Bluehost Alternatives: Top 4 Options for WordPress Hosting

WordPress is both one of the easiest Content Management Systems (CMS) to use, and one of the most powerful. However, to unleash its full potential you need a good hosting provider – and while Bluehost may be popular, it might not be the best option for you. Here are the top Bluehost alternatives, and why you might want to try them out.

In this post, we’ll firstly explore Bluehost’s pros and cons, then look at the top four Bluehost alternatives for WordPress hosting. In case you’re in a hurry and just want a recommendation, here’s the short version:

Best Bluehost alternatives 2018

In case you’re in a hurry, here are the highlights of our findings:

RankCompanyPrice
1SiteGround$3.95/mo
2 WP Engine$28/mo
3Flywheel$14/mo

What’s wrong with Bluehost anyway?

For a long time, Bluehost was the only host that WordPress.org recommended to its visitors, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s one of the largest hosting providers worldwide, and has over a decade of history under its belt. Despite some past controversies, the company has maintained a good reputation among first-time users – as evidenced by our exhaustive 2016 WordPress hosting surveybut its ratings have been going downhill for a while now.

Let’s take a look at what the survey said concerning Bluehost:

bluehost overall ratingbluehost WordPress optimization
  • It was ranked as one of the worst hosts from among several options when it came to WordPress optimization, only managing to beat HostGator.
  • Support was found to be lacking when it came to WordPress-specific knowledge.
  • Bluehost obtained the worst rating from among all surveyed hosts when it came to customer satisfaction in relation to cost.
  • The host came in dead last when it came to reliability, but managed to beat out DigitalOcean on user-friendliness.
Suffice to say, Bluehost took a beating in that survey, which brings up an interesting question: How does it remain so popular when so many of its users are dissatisfied? The answer may lie in its popular affiliate program, which paid out a hefty $5 million last year alone to its participants. At $65 per referral, that comes out to roughly 77,000 new customers who found their way to Bluehost by way of paid recommendations.

Furthermore, since the service is so popular among first-time users, it stands to reason that a good chunk of them aren’t familiar with what constitutes a good hosting provider. Even if they do, migrating a website can be a tiresome business, and it may discourage unsatisfied customers from actively looking for Bluehost alternatives.

However, despite its downfalls, Bluehost offers solid security options and plenty of integrations with third-party apps. With that in mind, let’s discuss the alternatives.

What are the top Bluehost alternatives?

Before we dive into our picks, we want to take a moment to explain how we went about selecting them. These four Bluehost alternatives came out as some of the top picks from our 2016 WordPress hosting survey, so it was actually you who helped us come up with this list.

Let’s take a look:

A screenshot of SiteGround's homepage. The first out of four Bluehost alternatives.

SiteGround consistently ranks as one of the top Bluehost alternatives for all kinds of users. Its WordPress hosting plans are reasonably priced and can go blow-for-blow with most other providers when it comes to functionality.

Their WordPress plans are presented realistically, without making any promises of unlimited storage or traffic. For example, their cheapest plan – the aptly named StartUp – is recommended for approximately 10,000 visits per month, and comes with 10GB of space.

How SiteGround is better than Bluehost
COMPANYUSER RATINGWILL YOU EXTEND?
Bluehost3.0 / 546%
SiteGround4.6 / 593%
Pricing
$3.95, $5.95, and $11.95 per month.
Features
When to use SiteGround
Use SiteGround when looking for a stable service that can handle the unique needs of your WordPress website, all the way from its infancy to maturity. SiteGround offers reasonable prices, an excellent support service, fast loading speeds, and fantastic all-around features for WordPress users.

A screenshot of WP Engine's homepage.

Whereas both of the previous Bluehost alternatives provide hosting plans for various platforms, WP Engine is all about WordPress. They’re dedicated to providing the best possible experience for WordPress users, thanks to a support team that’s well-versed with the CMS, a robust architecture, and high security standards.

These guys are so committed to WordPress, they also have an in-house incubator for projects designed to improve their platform, including plugins and contributions to WordPress core.

