Want to build a new website but don’t know where to start? Well, your first order of business is to look for a good hosting provider and then try to figure out what CMS (Content Management System) you want to use to build your website.
With hosting providers like Wix, you don’t have to think too much about the second part because the company only allows you to work with its own website builder. Meanwhile, providers such as Bluehost are more flexible in that regard and give you more options to work with but you will need to figure out how to use the third-party CMS on your own.
So is it better to have more flexibility or is an all-in-one package a preferable option? That’s one of the many questions I plan on answering in this article and the best way of doing that is by doing an in-depth Bluehost vs Wix comparison.
Wix vs Bluehost Comparison
Why these two companies in particular? The first reason is that they are both very popular hosting providers and are very good at what they do. Secondly, there’s enough overlap between them that it will be pretty easy to draw some definitive conclusions after carefully evaluating each of their strengths and weaknesses.
Update for October 2019: Bluehost is also currently running a double promotion, their normal price is $7.99 per month, it got down to $3.95 per month and now they are running a promo that you can check here on their promo page, and that allows you to start your website for as low as $2.95 per month including a free domain (We will update this offer when it changes).
Bluehost and Wix compared for Beginner Friendliness
Building a solid website from the ground up takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you plan to constantly update it with fresh new content, which you should. That’s why it helps to sign up with a hosting provider that has an intuitive and simple to use CMS. Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t offer you the luxury of working with any CMS you want and the company doesn’t have a traditional cPanel either. Instead, Wix uses a custom control panel designed for the management of web services rather than the actual website. You can add new content and edit pages but that’s about it.
|Dedicated Support for Beginners||Yes||No|
Bluehost is objectively better when it comes to ease of use. First off, you do get access to a cPanel here, which is a big advantage and makes everything easier right off the bat. You can use the cPanel to manage not just your hosting services but also your website and email client. Basically, you have access to pretty much everything you need via a simple and user-friendly interface.
It seems like the people in our Facebook group mostly (over 90%) agree with us that Bluehost is the better choice for Beginners. Click here to see more info about why they think that and check out all the extras and freebies that Bluehost is currently offering to the new users.
But even though the cPanel is very useful, you also have access to even better tools for managing your website and content. As mentioned, Bluehost allows you to work with any CMS, including WordPress, Magento, and Joomla. Bluehost has fantastic integration with WordPress and is actually the company’s number 1 recommended hosting provider. WordPress is great for building and managing a wide variety of websites but if you want to create something a bit more specialized like an eCommerce platform, for example, you can also go with a different CMS like Magento.
Bluehost Scalability: Way above Wix?
Web hosting is pretty cheap nowadays but that doesn’t mean you should go for a high tier plan right off the bat unless you actually need the extra resources. If your website is still in its infancy, you can get away with a basic hosting plan until you are able to generate more traffic. That way, you can make sure you’re not paying more than you need to and you can upgrade gradually to the higher tiers when the time comes.
Scalability is one of Bluehost’s strong suits because the company’s entry point is one of the lowest out there and you have plenty of options to choose from if you want to upgrade. Generally speaking, you probably want to start with shared hosting and slowly make your way through the tiers until you need to switch to a VPS or dedicated server.
Bluehost makes the transition seamless because there isn’t a huge price difference between the various tiers so you’re not taking a huge monetary hit whenever you upgrade. There is a noticeable price hike between the third and fourth-tiers of shared hosting but that’s only because Bluehost has a special offer for the third tier, which is very cheap considering how much you get in return. More on that a bit later.
Wix isn’t doing too badly in the scalability department either, through its entry point is higher compared to Bluehost’s. You can expect relatively small price differences between the four tiers of shared hosting but there’s no VPS or dedicated hosting here. In other words, you’ll reach the point where it’s not possible to upgrade further much sooner than you would with Bluehost. Wix does offer a set of Business & eCommerce packages, however, these were designed to include more features and don’t feature a lot of extra resources.
Wix Pricing vs Bluehost Pricing
Price is one of the main things you’ll want to consider before you sign up with a hosting provider. Going with the absolute cheapest plan is not always a great idea unless you’re just starting out, however, you definitely don’t want to spend a whole lot of money right off the bat either. It’s important to take into account the resources and features you’re going to need in order to figure out what sort of package you should go for.
