Nowadays hosting a website has never been cheaper. If this is your first time launching a WordPress site, you’ll be glad to know that you can get up and running quickly. Of course, you’ll still need to choose your hosting provider carefully.
There are many options, but Bluehost stands out as a cost-effective solution that delivers solid performance. You get to pick from shared, managed, and e-commerce-specific plans. What’s more, this provider offers a notable assortment of perks with all of its service tiers.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Bluehost, along with the features and level of support it offers. Then we’ll discuss the costs involved, to help you figure out if this is the right provider for your WordPress website. Let’s get to it!
An Introduction to Bluehost
Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting providers on the market for many types of users. However, a significant share of the services it offers are geared specifically towards WordPress enthusiasts (that’s us!).
It’s also worth noting that Bluehost is owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG). That same company manages several other popular web hosts, including HostGator, iPage, and A Small Orange, as well as multiple domain registrars. In other words, they know web hosting inside and out.
Within the hosting world, Bluehost has a reputation as a beginner-friendly option. That’s largely due to its competitive prices. If you’re new to owning a website, however, it’s important to understand that you shouldn’t gauge a provider only by its cost.
Fortunately, with Bluehost you can also get above-average hosting performance (which we’ll cover in a minute), a user-friendly interface, and plenty of extras on most plans. What’s more, WordPress users stand to benefit the most from this provider’s feature set.
Bluehost Hosting for WordPress: Shared and E-Commerce Plans
Bluehost offers three types of hosting plans for WordPress users. In this section, we’ll focus on two of them:
- Shared WordPress hosting: These entry-level tiers are perfect for new and growing websites that don’t receive a lot of traffic yet.
- E-commerce hosting: If you plan to run an online store with WordPress, Bluehost offers plans designed specifically for WooCommerce users.
These two types of WordPress plans are remarkably similar when it comes to features. There are three tiers available for both shared and e-commerce hosting, which vary in cost based on how many websites you have and how much storage you need:
Every tier comes with a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, domain registration, and marketing credits to use on Google and Microsoft ads. You’ll also get automatic WordPress updates, and help setting up a Google My Business listing if you need it:
If you only intend to host one site, the Basic plan should have everything you need. The Plus tier supports unlimited websites, which makes it a handy option for developers and agencies.
The only difference between the Choice Plus plan and its cheaper (if you consider renewal prices) Plus sibling is that the former includes automatic backups. That’s a useful feature, but it’s also something you can easily automate with WordPress plugins.
Bluehost’s WooCommerce plans don’t offer a lot of extras when compared to the shared tiers. You will get the Storefront theme set up on your site, as well as a free onboarding call to help you configure your store.
However, there are plenty of other excellent WooCommerce themes to choose from, as well as tutorials to help you get started. Unless you’re absolutely sure you need the help, therefore, we recommend that you stick with Bluehost’s regular shared plans.
Bluehost Hosting for WordPress: WP Pro
The WP Pro line of plans offers a completely different experience from Bluehost’s other offerings. That’s why we’ve separated this service into its own section.
With ‘managed hosting’, you get a more hands-off experience. Your provider takes care of a lot of basic maintenance tasks for you, saving you both time and trouble.
For WP Pro plans, those tasks include:
- Automatic daily backups
- Malware scans and removal services
- Pre-installation of WordPress
- Automatic Content Delivery Network (CDN) setup
- Hands-off WordPress updates
On top of that, WP Pro also comes with a staging environment you can use to safely test changes to your websites.
Managed WordPress hosting can be very desirable, since you tend to get more stability and better performance. After all, you’ll have experts taking care of your site for you. Naturally, this level of service comes with a higher price tag:
WP Pro stands out from other managed WordPress hosting services for two reasons. Most of its plans support unlimited websites, and they offer a lot of built-in features to help you market your site.
For example, every WP Pro plan includes some level of integration with the Jetpack plugin, which can help you enhance and promote your site. Plus, Bluehost also provides access to its own marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools, a collection of free WordPress themes, and a premium support service.
In addition, WP Pro plans tend to provide better performance when compared with the rest of Bluehost’s WordPress lineup. However, these benefits do come at a higher cost. We’d recommend these plans if you don’t have the time or expertise to manage your website personally, and especially if you’re planning to monetize your site.
Bluehost’s Support Service
One upside of choosing a massive hosting service such as Bluehost is that it offers around-the-clock support. In our experience, it rarely takes more than a few minutes to get in touch with an agent via live chat:
Support is also available via phone and email. However, live chat agents can handle most of the technical issues you might have, which saves you a lot of time.
WP Pro users also get access to ‘specialized’ WordPress support agents. However, it’s worth noting that these Blue Sky agents are only available via live chat on the most expensive WP Pro tier.
Regardless of which plan you sign up for, Bluehost’s knowledgeable support agents and quick response times make this an excellent hosting option. That’s especially true if you’re new to WordPress.
Bluehost’s Pricing Options
Ultimately, most hosting decisions come down to price. For Bluehost in particular, you’ll generally be picking from either the shared plans or the WP Pro line. The difference in pricing is significant, which can make this choice easier.
Shared plans start at $2.95 per month, and scale up to $5.45 per month on the highest tier. Keep in mind that like most web hosts, Bluehost offers better prices for your first contract, and then increases them upon renewal.
On the shared plans, you’ll only get the best prices if you sign up for three years of hosting upfront:
If you’re interested in one of these plans, we recommend opting for the Plus tier. For only $3 more per month than the Basic tier, you’ll get support for unlimited websites, as well as unmetered bandwidth and storage. If you ever want to launch more sites, this plan should pay for itself.
If you plan on starting a WooCommerce store, we still recommend that you stick with the traditional shared plans, instead of the WooCommerce-specific options. That’s because the latter are significantly more expensive, but the extra features they offer don’t really justify the markup.
If you’re willing to spend more on hosting and you know you need better performance or help managing your site, the WP Pro line should be your go-to option. These plans start at $19.95 per month, and scale up to $49.95 per month.
With WP Pro, the best value for your money lies in the Grow plan. By signing up for a Grow account, you’ll get access to all the features you’d expect from managed WordPress hosting, plus Bluehost’s entire line of marketing and SEO tools.
The more expensive WP Pro plans also offer shorter contract length options, starting at three months:
Considering how expensive managed hosting can be, we recommend choosing a shorter contract length, at least at first. That way, you can get a feel for the service without making a multi-year commitment right away.
Bluehost hosting is one of the most competitive options in the market, particularly for WordPress users. On its shared hosting tiers, you’ll get decent performance, excellent support , and several extras to help you market your site.
If you’re willing to pay more, the WP Pro line of plans enables you to dip your toes into managed hosting. Its prices are in line with other WordPress managed hosting providers. However, you’ll also get support for unlimited websites and traffic on all of these plans, which is a valuable bonus.
Do you have any questions about Bluehost hosting? Ask away in the comments section below!