If you have any sort of interest in hosting and website building chances are you already know a thing or two about Bluehost and WordPress. These two companies have been in business for many years and their services have been top-notch pretty much from the start. What’s interesting about Bluehost and WordPress is that there’s a bit of a friendly rivalry going on between these companies. On one hand, the two work great alongside each other. But on the other hand, they’re also competing for the same market, to some extent.
That may sound a bit confusing so let me elaborate a bit here. WordPress is best known for its CMS (Content Management System) that powers millions of websites around the world. What many people might not know, however, is that the company also dabbles a bit in web hosting. The hosting isn’t really a big part of WordPress’ business, but why? Is the hosting not very good or is it maybe too expensive?
One of the goals of this article is to answer those very questions and what better way to do that than to compare WordPress to a reputable and very successful hosting provider like Bluehost? In doing so we can learn why WordPress’ hosting services aren’t more popular and see if the company can even come close to Bluehost in terms of price, features, customer support and all the other good stuff.
Update January 2020: Also, before you buy the preferred hosting for your website, make sure to click here to see the latest promotional offers that they offer in January 2020 (after clicking, the latest promotional discount of 65% will be self-applied at check-out). We will update this article as soon as the promotional offer changes or if they get a better one, but as of right now this is the best deal you can find.
1. Popularity Comparison of Bluehost vs. WordPress
Although I’m going to talk about the WordPress CMS every now and then, I want to emphasize that this is primarily a direct comparison between WordPress.com and Bluehost. WordPress.com is the branch of the company that handles web hosting while WordPress.org is in charge of the CMS. I think that’s an important distinction to make moving forward because we’re primarily interested in what WordPress.com has to offer.
As a CMS, WordPress is by far the most popular one around right now. However, the same cannot be said about its hosting services. The title of the world’s most popular hosting provider continues to be held by Bluehost in 2019 and it’s easy to see why.
Bluehost is so renowned as a great hosting provider that WordPress.org itself recommends using it over its own platform. Not only that but Bluehost is actually WordPress.org’s number 1 choice. Strangely enough, the company barely mentions its own hosting services on its .org website, which is likely one of the reasons why WordPress isn’t very popular as a hosting provider. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though.
Bluehost is the WP #1 recommendation mostly because of their ease of use as they provide 1-click WordPress Install for FREE that will help you get your website up and running in less than 5 minutes; If you want to know more about this feature, check out this page (on there, you’ll learn how to get Bluehost cheap hosting + WordPress CMS + Free Domain + Free SSL + No Ads for $2.95 instead of getting the same thing at wordpress.com for $25).
WordPress may be the world’s most well-known CMS but when it comes to web hosting, the company can’t even come close to Bluehost’s tremendous popularity.
2. Bluehost vs. WP: Ease of Use
Both Bluehost and WordPress are pretty easy to use and allow you to set up a new website in no time. If you sign up for a WordPress hosting plan you’re limited to using the company’s own CMS, which isn’t very surprising. What is a bit strange, however, is that the CMS included with the hosting is actually more restrictive compared to the regular CMS we all know and love. Also, it goes without saying that WordPress won’t let you build your website using a different CMS like Joomla or Magento.
Bluehost, on the other hand, is a lot more open and allows you to use any CMS you like. As mentioned before, the company works well and recommends WordPress(.org) but ultimately the choice is up to you. Bluehost simply provides hosting services and offers to help you set up your website, but you have the final say over where or how you want to go about doing that. Bluehost makes it very easy for beginners by offering “one-click WordPress install”, you can read more about this feature here – it basically helps you launch your website with one click, in less than 5 minutes.
We ran a poll on our Facebook group, Bluehost seems to be the #1 choice of the majority of our followers, and this happened even before Bluehost launched their current promo offering 65% discount; Right now MamboServer’s readers benefit of a special 65% discounted price for the first 12-36 months, to take advantage of this promotional offer click here and register, or keep on reading our comparison if you are not yet sure on what’s the best choice for you.
If you want to open up an online store, for example, you can’t rely on WordPress right out of the box because the platform doesn’t support eCommerce by default. In that case, you can either add support via plugins or just go with a different CMS like Magento, which is specifically designed for online stores. In other words, it’s always helpful to have full control over which CMS you want to use and, unfortunately, WordPress’ hosting plans won’t provide you with the same level of control as Bluehost.
The restrictive nature of WordPress is a major drawback for those who want to use a different CMS than the one provided by the company. Bluehost is far less limiting by comparison.
