Top 4 Best Bluehost Alternatives for WordPress Hosting – Compared (2020)

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Bluehost are one of the most popular web hosts out there. They do a great job of making the process of launching a website as simple as possible — which is partly why they made it onto our list of recommended shared hosting.

But, while Bluehost are definitely one of the most user-friendly hosts, they’re not always the best option when it comes to performance and support — as I’ll discuss in a second.

If you’re having issues with Bluehost, or if you just want to see what your options are, there are some excellent alternatives out there at around the same price point that can improve on their weak points.

In this post, I’ll dig in to the four best Bluehost alternatives — two make a good alternative for their cheap shared plans, and two are good options for switching from Bluehost’s managed WordPress plans (WP Pro).

Why Consider Bluehost Alternatives?

Before getting into the downsides, let’s talk about what Bluehost do well.

Bluehost have a great hosting control dashboard, and also do a lot to streamline the process of creating a WordPress website. If you’re a beginner, Bluehost make it about as easy as possible to make a website, which is awesome.

Bluehost also do a good job of building in value-added features — even on their cheap shared plans. For example, you’ll get features such as:

  • free SSL certificates
  • automatic WordPress updates
  • built-in caching
  • staging sites.

Some of these, especially staging, aren’t commonly available on similarly priced plans.

However, once you get past the process of launching your site and look beyond those features, you may start noticing some of the areas where Bluehost aren’t as strong.

Performance

First off, a lot of people report suboptimal page load times, compared with some of the Bluehost alternatives on this list. For example, in ReviewSignal’s 2018 performance benchmarks (the last year that Bluehost participated), Bluehost performed poorly in the battery of tests ReviewSignal ran.

On the other hand, many of the alternatives on this list performed quite well in those tests.

So, if you value page load times, you can probably do better for your money.

Support

Second, many users have issues with Bluehost’s support. In CodeinWP’s 2018 hosting survey of more than 830 WordPress users, Bluehost scored just 3.2 (out of five) when it came to overall support. Their WordPress-specific support quality wasn’t much better, at 3.4.

Again, you can find hosts at similar price points that offer better support — both overall and for WordPress.

Pricing

Finally, while Bluehost’s prices are generally quite competitive, they do require you to sign up for longer terms if you want to get the best deals. In fact, for the absolute lowest price, you need to commit to three years at a time. If you don’t like that, most of these alternatives let you pay monthly without a huge increase in price.

What Type of Bluehost Alternative Do You Need?

If you’re a WordPress user, Bluehost offer two plans that may be of interest to you.

First, you have the cheap shared WordPress hosting plans, which start at less than $5 a month. These shared plans are what most Bluehost users choose.

If you need a little more power, you may also be using/considering Bluehost’s pricier WP Pro managed WordPress plans (our review). These start a little higher (around $20 a month with promo pricing), but offer improved performance and more features — including automatic updates.

I’ll share alternatives for both.

Two Best Alternatives for Cheap Bluehost Shared Hosting

If you’re using or considering Bluehost’s cheap shared hosting, these are the two best alternatives for you…

1. SiteGround

SiteGround

SiteGround are one of the best options out there for shared WordPress hosting. They manage to achieve a good balance of:

  • fast page load times
  • quality support
  • a custom-built hosting dashboard
  • useful features.

Because they offer a good number of managed features on their shared plans, SiteGround can make a good alternative for both Bluehost’s cheap shared plans and the WP Pro plans.

For example, you’ll get access to features such as:

  • free SSL certificates
  • staging sites
  • automatic WordPress updates
  • built-in caching
  • a free companion performance optimization plugin (SG Optimizer)
  • daily automatic backups.

SiteGround’s plans start at just $3.95 with promo pricing. But be aware that those prices will jump after your first billing cycle, which I’ll discuss below.

SiteGround pricing

Our full SiteGround review 👈

What SiteGround Do Better Than Bluehost

First off, while Bluehost and SiteGround largely have feature parity, SiteGround do offer some features/benefits that Bluehost don’t:

  • Automatic and on-demand backups — Bluehost only offer these on their WP Pro plans, not the shared plans.
  • Free migrations — Bluehost charge for their migration service (you can do it yourself for free, of course).

SiteGround also have better performance. They earned Top Tier status in Review Signal’s benchmarks, and offer a performance-optimized architecture, including Google Cloud infrastructure and Nginx Fast_CGI caching. The companion SG Optimizer plugin also helps you to implement a lot of performance best practices.

