Bluehost and Wix are two high quality – but super different – ways to get a website up and running.
- Bluehost is a hosting provider, which means it manages the server that houses your website and keeps it connected to the internet. Hosting providers focus on running your website, not helping you design it.
- Wix is a website builder, which means it provides beginner-friendly website design tools. Wix hosts your website for you, but its servers aren’t as powerful as Bluehost’s.
To find out how we’ve come to this conclusion, read on. This article will go section-by-section, pitting Bluehost and Wix head-to-head in all the most important areas, from pricing to design.
The main difference is this: Bluehost is a hosting provider, which focuses more on website resources like storage space. Wix is a website builder, which focuses more on website design tools like templates. But which type of platform will you need?
Bluehost Pros and Cons
| •Prices are cheaper than Wix’s |
•Server resources are more reliable. For example, you’ll get more storage space, and a higher uptime guarantee
•Can combine with WordPress for near-limitless design freedom
| •Not an all-in-one package – you’ll have to make your own arrangements for actually designing your site |
•Limitless customization means a more complex design process, too
Wix Pros and Cons
| •Much easier to use than Bluehost. You can get a professional site up and running quickly |
•Pre-designed templates make editing simple, and they’re still very sleek
•All-in-one package – Wix hosts your website for you
| •Server resources are not as powerful or secure as Bluehost’s |
•Design customization is a lot more limited
•Plans are more expensive than Bluehost’s
- For $2.95 per month, Bluehost will give you powerful server resources, like bandwidth to accommodate plenty of website visitors and storage space to house plenty of media.
- For $14 per month, Wix will help you design a modern and stylish-looking website, with no technical or coding experience required.
Both platforms have a range of paid plans to choose from, with the more expensive plans offering a wider range of features. But because Bluehost is a hosting provider and Wix is a website builder, the features included in their pricing plans are pretty different. Here’s what you need to know:
|Cheapest Plan Features|| •Free domain for one year |
•50 GB storage
•Extremely basic website builder
| •Free domain for one year |
•3 GB storage
•2 GB bandwidth
•Drag-and-drop site builder with how-to tips
|Full Price Range||$2.95 - $119.99/month||$14 - $56/month|
Bluehost offers better value for money than Wix because its prices are much cheaper, and you still get great features. That said, it’s important to note that website builders like Wix are all-inclusive – everything you need to get a professional site live is covered by Wix’s $14 per month cost.
- Up to 500 MB storage
- Up to 500 MB bandwidth
- Tips and guidance on using the website editor
On the other hand, hosting providers like Bluehost don’t cover the design tools that you’ll need to create a stunning site. It’s true that Bluehost provides a basic website builder in its hosting plans, but most people end up using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress to design their website instead.
While website builders are focused on providing tools for creating a website, content management systems are software that put more focus on storing and organizing the content – like images and pages – that makes up the website. Of course, all websites have content – so website builders do have storage and management capabilities that function like a CMS. The main difference is that content management systems are more powerful than website builders, so they come with more storage space. They’re not as beginner-friendly as website builders, but the advanced interface allows for much more design flexibility.
WordPress offers both free and premium themes that you can use, with premium themes typically ranging from a one-time payment of $40 – $130. WordPress themes are very customizable, but they require more advanced technical knowledge than Wix’s themes.
- The $0 – $130 cost of a WordPress theme
- The time investment of learning how to use WordPress
|What’s Included With Bluehost’s Cheapest Plan||What’s Included With Wix’s Cheapest Plan|
| •Free domain for the first year |
•50 GB storage
| •Website with a custom domain connected |
•Free domain for the first year
•2 GB bandwidth
•3 GB storage
•Drag-and-drop website builder
As you can see, Bluehost has greater storage and bandwidth than Wix, while Wix has better website design tools. It really comes down to which factor you value more:
For Top Performance, Choose Bluehost
As a hosting provider, Bluehost offers great resources on the actual server your website is hosted on. These resources help your site perform better, meaning it will load faster and be able to accommodate more visitors at one time. But when it comes to the website’s look and feel, you’ll either have to outsource to a CMS like WordPress, or settle for one of Bluehost’s basic website templates.