Most of the time you’ll want to go with the cheapest possible hosting plan when you’re launching a new website. Unless you’re very experienced in terms of traffic acquisition, chances are you’ll probably have few visitors during the first few months. Once your traffic reaches a certain threshold, you’ll need to upgrade to a better plan and periodically repeat this process as your website continues to grow.
Starting off with Bluehost will only set you back a few bucks per month if you go with the cheapest of the four available shared hosting plans. You don’t have to worry too much when it’s time to upgrade because the price difference between the various tiers is pretty small. You’ll only come across a slightly more significant price bump when you upgrade from the third to the final package. However, you should already start making some money by that point so the investment will be well worth it.
If you decide to sign up with WordPress there’s quite a price difference between the company’s four hosting plans. The first two tiers are actually pretty reasonably priced (and VERY limited), but there’s a significant cost increase when you upgrade to the third tier (the first tier comes with decent limitations, but costs $25/month and offers the exact same features at this Bluehost plan which is 8 times cheaper). To make matters worse, the final tier is almost twice as expensive as the previous one so the scalability here is anything but smooth.
WordPress can be a nightmare with its limitations even for the higher-priced hosting plans, while Bluehost gives you all the freedom you need from the very beginning and for a far more reasonable price. In terms of scalability, Bluehost wins the race.
4. Pricing Comparison
I’ve already mentioned a couple of things about pricing in the previous section so let’s go ahead and talk a bit about the specifics. There’s a pretty big difference between Bluehost and WordPress in this department. WordPress may seem to start off cheaper but ends up a lot more expensive than Bluehost by the end.
When it comes to shared hosting, Bluehost offers four packages to choose from, with prices ranging between $2.95 and $13.95 per month. Bluehost has a very cheap entry point compared to most of the other big hosting providers and even its most expensive package is quite fairly priced. Two of the four packages – Plus and Choice Plus – actually have the same price for the first term so there’s no real reason not to go with Choice Plus right off the bat. Once the first term expires, Choice Plus will become more expensive but you can downgrade to the cheaper version afterward if you wish.
Bluehost’s BASIC plan is enough for one website, but if you plan on having multiple sites, you should go with PLUS or PRIME. (Get their 65% discount HERE)
|SSD Storage||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Backup||No||No||CodeGuard Basic||CodeGuard Basic|
|Spam Prevention||No||Spam Experts||Spam Experts||2x Spam Experts|
If you want to start off with the WordPress hosting plan it’s worth noting that you’ll have access to very few features and your blog would also have non-removable ads to WordPress.com. We didn’t like these restrictions at all considering we have to pay $5 a month and still have no real control over the website.
In the table below you can easily see the 3 low-tier WordPress Plans compared to Bluehost Basic Hosting Plan.
WordPress Plans compared to Bluehost Basic Plan
|Personal WordPress||Premium WordPress||Business WordPress||Bluehost Basic|
|Storage||6 GB HDD||13 GB HDD||200 GB HDD||50 GB HDD|
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.
Unfortunately, neither Bluehost nor WordPress give users the option of paying on a month-by-month basis for their shared hosting subscription. WordPress only works with annual billing cycles while Bluehost accepts annual, biannual and triannual payments. Paying for two or three years in advance grants you certain discounts so it helps to sign up for the long haul if possible.
Bluehost offers unlimited bandwidth, storage and support for an unlimited number of websites with all of its shared hosting plans except for the cheapest one. With Basic, you only get 50 GB of storage and support for a single website. Despite the cheap price, I would recommend skipping Basic unless you’re a Blogger because you’ll get better value with the other three packages, especially Choice Plus during your first term.
WordPress doesn’t mention anything about the bandwidth and it seems like all its hosting plans are meant for a single website. Meanwhile, the storage space is pretty limited across the board, with the first three tiers only included 3 GB, 6 GB and 13 GB of storage, respectively. The final two tiers come with 200 GB worth of storage. As far as the other features are concerned, you’ll need to go at least with the $25 per month Business plan if you want to build a half-decent website because that’s when you unlock the ability to install custom plugins, upload themes, remove WordPress.com branding and make use of SEO tools and Google Analytics integration (things that Bluehost gives starting with their Basic $2.95/mo plan)
Bluehost offers fantastic bang for your buck as even its cheapest option has better value than almost any package offered by WordPress, including some of its most expensive ones.
5. Which is better for SEO: WordPress or Bluehost?
If you want your website to get a good amount of traffic you’ll need to pay close attention to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Learning how to optimize your content for search engines can take a while if you’re trying to figure out everything by yourself because there are a lot of factors to consider. Luckily, a lot of hosting providers include SEO tools with their packages and there are also many plugins that can help you optimize your content.