Finally, SiteGround offer better support. In that same CodeinWP survey, SiteGround scored a 4.7 for overall support and 4.5 for WordPress-specific support, which is well above Bluehost (3.2 and 3.4, respectively).

What SiteGround Do Worse Than Bluehost

With the release of SiteGround’s new hosting dashboard, I don’t think there are any obvious areas where they’re worse than Bluehost when it comes to features, performance or support.

However, one drawback to SiteGround is the pricing.

First, while SiteGround do let you host unlimited websites on their higher-tier plans, they don’t give you unlimited storage (as Bluehost do). You’ll be limited to somewhere between 10 and 30 GB of storage.

Second, SiteGround are more expensive than Bluehost when you go to renew. Both Bluehost and SiteGround offer similar promotional prices for your first billing cycle (which can be up to three years). But once you go to renew, the price of SiteGround’s cheapest unlimited plan jumps to $19.95 a month, while Bluehost’s is just $12.99 a month.

If you’re considering SiteGround, I’d highly recommend paying for three years upfront if possible, so you can lock in the promo prices for as long as possible.

2. DreamHost

Dreamhost

DreamHost are one of the older independent hosts out there, launched in 1996.

They offer affordable shared plans that compare favorably with Bluehost’s shared plans, as well as an affordable managed WordPress service, called DreamPress, which stacks up well against Bluehost’s WP Pro service.

In this section, I’m mainly focused on DreamHost’s cheap shared plans, though. With month-to-month prices starting at just $4.95 a month, DreamHost’s shared plans still offer features such as:

  • unlimited bandwidth
  • free SSL certificates
  • free migrations
  • automatic backups
  • custom hosting dashboard.

DreamHost also offer month-to-month billing, which most cheap shared hosts don’t allow. Here’s how the pricing shakes out:

  • One website — $4.95 a month (month-to-month) or $2.59 a month (three-year commitment).
  • Unlimited websites — $10.95 a month (month-to-month) or $3.95 a month (three-year commitment).

DreamHost shared plan price

Our full DreamHost review 👈

What DreamHost Do Better Than Bluehost

In terms of pricing, Bluehost and DreamHost have similar starting prices. However, DreamHost have an advantage in the fact that you can pay month-to-month — which Bluehost don’t offer. The minimum at Bluehost is one year, and that makes the prices more expensive, too.

DreamHost also offer some features/benefits that Bluehost don’t, such as:

  • automatic daily backups
  • free website migrations (with DreamHost’s dedicated plugin).

Finally, DreamHost offer better support than Bluehost. In the aforementioned CodeinWP survey, DreamHost scored a 4.0 for overall support and 3.9 for WordPress-specific support, which is well above Bluehost.

What DreamHost Do Worse Than Bluehost

While DreamHost’s overall support quality is solid, they don’t have as much availability as Bluehost. With Bluehost, you can access all of the support channels 24/7.

With DreamHost, you get 24/7 email/ticket support. However, you don’t get any phone support (which Bluehost offer) and live chat is only available from 5.30am to 9.30pm PT, which may be a problem if that time zone isn’t convenient for you.

Beyond support, there are some notable feature differences:

  • DreamHost don’t offer staging on their cheap shared plans, while Bluehost do.
  • DreamHost don’t include email hosting on the cheapest tier — it costs an extra $1.67 a month. If you upgrade to the unlimited shared tier, though, email hosting is included.

Two Best Alternatives for Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting (WP Pro)

If you’re using or considering Bluehost’s WP Pro managed WordPress hosting plans, these are the two best alternatives for you…

1. Flywheel

Flywheel Homepage

Flywheel are a true managed WordPress host that also just so happen to be the host we use here at WinningWP.

Flywheel’s infrastructure is built on Google Cloud, with performance-boosting features such as server-level caching and a built-in content delivery network (CDN) added on top.

You also get a wonderfully user-friendly hosting dashboard, excellent support and convenient managed WordPress hosting features such as:

  • staging sites
  • free SSL certificates
  • automatic daily backups
  • custom security rules and a hack fix guarantee
  • automatic WordPress updates
  • free migrations.

Flywheel’s plans start at $13 a month for a single low-traffic site, or $25 a month for higher-traffic limits.

Flywheel Pricing

Our full Flywheel review 👈

What Flywheel Do Better Than Bluehost

First off, while I think that Bluehost’s user dashboard is pretty good, Flywheel have one of the best hosting dashboards of any host — it’s really a joy to use.