For a Better Look, Choose Wix
As a website builder, Wix hosts your website for you. This means you won’t have to worry about any technical headaches, but it also means you won’t have access to as much bandwidth or storage as you would with your own hosting provider (although small to midsize websites won’t really need more resources than Wix can provide).
Wix’s high-quality website templates and built-in, drag-and-drop editor make it extremely easy to design a stunning website all by yourself.
Wix is easier to use than Bluehost. Wix’s drag-and-drop website builder requires absolutely no prior knowledge, and all of the technical stuff – including hosting – is taken care of for you.
Wix: Drag-and-Drop Simplicity
The first thing Wix will do is ask you what kind of website you want to create. You can choose everything from “Portfolio & CV” to “Online Store,” and once you’ve decided, you’ll then be given two options for creating your site:
- Wix Editor is the famous drag-and-drop website builder that we’ve all come to associate with Wix. If you choose the editor, you’ll be able to pick a template and customize it yourself.
- Wix ADI is an even easier to use version of Wix. This option generates a website for you, based on a few questions about the type of site you’re making and the kinds of features you want. There isn’t as much room for personalization, but you also won’t have to lift a finger.
If you choose Wix ADI, you’ll have a finished site in just a few clicks. If you choose Wix Editor, you’ll get to choose from one of 500+ templates, categorized by industry, and start customizing the design right away.
Managing your website is just as easy as designing it. Your Wix dashboard will walk you through everything, from connecting your free domain to implementing SEO best practices.
Wix also hosts your website for you, so you won’t have to set that part up yourself. The drawback of this is that you won’t have as much server resources (like bandwidth and storage) allocated to your site as you would with Bluehost. But if ease of use is your top priority, then Wix is an unbeatable all-in-one package.
Bluehost: No Hand-Holding
Although Bluehost offers a basic website builder with its hosting plans, most people don’t use it – it’s more like a formality. Instead, the most popular option is to create your Bluehost-hosted website through WordPress. In fact, WordPress is so popular that it actually powers 39% of the internet!
Since WordPress is a CMS and not a website builder, it offers more design customization than Wix. But that comes at a price: WordPress is not very beginner-friendly. For example, Wix lets you see what your changes (like moving images and text blocks) will look like as you make them on-site. But with WordPress, you create your pages in a dedicated editing section, and then have to enter a separate “Preview” mode to see what they’ll actually look like.
A basic knowledge of code will help you master this CMS editor. But if you’re intimidated by the thought of some HTML, or simply don’t have time to delve into it, then Wix’s code-free editor is a much easier option. Plus, Wix does let you code if you want to – it’s just that with Wix, dealing with code yourself is completely optional!
For managing websites, Bluehost uses “cPanel,” a popular dashboard for hosting providers. Although it’s not as modern-looking as Wix’s dashboard, the cPanel is still a pretty straightforward way to manage your Bluehost site.
Wix: Easy and Quick Design
Wix templates are modern and stylish, and they give you a stunning website without any work involved on your part. When it comes to making the template your own, you won’t have as much freedom as you would with Bluehost/WordPress, but it’s still easy to change colors, fonts, and layouts. One user put it best:
“It was easy to drag in images and video, and the more I used it, the easier it became.”
The biggest draw of Wix’s templates is that they’re ready-made, but they’re still high-quality designs, too. With Wix templates, you can have both style and ease of use.
What about Wix’s apps?
If you want to add extra functionality to your site, like a live chat widget or an ecommerce shopping cart, Wix’s App Market has over 250 free and paid tools that you can install with just a few clicks. Wix’s app offerings aren’t as extensive as WordPress’, but once again, they’re easier to add to your website.
Bluehost with WordPress: Complicated but Customizable
WordPress offers thousands of templates (or “themes,” as you might see them called), ranging in price from free to about $130 each. Out of the box, these themes are nowhere near as sleek or modern as Wix’s templates.
However, WordPress themes are much more customizable than Wix’s templates. If you have a little bit of coding knowledge, and some time to get comfortable with the WordPress CMS, then you’ll be able to create your own unique pages, loosely based on the WordPress theme you choose.