If you’re looking to sign up with Bluehost, it will only set you back $2.95 per month for the Basic shared hosting plan. The next two tiers are both priced at $5.45 per month while the final one will set you back $13.95/mo. So are the two tiers that are priced the same (Plus and Choice Plus) any different? They are indeed, with Choice Plus offering a few more useful features than its counterpart. The identical prices are only available for your first term, which can last as much as 3 years at Bluehost. After that, Choice Plus will be more expensive. If you’re thinking long-term, I strongly suggest going with Choice Plus because it’s a fantastic deal.
|SSD Storage||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Backup||No||No||CodeGuard Basic||CodeGuard Basic|
|Spam Prevention||No||Spam Experts||Spam Experts||2x Spam Experts|
Please note that the above prices are calculated with the on-going 65% Discount from BlueHost; Once they’ll put an end to the promo, future customers will get higher prices.
Wix’s entry point is somewhat more expensive, with its shared hosting plan setting you back $4.50 per month. If you’re looking to go with a more expensive package, you can expect to fork out as much as $24.50 per month, which is quite a bit more compared to what Bluehost charges for its Pro tier. However, that’s not all, because Wix also offers a set of packages for businesses and online stores. These plans are even pricier, with the most expensive one going for a whopping $35 per month.
Wix’s basic plan is extremely hard to recommend due to the fact that it only comes with 1 GB of bandwidth, a measly 500 MB of storage, and forces you to display Wix brand ads on your website, which cannot be removed. You’ll need to purchase at least the $8.50/tier in order to enjoy an ad-free experience and if you want unlimited bandwidth, you’ll need to go for the $12.50/mo plan.
Meanwhile, the low amount of storage space is a recurring issue that you’ll need to deal with regardless of which package you choose. At most, you can get 50 GB of storage with the $35/mo plan, which is honestly not that much in the grand scheme of things. By comparison, Bluehost offers 50 GB of storage with its cheapest package and the company only uses fast SSD drives. You won’t have to worry about storage at all if you go with any of the other shared hosting plans because you’ll get an unlimited amount of it, along with unlimited bandwidth and support for an unlimited number of sites.
As far as some of the other features are concerned, Wix offers a free SSL certificate with all plans and a free domain name for 1 year with all packages except for the basic one. Starting with the $8.50/mo tier, Wix throws in ad vouchers and allows you to upload videos on your site. However, you’ll need to go with one of the more expensive plans if you want to upload videos longer than 30 minutes. If you’re willing to pay for one of the higher tiers, you’ll also get access to premium apps, professional logos, priority response, and VIP support. Strangely enough, you’ll need to go for one of the Business & eCommerce packages if you want to gain access to Google Analytics.
If you sign up with Bluehost there’s no need to worry about that because you can connect Google Analytics for free to your site, along with a huge variety of other apps and services. Bluehost also offers free SSL certificates and free domain names for the first year, which are available with all plans, including the cheapest one. All plans except the first one come with spam experts and a free month trial for Office 365 Mailbox. Meanwhile, the two most expensive plans also include a website backup tool and domain privacy while the very last tier includes a free dedicated IP as well.
Search Engine Optimization Comparison
These days it’s more important than ever to focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) if you want to attract visitors to your website. Learning good SEO practices can take a lot of time so it’s nice when your hosting provider can give you a helping hand with that. Most companies don’t offer a lot of SEO tools but if your provider allows you to use third-party tools, you’re already in a good position.
Wix offers built-in SEO tools with its hosting plans, however, they are mainly aimed at optimizing websites as a whole rather than individual articles. These tools are great if you own a business and want your front page to rank higher in search results but they’re not very helpful if you own a news website, for example, that constantly churns out new content. Wix’s SEO tools can get the job done but some people will find them more useful than others.
Bluehost also offers its own SEO tools, though they are only available as an optional service that costs $2 per month. However, the company allows you to use any CMS and third-party apps you want in conjunction with your hosting so I recommend just going for a WordPress site instead. With WordPress, you can get a wide variety of SEO plugins for free, most of which will help you improve not just your website as a whole but also each individual piece of content.
Bluehost and Wix for WordPress, VPS and Dedicated Hosting
Shared hosting is a great choice when you’re just starting out but as your site starts to grow, you’ll eventually need to look into other options. Despite having quite a few different packages to choose from, Wix doesn’t actually offer any such options because the company only deals in shared hosting. Luckily, Bluehost is a lot more versatile in that department.
A significant portion of all the websites that exist today were built using WordPress, so chances are you’re already familiar with the platform. If you aren’t, now would be the perfect time to get acquainted. There are plenty of providers out there that allow you to build your website using WordPress but Bluehost is undoubtedly the most popular one right now, and with good reason. The company’s prices for WordPress hosting are very cheap and Bluehost will even automatically install the CMS on your website when you sign up.