If you’re looking to optimize your content with plugins like Yoast you’re better off signing up with Bluehost and building your website with the WordPress CMS. All these types of plugins are either completely free or have a free version so all you have to worry about is paying for your hosting plan. WordPress(.com) only allows Business and eCommerce users to add custom plugins to their site, which means you’ll need to pay at least $25 per month for the privilege. With Bluehost, you can do it even if you subscribe to the Basic $2.95 per month plan.
To read more about all the SEO features that Bluehost offers, check out this page; We’d like to provide you a link for WordPress.com SEO tools too but they offer almost nothing, and only for $25+/month plans.
|Google Analytics Integration||No||Yes|
If you want to rely on the SEO tools offered by your hosting provider, you’re once again better off with Bluehost. The company offers basic SEO tools as an optional service that you can add to any hosting package for just $1.99 per month. By comparison with any other well-known host such as Bluehost or HostGator, WordPress only includes SEO tools with its Business and eCommerce plans, which cost $25 and $45 per month, respectively.
Whichever way you look at it, Bluehost is definitely the best and cheapest option for users who want to use SEO tools in order to improve their content.
6. Additional Hosting Plans
If you’re serious about building a great website that attracts loads of visitors each month, you’ll eventually need to move away from shared hosting altogether. This type of hosting can definitely do the job when you’re just starting out but it’s simply not enough for websites that receive a lot of visitors. Once you’re ready to move to the next level, I wholeheartedly recommend Bluehost because they have a lot to offer for websites both small and big. WordPress, on the other hand, only offers shared hosting, which won’t be enough past a certain point.
A lot of providers offer hosting plans for users who want to build their website on the WordPress CMS and Bluehost is no exception. In fact, the company has two different sets of plans specifically designed for WordPress enthusiasts. One of them is fairly similar to the shared hosting plans I covered earlier while the other is meant for advanced users. WordPress.com’s hosting plans would also fit in this section but I’ve already talked about them earlier so let’s just see what Bluehost has to offer.
First off, Bluehost offers three tiers of shared WordPress hosting – Basic, Plus, and Choice Plus. There’s no Pro plan here but aside from that, the packages are basically the same as the regular shared hosting plans in terms of price and most of the features. The only notable differences are that these plans come with $200 worth of marketing credit and that the Choice Plus package includes an automatic backup system.
Bluehost also offers three managed WordPress plans, with prices ranging between $19.95 and $49.95 per month. The prices of these plans are quite a bit higher but they include a lot of advanced features. A few of the highlights include daily scheduled backups, malware detection and removal, Jetpack Premium, business review tools, PayPal integration, priority customer support, and more. Some of these features are only included with the more expensive packages, however, you get very good value even with the cheapest plan.
|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|
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.
Shared hosting is great for beginners but you’ll eventually need to move on to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) in order to maintain the growth of your website. Once you’re ready to take that step, you can rely on Bluehost because the company has three VPS hosting plans you can choose from. The prices are a bit higher compared to its shared hosting plans and range between $18.99 and $59.99 per month. Unlike shared hosting, however, you can pay for your VPS on a monthly or yearly basis depending on what works best for you.
|CPU||2 Cores||2 Cores||4 Cores|
|SSD Storage||30 GB||60 GB||120 GB|
|Ips||1 IP||2 IP||3 IP|
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.
All of the VPS machines you can purchase are pretty solid so you can definitely start off with the cheapest package if you’re just looking to test things out and see what this type of hosting is all about. As soon as you’re ready to upgrade, you can get access to machines with more CPU cores, SSD storage, RAM, bandwidth and dedicated IP addresses by subscribing to one of the more expensive VPS plans.
If you reach a point where not even a VPS can handle all the traffic you’re getting, you’ll need to take things to the next level and buy a dedicated server. This will require a significant investment but a dedicated server is the ultimate hosting solution and can handle anything you throw at it. Bluehost offers three dedicated hosting plans to choose from – Standard, Enhanced, and Premium. The prices range from $79.99 up to $119.99 per month.
Regardless of which of the three machines you go for, you’ll have at least a quad-core @ 2.3 GHz CPU, 500 GB of storage, 4 GB of RAM, and 5 TB of bandwidth to work with. The specs will obviously be even better if you decide to buy one of the more expensive plans. In addition to access to a powerful machine, all dedicated hosting packages also include a number of very useful features. Some of the highlights include free domain names, SSL certificates, dedicated IPs, and more.
|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|
If you’re serious about building a great website we recommend going with Bluehost because the company’s VPS and dedicated hosting plans have a lot to offer and are cheaper than those of many rival companies.
