Next up in our series of comparison articles is one that has been highly requested, Bluehost vs Wix. Both of these services offer something that’s in the same ballpark, but when you really dig in to the nuts and bolts, they’re quite different overall. Not only is one of them much more affordable and a much better value, but it also gives you infinitely more control over your site, and doesn’t lock you in to using one webhost.
With one of these choices, you’re basically building your empire on someone else’s property and hoping for the best, but with our top pick you have the freedom and control to do whatever you want with your site. Want to change hosts a year from now? No problem! So, let’s compare these two types of hosting for making your website, we’ll go over the pros and cons, and by the end it’ll be pretty clear which one we recommend.
Do you 100% need to take our recommendation? Definitely not! If the other option sounds like a better fit for YOU, then that’s the way to go! Everyone is different, and they have different needs, but in this case we’re confidant there’s a pretty clear winner, all things considered.
What’s The Difference Between Bluehost and Wix?
Wix is a platform for building your site where it’s hosted on their servers. Back in the day, when setting up your own server was a difficult task, this type of service was a lot more useful. These days, setting up your own server that you can control over (Bluehost, for example) is dead-simple, so the pros and cons between something like Wix where they control it, and having a server that you control like Bluehost, are a little more skewed.
Previously, the pros of Wix might outweigh the cons like being entirely reliant on them, but these days – it’s hard to recommend a service that locks you in and doesn’t give you complete control.
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to basically looking at Wix’s hosting (where they have their own sitebuilder and platform), and Bluehost’s hosting where you can install any type of apps and content management systems that you want but we’re going to be focusing on WordPress on Bluehost in particular. With Wix, you’re locked in to their site builder. With Bluehost, you can use any number of different options to build your site, but WordPress is by far the most popular, the most well-supported, and also one of the easiest to use, and it’s super versatile.
To make the main differences very clear:
- WIX hosts your site, and has their own proprietary site-builder which you have to use to add new content, edit pages, and so on.
- BLUEHOST hosts your site, and you can use any number of different content builders, including WORDPRESS.
- Also, not that there’s anything to suggest this is going to happen, but if Wix were to close up shop some day, you’d be SOL. With Bluehost on the other hand, you can take your WordPress installation files to any other popular host out there and carry on as usual. There are tons of webhosts that you can switch to from Bluehost if you ever need to, whereas with Wix you’re kind of locked into their platform and if you want to switch, you’ll more or less have to start over from scratch.
- As far as pricing is concerned, you get a lot more for your money with Bluehost.
- In this case, the point goes to Bluehost because it’s just a more wide-open platform. You can do a lot more with it, and you have a lot more control, and your website is a lot more futureproof. Also, Bluehost works very closely with WordPress and even has fulltime employees working on WordPress itself, showing a strong dedication and commitment to this platform.
- If you don’t understand some of the more technical stuff, that’s totally fine, because both hosts can help you out as far as that goes. In either case, hopefully we’ve done a good job illustration the differences so far in this overview, now let’s dig in a little bit deeper to other aspects of both hosts that are important to consider.
Comparing Their Hosting Plans
Let’s compare the plans offered by Bluehost and by Wix. Since these are two different styles of service, even thuoght they both accomplish the same goal of giving you a website, we’ll make a point to highlight the most relevant differences and similarities.
Wix Plans and Prices
They also offer a $5/mo plan, but it forces you to display ads for Wix on it and that’s not even an option in our minds, you should have total control over your site – don’t get a plan that you have to pay for and forces you to advertise for them, it’s just not worth it.
Looking at the combo plan, 2GB of bandwidth isn’t very much at all, especially depending on how well their templates are optimized – since once again, you don’t really have any control over that. Some of their templates are pretty flashy, so you’re going to run up that bandwidth number pretty quickly. You need to get into the $15+/mo plans until you hit unlimited bandwidth (Although they do have promotions on those from time to time, as illustrated above.)
You need at least the $17 regular priced eCommerce plan if you want to sell things on your website, and if you want to get a faster response from their support staff, you’re looking at $25 per month.
Generally speaking, for what you get, this all feels pretty pricey and proprietary. We can do better…
Bluehost Plans and Prices
Bluehost is quite a bit cheaper, especially with their promotional prices that you can lock in for a set amount of time when you sign up. If you only have one site, you can grab the Basic plan, if you have multiple sites that you want to make and host: the savings compared to Wix really start to become obvious. Wix gives you one site, but with Bluehost’s Plus or Prime plans, you can host as many different sites and domains as you want, so the savings magnify themselves.