The cheapest WordPress hosting package costs $2.95 per month while the other two will only set you back $5.45/mo. In other words, these plans cost the same as the regular shared hosting packages. The difference is that you only have three tiers to choose from instead of four as there is no Pro plan here. The Choice Plus package is once again an absolute steal so I recommend going from Basic directly to Choice Plus when it’s time to upgrade.
|Get Started with:||Everything in Build plus:||Everything in Grow plus:|
|Jetpack Site Analytics (Basic)||Jetpack Premium Included||Jetpack Pro Included|
|Marketing Center||Business Review Tools||Unlimited Backups and Restore|
|100+ Free WordPress Themes||Bluehost SEO Tools||PayPal Integration|
|Daily Scheduled Backups||Jetpack Ads Integration||Unlimited Video Compression|
|Malware Detection and Removal||10GB Video Compression||Elastic Search|
|Domain Privacy Protection||Blue Sky Ticket Support||Blue Sky Chat Support|
|1 Office 365 Mailbox - Free 30 Days||1 Office 365 Mailbox - Free 30 Days||1 Office 365 Mailbox - Free 30 Days|
|Normally $29.99||Normally $39.99||Normally $59.99|
In terms of features, you can expect the WordPress plans to be more or less identical to their shared hosting counterparts. You can expect all the features discussed in the previous section to be available here as well, including the free domain name for 1-year, free SSL certificate, unmetered storage (50 GB with the Basic plan), and more. In addition, you also get $200 worth of marketing credit, a WordPress staging environment, automatic WordPress updates, and secure login credentials. If you’re looking for even more features and better support, you can sign up for one of the Managed WordPress plans.
A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a type of hosting designed for websites that receive large amounts of traffic and therefore require large amounts of resources. With this type of hosting you don’t have to worry about sharing your server with anyone else, which eliminates a lot of the problems you sometimes come across when using a shared hosting plan.
Virtual private servers tend to be pretty expensive for the most part, however, Bluehost’s prices are very reasonable all things considered. The cheapest VPS you can get from Bluehost only costs $18.99 per month while the most expensive on goes for $59.99. There’s quite a big difference between the cheapest and the most expensive tiers but you get a significantly better virtual machine with the pricier plan. In addition, there’s also a $29.99 per month package, which strikes a good balance between the other two.
|CPU||2 Cores||2 Cores||4 Cores|
|SSD Storage||30 GB||60 GB||120 GB|
|Ips||1 IP||2 IP||3 IP|
All VPS plans include root access, an enhanced control panel, multi-server management, and full FTP access. Bluehost also offers a very nice feature that allows you to add extra resources on the fly without having to upgrade to a different hosting plan. For now, you can only add extra storage capacity, however, additional CPU and RAM will also be available at some point in the near future according to the company.
You know your website is doing well when you reach a point where not even a VPS can handle all the traffic you’re getting. If and when that happens you’ll need to take things to the next level and upgrade to a dedicated server. Dedicated hosting works just like VPS hosting but you can expect even more resources to work with, as well as a few new features.
Needless to say, getting a dedicated server isn’t exactly cheap, however, Bluehost once again has very good prices for this type of hosting as well. Prices here start at $79.99/mo so the transition between the most expensive VPS plan to the cheapest dedicated hosting plan is fairly smooth. At most, you can expect to pay up to $119.99/mo for the best dedicated servers Bluehost has to offer.
|CPU||4 cores @ 2.3 GHz||4 cores @ 2.5 GHz||4 cores @ 3.3 GHz|
|SSD Storage||500GB (Mirrored) Storage||1TB (Mirrored) Storage||1TB (Mirrored) Storage|
|RAM||4 GB RAM||8 GB RAM||16 GB RAM|
|Bandwidth||5 TB Bandwidth||10 TB Bandwidth||15 TB Bandwidth|
|Ips||3 IP Addresses||4 IP Addresses||5 IP Addresses|
The features you can expect here include all the best ones you get with the other types of hosting. A few of the highlights include free domain name, free SSL certificate, enhanced cPanel, on the fly storage upgrades, and more. In addition, those who opt for dedicated hosting also get root access to their server, benefit from fast provisioning, RAID1 storage, and dedicated customer support, among other things.