We spoke to Harry Clarkson-Bennett from Red Orange Peach about his experience using WordPress to create the site:
“If you want to have total control and creative freedom over your website – and you know you’re going to want to make substantial changes in the future – then the design freedom you get with WordPress is, in my opinion, essential.
There are so many more things that can go wrong with WordPress, but I know I can’t create the website I really want with a website builder.”
What about WordPress’ apps?
As far as apps go, WordPress offers almost 60,000 plugins that you can install to add extra features to your site. There are much more WordPress plugins available than Wix apps, so you’ll be able to find practically any tools you can think of.
The drawback to this is that a lot of the plugins in the WordPress market were created by independent, third party developers, not by the official WordPress software. We recommend checking a plugin’s user reviews before downloading it to make sure you’re not installing anything on your site that’s out of date, or which contains malicious code.
Bluehost vs Wix: Security Tools
Good question! Let’s go over them quickly:
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate: Encrypts a user’s connection to your website, so that they know their information is safe. SSL-secure websites will have a padlock icon in their address bar!
- Uptime: The amount of time your website is live and available to visitors. A good uptime range is between 99.95-99.99%, which amounts to no more than 5 hours of downtime per year. Note that a 100% uptime guarantee is impossible!
- Website backups: Backups are copies of all your website’s data. You’ll want to make backups every few days or so, so that you can restore a previous version of your site if anything goes wrong.
- Software updates: Your Wix or WordPress website will be impacted whenever these platforms update themselves with new versions and features. When Wix updates itself, you won’t have to do anything different to your website. But WordPress is a little more advanced – you’ll be notified when a new version is available, but it falls on you to actually click “Update.”
First, the basics. Both Bluehost and Wix offer multiple ways to contact their support teams:
|Phone||24/7||Monday to Thursday, 5am-5pm EST|
It’s true that only Bluehost offers 24/7 phone support – in fact, Bluehost beat every other hosting provider in our rankings for “customer support.” Still, what elevates Wix’s support over Bluehost’s is the amount of guidance you get while you’re actually in the editor making changes to your site.
Since Bluehost isn’t a dedicated website builder, it can’t offer this level of on-the-job guidance for website design.
It’s clear that Bluehost and Wix are very different platforms. But one thing’s for sure: They’re both high-quality tools! To recap, here’s how they stack up against each other:
|Pricing||Winner! Starts at $2.95 per month||Starts at $14 per month|
|Features||Tie! Lots of bandwidth and storage||Tie! Drag-and-drop editor|
|Ease of Use||WordPress editor requires some tech knowledge||Winner! Ready-made templates|
|Design||Tie! Limitless customization||Tie! Quick and easy, but still stylish|
|Performance||Winner! Secure, powerful servers||Less focused on server resources|
|Support||24/7 phone support||Winner! Helpful guidance as you go|
|Are You Ready?||Visit Bluehost||Visit Wix|
Who Should Use Bluehost?
- Anyone looking to grow their site’s content or audience in the future
- Bloggers with a lot of posts to keep track of
- Anyone with a lot of images or other media on their site
- Anyone who values total design freedom
- Anyone who wants a more powerful, advanced platform
Who Should Use Wix?
- Anyone who wants to get online quickly
- Anyone who wants an easy website creation process
- Anyone who wants most of the work done for them
- Anyone who wants stylish templates without having to code
- Anyone who wants a beginner-friendly platform
This actually isn’t necessary! If you use a website builder, then that website builder takes care of hosting for you, so you don’t need to go looking for your own host. If you use a hosting provider, then you’ll be responsible for designing your site – but since you’ll have more storage space and bandwidth to work with, you’ll want a CMS instead of a website builder.
Yes! You can hire a professional WordPress designer to create a unique site for you – but we don’t recommend this in most cases, because it will typically cost $1,000+.
Going to Bluehost for a website builder would be like going to a coffee shop for a milkshake: they could probably whip it up, but it’s not what they’re really there for. Hosting providers specialize in the behind-the-scenes aspects of your site, so you’re better off trusting a dedicated CMS with all the design aspects.
Yes! WordPress is by far the most popular CMS, but there are tons out there to choose from. For example, Joomla is geared towards the more technical crowd, while Magento focuses on ecommerce.