users.

Here are a few more things that make InterServer a good alternative for Bluehost:

  • The provider uses cPanel for all website management tasks. cPanel is known for its simplicity, and it is favored by many. Even Bluehost uses it. However, only for more advanced tasks.
  • If you’re looking for a short-term commitment, InterServer offers monthly billing that will not break your bank. If you choose the monthly option, the first month will be only $2.50 and every other will come up to $7. Additionally, with a 6 month billing period, the initial price will be $15 in total and $42 for the next 6 months. That's just $4/mo. Bluehost, however, does not offer any monthly billing options – the shortest term is 12 months.
  • InterServer is mostly known as a no-nonsense provider. This means that each plan is just an upgraded version of the first one in terms of resources.

My point is that InterServer is affordable, and its plan seems to satisfy a wide range of needs. No flashy additional tools, just more server resources.

InterServer pricing

InterServer has 3 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $2.50/mo to $19.95/mo in comparison to Bluehost’s 4 plans.

InterServer shared hosting plans

Regardless of which plan you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy an unlimited number of websites and email addresses, as well as unmetered bandwidth and storage. More so, you’ll get a free SSL, CDN, automatic backup, and InterShield security package.

Here’s what differs: you can choose from 1 to 4 Cores and 2 to 8GB RAM.

If you are interested in scalability, know that InterServer offers VPS hosting, which starts at $6/mo. Much cheaper than Bluehost’s cheapest plan at $18.99/mo.

Best Value

Depending on how many cores or how much memory you need, choose a plan that seems to bring value to you. Keep in mind that the entry plan is more than enough for personal sites or small business websites. You can either choose an annual subscription cycle or a monthly billing option – both are highly affordable.

InterServer performance

When it comes to performance, InterServer did good but could do better. To really test its limits, I performed a stress test where I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) onto the site. And the results were interesting.

As 50 continuos VUs is pretty intense traffic, it’s not very surprising that a host could fail it. InterServer was not able to uphold such traffic. The first win was with 35 VUs.

InterServer stress test

While 35VUs is a good amount of traffic, this seems to be the absolute roof for InterServer’s entry plan. The response time (blue line) is all over the place, and there are 19 failed requests. It did handle 35 VUs, but that’s a stretch.

Lastly, the host has all its data centers in the US alone. Opt for this provider if your target audience is from here too.

Needless to say, InterServer is worthy of your attention. It’s cheap, it offers solutions for everyone, and its performance is reliable. I’d say that it gives great value for the money you spend.

Best Bluehost alternatives: final recommendations

Knowing Bluehost’s weak points helps to choose the best alternative for you. Maybe you’re looking for a lower price, more resources, or more power. Base your choice on your needs.

In the meantime, let’s take another look at the 5 best Bluehost alternatives and their strong points:

  • Hostinger is overall a cheaper, faster, and more reliable Bluehost alternative. The host has many data centers to choose from, can handle heavy traffic and the renewal rates are very reasonable.
  • Liquid Web is a premium VPS provider that offers much better performance and more resources for big projects. The provider packs more power offers dedicated resources.
  • HostGator is highly similar to Bluehost. Yet HostGator offers noticeably lower prices, increased ease of use, higher speed, and noticeably lower renewal rates.
  • DreamHost is a cheaper, more powerful, and reliable Bluehost alternative. The host offers very resource-rich plans that are reasonably priced for monthly as well as yearly billing.
  • InterServer is a no-nonsense hosting provider that overpowers Bluehost with its lower prices and generous resources. Its ease of use is also a factor that attracts many new users.

What’s wrong with Bluehost?

Saying that something’s wrong with Bluehost is a little far-fetched. The provider can satisfy a relatively wide range of needs. The problem is that it can do that up to a point. A point that may not be enough for some people.

There’s even an expression saying that good is only good enough until something better comes along. And that applies beautifully in Bluehost’s case. So, what’s wrong with Bluehost?

High renewal fees

The Bigfoot jump Bluehost makes from the initial purchase price to the renewal fee is inconvenient, to say the least. The first time you buy a shared hosting plan, prices start at $2.95 for Basic, $5.45 for Plus and Choice Plus, and $9.50 for Pro. How you get from those to $8.99, $11.99, $16.99, and $26.99, respectively, is beyond me.

Bluehost's renewal rates

Sure, I get it’s a tactic. Everyone does it. But a jump that high? Not cool, Bluehost! There are Bluehost alternatives that have cheaper renewal fees for sure.

Bluehost can handle relatively small traffic

Bluehost’s shared hosting plans don’t satisfy the needs of a popular, frequently visited website. To test how much traffic the provider can handle, I sent 50 Virtual Users (VUs) to the site for 5 minutes.

I should note that 50 new users each minute would result in a pretty intense monthly traffic of ~50 000 users.

This, however, was entirely too much for Bluehost's Basic plan.

Bluehost failed stress test

Out of 4077 requests made, more than half (2690 reqs) have failed to get delivered. Simply put, the server took an out with no signs of life. To see how much it actually can handle, I ran the test again until the first signs of success.

That was at 15 VUs.

Bluehost passed stress test

At this point, the provider did not fail once. And even though the response time could be better, you can still expect your site to handle up to ~15 000 monthly visits. A relatively popular blog, yet no large eCommerce.

Bluehost’s server location

While the host performs pretty well in the United States, that’s where its area of expertise ends. Bluehost’s data centers are located in the US alone. While this is no point of worry for anyone whose audiences reside in the US too, others might give this a second thought.

If your audience is far away from the server, where your website is located, the data to and from the server has to travel a long distance. The long distance equals a long wait time, and that means high bounce rates. So, if your audience is from Europe, Asia, Africa, or Australia (haven’t seen server locations in Antarctica yet), you should opt for a different host.

However, if you have visitors from the US as well as somewhere else, you can enable Bluehost’s free Cloudflare CDN integration. If you choose to use it, your content can be cached on over 200 servers worldwide. While this does not change the actual server, it still helps to perform faster in other regions of the world.

Overall, I have to say that all the drawbacks above are not significant enough to not use Bluehost altogether. It can be the right choice for beginners or small websites. However, if you want to take it up a notch, the provider’s alternatives above should be a better fit.

Best Bluehost alternatives FAQs

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