7. Key Features
I’ve already mentioned some of the features you can expect from Bluehost and WordPress but let’s delve a bit deeper into this topic. Bluehost is known for including a lot of great features with all of its packages but can WordPress claim the same? The usefulness of some of the features listed below will likely vary from person to person but I think all of them are important and should be taken into consideration before you decide to sign up with any hosting provider.
You can get a free domain name of your choice for 1 year by signing up to any of Bluehost’s hosting plans. You can also register a new domain with the company without having to purchase a hosting plan and it will only cost you $12 for the first year. Once your first term expires, you can renew your domain for $18 per year.
WordPress doesn’t allow domain registrations unless you sign up for one of their hosting plans. If you do, you get a free domain for 1 year that then renews for $18 per year, so same as Bluehost.
WordPress has one of the best builders around that allows you to create anything ranging from a simple blog to a highly complex and professional looking website. Unfortunately, WordPress’ hosting plans won’t give you access to the standard CMS that you can customize to your liking right off the bat. Instead, the modified CMS has a number of limitations in place, some of which you can only unlock if you’re willing to pay for one of the more expensive hosting packages.
|CMS||Limited version of WordPress||Any CMS including full WordPress|
|Themes||you can’t install||You can install themes|
|Plugins||Can’t install||You can install plugins|
Please note that the above prices are calculated with the on-going 65% Discount from BlueHost;
Bluehost, on the other hand, does give you access to the regular WordPress CMS and doesn’t impose any restrictions, so you can use it as you see fit. In addition, the company also offers integration with a different website builder known as Weebly. Weebly is a pretty decent builder but the problem is that you only get the basic version of it for free so you’ll need to fork out a few bucks if you want access to all its features. We’ve gone into details on the website building capabilities of the former in our Bluehost vs. Squarespace comparison.Personally, I would recommend just sticking with the WordPress CMS instead because it’s free and offers a much higher level of customization.
Bluehost allows you to create MySQL databases as large as 2 GB in size and you can have as many of them as you’d like, within reason of course. You can easily create more databases or delete existing ones from the cPanel. WordPress doesn’t include any sort of support for MySQL databases so once again, Bluehost is the only viable option here.
You can get @domain emails by subscribing to any hosting plan offered by WordPress. The first two paid tiers only include 5 emails per domain while the other two allow you to create up to 100 emails for each of your domains. There is no option to get unlimited emails but at least you don’t have to pay extra for the ones you do get.
The situation is a bit different in the case of Bluehost. The company doesn’t limit the number of domain emails you can create but you won’t be able to get them for free. Or at least not for very long. Bluehost includes a free 1-month trial to the Microsoft Office 365 suite, which among other things, will allow you to create business email for your domains. Once the trial is over, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee to continue using the Office 365 mailbox.
WordPress doesn’t offer an automatic backup system so you’ll need to back up your files using other methods. If you sign up for one of the more expensive hosting plans (starting at $25 per month in WordPress.com’s case) you will unlock the ability to install custom plugins to your site, so you can create backups using one of those. Alternatively, you can copy and save your files locally using an FTP client like Filezilla. Keep in mind, though, that this process can take a very long time depending on the amount of content found on the site.
Bluehost does offer an automatic backup system along with daily scheduled backups, albeit these are only included for free with certain hosting plans. However, you can add a backup system to the packages that don’t already include it for just $3 a month, which is a small price to pay for keeping your files safe. That, or you can simply back up your files via FTP as mentioned earlier.
If you sign up with Bluehost and want to open an online store, you have a couple of different options at your disposal. If you use WordPress as your CMS you can set up shop pretty easily by installing a plugin like WooCommerce and figuring things out from there. Alternatively, you could sign up for one of Bluehost’s eCommerce packages, which allow you to create an online store for your website in no time. Each package comes with a WooCommerce auto-installer and configuration tool along with a number of other useful features.
WordPress provides eCommerce integration but only with its most expensive hosting plan. In return, you get access to everything from site monetization and SEO tools to premium storefront themes and integrations with top shipping carriers. The features you get by signing up for this plan are certainly not bad but paying $45 a month is a bit steep if you ask me. By comparison, Bluehost only charges $12.95 for its most expensive eCommerce package.
Bluehost and WordPress are pretty even in this department. According to their refund policy, each company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all their hosting packages.
Bluehost outshines WordPress in pretty much every area when it comes to key features. The two are even when it comes to refund policies and WordPress does include free domain emails while Bluehost only gives you a free 1-month trial to the Office 365 mailbox. Aside from that, though, Bluehost definitely has a lot more going on.