How WP Engine is better than Bluehost
COMPANYWORDPRESS OPTIMIZATIONWP-PROFICIENT SUPPORT
Bluehost2.6 / 52.9 / 5
WP Engine4.7 / 54.5 / 5
Pricing
$29, $99, $249 per month, as well as custom plans for more demanding clients.
Features
  • Around the clock, WordPress-centric support.
  • High security measures, including multiple firewalls and regular malware scans.
  • EverCache technology enables lighting-fast speeds.
  • Provides site performance data to all customers.
  • Daily backups for your WordPress sites.
When to use WP Engine
Considering its above average prices, WP Engine should be considered by customers who are serious about developing their WordPress projects, and need a hosting provider that will have their back the whole way through. They provide WordPress site owners with a reliable platform, the ability to scale up, and robust security for sensitive data.

A screenshot of Flywheel's homepage.

Flywheel is a bit of an oddity when it comes to WordPress hosting. While they do offer hosting packages for individual WordPress sites, the bulk of their features are geared towards freelancers and agencies. Their collaboration tools enable web developers and designers to work together on projects without sharing credentials, plus you can even transfer hosting bills directly to your clients.

Of course, these tools come with a premium price. Their individual packages are right around average for managed WordPress hosting services, but their bulk offerings start at $100 for freelancers that need to manage up to ten installs.

How Flywheel is better than Bluehost
COMPANYWORDPRESS OPTIMIZATIONWP-PROFICIENT SUPPORT
Bluehost2.6 / 52.9 / 5
Flywheel4.9 / 54.9 / 5
Pricing
$14, $28, or $69 per month, with custom plans available.
Features
When to use Flywheel
Flywheel is designed to simplify the lives of freelancers and agencies working with WordPress, but it’s also a stable hosting provider for regular users. Either way, you get a fantastic set of features, and a support team that knows their stuff when it comes to WordPress.

A screenshot of DigitalOcean's homepage.

No, that wasn’t a typo. We know DigitalOcean isn’t the first name that springs to mind when someone mentions WordPress hosting – and Bluehost alternatives in particular – but DigitalOcean actually garnered one of the highest scores in our WordPress hosting survey.

DigitalOcean focuses on providing SSD-only cloud servers for their customers. While that might scare first-time hosting users away, setting up a WordPress Virtual Private Server (VPS) server – called a ‘droplet’ – on the platform is not that difficult, as long as you’re comfortable getting your hands dirty.

How DigitalOcean is better than Bluehost
COMPANYVALUE FOR MONEYRELIABILITY
Bluehost3.0 / 53.4 / 5
DigitalOcean4.6 / 54.7 / 5
Pricing
Based on a cost per hour until reaching a monthly cap of $5, $10, $20, $40, or $80 per month.
Features
  • Deploy your custom VPS, and set up WordPress with a single click.
  • Take advantage of team accounts to provide access to management resources, without sharing sensitive credentials.
  • All droplets are designed to provide the highest levels of security and performance.
  • Unique billing based on a cost per hour.
  • A 99.99% uptime guarantee, and refunds for any time spent offline.
When to use DigitalOcean
Let’s not mince words here – DigitalOcean is a fantastic service, but it’s not for everyone. That said, if you’re comfortable with DIY solutions (and the thought of customizing your own VPS doesn’t send you running), you’ll be in good hands with DigitalOcean.

Summing it all up

All things considered, Bluehost offers a decent hosting service for WordPress users. It’s stable, moderately priced, and comes with many additional features. However, it pales in comparison to the quality of service many of the Bluehost alternatives provide – so it’s definitely worth revisiting your options. Let’s recap:

SiteGround: A low-priced and dependable option for WordPress users of all sizes (and non-WordPress sites as well).
DigitalOcean: Perfect for those users who want to customize their setups from the ground up and have the skills to do so.
WP Engine: Great for business and enterprise sites built using WordPress.
Flywheel: A fantastic option for WordPress freelancers and developers, with many unique features.
Here’s the comparison table again:

Top Bluehost Alternatives for WordPress
BluehostSiteGroundDigitalOceanWP EngineFlywheel
Rating (survey data)3.04.64.64.24.7
Starter plans (per month)$12.49$3.95$5$29$14
Storage30GB10GB20GB10GB5GB
Number of WordPress sites51Unlimited11
Includes domainYesYesNoNoNo
WordPress supportNoYesNoYesYes
 
What are your top Bluehost alternatives for WordPress hosting? Share your picks with us in the comments section below!

Also, check out the full results of our most recent WordPress hosting survey – the biggest such survey conducted on the web to date.

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and then purchase the product, we’ll receive a small fee. No worries though, you’ll still pay the standard amount so there’s no cost on your part.