We’ve gone over Bluehost in a lot more details in our Bluehost review, so make sure you check that out to learn more about them, but if you’re still deciding between Bluehost and Wix let’s cut right to the chase: Bluehost is the way to go for a plethora of reasons. Now, if you want to really dig into more details, keep reading…
Templates and Style Options (Making Your Site Look AMAZING)
Since Bluehost allows you to host your very own installation of WordPress (And makes it SUPER easy to setup), you basically have an unlimited amount of templates to choose from. There are so many WordPress themes out there, that you’ll be able to find the perfect one. There are free templates for WordPress, and premium paid ones.
Also, you can have a designer and developer create one for you from scratch to your exact specifications, or simply have somebody edit an existing WordPress template to match your site. With a lot of different themese for WordPress, there are really easy to use control panels so that you can edit them yourself using a menu without even having to know any programming code.
With Wix, there are also many themes and templates to choose from. There are free ones you can try out, and ones that require you to have a more expensive plan (For example, the eCommerce plan for $17/mo.) With WordPress on Bluehost, you don’t have to pay a higher price if you want to use an eCommerce theme, you just have to choose the one that suits you, and it’s usually just a one-time payment, or you can choose a free one.
With Wix, you’re looking at paying a higher price either way for the ability to choose themes for online stores, and you definitely don’t have the same control or customization as you do.
Comparing Their Support Options
One aspect that can really make or break a hosting company is how good their technical support staff is.
It’s a little bit like apples and oranges here, because Bluehost’s support has to be trained to cover a lot more than Wix because Bluehost’s service is a lot more versatile. Wix is more specialized, which has pros and cons (We’re leaning more towards cons than pros, frankly, for the reasons we’ve discussed above.)
Either way, let’s compare the type of support that both companies offer.
With Bluehost, you can browse their self-support library to find answers to just about anything you can imagine, or you can reach out to them directly over the phone, through a support ticket, through live chat, via email… They have people working around the clock who will help you out with all sorts of issues, whether it’s something with Bluehost’s platform directly, or even something relating to WordPress and other software that you can run on your hosting plan. They’re super experienced with WordPress and as we mentioned earlier, they’re actively involved in the development of WordPress so they know it like the back of their hands since they help to create and support it.
Telephone support is always nice because during an emergency, it’s just more reassuring to pick up the phone and be talking to somebody right away. Their live chat support is also great and very responsive, so just find the option that suits you best and you’re all set. On Bluehost’s website, you’ll find a lot of different support numbers you can call, so that you can get in tough directly with the people who can help you, instead of being transferred around from department to department and dealing with those annoying voice prompts when you’d rather just be speaking to a human.
Wix also has a support center on their site which you can search to find answers to any common (or less common) issues, however they do something that we see a lot in the hosting world, and that’s to add layers in front before you can actually reach out to them and get in touch with a human. This encourages people to self-serve, rather than getting in touch with support right away.
It makes it easier on their support staff (In other words, it means they don’t have to hire as many people to work in support), since it encourages more customers to fix the smaller issues on their own.
It’s easier to find contact information if you’re working with the media or looking to partner up with them, but if you’re looking to talk to somebody, you end up on their “Contact Us” page which just takes you back to the Wix Help Center, which doesn’t list any contact information. It’s just not as intuitive, and definitely not as inviting.
The point here goes to BLUEHOST who have phone numbers, live chats, and other ways to get in touch with them front and center on every single page of their site, instead of making it hard to find contact information.
OVERALL: WHICH IS BETTER BETWEEN WIX AND BLUEHOST?
In the following table, we’re comparing some of the most important aspects from each company. On top of these, there are many more featured that Bluehost has that
|Price Range||$2.75 - $14.99||$10 - $25|
|Sites You Can Host||1 - Unlimited||1|
|Storage||50GB - Unlimited||3 GB - 20 GB|
|Bandwidth||Unlimited||2 GB - Unlimited|
|Free Ad Vouchers||Yes||Yes|
|Easily Change Hosts||Yes||No|
|Locked-in To One Platform||No||Yes|
Well, if you’ve read the rest of the comparison here, it’s pretty clear that Bluehost is our winner. There is a very specific demographic that might prefer Wix (Not worried about paying more money for less, not worried that they’re tied to one platform instead of something universally supported, etc…), however overall, BLUEHOST is the clear winner and the better option between these two.