8. Performance and Reliability
When you’re visiting a website the last thing you want is to have to wait a long time for a page to load or even worse, not load at all because the site is down. Back in the day, these kinds of issues were pretty common but in 2019 they are seen as unacceptable by most people. That’s why it’s vital to make sure that your site is running smoothly at all times and suffering as little downtime as possible.
There’s are a few things you can do to improve the performance and reliability of your website but ultimately it’s up to the provider to handle the technical side of things. So how do Bluehost and WordPress fair in this department? The short answer is that Bluehost has the edge but overall they both perform well.
Bluehost is one of the fastest providers around, with an average page loading speed of just 406 ms (we got this amazing speed when we bought this plan from Bluehost and run the tests on 3rd part tools). That’s a very impressive figure that very few other companies can ever hope to achieve. Despite some fluctuations here and there, Bluehost’s average loading speeds have remained pretty consistent throughout 2019 so far and we’re likely to see this trend continue until the end of the year and beyond.
WordPress hasn’t been performing too shabby in the speed department either in 2019. The company’s page loadings speeds this year sit at around 954 ms on average. That’s slower than Bluehost (more than 2x slower) but still a very respectable result. That said, we have seen more fluctuations with WordPress-hosted websites so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
WordPress may not be the fastest provider around but there’s not much to complain about when it comes to its reliability. The company doesn’t make any sort of uptime guarantees but it probably should because the average uptime sits at around 99.99%.
Bluehost, on the other hand, does promise to offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee and also manages to deliver on that promise (as mentioned above we are testing these metrics ourselves, for the past 3 months: July, August and September 2019 we got 100% uptime and a constant load time of around 0.4-0.5 seconds; We used this Basic Plan from Bluehost to run the tests). In other words, the two companies are pretty even when it comes to uptime so you can’t go wrong with any of them if you’re worried about reliability.
Bluehost and WordPress both offer great uptime but Bluehost is just a bit better when it comes to page loading speed.
9. Customer Support
Customer support should never be neglected because you never know when you might need help with your website. Depending on your experience level, you might be able to fix certain problems by yourself, however, even veteran webmasters require technical assistance every once in a while. If and when that happens, you’ll be glad to have professional and responsive support agents ready to help at a moment’s notice. Luckily, both Bluehost and WordPress are pretty good when it comes to customer support.
That said, Bluehost is a bit better in this department as its support agents are well known for being very knowledgeable and fast with their replies, we had a great experience with their support when we tested it for our Bluehost review. You can contact them 24/7 via live chat or phone. The company has two phone numbers customers can use, one of which is toll-free. WordPress doesn’t have a phone number you can reach them at but you can get 24/7 customer support via live chat and email, but this lack of support is the main reason why WordPress.com did not manage to be on our Bluehost alternatives list.
Bluehost is a reputable stand-alone host, while WordPress is well known for it’s CMS. WordPress, on the other hand, makes you pay extra if you want your own domain. Bluehost also offers a free domain so we can only recommend WordPress.org as CMS and not hosting. Bluehost has a starting price of $2.95 compared to WordPress.com’s “Personal” plan at $5. On Bluehost, you can also use the WordPress CMS and you have a LOT more features to choose from.
Bluehost vs. WordPress: A Clear Winner
Although WordPress offers the best CMS out there right now, it’s hard to recommend the company to anyone who is looking for a good hosting provider. At least not in its current state. WordPress is more expensive than many other companies, including Bluehost, and doesn’t offer too much in return for your money. You’re generally better off signing up with a different provider and building your website on the WordPress CMS than using the company’s own hosting services.
The one redeeming quality of WordPress is that it allows you to set up a blog for free. There are plenty of caveats to the free hosting plan but it is a good option for those who can’t or don’t want to spend money on their first website. If you’re serious about building a website, however, I recommend you stay clear of WordPress and go with Bluehost instead.
Bluehost has a lot more to offer in every department and its prices are some of the most affordable on the market when you stop to consider just how much you get in return. Just to put things into perspective, you get more value out of Bluehost’s $2.95 per month Basic shared hosting plan than you get from WordPress’ $8 per month Premium plan. That sort of value pretty much speaks for itself.
Very few providers can hold a candle to Bluehost in 2019 and WordPress is certainly not among them. There’s no denying that the company offers the best CMS out there but as far as web hosting is concerned, WordPress is better off leaving that to the experts. In short, Bluehost is by far the winner of this comparison.