Flywheel will also help your site to load faster because of their performance-optimized infrastructure, which includes features such as:

  • Google Cloud infrastructure
  • custom caching solution
  • built-in CDN powered by Fastly.

They also offer better support than Bluehost. Going back to the CodeinWP survey, Flywheel scored a 4.6 for overall support and a 4.8 for WordPress-specific support, which is well above Bluehost.

Finally, if you’re a creative who builds sites for other people, Flywheel also have one of the best experiences for you of any WordPress host, with features such as billing transfer.

What Flywheel Do Worse Than Bluehost

Flywheel lose out to Bluehost when it comes to usage limits.

For their WP Pro plans, Bluehost advertise unlimited websites, storage and bandwidth.

That’s not the case for Flywheel. Flywheel offer two plans that are competitive with Bluehost’s pricing at $13 and $25 a month. However, both of those plans only let you host a single WordPress site, and come with restrictions on storage space and bandwidth.

For that reason, Flywheel probably aren’t a good alternative if you’re planning to host multiple websites — unless you’re willing to pay significantly more than Bluehost.

2. WP Engine

WP Engine homepage

WP Engine are one of the most popular premium managed WordPress hosts. They’re a big company, having raised $250 million in funding in 2018. They used this money, in part, to acquire Flywheel (though the two are still run separately and have different features/infrastructure).

One of the notable things about WP Engine is that, in addition to true managed WordPress features, they also offer value-added tools, such as free access to the Genesis framework and StudioPress child themes (our review).

Beyond that, you also get features such as:

  • automatic WordPress updates
  • multiple staging environments
  • server-level caching with Varnish and memcached
  • built-in CDN
  • free SSL certificates
  • special WooCommerce tools.

WP Engine’s plans start at $25 a month for a single site, or $22 if you can snag the occasional coupon:

WP Engine pricing

Our full WP Engine review 👈

What WP Engine Do Better Than Bluehost

First off, WP Engine offer faster performance than Bluehost. You get better infrastructure/resources, as well as optimized server-level caching. You also get performance-boosting features that Bluehost don’t offer, such as:

  • PHP 7.4
  • built-in CDN
  • a page performance analysis tool.

You also get much better support — WP Engine scored a 4.7 out of 5 for both overall support and WordPress-specific support, which is much higher than Bluehost.

Finally, you also get the value-added benefit of access to the Genesis Framework and all of StudioPress’s Genesis child themes. That shouldn’t affect your decision by itself, but it’s nice to have.

What WP Engine Do Worse Than Bluehost

WP Engine share the same downside as Flywheel — you’ll have to accept usage limits if you want to keep the prices around what Bluehost charges.

At $25 a month, WP Engine’s entry-level plan is competitive with Bluehost’s WP Pro pricing. However, that plan only lets you host a single site, and comes with storage and bandwidth limits.

So, just like Flywheel, WP Engine probably aren’t a good alternative for hosting multiple websites — unless you’re willing to pay more than Bluehost.

What If You Need to Host Multiple Websites?

Flywheel and WP Engine both share the same downside, so what if you do need to host multiple WordPress sites but still want managed features such as those you get with WP Pro?

In that case, your best option is probably SiteGround’s GoGeek plan. While it’s not ‘true’ managed WordPress hosting, such as that of Flywheel and WP Engine, it does get you a lot of managed features and lets you host unlimited websites (though still with storage limits).

Which Is the Best Bluehost Alternative for Your Needs?

You may have noticed a trend above — most of the drawbacks of these alternatives are with pricing or usage limits.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to find good alternatives that can match Bluehost’s prices — especially if you need unlimited websites and storage.

If you absolutely can’t pay any more than what Bluehost costs, I think your best bet are DreamHost. They offer competitive prices and features, while also having better support.

If you can go a bit above Bluehost’s prices, then I think your overall best options are:

  • SiteGround — the best alternative if you need to host multiple/unlimited websites. SiteGround also offer similar prices if you can lock in the promo prices for three years upfront.
  • Flywheel — the most affordable true managed WordPress host if you just need to host a single site.
  • WP Engine — a little pricier than Flywheel but still within the range of Bluehost’s WP Pro plans. Another great option if you just need to host a single site.

And if you want to learn more about how all of these options stack up against one another, check out our comparisons of:

Used/using any of these Bluehost alternatives? Thoughts?

By Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing and WordPress. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.
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