Wix Key Features vs Bluehost Extras
Experienced webmasters know that price shouldn’t be the deciding factor when signing up with a hosting provider. Or at least, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Just as important as the price are the features you get in exchange for your money. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how Bluehost and Wix perform in this department because there are a few notable differences between the two companies.
Both providers offer domain registrations but Wix offers a slightly better deal if you’re willing to stick with them for the long run. Registering a domain with Bluehost will cost you only $11.99 during your first year but the renewal cost is $17.99 after that. Meanwhile, registering a domain will Wix will set you back $14.95 for the first year, as well as upon renewal. If you don’t feel like paying for a new domain, you can get one for free for the first year when purchasing any hosting package from Bluehost. Wix offers a similar deal but you’ll need to get at least the $8.50 plan in order to benefit from it as the first tier is not eligible.
One of Wix’s main selling points is its fantastic website builder. Creating a beautiful new website is extremely easy with this builder and you can even let the company do most of the work for you. Users can take advantage of Wix’s ADI system to automatically generate websites in just a matter of minutes. All you need to do is answer a few basic questions about the type and niche of your website and the system will then recommend a series of templates and additional features you can add in order to improve it.
If you have a very particular design in mind, however, you can ignore the ADI system and create a new website from scratch. Wix offers a truckload of templates and design features you can play around with in order to create the perfect website. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about any premium templates or anything like that because you will have access to everything regardless of which hosting plan you pick. In fact, you can choose to first create your website and pick a hosting plan after once you’re happy with the results.
In the case of Bluehost, things work a little bit differently. The company doesn’t have its own website builder, but then again, it doesn’t really need one. That’s because Bluehost offers great integration with two of the most popular website builders around. The first one is Weebly, a builder that’s pretty similar to Wix’s own platform and just as easy to use. The bad news is that Bluehost only includes access to the basic version of Weebly so you will need to upgrade if you want to gain access to all the advanced features.
Personally, I would recommend skipping Weebly and just going with WordPress instead. As mentioned before, Bluehost is WordPress’ number 1 recommended provider and offers a number of hosting plans that will allow you to build a new website on the platform without any hassles. WordPress offers a myriad of templates and plugins you can use in order to create your website and most of them won’t cost you a penny. Designing a good WordPress website does take a bit more work but that’s a small price to pay for the incredible amount of flexibility you get in return.
Both Bluehost and Wix allow users to create, delete and manage databases. There is no limit on how many databases you can create but you’ll need to make sure that each individual database doesn’t exceed a certain size. Bluehost works with traditional MySQL databases while Wix uses something called Database Collections. The main difference between the two is that Wix doesn’t allow users to connect external databases to their website so you’re stuck with using just Database Collections. Meanwhile, Bluehost doesn’t have any problems with allowing users to import MySQL databases from external sites.
Both Bluehost and Wix allow users to add a professional business mailbox to their account in exchange for a monthly fee. Wix only works with Google’s G Suite while Bluehost supports both G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 mailbox. You can get access to a free 1-month trial of Office 365 by signing up with almost any of Bluehost’s hosting packages. In addition, the company also offers free webmail access with all plans so you can just use that instead if you don’t want to pay for a full business email suite.
Wix doesn’t offer a way to automatically back up your site at this time. You can duplicate your site and create a manual back and there’s also a site history feature that you can use to revert to an earlier version of your website but that’s pretty much it. Bluehost offers automatic backups via CodeGuard, a tool that is included for free with some of the company’s hosting packages. If you choose a plan that doesn’t come with the tool, you can still add it to your package for an extra $3 per month.
If you’re looking to create an online store on Wix you’re going to need to purchase one of the Business & eCommerce hosting packages, which range in price between $17 and $35 per month. In return, you get access to a few basic features such as the ability to accept online payments and you can add more services from the marketplace if you want to enhance your site’s eCommerce potential. The nice thing about Wix is that it doesn’t perceive any sort of commissions so all the money you make on your online store is yours to keep.
Bluehost has a set of hosting packages specifically designed for customers who want to set up an eCommerce platform. The packages are based on WordPress and offer sea
mless integration with WooCommerce. Alternatively, you could go for one of the other hosting plans and install WooCommerce yourself on your WordPress site. The advantage of signing up for one of eCommerce plans is that Bluehost will install the plugin for you and the company is also throwing in $100 worth of marketing credits.
