Bluehost vs WordPress: which one comes out ahead?
Both Bluehost and WordPress are well-known providers in the hosting industry. Yet, they’re very much different in terms of functionalities, the features they offer, and more. So if you’re trying to choose between them, there are quite some differences you should take into consideration.
Both services are great for easy hosting management. That being said, Bluehost is more suitable for professional users, while WordPress is excellent for beginners. Plus, Bluehost offers more security features, while with WordPress, you’d need to search for additional features in the plugin store.
This Bluehost and WordPress comparison will put these two services together to help you make an informed decision. We’ll compare their pricing options, security and marketing features, ease of use, interfaces, and more.
Note: There are two WordPress options out there –.com and .org. WordPress.com is a service we’ll be reviewing in this comparison. It helps you build a site using the WordPress software, while with WordPress.org, you’ll have to get a third-party hosting service and build the site yourself.
Bluehost vs WordPress: overview
|💵 Price:||From $2.65/month||From $4/month|
|📑 Uptime guarantee:||None||99.999%|
|🔥 Coupons:||Bluehost coupon 78% OFF!||Get up to 43% OFF Wordpress!|
|☁️ Storage space (from):||10 GB SSD||50GB|
|🌐 Free domain (first year):||Yes||Yes|
|🔒 Free SSL certificate:||Yes (first year)||Yes|
|➡️ Site migration:||Free WordPress migration (1 site) or paid (up to 5 sites)||Free WordPress migration|
|💾 Automated backups:||Daily Website Backups (Free 1st year), not with Basic Plan||Yes|
|📧 Email accounts:||Free (up to 10 accounts)||Unlimited (paid)|
|👨💻 24/7 live support:||Yes||Yes|
|💰 Money-back guarantee:||30-day||96-hour for new domain registrations, 7-day for monthly plans, 14-day for annual plans|
How we compared these two platforms
We researched and tested Bluehost vs WordPress according to various criteria to help you make the right purchase based on your needs. Here are the main criteria we covered in this comparison:
- Ease of use. Some hosts are harder to figure out than others. We test the editors to find out whether it’s a beginner-friendly solution or if it’s meant for advanced users.
- Features. We review what features each provider offers, including marketing, business, e-commerce, and SEO tools. However, this part depends strictly on your needs.
- Performance. We did performance tests and evaluated loading speeds as well as overall responsiveness to see which host is faster.
- Price. We evaluated the price-to-value ratio of each host to see which one offers better prices.
- Scalability. We check the types of plans that these hosting providers offer and whether there are upgrading options that they offer in case you run out of resources.
Bluehost vs WordPress pricing
Bluehost is much cheaper than WordPress when it comes to their shared hosting plans. The provider’s prices range from just $2.65/month to $9.95/month. Meanwhile, WordPress.com paid plans start at $4.00/month and go all the way up to $45/month.
Let’s start with Bluehost, which offers 4 hosting packages:
- Basic – from $2.65/month
- Plus – from $4.95/month
- Choice Plus – from $4.95/month
- Pro – from $9.95/month
Bluehost plans are feature and resource-loaded, ensuring a great kick-start no matter which one you pick. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee as well, so you’re not required to instantly commit long term.
- If you want to snatch the best deals, check out all of our constantly updated Bluehost coupon codes
If you’re planning to make a small portfolio, the Basic plan will do the trick. However, you’ll quickly run out of storage, so the Plus plan is more suitable for bigger projects. It allows you to host unlimited websites and comes with unlimited storage. The Choice Plus plan adds on domain privacy, while the Pro plan includes automated backups and a dedicated IP.
Moving on, WordPress has 4 paid plans in addition to a single free one. Here are what the premium plans look like:
- Personal – from $4.00/month
- Premium – from $8.00/month
- Business – from $25.00/month
- eCommerce – from $45/month
WordPress is less generous when it comes to resources in different plans. To compare, the cheapest plan of WordPress ($4.00/month) comes with only 6GB of storage, while Bluehost’s ($2.65/month) – 50GB. Plus, the thing that was a huge drawback for us was that the WordPress logo is only removed if you purchase the more expensive Business plan.
The upside of WordPress is that unlike Bluehost, it provides you with a free plan to test things out. You even get 1GB of storage, SSL certificate, and free themes.
Every premium plan of WordPress comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
That being said, what you get with Bluehost is much more worth getting considering you get more benefits for a smaller price.
