We’re going to be doing something a little bit different in this web hosting comparison of WP Engine vs Bluehost, because these companies aren’t really competitors. You don’t really need to choose one or the other using the usual metrics we follow (Like which one is a better value, which one is faster, and so on…) These two hosting companies cater to totally different markets, so rather than choosing which host to go with, we’re going to help you choose which host can better meet the needs of your project.
Usually, we compare hosting companies that are quite similar, so that’s why its a bit different for this one. These are both excellent, totally capable web hosting companies that excel in slightly different categories…
They are famous for their affordable and simple shared hosting plans. They’re great for smaller to medium websites, portfolios, galleries, hobby sites, basically websites where you aren’t completly reliant on them for your livelihood.
If you have a really popular online store, for example, and you’re earning a lot of money from it, we definitely suggest going with a more premium option like WPEngine, but for most sites – Bluehost is great, and a great way to save some cash.
Bluehost integrates very nicely with WordPress, in fact they work closely with WordPress.org, are one of the platform’s top recommended hosts. Beyond that, you can run anything you’d like (more or less) on your Bluehost server, not just WordPress but any other content management systems, or shopping cards, or store platforms, etc.
In short: GREAT budget hosting.
WP Engine Introduction
These guys, on the other hand, are all about WordPress and nothing else. WP Engine offers a more premium experience, but you’re going to have to pay for it. If you’re making a lot of money from your website, it definitely makes sense to invest in higher-end hosting as soon as it’s financially viable. Their feverish obsession with tweaking WordPress and optimizing it to perfection, along with incredibly well-trained and experienced support staff who know WordPress like the back of their hands, WP Engine is certainly a premium service, and it shows every step of the way.
In short: Next-level premium WordPress hosting.
Now that we’ve quickly compared the two, let’s go into some more details. Since Bluehost is famous for their shared hosting, but also offers a special WordPress Hosting package too (Even though you can run WordPress on all of their cheaper plans, and it has their auto-installers to make it really easy, they take it even further with their WP-specific plan), we’re going to be comparing Bluehost’s shared hosting plans since that’s the budget option here for hosting, and WP Engine’s various offerings.
Bluehost Hosting Packages
Bluehost offers a variety of packages, but we’re looking specifically at their Shared Hosting plan right now, because it’s a more affordable alternative to WP Engine.
Bluehost’s shared packages start at just a couple bucks per month, and you can lock in those savings by signing up for a longer period of time. Both of these two hosts make the whole process really easy, it just comes down to your budget and the levels of performance you need for your site. Bluehost’s shared plans come with (for the most part) unlimited resources, but it’s always important to point out that “unlimited” doesn’t really exist in hosting, and you should take it to mean “unlimited, as long as you aren’t using up so many resources that it’s causing problems with the service other customers get.”
In other words, if you’re hosting some massive torrent site or streaming videos, and hogging a ton of resources, they’ll be getting in touch with you. However, just for normal usage and regular websites, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Shared hosting means that a bunch of different sites are using the same server. It means everyone pays a lot less compared to having their own dedicated servers, but it also means you’re sharing those resources. Most sites don’t use anywhere near the amount of server resources to slow things down or cause any issues, but occasionally some do, and it can cause the occasional hiccup for other sites on the server.
That’s why we recommend this type of host for MOST sites, but for sites where it’s mission-critical, can’t-afford-even-a-second-of-downtime, we’d steer you towards something like WP Engine instead.
WP Engine Hosting Plans
First things first, they’ve got their Personal plan, which is the most basic. You’ll notice it doesn’t say anything about UNLIMITED visitors, and so on, becasue they actually do put limits in place. So, why would you choose the host that has limits over one that’s unlimited? Well, it comes back to what we explained a minute ago about how “unlimited” really works.
With WP Engine, each user gets a SPECIFIC amount of resources, so they can always allocate things perfectly, and you don’t have to worry about someone else abusing their account and having it make a negative impact on your site’s performance. You don’t have to worry about randomly hitting some arbitrary limit someday, because you know exactly how many visitors your site can handle, and you can adjust and plan accordingly.
You’ll notice the personal plan also only allows for 1 installation, like Bluehost’s cheapest account, too.
So with WP Engine, you’re paying more money, but you’re getting a server that’s going to be more reliable and that is going to perform better by design. That’s not a known on Bluehost, it’s just a matter of fact that shared hosting isn’t going to perform as well as a higher-end option like WP Engine. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s OKAY that it doesn’t perform as well, because some people would rather pay $3 or $6 per month for their hosting because they don’t NEED something like the high-end solution WP Engine offers up.
Climbing up the ladder, WP Engine has plans for people who need more visitors, or who have more than one website to host.
CONCLUSION: WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
Here’s a quick summary of this comparison…
- WP Engine is designed for mission-critical sites where every little ounce of extra performance is crucial.
- Bluehost offers unlimited resources, whereas WP Engine has limits, but that also means WP Engine will perform better.
- WP Engine costs quite a bit more, becasue you’re paying for that added performance.
- Bluehost is able to charge less because they have shared servers where your site is sharing resources from a large pool, at the risk of someone coming along and hogging them from your site.
- Both companies have EXCELLENT customer support filled with WordPress experts, and a variety of additional add-ons including SSL certificates, backups, and more.
- Either one of these hosts is a GREAT choice to give you what you need from a host – so whether you choose Bluehost or WP Engine really comes down to what you need, and your budget.
All things being equal, WP Engine is the way to go, but if you don’t want to spend $30+ per month on hosting and don’t need a SUPER server, then Bluehost is a PERFECT choice!
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