Bluehost has a better refund policy as the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all its hosting plans. Meanwhile, Wix only offers a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Performance and Reliability
Nobody likes a website that takes ages to load or crashes just when you need it the most. If you’re going with a provider like Bluehost there are quite a few things you can do to improve your site’s performance and uptime. Wix, on the other hand, doesn’t really offer you a lot of tools to work with in this area. Wix is automatically at a disadvantage because of that but let’s take a closer look at some stats in order to figure out how much Bluehost and Wix differ in terms of performance and reliability.
Bluehost absolutely shines at the moment when it comes to page loading speed. Websites hosted here tend to load at an average speed of around 406 ms. Given that Bluehost offers multiple types of hosting, you may see better results on some sites than others. For example, a website that uses a shared hosting plan is likely to be slower than one that uses a dedicated server. Still, an average of 406 ms across the board is definitely very respectable.
Companies that offer all-in-one packages like Wix are always a bit slower when compared to versatile providers like Bluehost. In this particular case, the difference is pretty significant. You can expect a Wix-hosted website to load in anywhere between 1.13 and 1.31 seconds, which isn’t a great result. A little over 1 second may not seem like a big deal at first glance but consider that slow speeds are not just an inconvenience for the user, they also affect others area like SEO.
If you’ve been researching web hosting providers you probably noticed that most of the big ones offer a ’99.99% uptime guarantee’. That number may differ slightly from company to company but basically, every provider claims that your site will be up and running pretty much 24/7. But the truth is that all providers experience occasional downtimes so this claim is a bit exaggerated in most cases. However, in the case of Bluehost, it’s actually true.
Bluehost’s 99.99% uptime guarantee holds up based on our data, with the company being extremely reliable in this department throughout 2019. Meanwhile, Wix offers the same guarantee but out stats show that its actual uptime is closer to 99.95%. Again, this may seem like a small difference, however, every little bit counts in this highly competitive market. It’s enough for your site to experience just a few minutes of downtime every week to begin noticing a gradual decrease in user engagement.
Customer Support Comparison
Signing up with a provider that offers solid customer support is important for any webmaster, particularly if you’re new to web hosting. If you’re a newcomer, chances are that you don’t know how to fix the issue that may occasionally affect your website so you’ll have to rely pretty much entirely on the help provided by support agents. You can count on both Bluehost and Wix for professional technical assistance, however, one of these companies is once again a bit more reliable than the other.
Wix offers 24/7 ticket support along with 24/7 phone support but only for English speaking customers. Phone support is also available in other languages but only during certain days of the week. If you don’t feel like waiting in line, you can get priority support by subscribing to the $24.50/mo VIP or $35/mo Business VIP hosting plans. Doing so will allow you to benefit from priority response times on all your submitted tickets and call center requests. Wix is one of the few Bluehost Alternatives that charges for priority support.
Bluehost offers 24/7 customer support via phone, tickets, and even live chat. Having the live chat option is always a huge benefit because not all customers are comfortable speaking on the phone and tickets can sometimes take a long time to get resolved. The company also offers priority support with some of its hosting plans, including a couple of the Managed WordPress packages. For the most part, though, you don’t have to worry about priority support because Bluehost is very responsive and helpful with all its customers. We tested their support system recently when writing our Bluehost Review, and we got replied to all our problems in less than 5 minutes.
- Wix hosts your site and has their 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 someday, 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 web hosts that you can switch to from Bluehost if you ever need to, whereas with Wix you’re locked on to their platform and if you want to change, 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 full-time 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 fine, because both hosts can help you out as far as that goes. In either case, hopefully, we’ve done an excellent 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.
Bluehost vs Wix winner: BlueHost
People familiar with both Bluehost and Wix probably already knew how this comparison would go down. Bluehost outshines most other hosting providers out there so a company like Wix that focuses on simplicity rather than performance and versatility can’t really compete at the same level. Still, I wanted to give Wix a fair shot regardless because the company does have certain redeeming qualities that some users will no doubt find very appealing.
Wix is a platform designed for newcomers and people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy or who simply don’t to bother with all aspects of hosting and website building. You can sign up with Wix and create a decent website in just a few minutes without having to get into the nitty-gritty of things. You get a domain name, site builder, web hosting, and a few nice features all in one package, so what’s not to love? Well, when you break things down, it’s clear that this system has plenty of disadvantages as well.
Bluehost is comparatively a lot cheaper than Wix and outperforms it at every turn. Bluehost can make it just as easy to build a new website, particularly if you’re working with WordPress, and also offers plenty of options for advanced users. If you need a VPS or dedicated server Bluehost is the only choice here and its shared hosting plans can give all other companies a run for their money, including Wix.