Bluehost vs WordPress: ease of use
Bluehost and WordPress.com have no issues when it comes to ease of use. WordPress.com is slightly easier to use since it doesn’t involve any hosting-related features, such as CMS installation or domain and SSL certificate setup.
Meanwhile, Bluehost provides you with more freedom management-wise, but that doesn’t make it beginner-unfriendly. With this provider, you’ll have to set up WordPress first, while with WordPress.com, you can jump straight into website building.
Overall, the best advice is simply to choose what you feel better fits your needs. But we have to notice that WordPress.com just makes things a little easier and straightforward.
The registration process with Bluehost is very simple and straightforward. All you have to do is pick a plan. Then, you’ll have to provide your account details and pick extra features such as Codeguard Basic Yoast SEO Premium, or SiteLock Security. Lastly, you’ll have to provide payment information, and that’s it.
Once you’re all done with the setup, you’ll be redirected to Bluehost’s user interface. You’ll find that it’s very organized and even comes with a checklist of steps you need to take to create a WordPress website. You can manage all the main features here, including domains, email accounts, an SSL certificate, and plugins.
Bluehost also includes an intuitive cPanel control panel. This panel is meant for more advanced settings, like managing your databases or files and adjusting security measures.
This is the place where you also get the one-click WordPress installation feature. You have to add a site and click Install WordPress – it doesn’t get easier than this. Not to mention that Bluehost has loads of guides as well as videos to help you set your WordPress site up.
WordPress was made for beginners – but you’ll still have to go through a learning curve, even if it’s an easy one. To sign up, you’ll simply start by getting a domain and choosing a plan. After completing the purchase, you’ll be sent straight to the WordPress dashboard.
The interface is filled with elements, giving much freedom for customization. Considering that all main elements are neatly displayed on the left side of the dashboard, you won’t have trouble finding what you need.
You can start exploring by picking a theme for your site. There are thousands of options ranging from $20 to $100, but you can also find some basic free ones.
Meanwhile, the Gutenberg editor of WordPress allows you to customize your site using blocks. This gives you much more flexibility and makes it much easier to create a modern site.
However, keep in mind that Wordpress.com is a simple interface meant for customizing how your site looks. So you won’t be able access staging features, file databases, or similar features.
So, if you prefer more control over your site, note that WordPress.com lacks flexibility which could become a source of frustration. But if you simply wish to just create and release content, WordPress.com could save you some time.
Bluehost vs WordPress performance
In terms of performance, the Bluehost vs WordPress.com race is a tight one. After a few performance tests, it became clear that both are very reliable and fast. However, WordPress.com did demonstrate a slightly more reliable uptime, faster response time, while Bluehost single-handedly won in terms of site loading speed.
Uptime and response time
We monitored Bluehost for around 2 months and WordPress.com – around a month, to see how they fare. Both platforms performed extremely well, with WordPress.com having a slight edge over Bluehost.
To start, Bluehost proved to be extremely reliable. Our server saw a 99.99% uptime for well over 2 months, which is close to perfect. Sure, there were 11 minutes of downtime during our observation time. But, this is to be expected from shared hosting, so we're more than willing to overlook it.
Bluehost also did extremely well with response times, averaging at 361ms – well below the market’s average of 600ms. If it weren’t for a single jump midway through, the result would’ve been even more impressive. To know more about the host’s performance, visit our Bluehost review.
As for WordPress, the builder is rock-solid when it comes to reliability. In a month’s time, our site maintained a flawless uptime of 100%. Of course, this perfection isn’t feasible in the long term, but it does speak volumes about WordPress’ reliability.
Not a one-trick pony, WordPress also had excellent response times that averaged out to a very speedy 311ms – barely a half of the market’s average of 600ms, too.
Our one concern here is that both Bluehost and WordPress don’t have an uptime guarantee etched in their SLAs. This could spell trouble as you’d be left without any avenues for compensation if their servers were to go down for an extended period.
However, ultimately, both Bluehost and WordPress.com knocked it out of the park when it comes to reliability and response times. However, WordPress.com performed slightly better with 100% uptime and a fast 311ms average response time.
To find out how fast the providers are when loading fully built websites, I also ran a page loading speed test. To create equal conditions, both sites are hosted and tested from the US.
Now it’s also worth mentioning that Bluehost hosts all its sites in the US alone while offering a free Cloudflare CDN, while WordPress.com uses a more advanced network straight out of the box.
Before we go any further, here are the 2 main measures I’ll be examining:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this signifies the time it took to load the biggest element on your site. For better search engine search result page rankings, aim for a time that’s under 2.5s.
- Fully Loaded Time – as its name gives away, this shows the time it takes for your site to be fully loaded. For the best user experience, you want to keep this under 3s.
These tests were performed using the GTmetrix tool that monitors your site and gives you a summarized report about your project’s performance.
Let’s take a look at how WordPress hosting vs Bluehost fare:
With Bluehost, its LCP and fully loaded time took the same amount of time: 1.8s. By keeping both measures under the benchmarks of 2.5s, Bluehost proved to be a speedy hosting provider. Your site visitor won’t have to worry about a long load time.
On the other side of the race is WordPress.com was a little more contrasting. The provider has shown a very speedy 1.5c LCP, which is noticeably faster than the undesired 2.5 seconds.
However, the builder’s fully loaded time dragged behind at 3.1s. While 3.1s is only 100ms slower than the 3s benchmark, we'll be keeping a close eye on this to see if this is just a fluke or an indication of troubles to come.
In brief, in terms of site loading speed, Bluehost took a lead and presented a website quickly.
Bluehost has quite a few marketing features in its arsenal to optimize your project. Here’s what you can expect to get with this provider:
- SEO Toolkit. Bluehost offers a tool for any user to dive into the SEO world themselves. It costs anywhere from $5.95/month and gives you a plan as well as tracks your progress.
- Google Ads. Bluehost offers an intuitive platform that helps easily set up Google Ads, track ads, and do A/B testing.
- Google My Business. This platform makes it easy to get your business on Google Maps. Bluehost lets you set it up straight from your hosting account.
WordPress, on the other hand, doesn’t really come with loads of business features. Yet, it does have a massive plugin store that you can use to find exactly what you need. Here are some plugins for different needs:
- SEO. You can use such SEO plugins as Yoast SEO and All in One SEO for optimizing your site for search engines.
- eCommerce. To build a fully-functioning eCommerce site, you can use the popular WooCommerce plugin.
So if you want a provider that has all the features already included, Bluehost is the way to go. But if you’d rather have a whole plugin store to choose exactly what you need, WordPress is what you’re looking for.
When comparing WordPress vs Bluehost security-wise, WordPress is slightly more well-rounded with its measures in that it has firewalls for all of its plans. However, unfortunately, the full stack isn’t available for both platforms – especially if you’re on their cheaper plans.
Let’s start with the similarities. Here’s what Bluehost and WordPress have in common:
- SSL certificates – Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates to protect personal and payment information as well as other sensitive data with encrypted connections.
- DDoS protection – security against a malicious attack where your site is flooded with traffic to disrupt it.
- Backup and recovery – Bluehost and WordPress offer daily automatic backup and easy recovery for their premium plans.
- Control Site Access – with both WordPress.com and Bluehost’s WordPress, you can assign different roles to users so that you always know who has access to what.
- Two-Factor Authentication – both providers offer multiple-step authentication using mobile. However, Bluehost also allows email setup.
- Anti-spam features – Bluehost offers SpamAssassin to protect your email accounts at all times. With WordPress, you can only get plugins for this security measure.
Now, let’s take a look at how Bluehost’s and WordPress’ offerings differ from each other. Alongside the above mentioned free features, Bluehost also offers a few more security measures for an extra cost:
- Daily backup, monitoring, and restoration of your site via CodeGuard for $2.99/month or free with Choice Plus and Pro plans,
- Monitoring and prevention of malicious software and attacks via SiteLock for $2.99/month,
- Domain privacy for $0.99/month.
Contrastingly, we expected more security measures from WordPress. After all, the builder doesn’t allow custom plugins or code for its Free, Personal, and Premium plans, which means that you have to put the safety of your site in WordPress’ hands. Plus, most website builders usually take care of all aspects of security for their users.
However, alas, WordPress doesn’t really offer all that much more:
- Firewalls – the builder has firewalls in place for all of its plans. Also, note that it doesn’t support or allow the addition of custom firewall rules.
- Automatic updates and malware scanning – if you have its Business or eCommerce plans, both of which allow custom code including plugins and themes, WordPress will perform automatic updates for all your plugins and themes. Additionally, the builder will clean any malware found on your site by removing the compromised files and will also notify you via email.
Overall, Bluehost and WordPress.com’s security measures are underwhelming and suitable for both beginner and intermediate users. But while Bluehost appears less comprehensive than WordPress, it’s worth remembering that you can make up for its shortcomings with third-party plugins – many of which are free. Meanwhile, you’ll only have this option for WordPress if you’re on its premium plans.
Both Bluehost and WordPress have great scalability options. Whichever provider you choose, you can be guaranteed that there will be plans for upgrading.
Starting from Bluehost, you get 100GB storage and ability to create 2 websites with the Online Store plan. The most expensive plan, the Pro option, lets you create as many projects as you want. Plus, you also get daily website backups so that if anything goes wrong, you can fix it in a matter of minutes.
As for WordPress, it has loads of subscription options no matter the business size. The Business plan is a great kick-start for medium-sized projects that comes with all the essentials. If you plan on opening an online store, the Commerce plan is even better. There’s no transaction fees for payments, and you get all commerce features ready for usage.
Lastly, even if you grow out the Commerce plan, you can get the Enterprise plan that’s used by popular brands such as Slack, Disney, and more. It allows you to scale to billions of users, providing enough resources for any business.
Overall, both services come with many upgrade options for different business sizes. However, WordPress even has options for enterprises, catering for billions of visitors.
Both Bluehost and WordPress offer live chat, email support and informative knowledge bases. That being said, only Bluehost offers a phone line support for its users.
Another difference between these two providers is that Bluehost offers round-the-clock live chat support every single day. Meanwhile, WordPress only offers it from Monday to Friday.
We put both providers’ customer support agents to a test. Turned out, both of them were very professional and helpful. We had zero issues or complaints about the services. Not to mention that the reply time was fast as well – from 1 to 3 minutes.
Bluehost vs WordPress: final recommendations
Bluehost is a more comprehensive service than WordPress.com since it comes at much cheaper prices (starting from $2.65/month compared to WordPress and its $4.00/month) and ensures much more comprehensive security features. Plus, it even has more customer support options, including a phone line and 24/7 live chat.
Meanwhile, WordPress is an easy to use provider that is ideal for beginners. Yet, you have to invest in more expensive premium plans to even get the necessary security or marketing plugins. And you’d only be able to reach customer support during work days. But the performance aspect is excellent, ensuring a smooth experience.
Overall, Bluehost provides you better value for your money. That being said, WordPress is still a high-quality service that’s suitable for novices. But it lacks the affordability and features that Bluehost promises.
However, WordPress.com could still be a good platform for those who want an easy fuss-free website and have no intention to scale. It’s also a good option if you just want to get a site up quickly.
Alternatives to Bluehost and WordPress
While both Bluehost and WordPress.com are great candidates for easy website creation, there is an abundance of great hosting providers to choose from. Especially when it comes to WordPress.org hosting, there are 2 great alternatives - a budget-friendly Hostinger and a premium SiteGround.
Hostinger is a very budget-friendly website hosting solution, with prices starting at just $1.79/month. However, do not be mistaken by the low price point. The host comes with an easy-to-use hPanel, great performance, and many WordPress optimizations like the newest PHP version and a LiteSpeed web server.
If you're looking for a cheap and performance-oriented host, Hostinger just might be it for you.
SiteGround is a slightly more premium yet very powerful hosting provider with many advanced features. With prices starting at $2.99/month, SiteGround comes bearing good performance, an extensive set of security features, the newest software/ hardware, as well as many in-house developed features to optimize the WordPress site performance.
If you're looking for a secure, fast, and highly functional hosting provider, SiteGround is worth a look.
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Bluehost vs WordPress FAQ
Is Bluehost the same as WordPress?
No, Bluehost is not the same as WordPress. Bluehost is a hosting provider that hosts WordPress.org content management system, while WordPress.com is a self-hosted platform.
Is WordPress free with Bluehost?
Yes, WordPress.org is free with Bluehost. While you do have to pay for your Bluehost plan’s resources and features, you can install WordPress.org without any additional costs.
Can WordPress host my website?
Yes, you can host your site on WordPress.com. It has a flexible pricing scheme, including a free plan. With WordPress.com, you won’t need to purchase a domain and the platform will always be updated without the need of your interference.
Is Bluehost good for blogging?
Bluehost is suitable for blogging. It’s very cheap and allows you to connect a domain for free. Plus, it guarantees excellent performance, all essential features, and a one-click WordPress installation process.
Do I need both Bluehost and WordPress?
No, you can successfully use either Bluehost or WordPress alone. Bluehost is a hosting service, while WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that lets you host sites. So you can use WordPress without buying any additional services. Meanwhile, if you purchase Bluehost, you’ll also get a free website builder.